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!!

February 10, 2016

I'm BACK

Since my last post . . . life has been nothing but crazy.  I've still been knitting, but haven't accomplished a great deal that I could blog about.

So here goes . . . an explosion of what has been happening in my life over the past 4 months:
In October Stevey Quinn joined our family.  She was a few weeks early, and born by emergency C-Section.  She weighed barely 5 lbs., and although tiny, she was healthy and strong.
Here is my oldest (13 years) and youngest (2 days) Grand-daughters.  I'm just crazy about them both.
This is what she looks like today.  She is up to nearly 11 lbs.  She is just a sweet, happy little girl.  We just love her!

At our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, these 3 all chose to wear their Robin Hood Sweaters.  It was a cool evening, and I'm sure they were the warmest of us all.  Stevey wore her pumpkin suit too.
This is the pumpkin my Husband chose.  I thought it looked rather strange, when we purchased it, but he always has a vision. . . . . .  He loves to carve pumpkins, and this one was just in time for the release of the new Jurassic Park Movie.  A dinosaur and a happy zucchini.
During the Summer, my daughter found a piano, free for the taking.  Dear old Dad was asked to drive to another city and pick it up.  It was stored in her sister's garage for several months, while she worked on it during her trips to visit us.  In November, it was finally finished.  We borrowed a box truck with a lift, and delivered it to her home in Idaho.  It looks great in her home, and her oldest daughter has started piano lessons, but I think Dad is finished with the moving business.
My "Knit Night" group has been participating in a knit-a-long of the "Tolt Folded Bag", by Veronik Jobe.  The bags are knit from a thick tee-shirt yarn on really large needles.  This is Joan and Percy, with their finished bags.  Others are still working on their's, and I hope to have more pictures soon.
I finished "Movie Poncho", pattern by rix-striserier.  I love it.  It is the perfect thing to throw on, when going to the movies, where it is always cold, and it frees up your arms, so you can always reach the popcorn.
My next project was Vertical Impressions, by Jana Jankeena.  Knit from Wolmeisse, in the color Spinaci, with a planned owl lace design running up the back from the "Ginny Cardigan" from the Harry Potter Knits Collection, and designed by Mari Chiba.  Christmas knitting threw this project completely off-track.  It is now February, and I am still knitting away on the neckband for this sweater.  I am on the homestretch, and should have pictures for my next post.

In late November, my iron scarecrow frame turned into a Bride for the Bridal Shower I hosted for my Nephew's future Bride.  It was a fun afternoon, and their wedding was the funnest affair, with the best Korean food I've ever eaten. 
The scarecrow was replaced with this snowman, at Christmas-time.  He stood guard over our house on through to the last day of January.  It was sad to take him down, and look forward to Valentine's Day.

This is what held up my knitting project.  I knit 15 pairs of these fingerless gloves as Christmas gifts.  They were fun to knit "Leaves" Fingerless Gloves, by Valentina Georgieva, from all of the scraps of yarn I had laying around, but 15 pairs was enough to kill me.  I won't be knitting those again soon!!
My favorite teenager got braces for her birthday.  She is looking really cute!
Mini-Me made this cute Christmas Tree to help her with learning her shapes.  She was so proud of it.

  
2016 arrived with BANG.  I spent the evening with these little cuties, playing games and eating lots of yummy food.


In January, Baby Stevey was blessed.  I made her dress, even though it is a bit hard to see in this picture.  It was crocheted from a doll pattern, her Mother found on Pinterest.  She was so cute!
Emery made these yummy Valentine's cookies for my recent "Knit Night".  We had a fun evening, and the cookies were delicious.  Several of the ladies were knitting these darling Christmas Stockings, with the names knit right in.  I'll hope to have some pictures to share when they finishing them up next month.

The twins are 9 months old now, and getting into everything.  We feel so blessed to have 9 healthy grandchildren, and we hope there are still some to come . . .

Now that the Holidays have passed, I'm back knitting on my owl sweater.  I know this has been a bit of overload, but I plan to get back to regular blogging now that my life has settled back down.  Happy Knitting . . . .