My Favorite Color is Rainbow

Hello Everyone!

Since I finished my Feathernest Raglan sweater last week I started work on a new shawl. Which, by the way, I am almost done with.  It is the Willington Simple Raglan Shawl by Tian Connaughton.  It is a fantastically simple shawl, perfect for tv knitting or for me, knitting after I have just finished something very intensive.  You just increase every other row until you get to a certain number of stitches on your needles and then do a simple edging, which is what I am right in the middle of.  I am knitting this shawl in Malabrigo Rios in the colorway Arco Iris.  I cannot tell you exactly what color it is as the color is rainbow.  It is GORGEOUS!  So many different colors, all the color of the rainbow dyed in the vivid color saturation that only Malabrigo can do.  I don’t even see actual colors in this yarn like green or red, I see grass, sunset, sunrise, box of crayons. BRIGHT, VIVID purples, pinks and oranges. I see autumn leaves.  This shawl is going to be a favorite I just know it. So may colors.  You can see a picture of the gorgeous colors here on my Instagram

As this shawl is almost done, I will probably end up blocking it next weekend and have proper pictures for you then, along with my Feathernest Raglan sweater.  I have had a busy weekend so next weekend will have to be a blocking party.  I hope I have enough room to block them both.

Ok, I must go and finish this shawl.

Happy knitting everyone.

-Alexis

 

Various and Sundry

Hello All!

Happy Sunday, I think I have had a very productive weekend so far.  Just today, I got a run in.  We have some lakes in our neighborhood and I love when I run to see ducks in peoples front yards. Its so cute and charming.  I also baked some strawberry muffins.  I had some strawberries left over from Easter brunch so I thought muffins would be perfect.  I also got some gardening done.

I am really liking the fact that after renting for so long I can do thing with this house to really make it ours.  The hubs and I both have races coming up in the next few weeks so we are putting off a lot of our fixing up until those are over.  Then we will be painting and planting and who knows what else.

My gardening today consisted of cutting a few dead branches of bushes off and taking out some plants that didn’t make through the winter.  I’m also not exactly of fan of a lot of prairie grass as landscaping.  I think I will put roses there later.  There, I said it. The grass did look a little dead, but really I’m not a fan of big tall stalks of grass as bushes and decoration in flower beds. Sorry to those who are.

As for knitting, since this is a knitting blog. This morning I finished #2 of 3 special knitting projects.  They are quick knits.  I will tell you that I am knitting them for one of the classes I teach. We are doing a summer knitting workshop so this special project is very well suited towards beginner knitters and a great summer project.  I will revel all after the workshop in May.

I really like teaching.  I teach once a month at 2 different libraries in town.  These classes a apart of their adult ed program so they are in the evening and most of the times when I teach I am tired from a long day of work and really just want to go home. But a soon as I start teaching I get this energy.  Its a great feeling helping these people learn to knit and really sharing my passion.  Wow that sounds corny but it is true. I love knitting and when I see someone’s eyes light up because they are learning a new stitch or how to knit for the first time it really makes me feel good.  I always end up leaving class with just a little more energy.

Well, that is all I have for you today.

I have a race next week and the weekend after so not sure if I will get to chat but look for me on twitter @knittingbf and I’m sure you will find me, I will try to post often.

Happy knitting.

-Alexis

Progress

Hello Everyone!

I am making progress on my Thyri Pullover.  You can see my progress on my Instagram page. this latest picture was taken on Thursday.  I am working on the first sleeve now. I decided to add the green to the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater and will put it on the ribbing on sleeves.  I have just enough red yarn for two sweaters, but I needed to get creative and add that extra color just in case.  I like to color contrast. I think it really pops!

Earlier in the week I signed up for my second 5K this spring.  So I got motivated and realized I had to start training.  I am running 3 times a week and while I run I have been listening to knitting Podcasts. I love it.  I love to run, but listening to the podcasts is a nice distraction from hills and out of breath and wind and when I go to the gym, the boringness (is that word) of the treadmill.  I’m catching up with Brenda Dayne and Cast On now.  I love her. She has such calm voice and seems to research and really go into the details of her knitting, the yarn and the artist behind the guests she has on.  I also love her stories of West Wales and the village she lives in.

Ok, well, with the Thyri Pullover and running that is really all I have to report.

