So Close ....

I got the yarn from WEBS the day after my last blog post, and thankfully, it was the same dye lot. Thank you WEBS!

It was a bit tricky to knit and to sew together, but here it is:

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Now all I have to do is knit the button bands, sew everything together, weave in the ends, take out the millions of cat hairs, and steam block it. Probably be done in another six months. 


Well Damn

I ran out of yarn three rows before starting the border around the collar on my little Aran Coat:

Collar

I saw that I was running out when I started the collar. But the thing is, I had no idea what shape the collar was going to be, nor the size of it. The pictures in the book didn't show it, nor did the schematic diagram show the collar. Upon reading the directions, though, it was clear that the collar was a sizeable piece of intricate knitting, so I went ahead and ordered another skein of yarn. I hope that WEBS still has the dye lot, but if they don't, oh well -- it will just mean that the border around the collar and the button bands will be a slightly different shade of purple!

I usually order an extra skein of yarn when ordering a sweater amount, but for some reason I didn't this time, and it bit me in the ass. Lesson learned! Even though you think you know what you are doing (I mean, I used a calculator and everything), always order extra yarn! The bonus is, I'll have purple for my scrappy hats! Yay! My purple yarn should be here today or tomorrow.


Tis the Season

Thanksgiving is behind us and we are starting to get into the spirit of good will and cheer. I finished the Christmas stocking that I was working on:

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It's so pretty! I didn't buy the colors specifically for a Christmas stocking, but they work. I mostly used Arne & Carlos' Christmas Stocking, but I added Mary Jane Mucklestone's book 200 Fair Isle Motifs (#110, snowflakes) and Renée Kies socks pattern O Dennenboom for the Christmas trees.

I also updated the look of my blog. The flowers were looking a bit too flowery, so I streamlined the look, and made a new banner. I used a fabulous free font for the title: Kingthings Needles by Kevin King. There are lots of cool things on his site, and more fonts too. Go check him out!


Oh Hi There!

Whoops! It is November already! I've done stuff!

Stuff I Made:

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Purple fingerless mitts. Pattern: Sally Roger's Reading Mitts, by Sally Rogers. I used Jo Sharp DK wool. These would make a good Christmas gift! They were quick to knit and they look fabulous.

Next, I made some baby things for a baby who is about to be born. 

 

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The baby blanket didn't have a pattern, but it was made from Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton DK. The sweater  is Oat Couture Victorian T-shirt by Annie Dempsey, and I knit it from Katia Mississippi 3 Print. I started to knit it right before I had my stroke, and I finally got to finish it! The socks are knit from Yankee Knitter #29 Classic Socks for the Family by Melinda Goodfellow, out of scraps from my sheep socks. The adorable booties are Little Eyes by Inma Gijón, and I knit them out of fingering weight cashmere that I believe was once something in a kit, but I am not sure what. Couldn't be cuter than those booties though!

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I made a pair of adult socks too, from Yankee #29, but they were from Tofutsies yarn that was in my stash.

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I've made six hats, but I only used two patterns: Storhedder, by Mary Jane Mucklestone (the two mostly pink hats), and Stash Slip Stitch Hat by Renée Rico (the green/yellow/black/white one). The others were just ... hats. All were out of scrap yarn! I have been on a hat kick lately, and I have a pile o' knitting ahead of me to use up. Remember the Mousies of Doom from a few years ago? Well, this is the same thing, but with hats. And no catnip. 

Stuff I Am Doing Now:

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The Aran purple coat keeps getting interrupted by other things, but it is moving steadily along toward the finish line! The back and right front are done, and the left front is about half done. I have bagged the idea of using old-fashioned techniques to knit it, in favor of snapping pictures of stuff that I need from the book and making a spreadsheet to keep track of the rows. Blame it on Pogo. She kept sprawling across all the lovely paper that I needed to use to knit, so I had to go to the screens. They are vertical.

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This is the beginning of a Christmas Stocking for the two year old who got the sweaters. It is based on Arne & Carlos' Christmas Stocking (go check them out on YouTube and on their blog, they are a hoot! They have tons of useful and entertaining information too!). I have added pattern #110 from Mary Jane Mucklestone's 200 Fair Isle Motifs, and the Christmas Trees from O Dennenboom (socks) by Renée Kies

Stuff I am Not Doing:

I am no longer knitting my Daily Mindfulness Blanket; it was turning out too heavy for a blanket and what I finished is now Pogo's daily mindfulness purring and kneading mat. She loves it. I think I will start it again in lighter weight yarn, not scrap yarn -- something DK or sport, with gradual color changes like Noro. That would be pretty as well as giving me a good project for mindfulness. 

I unraveled my Ka'ana Shawlette too, for similar reasons. I was using a hairy, sturdy Aran weight yarn and the resulting fabric was too stiff and bulky and itchy ... I really couldn't see anyone cuddling up in it. The yarn is perfect for hats though! Woohoo! I'll use a different yarn for Ka'ana, something silkier and softer; it will be a joy to work with. I think I have something in my stash, in fact ...

Nanowrimo. Sigh. I finally got an incredible story idea, something big and broad and mysterious and delightful yet a bit scary, but I got the idea on October 31 (and it isn't a Halloween story either), which meant that I didn't have time to do any research but hey, that is life. Unfortunately the power was out, but I wrote for one day on November 1, and then my iPad died. And my iPhone died. And my computer died. It took a week for power to be restored ... so I decided that it was a higher power who decided that I should do the research and get my spiffy new idea good and ready for next year! So I will be all set for Nanowrimo 2018!


