Knitting Feeds

FO | Colsie Lake Gradient Mitts

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 21:39
Over the holidays, I managed to finish another quick pair of  Colsie fingerless mitts, worked in a simple three-stage tonal gradient. I delayed this FO post, hoping to get better photos. But between cloudy skies and the demands of life and work, it just may not happen, so let's work with what we've got.

The mitts feature the super-delectable Grignasco Champagne in shades of lake, which is more green, and teal, which has decided blue tones. The colors are so closely related, it's a challenge to spot the transition, but the swatch below shows it best: 



The first section is lake, the last is teal, and the center portion features alternating stripes of both. This creates a subtle ombre effect that flows imperceptibly from green to blue-green to teal. As a result, the mitts go nicely with the Colsie Mirror Gradient Cowl-Scarf, which expands my wearing options.


Colsie Lake Gradient Mitts
Pattern: In development
Yarn: Champagne (Grignasco)
Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)
Yardage: ~90 yards

This yarn is one of my favorites. It knits up beautifully and thanks to the superfine merino and silk blend, the fabric has a soft sheen and feels like a dream. Technically, the yarn hasn't been discontinued, but it's difficult to track down, so if you find some, grab it. 






With one afghan on the needles, another in the finishing stage and multiple patterns in the pipeline, there's plenty of knitting-related tasks clamoring for attention, so I'm off to see if I can make some headway on these other fronts.



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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Peaceful knitting weekend...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 15:33
Hello loves! Pattern~ Melodia Yarn~ Zia Woolz in color Zombie Bride Tea~ Matcha green tea This last week felt extra long and was one of those where you think of nothing but the weekend. Which of course does not make the week go faster. Despite knowing this, all week I... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups & Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 02/02/2018 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week A fascinating look at how standardized (hahaha) clothing sizes became what they are today. Not everything you love to do has to be a side hustle. Simple ways to brighten someone else’s day. If you enjoy crossword puzzles, then you will love this fascinating long read about how

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

January: Book Reviews

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 11:00

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This is a new feature I’ve planned for 2018 – a monthly reflection of a handful of books that I read in the past month that I thought would be worth sharing.  If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw a recent photo of a couple of these books in a recent post! it

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

madewell fade

Autumn Geisha - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 01:14


Happy last day of January! Are you looking forward to Spring as much as I am? I’ve been flipping through my botanical books and sketching little flowers into my journal all while dreaming of the season ahead. It seems so far away when the chilly wind is howling outside and there are grey days upon grey days. Makes me ever grateful for all of the woolly projects in my basket. I’ve been making good progress finishing some of them so a cast-on party is sure to happen soon :) The latest one off the needles is my Madewell Fade. The pattern is a great basic cardigan by Joji Locatelli. All of the yarns used are from Hue Loco. This was quite a quick knit for a fingering weight cardigan. The body only took me a couple of weeks to knit up, but the project stalled when I reached the sleeves. It’s a mystery to me why sleeves take so long to knit but socks fly off the needles. Does anyone else have this problem? Oh well I am just happy to finish a sweater after going a whole year without any completed garments. I can feel my sweater knitting mojo finally returning. Have a great rest of the week!
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Clean Slate

Knitting | Work in Progress - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 16:12
I very much wanted to start this year with as close to a clean slate as possible. So with that goal in mind, I made a difficult but logical decision to allow Herlacyn to hibernate while I cranked out a handful of quick holiday knits and focused on finishing a cluster of scarves, cowls and mitts.

Now, the time has come to wake Herlacyn from its winter slumber and bring this project to completion. When last you saw it, it was seamed and ready for a border.




That work is now well underway, and with a bit of time and attention, the border will soon be completed. 

To minimize the amount of finishing required, I've been weaving most (but not all) ends as I go. 



The bad news? This tends to slow down my already slow knitting speed. The good news? In theory, once the borders are worked there will be just a few remaining ends to tackle. Then I'll have my first major finished project for the new year, and that will be a very good feeling, indeed.


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Hip to be square

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 18:51

I finished that gorgeous hat over the weekend – Hallstatt is off the needles, and isn’t it pretty?

Yarn is Sublime Baby Cashmerino DK – and I knit the pattern almost as written – the recipient would be opposed to something tight around their head, so I knit the whole thing on the larger needles, rather than knitting the ribbing on smaller ones. It’s more of a head topper than a head hugger now, and should suit.

