Friday, 29 January 2016

The Syncopation Sock Saga Continues

I cut the cuff off the first Syncopation sock and unravelled a gram or so of yarn of the leg with great difficulty. Yarn likes to run back down in the direction it was knit from, not the other way, so I had to unpick each stitch. I then decided it would be faster to cut the leg the right number of rows down. I did that and unravelled the yarn. I was going to re-knit the cuff and graft it to the leg again but I got all cocky and thought, "why don't I just knit back up to the cuff and do a ribbed tubular bindoff".

I thought it looked really good after doing that. When you knit back the other way, you are really picking up the 'troughs' of your stitches so really are 1/2 stitch out. It doesn't really show because I started the 1 x 1 ribbing right after picking up the 3 x 1 stitches.
I thought I was SO clever doing the tubular bindoff by putting the knit stitches on one needle and the purl stitches on another then kitchenering them together for the bindoff. The only problem was that it was a bit snugger than I like the top of a sock cuff. SOOOO, I'm going to unravel the cuff back down, do the tubular cast-on (I use the waste yarn method) and knit the 1 x 1 cuff and then graft it to the leg of the sock.

I just don't like the top to be snug and am willing to do all that to make it right. In the meantime, I've given that sock a timeout and cast on the second sock. It's going well, thank you very much. We have driven about 2400km over the last 5 days so when it is Skip's turn to drive, I usually knit.
I'm just a couple of rows away from starting the eye of partridge heel flap.
In spite of all the problems I've caused for myself, I love everything about these socks.  The yarn is beautiful, the tubular cast-on is my new favourite cast-on, and the Syncopation pattern is a really nice unisex version of a ribbed pattern.

Today we stopped at The Quilted Skein in La Grange, TX. It is a beautiful shop with delicious high-end yarns, including several hand-dyed skeins by local dyers, and probably all of the Rowan Kaffe Fassett fabrics plus more. I bought a couple of skeins of fingering weight on discount. I have a scarf in mind but am not sure I can get my hands on the pattern so will be doing some Ravelry research. We also toured the Texas Quilt Museum which is right next door to The Quilted Skein. Unfortunately, photos are not allowed but if you are ever in the area (Austin/San Antonio) it is only a couple of hours to La Grange and the museum and the yarn/fabric shop are definitely worth the trip. The town of La Grange is also very cute and has a Historic Courthouse in the downtown square. There are lots of cute shops and cafés to explore as well.

Tomorrow, Skip and I are going to San Antonio to visit a long-time friend of Skip's and his wife, then will make our final push to South Padre Island on Sunday and move into the condo we have rented.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Climbing Vine Mittens

I finally finished these Climbing Vine Mittens.
I bought the pattern several Rhinebecks ago from the designer himself, Bill Huntington, of Hope Spinnery. He operates what used to be a wind-powered fibre processing mill, in Hope, Maine. The business has evolved into a fibre arts studio  "providing high quality yarn, knitting patterns, and custom made knitwear" -- still powered by the wind.

Last October, at Rhinebeck, I purchased his Wind-Spun Yarn to finally knit these mittens.

His booth was very popular at the NYSWF but I was able to still find two contrasting colours for the mittens in the Granite and Dance colourways.
I still need to block them.

Now I'm even more inspired to knit the Fiddlehead Mitts
with my BFL handspun.
Must find background yarn and the alpaca for the lining....

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Digital Subscriptions

 I, like many who have lived as long as I have, have a lot of stuff. I recently had a look at the latest Vogue Knitting and saw enough in the magazine that I wanted to buy it but the thought of bringing another magazine into the house and finding a place to put it stopped me in my tracks.

Lately, I've been using my iPad for a lot more things like storing my knitting patterns, and e-books. I went online and investigated the cost of a digital subscription vs. a paper edition of Vogue Knitting.

For a saving of 40%, and no need to find a place in my house to store the magazines, I subscribed to the digital version. I wish I had done it years ago when this service first came out. Better late than never, I guess.
As I was perusing the issue I noticed a knitterly print that very much appealed to me. (left page, top right). I checked the website and noted the artist, Jenna Russelle, is in Toronto! 
Here's the link for one in her etsy shop. And for the one that is pictured above.
I just might have to order them for myself.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Arrow Caterpillar

This is the status of my Pfeilraupe (arrow + caterpillar) shawl thus far.

