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Beginning BasketWeave Dishcloth

It has been a while since I have typed to you all.  I think I have finally become comfortable with the fact that I have too much going on to try to update here regularly.

But I do have a few exciting things happening that I wanted to share!

This Saturday, September 14th, I will begin teaching again!

My Beginning Knitting 101 class will be at Owl and Drum in Tulsa.  It is a 2 part class.  Saturday September 14th and Saturday September 21st at 11 am – 12:30 pm.

I am so excited and I have been working hard in my scarce, spare time to prepare.

One of the things I have done is write a pattern for a second project for my beginning knitting class: A BasketWeave Cloth for Beginners.

Basketweave Dishcloth1

Photo Courtesy of Owl and Drum 

Some beginners can be intimidated by using the knit stitch and the purl stitch in the same row to create patterns.  Also, they can be a bit intimidated at reading and following a pattern.  This pattern was written to ease beginners into knitting a project that might be a little more complicated, hopefully to give them some confidence!

I just had the pattern tested, thanks to some lovely ladies in the Ravelry.com Testing Pool, and the feedback was very positive.  I have not put all the finishing touches, like a nice photo, on the pattern. But I want to share the pattern anyway, because honestly I don’t know when I will get a chance to finish formatting it!  When I do I will update the pattern and the embedded pattern here.

So….  Here is a free pattern for you!  You can preview the pattern below or click on the link for the full version.

Enjoy!

Beginning Knitting 101 Basketweave Dishcloth

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Workbasket Wednesday – Valois Shawl – And the end of July is here!

My typing fingers have been silent a lot lately.  But not because they want to be!  July has been an extremely busy month for all of us.   I ended a temporary job, started a new part time job, secured an arrangement to teach knitting classes (more of that soon), and the girls and I getting entries ready for the Tulsa County Fair (more on that later too).

Whomever coined the term “lazy days of summer” didn’t live in my house, that is for sure.   I have a busy life.  And I love it.  I would not trade anything for the world (except I would like to be out of debt right now, and I would like to have my husband finished with his graduate degree right now).

We turned in entries for the Tulsa County Fair yesterday.  My goal was to finish my Valois Shawl and enter it into the fair.  But, alas…  my part time job cut into my knititng time.  Oh well… if it means we can be out of debt sooner, it is worth it!

So I am currently still plugging away on my Valois Shawl.   I am sooooo close to finishing, currently half way through the last pattern repeat.  28 more rows before I can start on the edging.

This is what the shawl looked like nine days ago, approximately half way through the 2nd pattern repeat.

2013-07-22 08.42.49

And this is what my shawl looks like this evening when I stopped for the night.

DSCN1404

I am half way through with the 5th pattern repeat.  The needle is not long enough to really let the shawl stretch to its potential wingspan, but I hope you can see how this shawl really grows from the center out and down.

This shawl looks complicated because of the chart, but honestly is really enjoyable to knit up, and has almost become mindless knitting as long as I keep track of the row number.  It has been my companion through many episodes of Start Trek Next Generation, and all episoses of “Call the Midwife”.    I will probably knit up another Valois Shawl in the near future for my grandmother in love.

I apologize for the bad pictures.  But I am not a professional photgrapher. However I am learning and am getting better!

I have several other projects that I pulled out of hibernation to work on a little at a time.  Like my Log Cabin Socks, and my Lacy Leafy Baby Afghan.   I still kept my Haruni in hibernation, because I want to add beading to the edging and I want to be able to devote some time to that project.  I am making all other projects a priority to finish so I can give Haruni the love it deserves.

In other news….

My 5yo daughter, Little Miss Daredevil, wanted me to show her to knit today.  So I pulled out Knick and Knack, my kiddie knitting needles and a ball of chunky yarn to let her try.    I cast on for her and knit a few rows for her, then showed her how.  It did take her a while, and I fixed quite a few mistakes, but she is actually doing very well!

DSCN1402She has been carrying her yarn around the house most of the day and chanting the rhyme:

“In Through the Front Door

Around the Back

Peek through the window

and off Jumps Jack!”