When I was done, I knit on the emergency sock I keep in my purse for waiting times – and I thought about what to make next. I’ve been carrying around more Freia Handpaints to make another Bonfire (knits so nice I’ll make it twice) but I’ve also been thinking about a sweater for me – something simple and wearable, like Vintersol or Humulus.  I know – I’ve said before that yoked sweaters aren’t really my thing – but that’s not entirely true.  I love them and think they’re so very pretty on other people (and I’ve knit a couple I couldn’t resist)  but I have broad, square shoulders and a generous rack, and my mother always said that sweaters like that make me look like an advancing tank.  She stressed the role that v-necks should play in my life, and she’s not wrong. They’re flattering for me.

The thing is – It turns out that maybe I don’t give a crap. I mean, maybe it’s okay if I look like an advancing tank, and maybe nobody cares. It’s taken me getting this old to suspect that when I leave a room, people do not discuss my neckline choices in a way that’s going to have any actual impact on my life.  As a matter of fact, I suspect that nobody is discussing my necklines at all. (If this is not true, and it is all you discussed with your friends on the way home from a book signing or workshop, say nothing now.)  It is possible that I’ve spent years trying to avoid criticism that is definitely not forthcoming, and that much like my mother’s warnings about the lengths of my skirts (I have always worn them too long for a woman my height) and the fact that I don’t wear lipstick (just to brighten me) or that I love neutral colours (despite the fact that I would look so much better with a little colour by my face)  the round neck/yoke thing might be true, but unimportant.   Maybe, I think to myself, maybe I should just wear whatever sweaters I like.

This is bold thinking for a woman who has worried about her square shoulders her whole life, so it didn’t quite take hold. I’ll continue to contemplate this, as I knit another sweater for Elliot.

Elwood, in yarn leftover from All. Those. Hats.

Elliot has no position on necklines yet.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Jasmine Hat

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Jasmine Scarf Knitters Extraordinaire: Alice (Ravelry ID, website) Mods: Using the stitch pattern from the popular scarf pattern, Alice incorporated it into a hat design instead. Full details – including a chart on how she did the crown decreases-  can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: When you

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

January loves and knit rambles...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 01/28/2018 - 16:06
Hello there, loves! Yay, the weekend is here. This week was a long one, but still a good one. Most of my evening hours were spent knitting on some vanilla socks, which I will show below. The evenings of sock knitting didn't stop me from dreaming of other projects. Now... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 11:00

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I basically stayed in bed all last week, so this week is my first in trying to get things a little back on track. I’m still exhausted all the time and coughing a lot, but I can do a bit more every few days, and that is encouraging. Thank you so much for all your

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Sure another hat

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 01:40

Oh guys, thanks so much.  Without wanting to be a buzz-kill of any kind, this week is a wee bit dreary, and as always, there you were to lift me up, and make me feel less alone. Thanks for your thoughts, your comments, and especially your donations. I know it’s sappy, but I really feel like the universe wants some balance, like water seeking level – and that if my family has to have a hard time right now, that maybe that will be balanced by your donations making things better for another family.  Actually, I know that’s true. I’ve taken a larger leadership role with the Rally this year, and it takes me into PWA several days out of a month (week, actually) and I can tell you for an absolute fact that the money you donate changes lives absolutely. I have met the clients, and the money you give touches their lives in practical and real ways. You are a force, never doubt it, and it does my heart a world of good.

After driving home on Sunday from up North, then driving here to Ottawa rather unexpectedly on Monday, I feel like I’m really scrambled with my knitting projects.  I have a sock humming along in the background, but mostly I’m trying to finish another hat.

I KNOW. I said never to another hat, but you had to know I didn’t really mean it, and besides, what’s a chemo cap without a proper “formal” hat for when you’re out in public.

I’ve chosen a lovely hat that turned up in an exhaustive Ravelry search for just the right thing.  It’s the Hallstatt hat, and the yarn I’ve got is Sublime: Baby cashmere merino silk DK.  (There is nothing more to say about that combination, it’s magic. Everything delicious for a sore head.) Hat is pictured here in my hotel room on the window ledge at dawn, where there is little to work with.

I’ve been plowing along on it for a few days, and I’m remembering this feeling from when my mum was in hospital.  I thought there would be so much knitting, that all that sitting would mean knitting, but when someone is so ill, it turns out that when they speak, you want to put your work down, and turn your full self towards them, and as a result, it’s slow going.

Things are rather unbelievably and fortunately stable here, so tomorrow I’ll make the 5 hour drive back to Toronto, and home and the other part of my family, and finish this hat. It won’t be long before I’m back, and I’ll bring it with me.

And now…. Gratuitous grandson photo.


Home and to him, tomorrow. Peace out.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

fringe and friends logalong

Autumn Geisha - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 01:41

One of the highlights of my knitting year is participating in the Fringe and Friends KAL that is hosted by Karen Templer on her Fringe Association blog. The last three years have been all garment based but this year I was excited to see just a general technique as a prompt for the KAL: log cabins. Leaving the theme so wide opened to other crafts has been fun & inspiring. Check out the Instagram feed (#fringeandfriendslogalong) to see cool projects ranging from garments to accessories to housewares to lots of squishy blankets. The blankets in particular were tempting me but I already have five (yikes!) on the needles/hook at the moment therefore a smaller project seemed like a smarter plan. Since socks were my next favorite project to knit on, I was excited to try to improvise a pair using the log cabin technique. Everything started out fine and I was completely smitten with how lovely indie dyed yarns combined with log cabin knitting. But then the creative thought/planning process kinda froze up on me and I ended up staring at the above rectangle for weeks. The hubby thought I was crazy because I kept pulling it out and swearing at it. I finally forced myself to just try out a few ideas even if it meant a lot of ripping out. And eventually something clicked:



Eureka! I have a sock!
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Fourteen

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 02:05

This is not the way I expected it to be.

I feel like this is pretty much what should be written on the tee shirt I’ve been wearing for the last while.  Finding a way to restructure the family, figuring out a new way to get the hang of all the changes, trying to let go, to move forward.  I keep discovering myself standing in the middle of a something I’ve never lived before, usually with a trashed kitchen and a lot of laundry, one or more people in the family crying or laughing either literally or figuratively, and thinking “this is not the way I expected it to be.”

Grief, grandmotherhood, parenthood, taking down wallpaper – honestly, almost nothing is the way I expected it to be, for better or worse, and I am just so glad that at some point in my life I decided that flexibility (both physical and spiritual) was something I should try to cultivate, and I both went to yoga and tried to get down with new points of view.  I admit, this has had limited success. I accept now that flexibility isn’t going to be the whole secret to happiness (although I swear it helps) and I am now convinced that the rest of it lies in what you choose to say right after you think “This is not the way I expected it to be.”

I’ve been trying really hard to be someone who sort of good naturedly looks at getting a surprise like that and thinks “Good golly I wonder what magic will happen next! Maybe we’re all getting lollipops!” but it turns out that the best I can do might be to surrender all hope of knowing what’s going on, all sense of being invested in my own expectations, and trying for a weakly uttered “Ok then. If someone will bring me a scotch while I take a bath, I think I can re-orient.”

Take today, for instance.  Today is my fourteenth blogiversary.  I have been sitting down at my computer/laptop/macbook for fourteen years, as of today, and writing to you about my knitting and my life and my everything, as often as I have been able.  I am pretty proud of this. I love this relationship between us enough that in the days leading up to this blogiversary, I kept thinking about what I would do to celebrate. A big post. Maybe show you some beautiful pictures, maybe a long letter to you, telling you about the amazing impact you’ve had on my life, and what it means to all of us that you’re here. (I try to do this every year, because it’s a really hard thing to explain.) Then things changed, and plans got altered, and my sister and I played a game of WWMD (What Would Mum Do) and voila.

This blog post comes to you from a hotel room, where I’m by myself, having trouble connecting to the wifi, hotspotting from my phone at a cost of wool knows what, after a drive to Ottawa that should have  been a simple mission, but wound up being a two day affair involving an ice storm, all so that I can be nearby and present for someone in hospital, only to end up sitting here, more or less quietly,  realizing that the universe isn’t done with the edit to my family and that things are pretty hard here, and that I don’t mean to be vague, just to protect the privacy of someone else and it’s all really sad and ending up with… this is not the way I expected it to be.

I thought that my blogiversary would be different, but as I got to working up a good head of self pity, I realized that it’s actually sort of good, because Blog… when I thought of having a blog, this is not the way I expected it to be.  I thought I would write, you would read and I don’t know what I thought would happen after that, but not this.

I never ever would have expected that after fourteen years, I would sit in a room by myself, a little bit lonely, trying to figure out my next move, realizing that there is no next move, just a simple endurance game, and the magic of showing up, and that what I really need is patience and strength and to hold right on tight and maybe to knit a bit… and to talk to my blog and realize in that moment that you, my blog, you make me less lonely, and one of you is always up, and you always know what to say when things are down, and wing of moth you are so funny, and…

This isn’t what I expected it to be.

