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Friday, April 29, 2016

His name is Felix but we call him Joey.

Ok, so the title may not make sense and I'm not really sure how we got there. I think we were talking about grandkids and names. Anyway, what can you do with a sentence like that?  I couldn't let it fall on the proverbial cutting floor.

Jane is on the second front of her Beech Hill Poncho in Acadia (DK: 60% Merino, 20% Silk, 20% Alpaca, 145 yards). If the weather stays chilly and raw, she could be wearing it next week!

She wants to knit the Etched Rio Wrap in Acadia for a dear friend who likes green. Jane doesn't like knitting in green (the way I don't like knitting in yellow).  The things we do for special friends. It's our cross to bear.

Allison is knitting The Easy Folded Poncho in Cricket (DK: 80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere, 250 yards). Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  Really, stockinette rectangle.  Use an awesome yarn like Cricket and you have an easy to wear, simply elegant poncho.

A Set of Wedding Accessories to knit.
I caught up with Mary and her assorted projects. Mary has a "Mary Poppins Bag". You wouldn't believe the number of projects that come pouring out! She is an organizational lesson to all of us, each project is in a different bag complete with directions and notes.

She is in the midst of knitting Building Blocks 9 and 10. Two more to go.  

She has knit them in different colors and will sew them together with white yarn.

Pati joined us for the first time today.  She took my Continental Class on Sunday, went home and finished a hat.  After seeing Allison's poncho in progress she decided to knit one for herself in the Misti Alpaca Tonos Pima Silk (DK: 83% Cotton, 17% Silk, 327 yards). This will be her first project knitting continental.

While in class today she finished binding off her magic loops socks. She is ready to cast on for her next pair and wanted to use a fine weight alpaca..  100% Alpaca isn't a good choice for socks, it won't hold its shape.  Grudgingly (wink, wink) she will buy yarn to cast on for next pair.

She's loving knitting socks this way. 

Calann lost track of where she was in her Rowan Straight Top. The key to this pattern is keeping very accurate notes on your rows in each section. Watching Calann knit this top was a reminder to me and our group, that when you start a new pattern, it's important to read (if not whole pattern) at least the first section before casting on. She got it going and rejoined to knit in one piece to the end. She's very nearly finished.

She asked the group at large if we had watched Game of Thrones.  I had taped it, so I didn't want any spoilers.  Cindy said she hasn't really watched much science fiction/fantasy.

 Image result for game of thrones free pictures

I said that it was medieval in character, not really that much science fiction/fantasy. Then I was reminded that the show has dragons, giants, dead ice zombies, and a red queen. Fine. I guess I read/watch a lot more science fiction/fantasy than I thought if I think Game of Thrones is light on the science fiction/fantasy.

Cindy is knitting a Baby Hooded Wrap Cardigan. When she finishes knitting the body, she'll work from the existing stitches and work the hood. 

This week's book recommendation: City on fire.

I'll leaving you with a story and a little knitting...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Conversation is a Three Way Street

Eleanor knit Churchmouse Annabella's cowl pattern for her daughters and daughter-in-law with 2 skeins of Anzula For Better or Worsted (Worsted: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 200 yards). This is a great for beginners or a quick gift.

She's almost up to the neck shaping for her Centerport Cropped Poncho in Rowan Softknit Cotton (Worsted: 92% Cotton, 8% Nylon, 115 yards).

Lastly, she is on the second cuff of Cirrus. I love seeing hers because I'm knitting one in the same colorway.  It's the next best thing to knitting it. ;)

Eleanor liked the #409 Cool Hemp Ponchette sample in the shop, and will add this to her queue.

Cornelia started her Customfit sweater in Mushishi (Worsted: 95% Wool, 5% Silk, 491 yards). 

Janice came in wearing her Etched Rio Wrap in Anzula Cricket (DK: 80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere, 250 yards.  The poncho has beautiful drape, she gets compliments everywhere.  (Didn't I tell you ponchos are the "in thing".)

She finished the front sections of her Giotto top and is ready to sew them together with the mattress stitch.  She wrote out instructions for back like figuring out a math word problem

Calann finished the little fish sweater and sent it to finisher.

Her make ones for the neck shaping had holes; she wasn't processing them properly.

I took it back to the beginning of the neck shaping and Calann re-knit them and was able to finish the front neck shaping in class. She rejoined her yarn and began the back neck shaping.

She likes the look of the yarn, Rowan Cotton Lustre (Bulky: 55% Cotton, 35% Rayon, 10% Linen, 87 yards) and is looking forward wearing the completed top. The pattern is not hard.

