Tag: handknits-in-action

Knit Potion 4

I don’t seem to be able to language lately, but knitting goes on.

Exhibit A (etc.): Cabled Fingerless Mitts for Cari . . . That’s actually Cari’s hand wearing the mitt, which just happens to match her mug with knitted cables on it. AND she’s knitting! In other words, this picture equals a whole bunch of happy for me.

 

Fetching Mitts for Liz:

 

Annual Christmas dishcloths for my Dad:

 

Double Knit Cap for my godson Finn:

 

 

Elevation Hat for my cousin Randy (modeled by Paul):

Solidarity, my knitters!

Checks & Balances 13

Talking sweaters today, not government.*

Paul’s Checks & Balances sweater is off the needles!

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I wrote about the Good Fibrations yarn I used for this in an earlier post, and I simply cannot praise it enough. Knitting with it made me think back to one of the first sweaters I ever made.

That sweater was a cardigan, and the yarn I was using was a worsted tweed of some sort. The feel of it was full and soft and sturdy, all at the same time. It was like a lullaby in my hands, and it carried me off to a sweet, sweet place whenever I picked it up. Honestly, I think knitting with that yarn, all those years ago, is one of the reasons I became A Knitter. And this yarn is like that. Plus, it’s gorgeous.

The colorway is called “Soft Suede,” and it goes with just about every pair of pants Paul has.

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One consideration when I was choosing a pattern was that the sweater needed to be sturdy and not prone to losing its shape. Paul is pretty hard on his clothes, and I wanted this to be something he could wear without having to worry about stretching it out or messing it up. I decided to go with a design knit in pieces and then seamed, hoping that the seaming would add a little more structure to the sweater than it might have otherwise, and that definitely turned out to be the case. He should be able to knock around in this day in and day out without any worries.

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It makes my heart swell to think of my honey wearing the sweater I knit for him, with all the love and care that went into it holding him close. I don’t do a ton of knitting for other people, but every time I do, I’m reminded what a special gift a knitted thing is. The person who gets it and the knitter who knitted it both come away with so much.

I have one other random picture I’ve been meaning to show you–the Mystery KAL Shawl in the wild! A friend took this snapshot of us at a wedding recently. The shawl was perfect because the wedding was in the evening, and it was held outside. The temperature was in the seventies when we got there, but by the time dinner and dancing wrapped up, it was in the mid-fifties. I started out with the shawl over my arm, but by the end of the night, I was using it to keep me warm. Hooray for handknits in action!

amandas-wedding

 

*Just one thought–I loved this article on npr.org about working toward a fuller understanding of where others might be coming from by reading “the book that’s not for you.”

 

 

I love you, summer . . . 6

Somehow, I’ve ended up with a lovely window of down time for a couple of weeks. I’m in between summer classes, perched on the dash in the middle of the crazy long sentence that is my current editorial project. The timing couldn’t be nicer.

The weather is fabulous, and this past week, I’ve gotten to do all sorts of decadent things including taking my wheel to the creek to spin.

Spinning-4web

I also went hiking with my friend D. We like to trek out to this little waterfall.

Falls

The going is strenuous at times but not overly so, and the reward is this pretty spot at the end. Plus . . . you almost always meet a dog or three. Today, we visited with this sweetie. Her name is Cocoa. She’s eleven years young. She’s apparently been hiking with her dad and her two human sisters since she was a puppy, so she’s kind of a pro.

Cocoa

She approved of my handknit socks.

Handknits In Action

Other things I’ve gotten to do this week are work in the garden:

Garden

And do yoga on the deck:

Yoga

Snuggle with Augie in the mornings:

Augie Paw

And watch the sun set in the evenings:

Summer-Evening

Isn’t summer wonderful?

On the knitting front, the big blue rectangle is finished. Pictures of that next time. Be well, my friends.

 

Heading Out 2

theater

Last night, we went out to dinner for the first time in ages and then went to a play. A friend had one of the lead roles, so it was a special occasion. I had a fancy cocktail:

dinner 1

What? You didn’t think I’d leave my knitting at home, did you?

And when I pulled out the phone to snap a picture, I realized I was also wearing a handknit, so here’s to handknits in action!

dinner 2

That’s my Travel Shawl. It’s turning out to be a favorite. I wasn’t planning to take it on my trip to Texas, because heat. But I’m rethinking that.

I’ve finally narrowed down my trip knitting. I’m back to working on the Geek-A-Long squares, so I’m taking the square in progress. I worked on it for a little bit this morning while I had coffee and did my beginning-of-the-day things:

breakfast

I also cast on the Churchmouse Easy Folded Poncho. It’s going to be the official when-I-can’t-pay-attention-but-really-must-be-knitting knitting.

The other thing I cast on was the Churchmouse English Mesh Lace Scarf. I’ve been wanting to knit this for awhile, and since it only takes one ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, and that weighs exactly nothing, it seemed like a good way to give myself another knitting option without its adding too much weight or bulk to my carry on.

I leave tomorrow and will be gone for a week. My plan is try to blog from the road at least once, but we’ll have to see how that goes. Even if I don’t manage to post anything, I’ll be reading. Now that I’ve found so many great new knitting blogs, I don’t want to miss anything!

Handknits In Action 4

PC Hike

I love it when I’m wearing something handknit, and it turns out to be absolutely perfect for the occasion. My friend D and I went on a hike yesterday. When I was getting ready, I couldn’t decide how to dress. It was in the forties but was supposed to get warmer. I didn’t want to be cold, but I also didn’t want to have a big jacket to lug around if I got too warm wearing it. What I decided to do was layer up and wrap my Thin Edge of the Wedge scarf around my neck. 

In the car on the way to the trail, I was already thinking I’d overdressed, that I should have left my scarf at home, shouldn’t have worn all the layers, etc., etc. Once we got off the main road and back up into the forest, though, it turned out to be quite a bit colder.  There was actually still ice and snow on the ground in places, and as we were heading out, I realized there was a pretty stiff breeze. I snugged up my scarf around my neck and instantly felt warmed.

PC Hike 3

Over the next couple of hours as we hiked in and out of sunny spots, I loosened and rewrapped the scarf half a dozen times, and that single thing made any other jacket changes or even a hat or gloves completely unnecessary. It was absolutely perfect. Handknits-in-action to the rescue. Thin Edge of the Wedge saved the day. I love that.

Last night, I finished up all but a few rows of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic

Now that I’m into the double-knitting groove, this square was a piece of cake with its long stretches of the same color. The square that came out yesterday is much more complex and even involves a bit of “extreme double knitting,” so we’ll se how that goes. I’m planning to start it tonight.

We wrapped up the weekend with a homemade pizza. It was absurdly good.

Za

 Here’s to a great week, my friends! Hopefully, it will involve lots of knitting!

Knitting and Erranding 12

So I didn’t win the 1.6 billion dollar Powerball jackpot. Shoot. I had big plans. I took heart when I heard that one of the winners was from Chino Hills, CA. That’s where my cousin lives. I sent her a message. She didn’t win either.

I’m finding solace in the Geek-A-Long.

Pong Knitting web

Here’s my first finished square.

Mario Kart 1

The tablet on the right gives an idea of the size.

I’m almost embarrassed by how much fun I’m having with this. I’m knitting along, doing my thing, and then I turn the piece over, and wow! The colors have switched places! Magic!!

Mario Kart 2

The whole dimensionality thing is pretty neat too. Just by knitting and slipping, you can make a tube or a pouch. Or a pocket! I love pockets. Here’s Augie playing with a tiny little test pocket. He thinks it’s his, so I guess it is. Not sure what he’s going to keep in it.

Augie and Pocket web

Today was errand day which meant we got to visit Miss Lucy at the feed store.

Lucy

To keep things somewhat knitting related, here’s a handknits-in-action shot.

Handknits in Action

This is my 28thirty cardigan. It’s easily my most worn sweater. The weather was cold and wet today and got worse as it wore on. Having a handknit sweater on made me feel fortified against the elements. Paul actually said without any prompting from me that it seemed like “wearing a hug.” That. He’s next in line for a sweater.

Here’s what the weather was like. That’s my current double knit square in the corner.

Weather

Here’s a better picture of the square.

Pong in car

It’s Pong! I actually remember my dad coming home with the first version of Pong a million years ago and setting it up on the TV for us. We loved it. Had we only known what today’s video games would be like! Ha!

Speaking of interesting pastimes, I’ve been meaning to mention an article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal just before Christmas. It’s about people who love to untangle tangled yarn. Apparently, this is a thing—as in, there are a lot of people who do it, and they actively compete for the most tangled of the tangled messes. The worst cases end up being mailed from person to person around the globe, each detangler making as much progress as she can and then mailing it on to the next person. I feel no kinship whatsoever with these people, but it’s strangely comforting to think they’re out there.

The other piece of knitting news I’ve been meaning to pass along is that the Mason-Dixon Knitting ladies have come out with a knitting coloring book!! This feels like a big deal. Doesn’t it? Release the mouse, Cari. I’ve already ordered one for each of us. 😉

Ringing out the old . . . 2

Stripey Socks

Ringing out the old in handknit socks . . .

Here we are on New Year’s Eve. I can hardly believe it. I thought while I was winding down I’d sneak in one last post for 2015.

The Scrap Yarn Sock Advent Calendar project is a wrap.

Scrap Yarn Socks 3 Scrap Yarn Socks 2

I’m so glad I did this! Besides enjoying the knit along, I absolutely love having a pair of socks that’s made up of yarn from so many other projects. Every time I look at a particular stripe, I think back to what I was doing when I knit with that yarn the first time around. There is even a section that uses yarn from the very first pair of socks I ever made! I’m talking serious handknit mojo right there.

And remember the Christmas washcloths I was knitting for my dad? I finished them just in time. They were actually the last present he opened on Christmas. I think he was starting to worry that I might not come through with the good stuff this year. He should know better.

2015 Dishcloths 4 2015 Dishcloths 7

My works in progress are all in a happy state of close-to-doneness. I have just a tiny bit of the border left to finish on my Travel Shawl. And I have the sleeves, ribbing, and collar and button band left to do on Gramps. I started a super easy loop-type scarf while I was in Texas, but I’m not in any hurry to make progress on that. I think it might live in my take-along bag for awhile.

What I’m really looking forward to is Blankie Mania 2016! It’s a blanket knit along in my favorite Ravelry group. Everyone will be working on something different, but we’ll all be doing blankets of some sort.

After considering a bunch of different things, I’ve decided I’m definitely going to do the Geek-A-Long blanket. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the brainchild of the ladies at Lattes and Llamas. Every Sunday, for 48 weeks, they post a pattern for a free, geek-themed double-knit/crochet square. In the past the squares have featured everything from a caffeine molecule to The Magic School Bus and Dr. Doom. The main purpose of the whole thing is to  raise awareness for Child’s Play Charity. If you’re not familiar with Child’s Play, follow the link and check it out. It’s very cool.

So here’s why I’ve decided to participate:

  • Lattes and Llamas’ design skills are crazy good. Check out their The Flash square. Who wouldn’t want to knit this kind of fun stuff??
  • I’ve been wanting to learn double knitting. Doing this blanket will give me all kinds of opportunities to learn and practice the technique.
  • One of my main knitting goals for 2016 is to finish a blanket. With the Geek-A-Long, you not only have the satisfaction of completing a blanket, you also have all the little moments of happiness that come with finishing each square. I think that will help me stick with it.
  • I absolutely love a good knit along. If it’s a mystery, that’s even better.
  • It’s for a great cause! Child’s Play Charity does a ton of good. I’m not going to be using the Louet GEMS yarn, a portion of whose sales benefit Child’s Play, but I will make a donation directly to Child’s Play.
There are probably other reasons I’m doing this too. I just can’t think of them right now. I’m distracted by wanting to dive into Extreme Double Knitting by Alasdair Post-Quinn. It came in the mail this afternoon. Woohooo!! I’ll report back!

Happy New Year, knitting people!!! I wish you lots and lots of happiness and tons of knitting time in 2016!!

Friends in High Places 4

My dear friend Cari has written a funny, thought provoking, inspiring, makes-you-want-to-pull-up-your-britches-and-do-something-amazing account of her trip to see the fiber arts exhibit at the Bellefonte Museum in Pennsylvania this weekend. A piece of her artwork figured prominently in the show, and this was something that turned her inside out in all sorts of ways and ultimately left her ready for more. It’s the best blog post I’ve read in a long time. Be sure to  check it out, and when you do, notice the awesome Thin Edge of the Wedge scarf she’s wearing in the photo. Handknits in action, baby!

Things around here are moving along. Saturday was errand day which always includes a fun lunch:

Crochetl lunch

And a visit with Miss Kitty at the feed store:

Lucy

We found out this time that her name is actually Lucy. Apparently, the best place for feed store kitties in the winter is in the middle of the dog bed display. Makes sense to me.

Christmas gift knitting is probably going to start soon, but for now I’m indulging myself with crochet squares in every color of yarn I can dig out of my stash. I find the holidays kind of hard—good in many ways, but a bit stressful and sad too—so this is proving highly therapeutic.

I’ve also been going for walks. Paul and Blade and Dulce and I went on a nice hike up the mountain one day last week.

Walk 2

And yesterday Blade and I wandered over to the little cemetery that’s not too far from our house.

Cemetery rev

Walk 1

And last night there was seed bread.

Seed cake

Now I’m off to yoga. Wishing you peace and love, my friends. Thanks for stopping by.

“I love people who harness themselves . . .” 6

AugieI was enjoying a post on building a handmade wardrobe over at kariebookish.net this morning when I came across the following comment by someone named “jackiemania”:

This is something I’m trying to work on (slowly but surely) too. Last week I was sick and I felt so much better because I had on a hand knit cardigan <3 I once wrote in my blog that wearing something handmade made me feel like I am wearing a talisman against the vagaries of the modern world, and that I’m convinced that objects we make with our own two hands are imbued with integrity, magic, and soul.

Of course, I had to immediately find out more about this person who describes wearing handknits as “a talisman against the vagaries of the modern world” because clearly she is someone who knows what’s what and is out there talking about it.

