September 12, 2016

I'm back . . . . . .

Summer has been busy, busy, busy . . . . for me.  Thus, my neglect of blogging.  But I'm back, just in-time to dive into Fall and Christmas knitting.

You may think I've gone through a knitting slump, with the business of Summer, but that is never the case for me.  Whether vacationing, camping, or working like crazy at my full-time job or just in the garden . . . I am ALWAYS knitting.

Here are the sweaters I've been knitting on this Summer:
This short cardigan was based on "Flame Stitch Cardigan", designed by Shirley Paden.  The actual pattern came from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2005.  I knit mine of Wollemeise Twin in Rust.  I didn't like the way the pattern was written, so I took the flame stitch design, and created my own sweater design, with the ultimate goal to have a sweater that looked very similar to the original.  I'm really happy with the outcome.  It fits perfectly.  I knit the sweater to wear with a dress I received from my children for Mother's Day.  A black and creme batik print.  However, I ran out of yarn before I could knit the sleeves and ended up making it into a vest.  This could not be worn with the desired dress, so I spent most of the Summer waiting for more yarn to be dyed in the same color.  I guess I'll get more wear out of it next year.
This sweater came from a free pattern provided at the Knit, Wear, Love Retreat in Monterrey California.  It is "Curlew", designed by Amy Herzog.  Mine is knit of Shibui Knits Staccato and Shibui Knits Angora, held together, in the color Lime.  I thought I might have been a bit off on the fit, but now that I look at the picture of Amy in the pattern, mine has the perfect fit.  This sweater was knit from cuff to cuff.  A completely different method for me.  Knit in this direction, the sweater stretchiness is from top to bottom.  I'll have to get used to this, as if feels strange when you are wearing it.
This cardigan was based on "Sunshower Cardigan" designed by Andi Satterland and purchased through KnitPicks.  Mine is knit from Wollemeise Twin.  The pattern was constructed from the top down and I knit mine from the bottom up, thus border pattern is upside-down, but I'm fine with that.  It is another short cardigan and perfect to wear with summer dresses.  

The first Knit Night of the 2016-17 season was held on the first day of September.  We'll be knitting some cute little critters as our Knit-a-long this year.  Here is my little sample for the group.  It appears there will be monkeys, elephants, bears, mice and rabbits by the end of the year.  I'll be sure to share all of the pictures when they are finished.
This is what I'm knitting on right now.  It is "Derica-Cane", designed by Bonnie Marie Burns.  However, as usual, I'm only using the lace design from the pattern, and I'm creating my own bottom-up cardigan with the a Custom-Fit pattern.  For me, this is the perfect way to get a good fit.  I'm knitting with Wollemeise Pure in the color Seaside.
Despite all of the craziness this year, we were still able to fit in a trip to the Mountain Man Rendezvous in Ft. Bridger, WY.  We had a great time, and of course, I did a lot of knitting.
I'm gearing up to do some Christmas knitting for some of my smaller grandchildren.  This little cardigan is: "Gingersnap", designed by Kristen Rettig.  It is a free pattern, and perfect for using up all of the yarn scraps in your stash.  I'm planning four of these little darlings in a variety of colors.

Keep me posted on what you will be knitting for Christmas.  Happy Knitting!

April 29, 2016

Make, Wear, Love Knitting Retreat

A few weeks ago, my Mother and I travelled to Pacific Grove, CA to attend the Make, Wear, Love Knitting Retreat, sponsored by Amy Herzog.  I've been using Amy's Custom Fit software for several years now, and have loved the results I've gotten on sweaters I've knit for myself.  This made me so excited to finally be able to meet Amy and to take some classes from her.
The retreat setting was beautiful, at the Asilomar State Park on the Monterrey Peninsula.  It rained nearly the entire time we were there, but it was pretty just the same.

We took classes from Amy Herzog, Clara Parks, Julie Wiesenberger (Coco Knits), and Norah Gaughan.  The classes were fantastic!  In addition, there was a great fashion show, where everyone modeled their Custom Fit sweaters.
The meals were all included in the retreat cost, and the food was delicious.  We made so many new knitting friends, many of which I have been talking to in the Ravelry groups for years.  I was even a little starstruck, when Amy joined our table at lunch.  It was so fun to meet her in-person and to talk to her about her upcoming book and all of the new features to be added to Custom Fit.
The humidity made sure my hair was nice and straight, the entire time we were there, but I didn't care because I had the opportunity to meet some of the Bloggers I have been following for years.  Such as Kristen Rettig of "Knitionary", Kim McBrien Evans of "Indigo Dragonfly", and Leah of "Yarn Stylist".

Many thanks to "Wendy of Chicago".  It was so fun to meet you, and you made my day, with your compliments of the custom fit sweaters I modelled in the fashion show.  I hope to see you again, as I think we have a lot in common.
I learned so many new techniques and methods to add to my knitting.  One of my favorites was an English tailored shoulder for top-down sweater construction.  It is the perfect alternative to a raglan sleeve, or even a continguous shoulder, which I do not like (no stability to hold the garment on your shoulders).   The sample we started in class (Julie Wiesenberger's English Tailoring on Top-Down Sweaters), turned into this darling little cardigan for my Grand-daughter "Stevey".  I used the lace design on the cardigan to make her a matching bonnet.
I know it has been a while since I've blogged, but you may remember this Flame Stitch Cardigan that I had started.  It was to be a cropped, summer cardigan to wear with my sundresses.  I love the way it turned out, however, I ran out of yarn before sleeves could be knit.  I even had to pull apart my swatch to add the collar and arm bands.  As you can see, it is now a cropped vest.




Next in line, was the "The Sunshower Cardigan" by Andi Satterlund.  I loved the design of this cardigan, but didn't like the construction.  So, I have completely redesigned it, as a bottom-up cardigan, rather than the top-down, as written.  It is coming along, as I've just split for the armholes.
Here is my swatch.  It is knit of Wollemeise Pure.  I hope I have enough yarn for sleeves this time.  We'll see.

We are getting close to the end of the season for our Knit Nights.  The following are some of the completed projects from our group this year:






Some projects were knit, some crocheted, some quilted and some baked.  It has been a great year, and we have had a lot of laughs.  Next year our knit-a-long will be chosen from some cute little critters, like this bunny.  We'll be starting up again in September.  Everyone is invited.
In family news . . . my cute little twin grandchildren; "Zach and Zoey", just turned "1", along with moving into a brand new house.  

We are so excited for them.  Those little guys could unpack the boxes faster than they could be packed.  They are just two little disasters.  Zach is walking now, and Zoey can crawl faster than you could believe.  I wish their parents good luck in keeping their new house clean.  Happy Knitting . . .

February 25, 2016

Vertical Owls

This is where my "Vertical Owls" sweater was left, back in November, when Christmas gift knitting took over.  I didn't return to it, until December 23.  Since then, a few little projects have jumped in the way.
The fronts were completed by January 15.  Then it was on to sleeve island, for another 12 days.
 Then it took 16 days to knit the front/neck bands.
Then miles and miles of seams.  It is "Vertical Impressions", designed by Jana Jankeena. The pattern was beautifully written, right down to the smallest detail.  I incorporated the owl design from the "Ginny Cardigan", designed by Mari Chiba, into the back panel.  My sweater was knit from Wolmeisse DK, in the color Spinaci.
It is all finished now.  I'm so happy with the finished product.  It was really fun to knit, and using a Custom Fit pattern has given me the perfect fit.  You can see the body shaping built-into the sweater above.  I'll hope to post pictures of me wearing the sweater soon.  Wolmeisse has quickly become my all-time favorite yarn to knit with.  It provides such even stitch definition, and very little splitting.
This is "Alecia Beth", designed by Justyna Lorkowska, which I started back in September and finished up in October.  It is also knit of Wolmeisse Twin in the color Vamp.  This was a fun knit too, however, my excitement over knitting my first contiguous shoulder, had proven that a stabilized shoulder seam works better for me.  I have narrow shoulders and wide hips.  I've found that as the day goes on, the neck seems to grow larger and larger.  Although it was easy to knit from the top-down, all in one piece, I won't be using this method ever again.
It has been years since I've done any piecing and quilting.  My sister and I have decided to participate in a block-a-month group, at our local Bernina store.  I'm a bit out-of-practice, but have had so much fun piecing these first two blocks.  I'll keep you posted as each month, I add to the collection.  I do think the colors are a little off, and I'm hoping this doesn't drive me crazy.  We don't get to select our own fabrics, as we receive them in kits, along with the construction instructions.
This is my next project.  The "Flame Stitch Cardigan", from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2005.  I can easily see that the pattern is really poorly written. 
I've swatched in Wolmeisse Pure, on size US4 needles, and will basically be re-writing the entire pattern.  However, I love the flame stitch design, and felt it was worth the effort. I felt it was the perfect sweater to wear over summer dresses.  I'll be casting on today.

I'm finally back-on-track, and knitting away.  I hope your knitting life is going well too.  I'd love to see what you are working on, so add a picture to the comments section below. . . . . . Happy Knitting!!