Friday, February 27, 2015

We're Off!

If you are reading this we're off to Indianapolis for our annual knitting getaway.  Oh what fun, but hopefully not in a one horse open sleigh.  In a nice SUV.  We're off to three or four yarn shops today and at least three tomorrow.

I've got the goodie bags already to go.

Finally narrowed down my knitting to take along.

So for now, I leave you with some pictures of just random stuff that I have collected for blog times like these.  All are knitted related.  Blog at you at the end of the weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Knitting for a Three Hour Tour

Why is it that the day before we are ready to take off on our annual knitting trip that the skies seem to think they can open up and dump this white crap on us again?  Why does it have to look like we might have weather when we are supposed to come back?  Can we just get a break?  Ok, well last year it was warmer, and we were walking around in sweatshirts this time of the year, but other years we've had the same thing.  It makes it hard for me to figure out what to take to wear.

Or what knitting to take.  After all, we'll be gone for 2 1/2 days.  And I never have been a light packer.

This afternoon I sat down to figure out what I should take with me and they are slowly making their way into my small knitting bag.  

 Those pesky mittens.  Nope, I did not get them finished so they are going with.  Wouldn't it be lovely if I came home with them on my hands?

The watermelon socks.  Wouldn't it be lovely if I had a whole pair at the end of the weekend?

The belt to my Kodiak sweater.  Wouldn't it be nice if the Chiagoo needles this is on are back with the set by the end of the weekend?

The jury is still out on these two.  On the left is a lap blanket for the Hospice Home, on the right is the Kimono Shawl which requires following a pattern.  I'm not sure if I am up to that one this weekend.
I'll see how much room is left in my bag, when I get my other projects in it. (or if I get one of the others off of the needles before tomorrow.)

 Not making the cut, is Gnarled Oak Cardigan.  It is pretty boring knitting right now, and it is staying home.

I think I've got enough to get me through, I'm off to pack my clothes, that should be a bit easier than the knitting was, one would think.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It's All About The Plan - Shopping

It's another 3 hour tour.  Well, okay, it's three days.  This coming weekend, it is our annual knitting trip.  This year we are going over to Zionsville/Indianapolis. When we first decided on the location, we figured it would be another nice little jaunt, until we found out that it is the start of Roving Indiana, a yarn crawl!

I'm so excited!  I started my plan of attic.  First of all, I took the list of shops we are going to and pulled up their websites.  I like to prepare ahead of time, see what yarns they may carry that I might be interested in.  Of course, there will always be surprises, but when faced a multitude of new yarns, I want to be smart about what I am buying.

Next, I started making a list of knits that I want to knit but do not have think I have anything for.  I am in Spring mode and am hoping that the shops over there may have something to get me started.

On my list:
 Symmetry in Motion.  I love the color way that the Ravelry page shows this in.
Hey Girl - I can see this in a peach or a coral yarn
Vonica  - Something neutral maybe
Uma -- The Elbow Sleeve version

And yes, I'm have a bit of Chic Knits fan girl moment.  I really Bonne Marie's sweater patterns, they fit me well and she gets the whole shaping thing.  Well, and I do like the almost no sewing together.

Now, I am off to see what knitting needs to make the trip!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Parting Ways

Very early this morning when I woke up, I decided to have a go at getting this little knit ready for our annual knitting trip.  This is was going to be Feather Weight from CustomFit.  I was even doing it in pieces just to try the whole sewing up thing .

 What I like about CustomFit, is even though Amy is a sewing up kind of designer, she also gives you instructions to do the whole thing as seamlessly as possible.  It requires a bit of calculating and thinking instead of just blindly knitting, but hey, I am up to that.

I decided to rip mine out and it do it seamlessly, I guess this wasn't the sweater to be sewing up anyway.  And I wasn't super crazy about knitting it on my Addi-Cliks.  I am kind of sold on my Chiagoo Red Lace Interchangeables.  Unfortunately, the size 4s are in the Gnarled Oak, so I decided to go up a size to a five.  I figured I can always use a bit of extra room and for me going up to a five generally doesn't make too much a larger stitch in gauge.