Odds & Ends, and Knitting Words and Their Lack of Digitality

After finishing my sheep socks, I had a lot of leftover yarn sitting in the bag looking balefully at me. Now, although I have a bajillion favorites in my "Colorwork" bundle on Ravelry, none of them sang to me. I just wanted something simple, something easily, mindlessly knit while watching NCIS shows in the evening. I am therefore knitting a children's hat with a couple stripes in it for interest. 

Hat

It is going slow.

The pattern (yes, although this hat is drop-dead simple, I used a pattern; that is how pathetic I have become) is DROPS 12-37

My main project at the moment is the Aran Coat from Debbie Bliss in purple. Actually, this color deserves an exclamation point and all caps, it is a show stopper -- it is an Aran Coat in PURPLE!!

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Hehehe. Gotta love it. Also I love my awesome new bookmark that Lynne painted for me. It is of hollyhocks in pinks and purples that seem to go with the Aran Coat! 

This pattern is the Aran coat from Debbie Bliss Classic Knits for Kids, which was first published in 1994, and is now out of print. (Your library may help you to find a copy, and there are used booksellers too.)

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That was before the Internet really got going, so the book is really not digital in any way. I was kind of stunned at how dependent I had become on my computer when I knit. Usually I download the pattern, read it on some screen or another, keep notes in a sticky note on the screen, keep track of where I am with a line or a ruler that I can just move into place on the screen. But this pattern? Nope. 

It. Is. A. Book. 

Yikes. 

My first inclination was to put all the panels for the Aran in pictures on my iPhone, put them all into a .pdf document, and bam! But I didn't. I decided to do it the old-fashioned way.

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Also, there are  NO CHARTS. Ugh. Everything is written out. With words! Knitting words! 

I had forgotten how much concentration this way of knitting took. But the Aran Coat is going well and I am enjoying it, once I remembered all the skills that I hadn't used in like, ten years. It's coming out very cute. 

Because of the concentration required and the space it takes up on the table, I have also started knitting a shawl to use up some worsted weight that I had lying around. I am knitting the Ka'ana shawlette by Jennifer Weissman, which promises to be a lovely thing to snuggle into and it will be knit quickly too, since it is on size 8 needles. I am using white, oatmeal and pink and maybe dark gray, I don't know yet. But it'll be pretty.

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And it is really easy to knit!!!!!!!

 

 


Sheeps Socks, and a Wonderful Thing!

My sheep socks are done:

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Now it just needs to get cold enough to wear them! They are sooooo beautiful ... but there is a lot of end-weaving-in to do.

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I wove in the  ends as I knit, and I am glad I did.  There would be approximately 65 ends to weave in for one sock, and even for someone like me who doesn't mind weaving in ends, that is a lot. So if you are one of those people who has sweaters in the closet, all knit, just waiting to have the ends woven in, beware! You may need to find a weaving-in buddy that you can trade something with. Just sayin'.

My friend Barb and her husband Mark stopped by for their annual visit the other day, and it was great to see them. Look what they are lending me for a whole year:

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Five audible knitting books! It's a Wonderful Thing!! I am so thankful to have good friends. 

Here is my next project:

Purple yarn

This is purple yarn for an Aran coat sweater for a little girl who loves purple! I'll tell you all about it next time!


Sleepy Sheep and Decisions

I finally got some 3.0mm (2.5US) needles and started my Sleepy Sheep socks!

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That was when I just started. After an evening of TV knitting this is what I had:

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Things progress quickly when knitting sport weight socks! I think these socks will be my favorite socks this winter; a double thickness of sport weight yarn will be cozy! I say "double thickness' because of the stranding of the unused color which runs along the back of the work, which makes them really cozy feeling.

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The Norwegian sweaters with the patterned yokes around the shoulders were not just for decoration; the double stranding of the bulky weight yarn made them really warm, like wearing a shawl or cloak around your shoulders. Smart Norwegians. They knew how to take care of the cold! 

Now for the decision I'm trying to make.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is coming up in November. Usually I have an idea that I've been kicking around for a while, characters kind of formulated, a plot that is hanging loosely in my mind. This year? I've got nothing. I mean N O T H I N G. 

I've been told that I should write about my stroke and recovery. The problem is, for the most exciting part, I was in a coma. And I am still recovering. And besides, I think if I write anything about it, it will have to be a non-fiction book, something to be used by the people who most need it: stroke survivors. I don't think it should be a NaNoWriMo book. 

Which got me thinking about NaNoWriMo writing. I realized I just write NaNoWriMo books "for fun".  They are a way of filling Novembers up. I never do anything with them after I write them; I don't even read them again. Why would I want to read something so horrible?? I know, you are telling me that I should do all the stuff to edit them and get them published. The problem is, it is a lot of work to get something publishable. And I am really lazy. If I am going to work that hard on something, I want it to be something important, like working to walk without my brace or using my right hand and arm. Publishing a book seems not that important, especially a piece of fluff like my writing. 

I'll think about it further, but right now I am not very enthusiastic about it. Maybe I just need more coffee! Or an idea!


