The Yarn Harlot is a Genius!

Maybe you haven’t seen this post of Stephanie Pearl McPhee. She shares a wonderful little technique of crocheting across a piece of knitting, especially useful at the back of the neck when you don’t cast off and cast on.

Not only did she share it, she also wrote and photographed a whole d@amn tutorial. Seriously, when does she sleep? She produces amazing cable sweaters with no sweat off her back, and the tutorial appears within a few days of the clamour of the blog for MORE DETAILS.

Said tutorial pushed me over the edge. Since I’ve just finished the Juliaca sweater (I literally sewed on the button yesterday that I bought at Stitches West on Saturday) in which I did not cast off for the neck and collar, I decided that I would see if it works. Now, it was a test to start, because the Harlot showed the technique with stockinette, and I was dealing with 2 by 2 ribbing. Would it work? Would it look ok?

So, here are my photos.

From the inside, it is reasonably neat:

Juliaca - neck edge2

And now for the outside:

Juliaca neck edge 3

Even though it’s ribbing, it looks ok! (and it doesn’t have to because of the fold of the collar, but isn’t it great that it does.)

And now I’m not worried that the sweater is gonna slip down!!!

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Stitches Hangover

This is my fifth year attending Stitches. Every other year, I’ve taken classes as well as go to the Marketplace. There are so many things that I’ve learned that I haven’t had the opportunity to apply, plus, I’ve bought a ton of books this year, so I decided to just do the marketplace.

Between joining a knit night, discovering the “online” community of knitting, and the buzz of Ravelry, it was a very different experience this year. I went with friends (thanks Leslie and Lisa for the carpooling, so much nicer!), and joined my wonderful pal Liz in the shopping as in years before. For the first year since attending, I had a clue about what is new and interesting.

But the other reality is that I also already own a ton of yarn. My stash is bigger than ever, and I have two great sweaters in my cue for spring/summer, a plentiful amount of sock yarn, etc. The only thing I truly needed were a closure of some kind for my Juliaca cardigan, which was blocked and all but done.

So I enabled my friend Liz (knitcrazy) who bought tons at really great prices. My only fiber purchase was a couple of skeins of Colrain at WEBS because I wanted to test it out with a hat for the Christian Seamens groups.

High and first on the list was checking out the Ravelry booth. Casey, despite being on the third day, was gracious in letting us take our picture with him in front of the Ravatars banner:

ravelry at Stitches west 2008

Ravelry with friends

And lunchtime was the time to check in with other Knit Nighters, including Lindsay, Judy and Alison, who shared their experiences as well:

Knit Night at Stitches West 2008 2

And I did find the perfect buttons, thanks to shopping with Liz, who wisely said, “Hey , there are button here, why don’t you check it out?” I found the perfect buttons from South Africa. I’ve sewn on the button (one for now) and it is perfect! Photo to come when I can get someone to take my photo while wearing the sweater.

Today? I’m swatching for the sweaters that come next, and playing with the Colrain. Perfect timing for a stormy day with plenty of TV time thanks to the Oscars!

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Travels with Knitting

Well, it has been an extremely busy few weeks, with two major trips. The first one took me to the East Coast, where I managed to go through seven states in eight days. Admittedly, a couple of these were “drive throughs) but still!

The second trip was an amazing trip to Northern Ireland, Ireland, as well as England and Wales. More to come on that experience.

I worked on socks, including this wonderful Kaffe Fassett colorway:

Kaffe Fassett socks 2

I actually finished one on the first trip, and the second one on the second trip!

Along the way I visited my college roommate Lolly, who taught me to knit continental – for which I am truly grateful. I had sussed out that Stitch DC is the knitting place to go, so I went in the pouring rain and got some beautiful Jade Sapphire 100% cashmere to make a lovely scarf for Lolly:

Isobel scarf

And I’m totally excited to return home because I was able to finish by Juliaca cardigan.

Juliaca sweater detail 1

Since I’m heading to stitches tomorrow, I will be able to find a totally great closure for it, so stay tuned for a real modelling job.

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