Sunday, November 25, 2007

Victorian Lace Shawl and more socks!

I spent the last few weeks working on this great lace shawl. It worked up really fast in
Elann Peruvian Uros Aran yarn using six different sized needles. The lace patterns were very easy to memorize and fun to knit. This pattern (free from the website) was hard to understand so I had to find some help on the "ingernet". There is a Yahoo group KAL for this shawl that offers lots of charts and pattern rewrites. This was a tremendous help for me.

After finishing the shawl my fingers were itching to start some socks. I decided to work on some from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters. This book demonstrates several alternative sock architectures and is full of patterns and great pictures. It is a beautiful book. I read the book and decided to start from the beginning and make the first two learning socks to get the gist of these alternative sock construction methods. First I knit up the Little Sky Sock, and then I knit a pair the of Little Coriolis. I used some Kool Aid dyed yarn in bright green that was perfect for learning socks. Cat's patterns are well written and easy to follow.

This is the Little Sky Sock:

And these are the Little Coriolis Socks:

Today I cast on Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks, which were the first full sized socks in the book that use the Sky Architecture. I am using another yarn that I dyed from Kool Aid in a varigated fashion. I am pleased with the way the yarn is knitting up and the pattern is definitely different from any other I've knitted. Here is the cuff and beginning of the leg.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Here's my finished Huggable Hedgehog!

I gave my hedgehog a face and now she has a home in my sitting/knitting room on the futon. I'm sure soon enough I'll be making some friends for her.

For the last few months I've been working on the Sweater Sampler from The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee and yesterday I finished it up. I highly recommend this for all knitters. I learned so many techniques for sweater knitting that can be used in many other knitting projects. Here are pictures of all the techniques I learned:

There are several kinds of ribbing, striping, two color knitting, an afterthought pocket, a sweatshirt pouch pocket, a belt, a lacing cord, a placket, four types of ways to finish the sweater
neckline, increasing, decreasing, among other things.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is this the cutest thing you've ever seen or what?

Meet the latest addition to our family! This is our huggable hedgehog. Actually, she is not quite finished yet. I felted her last night and she needs to dry for a few days before she gets her face and a final stuffing. This was a fun little project. This is what she looked like before she went in the wash:
And this was her backside:

I, also, finished my Tilted Duster last weekend. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I fits me great and is very warm and cozy, just in time for these chilly mornings. As I mentioned before, I hadn't knit a nice wool sweater before and I am so glad I got the courage to try this one. I learned so much from the KAL at WEBS. Now I feel confidant that I could tackle another sweater project. (And, of course, I do have a few in mind...)

I made a pair of Thuja socks in the Magic Stripes Lumberjack colorway for one of my sons. I like the way this pattern looks in the stripes, and find it to be quite a masculine pattern.

I am currently finishing up the Sweater Sampler, which is great for learning so many sweater-making techniques. After it is done, I will settle on a sweater pattern to try (I'm thinking of an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern or perhaps one from the Sweater Sampler book) and also have the Elann Uros Aran to make the Victorian Lace Shawl. Ahhh, so many patterns, so little time.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It has been an exhausting, eventful week (or two)!

Last August 31st, my husband, Dennis, was driving home from work on a Friday afternoon, the start of Labor Day weekend. Of course, traffic was heavy, as it was Friday, and a Ford Explorer decided to turn into Dennis' truck. Thank God, Dennis saw him coming and tried to avoid him as best he could, but the Ford did manage to hit our Toyota at the front of the door and push Dennis off the road into a pole which damaged the other side. Fortunately, the truck still drives, but the door does not seal on the top edge. Well, the other driver does not have insurance. He is a very remorseful man, however, and wanted to pay for our damages, until he found out the estimate for repairs was over $3,700! Our truck is 18 years old, but only had 69,000 miles on it and we've never had any major problems with it. Anyway, long story short, we filed a claim with Allstate (who were so nice) for uninsured motorists and received almost $3,500 for the truck. Here is what the smooshed truck looked like:

We began looking on Craig's list for a replacement truck for Dennis and within a week we found this beauty:

Doesn't it look familiar? It's actually 5 years younger that our old truck, and has all the extras on it, that the old truck didn't have. A/C, sunroof, bucket seats with perfect upholstry, a bed liner and cover, power windows and locks, and only 30,000 miles on a factory installed motor, which replaced the original motor about 7 years ago. It's a great little truck and Dennis is very pleased with it. We were so blessed to find it. The couple we bought it from were the nicest people, even served us ice cream while we filled out the paperwork and went to the DMV with us.

