Hazel's Grandma's Stocking Cap
We've been home for 4 weeks, and I'm just getting around to talking about one of the best travel projects ever. As Linda would say, "What a slacker!" This was my knitting companion from Adrian to Atlanta and from Atlanta to Sunset Beach. Remember way back in November when I told you about that whimsical, unique, colorful stocking cap I saw on the adorable girl at the Fall Fiber Festival? I did a little teaser then told you I'd write about the fabulous cap soon. Three months is a little long to have to wait for the punchline. Christmas intervened, then Sunset Beach, but now I have the pictures taken and am ready to share one of my favorite travel projects of all time. (I think I'll do on post on my all time favorite travel projects.)
I really wish Lydia had a head. It would make this stocking cap look even better. Look at the stitch pattern, the great way Twisted Fiber Art's Evolution gradually blends colors. This is colorway Blaze. Isn't it perfect. Now picture this on an adorable, pixie girl. Is it any wonder I fell in love with it? It looks great on me even though I'm not an adorable, pixie girl.
This gives you a better idea of the color change.
Headless Lydia models Hazel's Grandma's Stocking Cap in probably my favorite colorway Roy G. Biv. I love this! It is the rainbow. I am so grateful that Hazel's Grandma took the time to write down the pattern for me. I really did beg a bit. Can you whine in writing or can you only whine when speaking? I may have whined a bit, too. On one level, I hope TFA kits this so everyone can share in this great pattern. But on another level, I would like to be one of a few to have this great stocking cap.
Saturday Linda and I are going to Twisted Fiber Art for another Yarn Tasting. We had so much fun at he last one that we decided we had to go again. New, limited edition colorways will be introduced. I am sure there will be new patterns. I can't wait. I will take pictures and tell stories about our adventure.
Something To Look Forward To
Two things happened this week which put me into the anticipation mode yet again. I met with a wonderfully brave woman and my friend came home.
Linda just got back from Portland, Oregon and she visited the fabulous Knit Purl. How many times have I mentioned this magical, enchanted place during the past 11 months? I could go back and count, but I don't want to. Needless to say, Linda loved Knit Purl. It is every bit as wonderful as I dreamed it would be.
She bought this yummy yarn and met my favorite Knit Purl woman, Oleya. Oleya has helped me endless times. This is where my anticipation comes in; I can't wait until Dick and I have that fabulous vacation in the fall driving the Pacific Coast road from San Francisco to Seattle stopping in Portland. I am so excited. Linda says it is everything I thought it would be and more. We have started studying maps and Fordor's. I can't wait! I can't wait! I can't wait! If that's not anticipation, I don't know what is.
I met with Anne Hughes this week. Anne is an Adrian woman who will be opening a shop in April specializing in quilting, knitting, embroidery, etc. The name is Anne's By Design. When I retired I really wanted to open a yarn shop. I couldn't think of any way I would rather spend my time. Spending all of my days passing along my love knitting and fiber. Bringing new people into the fold. Sharing my addiction. It sounded wonderful. It sounded heavenly. Dick said, "ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!!!!" So, I am committed to helping Anne's By Design be successful. I am going to live vicariously through Anne, her bravery and her new shop. I want to help Anne's By Design be everything I wanted my shop to be. By the way, the name of my LYS was "In Stitches." Doesn't that sound like a fun place to be? I told Anne that she can consider me staff but she doesn't have to pay me. I will volunteer to help her shop be successful. I have a meeting next week with Kellie from Knitting On The Fringe in Commerce Township. Kellie has been so supportive of "Knitting: A Love Story" and I want to learn from her wisdom for Anne.
So, I am anticipating Anne's By Design opening and being a small part of something very special. I will keep you posted on this exciting happening.
Steam A Little Steam For Me
Remember the Knitting Fever survey that asked people their darkest knitting secrets? (That wasn't really the title but isn't that much more intriguing than a less suggestive wording?) I was shocked, amazed and appalled when many, many people admitted they didn't do a gage swatch. Being a perfectionist, someone who likes things that fit and someone who wants to do right by gorgeous yarn, I always swatch. Knitting Fever has just had a KAL on the Noro Heart afghan which I love and will do one day. I learned a lot from this series, for example, it is better to do the afghan using Intarsia with bobbins than Faire Isle even though you could do either. (Drat those pesky bobbins.) They also talked about blocking. The leader of the KAL did wet blocking (something I'm not particularly comfortable with), but one of the KF women said she seldom blocks unless it is a gift. I can't imagine not blocking. I have a wonderful industrial steamer which does a perfect job. I am going to use some pictures of a scarf I just finished to show why it is so important to block/steam handmade knits. The look goes from homemade/frumpy to WOW that's beautiful and professional.
One day I got an email from those wonderful women at Knit Purl in Portland, Oregon. (oh, by the way Linda is visiting them today! I am so envious!) It was for a silk scarf and it looked pretty interesting, so I bought two; one in this beautiful teal which the picture doesn't do justice and a second in purple. That is a bad habit of mine, not buying just one of something but two or several.
I decided to start the purple one and put the teal one in my sister Kathy's stocking for Christmas (which I forgot to do.) Something intervened, I think it was the Hazel's Grandma's Stocking Cap in Twisted Fiber Arts Evolution, and this became yet another TBFL (To Be Finished Later.) When we got home from Sunset Beach, I was digging around in my knitting basket and found this beautiful thing and decide to finish it. I needed something to decompress from my Rainbow Cardigan. Something mindless yet beautiful. This fit the bill.
This is what the scarf looked like when it was finished, beautiful but scruffy. Then I got out the steamer and it became this. . .
Isn't is scrumptious!?!?! It looks beautiful, professional and finished. It is something you could buy at a high-end boutique. Just spending a little time makes so much difference. I must admit that I have only been brave enough to wet block once.
This is the TBFL I had to finish before I started the Twisted Fiber Arts scarf in the last post. It also was a great project to relax with after the knitting indecision in Sunset Beach. It was nice to just knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side and create the angle with the increase and decrease at the sides. Sometimes easy is not boring, it is soothing.
Two of the most important things you can do to have beautiful, professional looking, handmade knits, have nothing to do with the actual knitting of the garment. They are swatching and steaming/blocking. They may not be fun. They may seem like an unnecessary imposition. But they are what kicks knitting up a notch from nice to fabulous.
I am late posting because I have been ANTICIPATING. I got two knitting books and a magazine this week, and I have been enjoying that wonderful stage of the knitting process: ANTICIPATION. I just love that plotting and planning phase. It's kind of like in high school when the anticipation and planning for the prom is more fun than the prom. Anticipating knitting is not more fun than knitting, but it's right up there.
The first book that came in this week was Sock-Yarn Shawls II. It was something I preordered a long time ago and quite frankly had forgotten about. I wasn't too excited when I got it. I did my usual quick peruse to see if anything jumps off of the page, not really expecting much. What I discovered was a scarf designed for the fabulous Evolution from Twisted Fiber Arts. (By the way Linda and I are going to another Yarn Tasting at Twisted Fiber Arts the end of February. I can't wait. We had so much fun the first time.)
This is just right in so many ways. First, one of my knitting goals for this year is to knit something using Evolution. Second, this cake of yarn is from the basket I won from Twisted Fiber Arts at the end of November. Third, I just want to do something lacey. This is the yarn I will use. Hopefully, I will be able to start it today. I have about 5 or 6 inches of a silk scarf from those fabulous women at Knit-Purl in Portland, Oregon before I can start. (I know, it is weird for me to think I have to finish something before I start something new. I am just so close!) I haven't told you that Linda is going to Portland this Thursday to visit her son and his wife and she's going to Knit-Purl. I am so envious. I told her to ask for Oleya and tell her Jan Parson says "Hi!" I really am very excited to start this beautiful scarf
The next treasure that came in the mail was this. You know how I love Noro. The patterns in here are, well, EXQUISITE just like the cover says. I haven't quite settled on one yet. My plan is to go up my stairway to heaven to the Stash Studio and see what I have that will make one of these patterns even better. I can feel my stomach get excited just thinking about that.
Next, I got an email that the VogueKnitting e-magazine was ready to download. Don't laugh, but I will get the e-magazine and the print magazine. There is just something about both that I love. I love all of my Vogue Knitting lined up in a row on my book shelf. I love to be able to look at it before it hits the news stands. I wasn't too excited about this because usually I'm not enthused about the patterns in the Spring/Summer issue. But look at this. . .
Isn't this fabulous!?!?! It is a double knitting technique that I can't wait to try. I saw this and my ANTICIPATION exploded.
This is beautiful, but it might require bobbins and I am still a little gun shy from the Rainbow Cardigan.
I want to thank all of you who did a KAL with me Monday while I was snowed in. I know that Lori from Little Traverse Bay joined me as did Linda. If any body else participated in the virtual KAL, let me know. Well, I must get to finishing my Knit-Purl scarf so I can start my Twisted Fiber Arts. It's really great to be home.
Is There Anything Better?
We returned to Michigan yesterday at 1:30, and this is what it looks like today. We had no idea there was a snow storm (named Linus) heading our way until we got home. Luckily, we got home a day early or we would either be driving in this or parked in some hotel waiting for it to stop. Is there anything better than hunkering down and knitting in a snow storm with a cup of hot chocolate? I love it. Schools are closing for tomorrow. Linda's school has closed, and I was hoping we could have a knitting day. Our neighborhood street is and will be impassable as we are a very low priority in snow removal. I guess we will have to "virtual knit."
I love being home with Lydia (my dress form) and my steamer to make things look pretty. Let me show you what I finished while in Sunset Beach. (Just a hint, it's not the Rainbow Cardigan.)
This is yarn from one of my trips to Knit 'n Purl. It is one skein of Silk Garden Sock Yarn and one skein of Kid Silk Haze. It is the perfect travel knitting. It also saved my sanity during Sunset Beach. It calmed me, relaxed me and made me a nicer person for Dick, Mom and Murphy. The pattern is called Sunny Sail and is a free pattern at the Knit 'n Purl website.
Isn't it beautiful fabric? I would encourage you to get acquainted with the Knit 'n Purl website and all of the free patterns, then support this LYS which also sells online. And of course, stop in when you are in Myrtle Beach and tell them Jan Parson sent you.
This is my bag of goodies from Knit 'n Purl. I don't want you to think I have no discipline or willpower when it comes to yarn, but I don't. As I have said before, I am a yarn addict.
I brought lots of material with me to Sunset Beach to use in "Knitting: A Love Story" but I really didn't need it. I am going to share one of the quotes from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee that I planned to use. "I have come to believe that swatches are not actually small samples of knitting that you use to measure gage. (If they were, they would be way better at it, wouldn't they?) I think they are actually small yarn sacrifices that we offer to the knitting fates as a plea for safe passage." Isn't that beautiful.
For all of you who are also snowed in, I invite you to a KAL tomorrow. Pick up your favorite knitting project, a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and picture us all together. Doesn't that sound great?!?!?! For those of you who are not snowed in, pretend. ;-)
This blog is dedicated to Mary Helen Growt my first knitting teacher and the woman who changed my life. The mission of Knitting: A Love Story is to preserve, share and promote the love of knitting.