It’s transition week here in Portland. We have summer flowers and fall leaves.
The Japanese anemone is going strong. I planted a few of these several years ago, and now they are taking over my yard. I took out most of it this spring, but it’s all back.
My cosmos died this summer, but I think it re-seeded itself and came back up through the anemone. The first batch wasn’t nearly as spectacular as these are.
Here’s what’s happening in the neighborhood:
There won’t be any fall color on my flowering plum tree, though. It’s dead. Half of it bloomed this spring, and then the whole thing died. This bird (flicker?) was enjoying it the other day.
Oh! I never showed you the October Single Skein Club package. Here it is:
A sweet pattern for fingerless mitts by Shannon Squire, a ball of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi in one of my favorite colorways (I have 5 balls of this in the same color, different dye lot in my stash from a design idea that didn’t pan out)…
and some really cute stitch markers.
I can’t work on these right now. I’m completely obsessed with one of the things I showed you in the last post. But I can’t show you yet…
Fall has arrived. I love the crisp cool days we’re having here in Portland. The leaves are beginning to turn, and the days usually start with a bit of fog. This is the morning view from my bedroom window.
The cooler weather has inspired me to knit. I’ve got several ideas spinning in my head, and it’s a little overwhelming trying to decide which one comes first. Everything is in the swatching stage.
I’m playing around with an entrelac idea with some Noro Silk Garden Lite and my Lantern Moon US 7 ebony circulars.
After this picture, I knit on it through a meeting last night. I made it far enough to know that it’s not quite what I want, but now I know what I want. I have to start over. That’s progress!
I’m playing around with a different idea on another ebony circular (also size 7). This yarn is worsted from Pico Accuardi Dyeworks. I’m far enough to know that I’ve messed up the stitch pattern! But not far enough to know if my sizing is right.
And swatching another idea in sport weight wool, also from Pico Accuardi, and ebony Sox Stix in size 4. I’m far enough to know that the sizing is definitely not right.
Two steps forward, one step back. Eventually, I’ll get there. I’m usually a monogamous knitter, so it’s pretty strange to have all this going on. I also have an idea for some yarn I’m getting from Lorajean (Knitted Wit), but that yarn isn’t in my hands yet. It’s a good thing that I have a lot of needles!
What’s on *your* needles this fall? Or spring, for my friends down under?
I keep forgetting to post this, but the pattern is officially up!
Pacific Shawl, details here.
I saw Anna’s last night at book group. The lighting wasn’t ideal, but the shawl is gorgeous!
She used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu, and it is a bit heavier, lovely and drapey. Anna’s shawl is the large size, and the yarn is heavier, too. It’s very cozy, but elegant.
You can kind of see the beads on the left, here. They’re much sparklier in person.
Thanks for knitting, Anna!
September is my favorite month. Not only do I have my birthday, we also have our wedding anniversary. Here’s what we looked like 28 years ago this past Sunday.
I also love the beginning of the school year in September. The Teen is a high school senior, so it’s the last of the first days of school. We celebrated with a trip to Black Butte Ranch in Sisters, Oregon, with three other families. Next year the kids will be scattered to different colleges, so it was the first in what will be a series of last hurrahs.
The weather was perfect. Crystalline blue skies, high 75, low 35 (fahrenheit!). Perfect for biking (Mt. Jefferson to the right, Three-Fingered Jack to the left, Black Butte cut off to the extreme right)…
or lazing in the backyard hammock.
This is Black Butte, a volcanic cinder cone.
And the two snow-capped mountains are two of the three Sisters. The third sister (Middle Sister) isn’t visible from here. The closest mountain is Belknap Crater.
But what would a knitting blog post be without knitting? We stopped at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters. It’s mostly a quilting store, but there’s an exquisite little yarn section.
I’d never seen this tilli thomas yarn before. The beads are on thread plied into the yarn. Gorgeous!
I did look at the fabric, too. I loved how this was put together.
I started a new knitting project, too.
Can you guess what it is? More on that in the next post. Gotta run!
Or class knitting, at least.
I’ll be teaching entrelac in the round at Twisted using my Athena pattern in November. I’m knitting a new shop sample because Twisted won’t be carrying Crystal Palace Taos, the original yarn I used when designing Athena. The new sample is in Crystal Palace Mochi Plus, and it’s really lovely.
The colors are very rich. The yarn is 80% merino wool, 20% nylon, single spun. It has long color runs with gradual color changes, which is great for entrelac. It doesn’t have areas of two color tweediness the way the Taos does. It’s a great substitute. And it’s sooooo soft.
There was one odd section where two colors were joined; you can see it at the top of the ball. The yarn was pretty thick and unspun there (like a bad spinning join). I tried thinning it out, giving it more twist and knitting it in, but it was still distorting my knitting, so I decided to omit this bit of yarn. But I like the yarn well enough to forgive it this little indiscretion. It’s going to be lovely.
The class is on November 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. Your Athena won't be done by the end of the evening, but you'll know everything you need to know to finish!
To register for this class, contact Twisted.
It’s September! The pattern for the Breezy Market Tote is now available.
I really enjoyed designing this for Twisted‘s Single Skein Club. It’s a quick knit that features a provisional cast on and a three needle bind off. Don’t be afraid if these techniques are new to you; they are well within the reach of an enthusiastic beginner. The tote is great for a trip to the farmers’ market…or your favorite yarn store!
More details are on the pattern page.
I hope you enjoy knitting it, too!
I’m looking for a few test knitters to knit my Pacific Shawl. I finished the final (I hope!) edits last night. The two smaller sizes take a skein or less of fingering weight yarn (440 yards or less), and some beads. It looks like this:
The beads are optional, but they’re fun! The small size is sweet worn as a scarf. The medium is…a little larger than the small, but smaller than the large!
If you’re interested in test knitting for me, either this project or another, let me know in the comments and I’ll contact you. I can’t offer you diamonds, gold, or even yarn, but you’d have access to a new design that will be fun to knit, and you get to keep the final project.
I’m making steady progress on the ruffle tank. It’s seamed and just needs the i-cord edgings at the neckline and armholes. Here’s the back. I opted to omit the keyhole closing at the neckline.
This is my first experience with applied i-cord. The instructions in the pattern are for a 2 stitch i-cord, applied from the wrong side. I remembered seeing other general instructions in which i-cord was applied from the right side. I had the opportunity to ask Leigh Radford, the designer, why she chose to work from the wrong side, and her answer was simple: She liked the way it looked.
I decided to try it both ways.
The little bit on the left is applied from the right side. The top 3 stitches were picked up under the far edge. I didn’t like the way it left a ridge on the right side, so I switched to the closer part of the edge on the following stitches. I like the way it looks really tubular. But it looks a little heavy for the edge.
The bit on the right is applied from the wrong side. It doesn’t look as tubular or as finished, but I like it. It’s delicate and a little rustic looking. So I’ll carry on from the wrong side, knowing that Leigh likes it that way. Especially since I feel a little guilty for omitting her keyhole neckline!
In other news, my new iPhone4 is here, and I love it. It’s very intuitive. I took the ruffle tank pictures with its camera this morning because I was too lazy to go downstairs to get my other camera. Not bad, and the macro worked great. Here’s a screen shot of where the phone’s google maps app located me this evening.
It was correct, but I wonder what it would have done if I asked it for driving directions…
By the way, I’m having a little giveaway on the Lantern Moon blog. Go check it out!
It feels like it’s all blue here, all the time.
I started my Breezy Market Tote. Although Twisted’s Single Skein Club offering with my design was AllHemp6 yarn in pumpkin, I was able to swap my yarn for deep sea (blue), since I’d already made the original design in sand (nearly pumpkin). I wound the yarn by hand, twice. The first time, I wound it in my usual way, over my fingers to keep the ball loose to avoid stretching the yarn. It works with wool. With hemp? Not so much. The ball was sloppy and prone to tangling and falling apart. So I rewound it more tightly, and away we went. And yes, that’s a provisional cast on at the bottom. Never fear, the bag will be only…blue.
I also resurrected my ruffle tank from the time-out basket. I lost my annotated instructions last year at Sock Summit time, and was just too peeved to go on. But looking at it now, I’m pretty sure I can get the rest of it done. The back was already done, and the front was up past the armhole shaping. It won’t take long (famous last words) to finish. And I get to learn applied i-cord to finish the edges.
I’ve been working on the instructions for my Pacific Shawl (yes, mine is blue); it’s almost ready to go to test knit. I need to make a video tutorial for placing the beads, and check the math one more time, but the charts are done.
Last night I made blueberry lime jam. (More blue, even though the jam is deep purple.) I don’t like plain blueberry jam, where the berries have been through the food processor. The texture is…grainy. So I gently squashed the berries with a potato masher, and I think I’ll like the result a lot better. Along with lime juice, there are bits of lime zest in there to give it some zing and keep it from being cloyingly sweet. Because these berries are really, really sweet already. There are still more out there on the bushes, too…
Oh, I did finish something that wasn’t blue…a helmet liner for the Knit for the Troops project. Lichen green, and I forgot to take a picture before dropping it off at Twisted! Sorry. I used the pattern here. If I were to do it again, I would change the decreases at the crown; there are only 5 decreases around the crown of the hat, and it meant that the top of the hat was tall and a bit pointy. I’d make more decrease points (maybe 8?) so the crown would be shorter and rounder. (If 8 decreases, then I’d start with 88 stitches instead of 90) But that’s just me; I can’t seem to ever knit something as written!
Back to the blues…
It was Stitch ‘n’ Pitch night at the Portland Beavers game last night. My god-daughter E was in town; she’s a knitter and a baseball fan.
We had a great time! Remember these?
I decided there was no better time to knit with candy, than in the company of an eight year old. I used size 8 aluminum needles (washed)…this sticky project was not happening on my Lantern Moon ebony needles!
E thought the concept of knitting with candy was a little strange.
But then she wanted to try it, too.
You know what happened next…
While the candy smelled great, it was a bit too chewy and didn’t taste as good as it smelled. It was worth a try, though! I think the laces were too thick for the size 8 needles (was this a gauge swatch?). It would be better in a less dense knit. I tried knitting 3 stitch i-cord, but the laces kept breaking. In the end, a simple crocheted chain bracelet was our best result.
The Stitch ‘n’ Pitch organizers collected caps for cancer patients; you can see some of them on the table. They also had a drawing for prizes during the 7th inning stretch.
I won a sewing pattern, and E won this zippered bag with these beautiful stitch markers!
I didn’t actually see much of the game; we were too busy chatting and knitting! I worked on my Cap for the Troops, but between the candy knit and crochet, I didn’t get very far. It was a fun evening, anyway.