And So It Begins

q~Today is the first day since October that Barb and I were able to get together for the entire day. As a postal worker, Curls is totally bombed with work starting in the late fall through the Christmas rush. Today was spent brain-storming ideas for our momentous 2013 De-stash Year. After we’ve firmed up a few things that we are absolutely going to do we’ll post our resolution. Both of us have joined these groups on Ravelry to help with de-stash: 1. Sock It To Me 2013 and. 2. Stash Control 2013. Right now we figured the best way to de-stash yarn is to actually inventory what each of us has. A dent was made by entering a teeny tiny bit of our stashes on Ravelry. My handle is Slgennut and Curl’s is Babs52knitting.  I also have the Vogue Knitting app on my iPhone in which I’ve entered stash. The worst part is getting the pictures. I really wish either Ravelry or Vogue had pictures to click on in order to add. If wishes were horses………

Both of us agree that certain yarns and fabrics were purchased with specific projects in mind, however, too much was total impulse buying because the item called our names. I mean really, raise your hand if you’ve walked into a yarn store and hear your name being called by some gorgeous yarn that you couldn’t help but fondle. Or, the colors and texture were so heavenly that it was impossible to pass up. Or all of the above PLUS it was on sale. Hello my pretty, I must take you home.

The nice thing about the Ravelry Stash online is you can make notes as you enter the yarn info. I’ll be marking the yarns for which there is a specific purpose. Since I haven’t been spinning for a year, I’m not going to include fibers in my de-stash. I have a bit, but most of it is different types of wool I’d like to try and spin.

Time for 2012 is running short, 2013 is almost upon us and then the de-stash begins!

Not Another WIP!

~Hey fellow bloggers, I’m retired! You have to quite posting such wonderful “things” which I, in turn, lust after! (Jump down a few lines Alan) And… then have to buy! A limited income only goes so far you know! So which one of you had a link to Grumperina? ‘Fess up! I saw the Volna scarf and loved it. Now, I did use my will power for at least a week before I bought it.

Before purchasing, I decided to browse the Volna projects on Ravelry, I noticed that someone had used Crazy Zauberball by Schoppel using US 6. That sealed it. The pattern was MINE! I just happened to have Crazy Zauberball in my stash. I bought it because I LOVE the colors, not because I had a project in mind.

If you knit this project, it is easier if you use pointed, lace tip needles. There is a lot of k2tog and picking up yarns. I only had a “fat” tip pair of US 6 and it does slow me down. Also, notice my two other knitting tips. 1. I tied the tail around a plastic bread tab. I always leave the tail so, especially in garter stitch, I know which side in the Right Side (RS). The hanging tail gets in the way. How many of you have accidentally started knitting using the tail? Sigh….. 2. The wave pattern repeats 5 times. Wanting a quick counter, I put 5 beads onto a safety pin. Reminds me of the abacus! Quick and easy.

As with any pattern, there are two parts: the instructions and the row patterns.  The Volna has three pattern parts: Wave A, Wave B and Main. Using notecards, I wrote each pattern on it’s own card. On the back of the card, I wrote the written instructions for that part, see green card. Love these cards!  So, with the fan on me I’ve been knitting yet another new project!

 

Fuzzy’s (aka mom) comment reminded me that not everyone is a member of Ravelry. So here is the picture of Volna from Ravelry:

Hot Right Now!

~Had a yen to look at knitting patterns last night, so I went to Ravelry. Oh the patterns and yarns to see! I’m usually at the site looking for a particular pattern, haven’t done much surfing there. Clicking the Patterns tab I noticed a Hot Right Now column. I decided to look at which patterns are in the top 20. There are 6 patterns which had over 10,000 hits. These are the 6 most visited in order of hits. I have included the price at the end of each pattern line; three are free and three charge money.

 Gap-tastic Cowl by Jen Geigley – 22537 hits – Free

 Honey Cowl by Madelinetosh – 20869 hits – Free

 Color Affection by Veera Valimaki – 18553 hits – $$

 Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig – 17095 hits – $$

 Wingspan by maylin Tri’Coterie Designs – 15473 hits – Free

 Hitchhiker by Martina Behm – 12761 hits – $$

The only pattern I don’t have is Featherweight Cardigan. I don’t really wear lightweight sweaters. I usually wear vests since I get too hot. Fabulous! These are the most poplar right now by far! Another one has 6000+ hits, but most of the other top 20 are down in the hundreds of hits. Still, it must be exciting to make the Top 20!

 

AG Needs A Shawl Too!

 My precious granddaughter’s favorite birthday present was her American Girl which she has been wanting forever! Last night I decided that I had better make AG a shawl too. I did not feel like messing around developing a pattern.  To be honest, I’m SICK of working with the yarn and just wanted to be done. 😎 Ravelry here I come.  I found the perfect lace shawl pattern: American Girl Shawlette Or Poncho by Jacqueline Gibb. Within a couple of hours the shawl was done and blocked. So adorable! Isn’t the pattern exquisite? I’m going to make shawl stick pins for both shawls.

See that tiny piece of yarn left up at the right edge?  I purposely left it so that you can see that’s all of the hand-dyed yarn left! I wish I had a doll on which to model it, alas.  Maybe I need to buy one? 😎 Especially after seeing the American Girl patterns on Ravelry! Yikes!

This is my precious girl with her AG. They look as if they are twins. 😎 Aunt Emma gave her the matching outfits. Guess it’s time for me to make doll clothes for a third generation: me, my girls and my granddaughter. 😎

Sweaty Knitter had the best post about Faggotting and Faggots. Sorry, I can’t resist. 😎 I’m really fagged working with this yarn and all of the faggots I’ve had to make. (Ok, you can groan now.) Fagged = tired. One definition not listed. 😎

Maddie’s and Grandma’s Hearts Entwined

q8~ Happy Birthday to my granddaughter. How can it be 9 years? I’m afraid she inherited a very strange gene from me.  As a kid I had fair hair and freckles.  I just HATED those freckles, especially the biggest one on my nose. I asked mom when the freckles would go away and she told me when I was grown.  Well, the morning of my 8th birthday,  I ran to the mirror to see my new “freckle-less” nose.  Hum, imagine my surprise when they were still there!  I just knew turning eight meant I was grown up! Then before she turned eight, daughter Sarah told anyone and everyone within earshot that when she was eight she needed a desk of her own because she’d be grown up! My parents gave her a kid-size, roll-top desk.  And then there’s Maddie, at eight she told her mother, “Mom I need to wear lipstick everyday now because I’m a lady.”  The “I’m-All-Grown-Up-At-Eight”, such a funny gene to pass along. It does not seem to affect the male line, only the oldest daughter.

Anyway, both Maddie and I are having a hard time with their move to Hawaii. I decided to make a shawl for her out of the first yarn that Curls and I dyed. Asterope by Romi Hill was the perfect pattern, which I downloaded through Ravelry.  I had seen a model of the pattern at a LYS. I know the pattern is described as having an arrow going down the back, but to me it looks as if it’s hearts entwined; thus, Maddie’s and Grandma’s Hearts Entwined.   The blended colors are pink and purple.  Maddie’s favorite color is pink and grandma’s is purple.  The large holes represent all of the adventures Maddie is going to have   Every stitch is a kiss and the entire shawl is a huge hug.  She’s to wear it when she misses grandma or thinks grandma misses her.  When I send it, I’ll enclose a note for Maddie explaining all of the special meanings.  I know it’s late, but our family never minds late presents we feel as if the special occasion has been extended!

Knitting Up Fashion With i-Cord

Have you noticed that i-Cord is quickly becoming a fashion rage?  I’m not talking about the use of it as binding or ordornment on a knitted object. As we’ve been out and about on our visits to yarn shops, we have been seeing interesting accessories knit from i-Cord. Perusing our knitting magazines and Ravelry more ideas pop-up.

Vogue Knitting Winter 2010/11 Nickey Epstein’s Tie One on! Learning the Ropes.

