Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Protest Is Patriotic Shawl




The pattern, "Protest is Patriotic Shawl", is free at Ravelry.com.  I'm invited to a party for the 4th, and wanting to show my patriotism,  I may have had a delusional moment in thinking that I can wear this shawlette to the event.  Ha!   It may be for 2018 but I will give it a shot.  I'm going to a party and would love to wear it.  No stress but then I thrive on deadlines.  

I looked everywhere, including the web, for the yarn.  I was on a quest for summer weight yarn and had difficulty finding the right shade of red or blue with the same fiber content at various shops or on the web.

I went to my "not so local yarn shop" in Montpelier, Vermont called "Yarn".  I always find what I am looking for and the friendliness and customer service is superb.  

I love the fiber combination.


Wish me luck!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Frosted Leaves Scarf




I'm a member of the Twist 'O Wool Spinning Guild (Middlebury, Vermont) and a few of us attended SPA-New England Textile Arts in Freeport, Maine earlier this year.



The event is sponsored by three of the hotels in town and is always successful.  My daughter and I, along with my fellow members stay at the Harraseeket Inn and we are treated like royalty.  Dining is affordable and absolutely delicious with a multitude of entree selections.  

This event has no classes, just very relaxing gatherings in various lounges and conference rooms where folks share ideas, skills and form new friendships.

My group selected "Frosted Leaves" by Louisa Harding to knit and model at the Saturday night fashion show.  Due to fire regulations, the crowd is limited to 250 people and there are people standing outside hoping to get in if there are "no shows". 

There's a real feeling of camaraderie.  We received a standing ovation accompanied by cheers as we walked on stage as our group was well-represented and probably the largest group there. 



My daughter and I were all smiles as folks complimented us on our scarves.  It is so much fun to have a daughter that knits and spins as I do.  I am quite proud of her for many reasons. 





There were many, many wonderful gifts from various vendors who sponsor this event.  It is exciting, absolutely exciting especially when I won one of the top prizes....a one night stay at the Hilton.



I have no shame.  I will soon brag and show you the two shawls that my daughter knitted and were modeled by the two of us.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Aviendha Shawl



Pattern:  Aviendha Shawl (can be found at Ravelry.com)
Needles:  Size 4 

I retired recently.  A co-worker gave me a gift certificate to my LYS.  She's also a knitter and we've had many fun conversations about knitting and patterns over the years. 

Thinking of "Y" words for this project, "yummy yarn" and "yak" come to mind.

The yarn is lace weight and a little slippery to knit with.  Bamboo needles might be easier but I prefer the tips on "Knitters Pride" needles.  Knitting stabilizes and gets easier after the first couple of rows.  

The pattern requires a cast-on of 372 stitches.  Garter stitch is very easy knitting but I find that tension is very important. Stitch markers are used to track decreases.


Because I am using a center-pull cake, and because the yarn is so slippery and would fall on itself as the cake gets smaller and   knot itself, I am using a "yarn bra".  The bra keeps the "cake" compact.  These can be purchased at your local yarn shop.  You can also use an onion bag or a nylon stocking/knee high.  (The color way is aqua and not blue.)

I was inspired with the color way after seeing my daughter, Amy, wearing one of her hand knits a a knitting retreat we attended earlier this year.  


It is so much fun to have a daughter who shares my knitting passion and has become a very accomplished knitter herself.  Her yarn stash will soon rival my own.

We have traveled together to three major knitting events in recent months.  We inspire each other.  Having 1/1 time with my daughter is wonderful.

I have several completed projects that are awaiting blocking and I will post again soon.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Baa-Ble Hat


Pattern:  Baa-Ble (free on Ravelry)
Yarn:  Halcyon Worsted
Needles:  Size 7

It was Easter weekend and I was looking for a fun and whimsical knitting project.  This one was perfect.

Can you visualize the sheep grazing on the green grass with a beautiful sky above?  It puts a smile on my face.

I love stranded knitting (fair isle).  It's my favorite kind of knitting.  Color A is held in the right hand and color B is held in the left hand while knitting.   If you'd like to know more on how to enhance the finished appearance of your fair isle knitting, read the following article....."The Importance of Yarn dominance"

"Never Not Knitting"The yarn for this project was purchased at Halcyon Yarn in Bath, Maine (blue not shown).  I love their yarn.  It is worsted weight, keeps its shape/drape and doesn't pill.  I think I have enough yarn leftover to knit mittens or a cowl.
 
I've now completed the hat and am undecided whether or not to add a pompom. 
 
Just a side note...........when I completed the had, it looked so small and might fit a child.  After blocking it was fine for an adult size head.
 
Happy Knitting!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Zick Zack Scarf





Pattern:  Zick Zack Scarf (free at Ravelry.com)
Yarn:  Mille Colori Baby
Needles:  Size 2 - Knitters Pride Karbonz

This pattern is very suitable for a beginner knitter.  I usually like to work on a simple pattern suitable for tv watching and another project much more complicated to keep the creative juices flowing. 

The pattern is a repeat of 8 stitches and every row is the same.  Can't get any simpler.  It does take awhile to visualize any progress when knitting on size 2 needles but in the end, it is satisfying. 

