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  • knitting1105 9:40 am on August 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fiori di Sole, Lace knitting, malabrigo silk   

    Silk Shawl 

    With the lovely Malabrigo silk yarn that I purchased at Sister Arts during the Yarn Crawl, I have started a new shawl.

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    Jane from my knitting group generously gave me this pattern, Fiori di Sole, that she had bought but was not going to use.  I think that it is a perfect fit of yarn to pattern.  I am a bit worried that I will not have enough yarn though.  I will need to decide if I want to shorten it when that time comes.

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    I am well underway with the shawl.  My biggest problem was the yarn, I wound the first skein with my ball winder.  About 2/3 of the way through knitting with it, the yarn collapsed into a big tangled mess.  It took me about 2 hours to straighten it out.   So, now I am hand winding each of the skeins into a ball, which gives me the opportunity to use the beautiful yarn blow that my sister Diane gave to me!

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    After the large petals, the main body is easily memorized.

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    The yarn is gloriously soft, and will have a wonderful drape to it.

     
    • Barbara Mayer 10:42 am on August 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It’s absolutely beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 9:05 pm on August 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Looks beautiful! A few tricks for silk- wind the ball on an empty toilet paper roll, and don’t pull from the center out,pull from the outside so it can’t collapse. It will help tremendously. But still use the gorgeous bowl!!!

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 11:53 pm on August 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It is a gorgeous shawl and will look beautiful on you.

      Like

  • knitting1105 3:09 pm on August 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Sustainable Yarns   

    Yarn Crawl Part II 

    Last Friday I had some returns to make in the Western Suburbs, so decided to continue the Yarn Crawl, and hopefully make it to 10 stores, which I succeeded in doing.  It was not as fun going alone however.

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    A couple of the stores had run out of buttons, not anticipating how popular the totes and buttons would be.  Perhaps they will have a better sense next year. Not sure exactly what I will do with the bag, but it was fun to collect them.

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    The crawl introduced me to a couple of new stores that I had never been to and will definitely return to.  It also alerted me to a couple that I have no interest in going to again. It was interesting to see all of the different personalities of the stores, and what their target audience is.  While no one store met my requirements for a “dream yarn shop”, there were facets of many that I liked.

    Since my recent bout with Chinese fake mink yarn, it has strengthened my resolve to first purchase US or Canadian yarn, preferably with the wool sourced here, and spun and processed here also.  So, it was exciting ot see this yarn, Swans Island at String Theory (I think that they also carried it at Knit 1), all US grown and processed, 100% Rambouillet.

    I spent forever looking at the colors and trying to decide what to purchase.  My thought was to make a pair of Fair Isle mitts.  Purple and Green are always a favorite combo of mine.  This is such a nice squishy woolen spun yarn.

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    Also at Sting Theory, I purchased this super soft Merino from Patagonia, wool folk.   They are working with Sustainable practices in Patagonia:

    Woolfolk yarns combine the highest quality wool with ethical, sustainable practices. The fiber we use, Ultimate Merino®, doesn’t happen by chance, but by the innovative efforts of farmers to produce the very best wool fiber while being land stewards of the Patagonian Grasslands. Woolfolk brings this exquisitely soft and lustrous fiber in handknitting yarns that preserves the unique attributes of this luxurious wool.

    This yarn is destined to become a pair of Eiffel Tower mittens, a pattern that was gifted to me on my birthday a couple of years ago.

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    And, while I did not purchase anything from Fiberista this past week, they are now carrying Jared Flood’s Shelter yarn.  I am truly excited to have a local source for this, and will be planning a sweater with that yarn in the fall.  Another US made and produced yarn.

    We are passionate about wool, knitting and design. We develop and manufacture breed-specific yarns that support domestic textile production—designing, sourcing, dyeing and spinning our yarns within the USA. Our design team is committed to producing high-quality, sophisticated knitwear patterns for the modern handknitter, especially tailored for the wool yarns we create.

    In addition to eating local, I am trying to buy local, and wool is a great place to start.

    Last note, I just got an email that I won a book at one of the stores on Yarn Crawl!!!

     
    • Diane Hamilton 9:04 pm on August 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations on the free book, always fun to win something. I love purple and green together too. Looks like you found some treasures for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 10:56 am on August 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I did! Will show you when you get here.

