Happy New Year

2016 was the year of cowls and shawls for me. Here are a few of my finished projects.

The Greyhound Shawl knit in Mrs. Crosby Hat Box.

Annisa Wrap knit with Mrs. Crosby Train Case.

The Eccentric Chevron Wrap is a kit from Prism Yarns.

I made two Hitchhikers with SweetGeorgia Party of Five kits.

Crazy Magic Boomerang knit in one ball of Zauberball 100.
Outline knit in Skinny Singles from Hedgehog Fibres.
Winter Cove in madelinetosh asap.

Gaptastic knit with three skeins of tosh home.

3 Colour Cashmere Cowl knit with a String Quintet kit from Lorna’s Laces.

The Inspira Cowl in Classic Elite Liberty

I’m close to finishing a few shawls. Very close. They will look good on my 2017 year in review post :)

Happy New Year!!!
Source: Looms

Advent Calendars

In November, a group of knitters from the Huddersfield Knitting & Crochet Guild branch decided to share two Opal advent calendars – these calendars have 24 doors for the days of Advent, like other Advent calendars, but behind each door is a 15g. ball of Opal sock yarn.  There were 8 members of the calendar syndicate and 48 balls of wool, so 6 balls each – sounds simple, doesn’t it?  No.  They devised an extremely complicated scheme – before any of the doors were opened, the ball behind each door was pre-allocated to a syndicate member.  Then each member had custody of one of the calendars for 6 days.  Every day she opened the appropriate door and posted a photo of the ball door could see what she was getting.  Here’s one of the photos, posted by Ann Kingstone.

 And after six days, the keeper of the cube met the next keeper, to hand it over.

Yesterday was the grand finale, when the syndicate met to distribute the balls of wool to their owners. I wasn’t a member of the syndicate, just a fascinated observer, but I went along to see how it all worked out.  They met in Salt’s Diner in Salts Mill in Saltaire, the other side of Bradford.

Every member of the syndicate was given a pair of socks with their balls of wool stuffed inside.  Then there some exchanging, so that people could get a selection of colours that they liked.  There was even some discussion of what they might knit with the yarn – the 6 balls will make a pair of (very multi-coloured) socks, though you could mix them with a plain background colour and make something bigger like a shawl.  And as far as I could see, everyone was happy with their share, and keen to do it all again next year.      

By then it was dark, and we went into the village to see the Saltaire Advent windows, which are lit up every evening until January 5th.  Like any other Advent calendar, a new window was ‘opened’ every day in December until Christmas Eve, though they started with 10 windows on December 1st, so now there are 33 windows to see.   The windows are scattered all over the village, and I didn’t have time to see many of them, but I did see some very well-designed and executed displays.  And the very first that we found was this:

It’s all knitted or crocheted – poinsettias in pots, snowmen, paper chains, a gingerbread house,…

Knitted robins wearing woolly hats on a knitted snow-covered log:

Alpacas wearing woolly scarves (both crocheted, I think) under knitted mistletoe:

 (Alpacas are important in the history of Saltaire because Titus Salt, who built the village for his mill workers, made his money out of spinning alpaca yarn.)

So window no. 7 was a very good start for a party of knitters.  

Another favourite:  window 19, showing Father Christmas in his sleigh flying over the village.

And here’s window 9, a display about Titus Salt’s rules for the people living in Saltaire:

No pubs; No drinking alcohol; No hanging out washing; No animals in Saltaire.

You can read more about the rules here.  As far as I remember from a guided walk around Saltaire, the prohibition on hanging out washing was because Salt had provided a wash-house and he wanted the villagers to pay to do their washing there, but it wasn’t popular.  Some villagers got around the rule by hanging out their washing on vacant land just outside the village.  And he wasn’t against alcohol as such – the rules was really against being drunk, and he didn’t want pubs where workers might meet and combine against him.  Philanthropic, but only up to a point.

The windows were worth seeing.  The Saltaire Living Calendar has been happening every Christmas since 2006, though I had not heard of it before this year – I’ll go again next year, with enough time to see them all.    
Source: ggg


A few customers have shown interest in making Find Your Fade but the number of skeins in the pattern is a concern to them. You will have a lot of yarn left over.

If your skeins are 400 yards then you will start with 2800 yards. The shawl needs approximately 1540 yards.

Color A – 80yd
Color B – 160yd
Color C – 240yd
Color D – 260yd
Color E – 280yd
Color F – 320yd
Color G – 200yd

That will leave you about 1260 yards.

That is enough to make Outline.

A customer came in this morning with 4 skeins of stash yarn and we added 3 skeins of tosh sock. She has an amazing combination for Find Your Fade. Take a look at what you have hiding at home.

Wannietta is working on Born Trippy. She is using one skein of Hedgehog Sock with 4 Hedgehog Sock Minis.

You can use all your leftovers from Find Your Fade to make the scarf.