The measurements when done at the hip was giving me about five inches less than what I really was going to need.  The sleeve measurements that I blogged about yesterday were fine, but the front was still going to hang open way too much for this body!  Way too much.

Okay, so no problem, I'll just revert back to the original pattern in the book (Hannah does it from the top down) and I can just do a larger size and handle the sleeves a different way.  (I've totally done that before).

But, here is a potential problem.

You can see what is happening in these pictures. Is this just from shlepping it around with me?  Or maybe from ripping it out so much?

After investigating, I just think this is not the pattern for this yarn.  I do not want to spend time knitting something that cannot be worn or that I am unhappy with.  I am off to see if I can find an alternative for it.  Maybe I nice shawl.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Could I Have Some Spring Please?

I'm fed up with this weather and my knitting.

I want Spring, sunny skies, warmer weather, sandals, cute Spring bags and spring colors in my clothes and knits.  I'm tired of wearing turtlenecks, coats, boots, warming the car, snow and the threat of snow.  I want to sit outside on my porch at night with my knitting watching the world go by drinking a nice glass of wine or a cuppa.

In between all the places I have to be this weekend,  I've started a bit of planning for Spring.  This morning's AM Style on QVC perked me up a bit and made a dent in my start of Spring wardrobe.

Then came the knitting.  I have been telling myself, finish one more of your Winter sweaters, then you can start Spring.  Frankly, that has not really been very motivating.  Why knit on something you don't want to be knitting on!  Commence the what I will call Early Spring knitting plans.  You know those knits that you want to wear at the end of March and all of April before the wearing of tanks and sandals really sets in.

I've narrowed it down to three to start with.   The first is Alana Dakos' Gnarled Yoke.  The yarn is from Chris at Briar Rose Fibers.  I've blogged the yarn before.  I can see this one over a black shirt like the one the model is wearing or even a yellow or white tank.  I've spent a bit of time trying to decide what this yarn wanted to be and I think with the help of a couple of friends we have hit on the right sweater.

My second sweater is Featherweight.  I've had the MadTosh yarn for at least a year and the book for probably as long.

I knew from reading up on the pattern on Ravelry that I was going to have to make some adjustments to the pattern.  What I was reading was that the sleeves were a tight fit and I knew just from the photo that I was going to have to lengthen it a bit AND close that front up.  I do not need/like my sweaters to be that open.  But, as luck would have it,  while I was deciding whether I wanted to make that many adjustments on my own, Amy Herzog in collaboration with Hannah Fettig brought it to Custom  Fit.

I hopped on that one, because I already am a customer of Knit to Fit and knew that this was going to be the answer to my problems with the pattern.  I put in my gauge swatch measurements and sure enough Custom  Fit spit out a pattern that I can live with.

The final sweater for my Early Spring list is Maderia.  I started this one last year much too late in the season for Summer wearing.  It is being reprised for Early Spring as it looks really cute over a long sleeve t-shirt.

So now I have three early Spring sweaters that I am off to knit on.  Even if the weather isn't very Spring like, it is never to soon to start knitting for Spring!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Finally Finished Friday

Happy Friday! Getting this cowl finished just in time for our next wave of snow and cold temps.  I've been working on Kinetic for awhile now.  It is my yarn shop knitting project which only comes out at the shop.

The yarn is Liberty Wool in the Sonic Lavendar color way.  Originally, it was slated as the Elizabeth Sweater, but there was just a bit too much color for me a sweater.  I sold off a couple of balls.  I decided the leftovers would be perfect with my black pea coat.

I've got enough to knit the mitered mittens pattern from Classic Elite.  I'd really like to have them ready to go for our next weekend trip to Indy for our yearly knitting get away.

