Knitting Feeds

sweater swagger

Autumn Geisha - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 00:09

You guys! I don’t know how it’s happened but I am on a sweater finishing roll right now. The Weekender was such a joy to knit. Although I have to admit that when I first read the pattern and saw that it began with a tubular cast-on, my enthusiasm level was dialed down quite a bit. But there was a link in the pattern to a very helpful tutorial which has me now completely in love with the technique. The rest of the pattern was just as fun to knit and I love the cozy, relaxed style of the finished sweater. I honestly would be wearing this 24/7 if the darn weather here in Maryland would cooperate. At least it’s cool enough in the mornings to wear a wool sweater. The tweedy yarn is from Peace Fleece. It is very rustic and woolly but softened up a lot after a good soak. I am already dreaming of a marled version. Maybe I’ll splurge on some special farm yarn at Maryland Sheep and Wool next month.
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Lark Lakeland

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Lakeland Knitter Extraordinaire: Liz (On Ravelry here) Mods: Slimmed the sleeves and the overall fit of the sweater, adjusted the neckline for a scoop, and shortened the length. Details on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: The original pattern is a big cozy cocoon of a sweater and beautifully designed, but

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Knit musings and such...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 04/07/2019 - 17:16
Hello loves! Pattern~ Feathering the Nest by Danielle Jorge Yarn~ Playful Day Yarns in the colorway Himalayan Salt. No need to be alarmed or check your calendars, It is indeed Sunday and I am posting. ;) First things first, how are you and how have you been? Myself, it has... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Literary party games? Sign me up! Complaints have no magic. So true. How to be a better listener. Why you shouldn’t hit the snooze button. Although I find the advice of ‘go to bed earlier’ to be completely unhelpful, in the same category of ‘just get over it’

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Simple and Perfect Fingerless Mitts

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 11:00

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** this post is sponsored by Spinrite yarns. All opinions and photos are my own.** I’ve long been interested in marled yarn, there is something so visually appealing about the stripy swirl of two colours together that adds a bit more dimension and visual interest, especially in simple stitches. Case in point – I wanted

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

A Weekend in the County with Knitting Friends

Knitted Bliss - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 11:00

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If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw a whole bunch of photos on my Instagram stories of me, Tanis (of Tanis Fiber Arts) and Shireen (of The Blue Brick) having a little weekend away in Prince Edward County. I’m a massive fan of the county and have planning a weekend in the County

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 01:20

I tried really hard to write a post where I was all La-dee-da about something that happened today, but I just can’t gaslight you all that way. I’ve got to be honest, it’s just not fair otherwise. Last night I took a guess at a needle size, and knit a swatch for Elliot’s sweater. Then I washed it (because unwashed swatches are total lying arseholes) and because it’s colourwork. (Remember from a post or two ago? I want to see dye problems now, not in the finished sweater.) Then I laid it tidily out to dry, and went about my life.  I returned, not too much later and measured it.

Knitters, I have both stitch and row gauge on the first try.  Like I said, I was going to try and pretend to be all casual about that BUT I CAN’T BECAUSE IT IS LIKE FINDING A FRIENDLY SPARKLE UNICORN IN YOUR BATHTUB.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

march finishes

Autumn Geisha - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 00:56

Hooray I actually finished a sweater!!! So incredibly excited to cast off my Edith Cardigan while it is still chilly enough to wear. Good thing that it is extremely cozy because every year when the calendar turns to March, the hubby dials down the heat to sub-zero temps. But this year I will not engage in thermostat battles :)  I love how warm & woolly this cardigan is. It was my first time knitting a dropped shoulder construction and I was a little concerned with how the finished sweater would look since I usually wear raglan sweaters. Really pleased with the relaxed fit. It was a very well written pattern and would make a great first sweater project. I am debating on whether or not to add in the big patch pockets. Maybe at some point down the line but for now, I want to finish up my Weekender and cast on for some Easter socks. Here’s the pair I made for St. Patrick’s Day:


These were fun fun fun to knit! The yarn is from Desert Vista Dyeworks in the Zombody go bragh colorway. Those green stripes have me looking forward to some fun Spring knitting. What’s currently on your knitting needles? Anything on the radar for Spring?
Categories: Knitting Feeds

That’s a Week Excuse

Yarn Harlot - Sun, 03/31/2019 - 18:01

It snowed again last night, which is not at all unusual for March/April, and is still inexplicably heartbreaking. I got up, took one look at it, thought about what this all means to spring and hope and then I thought “What do I care. I am going to Texas.”  In three days I will get on a plane and I will go somewhere that the sun is shining and it is warm and flowers are blooming (maybe even the bluebonnets which is very exciting) and I will walk outside and not once while I am there, will I think of knitted accessories in their capacity to prevent frostbite.

