I've finished the front and back of the Nashua Handknits Cabled Pullover from their North American Lifestyle Series book called "Relax" (Autumn 2005/Winter 2006). Now I have to block the daylights out of the front, and hope it softens up from its highly erect state (think Viagra). This is the back. I opted not to do the middle, complicated cable for the back. This is interesting enough for me. You can see the front here. After I block the front and back and put them together, I'll probably do the sleeves from the top down, especially if I have to add panels to the sides for fit. Stay tuned....
This is most of the body of the Gwenivere's Choice Tunic from Iris Shreier's Lacy Little Knits. It's the design on the cover, though I chose a different color combination. I'm using the Cashmere 1 single -ply with the Ultramerino 8. I just need to finish the top of the back, then add the arms. The color combination is gorgeous in person, though I'm not sure this photo does it justice.
Sorry, folks! I was unaware of how bad the audio I had edited for Episode 6 sounded when played. I just discovered that all my hard work trying to edit the program on Audacity was all for naught. It sounded like I was recording from space, with all the Jetsons aboard warbling in the background. Though this one still has background noise in the beginning, i.e., while I'm driving, once I stop, the audio is fine. To me, this sounds better than the edited version, so I'm just posting it as is. I've reposted here and on iTunes. Sorry for the crappy sound. If you have any sound editing advice, I'd be glad to have it!!!
PassioKnit-A-Long for the month of October: focus on your passion for a whole month!!!
Please let me know if you are interested in participating in the PassioKnits-Along. October is the month of my 10 year wedding anniversary, so I thought, why not focus on our passion, whatever it may be. We will be working on whatever we are passionate about, whether it's spinning, knitting, crocheting, a certain fiber, certain colors, Fair Isle, Lace, Cables, SOCKS, you name it. In fact, name your passion, then come and work on it with us. Leave me a comment or a Ravelry message (user i.d.: PassioKnits) or an e-mail (email@example.com) if you are interested in spending the month of October focused on your passion.
Also, I'll be giving a prize to anyone who can help me come up with a winning idea for a gift for my husband for our 10th anniversary, and NO it CANNOT be that I don't knit for a month, though that would be HIS passion! The prize will, of course, be knitting oriented, or have something to do with YOUR passion.
Here is the Corrugated Rib Swing Coat I'm working on. This is the whole body, now I just have to finish the sleeves (stockinette = boring = it'll be awhile).
This is the first panel of the bottom front of the Gwenivere's Choice Tunic from Lacy Little Knits by Iris Shreier.
Off the Needles:
Here is the wonderful pair of socks I finished so very, very quickly from Cat Bordhi's "New Directions for Sock Knitters." I can't recommend it enough, especially for those who, like me, think they hate knitting socks. And now for the details:
In this week's show, I report on everything at Stitches Midwest with yarn p0rn galore, and an interview with author, Mary Beth Temple, about her new, hilarious book called, "The Secret Language of Knitters." I also give a review of Cat Bordhi's new book, "New Pathways for Sock Knitters".
Socks that Rock (the purple one in the middle, and the turquoise, white and terra cotta one on the end are Socks That Rock yarn. Others, from left to right, are: Nova Socks by Fleece Artist, Jitterbug by Collinette, Shepherd Sock by Lorna's Laces, and Sock & Baby by Tess Yarns).
The Fold (the booth that carried Socks that Rock at Stitches. Also where I bought this Feza Premiere for half price)
Interlacements (where I found the perfect purple and gold and white ribbon yarn for the Gita Marie shawl I wanted to make)
Textiles A Mano (Laura, the owner, helped us move our stuff into the booth, and she has the incredible dyed gift bags and yarns, where I got the huge hank of laceweight merino for $20 that's just waiting to be dyed)
Wool Gatherers (where I got the silk/merino blend yarn for Sally Melville's Jacket Collared Shawl from the Purl Stitch) Brooks Farm Yarns (Oh, the scrumptious bulky alpaca/wool blend that is being discontinued because they've lost their source, and the lovely mohair, unlike any other I've ever seen).
