Snowy Day Snow Day

I got an extra day off today due to snow. Our first “significant” snow storm. We had “run” home from Massachusetts after Thanksgiving to avoid the storm and we were waiting for it! It’s been a beautiful day at home in my studio finishing projects.

Avatar Aang Hat

I was approached by an acquaintance to knit an Avatar Aang hat for her step-daughter to commemorate her strength and tenacity Over the last year. I took on the order prior to thinking it out and with no pattern. It turned out to be quite a challenge to knit a hat with a blue arrow from back to front continuously but I think I managed it pretty well, if I do say so.

I’ll write up the pattern eventually but suffice it to say that I knit the had flat and used the intarsia technique to manage the arrow. I “split” the arrow on the back of the hat with half being on either side of the seam. I then seamed the back of the hat, Kitchener stitches the top closed and then gathered the white stitches on each side of the arrow. It worked very well.

I had finished the knitting of a sweater in the car on the way down to celebrate Thanksgiving and started to embroider one of the front sides. Today I finished that, too! It’s been soaked and blocked.

I am looking forward to wearing it in a couple of days!

I’ve enjoyed my simple embroidery on my knitted accessories and this is the first garment that I’ve embroidered. I have a long way to go until I’m totally satisfied but I like it pretty well.

Neither the colors nor the embroidery are showing up well. I’ll add more pictures on a brighter day.

I just found some sweet visitor footprints on our front porch. I really love a good snow day!

Gone knitting!

More details about these projects can be found on my Ravelry projects page. I’m Lindar on Ravelry.

Follow me on Facebook at Queen Bee Knits by LindaWarner and on Instagram, @QueenBeeKnits.

Fingerless Mitts in a Weekend – a free pattern

This weekend was Thanksgiving and I decided to cast on a new and very simple project. Something I can make to sell. Well, they’re already off to their new home and I got them started AND finished over the course of the weekend. And I didn’t sell them. My daughter wanted them and I was more than happy to oblige!

Several people have asked me for my pattern. It’s an antique pattern with a lot of little changes.

Fingerless Mitts in a Weekend

220 yards (100g) Worsted Weight wool yarn. For my sample I used Ella Rae Classic Wool in colorway #164; a heathery light purple.

Set of 4 US 4 double pointed needles

1 stitch marker

Lengths of scrap yarn or yarn holders to hold thumb stitches

Cuff: to make a women’s mitt cast on 44 stitches and K2, P2 for 3 inches. You can certainly make the cuff longer but remember you may need more yarn. On the last row (it can be an extra row after 3 inches, don’t sweat it. Just remember what you did so you can do the same on the second mitt) *k1, k1fb, p2, (k2, P2) ten times, repeat from * one more time. Two stitches increased. 46 stitches total.

Knit six rounds plain. (No increases or decreases.)

Begin Thumb Gusset increases:

K1fb, k1, K1fb, PM (place marker) knit to the beginning of the round.

Knit 1 round plain

K1fb, k3, K1fb, SM (slip marker) knit to the beginning of round.

Knit 1 round plain

Continue in this manner, increasing in the first stitch and the stitch before the marker, slip the marker and then knit to the end of the round; knit two rounds plain until there are 15 thumb stitches. (The stitches between the beginning of round and the marker are the thumb gusset, extra stitches to accommodate your thumb.) You need to remember to knit two rounds after the last increase round.

Now thread a needle with some scrap yarn about a foot long. Slip the 15 thumb stitches from the DPN to scrap of yarn (or a stitch holder. I like using a scrap of yarn because I can keep trying on the mitts.) You have 15 thumb stitches on holder and 46 stitches on the Dpns.

Cast on three stitches, connect again for knotting around the hand stitches. Knit all stitches in the round until the hand is as long as you want it to be. I like my hands (mostly) covered so I knit until the hand is about at the first joint of my pinkie finger.

Begin ribbing: k2tog, K1, (P2, K2) to the last two sts, P2. 48 sts total.

Continue on pattern as set (Knit 2, Purl 2 around) for five rounds. Bind off in pattern.

Thumb: slip 15 thumb stitches onto dpns. cast on 5 stitches at the «crotch » of the thumb (where you cast on three stitches.)

Knit 3 rounds plain

K2, P2 around for five rounds. Bind off in pattern.

Make the second mitt just the same.

Weave in ends. Block gently. Or just wear them!

Mind you, I haven’t had these mitts test knit or tech edited. I’m happy to take your suggestions and edits should you find « issues » when you’re knitting.

These are the mitts that I taught last session at the adult education program here. I also taught my students to embroider on the fabric knitted. There are lots of pictures out there of embroidery on knitting. I also used this pattern for these mitts with self-patterning yarn. Be fearless! Have fun!

Gone knitting.

Follow me on Instagram @QueenBeeKnits

I’m also on Facebook: Queen Bee Knits by LindaWarner

I’m lindar on Ravelry

The Fourth Mitten

4-Needle Snowflake Mittens

Three years ago … THREE YEARS AGO … I wrote a blog post about finishing a pair of mittens that were samples for a class that I was teaching. 4-Needle Mittens were the subject. (Laughing All the Way is the post.)

Anywho … today, three years later, I finished the fourth mitten!

These are my favorite mittens and I love knitting this pattern. They’re the first color work that I knitted and where I fell in love with the technique. I’ve made quite a few pairs, lots of different color combinations, all beautiful.

I started this mitten on Friday and finished it today (and I worked all day yesterday at the shop!) It’s not rocket science but it’s necessary to know how to follow a chart. In this pattern, the first mitten, the left mitten, is knitted by reading the chart from right to left. To knit the right mitten, you ready the chart from left to right. Obviously, when I taught my class, I made a slight(ly huge) mistake and read the chart for the second mitten the wrong way! (Duh!) This time I got smart and used a simple tool to remind me to knit the chart the right way.

Good Tools are Great Help!

The neon pink “Highlighter Tape” is a great tool to use when you’re knitting. I used the tape to mark the completed rows and added an arrow to remind me to knit from the left. I keep my patterns in a protective plastic sleeve and the highlighter tape is easy to move and replace! It helped me keep track, too, of where I am. I bought mine at my LYS and it’s available at Amazon.com, too.

My favorite, FAVORITE, part … the inside of the thumb

I’m so pleased to have finished the mittens and to have sold them to a dear friend for her daughter with cold hands. The pattern is really old and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere other than on the often-copied pattern given to me by my colleague, Bette.

What colors will I use for the next pair?

To be continued.

Gone Knitting.

Blocking

Ma Belle Amie

I’ve finished one project and made progress on a different project today.

In our house, Sunday is almost always a day to “do nothing”. I worked an extra day this week and I was pretty pooped. So I spend a good part of the day in my studio. I’m still cleaning up and reorganizing while I wait for my new cabinets to be finished.

I worked on my Stephen West Starflake KAL for quite a long while. Finally, I’ve finished the second section. I chose to do the two-color Brioche. And I only just discovered that my stitch count is right but two sections are off. Each by two stitches. But I’m moving forward regardless.

Stephen West’s Starflake KAL in Emma’s Yarn

I can see, upon close inspection, exactly where I neglected to decrease in one section. And I can see the forgotten increase at one end, too. I don’t think it’s obvious enough to worry about it. I’m not sure if “fixing it by adding an extra decrease and increase in the next round. So … I’ll go ahead. After placing a safety line.

Christmas Version of Ma Belle Amie
Free pattern on Ravelry

My cowl, Ma Belle Amie, is being blocked. I knit it I’m super squishy Jojoland Baritone. It’s a DK weight superwash wool. I’d say it’s close to a light Worsted it’s so squishy. Ma Belle Amie is a simple striped cowl in four colors. Mine is in Christmas colors and I’m looking forward to wearing it. Carrying the yarns up the side saves you from weaving in a million ends. Some of my Friday knitters have begun knitting this cowl in the round so it’s extra warm. (I’m warm enough most of the time!)

