Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spreading joy (week 58)

Transitions

I am naming my finished Ginkgo Shawl "Transitions" which makes perfect sense to me.  Click on the link to get to the pattern.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spreading Joy

A quick gift

I didn't want to start on a new project before going to visit my in-laws.  While I am there I am planning to work on my "Easy Folded Poncho" which is a popular pattern by Churchmouse and is just stockinette stitch. It will be easy to chat and visit with everybody while knitting this; no stitches or rows to count and I already bought the yarn last November!!!  I just have to wind it up.


But there are some smaller things I have been wanting to do and I thought this is a good time for them.

I have been wanting to make a quick gift for someone for a while now.  I finally decided on the cabled headband which is one of my own designs and a free pattern to boot (again, click on the link to get to the pattern).  
As this is a gift for someone I don't know too closely, I decided on a yarn which is easy to take care of and can be machine washed.  I checked my stash and found a nice rust colored yarn form England "Robin Double Knit", which my Mother-in -Law had given me a while back and started knitting .... 

I knitted double stranded to get the right weight

....and knitted...
a little over 22 inches; 24 cables total

... and three hours later I was done ...
Kitchener stitch joint
Today I surprised Kelly with the headband which she loves :)


Sometimes it just takes a little effort, a little yarn and a few hours time to brighten someone's day!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Having the right tools ( week 57)

Ginkgo Shawl


Remember the shawl I started a little over two weeks ago?  The one I had bought the pattern and yarn for in Swansboro, NC ?
I had seen the store sample at "The Salty Sheep" and the owner, Peggy, helped me choose some very fine yarn.
Last week I had started with the Lace section.

So much easier

The lace section is an easy to remember pattern, but I was struggling with the "k3tog".  Almost each time I had to poke the stitches first to make them large enough to insert my needle through all three.  I did this for the first 14 rows and must say it was no fun especially since there are so many of those stitches and the rows are getting longer and longer.

You can see that the lace needle (top) is much more tapered and has more of a point
...and it slides through the 3 stitches with ease!

I wanted to avoid buying yet another knitting needle.  I have multiple size 4's, but next time I was at The Knitting Garage at A L Stickle I did buy a size 4 Chiao Goo Lace needle and switched my stitches over in the very next row.  The rest of the knitting was so much easier!!! It really pays off to have the right tools. 
I even did two rows in the car on a very bumpy ride to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.  This winter left the roads up here in terrible disrepair. But with the right needle even then I was fine to do my stitches :)

Pass it on

Since I had such a good experience with using the best tools available, I helped someone else.  On Tuesday, when one of our customers was struggling to make the bobbles for Building Block #3 , I had her try out the lace needles and she promptly not only knitted faster and with more ease, but ended up buying a set.  She had been using dull pointed wooden needles until then.  Not to say they are bad needles, but there is a time and place and project for them and lace knitting is not it.

Please help re-name this shawl

Pre-blocking


On the blocking mat

close-up of the ginkgo leaf

I finished knitting the Gingko Shawl which I had named "Zen" after the name of the color for the yarn used as Main Color.
Once I started using the Contrasting Color ("Celeste"), I felt that "Zen" no longer seemed the right name as giggles of happiness started rising up in me... perhaps "Swansboro" after the town where I bought the pattern and yarn?  Any suggestions are welcome!
 Happy knitting everyone, till next week :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

What's on my needles (week 56)

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! 

Candle Flame Shawl

At The Knitting Garage

Building Blocks

I did finish block #3 for the store and it is hanging in the window.  I forgot to take a picture, but will do so next week.  Knitting the bobbles on this square caused me all kind of problems with my Gingko Shawl at home, but more about that later.

Finding the right pattern for variegated yarn

Variegated yarn looks so pretty in the skein, but some patterns get lost in the colors. Just think about all the cabling I did in one pair of socks for Tony:  http://ravel.me/Strickliese/tma
I am using the Madeline Tosh Sock yarn in the color "Stephen loves Tosh" and started off on the "Sugar and Cream Cowl",  but knew almost right away that this was not a good match.


So, what to do?  I went on ravelry and searched for the yarn "Tosh Socks".  Then I clicked on the "26563 projects" and put in "Stephen loves Tosh" in the "search inside projects".
That is how I came across a lovely shawl pattern "Lavalette" by Kirsten Kapur and very helpful project notes by "KNITTINGinHI": "I’m sure she had no clue when she purchased this skein how variegated yarn knits up. They are so pretty in the skein but knit so busy looking. I decided to knit another Lavalette, as I previously knit a very variegated skein in this pattern and it looked wonderful."
I think this will make a very stunning next store sample and the pattern is FREE to boot!  You can click on the link below the picture.
Lavalette











New Tab on The Knitting Garage blog

By the way, did you notice the new tab on The Knitting Garage blog "meet us": http://www.knittinggarage.com/new/about-us/meet-us/

At Home


This gave me the idea to add a tab on my blog:  "Contact me" with links to all the sites where you can find me :) : http://knitwithdoris.blogspot.com/p/contact-me.html

Gingko Shawl

In just one week I have gotten quite far with this shawl.  The pattern is easy to follow.
However it has one stitch which is similar to one stitch in the Building Blocks square #3.  Similar, but not the same!  To make the bobbles in the Building blocks I have to (k1, Yo, k1, Yo, k1) into the same stitch and for the Gingko shawl I have to (k1, Yo, k1) into the same stitch.  Twice I got mixed up and both times I had to take out a full four rows!
Another minor difficulty I am having now that I am in the lace section, is that my needle is not pointy enough to k3tog with ease; perhaps I should invest into a pointier lace knitting needle for these rows....one of the nice Chia Goo Lace needles we sell at the store!


Unfinished sweater getting finished

You may remember when my friend Marie passed away and we donated her yarns to the local libraries.  Well, last year an unfinished sweater was found in that stash.  She had obviously started a cardigan for her husband.  The back is done and the right front is done.  The left front is done partially and the sleeves are still missing.  There was the pattern and enough yarn in the same bag to finish it so I just started on finishing this for Jim.
I started on the partially done left front. The first problem I ran into was to not follow the pattern, but to match up the two sides.  Although she was knitting it in size large she did not do increases after the ribbed edge. At first I did the increases on the left front in the first row when taking over, but then ripped it out and re-started as I think the cardigan would look too lopsided!
I am happy to be doing this now, but just could not have done it sooner; I would rather sit next to her while we both knit.....
I am making myself work on this for one hour each day before knitting anything else.  While knitting I think of her and all the things we could have still done together, but I am grateful, too, for all the things we did do together.
I will post some pictures of my progress next week.

The pattern, finished back and finished right front


Friday, March 6, 2015

What's on my needles (week 55)

At The Knitting Garage

I finished the Candle Flame Shawl
It came out very lovely at a size of 64 inches long and 14 inches wide at the widest point with just one skein of Nuna Fina! 
Right now it is proudly worn by the mannequin in the shop window (yes, the one who wears the sash which says "Kiss me, I am Irish").
You see:  Making this shawl this Spring is easy on your budget and gives you just enough warmth around your neck.  It sure feels good to get away from the heavy winter wear!
Click here for the pattern: Candle Flame Shawl




Building Block Squares

I finished square #1 and I am half way done with square #3 for the shop.  This is a fun project and I am looking forward to the seam it together party in May at the shop.  Think about joining us.  It is not too late to get started as these squares knit up pretty quickly and each one teaches you something :)
For more information click on the link above or stop by at the shop.

Square #1
beginnings of Square #3




At Home

Tony's Birthday socks are finished

I finished these socks in record time (10 days); probably on account that this yarn is a tad thicker and knitted on US #3 needles and I have knitted a lot of socks by now.



Ginkgo Shawl

Remember my road trip last October? 
One of the stops was The Salty Sheep yarn shop in Swansboro, South Carolina, where a shawl above the register caught my eye. I bought the pattern and yarn as my souvenir.The pattern by yellowcosmo is available on ravelry for $4. 
Click here:http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ginkgo-shawl




I think now is a good time to start on it. Winter is almost over and I just love shawls :)...The yarn I am using is Squoosh Fiberarts Ultra Sock 100% Superwash Merino.  I am using the color "Zen", a pretty bluish gray, as the Main Color and "Celeste" as the Contrasting Color.  So far the knitting is indeed very "Zen" as it is a simple stockinette stitch with increases at the beginning and end of each row and with a few purl rows in between. This is just what I need to find my Inner Calm...



 


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:)

video

And Sylvia's finished very first project.  She used my pattern "The simplest fingerless mitts you'll ever make" which is available on ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-simplest-fingerless-mitts-youll-ever-make

SOOO PRETTY!!!
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)":  http://youtu.be/-nq_7EXTWHE
 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.