I thought this, gleefully and happily, as I drank coffee – cheerfully raising my cup to the snow in as much of a of “screw you” gesture as one can manage with coffee in one hand and knitting in the other. (I have been practicing this particular gesture with those exact items in my hands for some decades now, and it’s actually pretty solid.) I thought about how nice it will be to see my Texas friends and some of my colleagues, and reflected that this event is one of my favourites every year, only made more perfect by the fact that this year, I’m home in time for Elliot’s 2nd birthday, which is the Monday after DFW.

In that exact moment -two things happened.  I imagined how cute he was going to look opening his presents and wearing his new birthday sweater, and suddenly realized that if I was looking forward to seeing him when I got back and that I was also looking forward to DFW in just a few days, that this actually meant whatever idea I had about there being buckets of time to get his sweater knit might be crazier than a bag of wet weasels.

I have been looking at the yarn for his sweater for about three weeks now – and I keep thinking about what a little sweater it is, and how it’s going to be so fast and I don’t have to worry, and now, suddenly, I think I have to worry, or at least start knitting. I’ve got seven days to whack together a sweater.

I should at least make a swatch today.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week I adore this – a typewriter is set up at the Grand Canyon. What we did before the internet. Instead of March Madness (a US college basketball thing), the internet presents…. March Sadness. Totally made me laugh. The long, strange history of novelists who become spies. This actually makes

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

And then she said

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 03/28/2019 - 19:54

I don’t know if all of you know this, but the comments on blog posts (at least here) are, generally speaking- better than the post itself.  I don’t know how it happened, but there’s a lot of cleverness and entertainment going on in there. Over the years, I’ve come to believe that if one person types it, at least 20 people were thinking it, so let’s see what’s happening down there, shall we?

Elizabeth wrote: I confess that even though I teach stranded knitting, I’ve never knitted a pair of stranded socks. I guess I’m concerned that they won’t have the necessary elasticity.

I think lots of sock knitters (me included sometimes) more than occasionally rely on stretch in a knit to achieve fit, and get used to that. For example, short row heeled socks are often a poor fit for people with a high instep, simply because there’s less fabric present than with a flap heel. That’s just a fact. When I say that though, a whole bunch of knitters line up and say “nuh-uh. I have a high instep and I ONLY knit short row heels and they fit bloody great actually.” Then I look at those (very nice) socks, and low and behold, they’re knit at a looseish gauge that allows for heaps of stretch and that’s how they’re getting fit in the instep – the fabric is often quite stretched through that section. Nothing wrong with this as a strategy, except it stops working when you’re knitting stranded socks. Elizabeth is right – there is less stretch in a pair of colourwork socks like these, so you have to make sure that they actually fit – and it helps to consider a flap heel. (Insert lecture here about gauge. I won’t type it, you already know.)

Jeremy writes: I am going to get that pattern. I always sweat out the amount of yarn I have when I knit socks because I have US size 12 feet. (11.5 inches). 

Smart -I’ve got loads left, so this is totally a good big foot strategy. Ken’s feet aren’t quite as bit as yours, but I have 68/100g left of the grey, 60/100g of the white and 25/50g of the red.  I could make a whole other pair out of my leftovers.

Tracy B (and Charissa echoed her) said ” I’m just wondering though – would the decreases on the bottom of the heel bother a person? It’s almost like a seam right there.”

I don’t think so.  It’s not big at all, and after a wear or two will fade into the work – plus it falls right into the little arch of your foot, so it’s not like you’re really standing on it.  I freakin’ love it.  Plus, we’re all not as princess-and-the-pea as we think we are.  All commercial socks/hose/tights have a seam or two, and most of us wear them every day. (Well, not me.) Ken’s as fussy as they come that way, he’s the type of guy who’s had to excuse himself from a meeting to cut the tag off a shirt because he simply can’t go on, and I’m not worried this will bother him in the slightest.  I’ll let you know though.