Foxy Knits (where I got the cute mobius pattern using sock yarn and a luscious fuzzy mohair)
Gita Marie (home of the beautiful shawl pins and one-off shawl kits, as in the purple and goldish orange I couldn't have so had to make up)
Glory-ous Knits: (where I got the direct import cashmere in pink for the beautiful cardigan pattern that came with the kit. Also go the Wrapped in Comfort book here. Loved the 20% off sale)
Tess Yarns (sock and baby yarn, among many, many others)
Jimmy Beans Wool (great site with lots of sales on yarn. Bought Collinette Jitterbug here)
Purrfectly Catchy Designs (where they make the sock blockers, and I bought Cat Bordhi's book and the lettered stitch markers here)
Stonehedge Fiber Mill (they've always milled fiber, but now they've got their own luscious yarn, which I will be featuring on http://www.yarnswatch.blogspot.com/ soon) Tree of Life Designs (this is the two women who had the most incredible fair isle patterns I may have ever seen, and where I got the crochet kit for the alpaca shawl. Donna Kay is my friend's long-lost sister, unbeknownst to both of them!)
Hamptons Halter by Wenlan Chia from the book "Twinkle's Big City Knits." Made with 4 strands of Twinkle Yarns' Cruise, a silk and cotton blend. This yarn also reviewed on http://www.yarnswatch.blogspot.com/
Fun Pics: There's nothing like the joy of a first timer! After her first class at Stitches, my sister-in-law, Diann, came right back to the room and got going on putting together her first sweater, albeit for a Teddy Bear, and embellished it to the hilt! She has since felted up the oven mitts she made in another class, too.
Not even a lack of proper glassware could stop the wine/knitting fest that took place in our room. Here my sisters-in-law, Lisa & Diann, show their ingenuity in the use of coffee cups for their favorite grape beverage.
Nor could a bit of yarn in the glass be expected to interfere with the knitting...er, I mean drinking that had to take place. After all, a girl's got to refresh herself, doesn't she?
Let's just say the Force was with me while I shopped the market!
You'll have to forgive the poor quality of this audio. In the first few minutes, I'm recording from my car, so the sound is not great. I worked for hours on Audacity trying to edit it out, but this is as good as it got. Midway through, the sound is much better when I'm actually at the Festival. Thanks for your patience in enduring this!
Here's the infamous Crochet Me sock I've been working on, in this beautiful Dream in Color yarn called Gaia (a.k.a. Smooshy Sock). The pattern is "The Ultimate Crocheted Socks" by Dorothy Hardy. You know, when someone says it's the ultimate, why would you even mess with it? But that's just me. I have to change every pattern I do. But I learned my lesson with this one. After trying a couple of different knitted leg patterns for it, I've frogged and frogged, and come back to the original. True to form, however, mine will be longer in the leg, as I'm not much into anklets.
This is the beginning of the cute top I'm doing from the Spring/Summer 2007 edition of Vogue Knitting. Mine is in Rowan Calmer instead of the suggested Karabella Zodiac. I can't find a link for the pattern picture online, so you'll just have to wait till mine is done.
And last, but not least, the poll: How many people have you taught to knit? That number quickly becomes exponential when you think of all the people they've taught, and so on, and so on, and so on. So leave me a comment and let me know how many people YOU think you've taught to knit. You can leave a voice comment by clicking the link below:
I did it. I took the plunge and did my first podcast!!! As you'll hear me say if you take a listen, I was as nervous as a whore in church! I couldn't believe how self-conscious I was. But I made it through! Click the link to listen to Episode 1.