It sounds like a lot of yarn but you will enough to make two amazing shawls. Join the fun!
Source: Looms

Pattern Sale

A newsletter came from Ambah O’Brien this morning.

I feel quite pleased when I look back at the 20 patterns I released in 2016. Mostly shawls, including 8 that were a part of the Chroma Collection. 2016 has been a highly satisfying journey.

I have collated a bundle over in my Ravelry store of the twenty patterns, these all automatically have a 20% discount through to January 2nd, So if you missed the discount when a pattern was first released here is your chance now.

Yemaya Shawl – knit in fingering weight.

This is Alinda. We have the shawl hanging in the store knit in Mrs. Crosby Reticule.

Ambah’s Lamina and mine knit in Cheshire Cat.

See the patterns that are included in the 20% off sale…

Don’t miss out on a chance to add these great patterns to your Ravelry library.
Source: Looms

Christmas Bounty – 1 of 2

Being known as “the knitter” has its advantages.

Especially Around Christmas-time!

My sister-in-law finds a lot of amazing things at yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets, and whenever she finds stashes of knitting related books, it always becomes one of my Christmas gifts.

This year, I think I got over 50 pounds of knitting books and booklets.

And most of them were focused on men’s knitting patterns.  Here’s a little slide show of just the booklets.

There were 35 (with one duplicate) booklets…too many to post individually, so that’s why I did the slideshow.

Next blog post will show the books and other fiber-related items I got for Christmas.

Current Knitting

While I was away at my sister-in-law’s house for a couple of days celebrating Christmas, I decided not to bring any knitting, but she had a knitting project she had started a while ago…a prayer shawl…which she hadn’t worked on for a long time.  I didn’t get a photo, but I did added about seven inches to her shawl while I watched television.

And here’s the current progress on my Easton Mountain logo blanket I’m working on.

It’s all in stockinette, so it’s curled at the moment, but when I start to put together the panels, it will lay a bit flatter.  I’m also thinking about lining it with a soft fabric backing to both hide the back of the blanket and to stabilize the curling after it’s finished.
Source: fre

Just a Few Stitches

 Bible cover take 2 –  I love the color of this one!
 The walking foot sure makes the quilting lines a cinch!
 After putting away all the Christmas decorations, I needed a bit of a perk in the family room-nothing like a very quick pillow cover to do just that!
This is the fastest way to make a pillow cover there is-no zipper or hand sewing!
I use the tri-fold method;  cut the width of the fabric by the pillow length plus one inch.
You just hem the two selvedges, fold the pillow in thirds so that the overall width is now the size of the pillow form and stitch across the top and the bottom.  (No need to leave an opening  to turn because the hemmed section allows you to turn it right side out!  Brilliant!)
I turn it right side out, poke out the corners and press and for an added touch, stitch around the whole perimeter with a 1/4″ seam allowance for a faux piping.
This is so simple, you can make some for every season or whenever you need a perk in the room!

Source: FF

Changing my Mind

Now that I’m into the fourth colour of Find Your Fade I think I need to change my last three colours.

Originally I was going to end with the pink, pink/rust then rust but the fourth colour is knitting up more turquoise than I thought it would.

I’m going to end with turquoise/teal tones. I think.


The next shipment from Hedgehog should be arriving soon. It’s left Heathrow and we’re waiting for it to clear customs. One or two of the potluck colours might work in my shawl. If one of them doesn’t work then Glacier could be the next colour. Or I could go in a totally different direction.

I have a few other projects at home so I can let this one sit for a week :)

And in very happy news. We won our Fantasy Football. It’s the first time in all our years of playing.

Source: Looms

Introducing Pilasters!

Schnapps wanted to be sure to share one last pattern for 2016 with everyone.  It’s hard to believe that there are only a few more days until we ring in 2017.  The years seem to go by more quickly all the time.   We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and we wish for nothing but great things for you in 2017!
Schnapps and I were disappointed this month……Lion Brand Yarn had contacted us in August and told us that they were doing a huge “Yarn Heroes Campaign” and they wanted to feature us in part of it.  Apparently, a person who worked for Lion Brand had been following this blog and had seen all the patterns that Schnapps shares.  They said that they were supporting several charity crafters and were looking to be partners by donating yarn on a regular basis and showcasing our work.  There followed months of answering questions and giving information……then a box of yarn was delivered to help us create more hats…….it was suggested that Schnapps get a “yarn hero” cape…..and then nothing happened. 
I like my cape!
I’m a Yarn Hero, no matter what!
It turns out that Lion Brand changed their minds and massively scaled back the Yarn Hero Campaign, leaving it with just professional bloggers sharing a pattern that can be used for charity crafting.  All the actual charity crafters were not going to be featured and the promise of yarn for the foreseeable future changed to a statement that we should submit an application if we want free yarn.  The original person who contacted us is no longer at Lion Brand.  It’s disappointing for us to realize how close a major company was to really making a large difference in the charity crafting world, but not really surprising.  There are so many of you who do so much…………but we do it to help others, not for recognition from companies.  
So, Schnapps is busy using the yarn that was originally sent and we are back to purchasing yarn when it’s on sale to keep our charity work going.  Pilasters is his latest pattern and it’s super simple and fast to knit. 
 Scrimmage Stitches is now for sale as well!  This e-book is a compilation of 15 hat patterns designed for Delaware Head Huggers. Along with 3 never before published patterns, there are 12 patterns found on the blog, Knitting with Schnapps. Patterns vary in complexity, so there is something for everyone. All patterns include information for knitting them in super-bulky, chunky, worsted and sport weight yarn. 100% of all sales go into supporting Delaware Head Huggers and helping to pay for shipping and supply costs.   The book can be purchased at our Ravelry and Craftsy stores or by using the link on the right hand side of this page.

