Still Light






LOVE. Because this is so pretty, so fun, so new. I really DO love love love it.

The only prerequisite for making this sweater is the pattern and yarn of course, but you must also have an intense love of stockinette in the round on tiny needles, because there is lots of it! (happy face)

It doesn't take much to entertain me when it comes to knitting. An ocean of stockinette is apparently enough to hold my attention...for a very long time... as this is over 1500 yards of fingering weight wool using tiny size 2/3 needles. I was able to use my very wonderful ebony circulars in this unusual size for Americans. It's a little bit larger than a 2 but tinier than a 3. Years ago I broke them, I sat on them, argh. I took them to a jeweler and he was able to repair them, and yes it was expensive and yes it was worth it. (I had no choice, I searched and searched and wasn't able to replace them at the time). He insisted that they weren't worth it, but I assured him they were. He just couldn't believe that knitting needles could be so valuable to me! But you understand don't you? There are certain needles in my arsenal that give me JOY!

Still Light is very well written. I couldn't figure out the pockets for a bit, but after a while of knitting and blindly following directions, I started to get the idea. Clever pockets. I stitched 1/4" wide ribbon to the inside of the neck ribbing to stabilize. I didn't want the neckline to get any ideas, like stretching out one me, I like it just the way it is.

I knit my sleeves and the pockets flat. I would rather poke myself in the eye with a dpn than knit with them. So, to knit flat when the pattern wants you to knit in the round requires you to just cast on one stitch on each end, then you will have your little seam.

The lovely Still Light is purchased as a PDF from Veera, an independent designer from Finland I found on Ravelry. This is the most common way I'll find a pattern now. I love that at 10:30 at night you can see a pattern on Ravelry, crawl through stash to find the right yarn, then purchase pattern with Paypal, download and print it out, cast on, all in a few minutes and you're even in your jammies. Instant gratification in the knittiverse. Anyhoo, I think I have just become a huge fan of Veera and will probably make a few more of her sweaters. I especially love her Folded.

I used discontinued Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 Ply in a color called Mouse of all things. I ran out of yarn and couldn't persuade any one on Ravelry to give up a skein or two so had to fudge with the pocket linings and use a skein of Shetland Tweed in a color and weight that almost matched. But you can't see that, can you?

A funny thing, I went to my Monday morning knitting group and every one, including me was knitting a Just Enough Ruffles scarf! I also started the Chilton Pullover from the Winter/Spring 2011 Knitscene. I am going to Maui in 2 weeks to visit my best friend who lives in Wailea and this will be perfect to have with me. I am using June in a pale Periwinkle color that's from my stash. I also plan to make the Papeline Pullover in some Calmer also from my stash. Go stashbusters!

This is sweater #3 for 2011. Raveled here.

Effortless







Effortless Cardigan by Hannah Fettig is getting a lot of attention right now and seems to be in a lot of queues. It's a super fun and fast knit, this took about a week to make, most of it when I was on a car trip. My husband and I travel well together: he is the driver and I am in charge of the music, the candy and the knitting. Just perfect, we're peas and carrots together when we travel.

It's also a fun sweater to wear. It's swingy when you walk and I love having it on. This will get quite a bit of wear time. The pattern is very well written and easy to follow.

The yarn, Madeline Tosh Merino DK is soft and springy like you want a fine merino to be. Though it says it's DK, think of it as a light worsted. I used bamboo size 7's and got a gauge of 20 st. per 4" and the fabric looks and feels great. I bought it on-line from Jimmy Beans and had a great experience with free shipping and it arrived in just two days. Once it came, I cast on and didn't stop until it was finished, (except for a tiny gnome interruption).



So now you know what I knit on our trip, would you like to know where went? We drove down the 101 from our home in Nor. Cal. to visit our kids in So. Cal. Now that we have more time, it turns out that the destination is not the whole trip. The getting there is pretty fun too. There are many beautiful places to stop and linger on our drive, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, the list is endless. We don't need to stop and spend the night, it's not even a 6 hour drive, but we do stop and spend the night. Going down and back up again we stay in Solvang, an adorable little Danish town in the Santa Ynez Valley. It's surrounded by horse farms and now wineries. And it's beautiful this time of year, all our rain has painted our state an eye-popping GREEN. (I know the rest of the world seems to have such catastrophic weather right now, but here we are, all gloriously green and blue)


We stopped the first night for steaks and local wine at The Hitching Post, made famous in the movie Sideways. The next morning we had Danish at Olson's, this place is famous for a reason.

For our return trip a few days later we arrive too late for dinner, but not too late for hubby to gamble at the Indian Casino. I opt for knitting in hotel room. In the morning, after Olson's again, we walk through the little town and end up at Ingeborg's because we always do. There is candy at Ingeborg's, and where there is candy to be had, we will have it.

Rasmussen's is always a stop because downstairs they have all these Scandinavian must-have kitchen gadgets that I fill my kitchen cupboards with, and upstairs there is this:
Next we stroll around an antique store.


Before we head out of town we stop to tour the Mission Santa Ines. I love missions, I take after my granddad on that, and visiting all of the California missions is at the top of my bucket list.
We then drove north on Refugio Rd. to have lunch in Los Olivos where there are dozens of wine tasting rooms for this very famous wine-grape growing area. Drive north again on Foxen Canyon Road, one of the most beautiful back roads of the area, past contented cows, California Live Oaks, and greeny green rolling hills. It's a beautiful drive. I was gazing out the window, smiling, knitting, nice trip.



gnomes, a baker's dozen


Have your corks been complaining about the cold weather? Well, there is a remedy.
While reading this blogger friend's post, I got the idea, the inspiration, the itch, and the urge to make these little gnomes. I have loved these little guys for years. I had a partially used skein of Noro Silk Garden and time on my hands, (this took the better part of an evening plus the next afternoon.) I love the way the colors meld from one little elf to the next.


I only stopped when I ran out of corks.

I think they will reign on my breakfast nook window sill where they will just look so awfully cute and make me smile. Cuteness rating is off the chart here.

Here is the adorable and free pattern, Korknisser by Manne. My Ravelry link.

not enough scarves

While visiting SO CAL last weekend I was able to coerce my son and granddaughter, (uncle and niece) into modeling and my son's girlfriend into taking the photos.


Just Enough Ruffles above, knit with 5 skeins of RYC Cashsoft Aran. I made this for my daughter and made it a little longer and wider by casting on 20 more stitches and doing about 5 more short rows. Look at that shiny hair!
This blue one was my first Just Enough Ruffles, made with less than 2 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted. So soft. My granddaughter now wants a Ruffles scarf and I'll make it the smaller size for her, but if I make one again for me, I'll use my modifications to make it larger.


The third scarf is Curly, in Kim Hargreaves The Next Big Thing booklet. Knit with 3 skeins of Nashua Equinox Stripe in Mocha Latte. A very quick knit, this was made for my son in less than 3 hours. I have some Big Wool in my stash and think I'll make a few of these for gifts.

Citron revisited



Love this free Knitty pattern. My second Citron, and probably more will appear as it's a nice and easy travel pattern that uses only one skein of lace or sock yarn. It is knit with larger needles, in this case size US 7, to make it drape well.

I wish I could tell you the yarn I used. I think it may have been Malabrigo Sock, the label's lost so it's just a guess. It's merino I can tell, and very soft.

This is my first shawl/scarf of the year. My plan is to make 12 for 2011 along with 12 adult sweaters too! This may not be as hard as it sounds, you know I'm fast, but also I have officially retired, (which is nicer than quitting, and also I don't plan on looking for work again, ever). I don't really know what is in store for me, but I know that travel, knitting and getting my garden back in shape are tops in my 2011 plan. I'll miss my job lots, but more about that later.