        Like

    • salpal1 7:17 am on August 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      good choices! Glad you found Swan’s Island – it’s local to me and I love it. I also love Quince and Co – another Maine company using all USA wool. It’s fun to shop locally!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 10:56 am on August 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Oh, lucky that you live so close to 2 great yarn companies. Never been to Maine, it is on my list.

        Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 1:32 pm on August 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Knit One, Purl Two 

    Knit one, purl two
    This sweater, my darling,’s for you
    While vigil you‘re keeping through rain and storm
    This sweater will keep you warm
    Purl two, knit one
    Our trials I know have begun
    And while you are fighting each battle through
    My darling, my heart’s with you

    I just left the cot where our little Todd
    In sleep was smiling
    He must have dreamed of you…

    Knit one, purl two
    My darling, whenever I’m blue
    It’s comfort to know that when he’s a man
    He‘ll be glad that his Dad came through
    Knit one, purl two…

     
    • Diane Hamilton 9:16 pm on August 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Cute, reminds me of the songs Mom and Dad used to listen to.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 4:53 pm on August 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Yarn stores Chicago   

    Yarn Crawl 

    Apparently Chicago Yarn Crawl  has been going on for 4 or 5 years now.  It occurs the week prior to Stitches Midwest, and allows local yarn stores to showcase their wares.  My friends Barb and Pam have gone for several years, and this year Louise and I tagged along.  It was so much fun.  We went to 6 stores, 2 of which I had never been to before.

    At the first store, we were asked if we wanted to purchase a Yarn Crawl bag, we said no.  Everyone gets a passport that is stamped at each store, and you are entered into raffles at each store, in addition a larger raffle when you reach the milestones of 5, 10 and 15 stores. Then some ladies came in who had started this over the weekend, and they were sporting the bags, with a pin from each store to show where they had been.  Well, we were hooked.

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    So, off we went with our bags and shopping.  I restrained myself at most of the stores.  Each store was required ot have a free pattern.  When we got to Sister Arts, their pattern was one of the best, 3 of us got the yarn to make this capelet:

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    these are the colors that i choose, on order is a natural cream color, so the base will be cream and gold, with turquoise accents.  It will be really fun to see how everyone’s color combinations turn out.

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    I also found yarn for a very special shawl (more about that in the next post), Malabrigo Mora, 100% silk.

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    Every store was offering 10% off on all yarns, and some had extra specials just for the crawl.  Sister Arts gave gifts for a $30 or more purchase!  Missing from this photo is the measurement tool, as mine was broken, and I am hoping that my friend was able to exchange it.

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    Lastly at Nina’s, I found a sale yarn and book that I really liked (at 50% off).  The yarn will become a shawl, and I cannot wait to make the sheep toy.

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    There are so many more stores available to knitters than when I first moved to Chicago, glad to have the fiber community growing. Now I am trying to decide if I have enough time to hit a couple of more stores in the next 2 days…

     
    • Diane Hamilton 11:23 pm on August 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I love the sheep toy! We have something similar for quilting, it is a lot fun especially when you go with friends. Glad you had a good time and had some restraint.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 10:57 am on August 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I really want to knit the sheep toy.

        Like

    • salpal1 7:09 am on August 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      what fun! once you have the bag, you have to go to more stores. 🙂 love the purchases you made, and the freebies – fill that bag!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 6:20 pm on August 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Only the Really Special Ones 

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    Ann Marie from my knitting group made this sweater for her beautiful little daughter.  It is such a cute simple pattern, and I thought that it would be a perfect one for Ria.  I made the size 4-6 years, and was getting gauge, so I am hoping that it fits.  It was sent off to California.  If not, I can easily make another, and this is Alpaca, so it will have lots of give to it.  I did make it a bit longer, it was designed to be a crop sweater, and I knit 6 rows for the sleeves to make those a tad longer also.

    The increases at the bottom give the frills that really make the sweater.

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    The deep purple of the yarn (Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL, color Eggplant, a discontinued yarn) is gorgeous, but I wanted the buttons to add some interest.  I have a box of bright plain buttons in various sizes, and this was the perfect compliment.

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    Right before starting on this sweater, I saw an interesting blog post on a “new to me” way to knit the KFB (knit front and back) increases.  The technique eliminates the bar that is normally a part of this technique.  Instructions for this sweater called for: *kfb, slip marker, kfb* to make the raglan sleeves.  So, I tried the technique and in my opinion it was good, but I think that I really prefer a lifted increase each side of a raglan sleeve stitch.   Mine looks a bit wonky, as I never properly blocked it out.  I am guessing that with a couple of washings this will even out.

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    Here are some links to this technique, you basically are knitting in the front of the stitch, then going as if to knit in the back and slipping it instead.  This blog post has a good photo showing the differences.  And here is a description from Meg Swanson on her blog.

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    I can’t wait to see my niece wearing this.  She thinks that I make all of the sweaters that she wears, and my sister tells her “Only the really special ones”.

     

     
    • salpal1 6:33 am on August 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      that is adorable!~ And thanks for the link, I will check it out – always good to learn new things. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 4:34 pm on August 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks!

        My favorite thing about knitting is that there is always something new to learn!

        Liked by 1 person

    • 1marylou 10:26 am on August 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      A sweater any little girl would be happy to receive. So cute and I love the color combination.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 8:10 pm on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mrs. Crosby, Satchel,   

    Glad to be finished 

    This pair of socks seemed ot have taken forever to knit, I am thinking because I was not enjoying the yarn.  The yarn is one of the things that I won at YarnCon.  It is Mrs. Crosby Satchel yarn, color Northern Parula.

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    The yarn is a single ply, and I found it not to be a pleasure to knit with.  The single ply would split occasionally while I was working with it, and there were places in the yarn where it got quite a bit bulkier, a thick and thin type of yarn, although not throughout the skein.  This color would not be a choice of mine, and I am pessimistic on how the socks will hold up.

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    The pattern is a simple twisted rib, and then I used some workhorse sock yarn for the heels and toes.

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    These will be gifted to my husband, and I will watch carefully how they wear.

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    Now to decide my next socks, always love to have a pair on the needles, as it is a great travel project.

     

     
    • Diane F Hamilton 5:02 pm on July 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I hope Dan “wears” them well.

      Like

  • knitting1105 5:03 pm on July 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m Busy 

    Not sure about the needle holding position.

    Otherwise this is totally me!

    13524415_1069999953054014_8645944381264044544_n

     
  • knitting1105 1:45 pm on July 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fake yarn, lace shawl, Lotus yarns, Mimi yarn, mink yarn, Recalled Yarn, Trendsetters   

    The real thing? 

    When a local yarn store, Knot Just Knits, was going out of business last year I  bought only a few items.  One of them was Mimi Yarn by Lotus, and distributed by Trendsetter, advertised as 100% Mink.

    Advertised.

    Recently, I pulled out this yarn, wound a ball and decided to knit a shawl with it for a gift.  Part way through I was thinking that I would like another skein to allow me to make the shawl larger.   That’s when I found this:

    mimi_recall

    Apparently, there never was any Mink in this yarn, just wool, angora, rayon and nylon.  It is very soft, but not mink.  I was wondering how this could be at the given price.   Trendsetter was offering a rebate to your local yarn store (out of business) provided you sent back the original yarn and your receipt.  Who keeps yarn receipts?  So, without that I thought that I would most likely not get a good response from Trendsetter, and since I was already part way through my shawl, I opted to continue, and just kept weighing the yarn to make sure that I was going to have enough to finish.

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    Haurni is the pattern that I knit up. and luckily, the designer was very clear that when you finish Part A, Part B uses about 50% of the yarn.  Years ago I had knit this shawl, and remembered this part, I just was not certain how close it was going to be.  I was able to add an extra repeat in the shawl to make it a tad bit bigger.

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    The pattern is fun, well written, and easy to expand.  You can check out my previous version of this shawl HERE. and HERE, I had forgotten that I have made this twice before!!! And I did have enough yarn to finish, not a ton left, but not a scary nail biting finish.

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    The shawl really comes alive when it is blocked.   I had a specific person in mind for this, I will have to see how I like it when the blocking is finished.

    This is a good blog post about the Fake Yarn.  Well, a country that poisons their own babies with tainted formula, our dogs with bad pet food, and substituting plastic for rice!  I am now even more committed to purchasing yarn that was first grown and spun in the US, and second from a reliable Scandinavian or European country.  Or back to spinning my own from fiber of local farmers, the best solution if I have the time.

