Aaaaaand It Is September!

I've been doing a lot of knitting, some of which I have pictures of:

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Purple Reyna ... I love it! I had finished it before my last post, but this is a new picture.

Cresting Wave Shawl

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I was working on this on my last post. It is the Cresting Waves shawl. I blocked it (my living room is filled with the giant foam insulation board that I use to block things); blocking big, wet things is fairly hard to do with one hand and no magic, but somehow I did it. I love wearing this! It is soft and light and airy, but oh so warm! It is only 45°F here today on the coast of Maine, so I have it around my neck as I type. Sure feels nice.

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These are the Ainigma mittens from Tori Seierstad. They were a mystery knitalong that I did in the summer, and I had a lot of fun.  I may make them in different colors sometime.

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Another mystery knitalong that I did this summer was the Calendula shawl by Susanna IC. It is a beautiful design! I may make this one again at some point too. I love wearing it!

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I just finished these men's socks. I am using up yarn that was part of an afghan kit from long ago in grays and browns, not really my colors. It feels good to use up yarn!

I am using the beige wool to knit this at the moment:

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This will be a toddler cardigan for my great niece, who has a birthday coming up in November. The pattern is free, and it is a joy to knit: Liva, from Signe Strømgaard.  I just started it yesterday, and I am already dividing the sleeves off from the body. Amazing how quick it is to knit a two-year-old size sweater with aran weight yarn! The yarn is Naturally Aran 10-ply, which is discontinued, unfortunately.

Later this weekend I plan to start some socks that I have been dying to knit for a while: Sleepy Sheep socks from Drops.

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I ordered the yarn from Drops, too, in those exact colors, and they will be adorable! And warm! The yarn is Karisma, a 100% wool yarn, dk in weight. They will be fun to knit!

Elizabeth Elliot has patterns for sale on Ravelry; she is giving 100%  of the profit from them to Hurricane Harvey victims until midnight tonight. I got a bunch of patterns, and I am doing a knitalong in January to use a pattern or two. I like Line and Shadow and Northwest Passage. If you would like to join me in January to knit them, stay tuned!

 

 


Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!

My goodness, is it May already?? Wow. 

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I finished a couple things. The red Mystery in March shawl is done:

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It's more of a scarf, a decorative scarf I guess. I like it quite a bit and it used up the red yarn I had, and I actually have worn it a few times. I finished it on March 30 but didn't get it blocked and photographed for about a week.

I finally finished my six foot long Amy's Scarf!

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This has been in the works for nearly a year, though I sent it to hibernation for a good deal of the time to work on other things. It may turn out to be more or less than six feet long; I haven't blocked it yet. I absolutely love this scarf and the pattern was easy, once it clicked into place in my mind and I could just knit without any charts.

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 And yes ... it is more red. And the Harpswell Inn cowl was red. Everyone needs more red in their knitting! Remember when you were a little kid and your favorite color was red? Well, mine was anyway. What was your favorite color when you were five years old?

My project that is currently on the needles and going at a great pace, I might add, is a Hitchhiker Scarf made with Lang Yarns Jawoll Color Superwash that I got at the Harpswell Inn Knitting Weekend. 

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It is called "Hitchhiker" because in the words of the designer, "The name? Well, if you use a 150 g skein of Wollmeise 100% Merino for this, you can make how many teeth? That‘s right, 42. The answer to the question about the universe and everything, according to Douglas Adams‘ wonderful book „The Hitchhiker‘s Guide to the Galaxy“. So don‘t forget your towel, and happy knitting!" 

Pretty clever! But I am not using Wollmeise Merino, so I don't think I will get all 42 teeth on my edge. We will see. It is knitting up very fast and unlike Amy's scarf, it is all garter stitch and easy peasy to knit. I love it!


In the meantime ...

I started to knit Sylvi on October 22 and finished it on March 22, so it took a long time to get it done. However, I didn't work on it the whole time. I took a few long-term breaks to knit other things. 

