April 27, 2010

Sweetness, Cotton Tails and Pinafores

Posted in Classic Elite Yarns, knitting, My Projects, The Local Needle Yarn Shop, Yarn, Yarn Shop activity at 9:35 am by outdoorknitter

There are so many sweet things in the world. 

Sweet to the taste… sweet on the eyes… sweet as in nice… and, sweet because that was how they were made.

I could just eat this little one up…she’s not only as sweet as they come, but a real treasure to us all.

Here’s Rae modeling one of Jill Eaton’s new designs, the Pinafore Dress.  She looks a little like the model, wouldn’t you say?

This was a very simple knit, made from Jill Eaton’s new yarn, CottonTail.  CottonTail is 100% cotton and completely washable and dryable.  This dress has already been washed and dried in the dryer!

The pattern called for size US 8 needles.  However, even for someone that knits a little on the tight side, this was way too lose.  I moved down to a 7 and fabric looked better and I was then slightly under gauge, close enough though. 

I added a little extra with buttons I found at Stitches South. 

Jill Eaton’s CottonTail yarn and Pinafore Dress pattern can both be found at The Local Needle yarn shop.



April 16, 2010

Just In at The Local Needle

Posted in knitting, The Local Needle Yarn Shop, Yarn, Yarn Shop activity tagged , at 1:17 pm by outdoorknitter

Just came in, a partial shipment of Schaefer Yarns.  Two colors of Laurel (worsted weight) and five colors of Susan (dk weight), both 100% mercerized pima cotton.    It’s always Christmas when opening a box of Schaefer!

We also received in a restock of 5″ fiberspheres.  These are great gadgets for working with 2 colors at the same time.  You can attach 2 of them (each with their own ball of yarn held inside) side-by-side, and the yarns don’t tangle…they stay put like good little yarn balls!

March 17, 2010

Classic Elite KAL Wrap Up

Posted in KAL, knitting, Online KAL, Yarn, Yarn Shop activity tagged , , , , , , at 6:33 pm by outdoorknitter

Well I have fallen a week behind in posting for our CEY 3-button Cardi Kal.  I have added a few notes to the prior blog entry, of things worth mentioning that were missed the first time around.  At this point, once you have worked through the prior post, things should be smooth sailing.  

My reason for being a bit late…we stopped knitting for a little and made us some buttons!

I profess at being an amature a beginner at best when it comes to polymer clay play.  However, the great thing about polymer is that it can disguise a lot of mishaps.  While preparing for our Saturday’s class; Button, Button  (an introductin to polymer clay), I wanted to test the bake time for the oven we would be using, because if it’s not right then all of our creations would be for naught!  

So, I made a few buttons to match my 3-button cardi.  I didn’t intentionally make them for my cardi, and they didn’t come out as I had anticipated.  So in a sense you could say I did everything wrong.  Hence, I’ve named them my MB’s, mistake buttons.  I even made 4 so I can sew a spare on the inside.

I think everyone that attended the class had a ball, and there were some beautiful buttons made (a huge improvement over my MB’s!).  I wish I could share them with you, but we were having so much fun that I FORGOT to take a snapshot.   And I don’t think we’ll be seeing Mary for a while, she couldn’t wait to get home and play more.  As she left she was mumbling something about feeding her husband buttons for dinner!

I will say this for future reference….once everyone began to blend their colors a 2nd or 3rd time, they seemed to like the results so much more. 

We had additional distractions as well!  Last year’s KAL was the Great American Aran Afghan and a couple of the ladies that have finished (or so close you can call it finished) blessed us with a show and tell.

First Mag…

Then Marty…

And sweet Marty suggested we have a square designed by The Local Needle.  So designed around the friendships made, the love for fiber and yarns, here it is…

These ladies deserve a pat on the back a holiday weekend celebration! 

A job well done and to be admired by so many.

March 2, 2010

CEY KAL – crystal clear yet, cloudy

Posted in Classic Elite Yarns, KAL, knitting, Online KAL, Yarn, Yarn Shop activity tagged , , , , , at 9:03 am by outdoorknitter


Well as noted by many participating in the KAL, the 3-button Solstice jacket has an experience level of “Experienced”.  Perfect for working in a group setting, woudn’t you say? 

As we work through the top and most difficult section of the sweater, we find the instructions to be very clear and precise and yet, for some….difficult to keep their place or even to understand.   For example, it appeared that there was a missing WS row in the instructions yet once you work through the section you understand the instructions are accurate.   I thought I would list a few of the cloudy areas participants may have experienced.

Short Rows – The short rows or wrap and turns are done in each sleeve section, not in the back section.  For some reason several were not knitting to the 2nd marker before doing their wrap and turns.  I used Cat Borhdi’s style of wrap and turns (I believe this is in her book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters).  I like the way they look and I’m used to doing them that way.  *Something else I ran into (I’m making the medium size), the last round of wrap & turns took me into my yarnover area, so I actually knitted 2, then W & T instead of knitting the 4 sts the pattern calls for.

Shape Raglan area:  I found it very convenient to figure stitch counts for each increase row repeat, sort of as a map.  If I laid the project down I could count stitches and know exactly where I was.

Buttonhole Row (2nd buttonhole):  This buttonhole ends up falling into the 2nd repeat of the 4 row Shape Raglan repeat.   

For Shaping the Yoke you have to increase evenly across sections.  This is very easily done with the following formula.  # of stitches /# of increases, then take this single number and divide by two for the first and last increase.  For example, my  # of stitches is 36 and I need to increase 6 stitches evenly across the row.  36/6 = 6.  6/2 = 3, so my increases are placed 3, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 3 (where the commas are my increases).  5/21/10 Edited to add…that there is a comment page on Ravelry that includes the increases for each size.

Shape : After casting off for the button band, make sure you keep a 3sts ribbing along the edge and a nice edge stitch like you’ve been doingfront bands.

Eddited 5/21/10 to add a note from the designer…For dividing the sleeves and body: with similar weight scrap yarn, place two crochet chain/provisional cast ons on a straight needle for each set of underarm sts. Work to first marker, with scrap yarn, bind off the sts to the next marker and fasten off loosely, knit the underarm sts from the straight needle. Repeat for second sleeve and underarm.
I’ve always hated placing sts on scrap yarn because the sts get distorted. I also like having them not on a holder so you can try it on to adjust the body length. Picking up the sts from backwards loop cast on can look messy.  The scrap yarn keeps the sts in place and then later it is easy to take out the scrap yarn and the underarm crochet chain in order to get live sts to knit the sleeves. I also mentioned to decrease at each end of the underarm sts to close up the gap on the first round.

Once you’ve divided for the body, the muddy waters are clear and it’s all smooth sailing.  I’m loving the yarn (CEY Chesapeake) and the color!

*Divide for Body: One of the first things you do for this section is to put your sleeve stitches on a holder or waste yarn, and cast on (for under the arm area).  That makes the stitches now on your needles for the body of the sweater only, so you can continue working in the flat from right front, across the back to left front.  

*Sleeves:  After reestablishing the round on the sleeve, I found that the stitches had stretched quite considerably where the held sleeve stitches (those that were on waste yarn), and the underarm stitches (cast on in the prior step) met.   I used Charlene Schurch’s method (for no holes in a gusset of a sock – See “Sensational Knitted Socks”) to close up the hole that was created from the loose stitches. 

*content added 3/17/10.

February 22, 2010

Curvy Knits Park Street KAL

Posted in KAL, knitting, Online KAL, The Local Needle Yarn Shop, Yarn Shop activity tagged , , , , at 4:11 pm by outdoorknitter

We kicked off our Classic Elite Spring KAL Saturday and cast on for our 3-button Cardi’s!  Everyone is studying!!

 Call me what you will, but I have to spell things out for myself to get the thinking part done with.  THEN, I can then enjoy the knit! 

Without giving away the pattern, here are the first few rows which might help you keep track of the RS/WS progress as well as where you are in the double moss stitch pattern.  Just print it out for a little cheat sheet.

