Knitting Feeds

Review and Giveaway: Alice Starmore’s Glamourie

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00

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There’s no one else designing at the artful calibre of Alice Starmore. She’s been designing knitting patterns and written books for decades and yet every time a new one comes out I’m amazed at how she manages to completely top the previous one. Remember her Colourwork charts, her Tudor Roses, and her Aran knitting books?

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

One Half Year

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 03:41

A few years ago a friend told me that after she experienced a significant loss, she didn’t dream anymore.  The whole thing stopped, and her nights were simple. She closed her eyes, and slept and woke up and nothing had happened in between. This was sad and worrisome for her, she’d always loved and valued her dreams, and she was worried and frightened that they were gone forever, killed by her sadness.  It wasn’t true, they flickered back into being as she came up from the depths of grief, but I remember thinking that it seemed sad and horrible and impossible. Dreams are… well, they’re part of who you are. How can that go away?

I didn’t realize until I started dreaming again a few weeks ago, that the same thing had happened to me. I woke remembering a dream, and was suddenly aware of the stunning absence of them until now, and realized that I’d been so busy treading water that I hadn’t even noticed that things were so weird. I’ve kept dreaming since that night, and mostly they aren’t awesome yet. Largely I’m having problem solving dreams – dreams of emergencies and things that need fixing… a fire threatens our home and everyone is here for dinner – and I only have one exit to get them safe.  Zombies (more like wraiths, really) are coming and I need to get a door closed quickly with my family on the safe side… or a ship is sinking, and I have to find everyone I love and find life jackets of the right size and get them all to the lifeboats, despite barriers and difficulty. I know. I have a super subtle subconscious.

This last weekend I was in Ottawa trying to be my mother, and I’m glad she doesn’t know why, and that I’m not really good at it, and it’s not super important to the story, so let’s keep going.  On the table next to the bed there was this white noise machine that had all these different settings, and I thought what the hell. I haven’t been sleeping really well anyway, so I cycled through the settings, and one of them was “ocean”.  I thought of my Mum then for a minute, and how she always said that she slept so well when she could hear the sea, and that reminded me of our trips, and I picked it, and lay down. I wonder now if that’s what was responsible for what happened next, or if it was just random.

I was having a dream – because it was a dream I wasn’t really totally aware that it wasn’t real, and it was a dream of a party that I was having for a reason that turned out to be both funny and stupid, and I was standing in the kitchen washing dishes, and laughing and chatting with my mother. She was standing behind me, rocking Elliot, and jollying him along, and we talked about how stupid the party was, and how funny it was that I’d arranged it all, and I told her about a problem I was having, and she gave me advice, and it was completely ordinary. It was me and my Mum in the kitchen doing what we do, and she was her and I was me, and I could hear her voice, and it was her voice, and it was the way she moved, and what she would wear, and the way she smelled. It was her. I was with her.

She even gave me advice about a problem I’m having, and… let’s just pause here, and say that I know it wasn’t her. It was a memory of her,  an idea of her, and I know that I wasn’t visited by my mother in ghost form, and it wasn’t her coming back to guide or help me, and I don’t believe in a great thereafter, and I know perfectly well that any advice she gave me was really just my subconscious trying to do a little problem solving (thanks to the great advice and help she gave me in real life) and I know. I know. I know it was just a dream. Irrelevant and fleeting and not real and a moment and oh… my.

It was amazing. It was everything I have been wanting. I miss her so badly, and I miss her walk, and her talk, and how she moved with that baby in her arms, and I know my mind made her, and that is a relief. It means I remember her enough to conjure her – to accurately bring back all that was her in a way that means I have her.  I haven’t forgotten. I know this is dumb, and nobody forgets their mother, but I worry that she will fade from my mind, and I won’t know how to have back any little bit of her.

In that dream, we were easy with each other, the way we always were, and she told me that way things are, and what I had to do, and we laughed, and towards the end of this little visit, she spoke of the grief of my siblings… how they might feel right now… and something snapped. I realized she was talking plainly and easily about the impact of her own death on our lives, and I turned to face her, crying suddenly as I realized it all, and it was real again, and in a flash it ended.