Shops I mentioned:
Shuttle Shop 107 E Market St. Warsaw, IN 46580 (574) 269-9090 Sorry, no website to link to
Here is photographic evidence for why I haven't posted in so long. It is so beautiful and peaceful and mind-numbing up here on the lake, that I haven't bothered to get on the computer much. That and the fact that I can't get my son off of e-bay long enough to actually write a post. But that doesn't mean I haven't been knitting. Not by a long shot. I've finished a couple of projects, and am well on my way with another.
I picked up a kit at TNNA from the Hemp For Knitting Company. It is this cute little capelet made with Cashmere Canapa, which is a mix of cotton, hemp, and cashmere. A random combination, I thought, but it was fun. It only took about a ball and a half, if that much. You can read my review of the yarn on my Yarnswatch blog.
The next thing I finished was a little shrug I started at TNNA, and then promptly forgot about. I was bored with everything I brought to work on, so my friend, Nancy, said I could use her Tilli Tomas Mogul yarn if I wanted to knit something up for her shop, Knit Stop. Our friend, Karen, who works at the store, had taken Stephanie Japel's little shrug class, there, so I took a look at her pattern and came up with something a little different. I need a bit more coverage of the frontal real estate than Stephanie's design supplied (mind you, that is not me modeling in this photo. It is my nephew's skinny little 19 y.o. girlfriend), so I changed the fronts up, connected it under the arms, gave it longer sleeves, and added a different edging to make it my own, all the while forgetting (conveniently?) that it was for the store and not for me! Oh well, it was fun to come up with a new pattern, and maybe I'll get to wear it once before I turn it over to the boss lady.
I just came back from my first TNNA and I am absolutely exhausted. I've never been so tired. I saw some really incredible things that I can't wait to share with you, but it will come in fits and starts, as there's just too much to get down all at once. So check back often!
I'll start with the Sheep Shop Yarn Company. Their yarn has an amazing array of saturated colors. You will notice there is no white. Why? Because anybody can do white. Well, actually God does it on the sheep. But not everybody can do color like these people do. And most of their yarn is of the "get 'er done" variety, worsted weight and bulky, with dk weight for those not in a hurry. They have wool and also a silk and wool blend. There were lovely swatches of all their wonderful colors that were a delight to the hand and the eye. I wish I had some to post on my Yarnswatch blog. They do both multi-colored yarns and solids, but really the solids have variations in hues, which make them very interesting as well. They have a few patterns on their site for each of the yarns, but there are none yet listed for the silk and wool blend. Perhaps I should whip something up! Of course, I'd have to have the yarn to do that, and since TNNA is not cash and carry, I don't. But a girl can dream.
Here's his ancient Chinese secret: taking me yarn shopping all over Chicago. He is SO sweet. When we planned to go to Chicago, the first thing he did was get on the internet and search out the yarn shops for me. We stopped at 2 of them on the way up, and he actually picked things out for me. There's a new one, only a few months old, called Knitwerks. The owner, Cherrl, is very nice, as is the shop. Though the selection was small, I was able to find some things I wanted. Like this Interlacements yarn, with about 100 million yards for $30-some dollars.
Next on the list was Loopy Yarns. This was a nice sized shop with lots of different things to choose from. There I found some clear clogs to wear with hand-knit socks, like the boots I've seen before. I was about to leave with only that, when I overheard the lady tell another customer that anything with wool in it was 25% off. Well, if I had known that, I would have done some more serious shopping. As it was, I went back and picked up some Hand Maiden Great Big Sea Silk, some Schaeffer Anne, and some Fleece Artist Nova Socks yarn. Did I mention I hate knitting socks? But, boy is this some beautiful yarn! And at 25% off, it's even more beautiful.
The next morning, we headed first to the Knitting Workshop, located in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. They had LOTS of yarn, and it was everywhere. Their prices were clearly displayed with most of the yarn, though not on the skein itself. I bought several patterns from Jade Sapphire, a ball of some OnLine stuff to put with Katia Sevilla ribbon for a pretty scarf they had displayed, which uses the purse stitch (yo, p2tog on all rows), and finally a lovely laceweight soy silk yarn I'd never seen before. The two gals in there were quite nice.
