I’m an excellent knitter. I love knitting. If I could knit all day long I would. But instead, I’m crocheting. I’m crocheting the Flowers in the Snow Blanket. I love it but I find it is not as comfortable or easy on my hands as knitting. It’s probably because as a newer crocheter I haven’t found the perfect way to hold my yarn and hook.
Why am I crocheting instead of knitting anyway? The simple answer is I fell in love with the FLowers in the Snow Blanket on Ravelry. It’s sort of a granny square with a circle center. It’s circles inside of squares. And that really makes my eyes happy.
When I decided to crochet the Flowers in the Snow Blanket I knew I wanted to knit this as a cotton/wool blend and I was able to find Brown Sheep Company’s Cotton fleece. I purchased this at one of my LYS’s, Yarn Matters. I’ve used this yarn before and absolutely loved working with it so I was eager to do so again. I also think this yarn would be great for a sweater.
There are so many colors to chose from in the Cotton Fleece. I went back and forth. Back and forth. Rainbow? Blues and greens? Pastels? Rainbow!?!
Knitting sweaters, any clothing really, isn’t for the fly-by-night knitter. It takes planning, measuring, organization, skill and time. Lots of time. Especially when you are knitting with thin yarn and small needles for a plus size gal.
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More about the Yarn
I chose to use Cascade Roslyn which is a DK weight with 383 yards per 100g skein. I’m sure that means nothing to you if you’re not a knitter, but trust me, it’s a nice light yarn made from a blend of wool and silk. It has a classy tweed look to it. The color of my yarn is a light denim color leaning slightly turquoise from the silk. This yarn gets even softer as you wear and wash it.
I’ve used this yarn to make swatch samples, this is my first time for an actual whole project. I really like knitting with it.
I’ve finished my January Gansey sweater by Oliveknits. It took me longer than the 8 weeks that the Knit A Long ran but I’m OK with that.
Marie Green is the woman behind Oliveknits. She is a knitwear designer with lots of sweater designs under her belt. She currently is touring the country doing talks and book signing forSeamless Sweaters in Two Weeks. I was lucky enough to get a spot during her stop here in Williamsburg.
Knitting gussets are not something new to me. I have knit 100’s of pair of socks with gussets. Also, knitting sweaters are not new to me. However, I’ve never knit gussets on a sweater. Therefore, I will be focusing on the gussets I just worked for a sweater.
I’ve been plugging along on my January Gansey sweater from the Olive Knits Knit-A-Long for a couple of months. You can read more about my sweater here. This pattern has three sets of gussets. The first set is in the underarm portion, where the body meets the sleeve. The second set is on the shoulder working up to the neck. The third is paired on the sleeve section paired with the first pair, these work together.
Why do I want a gusset anyway? A Gusset, which is a weird word if you ask me, is an expanse of fabric intended to relieve stress in a tight fitting area of your clothing. Such as the heel of a sock or the underarm of a shirt.
When knitting gussets you typically create a triangle by increasing or decreasing your stitches. This triangle gives you the extra stretch you need for both comfort and movement.
Have you seen or knit this adorable Baa-ble Hat yet? It came out a few years ago for Shetland Wool Week in 2015. Many people knit it. People all over the world in fact.
If you haven’t knit this hat yet definitely add it to your must-knit list. You will be in good company. As of this writing, there are 9072 projects listed on Ravelry for this adorable Baa-ble hat. However, they aren’t all hats. The chart from this has been worked into so many other items. Obviously, there are lots of hats, but there are also socks, cowls, and sweaters to give you an idea. The chart itself as exploded into its own identity. There’s white, black, brown, and even rainbow sheep. People have added a Llama in place of one sheep and I’ve even seen a sheep-dog join the sheep.
The first thing I do in the morning is let out the chickens and clean the coop. Then coffee. Always coffee. River of Dreams is perfect to knit while my brain is absorbing caffeine from the coffee to wake up. Usually, I have Instagram stories playing. I knit about 10-12 rows a day. true too, is i move a little slow in the mornings. So now you can understand why it’s taking so long to finish.
You will remember from previous posts, the pattern River Of Dreams by Lauren Rene, was written in conjunction with the anniversary of LYS Flying Needles. I love that this shawl has a playful mix of colorful stripes throughout. The yarn I’m using was a kit from the shop created for this shawl. It also included an exclusive color, River Of Dreams, there are five colors in all. I’d say I’m about 75% done with my shawl.
Some changes I incorporated
I decided to work a garter stitch border rather just Stockinette as the pattern is written. I knit 10 rows of Garter giving me 5 ridges, then 5 stitches of Garter on each end. It’s my preference that the edges to lay flat. Which is why I went with the garter stitch border.
I haven’t knit myself a sweater since 2017. I felt this needed to be remedied. So I joined the Olive Knits January Gansey Sweater knit along.
The January Gansey Sweater is a pattern written by Olive Knits. There is a KAL group on Facebook and on Ravelry where people are sharing and asking questions. There also are weekly videos discussing the technical aspects of this sweater hosted by Marie Greene of OliveKnits. as luck would have it there happen to be a few other people besides myself making this sweater at the LYS, Flying Needles. I’ve chosen to knit mine with Berroco Ultra Wool DK in a pretty moss green color. I’m using the color #83118 in the dye lot of 7C4778. I’m modifying where I start the cables to what I feel will suit my charming Apple Shape a bit better, but otherwise will be following the pattern.
I chose this specific knit along because it included a technique I always wanted to try, underarm gussets. I would not be surprised if you just read that last sentence and it didn’t even sound like a real thing. Underarm Gusset, indeed. I assure you, all the non-knitters and knitters alike, that it is indeed real and it’s a very old and useful technique.
A Gansey or Guernsey Sweater is a traditional woolen knit sweater often worn my fisherman. Now, I’m not a fisherman, but I will be wearing this sweater. And, I do enjoy learning about historical clothing, especially when it also incorporates knitting.
As I was working along on my sweater it occurred to me it might be a good time to also go ahead and strip off the lavender flowers from the bouquet I bought at the Williamsburg Farmers Market this fall and make new sachets. While doing this I took this opportunity to add a couple drops of Lavender essential oil to some of the older lavender sachets I had made in the past. I now have freshly protected drawers in which I can store my sweater once I finish it.
I have six or so sweaters I’ve knit and a dresser full of other things knit. Mostly I knit with wool so protection against moths is really important.
So for the next week, I expect I’ll be plugging along on the stockinette body of my January Gansey Sweater. This will have the added bonus of making the fussy cabled section to be minimal. Allowing me to focus on my two oldest sons, Charlie and Ricky, while they are here for a visit. They will be here this coming weekend. I am very much looking forward to seeing them.
I will be starting the cables a few inches before the underarm gusset. I expect both these things will require my undivided attention. And in truth, I really want to give my boys my undivided attention, too. So I may have to set the sweater aside when I get to this point. Good thing I have several other projects I can knit as a back-up. You can never be too prepared.
I’m not really the type to set New Year’s resolutions. I always want to be working on bettering myself and our quality of life. I know I need to do things like exercise more, eat healthily and be more patient, always.
So rather than specifically have a resolution here are the things I want to focus on;
make the most of our acre and grow food, and actually eat it
focus on getting chemicals and toxins out of my life, that means you too, diet Pepsi
find my people, I’ve been a hermit this past year
In a nutshell, we are already planning what we want to grow, will refocus on shopping places like the local farmers market and the newly opened Earth Fare, clean up our eating with help from the previous two, and put myself out more in the knitting world and visit my family.
Short and sweet with the intent of accountability. Next time I’ll tell you a bit about my nephew’s visit with my mom. Anthony, too, is a huge fan of our chickens.
Until then I’m off to measure my gauge swatches on my January Gansey for the knit along I joined.
Happy Knitting, gardening, cooking or whatever brings you joy.
We had our first snow of the season last Sunday. It didn’t begin to stick until we had a few inches. So even though we had about four inches it was rather sparse on the ground. It was still beautiful.
The previous day Chuck had trimmed some holly bushes and I used the trimmings to add into the pots and window boxes to bring some Christmas cheer to the curb appeal of our house.
