Vintage Knitting Needles and Antique Bottles

Vintage Knitting Needles and Antique Bottles

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What am I working on these days?

My second Puerperineum Cardigan
Hello!! I have been here the whole time, just remiss about getting posts written. I miss you and hope all is well with you and your knitting projects.

Today is a patch/replacement for Wednesday WIPs. I missed posting a Wednesday WIP because I was relaxing on Veteran's Day and never got any good photos due to the overcast conditions. I have been making some baby items for a friend at work and this is my second Puerperineum Cardigan. While I knit, I watched a few new podcasts I want to share with you. You know I am a die hard fan of The Fat Squirrel Speaks and The Fiberista Files, also my friend's The Knitting Dish, but I found three new ones that you should check out.

Susan B. Andersen's 1-2-3 Chickdee Shawl
Susan B. Andersen
You may Susan from her many varied pattern designs, kid's toys, hats, and shawl! Plus, she is the queen of the" full hand-knitted socks drawer" photo meme some have posted. Her latest episode tells of her finished Antrorse Sweater and a new shawl pattern release. I have already down loaded the  1-2-3- Chickadee Shawl and now need to stash dive and dig out my Knitting Pipeline Chickadee skeins (from two years ago) for this shawl. It looks like easy, relaxing knitting and the shape is versatile.  I love Susan's easy style of delivery and her voice, her pattern tips, and yarn sourcing help are very interesting.  I also love hearing about her connections to other knitters, designers, and retreats. There are quite a few episodes, if you are into binge watching. As I am. LOL

Such a striking and beautiful "maker"
Tiny Paper Foxes
This is a brand new podcast and I only happened to find it because I had been watching Susan on YouTube and it was near the top of their knitting podcast list. The episodes are long, but oh so interesting.(Plus, for me, long episodes help me to just keep knitting). Jennie, the host, has a style and presence that I enjoy, she has a gorgeous cat co-host, and she is enamored of Madelinetosh. Watching her queue of FOs and WIPs has me craving those MadTosh colors now. I also enjoy hearing of her desire to create a handmade wardrobe. She is knitting sweaters and shawls, and making skirts to create an outfit. That has inspired me to search for some patterns and join her in the "Handmade" endeavor. The other great thing about this podcast is her husband is a professional photographer and he does  brief segments describing ways to improve the quality of your WIP and FO pictures.

Nicole of Hue_Loco podcast
Nicole is an adorable bundle of energy with cool YouTube "How to" Videos on dyeing yarn and other helpful, crafty skills. She has great color sense, knits with high quality yarns and has a number of designs I have queued for future knitting. She lives in Colorado and actually grew up with and knows the host of the Homespun House podcast. She only has a few episodes, but I love what I have seen so far. Note, she has a pattern and video tutorial on making a project bag. And she shows how to do dyeing in your home. I forward to more from this inspiring knitter!

Leave a comment with the name of the podcasts you want to recommend! Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tools and Techniques: Pompoms!

Hello knitters! I am not on hiatus but rather, back to work, and anyone who teaches knows that September and October are the "heavy lifting" months. We have returned to the school routine,  I have a number of new personalities in my room. I have been working on getting to know them, their skills and their needs, and in that time, building trust. As special educators, we are ever on the look out for ways to build in data collection, and I am lucky to be a recipient of a new online tool to use as a curriculum. It gives us a uniform plan to follow and use to create IEP goals, and use for assessment and program development. This tool has been an additional sharp learning curve, and I am still fumbling, but pushing on.

Gramma's Hug by Carolyn Macpherson
I have been knitting, but I am working on a few projects that don't reward me with blissful moments as often as I would like. I have been ripping back, fixing errors, and making slow progress, but I can share that info on WIP Wednesday....
So, back in the summer, if you were reading along with my journey, I decided that with a stash the size that I have, more yarn purchases could not always be rationalized. (Note that I built in some wiggle room for myself in that statement). I have been on the look-out for tools and techniques, and have really enjoyed a shift of focus for blogpost inspirations! This week I want to share with you a technique and a tool.

Image imported from and credit given to

Do you love pompoms? They are great to add to hats, and make for fun toys or decorations. Often, when at knitting retreats, I have seen trees and shrubs adorned with garlands of pompoms. I think making pompoms would be a fun rainy day activity to do with kids or knitting friends.
These little devices are not expensive, and are worth checking out the next time you visit your LYS. Pompoms can be made in alternative ways, with items found at home, but these tools were fun to experiment with and I don't regret my small investment. They are tools I know I will use in the future.

Clover Pom-Pom Maker, image imported from and credited to
The Clover Pom-Pom Maker can be found in most big box craft stores and small local yarn shops. This item is linked to WEBs, where you can order a small or large size tool (it includes two large or two small devices) for $7.00 and $8.00 respectively. I enjoyed using this tool because of the ease in winding the yarn and the cutting of the pompom. Here is a five minute video that shows you the basics.

Lion Brand PomPom Maker, image imported from and credited to
The other PomPom maker I bought was this one by Lion Brand, it is a tool that comes in three sizes. It's a little more challenging to use, but the smallest size rings makes a tiny pompom. This device can also be purchased in most craft stores and LYSs.

If you go to YouTube or Google and type in "Making pompoms", you will find many tutorials and crafty inspirations for using pompoms. Pinterest is another good spot to go and browse for ideas.

I hope this post adds a bit to your day, good luck, and happy knitting!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Making Monday, Diane Ivey and Lady Dye Yarns

Lady Dye Yarns
I had the pleasure of listening to Diane Ivey speak of her journey into becoming and indie dyer at the Common Cod Fiber Guild a few weeks ago. Lady Dye Yarns is a locally produced, skein by skein operation, Diane's color inspiration is based in the graphic tagging, street art and graffiti found in the local environs. Her growth has been on a trajectory over the past few years, the rockets are ready to blast her into the next orbit. She is doing and IdieGoGo fund raiser if you would like to contribute to her goal of raising enough funds to lease space and hire a business manager. I just checked the web page and today is the final day to contribute, anything you donate will stay with Diane as she raises funds for the next step in her business. You know I push for knitters to support local artisans and this is a perfect time to donate, show you care!

Yes, the yellow is that hue!!!!
Yarn for sale at Guild night, an array of colors.
Worsted weight.

Stunning color combinations!
Happy brights to warm you in the cold winter weather!
Image imported from Melanie Berg's Drachenfels pattern page.
Pattern: Drachenfels by Melanie Berg
Yarn: Lady Dye Yarns Fingering Weight in on size 6 needles

This is the current version, love the tones of green.

This is the first attempt, the colors are gorgeous but the wedge proportions are off. 
I have liked this shawl since it was featured on the Top Twenty Patterns last fall. I added it to my Favorites and then Queued it when I saw that Heather of Highland Handmades was doing a KAL (Knit A-Long) in her Ravelry forum group. I like the way the pattern blends colors to create another hue, and I think the multi colored skein from Lady Dye will be the exciting pop of color.
I must say, the garter stitch is fun, but the pattern needs a bit of attention paid as you knit the sections. I started once and redid it with new colors when I realized I had not followed the directions. Here are the two images, the blue is the attempt with bad reading of pattern steps.

What are you working on now? Share in the comments!

Friday, September 25, 2015

FO Friday Larissa Brown and Ultra-Eyelet Shawl

My daughter went to Europe and look what she brought back!
Earlier this summer, my youngest went on a group tour of Italy, France, and Spain. She travelled with friends from high school and saw the sights, ate the food, and sipped the wine. While in Rome, she visited a yarn shop and bought me this yarn. I love the shades of blue and it ties into the color of a leather bag she bought for me.

I love this cross body bag, the color is so beautiful!
As I pondered what to make with it, I reflected on her frequent comments while abroad and then back home. "They really don't like Americans there".... "I finally started saying I was from Canada"..... how funny is that?? Helen arrived back in Boston just after the Fourth of July. She admitted that missing the Fourth while in Europe made her homesick. My girl who isn't particularly patriotic inspired my Ultra Eyelet. Using some leftover Classic Elite Ultra Pima and the yarn from Rome, I cast on. It was an easy knit, one that did not take too much concentration.

A WIP photo of my Ultra-Eyelet

Pattern: Ultra-Eyelet by Larissa Brown, a "pay for" pattern.
Yarn: Classic Elite Ultra Pima, Calipso, Miss Tricot Filati on size 6 needles
This was an intuitive knit, the stitch patterns were easy to follow and it was carefree knitting. The progress went fairly quickly, and I enjoyed knitting with cotton during the heat of the summer days. I did block it aggressively and the dimensions are 38"x40". The pattern is designed for fingering weight yarn, imagine a Magic Cake paired with a solid color? It would be a great stash buster project.

Larissa Brown, Ultra-Eyelet
There is a story behind this pattern Ultra-Eyelet, do you care to hear of it? The pattern was in the Ravelry Top Twenty, and the shape of the design appealed to me, you know I am a sucker for shawl patterns. During July, the pattern design proceeds were donated to a fund raising event for an adoption of a child by her sister. That detail had me hitting the "Purchase Pattern" button in a wink.

The designer, Larissa Brown, is also an author. She has written books on knitting, including My Grandmother's Knitting and Knit Along- Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together.  She also written has two fiction books, A Beautiful Wreck and Tress. I ordered the two knitting books and plan to get the novels at my library. As I perused her pattern page, I fell for these two hat patterns, do you love the look of them and the loose fit too?

Beverley's Hat
I have so many FOs to put up on a Friday but alas, I am in Boston and my knits are in Maine.... perhaps I can feature them next week? Sending you warm wishes in this new season of fall! Happy knitting!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A moving pattern description and a tribute to a loved one

Gramma's Hug by Carolyn Macpherson, image imported from Ravelry.
I try to make a habit of reading the Top Twenty Patterns on Ravelry, sometimes I score a short term offer of a free patten, Other times, I discover something that will become a trend, and most of the time, I like to see what favorite designers are up to.

Today, I found this shawl,  Gramma's Hug and the description of the design inspiration is one you just must read. It inspired me and lifted me up. I plan to cast one on and give it to my mum. She moved to a Memory Care Assisted living a week ago and she is having a hard time adjusting. It breaks my heart to see her insisting she needs to come home and raise her family.... I think this pattern will give me a place to pray for her as I knit and hope that she comes to accept the new place to live.

Do you have a prayer shawl or pattern you knit on when you feel adrift, sad or helpless? Please share in the comments.