Monday, March 30, 2015

Classes this May at The Knitting Garage

Class Schedule
at The Knitting Garage
May 2015

I have come up with a few fun projects for both the beginner knitter and for those who want to do something a little more advanced .

Individual Projects:
These classes are held twice: First on Wednesday morning 11am to 1pm and then on the following Saturday from 10am to 12noon (dates are indicated).  The cost of $40 per class includes the pattern and any additional help 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.

May 6th and 9th                  Lavalette (for the Beginner Lace Knitter)
You will learn the provisional cast on; understand the construction of a tri-angular shawl and learn the difference between k2tog and ssk. 
This shawl is knitted in Fingering weight yarn on US#7 needles.

May 13th and 16th              Learn to knit Easy Folded Poncho or Simple Fingerless Mitts(for the    new knitter; no previous knowledge needed)

You will learn how to cast on, the knit stitch and the purl stitch and how to seam.
The choice is yours which project you want to start with.  The mitts are small and simple to make; the poncho will take you considerably longer.
For the Mitts you will need heavy worsted yarn and US# 7 needles.
For the Poncho you will need DK weight yarn and US# 6 needles (we have a beautiful store sample of this pattern).

May 20th and 23rd             Kitty  (PART 1)(for the Beginner Knitter)
     You will learn a simple raglan construction.  This cardigan is knitted top down.
     This is a cute and popular pattern.  We have a store sample of this cardigan in pink.
     You will need Fingering weight yarn and US#5 needles.

May 27th and 30th              Kitty (Part 2)(For the Beginner Knitter)
You will learn how to work the Lace section on this girl’s cardigan.
You do not need to take both classes for “Kitty”, but you will get a 20% discount if you do.

  As always do check out Julie’s classes at The Knitting Garage, too.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spreading joy (week 58)


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


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)


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:
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.

New Tab on The Knitting Garage blog

By the way, did you notice the new tab on The Knitting Garage blog "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 :) :

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 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:

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...