I knit the purple Ironwood Shawl that was in the KnitScene Spring 2017 magazine, out of Wildwood Yarns Arcadia in a pretty purple. The pattern called for two skeins of Madeline Tosh Sock, which has 385 yards and is about $25 a skein; I had one skein of the Arcadia and I didn't notice that the pattern called for two skeins. Arcadia has 394 yards per skein. I knit happily along, and about the time that I went to the Spa in Freeport I noticed that I was running a bit low on yarn, and that is when I saw that the pattern called for two skeins! I estimated that the amount of yarn I had would almost come close to finishing the shawl though, so I figured I would just put another color on whenever I ran out, something that would contrast nicely and look like I had planned it that way. When I got home, I rummaged through my odds and ends of sock yarns and found some pretty lavender handspun that I made eons ago, and set it aside.

But the ball kept going and going and going. It was a magic ball! Just two rows before the end of the shawl, I finally ran out of yarn. I knit the final two rows, bound off, and am quite happy with it. If I had forked out $50 for Madeline Tosh Sock yarn though, I would have been kind of mad that it had only required about fifteen yards of the second skein.

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Beside the shawl, I knit a couple sweaters that I can't show you or talk about yet, and a bunch of hats:

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Watch Cap by Michele Rose Orne


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Bayside Beanie baby hats by Stacey McCrea Warner


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Spruce Head Hat by Michele Rose Orne

Then I designed and knit a cowl at the Harpswell Inn Knitting Weekend with yarn that was provided. It came out pretty and I'll put the picture and the pattern up here when I get the pattern written; the cowl is blocking now.

Another thing that I knit (that is still blocking) is a scarf/shawl that I recently completed. It was the Mystery in March KAL (yup, I got it done in March), a lovely asymmetrical piece in a sampler of various knitting stitches, by Tori Seierstad. The yarn I used was originally used in the Mystery Sock IX: Crazy Quilt Socks, done in Old Number 8 in a dark red yarn. After working three clues, I thought I would never wear those socks (the pattern was perfect, they just were nothing I would ever wear. Sorry.) So, when I saw the mystery shawl commencing, I ripped out the sock and started the shawl. It was a blast to knit! Pictures soon. :)

So what is on the needles now? The primary thing is Amy's Scarf, which is reinvigorated after a long hibernation that started at the end of October. I started it back in July! I have to get it done. It is inspired by the scarf that Amy Pond wore in two Dr. Who shows, and I have wanted it for years, ever since I saw it on Dr. Who. I bought just the right skein of lovely red at the Spa in 2016, a red called Rock Lobster, in Mad Color Fiber Arts Sonatina. I'm about half done!

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Wet and Crazy!

I decided after much dithering to wet block the pieces of Sylvi. My sister used to dither about lots of things, especially things she was afraid of doing. After a week of not sewing the pieces of Sylvi together, I realized that I, too, was doing what I used to give Rachel hell for doing. "Just do it already! What are you so afraid of? What is the worst that could happen?" I would tell her. So, I took my own advice and wet blocked the pieces. I had thought long and hard about blocking the coat all sewn together, and what a nightmare it would be. Blocking the pieces proved to be much easier and, in fact, enjoyable. 

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It is amazing how much wool changes when it is wet. These pieces were placed in the washing machine, which was then filled with water, set a while, and then spun dry. Easy peasy. When I started to pin them to the blocking board (really a slab of blue insulaton board, don't tell), it was magical how they were so easy to pull into shape! The en-even edges became even, the cable down the back that dipped down making a U-shape was easy to straighten out. I loved it! So that's where Sylvi is now: drying. It will be easy to sew together now, I can easily imagine it. The hood will be fun to knit (actually knitting this coat was pretty enjoyable), and the petals will be no problem to knit either, now that the fabric seems so flexible and pleasant to work with. The only thing that I am not sure of is sewing the petals down, but I feel that that is because I haven't done something like that since my stroke, but now I really feel like I can do it. 

My right hand (the paralyzed one) is waking up and getting more useful. I can actually hold a big tapestry needle with it, and kitchener the toes of my socks together using my right hand now! That is a big improvement. My fingers all open and close at my command -- slowly sometimes, but I will take it. I'm working on strengthening the muscles in my forearm to make it easier to lift my right arm, too. And I walk around the house quite a bit now without my cane. I walk like Frankenstein, but without my cane. I still have to wear the damn brace though. 

And now for the crazy part of my blog post!

Some readers may remember when Wendy Gaal had her first Mystery Sock Knit-along way back in 2009. I participated in it, making these beaded socks:

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Well, now she is up to Mystery Sock #9: Crazy Quilt Sock Knit-along! It started on Friday, January 27, but it is not to late to participate. You don't need to buy yarn or the pattern for the knit-along; the pattern is free, but only people who use Wendy's yarn will be eligible to win prizes in the end. The last clue will be posted March 10, and the winners will be among those who have knit one sock in one of Wendy's Knitter's Brewing Company Sock yarns

Wendy always challenges knitters with these Mystery Sock Knit-alongs. She also makes tutorials and videos that are really well done to help you learn the techniques involved, and there are tons of people to help out if you have any problems at all. Several people who have never knit a sock before at all are successfully knitting this. Wendy gives you a bit at a time and spoon-feeds you the very detailed directions with lots of hand holding if you need it, and she is the most patient person with these Mystery Sock KALS that I have seen.

I got the kit with Old No. 8 sock yarn in color BAC OTL from Wendy at Knitter's Brewing Company, and wound it up:

It came with a pretty little commemorative stitch marker:

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I don't use the stitch markers that come with the sock yarn in these kits because I am using double pointed needles, but I love them and use them in other things!

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I have done the first Clue, and let me tell you, it is really crazy!! It is a toe up sock, knit up at an angle, with a pretty cool little texture going on! 

I love it! I can't wait to see what the next Clue will be!

 Here is a picture of an ancient Egyptian picture of a cat herding geese, since Pogo wasn't in a posing mood:

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Peace Project Progress

Happy Winter Solstice! Here is to the shortest day of the year. Let the advancing hours of daylight begin!

 

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How is your Peace Project cowl commencing? I am very happy with mine. The Wildwood Arcadia yarn is knitting up beautifully, and the pattern has a nice rhythm to it that is gentle, yet produces a look that suits my variegated yarn. I love it.

I got started late, so my cowl isn't finished; it's a little over halfway to being done, and that is okay. I love knitting it.

One of the things that slowed me down a bit was that I chose to start it with an I-cord cast on, which made a lovely little tubular edge that I like a lot!

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It took me a day to cast on all the over 300 stitches this way, but it turned out nicely. I plan to cast off with an I-cord bind off as well, making both edges match. 

I-cord Cast on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxNtbWYXrvg

I-cord Bind off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddBuZzYhkO0

I hope your Peace Project Cowl is giving you a bit of peace this holiday season!
 


Project Peace

Blogger Christina is trying to change the world, and I think she is succeeding. Her blog The Healthy Knitter is having a 21-day tips for peace during December, and it coincides with a "Peace-along" on Ravelry, with her free pattern for a lovely cowl. My Daily Mindfulness blanket has languished but it will still be there in January. I'm going to join her for the peace-along, and I urge you to join me too! 

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So far she has gotten over 20,000 people to read her peace tips every day and join her peace-along. That is 20,000 individual people whose lives she has impacted in  a good way, a peaceful way. 

"And we need peace…with turmoil, and acts of violence, hatred and anger occurring daily in our country and throughout the world it’s time to take action. Often I think "but I’m just one person" but maybe, just maybe with Project Peace we can spread ideas on how to choose peace. Perhaps then, we can slowly make some changes. We’ll never overcome evil but we must find ways to cope with it."

from The Healthy Knitter, November 10, 2016

So, what do you do? Here is what she said back in November:

Here's how you join in:

  • Download the cover page of the pattern on Ravelry
  • This is only the cover page; the pattern will come to you as an update on 11/28.
  • Read the information about the project requirements
  • Please click on "fav" on Ravelry, begin a project page for the cowl, and join the Healthy Knitter group.
  • Beginning December 1, read the blog daily for 21 days to receive the tip of the day on how to infuse more peace into your life.

Will you help me promote this?

Here are some ideas on how you could spread the word:

  • Spotlight Project Peace on a blog post
  • Post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other forms of social media
  • Include in your electronic or print newsletter
  • Provide a give-away to those that help spread the word
  • Tell all your knitting friends, clients, customers, readers, family.

Also, there is a World-wide Knit-in for Peace on December 21. Will you will knit for peace on that day?

I think this is a great idea! It is sort of like SETI, but instead of helping to locate alien signals, we will be promoting world peace! Using knitting needles! I can get behind that.

