Monday, October 31, 2011

Riverside Alpacas

While at MN Knitters' Days, we visited  Riverside Alpacas. Dana, the owner was so gracious and clearly loves her animals and raises them for fiber-which is beautiful.

Dana likes white or light alpacas so she can dye the yarn.

She has 36 alpacas, 6 were born this summer.

Some of them were very friendly! This one almost went home with Candace.

This came home with me! Wish you could feel it. It will make a nice shawl.

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MN Knitters' Days

Over the weekend I was at the annual MN Knitters' Days in Fontenac, MN at the Villa Maria Retreat Center. Our teacher this year was Candace Eisner-Strick and the topic was based on her new book, Strickly Socks. (Sorry-again-that the pictures are on the side. I know the reason, but not how to correct it. If I turn my camera when I take the picture, Blogger will turn it to its original position, even if I've turned it when I downloaded it.)

She is such a fun and good instructor, very descriptive and agile in her explanations.

Candice with Sheryl Hill, the organizer of MN Knitters' Days. Sheryl has made some of the most amazing sweaters! (I've had this same one on needles for several years.)

This is the beginning of our classwork. Candace's socks start with a provisional cast on at the top of the foot, just before the top shaping. It is then knit back and forth for the top of the foot, working the decreases. When all the decreases are done, you work down the bottom of the foot, working back and forth and picking up stitches from the top piece making the increases. When the increases are done, the provisional cast on is removed and the rest of the sock is make in the round as usual. The heel is made just like the toe. I didn't work that as I figured I knew how. (I'm always a rebel to some degree.)

Candace brought sock yarn donated to us and we got to choose our color. I seemed to be on a purple streak this weekend.

Candace was selling her lace weight yarn which she used for her cascading colors kits so I bought 4-300 yard skeins of that. It's 100% merino wool.

Blackberry Ridge had some of their yarn there and I grabbed this up as soon as I saw it! 100% silk.

This year we visited an alpaca farm not far from where we were staying, but I'll do a separate post for that because I took many, many pictures.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Language of Roses

This was a test knit for Aimee from Finland and was fun to knit. The shaping is not done in the traditional ways, but rather in "triangles" in the middle and sides. It starts with the branches, goes into the leaves and ends with the roses. 

Yarn: Joslyn's Fiber Farm Lace Weight
Needle: US #4


Blocking was hard, but when I washed the shawl, I just squeezed enough water out of it so that it didn't drip across the floor, so it stayed wet while I pined and repined.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Three Lace Cardigan

The Three Lace Cardigan is from a pattern book published by Juniper Moon Fiber Farm. It is a new brand of yarn which is just lovely-comes in 3 weights: Lace, Aran, and Bulky. I've knit with both the lace and aran and like both of them. The pattern is another story. It is full of mistakes, so it took some time to make the sweater. Watch my Ravelry page for errata as the last time I checked Juniper Moon Fiber Farm's websit, the errata is wrong! I will be teaching this as a class after the Holidays, so can help with the pattern problems.

Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Findley-used only 2 balls as it has such great yardage.
Needle: Size 4

This is one time when I actually washed and blocked my gauge swatch.

I wish I had remembered to take a picture before I blocked the sweater. It was quite fun to pull it out of my knitting bag and tell people it was for me. It looked about the size to fit a 5 year old. I blocked it before I picked up the stitches for edgings and sewing sleeves in.

It turned out beautifully. It will be a perfect top for summer.

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Tea Leaves Cardigan

This sweater was a delight to knit as the yarn is so nice. I used MadelineTosh DK and it is just heaven.
Needles Size 6 and 7.
I am going to redo the front bands as they are too long.

 I did have a fun incident knitting on this in the car on the way to Milwaukee. The yoke is done switching needle sizes and it came time to use the other size and it wasn't in my knitting bag. It was still a long way to Milwaukee and home again, so I dug out my telephone and found a yarn shop in Eau Claire, about 20 minutes away. So, we detoured through town and found a fun shop,  Yellow Dog Knitting.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Knit With Love

Yesterday my Culver's Knit Wits group had the pleasure of Lisa Bogart visiting us and talking and autographing  her book, Knit With Love. Stories to Warm a Knitters Heart. I truely enjoyed reading the book and it inspired me to get back to my charity knitting!

While on tour, Lisa is collecting rectangles for Warm Up America and this wonderful group of women knit and crochet 58 squares for her. (Lucky her-getting to sew them all together!)

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Three Irish Girls

Yesterday and today, Sharon McMahon, the owner/dyer of Three Irish Girls yarn gave workshops and a trunk show at Amazing Threads. Yesterday I took a class about knitting with hand dyed yarns to learn how to work with pooling of colors and what types of patterns and stitches are best. Today's class was on yarn substitution in patterns. Both classes were excellent! And Sharon is a good teacher, using her wit and visual aids. If you ever get a chance to attend a class of hers, don't hesitate. She will be back at Amazing Threads next October and also at Yarnover in April.

This is one section of the yarn in the trunk show. Love her colors.

Yes, she is tall and I am short.

I've been a fan of her yarn for some time and have been collecting it. For fun, I gathered it all together and here is my TIG stash! I only bought 3 skeins this weekend, plus the blue in the upper right corner for a sweater I'll start as soon as I get this finished.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Too Many Shawls?

