Summer, summer , sweet summer…..

I do not stop knitting in the summer. I don’t even slow down on my knitting. My obsession continues, seasonless. I look forward to working a couple of rows in the early morning before work, with my morning coffee on my deck. I love a lazy summer afternoon when I can sit on my patio, under the umbrella with an iced coffee and my knitting. Poolside? Knitting!
But this summer seems to be the summer of linen. I love linen of all types, and I have worked with a few!
It started with my Strathcona, a lovely pattern from Jane Richmond. I worked this with some M & K linen that I purchased last summer, in a deep rose color.

Strathcona!

Strathcona!

I flirted with Firefly twice this summer, first with an Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief made with 1 skein in a soft pink , purchased at JP Knit and Stitch in the spring.

And then there is Vitamin D, made with Firefly from my stash in a pale blue colorway. I love this cardi! I have been wearing a lot, as the mornings and evenings become cooler.

loving my Vitamin D!

loving my Vitamin D!

But I really fell in love with Shibui’s linen. This fingering weight has q lovely chain construction and is so soft! I began a Dangling Conversation on the Fourth of July in 90 degree weather. Close to being too hot to knit, but not quite! It took a bit of practice to get into a rhythm adding a bead at the beginning of each row using a crochet hook. But I learned a new technique! And I love, love this shawlette!

Dangling Conversation

Dangling Conversation


I have worn it so much- daily. In the colorway Tar, this dark grey goes with everything and is so elegant! I have to admit that before it was even finished , I went back to Gather Here hoping to exchange my second, extra skein of grey for another color to make another. Past my exchange date, I still purchased another skein in white for another Dangling Conversation!
There’s more! I had some Steel Gray Louet Euroflax- 2 skeins to be exact… and I was loving the Ladder Tank from the Interweave Knits Summer 2013. The yarn called for is Elizabeth Lavold Hempathy, but I was able to get gauge with a sz 6 needle. I even bought an extra skein from a local Raveller.
This was a fun knit and I could not wait to try machine washing and throwing it in the dryer! Still a little stiff after, but will continue to try and soften.
Ladder tank in Euroflax!

Ladder tank in Euroflax!


Next up? Saltwater using the leftover Euroflax…I am not letting go of summer a minute too soon- my wool projects can wait!

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Summer Solstice Knitting

The longest day of the year…the beginning of summer…more time to knit! My current obsess-knit? My Vitamin D ,knit with Classic Elite Firefly from The Stash.
Sitting on my deck this morning, knitting- I saw a beautiful blue Parakeet(really!) alight on my patio table …

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A Very Knitter-ly Birthday

I know Knitter-ly is not a word, but I like the way it sounds…better than just ‘a Very Knitter Birthday’ or ‘A Very Knit-ly Birthday’. I had a very Knitter-ly Birthday on Saturday, my actual birthday. But there were knitter-ly elements to my ‘day-before-birthday’ day. After lunch with my daughter, we wandered into Barnes & Noble for a quick perusal. At the remainder shelves, this book caught my eye “Patterns in the Sand-A Seaside Knitters Mystery”. Even better, the first book in the series is called “Death by Cashmere”. And for $4.98, how could I pass it up? Our next stop- the magazine rack, where I picked up the Interweave Knits Accessories edition.. By ‘picked up’, I mean just that- not ‘picked it up ‘ as in purchasing it….no, I mean picked it up and put it back, then picked it up again. My daughter witnessed this ‘dance’ the last time we were in B & N together and I could not bring myself to pay $14.99 for a magazine-telling myself that I already have plenty of shawl, scarf, hat and mitten patterns that I have not made yet. But today was different. Today was the Day-before-my-Birthday, and Eva told me I should ‘just get it’. Along with the new Knitscene I held in my other hand. Hmmm…now as I write this- did she encourage me because she wanted me to treat myself on my birthday, or because she wanted to just get me out of the bookstore…..I will never know for sure…..
Saturday was my actual birthday, and I had planned family time. My husband had to work a bit in the morning, which was fine, as I was going to indulge in some bed-knitting -with coffee- and tackle Lace Chart #2 of The Dahlia Cardigan- and that is not a pretty thing to watch! I am knitting the lace square that begins the back of the sweater on one circular needle with the 4 repeats separated by markers… I use tools, a magnet placed under the row I am on. Yet- as I go across the row, if I look down at my stitches, and back to the chart- I lose my place on which stitch I am on! Is there a tool for that? So I count the stitches and figure out that I have left out the 7th ssk and proceed to the next marker so that I can start the row repeat all over again! And unbelievably, I make the same mistake again! Finally , I get through the 4 repeats of Row 5. This is me and charts-time to take a break.
The day still holds more knitter-ly things for me- I am meeting Sally and Kris, my fellow ‘Ladies of the Knit’ at JP Knit and Stitch, a lovely knitting/sewing spot. Before meeting them I stopped at City Feed and Supply for a delicious scone and a coffee. The blend I chose ..’Organic Mind , Body and Soul’ seemed a perfect antidote to Lace Chart Row 5….

