My current work in progress:

Ottar Hap Shawl, designed by Kate Davies, knit from Buachaille in the Squall, Ptarmigan, and Islay colorways, using a U.S. size 9 (5.5mm) needle.


The Random Number Generator selected Monica Cortada to win a copy of Alterknit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs by Andrea Rangel. Monica has been emailed. A big thank you to Interweave for not only sending me the review copy butoffering this second copy for the giveaway!

Right now I am between Camp Loopy projects. I finished my July project, and I can’t start my August project until next month. So I am working on a stealth project which is fun and challenging and satisfying, but makes for dull blog posts.

It is also cumbersome, so I am not schlepping it to work every day to work on during lunch. I stopped knitting on the train years ago because it’s too uncomfortable, so that leaves a few stolen minutes during my lunch break for knitting. I usually end up with 15 minutes or less knitting time during lunch, so it’s not worth bringing something large or complex. So I am working on this during lunch:

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(Pen included for scale).

This is a wee sweater sized for an American Girl doll. It’s the Caithness Cardi, designed by Patricia Renwick, available for sale on Ravelry. I am knitting mine from some Wollmeise blend I had left over from another project. I’m knitting the pattern as written, except I have made the side cables mirror image of each other rather than twisting them in the same direction.

It’s a fun and easy pattern and I like that I can make visible progress even though I am only knitting on it a few minutes a few times a week.

Why It is Hard for Me to Leave for Work in the Morning

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“Don’t go, Momma!”

Alterknit Stitch Dictionary

I have another great book for review:

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This is Alterknit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs by Andrea Rangel. Published by Interweave, it’s a 164-page hardcover book due out August 10. As you can deduce from the title, it contains 200 stranded colorwork motifs. They are described as being new and non-traditional. Some are geometric, some are based on “things,” some on animals, some on natural eelements, some on man-made and architectural elements. It’s a great collection that will help you with your own original creations. Or perhaps you want to switch out a motif in a pattern for something fresh and new.

Each motif is shown in a color chart and as a knitted swatch.

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In addition to the dictionary of motifs, there are helpful how-to sections: choosing yarns and colors and color dominance, holding your yarn, dealing with floats,  swatching, reading charts, working steeks, and more.

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And there are also some fun patterns that incorporate motifs. There are five patterns, for a beanie, mittens, a cowl, a pullover, and a cardigan.

This is the “Bikey Beanie:”

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“Deep Ocean Mittens:”

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And “Skull and Crossbones Pullover.”

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All in all, a great book: how-tos, charts for motifs, and patterns for a few very cute projects.

Who’s like a copy? Interweave has generously offered a second copy for one of my readers. To be entered in the giveaway for this great book, leave a comment on this blog post by noon on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 and a winner will be chosen at random at that time.

Loki is settling down for an afternoon of what he does best: supervising my every move!

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I took a couple of days off after the July 4 holiday. The result? A finished Camp Loopy July project:

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This is Seawall, a scarf designed by Louise Zass-Bangham. I knit mine from Blue Sky Fibers Alpaca Silk. The scarf is double-sided. Here is the other side:

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This was a very fun knit — there are a bunch of different elements so as soon as I got bored with one section, there was a new section to knit.

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And here is Loki, demonstrating “Long Kitty.”

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Ottar Hap

I finished my Ottar Hap at the end of last week.

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It was a very enjoyable knit, nothing difficult about it, so great to work on while watching television.

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I purchased the yarn as a kit from Kate Davies Designs. I only did 5 sets of stripes instead of 6 because I ran out of the white yarn.

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I had 20 grams of green left over, so I think my skein of white had to have been underweight, as I used the same amount of green and white. I’m not overly concerned because the shawl easily blocked out to size (just steam blocking it) with 5 sets of stripes instead of 6.

Now I need to tuck it away until next winter.

I am currently working on my Camp Loopy July project. Here are the accent colors being used:

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More next time!

Loki is working on a nap here:

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I am pleased to report that I have reached the stripey portion of my hap shawl.

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As soothing as miles of plain garter stitch in a lovely soft yarn is, it is fun to have reached this point. New colors! Fun lace!

The pattern is a simple “old shell” lace, so it was easy to memorize and is fun to knit. Each color stripe is 4 rows, so I get to switch colors before I get bored.

This is going to be such a lovely snuggly shawl for next winter!

My “New” Serger

Little HuskyLock 431 is feeling quite welcome after Sunday’s blog post. As a couple of you mentioned, vintage sewing machines and sergers are virtually indestructible. They really knew how to make ’em back then.

I found my serger on Esty, purchased from Stagecoach Road Sewing. They sell vintage reconditioned sewing machines, and an occasional serger. My experience with them was great. When I saw the serger listed on etsy, I messaged the owner of Stagecoach Road Sewing, Mike, to ask if there was a manual that came with the serger. I wanted to make sure I’d be able to figure out how to use it! He responded immediately and sent me a pdf of the manual so I felt comfortable that I’d be able to work the serger. It was shipped FedEx, carefully packed in plastic and foam to keep it safe. Mike had taken the thread mast off for shipping and he included perfect detailed instructions (complete with hand drawn diagrams) for re-attaching the thread mast to the machine, so I had no problem doing so.

My main area of concern was threading the machine — would I be able to do so successfully? The manual had threading diagrams, and there was also a color-coded diagram on the machine itself, once you open the front panel.

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The threading is fairly complex and somewhat difficult to access in places, so I was surprised and delighted that I got it right on my first try. I was equally surprised and delighted that the tension seemed nearly perfect. The serger hums like a . . . well . . . like a well-oiled machine. On Stagecoach Road Sewing’s website they state that all the machines they sell are completely reconditioned and restored, and I can well believe it. And they all come with a guarantee.

This serger is not ultra-fancy with a lot of different options, but it is exactly what I wanted and needed: a basic but good serger that I could use to finish raw edges of fabric before hand-sewing. It seems that there is virtually no learning curve with this little guy, so that makes me very happy. I had never used a serger before this and I was successful on my first practice piece. I think I can just do a couple more practice pieces and I’ll be good to go.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, the Little Prince, relaxing at home.

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