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Stitch Maynia 2018 Day 22

My project for Day 22 was Abecedarian Summer Schoolhouse from With Thy Needle and Thread. I fell in love with this project as soon as I saw it last summer. The fact that it is stitched over one thread was an added bonus. I am using the called for overdyed flosses, a mixture of Weeks Dye Works and The Gentle Arts threads on the called for fabric! That doesn’t happen often!

The main change I am making is that I decided to stitch it as one long piece, instead of as separate pillows. One of the reasons for this is that I have never done a pillow finish, so I’m a bit intimidated, and of course, I no longer own a sewing machine!

I mentioned my plans in my Stitch with Me video, and one of my commenters mentioned someone on Instagram who was doing just that. I found the post by Skye Coote, @scottycoo on IG, and got her permission to share it here. She did have to make some changes to the pattern to make them the same height. I may or may not do that. I will decide when I get to the other pieces. But isn’t it stunning all worked together as one piece!

I am only on part 1 of this 4 part series. It’s been a while since I worked on this, and this is what I had done.

Have I mentioned that I adore this piece! Look at those tiny stitches! Love it!

 

I got the roof completed and a nice chunk done on the side of the house, so that’s where I leave it till the next time.

On to the next project! Lizzie Kate’s Snowman ‘10!

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Stitch Maynia 2018 Day 21

Here we are at Day 21 and I’m still going strong! I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with myself once Maynia is over and I’m not doing daily Stitch with Me videos, but I’m sure I’ll get back into some other kind of routine. Many people have said they will miss my daily videos, and I think that is so sweet, and kind of funny! Here is the Stitch with Me for Day 21.

Anyway, my project for Day 21 was Louise and Henry by Little House Needleworks. Of course, being a knitter, I fall in love with all sheep designs, and that this one says Wool on it is another plus. And I found out today that Little House Needleworks has a companion piece to this one called Warm Winter Woolens. You know I’ll need to add that to my stash, too!

I got a nice chunk done in my one day of stitching.

And of course, I changed a bunch of the called for colors. No surprise there!

I am using the DMC colors that are called for. I haven’t yet decided on all of the others. I’ll figure them out when I get to them, but the ones I have chosen are Vintage Motto Sampler Threads (VMST) Vintage Crochet for the Classic Colorworks Antique Lace, and VMST Sampler Greenery in place of Classic Colorworks Weeping Willow. I’ll note the final selection of colors when I finish the piece. Hopefully that won’t take too long, although I know there is a lot of stitching on the sheep.

But for now, on to the next project!

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Stitch Maynia Day 20

I’ve been going strong with Stitch Maynia. This is my first time doing it, and I jumped in with both feet and decided to do it for the whole month.

So here we are on Day 21. I’ve been meaning to do a better job of keeping track of my projects here on my blog, posting not only extra photos of my progress, but also any color changes I make. If you have listened to any of my YouTube videos, you are aware that I do make a LOT of changes. So, I hereby vow that I will do a better job of documenting  my work.

Let’s get started. I’ve been doing a Stitch with Me video almost everyday of Stitch Maynia. In these posts, I’ll cover the project from the previous day, so I can show you updated pictures. You can find the video for Day 20 here:

Day 20’s Project: Philip Foster Farmhouse by Heartstring Samplery. This was an exclusive kit for the store Country Sampler in Wisconsin. You can learn more about the club here: Girls Club Farmhouse Samplers. As of this writing, the club is still open to new members.

Because this is a kit that came with the linen and all the floss needed, I am using everything as called for. Here is the progress I made on it. If you click on the picture, you can see a bigger version of it.

My intention was to work on the outlines of the roof and house and I’m happy with what I got done. One to the next project!

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Flosstube #2 by Jan Hicks Creates

I’m having fun with my Flosstube videos and hope to do many more. I’m finding that I talk about so many things in them, though, that I often leave out the details of some of the projects. So I’ve decided to use my blog as a place to capture all of those details, as well as more photos of my projects. I hope you enjoy looking around!

History of Sheep  by Jardin Prive, a four part sampler focused on….wait for it….sheep! I am doing this on a 36 ct. linen. The color name is parchment, but I do not know the company name. This is a nice, crisp linen and I’m really enjoying stitching on it! While I am using DMC, I have changed some of the colors, mostly the stems and leaves of the flowers, because I wanted to use more greenish colors rather than the gold-leaning colors recommended in the charts. I have substituted 935 in place of 830 and 469 in place of 370.

