Thursday Update

Yesterday

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and today is not. It’s overcast and gray and the wind is blowing off the lake which makes it cold. I’ve spent the better part of the day in my studio working on several projects.

First job was to call and email and text my class to announce, officially, that all of our classes have been cancelled until at least the end of the month. That’s twelve days at the least. And I’m thinking it’s going to be months instead of weeks. I sure hope I’m wrong! I have the most wonderful group of students. I know I’ve written about them before, but I mean it sincerely. I am really going to miss our Friday gathering.

I am working on a couple of projects … I was supposed to be finishing UFOs but I have cast on a couple of new “corona virus” projects. One is t a MKAL (mystery knit along) that we’re doing at Yardgoods Center. Clues are posted every morning at 8 to our facebook page.

Clue 1: Worsted weight bits and bobs of yarn. US 10 needles. Cast on 225 stitches

Clue 2: Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Mine is cast on and knitted. That was my second order of business today.

Part 2 in process

Next I finished the second day of Arne and Carlos’s Quarantine KAL. While we don’t really know what we’re knitting, the small squares in Fair Isle is comforting and really makes my mind focus on the yarn and stitches that my hands are making. It’s a wonderful way to get lost in the process and it’s so comforting. I started off being behind and I’m still behind – as part 4 is being released today and I just finished part 2. Oh well. It’s all good, right?

I”m moving ahead with my test knit for Lori Versaci of Versaciknits. I am really loving the Cashmere People yarns that I am working for. Casey at Portfiber picked the perfect colors to make it feel like a comfy pair of jeans which was exactly what I was thinking for the feeling of this piece. This afternoon I will finish the second stockinette section and start on the next part. It’s not a difficult knit but it does mean that I have to be awake enough to count. I hope to make some good progress this afternoon and I will show you pictures when I get permission to do so. I love Lori’s designs. They’re classic, tailored and they’re brilliantly put together. I’m wearing the sweater that I test knit for her today … I’m going all in with comfy these days!

So, there you go. What we’re up to today. Day four, really, but also day six … it depends on when you started counting. I’ve mostly been in the house since Friday evening, 3/20/2020. While it’s still not “normal” it is feeling a bit less bizarre. We are settling in.

Gone knitting!

You can follow my knitting projects on Ravelry, “lindar”; on Facebook, QueenBeeKnits by Linda Warner and Instagram @QueenBeeKnits.

Blue BeeHive Mind

My husband and I have decided to self-isolate here at our home in Maine. The main reason is that I have a chronic cough/allergies/possible asthma and I’m apparently a senior citizen. At least my kids tell me that I am. Regardless, we feel that for my protection that this is the best option for us at this time.

So, today is day three for me and day one for him. We went for a ride to the dump … Wednesday is dump day and we had a mattress, an old mattress, to get rid of because our new one arrived yesterday. We also needed to get some provisions for the next few days or weeks. The fewer the trips out, the less likely the virus is to spread, right? Needless to say, I’m not going to work this week and I doubt that I’ll return unless and until I feel safe. Sadly, because the testing began so late – and we still don’t have a lot of tests here in Maine – we don’t have any idea how many people are infected.

I hope that I will settle into some sense of calm and normal but this has me a little bit freaked out. I’m not in a panic, it’s just frightening to not know what to expect. I know it will all end and we are so lucky to have a home to stay warm in, food to eat and hobbies that we enjoy that keep us entertained. I am concerned about all the kids out of school who suffer from food insecurity. Families who live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford NOT to work. God bless the people in the grocery industry, the heathcare industry and the first responders. They’re in a tough position.

Here in Maine, the schools are helping with childcare for healthcare workers, I’m told and they’re also delivering breakfast and lunch to several places around our school district for the kiddos and their families who may not be able to afford food under these circumstances. I’m delighted to hear this and I always knew Mainers were special!

