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  • knitting1105 3:18 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Knitting, 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.

     
    • Heidi Klick 11:12 am on March 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Cool sweater and great yarn. Totally captivated by Brooklyn Tweed yarn. Lovely feel to it. Biedbook is one of my favorite colors.

      Like

  • knitting1105 6:09 pm on May 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Knitting, ,   

    A bit of sparkle 

    It seems that I have been busier the past couple of weeks, so my knitting has been mainly socks and shawls that do not require a lot of concentration. These socks were knit with yarn that I purchased at YarnCon in 2015; from The Cyborg’s Craft Room, color way is Bangarang.  I loved the colors and the sparkle.

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    The yarn did not disappoint (as happens from time to time).  It was a joy to knit with, and the colors are gorgeous.  The sparkle is just a little bit of bling here and there, and does not overwhelm the socks.  Because of the strong colors and the sparkle, I knit a simple twisted rib sock, perfect for this yarn as a pattern would have taken away from the material.

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    Here are a couple of detail photos.  They are really much prettier in person as they catch rays of light when you move.

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    I love carrying the twisted rib on the top of the foot.  It helps to keep the socks snug when wearing them.

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    And on a gardening note, we got a lot of plants in the ground last weekend.  Dan started everything from seed in our basement.  He set up an elaborate system of lights and pulleys and timers and heaters.  I am sure that our house glows at night.  In spite of planting a lot, and already giving some away, we still have a lot of starters.  Some things need to wait for a bit warmer weather.  Basil especially, as we killed it twice last year by putting it out too early.

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    This was our Rhubarb last weekend.  My friend Stephanie came over to draw the flower.  I don’t remember ever seeing it flower like this.  Quite interesting.

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    • Diane Hamilton 6:20 pm on May 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You have been busy as usual. Love the socks! In all the years that Dad grew rhubarb on the farm I don’t ever remember it flowering like yours, very interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 6:52 pm on May 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! I never remember having the rhubarb flower before either. It was a great year for our plant. had to give a lot away to stop it from shading the neighboring seedlings. I cut the flower and gave it to my friend to take home and draw. It was hallow on the inside, but a thick skin.

        Like

  • knitting1105 10:19 am on April 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Damn Fine Yarn Contest, Best Garment, Best in Show, Knitting, ,   

    Best in Show! 

    Won Best in Show, and Best Garment this weekend at YarnCon!!!!!!

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    YarnCon has been around for about 5 years now, and I always enjoy going there.  It seems to get better every year.  This year they added a knitting contest.  There were 5 categories:  Best of Northern Peaks, Best Accessory, Best Garment, Best Handspun, and Best Toy.  I entered 3 of the categories, it was fun to think about what to choose to bring.

    As they were photographing the winning entry for Best in Show, I walked up to 5 women holding up my sweater.  I asked if that was a winner, and everyone cheered yes.  They were all surprised when I said that I had knit it!  How fun, normally I have no luck.  Perhaps being rewarded for skill instead of luck is more fit for me.

    You can see the Instagram photos here.

    I won loads of gifts for both Best Garment, and Best in Show, right now I can’t remember which was for which, but here are my prizes:

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    Projects bags, kits for tiny toys, the buttons represent a kit that will be mailed to me.  Love the yarn bowl with some Mrs. Crosby’s yarn in it:

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    And these little pins made with vintage rulers.  I was coveting them at the event, but choose not to purchase one, so I was really happy to see this in the gift bag.

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    And, I will receive a print copy of this book:

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    Look here if you want to see more of my Polar Bear sweaters, it was knit in 2008 for Ravelympics.  I did it all in 3 weeks, the first being while we were on vacation at the beach. I have always loved this sweater, but it really requires a very very cold day to wear it.

    Good Weekend, YarnCon followed a weaving show at the Chicago Weaving School that I attended on Friday with my friend Jane.  Next step is to take classes there and finally learn how to use my Inkle loom.

     

     
    • Dave Becker 10:29 am on April 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Very nice!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 8:50 pm on April 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, I am so thrilled for you that you were recognized for talent and artistry. Congratulations, that is so cool and luck had nothing to do with this, it was all skill!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 9:18 am on April 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Diane. You have always been one of my biggest cheerleaders!

        Like

    • Diane Hamilton 9:35 pm on April 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      P.S. Mom and Dad are up in heaven bragging to everyone they know. I am sure they are so proud of you and sending their love.

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 9:33 am on April 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      WOW – YOU are AMAZING! SO glad they recognized the skill and patience that went into that sweater. It is lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Heidi 11:56 am on April 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Way to go! Awesome sweater. Always a pleasure to be rewarded for our hard work. Love your blog. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 10:05 am on April 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        thanks for the compliments on both my blog and sweater!

        Like

    • 1marylou 12:54 pm on April 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Artwork in fiber. You definitely deserve the honor and you do all knitters proud with your work. Congrats.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 10:06 am on April 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Awe, you make me blush. It was fun to get some recognition. Not having a county fair to enter, this was fun.

        Like

    • elaine 10:06 pm on April 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats! Your work is SO nice ~ those are well deserved awards 🙂 Keep on sharing the inspiration!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 8:08 pm on March 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Knitting   

    Procrastination 

    Many many times I complete the knitting portion of a garment, and it sits waiting and waiting to be finished, mainly sewn together.  Blocking to me is fun, but piecing a garment together is not, and I need to get over this.  Today I sat out all of the pieces for my Batwing Pullover.   I thought for sure that I would do it this afternoon, now it looks like tomorrow.

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    There are only 4 seams…

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    Then, I would get to knit the cowl, which looks fun.

     
    • Diane Hamilton 12:04 am on March 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I can understand the piecing would not be as much fun as the knitting or the blocking to see the final project. Hope you get it done so we can see the finished project soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 1:12 pm on February 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Donna Smith, Hat Fair Isle, , Knitting,   

    Sheep 1, Sheep 2 

    Both of my sheep hats are finished.  The first, Sheep 1, was the pattern Baa-ble Hat by Donna Smith. I used the colors specified and the yarn as specified, Jamieson’s Shetland Heather Aran.  It is warm, but I think that I would have liked to brighten it up more.  My friend Jane made a bright version of this for a child with Dale of Norway Baby Ull, will keep that in mind for a baby gift in the future.

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    I cast on with the size 6 needles (per the pattern), and was unhappy with the result pretty much from the beginning.  The Fair Isle portion was knit with size 7, and that works well.  So, when I was all finished knitting, I cut back to the start of the Fair Isle and knit the ribbing down with size 3 needles.  Much, much better.  And I did a double rib tubular bind off.  I will discuss how to do that in a later post.

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    Here is the inside of the Baa-ble hat.

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    Sheep 2 hat is the Sheep Heid tam by Kate Davies.  Kate designed hers using many of the natural colors of Shetland wool, Using Jamieson’s Spindrift yarn.  I had some of that yarn in my stash, but not all the correct colors.  So mine is a bit more colorful.  And very warm, I am really liking it.

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    and this inside of this hat…

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  • knitting1105 4:53 pm on January 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Knitting,   

    Pullover Progressing 

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    Batwing Pullover pieces

    All but the collar is knit up on the Batwing Pullover that I started a couple of weeks ago.  Aurora 8 by Karabella is one of my favorite cabling yarns, it is so soft and squishy to knit with, holds the structure of the cable beautifully.  Unfortunately, I have to agree with comments on Ravelry that this yarn is expensive ($10/98 yard skein), and has way too many knots in it.  Someone had to tie the knots, so they know that there are a lot.

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    Batwing Pullover Detail

    I had 20 skeins of this yarn in deep deep stash.  Finding a use for it was exciting, and I knew that even with that amount, I would run short of the yardage required to complete this sweater. While Aurora 8 is still produced, my Turquoise color had been long discontinued.  Searching the internet, I found 2 skeins in a clearance warehouse that I ordered.  There were some on people’s Ravelry pages, but I did not have luck acquiring those.  I did yet another google search this time using the color number, not the name.  Bingo!  I scored, and found a stash.  I purchased 6 skeins, hoping that that will be enough to finish the collar (which is big).

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    I really want to finish this, but the sewing of the pieces needs to happen first, and I need to be in the right frame of mind, with the right lighting.  I guess that it will not be completed to take to knitting tomorrow.

     
  • knitting1105 9:54 pm on January 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Knitting, Nupps,   

    Finished and Donated 

    This shawl was actually all knit last summer as a charity project for Chicago’s Go Red, a Women’s Heart Health fundraiser.  It sat waiting to be blocked, and since they did not want the items until sometime in January, I saw no urgency to blocking it.  I love the pattern, and the color pink is so beautiful.  The first version that I made was gifted to my sister Diane, that was in a natural wool.  This is Merino and Silk and I extended the pattern by one repeat. Love them both.

    Greta Garbo Shawl in Estonian knitting, pattern by Nancy Bush.

    Blocking photos:

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    Greta Shawl Detail

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    Greta Shawl blocking

    And me modeling the finished project!

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    Greta Shawl Finished

     
  • knitting1105 6:19 pm on December 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Knitting,   

    My Turn 

    The past several months I have been preoccupied with knitting for others, from fingerless mitts for girls weekend, Estonian shawl for Go Red auction, Christmas gifts and goodies for a few special people.  Even though I still have a few projects that are languishing and begging to be finished, I feel like rewarding myself and starting something new, but still using yarn from my stash.  I really had wanted to make this hat, the Baa-ble Hat, by Donna Smith from the cover of this year’s Wool Week magazine, which I purchased when it came out, but for everyone the hat pattern is free via the above link. It was one of the most popularly queued patterns on Ravelry this year, and I think for good reason.

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    Upon closer inspection, that hat calls for an Aran weight Jamieson’s yarn.  I know that the hat will kit up quickly, and I still want to make it, but I resisted the urge to drive out to a yarn store, or to purchase something online.  It will be coming up soon though…

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    In the meantime, I pulled out this stash of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift

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    and decided that it was the perfect time to cast on for the Sheepheid Tam by Kate Davies.

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    The pattern has been in my procession for a couple of years, and I do have some Shetland wool of several colors that I was intending to handspan just for this, but will be happy to make the hat out of the yarn that I have on hand.

    Next I want to plan a new sweater from some stash yarns, I have a couple of options that I am mulling over.

     
    • natas75 12:34 am on December 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a lovely pattern. Will definitely check it out, though fair Isle is still something that I’m intimidated by..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 2:27 pm on December 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      First I am glad you are making something for yourself, you deserve it! Second, I am thrilled, as I am sure Dan is, that you are able to use some of your stash that you have on hand. It always feels good when you can use what you already have (I try to do this with quilting too but am not always successful). Can’t wait to see the finished project. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:47 pm on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Diane, it is not like i am lacking for any of my own hand knit goods though!

        Like

    • Gracey 10:53 am on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, I want to make both of those hats, but I’ve never done any color work besides stripes….its a bit intimidating…

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:46 pm on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        the Tam is definitely not the one to start with for a first project. I will let you know how the other one goes. Color work is very fun though!

        Like

  • knitting1105 12:46 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Knitting   

    Girl’s Weekend 

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    I have not posted a lot recently, as I have been knitting the same pattern over and over again.  For last weekend’s 3rd annual girls away retreat, I made a pair of fingerless mitts for everyone in attendance (Free pattern here).  As the list grew and grew, I had to knit faster.  Luckily there were not any last minute additions.

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    It was so much fun to give these out.  I laid them on my bed and invited everyone in to choose a pair.

    A glove toast!

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    The weekend was at a beautiful house on the shores of Lake Michigan.  My first step into my home State in over a year (the longest time away ever).

    A weekend of great friends

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    Amazing food

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    And a few drinks…

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    So much laughter. Until next year…

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    • natas75 1:00 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What a lovely idea. It seems like you all had a blast..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 2:48 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like a lot of fun with good friends and I bet they loved their fingerless mitts, what a thoughtful gift. I miss Michigan and the beach too. Hope to be there this summer for a trip to Mackinac Island.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 3:11 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        This was a lot of fun, and the mitts were a big hit. I want to join you on Mackinac Island if possible.

        Like

    • Erin 3:25 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful pics–looks like tons of fun! And I love the mittens–thanks for sharing the pattern!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Michelle Metes 11:00 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like it was a Good Time, Frances! Need to start knitting my fingerless mittens, again. Friends have been asking for the pattern where you do a cable stitch on the back of hand section. Will look around for another pattern, but I do like yours! Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 3:50 pm on September 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Knitting, ,   

    Butterfly 

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    When planning to head out to Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, I naturally needed some very portable knitting projects.  I took some socks along, but they were on my precious metal Signature needles.  Not wanting to take the chance of TSA trying to confiscate those, I put them in my checked bag, and pulled out this Fiber Optic yarn that I had spun last winter.

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    This was spun using 2 braids of the color way Thistle.  My yardage was 1,070 yards.  Not as much as I would have liked.

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    So, then the night before having to get up at 4am for a very early flight, I am on the computer looking up patterns.  I opted for Pulelehua, which means butterfly in Hawaiian.  I am hoping that I have enough yarn, as the yardage on peoples projects is anywhere from about 1,000-1,500.

    About 1/2 of the yarn has been knit up to date, this is my progress thus far:

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    For the second half of the shawl, I am weighing the yarn after each chart section is done.  Not sure yet if panic will set in, but I am already thinking that I need to obtain another braid to use just the dark blue end to finish off.

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    And, while knitting on this the past week, we have had great fun watching the Monarchs in our native plantings at the side of the house.  This garden was planted about 10 years ago, but this is by far the best year for Monarchs, and a few Black Swallowtails as well.

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    I counted 7 one night, and that was just from my back porch, I didn’t venture down the side of the house!

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    There is even the Monarch moth on the plants.

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    They are just loving the tall white flowers, my husband thinks that they are the  Tall Bonest, but looking at the book I am thinking perhaps Wild Quinine, we need to get our neighbor over to help identify these. To a lesser extent they are attracted to the Tall Coreopsis.  In addition there are many native pollinators, wasps, honey bees, crickets, etc.  It is fun to walk on the side of the house and hear all of the insects, with the Cicadas as the background music.  I hope that we are making a difference in our own little piece of the world.  I see more and more native gardens in lieu of pesticide lawns.  All these pollinators desperately need our help.

     
    • elaine 8:07 pm on September 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful spinning, knitting and butterflies, of course! Love the colors!

      Like

    • 1marylou 10:19 am on September 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful yarn, pictures and project!

      Like

    • Diane 12:34 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love all the butterflies, I am sure it reminds you of Mom and Anita.

      Like

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