28 February 2013

What would the knitwits do? A post by guest blogger Kelly Lightbeam

What would you do if you had a very special skein of yarn that refused to be knit into anything???

I have tried the Ginkgo shawlette, Balm for the Soul shawlette, and the Holden shawlette.  I have ripped this out so many times...I have *almost* completed the Holden shawlette, but I don't love it. 

Would you rip out a perfectly good knit?  I am thinking I would try the Swallowtail shawl next, but am hesitant to frog this sucker, since I worked so hard on it.  Also, I hate knitting for nothing. 

The problem with this skein is that it is small, 360 yards, but it goes a lot farther than you'd think it would, since the yarn is Handmaiden silk and cashmere, and is knit on smaller needles to keep the stitches from flopping around.  After knitting the Holden shawlette, I still have half a ball of yarn!  Another problem with this yarn is that I bought it on vacation, paid a lot of money for it and it has the sweetest memories attached to it, and I cannot bring myself to give it away.  Le sigh, if my biggest problem in life is that I have an uncooperative ball of yarn, things can't be too bad, but I'd love some advice!

26 February 2013

Loving it ~ by guest blogger Heather

I know I just added my update, but I wanted to show my Leaves of Grass again. I am halfway around the edging. It is gorgeous. As it begins to come off the circular needles I am amazed by its beauty. Only a bit more to do and then it will be finished. Thank you to everyone who has knit with this KAL and those cheering from the sides.

Chart D repeat- Do I need it? - by guest blogger Leanne

I am finally FINALLY finally at the end of my first Chart D. I feel like this is big. Like, getting heavy on my lap, kind of big. I'm working with heavier yarn than most and size 7 needles.

It's squished on those circulars so hard to tell how big it is.
I don't think I need that second Chart D.
Plus, I'm ready to be done.

What are your thoughts? Should I go to E???


24 February 2013

Honoring Hope ~ By guest blogger Kelly Lightbeam

I have always known that the Universe gives you what you really need, exactly when you need it. So it comes as no surprise that I recently found a wonderful blog, Honoring Hope. In fact, I loved it so much that I named my comfort knit after it. I am gifting it to my Aunt this week, for her birthday. I hope it serves its purpose for her as well as it has for me.

Honoring Hope:  Ginkgo Shawlette in Be Sweet Bamboo.  The cup is just there because I love it.

Bittersweet:  Leaves of Grass in Jaggerspun wool & silk
Now that my hiatus is over, it's time to get back to my Leaves of Grass! I'm so excited to tackle the second repeat of Chart D, and then begin the edging. Right now, it's sort of disheartening to see my knit all jumbled up on a cable, it reminds me a bit of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, with crumpled wings that need to stretch before they soar. It will be awhile before I post again, but in the meantime here is my LoG, titled Bittersweet. More photos of both knits on my Ravelry Page.

Love to all, Kelly Lightbeam

A Workshop Day! Yeah! ~post by Kelli

An all day play date for Melissa and I, we spent learning and creating~ How fortunate we are to have Sivia Harding teach us, a thank you to Sarah Parker the shop owner of WildFibers, in Mount Vernon Washington. The day 10:00-5:00 flew by as our minds were searching and configurating lace options for our own designs. I wish I could do these workshops more often. I get to stay focused and push myself. We learned new ways about creating as we go. Sivia is so encouraging and positive, she expressed with joy over every womens design the uniquness each one brought. So stay tuned to see what new patterns could arise~

Rounding the Bend ~ guest blogger Heather

After a brief hiatus, I picked up my Leaves of Grass blanket again a little over two weeks ago. I had stopped on Chart C when I discovered I still was on my first skein of yarn. It was disheartening. How could I be knitting so much and still not even be onto my second skein! A few pairs of mittens and a hat later I had renewed energy. I have been furiously knitting on my blanket, and last night I finished Chart D. I am now on the edging, and it is flying along. I won't make any claims, but I really hope to finish it this week. I am eager to see it off the circular needles in all its glory. I am not sure I can block it until we get home, but at least it will be done! (we are living in VA for six weeks, so I won't be back home until mid-March).

17 February 2013

it's a shawl after all, y'all ~ posted by Melissa

Dozer, Jason and I headed down to Mukilteo Lighthouse Beach this morning and hung out with the pigeons and a few people that were brave enough to venture out in the very chilly, rainy weather.

We were on a mission to get some photos of my new shawl ;) ~ yup, I'm not sure it will ever grace my table top.  I'm enamored.

I'm so glad I did take out one chart D section ~ it did make all the difference in my feeling comfortable wearing it.

And I'm glad I decided to add beads to the edging ~ I can't describe how that little bit of extra weight around the outer edge makes it lie just a little bit better.

I love my new shawl ~ you can see loads more photos here if you'd like.  Those of you that know me also know that I always get carried away with pictures when I really, truly love a finished knit.  Thanks everyone for knitting along with us this year.  I sure enjoyed all the new company and eagerly await the other 8 or so finished shawls as they appear!  Can't wait to see them all!  ~ Melissa

16 February 2013

sneak peek ~ posted by Melissa

the pictures don't do it justice ~ the color is wrong and the stitches are so hard to see on this incredibly rainy and gray day but I was excited to share
my leaves of grass is finished!  I put my foot in the bottom picture so you can see how enormous it still is (the shawl, not my foot!), even with only knitting chart D one time ~ and now there's proof that yes, indeed, I have knit myself one pair of socks (or proof that I own one sock but you'll have to trust me that it has a mate!)
I had one moment of panic when I realized that there was a missing bead (!!!) but ten worrisome (creative!) minutes later, a bead was placed & all was well (I dare anyone to find which one it is ~ I wanted to show my husband but I even had a hard time finding it!)
better photos to come when we get some brighter light and it's not laying on my mattress :)
~ happy weekend!  Melissa

14 February 2013

What A Day!!!~ A post from Kelli

OH BOY did I have a check that one off the bucket list day~ meeting and talking with Jared Flood, we're like pals,he is a easy to talk with, smiley, listens and answers questions, along with being talented he's a pleasent and gracious man. My friend Sherry and I drove 2 hours down to Tacoma Washington where the yearly Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat show/classes are held. Sherry wore her Juneberry and I wore my Leaves of Grass which Jared asked about. I told him about this blog and the knit-a-long. He hung on every word, I told him my Bridgewater story and Sherry told him about the Christmas exchange party where she tried to hold on to his PEI pattern/Loft yarn gift(from Morgen)by licking the pattern and sitting on it. Which was stold the next turn. We got him laughing. It was a great day. Yes I did walk away with some Shelter, handspun yarns and a couple of patterns I can't wait to start. I could have sat all day people watching the fine knitted garments walk by. The day went by too fast. Not sure I need to go next year but I'm glad I did this year. Happy Valentine's Day~ Kelli

feelin' the love & snail mail ~ posted by Melissa

Happy Valentine's Day!  As someone who really dislikes technology (I still own a 'flip phone', don't text and am not a member of Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media venues that seem to pop up on a daily basis), you can imagine how excited I get when I open the mailbox and it's full of unexpected surprises!  This week Kelli sent me a package that contained a very sweet valentine card and a cookbook that I can't wait to start using, I got a homemade valentine from my favorite 3 year old to his 'Auntie Lis', and Andee sent me a giant envelope (hehe!) that contained yarn swatches from Miss Babs, Tess' Designer Yarns and a yummy little bundle of her Leaves of Grass yarn from Beaverslide (Andee ~ I think I may be ordering some of that yarn for sure!). 
The flowers are from my husband (awwww) and the purple table covering (which as you can see could use a fresh blocking) is the only other circular shawl that I have made.  I panicked just as with Leaves, and knew that I would never wear this thing so it too got downsized and became home decor instead of a wardrobe accessory.  (You can see my project on Rav here ~ and what it looks like when it's freshly blocked).  I've completed 3/4 of the edging on Leaves, so hopefully in a week I'll have some finished photos to share.
Until then, I hope you're enjoying this day with someone special.  I can't wait til my husband gets home from work ~ I think he'll love the little gifts he's getting (handmade truffles from our local sweet shop Mukilteo Chocolate Company and tickets to see the Jet City Roller Derby in March).  Thanks to everyone that made this week a little extra special!  ~ Melissa

08 February 2013

Hitting My Stride - guest blogger Leanne

Well, a funny thing happens when you near the end of Chart C....You can't put this thing down!!!!!!

I will officially blame my sore shoulder, back knot and tired eyes to this glorious knit.

Chart D here I come!!!!!!!!!

Phone picture taken by my 8 year old

Hope everyone is safe and warm if you are in the path of this storm.
Nemo? Really???? Just keep swimming.....


homestretch ~ posted by Melissa

Hello, everyone!  Seems like it's been awhile, but life has been busy so this is the first chance I've had to show you how the knitting has been going.  While I pondered what my kal knit was going to become, I knit another sweater for Neoma.  This one is for this fall and winter so I made a larger size.  I love how squishy the garter stitch is ~ I think she'll look adorable and squishy, too, when she gets to wear it!  The pattern is Camilla Babe by Carrie Bostick Hoge, the yarn is Berroco Vintage in 'gingham' and my ravelry notes can be found here if you want to peek.
So, while I worked on Neoma's wardrobe, I decided (or maybe it decided) that indeed, my Leaves of Grass is going to become a table covering and that I wanted to bead the edging.  After a trip to Fusion Beads (incredible web store but we're lucky enough to have the retail shop in Seattle!), here's what's happening:
It's a little hard to see but the brown beads against the grayish brown yarn will really pop once she's blocked.  It took me a few hours to figure out where I wanted to place them, but I finally decided on 8 beads per chart...I've only done 13 chart repeats so far but I get more excited with every one.  I can't wait to get this off the needles and spread out in all her glory!

I'm loving seeing the occasional finished shawl/blanket/table cover posts as they pop up and I love the silence of everyone else because I imagine those of you who aren't done blissfully knitting away like I am, excited to share your progress and finished pieces soon.  Thanks for participating everyone ~ I'm really enjoying this ride with you all!  Have a great weekend and hopefully the east coaster readers and their families stay safe and warm the next few days during the blizzard.
~ Melissa
I just remembered Neoma's folks sent us a new picture of her so I thought I'd add it ~ she's 4 months old now and smiling (and still pretty darned adorable!).  If you're wondering, I did not knit her this cute little colorwork sweater, but I'm thinking maybe I ought to make her one! 

06 February 2013

I'm so in Love .....guest blogger eileen

i am now to chart D.
and i am still so in love with this knit !
however i must admit i am a little envious of the KAL knitters that have already finished their leaves of grass shawl.
they are all so beautiful !

part of me wants this project completed now

and another part of me wants this to continue on all year long.

usually i get bored with a big knit such as this
but not with this one.
i know i will be making another, maybe 2 or 3 ...
one for each female in my family.

05 February 2013

I'm Done!!! ~ posted by guest blogger Andee

I'm done!!! I finished my Leaves up last night. I just loved how the Beaverslide yarn blocked.  It got so soft after a good soak and I am thrilled with it.

I was hoping to do a better photo shoot of it, but both of my boys have colds so we'll be sticking close to home today.  As I take more pictures of it I'll post them on my blog and Ravelry.

I really enjoyed this KAL so much. It was the first time I ever did a KAL. For all of you who haven't started yet or think your Leaves is never going to get done.. I encourage you to keep going! It is hard to see what a treasure this pattern is while it is on the needles, but as soon as it comes off Presto! It is so impressive.

This project got me through... my 4 year old nieces brain surgery, 2 and half seasons of Downton Abbey, my dog's surgery, playoff football, the Super Bowl, waiting for the bus, countless episodes of Dr. Pole, and maybe a few other movies :)  

Happy Knitting and I hope there is another KAL in the future!


04 February 2013

I Have A Leaves of Grass Shawl~ post by Kelli

The wind helped me today. I think it agrees with my pattern and color choice. It picked up my shawl nicely. I just happen to be going out to dinner with co-workers from the knit shop, Ana-Cross Stitch where I work, a perfect time to showcase my lastest treasure. The shawl pin you see is hand forged, bronze, from an artist on Lopez Island, a island up here in the far northwest corner. I finished my last BO exactly at Superbowl kick off time, so you know I missed the first 1/2 of the game due to soaking, pinning and blocking. I was so excited. I'd go and check on the shawl while it lay there blocking, like a new sleeping baby to make sure it was still there and nobody bothered it. Can't wait to see yours ~ Kelli

03 February 2013

Eeeek ~ posted by guest blogger Andee

I've been chugging along on my leaves. I had two Eeeeek moments of panic when my thingamajig fell off the end of my needle along with my Leaves.  Fortunately I was able to get the stitches back on the needle without any permanent damage. So I added a trusty rubber band to the end of my needle to keep my yarn from slipping off again.  

Okay back to knitting. I have a little more than a quarter left of Chart "E".  I feel like I've been on E forever and ever and ever.