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Crazy for Ewe

Line Break cast off.

Line Break is the August First Friday project.  I started mine on August 1, the Wednesday before First Friday to kind of road test the pattern.  It's really simple and very forgiving.  I already posted this shot of my progress by Thursday afternoon, but here it is again. It's almost ready for its first row of yarnovers and short rows that give it that wonderful asymmetry. 

I had lots of good knitting time on the trip to North Carolina and back and then a one-day round trip to Pittsburgh.  Probably would have finished it on the trip back from Pittsburgh, but there were those three inches I had to rip out after a misspent evening of knitting with too many distractions.  Oh well.

I finally cast off yesterday afternoon. Kind of reminds me of a newborn baby, all bunched up and wrinkled, but a good hard blocking will create the fabric I want and stabilize the overall shape.  I'm excited to try out my new blocking wires on it.

Freshly castoff Line Break

All in all, Line Break took almost exactly two weeks, or about 40 hours of knitting time   It's a good project to carry along everywhere - you don't need to refer constantly to the pattern, and it's pretty easy to see where you are.  I am so glad that I got all 4 of the patterns in this set - I will definitely be knitting more of Veera Välimäki's designs.

Technical specs: Madeline Tosh Sock, Lepidoptera, 2 skeins.  Size 6 Addi Turbos from my Click Set.  . 

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Love that Linsey

I finished my little cotton top in Linsey about 6 weeks ago, but I don't think I ever shared it with you.  I was reminded about it because we finally received our backorder of this color Friday.  It's a great color - kind of a coral color - some could even say it was Tangerine ;-)  Anyway, I love it and can't wait till it's warm enough to wear it. 

Linsey is a cotton linen blend that’s wonderfully soft and really easy care – really.  I mean no kidding machine wash, tumble dry – no shrinking, no bleeding.  Anyway, I am very jazzed about Linsey’s new colorways.  Named for towns on Martha’s Vineyard, they are wonderful gently shifting multicolor shades that coordinate beautifully with Linsey solids.

Norah Gaughan, Berroco’s creative director, is very fond of mitered knitting and the clever shapes you can achieve with just a few well-placed decreases.  She’s used this technique for Linsey Colors and has designed a wonderful collection that really shows the yarns’ changing colors to their best advantage.  Each garment has a beautifully geometric appeal-- it’s no surprise that she’s titled the collection Geometry.  I especially love that Norah’s given a little wink to the mathematical community and named the designs after famous mathematicians who advanced the field of geometry.  How clever and fun is that! 

There are 8 designs in the collection, and I’ll tell you, there’s not a bad one in the bunch.  In fact, I have a hard time deciding which one I like best.  There are three really lovely cardigans: Severi is a classic cardigan while- Zariski and Stiener have a more unusual construction.  Euclid is a cute hoodie with mitered lapels.   Gauss and Riemann are darling little wardrobe additions that are easy to make and easy to wear.  Descartes and Monge are beautiful summer tops that you’ll want to wear every day when the weather gets hot.  No matter which style you choose, you’ll love working with Linsey.

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Nearly there

I was so glad to have finished all the knitting on this little top. You'd think it would be long done since there are no sleeves, but it's been kinda busy.  Very happy with the seaming at the shoulders.

Around the neck I did 10 decreases rather than the 12 because the ribbing was long enough to suit me.  Bound off in rib except at the center where the decreases line up.  Those stitches I did in purl so that they would roll inward and be less obvious.  Here's a close-up.

This first two photos are a much better representation of the yarn's actual color, but here is the overall neckline - still need to weave in those ends.  


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March First Friday project marches on

 In case you missed it, here is the First Friday project from March - a gorgeous v-neck top that's great over a blouse now or by itself in the heat of the summer.  I picked the pink colorway - big surprise.  This was taken the day before our first Friday kick-off.

I've been really good - totally monogamous with this project.  Partly because I want to get it done but partly because the pattern is really engaging.  It's a 10 row lace pattern that's easy and intuitive, so it's simple enough to work without referring to the chart, but still different enough to be interesting.  It goes pretty quickly. Here's the back so far.  I did make it two inches longer before beginning the increases. 

Which brings me to the main point of this post:  the increases are those that you work alternate second and fourth rows while keeping in the 10 row lace pattern.  Frankly, it's a headache inducing set of instructions unless you find a way to keep track. Since I'm a so high tech, I used this awesome and advanced method. 

