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March is National Crochet Month

Where my hookers at?

If you have read even one post, you know I love knitting to death. Believe it or not, I learned to crochet first when I was just a kid. Crocheting was one of the crafts at day camp and since I wasn’t one of the popular girls I learned to crochet.  The most I have ever done is a cowl.  I did more blankets then anything else. Wait no, I think I did a baby sweater way back when. Oh I forgot about that  Moreover duster by Kimberly K. McAlindin I did in the Swans Island Natural Colors Merino fingering.

And how could I forget the Chain Reaction also by Kimberly. I made the back too wide but I did it, I crocheted a sweater 😋

So do you crochet too?

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HELIX: the totally jogless stripe

I don’t recall what made me go searching for jogless stripes or exactly how I stumbled over this video here.  <—- click me. When I tell you I couldn’t wait to try. I have always loved stripes but I absolutely hate weaving in  the ends..so AVOIDANCE use to happen, but then I learned to cary the yarn up the side.That technique works well with 2 colors but want more that than and insert all the annoying ends.  When knitting stripes in the round I also don’t like the jog that happens so I am always on the hunt for ways to avoid that issue. There are many videos out there to help minimize that jog when knitting in the round. Go ahead and search, you will have tons to view.

Oh I remember now, I found this on Pinterest. What an addicting site, I am so sure that is not what I was looking for, but I saw it and down the rabbit hole I went. LOL but gladly this time, because I absolutely love this technique. I did  little investigating and I found blog post from 2011 on TECHknitting that gave some great info. This way of knitting stripes is also known as barber pole stripes because each color starts at a different point and basically chase each other. The reasons stripes jog when knitting in the round is because we are actually knitting in a spiral, which become evident when using multiple colors. This baby eliminates that because we change the colors in a spiral which makes it appear as seamless stripes. It’s the coolest thing. In my research I see it is used a lot on the heal of socks, you know I have to try that too :p

Why I love Helix -PRO

Normally you have to do two row stripes to work the tricks to avoid the jog and with this technique you can knit single row stripes. You also don’t have to weave in a bunch on ends because you NEVER cut the yarn AND no twisting of the yarn, just pick it up and knit. Are you ready to try it yet? You also don’t have to do any counting, once it’s set up, just knit and change the color as it presents itself.

Why I don’t love Helix – CON

The one down fall for me..is avoiding the tangled up yarn. I am currently working a four color helix and I find myself slowing down to avoid having a big ole tangled mess. That’s it though, other than that I love it!!

How helix is done 

First you have to set it up. In my case I am working 4 colors so my CO was 140, joined in the round and placed a BOR marker. Row 1 is the set up and here you cast on 1/4 of the stitches in one color and repeat. For me that is 35 stitches in each color.  Here is where you determine your color sequence, make sure this is how you want it, because it’s now or never. In other words you will not be able to change this order without frogging and ain’t nobody got time for that :) So now that you are set up just knit and change the color once it presents itself. You will not have to twist anything, or cut anything just pick it up and knit. When you are at the end of the round…you will have to knit past the marker with the same color. I think the best advice is to change the color when you come to it. Here look at the diagram below, you see how the stitches double from point A to B? You just keep knitting and always pick up the new color from the bottom. NOTE: don’t pull it too tight as you want to maintain tension as much as possible.

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I am truly loving how this is working out and it is perfect TV knitting because you don’t really have to use much brain power. As I said the more colors you use the crazier it can get..tangle much? lol I will absolutely be back with the finished project. IMG_4198

Am I the last one on the helix train?

Knit on my fiber friends, knit on

~GG

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About that Kitchener stitch….

Yesterday I said I would update the “I tried…” post when I got to the kitchener stitch, but I decided to do a post instead. Can we talk about how fast I run in the other direction when a pattern requires kitchener stitch? If I had to do the pattern, I would just punk out and do a regular seam.

What is the kitchener stitch you ask? Well it is also known as grafting, which is the act of connecting two separate pieces of knitting so that they are seamlessly connected by a row of stitches that you’ve created as you join the two pieces together as one AND usually calls for a provisional cast on. It’s done with a needle, so you are basically sewing the live stitches together.

IMG_4164 so what was I afraid of? Well the steps, every time I tried I had to look it up and stop/start the video just to get it done. So I have done it before, but wasn’t completely comfortable with my execution. When discomfort  happens I avoid.  Insert the Lucy Cowl, wait let me say that differently, insert the 100% cashmere cowl so yea bring on the Kitchener..I ain’t scared of you. Hahahahahahahahaa

So I did my normal YouTube search because this was kitchener in the round and I was a virgin.shocked I found a video from knit purl hunter on YouTube and she pretty much got me started. You can find the video here 

I know I am preaching to the choir but some projects just look better without a seam..so I rolled up my sleeves after watching the video 4, well maybe 5 times and let the games begin. I think I did ok. Practice makes perfect and I will definitely do it again.IMG_4196

The cowl came out pretty good and outside of the trained eye, I don’t think anyone will notice my not so prefect grafting.

