Tag Archives: mason dixon knitting

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fundraiser

The photos of the devastation in Houston are heartbreaking, the result of unimaginable rainfall from Hurricane Harvey. I’ve been looking into charity efforts, trying to figure out how to help.

The Mason-Dixon Knitting gals are one step ahead of me; they’re donating all proceeds from their Ravelry pattern sales through August 31 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, a fund established by Houston’s mayor and housed at the Greater Houston Community Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity. This is brilliant.

I’m following suit. From now through Saturday, September 2, 2017 (midnight PST), I’m donating all proceeds from my Ravelry sales to the same Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. If you’ve been thinking about buying a pattern, now is a great time to make it count a little more. Here’s a link to my patterns on Ravelry.

I know we as knitters want to help. Cash donations are the best way to get help to where it’s needed. While we’d love to knit something to help, Houston doesn’t need our knitted goods. Mary Mooney of the Oregonian suggests other ways to help.

I’ll be making a donation to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, and hope you’ll help me make it that much bigger.

Linden Leaf, knit with Mason Dixon Knitting’s Euroflax mini skeins, in Forest.

SeaScape Scarflette, also knit with Mason-Dixon Knitting’s Euroflax minis, in Sea.

All my Ravelry patterns are included in this effort, but I wanted to highlight the MDK connection. Thanks for your help.

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Introducing: SeaScape Scarflette

Introducing my SeaScape Scarflette, a summery accessory knit in sport weight linen. Is it a scarf? A shawlette? You decide.

SeaScape long

This long narrow asymmetric triangle features a lacy edge inspired by the curl of the waves off Maui.

SeaScape

It can be worn long, loosely knotted, double wrapped…so many ways to add a little pizazz to your outfit.

Euroflax minis

The scarflette was inspired by a set of Euroflax Sport linen mini-skeins from Mason-Dixon Knitting. As soon as I saw this color set, I knew what it wanted to be. I took it to Maui in December and worked out the design while enjoying the view of Molokai from the lanai.

Euroflax minis in mason jarHand winding the balls three times made the yarn softer!

Linen gives this fabric a lovely hand and sheen. I highly recommend it! With mini-skeins, part of the fun is deciding in what order to use your colors. The longest, narrowest section is at the beginning, and features the most waves. The last section is short and wide, and features the bubbly eyelet pattern.

SeaScape 1

My first sample had pale green at the far end; the design sample has the mid-gray. I took the sample to Nashville to meet Mason-Dixon Knitting’s Ann Shayne, and she called it “deliriously pretty.” Thrilling!

SeaScape

The mini-skein set has 325 yards. You could also knit this with a single skein of Euroflax Sport, which is 270 yards. (I used about 300 yards of the minis, due to placement of color joins.) Test knitter Sarah Peery used Juniper Moon Farm ZOOEY, a 60/40 Cotton/Linen blend. It also blocked beautifully.

seascape-sarah-cropSarah’s SeaScape before blocking, photo by Sarah Peery

The pattern is available through Ravelry; the pattern page is here. It’s 10% off through March 10, no coupon code needed. If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll receive a coupon code for 20% off. Want to join the list? Let me know in the comments.

More linen minis

I’ve fallen in love with linen, so there’s another linen mini-skeins design in progress. Come see a sneak peek; I’ll have the SeaScape Scarves and the new project with me at my trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake on Thursday, March 2 for the Rose City Yarn Crawl!

Nashville and knitting

Catching up with myself here…DH and I went to Nashville for a few days of fun last week. He was on his way to Bowling Green, KY for a project, and had to pass through Nashville, so why not?

I met up with Ann Shayne at Mason-Dixon Knitting world headquarters. I’m so impressed by how she and Kay Gardiner have developed MDK from a longtime blog between friends to this new creation. They’re dabbling in all sorts of knit-related fun: publishing booklets, blogging, community forum, YARN.

MDK wall of yarn

This is the wall of yarn. My Euroflax mini-skeins used to live here, and now they’re all grown up.

SeaScape

It looks great on Ann! It’s a long skinny…scarf? Shawlette? Scarlette? What would you call it? Ann called it “deliriously pretty” in an Instagram post; I was pretty chuffed by that. Pattern coming soon.

 

These are samples of the Breton Cowl from Field Guide Number 1. The Shibui yarn is heftier than I thought (quick knit!), and really pretty. The favorites queue is getting longer! Thanks to Ann for a fun morning of knitting and chat.

Breton Cowl

I made a quick trip to Craft South the day before in search of yarn to swatch for a design idea. This is a sweet shop that carries fabric and a small but exquisite selection of yarn.

Craft South entry

Craft South yarns

While I was there I met Hannah Thiessen, @hannahbelleknits on Instagram. So fun to meet online knitting friends in real life!

Hannah at Craft South

And Craft South is near a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream shop, so I got to introduce DH to his first Jeni’s experience.

Jeni's

I may have acquired some red boots that day, too. But it wasn’t an all knitting trip. We saw Sister Sadie, an excellent 5 piece bluegrass band at the Station Inn, and A Prairie Home Companion at the Ryman Auditorium. Nashville is a fun city; I’d love to visit again.

At the Ryman
Those stained glass windows at the Ryman!

Red Zephyr and Biscuit

Right now I’m knitting away madly on a red Zephyr Shawlette to go with my new boots. This is Hazel Knits Entice, Vamp colorway.

Zephyr and boot

I love how the Zephyr arrow echoes the heart on the boot. I’m trying to finish this to take to Madrona next week. Knit like the wind…a zephyr!

Red Stopover bliss, more yarn

Red Stopover

I love my new Stopover. It fits just like the blue one, except the sleeves are 3/4″ longer, which is perfect.

Stopover yoke

In the end, I chose pink for the color pops. I don’t usually like pink and red together, but I love this. I think it works because it’s just a little pink, an accent.

TrudyG's Stopover

I was inspired by TrudyG’s Stopover on Instagram. I loved it when I first saw it last spring during the BangOutASweater KAL, and the colors have been in the back of my mind ever since. Thanks, Trudy, for letting me share your picture here. (Trudy’s Stopover on Ravelry, for more pictures and details.)

A lot of people loved the multicolored color pops, but that wasn’t the look I wanted. At least not on this one. But now I’m thinking: Wouldn’t a dark gray Stopover be awesome with the same white and mid-gray for contrast colors, and then a rainbow at the yoke? There are 12 “feathers”, so I could do a six color rainbow twice around. Would it be crazy to have three Stopovers? I love the way they fit, and can knit them mostly on auto-pilot. But it does take knitting time, and I have several design projects in the queue. Hmmmm.

Malabrigo Rasta

Not that the design queue stopped me from buying this yarn yesterday. Malabrigo Rasta, in Zarzamora. It’s for a quick little brioche scarf project from the fine folks at Mason-Dixon Knitting. I’ve been meaning to explore brioche, and this is a quick entrée into that world. I’ll be taking a brioche class with JC Briar at Madrona, but couldn’t resist a little taste now.

Mom's Kilter hat

Oh! Mom’s home from Antarctica, and she did get her Kilter hat in time for the trip. I’m happy to report that she loved both.

What’s on your needles for January? For me, the linen mini-skeins (I guess those Mason-Dixon gals are getting to me!) and the Rasta so far. The linen counts as design project and as knitting, so double duty there. You?

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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Windows at the Ryman

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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.

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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.

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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…

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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…

bloggers

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

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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.

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

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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

IMG_0786IMG_0785

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!

mdk1

mdk2

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.

samples

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.

Margaret

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!