Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

After my whirl wind, busier than I like them, week last week, this week things are going to have to slow down to a more sedate pace!

I did get some knitting done, and some quick updates to patterns started...wanna see what I can show you?

Yeah, I figured you did!




My birthday present to myself, a tank top with a slightly sexy back in merino yarn from Land O Lace.  (It turned into an exercise in grading garments through multiple sizes, and then trying to double check my excel formulas with pen (yes pen!) and paper!.)
I am not 100% sure I trust either of us for the middle sizes and as merino in  summer is not everyone's idea of the perfect tank I might have fallen off the yarn diet long enough to purchase some fingering weight cotton blend to give it another go!

While I wait for that yarn to come in, I finished up a doily and have got myself well on the way to being near the end of a cotton shawl.
That is a new base from Unplanned Peacock, Peacock Pima in fingering weight. The color is called Clematis and I think I have a serious crush on it!

Happy Summer Solstice!

As you can see my thoughts turn to different knits rather than no knits, when the weather is warm and the days are long.  Do you craft all year?  Do you change what you craft on during the long hot days of summer and the cold long nights of winter?

~M



Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day

~M

Friday, June 16, 2017

Extreme Lace

So I mentioned that Andrea Jurgrau has a new lace pattern in the Knit Picks Book Luxurious Lace.

I had the great pleasure of test knitting it for her!

Oh this one is a beauty, she has hex mesh, nupps, novel increases...mine took 3 and a half skeins of Alpaca Cloud in Papaya Heather and is an absolute dream to wear!

I think I will just let the photos speak for themselves!



Can you tell it was a while ago I finished this one?  (Shh, don't tell anyone, I still haven't taken the modeled shots...but I have a photo shoot tentatively scheduled for next week!)

I am off to play with my friends now!

What are you working on this weekend?

~M

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Just a couple of Public Service Announcements

Not that there aren't WIPs to talk about but instead today...two things that both involve Knit Picks!

First....did you get the message the Summer Sale is going on!  Some fabulous new colors of Felici Sock Yarn...in value packs even!

And, my friend Andrea has a new lace pattern out.  You can buy the book from Knit Picks or, like and share on Facebook to enter to win a copy!

I got to test knit that one, and I will tell you all about it on Friday!

~M

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Not Silent at All...

To those who know me "in real life"....Thank you for all the birthday wishes!


For those who don't know me "in real life"...this post I made in one of the groups I belong to pretty much summed up my day...


"Thank you! I have had a great day.
 
It’s funny, all my life people have been trying to give me things that go in a box to make my birthday (or any day really) special…and today….no boxes at all. (My request, I am at that age, where if there is anything I really want…I bought it for myself before you could, and things just don’t have the same appeal they did when I was much younger.)
Listening to my kids cooking together (they made a cake , carefully dividing up the recipe so that each one contributed as much effort as the other two, so that it was a true group present), along with the birds that were singing in my garden, warm sun, slight breeze…a just complicated enough chart from a designer friend of mine (she writes what I would consider extreme lace, this one isn’t extreme but kept me on my toes).

This, this is what people had been trying to put in boxes and it isn’t something you can put in a box.

I probably need to stop reflecting on myself so much….but…darn me, it was the perfect birthday! And perfect days don’t happen to anyone very often.
The kids keep saying I need to find them some candles to put on the cake  so I can make a birthday wish…but honestly, all I would wish for is that for everyone to have a day like I just did."

~M

Friday, June 9, 2017

Reminder - Knit in Public Day is Tomorrow

I am one of those knitters who knits at every opportunity, no matter where I am!  So every day is Knit In Public Day...but just in case you needed a reason to grab your knitting and get out...

June 10th, 2017 has officially been designated Knit In Public Day...so do what I am going to do...

Get out there and Knit!

~M

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Maybe I am a Zombie

I really hope she couldn't count!*
Look at that pulse!


But on the positive side, that isn't a bad blood pressure for someone who is about to hit the big five oh. (even if for me it is a little higher than normal.)

According to the comics and tv series iZombie, zombies have very low blood pressure and heart rates..... I think they both got it wrong though...it isn't brains I want, it is skeins!

