Thursday, August 28, 2014

What's on my needles (week 32)

Store Sample at The Knitting Garage

The Glacerie Shawl...

...came out beautiful if I may say so myself...Come by to see it "in person" at the shop and to pick up yarns to start your own :)

I started on a new Store sample in Blue Sky Alpaca Petites  "Windsor Mitts".
As summer is winding down, this is a good project to get ready for those chilly mornings when you want to wear something stylish to keep your hands warm.

I am offering a class on these on Saturday September 6th from 10:30 am to 12 noon and for those of you who rather come to a class while the children are at school, I will also give the same class on Wednesday September 10th from 10:30 am to 12 noon.  The class is $35 and includes the $8 pattern.  I will explain to you the "LT" stitch which gives this mitten the unique look and I will show you two methods of knitting in the round.  One is with DPN's and one with two circular needles.  Both are favorites of mine.  I will show you how to avoid getting the gap between needles with both methods.  When you look at any of my store samples you see a smooth even round of stitches.  How did I do that?  You will have to sign up prior for the Wednesday Class (as I am not usually in Rhinebeck on Wednesdays), but have the option to make a last minute decision and walk in for the Saturday Class.  However all classes are limited to four participants.
I will be posting the rest of the class schedule for this Fall shortly.

At Home

I finished knitting the shawl I dubbed "A Gift From Heaven" and it is soaking now in tepid water and "Soak" (a great no-rinse additive for blocking and washing your hand-knits).  I am looking forward to see this shawl blocked as you cannot see the lace work well right now.  Here is a "before"  picture:

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: