March 05, 2018

Herringweave Complete

I started my Herringweave, by Anne Hanson, back in November.  I can generally knit an adult  size sweater in about a month.  This one was the exception.  The intricate herringbone pattern made it difficult to get into a smooth, knitting rhythm.  Needless to say, here it is . . . 4 months later, and I am just now finishing it up. 

This was my problem a few weeks ago, I had added back too many stitches on this buttonhole, causing it to flair out.  It was not a good look.  I had created a sewn bindoff (a first for me), so it took hours and hours to unpick it.  In addition, it completely ruined the length of yarn, which I was short on anyway.  But . . . it was well worth the effort.
You can see here, that I didn't have enough yarn to complete the buttonbands, so I had to rip out my swatch to complete them.  Thank Heavens, I had a swatch, the buttonbands still were no as wide as I preferred, but sometimes you have to take what you get.

The much improved buttonholes with the sweater unbuttoned and completely buttoned up.  The sweater was knit of Wollemeise DK, in the color Grundfink.  This is my "desert island" yarn, and it is hard for me to chose anything else.  It is so smooth to knit with, the colors are so vibrant, and it wears like iron.  There is very little pilling that happens with this yarn.

As on all sweaters I knit, I learned some great new things on this sweater (which always makes it hard for me to go back wear my old ones).  As always, I did a thorough search on Herringweaves knit by others on Ravelry.  This is such a great resource.  I looked for problems others may have had with the pattern, the yarns they had chosen, and any suggestions they might have for future knitters.  This helped me to know how the pattern would knit up in my beloved Wollemeise.  I also looked at the button sizes used by others, and any modifications they might have made.  Since I was also working from a Custom Fit Pattern, I knew it would fit, but I wanted to get the best possible look.

As I was planning my next project, I came across a finished sweater in the Custom Fit Groups, knit by Jankee.  In her comments, she gave specifics on how she achieves the perfect buttonband.  I used all of her recommendations for this sweater, on how to knit the buttonband, how to place the buttonholes, the best possible size of buttons, and how to properly sew a shank button using a Lucifer, and placing a small button on the wrong side.
Wow, what a difference these things made.  I'll never knit a buttonband any other way.  It really reduces gapping when a sweater is buttoned all the way up.  She also recommended using a sewn bindoff, for its stretchiness and the nice clean edge it provides.  It is time-consuming, but well worth the time (even when you have to unpick it).  I highly recommend her method.

I've nearly finished the fronts of my next project, which is basically a copy of Mousy Tail Clone, by Jankee.  There is not a pattern for this sweater, but using a Custom Fit Pattern, you really don't need one.  All of her suggestions have made it easy sailing on this one.
Since my last post, I've spent some time with my Mother and Sisters, celebrating a milestone Birthday for my Mom.  It was a great evening spent with a great view of the Salt Lake Valley.  These are some of the most valued people in my life.  They are the ones I whine to, cry with, ask for advice, and best of all . . . laugh with.  I hope you all have people like this in your life.  All though it helps to calm and center us, knitting is not always the only solution.  HAPPY KNITTING . . . . . .

February 21, 2018

January -- Blahhhh

January is not always the best month for me . . . and now that February is on it's way out, I can talk about it.  Here in SLC, January is when we experience the worst "air quality".  In fact, we are often ranked as having the worst "air quality" in the country during this time.  We live in a bowl, surrounded by mountains.  The mountains are beautiful, but at this time of year you cannot even see them.  The cold air in the bottom of the bowl and the warm air above, traps all of the pollution down where we live and breath.  As if January weren't drab enough . . . 

My Herringweave sweater continues, and like January, it has some issues.

I'd like to think every sweater I knit, gets better and better . . . and that is generally the case, as I learn new tips and tricks to make them more and more perfect.  However, although I've learned some great new tricks for buttonholes and button bands, I need to be more careful about the number of stitches I add back in for the buttonholes.  You can easily see that I've added too many on this buttonhole, causing it to flair out.  Another new trick I've learned is a sewn bindoff, which is the technique I have used here.  This sewn bindoff is super stretchy, and still lays really flat.  A great trick, except it takes hours and hours to sew.  This would not be a problem, if I didn't need to tear it all out to fix the buttonhole!

In addition, I ran out of yarn before I could add the buttonband.  I had to rip out my swatch (thank heavens I had one), and soak the yarn for reknitting.  Therefore, my buttonband is not near as wide as I would prefer.
The lighting in this picture makes the yarn color look completely different, but you can see that I've got all of the pieces sewn together, and after setting it aside for a week, or so, I'm ready to start ripping back.  Wish me luck. . . .
As long as I'm whining, I thought I'd show you how my new dishes arrived, via UPS.  I've been wanting to purchase these everyday dishes for a while now, and I finally took the plunge.  I ordered two sets of 4 place settings of these stoneware dishes.  I loved the natural pottery look to them, and thought they would be great for everyday use.  All arrived fine, with the exception of this salad plate.  I couldn't bring myself to pack the entire set back up and try to ship it back to the manufacturer, so I simply called Target.  Here is one bright spot . . . Target sent me a $10 gift card so I could go to my local store and replace the single, $4.00 plate.  Target is the BEST!
January and February also brought the 80th birthdays of my parents, so we hosted a big party for my Dad, and a non-party/Valentines Dinner for my Mom.  I purchased this cute banner from a dear friend, who has the cutest, hand-sewn items in her etsy shop:  The Brass Button Shop.  You should check it out, she makes very high-quality items out of the cutest fabrics.
I also added two greenery wreaths to my french doors.  I attached them to the metal doors using magnetic hooks.  The perfect solution.  Since we removed the curtains, I have loved the light that comes into the room, but that end of the room always looked so plain.  I think the wreaths are the perfect addition.  Sorry you have to look at my covered patio furniture out on the deck.
My Husband's friend made this long, wooden tray for us, so during my disappointment period on the Herringweave, I knit up some stuffed hearts for Valentine's Day.  Look closely, they actually are hearts in several Valentine colors.
I also started my new project.  I'm not sure what I'll call this sweater, as I'm trying to copy a sweater knit by "Jankee".  I just love her designs, and she teaches me so much.  She didn't produce a pattern for this sweater, but she added lots of tips on her Ravelry page.  I have the back finished, and I'm hoping the final product will look like a version of this:
Winter seems to be in it's final stages here, so I'm hoping Spring is just around the corner.  We've started a bit of ground prep for our Summer garden, and I've grudgingly started a bit of Spring cleaning.  Our pantry has been a huge mess for several years now.  Hopefully, getting this room cleaned out, will motivate me to move on to a few other messy rooms in our house.  One thing is for sure, I'll always be knitting.  Happy Knitting . . .

January 11, 2018

Time to Knit Herringweave

You may remember from a previous post, that I am currently knitting "Herringweave", by Anne Hanson.
I started back in mid-October.  Generally cardigans I knit for myself takes about 30 days to complete.  This one is taking a bit longer.  I work full-time and have all the general responsibilities of a Wife/Mother/Grandmother, so none of that has changed my knitting time.  This pattern is just bit more complicated.  There is no easy knitting rhythm to settle in to.  When knitting on the right-sides, every stitch taken must be carefully watched, to prevent mistakes. I love Anne Hanson's patterns.  They are always have a unique stitch pattern, and that is what I love about this design, so I think is will be worth it.

I've finally got the front and back on the blocking boards, and the perfect buttons selected.  When I left for a little trip to Texas, during the Christmas break, I was sure that sleeves would easily be finished during nearly a full week endless knitting.  That was not the case.  I'm still knitting away, but haven't even reached the underarm decreases yet.  

This little cabin on the lake is where we stayed for a much needed rest.  It was quiet and beautiful, and you can see my knitting sitting on the chair.  We spent 7 restful days at a ranch near San Antonio, while my husband, daughter and son-in-law did some hunting.  Even though I didn't reach my knitting goal, I had a wonderful time.  The Ranch Owners are fabulous people, and made us feel so welcome, with lots of comfort food and some historical home tours.

We even managed to make a little day trip to visit my nephews, who just moved there, and to the Magnolia Market Silos in Waco.  Both were so fun to see.

The holidays are always so full of fun and family, but now that January is here, it is time for some New Year planning.
Here is my upcoming knitting project.  This is Rohrspatz & Wollmeise DK, in the color: "O RH Negative."  I thought it really funny that the color was actually a bloodtype.  The yarn does look like blood.
My plan is to make a "Custom Fit" version of this sweater, which belongs to Jana Jankeena.  She hasn't written a pattern for this design, but she has given some direction on her Ravelry page about how she did it.  I'm really excited to give it a try.  I have knit one of her patterns before, and it was amazing.  She combines both hand and machine knitting in her sweaters.
January also brings my husband's birthday, and he likes to celebrate with a night on the town with our adult children and teenage grandchildren.  This is our annual group selfie, which is always taken on an escalator.  This works really well, until we all pile-up at the bottom.
It was really cold that night in SLC, and my two oldest daughters both chose to wear their matching coats and hats.  Who do you think knit those hats?

I hope 2018 brings you great success in your knitting projects and the rest of your lives.  Happy Knitting!!

December 12, 2017

Warning -- a non-knitting post

It has been a long time coming . . . in fact it has been 10 years in the making, but we have finally finished the re-vamping of our kitchen.

Painted cabinets, walls and furniture; new granite countertops; a new sink; hardwood floors; and a custom built barn door.  I just love it!  Here are some pictures of all the new, along with some of our old, that I still love, such as:  the teacup chandelier, the magnetic spice rack, my pumpkin dishes, and a great cutting board.  Otherwise, the wall art, the window blinds, and everything else is new.  We carried the wood flooring into the living room and up the stairs into the hallway.

This is the Christmas version of our decorating, but you get the idea.  Many THANKS to Tyler for the great granite counters.  And to Kevin, Hunter & Trever, for helping Steve lay the floor and for crawling around in the attic to move the electrical.  And especially to Steve for doing everything else, including using his alpaca shears to cut-down the nap of our new entryway rug, which was too tall to accommodate the opening of the front door.  He can always turn my poor judgment in purchasing into a "WIN".  I am so happy with everything!

Speaking of our alpacas . . . we have 16 now (12 females and 4 males).  Last Sunday morning, we took these two little cuties out to feed them.  They were so brave, and hand-fed little treats to them through the fence.  You can see we were all ready for church and we really enjoyed our time with them.

No knitting talk this time . . . although my "Herringweave" cardigan is coming along nicely.  I'm about to start the decrease for the arm scythes on the front pieces.  We'll be travelling after Christmas, which will be the perfect time to finish it up.  Have a Merry Christmas . . . and I'll be back in the New Year.

November 15, 2017

Gift Knitting

Every year at Christmas, I have a long list of Christmas gift knitting to do.  This year has been no exception.  Thanksgiving will be here soon, and this is what I have completed, so far:

Three pair of Lumberjack Socks, by: tincanknits.  I found this pattern last year, and knit two pair for my husband's birthday.  He has loved them, so gift socks were knit for this season.  Each pair is planned for different friend.  They are all knit of Berroco Vintage DK.

Maris Stella Lace Shawl, by Anna Victoria, to be gifted to another dear friend, and presented with a Treble Clef Shawl Pin.  This was a fun knit on a long circular needle.  It was my first experience with gradient yarn.  Knit of KnitPicks Stroll in the color - Sea You Later.  It was really fun to watch the colors slowly change, as you knit along.

I've started a new cardigan too.  Currently, my favorite sweater designer is Anne Hanson.  Of my collection of hand-knit sweaters, Leaving, is the sweater that I wear the most.  So I've decided to knit another of Anne's designs, Herringweave.
I thought this was the most beautiful design, and I've chosen to knit it out of Wollemeise DK, in the color Grunfink.  There is a man's pullover style included, and if I'm happy with mine, I plan to knit one for my husband too.  The Herringbone stitch pattern in unlike anything I've ever knit, and I just love the way it looks and feels.  Here is what I have knit of the back, so far:

It is always so fun to try something new.  There is no chance of growing bored with this one.  Anne is truly a knitting wizard.

Pictures of my newly updated kitchen are still to come.  We are having wood floors installed in the breakfast area and living room in the next few weeks, so everything is a complete mess right now.  This is the final step, and I just can't wait to decorate for Christmas.  We will be travelling to our daughter's house for Thanksgiving, which is a good thing, because I couldn't cook a thing at my house right now.

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to all of my readers.

November 09, 2017


It is the end of a very busy Summer, and as things are settling into a slower, colder, season, I'm feeling the neglect of this little Blog.  Although I've been away for over a year, I haven't even once slowed down on my knitting (the passion of my lifetime).

Here is what I have been doing . . .

Just before Thanksgiving last year, I went on a week-long vacation with my sisters and Mom to Park City.  If you are a skier, you've probably been there before, and you know that it is a little, old mining town turned high-end ski resort.  We stayed at the Marriott resort and spent the week shopping in their little boutiques, cooking together, crafting, and laughing.  It was a great time for us to spend together.  In one of those boutique shops, I ran into the most beautiful, fashion knits.  The one thing that really caught my eye, was a hand-knit ski hat with a real fur pom-pom.  The hat was $250.00 (a little rich for my tastes).

When we returned home, I couldn't stop thinking about those cute ski hats, so I went on a search on the Internet for real fur pom poms.  I found the most beautiful, raccoon pom poms, I ordered them and I was "off to the races". Here they are, one for each of my daughters and grand-daughter.

They were really fun to knit, and at the end of the season I was even able to make one for me.  However, there were no raccoon pom-poms left, so mine is gray with a gray rabbit pom-pom.

For Christmas gifts for my grand-children I made each of them a pillowcase with their name appliqued on.  This with a new pillow was the perfect gift.  I made 11 of them.  9 for our grandchildren and a set for my husband to use when he is hunting.
I also tried out a little "wool applique", making this pumpkin pillow from a kit, for my kitchen bench.  Although that bench looks completely different now, since we have changed-up our kitchen during the Summer (pictures of finished product to come).  I worked on this pillow while we were on a hunting trip to Texas, where I also knit Lumberjack Socks  for my husband's birthday.

Then I launched into the knitting of a Derica Kane Sweater, and an  Effervescence Cardigan.  Both knit in conjunction with a Custom Fit Pattern.

Well, that should certainly be enough over-load for now . . . but, I'll be back soon, with pictures of my newly styled kitchen, my Summer knitting projects, and what I'm working on now.