November 20, 2015

From Susan — What I Knit with Company

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:16 pm

Sally shared her cute sweater and now I’ll share what I started at the Knit with Company Retreat.  I fell in love with Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s Suke-Suke Cowl for its striking textural stitch.  I chose a multifaceted colorway in Malabrigo Rios.  It is a rich mix of greens, eggplant purple and browns called Canbombe.

It was actually pretty boring to knit, which is why it took me so long to finish!  The tuck rows took an hour each!   My cowl did not block well at all.  The edges ripple and it seems to accordion and look a little floppy.  All that said, it really looks nice on and I received a lot of compliments.  Rios is worsted weight, so if you have a couple of skeins of hand dyed worsted yarn (~400 yards’ worth) in a stunning color, this may really showcase it!!

Even the inside looks interesting!

All in all I am very pleased!

As a sidebar, I did a speaking gig at the Minnesota Knitters Guild titled Anatomy of a Project: Taking Your Project from Start to Finish on Tuesday evening.  It was really an honor to be asked, especially considering the caliber of knitters in the guild.  Thank you, everyone, for such a warm reception!!

November 13, 2015

From Sally — What I Knit with Company

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 4:24 pm

At the Knitting with Company Retreat that Susan and I attended, we got to see and try on lots of knitted models. I fell in love with Leigh, designed by Julie Hoover. I bought the pattern and yarn and cast on immediately.

There was lots to love. Leigh is a simple but classic shape with little details that give it interest: decorative eyelets along the sleeves (which perform double duty as the sleeve increases), a split hem, and small tucks across the back neckline. I added a single crochet seam across the top of the sleeve.

As some of you may know, I’m a big fan of Shibui yarns. Leigh is knit out of two strands of Shibui Pebble held double. Pebble — a tweedy lace weight mix of recycled silk, merino, and cashmere — doesn’t look like all that in the skein. But it’s wonderful when it is knitted up, especially after being wet blocked. I LOVE the texture.

I chose a color named Hedge, a dark grayish green. Or is it a greenish gray? Almost impossible to decide. Either way, it’s a beautiful, subtle color that’s a perfect neutral. Sadly, and I do mean sadly, Shibui has just discontinued this color. Shibui is known for blending their yarns into various combinations or mixes in their proprietary patterns and most of their colors are available across multiple yarns. Hedge, as far as I can tell, was an orphan color. That may be why it was discontinued — no other yarns (e.g., Silk Cloud or Maai or Cima) to blend it with.

I’m glad I found it when I did. Buy it while supplies last. Trust me.

I’ve attached some photos. Both the color and sweater are difficult to photograph. However, I can tell already I will be wearing this one a lot. (The second photo, of the back neck, is probably the truest to the color.)

November 4, 2015

From Susan — Sometimes Great Things Happen

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:18 pm

We knit and sometimes that knitting morphs into something fabulous.  I just finished a scarf that is beyond amazing…Vintage Velvet using Touch Me Due yarn, color Frate, by Muench.  (They also sell regular Touch Me, which does not have a tonal quality.)

Before Felting

After Felting

This short video shows what happens to the yarn once it is felted following the pattern instructions:

I bought the yarn from Jimmy Beans at half price — still expensive, but worth it!!  It looks like they still have a pretty decent color selection.  The pattern calls for 5 skeins, but I used 8 and got a scarf the stated size!  If I was to do it again, I think I would go with 7 and stretch it out more during blocking.

And what happened to all the people who wanted to hear about the retreat?  Not a single comment! :(

Response to Suzan who asked how I felted the scarf (did I follow the pattern):
I just followed the pattern instructions and washed it once in hot water (in the machine) – in a zipped lingerie bag.  I dried it in the dryer for a while, but it was still really damp.  It took forever to dry, so every morning and every evening I would pop it back into the dryer for 15 minutes or so.  It FINALLY dried!  At that point I fluffed it in the dryer one more time.  I don’t know that any of that was necessary!

October 31, 2015

From Susan and Sally – Yes, We’re Back!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:01 am

From the looks of it, we never returned from Detroit Lakes, but we did — right on time!!  We have been delinquent on “retreat follow up” but here goes.