I tend to wet block all of my hand knits. Wet blocking means soaking in water with a gentle wool wash for 20 minutes and then gently squeezing out the excess water. I lift the garment into a towel and wrap it up to squeeze out lots more water. (I walk on it!) The garment is then spread out on a second dry towel under my guest room ceiling fan to dry.

In a couple of days, both Evelyn’s pullover and my cowl should be dry.

Progress! On to the next.

November is for Gratitude

Grateful for This View

We are coming up on the anniversary of moving into our house here in Maine. It’ll be 4 years that we have lived here and I didn’t want the anniversary to pass without marking the day with a grateful heart. We are so fortunate to love here and we never take it for granted.

Gray Day

I’m working away on my knitting and I am making slow but sure progress. Knitting is such a wonderful “activity” and as the winter gets closer and closer, I’m happy to have several projects on the needles and several more in my knotting pipeline.

Ma Belle Amie Cowl

I’m knitting my second Ma Belle Amie cowl and this one has a distinct Christmas color combination. I’m knitting with Jojoland’s Baritone, a DK weight squishy superwash wool. I have chosen the exact same colors one of my Friday knitters made. She has a good eye for color and I thought this would prove to be a good project for when I don’t want to count. Or pay attention. I have modified the pattern a bit for this project and I’ll put the details in my project page on Ravelry.

Pumpkins and Acorns

We’ve had a ton of acorns in our yard this fall. I love them. When Hunter Hammersen showed knitted acorns I immediately ordered the pattern and went out to collect some acorn caps. I’ve knitted a few and have plans to knit more. I just need to set them aside for now to get a couple of orders done. The pumpkins are replacements for my daughter whose puppy chewed hers. Naughty dog! *wink.

I’m finished with the body of my v-neck cardigan. I continue to work on my Stephen West Starflake KAL and despite being frightfully far behind, I’m enjoying the process. In waist deep in the two-color Brioche section. Last night I made my first mistake and had to rip back a few rows because I missed two rows which meant that I was knitting on the wrong side. Frustrating but fixed now.

Rainbow Socks

I’m working on rainbow socks for my French grandson. At his request. There’s nothing better than having someone you love request a knitted item that is desired. I can’t wait to see his face when they arrive. Of course, I can’t send to one without the other so a pair of rosey pink socks will follow for little sister.

New Yarn and Fabric Storage

I have several more projects in my pipeline. A few of which are sitting out on my new cabinets in my studio. I’ve put some of my yarn up on the shelf on the left with lavender sachets. Books and reference materials will love in the shelf to the right. My carpenter is working on the drawers and doors for the cabinets on the bottom. I hope it’ll be done soon. I am eager to get back to some semblance of order. I can’t even find my ironing board behind the sewing projects. I’m grateful to have these new cabinets!

The mess that needs to be put away!

Since we have passed the point of no return, it’s now getting dark before 4pm. I like waking up with some light but I don’t like going home from work in the dark. Hello, winter!

Gone knitting.

More details can be found on my Ravelry project page. I’m “lindar” on Ravelry. Find Queen Bee Knits on Instagram @queenbeeknits and on Facebook Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner.

Katharine Cobey, A Different Voice

I don’t think I wrote about the opening of Katharine Cobey’s one-woman show at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine. Ned and I were thrilled to attend the VIP (smaller) opening on the first night and Katharine’s talk on Saturday afternoon.

We had a few minutes in the gallery prior to the opening so that Ned could get film footage of Katharine’s works on display. Our plan is to make a short documentary about Katharine in hopes to help her find homes for her pieces, particularly the larger ones.

Birds of a Feather, 2003
wool
60 x 74 x 3 inches
Mime for the Gulf War Birds, 1991
Black plastic, wood, steel
72 x 36x 36 inches
How Katharine got it done

Katharine was quite practical about how to get the job done when creating the Gulf War Birds which was knitted out of black garbage bags. She used a swift to hold the plastic bags and cut them directly into a basket.

