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  • knitting1105 5:50 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Arctic knitting 

    -15 F

    That is the air temperature this afternoon, not including the wind chill.  Me, and everyone that I know is staying home, hunkering down.  All my knitting and spinning friends are embracing the wonders of wool today, both in the wearing apparel and in the execution. Even our weekly Stitch-n-Bitch group has thrown down the knitted gauntlet and abandoned meeting tonight.  Just too cold to go out for a minute, let alone start-up the car. Our house however is staying nice and toasty.  The energy work that we have done over the past few years, in particular insulating the walls last year, is paying off well.

    Today I have been spinning on some Fiber Optic roving, Reef Gradient which was custom dyed a couple of years ago for Completely Twisted and Arbitrary Spin-Along on Ravelry, I was not ready to tackle a beautiful gradient at the time, and since then have successfully spun several.  This color way always just seemed too bright for me, then after wearing this shawl and getting compliments everywhere, I realized that I could pop the color intensity up a bit.  And, it has been a dreary cold winter thus far, this seemed like the best cheer me up spinning I could think of.


    Work on it is going slowly, as I think that I am spinning my finest to date.  The color gradations make the slow spinning so much more interesting.


    And on the knitting front, this Hanne Falkenberg sweater, Butterfly, has languished for 3-4 years, just missing its sleeves.  Progress is slow and I had to figure out where I was in the pattern, but I am back in the groove.  Will fill good to get another UFO out of the closet. I am a bit concerned about having enough yarn, so I think that I will switch over to the second sleeve and work on that so at least they match.  If I run out, it will be shorter Kimono style.

    Here are the Ravelry notes from when I first started it.  Funny, and thanks Ravelry for keeping me honest about length of time to knit.  People often ask me how long it takes to make something, and with this sweater I can truly say 5 years!!!

    6-23-09 Still knitting. Finished the back, and 1/2 way through the front. Slow go, but I am determined to be loyal to this project to the end. Although it is 90 today, and humid.



  • knitting1105 12:05 pm on January 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Finally photos 

    I finished this sweater soon after Christmas and my husband has been wearing it, but between dreary days and him being out of town, I have not had a chance to get a good photo.

    Project Specs
    Pattern: Chess Sweater
    Pattern Source: Hanne Falkenberg kit
    Yarn: #2 Shetland by Hanne Falkenberg, colors Aubergine and coffee
    Needles: US 2
    Date Started: 8/15/10
    Date Finished: 12/28/11
    Finished Dimensions: Size Men’s large

    And I have been working on my mittens, I think that I need to reverse the colors, as it is not detailing well.  I thought with windows and doors being light, it would look like nighttime with the lights on.  I don’t think so.  All of the other patterns knit up on Ravelry have followed the chart.  So much for being a maverick, ripping back again.  This time just to the cuff.

    • Diane Hamilton 2:45 pm on January 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The sweater turned out great–I knew Dan would love it!


  • knitting1105 7:30 pm on December 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Christmas Knitting, Almost Finished 

    I have almost finished the Christmas knitting that I gave to my husband (incomplete at the time).  The socks would be done, but for the fact that I was a few yards shy of completing them.  Thanks to a Ravelry friend, I will be able to finish the last toe next week.

    And my husband’s Chess sweater by Hanne Falkenberg is finally finished.  At first I could not find the left-over contrast color yarn so, I just did the collar all in the main color:

    Then, I located the yarn, after an exhaustive search, and looked at the photos online.  It is much better with the single row of contrast at the top of the collar, so I ripped it out, reknit it and sewed it down.  I am happy that I did so.

    Hopefully my husband modeling this tomorrow.

    • Barbara 5:20 am on December 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The Chess sweater looks great – you are right about the row of contrast on the colour. Not sure I have the patience for Hanne Falkenberg designs, but they do look good.

      I agree with you that knitting Christmas presents is stressful – also that it’s quite hard to avoid, if you are a knitter. But congratulations on almost finishing (I still hav a sock and half a scarf to go….)


      • knitting1105 10:17 pm on December 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, I love this sweater. Hanne patterns are an enormous amount of knitting, great for vacations as the beach. I have one more of hers to finish, then on to some Fair Isle.


  • knitting1105 11:28 am on December 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Lyocell, SeaCell,   

    Almost, but not Quite 

    I had originally decided that this Christmas was to be hand-knitted gift-free.  No undue stress on me to finish a project just to have it under the tree.  My family would be the recipients of my knitting anyways, Holiday or not.  Then I started putting together the gifts, and as usual my husband’s list was extremely short.  So, I pulled out this sweater, the knitting had been finished for at least a year, maybe two.  Just goes to show how much I hate the sewing up process.  So, while he was picking Ethan up from school, and Sofia was here helping bake, I seamed the sweater together:

    Then all I had to do was the collar, which as usual took longer than planned.  This is the Chess sweater, a kit by Hanne Falkenberg, and a ton of knitting with size 2 needles.  This is as far as I got, it was put in a box with the needles still attached.  Hopefully this will get finished today.

    Since his stocking was also on the light side, I decided that I needed to put in a pair of socks.  I had been working on these from the CookieA sock club, the pattern is Hex Socks.  The first one I started 4 times, Medium, then Large, then Small, then back to Medium.  The yarn is from Fleece Artist and it is Sea Wool (70% Merino, and 30% Seacell), a bit thicker knitted up than I usually like for my socks.

    I was wondering what exactly Seacell was, so I looked it up, and here is the description of the fiber actually made with seaweed:

    The idea behind SeaCell® is really rather simple: a cellulose-based fiber is manufactured using the so-called Lyocell process. This Lyocell fiber then serves as the “functioning substrate” for the seaweed.  Seaweed is added as the active substance for a very good reason. The fact that this marine plant is rich in trace elements has been well known since the times of Chinese medicine, and seaweed has also been proved to protect the skin and have anti-inflammatory properties. It is seaweed which forms the basis of the SeaCell® fiber.

    So, I put one sock in the stocking, and kept working on the second.  Then, I burned my hand twice in the oven while cooking yesterday, so I had to soak my fingers on ice, knit a partial round on the sock, soak my fingers, knit a bit, etc.  Not the most productive.  Today I am better, and hope to get these done.

    I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!  We did!

    • Tiara 2:51 pm on December 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I love the socks. The color and pattern are both very attractive & I would think that the quality of the yarn will be great if your hubby is on his feet a lot or his feet get irritated easily.


    • Diane Hamilton 1:38 am on December 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The sweater is gorgeous–I bet it will look great on Dan. Of course, I know he loves your socks!


  • knitting1105 12:53 pm on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Frank Lloyd Wright, , Santiago Calatrava   

    Why I need a Mannequin 

    I meant to photograph this shawl yesterday when my daughter was home.  She is a much better model than I am.  I do not know how people get such good pics of themselves in the mirror.

    This was the Hanne Falkenberg Pirouette cape which came as a kit.  Lots and lots of garter stitch.  I am still not sure if I will keep this or gift it.  It was good to get another languishing UFO done, and to clear out more of my yarn stash.  I am creating a whole new issue with self-spun yarn, but that is so much fun.

    Project Specs
    Pattern: Pirouette
    Pattern Source: part of kit from Hanne Falkenberg
    Yarn: Hanne Falkenberg #2 Shetland, colors:  Camel & Cognac
    Needles: US 2 circulars
    Date Started: 7/16/11
    Date Finished: 10/18/11
    Finished Dimensions: 72″ wingspan, 38″ back depth



    Also, some shots from a field trip that we took a few of our Architecture students on last Friday to Racine Wisconsin and the Johnson Wax building by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Photos on the actual tour were prohibited:

    And the Milwaukee Art Museum by Santiago Calatrava.  Simply stunning, one of my favorite places to visit, and they have a wonderful exhibit currently running called Impressionists on Paper.

    • Mimi 8:50 am on October 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome job on the Pirouette! It actually looks like it could have been inspired by the Johnson Wax building. I hear you on the mannequin and I too am seriously considering getting one.


    • Ada 4:00 pm on November 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Totally agree – a mannequin is really great. However, consider getting a Dritz dressform at someplace like JoAnn Fabrics. Sign up for their mailing list and you get 40-50% discount coupons about once a month. The dressforms are rarely on sales, so the discount coupons can be used for a HUGE savings. Get one for your size, set it up, then put a black t-shirt on it – turns out to be great for getting an idea as to how a WIP will fit, esp. for top-down garments.


      • knitting1105 5:02 pm on November 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        What a great idea! Thanks.


  • knitting1105 7:34 am on October 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Hanne Falkenberg – almost finished 

    My Hanne Falkenberg cape is almost finished.  I just have the collar to do, but will be out of town for a few days, it will be finished next week.  I have not decided if it is a keeper or a gift.  I love the concept, just not sure how it will look on me.

    Lots of garter stitch…

  • knitting1105 1:48 pm on August 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply


    There is no better place to get away from all the hubub of daily life than a few days on Mackinac Island.

    Lots of relaxation, and good food with the family:

    Relaxing on the front porch of our hotel gave me ample opportunity for knitting and reading.  I made great progress on my cape, although I have almost run out of yarn.  This was a kit, and was suppose to have enough yarn for the large size.  The yarn is not available for purchase in individual skeins.  I was able to score a ball of yarn from someone on Ravelry who had previously finished a kit.  Like all Hanne patterns, this is a marathon amount of knitting.  Not for someone who detests lots of garter stitch.  Her patterns are very precise, but I find myself rereading them over and over again.  The translations are not very clear.

    My Orange Pekoe socks from the CookieA sock club were finished up on the drive home.  The pattern was a very quick knit, and I enjoyed working with the Hazel Knits yarn.

    Project Specs
    Pattern: Orange Pekoe Socks
    Pattern Source: CookieA Sock Club; June 2011
    Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Yarn, 400 yards
    Needles: US 1 DPN’s
    Date Started: 6/25/11
    Date Finished: 7/23/11
    Finished Dimensions: Size Medium Women’s

  • knitting1105 3:41 pm on August 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Working steadily away… 

    I have been working steadily away on my Hanne Falkenberg cape.  I am almost to the 1/2 way point.  This is a good knit where not a lot of thinking or chart following is required.  Her patterns are extremely well thought out, and the math always works out perfectly (unless you make a mistake).   My only complaint would be that I have to read sections of the pattern at least 3 times to be really clear on what she is asking for.  I think that there is both something lost in the translation, and an issue of formatting the written pattern.  The first time that I knit with her yarn I was less than thrilled with it, but it has grown on me.  She uses a Shetland 2-ply, and I can attest that it wears very well.   The heat wave has finally broken here, so I don’t mind a bit of wool in my hands or on my lap as much.

    On the spinning front, I am having a bit of a conundrum.  I was plying my Fiber Optic Mad Monet with a beautiful Mediterranean blue merino.  The blue seemed to be stealing the show, so I tried a 3 ply with 2 plys of the Monet and one of blue.  Still didn’t work, so I am now plying the Monet with itself, and will do the same with the blue Merino.  I have wasted a bit of yardage in my experimentation.  I still have a hard time figuring out how the colors will look in a finished yarn.  I would love to get some more of this Mad Monet, but there is apparently a waiting list.  (left side is Monet on Monet)

    And on a house note, look at this cool vintage wicker light fixture (scored from a musty messy basement in Grand Rapids).   My husband is going to rewire this and the porch is set up with a new ceiling light box to accommodate it.

  • knitting1105 2:36 pm on July 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Hanne again 

    This is the start of my 3rd Hanne Falkenberg project.  This is the Pirouette, a cape project that alternates between stripes and solid knitting.  As usual with her kits, it is a LOT of garter stitch knitting.  Don’t expect to see a quick knit out of this one.  One week of knitting and I barely finished the first sleeve, and that was on vacation.  The kits come in many colors, my colorway does not have a photo to show for it.    This is the sample shown:

    I am also working on plying the last of my yarns from the Tour de Fleece.  I have the Mad Monet by Fiber Optic, and Mediterranean by Expertly Dyed.  I think that they are looking good together.  I still do not have great confidence in predicting what the yarns will look like spun and plyed up.

    together they remind me of Water Lilies by Monet:

    • Barbara 7:36 am on July 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m pleased to hear that you are still knitting! I read about Hanne Falkenberg kits in your blog a while ago, and feel tempted to try one, though I am not that keen on garter stitch. Sounds like a project for the mythical long winter evenings.


      • knitting1105 1:48 pm on July 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        If you are not a fan of garter stitch, then the Hanne kits are not for you. I love them, but I like the mindless long knitting at times.


  • knitting1105 11:43 am on October 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Returning to Montague 

    The sweater that is…  I only wish that I could sit on the beach, especially in the gorgeous Fall weather that we have been having.

    This is a slow progressing sweater, but I knew that about Hanne Falkenberg patterns when I started.  The instructions for the front neck were a bit confusing, so I put it away for a few days (after trying and ripping out twice), and I realized that she was asking for CO 3 sts once, CO 2 sts 3x, then CO 1 stitch (all every other row at the neck edge) until you reach the desired number.  Her instructions were:  Cast off at neck edge on alternate row, first 3,2,2,2 sts and then 1 st until 38 sts remain.  I kept thinking that it was size related, and it is not.  I guess I was in a bit of a brain fog.  That fog continued to the sleeves where I did not understand that after 2 garter st rows with the picked up sts next to the saddle shoulder, and knit several rows in garter until the decreases didn’t make sense.  Then I went and found the card with the photograph on it.  The sleeves are all in the Shaker rib after the first 2 rows, and attached to the front and back.  Makes for a bit of a bulky knit to carry around, but a lot less sewing up at the end.  Anyways, here is my progress:

    Hanne Falkenberg Chess Men’s Pullover.

    Colors: Aubergine and Coffee from the Hanne Kit.

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