Thursday, November 8, 2018

How I design a gansey sweater

This is a repeat of a post I made about 4 years ago.  If you knit and would like to try your hand at designing a gansey, this might help.

How I design a fisherman's sweater, AKA a gansey.




Tuesday, November 6, 2018

VOTE!

Go, vote!  Vote as if your life depends on it, because it does.  Think of the 11 innocent people shot in cold blood in a Pittsburgh synagogue.  Think of the 2 African-American people shot in a convenience store for the fun of it.  My life depends on who wins this election.  Yours might, too.

Understand that the terrorists who perpetrate these hate killings are neither Muslim nor folks, illegal or otherwise, from south of the border.  These terrorists are home-grown white men.

If you have not been effected by the killings of the last few weeks, your group might be next. 

Vote as if your life depends on it, because it does. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Thank you

Thank you, my friends, for your love and support.  I cannot tell you how important it was for me to read your words. Thank you to all the Christian and Muslim clergy who have supported the Jewish community; you are a tower of strength for us.  Thank you to friends who have called.

Thank you to the first responders who so bravely tried to protect the congregants.  Thank you to the Steelers and the mayor and all the good people of Pennsylvania who have spoken for us.




Sunday, October 28, 2018

My heart is broken

I'm sitting here, crying.  I have no words.  Every time some innocent person is killed in this country, I say "this is not America."  Maybe it is.  I am heartbroken.

Thank you, my friends, for your love and support.  I cannot tell you how important it was for me to read your words.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Blob

The Blob.  This is what a lace shawl looks like before blocking:  a blobby wrinkly mess. 


Wait 'til you see what it looks like when blocked.

Started sometime in Jan and finished yesterday.  It could have been finished a while ago, but I got distracted by all the sweater knitting.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Clover sweater is finished

And here she is, all washed and dried and smooth as if I had machine-knitted her.  That's what a good wet blocking does when you work with wool.



The specs:  Knit in KnitPicks Palette wool, about 5.5 balls of the dark green yarn, and bits of the other colors.  Size 3 needles for the body, and 2 for the ribbing.  Knitted in the round, of course, top down, and inspired by the Birkin sweater.  I rarely follow another sweater design, since I'm quite capable of doing my own, but I was too lazy to figure out the increases in the yoke, so that came from the Birkin.  The little green design on top of and bottom of the yoke, and also used on the sleeves and sweater bottom, is from Birkin. 

Birkin is a lovely sweater, and uses 3 colors/round in many cases, but I'm an experienced Fair Isle knitter, and no way do I ever use more than 2 colors at a time.  So, that was the first to go.  Plus, I prefer long sleeves and a usual sweater bottom.  I can say that this is a Birkin-inspired sweater, but adapted to what I like. 

Took me about 6 weeks off and on.  The yoke went quickly because it's interesting to do, the rest is just donkey work, knitting round after round after round.  I can't knit hours of stockinette without really hurting my hands, wrists, shoulders.  So I just motored along somewhat slowly. 

Finished it and decided I was done with the winter's sweaters.  And now I can't help but think that I need to make one for me, too. 

This fall/winter, I made 6 sweaters (not pictured are a red sweater for the little guy, and a cable sweater for Miss R):





Out of the 6, I got one, the pretty lavender one.  I'm so bored with my sweaters.  Need to make some for me.  Given that I wear them from Nov through March, I could use a few new ones.  Hmmmmm.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hypothetical spring

Given that we're supposed to get 6-10" of snow tomorrow, I think spring is an illusion. But nonetheless, here's the annual spring poem.

The annual spring poem

High up, over the tops
Of the feathery grasses, the grasshoppers hop.
They won't eat their suppers,
They will not obey
Their grasshopper mothers and fathers who say:
"Listen my children, this must be stopped.
Now is the time your last hop should be hopped.
So come eat your suppers and go to your beds."
But the little grasshoppers just shake their green heads.
"No, no," the naughty ones say.
"All we have time to do now is to play.
If we are hungry we'll nip at a fly,
Or nibble a blueberry as we go by.
But not now. Now we must hop.
And no one, but no one can make us stop."

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Notes and progress

Karen mentioned on her blog today that she has a new sewing machine and needs to remember her settings.  So I told her that I use post-it notes that I stick to the machine.  Here they are:

They really remind me of settings I have used and want to repeat.  Otherwise, my little brain would never remember.

Here's how things are going along.

The Clover sweater is just about done.  A few more inches on the second sleeve, weaving in the yarn ends and then a good wash and it will be finished!. It's taken me about 6 weeks, not because it's difficult.  Most of it is just donkey work, motoring along on those endless stretches of body and sleeve, but it's fingering weight yarn, so lots of stitches.  And I was also doing my Sock Madness pair.  A sport weight or worsted weight sweater takes me about 3-3.5 weeks:  lots less stitches and rows to the inch.

And speaking of Sock Madness, the qualifying round is over in a couple of hours, so then we will be put into teams and eventually the first round will begin.  This year I asked to become cannon fodder.  I cannot knit as quickly as I did last year because it hurts my hands, and I want to be able to knit forever.  So, stick me on a very fast team, and I'll happily be knocked out fairly early.  Grin.

Here are 4 more blocks of the log cabin quilt (which needs a name).  I'm doing half the blocks pressing the seams in one direction, and the other half in the other direction.  A bit fussy here, but the seams will butt up perfectly with each other.

And that's it.  Right now we have 4 utility trucks hanging out in front of our house.  New gas cables are being laid (ours happened last summer) and the street they are working on is a main street, so they are better off parking here.  The tree guys have to finish grinding up the stump of the tree they removed and get rid of some more branches.  Never a dull moment.



Monday, March 12, 2018

Busy

What with Sock Madness, 2 snowstorms, and various projects, I've been very busy.  Not posting much since what is there to look at when you're knitting the sleeves of a yoke sweater. 

Sock Madness:  finished the qualifying pair of socks.  As usual, they are too big on me, so I might give them to Miss P if they fit.  If not, they will just be extra roomy socks.

 Snowmageddon:  2 snowstorms within a week of each other.  So many folks lost power with the first storm and didn't get it back when the second storm arrived.  We were very lucky.  We had power but a tree crashed and brought with it our Fios line.  So no TV, land line, or internet until yesterday afternoon.  It really wasn't all that bad.  We're just used to constant ability to play on the computers and tablets.  We had over 24" in the second storm.  It's evaporating very very slowly.  Probably be here in July.  Hah.

Clover yoke sweater:  this is the top-down sweater based on the Birkin design, but I used only the leaf design and did my own thing in between.




Quilt:  I decided to make a log cabin block using an HST as the cornerstone.  The photo shows a block as leaning, but it is really straight.

This is what I started with, and then played around with the arrangement.  Here's what it will look like when it's done.



I realized that my seams won't nest together nicely unless I press half the blocks downward rather than up.  So that's what I'm doing with half the blocks.



Thursday, February 15, 2018

A yoke in progress

About 12 more rounds and the yoke is done.  I haven't tried it on yet (what fits me in the yoke, will fit DD#2), but I'm liking it so far.  So much easier than working a yoke sweater bottom up!

And that's all I have to report.  Quilting is sleeping, EPP is slowly in progress.  All I want to do right now is knit. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Another finished!

One cute little quilt in the exploding block pattern.



This is a smallish lap quilt, which is perfect for me.  I don't use quilts as my primary bed covers; it's way too cold here in winter.  For warmth, I use a heavy down comforter, but I love a lap quilt on top, and when it's really cold at night, that bit of warmth and weight from the quilt makes me very cozy.  The Hubz, on the other hand, is rarely cold, and never wants the quilt on top of him. 

Colors in this quilt are unusual for me.  I like brights, and never use reproduction fabrics, but I collected some layer cakes in these colorways a couple of years ago, and decided to use them.  I rather like them. 

In the knitting sphere, I've begun the Birkin sweater for DD#2.  In all my decades of knitting, I've never done a top-down yoke sweater, but after knitting that Afmaeli twice, I decided that I wanted very little weight on my hands when I did the yoke, so top-down it is.  I'm quite capable of figuring out my own yoke pattern, but sometimes it's just easier to use someone-else's design. 

When you knit a yoke bottom up, you have the body and the sleeves all joined together on one needle, and it's like knitting an elephant or two.  Really hard on my hands.  But this little yoke is delightful - no weight, just pleasant knitting.


