Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Margaret Tudor Top

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 11/11/2019 - 11:00

Original Pattern: Margaret Tudor Knitter Extraordinaire: Karianne (Ravelry Profile) Mods: Karianne loved the design, but not the fit, so she customized the charts on a fitted tee instead. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: This happens to us all eventually – you see a pattern, usually in some

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Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week This was such an interesting article- why you never see your friends anymore. The top ten worst plastic polluters in the world. These fantastic quotes have been tumbling in my brain all week. If you have been stumbling through this past week like I have (I hate daylight

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Hufflepuff Ease

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 11/04/2019 - 11:00

Original Pattern: Ease Knitter Extraordinaire: Michelle (Ravelry profile) Mods: Michelle modified tee Ease pattern to be a Harry Potter inspired Hufflepuff house sweater, with the scoop neck version (no funnel neck) , added thumb holes to the sleeves and customized the sleeve decreases and stripes. Details can be found on her project page, here. What

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Tips & Tricks | Easy Removable Buttons

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 11/03/2019 - 23:07
For cardigans, cowls and other handknits that require closure, buttons are an easy, go-to option. There's one significant problem, however. Eventually most handknits need to be cleaned, and many buttons are not designed to withstand washing, dry cleaning or other methods.

I can't speak for you, but there's no way I'm going to detach buttons, wash the item and then reattach the buttons. Life is truly too short for such fuss, so for many years, DIY removable buttons have been my preferred solution.

Luckily, removable buttons are not only easy to make, they open up a range of possibilities that make it easy to put buttons from stash to good use. The basic process is simple:
  1. At every location where you want a button, work paired buttonholes (i.e. work buttonholes at both ends of a cowl or on both button bands of a cardigan.
  2. Choose decorative button(s) that look good and suit your needs.
  3. Choose backer button(s) that fit through the buttonholes you've worked.
  4. Use coordinating thread to attach each decorative button to a backer button.
  5. Be sure to leave enough distance between the decorative and backer buttons to span the depth created by two layers of overlapped knit fabric.

My red Kintra cowl is a good example. After auditioning a range of looks and options, I decided in favor of a large, black button for the public side and a small, narrow white barrel for the backer button. The slim backer button fits through a single, unobtrusive button hole worked at both ends of the cowl.

Since backer buttons can be either purely functional or decorative for a reversible look, I decided to create another version. I chose two long, narrow shanked buttons and connected them using a standard jewelry jump ring, taking care to make sure the jump ring was smooth and wouldn't snag the yarn. 

Between the black, red and gold buttons, I've kept my options open and can change the look of this simple cowl to suit my mood and the occasion. I think the black button will get the most use, but we'll see how that unfolds over the course of the winter.

This isn't the first time I've used a removable/reversible button strategy. Many years ago, I made a loosely cabled cowl for a dear friend who had moved far away and was feeling bereft. The result was A Very Braidy cowl, which featured a pair of matching turquoise buttons backed by natural wood, so she could vary the look as she preferred.

As you can see, I tend to lean toward oblong buttons, but that's primarily a design choice. A few weeks ago, I shared my Wyndfael cowl with two types of removable closures, one an oversized but more sedate button and the other a whimsical pompom.

It's hard to argue with the practical benefits of removable buttons, but clearly they also allow you to have fun and experiment. Just be sure your backer button is both small enough to fit through the designated buttonhole and large enough to not pull out at the slightest pressure. If that happens, tighten up the buttonhole with a small tack stitch in each corner or swap the existing backer button for one that's slightly larger.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 11/01/2019 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week What sounds do you love? This post, plus the reader comments are completely wonderful.  Whatever you are not changing… you are choosing. I love this idea- open up a ‘fun & bs’ account for weekend plans. How to keep in touch with friends and family all over the

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New Neutrals

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 10/27/2019 - 21:56
It's been quite some time since earth tones have grabbed the limelight, but based on the clothing and accessories appearing on fashion runways and in major stores, they're back. Big time.

Rich, chocolate browns are being paired with their traditional siblings such as milk chocolate, tan and sand, as well as spicy shades of tumeric, ginger, chili pepper, pumpkin, rust and burgundy.

In other words, all the classic fall colors are once again right on trend. If the loooong reign of cool neutrals has left you out in the cold, now's your chance to find the yarns you're seeking in the warm tones you love.

    10 Terrific Fall Color Combos
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Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 10/25/2019 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week People are reading entire books on Instagram?! Speaking of books, writers can apply to do a residency at Stephen King’s house in Bangor, Maine- what a neat idea! How to turn around a lousy, no-good day. Speaking of things kind of sucking, how to be okay with not

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Sneak Peek! New Patterns

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 10/20/2019 - 22:12
Some knitters have been asking when particular patterns might be released. I always appreciate your interest and have responded to individual inquiries, but this seems like a good time to offer a sneak peek at upcoming patterns.
Like their siblings, the new designs are quick and easy projects geared toward knitters of all skill levels. Here's a swift roundup of what's in the pipeline and where things stand:

Healdan Scarf
Fully reversible and knit on larger needles, this scarf is easy to work, and the stitch is ideal for making the most of mini-skeins, DIY ombres and gradients, tone-on-tone effects, challenging variegated yarns and more.
    UPDATE: The pattern has been sent to the tech editor.
    Read more about this design here.

Kintra Cowl
Kintra is an old-fashioned term for family, friends and folks nearby. Like the Kintra mitts, the cowl pattern features a super easy slip stitch which produces plush, stretchy cowls and scarves that are warm, versatile and suitable for everyone on your knitting list. 
    UPDATE: The pattern has been sent to the tech editor.
    Read more about this design here.
Wyndfael Cowl
Narrow stripes and single button closure accentuate gently rounded ends for a fresh take on a classic cowl or neckwarmer. Like the Wyndfael mitts, this design works up quickly, so it's a great candidate for Christmas and winter holiday gift-giving.
    UPDATE: The pattern has been sent to the tech editor.
    Read more about this design here.

Several more cowl, scarf, mitt, shawl and afghan designs are actively in the works, but since the patterns are not quite fully developed, I'll save them for another day. If there's a design that's caught your eye and you want to know if/when a pattern is coming, just let me know in the comments.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Technically not sweaters

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 18:35

Ok, I can admit it. There is a tiny, little, itsy-bitsy chance that I overshot a little on this plan.  I can say that because I’m supposed to get on a plane for Rhinebeck in the morning, and I am not finished two sweaters. I’m actually not even finished one sweater, though it’s a near thing.  Here’s where I am.

That’s the Must Have.  It is very nearly a sweater, if by almost a sweater you understand that I can’t wear it like a sweater although it very nearly almost has all the parts that you need for something to be a sweater, if they were joined together, which they are not. I am super close to finishing the button band (I cannot be the only person who perpetually underestimates the amount of knitting in a button band) in fact – it’s half cast off. (Almost.) I’ve got to sew the whole thing together, maybe tonight, and then sew on the buttons and then it just needs a quick blocking. I’ve blocked the pieces already, so it’s really just a quick bit of tidy up after it’s sewn together.  I think steaming will work, just this once.

This is a different problem – Remi is still mostly armless. The sleeves are only 3/4 length, and I have knit about 10cm of one, and I do have to fly tomorrow and then there’s tomorrow evening and then, well, yes, it needs to be completely blocked but doesn’t it seem doable? Doesn’t it? (She says, in a slightly shrill manner, with a hint of hysteria sneaking in around the edges.)

I’d actually think that this was all completely doable if I’d done anything else today, like pack, or wash the clothes I’d like to pack, or gone to the store to get the things I need to pack, or if I’d cleaned up the kitchen, or if roughly 3394 emails weren’t in my inbox waiting for me to finish answering them, or if I didn’t have a meeting this evening that I don’t think I can sew up sweaters at. (I think I can knit sleeves at it, so maybe all isn’t lost.)

Essentially I’ve worked out that I’m absolutely going to make it as long as someone else comes over here and does the laundry, goes to my meeting for me, and I hire someone else to pack while I sew together a sweater.

The important thing is not to panic early.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Border Issues

Knitting | Work in Progress - Mon, 10/14/2019 - 01:21
I've tried like the dickens to get  a decent overview shot of the Ohio Star afghan, with little success. The last time you saw this project, it looked like a hot mess.

I was working the borders, which required wrestling with four long circulars, primarily because I'm a stubborn coot who likes to see the stitches she's working rather than have them jammed together on a single cord. Needless to say, the process itself was both tweaky and a bit frustrating, but the end result is satisfactory.

The big debate now is whether or not to add a final edging. If the answer is yes, the next question becomes, should that edging be blue or red? Luckily, there are still a fair number of ends to weave, which gives me plenty of time to think about the issue of edging vs. no edging.
Well, life is clammoring in the background. Gotta run, happy knitting!
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Six Days

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 10/11/2019 - 21:40

Well, six days to go, and the state of the sweaters is… well, it’s not terrible, but it’s not great. I try not to panic because I can’t see how it helps speed anyone up,  but the urge to lose my scene entirely is starting to be a little bit tempting. I’ve got the fronts and the back of the Must Have done –

and just about the body of Remi. I’ve got a few centimetres of ribbing left on the bottom, though it seems a hair short to me. I’m quite short myself so this could work out just fine, tonight before I go any farther on the ribbing I’m going to slide all those stitches onto a longer needle and try it on. It measures what the pattern suggested, but perhaps the designer and I have different ideas about what length a sweater should be.  Personally, I like them not to show my belly button if I get something off a high shelf, and she may be unfettered by such desires, or perhaps has a far more elegant navel.

Tomorrow, if all goes well this evening, I shall find myself squarely on Sleeve Island, with four sleeves to knit in six days, which frankly seems like a bit much, but would be entirely doable if I hadn’t made a critical error in my planning, which is that I forgot that this weekend is Thanksgiving.  That sounds bad, I know, like maybe I’ve just remembered a major holiday with serious time commitments attached to it, and it’s not like that at all. I’ve been cleaning, organizing and shopping for days – It’s more like when I started this a few weeks ago I forgot to factor in time spent chopping mountains of onions and celery and souring the city for chestnuts and what the impact of that is on my knitting time.

I’m not going to panic though – I’m just going to knit. A sleeve a day will get this done, with a day left for buttonbands, sewing and making up. I’ll worry about packing… well. Later.

Sleep is overrated anyway.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 10/11/2019 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Tricks for avoiding impulse Shopping– because Target has total control over me (and so does Costco). Why is movie theatre popcorn so insanely expensive? A full explanation. Into healing crystals? Might want to check your karma and ask where those crystals are coming from. A great tip for

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Ten (oh no how is it ten)

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 10/07/2019 - 19:02

I write to you now from the airport in Saint John, New Brunswick, as I try to make my way home from Knit East, which was very lovely, as always.  Great students, the venue is so pretty – the sea and Passamaquoddy Bay beckoning to me through the windows. I had a very good time, indeed,  but I really did miss everyone at Knit City more than I can say. I really wanted to be cloned this past weekend – three versions of me would have been wonderful, one for Knit East, one for Knit City, one for a wedding that I was very sorry to miss.  Wait, actually – four.  Four Stephanies would have been the magic number, because one could have just knit and maybe my Rhinebeck dreams would be all coming true.

I have ten days to go, and here’s where I’m at. I’ve finished the back of the Must Have Cardi – and I’m about halfway done the left front.  (Sweater parts pictured here elegantly spread out on an airport cafe table.)  I don’t know how hopeful I feel about this right now. The back took a lot longer than I was hoping, but it is the biggest part so I am trying not to freak out. (I am sort of freaking out.)

Remi doesn’t feel like it’s faring much better – but I am making some progress.  Lucy Neatby forgot her knitting when we were together the other evening and I gave her Remi, so for 30 minutes she made progress for me while I worked on the Must Have. It was glorious.

Sweater in-progress here elegantly pictured on my lap in the aforementioned airport cafe. (Someone will ask, so that fabulous project bag is from Wool Needle Thread, and yes, I do match my project bag to my project because I AM NOT AN ANIMAL. Matching the shirt was an accident.)

Just as I arrived at the airport today my original flight home cancelled and my travel plans are now sort of unclear, which is something that would usually make me a crazy person, but today I really don’t care.  This zen attitude about a cancelled flight is likely brought to you by the pressing need to work on these sweaters, and the fact that this morning as I was packing, I put the extra yarn and needles for them in my checked bag, sure I wouldn’t need that much for today – and then in a moment of absolutely unusual clarity,  I took it out of my checked bag and put it in my carry on “just in case.”

For once, I am in a travel crisis and I am not underyarned on a deadline.  I feel like my whole life has just been practice for this moment.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Endearment

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 10/07/2019 - 11:00

Original Patterns: Criollo and Endearment Knitter Extraordinaire: Sanna (Ravelry Profile) Mods: Sanna combined elements of both the Criollo and Endearment patterns, using the contiguous method for creating the top down set in sleeve. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: I love how Sanna combined different elements of the

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The Next Big Thing

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 13:00
Okay, technically, the Ohio Star afghan (my largest current WIP) isn't quite finished. The border is done, but I've decided to add a final edging, which looks nice and does a dandy job of minimizing curl.

That said, with completion of the Wyndfael cowl, my active project list has shrunk from six to four (two scarves, one shawl and the aforementioned afghan), so it's time to start thinking about the next big thing.

And this is where things get a bit dicey. For weeks, I've been tantalized by the prospect of casting on a rainbow shawl using lovely fingering weight yarn (Charlemont, Valley Yarns). The pattern is roughed out, and the yarn is wound and at the ready.
Unfortunately, just as I went to retrieve the yarn from the cupboard, a wayward thought popped into my mind and whispered in a sultry voice, What about that other shawl project? You know, the one that's been on your to-do list much, much longer? The idea was to pair the delightful Helen's Lace (Lorna's Laces) with the variegated Rayon Metallic (Blue Heron), a combo that seemed promising. Here, too, the pattern is roughed out, and the yarn is ready and waiting.

So, what's a knitter to do? 

In theory, I could cast on both and work them simultaneously, but that approach has several glaring flaws. I'm a slow knitter, so it simply means when true cold weather hits I'll have two partially complete shawls, rather one done (or nearly so). It also adds two new projects to the WIP list, which puts me back where I started.

While I'm trying to wrestle this decision to the mat, perhaps I should just pick up the afghan, start working the final edging, weave a few ends, and see what revelations emerge.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Sixteen Days

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 10/01/2019 - 21:28

While I cannot state unequivocally at this moment that my two-sweaters-for-Rhinebeck plan is a good one, I can tell you that today is a good day to continue entertaining the concept of this particularly bit of knitterly daring-do. I pressed on and finished the yoke of Remi, and now I’m into the plain bit for the body – It feels all but done, truthfully.  I’ve got it rammed into my bag as my “on the go” knitting now that it doesn’t need anything from me but time. (Sweater is seen here on two needles because I was far enough along for a quick try on. I did knit a swatch, and washed it, but I definitely don’t have time to be jerked around by the gauge god’s version of a joke. Good news, it’s fine.) I even ordered back-up yarn from IndigoDragonfly, and it’s arrived.  For your sake, rather than mine, I regret to announce that this one looks drama free. (Sorry Presbytera.)

I knit a swatch for the Must Have Cardi too (that link works, by the way – I’m knitting it from the booklet that was in my actual knitting library – sorry for Rav link yesterday that didn’t direct you to the pattern. Use that one. It’s free!) and washed that, and got the results I was hoping for on the second try, and noticed that knitting with the previously knit yarn wasn’t much fun.

I’m in the process of winding it into hanks and steaming it to make it nice again. (I just do it over a teakettle, if you’re wondering.) Worked a treat, and now I’m about 8cm up the back. It’s not going as quickly as I’d hoped but I’m ignoring that, at least for today. we’ll see if the problem persists.

Finally – I’m happy to report finished Self-imposed-sock-of-the-month-club socks, though rather less pleased to say that they’re the ones from August. I finished them a few weeks ago- though I can’t lie, it wasn’t in August for sure, I was about a week late, which considering the August I had isn’t really that bad at all.

I’d know what yarn I wanted to use for the August socks ever since Kim gave it to me. The yarn is Platypus Sock, and the colourway’s the one she made for the Rally last year, named Bonnie for my Mum, and meant to invoke her love of rocks.

It seemed appropriate to use it for the month I’d miss her most – especially since that’s also the month of the Rally.  It felt lovely. Sticking with the rock theme, I chose a pattern called Pebbles – not just for the name, but was a great match for a variegated yarn. I made them for myself, rather than the long range planning box, because I really love the yarn, the idea, and Kim.

To be fair, I messed with the pattern quite a bit – the original has a short row heel, but I prefer a flap construction, so I subbed that in, and used eye-of-partridge to keep the pebbly look going.  (Eye-of-partridge is a really just a regular slip stitch heel, but with the slips alternating on right side rows instead of stacked.)

I changed the toe a bit too, but that doesn’t matter much and is really just because I’m a little weird about sock toes. I care (inexplicably) about how they look both on and off feet, and do the rate of decrease a little differently to amuse myself.

Now, I know it’s October 1st, and that means that I should have a whole other pair of September socks to show you, but – well, I’m obviously  coming in late on that one too.

I have one and half.  Almost. (Pattern: Sun and Moon, Yarn’s the Club Yarn from Gauge Dyeworks earlier this year – the club’s over now, but I really dug it.)  I’m hoping to finish these soon, but truthfully, I’m a little into my sweaters.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Seventeen Days

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 09/30/2019 - 15:31

There is a moment in every set of grand plans when it all seem so possible, isn’t there? Some spectacular moment where there is just enough time that it seems reasonable to hope for it, and you’re far enough along in your thinking or your knitting or your writing or whatever, that you can see it all finished on time, and it’s going to be glorious.

See, for about a week, I’ve had a pretty good Rhinebeck sweater plan. While I was at Make Wear Love, I bought this yarn from IndigoDragonfly. (I am always amused when I buy their yarn in another country despite living in the same province, but there you have it.) It’s Wingenhooven DK (merino/yak/silk) and after not a lot of reflection at all, because they just seemed made for each other, I’m knitting Remi.

I haven’t really been applying myself to it (though I’m almost done the yoke) because in my head, I’ve had buckets of time. Loads, actually – great heaps of time. I’m pretty sure that this a lingering Bike Rally effect, where I feel like I’ve got all this flexibility now that it’s over and really I’m just back to being as busy as I was before, which was pretty crazy busy but not dangerously busy.

This effect is so pronounced part of my very good Rhinebeck plan is is that not only will I finish Remi, but that I’m going to knit a second sweater as well.  Do you all remember when I knit Little Wave? Gorgeous pattern, and very well written, but it was too big when I knit it, and it’s way too big now.  (See that? Let us pause for a moment and recognize knitterly delusion.  The sweater was not “too big when I knit it.”  I knit the wrong size.  It wasn’t like rain, something that you can’t predict, I blew it.  Me. Not the sweater.)

That sweater fits me so poorly that I haven’t worn it since that Rhinebeck and I feel terrible about that, because I the yarn is the rather spectacular (and tragically discontinued)  Blackwater Abbey, and it was expensive and I have not been able to stop feeling like I wasted it, and my time.  This feeling finally got the better of me and I did something I’ve never done before.  I unknitted a sweater.

The whole thing.  I snipped the buttons off, I found the ends (wing of moth, I am so good at weaving in ends, it took forever to find them) and I pulled the whole thing out.  (Almost.  I am struggling with a bit around the pockets, but I’ll get there.)

I’m going to reknit it (before Rhinebeck) into my another edition of my most worn sweater ever. In 2008 I knit the Must Have Cardigan, and do you know, I have worn that thing just about every day of every autumn, winter and spring since then. It’s tossed on the back of my office chair most days, and it’s been on a fair few camping trips. It is a tribute to the yarn (Northampton) that this sweater was completely inexpensive to knit and only just now, eleven years later does it look a little shabby.  I figure this yarn and that pattern are a match made in heaven and I seem to remember that it knit up really quickly and…. Rhinebeck is in seventeen days and I think it’s all going to be fine.  I am at that exactly perfect, spectacular moment where hope, time and possibility have all come together, and I believe.  Two sweaters for Rhinebeck.  It’s going to work.

I think I better go start the second one.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Guthrie

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 09/30/2019 - 11:00

Original Pattern: Guthrie Knitter Extraordinaire: Allison (Ravelry Profile) Mods:  Knit a smaller size, Allison was getting a larger gauge with her swatch. Adjusted the neck, and adjusted the stitches for front and back to have more room in the front to accommodate a larger bust. Also used a twisted rib for cuff and hem. Great

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FO | Wyndfael Cowl

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 09/29/2019 - 18:10
The current temps are in the high 80s (F), and they're projected to hit the low-to-mid 90s next week. Nonetheless, I've been busy putting the finishing touches on my Wyndfael cowl. I worked the accent stripes and rounded ends, then buckled down and began weaving ends.

The ends incorporate a small, nearly invisible button hole, which centers the button where the two ends meet. I like to keep my options open, so I attached a large, decorative button to a smaller backer button to create a removable cufflink-style closure, and this is the result.

Wyndfael Turquoise Cowl
Pattern: In development (coming soon!)
Yarn: Merino 5 (Crystal Palace); Cash Vero (Cascade)
Size: Short (~5 x 21 inches) 
Weight: Worsted
Needles: US 8 (5 mm)
Yardage: ~140 yards 

The removable button turned out to be a wise choice, because somewhere along the line I had a wacky idea ... 

What if I used a small pompom as a closure, instead of a button? I decided to give it a try and this is the outcome. Like the cufflink closure above, it's attached to a small backer button, which fits through the existing loops, so it, too, can be swapped out for wearing or washing. As an added plus, the pompom automatically matches, so it circumvents the sometimes frustrating search for a suitable button.

I confess I'm truly delighted with how this turned out. When cool weather arrives, I'll have a warm, cushy cowl to wrap around my neck, a matching pair of mitts to keep my hands warm, and when the mood strikes, I can go for whimsical or classic, whichever suits best.
And it's completely possible there may be a turquoise pompom in my near future ...

    Pattern | Wyndfael Mitts

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Hello, I missed you!

My Sister's Knitter - Mon, 09/23/2019 - 02:02
Hello loves! Summer will be over by the end of the day, I couldn't think of a better time to return to a regular blogging schedule than the beginning of Fall. Hello and how have you been? How was your Summer? Are you ready for the knitting frenzy that Fall... Andi
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