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.

The Stripe Addiction

Just somebody please stop me…… I could blame Churchmouse and say it started with a new group of Spring Stripes Knitalong 2015. However, if I look back at my projects I believe the stripes were already beginning to gain control of my knitting long before I would admit my addiction.

It began slowly with the Stripe Study Shawl. I loved the contemporary look of the stripes and the black and grey is so me.

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Then there was a bit of a breather before the stripes called to me again. A striped Bias Before & After Scarf in Rowen Fine Art for himself.

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But is was the Color Affection that really grabbed me. Merino wool, silk, and yak. And the colors were just yummy. I now jumped beyond the greys and blacks.

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I left the grey zone only for a moment as I did the Mix No 20 in grey and white with a hint of purple. Soft light as a feather. Very warm.

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Spring was coming and this is where the stripes started gaining control of my knitting. Stripes were showing up everywhere in the stores. For first time in a long time I found myself buying striped tee shirts. And then……the Churchmouse posting happened and the group choice was the pattern Drafechenfels. This time I jumped into spring with full color. Peach, green, and cream.

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Frankly it scared some of my knit nite buddy’s as it was such a big color leap out of my normal black and grey. As I explained to all at the table, I looked at all my summer shirts, squinted my eyes, and the colors I selected would coordinate with everything I had. You can see how well the scarf goes with my shirt.

A little road trip to a spring knitting retreat was the next stripe moment. Shifted Shades done in some very bold colors. Again small, light perfect for summer.

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I next did a little clean up in my stash zone and was reminded of the beautiful brown yarn from a recent road trip that himself helped me select. That is correct another stripe shawl is in the works. Noctillo…… another stunner…. and yes more stripes.

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And then….. just when I thought I had it under control……. Squirrel…….. This pattern shows up Dubro. Yup, it is striped and yes I have the perfect yarn Plucky in green and brown.

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I am now officially addicted to stripes………… Perhaps a glass of wine will help.

 

 

The Artful Ewe

Let’s just say it was himself’s turn to pick the road trip and I would go along for the ride. So what did he choose …the Old Mill Day’s in Port Gamble, Washington. Yup, that would be chainsaw wood-carver’s. Well OK then. The drive was beautiful and the town is charming. It is a company owned mill town founded in 1853. The homes and buildings are all historic with many open to the public.The town was busy and streets were crowded. There was a Tea Room and a General Store, a Book Store …….But then…..the crowd parted and behold there was a YARN Store!

I ran to the entrance opened the door to the most beautiful jewel box of yarn your eyes could ever imagine. The walls are covered with skeins of yarn, there is fiber in trunks, and on tables. The colors were just stunning. Then I discovered the magic. All the yarn and all the fiber is hand dyed by the owner, Heidi Dascher. Her eye for color is amazing. Tucked in between all the dyed yarn and fiber there is an all natural collection of yarn and fiber, often with the photo of the source, including the sheep, its name and farm location. How cool is that!

The store is dark and as your eyes adjust you see the building still has the historic charm. A wood stove to keep you warm. A corner to tuck in and sit and knit or spin. Heidi spins as well. Little bits of fiber and needles with yarn on them are tucked here and there so you can play with the bits as you touch and select. Heidi encourages you to take a few skeins outside to see the colors in daylight. The sun hits the wool/silk I selected and wow……you know that one is going home with me. Even himself gave me the thumbs up.

Himself and I have gone back many times since that first visit.  It is one of our let’s take a little drive places that allows himself to wander around the town and me to touch yarn. A perfect day for both of us.

And I almost forgot the most important part. Be sure to look for Grace. She sits or sleeps very regally in a vintage chair covered with a sheepskin. And Grace always wears pearls.

The store, the owner, and Grace just Enchanting!

The Artful Ewe
32180 Rainier Ave NE
Port Gamble, WA
360-643-0183

 

 

 

 

Road Trip

It was one of those Saturday mornings. Himself and I were drinking coffee and reading our on-line papers…with a little Facebook and Ravelry tossed in the mix. The sun was out it was just another normal summer day in the Pacific Northwest. But wait… it is winter and the SUN is out. Himself comments that we should “get out and do a little something”.  And magically this appears on my Facebook.

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Yup, a yarn trunk show, yarn with a black cat on the label, and it is a fun drive from our house. I show himself the Facebook post, “We could do that” he replies. And there you have it …..ROAD TRIP.

It is amazing how a slow Saturday became a fast shower, pack it up, and go! Sunshine and YARN get out of my way people.

Apparently I ran himself out of the door so fast he lacked the coffee necessary to make the one hour drive. So about 30 minutes into our trip a stop was required. No complaints from me as it was at one of my favorite little towns, Port Gamble, WA. Did I mention they have an incredible yarn shop, The Artful Ewe. While himself headed to the General Store, I headed to the yarn shop. A full review will be posted shortly, but lets just say “charming”. Himself found me outside holding two skeins of yarn, trying to decide which one I like better….”I thought you were going to put them together…they look good that way”

I left with this

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I am seeing a beautiful scarf in my future.

And we are back on the road….O wait, I guess I did not tell you our final destination. That would be Port Townsend, WA. A Victorian seacoast village. The downtown is one of our favorite walking destinations. Fun interesting shops and of course a yarn shop,  Bazaar Girls. This is where the trunk show is today. Himself takes off for a walk and I get to touch yarn and talk to the designer, Kerry Graber of Jorstad Creek.  She is most interesting as she sources fiber from local farmers and blends them to create yarn that is soft and springy. Her dye work is beautiful. A little more yarn is purchased. I have a sweater in mind for this.

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Himself has impeccable timing. He shows up just as I am completing the purchase and gives me a thumbs up on the color.

A little more walking, a late lunch, and it is time to head home. We arrive home in time for a glass of wine out on the patio. What a perfect day!

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FYI – Himself got homemade Meatloaf for dinner. “He earned it” , so he said. I agree.