~M

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Stash Enhancement Tuesday

This past weekend it was a pleasure to get to go to the Mid Ohio Fiber Fair, in Worthington Ohio.  (It actually worked out very well for me, one of the minions needed to be dropped off in Dublin for a party, so with a little bit of a detour I was able to combine two trips into one, browse to my heart's content and then go back to Dublin to pick said minion up.)

The Mid Ohio Fiber Fair is a very small show, but gave me a great opportunity to chat (in person) with some indie dyers about their yarns, their process, their colorways and get to see people I am starting to consider to be "old friends" like Natasha of  Unplanned Peacock.

And get to know some other crafters a little bit better, like Michele of Michele's Assortments.

I also met a "newbie" dyer, Liana of Red Bird Yarn Studio , who was skeining yarn for her table while we chatted.  She had samples knit up for nearly all of her available at the show colorways, which I think was a fabulous idea as so many knitters cannot envision how self striping or variegated yarns will look when knit up when they only see them in the skein.  (I of course picked out the one she didn't have a sample of!  It is a gorgeous colorway called Peony and it is being ever so well behaved and just gently whispering that it would like to get knit up!)

Every year the fair has a raffle for various baskets containing donations from each of the vendors who attend.  The raffle supports a local food bank and I always buy a few raffle tickets (and view it as my entrance fee as it is a free event!).  Just as I was about to leave I got a text from the minion that had opted to stay home...."Someone just called to say you won basket number 2 in the raffle."  I guess habit had me writing down my landline number not my cell phone.  (I never expected to win, so hadn't given a thought about needing to collect the prize if I had already left for the day!)

Want to see the goodies that were in that basket?



























 



















And then, the three skeins of yarn and the shawl pin that I did purchase!
















So how was your weekend?  (Yes, I know it is Tuesday, my weekend got away from me!)

~M

Friday, June 2, 2017

Forgotten Finished Objects - Well, Unblogged

I thought I was going to share a different finished object today...but I might have underestimated how long the edge was going to take, and overestimated how many stitches can comfortably fit on a 60 inch circular needle.  Maybe by next week!

But, luckily I don't think I have told you about this one, so I do have something to share!

Presenting :

Ostrich Plume Baby Bonnet by Ranee Mueller.
Baby Bonnet with dishes, gift bag and paper hyacinths
Her version was knit in a decadent cashmere/merino blend...I knit mine in a merino/angora blend. (So not something you would want to leave on a baby too long, all those pesky fibers, but suitable for a newborn picture prop!)
Different gift bag
The pattern stitch, Ostrich Plume is an "old standard" in the knitting world.  One of many, many, variations of feather and fan, and truth be told, possibly my favorite variation.  Added to the natural colored yarn and all my "this is a good baby thing" buttons are being pressed.  There is just something about an old fashioned, pretty, stitch pattern, a plain colored but decadent yarn that warms my heart.
Pink Hearts for Girls
The bonnet is ever so quick to knit up, once you have the rhythm of the ostrich plume stitch it makes good "chatting with friends" or "watching a movie" knitting, and an elegant baby shower gift, if you should be in need of one!

Stats:

Ostrich Plume (my project page)
Yarn:  Knit Picks Bare Hare
I used 88 yards (80 meters)
Needles: US 2 and US 3 (2.75 and 3.25mm)
Some random ribbon from the sewing box.

Overall thoughts...go ahead knit one, or two or even three!  A very quick, fun knit.  Not quite mindless but very relaxing and you never know when you will need a baby shower gift.  Knitted to gauge it is a true newborn size...if you wanted it to fit longer choose a slightly heavier yarn and larger needles. (And if the opportunity for a baby shower doesn't appear many non-profits and hospitals will take baby items as donations.)

I have a fiber festival to attend this weekend, which will be fun, although the last thing I need is more inspiration for projects!

What are your plans for the weekend?

~M






Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nothing to see, so move along

One of my favorite authors has a page in a "virtual bar" where periodically she will go radio-silent and then pop up with a message that says "nothing to see here, folks, move along..." in her best police officer voice.

That's how I am feeling today!

I feel like I have 64 bajillion design ideas running around in my head!  Not anywhere near enough hands to chart, write and knit them....

Not to mention still catching up from a week where my evenings were filled with things other than knitting...

