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!!

September 12, 2015

From Susan — Skirting the Issue

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:07 am

I must admit that I wanted to write this post just so I could use that title!!  I have been slogging away at my Woodfords for weeks now.  The “skirt” is 300+ sts and is just plain slow.  The marker you see (the clip on at the hem) was Sally’s idea.  She said place a marker when you start knitting and then you can see that you actually made progress.  Love it.  That small amount of added length took me all of my Thursday knitting group!!  :(  One of my knitting peeps said, “I thought you’d be done with that by now!”  I can’t repeat what I thought about her comment!!

I also thought I would share a project that I finished right before the state fair.  It’s a cute little hat called Rose and Lily.  When I first saw it, I thought it would benefit greatly from invisible stranding.  The long carries across the momma elephant are problematic.  I used stash fingering weight yarn to make an adult sized hat.  Because of that I needed more length, so I added some decorative accents.  I also used corrugated ribbing for more color, and attached a kumihimo flourish.  I really love this hat!!

We are in full fall mode here.  The temp dropped like a silk lace stitch.

September 1, 2015

From Sally — Madam Cozy

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 2:37 pm

I’m frequently sidetracked by what the actors are wearing when I’m watching a movie or a television show. It’s not just knitted items, although I pay special attention to them, of course. I wish it were possible to buy slightly modernized versions of some of the gorgeous pieces in Downton Abbey (I watch that show almost exclusively for the clothes) or Testament of Youth (liked the film, loved the costumes).

Apparently, others pay attention to the costumes, too. Carol Sunday recently put out a pattern based on a sweater Téa Leoni wore during an episode of Madam Secretary. The sweater, titled Madam Secretary,is a cozy, oversized shrug with dolman sleeves. It’s a simple knit — all garter stitch — and typical of Carol’s designs, the construction itself is interesting. I knit mine out of Angelic, a soft blend of extra fine merino and angora.

This is a casual, comfortable sweater that I will wear constantly once the weather turns colder. It’s difficult to photograph because of the shape but I’m very happy with it. My one modification was to join the sleeve seams with applied i-cord, which I carried across the back.

August 28, 2015

From Susan — But It’s a Tradition!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:05 am

Kim and I are ALWAYS standing at the entrance of the Creative Activities Building right at 9am for the opening of the doors.  Not this year.  It reminded me of the many times in recent years I have missed hubby finishing at the Birkie. :(  The bus gods were not with us.  We got there shortly after the place opened, though we did take the time to scarf down a corn dog for breakfast! 😉

The first thing you see when you walk in is a big boat.  It was one of the entries and did quite well!

The only thing was that it blocked the entrance to the building and created a bit of a bottleneck.

The hunt was on to find our entries.  This was a strange year for me as far as knitting is concerned.  My  Dale of Norway was such a time eater I didn’t get as many things done this year.  Loyal readers of the blog will recognize most of my entries.

I was very pleased this year.  Roosevelt, Window to my Soul, Vogue Hat #5, and Dale of Norway won first place ribbons.  My Elephant Hat and Scatness took second.  The winners in those categories were amazing.  The sweepstakes went to a circular lace shawl.

Kim’s entries were displayed very well and showcased her flawless knitting (elephant hat and submarine sweater).

The winner of this year’s Penelope Knitters Award for best gloves went to a fellow Camper – Lucy Norman.  We saw the gloves at Camp and knew she would get this award.  Just stunning!!  Congratulations!!

So, a fun day!  The weather was picture perfect and we left exhausted.  I will probably go again next week with hubby!

PS – We tried the Macaroni and Cheese Cupcake at LuLu’s and definitely recommend it!!  :)


August 21, 2015

From Susan — Glacial

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:32 pm

I put Erika’s sweater into the mail today — yay!!  Well in time to be there for the start of school.

I have been fairly monogamous lately, basically working on my Woodfords Cardigan.  It is a slow, slow knit.  Lots of acreage and small yarn.  I am enjoying it though.

I am loving the yarn…LOFT.  Yes.  It is official.  I am a LOFT-loving convert.  :)  It is so fluffy.  The sweater feels like air.  I hope the yarn holds up with wear, but at least when you make it yourself, you can fix it.

