Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Why everyone should want more walkable streets. Heck yes! This is the kind of easy dinner party I could actually pull off. Here are 10 excellent self care ideas. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, this list is for you. We all know knitting with two strands

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

I would like a typo better

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 20:02

In my post the other day, I wrote that there would be 1600 rows in the edging, and Katie (who is surely a hopeful person, full of optimism) wrote and said “Surely that’s a typo.”  Vickiebee even said “Maybe it’s 1600 stitches?”

No, my petals, not a typo, and not stitches – though maybe not as bad as you’re thinking. I am cleverly drawing pictures here, so as not to take detailed pictures of the blankie that would give it all away to Alex and Meg. (Plus it’s really scrunched up on a circular.)  This is a pretty classic way of approaching this,  if you’re thinking of Shetland Island shawls, which, like most normal people, I always am.

First, I cast on provisionally, and I knit the centre.  (That’s a lie. First I knit a swatch, wash it, and block it. That tells me how many stitches to cast on, and how long to carry on for if I want it to be roughly square.)

When the centre is finished, I pick up stitches all the way around, and unpick the provisional cast-on, pick those up too, and now I’m equipped to work in the round. (Here, you will note, I make that sound like cake. It’s totally not – in the classic sense, this picking up business is pretty easy. The Shetland Shawls are garter base lace, and so the ratio for picking up is 1 stitch for each ridge. I threw that simplicity and ease on the fire and tossed on a litre of gasoline, by knitting the centre in stockinette based lace. To pick up all the way around I took my gauge, and did the math. The number of stitches widthwise (let’s say it’s 20 to 10cm.) divided by the number of rows per 10cm. (Let’s call that 25.) Then it’s just a matter of representing that as a fraction (stay with me, I know that’s a math word) putting stitches over rows. 20/25. Then I reduce that fraction (cast your mind back to middle school, you’ll be fine) and it’s 4/5. (See that?) That means I have to pick up 4 stitches for every 5 rows. In practice, that’s pick up 4, skip one, pick up 4, skip one…. You dig? Usually I practice this on the swatch, then do it on the blankie, marking the corners as I go.

Then I choose my stitch patterns (or invent them, in many cases) write them up as charts, centre them along the sides, and start knitting. I increase one stitch either side of the marked corner stitches ever other row – so I’m increasing by 8 stitches every other round.

This makes fetching mitred corners, and means the blankie gets bigger all the way around, every round. When it’s big enough (who really knows when that is) I choose or invent an edging (in this particular case, it’s a bit of both) and begin to apply the edging.  I cast on (provisionally, again) however many stitches are in the edge (in this case, it will be about 20) and then start working back and forth making a long skinny edging. Every time I work a right side row, I knit the last stitch of the edge together with a stitch from the body of the blanket.

That means that every two rows, one stitch gets consumed. When I’m all done, the final row of the edging is grafted to the provisional cast on of the edging, and I’m done.

So, back to the point up at the top? 1600 rows? I was wrong. I’ve currently got  898    stitches on the needle (or will, when I’m done with this little garter band) and with 2 rows to consume each one? (Plus extras to get round the corners, but let’s not quibble.)

1796 rows to go, with an average of 20 stitches in each row, that’s 35 920 stitches left to knit.

And that, my brave friends, is not a typo. I counted. May the force be with me. The edging begins in 4 and a half rounds.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

How to Create a 4-Color Gradient

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:30
Periodically, we've been talking about various strategies for creating your own gradients. We've already looked at simple, basic and three-color gradients, so it's time to tackle another one.

Today, let's delve into one way to craft a four-color gradient, so you can create one of your own. Our focus is example three from the overview post, Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own.


3. Four-color gradient: Twegen Coffee



Yarn. Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep)

Stitch. The fluted rib stitch produces a reversible, tweedy fabric with fluted columns on the front and fluted ribs on the back. 

Strategy. Each strip consists of two colors worked in alternating rows. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose five shades in related color families. 
  • Pair them by value: dark with dark, medium with medium, and light with light.
  • Work the first strip with two darks, CC1 and CC2.
  • Work the second strip with one dark and one medium, CC2 and CC3.
  • Work the third strip with two mediums, CC3 and CC4.
  • Work the fourth strip with one medium and one light, CC4 and CC5.