It turns out that Jackie has two blogs. One of them, jackiemania, is all about books and what she’s been reading. It’s no longer updated regularly, but oh, my goodness . . . if you’re a reader, you absolutely must check it out. She’s spent several years posting about what she was reading at the time, and her comments are seriously interesting. It’s like finding a great knitting blog but about books. You get the feeling that it’s almost as much fun hearing her talk about something she’s read as sitting down with the book yourself. I had to stop myself after ordering the third one of her recommendations on Amazon this morning!

In case you’re wondering, I got The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, and A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I’ll report back.

So anyway, Jackie’s active blog right now is called Life During Wartime Challenge. I need to spend more time with it to really get a sense of what it’s like, but the farewell entry on jackiemania, describes the new blog as having a focus on “sustainability, frugality, making, and doing.” I think the last part of her comment on the kariebookish.net post might be representative:

Finally, I am obsessed with the concept of verum factum: The principle states that truth is verified through creation or invention and not, as per Descartes, through observation: “The criterion and rule of the true is to have made it. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giambattista_Vico#The_verum_factum_principle). So, I feel like you can’t really know something until you try and make it yourself. If I’m interested in something, I want to make it to understand it.

This!!!!!! So much THIS.

And guess what! Jackie has a very active twitter feed where she not only tweets about knitting and books and making things but also posts pictures of extremely cute kitties! And cooking. And trees. . . .

View

On a day when work has been especially worky, it’s nice to have found someone who loves a lot of the same things I do and spends time talking about them online.

Sock 2

The line in the title is from Marge Piercy’s poem, “To Be of Use.” It’s featured in this post at jackiemania.wordpress.com.

Knit, Spin, Ply, Knit . . . 4

Gramps

On Thursday, we did a lot of driving, enough that I was able to finish the body of Gramps down to the ribbing. The picture shows the moment when I was finishing up the frogged yarn from Gramps Version 1 and starting a new ball of yarn. I’m not sure why this is always such a wonderful thing, but it it is, it is, it is.

Now I need to figure out what I’m going to use for the contrasting color for the collar and the ribbing. I’d like something that matches the taupey/neutraly color in the “Argyle,” but it’s hard to tell from looking at photos online which color might work. I contacted Lorna’s Laces to see if they can tell me, but so far I haven’t heard back. Might have to give them a call.

Last night, we had sushi with our friends Cari and Jay, and Cari and I had festive adult beverages. Mine was a Wasabi Bloodytini. It was very good. I can’t remember what Cari’s was called, but it was apparently very good too.

Dinner 1

And look at Cari’s necklace! How about that for handknits in action?! I love it! Our dear friend P made it for Cari for her birthday. I’ll check with P, but I’m pretty sure it’s this pattern.

Dinner 2

Before meeting Cari and Jay, we did a little belated birthday shopping at the bookstore. Since we live in the middle of nowhere, getting to go to an actual bookstore is big fun.

In addition to two novels and a new cookbook, I got a rechargeable book light (i.e., knitting light!), and it works really well. I have a headlight that I’ve been using for a few years to knit in the car after dark, but it goes through batteries like crazy. Hopefully, the rechargeable feature on the new one will make it a little less pricey to use.

I knitted on my BFF socks on the drive home, and the new light worked great. Here’s a picture. You can see the cookbook in the background. It’s Alana Chernila’s Handmade Kitchen. More on it another time.

Car Knitting

The other thing I’ve been doing this week is spinning. Spinzilla ends tomorrow, and my goal for it was to spin at least a mile. I think I might make it!

Here’s what I did today while we watched the Baylor game. This is 4 oz of superwash Targhee. It’s Hello Yarn club fiber that I got in a destash. The colorway is “A Tinkle and a Glint.” You can’t really tell from this picture, but it’s full of wine, burgundy, rose . . . lovely reds.

Hello Yarn

And here’s some of the plied alpaca/BFL I was working on earlier this week. I’m thinking I might use this to knit Summer Flies. I ended up with 480 yards of it, so I think I’ll have plenty. I’ve had the pattern in my queue forever, and now that I know from Storm Cloud how wearable the half circle shape is for a shawl, I’m anxious to knit something else with this shape.

Alpaca BFL

Of course, I ended up with an uneven amount of singles on one bobbin when I was plying this. Usually, I weigh what’s left and try to divide it between bobbins so I can finish up without any leftovers. Since this is Spinzilla, though, and time is yardage, I wanted a quicker, less fiddly way to finish plying what was left on the one bobbin. My plan was to try Andean plying, but while I was looking for a good tutorial, I came across another technique called hand plying. It’s awesome! I’m sure I’ll try Andean plying at some point, but this method is definitely going in my bag of spinning tricks as well.

I’ll be finishing up my Spinzilla spinning tomorrow, so I should have an update on that for you on Monday. Hope you’re having a great fall weekend!

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