Unwind’s Newsletter and My Cowl Pattern

From Unwind’s newlsetter of 6/4/13

…Snip…

Unwind Meets Classic Elite Yarns Web-Letter

We Riff on Handmade Los Angeles II

HMLA poncho

Unwind’s collaboration with Classic Elite Yarns —

two pattern booklets called Handmade Los Angeles I & II

showed many knitters that simple style and warm weather friendly patterns can fit and flatter every woman.

One of my favorite designs from the books is Sabrina Judge’s

Fringed Poncho with Tattoo.

The body is lightweight, and not too warm, knit in Classic Elite’s Silky Alpaca Lace. And the classic shape is tweaked just a bit with a riot of multi-colored fringe and the embroidered “tattoo.” Stitch in “LOVE”, as we did, or choose a word that makes you happy.

Recently I was chatting with Unwind’s newest shop gal and teacher, Cheryl Olson. Cheryl loves to knit small accessories and often designs her own cowls, gloves, hats and more.

So I decided to offer her a little challenge. Would she riff on the fringe from the Fringed Poncho? What could a knitter do with leftovers from all that gorgeous fringe? Could we make a quick, easy project that many knitters would enjoy gifting or wearing themselves?

And so we offer Cheryl’s design — the Lightweight Cowl.

The Sea Glass and Gentian Violet colors are remnants from the Poncho, but we did need a new ball of the Cameroon (green). I love how the ribbons of color on the cowl evoke the Poncho’s fringe without actually being fringe. I also love how lightweight this cowl is despite being knit with two strands of Silky Alpaca Lace.

The folks at Classic Elite Yarns liked it so much that they have published it as this week’s free pattern through the CEY weekly web-letter.

    TO DO LIST:

  • Download Lightweight Cowl Pattern
  • Purchase Handmade Los Angeles I & II Books
  • Sign up for Classic Elite Web-Letter
  • Get individual patterns on Ravelry
  • Knit a Fringed Poncho or Lightweight Cowl with yarn from Unwind

Socks Many Ways – A Workshop

Cheryl Olson guides you through the world of socks

Toe up. Top down. Magic Loop. Double Points. Two at one time on two circular needles. Short row heels. Or not. Magic cast ons and turkish cast ons. So many possibilities – you could knit socks forever.

You’ll enjoy this class where, over five, three-hour session, you’ll knit a mini practice sock, work on a human-sized sock, and experiment with many techniques that will keep your toes tapping.

Enroll today, and prepare for our first lesson. Homework and materials list will be emailed before the first class.

Koigu

I’ve just discovered wonderful Koigu yarn. I’m sure most of you are already aware of how beautiful it is. I had never knit with it until I was asked to do a sample shawl for Foxy Knits. Their online shop specializes in Koigu. Merilyn was doing a trunk show at Alamitos Bay Yarn Company and wanted one of Fickle Knitter’s designs worked up in the lovely Koigu. The pattern was the Wild Lettuce Lace Shawl. I was immediately taken with how springy the yarn is. The color that Merilyn sent me was a lovely golden yellow. In some lights it took on a greenish cast.

The lace worked up quickly on the recommended US 5 needles and was a joy to knit. I finished in 11 days! After blocking I really loved it and was reluctant to send it back! I used two + skeins. I was hoping to only have to use 2, but I needed just a little more to finish the edging. If I were to make it for myself I think that I would make the body larger. I’d want a bit more to wrap around as a shawl, but the pattern as written came out quite nice. Here are the details on Ravelry.

The trunk show was on August 27, and I went to see all the other lovely samples made in Koigu. There were lots of shawls and scarves, and a beautiful coat that looked like it was an adult surprise jacket. There were so many lovely colors to choose from. There were the solids and the wilder multicolor yarns. There was a mulberry silk that I was coveting, but decided that I’d better wait. It is exceptionally beautiful, but I had to restrain myself.  Then there were some speckled yarns. I decided to get a couple of skeins of these to knit a pattern that I had gotten while in London earlier this year. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the pattern was from a company in Washington. The idea was to only buy stuff from England, but I digress. The pattern is Barb’s Koigu Ruffle. You can order a kit at the link. I made it for my trip to Amsterdam.

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

I got a couple more skeins in one of my favorite colors, a tonal hand painted mauve. I’m making socks from them. So far they feel super comfy. I can’t wait to wear them! They were my travel knitting in Amsterdam. The pattern is Khotan from Silk Road Socks by Hunter Hammersen. I swear I am going to make all the socks in this book! 2 ½ done so far!

