A virtual gathering of people sharing their knitting, books, thoughts, and random threads of conversation!

Live ~ Laugh ~ Knit

Friday, March 16, 2018

Breakfast Club

Betsy knit up two more Rock the Pompom Hats in madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (Bulky: 100% Merino, 165 yards).

She knit up Debbie Bliss Classic Cardigan in Baby Cashmerino Tonals (Sport: 55% Merino, 33% Acrylic, 12% Cashmere, 137 yards). The buttons are coffee beans!

Diane is knitting The Easy Bulky One in Brooklyn Tweed Quarry (Bulky: 100% Wool - Targhee-Columbia, 200 yards). Neither of us can believe how quickly she's knit this. She only bought the yarn at the last class ~ last month. I guess the sweater is living up to its name, EASY.

Maddie is living the Super Bulky Knitting Dream.  

She's knitting this sweater from a magazine in the '60's! Yarn: Mirasol Ushya (Super Bulky: 98% Merino, 2% Nylon, 114 yards).

Next on the needles is the Purl Soho Classic Knit Jacket knit with Purl Soho Lanecardate Feltro (Super Bulky: 75% Wool, 25% Angora, 98 yards). As it's a top down sweater, she kept trying it on to make sure she knit it long enough. The village (knitters around the table) were happy to weigh in.

Lastly, #15 Chunky Vest. She is loving knitting with big needles. She'll have ample time to wear these bulky knits given the recent March weather.

Meg is beginning to make peace with the colors of the Building in Color Afghan she is knitting for her mother. We all loved how this strip was coming out.

Last month she brought her recently St. Brendan Sweater in The Fibre Company Arranmore (Aran: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere goat, 10% Silk, 175 yards). It's a great looking sweater!

Jayne finished her first hat, Simple & Easy Hat for the Whole Family (gathered version ~ knit in the round). Yarn: Plymouth Select Worsted Merino Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards).

Jennifer shared her finished Ohra shawl

Harry kept me company until this blog post was done. Thankfully he had the table to rest is head on while he waited.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Below the salt

Last week I spent a whirlwind few days in Connecticut. I literally came in on the heels of one storm and left on the heels of the next storm.

It was wonderful reconnecting with my coworkers and knitters.

Allison is working on her Agnes Pullover  in Brooklyn Tweed Loft (Fingering: 100% Targhee-Columbia, 275 yards).

She hadn't gotten very far on the front, when she noticed a hole. She had inadvertently picked up and added a stitch. Since she wasn't that far along, she decided to rip it back.

© Purl Soho
Jane B is working on the Cashmere Ombre Wrap from Purl Soho. Yarn: Jade Sapphire 4-ply Mongolian Cashmere (Fingering: 100% Cashmere, 200 yards).

Eileen has finally found her fade 😁. She has been knitting Find Your Fade in beautiful greens and purples. Eileen modified it a little by omitting the lace sections and knitting it all in garter.  She was off stitch count in the end. Danni and I came up with a way to finish it off. Yarn: Dancing Leaf Farm Sock Hop (Fingering: 100% Merino, 373 yards). Dancing Leaf Farms has fade kits available.

Cornelia is knitting a customfit Vest in SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash Worsted (Aran: 100% Merino, 200 yards). She has taken to matching her clothing to her projects. 😉

Mallory needed a refresher on mattress stitch to sew her latest Christmas Stocking.

She also brought two incredible garments her mother knit. They were really special. There is even embroidery on the dress.

These garments made me think of two ski sweaters I have that my mother knit and steeked when she was twenty-something. I'll have to bring them in for show & tell.
© Gail Pfeifle, Roo Designs
Eleanor is knitting a Roo Fire Truck Roll Neck sweater with a (green) fire engine for her grandson because his dad is a Volunteer Fireman and rides in a green firetruck. How sweet is that?!

Calann had a lot of projects to review. First off, she has finished knitting a wedding garter from the Set of Wedding Accessories to Knit Pattern and has all the accoutrements for finishing it. She is graciously going to share what's left with me. That's incentive enough to cast on for the one I have to knit. This is the same garter Mary knit for her (four) daughters-in-law.

Next there was a Simple Lace Cowl she is knitting with Plymouth Incan Spice (Fingering: 45% Merino, 25% Alpaca, 15% Yak, and 15% Silk, 218 yards). She wasn't sure if her stitch count was right.

Lastly there was some forensic detective work involved on a Rowan Sweater she started years ago.  We were able to determine where she left off. Now she can revisit it!

© Linda Gavaldon
Cindy is running on yarn fumes while she knits the border of her Elephants on Parade blanket. She was off in her border stitch. She thought she was supposed to be knitting Moss when really she had knit Seed all along. We got it sorted out.

Jane T worked on the sleeve of her son's sweater. Yarn: Cascade 220 (Worsted: Superwash Wool, 220 yards).

Random Remarks, Books, and apps (and not necessarily in that order).

FlightAware app: From the web, "Free, live flight tracker and flight status from FlightAware for apple & android! This app allows you to track the real-time flight status and tracking map of any commercial flight worldwide.

Jackie, Janet, Leigh by Randy Taberelli
Women in the Castle
The Alice Network
Last Christmas in Paris

Random remarks
Below the salt: "At that time the nobility sat at the 'high table' and their commoner servants at lower trestle tables. Salt was placed in the centre of the high table and only those of rank had access to it. Those less favoured on the lower tables were below (or beneath) the salt." From The Phrase Finder.

The expression was used in class to refer to those people who were not (temporarily) included in what ever was being passed around the table.

