Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Ian asked me to knit him a sweater. I don’t often knit sweaters – something about having to knit so many separate pieces. But Ian doesn’t often ask me to knit him anything, and a sweater for him wouldn’t have to be very big, so I decided to go for it. The one he originally picked out was a beautiful fair isle of birds and leaves that was supposed to be done on size 2 needles with fingering weight yarn. When I saw that the front alone require almost 200 stitches I decided to talk him into something else. We settled on a Debbie Bliss fair isle pattern with a few changes. I prefer to fair isle in the round and so I adapted the pattern a bit. Instead of knitting all of the pieces separately and sewing them together, I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s percentage system (from Knitting Without Tears) to knit the whole sweater in the round. First you knit the body to the armpits. Then you knit each arm separately and then join them to the sweater body. Here is the sweater with one arm attached.
Once both arms are attached you continue knitting for awhile before you reduce the stitches by a third. You then knit for another few inches before reducing again to the number of stitches for the neck. Here is a picture of the sweater with both arms attached and with only a few more rows before the first reduction.
So far the sweater has taken about three weeks. It would have taken less time but I had to rip out the sleeves numerous times because I kept skipping patterns. (My sticky note that was keeping my place kept falling off!) Speaking of patterns, here is a close-up of the pattern.
It was originally in oranges, but Ian’s favorite color right now is blue, so I changed the scheme to meet his demands. I am using one of my favorite yarns – Knit Picks Merino Style and my new set of their interchangeable needles. I love the needles – makes it easy to change the length and size of your needles in the middle of a project. I am hoping to finish knitting the sweater next week, but I am sure it will take a few days to weave in all the ends from the fair isle. I was going to take a picture of the inside of the sweater, but I thought it might freak Sherry out – I hear she has nightmares about such things. I don’t mind the weaving too much, and I love the finished look of fair isle.
I have been doing a little knitting… See:
But I spent most of the weekend sewing! What!? Yeah, I do take a knitting break once in a while. It was all inspired by the arrival of Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol.
I made this smock for Ava. If you couldn’t guess, she picked out the fabric. Pink, flowers, sparkly… how could she pick anything else? The smock is a hit – she loves it.
And I finished this little number this afternoon. It was really fun to sew! I love how it turned out, though it is a little small for my needs. It will make a fab knitting project bag! (I wasn’t going to bother with the bow, but I love how it turned out!)
I’ve been a big sockapalooza procrastinator this round. I’ve actually *thought* a lot about what I want to make for my sockpal and have been keeping up with her blog. Did I actually start knitting? No. Did I freak a little last week when I realized the date? Yes. Here’s a chart to illustrate my process:
The most excellent news is that I did settle on some socks I already had in progress. My sockpal and I have the same size feet and share some color preferences, so I decided to finish up the Spearfish socks already underway. I am now 1/3 of the way through the second sock, and should finish in a few days. I love these socks, and hope my sockpal does, too!
Spearfish Socks pattern from Designedly, Kristi
Lang Jawoll wool in red, with reinforced heel and toe. One pattern repeat in the cuff.
Shocking! I haven’t started knitting anything since I finished those 3 single socks. That’s almost a week with no knitting! I’ve been thinking about it a lot though. Now I have quite a long list of next projects – I’ll settle on one this weekend and get going. Of course the other 3 socks are still waiting, but they can wait a little longer :)
I did do a bit of spinning this week. We went on a little trip to Guelph, Ontario to visit some relatives and of course, I stopped at the local yarn store – Stitch Niche. It was pretty tiny, but I was please to see that they had some spinning supplies – there was a spindle spinning class in progress. I picked up a 4 oz braid of merino. I foolishly let Ava pick out colors and ended up with blue/green/yellow – which is lovely, but not for me. And it isn’t pink so she won’t want it :) Here is the resulting yarn:
I also picked up some Colinette Jitterbug is a nearly-solid dark green – lovely color. I’ve only seen Jitterbug in one store around here and it is always the brightly colored variegated. I was excited to find the solid colors.
This is some Koigu I bought at Purl on a recent trip to NY.
And this is the leftovers from Ava socks: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Flamingo Stripe (thanks again, Sherry!!)
Go have a look at the lovely Fiberlicious photos, and maybe contribute your own!
I recently finished two pairs of socks from the pool of eight I’ve had in progress for months (and months). In May I finished the Victorian Diamond Lace socks in olive Regia Silk and gave them to my mom for Mother’s Day. I’d recommend this pattern to anyone who is looking for a sock with a nice design and stretchy cuff. They were really fun to knit, too — the most detail at the cuff, with less and less detail as you accelerate to the toe.
Baby Cable Socks on Kira’s feet, from Sensational Knitted Socks. Gems Merino Opal, Size 2 needles.
These are Thank You Socks for a craft favor from Kira. Kira made a fantastic set of Barbie clothes for me to give to my friend Fiona, who turned 9 last November. She and her mom appreciate Barbie fashion. Here are three of the garments Kira made, the knitted ones (see the rest of the wardrobe):
I have a few pairs of socks in progress. They are now all at the same stage: one down, one to go.
Here’s what I’m working on. I started Embossed Leaves quite a while ago. When it became clear that they were not going to fit me, I slowed down a bit. I couldn’t bring myself to rip it out and start over because they were so lovely! They will be a gift. The yarn is Natural Dye Studio’s merino/alpaca sock yarn.
I ordered some Reynolds Soft Sea Wool a while ago and had a few false starts. After all that, I decided to go with a simple stockinette sock – 56 sts around with short row heel and toes.
Finally, I started this one most recently. The pattern is Mad Color Weave and the yarn is Claudia Hand Painted sock yarn. The sock feels great – I love that Claudia!
I do intend on moving on to the mates to all these socks. But I also have some other plans that include lots of socks as well as some non-sock items. I just don’t have enough time!!
I received my final package from my Secret Pal 10 pal today. Wow! She really out did herself. Check it out:
Click for the itemized list of goodies.
Here are some close ups of the yarn. First, Plymouth Sockotta in a great colorway with green and blues:
And some fabulous yarn I’ve never seen before: Fiesta Ballet. It is 50% superfine alpaca and 50% tencel and boy, is it soft. It has a great combination of colors and I can’t wait to see how it knits up. Oh, what could I make with it?! There is 350 yds – a very generous skein.
Thank you so much, Anne, for the wonderful presents! I have loved each of them (this one, especially!).
So, as I mentioned earlier, I got some bought some yarn when I was in San Francisco. I was lucky enough to be staying at a hotel that was only a couple blocks from a yarn store. It was Artfibers. Everything in the store was very unique: all their yarns are made for them. As you can see in these photos, they have lots of swatches done up – all the yarns in all the colors!
Because everything was new to me, it took a long time to decide. I must have looked at every yarn and felt every swatch in there 3 times! But I did finally settle on two yarns to get:
This is Tsuki (40% silk, 60% mohair) in a dark green. There is 515 yards (40 grams) which is enough for a nice lacy scarf, which I bought the pattern for. This yarn comes on a large cone and when you decide which you want, you go to the ball winder to wind off the amount you want. Pretty cool.
This is Andromeda which is 30% angora and 70% silk and it is so so soft. There is 1300 yards in this skein and it is was very reasonably price (something like $35). I don’t know what color(s) I’ll dye this yet, but I think it will become a big wrap or something. The woman at the store told me that they now offer an undyed version of all their yarns. These aren’t available via the website yet, but can be ordered over the phone.
I couple months ago I went overboard and bought 6 lovely skeins of Claudia handpainted sock yarn to make a shawl. All the way through the project I was not convinced that I did a very good job with the selection. And at times, I was convinced that I did a bad job.
Now I am done and I’m sure I did a pretty good job. I love how it turned out. And as Christina pointed out, it will go with every possible outfit.
I believe I will use this shawl quite a lot. It is large enough to use as a lap blanket or get cozy in on the couch. Perfect!!
I’m on a roll! This was taken just minutes after I bound off.
It must be pretty comfy! It is blocking right now – I’ll post some better finished object photos soon.
Thanks to my recent trips to New York and San Francisco, I have a completed pair of socks. All but the the first few inches of the first sock were knit in the air. Interestingly enough, only San Francisco airport security thought my metal needles were anything to think twice about. My bag got a second trip through the xray machine but everything was OK. I can’t imagine the horror if they confiscated my DPNs half way through a sock!
I really love these socks and I’ll definitely use the yarn again. In fact, the leftovers are a whopping 3oz (85 g) so I might even get another pair of socks out of it. How lame would it be if I made Ava matching socks?
Just for fun, I thought I’d put up a comparison of NYD (left) and Monkey (right) – many of you noticed how similar they are (especially since I did both in red!):
(I tried taking a new picture of the two socks but I’ve worn Monkey so much they look kind of sad next to the brand new NYD!)
. . . cupcakes! Mmmm…these look amazing. I don’t have the patience to make them, so all I can do is gaze and covet. Enjoy!
Yes, I still knit – just not very much lately. That whole sock fiasco sort of discouraged me for a bit. But I’m back in the saddle but with not much to show for it yet. But I will soon!
At this very minute, I’m sitting in a Westin many miles from home. I arrived in San Francisco this afternoon and after arriving and the hotel and going through all my emails from the day, I set out on a yarn excursion. While I do have my camera, I don’t have any cables with me, so this horrible picture from my cell phone will have to be enough for now.
I should also point out that I cast on my 2nd New Year’s Day sock at the airport this morning and got about half way through the heel flap on the flight. At that rate, I should be sporting a lovely new pair of socks by the time I deplane in Detroit!
More pictures when I get home!
When I got home from a short trip on Friday evening, there was a package waiting for me. It contained four skeins (2 colors) of Reynold’s Soft Sea Wool and the pattern book that goes along with it. I thought one of these might be for my sock pal. I started knitting right away. I chose a combination of the Barber Pole sock from the book and the Spiral Boot sock from the recent IK. These are almost identical except one is knee high with a fancy top, the other is just calf high with plain ribbing. I was shooting for a calf high sock with a fancy top.
It was coming out great (and fast!) until I slipped the sucker over my foot. It was generously sized, to say the least, even for my generously sized calf. I cast on 60 stitches, used size 2 needles, and the called-for yarn from both patterns. Oh well. I ripped it out.
Still excited about the new yarn and the possibilities, I cast on for a different sock in the pattern book – Mrs. Hunter’s sock. Just as the first one, I got all the way to the heel and it didn’t fit. This time, I couldn’t even squeak it over my foot. This one had 56 stitches but it didn’t have much stretch – you can see why in the picture. Oh well. I ripped it out.
All in all, it was a wasted knitting weekend. Thank goodness I finished one Wollmeise sock on my trip to NY.
Oh yeah, I probably took over 300 photos this weekend (of various things) and most of them turned out terribly. The best thing to do was put the needles and the camera down and start weeding.
My Ashford Traveller was delivered on Monday. I ordered it unfinished and unassembled and I’d estimate that I spent 6-8 hours over the course of three days getting it all ready to go. I put two coats of tung oil finish on it…I had to wait 24 hours between each coat. Of course, being lazy, I initially thought about leaving it unstained. I’m really glad that I didn’t, because it looks a lot better and is much more protected from temperature and humidity fluctuations, which seems important in Michigan. Last night everything was dried so I got to work on putting all the pieces together. It was frustrating at times, but overall, I felt really satisfied at the end of it all to do that myself. Now, if I just knew what to do with it….I’ll post pictures later.
Wow…this is quite a thing to see.
My Wollmeise and I have resolved our differences.
I’ve started a few different socks with this yarn and just wasn’t happy. I was starting to think it was the yarn – which made me sad. Each time, I’d used a size US 1 needle. This time, I tried a US 1.5 and I guess that did the trick. It is working out beautifully this time.
The pattern is New Year’s Day Socks by Dipsy Doodle. They are so easy and fun to make plus the pattern is lovely. The cable adds a little something special. I sure can’t wait till these are done!!
A while ago Sherry gave me a skein of Lorna’s Laces Flamingo Stripe yarn (mentioned here). She knew Ava would enjoy anything made out of these colors! When I got it home, Ava was excited to see the yarn – as much as a three year old can get excited about yarn. She said “Here, Mommy, you hold it…. but don’t knit it yet!!”
I thought about doing something a little fancy with these, but as I worked through the ribbing for the cuff, I decided the striping was enough for these sock. I ended up doing the Basic Ribbed Socks from Socks Two (Sherry’s favorite). I reduced the number of stitches to 48 and used size US1 needles.
I love the way they turned out, and so does Ava. I’m so glad she has outgrown the “I hate everything you knit” phase! I better not overdo it, though – she could turn at any moment.
And thanks to Denise for the new shoes. These are now the favorites. (Even though she has 3 other pairs of new shoes. Nick thinks I’m turning her into a shoe addict, just like me.)
Well, I was going to spend the weekend in the garden teaching Ava how to weed, but thanks to Mayarn, I have bigger and better plans! She was kind enough to send me an invite to join Ravelry as a beta tester.
It is all the rage and now I can play, too! I can’t wait to pull out all my yarn and take lovely photos of everything to include in my stash inventory!!! The website is bound to be an indespensable tool for all knitters. No more wading through Google results for yarn stores when I just want to find what someone made with a certain yarn :)
Oh yeah, and thanks to Megan, I must present you with 8 Random Things about myself. Sorry everyone… blame the Philistine.
- I truly have a bad memory. It often happens that I have no recollection of conversations or activities I’ve participated in in the recent past (so say the other participants). However, I can remember things like the circumstances under which I obtained each and every book on the shelf or a scent that I’ve not been around since childhood.
- I have a bit of a mean streak. Yes Christina, just a bit. I can’t imaging where it came from but unfortunately, I’ve already passed it down. This, combined with my other family traits – sarcasm and crankiness – make me a real treat to be around.
- I really really like photography and have a really nice camera. But I can’t be bothered to really learn anything about photography. I just rely on the skill of the camera to get the good shots.
- Until knitting, I didn’t have a hobby that lasted for more than one project. While this does expose you to a lot of different things, it also costs a lot and creates a lot of clutter. Now that I have found my crafting niche, I still spend a lot of money and have a lot of clutter – but I’m much happier.
- I’m a habitual “sleep-doer.” What I do is so far beyond sleep walking that it isn’t funny. Well, I’m sure it is funny to any onlooker. I’ve been known to have entire conversations, make the bed, search for the dogs, fix the blinds, and engage in other even more bizarre activities while sleeping. My husband has grown very tired of it. Too bad for him, our daughter has already started exhibiting this behaviour.
- I use the term “pencil crayon” instead of “colored pencil.”
- Every morning when I leave the house for work, I will have had on at least 2 outfits and 3 pairs of shoes. No wonder I’m so tired in the morning.
- My husband tells me that some of my food preferences are weird. The most recent thing that grossed him out was milk on jello (but only red jello). I did that all the time as a kid.
There you have it.
Now, I must pass this chore along to some other unsuspecting knitters. Since I copped out last time and listed the other Good-Natured Ribbers, I’ll pick some others this time:
The blogless Neil can just add his to the comments.
I had a long day today…left the house at 7:45am and didn’t get home until 9:15 this evening. All that drudgery was forgotten though when I found a package sitting on my doorstep from my SP10 Pal! She’s got very good taste—-the alpaca yarn is soooo soft and perfect colors. She also included the new Interweave Knits, yummy treats, and neatest of all, a cute, little measuring tape. Love it. Thank you so much for the inspired package…I’m going to eat a cookie right now.
Actually more of a prodigal blogger. I have been knitting steadily since the move. I have completed Mike’s “bad-ass skull cap” and my first two pairs of baby socks. Unfortunately I still have not mastered the digital camera. I have drafts of posts but can’t add the photos to them until I figure out how to make the photos a smaller size. So now you know that buying a house didn’t kill me. Almost…but not quite.
I just had to start a project with the lace yarn I dyed recently. I decided to go with the Flower Basket Shawl.
Stupidly, I was trying to work on this while taking care of a cranky, recently-immunized child. Needless to say, I was a bit distracted. By the end of the second repeat, I was already several stitches off!!
I was also working with Denise needles, which are far too blunt for a lacy project. So I’m going to rip this out and start again (probably on bigger needles, too). It looked so pretty, through, I just had to share.
Pattern: Short & Sweet from Stitch ‘n Bitch Crochet
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns – Classic Silk (50% cotton, 30% silk, 20% nylon)
It is soft but substantial (I used a 5mm hook, which may have been a bit small, but it worked out to my advantage). I did get some compliments on it but they were overshadowed by comments on my hair. I guess it is more surprising to see me with straight hair than wearing a handmade garment.
Aside from simple single crochet items, simple granny squares, and simple edging, this is my first real crochet project. I classify this as real because I followed a pattern that wasn’t made for beginners. It went pretty smoothly, though there were some errors and oddities in the pattern that I was able to find correction info. It only took 4 days to complete, so I guess it was pretty easy!
I did it, I finally purchased a spinning wheel– the Ashford Traveller, to be precise. And how did I manage to finally afford this little luxury??? Cashout of vacation days! Now I’ll just have to figure out how to use the darn thing.
This is really a comment on Kira’s post below because I couldn’t figure out if I could put a picture in the comments field. These are the mittens she made for me last year, but now all ready to be put away until next winter. I brushed them gently with a sweater stone and then washed them with knit wash and they look perfectly new.
Thanks again, Kira.