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  • knitting1105 10:51 am on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Where is my Sweater? -2KCBWDAY4 

    Day Four: 31st March. Where are they now?

    Whatever happened to your __________?

    Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

    There are a lot of different aspects to look at when looking back at a knitting project and it can make for interesting blogging, as much of the time we blog about items recently completed, new and freshly completed. It is not so often that we look back at what has happened to these items after they have been around for a while.

    How has one of your past knits lived up to wear. Maybe an item has become lost. Maybe you spent weeks knitting your giant-footed dad a pair of socks in bright pink and green stripes which the then ‘lost’. If you have knit items to donate to a good cause, you could reflect on the was in which you hope that item is still doing good for it’s owner or the cause it was made to support.

    I want to write about my favorite sweater, the one that I splurged on the yarn for and bought wool and qiviut to make a beautiful natural gray cabled sweater.  For the uninitiated, Qiviut is the downy fiber from the underbelly of the musk ox, hard to obtain, and as precious (and expensive) as gold. It was so light, yet incredibly warm.  I took it on travels, in fact finished it just in time to take on the plane to Australia several years back.  This was pre-blogging, so I have no photos of my beauty.  It packed so nicely and compactly.  It was my go-to sweater.  And I do not know where it went to.  The last I can remember, I wore it on a trip to NYC in December 2009.  Worked great as an extra layer under my coat.  I was sure that it came back with me,  and I thought that I wore it also to an SnB meeting a few weeks later.  Then gone.

    Qiviut has been described in an article here as “finer than cashmere, warmer than wool, and a joy to work with.” I can attest to all that.  Manning had offered to talk me out of the expensive purchase at Stitches one year, and I declined the offer and purchased the yarn.  Now, I want to buy the same yarn again to make another beautiful sweater.

    Thanks to Ravelry, I found the manufacturer, Rovings of Canada, but alas the Qiviut yarn has been discontinued.

     
    • Vivianne 11:05 am on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my … how odd.

      Like

    • Amy 12:05 pm on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That is so sad!

      Like

    • josiekitten 2:00 pm on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Oh no! I hope that if someone else has it now, they know just how lucky they are!

      Like

    • Kepanie 3:24 pm on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      How sad how it disappeared. But I’m sure you’ll be able to find more Qiviut to knit with. Good luck!

      Like

    • Genki 5:34 pm on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      What a sad story! I think a lot of posts on this topic are about people losing favourite hand-knitted items. But Qiviut! And no photo to remember it.

      Like

    • sjurmu 7:44 pm on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That must be absolutely frustrating!

      Like

  • knitting1105 10:38 pm on March 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Neat and Tidy – 2KCBWDAY3 

    Day Three: 30th March. Tidy mind, tidy stitches

    How do you keep your yarn wrangling organized? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organization exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organized at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organized, blog about an aspect of that organization process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organized stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

    Well, let me just start by saying that I am a Virgo in the classic sense.  Organization is paramount to me, even though I have periods of feeling out of control.  As a child, my closet was organized alphabetically, and then within the particular sections (blouse, pants, skirts, etc.) I had items arranged by the color of the rainbow.  I have eased up a bit since then, but still love an organized space.  Some of my friends may beg to differ, as chaos seems to periodically take over my house.

    Our house had been an empty nester, until my son had to unexpectedly return from Japan.  I had taken the basement room that has been the designated study room for years as my knitting room.  I was just starting to get it all organized, when we scheduled interior drainage system for the entire basement.  So, the room has to be taken apart again, and I will have to restock my yarn armoire.  But, the good side will be, no more danger of basement flooding, and while I have to put new baseboards back on, a storage cabinet and additional closet that have been in my mind for the family room portion will be crafted.

    I was going to wait for the grand unveiling, but here is a peek at what will be coming.  I see this as an inspiration and design space more so than an actual knitting or spinning space.

    First I have a large corkboard with shaker pegs covering the upper part of one wall.  I found these great rolls of cork 4′ high, and whatever length you need.  The shaker pegs are a leftover from a previous job, all framed with other oak remnants from work done on the house.   It is not really set up yet, as we knew everything would have to just come down again:

    And I moved a vintage china cabinet that I had refinished years ago into the space to hold my yarn.  This is my sock and baby yarn stash:

    And, of course there will be a bookshelf to try and corral most of my knitting books into one location.  It will be bigger than this, and fill most of this wall:

    Just outside my knitting room, is the old card catalog from my kids elementary school.  This has my needles in it, a different drawer for each size.  I have some issues with storage in this which I will be addressing soon.


     
    • Tiny Angry 10:51 pm on March 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I think using the card catalog for organizing the needles is an awesome idea!
      And all of your yarn is so bright and cheery! =D

      Like

    • CraftyCripple 5:46 am on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I want that card catalogue system. That is gorgeous.

      Like

    • Mimi 9:18 am on April 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      In so many ways you missed your calling as a librarian.

      Like

  • knitting1105 10:10 am on March 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2KCBWDAY2   

    New Skill – 2KCBWDAY2 

    Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP.

    Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

    This one is easy:

    SPINNING, SPINNING, SPINNING!

    I learned how to spin in September, bought myself a used Ashford Traditional the same weekend for my birthday, and have been having fun ever since.

    I have a new-found appreciation for wool, and all fibers.  It is no longer just asking if yarn or fiber is wool, but what sheep, where was it raised, is it blended with any other fibers.  My husband went with me to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival last Fall, and is looking forward to attending others.  He is intrigued by the yarn spinning and the differences in the sheep.

    The biggest problem that I have had with spinning my own yarn is finding patterns that I deem worthy enough for my beautiful yarn, and also of the yardage that I can actually use it.  I actually knit an entire shawl with the purple/green yarn shown below, and then I ripped it out, as I deemed the pattern unfit for my handspun.  If I had made it with a commercial yarn, I would have simply kept it.

    I am attending a spinning retreat with Jacey Boggs in a couple of weeks.  This will be my first class since my initial introduction, and I am really looking forward to learning from all of the other people there.  Next will be a drum carder and learning how to dye yarn myself.  And of course, a traveling wheel…

     
    • katiemckinna 12:51 am on March 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, look at all that lovely yarn you made! I love my Ashford.

      Like

    • Rae 2:04 am on March 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      You have a beautiful wheel & have made some gorgeous yarn. I am just learning to spin on a drop spindle & find it addicting & fun.

      Like

  • knitting1105 9:44 pm on March 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2KCBWDAY1   

    A Tale of Two Yarns – 2KCBWDAY1 

    Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns.

    Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

    I decided to participate in the blog week again this year.  Today’s topic has mulled around in my head, and the only thing that I can think of to talk about are sock yarns.  I tend to gravitate towards finer gauge yarns, and lately sock yarns for a lot of my projects.

    My tried and true time-tested favorite sock yarn is Jawoll by Lang.  This was one of the first sock yarns that I knit with about 15 years ago, has been around for years, and I have quite a stash of it in my yarn cabinet.  When I was putting away a bunch of hand knit socks that I had washed over the weekend, for both myself and my husband, the socks that have worn the best, held their shape the best, and are the most versatile were made with this yarn.  A few years ago I was trying to convince my LYS to stock sock yarns.  The answer that I got was that “none of our patrons knit socks”.  I retaliated that the sock knitters did not come to their shop because they did not carry sock yarns.  So, I ordered a vast array of colors of Jawoll in the mail.  Soon after it arrived, the same LYS tried to get me to come in and look at all of their new sock yarns, and wasn’t it so much fun to knit socks (amazing what happens once you drink the water).  I said that I was set for quite a while.  This sock yarn also comes with a matching spool of reinforcing thread inside each skein for the toes and heels (toes especially for my husband).  Varying colors and tweeds are available, but definitely with a machine-made look to them.  the gauge is fine enough to allow for colorwork or cabling and not have it be too thick.  It has handled the test of being my husbands favorite socks that he wears to work all winter long, and only 1 pair have had to have toe replacement.

    Here are some samples from that yarn:

    So, a few years ago, I was wanting to try some more of the hand dyed sock yarns from the companies out there.  I joined the Socks That Rock sock club for 2 years, and made 12 pairs of socks with their yarns.  The colors are gorgeous, apart from my dissatisfaction with the patterns was the fact that the yarn itself was thicker than I preferred, and very tough to work with.  I often felt like I was knitting with cotton instead of wool.  I have given most of those away, but kept a couple for myself.  I have not had wearability issues with the yarn, but they remain house socks, as they do not fit into any of my shoes (unlike the pairs above), and they have not faded like I have heard others complain (and I even dry all of my socks on the line in the summer).  However, they do not seem to be holding their shape, and have become rather floppy socks.


    Now I am in 2 sock clubs, and get yarn and patterns for both together every other month.  This is a more interesting experiment, as the patterns are more intricate, and the yarn is from a different Indy dyer each time.  That way, perhaps I can find that perfect balance of fineness, and color options.  In the meantime, I have a lot of the Jawoll to knit from, and still 2 skeins of the coveted Woolmeise sock yarn.

     
    • Debbie S 11:24 am on March 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the Jawoll recommendation. I’d like to slowly build my sock yarn stash with quality yarns and it’s hard to know how some of the newer indie dyer yarns will hold up over time. How does Jawoll compare to Opal?

      Like

      • knitting1105 11:59 am on March 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I like Jawoll the best personally, and the fact that I can get loads of solids. I am looking for that great Indy dyer that has the light weight, and wearability. I am hoping my sock clubs will lead me in the correct direction.

        Also, I recently purchased 2 skeins of Jawoll Magic, and did NOT like that yarn at all, very splity. I am hoping that they have not changed the original.

        Like

  • knitting1105 1:22 pm on March 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Favorite Knitting Blogs 

    Canadian Living online magazine asked readers last week to submit their favorite knitting blogs.  I only know this, because as I looked at my site stats I noticed incoming views from this magazine.  I was quite surprised to see my humble little blog listed there.  Lisa, thanks for the vote of confidence!  And, even though I trailed the Yarn Harlot in votes by a bit (I think 99-1 or something like that), I am tickled to see my name there.  Also, I will be checking out these blogs, and updating my own favorites.  Some bloggers I was following seem to have gone AWOL fro quite some time.

    And kudos to the amazing people out there who continue to find creative ways to provide financial support to the people of Japan.  I found this one through the above mentioned Canadian Living magazine.  A raffle of items from artists, Hearts and Hands for Japan, all proceeds going to Shelter Box and Save the Children.

    I have finished my Eiki shawl and it is blocking as I write.  I added one additional border repeat, which both lengthened and widened the shawl a bit.

    The wing span is about 58″, and it is 40″ deep at the V.  While it is cold, the sun is out, so I moved my blocking boards from the basement floor to the back porch.  Hopefully it will dry quickly.

    Fessing up to the rest of my purchases at Lorna’s Laces warehouse sale, here are the 2 other things that I purchased.  2 skeins (430 yards each) of sock yarn.  I think that I am going to use this to make myself the Japanese Feather and Fan Shawl.  The first one was a gift that gets mailed this week, and I really liked the pattern,  these colors should work well it and show off the curves nicely.

    Helen’s Lace yarn for another future shawl, a lace weight with a lot of yardage.  I am thinking a Faroese for myself.

     
  • knitting1105 1:44 pm on March 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Moving along 

    First off, big news to all of my friends and family:  I finally traded my old phone in.  Actually, it would not hold a charge anymore, and when you pushed a button (that is if you could read it) often the number was recorded numerous times.  My friend Theresa, knowing my fondness for my old hefty, trustworthy phone, gave me a pile of similar ones from her family.  But, I actually opted to purchase one that has a few features, and I can text on.

    Goodbye old phone:

    And on another bit of technology of which I am late to the party, I have officially put something other than my name on Facebook.  In truth, I had only signed up last year to spy on a knitting scam artist, but that is another story.  While Ethan was in Japan, I used Facebook to get ahold of a neighbor who is living in southern Japan, find one of my son’s friends, and find a long-lost college friend that we have been wondering about for years.  So, I guess it does have it’s purposes.  I don’t really need the social media aspect, as I spend enough time on Ravelry.

    I finished my first Dawnsinger sock for the Janel Laidman sock club, working on the second.  This is an unblocked photo.  I changed 2 things.  There was a ribbed heel on an even number of stitches, which meant that the 2 sides did not look the same when you picked up the gusset stitches, so in the first row, I decreased one stitch, and made the ends match by starting and stopping with a knit stitch.  The same issue came up with the top of the foot which is ribbed, and again I decreased one stitch before starting that.  It worked just fine, as the sock was large to accommodate all of the Fair Isle.  That was why she had used the ribbing in the first place, to pull in the foot and snug it up.

    And for mindless knitting, I have been working on my Eiki shawl, also by Janel Laidman.  This is just a lot of garter stitch at the beginning.  I added one additional repeat to the pattern, as I thought it might be smaller than my taste.  I am not really a fan of the “shawlette”, I don’t see it’s use, and I really like something that I can wrap around my neck, and can actually cover my shoulders on a brisk night.

     
  • knitting1105 3:14 pm on March 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Eiki 

    Eiki, the Japanese word for strength.  This pattern is being offered by Janel Liadman as a fundraiser for Japan through the end of April.  All proceeds to go to the Red Cross relief effort and Doctors without Borders.  I purchased this and am knitting it with some yarn that I got yesterday at another of Lorna’s Laces warehouse sales.

    This is 8 skeins of their sock yarn, in a color called Whitewater.  I got 8 skeins, as it was in large bags to be taken all together at a reduced rate.  I love the blue, teal and white together, colors of clean calm water.  Whatever I don’t use for the shawl would make some beautiful socks.  The majority of the shawl is a garter stitch, and it is moving along quickly.

    Other designers are offering patterns, and some shops a portion of the sales, as donations to relief efforts in Japan.  An entire site on Ravelry is dedicated to channeling help to Japan.

    My son is safely home, sleeping and trying to figure out what to do next.  As I knit this, I am sending positive thoughts to the people of Japan.  As the media moves on to the next crisis, this country still needs our prayers and help.

     
    • Rae 1:25 am on March 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Those colors go great together I can’t wait to see the shawl when your done. Glad your son is home safe & sound.

      Like

  • knitting1105 4:06 pm on March 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Before and After 

    If you have not seen this post, it shows areas of Japan before and after the Earthquake and Tsunami.  Slide your cursor over each photo.

    And donate to a charity if you can.  We have.  Our wonderful son is home thanks to many of his co-workers insuring that he got a ticket was packed up and escorted to the airport.   While the danger is not as bad as we thought earlier in the week, it is one less mouth to feed in the country, and someone who his company does not have to worry about while they rebuild their lives.  We are indebted to those people, and look forward to visiting one day.

     
  • knitting1105 1:10 pm on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Two Clocks 

    We put up a second clock in the kitchen when my son moved to Japan for his Research Fellowship.  That way, whenever I was moving about during the day or night, I could think about him, what he was probably doing and how his day was.  Along with Tokyo being added to my online weather reports, these were my little connections to him in between phone calls, skype and email.

    Now Ethan is on a plane on his way home, we pick him up later today.  It will be incredibly happy and sad at the same time to meet him.  He was only in Japan for 6 weeks, but really came to love the people and culture, and of course his international frisbee team.  He really wanted to stay, but we felt that the dangers were too great, he was unable to do his work, and the living situation in Tokyo is not at the best right now.  Japan really needs to be able to focus on their own people and recovery.  I KNOW he will return one day, hopefully soon.   They have offered to take him back when the situation is stable again, and I would want him to return to complete what he had started.

    I will leave the second clock on the wall.  To remind me to continue to pray for and think of the people in Japan who welcomed my son into their lives, and took such great care of him,  and to remind Ethan that he will go back.  Hopefully soon.

     
    • Barbara 3:18 pm on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m so pleased to hear that he is coming home safely. The situation in Japan seems more worrying every day.

      Like

  • knitting1105 9:40 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Knit your own Royal Wedding 

    Yes, you too can take part in the “Wedding of the Century” by knitting your own version, in wool of course (and if you really care).  Thanks to Barbara of ReKnitting for posting this.  Fiona Goble has written a book with directions for all the major players.  Gave me a laugh on a tough day.

    And there is even this video of the knitted wedding ceremony.  A humorous article about this book was written up in the Daily Telegraph.

    Might just be worth getting just for a knit book collectors item…

     
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