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Friday, February 5, 2016

Bring that knitting with you

Eileen opted for regular rib versus the twisted rib which was instead of the brioche on her Exploration Station. Now she's transitioning to next stitch pattern. Between our combined selective reading, she had to re do a row 3 times. Can we blame it on the early hour? Lack of caffeine?

 Eleanor wearing the Cocoon Jacket. Now that she's wearing it, the bottom no longer bothers her. She is thoroughly enjoying being cocooned in her sweater.

She watching for Cirrus knit with two Shibui yarns held together. Pebble (Light Fingering: 48% Silk, 36% Merino, 16% Cashmere, 224 yards) and Silk Cloud (Fingering: 60% Mohair, 40% silk, 330 yards).  The pattern calls for a really tight ribbing gauge.  When we looked at Westport Yarn's sample and pictures of the poncho on Ravelry, we opted for a looser gauge.  Otherwise the cuffs would be really snug.  It was a village vote.

Eleanor dropped a stitch in Leftie.  Her takeaway from this experience is black yarn on small needles is a risky endeavor.

She got a request for hooded cowls from her daughters and daughter in law.  She picked out Anzula For Better or Worsted for two projects and Anzula Cricket for the third. 

Trammi down to the second to last skein of her Essence Pullover in Tahoe (Aran: 32% Nylon, 27% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 16% Yak, 179 yards).  Can she wing it with what's left?  Since the ribbing uses the yarn held double we pulled out the middle and tied it on to where the last skein ended.

She finished the first strip of her Sampler Blanket in Plymouth Arequipa (Worsted: 90% Merino, 10% Bombyx, 218 yards).  The stitch definition is lovely.

Cornelia is cruising up the other front of her Customfit cardigan in Artyarns Ensemble Light (DK: 50% Silk, 50% Cashmere, 400 yards).

Calann found a pattern on Facebook for an adorable headband that she's going to knit in Lana Grande (Super Bulky: 100% Wool, 87 yards) for Valentine's day. Mary and Eileen got in on the action too.

She realized that she missed a cable as she purled her next row.

I showed her how to do a "mid air transfer", fixing the cable without taking out the whole row. First I took the stitches out of the missed cable.

I set up the cable needle with the loose stitches and reknit the cable mid row.

Now she's ready to finish her wrong side row. She was very grateful for her knitting while she attended an all day dance competition for her granddaughter. She was able to knit all day, the lights were not dimmed.

Trammi is grateful for knitting during son's tennis matches.

I know I appreciated my knitting while I watched (endured would be unkind) softball, swimming, concerts, and plays.

Here's one of Mary's completed squares. 

She's having trouble seeing the stitch manifest itself.  It'll take a few more repeats to really see it. 

She has cast on for one of the fronts for her Customfit cardigan in Seedling (Aran: 100% Cotton, 110 yards).

Allison is knitting a Hitchhiker in Knightsbridge (DK: 70% Alpaca, 30% Merino,  100 yards).

And this is (one of the reasons) why we knit. This picture is truly a reward for Allison's hard work.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Upsetting the Proverbial Apple Cart

Eileen made an executive decision to work ribbing instead of the brioche section in her Exploration StationI suggested working a twisted rib to give it more texture.  When you knit the twisted rib, you knit into the balk loop of your stitch. Little did we know that I would completely upset her apple cart ~ metaphorically speaking.

Before getting started she asked me to count her stitches.  She had counted three times with three different results.  It is truly one of life's simple pleasures to have the right stitch count (which she did).

Eileen and I learned that her regular way of knitting was to knit through the back loop. When she purled, she purled taking the stitch underhand. By working her rows this way, she was basically correcting her stitches each row so they would appear normal.  A Twisted ribbing will not work  if she knits her wayLeave it to me to break a forty year habit.  I had to reteach her how to knit. And here she thought skipping the brioche would be easier. I sure threw a wrench in her plans. To her credit, she took it in stride and was a very good sport.

Elizabeth took me in the way back machine to a yarn trip we made years ago to a shop in Shelburne, Vermont.  She and Michelle bought the Mountaintop Vail yarn (Fingering: 70% Alpaca, 30% Bamboo, 236 yards) to knit the Flair scarf.

Mary wore her (recently finished) Runway Cabled Headband. People, you must understand the significance of this.  This is the second accessory Mary has worn that was knit with Merino wool  Mary, who can not wear wool against her skinAre the star aligned? Full moon?  In the ten years I have know her, she has never been able to wear merino comfortably.

She was finishing up one building blocks square 

and starting the next. Her granddaughter was inspecting her handiwork.  

She was my technical assistant for the morning, sometimes model, and overall cutie.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How do you choose your projects?

What makes us (and when I say us, I mean me) choose the projects we choose?