Scrimmage Stitches patterns!
If you’re not a fan of Delaware Head Huggers yet, stop by and “Like” our Facebook page.  Help us name the patterns and see all the beautiful hats that are donated.  Stop by Kozy Kovers for Kids Facebook page too!  We welcome everyone to join us.  Stop by and say hello.  You can always reach Schnapps or me at robin@delawareheadhuggers.org too!

  You can see where our hats go by visiting our website:  www.delawareheadhuggers.org


You will need 6-weight yarn and size US 13 circular needles or some other combination listed below. 
k2tog:  knit 2 stitches together

Cast on 48 stitches, place marker and join, taking care not to twist stitches.

Work Brim:
You are going to purl 3 stitches together, then without dropping them, knit the same 3 stitches together and purl the same 3 stitches together again.  After the second p3tog, you drop the stitches from the LH needle.

Row 1:  * (p3tog, k3tog, p3tog) in the same 3 stitches, k1*
Row 2:   knit all stitches
Repeat Rows 1 – 2  until piece is about 4.5 to 5 inches in length.  Feel free to adapt the length as you like, making it longer or shorter.
Work Hat:
Row 1:   knit all stitches
Repeat Row 1 until the hat is about 7.5 inches in length.

Decrease Crown:  use dpn’s when needed

Row 1:   *k2, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 2:    *k1, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 3:   *k2tog*; repeat around
Row 4:   *k2tog*; repeat around
Repeat Row 4 if desired if you use a thinner yarn.

Finish: Cut working yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail.  Draw the tail through the remaining stitches, cinch closed and secure.  Weave in ends and share.

If using 5-weight yarn, use size 10.5 needles and cast on 64. 

If using 4-weight yarn, use size 7 needles and cast on 80. 

If using 3-weight yarn, use size 5 needles and cast on 100 stitches.  

The pattern is worked over 4 stitches. 

Source: New feed

Nutting Stone* Socks

 Yes!  I finally have the pattern worked out where I like what it is doing with the stripes and with the look.  (This is a variation to the Nutkin Sock Pattern)
I have finished the center V all the way to the end of the pattern stitches while beginning the legs of the next inverted V.
This picture was taken under extreme conditions:
 Here are a few outtakes…
This is the grab and run with everything attached to her….
 This is the pounce #2 attempt….
This is the innocent kitten look after a scolding for biting the wooden needle tip!
Yes, she got a big hug after these pictures!!!
*The Nutting Stone is the name of rocks used by Native Americans to break nuts-they were favorite rocks which were used often and saved because they were a good fit and comfortable to the hand.)

Source: FF

Treasure Hunting

 For many years now, I have wanted a metal detector.
Bill surprised me with this complete package and I was thrilled!
We used to live on an 1830’s farm in central NY and I was sure we were walking on all kinds of treasures.
 On my first foray here in my own backyard, I got used to the different tones and signals and uncovered these treasures!
This home had a fishing camp here in the 1930’s so the potential for coins and buttons was possible.
It was also common practice to bury your trash so I could hope for something from those piles.
What I learned is that our soil (sand) is also iron rich (hence, the orange tendencies that affects our laundry!)  But I did find things and it was very exciting!
The pipe is iron used for plumbing long ago, the middle item is a link of chain and a partial one attached and the find on the right is a fancy hinge!
That one I will save and make a collection of things for a shadow box display!  
Bill did a great job of finding a powerful detector at the lightest weight possible so I could actually use it!  (a  good way to encourage PT for my weary muscles!)
I lasted for one hour of walking, swinging the detector and shoveling my little holes and refilling them so the lawn guy won’t scold!
I can’t wait to sweep over all our property and then on to my parents!
(and playgrounds, parks and lots of old homes after I get *permission!)
*FL has very strict treasure hunting laws and most state parks do not allow detecting!  Kill joys one and all.   I will have to check for rules for most of my own localities before I take off or my fines will outweigh my treasures! Yikes!)

Source: FF