Thursday, September 5, 2019

My ( almost) Rhinebeck Sweater

It all started so well:  
  • I fell in love with this pattern, Helenium by Amanda Scheuzger, and bought the yarn, Kenzie by Hikoo Skacel, which just happened to be in the clearance bin at the yarn shop where I work, The Knitting Garage in Rhinebeck.
And it got better:  
  • There was not enough yarn in the color I liked best from what was there, but I was able to buy more yarn off a fellow knitter on ravelry ( Juliemustknit).  And it turned out that the yarn I bought from her although bought in North Carolina rather than NY is the EXACT SAME dye lot!!!  What were the chances of that??
I started the sweater on January 16, 2019  and had so much fun that I finished the sleeves and body all the way to the point when I start knitting the brioche yoke by February 9.
I was looking forward to come back from a two week vacation in Costa Rica and finish the sweater.
BUT I broke my wrist while away and was not able to continue until a little 
over four months later, July 17, at which point I very gingerly knitted a little bit at a time
August 13, almost a month later, I finished and absolutely love this sweater.
It fits well and who knew that orange looks so good on me?!
I am really looking forward to the cooler weather when I will start wearing it.  There have been a few cool mornings already and I enjoy slipping into this sweater.

Now you may wonder why I said “almost Rhinebeck sweater”.
That’s simple :  it turns out that I will be away this year during the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  I will be visiting family in England, but I will be sure to wear my Helenium pullover there...


Saturday, August 31, 2019


i recently shared this on my Facebook page and want to post it here, too, as I know that not everyone follows me on Facebook.
It is a simple post, close to my heart about love and knitting and people and memories...
It is about this shawl: Kleio

It brings life and happiness to an otherwise boring outfit.
It also always makes me think of several people who mean a lot to me:
Leah as she hand-dyed the bluish yarn.
Barbara as she brought back the orange yarn from vacationing in Nova Scotia.
My sons Gerry and Richard and others who were born in August as the yarn was sold at the planetarium and named for the constellation “Leo”.
My vacation in Venice where I bought the red yarn last year on route to Croatia where Tony and I met up with my sister and her husband for two weeks.
Do you have any such garment which fills you up with love and memories?

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Yes, I have been very quiet

The long and short of it is that I broke my left wrist. Both the distal radius and ulnar avulsion are fractured.  And yes, I am right handed, but as a Continental Knitter I use my left hand for tension...

But let me recap and start at the beginning.  That’s start at the beginning of the year.
It all started off so well with finishing five knitted gifts in January alone!

I also finished two pairs of socks in my final sock knitting class.

And I finished my Even Flow Cardigan which I had put on the back burner while working on gifts during the Holiday Season.

You could say I was on a roll.

I also finished The Boyfriend sweater in under two weeks beginning of February.

Then it was time to go on vacation and I put my Helenium sweater aside ( too much to schlepp around) and started on a pair of socks for my eldest son and a simple raglan sweater for my sister.

And then it happened.  Hiking down a steep embankment to catch the sunset on the beach, I lost my footing.  Legs went flying forward, the rest of me propelled back and I remember thinking “ I better brace myself before hitting my head”.  I did roll slightly to the left, ever protective of my right hand.  So there...hand was swollen and painful for the remainder of the vacation, which I must say I still did enjoy.  Who wouldn’t enjoy Costa Rica in Winter?!

Fast forward two weeks and back home I did get an x-ray only to find out that what I thought was ( only) a sprain is in fact ( also) a fracture ( or rather two).

So now I am sporting a pretty green cast and moping around, trying to explore and enjoy things other than knitting, cooking or baking ( I don’t mind so much that I can’t clean ๐Ÿ˜‰). I am also looking at this time as a test in patience.
The cast did come off yesterday and I now have a custom fitted hot pink brace for the next four weeks.  The nice thing about this is that I can take it off to shower.

There are lots of ideas and well meant suggestions such as loom knit, crochet, use a knitting belt....but somehow I am just too stubborn for now, trying to ride it out until I can knit again properly and with both hands.  Especially for those pieces which are half way done I need to make sure that I get the same tension and gauge.
I did start to crochet a simple dishcloth/ washcloth, but it is slow going and more frustrating than it is worth it.

