Friday, December 01, 2006

I lucked up

I decided to try to knit myself a pair of Fetching, so I went to my LYS on my way home. I was looking at the Cascade 220 superwash and had chosen one to try. I happened to see some Balene circular needles in a basket and was looking at them when a saleslady told me everything in the baskets was 40% off. One basket had some different yarns in it and I got three balls-2 Cascade Superwash 220 and some Classic Elite Inca Alpaca. There's only 109 yards in the Alpaca so I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, if anyone has any ideas let me know.

The Cascade is in two colors-one is an off white and the other is a brownish green-sort of olive/brown.

I also got a couple of sets of the Balenes in size 5 so I could try the Fetching on two circs.

I know the Cascade is a lighter weight than the yarn used but I don't want them bulky. Besides, they look like they fit pretty loosely on the lady's hands and I like my gloves snug. Even with the size 5 needles they still look like they'll fit me. I'm using the brown and even though I'm only at the first cable twist I'm already liking them.

However, I'm not impressed with these needles but I'll make them work. They're some sort of plastic and although they have a better join than my aluminum circs the tips are a little too flexible. The cable on the sixteen inch needles came loose but I fixed that with a drop of super glue. Good thing they were on discount, I don't think I'll buy any more of them-unless it's in larger sizes, the smaller sizes have a much too small tip. I might end up going back and getting a set of DPNs.

Anyway, for almost $40 worth of stuff, I only spent around $25 so I'm fairly happy-with the yarn anyway.

Trying something

http://www.crochetkim.com/patterns/bookmark.html

I made the angel part with some Lion Wool and an H hook. I stopped at the point where it said to stop for a pin. Now I'm running it through the wash to see how it felts. It'll be my first felted object, though a pretty small one. It only takes a couple of minutes to make-5 at most, I'd say.

I wanted to try it and see how small it'll get, I want to make a felted pin. If it works I might make some more for some of the ladies at church to wear when we do our Christmas Cantata in a couple of weeks. I know I could make them from thread in about the same amount of time and if it doesn't turn out like I hoped I might still do that but a felted one would be more-wintry-I guess you could say, since we wear a lot of wool in winter.


I'll keep you all posted, it's in the wash right now.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

When you have lots of leftovers

Make a Giant Granny! That's what I'm doing with a bunch of leftover acrylic yarn-mostly RHSS. I started out with one round of each color, now I'm just going until I run out of yarn and then attaching another color and going on, even if I run out in the middle of a round. I even have up to three colors in a round. I'll be giving it to my grandson when I'm done-babies like lots of color and this is lots of bright colors.

I tried to use the smaller balls up on the inside, working my way outside with the larger balls and skeins. Maybe when I'm done with the colors I have it'll be big enough for Joseph to be able to use for awhile-he's only 11 months old so I want to make it big enough for him to use into his toddler and beyond years.

I'll have a picture later, when I tie in some loose ends, I might wait until I finish to take a picture.

Oh yes, I'm using a K hook and it's going pretty fast.

Before I ball it up



This is my latest skein of dyed yarn. I think it's going to be another pair of socks. I'm going to use #2 DPNs this time and should hopefully get a pair out of one skein. The stitches will also be smaller, resulting in a denser fabric that will also hopefully still be soft. I have an idea for a pattern and will be trying it out as soon as I get the lilac sock off my #2 needles. I just got the heel turned yesterday and am now going up the leg-it's my version of the Seaweed sock-toe up and it seems to be working. I'm using RH baby yarn and #2 needles and the stitches are really small. I'm not sure how far I want to go up the leg, probably about like the socks I just finished-which will probably be six repeats of the pattern with the smaller gauge.

Stay tuned, the lilac sock will be lonely for awhile but I'm eager to see how this yarn will stripe. There will be splotches where colors merged but it should stripe for the most part.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I changed my mind

I said in another blog that I didn't like wrapped or YO short rows. I've changed my mind-about wrapped short rows, anyway. I figured out I was doing one side of them wrong and twisting them, that's why one side looked fantastic and the other side looked wonky. No, I did not frog back and fix them, it was a learning experience and I'm keeping it as is so I can remember what NOT to do. Wrapped short rows are my friend now. I like both wrapped and Japanese now so if I don't have safety pins with me I can still do short rows if I have to.

Now that I can do them right, they look just as good as the Japanese short rows. Now I don't have to worry about which decreases to do on the toe of a sock, I can just short row them from the bottom around to the instep and graft there. I know, more stitches to graft, but kitchener stitch is also our friend and if you remember the mantra-K, P, P, K-then you too, can have an invisible graft and having more stitches to graft together will not send you into a panic. Just remember to pull the yarn snug but not tight and no one will be able to see where you grafted. Now you can do your toes and heels any way you want and not have to worry about what the pattern says.

A little more about K, P, P, K:

You must have an equal number of sts on both DPNs. Cut yarn, leaving a long tail, this tail should be on the back DPN and to your right. Thread this end through a tapestry needle.

Insert tapestry needle into first st on front DPN as if to K, slip this st off DPN. Holding st just taken off DPN on the tapestry needle, insert tapestry needle into next st on front DPN as if to P (leave this st on DPN) and pull yarn snug, insert tapestry needle into first st on back DPN as if to P and slip this st off DPN. Holding st just taken off DPN on the tapestry needle, insert tapestry needle into next st on back DPN as if to K (leave this st on DPN) and pull yarn snug.

Note: Do not pull yarn tight, just pull it snug.

Repeat these directions until all sts have been worked off needles.

If these directions are followed then you should have a seamless join.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's out and drying

The yarn I just dyed. It looks like there are some light pink streaks in the yellow that are really interesting. There are also two shades of red and that purple-which looks kinda purpley-mauve now and is really pretty.

Unfortunately, my camera is at the house and I'm not so pictures will have to wait until tomorrow. It'll probably still be damp in the morning but I have it hanging in the baby's room, out of everyone's way-Joseph sleeps in their room in his crib-one day he'll be moved to his room, when Jen is comfortable with it, right now, he still coughs in the night and wakes up around 4 am so he still sleeps in their room.

More dyeing experience

I've recently discovered the fun that is creating your own yarn colorways. Since I found Lion Wool at our local W-M I've been trying it out. I had to do two balls the same to avoid SSS and I have another ball cooking right now.

I mixed Berry Blue with Tropical Punch in one jar, two cherrys in another, two lemonades in another and two strawberries in another. The first one has an interesting shade of purple that I can't wait to see how it turns out when dried. The strawberry looks like it's going to be a deep red and the cherry looks like it's going to be a bright red. There's some bleedover from the cherry and strawberry into the lemonade so there will be some orange spots there, I'm sure.

This will be pretty close to self-striping since I wound a hank about 9 feet long but with the bleedover from the jars there will also be some surprise spots-good, I like surprises and consistency scares me-most of the time ;)

Anyway, pics will be forthcoming when it's all cooked and hanging.

I can finish my socks now!

Maybe I should clarify, I don't know if I posted anything about this here but I dyed a ball of Lion Wool a couple of weeks ago just to see how hard it was-it wasn't hard at all and I got some really pretty varigated yarn to play with. I decided to do some socks but I ran out when I turned the heel of my second sock. Determined not to leave that first sock lonely I dyed my other ball of wool yesterday the same colors as the first, I even remembered the order of the dye. I just finished balling it up, making sure I balled it so that the colors came out in the same order as the first ball, and now I can finish my socks and probably have enough left over to do a hat or a scarf or something to match.

See here

This was the first ball I did, and the first sock. As I experiment with short rows I should be able to make them better, I left the mistakes and ugly rows to remind me of what not to do. Since they're for my feet I figured I could do that.

I'm definitely making more socks, they're very comfy.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A new pattern

I had a pattern for top down wristwarmers running around in my head last week so I broke out some yarn and a hook and tried it out. It worked and now I have written the pattern out and posted it to my Pattern Blog.



