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Link love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 11/09/2018 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week What to do with Chernobyl, which won’t be free of radiation for another 24,000 years? Turn it into a giant wind farm for green energy, of course. A database of how to fold every kind of paper airplane ever. Because office procrastination is more fun with paper airplanes.

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New Pattern! Underneath it All Camisole

Knitted Bliss - Tue, 11/06/2018 - 17:14

Not exactly aligned with the season, but bear with me. I think a knitted camisole is trans-seasonal! Pattern: Underneath it All Yarn: The Blue Brick Manitoulin Merino (discontinued) Needles: 3.25 mm (US 3) Check out the details on the Ravelry pattern page, here.  If you like it, give it some love! Add it to your

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TV Land: Does Amy Knit Her Sweaters?

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 11/04/2018 - 21:17
As The Big Bang Theory enters its final season, one burning question remains unanswered: Does Amy knit her sweaters, cardigans and vests?

According to Sheldon, the answer is yes. In the Opening Night Excitation (season 9, episode 11), Sheldon tells Penny and Bernadette that "Amy enjoys knitting her own sweaters, so I was thinking of getting her an all expenses-paid trip to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival" as a birthday gift.

Any true knitter would be thrilled with such a treat, but in the end, Sheldon foregoes the wool festival and opts to celebrate her birthday by consummating their relationship, a choice Amy embraces with enthusiasm. That's all well and good, but let's get back to the issue at hand. 

As an avid knitter who often has BBT reruns playing in the background while I work on projects, I've seen no evidence Amy knits sweaters. With the exception of one cardigan that might have been handcrafted, all of her knitwear appears to be commercially produced. The one exception that comes to mind is the caramel cabled cardigan she wears at the end of The Celebration Reverberation (season 11, episode 11).

Plus, we've never seen her wield knitting needles onscreen, there are no baskets of yarn or WIPs anywhere in her apartment, and the afghan displayed on the couch in her old apartment was crocheted.

With two pairs of wonderfully woolly mitts off the needles and in the seaming stage and a third freshly cast on, these are the deep, universal questions that occupy my mind. 

So what say you: Does Amy knit her sweaters?

Click here to see all TV Land knitting posts

Planning ahead? You can learn more about the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival here.

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Knit review and October loves...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 11/04/2018 - 17:35
Happy Sunday! Hello loves. Today I have a fun post for you all. There will be a review for a wonderful new E-Book as well as our October grab your coffee or tea and settle in. :) The talent at Knotions has created another wonderful resource for us sock... Andi
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Just get in the car

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 09:55

If there is one thing that Joe and I have worked out over the last year, it’s that we don’t know what’s going on, or what the future holds. We’ve been waiting forever for it to be “a good time” for us to take some trips, see a bit of the world, but it’s always been that the girls were too young, or it wasn’t a good time to leave work, or we didn’t have time or… a million reasons.  Since Joe’s Mum had her stroke, and my Mum died, we’ve slowly come to realize that saving this all up for when there’s a better time is probably dumb. (We’re also, a year and change into being Grandparents, working out that this idea we had that our family will need us less and we wouldn’t mind being away as time goes on was pretty laughable. That day’s simply not coming.) Therefore…

Hola!  We’re in Spain.  Less than 20 hours after coming home from the Columbia Gorge and Knot Another Fiber Festival, I got back on a plane and we travelled to Zurich, and then Barcelona, Spain.  (This is the biggest barrier to holidays, we’re both still self-employed full time. There just aren’t many days we aren’t working. We fit this in between two of my work trips. I bet that when I get home next week and have to leave the next day for Port Ludlow I am going to have a few regrets.) In knitting news, I brought three projects with me, and have already worked out where the local yarn shop is. (Just in case.)  I finished the baby blanket (and I’ll tell you all about it once it arrives at it’s final destination. Joe mailed it to the baby in question while I was out of town – so it should get there any minute now. The eagle is flying.) I’ve happily moved onto the next big white thing…

Samantha’s wedding shawl.  The pattern’s Timeless, and the yarn is Shibui Lunar, and the beads are silver lined crystals.

While I’m about as brave as a knitter comes, even I have to admit that beads and white laceweight aren’t the best travel knitting, so in my purse I’ve got a kit from Canon Hand Dyes to make the Graduated Stripes Cowl.  Round and round, perfect for a site seeing tourist on the town.

I’ve also got a sock, but I’ll tell you more about that later. Joe’s waiting patiently by the door (read tapping his foot at me) and today’s his 50th birthday, so off I go.  The two of us are bound for adventure.

