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June 25, 2014

From Susan — Knitting a Crinkle Top

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:21 am

Have you ever seen these in a store?

They are absolutely teensy but fit [young, skinny girls] when they are put on.  That is the story of my Window to my Soul.  It looks like a child’s sweater but does fit when I try it on.  The problem is, I am not sure how big it will get when it is blocked.  And it is only the lace section that does this.  The stockinette skirt should behave normally.

I think I have about 3 more inches to go before the stockinette, but who knows??  ;)

June 21, 2014

From Susan — Just Saying “Hi”

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:30 pm

My knitting is slow with nothing to show.  My sewing machine remains a mystery, though out of the box it has not been tested.   I just wanted to say hello :) .

June 16, 2014

From Susan — Après Birthday

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:26 am

Thanks to all for the birthday greetings.  Surly sent me a JibJab card that said that for a 24-hour period, everything revolved around me:

It was a very nice thought, but not exactly true!  My husband and daughter both worked all day, and the older daughter was away on a trip.  The good news: my dad was in town so we could celebrate Father’s Day and my birthday all in one.  It was very nice.  Except for the part when my brother forgot it was my birthday!!  Bad, Bad Barry!! :)

My husband did “buy” me a lovely birthday gift:

Isn’t he thoughtful?  The Myth: He knew I needed and wanted a new sewing machine.  He spent hours and hours researching, and then combed the stores to find a brand new Janome 3160 QDC.  The Reality: He heard the news as a fly-by report, “BTW, you got me a sewing machine for my birthday!”  “Okay, Hon!”

He did buy the flowers :) .  But, hey.  I would much rather pick out my own sewing machine!!!

June 15, 2014

From Sally — You Know You Want To . . .

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 10:30 am

Wish my sister Susan:



Thank you for being the best big sister in the whole wide world.

June 13, 2014

From Susan — A Summer Knitalong!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:19 am

As Sally mentioned, I stumbled onto the Window to my Soul summer cardigan and thought it looked both cute and flattering.  I, too, had some Madelinetosh in stash, BUT it is also in the color Cousteau.  I just thought that was too matchy matchy!!  Plus, I have 6 very consistent skeins and saw me making something bigger with it.

So, off to the Yarnery for me!  I purchased some Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering in the color Gwynn Oak.  Oh my.  This color is OVER THE TOP and I love it!!

And here is the best part: I don’t care.  I don’t care that my increases look like crap, I don’t care that the yarn is stripey, I don’t care if the skeins match perfectly.  It is FREEING!   I can just knit a long without a care in the world, especially since Surly shared her smocking tip!

I also have an FO.  I made a small shawlette out of the Shiny Penny (Grinning Gargoyle Seda Sock) that I bought at Yarnover this spring.  The pattern is called Cinnamon Stone by verybusymonkey.  I loved the ornate center wedge:

It was fun to knit and finished up quickly.  Again, kind of an autumnal look for this time of year, but…

Hope you are enjoying spring/summer so far.  Our weather has alternated between gorgeous and torrential downpours.  All better than polar vortex!!

June 5, 2014

From Sally — New Tricks for an Old Surly

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 2:41 pm

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented about Thor. All of your comments were very much appreciated; we still miss him (and think we hear him) every day.

As for knitting, it’s not been great. I worked for weeks on a long cardigan and now I don’t think I like it. I am not even going to show photos of it. Maybe later, when I’ve had time to think about it.

In the meantime, Susan I suggested I try a pattern she’d seen, Window to My Soul, designed by Joji Locatelli. I loved it, and I thought that my Madelinetosh Pashmina in the color Cousteau would be perfect. Not only that, but I have what may be perfect buttons, purchased a few years ago at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. (The pattern calls for more buttons than I have, but I would compensate by only placing buttons on the bodice portion of the sweater.) This photo is a little dark; it was hard to capture the color of this yarn.

As you can sort of see from my photo (and from the pattern page if you clicked the pattern link), one of the design features of this sweater is a smocking stitch. I’ve always liked how smocking looks, but it’s a bit of a pain to do. You slip stitches onto a cable needle and wrap your working yarn around those stitches, and then work them. But wait — someone figured out how to do smocking without a cable needle. It’s brilliant.

I’m not sure who figured it out first, but there are several youtube videos that show the technique. Here are two of them:

Video One
Video Two

It’s one of the things I love about knitting — there is always something new to learn.

Somewhere, an old dog is laughing at me.

May 30, 2014

From Susan — Still in Love

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:26 am

I must be, because I keep coming back to my favorite shawl pattern, but this time I made one for me.  Yay!  I bought some gorgeous, spring green yarn last year at Yarnover and got to it this week (#6 in photo below).

Looking at this picture makes me think I have a lot of potential projects ahead of me!  Anyway, I made another Sweet Dreams Shawl (are you shocked…no).  The difference is that this one is for me…my first ever Sweet Dreams shawl!!!

