Friday, April 27, 2012

Ellis and the Jigsaw

One of the most rewarding things about knitting for friends is seeing them enjoy what you've made.  It's always been my contention that what you make is to be used and not "put away for good".  Use them hard and put them away...faded!  That's my belief. 

You may remember that I was knitting the Jigsaw Afghan. It was a gift for a good friend who is a new grandma to a darling little boy named Ellis.  Today I was sent a picture of Ellis on the blanket.

What a cutie, he is.  I'm glad that I finished the afghan before he entered high school! 

By they way, there is a Ravelry knitalong for the Jigsaw afghan here

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's a Cakewalk

I've been learning something about myself lately.  I'm learning that I'm a sucker for hand-dyed yarn from independent dyers for a number of reasons.  I find that indy dyers care about each and every skein of yarn and do everything they can to offer a quality product along with excellent customer service.  Often they go the extra step of wrapping it in some pretty paper so that you feel like you're getting a present even though you paid for the yarn! 

I like the entrepreneurial spirit a lot.  Having tried my hand at dyeing I now know that it's a lot of work.  It's fun, but it's work, too.  If you have a question, often the dyer will respond, sometimes within hours.

So, again I've succumbed to a skein of sock yarn.  This one is from Cakewalk Yarns on Etsy.  Rose's blog is here.

Isn't it pretty?  This colorway is called Cherry Blossom.  I first discovered it on Susan  B. Anderson's blog where she posted a picture of the sock she was making.  I wasn't the only one who was taken with this particular color and yarn as I understand that there were a number of orders placed immediately after the post. 

The yarn is sock weight, or as it says on the label, "Footsie".  It's 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon and there are 460 yards in a 100-gram skein.

The order came very quickly and inside the plastic mailing bag was the bright pink tissue paper holding my new yarn.

There are other colors that are tempting me greatly (especially "Podcast Junkie"), but first, I must finish up some projects and then I'll be diving into my Cherry Blossom Cakewalk yarn! 

Monday, April 23, 2012


I love, love, love the music of The Allman Brothers Band. This is one of my favorite ABB songs:

On my bucket list is to see the band in person. So far I've seen a couple of the members in other groups: lead guitarist Derek Trucks and bassist Otiel Burbridge, but seeing the entire band is a "must".

For now, I'll listen to the CDs, watch the DVDs and clips on YouTube like this one.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Levon Helm

We lost another great in music on Thursday:  Levon Helm, 71. He was probably best known as being the drummer of The Band as well as its vocalist. When you hear songs like "Up On Cripple Creek" or "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", that's Levon singing.  Now, I'm not at all a fan of country music (an understatement), but somehow these songs didn't seem like country to me.  Close, but not too close.  Others might argue the point.  To me, these songs are closer to folk and Southern blues.  I just know that I like them.

That's more recent history.  However, back in 1959 Levon was part of the group "The Hawks", Ronnie Hawkins' band which were very popular in Southern Ontario.  Everyone I knew when I was growing up was a fan of Rockin' Ronnie Hawkins and some were lucky enough to go to Toronto to see him in person.  It's still on my to-do list.  Another member of The Hawks was Robbie Robertson who also went on to play in The Band.  What a talented group.

A friend, and talented guitarist in his own right, sent me this photo this morning.  The picture is from 1959 and was taken in Oakville, Ontario.  Left to right are Levon Helm, Will Jones, Rebel Payne and Robbie Robertson.

R.I.P. Levon.  Thanks for the music.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

South Calgary Knitting Group

Tonight I was lucky enough to knit with a fun group of ladies.  They meet at a Starbucks that is not at all close to where I live but it was well worth the drive. I found them on Ravelry

There were knitters, a spinner and a crocheter.  Projects included an afghan, socks, sweaters and more.  Some of the ladies were teaching each other about the KnitCompanion software on their iPads. 

For my project I took a pullover out of my stash, one that I started on June 27, 2010 - the Bohus Large Lace Collar. To my friends in Denver who were also knitting a Bohus - I've restarted mine. I hope that you'll finish yours too.  I'll be checking my email for updates! This group met every month and it was so enjoyable that I looked forward to each and every gathering.

My sweater is a little beyond what you see here. I've started working on the back.  From now on I'll be knitting only with black. 

I love all of the Bohus designs and I plan to make others, but first, I will finish this one.  I'm knitting from the stash.  Cool!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Knitter on Jeopardy

After dinner I like to knit and watch Jeopardy.  Tonight Mary Harris, owner of The Fiber Gallery yarn store in Seattle was on the show. 

I don't know Mary or her shop but I was cheering her on just the same.  I'm guessing that many other knitters were doing the same.  I'll bet she knit her very pretty sweater.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sister Joan Shawl

The Sister Joan Shawl by Sivia Harding is finished.  It's a beautiful design and a joy to knit.  On the left side is a tubular edge, a beaded lace design is in the middle and on the right is a stocking stitch section that is narrow at each end and wider in the middle. 


Pattern:  Sister Joan Shawl by Sivia Harding

Yarn: Tosh Sock, Color:  Tart
100% Superwash Merino
1 skein/395 yards - there was only a little remaining

 Needles: US #5 / 3.75 mm

Beads:  Miyuki 6/0
Garnet Gold Luster
1.5 x 20gm tubes

Size:  Length - 50 inches
Width at the widest part/center - 10 inches

Note:  This was a pattern test-knit for Sivia.
The pattern will be available for purchase soon. 
 Sivia said, "The pattern will be available the first weekend in May. It will be debuted at the Napa Valley retreat I will be teaching that weekend. Right afterward, I will release it on Ravelry."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Do You Know This Font?

Years ago I made the banner for my blog.  I'm very interested in handwriting, penmanship, calligraphy, etc. so it took a long time to find what I considered to be the perfect font.

What I liked about this font was that it had tidy, even handwriting for all of the small letters, yet the capitals had a bit of interest, some character.

I want to use this font again but I can't.  An old computer overheated and got fried and I lost almost everything on it, including the font file and  I can't remember the name of this font.

Last night I spent hours going through numerous font sites looking for this particular one.  It would  have been offered on a free site or low-cost.  Unfortunately I had no luck.

If you know what this is, please let me know.  I'd really appreciate it.  Leave a note in the comments or send me an email to:     joanne @ jconklin . com  (remove the spaces).  Thank you!

By the way, I watched an interesting documentary about a year ago about the font "Helvetica".  I enjoyed it and I highly recommend it.

UPDATE:  Thanks to some wonderful people in the Designers group on Ravelry, I now know the name of the font.  It's Ariston Medium Italic.  Is it weird to be excited over a font?  If so, then I'm weird!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stealth Knitting

Two skeins of beautiful sock yarn from The Copper Corgi
Picture is from Copper Corgi's webpage.

A stealth project!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Sunday

Happy Easter
Happy Passover 

Happy Bunny Day
Happy Knitting!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gönül Paksoy

Do you ever come across a picture of something and say, "I'd like to knit that?"  I found this picture of a cardigan by Turkish designer Gönül Paksoy in Selvedge magazine, an excellent magazine.

I think that it's a beautiful design with lots of interesting details:  the waist shaping, the neckline draping, the delicateness.  I'm not sure that I'd make the sleeves as long as they are here. 

I find inspirations everywhere.  I'm a bad one to go shopping with as I spend a lot of time checking out sweaters, seeing how they are made, what kind of yarn was used, color, whether it was knitted or cut like a sewing pattern and assembled.  If I see a stranger with a beautiful sweater, I've been known to compliment him or her. 

I can't be the only one, can I?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sister Joan - Beginning Knitting

I've started working on the Sister Joan shawl that I'm test knitting for Sivia Harding.  I've seen no picture of the finished project so it's going to be a surprise as to what it looks like.  Now that I have a few repeats of the first section completed the shawl is showing itself and it's a very pretty design - just what I expect from the talented Sivia.

Please ignore the color, below, which is totally off.  I'm in bad need of photography classes and photoshop didn't help me.  This picture makes the yarn look almost pink but if you look at the inset picture you can see that it's actually a very rich, deep burgundy color.  Don't ask me how I managed to take the earlier picture!

I'm working on the increase portion of the shawl.  On the left you can see the lacey edge.  There is a textured stocking stitch section in the center, the increase section is between the two markers and a tubular edge is on the right, which you can't see in this photo.  The beads are garnet, about the same color as the yarn which gives the design an extra richness.  The pattern includes charts and the rows written out.  You have a choice.  My preference is to work from charts - less reading/more knitting.

I'll try to figure out how to take a decent picture next time but, for now, it's back to the fun part, the knitting.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April is Poetry Month

To celebrate poetry month I give you this little poem from the children's book "Lullaby Moons and a Silver Spoon:  A Book of Bedtime Songs and Rhymes". 

I'm sure that knitters are loving the phrase about a little old Lady.  Maybe not!