In Twegen Coffee, the strips were worked as follows:
  • Strip 1: Cavern, Slate 
  • Strip 2: Slate, Teddy Bear Brown
  • Strip 3: Teddy Bear Brown, Milk Chocolate
  • Strip 4: Milk Chocolate, Cotton Ball

Arranged dark to light, the strips were seamed and trimmed with Cavern (black). Unfortunately, several of these colors are no longer available, but comparable ones are. Twegen Harvest features a similar strategy, using eight colors instead of five. In both instances, I chose this approach to make the most of yarn on hand and leverage the interesting woven look the fluted rib stitch produces.
The beauty of crafting your own ombres and gradients is the opportunity to tailor them to suit your tastes, make the most of yarn you have, use up oddballs and uglies, and more. I think this particular gradient would be striking in shades of burgundy, wine, claret, red and rose, in blues ranging from deep navy to summer sky, in greens ranging from forest to mint, or in subtle shades of grey.
Want to make a dent in your stash? From afghans to accessories, a four-color gradient is a great solution, because it's the ideal way to combine colors to get the yardage you need for a larger project.

To see all ombre and gradient posts, click here.
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Categories: Knitting Feeds

It’s Not Early

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 20:42

My friend Debbi has a great expression. When a task is daunting and spread out in front of you, and you’re getting that slightly crampy feeling in the pit of your stomach, she’ll look right at it and say “Don’t panic early.”

I find this a really lovely way of saying “don’t panic”, which I’ve always found dismissive and always makes me want to say something like “I’ll panic if I bloody well want to” or “WHAT IS YOUR OTHER PLAN.”  When Debbi says “don’t panic early” I feel like she’s respecting my right to panic, isn’t taking anything from me, but wants to be sure that my timing is right, and I don’t waste any energy while we’re still in a  phase that could have some solutions other than panicking.

On Friday, I took a look at the blanket, and I took a look at the date, and I took a look at Megan and something happened.

I panicked. Now, there is still some time to finish, I know that. I’ve got a few weeks I think, before there could be a baby, but I’m still on the last border pattern and after that there is another border pattern and then there is all the edging and… I felt sure that panicking was the right thing to do.  I set about getting really hysterical about the whole thing, and then I channelled my inner Debbi, decided it wasn’t time, and set about knitting. That was my weekend. I’m happy to say it mostly panned out. I’m six rows from being finished that border, and then there’s just the second border and then there’s the edging and….

It was time to panic. I felt sure of it that time. I went on a search for my inner Debbi, couldn’t find her and called the actual Debbi instead. (Sometimes only the real thing works.)  Debbi listened carefully while I explained what needed doing, and she looked carefully at the picture of Meg, and then she said something very real, and very accurate.

Panic.

That’s what she said. Panic. She also said things like “*%#%&^ how many rows are in that edging? 1600? IS IT SIXTEEN HUNDRED?” and she said things like “IT IS BIG ENOUGH DON’T MAKE IT BIGGER DO THE EDGING” and she also said “holy (*&%$#^, you need to panic. Do it now.”

“It’s not too early?” I asked her, hopefully… wondering if maybe Debbi had just come unglued for a minute and didn’t have her wits about her. It happens to the best of us, especially in the face of laceweight baby blankets, they’re pretty discombobulating. “Debbi, isn’t it too early to panic?”

Debbi thought about it, and then very calmly, she said:

“No.  I think you’re late.”

I’m going to get right on it.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

sparking joy

Autumn Geisha - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 23:40

Happy first day of Spring! It seems like this month has been flying along at full speed. I've been trying to unplug from technology and just enjoy the little moments as they present themselves: reading actual books, listening to music on cds, cooking from my collection of cookbooks and knitting on various projects. I also started a granny stripes blanket that is sparking so much joy that Marie Kondo would be proud. Gotta love a project that makes use of all those leftover fingering weight scraps that are taking up precious space in the stash. And watching how these hand dyed yarns are crocheting up is so mesmerizing because the visual effect is quite different than in knitting. This will no doubt be a long term project but that's ok. I'm loving every moment of it so far.
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Caragh’s Cashmere

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: North Shore Knitter Extraordinaire: Jennifer (Ravelry ID, blog) Mods: Changed up the design on the yoke using charts from selections Alice Starmore’s Charts for Color Knitting, combining two different charts to make the new yoke. Details can be found on her project page and her blog post, here. The blog post in particular

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Yarn is Dangerous

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 12:30
Knitting is fraught with fascinating conundrums. For instance, no matter how large your stash might be, there's a better than average chance the yarn you need (or want) for your next project isn't there.

Five skeins of grey? Lovely! Unfortunately, they're all the wrong shade, fiber or weight for the project you have in mind, so five fresh skeins join the ranks. (Added: 545 yards. Used: 366 yards.)