Back to School in Sweaterland

It's back to school time! Hope all the young beasts out there are appropriately joyful (or miserable, as the case may be.)

I knit some birthday presents for Georgia and Thomas and gave them to them last weekend. Thomas' should have been given much earlier, but late is better than never, especially when it comes to birthday presents!

Terrifying Thomas loved his "pirate ship" sweater:

Pirate ship sweater
Pirate ship sweater

The first photo is a truer representative of the color; it is a fairly bright blue. Not glaring, just bright. The second picture is of it as it was blocking.  The yarn is Valley Yarns Superwash, an extra fine merino that is easy care. The pattern I used was Hélène Rush's Sailboat Pullover. I made the 4 year old size, as Thomas turned 4. It fit him nicely and he loves it, but I don't think it will fit for long. He keeps growing!! 

Georgia loved her "back to school" sweater too ... I think she hasn't taken it off yet!

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I asked Georgia to choose the colors, and she picked bright pink, of course. It is Drops Merino Extra Fine UniColor that is superwash, so it is easy care too, but it is 100% wool so it should be warm. I can't believe how soft both of these sweaters were. You would never believe they were wool sweaters! The pattern I used for Georgia's sweater was Ewelina Murach's Flower Cardigan.  She also has nine other FlowerMotif things that she has written the pattern for, including a pullover, a t-shirt, a dress, and hats for kids, as well as a Flower pullover, cardigan, hats and a scarf for adults. And they are all seamless to knit ... no sewing involved! 

Unfortunately I didn't get a good picture of the back, so I stole one:

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It was a fun sweater to knit. 

I didn't start my Sleepy Sheep socks. I couldn't believe I didn't have a size 3.0mm needle (2.5 US). Dang it. But as soon as I get one I will do it!! 


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!

 

 


It's the Middle of June Already!

Time goes so fast when you are not doing much at all! 

We watched The Wizard of Oz a couple nights ago. It was a fun return to my childhood. I remember that the whole family watched the little black and white television: Mum, Dad, a couple siblings and I. Everyone was all grown up but me. I was so scared of that wicked witch! I never realized that it was in color once Dorothy got to Oz; it was a nice surprise. Anyway, Dorothy says, "My! People come and go so quickly here!" In my case, it was time that went quickly!

So, what have I been up to? I was sooooo sick with a cold for about two weeks, but I am all over it, thank goodness. I rarely get sick at all, but this cold laid me low. During those two weeks I could just sleep and drink a lot of water and cough, a lot.  But I did get some knitting done after I got better.

I finished my Harpswell Inn Hitchhiker:

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I find that I wear it more than anything right now, and it is very colorful! I love it.

I have been bad about getting pictures of my finished projects, so you will have to use your imagination a bit on these. I finished Reyna out of some hand dyed purple fingering weight.

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This is the picture I got of it.

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This is the picture from the pattern.  It's a fun knit, fairly mindless, and quite pretty when it is done. It has gone upstairs to be blocked. No telling if I will ever see it again.

I knit a pair of purple socks; again, only one is pictured, but rest assured that I knit the complete pair!

Purple socks

That was my TV knitting for  a couple weeks. 

What I am working on now is a shawlette from the book MAINE knits, by Beatrice Perron Dahlen. It is called the Cresting Waves Shawl and is designed by Leah B. Thibault. 

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(photo from Leah B. Thibault)

I am using a skein of Meadow by the Fiber Company in the color Bellflower.

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It is a light fingering weight merino wool, baby llama, silk, and linen blend which has a lovely drape (thank you, linen) and sheen (thank you, silk) that feels soft and warm and luxurious (nods to the merino wool and the baby llama). I love this combo of fibers, and I have never seen it before. 

It likes to fight my needles a bit, as it seems to have its own mind, so at times I have to be forceful to make it go where I want it to go. (I suspect the linen is responsible for this.) Sometimes at first, it flew right off the needles when I wasn't paying attention! Twice! The first time I was only a few rows up so I unraveled it and started over, and the second time I said, "Shit!!" "Look, Mister, you had just better behave!!!" and I got it back on the needle. I learned my lesson, and it has been under my watchful eye ever since. I think when this lace panel is done and I am working on the plain stockinette part, it will be much better behaved. 

This yarn feels so good! I can't wait to wear it!! Here is what there is so far, after three and a half repeats of the lace panel:

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I wish you could feel it. It is so yummy.

Have a good day, everyone. Isn't this weather wild?? So hot and then so cold! 

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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!


Harpswell Inn Cowl

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This cowl fits closely around the neck and is a really warm cowl. If you want it looser, you can make more squares or use a larger needle. Have fun! 

HARPSWELL INN COWL

(designed and knit at the Harpswell Inn Knitting Weekend, 2017)


1 skein Lamb’s Pride Worsted (MC)
1 skein Gina by Plymouth (CC)
(Two worsted weights, about 175 yards of MC and about 70 yards of CC)

Size 7 double pointed needles

16” size 7 circular needle  

Tapestry needle

OPTIONAL -- stitch markers, if you use a circular needle or two for Magic Loop method or two circulars method instead of using double pointed needles

Gauge: one square = 3.75 inches square

The cowl is made by knitting 2 tiers of 6 squares, each tier off-set by half a square to provide visual interest.