At JP Knit and Stitch, we parked ourselves at the center table- Kris was working on her long-dormant Estee necklace(23….24…25….), and Sally was browsing the pattern notebooks, looking for inspiration. I had brought my TGV
Yet I could not resist the hanging skein of Malabrigo worsted in the colorway, sotobosque and it was calling to me, calling to become a Bandana Cowl . As I wound it ,the pinks and browns showed off even more, and then I just had to start knitting right then. Even more lovely when worked into stitches and rows.
But still not the end of knitting-ness that day. When our hunger could not be ignored, we all moved on to City Feed and Supply for lunch! This market/cafe has the best scones, but also amazing sandwiches and soups. I had my favorite Proscuitto d Parma sandwich, on a thick and chewy baguette. Sally had a Turkey and Brie panini and Kris had a Turkey on baguette. So delicious!
After lunch , we said our goodbyes to head home. The remainder of my birthday was spent with the family- I am lucky.
Thank you my fellow Ladies of the Knit, for being game to meet me for knitting on my birthday! Well, I just have to borrow this phrase from my niece Chelsea’s blog...my ‘sisters from different misters’ helped make my birthday ‘very knitter-ly’.

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Fall Away finished and Freddy Farkel’s……

First off – let me be clear. I really like going to Freddy Farkel’s, but I LOVE saying the name! Freddy Farkel’s. Try it, and you will see what I mean. But Freddy Farkel’s has a more staid identity online- Fabric Showcase- the sign outside says ‘Freddy Farkel’s , happily. Freddy Farkel’s is near my house and very near my workplace, so when I need fabric, or in this instance, buttons- I go first to Freddy Farkel’s.
Because—- I finally finished my Fall Away Cardigan. There were a few bumps along the way, that I discussed on our podcast, Ladies of the Knit. But it is complete, I love it, I love the Madelinetosh Pashmina that I made it with(Corsage colorway). Love it. But it still needs a bit of blocking:

And Buttons—
Freddy Farkel’s is not known for their buttons. As a matter of fact, they stopped carrying buttons a few years ago. But I knew that they still have a box of odd lot buttons , and I was willing to dig. The woman at the counter encouraged me to dig! Oh- and the buttons were 50% off . So I dug. And this is what I came up with :

I find a card of 2. They are the perfect buttons. But I need 4,so I hope and dig some more. Triumphant, I hold up my 2 button cards and go the the register. My grand total? 70 cents each card…..
Now as I am loving these buttons , in the back of my mind I am thinking that they are very familiar……did I see them here before, in a previous dig? noooooo, they are more familiar than that….Then it comes to me…. I used these exact buttons on my Nuss cardigan, finished in March of 2010. And they went perfectly with that cardi also! Button deja vu…..
Nothing at all to do with knitting….but something that makes me very happy-
The Red Cups are Back!

A little early this year, but these red cups make me smile. Crazy, I know.

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Holy Raglan!

My dear friend,knitting buddy and fellow podcaster Kris- invited me to drive out to Western Massachusetts last Saturday. She had a brief meeting and then we were going to visit Webs , the knitting mecca. I have lived in Massachusetts for 30 years and have never visited Webs. I used to order yarn from them starting 20 years ago, (before the internet!) and still do. But unbelievably , that is not the most exciting thing about this road trip….

While Kris was in her meeting , I visited a wine/coffee bar close by. I chose coffee ( it was only noon!) and sat down to knit. How fortuitous that I chose the table I did, as when I started looking around, I saw a shelf of books labeled “New Arrivals”. It seems that this wine/coffee bar also sells used books. One book caught my eye- “Knitting Without Tears”. It was a hardcover , and as I pulled it off the shelf I congratulated myself on my find. I do own this book ,but in a larger paperback, and this hardcover seemed like the perfect size to carry in my knitting bag. I carried it over to the register and paid- $1- such a deal! Taking the book back to my table , proud of my find, I opened the cover—
my heart literally started beating faster–there on the flyleaf was the following:

Holy Raglan! I was so excited! Beside myself! But I couldn’t shout it out to the cafe- this was the excitement that only a knitter could appreciate- I could hardly contain myself! Who could I call- who could I tell? When was Kris going to be here so I could tell her!

But still , there is more…. opposite EZ’s autograph is the following:

Elizabeth Zimmerman gave her address and phone number to this Knitter , with the instructions to ‘call anytime’. How amazing is that? Paula of the Knitting Pipeline has shared letters from EZ on her podcast and they are delightful to listen to.
Is it possible that EZ made this generous offer to all knitters that she met?