Yarn in KnitPicks Palette, the same one as the previous DD#2 sweater.  She likes the light weight, and it's very nice on my fingers.  Good yarn.  A lot of folks pooh-pooh Knit Picks yarn, but I knit so much and so quickly that spending $100-200 on sweater yarn is ridiculous.  I like their basics:  Palette, SOTA sport and worsted very much.  Good sturdy yarn with a nice hand.  No, not as soft as merino, but not itchy either.  And they wear like iron.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Finished!

An Afmaeli sweater for Miss P. 


Yarn is Knitpicks WOTA in worsted weight.  Main color is Opal, which turned out better than I thought it would.  Miss P picked it out, and wanted Indigo and Amethyst plus whatever I wanted to add.


Lost of other projects in process, none of which are ready for photography.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lots of goodies

I've been remiss in keeping up this blog, but I haven't been unproductive.  Here's what's in progress:

Quilting

 

One lonely little Whirligig block in progress.  Karen from Quilts...etc. has decided to take the plunge and make this quilt, too.  Given how awesome a quilter she is, she'll be done way before I even finish the next row.  Just take a look at her hand quilting and applique.


My Cake Mix quilt is now being assembled.  Top pic is of my placement.  Bottom one is actually sewn together.  I do love these Cake Mixes; it's the way for me to go with half-square triangles.  Perfection and no bias mess.  I ordered Brenda Henning's Triangulations for future HST moments.

One Exploding Block quilt back from the quilter, and now being bound.  I do love hand stitching my binding down.  Can't tell you why, but it is satisfying.

Knitting



One lace shawl needing a good blocking.  Mostly garter stitch with some easy and interesting lace bands.  Two skeins of sock yarn with leftovers, which will go into Miss P's never-ending mismatched socks.


The boring sleeve from Miss P's yoke sweater in progress.  I sent out a sleeve and the body for her to try on.  She's at least 5'7", so I can't base the fit on my size.  Now the pieces are back and make perfect TV watching knitting.  I'm looking forward to working on the yoke.


A brand new lace shawl from the amazing Anna Victoria.  This one is Mermaid's Lair, and it is a lovely challenge to knit.  I like her charts very much.  I'm not one for written directions, but give me a chart, and I'm a happy camper.  


Yes, the shawl looks like an old rag with a lot of holes.  In actuality, that's what it is:  a piece of knitting with a lot of holes (yarn-over) and decreases.  Wait until it's blocked!  I've stretched out a bit at the top so you can get an idea of who it will be.

And that's all.  Pardon me, now, while I get back to work on any and all of these goodies.







Wednesday, January 17, 2018

It's amazing what a photograph can do

I am playing with the layout for this new quilt.  I'm using my bed with the flannel duvet so that the blocks don't slip (and also because it's easier on my back than the floor).  But even when I stand back, I really can't get the effect of how those blocks interact with each other.  Enter the camera.


This might end up as my final layout.  I do love how I get secondary and even tertiary block interactions.  And now, looking at it, I can see a mistake in the top row.  No matter; nothing is sewn together.  Clearly my seam ripper and I will become close friends if I go this route.  I'm a knitter and knitters rip, so no big deal.










Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 resolutions

I rarely make New Year's resolutions, mostly because I never follow through on them, but this year I decided to make some.  We shall see if I actually accomplish all of them.  Hah.  Feel free to laugh.

  1. Knit 6 sweaters.  This is not hard and I'll probably make it through.
  2. Knit 6 shawls.  Ditto on this knitting.
  3. Make 6 quilts. Uh huh.  Probably not, but at least I have some sort of goal.
  4. Actually finish 6 quilts, quilting, binding and all.  Meh. Doubtful, but you never know.
First shawl of the year.  Look how far I've gotten since a couple of days ago.  It's remarkably pleasant to knit, even with the endless garter stitch rows.  You can see the swoopy part over on the top right.


The name of the shawl is Frozen Skies, but with my colorway, I think of it as Neapolitan Ice Cream.  There are some nice lace sections, which will look dopey until blocked.  That's just the way for knitted lace:  it needs a firm stretched-out blocking.

The new quilt is proceeding nicely.  I almost have it down-pat, i.e. I rip only every 3rd block.  I have to keep a block in front of me to make sure my pieces go where they should.  I need a name for this.  No ideas.


Photographed on top of the fluffy comforter.  That's why the hills and valleys.  I think this will be the layout I use.  The question is whether I put sashing between the 4-patch blocks.  I think so.



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