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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. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

3rd times a charm, or the 4th.

I don't know why, maybe it's because I am always moving at warp speed.  I can't seem to begin a project without starting it at least three times.

It's silly, really.

I'm knitting a baby sweater for a shower gift.  The mom to be is a family friend I've known since she was 7.  My oldest was her maid of honor and I knit her a garter for her wedding.  The connection makes it all the more special.  I started to write that this has nothing to do with the knitting, and then I thought 'maybe it does'.

For starters I have to give you interesting background on how I came to the sweater I chose.  Since I want the sweater to be a surprise, I sent her mom (my friend) pictures of six sweaters.  If you are on Ravelry, you can click here to see them. For those of you who are not on Ravelry: one sweater was a classic, center front cardigan, three sweaters had asymmetrical fronts and possible stripes, one was knit with variegated yarn, and one was kind of like a long blankety baby shrug.


My friend quickly responded and suggested the classic sweater, garter yoke baby cardi.  I found her reasoning fascinating and it made sense.  Both the mom to be and her husband are engineers and like order and symmetry. 


That didn't keep me from changing it up a little bit.  You know I can't leave well enough alone. I looked over all the projects knit and found this one.

The sweater is top down, no seams... a beautiful thing.  Getting back to my opening paragraph, I must've cast on at least three times for the sweater.  A little baby sweater!

First attempt: After setting up the markers, I found I was under a stitch.  I was not going to fudge forward on a gift.   

Second attempt: my cast on had a blip in it, one stitch that was larger than the rest.  That won't do for a orderly people.  

Third attempt: I wanted to knit using the Portuguese method which means knitting garter by purling every row.  That affected what row and how I introduced the contrast color.

Seriously?! This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened.  Either I read only as much as I need to, to cast on and knit the first few rows.  Or, I read what I think the pattern says and get caught up short when I realize I'm not doing as the pattern instructs.  Selective reading is so often the culprit.

Note to self, read the pattern before starting.  Simple, yet effective.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Happy Stitches

by HeidiKdesigns Flickr

Jane B made an executive decision to put the Purl Soho Top-Down Turtleneck Cardigan on hold and knit Snowbird in Anzula For Better or Worsted (Worsted: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere goat, 10% Nylon, 200 yards). She'll start by swatching on a #7 needle.

She modified the Etched Rio Wrap, instead of a lace panel, she is working the Pillar Stitch from the 365 Knitting Stitches a Year: Perpetual Calendar Book (April 10). The yarn is Acadia (DK: 60% Merino, 20% Silk, 20% Alpaca, 145 yards).

Cornelia finished the first sleeve and is almost done with second sleeve. The measurements came out perfectly after reknitting it. (She had initially misread the directions.)

When we laid out all the pieces, we noticed that the yarn pooled in the same places on the front and back.  She couldn't have made that happen if she tried and planned for it.

Calann thought something was off in her cabled poncho and she was right.  She worked two left cables instead of alternating right and left leaning cables.  We ripped back to the cable row and then took it out stitch by stitch to get back to the offending row.

Here is a picture of Eleanor's (The) Quilt & Cable Blanket in Cascade Eco Plus (Bulky: 100% Wool, 478 yards).

She is picked up more Anzula For Better or Worsted to knit another Annabella's cowl.  It makes a great travel project.

© Heidi May

Both Calann and Cornelia plan on knitting the Azel Poncho for their granddaughters.  Knit with super bulky yarn, it is sure to be a pretty quick knit! Cornelia is going to wait until our Rasta comes in this fall.

Calann is swatching, she went up a needle per usual and her gauge was too big.  She will happily be able to knit on a #13.

She began a Flat Foot Floogie (that's just fun to say ~ try it). She is making a lamb and knit up to the first paw. The yarn is Cascade 128 Superwash (Bulky: 100% Merino, 128 yards).

We reviewed how to stuff and seam the paw.  Cindy was inspired and plans to start hers.

© Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc.
Jane T. came in ready to divide for sleeves on her (top down) Essence Pullover in Tahoe (Aran: 32% Nylon, 27% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 16% Yak, 179 yards). She was a bit disoriented by the process.  After she removed the sleeves, I turned the sweater right side up so she could get a clearer understanding.

Cindy is nearing the finish line with her Artyarns Merino Cloud Gradient Cowl with Artyarns Merino Cloud Gradients (Fingering: 80% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 540 yards). She enjoyed knitting it so much while traveling (on a plane) that she was almost disappointed to learn they were landing. As people began to deplane, her husband told her that "she had to put down the needles, we have to get off!" That is true knitting bliss.

Allison was away, so she's picking up where she left off last week.