Because the pattern calls for two different color way selections, and the fact that each is variegated, you will never see two knitted scarves using this pattern that are identical.  

A little expensive at $15/ball, I justify the cost by the fact that I have no other vices but purchasing nice yarn. 




I recently purchased these specialty needles for small circular projects.  The needles are shorter and the cords are 16".  They are delightful to knit with and great for hats, socks, and tubular scarves.


Here is to link to purchase them. http://www.yarn.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/categoryID/31B6C702-FA58-47C3-9696-C0349D662328/productID/75115F69-7FA9-47B8-A00E-643CCA7C4530/

Happy Knitting!
Joan

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lady Butterfly Hat and Vest

Pattern:  Lady Butterfly Hat and Vest (can be found on Ravelry.com)
Yarn:  I think it is Plymouth but I've misplaced the ball band
Size:  6 mos-6 yrs.
Needles:  Size 4
 
My older daughter, Amy, and I are knitting this pattern.  She's knitting the hat and I'm knitting the vest.  She lives in Rhode Island and I live in Vermont, of course, so it is nice when we get together and work on this project.  It's quality mother/daughter time together.
 
The pattern is a simple 4 row repeat, well-written and very easy to follow.  The bottom edge of the both pieces is picot which lends a very nice look to the pieces.  
 

The back is completed and the front is almost done.  The assembly and picking up stitches around the arms and neck is what will be more time-consuming.  The cable is the "body" of the butterfly and notice that the top cable is larger as that will be the "head" with the antennae later attached along with the wings.


This little gadget was purchased at WEBS.  It makes twisted cords.  You can also purchase it with three or more clips for additional cording (i.e. three colors, etc.) Here's a link to YouTube to see how it works..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b2jL4UgsfA

I blogged recently after a long absence.  It was so nice to hear from old friends.  The knitting/crocheting community is so wonderful.

Happy Knitting!
 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Heritage Print Socks





Oh, poor neglected blog.  I think of you often with promises to return soon and finally I have done so.  I periodically receive e-mails from some of my faithful followers asking me what I am up to.   I am always so pleased when that happens.
I have several knitting projects on the needles.  Starting a new project gives me an excuse to buy more, newer and better needles.   In the next week or two, I hope to gather some of those projects and complete them. 

I’ve been knitting a pair of grey socks for my daughter and because I can’t remember the pattern repeat and the color is downright boring, I decided I needed to knit something totally mindless.  I selected a “vanilla” pattern, the kind where you can just knit on and on and on while watching tv, stuck in a traffic jam or watching a softball game.
I purchased the sock yarn at Webs, “America’s Largest Yarn Store”.  Affordable at only $12 for a 100 gram skein that will knit an adult-size pair of socks fit the bill.  The twist in the yarn is nice. 

However, as I knitted along, the center-pull skein started to fall onto itself and I had quite the mess.  It took at least a couple of hours to untangle it all.  If you have been knitting for awhile, I’m sure you can relate.   I had such a mess and I now wish I had taken a picture so you could give me a little sympathy, I contemplated just throwing out the project.  I was so desperate that I even invited the cat to lend a little help.  Fortunately, my daughter who is also a knitter, came to my rescue.

I used the “Knitter’s Pride” Karbonze knitting needles.  They took a little getting used to but I do like them a lot.  At first, I felt like I was knitting with plastic needles from days gone by.   They have proven to be quite sturdy.   The stitches glide easily and the points are just right for fingering-weight yarn.  The only disadvantage is that the black needles are not friendly when it comes to knitting with darker yarns.  On the positive side, it is just an excuse to buy other needles.  Buying needles is like having lots of crayons as a child.  You agree?

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Vintage Smocked Baby Sweater

Pattern:  Vintage Smocked Sweater
Needles:  Size 4 & 6
Yarn:  Berroco Comfort DK - 4 balls 

Selecting yarn in a solid color way definitely show up pattern a little more.  The sweater can also be knitted with a shawl color for a much warmer effect.


This pattern is easy to follow and a quick knit.  It has a twisted ribbing which allows the design to really "pop".  It can be worn comfortably on a baby/toddler wearing a diaper.



Pattern calls for 3 buttons.  I selected 3/4" elephants but that is subject to change as the pattern did not state the size.


This yarn is acrylic and machine washable keeping in mind a mom's busy schedule.

The sweater is being knitted with love for my wonderful granddaughter, Abigail.  She is inquisitive and good-natured.  Now that she is one year old, she has become a serious shopper as you can see in the pictures below.



Happy Knitting!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Alpha Chi Cowl


Pattern:  Alpha Chi Cowl
Designer:  Meridith Shephard
Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Rialto
Needles:  Size 3 Cicular



I purchased the Alpha Chi and Infusion Cowl patterns from Meridith on Ravelry.  Reasonably priced at $5/each or both for $8, they are a delight to work with.  These patterns are extremely well-written.  Meridith has "tips" in her patterns and it is easy to follow even for beginning chart readers.

I've been knitting for over 50 years.  Admitting this is not easy as I don't feel my age.  I will say that this pattern is probably in my top ten favorites.



