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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scratched that itch and more

Oh, the random places (and by places I mean projects) my knitting takes me.

It started with 'Joanquil' Ladies' Diagonal Lace Top, which was not on my radar until I put it on while at work (it was chilly).  Then suddenly I just HAD to knit it.  (Doe anyone else think of Game of Thrones when they read the name Joanquil?).

Harry helped.

I finished that in a week, after all, it's a cropped vest.  It took only four skeins of Silk Garden (Aran: 45% Mohair, 45% Silk, 10% Wool, 110 yards).

Then we got in Malabrigo Rasta (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards) at work. This reminded me that I had Rasta in the Abril colorway tucked away at home in my stash. 

I decided to knit the cover pattern of Malabrigo Book 6, Angelito

This 1 skein pattern took under an hour to knit, literally.

I timed myself out of curiosity.  No one knows how to have fun like me.

There is still a colorway at the shop that sings to me daily.  Purple Mystery.  I knit a CustomFit sweater in this colorway and I have a scarf in this colorway.  You would think that was enough.  I don't know if I can hold out.  The pressure is mounting.  It's my perfect purple.  Sigh.  We will see.

Having scratched this itch, I was able to contentedly return to my deadline knitting.  Two more projects are almost done, leaving two deadline projects to go.  Freedom! What will I knit next?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What was I thinking?

I put aside most non-holiday/baby related knitting projects at the beginning of September. One in particular was Not Just Plain Jane's Super Crescent Shawlette in a lovely shade of Sapphire blue yarn  from The Copper Corgi Fiber Studio Savannah Sock (Fingering: 100% Merino, 460 yards).

As part of my deadline knitting 7th inning stretch, I decided to revisit this project. What I found was a conundrum.  I had the whole project on a stitch holder, there were two random stitch markers on one section, and

I had begun to work a row above the stitch holder but stopped mid way. Clearly something was amiss

You'd think I'd leave a note or a trail of breadcrumbs, but no, there was no clue.

I rashly pulled out the stitch markers, the pattern didn't require them. I threw caution to the wind. Once I was sure I wouldn't unravel the whole piece, I slowly pulled out the needle.

Rechecking 300+ stitches in a "Jane" pattern is no picnic; I can tell you that from experience.  Still, I gave it the good old college try. 

Then the proverbial light blub went off. (It looked just like the picture too, cute little fella.) I remembered that Jane was coming into the shop for a meeting.  See where this is going?

I explained my scenario and asked her to look it over.  Jane, ever helpful, sat down to look it over.  I got out the OTT light to shed some literal light on the situation.

The conclusion was that it was fine.  She read the row, purled back, and knit the next row of the pattern just to be sure.  Big sigh of relief.  Thank you, Jane!  Now I can go back to this project with new found confidence. 

The moral of the story is that you never know when you are setting a project aside for a few hours, days, or months.  LEAVE DETAILED NOTES.  Enough said.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wednesday Stitch and Chat

Lois cast on for Fallen Halo with green Cashmere 5 and Cashmere Glitter. When I knit my (personal) Fallen Halo, I did something different when I cast on.  Instead of estimating the long tail and casting on with just the main color, I made a double slip knot using both the cashmere 5 and cashmere glitter, cast on the required stitches, and then knit with the main color while carrying the contrast color. You have to release the double slip knot combining the two yarns, it doesn't count as a stitch.  I shared that technique with Lois.

Mary brought some magazine pages with patterns she's interested in:
Polar Bear Hoodie in  Koigu Magazine 6.
Pat Olski #14 Garter and Cable scarf for all her red yarn.
Li'l critter hat (couldn't find a link).

She was working on her sampler blanket strip. Lois likened our sampler blanket knitting deadlines to assigned reading in school.  She likes to read, just not on demand.  The same is true with knitting.  I totally understand that.  There's more pressure and attention paid to assigned knitting.  She can rest easy now, her strip is done.

Two years after Sandy, Elizabeth moved back into house. She unpacked her yarn and and discovered her ufo's (unfinished objects).  It was time to take stock of those projects

On that note, she finished Marin. Knit with Annapurna (Sport: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 385 yards) from A Verb for Keeping Warm.

Elizabeth lamented over buttons she bought two years ago at Rhinebeck, without a project in mind.  We were cautioned: friends don't let friends buy buttons without a plan.

She now has a pattern to go with  the buttons. Enter Coraline which will be knit with Spirit Trail Fiberworks Ixchel (Sport: 100% Alpaca, 400 yards).

and she began a lace edged woman's hat in Malabrigo Rios (Worsted: 100% Merino, 210 yards).

and was swatching for Climbing Rose Henley in Silky Wool (DK: 45% Wool, 35% Silk, 20% Nylon, 192 yards).

Somewhere during the morning we decided that there were little knitting pixies working their mischief.  That led us to considering what rules there might be about knitting pixie's.  I came up with don't feed after midnight.  Feel free to add your own.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

7th Inning Stretch

As I've said before, I'm a selfish knitter. That being said, I do feel some inner responsibility (?) to knit for my family for the holidays.  To protect myself (and them) I ask them a. if they want something hand knit and b. what do they want.  I don't believe in knitting for them if they don't want something.

This year, four out the five said yes. They all know what they are getting, including what color: Super Cupcake, socks, and dorm slippers (yes, one is missing - that one actually is a total surprise, so mums the work). You may fee this all lacks the element of surprise, call it self preservation.  The finished item will be the surprise.