After that, we next went to Knitters Niche, which is a bit further north. We were not greeted when we entered, though there was a woman sitting at the table where my husband sat, who was knitting away on something. I assumed someone would pop their head out from the back and say hello, but that did not happen. After a few minutes of looking around, the woman at the table said, "Can I help you find something?" I was a bit startled. I said, "Oh, I thought you were a customer." She said, "No, I was just in the middle of something." When I saw the lace pattern she was working on, I understood. But still, it was not a nice feeling. She wasn't the owner, just a worker. I looked all around and couldn't find anything I couldn't live without, but when I told my husband I was ready to go, she finally spoke up. Mind you, we were in there for about 15 minutes with only the one peep from her. Sitting right thee on the table in front of my husband was some beautiful mauve colored Misti Alpaca laceweight yarn, which was like 400 and some yards for only $7. Suddenly, I felt that was too good to pass up. So, I bought 3 skeins, and she became chatty Cathy. I was over her and the shop though, so it's not a place I will likely return to.
From there, we grabbed a cab and went to Knit 1. Though their webpage said they'd be open, they did not look open, so I jumped out and went to look. It appeared that their front window had been broken out and was boarded up, and the lights were off inside. It is still operational, apparently, as it still looked like a knitting shop on the inside, just a closed one!
We hopped back in the cab and went over to the one place I just had to see, Nina. I had seen the shop on the web, and it looked like a sushi bar. Very stream-lined, very minimal, clean lines, ultra sleek. The owner, aptly named Nina, jumped up from the couch to greet us when we came in, and offered to be of help. I've never seen a more lovely display of yarns than this place had. It was not overwhelming. It was all take-in-able. Do take a look at their website and you'll see what I mean. There, I bought a new Della Q large striped tote knitting bag, which I love. It is really pretty, in the yellow/gold colorway. I also bought a nice skein of Misti Alpaca Hand-Dyed in the pinks and browns colorway. It is gorgeous, and I'm knitting Lucy Neatby's Lettuce scarf with it, the pattern having been bought at Knitwerks on Day 1 of the Chicago Knit Shop Attack.
I surprised my sister with this sweater last Fall, knit from a pattern in the Philosophers Wool book, "Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified," with a bunch of different yarn from my stash. (Actually I mixed these two patterns together, STARS and KILIM JACKET, so she could wear it as a jacket instead of a pullover). Her son's team name is the Stars, so I thought it would be perfect to wear to cold Friday night football games. She was totally surprised when I showed up at her office and bestowed this upon her. It was great! It truly was better to give than to receive in that case!
If you ever want to do a Fair Isle sweater, I STRONGLY recommend that you take a look at the two-handed method shown in a great little video on the Philosophers Wool website. It made it SO much easier to do in the round than the front and back piece method I was using for a Classic Elite Fair Isle sweater. After learning this method, the Stars sweater only took me about 3 weeks to knit, and afterwards, it took me a year to go back to the half-done Classic Elite sweater and finish the pieces! Luckily, I was able to do the sleeves in the new method, so that made finishing it bearable. I really can't begin to tell you what an impact this little video had on my knitting! I have no affiliation, I'm just a VERY satisfied consumer!
I've been so busy over at my other blog, Yarnswatch, that I haven't posted here in ages. So, I thought I'd post some finished objects which have been long neglected.
Yes, you've read those dates right. I finished this gorgeous shawl back in October! I first posted a photo in this post back in July, when it was still in its cobweb form. It is from Meg Swansen's A Gathering of Lace book, and is called the Shetland Tea Shawl. The yarn is Suri Alpaca from the Alpaca Yarn Co., and I must say, it was like heaven to knit! I couldn't wait to get the thing done so I could curl up in it! It is SO soft and so yummy. I really loved it!