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Good morning from a suspiciously sunny Edinburgh!

I’ll save the absence apology for another time and move right into the fun stuff.  Well, my definition of fun stuff, maybe not yours…

I have finished Seth’s sweater in time for him to wear it while it is still cold.

It came together nicely and fits well after blocking.  Now I am finishing a few belated gifts and then it’s on to knitting for me – so selfish I know…

I have been sewing blankets for this shop in Edinburgh, a job I picked up via a recommendation from my lovely friend Kristen.  Now that I’ve been doing blankets for a couple months, my boss Suzanne asked me to complete the patterns and designs for fleece hot water bottle covers (a project started by Kristen before she got all fancy and went to London Fashion Week. Just kidding, Kristen, I am so happy for you in your new job!).  So this morning I pulled out all my scrap fleece and got to pattern designing based on Suzanne and my meeting from last night.   I’d show you a photo, but it’s just some turquoise fleece and some paper (actually, that would be a cool photo, but I can’t find my camera…).

Kristen, Suzanne and some of the other sewing gals from the shop came up with some great designs to be appliqued onto the ‘hotties’: Nessie, a thistle, a scottie dog, flowers, a sailboat and more.  I’ll be busy with these for a while as Suzanne has just made her initial order of 35 (3-4 of each design).  I am really enjoying being a part of a design project from the ground up – Thanks to Kristen and Suzanne for trusting me with this work!

I’d better get to designing and sewing, as Seth and I head off to the states for a visit home at the end of the month.  We haven’t been back to the states since we moved to Edinburgh 14 months ago – Bring on the family time (and a little Chipotle thrown in there too)!

I hope to be back in this space soon with more finished projects and photos.  Happy Tuesday to you until then.

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Pattern: Summer Mystery Shawlette by Wendy Johnson
Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt 4ply Merino & Bamboo
Colorway: Grape Soda (my own hand dyed color from the dye workshop)

I want to call this my first real lace project, but should probably clarify that before I do.  Can something be considered a lace project when (a) it’s in 4ply and not lace weight? and (b) the lace pattern is on one side only with every other row being ‘purl across all stitches’?  Can a wiser knitter please let me know? Thanks.

I had fun knitting this little shawl.  The pattern was originally a mystery shawl, so the pattern came in different sections – this small detail gave me a sense of accomplishment each time I completed a section instead of just thinking ahead to all I had left to do!  I also have to give bottom up shawls a big thumbs up – I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a project that actually goes faster the further along you get? By the time I was on the last section, I felt so close to the finishline that I did the whole section in one sitting then immediately blocked the shawl. 

Don’t stare too closely at my shawl if you are an advanced lace knitter – I will admit to K2tog’s and M1’s when my stitch count was mysteriously off at the end of a pattern repeat (though I did always check to see if the mistake with within 20s of my current position, I mean, I am not THAT lazy… most of the time).  I am actually surprised that this little shawl looks as good as it does given the amount of mistakes I remember finding – I am seriously in love with it.   It doesn’t hurt, of course, that the yarn is a dream. It was soft and squishy in skein form, and after blocking is even more soft and lovely against my neck.

Not being able to wear this right away is my one and only complaint against summer.

No photos to go along with this list, but they will come along soon.

1. Went to WoolFest with some dear friends from knit group last weekend.  Got to hold a kitten-sized ten day old lamb and bought yarn to dye and fibre to spin.

2. Tried my hand at top-whorl drop spindle spinning.  My first attempt started as a slubby thin yarn and ended closer to a worsted weight slubby yarn.  But, I am still pleased with my new hobby.

3. Finished my first lace shawl last week, but will have to wait to show it off to the world until the fall (but no complaints about the warm weather!). Photos to come.

4. Feeling rather dull of late – tired and unsocial with nothing to talk about.  I am hoping this melancholy will lift soon – Perhaps a week in Paris is the cure I’ve been needing…

5. Am missing my family as we approach the Fourth of July.  My extended family on my dad’s side always does the Fourth together, and this year instead of all staying near my aunt’s vacation trailer home and being a  part of the small town parade in Solon Springs WI, they will be headed up to my dad’s land near Duluth MN for four-wheeling, golf, and apparently I hear rumours of secondhand above ground pools that have been purchased.  You’d have to know my crazy family to truly understand how I will miss this slightly white-trash/hick gathering in northern MN – I am considering writing a biography of the Johnson clan to preserve the memories for future generations. If any Johnsons or adopted Johnsons are reading this, I wish you well and safe for this Fourth of July weekend.  Enjoy the Lodge and don’t do anything stupid with fireworks.

Gotta run, it’s secret birthday dinner time for a friend and we’re hosting – time to cook 50 meatballs for the spaghetti…

Spent some of my May and June knitting time creating a laptop case for my youngest sister’s birthday.  It was my first attempt at a woven stitch that really required cabling without a cable needle.  A new stitch and a new technique – always good!

I held two strands together of an already bulky yarn to get the super bulky that the pattern required.  Was a little worried about the size, but after blocking it will be perfect for her laptop (slightly bigger than my grandpa-aged mac).  I still didn’t have room to add in the lining I thought I would – I do worry about the yarn fibers getting into her computer… hmmm.  I did pick a higher twist yarn so hopefully that will help?

Happy Birthday Bridget!

