Tag: scarf

Hitchhiker: A Love Story 16

 

Oh, Hitchhiker! How do I love thee? I can’t begin to count the ways.

The Hitchhiker shawlette has got to be one of the most wearable handknits ever. I know because I made one several years ago that I wore and wore and wore until I gave it to my mother, who has worn and worn and worn it! It’s the most wrap-able, tie-able, drape-able piece of knitted fabric you could ever hope to have. And the Malabrigo “Archangel” absolutely soothes my soul. I love it.

This particular Hitchhiker will always remind me of this crazy first semester back in the classroom after so many years. Each row represents a moment of calm–before bed, between classes, during the frenzied lesson preparation that has been the constant theme of the last few months. It saw me through a bout of doctor’s visits. It helped me find calm as I anxiously awaited a friend’s visit and sustained me when I was sad after she’d gone. How on earth does knitting do it? All of this?

If anyone knows of another scarf or shawlette pattern that compares to the Hitchhiker in terms of its perfect suitability to every occasion, please let me know. I need it.

Last weekend was SAFF, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, in Asheville. It’s a huge good time. Fabulous vendors, animals, knitters, weavers, fiber people of every sort are there. Last year, I had to miss it, so this year, despite the crazy busyness, I was determined to go. Plus, I got to meet an online fiber friend (and her dog!) in person, which was a delight, and grab some actual face time with a few of the nearby fiber friends I’ve seen precious little of over the last couple of months.

And of course I bought some yarn. I’ve been dying to jump on the “fade” bandwagon but wasn’t up for the epic bigness of the Find Your Fade shawl at the moment. Happily, my BFFF Cari alerted me to the Free Your Fade a few days before SAFF! So that’s what I had in mind when I went yarn shopping.

What do you think? It’s Dragonfly Fibers DK weight Traveller. The squish is real.

I also picked up some buttons. Love buttons. Cardigans are in my future.

Tomorrow, it’s back to class, but I’ll be sporting my trusty Hitchhiker. Happiness.

My apologies for the disjointedness of this post. My brain is in a million places. I’m off to read some of the sure-to-be-wonderful blog posts I’m behind on before I turn in for the night. I hope you are well, my friends. Take care, and knit on.

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Fall Break 21

Today is day one of my two-day fall break. Despite the mountain of papers waiting to be graded, I was determined to get some knitting in. Not the knit a few rows before bed kind of knitting but some actual soul soothing knitting.

As an extra treat for myself, I thought I’d spend the time not just knitting but finishing. I’ve had my Looped Loop sitting in a basket waiting to be bound off for at least six months. Binding off required Reverse Kitchener Stitch, though, and there just hasn’t been space in my brain for that.

The cool weather we’re having this week seemed like a great reason to take the leap. I must say I was also hoping to have a wonderful story of Reverse Kitchener glory to report.

Oops.

Here is a shot of the kitchenered ends. They’re right in the middle there, a tiny bit to the left of the middle vertical chair rail.

From this distance it looks okay, but honestly, I’m disappointed. I was hoping the join would be truly seamless, and it isn’t. The knit and purl columns don’t line up exactly. Plus, the seam area has virtually no give. Reverse Kitchener is now on my list of things to master, and I’m planning to try Tricksy Knitter’s method next. I’ll report back. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.

Augie did a close inspection and decided he wasn’t thrilled with the results either.

Despite the Kitchener issues, having a cozy new cowl to wear when I go back to school on Wednesday makes me happy. And the yarn is divine. It’s Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Rasberry Blaze. Absolute heaven.

The fall weather has also ignited the need to bake. Yesterday’s goodness was Smitten Kitchen’s Jacked Up Banana Bread. It’s the best banana bread evahhhh. We had it for dinner, breakfast, and lunch.

Things continue to be hectic, but I am mostly keeping up with everyone’s posts. I’m sadly behind with commenting but am loving reading about what everyone is up to.

Until next time, be well, my friends. And knit on!

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Funtimes in Babylon 10

Life has been especially lifey lately. As a consequence I’ve found it necessary to cast on many things. Well, just three things, but that’s two beyond my comfort zone, especially since I still have a couple of UFOs in the wings.

The first cast on is something I actually mentioned a couple of posts ago but haven’t really talked about. It’s Jane Sowerby’s Spider’s Web Shawl from the book Victorian Lace Today. Here is a picture, but you can’t tell much. It’s destined to look like a blob as long as it’s on the needles.