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I also tried the Helix technique of knitting stripes in the round and hot damn I love it!  That is another post so ok back to the Kitchener stitch, once I got a rhythm going it wasn’t so bad. It just a little awkward with the extra needles in the way, but I kept at it and didn’t give up. I found this image today and decided to print it out for the next time, because I will not run from this technique again.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.59.06 PM When doing it in the round the set up step is not required. I think I have to do as the picture says and chant while I am doing it. If you click the pic it will take you to the original post  with a pictorial in case you have never tried.

IMG_4178Psst…if you ever wanted to make a Cashmere something..check out Pepperberry Knits..her yarns are fab!!

Knit on my fiber friends…knit on

~GG

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I tried..I really did

Yesterday at approximately  4pm I finished my yarn hollow headband. The day was basically over so I was good in reference to knitting, right?

Shelbey came home and we went to the mall to return some things, sat in the over crowded food court, ate and just chatted it up. The plan was to come home and grab the laptop and watch House of Cards. I did not have the next project in mind and that was cool. I could wait until today right?

How many different ways can I say WRONG? I was so distracted by the fact that I didn’t have anything to knit that I was restless. I mean I could binge watch HOC but who binge watches anything without having something knit to keep you company? I kept saying to myself “self, it’s not that serious, just turn on Netflix and let Frank and Claire entertain you”. Man listen, NONE of that ish worked. My soul was like “go to the mirror so you can see my face…you need to KNIT NOW!! or fall into the depth of your thoughts….AND You know that is not safe!” True story.

I kept eyeballing the bag that lives in my room, the bag that is spilling over with yarn. If my soul was in one ear, then lazy was in the other “you gone wind hanks at this hour? That’t not how any of this works” Ain’t that the truth..so the bag won and in it I went. BINGO!! I hit the jackpot…I forgot about the PepperBerry fun size cashmere skeins for the lucy cowl. (I’m going to call mine Frank and Claire, because House of Cards, whew!)

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This bundle is 200 yards of  DK weight 100% cashmere YUMMY and in my opinion the most economical way to have a ALL cashmere cowl. All of Pepperberry Knits yarn is 100% cashmere, she even has bulky faint one of these days ya’ll…ONE OF THESE days. Anyway I could wind these little cuties by hand so I did. Now let’s get back to the fact that I REALLY tried not to knit. I mean it would only be a few hours and I could do it. FAIL!! But it felt good to fail..because outside of the provisional cast on and switching colors, this/was pretty much mindless knitting.

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I did all of that, 7 colors, each color being 10 rows, last night while watching House of Cards. Between Frank and Claire and this cashmere, I thought I might never sleep. This pattern is free btw :) and I have linked it above.  The pattern doesn’t tell you how to line up the colors the kit simply gives your 8 colors to creatively combine. This bundle I have is called Crazy Red Head. According to Ravelry the bundles come in 4 different colorways: Beachcomber, Artist, Urbanite and Crazy Red head.

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Of course I am motivated to finish it because it’s snowing and I would love to take a pic in the snow. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha the challenge for me will be the kitchener stitch to close it up…I will update this post when I get there.

Happy Sunday family..are you crafting today?

Knit on my fiber friends..knit on

~GG

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Operation Knit all the yarn :)

Over the last few days I have completed two projects with some absolutely yummy yarns. Yarn that was either the perfect color or just sinfully sexy and I had leftovers. Now is some cases like a big ole pot of spaghetti, leftovers are required. Why is spaghetti so damn good the next day? Ok back to the left over yarn..usually the yarn gets lost in the bottom of a project bag never to be seen or used again and I just couldn’t do that this time.

You already saw the hat I made with the left over Plucky Snug, which is getting tons of love on Ravelry I might add :). Even after the hat I still had yarn left. So I saw this head ban on LuckyHank and decided to make it. The “Twistin’ the Night Away” and I casted on right away. A quick knit that I cleverly included all three colors ;p

IMG_4120 IMG_4117Can you believe even after that I still have yarn left ahahahahahahahaahahaaa. I have to find something I can make with the remaining yarn because well it’s just to yummy to lay around IMG_4133 so if you think of something let me know. Okay? Thanks

Now onto the Touring Cape and that yummy Yarn Hollow TOR worsted. I basically had a skein leftover. So I started with a headband, because I absolutely love those things. The pattern for this one is called Hot Mess Headband lol but I have may enough left to make some boot toppers. At any rate I will not leave one strand behind..this yarn will be used..ALL of it!

