Wednesday, November 29, 2017

No Power, No Coffee

First thing this morning the guy from the electric company was at our door.  They had to do some maintenance work outside, and it involved shutting off our electricity.  I tried to pin him down and get a sense of how long we wouldn't have power.  "Not long if everything goes right," he said.  And then he went on to explain that he really didn't know how long it would take but that he'd know more once he started the work.

Well, that threw a big wrench in my morning plans.  He didn't even give me enough time to make more coffee.  

Since everything I had planned to do required electricity, I seized the opportunity to knit instead.  I have several projects already under construction, but I decided to cast on and add another one to the mix.

That's what happens when I don't have enough coffee.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cold Brew Hat

Since my weekend had a distinct knitting focus, I managed to finish something.  

Cold Brew Hat.  I had family in and out all weekend long, but somehow I didn't take advantage of the opportunity to use a live model.

This design has plenty of entertainment value.

There's a little bit of everything . . . Latvian braid, corrugated ribbing, colorwork.  All topped off with some simple stripes.  This hat was done in no time.  Since this was so much fun, I'll have to check out the rest of the Cold Brew Collection.

Friday, November 24, 2017

And Now for the Weekend

Yesterday we had a lovely time with family and friends.  I started cooking first thing in the morning but was a little off schedule trying to pull everything together at the end.  All I needed was four extra hands, and a couple of the kids rose to the occasion.  I didn't even have to beg or bribe for their help.

My reward for a full day of cooking is plenty of leftovers, especially pie. You can guess what I had for breakfast this morning.  I plan to stay out of the kitchen for the rest of the weekend, and that translates into bonus knitting time.

I started this last night.

Latvian braid for the win.  Lovely detail with minimal fuss.

Once again we're participating in Small Business Saturday.  Orders placed between Saturday, November 25 (tomorrow) and Monday, November 27 will receive a 15% discount.  The discount amount will be refunded.  Please note this offer does not include Yarn Knot subscriptions and gift certificates.

Before I get started on my weekend . . . this week's color inspiration.

Yellow cheer.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pie Baking Day

Like many of you, I'm scurrying to get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday.  It's not even noon and already I've added several things to today's list.  

Just when I thought the house was looking respectable, this morning the dog left a trail of muddy paw prints all over the place.  As I type this, he's digging through the trash in my office.  It's like having a toddler in the house.  Clearly I need to delegate dog duty to someone.

Today is pie baking day - an annual tradition in our house.  Before I get busy, I'm wrapping up a few last minute work items.

I'm also entertaining the idea of dyeing yarn for a project that's been brewing . . . just three quick pots.  But first more coffee so I don't strangle the dog.  

For tomorrow . . . here's to good food and time spent with family and friends.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Show and Tell

A while ago I loaned my copy of Selbuvotter to my friend Alice.  She has immersed herself in the book, and everyone in the family is getting mittens or gloves for the holiday.  

Alice was passing through town . . . just enough time to grab some yarn and give me a quick update.

I'd seen pictures of work in progress, but it's not the same as seeing the mitts in real life.

These designs provide hours of knitting enjoyment.

The patterns call for fingering weight, and the yarn is Dirty Water DyeWorks.  Half the fun is picking the colors, and Alice has chosen some striking combinations.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have the itch to make some colorwork mittens.

Maybe when I get my book back.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Time to Weigh In

Yesterday I focused all my knitting time on one project.  Sometimes that's the best strategy when I want to achieve noticeable forward progress.

This is Everyday Shawl.  I'm using a gradient bundle so it's a little easier to notice progress or a lack thereof.  When I was planning this project, I decided I wanted to use every bit of yarn.  So far so good.

The pattern also includes instructions on the percentage of yarn required for Part 1.

Before I could keep going, I needed a quick weigh in and a little math. Now I'm good to go.

The house is a mess, and I really need to do some cleaning before the holiday next week.  I convinced myself this winterberry bouquet from the farmers' market would help the situation.  If nothing else, it put me in a festive mood.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Vivid orange.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Duty Calls

Last weekend I got a couple text messages from my son, Kiko. It started with this one on Saturday.

I don't know that I've ever run out of projects, but it's cute he thinks that might actually happen.

Then on Sunday I got this message.

The situation seems dire.  I often knit mitts for Kiko, so he should have a decent collection.  If he needs more than one pair, either he's lost some along the way or they all wore out at the same time.

