Holiday Gift Making in June!

I just finished my first knitted gift for the holiday season!  Must I be an over achiever?  Well, of course, the answer is yes. I like giving hand-crafted items and love receiving them as gifts also.

I walk the hobby stores in May and June and see them getting ready for the holiday season and think, really, must they be such an over achiever. Please, I really do not want to start thinking about the holiday season yet. I am just now fully enjoying summer.  However, if making  hand-crafted gifts is part of my holiday, then I should have started in January!

Over the years there have been many nights past midnight that I am sitting in my favorite chair knitting. My eyes are so blurry and tired that I feel  like a blind person knitting. Through my sleep depraved thoughts I wonder why I feel the need to give hand-crafted items. Really, I should join the new generation and let my fingers do the walking, or scrolling, through Amazon.  I do try to start early, some years I am successful, some not. This year I am determined to be successful.

A couple of weeks ago, I picked out a couple of patterns for a couple of granddaughters. Off to my favorite yarn store and can you believe it, they are having a sale! It did not take long to find yarn that would work and I even saved some money, yeah.

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When I got home and started to review one of the patterns closer, I realize that I needed a dk weight instead of fingering.

No problem, I think I can make adjustments for that. (Yeah, right) But it is not working out the way I thought it would. So, back to the drawing board. And a consult with my BKB, best knitting bud.

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BKB, on the right!

After BKB leaves, I start my gauge and work several color combos from my stash. Later that night I am clicking away and realize that the original colors have become lost when mixed in with my stash yarn. I really like the original colors, so back to an almost sleepless night as I rethink.

The next morning, it is a quick walk for the dogs and then to my knitting chair with my new plan of action.

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Favorite Knitting Space!

The pattern is Shade of Summer Dress, by Elena Nodel. I am sticking with my original colors, and have enough to use 2 strands for a closer fit to dk weight. And will make it a tunic length instead of dress length, so I do not end up playing yarn chicken. I researched the internet for various sizing information.

My gauge is off from the original designer. Not unexpected, why should this be an easy fix? After a couple of trail and errors, I have the right needle, number of stitches and so forth.

Although, I like making changes to a pattern, so that it has my personal touch, totally remodifying a pattern, I am not so good at. I know the number of stitches I need to obtain the correct chest measurements. But, to knit from the top down, with the correct number of stitches and rows that are then increased and them separated into front, back, right and left shoulder, . . . well, I quickly became lost in a fog. (It looks like I will have to tackle another challenge in the near future, pattern designing.)

However, back to this project.  I can do a provisional cast-on for the base of the bodice, work backwards, or in this case, upward. Then separate right and left shoulder, bind-off the center stitches, then do a three-needle bind-off when the shoulders are the length they need to be.

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Next, I pick up the provisional cast-on stitches to work the skirt. My stitch count is off from the original pattern. I am not worried, as this is a very simple modification. All I need to do is a few increased stitches so that I can divide the skirt into six sections for the A-line increases.

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So now I am busily knitting in circles. Really, I am knitting circles as the skirt is knitted in the round. (Just some knitting humor) My left brain may be in control,

but my right brain, the creative side, is getting bored. Mz. Righty starts thinking way ahead to the ruffle finish. More specifically, how to finish the ruffle. The pattern has an insert of color A stripping before starting the ruffle. That’s nice, righty thinks, but a bit simple. Righty contemplates how much yarn I have left, do I want to do the ruffle as written or spice it up. Seed stitch, lace stitch, boring stitch. I start to think about a shawl that I am making. (Right brain is a touch AD.) The shawl is  Local Yarn Shawl, by Casapinka. And a couple of days ago I was just marveling about how much time Casapinka must spend thinking up new lace designs. (She must also have a very active righty-brain, like me.)

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The base of the skirt has some open work added. Thanks to Casapinka’s righty-brain and my overactive one, also.

Color A is then inserted, but with a twist of my own (of course!).  I do the ruffle according to directions, but finish it with a bit more color.

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I added a crochet edge around the neck and armhole per designer suggestion, but spice it up with contrast color and a bit of picot.

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It is being wet blocked now. The final dimensions are right on for a size 4. (Yippie!) I was able to double check those measurements this weekend with a quick visit to see the greyt daughter, son-in-law, and greyt granddaughters. Hopefully, Mz. Lydia does not have a giant growth spurt or weight gain before the holidays?!?!

