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Small, Quick Projects for the Dog Days of Summer

It’s hot. I think it’s hot just about everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. My friends in LA and Oregon have been talking about trees becoming sunburned and the forests dying. And we here on the East Coast are stuck in the heat and humidity of summer.

Knitting becomes more of a chore in summer. Even so, I feel like I need to have the rhythmic motion of slip, wrap, slide of each stitch to let my mind get into a flow and to let my mind wander. I don’t want a big project that is sitting in my lap. I want something small and light.

I have some perfect little cowls that fit the bill. They are quick. They are smallish. The yarn is Oh-So Soft and gives your fingers joy just touching it.

What are they? They are my Zephyrette Cowls. Zephyrette is our signature yarn. It is made from soft baby alpaca fleece with long, strong silk and the king of all softness: Cashmere. Alpaca is cool to the touch. So it is a good choice for summer knitting.

There are 3 choices of pattern: Lacy Cowl, Interlaken and Rivulet.

Here’s how you get a kit for a project. First, go here and pick a color of zephyrette. There are so many choices. You just need one skein. Then go here and pick a pattern. Click on the shopping cart and check out. Your new project will be out in the mail to you and you will get it within days.

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Thoughts on Summer Knitting

This summer has been really weird, right? No matter where you live in the US and probably even in the world. There have been crazy heat waves, crazy storms and early hurricanes and even historic droughts in the West.

Hay waiting to be cut

Here in the East we have had the hot and muggy days for a couple of weeks now. It is hard to think about knitting, but even so my fingers are itching to pick up the needles and my mind really needs the “down time” that knitting provides. The quiet space where I am making and I can stop thinking. Does that happen to you?

So I was thinking about what I would like to knit or spin in this heat. And what jumped into my head is alpaca. Alpaca is cool to the touch. I don’t quite know what causes the phenomena. But it is true. Our Zephyrette yarn is baby alpaca, cashmere and silk. It is perfect for summer knitting. I have designed 4 cowls with this yummy yarn. The patterns come in a variety of skill levels and all take just one skein of yarn! These cowls make great, quick gifts too!!

I was also thinking that small projects that wouldn’t cover my lap would be a nice thing to make during the summer. So I’m thinking a cowl or mittens or a hat even socks could fit the bill.

Weaverly cowl up close

Let’s make some great alpaca based projects while the summer is hot!

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WIP Wednesday: Always Socks on Needles

I always have a pair of socks on the needles. I finished my last pair about 2 weeks ago and I’ve been stitching along on these. The yarn is my Perendale Sock yarn that has mohair for strength instead of nylon. The colorway is an experimental colorway… (let me know if you like it). I’m really liking the way this is “flashing” and “pooling”.

I’m at my favorite place right now. I’m working on the heel flap and will probably get to turning the heel tomorrow or Friday…That is my happy place!!

What’s on your needles?

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Tip of the Day: Deciphering Mystery Skeins

In this video, I walk you through what to do when you have a mystery skein that has lost its ball band. Yes you can eyeball the weight….you can tell the difference between worsted and fingering. But I show you 2 tools that will help you to determine the size and almost more importantly how many yards you have in that little ball.

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Tip of the Day: Auditioning Skeins that Work

In this quick tip and trick of the day, I walk you though how I put together skeins that will work well together in a shawl, sweater or larger project where you want multiple skeins.

Of course if you love any of these combos, you can get them in my webstore. I also have special OOAK curated triads for sale here.

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Tip of the day: adding new yarn

These two tips of the day seem to really go together. First of all where to change your yarn when you are doing colorwork and even if you are just putting in a stripe. And second what to do when you come across a knot or other imperfection in the yarn. I show you the way that I start a new yarn so that there aren’t loose stitches or even a hole that you have to fix later.

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Choosing the Right Needle for Your Farm Yarn

This tip of the day is about how to choose the perfect needle for your project. This is especially true if you are using one of our farm yarns or if you have lost the label and have no idea what to choose. This is a new tip for me. I always thought that you looked at the diameter of the yarn and tried to match that to the needle. Let me know if this tip helps you to find the right yarn for the right project.

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Hats Through Time

First Knit Hat made in 2002ish made with Manos de Uruguay and a mohair yarn
First Hat I Designed in 2015ish made with Livily yarn Pattern for Cabla Hat available on Ravelry
First Pussy Hat made in 2016 from Fingal yarn
Most Worn Hat made in 2010ish made with Perendale Sock yarn

Working on hats this month in preparation for Farmer’s Market at the beginning of April. I think I can get a few of these hand knit garments made. And if you’re wondering that’s a brioche cowl made with a semi solid Livily and a marled Synergy yarn.

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Some things I’ve learned as a knitter

Each week I do a Facebook Live session (Thursdays at 1pm). And each week I try to give my viewers a tip or two that might help in knitting, spinning or color confidence. Yesterday my tips were to help you make charts easier to understand and read.

  1. So the first one is to use highlighter tape to mark your place in the chart. Here is a link to the tape. The way that I use it is to put the tape just under the row I am knitting.
  2. My agreement with myself is that when I finish knitting for the day. I leave the tape where is was, just under the row I have JUST finished. Then when I pick it up next time, I will move the tape forward.
  3. The third tip is to number the rows on the chart if there isn’t numbering already. I number on both sides of the row so it’s easy to line up my tape. For this particular pattern there is a separate chart for the thumb gusset so I put the row numbers there too. And I put a smaller bit of tape there too.

This is not to disrespect any designer. It is just to make life easier for me, the knitter. It’s really fine to make changes, to add rows so the garment fits better. You have spent time. You have spent money. This knitting is supposed to be fun, not stressful, not frustrating. So take care of yourselves, my dears!!