#42. Brioche #@$!&

IMG_20191108_130433_728I love this shawl now but I sure cursed it while knitting it!!!  The Haiku shaw is NOT a good first brioche project.  Brioche is really not that hard but it really took a long time for me to “get it”.  Now I can recognize knits and purls.  Increases and decreases were killer for me to tink.  I would have to have the teacher tink when I found a mistake.  I will knit brioche again as I do love the way it looks but it took me 7 months to get this shawl finished!!  Brioche does require concentration … at least this pattern does on the border!!

#41. Vogue Live Columbus


Went to my first (last?) Vogue Live knitting convention.  There was one in Columbus so it was very close.  They have about three a year and usually in big cities like New York and San Francisco.  We made a girls weekend out of it.  Four of us came back on Saturday evening while two others stayed till Sunday morning.

I took 2 classes.  Many others took 3 classes.  Most everyone enjoyed their classes and felt they were worth the $90 cost for 3 hours.  I took a class from “knitting rock star” Party Lyons about adjusting patterns to fit your gauge rather than trying to find the right needle to make guage.  I basically did this when I made Sara’s shellseeker sweater because I used a smaller weight yarn than the pattern called for.  So the class really didn’t teach me much.  Plus I’m not intimated by basic math.  But the ergonomics class had lots of good suggestions.  Others who took a knitting technique class were satisfied.  The marketplace was okay but I actually liked the Yellow Springs Wool Gathering back in September better, and it was free.

So it was a fun girls weekend.  It cost about $300. I’m not anxious to do it again but once in a while is fun.  I ended up buying two sweater projects so that was another $200.  One I will be a KAL with Kim and the other will be a KAL with Colleen and Lise.  Now I need to focus on knitting all the yarn I have and stop buying new yarn!!!

#40 Yellow Springs Wool Gathering

20190922_08414720190923_130201I attended my first Yellow Springs Wool Gathering with some knitting friends Saturday.  There were 6 of us that made the 1 hr trip.  It was two huge tents filled with booths.  Some were yarn shops that brought their wears.  Some were indie yarn dyers.  Some were indie yarn spinners.

I was on a quest to find Christmasy yarn for a pair of socks.  Sadly no one had any although two yarn dyers said they would soon.  I got the business card from one, Redbird Yarn Studio, so that I can order her Christmas yarn once she makes it.  Her colors are so vibrant!!  I couldn’t resist her fall Harvest skein.  Her skeins make self striping socks.  I’m already making a fall striped sock but it’s acrylic and nylon.  I’m looking forward to making a pair with the Redbird wool and nylon yarn.

I was also looking for some cute yarn bobbins.  Colleen taught us a way to make yarn bobbins for our argyl socks but a) I still need a way to distinguish between the two bobbins of main color and b) the bobbins seem to pull out if I drop them off my lap/table.  I wanted to try to see if yarn bobbins would help keep the yarn short.  I didn’t find much on etsy or yarn websites like webs or knitpicks.  I was tickled to find cute sheep bobbins in different colors at one booth.  Teresa, Ruth, and I bought different colors so we could exchange.

So my first wool gathering was a success.  I found beautiful yarn for a pair of socks as well as a contact to get vibrant colored Christmas sock yarn.  And I got some reasonable priced and cute yarn bobbins.  It was fun to go with a group.  Not sure I feel it’s a “have to go” trip but I would go next year as part of a group.  I’m probably less excited because of the big yarn show that will be in Columbus for Vogue Live Knitting the first weekend in November.  That’s a “once in a life time” event in Ohio so next year the Wool Gathering will be the only yarn event.



#39 Knit Companion

There is an app, Knit Companion, that is pretty handy for “storing” patterns.  The app lets you have a highlighter line for the line you are knitting which is easy to move down the pattern as you knit each line.  No more physically moving highlighter tape on your paper pattern.

It’s particularly helpful in two color knitting such as brioche because you can highlight the pattern lines in two colors to go with the two colors you are knitting in.  This is a helpful reminder to me which color I’m supposed to be using!!

It also lets you make notes on the pattern which is helpful to keep track of what you did as well as for future reference to help avoid making the same mistakes again.  (I also do this on my project page in Ravelry – and have gotten compliments on my good notes).

From knitting friends that use KC, I know it has many more features that I need to explore.  It has counters so I could stop using my counters that I put on the cable or my wrist abacus counter.  There are good tutorials that I need to watch so that I can get all the benefits of the app.  At $10 a year, I think it is quite a bargain.

The only negative to using the Knit Companion app is that my Kindle needs to be charged.  If the battery is low, then I can’t access my pattern.  This is why I always like to have a paper pattern as backup.  I have also had problems with the “project” suddenly no longer being able to open.  So now I’ve lost access to all my notes and where I am on the pattern.  I haven’t figured out how to save to DropBox which was KCs suggestion to my problem.  Also, now I have a new Kindle so the KC app says I’m not subscribed!!  I don’t want to buy a second subscription!!  In the short term, I’m going to have to use my old kindle as my knitting kindle so I can use the Knit Companion app.

#38. Vacation Knitting Projects


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!!

#37. MORE Marker Usage


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.