Friday, September 22, 2017

Ready and Waiting

I have plenty of projects in the works right now and shouldn't consider adding to the mix.  If I were really serious about that, I wouldn't go near Ravelry.  But of course I do pop in now and then to browse.

Lately I've been pretty good at managing the project chaos.  My strategy is I can add to the queue, but I can't drop everything and cast on with reckless abandon.  That plan was working well until the other day when I stumbled across Specklate.


I have a new Lillian Sprinkles I'm anxious to try plus proceeds of pattern sales go to hurricane relief.  It seemed like the perfect match. The pattern hasn't even been released yet.  What could be the harm in just winding the yarn?  Now I have to wait.

This week's color inspiration is a glimpse into the changing season.


From green to red.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Out for a Stroll

Some knitting projects are like a sprint.  They move along quickly and practically fly off the needles.  Others are like a leisurely stroll.  They move at a more measured, steady pace.

I always seem to have a little of both going on in my active projects. After finishing a sprint last week with my Enfilade, I'm taking my Nakarra out for a stroll.


I tweaked this pattern a little and substituted two gradient sets for one gradient and a solid.  I'm making progress and am ready to start the next gradients in the series.  Slow and steady . . . 

A schedule reminder for Portland-area knitters.  This Saturday I'll be at KnitWit with a trunk show.  I'm looking forward to visiting this inspiring shop.  Follow the link for details.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Keep It Local

Over the last few days I attended a couple fiber events.  One was part of a yarn crawl.  The other was a festival hosted by a yarn shop.  Both events were different in nature, but they reminded me of the importance of local yarn shops.

These shop owners provide countless knit nights, interesting classes and overall knitting support.  To top it all off, they foster a sense of community that many of us have come to rely on.  They are passionate about knitting and fiber.  If they weren't, they wouldn't be in the business.  And it is a business.  Shop owners invest in inventory, pay staff people, cover overhead and hopefully have something left to take home for themselves.  

Sometimes the numbers don't add up.  We've all heard of yarn stores closing.  

Yarn bombing courtesy of JP Knit & Stitch

If you rely on your local yarn shop, don't take it for granted.  Don't look for a better deal online and assume your shop will be there when you need it.  Believe it or not each and every purchase, no matter how big or small, adds up to cover the expense of running a yarn store.

Buy local.  Support your yarn shop and your fiber community.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Just a Variation

The other day I started a new project.  I've had a good, long run of 
2-color projects complete with stripes, so this time I opted for 1 single color.  It's time to take a break from stripes, I thought.  I was wrong.


Apparently I can't get stripes out of my system.  I didn't realize it right away, but this time I have a different variety going on with bands of knits and purls.  My streak continues.

This week's color inspiration . . . more tomatoes complete with a cool name.


Orange Russian.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Enfilade

I'm running a little late with this project, but my Enfilade is off the needles and blocked.


I had planned to have it ready for Unwind last weekend.


Instead it will be ready for tomorrow.  More on that in a minute.

This shawl is a fun combination of eyelet stripes and garter stitch.  All you need is two colors.


The yarn is Lillian, colorways Cool Waters and Topaz.

I dropped one of the stripes in the final section.  I had a hunch I was cutting it close on yarn.


And I was.

In other news tomorrow is the start of the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl. Tomorrow I'll be at JP Knit & Stitch from 4:00 - 8:00 with a trunk show including Enfilade.  Stop by if you're in the area.  Be sure to check the Crawl link for a complete list of participating shops.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Snapshots from Unwind

My Monday is operating in reverse.  My afternoon routine was in the morning, and my morning flipped to the afternoon.  Even my morning coffee had to wait until the afternoon.  Being under-caffeinated on a Monday (or any day, for that matter) is not a good thing.

Even though my day is backward, I'm reflecting on a weekend spent with a creative, inspiring group of people who came together and offered an amazing selection of fiber classes.  Here's a look at Unwind.



Fingerless mitts.

Eco print dyeing.





Before.


After.


Spinning.

I fell down on the job when it came to taking pictures because I missed weaving, crochet, double knitting, ice dyeing, hand dyeing yarn and knitting a Christmas stocking. 

It was a fun weekend all around.  Now I'm off to get more coffee.

Friday, September 8, 2017

On the Mend

I'm coming up for air after being out of commission for a day and a half. I was so sick I couldn't even knit.  This morning I surveyed the house and did some quick damage control - trash out, laundry started, dishwasher running.  It's a start.


At my desk the emails have piled up, but I plan to knit a few stitches in between to make up for lost time.

It's tomato season, and I can't seem to get enough of them.  This week's color inspiration . . .


