I feel like I have one less stress in my life, and that is always a good thing.
You know how much I love Marilyn my steamer. Marilyn was a game changer in my life of knitting. All of my knitting went from homemade to handmade from amateur to professional from intermediate to advanced. Marilyn has been with me through 80 Survivor Shawls and so many other treasures I can't even count them. She has made everything I have knit better. Let me introduce you to the newest member of the Stash Studio family.
On the right is Marilyn and on the left is Madonna, my new steamer. Madonna is an equally "hot mama." Marilyn is around 20 years old. She works just like the first day I bought her. Why, you might ask, do I need to buy another steamer?
Marilyn is going to live with Ann at Ann's By Design. All of the knitting teachers love Marilyn. I can't teach a class without her but I have personal steaming I want to do at home. I don't want to drive to Ann's (even though I love Ann's) every time I want to steam something. Usually, Dick helps me lug Marilyn back and forth but since his surgery he has been limited to first 10 now 20 pounds of lifting. It really got to be too much for me. So, I bought a new steamer for me, Madonna, and sent Marilyn to Ann's to live. Everybody is very happy.
Madonna is very much like Marilyn with a few of improvements. Her tank is a pretty beige and grey flecked, all of the couplings have been improved AND Madonna comes with her own little funnel. What a great idea! I don't know how many times I've spilled water all over by missing the opening for water. Madonna also heats up much quicker. Without Dick's surgery, I probably never would have realized I needed the second steamer. In 2016, I could buy Madonna on Amazon. When I bought Marilyn, I had to go through a supply company for dry cleaners.
I feel like I have one less stress in my life, and that is always a good thing.
My love affair with Twisted Fiber Art Evolution in Catnip is no secret. It is also no secret that I love Hazel's Grandma's Bandito scarf pattern. I have put the two together more than once. Like . .
this that I knit for my friend Marlene to thank you for giving notebooks upon notebooks of vintage patterns; and like. . .
this made out of a discontinued colorway called Lumberjack. This will always be mine because there will never be another. And like. . .
this which is waiting for Christmas to choose one of my friends as its owner.
On August 25, Ann's By Design had the Fall Yarn Tasting for new Cascade yarns to be stocked. Just like always, it was a blast.
The shop was filled with happy knitters and crocheters anxiously waiting to try the new yarn to be stocked. I won't tell you about all the yarns but I will tell you about my new favorite yarn to make Bandito.
Cascade's new Melilla is my new favorite yarn. The colors are bright or soft, but always rich and beautiful. I've made two Banditos out of Melilla and they are knock outs!
I wore this to Yarn Tasting and learned I am not the only person who is a sucker for a knitted sample. Picture this. I had an orange top on and the Bandito literally popped off my neck. This would go with anything. I took it off and put it back on so many times, my hair really took a beating. But anything for a sale. For those of you who might want a little more subdued look, I also knit this up.
I really think that Bandito is the must have accessory. It makes any outfit pop. AND IT'S SO EASY! Every row has the same stitch pattern. How easy is that !?!?!?!?! I am going to do a class with Linda for college students using Bandito with Melilla. I am also going to do a class at Ann's By Design using Melilla to make this. . .
Won't that be a hoot? Cat Bordhi's Anemone Hat! People will have a ball! Finding a new yarn is always fun but finding a new yarn that you love is fabulous. How many things can I knit using Melilla? Let me count the ways.
Remember when I told you the story about the time Linda and I got together once a week, every week to knit our Yokohama Sweater?
Here it is and it is spectacular if I do say so myself. We had such a great time. It was when Linda was teaching first grade. We set aside one night a week to work on our sweaters. They were both made from Noro Kureyon. Linda's was pink and mine was #70 this fabulous, discontinued yarn. If you've been reading Knitting: A Love Story for a while, you'll recognize this as an absolutely Jan yarn. It's rainbow, it's spectrum, it's ROY G. BIV!!!!!!! This is what it looks like in the skein.
Isn't it fabulous!
This is my #1, absolutely, favorite yarn of all time in the history of the world. I remember the day I learned Noro had discontinued the color. Panic set in! How could I possibly live my life without #70!?!?!?!?! I went on the internet and bought every ball I could find. After making the Yokohama Sweater, I still have 44 balls left!
This all probably happened 10 or 12 years ago. In that time, my body thermometer has completely changed. I am a hot person now. I could no more wear this than I could walk over hot coals. I have been sadly looking at this sweater for several months. It seemed like such a waste. I didn't want to give it away because the yarn is discontinued so I FROGGED it. I mean I tore it out, I unraveled it, I tinked it. For those of you who don't recognize a couple of my verbs; frogging means you're ripping something out, like rip it, rip it. If you stretch your imagination, it is the sound a frog makes, though my frogs in my pond have never made a "rip it" sound. Tink is knit spelled backwards and it really isn't what I did to the Yokohama Sweater. It really has the "take out" or "knit backwards connotation. What ever the word is, I did it and this is what it looks like. . .
Stage 1 was 2 sleeves, 2 fronts and 2 backs. There were two back because one was knit horizontally and one was knit vertically with a 3 needle bind off in the back. Than came. . .
No matter what state #70 is in, it is beautiful!
Yummy! Just yummy! If I ever again wonder if I secure ends well enough, I just need to think about frogging this sweater. Each of those little points around the sleeves and at the front to the sweater had an end to find. Sometimes I found it right away and other times I searched and searched. There was no way anything was going to come undone in this sweater. Now I had this huge ball of fabulous yarn but I didn't know what to do with it. Then I got an email from Noble Knits. Well, I really get an email from Noble Knits every day. Some days I can resist and some days I can't. There it was. The perfect pattern to use my heartfelt #70. It was called Anemone and was a Cat Bordhi design. I bought the pattern from Ravelry, then I GOT AN EMAIL FROM CAT HERSELF. I have never had that happen. She talked about how Anemone is one of her favorite designs and how she always gets comments when she wears it. Are you ready for this???????
There it is. Isn't it perfect! I love it so much. I learned to much from it. I learned how to do a Cat Bordhi Mobius hat brim; I learned to make tendrils and I learned to do magic loop. When I was done I thought, "this is way too much fun." I have to teach a class at Ann's By Design. I contacted Cat and she gave her blessing. She even suggested I use her uTube videos to teach mobius and tendrils. Of course, people in the class won't have the fabulous #70 to knit with. I think we'll use Cascade Melilla.
I think it will be fabulous. So in this one little hat I; used a yarn I love too much to get rid of, learned how to do a mobius, learned how to make tendrils, learned how to do a magic loop instead of using double pointed needles, found some great videos on uTube as a knitting learning tool and I made a new friend. I can't wait to go to Ravelry and see what my next Cat Bordhi design will be. You must explore the wonderful, whimsical world of Cat Bordhi. I believe she lives in the Pacific northwest. It sounds like another stop on our west coast road trip.
Remember back on May 31 when I posted this plain, little chair. . .
And this pile of pink yarn and told you I was going to. .
add yarn to chair for a Yarn Bombed Chair for the Chairity Auction which is part of Adrian's Artalicious celebration of every thing art? I have finished the chair and dropped it off today to be part of the silent auction. IT IS VERY CUTE! (If I do say so myself.) Like every project we begin, it took much longer and was much more difficult than I thought it would be, but HERE IT IS!
I am so proud of it and learned a great deal about what should go into a project like this. "What?," you might ask should go into a yarn bombed chair. PLANNING, PLANNING AND MORE PLANNING! MEASURING, MEASURING AND MORE MEASURING! I just sort of serendipitously jumped into this, deciding one piece at a time what I was going to do and not considering how it would fit in. I learned this can be a way, but it's not the best way.
"Let's start at the very beginning, that's a very fine place to start." I don't think anybody said it better than Julie Andrews.
This is the seat, the first thing I made. This is a double knitted pattern called Parallax that someday I want to use in a scarf, so I thought I would practice it here. Once gain, I love double knitting. It has such a rhythm. When I finished this, I decided it wasn't big enough and was a little blah, so I decided. . .
to add a ruffle all around. What do I need to do to make a ruffle? I practiced one way then another and finally came up with a pretty presentable ruffle. It's better than "pretty presentable," it's adorable. (If I do say so myself.)
Then I started working on the rungs on the back of the chair. First I did the right side and then I did the left. . .
The big curved back is made in five pieces that I had to work around the spindles that go up and down. I got those five pieces done then Dick's surgery intervened and I began working on my hospital knitting shawl. I must say there wasn't much Zen in this chair. I needed something a little more soothing to help me through the surgery. All of a sudden it was August 17 and I had less than a month to finish Spectacular Shades Of Pink and pretty much a whole chair to finish minus the seat and the big curved back. Next I decided to tackle the spindles. After the five sections on the big curved back took like forever, I decided to look for knit stitches that weren't quite so time consuming. Those two little pieces on the upper right have lots of dropped stitches which went pretty fast. Then I did the little piece on the left. That yarn is filled with little pink stones. The most consuming part was winding.
I decided to sew on what I had to see what I needed. Sewing it together was when I learned the importance of careful measuring. Most pieces were too big and I had to be painstakingly exact to make it look perfect. You know me and perfection! What I learned when I put these nine pieces on the chair was I needed a lot more pieces! So I just have the seat, the curved back and those two little right and left pieces. What next? I did the long center piece. Then I called Linda. My thought was to leave the legs and the rest of the spindles bare. I had hit the wall. The Spectacular Shades Of Pink Chair had become "have to" knitting. Linda talked me down from the ledge and said the legs needed something, too. I took a deep breath, went to Hobby Lobby (not for yarn!) and bought a hot glue gun. All of a sudden things began to fall into place.
I remembered the quote from Vogue's 2015 fall magazine, "If you want to knit faster, crochet!" Then I did the legs. I went back up to the Stash Studio and started looking through my ten tubs of pink yarn for a new inspiration. I found about 20 feet of a thick and thin with flowers every so often. As a matter of fact, there was four flowers. Out with the hot glue gun and that 20 feet of gorgeous fiber. That became the top spindle below the seat and the two bare spindles on the back. Immediately the chair was transformed from something that was ok to something that was over the moon WOW!
I even put little ruffles on the bottom of the crocheted legs then decided the legs needed some foo-foo's. And then TA-DA!
My chair! The Spectacular Shades Of Pink: A Tribute To Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Linda came over Monday to see the finished project. She loved it! She loved the little details like the ruffles on the bottom of the leg to match the ruffle on the seat and the little flowers. She asked me if I would do it again next year. My answer was to ask me next spring. My answer right now would be, "ARE YOU KIDDING!?!?!?! NO!!!" But next year when I have a plan and I have learned from my mistakes, I just might do it again. I made a commitment that I would just use yarn from the Stash Studio. I would not buy any yarn, and I lived up to that commitment. In two weeks, I'll be writing about another project I've doing using my 10 tubs of pink yarn.
If you happen to be in the Adrian, Michigan area, drop into the Adrian District Library in beautiful downtown Adrian and you can see Spectacular Shades Of Pink in person. You could even place a silent auction bid for Artalicious.
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.