Victoria (and Bridget) and probably a bunch of you because knitters are obsessed with this say: ” I just wish you had posted a picture of the inside of the socks so we could see how you stranded them.”

What, I ask you, is with knitters wanting to see the inside of stuff. I mean – I always want to see the inside too, but why do you think we are so weird about it? I’m not convinced it’s about construction – how we stranded them, or whatever, because I’ve heard knitters judge their work by the inside as well as the outside – like whatever amazing thing they’ve wrought on the public side doesn’t count unless it’s just as nice in secret.  We are an odd bunch, I tell you that, but I am with you – so here:

This should answer the question from Jan who said “I’m wondering about what you did about the floats? Did you catch every single stitch? I could see catching every 3 or so stitches on a hat, but in a sock , especially at the foot, it seems even short floats would catch toes and add to the general discomfort–”

As you can see, I certainly didn’t catch every one – that’s a recipe for a lack of stretch,  and a dimpled, inflexible fabric.  I only caught the floats once in the repeat – there’s a spot where the float goes seven stitches, and I caught it in the centre of that – and at the time I knew I didn’t have to do that either, but felt compelled.  You’d need freakishly tiny toes to worry about catching them.  The floats lie flat, and aren’t loops at all.

Pamela says “Do you block your socks in sock blockers or just smooth them out?”

I just smooth them out. They get a nice bath in the sink with slightly warm water and the wool wash currently in rotation. (Usually Soak or Eucalan.) When it’s been in there about 20 minutes, I give them a gentle tug in all directions to encourage things to even out, and then I gently squeeze them, roll them up in a towel and step on it a few times, then lay them flat to dry, pushing them into shape. Usually I come back once or twice while they’re drying to move them around a bit and rearrange things so that I don’t get fold lines. (This is almost always a failure, and doesn’t matter.)

Everyone in the whole world “Warm water holy crap Steph what the hell is wrong with you and I would be totally worried those socks would turn pink when you soak them in water especially warm, what the ^%&^%$# is wrong with you risking socks that way?”

Here’s the thing – before I do any colourwork of any kind, even if I have absolutely no concerns about gauge – I always, every time, I swear…. knit a swatch. At the very least I do a little stripey one, with all the colours in it, and then (always, every time, without fail) I wash that swatch.  I treat it exactly like it’s going to be treated in the warm, damp environment of shoes or boots.  The thing is this:  Before I give it this much of my one wild and precious life to a project, I want to know ahead of time if that dye bleeds. If the swatch can’t handle life, then the socks won’t – and they won’t get knit, at least, not out of that yarn.  I can treat the socks the way I do, because I treated the swatch the way I did. I’ve got confidence, or at least what passes for the knitters version of it.

So there you have it, a little Q&A – now if you’ll excuse me, it’s Taco Thursday (I know, wrong day of the week, we do things our own way here) and I’ve got an almost two year old grandson waiting for me. (And the tacos.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Three for Three or Four

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 22:22

This year’s self-imposed-sock-club continues to be a big fat win.  I finished January’s on time, as unlikely as that seemed, and then February’s were done before February was too. (Though I didn’t manage either time to post about them within the right month, so I’m giving myself two extra points for this one.)

March’s socks have slid along rather quietly under the radar. I didn’t post about them because they were Ken’s Birthday socks – though I’ve only just finished them now. (Two points deducted.) I was hoping to surprise him, but snapped on his birthday and gave him an unfinished sock – just before the toe.  I’d been knitting along at a pretty good pace, but as I got closer to the end of the sock I started to worry that they weren’t going to fit. This is an ongoing problem I have with socks for people with large feet. I’ve got small ones myself, and I’m accustomed to knitting for me, so when I cast on the appropriate number for a big guy, I spend the whole knitting trip spreading the work out on my leg every hour or so and saying “Really? That can’t be right.” I decided not to take any chances with Ken’s, and stopped knitting a day or two before his birthday so he could try them (it) on before I went any farther.

They (it) fit beautifully, so I pressed on.  The pattern for this elegant pair is Vägvarda (I had to google how to do the umlaut.) The yarn’s West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply (again, I’m working through a stash of it I bought to do Cameron’s socks and some of Elliot’s ornaments.  It’s really nice, so I don’t mind) for the grey (Poppy Seed) and white (Milk Bottle.) The red’s Drops Fabel #106 (super sexy name) because WYS didn’t quite have the red I wanted.  For anybody keeping score – I used a 2.25mm needle, which is my standard for socks.

