Thursday, September 13, 2007

Celery socks

I finished my Celery socks, just in time to cast on new socks to knit while at Knitter's Day Out.

Socks were knit with kettled dyed yarn in several shades of celery. Size 0 needles, two socks at once on 1 long circular needle knit toe up. Patterning alternates a k1, p1, k1 rib with 3 stitches of moss stitch. Garter stitch hourglass heel.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Some FO's and UFO's

Yippee! School is back in session. I have finally got preschool sorted out for my younger son and I will have lovely, lovely mornings to myself 4 days a week.

The green top is done, washed and waiting some frogging and awaiting some revisions. I originally put in shaping at the sides of the waist which will be switched to under the bust. After washing and shrinking, the top shrunk much more lengthwise and less widthwise than I expected from my swatch. Maybe it will be done my NEXT summer.

I have some photos of the Elann wrap, free pattern HERE I found the pattern fun but the shaping was a challenge for me. Pattern was well written but there was a lot going on all at the same time. I changed the back cable pattern and shortened the wings in the front.
Here is the back modeled by the ever patient Dino.
Back of Elann wrap

And the front modeled by a chair since Lexi wouldn't cooperate.
Front cable from Elann wrap

I started the Kauni Autumn Cardigan and joined the KAL. I'm using colors EQ (rainbow) and EJ (white/cream/fawn/rose). I've only gotten the ribbing done so far and can't wait to start the leaves. The yarn Kauni Effektgarn is fascinating, keeps me knitting to see how the colors will play out.
Ribbing on Kauni Autumn Cardi

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In a green kind of place

On and off all summer I've been working on a summer top. At this rate I ought to be finished just in time for the first snowfall.

The top is of my own design. I made a schematic on graph paper based on my measurement and then cast on based on my swatches. Yarn is a cone of green 4/2 cotton by Dragon Tale yarns that I bought at the Mannings. I started by knitting two shoulder straps and then casting on extra stitches for armholes, front and back to knit in the round. I am rather top heavy so the front is 26 inches while the back measures 19". I'll be decreasing soon for some waist shaping and then adding a few stitches back in to accomodate what Sandy from Knitting Daily so poetically calls a "Buddha Belly". I haven't decided on a hem treatment for the bottom yet. Then I'll wash it and hope that the figuring I did to accomodate for the shrinkage of the swatch was correct.

Another green project, another Baby Bobbi Bear. Pattern by Blue Sky Alpacas. I LOVE this pattern. Knitting starts around the belly and continues upward for the front and back chest. Head is knit with clever shaping. The knitting is turned around and stitches are picked up for the shaped butt (yes it has butt shaping!) and then the legs are knit in the round. Stitches are picked up from the chest sides for the arms. Very little in the way of sewing up. Ears must be sewn on, eyes and nose are embroidered, crotch opening is sewn up and that's it.

This little guy was knit with 2 colors of Lily dishcloth cotton (Sugar & Cream or Peaches & Cream I get the names confused) on size 3 needles.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Post Potter Let Down

It took me a little less then 36 hours to read HP & the Deathly Hallows. Now I'm experiencing Post-Potter letdown. I have to say I was favorably surprised by the book. Lots of interesting plot twists. I was a little worried that it wouldn't live up to my expectations but it surpassed them. If you aren't finished reading yet....keep going, it's worth it in the end.

I've been knitting on Jenna's Very Purple scarf today. I finally found the pattern again, Amy Singer's Montego Bay Scarf from Interweave Knits. I needed something simple for my addled brain. I had been having trouble with remembering which row I was on, on RS row starts with k3 and one with k4. I finally figured out that if the previous RS row ends with a k3, the next RS row starts with k3 and vice versa for the k4 rows.

My big purchase for the weekend:

How can one possibly resist a color called VooDoo Blue? Can't wait to take it off road.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

So many projects....

It has been awhile since I posted. I didn't realize how long until I saw the date.
Here is where I've been spending a good deal of time:

I've also been spending an inordinate amount of energy keeping two brothers from spitting on, beating, smacking, poking, splashing, drowning and generally annoying each other. August 27th can't get here fast enough.

I caved in to peer pressure and started Mystery Stole 3. I haven't gotten very far yet, just beginning Clue #2.