Black Plum.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Second Thoughts

I always keep a list of knitting projects complete with yarn and color. These are new booth samples ready for construction, and the list is arranged in order of priority.  Every once in a while when a project moves into the on-deck circle, I revisit the yarn and color just to make sure.

I'm getting ready to cast on a new project.  Let's be clear.  I'm casting on a new project because I need a little variety, not because I've finished anything.  Yesterday it dawned on me that the projects already under construction and the new one share some color similarities. Maybe it would be better to mix things up a little.

So this morning I pulled some different colors.


I'll ponder these for the rest of the day.  It's hard to pick just one.

Calling all Boston-area knitters.  This weekend Unwind is happening on the North Shore.  Kelly from Romney Ridge has pulled together a collection of fun, creative classes.  There are still some openings. Check it out.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Work and Play

Happy Monday Holiday!  It's Labor Day . . . the last lazy day of summer that also signals the beginning of my busy season.  After a summer filled with plans gone awry, I'm determined to take off most of today. With any luck I'll be able to blow through a short to-do list.


And the rest of the day I can work on these.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Shifting Seasons

The long, end-of-summer weekend is here.  My Instagram feed is full of people enjoying one last blast of summer . . . the lake, the ocean, the campground.  

People are packing up and heading out.  Earlier this morning I saw my neighbors down the street stuff one more sleeping bag in the car before they hit the road.  No adventures for me this weekend.  I'm sticking close to home.

Knitting season is upon us.  The daylight is shorter, and the temps are cooler.  There's a hint of fall in the air, and I've turned the corner with a couple projects.


I finished the first section in my Enfilade and have moved on to a different stripe pattern.  Each stripe is 6 rows, and I find myself 
saying, "Just one more."  And so I knit on.

This week's color inspiration . . . a final glance at summer.


Sun-dappled mauve.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Helping Hand

Today's topic is helping others.

It seems that every day there's a new tragedy or a new cause that needs assistance.  It can be overwhelming, and sometimes it's hard to know the best way to help.  Like many of you, I've been watching the devastation unfold in Houston.  The stories are heartbreaking.  I can't begin to imagine what those people are going through, and they have a long road ahead.

Knitters are generous and often find a way to respond to events like this.  Designer Elizabeth Elliott is donating 100% of her pattern sales through Saturday to Harvey relief efforts.  You can read about it on her blog and browse her Ravelry shop.

Since I'm on the subject of helping others, Corrine Walcher is a knitting designer in need.


Those of us who have dealt with a terminal illness understand the financial strain in addition to the physical and emotional stress.  You'll find Corrine's designs here.

Every little bit helps.  Today I'm doing my part while hoping for a better tomorrow.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Late Summer Socks

It's late August and most of the summer seems a blur.  I've resigned myself to the fact that some of the things I wanted to get done this summer aren't going to happen.  Life has been a little scattered, but the extra time with family and friends has been good.  

This past weekend was another busy one, but when I found myself with unexpected quiet time on Sunday afternoon, I put it to good use.


My Movie Night Socks.  The first sock needed just a little work on the foot and then the toe.  Easy, peasy.  I'm smitten with the contrasting color.  

After the last stitch was kitchenered, I cast on the second sock right away.  This is one project I can make happen.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Off-Balance

I'm often bouncing back and forth between several knitting projects. Usually that's a good system for me, but every once in a while I get stuck in a cycle where I'm doing a lot of knitting but don't have much progress to show for it.  It's like an off-balance washing machine.  It's still moving, but it's not very productive.

The ideal combination of projects includes at least one that's a quick mover because it's always a nice boost to finish something.  If all of them are involved and fussy, it's hard to finish anything.  That's when I get stuck in the off-balance cycle, and I'm working away but don't have anything to show for it. 


And that's where I am right now.  I'm still working on the first section of my Enfilade.  It's getting bigger, but it's taking me a while to finish this part.  I've decided that today is the day.  I'm going to focus on just this project.

This week's color inspiration is straight from the farmers' market.


Hungarian peppers . . . bold and bright.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Happy Ending

A knitting story as told on social media . . . 

Over the weekend I saw this post on Twitter.


This system only works if you spread the word, so I did my part and retweeted.

I was curious about the outcome.  I kept my eyes open and did a little more investigating.


A day later this showed up on Instagram.  Once again I did my part and spread the word.

I kept checking social media, hoping for a happy reunion between knitter and project.  Then this message landed.



Deep down I knew it would happen eventually, but it was fun to watch it unfold.  Thanks to social media and dedicated knitters, this story had a happy ending.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Yesterday's Knitting

Sometimes yesterday's knitting becomes today's knitting.  That's what happened to me this morning as I was making up for lost time and 
re-knitting what I had knit yesterday.