I saw Kiko briefly on Monday, and we did a quick color consult.

This Lucia Tomato Soup met with his approval.  The temperatures are brisk . . . I'd better get busy.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Room for More

Last week I finished one project, and that's made room for more.

Since I have only one active project on the needles, I've started to contemplate options.

Just a simple hat, I thought, but I didn't have a particular pattern in mind.  I got stuck on the color and said so on Instagram.  The feedback leads me to think I should use all three.  It looks like I'm headed to Ravelry to find a pattern.  

Before I do that, here's a quick update on Knitting Weekend.  If you're thinking of taking a class, you might want to get on it.  Early bird registration is open until November 24, but a couple classes are filling quickly.  Don't delay.

Friday, November 10, 2017


This has been one of those weeks, but I'm always looking for the positive.  I didn't make forward progress on many things, but I did finish a sample. 


This was a fun project with plenty of variety.  Simple slip stitches create texture and contrast.

This shawl was close to being finished for a while, so it felt good to wrap it up.

Specklate was outside the box for me.  Usually I use a semi-solid color for lace.  Since the Lillian Sprinkles aren't too busy, I decided to give it a whirl.  The worst that can happen is I have to rip it out.  It's always good to experiment, and I'm happy I did. 

The other color is the popular Lillian Pumice.  Specklate is another good project for playing around with color combinations.

This week's color inspiration is one of my favorite combos.

Browns and blues.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Swatching Pays

I'm a firm believer in swatching before I start a new project.  OK, I don't swatch when I'm knitting socks.  Socks are usually predictable, and I know what needle size works best for me.  Almost everything else gets at least a quick swatch.  It helps with selecting the right needle size, and sometimes it even helps with picking the right yarn.

After a fall full of fiber events, I've gathered all sorts of ideas and inspiration.  I want to cast on a dozen new projects, but I'm trying to pace myself so I picked just one and started swatching.

I thought I knew which yarn I wanted to use for this project, but as I was swatching I came up with another option.  So I knit two swatches.

I didn't even make full-blown swatches.  All it took was a few rows.  It turns out I like the second option - the red one - better.  I like the drape of the brown one and was looking forward to working with it, but this pattern has cables.  The red one gets the job because it has better stitch definition.  It pays to swatch.  Now to pick a color . . . 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Snapshots from Fiber Festival of New England

It's Monday morning, and I'm savoring an inspiring weekend.  Fiber Festival of New England was fun all around.  This event is like the slow version of Rhinebeck.  It's a busy show, but I still get to chat with people, offer color suggestions and catch up with friends.  It was an action-packed weekend and a great way to wrap up the fall show season.

Here's a glimpse.

There were animals.

Tables full of fiber.


And more yarn.

Wool for rug hooking.

I did a double take when I saw this . . . so lifelike and truly a work of art.

My daughters drove out and spent a day.  We had some 
mother-daughter time and even managed pedicures and dinner.  Our time together is always a treat - even when Luz sticks her tongue out at me.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by this weekend!  And now I'm off to get busy.

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Good Neighbor

The truck is loaded, and I'm waiting for the last load of laundry to finish drying.  After a week full of ups and downs, I'm ready to hit the road.

This story has nothing to do with knitting, but when times are trying, we need to be reminded of positive things in life.  Yesterday I took Benji, our dog, out for a quick walk.  Long story short he was attacked by a neighbor dog that wasn't on a leash.  After unsuccessfully trying to get away from the dog, I was reduced to screaming for help.  

Luckily a woman, Terry, happened to pull up in her car.  She had been in a similar situation and now carries pepper spray.  Terry came to the rescue, and we were able to get away from the other dog.  Benji wasn't hurt although he was definitely upset, and his leash broke.

Terry went above and beyond.  She called animal control and helped me sort it all out with the cops and animal control.  Terry renewed my faith in humanity.  Be a good neighbor.  Look out for one another.

With that incident behind me, I'm more than ready for a fiber weekend. If you're headed to Fiber Festival of New England, you'll find my booth in the same spot - 432 / 33 East.  If you were at Rhinebeck but couldn't get in the booth, we're restocked and ready.  And if you want to follow along, check Instagram for my updates.

It sounds like the dryer is done.  I'm out the door.  For this week's color inspiration, I leave you with this.

Shades of the season.