Vintage Knitting Needles and Antique Bottles

Vintage Knitting Needles and Antique Bottles

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SPA, Fiber Camp and so many FOs and WIPs

Knitting at Fiber Camp fashion show
Two Magic Cakes and the start of my Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl
Start of Making Magic Cake class
I apologize for leaving the blog for such a long time, I won't share the boring details as to the whys and the whats that have kept me away. Instead, let me tempt you with these photos.

The Common Cod Fiber Guild of Boston sponsored an annual event this weekend. We were an enthusiastic group of fiber lovers gathering for classes, community and creation. Book mark the second weekend in March 2016 and plan to join us. It is an inexpensive weekend ticket that gives you access to our informal classes, camaraderie and fun!

Topography Kerchief in progress
Variegated sock yarn and a solid orange sock yarn
This shawl is one I wore this weekend at Fiber Camp.
Pattern: Topography Kerchief by Melissa Stadja
Yarn: Lana Grossa Fantasy, Lion Brand Sock Yarn on size 5 needles.
The concept of the pattern is to choose a yarn with a few long repeats of color; you choose which hue you will highlight and then knit garter bumps into the field of stockinette. My choice of yarn and needles deviates from the suggestions of the designer but I love how it turned out. I plan to make another using yarn bought at SPA and Fiber Camp markets.

Brickless, this is the shawl I wore in the fashion show.

Pattern: Brickless by Martina Behm
Yarn: Interlacements Toasty Toes in the Turkish Carpet colorway on size 6 needles.
I made this after my retreat to Virginia Beach. The yarn was from a lovely shop called Knit Wit Yarn Shop in Virginia Beach. The pattern was one that many attending Rhinebeck in 2013 wore. It is an easy pattern and such fun to work on in the variegated yarn I chose. Thank you for the Fiber Camp compliments on this project.

I will give you more of the story, but what I'd like to share is my gratitude for those that I met and spoke with, for the students that attended my first Fiber Camp teaching experience and for those who visited the Knitting In Beantown project bag table. Your purchases and compliments lifted me up and have inspired me to get back to my fabrics and zippers and Singer Sewing machine! Thank you!

I promise to be back again this week, with more on my Fiber Camp and SPA weekends, and details on purchases and pattern inspirations.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Making Monday

It is a holiday here, Martin Luther King Day to be exact. I am aboard the Downeaster, heading back to Boston after a long weekend spent with my family. I do so love riding the train, that plaintive whistle the roll and jostle of the train as we speed along through snowy woods, the fact that I am sitting here with no distractions and I can get some work done... all good.

Making Monday was a meme that I used to follow and participate in a while back. I am not sure if it still active, but I am going to share with you that things that are going on in my Making World.

I am torn as I pack, not so much by which outfits and shoes to bring, but more so which projects and needles and extra yarn and such. Are you like this? When I packed last Friday morning I had stuffed so many ambitions to complete, projects that is. I left most of those bags at my mum and dad's and hope to be getting more WIPs and UFOs done in Boston as they (the project bags) wait for me to return. I have decided that rather than schlep multiple projects back and forth, I am going to leave the more motivating ones in Maine, that way I can focus on getting other things at the home base finished up and then enjoy the more fun projects on the weekends. Oh the crazy thoughts that filter through my knitter's mind. Hmmmm, are we all wired in this way? Please tell me I am not alone!

Currently I am working on my Thorn which needs to be finished by the time we have Fiber Camp in March. I was stuck with the wrong number of stitches and a dangling lifeline that had missed numerous stitches, I couldn't just rip back, I had to delicately tink back. Imagine my happiness when I puled it out and discovered that I was at the lifeline row. I had only to orient the stitches as I counted them and begin again. I have only one more section of the flaring rib design before I can pick up the babillion border stitches. Once that is achieved, it is just knityknitknit until is is time to cast off. AKA mindless knitting. That is good for when I sit and watch a movie or Downton with my parents and I can pay more attention to the TV than my needles.

Thorn, photo by Jared Flood
Alas, no photo, the project is in Maine and I took no photos. Next week.
Pattern: Thorn by Bristol Ivy
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft in the Almanac colorway on size 4 needles

Bristol Ivy at Fiber Camp 2014
I cast this on last year after meeting Bristol Ivy at Fiber Camp. She was wearing this shawl, and so many of us in the Guild swooned over it and decided to do a KAL. We have been advancing the finish date, but we have all agreed to try and have them done for the Friday night Common Cod "Share". The patternis interesting in the mathematical way the columns spread wider and wider. I must share that I used lifelines between each section and it saved me. (Before figuring that out I ripped back and started again at least four or five times). I have to tell you too, that this fiber is the one recommended in the pattern and it has such an interesting construction. It is a bit sticky and i think that will make wearing the asymmetrical shawl easier, though a shawl pin will come in handy too.

Another item I have committed to making is the Purl Bee Sideways Garter Vest. Have you seen this free pattern? It looks so rich and you know that garter stitch is captivating for me right? I test knit a swatch using some of the Romney Ridge Farm  Downeast yarn. Here is my swatch. I used size 8 needles and got 19 stitches over four inches. I still need to do the math to calculate how much yarn you will need to order, but the KAL is up. Check this link if you are interested in joining. There will be prizes!! We have not yet decided on an end date, we may give it 6-8 weeks for those of you that want to join us! It looks like it will be so cozy and classic looking.
Swatch for Sideways Garter Vest

Topography Kerchief
Pattern: Topography Kerchief by Melissa Stadja
Yarn: Lana Grossa Fantasy in colorway 4770 and Lion Brand Sock-Ease in Circus Peanut colorway on size 5 needles.
I found this KAL on my Instagram feed. I am not saying my yarn is the best match for this knitting concept, but I do love the colors. I have added the orange in to extend the size to make it larger than a kerchief, so I am not following the pattern directions precisely. I still love how it looks.

Here you can see the edge I will seam later, I knit the garter section flat.
I changed the moss stitch a bit.
Stella's Hat
Pattern: Stella's Hat by Melissa LaBarre
Yarn: Valley Yarns Amerst in the soft brown colorway on size 8 needles.
I do love this hat. I have made two and both were hijacked by admirers. It is easy enough to make and pretty quick, aran weight yarn on size 8 needles? Speedy. It had become my train knitting. There is an easy rhythm to making it. Sleepy easy.

I still have an hour to knit, imagine how much more there will be to show you once i get home.
Tell me, what you are fascinated to knit these wintery days?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Good Morning Thursday!

Images from my photo files
Hello friends, it is 5 am and I am wide awake and wondering at the multitude of projects I wish to put my hands to, but alas, work comes first and none of these projects will accept a few rows of knitting without sucking me into that time warp that causes me to be late. I sit here at my table, a bowl of steaming homemade oatmeal, a mug of coffee and music playing, and I marvel at the creative energy pipeline that flows steadily through my thought process. I have been using my Ravelry tools a bit differently. I now have a number of projects queued that I am eager to cast on, but I have made an agreement with my self to finish some of the WIPs I have in a pile of project bags.
Pile 'o projects

Sometimes the stalling point for those WIPs is simply locating another skein of the yarn and making it into a cake. A few projects are set aside because I made an error somewhere and tinking must happen before any progress can get underway. Yes, Thorn, I am talking about you! I have more done than this image shows but I want to finish it in time for Fiber Camp.... ruh-roh, another thing that is keeping me up and awake in the anticipation of fun.... (more in a blog post this week).

Are you at all like me? Are you weak in the face of a new pattern, idea or yarn? Are you prone to trolling the project pages and wishing you knit faster or had the sublime lot in life to be self-sufficient to the point where earnings were not a cause for concern? "All in good time", I hear my mum's voice chime in, "all in good time". "Don't wish your life away". 
My work desk, on a "neat" day.
Let me tell you what happens. I see a pattern, I look at the recommended yarns, I see if my stash holds anything comparable..... and I hit "Queue".  Here a few things that I am so anxious to cast on.....and some may require a visit to Knit Wit (hands rubbing together as I sport a maniacal smirk)!!

Frost Farm Mitts by Talitha Kuomi
Newsworthy Fingerless Mitts by Fiona Oliver
Emergency Hat by Frankie Brown
Bray Hat by Jared Flood
Mind you the images above are in addition to the KAL knitting I have going. Cray cray.....

Link to East Coast Knitters KAL
There are a few KALs that I am playing along with. One is Love Your Library, where you knit from the books or patterns already in your library. Even better is when you can find the yarn in stash, right? I promise to post the book and project  I will be using first on the Love Your Library KAL thread in the East Coast Knitters forum, I just need to stop all the knitting to do so!

Another KAL is one I discovered on Instagram; Topography Kerchief is the pattern and I have one underway, about 10 inches done so far. The concept is to select a yarn which has three colors, one of which has a twelve inch or so length of color. The pattern page has more details if you want to play.

