More crochet

CollarsTo get the certificate we have to crochet a collar.

My first attempt was with some hot pink yarn left over from socks knitted for my
niece. Unfortunately, with only two rows to go, I ran out of yarn.

Started all over again with a different skein of sock yarn. Gosh, I can’t remember buying Confetti Shepherd Sock … not a color I would normally buy and I only have one skein (well only 1/3 of a skein now).


If I must crochet then I had to treat myself to something I’ve been longing to do … spin. This interesting (and easy to spin) pencil roving and Lady Barbara spindle were gifts from Gnomiejo. Thanks again Naomi … you’re right this spindle is wonderful.

And the bag is from Michale. She made it! And it’s perfect for this spinning project. Thanks!

Possibilities are endless

First off the gansey is ready for class.


Now it’s on to the lopi style sweater.

Yesterday I drafted a pattern for a sweater with a large yoke. I used these swatches to more accurately determine the height of the yoke.


The design is from Aftur in Lopi Book No. 25. Of course as with any design like this, the possible color combinations are endless. Mine is inspired by several other Aftur projects I saw on Ravelry. I’m sure I’ll change up the color arrangements again but will stick with a grey/white/black/magenta color scheme.

Well I’m off to adjust my Lopi pattern again … going to trimming off a couple of centimeters of ease. Less ease + big needles = a lot less knitting. Maybe I’ll have it ready for our next session.

Oh, and about those sheep. They’re for meat and won’t be around past fall. It’s sad but not my choice. Hubby’s been watching shows on how to raise your own food and he’s kicked it up a notch … from just a small summer garden to getting involved in sheep for meat.

Nothing fancy


The third project is done. A very simple raglan knitted in pieces from the bottom up. It also has a stitch pattern that matches at the shoulder seam.

Sometimes simple is good, especially when juggling several projects at once.

Still haven’t started the second project, a dolman sleeved cardigan. I keep pressing on with the other projects, hoping I’ll eventually find time for the dolman.

The Aran is almost finished but it’s on the back burner while I make progress on the gansey and Lopi projects.

Here we go again …

Lambs_pride We have another project to start.

For me it’s a Lopi sweater called Aftur. It’s a pattern I’ve been admiring over the past few weeks and with only seven weeks until the next class I really don’t have enough time to come up with my own design.  This colorway is similar to several Aftur projects on Ravelry.

I’m thinking of adding a couple of pink/purple colors.

Never used this yarn before. After reading reviews on Ravelry I’m kind of concern that it might shed too much.

Finished a project


Yippee! The first project of year two is finished.

It’s the Shaped Lace T from Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael but redrafted with “puffy” sleeves.

This weekend I’ve been catching up on my projects. It took me two days to sew sleeves on the raglan. I swear, I’ll never use Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed again. The yarn is wonderfully soft but breaks too easily when seaming.

On the way home from the Farmers market I popped my head into  the Quilting Loft. Last year I remember seeing some wonderful bags by Cheryl Kuczek on display. She was teaching a class on how to make these bags but not having much time for another class, I asked whether they had patterns for these bags. They didn’t but expected to have some in a couple of months. Time flies … and I totally forgot until yesterday when I was in the neighborhood. This time they did have them. Don’t know when I’ll find time to make one though.

On to the gansey

Wow, so much interest in that little Folca box!

It is a great little box that I found through the Japan Knitting and Crochet group on Ravelry. Someone was looking for one and another member mentioned that  Ichiban Kan had a few. Unfortunately they don’t seem to have any in stock right now.

Thanks for the tips on the row counter. I’ll check into the ones that Beenotions makes.


I started the gansey this weekend. It’s growing fast … nearly at the halfway mark for what needs to be done for homework.

About the Aran …

I mentioned that the strip on the shoulder is off center because of how sweaters tend to shift when being worn.  This type of adjustment is done on this sweater so that the panel is clearly visible from the front. We haven’t done this on any of the other sweaters we’ve knit. I’m hoping Jean will let me do a panel on the Gansey so we’ll see if she suggests making its panel off center as well.

