Thursday, August 21, 2014

What's on my needles (week 31)

At The Knitting Garage at AL Stickle

The Glacerie Shawl is finished !!!
It is on the blocking mat now and I will post more pictures next week.
Using the Sport weight/ Light combination and working the large size it came to 70" across the top edge and 24" at the deepest point.  I doubled it on the blocking mat.
We have the pattern and yarn at The Knitting Garage and I can't stress enough that it is a great pattern to use up left-over yarns in fingering/ sock yarn weight.  Then you only need to match up your left-overs with a yarn for the Main Color.

At Home

Matt's All-in-One

Here are all the pieces :)
I knitted high speed on Matt's all-in-one.  When I was on the last piece (the second half of the hood) I was getting worried that I had not enough yarn left, but much to my relief I did and all the pieces are done.  Now on to sewing them together.
One half of the hood done one more to go

A Gift from Heaven Shawl

I have also continued on the Gift from Heaven Shawl.  It doesn't look like I have done much more, but at almost 600 stitches per row it is going a little slower.  Even so I have only six rows left to knit!

I just test knitted rows 24-27 of the Petals Chart, because I couldn't figure out how the math could be right.  Well, I can now say that it isn't.  Yes, in row 26 you do knit and purl six stitches into the five YO's of row 25.  You will have 27 before and 27 (not 26) after your YO5 in row 25 and before and after your k1,p1,k1,p1,k1,p1 in row 26 and before and after your YO, k2, YO in row 27.  After all, this is a symmetrical pattern...

Chevron Tank Top 

I am also working on a tank top.  When I got the yarn and pattern a silver (rocket) gray seemed like a good choice, but right now the color does not inspire me to pick it up too much....It is supposed to replace a favorite grey tank top which I seem to wear year round.
This is a top up seamless construction starting with a picot seam.  As I am between the smallest size and the next one up I followed the advise of JaneEyre9 on ravelry and since I am using the same yarn I did not do a gauge swatch.  Well, I am always ready to tell everyone about the importance of doing a swatch and I should have listened to my own advise as the tank top seems a tad wide.  Nevertheless I will keep going just making it a bit longer so the widest part will sit on my hips which will work nicely (of course now I am not sure if I have enough yarn)...another project to start speed-knitting to put my mind at ease or get more yarn...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What's on my needles (week 30)

At The Knitting Garage

The Glacerie Shawl

I am plodding along on this shawl; just two more rows to go and then the edging.  By next week I should be blocking this and I think it will look very attractive in the store :)
As I said before:  This is a great pattern to use up any left-over light weight yarn for the accent colors.











At Home

I have not been knitting much at home; I spent some time sitting with my son who ius knitting me new fingerless mittens after his cat ate my last pair and knitting on the hood for Matthew's All-In -One. 
Other than that I re-did one summer top:

A 40 minute make-over

I made this tank top three years ago and although I like it , I have not been wearing it very much; mostly due to the fact that I don't like the large armholes.  They make me feel too exposed and I wear either another tank top underneath or something else over it.
This is how I changed it:
  • I picked up and knitted 64 stitches around each armhole on four US# 6 needles.  
  • Then I k2, p2 for five rows , then bound off loosely in pattern.
Voila, problem solved:

This is how it used to look (2011)
left armhole done, one more to go

and this is how it looks now :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What's on my needles (week 29)

Some reflections and anecdotes

Those of you who receive the blog posts per e-mail or view them on facebook  already  heard this story last week, but I feel compelled to share with the rest of you :)  By the way don't forget to "like" me on facebook here: Knit with Doris/ Discover your Inner Knitter

There is always knitting or how to find joy in an otherwise troubled world
Not to belittle the problems the world is facing, but peace starts with inner peace one person at a time...
A couple of weeks ago I was reminded about a little song my now 29 year old son made up when he was about four or five.  It went something like this:  "Don't worry when something goes wrong there is a truck,  when there is a fire, you get the fire truck, when you are sick there is an ambulance..."  This song went on and on seemingly endless.  I think he had a fascination with trucks ;)
I was thinking the same about knitting. When I get stressed and have to do something calming, I pick up my knitting needles.  Difficult projects don't allow my mind to wander, but force me to stay focused on the work in my hands and easier ones help me to find a rhythm and inner peace while letting my thoughts wander and look at things from different angles (just like my knitting).

