Tip Tok Tank is Done

Thanks  Emily Bolduan from Maker Maker for designing this cute free pattern. I have made just two modifications: (a) used worsted instead of recommended sports weight yarn and, (b) changed needle size to US 6 (4.5mm). With these changes my gauge was 20 stitches vs 21 stitches in 4 inches as suggested in the pattern with the recommended yarn..

The after blocking measurements aligned for the most part with a Medium size :

  • Bust circumference=34 in (approx. 86 cm)
  • Lower body length=18 in (approx. 46 cm) ** longer than suggested **
  • Upper body length=8 in (approx. 20 cm)
  • Neck width=9 in (approx. 23 cm)

The cotton & wool blend yarn, O Wool Balance, is lovely to knit with. It has great stitch definition and is very light weight wise. All the project details are also documented in my Ravelry page.

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New Project: Tip Top Tank

Even though I have plenty of projects that could keep me busy for a year or two, I thought it was a great idea to cast on a new one. Blame the North American heat waves for the lack of common sense.

I cannot put this project away! The pattern is easy to follow and the yarn, despite being a cotton blend, does not hurt my hands. There were no warranties that a cropped tank would look good on me. Go figure! Therefore, I am performing sweater surgery now that I am confident that I have enough yarn to complete the tank. I cut the sweater at the ribbing band, pickup stitches and am adding length to the whole thing. Love how is turning out.

The fine print….

  • Pattern: “Tip Top Tank” designed by Emily Bolduan from Maker Maker. There are plenty of free patterns on the designer’s website.
  • Yarn: O Wool Balance Worsted Weight (50% Cotton & 50% Merino wool). Color is Butterstone.
  • Needles: ChiaoGoo US 7 (4.5 mm). Changed needle size to get gauge as pattern is written for Sports weight yarn.
  • Ravelry project page

Polish Merino Wool

This Kromski Polish Merino wool is part of my 2021 Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) stash. The eight ounce combed top was very reasonably priced. At twenty-seven micron count the wool is not the softest Merino on the market. Yet, the fiber was well prepared and spun nicely into approximately 800 yards of two ply DK weight yarn. The color is “Mossy Green”.

I would definitely buy this fiber again. There is additional fiber information and photos of available colors in Kromski’s website.

Roadtrip Amusement

We are headed north where my daughter will compete in a tennis tournament. These days, for long drives, I require as much entertainment and snacks as the toddler next door.

I am packing a skein of deep stash Mission Falls yarn, some handspun and notions for a new cast on. The pattern,”Ninth River” by Whole Earth Education (Ravelry link), seems to be simple enough to keep me busy on the road and calmed at the courts. Let’s see if magic happens and they bag content comes back in the shape of two nicely finished mittens.

It promises to be a hot weekend. I am also packaging some Vermouth.

Spotlight: Eco Yarn Studio Advent Calendar

My husband surprised with a yarn advent calendar back in December 2021. My first ever! It was so fun to open woolly packages on random days.

The worsted weight bundle included seven mini skeins (44 yards each) and one full size skein (220 yards). In total, there are 528 yards for a nice size project. The 100% Peruvian wool was naturally dyed with plants by Anastasia from Eco Yarn Studio.

I would love to support this Canadian shop again in the near future and wanted to showcase it here as I believe any knitter would relish working with this amazing yarn.

A hat and its possibilities

This lovely pattern was part of a yet another KAL that I started with frenzy but then put aside and didn’t finish by the deadline. I keep getting “F” on my KAL report cards!

I absolutely love this simple hat pattern. But, I don’t enjoy knitting with cotton. Hopefully, the hat will provide some warmth this winter. And, also hopefully, it will be comfortable to wear. If this hat doesn’t work out, my plan is to frog and knit dish clothes with the yarn. I am trying to look at a half full of glass (for a change!).

The details:

What is my newest handspun?

Here is my new skein of handspun yarn. Despite my good intentions to spin all four ounces on my electric wheel, I switched to my trusty Louet Julia half way into the project. I lost way too much fiber due to breakages and tension issues spinning on the e-wheel. Still, I have a decent amount of yarn for perhaps a hat.