I knew I wanted to add some pine branches in and I considered picking some up when we were at Sam’s Club but I really didn’t want to pay for them. We have many Pine trees in the neighborhood and I thought I might ask one of the neighbors if I could trim some branches from theirs. As luck would have it, with the weight of the snow there were several downed branches from pine trees laying around on the sides of the road. Tim and I stopped and pick up several of the smaller ones. I popped them in the pots with the Hollys and I love how they look.
Let’s talk about a different type of snowflakes. Crocheted snowflakes! I purchased some of these charming snowflakes in the past at craft fairs in New Mexico. I previously hung them, with my particularly tall daughter’s help, from the sky light over our kitchen island. In our new house I needed a new way to display them. I decided to hang them from the window valance in our main living room. it has a large picture window and looks over our backyard. I had the perfect amount for that window. I hung them with command hooks and fishing line. They are so enchanting here. I really wanted to hang them from all our windows! But I didn’t have a source to purchase them here in Virgina.
Now you must understand that I don’t really crochet.I’m really just a knitter. In fact I thought I was rather terrible at crochet. But I started researching for some patterns. I thought if I could fund some simple ones at least I’d give it ago. I came across this book on Ravelry, 100 Snowflakes. I was able to find it for purchase on Amazon and immediately ordered it.
Much to my surprise its very well written. It has written patterns as well as charted patterns for each snowflake. There pictured steps of each crochet stitch in the beginning of the book for quick reference. The snowflakes are grouped by Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. I began with Snowflake #1 and have currently worked through Snowflake #48. I’m proud to say my crochet skills have grown as I’ve moved through the book. I’m using Aunt Lydia’s #10 crochet thread and a size US 6 crochet hook.
In order for the snowflakes to really shine they need to be blocked with starch. Starch is surprisingly hard to find now a days. I looked at both Target and Walmart. There was spray starch but I needed the liquid kind so I could soak each snowflake and then pin it out. Amazon to the rescue. I ended up ordering Aleene’s Starch from Amazon. This is the exact starch suggested in the book.
Today I started blocking the snowflakes. It’s going to take a few rounds as I don’t have enough T-pins. I used some push pins put that doesn’t work as well since I can’t see the finer details because the pins take up more the visual space.
It’s been fun and I want to make all 100! I’m not sure that will happen before this Christmas because I just purchased a Snowman pattern by Susan B. Anderson that I really would like to work on.
If you give a mouse a cookie and all, then if you finish a shawl, you will probably begin a shawl. At least that is what I did.
I just finished the Maighdeann-ròin, the Seal Maiden, by Nat Raewulf. I made my with three colors, one was a lovely salmon pink tonal and the other two both had this color but one was mostly grey with speckles and the other pink, white and black. I typically am a matchy-match girl when it comes to colors so throwing in the mostly grey skein was a bit out of my comfort zone. I should clarify it’s not that it doesn’t match exactly……More that it evokes a different feeling. I’m not really explaining it right. I typically would have chosen a tonal in another solid color. Perhaps it that I would never have put the grey with the black together. I was really drawn into that grey one with how the yellow pops against the pink.
And here’s the thing. Now that the shawl is finished I actually really like the grey one better than the black, pink and white skein. So now the odd one out feels like its no longer the grey but instead the black. Funny how that happens.
Overall, I really like the finished shawl. I like the way the long tails curly-cue. I so wish I add made the picot edge more pronounced, it seems to need a more substantial defining edge. I used the backwards edge cast on and it wasn’t a good choice. I may go back and remove this and redo it but in reality of taking time to do this I probably will not.
That is this one. It is The River of Dreams by Lauren Rene. This shawl was specially designed for the LYS store, The Flying Needles, anniversary. I also got a special color way dyed yarn made just for this shop. The shawl uses 5 colors. Mine starts with a darker blue-turquoise working through to lighter and lighter turquoise to mostly white. I thought the blues was a nice choice for a shawl with river in the name.
The shawl is a big rectangle with a panel of lace and faux cables. I haven’t made a rectangle shawl in awhile so it will be nice for tv watching as there wont’t be any changes in stitch count.
I haven’t shown you a competed picture go my Magic Stripes scarf finished so I’m popping one here.