As I was merrily knitting away on my Rogue this evening, feeling quite proud of myself for having reached the hood, it occurred to me that I hadn’t updated the KAL blog in 2 weeks!! 2 weeks of Rogue knitting undocumented.
My sincerest apologies.
I assure you that the knitting has been happening everywhere. Liz finished her hood and accomplished the most beautiful join:
She tells me this took a second attempt to get it just the way she wants, but now it looks great and the cables flow together.
Mandy finally found some baby free time to cast on for her Rogue. Yeah Mandy!! We love having her back knitting with us.
Elizabeth made it past a moment of pure frustration in the casting on, and has done her first cable!!!!
Tracy and I shared a knitter moment today. Her Rogue, her beautiful Rogue, on which she accomplished her first cables, was, in fact, a moebius. In other words, it was twisted. There was nothing to do but rip. So we did it together. And she didn’t even pause before casting on again. I am so proud!
You may have already seen these pics on the other blog, but they deserve to be here as well, Jerri and Melissa made it past the pocket:
Andrea, Cindy, Marcia, and Joanie are all making great progress on their Eris sweaters - hopefully I will get pictures soon.
Oh, and I hear a rumor that Patti’s Rogue is nearing completion. Can’t wait to see it!
August is around the corner and that means the fall yarns and books have started to arrive!
New colors of Malabrigo merino are on the shelves.
As a special treat, we now have Malabrigo’s new handspun and hand dyed 100% angora. These gorgeous skeins are pure luxury.
Ella Rae’s Amity (75% acrylic, 25% wool, 200yds, US 8 needle) introduced beautiful variegated colors for fall. Completely machine washable and dryable, it is the perfect yarn for kids sweaters, blankets, or anything that requires easy care.
We have many, many new books and patterns to provide inspiration.
Starting to compile your holiday gift-knitting list? Try a Hogwarts house scarf for the Harry Potter fans in your family. Or felted slippers for those chilly winter mornings. A lovely lacey scarf is sure to be treasured. And don’t forget those hand knit socks! Stop by and we’ll show you all the latest patterns, yarns, and ideas.
As August nears, we are approaching our second anniversary here at The Knitting Experience Café. That wouldn’t be possible without your support. To thank you for encouraging our fiber obsession and to help you enjoy yours, we are introducing the Frequent Fiber Buyer Program.
Each time you spend a total of $25.00 or more before tax, you will receive a stamp on your Frequent Fiber Buyer card for each $25.00 spent. Once you have filled a card with 5 stamps, present your card at the checkout and get 20% off a regularly priced purchase! The Frequent Fiber Buyer Program begins on Tuesday, July 31, 2007. Purchases made prior to that date do not count towards the program. Stop by the shop for additional details.
Enjoy these beautiful Maine summer days and happy knitting!
DHL pulled up to the door yesterday and that could only mean one thing - Malabrigo. Boxes of beautiful, luscious, and oh, so soft, Malabrigo merino. I had all I could do to not take a bag of the deep Burgundy home with me.
The boxes also contained our first shipment of Malabrigo angora. I will have pictures for you soon. Each skein is hand spun and hand dyed in Uruguay and is 100% angora. I could just sit and pet it all day. Right now, I’m playing around with some pattern ideas for this yarn. I want something that will really let the yarn do its thing.
We also got A LOT of new books. Once again, I’ve been shopping.
Sorry that I only have this one picture for you. I didn’t think about it until I was about to lock up for the night.
This was my first Knit at Night since the surgery and it was so much fun to sit, knit, and chat with everyone. I didn’t actually manage to knit anything that lasted.
I tried. But my brain was not fully functioning. Therefore I ripped the few rows I did manage to knit on my Rogue. And poor Tracy! I was “helping” her with the first chart on her Rogue and got her started in the wrong place! Luckily she caught it rather quickly. Sorry!
Anna had everyone in awe with her Indigo Ripples skirt:
Jerri finished her Rogue pocket:
Amy helped Becka get her wheel in working order and then got her started spinning again
All in all, it was a great day, and a relaxing night.
The shop has been positively humming the past few weeks with knitters and crocheters coming in to share their completed projects or get started on the next. Yesterday was my first day on my own in the shop since the surgery and I didn’t have a moment to think about whether I was tired.