I woke up crying, the sounds of ocean in the room, though I was far from the sea, and my Mum was still gone.

It was beautiful and terrible, and I am grateful and hurt, and so sad, and briefly happy, which is maybe where you are supposed to be one half year after your mother dies.

Six months today.  I sure miss you Mum.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

down to the wire

Autumn Geisha - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 21:15
#bangoutacarbeth
#fringeandfriendslogalong


You guys! I can’t help but give myself a little pat on the back for finishing not one but two knitalong projects by today’s deadline. Even the ends are woven in! Super happy with how they both turned out too. Carbeth gave me a little bit of a scare when I first cast it off because instead of the intended positive ease, the sweater pretty much hugged me like a sausage casing. But through the magical powers of blocking, it ended up being okay. I’m pretty happy with the fit and the marled fade makes me smile. It’s a great way to use up those colorful single skeins that we all have lying around.
Another technique to play with stash yarn is logcabin knitting. It’s just the most fun! I am so glad that I didn’t give up on these logcabin socks during the bumpy design process. I wrote down the steps to make them and just have to translate my messy notes into a free pattern for anyone interested in knitting a pair.

If you get a chance, please check out the hashtags for both knitalongs on instagram. There are so many cool projects in both. I am totally adding the Carbeth Cardigan to my future sweater list and the inventiveness of the knitters in the logalong feed just blows me away!
Categories: Knitting Feeds

February: Book Reviews

Knitted Bliss - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 11:00

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And just like that, it’s the last day of February. Time for this month’s reading list! if you are looking for your next great read, perhaps something from this month’s round up will strike your fancy. I loved the comments from last month, so many people had great suggestions and shared what they are reading,

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

One off the list

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 02/27/2018 - 14:57

I’m back. Well, the odds are good that unless you follow me on instagram, you didn’t know I was even gone, but I was. Another drive to Ottawa, another stay in a hotel, another drive back. Ottawa’s about 4.5 hours from here, if you time it right, drive like thunder and go straight through.  (I do the first two, but not the last.) You’ve probably gathered from reading this blog that I don’t particularly enjoy driving, and in my everyday life, my bike and the subway make a lot more sense than tangling with traffic anyway (they’re usually faster and on the subway you can at least knit) and so as I sat in the car yesterday, I reflected that even though it’s only February, I’ve already spent more time driving this year than I did in all of last.  Once again, I went to Ottawa to go to visiting at hospital – and I always imagine that’s going to be so much more knitting than it turns out being, and so I packed up what can only be described as an optimistic and unreasonable amount of yarn.

I took a whole new kit for a shawl (didn’t even start it) the Bonfire cowl, and Elliot’s little sweater, because I was starting to feel like a bad grandmother for not finishing it straightaway.  When I got to the hotel I spread it all out on the table there – scads of yarn, a bunch of needles (I didn’t know what I would need for the shawl so brought a million) and then vowed to knit just Elliot’s sweater until it was finished. I think I left the other stuff out as incentive. I also carried the cowl around all day, just in case I really suddenly and unexpectedly finished the sweater.

That’s not what happened – instead I plodded along on that sweater, almost finished, realized that the sleeves were not wide enough (still) reknit the sleeves and finally (almost) crossed the finish line with it shortly after arriving home yesterday.

It still needs the ends woven in, and to be blocked, and to have the wee buttons sewn on, but Elliot’s definitely only a day away from a new sweater, and I can go back to knitting the cowl. Which (sorry Elliot) was really what I wanted to be knitting anyway. I’m hoping the desire to knit that cowl goes away when I finish this second one. It would be a little unreasonable to knit at third… right?

Last – I posted that we have a few spots left at the April Strung Along Retreat, and what always happens happened, and a bunch of you sent email asking questions, and I realized after the fact – like always, that I should have answered them up front -this blog is always like an iceberg, there’s always a bunch of you with a question only a few people have asked.

Question:  What retreat? What are you on about now?

