Friday, May 22, 2015

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! What's on my needles (week 64)

At The Knitting Garage

AL Stickles and The Knitting Garage were open again last Monday from 6-8 much to the enjoyment of late evening shoppers and the ladies attending the knit night.

This coming Monday (Memorial Day) we will NOT be open in the evening, but do come and join us the following Monday (June 1st).

our finished Building Block Blanket

Knit night at The Knitting Garage


At Home

getting lots of knitting done
For those of you who follow me on facebook (click here for my page: Discover your Inner Knitter), you already know some of this and have seen most of the pictures.  I was stuck at home last Wednesday as my son borrowed my car.  I made a fun knit day out of it spending time on the deck and finishing as well as starting several projects. 

Chevron Tank Top


a close-up look at the Chevron lace


I finally brought this tank top out of hibernation and finished the i-cord edging around the armhole and neck.


Birthday Shawl for my sister

With the blanket and bonnet for my nephew's baby finished, I started on a shawl for my sister.  This pattern and yarn is part of last year's Strickmich Club from Martina Behm.  Much to my shame I have to admit that I have not knitted a single one of these patterns even though I do love Martina's designs.
Red is my sister's favorite color and the shawl is coming along nicely.  I am aware that with the rows getting longer and longer each repeat will take me longer, but I hope to have this finished mid- to late June so I can mail it all off before the baby is due in July.


One of our customers inspired me to start on my Leftie Shawl.  I am having a great time deciding which left-over yarns to knit up and in which order.  This project is very hard to put down.
I had purchased the yarn for the MC at The good Wool shop in Formby, England.

The first three repeats are done

lining up my left-over yarns

Different techniques, same result

I decided to look at some of the instructional videos to Martina Behm's patterns and found that she is using slightly different techniques for some of the stitches.

W&T Wrap and Turn
I don't wrap the yarn 360 around the stitch, but simply slip the stitch first and then bring the yarn to the front or back depending on if the first stitch after turning is a knit or purl.  This is a tighter wrap and neater look later without any looseness or holes.

S2SK Slip 2 together knit-wise, slip 1 then knit all three together
I do slip my stitches the same, but then instead of using my left needle to twist the stitches, I knit the 3 stitches together through the back loop.  It is a faster and easier maneuver.

Friday, May 15, 2015

What's on my needles (week 63)

At The Knitting Garage

The Building Block blanket is almost done.  With the last square knitted up and most of the seams finished.   One final seam will take no time at all on Sunday.
Block #9 is done :)
Our blanket is very colorful
Along the way we were a little worried how it will seam together, since the squares were not knitted by the same person and the gauge is different.  But once it was seamed together it all worked out well as the number of rows is the important factor when using the mattress stitch :) and that number is the same in all of the squares.

We would love to see how you are coming along with your blanket.  You could bring it in to one of our Monday night knit nights to show off your squares.
Fun knit time last Monday

Remember we have knit night from 6-8pm every Monday.  You can also just drop in briefly to buy yarns or anything else from the shop.  The evening hours should accommodate all of you working Moms (and Dads). 

At Home

Chevron Baby Blanket


I finished the Chevron Baby blanket for my grand-niece who is due to make her appearance this summer. 
I had enough yarn left over to make her a bonnet.  When I saw little Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana coming out of hospital I had a very close look at the blanket (a simple lace stitch blanket) and head-wear (a garter stitch and cable bonnet) and decided that my nephew's baby should have a bonnet, too.
Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

When I looked for a pattern, I came across the Little Shell Lace Baby Bonnet by Dawn Adcock.  It uses the same weight yarn I had used for the blanket (worsted) and is a free pattern.  It took me just a few hours to finish and I think it looks very sweet.

at one point I was worried that I had not enough yarn, but it was plenty!

Just needs a ribbon (from A L Stickle!)

I can't wait to see pictures of my grand-niece wearing this :)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What's on my needles (week 62)

Building Blocks sew-it-together Party 


Have you done the KAL with The Knitting Garage at AL Stickles? 
We are having a sew-it-together party this Friday, May 8th from 5 to 8pm.

Bring your squares, we will provide snacks and drinks. 
I am looking forward to compare notes on how you liked this challenge. 
Are you ready for more KAL's at The Knitting Garage and what would you like to do next?
I just finished square #6 and am working now on the last square for the shop, #9.

Last Monday knit night was a lot of fun again with Linda, Meg, Kris, Beth and Julie and myself.

Some customers came through just to buy yarn as the opening time on Monday accomodates those who work during the day AND Leah had advertised a 20% off on all yarn purchases!


If you are like me, you have lots of shawls to wear.  This is the perfect weather to pull them out and show them off :)   

Here are some of the shawls I have been wearing last week.  You can click on the links below the pictures for more information. 

