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  • knitting1105 10:34 am on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Stash Busting 1 

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    I have a desire to reduce my stash significantly.  My purchases the past few years have been minimal, and I am trying to knit a couple of things from stash before purchasing anything new.  This sock yarn was bought years ago at a store closing event.  I have since decided that i do not like the self patterning sock yarns (Faux Isle), and had this and one other skein sitting.  When I knit this up however, I was pleasantly surprised that the pattern was not overpowering, the ones trying to mimic fair isle are not for me.

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    When these yarns first came out they were all the rage.  I succumbed to some of the enthusiasm of others, but really prefer to make my own fair isle socks, of just use a really cool hand dyed sock yarn.

    IMG_2422A contrasting heel and toe (with reinforcing thread) make these fun socks.  They were gifted to my husband the other day, who wore them right away and came home from a trip telling me how much he loved them.  I love him!

     

     
    • Gracey 8:21 pm on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t stash bust…Those are great socks…I love self striping socks…but I do have some Carlos and Arne that I am not in love with….

      Like

  • knitting1105 11:22 am on April 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Yarn Con 2017 

    This year I met up with all my good knitting buddies from Snb at Yarn Con.  Because of a teaching conflict on Monday nights, I have not been to knitting all semester, and it is just not as much fun to knit alone.  It was like reunion day seeing everyone in line, and then we went out to lunch together at Inspiration Kitchen, a great restaurant idea.

    Here is a video showing highlights from Yarn Con.  You will see 2 of my SnB buddies in there, and even a shot of yours truly, which much as I hate photos, I was okay with this one.  Those of you who know my knitting may recognize me by a certain handspun hand knit shawl.

     

    The colors were all pretty, and many new vendors.  However, I was not in the market for any new yarn, and nothing was a must have for me.  Here are my purchases:

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    Some sock yarn from Three Irish Girls, I have seen their yarn before, but never tried it, these bright colors spoke to me.  Sock yarn is always a safe purchase.

    A couple of note cards, obviously reserved for special appreciating folks.

    And little fabric holders to keep my DPN’s all together in their drawers.

    Thats it!  I was so excited to go, and happy with my little purchases.

     
    • Yvonne Creanga 11:52 am on April 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I might need to plan on a visit sometime down the road. It look intoxicatingly fun.

      Like

    • Barbara Mayer 8:11 am on April 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      We miss you, Frances! It was a wonderful day!

      Like

    • Diane F Hamilton 12:21 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my, after seeing all the picture of Yarn Con I am so impressed that you walked away with just a couple of items!

      Like

  • knitting1105 10:44 am on March 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Resistance 

    The Resistance Continues…

    Pussy Hats

     
  • knitting1105 7:36 pm on February 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Malabrigo Sock, Traffic Furniture   

    Shawl 1 

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    Pam and Barb from my SnB knitting group both made this shawl, Traffic Furniture – a really strange name for a pattern that I cannot quite figure out.  Basically, you start with a square and work out from that for awhile, then add extra increases at the corners to turn it into an octagon.  They had both used Malabrigo sock yarn, and I thought it the perfect opportunity to use up some of that lingering in my stash.  I loved the colors of Malabrigo when it first came out, and bought many different shades.  Then I knit a couple of pairs of socks with it, and they had holes in them within a very short period of time.  One was a favorite pair with spiders on it, they were beyond repair, so I reluctantly threw them away. Those I need to make again.  In the meantime, I had all of these beautiful colors, and I knew that I would not put the effort into making socks with them again.  I had thought of selling the yarn on Ravelry, but I would never get what I paid for it, plus all of the hassles.  So, this pattern encouraged me to use up that yarn.

    Of course, I was winding the yarn and getting the pattern ready the morning that we were scheduled to go to California for a week.  This was the perfect pattern, as it was lots of mindless stockinette and garter stitch.  I chose these colors to take with me along with a beautiful variegated that I did not have a photo of:

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    The shawl proved to be the perfect item to work on while traveling, it was all on a circular needle, and easy to memorize.  You first knit the center square section, then pick up around that.  I used the magic loop technique, would have been tedious to try anything else, and double points would really not have worked.  It did remind me why I do not like working with the magic loop, I still do not understand why some people prefer that one over DPN’s for socks, but at least everyone has a choice, and the end product is basically the same.

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    I cose to end with an accent color of the purple

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    It didn’t look like much prior to blocking

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    But proved to be an interesting shape, this photo is a bit distorted, it is actually totally symmetrical

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    It was sent off to my daughter-in-law and I don’t have any photos of anyone wearing it.

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    • salpal1 12:40 pm on February 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      interesting construction, for sure! I don’t like magic loop OR DPNs for socks, I use two circulars for the toe and a short circular (8 inches) for the rest of the sock. With DPNs, I feel like I am juggling Chinese food with chopsticks and losing it all, and with magic loop, I feel like I am constantly adjusting everything.

      Like

  • knitting1105 3:34 pm on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Happy New Year! 

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  • knitting1105 3:22 pm on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Pussy socks, Women's March on DC, YinYang Kitty Ankle Socks   

    Pussyfooting Along 

    Last weekend when Sofia and Dan went to the Women’s March in DC, I sent along these socks for Sofia.

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    I love how they came out although the brown cat face on the pink cat seems to read better.

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    I really want to make a pair of these for myself.  Easy knit, what surprised me was how tedious the duplicate stitch was on these.  I knit them with my favorite sock yarn JaWoll (which also has a spool of reinforcing thread inside each skein), on size 1 needles.  This is a free pattern, YinYang Kitty Ankle Socks.

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  • knitting1105 5:05 pm on January 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Pussy Hat, Women's March   

    Pussy Hats 

    What a simple idea, to represent a strong political statement.

    I made several.  These 7 were sent to DC with my husband and daughter:

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    Here are the hats preparing to head to the walk (with their wearers also):

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    And, my beautiful daughter at this Historic event:

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    A sea of pink hats in DC.  What an amazing statement that a group of crafters and social media can make.

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    Meanwhile, after sending these off, I had 3 more that I needed to make, in a short time:

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    These made their way to the Chicago march with 2 of my best buddies:

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    The photos from around the world are amazing.  Pink ribbons of Chicago:

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    Hear us roar.  It has just begun.

     
    • Diane F Hamilton 5:38 pm on January 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing! Unfortunately Trump will try to convince people the numbers were reported incorrectly and has no clue that this was in response to his election. Thanks to Sofia and Dan for making the trip and you for making the hats. Did they run into Amber?

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 7:05 pm on January 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I haven’t talked with Sofia, but I doubt it. Sofia was going to text her during the event. Although in Chicago, people could not get cell service because of all of the people. Glad they all went. Amber looked really happy too.

        Like

    • Barbara Mayer 7:24 pm on January 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I loved being a part of this! What a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 8:43 pm on January 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, it was an amazing event to be a part of. I have hope for the future working together with all these people. And knitters made a big impact!

        Like

    • Pam 11:00 pm on January 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      A powerful statement by young and old. Now denying this.

      Like

      • Pam 11:01 pm on January 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        That should have said no denying this.

        Like

    • Joan 7:48 am on January 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I found a pink scarf and was so inspired by everyone. I am hoping legislators were paying attention !

      Like

  • knitting1105 11:47 am on January 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Norwegian mittens, Selbuvotter   

    Selbuvotter 

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    The second of my 3 book reviews, it will be a fairly short written piece.  This is a very comprehensive book on the art of Selbuvotter mittens, over 300 pages of history, charts, graphs and photographs. The only unfortunate part is that it is written in Norwegian, with no English translation, so the history component is lost on me.  However, the charts for knitting speak a Universal Language, and I will just let some of the photos speak for themselves.

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    The book is a bit hard to come by, I purchased mine at Schoolhouse Press.   This link has some great examples of pages from the book also.

    I love the fact that the traditional mittens are all in B&W.  The book shows inspiration from snowflakes to horns to flowers and how they were interpreted.  It would be nice if the book were printed in English one day, I think that the audience would increase greatly.  The beauty of knitting though is, a chart is universal.

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    Again, printed in Norway, with a ribbon bookmark attached.  Definitely a great library resource.

     
  • knitting1105 3:08 pm on January 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Lithuanian knitting   

    Lithuanian Knitting 

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    Prior to Christmas, I ordered 3 very special books for myself from Schoolhouse Press.  After watching the videos of Meg Swanson describing many of the new books that they had in the shop, I was really smitten with 3 of them.  And, I had a 20% off coupon to boot!  I will review each book separately.

    The first book, Lithuanian Knitting, Continuing Traditions, was a 7 year journey for Donna Druchunas, whose family originally came from Lithuania. A few years back, I had the pleasure of taking classes from Donna, and this inspired me to also purchase the book.  The Baltic region history and knitting history have intrigued  me since taking a class with Nancy Bush on Estonian Knitting.  The other author is June Hall, she is from England and focuses on rare sheep breeds.  This is one of the few heady knitting books that I sat and read cover to cover.  I enjoyed the history, the Baltic countries have been occupied so much of their time, and only recently got their independence from the USSR, and the interest in their heritage has been growing since.  One fact that has haunted me since reading this was that prior to WWII, 1/2 of the Lithuanian population was Jewish – 90% of them were slaughtered during WWII, a higher percentage than any other country in the world.  That gives me great pause in this tumultuous time.