Conversation was all over the map. We went from travel to Broadway shows to health insurance/medicine, to commercials broadcasting Viagra during the dinner hour. And to help me earn my keep, a few knitting questions interspersed.

It was during the Viagra conversation that one of the knitter's got excited and dropped a stitch.  I promised I wouldn't name names but it was too funny not to share.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Call me Poncho-villa

Twice a year I go through my projects/stash/favorites to see what I can marry together and knit for the upcoming season.  It's like going through your clothes to see what you'll wear/donate.

I realized that I am in a poncho state of mind.  Ponchos are great, they are a form of easy dressing that suits my lifestyle.  I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.  Slip on a poncho and now I'm stylin'.

Ponchos have come a long LONG was from the 70's.  They are chic and fashion forward.

First we have the #409 Cool Hemp Ponchette that I have knit 3 times! One for me (until my mother liked it - Hi Mom), one for the shop in Rowan Softknit Cotton  (Worsted: 92% Cotton, 8% Nylon, 115 yards), and a replacement for me. I think I'm "over" this one. (Side note, my sister and one of mom's book club friends wants to knit it too! It's a very compelling ponchette.)

Here (in no particular order) are the ponchos on my list to make:
photo credit: © Katia
I actually found the yarn the #26 Air Lux calls for while in Florida at a shop called The Knitters Nook. My friend, Michelle, and I are going to knit it together.  I went with an usual color, kind of a rose, charcoal gray-ish metallic color. Lace Lux (Lace: 67% Rayon, 33% Merino, 339 yards).

Lefty, is a sample I tried on at Knit or Knot (also in Florida).  The pattern calls for Shibui Twig (DK: 46% Flax, 42% Silk, 12% Wool, 190 yards). I went out of my color comfort zone with this one (they didn't have any of my usual go-to colors).

Of course I'm going to knit the Centerport Cropped Poncho (my design) in Aruba (Aran: 80% Cotton, 20% Linen, 98 yards).  I chose a deep Navy.

Mirage is knit either with a DK weight or light fingering weight held double.  I'm knitting it with Alicia (Lace: 100% Flax, 180 yards).  Ok, I admit it.  THIS one is in purple.  I'm definitely smitten with this pattern.


Lastly, I may knit Not Just Plain Jane's Mystery Project from a couple of years ago.  I made it in a worsted weight cotton.  This time I'm going to make it in a DK to bring the size down.  Mine is long in the picture like Michelle's, I think I have the end twisted to the back in the picture. I loved knitting this, it was pure fun. Tosh DK (DK:  100% Merino, 225 yards).  The colorway is called Whiskey Barrel.

There are others that I like, they are still in the queue somewhere: Etched Rio Wrap, Easy Folded Poncho with cowl.

Then there are two that are works in progress on hold during the Spring/Summer: Cirrus and the Two Harbors Poncho.

Wow.  it looks like a lot more ponchos then I thought when I see it written down. Time will tell what I actually get accomplished.  Let the season of the poncho begin.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

To Focus or Not to Focus, that is the question

Tuesday's Stitch and Chat...


Jane received her Lotus Cashmere (DK: 100% Cashmere, 200 yards) that she will knit the Purl Soho Top-Down Turtleneck Cardigan (with).

We measured her Beech Hill Poncho, she is 8" from finishing one front.

She lost the loop on her magic loop sock, found it, and then couldn't figure out where she was. We analyzed where the yarn was coming from on both socks to determine which sock she was knitting.

Jane has decided to knit a Customfit sweater in Anzula For Better or Worsted (Worsted: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon,, 200 yards) in the colorway, Madam. Originally she was going to knit it in Navy (being a blue-color person) and then she fell in love with the Madam colorway (there's a comment to be made there somewhere).

Allison greeted me by picking up Baby Elephant and telling me that "you're very talented but the is the best thing you have ever knit." Baby Elephant is hard to resist.

She finished her fifth Hitchhiker, this one in Knightsbridge (Worsted: 65% Alpaca, 25% Merino, 10% Nylon, 120 yards) - three skeins. The final count was 33 points. She knit a modified version with eyelets. This scarf is a gift for her sister-in-law's birthday.

Allison washed and blocked her linen swatch for the Garter Stitch Cardigan she is going to knit. Her swatch was too big so she is going down a needle to a #9, and then block again.

Lastly, we reviewed the Kitchener stitch so she could complete her Burberry Cowl in Zona (Aran: 35% Cotton, 28% Wool, 26% Acrylic, 11% Nylon, 119 yards).

