Have Yarn, Will Knit, But What?

 I dyed the yarn using KoolAid, posted April 19 as Guess I’m Not A Vanilla Type Of Gal. I have been very slowly spinning the yarn.  I decided I don’t like this yarn.  I think it was Polworth.  I bought something “cheap” to practice with.  To me, it is as if I’m spinning with iron!  It was great fun dyeing. Another reason I haven’t finished the yarn is that I don’t have a clue as what to knit.  If you know me, that is not usual! 😎 I’m open for suggestions!

This was the dyed fiber.

This is the spun fiber on the spool.

I’ll be ready to ply soon. Input needed!  What should I knit?  So not my colors! 😎

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My Knitting Speaks Norwegian!

Very interesting article in the March 2012 Creative Knitting magazine.  The article is titled: “Alterknitting” by Robyn Schrager.  In the article she discussed the pros and cons of the different knitting methods; English/American, Continental and Norwegian.  Excellent pictures accompanied the written text explanations for each method.  I always knew that I knitted Continental, it’s the purl that is different from everyone but my mom.   I’m not a thrower!  Mom said grandma did not know how to knit but insisted mom learn how.  That way mom could knit sweaters for grandma!  Grandma was so creative, she just didn’t knit.  Anyway, mom is of Norwegian heritage and the woman who taught her to knit was Norwegian.  As I’m looking at the different pictures in the article I’m making a mental checklist: 1. Under Continental knitting – Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 yep, I knit just that way. 2. Under Continental purling – nope not at all!  Article continues on page 82, we’ll see.  I’m there!  The paragraph starts: “Norwegian purls are sneaky!”  Yep, that’s right!  We leave the yarn BEHIND the needles for both knitting AND purling! So mom, there we are!  I’ve done a series of quick photos to demonstrate what I’m talking about.

Step 1: I’m getting ready to purl.  Notice the yarn is behind the left-hand needle.

Step 2:  The right needle sweeps in behind the yarn and into the back of the stitch on the left needle, see the yarn is still BEHIND the left needle.  I’m serious, it stays there!

Step 3: Twist the right needle back to pick-up the yarn behind the left needle.  Notice, right needle is still in the back of the stitch, it’s just starting to twist backwards to pick-up the yarn.

Step 4: I’ve picked up the yarn in the back and am pulling it forward to “scoop” it through the stitch.

Step 5:  I’ve pulled the yarn through the loop.

Step 6:  Pull the stitch off of the left needle and voila! A purl stitch is now on the right needle.

The article did say that this method puts extra stain on the right wrist,  I guess that since I’ve always purled this way I don’t notice!  A few months ago I tried to purl with the yarn in front of the left needle.  All of my purls were backwards!! 😎 So, what method do you use?

A special thanks to my patient husband who took the pictures of my knitting hands.

3KCBWWC The Office is Our Special Place

q8~Anytime we get together is our special time to knit. Picking a special location would be The Office aka Starbucks. Curl’s steaming hot decaf Americana and Q’s black iced tea, no water, no sweetener – what a way to start the day. Our bags are full of “stuff” to share with each other.  We move the chairs around to the perfect position so the sun isn’t in our faces. After all of the sharing and drinking and snacking (ok, we do get a snack), we pull out our knitting project.  Curls is such a fast knitter that she is usually further along than Q.  It helps that we do any new parts of the project together, especially with the Norwegian Star slipper project.  In the slipper project there was a typo when we got to the instep and with one reading and one knitting it was easy to figure out the problem.

As we are knitting, laughing, and generally having a marvelous time, people walk by to say “hi” and some to stop and chat.  Women want to know about knitting, so we are able to open the world of knitting up to someone new.  We both know how to crochet, but prefer knitting.

Lunch time, there is a deli next door to The Office which serves one of our favorite sandwiches; hot Santa Fe Chicken on a bagel.  It’s hard when we have to pack up and say good-bye for the day.  Another perfect day in paradise doing what we love!

