Tag Archives: periwinkle sheep

Another Knitting Lesson Learned

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Remember a few posts back when I/we learned a knitting lesson about needle sizing?  The one where I ran out of yarn and I thought it was because of the square needle?  Let’s revisit the square needle issue, shall we?

Okay, but first, I have to let you know that I have apparently become obsessed with the Apple Blossom Socks.

I’ve been knitting them during my breaks….

…and in the car on the way to Virginia this weekend.  I just love the look of the pattern and I’ve been so excited about them, even doing my usual knitting two socks at the same time, each on a set of double pointed needles.  The only reservation I had was my choice of yarn. I love the yarn itself – I’ve knit a pair of socks with it before – and I loke the colors but I really liked the green version in the pattern picture, and I couldn’t find a green I liked. But I decided that I would just keep looking for a green version and knit another pair!

So, we get to Virginia and I’m knitting along during evening conversation.  I pick them up the next morning to knit while I wait for everyone else to wake up.  And I noticed something:

One is smaller than the other.  Skinner and shorter. By a lot.  I realized that it was because of the square needles I was using on the right.  I had read, as I said in that previous blog post, that many people have to go up a needle size with the square needles because their gauge is too tight when they use the suggested needle size.  But in my previous cowl experience, that was not the case, so I used the size 2 that was recommended.  When I decided to start the second one and knit them at the same time, I picked up a round set of double points in the same size.  They clearly do not get the same gauge.

And so, the negotiating began — with the help of my sister-in-law who is also a knitter and, like me, would not want to start over. She said, “Will anyone really notice since they are on your feet?”  Nope.  Just what I needed to hear!  So, I happily thought I would just keep going.

But, then I decided to put those little bits on my feet.  The one on the right fit over my toes and on the top part of my foot, but was definitely tighter.  I began to worry that it would not fit over my instep where the sock needs to stretch the most.  I hemmed.  And hawed.  And sat.  And looked at them for quite some time.  Since I was, at that point, not wiling to chance the fact that I would be really, really, really mad if the one sock didn’t fit, and I didn’t want to have to knit a third sock…..

Luckily, we were headed to Fibre Space, the local yarn shop, and I could look for square needles there.  And some green yarn that I would like better.

Then, the most ridiculous, never-thought-it-would-happen thing happened.  We went to the yarn shop and I didn’t buy any yarn.  Paul had a heart attack when I told him.  They didn’t have square needles there and there was no yarn that was jumping out at  me that day.  None.  At all. I have no idea why.

But, I did see a beautiful display of local-to-me Periwinkle Sheep yarn there!

Karin comes up with the most beautiful colors and that Hyacinth in the middle is one of my favorites. So that was fun. [I buy that at my local yarn shop to keep it all local!]

So, knitting lesson learned that square needles really do get a different gauge than round needles of the same size. To make up for not buying anything at the yarn shop, I ordered square needles from the porch when we got back to the house:

We had a lovely afternoon sitting on the porch and chatting and knitting while Paul and his brother did this:

It was beautiful weather and such a nice change from our rainy/snowy weather we had to drive through to get there:

That was the view the whole way there.

We went on some nice walks and saw cherry blossoms:

And just some pretty flowers and green stuff (we don’t even know what that is up here these days – everything is just mono-brown):

I was so excited to see purple flowers and green grass and green trees and then my sister-in-law said, “Well, that’s a holly tree, but….”  Didn’t matter – it was GREEN and there was GREEN GRASS! And BLUE SKY!

The other fun thing we did was have my mother-in-law teach us her family recipe for “the doll cookies”:

These are Italian cookies that have frosting and I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. There was no recipe so she said it as we went along and I wrote it down.  They were yummy!

So, not just a knitting lesson learned, a family cookie recipe learned.  And on the car ride home, because I did not buy any yarn, I ordered the exact yarn that was used for the Apple Blossom socks.  It is coming from England!  I am ridiculously excited. See?  Obsessed.



Had To

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Crazy busy around here this week, but I wanted to tell you about last weekend before the craziness of this weekend.

Last weekend was pretty much all knitting-related.  I taught a class on Saturday and then went to The Periwinkle Sheep’s studio open house.  Fun to see where Karin does all her kettle and hand-dyeing.  Of course, I had to purchase:


That Shields of Garnet red yarn has been a favorite of mine for a while, and someone in my Saturday class was using it, so when I saw it at the open house in a new alpaca/merino/nylon blend, I had to try it.  Had to.  And then, I saw the watercolors gradient yarn that she is also testing out.  There was a pretty shawl there, showing what could be done with it, and of course that sold me on this one.  The pattern is Melodia and is likely what I will use with this yarn. So there was that.

Then, Paul and I had to deliver a car that he had done some repair painting on to the person it belonged to and that took us down to the Kingston area.  On the drive I worked on my One Way Tee:


I’m 3/4 done with the back.  It’s going along much more quickly than my Second Story Tee did (which you will see below!), and I think I like it better than the Second Story Tee.

We had breakfast and did some errands and then took the “back way” home, through Saugerties, which meant we were going right by The Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea Shop (two of my favorite things!) and so we had to stop.  Had to.


And of course I had to purchase.  Had to. :


So there was that.

Also, I got my new sneaks in the mail!:


They were purple so I had to buy them.  Had to. So cute, right? (Peach laces!)

I also saw this recipe for Marakesh Carrots on Joy the Baker’s blog and I had to make it because I love all the spices that are in it.


so. So. SO. YUMMY.

Also, yesterday was Paul’s birthday and he had to go to Jumpin’ Jack’s for his birthday dinner/dessert:

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Finally, I want to show you my finished (!!), but not yet blocked, Second Story Tee.  Here is the back:


And here is the front:


And here is a close-up of the front:


Notice anything?  I didn’t until I had finished it!  That last diagonal stripe stops too soon.  Right on the top of the front.  But, I don’t care.  No way, no how am I undoing this.  I can only hope 1) no one will notice or 2) it looks like it is supposed to be there.  However #1 is moot since I have just told you about it.  But… I had to.  That’s what this blog is all about, right?  : )


A List

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It’s been a crazy week yet again, so today you are getting a list…..

1) I turned the big FOUR-FIVE this week.  Celebrated in many ways including a lunch with my mom at the Red Lion Inn:

Gorgeous fall display out front:


How amazing is that pumpkin?  It’s real.

A picture of us in front of the sign in case you were in doubt we went:



My mom is wearing the Sea Glass Cowl I made for her (we were celebrating her birthday too!).

And a picture of me in my Shattered Sun Shawl, which I wear like a scarf, and which my mom insisted I should put on the blog:


Also in the birthday celebrating was a big dinner (including cake) at my mother-in-law’s with the doodlebugs and their parents.  AND pizza and a movie at home with Paul on my actual birthday.  It was great!

2) Paul fixed up an old pedal car for the doodlebugs:

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Since it was for them to play with, he didn’t restore it to exactly what it had been and painted it the color of his racecar:

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He did a GREAT job and they loved it!

3) And while he had the paint out, he painted the ATV:

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4) I started these:


Oh my gosh, that yarn!  Periwinkle Sheep Merino Aran.  It is so nice to work with – soft and squooshy.

5) Remember my 2000+ yards of fingering weight O-Wool  that I got at Rhinebeck?:


And remember how I was in search of the perfect pattern to use it with? I found it.  The Seashore sweater.  If you clicked on that link, you might notice that the sweater has two colors.  And if you looked further, you might notice that you need equal amounts of each color and for my size that is approximately 850 yards of each color, which is only two of the five skeins I bought.  Hmmmm.  So………… I need 850 yards of another color.   I’m thinking a gray and there happens to be a great Periwinkle Sheep color at The Spinning Room .  And then I would have 1200 yards of my O-Wool (3 of the five skeins), which I obsessively searched for at Rhinebeck so that I would have enough for a whole sweater, not half a sweater, left over……..  See???? This is totally what happens when you go shopping and don’t have a specific pattern to get yarn for.  You just buy a whole mess of it or your don’t buy enough of it and when you are looking for a pattern, it’s never the right one and you don’t have enough yarn or you have too much yarn.  And now I’m undecided about what to do.  Paul was the one that said I shouldn’t not buy yarn, so if there is any kind of issue over this, I’m totally going to remind him of that.  Let’s be clear, though…. there won’t be an issue.  Because Paul is awesome.

There is no Knitting in Prison

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Some days working at the yarn shop just cracks me up.  This weekend, starting today, is the yearly Old Songs Festival at the local fairgrounds.  Every year there are some new customers who discover the shop while attending the festival but also “regulars” who only come to the shop once a year when they come to the festival.

Today there were a couple of new people, along with some local knitters, hanging out in the shop waiting for the festival to start at 3:00.  There was lots of lively conversation that turned into a discussion about marriage and how long various people have been married.  There was a knitting couple there and the woman said that she and her husband had already discussed that they were staying together no matter what because 1) Divorce is expensive and 2) Murder was not an option for her because they do not allow knitting in prison and there was no way she was giving up knitting because of any man.  Cracked. Me. Up.

Meanwhile, I finished my Multnomah shawl.  Here it is before blocking:


And during blocking:

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I’m happy with how it turned out and it will go into the Multnomah display at the Altamont Fair.  Not to be judged, just to be admired along with the many other versions of the same, popular pattern.  And tomorrow I will teach a class on how to make this shawl so that others may enter it into the fair or display!  If you are local, there are two spots left – no homework so coming last minute is no problem.

While I am happy with how it turned out, this is one of my knitting projects that was somewhat disastrous on our Carlisle vacation.  I was knitting along and got to the end of a row and ran out of stitches. I looked back along my work and noticed this a few rows back:


See how on the left part of those arched-looking holes, the holes don’t line up?  Argh.  Ripped out four rows of about 250+ stitches.  I did find that I had done something wrong but it wasn’t where those holes didn’t line up.  It turned out that those holes are not supposed to line up.  I took out three rows too many.  Double argh.

My other knitting disaster was starting the Flax sweater:


So many things happened at the beginning of this sweater that I started making notes on my pattern so I could tell you about them:


FYI: if you thought I didn’t make “rookie” mistakes because I knit a lot and have been knitting for a while, you would be wrong.

Rookie Mistake #1: Not double-counting my cast on stitches and having the wrong number when doing an important increase-evenly-across-a-row instruction.  See how I circled the number 74 up there in the “yoke” section?  Since there are so many sizes, one should do this so you don’t mix up what number you have to knit in the various parts of the pattern.  Yup, I circled 74  just like I was supposed to….and cast on 76.

Rookie Mistake #2: Getting all the cast on stitches worked out and then knitting with the tail of the yarn instead of the yarn going to the ball. In other words, I ran out of yarn real fast by doing this since the tail is only about 12″ long.  Too long, and Rookie Mistake 2 1/2 was not cutting the tail so that I would not knit with it by mistake.

Rookie Mistake #3: Finishing one inch of ribbing for the neck with my size 6 needle, then moving on and completing the next row before realizing I didn’t switch to the larger size 8 needle like I was supposed to.

Rookie Cocky-I-Know-How-to-Knit Mistake #4:  Not reading the pattern and knitting the first section of the next row wrong.

So much un-knitting and re-knitting.  But now I’m knitting along with no troubles and hope to be done lickety-split:


It’s a cute basic sweater with some simple garter detail down the sleeve and comes in sizes newborn to men’s XL!  This will be a Christmas present for a doodlebug but also a class in the fall – perfect project for a first sweater.

And then there was Karin from The Periwinkle Sheep coming into the shop the other day with some new colors of her Single and Looking yarn so I had to get this:


I was so excited about the color that I snapped it right up.  I wound it up at the shop today, intending to start something immediately.  Like, today.  I just don’t know what it will be yet so, now I’m off to figure it out!

Periwinkle Sheep Yarn Tasting

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The Spinning Room yarn shop hosted a yarn tasting for Periwinkle Sheep yarns this week.  Karin Maag-Tanchak is the owner/dyer and comes up with the most wonderful colors.  Just look:




What is a yarn tasting you ask?  It is a chance for knitters to try knitting with new-to-them yarns prior to purchasing them, as well as seeing samples knitted with those yarns.  Plus there were door prizes and munchies.  Great idea right?  I knitted with one of Karin’s new yarns Single & Looking, a single ply fingering weight merino wool yarn.  It was wonderful and it is on my list for future purchases.  In the mean time, I purchased her merino dk which I’ve had my eye on for a while:


Shocker: It’s purple. (and gray)

I’ve knit with this merino dk before and just love it.  Check out where to get her yarns here.  Then go buy some.  You’ll love it!

I Love Yarn Day

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According to the Craft Yarn Council, today is “I Love Yarn Day”.  So, I’m going to tell you about some yarns I love. In no particular order:

1) Moonshine from Juniper Moon Farms:

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50% Alpaca, 50% Wool.  I just used this for a fair isle hat and I just love it.  Soft and not scratchy.  Very warm.  I want to make all the other things with it.  Not sure what yet.

2) Watercolors II from Periwinkle Sheep:


Karin from Periwinkle Sheep is a local kettle dyer and that picture has other blends in addition to the Watercolors II but that one is my favorite.  I love the colors she does and am always picking up an extra skein because I just can’t resist.  There is a pink one at The Spinning Room right now that is calling me.  Watercolors II is  75% superwash merino wool, 25% nylon – perfect for socks but also other things too.  That item on top is my Glitz at the Ritz in progress.

3) Peace Love and Yarn

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Liz is another local dyer – she does hand-dyed yarns as opposed to kettle dyed.  I just love Love LOVE the colors she does.

4) Tosh Merino:


Worsted weight yarn by Madelinetosh.  I made my first Mystic Spiral hat with this yarn.  Love the color blend and love the feel of the yarn.

5) Merino Worsted by Malabrigo:


A wonderfully soft single plied merino wool.  I love working with it so much that I’m making a toddler sweater and telling the mom to give the sweater to me when it is needs washing so I can hand wash it for her.

Two more yarny things since it’s I Love Yarn Day.

1) I finally tried Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel using one of her basic patterns from her ebook:

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It is an easy, short-row heel made in wedges and is supposed to be very smooth, like a tomato skin, hence, the name.  And it is very smooth.  I circled and outlined the wedges in the bottom pic to make it a little more obvious.  You might notice the right and middle wedge are a little wider than the left wedge.  The left wedge is the last wedge and you stop short of a full wedge for most heels.  Some may need a full wedge, so it’s nice that you can customize it to your own foot!  I’m doing this heel for all my future socks.  I used to do a heel flap heel and it is quite tedious.  This is much easier.

2) My first Loved crown is ready for finishing:


Ugh.  Lots of ends to weave in and some sewing.  that left side gets tucked and sewed inside to give the crown some heft so the points will stand up.  Now I have two things ready for finishing.  I better get to it.

And, lastly on I Love Yarn Day:

The pole building is done! (Ha! NOT a yarn thing….)


Except for some filling in around the edges, a floor and a garage door and door opener…..you know, not much: