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Friday, October 21, 2016

Have you learned something new today?

Calann sent the Azel Poncho off to the finisher Azel Poncho; it's for her 5 year old granddaughter.

She learned a lace bind off for her Poncho Air Lux. Lace bind offs are stretchier and allow for better blocking. Here's a link for directions for this particular lace bind off on Knitting Daily.

Trammi wanted to measure her progress of her knitted shirt then check the instructions for fronts.  She is considering knitting them at the same time. The sweater looks magnificent in Anzula Cricket (DK: 80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere, 250 yards).

Cindy is finishing her Flat Foot Floogie knit with Cascade 128 (Bulky, 100% Superwash wool, 128 yards).

© 2015 Stephen Jessup

Today was a big learning day for Eileen. She started out with the intention of knitting Isadora . She began estimating yards of yarn for a long-tail cast on.  Instead, I taught her how to cast on using either two balls of yarn or a strand from the beginning and end of a skein. Click here to view a tutorial.

She is knitting with Louisa Harding Trenzar (Aran: 35% Wool - Merino, 30% Tencel,
23% Alpaca,12% Acrylic, 174 yards) and Amitola Grande (Aran: 80% Wool, 20% Silk, 273 yards).

Once she was done casting on, we talked about how to avoid that little blip you get when you join in the round.  It's called a jogless join.  You can either:

1. swap the first and last stitches cast on, place a marker on the right hand needle and join or

2. cast on an extra stitch, transfer it from the right needle to the left, place a marker on the right hand needle, then join, working the first two stitches together.

© 2015 Island Yarn Company
During this process someone showed her our Big Fat Stratus sample.  She decided to switch to this project because it is a "mindless knit" with the exception of the provisional cast on in the beginning and grafting it together when it's done. So she learned a provisional cast on and can look forward to learning how to graft (a/k/a the Kitchener stitch).

Allison was smitten with the Big Fat Stratus cowl as well and cast on. 

Eleanor is knitting the Emerald Isle Child's Pullover in Plymouth Select Superwash (DK: 100% Merino, 130 yards).
She picked colors for the Big Fat Stratus too.

Cornelia finished her Customfit sweater, off to the finisher. Yarn:  Mushishi (Worsted: 95% Wool, 5% Silk, 491 yards).

She knit a textbook swatch in Rasta (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards) the for Azel Poncho for her granddaughter.  This is her first time using circular needles to knit flat.  She is a "straight needles only" knitter.  We have convinced her that this heavy poncho will be easier to knit on a long circular. 

She is not convinced yet. 

On Wednesday....

Lois had me check length of the front to see if measures the same as the other front; she's nearly done with her Beech Hill Vest. I counted the garter ridges on each side to see how many rows she had on the completed side versus how many garter ridges she had on the front in progress.

 She was off pattern on a scarf she's had on the needles for a while.

Mary was ready to work the raglan increases on her Sock Yarn Sweater; she's learning to work make one increases.

Michelle was having issues with her Two Color (Cotton) Cowl that she's knitting with Juniper Moon Farms Stargazer (Sport: 75% Llama, 25% Silk, 218 yards). There were several random white stitches in the red columns. I was able to sort it out by unraveling the stitches and recreating the fisherman's rib in the right progression.  At one point I thought I was going to lose Michelle when I took the stitch and let it unravel. We had her take calming breaths.

In fact we should all remember to take calming breathes...


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival ~ The Sights

I am still riding the "high" from our woolly weekend. The weather was perfect, the yarn plentiful, and the food was delicious.

We began the weekend at the Indie Untangled Trunk Show on Friday night. I was able to snag early bird tickets. That didn't save me from a line to get in though.

I was tempted by these fun shot glasses for a drinking game named Stitch & Sip "a drinking game for advanced crafters". 

Special effects courtesy of Nancy

Saturday morning loomed cold, dark and foggy.  We joked about it being part of a thriller where everyone THOUGHT they were going to a Sheep and Wool Festival, but no.... cue evil laugh here.

Once the fog cleared, it became a beautiful day. We were able to get a clear view of the growing line at the Main Entrance.  I'm sure it's true of any hobby that evokes such passion, however, I still couldn't help but marvel at the long lines for yarn - everywhere. 

 While on line we struck up a conversation with the man behind us.  He had a stitch marker attached to his shoelaces.  Was it code for other knitters to recognize a kindred spirit or a handy place to leave a stitch marker for emergencies.  Probably both.  Made me smile either way.

Growth by Joji Locatelli
Everywhere we went there was a wonderful walking fashion show of people's favorite knits that they wore with pride. Each booth displayed terrific samples that were inspiring.

The first booth we visited was Into the Whirled.  They added a new dyeing technique that we really loved.  Last year we went to them later in the weekend and they were picked clean.

Pennsylvania Triangle Park by Lynn Di Cristina
The next booth over was Neighborhood Fiber Company

Mosaic Cowl by Ann Weaver

And this, my friends, is Miss Babs' booth. It was a yarny feeding frenzy.

People wore their devotion to their craft proudly like this woman wearing a crocheted shawl with skulls.

Nancy had an knit stitch accent on her nails. (I was a little jealous of this one.)

There was Patriotic yarn at Blue Ridge Yarns' booth.

Paintboxes Cowl
There was this great infinity scarf using Fiber Optics Foot Notes Paintbox Gradient ; perfect for the gradient kit I bought last year.

I even tried out a different color for me, GREEN!


I was completely smitten with this scarf.  

Every year, there seems to be one particular pattern that a majority of the people are wearing.  This year it was Exploration Station.

© David Whitfield

The other thing that invariably happens to me is that I see one garment or accessory EVERYWHERE, that I become really excited about.This year it was a sweater called Illas Cies. I love it and definitely want to knit it.

Nature's gradient.

For the complete list of out Rhinebeck pattern sightings, click here to view my Ravelry bundle.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pre-Rhinebeck Review

Time for my annual pre-Rhinebeck review when I look over last years purchases to see if I have knit with anything I bought.  I've typed a bold NOPE OR YES! TO indicate the status.

Rich, natural, "rustic" pure wool yarn Mountain Vewe Coopworths (Aran: 100% Coopworth Wool, 150 yards) for my boot toppers pattern (soon to be published). NOPE

© Casapinka
Loop with Hot Shot (Fingering: 80% Merino, 20% Nylon, 400 yards) in grey and 2 mini skeins of yummy toes in Perfectly Wreckless. NOPE

Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply (Fingering, 100% Merino, 400 yards), ready to cast on for Scatterby Socks. The pattern uses the "fish lips heel" and I'm looking forward to trying out a different heel.

Miss Babs Keira yarn (Fingering: 100% Merino, 560 yards) 

YES! Hitchhiker.

Duck Duck Wool 80/20 Merino Silk Fingering, 600 yards. This will be a lacey wrap when it grows up.  The red was too rich to resist. NOPE

This magnificent Periwinkle Sheep Silky Single yarn (Fingering: 70% Merino, 30% Silk, 435 yards) will be Lilli Pilli. NOPE

Periwinkle Sheep Merino Aran, Wallflower, (Aran: 100% Superwash Merino, 180 yards).  

YES! That's the Plan, a pattern I released last month.

Into the Whirled Pakokku Sock (Fingering: 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon, 460 yards). My plan is to knit Windward. NOPE


Lastly, I picked up another Fiberoptics Paintbox Gradient Kit in Turquoise-Vivid Violet, to knit my Karma Chameleon pattern.

Now I know I was busy knitting all year.  All I can do is shake my head at myself. I'm sure I'll continue to repeat this circle of yarn acquisition.  I am a self proclaimed collector of lovely yarn. It gives me great joy.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Round Robin

Rainy days and Sundays are perfect days to knit. My diligent efforts to keep my (active) project total to 4 projects weakens in the fall.

At present I have 8 projects on needles. Half of them are hibernating. One of them stays at Westport Yarns.

I couldn't decide between the remaining three, so I knit them in my version of Round Robin.

round rob·in
noun: round robin; plural noun: round robins; modifier noun: round-robin

a tournament in which each competitor plays in turn against every other.

First I knit on Waffles with Wonderland Yarns March Hare (Worsted: 100% Merino, 184 yards). This is a baby gift for a baby due the beginning of December. For those of you who took part in the vote, you might like to know that 11 people voted for the Waffles blanket and 3 people voted for the Collina Blanket. Pretty much a landslide vote.  Thanks for playing; it makes me very happy. ;)

After a reasonable break time to rest, I knit on Spenser, knit with Cirrus (Bulky: 42% Mohair, 40% Nylon, 18% Merino, 114 yards). This is a gift for my oldest for the holidays.

During the afternoon I sorted through the piles of patterns I accumulate. They went into the following piles: "I think I have yarn for this", "file for future consideration", "I want to knit now(ish)", and "potential class projects".

In the evening I knit on Linientreu for an upcoming class at Westport Yarns. This (for me) is pure fun, outside the box knitting.  I'm enjoying how the color plays out.

That being said, I must admit when I hit a lonnnggg stretch of yellow, I cut my yarn and rejoined to the purply pinks. Yarns: Cascade Heritage Sock (Fingering: 75% Wool, 25% Nylon, 437 yards) and Mille Colori Baby (Fingering: 100% Wool, 208 yards).

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

Fair is fair, they all moved forward.  Although it is frustrating, I am holding off casting on for yet another project. Holiday/gift projects live at the top of the queue.  When my time becomes my own, I want to cast on for Crosby with Harrisville Designs WATERshed (Worsted: 100% Wool, 110 yards).

What's on your hooks and needles?