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Saturday, July 30, 2016

A post with no name

Jane made a great find at home. Even better than finding that random $20 in a pants pocket!

She found sweater quantity of Blue Sky Fibers Alpaca Silk (Sport: 50% Silk, 50% Alpaca, 146 yards) that she bought years ago.  What a glorious discovery! What possibilities!

She's sending her Etched Rio Wrap off to the finisher. Yarn: Acadia (DK: 60% Merino, 20% Silk, 20% Alpaca, 145 yards).

And picked up her Two Harbors Poncho from the finisher. Yarn: Blue Sky Fibers Extra (Aran: 55% Alpaca, 45% Merino, 218 yards).

Michelle knit a new swatch with the Royal Alpaca (Worsted: 100% Alpaca, 220 yards) doubled for the Llama ll Sweater.
© Karen Clements

Her gauge of the yarn doubled was good.  However, now she doesn't have enough yarn. We discussed adding a second color.


The poncho has two different stitch patterns.  She could easily color block it using one color for each stitch pattern.  First we discussed using black; then the village voted on Blue Sky Fibers Extra in purple. (And I wasn't even the one who first suggested purple.)


Michelle made serious progress on her Poncho Air Lux knit with Air Lux (Fingering: 70% Rayon, 30% Wool, 328 yards). Even though it's not a contest, I am shamefully behind on mine!

Cornelia checked in that she was interpreting the shaping on the cap for the sleeve of her customfit. Yarn: Artyarns Ensemble Light (DK: 50% Silk, 50% Cashmere, 400 yards).

Trammi learned Portuguese knitting with me, and wanted to review. So far she's really enjoying it and loves the stitch definition she's getting.

She bought a cute Portuguese Knitting pin from Jill's Beaded Knit Bits. I love the pins I've purchased from Jill.

Trammi swatched for the  #01 Lace Turtleneck from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2016 knit with Kidsilk Haze (Lace: 70% Mohair, 30% Silk, 229 yards).

Here is the reward picture of Trammi's new nephew on the Shop Sampler she knit with Plymouth Arequipa (Worsted: 90% Merino, 10% Bombyx, 218 yards).

After Jane T.'s blood, sweat, and tears.... her daughter wearing the Madison Weekender Jacket. Next she wants to knit a poncho for her other daughter.

Cindy began her Flat Foot Floogie Lamb and knit up to the first paw. The yarn is Cascade 128 Superwash (Bulky: 100% Merino, 128 yards).  During the week the pattern wasn't working for her because she misinterpreted the make one increase as a knit front/back. Once we identified the problem (via emails), she looked up make ones on youtube and practiced. Now she loves the make one increase.

She reached the part where she had to add stitches for the paw. She could either work the knitted cast on or easy loop cast on. Once I demonstrated them she opted for the easy loop cast on.  Easy come, easy go.

Cornelia commented on Cindy's make one experience, "isn't great when you master a stitch or  technique?" It truly is.  That's how you can gauge (pardon the double entendre) your growth as a knitter.

Book title: Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey; by

                            Stretch break between Tuesday and Wednesday's knitting groups.

Eileen finished the purple  backpack she started last week AND made a blue backpack for her grandson (the purple backpack recipient's twin brother).

L'Enveloppe in Misti Alpaca Qolla Worsted (Worsted: 80% Wool, 20% Alpaca, 218 yards).

Mary finished the crocheted edging on her Building Blocks squares.

She learned how to crochet them together.

While she was doing that, the knitting angel finished off her last square.  

Mary is well into one of the sleeves of her customfit sweater (tunic). Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Seedling (Aran: 100# Cotton, 110 yards).

AND, the last  garter is completed for the bride to be of her youngest son (August Wedding).  That's a beautiful thing.

Lois worked on her Beech Hill poncho. I'm cheating and used last week's picture, I forgot to get an updated shot.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

There is something to be said for consistency

We all do it.  Start a project and then for one reason or another it goes into hibernation or long-term parking (whatever you like to call it).

For a long time I was really good about sticking to four projects.  Some of you may think that's a lot. Some of you may consider me a slacker ;)

At present I have 8 projects on needles:

Actively knitting:

Cirrus Poncho It's this project that brought the importance of consistency came to mind.  I'm knitting this Portuguese Style.  You have to work left and right slanted increases. 

Clearly every time I picked up the project I worked them differently.  One would think I would make notes, but no. No notes, no trail of bread crumbs.  The trail is cold.  And we fudge forward. Cirrus 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).

The differences may not be noticeable to the "naked eye" when not enlarged.  If you are the type of knitter who likes things to be perfect or you rip it out and begin again, this may offend your sensibilities.  For me, it's not "a hill to die on".  It doesn't affect the integrity of the piece and ripping out mohair is not worth the trouble. When a mistake is noticeable, I rip out. 

Poncho Air Lux Love the look of the lace. This is a morning coffee project or at a minimum one I cannot knit with other people around.  It requires paying attention on both rows. I've modified the pattern to insert a i-cord edge instead of garter.

Hitchhiker  Mindless with the exception that I didn't like how the increases looked.  Again, I modified the way the increases are worked without making notes.

Twice when I picked it up, I work the increases a little differently.  It's a scarf, I move on. Note to self: paper/pen in project bag - WRITE IT DOWN.

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles Mindless and good for travel ~ small and squishy so it tucks into my bag nicely. I began this project because Skacel discontinued Kid Paillettes. This is a shop pattern at Westport Yarns that made up of three colors: two skeins of  Kid Paillettes (Lace: 42% Mohair, 40% Polyester, 18% Silk, 137 yards) and one skein each of two other colors of Kidsilk Haze (Lace: 70% Mohair, 30% Silk, 229 yards).

Building in Color Shop Sample/Future Class knit with Plymouth Select Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino 218 yards).

In hibernation for the summer: 

Misty Scarf knit with Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe (Lace: 70% Mohair, 30% Silk). 

Icicle Scarf knit with Zen Serenity 20 (Fingering: 70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 400 yards).

In long-term parking:

Lizard Ridge Pillow knit with Kureyon (Aran: 100% Wool, 110 yards).

We always have a (seemingly) good reason for putting down a project.  Moral of the story: make good notes while you knit.  We don't always know when we put down our knitting that it may not get picked up again for a while. Things change ~ gauge changes, interest wanes, and most importantly we forget.

Not included in the list are design projects I'm working on.  Oy.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

May the knitting angel smile upon you.

Calann wants to get all her knitting "ducks" in a row before going on vacation. First, we addressed Azel Poncho. Last week she must've swatched on a #17 that was disguised as a #15; it happens - the identifying numbers on the needle wear off. Today she swatched on a #13, her gauge was slightly tighter.  She went up to a #15 and it was just right.

She wanted to confirm she was on the right row of her Cabled Poncho.

Interweave Store

 I showed her how to count her cable rows over a decrease. Click here for a good article by Eunny Jang on cables on Interweave Store.

Her Poncho Air Lux knit with Air Lux (Fingering: 70% Rayon, 30% Wool, 328 yards) is in a good place.

Jane swatched for Snowbird with Anzula For Better or Worsted (Worsted: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere goat, 10% Nylon, 200 yards) on a #7 and was getting 20 stitches/3.5". The pattern calls for 20 stitches/4". She began swatching on a #8 and only went a few rows before deciding that it wasn't the right yarn for the project. She put both yarn and pattern away to await different dance partners.

She highly recommended the book, Black Widow by Daniel Silva.

Cindy finished her Artyarns Merino Cloud Gradient Cowl with Artyarns Merino Cloud Gradients (Fingering: 80% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 540 yards).

Cornelia finished the pieces of her Customfit and its going off to the finisher!

Allison was working on her 2 Ply Cashmere Jacket in Artyarns Merino Cloud (Fingering: 80% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 436 yards). She knit 20 rows, looked at directions, thought she was doing it wrong. The she ripped it out began knitting again, only to realize she was right the first time. Can we take a moment to emphasize?  I have done this myself. Selective reading, this is what I was talking about in my last blog post.

She related a story to us about a blocking mishap. She had washed and blocked out her Easy Folded Poncho. It was pinned to a towel.

Her son had washed the dog and was looking for a towel to dry her off with when he saw one. The fact that her poncho was pinned to the particular towel did not get in his way.  He literally shook out the towel (imagine pins and the poncho flying off in all directions) and dried the dog.  Allison found the poncho curled up on the floor. 

At first she was concerned that she would have to re-block it.  We gave it the once over and decided that it was fine.  The most it would need is a little steam.  It didn't look any worse for the experience. 

Allison's poncho was knit with Anzula Cricket (DK: 80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere, 250 yards). When Jane heard that it was knit with Anzula, she got excited that she could knit it with the For Better or Worsted (that was put time out a few paragraphs ago.  The Easy folded poncho calls for a gauge of 5.5 stitches/1".  I adjusted the stitch count to accommodate her gauge, she has more than enough yarn.


On Wednesday...
Eileen has been very busy since I last saw her.  She had ALOT of show and tell.

She began L'Enveloppe in Misti Alpaca Qolla Worsted (Worsted: 80% Wool, 20% Alpaca, 218 yards). The pattern begins with a crocheted cast on and Eileen loved it. She will probably apply this cast on to future projects.

While traveling, she came upon some Ellyn Cooper Yarn Sonnets: Kid Mohair (Cobweb: 95% Mohair, 5% Nylon, 435 yards) and Let's Twist (Worsted: 100% Wool, 200 yards). She bought both in the Rose Collage colorway and is knitting a lengthwise scarf alternating the yarn.  It's really cool looking.

She found Manos Cotton Stria (Worsted: 100% Cotton, 116 yards). She is going to knit the Building Blocks Afghan with it the way Mary has.

Eileen gave her  (5 year old) granddaughter the choice of a Fringed Top (on the cover of Knit Simple Spring/Summer) or a backpack. She (her granddaughter) picked out the backpack.


Her granddaughter declared that grandmothers make backpacks for their grand kids.  (She was sure that a Grandmother made the backpack for girl in picture).

Eileen found this bookmark that her mother made for her when she was a child.  Somehow this stood the test of time.  She wanted to find the pattern. I was hot on the trail.  I love a challenge.

Insert a few minutes (searching time) here.

Mary began the sleeve on her customfit sweater (tunic). She is lamenting the choice of a tunic due to the amount of knitting. Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Seedling (Aran: 100# Cotton, 110 yards).


She got turned around on the last square of her Building Blocks Afghan.  Somehow she switched her right side and wrong side rows.  Mary is finding this last block to be a really challenge.

The knitting angel smiled upon her. I knit her block while we were together and put in a life line.


Here is how one of the squares looks with one round of single crochet in white.

Michelle has started her Poncho Air Lux knit with Air Lux (Fingering: 70% Rayon, 30% Wool, 328 yards). Although her color is dark, you can still see the beauty of this yarn in the stitch pattern.

Her swatch in Royal Alpaca (Worsted: 100% Alpaca, 220 yards) for the Llama ll Sweater did not come out to gauge.  She will have to either double her yarn or pick a different pattern.

Michelle washed and blocked the Gacoco Baby Blanket in Plymouth Select Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino 218 yards.

Lois dropped by with her Beech Hill.