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.

IMG_0375
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.

IMG_0378

Keep knitting and spinning! Remember, you are beautiful!

 

 


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:

IMG_0315

IMG_0337

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.

IMG_0325

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.

IMG_0338

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

IMG_0343

So pretty.

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

IMG_0335

Here it is so far:

IMG_0344

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.

 

 


Squishy Mail

In this time of staying home, shopping has mostly been done online. I bought cookies, sugar free cookies, that aren't too bad. They go well with tea.

Hy-storefront-600px-0518

Because I couldn't go to Heavenly Yarns in Belfast, they kindly came to me -- sort of. I wanted to shop at a yarn store that I like to go to locally, because I wanted to help them out. Helen answered the phone and remembered that I used to own Unique One, and she even remembered my blog. She is very sweet!

I ordered two skeins of Peace Fleece for socks for a man, and two bright skeins of Berroco Socks for socks for women. Helen has a tremendous selection in her store!

IMG_0292

That was just yesterday, and I got the yarn today! I'll wind the yarn up right away and get going making socks!

In other news, I ordered this from a store on the other side of the country:

IMG_0293

It may look like a baby tribble ... but it is not (I wish it was though!). Neither is it yarn. It is a pom pom for the hat I am making, and it is soooooo soft. I love it. I got it at Knot Another Hat in Hood River, Oregon.

Both stores had free shipping to the end of the month!!!!! I hope you can order some yarn from your local yarn shop. Having had a yarn shop myself, I know from experience that March is always a hard month, and this March is a dismal one indeed. Having a little more yarn will make you feel good, and I know that your business will be appreciated!

Be well, be happy, and knit on!


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:

IMG_0248

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.

IMG_0239

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!

IMG_0250


Mystery Socks and Beautiful Yarn

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

LetItSnowSocks LetItSnowSocks2

Pattern: Let It Snow! socks by Wendy Gaal

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

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

 

Thumbnail_IMG_0231

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

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

Thumbnail_IMG_0231

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

Thumbnail_IMG_0231

Thumbnail_IMG_0231

Thumbnail_IMG_0237

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


Stash Busting!

I feel so virtuous.

A few years ago, maybe five? six? more? Judi stopped by and gave me some Peer Gynt yarn she was cleaning out, and she said, "Make something pretty with it." So I found a pattern for it (Shedeer by Brian Smith), but then I just kept putting it aside as other things pushed into the front and got in the way. But when October and Wendy's knit-in rolled around, I knit most of it, finished it up after the knit-in was over, and blocked and dried it. I'm so happy with how it turned out!

IMG_0078

I love it! Thank you Judi!!

IMG_0079

Peer Gynt is a DK weight 100% Norwegian wool, soft and comfy. It's a real work horse kind of yarn, good for sweaters, mittens, socks, hats, pillows, afghans, pretty much everything. It is really good for stranded Norwegian patterns as well as anything with a texture or cable. It is a really warm yarn too!

I had a couple skeins left over, red and purple, so I made this cowl:

IMG_0075

It's the Camden Cowl by Mary Jane Mucklestone. I wore it for a few days after I made it, and found it to be really warm and not itchy -- but then, I am highly wool-capable-of wearing, wool  doesn't make me itch at all*. I really like this cowl. The colors work surprisingly well together. Plus, it makes me think of Rachel, who was in the Red Hat Society and loved it, so anything red and purple makes me think of her.

*Except any yarn with any amount of alpaca or llama. I can knit with this luscious, wonderful yarn, but I really cannot wear it; it makes me itch like crazy!


Too Many UFOs

Unfinished Objects, that is.

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

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

I have a brown sweater:

IMG_0580

And a blue sweater:

IMG_0581

And a green sweater:

IMG_0582

And a shawl:

IMG_0583

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

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

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

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

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

I already started one of them:

IMG_0584

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

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

Smorescocktail3

Recipe Diaries S'Mores Cocktail -- yummmm!!

Have fun knitting!


New Stuff from Knitters Brewing

6ir6KjnKT

(http://cliparts.co/clipart/2313715)

On my 60th birthday, I got an email from Wendy Gaal of Knitters Brewing Company that contained a discount code, so of course I had to use it!

Happy Birthday to me:

IMG_0540

I got a skein of Confootie (love the name!) in the color of Imperial Barleywine, because you know I need more purple yarn, and also two Needle Wranglers to wrangle my needles and keep the stitches in place, and a lovely little pair of VERY sharp stork scissors. Wendy has a sock pattern coming out in July that maybe I will make.

In other news: I have been slowly picking at three projects, but I can't tell you about them til later ... much, much later.

Marie Greene's 4 Day Kal begins July 4. I have the pattern; it's called the Foxtrot Cardigan, and it's very pretty. I have some vintage stash to use for it too, it's cotton: Classic Elite Provence (now sadly discontinued) in a lovely periwinkle color (purple again!). But I don't know if I will do it. Right now I feel like if I manage to get the three things knit that are ongoing right now, that will be good and I will take a break for a while. Also, a cotton cardigan doesn't thrill me ... maybe because as I type this, I have a wool cowl wrapped three times around my neck because it has been so cold lately. Anyway, maybe it will feel more like summer in a few days. I hope so.

Happy knitting everyone! Stay warm!


Day 3 and Day 4 Accomplishment

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

IMG_1311

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

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

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

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

IMG_1313

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

 

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


Brown Study

I hope all of you had a good Christmas! It was snowy here in Maine, and we had a quiet Christmas. I got a lot of knitting done, though.

Brown

This is what I was working on. I started this sweater back in June, and got sidetracked doing other things, but after I got the purple Aran coat done, I brought it out of hibernation. It is knitting up fairly quickly.

The pattern is Norderny by Isabelle Kraemer.


Screen_Shot_2017-01-03_at_10.42.52_medium

Screen_Shot_2017-01-03_at_10.42.52_medium

It is knit from the top down, with a simple little pattern up the front, and a plain stockinette back and sleeves. Easy peasy. I only had about 5 rows done on the back when I started, and I am already over 40% done with it just since I started in again on December 19th.

The yarn is Webster from Wildwood  Yarns, which I got from WEBS, a fabulous yarn heaven. It is a machine-washable DK weight yarn, 75% acrylic and 25% wool, which I got because it was too good a deal to pass up. I don't really love acrylic yarn, but this yarn feels ok --- still acrylic-y, but it doesn't squeak when I move in it. I sold a ton of Plymouth Encore from Unique One, and this is similar. Webster is on sale: 300 yards for 1.49??? I'll take it. My whole sweater would only cost me about $7.50, if I bought it today. In orange or green, the colors that are left. They are having  closeout.

WEBS is having a huge year-end sale at the moment, so if you need yarn, now is the time! Also, I heard that Over the Rainbow is having a going out of business sale too, so if you are in the Rockland, Maine area, go buy yarn! 


Well Damn

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

Collar

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

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


In the meantime ...

I started to knit Sylvi on October 22 and finished it on March 22, so it took a long time to get it done. However, I didn't work on it the whole time. I took a few long-term breaks to knit other things. 

I knit the purple Ironwood Shawl that was in the KnitScene Spring 2017 magazine, out of Wildwood Yarns Arcadia in a pretty purple. The pattern called for two skeins of Madeline Tosh Sock, which has 385 yards and is about $25 a skein; I had one skein of the Arcadia and I didn't notice that the pattern called for two skeins. Arcadia has 394 yards per skein. I knit happily along, and about the time that I went to the Spa in Freeport I noticed that I was running a bit low on yarn, and that is when I saw that the pattern called for two skeins! I estimated that the amount of yarn I had would almost come close to finishing the shawl though, so I figured I would just put another color on whenever I ran out, something that would contrast nicely and look like I had planned it that way. When I got home, I rummaged through my odds and ends of sock yarns and found some pretty lavender handspun that I made eons ago, and set it aside.

But the ball kept going and going and going. It was a magic ball! Just two rows before the end of the shawl, I finally ran out of yarn. I knit the final two rows, bound off, and am quite happy with it. If I had forked out $50 for Madeline Tosh Sock yarn though, I would have been kind of mad that it had only required about fifteen yards of the second skein.

0004434272_medium2
0004434272_medium2
0004434272_medium2
0004434272_medium2

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

IMG_0290_medium

Watch Cap by Michele Rose Orne


IMG_0290_medium

Bayside Beanie baby hats by Stacey McCrea Warner


IMG_0290_medium

Spruce Head Hat by Michele Rose Orne

Then I designed and knit a cowl at the Harpswell Inn Knitting Weekend with yarn that was provided. It came out pretty and I'll put the picture and the pattern up here when I get the pattern written; the cowl is blocking now.

Another thing that I knit (that is still blocking) is a scarf/shawl that I recently completed. It was the Mystery in March KAL (yup, I got it done in March), a lovely asymmetrical piece in a sampler of various knitting stitches, by Tori Seierstad. The yarn I used was originally used in the Mystery Sock IX: Crazy Quilt Socks, done in Old Number 8 in a dark red yarn. After working three clues, I thought I would never wear those socks (the pattern was perfect, they just were nothing I would ever wear. Sorry.) So, when I saw the mystery shawl commencing, I ripped out the sock and started the shawl. It was a blast to knit! Pictures soon. :)

So what is on the needles now? The primary thing is Amy's Scarf, which is reinvigorated after a long hibernation that started at the end of October. I started it back in July! I have to get it done. It is inspired by the scarf that Amy Pond wore in two Dr. Who shows, and I have wanted it for years, ever since I saw it on Dr. Who. I bought just the right skein of lovely red at the Spa in 2016, a red called Rock Lobster, in Mad Color Fiber Arts Sonatina. I'm about half done!

FullSizeRender (65)

 


So Much Fun!

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

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

FullSizeRender (48)

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

Second is the goodies that I have bought.

FullSizeRender (50)

FullSizeRender (51)

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

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

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

FullSizeRender (49)

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

They are 173-45 Sleepy Sheep from Drops.

Karisma

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

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

Fluff

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

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

Pogo's Sweater

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


Another Sylvi Update and Other Projects

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


IMG_0161

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

FullSizeRender (36)

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

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

IMG_0160    IMG_0164    IMG_0163


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

IMG_0157    FullSizeRender (37)

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

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

IMG_0155_medium2    Purple shawl

Happy knitting!


Project Peace

Blogger Christina is trying to change the world, and I think she is succeeding. Her blog The Healthy Knitter is having a 21-day tips for peace during December, and it coincides with a "Peace-along" on Ravelry, with her free pattern for a lovely cowl. My Daily Mindfulness blanket has languished but it will still be there in January. I'm going to join her for the peace-along, and I urge you to join me too! 

Project peace

So far she has gotten over 20,000 people to read her peace tips every day and join her peace-along. That is 20,000 individual people whose lives she has impacted in  a good way, a peaceful way. 

"And we need peace…with turmoil, and acts of violence, hatred and anger occurring daily in our country and throughout the world it’s time to take action. Often I think "but I’m just one person" but maybe, just maybe with Project Peace we can spread ideas on how to choose peace. Perhaps then, we can slowly make some changes. We’ll never overcome evil but we must find ways to cope with it."

from The Healthy Knitter, November 10, 2016

So, what do you do? Here is what she said back in November:

Here's how you join in:

  • Download the cover page of the pattern on Ravelry
  • This is only the cover page; the pattern will come to you as an update on 11/28.
  • Read the information about the project requirements
  • Please click on "fav" on Ravelry, begin a project page for the cowl, and join the Healthy Knitter group.
  • Beginning December 1, read the blog daily for 21 days to receive the tip of the day on how to infuse more peace into your life.

Will you help me promote this?

Here are some ideas on how you could spread the word:

  • Spotlight Project Peace on a blog post
  • Post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other forms of social media
  • Include in your electronic or print newsletter
  • Provide a give-away to those that help spread the word
  • Tell all your knitting friends, clients, customers, readers, family.

Also, there is a World-wide Knit-in for Peace on December 21. Will you will knit for peace on that day?

I think this is a great idea! It is sort of like SETI, but instead of helping to locate alien signals, we will be promoting world peace! Using knitting needles! I can get behind that.

My project for peace will be Christina Campbell's cowl knit in Wildwood Yarns Arcadia in a pretty blue-pink-purple colorway. To me, it looks like peace. 

  FullSizeRender (5)

Heck, whatever you do to be mindful and peaceful would work too! Whether you draw, crochet, quilt, craft, sew, doodle, whittle sticks or make baskets, just do it. Be peaceful, and help others be peaceful too!

 


Home Again

Look what was waiting for me when I got home!