Two days ago, Rosemary Hill (Romi)'s pattern Buttonwillow was released. After reading Lisa Bogard's book, "Knit With Love. Stories to Warm a Knitters Heart" I had decided to knit only for charity on Tuesdays. What a dilema. Well, with some rationalization I caved and cast on. (I had knit a charity hat for 2 hours on Monday). I started out using Three Irish Girls Casmerino in the Canyon colorway, but decided the pattern and color were too similar to the Maia Shawlette.

Going through my stash, I had enough of this Three Irish Girls Cashmerino in the Bellini colorway, but debated that the colors were too much like Kleio, but I cast on anyway. After an evening's worth of knittin, I decided it looked too "muddied' in this pattern.

This yarn was sitting on my dresser expecting to be the Seaside Shawlette in the Knitters' Brewing Company KAL which I haven't started. Too similar to Asterope.

Maybe this yarn will be the one. It was originally purchased to do Koi Rama Mystery KAL but I'm having my doubts about doing that pattern. Maybe this will be the one.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Two Quick Projects

Each month at Amazing Threads I teach a technique class which I sometimes follow with a project using that technique or stitch. These are 2 of the recent projects.


The scarf is using an elongated stitch called Seafoam.  I used a US 10 1/2 needle with Handmaiden Fine Yarn Sea Three and a pattern originally written for a Susan Koman fundraiser, Ribbon of Hope.

This neckwarmer is so soft and cuddly. It is a pattern I've written to use the Fisherman Rib stitch, incorporating crochet cast on and Jenny's Elastic Bind Off and uses a US # 7 needle. The yarn-- I just love! It is a new line from Juniper Moon Farms and this is their worsted weight called, Chadwick 60% merino and 40% alpaca. The information on Ravelry says it is Aran weight but I think it knit up at a heavy worsted weight.


Wildlife Release

Two young boys who live near the State Fair Grounds had a beverage stand and gave the money earned to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. I think the total raised was $558.

This was the fall release of animals and birds. The birds were told not to fly away so fast so photographers could get pictures, but they didn't listen!



Squirrels were also released, but they moved so fast it was impossible to get a picture. The hummingbirds attended the festivities but are not ready to be released. If they get well enough, they will be released where the birds migrate to, not where they left from.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Miami Beach Shawlette

Miami Beach Shawl is a free pattern available through Ravelry. It was a fun and quick knit. The yarn I used is Lorna's Laces Solemate on a size 6 needle. This was a gift for my good friend Maureen's special birthday.

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Celia's Blankie

Along with the release of this new Cottage Creation pattern comes the sad news that this is the last published pattern Carol Anderson is doing. I guess I don't blame her as she wants to have time to do knitting of other people's patterns. She will continue with her pattern orders and maybe do some individual patterns in a different format.

This blankie is based on the late Pat Penney's design, Rambling Rose. The fun of this pattern is the number of choices; weight of yarn (can use fingering, sport or worsted weight), gauge, size of squares, number of squares, and edging.

Mine used 5 skeins of Encore  Colorspun Worsted weight and size 8 needle. I cast on 48 stitches for my squares and used an applied I-cord for the edging. It was fun to knit and fun to watch the color progression.

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Yarns and Clubs

I have been very negligent posting the last couple months, so today is catch up day. Hopefully I won't post things I've already posted! These are the yarn shipments I've been receiving. 

Three Irish Girls Yarnista Club. The extra is some good hard candy. Part of the fun of this club is that we get a choice of 2 colorways each month. An advantage of being my age is that I forget what I ordered by the time it arrives. For instance, about 2-3 weeks ago I ordered the yarn for the next month, but last week the previous months yarn arrived.

Three Irish Girls Yarnista with note cards.

Three Irish Girls Yarnista. The extra was a free/discounted pattern from Alana Dakos so I chose the Cedar Leaf Shawlette. I love the yarn as it is McClellan Fingering, 65% merino, 25% bamboo, 10% nylon. It would be perfect for the shawl, except maybe not the color.

Cookie A's Sock and Cookie Club for October. I'm not real crazy about the color of the yarn and haven't even looked at the cookie recipes. Each shipment gives you 2 sock patterns and 2 cookie recipes.

The Twisted Socks are For Suckers Club. Another fun club which features yarn and patterns from indie dyers and designers from the Pacific Northwest. The extra is a fun folder with notepad and post it notes.

Wool Girl's Margarita Kit. Yarn, pattern, notepad, bag, pin cushion, stitch marker, wine glass marker, Margarita mix and jelly beans. It is always fun to open these kits and see all the surprises.

This is a club I don't remember joining. It is one that you order only one shipment at a time. So, surprise yarn. It is Zen Garden's Quasi Club.

 Another Zen Garden Club is the Light and Dark Club. If I remember correctly, we had a choice of yarn colors. This shipment was delayed for a while because of difficulty getting the yarn. The pattern is a mystery pattern, coming out with 4 clues which turned out to be a scarf.

The end of the year is coming, so it is starting to be time to enroll in clubs. I don't know which ones I'm going to join again this year. I have already joined Romi's Pin and Shawl Club, selecting the pin and pattern option, not the yarn. I think I can find yarn in my stash for the shawl this year. I do like Cookie A's sock patterns, so maybe I'll join that when it opens. Other than that I don't know yet.

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