Friday, July 30, 2021

killing it...

Time, I mean! You know how you get that report on your device saying how much screen time you had in the last week? I hate that! OMG! How could I be wasting that much time! I wish I could get a thing that measures my productive time, like the minute I enter my knitting room, the clock starts ticking and I`m racking up good points! Big sigh! By the way, I never take my device in there! Anyway, that is some of my motivation for machine knitting lately!

I found some more 2 ply cotton – this one is Honiburd in natural, aka off-white, ecru or ivory. Personally, I think it should be called cream as it has a slight yellowish undertone, one of my best colours or non-colour, if you know what I mean.

 I do love that Me-cozy lace stitch Maybe you can tell because I`ve already used it on three button-front-lace-hoodies but I`m trying to branch out – who knows, there may be another new favourite out there!

Using the leftover yellow from Holey Moley, I made another long swatch, trying out several different stitch patterns. I still prefer the all-over patterning as opposed to one that results in vertical or horizontal stripes. I do like the second one down but the third one – it was an 8-st X 16-row built-in, that I added a few extra holes to every alternate diamond - is a new one and I`m feeling adventurous!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

trials and tribulations...

Did you miss me? Sorry I haven’t been posting much but it’s summer! And here in Thunder Bay, we are having a real summer. Most years, a hot summer day might be a high of 22 to 24C (70-75F) but this year, it’s off the charts! I enjoy a warm evening where you can have dinner out on the deck with a sweater or poncho handy but, oh my, we’ve had HOT! 

I still get some knitting in and I’ll continue to tell you about that, but I also have had some ‘blogger’ issues which I’ve tried and tried to solve. Last month I got a message saying that ‘feedburner’ or whoever was sending out my blog subscriptions was quitting in July. I'm hoping it's the end of July but we'll find out! I wanted to have an alternative ready before I told you about it and it’s been a struggle to figure it out – long story short, I think I’ve got it sorted!

So, if you’ve been getting an email of my current blog post and you want this to continue, you’ll need to re-subscribe. Just click this link  – it will take you to ‘Needles to say…’ and at the top right hand side of the page, you’ll see the new box to enter your email. Do that and click ‘subscribe’ and then say you’re not a robot. That’s it! They will send you an email to confirm and that’s up to you. Hope you do and I promise to get back to telling you stuff about my machine knitting!

Friday, July 2, 2021


The ‘antique gold’ wool that my sister chose - had a full cone, 500g plus a very small partial, total of 578g, (less 60g for the two cones) so I figured I’d have plenty of yarn. The charcoal lace wool hoodie that I made for myself back in April weighed 530g, finished, and since Janet’s will be a little smaller and a bit shorter, I thought I was golden. 
Decided on using the Tumbleweed stitch pattern and hems (published in Knitwords #53) – I think I forgot to tell you that I over-dyed it to match my olive green Day Dress, but oh well – it used to be beige and is now a pretty green! 
So, back to the present! I was carefully measuring and weighing and recording my progress with each piece. Then, all that went out the window as I made the hems to each piece as it was finished. 
Now, instead of taking my own advice and having a Plan B, it was done, right down to the final two side/underarm seams and there is only about 2 metres left – not enough for the seaming! I could take the smart, safe way out and do the seams in the old way but I’ve become obsessed with that Franky seaming method,    even to experimenting with increase/decrease methods. In the past, I’ve always said that I like to /have two stockinette stitches at the edge, one to be taken in the seam and with the Franky method, I’m hanging only half of the outside edge stitch for the seam so two plain stitches at each side make the seam too wide, especially with a very holey lace pattern like the me-cozy diamonds. 

So, on this one, I have done a simple increase on the edge stitch, picking up the bar/heel stitch of the edge and putting it on a new needle. Anyway, head like a rock! I had intended to show how minimal these seams are, so I still wanted to use the Franky method. Ha! I found a ‘close’ match of ‘cinnamon’ in the same wool and figured I would try it out, if it didn’t work, I could still resort to the old way where the seam is on the inside and the colour isn’t so important. Darn, picking up that edge stitch was so hard, I had to keep going. If Janet notices, I’ll tell her it’s a new design feature, like the coloured piping up the leg of those old jogging pants! :) 

Final weight, 516g…so, back to that hole theory – more holes, less yarn, maybe that’s true…more research required…

Friday, June 18, 2021

it worked...

Vickie’s twister wool lace hoodie, that is! I got hers out of one cone!! OMG! so
nice! I was right about the yardage on that yarn! Now, I still have a full cone for me! Later on that!

Something I like to tell newbies is to make the same thing several times – you’ll be surprised at what you learn through the repetition. Here’s me saying, wow, either I forgot more than I knew or I knew I forgot more! Whatever! It is getting to be that way but I’m still having fun.

Things I learned (again, maybe) so far

1. Be sure to use yarn marks at the edges – I usually put them every 50 rows – easy to remember and it does make the putting together so much easier and neater when you match them up.

washed but unfinished

2. Keep cheat sheets handy for the various techniques, as a reminder! how many rows in that band? what stitch size? turning row? the buttonhole technique – I thought I had it down pat and what do you know, missed one step and had to remake the whole band!

3. Before washing, hand stitch that pocket in place – only takes a  couple of minutes and saves having to re-block it after washing!