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Tomorrow I am off to the hobby store to find some decorative buttons for the base of the bodice.  I must give credit to the original designer for this fun righty-brain idea. And then to meet with my knitting group for a bit of show-n-tell.

It was a quick knit, just six days, plus a few days of frogging, false starts and  thinking-gone-wild.

                                   I think the buttons add a fun touch

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By the way, this is Lydia.

 Time to start my next knitted project for the holidays.

I think I will always give hand-crafted items as long as I am able. However, I am slowly  learning the benefits of finger scrolling through Amazon

HAPPY BLOGGING!!!

A Quilted Surprise!

It has been a while, has it not? About 2 almost 3 months. Although my key board has been quiet, my fingers have not been at rest. I have lots of completed knits.

I have typed up a couple of drafts, but by the time I get back to proof-reading and refining, they seem to be outdated. I have also been doing a lot of thinking about my blogs and I seem  to mostly pat myself on the back about what has been coming off my knitting needles. I am very proud of my knitting and the challenges I have been taking on recently, but wonder if I am becoming too self-involved.

So, this post will not about me! Well, okay,  in a sense it is, and it is something I am very proud of and want to share. But it is not something I made. This was a gift to me and the greyt spouse by very good friends.

The greyt spouse and I visited these greyt friends, D & S,  this past March in Sun City and also last year while they were cooling off on their boat at Lake Powell.

With every visit I bore D & S with my awesome amateur photograhy skills, showing them hundreds of pics I have taken. S is a quilter, so she sees greyt quilt ideas in some of my better scenic photos, so I forward the ones she likes best to her.

A couple of weeks ago, we received a package form D & S. When I opened it, I saw that she had made a quilt hanging for us. Awesome, I though. When I unrolled it and saw what the she had made, I was brought to tears.

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Isn’t this beautiful! Of course, I called them immediately to thank them and let them know that they made me cry and hoped they were pleased with themselves.

S already had the piece of material she explained. She accented the rays of sun with metallic thread,

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and also used the metallic threads to show the reflection of the sun on the waves.

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S also explained that there was a special segment on her quilting show about how to do silhouettes.  Her greyt spouse helped her find pics of palm trees on-line that they could get enlarged at their local copy store along with enlarging the silhouettes in the original pic.

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I was trying to capture the detail of the palm tree in this pic, but unfortunately black on black is a difficult pic to take.

Yes, I so appreciate the numerous hours my friend put into creating this quilt for us. But there is a reason this particular design is so special to me.

This particular quilt was created from this pic I sent to S.

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The pic was taken last year on my vacation to Oahu, Hawaii. The people watching the sunset are my son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, myself and my grandson. This is one of my favorite pics from that vacation and I had intended to enlarge and frame it, but time just got away from me.

Not only did S memorialize the memory of my vacation, but D & S had the original picture transferred to glass!

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P.S. You may have noticed that there is an extra silhouette in the quilt that does not appear in the photo. Unfortunately the greyt spouse was not on this vacation, but S was able to get his silhouette from another pic.

Friends come and go, but greyt friends are hard to find. D and S you are truly special people and we are lucky to have your friendship. Thank you for this beautiful treasure.

the Ravelry challenge and more

Ravelry has a challenge for its’ enthusiastic members. How many projects can you complete during 2018?

At first, I was unsure of this challenge. Once, I understood how simple is was, my eyes dilated, like a druggie, as I thought of all the projects I could make this year. And, of course, me being a person who likes a challenge, jumped in head first as usual.

30, was my first guess. I like round, even numbers. So, I filled in the little box and I was set. And I had already completed 3 projects this year.

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A couple days later I dropped that number to 25. I decided that maybe the thought of a challenge had made me a bit high. But, doing more thinking, (knitting gives one a LOT of time to think) I decided that 30 may actually be a bit low. If I make my little floppy animals and get a second pattern designed, I can probably surpass that number as if I am an Olympic competitor.

February has just passed and March here. I cannot believe how quickly this year is passing. I have completed 5 projects this year, and am working feverishly to try and get a few more done, along with plans to start others.

Please give me my mate, mate!?

Then, I remember my numerous projects that are in hibernation. I get them out, closely examine them; do I want to finish this project or frog it for a different one.  I decide to keep all but one.  I then set an approximate completion date for these projects. That felt good. Projects that have been collecting dust and weakly calling my name, now have gained strength knowing that soon they will be completed.