Speaking of Amsterdam, every time I knit in public I got comments and smiles. On the train a little girl of about 7 was so fascinated by what I was doing she had to bring her mother over to see. Either I don’t knit in public so much at home, or people keep more to themselves here.

Oosterpark, Amsterdam

New Wrist Warmer Pattern

As soon as the weather got to 89 degrees in Southern California, I decided to publish a new pattern for wrist warmers. Oh, the irony. I love irony, don’t you? 😉 Seems like just last week I was wearing them…

I actually designed these over the holidays. I didn’t talk about them much because they were a Christmas gift and I didn’t really update my blog about Christmas knitting. They’re super simple to knit and fast too. It’s an evening or two’s worth of concentrated knitting.

I worked them two at a time, just like my socks, on two circular needles. You don’t really need to do it that way, I just prefer it. If you’re up for a challenge, just read the right and left hands at the same time, keeping track of which row you’re on. When you get to the thumb gusset, remember to add the M1s on every odd row starting at row 13. I wish I had a picture of them on the needles. It would be easier to describe with a visual aid. I worked them as if my hands were in front of me with the thumbs in the center. Does that make sense? If not, I’ll start another pair and take a picture.

SOCK NEWS

I have started Mood from Silk Road Socks. The Ravelry group is doing a KAL. The pattern isn’t hard, but I’ve frogged them numerous times already. This morning I discovered that one of them had 68 stitches instead of 64. Now I’ve got to start that one over.

In the beginning my knitting did not look like the pictures. I discovered a note at the end of the pattern. Ummm, I wish that note had been at the beginning where the instructions for the leg are… Just goes to show you that reading the pattern all the way through before starting is profitable. Will I learn? Probably not.

I’m almost done with the leg of my RSS sock. This one is better for almost mindless knitting. Not quite, but it does take less concentration. I can actually “read” my knitting on this one. It will be the next pattern up for publication.

SCARVES

I’ve been working on Palindrome off and on since December. I thought that I might be able to give it to Rex instead of the sweater that wasn’t working out, but this has proven to be a bit of a challenge. The pattern is easy, but I decided that I wanted to do it in two colors. First I had to work out how the yarn would stay together. I guess this is my first color-work project. I think it would be Intarsia rather than Fair Isle. It’s not that hard, just very tangly. I’m stubborn too, so I didn’t make manageable bobbins, I’m using whole skeins rather than joining the yarn every so often. The yarn tends to break sometimes though, so some of the pieces are shorter and easier to untangle.

Speaking of the sweater, that would be “new sweater” in the WIP on the left side of the page. Actually, I’ve decided to use a pattern from Interweave Knits Weekend 2009. I just got my copy from EBay today! Yippee! Anyway, the sweater I’ve decided on is the Twisted Pine Pullover. I really want to do this one, but I don’t have enough yarn. It will probably be better in a softer yarn anyway. I’m going to put this project aside for a while though. I’ve got so many others going…

Ok, back to scarves. I just cast on the Panorama scarf for a store sample. I’m using Allegoro by Classic Elite in a pretty blue. The pattern is a pretty lace that seems to look a little like hearts going up the scarf. There is long fringe too. It looks very summery.

Do you think I have enough projects going? It’s hard to keep track of them all, especially the ones that are languishing in my basket. I still see lots of WIPs in my Ravelry notebook. I’d better get to work!

Have a great weekend!

Knitter Ditter

Silence…

I know it’s been quiet around here. I’ve been knitting a lot, traveling a bit and having an anniversary weekend. This is our 30th year of wedded bliss! Honestly it doesn’t seem that long, but we have grown kids to prove it.

I’m also trying to get our $%!@&!^# taxes done. See how I procrastinate? Messy bookkeeping + tax time = :( Just sayin’.

In my kniti-verse I’ve been working on writing a couple of patterns. One is for Cathy’s Wrist Warmers.

I made these for my SIL for Christmas. I made another pair in London out of one of my purchases from last year’s trip, Sheepshop Wensleydale Longwool. I’ve just finished another pair out of the yarn in the picture, Rowan Cashsoft Baby DK. They are so very soft… The pattern will be posted shortly.

Another pattern that I am writing up is for my RSS Socks. RSS is for Really Simple Socks. I based them on a pair of store bought socks that I liked. I initially made them from a KnitPicks sock yarn in black, so they didn’t photograph too well. I am currently knitting them from Classic Elite Summer Sox. I’m hoping they will be comfortable in warmer weather. I’m finding that the climate in So Cal is not conducive to wool socks. My feet get itchy. Here’s the photo from the first pair. This picture isn’t great and I can’t find the original. I had to steal this one from my Ravelry photos. Weird. Like I said, the black doesn’t show the detail well but I like the way the blue Summer Sox is coming out. Photos to follow soon.

