Rescue me! Knit edition

Today I finished clue 3 of my Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette. While I was working the last row, I found a split stitch several rows back. Horrors!

dropped stitch

I knew that the tiny bit of yarn holding things together would break when I wet block this shawlette. You can see that most of the yarn loop that belongs to that stitch is hanging out in front of the fabric instead of being part of the fabric. It’s the bottom stitch of the dark blue stripe. Only a tiny filament of this loop is holding the fabric together. (I had already started laddering down before I thought to take a picture.)

dropped stitch w/ hook

I laddered down to the split stitch: Drop the top stitch of the column off the needles, and then pull the yarn out of each loop on the way down, like a run in a nylon stocking. I then inserted my crochet hook (from front of the fabric towards the back), and carefully pulled each ladder through, in order, with each ladder becoming the new stitch on the hook. Pull up a little more than you think you should, to snug the stitch up with its neighbors on either side. (This is for stockinette; garter stitch is a little trickier.)

dropped stitch fixed

All better! See how the bottom stitch of the dark blue stripe looks the way it’s supposed to now? You can use this laddering technique to fix split stitches, wrong stitches, dropped stitches. If you’re picking up a dropped stitch, it may be a little tight when you hook things up, but you can borrow a bit of slack from the neighbors.

I’ve been teaching this and many other ways to fix knitting mistakes in a class called Tink, Drop, Frog for a while now. It’s always fun seeing knitters learn to take charge of their knitting. Interested? The next one is scheduled at Twisted on April 13 from 12:30 to 2:30. You, too, can fix mistakes like a boss!

Here’s the finished clue 3.

rcyc clue 3

I think it looks like ripples on moonlit water.

rcyc clue 3 b

I added an extra band of roses halfway through the second stripe sequence. They’ll stand out better when properly blocked; I only pinned it out a bit.

rcyc clue 3, close

One more clue, coming this Friday!

Never too late…

to learn a new thing! This is my first ever granny square. Crocheted!

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I used to crochet a long time ago, but my only project was a ripple afghan I made for DH when we were dating, back in the Dark Ages. All acrylic, shades of cream and brown.

I’ve been reading the Rose City Yarn Crawl threads on Ravelry, and Laurinda Reddig, designer of the Crochet-ALong shawlette, says that if you can crochet a granny square, you can crochet her shawlette.

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I’m still not convinced. The granny square was easy to figure out. I clearly don’t know which way I’m going with the shawlette. Lucky for me, I’ll see her Friday at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton at their KAL/CAL group, 4:30 to 6 p.m. Knitted Wit (Lorajean, dyer of my project yarn and so much more) will be there, too. Come see us!

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I had a great time at the Knitting Bee last Sunday. It’s really fun to knit with other knitters (and crocheters), and the most inspiring and intimidating thing? Seeing all these people knitting MY PATTERN. So far, they seem to like it! I really love seeing all the different color combinations, too. Check them out on Ravelry!

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Other knitting? The office peeps from Lantern Moon came over last night to cast on for the Thrumbelina KAL. We have new thrummers! I finished my first slipper, and have just started the second. It’s not too late to join us. And the pattern is still on sale for 25% off through the end of January. That’s tomorrow!

What’s on your needles? You know what’s on mine!

Thrumbelina pattern sale…

because…I forgot to do this before the KAL began! I’ve been a little distracted by the Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL. Sorry.

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Anyway, the Thrumbelina pattern is on sale for 25% off ($4.50 instead of $6) through the end of January. I hope you’ll join the KAL, too! Click here to purchase through Ravelry.

KAL discussion is through my Ravelry group. Come join in!

If you purchased Thrumbelina through Ravelry during the month of January, I’ll be contacting you with a special offer to make up for the missed sale price.

Ready…set…thrum!

Thrumbelina KAL begins today!