It has been very cute to hear her saying this over and over.  She wraps the yarn in the English Style, except that she holds the yarn with her left hand, like the Continental Style.   It will be interesting to see which style she gravitates towards as she practices more.   I think she is trying to be just like mommy, and this makes me smile.

Knitting is such a great outlet for me, and I am grateful that all 3 of my girls want to knit, crochet, or do some type of yarn craft as well.     I rarely make it to any of the local knit nights with other groups.  But it is fun to have our own little hand crafts circle in our living room. :)

Have a StitchTastic Day!

Angela

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On my needles now – Valois Shawl by Alexandra Beck

The weather here in Ok is sweltering (it is summer, I am sure it is sweltering everywhere).  I just finished knitting two baby afghans for belated baby gifts, and the last thing I wanted to knit right now is another heavy project.  But there are only so many dish cloths you can do for summer knitting, you know?

Last week I picked up the 2013 Accessories Special Issue of Knit Scene.   Almost every issue that Interweave Press publishes is beautiful, full of inspiration and knitter’s eye candy.

knitscenecover

Image Courtesy of Interweave Press

But the shawl pictured on the cover of this issue is just gorgeous!  And when I opened it up to the pictures in the magazine I knew had to knit it!  It was love at first sight!

Knitting a shawl in the middle of summer does not sound like a smart idea.  But shawls really are a good project for hot summer days.    If shawls are constructed from light yarn, shawls remain light and breathable on your needles and in your lap, helping you to not smother under your knitting in hot weather.

The Shawl featured in this issue is the Valois Shawl designed by Alexandra Beck.  It is a neck down trianglar design, with an elegant lace pattern.  The edging is knitted in rows back and forth separate, and joined to the body by knitting the live body stitches with the edging stitches one as a time.

beck_shawl__1__small2Image Courtesy KnitScene via Ravelry Pattern Database

The pattern calls for Artesano 100% Alpaca 4 ply yarn which is a fingering weight yarn.  It is also a yarn way out of my current budget. As much as I love to touch and paw botique yarns….   Right now my budget is Hobby Lobby or other large crafting stores.

I purchased Patons Lace Sequins for this project in Aquamarine. I do not normally like this color, but I really liked this yarn in this color.  I was also very fortunate to get it on clearance (on my birthday! Happy Birthday to me!!).  I immediately cast on for a gauge swatch so I could practice the lace pattern and then the edging.   I finished the swatch with the edging yesterday and blocked it. I think this yarn is working well for this pattern, don’t you?

DSCN1260

The lace pattern looks complicated, but it really is not.  The chart for the pattern is pretty straight forward to read. The hard part is just keeping track of what row you are on in the chart as it is read across.

The edging was a little tricky though, and actually took me a few attempts before I finally got it to work and be what I think the designer intended.

Valois Lace Close Up

I cast on for the shawl today and am working on the body of the shawl.   I actually expect that I will be able to finish the shawl body and ready for the edging within the week.

Valois Shawl In Progress 1

Follow my progress on my Ravelry Project Page

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Blue Log Cabin Socks in Progress

My Blue Log Cabin Socks: http://images4.ravelrycache.com/uploads/ThatsStitchTastic/132549596/file0_medium #ravulous

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Lifelines – What to do when the project is over

A few months ago, I posted about knitting lifelines. I hope I was able to give you a good understanding of what they are for, and how to use them when knitting your lace project.

But I kind left it hanging with the last post,  and didn’t explain what to do with them once your project is completed.  So this post is to pick up from there.  :)

——————

So, you’ve finished your project.  You have secured your last bound off stitch, and woven in your ends.  You made it through the whole project without one mistake.  Or if you made a mistake, the lifeline helped you save your project!  Yay!!!

But now you have a completed project with different colored threads running horizontally through your knit fabric.  And they have to be removed!  But how?

It’s simple!

You can either grab the lifeline thread from either edge, and pull, pulling the thread out of the row.  Or if your lifeline thread will not pull out easily, you can pick the thread out one or two stitches at a time, using your tapestry needle.

I made this quick video today to hopefully illustrate how to remove a lifeline.

