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Monday, May 21, 2018

This is the Song that Never Ends...

and it goes on and on, like Jane's Lux Adorna Knits Striped Scarf. Yarn: (DK: 100% Cashmere, 140 yards). She feels like this is the scarf that never ends. The saving grace is that is is Cashmere!

Eileen must have picked up a stitch in the ladder between stitches of her Sari, not Sari. Unfortunately, there is no way to fudge/fix this; she had to rip it back. Or rather, I ripped it back. 😜 Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Cashmere/Merino (Lace: 50% Merino, 50% Cashmere, 328 yards).

She's enjoying her easy project: Churchmouse Twice Reversible Ribbed Poncho in Northlight Fibers Atlantic (Worsted: 100% Falkland Islands Merino Wool, 170 yards).

 Cornelia was zipping along on her customfit cardigan until she came to a tiny knot in the ball. She had to unknit the row, cut the knot out, and then add the yarn back like starting a new ball. Unfortunately it is an accepted industry standard to have up to 3 knots in a ball/skein.  This was a momentary delay, and she is loving the way the yarn is knitting up. Yarn: Knitting Fever Painted Cotton (DK: 100% Cotton, 357 yards).

We were all happy to catch up with Trammi, who returned after a hiatus. She had to revisit her projects to figure out where she was.

Humphrey Bear knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (Worsted: 100% Wool - Targhee-Columbia, 140 yards).

She questioned whether she should reknit the Viola Pom-Pom Ear Flap Hat. She changed the yarn (weight) that the pattern called for and the hat feels a little too mushy. After doing some research, she's going to reknit it holding the yarn double.

Trammi is working on the Urban Ranch Shawl in Berroco Suede (Worsted: 100% Nylon, 120 yards). It will likely be a teacher gift.

She picked up the Anemone Poncho she started last year and reacquainted herself with the pattern. Yarns: Artyarns Regal Silk and Artyarns Beaded Silk & Sequins Light. She has been knitting this in the Portuguese Knitting method and was happy the technique came back to her.

Jane remarked that it's "like typing and sex" you don't forget. The rest of us were more accustomed to the phrase "it's like riding a bike" Although we got a good chuckle from her analogy.

Lastly, she has the Zickzack Scarf on the needles. I absolutely love how it is coming out using two different colorways of Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) (Fingering: 100% Merino, 175 yards).

It's a good thing she's picking up her knitting again! She has a full complement of projects to knit.

Classic Harry/Tucker pose.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Second Sock Syndrome

There is a solution! Knit them 2 @ time, toe up on Magic Loop. I never understood knitting socks until I knit my first sock. They fit like a glove (actually they fit like a sock). Hand knit socks feel great. They hug your foot in a way commercial socks don't. I could be projecting, let's go with it.

My sock journey began with knitting socks the traditional way, on double pointed needles. At the time, there weren't other options (ok, so I'm dating myself). Like many people, I found double pointed needles fiddly, though it got easier as the sock knit up.

That was all well and good until I developed second sock syndrome. It's a very real thing. You finish one sock, only to realize you have to cast on and do it all over again. UGH! That single sock can languish in your UFO's (unfinished objects) for a long time. Like this sock I discovered while sorting through Yarnia. It's been in there a very long time. I think there was ivy growing on the Ziploc I kept it in.

After knitting socks that way for a while, I discovered knitting socks on two circular needles, first one at a time, then two at time. Knitting both socks at the same time was wonderful because I didn't develop second sock syndrome. You can knit them from the cuff down or toe up. I preferred toe up because I could maximize my yarn yardage.

THAT was all well and good, except that if you put your socks down mid-sock, you could get very turned around on which way to go. The 2 circulars created a very pretty circle that left you wondering which way to knit. That can be mitigated by using different length circulars, however, it wasn't magical.

THEN I discovered knitting socks 2 @ time, toe-up magic loop. That was magical. I haven't looked back.

You may be asking why it is magical, I'll tell you:
  • First and foremost, when you're done, you.are.done.
  • No fiddly double point needles or 2 circulars.
  • Although the picture above doesn't show it, you can manipulate the yarn to make them match.
  • There is no Kitchener Stitch because they are toe-up.
  • No picking up stitches for the gusset.
  • You can knit the leg as long as your yarn yardage allows, less guesswork and less leftover yarn.
Are you intrigued? How can you not be, there is magic involved. Well, you have two options.

If you are local to Fairfield County, I will be teaching a  2 @ time, toe-up magic loop class at Westport Yarn, click here for more details.

If not, you can find my comprehensive pattern on Ravelry by clicking this link.


Monday, May 14, 2018

What was I thinking?

Per Calann, "Yay us, the prodigal sweater is done." A round of applause to Calann for persevering where a lesser knitter would have put this swater in time out. Her Tressage Sweater is off to the finisher for blocking! Yarn: Anzula Squishy (Fingering: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 385 yards).

© LittleJennieWren
Calann is asking herself, "what was I thinking?" as she knits bobbles in the Emilia Poncho in Nordica (DK: 100% Merino, 136 yards).


There was another potential typo in her Elephants on Parade pattern. We looked at the chart for clarification. Yarn: Plymouth Select Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards).

 Eleanor got the lace in Nurmilintu under control. Yarn: Anzula Dreamy (Fingering: 75% Merino, 15% Cashmere goat, 10% Silk).

© Kelbourne Woolens & Linette Kielinski

She went back to Bibbe. Bibbe and Eleanor are playing nicely. She is under one stitch and she is not loosing sleep over it. Especially after she ripped back 8" because she had "over-knit" the length and would have run into yarn quantity issues. Yarn: The Fibre Co. Arranmore Light (DK: 80% Merino, 10% Silk, 10% Cashmere).

Eileen ripped out Sari, Not Sari because her stitch counts were off. She was (rightfully so) proud that she figured it out on her own. It looks great.  She mentioned she keeps forgetting to work the last decrease, I suggested she put an extra marker to remind herself.Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Cashmere Merino (Lace: 50% Merino, 50% Cashmere, 328 yards).

She learned the cable cast on in order to cast on for the Churchmouse Twice Reversible Ribbed Poncho in North Light Fibers Atlantic (Worsted: 100% Falkland Islands Merino Wool, 170 yards). She told me, "whatever you say 'teach' - except swatching". Eileen is not doing a swatch, she cast on and is knitting on. Live by your own choices. Tough love, baby.

Jane is knitting Maeve, a lovely wrap in Lux Adorna Knits (DK: 100% Cashmere, 140 yards). She is changing (6) colors and is also asking herself, "what was I thinking?". She is tired of starting and stopping and wants to be done with it. This falls under the banner of learning what you like and don't like to do.

Cornelia finished back of her customfit cardigan. She's on a mission, and cast on for one front. Yarn: Knitting Fever Painted Cotton (DK: 100% Cotton, 357 yards).

Harry caught his reflection in the mirror and did not to know what to do. He simply stared (at himself).

Monday, May 7, 2018

Giraffes, Bears, and Dogs, Oh my!

Calann was working on her Elephants on Parade Blanket, when she found a typo on Row 11. Yarn: Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards).

She swatched for The Little Emilia Poncho in Nordica (DK: 100% Merino, 136 yards). Her gauge was a little bigger than pattern and we agreed that she should continue on this needle because the swatch looked and felt good. If the poncho was a little bigger, it wasn't a problem.

© LittleJennieWren
Barely a few rows in she discovered the bobbles and cables occurring at the same time. It was suggested that she stop whining or pick another pattern. Calann has joined the ranks of "bobble haters". We welcomed her to our ranks.

Cornelia is enjoying how the Knitting Fever Painted Cotton (DK: 100% Cotton, 357 yards) is evolving on her latest customfit vest.

Eleanor, Allison, and Cornelia were working on a project from the Westport Yarns Block Island Retreat - a Fairisle Pillow.

Allison is starting to hate the lace section of her Cameo scarf/wrap. We discussed skipping the lace and continuing in garter. She could cut her losses (not literally) and be done with it. Yarn: Berroco Nebula (Fingering: 100% Merino, 415 yards) and Berroco Folio (DK: 65% Alpaca, 35% Rayon, 219 yards).

Eileen's Sari not Sari in the Hedgehog Fibres Merino/Cashmere is so nice (Fingering: Cashmere, Merino, 350 yards). Her stitch count was off and it turned out that her stitch marker had moved.

Mallory finished her 12th stocking

No rest for the weary, she has started working on the next stocking, a wreath.

Olive Kittredge's: My Name is Lucy Barton and Anything is Possible

In other news...

A young giraffe escaped its Indiana zoo enclosure!

Let sleeping bears lie? A Paramus neighborhood was amazed by a bear sleeping in a tree for hours.

Harry and Tucker kind of pale in comparison to these wild animals. The only way you can tell this is a video is to watch their "eyebrows" twitch.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Two Rows Forward, Many Rows Back

Jane finished her Double Basketweave Cowl. She had two skeins of each color of Juniper Moon Farm Moonshine which she held double (Worsted: 40% Alpaca, 40% Wool, 20% Silk, 197 yards). Clearly the grey had much less when it came down to the actual knitting. Not sure what to make of that. Thoughts?


She inadvertently did a garter gauge swatch for the Easy Folded Poncho versus a stockinette swatch. Knit happens, she cast on. Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Zooey (DK: 60% Cotton, 40% Linen / Flax, 284 yards).

