Dipping my toes in the Frog Pond

Frog Pond (definition) a place where big knitting mistakes go until you “rip-it rip-it” apart and reuse the yarn for something else.

As a knitter this is never ever your plan, but I once again find myself at the Frog Pond. I knit this sweater. Beautiful yarn, Sweet Georgia DK, beautiful pattern, IRIS but ……….apparently they don’t like each other.

I should have known, I should have given up when it took me three tries to get the bottom edge of the sweater to work. Not me, nope, I thought I had “fixed” it with a little ribbing to hold it in place.

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It was moving along really fast. I was trying it on as I was moving forward. This was going to be such a beautiful little summer sweater. The sleeve’s were a short row sleeve knitted in place from the sleeve cap to the cuff. First one down, perfect length. Moving even faster, second one finished. Knit the short back neck edge and set it to block.

It blocked out to perfection. I was doing the happy dance. All I had left was to tuck in a few ends and stitch the neck edge in place.

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I pinned the neck edge and did a little try on.  Hmmmm, not what I expected. I pulled a little here, adjusted a little there. I just did not like this sweater on me.

How can that be?  It is a beautiful sweater, the color is perfect. The sizing matches exactly to my favorite fit. I tried it on again ………nope, I just don’t like it. So for over a week, I put it on, took it off, repeat. I was hoping, magically it would morph into something I would love. Not happening.

My daughter came over and I had her take a look. “The back section is too narrow so the sleeve’s are pulling at the underarm, and the darts in the back are too far apart.”

Ah, the eye of a skilled knitter and seamstress finally figured out the problem. However the only way to fix the problem is to re-knit the whole sweater.

So, here I am at the frog pond holding this beautiful sweater that I don’t like. I know if I finish it, it will sit in the closet and stare at me. I will put it on and take it off. It will stare at me somemore as it takes up space in my closet Do I want to start over and knit this pattern one more time? Plus, I would have to recalculate the whole back section to fit me.

I have made my final decision. I love the yarn, I love the pattern, just not on me. To the frog pond you go ……. I know magically there will be another pattern for the yarn. When that happens,  I will pull it from the frog pond and it will become a beautiful sweater that I will love and wear. Someday………fp5

Baby, baby…….

I have this rule. I believe it is my duty to knit something special for the new babies of my girlfriends that become grandmother’s. Especially those that do not knit. Yes, I know you are outraged, but I do have friends that do not knit.

I thought this would be simple, a cute little sweater here, a fun little hat there. And then ……they all decided to become granny’s. So the race was on to keep up with the demand. I know self inflicted troubles. But those of you that know me, know once I put a rule into place, I stay focused and carry on.

So with needle’s flying, I have been knitting little things. The good news …… they knit up really fast.  The bad news …….. it creates havoc with my planned knitting schedule.

Anyway, it is time for me to share the cute finished baby items. For those of you not into the baby thing, I suggest you avert your eyes or just leave the page. For the rest of you,  baby do I have some great ideas for you.

Let’s start with the sweaters. I stick to this one pattern Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater by Carole Barenys. It has not failed me. Below are some of the finished sweaters. The first one is knitted in Three Irish Girls Finley Fingering. The other two are in Socks that Rock. All you need is one skein.

Then there is the hats. I use several patterns depending if boy or girl and where they live. The first up is the Easy Roll Up Hat by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. They have this yarn called Adriafil Knitcol, it creates the cute pattern for you. You just knit.

For my tough boys, I use my pattern Like the Big Boys. My favorite yarn for this is Noro Kureyon.

 

And finally for a very special little girl, I knit a little Christmas Bonnet. The pattern is My Sweetest Friend by Surrehue. I really had to dig to find the yarn and it is from Herrschners, called Holiday Yarn.

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Just in case, you are a sock lover. Here are baby socks! These are all one pattern, More Better Baby Socks by Ann Budd. The yarn is Quince & Co Finch, one skein of each color.

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Phew……….   Now will everyone just stop the baby’s for awhile. I have got some big girl knitting to do!

 

She who runs with scissors

That’s right in the knitting world scissors can be a very dangerous thing. If used correctly you cut the yarn after ends are woven in. Beyond that they are rarely used. Except……. if you choose to lengthen a skirt.  I know here come’s the crazy talk.

So I had this skirt I knit a couple of years ago. I loved this skirt, but it was a little shorter than what is in style and how I wear skirts nowadays.

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I thought about starting over and knitting one just like it, but that would be too easy……. right? Instead I bought a couple skeins of yarn that matched what I had.

Now I bet you think I am going to carefully rip out the hem and just add-on a little length. Wrong. I have this contrasting edge on the bottom and I did not want to change that.

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And then I remembered the first six inches from the waist down were knit on a much smaller needle to create a nice fit to the skirt. Here we go get ready for it.

I took a pair of scissors and cut the top off the skirt. That’s right cut the yarn. Took the waistband plus a few inches off the top.

Alright everyone,  let’s all breathe together.  I then very carefully picked out all the loose little short pieces of cut yarn and started pulling on yarn pieces until I got what appeared to be a good round of stitches. With my super fine #1 needles I carefully picked up the stitches and joined with my new yarn. I was now off to the races and knitting a skirt again.

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A couple of modification notes. The skirt was originally knit in two pieces and seamed on the sides. I picked up the whole skirt did a K2tog to clean up at the seams and knit this new section in the round. I did my additional length on the larger needle and then switched to the smaller needles as I got closer to the waist.  Unfortunately the new yarn was slightly lighter than the old yarn. For me not a problem as I always wear my top on the outside and it is long enough to cover the color difference.

