Monday, May 1, 2017

May Day, May Day

Pat is going to the beach for two weeks and wants an easy category. Why is it that I am not going to the beach for two weeks? Hrumph!! But because I still have a little bit of niceness in me, here goes . . . The guideline is: no purling.

There are lots of ways to accomplish this. I am going to knit yet another Super Simple Cowl, intended for somebody's Christmas present.  I am madly in love with Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn and have a number of onesies hanging around, so each one is different and it stays interesting. Here is the first one I made, finished a few weeks ago:

Img_1110_small2

The second one is almost done (I thought it was going to be a present, but now it is mine), and the third one will be this month's project. I read the comments people posted with their Ravelry entries and made a few changes based on those; I will sum up next time.

Pat, I can't wait to hear if it's going to be garter stitch, or circular, or slip stitches. . .

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The last of April

Dear Elizabeth,

Is the month really over; are we headed into summer? I've seen a hummingbird and a scarlet tanager in the trees.  I've been to a yard sale and have been out running (slowly) on my favorite trail for a grand total of 40 miles this month.  All signs that say summer is near!  I do love summer time.




I'd forgotten how fun cables are to knit.  I loved this project challenge (what are we calling this year).  I started with two old, off-white skeins of Filatura di Crosa 501 (137 yds in 50 gr.), size six needles and the Adrian hat pattern.  Using well-aged yarn is so satisfying especially "attic cured" natural fibers.  I changed the pattern to one large cable instead of two, I didn't want to hat to be terribly long with this yarn as it wasn't going to slouch in that pleasing way that the sockhead hat does.  I don't think anyone wants a hat sticking up off their head, cone-head style.  I'm pleased with this as a beanie.  I think Glass Head looks terrific modeling it!


I love that the designer didn't use cables in the traditional Paton's in the 70's sort of way but instead scattered a few around the hat.  Balancing the large cable with a smaller one.  Really fun to knit even though you have to follow the pattern row by row.  Not, as we both know, my forte.



So what are we doing in May?  It's your turn, right??  Don't use up all the good challenges.  I'll be beaching it with college buds for two weeks in May so let's do something easy... just sayin' I might not get that much knitting done ;-}

P.S. I only have one more project to rip out and skein... and that's it, only things I'm actively knitting on in my project basket.


Friday, April 21, 2017

spring colors

What was I thinking when I decided it would be a good idea to blog with a friend who is a master photographer? and me with my phone camera. . .

Pat, how I loved that last post. I remember when you started that Barn Raising project. It has been a while! And I have to get one of those twig balls. I have been entertaining myself by hanging bits of yarn on the Rose of Sharon tree in my front garden, just by the porch. I hang up 15 or 20 strands, then sit back and watch the birds (sparrows, mostly, but I still hope for something more exotic) snap them up. At least one has learned to grab three pieces at once -- watching her (him? I make the sexist assumption that this very competent bird is a she) fold them up tightly so that no edges are flapping reminds me of someone who is truly adept at eating spaghetti.

Here is what I have been doing lately. I have 3 or 4 balls of Noro Silk Garden Sock. This pattern is perfect. You knit it flat, as a scarf, and then sew together to make a cowl. It takes just one ball. I read through the notes on Ravelry before I started, and someone suggested starting with the first complete triangle, not the half-triangle that squares off the end of the scarf. So when you end, you seam the triangles together and if you do it right there's no sign of beginning or end. This one is done now (in the Christmas present box!) and I've started another. This time I used a provisional cast-on and will graft beginning and end together to make it even less visible where the ends are joined. Perfect mindless knitting in yarn that makes you look smart!


Oh, right. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this month's assignment. . .

Friday, April 14, 2017

Bird's Nests!!

Elizabeth,
I just had to write.  I hung the ivy ball less than an hour before I took these photos.  I had all the yarn tucked in.  Look  at the way the birds pulled the yarn out of the ball.  I think there will be yarn in lots of birds nests around the yard.  Exciting!!


P.S. I'm trying to get a photo of the bird on the ball!!