This is the most challenging lace project I’ve ever attempted. A couple of years ago, I knit Hilary Latimer’s Mystery Knit Along Shawl and loved the way the painstaking, careful work of knitting it actually turned out to be very relaxing. I had to pay attention so absolutely that when I’d come up for air it was almost like I’d spent the time taking a rejuvenating nap. My mind would be clear, and I’d be refreshed and ready for whatever was next.

I’m hoping the Spider’s Web Shawl will give me a similar experience, but I’m not quite far along enough to tell. The thing that motivated me to attempt this pattern was actually the yarn. The yarn I’m using is an airy, soft, almost luminescent, lace-weight, mostly mohair blend that came from a couple of very special goats we know.

We met Gracie and her brother Reuben when they were babies. They belonged to our dear friend Marcia who runs Good Fibrations. Somewhere I have a picture of Paul holding Gracie the day we me her. I think she was only a week or so old at that point. It’s insanely sweet, and if I ever find it, I’ll show it to you.

Anyway, Gracie and Reuben now live with our friends, Ann and Trish, over at Out in Jupiter Farm. Here’s Paul with Gracie at their place last year.

Ann and Trish took the fiber from Gracie and Reuben’s first shearing and turned it into an out-of-this-world laceweight yarn, and that is the yarn I’m using for my Spider’s Web Shawl. I’m hoping to do it justice. I’ll keep you posted.

So that was the first wild-hair cast on. Remember the Inlet cardigan? It still has no sleeves. I just wasn’t in a sleeve knitting mood, ya know? The Spider’s Web Shawl requires concentration, and it’s gotten too warm to work on the Zigzag Blanket, so there were some knitting opportunities cropping up when I didn’t have anything to knit!

And there was stress. It’s the absolute craziest time of the year for me workwise. So one night when it was very very late and I was still sitting at my desk, I decided the only sane thing to do was cast on a project I knew I’d love because I’ve knit the exact same thing in the exact same yarn once before. Martina Behm’s Hitchhiker scarf. In Malabrigo “Archangel.”

I know you understand.

Cast On #3. This one isn’t actually on the needles yet, but that could happen any second. I’ve got the yarn.

Look:

I’ve been dying to knit with some of the wonderful, speckledy Hedgehog Fibres yarn I’ve been seeing everywhere, and after I knit The Rain Outside for Cari, I knew the next one had to be for me and that I had to get myself some of that yarn. I chose “Poison” and “Ruin.” What do you think?

And just in case the cast-on frenzy isn’t over, I ordered the two skeins of “Sangria” at the top of the post. I’m so not sorry.

 

*Father John Misty’s Funtimes in Babylon has felt relevant lately.

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Still Yarning Along . . . 8

Despite the sad demise of the Yarn Along, knitting and reading continue as always here at Casa Knit Potion.

It was cause for celebration when Anne Lamott’s new book arrived on my doorstep the day before yesterday.

Here’s the quote from the back cover:

I’m not sure I even recognize the ever-presence of mercy anymore, the divine and the human; the messy, crippled, transforming, heartbreaking, lovely, devastating presence of mercy. But I have come to believe that I am starving to death for it, and my world is too.

This.

My knitting is the English Mesh Lace Scarf I started at least a year ago. I think it’s going to be a favorite when I finish it in about 2050. I do a pattern repeat once a month or so. It’s the Kidsilk Haze. I don’t love knitting with it.

What I am loving knitting is this Dog Sweater. I started it last night and should finish up this evening while I’m catching up on The Americans. I’m making it for my cousin’s precious, little, one-eyed dog, Bandit. My track record with dog sweaters isn’t the best, but I’m ever hopeful.

I took this picture while we were waiting for dinner at our local Thai restaurant. Paul and I went there after an evening walk. We both needed some fresh air, so we drove over to a very pretty, hilly trail that winds around above town. The National Cemetery sits down below.

And the redbuds are in bloom.

It was nice.

In other news the #yarnlovechallengeapril is underway on Instagram, and the prompts are inspired. Today’s was “hands.” These were a couple of my favorite photos.

 

Home 0

Lola

I’m back home after a longish trip to Texas. The visit with my family was really, really good, but nothing beats getting back to my guys.

I did quite a bit of knitting while I was away although I don’t have much to show for it other than the big rectangle that the Easy Folded Poncho is becoming.