GREY DAZE SHAWL

Need some very special yarn for a gift? How thoughtful! Almost certainly, whatever you have on hand isn't quite right, so you acquire several skeins of blue and teal to ensure you have enough yardage and some color choices. (Added: 1600 yards. Used: 400 yards.)

AUNT K'S SHAWL


Working on a project specifically designed to use up leftovers and partials? Great idea! Unfortunately, as you're heading into the final stretch, you realize the blues on hand are all wrong. So, you order two similar but different saturated turquoise blues, because surely one or the other will work right? (Added: 430 yards. Used: 40 yards.)




Want to get a jumpstart on this year's batch of Christmas ornaments? Sounds smart! Uh-oh. Every green yarn on hand is way too yellow (or blue or brown or boring), so you simply must get some in a more suitable shade. (Added: 550 yards. Used: 100 yards.)

CHRISTMAS TREES



Indulging in a spate of rainbow knits? What fun! However, thanks to your diligent stashbusting efforts, your supply of rainbow shades is depleted. To be on the safe side, you wisely decide to replenish your supply. (Added: 1505 yards. Used: 968 yards.)

TIKKYN RAINBOW




As you know, I knit from stash as often as possible, but invest in yarn without guilt when the need arises. What triggers those yarn buys? The examples above (gifts, specific design needs, desire for the perfect color) are good illustrations. 

These were logical, well-reasoned acquisitions, but that doesn't negate the fact that in this roundup, yardage in temporarily outweighs yardage out. That's okay, because with the help of some creative stashbusting projects, all of it will eventually find its destiny. Eventually.

That said, it's important to recognize reality. Let's face it, lush and lovely or plain and practical, yarn by its very nature is seductive and very, very sneaky. Apparently, like the herd animals that produce my favorite fibers, yarn is happiest when it's safely stabled in a cozy spot with an ever-growing flock of siblings and cousins for company.

That means alone and collectively, yarn strives to entice us with its soft hand, gentle halo, rich color, subtle sheen, and possibilities real and imagined. And that makes it very dangerous indeed.


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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Good yarny things...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 07:55
Happy Sunday! Today I have some wonderful yarny things to share with you. One is a fabulous book that I think anyone who loves yarn should pick up and then a new yarn line from Blacker Yarns. As you know I get rather excited to share lovely any sort of... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Financial tips I wish I knew in my 20s – still applicable now. Although I wish I had known all that stuff in my teens (am I the only one who thinks that financial planning and budgeting should be a mandatory high school course?) How to stop procrastinating

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Secret Project Reveal: Kleenex Mittens!

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 18:08

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this photo of me working on something secret: Those were red mittens as a prototype for Kleenex Mittens! Kleenex® Canada wanted a special mitten that had a pocket in them for a packet of their tissues, so that you could use the tissues without taking your

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Proof of Life

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 17:03

I sat down yesterday morning with a cup of coffee and the intention of writing a post to you, and then realized that though I don’t believe in jinxes, and I didn’t really think I could make myself fall down by typing about what a great ski trip we had, I do really hate revising writing and so I put it off until now, simply in the interest of not needing to delete a post about how awesome it was and instead write about how charming the Ski Patrol is and how sweet the doctors in the emergency room in Banff are, and how much less scary it was to be airlifted out of the Rocky Mountains than I thought it would be. Turns out that I’m out the other end of the thing, totally intact.

We skiied during the daytime, with me taking lessons and Joe off doing wild man things, flinging himself off the top of mountains and doing double blacks, while I timidly made the transition from green runs to blue ones. I had a very nice instructor named George, who consistently told me that I’m a much better skier than I think I am, I’m just too nervous. “Relax” he told me over and over. “You just need to relax.”  I’m not sure I have the trick of it yet, because all I did then was really concentrate on relaxing, and I don’t think that’s what George meant, and there were moments (more than one, I’m afraid to report) where I stood a the top of a slope George wanted me to ski down, looked at his intentions, the steepness of the thing, how far you would fall to the bottom with a misplaced ski, and cordially looked him in the eye to say “What the actual f**k, George.”