Cornelia finished the back of her Customfit, then cast on for one of the sleeves.

She is swatched and ready for her next Customfit in Mushishi (Worsted: 95% Wool, 5% Silk, 491 yards).

Jane T. knit up to the joining round in her Essence Pullover in Tahoe (Aran: 32% Nylon, 27% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 16% Yak, 179 yards).

During a conversation about naming pets, Jane said that her first cat was deaf.  She named him "What". 

Janice got turned around on the reverse shaping of her Giotto Top in Fancy Solare (Worsted: 77% Cotton, 17% Rayon, 6% Nylon, 103 yards).  She didn't properly reverse the shaping for the second side.  I ripped it back to the beginning of the shaping (all part of the service) and together we wrote out the directions in reverse.

In typical Linda fashion, she entered with style raising the question, "to focus or not to focus, that is the question?  I choose not to focus." And with that, cast on for her second Sock Yarn Sweater in Koigu PPPM (Fingering: 100% Merino, 175 yards).

Wednesday's Stitch and Chat...

Exploration Station is giving Eileen quite the go around.  The pattern stitch isn't particularly difficult and she understands it.  It was a mystery why she keeps getting off pattern - until today.  She selectively read the pattern and missed a decrease on one of the rows.  Keep your fingers crossed, she's halfway done with this section and then she can bind off.

Her alternate project is Cloudy with a Chance of Bling (great name!). She's knitting it with Artyarns Merino Cloud (Fingering: 80% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 436 yards and Artyarns Beaded Mohair and Sequins (DK: 60% Silk, 40% Mohair, 114 yards).

Lori finished her swatch for the cover up she is designing.  We agreed the fabric was too tight - she's going to go up two needle sizes and re-knit the swatch. She didn't realize (until I pointed it out) that her new puppy snacked on her knitting needle!  Apparently the puppy has a taste for yarn. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

If you don't like the weather in New England, stick around, it willchange. Mark Twain

Cornelia has gotten compliments and/or offers to buy her Rasta Poncho!  Today it was actually too cold to wear it.  Ah, New England.

She's nearly done with the back of her Artyarns Ensemble Light Customfit sweater. 

Over the weekend, Jane took (my) 2 @ time Toe up Magic Loop socks class.  Since then she lost her magic loop. It looks like a sombrero!  To recapture the Magic (Loop), first count your stitches.  Pinch the needle cord at the halfway point and pull it through.

She has knit the back of her Beech Hill poncho and has to knit the fronts.

Mary was confirming what row she is on for the last garter (August Wedding).

Then we worked on deciphering the pattern instructions on her building block. The pattern had you end the repeat differently and that was throwing her off.  We put markers on either side of the border stitches to make things clearer. 

Jane T swatched for the Essence Pullover. This will be her first top down sweater. She cast on and began knitting pattern. We are changing up the pattern and substituting a kfb increase for the M1.  

Cornelia thought she would knit the Essence Pullover it until she learned she had to knit on circular needles.  While she took a break from knitting and walked the store, she fell in love with the Grapevine colorway of Mushishi (Worsted: 95% Wool, 5% Silk, 491 yards). It will go in the queue for her next Customfit.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

You Can't Ignore the Elephant in the Room

Meet Baby Elephant.  She is too cute for words and she needs a name.

Follow Baby Elephant's adventures on Bring Your Elephant to Work Day. I bet you didn't know there was such a thing.  I found out it already existed when I typed in the tag on Instagram.

Buckle up, time to drive to Westport Yarns.

Good times hanging out with the ladies at Stitch and Chat.

Helping Danni with the Accounting.

Hanging with Otto and snuggling in a basket the Anzula Dreamy. 

When you're in a yarn store, you've got to take time to learn to knit.

She even got a chance to ring up a customer's sale of Zara to knit a baby poncho.  (Secretly I think Baby Elephant was hoping it was for her.)

Home again, Home again, Jiggety gig.  Good thing we had a hat she could borrow - April in New England is no place for a Baby Elephant.

Story time with Thing #1, Thing #2 and the beasty boys. Just some light reading.  What else would you expect from and English Major?  I think Baby Elephant was hoping for Babar.

Goodnight Baby Elephant.

Please post your name suggestion for Baby Elephant here and/or on Facebook.  We can vote on the best name.

P.S. This elephant was designed by Lorraine Pistorio. The pattern was impeccable, complete with many pictures. She has many other patterns, check them out.  My elephant was knit with Plymouth Selected Worsted Superwash (Worsted: 100% Superwash Merino, 218 yards).