cabinfour’s Pure

knitKaren over at Fringe Association just had to feature this clean lined, crisp, white shawl and I just had to fall in love with it.

cabinfour’s pure shawl‘s clean lines were achieved by a section of stockinette, a section of twisted stitches and then a cruise into a section of good ‘ole garter stitch.

Easy peasy, although the twisted stitch section slowed my knitting to a crawl and almost had me rip out the whole shawl…that and one lousy mis-stitch right in the middle of the shawl.  Darn it!!

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I used Cascade 220 Superwash in white.

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Love it!

Jared Flood Scarf

knitIn 2006, when I first learned to knit, I met a great group of girls [Eva, Kate, Ashley B, Ashley G and then Jenna] who were far more advanced in their knitting skills than I was.  I marveled when they knit barely looking at the knitting and no pattern in sight.

 Knitting dominated the conversation each time we met and I just absorbed what I could and googled the rest, just so I could keep up with them each week.

They told me to get on the waiting list for Ravelry – it was a new website for knitters and there was a long waiting list to be added to the site.  I had no idea what Ravelry was, but I signed up right away.  Now all these years later, I can’t imagine knitting anything without signing on to Ravelry first.

Early on, there was a scarf that the girl’s were making.  It sorta became our signature group scarf – it was a scarf by Jared Flood [back when he wasn’t knitteratti].

It apparently was an “easy” scarf to make.  It was a pattern that was as old as knitting, but Jared knit the pattern with Noro and the girls just had to knit it.  And if they knitted it – I knit it.

I logged on to Jared’s blog and found the post.  Knitting with two balls of yarn?  I’m out.  There was no way I could figure that out, but the girls calmed me down and got me started and it was instant love….it was so cool watching the colors unfold in that simple rib pattern.

I knit mine in Noro Silk Garden [just like Jared did] in colors 264 and 84.

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Loved it.

Loved it so much I knit another one in 2014.  This one was in 326 and 338.  A bit more pink, because pink makes me happy.

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Totally love it.

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My niece modeling the first color combo.

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Both scarves draped together.

And when you have a bit of Noro left over, well you make a Jared Flood scarf for your  favorite Goodwill finds ever.  My birds.

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 So what if the big one is cracked a bit.  Still love her.  And now she has a her very own Jared Flood scarf.

Shimmer in Blue

knitVeera Valimaki designed Shimmer in Blue and I thought it would be a great pattern for the two skeins of Manos Del Uruguay – Maxima that I had in my stash.  2015 is going to be all about using things I already have and this project was a good start.


  DSC_0010 (1117x1680) The pattern is written to have a smaller circumference at the top than at the bottom.  I think this feature allows the cowl to sit better on your shoulders than if it were the same dimension at the top and bottom.

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The Maxima is variegated and this pattern had a good mix of garter stitch field and a twisting cable that ran the length of the cowl.  I think the variegated yarn worked fairly well with this pattern.  Not too overwhelming for the color variation, but the cable added some interest.

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Just when I vowed to not buy variegated yarn again, since I prefer the crispness of the pattern stitches when knit in a solid color – I bought two skeins of Jamie’s Purple Haze from Cutthroat Yarn in Leesburg, VA.  I couldn’t resist the colorway…I’m a sucker for pink, purple and baby blue.  I may use this for Purl Soho’s Bandana Cowl, since it is straight stockinette stitch and I think the pattern will showcase this yarn well.

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Vintage Organizer

paintI was searching around etsy and came across a vintage organizer exactly like one I have.  It is a plastic, carved, wood toned paper organizer that RetroMama65 is selling for 25 smackers.

 

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Huh?  I said.  I really like mine and I was planning on painting it.

Mine was sitting in the garage, waiting its turn.  See it there on the side next to the boat shelf.  I wish I could remember to take before photos.  Seems like the one I have is a bit darker than retromama65’s.

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 I finally remembered to paint it with Typewriter MMSMP when I was painting the shelf for the gym.

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I’m pretty happy with the way it came out.

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 Of course, I had to stuff some yarn in it.  I have it sitting on my project table and if you think it doesn’t have all sorts of things jammed in it already – you are wrong!  I wish I could keep things neat and organized for more than 10 minutes.