Basically I just wrote down pattern rows 1-10 until I had filled a sheet.  Then I counted where my increases should go (purl, , knit/increase, then purl, knit, purl, knit/increase and so forth) until I had 24 increases.  I just cross 'em off as I go.  Makes life so much easier.  Of course, you'll want to keep your paper in a very safe place until you're done with the increases.  This is a very simple, low-tech method of keeping track of your pattern.  It's especially useful anytime you run across a pattern instruction with the words "and at the same time" in it.  You'll be so glad you did. 

Here are my increases.  I did lifted increases which are pretty much invisible.  I'm happy!

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Red Tweed done

It lives in the La Plata shop right now, so please go by and try it on.  I made the size 40 and 3/4 sleeves.  After the collar was knit and sewn on I added a little chain stitch around the back of the neck which makes the collar pop.  If I had it to do again, I would shape the shoulders in two rows since it has set in sleeves.  This little mod would make the back hang better, I think.  Should have known, but just didn't think that hard about it  Even so, I do love it!

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The redcoat is coming

Finished knitting the collar today.  It's not hard, but the pattern is anything but clear.  What they want you to do is pick up stitches for the collar starting just inside the front border bands - in other words, begin with the right front where the neckline begins to curve, go across the back and then down the left front.  In the size I made, I began and ended about 10 stitches away from the edge of each front border band. 

When your stitches are all picked up, you'll work two rows of garter stitch, increasing 10 stitches across the second row.  Then, working in your double seed stitch pattern, increase two stitches at the beginning of every row, and work these new stitches into your double seed stitch pattern as you go.  You end up with a collar that looks like this. 

 You'll turn that collar edge toward the center to your front border bands like so, and stitch them in place.  This design gives the jacket a nice stand up collar in the back and less bulk at the front.

If I get the newsletter done before 11, I'll seam mine tonight.  Unfortunately, I think it's supposed to be something like 70 degrees tomorrow, so  I probably won't be wearing it until the weather gets back to normal for January. 

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January First Friday project nearly complete!

The back has been finished and ready to block for some time.

I have 8 more rows to do on the fronts then it'll be ready to bind off for the neckline

 Sleeves are ready for blocking.

Really looking forward to wearing this one. 
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Nadesheko shrug

Finished my Ribbed Shrug last night in the yummy new Noro, Nadesheko that's 40% angora.  I stayed up late to seam it and then give it a little bath because I was so anxious to see the angora bloom.  When you first put it in the water, it looks like a drowned rat, but when you squeeze it in a towel and pop it in a cool dryer for a while-oh my!  It is soooo nice.  It was still a little wet this morning, but I wore it anyway.  Gotta love the bunny.

I made the medium which is 140 stitches, but I cast on an extra two stitches so that each row begins and ends with knit 2 on the right side and purl 2 on the wrong side.  I also made it about 2" shorter in the 1x1 ribbing of the body section.  

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Paprika Saffron

 Saw this pattern by Kim Hargreaves in Winter Blooms and totally fell in love.  It would've been done months ago if I hadn't knit both sleeves at once WRONG and put it in time out for a while.  Anyway, it's been better, and I'm really happy with it.  Yeah!

The yarn is Rowan Lima, the softest, squishiest, yummiest fiber ever.  I made the size 36, lengthened the body by 2" and used about 9.5 skeins.  Other changes are that I did 4 rows seed stitch around the cuff instead of ribbing.  Same around the neck - did 4 rows seed stitch, then 3 rows reverse stockinette, binding off knitwise on the wrong side. 

We have Lima in lots of really good, wearable colors. 

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Lovely Lois

Lois was our November First Friday project.  As much as I love Kim Hargreaves' work, I am embarrassed to admit that this is the first of her designs I have ever actually knit.  I found this pattern to be very well written.  It is clear, complete, and accurate, and I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome.  Kim is a fan of Rowan yarns, and she knows how to design each one to its best advantage.  Lois is worked in Drift, a super chunky yarn is gloriously quick to knit, but can sometimes turn out garments that are challenging to wear well.  Kim's knowledge and expertise has given us a garment that looks great at this gauge and flatters a wide variety of bodies. 

I knit the middle size which indicated it was to fit a 36" bust, which is my bust measurement exactly.  You can see how it hangs on me here.

At the Leonardtown shop Friday and Saturday, we had a variety of women try on the coat, and you can see that it looks nice on each of them.  It's interesting that Lois looks great as part of a dressy outfit

as well as with the sporty jeans Jenny is wearing

These two beautiful ladies, Carol and Denise came by Saturday afternoon from the Uniquities knitting retreat over on Solomon's Island. See how nice the jacket looks from the front - but even more important,

 look how smart it looks from the back - see how those vertical lines give to enhance both ladies' graceful hourglass shape!  Very, very nice - and thank you both for being such good sports!

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