Monday, December 11, 2006

Just some babbling, no pics.

I'm just kind of going to babble here. I have no pictures of FOs to post, though I have finished stuff. My MIL has borrowed our digital camera so I'm just screwed with regards to posting pics. I finished ds's Sherwood sweater. He looks so handsome in it! I crocheted dd a red sweater within about a day and a half. I used the Sweet pattern from and Jiffy yarn by Lion Brand. I am not a fan of that yarn. It just gets fuzzier and fuzzier every time it's worn, and since she's three, I have to wash it after every wearing which just contributes to the fuzz and pilling. I finished and felted another Sophie and now I'm really kinda irritated about the camera cuz I'll be gifting the Sophie tonight and won't have taken a picture of it. :( Those double-knit socks in the previous post? I had to frog them and restart them. I had crossed yarns all the way back in the first row. *twitch* They are maybe an inch done since restarting. The double-knitting goes very slowly, and since I mastered the technique, I just haven't felt like working on them. Of course the amount of Christmas knitting/crocheting that I'm doing doesn't help the matter. I desperately want to cast on something for myself (socks!), but I have to finish three other projects first: a froufrou cardigan (from The Happy Hooker), yet another Sophie bag out of SWS, and a Branching Out scarf. I wouldn't post pics of them anyway since they're Christmas gifts, and although I don't think any of the recipients are blog readers, I wouldn't want to take the chance. This is the second Branching Out I've done, and I am enjoying it much more the second time around. I understand the construction of lace better (although I don't think I've really done anything else lacey). I don't have to follow the pattern as closely now. I can see which decrease I need to do based on which way the line of stitches should lean. It's just easier now that I'm more experienced.
I did a lot of tatting this weekend. It's the time of year for gifting tatted snowflakes. I finished five and intend to make probably one or two more. They are stiffening as I type. This year I branched out into a couple of beaded patterns. They weren't any more difficult than the beadless ones; I just had to string beads onto the ball thread before winding the shuttle. I'm going to look for some more beaded patterns on the internets.
We have surprisingly gotten a LOT of our Christmas shopping done already. We are completely finished with the kids, and as always seems to happen, they are getting too much! *sigh*

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Non-knitted FOs and Knitting WIPs--Take 2

Take 2 because I had this post 3/4 of the way done and the power went out. *twitch* Of course I had not saved a draft.
Let's start with a non-knitted FO. I finished this TATTED doily about five years ago, but I didn't get the ends woven in until a few weeks ago. Since I started the FiberArts Club, I now have a couple more experienced tatters from whom to get ideas. The method one tatter showed me for weaving in the ends was much better than the method which I had tried previously. This doily does not have decorative picots; the only picots were those used to join the chains and rings together.

You can see from this closeup that the lack of decorative picots makes the doily look like it is made of cording. I think it's beautiful and a good example of why someone would want to tat. This is the photo on the homepage of the FiberArts club.

This is the monthly dishcloth knitalong project for November. It's a turkey. I think we have one more day of rows before he's done.

This is ds's Sherwood sweater from the Fall issue of Knitty. I have finished the body and the braided rib pattern on the sleeve. Now it's just ribbing till the sleeve is finished. Then I have to do another sleeve. *sigh*

Here is a closer pic of the braided rib pattern.

The sweater project also inspired this:
My larger interpretation of the GoKnit pouch. The sweater had gotten large enough that I could no longer stuff it into my GoKnit pouch so I totally copied it and made an identical bag only larger and from not as good quality ripstop nylon. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my GoKnit pouch and probably would have bought the bigger version if I weren't an incredibly impatient person. Once I found out they had ripstop nylon at Joann's, I was there buying it and all the notions necessary to replicate the pouch in the larger version. Now my GoKnit pouch can move onto a smaller--and more appropriate to its size--project: extreme knitting socks knitted one inside the other (doubleknitting method) as described in the Extreme Knitting article in the Fall Knitty.

And here's a closeup of the extreme socks with my new toy, a Norwegian knitting thimble.

I'm actually using the same yarn for both socks, but I didn't stress about trying to get perfectly matching stripes. I figured for this project, it would be easier if the yarns didn't match up perfectly so I can clearly see which yarn I need to knit each stitch, especially since I'm learning a whole new technique with this doubleknitting thing.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Lots o' dishcloths and sweater progress

Well, I have been busy the last couple weeks working on my little boy's sweater and finishing up some dishcloths. Here's the sweater:

It's coming along nicely, and I've just divided into front and back at the underarm so what you're seeing is the bottom half of the sweater.

Here are a couple of ballband dishcloths:

I decided to show them together because I don't particularly care for either one individually, but they look nice as a set. It's a fun and easy pattern. I think they come out a little bigger than I'd prefer.

This is the garterlac dishcloth:

The pattern can be found at It was a lot of fun to make. I expect to make lots more of them.

This is this month's mid-month knitalong dishcloth:

It may not look like much here, but it is illusion knitting. You can see here:

. . . it's a candy corn. Clever, eh? I can't take credit for the pattern, just the knitting.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Monthly Dishcloth KAL and new WIP

It's a cat!!!

I may be a nerd, but this really was fun. Only 8 rows a day and then the project rests the rest of the day. The next one calls for black, orange, yellow and white yarn. An intarsia candy corn on a black background?? I would think that's too challenging for a dishcloth, but I can't figure out anything else!

The newest WIP is a sweater for my dear, dear son. It is Sherwood from the Fall 2006 issue of Knitty.

It's only a couple inches, but I'm liking it so far. The yarn was cheap acrylic/rayon blend Caron Simply Soft tweed. I don't know that he would have been a good risk for wool anyway with his sensory issues, and this will be easy care as well.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dishcloth KAL and speedy knitting/felting

Ok, so I am a total nerd and joined this monthly dishcloth knitalong group. But it's fun! They only send out 8 or so lines of a pattern per day so you don't know what the finished product will look like till it's done. Here it is afer the first two days:

And after the third day (today):

I was thinking yesterday that it might be a cat, and today I'm relatively sure it will be a cat. We'll see!

This is my sophie bag pre-felting. I picked up some of Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) Friday, played around with a swatch Friday night, decided to do a Sophie bag, cast on Saturday morning, finished the bag part by Saturday night, finished the handles on Sunday during the Colts game, and felted it Sunday afternoon. I am amazed at the speed with which I did this. The SWS is so pretty! The colors fade into each other very nicely, and it feels nice too.

This is the bag after felting. I only ran it through the washer on hot/cold once. It could maybe handle a little more felting, but I like it this size. I thought I might give it away for Christmas, but I like it an awful lot and don't know if I can part with it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yes, there has been knitting this summer.

Three pairs of socks, a purse, a sweater and some cell phone cozies.

This pair is the basic sock pattern in Cat Bordhi's "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles." In retrospect, I didn't really need this book and I find it annoying that she doesn't give more detailed instruction on some things. I think she fibbed on one of her socks too; I swear the winged foot socks look like they have a short-row heel in the picture, but the instructions are for a heel-flap. Anyway, I really liked the pattern. This is actually the second pair I made from this pattern. Imagine these in stripes of pink, blue, and green instead of red, yellow, and blue. I gave that pair to my mom before taking a picture. What was I thinking? I hadn't originally intended them for her, but they turned out a little small for me.

These are from a Leisure Arts publication, "Learn to Knit Socks," available at your local Joann's probably. The pattern is This Little Pinky. There's a bit of a lacy thing going on in the leg. This is the pair the first of which was pictured in an entry back in June. I constructed them totally differently. The first was a traditional, cuff down, heel flap pattern. On the second one I started at the toe and did "Cat's turned toe" from SSOTCK, worked the foot normally to the heel, taught myself to do a short-row heel with the help of an online tutorial, then worked up the leg and used kind of an invisible, almost kitchener stitch-like bind off. I don't know what the official name for the bind off is, but I found it on

This is Lucy Bag #5. I still haven't located #1. This is the one from Paton's Classic that I intended to replace #1 since I can't find it.

These are cell phone cozies. I adapted a pattern from a kids knitting book. Then I adapted it further to start from an invisible cast on and knit it in the round rather than flat with seamed sides. Don't like seaming. The yarn is Knitpicks Memories in Red Hat. I specifically picked this colorway because I intend these to be sold at the extension homemakers' holiday festival this year, and lots of the extension homemakers are Red Hat ladies. Other members of the extension chorus are making more of these in other colors and also in crochet instead of knit.

And the sweater. I liked this pattern. It was in a little Paton's ad booklet in Vogue last fall or winter. The pattern called for Paton's Divine, but I used Joann's Sensations Angel Hair. It turned out ok. It's very warm so it will be more of a jacket type sweater for wearing outside this fall rather than a cozy wearing around the house sweater. I learned that I really don't like seaming. I will either stick to in the round sweaters or adapt them for minimal seaming. I just need a little more experience. I could not have made up the adapting as I went along because this yarn did not frog well. Trust me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Gettin' busy with the ball winder or Raiders of the Lost Acrylic

So I was making grocery bag "yarn" yesterday and had the ballwinder out. My acrylic stash--or part of it...if I'm being honest there are probably 6-10 skeins of acrylic in the downstairs closet with the "good" yarn--started calling to me to be organized and rescued from moldering away in a bin in the master closet. Most of this stash of yarn I've had for 10 years or so--let's call them "the crochet years"-- back when I was still doing almost all crochet and no knitting:

This is the stash after much time with the ballwinder:

Some lovely UFOs I came across along the way:

My dear friend Rebecca, when she found out she was pregnant with her son (I think he's about 9 now), was into all the latest research about stimulating babies' eyes with black and white and polka dots. I was asked to make a baby blanket with black and white. *twitch* I made two attempts. I tried, Beck, I really tried! See, here's the proof!

I'm thinking about sending these to her so she can make something out of them. Maybe a doll blanket for her daughter. I think either one would make a nice stole; they're just long enough. Anyway, I'm going to send her the guilt and get it out of my house! That poor baby never did get an afghan from me. :(

I was going to make this scrap yarn afghan for a friend and use up all the scraps in my stash. The pattern was going to require I make 803 little squares. Yeah, I got bored. In the "after" shot above there's a Payless Shoe Source bag stuffed with the squares and the yarn for joining. Pictured here are a completed strip of squares and a strip in the process of being joined together.

These are some strips I started when I got tired of the little granny squares:

The only things I completed the first time I tried to learn to knit were dishcloths. This square is the only thing I completed the second time I tried to learn to knit. It was supposed to be just one square of an entire afghan of squares. Yeah, it's still the only square.

I found this square that was supposed to be part of an afghan. I think I'll make the leaves, add a border and sew it to the back of the above knitted square. Instant seasonal pillow cover!

Things I've learned from this endeavor:
1. I have an embarrassing amount of white and off white yarn.
2. I bought THREE balls of acrylic sport weight yarn to make that garter stitch scarf back when I first tried to learn to knit. WTF am I going to do with THREE balls of acrylic sport weight yarn? IN BLACK?? I have sworn off black altogether so this creates a bit of a quandry. If anyone wants some sport weight acrylic black yarn, give me a holler.
3. I actually used to do some pretty good work. I should crochet some more. But not with acrylic.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Little brag

I finished a sweater in LESS than a week! Ok, it wasn't knitted, but I still did it. This is Cupcake from "Stitch n' Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker." Though I've crocheted many, many afghans, I have never found a pattern for a crocheted garment that was the least bit appealing. Until now. There are at least two other sweater patterns in this book that I will probably make at some point. I made the sleeves first--they went SO quickly!--then worked on the back mostly during the car trip to and from the family reunion Saturday, finished up the back and started the front on Sunday, dawdled along on the front Monday and Tuesday, finished up the crocheting of the front and sewing on Wednesday, and completed the finishing touches on Thursday morning. The only alteration I made to the pattern was to take out a couple of inches of the length for two reasons: 1. I'm terribly shortwaisted and didn't want a tunic, and 2. I was using yarn originally purchased for another project and wanted to be sure I had enough to make it. I will never finish that picovoli I started, and ya know, it just really doesn't bother me!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fun with the ball winder

Since my dad made me my swift, I've been itching for some free time (and empty counter space) to set it up and wind the hanks from knitpicks. First though, here's me in a hat I made for dh, that I SWEAR I got gauge on before starting, followed the pattern measurements no matter how crazy they seemed at the time, and ended up with a hat that won't fit ANYONE's head. Dh tried to suffer with it cuz he knows how hard I worked on it, but eventually he had to break the news to me that it just wasn't going to work. Really, it's absurdly big. Check out this picture of it on me. Note how far up I have it folded, and it still comes to my chin.

So it's being frogged and wound back into a ball. Maybe it will have a new life as hats for two people. Heck, there might be enough yarn in the thing to make matching hats for the whole family! Anyway, here it is after frogging and winding.

On to the yarn from knitpicks. It is Sock Memories in Grandma--lovely name for yarn...not! Anyway, I had tried to wind it after getting my winder and before getting the swift. I don't recommend it. Here's the set up with the swift and winder.

Two of these things are not like the others. Two of these things are kind of the same. Two of these things are lumpy and funny-looking. And now we'll play our game. It's time to play our game. Which two balls were wound using the swift, and which two were wound with much frustration off my hands, the furniture, strung around the house, etc.? I think you know. ;)

The ball winder is really a lot of fun. I can't wait to wind all the loose skeins I have lying around.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Here are lots of things I've started. Colors may not be true. I toook these photos by the light of this overcast, rainy morning. First we have the Lucy bag I started this morning as a birthday present to myself.
Next up, the baby socks that have been on the needles forever. Yes, I am working on two different socks at one time. At the time I started these, they were going to be for boy/girl twins. Then I got tired of the project so they've been in limbo forever. If I ever get to working on them again, I'll at least have one pair done pretty quickly, but then another whole sock to work on. *sigh*
This will some day be a picovoli. The yarn is Knitpicks Shine in blush. When I cast it on, I had just finished a honeymoon cami also in Shine and I think I was just tired of working with that yarn! I'll get back to this one eventually.
The blasted X-back tank. This stuff would be fine if I just could keep from sticking the blasted needles through it. *twitch* This project may turn into a dress for dd.
And here we have the one sock, destined to be 1/2 of a pair for an undetermined period of time, especially if the carpal tunnel keeps acting up. I'd post the pic of it on my foot, but it makes my ankle look fat, and my ankle is NOT fat, dammit!

I may post some FOs later today to redeem myself cuz I have finished stuff, really, I have!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Other Garden Pictures

I thought it'd be a nice idea to post some pictures that are NOT roses. This first one is the shade garden in front of the living room window. Those are fern leaf bleeding hearts and hosta 'striptease' and primroses mainly. You can't really make out the mini-hostas in this picture. All the way to the right in front of the bush is a heuchera 'amber waves' that greens up no matter what exposure I give it. I'll probably move it again.
This one is technically the roses, but I thought I'd post it for context. We refer to it as the rose garden. It was very hard to fit it all in.

This was supposed to be a perennial garden, but I removed the monarda when it started taking over, voles got my columbines and coreopsis, and the coneflowers just didn't come up this year. The catmint has taken over and is very pretty. The picture doesn't do it justice. Those things sticking up are irises past their prime. I don't know if I got any pics of them when they were blooming. I'll have to look.

This is a shrub rose that came with the house and the orange lilies that also came with the house. I like the lilies, but I've never been a big fan of the rose. It's very thorny. I cut it all the way back this spring when I pruned the roses. It will get quite large if allowed.

This is what's left of the above-mentioned columbines. I managed to get some seed pods off this one the year before the voles got it. I had this white one, a red and white one, and a blue and white one, all this little dwarf size, and I just loved them. Yeah, that's my foot in there to give perspective on how small they are. The little pink flower is a hardy geranium that I thought had died but must have set seed before perishing.

Yet more roses

More roses in no particular order. Most of these I haven't posted previously. Most of the ones I've previously posted are now past their prime. :(
This is the old-fashioned rose on the fence and my little helper who can't stand for me to walk around the yard without her. This rose is a very pale pink and smells just like a rose should smell--not spicy, not citrusy, not sweet, just like a rose.

This one is Showbiz, a floribunda and the only truly red rose I have.

This is JFK, a white hybrid tea and not a great one. The edges of the petals brown before the blooms are even completely open. It is not a favorite and will probably be replaced eventually.

This is supposed to be Climbing Peace, though I don't think it's a true climber. The canes don't even get very long. Queen Elizabeth is taller than this one has ever gotten. Oh well. It's pretty--the picture doesn't do it justice. It's a pretty pale yellow blushed on the edges with pink.

I have posted pics of Pretty Lady's blooms, but this is what the bush looks like in full bloom. It is just covered! I love it!

This is Queen Elizabeth. She looks particularly stately right now with several blooms open. She's about 5 feet tall too.