Package

I got a package from Paradise Fibers! It is a skein of Rowan Fine Art Sock Yarn in purples, and a skein of Rowan Kid Silk Haze Stripe -- it's Kid Silk Haze that knits up in stripes!! I'll let that sink in for a minute. Just when I thought Kid Silk Haze couldn't get any better, they go and do this. Now, the only way it could get any more perfect would be if it glowed in the dark or was free. (Actually Paradise Fibers just did a buy four, get one free promotion on yarn, so I guess they already did that. I missed it, though; it ended Sunday the 21st.) The Kid Silk Haze Stripe is "Chiaroscuro", stripes of grey and purple, which goes fabulously with the purples of the Fine Art Sock Yarn in shades of purple. The Fine Art Sock yarn is a blend of merino wool, kid mohair and mulberry silk that has been handpainted, and it is is luscious to the fingers as well as to the eyes.  I can't stop squeezing it. 

I am going to make a Twisted Drop Stitch scarf  (by Nancy Kleiber) out of it, because the world neeeeeeds more pretty scarves! I never get tired of wearing them, especially in this house in the long, bitterly-cold winter. I glanced over the pattern last night; it seems to be alternating rows of each color in a dropped stitch pattern, and it is very lovely and looks like a quick knit, too. It is a free pattern on the Rowan web site, I think, if you sign up to be a member. I can't wait to get started! 


Rockin' the Pueblo

The Pueblo Stole, that is, by Carol Sunday of Sundayknits.com. I'm knitting it for the Ravellenic games, which finish up on Sunday. I am about 60% done; it's gonna be close. The goal of the Ravellenic Games is to challenge yourself, but knitting this stole has been a bit more of a challenge than I thought it would be!

First of all, there are decreases and increases on each side because it gets it's drape from the slight bias that you knit it on. It is not a regular enough thing that my poor brain can handle -- I get what I am supposed to do, but I can't seem to remember it, so in the time constraints given by the Ravellenic Games (I only have two weeks to knit it), I have had to resort to the row-by-row directions. Oh, the humanity! 

Second, every other and sometimes every row, you join a new color, leaving a 4" tail that is left as the fringe. Sounds easy, right? It isn't. Imagine me with one hand, cutting a fringe that is vaguely 4", and then purling through the back and then through the front of the first stitch of the row. It's kind of hard; I think that it would have been sorta tricky but do-able back before I had my stroke. But, I'm doing it! 

Thirdly, you have to graft it together in the middle, which I am not looking forward to. I have decided that that is just finishing, so if I  can knit the whole thing by Sunday at noon-ish, then the medal is mine. If I get it grafted and weave in the few ends as well, that is just icing on the cake. :)

Now for the good news, hehe. I love this kit! Love, love, love it ... the yarn is just gorgeous. There are four kinds of yarn in the kit, chosen for the colors, and the colors really blend together harmoniously. There is Brigadoon, which is a 100% merino donegal tweed; Eden, which is 100% merino; Nirvana, which is 92% merino and 8% cashmere; and Angelic, which is 75% merino and 25% angora. Here is a picture of the first half, all knit:

Pueblo

I can't wait to wear this, it is so yummy! And despite the difficulty and my perceived whining, I am really loving this. It is so much fun seeing the color progression; it's like watching the sunrise over the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico. Beautiful!


New Yarn

Look what I got on Saturday:

Lisa Souza

Sock yarn from Lisa Souza! That's Appaloosa on the left, signed  by both Lisa and Lorrie; Water Gardens in the middle; and Orion Nebula on the right. Her Sock! is 450 yards of fingering weight lusciousness made up of 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, and dyed in colors that will make you weep for joy, weep, I tell you. Appaloosa is gorgeous. I never would have ordered a brown color, but now that it is my hands, it is so pretty! 

Ahhhh, now to let it marinate in my stash for a bit. I have a couple or three shawls to do first. But right now, I'm ruffling along, or maybe I should say flouncing along. 

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! 


All About Yarn

My laptop has made a heroic comeback for the present; hard to say if it will last, but I am glad I am reasonably able to type now. The only keys that don't work are the bottom left four keys, which are fn, control, option, and command. I never knew how much I used option and command until I couldn't anymore. Luckily, they are on the right-hand side as well, so I can still use them, though it is a bit awkward because of my one-handedness. But I am not complaining! I am very glad to be able to type at all!


I used to teach a class that was always well received. Since it was a lecture class, and I yammered on for about three hours, and no knitting was involved, I found it somewhat surprising that people seemed to hang on every word. It was the most-signed-up-for class every time. It was All About Yarn.

