Knitting Feeds

Making a list

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 23:14

I think it’s time to settle into the reality of what’s happening here.  The tree has been up for a week and we’ve transitioned into full-on Christmas breakfasts around here which you would think should have installed a full-on sense of panic in me about getting ready, but it has not.

(Elliot is seen here eating Santa Strawberries and Snowman Pancakes and wearing Santa jammies after his first sleepover here last night, and It went great, thanks for asking. He slept between us in a deep cuddle, and we were prepared to run him home at the first sign of trouble- I think Joe slept with his car key on the bedside table. Ellie did really, really well. Meg and Alex thought he was ready and I’m glad we trusted their judgment – we all had a great time.)

I’ve been plugging away, getting organized and getting ready and consulting the spreadsheet, but in a really relaxed way.  I went to River City Yarns to work for a few days (what a great shop and such a fabulous team) and felt like (despite full days) that I’d have tons of time to knit.  I felt so good about it actually, that when Joe suggested that if I was going to be in Alberta anyway, maybe we should grab a quick ski- that seemed totally reasonable too, after all, I’d have lots of time to knit. I did find time to knit in both places and I came home inexplicably feeling like there was heaps of time to get Christmas together, and then something about the day before yesterday got to me.

Joe came home from work on Wednesday and told me that he needed to go to Calgary for work on Friday (that’s Alberta again) and asked if I wanted to come along for a ski. I flipped open my calendar and super casually said “let me just check…” and suddenly, I got it. I looked at the date, I looked at the date on Friday, I looked at the date we’d be back and I… I got it.  There, in the shadow of the Christmas tree, with four days of my yarn-ish advent calendar open, with the smell of balsam fir wafting through the air, having already attended two parties and noted that my evening walks are snowy and lit by pretty lights all around me… I GOT IT.

“Dude, I can’t go anywhere” I told him, and what I meant was that I can’t go anywhere that isn’t going to help me make a Christmas, and skiing is not that thing. (I saw him open his mouth to say something about how much knitting I can get done on a flight, but we are so far past that – I think he saw something in my eyes and stowed it. If you were a witness to this marriage, I promise that you would be stunned at how often Joe saves his own life based on a glance I give him without really any sense of what’s going on. It’s an instinct.) I thought about it for a few minutes and then came up with a plan.  “You go.” I told him, and opened the spreadsheet. *

Joe is leaving in an hour and he’ll be gone for five days. Our annual Gingerbread Party is in 13 days. I get back on a plane in 15 days, and I won’t be home until the 20th (although there will be lots of time to knit on the flight.) The way I see it,  I need to have this whole thing wrapped up (literally) except for a little bit of knitting (for the flights) before I hit the road on the 16th or my whole world will be regret and I will guarantee myself no damned fun this Christmas at all. I can tell you (or the family can) that if I’m not having fun, ain’t nobody going to have fun, so today has been all about the spreadsheet of Christmas power, a series of lists, a plan divided by zone, stores and tasks, and a huge pile of yarn.

Yeah. That’s my yarn plan. That there is roughly three pairs of mittens, two pairs of socks (one started.) A small sweater (half done.) A stocking (half done.) One ornament (not started.) Four towels (that’s weaving, it’s fast don’t panic.) Not pictured, one optional sweater which is my last priority because it’s very small and the recipient isn’t even born yet and couldn’t care less, and four pom-poms, for which I do not have yarn. (Don’t ask.)

I know, that’s a big pile of yarn, but somehow it seems manageable to me – and actually like the least of my problems- Christmas wise.  I’m going to spend the next five days shopping, wrapping, cleaning, knitting and weaving and I think… I think I might have woken up just in time. Maybe.

Knitters. it’s go time.

*This is like the Hunger Games.  I volunteer as tribute.

(Also, like in many good rescue missions, I think I’ll be faster if I go alone.)