I like the subtle striping of the Fantasy strompegarn.
The first 'slot' is between the two rightmost stitch markers. To make the bottom edge smooth, you cast on the 288 stitches first, placing the 25 stitch markers along the edge as you cast on. Then knit back and forth increasing on the right side, one stitch every two markers while at the same time consuming cast on stitches with short rows.
I hope I used a large enough needle (3.5mm) as several people suggested going smaller rather than larger. I did want it to be relatively large and will block it firmly. I think it will have the right amount of drape.

On the project page, there are pictures of several ways this scarf/shawl can be worn. Basically it's a big, irregular triangle with slots. The thin, pointy end (arrow) can weave in and out of the slots to anchor the shawl.
Image by Alpenrose
The folds that are created are the caterpillar part.
Image by Alpenrose

More Hat Pics and Frolic News

The Dale of Norway 2003 St. Moritz patch came in the mail today.  I bought it on eBay in US dollars. When it arrived, I noted that it actually came from only two towns away.

I sewed it onto the cap where the new rounds started, the colours jog, and the pattern is interrupted. It was a good cover-up.
Then I took a couple more photos.
I think it's quite photogenic.
I started the Pfeilraupe shawl and have one slot done and am halfway to the next one. Reading the helpful notes on Ravelry, I printed this helpful annotation of the chart. In spite of it, I still messed up and had to tink back a few rows to do the first slot correctly. At the same time short rows are executed, increases are intermittently done on the right edge. This chart helps keep track of everything. It is excellent for social or car knitting. I may put it aside for our upcoming trip.

I have several projects and UFOs to take:

  • the green Koigu linen stitch scarf
  • the yarn and pattern for my own St. Moritz hat
  • two UFO sock projects
  • the Aran cardigan (1.5 sleeves and button bands left to knit)
  • z-twist handspun to knit twined mitts
I also hope to be knitting some samples for a local yarn shop with luscious high-end yarn. 

The closest yarn shop to where I'll be vacationing is over 3 hours away, so unless I do mail-order shopping (not as fun as being able to fondle the yarn) and pay in inflated US dollars (or more accurately, deflated Canadian dollars), I plan to bring most supplies with me.

I also will be knitting the swatches and prepping for the upcoming Latvian braid class I'll be teaching at the 2016 Knitter's Frolic sponsored by the Toronto Knitters Guild on Saturday, April 30 at from noon 'til 2pm.  OMG! I just checked the website and the instructors are now listed and registration seems to be live.
Selbu mitten cuff with Latvian braid

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Photo Shoot or should I say... Photo Shot

I got Skip to pose in his new hat. Although I didn't get a photo of it, he has a red coat with grey trim that looks very spiffy with the hat. Maybe he'll pose with the coat and hat together sometime.
I have located extra black yarn so will be able to knit myself a matching one. I expect the Dale (authentically pronounced Dah - leh) of Norway patch to arrive in the mail any day now.

I have half a sleeve done on the Aran sweater. 1.5 sleeves to go.

We're starting to get excited about our upcoming departure to the (hopefully) sunny south. I've been whittling down my 'to do' list to prepare for the trip. Skip has been uploading and playing Mexican Conjunto tunes all evening.

I've been looking through an old photo album all evening, scanning various photos, and sending them to those pictured. I've also posted quite a few on Facebook. It has been so much fun. It is so hard for me to believe that they were taken over 30 years ago when I was in my 20s. I'm still that age in my head and fortunately the rest of me is holding up quite well. I'm very grateful to still be in contact with many of the pictured folk, thanks to social media - Facebook in particular.

Here's a pretty early photo of me learning my trade...
Ontario Youth Music Camp, Beaverton ON 1970
and a fairly early one of me plying my trade.
St. Patrick's High School, Sarnia ON Concert Band ca. 1982
 It's fun to look back and remember what my life was like then and who was in it.

Monday, 11 January 2016

St. Moritz Cap

I finished the St. Moritz Cap last night and sewed the facing down to the inside.
I had planned to line it with fleece but Skip said it wasn't scratchy around his forehead so for now will leave it as is.
You can see that the grey Peer Gynt yarn is a bit fuzzier than the Telemark (red and gold) and Heilo (black and white) yarns.
Skip now thinks it would be cool for me to knit one for myself so we'll have matching caps. If I do knit one for myself, I'll knit the facing with alpaca yarn and make it about 3" deep before the purled fold line.

The original pattern has tassels on two cords coming from the top. I have omitted those.

Once the hat has finished blocking, I'll get Skip to model it with the sweater.