Friday, April 7, 2017

April and feeling foolish

Dear Elizabeth,
© Armenuhi Khachatryan
I didn't get any cable knitting done last month and look I'm posting this note a week late, what is wrong with us?  Is it the warmth of spring, have we set down our knitting needles to go outside?  I did spend a lovely week in the Florida Keys and it really was nice a warm there.  Let's not hang our heads, let's look forward to what comes next!

Our challenge for this month has to be finish cabling something from last month!  I've chosen to knit the Adrian hat.  (I grabbed this photo off Ravelry)

While doing our March assignment, I want you to ponder and answer this question.  What else do you do with your yarn, other than knitting it into amazing things?  I've been saving all my wool yarn-ends and stuffing them in a vine ball.  I'm going to hang it outside this weekend so the birds can line their nests with soft, all-natural fibers.  Supposedly, I will be able to go look around the yard and see my yarn in birds nests.  I will report back by the end of the summer if this works out... or not!



 I'm carrying knitted squares for a barn raising quilt with me when I travel.  They are small and mindless, perfect for travel.  Do you recognize any of the blocks?  Yes, I'm using your left-over sock yarn as well as mine.  I need 9 more to make this project a baby blanket or LOTS more to make this a full size, adult throw.  I've blocked some of the squares, they still curl like mad so I decided not to waste that time.  I'm thinking I should start sewing some of them together.  I think about sewing them together and then I just walk away knowing it will be difficult and a lot of work... this may call for a knitting intervention.  I'll call if things look dire, I know I have enough wine for us...


Thursday, April 6, 2017

With hanging head

I confess. I did not finish the March challenge. The yarn for the pattern I really wanted to tackle arrived March 28 so not a chance. The bulky hat I cast on (yup, I can predict the future) is not yet done. Sigh. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Elizabeth's color block

Hey, Pat -- looks like you had fun!

I did finish on time, as you know (everybody, I sent Pat a photo of these guys in their bath on Tuesday night). And I have been struggling ever since to get the colors to photograph right -- one of these days I will break down and learn to use a camera! The green should be a little more acidic; the other colors are close enough.


I chose these colors because I found them together in a bag -- clearly at some point I had meant to use them together, and that was good enough for me.

March assignment: cables! One or more. I have my eye on a very complex mitten pattern, which means I'll likely be knitting a bulky hat on the last day when I realize that there is no way they're going to get done by the deadline. I guess I had cables on the brain because I am signed up to take a class with Norah Gaughan, the queen of cabling, this month.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Colorblocks




Elizabeth,
I worked all month long to complete 3 pairs of fingerless mittens done in four colors, 2 large areas of color, along with somewhat contrasting colored cast-ons.  I'm pleased with the resulting mitts, they fit a number of random hands very well, the colors are fun and unusual and they really do keep you warm.  I used Mason-Dixon's Squad Mitts for my color inspiration and your excellent Mitten Pattern for my mitten design basis.  I used sport weight yarn and size 3 needles (to get a tight fabric).  I have a cryptic pattern, literally written on the back of an old envelope!



Dear friends of mine co-operated in being my hand models and there were several great ideas for photographing the mitts.  I do think the card game is fun, however; I suspect there was something wrong with this deal... 


But hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil is my all-time favorite!

I gave a pair of the mitts to a girl friend who sits by a window at work and is cold in the winter.  I got this picture this morning.  Nice to see our hand-knits hard at work.

Photo by B.Roth






Wednesday, February 15, 2017

First crocus

The tradition continues.

day 1
day 2













I still haven't made those yellow socks. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

my pointy hat

It's so much fun to see how two knitters can interpret the same words. I knew right away that I was going to make Elizabeth Zimmermann's Ganomy Hat from her Knitter's Almanac (the very first knitting book I ever bought -- the hardcover was on the remainder table for $2.98 and it took me a month to decide I could afford it after my 25% employee discount). I last made this hat 23 years ago, scaled down to infant size, when my now very healthy nephew needed surgery on his skull. . . the request was for a hat that would stay on but not squash.

Um -- this is not my nephew. But this guy is the only model I could find today.


Please note in the photos below -- point at the top (left photo) and points at the bottom (center photo).


Strangely, many people on Ravelry have reengineered this hat to give it a rounded top -- I think all of the points echoing the other points are this hat's best feature!