Minimizing accessories

Not too long ago I down sized my carry along gadget box into this nifty folca box.


This compact box unfolds to reveal many compartments. Including one that long enough for small Japanese snips, darning needles and a mini crochet hook.


One thing I’d really like to add is a manual row counter. The usual row counters like the katcha-katcha or the barrel ones are just too big.

Recently I was thinking about this dilemma and remembered a counter that came along with some knitting needles and supplies I inherited a few years ago.


This small flat counter  fits perfectly into my box but unfortunately some of the numbers have worn off.

This weekend searched the internet hoping to find a new one. My searches on Ebay and Google didn’t bring up any sources. When I search the by patent number and found this. The patent was filed in 1941! I had no idea it was that old. Looking at the diagrams revealed that the holes on the underside are there so that it can be slipped onto a needle. It’s got to be the predecessor of the barrel counter.

At this point I have no hopes of ever finding another one.

Here’s  a picture of the Aran.


Although it’s not done, it is ready for the next class … when we’ll learn how to sew in the sleeves.

I asked Jean why the saddle is about 1cm off center of the shoulder (more towards the front). She said it’s to compensate for how the garment tends shift backwards on the shoulders

No longer a serial knitter

I’ve been so busy with so many things that blogging has taken a back seat.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up knitting. Actually I’m on the verge of starting yet another project, a gansey.


This Nihon Vogue class definitely breaking me of my serial knitting habit. So far four sweater in progress with three nearly complete. While our fall trip to Japan set me back, I’ve also been making time for other things in my life. It’s so easy for me to get tunnel vision when working on a project that I tend to let neglect other things … but not this year.

The Aran is nearly complete … just need to add the ribbing and start sewing it together. I’ll post a photo of it next week.

I’m also dropping the idea of using an openwork stitch pattern for the dolman. Others in the class that did ened up having a difficult time with the short rows on the top of the sleeves. That’s one good thing about being behind, I get to see how others struggled with theire projects and make changes accordingly.

Aran progress

Sophie couldn’t help herself … just had to be in the picture and attack my sweater. I had to pry it out of her paws after this photo.

This is the front. The back is about half done (and looks the same).

It’s coming along ok. When I hold it against my body it almost looks like a corset … very stiff.  The yarn should soften when washed, at least that’s what happened with the swatch.

After the sleeves are finished I’ll start the gansey swatch.

Cable shuffle

Got a really slow start on my Aran swatch due to a severe head cold that came with pounding headaches. I’m feeling much better today.

I charted all the stitch patterns onto a large graph before starting the huge swatch. After 14 rows  I could clearly see that my original cable arrangement really wouldn’t work very well so I ripped out my work and cut my neatly drawn graph into sections. Breaking the graph up into sections by cable pattern made it easier to rearrange until I hit upon a workable solution (I hope).

Aran_stitches_revised I started the latest swatch last night and can’t put it down.  I’m enjoying my Addi Clicks and this Magpie Tweed.

Too bad Magpie has been discontinued. I’ve been looking for a good substitute but I haven’t found one yet. Probably because I’m very picky. I want a yarn with three plies, tightly spun, about 150 yards per 100 grams and 100% wool. I think such a yarn just isn’t made these days or isn’t easily available. I’ve heard comments that it’s just to0 thick, creating a very warm sweater that can only be worn in the coldest climates, so there isn’t a market for it these days. I understand that, but then why do manufacturers still put out bulky and ultra bulky yarn? Wouldn’t those make even heavier sweaters?

By the way, here are the stitch pattern books I’ve been using.

  • 100 Aran Patterns (Japanese) ISBN 4-529-02293-5 (the book shown in the picture above)
  • Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elsebeth Lavold
  • The Cable Knitting Handbook by Annie Maloney