Monday, September 26, 2016

Resources for Knitters - You NEED this Book

I have mentioned before that I really like knitting socks and that you should too.  Or at least, give them a try to see if you like them.  I have a lot of different resources that I can use when I am knitting socks, to find tips and tricks, or heel calculations but as of this coming Saturday a lot of those tips, tricks, calculations and explanations can all be found in one place!

Jody Richards, the brains behind Knotions, a free online knitting magazine, has put together an ebook that is available for pre-order starting today.

Best part, pre-order it now and get it for much less than the "cover" price it will be on Saturday!

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the book over the weekend and can tell you that there is a lot in it and I even learned a thing or two!  Like why my superwash wool socks started felting after being thrown into the washer and dryer for a year without any problems!*

I wish I had that ebook when I was teaching some people I know how to knit socks, proactively answering questions before they had them, rather than re-actively answering after the fact.  I am a big fan of helping knitters get the tools they need to be self sufficient and that is why TOB will be reading through this before his next pair of socks goes on the needles.  (I hope they are the ones he has been promising me for a few years now and don't suddenly change to being for a friend or a teacher like the last pair....no-one knits for the knitter - sigh.)

You would think that with as many socks as I have knit, designed or tutored people through knitting that I wouldn't need this book and you would be 100% wrong. 


Wrong to the point that I pre-ordered mine today!  Having one reference that I go to is certainly "crafting smarter" than having to pull out three or four different books.

In other knitting news my Colourmart Fall Contest Entry is progressing and you will see more of her on Wednesday because she will undoubtedly still be a WIP then!

Until then....I am just going to keep on knitting, knitting, knitting.

~M

*And if you want to know the why behind that..... you will have to get the book.  :)


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

And So It Begins, Again

Each year, in the fall, which just happened to arrive yesterday, my mind starts to wander to home baked apple pies from apples we pick up at a Farm Market, and autumn colors starting to show in the leaves of the trees.  Cool morning walks, and finally being able to keep the windows open all day without someone complaining that it is too hot, or too humid....

But mostly, my mind turns to the group affectionately known as Enabler's R Us, or Colourmart Lovers on Ravelry and the Fall KAL/Contest.  It is a cut throat affair (not at all!) with people from all over the world who I have now knit with  for years and consider friends (truly!) egging each other on to stretch just that little bit further, and knit just one more row, or even set out bowls of milk to encourage brownies to come and do the cooking and cleaning so we can knit more (if you are signed into Ravelry, click here.) It is one of those competitive events where everyone who plays wins...you get your finished object...but you might get more than that because the wonderful people at Colourmart put up prizes. (Mostly the prizes are random drawings from everyone who finishes, with an extra drawing for those that didn't.)

It is a lot of fun and I play along just about every year.  Last year the Fall Contest resulted in this shawl. 

And the Spring Contest resulted in four shawls, three of which became patterns over the summer.


 Officially the contest started yesterday, at 10:21 am my time, but I needed to clear something off my needles first, but this evening, I finally did that...



And so I did this....

Not sure anyone (other than me!) will want to knit something in a light fingering weight yarn that starts with casting on eleventy billion stitches so it may or not be a pattern, we will see what kind of encouraging noises come my way as things progress.

As I have eleventy billion rows to go with those eleventy billion stitches, I am off to knit!

~M




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Another Week is Getting Away!

Why is it, that no matter how organized I try to be.  Not matter how many "to do" lists I make and check items off.  No matter how earlier I get up and how late I go to bed...the week just gets away from me?

Maybe, in this case, it is because I spent Monday trying to catch up to the things I usually do on Sunday.  The Monday things, obviously, then trickled over to Tuesday and here it is Wednesday and I am not ready for us to be this far into the week already!

Usually Wednesdays would be for my Works in Progress but instead let's talk about Sunday.

Sunday was Wool Gathering!  Held at Youngs Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Wool Gathering is one of the few fiber festivals that I actually get to go to.

We have a routine when we go and we follow it pretty strictly each time.

First we walk around all the tents and I make a shorter list from my short list that I took with me, of what I might want to buy.  The rule is no buying on the first go round!  If I am meant to have something it will still be in the booth when I come back.  Then we get a snack and watch the sheep shearing (because, really how could that ever get old?  The sheep always look so bemused about the whole affair.)  if the timing is right we then watch the dog herd ducks around a little obstacle course (this year with the added bonus of a wayward sheep joining the fun.) then we go back and I make my carefully planned purchases.

Once the pack mules are loaded up we go stand in line for ice cream and I hit the cheese shop and if there were any demonstrations that we wanted to see, we go back and see them, but usually by then everyone is tired, cranky and feeling very full so we go home.

This year was a little different in that I was networking with yarn dyers, the owner of a yarn truck or just visiting with "old friends"

Speaking of old friends....what do you think of this?

The color is aptly called Crazy, and I think that the stitch pattern I played with suits it as it is also a little crazy!

Guesses on what it grew up to be?

Post your guess in the comments, on my Instagram feed or on Facebook...maybe you will get a free copy of the pattern for your guess!

~M


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Half a Finished Object and it isn't even mine!

If you are a knitter, and this may hold true for other crafts as well but knitting is my "thing" so I can speak from experience, you know that sometimes you have projects that warp the space time continuum in one direction or the other. 

I think that it works like this.

Knitting time, or the time spent knitting and actually accomplishing anything, is like a savings account.  Those times where you knit and knit, knit and knit, knit and knit and somehow have a project that hasn't grown at all, are when you are putting time into the bank.  Those times where you cast on and find you are casting off five minutes later with the project complete, that is when you are taking time out of the bank. (Maybe that is why so many knitters start with scarves that take years to finish, putting time in the bank for later?)

My test knit for Diane Conroy was one of the "flies off the needles faster than you can say I am going to knit a ponchetta" projects, so it stands to reason that my knitting time this week has been spent knitting and knitting without measurable progress.  To make matters worse it is one of those "behind the scenes" projects that I am not sharing yet, but I will give you a few hints.

1)  It is big.
2)  Multiple colors.
3)  Wool, which also means it is hot to work on right now.

4)  It must be heading into Fall time in the Ohio area because in going through my knitting projects from last year I noticed that, this time last year I cast on for a big project in some very similar colors.*

So as I have nothing of consequence to show you, I will show you what TDQ did this week instead!

TDQ spends a lot of time making things with beads.  Which means that those of us who knit get beaded stitch markers for gift giving occasions, very nice for me and TOB, but TFB doesn't knit, he weaves, and she has never quite figured out what to give a weaver that involves beads.**  Having enjoyed dyeing her hair purple so very much she has decided to give dyeing yarn a try.

For her first experiment she bought this...

And made this.....

Then realized with all the classes she is taking that she needed to run off and study, so seeing what colors she actually creates will have to wait for another day.

~M

*Different yarn and this time it is not a garter stitch blanket!

** We do handmade gifts.  We buy things too, but all of us are on the creative end of the spectrum of creators, makers, users and unmakers.





Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WIP Wed

For all the hours I have spent knitting this week, I seem to have spent just as many "un-knitting" or tinking!

I swatched in preparation for the Colourmart Lovers Fall contest,
 
and came up with a plan that I would knit, then decided that someone less out there than I am might want a slightly less cumbersome version so I started doing math for that.

Yeah, that swatch got just a little bit out of hand.

First time around it appeared to be perfect, but the row count for the color changes didn't please me as much as they did in the fingering weight version, so I ripped out the swatch and tried again.

And promptly forgot how to count.

So again...and again. Let's just say that nothing else has been knit since then and call it a day!

In other knitting news I hit the half way point in my Nana's Cottage. It will all be down hill from here as the stitch counts decrease through the second wing.

I sincerely hope that TDQ appreciates it.

Speaking of TDQ, she and the "other daughter" found a knitting machine at Michael's today. 
 
She sat for about a half hour to knit up a blank that (hopefully) she will dye for me to knit a nice cozy cowl with!