Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Half Granny Square Shawl




Yarn:  Berroco Nebula - 1 skein
Crochet Hook:  Size 5

I'm an avid knitter and decided to travel outside my comfort zone into the crochet world.  

This free pattern is simply a half granny square.  It is addictive and a quick project.  So addictive that I just completed my 4th one.  I'll have pictures of those for you soon.  It's a good thing that yarn is my sole addiction.  

About three evenings of crocheting will result in a finished shawl.

The colors are unusual but very vibrant.  The darker color is also at the neck but didn't show up in this picture. 

I am gifting this shawl to my daughter for her birthday.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fiber Dyeing

My good friend, Marlene, invited me to her home to dye roving.  Always eager to learn something new from an experienced person, I jumped at the chance.  

I am a total "newbie" so I will just tell you that roving is one of the steps on the way to spinning yarn.  

Being the ultimate hostess, she had a wonderful lunch and dessert for us.  I'd say it was a "win/win" for me.

My spinning guild has a dye day every June but I've never participated.  I was afraid to add just one more thing to my already busy life that I might enjoy.   

 Above, Marlene is starting to fill the canning jars with roving. 

 Making progress.....jars are filled and about 1/8 teaspoon of dye is being added.  It's a matter of preference.  You can add multiple colors to get the shade you might want.


 Marlene is filling the jars with a mixture of water/vinegar.  Approximately 1/4 cup of vinegar to a gallon of water.


 We've stirred the dye with the handle to a wooden spoon.  How much you stir the dye affects the outcome.  You can establish a gradient color or solid color by either using a light stir or a vigorous one.  

The jars were put in a hot water bath for about 20 minutes.  All equipment is strictly dedicated to dyeing and not used for cooking.


 Marlene, had samples to show me using natural plants in the dyeing process.


 Once the jars have been drained, the roving resides on screens (or the like) to dry in the beautiful Vermont sunshine.


 Using jars is useful if you want to dye smaller batches in multiple colors.


 We also dyed a march larger batch directly in the canning pot. 
 Doesn't this look like strawberry sorbet?



 I think we should call this one, "Lemon Curd"


 ........and how about blueberry pie?

I think I may be getting hungry.  Food names come to mind. 

Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Knitting Bargain!


What a bargain!  This book was $24.95 and I purchased it for $9.98 incl. tax.  It's a luxury to have a 60% off coupon for JoAnn's.  Did you know that they are now once again accepting coupons on their books?   They have a lovely selection. 

A few months ago I purchased Envisioknit, a knitwear software program that is pretty powerful.  My goal, now that I have entered the wonderful world of retirement, is to start writing knitting patterns. 

I have been in a knitting frenzy.  I've become someone who is high on all things fiber related.  I wake up at 3:00 a.m. and reach for my knitting needles.  By 3:00 p.m. I am ready to crash on my bed filled with wonder.  I wonder why I allowed myself, like a spoiled child, to get up so early.  I am just plain tired.

So obsessed with knitting that my new weight-loss program on some days is to knit through breakfast and feast on lunch.  

With all that said, I have a lot of blogging to catch up on.  I spent the last last three days blocking all those hand knits, so stay tuned.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Welcome Blanket - Completed



Several pairs of knitting  hands gathered at my LYS to assemble squares for the "Welcome Blanket".  The blanket will be sent to the refugee program as mentioned to you in my previous post.  

It was a very warm and satisfying feeling to knit for this project.  The two skeins produced three 10" squares and each blanket required a total of 16 squares.  

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Welcome Blanket

 My LYS (local yarn shop) is sponsoring this project for the refugee program.  Somewhat political, I was criticized on Facebook for knitting these squares.  I thought my privacy settings were for "friends only" but somehow that was not the case.  I was told by an unknown individual that I should be knitting for vets and the homeless instead.  I informed this gentleman that if they were sponsored I would knit for them as well.  I didn't like the word "instead" and wished he had said "also".

I felt challenged so I "turnaround play" was appropriate.  I asked what he was doing to make this a "better world".  He did not respond.  I'm not surprised. 
 I've knitted for other charities in the past.  It's always very satisfying.  In this case, we were asked to purchase two skeins of Ella Rae Chunky Superwash.  It is fantastic to knit with and two skeins completes three 10" squares.  Sixteen squares (40"x40") are needed for the blanket.  It will be interesting as to how they will be assembled as there are many "different looks" that can be achieved.


Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Knitting For A Cure


A few months ago, my LYS, "Must Love Yarn",  was sponsoring the purchase of this pink yarn to help fund cancer research.  


I purchased a set of these crochet needles.  It didn't take much convincing.  It's like being a child when you wanted all the different colored crayons.  I already own the pink Denise Needles (knitting) set. 





 A gift of yarn and a pattern to knit one of the scarves on display was being donated to a cancer patient/survivor.  Below are the beautiful selections.








 With my next posting, I will show you which one of these scarves I knitted and what accessory is a WIP that is so much fun and very whimsical.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tic Toc Knitting


Tic Toc, the clock is getting louder.  It is deafening to my ears and translating into a headache.  I'm in hopes of completing this project in time to wear on the 4th.  The insane side of my knitting brain tells me to complete in time for a party this Sunday.  That is 2 1/2 days away readers.  I doubt that I will meet my self-imposed deadline. 

There are 62 stripes and I have 20 completed.  To my credit, I started knitting this shawlette 1 1/2 days ago so that is really good progress.

The pattern is free on Ravelry.  "Protest Is Patriotic Shawl".  I hate the word protest.  It sounds so combative.  I prefer the word "Activist" or perhaps "Demonstrator".  

I am a political junkie.  I try to limit my views on social media.  I did march in the "Pussycat" event earlier this year.  I did not agree with all the group supported but I did agree with enough to show my support.  After all, this is not a "black and white" world.  There are grey areas.

Knitting this pattern is a "feel good" recreation.  It is difficult to put down.  Sleeping seems like such a waste of time.  See my previous post for my yarn selection.  It is so wonderful that I'm thinking I want to return to the yarn shop to see what colorways they have that would be suitable for a summer short-sleeve top.  

The edge on the shawl needs a little tweaking.  That red zig zag edge will fall into place.  

I'm knitting in the ends as I go along and a little further tugging will take care of this.  Knitting in the ends as you go is the best way of doing it.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Protest Is Patriotic Shawl




The pattern, "Protest is Patriotic Shawl", is free at Ravelry.com.  I'm invited to a party for the 4th, and wanting to show my patriotism,  I may have had a delusional moment in thinking that I can wear this shawlette to the event.  Ha!   It may be for 2018 but I will give it a shot.  I'm going to a party and would love to wear it.  No stress but then I thrive on deadlines.  

I looked everywhere, including the web, for the yarn.  I was on a quest for summer weight yarn and had difficulty finding the right shade of red or blue with the same fiber content at various shops or on the web.

I went to my "not so local yarn shop" in Montpelier, Vermont called "Yarn".  I always find what I am looking for and the friendliness and customer service is superb.  

I love the fiber combination.


Wish me luck!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Frosted Leaves Scarf




I'm a member of the Twist 'O Wool Spinning Guild (Middlebury, Vermont) and a few of us attended SPA-New England Textile Arts in Freeport, Maine earlier this year.



The event is sponsored by three of the hotels in town and is always successful.  My daughter and I, along with my fellow members stay at the Harraseeket Inn and we are treated like royalty.  Dining is affordable and absolutely delicious with a multitude of entree selections.  

This event has no classes, just very relaxing gatherings in various lounges and conference rooms where folks share ideas, skills and form new friendships.

My group selected "Frosted Leaves" by Louisa Harding to knit and model at the Saturday night fashion show.  Due to fire regulations, the crowd is limited to 250 people and there are people standing outside hoping to get in if there are "no shows". 

There's a real feeling of camaraderie.  We received a standing ovation accompanied by cheers as we walked on stage as our group was well-represented and probably the largest group there. 



My daughter and I were all smiles as folks complimented us on our scarves.  It is so much fun to have a daughter that knits and spins as I do.  I am quite proud of her for many reasons. 





There were many, many wonderful gifts from various vendors who sponsor this event.  It is exciting, absolutely exciting especially when I won one of the top prizes....a one night stay at the Hilton.



I have no shame.  I will soon brag and show you the two shawls that my daughter knitted and were modeled by the two of us.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Aviendha Shawl



Pattern:  Aviendha Shawl (can be found at Ravelry.com)
Needles:  Size 4 

I retired recently.  A co-worker gave me a gift certificate to my LYS.  She's also a knitter and we've had many fun conversations about knitting and patterns over the years. 

Thinking of "Y" words for this project, "yummy yarn" and "yak" come to mind.

The yarn is lace weight and a little slippery to knit with.  Bamboo needles might be easier but I prefer the tips on "Knitters Pride" needles.  Knitting stabilizes and gets easier after the first couple of rows.  

The pattern requires a cast-on of 372 stitches.  Garter stitch is very easy knitting but I find that tension is very important. Stitch markers are used to track decreases.


Because I am using a center-pull cake, and because the yarn is so slippery and would fall on itself as the cake gets smaller and   knot itself, I am using a "yarn bra".  The bra keeps the "cake" compact.  These can be purchased at your local yarn shop.  You can also use an onion bag or a nylon stocking/knee high.  (The color way is aqua and not blue.)

I was inspired with the color way after seeing my daughter, Amy, wearing one of her hand knits a a knitting retreat we attended earlier this year.  


It is so much fun to have a daughter who shares my knitting passion and has become a very accomplished knitter herself.  Her yarn stash will soon rival my own.

We have traveled together to three major knitting events in recent months.  We inspire each other.  Having 1/1 time with my daughter is wonderful.

I have several completed projects that are awaiting blocking and I will post again soon.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Baa-Ble Hat


Pattern:  Baa-Ble (free on Ravelry)
Yarn:  Halcyon Worsted
Needles:  Size 7

It was Easter weekend and I was looking for a fun and whimsical knitting project.  This one was perfect.

Can you visualize the sheep grazing on the green grass with a beautiful sky above?  It puts a smile on my face.

I love stranded knitting (fair isle).  It's my favorite kind of knitting.  Color A is held in the right hand and color B is held in the left hand while knitting.   If you'd like to know more on how to enhance the finished appearance of your fair isle knitting, read the following article....."The Importance of Yarn dominance"

"Never Not Knitting"The yarn for this project was purchased at Halcyon Yarn in Bath, Maine (blue not shown).  I love their yarn.  It is worsted weight, keeps its shape/drape and doesn't pill.  I think I have enough yarn leftover to knit mittens or a cowl.
 
I've now completed the hat and am undecided whether or not to add a pompom. 
 
Just a side note...........when I completed the had, it looked so small and might fit a child.  After blocking it was fine for an adult size head.
 
Happy Knitting!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Zick Zack Scarf





Pattern:  Zick Zack Scarf (free at Ravelry.com)
Yarn:  Mille Colori Baby
Needles:  Size 2 - Knitters Pride Karbonz

This pattern is very suitable for a beginner knitter.  I usually like to work on a simple pattern suitable for tv watching and another project much more complicated to keep the creative juices flowing. 

The pattern is a repeat of 8 stitches and every row is the same.  Can't get any simpler.  It does take awhile to visualize any progress when knitting on size 2 needles but in the end, it is satisfying. 

Because the pattern calls for two different color way selections, and the fact that each is variegated, you will never see two knitted scarves using this pattern that are identical.  

A little expensive at $15/ball, I justify the cost by the fact that I have no other vices but purchasing nice yarn. 




I recently purchased these specialty needles for small circular projects.  The needles are shorter and the cords are 16".  They are delightful to knit with and great for hats, socks, and tubular scarves.


Here is to link to purchase them. http://www.yarn.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/categoryID/31B6C702-FA58-47C3-9696-C0349D662328/productID/75115F69-7FA9-47B8-A00E-643CCA7C4530/

Happy Knitting!
Joan

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lady Butterfly Hat and Vest

Pattern:  Lady Butterfly Hat and Vest (can be found on Ravelry.com)
Yarn:  I think it is Plymouth but I've misplaced the ball band
Size:  6 mos-6 yrs.
Needles:  Size 4
 
My older daughter, Amy, and I are knitting this pattern.  She's knitting the hat and I'm knitting the vest.  She lives in Rhode Island and I live in Vermont, of course, so it is nice when we get together and work on this project.  It's quality mother/daughter time together.
 
The pattern is a simple 4 row repeat, well-written and very easy to follow.  The bottom edge of the both pieces is picot which lends a very nice look to the pieces.  
 

The back is completed and the front is almost done.  The assembly and picking up stitches around the arms and neck is what will be more time-consuming.  The cable is the "body" of the butterfly and notice that the top cable is larger as that will be the "head" with the antennae later attached along with the wings.


This little gadget was purchased at WEBS.  It makes twisted cords.  You can also purchase it with three or more clips for additional cording (i.e. three colors, etc.) Here's a link to YouTube to see how it works..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b2jL4UgsfA

I blogged recently after a long absence.  It was so nice to hear from old friends.  The knitting/crocheting community is so wonderful.

Happy Knitting!