But anybody who knows me, knows that I will bounce back and that in the meantime I don’t think about it too much, but rather use my time to explore other things I can do such as read a book, take a walk, visit with friends, play Scrabble. Oh, and how can I forget?! I still do give knitting lessons.  I have been giving everyone the choice to reschedule, but everyone (so far) has been very kind and has me talk them through their projects rather than demonstrating ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿงถ
Life is Good.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Hats, scarves, mitts, the Winter basics

How many hats, scarves and mitts do you have in your wardrobe?
They are not only THE accessories which keep you warm,  but they also add a nice splash of quirkiness or elegance , color or subtle understatement to your outfit.  They also knit up fast and the simpler styles don’t need much knitting experience.
A scarf or fingerless mitts are very good choices as a first project when you first learn how to knit.

For a scarf you could make it a sampler scarf doing different sections in different stitches as you go along learning them.  Garter first, then stockinette, perhaps some seed stitch or even cable, would make a lovely scarf. ๐Ÿงฃ

Fingerless mitts can be worked flat and then seamed for the beginner knitter or knit in the round, even two at a time if you want to be more adventurous and know the basics.  The same is true for hats.
You may want to check out some of my easy patterns : Strickliese’s patterns

All of these make great gifts, too.  Hint:  Valentines Day is just around the corner.

So, if you have a case of the Winter doldrums or know someone who does, a new hat, mitts or scarf may just be the cure.

For  some inspiration, looks through all the hats, scarves and mitts I have knitted or stop at your local yarn shop and look at the store samples and through the patterns.  Also look at the yarns and touch them.  There may just be that skein which fills you with great joy and would be perfect for a hat, mitts, scarf or cowl ( don’t forget the cowls!).

Click on this link: Strickliese’s hats
For Mitts click on this link:  Strickliese’s mitts

And for cowls and scarves, you may roam my ravelry project page here: Cowls
Scarves and shawls

Friday, January 4, 2019

2018 in review

Using ravelry's search functions, I checked how many projects I completed this past year.

It is a whopping 27 projects! 
Some smaller (washcloths), some bigger (sweaters).
To see them all, you can click on this link:

Strickliese's 2018 Projects

Here are a few of my favorites:

 Tealeaf Sweater

Walking on Sunshine 

Harry it's cold out there


Stained Glass

Fibonacci Study in Pink and Gray

Intercontinental Adriatic Sea Socks

City Snow

Leo Rising in the Night Sky/ Fire and Ice

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Knitting Socks and Heartstrings

Remember my sock knitting class I started last month.

I met with both groups this week and with determination, patience and lots of support from each other every one has finished one heel and moved on to the next.

I like to teach a very basic sock construction, toe up and two at a time.  

  • The toe up helps not to have to fret over having enough yarn to finish, because you can easily adjust the length of the leg depending on how much yarn you have left after doing the important part, the foot.
  • Two at a time helps not to have that second sock syndrome.  Instead you are done with both socks at the same time and don't need to restart for that second sock (unless of course you are knitting more than two socks for an octopus). Check out my diagram on two at a time sock knitting right here on my blog: No tangle two at a time.
  • I like the ease of a short row heel.  No picking up stitches , no gussets, just a simple 90 degree turn of your sock.  the nice thing with this, too, is that you don't interrupt any design since no knitting takes place at all on the top / front of the sock. You simply pick up the pattern again when you are done with the heel and are back to knitting in the round.
This said I always come back to the Sock Therapist's FLK heel. By working the short row turns with double stitches you get a nice solid fabric on your heel.
Her instructions are very clear and backed up by YouTube videos.  
Here is a link to her pattern which is only $1 for 16 pages of instruction!!
FLK Heel 

And here is a gallery of the results 

Remember these ladies only just  learned how to do this :)

Annie's socks for hubby; good job!

Kyra's socks; one heel done :)

Bright socks for my brother in law

One heel done on Toni's socks for her daughter; what a pretty color.

The beauty of one heel on Michelle's socks (she usually prefers bulky yarn and big needles)


And last but not least Gerrie's socks with one heel done.

Join me for my next class.

Goodie bags and holiday spirit