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January 4, 2015

From Susan — Both Last and First

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 4:32 pm

My last FO of 2014 is the first to be blogged about in 2015!  I finished my Roosevelt Cardigan at the end of December, amidst the merriment and hubbub of the holidays.

It was a satisfying knit, with really nice yarn purchased at Rhinebeck this past October. I used Harrisville WATERshed, in color Penstock. I love it. Love, love, love it. It is wooly wool with rich tonal qualities that felt great to knit.  A perfect substitute for Shelter (spun at the same mill) or Jamieson’s Shetland Heather Aran (a yarn by any other name, and I mean ANY other name — it has had many!!).

This sweater started out as Rowe…and part of me wishes I had finished this elaborate, cabled coat.  But, it had “issues” (for the way I wanted it) and I did not feel like fixing the issues.  So, I embarked on a different design.  Roosevelt has many projects on Ravelry that were beautifully completed.

Roosevelt Cardigan

The show-stopping feature of this design is the pocket treatment:

I bound off the back neck with I-cord so the strong line at the fronts would continue around the back neck:

Then I edged the shawl collar with I-cord to add weight to the collar and match the strong lines throughout.

My thinking was to create an over-sized boyfriend sweater, but alas, I do not seem able to carry off the part of the cute girlfriend!  However, it is a very wearable sweater out of beautiful yarn, that fits as I expected.  Yay!!

PS — Several of you have asked about the collar and if it is deeper than the original.

It may be: the way I did the collar was to only do my short row wraps in the “p2″ sts of the k2, p2 rib, which was every 4 sts.  This changed the number of short rows (the original had more short rows), by 5 = 10 rows of knitting.  After the shawl collar short rows were completed, I continued the ribbing for 3 inches instead of 2.  This would have deepened the collar at the same time, but probably back to the original width.  I bound off with I-cord which also added a small amount of width.

January 2, 2015

From Susan — The Other Susan

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:55 am

I love that my friend Susan (The Other Susan) had a crafty side to her years ago.  It has since waned, but she did make needlepoint stockings for her kids when they were small.  Both are now in their thirties and this particular stocking had seen better days.  She asked me if I could do some repairs.  The original kit came with a felt back which had become a mere shard with age and abuse.

I bought some waleless corduroy in a matching red, and a Christmasy print for a lining.   However, the needlepoint was way too stiff to seam in a normal way, so I thought I would try bias tape.

I made my own tape using the method I described earlier this year.  I thought it would be harder with the corduroy but it worked pretty well because the fabric was so thin.  It was a bit difficult to sew around the stocking, but it looks okay from the right side – the back is a little funky!

Could not resist adding a pom pom ;) !!

I tapped into the most self indulgent gift that Santa ever dropped at my door: my new tower of threads!!  Santa thought that it went perfectly with my new sewing machine, and I guess I have to agree.  It seems like complete and absolute overkill, but I will ALWAYS have the thread of my dreams without a trip to the store.

I am reminded of the part in The Trouble with Angels (a true classic from my youth!!), where the Mother Superior tells Rachel she can “keep the box of lovely threads” after winning the sewing contest (with lots of help).  I wish I could have found the right clip!  This ends just before the scene I am referring to – you see the $10 bill tucked into the winning dress.

January 1, 2015

From Both of Us — Ring it In!!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 12:46 am

Happy New Year, everyone! 

Be safe, healthy and happy in 2015!

December 28, 2014

From Sally — Paris Is Always a Good Idea

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 11:19 am

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a thing for Paris and the Eiffel Tower. So when I saw a pattern for Paris mittens featuring the Eiffel Tower, I had to make them. I decided that they’d make a perfect Christmas gift for my daughter, who lives in snowy Colorado. Her now husband proposed to her at the Eiffel Tower several years ago.

I experimented with several yarn combinations for the mittens, finally settling on Classic Elite Fresco in cream and a mystery yarn from a period when I was doing a lot of glove designing. I am fairly certain that the mystery yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere, but I don’t know the color name. It’s a gray with lavender overtones. The last photo — with Nora wearing the mittens — is the truest in showing the color.

I love the mittens, especially the bi-plane that pulls the Paris banner, but they were a pain to knit. That’s on me; I don’t like knitting fair isle on double points. I do like the results, though! (A fun design by Andrea Arbour with just a few modifications by yours truly.) The glass desk ornament in the first two photos was a Christmas gift from Nora this year — how fitting that we “exchanged” Eiffel Towers.

December 24, 2014

From Susan — Down to the Wire!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:00 am

Ack!  My Christmas knitting is down to the very last possible moment!  I was knitting a sweater for my great niece (great in so many ways!!), and put off the sleeves for way too long.  You know.  Sleeve syndrome.  Then my dad suggested that I knit a hat for his girlfriend.  Yes, they are in their 80′s and he has a “girlfriend.”  This was on Sunday night while I was still knitting furiously to finish a sleeve!!

So here are my last minute gifts, all ready to wrap:

The Sweater

Erika insisted on red for the color.  I used Berroco Vintage in color 5150 (4 skeins).  The pattern is Peachick Eyes — a child’s version of Justyna Lorkowska’s adult cardigan Peacock Eyes.  I was using worsted instead of fingering weight yarn (!!) so I used the stitch counts for the size 2 version and lengths for the size 12.  I had Erika’s measurements and now can only hope it fits!!  I also substituted garter for the 1×1 ribbing.

The Hat
I thought if I used really big yarn and a simple hat I could knit it in one night and wetblock it in time for Christmas day.  I had to wake up at 5 am on Tuesday to finish it, soak it and block it before leaving for work so it would dry in time!

