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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!

November 15, 2014

From Susan — Feelin’ Foxy

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:20 pm

Not me personally.  I rarely feel “foxy” any more.  Sad, but true!  But I do have a Foxy Hat!   Knitting peep Kim brought her finished Foxy to knitting on Thursday and we L O V E D it!  So adorable.

My Foxy

The pattern is okay, but it calls for intarsia in the round, using a shadow short row technique.  I decided to try “Annetarsia” in the round, having just bought the book (Annetarsia Knits: a New Link to Intarsia by Anne Berk).  This simple project seemed the perfect way to explore Anne’s brilliant technique.

It was and it wasn’t.  Going one direction looked fine:

But the other did not:

Ahh, you say.  It looks BETTER.  Yes, it does because I seamed over the ugly.  It looked a mess!  I followed the pictures in the book, but this side looked awful.  Anne Berk is coming to Yarnover next year and I may take her class so I can find out what I am doing wrong. :(

So, I am still not a fan of intarsia in the round.  If I make another of these cuties (maybe Wolfie next time), I will knit each half separately and seam them.  Faster and nicer looking.  At least for me!!

November 8, 2014

From Susan — It’s a Honey

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:25 am

Yep.  Over 17000 projects in Ravelry.  The free Honey Cowl pattern is what one could call “popular.”  This cowl was designed to accentuate the beauty of the Madelinetosh colors, and it does not disappoint!

My Honey Cowl is knit with Tosh DK, color Spectrum (132 gms, 297 yards, cast on 200 sts).  I received this yarn from a good friend (Mary) who had it left over from a project. I was so obnoxious about my lust for this yarn, that she felt compelled to hand it over!

I thought about a number of projects that would work but landed on Honey because it showcases all the color variation in the yarn:

Look at those colors!!  Though an easy pattern, it took me forever — it was very b o r i n g!   Mine ended up being about 6.5 x 39 inches.  It is very pretty and will go with several things.  Yay!  Thanks, Mary!! :)

On another note, I would like to share this cautionary tale.   Another knitting peep finished up a beautiful bandana-type shawlette.  Knit it, blocked it, was ready to wear it to work to add a little pop of color to jeans and a shirt.  Unfortunately she had used the MAGIC KNOT (video link) to join two ends of yarn.  It came undone.

I have seen this happen to several knitters on Ravelry and would warn others not to rely on this joining technique in knitting.  It is meant to work when the finished product is held taut, but knitting is not taut!  In its natural state, the yarn is relaxed.  And often a bit slippery.  The very short ends can work themselves apart.  If I use this method (which is rare), I also leave the ends and work them into the knitting.

Luckily I was able to perform a minor surgical procedure on K’s lovely shawl!!

You can see my surgery from the wrong side because of the ends, but hopefully no one can spot it from the right side.

Other than the above I am in a bit of the fall doldrums.  I am working on my sweater coat, which is very slow.  Today I will be volunteering at Fall Fiber Festival at my old high school!  It is very strange to go there…bad memories.  Must forget.

F O R G E T    F O R G E T      F O R G E T      F O R G E T      F O R G E T      F O R G E T

October 25, 2014

From Both of Us — Orange, Orange, Orange

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 1:34 pm

Orange was a strong thematic element last weekend at Rhinebeck!  It seems impossible that just a week ago today at 9:00 a.m. we were entering the Dutchess County Fairgrounds to experience the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York.

Susan arrived in Washington, DC last week Thursday and was soon whisked off to the Bourbon Steak House at the Four Seasons Hotel.  They served the best iceberg wedge salad she have ever had, and the poor thing dreams about it every day!!

Friday morning we headed to Rhinebeck, following a crazy, circuitous route that defied logic.  GPS, what were you thinking??!!  We chose to travel up the east side of the Hudson so we could get the lay of the land before the “big day.”  The river and fall foliage were spectacular.  We drove through Hyde Park, the home of the Roosevelts.  And easily found the fairgrounds.  We ate in Rhinebeck and discovered a local specialty: crispy artichoke hearts.  Delish!!!

Our accommodations were quite luxurious ;) :

Saturday morning we headed to the festival in time to wait in line with hundreds of other excited fiber enthusiasts.  We had not done any homework: we did not know the layout of the grounds or anything about the vendors.  We like to go with the flow!!  The venue was wonderful: the buildings seem new and clean, the grounds were covered in colorful fall trees, etc.

The first building we entered was packed with people.  You had to fight your way into some of the stalls.  It was wild.  Noni from Noni Knits was there and had a full array of purses and the findings to complete the bags.  We may have dropped a dollar or two!

One thing we both wanted: apple cider donuts!

OMG!!  The best!!  Cannot be described.

Susan’s other obsession was Maple Sugar Cotton Candy.  She had heard about it and really wanted to try it!

It looked exactly like the most beautiful fleece in the world: creamy colored and just like cotton batting.  Melted in your mouth and not very sweet.  It was worth a trip back!!

We shopped and shopped.  Susan found this stunning felted bag:

Julia Hilbrandt Felted Bags

Sally loved these bags, too but couldn’t find exactly what she wanted…decided she could order one later.  Julia makes many cute styles.

It was fun to see so many people that share your love of wool and knitting.  Susan wore her Scatness Tunic and cowl as planned and enjoyed wearing it.  Sally wore her Creature Comforts Cardi and wrapped up in her Mary Tudor Wrap because the weather was a bit unpredictable.

We dragged ourselves exhausted and broke into town to dine at The Terrapin (for more crispy artichokes).  We were a little early for our reservations, so we shopped “a bit.”  Well Sally found the bag o’her dreams in a little shop across from the Terrapin:

Now Susan thinks hers looks like a piece o’crap!!  Sally’s is a truly stunning bag!

Sundays at the festival are much less frenetic and far less crowded.  We spent a couple of hours revisiting spots (okay, the donut shop and cotton candy stand), and bought more yarn (lots more yarn).  And ate more crispy artichokes.

That evening we were relaxing in the hotel café, minding our own business, knitting and munching when a woman swooped by and invited us to a “post-Rhinebeck” yarn tasting event being held in our hotel 3 seconds from where we were sitting!  Anne Hanson had her line of Bare Naked Wool and a few other yarns for sale.  We thought we were done and all our yarn money spent.  Nope.

Monday and Tuesday
Monday and Tuesday were travel days, getting back to reality.

Here is the yarn that Susan bought (Sally will share her great buys in a later post — she is travelling at the moment):

Harrisville Watershed – Penstock: a lightly spun worsted in a very dark, almost back, deeply colored wool.  Purchased for Rowe (which she actually started last night!).  Susan bought a ton of this for a sweater coat.

Shalimar Yarns Paulie — Orange is the New Black!!  Found this yarn at the Anne Hanson event: could not resist this color (it added to the orange theme!!).  Both of us snagged a skein.

Miss Babs Yowza in French Marigold — MORE orange yarn!  A gorgeous coppery tone, perhaps for Thorntower.  Miss Babs’ booth was crazy busy on both days.  You could not even get to the yarns: people had to hand them back to you to look at!!

We love apple cider donuts, maple sugar cotton candy and crispy artichokes.  We both really enjoyed the trip to Rhinebeck.  The travel time and expense make it not as attractive an option as the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (an hour’s drive from Sally’s home), but we would probably go back.  Just not every year!!

October 22, 2014

From Sally — Fall Leaves

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 11:37 am

As promised, I’m sharing a new FO: Sprig, designed by Alana Dakos. This was my first use of a Plucky Knitter yarn. I used Bello Worsted, which is 55% merino and 45% cashmere and is just as luscious as it sounds. My color is called Skies of November — very appropriate for this time of year.

This is a fast and easy knit, and I loved all of the little details, especially the buttons at the elbow. (I added a few beads for extra pop.) The sleeves hit just below the elbow, which I find a very flattering length.

My only modification was to do a rolled stockinette hem instead of the garter stitch hem called for in the pattern.

Addendum from Susan — Sally and I just got back from Rhinebeck.  We spent money like drunken knitters (even though we were sober!!).  At least sober while we shopped!  It was fun and interesting and we will share more in the days to come.  Sally’s Sprig is darling and fits like a glove!

October 14, 2014

From Susan — Nice Combo!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:20 pm

Wow! Who knew?  I got dressed to go to work today and was going to wear my Maestro Jacket.  It needed a little pop, so I pulled out my Oro Azteca Kinetic Cowl. It looked pretty good! The gradient section from yellow to gray matched the color of the jacket perfectly and added a big color boost.

 photo 722461d5-11ad-4cd3-a212-d6b34d0dfd70.jpg

The other old thing I want to share is my Scatness. The nylon (plastic) snaps really bothered me. I thought they looked cheap and distracting. I used black metal snaps on my cowl and liked them much better. So I replaced the snaps on my tunic and also moved the buttons to the other side. I understand why Kate put them on the left side, but it bugged me.

 photo ba55c5b3-351f-4317-9384-0c990689cb8f.jpg

So old is new again! Well, not that old! :)

PS – I leave tomorrow for DC to start the Rhinebeck adventure!!

October 8, 2014

From Sally — Fall Blooms

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 3:13 pm

I haven’t been knitting much lately; I certainly haven’t been whipping out the finished projects the way Susan has.  I do, finally, have two projects to show for my time.  Because I don’t post as often as my sister, I’ll show you one today and one later to stretch them out.

First, up — my Song of the Sea Cowl. The pattern, by Louise Zass-Bangham, is very simple but still has lots of visual interest. The yarn is Sojourn by Miss Babs. It is 65% cashmere and 35% silk. Need I say more? It is wonderfully soft, even more so after blocking. The color is Lady Bug. Although I envisioned making this cowl in a more neutral color, by the time I found the Sojourn at Fibre Spaces Miss Babs Trunk Show, it had been picked over. (That’s putting it mildly — this yarn was flying out of the store and for good reason.)

I do love pink and it’s so cheerful.

Speaking of cheerful, we created a little garden path for our beloved Thor. He insisted on cutting through this part of the garden, mowing down anything planted in his path. We surrendered. When I went out today, look what had bloomed next to his stone! One of my fall bulbs. I think it means he approves.

October 3, 2014

From Susan — Can’t Get Enough

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:59 am

I adore my Scatness Tunic!  I loved knitting it and after yesterday, I adore wearing it!  Yay!  Because I had so much yarn left over, I decided to make a matching cowl.

I could go in many different directions, but then I realized that what I love about Scatness is the corrugated ribbing, the fair isle band, and of course the buttons.  I did not want to cover all that up with a cowl.  So, I decided to incorporate all of my favorite elements into the design.

The cowl is a plain rectangle, and when I went to wear it, it looked weird in the front.  So I twisted it fully once and then snapped it.  Voila.  A faux moebius (a fauxbious! …Heidi) was born.

I wore the tunic and cowl to work yesterday.  A friend I’ve known for more than twenty years said it was the cutest thing I had ever made and was her favorite of all my sweaters! :)

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