I loved knitting these.  What do you think it is that makes colourwork knitting seem to go so much faster than regular knitting? It can’t actually be faster, I know that’s not possible. I’m pretty comfortable knitting with one strand in each hand, so I do power through pretty quickly, but it seems to me that it comes of the needles faster than anything else. Is it because you’re following a chart? Ticking off one row after the other, with a concrete way to see how far you’ve come, and how far you have to go? And if that’s true, how come it doesn’t work for lace?

One last picture of this charming pair, this time of the clever and tidy gusset decreases, here positioned on the bottom of the foot. (A standard sock decreases by two stitches every other row on the gusset. Those decreases, as this sock proves, can go anywhere, as long as the sock gets smaller in circumference where the foot does.)

I lied, here’s one more –  this one that I snapped with my phone yesterday, before I finished. I’m posting it because here, one sock’s been blocked and the other – not. (That was so Ken could try on the first one.)  I hear so many knitters say that their colourwork looks shabby, and I’ve even seen people rip it out for looking shabby, and I just wanted to show you the difference a little swim and tidy up makes.  See? More than any other kind of knitting, blocking is important for colourwork. You really can’t tell if you suck before it hits the water.

Another bonus today – more socks, bringing this year’s total to four. I keep a pair of simple socks in my bag, knitting from the pattern I keep in my head. Yarn: Land Jawoll Color “Aktion” in the colourway fetchingly named 132.0265. Pattern: my own plain vanilla sock from Knitting Rules. (The only truly useful book I’ve ever written.)

 

I keep this knitting – plain socks, in my bag all the time – pulling it out when I’m on the subway, in a queue, at dinner, in meetings, walking down the street (when it’s not winter.) I beaver away at them here and there, and then every so often, when I’m least expecting it, a pair of socks falls off of me.

Peace out, see you in a day or two, and know that while knitting improves with practice, it remains really freakin’ tricky to take pictures of your own feet even after years of yoga and  trying.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Tecumseh

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Tecumseh  Knitter Extraordinaire: Stephanie (Ravelry ID) Mods: Adjusted gauge from DK to Aran weight, Raised the arm split to a more natural height. Details of all her mods can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: This amazing sweater pattern looks so fantastic with Stephanie’s mods! I love that

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

ShawlStar Volume 2 review...

My Sister's Knitter - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 04:54
Hello there loves! It is so wonderful to be able to meet with you sooner than my Sunday post and bonus I have a wonderful E-Book that I want to introduce you to. You may be familiar with Knotions... it is a brilliant online resource chalked full of gorgeous patterns,... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Analepsis Is Not a Disease

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:26

Here I am, sitting at my desk, about to go properly deep into my inboxes. While I worked a little bit every day that we were away in Lake Louise it wasn’t enough to stop the inbox glacier from creeping ever larger, and today I’ve made coffee, set everything to “ignore” (including the house, which looks like a stampede of bison went through) and put my phone in a drawer.  Me and this inbox are going to tango till one of us drops, and it’s not going to be me. Before that particular dance starts though, a quick waltz with you lot. I keep saying to myself that I’ll blog as soon as I’m done with (insert absolutely unfinishable task here) so today I’m reversing it. You first, then once more into the breach, dear friends.

When last we saw our heroine, she was sitting in a hotel room, tapping out a blog post surrounded by skis and mohair, a combination that isn’t nearly as odd as it sounds, despite the infrequency of the mix.

My complete inability to demonstrate any sort of monogamy to a knitting project continues unabated, and so I’d taken five (5) projects with us for a seven (7) day holiday. Just think about that for a minute.  That means I thought I’d finish almost a project a day, while skiing six hours a day. I took two pairs of socks, a sweater (adult, only half way through the front) a cowl and a shawl. (The shawl and sweater never even made it out of the suitcase.) Both pairs of socks saw active duty (still in progress please stand by) and the cowl sort of turned into two cowls and I finished one on the flight on the way there, and almost the other.

Yarn: Canon Hand Dyes, Ombre Cowl Kit in Agatha Lace (70% mohair, 30% silk) Pattern, Ombre Cowl Hood.

Other than the part where I left a muppet’s worth of mohair fuzz everywhere I went, I loved making that cowl so much that the minute I finished (and despite having another two projects with me on the plane) I started another smaller one with the leftovers from the first one. It won’t be as big as the first, but still a proper cowl, I think.

It was bliss. Plain knitting, round and round, no pattern no fuss, 2 strands held together… It was knitting as comforting and cozy as a cup of hot soup.  I breezed through it completely, and it turns out it was perfect ski knitting.  The needles were big and blunt, and the yarn light as a cloud, so I felt fine about asking Joe to carry it in his pocket so that I had it to knit during skiing.  I worked on it at lunch, on the gondola, the lifts (if it was warm enough to take my hands out of my mittens.)

Upon reflection, it was this knitting/skiing combination that made it possible for me to finish any knitting at all, and I feel sure that if I cared less about the well-being of my husband, and worried less about the catastrophic consequences of him taking a spill down a mountain with Signature stiletto needles in his pocket, I probably could have finished the socks too.

Feel the love, Joe.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Botanical Hat

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Botanical Yoke Pullover Knitter Extraordinaire: Sandra (Ravelry ID) Mods: Using the ribbed cable yoke from the pullover as a guide, Sandra created this gorgeous hat with the same yoke chart. Great details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: You what is wonderfully forgiving for sizing when knitting

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Knit bits and a cast on party!

My Sister's Knitter - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 02:36
Happy Sunday! I missed last Sunday, please forgive me. While I can't promise that I will post every Sunday, I can tell you I will try very hard. I am still in a temporary home setting, so at times it is hard for me to feel settled enough to create... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/15/2019 - 11:19

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Clouds in unexpected places. I adore these, so magical. Why busyness is the new laziness – you don’t have to think about what you are doing with your life and if you are actually happy if you are constantly busy. Workism is making us miserable. I don’t know

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Where to?

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 14:23

Whoosh, I’m back on other side of the continent, for the third time in four weeks though I didn’t make it as far as I have the other two times.  First there was Madrona in Seattle, and then I was back for the Strung Along Retreat and now – hold on. Let’s back up. I’ve known for a while that if I’m not careful to keep a firm grip on my schedule these few weeks it will all turn into a nightmare rather than an intense phase, so let me try to keep it all in order, and let’s do it on the basis of what I was knitting when.  We’re all really knit-centric anyway, it probably matters more than location.

So, first I was knitting gnome socks – that was Madrona, and I was knitting them because it was Cameron’s birthday, and he’d been gone for several months, working far away. He got this idea to combine his birthday with a homecoming party, and somewhere along there it became a Gnomecoming party (don’t ask, the man appreciates a pun more than I do, and that’s saying something.) The minute I heard Gnome I was on it, thanks to this pattern.

Well, you’ll notice that mine is quite different than that one, so maybe it’s more like thanks to the inspiration of that pattern.  It comes in a women’s medium, and Cam’s a men’s large, so there was some upsizing involved. Also (and here’s sentence I never thought I would type) there was a few too many gnomes on those other socks for my liking, so I reduced the gnome intensity. Also, Cam likes stripes.

The yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply (a favourite of mine, especially for nice solids.) Most impressive about these socks is that not only did I trot them all over Madrona -but I managed to finish them before the party, and I had a few minutes to make appropriate wrapping arrangements. (Full disclosure. I finished at 1am the night before, which is technically the day of, but I don’t think so because then I went to bed.)

It turns out gnome wrapping paper to put your gnome socks in is harder than you think, so I drew some.  I feel like leaping on a theme is always best – and these count as my February socks, so I’m two months into my own little sock club, and doing fine.

Next, I was off to the retreat and so I wound some…

Actually – I can’t tell you that now.  Joe and I are on holiday in Lake Louise, and I just bugged him to get ready to go ski, and now he’s ready and I’m typing, and that doesn’t seem totally fair – so off we go. We had such a gorgeous day yesterday, and today we’re both pretty excited to get to the mountains.  Stand by.

(Or sit by, it’s easier to knit that way.)

 

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Modified Rye

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Rye Knitter Extraordinaire: Tyne (Ravelry ID) Mods: Used twisted ribbing for the cuffs, and a twisted ribbing frame for each side of the garter stitch panels, adjusted the instep for a better fit. Great details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: When you know how you like

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