Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Beth is very excited about the prospect of seeing lots of kids tonight. We didn't see many at the townhouse so we're hoping it's different at the new house.

There is a new yarn from Classic Elite coming next week.
100% wool
90m (98 yards) on a ball
4.5-5 stitches = 4" on 4.5mm - 5mm needles
Brights and darker shades combine beautifully in this pure wool self striping aran weight yarn.

The patterns will be available in a book or you can purchase them individually on Ravelry.

Beth was able to get some sample balls from Classic Elite and has been busy. 
The yarn works great in an Inspira Cowl. She did the Steampunk Version, 5mm needles and 108 stitches. She has more balls and is making a scarf. Self striping yarn makes her happy.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Free pattern

We all love free patterns. And especially free patterns from Rowan.
Knit this  relaxed fit ladies cardigan, available as a free download. Designed by Sarah Hatton using Brushed Fleece its simplicity make it a quick knit project suitable for a beginner.
Download the pattern...
Brushed Fleece is a super soft blend of extra fine merino wool and baby alpaca. The yarn has a soft marl colour effect and is quick to knit making it very wearable, warm and lightweight.
I have a poncho in Brushed Fleece. The yarn isn't heavy but it will keep you warm.

There are 4 new colours of Brushed Fleece that haven't made it onto the website yet. These would all look great in the cardigan.
263 Cairn
264 Loch
265 Moss
266 Heather

It's going to be a two post day. I spent the morning at home waiting for a special delivery. While waiting I wrote about the new yarn from Louisa Harding. Then I found the free pattern on Rowan's website.

Now I'm back in the store doing mail orders and while I'm waiting for the printer to finish I'm adding pictures of our new furniture. Thank you Urban Barn. It looks great. This is another reason for two posts. Mom and dad are in Myrtle Beach and they won't be home for a bit to see our furniture. This way my mom can see pictures.
The side board was ordered from a black and white computer print out so I'm very happy with how it looks in real life.

This was the first distillery table that the delivery men had set up and they had no clue how it went together. Thankfully I had pictures of the table in the store so they could see how the legs and extra pieces joined.
We are waiting for a bench for this side of the table and there will be a third chair for the other side. For the ends we want to get different, kind of funky chairs. We've watched way too many episodes of Property Brothers and are picking up some of their ideas.

Now Beth and I are off to Mississauga. Our friend Bev is skydiving tonight at iFly. I can't wait to see this.

Amitola Grande

We have a new yarn from Louisa Harding.

Amitola Grande is a luxurious silk and wool blend self-striping yarn. Beautiful gradating shades are presented in Aberfeldy, a dedicated publication of fourteen hand knitting patterns for garments and accessories, designs to inspire, create, wear.
80% wool
20% silk
100gram ball with 250m
18 stitches and 24 rows = 4" on 6mm needles
Here are the patterns in Louisa's book, Aberfeldy. 
Aberfeldy supports Louisa Harding's yarn subtle self-striping Amitola Grande with 14 timeless and romantic hand knitting projects. 
Suitable for all abilities of knitter. 
This stunning collections contains both garments and quick accessories. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Coors Cowl

It's cold out. It's rainy out. What a yucky day. It has me thinking that snow will be coming soon and I want some warm cowls. We live in the country now and the wind howls.
The Coors Cowl is a soft, squishy infinity scarf knit in Classic Elite Chalet. You can download the pattern for free...
The cowl is knit with 5 skeins of Chalet on 8mm needles.
Chainette yarns are well-deserving of their popularity...the construction simultaneously provides strength and lightness. Add a luxury fiber blend of baby alpaca and bamboo to that inherent lightness and you have Chalet, a decadently soft yarn with a lovely drape in a chunky weight from our MountainTop Collection of yarns spun from natural, undyed fibers
 Then Classic Elite brought out Chateau.
MountainTop Chalet's colorful cousin, Chateau is the same super-soft baby alpaca/bamboo blend with a chainette construction. It knits up quickly, which is perfect for last-minute holiday gifts. Any pattern written for Chalet will knit-up just as beautifully in Chateau.
These are the colours that I chose for my cowl. No, I'm not starting another project. Yarn is being shipped to Lynda today. She is very good at starting and finishing a project - unlike myself.

I was dragging a bit today. The baseball game went 14 innings last night. The good thing about a long game - a lot of knitting. After doing a touch of work, Survivor is waiting for us. And another baseball game. Please, no extra innings tonight. I need some sleep because tomorrow morning is all about accounting. UGH! Talk about putting someone in a bad mood. I'll be happy by the time I get to the store in the afternoon though. Our table and sideboard come tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I'm Inspired

My Inspira Cowl is finished and blocked. I really, really want to start another one. It was quick to knit and you get to see so many colours.
Pattern: Inspira Cowl (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Classic Elite Liberty Wool
Sample: 2 balls of 78109 and 1 ball of 78107
Needles: 5mm, 60cm
Version: Steampunk

How was the cowl blocked? After I finished knitting it, I put it in a bucket of cold water with a squirt of Soak. I let is sit for 15 minutes and then I dumped out the water. I gently squeezed the cowl to get out excessive water and then laid it out to dry. I didn't use pins and don't usually use them unless it's a lacy shawl. Twice a day I would rotate the cowl so that it wasn't folded in the same spot to dry. This can cause creases on the side.