I will talk to you all soon and stay tuned to my Twitter @knittingbf and Instagram for progress pics. I will try to update regularly.

I will talk to you all soon and happy knitting.

 

Selfish Knitting Rampage!

Hello Everyone!

Well, the Christmas knitting is over!  I knit 2 Good Medicine Cowls for my cousins which they LOVED!!!  The Christmas lights were finished about a week before Christmas and made a lovely festive addition to the mantel and Christmas decor.  Since the Christmas knitting has finished I have been on a selfish knitting rampage, I will have a nice little gallery of my knitting for you below.  I started with the Mock Cable socks from Socks From The Toe Up book by Wendy D. Johnson.  I knit these in Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes in the colorway Bordello, a sexy red.  I thought the name was so me. I got the yarn a few years ago when I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool.  I then decided I needed to do something with my Noro, so I knit another pair of Waiting for Winter Socks by Susan B. Anderson, I love her patterns and her blog. I think I used Noro Kureyon.  I threw the band away. But look below, aren’t  they pretty?  and very warm. My husband was nice enough to be the and model for me in this photo shoot.  Do you see a pattern of small knitting?  Next I knit the Welted Toque by Melissa LaBarre as featured in Weekend Hats, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre.  I knit this with Cascade Yarns Heritage 150.  Its a sock weight yarn but its a thick sock weight and I just made it work for size 5 needles. I finished this hat on New Year’s eve and just got around to blocking it today.  I will photograph and share with you all later.

Whew! I was really knitting the last few weeks of 2014. Well, now, I guess I have slowed down a little.  I have gone from small projects to big.  Yesterday, I cast on a sweater.  The Thyri Pullover by Hilary Smith Callis to be exact. This pattern is featured in the Winter 2014 issue of Knitscene. Its actually the sweater on the cover.  It looks so comfy!  The sweater is knit top down and I am still on the yoke.  I am knitting this out of Shelridge Farm Soft Touch DKW yarn. Again, purchased a few years ago at Maryland Sheep and Wool.  I am knitting is out of the colorway Cardinal.  A bright red the color of its namesake, the Cardinal.  As I look at my sweater chest I needs more sweaters so I am concentrating on building up my collection. More pullovers and cardigans.

I hope you enjoy the lovely gallery of my knitting adventures these past few weeks.  Its also an effort to work down my stash.

I will talk to you all soon.

-Alexis

Waiting for Winter Mitts
Waiting for Winter Mitts
Mock Cable Socks
Mock Cable Socks
Good Medicine Cowl
Good Medicine Cowl
Christmas Lights
Christmas Lights

Special Project Accomplished

Hello everyone!

Well, as I mentioned last time we talked I was working on a special project that I wasn’t ready to tell you about yet.  Well, the special project is now finished.

I think I have mentioned before that teach knitting at the library twice a month.  A few months ago, one of the libraries I teach at asked if I would be willing to do a knitting workshop for the holidays.  I was honored and agreed. As many of my students are beginners I decided to go with a wash cloth, something easy they could get started in the workshop and confidently finish in their own time. And a wash cloth is something they can keep for themselves or give away as a holiday gift. I had 6 students show up to my class, 3 had never knit before. The 3 beginners caught on beautifully and I’m excited to see how their washcloth is going.  The other 3 students are regulars in my class and were very helpful to the beginners.  That is what I love about knitting. I have never met a mean knitter or a knitter who was unwilling to help another knitter learn.  I have also seen 2 of the students i class and their progress and I am thrilled!  I love teaching. It makes me feel so good that I am helping other people learn and get excited about something I love.

Some examples of my wash cloths while they were blocking.
Some examples of my wash cloths while they were blocking.

Now that my special project is over and the holiday’s are quickly approaching. I am busily working on my holiday gift knitting. I won’t mention what I am working on  but I really do hope to get it done by Christmas this time.

I also wanted to show you something else this quite special. I forgot to tell you that when I was in Colorado I went the LYS there, Tangle on Main Street in Grand Junction, Colorado. They are a combo yarn store and fabric store and everyone is so nice.  I of course had to restrain myself but I couldn’t help purchasing a few skeins. One Skein, the bright pink is from Bludamsel Fiber Works and is handspun in the Grand Junction area.  I’m not sure if she has an Etsy store or not, but I am excited to turn this yarn into something fabulous. The green and grey skeins are from Luna Grey Fiber Arts, click for their Etsy shop and are hand dyed in Grand Junction. Again, so excited to knit these into something. They are each 400 yards fingering weight so that should be easy finding something perfect.

