February 28, 2011
February 25, 2011
Thanks for asking, Suzan! The White Swan has landed! My Eala Bhan. I finished her about a month ago, but needed the post to marinate a while!
Eala Bhan was another of my “quest” projects. A project that you see and are drawn to immediately, with an “I-must-make-that” fervor. Surly and I ordered the yarn (Hebridean 2-Ply from Virtual Yarns, my color: Lapwing) as soon as we received our books (the newly republished Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore). I was in such a hurry to start, I insisted that Mairi of Virtual Yarns mail the yarn to Sally’s house so I would not miss a day (I was visiting her at the time).
That was the easy part! I decided to knit the fronts and back as one piece to avoid reverse stockinette seaming. Thus, with fair isle weight yarn and small needles, I had hundreds of sts at the start. It was like Eala Bhan and the Three Bears!! The first attempt was too big, the second too small, and the third was just right…lots of casting on (with an elaborate scalloped cast on) and lots of ripping.
As we know, I am not the smallest cherub in the choir, so I was making the largest size. I also lost my waist in the great “Eat Out” of the mid 90’s, so the extreme waist shaping of Eala Bhan (~12 inches are reduced at the waist!) was a no go for this fatty knitter. I only took out 4-6 inches at the waist — letting just the reduction in stitches from the large cables into the smaller cables do the shaping. I also made many other minor modifications, too numerous to describe or remember!
Eala Bhan requires a fair amount of finishing work due to the construction and button bands. The buttons called for are quite small, which made them difficult to find. As most knitters know, finding the right buttons is sometimes the hardest part of the project! I wanted metal buttons, very detailed, in a bronze color, with a shank — a shank button is easier to sew onto a sweater and the thread does not show.
Again, it was Eala Bhan and The Three Buttons! The first ones I found were beautifully detailed, in a bronze finish, BUT they had no shank and were PLASTIC (ugh). The second ones were still plastic, garish gold, but at least they had a shank. I stumbled across the third ones by accident: bronze, detailed, metal and a shank (see PS 5 below for details)! Yay!
So, here is my Eala Bhan, at long last:
This captures the color in the sunlight perfectly
After blocking, the fit is perfect. The sleeves flare over my hand at just the right spot. The hint of a waist gives me the hint of a waist. The length is perfect. The yarn softened to buttery perfection. I love this sweater.
Pattern: B (very long, complex, and needed tweaking — but a gorgeous concept)
Today we leave for the American Birkebeiner Ski Race. John turned 60 on Tuesday and is hoping for one of his best Birkies. I am hoping to not miss him at the finish line, which happened the last two years. It’s my only job and I blew it!! It is supposed to be VERY cold, too. Then on Sunday I get to watch Colin Firth receive his Oscar…wow! Great weekend!
PS1 to Diana: “And if I had the power I would have Colin present you with your award.” I would actually pass out if I ever saw him in person!
PS2 to Leigh: I did all the cabling without a cable needle: every RS row you are moving sts and I would have gone stark raving mad if I was juggling a cable needle.
PS3: I am in Hayward (free WiFi — yay!). John finished his 28th Birkie but it was a very hard ski for him. The last half was a slog! Just like some knitting projects I know! Thanks for all of the extremely kind comments about EB.
PS4: Colin won! Yay!
PS5: To Amber — where did I find my buttons? I bought them at Hancock Fabrics. They are JHB Buttons # 93287, 1/2 inch (scroll down and you will see them). Three buttons for $3.10.
February 22, 2011
Did you miss me? I was out west for a week, visiting my daughter who was training in Arizona. We drove back to her home in Boulder, and I stayed with her for a few days — shopping, doing yoga, and visiting a few yarn shops of course.
On the way from Phoenix to Boulder, we spent the night in Albuquerque.
Some of you may recognize the “lovely” Crossroads Motel — it is where Wendy from Breaking Bad spends her days. No, we did not stay there! It looks just as inviting in person as it does on television.
In Boulder, I discovered a new (to me) yarn store: Gypsy Wools. It is next to the Boulderado Hotel for those familiar with the area. The store specializes in hand-dyed or hand-painted yarns and natural fibers. I only had my iPhone with me, but here is one photograph of the shop. (I apologize for its being so dark.)
I couldn’t resist buying a skein Fibre-Isle’s Magique — 50% bison and 50% cashmere. So so soft. One skein has 320 meters — enough for something small and luxurious.
I also stopped at Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins, which I visit every time I’m in Boulder. It’s a large shop, with a good mix of bread-and-butter and luxury yarns. This trip, I noticed that they’ve started carrying Japanese pattern books, too.
Quick notes: My son is coming home this weekend. I hope to have his red sweater finished. I’m on the yoke so I should make it. And I was asked about the sweater I made for my husband at Christmas out of Jared Flood’s Shelter. Yes, I finished it and he loves it. I forgot to every post about the finished product. I’ll take some pictures and do that soon.
February 16, 2011
Surly is a new sponsor on Ravelry:
PS: Several of you were confused by this post…what does being a sponsor mean? Does it mean that she bought shares in Ravelry? Is it a corporate takeover? NO! She just bought a bit of ad space on Ravelry. I have also done this from time to time, so I am a “lovely sponsor,” too, but it means very little except we are buying ad time!!
February 15, 2011
Yes, it is that time of year again! Surly did not want a lot of fuss about her birthday and who could blame her? Once the years start to stack up, the birthdays just get to be a bit much.
But, I cannot let the event go by without a small tribute to my favorite sister, knitter, and blogging buddy. Sally is the best friend I have ever had — she stands by me through thick and thin. Literally! And supports me all the way. She is a knitting genius and very creative. We talk on the phone multiple times throughout the day and it is just killing me that she is travelling right now and not at my beck and call! So, enjoy your day, and let’s talk soon!
And I know the pictures are a retread, but hey, the dog is cute!
February 14, 2011
February 13, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
The Minnesota Knitters Guild hosts an event each year of legendary magnitude. This year is the 25th Silver Anniversary! I have a small role on the planning committee, which is very exciting because I am on the ground floor of the planning and get the inside scoop.
So what do you get for your money? A world-class event at small town prices!!
There is a small myth floating around that if you do not register right away, you cannot attend. Au contraire! There are MANY classes still open AND many opportunities to participate even if you choose not to attend a class.
The list of teachers is made up of knitting royalty:
Beth Brown Reinsel
Merike Saarniit (keynote speaker)
Gila Shoshany (aka TECHknitter)
Meg Swansen & Amy Detjen
Yes, some of the classes are filled, but there are plenty more to choose from!! If you don’t want to take classes, check out these opportunities:
- FREE Vendor Market featuring approximately 40 vendors with a variety of knitting-related wares
- For $5, attend the keynote presentation by Merike Saarniit called “The Evolution of Tradition to Contemporary Knitting” — no pre-registration required…and then go shopping!
- For $40, attend the Friday evening “Meet and Greet” with the teachers — enjoy a lovely buffet dinner with your knitting idols!
- Meet the Ravelry Crew! StevenBe of the Yarn Garage is bringing the Fab Four Ravelry Crew to the Vendor Market
For more discussion about the classes and events, visit the Yarnover Ravelry Group. Surly and I will both be there — hope to see you there, too!
PS: I am so proud! My husband skiied the 35 km Mora Vasaloppet today and took FIRST place in his age group! His birthday is next week and he will enter the next age group up, so he is just about the oldest person in that field and won!
PS2: John won this Dala Horse since the race has Swedish roots.
February 12, 2011
Remember the last scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” (one of my faves!!)? This is my front sidewalk this morning! Eeek!
February 10, 2011
If you’re from Pittsburgh, you know that means I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning. And I have been. I wish you could all tour my newly organized walk-in closet. But given my love for the color red, it also means I’ve been knitting with a luscious new (for me) red yarn.
The yarn is Fiberphile’s Super Squish Worsted in the colorway Turkey Hill. This yarn is glorious; I love the color and the feel. I’m not always a fan of superwash, even superwash merino. I just couldn’t resist the color, and in this case being a superwash is an advantage. The sweater emerging from my needles is another one for my son. Remember how I knit him a green sweater for Christmas? Remember how I said he wears it constantly? Even his roommate found his way to our blog, where he said:
As Sterling’s roommate I see him wear this sweater literally every day. It’s a great sweater and it’s clear he loves it very much. I am astounded at kmkat*. He is a really smart kid and cares alot about the sweater. I am sure he washes it correctly.
Comment by RealizingCollectiveLiberationThroughYarn
(*Kmkat had dared express concern about inadvertent felting in the washing machine.)
Because I needed a mindless and fairly quick project (before Sterling is hazed for wearing the same sweater day after day), I chose Jared Flood’s Cobblestone Pullover. I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked due to some stealth knitting and the aforementioned cleaning. Nevertheless, I’ve got the body up to the yoke and about half of the first sleeve. I hope to finish it off before the end of the month. Wish me luck!
ETA: I’m not from Pittsburgh, but when I was in college I had several dear friends who were and picked up some of their expressions.
February 4, 2011
In 2009, we designed a simple but very “heartfelt” glovelet pattern as a gift to our readers. Because the time of year is again upon us, we felt like reminding all of you about our free Sweetheart Glovelet pattern in time for some Valentine’s Day knitting.
Susan’s Sweetheart Glovelets — the tam shown is our free Lace Tam pattern
Where are YOUR Sweetheart Glovelets??
And an update from Susan.
I DID wear my Vogue #25 today!! Last evening I took it to knitting group to show Ellie, who had expressed an interest in making the pattern. She tried it on over her sweater and I liked it! I decided to try it out at my Friday knitting group and thought it was almost cute.
Janetc asked why I changed the direction of the front bands. I knit the fronts and back together as one piece and did not want to have to figure out buttonhole placement right out of the chute, so I cheated and did the buttonbands afterward.
PS: Ellie took my picture at knitting on Friday and asked why I cut my head off. I told her I would and because of that, was not really posing for a head shot. I hate pictures of myself. I am very unphotogenic. But for Ellie, here is the original:
If I could just lose the double chin!!