We left the cities in a driving rain (pun intended!).  The lake was obscured by heavy fog when we arrived, but the hotel (The Lodge on Lake Detroit) was lovely:

The lobby

The View from Susan’s Room at Sunrise – once the fog cleared!

Shelley and Scott from The Yarnery did an amazing job of organizing everything – they were so welcoming and really planned the weekend to perfection.  The idea was to get a group of knitters together to knit and socialize in a relaxing setting, while hanging out with popular knitting designers.

Catherine Lowe, Julie Hoover, Olga Buraya-Kefelian (aka OlgaJazzy), Michelle Wang (pronounced Wong)
The four designers (and some other notables) were there to talk about their knitting journeys and to assist us in selecting projects from the many original samples on hand and in executing techniques from their designs.  They were warm, knowledgeable, and eager to participate and get to know the knitters.  There was a small Yarnery “pop up” shop that sold Shibui, Brooklyn Tweed, and Woolfolk yarns (along with assorted kits and other yarns) that was kept very busy.  The Shibui rep and BT support staff were also present.

Catherine has had a long knitting history, with a focus on meticulous finishing techniques.  Her designs and yarns are sought after by serious knitters.  (As a side note, she and Sally have a long time connection through Yarns International, where they both worked years ago.)  Julie, Olga, and Michelle are all talented and creative designers who found knitting after a circuitous journey, often landing on knitting design by being in the right place at the right time.  It was fun to hear their personal stories and their insights on their design process.

Susan worked on Olga’s Suke-Suke Cowl because of its striking textural stitch (using Malabrigo Rios).  Sally chose a Julie Hoover top called Leigh in Shibui Pebble that was super cute and fit Sally really well.

We had a wonderful time and met some great people!!

Once we returned, we both got swept up in real life.  We have several FOs to share which will be revealed in the near future.

And Happy Hallowe’en!!


October 21, 2015

From Susan – To “Air” is Human

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:04 am

Who could resist Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze and firepolish beads or Swarovski crystals?  Not I!!  I am too cheap for the crystals (I used firepolish 6mm beads instead, 50 for the pink and 100 for the green), used KSH from my stash, and a free pattern from Rowan.  Cheap thrills!!

The pattern is called Triangular Shawl by Jennie Atkinson.  It is sometimes referred to as a scarf, but it is the same pattern.  It says it takes one skein, but I had to dip into the second for the pink (the green is smaller for some reason and came in just under a skein).  Jennie reworked the design into a larger triangular shawl as well, that takes three times the yarn and crystals.

You need to create an account and log into the Rowan website to access the pattern.  I did my first (the raspberry color) following the pattern, but made some changes to the second (green) version.  MAKE SURE YOU BIND OFF LOOSELY.  I did not bind off loosely enough on the green and it is a problem.  If the bind off breaks, I have enough yarn to redo the edging… but it would be a bummer. :(

Also, I did not thread the beads onto the yarn until the row they were going to be used.  I did it as instructed the first time and it meant several rows of pushing the beads along for no real reason.  I wrote up my changes on my project page.

So I have two lighter than air shawls that are quite dressy.  I love them, and hope to just throw them on as an accent — probably more next spring and summer.

I am really getting excited because Sally arrives tomorrow.  We will be heading to this retreat, sponsored by The Yarnery (my favorite knitting store):

We each need to be working on something designed by the featured artists.  We will reveal our selections after the retreat!!

October 19, 2015

From Susan — Danish Knit Off

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:31 am

If you like cooking challenge shows (like Master Chef) as much as I do, you will adore this Danish version with KNITTING!!  Found this on Ravelry — where else??!!

The following two episodes have English subtitles, though others are available in the original non-subbed format.  Enjoy!!

October 17, 2015

From Susan — I am Revived

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:43 am

I just received something very special in the mail: Bohus Knitting – The Revival.  Oh my.  Very beautiful.  I already own Poems of Color by Wendy Keele (and there is overlap), but the new book is wonderful.  It is written in both Swedish and English, with lots of photos and patterns.  I saw the book being discussed on Ravelry in the group dedicated to Bohus knitting.  I clicked a link and was off and running.  I did not know how much the book would cost (~$56) or where it was coming from (Sweden) and did not care!  It would make a nice gift to yourself!!

