July Newsletter

Finally spring is upon us! It took most of April for the last of the graying snow to disappear and I do not miss it one bit. My house is still a wreck after another remodeling of a second bathroom. I think we have all had enough for a while and all other work will have to wait! Spring-cleaning is under way full force now that the windows are wide open. The kids are so happy to be able to run around outside. They have been finding any excuse to go out, even offering to get the mail or take out the trash.
The chirping birds are so cheerful and keep the cats entertained. I have been organizing as you have read in past newsletters and I have to say I haven't failed at it so far. The clutter has eased and cleaning has been remarkably easier. I didn't even buy anything new to store thing in. I have been able to finish more, because I can find it! That is kind of the theme of today, finishing.

Speaking of finishing, here is the last square!

This is square # 12

This is the Feather Openwork Square for the 12 square quilt. Its beauty is simple, but very elegant. For the previous squares, please see the previous newsletters.

Use a worsted weight and size 8 US (4mm) needles.
You will need about 1 oz of yarn.
BO = bind off, K = knit, P = purl, *  * RPT to = repeat pattern between the two stars.

Start by casting on 43 stitches.

Seed Stitch border:

Row 1: * K1, P1  * Rpt to last ST, K1

Row 2: Rpt Row 1

Repeat these rows for pattern 2 more rows then continue with seed stitch on 1st 3 stitches and last 3 stitches.

Center pattern:
Row 1: K1, * K2TG, YF, K1, YF, S1, K1, PSSO * Rpt to last ST, K1
Row 2: P all STS

Repeat these rows until your square measures 11 inches.
Knit 4 more rows of seed stitch then BO.
Make sure to weave in the ends and block.

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Now that it's warm I can indulge in take along projects. The kids love take alongs, because they know I am going to the PARK, their all time favorite place. I get myself a cup of coffee and treats for the kids, so we can stay a while. I knit happily watching my little ones laugh and run around. What could be sweeter? We will be starting tiny take alongs for the Independence day issue next! If you like this newsletter, don't tell me, tell a friend!

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New Yarn Testing Section

This section is for all of us who love touching everything in the local yarn store, but sometimes wary of actually buying.

Note: In the photo, washed is on the right, unwashed is on the left.
See Photo here:

The yarn to be tested is: Dale of Norway, Dale Baby
Weight: fingering weight, 50GM, 175 meters
Needle size recommended: Us size 1 (2.25 mm)
Fiber content: 100 % wool
Wrap per inch: 14
Gauge listed: none
Actual gauge: 8 stitches x 11 rows = 1"
Washing instructions: machine wash cold, lay flat to dry
Gauge after washing: 7 stitches x 10 rows = 1"
Abuse test: I took sand paper to my knitting to see how it responded to abrasion. Lets face it my kids are tough on clothes. 
I paid $5.75 at my local yarn shop
Where to buy this yarn: look locally first!
Http://www.patternworks.com
Http://www.lambsearfarm.com

My personal thoughts: Boy, are my hands tired! I would not hand knit with this yarn for anything larger than newborn sizes. I would use a knitting machine set to very fine. Stitch definition was wonderful and the yarn had no itch that sometimes comes with wool. Use suggestions: Perfect for intarsia with lots of detail. It would be great for socks, baby items, and small accessories such as mittens and gloves.

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History of knitting

The beautiful tam owes its history to the popularity of knit berets during the Renaissance. The beret was popular all through Europe, knit in one color. Some were lined with a second color on the inside, making it reversible. The beret tended to be on the large side worn droopy or felted to slightly floppy. The patterned hats that we know today probably originated in the Baltic region around the 1800's. They were made of silk or wool and had intricate color patterns. Through international trade these hats became very popular with the Scottish and Welsh people.
To see more look for "Knitted Tams" by Mary Rowe.
It includes beautiful photos and easy to follow instructions for making your own tam.

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Finishing is not an ugly word
(Or how to do what you may despise)
Here are some ideas for finishing, without losing your patience!

I just finished knitting panels (or what not); will it sit in the knitting bag?
Maybe from a sense of being overwhelmed or the let down of finishing a project, a partially finished piece can sit for a long time until completed.
We all have them hiding somewhere (I do).
The best thing is to make a list of what has to be done:

Weave in loose tails and Wash
Block
Assemble
Add buttons, placket, and neckline.
Place all unfinished items in the same place with list attached.

Make a list for each project under construction, this way you can keep track of all the hidden to do stuff. Be brutal with some stuff. There are some projects that were never meant to be. These must be ripped out. You can then dip-wash the yarn and hang it to dry. Once dry, wind it back into a loose ball.

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Special note to all: Remember our feathered friends and have the most colorful birds nests in the neighborhood. Leave out your waste yarn ends next to the feeder. It is nesting season and who could resist a bit of craft recycling?

Till next time…
Wishing you all peace, love and good health
Kathy

Can't find something? Need advice? Just need a friendly word?
Email me at:
Kathy@mail2green.com

Need a pattern, get great service here: Http://www.craftfinder.com


For all previous newsletters: Http://www.craftfinder.com
On the right-hand side you will see a prompt for knitting newsletters.
They are all kept in the archives.
 

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