(Also I will have a list for him to do when he comes back, don’t you worry.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week An excellent list of ideas for gratitude that are small, easy, and oh-so-effective. Is it self care or self sabotage? 15 things to stop giving a sh*t about. Air travel and climate change- frequent flying is a part of the problem. I hate flying- the whole industry seems

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Almost Metropolis

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Metropolis  Knitter Extraordinaire: Michelle (Ravelry Profile) Mods: Changed the shaping to be A-line, worked a turned edging instead of ribbing at the hem, cuffs and neckline- and worked a keyhole back to the neckline, where the turtle is, of course absent. Also added side seams for stability. Great details are on her project

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

There's Still Time

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 12/01/2019 - 19:06
As much as I love Thanksgiving, when it comes so very late in the month as it did this year, it can really put a crimp in the holiday season. One day, you're completely focused on family, friends and food (I'm a total turkey addict), and the next you realize Christmas is just a few weeks away. 

The only solution is to take deep breaths and remind myself (over and over again) there's still time to whip up some knitted gifts. Just in case you're in the same boat, I'm here to share some quick and easy gift-giving possibilities.


ORNAMENTS
Christmas Trees
Worked from the top down, these classic reversible Christmas Trees are ideal as ornaments, mug mats, hotpads, table accents and more. As an added plus, they can be knit in any gauge, any yarn weight, and a wide range of sizes from extra small to extra large. 

To buy the Christmas Tree pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


ACCESSORIES
Dojeling Shawl
This is a bit more ambitious, but if you choose to use large-ish needles, you could easily create a triangular shawl or bandana scarf in time for gift-giving or holiday wear. Dojeling is reversible, readily adapts to any gauge and yarn weight from fingering to bulky, and features innovative construction to keep work in progress manageable for knitting on the go.

To buy the Dojeling pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Kintra Cowl-Scarf
The Kintra cowl-scarf features a unisex design that's quick, easy and suited to anyone you deem knitworthy. Use shrine of precious yarn for something truly delectable, or opt for sturdy workhorse yarn for durable daily wear. The pattern is written for sport weight but readily adapts to multi-stranding and heavier yarn weights that work up quickly. (For a superfast knit, check out the short version, which takes about 165-200 yards.)
To buy the Kintra Cowl-Scarf pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Kintra Mitts
The Kintra Mitts are not only fast and easy, they feature a versatile unisex design. Choose soft and sumptuous yarn for a woman, or something sturdy and tweedy for a man. As an added plus, the pattern is written for sport weight but readily adapts to any yarn weight, so opt for heavier weights and you can quickly work up several pairs.

To buy the Kintra Mitts pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Wyndfael Mitts
A combination of classic two-stitch mock cables and ribs make Wyndfael fast, easy and versatile. Because the pattern is written for worsted weight yarn, these mitts work up very quickly. Simply follow the pattern as written, or use the tips, tricks and easy modifications to tailor each pair to a range of recipients.


To buy the Wyndfael Mitt pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


HOME DECOR
Graefen Cloth & Towel Set
This fast and easy pattern produces a set of reversible cloths and towels. They work up quickly in DK weight, but you could speed things along even more by using worsted, aran or bulky weight yarn for a single towel, set of cloths, or both.


To buy the Graefen pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Sweet Hearts & Soft Spots
Designed to function as coasters, hotpads, placemats and decorative accents for your table or tree, Sweet Hearts & Soft Spots are ideal for gifts. Celebrate the season by working them in holiday colors, use rainbow hues for a range of recipients, or get a jumpstart on Valentine's Day using rose, pink and red.


To buy the Sweet Hearts & Soft Spots pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Whimsy Owls
Know someone who loves owls? This design works up quickly, and the pattern includes instructions for three different sizes, so you can create an entire owl family if you wish.
To buy the Whimsy Owl Family pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


From afghans and accessories to holiday and home accents, there's something for everyone. Each pattern includes a range of sizes, detailed yardage breakouts, and handy tips, tricks and easy modifications. For many of you, this means you can dip into stash to make the most of yarn on hand, to save time, money and shopping hassles.