Michelle (in her classic pose) with her nearly completed Gacoco Baby Blanket in Plymouth Select Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino 218 yards).

She found a sweater that she can use for a long ago stashed yarn,  Royal Alpaca (Worsted: 100% Alpaca, 220 yards). The pattern is called the Llama ll Sweater.
© Amanda Stevenson Lupke + Kelbourne Woolens
Lois was working on Beech Hill with stash.

Kathy joined us today to go over knitting directions (for the neck/shoulder shaping) for the Simple Tee,  that she found a bit confusing. I wrote out the directions row by row, treating it like a math story problem.  Remember those?  I could never remember what color the bus driver's eyes were. Later on Kathy got back to me that she worked both shoulders of the front at the same time and it came out correctly.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cloudy with a Chance of Knitting

When I have a day off, I consider the weather first. A beautiful day equals outdoor time, reading/knitting and minimal indoor tasks.

On a cloudy day I consider what I can get done around the house.  And isn't there always something?

I began in my bedroom, lots of clothes to put away plus the random crap that gets in there when I have company and have to stash the STUFF.

That reminded me that I was looking for a compact mirror for my purse.  I knew I had one somewhere.

That lead too a "junk box" in my closet.  AMAZING what I keep.  Luckily I found a mirror.  I also found a cross body wallet/bag.  I've been looking online for one.  There's money back in my pocket.

I even opened the draw of orphaned socks.  I took out any of the annoying "no show socks" that fall off your heel and under your foot.  I left them in Thing #2's bathroom with other random things.

When she woke up, I said, "I'm on a tear through the house".

She said, "I can tell, there were pencils in my bathroom and I don't use pencils in my bathroom."

After sorting/keeping/tossing I began the laundry.  That reminded me that I meant to clean the woolens in the coat closet.

That lead to the discovery of way too many shoes chucked in there.  Those are now lining my hallway waiting for children to reclaim ownership. Thing #2 was very pleased to see I'd "found" her other pair of flip flops.

When Joe came out of his (home) office and saw this, he posted the following comment of Facebook "... I walked out of my office today and saw boots and shoes in the front hall? It's reminiscent of when we lived in Canada. It was customary to take your shoes off at the front door as you would nter a house, everyone did it: workers, friends, family. No idea why they are there today other than because it's July 1.... so it must be in honor of Canada Day"

Nope, not because of Canada Day. A happy coincidence.

Where do I go from here? Certainly not the Tupperware draw, after all the orphaned socks I found!

I think I've earned some knitting time.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Flat Foot Floogie - Because it is fun to say!

Calann had to rip back a few rows of her Poncho Air Lux knit with Air Lux (Fingering: 70% Rayon, 30% Wool, 328 yards). Luckily she had put in a lifeline. She thought she had dropped stitches and the lifeline caught them. She learned how to take out a Slip Knit Pass (skp) which is angled differently than a knit two together (k2tog).  She likes the pattern, feels it's easy, and you just have to pay attention...

She is going to knit the Flat Foot Floogie for a baby gift. 

Allison began the 2 Ply Cashmere Jacket a in Artyarns Merino Cloud (Fingering: 80% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 436 yards). It will be a good travel project.  The subtle colors are beautiful.

She's going to start Starshower  in Anzula Nebula (Fingering: 84% Merino, 16% Nylon, 400 yards) before the Anzula Trunk Show at Westport Yarns next Tuesday, July 12. Today we are going to work the garter tab cast on. Can you see how the yarn sparkles? I hope they have this yarn at the trunk show.  I may have to copy Allison.  They do say that's the highest form of flattery.

Eleanor finished on Braidsmaid in Miss Babs, Raspberry Yowza (Worsted: 100% Merino, 560 yards). We have it due "ooohhs and aaahhhs".


She started The Quilt & Cable Blanket in Cascade Eco Plus (Bulky: 100% Wool, 478 yards). LOVE this color.

Michelle has one more skein to knit on her Gacoco Baby Blanket in Plymouth Select Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino 218 yards).

Cornelia figured out why her sleeve cap was too short on her Customfit Pullover in Plymouth Mushishi (Worsted: 95% Wool, 5% Silk, 491 yards).


She had misinterpreted the decrease instructions, and increased too quickly. Where it says to decrease at each end of every 3rd RS row, she read it as every 3rd row. 

Jane B. Finished ribbing on bottom of her Two Harbor's Poncho and began picking up stitches for neck in the contrast color.

Jane T. nearing the point where she can take the sleeves off her Essence Pullover in Tahoe (Aran: 32% Nylon, 27% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 16% Yak, 179 yards).

I ask you, does this look comfortable?