FIRST SQUARE:

With MC, cast on 60 sts on 4 needles (15 sts on each needle) OR divided into 4 sections with stitch markers and join into a round without twisting.
Round 1: Knit.
Round 2: *Ssk, knit to last 2 sts on the needle/before the st marker, k2tog.* around. (13 sts per needle/marker section, 52 sts in the square)
Round 3: Purl.
Round 4: *Ssk, knit to last 2 sts on the needle/before the st marker, k2tog.* around. (11 sts per needle/marker section, 44 sts in the square)
Round 5: Purl
Round 6: *Ssk, knit to last 2 sts on the needle/before the st marker, k2tog.* around. (9 sts per needle/marker section, 36 sts in the square)
Round 7: Purl
Round 8: Knit

Cut yarn; attach CC.

Round 9: *Ssk, knit to last 2 sts on the needle/before the st marker, k2tog.* around. (7 sts per needle/marker section, 28 sts in the square)
Round 10: Purl
Round 11: *Ssk, knit to last 2 sts on the needle/before the st marker, k2tog.* around. (5 sts per needle/marker section, 20 sts in the square)
Round 12: Purl
Round 13: *Ssk, knit to last 2 sts on the needle/before the st marker, k2tog.* around. (3 sts per needle/marker section, 12 sts in the square)
Round 14: *Slip 2 sts as if to knit, k1, pull the 2 slipped stitches over the knit st -- double centered decrease made* around. (1 st per needle/marker section, 4 sts in the square)

Cut yarn and thread onto a tapestry needle, and run through the 4 sts and pull tight. Weave in all ends. *Weave in the ends as you go or there will be a LOT of ends to weave in at the end!*

SQUARES 2 THROUGH 5:

With MC, pick up 15 sts on the previous square with your needle; using other needles/using st markers to separate sts, cast on with backward loop method 15 sts on each needle/each section marked off by st markers and join into a round without twisting. (60 sts).

Work Rounds 1 - 14 and finish as before, weaving in ends.

SQUARE 6 (COMPLETES THE FIRST TIER AND JOINS THE CIRCLE TOGETHER):

With MC, pick up 15 sts on the previous square with your needle; using other needles/using st markers to separate sts, cast on with backward loop method 15 sts on next needle/next section marked off by st markers; pick up 15 sts on Square 1 with your next needle; cast on with backward loop method 15 sts on next needle/next section marked off by st markers; join into a round without twisting. (60 sts).

Work Rounds 1 - 14 and finish as before, weaving in ends.

You have 6 squares done! Now for the second tier of 6 squares.

SECOND TIER

SQUARE 7:

Pick a point about halfway along the edge of a square -- you can line up the center of the square to do this. With MC, pick up 15 sts on the edge of the squares with your needle (make sure you have ended picking up sts at the halfway point of the next square); using other needles/using st markers to separate sts, cast on with backward loop method 15 sts on each needle/each section marked off by st markers and join into a round without twisting. (60 sts).

Work Rounds 1 - 14 and finish as before, weaving in ends.

SQUARES 8 - 11:

With MC, pick up 15 sts on the edge of the square just made; pick up 15 sts along the bottom edge of squares of the first tier with your needle, making sure that the sts end up about halfway along this square; using other needles/using st markers to separate sts, cast on with backward loop method 15 sts on next two needles/on next two sections marked off by st markers and join into a round without twisting. (60 sts).

Work Rounds 1 - 14 and finish as before, weaving in ends.

SQUARE 12 (JOINS 2ND TIER INTO A CIRCLE):

With MC, pick up 15 sts on the edge of the square just made; pick up 15 sts along the bottom edge of squares of the first tier with your needle, making sure that the sts end up about halfway along this square; using other needles/using st markers to separate sts, pick up 15 sts on the edge of Square 7; cast on with backward loop method 15 sts on next two needles/on next two sections marked off by st markers and join into a round without twisting. (60 sts).

Work Rounds 1 - 14 and finish as before, weaving in ends. Now you have two tiers of squares and your cowl is almost done.

ATTACHED I-CORD FINISHING:

Using CC, cast on 4 sts and then continue to pick up 100 sts around the edge of the cowl. Work attached i-cord as follows: *Knit 3 sts, k2tog; put 4 sts back on your left needle*. Repeat between *’s around the edge of the cowl. Sew i-cord ends together with a couple stitches and weave in ends.

Repeat for other edge.

 


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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C'est Finis!

Sylvi is finished! The petals are knit and sewed down, the buttons are sewed on, and it is as gorgeous as my niece Hillary is. As promised, pictures:

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These are abalone buttons, from a sweater kit I ordered loooooong ago. I told Hillary that I got them about 15 years ago, but in reality I think it was about 1994 or 1995. Anyway, I don't know what happened to the sweater kit, but it is gone. However, I kept the buttons but never found the perfect place to use them until now. They were actually too heavy for the mohair cardigan in the sweater kit. Sylvi will love them!

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The hood is kind of hard to photograph, especially one-handed. There is a little flower that is sort of wrapped around the top of the hood; it was pretty hard to stitch in place, but with a steady stream of not-very-nice words, I managed. 

This was a really fun thing to knit! I don't think I will knit another Sylvi, at least not right away, but I really love the cables on the back. It is a wonderful design, carefully charted out, well-written, a good production. It came out beautiful, and I am very happy with it! You can find the pattern on the Twist Collective website (Winter 2008) or from the designer, Mari Muinonen on Ravelry.com.  


So Much Fun!

I have had so much fun the last couple of weeks! 

First, the things I have knitted: not much, actually. I have my stealth knitting project almost completed. In fact, it will be finished this week probably, and I can go to Freeport at the end of the week with a clear conscience. I have, in addition, sewn up my Sylvi coat/sweater, woven in most of the ends, and am now working on the hood:

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It is kind of hard to knit because of the weight of the sweater and only having one and a quarter hands, but it is going slowly onward. I hope to finish it next week, after SPA in Freeport. At least Hillary will be able to wear it for a couple weeks before Spring!

Second is the goodies that I have bought.

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I pre-ordered MAINEknits by Beatrice Perron Dahlen a few weeks ago, and promptly forgot it, and then there it was! I wanted to get it when I realized that all of the patterns in it were in my favorites in Ravelry, which was a sign that the book needs to be on my shelf.  I was pleased to find that the book has really gorgeous pictures of Maine, a foreword by Pam Allen, and well-written essays by Sarah Kilch Gaffney, Julie Letowski, Samantha Lindgren and Beck Robbins in addition to beautiful, highly-wearable and desirable-to-knit patterns by fourteen excellent designers, including Beatrice Perron Dahlgren. 

The book is divided into three sections: Sea, Farm, and Wild, which is how I think of Maine too. I'm from Aroostook county, Maine, the wilderness was all around me in Portage where I lived, my father was a farmer, and now I live by the sea! There are five or six patterns in each section, totaling seventeen patterns in the book. Most of them are sweaters and accessories for women, but a few are unisex too, and one is photographed on a man and a child; that sweater can be made in children's sizes too. There is also a cowl in child and adult sizes as well. 

I also got some little colored stitch markers from Cocoknits.com. They are so pretty, I want to string them on a chain and wear them as a necklace! 

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I succumbed to pattern lust and bought the yarn to make these socks:

They are 173-45 Sleepy Sheep from Drops.

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They are so springy and pretty! I don't really need 450g of yarn to knit socks. I'll have yarn leftover, so maybe I will design something with Mary Jane Mucklestone's books that I have been looking over.

The best thing though is the fluff that I got from On the Round! It is soooooooo gorgeous! It makes me want to spin and spin and spin! 

Fluff

This fluff is hand dyed Corriedale top in a OOAK (One Of A Kind)  color. That means it is unique!  Rachel Jones does an incredible job of dyeing. Her colors are imaginative, playful, and creative while being harmonious too. It takes real talent to do that. I will wait as long as possible to start spinning this, but I think the beauteousness of the fluff will overwhelm me. It is sitting right beside my computer and I keep looking at it and sighing happily. I need to get a couple things done, but soon ... soon!

The third and final fun thing is ahead: SPA!!! Lynne and I are going to Freeport for the weekend (February 24,25, & 26) and we will have so much fun. We are staying at the Hampton Inn. SPA is a weekend of fibery goodness that is at three hotels in Freeport, but it really kind of takes over the town. It is like a convention of 1000 (maybe more) knitters and crocheters and spinners and weavers and felters and other fibery folk who show up for the weekend. Some people go for three or four days. Lynne and I will pretty much stay in the Hampton Inn; the vendor area doesn't really interest me much (see above) but there are many vendors and people who want their wares. Also Mother of Purl is in the area and there are a few things that they offer too this weekend, including an On the Round trunk show -- Rachel will be there in person to amaze and delight you! 

Pogo's Sweater

I haven't the heart to tell Pogo that the sweater isn't for her.


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:

Figure-2.27ostracon-cat-herding-geese-cairoegyptianmuseum1150BCDeirelMedina


New Year, New Socks!

My New Year Socks are done! They are so sparkly and colorful! I feel like I am disco dancing when I wear them!

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(Beth laughs and laughs and then composes herself)

I have a Sylvi update, too. I have the right front done to the underarm :

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I'll finish the right front tonight, sew it together over the next two nights,  knit the hood for a couple of nights, and then there will be The Petals. Actually knitting them won't be difficult if I can get them started. I think I can do it. Anyway, the whole thing should be done in about two weeks, maybe less. It will be pretty.

I have some stealth knitting, to borrow a phrase from Wendy Johnson. It is my daytime knitting at the moment. I hope to show you at some point in the future! It is why I am only working on Sylvi at night :)

Pogo

 

 

 

 


Another Sylvi Update and Other Projects

Sylvi is growing by leaps and bounds. The back is done:


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I have the left front done to just above the underarm:

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The black yarn on the side marks the increases, and the one in the middle marks what row I started the underarm on.

Pogo the astute feline inspector says they pass and gives them a paw print of approval.

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I started some bright, glittery socks just before New Year's Eve. 

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Everyone needs bright glittery socks What a wonderful world it would be if everyone wore them. The yarn is Plymouth Yarn Stiletto, purchased from WEBS, but it seems they are out of it. I did buy it in their big year end blowout sale. Anyway, the pair is half done, and I start the second sock tonight during my daily TV watching. The pattern is the one that I have pretty much memorized, Classic Socks for the Family by Melinda Goodfellow.

I got a knitting magazine (KnitsceneSpring 2017) and a skein of lovely purple Wildwood Arcadia yarn from my friend Lynne! I started the Ironwood shawl, and it is perfect for the yarn. I love both the pattern and the yarn! 

IMG_0155_medium2    Purple shawl

Happy knitting!


Sylvi Update

It's been a week and I really haven't worked as much on Sylvi as I thought I would have. I have worked on some other, more pressing things, but always Sylvi was waiting patiently for me to come back to her! I am now up to the underarm on the back. The rest should go pretty quickly now that I can focus on Sylvi and only Sylvi!

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The little green and orange markers around the bobbles are marking the stitches where I will pick up stitches and knit the flower petals.

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I haven't done three dimensional knitting like this before (or if I have, it was so long before my stroke that I have forgotten it entirely), so I am a bit nervous about doing it. I will try my hardest, and then I will either do it, or not. If I can do it, yay! If I can't do it, I will cry bitterly for a while and then meekly ask for some help. I really don't want to do that though, and I will try everything that I can think of to figure out a way to do it. The problem will be not with the knitting -- the petals are pretty easy to knit -- it will be holding the back steady with one hand (it is a large piece of knitting!) as I try to knit them with the same hand. Easy for most people, hard for me. I love a challenge! Stay tuned! 


Happy New Year!

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Christmas is over with! Let the rabble-rousing commence! Like swinging from the tail of an airplane! With a mushroom and a horsehoe! And champagne! I hope the olive branch means peace :)

I got a few things done for Christmas this year that I couldn't show you, but now I can. 

I made a couple sweaters and a shawl and a pair of socks for a lovely woman who married my nephew:

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The black cardigan sweater was finished. I neglected to get a picture of it though. Well, I thought I got a picture, but it has since disappeared into the ether that seems to make lots of my things disappear. It is quite magical how that happens, really. The patterns I used were from left to right, Anne's Sweater by Joanna Johnston, After the Rain by Heidi Kirrmaier, Wintersweet from Boo Knits, and Kethry by Spillyjane.

I knit a hippo for my husband, because who doesn't want a hippopotamus for Christmas??? Pattern is Hippo Knitting Pattern by Linda Dawkins.

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I knit my brother a pair of socks. I hope his feet will stay warm this winter!

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My Peace Project got finished last night, only nine days after the Solstice. I love it! It is so pretty!

Peace Project

So, now I am working on Sylvi. You remember Sylvi? I got the sleeves done and I am about a third of the way up the back:

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The picture is kind of squished on my needles. The markers show where I will pick up the stitches to knit the flower petals later. I am really loving this project!! In a way I wish it was on smaller needles; it's on size 13 needles for me, to get the gauge. But, you can really knit this baby fast on size 13 needles and bulky weight wool! The whole chart for the back is only 157 rows. I love it! It will be done soon, but I have lots of stuff to knit that will be just as much fun! 


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! 

Project peace

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!

 


Miss Stacy's Shawl and Sylvi

I have been busy knitting a shawl, Miss Stacy's Shawl from the book Green Gables Knits by Joanna Johnson.

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When I was visiting my mother in law one day, I showed her the book so she could see what the vest looked like that I was knitting, and she saw the shawl and said it was just what she needed, something to put around her shoulders for a little extra comfort .... and I thought: I'll knit it! I know that she could easily knit it herself, but lately her hands can't grasp knitting needles easily.

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I used three skeins of Brown Sheep Naturespun Fingering yarn and size 5 circular needles, and it took me about a month to do. The yarn was ok, but I think if I knit it again I'd use something with a little silk or cashmere, or maybe straight merino, something to make it a bit softer. Naturespun is pretty soft, but not really as soft as I would like her to have. But, it wasn't scratchy either. 

Old shale           Stockinette

The pattern was easy. It's basically an old shale lace pattern; do several repeats of it, then shift it to the right and do several repeats of it, and repeat the whole thing. The top was in stockinette stitch. It was a great pattern, and I would knit it again. Hmmm, maybe with a different lace pattern. And maybe with two colors at the top for some snazzy stripes. And maybe a button loop at the top with a cool button. 

In late September Wendy Ford and I started oohing and ahhing over a long, drop-dead gorgeous knit coat called Sylvi by Mari Muinonen

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Wendy and I dared each other to knit it, and when my niece said that she would like me to make it for her, I jumped at the chance. It is the sort of coat that should be seen and seen often, and since I don't really go anywhere, it would kinda be a wasted effort to make it for me. Dark gray was the requested color, and I ordered Eskimo from NordicMart.com early in October. The yarn came, and it was sooooo soft and luscious! It is an unspun, thick yarn like Lopi, and it's really soft and nice to work with. It splits a little, but that is to be expected from and unspun yarn. It is a bit thicker than Lopi, but squishy. I love it. I knit my gauge swatch right away, then set it aside to finish the above-mentioned shawl before embarking on the Sylvi journey.

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Then I started working on it on Saturday. This is how far I got:

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That is the cuff of a sleeve. Sunday I got this far:

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I actually didn't work on it much. It goes pretty darn fast. I'll do both sleeves first, and then I will be ready to tackle the back, the two front pieces, sew it together, and knit the hood. Then I have to knit those huge petals and figure out a way to make them lay flat and sew them down (I may need to enlist help for that). Then final blocking, and it will be done! I am doing NaNoWriMo in November, so I won't work on it much then. So, sometime in January it will be done! 

