Wednesday, June 10, 2020

My day in Sydney Feb 2020

I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to travel to Sydney this last winter in order to go on a Knitting Cruise though Australia and New Zealand.    Absolutely beautiful places and I'll share a bit of my travels in the future but today let's focus on knit stuff.  
Our groups boarded a van and traveled outside the city to visit Jane Slicer-Smith's home studio.  She is a prolific designer and wonderful hostess.   Her  book Swing, Swagger and Drape is lovey and you may have seen her designs before.   She has a line of wool (just knit my swatch yesterday and it is so soft and textured) www.sigknet.com

Although I had no intention of purchasing yarn...when there are so many samples to try-on and you fall in love with the details and workmanship, it very difficult to walk away.   I doubt I'll be in Australia any time soon>


I did chose the Windsor Jacket and hope to have it complete by my next knitting cruise  (www.Craftcruise.com)

Our next stop was a local yarn shop in the city of Sydney and again I did purchase yarn, but this time it was for one of the three patterns I brought with me to find a matching yarn.    This time around I made the decision to have a few patterns picked out prior to the trip in order to take some control of the amount of yarn I purchased.   I think my plan worked out well and I've completed one design since I arrived back home.   But more of that in another post. 



Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Knitting Life update 2020

A trip of a lifetime in the middle of a pandemic. Australia and New Zealand Feb 2020.  Yes, I had this voyage planned many months before the cruise date and yes at that time I was aware of what was happening in Asia and Europe.. but I was confident if I used safe practices things would be fine and it was.

I left the USA on Feb 22th for my flight to Sydney, Australia.   SFO was busy,  some people were wearing masks, most not. When I arrived in Sydney there were questions about where I had been in the last few weeks..but other then that, no mention of virus at all.

The cruise was lovely.  Ships crew did all they could to keep the ship sanitary and safe.  The places we visited are beautiful. expansive and breathtaking.  But more about that and all stuff knitting related in a future post(s).    We arrived back in the states on March 14th.   This time the airports were empty, very surreal.

I've been home sheltering in place, only going out for a daily early morning walk and to pick up groceries every 10 days to 2 weeks.   I'm very fortunate to live in an agricultural area of the country...so fresh vegetables have become my mainstay..and it helps to support our local farmers.

Zoom has become my meeting place to knit with friends. Have you tried it?  Many shops are offering Zoom meet-ups, so technically it's possible to knit with people from yarn shops across the country.   I
think I'm going to try that sometime soon..

I've been taking knitting/crochet classes, rewriting a pattern designed 10 years ago and knitting of course.  


Oh and this
Hope you are well, in this very sad time..yet I have optimism for the future.    

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Nifty Gadgets for Knitting and Crochet

 Three gadgets that I find so handy for knitting and crochet





1. Gauge measuring tool (top left side)  This tool grips the fabric so that you have a set area to measure without a tape measure or gauge tool shifting as you count.

2.  Circular needle tubes (bottom left) --These are fantastic metal tubes with a rubber cap.  The cap has an opening to insert the needle tips.. very clever holding your stitches in place and protecting your needles at the same time.   Love these.

3. Magnetic pattern place holder (bottom right).   My go to way of keeping track of my place in a pattern is post-it notes, but these magnetic place holders are another great way to stay on track.   The magnets are attached to ribbon and cover the width of a page.   This and a simple clip board really makes knitting or crochet patterns easy to follow.

I also love my bag collection..when a yarn shop offers a bag with their logo or name printed on it, I'm sure to make that purchase.   It's a way of recalling my visit to that shop and a memory of the trip made to reach it.
This blue project bag is from the yarn shop Yarn Diva and more in Hillsdale, New Jersey.   (April 2019)

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Favorite Knit Shop - Southwest

    Santa Fe is a wonderful place to visit. I met a long time friend, her sister and her sisters' friend in this lovely place.   We stayed right off the plaza and visited museums, an art and craft show, shops and restaurants.  We also took the local tour tram and visited 10,000 Waves Spa.  A lot packed into a few short days.    A lovely place and wonderful hosts.   I did not visit a wonderful knit shop in Santa Fe and I understand it is just a few minutes from the hotel.  Guess I'll have to go back.   