How to make lemonade
We all know the saying when you get lemons make lemonade...
I had to do just that this week.  It all started with a rainy day which made me grab my raincoat when I rushed out the door leaving behind my fingerless mittens which were in the pockets, because -you know- who needs fingerless mitts in July?!  Upon my return I found that my son's cat had eaten a big chunk out of one mitten (the other one has still not re-surfaced).  What got to me the most was thinking of the time spent on making them, not so much the cost of yarn or even that they are my favorites.  When Gerry inquired how he can replace them, I answered in jest: "can you knit me a new pair?"  Well, he is taking me up on that and after two lessons (which he claims he enjoyed!) he is starting on a pair of simple fingerless mitts following my pattern "The simplest fingerless mitts you'll ever make".  So, now we are praising Pumpkin (the cat) for bringing us closer together.

knitting lesson #2 how to purrrrl

still wet from the bite Pumpkin took out

At the Knitting Garage

Lessons and Classes

Dale's Market Bag
So far this summer I have been very happy to meet many new faces as well as old acquaintances for private lessons and classes.  Making a cotton T-shirt, Spa Cloth, Sun Hat and Market bag among other things.  More and more knitters seem to come around to the thinking that knitting is not seasonal :) Here are a few projects done by several of our customers (Note to self:  Take more class pictures!)  If you have a picture of your finished project you started in a class with me, and want to have it published, please e-mail it to me (thank you!).

Anni's Hat
Toni's Pinwheel Flower Spa Cloth

I especially enjoy teaching those who are new to knitting.

Glacerie Shawl/ store sample

We decided to do the large size in the same yarn combination as suggested for the small size i.e. Sport weight yarn for the MC and Fingering weight yarn for CC1 and CC2.
A little tricky to set up the first scallop section with lace stitches on both RS rows and WS rows. But once you have your first section done it seems to get easier as you have your center stitches for reference.
There were a couple of new stitches for me such as cdd-p, but I am always happy to learn something new.
Now each section is just a repetition of the one prior and this project has become much less demanding.  This is a great pattern to use up any fingering weight yarn left over from prior projects for your contrasting colors as you only need 175 yards of CC2 and 75 yards of CC1 for the large size.  For the the small size you will need 190 yds DK or sport weight yarn for your MC and 150 yds fingering weight yarn for the CC.
I started on section #6 this week:

At Home

Matt's All-in-one
I have finished the pockets and am now knitting the hood for Matt's scarf.  When all the pieces are done they will still need to be sewn together :)

A gift from Heaven Shawl

Some general observations about the pattern:
The first few sections (Rain and Grass) seem to be written for the beginner lace knitter in mind with both written instructions as well as a chart for the grass section. Then it switches to having to follow a chart with some written guidance for the Ripple section. When it comes to the last two sections (Leaf and Petals) you are to follow the chart only. The written instructions only tell you when to switch yarns. This may be specifically difficult for the beginner lace knitter when it comes to knitting lace stitches on the wrong side row; not everyone may know how to read a chart or that you will have to read the wrong side rows from left to right….BUT if you are familiar with charts and know how to follow them, the end result will be a beautiful shawl :)

Here is the finished Rain section:

And the Grass section:

And the Ripples:

The Leaf section:

And I just started on the Petals; this is how it looks so far:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What's on my needles (week 28)

At the Knitting Garage

My summer classes are coming to an end with this Saturday's class on the Stay-Put Shawl

 I will post a new short schedule for Late summer Classes through end of September soon.  I already have some ideas of what to offer, but this is the time to put in special requests if you have any.

Also don't forget about private lesson.  Sometimes they are the best way to go, working with you one-on-one and on your specific project.

The Glacerie Shawl

 I started on a new store sample using one of the new patterns we got in this summer.  This shawl is knitted in three colors and I am using pink, gray and blue :)
After the initial learning curve of having to do lace stitches on the WS purl side row I think I am getting the hang of it.

At Home

A gift from Heaven

I am working on the shawl Marie had bough as a kit and which had found its way into my hands.  The first few sections are simple TV knitting and I was breezing through those.  Now I am knitting the last two sections and have to pay much more attention.  These sections are charted only and I have to do lace stitches on both sides of the work so I am going pretty much through the same learning curve with this project as I am with the shawl I am knitting at The Knitting Garage.

Knitting on this makes me feel close to Marie and I find myself thinking of her ("talking" with her) while working on this shawl.