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A DaVinci to decode

Wow, 6 projects in hibernation, 4 projects sitting by my knitting chair, 1 is hiding under my bed and 3 projects with yarn and a pattern, but not yet started.

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Oh, and I just remembered some specialty animal fibers I bought on sale last month that need to have a project assigned to them.

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Then a visit to my LYS for my weekly knitting group and I come home with more yarn and another project to start.

 

So the above numbers are quickly changing. I doubt that I will have trouble meeting this challenge. The nice thing about the Ravelry challenge is that you can change the number of projects to want to complete. Also, you can adjust the approximate finish date, so if it takes longer, no problem. If you are not sure of a finish date, just enter, December, 31,d 2018, and that should cover you!

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Oh my gosh,  so much to do and so little time.

Am I coming across a bit ADHD?  Time for my medication, which is knitting. Better yet, add a glass of wine!

As I calmly sit, knit and sip, I think about challenges. Ravelry may be challenging me to make as many projects this year as possible, but I am also challenging myself as a knitter. So far this year I have learned the Kitchener join, twisted cable and brioche stitch. Plans for this year also include 1×1 color changes, knitting more tops, incorporating more short rows into projects. I also plan to publish my second knitted pattern!

Do you have any challenges planned for this year? Wishing you luck with whatever challenge you chose and HAPPY BLOGGING!

MY FIRST BRIOCHE!

Advice about brioche stitch: practice on scrap yarn if you have never done brioche before, it will save you a lot of ripping out on your project and if you drop a stitch in brioche, immediately go to YOU TUBE, it will save you a lot of frustration and time!

Lost track of how many times I ripped out the first section of brioche.

I let my stubborn nature get in the way. I really wanted to figure out how to pick up a dropped brioche stitch, but failed in all my attempts. I finally went to you tube and am now kicking my behind repeatedly! ! ! It is soooo easy to fix a dropped brioche stitch.

I found the pattern a bit difficult to follow. There was at least one error and the instructions for the brioche section were confusing. I had better luck figuring out the increases, especially for the center increases, on YOU TUBE.

Here is the finished object!

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The nice thing about brioche is that it is reversible. Yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Light, colors soot and void. The pattern is Marfa by, This.Bird.Knits. Pattern notes are on Ravelry username, frazzldknitter. I also see more brioche knitting in my future.

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Finished just in time to take on vacation!

My first brioche project complete and I believe there will be more brioche in my future.

I certainly have challenged my knitting skills this year with new stitches and jumping outside the circle! Looking at some of my planned projects for this year and the challenge will continue.

HAPPY KNITTING AND BLOGGING.

BLOCKING

Blocking a finished knit item. I used to avoid it like the plague, or make projects that did not need blocking.

I don’t know what my aversion was to blocking. I think it matched with those people who do not like to work in those little bits of yarn from changing colors or adding a new skein.

I, however, like to get those bits of yarn worked in.  I do not like to wait until the end of a project to do so. I work them in as I go along. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to see my project looking clean and neat as I knit along. It also can be a real ‘pain in the butt’ if I have to rip, which is a fairly frequent occurrence for me.

Oh yea, blocking! After joining my knit group and receiving some expert advice I no longer feel the fear of blocking, but look forward to it, knowing that it gives my FOs that final, expert finishing.

Today I am blocking my third tunic top for the year!

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Right now it just looks like a giant rectangle. I hope once it is blocked and I try it on, it will look better.  I knit it sideways, knitting the front and back at the same time. The pattern is appropriately called ‘Side to Side Pullover for Women’ from Patternfish. Instead of sewing the side seams closed as the pattern calls I did a three-needle bind-off, which means I did a provisional cast on.

The yarn I used is Fibra Natura, a bulky cotton/linen blend knitted on US#10.5 needles. This left the neck edge a bit rough, so I did a single crochet around the neck opening. I am okay with the bottom looking a bit rough.

I did some internet search to check out how to block this type of fiber. There are a lot of opinions out there!

I found a site by Vogue Knitting with an easy chart to follow. I would include the pic I snapped, but not sure if that would be a copyright infringement.

Basically the chart states that for a cotton or linen fiber you can either wet block or steam block.  After some thought, I decided to try a steam block for a couple of reasons. One being, that I have not tried this technique before and second, I have a very good iron that has a steam feature.

I placed a towel over my blocking board, then proceeded to carefully pin my garment down. I used the steam setting on my iron and very careful held the iron above the garment and slowly steamed small sections at a time.

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I also used the handy-dandy steam button to help infuse steam through both layers. I patiently went over the garment several times.

I am hoping that the zillion little extra steam shots will be sufficient to infuse both top and bottom pieces. Now I patiently wait for it to dry, maybe a bit of fan action will help.

Blocking done, I try it on and have a very awesome dress! Damn, I need to get better at figuring out gauge. I think part of the problem may be the fiber content of this garment along with being knitted sideways changes the stretchiness. Since this was knitted sideways, there will be no ripping out.

However, a quick hem will do the trick.

Completed just in time for a trip to Phoenix in a couple of weeks.

HAPPY BLOGGING!

KNITTING CHALLENGE 2018, cont.

I will not keep you in further suspense. This is the final installment of the Ujo challenge. Most of the challenges  involved was my own making. I should have listened to my gut and paid closer attention to measurements. However, it was my lack of attention that led to some creative thinking and new challenges that ended up boosting confidence in my knitting skills.

When I first imaged this top, I wanted to try and have the colors more blended so that it would be hard to tell where one yarn color ends and another begins.

I think this time around I am a bit closer to achieving that goal.

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I also decided to vary my striping pattern so that it would be a bit more random.

The only problem with that idea is that I did not remember the exact measurement of the previous top, so I added a few more stripes just to be on the safe side. (Can you see a possible problem?)

FINALLY, after what felt like months but was only a long two weeks Iam ready to join the top to the bottom. I am not looking forward to this challenge. I discuss this with my knitting group. One of the ladies mentions that she found a video on You Tube about knitting a Kitchener graft instead of sewing it. That does sound intriguing to me.

Actually, I would almost pay someone to do this for me. But then I start thinking. I am not a quitter. How many times have I ripped something out until I finally got it right. How many different crafts have I done over the years because of the challenge of learning something new.

The video on You Tube was very easy to find. It is called, ‘How to Knit (not sew!) the Kitchener, aka Grafting, by ‘wipinsanity’.

My BKB (best knitting buddy) suggests that I knit up some extra yarn and practice the Kitchener before starting the real thing. I have never learned my lessons nor taken the easy way and history is about to repeat itself.  I watch the video a couple of times am ready to jump in. Why waste time on practice, I say to myself.  My BKB has started calling me the ‘fearless knitter’  because of that attitude along with ripping (or cutting)  a FO apart in the middle, not knowing whether it will have a good outcome.

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Wow! Not looking to bad for a beginner. I am actually impressed how easy it is coming together. I even became faster and was able to complete the join in one afternoon.

OMG! Such a relief. I DID IT! The join looks fabulous, even if I say so myself. I absolutely love how all the colors blend together. I think I should try it on before I block it.

AND,  . . . remember I said I added a few extra stripes  to the top? Well, I also added length to the overall garment. I like my tops long so that I can wear leggings, be comfortable and not look like a ridiculous old lady who should not be wearing that outfit.

I look in the mirror, . . . not bad, I like, except that it extends to the middle of my knee. I know that after blocking I will probably have me a ‘middy dress’.

Okay, I am not ready to give up yet, and this can be an easy fix. Four inches. I ripped out four inches from the bottom. Again, an easy fix. Picked up stitches, bind off, shorten the pockets and sew down again.

That’s it! I am not doing anything else to this project. If it does not block out well and fit, . . . I’ll just burn it!

Are to ready to see how my faded/blended striped Ujo top turned out?

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Sorry, lol, I couldn’t resist a bit more teasing.

Here it is.

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What do you think?

I like it, a lot.  And the ladies of my knit group did the appropriate amounts of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahhhs’. I think I got a pretty good blending of colors. Can you guess how many different colors I used?

You can find the answer on Ravelry with my notes from Frazzldknitter. (I really need to learn how to insert the link, so all you have to do is click it. Maybe that should be my next challenge!)

Hope you enjoyed the suspense.

THANKS FOR FOLLOWING MY BLOG.

P.S.  the answer is 6. 

Animal contributions from a visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

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At last, time for belly rubs, says Toby, our little Furby!

KNITTING CHALLANGE 2018, cont., . . .

Today is a perfect day to curl up in my favorite knitting chair and spend the day doing my favorite activity, knitting and a bit of blogging.

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Not sure how much snow we will get, but the temperature has dropped from 17 degrees two hours ago to 11. Hot cocoa, anyone?

I think today I will be working on two WIPs,

The first is  ‘Drijfhout’ by Isabell Kraemer. My BKB (best knitting budding) made this and I was very envious, just had to have my own. The yarn is Berroco Cosma, alpaca/wool/silk blend. It is so soft and yummy to knit with and will be perfect to wear on a day like today. Knitted top down sleeves are knitted using a contiguous set-in-sleeve method developed by Susie Myers. So far it is fitting perfectly.

The second WIP is a sleeveless pullover top knitted sideways and is appropriately called ‘Side to Side Pullover for Women’ by Knitting Pure & Simple. Pattern was purchased from Patternfish. Yarn is Good Earth Adorn, a cotton/linen blend from Fibra Natura. Hopefully, I will have this finished in a couple of weeks as the Greyt Spouse and I will be visiting in Phoenix. Pattern notes for both can be found on Ravelry and I am Frazzldknitter.

I left you in a bit of suspense last time and promised to not make you wait too long to find out what happens with the ‘Ujo’ top.

I listened to what my friends were saying about the fuchsia color and continued knitting. Most of the time my knitting friends are helpful. I knew in my gut that to continue knitting was probably a mistake, but when do I ever listen to my gut instinct!

I finished the top and tried it on. I am a person who does not shy away from bright or bold colors. However, one look in the mirror I told myself, ‘shoulda listened to your gut!’

I did not take a pic of me wearing the top. I was just too frustrated. I had spent about two weeks of hardly knitting anything else and now I have something that I doubted I would wear much.

Thinking about my options:

  1. Keep it and maybe wear it once  a year.

  2. Give it away.

  3. Frog the WHOLE thing.

  4. Or take on a challenge! I am gaining a new confidence about my knitting.

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Warning, you are about to get yourself into a very prickly situation!

I am not one to back down from a challenge, or should I say certain challenges. So, . . I picked up my left-handed scissors and checked to see how sharp they are.  ‘Gingher’s and still sharp after being used for 40 plus years.

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As I am contemplating what I am about to do, I take a very close look at my scissors and realize that although they were made for a left-handed person, they were obviously made by a right-handed person!

I cannot read the engraved brand name unless I hold the scissors in my right hand!

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LOL, I can’t believe I never notice this before. Silly right-handed people just do not understand the world of a lefty.

Okay, back to the Ujo. I make my first cut. My heart is racing, I start to perspire, and no it is not a hot flash this time! There is no going back now, so I continue to cut. A very surreal experience. I don’t believe that I am really doing this, it must be a dream. (I did not take pics of the destruction, just too emotional.)

I rip out the top section with the offending color. I want to reuse the beautiful sprinkled gray Western Sky Yarn. I make sure I have about one-half inch extra on the bottom half.

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I pick up the stitches on the bottom half where I want to rejoin. I found it easier to do this on the wrong side where the purl bumps were. This I set aside after carefully removing the extra rows.

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That done, I now start reknitting the top.

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I am liking this much better and feel as though I may wear it this time. I think all my colors will blend perfectly now.

I am happily knitting along and start thinking about how to join the top to the bottom. I could do a three-needle join and would prefer this technique, although it will be a bit bulky. But talking to my fellow knitting friends, they suggest the Kitchener join would be more appropriate. My stomach twists into knots. I have only attempted this technique once before. To the untrained knitting eye it looked okay, but to my higher standards, not happy at all. And I did listen to these friends once before, right?

Oh well, I still have plenty of time to think!

TO BE CONTINUED! . . . . . . . . .

‘What! What is she doing? She is not going to tell us the end again!’

’How can she just walk away!’

’She just made my day! I’ll be in a grizzly all day now. Let me at her!’

’You! Look at me! I am so angry my eyes are turning red. You know how hard it is to get red-eye out!’

A Senior Moment and KNITTING CHALLENGE 2018!

I am sitting here reviewing last blog and getting ready to type a new one.  Actually, I did that a several weeks ago! Now, I am revising and rewriting.

Not sure what I did. I thought I had finished the last blog.  Must have been a senior moment. Hoping that I do not have too many of them this coming year. I think it is best to just leave it unfinished and move on to more current stuff.