The third KAL is one I need to start a thread for on the Romney Ridge Farm forum page. We are all going to make this.....

Sideways Garter Vest by Purl Soho
So you may be asking, if you are still with me here, is why all the blasted KALs Erin? Well, KALs or Knit Alongs are fun for the community spirit of encouragement and praise, the access to helpers when you get stuck and .... prizes. We always have prizes at the East Coast Knitters KALs, projects bags, stitch markers, patterns. Why not knit along on a pattern with others? It is fun, trust me!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

#TopographyKerchiefKAL on Instagram

Topography, by Melissa Stadja
Are you an Instagramer? I get into so much trouble because of Instagram! I scroll through the photos and always find inspiration and enabling galore.  I follow a lot of knitters, designers and yarn sources and two days ago I spotted a KAL invitation. (Do I really think I can pull of another KAL?????) The Instagram Topography Kerchief KAL is hosted by #HeyLadyHey and runs from January 16-February 20, 2015. It involves using this pattern and fingering or DK weight yarn. Hashtag your project with #TopographyKAL and show your progress on Instagram! When you have completed your project, change the tag to #TopographyKALFin. The idea is to choose a yarn that has medium to long runs of color and you decide on the dominant color to highlight. The shawl is a basic shape and easy to knit, addictive actually. I cast on Sunday night and have not had much knitting time but I have about 6" done so far. I am not sure if my initial yarn fits the design concept as well as another, but I was thinking to test knit it and do a second one using some Schaeffer Yarn a friend had de-stashed.

Republic of Wool Image imported from Etsy
Yarn Ink Studio, image imported from Etsy
My first Topography attempt, using Fantasy/Lana Grossa sock yarn
Pattern: Topography Kerchief, designed by Melissa Stadja
Yarn: Fantasy, Lana Grossa on size 5 needles. (Another de-stash from Becky).
The pattern asks for you to select a needle size larger than called for to create an open, lacy effect. Melissa has a YouTube video showing her design idea, and she suggests a number of yarns that will showcase the concept. One is Republic of Wool, another is Yarn Ink Studio.  She suggests opening up the skein to see if there are 3-5 sections of different colors, one should have a 12" repeat. I know I have a number of single skeins of sock or fingering weight in stash and they often languish, waiting to turn into something special. Does this happen to you? You might want to stash dive and see what you can cast on when you join this KAL. You know you want to, right?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Nymphalidea and Frosted Hat for WIP Wednesday

It is Work in Progress Wednesday and I am working yet again on my Nymphalidea. It has ben languishing; there was a mistake to tink back to and this pattern takes a tad more concentration. It is not hard at all, but I can get myself all messed up if I am not attentive to what I am doing. The color of the yarn is so inspiring and I have a few tops it will go well with so I am setting a goal to get this done. Not to mention it but one of over a dozen projects that are awaiting some attention and love. How is it my average of WIPs always hovers around 12??????

Pattern: Nymphalidea by Melissa Vermeer. Free pattern, Knitty Fall 2013
Yarn: Madelinetosh Sock in the Bearded Iris colorway and Louet Gems Fingering Weight in Navy on size 4 needles.

The directions for this shawl are easy to follow and the skill set requires you to knit, purl, K2tog, yarn over. I do like working on this, but I guess it becomes stale when a new item flashes its way onto the needles. I am more than half way finished, so I pledge to work on it for the next week. Maybe I can cast off even sooner than that?!

Pattern: Frosted Hat by Amanda Lilley
Yarn: Cascade 128 Tweed on size 5 needles.
I am on a hat kick! I forget how quick they are and how well they assist in the stash busting! This will be my third hat in a week if I am able to finish it by Sunday. It seems to be working up quickly, So that shouldn't be a problem. I am coming down from the exhilarating 12 days of Christmas break where I had no real demands on my time and I could knit to my heart's content. Now that I am back to work at the high school, knitting is my sanity saver!
This pattern calls for a size 5 needle and the stitches are so beautiful and plump. The ball band recommends using needles 10-10.5. I do love how the tighter gauge really makes the yarn sing. I am trekking away on the 6 inches of ribbing and then free sailing should happen once I get to the stockinette.  The second color will probably be an off white/natural, but if I find something more splashy in stash, I may go with a bright contrasting hue. I am not a colorwork girl, but I am hoping this toe dip into that pool will encourage me to try something a little more challenging in the next set of projects.

<Photo to be added>
What is on your needles this Wednesday? Have you set any finishing goals for the week? Oh, perhaps you are not the obsessed knitter. Lucky you!