    Careful people, the USDA now allows all of our meat to be sent to China for processing.

     
    • salpal1 4:11 pm on July 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That is horrible! I do try to use locally produced stuff wherever possible, but it never occurred to me to distrust the label on yarn. grrr. glad you had enough to finish it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 11:36 pm on July 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That is such a pretty shawl. I would have contacted the company to see if they had any extra yarn anyway, never hurts to ask. I am sorry the yarn was misrepresented, it seems that happens more than we know in all sorts of arenas. Whoever is the lucky recipient will treasure your hard and beautiful work. After-all you are an award winning knitter. Love the color.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 12:18 pm on July 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        My guess is that they would have destroyed the extra recalled yarns, but maybe not. I will see how it blocks out. Thanks for all the encouragement, as always.

        Like

  • knitting1105 3:23 pm on June 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Yarn Destash 

    Our local Stitch ‘n Bitch group had a yarn destash party on Friday night hosted by Barb.  Everyone brought books, yarn, knitting bags, etc that they were happy to part with.  We all drew numbers and took turns picking one item, or one group at a time until everyone had enough.  And the leftovers were donated to a local charity resale shop that has a knitting/sewing section.

    A good time was had by all, and everyone left with some “new to them” book or yarn.  I was really happy with what I scored.  Although when I left home I was hoping to not return with any yarn.  It is exciting to think about what to make with what I have acquired.

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    My favorite is KnitPicks Palette in beautiful colors, with black, brown and white as neutrals.  9 balls at 231 yards should give me lots of options.

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    This yarn has been floating around the group for awhile.  It was donated to Jane’s charity knitting first.  9 skeins at 225 yards of beautiful wool, spun at a small mill in Wisconsin.  I think enough for a sweater.  The color is reminiscent of camel.

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    Also in the first photo are 4 balls of Rowan Cotton Glace in a bright orange, 4 skiers of Dale of Norway Tiur in a beautiful eggplant, 1 skein of Berroco Inca Gold in a chocolate brown, and 1 skein of Berroco Peruvia in Chocolate Brown, and a skein of multi colored sock yarn.

    One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.

     

     

     
  • knitting1105 10:27 am on June 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Vintage Knitting needles, WWII Knitting   

    Knit Your Bit 

    propaganda-detail

    Recently I was looking through my needles to loan pair of #3 40″ circulars to a friend.  In the process, I went through a stash of knitting needles that I purchased from a friend a couple of years ago.  And, I found these:

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    19517153._UY200_

    This spiked my curiosity, of course I knew about knitting for the war, and socks being a favorite.  I had read the book Knitting America, by my friend Susan Strawn, and in that book she talks extensively about the War knitting efforts.

     

    Researching online, I could not find any examples of these intact needles for sale.  I did, however, find fun graphics, and of course the pattern for the socks that were to be knit with these needles.

    2._sock_pattern_ed_feature

    KnittingWorldWar2_LifeMagazine1941

    There was also a book published in 2012 with WWI and WWII knitting patterns.  I was interested until I saw the resell price of $432!!!

    If you are interested in knitting some of the Vintage patterns, this site has some free examples.

    wwii_purl

    And… I also found these cool Vintage needles in my search:  Clover, Susan Bates and Boye.  All will be on display and loved for the history.  The small Clover ones are from Japan, and only 8 1/2″ long, I do not know how you would knit with them, or what they are used for.

     
    • salpal1 6:36 am on June 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      fun research! I can tell you that the small clover needle would be perfect fro knitting socks and sleeve cuffs. I have a couple of tiny, short Addi needles and love them for those two things. I wonder why the pattern book costs so much? Seems pretty high for a pattern book!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 9:44 am on June 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! I think that the small Clovers would only be good for a baby sweater, and I would most likely use DPN’s. The pattern book is only worth as much as the next fool is willing to pay for it. I will keep my eye out for this other places though. I remember when the DoN Polar Bear pattern leaflet was going for $500!

        Like

        • salpal1 2:08 pm on June 22, 2016 Permalink

          that’s just crazy. Eventually it will be available on Amazon. Heck, if I had a copy, I would sell it to you for half that price. 🙂

          Like

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