PS – am I the only one that gets Poems of Color and Poetry in Stitches mixed up??

And speaking of revived — last Sunday we had a phenomenal weather day.  It was a gorgeous 85 degrees!  Summer yet fall all wrapped up in one.  I spent the day with a group of peeps that I have known for over 40 years.  We went to Florida together a couple of years ago.  Here we are with the mighty Mississippi as backdrop, enjoying a glorious day!

From left to right: Deb, Martha, Jan, Me

I love this picture for a lot of reasons, but mostly because my triple chin isn’t showing!! 😉

October 5, 2015

From Sally — A Tale of Two Collars

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 11:33 am

Susan and I often joke (I say joke but sadly we’re not kidding) that it feels as if we knit everything twice.  (We always knit twice, Or so it seems . . . ) My latest sweater, Nanook, was no exception. There was nothing wrong with the pattern; it’s well written and easy to follow. I was simply unhappy with my choice of yarn partway through knitting this the first time.

The original yarn, Verdande by Spirit Trail Fiberworks, is lovely yarn. I had it (and still have it) in a beautiful blue called Midnight Rendezvous. The first problem was that the decorative increases on the back yoke of the sweater didn’t show up clearly in the dark yarn. The second problem was that there was more color variation in the yarn than I wanted for this particular project. I got fairly far (farther than shown here) and decided that I needed to start over. So I did. (I’m now looking for a good project for the Verdande which is beautiful, luscious yarn in its own right.)

Midnight Rendezvous Collar

My second yarn choice, which worked out perfectly, is Equus by Shalimar Yarns. The color is Sand Dollar. It’s hard to capture this color. It truly is the color of damp sand.

I didn’t make any significant modifications. In the photos of me in the sweater, the sleeves look a tad short. They’re not. I was wearing a long sleeved wool tunic under my Nanook which pulled the sleeves up a bit.

I’m happy with how it turned out, but I’m hoping I’ll only have to knit my current project once.

October 2, 2015

From Susan — Riding the Band Wagon

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:58 am

I love me them gradients!  I was at The Yarnery last weekend and saw the last available gradient yarn set from FiberStory in colorway “Marooned.”  I bought a coordinating skein of Fave Sock in Muse.

I have no idea what I will do with these little treasures!!

I have been slowly working on my Woodfords sleeves.  The pattern says the sleeves are supposed to be 11″ (due to the drop shoulder).  I measured the length I would need at 15 inches.  Okay.  That is within normal limits.  I have knit 9 inches and remeasured — I need another 10 inches!  All my decrease calculations are based on 15!  Are my arms growing?  My measuring tape shrinking?  All I know is that having gorilla arms is a cross that I must bear…as well as more knitting, measuring and calculating.  I find that with top down sleeves, I always have to knit a lot more than I think.

PS – Sagerain mentioned Romi Hill’s Williwaw Cardigan, which I already have the pattern and yarn for!!  I am not sure I will go for the gradient look there but I think it could really work!

September 23, 2015

From Susan — Deja Vu All Over Again

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:46 am

Yogi Berra just passed away and they ran a list of “yogi-isms.”  I fond that I have used a several of these over the years, or at least they’re worth a laugh!!

On selecting a restaurant: ”Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

On how events sometimes seem to repeat themselves: ”It’s deja vu all over again!”

On fan mail: ”Never answer an anonymous letter.”

On being asked what time it was: ”You mean now?”

On a spring training drill: ”Pair off in threes.”

On his approach to playing baseball: ”Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”

On death: ”Always go to other people’s funerals. Otherwise they won’t go to yours.”

On learning: ”You can observe a lot by watching.”

Our dad tells the story of his mother returning home from the butcher shop during WWII and telling him that she “bought every lamb chop they had before the hoarders got there!”  Sally and I use that line all the time — especially when talking about yarn.  We have to buy it all before the hoarders get it!!

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