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A New Look – Me

It’s time to give that update which I mentioned  back on Jul 2 on why I’ve been “away”.

IMG_0346The easiest way to let you all know that I was diagnosed with lymphoma on June 9 is to share my CaringBridge site with you. It was a sudden trip to emergency on May 24 that brought all this to light. I am now in the midst of chemo treatment with the last of 6 sessions scheduled for October 24. So far, I am on track with the treatment schedule and the prognosis is good. The specifics of this can be found on Carolyn and Mathilda……Mathilda being assigned the name to this tumor that is going to waltz right out of my body.

As I heal (lots of rest as well as exercise with Lucy dog and Bill to keep my body strong through these treatments), I have been knitting and sewing. Oh…..and truth be known I have been become obsessed with some of the mysteries on Acorn TV. I finished watching the  Inspector George Gently Series and now onto the Vera series. I should be done with that just about the time that the next season of Longmire airs.

I was recently possessed to knit a slouchy hat to add to the collection of wonderful hats that I have received. The pattern of inspiration for this top-down knit was featured on page 122 of 60 Quick Luxury Knits from Casade Yarns. As I often do, I see a pattern and then I make modifications.

  • I decided to use Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece  as I wanted cotton with just a little wool against my head. Of course changing from merino wool/silky wool to cotton/wool changed the drape of the hat. I am not unhappy with the drape, but think I will knit it again in wool/silk combo which will have a different body that  I can wear for special occasions.
  • The needles sizes used for Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece  were: 6 for the first section of top and 5 for the remainder of the hat.
  • I eliminated the top-notch i-cord detail as I did not like that look.
  • I changed the first section that included the increases from 4 stitches to 128 stitches to circular stockinette stitch as I did not like the way the increases set up in the seed stitch. I then knit 2 rows of reverse stockinette so that I could create separation between the next pattern of seed stitch.
  • With the cap of the hat completed, I then decreased stitches to 112 rather than 120. How did I decide that? I measured my head and then decided a 1/2 – 1 ” ease would be okay. Fact of the matter here is that I forgot that I do not have the volume of full head of hair to make hat fit a bit better. It works out okay…..but does create more slouch.
  • A tip that was shared for sizing for a top-down hat is to put it onto waste yarn when it is “full size” and then try on to be sure that circumference is correct for your head. My experience is that the hat wanted to fan out so it was not a good fit method. However, I am thinking if I had tied the waste yarn to the size as it lay flat the fit technique would have been more successful.
  • I changed the i-cord trim to a contrasting color. I also followed the i-cord pattern as described for an applied 4-stitch i-cord.
  • The last change I made was to the finished edge i-cord. I knew there was an applied i-cord out there that had a slip stitch involved that created a tighter lay of the i-cord to the knitted fabric edge. Off to google I went. I found this applied i-cord technique on the Berroco website. Here is my presentation of method.
  • For the blocking, I used the wet block method. I washed it by hand in Eucalan and a splash of shite vinegar (to set the contrasting color). The next step was to squeeze the excess moisture out and then set up to dry. In this case, I did not want a crease in the hat from laying flat so I stuffed it with a towel.
  • When the hat was almost dry, I tossed it into the dryer on UltraCare to complete the drying process.

IMG_0156What better way to get back to the blogging world of Skein Lane but by sharing the celebration of Jean’s 80th birthday. She is much beloved by her fellow FMKG (Friday Morning Knit Group) knitting gang and it was much fun pulling 11 of the gang of 16 or 17 together for a surprise lunch at Skates on the Bay this past Friday. (Thank you to Merle for being the master organizer.)

Jean knew she was being taken to lunch….the surprise was the lunch location….as well as her joint gift certificate to Avenue Yarns (our favorite LYS). Those who weren’t able to join the celebration due to work commitments or travels were certainly missed…..they sent their greetings to Jean.

Jean_80thBD_07.15.16

Hi all!

I’ve “been away” for a bit which I will explain in another post…..but for now I want to share/announce that I have two yarns on sales online through Jul 5. The prices for Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece and Maggi’s Linen are marked down by 50%. The online price reflects that markdown….no need to apply coupons, etc.

There is a glitch online in the color card re availability for Brown Sheep so for now I will available colors here.

  •  4 – CW865 October Leaf
  •  6 – CS625 Terracotta
  •   2 – CW650 Tangerine Cream
  •  2 – CW620 Banana
  • 1  – CW310 Wild Orange
  • 2 – CW240 Pink-A-Boo
  • 1 – CW210 Tea Rose
  • 3 – CW640 Spryte
  • 4 – CW105 Putty
  • 10- CW100 Cotton Ball
  •  3 – CW365 Peridot
  • 7 – CW690 Alpine
  • 4 – CW760 Emperor’s Robe
  • 3 – CW 590 Lapis
  • 2 – CW560 My Blue Heaven
  • 4 -CW810 Cherry Moon

Have fun shopping and wishing you a happy July 4th.

 

 

 

Yaza

I wasn’t looking and yet I discovered a new shop on Solano AveYaza. I popped into this shop while waiting for Bill to do banking across the street. I was intrigued by a blouse that I saw in the window….white, loose and reminiscence of my younger carefree days. Yaza 4

Namgyal and her sister create the ideas…..they have a cottage style industry based in Tibet that turns their ideas into reality.  I love this sentence from their website:

All Yaza garments are inspired by the diaspora roots of our family who lived nomadic lives in the faraway cultures of Tibet, Nepal and India.

I liked the clothing, jewelry and bag offerings. I think it’s more than worth checking out. If you stop and or/shop, be sure to mention that Skein Lane recommended Yaza. I know I will be going back!

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MaggiKnits BasketLet’s jump right into this May Basket of  MaggiKnits linen – 25% off 1-week sale, May 2 – 9.

Linen wash cloth stole

This lovely cotton/linen blend yarn can be used in so many projects. A personal favorite of mine is the stole that I knit using  the Bathing Beauties Washcloth Fiber Trends pattern and converting it into a stole.

Another of our FMK (Friday Morning Knit) knitters, Karen H., knit the Maggi Alaca linen stole. Karen - Beautiful in her Alaca Stole

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a list of colors and quantities available. You can go to Skeinlane.com,  select your color (solid and multi-color choices) and quantity that you want, and use MayBasket at checkout to receive your 25% discount ($7.40 or so).

Have fun!

# 07 Cream: 46
# 10 Red  : 10
# 14 Turquoise: 9
# 17 Light Navy: 12
# 19 Grey: 8
# 25 Pale Denim: 6
# 27 Mid Chocolate: 8
# 28 Camel: 7
# 29 Teal: 17
# 30 Grape: 31
# 31 Green: 15
# 102 Brown/Orange: 16
# 103 Deep Pink/Dark Lemon: 10
# 106 Pale Grey/Natural/Pale Peach: 34


 

 

 

Irish Cottage Knitting

Years ago….and I do mean years (I was 10) I learned to shuttle knit. Somewhere over the years of knitting I heard that it was the Scottish Shuttle but don’t recall where I read that. Today the Irish Cottage Knitting is exactly the way I knit. It’s the method I prefer because I can knit faster and I also think my stitches are more consistent than other methods that I might use.

If you are wanting to learn more about this, you just might want sign up for the class that I will be teaching at Avenue Yarns. You can see an earlier video of me knitting on the  Skein Lane website.

 

 

My recent retirement from my UC day-time admin job of nearly 8 years has been such a blessing. While I’ve never really left the knitting community, I am now diving back into it and the wonderful community that is part of me.

Some of you may not know that before my Skein Lane retail chapter, I was an employee of the YMCA for about 18 months and went onto become a Board Member after I accepted a position in the software industry……most importantly I was an active user of the YMCA programs….in particular exercise. I stepped away from this wonderful resource about 10 years ago for a variety of reasons…..mostly my schedule and illnesses in my family.

One of my first missions upon retirement was to get back into a regular exercise program. I walked into the Albany YMCA….immediately reconnected with Gail, the Director, and Mary, Exercise and Program Instructor. I was back home! I’ve been enjoying Mary’s creative exercise classes since mid-January. Not only do I feel better but I have lost some weight…yeah! There is another most wonderful benefit….reconnecting not only with Y folks but knitters who are in the Y community.

I quickly learned about the (free) Brown Bag Speakers Forum, presented on the 2nd Monday of every month sponsored by the “Y” and Albany Library.. This month’s speaker was Lawrence Rinder, Director of BAMPFA (UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive). His presentation was so informative about the history of BAMPFA leading up to its new location.

2-barbaraLast month’s Brown Bag speaker was Barbara Hazard.….a former Skein Lane customer who spoke about her art work and time spent in Russia. Not only is Barbara an artist with paints but she is obsessed “self-described” with needlepoint. I recall how many lovely pieces she brought to Skein Lane to have finished into pillows. I do wish I had taken photos back then….maybe I did but that was before I had an iPhone camera with all its storage capabilities. But wait….Barbara has posted some of her needlepoint work on her site.  I am delighted that we are in the midst of planning when we can catch up over coffee before her next upcoming trip to Russia mid-May.

 

 

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