Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Little Space

The past few days my only focus was to stay on schedule.  As much as I hate deadlines, they're good motivation for me to get the job done.  It was grueling at times, but now that I'm on the other side, it's opened up a huge space for other things.

OK.  It's not a huge space because other projects are already filtering in.  But it's enough space that I can take a moment for a little light reading.  These books are particularly good because I can read them in bits and pieces without making a long-term commitment.  What are you reading these days?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Random on Monday

I've had to shift gears this morning.  I woke up to a raw, rainy day.  Yes, I know it's spring in New England, but it means the photos I had planned for today will have to wait.

Instead it's turned out to be a good morning for administrative tasks that I've let slide.  I've updated my schedule in the right sidebar.  I'll be all over New England in the next couple months, and it's a good opportunity to see new samples and new colors up close and personal.

If you're interested in the history of knitting, check out this podcast from Stuff You Missed in History Class.  Fascinating.

What else is there to do on a rainy day?  I might have to take advantage of the situation and curl up with a little knitting.  Enjoy your Monday . . .  

Friday, March 25, 2016

So Close

I have a notion to cast on a new pair of socks, but I promised myself to first finish a pair already under construction.  Last night I sat down to work on the socks and was making great progress until I started to nod off.  I didn't want to admit defeat, but I've never had much success knitting while sleeping.  I had to go to bed with the sock still on the needles.

All this sock needs is a handful of rounds and a quick Kitchener.  It will be off the needles by noon.

To wrap up the week, here's a charming story about lambs and sweaters.

This week's color inspiration comes from my weekend in Vermont.

Railroad red with yellow highlights.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Little Things

Variety is the spice of life . . . and knitting.  I've been knitting stripes on my Drachenfels and alternating between two colors.  I wasn't bored exactly, but I have the pattern memorized and was knitting on cruise control.

Now I've added a third color to the mix and suddenly things are a little more interesting.  The pattern is still the same, but I feel like I'm taking the scenic route.  Sometimes it's the little things that motivate us to keep on knitting.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Snapshots from Vermont

I'm checking in after a delightful weekend at the Green Mountain Knitting Retreat and Fiber Festival.  This event has been gaining in popularity, and it was great to see so many people turn out.  
From the classes to the market to the dinner to hanging out with 
friends . . . I think everyone had a wonderful time.

Here's a quick glimpse.

Some of Alasdair Post-Quinn's double knitting samples.  He was on hand with books and patterns, and it was a great opportunity for people to examine double knitting up close.

I haven't even recovered from this event, and I'm already looking forward to doing it again next year.  Thanks for a weekend full of inspiration.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Rip Curl

Before I head out on my weekend adventure, here's a quick glimpse at what came off the needles this week.

Rip Curl Shawlette.  This crazy construction is really quite clever. That little hook on the right side wraps around the neck and holds the shawl in place.

Delightfully brilliant.

The yarn is Lucia in a Mini Gradient Bundle - 4 colors, 20 grams each color.  These bundles will make their debut this weekend in Vermont.

Slipped stitches create texture against a garter stitch background.  It's the perfect little wrap as we transition from winter to spring.

The other day when I grabbed these daffodils, I was enchanted with the unique color hidden inside.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Glowing orange.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Coming Soon

Today I'm pulling everything together for my weekend trip to Vermont. Winter has taken its toll, and I've let things accumulate in my truck. This trip has given me a good excuse to dump everything out, get organized and start fresh.  

I have several lists going so while I check and double-check them, here's a preview of what I've been dyeing.

Yes, more gradients.  A different yarn base with different yardage. Some familiar colorways, some new colorways.  All of it just in time for a trip to Vermont.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sage Advice

I had one easy knitting goal for the weekend - add the third color to my Drachenfels.  I had a busy weekend schedule, but surely I could get plenty of knitting done hanging out at two knitting events.

I was knitting at those events, but somehow it wasn't enough to move me into the third color.  I have to confess I was bouncing back and forth between two projects, so Drachenfels didn't get my undivided attention.  That lack of commitment, coupled with the time change and a seemingly unproductive Sunday, means I still haven't added the third color.

This morning I was feeling a bit frazzled at what I didn't get done over the weekend, but it appears I grabbed the appropriate coffee mug to start my day.

This is the only solution.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Just One More Time

I've been experimenting with another gradient project.  I thought this fascination with shifting colors would have run its course by now, but apparently not.  

I just started the third of four colors and am already imagining other gradient combinations.  Since this gradient merry-go-round won't stop, I'll probably have to jump off . . . after I finish this project.

I'm trying to shift from winter to spring, but it's a tough transition for me.  Maybe this week's color inspiration will help.

Bright, bright blue.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Random on Wednesday

It's not even noon and already my day has been filled with several technical glitches.  Since I've had problems with both the computer and the camera, I'm afraid to even pick up my phone.  Apparently it's going to be one of those days.

Before I lose contact with the outside world, here's a random collection of this and that. 

1.  My Drachenfels is coming right along.

This is my on-the-go project since everything else on the needles requires too much concentration or is too bulky.  This shawl is garter stitch with increases - easy knitting with a little bit of counting.  This section is almost finished, and the timing is perfect.  I'm ready to mix it up with something different.

2.  FiberCamp Boston is this coming weekend.  If you're on the fence about attending, there's still time to jump in.  The weekend includes a wide variety of fiber-related activities.  There's bound to be something that captures your interest.

3.  MAINE Knits is a new knitting book that features Maine designers and yarn.  This book project is under construction.  Follow the link for more details and information on the Kickstarter campaign.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday Morning Reflections

Monday rolled around all too quickly - probably because the weekend was packed with all sorts of extras.  We had a birthday in the family, so there was shopping and cooking and baking.

And in the end we had an enjoyable celebration.  Coordinating schedules and gathering everyone together at the same time is no small feat.  I cherish the moments.

I'm off to putter around and decide which knitting project is most urgent, but I leave you to ponder this.  Over the years I've become more selective with the people I knit for.  Knitting time is precious, and I don't want to invest it in a project for someone who won't appreciate it.  Or family and friends request a handknit item without any consideration for the time and effort involved.  Needles to say my list of knit-worthy people has gotten smaller over the years.

If you're faced with the same dilemma, here's a knitting time calculator.  There's nothing like a reality check.  Maybe it will help you make those tough decisions.

Friday, March 4, 2016


Friday confession . . . I'm smitten with a new project.  It started as an idea that I mulled over and over for a week.  Then one day I decided it was definitely a go.  Instead of putting it in the queue like all the other equally enticing projects patiently waiting their turn, I dropped everything to get this one up and running.

It took me a while to get the gist of this, but everything is on 
track - the slipped stitches are lined up and the stitch count is correct. I've been having issues lately, so I'll see how long it lasts.

It's that time of year when I should be transitioning the dye pots to springlike colors, but I'm hung up on creating new neutrals.  Can you ever have too many grays?  This week's color inspiration is giving me plenty of ideas.

Mix and match . . . they all go together.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Variation on a Theme

Knitting is so much more than just knits and purls, and I'm always thrilled when I come across a new twist on something very basic.

Take stripes.  There's something about the contrast between two colors and the endless color combinations.  I never tire of them. Since I'm attracted to stripes, I knit them a lot . . . most recently in a cowl and a hat.  My newest project has stripes with a variation.

There's a slip stitch pattern going on between the solid stripe lines.  I love the visual, and it makes for an interesting knit.  In case you're wondering, the pattern is Drachenfels.

And now I'm off to make more stripes . . .