Modern Folk Embroidery Four Seasons MSAL This is such a fun one, and I am certain it’s going to be stunning when it’s done. I have developed a fascination with Quaker samplers, and this is scratching that itch deliciously. I am using a 40 ct linen from Lakeside Linen in color Flagstone. This is another nice, crisp linen. It has a wonderful hand, but it is a bit of a challenge for these old eyes to stitch on. I got a magnifier that you wear around your neck, and while it works fairly well, it does have a tendency to block my light and wiggle around. I may try more powerful readers to see if that works better.

This sampler is charted to be stitched in one color, but that’s impossible for me. I’m using 5 colors of Gentle Arts Sampler Threads – Wrought Iron is the navy blue for the outlines. The other colors are Picket Fence, Crystal Lake, Liberty, and Morning Glory.

The older projects I showed were the Amish Scene from Cross Stitch and Country Craft Magazine. I am not sure of the issue, but it would have come out in 1987, I believe.

 

Jacobean Bellpull by Sue Lentz Needlework

A Gathering of Hearts by The Trilogy

Heirloom Birth Sampler by The Victoria Sampler (forgive all of my pictures on this one. I just love it!) BTW, you can click on any of these pictures to see the full-sized image.

An old Just Nan piece. I need to see if I can find this one.

New Purchases

Whitework in Colour – I am going to learn how to do this, and am thinking about doing this as Stitch with me videos. Let me know if this is something you’d like to see me do.

 

My Knitting Projects

I finished my Las Cruces Shawl by Laura Nelkin from Knockout Knits. This has been in hibernation for a long time. I started it in 2015. So happy to finally have this finished!

My photo assistant, Sasha

My “I need to do this in a quiet room knitting project, Lace Mash Up by Laura Nelkin.

My “I can work on this while talking or watching TV” knitting project, Flowsaic Shawl, also by Laura Nelkin.

 

You can find me on Instagram as @JanHicksCreates

If you would like to see more of my knitting projects, you can find them here on My Ravelry Project Page.

 

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Laine Volume 2

I very rarely buy hard-copy magazines or books. Since I pretty much use knitCompanion exclusively for my patterns, I try to buy only digital patterns. But every once in a while, a book or magazine comes along which proves the exception. Laine 2 is such a magazine.

I have a hard time even calling this a magazine, it is so beautiful. The matte pages are so much nicer to read and feel than a glossy magazine, and each page is a beauty to behold. Well laid out and beautifully designed, this volume is a peaceful departure from the usual glossy magazine in any category. And oh, the patterns! An alternative title for this post would be “I Want to Knit All the Things.” (Of course, that’s such a common theme in my life, that could be an alternative title for this blog. Hmm….)

I also don’t usually read magazines from cover to cover, but as I mentioned, this has such a peaceful feel to it, it was a pleasure to just sit and read it. The articles are interesting and relevant. I loved reading how both Tukuwool and Biches & Buches got their start. As a person who loves to travel, I loved the little snippets and photos of Helsinki and would have loved to read more.

But of course, the real test of any knitting magazine is how many patterns I’m interested in. In this magazine, I could easily see myself knitting all 11 of them. But there are 5 that really stood out to me. First and foremost, Invicible Summer. This is a very Find Your Fade style of wrap, with the added appeal of brioche touches. This one, I HAVE to do, and can pull from my stash to make it. That’s a double win!

The next one that keeps coming to my mind is the sweater Morning Fog. This is a very simple, classic sweater, but the intriguing thing is that it’s knit holding two strands of Shibui Knits Silk Cloud together.  Silk Cloud is a silk/mohair blend, and the resulting sweater will be airy and light and scrumptious to wear. I’m thinking that the Velvet colorway might be perfect. Or maybe Ash, but with my light hair, that might be too light. Maybe Tar, or even Abyss, but hmm, black mohair double-stranded might just drive me over the edge. Anyway, as you can see, I can’t stop thinking about this sweater!

Birds of a Feather is another gorgeous wrap in this volume. Knit from alternating fingering weight and silk mohair yarns, this is another frothy, gorgeous piece. This is also another one that I may be able to knit from stash. I just got at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this year some matching skeins of silk mohair and fingering weight yarn from YarnHygge. The only problem is, I got two different colorways. What do you think, can I alternate these colorways throughout the shawl, or would that be too odd? I’d love to hear your opinion.