Cover that Cake with Colorful Berries

~Eureka!  Isn’t it funny how all of a sudden an amazing idea comes to you?  Barb and I subscribe to different magazines so we can swap.  At “The Office” last Monday, we traded magazines.  While I was reading the Spring 2012 issue of “knitter’s magazine” I was quite taken with the three Cake Covers on page 78.  What a clever idea!  We use cut-up nylons around our yarn cakes.  While reading the pattern three things jumped out at me:  1. Size 2 needles, 2. Lace weight yarn, and 3. CO 6 stitches and work up to 120 stitches.  The problem is that I wanted to make one quickly.  I’m mulling the patterns over in the way-back-of-my-mind when I got to the article “Resourceful Ribs: Beyond Edgings and Cuffs” in the May 2012 “Creative Knitting” magazine.  Turning back to the previous page showing a wonderfully textured sweater title Relaxed Ribs, that was it.  Now it all came together, I decided to design my own cake cover pattern using:  1. A rib pattern, 2. A heavier weight yarn, 3. Size 8 needles, and 4. Knit top down.  I’m lucky enough to own Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Edition 2 where I found the Crossed Braid rib.

Picking out the yarn.  I wanted to use up something in my stash that had been sitting for quite awhile.  I keep my stash in my great-grandmother Martha’s (Mathea) hump-back trunk.  Imagine a 16 year old fitting all of her belongings into a trunk and immigrating to America, leaving her Norway homeland behind.  I’ve put lavender sachets in the trunk so I love opening it, being greeted by a heavenly smell while taking in a wonderful view of glorious colors and textures. Found the perfect yarn that looks as if someone had squished various berries all over it:  blueberries, gooseberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  Heavenly!  It’s Lion Brand Wool’s Autumn Sunset. Someone missed-named there, it is definitely Colorful Berries!

Now to design the pattern.  It took quite a bit of frogging until I was happy with the “lip” at the beginning, spacing of the holes, etc.  I also didn’t know if I wanted to use icord or use the lucet to weave cord.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.  The top picture shows the end product.

Here is a picture with the top open:

And, I think it would be great to knit with the top folded down.

Cover that Cake with Colorful Berries pattern.  This is such a versatile pattern, I think I’ll use different ribs each time I knit it.  Excitement bubbles within me since this is my very first pattern produced to share.  Shh, I’m planning on  giving this cake cover to sister Barb so don’t tell her.  If you use the pattern, please give me credit and SHARE pictures. Information is also posted at Ravelry.

It’s All About the Office! AKA Starbucks.

~What a fabulous day at The Office! Barb and I arrived around 9 am and left around 12pm!  When on our Northwest Journey we planned each day while at Starbucks; thus we began calling Starbucks – “The Office”.   You can see our “briefcases” and how we’re ready for the day.   It’s Barb’s birthday this week so we did some celebrating.  Pop Cake and drink of choice!  Yum!  Looked at Spin-Off and Creative Knitting Magazines.  Knitted. Talked.  Took pictures. A wonderful day!  Ended it by going to a thrift store to look for sweaters to unravel.  Barb found a 100% silk, light, sage green one which she want to try dyeing and I found a mohair- acrylic blend in a heavenly shade of peach.

One present I gave to Barbara was Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.  I purchased one for my self knowing we’d have a blast filling these out.  I told Barb that since it’s her present she gets to pick out the page we’d do every week.  The first page she picked is the name page,  saying we have to have our names in the journal!  We’ll share next Monday.  She’s told me she’s going to rename hers but wouldn’t tell me the title, said I have to wait until she picked the cover!!  So mean!

Cooler morning, although bright and sunny.  Barb showed up wearing her knitted: sweater, hat, and scarf.  Can’t get better than that.  I’ve mentioned these items in previous posts.   I had on my Maja shawl.

This is the Herdis by Elsebeth Lavold sweater that I mentioned a few days ago.  It is stunning!  What a knitter!  The buttons she used are antiques from our grandmother at the beginning of last century.  Tried to get a good close-up, but this was the closest we could get.  They are metallic and there is a bit of a shine that’s hard to capture.  The color is washed out even though there wasn’t a flash.  Sigh…  Guess it was a bad picture day!

And, she had completed the bottom and top of the slipper, after assuring me she wouldn’t get that far.  Instead of working on the slipper, I made a special, small, knitted gift for her.  I’ll write up the pattern and share on this blog.  So, I need to go catch up on the slipper.  Here I am madly working on it!