Knitting, neck wear, Yarn

Cozy Evening In

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather these last few days and so am enjoying a nice cozy evening in: Knitting, watching Netflix, and listening to Sunny snoring! (Her snores are truly the coziest, most soothing sound of well-being I think I’ve ever heard! 😴💗🐶💗😆💗) I also love the way she tucks her back feet under her front armpits to keep them warm while she’s sleeping – so brilliant!

Making some good progress on this cabled and bobbled cowl/snood I’m knitting. I really love the yarn combo: One strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze held together with a lovely fingering weight Ewe So Sparkly Sock yarn from Tempting Ewe Yarns! I’m working on writing the pattern, so that’ll be along in the near future. 😊

What’s making you happy this evening? How do you like to spend a cozy evening in?

Knitting, outdoors

Beautiful Cozy

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What a lovely, cozy, December day it has been! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such beauty – indoors and out.

For the last week, I’ve been participating in a black and white photo challenge on social media, which has been a lot of fun! I’ve found it’s really opened my eyes to see beauty in unexpected places, and given me a profound sense of gratitude for the smallest of everyday blessings. Here’s a link to the album if you’d like to see: Black & White Photo Challenge.

This afternoon I’ve been cozied up with a warm cup of good coffee and some deliciously textured knitting! I’m nearly finished with the center section of a baby blanket I’m designing for a friend. I’m loving a new challenge, the textured stitches, and this soft, gorgeous yarn! (It’s Cascade 220 Superwash Merino in color # 31 “Baby Blue.”)

What’s making you happy today? What are you working on? I’d love to hear all about it! 🙂

Happy Knitting!

 

Family, Holidays, Knitting, Uncategorized

Cables for Phyllis

I was so thrilled when my mother-in-law, Phyllis, asked for a handknit sweater for Christmas! The important thing to understand here is that I was longing to knit something for someone who would actually wear it. My dear husband, you see, refuses to wear anything I knit for him ever since the unfortunate incident of the black-hat-with-the-red-angora-lining. And who could really blame him?! But that’s another story for another time. He saves me time and trouble though, by telling me up front, not to knit him anything because he won’t wear it, so at least there’s that. This then, is why the excitement was impossible to contain when Phyllis asked for a sweater!

[Yes, I do realize that we are currently in the month of March, and that this fact makes my Christmas gift to Phyllis about three months late. Fortunately, Phyllis is a fabulously gracious person who didn’t at all mind opening a half-knitted sweater on Christmas, and who waited very patiently while I finished it. ❤️]

Since she was actually visiting at the time, we got online immediately and went virtual shopping to pick out the perfect yarn and pattern together! What a good time we had! It was even better than “normal” shopping because we didn’t get worn out and stressed from walking and driving from store to store and dealing with crowds and traffic. 😊

Phyllis settled on the Cable Down Raglan by Stefanie Japel. She wanted a turquoise color, and the sweater was to be warm, but not too warm in order to layer in Virginia’s mostly moderate winter weather. We decided to go with a cotton yarn, and settled on Knit Pick’s Shine Worsted in Aquamarine.

 

the yarn

 

Once the yarn arrived, I could hardly wait to cast on and start knitting! It was really hard to make myself knit gauge swatches, but I’m REALLY glad I did!

 

the beginning

When one is knitting a garment, especially for someone else, (especially if that someone else does not live in the same house or even what could be called reasonably close by) it is vital to:

1) Take said person’s measurements with care, ahead of time; paying close attention to his/her preferences regarding ease…

2) Note and plan ahead for any alterations in fit that will be preferred… (for example, my mother-in-law wanted the sleeves on her sweater to be full length rather than 3/4. This necessitated planning ahead by ordering more yarn.)

3) Find and maintain the proper gauge…

4) At least one or more fittings along the way to ensure the garment will be a success!

 

knitting the body

The Cable-Down Raglan, as the name suggests, is worked from the top down, circular fashion, raglan style, and all in one piece.

 

cables & raglan shaping

I love the cables. I really enjoyed knitting them, and I still enjoy looking at them! You can see the sleeve stitches on hold and the rest of the body in progress.

