Knitting FO: Tolmie, the pullover

Last year, I had to tidy up my craft room often because (a) I kept buying stuff and (b) I was not using my stash. My new goal is to craft from my stash. I want to downsize. I not only need the physical space but the mental as well. I am not trying to preach on this space. What works for me, might not for you. That is what makes this a beautiful world—we all are different & unique.

Let me show you my most recent sweater FO: Tolmie. The pattern comes from a magazine I bought years ago. The pullover was constructed with yarn from stash. I did not have enough of the main color yarn to knit the seater. My work around was to add a second yarn for the neck, sleeves and bottom. Even then, I could not knit long sleeves with the lighter color yarn. I contemplated completing the sleeves with the darker color but at the end decided on three quarter length for them.

I am pleased with not only the fit but also the colors of this sweater. I also took baby steps toward my downsizing goal. Win-Win!

The fine print

Pattern: Tolmie by Josee Paquin, originally published on Amirisu Fall 2016 Issue II

Yarn: Main color is Elann A Series W02 Pure 28 micron mercerized wool (discontinued). Contrast color is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Blackberry.

Needles: US 9 Knitters Pride Royale.

Modifications:

  1. Used two color
  2. Went up to US 9 size needles to get gauge
  3. Three quarter long sleeves

Ravelry project page: here

Finished Object: Handspun Hat

Do you agree with me on that there aren’t enough handspun hats out in the world? I am changing that one at a time. This is my first hat of the New Year!

The original post showcasing the yarn can be found: here.

The details:

Yarn: Superwash Targhee spun from commercially dyed fiber from Highland Handmade (no longer in business).

Needle size: US 7 – 4.5 mm

Pattern: March Hat by Meghan Babin for Kelbourne Woolens. This is part of the “Year of Hats” collection. All twelve free patterns are found in Ravelry: here.

Modifications:

  1. Did not change needle size for brim (ribbing)
  2. Added a few pattern repeats for a slouchier hat

Ravelry: project page

Stash: Gotland Handspun

Edited to add: I began the new year fully inspired and hopeful. Unfortunately, the events of Wednesday, January 6,2021 in Washing DC (USA) dramatically changed my mood. What happened there is totally unacceptable. As the creator of this small space I want to make clear that I condemn violence, bigotry and racism. I am a firm believer in humanity and democracy.

Let’s start the year showcasing my latest handspun. This 75% Gotland and 25% Merino fiber spun with a garment in mind. Who am I?? Planning before sitting in front of the wheel! I am as shocked as you are so let’s move on…

I want to knit the Shoreline vest again. This pattern is included in the book “Swoon Main“. My intention is to sample for gauge and then adjust the pattern…perhaps using the Ann Budd’s book “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters” as a resource.

Another consideration is color. The yarn as is might pool. A decision as to over dye will be made after swatching. Stay stunned.

It’s all in the details

Main fiber: 4 ounces of Gotland from Taku Fiber on Etsy

Second fiber: 2.5 ounces of Merino from my stash

Yardage: 1009 yards pre-washed

Wraps per inch: 14 WPI

Other: S Spun, Z plied on Louet Julia

Knitting WIP: Tolmie sweater

Say hi to my current work in progress (WIP)….her name is Tolmie. It is a beautiful sweater designed by Josee Paquin. I have been playing “yarn chicken”since casting on. I decided to use two different yarns just in case I ran out of the main color.

Let me confess that I cannot put this project down. The chart is not only easy to follow but addictive as well. It’s been a long time since I felt this urge to knit and it feels good.

Pattern: Tolmie by Josee Paquin, originally published on Amirisu Fall 2016 Issue II

Yarn: Main color is Elann A Series W02 Pure 28 micron mercerized wool (discontinued). Contrast color is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Blackberry.

Needles: US 9 Knitters Pride Royale. I went up a needles size to get gauge.

Ravelry project page: here

Thankful

It is difficult is to count our blessings when one is so afraid and stressed. At the end of the day, I have a healthy family, the best friends, food on the table, hobbies and so much more. For all that, I am thankful…

Hope everyone reading this have a good day, week, rest of the 2020. We are in this together with our knitting needles, our spinning wheels and our tapestry needles ready to craft our worries away. With our best intentions and our feet moving forward.

The cross stitch small pillow is “Give Thanks” a free pattern by Lizzie Kate. It was stitched on hand dyed 18 count Aida with my own DMC thread conversion.

Work In Progress: Flamenco Sampler

I have stitched half of the pattern as of today. It has been easy to keep track of where I am in the pattern and the “confetti” stitching is manageable. So far, so good!

This project will be put on hold until the next year. My new focus is on Christmas stitching – starting new projects and fully finishing others. I am that ambitious crafter who wants to do ALL the things before the 25th….cheers!

Pattern: Flamenco by Papillon Creations

Cloth: Aida 14 count in Gray

Thread: DMC 924 and 926

Finished Object: Shoreline Vest

Fresh from the oven is my Shoreline vest. I am so proud of myself — fully finishing even when it doesn’t fit me :-(. I was wishing for the Alpaca to stretch during blocking. It didn’t. The silver lining is that it fits my daughter perfectly!

A second vest, with realistic measurements, is in the pipeline. It will be a handspun.

Ravelry project page: here

Pattern: Shoreline Vest by Carrie Bostick Hoge from the book “Swoon Maine

Yarn: Galler Yarns in Peruvian Tweed (Colorway 123).

Spinning: Potluck Roving

It has been a long time since I spun on my beautiful spindle. The “Zebra Yellowheart stripe over Maple” spindle is from Kundert Spindles. Unfortunately, the artisan temporarily closed his shop due to some medical situation. Hope these affordable pieces of art will become available to spinners worldwide again…soon!

What is that fiber, you ask? According to the label this is 8 ounces of 24 icon virgin wool in color Night Sky. The roving is produced by Ferndale Fiber. Find the list of retailers that sell this roving: here.

Looks like the final 2 ply yarn would be a light fingering weight.

Sweet Pumpkin

This is a very quick project and is perfect for yarn leftovers. I can see a “scraptastic” pumpkin in my future.

Pattern: Spice Pumpkin Pattern (free). It also includes a crochet version of the pumpkin.

Modifications:

  1. My biggest modification was to use the increase & decrease “points” as guide for the pumpkin ridges. These “points” are very visible and equally spaced.
  2. Worsted weight yarn
  3. US size 3

Ravelry project page: here.

Work in Progress: Knitting & Cross Stitch

This week’s post is all about Work In Progress (WIPs). I started a vest in a very rustic, light and yummy yarn. I purchased this Peruvian Tweed alpaca skein in Stitches South 2014. Check other Galler Yarns: here.

Pattern: Shoreline vest by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Needles: US size 5

Ravelry project page: here

My first cross stitch sampler is from Papillon Creations. I love everything about this project. From the PDF format to the colors I have chosen. Check out the designer’s website: here.

Pattern: Flamenco by Papillon Creations

Cloth: Aida 14 count in Gray

Thread: DMC 924 and 926

Rose City Rollers No. 1

My first pair of Rose City Rollers will not be the last! I love how they look and fit.

Reasons to love the Rose City Rollers pattern: 

  • Pattern is free. Ravelry link.
  • Socks are quick to knit and easily adaptable.
  • Instructions are best in class and include step by step to complete two different toe shaping.

Project Details

Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks FX in Cameo colorway

Needles: US size 3

Size/Toe: Small / RoundRound

A new to me craft: cross stitch

Cross stitch is becoming one of my favorite crafts. It all began in March, when my state went into lockdown, as a way to keep my mind busy by learning something totally new to me. As in the past, You Tube proved to be a great resource with many FlossTubes (podcasts) and tutorials to learn from. 

This little project comes from “The Sampler Motif Book” by Brenda Keyes. This book was first published in 1995. I bought it used for almost nothing. In my opinion, some of its patterns can be easily updated by changing the call for threads and cloths. This versatility is one of the things that I enjoy the most about cross stitching. I love adding my touch to every project.

Pattern name: Fruit Tree

Stitched on: hand dyed 14 count Aida

Threads: DMC 221, 301, 350, 938 and 3787

Finishing materials: Burlap, ribbon, jute twine

Linen, cotton and community

I recently finished “Lustre”, a drapey shawl knitted with a linen and cotton blend yarn. This was the project that brought my knitting mojo back.

Crafting is my therapy; a necessity during turbulent times. Expect to see some more knitting, spinning and even cross stitch in here. I am excited to be back at blogging. Hoping this space will help me re-connect with other crafty souls.

Pattern (free): Cotton Lustre Wrap by Carrolldj

Yarn: Berroco Linsey (64% cotton, 36% linen) in colors Pomegranate, Blonde and Driftwood.

Needles: US size 10.5

Ravelry link: here

Stressed? Then knit (and wash your hands!).

Stressful times call for casting new projects and lifting the quarantine on current WIPs! 
This week I have been working on a free pattern named “Cotton Lustre Wrap“. The yarn, a cotton and linen blend, is providing for a wonderful  drape and texture to the shawl. So far, my hands are not suffering while knitting this. Their mad dryness is due to world record number of hand washing. Let’s not even discuss if these three colors go together. Ignore that the combo might remind you of  low calorie, organic and gluten-free Neapolitan ice cream. There are bigger fish to catch out there. After all, the yarn is discontinued. Found six skeins on clearance at my LNS –long time ago when social interactions at less than thee feet apart were seen as normal.

Until the next time. Lather, rinse, knit and be kind!

Warm hands

Two new mittens finally received a well deserved wash and block. Both pairs were finished last year with very special yarns.

Pattern (free): Lambing Mitts by Veronica Jobe. Link here.

Yarn: Cestari Traditional Collection Sock Weight, a Targhee & Columbia blend, in Natural Light. To my surprise, as I washed them, the water quickly turned light brown. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn and would definitely consider it for a larger project.
Pattern: Squad Mitts by Ann Weaver from “Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 1”. Ravelry link here
Yarn: Two ply Merino handspun that I dyed blue at home and Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in Stone.

 

Antlers on

  

The Antler toque is a wonderful, and free, pattern by the talented Tin Can Knits team. I used “Imperial Yarn Columbia” in the Teal Heather color way. This is an Aran weight yarn. The recommended yarn for this pattern is worsted weight. 

I should have used different size needles as it turned out a bit tight for my big “brain”. You live, you learn. It is still getting a lot of use. Baby, it is cold outside!

 

 

Granny Blanket

This Granny Blanket, a free pattern by Purl Soho, is my first ever crochet project.  I found the instructions to be beginner friendly.

While the colors and materials of the original blanket are gorgeous, the over $140 USD in yarn for my first crochet project didn’t seem right at first. I am using a Caron yarn exclusively sold at Michael’s. It feels synthetic but not terrible. In retrospect, I wish I used a nicer yarn!

The colors are just perfect for the recipient, my daughter, who loves a happy yellow any given day.

Carmine

This project was completed on November 2018. Back then I didn’t know what eventful months laid ahead. Oh, 2019…never a dull moment. I am taking one day at a time. Going back to activities that bring me joy. Hello again sweet purls. I have missed you dearly. Thanks for waiting until I was ready to come back.
I purchased the Superwash Targhee from Highland Handmade. Sadly, it looks like they are out of business. The fiber was a joy to spin in my Turtle Made spindle.
I created several “singles turtles” (a hundred percent not sure that is a technical term) and offload then into my swift. Then, the singles were transferred into two bobbins and plied on my Louet Julia wheel.
The yarn is about 11 wraps per inch or a DK weight, 290 yards. Possible patterns, in my library, to knit with this yarn: Pastella hat, Brick Sidewalk beanie (free on Ravelry) or the Hackberry hat.

Handspun Scarf

Who would have thought I would enjoy knitting a very long scarf so much? Perhaps the success was due to a nice match of yarn and pattern. 

Ravelry project details: here.

What a great feeling it is to have this scarf that I love  — after so much time and effort spinning and plying the singles and finally knitting the yarn. I used almost 500 yards on this project. I cannot wait for winter to wear this over and over.

 

Work in Progress: all the chocolate

I cannot live without chocolate in my pantry…or in my stash, apparently.

I am knitting a hat using Blue Sky organic cotton in color number 623. The yarn is super soft and pleasant to knit with.  I am entering this in the Glidden Hat KAL hosted by Blue Sky Fibers. Head over to the forum for more information.