My project for peace will be Christina Campbell's cowl knit in Wildwood Yarns Arcadia in a pretty blue-pink-purple colorway. To me, it looks like peace. 

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Heck, whatever you do to be mindful and peaceful would work too! Whether you draw, crochet, quilt, craft, sew, doodle, whittle sticks or make baskets, just do it. Be peaceful, and help others be peaceful too!

 


October

Fall colors ...

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Trees over the camp

I took these pictures when I was in Winterville at the end of September, but they were stunning and colorful!  I love seeing the crisp reds, the playful yellows, and the magnificent oranges.

I love reading, too, and one of my favorite books to read in October is Headstones and Monuments by Steve Ogden. 

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It's a delightful collection of scary ghost stories (but not too scary!) that will entertain you on the dark, windy nights leading up to Halloween. If you like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, you will like Headstones and Monuments. Remember telling ghost stories at night around the campfire? Yeah. It's a collection of that kind of really good ghost stories. And Steve's artwork is excellent!

I love new fall mittens:

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Orange, my favorite fall color, and dark brown. Both are handspun yarns; one I spun before my stroke (the dark brown; I think it was Coopworth), and one after (the orange, which I got from Sharon in Nova Scotia; it's Romney, I believe), so they are blended together, the before and after, making a new whole. Like me!

The pattern, previously a Mystery Mitten Knit, is Soria Moria vott, and it will be featured in Tori Seierstad's mitten e-book coming later this autumn. Tori makes good mittens! Until the book comes out, you can join the I Make Mittens group on Ravelry, and follow Tori's progress.


My Knitting & Crochet

Mice 51 and 52 are done:

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Lynne is coming over to stuff the last eight mice this weekend, and I will take a picture of all of them before giving any away.

My Child's Mendocino cardigan was frogged, sorry to say. There was a mix up with the yardages given for the put-up. Ravelry said they were 98 yards per skein, and I had 5 skeins, so I was fine. Then I noticed that my yarn was running out faster than it should be. I was only one and a half inches up the back and my third ball of yarn was half gone, and I knew that at that rate I was going to run out of yarn. So I read the ball band, and it said Organik was actually 89 yards. That meant that I actually had 25 yards less than I needed for the sweater, not 40 yards more than I needed, as I had thought. Oh well, it is a learning opportunity. Should have read the ball band and not depended on Ravelry! Organik probably is 98 yards per ball now; the company has changed hands and I imagine the put up is different. Or someone may have dyslexia over on Ravelry. Sorry, Georgia, you won't be getting your sweater this Christmas! I am sure you will like what we gave you, probably more than a sweater :)

I've been crocheting a lot this week. Sorry I don't have pictures. I have one block done and one block to go in the In A Spin crochet-along, with another week's square coming out today. I've also been working at finishing my Scrap Yarn Afghan thingy. I just have a little more scraps to finish up, put an edging around it -- with other scrap yarn, of course -- and call it done. Then I can start a worsted weight scrap yarn afghan :) I think I'll use a ripple stitch for it though ... I'm getting tired of the granny square.


Evernote Holiday Craft-along!

Evernote has teamed up with Chronicle Books to have the Evernote + Chronicle Books Holiday Craft-along! You can join! I did. To join, just RSVP to the Facebook page, complete one of the projects by December 25th, and send a photo of your completed project to evernoteholiday@evernote.com. You might win a prize! They're choosing a random winner to get a goody bag from Evernote and Chronicle Books.

Projects include:

  • Make a homemade gift
  • Craft a homemade centerpiece
  • Create a homemade table decoration
  • Create a holiday floral decoration
  • Make a homemade paper invitation

The prize includes seven great crafting books from Chronicle, as well as Evernote prizes. 

You can use Evernote to clip a pattern from the web, organize pictures you nab from stores or at Christmas parties, get organized for your holiday plans. I have my gift list  on mine. You can even share things via Evernote with your friends. You can collaborate with partners to throw a holiday bash. 

I love my Evernote. I use it for everything. It's like the big Trapper Keeper in the sky; it holds everything and keeps it organized. And it's free! I pay for mine, because I have a load of stuff and I use it all the time. But you don't need to pay to use it, you can just use it first and pay if you love it and need more space. It's a good thing.