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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Here it is.
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.
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.
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:
Keep it and maybe wear it once a year.
Give it away.
Frog the WHOLE thing.
Or take on a challenge! I am gaining a new confidence about my knitting.
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.
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!
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.
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.
That done, I now start reknitting the top.
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!’
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.
The 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.
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.’
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.
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, . . .
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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!
Greyt 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,. . .
Cool, 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.
Oops, 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.
The 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.
The 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 />The 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)!
You may remember that I have been teasing you over the past months with pictures of a knitted bunny that I have been designing. Well, my design is finished and I have published the pattern. ERIN’s BUNNY is a free download on http://www.ravelry.com.
Designing this bunny and creating a written pattern was quite the challenge. I will spare you the details of sleepless nights, numerous frogging, pattern rewrites and frustrations. Instead, I would like to brag.
There are many ways to make the bunny unique. You can add frills, flowers, bows and tie the ears up for a girl. You can keep it simple for a boy. Charms can be added around the neck to personalize it. You can use different weight yarns, including sock yarn for a mini size and attach a swivel hook so it can be used as a zipper pull for backpack, purse.
I am proud of this cuddly bunny. I devoted months to designing and writing. I have sold several to friends and have orders for the holidays.
I named the pattern for my daughter, Erin, and designed it around memories of her childhood.
Erin lives in a group home in Laramie, WY. She has several special needs. However, she is full of smiles, has a greyt sense of humor, and is always ready to give you her special bone-crushing hug. Erin has always been fascinated with things that are floppy and will spend hours shaking it. Thus, ERIN’s BUNNY is very floppy.
Next item on my list of to do’s, . . . a floppy panda bear that will be named ERIN’s PANDA. The pattern should be available around the first of the new year.
Things are changing. The trees seem to be turning early this year. We just had our first snow! Politics, . . I am not even going to go there!!!! And my blog site is changing.
In the next few weeks I will be making changes. So, if things look incomplete or or do not make sense, you would be correct.
For some reason, these changes are difficult for me. One problem is that I should be making these changes on the website vs. the app. I have never had any computer classes. As a nurse I did use a computer quite a bit. I was very adept at ordering x-rays and diets, charting meds and when my patient “appears to sleep” (only an older nurse will understand that comment!
So back to computer vs. iPad apps. Don’t you think they should function the same? Well, I am finding out computer people do not think so.
I will continue to blog about my addiction to knitting and love of greyhounds. Occasionally, I will talk about other interests, such as family, or things happening.
The main changes I want to make is in the menu and to add my on-line store.
So, while you are waiting for my store to open for business, here are a few items to tease you.
Okay, so much for teasing you. It seems I have done something so my photos only download in text form.
Vacations have been few and far apart for the greyt spouse and I over the past several years. I was fortunate to go to Hawaii earlier this year with the greyt son and his greyt family and friends. I posted pics in a previous blog.
In July the greyt spouse and I drove to to Lake Powell to visit friends. We went through Moab driving along Highway 128 off of I-70. It is a two lane road, but the views were awesome.
This archway is pretty cool. I took the pic along the roadside, so I am a distance from it. It is hard to appreciate the size until you look closely and notice there are people standing below the arch.
The rock formations just pop up from the ground. And the color palette is beautiful.
From Moab we took 191 to 160 to travel down to Page, Arizona. I’m thinking this is a total of a 10-12 hour drive on mostly 2 lane highway, and desert views will be rather boring. I was so wrong. The spectacular scenery really cut into my planned knitting time!
The entire drive was very beautiful. Just out of nowhere we would see these huge mounds of rock with such unique formations!
And the drive was over before we new it.
So, our greyt friends, Dave and Sherry, have this little boat on Lake Powell. Just kidding, it is not little.
The next 5 pics are from a cruise boat tour. I am just amazed at the lines, colors and shapes.
Unfortunately, the weather, although hot, was a bit windy creating choppy waters. So we did not get a personal tour of the lake on Dave and Sherry’s boat. However, it had been about two years since we last seen our friends, so we have plenty of time to visit and catch up.
The windy days did give us an opportunity to drive to the Grand Canyon for a day with our greyt friends. The views were beautiful and I just do not have the words to describe this natural wonder.
Back to Lake Powell and a camp out on the boat. We spent our last night on Lake Powell sleeping on Gemini. Dave and Sherry very graciously offered their stateroom to us. However, the greyt spouse and I thought it would be more fun and memorable to sleep under the stars. And it was. I purposely woke up several times just to admire the quiet and the expanse of stars. I woke early to take pics of the sunrise.
We left our friends, giving lots of hugs and well-wishes and plans to return soon. As we were heading home, I realized that I did not take any pics of out greyt friends. Silly me, my camera was always pointed at the surrounding scenery, hoping to achieve that one greyt pic.
First stop on the road home, Four Corner. A place where the corners of the states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona meet. It is a very popular tourist destination and a chance for me to find my last souvenirs. There are hand crafted items by Native Americans and the booths are arranged so there is one in each state. Wow, there is no other place where you can shop and buy souvenirs from four different states at just one stop!
“X” literally marks the spot. Or is it a plus (+).
Back on the road with more spectacular rock sprouting.
We spent the night in Alamosa, Colorado. The next morning we traveled to the Great Sand Dunes.
Did I say ‘sand dunes’, in Colorado? Yes I did. Now explain to me how there are sand dunes in the middle of the United States. The Great Sand Dunes are the tallest on the North American continent and are located in the Sanger de Cristo Mountains. Formed over thousands of years from sand deposited by mountain streams and reverse storm winds. The sand is constantly being recycled through freezing weather, melting snow, the mountain streams and of course the wind. A very awesome site.
Now this couple had the right idea. Lounging under an umbrella while the grandkids sand skied on the dunes.
Yes, you can rent sand boards, rub the bottoms with wax and ski down the dunes.
I think next year we should plan a trip with the greyt grandkids. What a greyt beach vacation! And then we can visit the alligator farm. Yes, there is an alligator farm in the middle of Colorado.
The trip was fun and refreshing. However, it is greyt to be home where the scenery is a rich green with a variety of trees, colorful flowers. And a short walk around our neighbor with greyt views of the Rocky Mountains!!