Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Eastside Stitcher Regular Wed (and a bit of student knitting)

Hello:

While the rest of the nation (just about) is buried under tons of snow, we are still pretty much dry here.  Our cold, clear days are just about at an end, and none too soon, in my opinion.  We are starting to cloud over a bit, and with our cloudy skies, comes much warmer weather.  I am looking forward to temperatures in the 50's F (11 C ) again, soon.

Our regular Wednesday meet up for the Eastside Stitchers was a bit small tonight, as colds held back a few of our members.  However, we had a lively group at the round table near Half-Price Books and Starbucks, where we discussed net neutrality and internet access, public transportation, the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat, and the Country Living Expo in Stanwood.  By the way, a group is definitely going to the Country Living Expo, so if you are interested, look for a thread in the Eastside Stitchers group on Ravelry with which classes people are interested in taking, and carpooling info.

Tonight, Wajio was knitting a cowl.  She is using some deep stash yarn, and a pattern by Nancy Hopf named Lace Cowl.

ReadnitDream was also knitting a lace cowl, sorry I'm not sure of the name.  If you remember from last week, she was casting on a provisional cast on (with a little advice from Wireknitter).  She turned that cast on into this beautiful picot edging, and is now into the lace pattern.
JulieMustKnit has a Barley Hat by tincanknits well on the way.  She is using HiKoo by Skacel in Simplinatural.
and well, BlueBerryMary was knitting a really cool textured scarf of her own design in Seattle Seahawks colors.  I swear I took a photo, but somehow, I don't have a photo.  ugh.  I honestly don't know what happened.

I also wanted to show you the progress on my student, E's hat.
He is starting to get a bit antsy, and wants to finish the hat.  Yesterday, he tried it on, but it is really too short, still.  I need to bring my tape measure so he can see where he is, and how many more inches he need to knit before we start closing the top.  I think he needs at least 7  in from the ribbing before we start the decrease rounds.  I might give him a locking stitch marker so he can see his progress better.

I'm almost finished with the Racing Raindrops scarf that I am knitting for the SavvyGirls' Swapetition.  We are supposed to mail out our packages by tomorrow, and I will not make that deadline.  I should finish the scarf by tomorrow, but my swap partner is over seas, so I have to fill out a customs form to mail it and can only do that when the post office is open.  That will have to happen on Saturday morning.  Ugh, I hate being late, but I don't see any other way to do this.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with great conversation and yarn

Monday, November 17, 2014

Namesake Sunday

Hello:

Look who showed up at Sunday Morning Knitting at Panera in Redmond!  My namesake.  Ok, she's not really my namesake, but as our names are somewhat similar, I am claiming her. 

Little Caroline brought her mom to knit with our morning group.  It was great to see Hrvdmnky.  She brought a dress she has knit for one of the twins.
She was casting on the fraternal twin.

Meshamarie brought a cabled cowl, sorry I didn't get the pattern.

(And really IS it a cabled cowl?  I was um... paying more attention to little Caroline than the knitting.)

VanesaPolo was working on her latest design.  I don't have a photo as it is a secret at this stage.  I do want to announce the great news that her Chromatic Circle Cowl (which was a secret this fall) is now offered by KnitPicks and is for sale on their site.  We are so proud of our professional designer buddy!

And JitteryKnitter brought her colorwork sweater.
She is knitting this through a class at Tolt Yarn and Wool, and with a bit of advice from Vanesa who is a steeking expert.

Our weather continues to be very cold and clear.  This morning, the announcer on KUOW FM said, "Remember Rain?"  ha ha ha so true, we are forgetting what it is like to have wet weather.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with a professional designer buddy.
no snow in the cascades even though the temp is well below freezing.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sleeping in Seattle

Hello:

Ok, the title should be Sleeping in Issaquah.  Last night I went to see Mary Poppins at the Village Theatre in Issaquah.  This is a wonderful little local theater that puts on quality productions.  Was Mary Poppins as good as the best shows I've seen there?  I have no idea.  I slept through most of it.  I kept dozing off, only to jerk awake and think, "How did THESE people get on the stage?"  I know the story from the movie really well as I love the movie.  I had even read the books by P.L. Travers when I was in High School.  But the musical is just different enough, that as I dozed off and woke up, I was often confused.  I remember at one point thinking, maybe I can just Listen to the show...

I have been trying to catch up on the 3 scarves I am currently crafting.  I say "crafting," because I am knitting two of them, and crocheting the third.

The first is the Racing Raindrops by Churchmouse Yarn and Teas.  I am making this for a swap through the Savvy Girls Podcast.  My goal is to have this scarf finished by November 19.  I am pretty much on track.  I need to knit 3 g every day to finish, but on Friday, because I went to the theater, I didn't work on this scarf at all.
I have passed the 50% mark and am decreasing.  It is going pretty quickly now, and I am excited to see what it looks like when it is finished and blocked.

The second scarf that I'm knitting is for Quidditch.  The prompt is to make something amazing that will dazzle and confuse Professor Umbridge.  I am using this amazing sparkly yarn by Little Red Bicycle called Spark Lace.  I am way behind on this scarf, I need to finish it by November 27, but I got about 15 g knit today, so I am catching up.
I am behind because I worked on it for 2 days, then decided that I didn't like the way the decreases looked and frogged the whole thing.  I started over, and am now frantically trying to get back on track.  This skein has over 800 yds (100 g), so if I can knit 5g/day, I can finish the whole thing.  Since I am only at 70g, I need to knit another 15 g tomorrow to be completely on track.  I can do it.

The last scarf I am making is probably going to be a cowl.  It is the Endless Cables Cowl by Laurinda Reddig.  The pattern is in Crochet! Magazine.  I get the magazine because I am a member of the Crochet Guild of America.  This is the first pattern I have made from the magazine, and I really like the stitch pattern.  I made another one of these last month, but I gave it away as a gift.
This first one used worsted weight yarn, and it is really thick and warm, but a bit bulky.  The one I am making now is with Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light which is Sport Weight.  I like the weight of this one better.  I am using a big hook, size I (5.5 mm) so it is loose and a bit drapey.  It is more narrow than the first cowl.
The one problem with this version is that I only have 2 skeins, and it won't be long enough to wrap around my neck twice.  I will have to see what that looks like.  I can't think of any way to fix that, unless I get 2 more skeins of some other color and make it two toned with each half a different color.
I don't have as much of a deadline for this cowl, just the end of the month so I can turn it in for a HPKCHC class.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with yarn.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Eastside Stitchers: Baby It's Cold Outside

Hello:  It's still in the 30's (F) but it totally feels like it's in the 20's or even lower.  It was chilly at Crossroads tonight.  GwenS and WireKnitter were hoping to get their Exit 0 Shawls finished just so they could wrap themselves up.

Wireknitter had a few rows to finish knitting, the bind off, and then weaving in.  When I left at 8:30, she had finished the knitting and bind off and was busy weaving in.

GwenS brought her shawl with the knitting all finished.
She just needed to weave in all of the ends from those color changes.  Gw sen had finished the knitting over the weekend, but was not looking forward to the weaving in.  This is a perfect knit night project as you can chat while you weave.  It really helps with the boredom.

BlueBerryMary brought the sweater she is knitting/crocheting for her Great-Nephew.  She has finished the front and back and is working on the sleeves.
Wajio has started, or was starting, a new cowl.
The yarn she is using is really interesting.  I'm not sure of the name, but it is 4 finished plies that are very very loosely pied together.  The yarn is slightly felted, and this is what holds it all together.

NightOrchid brought the puppet mittens that she is making.
She was hooking the eyes, and sewing them to the back. 
Readnitdream was casting on a cowl.  She needed to use a provisional cast on, which prompted a nice discussion of the different methods of this cast on.
With Wireknitter's guidance, she ripped back her first attempt and recast on using a crochet hook to cast right onto the needle instead of hooking a chain and then picking up yarn through the bumps.

DomesticShorthair also brought something that needed weaving in.  She has finished her Fast Forward scarf.
By the end of the evening, GwenS had completely finished weaving in, and was able to wear her beautiful shawl home.
Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with warm wool.




-1°C

Hello:
I'm back at the gym (or at least I made it there today).  It was in the 20's F when I left this morning but super clear, so no ice at all on my car.  When I logged on just a few minutes ago (I'm hooking a few rows on a cowl before leaving for work), I saw the temperature showing on my computer for Bellevue is -1°C.  We are supposed to get some rain from the south, and they are expecting snow for the southern part of the state.  Will it snow up here?  Sure doesn't look like it today.

Since it is so sunny, I thought I'd grab a few quick photos of the Vortex Afghan I am hooking for my God-daughter #1.
I have 10 more squares to hook and attach.  I'm starting to think about possible borders.  I can't say enough how happy I am with this design.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet below freezing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans' Day

Hello:

Wow, what a gorgeous day.  There's some horrible storm from Alaska that has swept down into the midwest, totally missing us.  Well, not totally missing us, as it has gotten much colder here.  But the sky was beautifully clear, and the air was crisp and fresh.  The suddenly colder temperature has brought more color to our trees.
This is one of our Japanese Maples, our biggest.  It is a miniature tree, and during the summer, both cats love to hide under it.  Soon, these beautiful red leaves will fall off, and it will look like the skeleton of an umbrella.  Honestly, if it isn't too cold, the cats will still try to hind under it, as though we can't see them.  Silly cats.

Because today is a National Holiday, I didn't have school, and was able to knit at Crossroads with a few of my Eastside Stitchers buddies who also did not have work.