Answer: It’s the April Strung Along Retreat. We host three a year, and there’s more details if you click on the words.  (Anything underlined on this blog is a link. If you click it, you go somewhere that relates to the thing you clicked on.)

Question:  Where is Port Ludlow anyway?

Answer: It’s in Washington State (In the US) outside of Seattle, pretty much just south of Vancouver, Canada. To get there, you fly into Seattle, then take a shuttle, rent a car, carpool with another knitter, or (gasp) take a float plane. It’s only about an hour or two from the airport, depending on what way you choose to get there, the ferry schedule and your luck.

Question: I don’t understand how to sign up.

Answer: Just email us.  (info@strungalong.ca) It’s not a big retreat, so Debbi and I just email you back and arrange it with you. There’s not an online form or registration or anything like that.  We’re rocking it old-school.

Question: How many people will be there?

Answer: That depends. The resort at Port Ludlow isn’t huge, and so the number of knitters at a retreat is dictated by the number of rooms, and how many people will fit in them. Sometimes people come with a friend and share a room, sometimes everyone comes by themselves, so the number of knitters we have at a retreat runs between 35-45, though it’s almost always around 40. (Yup, that means that class sizes are small. About 11-15 people. It’s a great environment.)

Question: I don’t know anyone, and I’d be coming alone. Will this still be fun?

Answer: Yes. You’ll get to know people very quickly. There’s lots of people (almost all of them) who come by themselves.  You won’t be lonely, or alone. Some people who came alone have ended up with new best friends, or a group of them.  It’s a great thing to do by yourself.  Promise.

Question: What if I don’t spin?

Answer: Well, that’s a bit of a thing.  The April and November retreats are for textile artists who are both knitters and spinners. (The June one has knitting and cooking, instead of spinning.)  The legendary Judith MacKenzie is our spinning teacher, and she’s great with beginners, but it’s a good idea for you to have had a few lessons before you come, even if they were just with a friend. You should know the parts of a wheel, and be able to make some lumpy, incredibly weird and uneven yarn. (That’s doable in an hour or two for most people. If you’ve got that down, you’ll be cool.)

Question: I spin, but don’t have (or want to bring) a wheel.

Answer: We can loan you one. We’ll ask you about it when you email.

Question: I know you’re telling me about April, but I clicked on that link and I want to come to June or November. What about that?

Answer: Well, here’s the thing.  Technically, the June and November retreats are full, and we’re running wait lists for both of them. Usually there’s some movement on those lists, but we can’t guarantee anything. The wait list for June isn’t very long right this minute, your odds would be okay-ish. The wait list for November is longer though, and we’re really happy to put you on either one, but if you for sure want to come to a retreat this year, April is the best shot.

Did I miss one?  info@strungalong.ca

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Look Away!

Knit and Tonic - Tue, 02/27/2018 - 00:13
If you're some sort of a knitting purist or something like that, then you might want to look away. Because I just did some major knitting surgery. I've been in a knitting funk, partially because I've spent the better part... Wendy
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Camaro

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 02/26/2018 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Camaro Knitter Extraordinaire: Mary Claire (Ravelry ID) Mods: Camaro is originally a DK weight pullover, but Mary Claire revamped the pattern to be a fingering weight cardigan with pockets. Great details and more photos can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome:  Mary Claire knit this in the round

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Thinking Cap

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 02/25/2018 - 18:47
Now that the bulky red hat is finished (granted, there are still some ends to weave), it's time to make some decisions.

The almost-but-still-not-quite-done Herlacyn afghan is one of two active projects on the needles. All it needs is the final edging and the last few ends woven, so the obvious choice is to buckle down, do the edging and turn this lingering WIP into an FO.




The second most obvious choice is to tackle the next strip in my plush rainbow afghan. While I've chatted about other things, I've been quietly working this in the background, and as a result, three out of five strips are done. It's been too grey and overcast to take pictures, so this is the most current shot available:





But why go with the obvious when one can indulge in some knitterly angst? Perhaps I should cast on the soft, simple gradient shawl, the one I've been spent so much time swatching and longing for. 



Or, I could succumb to the overwhelming temptation to whip up a quick pair of fingerless mitts in bulky red yarn to coordinate with my cheery red hat.