My Uterus is not a tracking device: At first I thought Calann coined this one herself. She uses it in a sentence very well. Upon googling it, it can be traced (in at least one instance) to the book, Hot Flashes and Southern Sasses: Humorous Little Stories with a Southern Drawl By Kathleen Harper. Maybe we should add that to our book list.

Harry is chillin'.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Brioche, not just for breakfast anymore

Which came first the pastry or the knitting technique?

Interestingly enough, the word "brioche" maybe derived from French slang for "mistake". Brioche is a French pastry that is light and slightly puffy.

By (knitting) definition, "Brioche produces a lofty, ridged fabric that resembles knit 1, purl 1 rib. Brioche knitting belongs to a family of stitches that rely on slipped stitches worked in conjunction with yarnovers. On one row, a stitch is slipped, and at the same time, the yarn is carried over the needle to create a yarnover. On the next row, the slipped stitch and its adjacent yarnover are worked together."

I teach an ongoing Brioche Knitting class at Westport Yarns. Many of the women have started together and are moving up the Brioche "food chain", choosing projects with increasingly challenging techniques. In my opinion, Brioche is not a difficult technique to do, it's hard to fix mistakes.

Kaede is working on two-color Brioche, flat, in the scarf above (knit with stash), 

by TalenaWinters Flickr

and the Revolution Toque in the round in Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards).

Susan has been knitting Polyjuice Potion hats, 

in Berroco Millefiori (Aran: 50% Wool, 50% Acrylic, 186 yards) and Sweetgeorgia Superwash Worsted (Aran: 100% Merino, 200 yards).

 Robbie is knitting Love Ewe Baby in Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles (Fingering: 100% Merino, 400 yards).

Diane is newer to the group and is working on her first single color brioche project, Straightaway, also in Sweetgeorgia Superwash Worsted.

If you're interested in joining this class to learn this technique, call Westport Yarns at 203-454-4300.

There maybe Brioche pastry too.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Surrounded by knitters

Knitters in the north ~ Knitters in the south

By spending the winter in Florida and coming up back to Connecticut monthly, I am blessed to be surrounded by knitters wherever I go. Teaching (knitting) in both states has intensified my feelings and expanded my gratitude for the connections and relationships I find so rewarding.

Westport Yarns ~ Westport, CT
This common interest (obsession?) bonds people together that might never have met given the differences in ages and lifestyles. I think that's one of the things I like best about sitting with a group of knitters.

Knitting is what brings us to the table to knit, however, it's the joy we get from being together that brings us back.

Knit or Knot ~ Jupiter, FL

We inspire each other with our projects and yarns.

We grow by listening to each other's life experiences.

We share books, movies, TV, restaurants, recipes, travel, and anything else that comes to the table through conversation.


When we are together we lend comfort, encouragement, laughter, understanding, affection, and not necessarily in that order.

The more time we spend together the more the differences in our ages and lifestyles blur and we go from a group of individuals around the table to a group of friends who are as interlocked together as the stitches we knit. (How's that for a metaphor?!)

Apart we are like uniquely hand dyed skeins of yarn. When combined we create a beautiful tapestry.

I am grateful to be a part of my knitting groups.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mother's Little Helper

It was great to be back with my Tuesday Stitch and Chat Ladies. I've missed our sessions! 

Eleanor knit up Rock the Pompom in Katia Azteca Milrayes (Aran: 53% Wool, 47% Acrylic, 197 yards).

Her daughter liked the yarn and stitch pattern so much that she asked for a matching scarf. That's such a rewarding feeling when your knit gifts are not only appreciated, but leave them wanting more!

Allison brought in a yoke sweater she knit years ago for show and tell. It is a beauty.

She knit the Tucker Hat in Plymouth Baby Alpaca held double (Bulky: 100% Baby Alpaca, 110 yards). She was experiencing floppy pompom syndrome. Never a good thing. I showed her how to use a button to secure the pompom: take a (flat/no shank) button and hold it to the inside of the hat. Draw the pompom threads through (different) holes in the button to the wrong side of the hat. We used a threader. Then tie the threads by pulling against the button to secure it.

The button allows more torque to hold the pompom firm.

We repeated the process for a Rock the Pompom hat Mallory had finished.

Allison and Trammi were both casting on for hats that began at the top and were worked on two circulars rather than double pointed needles. When using two circulars, it's a good practice to use either two different lengths or color needles so you you are using the right ones at all times.

Trammi is knitting the 24.2 Viola Pompom Earflap Hat.


Calann had me check her swatch for the Simple and stylish quick knit top down - P113 baby sweater.

 She had a mis-stitch in the wedding garter she is knitting.

While knitting away during Stitch and Chat classes, our conversations run the gambit. We talk about food, plays, books, and just about anything else that comes to mind. What's that expression? If it's on your mind it's out of your mouth? Please someone tell me what that expression is! Today was no different.
We had an interesting conversation about the expression "Mother's Little Helper" and how that meant different things to different generations. Calann referenced the Rolling Stones song, Mother's Little Helper, 

What a drag it is getting old
"Kids are different today, "
I hear ev'ry mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she's not really ill
There's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day
 Trammi said that she thought a mother's little helper was the young girl you hired to help out with your kids. Calann and Trammi are both right, they are speaking from different generations.
Jane T said her mother had many expressions, one of which was, "If you sing before breakfast, cry before night". I looked it up, it goes back at least 500 years!  "This idea originated in the classical notion that a person should not celebrate the day’s achievements in song before the day’s business has begun." Here is a link, if you're interested. Another interpretation was that it was meant "to keep kids from getting into mischief or just stay quiet".
Calann came up with one of her own, "You can grow all the marijuana you want, just don't have a baby in the bathtub". Fairly self explanatory, don't you think?

Our book conversation led to these titles: