Falling into Autumn

The leaves are getting more colorful with every passing day here in mid coast Maine.

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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.
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https://morgandavidsonart.tumblr.com//post/40279155271/fall-frazzled-girl-colored-pencil

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.

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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.

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I’ve got one and a half balls used so far, and I am hoping to make it 84” long or so. I did mention I wanted a looooooooong scarf. 

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! 


Double Trouble

 

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Cat-1185453_640(Image by Gitti Lohr from Pixabay )


I recently finished this:

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It’s a double knit scarf for my niece in Rhode Island, who recently became a Registered Nurse, and I am enormously proud of her and thrilled that she not only did this, but during the pandemic too. 

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!


Stash Busting Finish To July

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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.

Anyway.

I knit these Green Autumn mittens last week:
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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:

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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!

 


Hot & Cold

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:

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I started spinning 44g of hand dyed fiber that I found. I think it’s dyed by Linda Dyak years ago. I’m not sure where the rest went, but I found 44g of it.

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It’s so pretty. Not sure what I will do with it, but something will occur to me I am sure.

Speaking of spinning, I used some of the red that I dyed and spun to make a hat:BC88D322-9328-4EC1-8374-23AF3C64E5D8
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It’s quite fulfilling to knit something with my handspun. I love making every single stitch!

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. 
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But, I am only on the cuff. It may get worse as I go on! Or get even better! We’ll see.

Have a good day happily knitting and spinning, and stay cool or warm as required. 
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So Excited!

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:

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I knit a swatch that was 20 sts by 28 rows (inside the moss stitch border) and measured it:

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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:

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Instead of doing the bobble cast off as it was written (I tried it, but my bobbles looked like crap),  I opted for a crochet bind off and added beads: 

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Unfortunately it is too hot to wear!

 I finished plying my blue yarn that I spun, and set the twist:
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This blue yarn is gorgeous! I have a pattern picked out for it, but I’ll tell you later. 

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I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my gardener, Mr. Yarndemon:

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Summer flowers always strike me with their beauty:

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So pretty!

To quote Bill and Ted, be excellent to each other! And happy knitting!


A Little Progress, and Fireworks!

Today is a lovely day. There are flowers on my table:

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The sun is out, and I am on my porch writing a blog post.

The baby sweater came out cute: 

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My Double Scoop Shawl is going well:

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It’s so pretty and so easy to knit. I think the back is as pretty as the front:

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My spinning is about 2/3 plied. I have another bout of plying to do and then it’s done:

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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!

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The Living Is Easy

It’s summertime! There are flowers everywhere, outside and in my house:

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I love flowers.

Notice the wee socks in the last picture?

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These are some itty bitty baby socks for a baby boy. I intended to make one pair, but before I knew it, there were four pairs! The socks will go with this little knitted sweater:

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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:

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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:

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Here’s what it looked like when I started:

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One person in Knit Camp called the pattern stitch meditative, which pretty much sums it up. It really is relaxing to knit.

 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. 
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I know what I want to make out of this. I’ll surprise you!

We are farming potatoes:

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Farming makes Pogo soooooo tired:

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I hope you can get out and enjoy the sunshine! 


Spring Has Totally Sprung

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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.

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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.

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Then there are just two sleeves and the neck and sewing it up to do, and it will be finished. I’ll try to get it done by June 1.

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.

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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:

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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.

 I found a little scrap lace weight yarn to knit on my scarf! Yay! 
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I knit that bit of red-pink-orange-yellow, and now it is back in hibernation.

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:

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Such cute little sheep! But wait, what is lurking behind them?

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It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, licking his chops! Yikes!

By the way, this little sculpture is also a box:

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And inside, you will find the ultimate source of why the wolf was licking his chops:

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... lamb chops. 

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.

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What's Up Doc?

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. 

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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!

Digital Fortress

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:

Spinning 1
Spinning 1

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:

Compton aran

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.

Pogo

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:

Yarn barf

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.

Primrose Throw

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.

Flowers

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!

 

 

 


Finished Items

Fiadh is blocked and came out fabulous:

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I’m really happy with it! 

The Northwest Passage Shawl is finished and blocked:

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Some badly photographed close ups of the details (this shawl is so huge that I couldn’t photograph it properly):

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It’s big, but it will be nice to wear when I am sitting outside this spring, and cuddling up in my comfy chair in the fall and winter. I guess that makes it a three season shawl!


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. 

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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!


Be Happy!

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:

Fiadh front

This is what the back looks like:

Fiadh back

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:

Light green skein

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.

Purple fiber

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.

Spinning purple

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!

Purple prewashed skein 

Before setting the twist


Purple prewashed skein

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.

Pogo


Squishy Yarn

My squishy, luscious, brick-colored yarn is done, and I am very happy with it:

Yarn

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:

Fiber

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!

 


Sucked In

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.

Fiadh

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!

Northwest passage

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. 

Ply

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:

MCL1
MCL1

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.

New yarn

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!

 


Progress?

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.

Fiadh

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:

Broken cable

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.

Roving

Spinning

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. 

Laceweight

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!

 


Spinning & Arans

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:

RedBlackYarn

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..

Copper.dyed.top

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.

Compton beginning

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.

Fiadh beginning

This is what they look like so far:

Compton

Compton


Compton

Fiadh

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!

 

 


In Which I Try To Use Up Yarn

This is the story of the tan mystery yarn from Nancy.

First, I  knit a shawl to use it up:

Barley water

That left this:

Yarn after barley water

So. I knit a 2 x 2 ribbed scarf to use it up:

Scarf

After six feet, I stopped knitting. That left this:

Before doily

Crochet has always been touted as a yarn-eater, so I found a crocheted doily for the table and crocheted this:

Doily

It's 16 inches across. Sixteen.

I was left with this:

Cone of yarn after Doily

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.


Barley Water and Sweetcake and Socks, Oh My!

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.

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Problem was, I had a lot of yarn left over. A Lot. So, I am working on a maybe-,maybe-not long scarf in 2 x 2 rib until the cone of mystery yarn is gone. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

 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.

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65422527-1A6F-42B8-8390-20E727241ABA

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! 
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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 Knittings

October is going by fast! Halloween is almost here!

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(Image: hola386130)

I knit some hats in October. First, I knit the Gluma beanie (free pattern) with some sock yarn scraps:

Gluma beanie

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 hat started
Belle Fille hat started

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:

Intersectionality hat started
Intersectionality hat started

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.

Helical hat in progress
Helical hat in progress

I also knit a pair of mittens from scraps:

Grey mittens

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!

Working on sleeves
Working on sleeves

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!

 


Thin Blue Line Hat for Heroes

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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!

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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!


Weird

I just knit the weirdest scarf that I have ever knit.

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The yarn I had was two hard balls of Berroco Boho, a self-striping tape yarn in nylon, cotton and  rayon, now discontinued. One day, I found  the pattern: it was on a little piece of paper handed out to the knitters on one of the Unique One knitting nights by one of the knitters. She didn't remember where it was from, but she gave all of us a copy when we asked her about the weird scarves she was making.

The scarf she was knitting was knit in a tube on double pointed needles, all knit in stockinette stitch. It looked wider and shorter than I thought it should be -- until she got to the last row. That is where the magic happened. She dropped every other stitch, knit a round, and bound off! Then she proceeded to pull and push and tweak the stitches until every stitch was dropped down to the end, and the scarf became the right length and looked wonderful. Amazing!

I had forgotten about it until rooting around in my patterns one day, I found that slip of paper, and I thought it might be nice for a summer scarf in Boho which I was trying to find something to do with (thus the rooting around.)

Being a sensible ex-yarn shop owner, I didn't want to put a pattern on my blog that had a copyright, so I tried to find if it was on the internet somewhere, but I couldn't find it anywhere. There are lots of dropped stitch patterns on Ravelry, but none was the same as this one.

Have fun! Stay weird!

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Download Drop Stitch Scarf.pdf (127.2K)

Drop Stitch Scarf

Materials: 200 yards worsted weight yarn; size 8 double pointed needles, OR circular needles of your choice to knit with two circulars or Magic Loop

Gauge isn’t important for this project.

Size: About 4" by 6', but mine was knit on a particularly slick nylon blend. If you use wool, it'll be a bit wider and probably a foot shorter.

Directions:

Cast on 24 stitches, 8 stitches per 3 needles.

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: Increase 1 in every stitch. (48 stitches, 16 sts per needle)

Continue to knit in the round until scarf measures 17”-20” or however long you want (I knit to about 25”). It will be about 2-3 times longer than this when you finish.

Fun row: *Knit 1, then drop 1 stitch* around. (Back to 24 stitches, 8 stitches per 3 needles).

Knit 1 row. Bind off all sts.

Pull the scarf until all the dropped stitches come to the opposite end. Add fringe if you want.

Fun to do! Better not to use knobby or fuzzy yarn as it makes it harder to pull the dropped stitches out.


Finished a Couple Things

Figure-3277570_640

(Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay)

I finished my Knit Camp cardigan, aka Sweater #4, and I love everything about it!

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This was knit in sportweight washable wool from Swan's Island in the color Cayenne, which is a bit darker and redder than the picture shows. The pattern is exclusively for Knit Camp participants, and was designed by Marie Greene.

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IMG_0406

The real color is closer to this:

Before blocking

(Before blocking and buttons. I got the buttons at Maker's Mercantile; they are Ornate Corozo Buttons, 15mm, burgundy.)

I finished my Scrap Yarn Pi Shawl made out of fingering scraps. It's a nice weight that will be good to wear in the summer evenings and mornings. You can find out how to knit it in Elizabeth Zimmerman's books Knitters Almanac and Knitting Workshop. Next time though, I might try to knit a Half Pi Shawl, because  a whole pi shawl is realllly boring to knit ... hmmm, but it is all knitting and no purling. What to do, what to do ...

IMG_0408

IMG_0408

And there you have it.

I'm just finishing the last 33% of my Crest o' the Wave stole, and then I will have a sample to knit for somebody, but I will get busy on Sweater #5 as soon as I can!


Another Spinning Milestone

Another beautiful day!

Smiling Sun Images 23803

I love sunny days. It promises to be 72° on Friday, but I'll believe it when I see it.

My big spinning milestone is that I was able to successfully Navajo ply the 49 g (1.6 oz,) of yarn that was left over when I plied my Maine Coast yarn. I knew there would be leftovers, and the best thing to do with spinning leftovers is simply to Navajo ply them. But, I wondered if I could do it ...

IMG_0384

... and indeed, I could! It will take a lot of practice to get it right and be comfortable with it, but it is a start. I am very happy.

In other news, I'm working on the last color of my Scrap Yarn Pi shawl before making a knitted on edge:

IMG_0385

It's prettier than the picture. When it is finished and ~sort of~ blocked (meaning, washed and hung over the stair rail upstairs to dry), it will be pretty and wearable and cozy, and best of all, I got rid of a big ol' wad of scrap yarn to boot!

My red cardigan is gorgeous, and I have one more pattern repeat to knit on the body before doing the ribbing and binding off. That will make it about two-thirds done. There will still be two sleeves, two button bands, and a neckline to knit, and finding buttons and sewing them on. But still, two-thirds done feels pretty good! I'll get a picture when it's all done.

The more scrap yarn I use up, the more I realize that I have way too much yarn. I've cleaned it out, down to having just three bins and a big chest full, but it feels impossible to use it all up. I could make a spreadsheet of all the things I could knit out of the yarn I have, but it would scare me. And you know what? I still want to buy more!!!!

 


Beautiful

It's a beautiful spring day on the coast of Maine!

Maine-1332183-639x426

Photo by jdgrigsby from FreeImages

I finished my blue-green Linus shawl a while ago.

Linus blue green

I also went to my WIP bin and took out an Absolutely Fabulous Throw kit by Colinette  that someone had started, given up on it, gave it to me, and I never worked on it ... but thought I would, someday. Well, someday came. The kit originally sold for around $180, contained your choice of four throw patterns, and had enough of eight beautiful Colinette colors in a variety of yarns to make the throw. The yarns are still available, but sadly the pattern is not.

AbFab Throw kit done

See? It really is Absolutely Fabulous. Pogo settled down on it as I was putting on the fringe. She gave it her seal of approval.

Pogo on throw

 

I finished spinning my Maine Coast yarn.

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IMG_0375
IMG_0375

Three skeins (total of 385 grams) of 2-ply fingering weight yarn. It's gonna be great!

What is on my needles now?

An Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi Shawl using fingering weight scrap yarn (I got tired of making endless Linus shawls) ...

IMG_0377

... and a red cardigan for me. It's sweater #4 for those who are counting.

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Keep knitting and spinning! Remember, you are beautiful!

 

 


Unraveled

IMG_0347

I unraveled my Kinsale sweater. I determined that the two cones of yarn were not, actually, going to have enough yarn to knit a sweater; I got about a quarter of the way up the back and found I had used almost half the yarn ... and each cone was supposed to be enough for a back (or front) plus a sleeve.

Oh well. The yarn is destined to become something else I guess. Maybe I'll use that blue yarn to crochet a shawl, do something quick. Yeahhhh ... that's the ticket.

In the good news department, the Raineach hat is done.

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Unblocked

IMG_0346

Blocked

I like how it came out, but it will be even prettier in yarn that has more contrast. I'll knit another one sometime.

Today I feel very tired and lazy. I have ten things on my knitting cue (I have a ton of things to knit, but I limit my Knitting Queue  to only 10), but only two items have yarn ready to knit. The eight others all need the yarn caked or balled up, and it just seems like too much work. Then there would be a gauge swatch to knit. I think I'd rather just take a nap.


Still Quarantining

Hi there! I'm fine, how are you? Healthy, I hope!

While others have been busily sewing masks

Covid-19-4969674_640

Image by Christo Anestev from Pixabay

and doing other heroic things, I have been spinning and knitting and just staying home. In other words, my usual life.

On the spinning front, I finished the turquoise fiber and am halfway through spinning a braid of yarn that I hand dyed pre-stroke:

IMG_0336

Here are a bobbin of each side by side:

IMG_0341

I am going to ply them together and make a fingering weight yarn that will look like a summer day on the coast of Maine. I can almost feel the wind in my face and hear the water slooshing by! I'll knit the Crest O' the Wave stole by Wendy Johnson:

Crestowave

On the knitting front, I have knit three pairs of socks:

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These socks were started pre-stroke, so over ten years ago.

The red fluffy ones on top are a mohair blend that I lost the band from, and I ran out of yarn to finish them, so I completed the foot on the second sock with bright red worsted weight wool. I neglected to photograph them when they were finished.

The pink socks are a worsted weight from a yarn called Wick (now discontinued) from Knit One, Crochet Too, a 53% soy, 47% polypropylene yarn that wicks moisture away from you.

IMG_0318

These socks are fingering weight from Heavenly Yarns in Belfast. (They have lots of yarn, buttons, and needles! Free shipping on orders $30 and over! You should go!) The yarn is Sox by Berroco and is so pretty!

What is on my needles?

I have a sweater, a hat, and a shawl/scarf/thing going.

The sweater is Kinsale by Alice Starmore (in Fishermen's Sweaters):

Kinsale

I am using two 1-lb. cones of Jagger Ragg in blue that was gifted to me by Nancy Howard in 2015 or 2016.

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The hat is Raineach by Juliet Bernard that was in The Knitter magazine, issue 148.

Raineach

I am knitting Raineach out of scraps: gray yarn from my KittyCat Socks, and a ball of pre-stroke handspun that I don't even remember spinning at all, or what I originally knit from it. Perhaps I was drunk.

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Anyway, it is really pretty. Here are the sweater and hat together:

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So pretty.

Finally, I have another Linus shawl/scarf/thing on my needles for my evening TV knitting, using scraps of blue and green:

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Here it is so far:

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I have a ways to go!

Happy knitting and spinning, stay healthy both mentally and physically, and learn something today that you didn't know yesterday. I think I will learn how to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Yum.

 

 


So Happy

I woke up to one of the warmest days in the year, and it made me smile. I love spring.

