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  • knitting1105 1:12 pm on April 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    My favorite model 

    If you have been reading my blog over the past year and a half, you know that I have a special little one that I have been knitting for.  Here is a review of some of the items being lovingly worn.

    The baby surprise jacket was knit with handspun yarn, I think that she has gotten good wear out of it!

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    I made this sweater prior to knowing if we were going to have a grandson or granddaughter, thinking that it was a good gender neutral sweater, although it looks so feminine on her.

    And for her 1st birthday I gave her this sweater which she wore to her 1 yr old checkup.

    I also made this poncho for her birthday, it is a Dale of Norway child’s pattern, but a heavier gauge yarn than the Baby Ull.  The beauty of this is that it can be used for quite some time as it is a loose fit.  I really like how it turned out.

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    And for her birthday, I gave her the Butterfly sweater, hat and dress.  Butterflies have special meaning in our family, so this was not only fun to make but evoked many memories.  The dress is a bit large.

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    Now, I am trying to decide what to make next.  I have this lovely cotton yarn that I recently got, and thought that it would make a cute summer coat.  Need to look for a pattern.

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  • knitting1105 4:57 pm on January 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Holiday mittens 

    On our recent vacation to Denver, we took a trip on the train from Denver to Glenwood Springs.  Such a gorgeous train ride.   I do not have any videos of it, I am hoping that my sister can provide one that I can include here.  12 of us, plus Izumi took the 6 hour train ride.  We loved it, would do it again.

    When we arrived in Glenwood Springs, I gave my Nieces and Nephew the mittens that I had been working on for them.  I was very happy with how they all turned out.  The butterfly mittens were my own design, and unfortunately, I did not get good photos of them.  I want to write up that pattern when I get a chance.

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    Included in the Christmas mittens gifting were Squirrel mittens for Izumi and Sayaka.

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    We had a grand time, and enjoyed lots of family time together.  So fun to have little kids at Christmas again.

    The Hotel Colorado is decorated to the 9’s for the Holidays, and it always puts me in the best mood.

    Christmas Eve and Christmas night we all had a private dining room to eat in and celebrate with.  The hotel even had us posted as “Frances Figg Christmas Dinner”!

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    More to post soon from that lovely vacation.  As always, it is great to see Izumi, she changes so much, so quickly in between the times that we get to see her.

     
  • 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 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 10:15 pm on September 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Great Northern Knits, Twin Peaks   

    My Prize 

    A  couple of years ago I entered a few items in the knitting contest at YarnCon, Chicago’s Indy Yarn fair that has been going on for several years now.  My Polar Bear Sweater was the winner of the best knitted sweater, and won the Best in Show also.

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    I was so excited, and received several nice prizes. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    This sweater was knit during the 2008 Ravelympics.  I knit most of it while sitting at the beach at Lake Michigan, and then knit like a fiend when I got home to the neglect of everything else to finish during the summer Olympics – 2 weeks.  I was really proud of the results, and so happy to win something for my knitting efforts.

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    One of the prizes that I was to win, and receive later was the knitting book Great Northern Knits.

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    I must admit, I don’t even know what Twin Peaks is, but was happy to win a new book.  Then I mostly forgot about it.  I was surprised a couple of weeks ago when a package came in the mail, and I knew that I had not ordered anything.  So to my surprise, this book was inside.  They hadn’t forgot about me after all this time!

    There are some fun patterns in the book, and I will have to delve into it further at some point:

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    But, what caught my attention was this  sweater, knit at a very fine gauge.  Just my type of project.  This is on the to-do list.

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    Thanks Great Northern Knits!

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    • Deborah 9:20 am on September 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That sweater is fabulous. You deserve all the prizes!

      Like

    • canaryknits 11:39 am on September 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thank YOU!! 🙂

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 12:38 pm on September 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I will be anxious to see your finished project. I’m glad they remember to send the book after 2 years. Wonder what took so long.

      Like

    • salpal1 4:58 pm on September 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Very nice prize for an incredible sweater!

      Like

  • knitting1105 4:26 pm on June 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    End of an Era 

    My beloved Dale of Norway has decided to close their North American operations.

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    This makes me so sad, I learned how to knit Fair Isle with DoN, and it has been my go-to yarn for baby sweaters for years and years.  The Baby Ull is the softest, best wearing baby yarn, and the colors were always amazing and vivid.  When DoN decided last year to only sell to one distributor in the US, Heart of the Mitten, that was a big red flag.  Little did I know that the relationship with them would last less than a year.  So sad.  Luckily, as access to these yarns have become more and more difficult over the years, and I love to knit baby sweaters, I have been purchasing them whenever I see them available, particularly when they are on sale.  My stash of Baby Ull is quite extensive, almost yarn shop quantities I sheepishly admit.  But that did not stop me from purchasing a few more while they were still available.

    And, if any of you like the DoN books, which I must say are amazing, you can purchase them while they last for $1/each at the Heart of the Mitten.  I took advantage of that to add to my already extensive library.