When I started teaching it, there was no one place which had a run-down of yarn anywhere, even on the internet. It's so vitally important, but it was hard to gather all the bits you needed into one place. I could do that, and by listening to me (reading tended to make knitter's eyes glaze over), knitters learned, and made note of what they needed. They could knit while they listened. 

I had a whole yarn shop at my disposal, so I had examples of every kind of yarn, from cob web to super chunky, and everything in between. I had different types of fiber:  wool, cotton, acrylic/micrfiber, alpaca, llama, viscose, silk, camel, tencel, you name it. I had yarn that was singles, two-ply, cabled, chenille, wrapped with a thread. I brought examples of them and passed them around so they could be touched and squeezed and fondled over. I had samples knit out of the yarns.

I thought about making a DVD of the class and selling it, but the class would lose a lot because people wouldn't be able to touch the yarn, and really, that's what it was all about. We were learning, as knitters, what various types of yarn feels like, the different feel it has if it's cob web or DK, the feel of cotton vs. wool vs. rayon, and unfortunately, the technology isn't there yet. You have to get the knitter one-on-one with the yarn.

So now, I have to get one-on-one with my Itchy Sratchy yarn, or it will never get done!

Dolly

Dolly Llama, from Good Karma Farm. Ya gotta love it.


I'm Obsessed by Things that Glitter. And Cats.

I love things that glow in the dark, and I have sold yarn that glows in the dark and several -- three I can think of, off-hand -- types of needles that glow in the dark, and even some drop spindles that glowed in the dark. But the next best thing, is yarn that glitters. 

Lux

This is Schulana Kid-Seta Lux. "Lux" is short for luxury, and it is the lamé of yarn. It glitters subtly, like moonlight on water, or sunlight on water; depends on the color. 

Drops129-28

I saw a woman knitting this scarf when I was in Have A Yarn, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. That's a great little yarn shop, by the way; do stop in if you get a chance. I never really was taken by ruffly scarves, though they were hot a couple years ago, and I like ruffles on other things, but the combination of a different kind of ruffles and this glittery yarn captured my heart. I was obsessed. I got one ball and I will knit that glittery, ruffly scarf later, and it will be good. 

In other news, Ravelry is celebrating its 2,000,000th member! Woohoo!

Here's the cat picture, Nora on the move:

NoraOnTheMove

She's on the hunt!


Desert Island Knitting

To alleviate the boredom that is winter, I played a little game in which I said, "If you were stuck on a desert island with unlimited supply of five yarns, what would you choose?"

1. Florica, from Novita. It is a sport weight, machine washable wool yarn that I really loved. It was 2-ply, which made it knit up like Jamieson and Smith, but it was sport weight, not fingering, and machine washable too, which made it really nice for kids. And husbands. I knit a large man-sized sweater with it. It's discontinued here in the States now, bit it's still going strong in Finland, where it is made.

2. Jamieson and Smith's 2-ply fingering weight, wool. The best yarn in the world, bar none. I would choose this yarn if I only had one choice.

3. Jo Sharps original DK weight wool, in her original colors. I knit with this and it held up to wear beautifully. It showed cables and textures wonderfully, and colorwork beautifully too. 

4. Bartlettyarn. It's wonderful. Did you know that the Rangely Sheepswool that Elizabeth Zimmerman was so fond of came from the Bartlett mill, here in Maine? You can still buy it at Schoolhouse Press, in fact, but you'll get more variety and a better price from the Bartlett mill itself. I would have an unlimited supply, of course, in all the weights and in every color on my island, always.

5. I wanted a laceweight yarn, and this has been the toughest choice. I like Jamieson and Smith laceweight, but I want something softer, I think. I like Handmaiden Sea Silk, but maybe it is a bit too fiddly for a lifetime of knitting. I really like Springtide Cashmere, but it's only solid colors. Same with Zephyr and Frogtree and Skacel. If I want multicolor, I know that I want Lorna's Laces colors because they are outstanding, so I want Helen's Lace Multi AND Solid. It's my choice, and you did say I have the full range of colors, right? Well, that's what I want. 

Who am I kidding, I want Done Roving Farm and Good Karma Farm and a billion others, too. Sigh, so much yarn. So much to choose from. 

What are your favorite yarns? You can have anything, even if it's discontinued ... or spin rovings and fleece from 5 different places ... go nuts. It's winter.