Friday, February 3, 2017

Lace: Left & Right Leaning Decreases

I’m knitting myself a cowl.  It’s a simple Chevron Lace that I’ve knit a few times before, but this time it’s for me.  The yarn is from my talented friend. The skein was a OOAK skein that she gave me as a Christmas present.  And of course, I had to cast on immediately!  I love the way the yarn is knitting up. 

The lace eyelets form chevrons across the width of the shawl and look best when you work the decreases to lean the correct way.  For this pattern, the left leaning decrease is the ssk and the right leaning decrease is the k2tog.  These are fairly common decreases and chances are good you know how to knit them.  The skpo is another left leaning decrease that looks almost identical to the ssk, but I prefer working the ssk.
k2tog: 2 sts that will be worked, k2tog needle entry, finished stitch
A k2tog is a right leaning decrease.  When a k2tog is worked, two stitches are worked as though they are one stitch.  The two stitches circled in blue on the left are going to be knit together as though they are one stitch.  The center pic shows the right needle being inserted knitwise through both stitches and the right pic shows the completed decrease.  Circled in blue on the right are the same two stitches from the right.  You can see how only one pink stitch has combined the two grey stitches and that the decrease leans to the right.

ssk: slipping a stitch knitwise, 2 slipped knitwise sts sitting on the rh* needle, knitting together through the back of the loops

An ssk is left leaning decrease.  When an ssk is worked, two stitches are worked together as though they are one, but in a different way than for a k2tog.  First the stitches are slipped knitwise.  The left pic shows a st being slipped knitwise.  The center pic shows both stitches slipped to the rh* needle.  The right pic shows the lh* needle inserted in front of the rh needle ready for the two stitches to be worked as one. The two stitches are being knit through the back of the loops to form the finished SSK.

Comparison: finished ssk, finished skpo
The pic on the left show the completed ssk.  You can see the two stitches from the left pic above now overlapping each other and forming one stitch and that the decrease leans to the left.  The pic on the right shows a skpo formed by slipping one st knitwise, knitting one st, and passing the slipped stitch over the knit stitch in a manner similar to casting off.  You can see that this decrease also leans to the left.  I prefer the execution of the ssk, although both give similar results.

I love how the orientation of the decreases emphasizes the chevron eyelets!

*rh = right hand, lh = left hand

Project Details:
Needles: 3.25mm US 3

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February Classes - Socks & Beginners & Sweaters, Oh My!!

February is typically the coldest month of the year where I come from and a good time for making some cozy wool socks.  This month at Southern Made, is Sock Skills Saturdays.  This is a great way to pick up new skills needed for making socks.  Drop in at 2:30 for 30 minutes with sock yarn and needles and learn!
February 4 – How to make Socks that fit

February 11 – Making a standard heel flap type of heel

February 18 – starting the toe

February 25 – Kitchener stitch – grafting the toe closed

One beginner knitting session is being offered as well.  Saturday, February 4. 

Beginners can choose from three projects.  A baby hat, fingerless mittens and boot toppers And a 5 session sweater class, suitable for someone who can knit and purl is beginning the week of February 21st.

More class details on Facebook at Pogknits

Monday, January 30, 2017


So much life in the past few years!  All good, some challenging, all bringing me here.  Again!

For the last 18 months or so, I've been enjoying teaching knitting and spinning at my local fiber arts store.  Sadly, they have announced that they will be closing their doors, leaving me with a need to find a new way to continue to fulfil my passion of passing on the love of fiber arts to others.

With encouragement from my family, I am in the process of making my home fiber studio a welcoming place for students.  I am offering Beginner Knitting and drop spindle classes, sweater knitting classes, sock knitting classes and customizable classes from my home studio, or a location of your choice. 

Please check facebook for current class schedules, and message me to reserve your spot.

Patterns, knitted items and handspun yarn will continue to be available in my etsy store. 

And if you'd like something spun or knit for you, please contact me to determine how best I can provide you with a product that is made with all the care and expertise that 20 years of knitting and 10 years of spinning can offer.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

When Life Gives you Lemons...

We were away* for a few days and the cats had a friend come in to feed them. But apparently they were still upset I had left and Calvin (mug shot below) decided to show me by attacking my amaryllis.

I had been so thrilled when we got home that it hadn't opened it's blossoms yet. I love watching that process, so I was very dissappointed when he ripped 3 blooms off in quick succession. Not willing to give in to the Orange Menace, I found a way to enjoy my blooms, despite his attack.

Looks quite lovely and modern! It's my "lemonade"!

And I finished up the little sample from Moon Song Ranch. Lovely DK weight singles, about 40 yds.

*We spent a few days in Toronto to catch "The Wizard of Oz" at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. It was B's Christmas gift. What a wonderful time. It was so much fun to be able to give her this experience. We had watched CBCs "Over the Rainbow" and had hoped Danielle would win the role of Dorothy from the beginning. We were able to meet Danielle after the show, too. She was such a sweet girl - complimented M on how nicely dressed up he was and chatted with B while she signed her show poster.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Wonderful Christmas Gifts!

G and the kids got me a blending hackle and wool combs for Christmas this year! I was quite thrilled and pleased. He even started his shopping on December 1st rather than waiting until Christmas Eve. The set arrived this past Friday, but I didn't get a chance to play with it until Sunday evening as we had been away for the weekend.

The set he purchased is from Moon Song Ranch.

(Doug, if you'd prefer I remove the photo that I took from the listing in your etsy shop, please let me know. 
Your photo was much better than mine.)

Doug included a little sample package of gorgeous grey alpaca fleece, from their boy Tycho, some wool in a few different colors, some silk and some firestar (or is it angelina - I can never remember which is which) I've been playing with it already and have a few little nests of blended top!

I'm spinning it on my Kundert spindle as a DK weight low twist singles.

I can see this being a lot of fun! I have some farm fresh merino lamb I want to make into combed top next!

Friday, October 5, 2012

White Hot Chocolate

I'm always looking for an alternative to hitting the Tim Horton's drive-thru for my family's favourites. G's fav (other than coffee) is white hot chocolate. We've heard rumblings that Timmies might be discontinuing this hot bevvy. So I hit the kitchen with a likely set of ingredients.

Working from my French Vanilla Powdered Mix as a starting place, I mixed together:

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/3 cup vanilla flavoured coffee whitener

Add 1/4 cup of mix to a large mug and stir in boiling water. Froth the top with your handy dandy frothing tool and you have a Timmies Hack to make you happy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Zahara - help with ears

I've recently had a question regarding help with grafting the ears closed.

See that cute little ear, and the way the tip of it looks like the knitting just continues right over the tip? That's actually the grafting, otherwise known as the kitchener stitch.

Once you've finished the decreases for the ears you are left with 6 sts. Make sure you have 3 stitches on one dpn and 3 sts on another dpn. Then you would graft the opening closed the way you would the toe of a sock.

Knitty has a good tutorial that may help.

I've also found this YouTube tutorial by KnittingHelp for those of you who prefer your tutorials with moving pictures rather than stills.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dyed Locks

I'm prepping some raw Merino cross fleece for spinning. These locks are not as soft and smooshy as pure Merino, but they have considerable lustre! I'm working out a new colour work pattern for mittens and need several colors.

Into the dye pots (well mason jars, actually) to get two shades of pink, some green, orangey yellow and orange.

These are the same dark pink locks from the first photo, I've separated them and will flick the tips open before I spin them.

The green is actually from a Merino fleece - it's just a small sample. The bulk of the yarn for this particular project will be green and I love how this Merino fleece feels! I wasn't sure how best to obtain the precise green I wanted - hence the sampling.

Here's a few one yard 3ply samples that I spun from various blends of dyed fleece and undyed fleece. My fav is the one second from the left.

I'll also need light brown (sampled above), black and white. The black will be from some Shetland fleece I've recently washed and the white from some Merino lamb leftover from this dyeing project with B.

Incidently, all this fun is for Episode 3 of Project Spinway...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An Oddly Shaped piece of knitting

My fuzzy lamb was in need of a little cardigan before he goes off to live with a neice or nephew. After scouring Ravelry for a freebie, I made this:

Odd, no?

But with a bit of seaming magic, we have this:

It's the Mini Corolle Coat found on Ravelry. I used some leftovers from this mitten project for the little cardi.

Looks good on the wee lamb!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Phat Laceweight

I spun like a mad woman for the later part of this week. And had an all day plying marathon on Saturday, but my Phat Laceweight is finished (and I made the check-in for Project Spinway)

The finished yarn is soft, colourful, luxurious, green, jewel toned. The shine from the milk, silk and bamboo takes my breath away. The sparkle makes me smile. The yarn is wildly varied and yet a cohesive whole at the same time. It has turned out just as I’d hoped, but is even more beautiful than I could have wished for.

This is one Honkin’ skein of Phat laceweight!
930 yards, 24 wpi, 6.4 oz

I enjoyed this challenge immensely, despite being pressed for time. I used about two thirds of each Phat Fiber Sample from my check-in picture and about 7/8th of the eXtreme Spinning batt. I intend to spin up the rest of the Phat Samples and the last bit of the eXtreme Spinning batt. I expect to get another 130yds.

I did say I love this yarn, didn't I?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lace Weight without Effort

Have I said how much I love my new Thumbelina?! I can spin laceweight on it without any difficulty. It's so much fun.

After sampling a few days ago, I decided to make laceweight yarn with these fibers.

Here's what I have so far.

That's half the eXtreme Spinning batts and about 1/3 of the Phat samples. I need to have my spinning finished for Project Spinway on Saturday, so hopefully I can carve a little more spinning time out of the week. Plying will be for Saturday. I expect it will take a considerable amount of time to ply 50wpi singles!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fuzzy Lamb

My Fuzzy Mitten Lamb is finished.

I didn't sew the limbs on the way the pattern suggested. I think the photo included with the pattern has sewn them on differently too. I used a mattress stitch to put everything together. (This is a great tutorial for seaming toys)

B suggested he needed a little lamby tail too. I think he might need a little cardigan too. Then he'll be a coated Corriedale! I can't wait until I spin up some white fleece I got this summer. Hopefully it will be enough for another Fuzzy Mitten Lamb.