Still, at the end of the three days, George presented me with a certificate outlining my skills, and confidently decreed that I could ski any groomed run. “Any” he said, as long as I managed this elusive relaxation. I looked at my card, and immediately noted an error. Muttering, I approached George, and explained that I wanted him to tick off the box that said I could manage small jumps. He looked at me a little confused, and I reminded him that he’s been on lifts with me, surely he’s noticed that I’m five feet tall, and that means that getting off a lift isn’t a simple matter of standing up.  I have to jump. (This made for a dramatic first dismount from a lift last year, by the way, when the instructor told me to wait until my skis touched the ground, then stand up. Never happened. I almost went right round the thing.) “George,” I proclaimed. “You’ve seen me. You know I’m jumping. I want that box. That’s a jump. Tick it off.”

George agreed, though even now I’m unclear on whether or he truth thought it was right, or was just a little frightened of me. He sat down, put a proper checkmark in the box for small jumps – and added a little note. “On lifts.”  He also told me that skiing with me had been a lot of fun, but in the comments on my report card, I noted that it just said “Been a lot skiing with you this week” and at first I thought the “fun” was just missing (he had several to fill out) but I’ve been told before that I’m rather “a lot” and I wonder if George is breathing a little easier now that I’m headed off his mountain.

In between death defying runs down the slopes, I knit. I had lots of time in the mornings, and in the car on the way places, and at dinner, and in the evenings,

and I’m happy to report that the first little border on the baby blanket is done, as is the second larger one, and today on the way to the airport I’ll finish charting the third, big one, and by the time I get home tonight, it should be well started. I’ve big plans to apply myself diligently to that thing over the next week, try to really break the back of it. There’s more than 680 stitches to a round now, so progress feels like it’s slowing down all the time, but it’s still a lot easier than skiing.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

How to Create a 3-Color Gradient

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 10:30
Light, soft and warm, Plumberry is one of my all-time favorite scarves. For years, this yarn languished in the stash, because it was so luscious I was terrified whatever I made wouldn't do it justice. I tested countless stitches and design ideas, and nothing seemed quite right.




After years of frustration, I hit on the idea of a three-stage gradient, and couldn't be more pleased with the result. The cashmere-silk blend is luscious, the colors suit my tastes, and as simple as it is, this scarf garners compliments every time I wear it.

Plumberry was highlighted in the overview post, Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own, and the strategy is so simple, I almost skipped this post. But many knitters tell me they struggle with color and prefer step-by-step directions, so today we'll explore one way to create a custom three-color gradient.

2. Three-Color Gradient: Plumberry Scarf


Yarn. Richesse et Soie (Knit One Crochet Too). Sadly, this yarn has been discontinued.
Stitch. The easy, fluted rib stitch produces a reversible fabric with fluted columns on the front and fluted ribs on the back.

Strategy. The cranberry and purple sections are worked solid, while the center plum section was created by working alternating two-row stripes. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose two colors.
  • Work the first section with CC1 only.
  • Work the second section with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work the third section with CC2 only.
The strategy couldn't be more simple, but with the right stitch, it produces very attractive results. For those who like specifics:
  • Section 1: Cranberry 9249
  • Section 2: Cranberry 9249, Purple 9713
  • Section 3: Purple 9713
The finished scarf is 4 inches wide and 60 inches long, so it offers lots of wearing options.

Because a basic three-color gradient works with any fiber or color combination, it's a wonderful way to transform orphans, singletons and yes, shrine of precious yarns into something pretty and useful. 

The possibilities are endless. To create your own unique gradient or ombre, try pairing turquoise with white for a summery look, turquoise and grey for a sophisticated one, or turquoise and teal for a tonal effect.
If you haven't done so already, take time now to rummage through your stash to see what interesting combinations you discover, then have fun and experiment with this easy but effective gradient strategy.

To read more about ombres and gradients, click here.
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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Summer Rose

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 11:00

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Original Patterns: Autumn Rose Pullover and Child’s Panel Gansey Knitter Extraordinaire: Misa (Ravelry ID) Mods: Misa used the Autumn Rose colourwork pullover as the road map, but substituted the charts for the Child’s Panel Gansey. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Two things are happening in this sweater that I

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Going Green

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 12:30
The Pantone Color Institute has declared Greenery (15-0343) the color of the year. It's a lovely, fresh shade that looks a bit like this:

I'm not much of a trend-watcher, but the current focus on green prompted me to wonder why I don't use it more often. The truth, of course, is it appears on a regular basis, but because I tend to favor clear, deep or blue-green shades that better suit my coloring and home decor, it's not always obvious.

That said, once I started hunting for examples, I was amazed at just how often varied shades of green surface in projects. Here's a quick roundup:

ACCESSORIES

These super-simple gradient mitts represent a knitting trifecta: They're fast and easy, designed to use up small balls of leftover yarn, and serve as an example for a new make your own ombres and gradients post.



I'm still experimenting, but one way or another the lovely teal and lake yarn below will find a home in a stole, shawl or wrap. In this photo, the colors appear a bit bluer than they are in real life.




AFGHANS

When it's finished, this afghan will have flashes of vivid mint and deep teal.



Angletyn Rainbow features a soft shade of teal.



Breidan Baby incorporates a minty green.



Color Check Meadow features six shades of green ranging from soft sage to rich teal.



In Drumlin Gemtones, the color appears aqua here, but in reality the strip at the upper right is a rich, saturated teal.



In Drumlin Bright, two shades of green were worked in two-row stripes, which made both colors pop.



In Lucben Tidepool, a mix of purpose-bought yarn was combined with green leftovers to create a simple custom gradient.



In this shot of Tikkyn Rainbow, you can see a few of the teal color blocks that stairstep across the front.




HOLIDAY

When I'm making Christmas Trees for the holidays, yarns in shades of pine, balsam and spruce climb out of the cupboards, scamper around the studio, climb onto the needles, and eventually turn into WIP piles like this:




SWEATERS

In Moore Colors, the mint green stripes peeking out at the right lead into various shades of green, teal and blue that occupy the back.


Last but not least, 20 years ago, I made a lovely teal sweater-jacket in soft, tweedy wool. It's held up beautifully, so I still wear it fall through early spring. Unfortunately, I don't have photos, but I'll try to get some soon.

Meanwhile, daylight savings time has arrived, St. Patrick's Day is a few days away, and spring with its fresh young shoots and leaves is on the horizon. If you're choosing yarn for a new project, try going green. Not only is it right on trend, it's the ideal way to celebrate the bright promise of this lovely season.

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

March Indie Dyer~ Knitting A Love Song & Giveaway...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 07:01
Happy Sunday! Can I just tell you that these monthly indie dyer features have been one of the best ideas I have had in a long time? It has been so amazing to get to know these artists on a personal and business level. March I get the privilege of... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

The Hand of Destiny

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 22:10

I sat down, all ready and organized, to tell  you pretty much nothing. The blanket is going fine, I’m passed the first little border and I’m ready to move on to the next one. I have it charted and swatched and it all seems to be ticking along just fine. A little slowly, I admit, but I’m almost ready to start the second ball of yarn, and there’s more than 700m per ball, so clearly I’m making some sort of progress, no matter how daunting the whole thing feels. I was sitting here, trying to find something to say to you, something remotely interesting, and couldn’t come up with anything at all, so I went to organize some yarn and think about it.

Joe and I are leaving for a ski trip in the morning, and I’d gone upstairs to grab a skein of yarn for socks from upstairs. It was a special skein, part of the little yarn club I joined this year and I know that I should be working on the blanket only, but it’s fussy, and there’s a chart, and while I’m certain that I’ll get lots done on the flight tomorrow – I need something with me to amuse me when it’s dark, or when I don’t want to ignore Joe by gluing my eyes to the thing. So, socks it is. I’m upstairs, and I have the skein of yarn in my hand, and then I realize I should throw in a load of laundry – so I grab a basket, toss a load of whites in, and trot directly to the basement get it started and come back upstairs to wind the yarn.

On my way back up though, I get a text from my sister-in-law who needs a little babysitting help, and I tell her sure, and start organizing myself to leave. Now, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that mornings aren’t really my jam, but they’re not – so I get another cup of coffee so I stand a chance of keeping up with a toddler and a five year old, and then I go to wind the yarn, except it’s not where I left it on the table by the winder. I look around, realize I’ve probably put it somewhere stupid, and then Katie’s here and I have to leave, so I do.  I’m in the car before something terrible occurs to me. I didn’t… put it in the washing machine, did I? I start reconstructing the morning in my mind – all while convincing Luis that we’re going to go to the park and it’s going to be a blast, and I decide that there’s no way I did that. None. I had it in my hand, and then I put it down on the bed – I think, while I got that laundry together. There’s nothing for it anyway, and Luis and Frankie and I go to the park (where I remember that most of taking a toddler to the park in the winter is trying to keep them from licking metal things) and then I go buy a new bra (really intense morning, thanks for asking) and then I grab the streetcar back here, and go directly upstairs to fetch my yarn – but it’s not on the bed. It’s not on the kitchen counter either, nor is it on my dresser, where I could have put it down. It’s not anywhere, and with a sinking heart, I go to the basement.

