Ohhh Shiny!

Hello Shiny Red Yarn!  I’m a bit of a sucker for anything pretty and shiny, so when I walked into a dimly lit yarn shop (normally the kiss of death for a yarn shop, but when you wander into a store in the middle of nowhere that used to be someone’s garage, beggars can’t be choosers) I saw this yarn right away.  This yarn shop/craft store/framing gallery happens to be located in Ridgeland, WI, directly in the middle of nowhere.  As I was driving home from my parents house this weekend, one child asleep in the backseat, I saw an Open sign along with a YARN sign.  Yep, they can stop a sucker shopper in her tracks.  The yarn is Berroco Lustra and is a blend of merino (super soft wool) and tencel (makes it shiny).  It’s soft, shiny and the perfect worsted weight yarn for my February Lady Sweater.  The price was absolutely right – for $36 I got enough yarn for the size small sweater. 

Because I just couldn’t resist the shine and the eyepopping blue, I got this colorway as well.  The owner only had 2 skeins, not enough for a sweater, but enough for a nice hat and scarf – or mittens and hat. 

-Update on the Flower Girl Shrugs-

I’m still plugging away on the Flower Girl Shrugs.  I am halfway down the second arm of the second sweater.  I talked it out with some girlfriends last night (non-knitters) and I think I can get them both done.  If I finish the arm today, and finish the ribbing around the body by the end of the week, then I can have 2 weeks to rip out and re-knit the first sweater.  I’ll have 8 hours in the car on the way to Chicago if I’m really desperate.  If time gets that tight, I may have to spray block the sweaters… We’ll have to see I guess.  If it looks like I can’t make the deadline, I may just rip out the sleeves of the first sweater and re-knit them from the top down so they fit better.  But that’s worst case senario. 

 

Pushing Through

Sorry for the poor color on the photo… I took it in a dark house last night… should have waited for natural light.

You know when you’re working out and you hit the wall and you know that if you can just keep pushing through that you’ll be just fine, you’ll finish the workout?  Well, sometimes knitting it like that too.  I am making 2 little shrugs – girls sizes 2 and 5 – for a wedding that my girls are flowers girls at in early October.  I’ve hit a wall.  A wall of frustration and boredom – normally the kiss of death for any knitting project I take on. 

I started working on the larger shrug (I’ve learned that if I’m to make 2 of anything I should make the larger or more boring of the 2 first) in June.  I got all the pieces knitted and started sewing them together.  But the sleeves didn’t fit quite right.  I figured it was just my poor sewing skills and decided that when I made the second sweater, I would do the sleeves from the top down with a circular needle instead of sewing them in after the fact.  When I started the second sweater I checked gauge (i.e. tension, i.e.stitches per inch) I realized that I was way way off.  Way off.  Wowza, was I off.  So I went down 3 needle sizes, got gauge and called it good.  Now, I’m working on the first sleeve.  I’m sort of winging the decreases and making notes so I can replicate them on the second sleeve.  I’m also trying it on my daughter as I go so I know it’s going to fit (I’ve had to add 4 inches to the sleeve since she’s long and skinny). 

Here’s the problem.  I have 3 weeks until the wedding.  3 weeks to finish one sweater and do the ribbing on the 2nd is not bad.  However, should I go back and reknit the first sweater???  I’m thinking yes.  But what if I run out of time!?  Plus, what I really want to do is knit… something else…

This,

and This,

and This,

oh yes, and This.  (but I’m still searching for the perfect yarn for that)

And that doesn’t even account for Christmas presents that I need to start working on.  Somebody help me!

Tree Sap and Roman Goddesses

Cinxia from Knitty.com

We have a friend visiting from Memphis this week so our house is a little crazy.  I’m feeling very scattered and disorganized as I try to get everything done.  The visitor is a high school friend of my husband’s; they’ve been having a wonderful time catching up and telling stories.  Today, they’re out on the Big Lake, hopefully catching some fish for our dinner.  I’m hoping to throw it on the grill with lots of dill and lemon.  Mmmm…

Last night the visitor got some tree sap on his t-shirt while unloading the truck.  The problem is that I have no idea how to get tree sap out of cotton.  My suggestion was to pour boiling water over it to see if that would wash it out.  Does anyone have any suggestions? 

As for knitting, I finished my Cinxia sweater.  I’ll probably have more photos to show from that, but the photos are on my hubby’s camera and I didn’t get a chance to download them last night. 

Pattern – Cinxia (the Roman Goddess of Marriage) from Knitty

Yarn – Cascade Rustica – a linen wool combination.  I absolutely love this yarn.  It has wonderful drape and was very nice to work with.  It also blocks like an absolute dream. 

Needles – Size 7 (US) circular needle.  I think I used a 40" needle except for when I was doing the sleeves. 

Modifications – I made this several inches longer than the pattern called for since I thought it looked a little short in the photos.  I cast on for a small, but knit to the measurements for a medium for the body.  The arms were simply unfooled around with.  I’m debating about what kind of closure I would like.  Right now I’m using a decorative pin to close it.  Although I might look for a Scandinavian hook and clasp closure.  I didn’t add a button hole so if I added a large button I think I would make an I-cord loop to go around the button. 

I am crazy happy about the way this sweater turned out. 

Let Me ‘Splain…

"No, there is no time.  Let me  sum up."

Hi, my name is Jess and I am a Knitter. 

I’m also a wife, a mom, a full time employee, a spinner and… well, probably a lot of other descriptives.  Most of what you’ll see on this blog will be knitting, although I may throw in bits and pieces of the other parts of my life as well.  You should know that although I work for the Duluth News Tribune, I am not a writer.  Therefore, I may make some errors in my writing. 

I also have some pretty strong biases when it comes to knitting.  First of all, I believe in buying from my Local Yarn Stores (LYS for short).  I think we have some phenomenal stores in our area.  They are incredibly helpful and I’ve never gotten bad service at any of them.  Although I will occasionally buy online, I try to keep these purchases to things that the LYS just don’t carry.  My second bias is that I’m a bit of a yarn snob.  OK, maybe a big yarn snob.  I prefer natural fibers, mostly wool.  Life is too short to knit with crummy acrylic yarn. 

If you’ve got stories about interesting crafts, links to fun sites or fabulous knitting patterns, send them my way.  I’ll be happy to feature them in this blog.  In the meantime, check out some of my favorite blogs.