Category Archives: Knitting

Finished! Afghan #2!!

Cue the dancers! Make with the drumroll! Woo and Hoo!

The second afghan is FINISHED!

Cabled Afghan Knit Along, Creativebug, Edie Eckman, Knit Picks, Knitting, knitting afghans, Pumpkin Ale, Ysolda Teague

I’m really excited and will be even more so when the studio has been decked out for Christmas and I’m wrapping gifts— I’ll have TWO hand-knit afghans to give this year!  TWO!!!!! What have I learned? That Red Heart Soft is a very nice yarn for an afghan that will receive use and require washing by a non-knitter. I’ve always been snotty about Red Heart yarn. No, it’s not a ‘premium brand’…… but I was unnecessarily snotty for sure! That YES, even some afghans need swatching!  Let is go on record, I should have swatched this one as it would have left less vigilant blocking and yielded a slightly larger finished afghan. It’s all good, don’t get me wrong, buttttttttttt! And I’ve confirmed that this Creativebug Knit A Long was just the thing to keep me motivated and on track to finish a gift. I have no doubt that this would have been given up on much earlier in the knitting process. The instructions (and accompanying videos) from Edie Eckman & Creativebug were outstanding and this would be a very attainable project for even a cable knitting beginner!

The best part is that I am done knitting BEIGE for the foreseeable future…. and I’ve finally FINALLY cast on for a new project!  Ysolda Teague’s Pumpkin Ale sweater.

It’s also for a gift and I adore the swingy shape, the cabled back panel and the utilitarian wearability of this sweater! And, it has POCKETS. Perfect! I’m using Knit Picks Brava Sport yarn in “peacock”, I love the color, the slight sheen and the fact that it will wear well and be washed well by a non-knitter!

The week ahead will have some knitting, some hockey watching, some bike riding and of course, work in the mix. Weirdly enough I’ve started really thinking about holiday decorating and it has been a few years since I anticipated the dec of it all!

How about you? What are you working on and are you looking forward to decorating for the holidays???

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First Border Second Afghan

I am quickly reminded how much piecing is not high on my love to do list. That chore is followed in short order by adding borders to large objects. Remember my last post about this afghan?

BOTH came to pass (and are in progress) as the second afghan is completed and all the squares pieced together and I’m adding a border. I think I’ll add a larger border than called for in the pattern and will likely live to regret that!

I’m going opposite the pattern by putting the borders on the top and bottom edge first. In this way I only have to attach that border to one row of squares rather than having the entire afghan in my lap to start the border process. It’s still pretty darn warm here and less yarny lapage the better!

I do have lots of notes as to what I loved (and what I didn’t) about this project and what I’d change next time if I were to knit this again.

Thanks to Red Heart & Creativebug for the Cabled Afghan Knit a Long project. It kept me motivated and accountable (yeah, we know what a perk that is!!) and I’m thrilled to bits to have a SECOND afghan completed this year and another really great Christmas gift awaiting the season. I’m even feeling a little bit smug about it!

My handpainted Betz White Metro Hipster Bag has been ignored largely because I’ve been assigned temporary couch duty after trashing my knee. Earlier in the summer I was stuck out in low tide in a very soggy mushy sand and twisted my knee. It’s been struggling ever since and last weekend I hiked 5 miles through the woods out to the ruins of Cannons Point.

It was hotter than hades and even with an entire can of Deep Woods Off the mosquitos literally followed in a cloud, like PigPen and a cloud of dirt! I was ill prepared for 5 miles and too stubborn to quit—- the stupid shoes I had on combined with a cruddy knee led to last weeks problems.

Out walking the dogs the knee first got tired and then just flat buckled. It was an effort getting home on the useless and painful knee— I had to go through 3 empty lots as the shortest line between two points. Tick check returned no ticks after the journey! ;)  So, I’ve been elevating, icing, ibuprofening in the RICE theory. Hopefully I’ll be back up and at ‘em by the weekend when my son arrives for a visit. With luck we’ll have a nice time, some bike riding, and front porch sitting, biscuit baking and I’ll be back on the creative front next week!

 

 

 

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Foundation Friday & Keepin’ On

As I approach the pulling my hair out phase with the latest afghan from the Cabled Afghan Knit Along on Creativebug—– I always wonder how can you keep ANY project that takes awhile to complete fresh, interesting—– pleasurable???  Instead of being bored, tossing aside the project or moving on with a UFO to your credit? It really doesn’t matter to me whether it is KNITTING, CROCHETING, QUILTING, or something from the SEWIST category, you need to plan the end game before you get to the boring and/or frustrating part!