I used my own One Day Hat pattern and held two yarns together.  I used Maulbeerseide Schurwolle (a dk weight merino and silk blend) and held it with Kidsilk Aura (like Kidsilk Haze only heavier).

It took a bit longer to knit because I wanted longer ribbing to fold double.  The pom pom is adjustable and removable but I thought looked cuter as a gift.  It will be super warm!!

Are the rest of you ready??  Tick tock!!!

In today’s paper they had an article with people sharing special ornaments and their meaning to their families.  I thought, wow – how could I have missed that opportunity!!  So, I will share the story of the little blue chicken here.  When John  and I got married it was a week before Christmas (as you know from Sally’s post!).  So it was not until the following year we started collecting ornaments for our first real Christmas together.

We went to an international boutique on the West Bank called the Global Village  (thanks, Susan, for providing the name!!) and bought a bunch of brass and fabric ornaments from India.  One was a tiny blue chicken, about an inch tall.   The little blue chicken was a riot.  So tiny you could never find it on a tree!  As a joke, we placed it at the top instead of a star or angel.  Even though it started as a joke, we have done it every year since.  The Little Blue Chicken stands big and proud atop the tree.  A light is strategically placed beneath, casting a large chicken shadow on the ceiling above.

We love our little blue chicken.  Emoji

Another addendum — here is Santa’s Helper in her new sweater!!

December 18, 2014

From Sally — More Detour Knitting

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 12:51 pm

“I’d like Sally to knit me a cream colored scarf for Christmas.” This was the message from my mother-in-law to my husband. She’s 92 years old; her wish was my command. (Even the song says Christmas is for kids from one to 92.)

I rummaged around in my stash and found some cream cashmere I bought at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival from Hunt Valley Yarns. Then I looked for a simple but elegant pattern and settled on Dorchester designed by Donna Brooks.

This was a nice, easy pattern that I hope she’ll find wearable. She lives in Minnesota and so she needed a scarf that would be warm; that’s one reason I steered away from something overly lacy or open.

In other news, it’s Susan’s wedding anniversary today. Happy Anniversary!

December 7, 2014

From Susan — Tis the Season

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:42 am

Tis the season for “detour knitting.”  In other words, knitting for others!  I made a hat for hubby this weekend that he is sure to love.  Have any of you seen the Garter Ear Flap Hat, free from Purl Soho?  Well, it is adorable and I thought perfect for my husband, the cross country skier.  My hubby is not a pixie, but is as cute as one!

Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho

I made a few mods on this one to make it more of a ski cap.  I see him throwing this on after a race when his race hat is cold and wet.  The earflaps are amazing!  They hug the ears perfectly – this hat is really comfortable!!

Susan’s Garter Ear Flap Ski Hat

I definitely see more of these in my future, for people big and small!

November 30, 2014

From Susan — Dining by Knitting Light

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:28 am

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday.  I made the traditional dinner for my immediate family and everything turned out the best it’s ever been!  The exception was the pecan pie – which I was REALLY looking forward to.  You could not get it out of the pan.  At all.  I tried.  Many times.  That may have been a positive because it kept me from eating the whole thing…somehow I managed to eat plenty!!

How do you like my candlestick warmers??

Actually, that is just how I blocked them!  They look kind of cute like that, though, don’t ya think!!  These are the free Drops pattern called Fjord Rose Wrist Warmers, which comes in many different things (sweater, neck warmer, socks, etc.).  Don’t know why, but I just had to make them.  I used a mishmash of yarns and much larger needles than called for.

Here they are being worn:

Susan’s Fjord Rose Wrist Warmers

I thought they would add a cute knitting element to my store-bought sweaters.  Plus, they ARE wrist warmers and I am getting prepared for the next round of polar vortex weather :( .

Sock Monkey Bag thinks the wrist warmers are the most beautiful, stunning, gorgeous things he has ever seen!!

I think it is love at first sight!!

PS to the Pats — the Sweater Vase was purchased from Crate and Barrel. I saw them in Vogue Knitting and the hunt was on!! Unfortunately, I bought it in early 2012 right after the 2011 holiday season. I do not believe they are still available. :(

PS2: I did a little bit of sashaying with Sock Monkey Bag and my new wrist warmers at knitting last night for Kathy’s benefit!!

November 25, 2014

From Sally — It’s a Får, Får Better Yarn . . .

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 12:17 pm

I couldn’t resist.

By now, many of you have probably heard of Woolfolk Yarn, which — as their website says — “combines the hand of cashmere with the wear of merino.” They have two yarns: Får, which is a chained worsted weight, and Tynd, a plied fingering weight. I have just finished knitting a sweater using Får. It is heavenly — ultra soft with a slight halo.

The pattern I used is Flet, designed for Woolfolk by Olga Buraya-Kefelian. I’m going to show you a few photos, but be warned. This has NOT been blocked. I haven’t even woven in the ends yet (you can see some of them in the photographs.) I’m sharing it now anyway because I haven’t posted in a long time and I am afraid that I won’t get all of the finishing done before I leave for Colorado for Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to wait to share.

I liked the yarn so well that I’ve already purchased more. You can see the “chainette” aspect of the yarn in this photo.

In other news, Susan is the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild’s featured knitter this week. Check it out!

November 20, 2014

From Susan — Proof Positive

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:28 pm

Which is cuter, Foxy or Wolfie?  Impossible to decide!  Friend Kim made both and brought her Wolfie to knitting group.  I brought my Foxy.  Two adorable models graciously agreed to show off their cuteness by showing off the hats’ cuteness.

It is amazing how the ears totally “pop” when the hat is being worn!

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