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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Who am I? Where am I?

Sit back and enjoy.  We were a big group on Tuesday ~ 'tis the season. There was a whole lot of knitting going on.

Jane B. knocked out two Building Blocks Afghan squares since I saw her at class on Saturday.  She realized that if she wanted to complete this by her husband's birthday in March she had to pick up the pace.  Yarn: Jade Sapphire 8 ply Cashmere (Aran: 100% Cashmere, 100 yards). 
By the end of class, she was well into the third square.

Before getting onto her knitting questions, Mary brought in this quilt of the country.  Quilting is just one of Mary's other talents. She does beautiful stitching.  

She is almost done with the ribbing on her Newborn hat from my Welcome Baby Gift Set.

Mary finished one sleeve and was ready to begin the next on her Sock Yarn Sweater. Both the hat and sweater are knit with Artyarns Merino Cloud (Fingering: 80% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 436 yards).

She finished the shaping on the second front of her Customfit tunic. Now she will knit even until the armhole. Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Seedling (Aran: 100% Cotton, 110 yards).

A tale of two ponchos. Elena and Mary both wore their Two Harbors Ponchos today. Yarn: Blue Sky Fibers Extra (Aran: 55% Alpaca, 45% Merino, 218 yards).

Elena is opting to work on the Tripoli cowl on big needles.  Instant gratification!

Eleanor won the prize for best coordinating of colors today.  Her coat (both inside and out) matched (pun was not intended when I began this sentence) her Matchmaker scarf knit in Baby Cashmerino (Sport: 55% Wool, 33% Microfiber, 12% Cashmere, 137 yards).

She experienced the angst of designers.  Last week we decided where to place the twin sections of ribbing in relation to the shaping of her Customfit sweater.  After knitting several inches, she decided she did not like how it looked.

So she had to do rip it out to the beginning of the twin ribs.  Now she is opting for a center ribbed section.  Yarn: Moonshine (Worsted: 40% Alpaca, 40% Wool, 20% Silk, 197 yards).

Eleanor wasn't satisfied with the size of the armhole the pattern called for, it seemed too narrow.  We googled size charts for her grandson's size and she was right. She'll adjust the markers and work accordingly. Pattern: Emerald Isle Child's Pullover. Yarn: Plymouth Select Superwash (DK: 100% Merino, 130 yards).

 Jane T. was swatching for a Man's Cardigan for her son. 

Trammi plans to swatch and cast on for my  Manteau Capelet in  Ensemble Light and Beaded Silk and Sequins Light.

She worked a mock circular swatch to obtain gauge.

Allison cast on using the provisional cast on to knit a Burberry Inspired Cowl in Tahki Zona (Aran: 35% Cotton, 28% Wool, 26% Acrylic, 11% Nylon, 119 yards). This has become a 'go to' pattern for gifts.

Cindy is almost done with the brim on her baby hat.

Calann revisited her Flat Foot Floogie knit with Cascade 128 (Bulky, 100% Superwash wool, 128 yards). She wanted to confirm where she was.

We had a funny moment with her cabled poncho.  I had ripped it back for her and wrote on the pattern row "you are here".  She said, "Where is that? Where am I?" You may have had to be there.

 How would you caption this picture?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I'm running amok

For the past two-three months I have carefully controlled myself from having more than four truly active projects.  I admit there are four hibernating from the end of last winter.  Most of my knitting this fall has been deadline knitting: baby gifts, store samples, and holiday gifts.  As I have said before, I am a selfish knitter.  I've had this growing urge as I see all the lovely new yarns/samples come into Westport Yarns and after the pageantry of the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival.  I WANT TO KNIT SOMETHING FOR ME. ME, I TELL YOU.

I have crossed the line and am running amok.

I was handling myself well, maintaining my self-restraint (all the while collecting yarn for new projects). Only after finishing one, would I allow myself to cast on for the next.  How else will I finish if I spread myself too thin in the project department.  This was all well and good until my sister asked for my help.

She sent me a picture of yarns she bought at Rhinebeck with a message asking if I knew what patterns she was using for them.  This is a fair question, I take notes and since this is my "thing" I tend to have better recall.

Our conversation went something like this...


This was the "sexy gradient" named Edge of Temptation.  The names of the colors from left to right are: Temptation, Provocation, Persuasion,  Devotion, Passion, Obsession, Seduction.  We had a lively debate with our friend, Jennifer, on whether we agreed with their order. But I digress....

I found the patterns she was looking for by looking at her favorites.  I figured it would trigger my memory.  It did and I was able to solve the mystery.  

However, one pattern leads to another, and while I was looking through her favorites, I came upon Butterfly/Papillion. I was gobsmacked. 

© MarinJa knits
I was captivated by the pattern picture.

It should come as no surprise that not only have I downloaded the pattern, I have purchased the yarn. The project requires fingering weight yarn: one skein of a contrast and 4 skeins of Milli Colori Baby (or equivalents).

I'm still committed to finishing my holiday gifts first. As these are all secret squirrelly projects I have cast on for two projects I can knit around the family that will not arouse curiosity or suspicion.

© Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc.
Vivacious Hi Lo Pullover in Falkland Aran (Aran:  100% Wool - Falkland, 197 yards) and

my Fallen Halo in Artyarns Cashmere 5 and Cashmere Glitter.