It struck me too, how sometimes the most amazing things happen that you wonder what forces are at play. I hadn’t been in the shop for a couple weeks, and here it was, my first real day back, and 4 or 5 people whom I haven’t seen in ages chose just that day to seek me out. They are in no way connected to each other, it was just a happy coincidence. It was wonderful to see them all and to know that they are all doing well.
On to the show and tell. Above you see Mary Ellen’s gorgeous and absolutely incredible linen bag. The pattern is from Bags: A Knitter’s Dozen and she used Reynolds Soft Linen. I have yet to see it in person, but hopefully she will bring it to Knit at Night this week. Hint, hint.
Elizabeth brought in the adorable teddy bear she made out of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino.
Anna finished her summer tank from YarnPlay. She used Cascade Sierra and Noro Silk Garden. Beautiful.
Marcia brought in her lace scarf. Can you believe the detail?
She also just finished this aran blanket. Many of the squares are her own design.
And Michelle came in to show me what she’s been creating with all the Cascade 220 she has been taking home. She designs and crochets felted bags. The drawstring on the green one is pure genius and I encouraged her to write down the pattern. She is also working on felted wall hangings in stunning colors.
Melissa hasn’t been able to make it to the KAL group on Saturday, but like many of our Rogue knitters, she is still part of the fun and showed me her progress thus far.
And last Knit at Night, which I missed, Amy brought more Spunky Big Ball Chunky. We had been cleared out by people making the Spunky Seamless Cardi and desperately needed more.
Even Bec has caught the bug and just cast on for her own cardi:
My lovely cable shawl is done and I adore it. After weaving in the ends, I quickly blocked it, and then did a photo shoot last night.
The ties in front keep it from slipping off my shoulders.
And because it is long, but not too too wide, it can be worn as a scarf as well!
I used Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre and I think that is one of the reasons I love this piece so much. It is actually a very simple knit, but the yarn is so luscious you feel like you are making the most elegant shawl.
We’ve carried Alpaca Kid Lustre since it was introduced last year, but I hadn’t found a chance to knit with it until now. It is not often that a yarn will take me completely by surprise. I liked how it looked in the skein, but it is an entirely different matter to knit with it. The feel is pure luxury (30% superfine alpaca, 40% kid mohair, 30% merino), there is a lovely sheen, and my favorite part - the stitches. There is great stitch definition, and the yarn itself lends a unique texture.
The pattern for the shawl is in Jo Sharp’s latest design collection, Knit 3.
In true Jo Sharp fashion, she does not disappoint. She includes a stylish jacket that is perfect for beginner knitters or the more experienced who are looking for a quick weekend knit.
Dad’s beekeeper socks grew today, as mom and I enjoyed the late afternoon sun on the deck.
I love these socks and how perfectly the colors come together to create just the look I imagined. Thank you, Amy - the genius behind the yarn. Have you noticed that many of Amy’s Spunky colorways take their inspiration from nature?
The beekeepers couldn’t be more perfect for my dad. And from the looks of recent activity at the farm, he will be getting plenty of use out of them.
You see, the bees have been multiplying like crazy. I guess the winter was good to them. When there are too many bees in the hive, a new queen is born and the hive divides. So far, this has happened to my parents’ hives 3 times. The last time was today.
When the new hive first emerges, they swarm in a frenzy of activity - it looks almost like a tornado. Then, they all settle on a nearby branch and go into a sort of trance while the scouts seek out a good location for a new hive.
Here is a shot of today’s swarm settled on a branch high in a tree.
This particular group is too high up for my dad to reach, so he can only hope they will like the hive box he set out for them under the tree. Scouts have been in and out repeatedly, but only time will tell.
A few weeks ago, another swarm settled on a lower branch.
Ok- seriously - how cool is that???? It is like something out of National Geographic.
And look at that pic next to the socks:
Back to the beekeeping.
In order to save the new hive, dad suited up in his beekeeping gear. (Which will be greatly improved by the addition of a fabulous pair of socks. ) And he cut off the branch holding THOUSANDS of BEES.
Like I said, the bees are in a trance at this point. Otherwise, this would be a very foolhardy enterprise and we’d probably be visiting dad in the hospital. And remember, he has the fancy suit. Don’t try this at home.
See how they still cling to the branch as he carries it to the new hive?
￼Once he got the branch over the new hive box, he just tapped the branch and the bees fell right in.
I’ve been spending the day with my mom, who is here to help with the boys -and me - while I recover from surgery. Last week she stayed with us as well, and I don’t know what I would have done without her. Since I couldn’t stay awake for more than 2 hours and wasn’t allowed to drive, or to lift anything heavier than a half gallon of milk, we really needed the help. And besides, I don’t think it matters how old you get, or how many children you have of your own, there is something tremendously comforting about having your mom around when you don’t feel well.
This week, I am doing so much better that I am starting to act like my old self. For me, that means coming up with all kinds of grand ideas (at least, that’s what I think of them at that particular moment) for the shop, our house, the kids, a new knitted design - you name it. And in true me fashion, I have a tendency to jump right into these new projects without a second thought as to whether I actually should. Thus, mom is here this week to help out and keep a close eye on me. She is sending me off for restful naps and not allowing too much grand idea driven activity.
What a relief! Seriously. I’m still very tired and my body is screaming for more R&R. So, I napped today. And I knit garter stitch.
I must admit that at times I find it mind numbing. Garter stitch, that is. And when the Yarn Harlot talked about her love of the plain knit stitch, I wasn’t quite sure that I got it.
Today, however, I understood. There are those occasions when it is just the perfect fit. I always thought it would drive me crazy to do a whole log cabin blanket because it is all knit. Every stitch. Knit. Yet, today, as I worked on a garter stitch square for a new project, I realized how relaxing it was. I couldn’t help thinking how comforting it would be to make a whole blanket that way. Knit, knit, knit. Change color. Knit, knit, knit. Comforting and soothing. I may have to break out my copy of Mason-Dixon and start thinking about a log cabin blanket. hmmmm....
I did manage to finish something last night.
The knitting is my current favorite project. I just need to weave in the ends and then I’ll tell you all about it. In the meantime, let me introduce you to Penelope. She is the queen of the house and surveys all our comings and goings from her position in the middle of the dining room table. Mom tried in vain to move her so that we could enjoy dinner sans cat. No luck. That is her spot. And at 12 years old, we figure she deserves it.
Really. My first big outing. I made it to the Saturday KAL group. Granted, I only stayed an hour. But I made it. And I had the energy to knit on Rogue. It has been waiting since the surgery because I didn’t think my fuzzy brain and those charts were a good mix.
But, it was good to see everyone and to relax and knit.
I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I only remembered the camera as I was walking out.
Carrie sent in pictures of her Shedir hat. Isn’t it beautiful? She is starting Rogue next.
I’m back! On the computer at least. The surgery went very well and surprisingly quickly. As promised by my surgeon (who I love by the way, she is incredible), there has been little pain. Mostly, I’ve been tired. That kind of loopy in your head, I might fall over tired. I’m pretty good for a couple hours, then *BAM* it’s like I’ve had one too many glasses of wine.
As a result, I haven’t been doing much more than sleeping, reading, and knitting. Not a bad way to spend a few days, hun? And when it’s all over, I’ll be done! Truly done with all the surgeries. All the stretching. All the pain. I am so thankful that there are real options for reconstruction for breast cancer patients, and I love my new look, but it has been a long road and I’m glad to get a break from it all.
And I get to wear regular clothes!!!!!! Hee hee. I want to knit tons of low cut, curve hugging sweaters. No more stuffing a bra. Heck, with these silicone babies, I don’t even need to wear a bra. Yah!
Hmmmm..... now to find the right sweater pattern to celebrate...
In the meantime, I finished my felted clogs. They are still a bit wet, but I took a pic for you anyway. Here is pre and post felting:
I also started Dad’s beekeeper socks:
He gets to be the guinea pig for the men’s version of my sock pattern.
Tonight, I’ll be knitting away on this:
It is beautiful. I love it. I’ll tell you about it soon.
Becka has kept me posted on shop happenings. Seems we had quite a turnout for week 3 of Rogue KAL. Check that blog for pics.
Jocelyn brought her crazy sock in to show:
She combined Spunky with some other sock yarn to create this bit of whimsey.
Sarah has made another pair of fixation socks. These are called watermellon:
Oh, and Bec tells me that more copies of Charmed Knits have arrived. She went to the opening showing of Harry Potter last night and said it was fantastic. I won’t say anymore. Just go to the movie. Knit a scarf and some Dobby socks. Get ready for the book.