Almost two years ago, I started knitting with a group of ladies on Wednesdays at my favorite yarn shop. I am very glad I did this. I made new friends and have increased my knitting skills tremendously.  I have learned a greyt deal about different yarns and how to use them. I have  become better at mixing colors and trying new techniques and projects that without this group of ladies I would never imagined that I would be able to do. I credit this group, along with my BKB (best knitting buddy) for the success of most of my projects. (Notice, I said ‘most’)

My last blog and shared a scarf and  a knitted top that I completed after just a couple of weeks into the new year.

883072d2-7f3d-4a2d-8da1-31fd89a647a4.jpegThe green Twisted Tunic was a combination of a couple different patterns, along with my own creativity.  It turned out so well and boosted my confidence to knit more tops.  I now have three tops on my needles, yarn for another along with a brioche shawl, and other assorted WIPs.

Earlier this year I jumped on the ‘Find Your Fade’ bandwagon. Hours were spent finding the right colors and yarns, and conversing with my BKB and other knitting buddies.

This was as far as I got. It then was put into hibernation, along with all WIPs, as I became lost in the forest with my bunny obsession.

While knitting the Twisted Tunic, I started rethinking the Fade and  came to the conclusion that I was not real lying into finding my fade in the context of a shawl. I thought it might be fun to make a top using the fade colors.

So, my search on Ravelry began.  I decided on an Anke Strick pattern called, Ujo. It met my requirements for tunic length, simple lines, easy to knit and using fingering yarns.  I think it would be fun to play with different colors and striping to create a fade or blending of colors.

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I frogged the ‘Fade’ shawl and started thinking how I wanted to put my colors together. Some colors were removed and others added.

I had an idea of what I wanted, but also decided to make it up as I went along. After all,  I had  gained a new confidence with my knitting skills. I think, ‘I’m good, I can do this.’

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Okay, not looking bad so far. The color in this photo is a bit off, the the pink really brings out the pink in the grey Western Sky Yarn.

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Okaaay, I have knitted a lot now. I even finished the sleeves, something that is usually not done until the garment is almost finished. (And if I was smart, I would have waited and not finished the sleeves so early!)

I’m not sure that I am liking the bright pink and share my doubts with my friends on Wednesday Knit Group. (Remember how I praised these ladies earlier?) No one shared my doubts, they ALL thought it was looking greyt and the colors blended well.

So, I continued knittting, . . .

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The following week I go back to the Wednesday Knit Group, and again express doubts about a bright fuchsia color across my chest. I event try it on. I am still the only one with doubts. So, I think, ‘okay, it is just me and I continue to complete the top, including the inner pockets. I do like the color contrast to the inside of the pockets, and I how the other colors blended.

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It is finally complete, I try it on and, . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . TO BE CONTINUED!

Find out what happens next! I promise to not keep you in suspense too long.

“Oh for Emu’s sake! Can you believe she just left us in suspense?I want to know what happened next!”
OH, FOR EMU’S SAKE! Can you believe she left us in suspense, just like that!”

2018

Wow, where did 2017 go. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have an answer.

However, It does seem that I spent the of last six months of 2017 obsessed with bunnies.  Sometime in June I took a wrong turn and got sucked into the vortex of stuffies, bunnies, designing and writing patterns.

So, to get the new year off on a good start, . . .

I will not ramble on about the exciting things of the past few months. It would take pages and really, it would only be of interest to me.

Wow, that is kind of a relief, right! ! ! Not only for you, but me as well.

So, HAPPY NEW YEAR!, and all the well wishes that go along with it. How did your celebrate New Years Eve and have you done anything exciting so far?

I did bring the New Year doing one of my favorite things, knitting!!!

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HAPPY KNIT YEAR, oops, NEW YEAR!

Besides knitting in the New Year, I discovered the secret to being  awake at the stroke of midnight. Celebrate with friends early, only one or two glasses of champagne, then go to bed by 9:00 P.M., and get a good two hour nap!

Now, you ask, what I have done so far this year, . . . Well, I’ve been knitting, of course. And it is something other then bunnies and pandas.

This incredibly soft cowl is made with Blue Sky Metalico. It is 50% baby alpaca and 50% silk. The pattern is Ombre by Cynthia Parker. It was by far the softest thing I have knitted. The yarn has been sitting in my stash for several months waiting patiently for me. This scarf became a birthday gift for my daughter-in-law.

