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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wednesday Stitch and Chat

Lois knit up the Angelito with Rasta (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards) in a week and loved it.  I'm telling you, there is nothing like Super Bulky yarn for instant (knitting) gratification.  

She also decided to go down two needle sizes on the Marshmallow Fluff Cowl, knit with Twinkle Handknit Soft Chunky (Super Bulky: 100% Wool, 83 yards), because the stitch definition just wasn't looking right. 

Mary (a different Mary) knit up several of these braided cowls. 

She came to class to get assistance putting them together, the strips are knit separately - then join at one end and braid.  They are really cool, each strip has a different texture. The pattern is from an old booklet.  I'm going to play around with the idea to come up with a pattern.

Mary continues to make progress on her strip of the sampler blanket. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

A whole weekend off!

Last weekend was a "fifth weekend".  I don't work this weekend and when it comes up I'm always happily surprised.

For starters, I (mostly) stayed in pj's.  Always a deliciously decadent thing to do.

I made sure I had some moderately productive moments like putting away all the Thanksgiving paraphernalia and cleaning out a shelving unit full of books.

On the knitting front...

I began in earnest to finish this Cupcake scarf.  Joe said he might wear it.  Yay!  Another gift for him.  This was great tv knitting and I caught up on season 3 of the Game of Thrones.

I started the Superior Poncho on Thanksgiving day, the perfect project for in between basting the turkey and other Thanksgiving Day details. Superior is a lovely cashmere silk yarn. We have a sample at the shop that I wear constantly, I figured it was time to knit my own.

Then there was Not Just Plain Jane's Super Crescent Renaissance Shawlette.  After Jane helped me the other day, I applied myself to finishing it.  There is a crocheted bind off and I am THREE STITCHES SHORT.  I am not happy about this. I took it to work to compare it to the store sample and have decided to live dangerously and block it as is.

Looking through my knitting bag, I found the Koigu Fairisle Cowl that has been hibernating while I've been knitting deadline gifts.  I've set a goal to knit at least one motif a day. It would be a shame and embarrassment not to finish this in time to wear it this winter season considering I started it at the end of last winter.

Lastly, after finishing the front on my Lima CustomFit sweater, I considered how I wanted to handle the sleeves.  I didn't feel like knitting them at the same time.  Even though it's a useful method, I didn't feel like it.  Plain and simple.

I decided to try picking up the stitches from the shoulder/armholes and work the cap in reverse.  It took two tries to get the numbers right.  Using this formula for picking up stitches, I got the stitch count even on both sides:
 1 stitch for every bound-off stitch

 3 out of every 4 stitches along the diagonal

 2 out of every 3 stitches along vertical sections.

Since I'm knitting it from the top down, I got to try on the sweater and I was pleased with how the cap looks.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable, 

knitterly weekend

 complete with dog cuddles.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

'Twas the day before Thanksgiving.

I had a full house the day before Thanksgiving. 

Marjolijn is working on the Butin collar as a gift for her sister.  The pattern called for the
thumb loop cast on which she had never done. 

Lois cast on for Angelito with Rasta (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards). She went up a needle because she thought it was too  tight. The pattern called for a make 1 increase. She was working a kfb and somehow was increasing her stitches more than the original17 sts.  She was delighted with how fast this was knitting up and that the nature of the pattern created the angled shape of the scarf.

I haven't seen Sunaina in ages.  There was lots to show and tell.

The first was a Purl Soho pattern - Reversible Stripes scarf. One of the yarns is Jade Sapphire cashmere, the other one she bought either in Denmark or Sydney.

 This is a baby blanket that someone bid $200 for at a work charity auction (without seeing the finished product!!).  The yarn is Plymouth Yarn Dreamland (Worsted: 70% Acrylic, 30% Nylon, 125 yards). The pattern is from Plymouth, My First Baby Blanket, the yarn selected due to its machine washable nature.

The third is Schoppel Wolle Zauberball Crazy (Fingering: 75% Wool, 25% Nylon, 459).
The pattern is September Circle.

Lastly, she tried her hand at mittens (pun intended).

Then we got to what she needed help for.

She finished knitting her All About The Yarn Jacket knit with Artyarns Ensemble Light (DK: 50% Silk, 50% Cashmere, 400 yards). All she has to do is block and sew it. It's a gorgeous shade of red, unfortunately red does not photograph well.

Sunaina finished knitting and blocking the squares for her Noro Log Cabin Afghan. She picked up the stitches along the sides of two squares and learned how to graft the stitches together.

Mary has completed 3 of the 6 patterns in her blanket strip. I have collected the other 4 strips.  I have blocked and crocheted them together.  We have a couple of weeks till this blankets intended recipient makes her way into the world.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Knitting and Soup, a cozy combination.

 Michelle is knitting the Herringbone Infinity Cowl in Plymouth Select Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards).  Although she likes how the stitch looks, she finds that it is hard on her hands and she needs another project to alternate with.   On the plus side, she did learn how to fix her mistakes, that's no small feat with the herringbone stitch.

 She is also knitting the Third Rail Cowl in Malabrigo Rios 
(Worsted, 100% Merino, 210 yards).

 Lois is knitting the Marshmallow Fluff Cowl, a great one skein wonder for super bulky yarn. She's using Twinkle Handknit Soft Chunky (Super Bulky: 100% Wool, 83 yards).  The cowl starts off with a provisional cast on.

She's thoroughly enjoying knitting Fallen Halo with green Cashmere 5 and Cashmere Glitter. She loves how the yarn feels in her hands.

 Linda is knitting the Etched Rio Wrap with Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca & Silk (Sport: 50% Silk, 50% Alpaca, 146 yards). She was off by one st; she inadvertently changed the meaning of the symbols).  Laura at Westport Yarns taught her how to read the chart and Linda is really doing great with it.

I mentioned that I felt like making soup and Lois rattled off a recipe for Cauliflower Soup that was OUTSTANDING.

Roast 1 head of Cauliflower cut up int florets, 1 onion cut up, and one bulb of garlic - coat in olive oil. Oven at 425.  I had never roasted garlic before so they explained that you cut off the floofy stuff  at the top of the bulb, then roast garlic cut side down and rub in oil.

Simmer 32oz of chicken stock.

My addition: I cooked bacon in the oven and when it was done cooking I removed it and put the veggies into the bacon grease and let it roast a little longer.

Add veggies to chicken stock and let simmer a little longer.  Then take an immersion blender (I was so psyched we actually had one of those.  It had to be Thing 's influence.) and blend it until smooth.

I added crumbled bacon as a garnish.  YUMMY.

When Thing #1 came home and smelled it she followed the scent like a cartoon character riding on the air waves.  She said "I don't want to know what's in it, just give me a spoonful".  That's the best compliment you can get (in my house anyway).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scratched that itch and more

Oh, the random places (and by places I mean projects) my knitting takes me.

It started with 'Joanquil' Ladies' Diagonal Lace Top, which was not on my radar until I put it on while at work (it was chilly).  Then suddenly I just HAD to knit it.  (Doe anyone else think of Game of Thrones when they read the name Joanquil?).

Harry helped.

I finished that in a week, after all, it's a cropped vest.  It took only four skeins of Silk Garden (Aran: 45% Mohair, 45% Silk, 10% Wool, 110 yards).

Then we got in Malabrigo Rasta (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards) at work. This reminded me that I had Rasta in the Abril colorway tucked away at home in my stash. 

I decided to knit the cover pattern of Malabrigo Book 6, Angelito

This 1 skein pattern took under an hour to knit, literally.

I timed myself out of curiosity.  No one knows how to have fun like me.

There is still a colorway at the shop that sings to me daily.  Purple Mystery.  I knit a CustomFit sweater in this colorway and I have a scarf in this colorway.  You would think that was enough.  I don't know if I can hold out.  The pressure is mounting.  It's my perfect purple.  Sigh.  We will see.

