Sunday, July 31, 2016

Not so silent Sunday

Not quite silent because I do have a couple of things to say.

1)  I finished up my Test Knit for Ellen.



I love the finished cardigan, even if it is far too warm to wear it now, I know that no matter how much I dread it, as the saying goes, Winter is Coming and I will need it!

2) I have lots of other things on the needles, I seem to have succumbed to a case of Startitis, nothing to show you yet, but I do have a small puzzle.  Now, I don't necessarily consider myself an "expert knitter".  There are lots of things that I haven't done, or don't know how to do, or have no interest in doing but, I do consider myself pretty decent at being able to follow a lace chart. Thick yarn, thin yarn, in between yarn...doesn't really make a difference to me, so long as I have a well laid out chart to follow. 

I do have a well laid out chart to follow. 

But the chart and I are not getting along right now.  I have knit her three times and each time, she has been right and I have been wrong!

Each of three times I have been wrong in a different place in the chart.

I might have to start saying I am just "okay" at following a lace chart.  :(

3) About the fundraiser for UrbanPeak.orgUnplanned Peacock is holding it until September, but I have decided that for my pattern(s)* they will be perpetual fund raising patterns.

~M
* (s) I am working on the coordinating hat pattern right now, slouchy and very slouchy. For someone who has assured me that yellow is the most horrible color in the world (funny how it was her favorite when she was three) TDQ has said that the Butterscotch and Spicy Rainbow hat will be hers the split second it is off the needles!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Not One, Not Two, But Four!

Well, it is four* the way I count things anyway!

The models finally came through for me....after a long discussion about how I was going to start designing swimwear and make that pesky trouble making model work on the photo shoot in January, preferably during a snow storm!  (Not really, but it sure sounds funny to me.)

You got a sneak peak at the scarves/cowls/infinity loops the other day with the out-take shots, but as is it Friday and the photo editing has been done, and the pattern is written and just waiting for me to "push the button" to make it available...

Presenting :

Hugs and Stardust.

 
From the pattern itself:

We are all Unique, Different and Somehow the Same
All of us are different, but we all have the same basic needs. Urbanpeak.org released a statement in 2015 that between 1.6 and 1.7 million teens experience homelessness each year. Each person’s story for how they came to be homeless is different and the help that each needs is unique, but there are statistics stating that between 40 and 60% of them were abused and 20-40% of them cannot go “home” because they were asked to leave due to being LGBT.


I believe that no-one is homeless by choice; we all have the basic need for shelter.

I believe that love is hard enough to find in this world and that no matter who you love if they love you back, it is a wonderful thing.

In that spirit, in conjunction with the Rainbow Unicorn of Love fundraiser created by Unplanned Peacock Studio, for each pattern sold I will make a donation to Urbanpeak
to provide assistance to homeless teens. Knit yourself, a friend, or both, a warm hug knowing you are adding a little sparkle of stardust to a homeless teen’s life.

Size
Short and Skinny: 50 inches in circumference, 7.5 inches wide
Longer and Wider: 60 inches in circumference, 8 inches wide
Yarn
Unplanned Peacock Studio’s Rainbow Unicorn of Love 2016, Twinkle Twist in Spicy Rainbow 1 skein for Longer and Wider (94 grams used in sample)



Unplanned Peacock Studio’s Rainbow Unicorn of Love 2016, Twinkle Twist in Icy Rainbow and Unplanned Peacock Studio’s Twinkle Twist in Sapphire for 2
Short and Skinny loops.


 Each used 43 grms of main color and 20 grams of the contrast color.

You can add beads, or not as the fancy takes you.  (The one on the left has the beads, you can barely see them in the photo.)










Working with Natasha from Unplanned Peacock, was once again, wonderful!  She picked co-ordinating colors for both the Icy and the Spicy Rainbow, even though you only see Icy with that gorgeous blue complimentary yarn. (So far!)  Although it does not show particularly well in most of the pictures there is just a hint of Stellina in the yarn, so it sparkles just the right amount to be stardust.



 






You can get the yarn here, and the pattern here.  Each purchase will ensure a donation to Urbanpeak.  To learn more about them, go here!

And about that "so far"....a companion hat is in the works!

~M
*Four - Three infinity loops and one pattern!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Model's Were not Happy

I don't know if I have mentioned this, but TOB goes to school year round.  It works out to the same number of days as everyone else, just his breaks are a little shorter and more frequent.  But, anyway...

Today when TOB got home from school we ran out to do a quick photo-shoot, and let me tell you, the models were not happy to be wearing knitted (winter) items when it was hot outside!

I think that it shows in the photo's that we took...but...what do you think?



Do you notice who the chef instigator of the photo shoot problems was?

Hmmmm

I think that TDQ is off the good list!

~M

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Just Super Quick

Presenting :

Miss Kim, available for instant download from my Ravelry Store as of today!

From the pattern page:

I love lilacs, their sweet fragrance and delicate flowers in the spring, the glossy green leaves through the summer. Of all the lilac varieties one of my favorites is the Miss Kim Lilac. She is compact, but beautiful, with very fragrant pale lavender flowers.

This top down, triangle shawl starts from a compact, three stitch provisional cast on and the pattern stitches morph from one to another, but are completely modular so you can knit each one as many (or as few) times through as you like.

