Jimmy Beans Wool 2016 Downton Abbey Mystery KAL

I’ve participated in a couple of the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-longs. It was fun and the projects were lovely. I missed a couple, too. Each time, however, I had fun and came away with a very wearable garment.

This is the last season of Downton Abbey and I decided to participate at the last minute for one last time. (See my sad face?) Here’s my report about the final, last, final 2016 DAMKAL.

I am on another “yarn diet” and although I wanted to buy the Lorna’s Laces yarn for this knit-a-long, I used my Christmas yarn for it instead. It’s Knitting Fever’s Painted Desert. It’s a wool, fingering yarn and while I forgot to write down the colorway, it’s a deep burgundy with blues and almost-purple shades. I really like the colorway that I was gifted!

Christmas Yarn - Painted Desert

Christmas Yarn – Painted Desert by Knitting Fever (2 Skeins)

Clue 1.

I was totally clueless as to what this “garment” was going to be. Totally clueless. We used a circular cast on and knitted the rounds for this clue on DPNs. Ending with a “square”. Hmm.

Clue #1

Clue #1

Clue 2.

Continued knitting in the round for this clue; very similar to clue #1 … I’m still mystified. But it’s pretty!

Clues 3 & 4, 5 & 6.

And this is where I was totally wondering what this was going to be as many many stitches were put onto waste yarn and we continued knitting down one “side” of the original “box”. I actually discussed this with one of my classes and showed them the piece after knitting clue 3 … maybe a hat and scarf combination? maybe something for the home? Nobody really had a reasonable idea. So, I continued knitting.

When we got to clue 5 and started knitting down another “side” of the original “box” I believe I read that it was a “wing” and the light bulb went off. It’s a shawl! I had a bit of difficulty figuring out which “side” to start my stitches on for the second wing and did use the discussion thread on Ravelry. The discussion thread was very helpful and fun to read, too.

Clue 5 and 6 ... still mystified!

Clue 5 and 6 … still mystified!

Clue 7 & 8.

The last two clues were just fun to knit now that the mystery was discovered. How was this lovely shawl going to be finished? Short and sweet despite being a lot (a LOT) of stitches on the needle.

I love the finished shawl and it’s on my guest room bed being blocked as I type this. I chose to pin every little picot stitch on the edge (the instructions gave an option to pin all picots or every other.) I am eager for it to be dry and be able to wear it. I’ll probably wear it to work next week. (I noticed that Kristen’s shawl looks quite a bit larger than mine … perhaps I will block it a bit more aggressively before it’s dry or I may not.)

Blocking!

Blocking! Can you see the “square” from the first two clues?

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All of the little picots are pinned along the wing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great online MKAL! Thanks to Kristen and Jimmy Beans Wool!

Gone knitting!

WIP(s) Queen Bee Style

I have a few projects on the needles. It’s just the way I roll … some days I don’t feel like thinking about knitting and so I need some “mindless” knitting. And some days I want to challenge myself and for those days I need something on the needles to stretch my brain. Some projects have to be portable. Some need a bag of their own (and I have a good collection!)

I am working on a Dr. Who scarf that I hope to have finished in February … it’s quite boring as knitting goes. Garter stitch all the way. I’m weaving in the ends as I go so I don’t have to do that later. I started out thinking I was smarter than the average bear and decided to add one row to each color/stripe so there would be no “wrong” side. I didn’t like it so I have stopped that. Hope it’ll be loved even though I didn’t frog the whole thing from the point where I changed my mind. The colors are not exact but I decided to use Paton’s Classic Wool which I could get in my knitting bag in a day … lots of yarn and it requires a bag of it’s own! 😉

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

I have a Valentine’s day project that I’ve started. Some left-over red cotton and my beautiful new red Signature needles and that’s all it took to get me going. Needles were a wonderful Christmas gift from my number one son! Dish cloths are perfectly portable! I love to pitch a project in my plastic zip-locks for my purse! (alliteration!)

Valentine's WIP#2

Valentine’s WIP#2

Plugging along on my Downton Abbey Mystery KAL with Jimmy Beans Wool. I love the yarn that I chose (Malabrigo Silky Merino #856 Azules) as an alternate to the Lorna’s Laces which would have been here way too late to begin the KAL. I also love the color way. We know that final project will be a shawl and that’s all … that’s why it’s called a “Mystery” KAL (knit-a-long). I still have one week of work to do to catch up before tomorrow’s episode. Check out the JBW blog … it will be a written pattern at the end of it all. This is a pay attention pattern. Except for the garter stitch sections, I have to concentrate – not to be knitted while chatting!

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

I’ve got the big (boring, stockinette stitch) panels done for my “Just So Bag” tote. I just have the lace “ends” left to finish. I must confess, that I have frogged these ends more than once because I didn’t keep track of where I stopped. Not a wise choice when you’re knitting a lace pattern. Even when the lace is being knitted in a heavier weight yarn (Lambs Pride Worsted in charcoal grey). I have a wonderful collection of Interweave Knits magazines that I can’t bear to part with … so it was a free pattern for me. This pattern needs to be knitted in my atelier. No talking. No TV. Lots of counting. Since my super quiet time is somewhat limited, I haven’t even cast on this project (again) yet.

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

My sister-in-law and brother sent me a wonderful Zauberball (Color1564, 100g) sock yarn ball for Christmas and I love knitting socks. I am on a mission (sort of) to knit a whole drawer full of socks and this pair will add to it, I’m sure. They’re super portable which is what I love about knitting socks. I had thought to do a cuff-down pair but I think I’ll do two-at-a-time from the toe up just for kicks! That means I have to split the ball (or I’ll have a mess!) I’ll let you know what I decide.

