Friday, January 29, 2016

News from the Couch

I haven't been out and about very much the last couple days, so it seemed like a good opportunity to work on this.

Diane.  This is a good couch project.  Short rows, lace, shifting markers . . . not something I can easily pick up and put down but well worth the effort.  I keep muttering to myself,  "Just one more row."  It's going to be hard to venture out later today.

This week's color inspiration comes straight from the farmers' 
market . . . shades of yellow, orange, red.

Hearty roots.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Playing Catch-Up

The other day I did a quick inventory of my knitting and realized I don't have many projects on the needles.  I'm plotting ways to remedy that situation but before I finalize the details, I thought this would be a good time to give some attention to my neglected sock knitting.

Last week I had to retire a favorite pair of socks (there comes a point where they are beyond repair), and now I'm motivated to knit a replacement pair.

This is the sock from the December installment of the club.  It doesn't look like much here.

But here it's transformed.

Lacunae Sock.  The accordion-like stitch pattern is amazing.  This will keep me entertained for a while.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snapshots from Farm Fiber Day

It's Monday morning, and I'm feeling surprisingly rested and refreshed after a fast-paced weekend.  We had a bit of snow, and shoveling always invigorates me.

But before the snow hit, I had a sweet little show - Farm Fiber Day at the Wayland Winter Farmers' Market.  I had heard great things about this event from family and friends, and it certainly lived up to its billing.

Who can complain about hanging out in a greenhouse on a gray New England winter day?

There was a long line for root vegetables, but luckily there were a few left at the end of the market.  I made a mad dash to get an assortment before heading home.

Baer's Best had an amazing selection of dry beans.

The market runs every Saturday through March 12 with one more Farm Fiber Day on March 5.  Check it out if you're in the area.  It's a great way to brighten your wintry Saturdays.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Off the Needles and out the Door

Earlier in the week I had a hat under construction, and I was knitting stripes.  Before I give you an update, let me back up a bit.

I wanted a hem on this hat, so I started with a provisional cast on. That's the blue yarn.  The provisional cast on would give me live stitches to work with when I needed them.  I wanted a fairly deep hem, so I knit around and around for 3 inches.

After I had 3 inches, I purled 1 round.  See green arrow above.  This would make an easy folding line and would become the bottom of the hat.

Then I worked my striped section using the weighted Random Stripe Generator.  I discussed this part the other day in a blog post.  My striped section was also 3 inches deep.

Next I pulled out the provisional cast on and put the live stitches on a separate needle.

This gave me 2 sets of stitches.  The cast on stitches are on the back left-hand needle.

I finished the hem by knitting together the 2 sets of stitches.

I held the 2 left needles so the wrong sides of the fabric were together. Then I put my right needle through the first stitch on each left needle.

I wrapped the working yarn around the right needle and pulled it through both loops to the front.  Then I slid off both front stitches from the 2 left needles.

I knit the 2 sets of stitches together all the way around, and in the end I had 1 set of stitches.

That purl round is at the very bottom of the hat.

This is the inside of the hem - the side without stripes.

After the hem was finished, I knit until I had the length I wanted.  Then I decreased to shape the top.

My son's birthday is next week, and I knew he needed a hat.  The wind is cold, and I couldn't wait until next week.  I gave him the hat this morning, and it's already in use.

The yarn is Bertha Sport, colorways Raven and Cloud.  I never get tired of working with gray, but I am going to make a concerted effort to move away from gray with my next project.

Schedule Update.  The weekend weather has been in the news, but the Wayland Winter Farmers' Market is on for tomorrow, and I'll be there for Farm Fiber Day.  I'll have yarn, gradient bundles, knitting kits and wrist ruler bracelets.

This week's color inspiration comes for an exhibit at Slater Mill.
Life Of Color by Saberah Malik was on display last weekend, and one of her pieces caught my eye.

Immersion dyed shibori on silk

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Striping Solution

I decided to add a striped section to the little project I'm working on.
In the past I've used the Random Stripe Generator when I needed stripes but didn't want to think too much about the plotting and planning.

This time around I'm using 2 colors for stripes.  I wanted more of one and less of the other, so I experimented with the weighted Random Stripe Generator.  I had a color ratio in mind.  All I had to do was plug in the numbers to generate a series of stripes.  I wasn't completely satisfied with the first series, so I kept refreshing the screen to generate more stripe combinations.  After a few rounds of refreshing, I found one I liked.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Snapshots from Slater Mill

I had a wonderfully hectic time at Knitting Weekend . . . the kind of crazy chaos that leaves me feeling inspired and thoroughly exhausted.

