Tag Archives: mason dixon knitting

FO: Stopover BangOutASweater

Well, that was a hoot!

BangOutASweater FO

I knit this Stopover in 8 days, and then set it aside to wait for my color pop swap yarn to arrive in the mail. What a difference a color pop makes!

yarn swap bangoutasweater

The swap yarn arrived shortly after I got home from Madrona. (Go back to the previous two posts if you missed the Madrona fun.) I auditioned all but the purples, which were too dark against the lapis background. And I tried my green one more time.

bangoutasweater color swap audition

Orange, yellow, green? Yellow! It looks like daffodils and bluebells in spring.

stopover color pop

I’m super happy with this sweater. Thanks so much to bluecanarygirl (Ravelry) for organizing the yarn swap. The yellow makes my heart sing.

The sweater fits perfectly, with a bit of ease but not a ton. It did not change size with blocking (I didn’t want it to). I did spin some of the water out of it, but I put it into the top loading washer in an up and down orientation so the spin wouldn’t elongate the body or arms. Short spin, rearrange, short spin. Pat out to dry.

The Lett-Lopi wool isn’t super scritchy; it’s like wearing a cloud. Except at the neck. I took the FO picture without a turtleneck under it, because I wanted to show the neckline (you can see a bit of my black T). But yesterday I wore it with turtleneck, and it was perfect.

Thanks to Mary Jane Mucklestone for a perfect pattern, and Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner at Mason-Dixon Knitting for dreaming up this very fun KAL! You can see a collage of FO’s over at the MDK blog; I see me in there! That post has links to all the help you’d ever need if you want to bang out a Stopover of your own. My Ravelry project page with notes is here.

Clara Parkes

Other recent fun? Clara Parkes was here to read from her new book, Knitlandia, at Powell’s in Portland last Saturday. Guess who won a Claramel?

knitlandia claramel

The green knitting in the photo is done! Time to block, and finish up the pattern. Reveal coming soon…

Bang Bang BangOutASweater!

stopover knitting done

I finished all the knitting on my Stopover last night! Monday to Monday, and done. Except for the color pops. I’m waiting for my swap of color pops to come in the mail, and I’ll duplicate stitch them when I choose a color!

stopover rolled neck

Mods: I made a rolled neck edging because I don’t want Lett-Lopi ribbing at my neck. I skipped the last row of colorwork, knit a round with my neck color. Changed to smaller needles (US9) and knit 7 more rows (so 8 rows total). No neck decrease, just kept the stitches left over from the colorwork section. Bound off with larger needle (US10.5). It makes a lovely rolled edge, and the neck hole is not tight around my neck.

I knit the whole thing one size larger, to compensate for my difference in gauge. I used the sleeve cast on number for the next smaller size, and continued the increases until I reached the right number.

Still need to graft the underarms, weave in ends, add color pops, wash and block. But I’m calling this 99% finished. All the knitting is done!

This was a quick fun knit. Sweater is 40.5 inches around, a nice sweatshirt-y fit. Now that I know what it’s like, I can see making one more fitted, but not too fitted. But I have other things to work on right now.

I’m getting ready for Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. I’m teaching a mini-class on blocking on Thursday. You KNOW I love blocking! Are you going to Madrona? Hope to see you there!

Banging out Sleeves

I knit a sleeve yesterday. An entire sleeve. This is quick knitting, I tell ya! I’m on the second sleeve now.

stopover bangoutasweater one sleeve

I could have knit both sleeves yesterday; they’re that fast. But I took some time out to seam this pillow.

snowy woods log cabin trees

snowy woods log cabin firs

It’s another Snowy Woods Log Cabin Blocks pillow. I made it with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky for the Knit Picks IDP program. The pattern will be for sale on the Knit Picks site, as well as the the version that’s already up on Ravelry. More Snowy Woods! More Log Cabinning!

I also took time out to make these pillows. (Whoa. Just noticed they’re the same color as the log cabin pillow. We have a palette here.)

cat pillows

I was inspired to make these when I saw the cat pillows over at Mason-Dixon Knitting last month. The fabric was printed by Spoonflower. Now my grown kids can have their own cats at their respective abodes!

cat pillows with cat

I’m not sure what Mookie thinks of them. But I’m sure I’ll never get that little top hat on her again.