Last night was a special meeting of the Eastside Knitters Guild.  We had Mary Scott Huff as our speaker.
She was up to teach at KnitFit! and we had her stay an extra day to speak at the Guild.  She gave a very inspirational talk about knitting in general, and edgings in particular.  It wasn't a class, but she brought lots of items she has designed, and spoke about options for really finishing a project.  I liked how she spoke of edgings as a "frame" for the knitting.  She talked about how important it is to put a painting in the right frame, and how we should think of edgings in the same way.  I can't wait to try something new.  Also, she said that every time you make a swatch, you should use a new cast on and bind off.  Just for practice.  Even if you hate the choice, and it doesn't work at all with your project, you can then check off that option and know that you will never want to use it.
 
The Guild meeting was nice and full.  The programs this year have been excellent, and I think people have really appreciated this.

Today at Crossroads, we got together for just a few hours.

Alphabetadell had come to the Guild meeting, and decided to get in a bit of social knitting with us.  She brought a beautiful piece of Show and Tell,
This is a Wedding Ring Quilt done in crochet.  There are a few (ha ha ha) ends that still need to be woven in, but otherwise, this gorgeous afghan/quilt is finished.  Alphabetadell was working on a baby sweater.  She is just about finished and ready to sew in the buttons.
JulieMustKnit was working on a cowl.  I know she has made this cowl before, but I can't remember the name.
Because the yarn is held double, this knits up very quickly.

BlueBerryMary brought the sweater she is knitting for her Grand-Nephew.   The bear picture on the front is from his own drawing.
Mary has finished the front and is pretty far on the back.  I think you can see the ribbing at the bottom of the back in the above photo.  Look at where the date is.  Mary did the ribbing with crochet, then picked up stitches to knit.  Nice job of blending her two crafts.

Mary brought some show and tell, too, or at least she was wearing her show and tell.
This is a nice textured scarf.

CathieC has made serious progress on her Exit 0 Shawl.
I just can't wait to see this finished.

I brought some Vortex squares to finish up so I could attach them this afternoon to my afghan I am making for my God-Daughter #1.  Just as I was finishing the first square, I realized that I had made a mistake on the 3rd to the last round, and had to take out just about everything I had hooked.  Then, I was pretty  busy all afternoon, and didn't get very much done.  I did finish 3 more squares, and get them attached.  I now have 4 rows finished out of the 6 rows needed.  I don't have a photo because I finished tonight and the light is bad, but I can show you a photo of this afghan before the most recent squares were attached.
Her birthday is in February, but I would like to finish this for Christmas.  I think I can get it done by the end of November.  That means 10 more squares.  That is quite a lot, but if I really crank out squares, I can make 5 in a weekend, I think.

The other things I worked on this weekend were two scarves.  I am knitting a Racing Raindrops scarf by Churchmouse Yarn and Teas as part of my Swapetition package.  The theme this year is Local, so I thought that scarf would be a good choice.
I have to have it finished by November 20, and in the mail.  I am on the decreases now, so pretty on track to get it finished in time.  The skein/ball is 50 g, and I am knitting about 3 g /day.  Every day I weigh the ball to make sure I have finished enough.  The scarf is a long triangle, so I can't just measure the length, or count the rows to be sure I am on track to finish on time.  I have to do it all by weight.

I am knitting another triangular scarf for Quidditch.  This one has to be finished by November 27th, so I am weighing my progress as well.  I am making my own pattern, just a 12 row repeat.  It is very simple, but I like how it looks.
This isn't the greatest photo, as I ripped this version out after 2 days of knitting it and changed the pattern slightly, but you get the flavor of the scarf here.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with a yarn scale.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Student Knitters

Hello:

I know I haven't been posting much.  It's mostly because I am knitting/crocheting right up until I fall asleep while knitting/crocheting, then I am just too tired to type something.  Lame.

I now have 2 students in my 5th period math class who are knitting, and a 3rd student who as asked to learn to knit.  I started them off with hats.  I gave them some old Clover circular needles and yarn from my stash.  I knit about 1 inch of ribbing, then let them go round and round with stockinette.  The first student is a boy, E.  He started first, then one of the girls, A, asked if she could learn, too.

So E brought his hat after one night of knitting, and this is what it looks like:
I am not knitting.  This is a 13 year old boy's first knitting project.  He put it on as a joke, and it fits well.  Of course it looks like a headband, but seeing it on his head made the 3rd student, S, ask if she could learn, too.

I am consulting with the Eastside Stitchers for ideas for 2nd projects.  I would like to teach them to purl, so we were thinking simple fingerless mitts, maybe knit flat with garter stitch borders at the bottom and top, then sewn together with an opening left for the thumb.  I will suggest this, and see if E is interested.  I hope he wants to continue because he is doing  beautiful work.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with student knitters