I had just finished the first holiday gift when Thing #1, who had initially declined a gift, saw something and asked if I could emulate it.  Of course I said yes. I actually had yarn in the shop that she approved and got the "go ahead".

At this point I have finished three out of the five gifts. I AM BORED.  I need something to cleanse my palette.  The knitting equivalent of the 7th inning stretch.

I was all set to knit the Hitchhiker.  I had the yarn and the pattern.

Then while at work last week, I was cold.  Not cold enough for a sweater, but a vest.  Luckily I work in an environment full of clothing options. 

I put on this vestish garment.  Now, I must admit that this garment never called out to me before trying it on.  I loved how it looked because it was knit with Noro Silk Garden and I'm a sucker for Noro.

The pattern is 'Joanquil' Ladies' Diagonal Lace Top. It's really cute on.  I wore it like it's pictured, over a long sleeve t-shirt.  It didn't help that I had my eye on one particular color of Silk Garden.  I had bought one skein to satisfy my Noro obsession.  So I needed 4 more to make the garment.  What's a girl gonna do?

I dutifully swatched; Silk Garden (Aran: 45% Mohair, 45% Silk, 10% Wool, 110 yards).

Then knit the back while Joe watched football. I was completely satisfied. I plan on finishing this and then resuming holiday knitting having scratch this itch.  (How many cliches can I fit in one post?  The answer... many.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

We will not be beaten by our yarn.

Mary revisited the Kersti Baby Cardigan; knit with Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe (DK: 100% Merino, 114 yards). She had started this project over the summer and needed to figure out where she was.

Elizabeth knit the Nola Cloche; this is an adorable hat. The yarn is Simpliworsted (Aran: 55% Merino, 28% Acrylic, 17% Nylon, 140 yards).

She asked a terrific question. Why do you lose st when taking out a provisional cast on? I've had this happen to me too and never looked it up.

So, I looked it up.  Would you believe I found a blog post entitled "The Missing Stitch"?  Click here to read the explanation of that lost stitch.

 Elizabeth brought in  Marin that she's knitting with Annapurna (Sport: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 385 yards) from A Verb for Keeping Warm. Her count is still off.  We looked up the Marin help group and saved any pertinent comments.

Lois is starting the last strip of our sampler blanket.

Her next project will by my Fallen Halo cowl in green Cashmere 5 and Cashmere Glitter.

On the back burner is her husband's perpetual vest; third time wass not a charm.

It was great to see Rose, who after a knitting hiatus, decided she wanted to learn a tubular cast on for her knitted socks. In the past she has used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Cast On and thought this would be better.  When we reviewed the Tubular aka Italian aka invisible cast on, we decided (for the purpose of socks),  Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Cast On was more than sufficient.  The invisible cast on is very involved and not worth the effort on socks.

 Judith was building a hate relationship with her crochet project, Granny's Little Girl..

Unfortunately, Elizabeth felt the same way.  Instead of a love/hat relationship, she was having a  hate/hate relationship

We decided to create a sisterhood of frustration. Sing it with me, "We shall overcome..."

Monday, November 3, 2014

Travel Knitting

We had a mini road trip to Northampton this weekend and I had to pack my knitting accordingly.

There is car knitting, which can be more complicated because we're just cruising and I can pause for random acts of conversation. I started the second gift sampler blanket.  I'm on a #2 needle this time, my last strip was a little to big.  The yarn is Zara (DK: 100% extrafine merino, 136 yards).

Then there is social knitting, which in this case was garter, so I can make eye contact and keep knitting at the same time. Thankfully old friends are completely understanding of my need to knit while talking. Liz was more curious about how and what I was doing than the fact that I was knitting while talking.  Love that.
I'm working on something for Thing #1.  She saw this picture and asked if I could make it, this will be a new pattern when I'm done.
I'm still in gift knitting mode.  I finished knitting for a friend's grandbaby to be.  I can't put the picture up yet, I don't want to spoil the surprise. ;)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Welcome to the world, Lily Beth

Mary's granddaughter was born 10/26 at 10:26 pm. How cool is that?
She's Mary's first grandchild and Mary has been knitting in anticipation for months.

The Outer Block Blanket was a collaborative effort that Mary coordinated.  The hat is Metaphor Yarns Baby Basket Hat. How great is it to see the baby wrapped in all this hand knit love?

We had dinner to celebrate Lily's arrival and to give Mary our gift.


This Sampler blanket is knit in five strips. We each knit a strip.  I manipulated the pattern stitches to create strips that worked within each person's knitting strengths. Putting it together was a challenge.  Despite all our swatching, several strips were wayyy different.  After wet blocking, I had to rearrange the placement of the strips based on gauge.   Then I crocheted them together and worked the border.

 Mary loved the blanket and was really touched.  The other knitters hadn't seen the blanket put together and were equally pleased with their efforts.

As I've met Laura, Lily's mother, I wanted to do a little more so I knit the Vintage Baby Cardigan in Claudia Handpaints Fingering (100% Merino, 175 yards). It's knit in one piece.  I loved the colorway I had, Pink Cloud.  It was in pinks and greys.

Here is our reward for knitting the blanket. Lily Beth wrapped in our blanket.  It doesn't get any better than that.  That is why we do what we do. This picture gives me such a feeling of joy and contentment.