Mountain Colors

Mr. Canada Post brought in a box from Mountain Colors this morning. Lots of new, fun colours of Twizzlefoot.

53% superwash merino
17% domestic wool
17% silk
13% nylon

411m/450 yards in a 100 gram skein.

We used 3 skeins of Twizzlefoot for this amazing shawl.

Pattern: Kaersta (purchased on Ravelry)

Lynn used the leftovers from the shawl to make a great pair of socks.

There were new Perspective Kits in the box as well.

Crazyfoot (fingering weight)
5 mini skeins
80m/90 yards each

One kit will make the Circular Perspectives Cowl (pattern purchased on Ravelry)

Twizzle (worsted weight)
5 mini skeins
40m/45 yards each

One kit will make the Perspectives Cowl (pattern purchased on Ravelry)

I’m going to get pictures of the new kits at home tonight. I’ve taken a bunch in the store and outside but they aren’t doing the colours justice.

It’s a day of good and bad. The good news – our box arrived from Mountain Colors. The bad – our boxes from Blue Sky Fibers are somewhere in the Canada Post system. Hopefully the strike/lock out doesn’t last long and the boxes arrive soon.

We are getting sod on the front yard of our house. We’ve had possession for 15 months so it’s about time. That is the good. The bad. I have been coming to work early for a few weeks and watering the garden every morning. With the hot weather and no rain the plants were suffering. I have them growing nicely and my daylillies were about to bloom. There were beautiful blooms coming on a few hostas as well. Deer came through last night and ate all the blooms. All of them. I was so sad.

The store will be closed tomorrow for Canada Day but I’ll be back on Saturday from 10-4. Enjoy the day!
Source: Looms

Melting…

After the socks, I decided to do an easy project.
Another Starflower dish cloth from KnitPicks.
It is good bike spectator knitting… 
Here is something that is new this year;  it planted itself.  It is a Crepe Myrtle plant on the left and a blueberry bush on the right.  We check the berries everyday and they are now getting blue and plump but not soft yet!  We haven’t had a good display of the Crepe Myrtles and this year finally they are looking like they were worth keeping-they came close to being history several times! 
This bush is a favorite stop for our hummingbirds-it is as tall as me now and really too large for its spot but we won’t move it until after it blooms.  
I just love the caladium! 
It’s such a nice pop of color for greenery!
We hit 102F today just before the thunderstorm which is our most welcome summer pattern.
We enjoy the yard early in the day or later.
My brain doesn’t like to bake!

Source: FF

A Good Guy With a Gun…

Just read about two “good guys” with guns that stopped a potential murder in a Walmart parking lot.

Attention NRA and Gun Manufacturers!

First of all, people that want more regulations on guns aren’t asking these guys to give up their guns.  We can still have lots of “good guys” with guns allegedly protecting us from the “bad guys” with guns.

Second, I doubt these two “good guys” were on the no-fly list and they would still be able to get and own guns to stop the “bad guys” even if one of the two laws passed.
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Third, you’ll note the two “good guys” in the story had handguns…not AR-15’s.  Regulating who can buy a semi-automatic weapon wouldn’t have wrecked this “good guy” story at all.  Again, passing sensible gun legislation wouldn’t have stopped these “good guys” with guns.

Finally, and most importantly…name me ANY other manufacturer where it’s okay to answer a threat of their product with the answer…”buy more of our product?”

We own two guns, but only because they were left to us by my husband’s father.  We don’t have ammunition for them and most likely never will.  We have also never had to defend our home against armed “bad guys.”  I  also don’t want to own a gun, nor do I wish to carry a gun.  I don’t want to have to train to use a gun either.

The answer to people like Omar Mateen getting guns that he never should have been allowed to get both because of his background and the type of gun he was able to buy, is NOT arm everybody else with like-weapons.

The answer is to enact sensible gun legislation to limit access to this type of weapon and the purchase of guns to people like Omar Mateen.

Don’t get me wrong, Mateen could have resorted to building a homemade bomb to do his murdering, but if sensible gun legislation could save even one life…it should be enacted.

Just know, the NRA, which is a lobbying group for the gun manufacturers…not a gun club…and the gun manufacturers have made more money through buying off our legislative branch and lying to the uninformed.

Current Knitting/Crocheting

Having so much free time without having to worry about being a responsible gun owner (does that mean I’m not a “good guy?”), I’ve been able to finish my two current projects.

The Nephew Cardigan got all it’s buttons sewn on and all the ends woven in.  It ended up being the size requested, but it’s quite large.

I also finished the crochet afghan in Rowan Lightweight DK yarn in dozens of different colours.

The edging was a simple crochet picot-like edging and the final measurements ended up being about 55″ x 68″ after blocking…so it ended up blocking bigger than I expected, but I love the resulting fabric and afghan.