Entwined Cowl pattern by Tanis Gray on sale at Ravelry

Knitter’s Magazine K105 Winter Erica Patberg’s Woven cowl.

If you’ve been to a local yarn shop (LYS) lately, I’m sure you’ve noticed that some companies are selling pre-knit i-Cord.  You can purchase pre-knit i-Cord, but it’s a bit expensive. I was so enthralled by it that I purchased Berroco Link.  They have free patterns for this yarn at their website This is quite a large i-Cord.  I knitted one of their scarf patterns found at their site.

We have seen quite a few necklaces made with i-Cord, tie 18 or more strands together and then place jeweled loops around them. Imagine the scarf below, bedecked in jeweled rings. This is a “no knitting” pattern.

Kathie’s Cowl knitted with Berroco link, free pattern.

Barb bought two different colorways of Odisea by Fil Katia to make our hats on the Northwest Journey. It is a much smaller i-Cord.

There are four ways I can think of to make i-cord: 1. knit using double pointed needles, 2. finger knitting, you can have your children do this for you!, 3. spool knitting, again get the kids to do it for you, and 4. the fastest is machine knitting. 😎 So, knit up some i-Cord or have the kids make some and do something wonderful!

What’s in Your Notepad?

Q – Two women had a strong influence in my upbringing; my mom and my grandmother.  Both highly creative women in different media.  One habit we have because of them; always carry a notepad in your purse because you never know what you’ll see when out-and-about that desperately needs to be written down.  I have a couple of my grandmothers old, beat-up notepads.  Ugly brown, but when I open them up and see my grandmother’s notes they are priceless.  I’m brought back to my childhood, I can see her jotting down notes as we are out.  She had notes about recipes, sketches about beading ideas, creations with yarn ideas, etc.  Her hand were always busy creating something!  I wish I had one of mom’s notepads.  She designed such wonderful clothes for my sisters and me.  Her notepad was filled with sewing ideas; such wonderful little dresses filled the pages.  I was quite envious when one of the dresses was for a sister and not me!

There is nothing more wonderful than walking into a yarn, quilt or fabric store and seeing all the models on display.  Fingers itching to do something new.  We especially love it when the yarn stores have a tag hanging from the display identifying the pattern and it’s free!  These are the notes for Curls and my trip to the Northwest, collected from various yarn stores, the majority of the free ones came from Yellow House Yarns in Puyallup:

Free Downloads:

Ravelry
Mara shawl
– Amy Hendrix
Moon River Scarf – Susanna IC
Annis shawl – Susanna IC
Gaia Shoulder Hug – Anne Carroll Gilmour
Madrid laced wristlets – Alexandra Brinck (any one up by Puyallup, this was a class at Yellow House Yarns)
Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl – Maggie Magalie – If you love ginkgo leaves you must visit Marjorie Moser’s blog she silkscreens and dyes the most fabulous items.
Urchin hat – Ysolda Teague
Advent-Calender-Scarf 2011 with beads – Kristin Benecken
Matilde Shawl – Chiara Chiavacci

Knitty
Bitterroot shawl with beads – Rosemary (Romi) Hill – I love her patterns!

Crystal Palace Yarns
Jasmine Lace Fingerless Mitts – Adrienne Fong

Not free, but wonderful:
Snapdragon Tam – Ysolda Teague
Monica scarf – Trudy Van Stralen
Traveling Woman – Liz Abinante
Entwined Cowl – Taniis Gray – stay tuned, we’re not going to buy the pattern but we’ve got a “BIG” idea
Trousseau shawl – Carol Feller

This was free in February, but looks as if it is not now.
Berry Tam – Lijuan Jing

Also jotted down were titles of  books and patterns that we liked.  One was “Scandinavian Slippers and Socks” which Curls bought.  We are knitting the Norwegian Star slipper pattern.

I found I spent the most money for yarns in Yellow House Yarns since they had so many models and the patterns were free.  I figured free patterns = more yarn!  I like that math!  Very smart marketing on their part!  This is just a sampling of the notes we took on our trip.  Doesn’t include the sewing ideas which will be a different post.  So, what’s in your notepad?