The other items on my radar in this volume are Unda, a sweet little brioche shawl, because I always love me some brioche, as well as the cover sweater, a sweet little piece called Utu. I have the perfect gradient kit that I got a year or so at A Good Yarn and haven’t found the perfect fit for yet. I think this might just be it.

All in all, I consider this a must-own magazine, and I can’t wait to see what future volumes bring! Have you gotten your copy of Laine yet? If not, and you don’t have a store around you that carries it, I know that as of today, A Good Yarn still has several copies left. You can get in touch with them and they will be happy to ship to you.

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I think I’ll try weaving

It’s all Pinterest’s fault. I happened across some interesting woven wall-hangings and before you know it, I was searching for more, looking an tapestries, and finding free-form wall-hangings incorporating beads, sticks, seashells and more. Yes! I have to try that! After all, I have plenty of yarn to experiment with!

So here I am. I’ve finished my first weaving and I’m quite pleased. Now, I’m lucky to work with a woman who has been weaving for years and teaches it at A Good Yarn. We also sell all kinds of weaving supplies, so it was easy to get the basics. I sat down with Laura last Monday and got started.

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From there, I just played. I had looked at so much on Pinterest at that point, that I knew what I wanted to try. I didn’t know the names of anything, tools or techniques, but I knew what looks I wanted to go for. Turns out, I did hatching, pick and pick, soumak and curved weaving.

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I also added beads, but I have since read about a better method for adding beads, so I’ll be trying that soon. I also plan on weaving with leather to see if that works.

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As you can see from the way the edges curve in and out, I need to work a bit on my tension. But overall I’m pleased with how this turned out and I can’t wait to try more!

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Indie Dyer Review – KittyBeaKnitting

As someone who really is Mad for Yarn, I am constantly on the lookout for new yarn, especially new hand-dyers who really do color well. I cannot tell you how pleased I am to introduce a brand new indie dyer to you – KittyBeaKnitting.

This indie dyer was very easy to find because I work with her at A Good Yarn. KittyBeaKnitting is owned by Catherine Buchmueller. Catherine has been knitting for several years and recently decided to try her hand at yarn dying. As a graduate in Interior Design from Ringling College of Art and Design, Catherine has studied color extensively and understands how colors play together. She also understands the important role color plays in design, and she brings all of that knowledge to dying yarn.

I got a chance to play with a couple of her bases for the Mystery Knit Along we are doing at the store. I chose Egmont in her Moody Blue colorway and Siesta in her Logo 1 colorway. Egmont is a superwash merino single ply very similar to MadelineTosh Merino Light. The color is a gorgeous deep blue with tones slightly lighter. It’s very smooth and easy to work with and has great stitch definition. You can see that knitting really brings to life the beautiful tones of this yarn.

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Siesta is an 80/10/10 blend of Merino, Cashmere and Nylon. It is springy and soft with a great twist. It doesn’t split at all. The colors are gorgeous on it and it’s a real delight to knit with.

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I gave both of these colorways a good soaking and was pleased to see that neither of them bled into the water at all. I was very curious whether Moody Blue would since it’s such a saturated color, but not a hint of blue showed in the water.

Catherine is learning the dye trade quickly and is providing a variety of bases in gorgeous color ways. I definitely have several other skeins I can’t wait to get my hands on. Check these out!

Anna Maria, a cashmere/mulberry silk lace yarn in the Siam Orchid colorway:

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Casey, a superwash merino 2-ply fingering in the Drum Circle color way:

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I can’t make up my mind between these two! Sanibel, a 70/30 blend of Superwash Merino and Silk in Fruitville (left) or Opal (right). Which would you choose??

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If you’re as Mad for Yarn as I am, run, don’t walk, to Catherine’s store and check out her beautiful line of yarn. Read her story to learn about how she got started and the names of her yarn, and join me in  indulging in a  skein or 3!

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Needles, needles and more needles!

As an addicted knitter, I not only collect yarn, I collect needles. I have LOTS of needles! Interchangeable sets, fixed needles, multiple Signature tips and cable assemblies, double points, I have them all. And so do many of you, I know. One question I get asked a lot by our customers at A Good Yarn is what’s the best way to store circular needles. While I may not have the best way, after trying several different methods, I have found a great system that works for me.

One of my main problems is putting needles back in their places after I finish a project. I am so eager to start the next knitting project, I set the needles on a shelf in my closet and start putting together my next project. After several iterations of this, I have a pile of needles on my shelf and a tangled mess of cables. This means that I need a system that makes it easy to reorganize my needles after every use. One day, Susan, the owner of A Good Yarn, mentioned what she uses – a hanging divider. So off I went to Etsy to find one.

It didn’t take me long to find the perfect one. These beautiful hand-sewn items are from Buttermilk Cottage.


This answered my needs perfectly. It can hold a ton of needles! There’s a slot for every size and they are easily accessible. I used a Sharpie to write the numbers next to each slot. This hangs on a hanger in my closet and makes it so easy for me to find the right needle, and more importantly, to put it back away when I’m done with it.

But what about interchangeable needles sets, you ask? I found this from the same Etsy store. This holds both my interchangeable tips and my double points.

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This also hangs from a hanger and has numerous pockets. I labeled the pockets with the needle size again. The top row is the needle tips in those sizes and the middle row is my double points. The bottom row is tips again. At this point, I have no double point sets in the larger sizes. If I ever get any, I will put them in with the tips.

I don’t differentiate between needle brands here, only sizes. So, my Knit Picks sets, Royale, Chiagoo and Signatures are all stored in the same pocket  according to size. I often keep my Chiagoo needle sizer in the bottom right pocket so it’s handy.

I keep the cables for my interchangeable sets in a little zippered pouch.



Each pocket holds a different size cable – 24″, 32″, 40″, with 47″ and 60″ stored in the bottom pocket. Again, I’ve written the size on the pocket with a Sharpie. This system isn’t quite as easy to put away, but it does keep the cables tamed and easily accessible. I do keep my Signature cables separated in a little bag for each needle size.


I hope this gives you some inspiration for organizing your own needles. Did I happen to mention, I have a LOT of needles!

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Is this enough?

We have a week to go before we leave on our trip. Today was the day I had earmarked for packing my knitting projects. I had decided a while ago that I am going to dedicate my knitting on this trip to getting more WIPs done, so the majority of what I have packed is just that. (Hmm, now that I look at the picture, maybe th majority isn’t that! LOL). But I am almost as excited about the knitting that I’ve packed as I am about just getting on the road! So here’s what I’ve packed.


1. Las Cruces Sweater – this should be a fast knit with a fun construction. I’m thinking I can get this done in a week.
2. Boxy – I have barely begun this, so lots of knitting left to do! I am using the Sphinx Moth colorway that JulieSpins dyed for me.
3. Persian Dreams Afghan – yeah, this isn’t anywhere near being done! Lol
4. Laura Nelkin’s next KAL is starting on June 15. I have her kit for that all ready to go. Oh, that reminds me – I need to pack the needles!
5. Cashmere Love Cowl – I got the yarn for this a week ago, but have been restraining myself from starting this until we’re on the road. I can’t wait!
6. Synthesis – another Laura Nelkin MKAL. I’m about 3/4 of the way through Clue 4. Clue 5 is the edging with placed beads. I understand this takes a while, but I’m hoping to have it done within a week.
7. A brioche cowl I’m making for a friend. About halfway done with this. This will get finished fairly quickly as well.
8, 9 and 10 – as you can see these are all new projects – ones that have been on my mind for a while. I here we have the Novus Jacket in Berocco Espresso, a mesh top Berocco Versa, and Sea Foam in Anzula Cricket. Sea Foam is going to be my knit along at the store when I get back, so I won’t start on that one until we’re heading home. I promise I won’t work on the other ones, either, until I get some of the first ones finished. Hmm, I think there’s something else in the bag, too, but I can’t remember what. Lol.

The little bag I didn’t number holds all of my notions and cables for my needles.

So, wish me luck on getting these WIPs finished! Stay tuned!

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Always a Good Mail Day


When yarn comes in the mail, it’s always a good mail today. And today was one of those days. I’m a member of Laura Nelkin’s MKAL Club, a yearly subscription in which we get the yarns and the beads for Laura’s Mystery Knit Alongs and Knit Alongs. The latest shipment for her next KAL came in the mail today, and as always, it looks like fun! Laura always finds new and interesting dyers to team up with. This time, the dyer is Periwinkle Sheep from Albany, NY. Laura will be releasing her pattern on June 15. I can’t wait to see what is going to come off our needles this time!