Hurricane Florence & Working with Yarn Again

IMG_3598We have had the most glorious weather here in Maine in the last few weeks. It’s hard to believe that at the same time we were having beautiful sunrises, a few hundred miles south, a hurricane has soaked several states!

My heart goes out to those who have been affected by Hurricane Florence. I have one friend and customer who was in harm’s way and was evacuated and I have a few family members down south who certainly will see a lot of rain. It has to be frightening and even heartbreaking to have your home flooded. While the stuff can be replaced and life is the most important thing, it’s still a lot of loss to bear. It sure seems that we have been seeing more huge storms over the last decade or so.

I’m so grateful for my dry, safe home and I’m so glad that I have been able to do some knitting again. Short sessions of knitting and crochet helps my elbow/arm to continue to heal without hurting. I’m thrilled to have yarn in my hands!

IMG_3623On my crochet hook, the Virus Shawl. This is a free pattern on Ravelry. It’s really just a crochet chart but there is a series of several very good tutorials that help you get started if you’re a beginner like me. Initially, I was going to use some stashed Noro Kureon Sock  (above) to make this shawl but it was so sticky that I had trouble working with it. It might be something I go back to because I love the colors! I practiced the first few sets on it and ultimately I chose some Malabrigo Sock in the Kandombe colorway to make my (first) Virus Shawl.

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I’ve been slowly making progress on my Sleeping Cedars baby sleeper sacque. This is a gift for a new baby who is arriving in late fall. I am knitting with Universal Yarn’s Adore (machine wash and dry but still mostly merino wool) in a the Cloud Gray colorway (color #105). I really like working with this yarn.

I am fairly certain that the gauge was spot on but this garment looks a little bit on the large size for a newborn. It might be more a 3-6 months size. I guess time will tell.

This is a fun knit. The body of this garment is knit in one piece from the bottom to the underarms and then split for the front and back. The lace detail on the front is just perfect. I love it. I finished the body by seaming the shoulders and then picked up the stitches for the sleeves. I’ve completed one sleeve and started the second and my working yarn is looking like it’ll be a good game of yarn chicken. I think finishing the collar will be nearly impossible. (Emphasis on THINK!) Fortunately I have an extra ball on layaway at my LYS (where I work!)

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Last but not least, I am very slowly working on my Frosting Shawl in Manos’ Alegria yarn. (Click through to the Ravelry pattern page and you’ll see why!) This shawl is super simple with a reversible cable on the edge of rows and rows of garter stitch. What appealed to me about this shawl was first, the yarn and then the tassels!!! When I saw it on (I think) Facebook, I recognized the colorway and I knew that I was going to buy that yarn and knit this shawl! I would have been so upset had it been sold on my day off! I have an extra hank on layaway at work just in case I want to make it larger than the pattern suggests. I love Alegria! It has a wonderfully soft hand and I love the colors. I have several other hanks that will one day be socks … they’re going to be the best socks! The winding job that I did was less than satisfactory and I had to undo a huge knotty mess in the middle of my knitting so I will have a few extra ends to weave in! I’ll be happy to wear this shawl when it’s finally done.

This “not knitting a lot” stuff really is a challenge for me! I really am grateful that I am able to knit at all and I really want to heal completely! I find I am reading a lot more and I have been doing a bit of sewing, too. My Christmas gifts for all of our kids are going to be sewn this year. Not knitted! But I can’t tell you anything more about this for now. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag!

I hope we will all be kind to each other while we clean up and recover from Hurricane Florence. So many people are going to need every kindness we can muster. Our country is experiencing some of the nastiest times I’ve seen in my sixty years. It bothers me that the people we’ve elected to lead us are behaving like children and that they seem unable to work together for the benefit of those who they serve. I hope you’ll consider calling your elected officials and let them know how you feel about their behavior.

Gone (not) knitting!

 

 

UFOs Finished!

Like any “good” knitter, I tend to put off finishing projects that I don’t really want to do “right now”. I have a complete sweater sitting in time out waiting for me to seam it. A full sweater. One that I would like to wear but I really don’t love finishing sweaters. This one will take maybe 2 hours to finish … after many more hours than that of knitting it. Regardless, while the sweater sits in time out, I have begun and finished several projects.

Pussy Cat Hats in Pink and Gray … my pattern

Two Pussy Cat hats or Kit Kat hats. One is bright pink for those days when I feel like taking a stand and the other is grey for those days when I want to stand firm but not bring attention to myself. I like they way these worked out. I used Plymouth Yarns Encore Chunky yarn for both hats. Normally, I’d rather knit with natural fibers but these hats are soft and chunky and they knit up super quickly. I also can wash and dry them in my machine. I sent my original hat that I knit in Malabrigo Rios worsted yarn to my future son-in-law. He wanted a hat and I was happy to send mine and knit another for myself.

The pattern is mine.

Queen Bee Knits Pussy Hat

 

With bulky yarn and US 10 16″ circular needle, cast on 72 stitches. K2, P2 ribbing for 12 rounds. Knit around until hat is 9″ from cast on edge. Use a 3-needle bind off to cast off all stitches. Weave in ends. 

 

Feel free to use the pattern for personal use. If you want to give away hats, that’s fine. Please don’t sell these hats. Thank you.

A cowl for a customer. I have a customer who loves my knitted accessories. I’ve knitted her three or four tams in different weights and now a cabled cowl. The latest is a Bandana Cowl from Purl Soho which is a free pattern on Revelry or the Purl Soho website. She didn’t understand that the picture of the cabled cowl wasn’t really how a cowl worked. She was wanting a “dickey” that will sit down on her chest and around her neck rather than a cowl that solely goes around the neck. I’ve finished this one is Cascade 128 Superwash in a lovely teal colorway. It will match the hat that I just made her. She still wants another pair of hats. One in a yellow Cascade 128 and another in a Noro yarn.

I also finished the first block of my Cascade Knitterati Afghan MKAL. I love doing things that are a little bit different. I am not knitting with the same colors that the KAL is recommending (why would I do that?) but have picked one colorway so far that is a dark Granny Smith apple green. I’ve loved the color from afar for a long time and it’s high time to use it somewhere. Squares two and three have been released. I’ll likely knit square three before two because it’s a single color square and I have a single color yarn.

I have been knitting dish cloths for the daughters. It all started with sending three to my children at Christmas time. Daughter #1 asked for more so that they aren’t using paper towels any longer. They’ve been sent. In the meantime, I’ve knitted a few more for Daughter #2. And then I’ve knitted three tiny ones for the little California nieces. I’ve got to mail them away soon. The pattern is Grandma’s Favorite Dish Cloth and it’s a free Rarely pattern. These are all Lily Sugar and Cream yarns one is a pink camouflage colorway and the other simply made me think “Valentines Day”!

Fornicating Deer Hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I made my handsome and bald hubby a hat for Valentine’s Day this year. I used a navy and a gray worsted wool by Lamb’s Pride. A long time ago, I saw a chart on Pinterest and I saved it. It made me laugh and it is totally my husband’s sense of humor. It’s called the Fornicating Deer chart by Ann Rutten. It’s on Ravelry. Needless to say, I didn’t have a pattern to go with the chart but I looked at my expected gauge and decided to knit three repeats of the chart. I also decided that once the deer were finished that I would do my decreases and not finish the entire chart. He likes caps that fit tightly but cover his ears. When he came home after work the first day he wore it, he said, “hey hon, now I really have sex on the brain!” Yup. I think he loves his hat.

Oh, I need a better camera. The color is way off!

I do love to finish projects! Today I hope to finish a pair of bright orange work socks (the picture doesn’t come close to the bright “hunting orange” color) for my husband. He loves to wear the thick, warm Raggi yarn socks to work. He works outside in Maine in the winter. Enough said?

Gone knitting!

Future Planning

I’ve taken the day off today, a personal day, to plan our move to Maine … well, actually, I’m planning what yarn and patterns that I will be taking with me for the summer. I’m really trying to be a “good girl” and to knit from my stash. I’ve done pretty well … with a couple of hiccups!

One Hiccup!

One Hiccup!

Cotton Blend

Cotton Blend

So far, I’ve found a couple of cardigan/vest patterns to knit from some fingering weight cotton and a cotton blend. I’ve matched a sock weight merino to knit up for a hat for my guy and have pulled out a few sock yarns to knit up for me into socks for my sock drawer project. I have a pair of worsted weight socks to knit for my guy, too.

Baby Sweater Cotton

Baby Sweater Cotton

A long time ago, I bought cotton yarn to knit up for my first niece. I never did … so I can use it now for the second niece (if I can find the pattern!) It was so pretty! I have this stinking feeling that the pattern is in one of the binders that have already been packed and are out in the boxes stacked in the garage.

I’ll definitely be bringing the pretty blue tweed yarn that I bought to knit a dress in the Elsabeth Lavold designer’s choice pattern book. It’s been waiting for me! 😉

Noro

Noro

I have a bulky weight Noro yarn that wants to be a scarf or shawl for wearing next winter. I fell in love with the colorway which is gray … and some other colors, too. You know how Noro has the most wonderful colorways!

And I’m still working away. Of course, I have the patterns that have been put into time out and those that are in process so hopefully I won’t run out before our house is built.

Gone knitting!

Blue Beanie Beret (Knitted Beret)

I needed to do some selfish knitting between the Christmas gifts that I’ve been making this year. Mostly because I needed some mittens for our trip to the North this winter.

Lovely by Suann Wentworth

Lovely by Suann Wentworth

I dug some Noro Taiyo Aran yarn out of my stash. It was calling to me to be knitted up. But as my friend Beverly says, I gave the mouse a cookie and you know what happens when you feed the mouse? I needed a hat.

I remembered seeing one in this book (on my shelf. One of these days I will attempt to knit a tea cozy or two from the book … which is why I bought the book in the first place.)

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The hat in the book is called Blue Beanie Beret. Mine is anything but blue … more pink, purple, teal, purple, green, and did I mention purple? While purple is not necessarily my favorite color, I love the colors that are in Noro yarns and this one is no exception.  I do think I would like to make another hat in a plain or tweed yarn because it’ll be very different.

This was a simple knit on circular needles starting at the top of the hat and knitting to the brim. Because the yarn is bulky (heavy worsted, actually) it knits up very quickly and I had the hat completed in a couple of days. Easy peasy!

Top of the hat … lovely!

Top of the hat … lovely!

Construction starts at the top of the hat with eight stitches … Increasing to make the beret top and then decreasing to where it is knit plain and ending with a stretchy bind off. Loani Prior has designed a great hat that I am eager to wear!

The finishing touch was/is a little rose. It is the designer’s intent for you to knit it in a contrasting yarn. Mine is in the same yarn because I was lazy. (I’m honest.) I have a bit more of the yarn and it’s the teal part of the colorway which I think might be a nice (nicer?) contrast on the rather pink brim of the hat. I’m going to sew mine onto a pin so that I can wear the hat with or without the rose.

A rose is a rose ...

A rose is a rose …

I think my Lovely mittens and my (Anything but) Blue Beanie Beret are wonderful. Can’t wait to wear them at Christmas time when I’m up in New England!

Gone knitting!

 

 

Holiday Knitting

Knitting Project #1

Knitting Project #1

I’ve had this yarn in my stash for years. Yes, years! I bought it at the Fiber Frolic from Oasis Bunny Farm … it’s angora yarn. I wanted to make something for my college roommate. And I thought it was so soft and neutral … I’ve just had a challenge finding something that I really love as I get knitting. This is the third or fourth time that I’ve started a project with this yarn and I hope this one will finally be one that I love.

Noro Nadeshiko

Noro Nadeshiko

 

The second project, one that wasn’t necessarily planned, is my slouchy beanie. The pattern was one that my knitting girls in Maine had been knitting – with chunky yarn so it was a quick knit – and I had no hat and it was 16 degrees! So I picked out a skein of Noro Nadeshiko (color way 29A) and the pattern Relaxed Beret by Denice Sharp and off I went.

 

 

Bermuda ShawlBermuda Shawl

I also finished my second iteration of the Bermuda Shawl with my Noro Silk Garden Sock. I have to hunt for the yarn label and update my Ravelry projects. For some reason, I didn’t write it down. Oops! I love the shawl and have worn it as a scarf for the whole trip! It’s light enough that I can wear it in Florida and adds warmth in Maine. This is a wonderful pattern and one that I highly recommend for someone who wants to learn about short rows! It’s quite a wonderful exercise in short rows (which I love!) I’ll add more pictures soon.

(Queen Bee’s Note: I’ve “frogged” the angora scarf. Yet again! Just wasn’t feeling the love for the pattern that I was knitting. I’ll try again … maybe something in a nice herringbone?)

Gone Knitting!

What’s on the Queen Bee’s Needles

So, I have a few projects that I’m working on. One that I am putting aside for a bit …

Deady Bear

Deady Bear – pudgy little belly!

I have the Deady Bear who just needs some arms and finishing work. I bought the new bag of fiber fill this past weekend and I’m ready to rock and roll and get him finished up and mailed to Maine.

Rita Scarf

Rita Scarf

Rita’s scarf is getting longer and longer. I am loving the feather and fan pattern with the variegate blue yarn. I think it will be a lovely and well-recieved gift … I sure do love the recipient! She gave me my big brother. The least I can do for her is to make her a pretty scarf!

Noro Shawl

Noro Shawl

I’m also working on a triangle shawl which I believe will be worn as a scarf in a cold(er) city that the one in which I live! I am making this in a Noro sock yarn (fingering weight) that I am absolutely loving knitting with. The colorway is a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!! It’s going to be beautiful and I am going to want to keep it!

Fingerless Mitts  - colorwork is my nemesis?

Fingerless Mitts – colorwork is my nemesis?

The fingerless mitts that I have started and frogged once already are staying in my new knitting bag for the week. Well, I think it will be in my bag for a week … unless I change my mind!

I have to check out a Dr. Who scarf … may be another gift for the holidays. We’ll see what kind of time and yarn that takes! 🙂

Gone knitting!

The Most Wonderful Colorways

OK, so I am knitting another couple of squares for our “charity” project, a Lizard Ridge Afghan for Linda in our Friday knitting group. I’m knitting two more because I knit more quickly than Beverly does. Hmm. I’m thinking that she wanted me to knit them because she didn’t enjoy it! Right, Bev? LOL. Well, I have to admit that I do enjoy it and can get one finished in a couple of hours. An enjoyable quick project. And the yarn …

I adore the Noro colorways. I picked one ball for my original square that showed me that it was going to have greens and pinks (very 70’s preppy) and it knitted up into this …

Noro Kureyon  Color #95, Lot U

Noro Kureyon
Color #95, Lot U

It’s gorgeous!

Today I’m knitting my second square and it’s knitting up like this …

Noro Kureyon Color # 250 Lot F

Noro Kureyon
Color # 250 Lot F

And I have this one left to knit.

Noro Kureyon Color # 284 Lot B

Noro Kureyon
Color # 284 Lot B

I wonder how it will knit up! It’s always a bit of a surprise!

It’s a pleasure to knit with this yarn and a wonder to watch as one more color or a different shade slips out of the ball. It may feel scratchy (it is wool) but in my experience it softens up as it’s worked. And the colors. Oh, the colors … they are exquisite. Thank you, Mr. Noro!

Gone knitting.