Last night, our Knit Along group met for the first time at the Willow Springs studio, and we really liked our new digs. A few people with other crafty interests joined us, along with Penny, who has a pottery studio on the site. It was a rowdy and fun time, and several of us kicked off our Fairwind Knitalong. Rhodi, who was under the weather and couldn't join last night, will be making the cardi with us, bringing our total up to six! We just tripled the Ravelry stats for this project, LOL. We also decided we might need to be the errata testers as we pored over the directions together, finding a few typos and a missed asterisk. It is wonderful how multiple minds can help get through a new project!
First, off... here's Rowen, casting on her version.
Rowen is using a beautiful merino/silk yarn she found on sale at the Webs tent sale last year. I didn't write down the name of it, but I love the high sheen that the silk and the multi-ply gives to the color. I picked Classic Elite Magnolia for my version, another merino/silk blend. However, since that yarn is a single ply, it too has sheen but doesn't reflect back as much light.
Of course, I forgot to get a photo of mine.
We sat side by side throughout the evening, comparing notes about the instructions, and trying out the unusual increases used in this top-down sweater. Cecily has you do a lifted increase using the stitch in the row below, then knit the one above it (on your needles), which makes for an interesting double-v look as you work them... I practiced several times on another piece I had with me, and we agreed it was a rather pretty-looking increase. That's where we discovered a bit of dyslexia in abbreviation-typing.
Stephanie (Wooly Daisy to some of you Bloglanders) was the one who found this pattern, while 'window shopping' on Ravelry. We all had a few choice comments about whether she had read it first... however, we all agreed it is very elegant, and we liked many features: the offset front closure, the delicate ribbing on either side, the nice edging you get from slipping the first stitch of each row, and the lace pattern.
This next photo shows Claudia (left) and Stephanie casting on... Stephanie is using Cascade 220, but she is happy with her gauge and fabric, so we all agreed she should go forth and prosper. Plus, we are here for her if she stops feeling that it's working.
Claudia is using a lighter-weight yarn, probably closer to fingering than sport, but we helped her decide how to approach that problem as well... and will keep you posted on her results and outlook. She is making her sweater as a gift!
Note that Claudia is still smiling here - it's early in the evening. Things got much quieter as more concentration became involved in getting a new pattern set up.
The next picture pretty closely captures the lovely gold that Stephanie has chosen, along with her very cute tin for holding markers.
One of the comments that brought the most laughter during the evening came when Claudia told us she had cast on a second time because she hadn't realized she was supposed to leave the markers in place... knitting together is so much more fun!
The last photo is Barbara Sue, who is also using Cascade 220 (and of course a different needle size than Steph, to get the same gauge!)... she chose a lovely beige, though that is hard to tell in this photo. We loved how she wore her 'jeweler's eyes' to work last night... Barbara Sue works at one of the gold shops in our 'mountain mining' region... the irony being that few mines remain open, though amazing gold has been found in this region. B Sue's employer, Terry, is a very creative goldsmith.
I promise frequent updates, including some pictures of my own version, as all six of us produce our sweaters together.
I am feeling much better, and luckily have a rather light schedule today, even getting a chance to write up a post in the morning, when my Internet access is best! Life is sweet:)
The temps have warmed back up the last few days here in sunny California, after awakening to a light dusting of snow at the end of last weekend's storm. I don't think this is a particularly new weather pattern, however the weather has been much more temperate for the whole of 2010... no deep lows, only one-third the number of hot summer days over 100... and a benign fall that allowed my family to have a wonderful afternoon BBQ yesterday in honor of a brief visit from Great-Grandma Diana and Great-Grandpa Jim.
As you can see, we are sitting right outside the kitchen door, with the wisteria framing the photo!
We had an array of bbq-ed sausages, a green salad featuring smoked salmon, and fresh-baked brownies for dessert. My DIL, grandbaby and I baked them from a box very quickly, just before the GG's were set to arrive!
That's Grandpa Glenn in the left corner, holding his precious Odessa.
It's getting harder and harder these days to get all four of our children together in one place; one son was working yesterday, and another out of town... since this was short notice, we were happy to have the other two, with their partners and children... that's DD's step-son Mason in the red shirt on the right side of the photo. His triumph of the weekend was learning to pedal a two-wheel bike by himself, which he did up and down our drive most of the time we weren't seated!
It was too warm to wear my new Shalom, so I will have to schedule a photoshoot for later this week... I love how the sweater turned out and it is certainly a testimony to Ravelry that I could learn so much about one pattern as to make all the best choices, including doing waist shaping, to get a top-notch fitted sweater that I was happy with how I looked wearing!
However, finishing left a gap on the needles, and the holidays are approaching, so I dove right in on grandchild knitting! The color in this photo is a little too blue.. this yarn is a very nice hand-dyed superwash merino in DK weight from the Lake Tahoe Yarn Company, and is actually brown and not purple-hued!
The pattern is Knitting Pure and Simple #1010, Girl's Victorian Coat... I noticed when I entered my project into my Ravelry profile that there isn't a photo anywhere... except on Sharon's blog, as she made this jacket a while back for her granddaughter. I had to borrow the picture to give you an idea how cute this will be!
This pattern ranges from 18 months to age ten, and goes quickly... I just reached the yoke last night, after taking the picture. It is defined by four rows of stockinette in a size smaller needle, followed by a massive increase on the larger needle to make 'gathers' and add that swing in the back!
Odessa's will have some kind of bright buttons down the front.. I am thinking red, though DD, who as a loving 'Auntie', picked out the yarn, suggested pink.
I am off to a meeting, a tooth cleaning, and then some yarn-buying... yes, you did hear that right "buying". Our Knit Night is shifting to Rowen's studio starting tonight, on a regular every-other-Monday schedule through the winter, and we are launching a group Knit-Along of Fairwind, another beautiful swingy cardigan pattern. I have NO appropriate yarn in the weight and quantity needed, so off I go... wish me luck!
A few days ago, one of my Facebook buddies issued a challenge to pust something you are thankful for each day in November, so I dove right in. For over a decade, I have erratically followed a gratitude practice of quickly jotting down five things I was grateful for at the end of each day. Sometimes they were pretty much the same things week after week, sometimes they were unique statements of the moment. And then there were the months when I would just fall into bed too tired to care.
All of the practice taught me that it is easy to find something I am thankful for (or several things) each and every day, even if it is the silver lining in a very dark cloud.
Today is one of those dark cloud days.... I have been laid up with something similar to the stomach flu for 24 hours or so. Here's my silver lining:
I am thankful having a bathtub, which I climbed into early this morning and soothed away some of my chills. In fact, I am very thankful for indoor plumbing in all its facets today.
I thought I would start feeling better with a bath and tea and dressed for work, which made me thankful for nice clothes, and for the Shalom sweater I had knitted, which was going to have its public debut, as well as the wooly mitts and Roma scarf I was bundled up in. (Pictures will have to come later).
I only made it down to the Middle Fork of the Yuba (about 6 miles) and pulled over, deciding that my cramping was too severe and I had best head for the barn. I was grateful to have a vehicle to take me there.
I spent the rest of the day sleeping, until just about an hour ago, and am thankful to have that luxury... a warm and cozy house, blankets to keep me warm while I shivered, a dear hubby to check on me periodically. My life is so easy compared to many the world over. I am thankful too that I have a little bit left over each month to share with others who need it.