 

counting repeats

 

I put my Grellow & Gray Sirka Counter to excellent use on this project! Would have lost my head for sure without it! At one point I was using all three hands to track three different sets of repeats! What a lifesaver!

 

knitting nook

 

This was my first experience with knitting a raglan sweater, and also my first experience with knitting a sweater in the round – all in one piece!

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cable detail

I really like the idea of knitting a garment in one piece. Of the entire ensemble flowing along smoothly in an orderly and aesthetically pleasing fashion. Of not having to go back and sew up seams afterward.

cabled waist ribbing

 

But I discovered, as I worked on the sleeves of the sweater, that it became very frustrating to deal with the bulk of the body of the sweater while knitting around and around each smaller sleeve. I had to adjust the entire body of the sweater in relation to the sleeve four times per round. It really slowed me down. In the future, I think I may try holding the body stitches and working the sleeves first since they are so much smaller and could be easily pinned in place to keep them out of the way while knitting the body.

 

weaving in the ends

 

There were a lot of ends to weave in, but that just goes with the territory! Aunt Peggy had made a gorgeous bracelet that went perfectly with the sweater!

finishing

 

As a final touch, I sewed in a special label…

 

a personal touch

 

Phyllis loves her sweater, and it makes me happy to see her so happy!

 

front

 

She looks fabulous in it, if I do say so myself!

 

back

 

shoulder detail

 

 

sleeve detail

 

 

neckline detail

 

 

 

 

Family, Knitting

Gullfoss Blanket for Baby

I’ve been doing alot of knitting for my little niece-to-be lately!

Just off my needles this morning is the Gulfoss Blanket by Karen S. Lauger.

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I used Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash. It’s a lovely light worsted weight 100% wool that can be machine washed (on cold) and dried (on cool), so it’s perfect for baby items – warm, soft, and washable!

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The color is called “Tangerine Heather,” and I love it! The brilliant orange makes me feel so happy!

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You start with a nice textured seed stitch border that continues up the sides of the blanket.

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There is also a very interesting horizontal stockinette stitch that functions as a second border before the cable stitch pattern starts.

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The cables are really fun to knit! They are not too hard but definitely keep things interesting! They form a beautiful textured pattern on both sides of the blanket, making it reversible!

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I found this post by Jaala Spiro extremely helpful because in it she teaches how to work cables without actually using a cable needle. Not having to use a cable needle is really nice because it allows you keep your rhythm flowing and unbroken.

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The small markers along one side there are the wonderful antiqued brass removable stitch markers from Fringe Supply Co.;

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I used them to mark each pattern repeat as I went so that it would be easy to count how many repeats I had done and how many I had left to go! This made keeping track of my progress really easy!

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Now I’m off to weave in the ends and block the blanket!

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What have you been working on lately? Feel free to share in the comments, we’d love to hear all about it! Have a lovely Labor Day weekend, Everyone!

 

Blocking, Knitting

Finishing!

I’ve mentioned before that blocking is not my favorite part of knitting…

…but it is an important part of finishing! It’s been said that blocking is to knitting like ironing is to sewing, and I firmly believe that to be true!

In order for your knitting to look its best, a good blocking is an absolute necessity.

So I recently scrubbed my bathtub good and clean and blocked a couple of large shawls that I had finished knitting a while ago but hadn’t forced myself to block yet!

Alpaca shawl going in for a soak!
Alpaca shawl going in for a soak!

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Wool/silk blend shawl going in for a soak!
Wool/silk blend shawl going in for a soak!

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It was totally worth it because the stitches evened out and opened up, allowing the stitch patterns to be fully seen and appreciated!

Alpaca shawl drying on my living room floor
Alpaca shawl drying on my living room floor
Wool/silk blend shawl drying on my living room floor
Wool/silk blend shawl drying on my living room floor

I always dread blocking, but I’m always so glad that I made myself do it after I’m done!

How do you feel/what do you think about blocking? Do you always do it? Never do it? Sometimes do it? Love it? Strongly dislike it?