Monday, March 25, 2013

Malabrigo Linen Scarf

I needed a short break from working with all blue, all the time.  I wanted to work on something with lots of color, so, yesterday I opened up the kit for the Malabrigo Linen Scarf that's been calling my name for weeks.  I did my preparations:  watched the video for the two-color cast on, printed out the list for the color progression, straightened out my circular needles and added the project into my Ravelry projects list.

I cast on the 300 stitches and worked 4 rows.  My hands are loving the softness of the yarn.

What a difference from the afghan I've been working on for the last while:
300 stitches vs 31 stitches
aran weight yarn vs fingering weight
size 11 US needles vs 1-1/2

Do I have a favorite project?  No.  I like them both and variety is keeping things interesting.  The afghan is now almost 90% complete, not counting the border.  So close.....

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Yesterday, while at the mall, I wandered into Stokes kitchen shop (in Calgary) just to browse and found some knitterly things that I couldn't resist:

This was advertised as being a canister, but my first impression was that it would make a good holder for straight knitting needles if I removed the wooden lid.

I didn't realize just how tall this canister is until I brought it home and put a few of my long straight needles in it, pictured on the right.  They are only a couple of inches taller than the container, so my shorter needles would disappear completely from view.  No worries, however.  I'm now seeing this as a nice decoration all by itself, or as a vase to hold some tall flowers likes irises or sunflowers.

Now the best part.  It was on sale for $4.94 plus tax.  No, I didn't forget a number or move the decimal point to the wrong position - only $4.94!!

But wait, there's more.  I couldn't resist picking up a package of mugs.  These weren't on sale, but still only cost less than $10.00 plus tax for a package of two.  I paid more than that for a single, similar mug, at Starbuck's a couple of years ago.

Total bill, including the tax, for the canister and two mugs:  $13.57!  The name of the pattern is "Cable Knit".  Sounds right to me!  By the way, there was one other piece there that I didn't check out, perhaps a tea pot.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Maryland Socks Finished

One of my knitting goals for this year is to finish some projects that are already started.  One of those is the Maryland Socks which I started on the plane on my trip to Maryland last summer.  There were two things that were the focus of the trip:  the Allman Brothers/Santana concert and a visit to the Sharpsburg area to see the Antietam Battlefield. In school I learned some about the Civil War, but it was more of an overview, not a lot of detail.  Before the trip I watched Ken Burns' Civil War PBS series and wanted to know more, and I'm continuing to learn.  Even though it took more than seven months from start to finish, perhaps it's fitting that I completed these socks last night while watching a series I had recorded:  The Abolitionists. Excellent shows, by the way.  I look forward to continuing to learn.


Pattern:  Generic
60 sts, 1x1 ribbing, stocking stitch legs and feet, short row heel

Size:  Lady's Medium
Color #24
Needles: US 0 / 2.0 mm double-pointed

My first pair of finished socks of the year!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Year of UFOs

Last year I had a goal of knitting 12 pairs of socks in 12 months.  I fell a bit short of that goal, completing 9 pairs, but for a very good reason:  knitting for my new Granddaughter who came into the world on November 7th.

This year, I have a different goal.  This time I want to make a dent into my UFOs (Unfinished Objects).  I'm going to start off simply with a pair of socks that I started on the plane when I went to Maryland at the end of July, the Maryland socks.  How did I ever come up with such a creative name?

When I set them aside they were about 3/4 completed.  I should have these done in a couple of days.  Maybe I should keep a tally to see how many pairs I complete this year.

The blue afghan is getting most of my attention and it's 75% finished, not counting the border.  I wonder how many other knitters get a knitter's high when they finish a project?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stompin' Tom Connors

Rest in Peace, Stompin' Tom, a real Canadian icon, who died today at the age of 77.

The Hockey Song

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Here's a bit of fun for knitters.  I found this at the Knitting Brain website.

According to the quiz I'm:

The Artistic Knitter

You have a flair for combining colors and patterns.  You approach your knitting in an intuitive way and you're not afraid to experiment.  Your knitting is stylish and striking.  You probably have a weakness for novelty yarns and a stash of yarn you've bought on impulse.

Your impulsive approach can sometimes lead you into difficulties.  Invest in a good knitting reference book, getting quick answers to your technical problems will leave you free to be more creative.

If you are looking for inspiration check out the work of other artistic knitters such as Kaffe Fassett or look at the latest styles in Vogue Knitting (Designer Knitting).  You probably love the possibilities for using colour in Knit, Swirl! by Sandra McIver.

Felted knitting is another way to add an extra dimension to your knitting, you can really let your imagination run wild.
I can't say that I agree with all of the assessment.  I'm not much for using novelties yarns.  I've only used them on a rare occasion, and, I don't really care for felting. As for the Knit, Swirl! pattern, it's not my taste, although I do like the idea of using colors.

So, what's your knitting personality? 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Savannah Yarn Shops

One of the things I like about traveling is the chance to visit yarn stores to see what's different, and what's the same, than what I have locally.

This time I went to a shop that is fairly new in Savannah, The Frayed Knot and met the charming owner, Jennifer.

She has a good variety of yarns and more coming every day.  She has yarn from a local dyer that is a particular favorite of mine, The Copper Corgi.  The only yarn I bought on this trip was a skein of gray Copper Corgi yarn in a color called "Spanish Moss" - very fitting name for the area.  When I asked Jennifer for another weight of Copper Corgi yarn that wasn't on the shelves she immediately offered to get it for me.  You can't beat that kind of customer service.  Check out this wall of color:

I'm starting to work on an original design using the yarn that I bought on this trip.  Right now it's nothing more than a few notes but it's becoming clearer as to what I want to do.  More on that later on.  There is a bead shop at the back of the store which I didn't check out too closely on this visit.

When I go back to Savannah again next year The Frayed Knot will be a definite stop for me, and Jennifer and I will be staying in touch in the meantime.  I look forward to it.

When the weather isn't too pleasant what does a knitter do but go to check out another yarn store: Unwind Yarn and Gifts.  It, too, was a friendly and inviting shop - more of the Southern charm that I like so much.  It has a good selection of yarn although I didn't see anything local. It was packed full of knitters and a class was going on in the back.

Aside from the yarn, what caught my eye was this round display area.  Wouldn't I love to have that to store my stash?

When I first visited the south I was very pleasantly surprised by the yarn stores.  I expected to find only a small selection of yarns such as cotton and linen.  Instead, knitting is popular using all kinds of fibers from a large variety of companies.