All of these are logical options, but somehow, in a moment of distraction, a completely different project crept onto the needles. 




It's another fast and easy hat, literally a "thinking cap," since I might as well keep my hands busy knitting while I figure out which project to tackle next. 


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Categories: Knitting Feeds

General Sunday Knit Chat...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 02/25/2018 - 14:56
Happy Sunday loves! Pattern~ Ohra Yarn~ See Raverly page details. Isn't it amazing how much knitting one can accomplish when one unplugs for a day? As I mentioned last week I needed a day to reboot myself. I had felt like I had been playing catch up since October and... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

february knitalongs

Autumn Geisha - Sat, 02/24/2018 - 12:04
I can’t believe how quickly this month has flown by! Has it for you? Definitely unusual for February but I have no complaints. The faster winter speeds by the better. This month has been filled with lots of fun knitalongs which are terrific motivators for getting projects off the needles, don’t you think? Here’s a quick rundown of the ones I am currently participating in:


The above pair of socks were for the little bobbins Christmas Eve cast on and also the Box O’ Sox kal. I love how comfy they turned out to be. The pattern is Emily’s Favorite Socks and the pretty yarn is from A Homespun House in the cozy nights colorway.


Still working on my logcabin socks for the Fringe and Friends Logalong. I decided to go with a darker color scheme for this one. It’s taking a little bit longer since I am trying to write down the steps as I knit.


Next up is a pair of Valentine’s Day socks for the hearts and heels kal hosted by the happy knitting podcast. The yarn is Paintbox Socks in the passion colorway. How was your Valentine’s Day? My husband and I usually give each other cards and some candy to celebrate the day. Nothing too fancy. This year’s treats are Japanese strawberry KitKats my fave!


Last but not least is the project that has been my main knitting entertainment this month. It’s the Carbeth pullover by Kate Davies knitted for the fast and furious annual bang out a sweater kal hosted by Kay & Ann of Mason-Dixon Knitting. I will post more pics next week after it’s washed and blocked.
I hope that you are having a fun month of knitting and creating. Are you joining in on any knitalongs or craftalongs this month/season/year?
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Big thanks to Daniel Kwan of Curiosity in Focus for having me on his podcast, Creativity in Focus. We talk about archaeology, knitting, writing, and all kinds of other things, too! Have a listen. Pull people up the ladder behind you. Because no matter where you are, you can absolutely

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

I couldn’t possibly

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 22:53

I left to go to Madrona with two projects in my bag. Well, three. I had a sock with me just for the sake of security, but I had no real intentions of knitting it – which definitely wasn’t the case with the other two.  I took with me the do-over of Elliot’s little sweater, and I swear to you that I had every intention of finishing that straightaway. I only took the yarn for the second Bonfire cowl with me in case I finished that sweater super quickly and needed a backup project.

Oh, sure – I mean, I started the cowl in the lounge on the way to Madrona, but that was just for the flight. I wasn’t really going to knit it all weekend – not when Elliot needs a sweater.*  In a practical sense, it made sense to knit the cowl on the plane. Circular needles, nothing to drop, no notions required, no interruptions while I established the pattern.  Start the cowl on the plane, then put it away until the sweater was finished. Completely responsible choice.

Once I landed, I was super busy teaching and organizing, so I just grabbed the bag with the cowl, because the sweater was in my suitcase.  For three days. Fine. The sweater was in my suitcase for five days and I had a lot going on, and it simply was not convenient to bend over for a moment and pick it up because I LOVE KNITTING THE COWL.

So I am knitting the cowl, and now it doesn’t make sense to stop because I am almost done, and really, once you’ve come this far, why not finish. I mean, who puts something aside at this point?**

*It’s okay, he has more than one knitter looking out for him. Ken just finished one,  so it’s not like he suffered for a moment.

(Pattern: Rocketry, Yarn: Dream in Color Classy. Knitter: Ken (AKA: Poppa.)

**Please refrain from noticing that this is the point at which I set the sweater aside. Thanks.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: White Ajah Shawl

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Morvarch  Knitter Extraordinaire: Robyn (Ravelry ID) Mods:  Inspired by shawls worn in the fantasy series Wheel of Time, Robyn modified the rectangular laceweight Morvarch shawl into a DK weight triangular shawl with fringe, incorporating elements that are described in the book series. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

It Might Be a Hat

Knitting | Work in Progress - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 01:24
Well, it was quite a wrestling match, but finally it's come to an end. I have what might be a hat ... or possibly a potholder. In this quick (unblocked) shot, it's a bit difficult to tell, isn't it?


I was ready to frog this fiasco, but I decided I might as well see it through to the end. Things began to look a bit more promising when I tacked the seam ends together.


This simple adaptation made a real difference, and revealed a surprising bonus. The hat looks cute worn with the black trim facing front or back.


And for more good news, it also works with the seams tracking straight up the sides and meeting at the crown. 



The slipped stitch fabric is delightfully plush, the yarn is soft, and the color will be heartwarming on a cold winter's day. What can I say? After the frustrations that have plagued this project, it's gratifying to have a finished piece that's actually wearable.


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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Recharging your knitting or life battery...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 08:38
Happy Sunday! Simple Sykp socks Yarn~ Cosy Posy Yarn Co. Hope this Sunday finds you well and happy. While I am both of those, I sort of have a sense that my body, spirit and soul need a bit of a recharge. You know that feeling when you feel your... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 18:10

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week How to take better travel photographs. #4 has been plaguing me for ages, I had no idea I could fix it in the Instagram app. How to get over the need to be liked by everyone you meet. Stop shaming women for spending money on themselves. People are

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

A Darn Good Yarn: Cowl In Progress

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 15:43

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About this time every year, I generally get bored of all my existing cowls (I know, hard to believe!) and feel the urge to knit a new cowl. It is still deep winter here in Canada, so mixing up the winter accessories helps make it seem like spring is not so far away. Plus, a

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Doubling up

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 13:47

Off I go this morning, the first of two flights, making my way from cold and snowy Toronto to what I hear is a decidedly more spring-like Seattle.  It’s the time of the year that I get to go to Madrona, and I’m excited and happy to be on my way, despite the 5am wake-up call. It’s early morning in the Air Canada Lounge at YYZ, and I’m here with my fellow travellers, watching Olympic curling on TV and knitting.  Well, we’re all watching curling (it is Canada, after all, and the sport is a bit of a national obsession here) but I think I’m the only one knitting. I’m certainly the only one posing yarn with curling. (Hold on… yes. It’s just me.)

As I was getting my projects together for this trip, I realized that for the first time maybe ever, everything I’m knitting is something I’ve made before. I’ve got the second go at Elliot’s sweater in my bag (because you guys are right and it makes more sense to knit it all over again than it does to rip it back – I’d only be able to keep a bit of it, and I’m pretty sure I have enough yarn) and those two balls of yarn are destined to be another Bonfire – this time in Freia Handpaints Vitamin C and Driftwood, a combination that’s a little more 1970’s kitchen than the one before.  I loved knitting that last cowl, and I’ve been dreaming of a do-over since the minute I finished it… The way I remember it, every single moment of it was a pleasure. Then just now I started the two-colour Italian cast-on this sucker begins with, and all of a sudden I don’t know what I was thinking. Last time it all seemed so fast, so easy, so entertaining, and that must be true, if I forgot about this part.  Second verse, same as the first.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

The New Edition of Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book

Knit and Tonic - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 21:44
Wow! I got my hands on the new edition of Vogue Knitting and "Wow" is pretty much my summation. When I first started knitting (again) in 2002 or so, I picked up the earlier edition because I'm one of those... Wendy
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Nephele Sweater: Why Row Gauge Matters

Knitted Bliss - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:00

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Why yes, I did knit a sweater the same colour as my hair. Thank you for noticing. Ravelry project page can be found here.  Pattern: Nephele Yarn: Delicious Yarns Frosting in Chocolate Mods:  No modifications on purpose, but…… I loved the Nephele sweater pattern when I first saw it, so much so I featured it

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