One Week to Go – an inch of ribbing and two sleeves

One week to go in the NaKniSweMo challenge. Sponsored by McWalker Yarns of Millvale PA.

At least 50,000 stitches total in your completed sweater-  Bound off, blocked, all ends woven in. Cast on was November first to be finished by midnight November 30th. The sweater party will be held at McWalker Yarns Saturday December 7th at 2PM.

You can check out last year’s sweater fashion show here 

I’m a little behind this year. A lot behind.

An inch of ribbing and two sleeves. My arms are pretty long. I’d better stop blogging and knit.

With houseguests, touring the city and travel to Ohio I didn’t knit the past five days.   Uh-oh.

Rhubarb colorway of Winterburn Yarn by Baa Ram Ewe spun and dyed in Yorkshire. The pattern is Purl Code Sweater by favorite knitwear designer Isabell Kraemer.

I’ve knit lots of words into my sweater using  Morse Code alphabet.

No names of aristocrats for the guillotine, as the memorable character Madame DeFarge knits in Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities. We had to read it in high school but fifty years later I still remember.

The knitted messages I knit into the sweater are the people I love, place names, favorite lyrics and favorite books from childhood.

All you need is love.

Arachne and NaKniSweMo2019- You Need Fifty Thousand Stitches

In Greek mythology (and later Roman mythology), Arachne (/əˈrækniː/; from Greek: ἀράχνη “spider”, cognate with Latin araneus) was a talented mortal weaver who challenged Athena, goddess of wisdom and crafts, to a weaving contest; this hubris resulted in her being transformed into a spider.” Wikipedia

Sunday afternoon you can get together and work on holiday (or other projects). The stitch circle is open to all.   It’s a lively and creative group, talented, too.  I dropped by to get some help on achieving gauge for a sweater project. I knew it was off. Proper gauge is important, (just ask my friend Deb in this Previous blog post illustrating the multiple factors that affect gauge) 

After being advised by Jes and another master knitter, it was clear that even after the second opinion, I needed to rip out and start again. It was barely an inch of knitting I had on the needles.  Perhaps an hour’s work.   After reluctant deliberation and a bit of consternation I ripped out the one inch I’d started Saturday night. Jes had advised me to make the next size or it would be a form fitting tube on me which is never a good look on my body.

Here is Jes.  If she is not teaching Choral Music or Band, you could find her working out at the gym or working at McWalker Yarns in Millvale.   She is a prolific knitter of garments. Perhaps you saw the hat I knit with hearts  last winter?  Love Actually Hat. Jes taught that Knit Along (KAL)

Jes is wearing her recently completed Arachne Sweater by Untangling Knots.

Lauren knit an identical sweater and was on McWalker Yarns Facebook post here 

The yarn Jes used is BC Garn Semilla. 

See below Jes’ photo for information on NaKniSweMo

Jes in her handknit Arachne Sweater

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SWEATER IN a MONTH FASHION SHOW FROM LAST YEAR’S BLOG POST

November is National Knit-a-Sweater-In-A-Month   NaKniSweMo 2019

An Excerpt from McWalker Yarns Latest Newsletter by Amy  –

Are you ready for NaKniSweMo?

As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, we are going to do another NaKniSweMo challenge at the shop.  We had so much fun last year, we’d love to have more of you join us.  As a reminder, NaKniSweMo is a challenge to knit or crochet a sweater of at least 50,000 stitches in November. You can cast on no earlier than 12:01 a.m. on November 1, 2018 and must be completely done (including weaving in ends, sewing on buttons, etc.) by midnight, November 30, 2019.  To be eligible for prizes here at the shop, you must be stitching using yarns from McWalker Yarns.  