It's crunch time, fellow knitters, so let's get busy. Christmas is coming!

Want to acquire several patterns? Click here to go straight to my Ravelry pattern store.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My favourite Things This Week

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

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It’s a huge shopping blitz this weekend- and I’m having a Black Friday sale too! All my patterns are 50% off with the code knittedbliss. No limit, use as many times as you like before end of day on Monday, December 2nd. Shop patterns here! My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Looking for a

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Cupcake Sweater

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

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Original Pattern: Anker Sweater Knitter Extraordinaire: Linda (Ravelry Profile) Mods: Instead of the ribbed yoke, Linda substituted some colourwork. She also added short rows to the body, and slight waist shaping, and of course the ribbed turtleneck. Full details are on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Linda knit the original pattern before

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pattern | Kintra Cowl-Scarf

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 11/24/2019 - 18:11
The name says it all. Kintra, an early American colloquialism for family, friends and folks nearby, is a versatile unisex design that’s also fast, easy and fully reversible — perfect for yourself and every knitworthy person you know.
Slipped stitches create a plush, ribbed fabric that’s stretchy and identical on both sides. Integrated I-cord edges add a polished look and minimize finishing, while optional button closures make Kintra easy to grab, wrap and go.
Written for sport weight yarn with a bit of memory, the pattern readily adapts to any yarn weight and multi-stranding. So, whether you're eyeing a special yarn at your favorite yarn store, seeking the perfect pattern for a treasured mini-skein collection, or using great stash yarns, Kintra offers a host of possibilities.Go classic with muted neutrals, bold with brights, timeless with rich gem shades, understated with earth tones or whimsical with rainbow hues. Break out your favorite gradient or ombre yarn, or choose a family of closely related shades to craft your own. Add a luxe touch with premium yarns, texture with rustic tweeds, an on-trend feel with speckled or variegated yarns, or a soft sheen with wool-silk blends. 

Use a slow-change gradient or rainbow yarn for high impact with minimal fuss. Tone down a busy variegated by pairing it with a related solid, or add a touch of glam by doing the same with glitter or metallic yarn. 

Kintra Cowl-Scarf | Fast, Easy & ReversibleSkill Level 2: Easy
Yarn: Sport weightNeedles: US 7 (4.5 mm)  and US 8 (5 mm), or whatever size(s) work for youSizes: Two lengths (25 ins, 50 ins) and three widths (5 ins, 7 ins, 9 ins)
Yardage (approx.): 200 to 760 yards
With Kintra, the:
  • Slipped stitch is extremely easy to execute, equally easy to memorize, and it produces a plush, stretchy fabric that's fully reversible.
  • Flat construction keeps your project compact and portable, so you can work on it anytime and anywhere.
  • Elements like simple accent stripes allow you to tailor each pair to your tastes or those of the recipient.
  • Pattern is simple enough for any moderately experienced beginner. It's concise but complete, with written directions, stitch chart, stitch counts, yardage and dimensions for each size.
  • Yarn choice is completely up to you, but for best results choose something with a bit of memory (wool and wool blends work beautifully). Written for sport weight, the pattern readily adapts to other weights and multi-stranding.
  • Design is versatile and unisex, suitable for all ages, and can be worked in different yarns and countless combinations. 

The pattern includes directions for two lengths (25 ins, 50 ins), three widths (5 ins, 7 ins, 9 ins), and four color strategies ranging from solids and stripes to blended gradients.
The choice is yours. You can work the pattern as written or use the handy Quick Reference guide, stitch chart, tips, tricks and easy modifications to customize every version you make. 