Having scratched this itch, I was able to contentedly return to my deadline knitting.  Two more projects are almost done, leaving two deadline projects to go.  Freedom! What will I knit next?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What was I thinking?

I put aside most non-holiday/baby related knitting projects at the beginning of September. One in particular was Not Just Plain Jane's Super Crescent Shawlette in a lovely shade of Sapphire blue yarn  from The Copper Corgi Fiber Studio Savannah Sock (Fingering: 100% Merino, 460 yards).

As part of my deadline knitting 7th inning stretch, I decided to revisit this project. What I found was a conundrum.  I had the whole project on a stitch holder, there were two random stitch markers on one section, and

I had begun to work a row above the stitch holder but stopped mid way. Clearly something was amiss

You'd think I'd leave a note or a trail of breadcrumbs, but no, there was no clue.

I rashly pulled out the stitch markers, the pattern didn't require them. I threw caution to the wind. Once I was sure I wouldn't unravel the whole piece, I slowly pulled out the needle.

Rechecking 300+ stitches in a "Jane" pattern is no picnic; I can tell you that from experience.  Still, I gave it the good old college try. 

Then the proverbial light blub went off. (It looked just like the picture too, cute little fella.) I remembered that Jane was coming into the shop for a meeting.  See where this is going?

I explained my scenario and asked her to look it over.  Jane, ever helpful, sat down to look it over.  I got out the OTT light to shed some literal light on the situation.

The conclusion was that it was fine.  She read the row, purled back, and knit the next row of the pattern just to be sure.  Big sigh of relief.  Thank you, Jane!  Now I can go back to this project with new found confidence. 

The moral of the story is that you never know when you are setting a project aside for a few hours, days, or months.  LEAVE DETAILED NOTES.  Enough said.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wednesday Stitch and Chat

Lois cast on for Fallen Halo with green Cashmere 5 and Cashmere Glitter. When I knit my (personal) Fallen Halo, I did something different when I cast on.  Instead of estimating the long tail and casting on with just the main color, I made a double slip knot using both the cashmere 5 and cashmere glitter, cast on the required stitches, and then knit with the main color while carrying the contrast color. You have to release the double slip knot combining the two yarns, it doesn't count as a stitch.  I shared that technique with Lois.

Mary brought some magazine pages with patterns she's interested in:
Polar Bear Hoodie in  Koigu Magazine 6.
Pat Olski #14 Garter and Cable scarf for all her red yarn.
Li'l critter hat (couldn't find a link).

She was working on her sampler blanket strip. Lois likened our sampler blanket knitting deadlines to assigned reading in school.  She likes to read, just not on demand.  The same is true with knitting.  I totally understand that.  There's more pressure and attention paid to assigned knitting.  She can rest easy now, her strip is done.

Two years after Sandy, Elizabeth moved back into house. She unpacked her yarn and and discovered her ufo's (unfinished objects).  It was time to take stock of those projects

On that note, she finished Marin. Knit with Annapurna (Sport: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 385 yards) from A Verb for Keeping Warm.

Elizabeth lamented over buttons she bought two years ago at Rhinebeck, without a project in mind.  We were cautioned: friends don't let friends buy buttons without a plan.

She now has a pattern to go with  the buttons. Enter Coraline which will be knit with Spirit Trail Fiberworks Ixchel (Sport: 100% Alpaca, 400 yards).

and she began a lace edged woman's hat in Malabrigo Rios (Worsted: 100% Merino, 210 yards).

and was swatching for Climbing Rose Henley in Silky Wool (DK: 45% Wool, 35% Silk, 20% Nylon, 192 yards).

Somewhere during the morning we decided that there were little knitting pixies working their mischief.  That led us to considering what rules there might be about knitting pixie's.  I came up with don't feed after midnight.  Feel free to add your own.