Friday, December 29, 2006

Thanks :)

Thank you for all the lovely comments! It's great when a non-knitter/recipient appreciates the item, acknowledges the time, talent, and tenacity needed, but to receive praise from other knitters is the ultimate! I feel like when an actor receives an award that was voted on by his industry peers.

The above picture is a detail of the outer pattern, the Interlocking Diamonds. I really like that pattern.

This is the edging that took the entire drive home from Bancroft. Well, I had the band of YO, K2tog done, all that was left was the cast off row. I wanted it a little more 'bobble-ly' and less picot-ish, but it's still nice. I cast off four, then chained 4, joined in the same st as I started from.

As mentioned, the center square is the Charlotte Doily. I had used it earlier for a cotton blanket/playmat: I had thought that doing a doily pattern in worsted weight cotton, would make it close to baby blanket size. Umm...not quite. I wish I had used larger needles for this blanket, and I also wish I had the blocking wires. I don't know if I stretched it at all when I blocked it. For the cotton blanket, I followed the pattern and knit the stitch between the increase yarn overs through the back loop. I didn't really like that, and this time, did it normally.

This is the very center of the blanket. I used the Emily Ocker cast on but it got a little skewed somehow.

I love how the silk content gives a little crispness to the blanket. The earlier lace blankets that I made/designed that were in acrylic do seem so beginner-ish now, although acrylic was probably the best choice for those recipients (including my own babies, LOL). I enjoy designing them, although I don't like the word 'design'. I just take patterns from the stitch dictionaries and put them together.

I had a few issues this time. Although I know about making sure to have equal number of YO/K2tog on the partial repeats at the edges of the wedges, I didn't always pay attention to how it would look overall. I became really aware of that with the band of single diamonds, and opted to not have any partial diamonds at the edges. But in the Feminine Diamonds sections....there's a few places I'm not impressed with. I also wish the ribbed triangle wedges in the Charlotte Doily matched up the pattern repeats of the next border.

And, I was really inspired by Stephanie's Wedding Shawl. I really wanted an edging like that! But I also wanted a life in the past 5 months, and I wanted to be able to give it on Christmas, wrapped, without worrying about the needles poking through the wrapping paper, LOL.

And can I make anything crappy? LOL. You know I'd post the pictures :) Have you been reading Timeless Tuesday since I started it? Hot glue and Fair Isle? Mary Maxim picture sweater? Kaffe Fassett in acrylic, in the wrong gauge? LOL. I've just made a hat on my LK150 that is a tad too big. I finally made the tassels. I was using a little kid's book to wrap. One tassel got wrapped the short way around, one tassel got wrapped the long way around! And I won't go into details about the ice scraper mitten I was working on yesterday. Or the many sweaters that just need buttons!

But tune in tomorrow when hopefully I'll have FO pictures of the hat, a pair of felted clogs, and...oh, I guess that's all :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I've been knitting....

...and knitting....and knitting....and it's DONE! DONE! DONE!
Already I'm suffering post-project letdown! But it's in a good way sort of. This project was so huge, it's so wonderful, I almost don't want to give it away. It'd be like giving away the baby, not the blanket the baby's wrapped in.

I started the planning in February. I looked at yarns; I wanted something exquisite, but fairly easy care and not too expensive. I settled on Jaggerspun Zephyr, white, fingering weight. I used 3.5mm needles and I had 10g left of the second ball. There's no yardage on the wrapper, so I'll look it up later. It was 36" pre-blocking, and 44" on the blocking wires (which I bought for this project). I had decided on doing the Kerry Blue Shawl pattern, as I wanted something square, middle outwards, that would allow me to cut it short if time or yarn ran out. But my on-line friend never sent the pattern, so I created my own. The center is "Charlotte Doily" (I'll get the link later). That goes to the edge of the filled in triangles...the first border of YO, K2tog. Then I used Feminine Diamonds, then lace diamonds, then Interlocking Diamonds (all from The Knitter's Bible). See a theme? I started the knitting in early July, and finished the cast off, 10 minutes from home on Dec. 24.
I had allowed the 4 hour drive home from Bancroft to do the cast off. I tried a few things on the way there, and wasn't happy with any of them. I wanted it bobbly, sort of picots. I knew my mom had a crochet hook, so I borrowed it for the trip home. I lost it within the hour, before we even left. So we stopped at V&S Stedmans' (LOVE those stores) and I picked up a new one, 4mm. I started off and liked the picots, but they were too close together, so I started off again. There are 4 sides, 4 hours. And it worked out pretty much exactly :)

Soaked it during dinner (but it didn't come as white as I was expecting), stretched it out after dinner. I wish I had gotten up and gotten a solid colour towel to block it on, because I realized that I could get a good picture from the basement stairs. (Why is it saying the picture has been added, but it's nowhere to be found? It's a .jpg file, only 53KB).