The same day we bought the new Toyota truck, Dennis went to his Tuesday night bowling league, even though he was tired from running around trying to get the new truck. He almost didn't go, but boy, is he glad he did. He ended up bowling a 300! His first 300! His league gave him $100 and a ring for that too. That's his score on the line that starts DJR.

I have managed to get some knitting done. I'm making some progress on the Tilted Duster, in fact, I hope to finished the collar tonight. Then I've just got to sew in the sleeves and do and edging around the bottom so it won't curl. I'm really pleased with this sweater and have gotten some really great tips from Pixie over at the WEBS yarn store in their KAL.

I also started this sock. It is the Thuga pattern from Knitty. I'm using some Lion Brand Magic Stripes in a lumberjack colorway from my stash. I think these will be for my son, Dillon, who is living in Seattle now and will definitely need some warm socks for up there.

A while back, I blogged about the Kauni yarn and sweater I'd like to make. I've been trying to get Kathy and Steve Elkins over at WEBS to bring in some Kauni from Europe. I've posted over at Ravelry in the WEBS group to see how many people would be interested in buying the yarn from WEBS and there has been a great response. I hope that we can make it happen. I found some great photos of the yarn and a few gorgeous sweaters that have been created with it. Aren't they lovely?

This sweater in progress in from Astrid's Dutch Obsessions and is the Kauni SSSSweater. Isn't that a great design?
This one is a Damask Kauni from Passing down Crazy. I so want to make both of these. If this yarn interests you go over to WEBS and let them know.

Well, I think that's enough for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Finally a pair of Coriolis and a Mini-Sock!

I finally finished my pair of Coriolis socks. I LOVE them! They fit like a dream. They were fun to knit up in two strands of Trekking pro natura yarn. Aren't the colors great? Last night for fun, I whipped up this Mini-Sock, using size 1 needles and KnitPicks kool aid dyed fingering yarn. It was quite tedious to knit such a small thing, but I thought it came out quite cute.
Now that the socks are done, I plan on knitting only on the Tilted Duster so I can wear it soon. The weather here is cooling down quickly. After the Tilted Duster, more socks (I've so many patterns I want to knit) and back to the sweater sampler, after which I'd like to try another sweater. I have a few in mind such as the Kauni mentioned below or maybe an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern. Hmm, so many patterns, so little time.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fixed and Finished Coriolis, Cool Little Lamp, and I'm feeling a little Martha

Back a few posts ago, I posted a picture of an almost finished Coriolis Sock. Well, I did complete that sock and after knitting the heel I thought something looked weird with the coriolis as it was interrupted by the heel and then started up again above the heel. But I just went ahead an finished the sock. It fit great and I loved the way the yarn knit up.

Then......I rewatched Cat Bordi on Knitty Gritty demonstrating the Coriolis and I figured out that I had moved some stitches the wrong direction before knitting the heel which is why it looked funny. See how the coriolis is skewed here.

I couldn't just live with it so I frogged back to the foot and reknit it the right way. I feel much better now. I've got half a pair of finished Coriolis and have started the toe of the next. These have knit up so fast, only a few evenings of knitting. This is what it should look like.

Yesterday I went out looking for some sort of lighting to help me with my nighttime knitting in my dimly lit living room. Michael's had those expensive Ott lights with expensive replacement bulbs. Too much for my budget, and they really weren't very attractive. I then found this cute little lightweight book light with a LED light. It runs on 3 AAA batteries. It is just perfect for my needs. I can clip it on a book on my lap and point the flexible arm at my knitting or I can clip it to my shirt and aim the light. It was less than $10.00 and I used my mailer's 40% off coupon, so even more of a bargain.

I was feeling a little Martha Stewart the other day and made myself some new goodies for my knitting. I made these little herb sachets to put in with my yarn stash to keep the bugs away and to make the yarns smell pretty too. I put some lavender and some rosemary and thyme from my yard in the sachets. I got the idea for these from the latest Knit Picks catalog which had an article about yarn pest control. You can find the same article on Woolen Care over at their website.

I also picked up some beads and findings to make my own stitch markers. They were very simple to put together and I am really enjoying them.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Duster Progress, Additions to my Needle Stash and Kauni envy!

I've been busy knitting the Tilted Duster and it is coming along pretty well. I finished the sleeves last week.

Then I sewed the fronts to the back and picked up stitches for the skirt. Lots and lots of stitches. I've got about 50 some odd more rows to go on the skirt. I decided to do a different hem so that I won't get the dreaded stockinette roll. I'll be stitching a hem that will fold under and be stitched down to the underside.

The mailman brought me some knitty goodness today. I had ordered the Knit Picks options needles. There are nine needle sets, with 4 cables all in a beautiful case with sleeves for storing them. Here's the case:

I wasn't sure just how to store all the pieces in the case, but they're in there.

I also had ordered KnitPicks circulars in small sockknitting sizes. I already had the Addi Turbo circulars in US size 1 and 2. Since the Addi size 1 & 2 are a little larger than the standard US size 1 and 2, I wanted the Knit Picks circulars to fill in the gaps of the sizing. So I now have US size 0, 1, and 2. I think I am pretty set for needles now. I already have just about every size either in bamboo or vintage plastic and aluminum. These new needles will replace many of the old needles bought back in the 70's and others that I inherited.

Lastly, I have become enamored of this Kauni sweater. It is made with beautiful Kauni yarn that is dyed in gorgeous variations so that all the color changes are dyed into the yarn and all you have to do is follow the pattern and stagger two skein as you knit. Isn't is gorgeous?

The yarn is from the Netherlands and although it is not too costly (probably $50-60 for the sweater) the shipping from Europe is another $25.00-$30.00! I'm saving my pennies and trying to find the most economical way to acquire this yarn. Any suggestions?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Finished Apple Harvest and Coriolis in progress

This weekend I started a Coriolis sock. I had seen Cat Bordhi demonstrate this sock construction on Knitty Gritty and although at first the design of the sock didn't appeal to me I became interested in trying it after so many on the sockknitters forum said how much they liked the pattern. I had picked up some Trekking Pro Natura on my vacation to San Diego that I thought would be nice for this pattern. I used some kool-aid dyed yarn for the toes and heel because I have rather large feet and I was worried that the Trekking wouldn't be enough.

I love the way these knit up and I love the colors in this yarn as well. Before I started the Coriolis, I finished the Apple Harvest Socks. They were a fast knit and perfect for the Lisa Souza Sock! yarn.

Here is the lace detail that runs up the back of the sock of the Apple Harvest Socks.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jamie is doing GREAT!

This is one of our sweet little Budgies named Jamie. We've had her for six years and we just love her so much. She has so much personality and has become such a source of joy for us. Last Friday she gave us a little scare. She became very ill and had to stay at the avian hospital for 3 days. We were so worried about her, but I'm glad to report that she has made a full recovery and is home with us again. Isn't she a cutie?

One project done, and other WIPs

Last weekend I put this little pillow together. I had knit two panels of aran knitting with some gorgeous Patons SWS in shades of pink and green. One side was a braided pattern and the other a honeycomb pattern. I crocheted them together and made a cute little addition to my futon.

I've also been working on my Tilted Duster. I finished the back, two front pieces, and now I'm knitting the two sleeves simultaneously.

At the same time I am plugging along on my Apple Harvest Socks. I hope to finish them Saturday and then I will cast on a Coriolis Sock by Cat Bordi.