Thursday, September 06, 2012

Odds, Ends and Beginnings

Hi Knitters,
On this Sunday, Sept. 9th, the Quaker Ridge Shawlette Knitalong begins! I am so excited to finally get this going. We have a great turn out on the Itty-Bitty Knits group on Ravelry so far. The official sign up ends this coming Saturday but this is just to be eligible for the prize drawings for the knitalong. You can join in anytime and just knitalong for the fun of it, that's always welcome. I'll do occasional updates here on the blog, too, if you want to just knit on your own and follow along right here. It's all good in my book.

I am most excited to see all of the brand-new posters and joiners on Ravelry and the Itty-Bitty Knits group and the huge number of first time knitalong joiners. I love bringing new people in to all of these knitting-related places because they are so good for knitting in general. Knitalongs bring such an atmosphere of community, sharing and helping when working on a project. They are motivating, too.

Click here for the Itty-Bitty Knits Quaker Ridge Shawlette Knitalong!

Click here for the Quaker Ridge Shawlette pattern! Please note that the pattern is now on sale for $4.00 and after Sept. 9th the price will go up to the regular price of $5.00.

I wanted to share a couple of shots of the shawl spread out in all of its glory. You can get a good view of the ridges on the body of the shawl, the two increase lines, the lovely ruffle and the shimmer of the beaded bind off. It's a big beautiful shawl that can be worn wrapped up around your neck or draped over your shoulders. The Quaker Ridge is a versatile shawlette.

The yarn is Pashmina by Madelinetosh (2 hanks are needed for the shawl) and it is decadent and drapey. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn more than I can say. Click here to see more about Pashmina!

For the beaded bind off on the shawl, I used these flossers. I could string on about 10 beads at a time. You place them on the yarn one at a time as you bind off. It is a little tedious but beautiful in the end. In the pattern I link to a couple of great video tutorials on how to place beads with a flosser or tiny crochet hook. This type of flosser worked well for me others use the Superfloss. You can buy either of these at the grocery or drug store.

On to other knitting, I have finished two more pairs of my worsted weight mittens. This pair is knit with the ever-fantastic self-striping watermelon wool from Freshisle Fibers. Click here to see more about the Freshisle Fibers Watermelon yarn. I am so in love with this yarn but it is tricky to get your hands on. I stalked the site one day (around the first of the month is a good time to do this) and I lucked out.

Pattern coming soon! The third pair I knit is in Noro Kureyon (2 skeins) and I will share those shortly.

On to some odds and ends, I've been feeling a little sad and melancholy as I watch my babies, now adults, leave for college one by one. I have always been happy to have four children to call my own but these days I am happier than ever to have lots of kids. The gradual transition to having independent adults for children is helping to ease the sadness. Don't get me wrong, I find great joy, fascination and happiness in my grown children, it is just a different phase of life. The fact that everyone is doing well is all this mama really needs to know. Any mother will tell you, it is a difficult time when your kids first leave home because you know that things are never quite the same again. They are good and happy, just not the same.

Anyway, to melt away the sadness and longing for my boys I've been doing lots of this......

and this.......

and this.....

and this....

....and all is good in the world.

And I've pulled out the handspun Hitchhiker shawl once again. It's the project that never ends. I am knitting it out of my handspun from Dianne of Sheep Dreams roving. It is lovely and I know I will love wearing it when it is finished. It is getting to the finish that is making me lose my mind. Wish me luck. The pattern is clever and simple. I have completed 35 out of 41 points, each point being 8 rows of garter stitch, each row getting longer and longer and longer.... I may set a new record for having the Hitchhiker on the needles longer than anyone else in history.

I've completed editing my current book pages. Phew! Another round is done and gone. This book has been a lot of work. I think the extra efforts will be worth it in the end. It is always exciting to see your work come to life in a book. The new book will be released in the spring of 2013.

Lastly, I have so been enjoying my little backyard garden this summer. We have bowls of ripe red tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. The zucchini has been especially abundant, too. There is nothing better than fresh picked veggies from your backyard. This makes my day.

Carry on and I hope to see you at the Quaker Ridge Shawlette Knitalong or just knitting along on the side!
best, susie