Now that July and August are behind me, I can start getting some stuff done! I can't believe how the summer days slip by so fast.
So. I went on a second fabulous knitting cruise in June, and then suddenly it was September and I have already gone on the first of two September knitting cruises! That means I have had (counting on fingers to make sure...) yes, I have had THREE lobster bakes. Yum! And... have met fabulous people, seen gorgeous scenery, viewed beautiful knitted goods, and solved a few knitting problems along the way. It's been great. I took quite a few pictures during the second June knitting cruise, and I will post them on a (soon) later date. For some reason, I really didn't take any pictures on the September cruise. Huh. Sorry bout that. I will try to get more pictures on the last September Knitting Cruise which, by the way, I board in about a week, on Tuesday, Sept. 16! woooohoooo! Lobster bake #4 coming up :))
You might wonder, what have I been knitting? Well I will tell you. On the two June knitting cruises I knit most of a sweater, "Rhinebeck" from Lisa Lloyd's book A Fine Fleece. It is an easy knit, which makes it perfect for a knitting cruise. Actually I haven't done anything too hard lately because of my brain-deadness. I have only one sleeve left to do and also the button band/neck. Pictures:
I'm knitting it with Hemp for Knitting Hempwol, in a color which purports to be purple but which most people view as a brownish gray. I like it. The yarn is not overly heavy, as it is 65% wool and 35% hemp. This makes it feel like a year-round fabric, warm in the winter but comfy in a cool summer evening too. The hemp gives the fabric wonderful drape and silkiness, and a lovely sheen. The fibers were apparently blended and spun, and then dyed, because the hemp did not dye like the wool, giving the knitted fabric a tweedy texture which shows up well in the waffley knitting stitch used in the sweater.
During the last cruise I finished a pair of mittens (meaning I only had to weave in the ends on one mitten. I really took them in case it got cold.) I knit the cover item from Vogue Knitting's Fall issue, Jared Flood's Druid mittens. I loved knitting these:
I wet blocked the mitten on the left; the mitten on the right is unblocked. The unblocked mitten is prettier, but the blocked mitten, while more smooshed and not as crisp looking as the other, is nonetheless softer and nicer to wear. I put them on on the boat and held up my hands to display them, and found the the wind would blow through the unblocked mitten, but did not blow through the blocked mitten as much, making them warmer. The wet blocking made the fibers bloom, filling the air pockets between stitches.
On the same cruise, I finished a pair of socks I began knitting during the July 12 & 13 Blues Festival in Rockland. I had finished sock #1 and had sock #2 about 1/3 done. So I finished that pair of socks. Wooohooo! They are made with Knit One Crochet Too's Soxx Appeal, a lovely wool blend that has lycra in it, making the socks stretchy. They are wonderful to feel, very soft and silky. I love them very, very much! Pics:
So after I finished that pair of socks I worked on another pair. Back in March a lovely sales rep gave me a sample skein of Opal sock yarn to try, and I dutifully cast on to try the yarn. Sadly after about 3 or 4 inches of sock #1 I got sidetracked and completely forgot the Opal socks. While packing for the September knitting cruise, I ran across them and said, sure, why not try to finish them? so I finished the Opal socks. They took longer as they were on 64 stitches instead of 60 and they are knit 2, purl 2 all the way down, which is a little slower than plain stockinette. Here are the little darlings:
I ordered the Opal sock yarn in the Harry Potter colorways, available this fall, a little before the next Harry Potter movie comes out. I have previewed the colors and they are gorgeous! The yarn is great to work with, a nice cushy wool blend. I was not too excited about the color of the above-pictured socks, but the Harry Potter colors are lovely. More on the Harry Potter sock yarn in a future post :)
These luscious Alpaca Socks from Classic Elite were the carrot that got me to finish all the other stuff. This alpaca knits like a dream and it feels so good, it should be illegal. I love it. And that hot pink little bag is a KnowKnits knitting pouch, which is the handiest darned thing. It snaps onto your belt loop or wrist and you can wall all over creation, knitting away. It's lightweight so it is really comfortable, and they aren't expensive either. Yes, I sell them at Unique One so I might be a teensy bit biased, but hey, I only sell stuff that *I* like, after all! Pic:
In non-knitting cruise knitting, I have some sweaters I am working on. A Penobscot Bay Pullover in Christopher Sheep Farm wool:
I am using Signature Needle Arts needles.... I love them very much. These gold ones are size 8. I got the teardrop shaped end and the stiletto points. They are a dream to work with! Close ups:
And see? these needles are something I love but I don't sell them at the store, you have to go to www.signatureneedlearts.com to buy them. Yeah, they're pricey. Oh well.
But! a wonderful, fabulous free thing that I discovered is GREAT for knitting is the little special safety pins that the Life Is Good T-shirts tags are attached with. They are shaped like little light bulbs, with the catch at the bottom, and they are great for marking stitches. I think they also could be used as stitch markers on really small needles, like ones or twos. I will have to experiment. See it:
Last week or so, I started another little short sleeved, summery top using Micro Bamboo Spray (a sport to DK weight bamboo & acrylic yarn from Schachenmayr Nomotta) and I mostly started it to have an excuse to knit with my new blue size 5 Signature Needle Arts needles. This yarn is utterly yummy, so soft and silky and good to wear next to the skin. You can get the yarn at Unique One. Pictures:
And finally, this morning I started a pink scarf in Misti Alpaca chunky. I will tell more about the scarf on a later date, but soon. Here is what I have so far:
This morning started off with a vet visit. You know how those can go. This morning it was Grace's turn. She got poked and prodded and got all her shots. She is a real trooper, no crying or whining was involved. She was a VERY GOOD GIRL. Here is a picture of her after her return:
Doesn't she look happy? Now it is Nick and Nora's turn; they have an afternoon appointment. You know how Nora is. Wish me luck.
(More on cats tomorrow).