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What do you do with your left overs?

Knit on my fiber friends…knit on

~GG

 

UPDATE: I finished the headband





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I am ready for my tour….

I need one of you guys to come and model for me. My daughter is running out of patience and some pieces just don’t work with a selfie. THAT is why it has taken me so long to reveal my Touring Cape by Margaret Craig.

I finished this more that a week ago. I blocked it and just was waiting for Shelbey to take some pics for me, yeah that didn’t happen so I grabbed the tripod and tried to take some pics of myself. All I succeeded in doing was confirming that I need to NOT eat ever again..ok back to the cape.

I love the simplicity of this rectangle, 2 colors, texture and a Jul closure. The combination creates something desirable, fashionable if you will and it’s merely a rectangle. THIS is why I love knitting, these designers are so very creative.

IMG_4125 As I shared previously I met the designer in her booth at Vklive in NYC last month. She has a page on Facebook under Heidi & Lana. I tried it on and fell in love. The pattern is well written and even has links to Youtube videos that demonstrate how to connect the two colors. I think I said before that this was a kit, the pattern, the Jul closures and the yarn.  The yarn comes from Yarn Hollow and is called Tor Worsted Superwash, and the colors are Mushroom and Rust. That probably was the more trying part trying to pick out the colors I wanted to use. I am, however, happy with the colors I chose.  I completed this in 10 days,  could have been sooner but the Stephen & Steven tour happened and well I got distracted.

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This yarn drapes beautifully, especially after it was blocked. It also gives great stitch definition which is what makes this wrap appealing, the texture. I also love it because of the versatility. You have multiple options when it comes to how to wear this piece.  It measures in at 64 x 28 inches, so you have room to play. Wear the closure in the center, off center or even in the back, hell take the closer off and rock it as a scarf. You have possibilities with this piece. I think it’s perfect no matter which way you wear it.   Thank you Margaret for this wonderful pattern and for the yarn.  I love it and will wear it often.

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What have you finished lately?

Knit on my fiber friends…knit on

~GG

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Introducing my new baby…

On February 20th the labor began, the journey to birth..yes I said birth, because every time I make a piece I feel like I have  had a new baby. My projects are alive and have personalities, to me (no I am not clinically crazy). The patterns teach and motivate me as I go along. They need me to bring them to life. My latest project, the Sugarloaf cowl from the All Bundled Up Plucky Knitter collection, is now alive and kicking.

Remember I posted these pics, LOL don’t I look like I have a baby in my arms. That was the foreplay! hahahahahaahahahahaha and the knitting is the love making. I know you get me IMG_3933So the yarn we talked about, it is a bulky weight and is unbelievable squishy

squishy hahahahahahahaa that’s how I felt the entire time I was working with this yarn. It is an unbelievable blend of merino, cashmere and alpaca. The cowl works up very quickly. It includes techniques that I don’t normally do; the provisional cast on and the 3 needle bind off. This project made me realize those 2 techniques are not that bad. The yarn didn’t melt and my needles didn’t crumble..I moved along at a decent pace despite my doubts and apprehension.

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IMG_4072One section is lace and the other is ribbing, just a magnificent pattern that is so freaking satisfying. I love my new baby. I loved the process of birthing her.  I couldn’t wait to show her off to you guys. This pattern also forced me to do something else I often avoid and that is blocking.

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because the lace section works up a little wider than the ribbed section….I had to block and I am so very pleased with the outcome. Before I blocked it I could wrap it around my neck twice

IMG_4078After blocking I was able to wrap it three full times guys!! It’s generous just the way I love it! So I finished up and because the lace section and the contrasting connection didn’t require a lot of yarn I had left overs. So I decided to make a hat. I searched for a free pattern because: unemployment is real ;/ . I wasn’t successful so I found a pattern that called for bulky yarn so I could get the number to cast on and I ran with it.  Yea I cheated, so what!?

IMG_4096      IMG_4101 I had more of the gray color so I just played with the colors and this was the end result. Of course someone on my Facebook page asked for the pattern. Did I write it down? Of course not, smh.

I started the hat last night and got up and finished it this morning. I couldn’t wait to take pictures. I just love these colors together and I am so very happy they sold them as a kit, because I would have never put these colors together ;)

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I am over the moon in love with my latest baby AND I am so proud of my “madeitupasIwent” hat. I need a name so I can put it on Ravelry. I think I told you all before I rarely have matching sets, well I have one now that I love. That’s mommy’s sugah! hahahahahahahahahaa

Knit on my fiber friends…knit on

~GG