Archive for July, 2006
Along with July came a lovely package from Texas! My secret pal sent along a soft and unique treat:
It is a wonderfully soft skein from Russia: 65% mohair, 25% wool, 10% acrylic. It has a great wavy texture and I can’t wait to see how it knits up! My secret pal said the colours reminded her of springtime in Texas: delicate pinks and blues, soft purple and grey…gorgeous! Thanks, Leah! I think I might knit up a little clutch with it…I can’t wait!
(I apologize for the poor picture. I’ve decided that I need a fancy light like Beth’s!)
I came across the Little Knits website recently and thought I’d share it. It isn’t very well designed but there is a lot of nice yarn with good discounts. Unfortunately, you will need to buy at least $25 worth because they have a limit – I know how difficult that is for our Good-Natured Ribbing readers ;)
One of my goals for the remainder of the year is to knit Christmas stockings for the 5 of us in our family. I told everybody to pick out a pattern from either Handknit Holidays or Christmas Stockings. In addition to being very practical, this gave me a good excuse to buy more yarn. The first batch arrived — it consists of Tahki Stacy Charles tweeds.
I’ll be in a wedding next weekend and I’ve been so caught up with my own duties that I’ve been neglecting Ava’s (being super-cute). I recently purchased a little flowery dress for her – not too fancy but pretty enough to be called “princess dress”! To keep the chill off once we are at the reception hall, I whipped up this little bolero for her. You will all be happy to know that, yes, she has had it on and, no, it hasn’t come anywhere close to the garbage!
I also started knitting up a pretty scarf out of the chocolate cherry yarn I spun. I picked a lacey scarf pattern from Knitty called Branching Out. Mine is not like the dainty ones shown on Knitty but I really love the way it looks. Dharma also made this scarf.
Finally, I ran out to Joann yesterday afternoon to get some embroidery floss to try one of the lacey-beady bracelets (Perdita) from the current issue of Knitty. Sherry’s turned out so well that I thought I’d give it a try.
I was browsing around on blogs for yet more projects and I came across a link to this nifty little tool: THE KNITPRO 2.0. It turns a .gif, .png, or .jpg into a mapped knitting graph! I tried it with the Detroit Piston’s Logo:
But it didn’t work so well with all the detail. But then I tried it with a more cartoon-y image and it worked just fine!
I’m not big into colour-work right now…but if I could do cool things with pictures, I might be!
Steadfast Fibers yarn, from Bonners Ferry, Idaho. 74% mohair, 13% wool, 13% nylon. 2 skeins, 220 yds.
Sent to me from the in-laws in Idaho! It’s really gorgeous, cotton-candy-y looking, as photographed in the fading light of a summer day in Michigan. I’m having fun planning what to do with it. A scarf for myself, perhaps?
As a break from shawls, I began a pair of socks. I thought for sure this time I would be sucessful. But I have been thwarted, yet again, in my attempt. This time, it was not my lack of interest, but Ian’s! I was knitting a lovley pair of Turkish socks for Ian, but when I had him try them on he declared “I don’t want socks!” I suggested a pair of mittens to which he readily agreed. Ian loves mittens. As you can see he already has several pair!
But since he outgrown a few of these, I decided another pair wouldn’t hurt. After all, I like making mittens. And when one pair gets wet from snowballs, you must have another pair waiting! My favorites are the killer whale mittens. They double as puppets in the summer!
Here is the outside of Ian’s new mittens in progress:
And the inside:
These are knit from the top down. The thumb is knit separately and then knitted in when you get to the right spot. Then you continue on to the cuff. This is my favorite method of mitten knitting. It is much easier to knit the thumb without the rest of the mitten in the way! And you can try it on as you go! Luckily, most mitten patterns can be adjusted to knit this way. I’m off to work, then knitting!
What is the object in this picture which seems to have a sock coming out of it?
Good Folk: comments are now open again, anyone, logged in or not, can try to comment. Someoone with an account has to approve any comment, so hopefully this will discourage comment spammers. That is all.
Good folk: as a temporary preventative measure, i’ve switched comments to be only from registered and logged in users. We are being spammed by somebody trying to sell watches. We’ll need to investigate options before opening the comments up again, hopefully soonish.
