Saturday, February 22, 2014

So Much to Write About!

Mostly, my trip to Iceland and Scotland with the Vogue Knitting Tour.  It was amazing to travel with fellow knitters.  I had a wonderful time, it was truly the trip of a lifetime!!

My very best friend on the trip, Norma, and I in the lobby at Aberdeen, knitting and laughing.


We travelled with Nicky Epstein.  She never knitted except this once, when she borrowed some of my yarn to make a leaf.  She was very energetic and vivacious, but had to leave the tour when she fell and broke her ankle.


A picture of me in St. Andrews Scotland.  This was a beautiful part of the trip.  So much was wonderful, I have so many amazing memories, I cannot even write them all here.  Mostly, I want to focus on the knitting aspect!

We met Ysolda Teague, who  is so talented, I was in awe of her. She came and gave a presentation and offered some of her yarn and books for sale. I bought her book which I really have not had any time to read, but I know it will be a great resource when I have the time.  She was adorable and friendly and humble.  I wore my curlique shawl, which everyone loved.!!


 Just had to include this photo of me going into the Blue Lagoon.  What an amazing experience.  I would go back to Iceland just to go there.
 Some of the amazing Icelandic yarn that I brought back.  I had to ask my friends to carry some home in their suitcases because I did not have enough room in my bags!!  This is Lett Lopi which is the medium weight yarn.  All made from Icelandic sheep which are different than any other sheep in the world.
 We knitted at night in the sitting area of the hotel, we knitted in the day on the bus,
 I carried and knitted this sweater all the way through Scotland and iceland.  Lots of my travelling companions could not understand what I was making or why I was knitting this sweater from side to side.  Here it is all finished, I wish I could show everyone how nice it turned out!!  Who's laughing now??                               
 We were introduced to yarn and more yarn, all gorgeous an hand made and hand dyed, it was too much to even choose from.  It was like a dream come true, everywhere we went.
 Photo from the plane, this is when we were flying over Greenland to come home.

                                                 
 So I used some of the Icelandic wool to make this hood/cowl.  The pattern was from the Lopi book that we were given at the Istex factory, the name of the pattern is Hetta.  Lindsay loved this right away so she took it home and wears it in the cold Boston winter.
                                                           

 When I got home I set up this old worktable that I salvaged from Dad's basement as my own type of worktable.  I wind my yarn here and it doubles as a sofa table.
 This is some of the yarn I bought from the Sheep and Wool festival this year.  I saw the colors together and had to buy it.  Vogue  had a pattern for a "varsity jacket" style sweater so I knew what I was going to use it for right away.

                                         
 Mom and me at Skytop.


Tools of the trade:  The woman who makes these knitting pots by hand was retiring, so it would be her last year at the Sheep and Wool festival.  I had to buy one of her pots.  It holds the yarn while you knit so the ball doesn't roll all around the place, like under the couch or something.  Also does not allow Elle to get all tangled up in it!
 And buttons! I am always fascinated with buttons, especially old buttons.  I love to search through all my buttons to find just the right ones.  Karen and Gap went to an antique show while we were in Atlanta for Brian McNally's wedding and they came home with this Ball jar full of old buttons for me!!  What a treasure!!
 Laura Jean is still making great use of the warm hat and cowl I made for her.  This winter has been brutal, especially in Chicago!!



I me other famous knitters when i went into Manhattan to the Vogue Live! show.  I met up with Beth, a friend from the trip to Iceland, and her friend Helen.  It was so great to see them and enjoyed the show together.  

 They also got to spend some time at Times Square which was a thrill for them.
 And the picture of my house, this is what it looked like almost all of February, encased and surrounded  by snow.





Monday, August 12, 2013

Pretty in Pink

Yes, I finished the luscious pink mohair sweater that has been in my mind for so long.  Happy with the results, Sue looks great in it!  I used the new book I got for my birthday from "my knitting girls"and followed many of Deborah Newton's tips.  This made a big difference in the finishing of the sweater.  Here she is!
Now, the next sweater I have to focus on is for Karen!



For Sue's sweater, I rummaged through a box of old buttons.  I have a collection that I have somehow gathered from all over, some were Aunt Marion's, some Nana's, I am sure some were Aunt Kate's and of course, mommy's.  I was able to put together 8 tiny pink pearlized dome buttons which looked perfect on this sweater.  So!  A little old, a little new.  

I also had to add in a few panels on the sides of my raspberry sweater, it makes it a little bit more "swingy" as my friend Martha put it  I agreed and now I am pondering buttons, although it did not call for buttons originally. 


Elsewhere, I am still struggling with the linen cardigan that was inspired by our knitting field trip to Downtown Yarns in Manhattan.  I bought the yarn and the highly improvised upon pattern, I have knitted this sweater three times, now the fourth, I am not getting the fit right, but the linen yarn is so wonderful that I keep trying.  This time, I will get it, I am determined and hopeful because I have been sticking to one project at a time.  No more many projects at once.  As enticing as it may be to start a new project, it is like reading a book, once you get into it, you can't put it down, and if there are any distractions you lose the thread!

And finally, I did finish this afghan.  Some of these squares came from a dear friend who passed away. I do not usually work on this type of project but I wanted to finish it in memory of Nadine.



Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tools of the Trade

What is the one huge roadblock that stands in the way of my knitting?  (Besides having to go to work) Disorganized materials!!  Fed up with having to sort through bags of yarn, boxes of needles, and not being able to put my hands on what I needed I set my mind to organizing!
I visited the Container Store on a whim and in it I found this!



It is really a jewelry organizer but look how perfect it works for circulars?  By the way I am using circulars almost exclusively right now, they are such an ingenious design, even two socks on two circulars is GREAT!
Each tab holds a different size needle

Now, on to the yarn!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Like Pink Cotton Candy

    Having the summer off is such a gift!  This is the first time I have had a summer off since I was 14 years old.  My goal is to become a master knitter starting this summer.  My wonderful, "knitting ladies" gave me a book entitled "Finishing School" by Deborah Newton which has been a true inspiration.



      Two pink sweaters are shaping up beautifully with the tips and tricks I have already learned from this book!  This is the raspberry sweater that I am blocking out right now.


This sweater is based on a vintage pattern, published by Bernat. I am thinking it was from the 70's, but I loved the shape.  I did make a few minor changes, for example I incorporated a 3/4 sleeve and di not make the mutton sleeve so wide.  I also deleted the pockets. so I am hoping it meets all of my expectations!  

Here is the pattern and the beginning of the sweater:



    The other pink sweater I am working on is the mohair sweater I am making for my sister, Sue.  It does look like pink cotton candy!



      She has wanted it since she moved to Massachusetts and we saw one in the window of a pretty  yarn shop in Salem, Mass.  I purchased this mohair yarn at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 3 years ago from Mohair in Motion.  It is harder to find pink mohair than you would think!  When I saw it I grabbed it and bought it right on the spot.  We were in a tent and it was about 95 degrees, absolutely one of the hottest days I can remember.  These lovely people were so sweet and offered us some iced tea, which was incredibly delicious at the time we were so parched!  

      The book has pointed out ways to seam edges, which I always just thought were straight sewing, but the edges on my raspberry sweater are the best I have ever done ...

Look at that SEAM!!
    
 I have also found out that EVERY row must be counted.  No more relying on mere measuring tape measurements.  

     Finished product!



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Novelty

                                   
Novelty yarn bought years ago at target turned into this gorgeous summer shawl!  I love the final product and am lucky enough to have bought enough of this yarn to make another one.  I used a very simple bias shawl pattern, the texture of the yarn makes it very special!

The Final Three...

...days of this school year!   Yes, it has finally come to an end.  I see the light at the end of this tunnel.  Just on a personal note this has been a very trying year in which I feel that I spread myself too thin and am definitely feeling the effects.  I am looking forward to this summer time to regenerate and work on my knitting mastery!  Not to mention my long awaited trip to Scotland and Iceland on the Vogue Knitting Tour!  I can't wait to see Lopi yarn like this being sold at grocery stores!!

We had a lovely family reunion of sorts where I was lucky enough to spend some wonderful time with my sisters, my mom and dad and my son, daughter-in-law and my amazing grandson!  It was a beautiful weekend and I had focused on finishing a few projects to give to Sue, Karen and Mom.
 Here are back and side views of the "shrug" I made for Mom.  It is made of washable sock yarn, and is very soft and stretchy.  I actually want to start right away to make more of these!!  Julia already put in her order.

 Karen and susie both got shawls/scarves made of a shimmery novelty yarn I had bought some time ago, I always think of Karen and Sue when I see the color aqua because it goes so beautifully with these lovely Floridian, naturally-blonde ladies!!

Karen wore hers at breakfast...
And Sue sent me a photo of her sporting hers at Stonehenge!
Lindsay and laura jean were not  able to come to this event, they were together up in Boston for a sister's weekend.  Lindsay did send me this photo of her wearing the gorgeous black shawl that i made for her from yarn that we picked out together in Boston.
 The yarn is Karabella and is scrumptious, shot through with tiny bits of silver, it is very pretty, like Lindsay!


Monday, May 13, 2013

My beautiful daughter

 This is Lindsay modeling the shawl I made for her with yarn we picked out in Boston.  I am thrilled that she likes it...and think that she looks awesome in it.