Thursday, September 14, 2017

When things all come together

I just love it, when things all come together, when I suddenly realize that there is a common theme in different areas of my life. It makes me feel all wrapped up in harmony.

First :  While being on vacation my niece just finished a book and gave it to me because it sparked my interest.  The book is called "Indigo" by Catherine E. McKinley and gives an interesting account of the author's search for the original and true color indigo.  I was intrigued to read about  dying cloth and by the meaning and symbolism of different cloth designs.  I am glad to have a little background understanding about dying from when I attended a workshop on "natural dying" some years back at "The White Sheep Barn" in New Paltz, NY. Click this link to read that post : Natural Yarn Dying



Then:  The new PomPom magazine came out and I was drawn to the stitch pattern used in the sweater "Elibelinde".  At first I thought to just use that stitch in my next pair of socks.
But then I remembered the yarn I had bought last September and put aside for a sweater.  My plan then was to knit a practice sweater for myself before knitting up the one I made for our son.  And ,wouldn't you know it,  that yarn, a four-ply fingering, is the perfect yarn for this sweater.
And so I started; intrigued, too, by the symbolism of the pattern.  As the name of the sweater says it all : "Elibelinde"
"Elibelinde (Turkish for “hands on hips”) is a motif of a hands-on-hips female figure. It is widely used on kilims (flat tapestry-woven carpets) and occurs in many variations. The arms of the figure are represented by two inward-facing hooks, while the body of the woman is represented by a triangle or diamond. The head is typically represented by a diamond. The Elibelinde is a symbol of fertility and motherhood. It is one of many kilim motifs commonly woven into Turkish flatweave rugs.



And:  The same niece who lend me the book, took a lovely photo in New York city with the fearless girl by the charging bull in the financial district.  Hands on hips....  It just seems I have come full circle.

Claire in New York City

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The pattern is very straight forward and easy to follow.  There are some minor errata which anyone who knitted a sweater before would pick out (I even think this may be typos and not erratas from the designer). Read my notes on ravelry for more information on that: Strickliese's Elibelinde.

The length is right

Looks like it will be the perfect fit!!


But: When everything DOES NOT line up:  So, the Chart B cable in the front section of the sweater does not line up with Chart A as it should (see my ravelry notes for more detail on this).
My question now:  Can I live with it or do I want to rip everything back to the armhole divide and re-knit....?

Uh, oh, something does not look right

Meanwhile:  A sermon was lingering in my memory (nagging me)..."when you are lost, go back".  Yes, I certainly did get lost as that specific detail in the sweater did not look the way it should.  So, I unraveled to the front/ back divide and am in the process of re-knitting.  I rather loose a few days worth of knitting than feeling regret every time I feel like wearing the sweater.
And yes, this is a bigger errata, but I still very much like the pattern.
My advise to you is when you divide the front and back be very careful that you have symmetry and an even number of repeats in the front!
Also, if you wait a little, the designer Ellinor Siljeström will most likely publish a new version or errata.
 
Much better!

I am hoping this re-knitting does not set me back too much and I will be able to start on the sleeves soon, but then again, to me knitting is not a competitive sport when you have to race to the finish line.  To me it is about the act of knitting and figuring things out when they don't look right and getting things just the way you had envisioned them sometimes with fearless determination, with your hands on hips.

Still, at times I wish I had nothing else to do, but to knit this sweater ( I almost feel a little possessed by it).  One thing which helped me to speed up the knitting, was to work the cables without a cable needle and I made a little video of that.


I will be working the sleeves two at a time on two circular needles.  There should be no problem to be able to wear this during this year's Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck :) I still have five weeks till then and I am very much looking forward to wearing the sweater :)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I AM BACK !!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I spent the last two weeks with family who came to visit from overseas.
What a wonderful time we all had!
You may wonder why everyone is raising their hand.  The question was " who received a hand-knitted gift from Doris".