  1. Row 1 – RS – Sl 1 (wyib) work ROW 1 of Dbl Moss St, k1.
  2. Row 2 – WS  – Sl 1 (wyif) work ROW 2 of Dbl Moss St  , p1
  3. Row 3 – RS – Sl 1 (wyib) work ROW 3 of Dbl Moss St, k1
  4. Row 4 – WS  – Sl 1 (wyif) work ROW 4 of Dbl Moss St  , p1
  5. Row 5 – RS – Sl 1 (wyib) work ROW 1 of Dbl Moss St, k1
  6. Row 6 – WS  – Sl 1 (wyif) work ROW 2 of Dbl Moss St  , p1
  7. Row 7 – RS – Sl 1 (wyib) work ROW 3 of Dbl Moss St, k1
  8. Row 8 – WS  – Sl 1 (wyif), k1, k2tog, [yo] 2 times, ssk, work Row 4 of  Dbl Moss St as est  , p1
  9. Row 9 – RS – Sl 1 (wyib) work ROW 1 of Dbl Moss St until you reach the double yo, [k1, p1] into double yo, work to 1 st as est, k1
  10. Row 10 – WS – Place marker row – just remember to Sl 1 (wyif), work dbl moss st ROW 2 while placing the markers as indicated in instructions.

You are now ready to move to the larger needles!

Here’s my progress so far…I’m using Classic Elite Yarns Chesapeake, in True Blue (first picture depicts the color best); HiyaHiya Bamboo 24″ US 6 Circulars (Try a Hiya!) and I’m lovin’ the Zecca stitch markers.

I’m just past the short rows and things are shaping up well.  Hope everyone is enjoying!!

February 15, 2010

Join us for a Classic Elite Knit-A-Long (KAL) at The Local Needle

Posted in KAL, knitting, Online KAL, The Local Needle Yarn Shop, Yarn Shop activity tagged , , , , at 7:02 am by outdoorknitter

The exitement continues to grow around our upcoming Classic Elite KAL! 

For those that complete the project by the cutoff date (7/31/10), their names are entered into a drawing (just for The Local Needle!) for which a name is drawn to win a basket of Classic Elite goodies valued at a minimum of $200.00! 

The project that we have chosen can be found in CEY’s just released Curvy Knits, Park Street pattern booklet.  Each pattern in the booklet ranges in size from Medium, up to a 3XL.

The pattern calls for Solstice, 70% organic cotton/30% merino wool;  however, many of us are using Chesapeake, 50% organic cotton/50% merino wool and some are even using Classic Silk, 50% cotton/30% Silk/20% Nylon.  Chesapeake and Classic Silk are both in stock at The Local Needle, Solstice is by special order.  Click here to view Classic Elite Yarns at The Local Needle.

Here’s how you can join us online or in the shop – either way we’ll have a blast!

  1. Register by printing out this form and emailing or snail-mail it to The Local Needle
  2. Purchase your yarn and pattern booklet through The Local Needle
  3. join us in the shop each Saturday- 2:00 to 4:00 PM, or online each week at our blog
  4. Finish by the deadline (7/31/10), take a picture of your garment, turn in your yarn labels and cross your fingers for the drawing!

We’re looking forward to the initial cast on celebration, Saturday February 20th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM! 

It’s never too late to join us, as long as you can finish by 7/31/10!


November 11, 2009

FO – #5 Shawl of Cables, Vogue Knitting Fall 2009

Posted in Alpaca With A Twist, knitting, Online KAL, Yarn, Yarn Shop activity tagged at 5:21 pm by outdoorknitter

I enjoyed making this.  It was enough to keep my mind occupied, yet relaxing enough to watch the World Series and my favorite… Masterpiece Theatre.

I found a few things to note since the last blog post.  First, if you do not have the exact stitch count when entering into the instructions for row 57, you may get confused.  So I have listed the stitch counts that you should have after completing row 56.  If you lay the shawl on a table and looked at the RS facing you, you should see the following stitch counts:

11 sts, c-8, 23 sts, c-8, 23 sts, c-8, 9 sts, MARKER, 8 sts, c-8, 8 sts, MARKER, 9 sts, c-8, 23 sts, c-8, 23 sts, c-8, 11 sts. (c-8 means it’s a cable and it has 8 sts).

And a reminder; Do not forget to do the increases that are “usually” only done to the center panel.  When you get to row 92, the increases should be done for each set of cable stitches, and the same goes for row 106 and 114.  Ask me how I know this!  I kept humming away and ended up having to frog a good 6″ because I didn’t have extra stitches when I needed them.