Thank you for fourteen years of making this wild ride better. I love you, and I can’t tell you what it means that you’re there.

Now take a gratuitous picture of my grandson while I get on with  it.  See you tomorrow.

(PS. If you are feeling traditional, this is the day that donations to my bike ride in the amount of 14 dollars (or a multiple thereof) freaks the daylights right out of PWA.  If I’ve entertained you $14 worth over the last fourteen years, let it rip.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

W is for Winter and Wool

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 16:32

Yesterday, before I drove home from up north, Jen and I drank a pot of coffee while conducting surveillance for the wild turkeys we were lucky enough to see one morning, and congratulated ourselves on a near perfect weekend. In fact, the only reason we are not calling it absolutely perfect is because we don’t want to make you too jealous. We hiked, we wished for snowshoes,

we skated on the forest trail at Arrowhead, lit by torches.

We knit, we cooked, we ate, we walked by Georgian Bay, frozen and perfect, and saw what passes for a sunset on the beach. (We admit, you may need a bold Canadian heart to find the romance in a winter beach sunset. There are waves. They’re just frozen instead of lapping.)

We talked, we laughed. Jen tried to teach me how to stop on skates. (Skating is not a strong suit of mine. I like it, but I’m not great, and my entire deceleration technique involves snowbanks.)

After some careful coaching by Jen, my technique still involves snowbanks. We also knit, and knit, and knit. Everywhere.

Jen agreed to model the fabulous cowl I just finished, and we were able to expose a whole new region of Ontario to the mystic practice of hanging knitwear in trees for photos.

Pattern: Bonfire. Yarn: Freia Fine Handpaints, Sport weight, in Flare and Charcoal.

I love this project.  It was grand fun to knit, and the finished thing is so nice that I can’t stop snuggling it, and every time Jen saw it in the cabin she said “Oh that’s so beautiful.”

I did not give it to her.

The astute among you noticed that there was what appeared to be a hat in the last post, even though I distinctly said a few posts ago that I was never knitting another hat.

It was a hat, or more properly, a chemo cap. Life happens, people need things, knitting is still a good way to store and transport love, and it turns out there can’t be rules about hats.  This particular love container is 100% Cashmere, and if that and the care I put in every stitch doesn’t help, I don’t know what will. (Chemo excepted.)

How’s your winter?

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Copse Reimagined

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Copse Knitter Extraordinaire: Matthew (Ravelry ID) Mods: Instead of the cabled rectangular wrap, Matthew used the cable design and Incorporated them fully into a sweater of his own design (no, there’s no pattern! I know, it’s amazing and I want one too). Also, to get gauge he held 3 strands of fingering weight

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Close Call

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 23:19
As a fiber fanatic of the first order, I had a close call this week.

A friend contacted me with a nearly irresistible opportunity. A friend of hers had discovered 30 or more skeins of yarn that had belonged to her mother. The friend knew I was a knitter, so if I was interested, I could have it all, no strings attached.

This was a truly generous offer, and as an added bonus, the yarn appeared to be wool and featured some of my favorite colors.


Frankly, the timing couldn't have been better. I'd just reorganized my stash cupboards (more on that another day) and wouldn't you know it? The reorg was so effective, I had plenty of empty containers and clear shelf space ready for an infusion of new yarn. 



Need I say it? The temptation was strong, because much like nature, stash cupboards abhor a vacuum.


Luckily, a glimmer of common sense began to break through the heady prospect of fresh yarn. Some rather intensive sleuthing revealed several important facts. Produced in Sweden, the yarn was indeed 100% wool with a tight twist and sturdy but prickly hand. It was spun as rug yarn and designed for weaving or tapestry work, not hand knitting.

In the end, it was indeed a close call - like many makers, I find fiber in all its forms is so very tantalizing - but this yarn needs to go to someone who can help it find its proper destiny.


