#38. Vacation Knitting Projects

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I just read a cute blog about packing knitting for vacation.  Seems I’m not alone in packing more projects than I could possibly complete.  There are multiple factors in over predicting what I can accomplish. Since I knew the place we were visiting had limited Wi-Fi access, I envied long days of knitting.  So I packed two pairs of socks and my Haiku shawl expecting that I would spend most of the three days knitting.

Instead, I spent much of the time in conversation with our hosts.  I’m definitely not complaining.  Our mornings were spent sipping coffee by the fire pit and talking.  Plus we did visit some local sites, had lunch after grocery shopping, and visited a local brewery.  In the evenings we played games.  

So even though Tom did do some of the driving, I didn’t get a lot of knitting done in our 5 day weekend even with no TV and limited Wi-Fi.  Oh well.  Better too much than not enough.  Still got to get those watermelon stripped socks done before Sara gets here!!

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#37. MORE Marker Usage

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Again, more tidbits on stitch marker use.  This is a shawl border of over 300 stitches.  It has a repeat pattern of 24 stitches which is made up of 2 12 stitch patterns.  HELP!!  Stitch markers to the rescue.

Sooo, each repeat is it’s own color.  Thank goodness I have so many colors of stitch markers.  LOVING those colored ring markers I got on Amazon.  Then I added a matching colored pin to the second marker ring to differentiate between the first half of the pattern and the second half.  In the picture above a gold ring marks the start of a new repeat.  The gold ring with a gold pin marks the second half of the repeat.  To the right you can see another repeat that used pink ring markers and a pink pin.

Course that’s not all on this pattern!!  It’s hard to see in the photo but I needed a different type of marker to identify the mid point of the shawl border.  I’m using a beautiful marker that my sister gave me for Christmas.  The big blue ring markers show where stitches are being added around the mid point and aren’t part of the 24 stitch repeats (which was causing major errors till I figured this out.😡)

 

#36. Fish Lips Kiss Heel and Stitch Marker Queen

As I’ve written in the past, I’m a BIG stitch marker user.  So even though the pattern doesn’t call for stitch markers, I use them anyway.

This is an example.  I love how easy the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern is.  But I like to put a stitch marker after EVERY twin stitch I make.  By using the same color, I can even easily see if I’m on the knit side or the purl side if I stop knitting before the heel is completed.  If there isn’t a matching set of markers, I’m on the purl side.

Yes, I should be able to recognize the twin stitch before I get to it so as to know where to make the next twin stitch.  But a marker makes it idiot proof.  I like big red flags!!20190731_111047

I’m happy to have found a system that works for me.  I find heels stressful enough so anything that makes knitting a heel easier is welcome.

#35. Weekly Knitting Friends

Maybe it’s a summer thing as roughly this time last year I wrote about being thankful for my LYS supporting a “knitting community”.  In addition I’m extremely thankful for the group of friends I’ve made that meet weekly.  We meet at the LYS on “odd” Fridays when the LYS hosts an open knitting session.  Then we meet at a local coffee shop that has graciously allowed us to be in their “spare” room on “even” Fridays.

Thus we get together weekly to knit and share.  It’s through this group that we decided to create a knitting plan for the year to help guide our projects rather than bounce from the latest idea to the next.  This helps my need for control. And helps guide yarn purchases.  We encourage each other as we try new patterns and techniques.  We even have plans to have mini-KALs if 2 or more want to knit the same thing.

We plan the occasional trip such as our girls weekend last December and our trip to the Knitters Pride warehouse sale.  We are already planning a trip to the Young’s Dairy Farm Wool Gathering in September.  I never took “girls” trips before meeting this group.

This group is a big reason that I struggle with living in Florida for months.  I will miss the friendship of our weekly sessions.  I appreciate that groups like this can be “time sensitive”.  Retirement might bring changes.  Employment is definitely bringing change for one.  Hopefully she will be able to join us during school breaks (we may have to throw in a Monday session for some holidays).

Last week we had the sad occasion to attend the viewing of a knitters husband who had died in an accident.  I know she was surprised but pleased to have her knitting friends recognize her grief.

Living means change so I know to appreciate this group for all the richness it has now.  I don’t know what the future will bring but I certainly can be thankful for what this group means time now.

#34. Clear Accessory Bags

 

20190623_211205I’ve posted previously on how I have started using clear plastic zippered bags as a way to store a projects worth of yarn together.  I usually try to have a project in mind when I buy yarn.  Thus I put the title page of a pattern and the yarn in a bag and it’s ready for when I start the project, even a year later.

Now I’ve moved to also using a clear bag for my accessories.  The ones I was using were either too small or poor quality and were starting to tear.  These are larger and better quality.  I like using clear bags so I can easily see if the item I need is in the bag and where it is.

I have two accessory bags as I use two quilted totes to carry my projects.  One of the totes is large enough to carry two or three small projects.  The other is good for a single large project like a sweater.

These clear bags are from Amazon and have colorful trim.  I still have 3 in pink and purple as backups.

#33. Warehouse Sale Road Trip

Four of us from my weekly knitting group got up super early, 5 AM, to drive to Columbus for Knit Picks warehouse sale.  We had early bird tickets so we got to go in at 8 AM.  Thank goodness we did!!  The best kits were gone by the time the general public got in at 9 am.  We also got a wonderful early bird goodie bag that contained needles that we had planned to buy for $10!!

Turns out the sale is not necessarily a yearly event.  It has been several years since the last one.  I will be better prepared with planned projects and desired yarn if I go again.  I already have too many projects with its yarn in my queue so I didn’t really plan to buy much.  But the prices were indeed amazing so I wish I had planned definitely.

Of course we had a nice brunch together before heading back home.  I had never done road trips with anyone but my husband before finding this knitting group.  Hopefully even as our lives change, we will find time for each other.  I certainly would never have made this trip for the sale if it wasn’t for the four of us going together.

 

#32. Blocking Wires

20190511_102000Blocking wires sure make blocking easier and better.  You feed the wire along long lines like the sides, bottom, and sleeves.  Pins are used to hold the wires straight and stretch the sweater.  But wires make a nice smooth edge instead of the scalloped edge you get when just using pins.

Wish I had known about wires when I first started making items that need blocking (I don’t block socks).  It’s hard to image what I would block with only pins??  I guess if I made decorative edges on a shawl or sweater instead of a smooth edge.

Again it’s my knitting group where I learn about better “gadgets”.  That’s where I learned about wires because one if friends had just bought a set to block a sweater.  I’m going to suggest sweater and shawl teachers include blocking in their classes.