1. Deadline oriented? Gift or want to wear new knit at a planned event.
2. The new and exciting sample and/or yarn at your local yarn store.
3.  A yarn/project calling to you from your stash.
4.  All my friends are knitting it.
5. Fits certain personal parameters.

Here are the projects and their underlying motivation. I've also started to tag this year's projects (on Ravelry) with the tags stash or yarn2016. I'm curious to see the year end tally.

© Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc.
Essence Pullover in Tahoe (Aran: 32% Nylon, 27% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 16% Yak, 179 yards). Deadline oriented. Tagged: yarn2016.

I've knit this sweater three times already: one for Tahki, one for Westport Yarns, and one for my daughter.  I love the design and the yarn.  It was time.  It's slightly deadline motivated as I'd love to finish it to wear to the Westport Yarns Mohonk Retreat...this weekend. I seem to thrive on 11th hour knitting.

I wanted to knit it longer and went a bit too far.  We were binge watching Dr. Who on Netflix because they lost the license and Dr. Who was coming off Netflix.  I got carried away and kept knitting.  For now, I'll knit the sleeves then rip out the bottom to where I'd like it and reknit it. 
© Janina Kallio

Shine in Dragonfly Fibers Pixie (Fingering: 100% Wool, 475 yards). A yarn/project calling to me from my stash. Tagged: stash.

My sister knit this and enjoyed it.  I'm into red lately. For now this is small and portable.

© Rowan Yarns LTD, 2011

Misty Scarf in Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe (Lace: 70% Mohair, 30% Silk, 460 yards). This project falls into two categories: New and exciting yarn and a yarn/project calling to me from my stash. Tagged: stash, yarn2016


I've had a skein of Kidsilk Haze Stripe in my stash for years.  When it first came out I was smitten with the Misty Scarf.  I loved the use of the two variegated yarns in this pattern. We recently got in Kidsilk Haze Stripe at Westport Yarns.  It was meant to be. I bought the second skein and cast on. 

I have added an i-cord edging and I'll add an i-cord edging to the cast on and bind off.  The movement of the colors makes me happy.

© Sixth&Spring Books/Nancy Marchant
Icicle in two colors of Zen Serenity 20 (Fingering: 70% Superwash Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 420 yards). This one falls under a yarn/project calling to me from my stash. Tagged: stash.

After knitting the brioche section of Exploration Station, I wanted to knit more brioche.  Brioche seems to attract the same night/day emotions as bobbles, namely, love it/hate it.

© Shibui Knits
Next up in the queue is Cirrus, knit with two Shibui yarns held together. Pebble (Light Fingering: 48% Silk, 36% Merino, 16% Cashmere, 224 yards) and Silk Cloud (Fingering: 60% Mohair, 40% silk, 330 yards). This falls under the "everyone is knitting" it (at Westport Yarns) category. 

The final tipping point was when Eleanor from Tuesday Stitch and Chat bought the blueprint colorway.  That did it. I had to have that color. Tagged: yarn2016.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Do you eat the burnt toast?

Calann misread her chart 

and cabled the wrong direction. 

We worked on how to take out a cable.

Eleanor was ready to begin the short rows on the collar of her Cocoon Coat.  The yarn is very difficult to read so she's going to leave a marker on short rows.  She had another thought on how to keep the bottom border from rolling up.  Originally we discussed sewing grosgrain ribbon to the (inside) bottom of the coat.  Now she's considering picking up stitches along the bottom and knitting more garter; good plan.

Cornelia finished one of the front pieces, and cast on for the back. We measured the front and it met the schematic. It's a pleasure for us all to see her in forward momentum.

Mary Ellen picked up Danni's Cable & Ribs Reversible scarf for last week's snowstorm.  She got caught up short because she had a stitch out of place that should have been on the right hand needle and was on the left.  Unfortunately this kept her from knitting over the snowbound weekend. Either way, she was so happy to have a delicious knit project in (two skeins of) Anzula Dreamy (Fingering: 75% Merino, 15% Cashmere, 10% Silk, 385 yards).

She is also experiencing difficulty with her bobble square from the Building Blocks Afghan. This is her first "go" at bobbles.  

On that note, Carol is switching out a square that she doesn't like for a bobble square.  Carol LOVES bobbles. You know how bobbles (after you knit them) can face inward instead of outward?  Carol likened them to belly buttons: "innie" or an "outie".

Random threads of our conversation...

One of the women mentioned that their child was of the opinion that "Mom would do anything for me". This sparked a whole conversation and tales of giving up your last (insert item here). That we basically eat the burnt toast so our families don't have to. Agree? Disagree? Comments?  Talk amongst yourselves.

Does Westport Library offer Hulu for free for their members? Inquiring minds want to know.

Blue Apron very interesting concept for cooking meals.