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    The book contains lots of great photos, and maps.  It takes you through the history of Lithuania and the fiber arts, the heritage sheep breeds, and then the various areas of the country and  knitting traditions.  Not knowing the language, nor the country, it was sometimes hard for me to follow and get a handle on distances.  I loved the ribbon bookmark, and the fact that the book is printed in Lithuania.  81y-nx60hplAlso contained within the book are 25 individual patterns from different regions for gloves, mittens, socks, wrist warmers.  A couple of them have piqued my interest.

     

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    Making mittens and/or socks with this fringe is on my list:

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    And the graphics are really fun, each chapter has a ball of yarn on the left hand lower corner with the page number, it then follows across to a garment that continues to be “knit up” during the course of that chapter.  It is much like a flip-book of a garment under construction in the corners.

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    If I had any criticisms, it would be that the flow of writing is not smooth.  I could definitely tell the difference between Donna and June’s writing styles, I must say that I preferred Donna’s voice, June’s felt folksy at times  I think that the editor should have done a better job of coalescing the 2 together.  That said, a great book to have in your personal library!

     
    • Donna Druchunas 4:08 pm on January 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, thanks! This is fun. Yes, we decided to keep our voices separate and we even kept June’s parts in “English” spelling and grammar versus American. Sorry it was jarring to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 3:18 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Shelter yarn   

    7, 6, 5, 4 

    No, not a countdown to New Years Eve, but rather a countdown of needle sizes to find the one that works best.

    This Christmas I gave Dan 14 skeins of yarn.  A brilliant gift, that gives back.  (Plus I had a $50 Gift Certificate, it was also 20% off, so a great bargain as well).  This yarn has been on my wish list to knit with.  It is Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed, the color is Birdbook (not sure exactly what that means).

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    The sheep are all American, and it is processed in the US as well.  And soft to boot.  Here is the story of the sheep from Wyoming, and the yarn processed in New Hampshire.

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    The yarn is  a soft woolen spun :

    The distinctive character of Targhee-Columbia wool shines in Shelter, our versatile medium-weight yarn. Shelter is woolen spun, meaning the fibers remain in a lofty jumble that traps air and offers remarkable warmth and lightness. Its two plies are gently twisted to preserve that buoyant quality, so Shelter is a little more delicate than most commercial yarns. Woolen-spun yarns are also more adaptable in gauge, as they can compress to a dense sport weight or bloom to cohere as a gauzy fabric when worked on large needles. Shelter has a dry, soft hand and a faintly rustic nature; woolen spinning sometimes results in slightly thinner or thicker sections, and you’ll find the occasional fleck of vegetable matter that proves our wool is never treated with harsh chemicals. Garments knit from Shelter achieve their full beauty after a wet blocking, as each stitch relaxes and bonds with its neighbors to produce an even, light, plush fabric with a halo. You shouldn’t notice any change in gauge. Shelter is designed to be a workhorse yarn that invites cables, ribbing, textured stitch motifs, open work, plain stockinette and garter stitch. We think it’s ideal for sweaters of every variety, winter accessories, and blankets.

    The green tweed is lovely, but I really wanted to make sure that Dan liked it as well, which he did.  Gauge on this yarn says 20 sts/4″ with size 7 needles.  I started with that, but it was so loose and sloppy that I tore it out, it probably would have been good to keep as an example.  Then I progressively went d0own in needle size, I was thinking that eventually the fabric would just become too dense, but it didn’t.

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    Size 6 was still wonky, with large gaps between the rows.

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    Size 5 was getting better, but not the fabric drape that I was looking for.

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    Amazingly enough, size 4 was a perfect fit.  18 sts/4″.

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    All the time while working these swatches, I was thinking that I wanted to make a sweater using the English Tailoring method that I had learned in a couple of Vogue Knitting Live classes from Julie Weisenberger, aka cocoknits.

    I chose the pattern Antonia/Antonio.  This pattern has a gauge of 18 sts/ 4″, a perfect fit.  I was prepared however to adjust the sizing once I got the fabric density correct.  I am not sure who could get the gauge of 20 sts/ 4″ with this yarn on size 7 needles.

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    The sweater starts at the top and is knit down with no seams. I will add hidden pockets to this, and most likely a bit longer in the torso, as Dan is fairly tall.   A brilliant gift if you ask me, this makes gift giving so much more pleasurable.  Plus I can try it on him as I go.

     
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