Friday, October 19, 2018

Sneak Peek - Part 5

I'm checking in one last time before I hit the road.  I finished this sample earlier in the week.


Copenhagen Calling.  

No matter how much I plan ahead, there's always last minute sample knitting.  In fact I finished another sample last night.  Let me just say, these late-night Red Sox games have been a godsend. 

This design features a little ribbing, some slip stitches and a lace panel. Plenty of variety to go around.


The yarn is Lucia DK, colorways Persimmon and March Sky.  I reduced the stitch count a bit so I would only have to use one skein of Persimmon.  I suggest two skeins of the second color even though I only used one.  I had just a couple inches to spare.

If you're headed to Rhinebeck, you can see this sample and many more in Building C, Booth 42.

This week's color inspiration . . . 


If I had to give it a name, I'd call it aubergine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sneak Peek - Part 4

Yesterday was one of those days . . . full of obstacles and interruptions that threw my Rhinebeck prep off course.  But today is a new day and I'm back at it.

This sweater is headed to Rhinebeck.


Brickyard.

This size is a little big on my daughter, but you get the idea.


This design is full of interesting little details to keep you on your toes. Once the top part is done, the rest of the body is a relaxing knit.


The yarn is Lucia DK, colorway Sunflower.  We'll have plenty of colors to choose from this weekend at Rhinebeck.

And now I'm off to make up for lost time.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Sneak Peek - Part 3

The sample parade continues.


Klickitat Street Cowl.

Like most Casapinka designs, this cowl features plenty of stitch variety.  


Add some color changes and you have  a fun, entertaining knit.


The yarn is Lillian in March Sky and Purple Potion. 


If you're going to Rhinebeck, stop by and see the sample in person. Building C, Booth 42.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Sneak Peek - Part 2

This Rhinebeck sample is fresh off the needles.


Down The Road and Back Again.


This shawl has an interesting construction.  Simple stripes paired with slip stitches provide texture.  Increases and decreases create a crescent shape.

To utilize most of your yarn, the pattern includes instructions based on the weight of each ball.  


I followed those directions but could have worked a couple more repeats before starting the decreases.  On the other hand, it was nice to avoid playing a game of yarn chicken.


The yarn is Lillian Sprinkles and Lillian Ribbit.  Picking colors is always part of the fun, and using Sprinkles opens up all sorts of possibilities.

There are so many great murals around town, and I wish I had time to capture more of them.  This one caught my eye recently and is this week's color inspiration.


Soothing colors with a splash of red.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Sneak Peek - Part 1

I'm caught up in a flurry of Rhinebeck preparations over here . . . all day, every day.  That means it's time for me to roll out a few of the new samples that will be debuting next week.  Did I really say next week?!?


2 Color Socks.  With so much variety, these socks are thoroughly entertaining.  Make them identical or swap out the colors like this pair. Either way you don't need two full skeins, so we'll have half skein bundles available in several color combinations.

If socks aren't your thing, how about this.


A Most Addictive Slipped Stitch Hat.  Same bundle as above just a different color combination.  Half skein bundles can be a fun option for many projects.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Staying Positive

Today started with a coffee run because I ran out of beans, so I braced myself for things to go sideways.  And so far they have.  Scheduling conflicts, inventory issues and many piles of these.


Finished except for the labels.

On a positive note, I have knitting progress to report.


This is Copenhagen Calling, my second go at finding a pattern for this yarn.  This cowl is moving along at a good clip, and I'm enjoying the combination of yarn and pattern.  It's a gray, chilly day perfect for knitting.  I'm tempted to pick up my needles, but I'll make more coffee and tackle those labels first.

Happy Thanksgiving to our northern neighbors!  Enjoy time with family and friends.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Two Lessons

My tangled mess from the other day has been reconfigured.  It took me less than a minute to slide the whole thing off my needles.  It took me considerably longer to rip everything out because there were four balls of yarn involved.


This exercise highlights two lessons.  First, if you're not enjoying a project, there's no shame in moving on to something more exciting. The trick is to recognize it and get out early.  Second, it's very helpful to have a queue of project ideas ready and waiting.  Without hesitation I selected a new project and cast on.  I'll probably go back to the original project at some point, but for now this is going to be fun.

