Thursday, February 26, 2015

What's on my needles (week 54)

At The Knitting Garage

We had a fun Monday Night Knit Night.  Think about joining us next week.

Candle Flame Shawl

I have to knit just one more repeat and then block the shawl. 
My next project for the shop will be one of the Building Blocks.  Think about joining us in the knit along and the seam together party in May.

At Home

The Aurita shawl looks lovely after re-blocking the middle.

Tony's birthday socks are almost finished and his birthday is only middle of April.  At this rate I may make him a second pair.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What's on my needles (week 53)

At The Knitting Garage

Candle Flame Shawl

I am about two thirds done with the Candle Flame Shawl.  After careful monitoring the weight of the yarn,  I knitted six increase sections, then row 1-12 of the increase section and rows 13-24 of the section B (no increase, no decrease), another 1-24 and 1-12 of section B and then I started to decrease on row 13. One fun fact:  While working on this, a customer came in who is also making this shawl. She is using the same yarn in grey (Nuna Fina) which she had purchased at The Knitting Garage and beads.  I am looking forward to see her finished shawl which she is making for her Mom.

Classes and ongoing private instructions

During this past week I met a couple of new knitters who took a lesson from me and to me it is the greatest joy and feeling of accomplishment to see them go home equipped with the knowledge of how to carry on on their own.  A new knitter is born and I think of all the fun they are going to have because they took this first step of learning (shouldn't there be a bell ringing or something every time a new knitter is born?!).  Not to blow my own horn, but here is part of a letter I received from Ellen:  "... I'm very excited about the knitting.  You teach in a way that is patient and calm (just what I need) and encouraging. It's such a nice atmosphere too."
Here is a little video of fixing one mistake she was doing at first.  She didn't pull the yarn completely through the stitch on the purl side, but it was easily fixed in the next knit row:)


And Sylvia's finished very first project.  She used my pattern "The simplest fingerless mitts you'll ever make" which is available on ravelry:

Kay, too, is now knitting solo at home.  She just has to remember that there are four steps to working one stitch:
1. insert
2. wrap
3. pull through
4. pull off
It is almost like dancing the waltz with your knitting needles.  And if you get muddled then it is best to re-position yourself to step one.

At Home

I finished the Aurita Shawl

Almost done, just a few more decreases

layered double and blocking :)

a close up of the lace sections with the pretty beads

and the finished shawl
Since I doubled the shawl when I blocked it (because I did not have enough space) there is a bit of an edge to the middle and I will re-block that section, but otherwise I am very pleased :) <3
blocking the middle again for a softer curve

Birthday Socks

With the shawl done I started a pair of socks for my husband's birthday.  This is yarn I had bough at Knitting Addiction on the Outer Banks last October, but we have very similar yarn (if not nicer!!!) at The Knitting Garage.  I have made several pairs of socks with this yarn and love how it makes up a nice pattern as you go along.
I am knitting these two at the time toe-up (my favorite way to go).
I thought I started both socks at the same color sequence repeat, but soon realized that that was not so.  I cut one section of yarn out from one of the balls and rejoined the yarn using the "magic knot (double knot join)":
 Now I am back on track making two identical socks (except for the toes).

cutting out some yarn from one of the balls

back on track to have the socks look the same

Friday, February 13, 2015

What's on my needles (week 52)

At The Knitting Garage

After making a Valentine's garland for my home, I made another one for The Knitting Garage; you are showered with love as you enter :)

Here is a link to the pattern I used for the hearts:  Love Rocks pattern by Vickie Howell

Candle Flame Shawl

After increasing for 6 pattern repeats I weighted how much yarn I had left which was 32 gram. 

After that I worked section A (increase section) for another half repeat then I worked section B of the pattern (no increase; no decrease) for the last 12 rows of that pattern repeat. Since I am now left with 29 gram I see that I have enough to knit 1 1/2 pattern repeats in section B, then I will do 6 1/2 pattern repeats in section C which is the decrease section.

On March 11th and March 14th I will be giving a class on how to knit up this shawl in any amount of yarn and any weight.

At Home

I have made a lot of progress on the Aurita Shawl.  I only have to knit another 10 decrease sections and am done.  I like how both the beads and the yarn have different shadings.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Knitting Classes February and March 2015

Class Schedule
at the Knitting Garage
February and March 2015

Let’s spring forward together and work on some new shawls and other fun projects to wear this Season.

Individual Projects:
These classes are held twice once on Wednesday morning 11am to 1pm and then on the following Saturday from 10am to 12noon (dates are indicated).  The cost of $40 per class includes the pattern and any additional help needed to finish the project.  Prior sign-up is necessary for the class during the week on Wednesday and recommended for the Saturday classes, but additional walk-ins are welcome Saturdays with a maximum number of four students per class.

February 18th and 21st     Susie Rodger’s Reading Mitts (for the intermediate Beginner)

You will learn how to knit on DPN’s, a picot seam and thumb gussets. I made a pair of these as a gift and they were very well received J


February 25th and 28th    Pembroke Shawl (for the intermediate Beginner)

If you have never knitted Lace before, this is a great pattern to learn.  The shawl is knitted up in bulky yarn and has only a few lace rows.  You will learn how to start a tri-angular shawl, the basic lace stitches and how to read a chart.


March 4th and 7th           Learn to crochet (for those new to crochet; no previous knowledge needed)

We will be using a simple fingerless mitts crochet pattern and learn the basics of crocheting.  You will need a heavy worsted/ aran weight yarn such as Cascade Aran or Heikoo Simpliworsted.

March 11th and 14th   Candle Flame Shawl (for the intermediate to advanced Beginner)

This is one of my own patterns.
You will be able to knit this shawl in any weight yarn you choose.  This shawl is worked sideways with only a 24 row lace repeat.

March 18th and 21st          Lean to Knit (for the new knitter; no previous knowledge needed)

This is one of my own patterns.  I use it often to teach the basics and in no time you will be wearing your own hand-made fingerless mitts.  You will learn:  how to cast-on, knit stitch, purl stitch and bind off.

March 25th and 28th          Hugs from the Heart Prayer Shawl (for the knitter who knows the basics and has a lot of stash)

  This is a rectangular shawl.  You will be using any left-over yarn you have; any weight, any color.
                                                The shawl makes a great gift for anyone who needs an extra hug.

Please note that I will not be giving any classes in April as I will be away during the better part of the month.  I will resume giving classes in May.  As always do check out Julie’s classes at The Knitting Garage, too.

What's on my needles (week 51)

At The Knitting Garage

The door handle cover on our front door made quite a splash; even non-knitters commented and especially those who opened the door without gloves or mittens were happily surprised.

The front door of AL Stickle in Rhinebeck

I am now back to knitting the Candle Flame Shawl.  I love working with the Nuna Fina :)

At Home


Valentine's Garland


 I finished making a total of 21 hearts and strung them up with clear fishing line (there is plenty of that around my house). 
I think it came out really sweet:)
Check out the free pattern on ravelry by clicking on the link above (you will need to be logged into ravelry to get to the pattern).




I am trying to be more disciplined with my knitting this year and made a list of projects I want to work on.  I have a bin full of ready-to-go projects with the yarns and patterns matched in zip-lock bags.  I allow myself one project at a time for myself out of that bin and one for someone else. I also have three projects I am working on which have been promised for a long time and I am making myself work one hour a day on those before knitting anything else...
My bin of ready-to-work-on projects

The shawl "Aurita"  has been on my list for a while. 
I like crescent shaped shawls and the first such shawl I made was a Susanna IC design: Annis.
The pattern for the "Aurita" is easy to remember and I would even say this is a good project to take with you if it wasn't for the beads, but it is the beads which make it special.  Luckily I have plenty of beads from my beading days ;) and I found just the right ones to go with the beautiful Malabrigo Sock yarn I had found in the Clearance bin at Stickles (I tend to grab anything green, my favorite color).  If I had not found that yarn, I would most definitely buy a skein of Madeline Tosh Light or Sock for this project.


Friday, January 30, 2015

What's on my needles (week 50)

At The Knitting Garage

I finished yarn-bombing one of the door handles of the shop's front door :)
I think it looks rather cool; what do you think?
I wonder what to yarn bomb next.  Let me know if you have any suggestions or want to help :)

At Home

I knitted up a few more hearts for the garland I am making

But mainly I worked on a language challenge.

Geheimnisvoll/ Mysterious

First off you got to know that I left Germany 38 years ago at the age of 23.  I only went back exactly 1/2 dozen times since.  Two years ago when I visited my sister I bought a book with patterns written in German.  I thought it would be a nice challenge for me to see if I could still understand the knitting lingo in a pattern written in German.