I need to catch up on posting my other knitting. I’ve started the Wakame Lace Tunic. I probably have the bottom finished. I just need to block and measure  to be sure. The lace pattern is easily memorized, so it goes quick, except for the volume!

I’m also working on a Palindrome scarf out of the Wensleydale Longwool in two brown colorways. Ugggh, need photos. Ok, I promise. Soon.

Just before heading off to London I made Nicole from The FibreCo’s Terra. It came out a little large and quite slouchy. It’s really warm and goes with all my pink stuff. I also made a blue one from the Wensleydale Longwool in blue. I felt guilty for buying all that yarn in London last year and not using it! I’m doing much better this year, thank you very much!

Ok, enough with the knitting. Back to taxes. Can I throw up now?

Knitter Ditter

Rip Roaring Knitting

I’m about two inches into the Gordes sock. It’s coming along nicely, though I spent much of today ripping back and correcting some mistakes. It seems that until I get used to the pattern, I make mistakes that I don’t see until much later. I should probably just swatch each chart so that I can learn what is actually going on. I really like how the Gordes chart is laid out. It’s very logical. I’m thinking I might use this cable technique for something of my own. There is a knit-a-long starting on February 1st for this sock on Ravelry. You can learn more at the Silk Road Socks KALS Group. (I hope it’s not cheating that I’ve already started… 😉 )

I discovered a new podcast this week thanks to Franklin Habit. It’s called Fiber Beat and can be found at the link. It’s not new. I was listening to some 2009 episodes today. WonderMike interviews lots of my favorite knitting personalities. I suppose you could call them the American Idols of knitting. I  listened to Episode 1 with Meg Swansen and wondered why I haven’t known about all the videos she has done. I’m definitely going to check them out! I love [amazon-product text=”Elizabeth Zimmermans Knitting Workshop” type=”text”]B000MGTT54[/amazon-product]. It’s got such a down-home feel.

Speaking of Franklin Habit, I finally caught up on his blog yesterday. He freaking cracks me up! If you don’t know, Franklin is a humorist, cartoonist, knittist – um –  knitter, and photographer.  (Wonder if I missed anything.) He researches vintage knitting patterns and brings them to modern knitters. He has a column called Stitches in Time at Knitty.com. I’m sure you will find it quite intriguing.

I just had to show my husband this:

It made him laugh too.

The other thing I absolutely love about Franklin’s site is the BEAUTIFUL photography. If I ever get the chance I want to take his photography class. The depth of field in the photos and the colors make your mouth water.

Well, I gotta go. My husband made dinner tonight and it smells wonderful!

Till next Friday,

Knitter Ditter

That's How I Roll

I know it’s not Friday. I missed by a few days, but I was at the NAMM show all weekend and there was no wireless in my hotel room! Can you believe it? I think Holiday Inn Express needs to get up to speed…. Not that I had much time anyway….

We saw lots of cool musical toys and interesting people. I think some thought it was Comic-Con. My husband was there with his company, NewTek, Inc. producing the live webcast each night. If you are interested in webcasting videos, say a video podcast, they have the equipment you need.

Looks pretty in the picture.

(Mini Me)

I had a very busy knitting week. On Sunday, I took a yarn dyeing class with Shannon Okey at Unwind. I had never dyed yarn before. I’m not sure I’m crazy about my results, but it was a great learning experience. I’ll have to see how it knits up. I think I’ll call ’em, “Crazy Socks.” I like how my sample skein came out much better. I must have left more space between the colors on the test skein than on the big skein so I had a lot more blending of colors. I even have some blue between the purple and green and I didn’t use blue at all! Very interesting!

On Wednesday Sarah Hatton from Rowan taught a class on how to update your favorite sweater. She taught how to take your measurements and figure out the stitch count. Then we worked on figuring the decreasing for sleeves and necklines. She was great, very knowledgeable. Of course I had to get the pattern book and get it autographed! I wish I could visit Rowan when I go to London. They are in the countryside, about 2 hours away.

[amazon-product image=”https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51XSPfQMfoL._SL160_.jpg” region=”us” type=”image”]0307586618[/amazon-product]


I worked like mad to get the Baby Shawl done by Wednesday so I could turn it in. I blocked it that morning and even put the blocking boards in my car’s trunk to finish drying while I took my mom to the doctor.