I'm using SWTC Infinity, 16/2 lace weight 100% soy silk with iridescent seed beads. Using size 0 bamboo straight needles, which doesn't allow me to stretch it out for the photo. I had been using circs but the joins kept catching.

Also been working on a v-shaped shawl off the Elann website. I'm using worsted weight wool and have changed the cable pattern on the back.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hat Frenzy

I've been in a hat frenzy lately.

Here are some recently finished examples.

Blue one is made from handspun singles and some leftover manos using a slip stitch pattern. White one is made from Fisherman Wool and has XO cables. Both were just made up as I went along.

The brown one is the hat that goes with Am Kamrin from Heirloom Knitting (Japanese). Here is a close up of the twisted stitch panel. Lots of fun to work but not a mindless project!

I'm keep the brown hat. The other two I will save to take to Knitter's Day Out for Caps for Kids.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Finished Sweater

The Bulky Cable Sweater is now finished. I've actually been getting a good deal of use out of it. It has been in the 50's and 60's here, it's usually in the 80's this time of year.

I also got some books from Japan. New Style of Heirloom Knitting has cabled and Fair Isle sweaters. The other one is crochet of the cutest cake and food items.

I'm working on the hat that goes along with the Am Kamrin sweater, just to see if I am up to the challenge of working from a pattern that I can't read other than the charts. So far it it going pretty well. The books came from Saucy Louise. Lou will special order books she doesn't have and her prices and shipping beat most of the other books I've seen on ebay and the like.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sweater progress

Making progress on the bulky cabled sweater.

I've got the body done, now I'm working on the sleeves. I've put both sleeves on one long circular and am working both at once with separate balls of yarn. Hoping to stave off the dreaded Second Sleeve Syndrome. A lesser known but equally serious illness related to Second Sock Syndrome.

And BTW it isn't a baby sweater those are just giant hostas in the background.

I'm taking the green socks with me to work on while watching Sports Day at son #1's school. Hoping to make great progress. After these to projects are finished, I swear I will work on the purple aran.

I have to report the demise of the two tone blue shawl already. I went to work on Sunday and came home to find it in shreds. Curiously, Lexi the dog seems to have been using a new blue dental floss...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Under Control

I've gotten a handle on the UFO's

Finished the oversized doily - it came out just big enough for a shoulder shawl. I used the Hemlock Ring Doily, a vintage pattern. Mostly an exercise in using up yarn.

Also finished this hat. "Yarn" is Jazz by Lion Brand, a paper linen yarn that I dyed green. Pattern is a free pattern on the Japanese Puppy yarn site.

Couldn't help but start a new project though....

The Glampyre Bulky Cabled Sweater. Pattern is interesting yet easy to work and going super fast in Wool Ease Chunky. It is a top down, cabled, garter stitch raglan. I'm almost ready to divide the sleeves from the body.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

UFO's Attack!

In an attempt to get my crafting life under control, I gathered up all the UFO's I could find. The pile was quite scary motivating.

I found just a couple.
I even finished a few...

A little Japanese style softie bear.

A wild sock monkey.

Both are now residing in my Etsy shop.

Frogged the purple scarf and the blue Mariposa. Worked a bit on the green crocheted sun hat. Put the green socks aside for travel knitting. Kept the purple Aran cardi & blue lace shawl by my bedside hoping I will take them up again soon. The crocheted throw rug made from fabric strips is in the undecided pile.

Of course I went to The Mannings yesterday and got some teal green 5/2 cotton that really wants to be a summer top :) ...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cajun Knitting

Did some knitting with a friend this weekend...

Cary the crawdad came all the way from Louisiana to enjoy a bath in the hot springs of Maryland.
Just before he was eaten, he knit a couple of rows on my newly started celery socks. Excuse the crappy cell phone camera picture.

I put the socks down this morning to swatch for this Glampyre Pattern, although I'm doing blue instead of green. Amazingly enough I think my gauge will be right on with the requisite size 11 needles. Usually I have to go down at least 2 needles sizes to get gauge.

Also an update on the garter stitch short row heels on the spider socks. I was a bit skeptical about how comfortable they would be, I don't like bumpy things on the underside of my feet. I'm wearing them today and they are quite comfortable. The Knitpicks yarn washed up very soft and cushy.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Socks with a Secret

Just this morning I cast off on some socks. I really like the colorway. I handpainted Knitpicks superwash sock yarn using guidelines from this book. Working with the 20 foot long skein of yarn was a bit of a challenge but I think the results were worth it.

The secret of the socks....

Knit into the top on a field of reverse stockinette is the Spider from Barbara Walker's Third Treasury.

Heels are garter stitch, short row from this article by Lucy Neatby from the INKnitters website. I added an extra two rows of garter before I started the second half of the heel. This seemed to make the line in the center of the heel, where the wraps are picked up easier to work and look neater. The jury is still out on whether the garter stitch will be comfortable to wear since I have freakishly sensitive foot bottoms.

In the garden is the reason why I keep my scrubby Scotch Broom plant around. Hubby threatens to cut it down every year but I know for a week each year it does this.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sheep and Wool

Here is all I got at MD Sheep & Wool. I think I am officially jaded (not to mention quite broke). The festival has just gotten too crowded for agoraphobic me.

Two skeins of yarn dyed by Juanita of Meadow Medley. Merino dyed with natural dyes and in person they have lovely tonal gradations. The dark blue is dyed with logwood and the pink with osage and cochineal. Every time I got to Sheep and Wool or Knitter's Day Out I buy a skein or two of Juanita's yarn. One of these days I will put them together and make something wonderful - or at least that's what I keep telling myself!

Book is Charted Knitting Designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker. Lots of nice cable and twisted stitch patterns, my current obsession.

Before Sheep & Wool I spent 5 mind-numbing hours proctoring the SAT test. I managed to finish up and cast off on my mother-in-law's socks during the last section.

Yarn was dyed by me, I think Henry's Attic Kona Superwash. Got quite fuzzy after washing. Yes, they are small but the woman has size 4 feet! They may even be a bit big.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Socks, humming birds and bees

This tangle is what I’ve been working on lately. Trying to get them finished for my MIL’s birthday before they go on vacation.

Two toe up socks at the same time on one long needle using Hellchick's formula. Yarn is some superwash merino that I dyed.

I’m doing to leg in an interesting rib pattern - 2 rounds of k2,p2 ribbing followed by 2 rounds of knit.

When I went out to take the sock pictures I was dive bombed by two scuffling humming birds that were fighting over the feeder. Not sure why they are so aggressive this year. I managed to get a picture on one of the culprits.

Very worrying news out about honey bees. Honey bees are one of my favorite creatures. Read about it here.
As an avid flower gardener, as well as a consumer of food in general, it’s a bit terrifying. Be kind to your bees and think twice before you spread that pesticide!

Saturday I'm off the Maryland Sheep and Wool for the afternoon. I've gone almost every year for at least 14 years and watched it go from a fairly small event to the spectacle it is now. Budget is pretty limited this year but I've come to the realization that if I know 24/7 for a number of years I would never use up the yarn in my basement. I'm hoping to find some Japanese pattern books, Janet Szabo's updated Aran Design book and maybe get some dyes. Have to save a little bit to get a yummy lamb kabob or two. Don't think I'll lug my camera along but will post pictures of my loot when I get home.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sari Silk Tamed

Awhile ago I wrote about a purse I was making out of recycled Sari Silk. I finally have it finished. It is lined, has a zipper and as of this weekend handles!

And since it finally got warm enough for flowers to bloom (right up to 80 degrees!), enjoy the Dicentra a.k.a. Bleeding Hearts. The bloom for about 1 week every year then go dormant.

I think I will go back outside and look at them again. With the heat this high they won't last long.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Treasure Trove of Hankies

My in-laws are in the midst of decluttering their house. My MIL gave me two boxes full of vintage handkerchiefs, many with thread crocheted borders.

A virtual rainbow of colors!

Some of the designs really wild.

Right now I am in the midst of washing them all and since all the boys are gone on various camping/grandma trips, I look forward to an evening of hanging out with the dogs ironing these dainties. What an exciting life I lead!

And yes, I do plan to store them flat instead of folded as they had been stored.

Here are some finished socks:

Knit in Trekking XXL - color 126. I was originally very excited with the color, it reminded me of Brach's Sundaes Neopolitan Coconut Candy. I'm not really sure why that excited me so much, one of those fits of yarn store mania. Knit up I thought they were truly atrocious. I think it must have been my stitch pattern because the ones knit in stockinette here are beautiful.

So I overdyed them with a purplish red and like how they came out.
Pattern was a standard top down sock, done in a feather & fan/old shale stitch. Garter ridges eliminated in the foot because I have stupidly sensitive foot bottoms.
I'm fairly impressed that I got the striping to match up as closely as I did. Don't generally care if my socks match, much less the striping matches.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Drop Stitch Scarf - Free Pattern

Recently I spun some yarn from a birthday roving from my brother and SIL. They bought the roving at Ashville NC Home Crafts. Card attached said it was hand dyed by AnneMarie Walter of Asheville, NC. AnneMarie's creations can be found at her etsy shop - Smoky Mountain Fibers.

The yarn turned out very pretty.

I've been spinning off and on for about 5 years but had never really made anything with my handspun. I decided to cast on for a scarf. Knitting with yarn that I had created was a triumphant, liberating feeling. The yarn was very soft compared to most of the commercial yarn I use and easy on the hands.

I made up the pattern - here it is:

Drop Stitch Scarf

Used about 4.5 oz of worsted weight handspun yarn
Needles US size 10

Cast on 15 stitches.
Row 1: K3, P3 across, ending with K3
Row 2: P3, K3 across, ending with P3

Continue in K3,P3 ribbing until you are out of yarn or the scarf is as long as you want.

My scarf came out about 7 feet long.

Bind off, dropping the middle stitch of each 3 stitch rib (i.e. bind off 1, drop next stitch, bind off next stitch, bind off next stitch, drop next stitch etc...)
When completely bound off, gently stretch the scarf to help the dropped stitches run all the way down the length of the scarf.

Here is the pattern that the dropped stitches made:

Friday, April 13, 2007

Big Dyeing Adventures with Mama-E

A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to take a dyeing class with Mama-E of C*eye*ber Fiber Warehouse. Class was great. Learned loads and dyed lots of yarn and fiber. Let me tell you, dyeing is much harder work that it looks! Those hand dyed skeins are worth every penny.

Here is the yarn:

Here is the fiber:

I've had time to knit up a few things from the dyed yarn.

Socks for someone that promptly wore them outside without shoes from the rainbow dyed yarn.

I branched out and tried 2 socks at once on 2 circulars. Not nearly as confusing as I thought it would be and the satisfaction of getting both done at the same time. An excellent tutorial is the Cybersocks class.

The start of a VERY purple scarf for Jenna.

Scarf pattern is "Athena" One Ball Scarf.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mulch Mania

Spring here at the ranch house in the far suburbs country estate means mulching. To be precise LOTS of mulching- 3 dump truck loads of mulch, renting a bobcat and getting very dirty. All those flower gardens seemed like a really good idea when we bought the place.

Got a kit on Saturday for Baby Bobbi Bear from Fabulous Yarn . Quick shipping and they take Paypal for payment - always a plus.

Pattern, Baby Bobbi Bear by Blue Sky Alpacas, is a quick knit and very well written. I didn't even have to use the "Visualizing Assembly" notes under corrections on the website. Done in Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton (2 hanks). Yarn is nice and soft, worsted weight. Pattern is done with minimal seaming and knit in the round on double pointed needles. I could barely get it away from my little guy to take a picture.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lichen ruffles

The Frill Seeker scarf is done. Pattern can be found at Lion Brand as can the Ruffles yarn. Color has been custom dyed.

The colors of the scarf remind me of lichen , one of my favorite things. I also really like moss but then again I’m strange.

I changed the pattern some, adding ribbing to the back of the neck like a seaman’s scarf and worked both halves from the bottom up and grafted them together just to one side of the ribbing.

The Ruffles yarn is worked by picking up a few strands of the yarn near the edge with the rest hanging down, hence the ruffle.

Not sure I will ever wear this creation but I like to look at it. My friend Renee walked in and told me it was ugly and asked if it was for the dog. Not sure the dog deserves cashmere.

Model: Dino – yes named after the Flintstones dinosaur-dog. What can I say, hubby watched too much TV as a kid.