This week's color inspiration . . . 


All gray except for the boats.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Tangled

I'm dealing with a bit of a mess this morning.


The balls are tangled, and to add to the fun my rows might be off.

I did sort out a couple schedule items.  Next week is the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl, and I'll be visiting a couple shops.  Maybe I'll see some of you out and about.

Black Sheep Knitting, October 11, 10:00 - 5:00
Stitch House, October 14, 12:30 - 3:30

Now I'm off to make a fresh cup of coffee before I tackle this tangle.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Back on Track

After a fun and frantic weekend in Vermont, I'm taking a few minutes this morning.  I didn't get many pictures and the little knitting I did has to be ripped out, but I had a fantastic time.


Today my computer is out of sorts, and I need to gear up for an intense round of dyeing, but I'm going to savor a little time to regroup.  At the very least I need to get my knitting back on track.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Travel Knitting

I'm leaving for Vermont today.  The truck is loaded, my suitcase is still empty and I'm undecided about my knitting projects.  I can take care of the suitcase in about ten minutes, but I've been pondering the knitting for a day or more.  I went to bed last night and told myself I would figure it out with a fresh cup of coffee.

This morning, after I had fueled up with coffee, I decided to bring this along for the ride.


This might not be the best travel knitting, but I'm up for an adventure.  I probably should pack a sock project too in case this backfires.

The farmers' market is starting to wind down, but there are still some vibrant colors.  This week's color inspiration . . . 


Brilliant red.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Vermont Tip

I'm deep in show prep and have just enough time for a quick post. Today's tip.  If you're heading to Vermont Sheep and Wool this weekend, take time to see Sheep Breeds:  A World of Difference.  This display has a wealth of information about various breeds, but even if you're not into the nitty-gritty details, give it a look.  You won't be disappointed.


That's all for today.  There's more yarn to pack.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Knitting by Weight

Usually knitting patterns ask you to knit a certain number of rows or inches.  Count the rows.  Measure the inches.  Pretty straightforward. And then every once in a while there's a pattern that has you knit according to the physical weight of your yarn.  

I've been working along on my Down The Road and Back Again.  I'm still not sure of all the twists and turns in this pattern, but I'm OK with that.  Sometimes knitting requires blind faith.  This pattern also has you knit a percentage of the yarn before moving along to the next section.  

I understand the reasoning behind this.  The pattern can accommodate different amounts of yarn.  The whole concept is pretty clever, but it makes me slightly frustrated.  Counting and measuring are easy and give up-to-the-minute progress.  Weighing, on the hand, isn't accurate in the moment unless you want to pull out the scale every few rows.

I hadn't weighed my yarn since I started this project, so this morning I decided to check in.


I still have 25 grams to go before I can move on to the next section, but that's not so bad.  Now I can estimate how many rows I still need based on how much I've already done.  I'm feeling better about the situation.  I've figured out a way to count rows even though the pattern is based on weight.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Swapping

I'm busy pulling everything together for next weekend and Vermont Sheep and Wool.  As part of my show prep, I have this going on.


Attendees and vendors will be swapping stitch markers all weekend long.  It sounds like fun.  If you're going and want to get in on the action, see the website for details.

I found my rhythm and am cruising along on one of my new projects.


Down The Road and Back Again Shawl, in case you're interested.  Slip stitches are magic.

I caught this week's color inspiration just as the fog was rolling in.  


Surrounded by gray.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Take the Time

Yesterday my to-do list included casting on a new project.  I didn't get to it during the day, so when I left the house for knit night, I grabbed the necessary ingredients.  I settled in with my knitting buddies and cast on a wee swatch.

Generally I'm a firm believer in swatching, but I'm not going to extol the virtues of this "optional" activitiy.  Knitting a swatch is not a foolproof exercise, and sometimes it's an out-and-out lie, but it has saved me on numerous occasions, so I usually take time to do it.

After I knit my swatch, I wasn't quite satisfied, so I decided to go up a needle size.  I rummaged through my bag only to discover I didn't have the needle with me.  I was tempted to cast on anyway but decided to wait.