I knew I might not make it back in time to go home and I was right. I was a 1/2 hour late for my class so I was a little surly by the time I got there. I really felt like all my brain power was drained by the traffic between Santa Monica and Burbank. Uggghh. Still, it was a good class. I just wish I had been there from the beginning and had brought a simpler sweater to figure out. I tried to figure this one that I got for Christmas. I think it’s really pretty. But she said I would have to take lots of measurements for it. My head just about exploded in trying to figure it out! I think I’ll stick to figuring out DH’s favorite sweater which is a drop shoulder sweater with straight sides. I brought that too, and no one could figure out the stitch pattern. It must be some crazy machine knit thing. I suspect it is double knit because there is rib on the back side and brioche on the front. At least from what I can tell.

At the end of Sunday’s class Stephanie and Shannon were talking about Stitches West. Stephanie said she doesn’t have any socks for her display. Of course my eyes lit up. I haven’t done any socks in I don’t know how long. I’ve been itching to get started on a pair. Shannon just happens to be working on a new book and I get to make one of the socks from it! Yippee! I’m using Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in a lovely gold color called Ginger. I love the depth in the color, and it really shows off in the pattern that Shannon designed. Since the book won’t be out until March, I’ll save the details until later. My socks should be done sooner than that though. 😉

Two Socks, Two Needles. That's... how I roll!

Happy Knitting and I’ll see you Friday!

Knitter Ditter

New Info: I just found this pattern on Ravelry so I can talk. It is called Gördes and is published in “Silk Road Socks” by Hunter Hammersen, published by cooperativepress.com. That’s all for now.

Ravelry Party at Unwind!

On Thursday I went to the Ravelry meetup at Unwind Yarn. I wish I had some pics, but I didn’t even think to bring a camera. D’uoh! It was really fun. I got to meet Casey and Jess, and talked to Casey for a while about programming. He’s very cute and kind of shy. Go figure, a shy programmer?!

The place was packed when I got there around 7pm. I didn’t know anyone there except Stephanie. I was hoping I’d run into a friend, but I guess I should have brought one. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

After a while I decided that I just wanted to sit and knit so I took out my RSS (Really Simple Socks). Here’s a pic of the leg. It’s a little hard to see the detail. Right now I’m at the point of starting the heel. These socks are my own design with a little help from a pair of store bought socks that I’ve had for years. I’ve been looking at them since I picked up knitting again and I’ve been wanting to try the pattern. Well, they are finally wearing through the heel, so I thought I’d give it a go. These are one repeat shy of the store bought ones. The yarn they use is much thinner.

Designing is a goal I have for myself this year. This is the first project, other than the Sky Wrap Scarf that I designed quite by accident. By the way, I have uncovered the directions for the original Wrap/Scarf that I thought just couldn’t be what I saw at the store. Attached were directions from the web that I used as a start, but even they are not what I ended up with. I will write up what I did. I remember most of it, but I’ll have to make a sample just to be sure.

Back at the Ravelry party, as soon as I whipped out my socks, I got lots of comments and compliments. I talked to Laura, tinkknitter on Ravelry who I hadn’t seen for a long time. She works at Unwind sometimes. I met Lucky Penny who I can’t find on Ravelry right now, and a couple of gals from a church across town. One of the women was really outgoing and saw that I was knitting two socks on two circulars. She was intrigued by this and asked if she could watch because she had always wanted to try it. Her friend is a crocheter that she’s trying to convert into a knitter. As we talked we discovered that we know some people in common. The choir director at our church used to give lessons to their kids and a woman that started the walking group at our church are friends of theirs. Small world, huh?

After the crowds thinned out I was able to move around and bought this beautiful shawl pin and these yarns. I’m trying out the wrap again in this Tough Love sock yarn from sweetgeorgia. The color is just gorgeous! I’m not sure it wants to be the wrap though. I think it may be calling out to be Pomatomus. The colors remind me of a beautiful Hawaiian ocean, crystal clear water and the scales of a fish. We’ll see…

I’m not sure why I bought the Manos de Uruguay except that I kept picking up the skein. It’s so soft, and the colors… Alright, you got me. I bought it because it was love at first sight. I don’t know what I will make with 175 yards yet. They only had the one skein because it is a prototype. I think it might be a spring scarf of some sort.

The shawl pin was complete impulse. Ummm, weren’t the yarns too? Anyway, I needed a shawl pin. I have a wooden one, but I never wear it because it needs finishing.

