2022: Wk of Mar 13 – 19; Yarn Road Trip and WIPs Update

YARN ROAD TRIP

What a fun day we had at Four Purls Yarn Shop in West Haven, Florida!!! Every yarn base and color of Emma’s yarn was stocked in addition to several other brands of yarn. I did manage to control myself and only bought one skein, 150g, of Hella Hank that I will use to knit a Ranunculus sweater.

10 Questions Colorway

I would have bought the Slubby Slub for the Ranunculus but they didn’t have enough of the colorway I loved (10 Questions). They had a store sample made with the Slubby Slub and it really looked great. What a unique yarn but it took 2 skeins to make the Ranuculus. We took a class on making bobbles and the Latvian braid. I’m looking forward to adding a Latvian braid to the top of my socks or the cuff on my sweaters/tops.

Bobbles and Braids

My friends certainly made the trip worthwhile for the store and bought a lot of yarn. For them it was quite the treat to be able to touch and see yarns in person versus having to buy yarn online. I forget how lucky I am to living in a city with many yarn stores. A new one just open and I’m looking foward to attending a knit night there.

BABY BLANKET

I have made a little progress on my neice’s baby blanket. It’s a nice mindless knit for watching soccer games or social knitting. This will be my car knitting (if I get any) for the drive back north. A “design element” was created by my mistakenly mismatching the yarn weight of the white yarn with the color yarn. I actually like how it brings the white stripes forward and slightly puckers the colored stripes. Baby blankets get all bunched up anyway so laying flat isn’t really a requirement.

BABY SWEATER TEST KNIT

I finished the sleeves. This weekly I’ll be attaching the sleeves and finishing the yoke. Almost done!! I like to knit sleeves 2 at a time so that I’m sure they match. This pattern sadly on one row of the pattern requires carrying over the last stitch of the backside to the front. This is impossible with magic loop 2 at a time. So I told the designer, Anne Hanssen, that it would be good to warn knitters that they can’t do 2 at a time until after they have completed the cuff pattern. That said, I did my typical “wing it” and didn’t do the carryover. Somehow I was 1 under on the stitch count anyway (lots of complaints of that row is poorly written). The pattern calls for slipping 2 stitches and then putting them over the next knitted stitch. I just slipped 1 and passed it over. It looks fine.

Test Knit Sleeves – 2 at a Time

Swirl E Rainbow Speckle Socks

I’m hoping to get these socks done the same time as I get the Baby Sweater done. They are a suprise gift for my step-daughter to be included when I mail her the baby sweater. I love the Swirl E pattern with this yarn. Fingers crossed I can get everything done so that I can mail the package by the 31st. Our days in Florida are coming to an end. I would really like to put them in the mail rather than pack them for the drive back to Ohio.

Swirl E Pattern with AlwaysBeKind Chirstmas Lights Yarn

Back to Ohio

I have really enjoyed wintering in Florida but I’m looking forward to returning to Ohio come April. It’s getting hot and more importantly humid here in Florida. I spend the winter sitting on our patio everyday. Now it’s getting too hot to sit outside. Hence I’m looking forward to once again sitting outside on our deck and knitting. My son has sent pictures of the outstanding job this contractor did on filling our former pool. I don’t have to dread looking out the window to see the concrete mistake of last summer. We now have a very large lawn that his dog is loving. We will be planting some fruit trees (sour cherry, pear??) when we get home.

Many of my Florida activities will be coming to an end anyway as all us snowbirds leave. I just can’t imagine living some place where more than half the population is only there for 3-4 months. The knitting group that went to the yarn store are year round residents so I’m optimistic the group will continue and I’ll be able to rejoin the group come December. Thanks to the “gifted” yarn, I plan to leave 3 tee projects plus a “walking sock” project in the condo we are renting next year rather than hauling the yarn back and forth. I have a vacuum sealed bag that I’ll store the yarn in. Hubby is happy I shouldn’t need to bring much yarn with me next year beyond WIPs I want to finish.

Another great week of retired life. Hope your days are going well too.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

#72 In Person Knitting!!

Well my knitting group finally bit the bullet and met in person after not seeing each other physically for the past 6 months! A LYS offered reserving their very large table area that normally seats 16+ knitters to be reserved for no more than 6 people. So the 5 of us were able to reserve it for our group. While we didn’t hug or even squish each others projects, it was nice to be able to see how beautiful everyone’s project is. The colors and details just don’t come through accurately on the computer.

We showed our appreciation by buying yarn and I bought the Cocoknits Sweater Workshop book and worksheets. I’m a visual learner so creating stitch charts is best for me. The LYS offered 20% off on books so is it my fault I couldn’t resist?? I’m looking forward to reading about the method and then applying it to the various sweater projects in my queue. Of course this week I’ve added 2 more sweaters to my queue for 2021. One will use yarn from my stash but after not finding summer weight yarn I wanted at the LYS, I ordered closeout yarn from WEBS when I came home. I mean really, no one is expected to resist a sweater quantity of yarn for $60 right!?

We capped off the afternoon with a two block walk down the town’s main street to visit a coffee shop for a latte treat. While not sunny, it was warm enough to sit outside so we could maintain safe socializing. Here in Cincinnati it is just about peak autumn leaves color. So a beautiful day both visually and emotionally.

PROJECT UPDATE

Finally!!! I finished the third pair of socks and mailed them off to Boston Friday. I included a note encouraging the recipients to let me know how then fit if they hope to receive a second pair. 🙂

I got a little knitting done on my daughter’s Christmas socks and I finished the sleeves on my Amrum sleeves. I even modified the sleeve a little by adding some of the front pattern to the end of the sleeve. I’m much happier with the sleeves since I tried it on repeatedly to confirm the fit. The sleeves on my sweater I made last winter are WAY too baggy as well as too long. I really should rip them out and reknit them. Being SHORT, I need to accept that patterns are going to have sleeves that are too long and I must plan on fewer rows and quicker decreases than the pattern calls for. I’m confident I can get both the Christmas socks and the sweater done by Thanksgiving. I only need a few more inches on the body of the sweater!! I’m already looking forward to casting on the next sweater!

#62 Figuring Out Skeins Needed

20200803_172003I am terrible at figuring out how much yarn I need.  When I knit my Eyelet to Eyelet top I ended up needing an extra skein (4th) and frantically contacted the dyer trying to track down another skein.  Fortunately she had one to send me.

I also ordered 3 skeins of another yarn intending to make another top.  But as I knit the top, I started worrying that I’d again need a fourth.  Fortunately one of the LYS in my area just received a shipment of this yarn and they had the same color and dye lot!!!   So I ran over and bought the fourth.  Well, turns out that 3 skeins were indeed plenty for the top.  So now I had 1 ball of yarn.  Ugh.  What to do.

I haven’t tried mixing different brands of yarn in the same project so I’m not comfortable with that.  I finally decided to go back to the LYS and get 2 more skeins so that I can make a top for myself with the yarn.  The original plan was to make myself a summer top with the Sand color yarn.  When my daughter liked that color, I decided to use it to make her top.  So I’m not unhappy about buying more for a top for me.  I do have cream colored yarn, Quinoa from Berroco, for a top but this yarn is more of a tan so they are different both in color and texture.  I am determined though that the top will be 3 skeins and will make whatever modifications necessary to ensure I don’t need a fourth.

#57. Circular Needle Holder

20200426_104926Over a year ago I saw a wall banner that could be made for hanging circular needles instead of curling the cords in a circle and stuffing them into the back pocket of my interchangeable needle case.  I have a lot of small needle circulars for knitting two at a time socks.  There are lots of cute cases out on Etsy but I really didn’t want to curl the cords during storage.

I have been hanging them over a light fixture with leftover yarn balls to try to keep kinks from developing in the cords.  But then I have to search through all of them to try to find the size needle I want.  The banner lets you sort the needles by size.

Thanks to making masks for corona virus, I finally got my sewing machine out.  So after all the masks were made, this morning I finally sewed the banner with Charlie Harper cardinal fabric I bought last year from Silk Road Textiles.  It is definitely not hard to basically sew one piece of fabric onto the other.  I used plain black fabric as the border piece made into a rectangle slightly larger than the rectangle of the cardinal fabric.  I did put iron on interface on the back of the cardinal fabric to give it some rigidity.  Then I sewed through the fabrics 2″ apart to create pockets for the needles to be threaded thru.  I put all my size 1 circulars in the top pocket, size 1 1 /2 in the second, etc.  I didn’t even realize I had circulars from size 1 to size 6, although with different cord lengths.  I ended up needing to put iron on interface on the bottom back of the border so the banner wouldn’t fold in on itself.

I’m happy with how the banner looks and especially happy to have my needles organized by size so I can quickly find the needle I need.  I picked Charlie Harper fabric because he is a famous Cincinnati artist.  His style of animal drawing is very distinct and fits my more abstract preference.  Someday I may have my friend Sandy embroidered the needle sizes on the border.  I’ll wait a bit to be sure I don’t need to change/add sizes.  The advantage of a homemade banner is that I can easily rip out and make changes!😁

#49 Finding New LYSs

IMG_2651Is there anything more fun than visiting new yarn stores???  I personally detest shopping for clothes, shoes, etc.  But shopping for yarn… what’s not to like!!  There is no trying on and having to look at those extra pounds.

So I am thankful that despite southern Florida’s heat, there is a yarn store in Naples, Castle Creek Fiber Studio, and a yarn store in Fort Meyer, Hooked On Ewe.  The Naples store is a 25 minute drive; the Fort Meyer store is a 45 minute drive.  I go weekly to the knit night the Naples store.   I don’t expect to visit the Fort Meyer store often since it’s pretty far away.  I met a Cincinnati knitting friend who is snowbirding in Fort Meyer there before grabbing lunch.

I did see a yarn that I now feel I really need to get. 😆  So in 3 weeks when we take our Cincinnati friends that are spending Feb with us back to the Punta Gorda airport, I’m going to make Tom stop so I can buy the yarn to make a summer top.  Gee, one more project to add to my 2021 project plan.😜. My friend is already making the top on display so I feel like I have someone that might help me with questions.

South Florida has turned out to be good for this northern knitter.  I’m enjoying the opportunities these LYSs are providing.

#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.