Whether you're knitting for yourself or others, you'll find the Kintra cowl-scarf is fast, easy and suited to any knitter who can cast on, knit, k2tog, ktbl, purl, slip stitches and bind off.
To view the Ravelry description and purchase the Kintra cowl-scarf pattern, click here. (And just a friendly reminder, you don't have to be a Ravelry member to buy patterns.)
FYIWant to learn more? See FO | Kintra Nearly Neutral Cowl-ScarfFO | Kintra Red Cash Silk Cowl.
Shopping at your favorite LYS? All patterns are activated for in-store sales.
Experimenting with color combos? These articles offer ideas and inspiration.
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 11/22/2019 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week 22 ideas of things you can make with your waffle iron. The fritatta one looks SO good! The unexpected joy of repeat experiences. This was a great article from the New York Times about how we derive more pleasure from repeating experiences than we might think. 101 ways

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Light and Shadow

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

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Original Patterns: Sparkle Up and Rectangular Chevron Shawl  Knitter Extraordinaire: Katharina (Ravelry Profile) Mods: Katharina combined the Sparkle Up sweater with some eyelet chevron inspiration from a shawl, and then further customized the chevrons with double yarn overs, and eyelet stripes in between. You can read more great details on her project page, here. What

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

FO | Kintra Red Cash Silk Cowl

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 19:42
Just in time for cold weather, the Kintra red cowl is finished. Over the past month or so, you've seen glimpses of this project, but for the most part, it's been something I've quietly been knitting in the background. 


With the first version, Kintra Nearly Neutral, I worked a longer length that could be worn wrapped and buttoned as a cowl or open as a scarf. For this version, I went with a shorter length and a large statement button. The bright red will spark up my neutral wardrobe, while the button will coordinate nicely with the black sweater and turtleneck with which it will likely be worn. If I grow bored with the look, the button can easily be replaced since it's removable
Cash Silk, a sport weight blend of extra fine merino, silk and cashmere, is wonderfully soft and it knits up beautifully, The reversible rounded rib is plush and stretchy, and the finished fabric is light, soft and luxurious. To preserve the deep, cushy ribs, I opted to lightly steam rather than wet block this piece.
Kintra Reversible Cowl
Pattern: Coming Soon!
Yarn: Cash Silk (Zegna Baruffa)
Needles: US 8 (5 mm) and US 9 (5.5 mm)
Yardage: ~165 yards
Dimensions: 5 x 25 ins

For the most part I don't do matchy-matchy accessories, choosing instead to change up the stitch or color mix. I'm so pleased with this simple cowl, however, I'm fighting the urge to cast on a pair of bright red Kintra mitts and create a matched set ideal for the holidays and winter weather ahead.

Since there's no such thing as too many mitts, I strongly suspect this is a battle I will lose.



RELATED



 Pattern | Kintra Cowl-Scarf  Pattern | Kintra Mitts
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Exactly Yarned

Yarn Harlot - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 00:21

On Wednesday, after I got out of bed at 4am to go to the airport for the of three planes (plus two cars and a ferry) to take me to Port Ludlow (I really need a new travel agent. At present it’s me, and it turns out that consistently the thrifty Stephanie who books the flights has an almost boundless amount of confidence in the Stephanie who has to execute those flights) I stood in my living room drinking a huge cup of coffee and looked at the pile of knitting I’d amassed for the week, and tried to decide what to take and where to pack it.

On the top of the pile was the Tool Box Cowl I’ve been working on – not much left on that I thought, so I moved it to my carry on. I was pretty sure that wasn’t going to be enough – it was more than half finished of course, so I added the Jilly Mittens, though I almost had one of those finished and they’re really fast and… I moved another cowl to my bag. I sipped coffee and surveyed that. Three flights, two short layovers… a car ride on the other end, that should be enough, I thought.  I added the yarn and needles for the November Socks to my checked bag – all that, I thought, had to hold me for a week (considering that I was planning on buying more yarn at the marketplace) and two cowls and a pair of mittens would definitely do for the travel day, for sure.  I zipped shut my suitcase, moved my carry-on to the door and perched my passport on top, and went to get a bit lot more coffee.  While I poured it, I checked the weather – it was fine.  It was fine in Toronto, fine in Calgary, fine in Vancouver and fine in Seattle.  As I checked for potential delays, I started to imagine more.  A cancelled flight? Lost luggage? What if Debbi’s car broke down on the other side, or what if the way we struggle with the Ferry schedule was suddenly insurmountable? What if I have to spend the night in the airport? For what reason I couldn’t imagine, but what if? You can see how this ends, and two minutes later I was frantically winding yarn for another project and stuffing that in my bag too so that if I ended up living in an Airport for days I’d be just fine.

I got on the plane with all this-

Which actually wasn’t enough to manage days in an airport but was about all I could fit in a carry on, and enough that my seat-mate definitely made up his mind about me when I took that picture, and I cemented it when I returned his stare and said, as boldly as I could manage, “I knit.”

I did not spend the night in an airport, and I didn’t finish all that on the way, and it was more than enough for another whole travel day home, which means it was exactly twice what I needed, which seems about right.  Details? Glad you asked.

Pattern: Tool Box Cowl. Yarn: Raveling Rose recycled cashmere – 6 mini skeins.

An invented cowl, cast on some and used up all the leftovers from this one. It’s about half the size of the first one, and just right as a cozy little tuck in.

Pattern, Jilly Mitts. Yarn: Jilly and Kiddles Aurora in Raven. (The yarn’s hard to photograph, it’s darker than it looks in those pictures.  All the snow outside kept throwing it off. Yeah.  Snow.  Sigh.)

Pattern: Silhouette and Sky.  Yarn: Gauge Dye Works club yarn.

That’s a considerable dent in the WIP pile to be sure, but don’t worry, I have lots more – and another set of flights coming up.  I’ll be in Edmonton next week- if you’d care to join me, I’ll be teaching at River City Yarns on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of November. (I love Cynthia and Barb and their podcast) and here’s a link to the workshops if you want to come.  I’d love to see you.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:54

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Here’s a great article about the rise of Netflix and Knit…maybe you’ll recognize the knitting instructor? This gorgeous textile art by Alexandra Kehayoglou is incredible, I’d love to see it in person. I thought this was cute- what is your winter personality? Mine is definitely cozy connaisseur. How

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Margaret Tudor Top

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

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Original Pattern: Margaret Tudor Knitter Extraordinaire: Karianne (Ravelry Profile) Mods: Karianne loved the design, but not the fit, so she customized the charts on a fitted tee instead. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: This happens to us all eventually – you see a pattern, usually in some

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week This was such an interesting article- why you never see your friends anymore. The top ten worst plastic polluters in the world. These fantastic quotes have been tumbling in my brain all week. If you have been stumbling through this past week like I have (I hate daylight

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Same old, same old

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 11/05/2019 - 21:45

Voila, finished Jaywalkers.  My October Self-Imposed-Sock-of-the-Month-Club, which brings me smartly up to date.

Yarn: Must Stash Yarn in a one-off colorway called “Bete” that’s almost like her Beauty and Beast skeins, but with one missing set of stripes, which I quite like.

Pattern is the much loved and oft-knit Jaywalkers, by the inestimable Grumperina, who is still around, thank you very much, despite this being a pattern from 2005.  I knit them as written, and they fit just fine – not me, mind you – they’re way too big for my petit pieds, but they’re for the (not so) long-range-planning-box, so all is well, even if they do look a little sloppy on me. They won’t when they’re on the feet they were knit for.

I don’t have much else to say about them, except that it remains, as ever, almost damn impossible to take pictures of your own feet –

even with a timer.

 

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Timeline

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 11/04/2019 - 15:12

Recently, I was reading something about why it is that time seems to speed up as you get older. I remember reading one explanation a few years ago (here it is) that essentially said that this is a real phenomenon, and that (to sum up) it is because we’re not laying down a lot of new stuff.  Apparently while your brain is encoding novel memories, time appears to slow down – imagine your mental CPU is overtaxed, and so moves less quickly while that gets done. As we age we (apparently) experience less novelty, the CPU is less challenged and whoosh, past she goes. This does not sound correct to me, but I checked around and perhaps it is my own sense that my life is plenty novel enough (thank you very much) that makes me want to argue with the worlds greatest minds in the neurology department, but I do.  I read another argument that said that at least part of the sense that time’s picked up the pace comes from the comparative size of the units of time that are passing. When you’re five, a year passing is a fifth of your life, a chunk of time with far more gravity than what a year is to me now, apparently a whole year careens past – barely registering as a 1/50th of my total experience.

None of that entirely explains how it is that I blinked and found myself thinking “must get to the beach one day this summer” as snow started to fall. Pro-tip, apparently it’s November. Pretty soon we’ll have to have an awkward conversation about how many knitting days are left until Christmas (that would be 51) but for now let’s talk about what happened while that time passed, shall we?

Since we spoke last (I know we don’t really speak, but doesn’t it feel like it?) I have been in three countries – Canada, the US and Mexico, and I have knit lots. Enough actually that I am just a few hours from finishing another Toolbox Cowl knit from Raveling Rose‘s little mini-skeins or recycled cashmere. (To be sure, I’m mostly knitting this so that I can buy more this coming weekend without guilt* though this little pattern is always fun and the perfect thing to do with those mini-skeins that seem to breed like tribbles around here.)

I am up to date on my Self-Imposed-Sock-of-the-Month-Club. After an absolutely dismal showing in August (I finished the August Socks right at the end of September) I was determined to recover, and things looked sketchy for the September socks for a while there too, but last week I pulled it all together and finished those,  and then the October socks came together really quickly -as we speak they’re drying upstairs – I’ll show you tomorrow. The August socks are from my much loved Gauge Dye Works club, the Sun and Moon socks from Andrea Rangel.

The  yarn came as one skein that had a fade from light blue to dark, then a yellow chunk, then a fade from dark blue to light – I think. I can’t remember exactly the order of things from back when I was winding it, the important thing is that it was one skein that you had to wind off and cut into it’s separate elements.  This is fun – though I can’t explain why.

I chose the almost-largest size for these, because I wanted to use as much of the delicious yarn as possible.  That patterned top to the sock looks narrow when it’s off a leg, but is deliciously stretchy when on.

(Thanks to my mother-in-law Carol for being sock model. I appreciate it, especially since I ripped them off her feet for someone else after she did me the favour.)

I’m back into the stash today – the November socks are going on the needles on November 4th, and I don’t feel like that’s too terrible at all, assuming I don’t wake up tomorrow and discover that it’s December 15th.

*You too can buy Raveling Rose recycled cashemere this weekend, along with a few other lovely things, at our Strung Along marketplace at the resort at Port Ludlow. It’s tiny but fun and the space is free for locals and students to vend.  Saturday from 7:30- 8:30. (Trust us, that’s enough time – though nobody is going home if you’re still buying.)

Also – on the off chance that anyone here is in the right part of the world – we’ve got a few spaces left in our workshops this coming Friday. We have just two spots for Judith MacKenzie’s class for people who would like to learn to spin – or would like to go back to basics to refine their technique. (We can loan you a wheel if you don’t have one, and can you imagine learning from someone better than Judith?)  Together with Debbi I’ll be teaching a “What the heck do I do with this” rigid heddle loom class. You bring the loom, and we’ll teach you to warp, weave and finish a scarf- in a day. (Weaving is fast and eats 2 balls of yarn a day. Just think about what that does to your stash and holiday list.)

Both classes are at the Resort at Port Ludlow from 9-4, and both cost $240, and both include a yummy lunch.  It’s a nice way to start your weekend and get a taste of what our retreats are like. If you’d like to join us, email us at info@strungalong.ca, and we’ll get you set up.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Hufflepuff Ease

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

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Original Pattern: Ease Knitter Extraordinaire: Michelle (Ravelry profile) Mods: Michelle modified tee Ease pattern to be a Harry Potter inspired Hufflepuff house sweater, with the scoop neck version (no funnel neck) , added thumb holes to the sleeves and customized the sleeve decreases and stripes. Details can be found on her project page, here. What

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Tips & Tricks | Easy Removable Buttons

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 11/03/2019 - 23:07
For cardigans, cowls and other handknits that require closure, buttons are an easy, go-to option. There's one significant problem, however. Eventually most handknits need to be cleaned, and many buttons are not designed to withstand washing, dry cleaning or other methods.

I can't speak for you, but there's no way I'm going to detach buttons, wash the item and then reattach the buttons. Life is truly too short for such fuss, so for many years, DIY removable buttons have been my preferred solution.

Luckily, removable buttons are not only easy to make, they open up a range of possibilities that make it easy to put buttons from stash to good use. The basic process is simple:
  1. At every location where you want a button, work paired buttonholes (i.e. work buttonholes at both ends of a cowl or on both button bands of a cardigan.
  2. Choose decorative button(s) that look good and suit your needs.
  3. Choose backer button(s) that fit through the buttonholes you've worked.
  4. Use coordinating thread to attach each decorative button to a backer button.
  5. Be sure to leave enough distance between the decorative and backer buttons to span the depth created by two layers of overlapped knit fabric.

My red Kintra cowl is a good example. After auditioning a range of looks and options, I decided in favor of a large, black button for the public side and a small, narrow white barrel for the backer button. The slim backer button fits through a single, unobtrusive button hole worked at both ends of the cowl.


Since backer buttons can be either purely functional or decorative for a reversible look, I decided to create another version. I chose two long, narrow shanked buttons and connected them using a standard jewelry jump ring, taking care to make sure the jump ring was smooth and wouldn't snag the yarn. 


Between the black, red and gold buttons, I've kept my options open and can change the look of this simple cowl to suit my mood and the occasion. I think the black button will get the most use, but we'll see how that unfolds over the course of the winter.



This isn't the first time I've used a removable/reversible button strategy. Many years ago, I made a loosely cabled cowl for a dear friend who had moved far away and was feeling bereft. The result was A Very Braidy cowl, which featured a pair of matching turquoise buttons backed by natural wood, so she could vary the look as she preferred.


 
As you can see, I tend to lean toward oblong buttons, but that's primarily a design choice. A few weeks ago, I shared my Wyndfael cowl with two types of removable closures, one an oversized but more sedate button and the other a whimsical pompom.


 
It's hard to argue with the practical benefits of removable buttons, but clearly they also allow you to have fun and experiment. Just be sure your backer button is both small enough to fit through the designated buttonhole and large enough to not pull out at the slightest pressure. If that happens, tighten up the buttonhole with a small tack stitch in each corner or swap the existing backer button for one that's slightly larger.


Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 11/01/2019 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week What sounds do you love? This post, plus the reader comments are completely wonderful.  Whatever you are not changing… you are choosing. I love this idea- open up a ‘fun & bs’ account for weekend plans. How to keep in touch with friends and family all over the

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

New Neutrals

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 10/27/2019 - 21:56
It's been quite some time since earth tones have grabbed the limelight, but based on the clothing and accessories appearing on fashion runways and in major stores, they're back. Big time.




Rich, chocolate browns are being paired with their traditional siblings such as milk chocolate, tan and sand, as well as spicy shades of tumeric, ginger, chili pepper, pumpkin, rust and burgundy.


In other words, all the classic fall colors are once again right on trend. If the loooong reign of cool neutrals has left you out in the cold, now's your chance to find the yarns you're seeking in the warm tones you love.

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

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