Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New in the Queue

This is the end of November and in the knitting world that means it's Wovember. What is Wovember you ask?

" The idea is to show our collective appreciation of WOOL by wearing as much of this fabulous fibre as possible, and celebrating WOOL and its unique qualities in stories and pictures throughout the month of November. We hope that through our enthusiasm and creativity we can raise awareness of WHAT MAKES WOOL DIFFERENT, and jointly create a force for WOOL APPRECIATION strong enough to effect changes in how garments and textiles are described and marketed."

Here is the website if you are interested in checking it out: http://wovember.com/

The reason I mention this is because today I got a email from them and in the artical was this: The picture is so striking because of the sweater. Who wouldn't want to wear this? Then there is the dog who looks as good as the sweater. The two make a great pair. But here is a story that goes with this picture and I wanted to share it with you.

Susan Gibbs in a 20-year old sweater!
I hope Susie won't mind our recounting the story again here for WOVEMBER readers; it's really a wonderful 'Wearing Wool' story;
I bought this sweater 20 years ago at a farmers market in Washington D.C. and I wear it nearly every day in the winter. I wear it to feed the sheep and work around the farm, or when I’m running errands. It’s almost like a coat for me.
When I first bought it, it wasn’t particularly soft but it has softened up a bit over the years. Most remarkably, it hasn’t pilled the way sweaters knit from softer yarns are apt to.
Last year, I brought that sweater with me when I did my yarn shop book tour, and, in nearly every yarn shop I wore it into, a customer would come up to me and say, “I want to make a sweater like that! Where can I find that yarn?” I would explain that most shops don’t carrying hard-wearing Aran weights and why, and all the knitters within earshot would protest loudly that they would absolutely buy that kind of yarn if shops sold it. Then the shop owner would point out that they had carried that kind of yarn and it never sold.
It was like being in Groundhog Day. It happened in every store I wore that sweater to.
The fact is, most knitters judge a yarn by it’s softness, not by it’s hard-wearingness. I admit I am guilty of this too. Don’t believe me? Hang out in a yarn shop for a couple of hours. Everyone who walks in will pick up a yarn they are considering and rub it on their neck to see if it’s scratchy.
The problem with this is that every garment isn’t suited to a buttery soft yarn. There are some yarns that will pill if you stare at them too hard, let alone lean against the back of a chair. The key is to select the right yarn for your project, and for a sweater like the one I’m wearing above, you need a sturdy, aran yarn. And if you live in the United States, good luck finding one.
- Susan Gibbs of Juniper Moon Farm
A few thoughts I had on this. First off from personal expeerience, if you make a shop sample of something it will get a lot of looks. If you pair the shop sample like the sweather with the yarn it was made from, I think the yarn and the sweater sells itself or each other. I'm sure shops do this but maybe not as hard as they should. Two examples: I went into my local yarn store in Hartland and fell in love with a sweater they had on display. The yarn was nearby but at $14 a ball I couldn't afford it. But the sweater sold me on the yarn and I now have 1 skein of it waiting to be knit. Another example was in the same store. They had a shawl on display. Fell in love and did buy the yarn for it as well as the pattern. It is on my needles. The last example is in another store. I walked in to buy a completly different yarn and I had 2 patterns in my hand. I looked up and there was a shop sample of one of the patterns I was considering. The yarn was right there. I bought the yarn because the shop sample was so nice. It to is on my needles.
The other thought I had was the last paragragh made me think of the mittens I made myself last winter. I bought "rustic" wool because I was going to use them shoveling snow. I figure if the sheep can handle it then their wool must be good. I bought some of my favorite brand but a new line that I had recently heard about. I love my mittens, just hate my knitting.

Back to the title of new in the queue. I thought I would share some patterns that I would like to knit someday. This pattern is called Thermal. It is made with fingering weight yarn and I can see this as being worn like it is or under a sweatshirt or other big top. Made from soft wool it would be very warm. Think about this under that sweater above... :-)


The next pattern is thermal also: socks! This really interests me. Pair them together. Love the color to!
This one I like because of the design. It's so different! Would go good with a lot of things but I might knit it in a thinner yarn. It's knit with bulky weight.

Finally since it is the season: I have a beautiful tree skirt already that I love but the thought of knitting my own is intriquing. It will probably be a year before I would get to this since this next year I am making the stockings.
Speaking of stotckings. I took the girls to get the yarn for their stocking. Grace picked a peach and Hannah picked a turquoise. Both will have a fuzzy white top. Hopefully they will like them.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Brim is done!