Pattern: Fiorella
Yarn:  5 skeins Berroco Vintage

Pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan
Yarn: Cotton Ease
Size: 3 months

I started this on May 24 and cast off on May 29.  This pattern was lovely to knit and I don’t think I’ve knit anything this quickly in a long time.  The outfit is for Katy and Jeremy’s son who is due to arrive in early August.  I had to get my handmade baby gift in early since Katy is an avid seamstress and knitter.  Just look at some of the outfits she made her sister’s new baby girl!

You can’t really tell from the photos, but the buttons are white with a little bumblebee on each one.  I originally wanted just plain lime green buttons, but when those didn’t appear, I figured there would be only very few projects on which cute bumblebee buttons were appropriate.

Given the speed at which I knit this little sweater, I thought briefly about casting on for a second one right away.  A quick glance through my other knitting projects and ravelry queue, as well as the feeling that I would run into some sort of ‘second sweater’ syndrome, squashed those plans – but I do have plenty of yarn to churn out a few more baby sweaters this summer.  I did purchase Laura Chau’s Sweet Bunting Cardigan pattern and keep nudging it up the queue – so maybe that will be my next baby knit? With about 7-8 pregnant or adopting friends right now, I have plenty of babies to knit for!

 

 

Last weekend I finished up a couple of pending projects while Seth was running around Speyside on a whisky tour trip.

Finally finished up this deep v-neck vest.  Very simple knit with a nice result.  Still have to give this one a bath, but I always enjoy the thrill of finishing something completely – weaving in all the ends, putting away the needles and tucking away the leftover yarn before laying out your finished work and admiring it from all angles…

Sewed up a bright silk needle roll for my friend Megan. She picked out the fabrics a few weeks ago and they match her personality perfectly.

For Valentine’s Day this year, I started embroidering a small bag for our Farkle dice as a gift for Seth.  I finally finished the embroidery in March, and sewed up the bag this weekend.

All in all a productive weekend!

 

 

Now that I am keeping my queue on Ravelry organized, I am working on finishing up some WIPs so I can start fresh with some new projects soon.  With the slight detour of knitting five hats in a row for St Patrick’s Day, I jumped right back into this project last week and flew through the second mitt.

They are simple fingerless mitts (my own pattern) with a slit for thumbs.   I needed some new mitts that were (a) more sleek and (b) less casual.  Though I don’t know if these count for that, they will be a welcome addition to my chunky cream mitts and my dark orange mitts.

The yarn is Lorna’s Laces – a one of a kind colorway I bought at their studio after a tour last year.   These only took 50g, with a little to spare.

Since these are now finished I only have two WIPs in my knitting bag – Chrysanthemum mittens (10% done) and a fitted vest (80% done).  Might start the next queued item to mix things up a little, but plan to finish that vest this week.

My family’s recent visit to Edinburgh happened to fall over St Patrick’s Day.  As my mom and her two sisters are half Irish, they always feel compelled to celebrate by wearing green, calling my 100% Irish grandmother, and drinking Guinness.

Since their visit fell on this important holiday, they asked that I knit up green hats for them to wear.  The only request they had, other than color, was that the hats not ‘flatten their hair’.

A first attempt at the hats proved disastrous.  Having not knit too many slouchy hats before, I wasn’t sure how slouchy was too slouchy until I was 4/5s done with a hat that turned out to be gigantic.  The pattern I was using was also far to time-consuming given my deadline of March 17.

I searched Ravelry for a pattern to go with my yarn – looking for something with a little interest combined with a lot of stockinette stitch (for time’s sake).  I found the Poppy Slouchy Hat pattern and decided to run with it.  Luckily, it turned out to be just perfect for what I wanted and no more frogging was required.

{Aunt Therese, Mom, Aunt Anne in St Andrews}

The pattern features a simple slouchy hat body with a sort of lace rib brim. These hats were dead easy to make and I was able to finish with time to spare (not lots of time, but you know how that goes).

They wore the hats all week which was a huge relief for me.  It is very rare for my family to request something hand knit, and so when they loved what I made, it lead to a huge sense of accomplishment.

The hats also only took about half of the yarn I thought they would – making this a nice pattern to keep on hand for last minute gifts and anyone else who doesn’t want their hair flattened….

How was your St Patrick’s Day?

 

 

 

{raveled}

The first of St Patrick’s Day hats I am knitting for my family when they visit Edinburgh over March 17.  I have another skein of yarn destined to be a second version of this hat for my youngest sister, and three other skeins of a different green to become beret/tam style hats for my mom and aunts.  Get ready for posts about green hats, because that’s what I’ll be working on until they get here…

The color is shown better in this second photo, but it’s even more true green in person (love it).   Can you see that I am wearing my 2010 Cardi again today?  That brings the knitted items worn today up to three (mitts not pictured) – so warm.  I used Rowan Pure Wool Aran for this hat – I can get a big 100g skein for £7 and make an entire hat.  It comes in tons of colors and so far doesn’t itch my forehead too bad like most wool does. 

This pattern was easy to remember – one lace pattern row followed by three ‘knit all’ rows.  I will say that the P3tog’s did hurt my hands a little – I am going to really have to be careful to be nice to my hands and wrists if I want knitting to be a lifetime hobby.   I’ll take a little break before knitting up the second one – focus on simple knits or (shock) take a break from knitting for a few days.   

Happy weekending everyone!

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AnnieHorn

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