Saturday, June 29, 2013

Yarn Clubs

Yarn clubs have really become an obsession with me. I love them. It is more fun than going to a yarn shop-going to the mail box and finding a package of yarn maybe with a pattern and maybe with a fun extra. The packages keep coming and I keep joining more clubs.
My 3 year old great grand daughter asked to see my yarn closet-after walking the path through the piles of yarn in our "library". She just stood at the door and said, "What the?"
The May All For Love of Yarn and Tea club tea is called Peach Tranquility. The yarn is a superwash fingering. The tea is  yummy!
This is Romi's April yarn and pattern-another beauty and I love Zen Garden yarn. This is a lace weight.
This club purchase was a spur of the moment impulse. I've liked the Madeline Tosh yarn I've used, so decided to join this club. Since I joined after the club started I received the first 2 shipments right away. The gray yarn is Tosh Sock and the green is Tosh Merino Light.
You can't see from the picture, but the yarn is sparkly-sock weight. I think the pattern markers came with this club. I was so far behind in taking pictures things got mixed up. The flower picture is a note club with a personalized note card thanking me for participating in the club. Nice touch. This is the last shipment from Knit Circus.
Cookie A's sock club is one of my favorite as I love her sock patterns with their twisting cables and unique designs. When I get my sock mojo back these will be the patterns I will go to. Besides it is an introduction to new yarns-a lot from independent dyers.
 This is the first shipment from a local yarn shop so is part of my supporting LYS's. It is Darn Knit Anyway in Stillwater which is a fun "touristy" town to visit and shop and eat. The theme for the club is "Our Favorite Things" and each month will feature a favorite thing of a person from the shop. The yarn will be created by a different hand dyer each month using that person's favorite thing as design inspiration. So the inspiration for this month is Amy's patch of violets. The goodies include a leather button, a project bag and a membership pin.
The June Mad About Tosh has Pashmina yarn. I doubt mine will be the cowl or the optional scarf-a shawlette maybe?

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Finished Projects

I have finished some projects but probably started more.
Berlin Reflections was a test knit for Kimberlolly. I had forgotten how much fun and magical it is to knit a mobius using Cat Bordhi's cast on and techniques. This was fun to knit because it shows the famous buildings in Berlin which are reflected on the other side. I loved Berlin when I was there so this was meaningful to me. The yarn is Kells Sport by Three Irish Girls on size 6 needles.
One day I spent the whole morning looking for a pattern to teach the Dishcloth of the Month class at Amazing Threads. Then I discovered I had written this pattern some time ago so will use this one as it teaches 3 kinds of cables. The yarn is Nashua Hand Knits Linen.
When I first saw this pattern I knew I had to make it! It is called Celestarium and is a circular shawl based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi shawl and is a "map" of the constellations. It was much easier to knit than I thought it would be and is one I didn't want to end because it was so fun. The yarn was specially dyed for me by Dawn of Propaganda Yarn and she called it Orion's Belt and it was knit on size 5 needles.
Matsuri is finally finished. When I saw this scarf my first comment was, “I hate to do blackberry stitch”! But this stitch is calld berries in a basket and was actually fun to do and looks pretty.
I started this scarf 3 times-first time my guage was way off, second time I didn’t read the pattern carefully and did seed stitch instead of moss stitch. If this had been for me rather than a shop sample I would have left it. The 3rd time was operater error also, I was doing the dec 4 wrong so the pattern was not lining up. The yarn is Jenny Watson Pure Merino DK on size 6 needles.
Another shawl finished. I'm not doing very well on 12 shawls in 2013 as this is only my 2nd one-but I have 3 more on needles! This was Romi Hill's Mysterious Shawl and was a fun one to do. I did run out of the brown yarn so deleted about 6 rows of the border. The yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock and it was knit on size 5 needles.