Yarn

You may remember this yarn that I spun. It made me happy too! I knit a shawlette with it: the Cider Press Shawl by Marie Greene. It's in her book Knit Shawls and Wraps in 1 Week: 30 Quick Patterns to Keep You Cozy in Style.

I love it.

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Every stitch looked different, every color plied with every color, and every weight of yarn from lace weight through chunky slid through my fingers. Yet, the magic of knitting pulled it all together to produce this wonderful shawl.

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I was giggling with happiness and fascinated at what was being created in my hands.

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Stay warm and happy!


In the Pink

My pink shawl is complete! Yay!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Now it is done. ::happy sigh::

Be safe, and happy knitting!

 


Hello March

I used to hate March, hate it with a passion. It was long and dark and snowy, but most of all, it was just more winter when I was ready to be having spring. Gahhh.

Lion lamb

This year, we haven't had much snow on the coast of Maine, and it has been a relatively warm winter... probably because we got a new snow blower and two generators. So, this March seems to be easier than usual. Or, we could get the winter's worth of snow and cold all in one month, which would truly suck.

If that happens, I am prepared for it as well! I just finished knitting this sweater:

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Pattern: Biscotti by Kiyomi Burgin

Yarns: Annabel Fox Chunky Donegal, 109 yards in 100g, 100% wool, 6.5 skeins, color 662 Alder; Berocco Vintage Chunky 136 yards in 100g, 52% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 8% Nylon, 1.3 skeins; color 6134 red

This is a very heavy sweater knit on size 11US/8.0mm needles. Wrangling would be the best way to describe it, or, in my case, one-armed wrangling. ::rolls eyes::

I have had this yarn forever. Well, nearly. I got it around twenty years ago, and it was the oldest yarn in my possession. It's a beautiful dark tweed, a gorgeous yarn, and I truly love it. I hope this sweater never wears out, because I will never have this yarn again!

Yarn

I used only 6.5 of the 10 skeins I have. What is your favorite bulky weight item to make with around 375 yards of yarn?

Gauge swatch

I knit a gauge swatch in the round (the back is all big loops of yarn) and got 3 stitches per inch. The good thing is this sweater knit up really fast! It took me 12 days to finish it, but I had spinning and the pink shawl and a ZickZack scarf to work on too, so I only worked on it for about two hours at a time. It probably took me 36 hours to knit.

The only casualty was the cable from my AddiClick interchangeable needle set, which alarmingly separated from the metal bit in the middle of a sleeve.

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Luckily, I had a couple other size 11 needles on hand and was able to finish the sweater. Which is actually pretty amazing that I had them, since I almost never knit with needles that large.

That cable is the one I used the most, and I have used it a lot since I got the set back in 2014. I emailed Skacel (info@skacelknitting.com) because I knew they had a lifetime guarantee on their needles, and I wanted to ask how to get another cable. They responded in a few minutes and emailed a form that I printed and filled out. I popped it in the mail along with the cable that broke, and got an email a day or two later that said the replacement was on the way! It will be here soon! If I hadn't had another needle to finish my sweater, I would only have had to wait about a week before the replacement arrived. I think Skacel deserves a big round of applause for their great service!

Have a super duper March, and happy knitting! Stay warm!

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Mystery Socks and Beautiful Yarn

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

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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.

 

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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.

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

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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!


Brrr, It's Cold: Must Be February!

Yesterday morning it was 0°F or -1°F at my house. That was tropical though; up in Aroostook I think it was -35°F or something. Maybe even colder.

So it was appropriate that I finished my Still Waters Cowl and my Kittycat Socks right when the shivering started.

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Yarn: mystery yarn on a cone, don't even know what kind of fiber it is, but it is fingering/sport weight. It is soft and warm and not itchy!

Pattern: Still Waters Cowl by Michele Rose Orne

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Yarn: DROPS Fabel 4-ply weight, 75% wool, 25% polyamide, 224 yards per 50g. 2 balls grey (#200), 1 ball off white (#100)

Pattern: Kittycat Socks by Lumi Karmitsa; in The Knitter magazine issue 136

Stay warm knitters!