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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Finding joy in knitting...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 14:40
Hello there! This morning finds me quite smitten with all the projects on my needles. This after a much needed frogging party over the last couple of weeks. Don't you love it when the you replace the guilt of having projects languishing that you don't love with those you are... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Runaway

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 19:39

Well before Christmas, Jen and I were on the phone, and we were talking about Jen’s latest placement. She’s in her third year midwifery, and one of her student placements is up north. (Not that far north, the Near North. That’s actually the name of the region, to tell it from the Far North or the Arctic, which of course would be the North North.  This is Canada. We’re almost entirely made up of North – we’ve got a lot of ways to describe it.) She asked if I would come visit during the month that she lived up there, and I said that I would, but I wasn’t sure if I would. I mean, I thought I would like to, but she hadn’t come up here yet and she didn’t know what it would be like yet or if she would be busy or if the little cabin she rented would have two coffee cups or… You know. It seemed to me like there needed to be details.

Well, fast forward to last week and Jen’s been two weeks living by herself in a little cabin in the woods with a hot plate and no bathtub,  studying at a midwifery practice and keeping weird hours, and she was starting to sound a little bit weird.  When the internet crapped out and she lost that lifeline to the outside world, I firmed up my plans.

Yesterday I packed up heaps of knitting, pulled together a menu I think I can serve off of a hot plate, and headed out the door. I arrived yesterday, and while Jen’s on call and so we can’t stray far, we we’ve set ourselves an ambitious agenda of hiking, eating, knitting and tea drinking.

The weather is perfect, cold, but not too cold, wintry but not vicious, and we are made for adventure.

Also, it turns out that this midwifery clinic has a great yarn bowl.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

exploration station

Autumn Geisha - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 03:58
Hello and welcome to a fresh new year! I hope that everyone is having a gentle start to 2018. We have been enjoying some quiet weeks being cozy inside in the midst of quite a cold and snowy (for Maryland) winter. It feels so good to hibernate a little with some good books and wooly projects. I have been putting off making any plans and goals for the new year but now that we are heading towards the end of January, I can feel the beginnings of the need to de-clutter and clean up some loose ends from the previous year. You know that it’s time to start re-organizing when a recently finished shawl goes missing and is finally located underneath a pile of mini-skeins waiting to be knitted into various blankets-on-the-go.



I had completely forgotten to post about my Exploration Station which was finished sometime in October. All the yarns used were from a failed attempt at the Find Your Fade Shawl. It is a testament to the utter gorgeousness of the Uncommon Thread’s Everyday Singles yarn that I didn’t mind knitting another shawl right after frogging a massive one.



I have waxed poetic before about my love of Stephen West and his designs but I must say that he reached another level of brilliance with this shawl pattern. I absolutely loved every minute spent knitting on this project and couldn’t be more thrilled with the finished shawl. It’s colorful and fun but also very wearable. I would highly recommend this shawl pattern for a Stephen West newbie. There will definitely be another one in my future.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

A wolf in the hand

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 23:46

Just a quickie from me today – I’ve got a little free time here at the end of the day, and in this ocean of a busy week, tonight’s got knitting written all over it – I’m on a roll – there’s so much knitting going on.  Heaps of it, things falling off the needles – that magnificent cowl is finished (I’ll show ya later) and that sweet pair of Wild Wolves, knit for Meg.

The photos are courtesy of Meg, as you can tell by the photo assistant.  (Meg said he wanted them so badly – as soon as she put them on he was all over it.) I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but Meg’s married family name is “Wolf” and so technically our little Elliot is being raised by Wolves (though he’s one too, so one assumes he’s fine with it.)

This was a super fun knit, and very quick, just an evening for each of the pair, if that, and I made only one change to the pattern.  There’s two rounds on the foreheads of the wolves that have three colours per round, and I gave that a resounding nope.  I used the two colours (background and light grey) for those rounds, and then began using background and dark grey when it was those two colours per round, leaving a long tail both when I started the dark grey, and when I ended it.  When I was all done I went back and used the tails to duplicate stitch on the few stitches in the rounds prior that needed to be that colour. Easier for sure.

I really love them, but for one little thing, which is that the pattern has you go in and embroider the nose and eyes of the wolves after the fact, and the eyes are french knots. That was easy enough, but I can see from the pictures Meg took that the knots (one in particular, if you spot the squinty wolf on the right) aren’t all staying on the right side of the work. I forget what you’re supposed to do to make them stay put (a piece of felt on the rear? Splitting the plies of the fabric?) but the wolf with the missing eye looks a little dodgy to me.  I’ll see if I can fix it.  Do any of you know the magic trick for making them stay on the right side?*

*Really, I can look it up, but what’s the point of having the blog in my life if you aren’t one enormous brain trust.

PS. The mittens aren’t just good looking, they are Elliot Verified Delicious.

 

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