Here is our version of the magazine shoot!

I want to thank everyone that has participated in the KAL!  If you’re still working on it, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Joan, The Local Needle

October 3, 2009

Shawl of Cables – Post 4

Posted in Alpaca With A Twist, knitting, Online KAL, Yarn Shop activity tagged at 6:18 am by outdoorknitter

Greetings from the land of cables! 

I hope everyone is moving right along and has now settled into the rhythm of this shawl.  I have found it to be a very relaxing knit, yet there’s enough cabling going on to keep the doldrums away. 

I just love this color of Highlander and I had forgotten what a pleasure it is to work with!

There are several things that must be worked every row and sometimes it is difficult to remember them all, so I thought it would be a good idea to display them in a chart.  It might help those that work better from a visual, versus written instructions. 


Since the chart does not display here in it’s entirety, I’ve provided a link to the same chart on Flickr.

 While working along, I found I wasn’t really paying attention to the number of stitches between cables.  For example, the reverse stockinette stitches on both sides of the cable on the right panel, should match up and have the same count as the reverse stockinette stitches on both sides of the cable that is on the left panel.  Should is the key word here. 

I highly recommend that you check this on occasion and most important, before you start the next set of written instructions that introduce the lower cables.  If you look really close at mine, you might find a couple of m1-p’s and k2tog to get the stitches back in sync.

My favorite teacher once told me…”it doesn’t have be perfect, it just needs to look perfect!”

September 20, 2009

Shawl of Cables Knit-A-Long – Post 3

Posted in Alpaca With A Twist, knitting, Online KAL, Yarn Shop activity tagged at 6:36 am by outdoorknitter

Fall is in the air

Fall is in the air, even in NE Florida!

The  direction of the sun has changed and leaves are in fact… falling.  However,  the cool weather that most Northerners enjoy has still managed to elude us.

That absolutely does not stop us from our Fall knits!

We cast on in the shop today for the Shawl of Cables (Ravel It), pattern #5 in the Fall Vogue Knitting.  For anyone that might be joining us from the online community, we have some great tips that we’ll be sharing along the way.  

Requirements for joining our online KAL?  There are none…well except for one – you must have a copy of the Fall 2009 Vogue Knitting magazine.  I might add, that if you do not have the pattern in front of you, a lot of these notes may not make any sense.

Before we cast on, I want to share a few tips that might help you along the way:

1) Most everyone knows that when you change from a knit stitch to a purl stitch (or vice versa), that you move your yarn between the needles to position it for the next stitch.  For example, after a knit stich, yarn is positioned in the back.  Bring it between the needles to the front to prepare for a purl stitch.  Well, add a cable on top of it and you might find yourself concentrating on the cable and not the yarn position, end result is an unwanted yarnover.  It’s very easy to do, so watch for this.

2) If you have read over the pattern, you’ve realized that you are working 3 panels; right, center and left.  The right and left panels always have 2 increases on the RS rows.  A yarn over at the outside edges and a M1-P at the marker edge.  Keep on top of these by making sure the number of stitches are always the same when comparing the two panels, and that they are always an even number (for now anyway).

3) It might help for you to keep your place in the written instructions if you have a post-it note or some highlighter tape.  They are fairly wordy and you might find that you are spending more time trying to figure out where you are in the instructions, than you are knitting!

So…here’s the cast on, and without giving away details of the pattern, I’ll let the picture do the talking.

i-cordI found it necessary to do 13 rows of i-cord in order to pick up the required number of stitches. 

cast on 2

Heres how we picked up and knit the stitches

After you have worked a few rows…you will find that you have to do a double increase to one stitch, twice.  That doesn’t mean 4 increases to the same stitch, but 2 increases to one stitch and 2 to the next.  You end up with 6 sts where you used to have 2.

Here’s Mom showing us how to:

Knit into the front

Knit into the front.

Knit into the back

Knit into the back.

Knit into the front again

 Knit into the front again.

Moving right along…

                            If you look at the instructions just prior to the paragraph labled Beg long cables (pg 107).  It reads sm, p12, sm.  This is incorrect (ERRATA), it should read sm, k3, p6, k3, sm.  This has been confirmed with Mari.    Same page, instructions for Row 2, it says to work row 2 of chart, then row 1 of chart.  However, it should refer to Row 2 of chart throughout Row 2 instructions. 

After you complete row 4 (bottom of pg 107), you enter into a new stage.  Written instructions no longer exsist (not for a while anyway) and you have your chart and a few “regulations” (regulations are listed under the stitch key at the bottom of pg 108).

Here are the regulations in a nutshell:

                 On a RS row, do the following, always:   start the row with Sl 1, k1, yo; M1 p-st before the first marker and after the last marker; end with yo, k2. 

                 On a WS row, do the following always:  start the row with a Sl 1, k1, end the row with a K2

                 For the stitches between the charted cables and excluding the stitches mentioned just prior, work in reverse stockinette.  (That means to purl on the RS and knit on the WS.)

Here’s a sample of 2 rows to help you understand: 

                            Row 5 (RS): Sl 1, k1, yo, p3, work row 5 of chart, p7, M1 p-st, sm, p2, work row 5 of chart, p2, sm, M1 p-st, p3, work row 5 of chart,  p5, yo, k2–52 sts.  Row 6 (WS):  Sl 1, k7, p3, k2, p7, sm, k2, p3, k2, p3, k2, sm, k8, p3, k2, p3, k6.

Additional Tips –   Using the copier, we blew up anything we could (ok, so I’m middle-aged and can’t see).  We especially blew up the chart (first 56 rows).  We also marked on the chart, the notes from pg 107 ( labled Beg long cables).   For example, I hand wrote on Row 3 of my chart, RC to the right and LC to the left (to indicate that when on the right panel, preform RC, when on the middle and left panel, preform LC).  Row 12 reads (CENTER ONLY for M1). 

A few more pictures from the day:

member 1member 2me

Homework assignment!  Work thru row 56 of chart.    Join our KAL Ravelry group (linky), so we can communicate better and let me know how soon you want another installment. 

I love the yarn selection, Alpaca With A Twist Highlander is very warm and soft!  The pattern is unique in the way it begins as well in it’s style. 

Pictures can also be viewed from flickr.


 ~ Joan

September 16, 2009

#5 Shawl of Cables KAL – 2nd post

Posted in Alpaca With A Twist, knitting, Online KAL, Yarn Shop activity tagged at 10:39 am by outdoorknitter

We are just a few days away from casting on for this stunning shawl at The Local Needle! 

Shawl of Cables
Shawl of Cables

              Before we start, you’ll want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row…

Yarn — Vogue Knitting, Fall 2009 issue — Size 10 Circulars (or size to ga uge)  — A few markers — A gauge swatch!

Now, for a few notes regarding the above:

I’ll be using Alpaca With A Twist Highlander in color 3015 highlander 3015, Hebrides Rose.  A few nice ladies at the shop helped me choose it.  The original color used in the magazine is 5013highlander 5013, Fritillary.  It reminds me of a spiced pumpkin, where 3015 is more of a brick red. 

Other colors being used…highlander 3016  3016, highlander 0299  0299, highlander 0096 0096 (there may be others, these are just the ones I’m aware of).  All colors can be viewed here.

The pattern calls for four size 10 circular needles, however I’m quite sure that’s overkill!  Just a long size 10 circular is all you need.  You might want a shorter one to work the shawl when it’s not so big.

Make a guage swatch, stockinette is fine.   Adjust your needle size up or down as needed to get gauge.  

Here’s a cute little tip for knowing what needle size you used in your swatch.  When you start your swatch, note your needle size by incorporating the same amount of yarnovers as needle size.  For example, if I swatch using a size 10 needle, I would k1, (K2tog, yo) 10 times, k to end of row.  Then, work pattern needed to measure gauge .  If  I switch to a size 9 needle, I would then do one row of k1, (K2tog, yo) 9 times, k to end of row and work pattern for gauge.  You can now view your entire swatch and see exactly where you changed needles.

We are casting on in the shop this Saturday (9/19/09) and for those that are joining us online we will have a new post available by Sunday.  There’s still time to join us!

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