Tracy did it! She cast on for Rogue. She knit the hem.
This. Is. Huge.
In part, this KAL was inspired by Tracy, who didn’t think she could move away from blankets and scarves to knitting a sweater. And she did experience some severe knitting growing pains. There was vicious ripping. There was random bunches of discarded yarn. But, she persisted. We encouraged. And she did it!!!!
I couldn’t be prouder.
Then there is Andrea who is rocking on her Eris neckline.
Patti, who may have invented the sleeveless Rogue.
Rogue and Eris knitters everywhere!
I missed you all! But I’ve been Rogue’ing too:
Terrible picture, but it is almost time to divide for the sleeves! Go Rogue!
Mistakes, that is. The trick is figuring out how to fix them.
I found this one over the weekend, when showing someone my Rogue. Waaaaaaaaayyyy down towards the BEGINNING of the body, I had snagged only one ply of the yarn, creating a very weak little stitch. It was holding things together, but I could tell that the poor thing just wouldn’t last long.
Can you imagine? The first time I wear Rogue, a huge hole suddenly appears??
I would cry. There would be tears. Puffy face. Embarrassing sniffling. Not pretty.
I did the only thing I could... I dropped the stitch down to the weak point and picked the entire line back up.
You find the stitch on the needle that corresponds to the weak one, and let it drop off the needle. Just make sure you catch it when it reaches the stitch you want to fix. A crochet hook is perfect for just such occasions. I highly recommend that you have one in your knitting bag of tricks.
For knit stitches you lay the fabric with the right side facing you and put the crochet hook from front to back through the first good stitch below the problem stitch. Catch the first strand of yarn right above that stitch and pull it under and through the stitch on the hook. Let the first stitch drop. Repeat until you have essentially reknit the entire line.
... start a project. Gotta keep balance in the knitting bag, right?
I wove in the ends of the Kia Sweater pictured above. This is from Louisa Harding’s book - Natural Knits for Babies and Moms and is knit in Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton. It is so snuggly soft -I want one my size!
Since something made it out of the bag, I had to put something else in. This one is a practical choice. I need slippers. Desperately. And I have heard from so many knitters that the Fiber Trends felted slipper pattern works up beautifully.
I’m using Cascade 220 because it felts so evenly and flat. The solid is for the sole and the multi colored is for the upper portion. Pretty, hun? I’m done with the sole on the first one. I think it took me 20 minutes. It won’t be long before I can felt.
In addition to all the Rogue knitting going on over the weekend, we had a number of finished socks come to visit.
Elizabeth brought in her fixation anklet. Love the hot pink!
Sarah was also knitting socks with fixation. She wants everyone to know that because of fixation, she now loves knitting socks! Fun yarn, no tiny needles - just what she was looking for. She even brought her mom in to get some fixation for her own pair.
Therese stopped in to show me the first heel she turned by herself. Congrats!! It was a beautiful thing.
And Andrea modeled her very first pair of socks with her coordinating crocs:
We’re only on our second week of the Rogue KAL and already a few speedy knitters are up to the hood.
Cheryl (above), Becka, and Patti, have all soared through the body. This means, of course, that they get to help the rest of us!
I am just past the repeats in Chart A and looking forward to seeing how the next part of the cables develop. As I suspected, my 4 rows of hem continue to roll. Linda came in on Sunday and showed me her hem with 6 rows -much better! That’s what I am doing for the next Rogue.
Most of our knitters were somewhere in Chart A.
Terri was well into the pocket:
Jocelyn is working on her own pocket design:
Bridget has devoted Saturdays to Rogue and is about to start the chart:
De and Liz are at about the same point:
Elizabeth couldn’t make it, but Cindy worked on gauge for Eris:
She and Marcia came in on Sunday for help on starting the Eris chart. Thankfully, Andrea was there! Since I’m not making Eris, I would have been studying the charts with them. Andrea, however, had just completed that section and got the tricky wrap and turns down. That is what a knit-along is all about.
I had hoped to share Tracy’s Rogue (mis)adventure, but she needs to send me the pics first!!
Those who are keeping us company, but not necessarily knitting Rogue were also in the shop over the weekend.
Mary Ellen finished the last panel of her linen summer bag:
Scott worked on a hat and got some yarn to start Shedir:
And I got an email from Teresa!! Hi Teresa! She has been knitting up a storm. Check it out: