My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday's Yarns - Designing My Own Shawl, Or Trying To!

     I'm starting to tackle my own design.  I'm following a design course called "Initiate Knit Design Challenge" by Aroha Knits.  But, as is kind of my personality, I'm taking shortcuts and doing it my way.  I just didn't feel like I could figure it all out on paper first like I was supposed to.  I needed to put my yarn on and start.  I have a very simple design in mind, I just love simple.  But I have no clue exactly how it should go till I do it.  So, I just started.

As soon as I cast on some butterflies came to keep me company.  The sun shone, the cold wind was starting to come in as the sun was setting behind the mountain.  Sigh, a perfect moment.

     The first thing I discovered about the design I chose for this asymmetrical shawl is that it was giving me more of a crescent than straight lines.  

     I mean, did I say that I know what I'm doing?  I don't! But I scanned a lot of patterns that are asymmetrical and then I didn't want to copy, so I shut them down and chose the stitches that seemed like they'd work and arranged it in a way that I thought would flow well, for me.  I do like a rhythmic, relaxed knit.  So, it's crescent.  But I like it.  

Next, I want rows of eyelet holes spaced out, across the knitting.  Wide enough so it shows the flow of the fabric, but not too busy.  So I shall see.

The yarn is a Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Caribeno.  Pssst, any other details will be revealed later. 

    I'm reading another Lynn Kurland book.  One I found at the used bookshop.  It's published back in 1996, Stardust of Yesterday.  I had never found it before.  Previously I have encountered Kendrick, a knight, and Lord several times throughout her books.  I knew a few things about him.  In the most recent books, he is in the present, 40's or 50's, Lord of a manor and married.  He was also a 20 something knight in 1260 when he dies.  How the two facts meet up and make sense I never knew.  His story is revealed in this book and I just happened to read it after I read The More I See You, which mentioned Kendrick's death.  So, I'm finally finding out the mystery.  A sweet poignant love story between a medieval ghost and a young modern lady who inherits his castle and won't be scared away!

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday's Yarns - Finishing a Book & a Shawl


     My Garter Stitch Shawl is finally finished after ripping out days work last week, just before completing because I found an unrepairable hole.  I knew it had been, to my eyes at least, perfect up to that point.  To me, it was worth it ripping out, but it's made my work a bit edgy feeling this week.  I impose deadlines and schedule myself and I wasn't doing what I had planned.  An October Shawl's yarn called to me, a designing course for knitwear started regardless that I wasn't ready.  Sigh, it's done, only needing blocking.  Finally, I can....(you'll see in the weeks to come).

Project details for Garter Stitch Shawl

     I am also trying to finish an amazing book of biographies - Brave Companions by David McCullough

      One of the last chapters is an American photographer I haven't heard of, David Plowden and now I'm glad I have.  The writing evokes the truths that the photographer was trying to capture.  Mainly a swiftly fading vision of America as it was, in the small towns and country and off beaten track.  He captures this in beautiful poetic black and white shots.  Worth seeing.

Erie Lackawanna Railroad, Westbound. David Plowden

Golden Valley, North Dakota, 1971

 Post Office and General Store, Eldridge

Hostler, Canadian National Railways, Hamilton, Ontario, 1959

The Yaquina Bay Bridge, Newport, OR, 1968

Abandoned House, Cropsey Township, McLean County, Illinois, 2008

East of Las Vegas, New Mexico, 1971 

Draper, South Dakota, 2008 

Abandoned Barn, Barns County, ND.

From the article "Heartland"

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday's Yarns -Garter Stitch Shawl and Medieval Time Travel

I'm finishing up my Garter Stitch Shawl, knit in KnitPick's Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn in Pacific.

     I'm also re-reading Lynn Kurland's time traveling Medieval Romances.  I have most of them somewhere, in storage, between two 20 something kids' stuff, consisting of books and stuffed animals they don't want to part with, but they are 2,000 miles away, so I'm stuck with all of it.  So I visited my local awesome used bookstore, found out I have a mysterious amount of credit from turned in books (my husband said he brought some books, I gave up all my Janet Evanovichs, but still the amount of credit I have surprised me).  So I got one I read a long time ago and I found two I hadn't read of Kurland's. 

     The More I See You is an old book, 1999, but a great read.  And I'm having fun!  Ever need a break from real life?  This does it.  I'm immersed in the sounds of Medieval swords and the clash of two wills - a modern woman and a Medieval Lord.  Well, you can imagine what eventually happens, but 'tis fun.

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.

Also, I will be taking a FREE knitwear design course next week.  It's for 10 days and if you want to sign up to join you need to do it before it begins October 9th, Monday.

"The ever-so popular and wildly transformative knitwear design challenge is BACK. Starting up October 9th, take a journey with us as we discover how to tap into your creativity and magic to transform your yarn into designs of your own creation!"
Sign up -ArohaKnits

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday's Yarns - A Welcome Blanket

      I'm knitting a Welcome Blanket for an Immigrant.  The designer of the PussyHats Kat Coyle is now running a new effort to create blankets to give to Immigrants as a statement of love and support.  She says on Ravelry:

"The proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico is almost 2000 miles long. Imagine if the massive distance of this wall was re-conceptualized and re-contextualized not to divide, but to include. Instead of wall, a concrete line, to keep people out, what if lines of yarn became 3,500,640 yards of blankets to welcome people in?

     A welcome blanket is traditionally created to lovingly mark the arrival of a new person into the world. In the Welcome Blanket project, each handmade blanket is a physical manifestation of this celebration of new refugees and other immigrants: 'Welcome to the United States and your new life here! We are so glad you have arrived.'
     We want you to join us! Make a blanket and share your story as a gift to a new immigrant to the United States."

© Kat Coyle

Welcome Blanket website

Patterns for the blanket are found - Welcome Blanket Patterns 


Ravelry pattern site - Come Together Blanket by Kat Coyle,

to look through other blankets check out - Welcome Blanket Project Gallery 

and join 

The Facebook group - Welcome Blanket (Facebook)


The blankets will be on display at the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago before distribution.

For a FAST Blanket!

     For my blanket, I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick And Quick Yarn in Fisherman and Cranberry.  It is a Super Bulky yarn instead of Bulky called for in the original pattern, so I use size 15 needles and the stitch count across diagonally is 35 when I switch to my contrast color. This makes for a faster knit.

The new Deadline for Exhibit and then distribution is November 4th.  (There is also a Mid-December deadline for just distribution).

     My reading world has reverted back to light fantasy Romance for the moment.  I started with Lynn Kurland's Stars in Your Eyes  last week and when I finished I couldn't return to my WWII book just yet.  The world itself, our news, is so hard, I just need some soft fantasy and time travel, and Lynn Kurland is one of my favorite authors for that after Diana Gabaldon.  This week I grabbed a book I read 3 years ago Roses in Moonlight.  I'm might be tempted to re-read all her books.  But it seems most I have in storage.  So I might go back to the used bookstore for them.  I have a great store I can turn in books and get a used book for $2.  I have an account there and a running tab of credit.  I've learned to give up my books as I read them unless they're a favorite or historical, but Kurland's I've never given up!.

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday's Yarns - A Soft Shawl, A Time Travel Book and a Chocolate Poundcake

     I might have an assortment of projects up on needles, but this one is my favorite.  A squishy soft yarn from KnitPicks called Stroll Tonal Sock in Pacific.  The pattern is actually made in this yarn, which I had bought just at the beginning of the year because I loved the look of it.  When I came across the pattern Garter Stitch Shawl by Megan Goodacre, I had an aha moment when I rushed to my stash in hopes, that yes, that was the same yarn.  I'm dreaming of it around my neck as soon as possible.  Another plus for this knit and the yarn is the small needles (size 6) and simple design make it easy to knit and read my tablet propped up on a pillow on my lap.

