Knitting Feeds

Fibre in your diet

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 20:01

Socktober is still a thing over here. I had a brief dalliance with the beginnings of a shawl at Knit City, but it didn’t quite take hold, though it might have stood a chance but for Megan. My mum loved clothes shopping and did heaps of it for all of us, so I was trying to be a good grandmother, and asked her what Elliot needed. She answered that he could use a sleeper or two, and that she likes the ones with feet. I went shopping, and had trouble finding footed ones that would fit him. (Being of average weight for his age but of a rather diminutive stature, our wee lad is a bit of a square.) I bought the one footed one I could find, and two that didn’t have feet, and forked them over to Meg. When I did, she mentioned that the reason she likes the footed ones is because his little feet get so cold at night and then she said maybe he needed more booties or socks or something like that and I felt a feeling that must be exactly like the way sharks feel when they pour the buckets of chum in the water.

I went the knitter equivalent of bananas. It was all I could think of. Babies are enough to set me off, but the thought of a cold baby who could only be saved by knitting? Lunatic. I was a lunatic with wool. My grandson had cold feet and I was unstoppable. Hours later:

One pair with ribbed cuffs and a stockinette foot, and another pair where I kept the ribbing going on the top of the sock, and gave way to stockinette on only the bottom. (No pattern, though you can find lots on Ravelry if you look – wait, I did it for you. These ones by Kate Atherley look perfect.) The good news is that not only are his feet warm, they fit just fine:

Maybe a little big, but he’s growing fast, and they are apparently delicious.

The green ones especially.

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Modification Monday: Psychedelic Lapsus

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 11:00

Original Pattern: Lapsus Knitter Extraordinaire: Marion (Ravelry ID) Mods: Knitted the top down open cardigan bottom up instead, all in one piece. She also added button bands and a collar, and set in sleeves instead of the original drop shoulder. Even added a small pocket! Details can be found on her project page, here.  

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Knitting to Stay Sane - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 21:23
Hellooooooooo! It’s been more than a minute or two since I’ve been at my blog, knitter pals, and for that I am sorry. I meant to take a short break once summer started, and then summer turned into more summer, which then turned into fall, and now it’s the middle of October and here we […]
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October featured Indie Dyer~ The Woolen Homestead

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 14:40
Hello there! I am so happy to be able to introduce October's featured indie dyer, The Woolen Homestead. I first found Tiffany via Youtube through her wonderful podcast. When she started dyeing, I knew that without a doubt I had to get my grubby yarn loving hands on some of... Andi
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Where Fiber Meets Fingers Redux

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 10:00
Yesterday was national I Love Yarn Day (ILYD), so it seemed fitting to revisit this post from a few years ago. However, you choose to celebrate, I hope you find a way this weekend to spend some quality time with your favorite fiber and craft. Enjoy!

One of the best ways to celebrate ILYD (or weekend) is to visit your favorite LYS.

This is on my mind because through the marvels of Ravelry, I recently had an interesting exchange regarding the symbiotic relationship among yarn makers, yarn dyers, yarn buyers, designers and LYS owners. As part of that discussion, I commented that LYS owners ...occupy that unique space where fiber meets fingers. You know what appeals to your customers, and you’re the ones who face the challenge of guiding them through the process of matching the right yarn and needles to the right patterns and vice versa.
The designer/knitter/yarn maker/seller relationship is complementary and when these factors come together, a little magic happens and everyone wins. As an added bonus, fiber folks are a generous lot, so loved ones and strangers frequently gain something too: 
It's easy to participate in ILYD, just visit your local yarn store. Inhale fiber fumes, pet some yarn and connect with those who share your passion. Find the perfect yarn and pattern so you can create something special. Take along a stubborn stash skein and pair it with new yarn to make something fresh and delightful. Indulge in a coveted set of needles. Work on a WIP or cast on a holiday gift. Teach someone to knit, attend a class or master a new stitch.

If you knit, crochet, design, dye, spin, weave or work with fiber in any way, it's likely your LYS plays a pivotal role in your creative endeavors. Celebrate your craft by doing what you love with others who love it, too, in that unique space where fiber meets fingers.

Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

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Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week How information overload robs us of our creativity. To de-stress, try talking to yourself in the third person. Every female lead in every romantic comedy, written by a man. This ballet rotoscope is so hypnotically beautiful. My Favourite Pins This Week If you are loving all things pumpkin

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Road Trip? Plan for Yarn Stops

Knitted Bliss - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:00

Fellow knitters, do you know about the Ravelry Road Trip Planner? You enter in your starting point and then destination, along with how far off the route you are willing to drive to get to a yarn shop: It then churns out a list of every yarn shop in the Ravelry database between your Point

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Vegetables are important

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 20:34

Thanksgiving came and went this weekend, and we all magically got through it. Our first holiday without her, and there were moments that were just fine, and moments that were awful and we missed mum so much our hearts were fit to break. I’m finding this grief like that. Everything will be completely okay or completely horrible, and then something swings it the other way, and there’s no predicting what it will be. I’ll be standing there, and I’ll see Elliot learning to sit, and think my Mum would love that was happening and then cry for her so desperately, or realize my mum would like something else and then laugh out loud thinking of how she’d enjoy it.

Do you know, that in as much as my mother was a completely reasonable person and frighteningly bright, for some insane reason, she would never, ever put out more than a single can of corn for 14 people at a family diner.   A few years ago I told her that it was time for the unreasonable and inexplicable corn rationing to stop. Perhaps when we were little, a single can cut it -but now we’re all grown and she has grandchildren and I pointed out that corn is cheap and Erin really likes it and that Erin could eat practically a can herself, and that the single can system was being mocked pretty openly.  “Loosen up mum, buy more corn” I told her, and she did. Mum very reluctantly bought two cans, doubling the number of kernels each person could have to a whopping nine or so, and nothing on this earth would convince her to so much as consider a three can solution. Things were already pretty out of control, to her way of thinking. Three can’s would have been MADNESS.

When I arrived at Erin’s on Sunday, she hustled me into the kitchen, lifted the lid off a very large pot, and proudly showed me a veritable vat of corn. “Holy Cats” I breathed, rather awestruck. “Eight cans” she said, and her face shone.  “Mum’s gone. We can stop the madness now. Everyone can have all the corn they want.”  At the end of the night (and despite having 16 people for dinner) the leftover were corn, corn, some corn and about three more or less incinerated Brussels sprouts.

(Photo emailed to the family the next morning as the reality of how much corn Erin had began to sink in.)

We stood there – looking at all that corn, and agreed that while mum hadn’t been right, we guessed we weren’t either. We still don’t have the magic number. It’s somewhere between two and eight cans though, and I can’t tell you how much Mum would love that.*

*Truly, I’ve been the model of restraint, because I have not emailed my sister 47 recipes that use corn, or started a pinterest board called “Too much corn” and sent her a link, and neither have I suggested several craft projects using laminated or dehydrated leftover corn – although really… That’s what mum would have done.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

No-Think Socks? I Think So!

Knit and Tonic - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 00:16
My mom was a woman of short cuts. If there was a product out there labeled "instant," she'd be on it. Once, she painted the living room and kept changing the color because it wasn't quite right. Then, all the... Wendy
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Modification Monday: First Colorwork Sweater

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 11:00

Original Pattern: 164-23 English Afternoon Knitter Extraordinaire: Nunu (Ravelry ID) Mods: Changed the original 4- color stranded design into a 2-colour design instead. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: How many of you have looked at a great colourwork design, and found it a bit too intimidating to

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Knit chat about blogging...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 10/08/2017 - 13:04
Happy Sunday! Hello there. How was your week? It has been a tough week/month/year on our hearts with hurricanes, floods and senseless killings. I may blog and chat about yarn and not mention how my spirit breaks with all the tragedies going on in our world-not because I don't care... Andi
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Ombres & Gradients: 5 Fresh Ways to Create Your Own

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 10/08/2017 - 12:30
In recent months, we've been exploring ways to create your own custom DIY gradients, ombres and fades. Whether you use purpose-bought yarn or yarn from stash, they're the perfect way to leverage singletons or orphans and put leftovers or odd balls to good use.

Because gradient is a more inclusive term, I tend to use it more often than ombre in these how-to posts. Briefly, here's how I distinguish between the two
Ombre schemes focus on one color family and incorporate varied shades that progress from saturated to pale or dark to light, whether the yarn has been dyed in graduated hues or features colors you've selected for a custom effect.Gradient schemes, on the other hand, can incorporate shades from any color family, related or radically different. Both simple and complex gradients typically feature a transitional section that blends one color with the next.In the first overview, Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own, we explored strategies ranging from basic to five-stage gradients. Today, let's pick up where we left off and look at five fresh ways to mix yarns to create custom ombre, gradient and fade effects.

(Most of the bold titles below contain two links: Click the gradient one to read more about that specific technique. Click the project name to learn more about the project shown.)

1. Six-stage gradient: Colsie Plumberry

Strategy: Solid colors are separated by transitional sections consisting of two-row stripes. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose three colors that play well together. 
  • Arrange them in your preferred sequence.
  • Work section 1 with CC1.
  • Work section 2 with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work section 3 with CC2.
  • Work section 4 with CC2 and CC3.
  • Work section 5 with CC3.
  • Work section 6 with CC3 and CC1.

2. Seven-stage gradient: Colsie Green Gradient

Strategy:  Solid sections are connected by transitional sections with two-row stripes. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose four related colors. 
  • Arrange them dark to light or light to dark.
  • Work section 1 with CC1.
  • Work section 2 with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work section 3 with CC2.
  • Work section 4 with CC2 and CC3.
  • Work section 5 with CC3.
  • Work section 6 with CC3 and CC4.
  • Work section 7 with CC4.

3. 9-stage or double-take ombre gradient: WIP swatch

Strategy: Double the number of ombre stages by working a series of solid sections followed by transitional sections featuring alternating two-row stripes. This works with any number of colors, but to achieve a look similar to what's shown:
  • Choose five related colors and arrange them light to dark or dark to light.
  • Work section 1 with CC1.
  • Work section 2 with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work section 3 with CC2.
  • Work section 4 with CC2 and CC3.
  • Work section 5 with CC3.
  • Work section 6 with CC3 and CC4.
  • Work section 7 with CC4.
  • Work section 8 with CC4 and CC5.
  • Work section 9 with CC5.

4. Five-stage mirror gradient: Colsie Mirror Gradient

Strategy: Turn two shades into a five-stage mirrored gradient. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose two colors. 
  • Work section 1 with CC1 only.
  • Work section 2 with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work section 3 with CC2 only.
  • Work section 4 with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work section 5 with CC1 only.

5. Three-stage variegated gradient: Colsie Berry Tonal Gradient

Strategy:  Each section is worked in alternating two-row stripes. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose one variegated yarn and three related solid shades that blend with the variegated.
  • Treat the variegated yarn as the MC, because it will appear in each section.
  • Work section 1 with MC and CC1.
  • Work section 2 with MC and CC2.
  • Work section 3 with MC and CC3.Do a mismatched pair: 

Infinitely adaptable and completely customizable, ombres, gradients and fades never become boring, so hopefully, these strategies will inspire you to look at your stash or next yarn acquisition with fresh eyes and a sense of adventure.
Over the years, I've used these techniques in countless projects, and with three gradient projects on the needles as we speak, there's no doubt I'll be using them in many more to come. I hope the same will soon be true for you, too.


   Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own  Stashbusting Strategies (Part II)

To see all ombre and gradient posts, click here.
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Pin Ups: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Lila is currently obsessed with watching videos of fruit bats on YouTube. They are surprisingly adorable! Here’s one eating a banana, and here’s one with a bunch of baby fruit bats swaddled like burritos and using little pacifiers. You can strengthen your resiliency, just like any other muscle.

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I think I joined up

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 21:33

You know, unless they’re darned fancy, I never really think of socks as a “project.” I mean, they’re sort of peripherally always there, and I work on them when I’m walking, talking, waiting, flying, taking the bus, waiting for the subway… and they just… get done. I think of them like they sort of fall off me. I’ll turn around and whoops, there’s another pair. This last weekend I went to Knit City (what a lovely event, and such a gentle re-entry to the world of the working) and I had lots of time that I was travelling, walking, listening, waiting, and the very first three minutes I was on my way there I had one pair of socks all done…

Pattern: I faked it. Yarn: Must Stash, in the fab colourway “Happy Snowman”. Needles 2.25mm.

and turned my attention to the next pair. I knit the first one on the plane,

On the bus,

when I took myself out to dinner. (I ate in three really good vegetarian restaurants this time)

I started the second while I was walking.

On the flight home…

when I was walking downtown,

and voila. Another pair fell right off me.

Pattern: I faked it again. Yarn: String Theory in “Trifolium.” Needles: 2.25mm

I just started another pair, and I suddenly feel like I’ve properly signed up for Socktober without even thinking about it. Let’s see… shall we?

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Tantramar Cardi

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:00

Original Pattern: Tantramar Toque Knitter Extraordinaire: Tanis Lavallee (Ravelry ID, Blog) Mods: Using the chart from the original hat design, Tanis improvised a child’s steeked cardigan. More details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Sometimes playing around with colourwork can be as simple as finding a great design, and

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Ribs & Revelations

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 10/01/2017 - 16:50
Here's the scoop. Recently, I was sorting through recent FOs, works in progress and projects in the planning pipeline. The goal was to set some priorities, but instead I made a strange discovery.

In addition to my long-standing obsession with ombres and gradients, I appear to be equally obsessed with ribby knits and rib stitches in all their forms. Here are just a few of the many examples that led to this revelation.

Colsie Mitts
 Colsie Berry Gradient Mitts
I've made ... wait a minute while I go count ... five pairs of mitts featuring this super-easy slipped rib stitch, and another pair is on the needles. In addition to being a great way to blend colors into a DIY gradient of my own choosing, this stitch produces a wonderfully stretchy fabric that's perfect for mitts, hats, cuffs, cowls and anything else that requires elasticity.

Colsie Cowl

 Starting Over

In spite of the fact that I have too many projects already on the needles, winter is coming. I need all the cozy knits I can muster, so I went ahead and cast on this cowl-scarf. Worked on larger than typical needles, it features an adaptation of the same ribbed slip stitch used in the Colsie mitts, and it's producing a fabric that's light, lush and flexible.

Kintra Mitts

 Kintra Mitts Nearly Neutral
This pattern is yet another example of my ribby obsession. It includes two slipped rib stitches, both of which are useful and adaptable. I love all my Kintra mitts (X pairs and counting), and I'm wearing this pair as I write. The neutral mitts above are my current favorites, however, which leads me to my next example ...

Kintra Cowl

Okay, technically, this isn't a project yet, but the yarn is sitting out waiting to be cast on, so I'm including it in this mini-roundup. The goal is to create a cowl or scarf to complement my nearly neutral Kintra mitts, as part of my plan to create coordinated sets that make the most of the knits I have.

Wyndfael Mitts
Wyndfael Turquoise Mitts
I know, I know. You look at this design and think: Wait, those are cables not ribs! And you're correct. This simple little stitch produces mini-cables on the front side and 2x2 ribs on the back. As a result, it's suited to afghans, bands, cuffs, collars, hats, mitts or anything that calls out for a decorative touch coupled with a bit of stretch.

Riblet Afghan

This project is also in the planning pipeline. I've worked countless swatches in search of a stitch that's reversible, easy to execute and produces an attractive, plush texture, and so far this one is at the forefront. It, too, is a slipped rib, and due to the way it's worked, it's moderately stretchy, holds its shape and produces a slightly syncopated effect I find appealing. As an added plus, you can create interesting effects by working it in two colors (more on that later). 
If you're like me and knitting is woven into your daily life, it's likely you have an obsession or three of your own. Meanwhile, I'm off to pursue this passion for ribs see where it takes me. 
What knitting passions are you pursuing this week? 
Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.
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September loves...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 10/01/2017 - 13:34
Hello loves! My very favorite month has come to an end. :( But all is not lost as we are quickly approaching the most beautiful seasons. With them comes cooler weather and hopefully castonitis for all. While I know that not everyone is experiencing cooler temp, sorry parts of Canada,... Andi
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Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 22:18

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Looking for some ways to simplify your life? Here are seven suggestions, all of which are fantastic. This was  a fascinating look at emotions, and how different cultures experience different emotions – for example, in Tahiti, there don’t have a word for sadness. This was an interesting perspective

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catching up

Autumn Geisha - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 23:19
Exploration Station 


Sorry for the radio silence but things became crazy busy once August hit. My mom was here visiting from Vietnam which is always so fun. I miss her already. And then back to school happened and we are still adjusting to the change in schedule. Having to wake up super early is probably the hardest thing for us to get used to. Especially when I stay up way past my bedtime knitting. There has been a lot of that going on lately. I have been trying to finish up some lingering WIPs which is such a great feeling. But there are some new cast-ons as well so it all balances out in the end. I finally started a new sweater, my first for the year. I am making surprisingly fast progress on it, considering that it is knitted with fingering weight yarn. The color fading definitely helps to make the knitting more fun and compelling. I am also looking forward to the Speckle & Pop! Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL starting this Friday. Just need to finalize my yarn choice. I can't wait to catch up and see what you all are knitting & making! Are you giving into the urge to cast-on all the shiny new Fall things?
Categories: Knitting Feeds

one heel

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 09/26/2017 - 23:56

I would have predicted that yesterday would have been okay.

Most of the days have been okay, or okay-ish. I have been going to the gym, and I have been sort of talking to my friends and doing my work, and I have been… okay. I went to a bike rally thing, and I answered some of my email, and I have been knitting this pair of socks, and all they need is a heel.  It’s an afterthought heel. All I have to do is snip a thread, pull out the stitches in half a row, pick them up and knit a heel. It’s easy.

Then yesterday morning, Joe left for a business trip. That’s cool. I mean, we have to have a real life – one where we go to work and earn money and pay bills and take care of the family, and Joe’s been so great at that. I’ve been sort of a mess, and Joe has given me the great gift of being steady. It’s such a good word for what he’s done over the last few weeks. He’s been steady. I’ve cried and cleaned things with a toothbrush and been as wild as a goat, and Joe has made sure that there has been food and orderly things and been so sweet to our kids – and they’ve been great too. I feel so bad calling them “the girls” or “the kids” because they’ve been so grown-up, and so beautiful, and so terrifically, fantastically sweet. Their amazing grandmother is gone, and I know they are all gutted, but there hasn’t been a word of that to me. I’ve tried to have room to feel for their loss, but I’m not sure I’ve been great at it.  They have held me so lovingly, and turned to each other as friends and sisters, and not one of them has put their grief ahead of mine, and sometimes, as I cling to the life-raft that is everyone who loves me, I cannot believe how strong and beautiful they are.

Then yesterday morning, Joe got on a plane and left, and I was going to get up, and read email, and organize things and catch up with all of it and that’s not what happened. Instead, I got up and realized that usually when Joe’s out of town I hang with my mum, and I actually reached for the phone to call her and then some rogue grief train came out of the darkness with its goddamn lights blazing and I couldn’t get off the tracks fast enough and it hit me. Just like that.

I staggered through. I went to dinner with a friend and pretended everything was mostly  fine. I spoke with my sister and somehow managed to hold her sadness in me and hear it and know it and not lose myself entirely while I said things that I hope helped. I called the tax people and found out how much our bill is, and when I have to pay it (turns out it’s last week) and I bought toilet paper and tried to figure out why the hose in the backyard that’s supposed to be on some auto-thingie that Joe set up isn’t working right and I texted a friend who didn’t text me back and called a friend who didn’t have any time, and the whole time I worked at being a grownup and punctuated it with wild private sobs, and inconvenient jags of crying during which I held that damn sock and tried to knit one stinking heel onto the thing.

I didn’t get it done.  I didn’t manage a thing. The hose is still broken. The bill is unpaid. My bedroom closet is a disaster, and I realized that I am not sure that I am ready to be without my people, and still, here I am. It’s Tuesday. Joe’s gone for a few more days, and I’m getting on a plane before that, and I’m here by myself – and it’s so weird to be at loose ends, because usually I really like this – being alone and rattling around our house by myself, and I can’t tell you how embarrassed and surprised I am that this late into my forties I cannot cope without my mother, and dammit, I really just want to finish this sock.

It’s one stinking heel. I’m going to try again tonight.


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