I've had stitch count issues with this project, but I sorted those out. Yesterday things went wonky again.  Maybe it was the impending solar eclipse.   Somehow I managed to work the wrong section of rows.  The pattern was way off, but I didn't look closely until I was several rows in. All of that culminated in a late-night rip session.


This morning all is back in order, and I've knit up everything I ripped out.  I think I'll put it down now until the eclipse passes.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Morning Routine

I like to start my days with a little knitting.  This routine doesn't happen each and every day, but when it does, I feel my day is off to a good start.


This morning I was working on a sock . . . knitting my way toward the toe.  I think I'll wrap it all up with another splash of color.

Last weekend we had our annual blueberry picking adventure, and it provided this week's color inspiration.


Blues from start to finish.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sharing Time

My knitting has been a bit scattered the last few days.  Family time can do that.  Just when I was picking up steam again, I was interrupted.


This is Enfilade, and that's a sewing machine in the background.  

My daughter asked for help with a quick sewing project.  It turns out her definition of quick isn't so quick.  For the next couple days I'll be sharing my knitting time with the sewing machine.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Uncomplicated

I like to have a variety of projects under construction.  From the simple to the more involved, it's nice to have a selection.  That way I can pick and choose based on the knitting conditions.  For example usually an intricate lace pattern doesn't work well for knit night.  A plain vanilla sock is probably a better option.


The last couple days I've been on the go with only scattered bits of knitting time . . . just enough for a few rounds on my Portland Sequence.  This cowl is interesting but not too taxing - the perfect project when knitting time is in short supply.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bendy Arrow

I had my latest project off the needles and blocked when a live model walked through the door.  Perfect timing!


Bendy Arrow.



This 2-color shawl features a combination of increases and decreases highlighted with a combination of fun stripes.


The yarn is Lillian, colorways Gourd and Sprinkles 506.  The Sprinkles aren't listed on the website just yet, but you can contact me for more information.


This is an entertaining project with plenty of color combinations to choose from.

This week's color inspiration mirrors my Bendy Arrow.


Colorful carrots.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Just a Hint

I'm sure we still have plenty of summertime fun headed our way, but just the other day I felt a hint of fall in the air.  Taking my cue from the weather, I updated the right sidebar with my fall schedule.  You can also find a list of my fall travels on the Events page.

In knitting news, I'm working on my Nakarra Wrap as time permits.


I've moved to the next colors in the gradient progression and am enjoying the shift.  The only issue?  Counting is a struggle and I've had to rip back twice in the space of ten rows.

I don't know how I've managed to get off track not once, but twice.


I suspect is has something to do with being under caffeinated, so this is my solution.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Get in on the Fun

Signups for Yarn Knot 2017-2018 are open!


The format is the same as last time and includes 4 shipments - 3 fingering weight yarn, 1 non-fingering weight yarn.  Each shipment includes a suggested pattern.  Pay for the whole thing up front or choose the quarterly option.


This is an opportunity to sample new yarn bases, and all colorways are exclusive to the club for 12 months.

Looking for the sock version?  Yarn Knot Socks is also open.

Follow the links for more details.  Be sure to contact me if you have any questions.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Just One

Right now all my projects on the needles are multi-colored with everything from gradients to stripes to sprinkles.  There's a lot of color play going on.

To bring some balance, my next project is going to be one color.  After dithering about color combinations for so many projects, it's amazing how easy it is to choose just one.  

Selecting more than one color can be quite a process.  First I pick several colors - maybe a dozen.  Then I pair them up or group them if more than two are involved.  Then I narrow down the choices.  There can be a lot of back and forth because every combination has its merits.  Sometimes I even do an informal poll.  Picking and choosing can be time-consuming.

It makes picking one color almost effortless.


Fall is coming.

This week's color inspiration includes high contrast.  I love the deep wine color, but the contrast caught my eye.


Vivd green.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Flip-Flop

Every once in a while my morning plans swap with my afternoon plans. That's what happened today.  All it took was one phone call to throw a wrench in the works.  My morning of uninterrupted knitting and coffee became an afternoon of knitting instead.  

It's easy to let that designated chunk of knitting time get eaten up by other things when it's pushed to the afternoon.  Today the other contenders were laundry, paperwork and email, but knitting came out on top.  Those other tasks can wait.


There's something soothing and relaxing about a long stretch of I-cord bind off.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Weekend Roadblocks

After a weekend full of roadblocks, believe it or not I was looking forward to Monday.  While most of the roadblocks were metaphorical, I did encounter a real one that kept me away from my weekend routine. 

I came up with another plan instead.


I wasn't about to let a little triathlon interfere with my knitting time.