I’m Back (With News of Sweaters)

mister knitspot wrote this mid-afternoon:

Can not remember the last time I guest blogged. However I do remember feeling a bit under appreciated, thinking to myself that I would never blog again. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into these blogs; I have no idea how Anne manages to write them so frequently. Of course I can have a look at google analytics to see exactly how many of you have viewed the page, but it’s not really the same as seeing actual comments. I love reading your comments, the more, the better, and makes writing a post worthwhile in knowing that it’s been read. That said, if I receive 75 comments, there will a free Craftsy class (Anne’s new Sweater class) offered to one of you that have left a comment on this post and in addition, I promise to blog about our major renovation last year (finally—I know).

Our dear Anne was summoned to Craftsy’s Colorado studio once again to shoot a video for her new class: Essential Skills for Sweater Knitting, see trailer for class here.  This class is a survey of key factors for successful sweater knitting. Perfect timing as Anne has been busy designing 6 new sweaters; more about these later. The Craftsy class consists of 7 lessons.

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In lesson 1, Anne explores how to choose a style—which sweater to make. I have a sweater in mind that I would like to design and knit myself. Growing more and more confident with my knitting prowess these days, as I knit along in the Blanket Statement club, quite the experience, learned so much with this endeavor. In fact if you know a burgeoning knitter, I highly recommend the Blanket Statement Club, up to 16 different patterns to knit/read, such a great way to obtain knitting experience and have a lovely blanket as a result. Sorry for the aside, back to Craftsy class.

Lesson 2, learn how to read patterns, lesson 3 – selecting the right yarn and tools. Lesson 4, swatching for consistent results, I’ve learned the importance of swatching, perhaps underrated, but so very valuable.

Adjusting fit, lesson 5 and one of the things I love most about knitting and creating custom garments. Can hardly wait to begin my sweater. Lesson 6, knitting individual sweater pieces and lastly lesson 7, finishing, seaming and blocking.

May I present to you some of Anne’s latest creations—most will be available in May.

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Gearhead – Unisex Pullover, shown here in BNW’s Stone Soup DK.

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Triticum – Open Cardigan, Knitted in Spirit Trail’s Tayet (blue), debuting at Maryland Sheep and Wools.

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Mayan Puzzle Jacket, shown here in Briar Rose’s Wistful (brown), debuting at Maryland Sheep and Wools.

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The Misters’, unisex combination pullover/cardigan, knitted with Briar Rose Joyful (orange). Wouldn’t it be great as a vest too? In the process of convincing Anne to pattern one more version . . .

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Cam Cable, pullover, shown in BNW’s Kent DK

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Pedal Pusher, cardigan and knitted with BNW’s Confection Worsted

It is truly amazing the amount of detail and effort required to create a sweater. Anne recently offered to make me another sweater, but I had to decline, for I’m not worthy of such a indescribably wonderful gift. I tend to be very hard on my clothing; for example, I like to rest my folded hands in the neck line of my sweaters, causing unnecessary damage, stretching of fibers to the breaking point, and consequently ruining such a cherished gift.

When new to knitwear some years ago, I would mistakenly machine wash sweaters in hot water and dry in the dryer, making fibers shrink and become brittle and/or felt. No doubt it is like having someone place a condensating glass upon a piece furniture you created and massaged 10 coats of Danish oil into, the resulting water ring – fortunately this is repairable, whereas a sweater sustaining the damage mentioned would not be.

Even if you have taken Anne’s Sweater Fitness Class, the Craftsy Essential Skills for Sweater Knitting class provides information of a different sort. Don’t get me wrong, if you ever have an opportunity to take a class with Anne in person, you should immediately seize upon it; her teaching skills are remarkable, not only will learn all you need to know, but a lot more.Leave a comment, and you are automatically entered to win this Crafty Class featuring Anne.

Comments conclude for Craftsy free class offering April 27 11:59p (eastern time).

Feeling the love and appreciation, thank you all for the kind and generous comments. See you soon.

Mister Knitspot

Congratulations Bertha on receiving Anne’s Craftsy Sweater Essentials Class, enjoy.

 

 

love me two times

anne wrote this in the wee hours:

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everyone appreciates a reversible scarf and many knitters write to ask which styles are attractive on both sides. it’s not an easy desire to fulfill, actually, but i try to design as many as possible.

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imagine then, how lucky i felt to stumble across this adorable reversible pattern—not reversible in the sense that it looks the same on both sides, but that it reverses to an equally pretty pattern. i worked with it in simple accessory constructions for a recent club installment, but eventually developed and idea to knit something slightly more complex—a reversible shawl.

