Knitting Feeds

Pretending

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 01:06

I am pretending that this week is not on fire. (It is.) I am pretending that I am totally organized (I am not) and that everything is absolutely coming together (it isn’t) and that I have all of this well in hand. (Sorry. Just laughed so hard I almost choked on tea.) Joe and I, despite difficulties of a stunning variety, are leaving for our annual holiday on Saturday. We thought we would go somewhere warm, and then somewhere adventurous, and then somewhere we’d never been, and then go on our (now) annual ski trip to Banff, and then we remembered about a few complications, like time and money and family and reality, so now we’re just going skiing, which is totally what Joe loves, and I like it too (although I am getting pretty sick of winter) and it is very hard to complain about the Rocky Mountains, because going there is almost exactly like the beach.  (See title.) I’m busy sorting my work and getting ready to try and take a week off, and I’m going to be absolutely prepared and ready to set aside all the stress of the week and our lives and be great at relaxing. (See title.)  I’ve been knitting something for skiing too – just to be prepared.

Nine years ago, just about, I knit Pretty Thing. I have worn that one a million times, and most recently, I’ve taken to wearing it skiing. It’s the perfect little bit of extra warm softness, tucked between my neck and my ski jacket, and I can even pull it up to cover my chin, cheeks and nose when it’s really cold. It works really well – not bulky, stays where I put it, it’s perfect.

(I love how this picture makes it look like I know what I’m doing. See title.)

It’s so perfect, that it would appear I’ve finally worn it out. The last time I went to put it on, there was a hole.  I know when it happened too – it was just after Christmas when we went skiing and it was -35, and the thing froze solid with ice from my breath, and it snapped as I pulled it up.  (If you do not live in a place where it gets cold enough to actually break frozen textiles, take a minute and hold Canada in your heart.) I came home that day and started thinking about a replacement – though truthfully, I did keep wearing the ratty one until now – like some feral knitter with broken stuff. (I am rather attached to it.) I went through the spinning stash, and found a beautiful batt.

It was from Heidi at the Artful Ewe, about 50g of superfine merino, cashmere and silk.  The perfect little bit for a Pretty Thing.  I spun it up, and plied it,

and yesterday I started knitting it up. (The second Bonfire is finished, if you’re wondering how my faithless needles have wandered again. I’ll show you later, it’s blocking.)

I love how it’s working out, though I think I will forever miss my first one.

A little luck and tomorrow it’s washed, packed and ready to hit the slopes.

(See title.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

How to Wear a Colour You Think You Can’t Wear

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:00

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Pattern: Casu Cowl Yarn: Darn Good Yarn Worsted Weight Merino in ‘Samabyon’ Needles: 5mm (US 8) It’s so easy to believe a limiting idea – “I’m not good with numbers”, or “I can’t wear that colour”. But when was the last time you actually checked to see if that was true? For example, after my

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Ingrid Director’s Cut

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Ingrid Pullover Knitter Extraordinaire: figolilo (Ravelry ID) Mods: Figolilo added the colourwork from the hem to the cuffs of the sleeves, as well as steeked the entire pullover to make it into a cardigan! Added a button band too, of course. Details and lots of photos can be found on her project page,

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

FO | The Thinking Cap Works

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 03/04/2018 - 17:25
A series of non-knitterly things are demanding an extraordinary amount of time and energy, but I wanted to share an update on the Thinking Cap

It's done, and as simple as it is, it's delivering on every front. Soft, stretchy, light but warm, it features one of my favorite slipped rib stitches (Kintra Mitts). Worsted weight yarn meant it knit up quickly, and the simple five stage gradient worked in a mirror pattern (front: black to cream, back: cream to black) allowed me to use up leftovers from previous projects.



Kintra Thinking Cap
Pattern: Improvised
Yarn: Amherst (Valley Yarns)
Needles: US 10 (5 mm)
Yardage: ~135 yards
Size: L (21-22 ins circumference)

I opted for a neutral combo sparked with a touch of burgundy red. As a result, the Thinking Cap coordinates with my Grey Daze shawl ...


and Grey Daze mitts, especially since I typically wear these pieces with a black turtleneck or cardigan.



It also works beautifully with my Dojeling Wineberry kerchief, which because it's so light and adaptable is still one of my all-time favorite accessories, .



The Thinking Cap delivered on the intangible front as well. As you know, I started this quick knit because I was wrestling with different project and WIP options, and wanted to keep busy while I sorted out things. It did its job, and as soon as the cap was off the needles and trimmed, I devoted some much needed attention to the Herlacyn afghan, which has been patiently waiting in the wings.

Who knew a simple little thinking cap would work so well?


Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

The next one will have ties

Yarn Harlot - Sun, 03/04/2018 - 13:45

Elliot’s new sweater is finished, fits, and is being enjoyed by the recipient.

And while he quite likes the buttons…

He is over the hat.

Completely.

(Hat: Tiny Lumberjack, Sweater: Elwood,  colour scheme altered to match the hat.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

February Loves...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 03/04/2018 - 13:29
Hello there! Happy Sunday to you. :) Weren't we just celebrating the new year? Now here I am sharing my February loves because March is here. Crazy! I still haven't gotten used to writing/typing 2018 yet. But I really shouldn't complain as this new year has brought my little part... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week The terrifying future of fake news. Guys, it’s just going to keep getting worse. Jane Austen used pins to edit her manuscripts – as she was revising, she would write out revised sections on a new piece of paper, but mark where the new material would be in

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Categories: 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

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

in bloom

Autumn Geisha - Sun, 02/26/2017 - 23:10

Hello! I hope that you are having a fun & relaxing weekend. We are spending a quiet Sunday at home. The guys are watching movies and playing on video games while I'm happily knitting wildflowers and playing with my new MINI Happy Planner. Can you tell that I'm already dreaming of springtime blossoms and blooms? It's hard not to when the February weather has been unseasonably balmy and warm here in Maryland.

I'm finally on the last color of my winter fade and had planned to finish it this weekend but couldn't resist casting on for a new pair of socks. The pattern is called fine and dandy socks and the yarn is by Lichen and Lace in the appropriately named wildflowers colorway. It's knitted toe-up which is a fun change from how I usually make my socks.

Here's a quick peek inside my planner at next week's spread:


Besides having something new to decorate with stickers and washi tape (always a cause for joy) I am on a mission to become more organized. My usual system of keeping track of appointments, errands, chores and special dates consisted of post-it notes scattered everywhere and half of them getting lost. I knew things had to change when the little guy and I showed up for his wellness checkup two weeks early. I'll go into more details on how I use my planner in another post, but so far it has made a tremendous difference. Do you use a planner and if so, which one? I'm amazed at all the cool choices out there and can now understand the hashtag #planneraddict.
Categories: Knitting Feeds

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