     My book right now is so good: Stars in Your Eyes (de Piaget Family) by Lynn Kurland.  One of my favorite authors that I have literally devoured all her books over the years.  Her time travel Romance books are unique.  A warm romantic mood warms up throughout her tales, usually only culminating in a kiss. or a simple bedroom scene after vows.  Yet, so romantic.  Her humor threads throughout her stories.  A real treat.  These tales revolve around one of two families in the past, one Scottish, the other French & English and how inevitably people from the future pop up into their lives.  Knights of Medieval Times collide with damsels in distress with cell phones in their pockets (who then try to hide them so not exposed as a witch). Her writing is great and her characters are endearing.  It makes me want to start all over and read all her books again from the beginning.  

     And I'm going to go outside and enjoy this amazingly beautiful day on my porch with my book, knitting, and tea.  I'm slowly getting ingredients out and mise en place (putting them in place) to bake a Chocolate Streusel Poundcake I saw on the New York Times Morning Brief this morning.  It's a dark chocolate poundcake with a salty twang to it.  Should be delish!

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Yarns - Mom's Prayer Shawl Finished

     Last Spring I was working on a Prayer Blanket for my Mom (Details and pattern: Technique Thursday- A Prayer Shawl for My Mom).  It ended up an opportunity more for me to pray for her during a time when she was in a home with Alzheimer's and dying.  Too far away for me to visit.  Knitting and praying were my solace.  Mostly I prayed she'd pass away, gently and soon.  And she did.  So my blanket didn't get finished and it had played its part, but it was too hard to work on last year.

      Now this year I needed it's huge #15 wooden needles for a new shawl and every day I wanted to knit on my new shawl, I made sure I knit on the blanket too.  It no longer hurt and I decided to finish up the yarn I had and make it larger than I would of.  It's beautiful and I guess a success since it hasn't made it off my teen's bed.  I thought it'd look nice on the couch. which is where I just put it.  Until I get a blanket made for my daughter it's going to keep disappearing.  (Details on my new shawl I'm knitting- Yarns - A Shawl for Colder Winds).

     I'm still reading Ken Follet's Century Trilogy and I'm into book 2 now - Winter of the World.  I've been immersed in the Spanish Civil War which I haven't studied before.  I love having the perspective of familiar characters (now we're reading about the next generation from Book One); it makes it come alive more.  Before reading this I don't think I really had made a real distinction about differences between Fascists and Communists besides the basic theory that they are on the opposite sides of the political spectrum.  Played out in the drama of the book you see more clearly how that influenced politics prior to World War Two.  The Fascists in Germany supported the Conservative rebels in Spain that were led by Franco.  He eventually would become the Spanish dictator who would rule for 36 years.  The Socialists and Communists at that point tried to support the Republican government, they failed.  There was much international support for the government among people who went to fight for Democracy, hoping to hold back Fascism in Europe. "On the left, including labor unions, students and intellectuals, the war represented a necessary battle to stop the spread of fascism."(Wiki)   A half a million died in the effort and Hitler supplying the Rebels and testing his aerial warfare helped bring that about.

My Mom

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Yarns - A Shawl for Colder Winds


     The cold has come here in Colorado.  As if a switch has been flipped for Fall.  Knowing Colorado we'll have our hot days in September, but by October we can have snow.  So I've started a real warm looking shawl.  Thick super bulky yarn and a lovely cable down the back.  Medhel an Gwyns by Kalurah Hudson.

 © Kalurah Hudson

     I'm making mine also (like the above shawl) in Lion's Thick & Quick Wool-Ease in the color Fossil.

     I'm still reading Brave Companions: Portraits In History by David McCullough, along with some other books.  My latest read was about the building of the Brooklin Bridge.  It's a fascinating achievement architecturally and as a human achievement.  I downloaded a sample of his entire book on the subject - The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge.  I find the subject matter fascinating and a picture of the times it was built.

After Prohibition, the wine cellars in the bridge were opened - A Sip Of History: The Hidden Wine Cellars Under The Brooklyn Bridge.

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.