As I sit here writing, I want you all to know that I am knitting a little as my focus allows. I am trying to stay away from Facebook especially because it’s way too unnerving to read – everything is focused around the Corona Virus pandemic, politics and general nastiness. As an empathic person, this bothers me on a visceral level. Behind the scenes, I’m helping our store to host a shawl KAL – our first! We are posting clues each morning through April 8th at 8am. Clue 1 is on the Yardgoodsyarns Facebook page. Worsted Weight yarn. 32 inch US 10 circular needle. Cast on 225 stitches. Collect a bunch of worsted weight yarns … this is a stash buster!!! Clue 2 will be posted tomorrow, 3/19/2020 at 8am. I’ve heard people saying they don’t want to knit a shawl … don’t fret! The KAL goes until 4/8 but we can always make it a little bit longer so that It’s a lab blanket! Once you see where it goes, you can decide. Or if you’re not going to wear a shawl, consider donating it to a local nursing home, hospital or homeless shelter!

Good can come out of this difficult time if we look to make it a positive experience. In Italy their singing. In rural Maine, we’re knitting. More to come!

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!

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!

Queen Bee WIPs

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Downton Abbey KAL with Jimmy Beans Wool – Lady Violet’s Dinner Gauntlets

This KAL is my first and I am really enjoying it. We’re knitting “Lady Violet’s Dinner Gauntlets” with Lorna’s Laces Sportmate yarn. I love the yarn, although, because we were away for Christmas, I decided to postpone buying the Christmas at Downton colorway and I don’t like my substitute (Spats) as well. I fixed that last week, though, by ordering a new skein of the Downton color way and it should be arriving soon. When the first gauntlets are done, I will happily knit up a second pair! The gauntlets (as you may or may not be able to see) have a violet pattern made up of little yarn overs and they have a pair of eyelets up the inside of the arm. I’m guessing that they’ll be laced at the end. We shall see. Today’s clue will finish the hand and thumb and next week’s clue will tell us why we cast on with a provisional cast on. I must be a real knitting geek/nerd!

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Churchmouse Yarns & Teas – Turkish Bed Socks

These adorable bed socks are the third pair I’ve knitted. The first pair were too big (and I’ve tried to felt them (sort of) to make them fit better. They still fall off my heels but I wear them anyway. They’re wonderful with my clogs!

Pair #2 was frogged. Totally too small because I didn’t swatch with a different sock yarn which turned out to be significantly “thinner” than the Koigu KPPPM that the pattern was written for. That won’t discourage me from trying again because my bee stripe yarn really wants to be a pair of bed socks!

This, obviously is pair #3. The yarn is a hand-dyed colorway that I bought in Maine last summer called “Maine Lobstah” (if my memory serves.) I love it. I did have to go up a needle size to get gauge!

IMG_0926This pattern is a different way to construct socks and it’s fun to do something different for a change. I’ve just completed the heel and joined the flat first part to knit the foot in the round. I should be able to complete this pair with a few hours of knitting time.

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Cantaloupe Baby Feet Wash Cloth

Two Baby Feet wash cloths are finished and off the needles but for weaving in the ends and blocking. I now need to knit a couple of pairs of booties for said baby feet. A sweet friend of mine (a much younger friend) is having twins in February. I thought it appropriate to send her a little something hand knit from me. I really loved knowing her and they’re going to have such an exciting time with two little bundles of joy!

Salmon Baby Feet Wash Cloth

Salmon Baby Feet Wash Cloth

Vintage Velvet scarf

Vintage Velvet scarf from Scarf Style by Pam Allen

And last but certainly not least, my Vintage Velvet scarf. This pattern is from the book Scarf Style by Pam Allen. I’ve had this book for years. Maybe even for a decade. All because I saw this scarf, made by a college friend, way back when and I loved it. When I saw the price of the yarn, however, (Meunch Touch Me), I decided it was too much at that time to “fork over” for a scarf. No matter how much I wanted the scarf. So, I’ve been waiting and watching for an opportunity to buy the yarn on sale. And lo and behold, I got my chance at a yarn shop that was closing (sadly) where the yarn was 50% off! So, for half price, I got my yarn and I’m knitting the scarf.

I wish there were “feel-a-vision” … like smell-a-vision only for those of us who like to feel stuff instead of smell or watch! It is the softest yarn I’ve ever knitted with. And it will be interesting to see how it changes when it’s felted. Yes, you heard me right, I’m going to have to felt it – chenille. Felted. Doesn’t seem right, does it?

So, there you have it. The Queen Bee’s WIPs! Now that I’ve told you all about them, I’m signing off and …

Gone knitting!