Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sunbeam Scarf

I finished this garter stitch scarf/shawlette a couple of weeks ago. I'm not crazy for it. But it's OK. Eventhough I rotate wearing my handknit scarves, it's the time of year when I'm soooooo tired of them all! We still have a few more freezing days (and maybe even snow) ahead of us and I welcome wearing something new.

The sun is glorious today and, like a cat, I seek out the sunbeams. But today, I'm sharing a sunbeam with the scarf. I gave it a bath and blocked it very lightly. If I stretch it out too much, it will lose the scrunch and crunch of the garter stitch. (I'm using Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers.)

The yarn is self-striping sock yarn I picked up in the Knitters Review Retreat stash lounge. It might be Kaffe Fassett. The pattern was mindless.  Cast on a bunch of odd stitches (I cast on 11) and then, two in from each end, kfb every row. This makes it crescent-shaped. When it was nearly finished, I increased within the body a few times, so it has a dip and a little ruffle at the end. (I'll take another photo in a day or so.)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Uh, oh. . .

I don't need another hobby--I really don't! Especially a hobby that involves fiber! Even if I tell myself, "I'll only use yarn from the stash." Yeah, right. . . . 

Vogue Knitting Live

Last Saturday--an all-day wonderful class

Deborah Jarchow--fabulous weaver and patient, knowledgeable weaving teacher

The rigid heddle Cricket loom and stash yarn. The scarf has wonky edges and rows--I have a lot more to learn and practice!

I bought a Cricket loom several years ago and took a three-hour class somewhere. I loved the process--but, afterwards, I didn't have a clue how to set up the loom.  At the Knitters Review Retreat last fall, a woman was wearing the most beautiful woven scarf and she encouraged me to take the class at VKL. Thanks, Pam!

What's next?
I've bought a couple of weaving classes on Craftsy and am scouting this teeny tiny apartment for a place where I can set up the loom. And I'm thinking of yarns in my stash that I can use. . . but, NO, NO, NO! No new hobbies.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Night Knitting

Knitting in the dark with the headlamp on. One more row. . . . one more row. . .one more row. . .

Waking up a couple of hours later. Rolling over and hearing the crinkle of a zip lock bag. Oh, right!

My knitting! Checking it and me. WHEW! No stitches off the needle. No stab wounds on my body!

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Mojo Muffler

Saying good-bye to the Mojo Muffler today. It's going to be frogged--it long-ago served its purpose

Ten months ago, I had knee replacement surgery. I imagined my rehab would be like an extended knitting retreat and I had mega-knitting plans. Knowing I might be feeling somewhat out-of-it, I was going to knit an easy-peasy garter stitch striped scrap scarf. As I felt better, I would then have time to  get to my UFOs: a blue shawlette -- Antarktis, pilates socks, a cushy cowl. Maybe I’d even make a dent in the sweater I started years ago.

But I spent the first few weeks after surgery elevating, icing, sleeping, binge-watching movies and TV series on Netflix and playing endless games of Candy Crush. Knitting held no interest for me.

After a few weeks, I started the striped scrap scarf.  I had tons of Zara that I acquired over the years (some bought, but most traded at the Knitters Review Retreat when Zara was in our goody bags.) I loved the colors--but hated the scarf.  It was too random and my life needed order--not more randomness!

I tried a few versions of it—hated them all. This is one I liked since there's an order to it. But, after a few rows, I realized that the rose rows that I especially liked reminded me too much of the ugly, red scar on my knee. Didn't need to have that reminder!

After that, I knit a row on the blue shawlette and put it back into the ziplock bag and forgot about it. Not only did knitting not interest me, I didn’t care that knitting didn’t interest me.

But since I still hung out in Ravelry and read some of the knitting blogs, I kept somewhat in touch with the fiber world. When Clara Parkes announced she had some lovely Cormo for sale, I bought enough of the sapphire color to knit a vest.

But when I looked over the pattern, I felt overwhelmed and the knitting malaise returned.

A few weeks later, there were some hold-back skeins of the Cormo available. I jumped on it and bought one skein in the wisteria color. I wondered why I was doing this since I hadn’t picked up the needles in weeks.

But as I was clicking the paypal link, I felt a little tickle of interest. I then began to track the yarn a few times a day. It was scheduled to be delivered on a Monday and I had a twinge of disappointment because I was hoping to receive it sooner. It was then that I began to think of what I could make with the lone skein. 155 yards. A scarf? Hat? Fingerless gloves? Finally it arrived at my Post Office! Best of all, it would be delivered not Monday, but on the preceding Saturday!

And, just like that, my knitting mojo was back!

And I knew what I was going to do with it. The lone skein was destined to be a long, skinny scarf in the farrow rib pattern. Easy-peasy and not overwhelming. Something that would help me get through the night when insomnia hit. Something I could do while pedaling away on the foot-peddler. Something I could toss in my bag and work on while waiting for my Pilates appointment. Something I could work on while watching  TV or reading. Something I could finish! And that's how the Mojo Muffler was born.

But I didn't finish. I got bored. Very bored. So bored of K2, P1 that I couldn't continue. But, by being bored, I realized that perhaps I was ready for something more challenging.

The blue shawlette came out of the ziplock and I finished that instead.

And then even more yarn was bought!

By this time, since I was able to concentrate on a pattern, I began a new shawl--Landmark.

So though the Mojo Muffler has been replaced by other projects and will be frogged--it will always be my favorite project. It got me back to knitting!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015--The Year of Stripes?

Um. . . yeah. . . I know.  Nothing posted for 2014. I don't want to get into excuses or explanations. Suffice to say I was lazy, busy, pre-occupied and found it easier to post things to  Facebook.

BUT now this blog is back! Plunging right in--

Started this scarf last week. I had picked up this sock yarn at the Knitters Review Retreat's stash lounge. Some may call it "clown vomit"-- but I saw some potential to it.

The days are so drab this time of year and I was craving color! Photo taken from a train window. Colorless and blah!

Ahhhh. . . much better. Colorful--but, not eyeball searing.

I'm knitting a very, very simple garter stitch crescent shape scarf. I had first started a baktus scarf--but the yarn was not happy. After knitting a few rows, I'd make a silly mistake and have to frog it. Or, several times, the stitches jumped off the needles without any provocation. But the last sign of unhappiness was a knot in the yarn--a big knot. Yarn like this doesn't have knots--it's always very smooth without any surprises. So, I read the knot as a stop sign.

The colors are doing the work--not me. So far, I like it. And the yarn seems to like it also. But I'm concerned that, at some point, it will turn muddy. Till then, this is a great travel, sitting on a bus, waiting in the dentist office, binge watching TV series sort of project.

Meanwhile, I have these beauties waiting for me:

Look at that raspberry color--wheeeeeee! This yarn will definitely turn into a striped or color-block shawl. But which one? I keep perusing Ravelry and have been marking many patterns as favorites. There's just too many to choose from! But, one of these days, the yarn and I will have a heart-to-heart and it will tell me what it wants to be.

Wishing everybody a happy, healthy and yarny new year!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Seen in NYC

I noticed this striking scarf as soon as the woman walked on the bus. You see that not-woven-in end? I just knew it had to be a handknit. I told the woman that I thought the scarf  was gorgeous and unusual and asked if she had she knit it. She answered that she didn't knit it--but her sister did. She then told me the scarf's story.

The scarf was once a sweater in her sister's boutique in Minnesota. It remained unbought in the store for  several seasons. Finally, her sister unraveled the sweater and knit two scarves from the yarn. One for herself and one for her sister.

This is one of the nicest looking scarves I've ever seen. The yarn had a little fluff to it. Maybe a wool and mohair? Knit in garter stitch on a smallish needle. The colors, though bright, blended together in a very eye-pleasing manner.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Knitters Review Retreat 2013

My 7th Knitters Review Retreat! Back in Canandaigua for the third year.

Gorgeous place! It was a bit chilly, so nobody was sitting outside this year. But we did plenty of indoor sitting and knitting and we even had a glass of wine or three.

 A shot of the winder and swift in one of the few times it wasn't being used:

Plenty of photos were taken--some were even taking photos of people taking photos!

Clara rang the bell to get us all assembled for the group shot on a very chilly Saturday morning:

Yes, it was that shivering kind of chilly:

But we all smiled and said, "cashmere" for the camera:

Saturday evening, we had a fashion show of all the great things made from the Great White Bale:

Other items attendees were wearing and knitting:

Sunday morning, Queen Bee Clara sent us off into the world with our New Beginnings projects and to spread the good news that yarn brings.

And I came home with yarn, inspiration and very happy memories.  Hoping for more of the same next year!

Many thanks to Clara and everyone involved in making this magical event happen!