And, my Daily Mindfulness Blanket is right on schedule:

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(Pogo's butt for scale)

 


So Exciting!

1. I finished my Inspira Cowl that Lynne and I were making; it is a project that both of us got during the SPA back in February at Mother of Purl in Freeport, Maine. Lynne chose to do hers in a dark navy blue with glowing blue, green, turquoise and brown colors peeking through, and it looks like a cathedral window.  I, on the other hand, went with a riot of color. I chose to use 2 skeins of Lang Yarns Milli Colori Baby color 845 (Tutti Frutti) and a skein of Louisa Harding Amitola in color 845 Violetta. We both finished our cowls this week, and I am very happy with my result! 

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2. My Daily Mindful Meditation Blanket is coming along nicely. It is 13 days since I started. The project is openly shared on Ravelry so you can see it, but here are a few pictures:

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The blanket will be 10 diamonds across, and I'm thinking 15 diamonds high. We will see.

3. The yarn for my next big project is waiting at the post office! I'll pick it up today. I hope it is just right for what it is intended for. I'll tell you all about it later!

4. This is October, a fine month, laden with scary movies and chocolate. But the big news is that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is next month! So exciting!  This year I have my whole plot written out, so I know where I am going. I am ready! It should be fun!


One

Today I started a new project: a Daily Mindfulness Meditation Blanket. 

Square One

What is it? It's a modular knit scrap blanket to use up all the yarn scraps that I have accumulated. I am knitting one square a day, in the mornings, mindfully focusing my thoughts to create peace (in my mind) and healing (because I still am healing after my stroke six years ago).

I'm using a size 8 needle (5.0 mm), and worsted weight-ish yarn. I begin each square by casting on 36 stitches.

I am loosely using the Memory Blanket pattern that I found on Ravelry, but I am orienting the squares as diamonds rather than squares. I am weaving in all ends as I go. I will knit “Square One” squares until the blanket is wide enough, and then I’ll knit the rest of the diamonds as “Square Four” until the blanket is long enough. I will see how long it takes me doing one square a day to get a blanket!

In other news, I finished the Casu Cowl with my handspun yarn:

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Recognize the yarn? Hehe. 

I also finished a lovely vest for my husband:

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It looks better on him than it does on my laptop. The pattern is "Matthew's Vest", from Green Gables Knits: Patterns for Kindred Spirits, a Christmas gift from my dear sister in law. The yarn, an 80% locally grown alpaca from an alpaca named Riata with 20% bamboo added to it, is from the Maine Alpaca Experience. The bamboo gives it a nice drape. It is supposed to be worsted weight but it seems a bit thin to me ... however, it worked up fine (after I got it made into balls; what a nightmare! Thanks to Lynne who helped me untangle it!). It makes a lightweight but warm vest, and the yarn looks very classy indeed. 

Amy's Scarf is coming along nicely ... slowly, but nicely:

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There are a couple other things, but I can't show them til later. They are secret. Shhhh. 


I Won the Sweater Triathlon!

Jimi Hendrix playing the National Anthem

 I don't know what a sweater triathlon is. That is just what they call knitting a sweater in the two weeks over the Olympics. A real sweater triathlon maybe would be if you knit three sweaters: one seamed, one in the round and one modular ... that would be a hell of a thing, hmmmm...

Anyway, I did it. I finished shortly before noon on Thursday, three whole days before I thought I would. The ends are woven in, the buttons are sewn on, and the sweater fits perfectly. 

Pictures of the finished sweater:

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Now I can go back to knitting my socks out of handspun wool and my beautiful lace scarf of red merino and silk, and spinning lovely alpaca. And wearing my newly completed sweater! 


The 2016 Ravellenic Games

(Previously known as the Knitting Olympics, but we can't use that name anymore since 2012)

I am knitting a sweater for this year's games. Yes, a whole sweater. No, not a sweater for a doll, it is for me. I have 14 days to do it; I have to get the ends woven in and take a picture by the end of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

My Opening Ceremonies:

The yarn: 10 skeins Rowan Calmer, plum.

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The pattern:

Final Frontier Sweater, designed by Annamária Ötvös.  From the pattern description:

"Final Frontier is a top-down, seamless, boxy pullover with garter stitch panels and an interesting construction. We start the work with the shoulder saddles, they are worked sideways and joined at the center of the back neck. Then the stitches of the fronts and back are picked up along the edges of the saddles and the upper yoke is worked back and forth in rows. Shoulders are shaped with some short rows and the deep yoke is shaped with unusually placed invisible increases. After the front placket is complete we continue to work in the round to the underarms where the stitches of the body and the sleeves are separated and body is worked in one piece to the hem. Sleeves are worked in the round from the underarm to the cuff. Stitches for the neckband are picked up and knit in twisted rib."

Cast on during the Opening Ceremonies in Rio (counts as Day 1) and knit the left and right saddle shoulders that evening:

Day 1

 

"The most important thing in the Olympic [Ravellenic] Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well."

— Pierre de Coubertin

Day 2: Upper Yoke Shaping, and Shaping the Front Necklines and the Raglans

Day 2

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."

— Muhammad Ali, American boxer and 1960 gold medalist. 

Day 3. Finished shaping the raglan shaping, joined the piece into the round, and worked on the lower yoke shaping. It's beginning to look like a sweater!

Day 3 Ravellenic Games

“As simple as it sounds, we all must try to be the best person we can: by making the best choices, by making the most of the talents we’ve been given.”

— Mary Lou Retton, American gymnast and 1984 gold medalist.

I have 7 more rounds of lower yoke shaping, and then I will put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn to hold them, and knit for 14 1/4 inches and do 3/4 inch of ribbing, and then the body is done. I have no idea how long that will take, but if I keep knitting, it'll get done.... and then there are the sleeves. Luckily there is just the typical sleeve shaping. 

B E L I E V E, and you can do it!

 


It Begins.

I love the old British favorite, Dr. Who ... the stories are fantastical, the characters are great, the actors are wonderful, the rubber-suited monsters are hilarious. But mostly, I love the scarves. 

NewWho_copy_medium    Tom scarf    Matt scarf
(All three scarves are available on Ravelry.)

 

Even more, I love all the fabulous knitwear that has been worn by the recent companions of the Doctor:

Rose's mitts    Rose's Boomtown scarf    Wilf's hat   


Little Amy's hat and mittens    Amy's Pandorica Opens scarf    Amy's Night Terrors scarf


And my favorite, Amy Pond's 'Vampires of Venice' scarf, which she also wore in 'Vincent and the Doctor':

Vampires of Venice  Amy and friends    Amy_s_Scarf_007_small2

So. It begins.

IMG_2281

 


I'm Back.

I took a little more than a year off, because I thought blogs are pointless, everyone is glued to the Facebook screen, nobody reads blogs anymore. And that is pretty much true. I quit Facebook, too. My cat Nicky had died, and his sister Nora died about a month ago. Seemed like things had come full circle.  

Two things made me come back. First, I had a couple people pining for my blog and I thought, okay. I could write it a little bit, so they will know I am alive. Second, my brain is bursting with new ideas for knitting and crocheting designs, story ideas, ideas about everything, really.  I found I used my blog as a kind of scrapbook for Remembering Things, recipes, things I had done, pictures, and of course my patterns. So, I just thought, what the hell. Let's crank this baby up and see if it will still go.

NickNoraBabyPix copy

That is Nick and Nora's baby picture. (Kevin took the photo). They were so cute! 

Nora pretty girl copy

That is Nora. She was a pretty girl. She liked to complain loudly about everything. I miss her squawking about supper every night. I just miss her. 

After Nicky died, we took in Pogo, who is also 13 years old, the same age Nick and Nora would be. Pogo has attached herself to me; she goes everywhere with me. She isn't much of a cuddler, though, she's just a constant companion. We make a good team. She is tolerant of my knitting, but she does like to sit on the keyboard if I use it too much!

Pogo

What am I knitting? I am knitting gifts for Christmas and birthdays, unfortunately, so I can't show them. I did just recently complete a cowl -- the Shetland Shores cowl by WendyGaal. I knit in some sparkly yarn from Knitter's Brewing Company in a color called Framboise:

Yarma_medium2     Yarma_medium2-2


The kit came with a cute little Scotty dog!

In the last year, I knit a lot of things. One that I like the most is an Aran sweater called Wetherby by Martin Storey:

Wetherby_Done_medium2

It was a little bit tricky. I had to unravel about 9 inches of the front when I discovered I had twisted my cables the wrong way. You can bet I double checked them after that! 

Another thing that I knit was a pair of mittens. I finally made the Dog Mittens by Jorid Linvik, which had been in my queue to make ever since my sister in law got a Boston terrier:

Yarma_medium2-1

Her name is Persis and she is a sweetie pie!


Still Waiting.

I'm still waiting for Spring. The snow is still high and I am still grumpy. Snow doesn't seem as magical as it did around Christmas. It has become the adult version of the cute little puppy that has now turned into the Saint Bernard behemoth, taking over your bed, getting everywhere, chewing on the car. It is not cute anymore.

Snow sn

So, big surprise, I am still knitting. I knit a lace scarf out of pretty peachy-pink Edna's Bounty from Good Karma Farm. Here it is, unblocked:

ScarfSN

It'll be prettier when it is blocked. Lace always looks prettier when it is blocked. The pattern is from Vogue Knitting's To Go series of books, Scarves Two, and the pattern is called Sheer Lace Scarf, by Lois Young. I think the book is out of print now, but you can search your local libraries for it (I love inter-library loan!). 

I am making some progress on the turquoise dress, too; here is what I've got so far:

DressSN

I had to take a break and get the scarf done before winter ended -- I guess I didn't have to worry, hehe. It is going pretty fast, now that I have started working on it again. I am getting through about a skein a day. The dress is supposed to use ten skeins, and I have used almost five skeins so far. I actually bought twelve skeins, just to make sure. I know, you are thinking it doesn't look half done, but it is. The skirt takes up more yarn than the body -- I started off with about three hundred stitches, after all. I decrease eight stitches every ten rounds, and I have only done thirty percent of the decreases so far.  Then you increase a little bit for the bust, do the yoke, and you're done! And then, of course, you must block it,  because lace. It's all cotton, though, so I might steam iron it lightly. 

Today I'm listening to the playlist "Driving with Dean Winchester" on Spotify. '67 Black Impalas are sexy. Keep knitting, people!