While I recover, here's a glimpse into this very special event.

A sock knitting machine from 1957.

A 1930 replica of a Crompton spinning mule.

There's a story here.  This very talented knitter snagged this
Jamieson & Smith yarn for less than $10 at a yard sale.  She set the yarn aside for a special project, and when she finally decided to use it, she designed her own pattern.  

She was inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann's ideas on shawl construction and came up with this gorgeous shawl.  It was six months in the making, and she took careful notes.  Maybe one day she'll write up the pattern.

Friday, January 15, 2016


This hat is still a wee bit damp, but it will be ready to travel this weekend.

Fartlek.  I was curious about the name for this hat, so I did a little digging.  Fartlek is Swedish for speed play.  It's a word that's used to describe a method of training for runners.  It's unstructured 
training - fast running followed by easier running.  The idea is to keep the running varied and thus reduce boredom.  This pattern has different texture options, so you can mix it up and keep it interesting. Knitting shouldn't be boring.

Timing is everything . . . I just discussed fartlek with my son as he headed out for his run.  He was a bit skeptical and the connection with knitting was totally lost on him, but now he has something to think about while he's running.  Fartlek is the vocabulary word for the day. See if you can use it in daily conversation.

The yarn is Bertha Sport, colorway Mulled Wine.  This Merino, Cashmere, Nylon blend is perfect for a soft hat.

Even in the dead of winter there are a few bright patches of color. This week's color inspiration . . . 

Moss with a snow cap.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


I have a new kit under construction, and the sample is finished.


This design uses a smocked stitch pattern.  The result is a dense fabric with texture.  Very cozy.  The yarn is a blend of Merino, Yak and Silk . . . such a dream to work with.

Everything is coming together on schedule, and the kit will debut at Knitting Weekend.  Coming soon to the website . . . 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Miscellaneous Monday

I seem to have a case of persistent knitting problems.  I think I solved a colorwork issue with one project only to discover I might run out of yarn on another project.  If only I could knit all morning . . . I might be able to sort everything out.  But it's Monday, and there are too many balls in the air.

This is one.

Merino, Yak, Silk in a DK weight.  More details coming soon.

This is my final plug for Knitting Weekend

If you're in the area, you don't want to miss this event.

Finally, take a moment to watch this sweet video.

Be sure to watch past the credits to the very end.  You won't be disappointed.

Friday, January 8, 2016

While the Yarn Dries . . .

My knitting plans for this week included a new booth sample.  One thing led to another.  I debated about the color, and then I almost switched patterns.  The whole project went back and forth several times before I got a grip on the situation.

Once I had settled on the details, I had to dye the yarn.  No big deal. In and out of the pot.  But I got antsy waiting for the yarn to dry, and this is what happened.

Fartlek.  A quick hat project.  This hat was on my list, so I made a slight shift in the schedule.  As for the yarn I'm waiting on, last time I checked it was still damp.  Maybe it will be dry today.

I've been watching this ice form.  It's chilly gray with a bit of color trapped beneath the surface.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Icy leaves.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

At the Top of the List

This is the season for making soup and baking banana bread - all good things to keep the chill off.  I'm tempted to curl up on the couch and knit the day away, but when Monday's to-do list spills over into Wednesday, it's time to get busy.

More samples are waiting in the wings.  Before I get distracted with dye pots and paperwork, I have to make some color decisions.  Not a bad way to start the day . . . 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Knitting Karma

It's a new year, and my knitting is off to a good start.

One half of a sweater completed, one half of the yarn used.  I even have a wee bit leftover.  Going into this project I knew my yardage was going to be tight.  Now that I've hit the halfway point, I can breathe a little easier.  I have a lot of projects lined up and deadlines are looming, so I hope this good knitting karma holds for a while.

Now for a couple quick calendar items.  I've posted my travel for the next 3 months in the right sidebar.  Just because it's winter doesn't mean there aren't opportunities for fiber events.  First up is Knitting Weekend at Slater Mill.  Take a class or hang out with other knitters. Step back in time and enjoy the historic mill.  I think there's still space in some of the classes.  Check the website for details.

Ignite Craft:  Boston is this coming Friday night.  This annual event is sponsored by Common Cod Fiber Guild.  It's always an evening full of inspiration and ideas.  The event is free, but tickets are required.  See the link for more information.