Posted in knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

Entrelac

It’s no secret that I love knitting more than just about anything else. I’m pretty fortunate to have a great LYS right here in Williamsburg. Flying Needles to feed my love. I really like the Wednesday knit-ins from 5-7pm. There’s a pleasant group of ladies that attend. I enjoy hearing about their lives, plus they’ve given me some great tips on other local places. Like the Carrot Tree restaurant. We’ve gone there a few times and will continue to. The last time we went we brought home a carrot cake that was delicious, it was moist and had lots of cream cheese frosting.

Now that we have begun too really settle into our new home I’m on a mission to refocus my knitting life. I am still working on my Find Your Fade KAL, I’m now well into the fourth color. I really need to get back into my all but forgotten socks, I dug thru all the -as of yet- unpacked boxes of yarn to find the specific skein of Wollmeise “We’re Different” blackish color I have been dreaming of. I’m going to use this to work the heels and toes on those socks.

I’m doing the Smooth Operator Heel by Susan B Anderson

Last night I cast on a scarf that I want to knit with yarn I purchased at my LYS last Wednesday. The pattern is Magic Stripe Hot Pad or Scarf by Sarah H Baldwin.  It’s a four row repeat that has a few unique things. I have some tips to help remember the pattern, identify which row your on and how to fix mistakes. I’m hoping to teach this as a class coming up at the shop this spring. It’s a really cool striped scarf that has horizontal stripes on one side and vertical on the other. It will mystify everyone that sees it and make other knitters want to knit one!

you really want two skeins that don’t match or have any common colors for the most impact

Entrelac is one of my favorite knitting techniques. I plan to teach an Entrelac class using this really cute headband pattern from Knitty.com. It’s easy to memorize and once you have that “ah-ha” moment it can be really fast and fun. Especially if you use a self striping yarn like Noro. As a bonus, eveytime I use Noro I think of my dear friend, Raquel. She absolutely hates Noro as much as I love it. It was always fun to “discuss” the wonder of such a great yarn with her. I miss her………

this picture is taken directly from Knitty.com and the pattern Quant

Happy Knitting.

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Posted in knitting, yarn

Yarn Tasting

A couple of weeks ago I signed up to go to my LYS, the Flying Needles, yarn tasting event. Kim Dyes Yarn was the featured Indie Dyer. I new this would be a fun easy going evening and I new I would be ready for a break after almost two full weeks of moving work. My boys kept asking me when the wine tasting I was going to was. Too funny.

Kim Dyes Yarns offers a large array of colors, weights and fiber choices. There was a cute berry basket filled with 5 different yarns, they were wrapped around cute little wooden tags, a nice typed up sheet giving the yarn details and there even was a piece of chocolate. Kim was charming and sweet. Her enthusiasm about the yarn bases was contagious. She has chosen a really great selection of yarns to dye. She has named all her bases after different foods. How fitting since delicious is a word I often use to describe yarn.

Kim has a great eye for color and has so many beautiful colorways she invented. Some are themed around music and tv shows. There’s a  nice sprinkling of tonals to blend in with some of the louder color combos.

One clear favorite among the group was her sparkle yarn. This is different than many sparkle yarns I’ve encountered. The sparkle is a single strand that is plied among the other fibers rather than bits and pieces blended in.  She called this one Sugarcookies. It is 92/8% Superwash Merino/Lurex. It is a very round, bouncy yarn that is super soft and……. well it’s delicious.

Kim debuted a new yarn at the shop as well. Angel Food; it is a luxurious worsted MCN blend of 80/10/10 Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. This one. too, was a favorite. I myself would love to use this to knit the Central Park Hoodie.

I, of course, had to buy myself some yarn. You know, since I don’t have any yarn to knit…. I picked up a skein of Sourdough Sock. I felt this was the perfect type since my husband is quite good at making sourdough bread. I chose the color way Dark Forest Bright Sky. It is so “me” colors.

I also really needed the Flan Fingering single ply yarn in the color way Murky Pond. This is a 70/30 superwash Merino/silk. I just fell in love with this yarn. and the color.

To round out my purchases I managed to snag one of the few Thrummed Mitten kits. The yarn is Granola Bar Aran which is a tweed in the color way Robin. The fiber is a beautiful rainbow of bright colors.  I can’t wait to get started on this.

It was such a pleasant evening. I’m really glad that I took the night off and joined in the fun. I very much miss my friends and the camaraderie of knitters.

 

Happy Knitting xoxo

Posted in knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

Two is Better than One

I decided [since I had started my Find your Fade with a different color than I had planned] I may as well knit another shawl. The color order I had chosen can be found here. The  other shawl will be the same colors just in a different order.  This will be interesting.  I will have an excellent example of how colors can blend as well as a second shawl that can be a gift.

  1. Tosh Merino Light, Plaid Blanket
  2. Black Elephant, Acheron
  3. Malabrigo Mechita, 5 Aniversario
  4. Black Elephant, Sunflowers
  5. Dragonfly Fibers Pixie, Middle Earth
  6. Tosh Merino Light, Coquette Deux 341
  7. Malabrigo Mechita, 866 Arco Iris

 

 

I think I need to purchase only two, maybe three, additional skeins to do this. Which means I will use most of my yarn up. Always a win. I’m pretty sure I will need a second skein of Dragonfly’s Middle Earth and Madeline Tosh merino light in Coquette Deux. Everything else should be ok.  Maybe.  I’m going to concentrate on completing one and then I will weigh the leftovers and math to see where I’m at.

 

I’ve decided to put my traveling socks on hold. I’m using Wolmeise. I am making Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder. The heel is Susan B Anderson’s Smooth Operator Heel, so that my swirl will be maintained throughout the socks. I want to make the heels and toes with a blackish Wollmeise skein I have. Unfortunately that skein is in storage. Hence the on hold. I really like the way the yarn is knitting up and I totally can picture the black heels and toes as icing on the cake.

We have the moving truck delivering all of our stuff in less than a week. I doubt I’ll have much time to knit but I will be able to find that black skein of yarn!

Happy Knitting.

Posted in Instagram, knitting, Ravelry knit projects

Knit on

I am super excited to be partaking in the Find Your Fade KAL with the Flying Needles Yarn shop. Unfortunately the weather was bad the night of the cast on party so it was canceled. I cast on at home as did others or they cast on at the shop on other days, posting to social media via Instagram, #flying needles2018KAL or Facebook.

I tried to find a moment or two each day to add a few rows. I started knitting on my color 2 four days into the project. As I was knitting along on Color 2, Madelinetosh’s Tosh Merino Light in the color Plaid Blanket, it hit me. I’m using Color 1 as color 2. [Insert image of me hanging my head head in shame here] I mislabeled them when I put the yarn labels together in order 1-7.

You can see I did it almost from the beginning, before I even took my official photos for my Ravelry project page. I guess I had a brain fart. I new what the swatch order was so I cannot explain it. Today I will be starting over, in the correct order.

Just for the official record the color order is as follows;

  1. Black Elephant, Acheron
  2. Tosh Merino Light, Plaid Blanket
  3. Malabrigo Mechita, 866 Arco Iris
  4. Tosh Merino Light, Coquette Deux 341
  5. Malabrigo Mechita, 5 Aniversario
  6. Dragonfly Fibers Pixie, Middle Earth
  7. Black Elephant, Sunflowers

At least this way I get fun extra knitting on this project. Really get my money’s worth out of the yarn by knitting it twice. Get the chance to start the KAL again! Just trying to get enthusiastic about restarting…..

Happy Knitting.

Posted in Family, knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

Hanna’s Exoskeleton and a KAL

This sweater isn’t charming or sweet. It’s odd. It’s definitely quirky. It was a fun knit. I’m smitten with it.  So is Hanna! The Shusui Shrug by Susanne Sommer

Hanna looking radiant
I rarely use black yarn because it’s so hard to see the stitches. The contrast for white and black Brioche works really well. I can easily see the stitches as the Brioche technique combines both colors for each stitch. This is great for all the inevitable mistakes that happen when knitting a big project.  I certainly had my far share of those!
Knitpicks Hawthorne Speckle
When I first saw this project on The Woolshop Podcast I went directly to Ravelry and bought the pattern. Immediately starting the search for yarn.  Find read more about that on this previous post. I have the yarn to make one for me and I really want to start that now, I’m going to hold off so I can instead focus on a KAL I want to participate in.
Hanna was excited to have a fun photo shoot for her Exoskeleton on a super cold day in the snow. She likes it, she really, really likes it.


Hanna, Hannah [Hanna and her BFF do indeed share a name] and I went to my local yarn store. Which is unbelievably exciting. I am so happy to have a LYS. It’s a great shop. The store is The Flying Needles and the owner Susan is wonderful! She is fun, charming and you can tell she has enthusiasm for the yarn she carry’s. There are so many samples in the store. It’s a feast for your eyes, bright colors in every corner, and it gives you an irresistible urge to touch all the things. Susan has a large variety of big brands, Indie and local yarns.  I’ve had no shortage of things I wanted on both occasions I visited and therefore came home with new yarns.
The first time we went in I had mentioned I was looking to add to my own yarns to knit another Find your Fade and amazingly Susan was planning a KAL for the Find Your Fade and Free your Fade patterns by Andrea Mowrey. The casting on party is January 17th during the knit in, these take place from 5-7pm every Wednesday. I attended my first one this week. There’s a nice mix of ladies and there was lots of laughter and sharing.  I was thrilled to see the different color combos shared for the KAL. I am sure these evenings will brighten my life. I’m really looking forward to being a part of the knitting world here in my new little corner in Virginia.
My Find your Fade colors
I’m actively trying to look ahead to all the wonderful things our life in Virginia is presenting. If I spend too much time dwelling on what I’ve left behind in New Mexico I might not put myself out there and find good things like the LYS. I really miss my Tuesdays and Thursdays supporting people in their knitting journey. I reallllllly miss my Monday afternoon knitting with my friends who all met at my house. I miss starting my days with Raquel, who was Tim’s caregiver, but also my friend, if I had a sister it would be her…….it is her, she will always be my sister of my heart.
Onward and upward!
Happy knitting.



Posted in Family, knitting

Made to Order Hats

A couple months ago my nephew, Anthony, called me.  He asked me to make him a hat. Is anything cuter than a kid asking for a hand knit hat!?! I inquired about what color he would like, he gave me very detailed guidelines. Blue, with green, white and black stripes. it would have to have earflaps for sledding. I asked if he would like a pompon and he quickly replied those were for girls………and speaking of girls- his sister, Sam, would probably need a hat, too. He told me she would want purple, pink and more purple, stripes, and with earflaps of course. Oh, and a pompon, you know, because she IS a girl.

Anthony and Santa with Baily my mom’s dog

When we went to D.C. in November and while I was there we hit up Fiberspace in Alexandria. It’s a really great LYS that has a large selection of yarns and I knew it would have all the colors I need in a washable wool. I choose Berroco Ultra Wool. They did indeed have lots of colors to choose from. While we were there Hanna’s boyfriend requested her to knit a hat for him since it was so cold to our New Mexico blood. I grabbed a skein of yarn for him, too. I didn’t have the right size needles with me, they had exactly what I needed in Knitter’s Pride, so those came home with me too. I also picked a skein of Neighborhood Fiber, CO fingering weight, wool/cashmere blend. This yarn is locally dyed in Baltimore, MD they have a variety of colors named after neighborhoods in and around D.C. I picked the color Rosemount as this is the neighborhood Stevie lives in, in Alexandria.

Back to Anthony’s hat. With the crazy November I didn’t really get to start knitting his hat until we left for Virginia. I planned to use the pattern SureFire Hat by Susan B Anderson.  Driving across the country with a car slammed full of our stuff, my husband, son, and three dogs there wasn’t much space for knitting. I had thought I would knock the hat out quickly. Not so much in reality. I worked on it in the evenings at hotels and finished it here in Virginia in our temporary apartment. After I wove in all the ends and washed it, did the crocheted edging, braiding and then really looked at the finished hat I realized it was going to be way too big, It was even big on me! So I started knitting the hat again with a smaller needle.  The smaller needle was just what was needed. the second hat was perfect!
I did add a pompon to the larger hat
but of course not to Anthony’s

I had about a week to knit Sam’s hat. Hats are quick so I would have plenty of time to get them in the mail for Christmas. I used another Susan B Anderson pattern she put out with Spud and Cloe. it’s a very cute pattern. I knit the hat quickly, everything went as expected. I wove in all the ends and washed it and put it on drying rack next to Anthony’s. Wait!!! It was HUGE! Oh my GOSH! No Way!

Sam’s hat next to Anthony’s hat

I was so frustrated. What the heck! I knit this hat with the same yarn and same the needles as Anthony’s. Why was it so big? I still couldn’t believe it. I went to bed with a heavy heart.  In the morning, after I had coffee, I revisited the hat drama. I double checked the needles. Size 6, that was right. I pondered awhile.  I read through the pattern, and then did it again.  What did I do?  In desperation I counted the stitches. Geeze, that was it. I made the Woman’s size, I needed the Child’s size. UGH! What stupid mistake. So I did the only thing I could do. I cast on another hat.

This time I decided not follow the pattern for the extended decrease section on the crown and worked a traditional one decrease row, one knit row crown. I didn’t really like the slouchiness the pattern has. I thought it had too much weight and might not stay on so well sledding down hills, I also didn’t do the extra pompons and tassels, not because the weren’t absolutely adorable [which they totally are] but because I didn’t think I’d have enough yarn.

 

the size difference is apparent

I didn’t get them out in time for Christmas. I sent the kids their Christmas gifts after and they had New Year’s Eve Christmas gifts instead. That probably made them even more special since they didn’t get lost in the jumble and chaos of the holiday.  I’d say they were a win as the kids gave me two thumbs up! And as a bonus Charlie and Leah also received great New Years Eve hats!

Anthony and Sam December 31st, 2017

My mom said they are loving their hats and are wearing them through the really cold snow filled outings.  Mission accomplished!

It’s clearly making the cold more bearable

Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Family, knitting

Louise Cardigan

I have finished my sweater, Hanna finished her sweater and Peggy finished hers! We all used the Louise Cardigan pattern. We all used Cascade Eco + yarns but Peggy’s purple yarn was one she picked up in Germany.

My finished sweater

 

I used buttons recycled from dishes

 

Hanna’s sweater, she used antique buttons
from my grandmas button box

 

Peggy’s sweater, she used wood buttons

 

Peggy added a touch of fairisle to hers. I made my sleeves too long so I think I may go back and shorten them. There’s always room to make a pattern your own.
SO…. I want to talk about the pattern itself. I purchased the pattern on Ravelry and was excited about it. I loved the look, it was my first bottom up adult sweater so I was looking forward to working on the new-to-me style. It went really quickly, I knit the body and the sleeves, all going well. At the joining part for the yoke it all seemed chaotic… unaddressed things, omitted things, confusing things, I know I talked about this before. I worked my way through it, I made notes, helped Hanna sort the pattern out and she finished hers. Talked extensively with Peggy about the pattern as she worked through her sweater. Now, Peggy is an extremely experienced sweater knitter, she agreed the pattern had some issues. She went through all the notes on Ravelry, as I had, finding no significant complaints either. SO bizarre.
I contacted Madder, they responded to my email. Madder said they would review my notes and see if they felt the pattern needed an errata or updating. As of today I haven’t seen any changes to the pattern on Ravelry.  That’s okay. I’m happy with my final sweater, Hanna Is happy and Peggy is happy. Bring on the sweater weather!
Happy Knitting xo
Posted in Blogging, knitting

October. Already!?!

I must’ve missed September. I can’t imagine how it’s already October. We have been in a huge detox mode here at my house. Maybe that is why I feel I missed it, too busy. I’ve been working my way through closets and drawers and cupboards. I’ve also made a commitment too use up any excess we have in the pantry, freezer and toiletry cupboard. I’ve always had spare this and extra that. It has gotten excessive. I think it’s is because we have such a large family I needed to have a lot of back stock. Like shampoo. When 7 people are showering in one bathroom you go through so much of it that having only one back up meant I might not have time to get to the store before we were well into the back up bottle or even completely out. But now, we are so few living at home and we have 3 showers it takes forever to use up a bottle, I hardly need to have a back up, let alone more than one. Hence the rethinking. And the sorting. As a plus, I haven’t seen the inside of a Target since at least August.

