Posted by: Mare F | February 13, 2017

Winter in a weekend

We’d had a fairly mild winter here in northwest Connecticut until last Thursday. Winter Storm Chris (my son’s name, by the way, but no connection…that I know of) dumped 15″ of snow here in one day. Friday night we got another couple of inches, and then yesterday we got somewhere between 5″ – 8″. I don’t know exactly how much because I didn’t care enough to go outside and measure it. Today the wind is howling about the house and the temp has dropped from 30F to 23F since I got up 4 1/2 hours ago. This is brilliant crafting weather!

I had started these big knee socks a week ago and have been going back to them between the other projects. I have to take advantage of the colder weather to work with my bulky yarns because it will be warm before we know it.

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This shawlette was inspired by one I saw probably on Pinterest. It wasn’t the same type of triangle shawl and what caught my attention was the buttons on the front. Love idea. Can’t imagine why it has never occurred to me except that button sewing on problem I have occasionally.

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This last project is going to be a collared ponchette…of sorts. I just love the colors and the yarn is nice to knit. It should be nice and warm for those cold, wintery days. Hopefully, I will have a finish or two to show you next week. Until then, what’s the latest project you’ve started?

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Posted by: Mare F | February 9, 2017

Thursday chat

First an update on the Red Heart Mixology yarn. I emailed Red Heart about the situation on Friday. I heard back from them yesterday and they are sending me a check for the amount of the skeins involved. The representative explained that 1 knot in a skein was acceptable, but that occasionally skeins with more would slip through inspection. I can’t imagine how the inspection works. Normally they would replace the skeins, but this yarn has been discontinued – not sure if it is the yarn or the color. In any event, I’m quite pleased with the quick response and actions from Red Heart.

Now, the other bulky yarn that I’ve used and really enjoyed is Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky yarns in Chocolate and Cream.

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This is a delightfully soft yarn that worked up nicely as a 2 stranded afghan. I had no trouble with splitting and I don’t believe that I found a single knot in any of the skeins that I used. I didn’t think that  $3.99 regular price for 109 yds was unreasonable either. I’m looking forward to working up some ponchos with it next. Have to do it while the weather is cool! Do you have a favorite bulky yarn?

Posted by: Mare F | February 6, 2017

Big socks

Last year a couple of people posted pictures of big soft colorful knee socks knitted with color work and intricate stitches. Everyone oohhhed and aaahhhhed over them except me. I could conceivably make them, but because of the work involved I would have to charge a very large sum for them and I don’t want to do that. So, I over the past year I’ve been working on an alternative with interesting results. This one is a crocheted attempt based on a slipper pattern. I decided against this because I couldn’t adjust the sole pattern for different sizes (they all would have been progressively larger than a women’s size 10.) I fear it’s my shortcoming, not the pattern’s. This is now one of my fair entries for this year which is lovely because I don’t normally make slippers.

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Yesterday I began working on a knitted pair using Paton’s Big Cakes because I like the way that the colors work up. I’m not sure if it will work with the socks. I’ll have to go to the end of the knitted pair to see if the colors will at least show up in each sock. The two cakes were far enough apart in their stripes that I couldn’t pull off matching the colors working from the outside of the second cake.

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Then, just to make things interesting, I decided to try a crocheted pair as well. I think I have to shorten the cuff on this one because it’s very long on my leg and I’m not a short person.

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So, next week I will update on my progress and hopefully have some fun, soft, book-on-the-couch-with-tea-and-afghan type socks. What is the last pattern that you modified?

Posted by: Mare F | February 2, 2017

Thursday chat

This is a post of slightly mixed emotions. I recently bought a number of different bulky yarns to make some 2 stranded afghans. These were to be a much less expensive alternative to the big roving afghans so I was trying different brands of yarn to see what worked up well and was affordable. Of the 3 companies I tried the least exciting was Red Heart’s Mixology.

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The color was nice, it felt a bit stiff to work, but softened up upon washing and drying. The problem I had was that there seemed to be a surplus of knots in several of the 70 yard balls. I don’t know what the industry deems acceptable, but out of 10 skeins I would say that at least 4 of them had 3 or more knots in them. It’s 70 yards. I haven’t contacted Red Heart about this yet and I don’t know that it will make a difference if I do, but it is a shame as the rest of the product was good. Next week I’ll share the other two yarns. 😉

Posted by: Mare F | January 26, 2017

Thursday chat

Just a short one today. I also ordered a set of ChiaoGoo straight 7″ size 8 needles for a couple of scarves I’ve planned to make and they are just as lovely as the circular needles. They are made of wood and a dream to use. I love the 7″ length.

 

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And they are very reasonably priced. I can foresee more of these needles joining my crafting tools.

Posted by: Mare F | January 23, 2017

Socks, socks everywhere…

I’ve been on a sock kick of late. Over the past year I’d been asked about bed socks by several people so I decided to look into a worsted sock pattern because after all they are only meant to keep your feet warm, not fit in your shoes and worsted would work up quickly enough that I could keep my costs low and do some serious stash busting. These are the result of using up some Dazzleaire on size 8 needles.

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I had started a pair of plain afterthought heel socks for myself last September, before show season and life got hectic, and I finally managed to bind them off last night. This weekend I’ll tackle the heels. I’ve not done one before so it should be interesting.

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Another item I’ve had a couple of requests for are pedicure socks so I utilized a coupon from Michaels last weekend and loaded up on sock yarn. I also would like to make some big, cushy knitted knee socks for lounging, rather like bed socks, but more couch oriented. More to come on those. 😉 What is your favorite method for knitting or crocheting socks?

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Posted by: Mare F | January 19, 2017

Thursday chat

I’ve found new sock needles and they are so nice to work with I can’t believe the difference. I’ve been making socks 2-at-a-time because I’m pretty sure that we’ve all suffered “second sockitis” at one time or another and I suffer from it on a regular basis.  So, I’d gotten Addi Sock Rockets in size 1, 40″ a couple of years ago and I like them just fine with the tiniest exception that there is a lot of left over circular part. I just don’t need 40″ to make 2 socks, but they will be lovely for lace, I think. This time, I decided to try 32″ sock needles, but I ordered ChiaoGoo in size 8 (bed socks) and size 2 (regular and pedi socks.)

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They arrived a week ago and I can’t get enough of them. I switched from my KA needles which had my bed socks on and the difference was amazing. The pedi socks are zipping right along. It’s a wonderful thing. I will check back in after they have knitted up a few more pair, but I have very high hopes for them. Have you used them?

Posted by: Mare F | January 16, 2017

And a very Happy New year to all

This past autumn was even more hectic than usual. I taught 2 classes, I set up at 6 craft fairs, and made not one, but 2 twelve-foot Dr. Who scarves for orders. This does not include the various projects that I just had to start for stock. I even managed to set up my studio into a true work space

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So, here I sit, thinking of all of the things I meant to post over the past couple of months and relatively certain that I will forget most of what I wanted to share and especially what I wanted to ask, but I have high hopes that I will be able to fall into a comfortable pattern of working and chatting soon.

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I didn’t make any resolutions this year, just trying to keep up with all that I started last year, so that should make a few things easier, I hope. Did you make any resolutions?

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Posted by: Mare F | October 27, 2016

Thursday Chat

I love Knitpicks. If you are not familiar with them I urge you to check out their website. They have been my favorite place for both wool and acrylic yarns now for about 4 years. The colors are vibrant and delicious. The yarns are durable and affordable, very affordable!

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A wonderful selection of tools and books are there for the choosing and the shipping has usually been quicker than expected. I do try to wait until I have enough of an order, $50, to get the free shipping before I order and really, it’s a pleasure to browse the catalog. I have never had a bad experience with their yarns or their customer service…in fact, I don’t believe that I have ever had to contact them for any reason. That in itself is delightful.

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This is where I order all of the wool for my felted hats. Some of my shawlettes have been made from their Shimmer and Shadow yarns. And the Curio is lovely. Very soft with a lovely sheen. I have 3 balls of the scrumptious colors just waiting for the right pattern to come along. I suspect that there will be beads involved as well. Have you tried any of the Knitpicks yarns?

 

Posted by: Mare F | October 24, 2016

Autumn crafts

blog-photos-002This time of year always makes me think of baking apple something! Over the weekend I made cranberry apple butter in the crockpot and I made Apple Brown Betty for dessert Saturday night to go with the beef stew I had simmering for dinner. It was a perfect meal for a rainy, raw autumn day.

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On the fiber front, I managed on Saturday to finish both heels on the socks I started in June, I think that it was June, and began knitting the cuffs. These socks will be so warm and comfy that I just can’t seem to get the cuffs knitted quickly enough. Sunday I started another pair of toe-up socks so that I can try the after-thought heel which will allow me to bring my socks with me to work on as I will be working only in inches for distraction…not the actual heel until I’m done. Sounds good, let’s see how it works out.

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So, what do you do when autumn rolls into your neighborhood?

 

 

 

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