Monday, July 29, 2013

Starting Kusha Kusha

One of the good things about finishing up a couple of projects is giving yourself permission to start something new.  Okay, I know that I have more things that need finishing and I will get to them.  But, I couldn't resist starting the Kusha Kusha scarf from Habu Textiles.  For this I shopped my stash.  I bought the kit at A Knitted Peace during a trunk show several years ago.  I'm making this for a very nice lady that has been in my corner for very many years.  It's a small way of saying Thank You.

When I took this picture I only had about 20% finished.  I'm now up to 60% and I expect that it'll be done within a few days, especially with a long weekend coming up here in Alberta.

The yarn is very unusual, as are many of Habu's yarns:  two strands as thin as thread are held together.  One strand is merino wool in a rich chocolate brown color and the other is 69% silk/ 31% stainless steel in black.  I kid you not.  Stainless Steel.  It's been a joy to knit with and not at all difficult like you might think.  The only part that took a little getting used to was knitting such fine yarn on 5.0 mm/US #8 needles.  Using non-slippery wooden needles made it possible to knit and keep my sanity.

At the other end of the scarf is a section using only the silk/stainless steel yarn, discontinuing with the merino.  When the knitting is done the scarf is washed and the wool will felt slightly.  The stainless steel allows the wearer to scrunch the scarf into a bit of shaping.

The kit for this scarf (#78) has been discontinued but the yarn is still available.  There is an English version of the pattern on the Purl Bee website.  I'll be giving this scarf away but I'm pretty sure I'll make another one day for myself.  I might even have some of the yarn in my stash!

By the way, if you're anywhere near Littleton, CO on the weekend of September 28th and 29th why not drop into A Knitted Peace?  They are having a Habu trunk show and classes and the owner of the company will be there.  This also happens to be during the Yarn Along The Rockies yarn crawl.  I'll be there for the previous weekend.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sprössling - Finally at the Finish LIne

There is project that I'm calling "done", even though there are no buttons on the cardigan.  I want to wait until I find the right ones.  I've been to a few shops but often the selection in the mauve/lavender section is sparse.  That's okay.  When the weather cools down I'll still be able to wear this sweater, even without the buttons.  I should look in my button stash.  Now, there's a revolutionary new idea.  I haven't looked in it for a while and I'm fairly sure that there are no matching buttons but, perhaps, I'll find something that compliments the color instead.  Silver, pewter, clear?  I really must look.

This is a sweater that I had to make after I saw my friend, Pam S. wearing hers.  It was beautiful and the green was perfect for her.  I immediately added Sprössling to my must-make queue.  This was a couple of years ago.  Little by little, I'm working through the projects in my stash.


Pattern:  Sprössling, by Anne Hanson
* 6 x 50 gram skeins
Color #08 - Lilac
This is tightly plied yarn that gives great stitch definition and relaxes beautifully when blocked.

 I purchased the yarn back on July 10, 2010 and it sat in my stash until April of this year.  I bought it at Wooden Spools in Englewood (Denver), Colorado - an excellent shop with lots of bargains to be found.  It was a bargain at only $4.00/skein. 
 Needles: US 3/3.25 mm & US 4/3/5 mm

* Notes:   I 'think' I used only 6 skeins, but it might have been 7.  I lost track.
My Ravelry link is here.
I wouldn't hesitate to make this cardigan again, perhaps changing the lace pattern just for variety and using the basic design as the template.  It's such a wearable sweater.  The pattern is excellent, well-written.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Carlos Santana

Today is Carlos Santana's 66th birthday.  I've been very lucky to have seen him 4 times:  3 times in Colorado (Pepsi Center, Fiddler's Green and Red Rocks - my favorite venue of all) and then, last year in Columbia, MD at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.  Opening for him and his band was the fabulous Allman Brothers Band.  The date was July 30, 2012, which just happens to be Buddy Guy's birthday. The ABB played first, followed by Santana and his band, and finally, there were a couple of songs with members of both bands.  To say that the concert was wonderful is a huge understatement.

The last picture shows one of the Allman Brothers' guitarists, Derek Trucks, playing with Santana.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Damson - Done!

Who needs drugs to get high?  Not me.  I can get high on spending time with special people, great music, travel and bringing knitting projects to a successful conclusion (especially if I started the project 1-1/2 years ago!), for example. In the last few days I've finished two projects.  I'll tell you about one now and another in the next post:

This first project is the Damson shawl.  I actually finished it at the end of April but only just got around to the blocking.  The picture doesn't really do the shawl justice - the color isn't as nice in the photo as it in person.  It turned out very well as the pattern was excellent and yarn was pretty.


Pattern:  Damson by Ysolda Teague

1 skein - 420 yards (384 meters)
Color:  Nostalgia (mauve)
Received the yarn as a gift from a friend who purchased it on a trip to Loop in Philadelphia 

  Needles: US 6/4.0 mm

Note:  Did two rows fewer than what the pattern called for as I was running short of yarn.  There was no negative impact on the finished shawl.

This earlier picture shows the color better.

Next up....move mauve-ness: a cardigan named Sprossling.  My quest to finish as many projects in 2013 continues.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Autumn Leaves Update

For those of you that were also looking for the Tashashu Autumn Leaves pattern that I blogged about a few days ago, it's on Ravelry (thanks to Donna for finding it), click here.

I don't know what I'll make with the leaves but the pattern is now in my queue (along with a gazillion other patterns).

Monday, July 8, 2013


I came across this picture recently and as a knitter and a huge Pink Floyd fan, I love it!

So, what would be a good caption for the pictures.  I've seen a few:  "Comfortably Spun", "Dark Side of the Loom", for example.

Can you think of any others? 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Russian Intrigue

Recently I came across a knitting webpage with a lovely design for an afghan. The instructions were even there.  The problem is, it's in Russian.  This is the pattern that I'm talking about, click here.  I snitched one of the pictures from the website to show you the leaves pattern that I find so pretty:

I found one of those online translators and copied in the title of the pattern, which is:

The translator tells me that the pattern is "MK Autumn Leaves (knitted patchwork). 

So now, the challenge begins.  Since my Russian is a little rusty non-existent, I'm going to work with any translators I can find, see if I can find a guide to Russian knitting and just start playing around with the techniques, which are pictured in the pattern, to see if I can duplicate the design.  I've also reached out to a friend who writes excellent books about knitting in other countries - check them out.

I do like a challenge....let the research begin!

Update:  An online translator has deciphered part of the page and sometimes the translation is amusing.  For instance, at the beginning of the pattern, the translation gives this instruction:

"Recruit on the spokes 40 loops" which I'm guessing means "onto the needles cast on 40 stitches"!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day and an FO

 HAPPY 4th  
To all who are celebrating today

As a person who is proud to celebrate both Canada Day and Independence Day I thought it only right that I acknowledge both holidays in the same way - with an F.O. - Finished Object for any non-knitters.

My completed project this time is appropriate for the holiday.  I started my Stars & Stripes socks on February 22nd on the plane to Savannah, Georgia and I finished them last night and blocked them, ready to tuck into the sock drawer on the 4th of July.  I'd wear them today but it's much too warm.


Pattern:  Generic - Top Down, 60 stitches, 1x1 ribbing, stocking stitch legs and feet, short row heel

Size:  Women's medium

Yarn:  The Stars & Stripes yarn is from knitpurlgurl on Etsy, purchased a couple of years ago. The solid blue yarn is Cascade Heritage and the red is unknown, something from my stash.

  Needles: US 0/2.0 mm

Notes:   Those who know me know that I like to make my socks match.  You'll notice that the stripes do match.  I purposely switched the colors on the heels and toes.  I meant to do it!!

This is pair #3 for the year.  I'm not making socks as often as I did last year but I am finishing up some projects that have been around for a while.  Last night I restarted a project that was begun almost exactly three years ago.  More to come soon about that project.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Waiting Chair

Every yarn store should have one of these!

I don't know where this picture originated.  I found it on Pinterest but will be happy to add a link if anyone knows who posted it first.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sock Yarn Blanket - FO

At long last I've finished the Sock Yarn Blanket which I started on April 22, 2011.  It's not that I knit this particularly slowly as I did knit other projects in the meantime, including a slightly smaller pink version "Floyd" and a blue one "I've Got The Blues" of the same blanket.  I just realized that I never blogged about finishing the blue afghan.  I'll do that very soon.

I'm glad that I was able to get a fair picture of the finished Sock Yarn Blanket as I took the picture in the backyard and the mosquitoes are plentiful and thirsty.  I'm sure I gave up a little blood to take the photo - hopefully not too much.  Time will tell.

This afghan was so much fun to make, very addictive.  I liked seeing all the colors coming together.  It never got boring with the constant change of yarns and colors.


Pattern:  Shelley Kang's Sock Yarn Blankie (link, above)
I added triangles between the diamonds on the edges and small corner diamonds.  The border was done, one side at a time then seamed at the corner, in garter stitch, increasing on every other row to make a mitered corner.
I blogged about making the edge diamonds here
and the corners were described here.

Size:  I didn't measure it, but I think it's approximately 47" x 62"

Yarn: Every sock yarn and washable fingering yarn I could get my hands on!
Fortunately some friends also donated some lengths (each diamond takes 8 yards of yarn) from their stashes. 
Needles: US 1-1/2 / 2.5 mm
Since I never had more than 31 stitches on the needles I wanted short needles.  I used two double-pointed needles with a stopper on the end of each - worked perfectly and I'd recommend it.
Note:  My Ravelry link for this project is here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Canada Day and an F.O.

    HAPPY CANADA DAY if you're celebrating today!

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I found a skein of yarn on the yarn crawl of Alberta stores last week for my Travel Afghan.  As always, I was looking for something that would be a souvenir of the trip, something that was special to the shop or area.  At River City Yarns in Edmonton I found yarns that were exclusive to the stores.  I got my skein in their West shop. 

 The yarn is fingering weight so I had to double it for the block.  It's a gorgeous yarn called "Adam and Eve".  There were many pretty colors and I chose the beige shade with a hint of a pinkish color throughout.  It's dyed by Handmaiden for River City Yarns.  

I've now completed block #52 of the afghan - 3 more blocks, plus the border left to go.


Pattern:  Rambling Rows Afghan from Cottage Creations
I started with 80 stitches for the rectangular block

Yarn:  Adam and Eve from River City Yarns (west), Edmonton
81% Merino, 9% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 100% Temptation
Fingering weight - held double
115 grams - 325 meters
Machine Washable
26 stitches / 4 inches / 3.0 mm needles

  Needles: US 7 / 4.5 mm