My current work in progress:

Beadwork, by Jade Starmore, knit from Wendy Guernsey, using 2.75mm needles.

Archives for 2013

Two Pretties

I have two pretty things to show you today.

First:

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This is my progress on my Britta Cowl, knit from a pattern by Johanne Landin. It is worked stranded and in the round using two different colors. I am using the yarn that the original was knit from, Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball 100, and in the original colors because I love the look of the original.

It is a very long cowl, so you can double it around your neck, and it starts with a provisional cast-on. The cast-on required perseverance on my part! Using waste yarn, I did a backwards loop cast-on and knit one row. Then using the working yarn I joined and started knitting in the round. I checked 5 or 6 times to ensure that I hadn’t twisted my work.

After you complete the “body,” you fold it in half and work a three-needle bind-off to secure the beginning stitches to the end stitches. Very clever — you have a lovely field of flowers showing at all times and the stranded wrong-side is hidden in the middle.

This is another “long haul” project, as there are well over 500 stitches on the needle. But it is great fun to knit. The pattern is simple enough that I don’t have to keep looking at the chart, and the subtle color changes in the yarn make me want to keep knitting to see the knitted fabric emerge.

Second:

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This is a skein of Wayfarer fingering weight wool, a new offering from Made in America Yarns.

This yarn has been designed with a solid palette especially for Fair Isle knitters. (It would be great to see it combined with a hand-dyed yarn too.) They kept it 100% wool instead of superwash to minimize the environmental impact and keep all of the good qualities of wool.

I have a colorcard:

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You can also see all the colors on their website. The specs:

Content: 100% wool
Weight: 100 g | 3.5 oz
Length: 349 m | 382 yds
Care: Dry clean or hand wash in cold water. No bleach. Dry flat, do not iron.

MSRP is $14 per skein — a really great price! Check out the list of retailers to find out where to buy this great yarn, or ask your LYS to carry it — you won’t be disappointed!

I knit a swatch:

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The yarn is made up of many plies, and in the skein has an almost cotton look to it, much like a very popular German yarn I know and love. Knit it up and wow! It is lovely and springy and makes nicely uniform stitches. I can see how this yarn will be great for both colorwork and texture. I haven’t quite decided what my yarn will become, but I’m thinking possibly a cowl or a hat.

Who else would like to try it? Made in America Yarns has kindly offered to send a skein to one of my blog readers since I am too greedy to give mine up. 🙂

Leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 AM eastern time this Sunday, December 15, 2013, to be entered in a drawing to win a skein of this lovely Wayfarer fingering weight wo0l, in the color of your choice. When the random number generator picks the winner, I’ll email said winner with color options. 🙂

Wait — I have a third pretty thing to show you!

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Hitofude

First things first, the winner of my copy of  Cut It, Sew It, Stow It is Ms. LazySockMonkey Lisa. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!

On to the main attraction: a completed Hitofude!

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I used 5 skeins of Dragonfly Fibers Dance Rustic Silk in the Spanish Moss colorway and lengthened the piece by 4 pattern repeats. After steam-blocking, the length in the back is 37″ from neck to hem.  As you can see from the photo above, it is shorter in the front.

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I added the optional buttonhole and button.

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I am very pleased with this sweater. It’s such a clever design and not overly difficult to knit. It;s just a whole lot of knitting — the rows get pretty long towards the bottom. The results are well worth the effort. It’s going to look great over a plain black dress.

Onward . . .

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This is what I am using to knit my new project. more on that in my next blog post!

It is snowing here, and is supposed to continue with snow, sleet, and freezing all day and night into tomorrow. Loki and I are going to hunker down and enjoy the day indoors.

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Yes, he is lying on the dining room table.

Now Available

I forgot to mention in my last blog post that the pattern for my Celtic Cabled Cape is now available in my Ravelry store, here. Get ’em while they’ hot. 🙂

I am knitting along on my lengthened Hitofude. At this point i have well over 500 stitches on the needles so each row takes a very long time to complete. Because the project has gotten too big to easily carry around, I am starting a new project as commuter knitting.

Commuter knitting is a misnomer, as I don’t actually knit on my commute. I do try to knit at lunchtime, but usually don’t have more than 15 or 20 minutes that I can devote to knitting when I am at work. So progress is slow.

And because I am a glutton for punishment, the new project I am beginning starts out with a provisional cast-on of 540 stitches. More about that anon.

In the meantime, lookie here:

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This is a booklet from Annie’s Catalog called Cut It, Sew It, Stow It. It’s 56 pages long and contains instructions for 10 sewing projects to make all sorts of organizers. Some examples:

A mail and key tray:

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A hanging pocket organizer:

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A cute tote:

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And an office wall organizer.

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There are more photos of the projects on this page — click on “See More Images” to scroll through all the pictures.

Who’d like my review copy?

To enter the giveaway, a leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am eastern time on Sunday, December 8, 2013.

Meanwhile, Loki would like to demonstrate his paw floof!

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Sunday Check-in

First things first, the winner of the giveaway for a copy of  60 Quick Knits From America’s Yarn Shops is Andrea in TN, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment to enter the giveaway.

I was off from work all last week but unfortunately had a nasty upper respiratory infection, so did very little all week, apart from sleep and cough. I’m well on the round to recovery, just in time to head back to work tomorrow.

I have made some progress on Hitofude:

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I am almost done with the last pattern repeat according to the pattern. If I wasn’t going to be adding length to this, I’d be working the bottom ribbing next. But I have a whole extra skein of yarn, so plan to continue on until I run out.

Loki thanks you for all your kind comments about his extreme floof. His coat has really come in beautifully and it’s the lovely Ragdoll “bunny” fur that is so very soft. He requires very little grooming, as his fur does not mat. A once-over with the Zoom Groom once a week is more than enough to keep him looking his best!

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Loki sez;”I’m available for snuggles!”

More Quick Knits!

I have here a review copy of the latest book in the “60 Quick Knits” series:

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This is 60 Quick Knits From America’s Yarn Shops, released earlier this month by Sixth and Spring Books. Here is the publisher’s description:

The 60 patterns in this stunning collection come from yarn stores across the US, who chose the styles their customers like best. Created especially for the book by more than 40 designers associated with the stores—an owner, employee, or customer—and featuring the popular and versatile Cascade 220® yarn line, the projects range from accessories (purses, shawls, socks, and hats) to baby items to home decor—all in a range of skill levels so both beginners and advanced knitters will find something to enjoy.

You can browse through some sample pages from the book on the publisher’s website, here.

This is a lovely collection of patterns, all of which can be completed pretty quckly (hence the title of the book). There is a nice variety of items, from a felted purse:

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A beautiful textured scarf:

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And a colorblock pullover for a small child:

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These are just a few of the patterns that caught my eye. There truly is a little bit of everything.

All of the patterns call for Cascade yarns, from the “Cascade 220” family, in various weights. You could of course substitute a different yarn, but it’s nice to know you could replicate a pattern exactly by using the same yarn since Cascade is so widely available.

This is a book of patterns only: no “how-tos” or tutorials. There is, of course, a list of abbreviations used in the back of the book, and each pattern is clearly written and any charts used are clear and easy to see.

This is a collection that would be great to keep on hand for those times you need to whip out a quick gift, not to mention something lovely for yourself.

The kind folks at Sixth and Spring offered to do a giveaway for my blog readers, so I can keep my review copy. Who’d like a copy of this great book?

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy of  60 Quick Knits From America’s Yarn Shops please leave a comment on this blog post by Sunday, December 1 at 11:00am Eastern time. A winner will be chosen at random at that time.

Meanwhile, I am knitting along on Hitofude. I have the top portion completed.

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Now I am knitting the below-the-waist part — that will be a lot of knitting as I plan to add length.

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And by special request, a photo of Loki’s cat pants!

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He has some serious floof going on back there!