What’s going on? Stitching…

Once again, the stress and sadness have battered me. I cannot make peace with the two mass shootings occurred here in the United States. One of them hit SO close….within 15 miles of my home. Please keep this country and the victims in your thoughts. We are in desperate need of reconciliation, peace, and empathy.

Going back to regular programming: As suspected, I didn’t have enough yarn to finish my Lila pullover. Not winning the yarn chicken game took my knitting mojo away. I have a plan B with a different yarn (used already in the neck) but for now the project is on time out. Or, should I should say, the knitter is on time out?

I have been stitching up a storm on this beautiful geometrical pattern.

Chart name: Sea Glass. Stitch count 162×162

Designer: CM Designs

Thread: Called for DMC threads

Cloth: Zweigart 18 count Aida (modification as pattern suggests 14 count)

New thing: Gridding the cloth with a Pilot FriXion pen. The tint will fades with heat.

Will I win this game?

I am playing the yarn chicken game. Have yet finished one sleeve on my Lila pullover and all yarn let is what you see below. Ravelry project link: here.

For the sleeves on this project, I used my new shiny stitch holders. They were sponsored by my husband. He got them at the Modern Daily Knitting shop but they seem to be unavailable now. You can still buy them at this Etsy store.

The holders have super pointy ends. Getting the stitches on and off is very easy. They hold a decent amount of stitches. If you are in the market, I fully recommend these!

Wish me luck in my finishing stages of his sweater. I am really ready to cast on something new.

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!

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.

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.

The Blues

It was all about spinning this past week. My favorite wheel, Julia, is not feeling well. I’ve changed it’s driver band and ball bearings…and still cannot make it spin like in good old days. So while Julia rested I worked with my Kromski wheel on spinning a beautiful Julie Spins’ gradient.

I separated the fibre and spun three different two ply yarns: blue, turquoise and both colors blended with some white Merino I had in stash. I am happy with the results and yardage. There should be enough yarn for a very blue shawl.

About Stash Enhancement

Still valid is my goal of being mindful about stash enhancements. I am not one to get stressed about any upcoming show update. I don’t have to knit with the hottest yarn in the market. But, if a skein strikes my fancy, I will let it come home without guilt.

I am enamored  with this Swans Island yarn. Check out their beautiful website: here.

Organic Merino | 525 yards | Fingering Weight | Natural Color Collection

The second skein is from Three Irish Girls.

Adorn Sock | 430 yards | Fingering Weight | Wendy Darling colorway

Don’t you think the yarns go along well? 

 For a very practical discussion about stash enhancement, I recommend watching episode three of the “Hand Me My Knitting” podcast around the 22:41 time mark. Link here.

Having a great time

Hello February! You are my favorite, my birthday month.

I was eager to knit with Quince & Co. Tern. It is an exquisite 25% linen and 75%

wool blend. I am using two skeins of color Kelp. I want this yarn to shine; to be the center of attention. Hence a simple pattern: The Big Blue by Meg Gadsbey / Atelier Yarn.

I am keeping my hands soft with these Loccitane lotions — thanks Santa for a perfect knitter’s gift!

Hope that you are finding peace everyday–no matter how stressful the daily new (and US politics) can be.

Handspun warmth

The iconic Age of Brass and Steam came back home for visit number three. This time I have made twomodifications: stripes and picot edging. 

The dark brown is hand spun Alpaca yarn. The light brown yarn, used for the stripes, is Brown Sheep in Sports weight.

Keeping the handspun theme, this is my latest skein. It is Corriedale hand painted by the wonderful and local Gale’s Art. .

Lost and found

Bought this Malabrigo Nube fiber during a visit to Nashville. The color is awesome but the fiber was a bit felted which made spinning consistently a bad joke.

This mystery fiber was spun in a spindle and plied on a wheel. I dyed the yarn into a semi-solid.

I over-dyed some leftover yarn into a saturated purple to be used for the heels.