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!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Knitting Friends...I've Missed You!

It’s been almost a year since I have blogged. I hope I haven’t lost my readership. My laptop died and I just was not finding an app for my IPad that I liked for Blogger and I did not want to switch to WordPress. I have now purchased a new IMac Air laptop.
 

I was hospitalized on August 29th for a double knee replacement. Being on pain meds plays tricks with your brain. It’s not easy to focus on a pattern so I started these self-striping socks that is just your basic sock pattern.

While in rehab, a co-worker who bikes to work would then bike 10 miles out of her way to visit with me. On one of her visits, she had her husband with her and grabbed these socks, and commented how beautiful they were. I knew these socks had to be hers.  

                
My friend and co-worker Jane was moving into her new house when I called her the first week I was home from the hospital and unable to drive. I needed her to take me to the doctor’s office. It was urgent. She dropped everything and came to my aid. These socks are hardly enough to thank her for everything she has done for me.

You may wonder how one decides on a double-knee replacement. After being in much pain on a regular basis for so long, the decision was easy. It was not as brutal as some led me to believe.
 
So, here I am at the hospital about 3 days after surgery. I look like a “mess” but the meds let me think I'm beautiful and my attitude tells me I’m doing ok and I’m giving a thumbs up.


Here I am about five weeks later and my first day home and finally able to do my hair and apply makeup. I’m a happy camper. My doctor lied to me.  He told me I would be in rehab 8-10 days.  People, I was there five weeks.  He and I are still friends.

During my recovery I was so blessed with so many people stepping forward and sincerely offering to help me. I received get-well cards from people that I barely knew. My good friend, Marie ran errands for me. My daughter came for several days and was dynamite helping clean, cook and take care of me. I am truly blessed.

I have many more finished knitting projects to share with you. I am back on a regular basis to the world of knitting blogs and other things that interests me such as my photography.



Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Different Kind Of Holiday Tree!

 I saw a couple standing in front of what I thought was a Christmas tree.  However, as I approached it I realized that it is a solar-powered car charging station.  It's the first time I've seen one and not sure that it really is real but it does look pretty authentic.


Holiday lights show that it is indeed providing power from the sun.  Most likely it was power held in reserve as the weather in Vermont today was totally cloudy.  Burlington is second to Seattle for the highest number of cloudy days per year.


This charging station is located at my local health food store.  Likely location as Vermont is known for its health food stores and proud to be very "green".


Yes, I've been knitting and have quite a bit to show you but still have to take pictures.  So, in the interim...............

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blogging Friends Are The Best!!!

Amy and I have been blogging friends for at least 5 years.  I am proud to know her and admire all her talents one of which is card stamping.  I always hoped that Amy might want to send me one of her creations and was delighted when she asked me for my address.  This card is gorgeous.


I collect bookmarks, magnets, etc. with a "dream" message so, this fact unbeknownst to Amy, she had a "dream" message for me.  Well, thoughtful as Amy is, also included in the package was a pair of hand-knit knee warmers for my arthritic knees. 


The package arrived on a day that had proved to be quite challenging so Amy's thoughtfulness really perked up my day.

Check out Amy's blog.  She is a wonderful, mom, wife, daughter, friend and much more.  Her creations are fantastic and she is currently knitting for a charity in each of the 50 United States and she has a map on her blog listing the states that have benefited from her thoughtfulness.  Amy is originally from the U.S. and now lives in Israel.


Sadly, about two months before we met online, Amy was in my town and shopped at my LYS.  How I wish I had had the opportunity to meet her in person.


Hugs to you, Amy.  I'm proud to be your friend.


Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cat Bordhi's Sock E-Book

Cat Bordhi's E-Book Cover!

Note:    Had a problem posting earlier regarding this topic and hopefully this time Blogger will be friendly. 

I purchased Cat Bordhi's new E-book that was just released this past week and it is wonderful!  The book contains several patterns with more to be released as part of the purchase.  Check out the link to the video for a new style heel. 

Sweet Tomato Heel You Tube Video

I've joined Cat Bordhi's Ravelry Group.

I had the opportunity to take a wonderful workshop with Cat on moebius knitting a couple of years ago.  The workshop was to help raise money for breast cancer research at the University of Vermont.  What fun!!! 

Here I am on the Cat who is on the right.


Here's Cat checking out a knitter's work.



I was flattered when I was asked for permission to use my picture for Cat's pattern "Swinging Mikado" (moebius cowl) on Ravelry.




So go ahead and purchase the e-book.  You can find the link on her blog (see above) or directly on Ravelry.com  It is downloadable for Windows, Mac and IPad.


Happy Knitting!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) Parade

This is my 5th Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ). Scroll down to see pictures of the other four.
I taught this class about three months ago. I thought it would be a fun project to teach. It backfired. After all, the sweater is garter stitch with increases and decreases and an eyelet buttonhole (s)which is quite easy. Because it is a piece of knitted origami, it can present a small challenge as the knitter is not aware of which part of the sweater they are knitting in the early stages.
Visit the BSJ group on Ravelry.com for instructions on which rows will give you the stripes you are looking for.

