Saturday, December 19, 2015

Lots of Hats

I know you know I knit lots of Hats - I'm particulary proud of these - Berries and Branches on top and Korona on the bottom.  Am really looking forward to the New Year and what new hats it might bring.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Remembering Aberdeen

I stayed in Aberdeen for a few days on the way to and from Shetland. It was fun to get to explore the city and I was able to get some practical stuff - like laundry- done.

Mindless knitting on the train - so I could look out the window.

Early morning view of the ferry docks from my apartment.
Latter I stayed at The Globe, a tiny hotel over a pub. Would highly recommend it- I had no problem with noise, the room was very comfortable, and I was an easy walk to the gallery and my favorite coffee shop.

Favorite perch at Books and Beans.  I could have sat there forever watching people walk by. Book shop/coffee shops are such a perfect combination. I stopped in several times and no one batted an eye at my loitering.

              The Aberdeen Art gallery was wonderful -  
        I fell in love with the work of Winifred Nicholson.

         A early morning view of Aberdeen from the ferry.

More photos from Shetland and Wool Week to come-

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Berries and Branches a Hat Story

As soon as I opened 150 Scandinavian Motifs by Mary Jane Mucklestone I fell in love with motif 1 and 2 (actually I fell in love with the whole book). First thing I did was add them to a little sock. Then I started playing around with ideas for a hat.

The body of the hat was pretty straight forward as I was planning on using the motifs as they appear in the book. The crown- the part I enjoy the most- can be like working with a kaleidoscope or a puzzle as you try to bring the whole into harmony.

Sharing process photos on Instagram, friends started asking for the pattern and so I decided to publish a free hat recipe that included my crown design with my formula for designing a basic hat. I referenced the book mentioned above as a good resource for motifs for the body.

Eventually ideas started percolating and I realized I could make the entire hat my own design. I started putting the pieces together.

One thing that had troubled me about the original /traditional dot motif was that the center dot as knit with the background color can appear sunken. I tried a few manipulations like knitting it through the back, which helped a little but still wasn’t what I had in mind. Eventually a friend mentioned the Estonian Button Stitch. I looked it up and realized with a few slight variations (working it over just one stitch and with two colors) I was able to get the effect I was hoping for.

I also realized using a third color could highlight the dots and so included that as an option in the chart along with some optional diagonal lines which I think add some fun dimension and movement.

Ultimately I published the updated pattern fully charted – body and crown along with the instructions for my version of the button stitch. You can find it here.  I decided since I was updating the blog I would post a little video I made demonstrating the stitch up above on its own page.

I’m really happy with the pattern and proud that I stuck with it to make it my own.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Travel Memories

I had promised to share some photos of my trip to England and Scotland. Alicia has reminded me and it really doesn’t take much arm-twisting. I had a spectacular time! After flying into London, I took a luxurious train trip up to Glasgow where I stayed overnight in a Cathedral rectory that has been converted into a small hotel. Then I made my way by train up to Oban through the most picturesque countryside of rolling hills and lochs. Oban is a bustling port city with lots of travelers making their way to various Hebrides Isles. I took a ferry to Mull, then a bus across Mull to take a ferry to Iona where I stayed for a week.  All the train-bus and ferry time meant lots of window gazing enjoyment. I loved every minute of it.

Now somehow I will choose my three favorite photos from Iona-


The Walk to the Hostel

 The view from the fields behind the Hostel-

I attended a beautiful Thanksgiving service at the Abbey cathedral. the children from the local elementary school sang and made a presentation about their school-yard garden project.

I'll wait a bit and share a few more photos down the road- so many wonderful memories-

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fresh Back 
after some time away-

A few weeks back I deleted the link to the blog from my Instagram profile- it seemed silly to link to a place I haven’t posted to in so long.  Then proving that absence can make the heart grow fonder- I couldn’t stop thinking about this humble space and the potential it might hold.

For a while I thought of starting a fresh blog in a new location and then came to realize this space holds a certain history for me. Despite it’s holes and gaps it helps me remember where I’ve traveled over the past six years and reminds me I have grown.

I am doing even more knitting today than last we met. There is also teaching and designing going on. I am officially a freelance fiber artist. Many tiny and BIG steps have been and are being taken.

I am going to try to focus my posts on my knitting process and hope to include more tips, tricks, and tutorials. I’ll warn you stray photos of chickens and cats may also appear.
Happy Almost New Year!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Just Popping In -

Popping in after a very long time away-  So what’s new? Much is the same-just with little variations- life is good.

I transitioned out of and into some new work and have been focusing on trying to not be so darn busy just being busy.  The husband is happy in some new work with lots of potential for him to use his creative skills and David just started his Junior Year as an illustration major and loves it!

There has been lots of knitting for me this past year and I have had the wonderful opportunity to do some teaching at my favorite local yarn store –  knitting 101 , beginners socks, mittens, as well as a slew of color work  sweater and fair Isle classes. I’m finding the teaching really energizing.

I’ve also been flexing some designing muscles. Last winter I posted a couple of patterns for color work mittens and last week I posted my Recipe for Fair Isle hats and a crown chart on Ravelry -partly the result of all that playing around with hats I was doing when last we met.  I’m plotting to spend more time designing this winter.

Big news is that a week from today I head out to Scotland. I’ve been planning and dreaming about this 3 week adventure for quite some time now.  There will be lots of train travel- ferry rides- island discovery and Wool Week shenanigans! I am beside myself with excitement!

All that to say – will be back the end of October with lots of photos and news to share – or if you happen to be on Instagram – I spend a fair amount of time there. Happy Knitting to you!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Third and Final Hat For a Bit-

Can’t believe Friday is here- I got home from a wonderful weekend visiting family – then scurried around tying things up at work- and today we head off – Up North camping!  Wanted to be sure to post about the third and final hat in my  personal mini Fair Isle Hat Challenge before I head out.

I spent a little more time on this hat because I was really interested in doing a little something different with the crown.

I picked out quite a few little bits of yarn. The colors are blues, greens, dark green/brown and little hits of black.I had labels for….Charcoal, Earth, Grouse, Cosmos, Moorgrass, Yell Sound , Sky, and  Woodgreen. These colors remind me so much of the landscape where we camp- I know I was daydreaming of our upcoming trip as I pulled the colors together...

I try to be organized about keeping track of colors, but it gets tricky – Often I get carried away and start knitting and forget to lable a band...

I cast on 136 stitches using a size 2 needle. This time I used a cable cast on and this turned out to be the method that gave me the result I liked best.  I did a 1by1 rib here and that also proved to be my favorite of all three hats. I needed to adjust the increase to 176  stitches because of the pattern I chose which is # 142 from the “200 Fair Isle Motifs” book.

To play with the crown pattern I pulled out an old issue of Threads magazine- Dec. Jan. 88-89. I decided to do a 7 point star and  adjusted the space between the star shapes and added in a tree motif  from Mary Jane’s new book ‘150 Scandinavian Motifs”.

Because the crown starts with 168 stitches this hat has a crown with a wider diameter than the Feitelson hat. On this hat I used the Slip 1, K2together, Pass the slipped stitch over- decrease. This makes a little raised ridge, which I found I liked – but I think I may like the look of the Hat#2 decrease better.

I did find that I needed to reknit the crown because I wasn’t really happy with my initial transition between the body and crown.Thankfully I had slipped a "lifeline" in before I started the crown so it was relatively pain-free to rip back.

I am so  happy that I took the time to reknit-  can truly say this one ended up being my favorite- probably my favorite hat ever- and I’ve knit a lot of hats!