I really like how fast they work up and you can play with them by using different yarns and hooks. You can also do the ribbing in different colors if you need to use up some of those pesky leftover balls of yarn that roll around in your stash. I'm working on some like that in RHSS so they'll need to be washed with fabric softener before they'll be soft enough to wear but I have a lot of that in my stash.

Anyway, enjoy the pattern and stay tuned for the knit version coming up as soon as I get the needles that I need.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ribbed Wristwarmers

These are so easy and versatile because you can adapt them to any yarn or hook size. I like making them with WW yarn and a larger hook so they're warmer and take only a couple of hours to make a pair.

I think it's the perfect mindless project for Christmas gifts, especially if you need something last-minute.

Just remember when you use bulkier yarn and larger hooks you won't need as many stitches or rows as called for in the pattern. I'd measure around your wrist and thumb and then allow about an inch or so for stretch but no more than 2-3 ribs (4-6 rows) for thumbhole, you don't want it to be too big. For the extra stitches added on for the top, depending on the bulkiness, I would add no more than 10+1 for turning-depending on how much of your knuckles you want to cover.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cute doggie

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I made this yesterday for our little toy pomeranian, Furby. She gets cold in wintertime and I knew it would be really chilly today and didn't want her getting cold. She hates sweaters when they're first put on her and sulks for awhile but after about a day she's ok with them. I might sit down and write down how I did it but it would only fit tiny dogs about 5 pounds or so.

I used Bernat Softee Chunky in True Yellow and a K hook.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Finished poncho



Pattern: Easy Poncho

Materials: Bernat Frenzy-2 balls each in red, black, purple and white

Straight needles size 11

Large eye needle for sewing and weaving in ends.

I CO 45 sts and worked 17 garter ridges (2 garter rows), changing colors on the right side on the last half of the ridge. Same with BO, on the last half of the last ridge. I got one color block out of each ball of Frenzy and made two rectangles in red, black, purple and white. I sewed the end of the red block to the side of the purple/white, forming the poncho.

It's really soft and cushy and I love it-the sides come just to my elbows and the points to the top of my thighs.

I wanted to hurry and finish it since a cold front is on its way and this weekend is supposed to be chilly and I wanted to wear it to church.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Branching Out

Branching Out

A lot of knitters that I know are/have done this as a first lace project so I finally decided to do one too. Before I spent any money on good yarn to use I decided to see if I could do the pattern so I got out some Bernat Softee Baby and size 10½ needles, cast on and did one pattern repeat.

The pattern is relatively easy, as long as I work from the written directions as opposed to the chart-I've never knitted from a chart before and the one in this pattern confused me. I've written down the relavent parts of the pattern repeat so I can knit it wherever.

Now that I knew I could knit it I made a trip to my LYS. Since my budget is really tight I didn't want to spend over $20, preferably much less. I found some Jaeger Baby Merino DK in Olive for $6.76 and got that. I also got some Jaeger Baby Merino 4 ply in a pretty blue. The 4 ply is fingering weight so I'm using a pair of size 2 needles and knitting a pair of wristwarmers. Yes, this is crocheted-I adapted it to knitting. I'd already made plenty of crocheted ones so I wanted to see if I could do something similar in knit and I did it. They were done in WW acrylic on size 10½ needles since it was a trial, now I'm making them in the fingering yarn and size 2 needles. The crochet ones are also done in fingering yarn but I usually did mine in WW for snugglier warmers.

I'm also going to keep knitting the scarf in the acrylic baby yarn and see how it turns out. Before anyone runs in here throwing balls of fugly yarn at me and telling me that I can't knit lace with acrylic because acrylic won't block-I already know that, that's why I'm using baby yarn and big needles. While it won't show the lace as well as a blocked wool I think it'll be pretty in its own right. And since it's Bernat Softee Baby it'll be soft too.

Anyway, when I get them done expect pictures-of the scarves and the wristwarmers.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Knit poncho

I don't know if I wrote about this here or not but last weekend I started knitting a poncho out of Bernat Frenzy. I had picked up a bunch of it at W-M last year when they had it on clearance for $2 a ball, I guess they were discontinuing it.

Anyway, I'm knitting the Easy Poncho, I found the link to the pattern at Knitting Pattern Central

I really like how it's turning out, I've finished the first rectangle-done in four different colors. It took durn near a whole ball to do each color block and I had just enough left to bind off the last color. There's 68 garter ridges instead of 66-I did 17 ridges in each color. I'll put up a picture soon, I don't have my camera with me, it's at home and I'm not.

Now I can't wait for colder weather so I can wear it and show it off after I finish it ;)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tilli Tomas Yarn

Sarah's Yarns: Tilli Tomas Conclusion

I'd never even heard of this yarn before I checked the Knitting community at my LJ. Now that I've read the full story-this link is the conclusion-I won't be buying this yarn-not that I can afford to buy any high-end yarn except on rare occasions.

Their comment about Lion Brand really set me off-Lion Brand makes some very nice yarns-in fact, I just made myself a guitar strap with their Suede that I absolutely love. I still have to frog it back a little and redo it since I didn't account enough for the stretch but I like it otherwise. I'll post a picture as soon as I get it the way I like it.

I think I'll also give Sarah's website a look-see as soon as I have time-the new season of CSI:Miami is starting ;)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

More on the guitar strap

I got two balls of Lion Suede in ecru and am about halfway through with the strap. It's a bit wider than my leather strap but I like them wide. I don't think I'm going to need to line it, I'm crocheting it holding two strands together and using an I hook so there's very little give in it.

I also got one of those fleece things that wraps around your car's shoulder belt-it's just the right size. I won't be using it for this, though, Ricky said he wants this strap for the acoustic bass and it isn't that heavy. He can use the fleece on one of his other leather straps on one of the heavier guitars he has. All three of his electric guitars are heavy because they're also old-from at least 1972-1978 when they made guitars to last. Being as heavy as they are, at least 50# each, if you don't have a wide leather, cushioned strap it would be almost impossible to play the guitar for any length of time standing up-the stress on your shoulder would be enormous.

I'm liking how this color is doing, it would go with just about anything but you could choose from any color in Suede that you liked, as long as you used two strands held together.

Look for the pattern when I have time to write it down and perfect it.

An anniversary gift

I saw this while browsing around Knitting Pattern Central the other day and I got to thinking. Ricky needs a new strap because he has more guitars than he does straps. The problem is, he's a plain, country type of guy and I don't think he would like a fur-trimmed strap.

What he actually wants, and can't find anymore (and probably couldn't afford it if he found it), is a wide leather one with a fleece lining. He has one that he's had for longer than we've been married (and we're coming up on 28 years) and I started thinking. I can use it for sort of a template and use Lion Suede and get some fleece polishing cloths from the automotive department. All in all, I don't think it would be too bad of a deal. I'm also going to crochet it instead of knit-I think it'll be sturdier that way. The fleece lining will give it some stability against any stretching as well. I don't think the suede will stretch as much as regular yarn anyway.

Anyway, I need to make a trip to W-M and see if they're still carrying Lion Suede, maybe later today, while Ricky is resting-he hates going into W-M because for some reason whenever he goes in there he ends up getting sick.

If it turns out then I might post my instructions in my Original Patterns blog since I haven't seen any crocheted guitar straps.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm almost finished with the back of Joseph's sweater-only about 10 or so rows to go. I'll probably alternate working the sweater, hat and pants so that I can finish them approximately at the same time-it looks like the pants won't take as long since I'm using slightly bigger needles on them and the hat should fit this time (I didn't frog the other one, I'm saving it for a gift next time there's a baby shower somewhere.) I still should have plenty of yarn-I got extra of all three colors.

I made a hotpad/potholder in doubleknit with the teddy bear pattern and it turned out really nice. I don't have a picture of it since it was a gift and I didn't have time to take a picture but I will make another one and get a picture of it. I used two different shades of green to make it and they looked well together. I don't know if I'll use the greens again or two other colors but as soon as I finish Joseph's outfit I'll make another one-I want one anyway. I do need to finish the outfit first before Joseph outgrows it-I think I'm making it big enough that by the time I'm finished it should fit but we all know how fast babies grow.

Once I get the back of the sweater done the rest shouldn't take as long since the back is the biggest piece.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Knittie Madness

I'm trying my hand at this double knitting technique I read about. You use two different colors of yarn and when you're done your work is one color on one side and another color on the other side. If you work a pattern into it-I'll be trying that next, once I get the technique down good- then one side will be an x-ray of the other-dark bg on one side, light bg on the other.

It's a really interesting technique-basically you're just doing a 1x1 rib with two different colors-you cast on double the # of stitches you actually need with one of the colors and then you knit one stitch with one color and purl the next stitch with the other color-always carrying both yarns to the back or front- so you come out with stockinette on both sides. You're basically working on both sides of the piece at the same time. I did some Googling on this technique and I've found different ways of casting it on and I intend to try the other methods later.

If you're making something with more than, say, 50 stitches a circular needle would come in handy to accommodate the larger number of stitches. The result of this is a thick fabric-the thickness depending on the weight of yarn used-and would be useful for potholders, really warm scarves, wraps, baby afghans, lapghans.

I'll keep you updated on my progress, I'm trying a rectangular wrap with two different varigated yarns.

It's been a few hours since I wrote the above-I had to frog it and start over because somewhere I either had two knits or two purls and I didn't feel like looking for them and since it was just the first row I decided to just frog and do-over. I cast on 150 sts, which will give me a 75 stitch wide wrap-not sure how long I'll make it, I'll go to the end of the skeins of yarn and see if it's long enough. I can always get more, it's RHSS and Wal-Mart carries it.

Anyway, one thought of mine is-you definitely need to do this technique with two different colors of yarn or you'll get lost pretty quick over which yarn to use on which stitch-I would recommend either two shades of the same color or two contrasting colors. I'm using a varigated blue and a varigated berrys, they should look neat together.

One last thing-what's up with Blogger? It's slow, timing out, I can't click anything in the toolbar-has Google frelled it up completely?

Well, I posted this at MySpace since when I tried to post it here I couldn't do anything, now it seems to be behaving itself.

More notes: I've found a rythm that lets me go at a pretty steady pace. It still isn't as fast as regular knitting because of juggling two yarns but I expected that. It's not exactly mindless since you have to be careful about which yarn you're supposed to be using. I intend to experiment a bit more after I make this wrap, maybe in a potholder size so I don't have so many stitches to work with but I will finish this wrap-I'm five rows in and I like the way it's looking and the thickness will make it nice and warm. If I use yarn in this thickness it should make good potholders-I wonder if I used cotton yarn if it would make a nice thick scrubbie *ponders*

I'll get to that some other time-after I finish this wrap, Joseph's outfit and some other things.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I got challenged

In my LJ. I commented in one of my friend's journals and she answered questions and gave me a challenge. She challenged me to make a doll out of materials I had.

This challenge was over a week ago and I had to finish something before I got started.

I'm making an amigurumi type doll, not sure how I'm going to stuff it, dress it or anything else but at least I have an idea of what I'm going to do. I think I'm going to stuff it with beans and make it a bean bag, it won't be very big anyway.

I hope it turns out at least nice looking.

Stay tuned.

I thought I lost it

Well, not my mind-that's been long gone ;)

I had joined a knitting forum months ago when I got back into knitting and when my computer went out that means I lost all my bookmarks.

That's why I'm glad I post nonsens in blogs-I had posted about it here and just kept going back through my archives until I found it.

It's Knitting Forums just in case anyone who's a knitter reads this blog.

They're pretty small, they only have just over 300 members but it's a nice, clean looking board and the administrators are very good at helping when you have a problem.

Been long gone.

I got away from crafting again, I even stopped going to Crochetville and KnittingHelp.

I did finish a baby blanket yesterday for a lady who's just had a baby girl. I don't have a picture yet cause I can't find my camera but as soon as I can I'll post a picture.

I used JoAnn Sensations Rainbow Boucle in berries and it's really pretty and soft. I hope the mama likes it, I'll be giving it to her Sunday.

It's just a simple diagonal crochet square with two rounds of dc for a border.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

To all the knit (and crochet) snobs out there

This has never happened to me, and I hope it never does but I have something to say about it anyway because it does happen, I've read about it.

Just because somebody isn't knitting (or crocheting) the way you do it does NOT mean that they are doing it wrong!! I've read a number of posts on various boards I belong to from women who are afraid they aren't doing something right because some woman walked up to them while they were sitting, minding their own business and crocheting (or knitting) and told them they were doing it wrong. What gave you the right to tell ANYONE they were doing something wrong just because they weren't doing it precisely the way that you do it? Did the article they were making look like it was supposed to look? If it did, will you please tell me why you told the person that they were doing it wrong? IMNSHO, I think some people probably quit crocheting/knitting after having encounters like this and that's a crying shame. No one should be made to feel embarrassed because s/he knits/crochets the way they do.

Knitting and crocheting is just like any other art-open to interpretation. There are as many ways to hold the hooks, needles and yarn as there are people who crochet/knit. Every crocheter/knitter will tweak a pattern so that it fits her style/shape/taste so just because it doesn't look like the one you made doesn't automatically make it wrong.

What's right is what's right and comfortable for YOU, not what someone ELSE thinks you should be doing.

If you ask me, if we all crocheted/knitted exactly the same way we'd all get bored with one another really, really fast.

So the next time someone stops and tells you that you're doing it wrong just smile and say "Thank you." Then continue with whatever you're doing.

All of the above is my own opinion-YMMV ;)

That was my rant for today, stay tuned.

As you can see

If you also peek at my sidebar, I've finished the blue crochet socks. I will have a pic up later when I can get socks and camera in the same house.

There's a little bit of discrepancy in them, I made the cuff smaller since the first sock's cuff was a bit big then I made the heel and foot just like the first sock but I think my gauge was off because the foot's a little too small, not so small as to make me want to frog it, it's just a hair too small. I'll probably just mostly wear them around the house anyway so why go to a lot of trouble if it isn't bothering me?

Anyway, I at least thought you people would like an update post.

I will be making more like this later, when I finish some of the stuff you see on the sidebar.

DPNs vs Circs

Both have their good points and bad points. DPNs are great for small things knitted in the round. For those who are intimidated by using more than two needles the alternative is knitting small circumferences on two circulars instead or using Magic Loop, both of which are fine alternatives.

Circulars are also best for larger circumferences, such as sweaters and bags. DPNs are really good for socks, or two circs, whichever is more comfortable for you.

I did have two socks on two Boye #2 circs (seaweed toe-up) and I transferred each sock to a set of DPNs. The Boye does not have a smooth join from cable to needle and I was wasting a lot of time trying to get the stitches from cable to needle to be worked. Until I can get some circs with smoother joins from cable to needle I'm going to stick with DPNs for socks. I've heard a lot of good stuff about Addi Turbos so I might look into those when I have some more funds since they're on the pricey side, but seem to be worth it since I have heard very little negative stuff about them.

I do know for straight knitting I'm starting to prefer circs over straights-they're easier on my hands and wrists. I also like the bamboo DPNs since they aren't cold so I might also look into bamboo circs as well.

Anyway, everything you see written here is the opinion of me and me only, YMMV.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A reminder

If you like collecting patterns, especially free ones, don't miss Annie's Attic free pattern of the day. It only goes up for 24 hours then it's replaced with another so it pays to check and see what they have because I've found some gorgeous patterns there when I've remembered to check.

Especially today's (5/8/06), a beautiful, granny type MAM afghan.

Just thought I'd let you crocheters out there know. I don't think I've run across any knit ones but I sometimes forget to check and when I do check the patterns are usually crochet.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The percent bars

Just in case anyone's interested in the percent bars on my sidebar, you can get the code here. As long as you do exactly as he says the codes will work and all you have to do is change the percent number anytime you think about it or make significant progress on whatever project you're counting down. To me it could be a real motivator to finish some UFOs I have around the house.