Cornelia started the back of her customfit vest in Knitting Fever Painted Cotton (DK: 100% Cotton, 357 yards). While working on her vest she came up with a question, "why is back always done first in knitting patterns?" I did a quick google search and came up empty so I posted it to a internet knitting group.

Here are the thoughts on this matter:
  • It's for measurements, if you keep track of the number of rows knit, you can match the front. This will make putting together much easier.
  • Backs are a bit simpler, having a minimal or no neck shaping.
  • The back at least starts with a long straight piece which gives you chance to get the stitch pattern in your head..You can then see what it looks like before you start any shaping. 

Eileen cast on for Sari, not Sari in Hedgehog Fibres Cashmere Merino (Fingering: 50% Cashmere, 50% Merino, 328 yards). She taped the colors of yarn to the pattern sections. Brilliant.

She wants to pick different pattern for Artyarns Merino Cloud (Sport: 80% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 428 yards). She's not enjoying how this the Spring Flowers Poncho is knitting up.

Eleanor was off pattern in Nurmilintu, I took it back to where it was right. Yarn: Anzula Dreamy (Fingering: 75% Merino, 15% Cashmere goat, 10% Silk).

© Kelbourne Woolens & Linette Kielinski
While I was ripping back Nurmilintu, she pulled out Bibbe. She put it away for a while has lost her bearings. Since she knit it longer than she intended, she is going to rip it back that way she's more confident she'll have enough yarn.

Mallory needed a refresher on how to do a SSK (Slip, Slip, Knit): slip one as if to knit, slip next following stitch as if to knit, insert left needle tip into fronts of slipped stitches on right needle and knit together. She is almost done with her current stocking. Time to begin the next, a wreath.

Calann was not happy with how the picked up edge looked on Tressage. Since it was a function of how the asymmetric version of the sweater was designed, she wanted to take it out and finish the sweater even. Yarn: Anzula Squishy (Fingering: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmer, 10% Nylon, 385 yards).

Trivia per Cornelia who never disappoints:
  • MIT's mascot is the beaver, nature's engineer.  
  • Her father was a professor there. Cornelia's parents met Winston Churchill and his wife when they visited the school.  
  • George Eastman anonymously donated all the land and money to build the current campus.

My kids always get the most poignant pictures of our dogs. I was mystified by this until I learned that they hold food above the camera. That will get rapt attention every time.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Without Naming Names

I love when people come in wearing hand knits. From left to right, Calann is wearing her Be Sweet Fine Shawl on Diagonal, Eileen in her Mini Madness Shawl, and Eileen wearing Find your Fade Wrap.

Jane B added the charcoal color to her Double Basketweave Cowl knit with Juniper Moon Farm Moonshine held double (Worsted: 40% Alpaca, 40% Wool, 20% Silk, 197 yards).

She admired the Easy Folded Poncho I'm knitting in Juniper Moon Farm Zooey (DK: 60% Cotton, 40% Linen / Flax, 284 yards) bought yarn to cast on for her own.

Cornelia finished her customfit sweater vest and sent it off to the finisher. Yarn:  Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted (Aran: 100% Merino, 200 yards).

Then she cast on for her next customfit sweater, an open vest with one button. Yarn: Knitting Fever Painted Cotton (DK: 100% Cotton, 357 yards).

Calann had a spot on her Tressage Sweater that looked like a dropped stitch, it was a couple of stretched stitches. We will fix it. Yarn: Anzula Squishy (Fingering: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 385 yards).

She was ready to start the Elephant Parade section of her blanket and wanted to review the directions. Yarn: Plymouth Select Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards).

Eleanor learned a lesson in not only in taking notes but in following your notes. She marked her Bibbe pattern to make the length 2" longer, then knit it to be 3" longer. We agreed that was fine, longer in the body length is (almost) always better.

She picked up Anzula Dreamy in a Chartreuse Green to knit Nurmilintu.

Mallory's Santa Face Christmas Stocking is coming along.

Eileen is knitting a shop pattern, Cabled Hat in Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Luccica (Worsted: 97% Merino, 3% Metallic, 130 yards).

Jane T hadn't worked on her sleeve for a while and is off pattern. Third time is a charm.

The lace in Allison's Cameo Wrap, was not lining up.

We discussed random parenting gems from our parents that have stuck with us to today.
From my father:
"Pick our battles."
"Don't die on a small hill."

The rest of the gems will be listed without naming names...
With regards to "the talk":
"Kick him where it hurts and run like hell."
"Something lovely will happen in your sleep."
"Keep your legs together."

Two of the women, unbeknownst to eachother, have named their pacemakers: Marigold and Babette. As one woman put it, "It's living inside of me, might as well have a name."

Feel free to add any parenting gems of your own in the comments.

The beasty boys thought Joe was taking them for a ride. He was only taking the car out of the garage and parking it on the driveway. They stayed in the passenger seat for 30 minutes.