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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Baby's First Hat

Introducing a new pattern....

The sizes based on head circumference: To fit approximate head circumference of preemie 11-12” (newborn 13-14”).

 For knitting in the round, you will be on double pointed needles or magic loop.  The head circumference is to too small to work on a 16” circular. Since many people cringe at the thought of double pointed needles, The pattern includes directions on knitting the hat flat and seaming it.

You have the choice of knitting the hat in three weights.

Worsted Weight: Worsted Merino Superwash Solids by Plymouth Yarn (100% Merino, 218 yards, Color #21, pink).

DK Weight: Zara by Filatura Di Crosa 100% Merino, 137 yards, Color #1973, true blue).

Sport Weight: Baby Cashmerino Tonals by Debbie Bliss (55% Wool, 33% Microfiber, 12% Cashmere, 137 yards, Color #03, peppermint).

All three of the yarns used in the sample hats are soft enough to grace a baby's head and machine washable to ease the life of a new mother.

They are simple and straight forward to knit and work up in a few hours if you're in a hurry (or a waiting room)! Knit up a bunch and save them for random baby gifts.

Click here to view the pattern on Ravelry. Please add it to your favorites and/or queue. The pattern will be available at a discount for a limited time.

Thank you to the ladies who tested and edited the pattern, Danni, Deb, Genna, Lindsay, Lori, Mary, and Sari.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Blocking is like teething

I'm a note taker.  This habit goes way back and I learned it from my mother.

She has told me that I came home with my first note after a day at preschool.

Me: "I took notes at school today."

Mom: (looking at lines of scribbling) "What does it say?"

Me: "You know I can't read."

Rather than writing notes on lots of little pieces of paper, I'm attempting to carry a notebook with me and write them there.  I say "attempt" because I am terrific at creating organizational plans and not so terrific at keeping them.

I thought I would share with you my notes for the week. Spoiler alert, some are actually about things other than knitting.

Blocking is like teething.  Stay with me here.  When a baby is little, and has the slightest runny nose, pink cheeks, is irritable, etc, as mothers we often say - "oh, that... she's just teething".  As if any small deviation from the norm can be blamed on teething.  It is the perfect scapegoat. 

Blocking your finished knits is supposed to smooth out imperfections and remove all manner of (knitted) sins. Here we say, "oh, that... it will block out".

Books (to listen to on audible)
The Wedding Gown
Invention of Wings
The War that Saved My Life
A Man Called Ove

On Bravo 
Odd Mom Out 

Books made into a movie and were actually good
The Help


Cinch Gourmet Food Market

Products Discovered
Edinburgh Imports stuff for toy making
Fringe Supply Co. Field Bag for knitting. 

Places to see, Things to do
Kaia Yoga - I really need to get back to yoga.
Connecticut Wine Trail (no connection to doing yoga)
RJ Julia Bookstore in Madison, CT

Knitting Misadventures
Calann told us how she was knitting with her double points (using 4 out of the 5 in a package) when she heard a clinking/rattling/falling sound.  One of her double pointed needles had fallen down the air handler.  Her husband was a good sport and looked for it to no avail. (I hope I got that part of the story right, if not, it sounds good.) Luckily, she mostly uses 4 out of the 5.

Helen played a game of yarn chicken with her French Cancan.Yarn chicken is when you begin to suspect that you won't have enough yarn to finish your project.  You keep knitting hoping against hope as you watch the ball of yarn dwindle, that you will have enough.

Class Stats
I'm excited to say that I have 10 people knitting socks, 2 @ time, toe up magic loop. 

(If you are interested in the pattern, message me.  I'll let you know when it is up on Ravelry.)

And there are eleven people knitting the Elephant.

Just Keep Knitting



Friday, May 20, 2016

Two Rows Forward, One Row Back

Jane knit not one, but two swatches and found the right gauge in Acadia (DK: 60% Merino, 20% Silk, 20% Alpaca, 145 yards) for the Easy Folded Poncho she is knitting.

Michelle is back! She has three baby blankets to knit in three months.  On your mark, get set, GO!

The first one is the Collina Blanket in Berroco Comfort (Worsted: 50% Nylon, 50% Acrylic, 210 yards). Nice looking blanket that is written for several sizes.

Eleanor had bound off for her #409 Cool Hemp Poncho in Rowan Softknit Cotton (Worsted: 92% Cotton, 8% Nylon, 115 yards). I measured it and it came up a bit short.  Since she had some yarn left, we pulled out the bind off and she knit a few more repeats, then she will wet block it.

© Berroco, Inc.
Allison, dropped a stitch on her  Odele T-Shirt in Berroco Mykonos (DK: 66% Linen, 26% Nylon, 8% Cotton, 142 yards). She questioned whether she should switch to wooden needles since the yarn is unruly. The answer was yes.

We tended to that and she picked up her Easy Folded Poncho in Anzula Cricket (DK: 80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere, 250 yards).  Good mindless knitting for a chatty bunch.

Calann was all ready to bind off her Rowan Straight Top, when she noticed she was 4 stitches short on one side.  It was a tense moment while we considered the options.  Tenser still when we decided she had to rip back to the neckline.  She was brave while I took it back. At least the knitting goes fast on big needles.

Cornelia is plugging along on her Mushishi Custom Fit sweater. Who knew it would be cold enough to wear not one, but two of her hand knits.  The Rasta poncho and (Zona) Confidence Pullover. In this picture Cindy and Cornelia are looking over the RJ Julia Bookstore Newsletter.

Cindy finished up the sleeves on her Baby Hooded Wrap Cardigan and sent it off to the finisher.

Mary finished block #10 on her Building Blocks Afghan. She is into block #11, where she learned how to pfb, otherwise known as a purl into the front and back (increase).

Linda was shocked to learn that she had the right number of stitches and was in the right place to work the next step of her top down Sock Yarn Sweater.  The lovely and vibrant yarn is Koigu Painters Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) (Fingering: 100% Merino, 175 yards).

And the knit goes on.

Now that spring has sprung, I have the pleasure of sitting outside to blog.  The dogs have assumed their natural deck/coffee table positions.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Swatched and Ready

Cornelia finished back of her customfit sweater and her measurements are right on the money.  That's a great way to start the day. The yarn is Plymouth Mushishi (Worsted: 95% Wool, 5% Silk, 491 yards).

Jane B. said her Knitting Angel (aka me) tells her to swatch while knitting other projects so she is ready when the other projects are done. This swatch in Acadia (DK: 60% Merino, 20% Silk, 20% Alpaca, 145 yards) is for an Easy Folded Poncho she's knitting as a gift. Her swatch was a little smaller than gauge.  I suggested she wash and block this swatch, then knit another on a needle up and do the same.  Then we will compare the results.

She's going to go down one needle size for the Building Blocks Afghan Class. She's knitting the blanket in Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash Solids (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards).  This yarn knits up beautifully!

Her gauge in the Lotus Cashmere swatch (DK: 100% Cashmere, 200 yards) for the Top-Down Turtleneck Cardigan was spot on.

She's been steadily working on the socks she is knitting for her husband. She measured them against another pair she knit for him to see if she was ready to begin the gusset shaping and it was exactly right. She also traced his foot, complete with notation for the instep and heel.  When I checked the sock against the drawing, she was exactly where she should be for starting the gussets.


Look how the yarn is striping on a diagonal that travels across both socks!  Neat!

Pati is loving the Misti Alpaca Tonos Pima Silk (DK: 83% Cotton, 17% Silk, 337 yards) for her Easy Folded Poncho.

Eleanor finished Cirrus with some modifications.  She cast on for the smaller cuff, knit the larger body size, and then the smaller cowl. On Ravelry, people sewed the sleeve longer than cuff, she's going to live with it a while and see if she wants to sew the sleeve more than the cuff.

She decided to tack the sides of her Centerport Cropped Poncho in Rowan Softknit Cotton (Worsted: 92% Cotton, 8% Nylon, 115 yards). 

Eileen is working on the Quick Knit Baby Shrug in Spud & Chloe Sweater (Worsted: 55% Wool, 45% Cotton, 175 yards).

AND she is blocking Exploration Station!

Cindy, finishing hood on her Baby Hooded Wrap Cardigan. After that she has one sleeve to knit and.she.is.done.

Allison is swatched and ready for her Odele T-Shirt in Berroco Mykonos (DK: 66% Linen, 26% Nylon, 8% Cotton, 142 yards).

Books we discussed (and liked):

Doc by Mary Doria Russell

Friday, May 6, 2016

Confirm and Verify

Jane B. wanted to compare the lengths of her  Beech Hill Poncho in Acadia (DK: 60% Merino, 20% Silk, 20% Alpaca, 145 yards). She wanted to confirm she was at the right point to begin the bottom border.  Later this week she sent if off to the finisher.

I measure her Lotus Cashmere swatch (DK: 100% Cashmere, 200 yards) for the Top-Down Turtleneck Cardigan .

Jane brought this very cool contraption called a Yarn Buddy. She even tracked down the link for me. We share a love of knitting notions, bags, and basically any nifty product that simplifies life.

Eileen wanted to see how I weave in ends before she began weaving in her ends on Cloudy with a Chance of Bling.

She knit 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).

She began the I-cord bind off on Exploration Station. Voila! Finished, well almost... she has to block it and weave in her ends.

Eleanor wanted to re-do the bind off on the sleeve of her Cirrus it was markedly different from the cast on edge for the first sleeve .  I'm so glad I'm knitting one in the same colorway, Blueprint, it takes my breath away.  Cirris is 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).

She finished my Centerport Cropped Poncho in Rowan Softknit Cotton (Worsted: 92% Cotton, 8% Nylon, 115 yards). She made it a little longer.  We are debating tacking the sides to make armholes.

For the first time (that I can remember) Eleanor is knitting with red; it is not a color she normally wears! She is knitting the #409 Cool Hemp Ponchette in the Rowan Softknit Cotton.

Calann wanted to count the rows on her Rowan Straight Top to make sure the sides were even. She knit it with Rowan Cotton Lustre (Bulky: 55% Cotton, 35% Rayon, 10% Linen, 87 yards).

Next we worked on picking up the wraps on her sock. It was hard to see them so I marked them with locking stitch markers.

She finished the Ship Ahoy! sweater from Zoe Mellor's book, Adorable Knits for Tots: 25 Stylish Designs for Babies and Toddlers.

Next on the needles will be the #409 Cool Hemp Ponchette in Blue Heron Rayon Metallic (DK: 88% Rayon, 12% Metallic, 550 yards).

Jane T. was at a standstill on her Essence Pullover, she wanted to confirm that she was following the directions correctly. She was.

Mary's magic bag this week was the Mamy Bag, a bag we crocheted in a class several years ago. As a result of the class, we made some modifications which can be found here.

Mary finished block #9 of her Building Blocks Afghan. She is starting block #10 and wanted to review yarnovers and the SSK decrease.

Allison was knitting along happily on her Easy Folded Poncho in Anzula Cricket (DK: 80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere, 250 yards).

Cindy was ready to pick up and knit the hood on her Baby Hooded Wrap Cardigan. After a few rows, it wasn't looking right. She inadvertently bound off the front neck stitches instead of the shoulder stitches.  It was not going to match up correctly this way.  We had to rip out her progress on the hood and the last row of the front to bind off for the shoulder and set up the front neck stitches as live for the hood.

Finally, does anyone know where you can get a good Flagel?

I figure if you ask a group of women anything and they can find it or solve it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Third times a charm.

It doesn't seem like it's only been a month since I knit my first Ponchette

Since then I've sent my mother my Ponchette.

I knit one for the shop if Rowan Softknit Cotton (Worsted: 92% Cotton, 8% Nylon, 115 yards). And finally, knit a replacement for my original Ponchette.  I honestly think I know the pattern by heart.

I'm in finishing mode for several other works in progress.  My socks are done. I absolutely love the feel of the socks, Serenity 20 (Fingering: 70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 400 yards). The colorway is called Convergence. 

I've sewn my Odele shirt together.  On a side note here, I tried a sloped bind off for the front shoulders (right shoulder in picture) versus the step bind off for shaping a shoulder (left shoulder in picture).  Very easy to execute, much nicer looking, and easier to sew together.  I totally recommend it.

The i-cord edging for the neckline and armholes is very pretty, slow going, but pretty. I love how drapey the final top is, knit with Mykonos yarn (DK: 66% Linen, 26% Nylon, 8% Cotton, 142 yards).

I'm swatched 

blocked and ready to cast on for the Mirage Poncho that I'm knitting with Stacy Charles Alicia (Lace: 100% Linen, 180 yards).

My easy knitting project is my Rockaways Racerback Tank pattern in Tahki Ripple (Aran: 100% Cotton, 142 yards).  I'm knitting it in the larger size up till the waist, then narrowing it to the medium.  My goal is to wear it as a pool cover-up.

All the recent rain has made it perfect knitting weather.  My dogs, on the other hand are bored!

When they aren't causing mischief, like snatching a log from the fireplace,

they are snoozing. At least Harry had the decency to look guilty.  Tucker, not so much.