Saturday, September 20, 2008

Some Forgotten Projects

Recently my MIL asked if I had any of the cute 'flower' hats I had made a few years ago. I didn't have any left that were small enough for a newborn (and that Meg hadn't worn). But I took some pictures of a couple other outfits to show her. Then I realized that they were from before this blog started so I haven't shared them with you! I tried selling these in craft shows, fall 2003 and 2004.

I'm not sure if I knew about the Baby Surprise Jacket at that time, but I did have the pattern for the similiar Baby Surplice Jacket. The one thing that bothers me with these sweaters is the shoulder seams/top of arms is a little stiff compared to the sweater. Even though I do a kitchener grafting, it's still stitches to rows so I don't think there's anyway to avoid it.

Simple rectangular 'dishcloth' blanket with way too many ends to weave in.
Another EZ sweater that is currently very popular, the February Baby Sweater. I don't like how the ribbons are done; if anyone has suggestions for sewing on ribbons, I'd love to hear it.
I thought the bonnet looked a little big for a newborn although I'm sure I followed a pattern. But, maybe not:
What a cute little shrug it makes for an almost 3 year old!
AND! This is post #300!!! So, I think I will have a little giveaway. Last year at the K-W Knitter's Fair I scooped up one little skein of some handpainted Artisan NZ Merino Laceweight. It's so soft and pretty, but I think I'd like to pass it on to someone else who might appreciate it! Leave me a comment, about anything! and I'll draw a name. Contest closes Monday morning or afternoon, or whenever I get back to the blog, but not before Monday morning :)

Friday, September 19, 2008


The Internet has been a great way to connect with people from all over the world, and right in your own backyard too. Back in the summer, I wrote about test knitting some hat patterns on the LK150 for a guy named "Ray" who has a website; Ray is an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina, and relocated to Houston, where he totally rebuilt his life. He started his own yarn dyeing business. He dyes beautiful yarns, and does custom orders too.

Well, Ray was pretty hard hit from Hurricane Ike. No power, no Internet, etc. He can't dye wool, he can't take orders, he can't process orders. Hence, he can't make money either. If you're even slightly thinking of ordering gorgeous yarn in the next month or so, please consider him. Right now he's asking people to please be patient if you have ordered yarn, and to give him a couple weeks to clean up the damage and get everything back in order. But after that, please support this hardworking fiber loving fellow!

I also have his address, if you'd like to send donations of non-perishable foods that don't need power to cook them. I'm not sure what qualifies, but let me know if you'd like it.

We're very blessed in Southern Ontario; we don't get weather (often) that can cause such catastrophic events in people's lives. So we got some rain last weekend. At least we still have our house and family.


Ever have one of those projects that should be easy, but stupid things keep screwing up?
I was so thrilled with the tuck stitch baby blanket I just finished (even though the edging had me whipped for a bit). Then I moved on and did a whole bunch of different dishcloths to use up stash. I think I made 13, and gave my mom a couple. Then, I decided to use up more stash, and make a boy baby blanket. I choose a tuck pattern from a book and got started.

Right off, there was a problem. The pattern had three rows of the Main Colour, and two rows of Contrast Colour.'s no different in machine knitting than in handknitting. The MC is never going to be at the right end. I could lift the carriage and move it to the correct end, but I didn't know if this would mess anything up with the tuck. So, I changed the pattern to have four rows MC, two rows CC. Now it didn't look at all like the picture, but it was 'okay'. It definitely was taking longer than the original blanket, but still tolerable.

Until.....I was walking up the driveway and noticed that something looked 'off'.Can you see it? When working at the machine, you're looking at the purl side, and particularly in tuck stitches, there is not a lot of definition (especially when using yarns that don't have a high contrast). It's not very noticeable, but it just looked wrong somehow.

In about the middle of this picture, you can see where the colour pattern is off from the rest. It would actually have looked neat if the entire blanket was like that, but not one stripe!So, I ripped it off, and re-wound the yarn. It's Bernat Baby Co-ordinates, so big pull skeins---to big to wind on my winder. So now I'm dealing with having to pull of enough yarn for each row.

I decided to try the simple tuck pattern I used for that girly blanket, but do three rows MC, two rows CC, and just pick up the carriage and move it to the other end when needed. I wanted the odd number of MC rows because 1) I have more blue than white and 2) I thought it would make it more interesting.

More interesting? Not nearly enough so to justify the extra brain power needed. Indeed, after about 6", I looked carefully at the pattern that formed, and found that there didn't seem to be one. There should have been if I had just been repeating things correctly. I found the mistake row, and decided I didn't want to fix it, I ripped again!

Took a break, and made the longies from the Briggs & Little from the K-W fair. Started the blue and white baby blanket AGAIN after school yesterday. This time, the same simple tuck as the girl blanket, but 4 rows MC, 2 rows CC. It seems to be going great, even if the pattern is a little boring. Sometimes boring is the winner.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yarn High

If you see me on Facebook, you would have read my status last week as "Selling off Baby Items to get Cash for K-W" or something. Didn't sell off as much that week as I would have liked, but the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair was still great.

They made some changes, notably---using two ballrooms. The aisles were HUGE, so you're less tempted to jump back and forth, and to be more orderly, but the booths were still the same size, so they tended to get just as crowded as before. But, if you wanted to stand in the large aisle to chat with someone, there was plenty of room. It made it harder to run into friends, but I still spotted a few people I knew.

I got there just before 9:30, and by the time I organized myself, the line up was almost gone. I started with the room on the left. The second booth was "The Sweet Sheep". Now, at the end of the show last year, I ran into Zehava and Sharon, who took me and Cindy to that booth. Nice stuff, but I was at the end of my budget. I've look a few times at the website, but I'm not a big online shopper. Nor do I pay full price for many things :)

Well. Wouldn't you know. I spotted their "Boo Boo Bin" right away. Oh boy.

Can you see the tag? Superwash BFL (BlueFacedLeicester), 800yds, $20! But, you say, it was in the Boo Boo Bin. I couldn't find the booboo at first, but upon closer examining:I am thinking that I will cut out those bits as I come to them, and splice the yarn. There's about 14 really bad strands. A small annoyance, but worth it to me.

These are superwash Merino, 370yd, 430yds and 420yds. One of them feels a little different than the others.I assume this is the 'flaw' in the rosey skein (other than it's skimpier yardage). However, I think that once knitted, it will look fine. Definitely fine for $5. I could not find flaws in the green or the brown, although I could see knots and I heard the lady say some skeins had 'too many knots'.More superwash Merino. The pink is bright and a little thicker than the sock yarn. Their flaws?The ties on the green one were too tight, resulting in bits of bright green. It goes quite deep, but I think it will be fine when knitted. Visual interest.The bright pink has some blue speckles through one section. It might look fine knitted, or maybe I should add some more blue speckles? Before or after knitting? I'm thinking a hat or mitts for me :)

I'm excited to finally have some of The Sweet Sheep yarn, but after I found out she's from Oshawa (Rob's hometown), I felt bad that I didn't buy anything full price!

One yarn I really wanted to get is the new Noro Kuryeon sock yarn. Early on (right after The Sweet Sheep), I found the Purple Purl's booth, and they had it for $11 (an earlier booth had it 'on sale' for $18). The colours are all crazy bright mixes, or boring men colours. So I went crazy.

The bottom is 1375yds of Merino Lace by Skacel. It came in a creamy white too, and I thought maybe I'd buy it instead, and dye it myself. However, the thought of skeining up 1375 yds of yarn.....and at $16.95.....The hard part was choosing the colours. There was a gorgeous green and purples mix, but I choose this one as I've really been in a pink streak lately, but it also has brownish colours.

Every year I see a 'booth' with bags and bags of Briggs & Little, all on the floor. People always seemed excited at the price, but I never looked. But now that I've been making longies, I knew I had to stop and check it out. I bought 6 skeins of Regal, which the lady said was softer than the other one there. The pinkish coloured ones are not very soft compared to the other 4 skeins. But, they were only $1.50 each! It's 272yds, 20sts/4.5mm. I'm making a pair of XL longies for Meg, and I'm almost done and will have to dip into the second skein for a bit. The lilac, purple and whites are softer, but were $3 each! I'm planning to dye the whites. Maybe Meg and I will do it together one day. Would that make her more eager to wear them? LOL. It's definately not Merino wool, but it has a nice heathery effect, and feels like it will be a good, sturdy yarn. Great for a rugged sweater or mitts (but not a hat). There is even a bit of VM in it still.

I had really wanted to spend my money on books this time. But still, every time I looked at the sticker, I just couldn't get my wallet out. Not even for the softcover version of Victorian Lace Today. I REALLY want that book! There were other books I'd really like too, some I might be able to get through the Crafter's Choice Book Club, but others are too old. It was just 'easier' to grab $65 of booboo skeins, than two $25-$30 books.

But I did find, at the Shelridge Farm booth, many patterns by Cookie A. I got three that I really wanted, so that's cool.

After the show (I actually left the hall at 11:50 after running into Sharon), I had a long lunch and touchy feeling session in the back of my truck :) Then I went to Value Village and bought a variety of stuff for the girls, and making diapers. I asked for old polyester (satin) clothes on Freecycle, but apparently no one in Orangeville wore polyester. Then I went to Lens Mill and got some small size circulars. And one ball of sock yarn. Plain white. To dye. Someday.

There is one ball of yarn that I got but didn't show. More on it later.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Knot Much Happening

Absolutely nothing new to show. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I'm knitting away, every day, but nothing is finished, and somethings are going backwards. So, instead, I'll leave you with this:At first glance, you might think it's from LionBrand. But no! The Madonna lookalike is sporting a hat 'designed' by Teva Durham, featuring a new yarn by her, and offered free (the pattern, not the yarn) at . I didn't know we needed free patterns for ugliness. Teva's a great designer, a little edgy, but this?! Ick.