The knitting looks rough — it is a thick-thin yarn and has not been blocked.  But I love the rustic look.

The pattern is very complex but everyone seems able to do it.  The instructions are unusual but clearly written.  I am glad I am using the same yarn and got pretty close gauge so I can just go with the flow.  I am wondering why she didn’t make my size wider — the smaller sizes cut in at the underarm more than the larger sizes*.  Oh well.  I am going to move forward and trust the designer.  That is a stretch for me!!

*I measured the back width against the store-bought sweater I am aiming for for fit, and they are the same.  Yay!

PS: Annie asked about my “basting” sts along the fronts.  That is actually the waste yarn I use for counting rows for the front increases.  I described my method in this post.  It is my go-to approach for counting everything.

PS to Pam: The Breckon Cardigan is gorgeous!!

August 17, 2015

From Susan — Sometimes You Have to Go Back

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:38 pm

I am glad so many of you liked the cookie recipe.  I had no idea that it came from an oatmeal canister!!

When I get done with a project, the key word is D O N E.  Never to return!  But sometimes we have to revisit our projects to make improvements.

I made a sweater for my great (in so many ways!) niece last Christmas.  When she tried it on, she and her mom asked if they could return it for a bigger size, since they couldn’t tell right away that I made it.  Once they realized it was handmade, they said that it fit perfectly, but I knew that Erika was disappointed in the sleeve length.  I told them both that it would be an easy fix and I had a whole, untouched skein of yarn left over.  But they didn’t want me to go to the trouble.  However, they finally admitted defeat and asked me to lengthen the sleeves.  With fall in the air and school starting soon, the time was NOW!

I threw in a piece of yarn so I could rip back.

Length added — about 2 inches I think.  It should fit better!

As long as I was at it, I decided to fix my Hitofude.  I had just worn it and it bugged me yet again that the sleeve “seams” have no give whatsoever.  They are joined using a 3-needle bind off and there just isn’t any stretch at all.  I tug and nothing happens.

So, I threaded a small needle through each side of the bind off before unzipping the seam (not going all the way to the armpit or to the outside edge).  That way I did not have to try to catch two sets of teeny live sts at the same time.  It actually worked.  For both sleeves!  I joined them with a stretchy 3-needle bind off, that doesn’t look very good, but works better.  To add stretch, I did a k1 (k1, k these 2 sts tbl) but going through both layers at the same time.

The most amazing thing is that I found the leftover yarn for both of these redo’s.   Awesomeness!!!

PS – someone on Ravelry was discussing my Hito and pondering grafting the sleeve seams instead of the 3-needle bind off or its variations.  I did graft the seams on my Sweet Dreams Hito and it worked fine. You really don’t need structure there. I just didn’t feel like taking the time to graft my gray Hito. Call me lazy!!

August 9, 2015

From Susan — Laugh Out Loud Funny

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:37 pm

May I assume that most of you, as readers of a knitting blog, are kind of into crafty, DIY types of stuff, and may peruse Pinterest for fun and clever ideas?  Today I saw this assortment of attempts at recreating the cute things found on Pinterest.  It so reminded me of many of my knitting, sewing, baking projects!!

44 Pinterest Fails

Which was your favorite???

August 8, 2015

From Susan — Comfort Food

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:52 pm

It feels like summer is over.  To be honest, summer doesn’t really end in Minnesota until October,  but we start whining about it as soon as August rolls around!!

Today felt like a day that needed a cookie.  So I made my favorite homemade cookies and it was a perfect batch.  I shared a small plateful with the neighbors and thought I should share the recipe with you!!

These cookies are chewy and crisp, and absolutely delicious.  I did not realize that I prefer my oatmeal cookies ‘sans cinnamon’ until I tasted these.  The recipe comes from a woman I used to work with.  She had these down to a science.  This is a half batch which is perfect for my little family.  I like it that I always have the ingredients on hand.

Go make these right now.  Really.  You will be happy!!!

PS: These are the type of oats that I use:

August 3, 2015

From Susan — Heartfelt Thanks

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:42 pm

You just don’t know how much it has meant to me to read your words of sympathy and support.  Thank you, Dear Readers!!

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