Long weekends are for knitting

It’s hard to believe September is already one-third over! The long weekend came, and so did the the falling leaves decor and pumpkin spice everything.  This past weekend was exceptionally busy for me at work, as one of our biggest vents, that I’m responsible for co-ordinating, took place.  This meant that I took full advantage of the Labour Day weekend, spending my time knitting, reading, cooking, and very little else.

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Just before the long weekend, I finished a pair of fingerless gloves.  The pattern is Cross My Palm by Kate Atherley; it’s a paid pattern, was very fun and fast to make, and would certainly recommend spending the $5 on it!  I received the pattern as part of my Great Toronto Yarn Hop registration, and the yarn, Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) was another Yarn Hop acquisition. I loved the colours of this skein and am waiting for the weather to get just a touch cooler before getting good use out of these mittens.

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Over the long weekend, I also started a hat, one which I’ve been itching to make for months.  The pattern is Grandifolia Head by Vickie Hartog, part of her Grandifolia series of shawls, cowls, and other accessories. I’ve put it off in the past, largely because it has an i-cord cast on, and being frank, I just didn’t have the attention span to work almost 150 rows of an i-cord; over the long weekend I had nothing but time, so cast on I did.  The yarn I’m using is Stitch Please Amethyst Label in their Men in Tights colourway, a vivid and beautiful shade of emerald green. The yarn was bought at the 2016 Knitters Frolic and has sat patiently while I gathered my patience to start.

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The picture doesn’t do justice to the colour.

With the days creeping along, as they inevitably do, I will need to switch gears and start thinking of holiday knitting.

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FO Friday: The Doodler

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Pattern 
The Doodler by Stephen West

Yarns
Cascade Yarns® Heritage5657 Hunter Green

Water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

I just peeled myself off my living room floor, where I was surrounded by yarn, patterns, and a lack of inspiration.  Last night, I cast off my Doodler shawl and blocked it (pictures are forthcoming; it’s too pretty not to take proper pictures), and despite having a few socks on the go and my Boxy sweater, I was feeling the urge to cast on something new.  What that something would be was the challenge.  My lunch hour was divided between eating and chatting with co-workers and passively searching Ravelry for inspiration.  I kept looking at all my pretty skins, every one would make a lovely shawl, sock, cowl or hat, but not finding the right meld of pattern and yarn.  This has happened on occasion, where I find I’m lacking completely and utterly in inspiration, despite having so much around me with which to find inspiration, and despite my desire to start something knew, of desperately wanting to be knitting. What’s the saying, ‘water everywhere but not a drop to drink’? I completely agree.

I may have found a  pattern and a skein to match.  Let’s see if I make it farth past the cast on. If it’s right, it’ll continue.  We’ll see.

Happy Knitting!

Shawl to Cowl Experiment a Success!

I know I’ve already professed my love for bandana cowls on this blog, but it bears repeating, I think.  I love this accessory, so much so that one of my latest projects turned a shawl pattern into a cowl.  Any that I’ve made before have all been patterns for this particular style, but there aren’t a lot of patterns on Ravelry, at least, not a lot of patterns easily found with searches.

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Knowing the basic structure of the cowl, I took a shawl pattern and adapted it to become a cowl.  In a nutshell, I knit flat, increasing 4 stitches every other round until a certain length, then I joined in the round, increasing 2 stitches every other round, at the centre of the cowl.

It worked really well with the Jocassee pattern, a free shawl by Kemper Wray.  It features garter sections and drop stitch sections, and because it didn’t involve any super fancy stitch designs or lace, it was a good shawl to experiment with.  I’m rather happy with the finished cowl but am looking forward to cooler weather before I can wear it more often.  It’s far too hot here in Canada for any extra wool around the neck!

I’d also like to try this again, perhaps with a more complex stitch design and see if I can replicate my results.  

How Do You Organize Circulars

This seems to be a very common problem for which everyone has their own creative solutions: How to store circular needles.

After knitting for several years, it’s inevitable that one’s collection of tools will continue to grow.  A boon of needles purchased at a thrift shop for a dollar each is a big contributor to this problem… a good problem, but a problem nonetheless.

Until last week, my storage for circulars was an accordion file, intended for receipts.  It worked well, with each size having its own pouch to be filed away in, and the different cords held in place and organized with binder clips, labeled with their size. With all my new needles, however, my patience with this system was waning, because the file was practically bursting and the elastic holding it in place was under great strain.


There happened to be a very timely thread on Ravelry talking about different ways to store circular needles, and this was the inspiration I needed to change my storage.  So I headed to a dollar store, and I bought pouches:

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These pouches fit inside a three ring binder, are clear, and are closed with a snap.  So, Thursday evening, I took my needles from the receipt folder and unceremoniously dumped them on the couch:

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Now, each size (2mm-2.75mm; 3mm-3.75mm; 4-4.5mm, etc), have their own pouch, and the cords are still remaining orderly thanks to the binder clip.

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I’m much happier with this storage system.  They are easier to access but just as organized and orderly.  I think the only change I will make is to the binder they are currently in; the 1 1/2″ just isn’t big enough for these needles.

This is just a glimpse into what works for me. How do you keep order for your circulars?