Thursday, February 13, 2014


Fun and Fit V-Neck
You see it's like this; I was so fired up about Vogue Knitting Live that I rushed through knitting my sweater (see previous blog post), because I wanted to wear it there. I call this Fun and Fit V-Neck because I added a fitted waist and the yarn, Mountain Colors Twizzle in the color winter sky is a delightful hand-painted color mix.

When I was knitting the front, I realized I'd not started the neck when I should have for the type of V-neck I wanted, but rather than rip out and start over, I kept going. A shorter V is perfectly acceptable and it worked out. Besides, I thought, everything else would be great. I was focused on the finish line.

Well, I wasn't 100 percent happy with the finished product. Yes, it fit OK, but I really did want a deeper V-neck and, oh dear, I should have kept to my written instructions about length because it would look better a tad longer. Oh, well, I thought. It was done and I'd do better on the next one. But it nagged at me.

Then I was talking to my sister who had just ripped out a sweater she'd knit years ago so that she could make it into a different sweater. As Winnie-the-Pooh would say, "Think. Think. Think." And I did.

So I spent this past weekend ripping my new sweater apart down to the armholes--front, back, and sleeves--and knitting it back. By Sunday afternoon, I had front, back, and sleeves blocked and drying for the final seaming and finishing of the neckline. 

Fortunately I still had almost a full skein of yarn left. (I'd almost made felted slippers from it! Whew.) I used it and most of what was ripped out. At one point, I had tossed the yarn that had come from unraveling the sleeves. I still had a small ball of yarn left and was feeling pretty lucky.

Ah, but after I'd washed all the pieces, I realized I still had to knit the collar. Yikes! I retrieved the castoff sleeve yarn and washed it. It was going to be needed. Maybe.

The next day all was dry and I proceeded to sew the shoulder seam together and knit the collar. Unfortunately the night was over before I could finish sewing the sleeves in. By Wednesday I was wearing it to work. And much happier with sweater 2.0!

No knitter likes to rip out a sweater that they've just meticulously sewn together, but sometimes you just have to tear into it if you want a product that will not be a disappointment whenever you put it on--IF you wear it. You know the saying, "If at first you don't succeed ..."

ever trying,

Reah Janise

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Felted chess set @ Vogue KnittingLive

Knit garden @ Vogue KnittingLive
Ever been surrounded by hundreds of people who all harbor the same addiction? Well that's what I did over a week ago.

The addiction? Knitting. The place? New York City. The event? Vogue Knitting Live.

Classes, teachers, and a really great marketplace of yummy yarns, kits, and more. I'm terrible at taking pictures, so I just have a couple to share from some of the artists: an amazing chess set (love the dragon!) and a garden complete with fountain, flowers and birds.

I took three classes: one on steeking, which is something you absolutely need to know how to do if you want to do a Fair Isle cardigan or any kind of color work that you want to match up. The two part class on designing lace shawls and writing the pattern provided terrific information. I started a shawl that I plan to wear at a big event for my boss's 80th birthday gala. The last class was on designing drop and saddle shoulders. I learned when these are good to use and how to design them.

The Marketplace had many, many temptations, and I was reserved, but I still came away with some lovely cashmere, a few kits, and yarn for making a shawl and a couple of scarves.

Meanwhile, I've been knitting up a few things. I finished a sweater using Mountain Colors yarn, which I wore to the event. I wanted a simple sweater that I could just toss on. The color is so rich that it needed no embellishment, so I just did a cable up the front, back, and sleeves. At the conference, one of the teachers was wearing a cowl that matched her sweater. Aha! I had extra yarn, so as soon as I got home, I worked up a pattern and knit one. I used a triangle pattern using knit/purl. The cowl has been perfect since winter has been unusually cold this year.
Pink Tiger Socks

I also knit up a pair of socks. As I've mentioned before, socks are the best thing to take on a trip because they take up so little space. I finished one sock on the train home and started the second one, finishing it the next day. I call these my pink tiger socks. I used a lace pattern even though with a multi-colored yarn they are not easily seen. But I like how it moves the color lines. The yarn is Pinnacle Fingering from Wild Hare Fiber Studio. It has the greatest colors, even neon, for socks.

After Christmas I knit a pair of fingerless mitts for myself, but gave them to a friend. I had yarn left over from the cardigan I knit for my friend, so I knit another pair for myself--and am wearing them as I type this. Ahh, warm and cozy hands.

But I'm not finished. I bought a kit to make a felted cloche hat. I was so excited about it that I knit it up really quickly and set about felting it, but something went wrong. I somehow didn't felt it right and the hat didn't shrink. Undaunted, I made some adjustments and made it into a rolled band hat. Hat, cowl, and sweater are featured in this photo.
Hat, cowl and new sweater.

And now I've made a swatch for a scarf idea with one of the new yarns.

And the knit goes on,

Reah Janise