Wednesday 25 November 2015

Knitting with my first cup of coffee

Today started out really well. By 8am I was sitting on my couch with my first cup of coffee knitting a sock and looking at the snow outside. It's finally winter. The snow boarders are jubilant. It snowed and snowed and snowed. I love it. Even though I have shoveled the driveway 3 times and the power went out 5 times so far, it's still beautiful.
It was looking like a Christmas card out there. The air was crisp, the flakes were falling and the sound of snow blowers filled the air.

It put me in the Christmas spirit. For the last couple of years I have not been knitting much for gift giving but this year I feel the urge. I started a pair of socks last night and today given one more hour to knit I will have turned the heel. I'm working on the theory that a pair of boot socks (in DK or worsted weight yarn) can be done in one week. How many weeks before the big day? Just checked the calendar and there are 4 more weeks. Now to decide who gets socks! Wait, aren't mittens even faster. How many of those can I do in a week. Hmm.
Are you knitting for Christmas?
PS: Sharon, I also think of Purple as a neutral along with Navy Blue, two of my favs.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Blocking before the end.

Blocking, do you ever do it before you finish the sweater?

I put my Panel cardigan worked with Twisted Stitches from the Need A Plus Cardigan book on my adjust-to-size mannikin and was less than impressed since I was really careful about the gauge and thought I had it perfect. It was looking like I was going to have to work a really wide buttonband to bridge the gap in the front.

And the twisted stitches were pulling the back in quite a bit.
So I decided I would give it a soak and let it dry and see where I was.

I think I could hear my sweater saying "ahhhh, at last". It relaxed a whole lot. It looks so much better. The back Panel has relaxed and hangs straight.

The front is going to be fine once I do the buttonband. The next time I block with the buttonband in place the Front Panels will relax even more. Now I'm excited to get finished so I can wear it.
And it's RED. Just imagine the lift to my purple/blue wardrobe.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Discomfort vs Results

How far are you willing to go for the result you want? I'm not into discomfort when I knit, at least not usually, but I took the plunge for the results this time.
A top down sweater with different coloured panels. This is a testknit for the new children's book. It's going to look great. While knitting the yoke I had 7 balls of yarn hanging from my sweater, one for each section: buttonband, front, sleeve, back, sleeve, front and second buttonband. Ugh. After a couple of rows they did settle down into some semblance of order but I was still in a tangle most of the time. I did figure out that if I lined them up and turned my sweater a certain way at the end of the row the tangle was more manageable. I was thankful I only had to do about 6" of yoke for a 4 year old size.

How to decide to take the plunge? I knew it would look great when I was done. I knew it would not be a comfortable, sit in front of the TV kind of knit. I also knew it was only for the yoke. Knowing all that, it was totally worth it. I would do it again. That's the real test of discomfort vs. results.

Here's a finished adult size:

Worth it, right?

Thursday 5 November 2015


We had a wonderful time retreating. An odd word don't you think? Retreating from our regular life I guess?! There was knitting talk at breakfast, knitting and learning time, knitting talk at lunch, more knitting, knitting talk at dinner and finally knitting in our PJs. Isn't that your everyday life? Ha, ha.

We knit cowls. Lots of cowls. Look at all those finished projects. Most went home with a new cowl ready to wear and thoughts on what they were going to do on their next one.
They were all a little different since each knitter choose which of the 4 stitch patterns they wanted to knit. They had a couple of cast ons and neck edgings to choose from: cast on with beads or without, cast on with I-cord, add an edge with a twist. We nicknamed a new cast on "My way, your way", a variation of the long tail cast on where you can put in beads. More on this in a future post.
We also tackled that lovely phrase which I know you love to see "incorporate the increases into your stitch pattern". They were fearlessly.

A great weekend. Looking forward to our next 2 retreats in April.