Apparently yesterday was a very Mason-Dixon Knitting day. The #BangOutASweater KAL, the cat pillows…and I learned to log cabin from the first Mason-DIxon Knitting book. I made this blanket way back in 2008-2009.

log cabin blanket

So thanks, Ann and Kay! You’ve changed my life!

Back to the sleeves…some people are already finished with their first KAL Stopovers, and starting a second one! I’m looking forward to starting the yoke patterning. Just have to power through this sleeve, first.

Nashville: Music, Music, Knit!

Nashville. So much music. So. Much. Fun. There is so much musical talent in this town, both old and new, and so much respect for the history of it all. From the young people playing for tips at the honky tonk bars on Broadway hoping to be heard over the beer fueled partyers, to the old pros playing clubs like the Station Inn to a respectful audience who came for the music, to the Country Music Hall of Famers playing the Grand Ole Opry, showing us that they still have it. So wonderful.

The Jones. We were pulled into Layla’s Bluegrass Inn on Broadway by the sound of their kickass rendition of “I’ll Fly Away” as we were walking by at midnight.

John Jorgensen Bluegrass Band at the Station Inn. My reaction: “They look like math teachers!” Great music, fun show.

Little Jimmy Dickens at the Opry, still singing at 94. Love the spangly suit.

Nathan East playing bass with Vince Gill on guitar. A great story: It was Nathan’s first time playing at the Opry, and he confided to a friend that he was a bit nervous. Friend (whose name I didn’t quite catch) owns a suit that belonged to Carl Perkins. He offered up the suit for the show, and so here’s Nathan, wearing Carl Perkins’ suit, standing on that circle of flooring preserved from the Ryman Auditorium, playing at the Opry. The old and the new, so wonderful.

Nights were all about listening to music, and days were filled with more music-related activities. We toured the Ryman Auditorium (so much history!), the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Historic RCA Studio B.

Windows at the Ryman

For you fans of the TV show Nashville, the (teeny!) dresses that Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton wore onstage at the Ryman.

onstage at the Ryman
I stood on the stage at the Ryman and played a single G chord. (It costs $10 for a pic, at which point you can also have your buddy take a pic for you. I liked this pic by DH better.)

Cool things at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

My friends and I often sing “Turn Your Radio On” by the Blue Sky Boys, so I was thrilled to see this banner and mandolin.

Webb Pierce’s Silver Dollar Bonneville convertible customized by Nudie Cohn of Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors. Six-shooter door handles, a saddle between the front seats, steer horns…


The piano (Kimball?) that Priscilla Presley had refinished in gold, and gave to Elvis on their first anniversary.

Taylor Swift’s first sparkle guitar, and the MacBook she used to edit her first video.

DH outside the RCA Studio B, where the signature Nashville sound was developed. Elvis recorded many hits here. The sound in here is amazing, a perfectly acoustically dead room, no reverb. Everything is so perfectly clear. You can read more about it here.

This is Floyd Cramer’s piano in Studio B, part of that Nashville sound. Elvis played it, too. And I touched it. It was the 37th anniversary of his passing, so I played a silent glissando in his memory.

Music, old and new. Stephanie Layne was our guide for the studio tour. I chatted her up after the tour. She’s a singer-songwriter from Minnesota, and put out an album in 2012. Check out her music; you can find her on iTunes and more. I’m listening on Spotify right now. Stephanie was a great guide, too, and a wealth of information. Did you know that Dolly Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You”? Whitney Houston had a big hit with it, too. Dolly has earned over $25 million dollars in royalties from that song. Whoa.

What else? Well, this is a knitting blog, so here’s the knitting content. I met up with the delightful Ann Shayne of Mason-Dixon Knitting. We went to Pinewood Social for breakfast and knitting. (She’s knitting a Honey Cowl. I’m swatching for the next fun design.) We talked about knitting, making jam, Nashville, life…


I had this amazing fried chicken biscuit, which was all that and so much MORE. I gave up after half.


There’s a bowling alley at Pinewood Social, and along the wall there are these cans with fun printed labels in several colors, arranged in a mosaic. They are rearranged from time to time. I especially liked these.