Phew….  I survived, the skirt survived and YES I would do this again. Scissors are now a part of my knitting process.  Let me run and see what I can cut next!  Kidding!!!

My needles are smoking hot

I don’t know what happen since the beginning of the year. Maybe it was a change in coffee or the cozy rainy days of winter, but my knitting has been flying off the needles. In six weeks I have finished a pair of socks, knit a pair of slippers. three cowls, two sweaters,  a pair of fingerless gloves  and a large scarf. PHEW!

 

As of today I have nothing on my needles. I have been squirreling every which way trying to decide what I should start next. So today will be that dreaded day of swatching. I figure I will try three or four and see what is going to work. The skirt, the cardigan, or the pullover. And I will start a little scarf project as well.  Or maybe that cute little shawl or maybe  ……… wait ……. more new patterns on Ravelry.  I’m falling into a deep hole of yarn and projects. So much yarn ……. never enough time!

 

A Gift of Words

It was my birthday last week. And yes it was a full week of birthday events. Dear friends came in from out of town to celebrate with me. We traveled to all my favorite places …..which means lots of yarn shops!  And yes, we bought a little bit of yarn. There were beautiful evenings of conversation and dinners that I got to cook!  And of course, wine and more talk of yarn…..

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But the main event was on my birthday. I chose to cook for  friends and family. It was a very special evening of fun and laughter.

However, the day began with a bit of panic ……..  It started about two weeks before when my dear friend called to let me know a package was coming addressed to me and NOT to open it but hold it for when she got there. Time passed, I was in party planning mode and alas the package did not arrive. So on the day of my birthday, when she asked for the box so she could wrap it, imagine her dismay when there was no box. This was a Saturday, the company was closed for the weekend. She was devastated as it was something special that she, a non knitter, had found for me a knitter.

I already thought I had the best gift of a visit from her and her hubby. Apparently she did not. So instead she locked herself away and created a most incredible gift for me. Far greater than anything that could be bought, she gave me the gift of words. I cannot begin to explain how surprised, blessed, delighted ……….more words ……..more words …… there are not enough words to describe how special the moment was as she read this to me.

So for all of you that never know what to give someone take a moment and write a little something that gives joy to their life. And yes, she gave me permission to share her words with you.

Thank you my dear, dear, friend.

An Ode for Olivia January 30-signed

 

 

 

One Minute Before Midnight

How can this be! It is 11:59pm on December 24th and I am binding off on the very last knitted gift. That was not the plan……in fact I really was finished one week ago or so I thought.

Let’s just say on December 17th I was celebrating. The cookies were baked and the tray was complete for our knit nite holiday party at Churchmouse.

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I was dressed in my newly knitted Christmas sweater

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and even had snuck in a little knitted cowl for my girlfriend.

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Himself had offered to drive me to knit nite that evening so I could drink a little bubbly. How perfect is that. Then it began…….. “You know, he said,  I don’t have a Holiday Vest a green one would look really good on me.”  I politely told him…… we could plan on that for NEXT YEAR. He understood and I thought all was settled.

I go upstairs to pack up the last items to take with me for the evening and there he is in the closet, digging thru my stacks of knitted scarfs. “What are you doing?” I asked. Himself replied  “I was looking for a red holiday scarf to wear, I don’t have one.” Let me just clarify that he has his own stack of knitted scarfs apparently they just did not fit the “Holiday Mood” he was going for.  Did I mention that he was just taking me to my party, not going to the party? And that my scarfs were a little girly for him?

And so off we go, he got me to the party, I had cookies and bubbly. I was feeling a little generous at that point. By the time he came to pick me up, I suggested we wander the store and see if there is something he might like. We found the perfect red for a scarf. It was a heavy worsted and I knew I could whip up a Mistake Rib scarf in a flash. That was the crazy talk happening, or the bubbly. Yup bought yarn, had yarn wound. I was off to the races. I could do this in a couple of days, he would have his Holiday Scarf!

Then the parties, and the wrapping, and the shopping required my time and got in the way of my knit a scarf time. I was bound and determined that this was going to be finished for THIS year’s Christmas. And that is why at 11:59pm I bound it off, stuck a bow on it and called it finished.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOODNIGHT!

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Block Party

Color block is everywhere this year. On sweaters, dresses, ponchos, and even scarfs. Those of you that knit with me know that I have been on a bit of a color block journey this year. Yup knit a poncho and a summer top in color block. It got to the point that I would look at a pattern and say “I could do that in color block”.  I have been inspired by so many colors that my head was spinning.

I really wanted a scarf for fall with all the colors of fall so “Block Party” was born.block2

It is a simple garter stitch that flows in two directions moving the color blocks from long to short.

The yarn is fingering which makes it light as a feather and the garter stitch makes it squishy. I made it super long, 88 inches. It can be double and triple wrapped and still not to be too thick around your neck.

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It is perfect for using up some bits of sock yarn or for a special splurge of new yarn.

I used 5 skeins  of Isager Alpaca Merino fingering (50% Alpaca 50% Merino Wool) 270 yards; 50 grams),  2 skeins Color A (36 – Farve), 1 skein Color B (30 – Black), 1 skein Color C (21 – Lingonberry), and 1 skein Color D (24 – Orange)

Here are a few inspiration mixes just for you ….and me as I don’t think I will be able to make just one.

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All are in stock and can be purchased from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.

For those of you that want to use up some of your stash bits, here are the actual amounts I used for each color.  360 yds Color A, 115 yds each Color B & C, and 140 yds Color D.

Go to Ravelry for more pattern details and to purchase. And don’t forget to post your finished photos. I want to see your Block Party.