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  • knitting1105 3:08 pm on November 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Snow Day 

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    Today was a snow day for our school.  While we did not get a lot of snow here, 4-5”, west of here there was a lot more.  I am taking advantage of this day off after the long holiday weekend, to just craft away.

    Mittens have been on my list as of late.  Here are a few of the ones that I have finished.

    The squirrel mom and baby were meant for a child, but they ended up being a small adult size.  These were made with Daletta yarn from Dale of Norway.

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    Next I worked on these mittens, again intending that they become a child’s mittens, but these were too small, so are heading off to Izumi.  Yarn is Baby Ull.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Having trouble getting my sizes correct, I finally asked a friend of mine who teaches 2nd grade to trace a couple of her students hands.  That was so helpful, and I finally got a right-sized pair of child’s mittens.

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    These mittens had been on my knit-to list for many many years.  When my son was little, his best friend Sam had mittens like this knit for him by his grandmother.  They used to love to play Stop and Go on the side-walk with these.

    Vintage by Berroco was used for the mittens, I was able to get the correct colors and a machine washable yarn. Next, I needed to duplicate stitch the letters on.  None of the white yarn in my stash was the correct weight, so a couple of friends dropped some by and I was able to finish them up.  I am really happy with how they turned out.

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    So, I was on a roll.  The next pair is a Dale of Norway pattern, using Dale Tiur, which create a beautiful halo over the patterning.  Looks like a good child size fit.

    Feeling that I had this sizing thing down,  I found these child mittens on a Ravelry search, and free to boot.  I fell in love with the cuteness of this pattern, and the fact that the mittens did not really match. mittens-2 After casting on with Baby Ull, I quickly realized that they were going to be adult sized – 64 sts in a round, I should have known better.  In fact they fit my adult hand sized (which is large), so I opted to make them for myself.  I combined the bottom of both mittens first one on each side, and then added the top of the single snowman mitten and snowflakes repeated both sides.  I chose to put the thumb at the same side, so the result is that there is no right or left hand mitten, and each would have a slightly different appearance when worn.

    These are big, I wish that I had done a simpler rib, I opted for a 1×1 twisted rib, but on every color change row, I knit the purl stitches to not have the overlap of color showing, which had the effect of not pulling in very much at the cuff.  And, I added a few more rows before the pattern which I should have probably left out.  The thumb could have been a couple of stitches wider and perhaps a bit longer.  In spit of all this, I do believe that they will keep me warm.  Now they desperately need a washing to ease the stitches, and the embroidery so that the snowmen will look like something.

    And they do fit my big mitts.

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    • Diane Hamilton 9:24 pm on November 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      WOW! This was a productive day! I love all of them especially the Stop and Go mittens. I’m glad that you and Izumi both will benefit from your sizing issues, added bonus!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 3:42 pm on November 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: mending, repairing clothing, universal sewing machine, vintage sewing machine   

    Repairing 

    A couple of weekends ago I spent my time alone productively.  My husband was out-of-town, and I finally tackled long overdue baskets of clothing repairs.  The prior weekend, we had done a lot of work around the house, which involved me finally getting some shelves up in my knitting/sewing room.

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    This prompted a large cleanup and moving around of items, during which I unearthed my overload of items waiting to be repaired and sewn.  Since my sewing machine was now easily accessible, and I had room to spread out again, I decided to start the repairs.

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    Friday was knitting, working on mittens and finishing up a couple of projects.  Saturday morning began with a few friends over for brunch and knitting and conversation.  I was on a roll, and pulled out my sewing and mending repairs.  First I started with the items that needed just sewing.  I love my sewing machine, a Universal.  My mother took me to purchase this to take with me to college, it was a used machine, and I have loved it ever since.  It is simple by today’s standards, but is a workhorse, and made solid.  It was fun to sew again, I have missed it.

    Next came the mending by hand, and for that I pulled up Netflix and vowed to just repair, repair, repair.  I was surprised by how many items I had, many of which I had forgotten about.

    • Summer bathrobe
    • 3 hand knit sweaters
    • 2 hand knit shawls
    • underwear
    • undershirt
    • bra
    • 4 pair of hand knit socks
    • 3 pair of store-bought socks
    • 2 hand knit hats (one was really beyond repair, but I tried stitching it up anyways- was knit with handspun yarn)
    • a dress
    • a pair of slacks
    • a tie
    • 5 store-bought women’s sweaters
    • 3 store-bought men’s sweaters

    I had one hand knit tank top that I decided was beyond repair.  And, I never really wore it.  I am not sure what I was thinking when I bought this yarn, the color is atrocious, and the yarn is not anything to write about.  A couple of shows, and a movie, and I had salvaged much of the yarn.

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    I put it together on a knitty-knoddy and then soaked it.  I will save this to strand together with some brightly colored yarn for mittens int he future.

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    I am proud of myself for mending when I can, we have become such a throw-away society.  Plus, there is still a lot of wear in many of these items, and the hand knits represent a lot of personal time.  I vow not to let the mending get this out of hand again!

     

     
  • knitting1105 10:55 am on November 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    This is Totally Me! 

    Well, maybe not the gray hair!

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  • knitting1105 9:07 pm on November 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Shetland knitting, Shetland knitting history, The Vintage Shetland Project   

    The Vintage Shetland Project 

    I have taken to reading my knitting books, and not just looking at the patterns.  Last year, for my birthday we went to Michigan and stayed at the beach.  On the beach I met a young girl who was Lithuanian.  My conversation with her got my husband and I to talking about Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.  At lunch the next day we were sitting talking about the different root languages of each culture and history, when a family sitting next to us asked if were talking about Estonia.  We said yes, and they said that they were Estonian.  In fact, the woman’s father taught Estonian history and culture at Indiana University.  We proceeded to discuss Estonia and their history with them, and she asked how I knew so much about the history of Estonia.  And I said it was through my knitting books!

    A recent book purchase is The Vintage Shetland Project.

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    I absolutely loved this book, I cannot say enough good things about it.  Here is the description from the publishers:

    The Vintage Shetland Project, is the culmination of eight years of hard work and personal determination. Inspired by the patterns and colours of Shetland knitting, the fashion historian, author, designer and publisher Susan Crawford began a journey into the rich heritage of Shetland knitwear, and in particular the pieces held in the Shetland Museum archive. With the help of Dr Carol Christiansen, the museum’s curator, Susan undertook the task of carefully selecting the most stunning and original designs from the 1920s to the 1950s, transcribed them stitch by stitch, and has here recreated them for the modern knitter, in stunning detail and a range of sizes for women and men.

    In combination with the collection of 27 comprehensive patterns for garments and accessories are carefully researched essays exploring the stories behind each piece and honouring their creators – some famous, some forgotten. Photographed by Susan on the island of Vaila, situated off the west coast of Shetland, this book also celebrates the untameable beauty of Shetland itself. Compiled with Susan’s trademark attention to detail, this book is a fabulous treasury of Shetland knitting design and a valuable insight into its textile traditions. It offers you the chance to delve into a fascinating era for knitwear design and to bring it to life in stitch-perfect vintage style.

    The meticulously written patterns showcase Susan’s new yarn range, Fenella, created specifically to enable you, the knitter, to perfectly recreate these unique museum pieces. Made using 100% British wool, grown, spun and dyed in Britain, in a range of 26 colours carefully chosen to emulate the shades found in the original vintage pieces.

    The Vintage Shetland Project is a celebration of stunning design, beautiful knitting and the people of Shetland themselves, during a time of local change, international conflict and revolution in the knitting industry.

    The essays in the book were fascinating, the history of the men and women who promoted knitting in the Shetland Islands, and the stories of knitwear.  I am in awe of the research and dedication that went in to writing this book.  It read like the great series of short stories that it is.  All manners of knitting are covered, from how a pattern gets it’s name, a knitting suffragette, the rise and fall of popular designs, a female knitting shop keeper, the influence of rayon, a sweater that goes and returns from WWII POW camp, and more.

    Then, after one is sad that the narrative of knitting in Shetland is over, come the patterns influenced by the history and stories told.

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    Susan has also put together kits for each of the patterns, and choosing is proving difficult.  Each kit comes with Fenella yarn that is British wool and British spun.

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    Here is  a great review of the yarn, which I have yet to see in person.

    This definitely goes down as one of my favorite knitting books.  Buy it before it is out of print!  I got mine at School house Press.

    Now to choose my kit to order…

     

     
  • knitting1105 7:54 pm on November 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cute baby hat, DoN,   

    My Best Model 

    My beautiful Granddaughter.  I made several sweaters for her before she was born, and this Baby Surprise jacket has proven to be my DIL’s favorite.  I need to make a Totem for her next.  I also have some Dale of Norway Fair Isle sweaters in the waiting to take out next time we visit.

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    The hat pattern has received several inquiries.  It took a bit of sleuthing, but I finally found the pattern.  It is a Dale of Norway baby book #129

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    And the pattern is #12908

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    Here she is in the baby surprise jacket when she was a lot smaller!

     
    • Pam 8:38 pm on November 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      She could not be any more beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 11:23 pm on November 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      It was a beautiful sweater and I love the hat. Look how little she was, I don’t think that sweater is going to it much longer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 11:37 am on November 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Replacements coming!

        Like

    • salpal1 8:02 am on November 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Adorable!! I love how the sweater grows with the baby! Garter stitch is great that way.