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    I do have a couple of DoN ski sweaters that I knit, and for the Olympic sweaters, they came with a patch.  I will miss looking for what is available for the next winter Olympics.  A friend is visiting Norway right now and was going to stop at the DoN store, I will be curious to see what she finds there.

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    HA DET…

     
    • salpal1 4:02 am on June 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I wondered what would happen there. A shame, it is lovely yarn. But a great reason to go to Norway! And I presume we can pay shipping fees and still get it from overseas? And I have a nephew in Copenhagen… I presume it is still available in Denmark? He’s going to get some strange requests now!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 11:17 am on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Baby Gift 

    The daughter of a good friend is expecting her first baby.  I knew that I had to make a sweater, and wanted something special.  It also had to be gender neutral – I love when the baby sex is a surprise, there are so few surprises in life.  Of course, it was to be a Fair Isle, with Dale of Norway yarn.

    I chose this pattern, but in the cardigan version, that I knit the green one for Franklin so many years ago, and the blue as a gift.

    I struggled to find the correct gender neutral yarn, and looked at these combinations, with the blue-grey being the main body.  This was a little different with the light color being the base.

    I opted for the combination with the green color on the left.

    And it knit up nicely, I did knit the top color work a couple of times to get it right:

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    Luckily I too this photo at knitting a couple of weeks ago.

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    I was finishing up the sweater, and weaving in ends, sewing on buttons the morning of the baby shower.  It was only after I had wrapped the sweater up that I realized that I had not taken a final photo of the sweater, and I needed ot leave.  I snapped this one of the wrapped package with my cell phone at the baby shower.

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    Hopefully I will see the baby in it in the future.  It was knit for 12-18 month size, so it may be awhile.

    Moral of the story:  Make sure to take the photos.  And do not wait until the last moment to finish up projects (that one might be harder for me)

     

     
  • knitting1105 3:28 pm on December 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fair isle cutting, steeking   

    Butterflies 

    Seeking never ceases to make me nervous, I always have a glass of wine to get my courage up to sew and cut something that I have put so much time and effort in to.  No matter how many times I do it, I still need to muster up the courage.  To date, everything has been just fine, and I have not ruined anything.

    This sweater and set is being made for my granddaughter to be.  I love the butterflies, and they hold special meaning to my family.  My sister Anita, and my mother both loved butterflies.  Whenever I see butterflies in the spring, it always brings both of them to mind.  I knew when I saw this pattern that I had to make it.

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    The colors are so lovely and fun to work with.  Makes any grey day brighter.  And the steeking, after a nice glass of red wine, proved not to be so bad.  Just have to make sure to pull the strings to the opposite side when sewing.

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    And once this is done, the cutting is actually fun, and you open up the tube, now it starts to look more like a sweater to be.

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    This is progressing nicely, now for the details and edging.  I still have to set in the sleeves, which is not my favorite part I must say.  It involves 2 more steaks, and another glass of wine.

     
    • Yvonne Creanga 10:10 pm on December 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t wait he the next step and details you’ll show us about his project.
      You light years ahead of all that I would attempt to make but it sure is nice to see your adventures in knitting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yvonne Creanga 10:16 pm on December 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry for my incoherent English. I am typing on my phone and I don’t know how to get back in the text above and correct it.
      “Can’t wait to see” and “you are light years”
      Better now

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elaine 3:32 pm on December 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh how lovely! Your grand-daughter to be is a very lucky little baby. That is by far the prettiest knitted baby garment I’ve ever seen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • jill 11:36 pm on December 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This is so darling! I can imagine how you feel cutting your work. Remember how I cut that sweater that took me months/years to make???? I was so traumatized that I never returned to fully sew it up. Still hoping you’ll finish it for me next time you visit.

      Liked by 1 person

    • evilandrea 3:51 am on December 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      That colour work is lovely. And steeking is the one knitting technique I’ve yet to be brave enough to try

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 1:15 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I really recommend taking a class for the first time, accompanied by a glass of wine, and a big breath. I still have a glass of wine ot calm my nerves. I think that the sleeve cutting makes me more nervous than the front steek.

        Like

    • knitterjules 12:07 am on January 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I love your butterflies! Great choice of colours- perfect for knitting on during all the grey winter weather!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 10:58 am on February 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        thank you! It is the perfect colors for the short winter days. I have been sidetracked, and need ot get back to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  • 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.

     
    • Heidi Klick 11:07 am on March 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Impressive mittens. I think I will add this to my library as well. I can probably locate a Norwegian that can translate. Thanks for posting the review

      Like

  • knitting1105 4:35 pm on May 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , poodle knitting   

    Lloyd 

    I finished my poodle mittens about a week ago.  This pattern had been gifted to me on my Birthday a couple of years ago.  I used Dale Tiur.  They are big, but so are my hands!

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    And for the inside of the thumbs, in honor of the coolest poodle ever…

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    To be used next winter, that I will always remember this smiling mug!  I miss him so.

     
    • Diane Hamilton 11:12 pm on May 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, great job as usual but even more special because they will always remind you of Lloyd. He was a cutie for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

    • knitting1105 10:15 am on May 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Diane!

      Like

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