Friday, January 30, 2015

What's on my needles (week 50)

At The Knitting Garage

I finished yarn-bombing one of the door handles of the shop's front door :)
I think it looks rather cool; what do you think?
I wonder what to yarn bomb next.  Let me know if you have any suggestions or want to help :)

At Home

I knitted up a few more hearts for the garland I am making

But mainly I worked on a language challenge.

Geheimnisvoll/ Mysterious

First off you got to know that I left Germany 38 years ago at the age of 23.  I only went back exactly 1/2 dozen times since.  Two years ago when I visited my sister I bought a book with patterns written in German.  I thought it would be a nice challenge for me to see if I could still understand the knitting lingo in a pattern written in German.

Earlier this month when I went through a hat-knitting phase, I was drawn to one particular pattern which looks like it could belong in the 1920's.  The pattern is in the ravelry database, too, under the name "Geheimnisvoll" by Dagmar Bergk.  Click here to view:
So, long story short, when we thought that we were going to be snowed in last Tuesday, I got ready to knit up the pattern.  Since the storm did not hit us as hard as expected, I did take a little longer, but I finished the hat today and LOVE it. 
While working on the hat, I found out that the pattern is available in English under he name "Mysterious" by Dagmar Bergk in the book "Knit Hats Now".  Here is the ravelry link:
Most of my difficulties were language-based and if you are interested here are a few thoughts I had during the five days I worked on this hat:

Day one: In preparation for a major snowstorm I decided to make this hat to have something to do while staying at home and to challenge my language skills. I had bought the book last time when I was in Germany for just such purpose. This particular pattern was holding my attention with its gently curved “ear-flaps” and a 1920’s look about it.
I decided on the Cascade Superwash 128 as it gives me the right gauge, is soft, easy to take care of and relatively easy on my budget.
I started with the cabled cuff following the chart. I found that I was not careful enough knitting the stitches on the wrong side row especially after increasing. The M1L should be purled on the WS or the pattern does not emerge properly; had to rip out about 10 rows and re-start; looks much better now.

Day two: This should have been the day of the storm when I could have sat and knitted all day. Luckily the storm did not hit us as severely as anticipated which meant going to work and picking up the project in the late afternoon/ evening. My next mistake was a translation error, I did a ssk for ” zwei Maschen links zusammenstricken” ( I was thinking left-leaning). Of course it did not look right and I had to rip out this section and re-knitted it by “purl 2 together through the backloop”. I got quite far that evening and had done the chart 1 1/2 times. However something did not look right. When I frogged back down to row 29 earlier, I had missed one of the cables. Now I had to decide if I wanted to fix it or just make it look right (by stitching duplicate stitches over the cable).

Day three: I decided to get this right, after all I would only loose time rather than taking the chance that the cuff wouldn’t look right. I frogged it all the way down to row 29 again. This day I got the whole cuff done; it is looking a lot better.

Day four: I am struggling with the instructions. Doing the chart twice plus row 1 one more time puts my working yarn on the left edge of the cuff, but I will have to pick up stitches on the right edge…I cannot find any errata and wonder if I should just take out the extra row on the right side or if I should try and bring the yarn to the other side behind the kitchener stitch. The row count suggests to me that (if I count the kitchener stitch as one row) I should take that last row out which is the Row 1 of the chart….So I only do the chart twice.
One thing I found while looking for an errata or a way to get in touch with the designer is the fact that the pattern has been translated and put into a book: Mysterious
After all this I looked at the two photos again and it looks to me that the hat knitted in the color “Seascape” has the stitches picked up along the left edge of the cuff; the side with the garter stitch edge. And the hat knitted in the color “Quarry Tile” has the stitches picked up on the right edge of the cuff. This is clear by looking at the direction of the cables. Anyway, in the end I did repeat row 1 and picked up stitches along the garter stitch edge. This way the garter stitch pattern is incorporated in the moss stitch pattern of the top part of the hat and the edge along the lower cable has a soft roll (caused by the stockinette stitch edge). It was also easier to pick up the right number of stitches along the garter stitch edge. From here it is an easy 20 rows of moss stitch and then decreases. I should think that this will be done by day five. My main challenges were probably the language difficulties and without that I would say it is a very easy pattern with it I’d still say this is easy and pretty :)

Day five: As expected, I finished the hat today. I did less pattern repeats before starting the decreases; only 16 rows instead of 20 rows (I guess I have a small head). It fits perfectly and I love this hat.

Here is a picture of the finished hat and the link to my ravelry project:

Friday, January 23, 2015

What's on my needles (week 49)

At The Knitting Garage

Monday Night Knitting Group

We had a wonderful first knitting group meeting last Monday night.  Come, join in the fun.  This is open to everyone every Monday 6-8pm.
You may want to start your Building Blocks knit-along during the Monday night group or start or finish any project you desire; we are here to help if you need it. :) Click on the link for more information on the knit-along.

Candle Flame Shawl

I am making some progress on the Candle Flame shawl for the store, but have also started on another project:


Sometimes it is fun to just knit free-form, not following a pattern, but just making it up as I go and I started making our store look more like a knit shop by yarn bombing some of the handles etc.  Feel free to help!  I didn't get far yet, but further than shown here.  These are the beginnings of a cover for the door handle.  I started by using Judy's magic cast-on (click on the link), just as I would for toe-up socks to knit up a pocket style cover with no seams.

At Home


From left to right: Tivoli Hat, Snow Bowl Hat and Hat of Soft Cables.
After finishing my third hat this month, I started on some smaller projects.

Tea Toters

My first of what I hope to be several tea totes for my tea toting tee-totaling friends.
Finding the perfect button (of course at AL Stickles!) is half the fun.
This is a free pattern on ravelry.

Valentine's Garland

I started making Valentines Hearts to hang up as a garland to break up the winter calm next month with some "happy".

As always, don't forget to click on the project links for more detailed information.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What's on my needles (week 48)

At The Knitting Garage


I am working on a new Candle Flame Shawl to replace the store sample which is nowhere to be found.  I am knitting it up in the same yarn, Nuna Fina, because its drape really brings out the beauty of the design.  This time I choose a darker color.  I am planning to knit up a slightly smaller version with just one skein of the yarn.  So, probably about seven increase section, a couple of "flat" and then seven decrease pattern repeats.
A lot is happening at The Knitting Garage this year.  The store is staying open later on Monday nights and twice a month on Fridays.  Check out these Knitting Garage sites for more details: and here

At Home


After finishing the Scarf-in-a-scarf , which came out nicer than I feared, I decided to start the new year with teating myself to a couple of new hats.

After finishing the Tivoli Hat, I started and finished this Snow Bowl Hat.

I had the beautiful Madeline Tosh DK weight yarn in my stash.  I had bought it from the clearance bin at The Knitting Garage, because it is one of my favorite shades of Green and I had another green yarn which I am not sure what it is, but when doubled with the Tosh I got the right gauge :)

Now I am knitting up another hat in Manos Classica.  The pattern has just a hint of cabling.  The original pattern is written to be worked flat, but I prefer working in the round and have written some notes on that in my project notes on ravelry : Cabled Hat

Remember to click on the project names for more detailed information.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What's on my needles (week 47)

So, I have some catching up to do...


At The Knitting Garage

After finishing the Downton Hat,  I made a quick cowl out of the  beautiful HIkoo silk and Merino blend yarn.  This cowl was knitted with just one skein and you can find the instuctions in my pattern notes on ravelry:  Quick and simple Cowl 

 I also knitted up this Tivoli Hat in the beautiful Cascade Tivoli yarn which is a Silk and Merino blend.  The pattern is free on line and you can get to it by clicking on this link:  Tivoli Hat which takes you to my pattern notes and from there to the Cascade Yarns site.
I liked the hat so much (and I live in Tivoli) that I made one for myself:

At Home

A few days before Christmas I started on a hat for my son Richard and I wasn't sure how it would come out.  It came out so nice that I would definitely knit up this pattern again.  The pattern is called Marsan Watchcap by Staceyjoy Elkin.  I knitted it up in Cascade 220 superwash and made a few minor changes to make it fit a rather large head ;)  You can see more in my pattern notes and you can also get to the free pattern from here:  Marsan Watchcap
Here are a few pictures showing the hat when my husband modeled it for me a day before Christmas.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Classes at the Knitting Garage in January 2015

Class Schedule
at the Knitting Garage
January 2015
So, a new year has started and with that lots of opportunities to try something new.
Learning and growing should never become stagnant; there is so much to absorb...

Of course knitting can be one of the challenges you may want to look at (and I am willing to needle you on with this).

If you are not a knitter, think about learning to knit or crochet; especially if you don't use your hands much at work.  Learning to do a tactile art-form may help you to feel more balanced in yourself (yes, discover that Inner Knitter!)

If you already knit, think about expanding your knowledge and ability.  Learn to knit in the round, knit lace, knit Fair Isle, brioche...

Whatever you end up doing in the New Year, don't forget that life is supposed to be enJOYable, so put aside your worries some times during each day and have FUN.

Individual Projects:

These classes are held twice once on Wednesday morning 11am to 1pm and on the following Saturday from 10am to 12noon (dates are indicated).  The cost of $40 per class includes the pattern and any additional help needed to finish the project.  Prior sign-up is necessary for the class during the week on Wednesday and recommended for the Saturday classes, but additional walk-ins are welcome Saturdays with a maximum number of four students per class.

January 7th and 10th         Susie Rodger’s Reading Mitts (for the intermediate Beginner)

You will learn how to knit on DPN’s, a picot seam and thumb gussets. I made a pair of these as a gift last month and they were very well received.

January 14th and 17th       Pembroke Shawl (for the intermediate Beginner)

If you have never knitted Lace before, this is a great pattern to learn.  The shawl is knitted up in bulky yarn (I suggest Misti Alpaca) and has only a few lace rows.  You will learn how to start a tri-angular shawl, the basic lace stitches and how to read a chart.

January 21st and 24th       The simplest mitts you’ll ever knit (for the new knitter; no previous knowledge needed)

This is one of my own patterns.  I use it often to teach the basics and in no time you will be wearing your own hand-made fingerless mitts.  You will learn:  how to cast-on, knit stitch, purl stitch and bind off.

January 28th and 31st       C-OWL (for the intermediate to advanced knitter)

This is one of my own patterns (originally created to go with my owl sweater). 
You will learn the Brioche Stitch.  Yes, brioche is not just something to eat, but also a stitch you can use to make this yummy cowl.  I will teach you the provisional cast on, the brioche stitch in two colors or alternatively in one color and you will learn a special Kitchener stitch used to join a ribbed edge.


SOCK Class ( for the intermediate knitter)

I decided to make this sock class a little more interesting for those who have knitted traditional sock patterns already, but want to try something new, but also for those who have never knitted socks, but always wanted to try.
This is a two-at-a-time sock knitting class using the magic loop or alternatively two circular needles (my preferred method).
For the heel we will be using the FLK heel instructions.
This class will be every third Saturday afternoon for a total of three Saturdays.
January 17th   2pm -4pm:  Judy’s magic loop cast on and toe-increases                           
February 7th   2pm -4pm : FLK Heel
February 28th 2pm-4pm:   stretchy bind off

The class fee is $120 for all three sessions.