It been a difficult week in the knitting department at 4208 Monticello Drive. When I finished Verdigreen, I was geeked to jump right into fearless knitting. I’ve been a little bit of a slacker in the fearless department since Stay Home Stay Safe. Since this is My Year Of Fearless Knitting 2.0, I decided the jump back on the wagon and get into what I love best. God knows I have many fearless things in the queue just patiently waiting their turn. Well, I decided to start with this. . .
I loved the looks of this. It reminded me of Jacaranda with stacked increases and decreases. As a matter of fact, it looked much easier than Jacaranda. I saw this pattern and it went right to the front of the queue. The pattern said to use self striping yarn with a long color change. I thought I had the perfect yarn.
I love this color combination. And really, colorful yarn and fearless knitting! Is that right up my alley or what?!?!?! I studied the pattern like I always do before I start a treasure. As I looked at Puddle Jumping and Havirland, I wanted to jump right in and try it. But hold on. One of the main reasons why I like wraps and scarves better than cowls is casting on. With Jacaranda I only had to cast-on 83 stitches. With Puddle Jumping, I had to cast-on 192, 240 or 288 AND make sure the stitches weren’t twisted when I joined. See, things I once did without thinking, I obsessed about. 192 and 240 are for self striping with a short color change and 240 and 288 are for self striping with a long color change. I decided on 192 and cast-on. Then I decided to be on the safe side I would cast-on 240 that way it was supposed to work for either. I cast-on, did 2 rows of the pattern only to discover my stitch count didn’t come out right and things things didn’t appear to be lining up. The color wasn’t lining up in any discernible way and it kind of looked like a unicorn had vomited. So, I moved on to this.
Pumpkins and Wool’s Light’s On! I had been wanting to use this and it seemed perfect. Do you hear the past tense there? I cast-on 240 and did 2 rows. So far, so good and I stopped for dinner. In my house dinner means a glass of wine. Need I say more. After dinner I picked up Puddle Jumping excited to start. When I finished row 3, I knew I had really messed up some where. I was supposed to be at the end of the round and I had 8 stitches before the marker.
That’s where I am. I thought I better move on to something else. I decided it had to be Beaubourg and I would teach myself Brioche.
I’ve loved this since my eyes first fell on this fearless vision of color. I thought, “How hard can it be?” I’ve taught myself everything else. The cast-on is an i-cord that you pick up stitches from. Not me, I decided to do the i-cord cast-on. About this time I was feeling pretty sure of myself. Then the pattern came. Honest! I have tried and tried. I have read the pattern out loud as I knit. I just couldn’t wrap my head around what I was doing. Linda and I had our weekly long distance social knitting and I relayed my knitting trials to her. She said, “Jan, you have Covid Brain.” I was so relieved because I thought it might be the beginnings of dementia! She says she’s had the same thing. I can’t tell you how comforted I was. It was difficult enough to learn during all of this that I’m officially elderly without dementia creeping in. I decided I love Beaubourg too much to give up. Tomorrow I am meeting with Lyn, one of the teacher’s from Ann’s By Design to have her teach me all about brioche. Can’t wait to show you this wonder of wonders in a couple of weeks. Oh, I won’t be finished but I will have enough done to share. Wish me luck.
You probably don’t remember the old song lyrics that go “When you’re feeling sad and lonely” and the solution becomes “Call me.” It’s not phone calls that bring me out of the blue funk, it’s color. I have knit with even more brighter, bolder colors than usual. I have shared my exploits with Verdigreen since I discovered it and Cascade Whirligig at Knit ‘N Purl in January. Let’s take a walk through the epic of Verdigreen.
I used 2 cakes of Whirligig starting each cake at a different color. The Marvelous Martina who was my Verdigreen guide said I could use use two cakes and start at different colors for a large wrap or one cake using a strand from the inside and outside for a scarf. I wanted to see as many colors together as I could.
It was about here in the knitting process that I had an “Aha moment.” I realized that Verdigreen could be a study in color theory and yarn substitutions. There are two pattern segments but really no direction to do each one a prescribed number of times. As I knit, I kept knabbling about yarn weights and learnings about which colors work together and which ones don’t really zing. If this would have been a gift, I would have ripped it out and made sure each color popped. But about this time I realized I was knitting a sample for a class at Ann’s By Design on color theory and yarn substitutions using Verdigreen as the vehicle. I taken color class before and learned a lot but I missed the hands-on knitting experience. So here we are. Verdigreen is done, a class is planned and I feel very accomplished. Here we go with the finished product.
Once again Lydia makes everything I knit look better. During my knitting, I realized that different yarn and different colors could give a very different look.
This is Perth from Queensland and my go to Ultra Alpaca Lite. I have 25 skeins just waiting to be added to a treasure and make the color pop.
This is Shawl In A Ball with Ultra Alpaca Lite. It is a little fuzzy so in person it has a different look than Perth. Hopefully, by the time the class runs, which I think may September, I’ll have some samples of different yarn knit up.
Well, what do you think? Verdigreen has done so much for my mental health during this time of Stay Home Stay Safe. It has provided me with a problem to solve, which I love. It has provided me with something finished so I feel accomplished. It has provided with just the right amount of knabbling to help me through times of short attention span. And of course, it has provided me with much needed color. Thank you Verdigreen.
Here we are 8 weeks into Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives order. I feel very productive but do miss social knitting. With so much time, I have been exploring new indie fiber companies. I have rung the fiber bell more than once! If you would like to become an Indie Explore, you must subscribe to the Indie Untangled newsletter. I knew nothing about this fabulous purveyor of temptation until my sister Kathy introduced me a couple of weeks ago. INDIE UNTANGLED, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE! I know you will love it, too.
I would encourage you to subscribe then you would be as out of control as I currently am. Indie Untangled temps you with amazingly unique, gorgeous yarns then seamlessly whisks you to that webpage of wonderment. Let me show you my first discovery.
This is Pumpkins and Wool’s colorway Lights Out! Jane asked how I was going to use it. I haven’t figured that out yet. I think it is amazing beautiful but I think I need to play with it to see how the colors stack before I pick a pattern. I also think I need to stare at it, touch it and drool on it for a while. On to the next amazing Indie Yarnista.
Let me introduce you to the magnificent McMullin Fiber Company. I must admit this was the Indie Yarnista who started it all. The first Indie Untangled newsletter I got had a McMullin sample picture. I raced to the website and never looked back. This is Posh Sock and it’s 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere and 10% nylon. The colorway is Briar Rose. Once again, my photography skills aren’t the best but can’t you tell how yummy it is?
This is Squishy 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Nylon. The Colorway is Marina.
As you can see, this is Sublime Superwash Merino in colorway Aqua and Amethyst.
This is Sublime in colorway Siren.
This is PoshDK with the same marvelous blend as Posh Sock. The colorway is Misty Mountain Cold.
Last but certainly not least is another Squishy in colorway Make It Work. There is only one skein instead of 2 because that’s all they had. In today’s Indie Untangled, I was in for a welcome surprise.
Do you remember me praising The Noble Thread in Wilmington? I loved that shop but it went out of business after we came home February 1. Well, here it is! The bricks and mortar may be out of business but the fabulous fiber and creativity are not. Here she is! I am so excited to know that some place in Wilmington this lovely, creative woman is still applying her talents.
I have other beauties discovered during this strange and chaotic time but they may be a post all of there own. But I want to end with the email I received from McMullin Fiber Company today.
Is this the most amazing offering or what? A Christmas Advent Calendar with 24 Squishy minis and a main color. I can’t wait to see what’s there so I can find the perfect pattern. Like the post says, “In The Beginning There Was Color.” Color will always be with me. It will be my beginning, middle and end. My Alpha and my Omega. It will be the love of my life (well, next to Dick and Tess.)
Well, I really didn’t think Stay Home, Stay Safe would last this long. What has kept my boat afloat are books, communication with my friends and, of course knitting. To keep both oars in the water (I thought I give up sports metaphors for water metaphors) I have relied on color and lots of it. Well, I have finished my amazing (even if I do say so myself) double knitting project and here it is.
This may have been one of my most interesting projects. Just what I needed to keep my mind focused and occupied. This is Wendescal “Neue Galaxies” by Daniela Jutzi. Notice that the title is in German? Well, so was the pattern! I do not speak, read or write German, so how did I do this? I know how to double knit, so all I needed was a chart. This was done from memory of how to double knit and a chart. I am pretty proud of myself. When I bound off at the pink end, a little tear rolled down my face. This has been such a solace for me during this very strange time. It has kept me focused, smiling and excited. I thank Freia and her wonderful Dirty Hippy colorway and Daniela for her breathtaking pattern. They were just what the Dr ordered for me.
Lydia always makes treasures look better. I think it is her basic black attire.
Or maybe it is her model-like physique.
To quote Rod Stewart, “You wear is well.”
Last night Linda and I FaceTimed social knitting. We each are working on the same thing. Do you remember this?
I bought S Curve at the Yarn Barn of Kansas during December of 2018. I loved it as it caught my eye across the room and I still love it. It seems that newer things bumped it out of the queue. When I came home from visiting Linda, I sent her one as a little thank you. Linda mentioned she was going to pick it up so we decided it make it a Knit Along from afar. My colorway is called Rainbow. Are you surprised? My rainbow is made up of 11Mountain Colors Twizzlefoot colors. (Man! That was a real hard sentence to get right. I’m not sure I did.)
I’m on row 3 and Linda is on row 18, so I better get on the stick. One of the things that has kept me going during Stay Home, Stay Safe is discovering new indie fiber companies and, well, buying yarn. I have a bunch coming so next post will be about who and what I’ve discovered. Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Knitting.
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.