However, it gives me joy thinking of this butterfly in my queue, like a chrysalis waiting to open.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Love the one your with

I'm dubbing Jane our Cashmere Queen.  She came in wearing her Easy Folded Poncho knit with Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere (DK: 6 ply, 100% Cashmere, 150 yards). It came out perfectly.

She wanted to confirm where she was on her cashmere Building Blocks Afghan knit with Jade Sapphire 8 ply Cashmere (Aran: 100% Cashmere, 100 yards).

The stitch count was off on Calann's the Waffles Blanket in Plymouth Select Superwash Merino (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards).

She wore her  Poncho Air Lux to a wedding. She looks lovely in it. Yarn: Air Lux (Fingering: 70% Rayon, 30% Wool, 328 yards).

Eileen was off a stitch in her Anemone Poncho. She took it back to a point where the stitch count was correct. Yarn: Artyarns Regal Silk (DK: 100% Silk, 163 yards) and Artyarns Beaded Silk & Sequins (DK: 100% Silk with Silk-Strung Sequins and Murano Glass Beads, 110 yards).

She wanted to check in that she was on the right track with her Ladies Mermaid Tail Lapghan Cocoon Blanket ~ she was. 

Trammi wants to add waist shaping to her Two-way top. Rather than add waist shaping through increases/decreases, she is going to try changing her needle sizes. Yarn: Anzula Dreamy (Fingering: 75% Merino, 15% Cashmere, 10% Silk, 385 yards) and Artyarns Beaded Silk & Sequins (DK: 100% Silk, 110 yards).

Allison was ready to graft her Big Fat Stratus Scarf 


knit with Louisa Harding Yarns Amitola Grande (Aran: 80% wool, 20% silk, 273 yards) and Katia Cotton Merino (Aran: 70% Cotton, 30% Wool, 115 yards). 


I love happy knitter faces!

Cindy had a knitting emergency, one of her double pointed needles broke on her baby hat.

Cornelia has worked over the neck of the Azul Poncho is working her way down the other side. Yarn: Rasta (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards). 

She's nearly done with it and has begun thinking about what she wants to knit next.  She asked if any of us begin thinking about our next project while still knitting a current project.  Unanimously - yes. This is contrary to the feeling you get when you are reading a book and you don't want it to end.

The difference between Cornelia and most of us seated around the table is that we have more than one project going on at once. I'm always thinking about other projects I want to knit.  The song "Love the one your with" comes to mind. There are times when I can pick up a project, begin knitting, and immediately start thinking of one of my other projects. 

Elena started Linientreu over again, she wasn't happy with how it was coming out. On the plus side, she finished the Two Harbors Poncho.

Book Recommendation: Destiny for the republic

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

An adventure in color

This project was brought to my attention by one of the customers at Westport Yarns, Marianne.  I LOVE knitting projects like these that are "outside the box".  It quickly became a class, then two classes.  Fourteen intrepid knitters are following me down the line. (Pun intended.)

Linientreu loosely translated means "faithful to the line" or "in line".

Per the designer, Ute Nawratil, "‘Linientreu’ (‘In Line’) is a semicircular shawl, alternating equilateral triangles and simple garter stitch rows. The triangle modules are joined by knitting (no sewing necessary!) The right triangles at the border edge result from short rows." Kudos to the designer for coming up with such an imaginative design.

Lang Yarns
I knit Linientreu with Lang Mille Colori Baby (Fingering: 100% Wool, 208 yards, color #52) and for the contrast color I used Cascade Heritage Sock (Fingering: 100% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon, 438 yards, color #5618 Snow). I was inspired by another Ravelers project.

Although there was some purple in this colorway, for the most part it was a departure from my usual purples. I chose the Snow as my contrast because I really wanted a dramatic contrast.

Here were my first three triangles, after blocking. Before blocking the triangles are more 3D. Think bra cup and you'll have an good visual.  I always read other ravelers experiences when embarking on a new project.  Several knitters blocked the project along the way to assure themselves that the piece would lie flat.  I was assured.

While knitting outside this fall, I noticed that my shawl bore all the colors of the season.  I took this artistic photo to remember the moment.

Here's a before (top) and after (bottom) blocking comparison after knitting the long section of sixteen triangles.  Cool, huh?

Thursday I finished the bottom border.  

The triangles at the bottom are knit with German short rows and went quickly.  I enjoyed seeing the colors play out. Only once did I mess with the order of the colors.  What I mean is, I knit with the Mille Colori Baby as it came from the ball rather than cutting here and there to get more of the colors I preferred.

When I was knitting the first set of stripes there was a faded yellow that was coming along in the ball - I did not like how it was going to look.  That was the only time I cut out a color.

There was just a little more to knit at this point.  The designer included a top border to make the shawl edge uniform.  It really made a big difference.

The shawl measured 21" down the center and 52" across the wingspan before blocking. Once again, it blocked out beautifully.  The final dimensions were 26" down the center and 67" across the wingspan.

I enjoyed knitting Linientreu.  Seeing the colors enfold was part of the fun.  Working the triangles modularly was a bit fiddly at times, and worth the effort. I made minimal modifications, which can be viewed on my project page.

Wait till you see what I'm considering next.....

Harry can't wait to find out.  He wants to know now.