Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Charity Knitting During Lent: Part 2

I finished another pair of socks for Afghans for Afghans. Once again, the yarn is Felici from Knit Picks. I couldn't get the stripes to line up this time, which bugs me, but I don't have time to re-do them. I hope the recipient doesn't mind.





I'll be traveling next week, so I should have time to knit a third pair before Easter. I'm also working on another Easter egg for a friend. My friend's little girl really liked that egg I made for her. I told her that I ran into the Easter bunny outside the house and that he told me to give that egg to her. I'm not sure that she believed me. She's a pretty savvy 3-year-old.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

A Break From Charity Knitting

I knitted a bunch of these Arne & Carlos eggs last year. So I took a break from charity knitting and made this one for a friend's 3-year-old daughter whose birthday was last week.




I hope she likes it. Now it's back to the socks. I'm almost done with a second pair and have a skein of yarn all wound up and ready for a third pair.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Charity Knitting During Lent

As I've done before, I decided to do some knitting for charity during Lent. I like to give something, not just give up something. Afghans for Afghans always needs socks, so that's what I decided to make.



These are made with Knit Picks Felici, which is my go-to yarn for socks. They have beautiful color ways. This one is called Stream Bed, and it has been discontinued. I don't see it on the web site, anyway. I've got another pair of socks on the needles, with a different color of Felici, and Lent is about halfway over, so I hope to have two pairs ready to mail by Easter.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Clapotis Scarf 2.0

Several years ago I knit a Clapotis scarf with some nylon ribbon yarn (there is probably a picture of it somewhere in my blog archives but I'm too lazy to go looking for it right now). It was really pretty--a hand-dyed copper color--but nylon is uncomfortable to wear. It doesn't breathe and just feels clammy. Also, it's very heavy, so the scarf kept getting longer and longer and eventually pulled itself completely out of shape. Synthetic fibers can't really be blocked, so the scarf lies in a drawer, abandoned and unworn. Somebody at the knitting retreat last month brought a Clapotis, which inspired me to knit another one for myself.

This time I used a 50/50 wool/silk blend. I think it's Tess Designer Yarns, but I can't be sure. I lost the ball band years ago. All I know is that I bought this yarn at the very first Stitches Midwest in Minneapolis in 1999. I started two other projects with this yarn but ripped them out because I wasn't happy with the results. I think the third time was the charm.



Isn't that gorgeous? I love how the color stripes run in the opposite direction of the dropped stitches. This scarf will NOT end up in a drawer. It will be worn until the weather gets too warm...which doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Another Rib Cowl

This one isn't for me, though. A friend was cleaning her apartment and found a scarf she started years ago but never finished, so she gave the yarn (and needles, which are very nice) to me. I unraveled the scarf and re-knit the yarn into a rib-knit cowl.




I finished this a while back before the retreat, but I didn't want to post a picture until I had a chance to give it to my friend. She liked it a lot and wore it all this afternoon. It looks good on her. The yarn is Encore worsted, and I did exactly like I did for my own cowl; size 15 needles, 3 x 3 rib in the round, until it was about 6 inches deep.

We are definitely getting our use out of our hand-knit and -crocheted items this winter! It's very satisfying to have a hobby that produces items that are both beautiful and functional. I'm ready for spring but well armed for winter. This is my motto:



Until next time!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Bunch of Stitches 2014 Winter Knitting Retreat

This past weekend I attended the first ever Bunch of Stitches winter knitting retreat at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, IL. Lynette of Miles of Yarn organized the whole thing, and it was exactly what I hoped it would be. We sat in front of a fireplace in a beautiful lodge in the woods.


We ate dinner and knitted.



We ate some snacks and knitted some more.



Pretty much the whole weekend consisted of eating, knitting, and talking. It was perfect. I used the time well and knit an entire scarf from beginning to end. 


I can't find the ball band, so I don't know what yarn this is, but it's obviously a mohair with metallic bits. The stitch pattern is from one of those Barbara Walker books, I think. It's extremely easy. Cast on an even number of stitches. Purl 1, yarn over, purl 2 together. Repeat the yarn over and purl 2 together until you reach the last stitch, and then purl 1 again. Repeat that for every row. I used size 10 1/2 needles to get a nice open fabric.

I'm very happy with the results and I'm very happy I went to the retreat. I came away refreshed and inspired by all the amazingly talented and creative fiber artists around me. I can't wait to go again!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Rib-Knit Cowl

Happy new year! This is my first finished project of 2014, fresh off the needles last night: a rib-knit cowl scarf.






I used 3 strands of Knit Picks Capretta held together and size 15 needles. I cast on 102 stitches and did a K3 P3 rib in the round until I ran out of yarn. Easy-peasy, no? Sometimes it's the simple things that have the most impact. I'm still seeing cowls and chunky knits in the stores and the fashion blogs, so I think this will look stylish for some time. And even if it doesn't, it's super warm and comfortable, which is what matters more to me anyway.

Now it's back to some socks, which I'll desperately need next week. Have you seen the weather forecast for Chicago? The high on Monday is supposed to be 10 degrees below 0, with wind chills of 40-50 below. I'm beginning to understand why birds and older people migrate south for the winter. Brrrrrr!