Friday, March 28, 2008

It's March!

It's March 28, and it is snowing! How fun and exciting! I woke up this morning and felt like a child I was so excited! Not too much snow, but enough to make me really happy and giddy! At least it was easy to scrape the snow off my cute little beetle.

Apparently the last time it snowed this late in the year was in 1936. We got about 5 inches in Portland on April 1st!

I'm not so sure that Riley was all that excited about the snow. But he sure is cute, huh?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hugs and Kisses

I'm making a new shop model for my Hugs and Kisses Scarf Pattern. I designed the original scarf using a yarn that we no longer carry at the shop, so I decided it was time to make a new one.

I'm using Baby Alpaca Chunky from Cascade Yarns in color 555. This yarn is absolutely delicious, so soft and cozy. And it knits up nicely in this cable pattern.

I'm also working on a hat pattern that will be free with yarn purchase at The Naked Sheep. I'll post it on this blog in early April.

I'm really having fun posting my current projects (slowly but surely) on my Ravelry site. It's a fun way to get your knitting thoughts organized.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Entrelac, again

I'm re-knitting my entrelac scarf for the class. I'm making it a little narrower, and I don't think I'll felt it this time. I reallly do love working with this yarn. It feels nice, and the colorways are interesting. I also really do love doing entrelac. I think I'll do my next entrelac project in the round. Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 20, 2008


When I felted my messenger bag the other day, I also decided to felt the entrelac scarf. Oops. I regret it now. The problem is, I let the scarf agitate a little too long; and the fabric became too dense and thick. And unfortunately with felting, there is no undoing or unfelting.

Here's a reminder of the before.

And here's the after.
I now wish that I hadn't felted it; but, oh well, what can you do? I'll just be able to pass valuable info onto my students, and they will see what the scarf will look like felted.

What lesson did I re-learn? The importance of swatching. I just dove into knitting the scarf; which would have been fine if I had left it unfelted. But if I had knit a test swatch, I could have then test felted the swatch and seen that it would be a very dense fabric.

Live and learn; and possibly have to re-learn!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Felted Messenger Bag

I just finished felting this Messenger Bag. It's one of my own patterns. I really like the way the 4 shades of gray to black blend together. I used Cascade 220, one of my favorites for felting. You can trust it to do the job! I'll be teaching this bag as a class at The Naked Sheep this spring. You can also buy the pattern online from our website.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ravelry is cool

I finally feel like I'm finding my way around Ravelry. It's actually quite addictive. I'm in the process of getting my projects added to my notebook, it's fun!

If you're on Ravelry, add me as a friend :). I'm cheriknits. If you're not on Ravelry, check it out!

Monday, March 17, 2008

To Block, or Not to Block?! Is there any question?

Here is my finished Hemlock Ring Blanket. I washed and blocked it 2 nights ago. I use the term "blocked" lightly. I am not a huge fan of blocking. Oh, I recognize the value; especially with lace. And I appreciate how it makes your stitches "snap to attention" and behave a little better. I like the way it flattens out the edges, making seaming things together much easier. I heartily suggest blocking to my customers and students. It's just that, quite honestly, it's not my favorite thing to do. I don't even own an official blocking board or t-pins (I can hear the moans and screams now).

So when I say that I blocked my lovely Hemlock Ring Blanket, I mean that after washing it I layed it out on the kitchen counter/bar, smoothed it out with my hands, and stretched it all around (with the help of my wonderful assistant, Brad), and then let it dry. That little bit of effort changed the original wavy, bumpy lump of wool into a very nice thing.

I confess this to you, not so that you think that I'm a horrible knitter; but so that you won't be afraid of blocking. It doesn't necessarily have to be a huge, intimidating production. It has value, it's often the "right" thing to do. But just remember...YOU are the boss of your knitting. Don't let any stitch, technique, fellow knitter, etc, scare you. You are in charge and you are a good knitter; even if you choose not to block.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hemlock Ring Blanket

This is the Hemlock Ring Blanket that is all the rage right now on the internet and on Ravelry. I am approaching the finish line as I bind-off about 400 stitches. Not your typical bind-off, mind you. This is K1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, turn, p1, (k1, p1) twice in the same st, then k in the same st once more, p1, sl1, turn, bind off 7 sts. Repeat ALL THE WAY AROUND!!!

As you can see, I'm about halfway around. I hope to finish binding-off today, so I can block it tonight.

I'm teaching this as a class at the shop. So this blanket will be a shop model, and then be given to my grandma for Christmas. I used Eco Wool in color 0508 (Boysenberry). When I was growing up, my grandparents lived in St Johns and had raspberries and boysenberries in their yard. So working with this color for her brings back a lot of happy memories of spending time in the garden and picking berries with grandma and grandpa.

Stop by and check it out in person!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Beach Birthday Blast

Last Saturday was my birthday, and we spent the weekend at a cute little beach cabin in Manzanita. Just Brad, Riley and I. It was a relaxing time of reading, knitting, watching movies, walking and just enjoying being alone. A perfect birthday getaway! Happy times.
Brad and I met at a beach retreat in Manzanita over 25 years ago, so it was fun to remember and celebrate that, also! As we drove into town on Saturday, we both spotted the building that housed our meetings and mealtimes during that retreat. We saw the rocky spot on the beach where Brad had to hold my hand to help me climb the rocks. Happy memories.
Happy birthday to me!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Entrelac, a super cool technique

This is The Wonderful Woven Scarf, a pattern that I created for a class I'll be teaching at The Naked Sheep Knit Shop. The class will teach the entrelac method, which creates this very cool fabric that looks woven. I'm using Poems, from Universal Yarn. This variegated wool makes entrelac easy, because it does the color changes for you!

My plan is to felt the scarf when it's done, so I'm using size 10 needles, instead of size 8; and I'm making it extra wide and long. I had a customer make a felted entrelac bag using Poems, and it came out so beautifully.

I like the scarf unfelted, also. But I think that felting it will make the back look smoother. Then the scarf will be more reversible.

Either way, it's tons of fun to knit entrelac!