on the needles

My husband left for golf this morning and over his shoulder he tossed out a, "What are you going to do today?" Well, first, it's alternately cloudy/sprinkling/raining, so I don't know how much golf game he will get in, but I spent my morning warm and dry, organizing my knitting for the rest of the year and beginning to write my detailed holiday to-do lists. I actually just realized that Thanksgiving is next week and we all know that the Christmas season accelerates at an alarming speed the day after Thanksgiving. So take a deep breath folks, here it comes! 

As for my homemade gifts, Ravelry project pages with pictures and details is my best way to get them organized. Only a half dozen projects actually have a Christmas deadline and most of them have been started. The rest is just fun stuff. 

Loire Sweater for Annie in Rowan Big Wool. Adding long sleeves. Priority: high, must have done by Dec. 28.

Sweater for Stacy in Comfort Chunky (she lives in Southern California and she gets too warm for wool).
Priority: high--deadline Dec. 28, and I haven't even started. Gulp.
Three Mrs. Claus hats for Carter and his parents. Priority is high--must have done by Thanksgiving.

Carter's needlepoint stocking has the HIGHEST priority of everything.
This has to be stitched, blocked and turned into a stocking by this weekend.

High priority on this one too. Deadline is Christmas Day. It's a 3 mos. size Little Macaroon and Tiny Tot Hat
for a new little baby we'll see on Christmas. I am almost done. 

Weekender with this Dovestone Aran that I bought at Avenue Yarns in Berkeley. Low, low, low priority,
and if fact everything listed below is for me, so no deadline. (Kristen, please, please, ignore this until 2018.)

This project is also very low priority, but keeping my mitts of it is going to be impossible.
This yarn. THIS YARN! Sorry to shout at you, but honestly, this yarn is so scrumptious, I can't stop touching it.
I tried to put it away and out of sight, but that only lasted for two days. I blame Clara Parkes, the yarn wizard.

A Kim Hargreaves with Rowan Valley Tweed. I've just the the sleeves to do. Lovely yarn and simple, wearable pattern.

This lovely project doesn't even get it's own basket, that's because I want it out of my sight!
 I put in a bag and put it in the closet, top shelf. I just don't need to be tempted.
Lovely Shibui yarn for Tuva. My first Shibui experience. Nice, but must rest until January. Be strong.

 Rowan Super Fine Merino 4 ply is heaven and any pattern from Isabell Kraemer is also heaven.

Sweet Jane with lovely Swan's Island Ikat Firefly. I'm just to the shaping of the hem and then on to the sleeves.
I have shoved this too to the back of the closet, but I'll be happy to bring it out again.

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Designer Showcase: OGE Knitwear

Meet Vera from OGE Knitwear Design. She hails from Australia and has a passion (perhaps an obsession!) for knitting and designing. Vera has spent her life crafting; you name the craft and she has surely tried it! But like so many of us, knitting became the craft that stuck. Vera's first experience with knitting was when she became an Aunty for the first time.  She really wanted to knit something special for her little nephew, but having never knitted before, the prospect was a little daunting. But like any dedicated maker-of-things, she taught herself how to knit. That was it--she fell in love with both her nephew and knitting!  

Design inspiration comes from many sources. A walk in the city or a stroll in the park can provide just the right spark to ignite a new design. Often a color or the touch of a new yarn will be the inspiration. Vera incorporates garter stitch, simple lace, and cables to achieve the knitted texture she loves. I love Vera's expert attention to details. Note the perfectly scaled increases for her tiny A-line dresses, the genius of delicate lace against rustic garter, the pint-sized touch of cables--not too much, not too little, but just right. I feel Vera has captured baby knitting at it's best.

Vera told me she hopes to write a knitting book one day. Don't you hope she does that soon?

Vera has kindly offered my readers a 25% discount on both the Lil' Rosebud Dress and Norwegian Fir Cardigan, scroll down to view them again. During checkout, use the coupon code, KNITIONARY to receive 25% off either or both.  This offer is good until November 17th, 2017, 12PM AEST. To get the discount on both, you must put both in your cart and purchase them together. 

Please enjoy a few more of my favorite OGE designs:

The Booties and Matching Helmut is a free pattern from Vera.

Vera has kindly offered my Knitionary readers a 25% discount on both the Lil' Rosebud Dress and the Norwegian Fir Cardigan, see below. During checkout, use the coupon code, KNITIONARY to receive 25% off either or both.  This offer is good until November 17th, 2017, 12PM AEST. To get the discount on both, you must put both in your cart and purchase them together. 

The Lil' Rosebud Dress is 25% with the coupon code KNITIONARY.
To receive the discount on both dress and cardigan below, you must put both in your cart and purchase them together. 

The Norwegian Fir Cardigan is 25% off with the coupon code KNITIONARY.
To receive the discount on both dress and cardigan, you must put both in your cart and purchase them together. 

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Baby Dress and Cardi and a surprise offer!

Today I have the Norwegian Fir Baby Cardigan and Lil' Rosebud Baby Dress to show, both by OGE Knitwear Designs. I don't know if I've loved a knitted ensemble so much. This might be my most favorite of all the baby patterns I've ever made. Both patterns were so well written, such FUN to knit, and turned out so pretty, that I'm beyond thrilled. The patterns are completely seamless and knit top-down in garter stitch. The fir lace pattern that forms the raglan and cascades down the dress is easy to memorize and appropriate for an enthusiastic beginner. I was sailing along after one or two repeats.  The pattern comes with schematics and row by row instructions and is very easy to follow. This charming gift will be sent off next week to Washington DC to a new mama whom I've know since she was born. I think it will fit in spring--maybe her Easter dress? I'm smiling now imagining it.

Vera, the designer behind OGE Knitwear, designs exclusively and beautifully for babies and children. When I contacted her and told her how much I enjoyed her patterns, she very generously offered my readers a 25% discount on both patterns from today through November 17th, 2017, 12PM AEST. Upon checkout, use the coupon code KNITIONARY to receive your 25% discount on either cardigan and dress or both. To get the discount on both,  you must put both in your cart and purchase at one time.

Meet the designer! In a few days be on the lookout for a pretty post about the woman behind OGE Knitwear and see more of her beautiful designs. You'll be hard-pressed on what to make next.

For this set I used Berroco Corsica in Conch, a pale dusty pink. This yarn is a sport weight blend of 90% cotton and 10% cashmere and is available in muted, heathered colors. This was my first time knitting with Corsica and I fell in love. I do adore cotton but I am very picky and I've only found a few I like, and because of that I'm leery to try a new cotton. But on the recommendation of the charming folks at my lys, I decided to give Corsica a try. The brilliant addition of cashmere gave the cotton more life and body and added softness. Corsica is not splitty or stringy and has a very easy hand. Give it a try the next time you are looking for a sport weight cotton.

Lil' Rosebud dress by OGE Designs, sizes 3 mos. to 6 yrs.
Norwegian Fir by OGE Designs, sizes 3 mos. to 9 yrs.
Use the coupon code KNITIONARY for 25% off.
I used 2 skeins for each, 4 in total.
More details on my Ravelry pages, cardigan and dress.

The back of the cardi.

The faux seam on the back of the dress is nautrally created when switching back and forth from knit to purl to achieve garter stitch while working in the round. 

 The dress itself did not need wet-blocking but the hem needed a bit of straightening. I threaded US0000/1.25mm knitting needles through the bind off stitches. Next I wet the hem, patted it to shape and and let it dry.

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jimmy Beans road trip

Jimmy Beans moved to a new location in January, and today I had the chance to visit them. My husband and I are making a quick trip to the Sierras, and tonight, our last night, we are in Reno, Jimmy's home town. This afternoon when we left Lake Tahoe for Reno, I said, "You know there is a really famous yarn shop in Reno." "Yeesss," he groaned, "I know. We only go there every time we are even remotely close." He's a retired guy married to a knitter and he knows the drill: no yarn shop shall go unvisited.

Jimmy's new shop is much bigger than the last. The main room has a few sofas and a table and chairs surrounded by 4 walls of yarn. Off this main room are a half dozen smaller rooms. One  room is a book room, one is filled entirely with Madeline Tosh, and one is brimming with needles, needles, needles! And that's what I bought--several sizes of ChiaoGoo 12" circular needles. Twelve inch circs are not sold everywhere and they had them in every size. They also had 9" circs! They even had 2.5mm needles that are not easy to find in the US. I bought two sets just to be on the safe side.  Jimmy Beans has a busy online business and their warehouse and offices are attached to the showroom. In their previous locations we were allowed to wander around the enormous warehouse, but in this new location that pleasure is available only on Wednesday evenings. All their yarns and colorways are cleverly displayed throughout the showroom/shop's walls. If you need multiple skeins, they pull from the attached warehouse.

Visiting the Sierras? Reno and Jimmy Beans are less than an hour  from Lake Tahoe. It's just heaven to submerge yourself inside a giant selection of fine fibers and glorious color. If you don't know Jimmy, he is the bellwether of online yarn shops and I think was the first to introduce yarn subscriptions and kits. Those things we now take for granted had to begin somewhere! The folks there are super friendly and helpful. I know you'll love it.

Is there really a Jimmy Bean? Yes! He was the little orphan boy who played opposite Hayley Mills in the Disney movie, Pollyanna. You were thinking you'd heard that name somewhere before, right? I had a serious crush on this movie when I was a little girl. It's such a great fifties, feel-good children's movie.

One corner of the MadelineTosh room.

The needle and notions room.

A wall of circulars held in the little compartments of these hanging shoe sleeves! Clever!

String Quintet or the left and Lorna's Laces on the right.

The Lorna's Laces room.

They had many clever ways to display their yarn. Samples of each color are in the showroom/shop, and if you need multiples, they pull it from the attached warehouse.


Off the main room are a half dozen rooms full of yarn!

A cute Christmas display in the entry.

Mad Tosh in Sodalite.

The entry way.
Every trip, even a wee one, deserves a travel project. My son and dil have requested Christmas hats;
a hat that fits daddy, a hat that fits mommy, and a hat that fits baby. I'm on it!

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