2 Gray Hats & a Toque

Carmel is cranking out hats.  One she knit on vacation with Dale, one for her nephews birthday and one was a test knit for Jane Richmond in her new book Within written with Shannon Cook.  Here we go…first up the test hat, it’s called Lodge Toque by Jane Richmond, knit with Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool in colors Berry and Chocolat.  You can find this pattern in the new book Within by Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook.

Next we have Carmels Day Beret by Hannah Fettig.  This is the hat she knit on vacation with Dale.  The yarn she used is Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solids.  You can find this pattern on Ravelry!

And lastely, the  Antler Hat by Tin Can Knits.  Carmel used Cascade Yarns 220 SuperWash for this project.  I love the cables – her nephew is a very lucky guy.


Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor & Charity Knitting at the Churchmouse

Last week Arbor was released by Brooklyn Tweed!  It was everywhere on social media, and I was curious.  Worsted spun construction, what does this mean…I’d never heard of it before.  I had seen the color selection, and in the photos, the yarn looked soft.  Is that possible for something to look soft.  Well anyway, fortunately for me a local yarn shop, Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, carries the full Brooklyn Tweed collection — so I decided to take my camera, and drive to Bainbridge Island and check out this yarn for myself.

I love that Jared’s yarn is made in the United States.  It really means a lot to me.  I’ve enjoyed the Shelter, Loft & Quarry.  I have never knit with Plains (yet).  So, dk weight, I wondered if it would have the same construction as the others, but no.  There are 30 colors from which to choose, and it breaks down like this: 50 grams | 145 yards | DK weight

  • 100% Montana & South Dakota-grown Targhee wool
  • Dyed in Saco, Maine. Spun in Springvale, Maine

Here is where the story shifts a bit… while I was there at Churchmouse, there was a large gathering at the table.  These women where very busy.  There was a real cohesiveness about this group; it wasn’t like a class.  They were a happy collective, working together in a focused fashion to an end goal.  There, I’ve described what I saw.  This was the Charity Knitting Group.  Churchmouse has a charity knitting group that meets every third Thursday of every month!  In chatting with Carrie Trapp, Churchmouse employee and group leader, she told me that the group started in 2002, and has become very philanthropic.  They disburse items to probably three different groups at any given time; from men’s and women’s shelters in Seattle, to the street people.  They were busy knitting hats and felted bags, but I believe they knit different things at different times.  They do the knitting, and there are others that help with the disbursement.  In the little felted bags, they even include toiletries.

I was amazed and humbled.  The fruit of their generosity is abundant.  During this time of harvest and thanksgiving, these women are to be applauded!  Thank you to the Churchmouse for sowing the seed of charity.

In closing, I didn’t purchase any Arbor yet — as you all know, it’s the year of the baby for me, and I have a grandson to knit for!  You can click on any of the photos to see a larger version~


Knittted Knockers

Mel, a local gal, to me….very active on the knit scene has joined her local yarn shop, the Black Sheep Yarn Boutique, in knitting ‘Knitted Knockers’.  This is a specific pattern designed and created for knitting breast prosthetics, here are her words….

My local LYS on Olympia’s West Side, The Black Sheep Yarn Boutique has signed up to be a LYS for Knitted Knockers. Michele the shop owner is a Breast Cancer Survivor. We had a “Knitted Knockers” event, and we all learned how to knit them. I’m using the Magic Loop pattern adapted to use on two circulars. It’s so much easier for me to use 2 circulars rather than DPNs. It was fun Thursday night to sit and knit Knitted Knockers. There was donated soft cotton yarns to choose from and free patterns. It’s pretty easy, I’ll sew & knot the Icord when I’m finished to form a nipple. Michele will stuff them with donated stuffing she has so it’s pretty easy & goes fast. I will continue to make them in various cup sizes for the shop to give to local women in need of breast prosthetics.

We all need to know about this program and how it helps women in our communities and also worldwide.

The women who started this, also a breast cancer survivor, lives in Bellingham, WA! Here’s the link to the Knitted Knockers website! There’s a link to find LYS in your area too, or you can make them & send them to her in Bellingham to donate to women around the world in need of these breast prosthetics.


Thank you Mel for sharing your story, I love it!  I know for a fact that these prosthetics do get used and are needed.

Carmel…mighty Carmel

Carmel, my dear friend and colleague Carmel; she used to moderate our Ravelry group, but now she contributes over on Facebook.  She’s a mighty knitter.  She finishes what she starts and loves to knit.  She’s always on the cutting edge of what’s on the knit scene, and she’s not afraid of color.  Here are her two latest knits…

Agnes, by Melissa LaBarre, knit with Cascade Yarns Cascade 128 Tweed in #900 Charcoal, purchased at WEBS.  Everyone need the basic pullover….everyone!

Little Sweetness in Cali

My oh MY!!  First I just have to say how much I miss my dear friend Erin.  We both lived on Bainbridge Island some years back.  We both had boys the same age that graduated together, and both played football.  We both were knitters and had so much more in common; we almost lived in the same neighborhood.

I moved to a different location on the island, and she moved to California.  I have had the opportunity to visit Erin, and she has made countless trips back up to Washington, and then there’s the internet.  But over the recent years, our children have taken turns getting married, and being pregnant.  Here is grandchild #1 between the two of us.  Meet little Natalie, from Erin’s daughter Meghan.

Is she not the cutest thing ever??  When I found out Meghan was pregnant, we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, so I knit her socks.  Once I found out, she was having a girl, I knit this sweater.  Now here are the vitals for this project:  Unisex Baby Sweater by Jayme Glover, yarn was Opal XLarge 8-fach, purchased at Amanda’s Art Yarn & Fiber, in Poulsbo, Washington!  Congratulations on such a sweet sweet baby Meghan!

Midnight Craving

Diana, the moderator over in the America’s Knitting Ravelry group, just finished her Midnight Craving by Jennifer Weissman.  It is so beautiful right now, here in the Pacific Northwest, we had to do a photoshoot, and get some pictures.

Midnight Craving is one of 3 reversible shawl patterns in Jennifer’s ebook Right Lovely: A Trio Of Reversible Wraps.  You can purchase the whole trio for $12.50 or a single pattern for $5 over on Ravelry for download.  The yarn Diana used was purchased at Rainy Day Yarns in Gig Harbor, Washington, and is Malabrigo Yarn Sock in colorway #857 Light Of Love.

The color is yummy, the shawl is perfect, not to big, and not by any means dinky, and it’s definitely the start of wrap wearing weather…and, it’s reversible, so just put it on, in whatever fashion you choose.  Here you can see Diana wearing it in three different ways.

Thanks for the photo shoot yesterday Diana, it was fun!  Next time, we’ll visit the yarn shop….coffee and conversation was great~

More For Baby

As many of your know, I am expecting my first grandchild in early December.  It’s to be a boy, and I’ve been knitting for the baby.  I made some baby socks, and now I’ve finished a baby hat and a baby bib.  I’ve got countless baby blankets on needles and sweaters waiting in the wings to cast on!

The first is this Top This Hat that is sold as a kit.  I purchased mine at Knit2gether in Silverdale, Washington.  You get the pattern, yarn and topper.  It was easy and fast, and the yarn is delicious.  I wasn’t crazy how the topper is applied, and it’s shown me how much of a perfectionist I am.

The second is this Grammy’s Bib.  This gal is on Ravelry, and she has designed all these bibs.  Her name is Elaine Fitzpatrick.  I was wanting to knit with some red. white & blue yarn over the 4th of July holiday, and purchased this Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn at Michaels.  I was just thinking drool bib.  I did buy some more high end cotton yarn thinking I would knit up a bunch of these.  But alas I’m reminded how slow a knitter I am.  I’m going to move on to the finish line with one of my many blankets on needles, and then most likely cast on a sweater.img_6232

Glamping With The Plucky Knitter

Being a gal from the Pacific Northwest, I love the play on words the Plucky Knitter used on her ‘Glamping’ retreat held this last weekend, in my neck of the woods (hee)!  We consider ourselves outdoorsy people here in the Northwest.  This retreat weekend was held in a truly unique venue, that speaks to a northwest style with lots of wood and big timbers; Island Wood located on beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington.  I can totally see how the play on words comes in with ‘glamping’ as the campers had their own cabins and meals served catered style in a community mess hall.  This event included classes, shopping, friendship bracelets, fine dining and s’mores of course.

The Plucky Knitter aka Sarah Dimond and her lovely yarns, fall into the ‘exclusive’ category, in that they are extremely popular and sought after.  She works with luxury fibers, and of course her colors are custom.  You will find merino, cashmere, cotton, linen, silk, camel, alpaca and even yak fiber in her line of fine yarns.  As soon as she dyes up batches and gets them ‘on-line’ they are sold out.

Yep, I said on-line.  But, America’s Knitting is all about the yarn shop!!  Yes, that’s true — but I didn’t want anyone thinking that I am out of the loop.  I try to know what’s going on all around the knitting industry.  Especially, when things happen in my back yard, I must go and investigate.

For the most part, I, (and I hope all of you) purchase yarn and notions from your local yarn shop.  Whenever I travel, I take my knitting (that goes without saying), and I always look up and see where the local yarn shops are (on America’s Knitting of course).  I look at what I have going, and try and squeeze in a trip to a LYS.  BUT, sometimes…someone gives you yarn from their stash, or gifts it to you.  Sometimes you are buying craft yarn because the recipient isn’t going to take care of it or you are on an extreme budget, but must cast on.  I’ve even heard stories of yarn on sale in the catalogs that was the perfect color purchased in the middle of the night.  You see where I’m going with this — we are addicts.

There’s so much out there from booths at venues such as Rhinebeck, the Stitches events, the Vogue Knitting LIVE events, the catalogs, the on-lines….and then there’s our trusty LYS that is always there for us.  They are open often times, 7 days a week, all day.  They furiously and tirelessly knitting up shop samples, and plan schedules of classes and in-store events, from holiday open houses, to fashion shows, trunk shows, book signings, sales and the list goes on.  These shops pay local county taxes, state taxes and federal taxes, and they are there for us, and provide most of all, technique and community.

The Plucky Knitter works very hard too; her online presence is always up to date, she has a successful Ravelry group, gorgeous photography, fun and current pattern support, and playful swag that’s always good for a smile.  The Plucky Knitter is a family owned business out of Michigan; and Sarah and her sister Hayley are the face of the brand.  There is NOTHING not to like there, I love their yarn….just wish it was a little more available in your LYS.  But, one could say made in USA, except I’m not sure of the sourcing of their yarn.

Plucky Knitter does occasionally have trunk shows at yarn shops — they were seen at Knit On Pearl Yarn Shop in Jackson Wyoming, and Wool & Honey yarn shop in Cedar, Michigan, and their custom dyed excusive yarn colorways for Churchmouse Yarns & Teas on Bainbridge Island, Washington.  So, if Plucky yarn is on your radar, follow Sarah on any number of social media venues, and maybe she’ll land at a yarn shop near you!  The Plucky Knitter also participates in Stitches South and has their own Shindig annual event~