I included an I-cord bind-off to achieve a nicer finish and allow my students to learn an additional skill.

As it turned out, my students either loved or hated this project. Those who completed the sweater were anxious to start another on their own. Some struggled to the point of total frustration. They did not like all the stitch counting. Some felt competitive to keep up with others in the class and were not able to.

Except for my "Sock Class" and my "Bring Me Your Kniting Problems", I seldom repeat a class. I love having former students return for additional classes and watch their knitting skills increase. This is one class that I will DEFINITELY not repeat.
My first BSJ was the dark blue/brick color one. That one was gifted to my grandchild, Jakob. The next one was the yellow/aqua sweater with the fish buttons that was gifted to my boss. The other two are still in my gift box waiting for a matching hat.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Using IPad with Blogger

I am testing this app for Blogger. I sure hope this works. It is called Blogger Plus and is an independent app and the reason I couldn't figure it out with Google.

The following are random pictures to see how they appear on my post.

This would make my day!

Well, I now know that I can post more than one picture.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Iceling Baby Sweater

Pattern:  Iceling Baby Sweater  (purchase on Ravelry.com)
Yarn:  Plymouth Encore (2 balls)
Needles:  Size 8
Size:  3 months (sweater) 6 months (hat)

What a fun and quick knit!!  Knitted from the neck down, there is no seaming and only a few ends to weave in.   This pattern is very well-written.


I knitted the hat a size larger than the sweater as I was concerned it might be too small.  The garter stitch edge is folded up and can be made larger by removing the button and unfolding the edge.


This picture shows the true color of the sweater.  A very suitable color for either a little baby boy or baby girl.


This sweater has I-cord buttonholes.  If you've never knitted this type of buttonhole, it is really quite nice.


Of course, I always sew clear buttons on the inside as reinforcement.


and I also add my personalized label.  Someone asked where I purchased these labels and I can't remember what the website name is.  Sorry!!!

My daughter, Amy, knitted the same pattern in blue for a family baby shower a week ago.


Cute little tractor buttons!  Great job, Amy. 

As you can imagine, I am delighted to have a daughter who enjoys knitting as much as I do.

I'm on vacation this week and it feels wonderful, refreshing and energizing. The weather has been a mix of sunshine, thunderstorms and cloudiness.  It's ok......I'm happy knitting indoors or outdoors.  There will be other fun things as the week progresses depending on what my inner joyful person tells me to do.


Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Darn Blogger!!!!

What's up with Blogger lately?  Last week, for 24 hours, Blogger was eating up people's comments but not till after they had been posted.

Today, I can't leave comments on blogs.  It is very frustrating.  I have not been a regular blogger as of late and am trying to return to being more in touch with all my readers.  However, I noticed that numbers were down and I figured readers just thought I upped and moved on to something else but probably it was because Blogger is being so damn fickle. 

In my last post I mentioned I purchased a new IPad.  Blogger does not yet have an app for it so I can't blog using my new toy!  WordPress has an app and relatively user friendly.  However, I hate, hate, hate moving my blog.  I had almost 300 posts on Yahoo 360 when they totally went to an insane assylum and most of us abandoned ship and moved elsewhere totally trying to keep track of all the friendships we had formed.  I now have over 250 posts on Blogger.  It's like living in the same house for years and accumulating all this "stuff" and you just don't want to move which you might say is true about my life in general.

Import your posts, you say!  I imported my Yahoo 360 posts to WordPress about five years ago.  Every posts lost the first picture in each post....the parent went away but the children were left behind.

Is anyone else having problems.....but then of course, you won't be able to leave me a comment today if this continues.

It could be worse!!!

In the meantime..............Happy Knitting!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

In my last post I mentioned that the money I earn from teaching knitting classes is being spent on some fun things (and sometimes practical things as well). I felt guilty about my latest purchases.

It started with this.

It's been extremely frustrating trying to get the screen on my laptop to stop dancing with one hand while I type with the other.  Never mind that the letter "e" sometimes doesn't work.

Some days, it behaves and the screen looks lik this.

So for Mother's Day I purchased myself this little Vera Bradley tote.  I'm always good to myself on special occasions.  I've always envied women who have one of Vera's bags, and though I think that they are overpriced, I now feel that the quality warrants the cost.

Check out the swivel buckles.    A couple of pockets comes in handy as well.

Can you guess what is inside?  C'mon......guess!!!!

The orange cover puts "it" to sleep.


It's an IPad 2.  You'll have to break my arm to take it away from me.  I must say that it has been an adjustment in my way of thinking when it comes to computers.  I had never heard of a "cloud" before, or "air printing".  The apps for it are absolutely, absolutely wonderful.

One of my hobbies is photography.  I have an app that once I enter an address and a date, it will tell me when is the best time to take a picture showing the location as an aerial view, the angle of the sun, etc. using the GPS system.

If someone were to steal my IPad, I can go on any computer and locate my IPad. 

Just one little problem..........Blogger needs to upgrade their technology so I can continue blogging on my IPad itself.  WordPress, I'm told, is the blog site to go with.  I don't want to transfer just yet.

Any of you readers have an IPad?  Any tips, comments, suggestions?

Happy Knitting!