On the other side

So, I went on some trips, and then I got sick. Sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve posted!

Along the way I saw awesome sunsets from the plane

Finished a cowl on the plane and then got to wear it then and there – CoPilot in Knitpicks Capretta

Learned some stuff in Princeton, where I lucked into a warm-up so I didn’t need the hat that I lost before I even got to the airport.

And then flew across the country to see figure skating in Anaheim

There was sun and palm trees

and snow on the local mountains

The skating was amazing!

And then I got to see family friends that I haven’t seen in way too long.

When I returned, I dove into work, and then got sick and have been at home the last three days, which has been odd, because that hasn’t happened in a while. Tomorrow (probably today by the time I post this) I’ll be well enough to work at home and go in for a bit, because the work doesn’t stop.

It turns out that the Recoleta sweater was the perfect garment to wear on the trip – thick enough to keep me warm, lacy enough to wear inside, a good layering piece. I wore it almost every day, but still have not got a shot of me wearing it yet.

The CoPilot cowl was also good – it’s another light piece that layered well, especially in a cold arena.

And now I am replacing one of two lost knit pieces. More about that in the next post! Question: when do you decide to replace a lost or worn knit item? I’d like to include others’ thoughts on this!

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Ready to Wear

My challenge to finish my Recoleta sweater is done – and I finished! Last night I worked the cuffs with the needles that I had left at home, although it took two tries to get the same number of rounds of ribbing to match.  Cast-off, and decided I was tired enough to simply block the sweater and deal with the ends in the morning.

In this case, “blocking” consisted of putting the sweater into the wash (with another Yowza sweater that I wear a lot) on cold water with an extra rinse, then putting it into the dryer to the damp dry cycle. See, the yarn is super wash, and wetting it makes it stretch out like crazy. The dryer brings back everything to be tidy. I popped it out of the dryer, and it looks great. Here it is before ends were woven in:

and after:

One technique that someone had done on their version of the sweater, which I liked, was to take  the back lace section down to the edge to match the front, and then do a bit of fudging to get the section to a knit one, purl one, setting, which then allowed the whole bottom of the sweater to be cast-off with the tubular bind-off. It looks great, and provides just the right amount of stability.

In retrospect, I would have knit a smaller back to the sweater – it’s ok the way it is, but I have a little more fabric in the back than I really need. When I get to wear it, I’ll get some photos with it on!

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Knitting Deadline

Early in January I started a lace cardigan sweater, no, not the Fancy Cardigan one of the knitting disaster. I’m knitting Recoleta by the same designer, which is done in a worsted yarn – I’m using Miss Bags Yowza, which is a little finer, but it seems to be working.

It’s a top-down sweater with a shawl collar. You begin with a provisional cast on for the back collar, knit some inches in lace one way, then go back and put the stitches on the needle and go the other way for the same inches, then you pick up stitches for the front, sleeves and back on one edge and begin knitting down in a raglan style, oh, and by the way, remember to knit that big back chart for your specific size as you also continue the lace collar down the front. And you have two charts to track and you’ll be on different rows the whole time. I know some folks use software to solve problems like this – I was pretty old school with page protectors and highlight tape. It worked!

But the back is pretty cool:

 

It’s now the end of January and I’ve gotten this far:

 

So I only have a sleeve to go, and the sleeve cap is already knitted. Of course, for the first sleeve I adjusted the width because folks said the pattern had sleeves that are too narrow. Then I went according to pattern with a slow decrease, which turned out to be too slow – the sleeves were very loose and with an already loose body, it was not looking good, so I ripped out about 10 inches of sleeve and reknit to decrease faster, and now it looks good.

The deadline is that I leave town for 9 days on early Sunday morning, and this sweater is going with me one way or another, hopefully it will be knit, blocked and ready to wear. A sleeve is only like a hat and a half, and it’s mostly all stockinette, and the math is done to make it fit. Except that I am away for a couple of days starting tomorrow afternoon at a pastor retreat-like event except that they keep you busy all day so it’s not a retreat really. But somehow I managed to book a hotel that is within a block of the place we’re meeting, so it would be possible to slip away and knit for a bit, right? Because it is called a retreat.

Stay tuned for the adventure of the knitted deadline…

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We did it again


Long time readers of the blog will know that I’m not a KAL kind of knitter for the most part. Everynow and then I participate, as I did with this poncho pattern with the Sheeper Than Yarn gals in the Fresno area – it was a retreat project one year. Apparently I don’t have the group photo of our ponchos together:



So it is fun and not common to see another knitter with the same/similar finished item. Last month, Pam, who is in the Knitted Knockers of Silicon Valley group, wore her Leftie shawl, and so did I! The pattern is Leftie by Martina Behm.

This past Saturday as I was leaving the house, I was trying to figure out which cowl/scarf/shawl to wear, and changed it out at the last minute. And lo and behold, Pam was wearing a very similar one to mine. We twinned again with our knits!

They are not the same pattern – mine has a different way of making the holes than Pam’s, but it was quite the coincidence to be wearing the same kind of item again, and this time, we picked similar gradient yarns to use. The pattern I used was the Spindrift scarf by Lucy Neatby. I’m not sure what Pam’s pattern was.

When have you been “twinned” with a knitted thing in the wild?

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Startitis

Despite all the knitting that happened over the year, toward the end I began to lose my knitting mojo a bit. I knit myself a dishcloth like the ones I knit for my staff, and then, well, things mostly sat.

I made a bunch of knitted knockers (will get to 28 by the end of the week) because I really wasn’t in the mood to figure out what to knit next.

I did swatch a little for a vest for Luis – but didn’t get far.

This past weekend all of that faded. I began to hatch a couple of new things though. First, because my knitting friend Nhien is super generous, I got a skein of Knit Picks Capretta in a couple of hand-painted color ways. This yarn is super soft – it’s a super wash blend of merino and cashmere, with a touch of nylon. The color way I’ve started with is Springwater which has lovely blues, violet, and periwinkle colors:

I’m knitting the very basic CoPilot cowl (free on Ravelry), which is basically the Reyna shawl (also free on Ravelry) converted to a cowl. I tried first to use a draft pattern of my own  that I had done years ago, but the yarn is too busy for it, and really I am looking for an everyday item. I love that I don’t have to do a lot of math to get this to work!

Apparently I cannot be relied upon to knit in the round – because while the initial joining was good, about a round later I twisted it up, and then didn’t discover that until about an inch was knit. By then I was not going frog it, so I twisted it back because this is cowl in variegated yarn and no one will care.

I also remembered that I had frogged the Wisteria sweater after reading that it didn’t really fit people very well. Apparently after that I had made another plan to knit the Copperplate cardigan, but when I looked at that pattern, I realized I’d be using a light worsted yarn for a pattern designed for sport weight yarn. The sweater would be way too heavy for the floaty look that the designer had in mind. So that plan got tossed (I’ll hold the pattern for another yarn someday), and I found a fun sweater by called Recoleta by Joji Locatelli which has been successfully knit in the Miss Babs Yowza several times.

Swatching went well,

so last night I cast-on for the lace collar, and by the third cast-on, I finally figured out how to knit it! Here’s half of the collar before I pulled out crochet provisional cast-on.

Onward and upward on two projects.

Next up: more serious swatching for the baby vest!

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Christmas Knitting or Not

For a number of years, I have spent a lot of time planning the Christmas knitting – as in gifts for family and friends to be given at Christmas. Some years there is a theme – like socks or hats – and at others, it’s individual for each person. Some years, I started knitting for Christmas in August because I am a pastor and leaving things to December would be a really bad idea. Other times it’s been later.

This year, I knit for many in the friend/family network during the year. There were baby shower gifts, and birthday sweaters and cowls, and when I got to the fall, I realized that most folks had already gotten a knitted thing this year. And I mostly bailed on the Christmas knitting.

But not completely. I have a couple of friends, Nhien and Curtiss, who are completely knit worthy (as in sending photos wearing the knitted item, lovely handwritten thank you notes). Nhien is a knitter, and Curtiss is a muggle who appreciates the socks I knit for him.

For Nhien, I made a shawl to replace one that had gotten eaten by the moths. It’s Wilhemina’s shawlette (from the fabulous book What Would Madame DeFarge Knit). The original was in a now discontinued color from , and the color was pretty cool, so I made a lace-weight version in ShiBui Lunar, which is a merino/silk blend. I did a couple of more repeats to make the shawl big enough, and love how it came out:

For Curtiss, I knit him his annual pair of knitted socks – this out of some vacation yarn I got at The Swift Stitch in Santa Cruz. The yarn is Candy Skein Yummy Fingering Sock and truly a lovely yarn, The pattern was mostly a toe-up ribbed sock but I added a small Twisted stitch cable on each side of the foot running up the leg.

And finally I knit some dishcloths again – only six this year – and I verged on burning out on them. These were for the staff at my church:

In mid-December, I went to an event where the Knitmore Girls were hanging out. They offer a truly fun way of knitting in the holiday period – they call it the Grinch-along, which means you don’t knit anything for the upcoming Christmas after December 1st. That sounds good, although I’ve never followed it. But Jasmin and I chatted and I told her about knitting things for people through the year, and she loved the idea of taking this further by making a calendar so that you just follow that and not stress at the holidays.

It’s too far away for next year to make any predictions, but I have enjoyed making-the-things through the year instead of giving everything all at once!

So, tell me, What is your Christmas knitting approach?

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What I knit in 2018

Summary

As another knitting year has been completed at Casa del Revknits, so it’s time for the annual counting of the knitted things.

For the past couple of years, my knitting quantity has increased. In 2016, I knit 12,640 yards, in 2017 my knitting yardage was up to 15,050, and this past year, 2018, I knit 18,935 yards.  That’s an increase of almost 50% over two years!

There were some surprises as I reviewed last year’s knitting. I forgot that I knit so many sweaters, 6 of them (2 for the new baby Luis) and I didn’t remember all the baby charity hats that I knit.

Of course, the knitted knockers were the most for any category – 101, then followed by hats and dishcloths. A couple of new items made it into the list – Stuffed Toys – with a couple – the Dolores Van Hoofen kit and a bunny!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The largest single item was the Baby Blanket that I knit for the new baby in the family (1,367 yards – big!),


and the small bracelets for the knitting class were the smallest – I didn’t even count them into the mix for yards.

By the numbers:

  • Sweaters – 6
  • Socks – 6 pairs, plus 1 pair baby booties
  • Dishcloths – 10
  • Shawls – 4
  • Cowls – 2
  • Mittens – 1
  • Hats – 13
  • Knitted Knockers – 101
  • Stuffed Toys – 2 (Dolores Van Hoofen, Bunny from a square, plus 2 outfits for DvF
  • Baby Blanket 1
  • Bracelets – 4

2019 Goals

My going-in goal for the year is to knit myself more sweaters – I knit a short sleeve cardigan and a shell (that magically now fits me because I gain weight – yay?), and would like to freshen up my sweater mojo. I also want to use some yarn that I bought in 2016 in Paris in the Montmartre – will have to make plans soon. Finally, I want to do some colorwork knitting for the new baby, and I’m already swatching. So fun!

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101

When I moved to Fresno back in 2015, I learned about a charity knitting group called Knitted Knockers – and I immediately was captivated by the notion of knitters providing free, lightweight breast prostheses to women who had breast cancer surgery.

I started by knitting a few here and there (Izzie, as usual, in charge of quality control!,

and then when I moved to San Jose, it turns out that my new knitting group is my monthly Knitted Knockers group here in Silicon Valley. They are lovely group and I really enjoy getting together with them.

This year, as fall progressed, I realized that I had been knitting a lot of knockers over the months, and I set my self a goal – to knit at least 100 knockers. Well, last month, I made my goal – 101 knockers!

I’m also beginning to help with social media work for our mighty group. We tried to publicize Knitted Knockers for Breast Cancer Awareness Month by sending out press releases, but that is old school and not working. So, you can join our Facebook page, follow us on MeetUp and get alerts on our monthly meetings, or follow our brand new Instagram feed where we offer encouragement, inspiration, and knitterly beauties.

Here’s one taste of our Instagram feed:

https://www.instagram.com/knittedknockersofsv/

I’ve knit a few more knockers already, but I don’t count them until I turn them in (which will be next year), so here’s to some in the bank knockers!

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Adding to the Knit People

A couple of months ago I decided to approach the downtown library around the corner to teach knitting to teens. I had felt as though I needed to be sharing some skills back into the community, and fortunately for me, the teen center at the library said yes.

I created a four-session class for Beginning Knitting (based on Susan B. Anderson’s lovely book Kidz Knitting Workshop) with these three projects:

And today was the debut class. I was totally prepared for zero interest, but I had four teen knitters who all hung in there to learn the knit stitch and how to cast off to make a bracelet/scrunchy.  One knitter said as he learned the stitch, “this is so relaxing.” Awww. One librarian thought it was a great success because some of my students have trouble focusing on reading and math. This was different!

And see these two faces?

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Next week we make the bunny. So fun!

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