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spooky knits

Autumn Geisha - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 17:05

Happy Halloween guys! Any fun plans for the evening? We are doing the usual: handing out candy to the trick or treaters and then going next door to my brother’s annual Halloween/birthday party. The kid decided to be Alvin the Chipmunk this year and the hubby is a chicken. I’m going as my usual angry 90’s grunge teen.

I surprised the kid with a special Halloween hat (although honestly, I plan on “borrowing” it to wear year round!) As you know, he had some strong opinions on the scrappy monster socks that I was knitting for the #monstersockkal2018. The skulls were his idea (colorwork chart from the awesome Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel). But I had my heart set on some cute Halloween cats (chart from 150 Scandinavian Motifs by Mary Jane Mucklestone) so we ended up compromising. One for him and one for me :) The yarns are a mix of mini’s from havirland and knitty and color. Both of these talented ladies know their Halloween.

For the hat, I decided to go all out on the spooky factor and used the Cake or Death chart from Alterknit. I don’t usually go for morbid things like the Grim Reaper but I thought this would be right up the kid’s alley. And boy was I right! He loves it and says it’s the coolest thing I ever made him. So a win for this knitting mama!

Now I’m off to decorate the gingerbread haunted house. I hope that you all enjoy a fun and safe night. Will you be dressing up as anything?
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Crystal Ball

Knitting | Work in Progress - Mon, 10/29/2018 - 18:23
The mission to make more mitts has become so firmly fixed in my mind, it's possible I'm getting a teensy bit carried away. 

One pair of mitts is ready for seaming and another is already on the needles.

Knit straight from stash in Valley Yarns Amherst worsted weight wool leftover from my Tikkyn Flagstone afghan, the first pair is worked in charcoal and ash, and the second in ash and light grey. This soft yarn has a slight halo, which tends to make the photos look somewhat blurred or out of focus. The image below shows the stitch more clearly. 
Both pairs are worked in the same slipped stitch, which produces a stretchy, syncopated rib. This stitch is not only easy, it's particularly fun to work, because it creates horizontal stripes (first photo) or vertical ones (second photo) depending on whether the contrast color is introduced on a right- or wrong-side row.
When these mitts are completed, I'll do a proper FO post. Meanwhile, you don't need a crystal ball to see the future. This stitch is so versatile and the results are so varied, I'll definitely be casting on another pair.

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Modification Monday: French Toast for Brittany

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 10/29/2018 - 11:00

Original Pattern: French Toast Knitter Extraordinaire: Terri (Ravelry ID) Mods: Added double moss stitch to the front of the sweater flanking both sides of the cable, and added a split hem. Details and great photos can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Terri wanted to knit a sweater for her

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Knitterly chit chat...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 23:07
Happy Sunday! Natural Fibre Arts Merino Superwash Sock Tweed in the color Natural. I am almost back on track for blog posts, today's is just a little later on Sunday.:) I'll get there soon. Thank you all for your kind comments about my move. Yes, moving is stressful and just... Andi
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Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 10/26/2018 - 14:26

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week This was an interesting social experiment- one woman acted like Coach Taylor for two weeks and got results. Speaking of sports- male cheerleaders at NFL games? I’ll cheer for that! Do you make your bed every day? I don’t (my mornings already feel jam packed), but this makes

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Mini Stockings: The Sequel

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 11:00

Pattern: Mini Christmas Stocking Ornaments Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Mini Skeins (blue label fingering weight) Needles: 2.7mm (US 2) I knit these on a pair of dpns, and they are the smallest needles I’ve used in a while! I first knit this pattern in 2016 as an advent calendar for Lila. She has absolutely adored

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this and that

Autumn Geisha - Wed, 10/24/2018 - 23:33

Wouldn’t it be lovely to start the new year with an empty wips basket? I am trying to get at least all of my lingering socks finished by then. The above pair was a fun knit. The yarn is Felici in the Spring Blooms colorway and the pattern is a free one on Ravelry called the ifthen socks. It is a simple and lovely pattern for self-striping yarns. I modified the pattern slightly by omitting the eyelets for the back of the leg.

I celebrated a birthday a few weeks ago! It was a wonderful day filled with all of my favorite things: family, food, knitting and yarny presents (of course!)

I had the hubby buy me an extra special present from MustStash yarns. Aren’t the colors gorgeous!?! Can’t wait to dive into these as a special reward for getting the sock wips finished.

We are finally experiencing proper autumn weather with the temps dropping into the 50’s. It’s been lovely getting to bundle up in handknit sweaters and socks again. Not to mention putting all of my favorite cold weather dishes back into the dinner rotation: chili’s, stews, soups and casseroles. It’s been fun choosing a different casserole to cook every Wednesday, with the added bonus of having plenty of leftovers for the following day’s lunch. My favorite recipes are the simple ones that instruct you to dump everything but the kitchen sink into your largest casserole dish, sprinkle in a ton of shredded cheese and bake for 30 minutes. It’s the comfort food of my childhood since my mom learned how to cook “American food” from old church recipe books :)

What are you guys whipping up lately? Any favorite fall dishes or casserole suggestions?
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Sunday a day late...

