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May 6, 2015

From Susan — Color Blind

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:59 am

Hi, Folks!  Happy Spring.  Spring in Minnesota is a magical time, as we exit our caves and blink into the sunlight.

I did immediately dive into my Ponchini and finished it.  The pattern had some quirks, but I followed it as written.  I was sent on a mission to StevenBe’s by my blog partner (aka, Surly) and decided to drag my ponchini-in-progress along to compare it to the original.

You may remember that I fell in love with the original (spotted at Yarnover) because of the color.  Jeremy selected my yarn for me as I repeated, “I want it to look exactly like this one.”  I have witnesses!!

It doesn’t.  Not at all.  I am not faulting Jeremy (I love Jeremy!), but I am disappointed.

Mine is also sewn opposite which reverses the color scheme.  I sewed it the same way and tried it on.  I must be “right sided” or something, but I needed to have the longer side to the right, not the left.  I had to rip out the seam and do it over!

And thanks to all for your positive reception to my It’s Not About the Hat pattern!  Mwah!!


PS – Some of you asked about gauge.  I am sure I probably knit tighter than the original…plus, it is not hanging free so you can’t see the light showing through.

See?  Less “solid” than you think!!

April 26, 2015

From Susan — King Tut’s Tomb

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:50 pm

When Carter and Herbert discovered the entrance to King Tut’s Tomb in the Valley of the Kings (1922), they knew they had unearthed something important that had to be shared with the world.  They didn’t build or invent the tomb, only uncovered it for the rest of the world to appreciate.

That’s how I felt when I discovered a new knitting technique that I call Invisible Stranding…only on a smaller scale.  Okay, a much smaller scale.  Okay, the analogy is overwrought and ridiculous.  BUT, I felt really excited about it and wanted to share it with the world.  Okay, the knitting world.

Invisible Stranding allows you to carry yarn across any number of stitches without catching the floats.  Catching floats creates a visible pucker in your knitting and often allows the other color to show through.  Invisible Stranding eliminates these problems and leaves the knitting smooth.

I was particularly interested in this method because of the Dale of Norway sweater I have been working on for the past few years :( .  The carries on some rounds were greater than 30 sts and that was a problem.  Everything I tried looked awful.  But then I used this technique and it worked perfectly.  No dimples, no puckers, no color showing through.

In order to share my discovery, I needed a vehicle, so I decided to design a hat pattern.  Hats are small projects.  :)  I used worsted weight yarn.  :)   And only two colors.  :)   My goal was to focus on the technique, not get side tracked with other design elements.  Plus, Malabrigo Merino Worsted feels like cashmere.  :)

The result is my It’s Not About the Hat Pattern which is available on Ravelry.

It’s Not About the Hat

The pattern comes in 5 sizes, and both standard and slouchy fit.  I charted the color motif and also wrote it out line by line.  There are YouTube video tutorials for all aspects of the technique.

The following video is an introduction to the technique.

So this is what I have been working on the last few weeks!  It feels good to get it off my plate and out into the world!  :)

Response to question from PurrlGurrl: PurrlGurrl asked if a newbie to fair isle/stranded knitting could attempt this project.  I agree with what Sally said about it being for people who are already familiar with stranded knitting.  No attempt is made to walk the knitter through stranded knitting.  It is only meant to introduce people to an advanced, additional  approach to the knitter’s toolbox.

BUT, that said, there is nothing stopping someone from trying it!!  There are multiple youtube videos that demonstrate the entire process start to finish!

April 25, 2015

From Susan — Yarnover

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:48 pm

Today was Yarnover — the one-day knitting extravaganza hosted by the Minnesota Knitters Guild.  I have been a member of the committee the last few years, but after last year’s event, I opted to take my leave.  So today I went as a civilian.  Loved it!!

I shopped like a drunken sailor.  We saw a knitting bag that said, “My Drinking Group has a Knitting Problem.”  I think my knitting group has a shopping problem!!

