Knitting Feeds

February Indie Dyer~ Long Dog Yarn

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 07:37
Happy Sunday! Hope you week was kind and gentle to you. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to this month's featured indie dyer. As you know this year I am introducing you to some talented indie dyers in the hope that you find some new loves. And here... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

On the Move

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 20:49

Ah, here we are… this post comes to you from Scottsdale, Arizona, where I am working poolside in the sunshine, while Joe does likewise. We made our way here from the Grand Canyon, a quick stopover between Vegas and here, and I gotta tell you, I’ve felt ridiculously lucky these last several days. Joe’s relationships have really worked out for me. I’ve managed to fit in work and (most of) the things I need to do as we go from event to event and place to place, and every day I’ve seen something amazing. I saw The Valley of Fire again (still a favourite, and the only hiking we had time to do in Vegas) and I saw Elton John live (just as amazing as you’re imagining right now.)  I watched the sun set and rise  during 20 glorious hours at the Grand Canyon.  I walked on the top of the Bright Angel Trail that leads to the bottom, and I hiked seven kilometres around the southern rim.

I saw elk, I had lunch in Sedona, I saw cactus in the desert, and we looked longingly at San Francisco Peaks as we drove by. We took the scenic route every time we could. We’ve eaten good food, we’ve enjoyed the company of great people, and I have knit, and knit, and knit. I’ve knit in the car, at dinner, during social events, at concerts… I finished a pair of socks…

Yarn: Muststash Kama Sutra. (Well look at that. I looked it up to get you a link, and it’s actually a colourway you can order. it’s a miracle! Usually stuff’s been kicking around the stash so long that’s not a thing.) Pattern: I faked it, but Smooth Operator is really similar. Needles: 2.25mm.

They fit like a dream, and I adore them. I’m so glad that I recognized up front that I wanted these to be mine and knit them in my size. I’d be really hard pressed to give them up.

I finished my Bermuda shawl, and it’s drying in the sun right this very minute – pictures of that beauty when it’s dry – but best yet, I made my swatch for the beginning of Impending Grandson’s blanket.

I took a few of the suggestions in the comments – though I’m keeping most of the symbolism quiet until the right time. I went down a needle size after a few rows, finding the work too open – and I did my best to block it, considering how limited my resources were in the hotel room (I’ll be adding a wee container of pins to my travel kit) but I’m pretty sure I like what I’ve got now. The yarn is Juniper Moon Findley – 50/50 merino/silk, and it’s a perfect choice. I did the math for the middle part, cast on provisionally yesterday (in the car, somewhere around Flagstaff) and this afternoon when it’s quiet, I’ll get my first few rows in. It’s full speed ahead to blankieville and I’m practically giddy with excitement.*

*Thanks for being the people that I can say that to. I’m here with non-knitters, and while they’re quite lovely about it, it would be safe to say that if I told them that I was giddy with excitement about a blanket centre, I’d certainly be misunderstood as an artist.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Finished object: Smoky Lake cardigan

Knitting to Stay Sane - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 20:44
Finishing a sweater, with time to spare to wear it in the current winter season, is a pretty awesome thing, my pals. I cast off this guy a couple of days ago and after a wash and generous blocking/drying time (bulky wool does take its time to dry), it was ready for the final step […]
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Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week This virtual tour of a French butter factory is amazing. Trust me. Yes, planning for travel can be hard work and a bit of pain. But the happiness is worth it. Self-care during a season of negativity. You know those raccoon fur pom poms that are suddenly everywhere?

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Stripes and More: Two Skein Knitting Projects

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 11:00

If your stash is anything like mine, you have a lot of fingering weight skeins. They are easy to buy and easy to stash, so it comes as little surprise when you eventually realize you have a whole bunch of lonely, single skeins of fingering weight and sock yarn. I recently found two skeins in

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

The view from the almost-finished line

Knitting to Stay Sane - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:07
So, whenever there is an unseasonably warm spell during the middle of winter, you know how there are some people who complain that it doesn’t really feel like winter when it’s so warm and there’s no snow? Friends, I am one of those jerks. I am the asshole who hates to see +7C and mud […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Ombres & Gradients: What's the Difference?

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 13:00
What's the difference between ombres and gradients?

Great question. It seems most people use the terms interchangeably, and I've not seen a good definition that distinguishes the two. For those of us who like to wallow in the details, however, there are subtle distinctions (at least in my mind).

An ombre scheme, whether it features commercially dyed yarn or a build-your-own approach, focuses on one color family and incorporates varied shades that progress from saturated to pale or dark to light. This Kintra mitt illustrates a very basic DIY ombre with neutrals that move from dark (black) to medium (grey) to light (cream).

A gradient, on the other hand, can incorporate shades from any color family, related or radically different. Both simple and complex gradients typically feature a transitional section that flows one color into the next. This slip-stitch scarf illustrates the basic principle, blending red and purple to create plum.

Gradients have long been one of my favorite strategies for optimizing yarn from stash. Twegen Harvest is a good example. With warm shades ranging from lemon squash to heritage pumpkin, it effectively transformed eight related but different singletons into something useful and attractive.

Ombres and gradients are a hot color story in knitting world for obvious reasons. It's certainly difficult to beat their visual appeal and versatility, whether you choose to build your own or opt for a commercially dyed version.

So, tell me, how do you define ombres and gradients?

To read more about color strategies, including gradients and ombres, click here.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

I’m always dressed wrong

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 00:23

Through a pretty amazing set of events in October, I wound up in in Las Vegas, and realized about 46 seconds later that it really wasn’t my bag. It’s very interesting, and everyone should see it once (if only to believe it) but I’m not a Vegas strip kinda gal. The flashing lights and mobs of people drive me wild, we don’t gamble, and Joe and I quickly discovered that though the strip was not built for us, the area around Las Vegas is absolutely ridiculously gorgeous and totally our bag, and we’d visit that a thousand times. That’s what I was thinking about when I found out that Joe’s trip was planned for here and yesterday I got my wish. We straggled out of our hotel and drove an hour away, and really had a good hike through Valley of Fire State Park. It’s a really amazing place, with petroglyphs and rocks all the colours of the rainbow, and we saw a big horn sheep, which got me so excited that I’m reasonably sure that the couple that we brought along with us now think that I’m a complete lunatic. We liked it even better than we did last time, and I think that’s because it wasn’t as hot as Satan’s armpit outside. It’s winter here, which is a term I feel this part of Nevada shouldn’t even be allowed to use, considering that we hiked very comfortably in jeans and tee shirts.

I even finished my cowl in the car on the way there.

Pattern: Grus Yarn: Woolfolk Far (colours are as suggested, #01, 02, 03, 04 and 05) Needle: 6mm.

I’m as in love with this project now as I was when I started, and despite wanting off the needles so I could start something else, I’m a little sad to see it go. The yarn is spectacularly elastic, soft, and entertaining, so much so that It was a pleasure to weave in all the ends, and that’s not my normal feeling about the task. It’s a shame that this thing is done just in time for it to be not needed. (Hang in there a few days though, there’s a change of venue planned – this trip has three legs.)

Today’s been a work day, Joe’s busy with his stuff, and I’ve been in the hotel room, busy with mine – but the yarn for the baby blanket arrived, and tomorrow, my petals, is swatching day – though I’m still trying to figure out what stitches I’ll swatch. Let’s think about it tomorrow.

In the meantime, we’ve just opened registration for the April Retreat at Port Ludlow.  Our theme this time is “Around the world in three days” and it’s a retreat for knitters and spinners (you don’t need to be good at either.) There’s details on the retreat page, and we’d love to have you. If you wanna talk about it, you can email us at

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: The Choice Cardigan

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 11:00

Original Pattern: The Choice Knitter Extraordinaire: Timea (Ravelry ID) Mods: Significantly shortened the length of the cardigan. Details and more photos are on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Never underestimate the power of a simple modification for big impact. Timea shortened the length of this pretty top-down cabled cardigan, and it makes

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Jam packed knitting post~ Loves, winner and FOs

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 14:35
Well hello there! Guess who's back? Thank you so much for all the sweet comments on my last "post" where I popped in to say that the Sunday post was going to be delayed. The delay happened to take longer than expected, so I saved all the fun for this... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Mitt-Worthy Shawls & Wraps

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 13:30
Life has a way of being complicated enough, so when I have a choice, I strive to keep things as simple as possible. Sometimes this succeeds and sometimes it doesn't.

One area where simplicity works (fairly) well is my wardrobe. Many years ago, I committed to basic black and adopted what is essentially a uniform for both casual and business wear. Based on the season, my casual attire consists of black pants and a top along with a vest, sweater or both if necessary, while my business attire features suits and separates with black as the base.

Against this black backdrop, scarves, shawls and wraps are not only exceptionally easy to wear, they contribute a much-needed spark of color. They're also a pretty, practical way to gain a light but welcome layer of warmth, particularly when I'm working in my perpetually cold office,

Because these accessories see so much action, I've been attempting to slowly but surely find ways to make the most of the pieces I have. For me, fingerless mitts are the key. Time and again, I reach first for the scarves and shawls that have complementary mitts, for a look that's less random and more pulled together. So, as time and inclination permit, I've been making mitts to coordinate with my favorite neckwear and wraps.

With all this in mind, let's cut to the chase and see where things stand. (Just click the links to see the FO post.)

Mixed Media: Alaris wrap and Wyndfael mitts
Obviously, the mitts don't match the shawl, but I think the solid colors are a nice complement to the busier variegated yarns. (I'm wearing this set right now.)

BlackberryDojeling shawl and Kintra mitts
What can I say? With touches of merino, cashmere and silk, this combo is deliciously light and luxurious. As a bonus, the mitts coordinate with the Wineberry shawlette, too.

Wineberry: Dojeling shawlette and Kintra mitts
When I'm heading out the door and want to wrap something soft around my neck, this shawlette is the piece I grab, and the complementary mitts create a more pulled together look. If I plan to wear gloves, I simply pop my thumbs out of the mitts, slip them down, and wear them as cozy cuffs or wristers. The plus-factor here is these mitts also coordinate with the Blackberry shawl above.


Oyster Bay: Dojeling shawl and Kintra mitts
The shawl used every last inch of the lovely wool-silk Tern (Quince & Co.), To create coordinating mitts, I swatched many different yarns and colors before I landed on a combination that worked.

Grey Streak: Shawl (personal pattern) and Kintra mitts
This cozy wool shawl and its complementary mitts are active WIPs. Knitting time has been so limited, they're progressing in slow motion, but hopefully they'll be off the needles and ready to wear this week. As an added plus, the Nearly Neutral Kintra mitts also work well with the shawl.

Plumberry: Scarf (personal pattern)
I made this luscious fingering weight scarf several years ago and wear it often, but somehow I neglected to do an FO post. Here the red looks tomato-y, but in real life it's a rich berry. As soon as the grey shawl and mitts are finished, I plan to cast on coordinating mitts.

Because not all wraps and scarves are mitt-worthy, I've focused on the favorites that see the most wear. Also as you can see, these mitts are all about color, so they're not matchy-matchy and don't use the same stitch patterns found in their respective scarf or shawl.

So far, this approach seems to be working, perhaps a bit too well.

There are two afghans, a shawl and a pair of mitts on the needles, which in practical terms translates into more than enough WIPs. This week I couldn't resist temptation, however, so I found myself rummaging through the stash in search of yarn that might lend itself to a medium weight shawl/wrap/mitt combo for spring.

Right now, I'm leaning toward this color combination. What do you think?

If you're looking for the Dojeling Shawl pattern, you can fine it here.
If you're looking for the mitt patterns, you find Kintra here and Wyndfael here.

Meanwhile, I'm connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Book giveaway, and onwards

Knitting to Stay Sane - Fri, 02/03/2017 - 20:10
Thanks everyone for your lovely comments on the Tudor Roses book in my last post. I’m back to say we have a giveaway winner – Congratulations, Vera, you’ve got a message waiting for you in your email. I drew random number #97 and this corresponded to your posted comment. Thank you everyone for your draw […]
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Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 02/03/2017 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week A happiness lesson from the movie Ground Hog Day. Iceland figured out to solve the problem of teenagers drinking and doing drugs, and it’s amazing. Deep winter can often feel pretty blah- how about getting some awesome low-maintenance house plants to beautify and add serenity to your home?

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

The Push is On

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 21:41

Over the last few days, I’ve been trying to tidy up. Not the  house, that’s madness – I mean, I worked out a long time ago that most housework is pointless. I tidy up, someone (usually me, which is really disappointing) trashes it, and I do it again. Now that I’m a woman of mature years, I’ve largely consigned my hopes for a pristine house to the abyss. No, I’ve been trying to tidy up the knitting. The time draws near for me to start a baby blanket, and so I’m looking to get a few projects off the needles, so that not so much is lurking about. There’s a pair of socks to finish – though I’m not really fussed about that. The blanket will be tricksy, and so I’ll need something simple with me so that I can knit dark places, or places where people need to think I’m listening, and the Bermuda Shawl is pretty simple too, but I’d still like to finish it before I start the blanket. Mostly, I want this one off the needles:

It’s the Grus Cowl, Knit from Woolfolk Far (colours are as suggested, #01, 02, 03, 04 and 05 – one skein of each.) There’s not much left to go, and the next few days should be perfect for getting lots of knitting done.  In what I would like noted as a serious display of Marital Goodwill, I’ve agreed to go with Joe on a work trip over the next while – and I’m having the blanket yarn meet me at our hotel – I aim to get this (and maybe the shawl and maybe the socks) done before that. Joe leaves tomorrow, but I’m staying behind for a day – Most of you will recall that Ken had a cycling accident quite some time ago, and his shoulder didn’t heal properly. He’s having it fixed tomorrow, and this family sticks together for stuff like that, so I’ll have hours tomorrow while I wait at hospital for him, and see him safely home, where Amanda will take over Ken care, and I’ll jump on a plane the next morning to join Joe. Between hospital waiting and the plane, there should be buckets of time. It’s just one of the many benefits of being a knitter. What other people might see as wait time… we see as opportunity.