We are meeting here at the shop on Saturdays in November (except Small Business Saturday, 11/30) from 2-4 p.m. to work on our projects.  Those who are participating and attend each Saturday will be eligible for weekly prizes drawn at random from those who attend.  Those who complete their sweater within the parameters will be eligible for grand prizes, including a $50 gift certificate to McWalker Yarns, to be drawn at random from those who complete the challenge.  Official national rules are here:  https://www.ravelry.com/groups/nakniswemo-kal/pages/NaKniSweMo-Rules-FAQ.  If you can come on November 2nd at 2 p.m., then you can sign up in person.  If not, just shoot an e-mail to yarns@mcwalker.us with the subject “NaKniSweMo” letting me know you are participating

There’s still time to stop in the shop to purchase yarns, supplies or finalize your plans so you are ready to go on the 1st!  #MYnakniswemo2019

And don’t forget to tune in and watch the 1990 film Arachnophobia 

McWalker Yarns Sweater Challenge Fashion Show

Saturday afternoon McWalker Yarns in Millvale PA hosted the November Sweater Challenge (NaKniSweMo) Fashion Show.

All of the sweaters were made with yarn from McW Y, had at least 50,000 stitches and were knit between 12:01 on 11/1 and midnight 11/30.

Knitters were to wear their sweaters if they knit them for themselves.

One sweater knitter had to be at work today and was unable to attend the fashion show but we’ll try to add a photo.

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Margaret “Maggie” Toth  brought her husband Chris who was modeling the sweater she knit for him – Berocco Man’s Sweater free pattern “Dan”.

She used Cascade ECO yarn– colorway Shire.

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Here’s Lauren Eicher modeling Jamestown Sweater knitty.com by Amy Christoffers 

Yarn Malabrigo Rios “Archangel”

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Christine’s niece Rebecca baked Gingerbread Men cookies sporting Holiday Sweaters IMG_0736

And here is Christine modeling her Free Range Kimono  Corner to Corner Crochet

Pattern by Jess Coppom    Yarn Cascade Wave “Nightshade”

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Christine  standing by the display showing yarn she used for her Free Range Kimono

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Meet Barb McAbe modeling her Sideways sweater designed by Joji Locatelli in Laine Magazine #6  Autumn/Winter 2018    Wow, look at those cables!

She used Shepard’s Wool in the Mint Colorway

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Here is Denise Kaliowski wearing her Kimono Cardigan by Linda DeRuiter

Yarn is Painted Mist in Misty Rainbow (6 skeins)  She made notes that it is very drapey and soft and she loves the colors.  We did too.

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Amy McCall (owner of McWalker Yarns) knit Selenity by Annie Rowden Laine Magazine #6   Yarn  Scout Colorway Blue Heather

IMG_0727How about this detail?

IMG_0730Here I am sporting Humulus Sweater designed by Isabell Kraemer

Photographed by Amy McCall

Yarn-   Lore by The Fibre Company (Earthy colorway) and Sunflower Heather is by Scout 

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Aimee Benswanger cheered us all on as we modeled our sweaters and here she is with her Entrelac Scarf  www.frecklesandpurls.com  Berocco Remix  Colorway Pool

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Denise is working a baby hat

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Already onto the next sweater. Amy McCall inspired us to complete our November sweaters.  We had a fun afternoon. The challenge produced a lot of creativity and camaraderie.   Amy gave us all a sheet of Temporary Knitting Tattoos for participating.

There was a grand prize drawing for a $50 store credit and the ticket was drawn by a Sock Club member.  I was fortunate to win so am planning my next sweater to start AFTER Christmas.

Aubergine Yarn Color in Two Lights

Aubergine yarn in two light- a great color name, isn’t it?

A friend gave me a sweater’s worth of Harrisville Designs Highland Yarn. Wooly warmth for next winter! I never worked with it before and it is nice to wind and knit. I’d like to finish it before summer’s full heat kicks in.

I used my iPhone to document progress of the sweater (pattern is Larch by Pam Allen, available on Ravelry).

I snapped the front, then the back. Ooops, the flash went off in the second shot.

Sweater in two lights

Available light-

Electronic Flash below –

some of you will want to pick off the little fuzzy lint in the photo There’s a bit of vegetative matter in this wonderful yarn

Watch this two minute video to see how wool is milled and spun into yarn – Harrisville, New Hampshire.

A Day in the Life of an American Woolen Mill

From their website-

“Highland is one of our flagship yarns, available in 64 tweedy, heathered, woolen spun colors. This yarn is perfect for a cozy New England sweater, or a favorite pair of mitts. The yarn was engineered to wear better and better with every wash. Don’t let the crunch fool you. After 10 years of constant wear, you’ll know why we spun it this way.”

Mend

Mend.

No, it’s not the word of the week.  And I haven’t done much mending lately.

It’s just that Mark asked if I could mend/repair his beloved Dude Cowichan Sweater. Both elbows were worn. I brought it home with me from Ohio.

There’s an incredible sense of satisfaction in having accomplished this task.

I got some yarn and mended the holes first, and then I ordered elbow patches and stitched them on using a blanket stitch.  The tiny perforations weren’t  easy to get the needle through and I wish I had my mother’s thimble.  It’s in my house but I didn’t look too deeply.

Mark’s sweater looks brand new.

No, I didn’t knit it. I mended it.

Just repaired the holes in the elbows and added the patches.

Scroll down to listen to Al Green sing-

and thanks to dictionary.com

Mend- to make (something broken, worn, torn, or otherwise damaged) whole, sound, or usable by repairing: to mend old clothes; to mend a broken toy. 2. to remove or correct defects or errors in.

And Al Green sings How Can You Mend a Broken Heart ?
Did people really reserve a whole day to mend?
Early Thursday morning was the day reserved for mending according to the nursery song Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush

I’m Knitting as Fast as I Can

We’re down to less than six full days before the 25th. Should I title this post Procrastination is an Art Form? Last year I gave my son-in-law a box of balls of yarn. He asked for a sweater. I’ve inflicted my hand knitted gifts on numerous unsuspecting recipients so when I get a specific request, it’s a thrill. My one son said”Ma, I think we’ve got enough hats.”

To blog it not to blog last night? Priorities? I’m getting three grandkids as houseguests starting today. I can’t knit a patten where I have to check the chart and the count very well while hostessing . Mindless knitting I can do in the company of others.

So it’s crunch time. I was determined to finish those sleeves before I went to sleep. Phew. I’m pretty sure one is a bit wider than the other.

James will get this sweater by Christmas. It can’t be in pieces. Joanne told me how to cast on the fronts and back and knit all at the same time so no side seams.

Plus, I’m headed to photograph the house moving adventure.

Will I make it? Stay tuned

Did I mention I’ve one full ball of yarn left?

The color is called “concrete ”

It’s time to play Yarn Chicken, too.

Suzanne Creates Upcycled Sweater Scarves

Upcycled sweater scarves! 

Talk about transformation.   I never really knew the word UPCYCLED but that’s the term. Makes sense.

These two scarves were created by my friend Suzanne from a couple of tired, holey sweaters in my wardrobe.

Suzanne cuts the sweaters(after she washes them) into pieces and then crochets sock yarn all around with a little or a lot of fancy edging.

I was preparing to mail the green scarf to Laura in Columbus and had my own red scarf in the car on the passenger seat.  They looked so good together I took a few photos (before I mailed the green one.  No E, I wasn’t driving!)

Last Christmas I sent a couple to friends as gifts.  I get a lot of compliments when I am sporting the red one.  I fold mine in half and loop the ends through.  Cozy!

Old cashmere sweaters that no longer fit or have a couple of moth holes are the softest to make into a scarf but lambswool or merino is nice, too.

Unfortunately photographed with the iPhone instead of the proper lens but still pretty and colorful contrast.

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Closeup of detail on the green scarf.

Sweater Scarf

And the red scarf detail

red scarf detail