Let’s survey the damage…

  1. Forget Me Not Shawl Kit from The Grinning Gargoyle — a cute little triangular neck piece in deep purples and grays.  The sale clerk was wearing one, so I had to buy it.
  2. Seda Sock (a perennial favorite) in a color not unlike my Window to my Soul which I was wearing at the time called Cayenne
  3. In the what were you thinking category – I bought TWO skeins of StevenBe’s Shop Hop Special Colorway.  Yarn is called Hedgehog Sock in the Peacock Tease colorway.  No idea yet what this will be…
  4. Schachenmayr Select Couture Cotton with tiny seed pearls — for a little necklace-type thingie to wear to work.
  5. After that it was kind of a blur.  Everything went dark and I saw stars.  Woke up with $165 worth of yarn.  Felt woosy.  Had to go sit down.  I bought the exact yarn to make this:

The yarn and colors were absolutely stunning.  I really liked it.  So, It ended up in my bag.  It takes 3 hanks of Alchemy Silken Straw (100% silk, colors  Borealis, Pony Up, and Radiant Orchid) and 2 of Haiku (40% silk 60% mohair, colors Pony Up and Radiant Orchid).

The greens and purples called me.  They must have also dialed the phone to Surly, because she made me go back and buy her the identical yarn!!  That’s why you “see double” in the picture above.  The only difference is I bought Dragon instead of Pony Up for the green.

I have to say that I truly enjoyed just hanging out and shopping with my peeps, and not worrying about the rooms and signage and coffee and lunch.  What a treat!!  It was wonderful seeing all my knitting friends.  Lori looked especially stunning in her orange shoes and sweater!!

I have also decided to get crackin’ on my Alchemy treasure trove instead of working on other projects that are looming.  I need a break into “shiny new.”


April 21, 2015

From Susan — Knitting for No One, But Who Cares???

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:09 am

This may not be for anyone in particular but that never stopped me before!  When I see something cute that I want to knit, I knit it.  Nuff said.

Last Thursday at knitting group, a couple of people were knitting these: DMCs Top This! Hats.  OMG…these things are adorable!!

Kim and I ordered them immediately via my phone from Webs.  It looks like they just restocked — they have a huge supply!  We both bought the monkey and Kim got a Unicorn, which is absolutely adorable!

My Little Cutie Patootie

Anyway, they could not be cuter…plus reasonably priced, and a quick knit to boot.  Great gift to have on hand!!

April 17, 2015

From Susan — Wore It, Love It

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:47 am

It always amazes me when things actually work! I wore my new dress and my Window to my Soul sweater to work the other day and a- the dress fit and was COMFORTABLE and 2- the sweater looked cute.  Yay!!

Laura wore her blue Hitofude today so I grabbed a couple of pics as she headed to her car. Proof that she wears my knitting!!

April 13, 2015

From Sally — Once in a Blue Moon

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 2:10 pm

That’s about how often I post lately, for which I apologize.  I’ve been knitting quite a bit but everything I’m working on is slow.  Plus, as is my nature, I often work on so many different projects at a time that it takes even longer for me to finish something.

So here is a project I finished quite a few weeks ago but didn’t post about because it’s difficult to photograph due to its short, “bat wing” shape. It looks cute on, but not so cute on my mannequin. I wore it quite a bit when I was in New York recently for a fun girls’ weekend.

The sweater is Eastbound, designed by Courtney Kelley for Interweave Knits. I used the yarn called for in the pattern: Fibre Company’s Organik. It’s a blend of merino, baby alpaca, and silk. Yes, it’s nice but as is the case with many soft, single ply yarns I expect it will pill. The color I chose is Solstice.

As I said, hard to photograph but easy to wear. (I’ll distract you first with my cherry blossoms.)

April 7, 2015

From Susan — Post Part II

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 10:46 pm

Thanks to everyone with their comments about fabric stores.  I did get to Crafty Planet and it has a ton of nice fabrics.  Mostly prints, and a decent yarn selection.  I could not decide on anything but I will definitely go back.  The cute logo says it all!

