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Home and then gone again

Michigan 2014 (3)

We had great weather and attendance at the Michigan Fiber Festival last weekend. It is always a fun show that I look forward to. I was very ready to be headed home by Monday though. Nineteen days away was hard on us all.

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It was only a brief respite however since we had to leave again yesterday for Pittsburgh for the first annual Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival. We are excited to be a part of the show which has a wider craft audience than the late winter Knit & Crochet Festival.

We set up this morning and then got some lunch and headed back to the hotel for a few hours break before the market opens tonight for the preview which runs 5-9pm. Market is open 9-5:30 on Saturday. Click through to the site for more details. :-)

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I clicked of some shots of the booth before we left.

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I plan to share some knitting updates in my next post from home. We drive home Sunday and have nine whole days home. See you again soon!

Last day in Chicago

Opening night at Stitches Midwest last week were they only pictures I remembered to take and that with my phone. Here are the excited knitters after the gates were opened on Thursday night. :-)

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Here’s a quick shot of my booth before they arrived.

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After the show and the booth was all loaded back I the trailer Cassie and I had three days with no definite plans. I guess I am a bit of a hermit even when I am on the road because we have just kicked around Schaumburg a bit doing some book and music shopping mostly.

This is a little of what I bought and we when we weren’t shopping we have been just reading, listening to new music, watching videos and a little knitting too. No doubt some would find this a boring way to spend your days off but I rather enjoy having nothing to do but bum around every now and then. :-)

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We are staying in a place with a kitchenette so we went to the Whole Foods and stocked up on good stuff so we haven’t had to eat out for the last 9 day at least. I feel better when I eat healthier.

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Today I went to Kohl’s and found a new hand bag and wallet to replace mine which I have been carrying for a long time and they were looking very worn and tired. What do you think? I love the color!

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We leave for Allegan, Michigan in the morning and will be setting up the booth in the afternoon/evening. Leisure time is over and it’s time to get back to work. Talk to you again from the eastern time zone!

First stop in Chicago

We arrived safely and uneventfully in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon. We spent the morning and early afternoon on Thursday getting the booth ready. For the rest of the afternoon we went to lunch at Panera and then we went to the Barnes and Noble. Cassie did some shopping and I just got out my Nook and did some reading while sipping on a Green Tea Lemonade. Yummy.

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So now on to some new knitting projects. First up is two that I am working on.

You have seen the up-sized Sorrel but it is around 7” now so here it is again.

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My other project is one of Dee O’Keefe’s new designs called Mayapple. Check my Ravelry profile for the pattern link and details. It is written for a fingering weight yarn and we are planning a second version of it in our Merino Bamboo, but I wanted to see what it looked like in a lighter weight so I am using my Classic Merino Lace in a bold color, Tiger Lily.

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I started it on size 5 needles but I ripped it out and went down to size 4 and like the fabric much better.

Joanie is working on another of Dee’s new designs called Theresa Rose. We are using Classic Merino Superwash Sock in the color Azure. She started on size 5 needles and after taking this picture I decided that the stitch definition required for the twisted stitches was too loose. It needed to be ripped and re-knit on size 4 needles like my Mayapple. Hey, it happens right? So this is the first version and I will show you the restarted one when I get home in mid-August unless I can get here to take one and email it to me.

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Last but not least is Cassie’s project, Glenallen,  which is another Lace weight one in the color Garnet. The color is deeper than this shows. The lace work in this shawl is intricate and lovely. Can’t wait to see it full size.

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More Lace Knitting

Wow! It has been a busy several weeks around here. Between all the yarn dyeing and my trip to Jacksonville I have barely had time for anything else. It is not going to be slowing down any time soon either. We have 11 shows in the next 14 weeks with only brief stops at home between. We will be leaving for Chicago next week and will be away for three weekends with no trips home. I am both excited about the shows and apprehensive about the separation from my family who will be home. Prayers are welcome and appreciated. :-)

July 25 2014 (3)

I already showed you Nadira in an earlier post but I didn’t have a picture of the knitter modeling it until today. I like Kyla in purple. :-)

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Cassie and Joanie finished their Ruxton Shawls on July 6th but I am just now getting around to taking the pictures and writing a post.

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The green one above is knit with our Merino Superwash Sock in Green Apple. If you want the full details click over to the Ravelry project page.

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This version is made from our Merino Superwash Sport in French Marigold. Here’s the Ravelry link for it.

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I really love how the edging looks!

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As you can see our Sock weight version came out smaller than our Sport version. That is partly the yarn and partly that we used size 4 needles for the Sock and size 5 needles for the Sport. I wanted to maintain the lovely texture for the lighter version.

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You can better compare their sizes in this shot.

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I have some new knitting to show you but I am saving that for next time which I will aim for getting to in a few days.

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I will share a couple cute shots of my youngest (4 yr. old above) and my grandson (below). :-)

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Nadira

It’s been a long wait for this but here she is!