Plus it would free up some room in my knitting bag for other projects to take for knitting on our trip!  More to follow this weekend on the upcoming trip.  Stay warm while you wait.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Knitting Wardrobe For Camp

It would be obvious by the last couple of blogs, that I am super stoked about knitting camp.  With the official letter of acceptance, the whole what shall I take for Show and Tell becomes something that I am thinking of/planning from the moment I know I am going.  Sure, I've had a whole year to be knitting on something really super fantastic, but this year, it's really hard.  I've tossed around a couple of ideas, but if I don't start putting them into fruition, I am going to have bupkis to show.

Last year, I had my super shawl from my favorite spinner's yarn and I was so excited to have it.  It still is one of my fave knits.

Why do we/I worry about what show and tell I have?  Because this is like a big freakin deal.  These are my knitting friends from around the U.S. /knitting family and hey, you want to look good and frankly, I like the ooo ahhh factor, who doesn't?  Let's be honest, don't you all secretly want your knitting peers to acknowledge what you have done?  When that doesn't happen, I want to say, ahem, do you notice that I am wearing something that I created?

If you could see the list of attendees that are going to our camp, you would see why so much time goes into the planning of a knitting wardrobe for camp. To me, these are some super cool people, and I have seen just how super cool their stuff/designs are, so you would understand why I want to dress to impress.

Check out these websites from some of the many  fellow knit campers:

The Rainey Sisters

Knit Addict

Feral Knitter



Lost City Knits


Amy Detjen

Our hosts for the weekend - Schoolhouse Press

This is just a smattering of the talent that will be there this year!  I'm sorry though  two of my faves won't be there.  Two nicer and more generous women you will ever meet, Cheryl and Chris.  Both have amazing yarns and patterns, I love knitting on their yarns.

Cheryl Oberle

Briar Rose Fibers

Ok, I'm done blogging about Knit Camp, for now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday Website

I'm still on a high on getting into knit camp. Today's website is an article from Twist Collective that Franklin wrote sometime back about Elizabeth Zimmerman, who was my knitting pal many years ago (via her PBS series).

EZ Article

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

We're In!

Friend Linda and I got our email today telling us we got into Meg Swansen's Knit Camp.  Camp is no sure thing.  There are wait lists and a couple of the regulars are on the wait list.  Squeals could be heard when I got the email and then I called Linda to give her the good news.

We are so freaking happy, July in Wisconsin is one of the highlights of our year.  Let the knitting begin!

Can hardly wait!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sometimes You Knit, Sometimes You Rip

Tonight, it would seem was a ripping night.  Three projects all had to be ripped out or ripped back.

First up was the Kimono Shawl.  Last night, while pushing things around in my knitting bag, I somehow managed to pull out the last 19 stitches.  It was a pretty easy fix, but really drove home at least to me, why I like putting my projects in separate project bags for each project.  (That and I like bags)

Second up was a little sweater for either Mona Lisa or Bella.  They are both in the same size despite being a year apart.  I started the Kiddy Vertebrae last Fall in size 4 figuring one of them could wear it.  
I, also thought I'd have it done before Christmas, and would give it to one of them then.  Not!  So, I ripped it off the needles and figured I re-cast on in a size 5.  Problem 1, I won't have enough yarn as it was a kit and by switching it to the Vertebrae instead of the pattern in the kit, there was not going to be enough yarn. I am hoping there is another kit at the shop that I can buy, and then I'll be home free.  Just in case, I am not going to knit much further on it until I can confirm that.

The last rip out tonight really had me bummed.  324 stitches on a provisional cast on.  Late last night, I did a quick measure on what I had knit so far.  3 stitches to the inch without blocking.  Now, before you ask, yes, I did a gauge swatch some time back AND blocked it.  And I was good to go then.  I thought it was quite odd that I was going up a needle size or two (this never happens to me), but thank goodness, I did a measure last night, before I get too far along on this project.