We’re casting on for a Thrumbelina KnitALong today! This KAL is not a mystery KAL. All the information you need is in the pattern. We’re sharing questions, tips, progress…

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Before you cast on, you should read through your pattern for information on how to thrum. You can also watch my thrumming video on youtube.

I just made an extra tutorial on a tip for continental style knitters.

Just remember, it’s important to make sure your working yarn wraps around the thrum, rather than coming up underneath it.

continental thrumming

Edited to add: The Thrumbelina pattern is on sale for 25% off ($4.50 instead of $6) through the end of January. Click here to purchase through Ravelry. I meant to do this earlier, but I forgot! If you purchased this pattern during the month of January, I’ll be contacting you.

Who’s casting on with me? Come join the discussion in my Ravelry group!

Don’t worry; I’m still knitting the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette KAL. But I’m caught up until the next clue comes out on Friday.

Knit on!

Beading your knits

We’ve cast on for the RCYC MKAL, but it’s not too late to join the fun! You can find the pattern on Ravelry, here.

We had a cast on party at Twisted last night.

MKAL cast on party

Such fun to meet MKALers in real life!

And here’s my garter tab cast on tutorial, in case you need a little help.

I actually cast on at home so I could be available to chat and help at the party, and I got a little inspired. There’s an option to add beads in clue 4 of the pattern, but I had extra beads, and so I decided to add some here. I’ll post a picture at the end of this post, in case you don’t want to see a spoiler. For now, I want to share several different ways of adding beads to your knitting. These methods are all for beading as you go, rather than pre-stringing.

My favorite method involves a simple tool called the Bead Aid. It’s a bit of jewelry wire, bent in the middle and polished at the ends, so it won’t snag your yarn. You can see mine in my beading tin.

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Simple and elegant! You can find it in a few local yarn shops (I know Pearl Fiber Arts has them), and online here (video on how to use it is here, too).

It’s the same principle as this tutorial from Romi Hill. (She used it in her Ice Queen pattern in Knitty Winter 2007, and I remembered!) You can DIY, but I’m happy with getting mine pre-made and polished. Whatever works for you, works.

You can also use the crochet hook method. This involves a very tiny crochet hook; mine is size 13/14, 0.90 mm. That’s a hook head less than a millimeter in diameter! I tend to split the yarn when I use this method, so it’s not my preferred method.

Laura Nelkin demonstrates the hook method, and also a clever way to use pre-threaded dental floss, in this video.

I tried the dental floss method, too, but I didn’t love it. It’s a great way to corral your beads, but I didn’t like having them hanging on the end of the floss; I had a hard time manipulating the wire and at the same time getting the beads where I wanted them to go. Your mileage may vary!

OK, here’s the info on where I put my beads. The first clue is rain, and I wanted raindrops on the k2tog decreases, but didn’t want to fiddle with two stitches *and* a bead, so I put them on the next row on the purl stitch that was the back side of the k2tog, just before working the stitch. I’d never placed beads on the wrong side row before, but guess what? The bead shows up where it belongs on the right side anyway. Win!

And now that I think about it, you can get the same result by placing the bead on the k2tog on the right side row *after* working the k2tog, so that it gets purled on the next row. Whatever is easier for you to work. Knitter’s choice! I’m used to taking the stitch from the left needle to add the bead before working the stitch. If you add the bead after working the stitch, you’ll have to take it (and replace it) to the right needle, which might be easier if you’re a lefty, but not for me, a righty.

I’m using size 8/0 Miyuki Delica beads. They’re tube shaped rather than round. My local bead store only had size 11/0 (too tiny), so I found these at Twisted. I should have looked there first, but I thought beads came from a bead store. Go figure. These are exactly what I wanted.

Spoiler pic below…

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beads!

Knit on!

KAL color musings

The Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL kicks off tomorrow morning. Here’s my new yarn…

RCYC MKAL colors

I’m using Knitted Wit Single Fingering, Tugboat and Clematis. I was going to use the paler color for the sky (MC), and the darker color for the roses, but…

What if the darker color is the sky at night, and the roses are white roses that look blue in the moonlight?