Please be kind.

I almost didn’t upload it, and after I uploaded it I almost deleted it.  It is not the greatest quality…..

but

I only have 2 hands and I need both of them to knit with, so I have to improvise to hold my phone and camera!

Despite my skills in shooting a video, I still think this one illustrated the basic concept.

Enjoy!

Until Next time – Have a StitchTastic Day!

Angela

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A Knitterly Gift for the Worthy Knitter – Soakbox

Hands down, the best gift ever is a hand-made gift made with lots and lots of love.  Most knitters are well-known for their generosity and willingness to make things for others.  (This past Christmas I may or may not of turned myself into a martyr and knit several months straight non stop.)

But after all the knitting we do for others and for our own household, our hands would appreciate a gift for themselves.  :)

Yesterday afternoon Loops shared on their FB Page that they had just received a shipment of these Soakboxes from SoakWash.com and I immediately began to drool.

Soakwash

Image courtesy Loops Knitting via FB

Each Soakbox contains  yummy hand dyed custom yarn by Lorna’s Laces, Handmaid hand creme, Soak Wash wool soak, a unique pattern for fingerless gloves, and finger polish to match the yarn.  Each color has its own corresponding pattern. The 4 Patterns are: Lace Kelly (Teal), Clark Cable (Red), Double Pointe Pink (Pink), and Cuff au Lait (coffee-colored).

All the colors just look so pretty, and the yarn just asks to be petted in only the way a knitter can pet yarn.  From just looking at the picture, I think my favorite would be the Lace Kelly, with Clark Cable coming in a close second.  However I would not mind having all 4 sets just so I can have all 4 patterns.

Each set is priced at $54.99, so this would definitely be a splurge with my current budget.  But, my birthday is coming, so I just might be extra extra patient for the next few weeks and see if I get one of these for a special birthday surprise.  :)

These are now available locally in Tulsa, OK at Loops South, and should be at Loops Utica soon if they are not already there.  So stop by either store and get a set for yourself or as a gift for your favorite knitter before they are gone!   (I don’t know if they are available online at LoopsKnitting.com, but you can always contact either store via phone and see about placing an order that way. :) )

Until next time – Have a StitchTastic Day!

Angela

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Workbasket Wednesday – Happy First Day of Summer!

It is here at last! Summer!  Although we have been experiencing summer weather for about a month now, summer finally made its appearance on the calendar. I found this oldie on YouTube and had to share! I love Nat King Cole :)

The Lazy Crazy Days of Summer – Nat King Cole

I’m taking these few weeks to be lazy with house chores so  I can catch up on knitting projects and to plan for fall knitting classes.  I finally got pictures of the scarves I finished this past weekend.

This is my Purple Knit Cable Scarf

that I started intending it to be a Christmas present for my mom, and when I didn’t finish in time it became a birthday present for my mom (sorry mom!!).

I love the pattern but I have to honestly say I never want to touch Michael’s Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn ever again!!!  It is pretty stiff and not fun to knit with, but I have hope that it will soften up after a good washing.

And this is my finished Diamond Lace Scarf  

Isn’t it lovely?  This was knit from ArtYarns Cottonspring. This yarn was a total dream to work with once I got my tension just right.  The pattern is Short Row Lace Shawl by Iris Schreier.  Iris has a real talent for creating original stunning designs.  This one took me a long time, but I wanted to take my time with it to make sure I didn’t have any mistakes.  The diamonds are actually sections of rows knit in short rows, and they form an intricate lace effect.

Now the weather is getting warm already hot, I don’t want to work on any large projects.  So I am going through my Ravelry que and favorites, and knocking out all the littler projects, like dish cloths and hats.

This is my Purple Burst Dishcloth.

The solid section turned out looking blue in this picture, but it is purple! The pattern is Sunburst by Sara Baldwin and is a fun little item to knit up.

I have a favorite spot in my back yard I like to sit in the afternoons to knit with a glass of tea and enjoy the summer garden.

Well… this is what is in my workbasket.  What is in yours?

Until Next time – Have a StitchTastic Day!

Angela

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