Color Theory!

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I really enjoyed my Color Theory class at Yarn It and Haberdashery, Look at Esther! Can you imagine a better person to learn from about Color Theory?

The best tip of the evening was learning to use colors that are opposite (or almost) on the color wheel but also using cool tones against warm tones to really make them pop. I can’t wait to get my Milarrochy Tweed yarn to see how the palette works together!

In the meantime, I will make some black and white copies of my chart and color in some potential options.

I also purchased a new skein of yarn to start on Brassica, which I fell in love with while swiping through my Ravelry app. Although I would have loved to have used the Cascade called for, I found instead a skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky in – guess what color? Grey.

Last night, I confessed to the fun and funky ladies at class that I’m a boring knitter. Esther corrected me and called me an “Over the Pond” knitter. Her shop is filled with bright and fun colors, and everyone is knitting speckled yarn. She says that’s what the Americans like. But not me. It’s true. I follow KnitBritish. I like natural fibers in neutral colors. I like cables and texture work, and if colors, then stranded Fair Isle or Nordic colorways. One time I took a “What kind of knitter are you?” quiz, and the answer was “Purist.”

I waxed rhapsodic about my navy stockinette pullover I will knit for myself one day. There were a lot of eye rolls.

I’m exaggerating a bit, but I do think it’s interesting. I like the history of knitting. I like the tradition. I want to hug sheep.

Speaking of, I have an exciting field trip this week which I can’t wait to blog about next weekend!

Will I blog tomorrow and make this a two-blog weekend? I guess we will find out tomorrow!

Progress

img_2741Words cannot express my joy at finally (mostly) finishing the design for the West Highland Way hat contest and ordering the yarn!

I posted this in black and white because I’m not finished with the color design. I need to see the yarn in person to really know how I am going to use it. But I did finish the top decreasing which I think will work out okay, and I chose colors which remind me of that winter’s day at Blendon Woods and the birds in the snow.

I also ordered 2 extra balls of the color Bruce (black) because I am going to knit myself a textured hat with this. What can I say? I like wearing black and I like knitting hats.

Also, the yarn is my Valentine’s gift from Bob. ❤ Thank you, Bob!

(Checks weekly blog post off to do list.)

I’m on the Bobble Row

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The Bobble Row takes 5 times as long to knit as the rest of the rows, because of all the additional stitches it requires to make the bobble. Knit purl knit purl knit into one stitch on the front, purl back those 5, knit across the 5 stitches again… for each bobble.

Hang in there with me. There’s a point to this.

Essentially, there are two different sets of instructions for making the bobble in this pattern. On the first bobble row of the hat, I followed the “make bobble” instructions, which have you completing the bobble on the bobble row by slipping the extra stitches over. The hat instructions have you purling 5 together on the next row, on the way back – which I dutifully followed after I noticed the instructions were different.

Purling 5 together is no easy feat, and the process can be riddled with mistakes. It is much simpler to slip the stitches over the bobble while you are on the bobble row. In fact, completing the bobble on the bobble row is much faster and more efficient, because you can just knit and purl on the other 3 pattern rows. And the bobble looks identical.

Ergo, you should complete the bobbles on the bobble row. Feel free to apply this tidbit of wisdom to life as well as knitting. I think it is something akin to doing it right the first time. Or maybe it is about not doing things the hard way.

Unless you know a reason why I should complete the bobble on the next row? Please leave me a comment if you do! Or just to say hi. That’s nice, too.

I hope there is a good reason why I should be knitting this hat flat and seaming it instead of knitting it in the round. Maybe some shaping magic? I can dream.

New Year’s Day Round Up

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I finally get to hang up my Goats of Anarchy calendar. I’ve had it since September!

I didn’t blog every day between Christmas and New Year’s, but I did knit almost every day. Here are some project updates.

My J&S swatch is coming along. It’s time to experiment with the cables. I was pleased I could jump right back into 2-color stranded knitting, although my tension was a little off on the purl row back. Luckily the sweater should be knit in the round.

Here is a tip. If you want to manifest something into your life, put it on your blog! Look what I got for Christmas!

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One of my presents from Bob was also to sign me up for Kate Davies’ West Highland Way Club – patterns only, but I will certainly be saving my pennies for some yarn as well. I’m very excited about it and can’t wait for it to start!

I did swatch the J&S Shetland while watching Shetland a second time. (I had to for tongue-in-cheek purposes.) I tried to take a photo but couldn’t get one worth sharing. In the first episode, one of the characters is wearing Kate Davies’ Peerie Flooers hat. When I saw that, I remembered I was introduced to Kate Davies Designs through the show the first time I watched it. I think that moment was the spark that rekindled my love of knitting last year. (Hmm… that hat is knit with J&S jumper weight… Hmm…)

Although, I will probably knit the Goats of Inversnaid hat first. What can I say? I really love goats. And so does my youngest. He might get a goat hat, too.

I’m off to make a digital vision board for 2018 full of knitting hopes and dreams.  Happy New Year! What are your aspirations for 2018?

Sunny Scandinavian Topper – A Look Back

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Here’s an old hat. I found it in my youngest’s closet. It was my first stranded knitting project. I made it to match some mittens I purchased at a Scandinavian festival, 17 years ago.

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The gauge is obviously not a match, and neither is the pattern, for that matter. I don’t remember what pattern it is, but I do remember substituting colors to match my mittens. The yarn is Peace Fleece. I love how they continue to expand their mission. This hat is a toasty warm sunny topper for a cold winter’s day.

I don’t think my youngest will notice I’ve stolen it back from his closet.

I have been anticipating starting the stranded colorwork on my J&S Swatch.I love knitting two colors with both hands! I remember learning all the techniques I could in the early days. I’m an English knitter (thrower,) but I can also knit Continental (picker,) and even backwards! So stranded colorwork will be fun.

What’s your favorite knitting technique?

Are you a Thrower or a Picker?

Bobbles Thursday

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I finally finished the twilight row on (not raspberry) beret. It is full of bobbles! It took me some time to get around to this row because of the changing of the needles and change in pattern. I procrastinated, because change is hard.

But bobbles are fun and satisfying when complete!

This post reminds me of the holiday quiz where I found out my elf name several years ago. It was Baubles.

I celebrate one month of blogging today with an upgrade to a personal plan and the headknits.com domain. This is a big step for me!

I used to blog regularly many years ago. I had multiple mommy / crafting / art blogs. After a major life upheaval, I stopped. I had too much other work to do, both internally and externally. After some false starts, I’m very happy to finally get back to blogging. It feels like putting my feet back on the right path.

Why do you blog?

Morning Knitting

I work retail, so busy holidays mean squeezing in some sanity knitting in the wee morning hours with a cup of coffee. This is “Raspberry Beret” from “A Stitch in Time: Heirloom Knitting Skills” by Rita Taylor.

What a gem of a book. It is divided into sections by traditional knitting history, with a stitch dictionary and a few patterns for each section. This is from the section on raised stitches. I love knitting + I love history = I love this book!

I have never knit a hat flat and seamed it before. Why would I? It seems like a waste of time. But I’ve always wanted to knit a bobble hat, and I figured it was time for me to try something different.

Now is the magical moment when I switch from the smaller ribbing needles and start the main pattern on the larger needles. It’s like twilight for knitting: the in-between time. It is also twilight outside at this very moment.

I love the short days of winter. I can experience twilight twice a day. The world seems quieter at twilight.

This yarn is also a non-descript, in-between color called St. Claire, in Arranmore Light by The Fibre Company. It is a sort of blue grey green neutral. It makes me think of ships in a harbor…

At twilight. (You knew that was coming.)

What Have I Been Knitting?

I was going through the old images of knitting I have been posting and dating them, and I thought geez these sure are old! I have knit a little bit in the last few years. I decided to share these things, and I would be all caught up and ready to move forward! Because in the words of Ziggy Marley – lesser known than his father Bob, but still no slouch in the wisdom department –  “If you don’t know your past, you don’t know your future.”

Not that there won’t be some flash backs down the road, I’m sure.

 

I finished this gansey for Husband Bob. The pattern is Old Way Gansey by Ann Budd. The yarn is Cascade 220 from stash. When I posted it on Ravelry, Ann Budd stopped by to say hello and added me to her Ravelry group. I was really geeked out.

Le Smoking

I finished Le Smoking from A Fine Fleece, in Fingerlakes Soft Wool 3 ply from stash. This design is pretty but it isn’t super wearable on me, or maybe it’s too small. Or, the shoulders are too shallow? I’m not sure what’s wrong with it exactly, but I’m not wearing it, so there’s that. I’m a little sad because I love this color.

 

I knit a slew of hats, no patterns, just measurements and gauge. The one on the left is a slouchy hat in Berroco Vintage from stash, and the one on the right is a straight beanie in Manos del Uruguay Clara, from Yarn It and Haberdashery.

There were a few other hats in there, mostly beanies knit for kids in straight up stockinette in whatever yarn was laying around. I do get a little bored knitting in stockinette, but it’s so mindful and mindless at the same time. Very meditative.  Plus I can watch a show or a movie and knit and not worry about making mistakes. Mmm… yards and yards of stockinette. So healing.

 

Speaking of stockinette! Right now I’m knitting Plain Grey Sweater for Harald from Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Kohl, also from Yarn It and Haberdashery. It’s my pattern, which is to say it is yards and yards of stockinette: so just measurements and gauge with drop shoulders and ribbed finishing. It is what he asked for, although at one point he thought it might be nice to add some cables. I had already started so I told him no. Maybe next time, after I knit sweaters for his brothers, of course.

Manos del Uruguay yarns are some of my favorite because not only are they natural fibers, they are also single-ply and wearably soft for wool, kettle-dyed for delicious colors, and Fair Trade! I work for a fair trade organization, and ethical sourcing is really important to me. It’s something I hope to get into more on this blog.

Word of the day: Stockinette. Runner up: Slouch.

More Looking Back (and a Free Pattern)

Back in the old Liberty Handknits days – one of my small businesses I tried to get off the ground – the Button Up Cloche was my most popular and best selling handknit. It was the first pattern I wrote out and dared to put out into the world. I submitted it to a knitting publication, though it was not accepted. I did sell a few on Etsy. I thought it might be fun to offer it here for free!

This pattern only includes the pie crust cable pattern for the brim, but you can knit any cabled pattern that can be worked in bulky yarn in a panel of about 4 inches, button the ends together, turn it on its side, and knit a hat on top!

Button Up Cloche Knitting Pattern

I found the pattern in an old email I had sent to myself for some reason, in Microsoft Works format! 😆 Luckily I found a file converter online.

I didn’t have as much luck finding the Geensie pattern.

I really like this hat, though, and will probably try to recreate it, or some variation of it. And it’s hard to believe my eldest son is now a full grown man!