Merry Christmas 2014 all!

 

 

Felted Bucket Bag

knitThe ladies who own Solitude Wool happen to live in Loudoun County [where I live] and last summer they had a “visit the farm” series of events.  My mom and I were able to attend two of them.  The Solitude Wool yarns were displayed at the events  and they have a great selection of patterns.

The events were a great way to see how the farms take care of the animals, actually see them sheared and learn about everything that goes into running a farm and creating a line of yarn.

I was interested in the felted bags on display and the author of the bag pattern, Sue Burke, convinced me to give one a try.  She helped me selected a multi-colored Tunis/Romney yarn and a pink and teal Karakul yarn to blend with the Tunis, since two yarns are held together for this felted bag pattern.

The bag is knitted in seed stitch which creates a texture once felted.   Seed stitch is v-e-r-y slow for me, but I persevered and finally finished the bag.

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Now to felt it.

Sue gave excellent instructions on how to felt the bag by hand and I considered this a viable option, because I have a front loading washing machine and had no idea how to check the bag while felting it, without the fear of water jetting out from the front door of the machine.  So, after much debate with my mom of the pros and cons of trying it, I decided to felt it by hand.

It took about 30 minutes of kneading the bag in hot and cold water rinses to get the knitting to felt into a thick, sturdy fabric.

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I added the Cindy’s Button Company handles I purchased online I think it came out great!

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 I love catching a glimpse of the pink and teal bag as I pass by.

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I stuffed it full of the yarn my BFF, Sherri, brought back for me from her recent trip to Ireland.  I can’t wait to get started on something with that yarn!

Furniture Rescue: Bow Topped Shelf

paintI’m lucky enough to have a room on the lower level of my home that we designated as a fitness area –

we call it “the gym”.

It’s the one room in the house that I avoid like the plague.   The gym has a wonderful elliptical machine in it that taunts me each time I walk by.

As I pass by on my way up the stairs, I hear it calling, “Oh, too busy for me, huh?  Word on the street is you would rather be knitting, painting furniture in the garage or digging holes in the garden than spending some time with me.”

“You betcha”, I mutter.

But when I get to the top of the steps, all huffing and puffing, I remember that exercise is the key to fitness, resiliency and stress relief.  If only exercising was the same, as say, watching TV with my slippers on, then maybe I just might start doing it.  Maybe, I just needed to provide a bit of coziness to the activity to make it more appealing.  More slipper friendly.

So, when my FFF had this piece – a hutch top without it’s bottom – I thought this just might be a solution to my problem.

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In my life when I need to cozy something up – I add a shelf.

I added some wheels.  To give the piece some height and mobile flexibility.

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I re-stained the vertical supports and painted the shelf in Miss Mustard Seed’s Typewriter, which always comes out gray for me.

Typewriter always comes out gray for me.

I sealed it with wax and brought it downstairs to sit next to the elliptical monster – I mean machine.

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It’s a little shorter than I hoped it would be, but it will work great to house all the creature comforts.  The remotes, the heart rate monitor band, the elliptical manual and the slippers that I can use while exercising on this machine.

So, I have zero excuses left to not use this monster.  I’ll start tomorrow :).

Wonky Cowl

knitThe Wonky Cowl.  I found this pattern on knitty.com back in 2009.  I had been knitting about three years by then and thought maybe I could extend my pattern choices beyond scarves.  I still love to knit scarves, but this pattern seemed doable.

I had a skein of Debbie Bliss’ Cashmerino Superbulky which was the perfect yarn for this pattern.  It knit up quick and had great stitch definition.

Alex getting ready for her close-up.

 

The basketweave pattern was a bit of a knitting challenge for me  back then.

Alex sporting the Wonky

Alex, my niece, modeled it for me last summer.

Since this was such a snowy winter, this cowl was in heavy rotation in my house.  It seemed as though it was the perfect piece to keep your neck warm without having to deal with the scarf tails.

I’ve always felt that once I knit a pattern I wouldn’t want to knit it again.  Kinda like reading a book twice, but this pattern I would knit again.

Now I just need to search for the perfect yarn.