Matt's all in one

For relaxing and simple TV knitting I have (yet again) picked up the scarf I am making for Matt .  I made the scarf a little longer (62 inches) and I am now knitting the pockets. I keep telling myself that it WILL be done before winter.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What' s on my needles (week 27)

Perhaps you are all getting tired about me going on and on about the Candle Flame Shawl, but I want to make one last mention.  The company "Lantern Moon" did a lovely write-up on their facebook page.  I took a screenshot to share:

At The Knitting Garage

I finished my socks which I had started for the sock knitting classes the last three Saturday mornings.

This Saturday's class will be Make your own Market Bag.
Limited space is left, so if you want to join in, you may want to sign up soon.

I also finished the pillow cover I knitted up with the beginners' knitting class the last four Tuesday afternoons.

A new Beginners knitting class will start this coming Tuesday July 29 and will run through August 19.  Click here for more information: current class schedule

At Home

I got quite a bit further with the shawl kit which was given to me; my "gift from heaven" (I told you the story last week)   <3 <3

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What's on my needles (week 26)

At The Knitting Garage

The candle Flame Shawl store sample

The shawl is displayed in the knitting garage.
Click here for the pattern:

Store Sample

My latest store sample is a pillow cover I am knitting along with the beginners' knitting class Tuesday afternoons.  Last Tuesday Jenn learned cables!  She likes it so much that she wants to knit up a cabled scarf after her practice pieces. :)  Way to go, Jenn!

Saturday morning class

This Saturday we will be talking about s_t_r_e_t_c_h_y  bind offs.

At Home

A gift from Heaven


I started knitting a shawl with a special story behind it:
I remember my friend Marie ordering this shawl kit (# 40176) from knitpicks after we both had been oohhing and aahhing over the knitpicks catalog. She never got around making it and it was donated together with other yarns to the Tivoli library.
During the recent yarn sale fundraiser for the cancer center in Albany, NY  (see my posts from week 20 and week 21)  the kit re-surfaced and was given to me by the library director, Bonny. Somehow I feel that Marie wanted me to have this all along. 
After a false start with the wrong color I got about one third done with the first section, "rain".

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What's on my needles (week 25)

A shawl is born

First of all I want to let you know that I not only finished knitting up the shawl for the store and at home for myself, but I also finished writing the pattern (all seven pages of it).

Let the pictures speak for themselves:
This one was knitted in the Mirasol Nuna Fina for the Knitting Garage and measures 76" by 14":

I also knitted up the same pattern in a heavier silk yarn, the Lantern Moon Indochine.  I added beads in this shawl and it measures 49" by 11.5" after blocking.

 The pattern for this is available in my ravelry store: Doris Formby Designs
You can also find a link on this blog on the page "Original Designs Free and for sale".
The pattern is written for any weight yarn and with or without beads :)  Check it out!  I am curious to see who will knit this up next.

Saturday Class at the Knitting Garage

My sock knitting classes will continue with instructions on how to knit up the Fish Lips Kiss heel.  After you have done this once, you will see that it is an easy to remember heel construction which is knitted the same cuff down or toe up with no heel flap and no gussets, yet it gives a great fit.
I will teach you the technique on a sample; you do not need to bring a sock project.  If you sign up prior to the class I will e-mail you the pattern before, otherwise I will e-mail it to you after the Saturday class.
Here is my pair of socks which I started for the sock knitting classes.  I cast on last Saturday using Judy's magic cast-on and I knitted the FLK heel yesterday on one sock.  I have to stop myself from knitting the other heel as I will do that during the class.
I also want to mention that if ever you have a scheduling conflict, but want to take one of my Saturday morning classes, consider to take that class in a private lesson at your convenience.

Store Sample

I am presently knitting up a 14 "x 14" pillow cover as store sample.  I am knitting this project along with Jenn, Jill, Rachel and Suzanna who are taking the Tuesday beginner's class.  Sign up for the next session of beginner's knitting classes (four Tuesdays total) which starts Tuesday, July 29th and runs through August 19th.  It is a good excuse (if you need an excuse) to come in from the heat.

At Home

I finished the Market Bag as a gift for a friend, but will wait to give it away until after the Saturday Class on July 26.  So far I have two sign-ups, so if you are interested there is space for two more max.
I am calling this bag "Ready for the beach-bag".  It looks to me that it would perfectly let out any sand which comes in; pretty much like open sandals.

That's it for this week.  Be well my friends and HAPPY KNITTING!