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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!!
You know that feeling when you finish a pattern and the garment just doesn’t fit? I do. I’ve had it happen a number of times. This hat has been on my to-re-do pile for a while. It is just too small.
Thankfully, I have some of this same yarn and colorway that was returned from a sample knitter. So I decided to pick up the edge and just knit a ribbing on the hat. For some reason, this pattern doesn’t have a ribbing on it so it made sense for me to add one to make this a better size for me.
I made sure that as I picked up the stitches the “seam” that happens went to the inside of the hat. There will still be a slightly visible line, but I’m OK with that.
I’m thinking that I may make a doubled rib edge on this. That is when you make the ribbing twice as wide as you want. Then you fold it and do a 3 needle bind off to “sew” the end of the ribbing onto the inside of the hat.
Would you ever try this? Have you ever done something similar? Or do you rip it all out and start all over again?
So I planned to do this blog on Wednesday, but you know….It was full of drama and pomp and circumstance, a few tears and a little nail biting. So here is my current, well one of them, project. This is my “Fibershed” sweater. It is all yarn made from my animals or those of partner farms within 100 miles, really within 20 miles. The dark is naturally colored wool, mohair and alpaca fleeces. The bright colors are all natural dyes on my mohair yarn.
The pattern is Shifty. I changed just about all of it. It’s supposed to be a pullover, but I wanted a cardigan. I added a steek and I’ll cut it apart after it’s blocked. It supposed to be sport weight and this yarn is closer to worsted. So I had to go up a couple of needle sizes and down a couple of sweater sizes. But it fits just fine. Thank you Kyle for suggesting this fix!!
I’m currently working on the sleeves. I’m doing these two at a time, in a way. I’m doing a group of blips and then moving to the opposite sleeve and doing the same blips on that side. That way I’m keeping better track of the decreases and I’m using the same color rotation.
I’m hoping to finish this within 3 weeks. Maybe sooner? I have to finish the sleeves, stabilize the steek with crochet, block, cut, figure out buttons and make button holes. I think I’m not going to do a button band but rather crochet loops. Then it will be done!!
Colder weather is here. We’ve had some snow. We’ve had some ice. We’ve had some dreary, dreary days. I am feeling like I want more tea and hot cocoa. I want to be cozy and cook cozy meals like stew and soup. I feel like spinning and knitting my locavore sweater. What I am wanting more right now is “hygge”. Have you heard of hygge (pronounced hoo-ga and rhymes with sugar)?
Hygge is a Danish word that cannot be directly translated. Hygge is the embodiment of coziness along with enjoying good times with great people. It means to take the time to experience your life. It means to slow down and pay attention. Sharing a latte with friends on Zoom is Hygge. Knitting is hygge. Filling your home with candlelight and earthy stews and soups is hygge. Taking time to read a book or listen to one of your favorite podcasts is hygge. Many people think that hygge is what makes Danish people the “happiest” people on earth.
But why am I writing about hygge now? It is a strange time. We have so many hopes and dreams all bundled up into 2021. We have some hope about the vaccine being given out. But at the same time, we are in bigger and bigger surges. Bill and I have been isolating and masking and washing and all of that, for so, so long. And I know that we will need to keep in this semi-isolated state for several more months. So for me, thinking about practicing Hygge is just what I need right now. I believe that it will make me feel like I’m taking care of myself. It will make me feel more present in my life. So if you feel like I do, make some hot cocoa and read a good book….Oh and knit some wonderfully hand dyed Flying Goat Farm yarn.
That’s my motto. I always have a pair of socks on the needles at my house. Oh did I tell you that I knit them 2 at a time on one circular needle? Well I do. I learned to do this many years ago. I prefer this for so many reasons. First, I hate DPN’s. I have a hard time managing stitches on them and typically lose stitches off the back side of the needles. Secondly, I never have to worry about the second sock syndrome. I will always have a matching or someone matching pair of socks. They will be the same length and the same width. The gauge will be the same for both socks.
This is the pair on my needles right now. Truth be told, I haven’t knit on these for a month or so, since I’m focusing all my knitting time to my Shifty sweater. These socks are made with our Chinook Sock Base which is a blend of superwash merino, cashmere and nylon. And they are so soft and great. Because there’s nylon in there, they should were well too.
Want to learn how to knit socks 2 at a time? I have a class for that. Click here to find out about it. I have EARLY BIRD pricing on that until Sunday at midnight. The class is totally self study. There are 4 parts from cast on to bind off. And you have access for 60 days which should be plenty of time to knit your socks. You just need a skein of yarn (or a sock blank), a stitch marker and a circular needle of 32-40″ in length. I prefer to use size 1 US needles for fingering weight yarn. But pick the needles that work with the yarn you are using.
I’ve been missing helping people put yarn combos together. It’s part of what I love about in person festivals and now my open studio days. And there are some of you who are just not close. But last week, I had the fun and pleasure of helping Kathleen pick out some yarn from afar. She wanted to use my Cacao mohair yarn and to pair it with my synergy yarn for a pop of color. Here’s how it started:
Then we narrowed it down to these 2:
And finally she picked out the Carribean and Majesty Synergy yarns for a shawl. It’s funny how you don’t know what will really tickle your fancy until it just hits you!! That was so fun. We did this in Facebook Messenger. But you can also set up a personal shopping session on Facetime or Zoom. Just shoot me an email and we can start from there!!
Okay….now the wait begins. We may know who is president this week. But we may not. There may be recounts. There may be legal challenges.
In the meantime, how are you feeling? I’m feeling pretty anxious. I’m feeling scared. I’m feeling angry too. I’ve seen a lot of news coverage about election anxiety so I know that I’m not alone. If you’re my friend on Facebook, I’ve seen you all expressing your feelings too. I’m right there with you.
I know that for me making something whether it be a sock, a sweater, a felted soap, the making is meditative. It is calming. It helps me to focus on the task at hand. It calms my heart. It stops the loud voices in my head.
So today, I’ll be knitting on my sweater. I’ll be designing a new holiday colorway. I’ll be staying away from the news. I’ll be listening to music that makes me happy.
Are you between projects? Or do you need a nice new project that is calming….not to hard, but still beautiful? I have 2 colorways for my shawl kit: Maryland My Maryland shawl now available again after a hiatus since last year. Click here to grab one for yourself.
Finally, take care of yourself. Find peace. Make something.
Well, I do think it’s time to get started with those holiday gifts. I’ve got some great yarns that will make fantastic gloves, mittens and fingerless mitts.
I have a mitten pattern available as well. You just pick the color and I’ll add the pattern (just mention mitts in the comment section of your order) and you can get a head start on at least one gift. You can find the pattern here on Ravelry.
I also have some quick fingerless mitt kits available. These kits contain the pattern and a skein of mohair yarn. There are 4 colors available for you to choose from.
Let’s get knitting!!