KAL/CAL Update

Alices Embrace
Charity blanket for Alices Embrace Week 1

As most of you know, I recently lost someone dear to me to Alzheimer’s, and learned about Alice’s Embrace the same day. I was inspired to knit for them, in my friend’s honor, and I am hoping you will knit and crochet along with me!

As promised, I am keeping you updated, and I’m happy to say despite alot of unexpected things going on this week, I made progress. Compare the photo above (from last week) to this one! 🙂

alices embrace
Charity blanket for Alices Embrace Week 2

I love this pattern – it is working up quickly, as you can see, and is relaxing to knit. It’s not complicated, and so it is a piece I can work on even at the end of a long day when my brain is too tired to deal with anything too complex.

I am doing this piece, but feel free to browse their site and pick a shawl or a different pattern to best suit whatever yarn you are planning to use. Please keep in touch with me by posting in the Ravelry thread or tagging me on my social media:

Facebook.com/ElizabethKayBooth
Twitter: @elizabethkbooth
Instagram: @elizabethkaybooth

Serendipity and a KAL/CAL

Alices Embrace
Charity blanket for Alice’s Embrace

I apologize for not finishing the yarn love challenge. In the last month, there have been two deaths in my family (well, one in my family, and a dear friend who is like family), so as you can imagine, my usual routine of posts and working has not been happening. I also attended Stitches West (more about that coming in another post!). I appreciate the comments and am so happy you all enjoyed the yarn love challenge posts, so thank you for reading and supporting!

I will share about my Stitches West fun soon, but I want to start it off by highlighting a charity organization I learned about while I was there, and explain why it seemed like serendipity to meet them at that exact moment. Before we moved to California, we lived in Ohio for 10 years and met our dearest friends (who also became my son’s godparents). They were older than us – old enough to be our parents, actually. We had many dinners at each other’s houses, and they were always there to support us and offer helpful advice when asked. But trouble waits for no one, and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about 4 years ago, then cancer, and her husband became her round the clock nursemaid for that time. She passed away the same day I was at Stitches West and stopped by a booth called Alice’s Embrace.

This charity organization was started in memory of their loved one who was plagued with Alzheimers, and ended up being taken too soon also. They immediately offered to send something to my friend when I told them my story. The charity is very straightforward and legitimate, which of course, is my ideal kind of charity organization. You pick one of their patterns, use appropriate yarn, do the knitting or crocheting (your choice), and then wash it and send it to them. They deliver bunches of items to institutions with Alzheimer’s patients, and do their best to give the patients the choice of what item they would like.

To me, this represents the best part of our community – creating something out of love, to offer softness and comfort to someone during a time of suffering. The item goes to the family when the person passes away. Although it is too late for my dear friend to enjoy a handmade piece, I decided to do some knitting for them anyway, in her honor. I also want to make a piece for her husband. The items need to be machine-washable, so the point is to create something usable, as well as soft and comforting, not necessarily expensive.

I invite any of you who are interested in doing charity crafting to join me in a knitalong (or crochetalong!), with the idea being that when we finish our pieces, we will send them to Alice’s Embrace. I am doing this piece, but feel free to browse their site and pick a shawl or a different pattern to best suit whatever yarn you are planning to use. Please keep in touch with me by posting in the Ravelry thread or tagging me on my social media:

Facebook.com/ElizabethKayBooth
Twitter: @elizabethkbooth
Instagram: @elizabethkaybooth

I am grateful to have learned about this charity, and I not only want to bring attention to a good cause, but hopefully see them receive more donations as a result of spreading the word. I would be very grateful for anyone who wants to join me, and I will be posting weekly updates with my progress, and hope to see yours as well!

100’s

hue shift afghan by knitpicks
Knitted Op Art – I didn’t see it as I was knitting, but the photo is definitely playing tricks with my eyes.

My posts have been rather few and far between, but this one will explain alot. I made this as a thank you/housewarming gift to people who helped me a great deal when I moved to California. I kept pushing myself to have it done – first by Halloween (which didn’t happen), then by Thanksgiving (didn’t happen), and then by Christmas (success!).

I am calling this project 100’s because it is a story of hundreds. The pattern is Hue Shift Afghan by Knitpicks, and yarn is Brava Sport.

It is a hundred mitered squares, which took me 100 days to knit. It could have taken more or less, but it gets old knitting mitered squares, and so to keep the momentum going on this, I set a goal of completing an average of 1 square per day. (Meaning that some days I did multiples to make up for days I wasn’t at home to get knitting done.) Proud to say I stuck to that goal!

A note about mitered square projects – you will save yourself bunches of tedium if you pick up and knit stitches onto previously completed squares rather than making all the squares separately and then sewing them together later. I speak from experience! This particular pattern is written to use picked up stitches, in case you’re wondering.

The border is hundreds also – 250 stitches per row, each side, to be exact. Knitting the border plus doing all the finishing (lots of weaving in of ends!) took me another 100 days I would say. Lots of powers of 10, hence the name.

hue shift afghan by knitpicks
The finished piece – photographed as flat as possible. It is hard to not get perspective going when photographing something so big, but I am happy I captured the optical effect.

As is the case with most big projects, I was very tired of it and happy to be done by the end. That said, I am very happy with it, and more importantly, the recipients are happy with it. It is a fun project, and you can do so much play with color.

A Re-Knit – For Myself

chevronyarnbomb
I yarn-bombed my tree just for this post. 🙂

I designed this quite some time ago, originally with Zen Yarn Garden, and so they have had it ever since as a sample for use in trunk shows. I always wanted to make one for myself, and so on and off all year, when I just wanted some “fun” knitting (as opposed to “work” knitting), I have been working on this re-knit, this time in yarn from my stash.

The black is from Knit One, Crochet Too, and the blue is from Sweet Georgia. I still absolutely love this pattern, and I could probably just knit versions of it in different colors for the rest of my life.

The fellow in the photos with me is our rescue dog, and he decided to join the photo shoot. I felt he was deserving, as he does very frequently keep me company when I’m working. He is such good company, I try to indulge him when possible.

It isn’t very often I re-knit things. Usually, once is enough and then I’m ready to move on. I am actually very proud of myself for designing something I want to make and re-make….and re-make….

If you have patterns you love to re-knit, tell me in the comments. I always think it’s great to have a few up my sleeve.

 

Color Palettes and an Answer

ElizabethKayBooth Unfurled
The project – Unfurled
set6
My original color palette – available in my shop
A cool palette
A cool color palette – reminds me of mountains and mountain plants on a cool hiking day
This says fall to me
This says fall to me
And another set of fall colors
And another set of fall colors
I think of a garden - cool colors everywhere with pops of color in the flowers
I think of a garden – cool colors everywhere with pops of color in the flowers
The ocean has flowers, right? This palette feels oceanic, with a pop of yellow
The ocean has flowers, right? This palette feels oceanic, with a pop of yellow
Pure celebration of the brightest flowers
Pure celebration of the brightest flowers
Christmas flowers and cozy evenings
Christmas flowers and cozy evenings

I received an interesting question on my Etsy shop which gave me pause. I say interesting because I was surprised it even needed to be asked. When I buy things, I like to be clear about exactly what I’m getting for my money. When I wrote the descriptions for the items in my shop, I tried to be mindful that other people probably feel the same way!

Regardless, someone did private message me asking whether the kits include the yarn to make the project, or if it was just for a downloadable pattern. (They do!) I’m sure most designers wish they could charge $65 per pattern, but obviously, that’s insane. Anyway, the question made me wonder how many others might wonder the same thing and just not message me.

So here are the details, plus photos of each color palette that the colorist at Colinton Australia chose, and I hope it will clear up any confusion. All of this information is also detailed in my shop, but the way Etsy is set up, you do have to scroll down – which is perhaps why people may miss it?

Each kit includes: 6 skeins of Colinton Australia Light Fingering yarn (all you need to knit the project), in the palette you choose, and the printed pattern in a sheet protector. For shipping, I will wrap it all up in tissue paper and send it in a padded envelope, Priority Mail. And for the finer details, each skein is 115 yds, 50 grams of 100% pure Australian young goat fiber. These skeins are normally over $20 per skein, so at $65, the kits are a deal.

Finally, I am curious as to who has shopped on Etsy and had bad experiences? Have you ever spent a bunch of money and not received what you expected? I haven’t had any problems up to this point, but feel free to share in the comments. And please let me know if you visit my shop and anything else isn’t clear. Since most of us on there are doing everything on our own, a little feedback is always appreciated!

Louisa in Red

red2
Finished Louisa by Cocoknits

There is nothing more fun for me than diving into a new project, and nothing more irksome than projects that drag on and on…and on. This sweater has been one of those irksome projects that I couldn’t seem to finish. Finally, I tore everything out, reknit the swatch to check my gauge, then re-casted on and forced myself to push forward.

I am not even sure why I had such a hard time with this project. I loved the yarn, loved the pattern and am now very happy with the results. I KNEW this pattern would look awesome in red, and I was right. I’ve already worn it to church, to a party, doing my everyday routine…

knit sweater
Standing view with assymetrical hem

I originally had problems with getting it started. The hem is assymetrical, and so each side requires a drawn-out series of short rows. I chose the pattern because I liked the hem, but the knitting of it proved to be less fun than expected. The construction with the neckline and sleeves is also interesting…to say the least.

finished knit
I was right it looks good in red – if I do say so myself! 🙂

But sometimes a knitter’s got to do what a knitter’s got to do. I ended up not entirely following the pattern toward the end because it wasn’t making sense. After making it so far, I wasn’t about to give up when the finish line was in sight. I finished the way that best made sense to me, and I am very happy to finally be wearing it instead of trying not to send it dirty looks while it was taking up space on my coffee table. Red lipstick optional.

Irksome

Happy Halloween!

halloween costumes 2016
Katniss Everdeen, a karate kid, and Cleopatra

As promised, a few costume photos – the above was snapped at the costume party Saturday night. Happy Halloween to all of you – hope you had a fun weekend and have a safe evening tonight!

Katniss Everdeen cowl
The DIY portion of my costume
Our hostess is a master decorator - people like this have such a gift!
Our hostess is a master decorator – people like this have such a gift!
skeleton
Everyone needs a beer. 🙂
ripcupcakes
Cupcakes to help you to the afterlife