Snow finally fell and made it really and truly winter.
Good thing I finally finished my black sweater! It’s really heavy and warm. It fits me perfectly.
Sorry for the bad picture, but it’s really hard to photograph a big black sweater, especially with one hand.
I also finished my Opal minis cowl:
I am very, very close to having the evil Bungee leg warmers done.
Thankfully, I am done with the Bungee. Hallelujah! I only had two skeins of Bungee, so I knit as far as I could with each skein of the evil yarn and continued with some black yarn I had leftover from something or other. I just have about 7” of black to finish them. This project was definitely not process knitting; I never enjoyed the process. It was all about getting the leg warmers done so I could stay warm in them! I can’t wait to put them on.
I’m pretty excited for February. The Bakery Bears are having an event for Patreon members called Valenvent, I believe. Basically, it’s a mystery knitalong that starts February 1st and ends on February 14, but you don’t have to be done when Valentine’s Day rolls around. This is the yarn that I am using for it:
Based on the yarn requirements and the needle size and length, I’m guessing it will be a cowl, or at least I’m hoping it is, because I really love cowls this year. They’re so warm and cozy.
I love this yarn! It has golden sparkles in it and is so pink and squishy.
It’s hand dyed by Potions and Purls in Rhode Island. This mini set is their “Oh Deer!” set.
It must be sparkle season in Rockport. I also got some Opal yarn that is sparkly too, and is waiting to be knit into socks:
It’s November! Time to be scared if you’re a turkey!
Typepad (which I use for my blog) was acting funny a couple weeks ago, getting worse until a couple days ago when it was hit with a big Distributed Denial of Service attack, which took down the whole site. They are working hard to get everything sorted, but it won’t look right for a bit. Please bear with us.
So, I abandoned my yellow hat I was knitting out of the last skein of Aunt Mildred’s mohair. I actually threw the yarn away, because that skein was too brittle to knit with. It was a good thing that I didn’t start with that skein, because I would have thought that it all was bad and thrown the whole lot away.
I started a shawlette out of a skein that I don’t remember where it came from. It was a navy blue hand dyed tonal yarn, which I think had nylon in it, so it must have been a sock yarn. The pattern I chose was Easy Goes It by Michelle Higgins. It was pretty fast to knit, and I added a couple inches to the pattern, because why not.
It’s gorgeous. I love this yarn! This is the yarn I spun from the 112 grams of hand dyed merino fiber. I wish you could feel how soft it is, how the colors blend together, how perfect this ball of yarn is.
I decided to knit a hat with it. After perusing the many, many hat patterns available, I decided to knit the Dean Street Hat by Nina Machlin Dayton. I put this hat pattern in my queue before I had my stroke, so over 12 years ago, but never got around to knitting it. Somehow the thought of doing all those cables threw me off knitting it because I thought it required too much attention. Oh was I wrong.
If I had bothered to simply read the pattern, I would have found that the cables are actually a pattern stitch that is easily done which leads the eye to believe that it makes cables, but it really doesn’t.
This is now one of my go-to hat patterns. It’s fun to knit, it’s easy, and I love it. And, it was a free pattern.
While I was on a handspun yarn high, I grabbed my skein of lovely goodness that I finished before the yummy brown skein, which was a beautiful rosy golden color with bits of purple and blue.
I started a pair of fingerless mittens with it. I only have two pairs of fingerless mittens, and I need more, since our house is set to a much lower temperature than in the past due to the high cost of fuel.
I’ve caked it up and started a pair of Bamboo Field Mitts by Holly Terrell. I’m about halfway up the cuff of the first one. I chose this pattern because it has some texture, but not enough to detract from the beautiful yarn.
In my last post I said I was going to knit one of the sweaters that has been burning a hole in my stash: Silver Birch by Stacey Warner. I’ve knit it before for Stacey, but I loved the pattern and the yarn so much that I needed to make one for myself.
The yarn is Fleece Artist Chinook, a 100% superwash merino that is just Y*U*M*M*Y. I adore this yarn. I set about to knit a gauge swatch even though I had knit a gauge swatch before for the same exact sweater; I found in running a yarn shop that different skeins of same yarn can vary slightly in weight, especially if they are hand dyed, as this was. Plus I needed a new coaster for my coffee cup. I chose the color Marine.
I’m about halfway up the back.
I love the color.
I hope you’re having a good November and staying reasonably warm!
Well, well, well … what have I knit or spun lately …
I finished the little cranberry red sweater:
Also I finished the green socks:
I had two skeins of dark purple Rowan Kidsilk Aura (it’s like an Aran weight of regular Kidsilk Haze that Rowan had for a while; they’ve long since discontinued it.) I decided to make some kid’s mittens with it:
The colorful wool that I was spinning turned into this 100g beautiful skein:
It’s gorgeous and I can’t wait to knit with it! The little bit of white that you see there is plied with what I had left on the bobbin. I have these little bits of yarn that didn’t get plied because I never have two bobbins run out at exactly the same moment, and I have started to ply them together. That way I use up all the yarn, and I have some novelty yarn to tie my skeins with when I am skeining off. Win win! Also you never know when you will be seized with the idea of knitting a miniature artistic chicken, so there’s that.
I still haven’t been knitting much. I’ve started a pair of socks from two skeins of Bartlett yarn in colors Denim and Medium Green Heather:
This pair of socks is actually almost done but I don’t have a picture. I hope to finish it tonight!
About a week ago I started spinning some hand dyed merino that I think I got from a giveaway at the Maritime Fiber Festival (apologies Sharon, if I got the name wrong) or possibly at the Spa Fiber Thingy. I don’t think I would have purchased the fiber, as it wasn’t really my colors. I remembered the fiber as being just brown merino but it’s not; it’s a beautiful combination of grays and browns leaning into chestnut, with a little bit of blue:
All I know for certain is that it is 100g of merino fiber dyed by Sarah Owen, because that’s what the tag said. It certainly spun up beautiful:
It’s really beautiful! Just goes to show that I should buy something different from the colors I usually do. This merino will make a magnificent soft and gorgeous merino hat that I have in mind for someone for Christmas.
It has been getting cold here and the weather makes me think I need more sweaters, so I think I’ll knit myself a couple sweaters next.There are two in particular that have really been calling my name and that are soft and cozy… but that will be for next time. Take care and happy knitting!
This pattern is Yankee Knitter #37, Top Down Roll Raglan for Kids, and I am knitting it with Lion Brand Feels Like Butta, an acrylic Aran weight yarn that feels like chenille but is a lot easier to knit with and is machine washable and dryable, which I am sure his mother will like. I’m knitting a size 2 for my great grand nephew who will turn 1 in January. I’m not sure that is what to call him; he is my niece’s grandson. Sheesh. Now I feel really old.
As usual, I am not knitting it in the order that the pattern says. I knit down to the underarm and put the sleeves on waste yarn, but then rather than knitting the rest of the body, I instead knit on the collar, which is supposed to be the last thing knit.
Then I knit one sleeve and am currently knitting the other sleeve. Why? Because I have learned from past experiences knitting top down sweaters that it is way easier to knit the collar and sleeves without having the bulk of the body in the way every time you have to turn your work. After the sleeves are knit I can breeze down the body and then BAM! Sweater’s done, make the baby warm.
I am still knitting my green socks.
I had the heel flap almost entirely knit last night but I discovered to my chagrin that I had somehow made it a stitch too wide, so I had to pull it all out and start my heel flap over again. Now it’s about half an inch long. But, two more evenings and it’ll be done.
In spinning news … after finishing spinning allllll that black wool, I started spinning much more colorful wool:
That’s about 4 ounces of some wool I dyed before I had a stroke, and I’m finally getting around to spinning it.
It’s lovely. And surprisingly, it’s kind of in the autumnal spirit. I’ll try to spin it in a two ply fingering weight and maybe I’ll get some socks out of it. Yay!
My Aunt Mildred was the only sibling of my father, and she was born around 1905 or 6. My father was born in 1907, so she was older. I remember a photo taken of the two of them, he sitting happily in a chair and she standing shyly next to him, both dressed to the nines. Aunt Mildred looked about 5 at the time. She had a frilly dress, waist length hair, and a large bow perched on top of her head.
Aunt Mildred died in 1996, and after she died her daughter in law sent me a wall hanging I had quilted for her and a box of pale yellow mohair that Aunt Mildred had, because I knit.
Swiftly fast forward to September 2022. I finally pulled the yellow mohair out to knit something with it. I sort of recognized the label, which said the yarn was from the Reynolds Yarns company. I bought Reynolds Kitten yarn when I was in college, and I think that Classic Elite bought their mohair line and renamed it La Gran, but don’t quote me on that.
Wow, I thought. This mohair looks really old. I wonder how old it is? Then I fell down the rabbit hole of finding out about old yarn …
Ravelry had stashed No. 1 Mohair by Reynolds 168 times, and there were 69 projects that used it. Of the 69, there was one woman who guessed it was from the late 50’s. She was close.
The yarn tag says it is 85% mohair and 15% vinyan. “Vinyan” is a misspelling and means anger, and there is a 2008 French-Belgian-Australian horror film which was all I could find about it. The word actually should be “vinyon”, which is a synthetic fiber made from polyvinyl chloride. The first U.S. commercial vinyon fiber produced was in 1939. It’s an Aran weight, not a fingering weight as stated in Ravelry’s database.
Back to the Internet. I found a really great website called Vintage Knit Crochet — Bits of History that had Reynolds No. 1 Mohair. Jackpot!
Reynolds No. 1 Mohair was imported from France in March, 1962 and was marketed with two full page ads in Needlecraft magazines.
The yarn was around for 11 years, and was phased out in 1973. I had thought Aunt Mildred likely bought it in 1972 or 1973, so I was probably correct. She may have bought it on sale when they were getting rid of it.
Aunt Mildred’s mohair is color 8, a lovely soft yellow, and I am knitting it up in a cabled cowl pattern called Warm Feelings, a free pattern from DROPS.
Between the Queen’s death and the Remembrance of 9/11, I was feeling a bit gloomy, so I decided to write about my knitting adventures to help you get distracted by my antics.
Having finished my Christmas knitting, I decided to spend a little time using up some of my many scraps before knitting the super secret thing for Bullywoolies and then moving on to my sweater delights.
First of all, I finished my scrappy blanket,
This is A Glimpse of Spring by Willow Canda, and I read ‘hat’ looking at the photo of it, but it is in reality a beanie. Meaning, it comes down to the top of my ears and looks ridiculous on me, so I think I will put it in my stash of hats to give away. Surely it will fit some child somewhere.
Continuing on with gray scraps, I knit a pair of mittens, which was fun because I hadn’t knit mittens in a while
Returning to my Crunkle Socks (a paid pattern by Kay Jones) knit out of Bantam Sock by Chicken Lady Fiber Arts, I finished them and admired their sparkley-ness and have worn them, but I managed a quick photo before grinning myself into a coma from all the sparkles (which are not apparent in the photo):
I had almost a full cake of Red Heart Fleece Hugs yarn, so I decided to knit a smallish baby blanket from it. I chose a Fleece Hugs pattern and cast on the required number of stitches and set out. The pattern didn’t say to put in stitch markers, so I didn’t. The knit skill level was “easy”.
This pattern has a ripple effect, meaning it has increases and decreases, making it go up and down. Which, generally speaking, is “easy” enough to do if you just follow the pattern.
This yarn is like knitting with fur, nice furry acrylic fur that really, really hides stitches extremely well, making it impossible to see your stitches at all. Before I knew it, I had knit about 5” of the blanket and thought it looked a bit weird, so I counted the stitches (really hard to do due to all the fuzziness) and found that I had inadvertently added 20 stitches to my original number cast on. T*w*e*n*t*Y.
So I briefly toyed with the idea of just throwing the yarn away because I really hated it, but then reason replaced the anger and I chose to rip it out, which was fairly difficult due to the aforementioned #%’gfk;;6^}# fuzziness of it. This time I added blasted markers to mark increases (green markers) and decreases (purple markers) to see if that will help keep it tamed. But be warned: if it doesn’t help, this blanket WILL be tossed and laughed at with glee as I dance around the kitchen. Well, ‘dance’ is stretching it; swaying from side to side waving my arms would be more like it.
You’ll see a picture if I get it done. Or you won’t, if I set it on fire.
Anyway. Hope I made you laugh. Keep calm and carry on and remember to smile!
Hi! I hope you are doing well. There is a mouse in our house. She looks pretty chuffed because there is no cat to catch her. Soon she’ll tell all her friends and we will be overrun with mice; mice are cute when there is one of them, but when they number 25,806,447,864 it is more like an army.
I have been working on my last Christmas present and will soon begin another project I can’t talk about, but I have been planning and plotting my free time knitting and it looks like it’ll be fun!
My first happy scrappy blanket is the Memory Blanket that is made out of DK and sport weight bits and bobs that I have been collecting over the years. It will be done tomorrow, August 25th, as planned. I might later decide to do a border, maybe an I-cord border, to finish it, but for now it is almost done.
After I “finished” my scrappy crescent shawl a while ago, I was left with a significant number of fingering weight scraps. I don’t have enough to make a blanket right now, but I can start one and then as I get more scraps, I‘ll add them to it.
Scrappy blankets look weird because you just add a new color when you run out of yarn, which makes it look quite wobbly, but as you are only snuggling with it when you are on the couch or in a recliner, that is fine.
I’ll be able to talk about my sock knitting adventures and my knitting video adventures in a few days! See you then! Happy knitting.
I started a scrappy crescent shawl back in February after watching WatchBarbaraKnit’s (Barbara Benson Designs) How to Knit an Easy Crescent Shawl on YouTube. It is very easy garter stitch; you increase four stitches on one row and increase two stitches on the back row and repeat those two rows until it’s deep enough or long enough or til you run out of yarn. I never run out of yarn - really, it’s a foreign thing to me - but mostly I think I will knit til it just about bores me to death and I’ll bind off. It will make a good shawl to keep warm in the mornings.
Anyway, Scrappy started off being my knit-before-bed knitting, which moved to my-chair-knitting-to-watch-TV, and then I got caught up in my Christmas knitting and poor little Scrappy forlornly sat under my end table waiting to die, or until I picked it up again. The fact that Scrappy was fairly ugly didn’t help it much. I was using odds and ends of fingering weight scrap yarn, and I found that my socks and shawls had been lacking in nice colors.
Now that my Christmas knitting is winding up, I’ve picked up Scrappy again and had to decide, do I rip him out? Or keep going? I shrugged. Scrappy is pretty ugly, but I am only wearing it to keep warm. It’s kind of like a working shawl. The stripes of many colors will be okay I guess. I decided to just increase two stitches in every row because I couldn’t keep track of whether I was on a 2-stitch row or a 4-stitch row. Well, I could keep track of it, but I didn’t really want to, being lazy and all, so I just switched at some point.
I hope you are a better parent to your scrappy project than I am. I bet you don’t call it ugly or neglect the proper knitting technique or say, “Well, it will keep me warm anyway.” I hope your scrappy project will benefit from proper planning of colors and care of proper knitting and love!
My beautiful Kai Shawl by Kristina Smiley is done, which is good, but I kinda wish it wasn’t done because I enjoyed knitting it so much. Kristina Smiley is aptly named, because knitting her design made me smile a lot, and I am sure that wearing it will make me smile too!
Of course, on the actual hottest day of the entire year, and at the hottest hour of said day, I decided it was time to block it. What an idiot.
For my birthday, I got a set of hard-ish foam interlocking blocking mat things and a cool set of blocking combs to use with it. Can I just say, blocking has become a joy and a task to be relished! Why didn’t I get this years ago?
There are many types of blocking mats on Amazon, of all different costs, as well as play mats for kids which do the same job. The difference is kids’ mats have fun colors, and knitters’ mats have inches and helpful lines for blocking curved things if you know how to put it together right. (I don’t. Yet.) But the thing that really floated my boat was this set of mats came in a handy zippered bag and stores upright in a small space! Winner!
It’s like magic to see how lace opens up like a butterfly’s wings to reveal its beauty.
Well, it would be easier if I had the kids’ mats so you could see it instead of seeing the lines and stuff, but trust me, it’s beautiful.
My Kai Shawl should be dry soon in this heat, but the humidity will slow it down a bit. And I can’t wear in this heat anyway. But it will start getting cooler at the end of this month and I will wear the heck out of it then!
“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.” — Georgia O’Keefe
I am really enjoying knitting the Kai Shawl by Kristina Smiley. The motifs remind me of flowers separated by bands of stockinette or garter stitch. It’s easy enough that I can watch TV while I knit, but it’s pretty enough to keep me interested too.
This yarn is wonderful, as I mentioned before. The speckles of bright pink mixed with a light smattering of purple and blue floating over a sea of white is a perfect canvas for the flower motifs, which will show up better when I block it. I love the colors of Expression Fiber Arts yarn.
I never knit with yak and silk lace weight yarn before. I’ve knit with 100% yak and with 100% silk, but knitting with 50% each yak and silk is the best of both worlds. Both fibers are very soft, breathable and static resistant. Yak is also very absorbable as are all wools, and yak down is the ultimate in softness.
Unfortunately, silk pupae are killed in the process of making the silk that their cocoons are formed from. However, many pupae are a snack food in China, South Korea and Thailand. I hadn’t really thought about all those little silk worm pupae dying, so probably in the future I’ll try to get tencel or bamboo to pair with my luxury fibers. (That’s assuming that I’ll be able to afford luxury fibers ever again.) But I am enjoying knitting this yak silk yarn to the utmost, and I will love wearing it!
Hey everyone! I’m back. Sorry I have been gone so long; I took some time off from my blog. I’ve been knitting on Christmas presents so I couldn’t really show anything.
Pogo left us on July 5 this year. It’s very sad and I miss her like crazy. It’s the first time that we haven’t had a cat since we lost Dippy about twenty years ago, and it feels really weird. I keep catching myself looking for her or thinking I’ll get her some tuna, and then I remember she’s gone. I may be biased, but I think Pogo was the best cat in the world, and she lived to be twenty years old, so I guess she thought we were pretty cool too.
Anyway. Let’s talk about glorious knitting, shall we? I know that you are on the edge of your seat, waiting to hear what I have been knitting. I’ll tell you what I knit for Christmas presents after New Years, when winter is stretched out before us and we have little to talk about, and Christmas presents will be a good topic to fill the time. But I have done a little other knitting.
I knit some baby things, a hat and sweater for one baby
and a hat and sweater for another baby,
and six little pairs of baby socks and a sweater for my great niece’s baby son.
For myself, I bought some merino/bamboo yarn from Chicken Lady Fiber Arts in Colorado in the color Pink Peppermint and knit a cowl:
I finally caked up some yarn I have been hoarding forever and started a triangular shawl with it. It’s from Expression Fiber Arts (they make luscious yarn), and it’s a lace weight 50% yak down and 50% silk that just feels incredibly yummy:
I wish you could touch this shawl to experience how wonderful it feels. It’s like a warm, soft, light cloud. I can’t wait to put it around my neck. I might just wear it all fall and winter. Maybe spring too.
The pattern is called Kai Shawl by Kristina Smile.
Today I cast on another WIP, a pair of socks. This is another Chicken Lady Fiber Arts in Bantam Sock, which is very sparkly, because I need more sparkle in my life. It’s 92% superwash merino and 8% lurex (sparkle!) in the PIK (Politically Incorrect Knitters) color. It actually reminds me of collegiate colors, except for the sparkle. Maybe it’s Hogwarts School of Wizardry? Wizards would have sparkle!
So that’s me, all caught up. I’ll be done Christmas knitting at the end of August, and I promise from then on it will be all knitting all the time, though I’m sure it’s dry as dust to most people. I’ll see what I can do to make it more exciting!
The gloves for which “Pam’s Gloves” are named were originally bought in Doolin, Ireland at O’Brien’s Craft’s, because Pam’s hands were terribly cold when she, Kevin and Joseph took a trip to Ireland many years ago, long before my stroke.
She wore them a lot, and they eventually wore out. I took them and made a pattern from them to knit her another pair (the original pair were of dark brown wool, and I think that my copy also was dark brown wool). Unfortunately they came out too small and Pam never wore them much. I was thinking Pam needed another pair, in a slightly bigger size, so I started these green ones in Donegal Tweed, because Pam had visited the mill that produced that in Ireland. But then I had my stroke, and it languished unknit for 11 years.
Recently I found one finished glove and just the cuff of the other one when I was cleaning out my stash. I decided that since this year was going to be about getting rid of my stash, I needed to finish it.
I knew that I had written down my pattern notes many years ago, before my stroke, BUT that was on an Apple Mac (I think it was my tangerine iMac, that tells you how long ago it was) and I used Appleworks, which wouldn’t open now except in some weird text in GoodReader and the chart which the whole pattern depended on wouldn’t open at all. Sigh. So I had to make the chart from the existing glove.
I ended up using Stitchfiddle.com to make the chart, and the glove came out relatively well, and almost the same size as the one I knit before my stroke. I gave the gloves to Pam for Christmas and she loves them. She says they fit just like the originals gloves did.
I did write the pattern for the gloves and was going to make it available here on Demonic Progress, but I found the website for O’Brien’s Crafts. They are still there and still selling children’s mittens that use that pattern. I think that they also have adult size mittens and gloves, but there is only so much that you can put on a website! So, if you want a pair of these gloves, I encourage you to take a look at their website and contact them to see if they have gloves and if they ship to the USA. We should all support craftsmen and small businesses.
The leaves are getting more colorful with every passing day here in mid coast Maine.
About three years ago, I saw a illustration of a beautiful young woman with autumn colored leaves in her auburn hair, done up in a messy updo, intense green eyes, and with the most beautiful, long, ribbed, soft-looking scarf wrapped around and around her neck. I immediately wanted to knit that scarf.
The artist behind my obsession is Morgan Davidson, and you can see her art at Morgan Davidson Illustrations on Tumbler.com. She has lots of gorgeous work there. Go check her out!
Well. My scarf. I immediately got six skeins of Swans Island All American Collection in a sport weight in the color Honey, and put it in a bin. I was busy just then, I had Christmas knitting to get done, and one thing led to another, yadda yadda yadda, and before I knew it, three years had whizzed by.
I still really wanted that scarf. So, I wound my balls of yellow yarn up while watching TV, cast on 70 stitches on size 4 needles, and proceeded to knit two, purl two forever. It’s wonderful TV knitting and it makes my heart glad every time I look at it.
Have you ever knit anything to hold an image, book, place or experience in your heart forever? If you have, I hope it has made you as happy as my scarf is making me. Happy Fall!
I recently finished this:
The pattern is Pitter-Pat Scarf by Lisa Hannah Fox, and the yarn is Cloudborn Superwash Highland Worsted, 100% wool, 200 yards/100g, 2 skeins color 31-104 Grey Heather and 2 skeins color 31-005 Charcoal Heather.
I hadn’t knit anything in double knitting since years before I had my stroke. I bought the pattern and the yarn and then put off knitting it because I was a bit scared to do it. What if I couldn’t remember how to double knit? What if, because of my stroke, I kept getting confused and messed it up horribly?
Finally I just did it. To my delight, I found that it all came back, nothing got messed up, and it was not only easy to knit, but fun too. Double knitting can be used not only for scarves, hats and mittens, but also for household items like pot holders, hot pads, changing pads for a baby, baby blankets, and throws.
It seems like it would be a great way to use up scraps of yarn that are endlessly accumulated by knitters. Who wouldn’t like a double-knit cotton wash cloth with a sheep on it and a bar of homemade goat milk soap for Christmas??
If you want to learn double knitting, or re-learn it as the case may be, you can find tons of videos on YouTube; just search for double knitting.
Now my brain is whirling with ideas. I urge you to try double knitting! Just start with something small, and turn it into a key chain fob, or hang it up as a mini wall hanging. I guarantee you will become addicted!
July is on it’s way out, to a rainy finish, and I have knit some things from my stash, which makes me feel very virtuous. Also, like everything else, the prices of yarn have been going up, which makes my large stash resemble a gold mine in my husband’s eyes.
The photos show them in an unblocked state. When I knit a blue pair in September 2008, I finished weaving in the ends while I was out on an Isaac Evans knitting cruise. I had blocked one mitten before I left, but I hadn’t blocked the other one. Why? Don’t know. Anyway, I noted that when I held the unblocked mitten hand up to the wind, I could feel it blowing through the fingering weight Shetland wool easily, making the mitten largely useless. But, when I held the blocked mitten hand up to the wind, the wind didn’t get through the mitten. My hand stayed warm and cozy. Blocking does Shetland wool a world of wonders!
I loved knitting this pattern as much this time around as I did last time around. It’s a great pattern and a lovely mitten. It only took about a week to knit. You can look it up in your old Interweave magazines (come on, you know you have them!) or you can buy the pattern on Vogue Knitting’s website.Click here to buy.
I knit a whimsical bunny hat from my stash as well:
This hat is unblocked too. I have a load of blocking in my future, it seems. I made this hat out of a skein of Regia Silk in a denim color and a skein of navy blue Wildfoote. I have a middling amount of single 50 gram skeins of sock yarn; this is what you do with them!
The pattern is Dominique Trad’s Whimsikal Hat. Click here to buy it. I also bought her two hats based on Easter egg decorations, called Pisanki and Bazie, which also use fingering weight yarn, so you might see them appear here someday.
So, I am listening to the rain and working on my Color Affection shawl, knit of more stash. I’ll tell you all about it later. Take care, and happy knitting!
July has been a funny month. First, it’s really cold and rainy - on July 5, we actually turned the heat on! Then, it’s hot and humid, making it really hard to knit much.
I finished my version of the Fireworks pullover, but I did NOT try it on. It’s upstairs ready to block now. My version has less fireworks and more plain stockinette because it was too hot to think:
Right now I am knitting a pair of mittens that I knit once before. I made them in blue before, but this time I am knitting them in Harrisville’s New England Shetland in the color Grass. The pattern I’m using is Green Autumn by Jared Flood. I remember that I loved knitting them before, around 2008 I think it was, and so far they continue to make me happy.
But, I am only on the cuff. It may get worse as I go on! Or get even better! We’ll see.
I am so excited for the Fireworks knit along! I’m going to use Universal Yarn’s Deluxe Worsted (100% superwash wool) because it was on sale at WEBS, so I picked out a deep green color since I don’t have a dark green sweater:
I got gauge on the first try! I took a chance that I was knitting tightly, so I went up a size needle from a size US6/4.0mm to a size US7/4.5mm. I am ready to cast on for July 1!
In other news, I finished my Double Scoop Shawl and I like it a lot:
To quote Bill and Ted, be excellent to each other! And happy knitting!
Today is a lovely day. There are flowers on my table:
The baby sweater came out cute:
My Double Scoop Shawl is going well:
But the big news is the annual 4-day knit-along that starts on July 1! So exciting! The sweater this year is called Fireworks, in celebration of getting through this COVID mess and getting vaccinated and being able to be with actual people actually, and it’s all just pretty exciting.
The sweater is a circular yoke-necked pullover in worsted or DK yarn, designed by Marie Greene. She suggested using a tweed yarn, because the little flecks would be like the paper bits that fireworks leave behind, but you can of course use non-tweed yarn if you want to (I am using non-tweed yarn anyway). There is a description of the event here including pictures of the sweater!
I and my Knit Camper friends are pretty excited for July 1 to start. Many have swatched for gauge already. My yarn isn’t here yet, so I’ll have to wait, but that is just as well because it will give me time to wrap up my shawl knitting and my spinning, and then I can dedicate my time to Fireworks.
Get out and enjoy the sunshine! Happy knitting!
It’s summertime! There are flowers everywhere, outside and in my house:
Notice the wee socks in the last picture?
It’s an adorable little crew necked, short sleeved sweater that I am knitting out of Lion Brand 24/7, a 100% cotton yarn. It will be a cute sweater for summer! The pattern is Popsicle Pullover by Marie Greene. The pattern was free in Knit Camp, but it costs $10 to buy. It would be a good project to use to get rid of worsted and DK scraps if you have some lying around. The pattern has a long sleeved version as well as short sleeve, and it fits kids from newborn up to 10 years old.
I finally finished the Compton Aran Pullover! Here it is in all its glory:
It was very rewarding to finish and it will be a lovely warm sweater for Mr. Yarndemon this winter.
Another thing I have been knitting is the Double Scoop Shawl by Marie Greene. (It was the free pattern this month in Knit Camp. Join by June 21st, 2021, and save 40% on either the monthly membership $24.95 or the annual membership $249 with the code FRIEND40.)
I was able to destash a bit using a skein of mauve Sockaholic Serene in Imperial Barley and a skein of Expression Fiber Arts Resilient Sock hand dyed in a color I forget the name of, but it is pretty, and it uses a lot of orange and blue with lots of other colors:
I have been spinning. I spun the rest of the blue fiber, and I loved it, but when I started plying it, I simply adored it! It is spinning up to a fingering weight, and there is so much color in this yarn. The color has a lot of depth.
I know what I want to make out of this. I’ll surprise you!
We are farming potatoes:
These lilacs are on the table as I write this, and I occasionally lean in for a rejuvenating whiff. I also have tulips, and they are beautiful.
I abandoned the Dan Brown book. I may go back to it later, but really, I probably won’t. Instead, I started The Hobbit again, on audiobook, which is my bedtime listening. Usually it makes me go to sleep readily, but last night it didn’t. Oh well.
Yesterday I borrowed a Kindle book to actually read, The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History by Kassia St. Clair.
It has been on my want-to-read list for a while, and I got it for free yesterday. Out of the blue, Amazon sent me a credit for this particular book; I don’t know why, but I’ll take it! I haven’t started reading it yet, but it sounds good.
My Aran sweater is progressing. I have the back done, and the front is 85% done, so in about one or probably two days, the front will be complete.
Spinning has been really slowwwww, but I have only a little ball of fluff left to spin, and I have found as I get to the end of something that has been fun to spin, it’s hard to finish it. So, I have spun, but only a little.
My primrose throw which I have been crocheting has also been going slow. I got the top row of half-primroses done and four whole primroses in the next row:
It’s really pretty, but I think I need to finish the Aran sweater before I crochet much on it. Also I think I need to take it out to the table so I can make myself do at least one primrose a day, in the morning. That would be good.
This spring we did a major overhaul of Stuff that was cluttering our house, put things back on shelves, and in the process re-discovered items that I had thought lost. One of them was this:
By the way, this little sculpture is also a box:
Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Keep smiling, keep knitting, crocheting, spinning or reading, and look up some good lamb chop recipes for supper.
I love Bugs Bunny. Just sayin'.
Anyway. This is what is going on in Beth World.
I've been reading actual, paper, not-on-a-screen books! I know, seems pretty unusual, but that is what I have been doing. The most recent one I finished was a gift from Hillary. It's called The Kingdom of Back, by Marie Lu.
Fantasy lovers and music lovers will enjoy this book. Leopold Mozart and his wife Anna had two children; everyone knows about Wolfgang Amadeus but few know about his sister, Marie Anna, known as Nannerl. This is her story. It is also a story of identity, of mystery, of adventure in a beautiful but dark land named by the children as the Kingdom of Back, ruled by an enigmatic being known as Hyacinth. This was a great book and I highly recommend it!
I started reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. The only thing I want to say about it right now (I'm only on chapter 20) is that Dan Brown writes really really short chapters -- about 3 pages long. The main characters are trying to get back a code that can not be broken, which is a threat to national security. Also there is a Spanish professor who will be in danger and the female main character will apparently save him. Dan Brown's books are like a bag of potato chips; an easy read, a good beach read, one that will be enjoyed but easily forgotten. Yet, I am reading it.
In other news, I have been spinning:
That's the Big Ball of Blue that is almost three quarters of the way done. It is a true fingering to a lace weight and I'll have about 1000+ yards of it when I am done. I'm thinking it will be a good sized shawl. It's an outstandingly gorgeous color!
I ave also done a bit of knitting on the blue Aran sweater for Mr. Yarndemon:
I am around four inches from being done the back. It has been a slow job, but it's mostly Pogo's fault. I knit on it in the evenings, but Pogo usually sleeps on my lap in the evenings, thus the slow progress.
All. Your. Fault. Just kidding, I love you, Pogo.
I like knitting this aran quite a bit though. The yarn is not as heavy, though it is an aran weight, but since it doesn't have much or any lanolin in it, it is far less heavy. Also the cable patterns are largely memorizable and easy to remember, so when I get a chance to knit on it, it hums right along.
Lastly, I have been crocheting again, and it is all Arne and Carlos' fault. I found their Primrose (Gunnhild) Throw when I was looking for a granny-square-but-different sort of thing to crochet with all of this:
That is all my DK-ish weight yarn scraps. I loved the picture of the Primrose Throw on their website, and I loved how simple it is to do -- only three rounds per piece, so only three colors, and it is coming out so pretty! Don't look too close though, I made a few errors a couple times but I fudged it and kept on going.
I made full sized primroses to see how wide I needed it to be, and now I am doing half-primroses to make a flat edge for the top. It is really fun to choose colors for a primrose, see how it comes out, and watch the blanket grow. I usually make about three or four primroses a day, so it will take a while to finish the blanket. I don't even know if it will be done this year. But, I am quite enjoying it and love how it looks!
As soon as I bought the pattern and started the first row, Arne and Carlos came out with another beautiful blanket pattern, using squares that are bigger and easily joined. That one is called Audun Blanket with Small Floral Squares. I have already bought it, and if I have enough worsted weight yarn, I'll probably start that one as well.
These flowers were a suprise from Mr. Yarndemon! They are so pretty! Have a great day reading, spinning, knitting, crocheting or getting out in the garden!
Fiadh is blocked and came out fabulous:
The Northwest Passage Shawl is finished and blocked:
I’m working on the Compton aran sweater for Mr. Yarndemon that I started the same time as Fiadh. I have about 20 of the 70 centimeters done for the back, so it is a little less than a third done. It is my “day time” knitting.
My “night time” knitting is an alpaca boucle blanket in a very dark gray, so it is a good thing that it’s all knit. It is about half done. I started it around Thanksgiving last year, but set it aside to do something or other. It’s time to finish it. I’ll show you a picture of it when I get around to wrangling a huge woolly blanket into submission. The good thing is, it’s not as heavy as Fiadh was, and it’s a helluva lot softer! Unfortunately, Pogo loves sleeping on it, so I can’t get much done after she gets in my lap. The things we do for our cats, eh?
Have fun knitting in the sunshine!
Hello happy people! After my last post, I grit my teeth and kept on knitting. We got some new chairs for the living room, which meant that I could knit Fiadh in my lap with my legs stretched out, and that made it much easier to knit. I finished the first sleeve:
This is what the back looks like:
I'm liking it a lot more. I have one more sleeve, the button bands and collar, and a pocket lining to knit and then I'm done! Just in time for warm weather!
Speaking of weather, what a wild ride the weather the last week or so has been. Temperatures almost at 60°F, then dropping down to 19F°, then back up again. At least it will be warm again in a week or so.
I'm about 54 rows (and they are long rows) from the end of my Northwest Shawl, which means it will be another week or two before I am totally done, but having Fiadh and Northwest Shawl getting done at sort of the same time fills me with glee. Also, I'll finish the cowl I started with a bit more vim and vigor and it will go fast, I am sure. I really like it, and I'm sure that having two endless projects going on at the same time too was discouraging.
I've been enjoying Arne and Carlos' Knit for a Bit YouTube videos. It's almost like having a real knitting circle. Arne and Carlos are having a KAL for knit Easter eggs that sounds really fun! You can use up scrap yarn that you have too, so it's a good way to go through your stash. The knitalong starts March 17. The pattern is $4.00 and you can find it here: Easter Eggs by Arne & Carlos.
I've been having a blast spinning. I finished my fine skein of the copper-dyed light green yarn:
It really is green, not blue. Sorry.
I absolutely love it. It is so soft and light and has a nice fuzzy halo! It reminds me of a kitten ... a little, soft, light green kitten.
After I did the light green skein, I spun about 45g of purple merino with stellina in it.
I love how it looks when it is done, but having spun a little bit of it, I know that I will never spin anything with stellina in it again.
The stellina got everywhere; all over me, up my nose, on the floor. It just wanted to make my whole world sparkle. Luckily, it was remarkably easy to clean up, but I didn't really enjoy it. I did love my little skein of yarn though!
Before setting the twist
When it was all dry and skeined
I spun this fairly thick in a two ply, so it's worsted to Aran weight, and I got about 40 yards. I love it.
Happy knitting and spinning, my joyous friends! Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy St. Gertrude's day tomorrow! I'll be enjoying knitting my Easter eggs starting soon!
Edited to add: Pogo says Happy Gertrude's Day too. Any day that celebrates cats, especially eating mice, is fine in her book.
My squishy, luscious, brick-colored yarn is done, and I am very happy with it:
I got 13.02 ounces of yarn. I have no idea what it was for weight of fiber to start with. I really am sort of amazed at how even it is, and I can't wait to knit it! I thought I would have less yarn than I have, so I will have to look again at my pattern choices before I decide what to make.
I jumped right into my bag of roving to see what to spin next. I chose a small amount of this:
That is 45g of some kind of fiber that is not merino (might be Romney?), and I think it was dyed in the dye left from my copper dying, as it was not exhausted ... but it was nearly exhausted, as this is only lightly dyed. It is a very light green, almost white. I don't think my iPhone takes very good color pictures, as everything looks quite washed out. I do try to correct the colors, but I suck at it.
I will spin this very fine if I can, to make 2-ply sock yarn, but as I will only have 40g or so of the resulting yarn, I'll have to spin something else to put it with. Or maybe I'll make kid's fingerless gloves. We'll see.
It's kind of nice to spin 2-ply anything, after spinning a 3-ply yarn. But I do love how squishy and even the 3-ply yarn is!
My knitting has suffered this week because I hate all of it. I'm on the first sleeve of Fiadh which is always trying to escape my lap because it is huge and heavy, my cowl of my own design that I started is easy but boring, and Northwest Passage shawl is far, far too endless -- after I finished the 13 repeats of the chart I was knitting, I discovered to my dismay another chart of 24 rows to do five times or so, and then there is yet another chart to do after that one. It's already too long and it's going on and on and on. It doesn't look anything like the photo, which makes me wonder where I went wrong? So I am harrumphing big time and am contemplating not knitting anything for a week or so because I hate it all.
Happy spinning though! Even though I probably won't knit with it!
I got sucked in to YouTube videos this week, all kinds of them. History videos, cooking videos, knitting and purling videos, cat videos, you name it. But I did get some knitting and spinning progress done.
Fiadh is still going slowly, but at least I am working it in smaller pieces now. I split it into three pieces for the back and two fronts, knit the back, and I am almost done the left front.
It is an armful of sweater to knit and I'm glad it is February, but it is beautiful and I'm enjoying it now.
The lace weight scarf thing I was knitting in the evening ran out of yarn scraps, so I am waiting to make more yarn scraps. It is hibernating. Meanwhile, I picked up the Northwest Passage shawl that had been hibernating, and I have been working on that in the evenings. I am just finishing the thirteenth repeat of the pattern making up the bulk of the shawl, and then after I knit 87 more rows to finish it off I'll be done. Woohoo!
As it is knit out of a sport weight, it is nice and cozy. The cones of Ragg yarn I am using got some hard wear on the bottom, so as I near the end there are a lot of breaks in the yarn, and there are a lot of ends to weave in. I don't feel very good about giving it away as a gift or a prayer shawl, because the chances of one of the ends letting go and making a little hole would be not so comforting. I'll just keep it for myself unless somebody claims it knowing that it might get a hole.
My spinning is coming right along.
Tomorrow I'll ply these three bobbins into my fifth little skein of squishy, bulky weight wool. There are two more skeins to make, and then I'll be done! I'm getting a teensy bit bored with spinning this color, although when another skein is done I always feel happy because my yarn looks so darned awesome. I'll be done with red/brown merino in under two weeks though, so I'll get out another bunch of fiber from my stash and start spinning that.
I started a new project yesterday using this fabulous yarn:
It has baby camel in it! I love baby camels!
It is the softest, most luxurious yarn you can imagine. It's also very well-behaved for a baby: it never tangles, never splits, and all the stitches lie perfectly waiting to be knit. I love it.
My yarn ball winder, however, is very very very naughty. It broke when I was winding this, and I fixed it, managing to get all but a little of it done, which I had to wind by hand. You know you're in trouble when you start hearing a loud sound like grinding gears come out off your ball winder. Sigh. I ordered another one.
So that is what I have been doing. Breaking my equipment, making slow progress, enjoying my spinning. Stay away from YouTube videos everyone! Happy knitting and spinning!
Today is one of the first days that feels like winter this year. Snow is falling and the temperature here in Rockport is a chilly 18°. I just wanted to share my progress on Fiadh, and my spinning, and tell you about using up leftover bits of laceweight yarn.
I decided to let Compton hibernate, as Fiadh is a beast in every way. It's big and heavy and I usually only get about 4 rows a day knit because of all the cables (and it's big... and heavy.) It's size and heaviness isn't really the sweater's fault though; it is huge because of the size of me, and because of the way it is knit: all in one piece, seamlessly.
So although it's a beast right now, I will be glad not to have to sew all those seams to finish it. Actually, I don't mind sewing seams and finishing a sweater, but I think it's kind of cool to see how Marie Greene does it all without sewing any seams.
I was dismayed when this happened, but it is a sign of heavy sweater + little cables on a circular needle:
Luckily I have a *few* extra needles. Ahem.
The bit of green there is where the pocket goes. Very exciting! Also, I am knitting Fiadh using no cable needles. Knitting cables without a cable needles is both faster (when it works) 80% of the time, and slower (when you try a cable 2805335 times, swearing, and give up and use a cable needle) 20% of the time.
I took a week off spinning but today I picked it up again. I just finished a second bobbin and got ready for the third bobbin. Then I'll have to dig out the rest of the fiber and separate it into thirds and finish filling the bobbins.
I'm eagerly awaiting what the three ply will look like; I am anticipating it to be bulky (or at least Aran weight) and very squishy. I want to make mittens and hats out of it.
Finally, I am using evening TV knitting time knitting a scarf/wrap/stole thing using up my laceweight scraps. I took a size 4/3.50mm circular needle and cast on about 200-ish stitches (204 actually) and started knitting in the round. Then I added another color and started to knit helically to avoid having a jog at the beginning of the round.
I started out with tan merino/silk which I had quite a bit of, and pink wool. Then I switched to aqua blue just last night when I ran out of pink. This is how far I've gotten in about a month, about 18 or 20 inches -- laceweight takes a bit of time to get anywhere. After the blue runs out, I'll have to go excavating to find my bag of laceweight bits to see what colors will be next. I figure I'll knit until I get to around six feet (or put it into hibernation til I get more bits of laceweight yarn). If I have enough bits, I'm guessing it'll take me until spring. Or, in Tom Baker's Dr. Who style, I could knit all year and have a 17 foot scarf. Wild!
I started spinning on January 2nd. I've finished up some red and black wool that has been a monkey on my back for the last year:
Not sure what it will become. It is not particularly soft yarn, so it will probably be something for me. Maybe socks, you can never have too many socks.
The big skein on the left was spun last year or so. The two skeins on the right that are better spun were spun over the last two weeks. The last little skein above Pogo's tail was Navajo plied (making a 3-ply) out of what remained after I finished the two-ply skeins. I'm getting better at Navajo plying..
So then I started spinning about 50g of merino top that I dyed years before my stroke (2007? Dunno.) using a pile of copper pennies. That was really fun! Who knew that copper pennies made the color of paper currency! Anyway, the wool came out a soft green color. I have about half of it spun.
On the knitting front, I am knitting two Aran sweaters at the same time, weirdly. The first one is Compton by Pat Menchini, which I am knitting out of some blue wool that Rachel had. I had promised myself that I would start it in January; who knows when I'll finish it.
The second Aran is the January KAL by Marie Greene; it is called Fiadh. I got the pattern free because I'm in Knit Camp, and I had enough Bartlettyarn in my stash, so I figured what the heck -- it's a good way to use up nine skeins of my stash! It's a seamless sweater, knit from the bottom up, with pockets (though I will only knit one pocket, because the right hand pocket is pretty much useless for me). I have been picking away on it. Because it is all one piece, I had to cast on a lot of stitches and I almost gave up right there! But I didn't.
This is what they look like so far:
I really don't wear off white sweaters, but this is an Aran sweater and my yarn was this color, and I can dye it afterward if I don't like it. But ... I'm really quite lazy, so I'll probably just wear it the color that it is. At least it will go with everything!
Also, I am learning to knit my cables without a cable needle, and the cables go much faster that way. I'm sure there are tons of videos out there, but the way I am learning it is through videos that Marie Greene made for Knit Camp. I am learning a lot!
This is the story of the tan mystery yarn from Nancy.
First, I knit a shawl to use it up:
That left this:
So. I knit a 2 x 2 ribbed scarf to use it up:
After six feet, I stopped knitting. That left this:
Crochet has always been touted as a yarn-eater, so I found a crocheted doily for the table and crocheted this:
It's 16 inches across. Sixteen.
I was left with this:
Sigh. So I gave up. The yarn won.
And then on Thanksgiving, I found in my yarn chest in the living room ... another cone of this freaking yarn! Arggghhhh! So the tale continues.
I finished a few things recently. It feels good to finish things!
First, in an attempt to work through The Yarn That Won’t Be Gone, a.k.a. the tan mystery yarn from Nancy, I decided to knit a shawl from it. I chose Barley Water by Melanie Rice, since it can be knit on any yarn and any amount of yarn. It says to knit garter stitch until you have about 20% of the yarn left .... hmmm.
My shawl was getting pretty big, and the yarn was getting less and less, so I decided it was time to end it. The shawl has a very pretty lace pattern at the bottom, and it looks like barley (thus the name). It came out pretty nice.
I wish I knew what was in this mystery yarn. It might be an acrylic blend, blended with silk? Linen? Anyway, it feels wonderful.
The next project was also a shawl, that I have been waiting to knit for quite some time. It is the Sweetcake Shawl by Marie Greene. I bought two skeins of Wisdom Yarns Angora Lace, 100g = 462 yards, 60% merino wool, 10% angora, 30% nylon; color 207 Ballerina; and I put it together with a small amount of grey fingering weight 100% cashmere for contrast color (sometimes it pays to keep those little balls of luxury yarn just in case!). As soon as I cast on with this yarn, I fell in love with it. It was so snuggly and warm and so soft, like a kitten. I finished this shawl in record time.
I loved that yarn so much that I bought another skein of it to make myself a pair of socks, which I am wearing right now and they feel so snuggly warm and soft!
This is color Aloe. There are a lot of self-patterning yarns in various colors and even more in solid colors. The yarn is a superwash merino, but because of the angora, it has to be hand washed, which is weird, but I suspect the reason they used superwash merino is for the softness of it. Still, I wonder how many people read “superwash” and never read that it is hand wash? I hope not to many. The yarn is on close out at WEBS for $9.99 per 100g skein last I checked. I wish I could buy all the skeins!
October is going by fast! Halloween is almost here!
I knit some hats in October. First, I knit the Gluma beanie (free pattern) with some sock yarn scraps:
The Gluma beanie is always a fun knit.
Next, I knit the Belle Fille pattern (free pattern) out of some mystery yarn on a cone:
Belle Fille is a fabulous hat pattern I can see knitting this many more times in the future. However, the yarn I chose to knit this one is too thin (it's a heavy fingering/light sportweight) and I think it is mostly acrylic or something. It's a great yarn for cowls and shawls, but not for hats.
Then I knit the Intersectionality hat out of leftover mohair blend:
It's nice. The pattern gets lost in the many colors.
Finally, I knit a Helicopter Hat from scraps. The Helicopter Hat is so mindless ... good TV knitting.
I also knit a pair of mittens from scraps:
I am going through all of my scraps!!!
I also finished Sweater #6, the Soundtrack Pullover by Marie Greene. This was supposed to be the 4-day knitalong sweater started back in July, but I didn't start it til mid-September and I finished it on October 15, so it took me a whole month to knit it despite being worsted weight and mostly stockinette. I knit other things while I was knitting it, but .... it just took me awhile. I got bored with it after the fun part was done in the yoke. But! I love wearing it! And it came out looking good!
The pattern is Soundtrack Pullover by Marie Greene, and I used Swans Island Natural Colors worsted, 100% merino wool, 250 yards in 100g, color Teal for the main color, and Done Roving Kidding Ewe, worsted weight, 300 yards per 100g, 55% mohair 45% wool, color Neon Mayhem for the contrast color.
I am very pleased with my Soundtrack ❤️.
Right now I am currently knitting two shawls, one out of the same tan yarn on that blasted cone (and the cone still won't be finished dagnabit!), and one out of a fabulous new-to-me merino and angora fingering weight yarn with a tiny bit of 100% cashmere fingering for contrast. I love both these shawls and I can't wait to show them to you!