Wednesday, December 10, 2008
My knitting right now is consisting of various small Christmas things, and of course I am still working slowly on the MS4. Don't know when I will be finishing that. I am only just a bit more than 1/2 way done. Another project that I'm not very happy with the yarn. Hmmmm.
No real yarn shopping lately. For one thing, Danny is in AZ and it is more fun to go to yarn shops when I can drag him with me. (Don't ask me why, this is very puzzling. He is the Mugglest of Muggles when it comes to knitting) But also, there is the money aspect. I am trying to be good and use up stash. I hate to use it up, though. What if all the sheep in the world suddenly go bald? I am depending upon my stash to see me through just that type of crisis!!! One has to be prepared.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
That's enough for now. See what I mean? No time!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It says under cleanliness "a few iffy places on edge". I don't know if they were speaking of cleanliness as in dirty, or cleanliness as in cleaness of lines and patterns or blocking, etc. Guess I'll never know. Oh, well. I don't even know who does the judging. Hope it was a knitter, that's all. I'm sure it was. It certainly was fun entering in the fair and I will definitely do it again with another project. The best part was going down to the fairgrounds and finding where they had displayed the shawl and seeing that ribbon for the first time.
Ok, now, just for the fun of it, here is my daughter Corinne's guinea pigs, Lilly and Minerva. Cute in their little outfits. Such little hams for the camera.
Sorry girls...poor piggies only got machine made sweaters.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Here it is for your viewing pleasure:
The yarn I'm using is Malabrigo Laceweight in Sealing Wax. Very beautiful with ruby red beads. I'm enjoying the pattern, designed this year by Melanie's Mom, Georgina. I haven't done any of the previous Mystery Stoles, but Melanie is of Pink Lemon Twist fame and was the designer in the previous years. Georgina is her Mom and designed this beautiful piece for this years KAL. Their patterns including previous Mystery Stoles are available for purchasing on her blog site.
The yarn I began with was the Shadow lace yarn from Knit Picks in the Oregon Coast colorway. It is such beautiful yarn and I'm certain that I will use it for something else, but I didn't like it for the MS4. I'm linking it for you, though, because this yarn is simply wonderful to knit with. It is smooth without being slippery, soft as butter (100% merino wool) and it has a halo to it when you knit that gives it a beautiful look without the hairy-ness of a mohair. Plus, it is only $2.99 for a 50 gr. hank. All that said, it wasn't the color I needed for this stole in order to make me happy. So, I reached into my stash and pulled out the Malabrigo. Big name yarn right now, you hear about it all the time. I bought it some time ago at Churchmouse Yarns on Bainbridge Is.
I had stashed a bunch of this pretty yarn which is softer than anything you can imagine and spun loosely. Problem? My dry hands. My hands are such a mess, dry skin and cuticles that are so embarrassing. Answer? Well, for the short term, I pulled out my St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Got my hands wet and then scrubbed with about a tablespoon of the stuff for a few minutes. Rinse, rinse, rinse, then lotioned with Vaseline hand and nail conditioning lotion. Long term, though, I went to Walmart and bought myself a present. I had been listening to the podcast "The Knitmore Girls" and Jasmine had said that she bought herself a Paraffin wax bath for her hands. I couldn't wait to get to Walmart for mine. I wanted one of these a couple of Christmases ago and when it didn't materialize under the tree, I just forgot it. Now was my time. I had some tip money left from last weeks tips and so I went for it. It will help the arthritis, too.
So there is my answer to knitting with Malabrigo yarn. Lots of hand pampering. This yarn was catching on every little spot on my fingertips. It will be better now. Here is another tip for the Malabrigo: it felts so easily. Just placing it in your knitting bag loose and letting it sort of bounce around sort of "felts" it with itself. It sticks to itself very easily. Solution? Place yarn in a sandwich bag or knit from the outside of the ball not a center pull. Very helpful to me.
Ok...thats it for today. Got my Wool Gathering in the mail and it's calling my name.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Yes, that is a second place ribbon at the Puyallup Fair in W. Washington. I'm very pleased and proud. I am looking forward to receiving the adjudication paper (Judges opinions on my knitting) and learning how I can work at better lace knitting. I know that my grafting needs work, for instance. At least my lace grafting. Kitchenering a toe is easy....complicated lace patterns, are another! And try to find a book or website that has very much help with that!