Source: fre

Dressing Shetland Shawls

I have just bought a copy of Kate Davies’ The Book of Haps, a luscious book.  It has essays on the history of Shetland haps, and new shawl patterns from 13 designers (if I can count).  I’ll write more about it later – not this week, as we have a handling day at Lee Mills on Friday, for Guild members attending the annual Convention in Sheffield, and then I’ll be at the Convention myself.  But for now,  I’ll write about the image of women dressing Shetland shawls, stretching them out on the special frames.  It’s used in the book to head Roslyn Chapman’s Documenting Haps and the image credit says that it’s from a postcard.

We have a similar postcard in the Guild collection, which was sent from Lerwick on 10th May 1911. It was sent to Mr David Thomson, West High Street, Buckhaven, Fifeshire, and the message is also signed D. Thomson, so it might have been from a son to his father.  The message is in pencil, and not very easy to read, but says something like:

Just a PC to let you know that we have not been off yet and i don’t think we will be off this week…. (2 words illegible)  Buyers are hanging back the herrings are only 4/- the (to?) 7/- per cran so it does not pay to catch them  we might shift from here at any time for 2 or 3 weeks but we don’t (know?) where. the most of the boats are all lying here waiting for the month off June the herring they have been getting … (3 words illegible) herring so they are no good for curing  You might send the (illegible)  From D Thomson.   

I knew that ‘cran’ is a quantity of herring from the line “With a hundred cran of the silver darlings” from Ewan McColl’s song Shoals of Herring, though I had to look up what it means exactly: “A measure of fresh herrings, equivalent to 37½ gallons”.  A lot of fish.  4/- means 4 shillings, and there were 20 shillings to a pound:  it doesn’t sound much for such a quantity of fish, and evidently wasn’t enough, from the postcard.

D Thomson, the sender of the postcard must have been a fisherman, presumably based in Buckhaven, but temporarily waiting in Lerwick for fishing conditions to improve.  His postcard home is a wonderful piece of history, linking fishing and knitting – traditional ways of earning money in Shetland.      
Source: ggg

Skipping Along

This is the 13th pair of socks this year! 
 I call this pattern the DNA traveling stitch.
KnitPicks Stroll Tonal
Size 2 needle
Only half of the skein is used which leaves enough for a pair of shorty socks!
These were knit while watching Will ride his bike and in the evenings before I crashed each day!
The lily opened up and he is the orange one!
So this year there were two yellow, two peachy/pink and so far one orange but as you see, more are coming! 
The Mandavilla is in full swing…these are so hard to photograph-they are bright red not pink!
The ground orchids are still blooming-it has been months and they are still so beautiful.
I love all the color in the pool area!
It is a feast for my eyes and my spirit. 
Nyki was helping me admire the  lilies!
In the studio, I finished the eighth Ohio Star block.
I am going way too fast on this quilt that I was going to do only so much each month to make it last but I keep wanting to do the next part! 
To put the brakes on the medallion quilt, I pulled out a modern print charm pack and cut it up to make windmills. 
Most of the prints had two so that I could make matching blocks.
Even the few that didn’t match up exactly are fraternal enough to look good together.
Now I have a pile of these stacked near the sewing machine so I can whip off a block when I have a few minutes! 
After doing the Ohio Star blocks, these are a snap!
I will get 20 blocks from this charm pack which will be enough to make a lap quilt.
While Will loves this train, the Polar Express train, I am not such a fan.
The tracks do not fit properly and every other minute it would come apart and cause the train to derail.  Both Will and I were frustrated with it to put it mildly.
This morning, Bill used zip ties to anchor each track to its neighbor so they wouldn’t separate any more!!!!  Will likes to get real close to the train as it rushes by-this is my view of his train-love!

Source: FF

Improvising

Classic Elite’s weekly Web-Letter just arrived. They are combining Santorini and Bella Lino (two yarns that I really like working with) for a Summer Sleeveless Turtleneck (download the free pattern)

Two strands held together make the knitting of this top, worked from the top down in one piece, extra quick. Short rows are worked to shape the neck. Santorini and Bella Lino, both multicolored, blend and mingle adding texture and depth of color.

The top is knit on 5.5mm needles which makes it a quick knit.

I’m working away on my shawl and hit a small issue. I thought that I did something wrong on Saturday and it turns out that I did. For the lace row I’m supposed to start with K2 but then the lace doesn’t work at the vein. I am now doing K3. I have the correct number of stitches. The vein is looking good. Sometimes you need to improvise because ripping back doesn’t sound like a good idea.
Source: Looms

Blackbird

I first showed this shawl last fall and came across it again today.

Pattern: Blackbird Shawl (purchased on Ravelry)
Yarn: Fingering weight

Get out those mini skeins! The Blackbird shawl features easy shaping and a simple feather and fan lace pattern at the bottom edge. Use a vivid set of mini skeins to create contrasting bands of color. As subtle and elegant as a raven’s wing, Blackbird is a pleasure to knit and to wear.

You’ll need about 415 yds of the Main Color, and about 55 yds of each of the 5 Contrasting Colors.

A great shawl to play with mini skeins. And as you know I’m a bit addicted to them right now. Here is a link to all the kits that we have in stock…

For the main colour there are many, many options
-tosh merino light
-tosh sock
-Tough Love Sock from Sweetgeorgia
-Cheshire Cat from Frabjous Fibers

I had a visitor for a while this morning.