My other lace items have been mostly acrylics. WHAT a difference natural fibers make! I know about the magic of lace blocking from everyone else's websites, but I haven't done anything that took anything more than a trip through the washer and dryer. I don't know if I can knit with acrylic anymore! Seriously. If you've never used a 'good' natural yarn (The Zephyr is 50% wool, 50% silk), buy one ball and try it. Swatch the whole ball; do some lace, do some cables, do some texture knitting. Wet it, pin it out, and let it dry. Unpin, and marvel at how beautiful the stitches look. This will also prove to you that you really need to swatch and block before creating your own patterns with these yarns; if you want it to be a certain size. And of course, you will need to block it every time it's washed, but you probably won't need/want to go to the extent that you do if you're presenting a gift :)
(Again, it won't load the pictures)

And in other areas of my life...are you sick of hearing about my sick kids yet? Boxing Day, 6 hours at the ER with Lucy. Uh Huh. Finally they did a chest x-ray, which was clear, and took blood, which was fine. So now we're dealing with somethingviral. Or Christmas has not happened at all like we planned. And Lucy is standing here beside me freaking that her name is up here, LOL.
I'll try to update with more detail pictures later. I specifically saved the pictures as "Best for Web" but none of them, or other ones I saved, are showing up! Any ideas?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Knitting Resolutions

The following rules are from Wendy's blog:

L-B mentioned to me that she was thinking about attempting to knit from her stash exclusively in 2007. I, of course, laughed at her initially, but started thinking that attempting to knit from my stash exclusively was not a bad idea. Both L-B and I have stashes of epic proportions. L-B had suggested a period of 9 months of knitting from the stash, so that we could go to Stitches East next October and buy yarn there.
So, in a phone call, we sketched out our guidelines.

Knit From Your Stash 2007: Guidelines for L-B and Wendy

1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.
2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:
2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone?
2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn to knit that gift.
2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project.
2.d. We each get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time.
3. We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn.
4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt.

Anyone else who would like to join us in this is welcome to do so! Feel free to link to this page or to post the guidelines on your own blog. You may also alter the guidelines to suit your own situation.

Back to me:

We all say it "I'm on a yarn diet." "I'm going to knit up my stash before buying anything more." Uh huh. In Wendy's case, she set Stitches East as her goal. We could set the Kitchener-Waterloo show as a goal...but golly, that seems SO far away (actually, it would be BEFORE Wendy's Sept 30 end)! I think I might go with six months. Jan 1 to June 30. I have ALOT of stash I've been saving for after I have a breast reduction, hopefully that will be in the spring :)

One additional rule I'd add is that I can add sale priced yarns to collections I already have, such as Decor, Classic Merino, CountryStyle DK. Oh, and if any Christmas yarns come on sale after Christmas so I can stock up for next year's baby hats :)

Another resolution I encourage all knitters to embrace--becoming critical of your knitting. Not critical in a negative way, but in a more analytical way. Think about why you want to make that pattern. Is your yarn a good choice? Are there any little voices in your head warning you about something? Look at projects you haven't finished but are still hanging on too. Why are they set aside? How about learning some new techniques? A new cast on? Entrelac? Lace? Choose a colour outside your comfort zone. Teach someone. Rip out old projects. Expand yourself, not your stash :)

Coming later--flash your stash! Finally my stash is mostly in one spot. I took a picture...and really, it doesn't look all that out of control :)

No Knitting

I haven't made any more little bitty Santa hats, or 'festive season' hats, but I did make these this morning:
Monday was Red & Green day, which we forgot about. Yesterday was Pajama Day. Huey wore his PJs in the morning, but when it was time for Lucy to go to school...she picked out her jammies, folded them neatly, and wouldn't put them on. Early in the fall they had a pajama party reading night at school, so she was thinking that the pj's were for later. She got to school and everyone was in their jammies. She suddenly got VERY clingy! Today is Elf Hat Day. Elf hats have to be green. They can't be a Fair Isle Stocking hat. Or a green balaclava. Huey went hatless this morning, but once we got home, I set to work! Guess who's getting the pink and green one, LOL. I'll stop by Huey's room to deliver the other one.
And Rob moans when I pick up bags of craft stuff at yardsales and thrift shops!! That big bag of felt from the Senior's Center Basement Yard Sale has saved the day :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy yarn Dance!

How many engineers does it take to fix a ball winder?
Two. Well, one fixed it, the other....umm...what did he do? Oh yeah, he supplied the engineer (His Dad) that fixed it, LOL. That's the first ball wound on the new and improved and safer ball winder. Ain't it pretty? If I weren't too busy, I'd spend all evening winding balls again :)

Santa? Are you reading?

If anyone's wondering what to get me for Christmas, or maybe my birthday....take a peek! I'd like a shirt, size large, preferably without profanity, although I do like the skulls...I wonder if there's one that says "I rescue orphan yarn". Or "Home for Disadvantaged Odd Balls" LOL. Oh, that one cracks me up so much, I can't believe I created myself :)

Something Finished!

They look a little rough around the edges, LOL, but a few wearings/washings and they'll be fine. Made from Patons Decor, from my stash :) Actually, I ripped out a hat I made last winter--a copy of the Star hat that Grumperina made, except that I added short rows so that it would cover my ears and some of my back neck. But the open design and the looseness of the gauge, not to mention how stupid I looked in's time had come to be re-incarnated. If I had known I was buying that yarn a couple weeks ago on the Thursday night, I would have waited to make these--now I have gloves and no hat, and a hat with no gloves, and a pair of mittens in another yarn that does have another version of the Star hat to match but I still look dorky in that version. Oh well, they all match my coat, so I guess that's all that matters.

I don't know how well it shows up, but I used a cast on called 'alternate cable cast on' which is really good for ribbing if you don't want to do a tubular cast on. The pattern for these gloves is my own creation! I made a pair, by request, for Rob a couple winters ago, and he really likes them. I made my fingers long though so I could scrunch them back or pull them forward, almost covering my fingers. They work up quick, the only issue is weaving in all the ends--two for each finger!

I notice that I don't post many pictures of Huey. He doesn't dump out the Cheerios anymore, or climb into the cupboard, or eat green paint. But he's still darn cute! Here's the evolution of his new front teeth.

This is Huey back in July probably. I didn't realize that when we downloaded the pictures, it didn't imprint the date it was taken. Well, it says it did, but every picture gives the date it was downloaded, not taken. Now I know to check the display on the camera and add it to the photo description before deleting it from the camera.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


We've 'solved' the climbing on the table problem:

And knitting. Hmm...Still slaving away at the baby blanket. Near the end of a pair of ribbed tipless gloves for me. When the weather went frigid, I stopped working on them, but now that it's been nicer out, I'd like them done! I did a rectangle hat on the LK150 using two colour tuck stitch and the yarn I bought at the LYS recently. But I need to make the tassles still. The hat weighs 99grams, and I thought the balls were 50g...but I hardly made a dent in them. I wonder if I can get a pair of mitts too?
I did finally get the Santa hats to the hospital. On Thursday afternoon. They'd been ready since Sunday.

This time there were only 2 Santa hats out of the 8. So, that's 19 hats donated (although I don't know how many will get used by newborns as some of them seemed a little big). I hope to take more up on Thursday, but I haven't even started them. LOL. The single coloured sparkly ones are a lot quicker, but the Santa ones are so cute!
Time to go relax.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Megan's Wish List

Megan wants Duct Tape for Christmas. Actually, she'd like it a little early, although I don't know how Vicki ('step-grandma') would feel about Duct Tape on her lovely walls.

This isn't Megan of course. Just making sure you know!
Lucy is up and down. The med that was to be every 4 hours is actually the Motrin, which we've been a little lazy about. She's asleep in my bed, courtesy of some Calms Forte. We're not going to her concert, or my local Knit Night, or even the Georgetown group Christmas party :( I am very behind on the lace baby blanket. I bought things for gift game exchanges. Megan's Christmas/winter sling is still not finished (had to sew the body three times between I am severely sewing challenged).
Perhaps I can Duct Tape the whole family to the wall?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Timeless Tuesday

I really don't have time for this today! But here goes.
Last week I promised socks, and here they are:

I really consider this the true start of my knitting. Prior to moving to O'ville in late Oct 97, I had been, at some point, to the Toronto Creative Needlework Festival. I was overwhelmed with 'real' yarns. Once in O'ville, I found a small arts supply/gift shop that sold yarn, but I don't think most of it was 'real'--just Patons type stuff. In the spring of 99 I saw an ad in the paper for a "History of hand knitted Socks" lecture/slide show at the county museum. Wow! Other knitters! I knew nothing about knitted socks, really, I could have cared less about knitted socks. But other real life knitters? I had previously joined an internet forum, at the time owned by Delphi I think, which eventually turned into the group of forums. But real live knitters?

So I went :) And shortly after, started a 4 week sock knitting class at the museum. It was wonderful--it's a huge barn like structure, and our group sat in front of the big windows overlooking my new county. I knew nothing about sock yarns and had to purchase these yarns from the teacher (see I couldn't buy just one colour?). The greens were just like the cedar trees in the fields below. The grey was actually grey, cream and green. I learned how to knit circularly with dpn. I started out knitting inside out, LOL. We didn't do a test swatch, gasp, but they did fit. It took longer than 4 weeks to make the pair, and I knew before I was done that I would make more!
I'm not sure if I went to the spring Needlework show, but I think I did. And I might have bought some Koigu (or it might have been that fall). Learning about sock yarns really taught me about using the 'correct' fiber for a project, and the 'correct' weight. I will admit to making my dad a pair of 'socks' in a worsted yarn or maybe even chunky. I knit them tightly, like good socks should be, to some degree, LOL. However, I didn't realize that 'thick' in the world of socks meant DK weight. These socks were like boot liners! I made my brother a pair out of Bernat Aspen, which was so soft, with merino wool. A worsted weight, I don't know why they discontinued it! He really liked them and they eventually fell apart. I really should make him some new ones!

And so, I became a 'real' knitter--using double pointed needles, hand dyed wools, creating my own patterns.
Oh, I see in my brag book a Christmas tree skirt started in March 1999...I really should get that out again...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Yarn Sticker Shock

Last night....some yarn followed me home!

I used the 'best for web' setting when saving that picture, but it looks a little blurry to me. The 3 skeins of blue at the top left is Marupe, for felted clogs for a gift game. Yeah, this year. Next weekend to be exact. The sock yarn at the top right is "Super Trekking" I thought Huey might like some socks and these remind me of tiger colours. The bright pink balls...uh, for me? The Burgundy and grey balls are for a new hat for me. Cause I want warm ears, even if I look like a dork. I might as well embrace it. I was a little shocked at the total bill. At home, I was thinking maybe there was an error. But no! I actually paid $9 x 2 for my hat yarn! If I had realized, I probably would have just gone for the plummy colour. And perhaps left the sock yarn for later...I won't start those till after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Why some sad itty babies are going hatless at Headwaters:
That's Megan, this afternoon, in our favourite carrier. It was a ROUGH night for both her and Lucy. It's been a very long day. Megan was up, bright eyed and bushy tailed despite being up much of the night, at 6:20am. She finally went to sleep at about 9:30, but only for 45 minutes. She didn't go to sleep again until I finally slung her, around 1:30. And of course, I had to wake both of them at 2:30 to go get Huey. We got a prime parking spot and I was able to run into the school and drag him out the side door.

That carrier is called a FrankenKozy. It's a variation on the Kozy Karrier, a type of Asian Baby Carrier (ABC) or Mei Tei (Mai Tei). You can get instructions to make your own on the internet, and sometimes she sells them, but no one is marketing them (although Maya Wrap has created one called a Maya Tie). The leopard print is left over from Huey's pajama pants I made him. Inside the body piece is a hidden layer of fleece leftover from the pouch I made when Megan was a newborn. The black I bought. It is reversible, but I love the leopard print showing! And it is very warm, and VERY comfortable. It's what we use everyday to walk the mile to the school.

We got a lot of snow last night/today. It's nice, but I'm not quite ready. I stopped working on my tipless gloves so I could concentrate on the baby blanket. Huey needs new mitts and wants a new hat. I need a hat that covers my ears but doesn't make me look like a dork. We haven't started Christmas shopping. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and having two sick kids just doesn't help!

I messed up one of the baby hats last night and couldn't fix it till this morning. There's 7 more hats, only one is seamed. I wanted to seam and wash them today, glue the pompoms tonight, and deliver them tomorrow when Lucy goes for her speech therapy again. I don't think that's going to happen! I don't even know how dinner is going to happen, at it's almost 5:00!

For those who like felted bags, check out this site! Oh, for pete's sake, I didn't bookmark the site! If you go to the current Knitty and check the purple and green purse. Then go to the designer's link at the bottom. Or, go to Z's blog and look at the last comment I left her, LOL. And at Knitting Pattern Central, there is a great listing of felted patterns. That's a great site for just about any pattern you can imagine. Even Marie's hats are there!

Gotto go, sick baby girl stuck on chair UNDER the table.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Timeless Tuesday

I'm backtracking alittle today. It was supposed to be my first socks, but they're upstairs and Megan wasn't asleep yet...but she's even more wide awake now! But I'll do the socks next week.

This is a picture of my Grandma and me. I was about 10, and the green yarn she's holding looks a lot like the one in my first swatch. I see that she doesn't have the yarn wrapped around her fingers at all. I hold mine in an unusual way, and I've seen it in books only twice I think. But I'm fairly fast, efficient for holding it with my right hand, LOL.
This is a little closeup of the first swatch. There's some funky things happening. Maybe this is why I've never liked garter stitch? LOL. Half the swatch (vertically) is okay, but the other half of it is terrible!
This is the first swatch. Very interesting shaping.
Notice how the last few sts were cast off with a different green yarn? LOL. That's not the only time I've had to do that. But what's really odd, is years later I found a tiny dark green ball of yarn, like the main colour, in my stash. It was wound up, and wrapped with electrical tape :) All growing up I heard so often "who took my electrical tape?" Surely it wasn't I that actually wrapped it with electrical tape?!

Megan has been up since 6:15 with only an hour nap. It's 1:23. In just over an hour we'll be bundling up to go get the kids. She'll probably sleep on the way, but that's only 20 minutes. Is it any wonder she's so cranky during dinner?!
Off to to buy some Mister Joe (not Uncle Joe like I wrote last week). I'm no big spender like Marie, but I can't pass this one up!
Oh, speaking of Marie, LOL. For the mitts, I have an old Patons basic 2 needle mitten pattern for the whole family that I modified to do in the round, and I base all my mitts on that. Or swatch and work out the gauge and the math :)
And Z...I don't know if I'll be coming on Thursday night :( I need to make myself a new, WARM, ear covering hat, and I thought a felted one might be nice....and of course, I'll need to buy some yarn for it :) I'm not up to taking any of the kids to that store during the day, so Thursday night it is.
Megan is on a kitchen chair, about to climb onto the table again!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Forgotten Finished Object

Not really forgotten, just already in use:
They're made out of Shetland Chunky and Divine. The ribbing on the mitt is a little pouffy for my liking, especially since she puts them on after putting on her coat, so the cuffs get bunched up instead of being inside her coat. The pattern on the hands is just alternating sts so that the inside would be thicker, fluffy, and warm. I think I should have made the entire mitt like that. At first, I was just going to carry the yarn on the inside, but then figured I might as well knit it so it shows. I made the hat, but of course, it was too short. So I ripped it back and lengthened it. But she doesn't fold the cuff up all the way, and the hat ends up about 4" taller than her head.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Knit bits and Tidbits

Where do the patterns go?
How is it, that when I have a worsted weight yarn, and am searching for a pattern, everything I come across is for DK? And now that Elann has some pretty DK yarn in their sneak peeks, all the recent patterns I want to do are worsted, aran, or bulky? And why are bulky yarns so expensive? I want to make the Brioche Bodice from Interweave Knits, Summer 2006. Calls for a 16st/4" yarn. Don't want wool (easy to find, but this is a tank top). I searched Elann, but except one, most of the yarns ran at about $40 to make a TANK TOP! And these are discounted prices?! That one yarn is okay, although perhaps a little too textured and too even coloured. I also want to make the cover pattern from that issue, and the maternity top (but NOT as a maternity top!), but neither take DK. And in the current issue, there's a couple I'd like to do, but again, not written for DK.
I did find this one. That's Ivy from the last Knitty issue. It's very similar to the Whine Wrap Cardigan I was working on (that one takes 22st/4", this one is 24st/4" like the Uncle Joe yarn. That name worries me though. I really don't want to wear Uncle Joe).
I suggest you click on the link if you want a picture of the detailing.
I haven't looked in the back issues of Knitty, or MagKnits, so shout if you recall something for 24st/4".

On another knitting related note....
Eight little Santa hats made their way to the hospital yesterday. The first installment of "Hats for Headwaters" (Headwaters is the name of our hospital). I realized that not everyone 'believes' in Santa, so I did two blue hats and one white hat in the Christmas 'sparkle' yarn. I got over my pompom fear by buying the pompoms. They were 79cents for 8, and 40% off that. The sparkle hats got special sparkle Christmas pompoms. I do plan to make more. I have red sparkle yarn as well as the blue and white. Approximately one and a half babies are born every day there, so I plan to do 40 that are definitely Christmas/Hanukkah style, and some more in the white, which could be New Years baby hats too. So, only 29 more to go :)

Last night we had SnB at my place. It was great to have other adults here :) Although you ladies didn't eat your share of the chocolate! I also didn't get the felting book out to show, although Megan did a great job of showing off the green felted purse :)

Well, off to knit a row. There's not much time before Christmas, and I have to allow blocking time for the baby blanket! The rows are HUGE now.

Later alligators..