      Liked by 1 person

    • knitting1105 11:37 am on November 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      The sweater does grow! But I think that it is past it’s use. Time for a Totem. I also have some waiting in the wings for her birthday and Christmas.

      Like

  • knitting1105 9:14 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The best Thank you 

     

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    I finished this sweater last spring for my niece Ria for her birthday.  I was especially proud of the shoulder and sleeve shaping, as I used the English tailoring method taught by CocoKnits.

    Ria could not be a better recipient.  (I need a photo of her to insert here from Diane or Jill!)

    This is the thank you note that she sent me.

    I am AHW (Amazing Horse Woman) – thanks Ria!

    Ria is BBW (Blood Bat Woman)

    Jill, Ria’s mom who is a judge herself is RBG (the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsberg)!

    and, Aunt Diane is MSW (Misty Skunk Woman)

    This group of women super heroes can do a lot!

     
    • Diane Hamilton 9:35 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I love her thank you note and she loved your sweater! I was going to just be “Skunk Woman”…I had to convince Ria to add Misty for some flair.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jill Dayal 8:33 pm on November 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      We love your beautiful sweaters! Such a treasure to receive them!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 11:16 am on October 26, 2018 Permalink
    Tags: germane short row heels, striped socks   

    Striped Socks 

    Has yarn ever spoken to you?   For several years these skeins of sock yarn, from JaWoll, sat there and I wanted striped socks.  I think that they reminded me of my favorite summer dress as a little girl that was blue and white striped.  So, in my recent sock frenzy I took out these skeins and decide to knit them up.

    JaWoll by Lang is absolutely my favorite sock yarn, it is consistent, high quality, comes in many colors, and has its own reinforcing thread in each skein.  These are the go-to sock yarns for me, and my husband has socks knit up with this yarn that are 20+ years old!  And he does wear all of his socks.

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    And using my newest favorite revision of the tubular cast on (Japanese tubular cast on), I started with 24 towns of twisted rib.

    Then, I wanted to try a new type of knitting to reduce the dreaded jog in yarn color changes.  Here is the technique that I have tried in the past.  And there is a good tutorial video here:

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    Trying this technique for a few rows, I was not happy with the result.  Even though it does show the rows the same height, I was not happy with how far it had traveled over in just a few short color changes.  I am a nut for symmetry, and this would have always bothered me.

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    And here is another tutorial on just using a straight slip stitch.  I like the way that this looks better.  I tuck my yarn in as I carry it though:

    So, the finished socks came out beautiful, and look like I had hoped.  However, I decided to put these in the gift pile for now.  I just knit up a pair of socks with Fiber Optic yarn, that I think I want to keep for myself instead.

    Does anyone else notice the color difference in the blue skeins?  I ordered them online years ago, and in the skein they looked the same, but when knit up, the bottom one is definitely more grey in tone.

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    I made a short row heel for these socks, but with a twist.  I first made a small increase gusset prior to getting to the heel portion.  Then, I knit the short row heel, and decreased that gusset down again.  In the process of doing the short row heel, I added stitches by picking up at the end of the short row segments.  And using the German short row technique in the process.

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    This makes for a better fitting short row, in my opinion.  Myself, I have a high instep and between the mini gusset and the increases in the short row, these pull over my foot without stretching out at that point.  I also think that striped socks work better with a short row heel.

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    And, I finished off with a traditional toe decrease.

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    Now, I knit these socks at separate times, and there were a couple of vacations in between (these were knit on my beautiful signature dpn’s and I did not want them confiscated by TSA).  To keep track of my decisions on socks, since many of them are my own “designs” or improvisations, I have taken to the habit of writing down my instructions on small pieces of paper and inserting them into the leg of the first sock as I knit is up.  This helps when coming back later to finish the second sock.

     
  • knitting1105 7:09 pm on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    WTF?!!! 

    Okay, I am a very political person, and I try my best to restrain myself on this site.  But this has gone too far.  Tariffs now on yarn and fabric imports!  But not on Trump hats and Chinese merchandise!  This is beyond ridiculous.

    Everyone needs to vote in November!!!

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    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-18/crafters-fail-to-sway-trump-as-yarn-fabric-stay-on-tariff-list

     
    • Diane Hamilton 7:43 pm on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That sucks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 3:07 am on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Only vote in November if you will be voting against Trump and his supporters. 😈

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 4:18 pm on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yes agreed. I implied that, but should have been specific. Yarn is really a small issue, but it is endemic of a much larger problem. I know that there is some US yarn, and that is great, but I think fabric is a tougher issue.

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 1:14 pm on September 21, 2018 Permalink

          Yes, you can find usa yarn, but other countries just do a better job making fabric than we do. Just picked up some cute fabric because “ have to get to now, prices are going to increase!

          Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 12:32 pm on September 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Japanese stitch dictionary, Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival   

    Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Revisited 

    Finally, after a 4 year hiatus, I was able to return with Dan to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival (why do people always want to get married on this weekend?!).  We drove up and back in one day, something that we are not going to repeat, it is so much more enjoyable to stay overnight and not have the nighttime driving.  It was a long day, but fun.

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    Sheep judging, interesting as always

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    There was a different sheep shearer than we had seen in the past.  Amazing how docile the sheep get when put on their backs.

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    And we got to see a new sheep breed being introduced to the US, Valais Blackness, a breed from Switzerland.  Look at that fleece!  Apparently it is a coarse wool, I wonder if it is like Churro sheep.  This was the hit of the fair for breeders.  They are so cute also.

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    We also watched the sheep dog trials, which is so fascinating.  I am not sure how they train the dogs so well.  My photos were not great of that event.

    And then, on to the market.  The first year that I went to this event in 2010, the market overwhelmed me.  I was a brand new spinner, taking my first class up there, and picking up my first wheel, the Ashford traditional.  That didn’t stop me from ogling over other wheels at the fair.  There were several vendors selling wheels, and so many with big bags of beautiful fleece and roving that you could buy in whatever quantity you chose.  By the next year, I had my eye on a Jensen wheel that was on display at the fair, and finally got it that winter,  I still love my Jensen.  The Traditional was sold right after I got the Jensen, and I still have my Ashford Joy for traveling, both great wheels.

    The market, while still occupying both of the large barns, was different.  There were the weaving and knitting and dyed fleece, but much less emphasis on spinning and I only saw one vendor with 2 big bags of roving.  That was a bit of a disappointment for me.

    Fiber Optic, my favorite dyer for roving was there, as they have been for the last several years.  I hesitate to admit how much of her roving I have in my stash waiting to be spun up, so I was not looking at that.  However, I have never knit with her sock yarn, and this seemed like a good time to purchase it, especially after my Clown Barf experience.  The owner, Kimber Baldwin, has a degree in Chemistry, and a great sense of color.  Plus, if you don’t like the outcome you can call her and return it!

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    Their yarn seems to be more popular now than the roving.  One day I will make it down to her shop, which looks amazing.  I purchased yarn for 3 pairs of socks.  the deep red/brown color is what Dan chose for himself.

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    I have already wound up the multi-color.

    My purchases also were for my Ravelry birthday twin, and then a new book for myself:

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    It is a lovely book, and I looked through it thoroughly.  Happily adding it to my stitch dictionary collection.

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    • salpal1 7:02 am on September 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, this post post makes me nostalgic! I went to this show for the first time last year – drove all the way out there (2.5 days each way) for a Ravelry meet up. We had a blast, and I got a Fiber Optic braid which spun up beautifully! I am glad you made it back and had fun, got some goodies!

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 10:20 pm on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Even though it was a quick trip, it looks like you had fun!

      Like

  • knitting1105 9:44 pm on September 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clown barf   

    Clown Barf 

    Clown barf, this term was illuminated to me by both a reader of this blog, and a fellow Stitch ’n Bitch knitter, when I expressed dismay at how these socks had been knit up.

    They look nothing like what I thought they would, nor nothing like how they were described.  This was from Bumblebee Acres.

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    I bought this yarn, and others at the local Indy dyer yarn fair, Yarn Con, that I have been attending for years.  This year, I bought 3 skeins of sock yarn, only 1 pleased me, and that was from Lorna’s Laces.

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    I loved these socks, and they were gifted to my DIL.

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    So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to tackle the last of the YarnCon purchases.  This is what the yarn looked like before being wound. From Mode Knit Yarn.

    Let’s just say, that I was sorely disappointed with the results when knit up.  The only reason that these even got finished is that I wanted my beloved signature needles for my next project.  Amazing how you can knit fast just because you hate something so much and want to finish it.  I find the colors combination awful, dreary and poorly thought out.  How is that for a non-reccomendation?

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    I am done with kitchen sink dyers.  Tomorrow, I will post my newest sock yarn purchases which I am sure will please me.  Staying with the tried and true.

     
    • tonymarkp 6:12 pm on September 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      It’s amazing how taste can differ from knitter to knitter. I love how your second pair of socks came out with the colors in the Mode Knit (I had never heard of this yarn, so thanks for talking about it.) The textured pattern still shows up pretty well. The title of your post reminded me (and made me crack up laughing) about when I was a teenager and it was cool to say “doing the technicolor yarn,” like if someone got sick at school.

      Like

    • salpal1 6:50 am on September 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t agree about the yarns! It might be that the patterns you chose didn’t work well in your eyes… I find that with this kind of yarn the number of stitches really matters. Too many and the striped don’t line up. Often two more or fewer will make all the difference. Note the heels, and see if you like how they striped, then next time do a bit of swatching to get the magic number.

      Like

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