Colorado Yarn.
Colorado Yarn.

Also at the Wine festival there was a booth from Shooting Star Ranch Alpacas. An Alpaca ranch in Palisade, Colorado. I had to buy a few skeins.  (the white one in the picture) My aunt sent me a few skeins for Christmas one year and they are not my favorite mittens.

Ok, that is all for today.  Its supposed to snow so I am going to get a new cup of coffee and watch it come down.

Summertime……

And the livin’s easy…..

Hello Everyone!

Here it is the middle of summer, and I hope you are all enjoying it.  I am. Honestly, I have been spending my weekend in our pool.  A small inflatable pool we bought the just perfectly fits the two of us or me while I quietly read a book in the sunshine. Cant beat that.

There has been times that A/C has been wonderful and yes, knitting has gotten done in those times. Last weekend (4th of July weekend) The hubs and I went hiking in the Oklahoma panhandle. Yes, at the very tip of the panhandle on the borders of New Mexico and Colorado are some mountains, and intact Black Mesa, which is the highest point in Oklahoma.  It was a wonderful road trip, we stayed in New Mexico, explored, hiked and had a wonderful time.  On this long road trip to and fro, I did even get some knitting done.  I got 6 hexi-puffs done. I have over 100 now.  Here is just a sample of one of the hexi-puffs I finished.

I think in my last blog I mentioned I finished my Miami Beach Shawl.  It came out beautiful.  The pink is so perfect and vibrant.  It may be a few months before I wear it but I am excited.

Miami Beach Shawl

Right now I am working on the Tappen Zee Cardigan by Amy King.  Its a great short sleeve cardigan that buttons above the empire line and simple diamond lace design at the yoke. I just finished the lace portion and am on the second half of the cardigan now.  I am knitting it Mama Zooma Nanoo Handknits Handdyed yarn.  It is a DK weight 100% Superwash Merion Weight Wool and hand dyed in the colorway “Breaking Midnight”  It is a beautiful dark blue yarn with color variations of light blue. You can find the website for MamaZoom yarn here.  I bought the yarn a few years ago at CampKIP and have been waiting to use it. It is perfect for this sweater. There are color variations but just not to much to take away from the lace pattern.

I must say, I really like the Tappen Zee pattern in general but for as simple as the diamond lace pattern is, I sure was having a hard time with it.  I don’t know why, its a simple pattern, but man,if there was something good on tv and I was’t paying enough attention, I would have to start that row all over again. I had to do this several times.  It was so frustrating.  I have tackled much more complicated lace patterns and it was fine. This for some reason was difficult. I don’t get it. Oh well, I got through it. That is all that matters really.

Well everyone, enjoy the second half of your summer!  I will talk to all again soon.

-Alexis

Show and Tell

Hello Everyone!

Happy Sunday, I hope you all are taking it easy like I am and recharging for another week. I have been busy knitting as always. And acquiring wonderful new knitting gadgets of which I will show you.  I finished my Linum Tee by Bristol Ivy. It is beautiful and I can’t wait to wear it.  But Oklahoma in late June just really isn’t a good time to wear wool, so maybe in a few months.  Its really just a simple cap sleeve tee with a beautiful Fisherman stitch detail at the collar.  I love it.

Linum Tee

As I am a monogamous knitter, I began thinking of my next knitting project well before finishing this one.  I have a very large stash of yarn, and a lot of worsted weight so I did what any knitter would do. I went on Ravely and found some amazing worsted weight patterns.  I think I printed off like 5. The first one, the one I am working on now is from Cascade Yarns and designed by Vera Sanon,  It is the Ultra Pima  – The Miama Beach Shawl, I thought this would be perfect as it calls for 2 skeins of Cascade Ultra Pima and I just happened to have 2 skeins of Cascade Ultra Pima, if a bright vivid pink.  The perfect color for Miami in my opinion.  I am done with the lace pattern and working on the short rows so I hope to have it done soon.

Oh, my toys, I thought it was finally time to buy some sock blockers, and I went nowhere else but The Loopy Ewe, they have beautiful wooden sock blockers!  I had to order a pair. Just remember, the price of the sock blockers is for 1! Not 1 pair, 1!  So if you want a pair, order 2!  I forgot that little detail and had to order a second blocker and more yarn. I need to justify the shipping.  I love this store and their yarn selections, I ordered some Lorna’s Laces, Manos del Uruguay, and some hand dyed yarn from their own collection.  So pretty!  If I am ever in Fort Collins, CO, I will make it a point to check out their store.  You really must check out their website.  https://www.theloopyewe.com

The Loopy Ewe Sock Blockers

Ok, that is all I have for now, must get back to work on my laundry and dinner so I can work on my shawl more.

I will talk to you all soon and have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday!

-Alexis

Girl Meets Grill

Hello everyone!

Yes, I know, not a knitting related title, but I just came in from grilling outside. I’m not a big griller, I leave that more for my husband since he enjoys it so much but I think I really enjoy it also.  It smells so good and the taste of the char on your meat and veggies is delicious!

Anyway, back to knitting, Hubs and I went on a road trip to Austin over Memorial Day weekend (last weekend) so I got some great progress done on my Diamond Gansey Socks and was able to finish them last week, and isn’t it just a great time of year for hand knit socks.  Diamond Gansey Socks

Yea, I don’t think I will need to wear them for a few more months, but they are done and I love them.  The past few days I was working on hexi-puffs for my Bee Keepers Quilt, I have over 100 done now.  Yay!  Yesterday, I started a new project, the “Linum Tee “by Bristol Ivy as featured in the Summer 2014 issue of KnitScene, I love that magazine, its full of stylish perfect designs for every season and for every stage of knitter, from beginning to advanced. This tee, as it is featured in knit in a linen yarn, perfect for summer, however, I went stash diving and don’t have any linen yarn so I am using wool.  It is a light airy tee, so hopefully on some cool nights I will be able to wear it this summer, if not, I can wait until fall.      The tee is knit from the bottom up and starts with a K1b, purl rib.  I have never done K1b before or heard of it.  So after doing what I thought it was, then watching YouTube, I may have done it wrong.  So I may have to take it out and do it again.  I will keep you posted.  Oh, the yarn I am using is Sun Valley Fibers 100% Superwash Merino in Fingering weight in  the color way Kent.  It is light cloudy day blue.  I love it.  I does remind me of those storm clouds you see in the summer that you know are going to bring some wonderful thunder and a much needed downpour of rain.  Perfect for summer.

Oh, while we were in Austin we of course had to go to Hill Country Weavers and I picked up some Manos Del Uruguay Yarn.  It was Manos day, off all the yarn I looked at, I went home with Manos.  Two skeins of Maxima (Worsted weight) in a calm “Sand” color way that the wonderful girls at the shop helped me with and even gave me a free pattern for.  I also couldn’t resist a skein of Manos  Alegria (Fingering Weight) in the color way “Locura Fluo” a BRIGHT multi colored skein that screamed “TAKE ME HOME!!!!!!!” I swear, this skein would NOT let me leave without it. I tried and it wasn’t going to happen.  I don’t know what I am going to do with it.  Probably a shawl or scarf. Something prominent. It it much to bright be hidden as socks. It must be shown.

TAKE ME HOME!!!!!
TAKE ME HOME!!!!! It said.

That’s all for now folks.  I will talk to you all again soon.  Happy Knitting.

-Alexis

 

Done and Done!

Hello everyone,

Really quick I wanted to post my finished projects for you.  First the Minty Bailey’s Irish Cream cardigan.  I finished it last night and sewed the buttons about an hour ago.   The buttons I also purchased at Maryland Sheep & Wool 2013.  The are hand-made porcelain buttons by Melissa Jean www.melissajean.net for more information, her buttons and patterns are beautiful and I think the buttons I got are perfect for my sweater.

Minty Bailey's Irish Cream Cardigan
Minty Bailey’s Irish Cream Cardigan

Second, I also finished the McMilne Shawl made from my Brooks Farm Yarn in Willow. It is gorgeous,  I can’t wait to wear it. It was also so easy and quick to knit.  I recommend it to anyone.

McMilne Shawl
McMilne Shawl

I also finished one of my Diamond Gansey socks and will start the other one soon.  As the weather is rapidly getting warmer, it may be awhile before I wear them, but you can never have too many hand knit socks.

Ok, that is all I have for today. I will talk to you all soon.  Happy Knitting.

-Alexis