I think I can…

I am about 10 days into my Holbrook Shawl and the progress is encouraging. I have only 3 repeats of the main stitch pattern, which means 18 more rows, if I want to end it there and move on to the border. I had entertained the idea of adding two more repeats to make it a bit larger, but I am probably just going to go with the size as written. I would like to have this one finished in time to have it in the booth at Pittsburgh and Raleigh next month.

Speaking of fiber festivals, I have been working through my other show prep lists when I am not knitting or taking care of the household and family tasks. It has been a challenge with all the rain this winter but I did manage to get some yarn dyeing done on Monday. This is about half of it which I put back out on the lines today during a short respite in the wet weather. My next opportunity to get it all dry will be Sunday and Monday.

There are things that can be done on rainy days too. I have some Yarn Boxes I need to wax, yarn labels that need printed, cut apart and color labeled, patterns to be printed, etc. Of course it’s that time of year that we all dread; tax time. I have done my Federal return, first quarter sales tax returns, and local business personal property return, so that’s at least out of the way. Whew! I also need to take my truck to get some scheduled maintenance done before I hit the road again.

What’s Next?

I am finished with my Dowland shawl and have begun my next project. I actually have quite a few in the queue, but have selected and wound the yarn for the next two projects. The darker one is Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn in color Slate which is the yarn I am using for a new Holbrook shawl in the photo below. The light green is Classic Merino Superwash Sport yarn in color Honeydew which I will be using for a new Kimani shawl. I need to knit new samples of both of these due to inventory changes.

Holbrook Shawl beginning

Holbrook should be a quick knit even if I decide to enlarge the original size a bit. It is an easily memorized lace and I remember it being very fast the first time I made it.

Dowland on the blocking mat

So, I was blocking Dowland yesterday and to my annoyance I realized I still need more blocking mats. I thought 18 should be plenty but if I had just ONE more I wouldn’t have had to come up with the work around you see below for that ONE point I couldn’t pin down. Sigh. It worked for this time but I will be buying some more before I block the next shawl, just in case. Of course I won’t need them then, right? :-D

Looks like I still need more blocking mats. :-)

I am quite pleased with how it came out and hope it will inspire many knitters in the booth this year. I can’t believe it’s only about a month until festival season begins again for me. First up is the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival and the next weekend I am happy to be going back to the Carolina Fiber Festival.

Usonian Shawl
Katania Shawl
Dowland Shawl

I hope to have the Holbrook finished to add to these three new samples. I think it is too much to expect that I can have the Kimani finished before I leave but I should have it on the needles to work on in my down time while I am traveling.


Knit Blockers and Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival

I finished the knitting on Usonian but before I get to the report on my new blocking tools let me show you what I cast on next. Dowland is a half-pi (semi-circle) lace shawl. I like this style shawl as they look so elegant and seem so fast to knit. This one is especially pretty I think. I am using my Classic Merino Bamboo again in the Atlantic color. I started it a few days ago and am already on the 5th chart.

Okay so on to the blocking of Usonian; I apologize that the pictures aren’t spectacular. The weather is just gray, gray, and more gray, not to mention rainy so much of the time that outdoor pictures just aren’t happening at the moment. At least it’s not snow, that’s that. ;-)

Fresh off the needles shot.

I attempted to block this on Tuesday, but very quickly realized that what one of my commenters said was correct, I hadn’t ordered enough of the mats or the Knit Blockers. Sigh. So I ordered more and they arrived Thursday evening. So on Friday morning I put the shawl back in water to soak and then spin out in the washer before trying again.

Even with two sets of Knit Blockers I ran a tiny bit short but managed to shift a few around and get the job done. I used 16 of the Blocking Mats of the 18 I have now. That seemed adequate but I could see a larger shawl possibly needing a few more than the 18. I may be ordering more of both in the future. I did really like using them and found them a bit easier and less fiddly than wires and pins. It may depend on the project though. We’ll see how the half – pi shape works. From previous experience with that shape you can only use the wires across the top straight edge and have to use pins only for the round side. It seems like it may be require similar application with these Knit Blockers. Threading the wires through the edges is always my least favorite aspect of blocking and using these as a substitute for that part was a positive experience. It certainly made the job quicker and less tedious.

I love how this shawl came out and can’t wait to show it off in the booth this year. It’s about 2 months until my first scheduled festival rolls around. This year my calendar begins March 15th with the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. I have been a part of this show since it’s earliest years and I am very excited about the this year’s show. It is the 15th year and lots of special things are planned to celebrate. It is also returning to it’s roots a bit by moving to a hotel hosted location that is adjacent to but not in the downtown area. Class registration in a huge variety of fiber arts of all kinds are live on the website. I hope to see some of you there!

New Pattern and More

I have a few things today. First I finally got that pattern written up and published for the little Cables and Lace Baby Blanket.  I included a couple additional sizes as suggestions to the one I knit up, with the caveat that they are estimates as to actual finished sizes and yardage requirements.  It is a charted only pattern since when I wrote up the stitch pattern itself, I made it as a hand written chart on graph paper and I didn’t want to take the time to write it out. The chart is pretty straight forward and easy to follow and since there isn’t even any shaping, I think that even a knitter new to charts should be able to use it and hopefully realize that charts are your friend. ;-) I have it listed on Ravelry and my website for $5 and the yarns can be found on my website as well. I used the Organic Cotton Sport but the Classic Merino Superwash Sport would be perfect too.

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The next thing is that I am very close to finishing Tendrilly. I finished the last body section row last night and since I have some free time today after getting most of my booth set up done yesterday, I hope to get the edging done today. It’s only 13 rows. I love how it is coming out and it’s possible I could get it steam blocked to bring in the booth for the weekend’s event, Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) .

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You may remember that I said I may modify the size, and I did decide to do that. The main reason for that was because I needed a 3rd skein of the Classic Merino DK to complete even the smaller version but I would have only used about a fourth of it. I hate to waste yarn so I thought a altered version would probably use up most of the third skein. Now I am just hoping it is plenty for the 13 rows remaining and the bind off. I think I have plenty so I am not too worried. All my modification notes are in the Ravelry link above for my project page if you are interested in that. I won’t bore you with it here for those who aren’t. :-)

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The last thing newsworthy is that, as mentioned above I am in Asheville, NC for my 13th year (!) at SAFF. This show is special to me and one of my favorites for many reasons. This was the first show I attended as a vendor back in 2006, and it changed many things about our business model. It’s also such a nice area to visit, although I don’t get much time for sight seeing. I do have some time to myself today but I will probably just use it to knit and maybe take a break about lunch time for a stroll and some food in a mall near my hotel. Cheers!

 

Post From Virginia

Hi again! The Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival was great with wonderful weather and lots of attendees.

I have been enjoying a few days off while waiting for my next show set up on Friday for the Fall Fiber Festival of Virginia . I have mostly spent my time catching up on my reading and knitting, but I did go out on Tuesday to visit Luray Caverns. I had a nice time and have a few pictures, though not great ones I am afraid.

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I have been re-reading the Cormoran Strike novels before starting the newest one that was released last week; Lethal White. It’s not a genre I read often but I can’t resist anything written by J.K.Rowling. These are both interesting as far as the mystery goes, and, even better to me, they are also character driven stories. I have loved getting to know the main characters Cormoran and Robin as the series has grown. It’s what she does so well. I am almost finished with The Silkworm already.

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In knitting progress news; I have gotten to the last chart on Tendrilly which repeats 4x or 6x but I may be doing a hybrid size and repeat it 5x. If I do 4x it will leave about 3/4 of the 3rd skein but doing 6x will require a 4th skein. I am hoping to use just about 3 full skeins with my modification. I will know more as I approach that stage.

Virginiabeer

When I get a chance I like to sample local micro-brews, and this was my find here in Virginia to enjoy on my little vacation. Cheers!

Late Again..

I know it’s been a couple weeks since my last post, and I have no excuse. I had shows back to back and last week I was home for 8 days in a row and didn’t have a million things to do for a change, so I took a break. It was great. I just spent time with my people and got some knitting, cleaning, reading, etc.. done.

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I did finish my new cable and lace baby blanket and worked up the chart for the pattern. I don’t have it all written up yet, but it shouldn’t take too long once I get to it. I may do that next week while I am here in Virginia between shows.

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I also started a new sample for the booth on Wednesday night in my Classic Merino DK yarn using one of my new colors from this year; Quartzite. The design is one of Dee O’Keefe’s newest patterns called Tendrilly. It’s more cabley, lacey goodness in one of my new favorite styles, a triangle knit from the tip. That link takes you to my project page where you can also link to the pattern, and IIRC Dee is having a BOGO sale through the 5th of October. ;-)

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As I mentioned above I am in Virginia at the moment and will be here for two shows on consecutive weekends. The one that I set up for today is the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in Berryville, VA. It rained on me all the way from East Tennessee yesterday, but the sun is finally out today. The weekend weather forecast looks great too!

I am not sure how I will spend my 4 days off except for one thing. I have been meaning to visit Luray Caverns since I starting coming up here and I think this is the year. Will let you know!

Cables and Lace

cable-lace-5 reps

I am making pretty quick progress on the cable and lace baby blanket. I have 5 repeats of the chart completed and it is 14″ including the border. The border is 1 1/4″ so that is 2 1/2″ for both edges; each repeat is just under 2 1/2″ so I should need about 13 repeats to end up with about 35″ for the length. There will probably be multiple sizes in the pattern if I can figure yardage requirements for the other sizes without knitting them. ;-)

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As promised I have some nicer pictures of Kassiani in it’s final glory. As always Dee’s pattern is perfect and fun to make. You can find the pattern in that Ravelry link and if you are interested, the Classic Merino Bamboo yarn I used is on my website.

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This shawl will be making it’s debut at my next fiber festival which is Wisconsin Sheep & Wool in Jefferson, WI next weekend.

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