Plane-Knitting-3

Airport-Knitting

My best knitting moment happened with the English Mesh Lace Scarf. On the first leg of the trip last Monday, I opened the project bag and saw that the super slick Kidsilk Haze stitches had all slid right off the needles. After a moment of mortification, I started to think my way through the issues.

Plane-Knitting-1b

I figured ripping back was out of the question because the yarn is so grippy it’s pretty much impossible to end up with anything other than a knotted mess. Since I’d only knitted a couple of inches, I could have tossed what I had in the trash and started over, but I decided to see what I could do with it. I got all but three stitches back on the needles with relatively little effort, but finding out where the missing stitches fit in was a challenge. Fixing mistakes in lace has always been hard for me, and it was evident that one of the dropped stitches extended a few rows back through at least one set of decreases.

But I did it! After about half an hour of head scratching and delicate reworking, I got everything back where it was supposed to be. I was so happy I hadn’t just started over, even though I’m sure figuring out the problem and putting everything right took me longer than re-knitting the couple of repeats would have. The whole thing was incredibly satisfying. I just can’t tell you. And it must have made the knitting gods happy because the very next day I was rewarded with the most incredible tip.

I always stop by Strings and Things when I’m in Texas for a visit. It’s my awesome hometown yarn shop. This is a picture of the “sit and knit” area.

The-Knit-Shop-b

And these are the super cute socks Ms. C was knitting.

The-Knit-Shop-Socks

I ooh and ahhh over the new yarns and the projects they have on display and end up spending an hour or so just soaking up the good vibes.

Well, I was telling my Kidsilk Haze scarf story, and Ms. C had the BEST suggestion. She said when she has to rip back mohair, she puts the project in the freezer first. Freezing hardens the loose haze of fibers and makes the yarn much easier to rip back. It’s genius! I wouldn’t have thought of it in a million years, but it absolutely makes sense. If you did have to rip back, this would actually give you a fighting chance of ending up with yarn you could still use afterwards.

Anyhoo, besides knitting in the airport and on the plane, I got to knit a lot while I hung out and visited with my mom.

Patio-Knitting

I had the services of an excellent assistant.

Abbie

When we were at my aunt’s one day, I snapped a picture of the hilarious print she has hanging in her coffee nook. It’s kind of hard to see through the reflection off the glass, but the lady being dragged out by her feet is desperately trying to knit one more stitch before her friends pull her away to something else. I love it.

Knitting-Picture

I’m going to have to squeeze in my knitting where I can this week. I’ll be playing catch up with work. The Easy Folded Poncho should come in handy for conference calls, though, and hopefully I’ll get back to my Geek-A-Long square in the evenings.

Hope you have a great week!

Plane

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!

Home 2

After what felt like a warp speed visit to Texas, I’m back at home. My mom loved her birthday scarf! It looks great on her, and she wore it a couple of times while I was there.

Mom

Seeing how easy it was to wear and tie differently for different looks made me even more sure I want to knit another one of these.

First, though, I’m going to be knitting my mom a pair of Cupcake Mitletts. I was finishing up my pair on the trip, and she liked them, so we stopped by the local yarn shop, and she picked out some yarn for a pair for her.

Here’s a picture of mine, fresh off the needles. The yarn we got for Mom’s is a pretty, burnt orange color, similar to the color of her scarf.

Cupcake Mitletts 2

Yesterday was sort of a disaster travel-wise. Between late flights and missed connections, I didn’t get in until nearly 3:00 am. That’s made today a challenge in terms of productivity. Other than a bit of paper grading, all I’ve managed to accomplish is a batch of cookies for Fiber Guild tomorrow and a little bit of knitting on my Scrap Yarn Advent Calendar Socks. 

Scrap Sock

I’m way behind! Oh, well . . . hopefully, I’ll have time to catch up next week.

Look what else happened today. Snow! The first of the year.

1st Snow

Ta-da! 4

FO 1 web

The birthday scarf is off the needles, and I love it! The pattern is pretty without being fussy which is very much my mom’s style. I can’t wait to give it to her next week. 

FO 4 web

This is the most enjoyable thing I’ve knit in quite a while. The pattern is Windy City Knits Lace Shawl by Angela Walker.

There is enough variation in each row so that you have to pay a little bit of attention, but the pattern is easy to memorize. I knit on it while doing all kinds of other things including reading, and it was much nicer than something plain like stockinette or rows and rows of garter stitch. 

FO 7 web

FO 5 web

I will definitely be making more of these!

FO 9 web