I need a vacation from myself!

And...tomorrow is the first of the month.

Ack..Calgon, and red wine,  take me away!

~M

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Things that Slipped Past

In the craziness that is real world life...I neglected to tell you that I was interviewed by Skein Shop as part of my participation in their Independent Designers Program...want to learn a little more about me*?


But anyway...read a little more about me here!

And be sure to check out the special deal on the kit version of Second Saturday Shawl here!

~M
*Is there anything you don't know?  Well, lots I am sure, because my real life presence and my internet presence are really two different things, and this is a knitting blog after all...so if you were expecting something else, you are in the wrong place!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Quietude-But Not completely Silent






Word of the Week: Polycythemia. 
Problem of the Week: Electrical Short, somewhere.
Proudest Moment of the Week: 3 Separate Mentions in the Graduation Program.

 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Works in Progress

It has been an exciting and busy week here, and it is only mid-week!

Unfortunately most of it has not been knitting busy.

There was a graduation ceremony.

And building a new top to my patio table.

And just a little tiny bit of knitting.





A newly installed outside faucet and a new garbage disposal.

So, lots of things happening, just not much knitting!

What's happening in your world today?

~M

Sunday, May 21, 2017



"Children Of The Sun"


Parallel to life
There's a wisdom that seems out of reach
Like a figure of speech
In a maze of white lies
So elusive it's hard to recognize
With naivety's eyes
It's like running with a knife
The thought steals away with your peace
And high on that trapeze
You hold on to me
You hold on to me

And I'll be singing you
Songs of tomorrow
And then dawn will follow
And our sorrows all undone

When you're done with all the strife
When they echo the minds in the streets
You know your heart beats
A solitary call
For a change in the tone of it all
You'll be scaling that wall
And the higher you climb
The more you can see of this life
On the edge of that knife
You hold on to me
Hold on to me

And I'll be singing you
Songs of tomorrow
And then dawn will follow
And our sorrows all undone

Yeah, I'll be singing you
Songs of tomorrow
And then dawn will follow
We are children of the sun

And you know you can take this story
Take your glory
Make your own way
Yeah, I want you to shake this story
Take your glory
Find your way
Make your own way

And I'll be singing you
Songs of tomorrow
And then dawn will follow
And our sorrows all undone

Yeah, I'll be singing you
Songs of tomorrow
And then dawn will follow
We are children of the sun

Friday, May 19, 2017

Special Offer Friday

I am so happy to be able to tell you that Skein Shop, who provided me with the opportunity to design The Second Saturday Shawl has put together a limited number of kits to make your very own Second Saturday Shawl at a discount!

Run over to her store here and you will get:





  • A printed copy of the Second Saturday Shawl knitting pattern
  • Large kits come with seven balls of Katia Lino yarn
  • Small kits come with four balls of Katia Lino yarn
  • Within 24 hours of your order you will receive an email with a coupon code to get the Second Saturday Shawl pattern on Ravelry - you will need a free Ravelry account to redeem this code
You will need to supply:
  • Size US 5 (3.75mm) circular knitting needle (or size needed to obtain gauge)
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
  • Smooth waste yarn for the provisional cast on
Pattern Info :
Size: Large: 34 inch drop and 66 inch wingspan (85 cm by 165cm)
Small: 24 inch drop and 48.5 inch wingspan (60 cm by 121 cm)
Required Skills: Chart reading, k, ktbl, p, yo, k2tog, ssk, RT.
Pattern presented in charted form, no line by line written instructions.
 
Extra Bonus - The coupon code for the electronic copy of the pattern on Ravelry comes with a bonus printable Linen Swatch Cloth pattern.

About the yarn:
Lino is a good, simple linen.  The smooth finish and round twist makes this yarn a joy to work with.  As with all linen, it is important to remember that it softens considerably with wash and wear.  The subdued color range suggests summer tanks, market bags, and home d├ęcor.  This would also be an ideal weaving yarn!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

We Interrupt This Blog

There I was, all set to hit publish on my pattern on Ravelry...and our internet went out!  (I am blaming it on construction down the road, but who knows!) So please forgive the delay in the Newsletter and Pattern Release!

Presenting....