Earlier this month when I went through a hat-knitting phase, I was drawn to one particular pattern which looks like it could belong in the 1920's.  The pattern is in the ravelry database, too, under the name "Geheimnisvoll" by Dagmar Bergk.  Click here to view:
So, long story short, when we thought that we were going to be snowed in last Tuesday, I got ready to knit up the pattern.  Since the storm did not hit us as hard as expected, I did take a little longer, but I finished the hat today and LOVE it. 
While working on the hat, I found out that the pattern is available in English under he name "Mysterious" by Dagmar Bergk in the book "Knit Hats Now".  Here is the ravelry link:
Most of my difficulties were language-based and if you are interested here are a few thoughts I had during the five days I worked on this hat:

Day one: In preparation for a major snowstorm I decided to make this hat to have something to do while staying at home and to challenge my language skills. I had bought the book last time when I was in Germany for just such purpose. This particular pattern was holding my attention with its gently curved “ear-flaps” and a 1920’s look about it.
I decided on the Cascade Superwash 128 as it gives me the right gauge, is soft, easy to take care of and relatively easy on my budget.
I started with the cabled cuff following the chart. I found that I was not careful enough knitting the stitches on the wrong side row especially after increasing. The M1L should be purled on the WS or the pattern does not emerge properly; had to rip out about 10 rows and re-start; looks much better now.

Day two: This should have been the day of the storm when I could have sat and knitted all day. Luckily the storm did not hit us as severely as anticipated which meant going to work and picking up the project in the late afternoon/ evening. My next mistake was a translation error, I did a ssk for ” zwei Maschen links zusammenstricken” ( I was thinking left-leaning). Of course it did not look right and I had to rip out this section and re-knitted it by “purl 2 together through the backloop”. I got quite far that evening and had done the chart 1 1/2 times. However something did not look right. When I frogged back down to row 29 earlier, I had missed one of the cables. Now I had to decide if I wanted to fix it or just make it look right (by stitching duplicate stitches over the cable).

Day three: I decided to get this right, after all I would only loose time rather than taking the chance that the cuff wouldn’t look right. I frogged it all the way down to row 29 again. This day I got the whole cuff done; it is looking a lot better.

Day four: I am struggling with the instructions. Doing the chart twice plus row 1 one more time puts my working yarn on the left edge of the cuff, but I will have to pick up stitches on the right edge…I cannot find any errata and wonder if I should just take out the extra row on the right side or if I should try and bring the yarn to the other side behind the kitchener stitch. The row count suggests to me that (if I count the kitchener stitch as one row) I should take that last row out which is the Row 1 of the chart….So I only do the chart twice.
One thing I found while looking for an errata or a way to get in touch with the designer is the fact that the pattern has been translated and put into a book: Mysterious
After all this I looked at the two photos again and it looks to me that the hat knitted in the color “Seascape” has the stitches picked up along the left edge of the cuff; the side with the garter stitch edge. And the hat knitted in the color “Quarry Tile” has the stitches picked up on the right edge of the cuff. This is clear by looking at the direction of the cables. Anyway, in the end I did repeat row 1 and picked up stitches along the garter stitch edge. This way the garter stitch pattern is incorporated in the moss stitch pattern of the top part of the hat and the edge along the lower cable has a soft roll (caused by the stockinette stitch edge). It was also easier to pick up the right number of stitches along the garter stitch edge. From here it is an easy 20 rows of moss stitch and then decreases. I should think that this will be done by day five. My main challenges were probably the language difficulties and without that I would say it is a very easy pattern with it I’d still say this is easy and pretty :)

Day five: As expected, I finished the hat today. I did less pattern repeats before starting the decreases; only 16 rows instead of 20 rows (I guess I have a small head). It fits perfectly and I love this hat.

Here is a picture of the finished hat and the link to my ravelry project:

Friday, January 23, 2015

What's on my needles (week 49)

At The Knitting Garage

Monday Night Knitting Group

We had a wonderful first knitting group meeting last Monday night.  Come, join in the fun.  This is open to everyone every Monday 6-8pm.
You may want to start your Building Blocks knit-along during the Monday night group or start or finish any project you desire; we are here to help if you need it. :) Click on the link for more information on the knit-along.

Candle Flame Shawl

I am making some progress on the Candle Flame shawl for the store, but have also started on another project:


Sometimes it is fun to just knit free-form, not following a pattern, but just making it up as I go and I started making our store look more like a knit shop by yarn bombing some of the handles etc.  Feel free to help!  I didn't get far yet, but further than shown here.  These are the beginnings of a cover for the door handle.  I started by using Judy's magic cast-on (click on the link), just as I would for toe-up socks to knit up a pocket style cover with no seams.

At Home


From left to right: Tivoli Hat, Snow Bowl Hat and Hat of Soft Cables.
After finishing my third hat this month, I started on some smaller projects.

Tea Toters

My first of what I hope to be several tea totes for my tea toting tee-totaling friends.
Finding the perfect button (of course at AL Stickles!) is half the fun.
This is a free pattern on ravelry.

Valentine's Garland

I started making Valentines Hearts to hang up as a garland to break up the winter calm next month with some "happy".

As always, don't forget to click on the project links for more detailed information.