A very fun morning. A very fun long weekend. And my very fun souvenir:


Right now I’m in Sisters, Oregon, for a trunk show and knitalong at the Stitchin’ Post, and the boots fit right in.

How was your weekend?

Log cabin blanket and friends

I finished my log cabin blanket last night.

log cabin

This blanket began with leftover yarn from four entrelac felted bags (pattern and yarn from knitpicks.com). After a while I ran out of leftover yarn, and had to buy more to keep the blanket going. Then I got sidetracked when I designed and made three felted slip stitch totes last spring using the yarn I bought for the blanket.

blue tote


That meant I had to buy more yarn, again. As I got close to finishing the blanket, I used leftover yarn from the blanket to make socks, and Pippi. I had to dip into the blanket’s last ball of hollyberry (red) to finish Pippi. And when I finished binding off the last log on the blanket in hollyberry, I only had one yard left. That was close!

log cabin friends

The details:

Log Cabin Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner & Ann Shayne
KnitPicks Wool of the Andes worsted (a great inexpensive workhorse of a yarn)
Lantern Moon US size 7 ebony circular needles (last one was 40 inches long)
Finished size: I knit until there were 10 stripes of color on each side of the center rectangle. It came out to be 44″ x 46″
Started: July 2007
Finished: Jan. 2, 2009

I didn’t put on an edging. I’m leaving open the possibility of making it bigger, somewhere down the road. For now, it’s a nice snuggly hanging out on the sofa afghan.

log cabin piano

I love how this turned out. The colors make me really happy!

Mason-Dixon Portland

Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, the authors of Mason-Dixon Knitting and Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines, were in town last night for a reading and book signing at Powell’s. I had a work meeting. Poot! How could I be in two places at the same time? Not possible.

But how about *almost the same time*? I finished my meeting at 8:20; DH picked me up and drove downtown. I jumped out at Powell’s while he parked the car. I had missed the reading, missed the Q&A, but I made it for the tail end of the book signing. There were only four people left in line in front of me. But I made it!



Ann and Kay were gracious and charming, and I think I pretty much babbled at them because of the adrenaline rush of just getting there. I hope I made a tiny bit of sense. They signed my books, and posed for a picture with my endless log cabin blanket. I forgot to ask about the rubber stamps!

MDK gals

They brought samples from the new book. These are even more awesome in person, which is hard to believe because they look so good in the book. The back of Liberty (the blue and red scrollwork on this end of the table) was as beautiful as the front, and it was really soft, too. Alpaca! The Kiki Mariko (zigzag rug under Liberty)? Felted fun! SK8R was really cute, and the Rowan Denim feels great.


I didn’t quite get to see everything (it was pretty late), but I did get to try on Margaret. The drape and swing of the skirt are so, so cool.


It was worth the mad dash to get there. Many thanks to PNWBookGirl for keeping me updated on the evening’s progress via text message!


I’m obsessed with the Monteagle bag. These are the wackiest stitches I’ve ever done, and I’m just following the directions because they’re not intuitive at all. Sometimes they make me a bit frustrated. But I can’t put it down. I just have to see what the next stitch is!

Here’s the bottom of the bag, started Kay’s way, as previously noted.


Next up: the left and right cross, complete with extra wraps and drops. Woe betide you if you get lost in the middle of these rows; they are a bear to tink! The right cross is easier than the left cross, but if you roll the stitches on the left needle towards you on the left crosses, it makes it easier to get the needle in where it belongs.

left right cross

Just when you think you can’t stand it any more, the pattern changes to horizontal stitch. This is way cool to knit. You’re knitting sideways!

horizontal stitch

Then comes the veil stitch. Easy to do, but so, so strange. The balled up clumps of yarn remind me of spider egg sacs. Ewww.

veil stitch

Everything is pretty loose on the needles, so if you set it down to take pix, this is what can happen. Sorry about the focus, or lack thereof.


Luckily, this one is an easy stitch to tink. Almost done with this round, and then I wonder what comes next? Can’t. Put. It. Down.

You could be the next victim. Monteagle Bag. Mason-Dixon Knitting. You know what you must do.