Pattern stitches are in charted form and include nupps, centered double decreases, right and left single decreases, yarn overs and make 1 increases.
Original knit in a 2/28 Cashmere from Colourmart this shawl will lend itself equally well to both heavier and lighter lace weight or fingering weight yarns. By adding or subtracting entire pattern repeats the finished size is adjustable.

The testers used a wide variety of yarns from  Malabrigo Lace to Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb with great results!  Being a modular chart, if your gauge is tighter than mine was, just add another repeat or two of your favorite stitch pattern.

Next up will be something with the Unplanned Peacock yarn that you might have seen on my Facebook page.  I just need to knit a little bit faster.

~M

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fun Knitting - or - Still Crazy

Progress is being made on the "fun" knitting.  The fun is in quotes because I have been told that I am still crazy!

Alphabet has another row of letters...just a few more to go and I really need to think about the math for the border and edge.



Test knit cardigan has sleeves!  Now it just needs a body to go along with them.

And, there is trouble...

A foot.  (sorry couldn't resist)  I have two weeks to add three more feet, another wing, a body, a belly and a head.  Maybe it will be a dragon in time for the birthday!

But for me, right now, it is back to gardening.  It's a jungle out there!


 

 



~M

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday's are for Finished Objects

But not this week!

Today TOB and TFB turned 17.

Ack, how did I get old enough that my youngest children are 17?  With braces off and college days looming faster than I am ready to pay for them!




We went to (my favorite place) the zoo where we met up with one of

TDQ's friends and TFB and I had to keep slowing our pace while the other three caught Pokemon and battled gyms and collected Poke Balls....

I have made the cake and the ice cream is in the ice cream maker as I type.

A couple of presents are on the table, waiting for them to notice them.  (The traditional socks for their birthdays will have to wait until I get good pictures of them for the pattern covers...shhh don't tell anyone but just about everything I knit for them now is turning into an exercise in designing.)

I guess if we are having cake and ice cream for dinner we should count it as a 10% day!

Oh well, I am off to a wild party, and by wild party I mean: cake, icecream and knitting with a movie.

~M


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Techniques On Thursday- Mother of Necessity

A while, actually quite a long while ago, I promised a friend I would show her how I do a provisional garter tab cast on.

It is really hard to take photo's of your own hands, so instead I just showed her very quickly one day when her knitting group was cancelled (or limited to three and moved to my house!)

I actually use a cast on very similar to this one, that Andrea Jurgrau posted on her blog many years ago...except....there was one day when I had grabbed yarn and needles ready to cast on for a project while waiting for my kids to see the dentist.  The start of a shawl isn't too unwieldy to make into travel knitting so into the bag went the yarn, the needles and the first portion of the pattern.

I was not going to sit through their checkups and cleaning with nothing to do, so even though I didn't have a spare double pointed needle to do the actual knitting I figured I would try a "more modified" turkish cast on than Andrea originally intended.

Want to give it a try?

You will need :

Your Yarn.

Your working needle.

That's it.  No crochet cotton, no smooth waste yarn, no extra needles.  Just your yarn and your needle.  For the pictures I just grabbed the first available ball of yarn and some (too small for the yarn) needles - like these.
 
Make a slip knot and put it over the tips of both needles from your circular needle.
 
 Now you are going to make some half hitches.  See how I have the working yarn wrapped around my finger, just like that and put it on both needle tips...like this....









Now pull that snug and add a few more,
 











 In this case I need three stitches for each of my borders so I am putting 3 half hitches on the needles.
 I know, you see four stitches there but we are not counting that slip knot.  Really!  Trust me this will work.  










Now thread your working yarn between the needle tips.
And pull the lower needle out so that the half hitches are on the top needle and the cable.
 




Now you are ready to knit the first row of however many rows you need for your garter tab.  In this example I wanted to end up with 3 garter stitches on each side of a six stitch body so I knit 13 rows.  Why 13 you ask?  Go, on ask!

Because I want to have 6 garter ridges, which means 12 rows of garter stitch to create those ridges and I want to be ready to start picking up right after I finish that last row.


Knit three stitches and then just let the slip knot sit on the cable.

Eventually you end up with a long strip of garter ( a mini scarf!) between the tips of your needles.



And you are ready to pick up your "body" stitches.  Remember this time I was aiming for six and I am going to use that bottom needle, to pick up the stitches before I knit them.  I grab the bars from the garter ridges and put them on the needle like this...

And then purl across to the slip knot. (The astute among you will see I only picked up 5 stitches, I can't count worth beans some days!)
You knew it was going to show up again somewhere, right?



That slip knot has done its job and started our half hitches with a firm base, but now we don't need it any more, so we are going to slide it right off the tip of the needle when we get to it and then knit those last three stitches that have magically appeared from our provisional cast on.







Now we are ready for row one of our pattern, with all the stitches ready to be worked.  Three garter stitches for the edge, six body stitches for the body and another three garter stitches for the final edge.

Easy, right?

And all because I didn't have waste yarn or a few spare needles in my knitting bag.  Necessity really is the mother of invention.

~M

Photo credit goes to TFB, who had no idea what he was really trying to take pictures of.  I should post what I cropped out at some point!