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!!

July 31, 2015

From Susan — A Good Life

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:37 am

Our beloved yellow lab, Molly, is gone.  She was 15, and had deteriorated quite a bit in recent weeks.  She struggled every day.  By last Friday she refused food and water, and could not go outside or even stand (she had to be carried).  She had been our baby girl for so long, we just could not imagine a day without her!  We made the decision for in-home euthanasia.  Her last moments were peaceful, in her own bed, surrounded by people who loved her.  She looked beautiful – young and sleek and golden.

We don’t have a lot of great pictures like Sally has of Thor, but here are a few.

Molly as a Baby – July 2000

Family Christmas 2000

Molly in her Prime

I already shared this picture on the blog, but it really does capture Molly perfectly, as she waits for that next bite of bagel!

Molly was the perfect companion, loving and gentle.  One of a kind, never to be forgotten.  My heart is broken, but I am grateful that she had a long and wonderful life, and that she chose us to be her family.

July 26, 2015

From Sally — Queen of the Mountain

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 9:17 am

I’ve been a fan of cycling for lo these many years. I still remember Greg LeMond’s heart-stopping victory over Laurent Fignon in the 1989 Tour de France and, as long time readers know, my son-in-law was a pro cyclist. (He retired last year.) So how is it I never knew about Natalie Servant’s Tour de France shawl knitalongs? I learned about it this year at Knitting Camp. The challenge: cast on and finish the shawl before the riders reached Paris.

Even though the Tour had been going on for a week, I accepted the challenge and cast on. This year’s design was called Labrouste, designed by Natalie Servant and modeled after the gorgeous ceiling in the Henri Labrouste reading room in the Bibliotheque Nationale. Sun Valley Fibers was at Knitting Camp, and I purchased some of their luscious MCN Fingering in Terra Cotta.

I loved having an excuse to sit and knit and watch this year’s Tour without feeling guilty. I was rooting for a Frenchman to win. It didn’t happen, but Romain Bardet and Thibault Pinon gave me a lot to cheer about. I cast off just as the riders were about to start the final climb up the legendary Alpe d’Huez. In 1989, my husband rode up that climb. I drove to the top to wait for him. It was a scary road even in a car. I drove so slowly, and he rode so fast, that I was barely out of the car before he arrived. I still remember Nora running after him. (She was only 3.) Perhaps that’s where her love of cycling was born.

Below are some photos of the shawl, including a shot of the climb (well, of the TV showing the climb) and the unblocked shawl draped over the screen.

July 20, 2015

From Susan — A Loft

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:41 pm

Summer seems to be flying by.  Ack.

I did get a small project done!  I am going to teach a class at The Yarnery this fall and needed to make the shop sample.  I toyed around with a couple of shawl patterns and settled on Rakke by Susanna IC.  It can be knit with LOFT or Shelter.  I made the LOFT version, which takes about 2 skeins (my color is Long Johns).

It was a fast and fun knit.  There are nupps involved, but the LOFT handled them just fine.  LOFT is growing on me.  I kind of like it now!!  I found an error in the pattern and the Brooklyn Tweed Support Team responded quickly and efficiently.  Great customer service!!

All in all, a satisfying little project.  What is in store next?  Only the psychic network knows!!  I hope they let me in on the secret….

July 14, 2015

From Susan — The Hangover

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:23 pm

I have a post-Camp 2015 hangover!!  I feel groggy, sluggish and off kilter.  It is the result of being in an enclosed space with too much (is there such a thing??!!) yarn and lots of yarnies (people who adore yarn).  I’m sure I’ll recover quickly!!

Camp was great.  Wonderful to see everyone, and to sit at the feet of knitting royalty (Meg Swansen) and hear her words of knitting wisdom…as well as some jokes that are not PG rated!  We learned a lot, we laughed a lot, others knit a lot.  I experienced “project issues” and really have nothing to show for a “knitting weekend.”

Here are the yarns I acquired:

Not that much as these things go!

  1. Briggs & Little Regal, in two colors — I won this for taking 1st place in the annual challenge
  2. KnitCircus Greatest of Ease in Lothlorien — beautiful
  3. Schachenmayr Tahiti in Sun Shower (purchased at The Yarnery in a heading-home drive buy shopping urge)
  4. SunValley Fingering in a gorgeous reddish violet called Cherry

We stopped at The Norske Nook in Osseo Wisconsin and I picked up a cherry pie that was just out of the oven and piping hot.  Oh my.  We are eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

This year’s challenge theme was “If I Had Wings.”  I submitted Nightingale (as it is covered in wings!) and used Somewhere Over the Rainbow as my inspiration.  My little poem:

To celebrate our theme of ‘If I Had Wings’
I’ll harken back to a song that Judy Garland Sings…

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where my stash is all around me
Where troubles melt, no stitches drop
And I can knit and never stop
That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow, yarn is blue
And the dream that I dared to dream finally did come true
If knitted little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow why, oh, why can’t I?

It’s back to work tomorrow, which will make Camp seem so far, far away…

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