Second Saturday Shawl, by yours truly!

The invitation said “You’re Invited! Second Saturday, event to be held outside weather permitting.” But, what to wear? You want something elegant, but not too dressy, comfortable to wear inside in air-conditioning and outside in the sun, but not too casual. A linen shawl, with a lot of texture and a little bit of lace will fill that need. Shown here in two sizes, a big wrap you up shawl and a smaller accent piece, will have you covered for any weekend spring, summer or early fall event. Equally at home for a casual jazz concert in the park or an elegant wedding on a beach, this shawl will be the one you
reach for time and time again.




















This linen shawl is presented in two sizes, but of course can also be made larger through careful repeating of the charts.

Large: 34 inch drop and 66 inch wingspan [85 cm by 165cm]
Small: 24 inch drop and 48.5 inch wingspan [60 cm by 121 cm]
Yarn Katia Lino 100% Linen 164 yds [150 meters] 50 gms [1.75 oz]
Large: 7 balls, Small: 4 balls
Needles Size US 5 [3.75mm] 47 inch [120cm] circular needle or size required to obtain gauge
Notions
Stitch markers, large eyed tapestry needle for weaving in ends, smooth waste yarn for provisional cast on.

This pattern is presented in charted form only, no line by line written instructions.

Special Shout Out to SkeinShop, who provided the yarn, models and photography for this pattern through their Independent Designer Program.



If you subscribe to the newsletter you got (or will get shortly) a printable copy of the second pattern that was created during my "adventures in swatching and designing with linen yarn", The Linen Swatch Cloth, but for those who don't subscribe already and missed out, it does come free with the pattern, or is available for individual purchase.  A non printer friendly version is available as part of a blog post I wrote for Skein Shop as well.

Paired with a nice soap it would make an excellent teacher gift for that special teacher!

I hope you like the shawls and the swatch cloth as much as I enjoyed making them!

Happy Knitting!

~M









Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Feathers! Again

But not a cardigan this time!

As many people know, on Saturday afternoons and Sundays I am making it a point to knit the designer of other designers.  There are many good (for me at least) reasons to do that, not the least of which being I can play along in the knit along that I am co-hosting with Evie Scott Designs and Peggy Jean Kaylor on Ravelry.

My first project for the KAL was Attack of the Killer Rabbits cowl, by Peggy Jean Kaylor, and you got to read all about it last week in a Finished Object Post.

So on Saturday afternoon I cast on a Quill Cowl by Evie Scott Designs.

I am not very far into it yet, with feathers going both directions it is not tv/movie watching knitting.
But it is an awful lot of fun and I can't wait to pick it back up Saturday afternoon!

In other news, if you hurry up and sign up for the newsletter, today, you will be getting a discount code for my next new release shawl and a special free pdf pattern for the Linen Swatch Cloth that was posted on Skein Shop's Blog last week.

Want another teaser picture?

Skein Shop found some great models....but more about that tomorrow!

What's on your needles this week?

~M


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Friday on Saturday

Sorry about the delay, I had a bee in my bonnet about cleaning out the pantry and actually taking stock out what I had out there before going to the supermarket this week.  So a day late, but....

Presenting Attack of the Killer Rabbits Cowl by Peggy Jean Kaylor, knit by yours truly!

I knit mine with some Wool of the Andes Superwash in Bittersweet Heather (a pretty dark brown) and some mystery yarn from the thrift store.  A burn test says that the mystery yarn is wool, a quick wash of a swatch test says it is not superwash!  In fact, it would be great for a felting project!

I did modify the pattern a little.  In the original, you use the darker color for one edge, then swap to the lighter color for the other, but...well...I am a matchy, matchy gal at heart....so my cowl is brown on both sides!

This would be a very easy pattern to adapt to any gauge yarn, the pattern stitch is simple enough to memorize, yet holds your interest during the knitting.  It can be worn just casually looped around your neck, or doubled for a double thick, warm, cozy cowl.

And...as with so many of my hand knits, I waved good bye to it after the photo shoot!






Having finished this knit, it can only mean...another item in the 2017 Small Accessories KAL jumped on my needles.  Tune in Wednesday to see all about it here, or join us for the KAL and read all about it there!

~M