:) Siblings, Cousins, Spouses, Sons and Daughters :)


Now I can reveal all the things I had knitted for the occasion:
A sweater for our son's 30th:



Birthday Sweater

Slippers for my sister-in-laws and me:


Slippers for the family

Washcloths for everyone including our landlady/ Airbnb host, wonderful Maureen:


Washcloths for everyone

For what says " love" better than something handmade. 💕❤️
I had more pictures to share, but my cloud is full and my phone died....

 As always, do click on the links under the pictures for more information.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

SUMMERTIME FUN

 

When you hear"Summertime Fun", what comes to mind first?  Swimming? Beaches? Baseball? BBQ?

 

Rachel and I had fun of a different nature:  We went to a Crochet course spread over six Tuesday afternoons at "The Perfect Blend" Yarn and Tea Shop in Saugerties, NY.


My daughter-in-law, Rachel, had learned  how to crochet last summer and I did not have any more to teach her , so we signed up for a class given by Heidi Quick who used to work for the Lion Brand Company in Albany, NY. 

Lucky us:  We were the only two students and benefited from all her attention. 

The first three classes were Basic Crochet and the last three (the last of which we had to re-schedule due to unforeseen circumstances) covered some more advanced techniques. 


We learned:
  • how to keep straight edges,  
  • various basic crochet stitches, 
  • how to read a pattern, 
  • how to increase and decrease, 
  • crochet in the round, 
  • beginner granny square, 
  • the importance of gauge, 
  • how to change color when working stripes and 
  • four methods of seaming.

Heidi (seated) explaining one of the seaming techniques to Rachel


We finished two projects:
Click on the link for the free pattern.

Kara added my picture to her pattern page; what honor!! :)

and a simple hat :)

All in all it was a lot of fun, the shared learning experience and the material covered.

Heidi is a teacher with much patience. If you are interested, look up her classes this Fall at The Perfect Blend.Here is a link to their website : The Perfect Blend.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Knitting and Beyond

Earlier this month was my 35th Wedding Anniversary

Which better way to say "I love you" than making something?!

 

When you make a gift, it becomes much more than the thing to use or wear.

 



So, I made a pair of socks, but not just one pair, rather two pairs of socks (one pair for him and one pair for me) and not any pairs of socks, but pairs which complement each other.

Definition of "complement":
add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it; make perfect.

"a classic blazer complements a look that's stylish or casual"
synonyms:  accompany, go with, round off, set off, suit, harmonize with, enhance, complete

According to this definition Tony and I do complement each other :)

Well, I found the perfect pattern:  "Tom and Ethel Socks" by Nigel Pottle
My friend's dog Harry supervising the progress
Here is what the designer says about the saw tooth pattern used in the socks: 
"These socks are named in honor of my father and mother. When I discovered the simple slip stitch pattern used to knit them it reminded me of saw teeth. That and the color of the yarn I used reminded me of the orange bucksaw my father and mother used to prepare logs for our wood-burning furnace. Over the years they cut up hundreds of logs for the winter firewood supply in my home town of Buchans, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada to keep their family warm, and that saw was always at hand to do the job. You can enjoy the warmth of these socks without having to saw your own wood, and they will look good in a myriad of color combinations" 
To me the pattern looked like saw blades stacked up together  
or also like gears (I am thinking of clocks or other machinery).  The teeth of gears have to perfectly fit into each other to make the movement happen; no gear is more important than the other, some gears do less rotations than others to complete one cycle, still they are all equally important.  Isn't that the same with a good marriage?!  You help each other to move along, each being of equal importance and together you make your marriage, your household, your family work as best as possible.
Here is to my dear husband Tony, good marriages and to working together as a team in any situation. 
There is no one I'd rather kick into gear with. On to the next 35 years ;)
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Steeking with Ann Budd

Last Friday I took a class with Ann Budd

Let me start by introducing Ann to you.
Here is a fun interview with Ann Budd for those of you who are not quite familiar with her work.
This was just earlier this year.  The interview starts at about 45 minutes into the podcast and is approximately 20 minutes long.  She talks a little about her knitting path, books, sweater constructions, illusion knitting (! remember my Illusion Knitting last year: the "Don't Blink" hat) and knitting workshops.