Unless, of course, the best feature is the red pompom. Elizabeth Zimmermann recommends knitting the last 14 stitches for 6 rows, then inserting a pingpong ball (or "a rabble of wool ends") and tying the hat below that to make a perfect round bobble. I went the more traditional route.


Bruno's profile is a bit short on detail, but oh, what a hat!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Stopover Pullover


Elizabeth,
I got up this morning and did a sunrise shoot with a dear photobuddy.  We had a great time and Mary took a moment to photograph my finished Stopover sweater.



February is such a blah month.  I think we should knit blocks of colors... does that leave the field wide open?
Pat

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Birthday mittens

The pointy hat is happening behind the scenes and will soon be unveiled. Meanwhile, as has become my custom, these mittens were delivered under cover of darkness for my neighbor on her birthday:


I had two balls of alpaca yarn, neither one big enough to become something on its own. I held the strands together for soft, warm, airy hand coverings. Now I wish I had more!


Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Pointy Hat

Elizabeth,
I've completed the January challenge of knitting a pointy hat.  I hope this is pointy enough for you.
 A young friend of mine modeled the hat for me and I expect she will do great things in the future.



I've frogged two scarves and am ignoring one other... only time will tell what I should do.
P

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Year, more knitting

Elizabeth,
I can't believe we've been doing this blog for seven years.  That's amazing.  I wish I was a more prolific blogger and a better writer.


I'd like to resolve to blog more often but years ago I gave up making resolutions.  I'd resolved to do something amazing and then I'd quit or give up; it hurt.  So now I knit, workout, play with my camera, read books but I don't resolve to do anything big or spectacular.  I do my best and count all my blessings.



This year like so many before there are no big resolutions, just one tiny one.  I have four scarves "in-progress" that I have been working for over 2 years.  It becomes apparent to me that I'm not enjoying this knitting, I need to stop and rip them back and make something else with that yarn.  That's it, all I resolve to do.


Pat

P.S. I'm working on a very pointy hat!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Now we are 7

Look at that -- it's another year already. We started this blog seven years ago today. We have not been the most visible of bloggers. . . and we realized that we need a little bit of structure to keep us involved. And maybe one that doesn't involve a whole year's commitment. So this year we're trying something new. On or about the first of the month, we'll announce a brief guideline for that month's project. Assignment? Challenge? Topic? I am not sure what to call it. These will be intentionally open to interpretation, and fun, not punitive. You will never see "Take 1700 yards of laceweight yarn and a pattern that involves nupps and a lace repeat of at least 28 rows. . ." (or, Pat, if you do -- I'm not doing it!). I am in charge of odd-numbered months, and Pat will do the evens. Sometimes we'll post in-progress photos; sometimes it'll be just the final thing sneaking in at the last moment on the last day of the month. And, of course, there will be other knitting too! Here is just a sampling from this year:









January project: pointy hat. Watch this space! We're back.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Sometimes I Feel Like Bartholomew Cubbins*


24 hats on the way to homeless kids in Maine -- and still plenty more stash to knit up. Half are out of my head; the others (example of each shown in the photo that has just two hats) are from this great pattern.





*The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, by Dr. Seuss

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Last week's mittens

Last Sunday, 18 inches (46 cm) of snow. This Sunday, 55 degrees F (12.7 C).

While it was snowing, I realized that I'd need mittens so I could shovel. And these happened:


1 strand Lamb's Pride worsted + 1 strand unidentified sock yarn. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Samadhi Saturday

Every year I sneak across the street at midnight or dawn and leave a birthday package at my neighbor's door. This year it was especially fun. Some of you may have heard that the Washington/Philadelphia/New York stretch got a little snow yesterday. . .here is what it looked like at midnight (not bad for a cell phone picture!). And it was so quiet -- no planes, no trains, hardly any cars. It was a beautiful night.


I made Samadhi, a Martina Behm design, using yarn dyed by my friend the Black Bunny. The yarn had been ripening in my possession for several years, and finally found its purpose.

The picture on the gridded board shows the colors almost truly. My scalloped edge -- well, let's say I hope I have more patience the next time I block one of these. Because I will most certainly make the pattern again.





Happy birthday, neighbor I am glad to call friend!