12.29.2013

Slog-A-Long

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I’m knitting a Bone Yard Shawl by Stephen West. Using some of my handspun fiber. A Persimmon color Blue Faced Leicester fiber that I added a strand of Sulky bendable thread to it to give it some dimension. It looked so “flat” spun alone.

I skein I had overspun, Ugh, overspun yarn is spun too tightly, when I hold it out flat it immediately winds up on itself and kink. The “fix” for this is to run it back through the spinning wheel the other direction and then I soaked it and dried it, to ‘'reset” the twist. That came out find, and didn’t take as long as I thought it would. So now, I just have a bit more to go before I’m done.

IMG_2233I must have been stressed when I spun this!

Read more on spinning yarn with the correct twist and balance, plus other helpful tips in Knitty article

This was going to be a gift for a girlfriend who is going through tuff times, but when complications set in (with my knitting, not her), I ended up gifting her my Citron shawl

IMG_2227Steve and Penny at the local DNR wildlife area. Bird?

You may notice my “bone yard shawl” is missing the ribs. I looked at the pattern and started while I was watching Netflix (gotta love Netflix), many rows later I discovered that I had omitted the knit row that made the ribs. I just kept knitting, but wish I had frogged it and put it in now, as the shawl looks very ordinary, and boring to knit. (but good TV knitting)

Hope everyone had a great holiday and got some knitting done!

12.19.2013

Citron Shawl, Done for the Holidays & some Knitty patterns that are trending for some quick knits

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This is my Citron Shawl, done! I have been working on it for a long time. But had I knitted this all at once, it wouldn’t have taken too long. Love this easy, swingy pattern. Thanks Knitty! Free pattern here made by Hilary Callis.

Knitty is a great online knitting and spinning magazine. Plenty of great articles and free patterns. This Winter Knitty 13 has a wonderful article about Ethnic Knitting Adventures by Donna Druchunas, it is about Designing A Norwegian Ski Sweater. Check it out, along with the other features they have.

The pattern is a  semi circular shawl/cap (depending on the size yarn used and the length you knit it), It is all in stockinette stitch, with increases and decreases to form the gather/ruffle areas. Easy knitting, good for beginning knitter. Great item to watch TV, movies, or anything that you want to be on auto pilot.

I was worried about the bind off, as I tend to bind off tightly. This pattern had so many stitches and they were at the full point of the last ruffle, so I needed to find a loose one. A Ravelry knitter who had knitted it suggested the Russian Bind off and included a video in her message. Video to Russian Bind off. It worked nicely and the shawl ended up with good movement.

Yarn used: I made this with some yarn I bought while visiting my Dad when he had a surgery. From JoAnns, it is Patons Lace, and I would highly recommend it (gauge 4 inches = 26 sts on size 4 needles, and 498 yards/455 meters), so much that I have bought 4 other colors and found it with a sequin added in it. I love the super long color changes, it allows for a striking repeat in this pattern, it also comes in solids. The yarn is a good mix of acrylic 80%, wool 10%, and mohair 10%. It is so soft and light to work with. As a bonus easy to care for. When finished I was pleasantly surprised at how it blocked up, and the movement, it was light as air and with the 10% mohair, it has a beautiful halo.

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I made this with some yarn I bought while visiting my Dad when he had a surgery. From JoAnns, it is Patons Lace, and I would highly recommend it, so much that I have bought 4 other colors and found it with a sequin added in it. I love the super long color changes, it allows for a striking repeat in this pattern. The yarn is a good mix of acrylic and wool with a soft halo to it. It is so soft and light to work with. As a bonus easy to care for.

It was a gift to a girl friend going through some  hard times, when knitting for a non knitter I like to use a super wash wool, or one with some acrylic in it. I’ve found several excellent ones now that are 100% acrylic that I’m in love with. (More on that in a later post)

Yay, now on to my Boneyard shawl, and I’m in the process of making a quilt.

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Hope your enjoying your knitting!

Need to find a knitting pattern try the Knitty pattern finder (link below)
(link to Knitty pattern finder)

A selection of Knitty patterns:


Diversify cowl by Andrea Rangel-good for any gauge yarn, and it looks like a quick knit
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Nymphalidea by Melinda VerMeer-A beautiful airy, butterfly like shawl/scarf

Commuter by Stephanie Sun- Fun fingerless mitts with an added bonus!

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Mandelbrot by Alexandra Tinsley- fast to knit up, good way to use up some handspun, I think I’m going to cast on this one, I may leave the pompom off.

12.15.2013

Project Runway at my House

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I had  been thinking about sewing a fleece vest for my husband. Problem was I knew exactly how I wanted it to look. Of course. I couldn’t find a suitable pattern. So I decided I would draft a pattern for it myself. Inspired by the series “Project Runway”, which I am a long-time fan of. I found the confidence to give it a go.

I used muslin and pinned it to him and then cut the pieces out. This did take 3 tries to get it acceptable. A lot of laughter and a couple of pin pricks.

I used fleece on the out side and the lining, with batting in-between. My husband wanted the pockets to be a specific way. I settled on a simple pattern idea of a small stand up collar, basic front and back, zipper, and the most complicated part were the pockets! He wanted to be able to slip his hands in, and have a separate compartment with a secure flap. I had bought these lovely gunmetal grey snaps to apply to the flaps, but the fleece was so thick I had to default to using Velcro.

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I also decided to quilt the fleece, I used some of the lines of the plaid design to follow.

The pockets also have batting in them, so his hands will be warm. (thus making my snaps impossible to apply)

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Overall I’m happy with it, and I got it done before the snow came!

Now on to some Christmas knitting!