Before I flew home, I stayed in an Albuquerque Old Town Bed and Breakfast, the Bottger Inn.  A lovely place and wonderful hosts.   


But the best thing.....I found my most favorite yarn shop ever in Albuquerque.   

What would your ideal yarn shop to have?

I'd like a variety of yarns including local spinners and dyers, a welcoming and knowledgable staff, a great selections of tools and sample projects on display, a comfortable, well lit place to work alongside others and cats.


The Yarn Shop at Nob Hill - Albuquerque, New Mexico


Stephen Wests  Suriously Holey


 The Shop is in a fantastic area of the town, next to the University of New Mexico campus and Nob Hill, an area filled with shops and a variety of ethnic restaurants.  I spent the entire day there.   What else should one do when the temperature is 106 degrees.  Better to stay out of the heat and knit.   My unusual purchase was Wolf yarn..looking forward to making mittens!



This is a beautiful cat, deep brown coloring. He just roamed the shop. About an hour into my stay, a young couple stopped in the shop in order to adopt the cat. The shop takes cats from the local shelter and helps them connect to new owners.  A Wonderful thing.  

Monday, February 03, 2020

Techniques "End of Row Cast On"


There will be times when you need to add stitches to a row.  Sometimes that comes at the end of a row, perhaps to create a sleeve.  Sometimes you need to add stitches mid row, when you are creating buttonholes, adding underarm stitches to a body worked top down or perhaps you are knitting hand warners or socks.  I prefer a knitted cast on, this method is more stable and gives a first row to the portion you are creating.

Here's a look at the my steps to doing a Knitted cast on




Wednesday, January 29, 2020

2019 Recap and my new plan...

I know I do this every New year...start out blogging, review what I knit/crocheted in the prior year and set out to commit myself to blog on a regular basis.  Based on my posts in the past, somehow the blogging stops.
Well I'm doing this again, but this time I have a new plan.  And this time it will work!!!!



Summer and Fall 2019

Butterfly cowl, Shifty, The Throwback
Gumdrop, Sue's No Holes cardigan,  Lanayolivos cap, Toft Sheep 
Night Shift, Granny bag @esc, Bob Wilson's Solid Granny Bag

Spring and Summer 

Fair Isle cap-Dublin, Wool and Honey (A Mowry)
my creations a cap and Quilted Princess on Ravelry/Love Knitting
3 Color Cashmere (joji locatelli), Weekender (A Mowry)
Estonian Dream & Seafarer's Cap (Beth Hall)


Brioche - Rosenkranz cap and cowl
wooliewonderscrochet  baby dress
Lakeside crochet cap


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Challenge Accepted-Double Knitting


It seems as if it took me 3 years to finally feel comfortable with Brioche knitting.   I took numerous classes both live and online (mybluprint.com) from the most knowledgable people in the field.  I repeated the classes, created multiple practice projects and read every book Nancy Marchant wrote.  Brioched in single color, two color, flat and in the round.  It finally sunk in....the most difficult thing in knitting for me....ever.   I must admit that I'm not at 100% and probably never will be, but I challenged myself and feel great about the result.



This year the challenge is Double Knitting...I've taken a few classes, but never created a project.  This year in February I'll be traveling on a Craft Cruise to Australia and New Zealand with Lucy Neatby as our instructor.    Although there is no double knitting class aboard ship, I know the motivation to learn more about double knit will be there.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

One, Two and Three- Andrea Mowry Knits



My Daughter loves Andrea Mowry Designs

Kate is a Crocheter (her plan is is learn how to knit this year), but after discovering Andrea Mowry designs she asked if I would knit a few for her.   Well of course, what an thrill to be able to knit her something she likes, and of course all color selections are under her guidance.   

Here's are the 5 sweaters I created.

My previous post, last August (Sorry about that...too much knitting to do) showed the beginning of the Throwback cardigan.  Since then I finished Kate's and a second for my Mentee Gaby 
(cascade 220).










The is the Weekender ---Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn
My first AM creation----Wool and Honey, lots of yarn overs (wrapped stitches) give the long floats to create the design.   (Jan 1, 2019-Jan 24, 2019)




The most recent creation.   Shifty with Spincycle Dyed in the Wool yarns.   Super soft and I used a smaller needle to do the work.