IFO: Identified Finished Object – Ingenue

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Pattern: Ingenue from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard

Yarn: Alpaca With A Twist, Hawthorne Pink

Needle Size:  US 8; 5.0 mm

Yay, Ingenue is done! Imagine me doing a little victory dance right now, round and round. Well, what do you think? Do you like it, do you, do you? Okay. I will calm down now. Such a feeling of accomplishment, right? I would have shown you the back but since no one was around to help me with pictures (hence, the selfie). It looks exactly like the front, so you get the idea. This top-down raglan sweater by Wendy Bernard was so easy! I would highly recommend this project for any wanna-be, first-time sweater knitters out there. There are things I would have done differently with this project, (isn’t that always the case after you have finished something?!) such as lengthen the sleeves a tad bit and definitely the body of the sweater by about 4-6 inches. As long as I don’t bend over too much and get a cool breeze blowing down my bottoms, it’s okay. It’s wearable, and I have had several compliments already! There’s nothing like compliments to make a knitter girl like me one happy camper.

collageThe yarn was a pretty good choice. Alpaca With a Twist was a dream to work with, although it is a tad bit itchy to wear. When it starts getting colder, I plan on wearing something under it. The pattern was very easy to follow with only one error in it which was changing one word! So a little tip if you don’t already know, always check the errata on a pattern before beginning.

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The stitch pattern you see is a Ridge Stitch and is not hard to produce. It just consisted of rounds of knitting, P2tog, K1-f/b, and knitting and that is it. As you can see it was repeated on the sleeve cuffs and neckline. And speaking of the neckline, which was a first for me, it is done in this pattern then folded over in half to the WS and sewn to the top of the Yoke. So simple but with such a stunning effect.

DSCF7954Have a happy weekend!

xoxo Shannon

“the knitting circle”, books, and knitting podcasts

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I just finished this great book, “The Knitting Circle” by Ann Hood, and I wanted to share it with you. It is a very touching story about love, lost love,  knitting and its therapeutic benefits and friendships. This was a fast read and so enjoyable. I cried several times through it so consider that a fair warning; have hankies at the ready. It is so well written and gives you courage when you think you can’t put one foot in front of the other.

This is Ann Hood’s only knitting novel that I know of. Of course there is her fairly new book, “Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting” which I have also read and thoroughly enjoyed. Other books by her:

  1. Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine
  2. Waiting to Vanish
  3. Three Legged Horse
  4. Something Blue
  5. Places to Stay the Night
  6. The Properties of Water
  7. Ruby
  8. Do Not Go Gentle
  9. An Ornithologist’s Guide to Life: Stories
  10. An Italian Wife
  11. The Obituary Writer: A Novel
  12. The Red Thread: A Novel
  13. Comfort: A Journey Through Grief

Two of my favorite things: knitting and reading. How many of you listen to audio books? I haven’t gotten into this much yet, I still enjoy holding the actual thing and flipping the pages. Call me old fashioned, but it just seems more authentic and enjoyable. Of course, you can’t knit at the same time you are holding a book but then there is always finding a way to prop it up, right? I do love to listen to knitting podcasts while I knit (Stitcher is a great venue for this). Here is my list of favorites:

  1. Cast On by Brenda Dane (even though she has stopped recording new programs, her long list of archived shows are wonderful).
  2. Electric Sheep (Hoxton Handmade) (she also has seemingly ceased to record new shows, but again listen to her archives).
  3. imake by Martine, a Guernsey girl who talks about all of her craft exploits.
  4. Craft Lit by Heather Ordover – a great place to hear narration of classic novels as well as Heather talk about various subjects including knitting.
  5. Never Not Knitting by Alana Dakos who gives us her knitting updates, projects she is working on, tips, etc. as well as offering guest speakers from time to time.
  6. A Playful Day by a London girl, very enjoyable, lots of knitting talk and love that British accent!

Any other podcasts out there I should know about? Do let me know, I would appreciate it! Happy Tuesday!

xoxo Shannon

asheville

 

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DSCF7667 DSCF7668 DSCF7669 DSCF7670 DSCF7671Can you believe all of this came from one shop?! So much inspiration, so much color, almost too much to take in.

My husband and I recently went on a trip alone to Asheville, NC. I love. this. town. It’s beautiful for starters, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 2002 it was named the “Happiest City for Women” by Self magazine and in 2003 voted one of the “Best Places to Reinvent Your Life” by AARP. It is a hip, happening place with a vibrant downtown. Earth Guild is also based here, a great shop full of all kinds of craft supplies such as leather, roving, yarn, needles, yarn dye, etc. anything you could ever want to start making something! I also found the best little yarn shop called Purls Yarn Emporium. It might have been small but it was mighty with a great selection of yarn. I could have spent all day there and why I did not take any pictures to show you I don’t know! Of course I bought yarn at both places, see below:

Lanaloft was purchased at Earth Guild and is a worsted weight spun and dyed by Brown Sheep Company out of Mitchell, Nebraska. Colorway: Mulling Spice (a great color for fall, don’t you think?). Hand wash, lay flat to dry or dry clean. Net weight: 3.5 oz (100 grams), approx. 160 yards per skein; gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch; size 8 needle. I love any yarn made by Brown Sheep. Their yarn is always dependable with great colors and great quality.

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This Malabrigo sock yarn came from Purls. Can you believe this is all I bought from here?! It was very hard to exert self-control, but do it I did. Now if hubby had not come along, more damage might have been done. This loveliness is a kettle dyed pure super wash merino wool that is machine washable in cold water, dry flat;  approx. 440 yards, 3.5 oz with 8 stitches per inch; needle size, US 1-3.  Can’t wait to see what lovely socks this will produce!

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Evidence of the beauty.

I hope you have enjoyed my journey through a small part of North Carolina. If you want to see some beautiful fall color, now would be the time to do it. Take care, have a cup of tea for me and do a little knitting. You won’t be sorry.

xoxo Shannon

happy list

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348a56b5245d8e820f9b6a6c94a2f893Pom poms anyone? These lovely pictures from One Sheepish Girl inspire me to make some.  Meredith Crawford of One Sheepish Girl is currently in Bath, England posting Instagram and Pinterest pictures for the Mollie Makes magazine. How much fun she must be having!

Original Source: (Fruit pom pom – Mr. Printables; be sure to go here, some adorable ideas for pom poms!) Top two pictures: One Sheepish Girl

 

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Check out this food art, almost too pretty to eat! This baked raspberry meringue dish reminds me of little cloud pillows dusted with raspberry powder. Yummy!

Original Source: Food and Cook by trotamundos for recipe and more information on this beautiful dish.

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Loving this cardigan.  A lot of color, graphic southwestern design, bold prints. What a great design for a sweater!

Original Source: Nasty Gal, for more shots of this fantastic coat/cardigan.

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A little Jared Flood love? Such beautiful colors, patterning, and his yarn is to die for. I wish I could get the courage to tackle a color work project like this! Astas’ Grettir.

Original Source: Ravelry

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Is this and this amazing, or what? These “cameras” and “sewing bowl” are ceramic made by Katharine Morling! I am speechless.

Original Source: The Jealous Curator. You won’t believe what else she has done.

And last but not least, this D.I.Y.: ombre porcelain pots, brilliant!

Original Source: Carnets Parisiens for more pictures and instructions on how to make. I must warn you, it is in French, so you will have to translate unless you are fluent.

Hope all is well with all of you! Any weekend plans? Friday I go to my youngest son’s cross country meet, Saturday I will be making and selling donuts with my husband at a fall festival, and Sunday I will be going to church and hosting my church small group. We’re having ham and beans, want to come?

Other exciting news, I just got a part-time job at my local yarn shop. Yeah! I will be teaching classes, selling lots of yarn I hope and generally just having a grand time. This is something I have always wanted to do!

Have a good one!

xoxo Shannon

a new design process

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I am trying to come up with a spring/summer design, as you can see in the picture of my rough sketch. The first swatch I knit up was done in a 100% tanguis cotton by Mirasol (their Hapi line) which definitely gave it some texture and depth, maybe a little too much. I haven’t decided yet. The next yarn I want to try is a 100% mercerized cotton from Plymouth Yarn, their Covington line in a very pretty corally/peachy color.

The only item I have ever knitted using cotton was a dishcloth. So I kind of had this mindset of cotton? Really? I am finding out though, there are some really nice yarns out there, especially when they are blended with something else. Did you know there are different types of cotton?

For instance, tanguis cotton is a long staple cotton grown in the coastal valleys of Peru. It is best known for its softness and great absorption.

Now mercerized cotton (named after one British chemist, John Mercer) is made so by a process that produces a more lustrous product than its counterparts. This lustrousness remains even after washing and gives a very nice, extravagant appearance to the finished garment.

Soooo, it continues. But it is fun, this process of trial and error.

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Have a great weekend everyone!

xoxo Shannon

happy (knitting) list

It’s September and fall is almost upon us! So, you know what that means – get out your pointy sticks, your favorite wool yarn and let the winter knitting games begin! I love this time of year, don’t you?

0dbf8c9e9796813dfdf23aa04003446bStaying in the Brooklyn Tweed vein, here are some looks at Jared Flood’s latest designs. His work (and that of those he employs) is always timeless and classic with beautiful tweed yarns and cables all melded together into one outstanding design. This compilation of patterns does not disappoint with designs offered by Michele Wang, Julie Hoover, and of course, Jared Flood.

Original Source: You must peruse their Look Book here.

115e0e473b31c971ab0577ea8c833b93Ondawa” by Michele Wang. What a wondrous amalgam of patterns! I love her combination of interesting texture and silhouette. Fascinating!

Original Source: mishi2x

Ravelry page.

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Julie Hoover’s contribution, “Crosby” as seen 1. here (last picture on the right) and 2. here, looks so comfortable, I would be tempted to wear it every day. Again, the great combination of patterns and that tweedy charcoal color gives this sweater such a timeless appeal.

Original Source: Julie Hoover

Ravelry Page: Crosby

By the way, all of the above photos were taken by the multi-talented Jared Flood.

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Okay, moving on to Gudrun Johnston and this lovely example of color work in her Northdale pattern published in the Shetland Trader Book 2 yet to be released in October, 2014. This pullover was knit using Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft fingering 4-ply yarn from the bottom up. You can find out more about Gudrun and her designs on her website.

Original Source: Ravelry page (pre-order pattern here)

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Broome Pattern by Vanessa Putt. These large braided cables and colors are outstanding! This would definitely be a fast knit and such a satisfying project to take on as well. Would make a great Christmas gift, right? Hmmmm.

Original Source: Ravelry page

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Is she adorable or what? Not to mention the hat and sweater! Ooh, I am definitely getting in the mood for winter knitting!

Original Source: Tocotovintage

DSCF7554DSCF7559My own happy knitting, almost done! (Referenced here.)

Have a good one,

xoxo Shannon

weekly yarn feature

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How about a little Brooklyn Tweed “Loft” yarn. I thought a tweed was in order for the coming fall knitting season! This yarn is 100% targhee-columbia wool, a fingering weight grown and spun in the USA (I like this). At 275 yards a skein this lightweight fingering would be perfect for lacework, accessories, and garments as suggested by Brooklyn Tweed. It costs $14.50/skein and comes in 32 luscious colors.