Tag Archives: wool

Aidez Check In

One of my favorite things about knitting cabled pieces is that you soon find a rhythm to the cable patterns.  Now that I’ve gotten two and a half repeats into the trellis chart of my Aidez cardigan, part of the #fringeandfriendsknitalong,  I can knit through most rows without checking the chart.  (Though I make sure to double check each time I’m doing a cable cross just to make sure I’m doing the right one!)  I modified the two rope cables that are alongside the center trellis pattern, as the pattern calls for double wrapping the purls on the row before you complete the cable cross so that the stitches are elongated.  I felt like mine were coming out kind of sloppy and so I just switched to a simple 2/2 left/right cross which doesn’t change the look all that much.

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I think as soon as I get tired of working these particular cables on the back piece, it will be time to start the fronts and sleeves, which are comprised of entirely new cable patterns.  Score another one for Team Seam because if I was working this as one seamless piece, I would probably be getting tired of all of the cables about now and still have a LOT of sweater left to knit.

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New Knitting Pattern: Wayfinder Mitts

photo by Nikki Mann

photo by Nikki Mann

I’m excited to announce that my Wayfinder Mitts knitting pattern is now available as a Ravelry download. Worked in Madelinetosh DK, each Wayfinder Mitt is cast on at the bottom edge and knit in the round. The top and bottom cuffs are worked in 2×2 rib, which stretches nicely to fit the wearer. The directional cables flow out of the ribbed cuff and are mirrored on the back of each hand. Thumb gussets are created by increases placed at the side of each mitt; after increasing, thumb stitches are placed on waste yarn and later picked up and worked in the round. Instructions are provided as both charted and written.

photo by Nikki Mann

photo by Nikki Mann

MATERIALS

DK weight wool yarn – approximately 115 yards/106 meters

Sample shown in Madelinetosh Tosh DK (100% superwash merino wool; 225 yards/206 meters/100 g) in the Antique Lace colorway on hands measuring 7.5″/19 cm in circumference.

US 6/4.0 mm (or size needed to obtain gauge) dpns, two circulars, or long circular for magic loop

Cable needle

3 Stitch markers

Tapestry needle for weaving ends

Waste yarn

GAUGE

22 sts by 30 rounds = 4”/10 cm in stockinette stitch

FINISHED SIZE

8”/20.5 cm long by 7”/17.75 cm in circumference (unstretched) to fit hands measuring 6.5″/16.5 cm to 8″/20.25 cm in circumference.

Visit the Ravelry pattern page here or buy now.

photo by Nikki Mann

photo by Nikki Mann

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Grey Day

When Joey and I were first dating, he told me his favorite color was grey and I thought he was mad.  (My favorite color at the time was cobalt blue).  “How can your favorite color be grey?  Grey isn’t really even a color.”

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Fast forward 17 (!!) years later and things have changed yet not changed.  Joey’s wardrobe consists of mostly greys, with some black and navy thrown in for good measure.  If you ask him his favorite color I am positive he would still answer with grey.  Me, I have nary a bit of cobalt blue around anymore, save for a set of baking dishes that were a wedding gift; a throwback to our early days.  Over the years I’ve most certainly come around to grey as a color.  Without even knowing it was happening, it might have just become my favorite color too.  I was yarn shopping with a friend the other day and she commented that when it comes to yarn, I almost always go for greys and I realized she was absolutely right.

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Today the sky is grey as grey can be and although I am a bit tired of cold grey weather, I’m not tired of grey the color.  Not even a little bit.

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Cold Snap

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I just lost an entire week to a cold. I was sick back in March with bronchitis and a sinus infection that had started out as an innocent little cold just like this one, so I tried to take it easy this time and get lots of rest. One night, Joey made me a spectacular hot toddy with ginger that warmed me up and soothed my sore throat. I tried to get lots of knitting done, but my cold medicine haze (and perhaps the whiskey from the toddy) had an undesirable effect on my knitting. I’ve now had to rip back a weeks’ worth of work because it just wasn’t right. Let this be a lesson to us knitters: never design under the influence. I’m back on track with my health and my knitting now and I think this design is going to be awesome.

We’ve also had our first real cold snap with lots of rain and temps in the low 50s. Joey and I were out and about this weekend and got caught in a downpour without an umbrella. We got so drenched running to our car and I came thisclose to slipping in a giant mud puddle. When we finally got in the car and slammed the doors shut, we just looked at each other and laughed. We went home and I made warm potato soup for dinner which was just perfect. Chilly weather, warm soup, knitting wooly things, and laughter with my love. I’m glad that fall is here.

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Insta September

Insta september

Wow. I can’t believe it’s almost OCTOBER. Looking back at some of my Instagram snaps from September, I can see why the month passed by so quickly. Joey and Midlake are gearing up for the release of their new album* and just completed a mini-tour of the Southwest which ended with a two-night-stand of performances in our hometown. We also received a test vinyl pressing of the album and sat down with a glass of wine and listened to it in its entirety. It was a nice way to celebrate the end results of a lot of hard work. The band also has a feature article in the October issue of MOJO Magazine and proud wife that I am, I kept harassing the poor people at Barnes and Noble by calling them almost every day to ask if they’d gotten it in stock yet. It has finally arrived and I snagged a copy this week.

Knitting and design-wise I’ve been squeezing in a bit of stitching whenever I can, during my lunches at work and early on Saturday mornings with my coffee. I’m working on the Rekaviður hat pattern by Bristol Ivy and its coming out really nice. I also spent a day knitting with a couple of my lady friends, getting them both up and running on some fun fall knitting projects. I’m looking forward to a couple of calm days where I can work on a new design using some lovely Quince and Co Owl and all I can say is that THERE WILL BE CABLES.

I’ve really been enjoying the change of the seasons lately, even though its a rather slight change here in Texas. The skies are darker and darker every morning as I’m leaving for work and the evenings have a bit of a cool breeze wafting about. I’m very excited for fall to get here, and I’ll be clicking my needles making something warm and wooly when it arrives.

(*Antiphon is out in the US via ATO Records on November 5th and in the UK via BellaUnion on November 4th. You can pre-order it here and I highly recommend you check it out. It’s AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL.)

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A Crafty Saturday

The Autumnal Equinox arrived this weekend, and here in Texas we finally felt the first break from our 90+ degree heat. Saturday was such a lovely day with temps in the 60s in the morning and peaking in the mid 80s in the afternoon. I met up with some lady friends for a nice brunch and all around crafty day.

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We stopped by The DIME Store, a brick and mortar store born out of the Etsy Denton collective. DIME (Denton Independent Maker Exchange) opened up shop this spring and I have been really wanting to visit and take a peek at their handmade wares.

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These burlap pillows by Home Again were really cute, and even though the “I heart US” is surely referring to the United States, I really loved the idea of a pillow that says “I love Us” referring to the identity of a couple.

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There were some really adorable bags and clutches made by Rachel Elise that I was too busy drooling over to get a picture of and these cute little knitted baby hats by Cassie Arnold Art.

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Afterwards, we went back to my friend Felicia’s house for a little bit of knitting ourselves. Felicia cast on for a Hill Country Hat, and Bri started up a slightly modded version of my Infinity Cowl pattern, having given the one she previously knit away to a good friend.

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We had such a good time talking knitting all day and I look forward to seeing their finished knits.

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Baby’s Primary Blankie

My sister in law Heather is expecting, and I’ve been working behind the scenes on something for my new little nephew to snuggle in when he arrives:

Healy'sBlanket

 

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Healy'sBlanket3

A bright and warm blankie for someone who is sure to be a bright and warm little boy.

 

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Creative Reuse: Yarn-Wrapped Jars

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I’ve collected quite a few of these glass jars over the years, thinking they were too useful to just toss into the recycle bin.  I use them for drinking glasses, loose change catch-alls, bud vases and of course, storage for my double pointed knitting needles.  I decided to snazz these up a bit with a little leftover yarn.  It’s super quick and easy- I just taped the beginning of the yarn towards the top of the jar and then used  small dot of super glue to secure at the bottom end.  Hooray for reusing instead of tossing and hooray for sprucing things up with wool!

 

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Whiskey and Wool

I am working on a sort-of secret knitting project right now; a gift for someone I love.   I realized yesterday that my deadline for finishing this gift is closer than I thought, so I’ve taken to working on it anywhere and everywhere.  Last night I even worked on it at the bar during happy hour.   A classic cocktail in one hand and my knitting in the other- it wasn’t a bad way to spend the evening!

knitting at Paschall

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Bunny Love: A Wool Story

I’ve shared stories before about the cottontail rabbits that live in the area near our house.  Joey and I are constantly seeing bunnies in our yard or in our neighbors’ yards, and we get such a kick out of all the bunny sightings.  Earlier this week Henry, our disinterested rabbit dog/lazy basset hound was sniffing around out back and he snuffled upon a bunny nest!

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About five or so teensy babies were cuddled together in a little burrow covered with dried leaves and grasses and bits of bunny fluff.  It has still been pretty cold in our area the past few nights and my heart was melting thinking about these tiny little buns in their nest, when I came up with an idea.  I remembered reading (and thoroughly enjoying) the Yarn Harlot’s stories about the wool-thieving squirrel that kept running off with bits of her freshly washed fleece any time she would leave it outside to dry in the sunshine.  I thought that if a squirrel appreciated the warmth and comfort wool could provide, that perhaps this mama bun might appreciate a little wool on these chilly nights as well.  After scouring my yarn cabinet for a colorful bit of wool roving, I quietly and carefully left it sitting near the nest.   All day yesterday while at work I was thinking about the baby bunnies and wondering if mama bun would appreciate the little wooly gift I left for her.  As soon as I got home, I  snuck a peek:

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The wool had been appreciatively snuggled down, insulating the entrance to the bunny burrow.  I lifted a leaf that was laying on top and got a glimpse of warm snuggly baby buns and my heart melted again.  Fellow wool-lovers, we’re on to something.

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