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Archive for October, 2014


An incredible autumn…

Dear Jan,

This autumn has been one of the most gorgeous in memory here in Minnesota.  After a cool start, we’ve had many warm and sunny days.  The cool, wet summer may have been worth it, setting us up for intense fall color.  When I had the chance to do some colorwork at the Sisu Lost in the Woods retreat up near Ely, MN in late September, I had to follow my muse.  My color choice – the gorgeous crimson maples against the autumnal deep blue sky.

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The project was Norwegian mittens, led by the talented and prolific Jan Bilden. You got a peak at these a couple of posts ago – here they are in detail.  We chose cuffs and mitten backs….

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…and we chose mitten palms….

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….and mitten thumbs.

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I know I’ll be glad of these this winter, both for the warm wool and the warm memories.

Love,

Ellen

P.S. Yarns were Rauma Strikkegarn 3-ply and  Kenzie by Hikoo by Skacel.  Knit on US 1.5 dpns.  Pattern improvised.

Knittin’, Bitten…

Dear Jan,

I believe I promised photos of the repair work I did on my Cowl for George Bailey (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Pretty Thing, knit of handspun (mine!) bison, though not by the light of the moon).   Here they are.  Brace yourself.

First the damage.  A cat knocked the cowl to the floor, and a dog had a play with it for all of maybe 7 seconds.

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First thing I did was to delineate the damage – basting lines of slick cotton thread to show where in the lace panel the teeth of that saucy dog had cut, and the same thread to trace an undamaged row above the gaping hole.  It would have been impossible to follow the path of the lace without that pink guideline.

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Happily, the damage was limited to one repeat of the lace motif – I could actually knit a piece to graft right in to the body of the cowl.  I cast on at the bottom – it just seemed too complicated to try to graft top and bottom – and I knit across each row leaving a long tail on either end.

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Then came a bit of crazy – I grafted the top of that replacement bit to the top of the opening….

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…and duplicate stitched the ends into the abutting portions of the cowl.  Here we see it with the right side completed (except for trimming ends) and the left side yet to be done.

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From the front, it was starting to look pretty good.

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From the back, you can see the ends and the damaged flaps – I trimmed these away fairly close.  Because this yarn is very fuzzy and sticky, this technique worked incredibly well.  The halo covered a lot of the transitions, and except with your fingers, you really couldn’t tell there was a lot more yarn where I wove in the ends.

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I hate to brag (really, I do), but I am pretty darned impressed with the result.

Love,

Ellen