The workshop took place at The Perfect Blend Yarn shop in Saugerties, NY

I have always been intrigued by steeking  which is the vertical cutting of a knitted garment (between your stitches, not between your rows).  This is often done in a fair isle pattern as it is easier to knit multiple colors in the round and the result is a more even gauge.  I have just not been brave enough to try it on my own.  So, when I saw the class advertised I had to jump at the opportunity.

The project to practice with was a simple coffee cozy  

First there was homework






There was a little "Show and Tell":
One of the participants brought her hobby horses

made from a pattern from Ann's book


The sweater Ann is wearing is "Lulu" and the cardigan she is holding up is "Quick Sand"

The set up for the nine participant class was very good.  Everyone could see Ann's life demonstrations on the big TV screen.


And she came around the room checking on everyone, giving an encouraging "atta girl" to anyone who needed it.

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In no time at all we secured our stitches

CUT!!!

And inserted a zipper
The three hour class left everyone inspired and happy (the snacks and wine Mary provided probably helped with that, too ;)

I would definitely like to take more classes with her.  Her instructions are clear and given with patience and a good dose of humor.  Thank you, Ann Budd, and thank you, Mary Ebel, for bringing her to your shop in Saugerties!

Ann also took time to sign books :)



 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

SUMMER TOPS


With the warmer weather finally here, I could do one of my favorite things to greet the Summer:
Put my heavier Winter sweaters away and bring out the cotton and linen tops.
There are a few tops I am especially looking forward to wearing as I only finished them towards the end of last Summer or earlier this Spring.
Who says knitting is a cold day activity?
There is plenty of Summer knitting to be done.
Just to wet your appetite here are a few of my favorite patterns:


For the beginner

Two raglan constructed tops; both knitted in a DK weight yarn:

Free on ravelry: Brenda

Free on ravelry: Summer Top

Two simple tank tops; also both knitted up in a DK weight yarn:

Free on ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/100-34-top-knitted-in-moss-stitch

Purchase on ravelry:  Sommer



 

For the more adventurous knitter:

Purchase on ravelry:  Caesura Tuck
Purchase on ravelry:  Spring Garden Tee

 

And for those who live close to Rhinebeck:  If you need help getting started or at any point you can contact me  formbyd8@gmail.com

 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Socks, Slippers and Friendships

I have a nice array of colorful washcloths/ dishcloths for Charity and as gifts.  As I was knitting them up, I thought that it would be lovely to make cotton slippers for the family.  So, my dear husband suggested to make pairs for his sister and sister-in-laws.  Well, that seems doable, but which pattern to use???
 Luckily I remembered that Julibeth (one of the knitters extraordinaire at The Knitting Garage in Rhinebeck and whom I am lucky to call my friend) has been knitting slippers as gifts and she has three favorite patterns:
It is so nice to pick someone else's brain and to have knitterly friends. For the cotton I have been using (Lili Sugarn' Cream ), the Simple Garter Stitch Slippers pattern seems to be the best fit and so I started.  The first one is done (it really is a very simple pattern; so clever!!).  I love the pattern and the finished slipper.  It is nice and sturdy and looks so cute on my foot, that Tony thinks I ought to keep the first pair.  I also learned a new British saying "Bless your little Cotton Socks" ( a term of endearment) and I got a foot-massage :)!

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I also finished Tony's Anniversary Socks 

I had some help finishing the socks
 Yarn:  CoBaSi by Hikoo
Pattern:  Tom and Ethel Socks (free)
My friend's dog feels right at home with my knitting

One pair done , one more to do

I started on my socks which will be reversed in color:  Brown with Blue stripes