Tonight I’m perusing all my stitch dictionaries (doing a little actual tidying) packing my bag, and getting together all I need for a blanket epic. 10 weeks till impending Grandson, and he deserves a blanket designed to be all his own. I like these blankets to have stories, to use stitch patterns that reflect who they are, and where they come from, to be specific to the child. Myrie’s had pines, for the camping her parents love, and waves, because they both come from islands, and Luis’ had snowflakes for his Canadian mum, and Spanish lace for his Spanish dad… and my grandson? No ideas yet. I’ve got until Saturday (or Monday, if the mail  is its usually jerk to me) to come up with a plan.

I’m totally open to suggestions. The yarn is a laceweight, and I have A. Lot. There’s no way I’m running out this time.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

the comfort of socks

Autumn Geisha - Wed, 02/01/2017 - 00:17
pattern: charades yarn: end of the row
Happy Year of the Rooster! I can't believe how fast this month has flown by. Lately, I've been having a hard time keeping up with everything that needs to get done. Housework and grocery shopping are unfortunately not as appealing and fun as knitting or reading a good book. Actually, I would rather clean the house than go grocery shopping any day. In fact, I have been pestering the hubby into buying an extra freezer but the confounded man thinks that it will end up storing more yarn than food. Hah, he sure knows me well after all these years :)

One area that thankfully is not lacking in effort is my knitting. I am currently making an attempt to organize my to-knit list for this year by grouping yarn and pattern together into project bags. I have about four sweaters worth of yarn ready and waiting for when the mood strikes. Next up is to organize the sock yarn stash into future projects but that task is proving more difficult because there are so many wonderful sock patterns out there! Here is just a smattering of beauties just waiting to be knit up this year:

*charades are similar to my beloved skyp socks but without the purling (currently on the needles)
*whiskey and rye looks so stunning in autumn colors
*this beautiful version of the father's new socks (I even have the exact colors in my stash)
*flying north socks with a variegated yarn (love this pair)
*this gorgeous version of a twist of fair isle
*fun texture with bright pops of color for the (froot loop) win
*one of my favorite stitch patterns reincarnated into the lovely tulsi socks
*quick warm cozy sporty hyak
*bright & colorful jelly rolls
*rye would make a toasty pair of bedsocks
*pretty laule'a proves that simple is far from boring when knit in a pretty color
*every flavor stripy socks make perfect use of leftover sock yarn

my 2016 box of sox
I could go on & on but my current socks on the needles are patiently waiting for some attention. After having a heavy heart all weekend while watching events unfold here in America, I woke up on Monday determined to focus my energy on positive action. I went on Ravelry and found a wonderfully active and welcoming group called hats and more for war-torn Syria. They are collecting warm items and other necessities for those displaced by the war in Syria and the region. It seems that wool socks are in short supply and much needed. Since I love to knit socks but rarely ever wear them, I will be sending my box of sox (with the exception of the stripy monster ones) along with an assortment of hats and mittens. It lightens my heart to know that these items will offer some comfort. And motivates me to knit more socks to donate.

Hope that you are finding even a little bit of time each day to do what you love!
Categories: Knitting Feeds

False Start

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 01/31/2017 - 22:10

Well, it turns out that I could indeed take knitting into the courthouse, and it turns out that I was not even the only one.  I thought that I’d been so proper and good, bringing in a project on wooden circulars, and I passed through security with no trouble at all, only to settle myself in the courtroom, heave a sigh of relief, and look over to see the lady in front of me beavering away on a green sweater back (front?) with nice big, straight metal needles, not a care in the world. She made good progress too, by the time the judge came in and we had to put everything away to “give the judge our complete attention”, she had at least 10cm of rib and a chunk of garter. Me, I had this:

A goodly piece of a simple top down shawl, knit with January’s installment of the CaterpillarGreen Yarn club. (I joined two short term clubs this year – I swear I’m committed to knitting them both up as soon as they arrive. I’ve already fallen behind on the other one, so this has to get done.) I grabbed a needle I thought would work, and headed out the door. By the end of the day I had this, which is… well. It’s nothing, because it took a swift trip to the frog pond.  I knew right away that the gauge wasn’t right, but I didn’t have any other knitting with me, so I just kept on going, hoping that it was going to improve. (Shocking bit of knitterly delusion, that.) It didn’t. (It never does.)

