Happy New Year! New Year, New Yarn!

Winter Wonderland!

This was my view on the way to work the other day. The camp road is slippery and ice-covered but so beautiful! This is why we love living here in Maine. Every season has its beauty if you are open to seeing it!

We had a wonderful Christmas with my sweet husband’s daughters and one boyfriend. The Christmas tree was beautiful and the weather was perfect – except we didn’t have any snow! But the ice on the lake was perfect for ice skating and other wintery exploits!

I’m knitting away … well, not completely “normal” but I’m making progress working through the WIPs in my atelier. And I may have cast on a new project, too.

Yip Yips by Carissa Browning (crochet version)

This Yip Yip was a gift for my husband who has trouble keeping track of his wallet. Sometimes it’s in the kitchen or the bedroom or bathroom or his office or truck (among other locales) and I thought this Yip Yip would be a silly and fun container for the wallet. This is free pattern on Ravelry in either knit or crochet. Mine is the crochet version. It was quick to make and I think it’s hilarious! The ping pong ball eyes are the best! I will make more of these! They make me smile.

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This is the best mitten pattern! I love mittens in Maine in the winter and this is a good mitten pattern for the whole family! I had a skein of Knitting Fever’s Painted Sky and a bit of mohair that I knitted together at the same time and they’re really soft and they’ll be really warm. I’m planning to do a little bit of embroidery on them to give them a little bit of color. They’ll likely be inside my leather choppers. The pattern is out of print but it’s out there if you look.

And I have another pair of mittens that I have finished … this yarn and the pattern came from Knitty.com back in 2005! The pattern is actually from Knitty in the fall of 2002. I printed the pattern with the plan to make them for my daughter who was in high school. She chose the yarn which I bought from Knit Picks online.

2005 project finished

These are convertible mittens … they can be mittens and they can be fingerless mitts … well, they have partial fingers so they’re not really fingerless, are they?

Broad Street Mitts by Janis Corteses

Back in 2005, I wasn’t as confident a knitter as I am today. I was wondering why I didn’t finish these way back when and I think it was the “reverse all shaping” for the second mitt. I didn’t understand what that meant and the internet wasn’t nearly as good at showing you anything you want to know or learn. Now, however, I am able to reverse the shaping and knit the second mitt. I put the mittens in the mail to New York City as a surprise and my daughter was delighted. These are the Broad Street Mitts and they’re available on Knitty and Ravelry. They’re made from a fingering weight yarn and I used Knit Picks sock landscape. I don’t know if they still make it but it felt really nice to knit with!

Son-in-Love Socks – Classic Socks for the Family by Melinda Goodfellow

I just finished a pair of Birthday socks for my son-in-love whose birthday is later this month. My daughter said that he wouldn’t wear them but I said he needed to try them anyway … I think he’ll love them if he tries them. My son had the same reaction initially and he loves his hand knit socks (and is asking for more … they’re on the needles!) I love the Lang yarn and I used my favorite sock pattern by Yankee Knitter! I used a 3×1 rib on the cuff and instep. Socks are still one of my favorite things to knit.

Lallybroch Shawl by KnitzyBlonde (inspired by Outlander)

I may have slipped and cast on a new project the other day. I had bought three hanks of Malabrigo Arroyo (sport) in a pretty color way. I had thought it would knit up into a very pretty Lallybroch Shawl. And then I had a customer who has knit more than one and used the Rios by Malabrigo and I worried for awhile that the Arroyo wouldn’t be heavy enough. So I set aside three hanks of Rios in the Paris Night colorway. So, the other day when it was quiet at work, I wound one hank of the Arroyo to see how it worked up … and I am so happy to report that it is perfect. I really don’t love worsted weight shawls. They’re too warm for me – I tend to run hot – and the sport will be much better. I love this yarn and this colorway. I can’t wait to wear it.

As an aside, if you’ve not been watching Outlander on the Stars Network, watch it! I love it. And the books are incredible – it’s a time travel, historical fiction, love story with some really spectacular knitwear!