We Missed It

Our bloggiversary.  On March 20 it was our 9th anniversary.  We talked about doing something to commemorate it, but time flew by and nothing happened.  So, thank you all for reading our blog these past nine years!!!

March 30, 2015

From Susan — Wild Turkeys Gone Wild

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:47 pm

Oh, my.  It’s that time of year again, when all things wild go wild.  I woke up to heavy gobbling in the backyard this morning.  “How you doin’?” in turkey talk!!

There were 20 of them, the males puffed up and proudly displaying their gorgeousness.

Strut it!

The blue thingie with the white balls hanging down is a little disturbing.  If not “blown up” the deflated balls are red.  The males walk 3-4 steps and then stop, pause, and turn ever so slightly.  Did you see that?  Can you believe how sexy I am?  Rinse and repeat, Baby!!

Could not resist a little replay of Marvin Gaye from 4 years ago!!  ;)

PS to Julie: They are a flock of wild turkeys that wander through our yard every day!!

March 29, 2015

From Susan — Yes, We are Here

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:34 am

Still alive but not much goin’ on!!  I spent yesterday sewing.  You may experience this — when  I finish a new sweater I realize that I have nothing to wear it with.  This was the case with Window to My Soul.  The bright reddish/orange-ish/pinkish color made it a “unique” addition to my ragged and pathetic wardrobe.

I spent the good part of last weekend shopping for fabric.  The fabric stores in the Twin Cities are sad.  We used to have some wonderful shops, but they have all closed.  You get JoAnn, Hancock and Treadle Yard Goods: boring, boring, and small/nice-but-hit-or-miss.  ** See PS **  So, I ended up at Blue Bamboo Fabrics (NOTE: I had the name wrong when I first posted!!!).

I always seem to end up at Blue Bamboo.  They have expanded and are now huge.  They specialize in quilting fabrics (especially Japanese prints), but quilting fabrics often work for my needs.  They are not a full service sewing store — you still need to shop for notions, lining, etc. elsewhere.

For my bright reddish/orange-ish/pinkish target color, the pickings were slim, however.  I settled on something I wasn’t quite thrilled with, but I figured that something is better than nothing.  It is Chamberry by Adorn It (#s 387, 404).

It has a kind of vintage feel.  I used my binding method again, but with a contrasting fabric.  I tried the dress on with the sweater and the sweater covered up everything cute about the dress.  So, the sweater needs to be worn unbuttoned.  Okay…

I continue to work on my Fading Lines.  I messed up and started the sweater with the wrong skein — it is too whitish and there is a definite line where I started the 2nd skein.  I considered starting over, but finally said, never mind.  I keep second guessing that choice, but too late now!  And, no, I do not alternate skeins!!  Life is too short.  I’d rather stew about it forever instead!! ;)

PS — Jill mentioned SR Harris in her comment (the nice website photos must be from their new location!!).  I live 5 minutes from there but it is a scary warehouse situation that screams “fire trap” to me!! I never think of going there but I know many people swear by it.

March 21, 2015

From Susan — Pop Up

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:33 pm

Today I taught a “pop up” class at The Yarnery on how to do a garter tab cast on.  It was really fun — they are so good to me there.  I love teaching for them.

One of the attendees was an out-of-towner named Eileen Mitchard.  She is the force behind Breast in Show, a musical about breast cancer.  She is the one speaking at the beginning of the video.

The Warrior Shawl designed by Tanis Gray is also associated with this project, donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the pattern to the funding of the show.  Dragonfly Fibers Traveller “Save the Ta Tas”  colorway was dyed especially for this shawl.

Eileen also knew of Sally, having knit her Sleeping Baby’s Castle Blanket!!  Small world!!

So, I just wanted to give Eileen a shout out for her great work promoting breast cancer awareness, and helping find a cure in our lifetime!

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