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not that this is difficult to knit; it’s not. but designing being a process as it is, i came to the conclusion i should do the shawl with too little time to spare before my deadline. so i saved the idea for a general release instead.

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it took a little while to fit the project into my schedule but finally during a recent trip, i managed to snag some time to enjoy the indulgence of knitting this pattern with our soft, luxurious better breakfast fingering yarn.

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i can’t even begin to describe the softness and drape—i’ll let the pictures tell the story!
(just look at it glow in the morning light. sigh)

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earlier in the year i put it to a vote as to which shape i’d work with first—crescent or triangle (my personal preference). well, you can see what happened—crescent was the runaway favorite.

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and it’s easy to see why; it’s an incredibly versatile shape which may be work in such a wide variety of ways, from a keyhole pull to a twice wrapped cocoon.

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and with the reversible option there’s no limit.

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two, two, TWO scarves in one.
and did i mention it has three sizes?

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shown here is the petite size, knit from one skein of better breakfast fingering yarn in the daybreak shade.

david has created a kit with pattern and your choice of any shade in this yarn. these skeins just go on and on—the yarn is so light and airy that we can pack plenty of it in each skein, enough to make generously sized pieces.

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to purchase pattern only or view complete pattern information, please click here to purchase in our knitspot online shop and here to purchase in my ravelry pattern shop.
(if you wish the pattern to appear in your ravelry library, please use this ravelry store link, thanks!)

as for that triangle shawlette? no worries—i am casting on in the next couple of days and will have a pattern as soon as i can manage it.

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i’m using this delicious shade of mocha for mine . . .

$5 Off for Earthday thru 4/22

anne wrote this terribly early in the morning:

Happy Earthday.

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Get $5 off with the purchase of $50 or more from Knitspot store, use coupon code: earthday, coupon good for Envy Club memberships as well.

Mister Knitspot

 

 

no place like home

anne wrote this in the early evening:

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i know it doesn’t look like much, but it’s home to me. haha, actually, it almost looks like i live in a nursing home, doesn’t it? oh well, i still miss it when i’m gone for a while.

sorry for the extra time between posts, it’s always a little rush-rush when i get back form a trip because i have to get my bearings and catch up a bit. plus we had a blanket club chapter to publish this week, which i hope everyone is enjoying.

when i prepared to go to new mexico, i packed the last of my two sweater projects in the hope that i would complete three remaining sleeves in the five days that i was to be away. HAHAHAHA.

but one can dream can’t one?
and it’s good to be prepared (remember, i got stuck in hurricane sandy and i was really REALLY happy to have extra knitting that week, though it probably damaged my sense of proportion for life.)

anyway, i didn’t get much done at all on my sleeves over last weekend. i don’t know why; they are the best travel knitting. but somehow i got distracted by my crescent shawl project (which has no deadline) and i couldn’t stop knitting on it.

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when i left my house i wasn’t quite done with the hem. i pulled it out in the airport lounge while waiting to board the first flight and that’s when it became my weekend knitting of choice.

by the time i got through my first day of classes, i was ready to begin the short row shaping section, so i got that set up in the quiet of my room that night. i did knit on my first sleeve a little bit, but not as much as i thought i would. ok, i got the cast on and two rows of ribbing done; that’s it.

you saw the progress i made on the crescent shawl throughout the weekend—i was all about knitting garter stitch in short rows, alright. plus stopping to admire the fabric—it’s SO darn squishy and soft. and pretty.

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when i boarded the plane to go home at holy-cow-o’clock on monday morning, i had just about ten rows to go—the longest ones, of course. but i was binding off as we landed in denver a short time later; all done, yay.

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it was a little bit of a relief actually. kind of like when you finish off that bag of delicious chocolates you can’t keep your hands off of—much as you enjoyed them, you’re sorta glad they are gone so they won’t tempt you any more. in fact, you may have even eaten the last ones in a bit of a rush to get there, without actually savoring them as you should.

or maybe you just enjoy the good stuff without overthinking everything the way i do, haha. that’s the smart way to live life . . .

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so anyway, once i had the shawl off my needles i got my first orange sleeve out and got down to business. i’ve got a deadline and i don’t miss deadlines, dammit.

my renewed energy for it stood me well because by the time i got off the plane in canton at mid-afternoon, i was all the way to the armhole bind off. since i was basically getting off the plane and continuing on to teach another class, i just kind of kept going and by supper time, i was done with that first sleeve. i’m enjoying the yarn no end—it’s briar rose joyful and i’m not sure what chris will name this colorway, but i will always think of it as orange you glad.

for the next couple of days my time was tied up with a range of projects—putting the chapter layout together and writing up some designer notes (we’d done all the video and photo work earlier in the month), completing edits on sweater pattern files and checking in with test knitters, blocking a couple of shawls (including the one i’d just finished—more on that in a minute), and in between all that, knitting on my sleeves. i had two left for the deadline cardigans and half a sleeve for the pullover. and here at week’s end, everything is shaping up nicely for a successful finish.

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the pullover sleeve is in a holding pattern just until i get the other ones completed. i know i can finish that in a matter of hours and on my own time. my second orange sleeve is well on its way to being done.

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i’m a few rows shy of the armhole bind off and from there, the sleeve cap is all downhill sailing. now that makes it sound as if the orange sweater is really far ahead of the blue one, which i have only to about the elbow.

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my last sleeve piece (spirit trail tayet in colorway midnight rendezvous) is woefully behind the orange one BUT—and it’s a big but—once it’s done, the sweater is fini; there isn’t much finishing work beyond stitching up seams. the orange cardigan however, will need seaming AND button bands and you know they always take longer than we think they will.

still, with no other deadlines in sight at the moment, i feel good about being done with all of it by the end of the weekend. i will finish at least one of these sleeves tonight, probably the orange one and there’s little enough there that if i do, i can block the sweater pieces as well. and when i sit down to watch TV later on, i can seam the shoulders and begin the button/neckbands.

that’s actually an excellent plan for this evening; let’s go with that.

tomorrow we have a wedding to attend in the afternoon but i bet we’ll be home early enough for me to finish the blue sleeve. i’m pretty anxious to block those sweater pieces and see what i’ve got; i’m just dying to see how that lapel/collar works out. the blocked fabric is so different from the knitted fabric, which has a little bit of a wiry feel. once its washed however, it gets much, much silkier.

i’ve allowed for that in what seems like a fair amount of extra fabric, but i don’t want it to look skimpy once it drapes properly. fingers crossed.

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and when all of that is done, i can get back to finishing up the last bit of the sleeve for my luscious pullover which i am anxious to wear, even if it’s just for one chilly day.

sometimes when i spend a lot of time in my desk chair during the day, i want to do something at some point that does not require sitting, so on two different mornings this week, i put a shawl in to soak after coffee that i could block later in the afternoon.

one was the reversible crescent shawl i finished on my trip—i had decided i wanted to gift it to a special friend for an Important Birthday.

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whaddaya think? it’s  a wonderfully versatile length, long enough to do a keyhole pull

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or to wrap around twice to show both sides.

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i like it; i hope she does (i think she will). now i need to take those numbers and measurements i wrote down and turn them into a pattern.

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i actually want to make one with the same hem that is triangular—i know everyone loves the crescent style, but my preference is for triangle—what can i say? i march to a different drummer. while i have it all in my head, i think i’ll cast on and knit another for myself.

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i’ve had my eye on this mocha shade for a while; it’s enchanting me with its glints of gold and undercurrents of gray. such complex, rich tones; i must knit with it.

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we had a lot of chilly rain when i first got home and i saw right away that nothing much had happened in the garden. but with warmer temperatures the last couple of days and sun today, we are catching up. the buds on the maple tree just outside my desk window seem to be growing and popping before my eyes.

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even against a gray and rainy sky ( or maybe especially so . . .) they are gorgeous.

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david has been working on the vegetable garden to prepare it for planting in a few weeks—we could even set out onions and greens over the weekend. i’ll have to see if i can pick some up tomorrow.

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the big news really is in the flowers, which are finally blooming and plentifully at that (i was getting a little worried it wouldn’t happen, to tell you the truth).

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my beloved tulips suddenly have big leaves, big buds, and flowers, yay!

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and the jonquils are opening, issuing their delicate scent.

the ground is still rather cold however and around back, the perennials were just barely waking up when i took a walk around the yard this morning.

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hosts are putting out very tentative nubs, but i know from experience that once they get going, we could practically watch them get taller by the hour.

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and our funny friend, the may apple is nosing out as well, enough to be seen in just one or two places, almost hidden. but we know that they will be endlessly entertaining in no time.

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nearby, the fiddleheads are still tightly coiled but beginning to stir. it’ll be a while for them, i think.

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surprisingly though, the lily of the valley has sprung and is taller than i expected, especially the ones close to the house foundation.

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and most have their little buds already, too. funny because these are a hosta and the other hostas are still so small.

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oh i could go on and on—as you know our yard is a bottomless treasure trove of plant life. i think i’ll end with the hydrangea though, another surprise. i feel like it’s early this year, though maybe not.

it’s time for us to go grocery shopping so i’m going to close with a hint of something else—something super special—i blocked yesterday.

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ooooh, i hate keeping yarn secrets—i prefer to talk about it. i’ll tell all next time .  . .