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

Live ~ Laugh ~ Knit

Friday, September 26, 2014

And the winner is....

Annie a/k/a beadgoddess is the lucky winner of a free copy of One + One Wraps, Cowls, & Capelets.

Thank you all for your comments and playing along.  Please share your projects with me on Ravelry @livelaughknit.

Just Keep Knitting

Thursday, September 25, 2014


While waiting for the yarn for a new design project, I attempted to finish a few things.
 © Caro Sheridan
© Caro Sheridan

Basia a la CustomFit.  I was smitten with this sweater before being introduced to the CustomFit pattern generator.  What's more, I actually had the type of yarn it called for, Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool (DK: 45% Wool, 35% Silk, 20% Nylon, 192 yards).

I decided to plug in all the design elements I could into the CustomFit program:
  • Cardigan
  • 3/4 sleeve
  • Wide scoop neck
  • 1" k1p1 ribbing
  • High Hip
  • Reverse stockinette
In order to make this work, I had to swatch for the lace panels and block them.  Then I calculated the number of stockinette stitches I had to remove from the CustomFit pattern to compensate for the space the lace panels would take up.

While knitting, I had to refer to both the Basia pattern and the CustomFit pattern at the same time/all the time. I had three sets of papers in front of me: CustomFit pattern - Basia pattern - Excel spreadsheet of row counts.

It was a little cumbersome at times, and an interesting experiment.

I had wet blocked my swatches, which meant I had to wet block my finished pieces.  I didn't feel like wet blocking the fronts (no good reason, I was skimping).  After sewing it all together, the fronts weren't wide enough.  I had to wet just the fronts and pin them out.  That ought to teach me not to cut corners.

I'm very happy with the finished sweater. It knit up exactly the way I wanted.

The fit is perfect.  I'm loving the CustomFit program and am contemplating my next project.

I just have to sew and weave in ends on my L'Enveloppe knit with Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (Aran: 100% Merino, 165 yards).  This yarn was a dream to knit with and the color is electric. I put this picture up on Facebook for button votes.  The votes were split between the one on the left and the purple one.  Even though it seemed a  foregone conclusion that I would pick with the purple, I decided to keep looking. In the end, none of them seemed totally perfect.  Thanks to everyone's votes.

Friday, September 19, 2014

My First (Ever) Giveaway!

I have one copy of One + One: Wraps, Cowls & Capelets by Iris Schreier to giveaway There are 29 projects in the book; they all use 2 skeins of (Artyarns) yarn.The book is gorgeous and each pattern more desirable than the next.

I have two patterns in the book.  Manteau Capelet is knit with Ensemble Light and Beaded Silk and Sequins Light.

Fallen Halo is knit with Cashmere 5 and Cashmere Glitter.  This cowl feels as light as a cloud around your neck.

Just leave a comment here, on Ravelry by leaving a comment on the Manteau Capelet and/or Fallen Halo (add it to your favorites while you're there), on Instagram or on my Facebook page to be eligible to win. Each comment will count as an additional entry  Be sure to share this with your friends so they can get a chance to win too. The drawing will take place Friday, September 26. Good Luck!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

That's the way it goes in a knitter's life

Lois finished her first strip of the Sampler Blanket we are knitting together. She is revisiting the Knitting Pure & Simple Basic Vest for Men she is knitting with  Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash (Sport: 100% Merino, 136 yards).  The reason I say revisiting is that there is a sad tale attached to this project.  Lois had taken it with her on a plane trip and either it didn't get into her bag or it fell out of it when she got off the plane.

Linda picked up 2 extra stitches while knitting the Pebble Stitch in the same Sampler Blanket. She sagely said "that's the way it goes in a knitters life".

I met Linn at Westport Yarns last week during our Artyarns Trunk Show.  She's knitting my Fallen Halo cowl with Artyarns Cashmere 5 (Aran: 100% Cashmere, 102 yards) and Cashmere Glitter (DK: 100% Cashmere plied w/ metallic, 170 yards). Knitting this pattern represents some knitting firsts for Linn: using a circular needle, knitting in the round, changing stitch patterns, and carrying yarn).

Michelle stopped by briefly; she hasn't knit in a week on her quilt knit with Cascade Ecological Wool (Bulky: 100% Wool, 478 yards).

I worked on my Basia a la CustomFit cardigan, knitting the ribbing on the neck.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend Update

I had a rare three days in row off and I indulged myself by knitting and listening to books most of the weekend.

There was the added bonus of two beautiful days to enjoy as well.

I knit my Sunrise, Sunset sweater in Rowan Brushed Fleece (Bulky: 65% Merino, 30% Alpaca, 5% Nylon, 115 yards) for Westport Yarns as a new sample.  I aptly named this sweater "Fog".  This yarn is soft and squishy and lightweight, a real pleasure. The perfect weekend "throw on" sweater.

While having coffee with a friend, I swatched for L'Enveloppe. I knit this as a store sample and decided I wanted one for myself.

The yarn is Tosh Chunky (Aran: 100% Merino, 165 yards). I started it while binge watching Once Upon a Time. I'm trying to get caught up for the new season.

I blocked the pieces I've completed so far for my Basia a la CustomFit sweater.  Knitting with Silky Wool (DK: 45% Wool, 35% Silk, 20% Nylon, 192 yards) on #2/3 needles has gotten tedious. I figured this would inspire me to press on and finish the other front.

 My oldest commissioned me to knit baby gifts for a friend of hers who is expecting twin boys who will most likely be preemies. I'm honored that she values my knitting enough to give my handknits as a gift. Also, baby (especially preemie) knits take an evening to knit.

I modified my Welcome Baby Gift Set to worsted weight yarn. I'll post a link to the pattern once I've written it up. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino, 220 yards).  For the other hat, I've knit the blue with green stripes.

Table dog is still doing his thing wherever he goes. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This is why I knit socks

I've been knitting socks for my dad for at least five years. These two pairs of socks are the first socks I knit him.

 In case you're wondering, the yarn is Artyarns Supermerino (Aran: 100% Merino, 104 yards). The pattern is custom for him. ;)

 Periodically when I visit, I'll get a "heads-up" that socks need darning.  I am always pleasantly surprised when I find leftover bits of the yarn that belong to the socks.  because I'm not that organized. 

This time, I found a small ball the day before while looking for something else completely.  It's purely happenstance that the next day when they called I knew where the yarn was.  The second ball was in the first place I looked. 

What can I say?  This time the knitting gods smiled on me. I must pay homage to them lest they get cranky.  What is a proper homage/sacrifice for a knitting god?  Do I have to rip something out? Suggestions are welcome. But I digress.

 I believe this is the first pair of socks I knit for him.  This is the third or fourth time I've darned these socks. The first time I darned socks, I used a water bottle.  Since then, I acquired a darning egg. I must admit, I liked the water bottle better for shape, it was pretty noisy to work with though.

Here's a link on how to darn socks.

The joy on his face when they are darned is all the inspiration I need to keep knitting (him) socks.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I can see clearly now

It was such a pleasure to catch up with Elizabeth. She knit a Wonderful Wallaby for her new nephew and needed a refresher for the Kitchener Stitch (grafting live stitches on the hood).

The yarn is Cascade 220 Aran (Aran: 100% Merino, 150 yards).

 Elizabeth's scissor is a testament to how we don't let a good tool go, even after the dog has had at it.

 Lois worked steadily to finish the fourth block of her sampler strip.  It was hard not to be distracted by the conversation around her.  She stayed the course and was able to start her fifth block. 

Elizabeth gave me her two strips for the sampler gifts we are making for Mary and Linda (no surprises here).  Since she knits loosely, she was on a #0 for the wider pattern stitches and #2 for the narrower pattern stitches.  The good thing about this (once you get past the tiny needles) is that she enjoyed knitting it and now has her (knitting) groove back.

As such she brought out of hibernation the swatch she's been "working on" for Rosalia.  An incredibly gorgeous, intermediate jacket comprised of stranded knitting, embroidery, and cables.  Every time she leaves knitting, she has her homework to do for the swatch.  Life interferes and the swatch resurfaces at the next stitch and chat for a reminder of what the homework was. Once she's settled into her new/old house, I know she'll be able to dive into the sweater wholeheartedly.

Michelle stopped by briefly for show and tell.  She just started this quilt with Cascade Ecological Wool (Bulky: 100% Wool, 478 yards).  

She started this Paintbox Afghan with  nine colors of Cascade 220 Superwash (100% Superwash Merino, 220 yards). 

Both these afghans are supposed to be part of her Florida knitting.  Chances are she'll finish them before she leaves. 

Michelle is nearly to the armholes of her Davis sweater. This is the sweater we were going to knit together.  I kind of knit it without her. ;) We both used Elsbeth Lavold Hempathy (DK: 41% Cotton, 34% Hemp, 25% Rayon, 153 yards).  This sweater has been really great to wear on coolish summer days.

Mary was having a hard time getting her diagonal rib block to be truly diagonal.  I think it's because of the way the pattern stitch is broken up for the repeat.

I rewrote it for her and she was able to get it to work. Now she could clearly see the pattern emerge.

 Sometimes it helps to rewrite patterns in a way that makes sense for you.

Ahh, Mary.  This was just too funny.  Mary came across this book at home; she has no idea where it came from. As she flipped through it, she thought to herself, "There are a lot of hats in here."

Not surprising when we pointed out the title :), Hip Knit Hats. It's not a wonder why Lois couldn't concentrate! Did I mention I love knitting with these women?

Mary gave us an impromptu Irish history lesson (I filled in a bit from the internet).  If I get the details wrong, please let me know.

The orange color refers to the followers of William of Orange and the Protestants from Northern Ireland. The Protestants don't celebrate Saint Patrick's day.  They celebrate July 12 for the Battle of Boyne.

The green color refers to the Gaelic tradition and Catholics who celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.

Interestingly the white symbolizes peace between the two.

Again, if I am missing any details or misrepresented the information, let me know.  I thought this was all very interesting.

Another reason why I love knitting with a group of women, the random directions the conversation can go and what you can learn.