Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Focusing on wholeness instead of happiness. If you often get take out for dinner (that’s us! What would we do without our weekly pad thai?) Then you are going to love this tip- I’ve never thought of it before and it is genius. Totally what I’m going to

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Bomb

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 15:51

I’m back in the airport after almost exactly 34 hours at home, and they weren’t totally all at home, because I had a Bike Rally Steering Committee meeting last night – and I felt pretty noble for turning up for it, let me tell you.  I arrived home at midnight Tuesday, slept, woke up, did laundry, checked in with my husband, did a bunch of work, wiped off the kitchen (I still can’t explain what happens to it while I’m gone) went to the meeting, repacked, slept, and now I’m an hour from boarding my plane to Texas and I’m such a knot of anxiety I can hardly cope. The blanket isn’t done, but I wasn’t planning to be done by now – just in case the superstition is real, just in case babies don’t arrive until after I’ve finished their blankets, I have made the decision not to finish until I’m safely home, and can be with Meg. The thought of missing my grandchild’s birth is a little heartbreaking, and so I’ll stack the deck in my favour any way I can.  I was planning to be a little farther along though – I was thinking that I’d get it wrapped up over this weekend but for the blocking and ends, and I’ve made myself a little visual aid so that I can see how it’s going, and it doesn’t feel hopeless.

See that? 54 repeats around is done, and I colour in a square when I finish a repeat. Dots and stars mark progress off in quarters. I know it’s dorky, but it’s making me either feel better (when I get a lot done) or very worried (when I don’t.) I got a lot done on the flight to the retreat, and a lot done on the way home, and almost nothing while I was there. I’ll have the flight today, and then spare time while I’m teaching at DFW Fiber Fest (not counting on a lot there) and then the flight home. That’s Monday. This wee soul just needs to wait until Monday evening, which might be a lot to ask. Technically, it would make him a smidge early, and wish Meg could have given me more than 9 months of notice so that I could have booked time off,

because look at that.  I’ll be back as soon as I can. Stay put, you two. Don’t do anything without me.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Book Review: Knitting in the Nordic Tradition

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 11:00

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Knitting in the Nordic Tradition is the recent English translation of a classic Danish knitting book. This book is not for beginner knitters – the patterns are not patterns so much as they are charts and recipes, and would be ideal for designers or knitters who are looking to develop a deeper understanding of the

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

the doodler

Autumn Geisha - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 01:17

No this isn't a belated April Fool's joke....I actually finished something :) And it's not a pair of socks! I think this shawl has been on the needles since autumn of 2015. Not sure why it took me so long to finish since the pattern is wonderfully fun to knit. I remember making a mistake on the cabled section which set me behind on the mkal. And then it was cast aside because of holiday knitting. So happy to have it off the needles at last. Now if only my other WIPs could magically be done. It feels like ages since I casted on for anything new! Which leads to me buying All Of The Yarn.



Oh the vicious cycle of a bored knitter :p
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Knitters' Acronyms: Deciphering the Code

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 04/05/2017 - 11:00
Like any dynamic, creative field, the world of knitting is awash in acronyms and insider terms. Knitting is a living, breathing endeavor, so like the craft itself, the terminology is constantly evolving.

This profusion of terms can be quite daunting, especially for new knitters. To help all of us decipher the code, I've compiled two lists that attempt to capture the most commonly used acronyms and insider terms, along with brief definitions for each.



Today, let's focus on acronyms.

ACRONYMS

ABD. All but done, as in a project that's almost finished.

AFO. Almost finished object.

AQ. Afghan quantity of yarn.

ATT. All the things.

COAT. Cast on all (the) things.

DAISY. Dubiously averaged individual stash year (how long it will take to knit yarn in stash).

FO. Finished object.

FOFri. Finished object Friday, a tradition in knitting blog world.

FRAT. Frog all (the) things.

HO. Half object (e.g., one mitt, one sock).

ISO. In search of something such as yarn, patterns, books, old knitting magazines, tools, etc.

KAT KATT. Knit all (the) things.

KWIP. Knitting | Work in Progress (this blog).

LOSY. Leftover sock yarn OR leftover stash yarn.

MAT MATT. Make all (the) things.

OTN. On the needles.

PIP. Pattern / project in progress.

SA. Stash acquisition.

SQ. Sweater quantity of yarn.

SABLE. Stash accumulation/acquisition beyond life expectancy.

SSS. Second sock/second sleeve syndrome.

TBD. To be determined.

TO. Time out, putting a project aside because you've run into difficulties.

UFO. Unfinished object.

UNO. Unamed object.

WIP. Work in progress.

YMD / YMMD. Your mileage may differ, referring to variable factors such as how fast a project progresses or how much yarn a project may require.

YMV / YMMV. Your mileage may vary, in the same vein as above.

YT. Yarn time, how long it would take you to knit all the yarn in your stash.

This list doesn't claim to be all-encompassing, but it reflects the most common acronyms used in knitterly conversations and online venues.

Soon, we'll take a look at common insider terms, but in the meantime, if you spot a missing acronym, just let me know and we'll add it to the list.