My Sister's Knitter - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 14:42
Hello loves! Whoo hoo- we made it to the weekend. How was your weekend. I say was because you may have noticed this post is a day late. Sorry about the lateness, sometimes there are things out of our control. :) So moving is done for now. I was finally... Andi
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Modification Monday: Stonethwaite Raglan

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 11:00

Original Pattern: Stonethwaite Knitter Extraordinaire: Valeria (Ravelry ID) Mods: Worked the lushly cables design only on the front, and double ribbing on the back. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: I bet it’s happened to all of us knitters at one point or another- You see a stunning,

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Ongoing Obsessions

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 10/21/2018 - 19:25
It was bound to happen. Between cool weather and my ongoing obsessions with neutral colors, gradients and ombres, my current need for more mitts had only one logical outcome.

Friday, I cast on a fresh pair in soft, warm worsted weight wool, even though there are several WIPs lingering in the background. I've made progress and would have made more, but three-quarters of the way through the first mitt, I decided I wanted it longer. So, I ripped back and added some additional length to each section.

To justify ignoring the WIPs, I opted to turn this into a stashbuster project. I limited the color palette and decided to work a simple, three-stage ombre with medium and charcoal grey leftovers from my Tikkyn Flagstone afghan

Meanwhile, I'm loving this particular slip stitch rib, which is stretchy, easy to work and somewhat magical (with a few minor changes, you can create very different effects). I'll share some examples of this one day soon, but for now, I'm eager to finish these, so I can pop them on, and cast on another pair.

What knitting obsessions are you indulging this week?

Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.
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Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week A Japanese man who saved six thousand Jewish refugees during WWII. This article was interesting not just as a highlight of one man who sacrificed his career to save strangers, but raises interesting questions about the qualities of moral heroism. Oh my gosh, this is a brilliant idea.

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But Without the Fever

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 20:44

I have suffered, over the last week or so, what I’ve come to think of as a “grief relapse”.  It feels like having malaria, the initial illness was terrible, but over time I’ve gotten better, and then once in a while, out of the blue, here it is – surfacing again as I try to go about my business.  Sometimes I don’t know what causes it – and sometimes I have a pretty good idea. This time, I know the exact moment.  I have loads of my mum’s clothes. We were almost the same size, and when Erin and I went through her things, I took home a lot. Some of them I will never wear, I know that, and others I’ve been starting to put on from time to time. Easy things – the occasional pair of shoes, a tee shirt… I’ve been wearing her summer robe, I feel like her when I wrap it around me, and I see how my body is a bit like hers, and it has been a comforting connection. Then there are the big ticket items – things I took not just because they remind me of her, but because they’re lovely intersections between the style she loved and the style I like. Mostly we had different styles, mum and me. Mum loved interesting and bold clothes, and I’m a little more restrained, but I think she would like that I’ve tried to be nervier since she died. Tried to take some of the advice she gave me all my life.  (A little colour by your face wouldn’t kill you dear.)

From time to time, I go into the closet where I’ve got her things, (the things of hers that aren’t mine yet) and I look at them and see if I’m yet in a place where I can put them on. Last week, as the weather turned, and fall set in, and it got to be cooler, I went back to the closet, and I looked at her stuff, and I saw a shirt I really loved, one that’s mostly her, but a little me, and I actually smiled thinking of her. (This is, by the way, big news. Feeling the grief give way to happy remembrance in moments has been a tremendous relief. Everybody said it would happen eventually, but I thought you were all liars.) I reached out, and took the hanger down, and as I brought it towards me, the smell of her hit me. In that moment, I can’t describe my feelings, except to say that I missed her terribly.  It still seems impossible to me in those moments that I won’t ever see her again. I pressed that cloth to my face and inhaled her, wishing desperately for the real thing, and I wanted her back. For one wild moment, I wanted to call out to her, and I think I even said “Oh Mum come back” as I dissolved.  Then I hung the shirt up, pulled myself together and blew my nose, and the moment of crisis was over, but it was just the moment that I relapsed.

It’s lingered – the feeling of simply missing her. We’ve staggered through another holiday without her, this Thanksgiving a little easier than the last one, when we were still so shocked and freshly wounded, with no practice at filling in the mum shaped hole in our worlds. Our Anniversary came and went, without my mum dropping off a gift or calling, and in a terrible blow – two of the plants I moved from her garden to mine dropped dead without so much as a warning.  (I blame the raccoons, which is sort of fitting. My mother hated the damn raccoons.)

These relapses, when they come, are hard on my productivity. it’s like moving through mud (which is a big improvement from trying to move through cement, which is what it was like in the beginning, so I guess I’m hopeful that things will keep changing.) Everything takes a little more energy, like something’s been added to my to-do list every day.  Put in laundry, send email, miss mum, organize retreat, pick up groceries, miss mum, pack for Rhinebeck, go to Bike Rally meeting, miss mum, drop off mail, buy Elliot shoes, miss mum…. it just takes up so much time, like having a whole other job.

The fog is receding now, the work of it, anyway, and I’m settling back down. (Not ready to open that closet again though. Think I’ll give it a miss for a while.) The blanket (man is it ever taking forever) is still on the needles…

I can show you the finished shawl I knit while I was in my cast though – I think of this as my broken wrist shawl, though it’s properly called “Love and Darkness” which is appropriate I think, since it’s a present for Christmas for someone I love, and I knit it while working through a personal bit of darkness.

It’s normally the sort of thing I’d be able to bang out in no time at all, but one handed, even on big needles (5mm) and out of big yarn (the very delicious Fleece Artist BFL Aran) it took the whole time I was in the cast – one very, very tedious month.

I’ve come to think of this shawl as the thing that put me behind on two deadline driven things – the blanket and the shawl I’m starting this weekend, more about that tomorrow.) And despite it being linked with a period of real frustration, I absolutely love it.

I hope you’re all well, and sorry for the radio silence. It was kinda like I had malaria.

(PS. I continue to waffle around writing about missing mum.  I feel like I’m always going on about it, and even “in real life” I edit much of my talk about her. Last night, speaking with a friend, I mentioned it briefly, scanning his face the whole time for signs that he’s sick of it, or that I’m not fun, that it won’t be nice. I didn’t see that, but I worry about it so much that I keep it to myself, as much as I am able.  I’m a person who’s pretty good at sorting things out on my insides anyway. That said, several times over the last year – when I’ve been somewhere, like Knit City or a class, one of you will approach me, and say that it’s been helpful to you to hear about what this process is like. That you lost someone around when I did, and that you feel less alone and more hopeful when I write about it.  So, I’m trying to set aside those other feelings sometimes, and give in to the urge to write about it when I am able, and I want those of you must surely be sick to damn death of… well, death… that I’m sorry, but those of us in the mud have to stick together a bit. I’ll try to balance it with yarn. Peace out.)

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Modification Monday: Ten of Hearts Cardigan

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 11:00

Original Pattern: Ten of Hearts Cardigan  Knitter Extraordinaire:  Jenn (Ravelry ID) Mods: Modified the original vintage pattern to be as seamless as possible, and adjust the main ribbing. Details with great notes on the modifications can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Vintage knitting patterns are notoriously tricky for being

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Clever Chevy

Knit and Tonic - Sun, 10/14/2018 - 20:49
Let me tell you, I started this pattern three years ago. Three! I have always had this love for Missoni. That chevron and all the colors. Like many other knitters, I thought that I could select a bunch of colors... Wendy
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Mitt Weather

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 10/14/2018 - 19:51
It's official. Mitt weather has arrived! Nighttime temps are in the 30s and 40s, and daytime temps are hovering in the mid-50s. For our region, this isn't cold, but it's cool enough to grab my attention.

With several pairs soaking in the sink, it seemed like a good time to inventory my fingerless mitt collection, so I could take steps to rectify any gaps. A couple years ago, I ruthlessly pitched quite a few pairs that had seen so much wear, they simply had to go. The current count stands at 23 pairs, but only a handful of them are shown below. 

Twenty-three pairs sounds like a lot, doesn't it? In reality, not so much.

As you well know, I don't just make mitts for show, I wear them basically year-round. In fall and winter, they're a cozy, knitterly antidote to my perpetually chilly home and office. In spring and summer, they keep my wrists and hands warm, helping to stave off the stiffness, aches and pains caused by computer work by day and knitting by night. 

So, if we deduct those made with premium yarns unsuitable for daily wear, plus the lightweight pairs made with cotton-wool blends, the fall-winter lineup of workhorse mitts is simply inadequate.

Long ago we agreed there's no such thing as too many mitts, so it's obvious I need to cast on some sturdy, practical pairs made with warm worsted and bulky weight wool. I'm off to scour the stash for possibilities and make more mitts.

Looking for the patterns? The examples shown include:
Kintra Mitts
Wyndfael Mitts
Colsie Mitts (pattern coming soon)

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