If I turn it around that way, the dark color would be the MC, and the MC is slightly predominant, and I LOVE this deep purplish blue/bluish purple…

Guess I’ll have to decide by tomorrow!

Just in case you need help with your garter tab cast on, I made a video just for you. (youtube link)

Hope to see locals at Twisted for the cast on party, Friday January 17, 5-8 p.m.!

Also, the winners of the Thrumbelina patterns are…

Lucinda and jrbecca! I’ll be sending patterns along through Ravelry shortly. The Thrumbelina KAL begins on Tuesday, January 21. Pop over to the Ravelry discussion and tell me what yarn/fiber combo you’re planning! Here’s mine. This is Knitted Wit Merino single ply in Winter’s Night, and her merino fiber in Turks and Caicos.

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(Gee, I wonder what my favorite color is?) Are you ready to cast on? I am, and I am!

Recess 24/7 this weekend

I was going over my upcoming weekend with DH, and he turned to me and said, “Your life is like 24/7 recess!” Well, it is a pretty sweet extended weekend I’ve got lined up. Knitting, music, celebration…

Friday is the RCYC MKAL cast on party at Twisted, 5 to 8 p.m. Refreshments and prizes! Come knit with me!

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Saturday I’m teaching Tink Drop Frog, how to fix mistakes at Twisted, from 1-3. I love teaching this class; it’s very empowering to new-ish knitters. There’s still space in class, if you want to register.

My baby turns 21 on Saturday, too. Where did the time go?

Sunday I’m singing with my music besties (The Pie Birds, aka the Divas) in church. Monday, even more of us (The Day Old Pastries) are singing at this MLK Day Remembrance and lunch packing event. The NE Portland Backpack Program provides weekend lunch sacks for children at risk for hunger who don’t have the school lunch program on the weekend. During the 2012-2013 school year we are providing about 5,000 weekend lunch sacks (11,000 lunches) to 164 children at four locations. Come sing with us, and pack lunches with us! The event is free, but bring a can of chili to donate. We’ll be at Maranatha Church, NE 12th Ave between Skidmore and Mason in Portland, from 1-3 p.m. Details here.

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Tuesday, the Thrumbelina KAL begins! Two more days to enter to win a copy of the Thrumbelina pattern. Check out the blog post for details.

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for: The winner of this lovely Knitted Wit single fingering yarn (silver lining and madge)

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is…Samantha from Eugene! Go check out her blog here. Congratulations, Samantha!

I hope you’re with me for part or all of this weekend fun, in person or via the interwebs! Looking forward to it all.

RCYC KAL begins in one week! Parties and more…

Can you believe it? One week until the cast on for the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette KAL. The official cast on date is Friday January 17; the first clue will be released that day. If you’re local to Portland, I’d love to knit with you! I’m having a cast on party at Twisted from 5 to 8 p.m. We’ll have refreshments and prizes; drop by any time and knit a bit with us. I’m thrilled to be the designer of this mystery shawlette!

MKAL banner

I’m also knitting with the KAL/CAL group at the Knitting Bee on Sunday January 26, from 1-3 p.m., and bringing a little trunk show there, too.

And Lorajean (Knitted Wit) and I are planning a trip to For Yarn’s Sake on Friday, January 31 during their KAL time, 4:30 to 6 p.m. I love having these opportunities to knit with you; knitters are the nicest people.

I’m ready to cast on! Well, I will be, once I get my yarn from Knitted Wit next week. This is what happens when you hang out with a dyer.

color samples

I changed my colors, because I finally realized that I’ll get the sample back next year. My new yarn colors: clematis and tugboat.

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This is not the actual yarn, just the color. The yarn will be Knitted Wit Single Fingering, rather than this plied sample. Lorajean gave me yarn for the KAL, but now she’s talked me into the blues. I asked her if she wanted the silver lining and madge back, and she said that I should give it away on the blog! This is your chance to win these two skeins of gorgeous yarn. Leave a comment by midnight January 13 to enter to win. (Fine print: Winner must be a USA resident, so I can mail it out quickly in case s/he needs it for the KAL.) Thank you, LJ!

mkal yarn

I hope you’ll be knitting along with me. And when we’re finished with the KAL, I hope to see you on the crawl with your beautiful shawlette! I’m also hoping that we can get a group picture at the Yarn Ball on February 26. That will be a rainbow of awesome! Rose City Yarn Crawl is also giving away prizes in conjunction with the KAL and CAL; more info on that later. The actual yarn crawl dates are February 27 through March 1, and includes 18 Portland-area yarn shops.

Here’s the scoop on the KAL: The pattern is available through Ravelry here for $6. You’ll receive a pre-MKAL information sheet telling you about yarn and dates. Every week beginning January 17 the pattern will be updated with the next clue so you can download it.

The RCYC group on Ravelry is here: Pop on over and see what colors people are choosing in the pre-MKAL thread!

Are you ready to cast on? Do you want to win yarn? Leave a comment, in either case!

Thrumbelina KAL, and a winner

Just in case you need more fun knitting this month, I’m having a Thrumbelina KAL beginning January 21.

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My good friends at Lantern Moon are having their spring retreat at Timberline Lodge this year, and as part of their goodie bag they are sending Thrumbelina kits to their participants for a pre-retreat KAL. The lucky retreat participants will have cozy toes in a gorgeous setting in April. I can’t go, but I’ll have cozy toes here at home, and so can you.

fireside thrumbelina

This is a great introduction to thrumming. What’s thrumming? Working bits of wool into your knitting as you go. So cushy! I had a thrumming class at Twisted last Monday. Look at all the squishy fiber on the table. Thanks for thrumming with me!

thrummers

I’m coordinating the KAL through my PDXKnitterati Ravelry group; join the group and it will be in your Ravelry forums. I’m giving away two copies of the Thrumbelina pattern before the KAL begins; leave a comment on this post by January 15 if you’d like a chance to win.

Speaking of winners, I have a winner of the Under 100 Knit Collection from Knit Picks ebook. It’s Laura, who commented on December 30. Laura, I’ll be in touch! Thank you all for playing along; I loved learning about your favorite 2013 knits.

Still knitting like a madwoman clearing the needles for upcoming KALs! And still dreaming of Lempster, but I don’t think I can do it. I have a design due soon, and I should do that first. Not a bad problem to have, though.

Don’t forget to leave a comment to win a copy of Thrumbelina!

Happy new year hike

A perfect time to blow out the cobwebs! We went hiking in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday. Drove out from under the fog bank to see Mt. Hood in the distance:

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We took the same hike we did last July. There’s more water now, but the snowpack is way below normal, so still not overwhelming.

Upper McCord Creek Falls:

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On the way up, we looked down on Elowah Falls:

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Same falls, from ground level. I love the snow ledge. Lots of people out this weekend!

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I’ve decided that 2014 will be the year of the purge. There’s too much stuff in the house. DH found these items in the back of a closet.

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A Gryffindor sweater I knit for Kid2, maybe a dozen years ago. I’m sending it to a friend who will love it. And here’s a lone mitten from 1991.

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I knit 8 pairs of these, as birthday party favors. Knit flat (I didn’t know how to use dpns back then), seamed up the side. Bugs Bunny buttons, of course.

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Oddly enough, I knew exactly where the mate was. These won’t be purged, though. I may have to frame them. Or at least keep them in my sample box.

I have big plans for painting my knitting studio, and then organizing all my crafty stuff in it. Right now my organizer bins are in the room off our bedroom, but it’s coming in to my studio, along with my sewing machine. I love these IKEA bins. They’re not this tidy right now…

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What are your crafty plans for 2014? And don’t forget, I’m picking the winner of the Under 100 Knit Collection ebook tonight. More lovely things to knit!