I know what blocking a 324 stitch project and I do not want this one to be an epic fail.  I wasn't real happy that I was going to have to cast on again, but sometimes that is just what you have to do.
Now, my norm would be just to rip it back to the end as quickly as I can so I can re-cast on.  I think the first cast on was done in 100 stitch increments, so it took me a couple of sittings to work up to it.
But, this time, I took it slow and was so happy with what I saw when I looked down.

The cast on stitches were sitting there so nice and pretty, just waiting for me to stick my size 8 needle through them.  I only had one that I had to re-pick up.   Talk about excited!

Alls well and I am ready to knit a bit tonight finally.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stash Enhancement Saturday

I dodged the bullet a couple of weeks ago when the Knit 4 Together was taking orders for Cherry Tree Hill Broadband yarn.  How did that happen?  Well, I bought some a year ago March when we were on the Yarn Crawl for the Knitting Pipeline Retreat.  The shawl I started is still in progress.

Then, I got a wild hair and bought another skein from the same shop a couple of months ago.  They had a couple of different shawls out of it hanging that just spoke to me.  I could see this over a couple of turtle necks that I currently wear.

And then yesterday, all the orders came in at Knit 4 and the shop had extras.  Dang it.  I gotta stop sitting next to Becky.  She gets me into trouble every time.  Not only did I buy one of the same color way, but she had me talked into buying a second so I can make a larger shawl.

I have no will power.    So what.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day

So, I get an email saying I have an order.  Then, I get a package in the mail.  I don't have a clue why.

Jeanette and I have conversed on Ravelry about some yarn she is going to bring to the Knitting Pipeline Retreat, but I cannot figure out what I am getting in the mail.  I open the package.  I still do not have a clue.

So, I open the card.  All becomes clear.  I forgot that I had ordered the Valentine color way.  I got more than just the sock yarn.  I promptly tossed the Lindor white chocolate in my mouth and chomped down.    I'm saving the sucker and the conversational hearts for later.  The pen that came in the bag is going in my knitting bag for when I need to hilite something.  The two red stitch markers are going there too.

And the yarn.  Love it!  This will make a lovely pair of socks for next Valentine's Day.

This package was so much more than I had expected.  I'm glad I didn't remember that it was coming, it made the opening of it all that much more enjoyable.

Happy Valentines Day to Me and the Tall Guy, he just doesn't know yet that this is what he bought me.  {grin}

Friday, February 13, 2015

Finally Finished Friday

 Totally, Completely Finished, Blocked Too!


Wool Peddler's Shawl.  And delivered to the Hospice Home.  I've got to find something to put on the PJKnits mannequin's lower half, besides a muslin bag.  Poor girl.

Simple K3P3 Wrap.  And delivered to the Hospice Home.

I'm not done blocking yet.  There are still two more that need some blocking, maybe this weekend.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Knitting Friendships

Do you knit with others?  If you don't, I feel for you.  I am so lucky to have a core of knitters that I am really feeling comfortable with.

Yesterday, we celebrated one of the Knit Wits retiring.  

This morning, some of us gathered at the Hospice Home for prayer shawl knitting with the  group of prayer shawl knitters.   We had coffee, ate some bagels, shared what we were knitting on, saw some lovely shawls and blankets that were turned in, heard stories from staff and volunteers.  One of the daughters of a patient stopped in to tell us how much her shawl was appreciated. Dang it, I  cry at communion, you can imagine how many times the tears came to my eyes this morning.  But, they are good tears, because not only does it make you feel like what you are doing really matters, but gives you a sense of just how trivial my so called problems may be.  Every time we meet, my life is so put into perspective.  

This evening, the Knit Wits celebrated again the retirement of our Knit Wit and also her birthday with a potluck, cake and oh yes, wine.  Oh what a night.  We had so much fun, knitting, eating, talking and laughing.  Oh, how we laughed.  

Knitters are the best, aren't they?!    If you don't have a group, go to your local yarn shop, and camp out at their knit nights and you will see what I mean.