I think I'll only work on the ones I have bars for, that way when I finish them I can put more bars up for other UFOs and work on them. Who knows, maybe I'll finish most of my UFOs or frog them-that's what the Finish or Frog CAL is all about anyway ;)

Found a sweater pattern I like

I've been searching for a sweater (cardigan/jacket type) to crochet or knit for quite some time now and I found one today. It's Annie's Attic free pattern of the day. It's called Hand-Paint Medley and it's really pretty. I can't get the Brown Sheep Handpaint unless I order online. I have some RHSS in my stash in white that I'm going to try. My gauge swatch was 4" wide by 4½" tall-just the row gauge was off and I don't think that should give me many problems. I don't think I'm going to let that worry me, it'll just make the sweater a little longer and give me more freedom-I don't like tight clothes anyway.

I know RHSS isn't the best stuff in the world but I really can't afford anything better right now, if I like the way this turns out I might do another one in WotA when I can afford to get some, KnitPicks would be one of the only other places where I could get nice, quality yarn.


Just in case anyone misses/missed the pattern, this is what it looks like:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

I for one am glad I decided to check out the free pattern today, I know I've missed a bunch by not checking every day-will have to remind myself to do that, it only takes a minute.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I finished

I finished the socks I was knitting from Regia. No pics yet, the socks are at the house and I'm not, maybe tomorrow if I remember to bring them with me.

They weren't hard to do, just a basic ankle sock, I just got bored with the simple pattern and put the second one down for awhile. That's usually the basis for SSS-Second Sock Syndrome-and I wasn't going to go down there, I wanted to wear my socks and the only way to do that was to finish the second sock.

To counter that problem in the future I think I'm going to try two socks on two circulars method. I'm practicing with baby yarn and it looks like they're going well. I'm doing a toe-up method using short row toes which I had to do each toe seperately before working on both socks at once. I wasn't keen on trying the figure 8 cast on or any other that started at the toe end. I did the Japanese short row method and that seemed to work the best out of all of the short row methods. You do have to be careful when you do this because you could skip a stitch and turn your row too soon (ask me how I know). This isn't something you want to be doing while watching tv, at least until you get the toes done. The foot of the sock is plain on bottom and I'm doing the Seaweed pattern from the Seaweed Sock. I plan on doing a short row heel and doing the seaweed pattern all the way up the leg, depending on how much yarn is in the smaller ball that I'm using. I don't like socks that come up too far on my legs anyway so we'll see how tall I make them, depends on how tight they feel on my foot. I do not like a tight sock, which is why I've started making my own instead of buying them because store bought socks have all been too tight in the leg for me.

Anyway, stay tuned for pictures.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bonkers, or not?

Yesterday afternoon while I was playing with my slipper sock I got a wild idea. I had been watching our toy pomeranian, Furby, trying to get on the couch. Usually she'll just rear up on it near me and I'll help her up. The floors are wood so she can't get a good grip to jump. Yesterday she jumped on a pillow that gave her just enough lift and grip that she could just get herself up.

What was my idea? Well, to give you a clue-has anyone seen those infomercials about helping little dogs who can't jump to get up on couches, chairs, beds, vehicles, etc.? It hit me yesterday-I have a ton of acrylic yarn in various amounts, why couldn't I knit/crochet a small set of steps to help her get on the couch without help? I didn't have a lot of time to experiment yesterday since it was almost time for church and it was our monthly fellowship so today I'm putting my idea to the test. I've got one set on the needles and another set on a hook and we'll see how both turn out.

I'm toying with the idea of putting in a zipper so it can be washed but I haven't decided yet, zippers aren't easy to put in right.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Finally!

A short row heel I can live with!

I just finished the Japanese short row the way Nona describes it and I have nice looking short row heels. At first it looks funny but continue doing it and it works itself all out and you have no holes to speak of.

When I go back to knitting around I do pull up a loop between needles, slip it to the left needle and k those two sts together to close any hole between heel and instep, do this for both sides then continue knitting around until you get to your toe shaping. I'm not that far yet but it won't be long, I am using RHSS and 10½ circular needles. This is going to be more of a slipper sock/bootie with the top coming up right around my ankle.

Will post a pic when I'm finished.

I'll most likely finish my other striped sock before I go on to make the other slipper, it's getting a bit warm to be wearing slippers but I can now make some for gift giving now, when I can get some yarn worth making gifts out of anyway.

Frogging and swatching

I frogged the slipper and started a swatch to see if I could get the wrapped short rows right. They seem like a lot of work and still don't look right so I tried the YO short rows and was a little happier with them although I'm not exactly sure I did them right. Today I'm going to try the Japanese short rows. From reading Nona's account of them they seem like the easiest ones to execute and she says they look the best so I'm going to give them a try.

I hope I can find a way to close the gap on short rows satisfactorally because I'd like to do heels in them and maybe even attempt the toe-up sock. That's the one Wendy designed but I just can't get the short rows to work the way she writes them, maybe I'm just not reading it right but if I can get the Japanese short row to work then I can try it with those instead. That's what we do with patterns, isn't it? We modify them to suit ourselves.

Anyway, back to this slipper sock and my experiments while the grandson is sleeping ;)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Experimentations

If a knitter/crocheter never tries new things s/he becomes stagnant and most likely will get bored with what s/he's doing. I'm trying some new things in knitting.

I'm conducting a little experiment in short rows and knitting small circumferences using the magic loop method.

I'm making a slipper sock with worsted weight acrylic yarn. I've just done the heel in short rows and they look a bit holey and I've found out I didn't wrap them right, I wasn't reading the instructions right understanding how to do it, so on the next sock I'm going to try wrapping them right. I found a nice, clear explanation here. Why am I not just frogging the slipper back? I read a knitter should keep her mistakes so she can see what she did wrong and not to do the same thing again on another project. Besides, these are just practice and will only be worn by me around the house so looks aren't top priority. It's just acrylic yarn, if it was a gift in some insanely high-priced luxury yarn then yes, I would frog it back.

My next experiment will be the Japanese short row and the YO short row. I'll see which method I like in terms of ease and looks then use that on my next pair of socks.

Do I like the magic loop method? Yes, I do, the only thing I'll have to practice is getting it done without any ladders at the joins. I might try, as one person suggested, pulling the loop through at different places periodically or I'll just try to adjust my tension. I'm not sure which way would be faster, we'll see.

I do like the short row heel, it's faster and neater looking than the traditional heel flap/gusset so if I can find a method I like and can do without holes I might switch to that style of heel with all the socks I do.

Just FTR-my gauge with RHSS and #10-1/2, 29" Boye circular is 4 sts and 6 rows to 1"

My next experiment after this will be two socks on two circulars, I already know how to do one sock on two circulars so now it's time to try two, this time with sock yarn, or the equivalent. I still need to acquire two #2 circs in different lengths-might as well get different lengths, that way I don't have too many circs in one length.


If you haven't noticed, I kind of like NonaKnits, she's funny and explains things in a way that can be understood by almost anyone. You should give her blog a read and brush up on some techniques that you might have been afraid nervous about attempting before because you didn't understand exactly how to do them. You can find several tips and techniques linked on the right sidebar.

Pick up your needles and give something new a try, you won't regret it!

Edit: OK, I frogged it back, not because of the ugly heel but because it's a little too big for my foot. If I'm going to wear them they might as well fit. I tried it on-another reason I like magic loop or two circ methods and it was just too big enough that I decided to frog back.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Knitted sock

I just finished my first knitted sock from sock yarn. It looks pretty decent for a first effort, guess that practicing with baby yarn was a big help plus the fact I'm pretty good at picking up new things.

Here's a couple of piccies:






The other one is on the needles and I'm getting ready to turn the heel so it won't be long before it joins its mate on my feet.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Other knitting adventures

What could be more adventureous than knitting socks? Learning to knit in a totally different style than the one you learned on.

The lady who taught me to knit taught me the English method and I've used that all my life. I never really could grasp the technique of Continental-really, for years I didn't think there was any other way of knitting than the way I was doing it. After I heard about Continental I looked at books and pictures but could never grasp the concept, I guess it never clicked, until the other day when I was browsing a knitting help site that had videos of different techniques. I was looking at a video of magic loop knitting and she was doing it continental. I got to thinking that that didn't look as hard as I thought so I picked up some needles and gave it a try.

It's not really all that hard, unless you're a beginning knitter. Since I'm a crocheter it came pretty easily although I will admit that it was a bit clumsy until I found a method that worked for me. I admit it's a faster way of knitting because it eliminates a step (the throwing) and makes transitioning from knit and purl stitches much easier.

So I have nothing bad to say about English or Continental knitting. Unlike (some) hardcore believers in either method I'm not going to run up to knitters who aren't knitting the way I do and tell them they're doing it the wrong way. Neither will I tell a crocheter doing things differently than I do that it's wrong either. What's right is what works for you, not what works for me. Besides, if everyone did things exactly the same way all the time this world would be an extremely boring place to live in.

Sock adventures

I've gotten back into socks for small knit projects between larger crochet or knit projects.

As a practice I started a Seaweed Sock in some Bernat Soft Baby yarn in mint and some #3 dpn. I know, not exactly sock yarn but this is practice and if I finish the pair I'll have something to wear around the house that looks pretty nice. The first one is down to the foot, I've gotten past the heel flap with no problems, had to frog the heel shaping twice before I got it right and the gusset shaping was no problems. We'll see how the toe shaping goes when I get to it.

I have started another pair of socks in actual sock yarn. I splurged and went to my LYS and bought some Regia 4 in color #5759, a blue-gray, gray, white self-striping yarn. I'm doing a basic sock, using #2 dpn, not really following any pattern (I know how to do all the basic shaping) and letting the stripes be the focus. When I move onto patterned socks I'll probably get some solid sock yarn instead and not at my LYS, I think I'm going to start getting all my sock yarn from Knitpicks or Elann because the prices they have for sock yarn of the same wool/nylon content I'm using are about half of what I can get it for at my LYS or at Herrschner's or any other craft place or site. At Knitpicks, if I get $40 or more worth of stuff I can also get free shipping, that's a lot of socks. Maybe I can scare up a free code # too so maybe I wouldn't have to get that much at one time but who wouldn't want to have enough yarn to make 9 pairs of socks, that would only be app. $54 and you'd have enough socks to last awhile or give as gifts or you could make hats, gloves or mittens if you got tired of socks. The other wools there are also very reasonably priced so when I get ready to try a felted project I'm getting some of their WotA (Wool of the Andes) yarn, I've heard mostly nothing but good things about all of Knitpicks or Elann's stuff, enough to give them a try anyway.

Oh, I'll post pics of my finished socks when they're done.

One other thing, switching between #2 and #3 dpn is an adventure in itself ;)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ok, I'm a liar

But then, aren't all us yarnworkers liars? We keep saying we won't start new projects until we finish some old ones. I said I wasn't going to start anything big until I finished my blue shawl. Well, I lied. I started a Serafina in the JSRB Green and let me tell you it's stunning so far. The colors blend so nicely into one another and it's not that bad to crochet with, similar to Bernat Softee Baby only I don't snag the JoAnn's like I did the Bernat. I have a skirt that's almost the same color as one of the medium greens in the JoAnn's and this shawl will complement it very well.

It's not like it's a really big, tedius project, I should be done with it soon, I'll just trade off working on both JoAnn shawls until they're both done.

Shawls are really nice

Even if they go out of style I'll probably continue to use one. Personally I think they're one of those classic items of clothing that never really completely goes out of style.

I'm wearing one right now because the computer I'm using has a window a/c right behind it and the air is pretty chilly. The shawl keeps most of it off me and makes working/playing in front of the computer much better. It's the Leftover Serafina I made awhile back and I still have a couple more ends to work in. A little cool air is getting past the holes and on my bare arms but not enough to be uncomfortable. Sitting here without the shawl on was much more uncomfortable but if I shut the a/c off then the house will get too warm. Catch-22, huh? I can't move the computer because it isn't my house but at least I had left the shawl here so I have it to wear.

And yes, the vents are pointed up but some air is coming out from under them and that is what's cold.

I think I'm close to halfway finished with Peace, Be Still.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sock randomness

Before I started crocheting or knitting socks (about a year or so ago) I thought, like a lot of you who have never tried them yourselves, that it was too complicated to do but they really aren't. You look at even a basic pattern and think "I could never do that." That's exactly what I thought until I jumped right in and started making socks. I would wonder why all that stuff about heels, turning and gussets? There's a method to all that, actually.

The cuff/ankle portion is pretty straightforward-a stretchy tube, then comes the heel flap. That's just the part of the sock that goes from ankle to the bottom of your foot along your Achilles tendon. Turning it brings it around underneath your foot. Gussets-I have no idea why they're called that-just gets your stitches back to the original number you had on your needles/hook to begin with and finish shaping for the foot part then you're back to a stretchy tube again until you reach where your toes start. The toe decreases shape the sock to the ends of your feet so you don't have any leftover sock to bunch up in your shoe when you put them on.

Really, once you jump in and try it isn't all that scary. Sure, you'll mess up but didn't you mess up a lot when you were first learning to knit or crochet? Don't knock it unless you've tried it so much that it really is beyond you and I'd have to believe that would not happen all that often-about as often as a frog gets a haircut, really.

So what brought this on? Beats me, it was just something I was thinking about while I was crocheting on a pair of socks. Sure, I'm just using RH Soft Baby yarn but they're still socks. I don't wear socks that much as the weather warms up but this is the perfect time of year to be making them so I can have them for when the weather cools back off. Perhaps I'll even have been able to afford wool sock yarn for a few pairs by then. Yes, wool, it's actually a lot softer than you think it is, only a few kinds are scratchy and they don't use that for sock yarn. If you get the superwash wool/nylon sock yarn they're even machine washable so no hand washing.

So, all you sock virgins out there get your hooks/needles out and give it a try ;)

Pretty birthday prezzie

My birthday isn't until tomorrow but the girl we have as an 'adopted' teen at church gave me a pretty bag Sunday night. It's big enough to hold several projects and has an inside pocket to hold small stuff. Pretty soon I'll have a bag for all the projects I have going without having to use either W-M bags or just swapping out projects in the bags I have. Anyway, any time I see a big bag I like, and I have the money, I'll usually get it cause we yarn workers never have too many big bags, right?

Anyway, here it is, isn't it pretty? I'm already using it.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Shawls

I finished the Serafina I was crocheting in RHSS Aspen Print. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of it and more than likely won't get one because I gave it to an elderly lady, a dear friend of mine, who was moving away from our church. She wouldn't have been back after this past Sunday morning and I only found out about it then and I wanted her to have something to remind her of me. I had been wearing the shawl with a skirt that morning, the ends tucked into the waistband. When church was over I removed it, folded it and gave it to her. She was so proud to have it and I was proud to give it to her. She's a crocheter too, gave me some yarn that I made Joseph his star blanket with and that was another reason I gave her the shawl, a thank you for the yarn. Just believe me when I say that it was a gorgeous shawl, you should try one in that colorway, it only took most of 3 skeins, I just kept crocheting till I was sure I didn't have enough yarn to do anther row.

I'm now working on finishing the Peace, Be Still Shawl but I have written the pattern down for anyone who would like to try it. It's very simple, based on the feather and fan pattern without the YO increases, using regular increases instead. With the texture of the yarn I'm using I don't need any complicated patterns, the yarn is the focus of the shawl. It's here if you want to look. Even though I'm not finished with the shawl I did take a picture of it still on the needles so you can see what it looks like. I think I got the wrong side of it but it's hard to tell with the texture of the yarn so I just let it be.

So why did I call it Peace, Be Still? Well, I'm using the Dark Blue from Joann Sensations Rainbow Boucle and the tonal look of it reminds me of an ocean, sea, lake. It also reminds me about the story of Jesus and how He merely spoke the words "Peace, Be Still" to a raging sea and the sea calmed down immediately. Anyway, no matter what yarn is used, whether it's JSRB or just a plain yarn, the pattern should look lovely.

I've also started a Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl in RH Plush-light sage. The RHP is very much like the JSRB in texture but the colors are not tonal, they're solid. Plus, the RHP is four strands where the JSRB is one strand. I think the RHP is a little softer because of this but the two are very similar, as well as similar in price. The RHP has a little larger color range than JSRB but the JSRB's four colors are gorgeous, I hope they eventually come out with more of them to give us a wider choice. I probably won't be buying either one all that much due to a tight budget but once in awhile as a treat is nice. I wish I could afford to get any yarn I wanted, then I could experiment with all those other yarns out there but I just can't. Maybe one day God will let me, who knows? But for now I'll be happy with what I can afford and at least I can still knit and crochet.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

One down, two more to go

I finished the baby Serafina for Joseph and I'm really tempted to make an adult sized one later on for me, it's so cuddly soft that it would be a dream to wear and light enough for this time of year. The pattern shows up really well on this yarn and I'm glad I was gifted with it. I've used Bernat Softee Baby before, for a pair of crochet socks, but this shawl is just dreamy in this pattern.




I'm working on another Serafina in RHSS Aspen Print, almost done and a knit one in my own wavy pattern in Joann's Sensations Rainbow Boucle Dark Blue. I really like the knit one and hope whoever gets it enjoys it. The yarn is very soft and while it's a bit of a pain to work with-all boucles are-I really don't mind it. We'll see if I still feel that way when I start trying to crochet with it, won't we?

Monday, March 20, 2006

One of the Rainbow Bouclé skeins wants to be...

A wrap of my own design. It's similar to feather and fan in that the pattern is wavy but I didn't use YOs in it, I didn't want the holes that they leave, I wasn't looking for a lacy shawl. I'll be putting the pattern up when the shawl is finished so that I can post a picture of it as well. I think it would be a nice pattern to do prayer shawls with for anyone who has a prayer shawl ministry.

The dark blue yarn is very pretty and in honor of that I'm going to call it Peace, Be Still prayer shawl. After I started working on it I got the feeling that it's for someone, I just don't know who yet so I've been praying about it as I knit and I'm sure whoever it is will come to me before I'm done.

Speaking of prayer shawl ministries, I feel led to begin one, I'm just not sure how to go about it. I've made a Serafina shawl and am working on another one plus this new pattern so if I keep it up I'll be shawl poor at my house. What better way to minister to someone in spiritual need than to give them a prayer shawl that you've prayed over specifically for them while making it?

I might need to contact some of the yarn people in my church and see how they feel about joining me on this, even if they don't want to make shawls they could probably donate some yarn and I can make shawls to distribute. I'm just not sure quite yet, I need to pray about this some more and make sure this is where God wants to use the knitting and crocheting abilities that he's blessed me with.

That might be one of the reasons I've been loathe to sell anything I make, God doesn't want me to sell it, he wants me to give it away. If that's the case then He will provide a way for me to get the yarn I need to do this ministry.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's here!!

My Joann's yarn came just a few minutes ago! I was hoping it would, the tracking info said it reached my local post office on Monday. Gregg and Jen also got the afghan my mom was telling me about but I didn't open that one, I value my life too much ;)

These skeins of yarn are huge! And really soft too. I hope it works up as soft as it feels, I'm putting it aside, out of sight for now, until I get some other projects finished so I can take my time playing with it. I'm going to go to my LYS and see about getting a plastic hook since they like to crochet yarn like this better than aluminum hooks do, the aluminum hook likes to hang up in yarn like this.

The colors I picked out are really pretty too, the greens look just like I imagined, I have a skirt in that color and I think I'm going to make me a shawl out of one of the greens to go with it. Not sure yet what I'm going to do with the rest of it but I'm sure it'll tell me what it wants to be soon enough.

Just to give you some perspective, I took a pic of our toy pomeranian with 3 skeins of the yarn, I have 2 of each color:

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Anyway, wish me happy hooking, I hope I finish some of these projects soon since I can't wait to try out my Joann's yarn.

The Bernat Softee Baby told me what it wanted to be

Well, not literally, wouldn't want people thinking that I think my yarn speaks to me. In a way it does, if it doesn't want to be what I'm trying to make it to be then for some reason I can't get the pattern right to save my life.

Case: I've been trying to do a knit feather and fan afghan out of this yarn and about the time I think I get it right I still have it wrong. I've never frogged something so much in my life!

Anyway, I've started Joseph a Serafina Shawl. I'm using an H hook and it's looking very nice. After one false start (cause I still have to read the instructions for the first couple of rows) it's going along really well, a lot better than the knit afghan.

A shawl for a little boy? All babies look adorable wrapped in a shawl and this one will be mint green with the silver thread running through it and be light enough to use just about anytime.

I'm still determined to knit a feather and fan afghan, I just have to get the yarn that tells me it wants to be knit ;)

Leftover Serafina

I wanted to try the Serafina shawl pattern before using my Rainbow Bouclé so I decided to try it with some yarn leftover from other projects.

This is what I got, I still have all those yarn ends to work in but that's all.:

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It wraps around me pretty well but it's not quite as big as my black pineapple shawl. I might make the next one a little bit bigger, I have two more skeins to work with, I'm doing it in RHSS Aspen Print and it's looking really nice. It'll be a nice lighter weight one for this time of year.

Now if my Rainbow yarn would just come in I can try it with that.

Monday, March 13, 2006

It's finally finished

I finally finished my other roses afghan that the lady ordered, as soon as I can get some money I'll be sending it on to her but in the mean time, here's a pic:

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I think it turned out really nice and now I can pick and choose which of my other WIPs I want to do since none of them are special orders and just things I wanted to do.

No more special orders for awhile unless it's a really special order or it's a quickie project, I think.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Serafina update

I think I can understand how The Crochet Dude could make one of these in about 3 hours, It works up very quickly once you get the four row repeat down. It'll still probably take me longer simply because I'm doing most of the work while babysitting my grandson and crocheting while he sleeps.

The first one I started is going to be very colorful, I'm using up leftover WW scraps so there's no telling what it will look like when I'm through. It'll probably be a bit too busy for folks who like things understated but I do like bright colors and varigateds so I'll probably just keep it for myself, it was just a practice one to see how the pattern goes while I'm waiting on my Rainbow Bouclé to arrive, it was sent out yesterday.

I also started another one in a RHSS varigated called Aspen Print and it's going to look really fabulous when it's finished. I think I'll give it to the lady who liked my pineapple shawl so she can have one too. I bought 3 skeins of it and I think I might need only two of them, we'll see, this shawl doesn't take nearly as much yarn as you think, I can see why you could get two of them out of one Rainbow Bouclé skein, depending on how big you make them.

The best thing about this pattern is you decide what yarn you want to use, what hook size you want to use and how big you want to make it. I'd like to try another one in a lightweight yarn to have for Spring/Fall or cool summer nights. It'll be awhile on that though, I think I'm going to finish some of my WIPs before starting anything new, I only have three more rounds on the roses to finish then it's on to the other things.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Serafina

I think I'm going to use one of the skeins of Joann's Sensations Rainbow Bouclé that I ordered and make this shawl. It's here , very simple and easy, once you get the 4 row repeat down, mine is coming along very nicely.

My Rainbow Bouclé has just been shipped so I'm doing a practice shawl with some RHSS leftovers from other projects, trying to change colors at the beginning of a pattern repeat but I might not always be able to do that, depends on how much of the color I'm working with is there. This shawl will probably turn out very colorful since most of the leftovers will be from an afghan I've been working on called Rose in Bloom-I did the roses in 6 different colors, plus the two colors of green I used in the squares.

Anyway, I'll keep you all up to date on how it's going. I still don't see how the Dude did his in three hours. While it does work up pretty fast, I'm sure it'll take me longer than three hours total, if I add up just the time I work on it. We all work at our own pace so it'll get done when it gets done, just like all my other WIPs.

Another Pineapple Shawl

I started myself another Pineapple Shawl

For those who haven't heard, when you use yarn, a big hook and this doily pattern, you get a beautiful, comfortable shawl that's really warm. The last two I made were made from LB Homespun and the shawls turned out soft and comfy but it also takes about 5-6 skeins of it to do one, depending on your hook size and that can get on the expensive side when you have a tight budget like I do.

This one I'm making out of RHSS in Amethyst. I know there are a lot of yarn snobs out there who turn their noses up at RH, I don't. I know it's on the scratchy side and a little rough but if you wash your project and use fabric softener-liquid or dryer sheets-your project will be soft. I'm hoping to only use two skeins for the shawl but we'll see, I bought 3 of a pretty varigated to make one for a friend of mine who borrowed my Homespun one Sunday and liked it. She can't afford Homespun either and I can't at this time so I found a varigated in SS that should make a shawl that will go with just about anything she wears.

Anyway, we'll see how they turn out, they don't take too long to do, maybe a couple of evenings hard work.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It worked

I knit the afghan out according to the way I wrote it out and my stitch count remained constant. I have no idea who wrote those other three patterns out but they must have had the same math teacher because every single one of them would end up the same way-with more stitches on your needles than you cast on.

I'm also going ahead with the one I was doing the sample on-it will make a lovely wrap and I know just who to give it to.

Boy, I have so much stuff on needles and hooks I don't think I'll ever come out from under it but it's so much fun getting back into something I put down so many years ago.

I will put them all down though, so I can finish the roses I've been talking about so much-I'm on the borders now. I couldn't work on it today because the next color I need is at the house and I'm not so I'll just bring it with me tomorrow when I take over for Gregg's mom when she has to go to work-she's going to watch Joseph while I clean my swimming pools. I should be done before noon and she has to go to work at 2 so that'll be just right.

I'll also be cooking dinner too, I'm making this. I saw it and thought it looked interesting so I'll put it together before I leave Gregg's and by the time I get ready to cook it should be ready to be cooked. I'm not sure what I'll make to go with it but I need to have it ready when they all get home, we're going to church to have a practice time with some of the teens-we're doing a special program early Sunday morning so Friday and Saturday are reserved for practice.

Wish us luck.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sometimes written directions can be so wonked

I've been trying to find a pattern called Sea of Tranquility, which also seems to go by Feather and Fan. No matter what it's name, every site I've found with directions has been so wonked that I'm surprised anyone can knit this pattern. If you follow these patterns exactly as written you will end up with more stitches on your needles than you started off with and that's not supposed to happen, you're supposed to get a wavy pattern without adding stitches.

Try this dishcloth for example.

With the feather and fan pattern you're supposed to end up with the same number of stitches on your needle that you started with after doing Row 6 of the pattern row which is:

Row 6: K3, *(K2 tog) 3 times, (yo, K1) 6 times, (K2 tog) 3 times, rep from * to last 3 sts K3


If you follow that row to the letter, on each pattern repeat of that row you will end up with 3 more stitches on your needle. Anyone with any math sense knows that if you want to end up with the same number of stitches on your needle then for every YO increase you put in your pattern you should also have a corresponding dec. In this line of the pattern you have 6 YO inc in each pattern repeat and only 3 dec. That line should read:

Row 6: K3, (K2 tog) 3 times, *(yo, K1) 6 times, (K2 tog) 6 times, rep from * to last 9 sts (K2tog) 3 times, K 3.


This way, you have symmetry-by splitting the first (K2tog)6 times your project would be symmetrical.

The other two patterns I came across were for afghans and were similarly wonked, I even tried the baby afghan one and ended up with almost 200 stitches on my needles when I was only supposed to have 159.

I'm working on a pattern very similar, with minor differences, that I will be posting to my Pattern Blog very soon. If I write it right then even a beginner knitter should be able to follow it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm curious

For any knitters who read this blog-what is your favorite knitting needles to use and why?

For myself, I'm liking the circular needle for a variety of reasons.

Knitting in the round-no seams, very little sewing.
Knitting afghans in one piece-you can get a ton of stitches on a circular, especially the longer ones and you don't misplace a needle because they're attached to each other.
You can use two of them to knit small things in the round, there are a couple of websites that show how to do this, including doing socks. I still like my dpn for socks and one day might finish the ones I have on the needles but for a change of pace, doing them on two circulars is interesting.

I think I'm going to end up getting sets of circulars in different lengths. I do like the bamboo ones because the stitches don't slip off the needles as badly as they do on the aluminum circulars or straight ones. I don't think I'd get bamboo in straight needles, I'd be too afraid i'd break them but the circulars are nice.

One other thing, how are the rosewood needles to knit on? I don't think I could ever afford to get any but I am curious how they knit and might get a pair just to see.

This is just me being curious, I hang around cats too much, LOL.

Two more Moebius scarves

These are still on the needles so you can't see a lot of detail but you can see how the needles double over on themselves when you get the twist in the scarf. This is what makes the first round so difficult to do but if you persevere the rest of the scarf goes just like knitting anything else.

The fun fur one is being done in garter (k 1 rnd, p 1 rnd) since the yarn is the focus of the scarf rather than the stitch and the other one is being done in k2, p2 ribbing.



I've put the scarves down for now since I'm trying to get the feather and fan baby afghan going, hopefully this time will be the charm, then maybe I can post pics of it on the needles.

Monday, February 27, 2006

To knitters who are intimidated by the seamless Moebius

Don't be. if you've only been knitting a short while you should still be able to do one. The hardest part about the whole thing is establishing the twist then knitting the first round. After that it's pretty much routine knitting. Just make sure you use some kind of marker at your beg/end so you don't get lost.

If you've been knitting a long time, it's time to try one of these things. If you aren't sure of yourself just get some old cheap yarn out of your stash that you can practice on, get your needles out and go. I promise you won't be disappointed. As long as you do an easy stitch that looks the same on both sides-such as some kind of ribbing or seed stitch (difficult patterns could be tried later, after you get used to the technique)-then your scarf will look good. Unless you want half the scarf to look like reverse stockinette and the other half stockinette anyway.

I've got another one on another pair of needles. I decided I wanted to see what one would look like done in fun fur so I picked up two balls of LB Fun Fur in Sandstone and some RH Soft Baby in white. The white, while adding an interesting contrast to the fur, also helps me to see my stitches better. I'm doing a garter stitch (k 1 rnd, p 1 rnd) since the fun fur basically covers up the stitch detail anyway. I'm on the first purl round and it's looking really interesting, I'll post a pic when I get around my digicam so you can see what it looks like on the needles.

That gives me an idea for a future project-a tute with pics to make it easier to learn this technique but that's far into the future.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Finished

I finished my first practice knit Moebius scarf. I didn't make it very wide, I was just practicing to see what it would look like. I used some old yarn so I'm not going to take a picture of it.

It does get much easier after you suffer through getting the Moebius twist in and then do the first round, it's just a matter of knitting it to the width you want then BO and tie off. I ended up doing some of the stitches wrong in the very beginning because I wasn't watching what I was doing so I just used it as a learning experience for my next one, which I've already started.

It's going to be in RH Soft Baby and I'm using the same needles. I'm going to try something a bit different-I'm going to make it a K2 P2 ribbing and make it wide enough to use as a head covering. With the lighter weight yarn it should be useful with spring approaching and the need for heavier scarves and headwear diminishes.

Maybe I can finish it before Easter and use if for an Easter head covering, the colors are also good for easter as well as babies-soft pastels.

We'll see, I just hope I don't screw up on the stitches this time.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Some thoughts on the knit Moebius

*It's easier than the directions would have you to think.
*I wouldn't use less than a 29" length circular needle, size is irrelevant, that would depend on what you want your stitches to look like.
*If you can tough out establishing your Moebius and knitting the first round then you've got it made.
*A marker between the first and last stitch is ESSENTIAL, otherwise you would not know where the beginning/ending of your round is.

One of the sites I looked at about this said that it was easier than it would appear and that's right, it's just a bit difficult to knit with your circular doubled over on itself as if it was still in the package. Once you get past this then the rest is easy, you just knit your pattern (whatever it is) until it's the width you want it to be then end it.

You just have to pick up your needles and start knitting, not letting the first couple of rounds frustrate you. I would not recommend a beginner knitter try this until they get more experience under their belt.

Trying something I've never tried before

No, it isn't anything terribly exciting, I'm trying a knitting style I've never tried before-knitting a Moebius Scarf

Anyone knows what a Moebius strip is-a circle with only one side and one edge because it's been put together with a half-twist. I'm doing this scarf in the round with no seams to join. The technique is unusual and the first round is/will be a little slow and difficult, I just hope I can keep all my stitches on the needle as I go around.

Anyway, more on this when I get further than just starting, I'm not even halfway around the first round yet.

Editing to add: I found this person's instructions to be slightly easier to follow so I'm doing it this way, it's a bit faster and easier to get to the bottom strands.

I'm still not sure which stitch pattern I'm going to try when I get this first round done but I'm leaning towards the seed stitch which will look the same on both sides and is very easy to do, even if you are a beginner knitter, which I'm not, I just never tried this before. I also will need to dig out a safety pin to use for a marker when the time comes.

More later.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Very nearly done

With my roses afghan. I have 7 more rounds of border to crochet, then I can send it off to its recipient.

This is a picture of it before I started the border, it's bigger than me and will be quite a bit bigger with 9 rounds of border on it. That's the way she wanted it so that's the way she'll get it, I hope she likes it because I think it's the prettiest one I've done of the two I've done and this lady will have both of them.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Finished

I finished Joseph's Big Blue Star (AKA Beth's Little Star)

This is the lady who gave me the yarn I made it with, without her it probably wouldn't have been made:



This is Joseph, enjoying it:



I also finished the Newsboy Cap:



The little cross pin was a gift from my secret pal, I thought it looked kinda cool there.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Getting back into a knitting groove

I'd really like to knit more and as soon as I finish my roses afghan I think I will pick up the knitting again, I do have several pairs of socks I should finish.

Meanwhile, to get back into the groove I found a neat knitters forum. It seems to have just started so anyone out there reading this and you're a knitter come by and have a look-see, they're just as friendly as Crochetville.

I'm also working on a pair of double strand slippers which shouldn't take too long, I had to frog the first one back because it was too small-I'm using 10-1/2 needles and they used 8 so I was making them smaller just in case. Anyway, I'm glad I had a pretty long tail on my cast-on row so all I had to do was frog back to the first cast-on st and add on the number of sts called for in the first size. Looks like this might be more like it. The pictures of their slippers look kinda plain but I'm using a sportweight in white held together with RHSS in Bikini which will make some wild looking slippers-will post pictures as soon as I finish and you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, back to my knitting.

Almost finished

I'm making another beret, this one out of LB Homespun. It's for a friend of mine who's been going through cancer treatments and has lost all her hair. She liked the beret I was wearing so I asked if she wanted one and she said she did. I'm using a partial skein of a light purple that I had on hand and while it's a PITA to crochet with the hat will be soft on her head.

Will post pics when I'm done, I only have the last dec rnd then the band.

And while I'm talking about hats for others, my nephew David asked me to make him a black beret and send it to him. Didn't know my beret pattern would be so popular ;)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Joseph's Big Blue Star

Well, it will be a big blue star when I'm done, I'm only just about at the end of the first one ounce skein but it looks like I just might have enough yarn to make a fair size afghan. I know the farther out I get the more yarn it takes but it really doesn't take all that much for this type of pattern so I should have a nice size blanket if I use all seven skeins.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

I shouldn't be starting any more projects...

Yes, there's a 'but' in there. An older friend of mine from church gave me 7 one ounce skeins of really pretty light blue baby yarn because she found out her great-grandbaby was a girl instead of a boy. I finally figured out what I'm going to try to make from it-a Beth's Little Star. I hope that will be enough, it'll be more like receiving blanket weight since the yarn called for is RHWW. I'm using an H hook and it's looking really good.

I did change the way the center is done, I don't like the center hole that her instructions leave and there's other crocheters at Crochetville haven't made it because of that. What I did different was to make 14 dc + the beg ch-3 for 15 dc. Then I just make the shells of round two in 5 of the dc and skip 2 dc between them then go from there like the pattern is written-it works just as well and the afghan lays nice and flat. The only difference in looks is that the center is round instead of pentagonal and I can live with that.

Anyway, I'll have pics of it up when I'm finished, I guess I can call it Joseph's Big Blue Star ;)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Couple of wristwarmers

I made these using the wristwarmer pattern from Hip Vintage Crochet. It's really easy and lends itself to be altered if I'm using a different yarn than called for.

The first is one I made using chenille yarn, thank you, Amber. The second is just some grey yarn I got from a friend at church. I really had to alter the pattern some for the chenille one.



I would NOT recommend that a beginner try this pattern with chenille yarn, the stitches are very hard to see, beginning it and ending it is a major PITA, but worth it for the soft texture. If a beginner wants to try this pattern then I would recommend regular WW.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Two more hats

I did say I'd get pictures up of the Flapper hat and the other beret as soon as I could.

Pay no attention to the model, the hats are supposed to be the stars anyway.

The Flapper-top and side view:



The blue beret:



Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Butterfly Shawl and a beret

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The shawl was the last gift for my secret pal, as I said in an earlier entry and she loved it. The beret is for me and that's me modeling and taking the picture. The glare in the back is the windows.

The other beret I did before this one looks like it only it's varigated muted blues. I think I might make one in bright varigateds just to see what it would look like. The only other difference between the two is the bottom band, on the blue one I did a ribbed band like Dot does and on this one I just did two rounds of hdc evenly when I got down to where it fit my head. I think I like that better.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Hats

I've finished a couple of hats and am making another one.

One is a beret that I made up and the other is the Claire Modern Flapper Hat by Yarn Cat. I really like that one and might make some more. I didn't put the flower on it, just left it plain and like it like that. I might put a pin on it or something if I feel like dressing it up.

The other one I'm working on is another beret in a different color. I really like them, you can wear them with just about anything-dressy or casual. I wore mine to church Sunday and severaly people really liked it. When they found out I'd made it they said they didn't think they would have the talent to do something like it-a beginner could just about do it, it's just the band that's a bit complicated-I used Dot's method of making an attached ribbed band but I would bet with a bit of practice a beginner could do it.

Anyway, soon as I can get pics I'll post them, just thought I'd share some news.

The Roses afghan is coming along too, gonna work on it starting tomorrow.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere

I just finished two of Deneen'sBubbles Baby Blanket

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The solid pink one is for Gregg's brother, he and his wife are having a baby girl next month. The multi color one is for Joseph and the red/black one is also for Joseph. I'm using LB Homespun and with the N hook it's not so bad to crochet with, although a little slower than with the RHSS. It's going to be an interesting blanket-mostly red on one side and black/white on the other.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Bubble Blanket

Bubble Blanket

I just saw a finished one at CPC in Baby Show and Tell and I had to make one for Joseph. He's supposed to come home from the hospital Friday, whether he's off oxygen or not, they'll just send him home with oxygen. I don't think he'll be on it too much longer even if he comes home on it cause he's a scrappy little dude who won't give up.

Anyway, I wanted to get a blanket done in a hurry and this is a hurry up type of blanket. I'll post a pic soon as I get done, might take longer than 3 hours but I'll get it done before the day is out, I have to run some errands in a bit.

There is one thing I found when I started it, the starting chain should be a multiple of 3 + 2 instead of 3 + 1, I came out with two chains left when I got to the last pattern repeat. I counted my stitches just to be sure and I had 61 and had not miscounted in any way while making the foundation row.