31 January 2015

Turning a Corner - guest blogger Steph

So I may have become a KAL addict. In my attempt to focus more on using my stash and less on buying yarn I have signed myself up to 3 KALs(this one is included).  I can't seem to help myself.

The good news is that I am turning a corner both figuratively and literally on the Ashby on I  did the short row turn and am on to Chart D. I don't know if my gauge is off or if this is going to grow a bit  but it seems a bit small to me. It will be fun to watch  and see what happens. I'm headed on a yarn-cation next week to see the "Interpretations 2" trunk show next weekend in Portland and take a couple classes with Joji; I'm hoping I can make some good traction on my Ashby.

Phoenix ~ Melissa

Jason is officially there as of today!  Long road trip ~ quite a story already but I'll wait to share it til he's back.  He sent me this photo within a half hour of pulling into town ~ he in his custom made Richard Sherman jersey and his new 'friend' in her custom made Tom Brady jersey.
What a hoot!
I've decided to call Jason's epic journey :
The Hangover Part IV - Clean & Sober
Why not?  Their episode fits right in (other than it's not being fueled by alcohol & other mind altering bits and bobbles) ~ here's a tease...
they're not driving the same car they drove off in on Thursday, they won't be at the Superbowl and they've been to Vegas...
and that's just the first 2 days...they're not even halfway through their trip.
Got your attention????  Moohahahahaha...
Stay tuned :)

Still here, still knitting... and not - by WillyG

I had a secret project to work on, so Ludlow had to take a back seat for a bit. Now that the SP is done, I have returned to Ludlow...well, some of the time.  Last night I lost several hours of work when I realized that I had worked the most recent section in seed stitch, instead of the moss stitch in the pattern.

As you can see, I'm back on track now. There's something about the self-imposed restraint to basic knit-purl combinations that intrigues me about this knit. It's a stretch for me, but in a good way. It's like giving a child a toy that is simple and restrained; it fires up the imagination, instead of dulling it with flashy gizmos.

Working on this scarf this morning took me back to a swatch that I did about a year ago for a personal design I've been dreaming up. Eager to take that design to the next level, I decided to put down Ludlow and try to find an appropriate yarn. I found something that might work, but it was the wrong color. I ran with the sidetrack to figure out how to overdye the yarn; it's cooking on the stove as I write. So the takeaway is that Ludlow's going to be taking me a while. If you're feeling slow, don't worry. Slow is good; you're in good company.

28 January 2015

Un-inventing the Ashby~ guest blogger Andee

Hello all!  I have been contemplating the KAL for a little while. I being a lover of all things Brooklyn Tweed and a devoted member of Flood's Flock I wasn't 100% sure what pattern or direction I was going to go with this KAL. I love this group and I know I had to just pick a pattern.  I have already made an Ashby a few years ago....but after the first repeat I had realized that I wasn't reversing the symbols for the right and wrong side. I not being a fussy knitter just continued doing it wrong :) I'm relaxed like that. I figure as long as I was consistent than it was okay with me. However I have always wanted to make the correct version of the Ashby.  But on the other hand...... I really don't need another shawl. What I do need is a cardigan......... which led me to play with my current already done (modified) Ashby on my form.

I thought I can totally un-invent this pattern into a cardigan. I know it would make both Elizabeth Zimmermann proud and I think even Mr. Flood himself wouldn't have a problem with it.

So this one will stay a shawl.

This one is going to be a cardigan! I have more done that in looks in this picture....but it didn't want to lay on the form nicely so you'll have to wait for the unveiling of it when it is done :)

I am using Fiber Company Canopy WW-Orchid. It is 50% baby alpaca, 30% merino, 20% viscose bamboo and OHHH so lovely to work with.

I'll try to share as many notes as I can when I finish it, but for now I'll say I am doing the edging and I turned it twice so the angles lay on my hips and the panels run up both sides like a button band. The back will be done in the same texture as the shawl. I think I am going to include some pockets in it and I'll keep my fingers crossed that I have enough yarn to finish!!!

Happy Knitting Everyone!!! 

27 January 2015

New Beginning - Guestblogger Maria

I did it, I cast on Ludlow instead of Stonecrop and it is a much smoother ride for me. I am using re-purposed Fishermen's Wool from my stash (ironically it used to be a sweater from a Jared Flood pattern I made for my husband, but somehow he did not dig it and managed to get a whole into it, etc. so I decided to undo it and use the yarn for my own dark purposes - insert crazy cackle here).

26 January 2015

Superbowl Shenanigans ~ Melissa

my mom's kitchen...usually spotless...the mess is my fault ~ dinner was on us last night as a thank you & I was jumping back & forth between cooking & sewing

Special request from Jason....12th Man Beer Can hats for the boys' roadtrip to Arizona (they are Superbowl bound!!!).  So highbrow, cough cough, but every fan needs one, right?  We spent the weekend with my mom and these hats were a true group effort ~ I cut the cans into pieces and did the seaming, Jason punched all the holes in the aluminum, my mom used her mad crochet skills, and Dozer supervised!
They were a blast to make ~ sorry I can't share a recipe but we fudged these caps from beginning to end ~ they're freeform and custom fit.  There are tons of patterns out there, though...we just couldn't find one that suited our vision.  I think they turned out fantastic.  Jason thinks they are perfect, so that's all that matters anyway. 
Note to self - when working against a deadline, make sure to allow time for the beer to be imbibed.  Sadly, this surprisingly tasty beer went down the drain except for a few small glasses.  Boo.  Hoo.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

25 January 2015


Slowly, but surely my Stonecrop is
growing. I am now beginning the
seventh repeat, leaving only two more to
go before I can begin the top border. I
had planned to knit twelve repeats, but
this is a Christmas gift for my sister who
is a little on the short side ;) [ I'm two inches
taller] and I don't want it to be too long.
I am already trying to decide what color
I want to knit for myself.

24 January 2015

late to the party ~ Melissa


Finally got around to joining the two thousand plus knitters who have tried the classic 'Turkish Bed Socks' pattern by Churchmouse Yarn and Teas.  Fun.  Fast.  Easy.  A little more seaming than the average joe might like but I love doing the finish work on a project so it was a bonus for me.
Yarn was a gift from our own WillyG (thanks, Will!).  I'll be knitting these again with some modifications to see if I can make the ankle a bit more snug and add some pizzaz to the foot.  Love these.
Today we're off for a visit with mom to see if her mad crochet skills can fashion a Seahawks 12th Man Beer Can hat for Jason before Superbowl Sunday next week.  Wish us luck!

23 January 2015

today's his birthday ~ Melissa

Dozer is eight today!  We are so lucky to have him ~ we always laugh that we got lucky finding him.  It was a spur of the minute decision to get a second dog and we pulled up Craig's List and he had just been posted ~ top of the page ~ and I immediately said...he's the one!!!  Jason tortured me for an hour or so by looking further to see what other mutts were being put up for adoption, but eventually decided I was right.  :)
We're also lucky that the owner had decided to give him away ~ Dozer was from an 'oops litter' (a neighbor's black lab mix had gotten loose and had a fling with Dozer's mama...a purebred Springer Spaniel).  He was one of thirteen puppies (!!) and the Spaniel's family had let his twelve siblings go to other families but had kept Dozer for themselves...and then decided that a third dog and a new baby didn't really mix.  Sometimes timing really is everything.  They let him go and we needed him and he's brought us much joy ever since.  So happiest of birthdays, Stinky Pinkerton!
I finally finished the third pair of socks that I started in December.  I love the yarn and the pattern ( ravelry notes here ) ~ my first pair of self-striping and they were so much fun to knit.  My Girasole has been set aside for the last two weeks while I let my hands rest.  It's gotten so heavy and I was spending too much time on it and eventually I had to take a break.  I'm back to work on it this weekend, though!  It's been really hard to not pick it back up since it's been thrilling to knit but the time out was productive and now I'm ready to finish her up.  Have a great Friday!

 joining Liesl at Buckalooview for her monthly sock challenge

Well, crap. - guest blogger Lesley

The good news is that I'm really, really close to finishing Girasole.  I've sucked it up and cranked out the knitted on edging as though I don't know what the word "boredom" means.

Now for the "Oh, crap" part.

I was working along yesterday afternoon, hoping to have Girasole ready for the blocking mats today, when I realized - I don't have very much yarn left at all.  In fact, I may not have enough to finish!  I got down to 22 edge stitches when the yarn ran out.  So close!!!

I'm currently waiting for Scarlet (Huckleberry Knits) and the wonderful folks at Northwest Handspun to give me a call to let me know if there's any more Merino/Yak/Silk in Browncoat in the area that I can get for love or money (preferably money).  If the answer is no, I'll need to deconstruct Girasole and re-knit her on slightly smaller needles.

I can't say that it would break my heart to have to do this.  The Girasole pattern has gone very quickly and has been fun to knit.  The yarn is lovely as well, and it certainly wouldn't qualify as torture to knit with it again.  So maybe I'm not so close to finishing, after all.

Lesson of the day:  If your pattern calls for 1200 yards, and the skein says 400 yards - you had better have more than 3 in your stash!!

To console myself while waiting for the phone to ring, I've cast on for Ludlow and worked the first 20 rows of moss stitch.  It's quite a relaxing knit so far - just back and forth, knit and purl.

Size 7 needles are giving me a fabric density that I like with the Felted Tweed, so I'll stick with that size.  The gauge is about 4.5 per inch unstretched.  It should easily give me the finished measurement without too severe a blocking.

I hope you're all enjoying this fantastic rainy Friday - perfect for knitting, hot tea, and audiobooks!

Change of Heart - Guestblogger Maria

Just a quick post to let you all know that I quit Stonecrop and will now be knitting Ludlow instead. Knitting from charts is just a bit too much for me at the moment and I am feeling more comfortable with written patterns, also my yarn did not show up the pattern very well.
Here's to new beginnings!

19 January 2015

Never too late... guest bloggers Carolyn & Penny

Carolyn and I had our photo shoot today, thanks to her hubby, Gordon. He's such a good sport. Streusels were a pleasure to knit. So much that C has started another. These were a KAL to celebrate "Girls in Sheep Clothing... and a few boys, too" 5-year anniversary -- back in July. We might be slow, be we're persistent.

18 January 2015

not about knitting ~ Melissa

Jason sent me this photo from his seat at today's championship game
'this game will force you to bare your soul'
-Tom Jackson
possibly the worst and best game I've ever watched ~ windstorm last night, I haven't slept for about 40 hours, and I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep tonight
we watched this game slip away right up until the final ticks and through sheer guts, belief, and love of team our boys pulled off a miraculous comeback ~ a game for the ages and one I won't forget
who cares what the rest of the nation thinks about you ~ you are unabashedly loved by this city
thanks for the ride Hawks...see you in Arizona!!!!

16 January 2015

Indecision ~ Guest Blogger Sue

To say I am indecisive, is putting it mildly. I was so thrilled when Melissa and Kelli announced the Floods Flock KAL! What a great idea! Yet, for someone like me, who has trouble making a choice, it can be agonizing.

Initially, I decided to knit Stonecrop. I hastily ordered some Loft in Sweatshirt from Loop, in Philadelphia. Great customer service, by the way. It was at my door in two days!  I wound the yarn and cast on with the zeal and glee that comes from a new project. But after knitting the bottom border, I wasn't thrilled with the fabric I was getting. Maybe I just like my lace to be a little lighter. Love the yarn, love the pattern, just not what my needles were producing. So, I stalled a little.

Then, Kelli posted her gorgeous Ludlow!! I was in love! I had originally thought that was the pattern I wanted to make, but had chosen Stonecrop since I love lace.  So, I ripped out what I had done, and immediately cast on for Ludlow! It's just the kind of knit I need right now. Back and forth, soothing knitting. I will also admit, I was not thrilled with having to keep track of two charts at once with Stonecrop. Probably for a time when my mind is not so scattered.

Absolutely loving this project so far! Also love all the other projects I have seen so far!

15 January 2015

Girasole shawl - guest blogger Lesley

I am SO late to the party!  I have good reasons, but more about that later.

I'm working on the shawl version of Girasole, using Huckleberry Knits merino/yak/silk blend in the Browncoat colorway.  It's a very lively tonal brown - not "flat" at all.  It's a little redder in the picture than in real life.

I've just finished chart D, and I'm halfway through the first repeat of chart E.  The pattern is really easy to follow, and the repeats are simple to remember as you go around.  As Melissa mentioned in an earlier post, at this size, she's getting hard to photograph!  Here's one side of the shawl:

I can hardly wait to start the edging and start "freeing" the shawl from the needles!  I have a long way to go, though - I'm just past the halfway point.  Last night was the first time I had noticed how long the rounds are getting - and they'll be getting even longer.  What a fun, fun project!  :~D

But, you know, one project is never enough.  I was so impressed with Andrea's, Kelli's, and Shari's Ludlows at knitting last week that I decided to pick up some added "motivation" to finish Girasole.  Once she's done, I'll be casting on for Ludlow in Rowan Felted Tweed.  I'm thinking size 7s ought to do.  I'll start swatching there, at any rate.

Now, about those "reasons" I mentioned earlier!  TPTB at my apartment community decided that last week was the perfect time to put new carpet in my apartment.  So, I had to pack all of my things up to be moved out while the carpet was installed.  All the "fun" of moving, without moving.  The new carpet is lower maintenance and a better color, but not very comfortable underfoot.  I see rugs in my future!

After the installation on Friday, I got to spend the weekend turning this...

...into this. (Notice Girasole ready for her close-up on the sofa!)  And that's just the stitching room.

I filled up the car twice with things for Goodwill, and I've already started setting aside knitting goodies for the silent auction at this year's retreat.  Did I mention all the "fun" of moving?   :~P

That was followed by a work conference in Portland on Monday and Tuesday.  No pictures, but believe me, I'm doing you a favor in that omission!

Then the Apartment Dieties descended again yesterday with new appliances!  I have a new range/oven, refrigerator, and washer/dryer.  The washer/dryer stack has a higher capacity than my old one, and the range has two (yes, TWO) large burners, instead of one.  (If you've ever tried to cook Thanksgiving Dinner on an apartment range, you know what a big deal this is!)

I'm looking forward to taking next week off and getting in some much-needed knitting time!  Hopefully there won't be any more major events at home while I'm off.  Getting new things is very nice, but I need a break.

12 January 2015

Ashby reboot - guest blogger Juliann

I decided to switch yarn for my Ashby.  I love the charcoal but it was too dark.  My eyes were getting very tired from straining to see the pattern no matter how many lights I turned on.
I switched to another Berocco, Ultra Alpaca, in a washed denim color and the knitting is going much faster.  I am on my second B chart (out of 5) but best of all, with this lighter color, I can actually knit while we watch TV in the evening.   I am using a cable needle for the two stitch cables and I am feeling very confident now.  Love learning something new!

Stonecrop Shawl ~ Guest Blogger Karen

I've knit the main chart three times through and finally I'm used to the pattern.  There are only a few places where I check and recheck the chart and my knitting but most of the time I'm happily knitting away enjoying the progress.  The cashmere is wonderful to knit with and I find the garter stitch lace delightful......as in.....no purling.  I'm not against purling and do like to purl but the not purling adds a bit of decadence to the knitting :)

Ravelry notes here.

11 January 2015

Lady of The Sea ~ a post by the other Kelli

Was a simpler knit then you lace-shawl goers. Blocked at 87 inches. If you
haven't try Guernsey, like Ludlow, put it on the list.

Great use of long-time stash.  A fabulous knit.  I love the big cozy scarf-wrap.  From the sidelines I'll be watching and knitting something you can bet.  ~Kelli

Gnome away from gnome ~ A Weekend on the Ice by guest blogger Kelly Lightbeam

We had a fun weekend on the ice!

We got our fish house moved out there, and all set up.

We even caught some fish! (5 tiny walleyes ~ 9" each)

We went out to breakfast....

At our favorite spot.

Love it up here in Mille Lacs, MN.  I know this post is heavy on Gnomes and light on knitting, but I did get quite a bit done, and am almost ready to make the turn on the border of my Ashby.  Also, I wanted to remind everyone that there's still time to vote on the name for the gnome.

edited by Mel to add the link for the voting : here it is!

Happy weekend, everyone!
Kelly Lightbeam