Thin Blue Line Hat for Heroes

70E8251D-AB23-4EA4-9FFC-9296F9EBA8F1

Pattern: All Cops Are Bastards (free download on Ravelry)

Yarn: Cloudborn Merino Superwash Sock Twist (black) & Jamieson & Smith 2-ply Jumper weight (#16 Bright Blue)

Time to knit: About 10 days, in the evenings

Thoughts on this hat:

It’s a bit small. I made the larger size thinking it would be for a man, but it turns out that it fits me pretty well, maybe even snugly. I think if I made it again I’d go up a size of needle.

 I love the crown! So pretty!

3ED60033-E42B-4DF7-AFD2-CC6344906114
I had some trouble (read: I swore a good bit) knitting the crown, but as soon as I remembered how to do a left cross and a right cross without using a cable needle it was fine.

There is still time to knit a hat before the KAL is over on 10/4/20, and I hope a ton of people knit one. While I was dismayed at the original message by the designer, the hat does have a pretty design for the top. I mean, if the designer had chosen a horrible name for a pet kitten, I wouldn’t hold it against the kitten. I would still love the kitten. 

Have fun and keep knitting!


In the Pink

My pink shawl is complete! Yay!

1000x1000

I started the Knit-a-long from Pattern Duchess (Mari-Liis Hirv) on July 1, 2019, though it started on June 24. I was late, but caught up quickly. I finished on March 6.

Shawl

The shawl used three balls of Shadow Lace from Knitpicks.com, a 100% merino yarn that has 880 yards per 100 g. It is only available in white now; they've discontinued it. Bastards.

IMG_0260

I got it because it was one of the only all-wool lace weight that I could find. Everything now has either alpaca (which I can't wear) or silk, which is fine but I didn't want a heavy, shimmering thing. I just wanted wool! Shadow Lace was a wonderful yarn to work with and now I wish I had bought more of it.

IMG_0261

I knit with a US size 3/3.25mm needle, 2 rows per day, 5 days a week. It's amazing how much you can do if you only get time to do 2 rows a day!

IMG_0262

Now it is done. ::happy sigh::

Be safe, and happy knitting!

 


Mystery Socks and Beautiful Yarn

I had a great week! I completed the Mystery XII Socks by Knitters Brewing Company, Let It  Snow! socks:

LetItSnowSocks LetItSnowSocks2

Pattern: Let It Snow! socks by Wendy Gaal

Yarn: Knitters Brewing Company Sockaholic II fingering weight, 75% Superwash Merino & 25% Nylon, 460 yards per 100g: color ESB (Extra Special Blue)

It was a really fun-to-knit pattern! I might make it again. It had mosaic knitting (which I usually hate) and lace (which I love). This time, I loved the mosaic knitting. I guess I trusted Wendy Gaal, whose patterns are always well-written.

 

Thumbnail_IMG_0231

One goal I had for 2020 was to spin more, which I have totally been doing, and I finished up eight ounces of lovely superwash merino from On The Round that I got about two or three years ago. I started spinning it right when I got it, but then I quit for some reason -- inertia takes the blame -- and now FINALLY it is all spun up. And I love it so much!

It's a shame that I never took a picture of the roving before it became yarn. It was all pretty colors, but when I spun it, the reds and oranges became the predominant color (and I love red and orange) and the yarn became a lovely dark red with other colors all mixed in.

Thumbnail_IMG_0231

(There is a bit of the roving I spun showing at the top of the above picture)

Thumbnail_IMG_0231

Thumbnail_IMG_0231

Thumbnail_IMG_0237

Now it is all ready to knit. Pogo was being really loving this morning and tried to help me so much to get the right picture. I better knit a shawl that she can curl up in!


Bye Bye January

Another month has come along, and my iPhone weather app tells me that the days are now
minutes longer! Woohoo!

IMG_0180

Pogo thinks January was a good month for napping.

January got me with WIP-itis really bad. I had seven WIPs at one time! The only thing that saved me was that two of them were part of a knitalong and I could only work on them as the clues came out, one of them was to use up my scrap sock yarn and was therefore invisible to me, and one of them was really close to being done.

 

That was my Boathouse pullover by Marie Greene (the pattern will be available later this year) knit in Plymouth Merino Cammello (80% Extrafine Merino Wool, 20% Baby Camel, sport weight, 180 yards per 50g), and it's done now. So, cross one sweater off my six-sweater Make Nine Goal! The yarn is marked down to $6.99 from $11.99 at WEBS right now!

IMG_0193

The two knitalongs that I am participating in are my Estonian lace shawl and Mystery Socks XII from Knitter's Brewing Company.

The shawl is coming along just fine; I just did week 32 and there are only 37 weeks in the knitalong, so it's almost done.

IMG_0194

The socks are Let It Snow! from Knitter's Brewery, and this is the progress after week 2 (I have week three ready to start this weekend):

IMG_0187

This is why mystery knitalongs are both a blessing and a curse for me. This pair is a curse, because I kind of hate mosaic knitting, and this is mosaic knitting ... but it is a blessing because I had to do it, and after I got halfway through the chart on the first leg I started to enjoy it, so I guess I like mosaic knitting now. The pattern is free from Knitter's Brewing Company and the yarn is Sockaholic ESB (Extra Special Blue, 75% Superwash Merino, 25% nylon, 460 yards per 100g).

That leaves two pairs of socks, a cowl, and a scarf. One pair of socks is plain vanilla for me because I apparently need more socks:

IMG_0190

The other pair is a difficult pair, but it was so cute that I simply disregarded the pain of the colorwork charts and ordered the yarn anyway:

IMG_0188

Kittycat Socks from The Knitter magazine, issue 136, by Lumi Karmitsa. Needless to say, this is the first sock and I am only to the heel flap. This pair may take a while. I was excited to be done the chart, because I thought the rest of the sock was plain grey, but it is not. The color pattern is simpler than the cat chart, but it is still more $%^&*!@# colorwork. Sigh. It will be worth it.

I haven't gotten very far on the ZickZack scarf; I'm only about eight inches up:

IMG_0189

ZickZack Scarf by Christy Kamm, using leftover sock yarn. Meh. It'll be prettier when I get the other 64 inches done.

And lastly, the cowl I am knitting because I found a cone of yarn from Nancy Howard which felt soft and I liked the neutral color; I started another Still Waters Cowl by Swans Island. I knit the first one in blue, and  I have worn it so much it is pretty much felted, so I figured I had better knit another one. The yarn is very soft, and feels like it has cashmere or alpaca or silk in it, but all I have for the information is a tag inside the cone that says "Wudervolle Froehlich Wolle 'beständig schön & gut' " which translates to "Wonderful Froehlich Wool 'consistently beautiful & good' ". I hope it doesn't have alpaca in it, because alpaca makes me itch.

IMG_0191

Ha, I haven't gotten much done on it. It will be good TV knitting.

Sorry this has been so long! Knit happy! Congratulations if you read to the end!


Suddenly, It's Fall

Summer slammed the door and suddenly, it's fall. Autumn smells different, sounds different, and feels different (it's colder!). And it tastes different too; pumpkin spice everything!!!!!

Actually I haven't had pumpkin spice anything yet, but I will. Eventually. I am thinking about making pumpkin bread, though.

I knit these charming little mitts and they came out nice:

IMG_0669

Aren't they wicked cunnin'? I love them.

The pink lace shawl knitalong is going well, and this is how for I got by the end of August:

IMG_0672

It's about 25% done. The nupps are getting easier. I really like how this knitalong is done slowly, two rows a day, for five days a week. People can knit the two rows a day and have the weekend off, or do the ten rows all at once over the weekend. Nifty.

Happy September, and happy back to school if it applies. It's a wonderful time of year.


Arline's Socks

My sister in law sent over another bag of yarn that was my mother in law's; it was two skeins of sock yarn, and one had a pair of socks that she had started to knit, needles and all. I can sort of remember her starting them, but I can't remember clearly ... maybe I was in the hospital? Don't know.

I could have just unraveled the yarn and started over, but I thought it would be better if I used what she had done and finished them. So I did. She had started with 56 stitches and she was using size 2 needles, and had the ribbing all done and about one inch of stockinette. My gauge was much tighter, so I increased up to 60 stitches and kept going. Soon one sock was done.

IMG_0601

Pogo, originally owned by Arline, immediately went over, sniffed on it, and settled down for a nap. It must have smelled like Arline and home.

The first sock was soon joined by its mate, and the socks were all done. Somewhere, Arline is smiling.

IMG_0606

In other news, my pink shawl is going along very well, two rows a day, five days a week!

IMG_0605

I can't wait to see it on the beginning of September!

 


Too Many UFOs

Unfinished Objects, that is.

Since my stroke, I have had between one and three UFOs (also known as WIPs -- Works In Progress) at a time, and that was fine. Just fine. Before the stroke, 43 WIPs were common, and I hardly ever finished any of them; but since my stroke, I have had more time, and I was able to finish all my WIPs, unless I fell out of love with them and unraveled them.

But lately, I have gotten back into my bad habit ways. I have eight UFOs, yikes!

I have a brown sweater:

IMG_0580

And a blue sweater:

IMG_0581

And a green sweater:

IMG_0582

And a shawl:

IMG_0583

Two rows a day til next February! Woohoo! This is the only project that I have that I can't work on, because it is an Estonian Lace KAL hosted by Pattern Duchess, and I am all caught up on clues.

And I have a scarf project and a sock project that I have already put away and didn't get a picture of them.

Actually, I also have a spinning project that I put aside because I needed to find more bobbins, and I never got back to it. It's been about two years. I really should ply some stuff off the bobbins I have and finish it.

Really, all the UFO's will just have to wait, because I just got a super secret assignment to knit which I love, but can't tell you about right now (sorry). I'll share pictures when I can. But I really, really love it!

Also, I signed up for Knit Camp hosted by Marie Green, best decision I have ever made. So much fun! So many knitters! It's great! Registration is closed right now, but it will reopen in October -- I will remind you. It costs $9.95 a month, but the cost is more than worth it. Just the monthly pattern alone is worth $9.95. And Marie's patterns are awesome. I got four patterns right away just for joining Knit Camp!

I already started one of them:

IMG_0584

This is the Ellery hat pattern from Marie. Marie assured me that single skein projects don't count toward the pile of UFOs or WIPs, which I was grateful for; according to that rule, I only have 5 UFOs! Woohoo! I am using Swans Island Sterling Collection Fingering in the color Citrine. I love it.

My days will consist of two rows (five days a week) of the shawl, about an hour of the Ellery hat, and the rest of my knitting time on the super secret knitting. I'll do the shawl in the morning and the Knit Camp knitting in the evening, because s'mores. Lovely drinkable s'mores around the virtual campfire:

Smorescocktail3

Recipe Diaries S'Mores Cocktail -- yummmm!!

Have fun knitting!


Day 5 and 6 and a Few More Hours ....

I worked on getting the neckline and front bands of the Beekeeper Cardigan over the last week, and it took about 5 or 6 hours. Then I knit the left sleeve on Saturday, and I knit the right sleeve on Sunday. It took me a whole day to knit one sleeve! Like from 9 in the morning to 10:30 at night! I need to get faster.

Anyway, I succeeded in completing my Beekeeper Cardigan in about six and a half days.

BeekeeperCardigan_medium

I finished it just in time. This is it, hot off the needles, with the ends hanging out, unblocked, like a newborn baby, all wrinkly. Blocking will help it considerably, as well as weaving in the ends.

This KAL was the biggest one that I have ever been a part of. More than 1181 people endeavored to knit the cardigan in four to eight days, depending on their size (my size required 5 days, oops). So what is the big deal? Why did so many people sign up for this?

  1. It was billed as the "4-day KAL" to make a whole sweater with DK weight yarn in a textured pattern. It was intriguing, it seemed impossible, yet Marie Greene assured us that it could be done. People had done it last year. Before the KAL, Marie Greene and another test knitter did it to prove it could indeed be done. And, in the end, lots of people knit this sweater in four days. One knitter even knit four beekeper cardigans in the duration of the whole KAL, which was a little over two weeks! 
  2. It is thrilling to watch so many people helping each other to be their best, to find that they could do something that challenged them. I challenged myself, and it felt good. It also felt good to help others.
  3. When you are part of a group all working on the same project, you feel dedicated to achieving the end. You cheer each other on, you commiserate, you make friends. You want to do it again after it is done. 
  4. It is good to use Facebook to do something that enriches the world in that way, to actually look forward to posts and find success stories and to cheer each other on. 
  5. I learned a lot about sweaters and how they are made! I learned that knitters can and will knit full  sized gauge swatches with different needles, as hundreds of knitters in this KAL did! I learned that blocking makes a ton of difference in the finished sweater! 
  6. I saw beginning knitters who had knit only a little while and who had never ever made a sweater, knit this sweater with the little bee pattern and they succeeded! Wooooooohoooooo! I was so proud of them!
  7. I got a glimpse of what Marie Greene did to organize a huge KAL like this one, make it run smoothly, make everyone feel good about themselves .... all while she was putting the finishing touches on a book that she has written about sweaters. She was pretty amazing. I pre-ordered her book.
  8. I miss knitting the little bees.

Day 3 and Day 4 Accomplishment

Hey everyone, it's the crazy bee lady buzzing in again! I knit all day on Saturday and Sunday, and I finished the length on the body:

IMG_1311

On Saturday I got about halfway down, and finished the body on Sunday. Sorry my picture is a bit fuzzy. I took it about 11 last night, and I was a little fuzzy too. 

So, I just have the ribbing on the collar and front bands (about 1.5 inches) and the two sleeves. I don't think I will make it in five days, but six days should probably cover it. I'm good with that! As Marie told us, it isn't about meeting deadlines, it's about the friendship and being supportive of everyone in the group. I haven't had any problems knitting this adorable little sweater, but I have loved seeing everyone's progress on their project and commenting when I can!! 

Speaking of the group ... holey moley!! There are 1130 projects for the Beekeeper Cardigan on Ravelry! And on Facebook (because not everyone is on Ravelry, and vice versa) there are 2394 members! This BeekeeperKAL is HUGE. Huge and really fun!

Marie has said that blocking your sweater is really important, that it makes such a difference to the fit. I agree. Look at this:

IMG_1313

On the top is my Swans Island Washable Wool DK coming off the cake that it is wound into. I knit with that. On the bottom is my cast on tail that has been "relaxing" as I have knit the cardigan for the past week (well, I only knit 4 days, but it has been a week). I am amazed at how much it bloomed just lying there! It seemed, when I did my Little Bee swatch, that the knitting was a bit loose, but I got the correct gauge with size 7 needles and DK yarn, so I trusted the designer and went with it. I am so glad I did. Some people went with a smaller gauge and a larger size because they didn't like the looseness of the knitting on size 7 needles, even though it was the correct gauge. I hope their knitting doesn't bloom out of control when they block it! 

 

Happy Tour de Fleece for those participating in it! I was going to do that this year, but I got waylaid by a huge swarm of bees. Maybe next year!


Day 2 Accomplishment

I made it to the sleeve divide. It's beginning to resemble a sweater! 

IMG_1295

Yayyyyy I finally made it!