I can see it through the window of the washer. It’s there. A sprawled out tangle of handpainted ramen, exploded through the washing machine. I curse, and I open the washer, knowing two things for sure. 1. I’m an idiot and 2. A skein of yarn can’t come back from that. You can’t put a skein of yarn in the washing machine. I’ve wrecked this fantastic skein of yarn. I take the laundry out, and I carry it upstairs and it looks like a nightmare. It’s tangled, it’s a disaster, and start untangling it from tee shirts and underpants and I’m just heartbroken. (I’m also pretty grateful that the dye didn’t bleed, because that was a load of whites and it’s a brightly coloured skein.) I extract the yarn – and I stand there, with this shredded disaster in my hands, and it occurs to me that it’s not felted. It’s superwash – so I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised, but I am – and it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, if I dry it, I can untangle it. (It does occur to me that this will take hours and hours, but I really like the yarn and I’m feeling optimistic.)

I grab the yarn by one of the ties, and give it a snap, and this happens.

Yup. Perfect. Completely, astoundingly, amazingly and unpredictably perfect. It’s not tangled – there’s not a strand out of place and that, my friends, is a straight up supernatural event.

I thought you’d want to know. The world is a mysterious, beautiful place, and my yarn is almost dry.

(PS. It’s from Gauge Dye Works (That used to be CaterpillarGreen) and I’d like to personally thank them for tying it in three places. I bet some days that feels like overkill, but it’s not. You’re awesome.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

March slump

Knitting to Stay Sane - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 16:07
Knitter friends, do you experience a pre-spring slump? I have noticed this about my knitting activity in the last few years – I knit feverishly from November to February and then by the time March hits it’s like the enthusiasm has dulled to a hum. I’m still knitting, still have projects I want to finish, […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week This essay was wonderful- a woman who was fat shamed tracked down her trolls and confronted them: “By just blocking and deleting when someone makes an abusive comment or when someone sends an unsolicited portrait of their genitals, we’re tacitly saying that’s acceptable. No one sits around the

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I’m Obsessed With My Pom Pom Maker

Knitted Bliss - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 11:00

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Somewhere on Instagram, I came across the Pom Maker feed and fell instantly, madly in love with their adorable wooden pom pom makers and beautiful pom poms. I had to have one! The fact that it was entirely made of wood seemed especially attractive to me – until then, I had only ever seen plastic pom

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

7 Reasons Thumbless Mitts are Best

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 11:00
As you well know, I love fingerless mitts and have through the years made so many pairs, I've lost count. You also know that long or short, practical or pretty, all my mitts are thumbless as well.

This must seem incomprehensible to many of you, but there are seven reasons why thumbless mitts work best for me:

1. Less fiddly. Let's face it, working simple thumbless mitts means you can look forward to a quick, fuss-free project, whip up a last-minute gift, or work them when you need a break from larger or more complicated WIPs.

KINTRA BLACKBERRY


2. Adaptable. One of the things I like most is there's no second-guessing, because you can wait until the seaming stage to decide where you want to place the thumb hole and how large to make it.

KINTRA NEARLY NEUTRAL


3. Nearly mindless. Simple and soothing, thumbless mitts are ideal for knitting on the go or decompressing at the end of a demanding day.

WYNDFAEL TURQUOISE



4. Purposeful swatching. Because they're streamlined and compact, thumbless mitts allow you to play with different stitches, yarns, colors and needle sizes, while still creating something useful.

REVERSIBLE GRADIENT MITTS (WIP)


5. Practical. Wearing mitts while I work and knit keeps my hands and wrists warm and flexible, which reduces aches and pains, but my fingers and thumbs remain unencumbered and able to move freely. If I need my hands free for chores or something similar, it's easy to pop out my thumbs, push the mitts down and tackle the task.

KINTRA PLUM


6. Multiple wearing options. Because they can be worn as mitts, scrunchy gauntlets and folded cuffs, thumbless mitts are extraordinarily versatile, infinitely more wearable and less fussy because you don't have to keep putting them on and taking them off.

GREY DAZE MITTS & SHAWL



7. Short thumbs. Apparently, I have very short thumbs. I learned this when I was a little girl, just starting violin lessons. My teacher, a very talented musician from Czechoslovakia, was always bellowing (literally) that I wasn't holding the instrument properly. One day, he grabbed my hand, examined it intently, and declared my thumbs were too short to play the violin.

KINTRA OYSTER BAY



For what it's worth, I continued to study and play for years, but no, I never became a renowned violinist. Instead, I became a knitter, designer, author and blogger, and I'm okay with that.


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