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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Whoosh

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 04/04/2017 - 22:08

That’s the sound that the last week made. If you were anywhere near me you would have heard it, along with my desperate scribbling on to-do lists, as well as the gentle rustling of crumpled post-it notes scurrying in my wake. I had one of those weeks where every morning you get up and think “All Right. This might be possible if you just stay focussed.” and then by lunch you’re thinking “Holy cats I think I smoke” and by dinner you’ve resigned yourself to the whole plan being ON FIRE and by bedtime you’re swearing tomorrow will be better, full of hope and promise.  In the last week I have:

-Helped Hank make a garment for a fashion project he was doing to get ahead on his University credits.

Yes. I just typed that sentence. Yes, he is as tall as he looks. Yes, he is turning out to be pretty good at this sewing thing.  Yes, he made this, and he got an excellent grade.

(He even went to the fabric store by himself – and he worked in stretch fabrics and faux fur, and if you sew, you know that’s not easy. I only ripped one seam for him.)

-Worked on the baby blanket everywhere I went, and I went all over.

-Worked hard on getting some Bike Rally stuff ready for the first training ride of the year, which I missed (but will make up for later) and thanked Cameron for showing up for both of us.

–  Hosted and taught at a fantastic retreat in Port Ludlow together with Debbi and Judith.

-Discovered that they’d put a pair of flamingo statues in our hotel room, and did the only reasonable thing – which was to knit them a pair of leg warmers each, and then graft them onto their legs.

-Imagined the resort staff trying to figure out how to get them off.

-Laughed all the way home, where I’ll be for one day before heading to Texas. (While hoping impending grandson continues to stay put until I’m home (Monday) and his blanket is done. (Hopefully that’s Monday too.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Raro Chooks

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Cooped Up  Knitter Extraordinaire: Tanya (Ravelry ID) Mods: Changed the pullover to a cardigan! Made it a bit smaller to fit her daughter, changed twisted ribbing for the hem and cuffs, and steeked the sweater and added a button band. Great detailed information can be found on her project page, here. What Makes

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Keeping the knitting focus...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 15:53
Happy Sunday! Yarn~ Dyed in The Wool Co. in the color Macaroon Pattern~Hermione's Everyday socks Hello loves! Sunday is here and honestly I am not ready for it to be Sunday. Greedily I wish it were Saturday so that I could be better prepared for a relaxing knit-worthy Sunday. Due... Andi
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FO | Colsie Mitts Rose Gradient

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 12:30
Spring has arrived, which in this region means erratic temperatures coupled with cold and stormy weather punctuated by tantalizing flashes of sun and warmth.

To celebrate the latter, I broke my grey streak by making a quick pair of spring-weight fingerless mitts in cheerful shades of red, rose and pink. The last time you saw them they looked like this.


And here's what they look like today:


Colsie Rose | Reversible Mitts
Pattern: In development
Yarn: Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep), Four Seasons (Classic Elite, discontinued)
Size: M
Needles: US 8 (5 mm)
Yardage: ~80 yards

Colsie, an old-fashioned Scottish word for cozy, captures the everyday simplicity of these mitts. The stretchy ribs hug my hand, offer plenty of give, and are fully reversible. Cotton-wool blends are perfect for this time of year, providing warmth without a woolly feel.

Each mitt incorporates six colors. From top to bottom, they are:
  • Red & White Variegated
  • Medium Pink
  • Provincial Rose
  • Cherry Moon
  • Clear Red
  • Barn Red
As humble as they are, these mitts represent a knitting trifecta. They were super fast and easy, made with leftovers from stash, and served to illustrate one way to create a five-color gradient in the Ombres & Gradients series. Plus, the colors complement a fuchsia shawl (purchased, not handknit) I wear often, so that's another win.

If you read Going Green, you know there's another pair already on the needles, and this morning I selected more leftovers for future pairs. Long ago, we agreed there's simply no such thing as too many mitts, so I may make a whole series in a rainbow of colors. What do you think?

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/31/2017 - 14:01

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week This was fascinating- how an agoraphobic artist sees the world without leaving home. This was not that surprising, but still very interesting- transgender men commenting on workplace sexism, having lived on both sides of the coin. I loved this very short story from Leonard Woolf’s memoir. It reminds

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

How to Create a 5-Color Gradient (Option 2)

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 15:17
Five-color gradients are next on our list in the ongoing saga of ombres and gradients.

Last time, we looked at option 1 for a five-color gradient. Today, let's dive in and explore an alternate approach. As you can see, unlike some of the other items in Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own, example five was compact, quick and easy.

5. Five-Color Gradient (Option 2)


Yarns. Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep), Four Seasons (Classic Elite, discontinued)
Stitch. This fast and easy slipped stitch creates a very stretchy, reversible 3x2 ribbed fabric, and the occasional slipped stitch helps blend the colors.

Strategy. Each section consists of two colors worked in alternating two-row stripes. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose six related colors.
  • Pair them by value: dark with dark, medium with medium, light with light.
  • Work section 1 with two dark colors, CC1 and CC2.
  • Work section 2 with one dark and one medium color, CC2 and CC3.
  • Work section 3 with two medium colors, CC3 and CC4.
  • Work section 4 with one medium and one light color, CC4 and CC5.
  • Work section 5 with two light colors, CC5 and CC6.

    In the example shown, the colors were worked as follows:
    • Section 1: Barn Red, Clear Red
    • Section 2: Clear Red, Cherry Moon
    • Section 3: Cherry Moon, Provincial Rose
    • Section 4: Provincial Rose, Medium Pink
    • Section 5: Medium Pink, Red-White Variegated

    No matter what colors you choose, it's especially fun to work this gradient and see how different shades blend in each progressive section as your work grows.
    The sample is still on the needle for one simple reason: I'm making another and turning the pair into gradient mitts. I like to keep the stitches live until both are ready to finish. That way, if I decide to adjust the length or alter the bind off color and technique, it minimizes the fuss factor and ensures the two match.
    I was highly motivated to tackle this example for selfish reasons. When both are finished, several small balls of leftover yarn will finally be gone, and I'll have a fresh pair of mitts for spring. Win-win. (When I wrote this, there was snow on the ground, so yes, in this region mitts are an essential part of any sane person's spring wardrobe.)

    Meanwhile, I'm working on a fast and fun color-block afghan, testing stitches for a new design, and making samples for upcoming ombre and gradient posts. To complicate matters, knitting time has been tough to find, but when it appears, I can choose from a nice assortment of small and large projects, which is definitely a good thing.
    Your comments are always welcome and if you have questions or need clarification, let me know and I'll do my best to clear up any confusion.


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

    Knits in Progress: Two Very Different Sweaters

    Knitted Bliss - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 11:00

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    One of my unofficial knitting goals this year is to knit more garments, and I’ve begun with two completely different sweaters– one top-down pullover, the other a bottom-up cardigan –and I’m loving both of them so far. Let the sweater knitting begin! The first is Golden Hour, knit in Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna in ‘Pink

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    Modification Monday: Brothers Socks

    Knitted Bliss - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 11:00

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    Original Pattern: YinYang Kitty Ankle Socks Knitter Extraordinaire: Dani (Ravelry ID, blog/podcast) Mods: Added deeper ribbing at the ankle, changed the colouring and added instarsia face details to mimic a Siamese cat’s face. Project page can be found here, but more information can be found on her wonderful podcast, here. What Makes This Awesome: Knitting AND a

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    Categories: Knitting Feeds

    March Loves and giveaway winner...

    My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 03/26/2017 - 15:48
    Hello and happy Sunday! Yay- it is the weekend, we made it. :) How was your week? Despite it feeling a bit long, the week was overall pretty kind to me. Knitting was squeezed in during short lunch breaks and really could we ask for more? While it would have... Andi
    Categories: Knitting Feeds

    How to Create a 5-Color Gradient (Option 1)

    Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 03/26/2017 - 12:30
    Creating your own custom ombres and gradients is a fun and effective way to combine colors and use up leftovers and partial skeins, so it's one of my go-to solutions. 

    One of my favorite approaches is the simple five-color gradient, the fourth example highlighted in Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own. With just three colors, you can produce very different looks depending on whether you use high-contrast or closely related shades.

    Let's take a quick look at the basics.

    4. Five-color gradient (option 1): Kintra Mitts
     
    Yarn. Tajmahal (GGH, Lane Cervinia; discontinued), Charlemont (Valley Yarns)
    Stitch. The slip stitch produces a reversible fabric with stretchy, hand-hugging ribs.

    Strategy. Solid areas are separated by transitional sections worked in alternating two-row stripes. To achieve a similar look:
    • Choose three compatible colors.
    • Arrange them from dark to light or light to dark.
    • Work the first section with the darkest shade only, CC1.
    • Work the second section with one dark and one medium, CC1 and CC2.
    • Work the third section with the medium shade, CC2.
    • Work the fourth section with one medium and one light, CC2 and CC3.
    • Work the fifth section with the lightest shade only, CC3.

    The overall strategy couldn't be easier, but it produces very attractive results. For those who like specifics, the accent stripe was worked in Charlemont (Burgundy) and the mitt body was worked as follows:
    • Section 1: Black
    • Section 2: Black and grey
    • Section 3: Grey
    • Section 4: Grey and cream
    • Section 5: Cream

    The Kintra Greyridge mitts below illustrate the same strategy, worked in closely related charcoal, pewter and silver shades for a tonal or ombre effect.



    Five-color gradients work with any color combination, so they're a highly effective stashbusting strategy and easy way to transform a simple pattern into a standout piece.

    Try using fine yarns with a soft hand for a stunning scarf, cowl, shawl or stole. Or use assorted cotton or cotton-blend leftovers to create a rainbow of gradient dishcloths, towels, placemats or table runners.

    However you choose to use this particular gradient strategy, I can guarantee you'll have fun. Just be forewarned, experimenting with different combinations can quickly become addictive.

    To see more ombre and gradient concepts, click here.

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    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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    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

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