Scarf in a scarf



Candle Flame Shawl (my own pattern)

A gift from Heaven

Baby Blanket

Last, but not least, I want to show you the progress I am making on the baby blanket for my nephew's baby.
I have done a little over half.  I just found out that I had the wrong due date.  I was thinking "August", but the baby is due in another eight weeks.  So, I have to hurry a little as I want to make a baby hat with it and I want to send everything in the same package with a birthday gift for my sister, a shawl, which I still have to knit, too.

Friday, May 1, 2015

What's on my needles now (week 61)

You may be curious to find out what I am going to knit next after finishing the poncho.

First however I want to share some pictures of my finished poncho:

My Lincoln Park Poncho

 And here is what I cast on next

My nephew and his wife are expecting their second child this summer, a baby sister for Leandra. Such happy news, especially since for years they had thought that they could not have children :)
I had knitted a baby blanket for Leandra two years ago :
and I am making one now for this new member of the family.
I am knitting this blanket in Cascade Avalon which is a Cotton/ Acrylic blend; very soft and easy to take care of.  I had treated myself to a summer top in this yarn last year :

This blanket is a simple chevron blanket in yellow with an occasional white stripe.  The pattern is free on ravelry.

You can find this project on ravelry here:

The ratio between the  yellow and white will be 3:1 as I bought three yellow skeins and one white one.

Monday Night Knit Night at The Knitting Garage

Don't forget that AL Stickle is open from 6-8pm every Monday for Knit Night.  Julie, Beth, Meg and I had fun last Monday especially when Persimmon and Sweet Pea were roused from their sleep to make a special guest appearance.

You can see the beginnings of Building Block # 6 which I started for the shop (we only have one more to do after that!!!)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My knitting adventures while travelling (week 60)

___I am back !___

Preparing for my trip

In preparation for my trip to visit with family in England, I did a provisional cast-on of 112 stitches for the poncho I had decided  to work on while visiting.  I was thinking that this is the perfect project to knit while chatting.

The flight over

On the flight over I watched one of the documentaries which were offered for in-flight viewing:   
Cyril Cullen- Master Knitter.  This was very inspirational!  You can read up on him and his designs here:

Arriving in England

With snow still on the ground in Tivoli when we left, it was nice to see that Spring was in full swing in England:
My back garden before leaving

My Mother-In-Law's garden

We even enjoyed some ice cream by the beach.

 While there

As I walked into town every day from my Mother-in-Law's house for some groceries, I checked out the newly opend yarn shop right in the heart of Formby inside Derbyshire'sThe Good Wool Shop  (click on the link and it takes you right to their website).  
Isabel carries wonderful yarns and other odds and ends there.  The prices are very reasonable for the quality of yarns.
I ended up visiting with Isabel almost every day and we found that we have other things in common beyond our love for fiber-crafts.  She lived in Swizerland and in Germany for a number of years.  And not just in Germany but in a city I know well as it is there that I went to university:  Mainz (Johannes Gutenberg University).  Sometimes we talked in German, but kept falling back into English.
"Life is short, knit faster"

Thursday afternoon knit group.  From left to right:  Isabel, Gill and Doris

I ended up buying two books, both with instructions on making toy animals; one in crochet and one in knitting.  I liked the range of animals in the crochet patterns, 40 in total!  Most of the patterns are also available individually on ravelry and I am thinking to offer a class some time in the future.  What I liked about the knitted toys book other than that I favor knitting over crochet, is that some of the patterns have movable limbs as the legs and arms are attached by string and button.

 I also bought some yarn.  One local yarn which will make some very nice fingerless mitts for next winter.

And I also bought several skeins of  Artesano yarn which was 25% off during the month of April.
One skein of cream colored sock yarn as the Main color for the shawl "Leftie" by Martina Behm.  This will help me to use up a bunch of left-over sock yarn.

And on the last day I also bought two skeins of the Alpaca Silk yarn.  I had been drawn to this yarn all along and did not want to leave without some of it.  I found a nice pattern for a lacy summer top, Athena. This is a free pattern download on ravelry!  Isabel printed out the pattern for me so I am ready to go :)

One of the days I took the train down to Liverpool which is just a few stops South from Formby.  First I spent some time in the wonderful library:

View from the roof-top
The Oak Room

While in Liverpool I went to another yarn shop, Abakhan on  Stafford Street where I bought several shawl pins (a steal at £ 4.50 and £ 1.79 respectively).

During our time in England we also celebrated my husband's birthday and I finally could give him his socks.

During the two weeks I was there I almost finished the poncho (as I said: a very quick knit).  I just have to do the lace border now and seam it together and of course block it.

My Mother-in-Law showed me a picture of one of the ponchos she had knitted in the 60's for her daughter. You can see my Sister-In-Law's eight year old self  wearing a blue- and while poncho in the Lake District.  It is interesting how fashion repeats itself with small variations.