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Yarnover 2013

I was very negligent about taking any pictures at Yarnover this year. The class I took was excellent. It was a half day class on knitting with vintage patterns taught by Franklin Habit. Usually I sit through about an hour of a class, then leave, but this one kept me there even when the class went overtime. The subject was interesting and he is such a good teacher with lots of illustrations. Sorry, I even ripped out the mystery project we knit from an old pattern before I took any pictures.
I didn't come home empty handed, but I think I was pretty good about buying. Just 2 skeins of yarn!
Part of the reason I didn't buy much yarn is because I splurged with the Grinning Gargoyle Mink yarn. Yes, it is as soft as a mink coat. The other skein is from All For the Love of Yarn and the color is named after a friend of mine-just had to have it!
The kit for this necklace caught my attention, so it came home with me and I finished it in just a few hours-crochet.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013


Space Cadet for February, the last shipment of this club. All their yarn is hand dyed by Space Cadet. This is a fingering weight merino, nylon and stellina (sparkles). The extra is stitch markers in a nice container that can be used to store markers, needles-you name it- made by The Sexy Knitter. Plus a coupon for a free pattern with purchase of a pattern by The Sexy Knitter.
This is the first time I've joined All For Love Of Yarn, yarn and tea club. The independent dyer has recently moved into this area so it is fun knowing her and supporting her product. Besides, I've loved the yarn I've used. The club is  Yarn and Tea. (The mug was not included) The tea is Rooibos Tropical so the yarn is dyed in tropical colors. The tea is good! Yarn is fingering weight 80% merino superwash, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon.
The April shipment tea is Strawberry Lemonade and the yarn is laceweight 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk, and 10% Cashmere. It's heavenly!
The second shipment from KnitCircus came with a beautiful surprise. In the center of the shawl picture is a sterling silver yarn ball necklace. The yarn is Pixie Dust Fingering: 63% superwash merino, 20% silk, 15% nylon, 2% silver poly. The shawl pattern is actually one I might make.

A Verb For Keeping Warm Proverbial Yarn Club for April has a Coco Knits pattern which is a unique design which can be worn several ways and uses only the one skein (565 yards)  of Annapurna yarn which is 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Nylon, and 10% Cashmere.
Three Irish Girls is no longer going to be selling yarn on the Internet, only directly to yarn shops so they are discontinuing the yarn club. The patterns have been late coming for these shipments, so I'll show you the yarn without patterns. From left to right is the January yarn called Thimbleberry, McClellan Fingering, 65% merino, 25% bamboo and 10% nylon. The extra was a coupon for a discount at which I accidently let expire. The March yarn is Maui, Springvale Sock and the extra was the tea infuser with a packet of Chamomile Citron tea. The April yarn is Congdon Merino Silk, 80% superwash merino and 20% silk in Cair Paravel colorway. The extra was a packet of the best caramels I've ever tasted! And I'm sorry to say I don't know what kind they were. I saved the wrapper for some time to order some more, but one day I decided to throw it away because I don't need to eat them. Some days I'm sorry I did it.
It's not often I bake cookies, but I couldn't pass up this recipe from Cookie A's Sock and Cookie Club for April. They are lavender shortbread and are delicious! I love the sock pattern on the left, also.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

In the Pink

It's been a long winter in Minnesota and spring just won't make an appearance. This was taken yesterday and it's snowed ever since. On April 19! Even knitting shops and knitting groups are cancelled. Again Blogger turned my picture.)

Does the fact that all my current knitting projects are pink reflect the need for better weather?
Berlin Reflections-a test knit for Kimberly Gintar. The pattern is the Berlin skyline in a mobius.
Romi's Mystery Shawl which all the clues are out, but I have 2 left to do.

This is also a mystery shawl which is now completed and named "Italian Garden" by Tiziana Sammuri, a designer of beautiful shawls who I have just discovered.

April is almost over and I have not completed any shawls yet this this!

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Am I Doing?

This is for a class on the brioche stitch which is good for teaching the stitch, both working back and forth and in rounds and increases. It also uses the Channel Island Cast On, so is a good teaching project. It took awhile to get used to the pattern and it was easy to make mistakes. Ripping out was a pain! And I did a lot!
Pattern: Baby Brioche by Jen Hurley a free download on Ravelry
Yarn: Knitting Fever Painted Desert
Needles: US #6
No, I'm not in a dishcloth mood but the shop has a lot of new knitters so we're trying to offer classes for them. One series we're doing is a dishcloth each month, so I try to use a dishcloth which will teach a new skill.
Pattern: Heart Shape Cloth by Mary Marcontell-free download found on Ravelry.
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale Solid
Needles: US #8

Since before Christmas I've wanted to make this sweater and I finally found the yarn I wanted and got it started. The pattern is Woodburne and the yarn is Ultra Alpaca. The sweater is seamless with shaping taking place between the cables in the back.
This is such a fun knit. I'm enjoying every stitch. Celestarium is growing. The color is really a darker blue so the silver lined crystal beads really shine. I have about 40 rows left plus the border which is a 5 stitch (I think) attached garter stitch edging.
Ravelry has a new feature where every day they show you patterns you might like. This is one of the recommendations. When I saw the little girl modeling it she reminded me of my 3 year old great grand daughter. She wants to have hair like Rapunzel, so it is always hanging in her face and won't wear barrettes or binders. She loves anything princess so this crown headband should be perfect and maybe she will wear it. The yellow one is hers and the orange one is for her 5 year old sister. "Fitting" will take place Saturday.
Isn't this done yet? It seems to be taking forever but I am past the half way mark. The pattern is Matsuri by Berroco. My first comment was that I didn't like to work the blackberry stitch but this stitch is called berries in a basket and doesn't have purl 5 together so is much easier to work. It is also for a class. It makes for good social knitting-so it should be done!
This project got frogged. I test knit and am "tech editor" for Kimberlolly in Germany and this is her next pattern which just went out to testers after it has been "tech edited".  At first I was real excited about it, but I couldn't live with the way the edge looked where the yarn was carried up the side so on this piece I tried adding the darker yarn to both edges and tried I-cord which didn't work because it wasn't elastic enough and then tried doing the edge garter stitch in the darker/heavier yarn but I'm not going to go through with that hassle. It really is a beautiful shawl but not for me.

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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

2013 Yarn Clubs

A new year of yarn clubs. Oh, how I love receiving these packages!
Rosemary Hill's Shawl and Pin club for January. I subscribed only to the yarn and pattern, not the pin for this year. How many shawl pins can a person use. I know many people wonder how many shawls can a person knit and use, but that is a no-brainer for a shawl-o-holic like me. I just love knitting them.
The yarn is from Sincere Sheep, Terroir Fiber Series, special for Romi's club. Included are beads and 2 darling stitch markers. Stitch markers are something else a knitter can not have too many of.

The first yarn of this year from Cookie A is a beautiful dark green which doesn't show up in the picture from Indigo Dragon Fly, merino, cashmere and nylon. Included is the project bag and a note card.
This is the first time I've tried the Knit Circus yarn club. The yarn seems nice -superwash merino, silver poly, and silk. The extra is a mini skein of Starlight Sock Yarn and a set of premium bamboo US #1 needles from Stitch Berry.
A Verb for Keeping Warm Proverbial Yarn Club.
The last shipment from Knit Spot by Anne Hanson has Miss Babs yarn which is cashmere and silk. Need I say more? The patterns for this club are done in a beautiful format with beautiful photography. I'll join this one again.


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Still Knitting

It's been awhile and I've been debating quitting the blog as it seems I don't have the time. Still debating. The knitting I've been doing has mostly been for the shop samples for classes, and am now down to the last two and then I can knit what I want to. Here's what I've been doing although there are no pictures of the last two yet.
In addition to knitting for the shop I've been doing some test knitting of the next Cottage Creations pattern and tech editoring for Kimberlolly from Ravelry-4 patterns.
These are the mittens. What is unusual about them is the gusset which is placed on the hand rather than the traditional thumb portion of the mitten. They have a great fit. The purple ones are made from Ella Rae Classic which is wool and acrylic using US #6 needles. Size, Large Child/Small Woman,
These are from the same pattern but are made for my good friend. The tip of the mitten was changed for the adult size mitten rather than the pointed one-the pattern is still in testing. The yarn is Malabrigo Rios which I sort of like. I've had trouble with the difference in color between skeins of this yarn, but figures making mittens out of one skein should not be any problem. Wrong. I got about 3/4 done making both at the same time one from each end of the skein and decided I couldn't live with the difference in color between the two so frogged and made one at a time, alternating the yarn from both ends. What a hassle and it resulted in a noticeable line where the yarn was changed.
I did not make these but were made by my good friend. They are microwave bowl hot pads to be used to microwave bowls which usually are too hot to handle when the food is hot. Love them!
 They are so pretty I just stack them, put a candle in the middle and use as a centerpiece.
This is Purslane Beret from KnitScene Fall 2012 made from Frog Tree Pedaboo which is really nice to work with. After it was finished, washed and blocked when I put it on it hung down over my eyes so I took out the last inch or so and redid it on a smaller needle. It is pretty, even if I never wear it. It is a class sample.
The shop has had so many Learn To Knit Classes that we are looking for easy classes for beginners. This is the first dishcloth for a dishcloth of the month class. Pattern is a free download on Ravelry called Purple Heart Knit Motif using Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale and size 8 needles.
Another class sample. These are from Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel book. I decided to make fraternal twin socks-same yarn, different pattern. The sock on the left is Simply Splendid Socks and on the right is Hidden Pocket. I used the e-book and made both from top down and found there was a lot of going back and forth between pages. I had a problem with the beginning of the Simple Splendid Sock as I think there is a mistake in the pattern, but never got a response from Cat Bordhi about it. Will I make this heel again? Probably not. One side looks good-the one on the picture, but the other side has holes at the turn. I did them over trying to follow suggestions on the Ravelry Forum, and the hole size decreased, but I still am not happy with them. The yarn is CoBaSi which has a little elastic in it.

This is my fun project I did start for myself. The yarn is custum dyed by my friend, Dawn, of Propaganda Yarn. It will be a round shawl based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi Shawl and is a "map" of the northern hemisphere sky. If you look closely, you can see the north star in the very center and the Big Dipper from it.

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Friday, February 01, 2013

Finished Projects

Amazing Threads has been having many Learn to Knit classes so we are starting to offer a Dishcloth of the Month class to help beginning knitters learn new skills. This is the February cloth.
Pattern: Free download on Ravelry-Purple Heart Knit Motif
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale

Finally finished this sweater. I think I knit it twice as I ripped it so many times. The yarn is Malabrigio Rios. Wonderful yarn. I've used Malabrigio before and did not have a problem with the skeins not matching, so I knit one skein and when I added the second one, there was a definite change of color which I could not live with.
The pattern is by Rosemary Hill and is available in Knitscene, Fall 2012.
Needles: Sizes 5 and 8.
My sweater does not have buttons at this time. I don't like to sew in buttons! If I did it again, I would make the buttonholes larger. The pattern is a 3 stitch buttonhole and I would do 4-5. I also thought the buttonholes were messy using the directions so I substituted a one row buttonhole which Carol Anderson uses in her patterns. It is so invisible I can't find the buttonholes in this sweater.
I made the sleeves wrist length instead of elbow length. In Minnesota I need a warm sweater.
This doesn't look like much knitting, but I have been busy. Lots of projects in progress. I finished a test knit for Cottage Creations, but have not received permission to post pictures yet. A pair of socks should be finished this weekend. No shawls for 2013 yet.

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