I'm glad I did.  This morning I swatched with the bigger needle, and I'm happy with the result.  Definitely worth the wait.

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Slow Start

Since I finished my Beekeeper Cowl last week, a new project was in order.


This week is off to a slow start, including this project.  I still haven't mastered this 4-row repeat and have had to tink back a couple times. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it after working a couple more repeats. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bees and Buttons

The bees are all accounted for.  This sample is blocked, buttoned and finished.


Beekeeper Cowl.

Once I had the bee situation sorted (see previous blog post), I was motivated to finish this project.


Picking buttons was a tough decision.  I had two strong contenders. When a random social media poll came up with a 50-50 split, I went with my first instinct.

This was an entertaining project.


And if you don't lose track of your bees, it's a breeze.

The yarn is Lucia DK, colorway Biscuit.  Look for it at fall events.  This blend is a current favorite, and I already have another project waiting in the wings.

Website update.  There's still space available in the Yarn Knot club. New format, lower prices . . . follow the link for details.

This week's color inspiration . . . 


A speck of bright green.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Missing Bees

Knitting mistakes can be a good indicator of a knitter's perfectionist tendencies.  I'll be the first to admit that I make knitting mistakes. Sometimes I even spot them before I bind off.  

Then I go through a series of questions in my head.  
~ Can I live with that mistake?  I always tell my knitting students if you don't point out a mistake, chances are no one else will even notice it.  
~ If I can't live with it, how am I going to fix it?  
~ Do I have to rip back?
~ Can I somehow manipulate the stitches on the needle to fix the problem?

I was working along on my Beekeeper Cowl when I noticed a glaring mistake.  Or at least it was glaring to me. 


See the empty space below the marker.  There should be another bee in there.  This cowl has two more panels just like this one.  In my defense, I was consistent and omitted the bee in the other panels too. Three missing bees.

I was tempted to pull the needle out, rip back twelve rows and re-knit them with the correct number of bees.  Never underestimate the therapeutic value of pulling on a strand of yarn to erase mistakes. 

Instead I took a moment.  I set the project aside and started to visualize how the bee stitch is made.  Could I drop down and recreate it without frogging twelve rows in the process.  I decided to give it a try. If it didn't work, then I would rip back.


I marked the row I was ripping back to.


Then I dropped the stitch twelve rows.


I made the bee stitch and used a crochet hook to work the stitch back to the top.


Success.  I knew I couldn't live with this mistake.  I'm just thrilled I could fix it without a lot of extra time and effort.  Now back to making more bees . . . 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Another Tool Box

In the midst of a couple topsy-turvy days and a quick trip to Maine, I managed to knit a few rounds here and there.  It all adds up in the end.


Tool Box Cowl.

I've made this pattern before, and it was just as much fun the second time around. 


This time I made the shorter version and used a new Mini Multi Bundle. These bundles aren't on the website yet but will be available at fall shows and events.

Speaking of the calendar, I just updated the right sidebar with a list of coming events.  Click on the links for more details.

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Crown Wools

It's a double Sunday - my daughter's name for Monday holidays.  So far it's been a productive weekend.


The Crown Wools.  Finished.


This was a MKAL with two clues released every week for six weeks. Twelve colors, twelve different sections.  


The clues were manageable, so it was easy to keep up.  The sections had a lot of variety . . . an entertaining project all around.

If you missed out and want to get in on the action, there's a KAL starting on September 10.


You'll find this color combination and other options here.

And now I'm off to enjoy my double Sunday.

Friday, August 31, 2018

For the Weekend

It's a long weekend, and summer is drawing to a close.  I don't know about you, but I'm ready for fall.

I have a new project under construction.


This should keep me entertained.  What are you working on this weekend?

The color inspiration for this week . . . 


Beautiful blues.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Beating the Heat

We are still under an excessive heat warning, and the oppressive temps are interfering with my dyeing.  I start my day early and cut it short to avoid the hottest part of the day. 

In an effort to still be productive, I've been spending extra time on Ravelry.


It's never too hot to plan new projects.