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Last, but not least, I have some odds and ends of worsted weight yarns that I have been knitting into tiny trees (with wine cork “trunks”). Patterns are Pint Sized Pines by Julie Tarsha. This is a free download on Ravelry … mine aren’t as colorful (yet) but I do love them! Just so happens that I have saved a few corks … this is a great quick knitting project and they’re so cute. Plan is to add some beads, etc. to some of the trees making them look like Christmas Trees.

Tiny Trees WIP #6

Tiny Trees WIP #6

There you have it! All of my WIPs and my reason (excuse?) for having so many on the needles at one time. I have enough yarn for three sweaters in my stash that I want to start next … and I’m trying to hold off from casting on until I have finished at least the February deadline projects. Must get going!

Gone knitting!

10th Annual Florida Fiber In

Today was spa day for my two little dogs and I decided, despite a not-so-good sleeping last night that I’d zip on down to the I-drive (aka tourist) area to see what the Florida Fiber In was all about. I’ve been here for seven of their ten years and haven’t made the event yet.

I made it just in time to catch the important particulars on Cool-Aid dying fibers.

Dying Yarn with Cool Aid

Dying Yarn with Cool Aid

I wish that I had thought, at the end of my time there, to take a picture of the finished yarn. It was amazingly colorful (and so were the hands of the dyer!) and I can’t wait to give this a try! She was working with a Brown Sheep natural wool yarn but you can use any natural fiber yarn.

The rest of my time was spent shopping and gabbing since I forgot to bring my knitting bag. Mostly because I left before having my coffee and my head wasn’t all together yet! Regardless, I loved seeing our Florida fiber truck!

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Four Purls Yarn Truck

Four Purls has been in business for several years and Laura decided to add the yarn truck to make it possible to take her business out to local events, fairs, etc. What she didn’t realize was that she couldn’t be everywhere at the same time. The truck is sleek and a really great way to spread the love of fiber! Four Purls was one of the vendors this year inside the event space and the truck was outside. I did, I must confess, buy a little yarn and a new project bag … seems I can help myself!

The vendors were great. There were multiple people demonstrating carding, spinning, and weaving on a giant triangular loom.

Seven Foot Triangular Loom

Seven Foot Triangular Loom

The Orlando spinners were in full force as they are at all fiber events in our area.

Spinners!

Spinners!

I still am waffling about whether I want to learn to spin … or not. And until then my mother’s reproduction spinning wheel (which is still broken from my move to Florida seven years ago) sits idle. And I buy yarn rather than roving! The same woman who did the class on dying gave me the name of a woman who might be able to fix my wheel for me … and that would be super cool. Even if I don’t choose to spin right now.

And, as I said before, despite saying that I wasn’t going to buy any yarn, I did manage to buy some fun things including a lovely Atenti project bag. I just loved the colors so much and the size is perfect for small projects to carry around with me!

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My bag – outside!

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My bag inside … dontcha just love the leopard fabric?

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My haul!

I got away with the Unofficial Downton Abbey book, two patterns, four hanks of Cascade’s Souk (color 5 colorway) and the Groovy shawl pattern by Annie Lee to knit with it. Swallow Hill Creations’ April (a skinny scarf with beads) and the necessary supplies to knit it up. And a Christmas present or two will be coming from my purchases so it’s not all selfish buying!

I had a great time at the Florida Fiber In! What a great start to my day!

Gone knitting!

 

Putting it “Out There”

Last year, for the first time, I joined my knitting guild group and entered a couple of items in our Central Florida Fair. I was (super) nervous about putting my work “out there”! But the rewards were great – not only did my work receive recognition, but I felt so good doing it.

This year, I’ve decided to enter a few items again. I can always change my mind but I think it’s healthy to submit my work asking for criticism and showing people the work that I am so proud to do. So, what did I submit?

The rules state that all items have to be completed during the calendar year between fairs. I have chosen the “mini-me” leg warmers that I knitted copying the adult-size ones that I made for my daughter for Christmas. My first efforts at Fair Isle knitting (and I, honestly, forgot to watch the joins which are not joggless so we’ll see how that goes.) I may even re-knit them. Time permitting.

"mini me" infant leg warmers - original Fair Isle pattern

“mini me” infant leg warmers – original Fair Isle pattern

I also entered a little light green seed stitch dog coat that I designed for my little dogs. Last year I submitted my first original dog design for my Prima Dogma line. This is number two. I like the color and the edge which is a simple single crochet in a black & white wool which contrasts really nicely with the light green. It was a quick knit … I really need to write down the pattern and post it! I need to find a way to display it … stuffed dog or something!

The last three items are still on my needles.

My Vintage Velvet scarf with its wonderful reversible cables is one. Second is the little hat that I started knitting yesterday and will finish today, Downton. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry. Check it out! Third is the fingerless mitts that I will finish (I hope) in time to submit that I am knitting along with the Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey KAL “Lady Violet’s Dinner Gauntlets”. Despite the fact that I am not totally in love with the colorway, I like the project. (And it’s my first ever KAL!) Both the scarf and gauntlets can be seen in my previous post, Queen Bee WIP here.

I will report on the final decisions of what I will submit (the deadline is still distant enough to add a project or two if I decide to do so) or that I may decide to withdraw. It’s a woman’s perrogative to change her mind, after all!

Gone knitting!