Thursday, July 30, 2015

What's on my needles (week 74)

BLOCK ISLAND

One small town in the smallest State held the biggest surprise for me last week.
When taking the ferry to spent the day on Block Island, RI, I had no idea that the island has a small fiber industry!  Had I known, we would have gone earlier to take the daily tour around the mill at 10am.  As it was, we only saw the advertisement while leafing through tourist information over lunch.  Finding out that the location of  "North Light Fibers" was just a short walk from the  harbor restaurant, cinched the deal and we merrily walked up to 129 Spring Street.
Make sure to check out their website:   http://www.northlightfibers.com/
or better yet the actual place!!!

North Light Fibers
 
















 When we first entered, we were greeted by alpacas, very soft and very gentle creatures, which looked like they had just been sheared.  They also did not want to look up to be photographed; they were too busy eating.


 
The building houses the solar powered micro mill, an area where the yarn dying takes place and the shop area.  The shop offers yarn, patterns and also finished projects both woven and knitted.  Some were finished locally and some far away, representing work by the group "Women for women" (click on the link for more information on this organization).
Even without the tour of their mill (you can see photos of it on their website here:  http://www.northlightfibers.com/the-mill ), there was SO MUCH to see and, yes, TOUCH!

The shop: 

















 The yarn dying area:








 











My purchase:
I decided on something quick and uniquely "Block Island".  A kit for a Block Island Hat, part of the proceeds to benefit mariners served by the Seamen's Church Institute "Christmas at Sea". 
You can order this and other knitting, weaving and felting kits through their website if you are not able to go in person.  Here is the link to the Gansey Hat kit I bought:  Block Island Gansey Hat kit
I believe that one can never have too many hats.  Although I could also send the hat in after finishing, but I am planning on keeping it as a fond memory of this place.
 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What's on my needles (week 73)

Greetings from Connecticut

My husband and I are spending a couple of days in Mystic, CT.  It is a mini vacation for our Anniversary (33 years).  Of course I found a great yarn shop:  Mystic River Yarns.  It is located right by the Schooner Wharf on 14 Holmes Street; easy to find and within walking distance to all the other attractions (Draw Bridge), restaurants ( the original "Mystic Pizza" where the movie of the same name was filmed) and lots of shops.  There is a LOT of yarn to look at and touch and the owner is very helpful. As Josh Groban's latest CD "Stages" was playing while I was browsing, my
shopping experience was further enhanced.
Here are a few of my impressions:




My purchases.  2 patterns and some reinforcement yarn for sock knitting

And of course you could also find me knitting on the beach:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What's on my needles (week 72)

CARDIGANS

As if planned, everyone who came to Knit Night at The Knitting Garage at AL Stickle's last Monday was working on a cardigan!
Beth finished her cardigan in Cascade 220 Super-wash paint.  Well done, Beth!  Just a few yarn ends to weave in.
Josette was working on her Einstein Coat; pattern by Sally Melville.  This is an over-sized Cardigan in Bulky Yarn with an interesting construction which keeps the finishing to a minimum.  Here is a link to the pattern information on ravelry:http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/einstein-coat

 Einstein Coat
















Julibeth was working on her "Lucille" Baby cardigan; pattern by Courtney Kelly.  This pattern is a free ravelry download:  Lucille

Julibeth is also working on a baby blanket "Northport" by Carrie Bostick Hoge
I was working on my "Featherweight" Cardigan in Lace weight yarn; pattern by Hannah Fettig.  I am making this deliberately loose to have something comfy and light to slip into on cool summer evenings :)  Here is the link to the pattern information on ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/featherweight-cardigan  I have not yet decided which stitch to use for the collar, but I have a little time till I get there.
Here are some other cardigans n my queue:
Even Flow

Ravi

Friday, July 10, 2015

What's on my needles (week 71)

Knitting Lesson # ? : Persistence helps you reach your Goal. 

Jim calls this his non-smoker's smoking jacket

 Jim in his finished cardigan


Although it is a little too warm to wear right now, it was the perfect timing for Jim to receive the cardigan.  One of them to congratulate him on new ventures in his business E A Content Services.