  • Keep the Goal in sight. I like to have a beautiful photo of the project in it’s finished state to spur me on!
  • Use sites such as Ravelry (for knitters) to keep you on track and accountable! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to post even another 2% completed!
  • Set interim treats at specified times. I do NOT like to add another project into the mix— but prefer to be project monogamous. Some knitters/quilters/sewists have many projects in the works and switch between them when they get bored. For me it’s a personal choice—- if I have too many projects going I love faith in myself to finish even one of them! I may buy something for a future project at a certain point. For example, when I finished the last block in the Cabled Afghan I bought a piece of yummy knit fabric to make a new top. I sketched out the top using my personal sloper from Cal Patch’s class when I finished the LAST block. What can I say, I know myself!  :)  I had so much fun designing a top I wanted to make knowing that it would fit perfectly—- thanks Cal! Now, I can’t wait to sew it!
  • I have a chalkboard with projects listed in the studio. That way I can see what creative things I’d like to do next…… future thrills as it were. This keeps me moving on the current project. Because I don’t cheat on one project with another I know the only way to get to fresh unbroken ground is to finish what I have going on!

Mostly I press on. Sometimes I give myself the treat of a fresh unbroken bag of M&M’s. HA! Doesn’t the latest cabled square look crazy in it’s unblocked state? All wiggly and windy!

The last two blocks in bias garter along with the finished XO Panels & Ensigns Braid Square. This intrticately cabled square reminded me that vigilance in knitting is always key—– and to keep an eye on the pattern as well as to ‘read’ the knitting.  It’s a cool block. I’ve just begun this weeks block, Honeycomb Trellis. When this block is complete there will be three more cable blocks and then the assembly. That’s 17 blocks completed and it leads me to the biggest foundation of all:

  • PRAISE YOURSELF FOR WORK DONE!!  KNOW YOU’VE DONE A GREAT JOB SO FAR!

Which leads me to another FOUNDATION I have ignored and am now hating myself for. I have not woven in the ends. Not one. Some blocks have 4-8 ends loose as a couple of the balls of yarn had a lot of knots/joins that had to be cut. Because this is an acrylic there was no wet/spit splicing so the ends have to start at the edges and need to be woven in well. Lots and Lots of ends to weave in. The plain blocks are all done so I’ll use the time in between weeks when the new cable blocks are released for the knit along to weave in ends.

It’s been 108 with the heat index….. I don’t run the a/c out in the studio when it gets that hot so I’ve been inside doing more knitting and less sewing. However, the fall sewing plans are almost made, swatches are being assembled and the plan is coming together. I’ve even been perfecting the fashion sketch with methods to use for sketching for kids, even men. Coming soon!

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

 

 

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The Problem With Knitting

For me….. the Problem With Knitting a big (sometimes boring) project is that my mind wanders to projects I can’t wait to do/would rather be doing/!!!

Sewing—- Crafting— Creating

I’ve started a list. From yesterday!

Have you seen the ADORABLE organizer in “Sew It All Magazine”????? I was wandering through Books A Million (such a dangerous place to be on any day) and saw this on the cover:

Stinkin cute right? I can’t even tell you how much I want to make this! In my altered while knitting state of possibilities I think that there should be some made for gifts. I see rafts of them. This one says it’s to carry stitching supplies but honestly, this one would fit my everyday wallet needs plus be large enough to carry my phone and would work really well with a strap to make it a crossbody. I need (and you know who you are) someone to use that big fancy embroidery machine and make me a monogram for the front!!!

Life does not always meet up with knitting daydreams but hope springs eternal.

Knitting content, almost done with the second cable block— Snake Cables. I love this block of mirror image snakes but this particular cable pattern always makes me feel as if I haven’t ‘crossed a cable’. Like it a lot though.

I’m getting ready to enter the Bride Zone again with another wedding show this Sunday. So far the latest crop of brides are fabulous. Well except for the one who shall remain nameless. She’s a ‘zilla of all ‘zilla’s and it will be pretty great to get her off the books. Oh, and the MOB (Mother of the Bride) who is KILLING me. I’m telling you, they have not paid enough to be such enormous time sucks.

Have a fab Wednesday, go ahead…. be creative!!!

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Monday Monday?

Yup, Monday again. And a new month! It’s still hotter than billy heck around here (thanks Grams, I never get tired of that saying!) but the local kids are headed back to school this week. SEC football is getting ready to kick off and it was Fall Fashion Day yesterday. (of course I watched!!) And I’m not ready for summer to be over. At all. It’s time to give some thought to the fall wardrobe (such that it is on Island Time) and while waiting on hold yesterday I sketched a couple of ideas using my very own and completely fabulous sloper. (Thanks so much Cal Patch & Creativebug I love you both madly truly!!) A couple of knit tops in a color I’d call avocado and one in a sapphireISH blue. I need more fabric, better put that on the list!

That lovely weekend I was dreaming of evaporated in a flurry of contracts and details— never a bad thing but I did get less done than I thought/hoped. There was a loooooooong bike ride on Sunday to clear our the old and prepare for the new!

Beige Afghan? Five, count’em FIVE squares completed and a solo cable block on the needles. I’ll take it. Plus finished watching a 6 year series again On Demand. The afghan knit along with Creativebug is going to be on Week 6 this week with 6 weeks to go. I think with half of the plain garter blocks done and being a fairly fast cable knitter I’ll be able to catch up and finish the afghan when the class/knit along wraps. Hold me to it!

I’m really liking the stitch definition with the yarn (Red Heart Soft) working the cables too!

The week will be a flurry leading up to a wedding show this weekend, there is a book to finish before my Nook sucks it back to the library and then the finale of that series is sitting in the wings. I need a beach day scheduled to get some reading done!

Have a fantastic week!  OOOOOH— in case you don’t know, the Art Journaling Class with Dawn Devries Sokol kicks off today! It’s bound to be GREAT even if you’re not an art journaler. (And I bet you might become one!)

Art Journaling with Dawn Devries Sokol - Creativebug

 

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Afghan #2: And we’re off!!!

I’m still basking in the glow of the completed Mitered Square Afghan. Really. And have begun knitting Afghan #2, the designer is Edie Eckman and it’s a featured knit along on Creativebug. You know how I love me some Creativebug! Simple bias garter squares alternate with cable squares making this an easy knit. The neutral beige (colorway: wheat) is almost unbearably quiet after knitting on the saturated colors of the last afghan for so long.

Four of the ten garter squares in my reward to myself will be to knit some FUN cable squares at the five plain squares completed point. I’m off this weekend and it’s supposed to be rainy so that may keep me off my bike and on my needles more!

I love a July Beach, don’t you? SO nice to run to the water when it’s unbelievably hot and just float until your fingers and toes prune up!!! School starts here in the next couple of weeks (unbelievable) so the beach is starting to clear out a little bit. It’s been delightful! I can pop a beach mat and towel in the bike basket and make a run for it!

Have a great weekend!!

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DONE!

Giddy with excitement, GIDDY to the bone!  The Hue Shift Afghan is DONE! The last row was bliss, the binding off was outstanding and after the last stitch was off the needles? I danced. I’m not sure if it was the jerk, the hully gully or just a dance of mad passion but you can bet that there was dancing!!!

Did you enjoy the Hully Gully? I know I did!  :)

So, the afghan. The one that is done and danced over. Began on November 11, 2013 and finished July 28, 2014.

She needs a nice relaxing soak and a gentle blocking. I always enjoy the blocking process because it gives me a last chance to pat in some last good thoughts and prayers, love it a last time and put in the very best wishes for the recipient!

I’ve started the second afghan a SIMPLER PROJECT (because I’ve clearly lost my mind), from my favorite thing— Creativebug. This one is super simple and would be perfect for a beginning knitter. It’s from instructor Edie Eckman and knit in Red Heart Soft. I’m not normally a Red Heart knitter but I am a passionate believer of purchasing materials from those who help bring a great idea or class to the front— and this class has Red Heart branding. I found the Red Heart from Loveknitting a UK company that offered outstanding prices (honestly half the US price!!), shipped free and fast-  it arrived in a week beautifully packaged! See the cute little project bags the yarn came in? Nice touch Loveknitting!! You can be sure I’ll be back!

 

The yarn itself is super duper soft—- and yup, it is acrylic. NOT a bad thing when it comes to afghans, especially when they’re gifts and you can’t be sure how they’ll be treated. The yarn for the mitered square afghan was also an acrylic, slightly finer in gauge and more tightly spun. The Red Heart Soft is not as tightly spun, has a very nice sheen and not ‘splitty’. I’ve knitted half of the first of 10 bias garter blocks and enjoy knitting with it so far.

Putting It All Together

This latest afghan is also modular in simple bias blocks and different cable squares so it’ll be great to take on the go— on the go is the order of the day! The perk is that the follow along class is a 12 weeker, meaning I’ll definitely have this done by Christmas THIS YEAR!  :) (The class has started but you can pick it up anytime or catch up along with me). I love to knit cables so I’m looking forward to this one a lot, different cable patterns all together in an afghan with the gentle nudge of an online class! The semi-vacay of early July is long gone and in it’s place are brides and more brides— not a bad thing!

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One Almost DONE: TWO in the Wings!

This is BIG y’all!  B.I.G. As in notorious!!!

The Mitered Square Afghan? I’m smelling soak and seeing blocking! Half of the last border remains and it will be finished, finito, fini, & pau hana honey! Can you tell I’m positively GIDDY over it? Beyond.

 

I love the way the black border sets everything off and melds it together at the same time!

And the two in the wings? Finishing up a large lap quilt and beginning the knitting of afghan number 2. Christmas is going to be incredibly wonderful this year!! The getting there has been something but when it’s all done and ready to be unwrapped, it’ll be incredible!

Did you see the ‘peek’ behind the mitered square afghan???? Let me give you another small peek before the bigger reveal:

 The past weekend there was opportunity to do a quick wander to the ‘island next door’. I have to leave you with a near sunset view of Driftwood Beach, it’s amazing!

 

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Shifting to a Close

Two.
Squares.
Remain.

 Count ‘em,

One. Two.

The mitered square portion is almost over. I know you’re as tired of hearing about it as I am of the lamentations! Then it’s likely time for the moaning about the endless borders.  :)

Happy Monday!

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Slipcovers, Knitting & Road Trip Ahead

Road Trip ahead indeed. Friday morning we’ll head out to Panama City for a destination wedding, the dogs and I get to be wranglers so how could I say no to the trip? It’s an easy drive heading in a direction not often traveled in recent years so that’s also a plus. I know the road up to Hilton Head and the road down to Jacksonville like the back of my boring hand.

On the Knit Front, I was SOOOOO excited this weekend to think ONE LAST ROW of the Mitered Square Afghan….. and of course I was way too hasty. She is looking good though and amazing to me how truly spectacular the afghan is when set together!

TWO last rows. AND, as suspected there is no way that the navy blue yarn is going to make it for one remaining square using that color. Dammit. Which makes me wonder about road trip knitting since the four squares/sections of the afghan will not be set together for the binding to commence. Now, I could join sections 1 and 2 (the top 2 completed sections) and work the black border/sashing along the top of these. Then when section 4 is completed (with new blue yarn) squared 3 and 4 can marry, the border can go onto the bottom there….. THEN the center can be seamed and the two longest borders can be added to the sides. My head hurts and I can’t make myself think of the day it is DONE DONE DOOOOOOONE.

At this point *and we all know things change* ahem, I’ll take that as well as cast on for Pumpkin Ale. Which is blue and the moniker Pumpkin Ale doesn’t seem right, I’m going to have to work on that. Moldy Pumpkin Ale…. no— that is wrong on so many levels.

Above from Bespoke Knits in gorgeous blue, similar to my colorway.

Her blog has some spectacular knitting— check her out!

With the back cabled panel of the sweater to knit,  the border/sash along squares 1 & 2 (above) I’ll have PLENTY of knitting to do. Along with my watercolor journal I’ll be good to go.

Haircut? Tuesday.

Pedi? Thursday.

Packing? In between. I mean, I’ll be gone 3 days, I make it sound like a transatlantic journey to Nepal.

As usual, I’ll have more to DO than wear and when you factor in the bag for the dogs…….. there will barely be room enough to squeeze in my flat iron! There will be no discussion that I always take more to do than there is time for as well….. some things never change.

Slipcovers you ask? Yes. I need (in a big way) to slipcover the ugly nasty horrendous red chair. With a fab new recliner in the house the urgency dimmed a bit. BUT–I’m going to cover it with dropcloth fabric as I’ve discussed before, see it on the chair back below? It’s sitting out of the way in the studio and I’m hoping out of sight won’t make it out of mind. I’d love to have it done before company arrives over the 4th and frankly—– that is not at all likely to happen. The word “likely” shouldn’t even be used. The phrase “ain’t gonna” should be inserted in it’s stead. Plus…. there is a little bolt in the bottom of the chair frame that keeps dropping out. I think the frame needs to be shored up with a little wood, some liquid nails and a blop of locktite. See? This makes it a project of gargantuan proportions.

The pillow? Waiting on another bag of polyfil—– it was just a little somethin’ after the backpack idea was junked. I do love the fabric in a room that’s yellow, coral and blue.

Happy Monday- have a great week!

 

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