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Archive for January, 2019

I’ve been on a knitting roll that is about to come to an abrupt end. The projects seemed to roll off my needles easily but now I am embarking on masochistic knitting projects and they won’t be flying off my needles so effortlessly.

The last of the knitting roll projects is finished.

log cabin gloves knitting free pattern

log cabin gloves knitting back side

These are a free pattern from Fringe Association called Log Cabin Mitts. They were fun to knit. The yarn is Shelter from Brooklyn Tweed in the colorways Iceberg, Tartan and Almanac. The second picture shows the front and palm of the mitt. They are sturdy and warm. The best knitting attribute is that the thumb gusset is a pleasure to work. No fiddly gusset here. I am studying the construction of the thumb gusset to see if I can adapt it to other mitts I might make in the future.

This morning I had a surprise visitor waiting for me on the back patio.

barred owl

It’s a Barred Owl. Although I have heard owls I have never seen one in the wild. This is my first. I was so happy. I snapped him with my phone camera, but wished I had my Canon camera to do him more justice. He’s a kind of cool persona. He let me come out and talk with him and he didn’t fly away or get upset. I’d love to see him again.

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I completed the first of my masochistic knitting projects.  Setzer by Brooklyn Tweed in the flannel colorway. It’s a cowl and worked in the round with short rows.

setzer cowl brooklyn tweed shelter yarn

I liked the lines of this cowl and was intrigued with doing short rows in the round. Basically anything with short rows interests me but doing it in the round would surly add to the masochistic nature of the project. And it did: wonderfully.

I ripped back a total of three times. Continually getting turned around on the second set of short rows. As I always tell myself in these circumstances: “Read the instructions carefully.” Don’t just read them and plug in your assumptions of what they are not specifically saying. Read and follow what is written and that which is not written will become clear at some point before madness strikes. It usually works out fine.

I would definitely make another one of these only I’d alter it to sit closer to the neck and allowed to be pulled over the nose and mouth if needed.

Up on the needles now are the “infernal” socks. These have been being knitted for years and are truly masochistic knitting. They don’t have short rows but the pattern of lace roses is quite the challenge. I’ve already changed the ssk to skp, and altered the way I knit the purl stitch that immediately follows the yarn over in two rows. Which means on the following rows I need to remember I did a different kind of purl stitch and need to reseat the yos all the while counting decreases and remembering what row I am on. In short, they are not mindless knitting. I have never used a life line for a sock but for this one it is a must. I couldn’t bear having to rip them back and begin again. That would be padded cell time for me.

As if all this is not enough knitting pressure I have spun and set the twist on the yarn for the knitted dress that is as small as a match stick. I am ordering the size US 000000 needles today. They are not much thicker than a sewing needle. It should be interesting.

On the spinning front I have some corriedale I want to spin into sock yarn (LOL). The difference between merino fiber and corriedale is the same as soft fluff and iron. I will be trying to figure out how to handle the corriedale and then give it a go on my spindle. In the meantime I have developed a slight hankering for a spinning wheel. Who knew a spinning wheel could cost the same as a down payment on a house? Further there is a long list of maintenance that needs to be done on a wheel where as my spindle I just pick up and twirl. I must stop eyeing spinning wheels on the computer, though one by Schacht has caught my eye. I am now going to wrestle with the corriedale.

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If you love a big cozy shawl then Sprig of Hope shawl is a must knit.

sprig of hope hand knit shawl

The lace pattern is bold enough to be visible and not  get lost amid a yarn with multiple colors in it. I used Madeline Tosh DK with size US 8 (5 mm) circular needles. The colorway is Firewood. I loved the knitting and the lace edging is simple to follow. It is a delightfully cozy shawl and I love wrapping myself up in it on cold nights.

I would like to say that the knitting gods left me alone during this knit but that would not be the truth. When I completely finished the shawl and laid it out for blocking I realized I’d dropped a stockinette stitch. How I managed this is a wonder. It should have been immediately recognizable while I was knitting. But the gods had other plans.

Wanting to impale myself on my knitting needles I ran through the other options I had.  First, my perfectionist self said let the shawl dry then rip it back the full two-thirds to where the mistake was and reknit from there. This thought stayed with me for quite awhile as I stared at the dropped stitch. It turned what was to be a relaxing day into one where my blood pressure pounded at my temples.

Next came the small voice of sanity. Fix the mistake by using a crochet needle to weave the dropped stitch up and then securely sew the free loop to the back of the shawl. It took me all of 15 minutes to do this and the mistake is not visible from the front nor is the sewing obvious in the back. Even better, it is not a weak point in the knitting. I’ve been wearing the shawl often and it is still holding strong.

The next picture has nothing to do with the shawl. It is Yarn Rascal in his holiday bow-tie.

yarn rascal in holiday bow tie

What he is staring at is The Skipper who came in to the room holding a skein of merino yarn that Yarn Rascal hadn’t molested seen yet. It was to be one of his holiday presents. Let’s just say he got that particular present early.

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