I borrowed this from the Soak website about washing (blocking) your knits
cleaning your knits with soak
  • Check if it’s colour fast. Rub some Soak on a hidden part of your item and rinse after two minutes. If there’s no bleeding, you’re good to go.
  • Prepare yourself for some dirt. When you hand wash, you get a whole new perspective on the dirt and oil in your clothes – you’ll probably see it in the water, especially if you haven’t washed your piece in a while. If the water is really dirty, pour it out and soak a second time.
  • Don’t worry about colour. Gentle cleansers like Soak can pull excess dye out of knitted items. So if you see dye in the water, it’s okay. It won’t harm your item. It comes out of your clothes in the machine too, you just don’t see it there.
  • Get the water out. Squeeze out as much as you can, but be gentle. Don’t wring or twist it and don’t lift it up and let the weight of the water stretch it out. Roll it up in a clean towel to absorb water, or if your machine has a gentle spin cycle, just spin it away.
  • Lay it flat. Place the item on a towel, reshaping as you go (for the knitting-uninitiated, this process is called blocking). Lay it flat in a spot with good air circulation on all sides. Flip it over so it has a chance to dry on both sides.
  • Knitters, Soak your swatches. Measure your stitch count when the swatch has dried; the stitches will relax and the block will likely grow in size.
I was looking through pictures on my computer and found an Inspira Cowl that Beth knit. I just emailed her and asked if she knew where it was. I want it in the store :)

One last cowl. This sample that is hanging in the store.

Do I take balls home to start another one while watching the World Series tonight??

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Elbow River

Here is my Elbow River so far. I love the yarn. I love the pattern. I'm just not sure that the yarn is right for the pattern. However, as someone who doesn't like to quit or rip out, I'm going to keep going for a bit and see if I change my mind. I think the problem is that I haven't knit enough for the pattern to jump out at me. I guess that means signing off soon and picking up my needles.

When I was at TNNA in June, I ordered some cool mugs from Charan at Creative with Clay.
All my work is made from Stoneware. After the pieces are made, they get fired once in a bisque fire and then high fired with durable glazes that will not fade.

Food/dishwasher/microwave Safe!
Charan emailed me tonight and my order should be shipping to South Carolina next week. Mom and dad will bring them home at the beginning of December. Right now I have their vehicle very full.
There are new yarn bowls coming as well. Lots of new in time for Christmas.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Elbow River

Heidi Kirrmaier has a new shawl pattern - Elbow River. I emailed her the minute I saw it to ask permission to use her pictures. The shawl is beautiful!

I've knit one of her patterns and own many more. This pattern is 6 pages long - of course it's in my Ravelry library. Heidi writes out every row making it very easy to follow. I cross out each row as I do it and then I always know where I am. Especially if I set it aside for a while.
The design lends itself to being worked either in one yarn - ideally, one that is heavily variegated or self striping - or in a few different colours, perhaps using remnants of sock yarns you have at hand. You can use 4 colours and change them as provided in the pattern, or use as many colours as you like and make stripes any way your heart desires. No matter which you choose, the 3D “stepped” (or “elbow”?) effect will shine through! The pattern includes a few blank diagrams which can be printed and coloured in, if you would like to test your colour choices.

For the blue sample shown, I chose colours that remind me of the different seasons that fall upon the Elbow River. The water is always clean, clear and cold, whether it’s being fed by melting glaciers in the spring, flowing more slowly in the arid summer months, reflecting low autumn sunlight, or frozen over during the depths of winter.
Make sure you take a spin around Heidi's Ravelry shop before you purchase...
If you purchase 4 or more patterns from my Ravelry Shop at the same time (add them all to your cart before you check out), you automatically receive a 20% discount.
The pattern is purchased, I've chosen my yarn and I've started.

Yesterday I talked about the new Knitter's Pride needles. I'm liking the needles more and more as I work with them. They are quite pointy which is helpful when I am making 1 left and making 1 right. 

I'm about 60 rows into the shawl but there won't be any pictures tonight. I waited too long to go outside and the colours aren't right. Then I tried inside and the colours aren't right. I'll get one in day light tomorrow. What yarn did I chose? Fiberstory Fave Sock. 

You don't need to be an advance knitter to make this. As long as you can cast on, knit, purl and make a stitch then you are good to go.

Now I'm heading back to the River. Another football game tonight and Homeland. This season is getting good. I don't want to talk about it and spoil it if you haven't started watching yet but the last episode ended in a nail biter.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Inspira Cowl

One of my favourite cowls to knit is the Inspira Cowl. It is knit with two colours of yarn and my yarn of choice is Liberty from Classic Elite. The yarn stripes so it looks like you're working with many colours but you are really only knitting with two colours in a row.
The pattern is free on Ravelry...
Inspira Cowl is worked in the round on circular needles. Corrugated ribbing is used, where two different coloured yarns are stranded across each round. The ribbing height varies throughout for each of the three cowl options. After two plain knit rows, the corrugated ribbing pattern shifts, or is staggered, i.e., previous knit columns become purl columns. This graphic shift of colour & texture is what gives Inspira it’s dynamic flow.
Our samples are the Steampunk version. We cast on 138 or 144 stitches and worked straight - no decreases to bring it in. You need 2 balls of the background colour (knits) and 1 ball of the contrast (purls).
I knew that I needed no concentration knitting for the baseball game last night so I started a new one.
The plan was to finish it during tonight's game. I guess I'll be working on it while watching something else.

And I'm using new needles. The newest limited edition needle set from Knitter's Pride has arrived.
I'm not the biggest fan of wooden needles (ok, I'm an addi snob) but I really like these with the brass tips. I'm actually using two different sizes (there is another new project but I'm saving that for tomorrow) and both are working well. The yarn is not catching on the join or on the tip on either size.

The set is $148.50. We have one set left in stock and more should arrive during the week.

Now it's time to rest. It was a late night last night and then a crazy busy day in the store - there isn't a complaint there. We like it crazy busy. Rainy and cool makes people think about knitting. Beth is picking up pizza so I have an easy evening in front of me. Hopefully I get the cowl finished and then I can get more rows done on my secret project to show tomorrow.