Interweave Knits Fall 2016

I got my new Interweave Knits Fall 2016 magazine a couple of days ago and it’s full of wonderful designs. But one pattern really caught my eye on my first pass through it, though – Thompson River Socks pattern by Carolyn Kern.

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Seldom does a pattern jump out at me that says, “Go buy this yarn now and cast on as soon as possible!” But this pattern said just that! So, I listened.

It just so happened that I was teaching at the Yardgoods Center in Waterville, Maine last Tuesday (the following day) and we carry the Raggi yarn by Jarbo Garn that is called for in the pattern. I grabbed three balls – two in the gray and one red – and set them aside to purchase after my class.

(Note from the Queen Bee: I have it on good authority that the company that makes Raggi yarns is closing up shop. This is a travesty because I love their sock yarns. I wish I could buy the company and keep making the yarn I love it so much. I have a dozen or so balls on hold at my LYS and I may add more to the bag. You might consider collecting some for your stash, too!)

undertheweatherYesterday, when I was at home recovering from the horrible stomach bug/food poisoning that had bitten me on Tuesday night and Wednesday, I cast on the socks. I am surprised that the pattern calls for a US 3 needle which will make the stitches very dense. But, like a good rule follower, I forged ahead.

These socks are knitted toe-up and use a simple cast on and long circular needles (I am using the magic loop method to knit these babies! The pattern for the top of the sock is simple. Since I am knitting the largest size, I added four of the pattern stitches on either side of the cable pattern. The directions weren’t clear on this so I made an executive decision. I’m not sure what I would do if I was knitting the medium size … but this time I am not. The wonderful world of Ravelry.com has allowed me to send a message straight to the inbox of the wonderful designer, however. I am awaiting her reply to make sure I did the right thing … and to find out how to adjust the pattern for the medium-sized pattern since it is my intention to knit those for myself next!

My hands get tired since the fabric is so dense but I made good headway – Here is my progress …

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Gone knitting!

And they’re D. O. N. E.!

Three projects hit the finished projects file today. It feels good.

My daughter in Chicago asked me to make her a cowl in a dark gray, chunky yarn. I found her a lovely gray bulky merino and alpaca blend (Knit Picks Cadena) in the Kestrel colorway. The pattern wants three skeins of yarn and knits up really quickly. Of course, it’s bulky yarn! I think she’s going to love it. And it didn’t break the bank. The pattern, free on Ravelry, is the GAP-tastic Cowl. Knitting it is super simple and no seams. You cast on a bazillion stitches but it’s a short knit! It can be worn singly or wrapped double. A fun cowl – and one that I was honored to knit at her request. (She’d seen a bulky cowl in a store and thought that since it’s my business, knitting, she’d ask me to make her one!)

Gaptastic Cowl in Knit Picks Cadena, Kestrel

Gaptastic Cowl in Knit Picks Cadena, Kestrel

The seed stitch fabric is just lovely … and it feels nice and soft with the addition of the alpaca fiber.

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Next, I finished her headband.

The pattern that I used was a cabled headband, “Green Forest”. I love the seed stitch (matches the GAP-tastic cowl) and the cables. I normally would make a cabled pattern with plain yarn as the alpaca sort of softens or makes the pattern less visible but I wanted to use this yarn! So, I did. And I’m pleased at the success. I think she’s going to love wearing the headband in Chicago this fall and winter! OK, maybe fall. I added a second button hole so that she can tighten up the headband if the alpaca yarn stretches a little bit. And I made her headband 32 repeats of the 4-row pattern. I think I will have to make another one for my sister-in-law in Massachusetts.

Green Forest cabled hea

Green Forest cabled headband

Last, but not least, is the sample dish cloth that I made to teach a new bunch of knitters at work. Or at least my boss! She wants to learn to knit because she wants to knit dishcloths! I think it will be a riot and a half teaching my wonderful boss. And an added bonus will be if any of the other staff choose to join us! It has also given me a great idea for Christmas gifts for my co-workers! But, suffice it to say, it’s a secret for now!

Basic (easy) Dish Cloth

Basic (easy) Dish Cloth

I know I haven’t been blogging much since I started working and I haven’t really been knitting that much either. Life has taken on a different turn for now and I am quite satisfied by the way it’s going. I love my job and the people that I am working with. It’s already November! A couple of weeks and we have a long weekend for Thanksgiving and then before we know it, we’ll have several weeks off for Christmas! Before we know it, I’ll be heading back to Maine for the summer.

I’d rather be knitting … in Maine any day! Can’t wait to be on my summer porch!

Gone knitting!