As I’m spending a portion of my free time clearing out things I’ve got less knitting time.  I’m working on all the same projects and I’ve started a few new ones.  As I went through my closest I decided to make the lifestyle choice of only wearing sweaters I hand knit. I donated all my store bought sweaters  and am determined.  Therefore, I started a sweater for myself. My daughter, Hanna, also started the same sweater for herself; so we are having a KAL. We are knitting the Louise Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I really like the simplicity of the design and the playfulness of the colors. I’m quite aways into the sweater and I really like the yarn and the gauge I’m getting. I’m using Cascade Eco Plus wool. It is one of my go to yarns.

 

I’ve found the Louise Cardigan to be somewhat challenging. I’ve made pretty good notes of what I did  and hopefully can explain to Hanna so her first hand knit sweater goes smoothly. The pattern has some omissions on important parts and directions that aren’t very clear. I’m particularly frustrated because I purchased this pattern for $7, I feel that if a pattern is being sold there is an expectation of clear instructions and any errors get caught through test knitting and proof reading. I looked through Ravelry at all the notes other knitters made while making this. I didn’t see anyone else having too many issues so it is possible I’m the one with the problem and not the pattern. Here’s a link to my project notes.
Another new project I started is the Mitten Garland Advent Wreath by Kathy Lewinski.  I am not very good at color work, Fairisle, so I thought this would be a great way to brush up on my skills. I’m using Knitpicks Palette yarns. I grabbed two different color packs. Peppermint Icicle and Herbal Wreath. I’m using a 47″ #0 circular needle for magicloop. It’s a slow process. I’ve knit and ripped out the first mitten no less than 7 times trying to get my tension even. I think I’m there but it really requires a lot on mental concentration. Like, nothing I’ve knit in awhile. It’ll be interesting to see if my speed and focus catch up to my usual level. I’m not sure if I’ll get all 24 knit, for sure not for this Christmas!

 

Today I filmed a video about knitting the Heel Turn section of a sock. If you want to check it out here’s the link. I get a lot of questions from new sock knitters regarding the gap in this section like what do I mean “The Gap?” so I hope this is helpful.
Until next time, happy knitting.

 

Posted in knitting

Rain Boot Love

I live in the Chihuahuan Desert so rain here is very limited, but when I saw these boots with the knit imaging on them it didn’t matter. I had to have them and my daughter thought so too because she sent them to me for Christmas! I’m so obsessed in-love with these I was compelled to knit for them!
I made this up because I couldn’t find any boot topper patterns that would add to the charming knit stripes on the boots themselves instead of being the main focus. I think this is a good compromise.  I’d say this is more a recipe than a pattern though.
I used Cascade 220 in assorted scraps.  Having used scraps I’m not sure of the yardage but both together weight 134 grams. (That weight is after I trimmed everything.) Size US #9 needle. Gauge is not important but I have about 4 stitches to the inch in garter stitch.
Here’s what I did:
Co 20 stitches, knit 4 rows of each color (=1 stripe.) Colors were chosen in random order and adjusted so they weren’t repeated too close. 31 stripes.  The 31 stripes were the right length for my specific boots.  I wanted the stripes to go completely around the boot top with out too much pull but also not be too loose. I cast off after the 4th row and cut yarn leaving enough to sew up the seam. Then seamed the 1st and last rows together with the mattress stitch.

I then picked up 96 stitches and joined in the round and knit 2×2 rib. You may want to pick up a few extra stitches to make sure you don’t have holes or gaps and then evenly around decrease them to a number divisible by 4. I did 29 rows then BO in rib. Of course if you want the “leg” part to be longer you certainly could add rows.  If you desire, weave in your ends, but I didn’t bother. I just tied 2 side by side ends together and trimmed them evenly around. Using the #9 needle for the ribbing means the ribbing will hug the inside of the boot and not my leg. You might prefer to use a smaller needle so they are snug to your legs!

Fold them over with the ribbing on the inside and wear with great pleasure!!