I started another shawl that is a bit challenging to get off the ground.  I have a new goal in life: make more shawls than anyone in their right mind should ever own.  I am well on my way!!

PS to Robby: Robby mentioned the cost of the Sweet Dreams pattern.  It is pricey because it is only available as part of the In Love Collection, which costs about $15 (aaarrrggghhh!).  I, too, balked at the price but dove in anyway.  Some of her other designs are quite similar and cost less: Out of Darkness is only $5 and is very similar.  The only difference is that it is done in laceweight instead of fingering.  You would need to take out 2-3 repeats to stay within one skein of sock yarn.  Quite Continental is also $5 and uses fingering weight.  It has a different look but similar pointy edge at the hem.

May 25, 2014

From Susan — The Post(wo)man Always Rings Twice

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:29 am

You know you buy too much yarn when…

This note is attached to your mail:

“Susan, What is your favorite local shop to buy yarn?  My mom is here for a visit – would like to visit a shop.  Thanks!”


PS to Cathy — I will give her a list, of course!  I get asked this from time to time and in this case, I am focusing on shops that are close by.  The Minnesota Knitters Guild also has yarn store directory so I will include that as well!

May 21, 2014

From Susan — Where Did THAT Come From?

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:16 am

I think I must go into a trance sometimes.  The other day the mail arrived and lo and behold, there was a familiar bag from my favorite online yarn supplier, Webs.  Really.  Hmmm.  I did not remember ordering yarn from Webs or anyone else!  Has this ever happened to you??

I had fallen down the Ravelry rabbit hole and saw a project I wanted to make, ordered yarn and none of it registered in my memory bank.  Wow.  Scary stuff!

Once I opened the yarn, it came back to me in a flash!  (Thank goodness…).  I had seen Ojo de Dios from a recent Interweave Knits (Winter 2014) and for some reason wanted to make it.  The yarn used is Plymouth Yarns Gina.  The original colorway (color #5, Sunset) was pretty, but I opted for a darker, richer option (#2).  I finished it in pretty short order - it was fun to knit!  The pattern calls for 6 skeins, but I wish I had bought 7.  When knitting the triangles, I pulled some skeins apart.  The garter stitch area took a lot more yarn than I thought it would so I had to splice yarn in from the destroyed skeins!

I used a cable cast on for the triangles and was very pleased with how the pick up edges look (easier to see in the close up below).  Hard to tell where one triangle ends the other begins.  I pictured doing a provisional cast on for all of the 17 triangles and decided it would be way too much work — good call!

I do have to question my sanity, though.  Of course there is the memory issue, but also have to ask myself, why such an autumnal project when spring is getting ready to burst forth?  The mystery of my inner knitter continues to elude me :) .

PS – another memory lapse surfaced at work today.  Should I worry? :(

May 16, 2014

From Sally — Spring Color (and a sad goodbye)

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 3:02 pm

Hello!  I’ve been missing in action and letting Susan carry the burden of blogging.  I’ve just had nothing interesting to write about.  I’ve been mired in a long, slow project that doesn’t seem to want to end.  I like the project; I am just tired of it.

Now, to the rescue, some beautiful yarns have tempted me to stray.  (And those who know me know that I am easily tempted.)

Last week, I was in a bookstore with my Writing Group.  When we finished up, I perused the magazine section and came across a publication I hadn’t seen before: Knit Wear, published by Interweave. I liked three or four of the patterns right away and so I bought it (the Spring 2014 issue).

Knit Wear is an interesting “occasional” publication. Although I was able to purchase an individual issue at a newsstand, it doesn’t look as if one can subscribe and have hard copies mailed out. (The subscription card that fell out as I read the magazine was for Interweave Knits.) On the other hand, one can purchase copies digitally — so even though I missed the first few issues, they are available for purchase and download. (A few can still be purchased as hard copies.)

Anyway, one of the patterns I liked is Bristol Ivy’s Folded Lace Tank, knit out of Manos del Uruguay’s alpaca/cotton blend yarn Serena. I “folded” immediately and bought Serena in the color “Flamingo.” This is a difficult color to capture. It’s not coral but it’s not pink, either. This is the closest I could get, but in real life the color is softer and just a tad more orange. (And yet it’s not orange.)

The yarn is incredibly soft. I’ve cast on and knit about four inches. I absolutely love this yarn.

One other pattern that I liked is the Ruched Yoke Sweater designed by Carol Feller. I will probably modify it somewhat (possibly ditching the kangaroo pockets and making it a little less flared at the hem). It was knit out of Madelinetosh Pashmina, which is a favorite yarn of mine. I immediately went out and purchased it in Cousteau, a colorway I have long wanted. Again, this is an impossible color to capture. It is so rich it almost glows in real life.

I can’t wait to knit this one up.

P.S. It is with great sadness that I tell you that Thor (aka Thor the Wonder Puppy) is gone. He was the canine love of my life. Thor was a beautiful, gentle dog with a quirky almost human personality. He has appeared on the blog in occasional photographs. He is greatly missed.

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