I still have many (MANY) WIPs still waiting for my attention but I am working my way down the list. I have “promised” myself that I won’t buy any more new yarn until I get a couple of the sweaters that I have all of the yarn for, by the way, done! I think my Malabrigo Rios sweater will be first. I’m going to be knitting it on a smaller needle as if it was a DK weight yarn so it won’t pill as much. I’ll let you know when I get rolling!

Gone knitting! I leave you with the sunrise picture I took this week. It’s been beautiful!

Sunrise and Ice Fishing Shack on Messalonskee

Button, Button. Who’s Got the Button

Basic Baby Raglan Cardigan Sweater

Basic Baby Raglan Cardigan Sweater

The adorable baby sweater is finished except for the buttons.

The pattern used a yarn over (YO) to make a small button hole and it’s a bit odd … thus, it’s going to be a challenge to find an adorable girly-not-too-girly button (times seven). I’ve tried several that I thought would work and they don’t.

Again. The pattern calls for a 3/4 inch button … they seem a little bit to big. And anything other than a smooth circular or near-circular button gets caught in the button hole. Grrrrr!

I am sure that I’ll win at this battle. I can always make my own buttons but I’d like to find something sweet for my niece-to-be.

I chose to use a Knit Picks yarn, Comfy Sport, which was wonderful to work with. I love the way it feels and the colors are great. Price point is very reasonable at and it’s washable. I think that knitted gifts for babies have got to be washable. You can check out the colors that I used on my Ravelry projects page.

This pattern was free on Ravelry and it’s a very simple knit. A beginner could certainly make it … especially if one made it in a single color. Stripes are not difficult but carry the yarn as you go because there would be a ton of ends to weave in if you don’t. With my three colors there were enough ends and I carried the yarn as much as I possibly could. I made the 3 – 6 month size. It required one ball of each color and there isn’t much yarn left. Once it’s blocked and buttons are sewn on, I’ll post another picture. I just need those buttons.

Anybody got any ideas?

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!

Great Class & Frustrating WIPs

I feel badly that I am not knitting and blogging more but my days are quite full with my “new” job and life after work. So, the blogging and knitting have taken a back seat for now.

I had a great sock class at The Black Sheep this morning. Five students took on the “Lesser Evil” socks pattern, learning the Magic Loop technique and a Turkish cast on at the toe. Two of the five left class with two toes all ready for knitting the foot. The other three were also well on their way to success with this pattern. I do love teaching knitting and I love sharing new ideas and ways of thinking about knitting with people. It’s supposed to be fun, too!

Noro Shawl

Noro Shawl

My knitting projects (WIP=work in progress), however, are far from satisfying. I have decided to frog the Noro shawl and use that beautiful Noro yarn to knit up a Bermuda shawl. I am not thrilled with the pattern from the Noro magazine after all and would rather have a light colored, colorful shawl/scarf that I love. So, I’ll be frogging later today.

I have all the pieces knitted for the French Press Knits Felted Slippers. And when I use all my seaming experience it still looks awful.  I know, intuitively, that the felting will make all sorts of flaws disappear. But, for goodness sake, it shouldn’t be such a battle. For today, I’ve set the pieces and the pattern aside and I’m going to tackle it again another day.

I am waiting for yarn to come from Knit Picks (duh! I somehow sent the yarn to the house in Maine instead of the house in Florida where we actually live most of the time … and where we are now!) Fortunately, I caught it and Knit Picks has re-routed the yarn to Florida (think it was Freudian?) I am looking forward to making the Gaptastic Cowl for my daughter in Chicago.

I have signed up for the 30-day Sweater Challenge. Not sure how I really feel about the project considering my time constraints BUT I may have a look and see what I can come up with.

And lastly, I have the fingerless gloves, Composed Mitts, that I found on Facebook and happened to have the pattern in a 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. The yarn is beautiful and if I could decide that I like the bobbles on the cuff edge of the mitts, we’d be in good shape. I have already tried starting the pattern twice: once knitting the pattern as written and once knitting the pattern using Annie Modesitt’s bobbles. I didn’t really like either one. Perhaps a picot cuff edge?

I have N’s slippers to be felted, too … since mine are being set aside, perhaps I should go ahead and felt his rather than waiting for mine. Or maybe not. 🙂

Gone knitting.