So silly of me. I was telling the ladies that I was trying to use up my stash yarn before buying any more. That was before I saw these wonderful yarns. Also, the entry fee to the party was to be used toward any purchase made that night. I couldn’t let that go, could I? 😉

New Year, New Habits

Happy New Decade! So many things to think about. This is the year I turn 50, so of course it’s a milestone year and makes you consider creating some new habits.

I have already created the habit of running, although for the last month I’ve really fallen off the wagon. I’ve had a cough, a cold, and earlier in the month the winds were kicking up the ashes of the Station fire and creating such an environment that I wasn’t thrilled to be outside. But for Christmas I got a Wii Fit and now I can work out in the house. I did work out to DVDs before, but sometimes you just have to change things up. The Wii Fit has so many fun exercise games that it will be a long time before I get bored! I’ve heard that the hula hoop burns lots of calories! 😉

A habit I need to get back is gardening. I haven’t taken it seriously for many years. This house doesn’t inspire me to garden because there isn’t much room. The back yard is mostly concrete with a small patch of grass. There are borders around the edges which are wild and overgrown now. That’s where I will start. I think I will work on flowers and bulbs for spring.

I need to create a habit for practicing the guitar every day. I’ve bought a few programs and taken lessons, but I rarely think to pick it up like I do the knitting needles. I got a beautiful new guitar for Christmas from DH. It is much easier to play than his Takamine, and it has a beautiful tone. Playing guitar is something I have done on and off since I was 13 or so. Mostly off. I often think that if I had kept it up over the years I would be pretty good by now.

Scrapbooking is another thing that I need to create a habit for. I haven’t done it for quite a while, but I keep collecting digital downloads from Gotta Pixel. I do love the digital scrapbooking. I take a long time to do it though. If I do a little bit a week, maybe I can learn what I like and create pages faster.

I definitely have the knitting habit down. 😉 After Christmas I finished my Clandestine socks. I finally took a picture of the shopping bag before I gave it away as a gift. I finished Josie’s Little Miss Greenjeans Sweater and gave it to her for Christmas.

I also need to create a habit for cleaning up after myself. After eating/cooking, working, knitting, dressing, etc. Yep, I’m a messy person. It’s actually much better since the kids moved out. Now it’s only my mess! I notice that in the weeks DH is gone, I tend to be a slob. So this year I resolve to clean up after myself.

While I’m at it I could get in the habit of organizing my time better. Calendars and timers might be good. I tend to rebel even against my own rules. What?!? I know… Pathetic.
So this year I resolve not to rebel and teach that rebellious kid in me to stay on track.

I’ve got lots of stuff there, not to mention choir/vocal practice and school homework – oh yeah – and blogging. 😉

Daily stuff to do would be Bible Study, exercise, guitar knitting, voice, homework, clean up after myself.

Weekly stuff could include cleaning house, gardening, blogging and scrapbooking. Not bad.

Now that I’ve got myself somewhat organized for the year and spent way more time blogging than I meant to, I’m off to practice guitar! See ya!

Programming Makes Me Fat

I’m convinced that programming is bad for the waistline. Besides sitting on your butt most of the day, it makes me want to eat.

I am in the second semester of Java programming, so I don’t know a whole lot yet. It’s really frustrating. It takes me a week or two to get through some of this homework. Especially when all the examples are for int arrays and we are working on String arrays. Besides the fact that I’m trying to make a object and the examples are shown in procedural programming. Have your eyes glazed over yet? Mine did. That’s probably why it takes me so long to figure it out. If I don’t have coffee before class I want to go to sleep. I’ve caught the guys next to me napping behind their screens too.

So, if this is so incredibly boring, why do I want to do it? Maybe I’m just weird. I like to figure things out. I like puzzles. I like a challenge. Maybe that’s why I picked up knitting, why I’m currently into lace. I guess next it will be entrelac, but I’m not really crazy about the look of the finished product so it will have to be something really pretty.

Ehh, skip entrelac. I just got EZ’s Opinionated Knitter and there are some gorgeous Fair Isle sweaters I’d like to try. I haven’t attempted Fair Isle yet. I’ve dabbled in Intarsia. I really need to get into some color work.

Currently on the needles: 1 CounterPoint Scarf (Almost done, but it’s taking forever because I only work on it once every two weeks during the video at Bible Study.)

2 Clandestine Socks. I have about 4 inches left to complete. I’ve made the leg and turned the heel. I’m currently working on the feet, two at a time on 3 needles. Three because for some reason I have one long needle and two short ones. It was easier to turn the heel with the short ones and keep the long one for the top of the foot. Hmm. These are taking a while too. Probably because of the Java homework. Sigh.