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Nadira is designed by Dee O’Keefe and knit from three skeins of Classic Merino Lace in one of new colors from last summer, Amethyst.

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We knit our sample according to the main instructions but it is very easily customized both in size and stitch patterns. There many different ways you can knit this shawl to fit your yarn choice, yardage, or personal style.

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The pattern is available on our website of in Dee’s Ravelry store. Have fun with it and design your own shawl. What are you waiting for? I know your fingers are itching to cast one on. :-)

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Summer Projects

I have made a little progress on the adult version of Sorrel. 320 stitches on size 2 needles is pretty slow going though. I have about 3 1/2” knit and need to make the body about 16” before working the cap sleeves and yoke.

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To break up the monotony of all that stockinette, which I don’t mind but sometimes you need a change, I cast on for Mayapple. This is the latest gorgeous crescent shaped shawl by Dee O’Keefe. I just had to start one! It is written for a fingering weight yarn and I do plan to make one in Classic Merino Bamboo as well, but for some reason I was dying to see how it would look in my Classic Merino Lace. I decided to go with the Tiger Lily color even though I was tempted to use Saffron like Dee’s sample. Since my Edwina is yellow it had to be another color for Mayapple. I am using the same needles she used for the fingering weight, size 5, because the lace is very open and also because Cassie is using my AddiTurbo Lace in size 4. I have only completed the first chart at this point and I think the needle choice is going to work fine.

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This is what my Addi Lace size 4’s are being used for. It is Dee’s Ruxton Shawl in fingering weight yarn. It can be worked in sock weight and sport weight yarn so we cast on for both versions. I love the texture of this one! We are using Classic Merino Superwash Sock for this version in Green Apple.

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For our sport weight version we chose French Marigold in Classic Merino Superwash Sport. We are using size 5 needles. It is wonderfully squishy in this yarn! The girls are in a bit of a race to see who will finish this first and it looks like they are making quick progress due to the competition. :-) They both cast on about 10 days ago!

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When we aren’t knitting, we are making preparations for the summer dyeing. The yarn arrived from the mill when we were in Asheville last weekend and the skeining commenced last week. They are a little more than half done and as soon as they are finished I can get the dyes mixed.

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Sister Shawls

I am very happy to announce that we have two more gorgeous shawls off the needles and joining our booth display this coming weekend at the Friends and Fiberworks Summer Retreat in Asheville, NC. May I present to you the lovely sister shawls Elizabeth and Liz!

Liz and Elizabeth shawls

I showed you the beginnings of these two back in early May. They are both the design creations of Dee O’Keefe and are both knit from three skeins of our Classic Merino Lace yarn.

Liz and Elizabeth shawls

The blue one is Elizabeth and the color we chose to use is Winter Sky.

Elizabeth Shawl

Liz is the stole version and we made it with the Tea Rose.

Liz Stole

I can’t wait to see them on display along with Edwina. I think they compliment each other so wonderfully and I hope they inspire you to make your own versions.

Elizabeth Shawl

Both these sister designs are fairly easy for knitters with some lace experience. The stitch patterns are varied and none are very hard to execute. The stole version uses a provisional cast on at the center and is knit to the edges.

Liz Stole

Here’s how they looked fresh off the needles before the wet blocking that I did on them yesterday.

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Here they are while still on the wires.

Elizabeth Shawl blocking

It was a stretch to pin them both out at the same time. We just barely had enough t-pins.

Liz Stole blocking

Maybe for my next post I can talk the sister knitters into modeling the sister shawls, LOL! No such luck this morning however.

Oh, I have one more bit of knitting to show you. In my last post I told you I was going to start a project that many have requested; a sized up pattern for Sorrel. I have crunched the numbers and cast on for one of the sizes which I hope will be my size.

Adult size Sorrel in progress

I am not very far along yet as you can see and that is mostly lack of energy on my part. You may remember that I told you that we had sickness in the house starting on Memorial Day weekend with my husband and then my oldest son. Well, we all proceeded to get picked off like flies every day or two. It took three weeks to make the full rounds and my youngest son and I were the last two to get it while I was in Indianapolis for Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival last weekend. This thing would hang on with fever, chills, headaches, upper respiratory and a cough for well over a week. We are FINALLY all better. Still working on getting energy back.

Anyway we will be leaving on Thursday for Asheville. Maybe we will see some of you there!

Edwina Shawl and next project plans

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I was a few days late getting Edwina blocked. Yesterday was the first opportunity I had due to needing to catch up on household and business stuff. In addition to that my husband has been sick since Saturday night and I need my bed to block on. He is doing a bit better finally and we are dosing everyone else with Airborne in hopes no one else gets it. My oldest son was down yesterday, but hopefully we caught it in time to shorten it’s stay.

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Anyway, it measures just what the pattern gives as the expected dimensions, which is 72” x 36”. I enjoyed making this shawl very much. The stitch patterns are varied and interesting with lovely composition in the finished shawl. I was dubious at first about using the Saffron for this but all doubt is gone now. I love it in this color and it is surprisingly wearable. I didn’t have anyone available this morning to help me with pictures so I don’t have any modeled shots but even on my skin tone I like it. Like most people, I always thought I couldn’t wear yellow, but it works. :-)

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I used about two and a half skeins of Classic Merino Lace and size 4 US needles to make mine. I didn’t alter the size, but you could do that if you wanted to. I can’t see needing to make it bigger but if you wanted to make it smaller you could leave out one repeat of the main body pattern right above the border sections. I can’t guarantee you would only need two skeins if you did but it is possible. I started the third skein on the last two border charts.

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This size is a bit long for me since I am only 5’2” but I find that I appreciate the width for wrapping up in so don’t mind the extra length.

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I am having fun knitting lace this year and I am very much tempted to cast on another shawl, but I promised to get to work on a much requested design so I suppose I should do that first.

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What is the project you ask? Well I have had numerous requests to write Sorrel in ladies sizes. So I guess now is the time to try it.

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I have begun some preliminary calculations and picked out yarn but that is all so far. I am hung up on how to alter the dimensions for adults. First off it is a slight A-line shape with only 2” difference in the hew and chest circumference. I think I need to add a couple inches but don’t want it too floaty in the hips. I am aiming for a slightly close fitting tunic. I also think I will lower the neck line and leave out the back neck button. That will be decided when I get closer.

Another option I considered is to do it in two gauges. I still want to keep it in the fingering weight Merino Bamboo blend because the style suits a light all weather yarn. An idea occurred to me though to upscale the gauge for the DK to make for a faster knitting option. I am conflicted that a warm weather design like this doesn’t make sense in a DK wool yarn. What are your thoughts on that? Do both or only the fingering weight version?

Edwina is off the needles

It has been a whirlwind two weeks and it’s not quite slowed down yet.

We were in Minnesota for Shepherd’s Harvest Festival last weekend and had one day at home before picking up and going to Wooster, OH where we still are now for the Great Lakes Fiber Show. Needless to say, I have been short on spare time for blogging.

I did manage to get in some knitting, a row or two here and there, and bound off my Edwina Shawl last night. It’s not blocked and that will have to wait until Tuesday after I get home, but here she is.

Edwina, finished but not blocked

This top photo is more true to the color.

Edwina, finished but not blocked

It looks like it will be pretty big, but not huge, once it’s blocked out. I am not an aggressive blocker. I like just enough to show off the lace but to maintain some texture and softness.

I haven’t weighed the left over ball of yarn but I estimate it to be a bit less than half of the third skein.

Okay I know this is brief but I just wanted to check in with you all and share my excitement at finishing this shawl. :-) I need to get my stuff together and scoot out the door to the fairgrounds for the day. I will tell you about my next project which I am eager to start and have some finished Edwina pictures when I get back to Nashville. Later!

Kimani Shawl and other knitting

Well here she is! I struggled to get decent pictures of this gorgeous shawl which I think is due to our color choice more than anything. The Ironstone is very hard to capture without a light box.

Finished Kimani shawl

It is lovely and dramatic in this darker color, but it is fact that lighter colors would show off the lace work better.

Finished Kimani shawl

As a refresher, we knit our Kimani with 2 skeins of our Classic Merino Superwash Sport yarn in the color Ironstone. We used almost all of the 2 skeins and knit it on size 5 US needles. You can buy the pattern both on Ravelry and at our website.

Finished Kimani shawl

As you can see this shawl is a much shorter style crescent shape which is my favorite kind. I measured mine after blocking and it was about 68” across the top edge and 22” in the center length.

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It is so easy to wear this shape shawl as a shoulder drape or more like a scarf.

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I also promised an update on the other stuff we have on the needles in this post so let’s get to it.

First up is Cassie’s new project; Liz Stole which we are knitting in our Classic Merino Lace in the color Tea Rose. The red yarn you see there is the provisional cast on because this shawl is knit from the center to the edge and then back to the center and worked to the other edge.

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Joanie picked to work on the companion shawl to Liz Stole, Elizabeth Shawl. We are also using Classic Merino Lace yarn for this one in the color Winter Sky.

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Border of Nadira is coming along but rows are getting pretty long at this point as they are on my Edwina shawl below.

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I just completed the first of 4 border charts yesterday, which means I have 56 rows to go, counting the bind off. I currently have 367 stitches and by the end will have 487. Yikes! I really want to have this done before I leave for Minnesota a week from today. We shall see. :-) And no, I am not going to do the math to see how many actually stitches I have to knit to complete the shawl. Some things are better of remaining unknown lest we lose heart. If you are inclined to such calculations please let me remain in ignorance, okay? LOL!

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