As anyone who is creative will understand, it’s not just the finished piece that matters. The process and means by which the artist gets there is creative and necessary. How does one cut up a bunch of black plastic garbage bags into useful strips so that they can then be formed into the ultimate piece? I loved that the Farnsworth used this as an example of the ingenuity and creativity of this fiber artist!

Portal (Pillars), 2003/2008
Wool
96 x 36 x 36 inches
Courtesy of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Gift of the Artist, 2019
Detail of Portal (Pillars)

Upon walking into the gallery, I was very moved. I may be said that my “ocular incontinence” kicked in a little bit. (Thanks, Bristol, for the term!) It is very emotional to see these pieces, most of which I had seen in Katharine’s studio, hanging in an art gallery. They’re masterful and thoughtful and quite beautiful. They’re also quite big. Portal, in particular. Katharine told us that at one of the museums where Portal was going to be on display, a staff member asked if there was a form around which the knitted “columns” should be placed in order to give them form. Nope. The columns are perfectly shaped by the knitted stitches. Knits and purls. You can see them in the detail of the piece. Brilliant.

Portrait of Alzheimer’s, 1992
Silk and wool, wood base
69 x 77 x 28 inches

Portrait of Alzheimer’s is probably my favorite piece in this collection. Probably because I have a personal experience with the disease and I can understand this piece better than any other. My mother died from Alzheimer’s Disease. So did Katharine’s mother.

Beginning from the left side, with one strand of yarn, a beautiful lace shawl is knitted together. And it is gorgeous. At about the half-way point of the shawl, the stitches start to be misshapen and become a bit odd, as if there is a mistake, something is happening that is incongruous with what has happened until this point. And then the knitting becomes less “regular” the pattern isn’t regular and can’t really be recognized as the pattern was at the start. And finally, it completely unravels. Unrecognizable as a shawl. Simple strands of yarn in no apparent pattern or shape, with threads hanging out at the edges. Just like the disease that took hold of my mother. And yet, in the middle remains the form of the person whose body supports the shawl.

I have purposely left out several of the pieces that are displayed in this show. I want everyone to go to see it. Fiber Arts in a much-respected museum! A Fiber Artist, a Maine gem, being recognized for her art. This show is at the Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine through April 12, 2020. Go see it!

If you know of a museum that might be interested in any of Katharine’s art, please let me know. Katharine or one of us will be contacting museums. Thanks for your help in advance.

40

So, as of tonight I have finished 40 projects so far this year. I had a goal of 50 … I’m thinking that I may not finish another ten projects but I’ll give it a good old college try!

A page from my bullet journal

I finished my husband’s sweater in time for him to wear it at our family weekend in New Hampshire last weekend. He’s worn it enough to lose one of the three buttons. I love the deep green color. It’s a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern knit in Ella Rae Classic Wool.

I also finished his birthday socks. He was so sweet to gift this yarn to me in my Christmas stocking last year. With the intent that I would knit him socks with it. The yarn was a bear to knit with. Quite stiff and a bit heavier than the Worsted that I typically use for socks. My hands were tired after knitting these socks.

I’ve already cast on three more projects and I have a long list of others to be completed. Including three orders for crocheted items. Maybe I’ll get them done before the end of the year. Sadly, not many of my projects are small.

Tonight I was working on my Christmas La Belle Amie cowl. I’m knitting with Jojoland Baritone and I love the hand of this superwash wool. It’s super squishy. These two greens, a creamy ivory and a red will make this a good piece for between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I also finished a pair of fingerless mitts that I have subsequently sold. I taught a class of wonderful women at our adult education program. The class was embroidered mittens. I didn’t want to make mittens and “shortened” mine to mitts. I was very happy with the outcome.

I’ve got to close because tomorrow is my Saturday to work and I have to get some beauty sleep! I’m feeling fairly accomplished at finishing!

Gone knitting!

Details of all of these projects can be found on my Ravelry project page. I’m lindar on Ravelry. Find Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner on Facebook and QueenBeeKnits on Instagram, too.