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  • knitting1105 7:20 am on June 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    My Edible Garden 

    We are really proud of how our garden is taking shape this year.  This has been keeping my hands busy and away from knitting and spinning as much, but hopefully it will reward us with lots of fresh produce, and enough to can and ferment.

    A few years ago when Dan gave up his car and started taking the train to work, we started the conversion of his parking space into a raised bed garden.  This year, our wonderful new neighbor Aaron brought us a truckload of wood chips so that we could spread them between the planters.  In spite of the planters being placed on the old gravel parking pad, the weeds had found their way. Hopefully this will keep them at bay.

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    Vegetables in the back yard are:

    • Tomatoes
    • Peppers
    • Tomatillos
    • Japanese Eggplant
    • Pattypans
    • Another squash I can’t remember
    • Swiss chard
    • Kale
    • Zucchini
    • Cucumbers
    • Leeks
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    In the corner is the Compost bin

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    Surrounded by wonderful mint

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    And flowers at the back to make it pretty:

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    Lavender, this is where knitting comes in.  Will be harvested to put in my yarn stash.

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    Sunflowers coming up also, these we try to leave for the birds, if the squirrels don’t get there first.

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    And on the side of the house we are trying 3 shitake mushroom logs, although someone has been nibbling at them…

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    And the back yard has more vegetables, more kale & swiss chard again (not sure what Dan was thinking):

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    Lots of beautiful lettuce at the moment, and tons of dill in the background next to the herb planter.  I have let the dill take over space wherever they want, as the Monarchs love them in late summer.  And in the mid summer I see Black Swallowtail butterflies. In fact, we saw a couple of them as caterpillars this week, unfortunately so did the cardinals.  Momma dove down to snatch one up, while dad stayed high as the lookout.  We witnessed this twice.

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    Kohlrabi and beets (love to roast both of them!)

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    This is one of our old Christmas trees, we will try to get the tomato to trellis up the branches.  Have had moderate success with this in the past.

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    And cannot forget food for the Monarchs:

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    And some pretty hostas and ferns from what used to be our shade garden.  This may change next year.

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    All this from our little urban plot of land!

    Chickens next year hopefully.  We have been chicken sitting, and it has convinced us that it is not all that hard.

     
  • knitting1105 1:45 pm on June 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Estonian Knitting, , Nancy Bush   

    Epic? 

    This lovely yarn from Juniper Moon Farm that I purchased last week at the Knot Just Knits closeout sale was begging to be knit up.

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    It was purchased with the intent of knitting something for the Women’s Heart Association annual fundraiser that my SnB group has been knitting for the past couple of years.  Last year I did not contribute, so thought that I should start early this year.  I chose to reknit the Greta Garbo shawl by Nancy Bush.  A couple of years ago I knit this and gave it to my sister Diane.

    DSCN6668Since the Juniper yarn is a much finer gauge than I knit this with, I chose to add an additional repeat and use a smaller needle.  At first I just cast on an extra set of stitches to repeat the large motif on each side.  This shawl is started at the bottom right and left edges, so this meant casting on 475 stitches.  After knitting the first row, I realized that there was a problem with my methodology. The border repeat is a multiple of 14, and the large center motif is a multiple of 48.  Didn’t work out, so I kinked back 475 stitches, as I really did not want to cast on all over.  Then I had to redraft how the bottom portion would knit up at the beginning and the center.

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    This yarn is so soft and lovely, 50% merino & 50% silk.  However, it is also a bit tedious to work with given this pattern, and I am nervous about the yarn slipping off the needles.  I am also hoping that the nupps will show prominently enough.  Currently they are a 5 stitch nupp, but I am considering switching to a 7 stitch nupp for the main part of the shawl.

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    And, then again, I may knit something much simpler for the main part, I will see how the border goes, and how it looks.  This shawl will not be traveling with me, nor going to knitting group until it is finished.  I have it setting next to my comfy rocker in the living room, and there it will stay while I work on it slowly.  Currently it takes about 20 minutes to do a row, but 4 stitches are decreased every other row, so it incrementally gets faster.  I have been tearing my knitting stuff apart looking for the point protectors so that I can make sure that nothing slips off when I am not working on it.  May have to buy some new ones.

    So, will this be an epic feat, or an epic failure?  I know that I will use life lines on this one!

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    • Diane 10:59 pm on June 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I love my shawl! Thank you so much!

  • knitting1105 1:28 pm on June 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Google Sheep View 

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    This is just too good not to share.  Google camera catches sheep all around the world.

     
  • knitting1105 9:24 am on June 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cocoknits, english tailoring, julie wisenberger   

    English Tailoring 

    In October of 2012 I took a class from Julie Weisenberger, aka Cocoknits, on English Tailoring.  We worked on a baby sweater, starting at the mid point and doing the shoulder shaping.

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    I loved this class, and the cute little sweater that we knit up.  And then it sat, for over 2 years until I finished it earlier this winter. I thought that it was the perfect gift for my friend’s new grandson.

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    Buttons on, and it was finally off to the little recipient.  And here he is, room to grow:

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    Even though this took me so long to finish, I would definitely make it again.  Love this whole process.  Take a class from Julie whenever you have the opportunity.  I have taken 2, and would gladly take another.

     
    • Diane 5:23 pm on June 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Those are the best kind of sweaters, ones you have to grown into. That way the recipient gets to enjoy your work of art longer. Nice job!

  • knitting1105 10:08 am on June 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Knitting books,   

    Closeout Sale 

    A local yarn shop, Knot Just Knits will be closing their doors in a couple of weeks.  there is nothing I really need, so did not go the first week, when things were 30% off.  I did stop by this week, and at 40% off, got the following items:

    A book by Lucinda Guy, I have 3 of her other books and really love the whimsical nature of some of the kids projects.

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    This cute dress intrigued me:

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    As did these moose mittens:

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    A Piecework magazine is always in order.  This seems to be the only magazine that I am purchasing as of late.  I need to add my magazine collection to the Ravelry database, and then perhaps I would use them more.

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    I also purchased this pack of sock yarn, I am thinking that it will make some lovely Fair Isle mittens.

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    Lace yarn to be used to make a shawl for the Go Red auction next winter.  I think that I will make the Gretta Garbo Shawl by Nancy Bush again for this .  This yarn is a bit finer, so might need to do additional repeats.  It is Findley by Juniper Moon Farm; 50% merino, 50% silk, color Serendipity.  Very soft, and I really liked another wool by Juniper Moon that I knit last Fall.

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    And lastly, there was some dishcloth yarn, that at 40% off seemed to be a good deal.  Might go back at 50% next week and see if any is left.

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    Oh, and Eucalan…

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    • elaine 3:16 pm on June 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Good finds! Sorry to hear of a shop closing though :-/

    • Diane 5:27 pm on June 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I love my Greta Garbo shawl you made me…the pink will be beautiful. Looks like you found some much needed items afterall!

    • Erin 11:07 am on June 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This comment is a little off-topic but on the subject of books… I’m trying to organize a tour of knitting blogs for my novella about magical knitting (Blood Stitches, Kensington, May 2015). I couldn’t find an email address for you, so if you’re interested please send me an email: mail@erinfanning.com. In the meantime, you can find for more information about my writing at: erinfanning.com. Thanks for the consideration!

  • knitting1105 4:05 pm on June 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , rigid heddle,   

    My new Hobby requires a few things… 

    Taking on a new hobby is not without some equipment and supplies.  I found these at Architectural Artifacts (led there by Kim and Jane), and got a great deal on the cones for warping my loom.

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    Luckily they fit nicely in my yarn closet, at the front of the baskets holding yarn and projects.

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    For my second project I tried direct warping, and although I had to do it twice, it seems to have worked really well. I did not have a clamp to hook to, so brought one of my dining room chairs down.  Essentially you have a large cone of yarn sitting under the wheel and keep wrapping it over or under the back bar and then to “peg” that you have set the distance away to get the length that you want.  Because you are not tying down individual strings, except when you want to change colors, it seems to go much better.  My new weaving hook helps a lot too, tried the first time with a crochet hook, and that was really cumbersome.

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    This is the video that shows how to do it, much better than I could describe.

    And here is my 2nd project, over 1/2 way done.  Not sure what it will look like…  It is quick and fun though, and I have found a good location in the basement that was an unused area, and I can watch TV while working on this.

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  • knitting1105 2:08 pm on June 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Baby Ull, , , Norwegian Sweater   

    The Magical Sweater 

    When young Franklin was not quite 2, I made this sweater for him, and posted about it here.

    Franlklin sweater

    Legend has it that it became a favorite one, and was worn for many years on visits to Santa Clause.  One time when his dad took him on the train to visit Mom downtown, he arrived with the sweater on inside out; when questioned about it, the father replied that it looked just as good inside out.  A gift that loved, and worn that much, could not be better.

    Well, I could not believe that he wore the sweater all those years.  I intentionally made it big so that it would last a long time, they started with the sleeves rolled up.

    Then last week, this photo was in my inbox.  Franklin had just returned from a camping trip on a cold weekend, and this was what he wore, 7 1/2 years later!

    Franklin's Sweater

    How much longer can it go?

     
  • knitting1105 8:01 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Zebisis Designs   

    Gorgeous Gradient 

    I finished spinning this gradient from Zebisis Designs a couple of weeks ago.

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    This was the final product, 850 yards of 2ply, 3.5 ounces. On the skein winder the colors really show well :

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    It was cool when I washed this so it sat to dry on the bathroom radiator.

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    And, it sat skeined up like this until today.

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    It was time to wind it, and now I am looking for the perfect pattern.  I really want a rectangular scarf/shawl so that each color will take up approximately the same width.

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    The colors show really accurately.  What I cannot show is how incredibly soft and squishy this yarn is, the 50% silk not only makes the colors vibrant and saturated, but gives a sheen and softness to the yarn.

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    The perfect pattern search is on, no applied border, that way I can keep the colors intact. Any suggestions?

     
    • Talya 8:44 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      No pattern suggestions- I just want that yarn! That is gorgeous!

    • elaine 10:03 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful! As a new spinner, I am so envious :-). And can’t wait till mine looks this amazing. Thanks for the inspiration!

      • knitting1105 7:16 pm on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. They say 10-15 minutes a day and you improve dramatically. Seems to be true. good luck

    • AndreSue 3:15 pm on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It’s gorgeous!!

    • Diane 2:22 am on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It is always fun to see what you do with these beautiful yarns!

      • knitting1105 7:17 pm on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        i have really been agonizing over what to knit with this. I want the perfect pattern, it may end up being something very plain and simple in the end, just let the colors talk.

    • tonymarkp 1:37 pm on June 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That is truly beautiful!

      • knitting1105 2:01 pm on June 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you!!!

  • knitting1105 1:07 pm on May 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    My first Weaving 

    Jane came over last Friday night and helped me to start weaving on my new loom.  Originally I was interested in using one of the finer yarns, but opted to go with this grey yarn, it is some kind of corespun.  I pulled out a couple of the toilet paper rows, and used some scrap yarn to start the weaving.

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    Quickly I got bored with just using the grey, and thought it might be a bit dull, so I added a glossy black tape yarn, and some leftover Fiber Optic handspun.  It took several tries with colors to get one that really popped with the grey, but I think that this bright green really does the trick.

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    The scarf is off the loom, I tied the ends in knots

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    Prior to washing, it looked like this:

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    I’m hooked!

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    • elaine 11:02 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Looks very nice! It looks so tempting…

      • knitting1105 11:59 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Yes it is. I now divide my time between knitting, spinning, weaving and a bit of sewing.

  • knitting1105 12:54 pm on May 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Joe Hanes, Rigid Heddle Loom,   

    The Gift that Inspired 

    Last Fall my cousin Cheryl emailed me to ask if I would like an Architecture book that they found at a sale; of course I had to answer yes.  I was very surprised when this large box arrived the next week.

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    These are cones of yarn used mainly by weavers.  Weaving had always enticed me, but the only looms that I knew of were the Inkle loom and the large floor looms.  I have an Inkle loom that I have been meaning to learn on for many years, and the floor looms are just too big for our house.  Then last Fall my friend Jane was given an old table top loom by a neighbor, which got her on the weaving bug.  The beautiful shawls and blankets and bags that she has been turning out were really inspiring.  A woman at the local yarn shop was interested in selling her table top loom, but luckily she never got back to me with a price.  A couple of months later Kim and Joe joined our SnB knitting group one night.  Kim is a knitter and weaver, and Joe makes square wooden knitting needles. Joe was showing me photos of all his projects, which included a floor Rigid Heddle loom, I was intrigued, and when I went to visit them a couple of weeks later, I purchase one on the spot.  Each is a little bit different as he uses reclaimed lumber, so there is a mixture of various hardwoods in each loom, and they are all unique.  Apparently he was inspired to start making looms when the noise of Kim’s table top loom banging on the table got to him, and he has been making them for many years.  You can find out more about his products here.  This is from the website:

    The Rigid Heddle Loom is an original design by wood artisan, Joe Hanes

    It has been evolving through the years.

    This loom is simply beautiful and purely functional!!   Created from exotic wood

    showing many of the “beauty marks” from the wood.

    They are  a strong durable loom,  that can “pivot” to the weaver’s back, which means the  weaver can choose to sit anywhere they are

     comfortable to weave at their loom.

             It has slides on the sides, which allows more space for theweaver to create.

    The loom can pivot down  to enable the loom to slide into small spaces.

      They are made in 18″ and 24″ widths.

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    Kim & Joe Looms

    A couple of weeks ago my loom arrived, the 24″ wide version, and last week Joe helped me to set it up and warp the threads.

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    Sliding Bar for the Rigid Heddle so that it can move down towards you and requires less time winding up.

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    Beautiful wooden tension knobs.

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    The warping took about 2 hours and I used some of the cream colored cotton in the gift box of weaving yarns.  Looks like a mess, but it all turned out beautifully.

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    Then we wove some toilet paper at the beginning to even out the threads and I was ready to go.

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    And there she sat for a couple of days while I looked at Youtube videos and waited for Jane to come over and guide me throughout the beginning of my first project.

     
    • elaine 1:37 pm on May 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love it! And it’s beautiul, too. Must research what the difference is between tapestry looms and rigid heddle looms… Yes, bug has bitten :-)

      • knitting1105 11:58 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I know about that bug. I was able to hold off until I saw the wonderful things that my friend Jane was weaving.

    • AndreSue 11:18 pm on May 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      How exciting!! Your loom is gorgeous!

      • knitting1105 11:58 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        It really is. He is a master woodworker, and uses beautiful reclaimed lumber so each piece is slightly different.

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