A Thrilling Thursday

Just can’t contain myself right now.

I got the mail and WOW!

Look what was in it:

img_3158

Number 2 has arrived.

Hmm

Maybe that was an unfortunate little sentence.

But any-who, yes number 2 arrived…Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide Number 2!

Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne pretty much just made my day.  Big time.

I loved the first one but I really, really love this second one.

I am drooling over the Ann Budd sock pattern “Apres-Anything.  The Asterisk/Dot Hat and Cowl, more drool.  Then a hush falls over the crowd for the fabulous Hadley Pullover.  Shiver shiver. Gonna do the socks first.  Then it will be a toss of the dice for what’s next.  We really have the best of all worlds with this little handy field guide.  There are terrific patterns, glorious color work charts, and the famous Mason-Dixon humor.  Dang!

Happy Thursday!

Here’s a link to Mason-Dixon knitting so you can get your field guides if you haven’t.

https://www.masondixonknitting.com/

Look around there for a little while.  You will be so entertained!  Get on their mailing list and you can preorder the next field guide like I have done for the first two. They also send you funny emails, especially on Saturdays.  Yep, so funny.

So happy to check the mail-y yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-

Shana

Advertisements

Oh, Gloves!

I really want to get these gloves done.  When a kid asks you for gloves or anything knit really, you squeal with delight and dig in.  Then glove reality sets in.  Oh, and I get distracted easily.  Squirrel.

img_3141

These gloves have been on my needles for a while.  A looooong while.  Their time has come.  And I really mean it now.

I started the gloves from a pattern in “Men in Knits” by Tara Jon Manning.  Got one done and man, it was huge.  My gauge was right on, they just happen to be for bigger man hands than my kid has, I guess.  So rip, rip, rip.  I started over and woohoo…one glove done.

Then there is the face I make.  There needs to be TWO.  So I started up right away again.

pause

pause

Okay, then stuff happened everywhere but with the glove.  But today is the day.

Do you ever have a moment when you pick up something you were knitting and then you say to yourself, “Doh!  Where was I?  What the heck is going on with this pattern?  What was I thinking? Someone bring me a donut.”  I’m sure it goes something like that.

img_3146

(Buffy looks a little worried back there)

I am now staring at my notes that I made for making this pattern smaller.  I wish I could have left better notes for my future self to read.

fullsizerender84

Do not worry.  I will figure this out and then there will be a finished picture.  Can you still bring me a donut?

Gloves-will-get-done-ily yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’ Gold-this moment-

Shana

Book Review: Within

I just bought the book “Within” by Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook after hearing about it on the Grocery Girls Podcast :

(you must watch them!  They are so awesome!)  The Girls even have a KAL set up on ravelry called the BFF KAL in honor of the authors.  You can pick a pattern by either and complete it by March 31st.  That is plenty of time and motivation.

http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/grocery-girls-podcast/3554158/1-25

This book is so good for just the photography.  I mean, really, you don’t even have to knit a THING.  Just look at the pictures.  But that, of course, is so silly.  I’m going to knit the sweater called Fireside which uses Cascade Eco Wool.  I’m still deciding on the color now but I’ve got a few squirreled away to pick from.  Imagine having yarn squirreled away.  Nuts, I say!

The book has 6 patterns inside and states that they will warm the soul.  Nothing sounds better to me then that.  You can pick from sweaters to cozy accessories.  The Hudson Shawl is making me drool.  The Entwine Scarf is a super bulky scarf that probably will be my best friend.  Quick knits always rule in my book.  A nice little feature included is there is a page with pattern stitch counts or schematics that is printed on a black page with white ink.  I am amazed at how easy it is to read on that background.  Well done!

fullsizerender83

I had a fun time looking up each author on ravelry to see what other lovelies they have created.  I invite you to do the same!

-Here’s my Pot O’ Gold-this moment-

Knitting to warm my soul-y yours,

Shana

My Most Excellent Adventure at Stitches Midwest 2016

This year’s Stitches Midwest was a blast…as was last year’s and the year before that and…well, it’s true.  Usually I just go to see the market but for a change I thought I’d try one of the Special Events.  It was nice to be able to pick just one for not a lot of money.  I’ve always steered clear of a lot of the classes because of cost.  I’ve got to save so I can buy swag.

Then I read that Steven Be was going to be presenting!  His presentation was called “Unlock your creative potential and embrace your color and fiber future”.  So Friday morning my little squad and I made our way to see Steven Be.  There were even fancy badges to wear.  It was a packed house.  Steven had light up shoes that changed colors.  Did you expect anything else?  img_2098-copy

We sat there and let Steven’s colorful everything flow over us, encompassing us, teaching us, challenging us to grow and giving us permission to yes throw in that crazy color for some pop in your next project.

That one hour went so fast!  I could have sat there all day.  I also want to throw random colors in every project I do because Steven said it’s ok.  You can do whatever you want.  There are no wrong answers.  Even if you run out of yarn and don’t use the same dye lot (gasp) or maybe you switch up your pattern you’re working on and toss in funky sleeves or a hood or something.  Isn’t that exciting?

But hey, the market beckoned.  It’s fun to see what items are most popular each year and it seemed that cowls, shawls, multi-colored and self-striping yarns wound in delicious cakes won in my eyes.

Here are a couple of favorite stops on my adventure:

 

Stunning String Studio:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/StunningStringStudio

img_2089-copy

KnitCircus Yarns:

http://knitcircus.com/

FullSizeRender(80)

(Look at those delicious cakes!)

 

Shirsty Cat Designs:

http://www.shirstycat.com/

img_2090-copy

 

Three Irish Girls (oh my goodness…I just love them):

http://threeirishgirls.com/

img_2093

and then here are some lovely lovelies:

 

Here’s my haul:

I know, right!!

I’m also going to make this tie -by James Cox Knits: http://jamescoxknits.com/

img_2135

Next year I’d like to explore more of the events hopefully.  Maybe one day I’ll venture into a class.  Have you taken any classes at a Stitches Event?

Stitches-ly yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-

Shana

Jump on the Knitting Brioche Wagon!

Brioche knitting seems to be the topic of the day lately.  Last week I was able to go to Stitches Midwest 2016 in Chicago and I heard a lot of buzz about it from knitters walking around in the market.  Brioche also makes me think of delicious bread.  Whatcha gonna do?

Happily I stumbled upon KnitCircus Yarns’ booth:

FullSizeRender(80)

and saw this beautiful cowl that was the squishiest and loveliest rainbow creation called the Chromatic Cowl!   Here’s a link by the way…you are welcome!:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chromatic-cowl

My friend and I squished it for quite a while.  At first it looks like a ribbed stitch but if you start picking around at it, which we did, you can see something strange was going on with that ribbing.

A couple of months ago I had picked up Nancy Marchant’s book “Knitting Brioche:  The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch” but hadn’t yet had a chance to check it out.

FullSizeRender(78)

Well, hot dog!  Things worked out.  The book has some great tips for everything Brioche.  It did give me a little twinge in my neck however as I really just wanted to dig in and make something simple right away.  The Chromatic Cowl is the perfect add-on for this book.  Amy Detjen, who wrote the pattern, mentions on the pattern page that it’s a pretty easy pattern if you know how to do Brioche knitting but definitely refer to Nancy’s book for help as she’s the expert.  Perfect!

I had no problem figuring out what to do in the pattern after I read some helpful hints in the book.  Make sure you don’t cast on too tight.  I used the German Twisted Cast On method.  This does take a bit more yarn to cast on so be generous in this area.  I picked out a beautiful yarn from KnitCircus Yarns along with a natural color for the two-color Brioche:

FullSizeRender(79)

Try not to start your project while you are watching an exciting women’s rugby match on the Olympics, okay?  You might have trouble.  I know…

Here’s my start:

IMG_2146

You can see I’ve progressed pretty well here:

FullSizeRender(77)

This is just SO soft.

Now don’t laugh too hard while reading the knitting abbreviations as you will see a BRP in there.  Psssst…it’s not a real Burp…but you sure won’t forget it now.

If you have any troubles, just look up Nancy Marchant’s videos and you’ll be fine.

Get on that wagon…the Brioche Knitting Wagon!

Brioche-ly yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-

Shana

Throw-back Thursday projects

Yesterday I was asked about a pattern for a project I had done a few years ago.  Usually I can remember exactly what pattern and yarn I had used for most of my projects but I was a little off on my game so I went to trusty old Ravelry and looked it up in my notebook there.

Ravelry continues to save my behind.

Well, that and I had actually listed the project in my notebook which is pretty huge.  Sometimes I get so excited to work on a new project I totally blow off taking a picture and loading details into my notebook.  WHAT?  Okay, I am guilty of doing that quite a bit.  But hey, you are my witness…I’m going to work on that from now on.  Starting….NOW….really.

Anyway, the project was a cute little elephant that I made for my sister.

elefante

This was from Susan B. Anderson’s blog and is called Elefante (and it happens to be FREE).

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/elefante

Susan is just so amazing!  (She will be teaching classes near me in just a couple of months and I am giddy with excitement to be going!  She is teaching her new Sheep! project and covering pattern design as well.  I may have just squealed.  Ahem.)

Here’s a look at Susan’s projects:

http://www.ravelry.com/designers/susan-b-anderson

As I was looking through my notebook I saw a couple of other favorites from the same time frame that I had knit:

rolypolycats

(http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/roly-poly-kitty)

and

first sweater

(http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pure-and-sweet-layette)

which happens to be another Susan B. Anderson project…(yikes, I’m not a stalker or anything, really…she just is so good!)

An interesting side note of the baby sweater project…I took that picture in the car as I was traveling to deliver it as a gift,   It hadn’t quite dried from blocking so I was trying to hurry it along a little in the car with fans so I could tuck it into a gift bag.  A gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do.  Don’t ask me if I had just finished knitting it the night before or anything.

Thursday’s are good for remembering those good times and they help me to focus on what I can do to keep improving.  How about you?  Are you good at keeping your notebook on Ravelry up to date?

Throwing it back to you,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-

Shana

 

 

 

Queen of Thorns

Every Sunday in April, May, and June I happily anticipate the newest episode of Game of Thrones.  Especially this year.  Last season was very emotionally trying and it sure seemed like it was time for some good things to happen to my favorite characters.  But you just never know.  I stumbled across a Mystery Knit-Along called Queen of Thorns from Jimmy Beans Wool:

https://www.jimmybeanswool.com/knitting/yarn/Kits/LornasLacesStringQuintetQueenofThornsShawl.asp

I don’t trust this show very much in regards to giving me good things to happen so I thought this would be the perfect idea!  I’ll have a project to work on while watching so whatever devastating things would be coming my way at least I will have a buffer.  Plus I can kind of look away at the very graphic things that always happen during the show.  So the idea was, every week a new clue would be sent to do with the project being completed in about a month.

The Queen of Thorns character is a little feisty old lady who puts everyone in their place.  Seems admirable.  The colors were gorgeous, too.

With Mystery Knit-Alongs I always hesitate to jump in too quickly in case there are mistakes in the clues.  I love that there are groups on Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/queen-of-thorns-mkal-2016 to discuss any trouble or questions.  I waited a little bit to get started and just watched the first episode without the project in my hand.  Then I checked out the group discussion.  Not too bad!  There weren’t too many snags.   So I started after the first episode.  Also…SPOILER…but everyone’s heard by now…Jon Snow is ALIVE!!  Such happy news.  But we can never let our guard down as there are many opportunities for characters to get taken down.

I’ve taken my project along on a lot of car rides and scenic tours:

IMG_0978

(This was a fun day in Stevens Point, Wisconsin at the Schmeekle Nature Preserve…go visit there…it’s amazing!  Also check out their trail system):

 

I’m a little behind the month to finish but only have about 12 rows to go to finish.  I’ve hidden behind the shawl a few times while watching the show.  Thank goodness it was there.  Happily the character Queen of Thorns is still with us…for now.

This lady was watching me…I think she would like to start her own MKAL.

Where’s your favorite spot to work on projects?

Coming soon:  Some friends and I are tackling the Vitamin D Sweater:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vitamin-d

I did start it before I finished my mystery shawl…but is that really news to anyone??

IMG_1165

So much knitting and so little time-ily yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-

Shana