4. Put the band on the front of the hood before attaching the hood to the neckline. If it already attached, the front edge of the hood won’t stretch out to accept the band in one piece – you’ll need  two separate waste yarns on the band instead of being able to use the garter bar.


Done and it’s in the mail!

Friday, June 4, 2021

you know i didn't...

keep that one. I do know how to share, but it was close! Lisi came by, I remembered it was her birthday, showed it to her and she loved it! In the finish, it was a good thing I went with my backup plan of doing the bands in the ivory colour, it all looked good and I was left with about 50g of the clover, definitely not enough to have done the bands  - weird, the yellow one weighted in at 468g, finished and this one, same number of rows and stitches exactly, weighted 488g. Guess that’s the difference in the stitch pattern, although, when you think about it, stitches are stitches. More holes shouldn’t really make that much of a difference because the stitch is knit and then transferred to make the hole…oh, it’s over my head!

I was totally pleased with how it turned out – even had the perfect pewter buttons to finish it off without having to worry about making do - but already feeling bad about not planning it properly for Janet. Before I could change my mind, I called her, explained about the lace hoodie and offered her a choice of colours for wool. She’s really psyched, liked the fact that it was longer and would cover her bum! She chose ‘antique gold’, so outside her comfort zone – she wants to have something different! I’m okay with that.

In the meantime, my knitting friend Vickie from BC, gifted me with a couple of boxes of yarn! She recently moved and was feeling overwhelmed with her stash and offered me some of her good stuff to lighten the load! Oh my! talk about Christmas coming early! In the mix, besides 3 huge cones of wool crepe deluxe tweed – be still, my heart! - was 2 cones of Twister from Yeoman Yarns in the denim colourway. This was one of my favourite yarns and unfortunately, as did so many others, was discontinued.

Anyway, it’s a tweedy wool that I always thought had great yardage and now I’m going to see if I can get 2 lace hoodies out of it! We’ll be matching, fingers crossed!

P.S. don’t tell Vickie, it’s a surprise!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

you could call me...

obsessive! maybe compulsive! or even impulsive! I do tend to get stuck on something and I’m going to repeat it to death! No biggie, I think of it as keeping busy and it’s nice to be productive! Yeah, I’m making another lace, button-front hoodie. So!

Just to change it up a bit, I swatched a different lace pattern, this one from Becca 

thinking I had 2 cones of white Brittany. Turns out one was 'arctic', the other was 'optic' and there was a third one that was just 'white' - they were Bramwell Montana (says something about how old they really are), basically the same thing as Yeoman’s Brittany, the 2-ply soft cotton. I only noticed the colour difference after getting the swatch out of the dryer. What to do? You can’t plate with the lace carriage. Continue and over-dye it, may be an option. Adding in a second colour without stripes? Like, using the second colour just for the bands/borders so it looks like you planned it instead of just running out of yarn… like that Rich Raglan that was part of Serial Stuff 2

Looking further, I found 2 part-cones of Brittany in 'clover', a dark blush/gray-ish pink shade, about 250g left on each. Not really my colour but truly, I was thinking of making this one for sister Janet who is quite a bit shorter than me. The finished weight of Holey Moley is 468g, so it could be kind of pushing it. Back-up plan needed! After more searching, partial cones of 'parchment', an off-white, looked like it would ‘go’ with the clover and, yes, impulsively, I dove into this new project! Without thinking it through, (and shortening my schematic to suit my much shorter sister!) I went ahead, so excited to see how using the parchment for the hems and bands would change the overall look and solve the yarn shortage issue.

To be honest, by the time I was finished the Back, I was in love with this colour and thought, oh well, Janet will never know, and it’s be too long for her anyway!;))

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


that was me! Finished up Holey Moley last week and I thought, ‘oh, if I had somewhere special to wear this!’

We are in a stay-at-home lockdown, basically since Christmas, but the last month, really serious, where only essential stuff is open. I knew I wouldn’t get new buttons until this was over and I couldn’t wait. The best option I had was 8 ivory, plain 3/4 inch buttons that would work so I painted them to as close a match that I thought would do – I have some acrylic paints in my craft stash – a drop of mustard yellow and half a drop of golden brown gave me a shade slightly darker than my pale primula cotton.  Finished them off with a clear top coat of nail polish to protect the paint and I’m ready!

I’ll back up a bit. Everything done, ready for the wash – I had hand basted the other edges of the pockets in place, the centre front edge is incorporated in the button bands – thought it would be prudent to get everything pre-shrunk before the final sewing and  figured it might work better to have them stitched down, rather than free-floating in the wash. Worked nicely, pulled out the basting, pinned them again and machine-stitched in place, lining up the pattern properly. This is so nice! Love it!

washed (note ruler)
 with bad, unwashed sleeve

I had the appointment for my first vaccine and although it was a cloudy, sort of miserable day and I wanted to be comfortable, I figured I’d wear this with jeans and sneakers. Walked in, health card in hand and the lady said, ‘I just love your sweater! ! You look so springy!' I said, 'thank you'. Her, ‘Oh, it has a hood too! I need one of those, where did you get it?’ 

I had to admit I made it. She couldn’t see my smug smile…I was wearing my mask! Made my day!