Posts Tagged ‘Purl Soho’

Knitting Across Generations

February 7, 2019

I didn’t hesitate when my friend Jen texted to ask if I could help her daughter finish a blanket she’d knitted. She was returning to college in a couple of days and wanted to mail it off to a friend who could use some TLC from a long-distance buddy.

While I didn’t know what pattern Itsy was knitting, I suspected that it was the deliciously squishy Eleventh Hour Marled Blanket from Purl Soho.

I’m not psychic, but I can put two and two together — and these two were Itsy and Barbara, granddaughter and grandmother. You may recall that I’d helped Barbara (aka Baba) with the finishing touches of her blanket, the border of which provided me with a significant learning experience.

It didn’t take long for Itsy to get the hang of the attached i-cord border. Of course, it took quite a while to work her way around the entire blanket. But it was definitely worth it.

The photo doesn’t capture the soft green and deep navy color combination. You’ll just have to trust me on how exquisite it is. Or look at the smile on Itsy’s face. As she modeled the finished product, I couldn’t help but marvel at the pride of a handmade project and the love that would envelope her distant friend every time she wraps herself in its soft warmth.

Last week, after she finished her latest garter stitch scarf, Mom and I headed to J.P. Knit & Stitch for some new yarn and a visit with the Friday afternoon knitters. As usual, Mom chose a bright variegated yarn — this time, a sock yarn from Lemonade Shop, colorway is Alternative Facts.

Reminds me of cotton candy.

When in Doubt

December 19, 2018

A few weeks ago, my friend Barbara asked for help adding an i-cord edge to the bulky seed stitch blanket she’d knit for her grandson, a first-year college student. (Purl Soho’s Eleventh Hour Marled Blanket) Naturally, I was happy to help. If only it’d been so simple.

After following my directions, she wasn’t pleased with the final result — the blanket wouldn’t lie flat and was somewhat pulled in along the edge — and asked again for some assistance. When I got the blanket home, I realized that I’d given her the wrong instructions for making the i-cord border.

I thought of my Mom’s frequent saying, “When in doubt, read the instructions.” If only I’d thought of it before I’d “helped” her!

I removed the wonky i-cord border, evened out some of the yarn joins, washed the edge-less blanket, and blocked it on Hannah’s bed.

knit blanket blocking on bed

While it dried, I reviewed a few video tutorials on how to do a proper i-cord edge. It’s remarkable what a difference a bit of knowledge makes!

attach i-cord edge to blanket

Not surprisingly, the new edge looked much better than the previous version. It was, after all, a true i-cord edge.

close up of i-cord edge

It’s more a throw than a full-sized blanket, but I’m quite confident it’s plenty big enough to wrap one very lucky young man in the love of his grandmother.

eleventh hour marled blanket

As for my own projects, I’ve turned the heel and completed the gusset on the second sock. While I’m feeling confident that I’ll time to finish by Christmas morning, I’m beginning to wonder if I actually have enough yarn….

knitting sock heel gusset

Warm Hands and Cookie Traditions

December 7, 2018

The colorblock hand warmers (Purl Soho pattern, Shibui Staccato yarn) are off the needles, blocked, and ready for…whom? I don’t know.

I made them because I fell in love with the yarn while treating myself to a gift certificate purchase  (thanks, Jill!) at the amazing Gather Here in Somerville.

color-block-hand-warmers

I’m not thrilled with the thumb hole. To be precise, I’m not thrilled that there’s just a hole and not an actual thumb covering. It gets mighty cold here in the Boston area, and having your thumbs exposed just isn’t that practical. But they look lovely, so perhaps, as my grandmother used to say, “your pride will keep you warm.”

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Nicholas, and as is tradition in my family, the day was marked with cookies. In each of my siblings homes, from Alexandria, VA to Boston, these thin, crisp, spiced treats were rolled, sliced, baked, and enjoyed.

st-nick-cookies

I’ve mailed some to Kevin and Michael, sustenance for their upcoming final exams. And I’ve tucked a few away for Hannah, who will be home for a couple of days next week. If you’d like the recipe, you’ll find it on my December 6 post from a few years ago.

What are some of your winter holiday traditions (baked and otherwise)?

 

 

 

 

Mitts and Socks

November 12, 2018
Late last month, Patrick and I joined a couple of cousins at a beautiful and stirring choral concert. The concert — which had been planned for months and by tragic coincidence occurred one week after the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue — featured music from Terezín Concentration Camp and a new composition, Anne Frank: A Living Voice.
Top-down sock in Lady Dye Yarns (unknown color way)
A few days later, as I’ve done for the past couple of years, I worked at a local polling place on Election Day. Unlike at September’s primary election, turn-out was robust (heavy?). By the time voting began at 7a.m., there was a line of 45 people waiting to cast their ballots. I’d started my first fingerless mitt (Purl Soho Colorblock Hand Warmers) and managed only a couple of inches during my entire eight-hour shift.
view from voting check-in table at 6:40am, 20 mins before polls opened
The yarn is Shibui Staccato, a luscious blend of merino and silk. I’ll modify the pattern because I’ve got three rather than four colors. The total length is 12 inches, and rather than knit four inches in each color, I think I’ll mix it up a bit. What do you think?

Porch knitting

June 25, 2017

As the rain passed and the sky began to clear over the White Mountains, we spent a lovely hour or so of our anniversary weekend on the hotel’s big front porch.

About a dozen or so people sat in the white Adirondack chairs, in small groups or solo, chatting, reading, “phoning,” or just sitting.

As luck would have it, a fellow knitter appeared, swapping out her newspaper for circular needles on which was a cowl-in-progress, knit in a gorgeous variegated yarn of blues and speckles of green, black, yellow, and purple.

Of course, I had to strike up a conversation. It’s what knitters do. And like most knitters, Annie was more than happy to talk about her project, where she got the yarn (vacation to the Cotswalds in England last year), the other project she’s working on (a drapey cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed, the name of which escapes me and I’d get lost looking through their wonderful patterns), and her next project (Purl Soho’s Ombré Wrap).

Woman knitting on porch

I’m curious — when you see someone knitting, do you strike up a conversation?

Knitting Class: Small but Fierce

December 5, 2016

After several years of having 6 to 8 knitters around the table at each knitting class, I find myself with two very small sessions this fall. I don’t know what accounts for the change, and I’m not taking the lack of enrollment personally (at least most of the time!).

What these regular Fearless Knitters lack in number, they more than make up in their creativity, persistence, good humor, and ferocity. Discover a mistake (or many) a few inches into your circular scarf? Realize that the pattern on your stranded sweater is off by a few stitches? Learn the painful lesson that knitting while drinking red wine is not for the faint of heart? (Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about!) These knitting students tackled each project and challenge with vigor and commitment.

Christy, she of the Fox Cowl Hood, recently finished a luscious braided cable cowl. The yarn and pattern are from Purl Soho. With the temperatures dipping below freezing here in Greater Boston, you can bet this cowl will get a lot of wear.

file-dec-04-2-29-52-pm

Gillan’s half-way through a pair of chunky fingerless mitts. The pattern had both of us flummoxed for a while. (And by a while, I mean we each knitted and ripped it back two or three times!) Following it carefully resulted in two rounds of ribbing around the thumb gusset, messing up the rhythm of the seed stitch. Finally, I adjusted the pattern, substituting some PFB for KFB and some (P,K) for (K,P) repeats. Seems to have worked.

file-dec-04-2-29-14-pm

Marcia’s latest creation is a striped cardigan for a lucky baby-to-be. After finishing the neck at our last class, the only thing she’s got left to do is graft the sleeves to the body (underarm grafting, what a concept!) and add some buttons.

file-dec-04-2-30-21-pm

See the yarn near the neck? That’s all she had left — yet again, playing a high stakes game of Knitting Bind-Off Chicken.  Who says knitters aren’t risk takers?!

 

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