Wee Wonderfuls is a site featuring the cutest most adorablest softie doll designs by Hillary Lang, who I imagine just as cute as her designs. Anyway, she has some free patterns available for download from her site. I recently made her Pointy Kitty for a lucky friend. Here is mine
Right after my first dying experience, I purchased 2 more pounds of the undyed roving. I have been trying to decide what fun and interesting color(s) to dye it. I finally decided that I wanted to do some various greens – maybe dark and light shades of the same green – accented with a small amount of yellow. The next step is to order the dye.
Alternatively, the next step is to go to Joann and purchase this:
It is 100% wool and so close to what I had in mind – down to the thick-thin and plied look. This was about $5 per skein. I bought a couple to see how much I like the color and see how it looks knitted. This will likely become some sort of felted item.
I know you’re all dying to see this sweater finished as much as I am. I’m not a speedy knitter by any measure, but I have now proven that I am even more abysmally slow at sewing things together. I started this process by following the directions (usually a good place to start), but they had me sewing the 62.5 inch border around the body before sewing most of the other seams. This resulted in an oddly-shaped bunch of connected knit pieces, since it was hard for me to a) visualize what I was doing and b) make all the pieces behave while I was doing it. So, I took off the border and went ahead and sewed all the other seams together and pressed them. At this point I will add the aforementioned 62.5 inch border (maybe tomorrow — I’ve had enough sewing for one day). I am proud to say, though, that it now looks like a sweater, maybe even one that Emily will wear.
In other serendipitous news, Emily bought a whole bunch of beads at a yard sale, and I saw, at almost the same time, these patterns on Knitty for beaded friendship bracelets. So I made her one, just to try out knitting with beads, which I had never done before. She has a tiny wrist, so this didn’t take long at all. Unfortunately, the pictures suck, but hopefully you can tell that the bracelet’s kinda cute.
And, finally — finished Em’s purple footlets. (Why is everything for Emily? Because she asks for it, I guess…)
…is the name of the color of my newly spun yarn. Personally, I don’t see it but the color is very nice – browns and golds, purples and blues, and reds and pinks. It is from the merino/alpaca/silk roving described in this post. It is very soft and has a beautiful sheen. I tried to make a finer yarn this time, but it is still pretty chunky. It puffed up a lot when I plied it.
This is a 188 yarn skein and is about 7 ounces. What ever I make with this is sure to be very luxurious!
I hurried home today because I got word that a package arrived. When I sat down to open it, Ava asked what was in the box. I asked her what she thought was in the box and she said “Is it…… YARN!?” Of course she was right.
I received this wonderful “one” skein surprise:
It is a beautiful mohair/merino blend, handspun by the owner of my Pal’s local yarn shop, The Needle Lady. So, so soft and such a great color! And the best part: my Pal doesn’t play by the rules… she sent two skeins!!! Can you believe it?! But I’m not suppose to tell, so keep it quiet ;) My package also included a super-cute knitting themed card, a notebook/knitting journal, and little package of stickers. She said that the stickers are for me or Ava – but since Ava found them first, I didn’t really have a chance!
You rock, Secret Pal! Thanks so much!
Three finished projects, that is. And it is just what I needed – I’m feeling recharged and ready to go!
I started off making some mitts for my One Skein Pal. I was planning to make the gloves with the cabled cuff from the One Skein book but decided that gloves need to fit pretty well and I better not make them for someone who’s hands I no nothing about. So, I decided to turn them into mittens, which are much more forgiving in fit.
I used Araucania Nature Wool in dark blue tones. After finishing, I decided that I’m still a bit uncomfortable with the fit. If her hands are any longer than mine, they’ll be too small. So these will likely end up as a Christmas gift for someone.
The same day I decided that the new issue of Knitty came out with some cool fingerless gloves. Perfect!! It doesn’t matter how long her fingers are. So I went out and got some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and made these:
I will be sending these to my Pal. However, I need to think of something else to include as these seem kind of small. I have the rest of the month to figure it out. By the way, she didn’t specify that she likes blue, I guess I was just drawn to it.
I decided to put a little crochet trim on them to spice them up a bit. I think it looks pretty darn cute. I also decided against the very sweet Peter Rabbit buttons – I just didn’t think they fit with the look of the bibs. Instead, I dove into my huge assortment of vintage buttons and found the perfect little pink numbers.
And don’t worry, I’ll find a good use for the Peter Rabbit ones.
I bought some sock blockers and now plan to keep knitting and blocking new socks, tons of socks, perhaps 1 milllllionnn socks, so I can have more nicely shaped socks for photos. Perhaps I could become a sock stylist for magazines, like a food stylist?
The new ones:
Child’s First Sock (Nancy Bush)
in Turquoise Wildfoote
in Austermann Step Sock Yarn – “Gras”
I went to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago and tried to contribute a bit to the economy with some shopping in the French Quarter. I found a fiber shop called “The Quarterstitch” just off of Jackson Square. It’s more of a needlework store, with a small selection of yarn. I bought a pretty skein of chenille yarn in a color called “sweet grass.” The shop owner said that the yarn was hand-dyed by someone in Maryland whose mother taught him to dye.
The best thing about this yarn shop visit, though, was the extra deluxe wrapping of my purchase. Allow me to describe the process….
- The skein was first wrapped in green tissue paper.
- The wrapped skein was placed in a transparent plastic bag.
- Small, pink, heart-shaped pieces of tissue were dropped in the bag.
- Two small tags with the shop name and address were dropped in the bag. One was decorated with gold leaf and the other has a heart stamped on it.
- To finish it off, the bag was tied at the top with several ribbons in different colors, and the ribbons were curled with scissors!
I think it was the most lovely wrapped purchase I’ve ever seen. I seriously did not want want to open it and I put it out on a table to look at for several days. Eventually, though, I decided that I should unwrap the yarn and think about what to do with it. I think it will become a very soft and shimmery scarf.
By Sherry’s suggestion I’ve jumped on the bandwagon and joined Library Thing. What a fabulous tool! I’ve entered all my knitting books (I think!) and am actually considering entering more of my home library! It’s a great way to keep track of your collection and share with others. Great find, Sherry!
You can view my catalogue…my name is “Xtina” on the site. I only have 12 books up so far, and I haven’t put much effort into the tagging bit of it, but I’m sure I’ll have hours of nerdy librarian fun on this site!
Well, not really. I still have things unfinished. But — I have been working on this lace sweater for Em off and on (mostly off..) for exactly a year.
How do I know it has been a year? Because I took it with me on my honeymoon last year and finished knitting the sleeves just before my anniversary this weekend. Everything is blocking now, and looks pretty good. Sewing, the “ugh” part, will happen this upcoming weekend.
I am also almost done with a sock. This picture was taken last week, but I’m now working on the toe, so it’s farther along. This sock includes aloe (I can’t find the label) and is really soft. I’m making the pattern up as I go, with the goal of creating a truly reversible sock. I’ll show it off when I’m done.
Over the weekend, Christina and I dyed some of that alpaca we got through eBay. Christina wanted to dye some of her almond colored alpaca to use as an accent color on the sweater she intends to make with the rest of the chestnut and almond yarn. I have plans for most of mine, but I wanted to dye a couple skeins to make a scarf or something. The final count for the dye pot was 6 skeins – 3 cream and 3 almond. The difference between the two colors in the end result is barely perceptable.
We went with Terra Cotta for the dye color. It looked just like paprika in powder form and blood as a liquid. We let Ava have a peek in the pot and she called it “yarn sgetti.”
It took about a half hour for the yarn to soak up all the dye. After two rinsings, the yarn was hung to dry. By the next day, it was dry and ready for use. It turned out beautiful and soft and fluffy.
Because all of the projects I’ve been working on are taking so long to complete, I’ve been getting a little bored with them. I needed something super-fast to get me going again. So, on Friday night, I cast on the Ironstone that I bought the night before. By about 2:00pm on Saturday, my giant to-be-felted purse was complete. By 3:30, the felting was complete. I don’t know if I slipped into some knitters’ time warp or something, but in less than 24 hours, I created this great bag: