Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday Sky September 30


What started out cloudy turned into a beautiful fall day. The sun is shining and the temperature right now on our thermometer is 69.

The next 2 Saturdays I will be traveling, so will not be posting sky pictures. If I can keep the days straight (If this is Baddeck, this must be Saturday) I will take pictures wherever I am and post them when I get home.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Travel Hats

Monday my friend and I leave for a tour of Bar Harbor, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Cape Cod. Because of the possibility of cold, windy weather we wanted a hat that would cover our ears and keep us warm. I have knit several chemo hats using this pattern and thought it would be a good hat for myself. The one I had was too short to really cover my ears-thus the new ones for each of us. It is warm, packs small, and fits nicely into a pocket. The pattern is a free internet pattern at . For the pictured hats I used Lion Brand Fun Fur and size 9 circular and double point needles. A fun, quick knit.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Taos Pinwheel Sweater

The sweater has progressed this far. You can see the beginning shaping for the top corner. I was so surprised and impressed when I read the comment on my first posting for this sweater-it was from Crystal Palace Yarns! I had said that no way would I fit into this sweater in the size the pattern was for but because I was so intriqued by the construction methods I had to make it anyway. The comment stated that the revision with larger sizes and an easier drop shoulder variation is almost ready, so if I just make my front and back pinwheels and wait at that point it shouldn't be long.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Two Twin City Knitting Events

Sunday, October 8, 11AM -3PM is the 3rd Annual Twin Cities Knit Out sponsored by the Minnesota Knitter's Guild at Brookdale Center. (South of I-694 on Highway 100 in Brooklyn Center-right in my back yard and I'll be out of town.)
  • Door Prizes
  • Free Knitting Lessons
  • Hourly Fashion Shows
  • Knitting experts to answer all yor knitting questions.
  • Fastest Knitter Contest
  • Community Service Knitting Projects
  • Local yarn shops displaying the latest yarns, patterns and tools.

The second event is the 1st annual "Treasure Hunt (Knitting Shop Hop)" October 6, 7, & 8. Gather your friends and visit 7 yarn shops, receive a charm (the first 200 people),

a stamp on your treasure map and register for prizes. Fill your treasure map and you'll be eligble for a Grand Prize drawing. (I've seen some of the prizes and wish I would be able to participate.)The participating shops are

  1. Amazing Threads
  2. A Sheepy Yarn Shoppe
  3. Coldwater Collaborative
  4. Needlework Unlimited
  5. Three Kittens
  6. The Yarnery
  7. Zandy's Yarn


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mitten Knit Along

I didn't make much progress on the mittens this week-finished the unmatched pair and started the red one. Hopefully this next week will be better.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday Sky September 23

Wish you could see the rain drops. It's been raining for the last few days; our gauge shows about 2 inches and the temperature only got up to 57 on our thermometer. Good knitting weather! Except it wasn't a good knitting day for my sock class this afternoon. Today we were doing the heel flap, turning the heel and the gusset. My poor students made every mistake that could be made and they all did a lot of unknitting. My main concern after a class like that is that they will give up.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Mother's Bedspread

Yes, it is crocheted. For years while I was growing up, Mother was crocheting this bedspread. Like most of us, she even carried it with her in her purse and worked on it when she had a spare moment. It was a great moment when it was finished and put on her bed! But, the longer she used it, the bigger it got. It no longer fit on her regular size bed. Lucky me, I had a queen size bed, so it was bestowed on me-my poor sister had a king size and this hadn't grown that big. I used it for a while on my bed, but then I downsized to a regular size bed, so tucked it away in the cedar chest. A couple weeks ago I again went to a queen size bed and remembered the bedspread.

It looks beautiful on my bed!

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Roma Lace Shawl

This is my favorite kind of knitting! I get such a good feeling when I can work on a lace shawl. Lace doesn't look like much when it is scrunched together on the needles! This is really crowded as I'm using my good 24" rosewood needles on which the yarn slides so nicely and which have long tapered sharper points. At this point there are 768 stitches on the needle and takes nearly an hour to complete one row. I have only 20 rows to go!
A close up of the Roma lace shawl. I was able to stretch it out as I broke my good rosewood needle into 2 pieces-yes, the language was quite foul-so am transferring the stitches onto a longer needle.
Pattern: Knit Picks Roma Lace Shawl a pattern adapted from the original of Gloria Penning, published in "Danish Lace Treasures."
Yarn: Joslyn's Fiber Farm
Needles: Size US 6


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Taos Pinwheel Sweater

The construction of this sweater is what intriqued me! It has a pinwheel in the front and back and then using short rows, the sweater pieces are made. The pattern is a free one from Crystal Palace, but at this time comes in only a 34" or 39" chest measurement. Only in my wildest dream will I fit in a 39" but I just wanted to make it! The pattern says more sizes are being worked on. The yarn, Taos, by Crystal Palace is a wonderfully soft 100% wool in beautiful color gradations. The picture just doesn't do the colors justice. I'm knitting it on a size 8 needle at a gauge of 18 sts/4in.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Noro Yoroi Bulky Jacket

Here is the jacket completed except for the sleeves, collar, and front band. My August 28th post describes the construction of this "Pure and Simple" Weekend Jacket.
The sweater completeted except for buttons. The color is much better on the first picture. I had to make the first sleeve twice as when I got ready to do the cuff, I couldn't find my smaller sized needles-you guessed it, I made the whole sleeve on the small needle and it was a noticeable change in gauge. The sweater was knit on #17 and the cuffs and front band on #15.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Warm Hands Knit Along

When I saw the Mitten Knit Along, I was overjoyed because knitting mittens for charity has been one of my favorite projects, but I had been neglecting them lately. My charity knitting has a fun history. When I was still in the working world, I never could get home in time to watch Oprah. People would talk about the programs and I was SO jealous! So, the first day I was retired, I happily gathered my knitting project and sat down to watch Oprah. That day her program was all about her Angel Network and the good things that people were doing, which really gave me something to think about. What good was I going to do with my life-especially now that I was going to have so much time? (That turned out to be a joke; I have less time now than when I had a regular job.) What I came up with was that I could knit for charity whenever I watched the Oprah Show. Mittens were a good project because they were so portable and I could knit them while I walked, which I hated to do. (No, I don't knit and walk since I hit a hole and fell flat on my face in the street.) I like to knit my charity mittens from acrylic and Encore is my favorite. This yarn is the same fiber content, weight, price, knits to the same gauge, called Marble apparently by James C. Brett. This skein is left over from a child's sweater I made and I wouldn't recommend using yarn with color changes for mitten-you can see, my mittens don't match and I don't have enough yarn to make another pair or does the shop carry this brand anymore. My favorite mitten pattern is from a Cottage Creation pattern, "Projects for Community Knitting" with sizing from small children's to large adult. The thumb gusset area is done with ribbing and the thumb has more stitches than usual and is done in ribbing to keep the thumb warmer. My grand daughter told me she liked the mittens I made because they went on either hand. I guess I cheated a little with this knit along as I got out the bag with my pattern and needles, here was one mitten already done and the other one cast on.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday Sky September16

The day started out gray and cloudy but turned into a beautiful, but windy day. Rain predicted for this evening.


Friday, September 15, 2006

What Could Be Better?

What day could be better than today? Spent a couple hours with the Champlin Knitters, then went shopping. I had purchased some earrings and with them bought the service plan, so if they were broken they would be repaired, replaced, or money refunded. Well, mine broke and they were unable to be repaired, so I got a gift certificate. Today I found some replacement earrings. Then, I had to return to Barnes and Noble to pick up another book I'd seen the other day, but didn't know if I had. (If I would just stay home instead of shopping I might get some of my books read and some knitting done instead of buying more!) While there I found two calendars I had to have! The book is "Knitting Memories" edited by Lela Nargi, stories contributed about knitting. Lily Chin is one of the contributors.The "Stitch 'N Bitch" calendar is by Debbie Stoller and has tips, techniques, yarn of the week and new patterns. One of the quotes is from Aristotle, "Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." The second calendar is the 2007 Knitting Pattern-a-Day. Just flipping through a few, I want to make the illusion knitting dishcloth with a cause. It shows the pink breast cancer ribbon if viewed from the right angle.
Following those wonderful purchases, I attended the "Yarn Tasting" at Amazing Threads. A yarn tasting is a chance to see the new yarns for fall, actually knit with them and see and buy yarn for the new focus projects. The focus projects are projects chosen by the staff to highlight some of the new yarns. I bought the yarn to make the Taos Pinwheel Pullover which looks like it has some interesting construction techniques. The pattern is free from (go to Crystal Palace/free patterns.) Tonight I should finish the Noro bulky sweater, so will start on that-instead of working on my shawl and sweater on the needles. (Plus a few other things!)

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Books

Today, after babysitting since Monday afternoon, my husband and I decided we "needed" a trip to Barnes & Noble. It was our lucky day-or unlucky if you think about the amount of the purchase! These are 2 knitting "finds" which I have not read, but who cares-they are knitting related. Remember a few years back when knitting books were such a rarity. Now there are more than even I want?

"Knitting under the influence" is by Claire LaZebnik and is a novel. The description says "Sometimes it feels like their weekly knitting circle is the only thing that keeps Kathleen, Sari and Lucy from falling apart...Caught between life, love, and pursuit of the perfect cast-on, these three friends learn that there are never any easy answers, except maybe one-that when the going gets tough, the tough get knitting.

"The Museum of Kitschy Stitches. A Gallery of Notorious Knits" by Stitchy McYarnpants an "astonishingly awful collection of the finest knitting and crocheting horrors the twentieth century has to offer." I disagree with one picture-it is my grandson's favorite sweater!

Can't wait to finish reading the book I'm on to start a new knitting novel. Unlike knitting, I only read one book at a time!


Sunday, September 10, 2006

More Critters!

Kitty Kat was made from a pattern by a local designer, CiD Hanscom. Her pattern is available at Amazing Threads in Maple Grove and I don't know where else she may have them. A new one is just about ready and is Felted Fifi, a poodle designed somewhat like the Kat. Kat was made with Cascade 220 as the base yarn and Lang Angel as the fur. The legs and tail are all I-cord, unstuffed except for the paws and knit into the body so there is no attaching separately.
The squirrel is a
Fiber Trends pattern. I used Cascade 220 as the base yarn and the tail is Gypsy-found in the clearance bin!
Both were fun to knit!


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday Sky September 9

A grey, cool day reminding us that fall is here. Our thermometer shows a high of 67 and so far, no rain. Good sweater weather!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

In Memorium

Today was a sad day! We had to put Snickers, our pet for nearly 20 years to sleep. This picture is one of my favorite memories of her. For some reason, as soon as I put out a wet shawl to block, she thought it was for her to sleep on. She even got vicious when I tried to finish blocking it-it was hers! I caught her once on a doily not any bigger than she was, curled up, pulling out the pins with her teeth.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How I learned to knit

My students often ask me how I learned to knit and I honestly don't remember learning, so I tell everyone I was born knowing how! I do remember using the old "Learn How" books to do mittens and socks, but that is all. These sheets and pillowcases explain to me that I am my Great Grandmother re-incarnated. When I found them in my cedar chest, I knew my mother had told me who had made them, but at the time I didn't care that much. Years later-after she had died-I found them and realized it was knit lace and that is my favorite kind of knitting. I had to do some inquiring of my relatives to find out which of my ancesters knit lace and found out it was my great grandmother who had died 7 years before I was born. She had knit lace for a set of sheets for each one of her children-she had 12 not counting 2 who died shortly after birth-but she had died before finishing the last set. One of the unmarried women in the small town finished that set.

I have even knit that lace pattern on a shawl I've made, so I must be Grandma re-incarnated and was born knowing how to knit!

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Joslyn's Fiber Farm Shawl Kit

I love the day the package comes from Joslyn's Fiber Farm Shawl club! Every 3 months the surprise arrives in my mail box. I usually don't look at the website to see what it is going to be because I like the element of surprise, but this month we had a choice of colors. A yarn is chosen by Joslyn along with a pattern. Needless to say, I don't keep up with them-wish I could just do lace knitting, but I do like other types of knitting, too. Also, I don't always use the suggested pattern. The yarn is beautiful-fiber wise, color wise, and price wise. To quote from the label on this yarn. " Tucked in the bucolic rolling moraines of Southern Wisconsin, you will find Joslyn's Fiber Farm. Sixty angora rabbits, four samoyed dogs, seven cats, two young children and a husband help provide the raw materials and inspiration for Joslyn's yarns. Carefully millspun and hand-dyed, Joslyn's yarns are guaranteed to provide beauty and comfort in whatever you choose to create." This pattern selection is from "Two Old Bags", two women from Rochester, MN who have many shawl patterns plus many felted bag patterns and other patterns. There is no web site for them, so check your LYS.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Critter Weekend

This weekend I've been knitting "critters". The Fiber Trends alpaca/llama was an UFO from long ago. I know I dug him out to finish the black feet, ears and tail in February and then he was felted. Since then he has sat on my laundry room cupboard waiting for nose, eyes and stuffing. I have no idea what yarn I used-when I worked on him in February I couldn't find the yarn I had used to knit him, so used some Bemidiji wool which was close in color.
The penquin was also an UFO. The pattern is from the English magazine, "Simply Knitting" February 2006, so that was when I started him. The label is gone from the yarn and I don't remember what it was. I checked at the yarn shop yesterday but they no longer carry it. It was knit with the eyelash alone on size 6 needles. This is the first thing I have knit from this magazine and there were some mistakes and incomplete instructions, so don't know if this pattern was the exception or the rule. They do not publish errata. I pick up the magazine each month at Barnes and Noble and most months there is a free gift with it. Last month was a needle case, one month was a circular needle and the last one was a copy of "Simply Crochet". I like the instructional pictures throughout the magazine, illustrating a technique used in that pattern.
The cute cat is done except to be felted, but she is waiting to be felted along with Fiber Trends squirrel I'm working on now.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Saturday Sky September 1

The sky has alternated between the two pictures all day and occasionally threatening to rain. Only a few drops so far and temperature only got up to about 68.

A long weekend lies ahead and we have no plans until Monday afternoon for dinner with our son. Today has sped by and I haven't touched the knitting needles yet-the whole evening is before me, so will work on a cute felted cat-I'll post pictures and pattern information when it is done.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Margo's Color Scape

This is a sample of my daughter's oil painting. It is a new talent she has just explored and, I think, she is doing well! You can see some of her work on the above link. She does knit, but had to give me her last project to finish as she is suffering from severe carpal tunnel syndrome. (Remember to take breaks and do some range of motion excercises!)