When I purchase yarn, I want the total experience.  I want the colorway I have in mind.  If the need arises, I want it to be superwash wool.  But most of all, I want it to be soft as it glides through my fingers when I am knitting.  Don't tell me that soaking it in hair conditioner after the project is knitted will make it soft.  I just want the whole experience from the beginning.




Oh........totally addictive knitting.  I was up at 2:00 a.m. a few days repeating to myself like I was in a drunken stupor........"just one more row".



Stranded knitting (Fair Isle) is my favorite type of knitting.  The fact that this cowl is reversible makes for a very "neat" look.  Two rows of garter stitch makes for a nice, sharp fold to the cowl.  The first part of the chart requires a little more attention but is certainly not difficult.  The second part of the chart is intuitive and you can move right along.

Happy Knitting!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Color Infusion Cowl


Pattern:  Color Infusion Cowl by Meridith Shephard (purchase at Ravelry.com for $5)
Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Rialto superwash merino
Needles:  Size 3 24" circular


I love my new cowl.  It't just right for March weather in Vermont.  I love that it is reversible and it looks so nice with my boiled wool jacket. 

And.........it started with this chart.  


This stranded color pattern was so much fun to knit.  I almost hated to see it completed if it had not been for the fact that I was looking forward to wearing it. 

The pattern is extremely well-written.  This designer is one that I will be watching for additional patterns.  I knitted one of her other cowls that I will blog about in a few days.

Side 1


Side 2


Happy Knittitng!
Joansie





Monday, January 20, 2014

Let's Talk Socks


I confess.  My name is Joan and I am addicted to knitting socks like a diva is addicted to chocolate.

Free pattern at:  http://web.archive.org/web/20060813100133/http://www.islandofmisfitpatterns.com/2006/07/14/lacy-mock-cable-socks/
This picture did not capture the truly beautiful colors of this yarn.

This mock cable stitch is a repeat of 5 rows and so very easy to knit.


I've not had good luck with Plymouth yarn.  I had speckles of dye in places it should not have been.  However, this yarn began to pill in the process of knitting.  It has some elasticity to it so if you drop a stitch it's like it goes "boing" like a "Slinky" going down a flight of stairs.




Have I convinced you that I am addicted to sock knitting?  It's an easily potable project.  It's a great stress-reliever to knit while waiting for an appointment.  An added bonus is opens up a conversation with strangers when their curiosity wants to know what you are knitting.


Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kumihimo Bracelet


I know, I know, my post today is not connected to my blog name.  Since I originally started blogging, my crafting interests have evolved to add other crafts.  I’m the “Jack Joan of all trades, master of none”. 



I love the clasp and end posts which look like tulips.

Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands.  This is a craft that I have long wanted to learn.

The foam kumihimo disk is lightweight, portable, and affordable.  It is a craft that can be easily made by all confidence and age levels.  The disk is flexible but sturdy enough to keep an even tension.  Traditionally, satin cords or “rattails” are used as well as ribbon.   There are round disks as well as square disks for different effects.    The cost of each disk is about $18.  
Kumihimo Setup
I started out with a simple project.  The braid itself took me less than an hour to complete for two bracelets.  My local bead store was kind enough to show me how to add end caps and a clasp to finish off the bracelet. 


Close-up of Kumihimo Braid

This book was extremely helpful with many wonderful  jewelry projects.


Later this month, I will be taking a class on Kumihimo and beads. 

In the meantime………………

Happy Knitting!  (I have lots to show you from the knitting front in future posts.)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Drop Stitch Scarf

(Free Pattern Included)


Yarn:  1 skein Stacy Charles Luna Yarn (kid mohair and silk)
           1 skein Stacy Charles Stella Yarn (silk)

Needles:  Size 10  US (original pattern called for Size 11 but I didn't like the look)
Scarf Size:  6 1/2"x 56"

Instructions:  

Cast on 22 stitches using Stella (I cast on 24 just because....)

Row 1:  Knit
Row 2: Change to Luna.  Knit wrapping yarn around needle twice for each stitch
Row 3:  Knit dropping the extra wrap
Row 4:  Change to Stella - knit 

Repeat these 4 rows until desired length ending after row 4.  Bind off with Stella and hide your tails. 

Free pattern is compliments of my LYS (local yarn shop) and is not copyrighted.



This was an extremely easy project.  It is very delicate knitting and I would recommend using lotion on your hands that does not stain just before you start knitting.    It does not show in the pictures but there are very small gold specs throughout the yarn that gives the scarf just the right amount of shimmer.  

The scarf is extremely lightweight.  The color selection for this yarn will have you salivating.  I knitted till I ran out of Stella which has 70 yards per skein.  A little pricey for both, however, I think I could knit a 2nd scarf with the purchase of just Stella.  I will use my little scale to weigh what is left of Charles to make that determination.  I think the total cost for the yarn was in the $22 range.



After blogging for many years, I had difficulty making the transition from Windows to a Mac.  So, needless to say, I am happy to have resolved those issued and have returned and hope to hear from many of you who used to read by blog.   

Happy Knitting!