Now I will buzzzzzz down the body making only bees and NO MORE RAGLAN SLEEVE INCREASES! Do I sound bitter? A bit. Those increases and figuring out how to place the bees took lots of brain power, and it was hot out, very hot. It seemed to take me forever to figure out how many stitches to cast on for the underarm to get the bees to line up properly. I was putting in a stitch, then counting and counting, but every time it came out wrong. (Knitting with literally half a brain after my stroke is annoying sometimes.) Finally I did it correctly, and the raglan increases are behind me now!!

I love my little bees; they make me happy.

IMG_1296

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I'll knit Day 3 and Day 4 on the weekend, and Day 5 the following weekend. Marie Green, the designer of the 4-day KAL, said it was easier to spread the days out instead of doing them all together, and she is right. You keep the excitement of the project, and you never lose your mojo because you are tired of it. Hmmmmm, I should try doing that with my regular projects! I see a scheduling app in my future ....

 

 


Day 1 Accomplishment

It isn't much, but it's a start!

IMG_1289

I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get further on it. I wanted to get to the division of the sleeves, but I am about 20 rows from there. Did I mention that this sweater is knit from the top down, there is no seaming, and no buttonholes and buttons to frig with? Yayyyyyyy!

I had to take a nap. I went up to northern Maine for my brother and sister in law's 50th Anniversary on the weekend, which was fabulous! But I was more tired than I thought when I got back, and I simply fell asleep for most of my quality knitting time in the afternoon. It was so nice, on my porch, sun streaming in, not too hot (it only got to about 70°F I think) .... nice napping weather. I do not regret it.

Day 2 will commence tomorrow. Oh, did I mention that I can pick any 5 days that I want to knit? They don't have to be consecutive. I'll take a break today, knit tomorrow, take a couple days off, knit on the weekend, then see how much I have left to do. Knitting the whole sweater in four days would be awesome, five days would be great, but even if it takes more time .... I still have a sweater!

 


It Beegins.

Hehe. 

I finished knitting my Tor Grass shawl; it needs to be blocked:

IMG_1286

So pretty ❤

And I knit 95% of a sweater for my nephew's son, but it needs to be blocked before I can sew it together and knit the neck to finish it:

IMG_1287

Tommy loves tractors! This time it's a Farmall :)

And I knit the beginning of a shawl/cowl thing called  Clarissa by BullyWoolies for someone's birthday that has already gone by:

IMG_1288

Happy Birthday Lynne!

The yarn is Marrakesh, 70% silk/30% Camel from Handmaiden Fine Yarn, a wonderful Canadian company that I adore! (Happy Canada Day a bit late Canada! ) Pictures really don't do this justice. It is gorgeous. The color is called Tourmaline, a beautiful blue green that looks just like the ocean. 

However.

Everything came to a  screeching halt at 7:00 this morning as I started my Beekeepers Cardigan!!! 

Upload_medium2

Pattern: Beekeeper Cardigan by Marie Green. Yarn: the unbelievably luscious Washable Wool DK by Swans Island, 100% organic, hand dyed merino wool. So soft! So squishy! I don't usually get wool that is superwash for my sweaters, but Marie Green recommended it because the pattern requires superwash or a silk blend for getting the correct fit after blocking. This yarn feels so incredible! It is a joy to work with. I am a happy BeeeeeeeeKeeper!

The color is called Sunlight, and it is a perfect soft yellow which I really wanted. Who doesn't need a little sunlight on a gloomy day, or any day?

I have 5 days to knit this (my size is a little bit larger than the 4-day sizes). The clock is ticking. I'm crossing my fingers (except for when I am knitting ... or typing). We will see how it goes!!!

Note: Nothing will explode or otherwise disappear if I can't get it knit in four or five days. If I do get it knit in five days, Extreme Gleefulness and Possibly Ice Cream will occur. 

Other note: Blocking. It has to be blocked to fit. YIKES!


Hmmmmmm ....

I am trying to talk myself either into or out of a thing ... a thing that is both magnificent (if it works) and brutally awful (if it doesn't work) ...

A 4 Day Sweater Knitalong!!!!!

It seems impossible, but that is what makes it desirable. I kinda want to do it. I've knit a couple sweaters in two weeks before during the Ravellenic Games, but never in only 4 days, or even 8 days.

It is offered by Olive Knits. I like her 4 Day KAL she did last year, the Stillwater sweater. It looks totally like it was not knit in only 4 days. Yet, it was!

The sweater in question for 2018, the Beekeeper cardigan, is a DK weight (it's not even chunky or bulky weight! madness!!) adult sweater that is an open front cardigan (no buttons, but you can have them if you wish -- she gives you the option) with an all over texture (not stockinette! gasp!!) with 3/4 length sleeves, though you can make them full length if you want. 

From Ravelry's pattern page: "The KAL begins July 1st and runs through July 15th with a sliding timeline for different sizes (up to 8 days). Pick and choose your days (they don’t have to be consecutive)."

I believe I will see how Olive's test knitting of this year's sweater goes, and if she survives, I'll buy the pattern. Who is with me?? 

:::Think of it like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but it is really NaNoWriWe (National Novel Writing Week). Or NaSweKniWe (National Sweater Knitting Week) :::


The Unique One Knitting Group

Back when Unique One was open, there was a knitting group, and it was a lovely thing which brought people together. I thought it was about time for me to start one up on Ravelry because I missed it, and there may or may not be something in the offing in January which will necessitate having a place to talk together. 

Door open

At the end of August a designer named Elizabeth Elliot put out a notice that for a few days all her pattern sales would be donated to Hurricane Harvey relief, and I bought a few patterns, and a couple people expressed an interest in some sort of a Knit-along of her patterns for fun in January. I have been thinking about resurrecting Unique One's knitting group and thought, well, we need a place for the knit-long, so why not do it now? So I made a group. People started to show up.

If you  would like to join in on the Unique One knitting group, or if you know anyone who would, just send them to Ravelry.  Click this link to join the group, and that's it! You're in! You can say a lot or a little, or just sit and watch for a while, much like the real Unique One knitting group. But this one has the advantage of being virtual, you can be anywhere in the world, visit the group when you want to, and I even included a chat room if you want to converse with people. (I don't really know how to use  a chat room, but it sounded good. Hey, maybe for football Sunday we could use it to knit and yak and watch football together? Cool. Anyway.) 

You do have to join Ravelry and have a username, but it is free. All you have to do is sign up! Let me know if you have any problems getting a Ravelry account and I'll try to talk you through it.

 


Aaaaaand It Is September!

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

0001882806_medium2

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

Cresting Wave Shawl

FullSizeRender__83__medium

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.

IMG_0555_medium2

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.

0002799842_medium2

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!

IMG_0618_medium2

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:

IMG_0619_medium2

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.

45-2_medium2

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. 

May.flowers.08

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

Mystery in March

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!

FullSizeRender (71)

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.

01-red-candies-I

 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. 

IMG_0367    IMG_0368 (1)I love 

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.

0004434272_medium2
0004434272_medium2
0004434272_medium2
0004434272_medium2

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

IMG_0290_medium

Watch Cap by Michele Rose Orne


IMG_0290_medium

Bayside Beanie baby hats by Stacey McCrea Warner


IMG_0290_medium

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!

FullSizeRender (65)

 


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. 

FullSizeRender (45)

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:

Mysterysock1

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:

FullSizeRender (46)

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


Peace Project Progress

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

 

FullSizeRender (26)

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!

FullSizeRender (27)

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. 

  FullSizeRender (5)

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 ...

Fall Colors

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. 

HM

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:

MysteryMittebnsDone

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:

Mice 51 & 52
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.