Now, somewhere, a knitter reading this just thought “Balls to that. It’s a shawl. The gauge isn’t that important. I’d have never ripped back. You’re a lunatic.” To them I say that they may have a point with the latter, but not the former. Gauge always matters. It’s not just how big something comes out – it’s got to do with the quality of the fabric, and see this?

It failed my number one test. If I put my finger beneath, and wiggle it upwards, the strands of yarn move out of the way to let my finger poke through. It’s not being able to get your finger through that’s bad though (but it ain’t good) it’s that when the fabric is mobile like that, when it’s knit loosely enough that you can move everything around, then I know that everything is going to move around in the finished piece. It won’t keep it shape, it will look bedraggled sooner. Gauge matters to how things hold up, and it matters to quality. I’m a very tidy knitter and I knit pretty evenly, but at that gauge, everyone’s work looks uneven and a little shoddy, and I’m not going to work that hard to produce something that doesn’t look as good as my work is. So, to the frogpond it went.

Luckily, I was called back for a second day, and I was just going to start over with a smaller needle, until I was cruising Ravelry and decided to copy someone else’s better idea. (jtremblay74’s to be precise. Thanks for the good thinking.)

So now I have something else.  A decent start at the Bermuda Scarf (though I think it will be properly shawl-ified by the time I’m done.) Knit on a 3.5mm needle, and looking much nicer than the first.

I think it looks like water and wind and everything the yarn reminds me of, and Jury duty is over.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Book review and giveaway: Tudor Roses

Knitting to Stay Sane - Tue, 01/31/2017 - 22:02
Friends, are you – like me, currently – in need of something new and pretty to look at? Well, allow me to present to you the recently re-released Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore. Have you all heard of Alice Starmore? Well, if you have not, boy howdy are you in for a treat. A crazypants […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Ocean

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 01/30/2017 - 11:00

Original Pattern: #10 Round Yoke Tunic Knitter Extraordinaire: Alina (Ravelry ID, blog) Mods: Loads! Lengthened the body from A-line tunic to a dress, changed gauge to fingering weight, machine knit the stockinette, hand knit the lace, adjusted the neckline to be a boat neck, eliminated the sleeves. Details can be found on her project page and

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Delayed January Loves post...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 01/29/2017 - 17:49
Happy Sunday! I am sneaking a few minutes on a borrowed computer to let you know that there will be no Sunday post this week. Having some computer issues which should be resolved by Tuesday. (fingers crossed). Also the Great Lakes Tweed yarn giveaway is closed and I will announce... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Grey Streak

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 01/29/2017 - 13:30
In spite of my love of knitting, winter is far from my favorite season.

I'm simply not a cold weather person, and in recent years, our winters have been exceptionally gloomy and overcast, and often bitterly cold. Couple these factors with short days and long nights, and the overall effect can be daunting and dreary.

The perfect antidote, obviously, is vibrant color in all its forms from bright and bold to rich and gemlike. This means my winter knitting is typically filled with saturated shades of red, rose, plum, purple, turquoise, teal and yellow. In a strange turn of events, this year I've been craving neutrals from black and charcoal to stone and cream instead of intense color. Weird, right?

In the weeks before Christmas, I made a quick pair of delightfully soft and cozy mitts (Kintra Nearly Neutral):

And created Lucben swatches to test the effects of different yarn weights on the stitch and gauge:

In early January, I finished a light and lofty afghan (Tikkyn Flagstone):

And cast on a warm, woolly sideways shawl:

To cap things off, I fell off the focus-and-finish bandwagon this weekend and accidentally cast on a pair of mitts to coordinate with the shawl. Between the worsted weight yarn and largish needles, I'm hoping they'll work up fast:

This recent flurry of neutrals finally caught my attention when I was doing the Seeing Red roundup and realized that except for colorful Christmas trees, every project cast on since early December has been predominantly neutral.

Naturally, grey has through the years surfaced in numerous projects, including an almost neutral version of Drumlin and multiple pairs of Wyndfael mitts, but this is the first time I can recall such an uninterrupted stream.

How long will this trend last? That remains to be seen, but for the time being, I'm clearly on a grey streak.

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