Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Travel Knitting: On the Road to Florida

Shelagh and her husband are enjoying themselves in Florida this week. But last week, she busy getting herself organized. Of course that included figuring out what projects to bring along! 

Variety is the spice of life in knitting too! Here are the travel projects Shelagh brought on the road.

So what might be on her needles? Top left is some variegated blue yarn that Shelagh dyed herself: she likes it so much she is going to make a scarf for herself. The pale pink, aqua and blue yarn in the centre is for a baby booties. The pink yarn at top right is for a baby blanket. The raspberry at the bottom left is a scarf she is making for herself.

And the white ball of yarn at the top right? That is to finish up the bathing suit cover up she began just before she left!

With just the arms and hood to complete, Shelagh crocheted away as they drove from the cool north to the warmer and warmer south.

Blocking in the hotel while in transit.

Shelagh showing off the finished coverup poolside!
And ta da! Done and ready to wear poolside!

Follow us on Instagram over the next couple of weeks: Shelagh will be posting occasionally while she is away.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

And Something We Don't Make!

For the last couple of weeks, I told you about some other things I like to make. But this week I want to tell you about some things I discovered I don't like to make. I'm talking about knitting socks.

Have you ever tried knitting a pair of socks? Many of the women at our Knit Night knit sock: lacy socks, striped socks, cabled socks. They are amazing--both the knitters and the socks, that is!

No heel. No toe. Button added to tell top from bottom.
So Margaret and I decided to give sock knitting a try. We figured the most difficult part of the sock would be turning the heel followed by creating a nice--and comfy!--toe. So we started with yoga socks because they don't require either a toe or a heel. I know, I know: that's the easy way out.

We used DPNs (double pointed needles) because we haven't learned how to use the "magic loop" method. Neither of us mind working with DPNs, but Margaret really doesn't like working with needles smaller than 4mm / US 6. And socks use sock yarn, which is usually 3.25 mm / US 3.

We made them! Check out Margaret's take after finishing them. You can read about it here, but she found it too fiddly. And for such small pieces they seemed to take forever--which is the source of her animosity toward small needles. Plus, when you finally get one sock done, there's one more!

However, we decided to give sock-making another try. This time it was pedicure socks: still no toe, but the chance to create a heel. We followed the Mary Maxim pattern, each of us with the correct yarn: mine in pink and Margaret's in blue. I even took mine on a family vacation to Florida. I managed to get my first sock done before Margaret, so we Skyped and I talked her through turning the heel.

Margaret modelling her pedi socks with matching polish. Note heels not showing!

Neither of us were happy with how our heels turned out. And using DPNs showed a little "laddering" effect in the body of the sock. We have heard this will be reduced in the wash. I guess we'll find out for sure because we decided to keep these socks for ourselves.

What's really great is the Knit Night ladies have different options for heels! Who knew there were choices!?!

But, the combination of time, small needles, DPN "laddering" and multiple heel options has meant we probably won't be making socks any time soon.

What are we missing? Do you think learning Magic Loop would help? We'll have to think about learning it! Maybe that will make a difference!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Happy Birthday to You Sale!

Psst! Today is Shelagh's birthday and I got so excited trying to find the perfect gift for her that I got carried away and I decided to offer you a present! How about Free Shipping on every purchase?

Sshhh! It's a surprise even Shelagh doesn't know about! 

Just head on over to our Etsy shop (click the Etsy icon on the right to connect directly) and peruse to your heart's content. Pick something for yourself or a gift--or something for you and a friend!--then head to the check out. Use code BIRTHDAYSHIP to get free shipping.

Woot! Woot!

That's right! We'll ship your items FOR FREE via standard mail!

But act fast! The sale lasts until Saturday midnight Eastern Time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What Else I Make 2

Last week I told you about the baby blankets I've been making for over thirty years. Something I've been making for about five years is a bit unusual: wedding garters!

It was really a bit of a fluke: a girl I was working with was looking for something very specific for her wedding garter. She wanted her garter to be camouflage and lace. I found some pink camouflage fabric and I crocheted the lace edging. Then I personalized it even more by attaching a dog charm and a pink Swarovski crystal heart. She loved it and her husband was surprised when he went to remove the garter during the reception. He loved it! I just wish I'd thought to take a picture of it.
A pink and a blue garter: as individual as the brides they are for.

When two of my sons got married a few years ago, I made each of their brides her own keepsake garter and a throwaway one for the reception. I put so much work into each garter, I thought it would be nice to make two.

Since then, I've made several for friends and others. They are a fun little project to do.

We currently don't offer wedding garters in our Etsy shop, but contact me (Shelagh) if you would like one or a pair for your special day. I will work with you to match to your wedding colors. Contact me at threesistersknit@gmail.com or DM me through the Three Sisters Knit Facebook page.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What Else I Make

I enjoy knitting or crocheting things for our shop, but I make many other things that don't make it there! Like Margaret mentioned in her post a few weeks ago, creativity is in our DNA.

Something I love making are baby blankets and I've been making them for well over 30 years. I started out making them for friends when they were expecting their babies and continued making them for new friends, co-workers and their family members. I still think they are so much fun to make.

For baby blankets, I like to use a washable yarn: we know that "things" can happen with little ones, so washable is necessary. But so is soft and comfortable for baby's skin.

Soft and squishy Bernat Baby Blanket.
Lately, one of my favourite yarns to use is Bernat Baby Blanket. It is so thick, soft and squishy. It knits or crochets up so quickly I can usually have a blanket done in a couple of days depending on the pattern.

The most-recent blanket I made was for one of my son's friends. He and his wife were expecting their first baby so I made a Hudson's Bay inspired blanket using Caron Simply Soft. Because it was all garter stitch (knit every row), it knit up fairly quickly. I loved it when it was done, but more importantly the new parents loved it! It was a perfect gift for them as they waited until the birth of their child to learn the gender.

How special for a new mother to receive a handmade baby blanket. From being swaddled in it as a newborn to dragging it with them everywhere as a toddler to swaddling their own newborns in it, a handmade blanket is a beautiful gift.

My own three boys each have their own special blankets that their Nannie (our mother) made for them. They are all put away for now, ready for them to use with their own little ones!

We don't offer baby blankets in our shop but if you are interested in one, contact me (Shelagh) at threesistersknit@gmail.com or DM her through the Three Sisters Knit Facebook page. I will work with you to find the ideal pattern and yarn for the new baby.

Baby Hudson's Bay-style blanket: ready to finish the ends.