I now treasure this book. Such incredible luck that I sat where I did in the cafe, that my eyes wandered to that shelf of books, that I spotted this red-spined book that can only be truly appreciated by a knitter. A knitter that would like to consider herself as EZ famously put it on page 1: Obsessed.

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I got a present in the mail today…….

I got a present in the mail today. It was like getting a gift-even though I knew what was in it, there was an element of surprise!
In a recent podcast, Alana of Never Not Knitting , described how wonderful it is to receive a package of yarn from an online store that arrives looking like a special gift. The little touches that go such a long way. Like tissue paper wrapping. Like the little thank you card and notebook I got once from Happy Knits.(Umm, twice- didn’t want to run out of yarn!)
The package I got this morning was from The Loopy Ewe and I would have never found this store if I hadn’t won a $25 gift certificate from Melanie, (Shiksa on Ravelry) for donating to American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Melanie asked me to do that instead of pay her for some amazing Madelinetosh Fig that I wanted to buy from her. For donating, (as if donating to this cause and getting madtosh weren’t prize enough!) I was entered to win this drawing. Which I won! Thank you again, Melanie!

So once I received my $25 gift certificate, I began trolling The Loopy Ewe site. I wanted to use the gift cert. for the exactly perfect purchase…….for something very special…..I can’t even count the number of times that I browsed the web site, wondering if I should go for a skein of Madtosh Pashmina, or some Malabrigo sock, or this summer- a skein of precious Hand Maiden Sea Silk. And then- of course- comes the next dilemma- what colorway? I would go on like this, put a few things in my cart, then tell myself that I had time to decide and not buy anything….
I have always felt this way about gift certificates – you have to save it, save it until you can use it at the perfect time- do it justice for the exact right thing. This idea of perfection is often hastened by an expiration date. So I plunged in again, this past weekend, determined to make a decision once and for all.
I did – and that gift came in the mail today. I ripped open the Priority Mail box , pulled out the plastic bag, and took out the tissue-wrapped bundle. I pulled off the Loopy Ewe sticker holding the tissue closed,and unwrapped my beautiful yarn:

Have you ever ordered yarn online and been a bit disappointed that the color wasn’t what you thought? Well, I bought this one skein of Hand Maiden Casbah Sock in the ‘Stone’ colorway, and it is more gorgeous that I imagined. I cannot wait to wind this and make it into something! I think I have to do that immediately, even though I am currently obsessed with completing my Fall Away Cardigan in Madelinetosh Pashmina Corsage.
This Casbah Sock is sitting quietly next to me, close enough for me to fondle the fiber. So soft , so pretty. Its friend, the skein of Madelinetosh Merino light in Rose I also got , is waiting patiently for its time in the spotlight…..
To Ravelry I go, to peruse patterns, projects for my new yarn. A Little Colonnade?Did I even know that the sample was knit in this very yarn? If I did, I forgot! Allegria? My friend Kris always finds the best patterns….now to wind and decide….

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Where I’ve been (knitting, that is….)

Well I can’t believe that I haven’t posted since May. Kira May. So here it is July, and I have been knitting in some beautiful spots. Like this:

knitting and fishing at sunset


I have also knit here:

View from the Coffeeshop in Stockton , NY

What I have been knitting is not quite as interesting…..at least not yet! I have been knitting along on the Phiaro Scarf
I know it will be absolutely beautiful when I finish it—-but- for now , it has become a bit tortuous knitting. I love the design, but the execution is well…Boring. 22″ of circular stockinette. Perfect for car knitting, movie knitting, waiting knitting. But still very Boring Knitting. The yarn I am using is soft with a sheen- Ella Rae Bamboo Silk in Pewter. And I am determined to use up every single one of my 6 skeins! At 5 skeins I wanted to call it, even though I was only at 17″ of my tube. But the part of me that has a hard time leaving books unfinished once started–made me (darn you!), yes, made me- pick up that last skein, tie it on ,and continue. So now I am slogging. Listening to podcasts, not so fun anymore. But I know the scarf will be truly gorgeous and something I will wear often!

18" and still knitting...


oh- well , there is one more thing. When I cast on my 195 stitches, I checked to make sure that the round was not twisted. Rookie stuff-right? I would even say that I checked twice. Well… I got about 2 inches into my tube, and guess what? Twisttttted! I am embarrassed to say that I have been knitting for 37 years, and yet- I made this incredibly rookie mistake! But did I rip those 2 inches out? No! Maybe a rookie would do that,but not me! Yes, I am a lazy knitter, but I also knew from the pattern that after I cast off and drop my stitches, I will be cutting the tube to make fringe-voila! UnTwisted!
Yes, I did think I was pretty darn clever. Until- yes, you’ve guessed… that twisted tube got unwieldy very, very quickly! By 10 “, I was having to flip that stupid tube about halfway through the round to continue… and it got bulky and heavy, then bulkier and heavier with each inch knitted.
So-I am very anxious to complete this project. Enough said about that.

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