An update on the hats: So far the first one is going so very well. It really is the best knitting I've ever done. I really think it might be the lifelines. When I put lifelines in I seem to make fewer mistakes. You can see 2 of them in the picture. The blue at the bottom is the provisional cast on. That is what I will pull out to reveal live stitches that I will start the second hat from. I'm really happy with it. I finished the brim. All 12-1/2 inches of it. It took me 11 days to do it. I was really concerned last weekend that I would never catch up. Technically I am 3 days behind but I am not worried because I can catch up in a day or two. That's what I like about the body of the hat. No matter how many days you are behind, it's easy to catch up because now I am only scheduled to do a row a day. To catch up I do 3 rows a day till at the day I am supposed to be at. Easy!

I got an email from a cousin of Joel's who recieved the hat I made and had sent her. If you remember, that hat was supposed to be for Joel. Obviously woukld not fit him. It looks good and it looks like it will fit him and his soon to be baby brother for a long time. I am so happy when I knit for people and they really like it and wear it and appreciate the time and effort it took to make it. Other people will be recipients of my knitting eventually. It just takes time and I have to stop being a selfish knitter so I can knit for others. It's just I can count on 1 hand the finished items I have for myself after almost 2 years of knitting. And 2 of them don't match each other!

I thought I would include something new. I love listening to knitting podcasts. You can listen to them on the computer or on an ipod or MP3 player. Aside from knitting, I love to listen to Wis conservative talk shows. That's pretty much what's on my MP3 player on any given day. I would say my top 5 knitting podcasts would be:

5. Yarns from the Plain-It's a British woman and I enjoy listening to her and the British view of life and knitting. Here is her blog: http://yarnsfromtheplain.podbean.com/

4. Cast On-It's by an American lesbian who is living in England. She has no british accent. Here is her blog: http://www.google.com/reader/view/#stream/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Ffeeds.feedburner.com%2FKnittingMatters

3. Ready Set Knit-It's a podcast by the owners of America's largest yarn store called Webs in Mass. I do want to go there someday. They always do an interview of a book author or knitting teacher. The husband always does a segment on closeout and sale yarns. It's interesting to see what yarns are being discontinued by the manufacture or what yarns the store is choosing to get rid of to make room for different ones.

2. Robinznest-A podcast by a woman in Idaho who is married to a pastor and they have a animal hobby farm. I like her voice-she just sounds like she would be a pastor's wife. I like her take on knitting and her challenges to get yarn and learn all about the knitting world. http://robin-robinznest.blogspot.com/

1. Electric Sheep-This is my favorite podcast. Another British woman in the London area who talks about things knitterly and culturaly that relates to knitting. She also talks about London and things that are interesting and sometimes have to do with knitting. She is quite funny. I think she is young like in her 30's but sounds mature like in her 40's. Her blog:  http://www.hoxtonhandmade.com/

A special mention podcast: Eat.Spin.Cake-This is another British podcast but this woman has the most intertesting accent I have ever heard. She lives in Northern England and her accent sounds like a mix of British and Scottish.

Three words they say that tickle me. Pattern is patton-as in Gen. Patton. Book--one podcaster says
be-uu-k. Inovative was said as-in-o-vit-ive.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Quick update on hats

I was going along well till I noticed I had twisted the joining of the work together on the circular needles. Can't do that unless you want a mobius cowl. So on Monday I ripped it all out and started over. I put in a lifeline after I knitted the working yarn into the provisional cast on. Worked like a charm! It tightened things up so I could make sure it was straight. Started again. I also decided to add the extra 4 inches into the brim and not divide it up between brim and body of the hat. So now instead of 8-1/2 inches of brim I have 12-1/2 inches of brim to do before I get to the body. Ugh! But I'm almost at 3 inches. Need to be at 4-1/2 by end of day to catch up. I am on a tight deadline to get this
2 in1 hat done by the end of November.

I also wanted to go down a needle size to tighten things up but I didn't have 2 circs of size 6. So I stayed with the 7's. I also realized that I lose a few days in December to get the second hat done because we open gifts on the 24th. If I can't quite finish, they can both try on the finished hat anyway. So far no major mistakes that I can see except a small hole which is fixable. I am also determined to finish my alpaca cowl by the end of Nov. I have to do 1 round a day and that includes the current repeat I am doing and 1 more. Very easy to do.