Thought you'd like some wedding photos...we still don't have the "official" photos back yet, but these are some pretty good snapshots that someone took. That first one is Lizzie with her Josh and her Mom-in-Law and Dad-in-Law, Lynnette and Tom.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I finished the little Hug Me shrug. It is kind of funny looking, since a shrug is really just a big rectangle with arms formed out of the ends. But here is a photo:
I like the way it turned out and I hope I can get a picture of it on it's recipient someday. Speaking of pictures, still no wedding photos. UGH!! It's killing me that I don't have them. As far as the Shetland Tea shawl goes, though, I have a new plan. Lizzie and Josh are going to help me re-block it so it is nice and fresh and then we are going to enter it into the Fair!!! At least that is my plan. I have to find out the details about how and when. So more about that later.
Bye for now! Keep on knitting!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I finished the plain grey socks and gave them to Josh. No word yet if they fit properly. I had forgotten how long I knit the foot on the previous pair I'd given him. I have also (seems ages ago) finished the Monkey socks. I haven't washed and blocked them yet, but they are sitting there behaving themselves, waiting for me to find time and inclination.
I have missed Knit Club for a few weeks now since my schedule at work has been changing constantly. I am frustrated at not being there and miss it greatly. Hi, girls, if you're reading this!
Ok, this isn't much of a post, but I have a dentist appointment in an hour, so I'd better get ready.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
These are my two at a time socks. Plain grey socks knitted with Fortissima Socke for Josh, my new son-in-law. He won't wear any socks but Plain Grey Socks. So here they are. And no, I am not knitting them on two cirular needles, or even one long circular needle. I am knitting them at one time on DPN's. The "old-fashioned-and-yet-comfortable-because-circular-needles-for-socks-drives-me-crazy-way". I really have tried. More than once. And it isn't that I can't do it. Even just the plain Magic Loop drives me nuts. I can do it. But do I want to? No. Let the knitting world make all of their socks on circs. I am resisting. And my daughters will tell you how hard it is to change my mind once I have made it up. *grin*
Ok, enough of sounding so defensive! So, I'm in the car, knitting. The perfect day. And 45 minutes at Churchmouse. I bought two small skeins of the Regia Kaffe Fasett sock yarn, in the Landscape Caribbean 4260 colorway. I browsed, picked up some tea for my daughter, Corinne, and also bought a book I'm quite excited about. It is Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush. The book has beautiful projects in it, nearly all of them stunning colorwork-mittens, gloves, socks. Hilia's Mittens on page 75 are so sweet and so pretty. Also intriguing me are Anv's Christmas Gloves. I have never made gloves OR mittens, so it will be fun to pull this out one of these days when I am through with all the socks in my plans. Here is the "thing" that sold me on this wonderful book however. More than the patterns and the pages of history (which I always love to read in any knitting book) was an Estonian Folk Song titled Beautymaker. I won't type out the whole song here because of copyright, but here is one line: "Joy tucked between burdens." What a wonderful way to describe knitting. Of course, knitting can also be a joy "tucked" between joys. But when I think of the joy that knitting brought to me when I first had learned it, while I was still so challenged by the burdens that I had to bear, this song fits so very well and makes my heart glad.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
I am hoping that it will block nicely and be a better fit. Here is a close up of the stitch pattern. My camera cooperated today! Yaaaay! Close-ups are usually not a thing I can accomplish!
Ok, this next shot is crooked so you can see a bit of the trees in my neighborhood. These trees are on the other side of our house, too. Even closer, though. So you can imagine my nervousness when there is a wind storm!! A big piece of one them fell into our backyard only a couple of months ago.
Other acquisitions....the cute knitting bag is from Josh and Lizzie. They honeymooned on the Oregon Coast and found this little basket bag in a shop there. Perfect for a pair of socks in the works! The mag from the UK and Charlene Schurch & Beth Parrotts' Little Box of Socks is a purchase I made today in Seattle when my sweet hubby and I went for a nice knitting drive. No, I didn't say I "knit and drive". He did the driving. I did the knitting. A knitting drive! Sounds more exciting than "a knitting ride", don't you think?
As soon as I get wedding pics, I will post them, I promise. The wedding was wonderful, marvelous and more. But I will wait to tell about it until I have photos.
Happy Independence Day, and happy knitting!!
PS....I linked The Little Box of Socks to Knit Picks for a reason! 40% off all books right now. Their big Summer Book Sale. And free shipping with purchases over $50. Need I say more? Now get over there and shop, people!
PS....sorry for the advertising. But whoa! Good deals like that can't be ignored, right? Right?
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This is a "Monkey" sock, a pattern made famous on Knitty in the Winter 2006 issue. (Link here) Cookie A, the designer did a terrific job of making lace look exactly like cables, don't you think? I love the pattern so far, however I have had problems with the yarn I'm using.
The yarn is Socks that Rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts in medium weight. It is a colorway called "Barney Rubble". First of all, it pools. R-e-e-e-e-a-l-l-y pools. See that pink? It is all pooled together in that one spot. The back of the sock is blue and yellow. The biggest problem I had with this yarn however, is its tendency to twist on itself. I wound it in to a center pull ball using my ball winder and started knitting. Before the cuff was done, it had twisted on a piece of itself and begun to tangle. I didn't realize the extent of what tangling was happening, though. I kept knitting and pushing the twist back into the center of the ball. Then I decided to pull the center of the ball out and rewind just that. Mistake. It was a tangled mess that took me about 1 1/2 hours of work to fix. And I had to cut the yarn in two places. Yuck! I have it wound in a regular ball that pulls from the outside now, so I shouldn't have any more troubles. Hopefully!
This is the little turtle stitch marker I got from Yarn Lust. Isn't he cute?
Sunday, June 1, 2008
The photo up top is the pre-blocking photo. It looks all small and shrivel-y. Now here are some shots of the "after blocking"...
I purchased Knit Picks "Bare" yarn for this project, and loved working with it. It took one whole 880 yard hank to knit all of the body of the shawl and a small part of the knitted on edging. I had ordered two hanks just in case, so I had more yarn to finish with. It is a lovely merino wool laceweight and was just right once blocked for the shawl. We wanted something that was heavier than a cobweb weight, but still delicate enough for wedding wear. After knitting the "horseshoe pattern" which is this one here at the bottom of the photo,
I got a bit worried about the size of the shawl, which I was knitting on size three circular needles. I changed to a size 4 and completed the shawl on those. It turned out to be about 69" in diameter when finished, which was a few inches short of what I would have desired, but still fine.
This is my second Pi Shawl and is much more "intricate" than the first, most of it being true lace knitting. I didn't use a lifeline, but only frogged back once during the whole thing, and that was because of the needle size thing, and only lost 5 rounds of work.
The funny thing is, having just finished this shawl and spent nearly 4 months on it, you would think I would be tired of it. But really, after blocking it, praying over it ( I wanted to pray during the knitting of it for an enduring and blessed marriage for my daughter and her wonderful Josh, my new son) I really was thinking to myself, "Gee, don't I have some pretty JaggerSpun Zepher Silk Wool laceweight that would look fantastic in this pattern? Hmmmmmm..." So you never know. I may end up knitting a fraternal twin shawl for myself someday!
If I have left out any info you'd like to know about the Shetland Tea Shawl, please leave a comment and I will be glad to try to give it in my next entry or email you if you leave your email address. Thanks so much to "Knitabulous", and to Meg Swansen, and of course, to Dale Long, the designer of this spectacular shawl. Lizzie's wedding will be all the more memorable because of you.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Ok, that first picture is EXTRA blurry. I need a new camera (or a photography course, maybe). But you can get the general idea of the socks I am knitting. It is Cascades Heritage handpainted sock yarn in Isle of Skye Paint #9825. I bought it at my Ben Franklin and am very happy with how beautifully it knits up, however, it is a fine fingering and I am using size 1 needles, instead of my usual #2's. I guess the yarn I usually use for socks is a bit thicker. So these socks are going to take a bit longer than usual, but I like the colors. Plain "vanilly" type...no real pattern, just measured my gauge, and my leg, and cast on.
Yes, I have been slacking off when it comes to blogging again, but I have been knit, knit, knitting away. Next time I will share the big project I have been devoting all my time to. It was finished at last after 4 months of work, just this past weekend.
I got to knit this past weekend as I visited my Mom-in-law, Sylvia. So nice to sit and knit together. She is knitting socks and I wish I had had my camera with me since the cute pair she was working on were turning out so wonderfully. We also got to visit her knit store there in Crescent City, CA. It is called "A Perfect Stitch". Just a small small store, but I couldn't believe all the wonderful yarn they had managed to fit into that small space. Mom bought herself some great sock yarn and also made a gift to me of the yarns I had chosen! So you will see those yarns on the blog one of these days.
Meanwhile, I have been asked to reproduce a pair of socks that I knit for my Dad a couple of years ago. He wore them out finally, and needs a replacement pair. So it looks like socks are the summer projects for me this year. And since I just finished the shawl, (whoops! there is a hint...) I am ready for smaller projects for a while.
More about that shawl next time. Happy knitting!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Got one more for Lizzie, and a cute bag for Danielle, too. My camera can't possibly do these colors justice. There were so many beautiful yarns and I will definitely go back for more when I can add some $ to the budget for yarn. In fact, Myra has a Yarn of the Month Club that would be so fun. She sends out a different DK weight yarn each month, each dyed especially for the Club members. During that month, the special yarn is also available for purchase if you wish to buy more. Fun! And at $179.40 for 13 months, you get a good deal on the skeins. (normally only $14.95, which is already a great price for 250 yards of hand dyed machine washable merino wool.) I bought a skein of this wool, in the red and gray colorway, also 2 skeins of her fingering wt. Couldn't resist the blue colorway...you know me!
When I walked in the shop, I was greeted by a cheerful woman who showed us around and Myra came in after while and even offered to wind up the skeins of yarn I was purchasing. If ever in or around Shelton, WA be sure to check out Fancy Image Yarn. It is a fun place with friendly people. And enough hand dyed yarn to make you drool!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I have been working on more of the fingerless gloves for Mom (step-mom, if you will) She asked if I would make some for her, and also for their friend. So, a black pair for the friend are all done...
And the yarn that looks a bit like a Yorkshire Terrier there is SWS (Patons). I am using that to make Mom's pair. It is kind of weird to knit with. First of all, it is slippery. Not too bad though, since I am using my Brittany wood dpn's. Made from wool and soy, it has a wonderful shine and the colors are beautiful. But it isn't a twisted ply and therefore splits easily. I have to knit a bit more slowly as a result. It reminds me a bit of Brown Sheep yarn, but prettier.
Here also is a picture of one of my projects I did this winter, a scarf. The pattern was in last years "Knitting" page-a-day calendar. Berroco's Ultra Alpaca was used and it turned out very nice. Ultra Alpaca is a very springy yarn. I have used it before for a shawl and liked it very much. It is very affordable and Berroco created some lovely colorways for it, also. I used the Light Gray, since that is what I had in my stash, having picked up two hanks while shopping last year at the Acorn Street Shop in the University District of Seattle. Wonderful store, by the way. I make a point to drive up there and browse every so often. I always find something to take home. They have lots of yarns, including sock yarns, laceweight, specialty type stuff, and loads of "everyday" type yarn. They also have spinning stuff, needlepoint and embroidery stuff, needles, and friendly helpful staff.
That is my Great Grandmother's quilt in the background of the picture. I use it a lot when I photograph my knitting. It makes me happy that a grandmother I never knew (she died a few years before I was born) and who never would have dreamed of a thing called a blog has a little "presence" here once in a while. She pieced that quilt in 1940, and then never quilted it. I did the quilting in 1992, which again gave me a thrill, working on a project "with her". I knew a bit of how Natalie Cole felt when she recorded "Unforgettable" as a duet with her father, Nat King Cole. Just thinking of my hand quilting, tracing her own invisible "handprints" on the fabric, made each stitch special and each hour spent on the quilt enjoyable. It took me 6 months to quilt (it was only my second quilting project or it would have been a bit faster). I love the feather pattern and the sawtooth piecing of the quilt. I no longer quilt, knitting is the passion now. But I know that with each heel I turn, with every row of ribbing and each dropped stitch, my Great Grandma would smile and say, "Yes...I was also a Passion Knit Girl. Knit on, Honey, knit on!" Knitting, quilting, sewing, embroidery, crochet...it's in the blood of the women and men in my family. And is one more tie that binds us together through the generations.
Until next time, keep knitting!