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

 



Thursday, May 18, 2017

FINISHED!!! (135)

The Building Blocks Shawl by Stephen West 

I have been working on for the shop

is finished!!!!  

 

Go to ravelry to read the time-line and in-depth notes:  BUILDING BLOCKS

These are the four yarns I used:
Knitting Garage Sock Yarn, color Purple Pop

 
Madeline Tosh Twist Light, color Flashdance


Hedgehog Fibers Sock yarn, color Aroma





Madeline Tosh Merino Light, color Sand Dune

 

Light blocking:


 

 

AND DONE:

 



 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

TIPS AND TRICKS TUESDAY (134)

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I have been knitting some washcloths for charity as well as gifts.
As you may know, I am always happy to figure out a way to eliminate a step especially in the final finishing instructions.
Let me show you how I combine the last two steps ( binding off and seaming) in one when I knit "The Almost Lost Washcloth" by Julie Tarsha.
Click here for the pattern: http://www.simplynotable.com/…/the-almost-lost-washcloth-p…/





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Friday, May 5, 2017

A short hello (#133)

Today I just want to share a few projects I finished since my last post.

 

YOKED CARDIGAN by Hannah Fettig

This is a cute and quick knit, a perfect gift for a new Mom.  A couple of weeks ago someone helped out at the shop who is expecting her first baby, so I made this...

A jacket for Rosemary


and I made a matching headband.

SPRING BABY HEADBAND by Amy Anderson

Headband for Baby

Both projects were quick and fun and I learned a few new techniques in the process.  Click on the links under the pictures for my notes on ravelry; click on the heading and you are taken directly to the pattern.

MARSAN WATCHCAP by Staceyjoy Elkin 

Another quick knit.  This is the second time that I am using this pattern.  The result is a great-looking hat.  This one a gift for our son's FIL. 

New hat for Andrew