Also on the needles is a pair of plain vanilla socks in Online Supercocke 100 color number 904. I have been caught myself smiling at the yarn!! Perhaps due to my constant craving for all things chocolate.

Twins!

I am the proud mama of twin…socks! They are fraternal. It wasn’t planned. Is what happens when one buy too much yarn. But, who am I to judge?

The first pair was knit with Regia 4 ply in color 7200 Moewe.

The yarn for the second pair is Opal. Unfortunately I cannot find the ball band to list the color here 😦

Both pair of socks softened when blocked. They fit wonderfully! I guess one cannot go wrong with either Regia or Opal – both workhorse yarns with fun (similar) colors.

Back where I left

A finished object makes me feel like a Knitter (with capital K). This cowl has seen lots of wear since I finished it.  It was my first time knitting with Dream in Color Smooshy and I really enjoyed its rich color and high twist.

Ravelry Project page: here.
The pattern is from the book Scarf Style 2. Totally recommend this book even when it was published back in 2013. It has twenty six patterns from renowned designers like Jarred Flood, Pam Allen, Laura Nelking, Veronica Avery and Romi Hill. Even Brioche made it to the book! I do not regret buying it used at a real bargain and see myself casting on another pattern in the future.

Post vacation

Finished ObjectMy Turkish spindle provided great entertainment for the long drive to and from Washington DC.

This is a Blue Face Swirl in a Limited Edition colorway by Gale’s Art. I spun two ounces in my Turkish spindle and the remaining two in my Kromski wheel. The final yarn is super spongy. Yardage is to be determined — skein looks substantial (how about that?).

New to me magazine

I picked up the third issue of the Making Magazine at Fibre Space. This is a gem and I want to make everything in it. I will not pass on next time Madder open up subscriptions.  The magazine is worth every penny, in my opinion!

Vacation highlights

  • Family time. Priceless. As crazy and imperfect we all are, magic happens when we get together.
  • Visits to Fibre Space and Looped Yarn Works. No yarn came home. Books, tools, bags and fiber made the cut!
  • Impromptu escape to the REI Flagship store in DC!
  • Yummiest empanadas at Panas in Dupont Circle.

Spinning and stashing

Another week and my master closet is not done. We are still waiting for the hardwood floor. Jumping of joy for more days of having to tour the house to complete an outfit. Shoes in one corner. Tops in the spare room and bottoms in the crafty room. Confession time: I’ve been wearing the same shoes out of laziness.

Also in progress is some spindle spinning. Of course, I discovered another bag of blue fiber after I was done with three skeins (blogged here). My goal is to be done tomorrow. We are going on vacation and I want an empty spindle to start a new project.

Spinning here and stashing there. Multi tasking in other words. Who could resist these two skeins of Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock? Left: Inner Child  and right: Sunstone

Talk to you after vacation. Knit, eat and smile at every opportunity!

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July! Hope that everyone is having a spectacular and safe day.

My husband and I have been working on remodeling our master closet. Lot’s of stuff is being donated. The walls are waiting for a fresh coat of paint. The lighting is being upgraded as well as the organization system. All of that translates to hard work, money out of the door and not much knitting or grilling.

I was able to spin a gorgeous Ashland Bay Multi-Colored Merino Top that I bought from The Woolery. Colorway is Rose Quarz.

Two ounces of Fiber, woolen spun, two ply yarn at around fourteen wraps per inch which could pass for sports weight. Yardage still to be determined.

Now a Flicker

A few weeks ago I learnt about flicking! If you are late to the party just like me, flicking is a variation of the English knitting method. Similar to Continental, flicking facilitates both hands to stay in the needles instead of dropping a needle to throw the yarn as you do with traditional English knitting.

Fascinated by the possibility of reducing hand movements and therefore knitting a bit faster, I’ve watched a good number of YouTube videos to learn the technique. If interested, I recommend you do do a search on “Flicking knitting” in YouTube.
Knitting a cowl with simple knit and purl stitches is providing good practice on this new to me technique. I am a convert, my friends!
There is not much to say now about my WIP as it is just a few rows in. I will blog about the pattern and yarn in a later post.
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