She cried a bit when she got here because her mom and dad left her. We had snuggles (she’s very good at them) and then she had a nap on the couch. 

Her nap was short because she is very nosy. She wants to know what is going on so every time she hears a noise she lifts her head.

She had her first visit to the vets tonight. On Thursday the vet visited the breeder and Lucy was 13 lbs. She is just over 8 weeks and now weighs 18 lbs.

We totally forgot about Big Brother last night so it’s time to watch and knit. My shawl is growing. I’m about half way through the lace section – pictures tomorrow from the store.
Source: Looms

Spring Cleaning

Seemingly moments before Summer started officially, we completed a number of maintenance/repair tasks to our home that feels a lot like Spring cleaning.

So Satisfying

We’ve owned our home for about 27 years now and every once in a while, our homeowner’s association will notify us that they’ll be painting the outside of our buildings in the upcoming months, and we are required to replace any wood or trim that might need replacing.

Given that we had a few pieces of trim that needed to be replaced, and we were going to have people working on the house anyway, we decided to have them replace all the wood trim with AZEK Trim…a material made of PVC, so it will never rot or be eaten by bugs.

I’ve blurred out the number, but the workers even replaced a wooden house number plaque above the garage with AZEK.

Since we were at it, we also took the opportunity to replace a window, replace the chimney cap and replace the window insert on our front door.

And since we did all that, it turned out to be a perfect time to do a wholesale cleaning of the place.

Hardly a person on the planet, other than Thaddeus and I would notice all the changes, but it’s still incredibly satisfying to have had all this week completed.

Current Knitting/Crochet

I’m on the last throes of knitting the Nephew Cardigan.

I finished knitting the button band, with all the shaping so it would ease in nicely.

I also almost finished sewing the button band in.  Just a bit more sewing, sewing on buttons and weaving in ends and this sweater will be FINISHED!

I’ve also finished all the crocheting on the Rowan LDK Afghan.

The total length is just shy of 60 inches.

I also have a few million ends to weave in, and then I’ll do a simple boarder on the top and bottom of the afghan to make it a full 60 inches.
Source: fre

Mistake Rib

I just discovered mistake rib!  It’s obviously not new, as it already has a name, but it’s new to me.

The discovery came about because I’ve ordered a copy of Sequence Knitting by Cecelia Campochiaro.  I’ve been hearing about the book since it was published, e.g. in Tom of Holland’s blog, here.  It’s not easy to buy it in the U.K., so I have finally ordered a copy from the U.S., and it is now making its way slowly over the Atlantic (I hope).   After I ordered it, I started thinking about the kind of sequences that I think she’s talking about.  One idea is to choose a sequence of knit and purl stitches and repeat them over and over on every row, so every row starts at the beginning of the sequence.  You get different stitch patterns depending on the number of stitches you have.  So for instance, the simplest sequence would be K1, P1.  If you have an even number of stitches, you get single rib, and an odd number of stitches gives moss stitch.  It’s fascinating that two stitch patterns which look and behave so differently should be so closely related.

Then I started thinking about the sequence K2, P2.  If the number of stitches is a multiple of 4, you get double rib, and if it’s a multiple of 4, plus 2, you get what’s sometimes called double moss stitch.  And if it’s a multiple of 4, plus 1 or 3, I discovered that you get an interesting stitch pattern that’s a mixture of single rib and moss stitch.

Looking at the swatch, there is a column of the knit stitches of single rib, then a column of moss stitch, then a column of the purl stitches of single rib, and another column of moss stitch, and that sequence repeats.  Here’s a chart, which might make it clearer.  A blank square means knit on odd rows, purl on even rows; ● means purl on odd  rows, knit on even rows.  (It’s reversible, so there aren’t ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ sides.)

The resulting fabric is deeply corrugated and quite stretchy, but doesn’t pull in like double rib.

I thought that such a simple but good-looking stitch pattern must be already known, and not a new invention.  And a few days later, in the way that coincidences happen, I found a knitting pattern that uses it.

Penelope 1084

It’s a smart jacket, from about 1940, and would be very warm, I think.  The leaflet doesn’t give a name to the stitch pattern, but it prompted me to look in Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns.  And there I found it, called Mistake Stitch Ribbing.  She says ‘This handsome ribbing may very well have been discovered by an accident. The “mistake” consists of working Knit-Two Purl-Two ribbing on one less stitch than required.’   It doesn’t seem very plausible to me that it should have been the result of a mistake – as she also says, it would have been obvious very quickly that it wasn’t double rib.  I think any knitter intending to knit double rib would have corrected the mistake before realising that it is a worthwhile stitch pattern in its own right.   But the rather unfortunate name seems to be firmly attached.

It would be nice to knit something more than a swatch in mistake rib.  It would make a nice scarf, and there are lots of examples in Ravelry.  (It is reversible of course – every row is the same.)   But I have plenty of scarves – something different would be good.
Source: ggg