Have you ever had a project you did not feel too inspired to do, but felt compelled to do anyway and were glad you did?  Here is my story on just such a project.





I have to go back in time to start this story.
Do you remember when my friend Marie passed away two summers ago and all her yarns were donated to two of the local libraries (Red Hook and Tivoli)?
Some yarn was immediately used to make Chemo Blankets. You can read about this in a post from October 2013: http://knitwithdoris.blogspot.com/2013/10/chemo-blankets.html 

One year later the Tivoli Library decided to sell some of the yarns to make monetary donations to the Cancer Center. This is when I received the yarn and pattern in a kit for a Shawl which I call "Gift from Heaven". There are several blog posts about this incredible story... Here is the one which features the finished shawl;  http://knitwithdoris.blogspot.com/2014/09/whats-on-my-needles-week-33.html 
And my notes on ravelry:  http://ravel.me/Strickliese/ss2  

Now forward to a few months after that which brings us to Fall 2014. Hildegard and Bonny, again from the Tivoli Library, approached me with a half finished cardigan which was in Marie's stash. Obviously she had started to knit a cardigan for her husband Jim. The back was done, and so was the right front. The left front was partially done. There was enough yarn to finish the project and the pattern was there. Of course I volunteered to finish this.

The pattern came in two photocopied pages; possibly from a book.  Unfortunately I was not able to find the source of the pattern
          

 

Hildegard, Bonnie and I with the finished sweater at the Tivoli Library

It took me a while to get started. After all, this was not just something Marie had bought, but never started, but this was something she had actually worked on. Aside from feeling rather emotional about this (but some times in a good way as in feeling connected), I had to also try and match her gauge and figure out some changes she had made to the right front. After all the two fronts needed to match.
Beginning of this year I decided that this would be one of the projects I wanted to finish. There were a few other things I had promised to work on, but in March I started to work on the cardigan. I decided that on the days I was home I would not knit anything else until after I spent one hour on this project. Then I was disciplined enough to stick to this and 35 hours later I was sewing on the last button!
The lesson I learned is that you can finish anything if you just do a little each day consistently.

Both fronts and both sleeves are done



 
Seaming in progressSome light blocking
I found the perfect buttons at AL Stickle in Rhinebeck:


Leaving a little space for the double thickness of the button holes

The smaller buttons on the inside help that the garment does not get pulled





















Friday, July 3, 2015

What's on my needles (week 70)

  HAPPY 4th of JULY!

 

This week is again about "what has come off my needles" :)
I finished this really cute lacy layering top for my daughter-in-law. Shhhh, don't tell her that it is finished, because I am borrowing it for a week or so to display at The Knitting Garage at Stickles.
It may be good to stop by and have a look at the real thing as I have been told that the pictures don't do it justice...

This came out really nice and I cannot imagine anyone not wanting (at least) one of these for their summer wardrobe.

Pattern:  The pattern is free on ravelry here:  Cancun Boxy Lace Top by Erin Kate Archer

Sizing:  This is a "one size fits all", but can quite easily be knitted more narrow or longer (see also my pattern notes on ravelry here:  http://ravel.me/Strickliese/cblt)

Other changes to pattern:  I was very tempted to knit this in the round or at least to do a 3-needle bind off on the shoulders, but ended up to truly just make the two rectangles as it occurred to me that if ever Rachel gets tired of this top or the fashion changes, I can undo the seams and make it into a shawl by sewing the pieces together along the short edge:


 The Yarn: I used Cascade Sunseeker which has a little glitz in it which looks really cute when the sun makes it sparkle.  This yarn is a cotton /acrylic blend and seems perfect for this top. It has a nice drape to it and does not get too stretched out.  It is also easy on your budget at $8 per skein (about 2 1/2 skeins needed) and it comes in a lot of gorgeous colors!

Three ways to wear it: You can wear the top loose or thread a ribbon through the sides and tie it in the back for a more fitted look.  Either way looks great.
LOOSE:


















WITH A TIE-BACK:
Back



















WITH A RIBBON "BELT":
Front with ribbon "belt"