Here’s a question. What to do with limited skeins of chunky Misti Alpaca (7 to be exact) that is taking up a large space in my  stash?

My Twisted Tunic has a center panel of twisted cable or knitting (or purling) through the back loop.    I got my gauge and general sizing from another pattern using chunky yarn called Blanche, by Berroco. I  then added the seed stitch and lace bottom. To make my twisted cable center I used the cable border from Danila Danio’s Sanna Shawl. I knitted the tunic in the round until I reached the armholes, then worked back and forth, increasing the sides to create a the  sleeves and a seed stitch border. I then did a few short rows at the shoulder and finished with a row of lace followed by a seed stitch border and a three-needle bind-off at the shoulders.

Next on my needles is the Marfa Shawl by Annie Haas. The greyt spouse surprised me this year with the pattern as a stocking stuffer. How thoughtful of him to visit my LYS and pick out goods for my stocking. There is nothing else I would have like better. There were also a few other surprises from my LYS that I will share with you later this year.

So, with my first chance to go knit with my friends at my LYS, I picked out yarn to start the shawl. I am using Madelinetosh Merino Light. The brioche stitch has proven to quite the challenge. Thinking back I probably should have practiced before working with my yarn. I would share the number of times I have ripped and restarted the brioche section, but I have lost count! In an effort for perfection it seems I have only jinxed myself into making some little mistake with each restart. So, I think it is time to set it aside for a few days.

Several days later, I have restarted the brioche,

 

A Crafty Room

Although most of my time has been spent working on ERIN’s BUNNY, I have been able to work in a few other projects.

Recently, I acquired an extra bedroom that I have been busily turning into my craft room. Gone is the double-size bunk bed. My oversized chair has found a space in my bedroom. The chest of drawers remains, it is greyt for storing yarn! The closest also makes greyt yarn storage, business supply and office area. (I know you keep hearing the word business from me and one day I will stop procrastinating and surprise everyone with my mini shop of crafts).

So, instead of the double-size bunk bed, there is now a queen-size futon!

img_2607Greyt color! It is not only comfortable to sit and knit, but I slept on it for a few hours and it passed the test. So now the room can also be a guest room!

The chair I have added is just awesome. I love it! Take a look,. . .

img_2613img_2764-4Cool, huh! And yes it is authentic 1970’s. You have to be jealous, right? This chair lived in the basement of my in-laws long before the greyt spouse and I ever met. And for the past 8 or 9 years has been in my basement. Finally, I was able to bring it out of the darkness. I think it goes perfect with the futon. The little side table is also compliments of my in-laws, circa 1970’s. I sent a hint to the greyt spouse that a lava lamp would be the perfect holiday gift and accent for the table.

The adorable quilted dog hanging was made for me by a co-worker several years ago for my fiftieth birthday. I love this hanging and am so glad it has a permanent home. I never tire of looking at it and it always makes me smile.

img_2766Oops, I got side-tracked. So, what is on my needle? How about a knitted flower bed above the closest of my craft room. Not quite finished, but should be soon.

img_2763The grass has a fusible interface on the back and is held up by a couple of very small nails. To limit the amount of nail holes I am using those little plastic 3M hooks to attach the flowers. The ruffle type flowers are from the book “itty-bitty hats” by Susan B. Anderson. The pattern is felted flower child. As you can see, I did not felt the flowers. They are knitted using different weight yarns and the stems are crocheted. The five and six-point flowers is from ‘a flower petal pattern’ from ‘Miss Crafty Fingers”. I found this pattern on Ravelry, but it appears Miss Crafty Fingers is also a blogger.

img_2760-1img_2761-1The rug in front of the chest-of-drawers is recently off my needles. It is crocheted using the now defunct ribbon yarns. You remember them. They looked like a fat ribbon that you either knitted or crocheted then opened up for a very trendy, ruffle scarf! My LYS has shelves of this yarn that is even hard to move at a sale price. However, I think the rug is a greyt and fun idea!

The greyt spouse found the tropical appliqué in Panama. Due to some recent re-decorating our greyt room this “molas” as it is called in Panama lost it’s proud spot. However, what better home could it have then in my craft room.

br />img_2758img_2762The ceiling fan/light pulls are also a product of my craftiness. (I really should make some extras to put in my ‘not-yet-functioning-store)!

So, what do you think of my crafty, craft room!