We all watched a lot of tv during the snow storm. To name a few...
Frankie & Grace

Bottle Shock
It's Complicated
As good as it gets
Chefs table
Shakespeare in love
And so it goes
Guess who is coming to dinner
Julie Julia
American in Paris
Truly, deeply,y madly
Pacific heights

Burnt Toast by Terri Hatcher

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Clean Slate

Well this is certainly a feeling I haven't encountered in a long time.  With the exception of 3 (deliberately) long term projects, I have nothing on my needles.

This is going to be a fleeting feeling because by the time I have finished this blog post, I will have decided on what to cast on for.

As discussed, Shine to be knit with Dragonfly Fibers Pixie (Fingering: 100% Wool, 475 yards) ~ stash yarn from Rhinebeck 2014.

© Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc.

 Essence Pullover in Tahoe. I have knit three of these and none for me.  One for Tahki, one for Westport Yarns, and one for one of my daughters.  This one is mine, all mine.  (Insert maniacal laugh here.) 

That will hold me while I consider my options.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Fish or Cut Bait

Interesting title for a knitting blog post, don't you think?

© Kimberly Golynskiy

As I continue in finishing mode, I pulled out Big Damn Heroes.  Conceptually I like the look of it.  (You know there is a "but" coming.) But I am not having fun. The project is no longer resonating with me.

I find myself missing yarnovers and stitches every row.  There are three charts to keep track of.  As I sat down this morning to get back into it, I had to stop and think.

First of all, did I leave myself notes or some trail of breadcrumbs as to where I left off? No written notes.

There was a trail of stitch markers, marking missing or dropped stitches and lifelines. I knit across the first section of the row and was a stitch short.  Meh.

I want to enjoy what I knit. It's not that I shrink away from a challenge.  I can enjoy a challenge if there is forward momentum.  This project keeps ending up in time out.

It's time to cut bait.  I like the yarn, Dragonfly Pixie (Fingering: 100% Wool, 475 yards) and there is more than enough to give me options (I have two skeins).

© Janina Kallio

In fact, there is one pattern that has been lurking about, Shine. It's a little narrower than I'd like (16" x 89"), so I'll see if it is easy to modify.  I'm beginning to think modify should be my middle name.
© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

I'm also interested in Gyre. This one is shorter than I'd like (23.5" x 67") so I'd have to see about making it longer.

For now, I'll frog (rip out) Big Damn Heroes.  It's ok.  I'm good with it.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Finishing Mode

I'm in finishing mode.  It's a rare mood that has crept upon me like a fog. I feel the need to finish anything on my needles.  Usually I have startitus, where I want to cast on for new and exciting projects.

So far this is what I've finished in the past week:

Customfit Over-sized Sweater.  Amy Herzog has come out with several new design options and I was curious about the straight silouette option. What's really interesting (to me) is that often in an over-sized sweater you have a drop shoulder and a straight sleeve.  In this pattern it was a set in sleeve so the shaping for the armholes was huge.  I was really nervous about how it would pan out. In the end, it's exactly what I wanted.  Because of the set in sleeves, the sweater fits my shoulders perfectly and the sweater doesn't look schleppy.  I'm very pleased with the result.  I chose hemmed trim (another new option) which I also really like.

The yarn is Cephalopod Travellor (DK: 100% Merino, 280 yards). I had five skeins that were widely different even though I got them at the same time.  (Is it wrong that in my mind's eye I can still remember discovering them?) I alternated between two skeins every two rows for each piece to avoid pooling.

Two of the skeins were less colorful so I used them for the back.  I won't see it. Then I used the two brighter skeins for the front and the leftovers for the sleeves.

Next up, Adama Cowl, a store sample and upcoming class at Westport Yarns.  The yarn is Plymouth Arequipa (Worsted: 90% Merino, 10% Silk, 218 yards).

My purse project was another Fallen Halo in Artyarns Cashmere 5 and Cashmere Glitter.  Pretty in Pink don't you think?

This all being done, I decided to resurrect a project long in hibernation.  Namely, my Rockefeller Shawl.  I put it away in 2012 because I wasn't sure I liked the striped wings on the ends.  You may be wondering why I would knit a project if I wasn't sure I liked one of the design elements.  Originally this was a Mystery Knit-a-long.  I thought maybe I would change it which led to complete inaction.  Because as the kids would say, it was "effort". It's ridiculous, as often is the case, how little there was left to knit. 

I knit a new hat for Joe.  I changed up my Flap Happy Hat a bit.  The yarn is Plymouth Merino Select (Worsted: 100% Merino Superwash, 218 yards).  Thing #1 ended up claiming the hat.  Don't ask.

Where does that leave me?  Oh, a modified version of my Add Yarn & Knit cowl in Madelinetosh A.S.A.P (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards).  A scarf version.  I can't even leave my own patterns alone without modifying.

Enough writing - back to finishing mode before the feeling fades. It is a capricious mood.