Begin again when you End

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.  

I said you finished a shawl, and this was the one, you also will start a shawl. 

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.

I’m off to knit while we watch some Netflix.

Happy knitting. 

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Hydrangeas

I’ve never had a Hydrangea bush before. Luckily this house has 3! They are just coming into bloom.  I noticed the buds yesterday. Do Hydrangeas have buds? I guess the flowers just before they open are buds?

Any way. I noticed them yesterday. They range in colors from purple to pink. As you may know, I have a great love of all things Red, White and Blue. My dining room has fallen into that realm accidentally. But my front porch is all about the Red, White and Blue intentionally. So, these Hydrangeas clearly need to be blue. Off to Lowe’s we go.  [Max works there so we always choose Lowe’s over that other place with the orange logo.] I picked up fertilizer to add acidity to dirt around the Hydrangeas to encourage blue blooms. Among the fertilizer I also got several more bags of River Rock, it seems we have a never ending need for more rock. Did you know the more the soil is acidic they are blue, the more neutral they are purple, the more alkaline they are pink?

 

They have to be blue, am I right? We need more blue to offset the red. GO TEAM Red, White and Blue! (Side note; I’m thinking about adding my other bistro set to the  porch as well.)

 

With the current colors ranging from purple to pink,  definitely not blue, I’m hopeful its was not too late to add the fertilizer for this year. Next year I will get it out there earlier.

But this is not what is so interesting about my notice of the Hydrangea’s flowers…………The interesting part is actually all about the knitting!

 

 

Later in the day I was knitting on my Chevron Shenanigans shawl. And it hit me. The colors were the same as my Hydrangeas! I had no idea as the thought never occurred to me. I bought this kit last fall I think. While I still lived in New Mexico for sure. I’ve not given much thought about Hydrangeas or their colors previously. [How many time can I say Hydrangeas in one post!?!] Much less chosen colors of yarn for Hydrangeas. I’m using yarn from a Fade kit I purchased on Etsy from Woolfiend.

Well, I’ve decided I need to rename my shawl and henceforth it is the Hydrangea Shawl. I have a new perspective on creating color combos and project names. This shawl calls for five colors and you fade them into one another similar to how the Find Your Fade shawl is. Fading colors is exactly what the Hydrangea flowers are doing! Tip-Fading is super trendy still and can be great for stash busting.

I love to work chevrons and this one with short rows is fun and feels fast. I’ve developed a strategy using stitch markers that enables me to need to only glance at the pattern for reminders and to confirm stitch counts. There are 18 rows per section, and 22 sections for the large size I’m making. I’m currently about to start section 13. As you work the short rows, stitches are left behind, to be worked again later. In this case they are reintroduced in row 17. I use a stitch marker for each set of rows to make counting easier for me.

I’m using the small purple one to denote rows 1-2, the dragonfly one for rows 3-4, then the pins for each of the for consecutive rows3-4, then rows 13-14 & 15-16 are easily counted so I don’t mark them.  I use the pink locking marker to count where the short row stops as I work towards it, I then replace it with the previously specified markers. This is working great, I can stop at any point and know exactly where I am in the sequence.  And, unintentionally, the marker dish happens to be the Hydrangea colors as well! Bonus.

 

So this week I’m laying pretty low as I hurt my foot somehow a few weeks ago. Doing yard work probably. Since it’s still bothering me I’m trying to stay off it as much as I can. That’s giving me a bit of extra knitting time so I won’t be complaining. I do have a doctor appointment next week with a podiatrist if it’s not any better. Until then.

Happy knitting!

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.

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

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.

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.