Friday, December 31, 2010

FO: Manly Mitts

Pattern: Manly Mitts
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted
Color: Cafe Au Lait
Needles: US 6 DPNs
Cast On: 12/26/10
Ends Woven in: 12/31/10

This was a nice pattern. The diamond pattern on the hands gives some texture to the mitts and made for more interesting knitting. I love the color of this yarn, the subtle changes are really attractive and the depth of the color is wonderful.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Process vs Product Knitter

I've always thought that I was a process knitter as opposed to a product knitter. I think I now have ample proof that does indeed reflect that I am a process knitter. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, a process knitter knits to knit, they enjoy the act of knitting and the paraphernalia that goes along with knitting. A product knitter knits to get the final product, yes of course they enjoy the act of knitting, but ultimately, they knit so that they can use the item at the end.

I often have several projects on the needles. I often have projects that I never finish. I took a class on mitered mittens ... how many mittens do I have? One. Fortunately for me I have two hands - I think it would be very difficult to knit if I didn't - but unfortunately for my mitered mitten ... I have two hands.

People ask me to knit things for them, usually, if I know them well and like them, I enthusiastically tell them sure, I'd love to, what color? etc. then I run out and get yarn and find a pattern ... I may even start the item right away ... then it takes forever for me to finish - really I have a scarf for someone that's been going for 3 years now, because now I *HAVE* to knit it, its obligatory at this point. I don't want to knit it, not because I don't like this person or don't like the item, but most likely they asked me to knit something they saw me wearing and guess what ... I've already knit one of those. I typically choose to knit something because its new and different and challenging ... hence I am a process knitter.

I'll try anything once, I'll eat anything ... again sometimes only once, I'll install a floor in my house with no previous experience, hey, my philosophy is maybe it'll work out and I don't have to pay a professional and at worst, I tried and do have to call a professional to fix the mess I made - usually it works out though and I've saved thousands of dollars this way. More money for yarn :o) The same thing goes for knitting with me. I'll try anything, get help if needed or take a class if it doesn't work for me on my own.

What kind of a knitter are you?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Looking back on Knitting in 2010

WIP list for 2010

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in. 1/15/10
2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.
3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing. 1/14/10
4. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed. 1/25/10
5. Cable bottom up sweater - 10/10/10
6. Reversible Cable Scarf
7. Bat Shawl - Body done, needs edging
8. Christmas Stocking
9. Baby Blanket
10. Drawstring Bag - Just needs drawstring

And the Christmas list:

1. Joe gloves
2. Diane's stocking - Done 12/26/10
3. Mom headband - found a great pattern, forget where!
4. Knitter's Guild Project - Done 12/5/10

Well its not so bad, yeah so Diane's stocking was finished the day after Christmas and still needs to get from New England to Old England ... maybe she leaves her decorations up until February and can still use it ...

Joe's birthday is 12/31 ... maybe I can get his gloves done by then.

Mom can still use a headband in March right?!?!

Goodbye 2010 ... Hello 2011!

2010 was not a terrible year for me, but it was getting to be such towards the end ... though I've heard that from a lot of people lately. Nobody that I know is having and exceptionally good time right now, whether they be out of work, losing loved ones or just plain not having a good time in life, it seems to be a trend across the board.

Christmas was good this year. We set a budget, like most people have to this year, and I think got some really nice things. The cats particularly enjoyed this present:

I'm not making any promises, but I sure hope that I am more organized in 2011. We've only lived here for 2 years, so our house is definitely not full of clutter - plus with remodeling some rooms, every thing came out ... not everything went back in, so some culling was done at some points throughout the year. But we NEVER put anything back where it it supposed to go. We lost a tape measure ... really can't find it anywhere. We never put tools back, are constantly looking for the kitchen scissors - and typically find them wherever they were last used. So any time we want to do construction in the house ... or something simple like open a package ... it takes an extra 15-30 minutes to find the tool to do the job. Enough said ...

Here's to a much more productive and relaxed 2011!

FO: Christmas Stocking

Christmas Stocking
Pattern: Loosley Based on Miss Eiderdown's Stocking from Knit Picks
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Evergreen and Hollyberry with Cloud for snowflake.
Needles: Size US 9 DPNs

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Perspective ... its a funny thing

I got up really early for work yesterday. We had an applicant coming in and I am supervisor of the department. My boss is pretty laid back and I usually start at 11AM. He said to the two of us (the supervisor in the other facility since we're splitting this person who fills this position betwen the two) that the appointment couldn't be moved, this person has a job now and is coming before work, but if you can't make it, don't sweat it, I'll see him.

The other supervisor who I'm friends with called me and said, "Are you going? I'm going to try and make it" - he comes in late too. So now I think to myself, great, if he shows up and I don't, then I look like a lazy, don't care, can't even come in early one day supervisor. So I get up at 5:30AM ... I usually get up at 7 or 8. Its dark out ... that's not right. People shouldn't get up before the sun.

I start my truck ahead of time so its warm. While I am driving to work I notice the thermometer - my truck has one of those nice thermometer / compass doohickeys - says 5 ... FIVE ... its 5 degrees outside and the sun is barely up!

All day employees are saying, "Man its cold outside" and my reply is "Do you know what it was when I left my house?!?! 5 it was 5 I tell you!!" I guess 5 is better than a negative number, but we've been lucky and its been a mild winter thusfar.

Today it was 40. I went to work without a jacket and thought it was warm ... perspective is a funny thing!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Making Knitting Fun Again

My knitting has not been fun lately ... if there's any knittng done at all. The last few things I've knit I just wanted to get done. I wanted them "off my list of things to do" ... That's when I even have been knitting. A lot of other things kept getting in the way. I was trying to get the dining room painted before it got too cold to paint. I got one wall, window trim, new molding up and the door painted, but that's it before it got too cold. I'm fine with that though ... good excuse not to have to do it. None of the walls here are ready to paint, most have to be sanded and patched before any painting can be done ... so I'm good until Spring :o)

Work has been horrible. I used to like my job. I met some parents of a friend over Thanksgiving and when they asked what I did for a living, I said I'd rather not talk about it ... its that bad. I'm not going to talk about it here either, it just gets me all frustrated and disgusted.

I think I've been bogged down by all the to do things and when they creep into my "fun" stuff like knitting then it really wears on me. I'm sure it didn't help that my craft room ... or what I refer to as my sanctuary was a disaster. Its a really small room and I have a lot of craft stuff. I cleaned it up today and organized some stuff. That helped clear up my foggy mind.

I am hoping, in the winter months to get a lot more knitting, spinning and crafting done since there's not much to do outside and its too cold for construction and remodeling on the house.

I still have some things to get done before the holidays, but here's to a fun, creative and spiritual 2011! I'll have a new attitude and mindset for the new year :o)

FO: Pimpelliese

This scarf was for an exchange for the Knitters' Guild. I had since September to complete it ... when do you think most of the knitting was done ... if you guessed the week before it was due, then you're right!

Pattern: Pimpelliese
Yarn: Noro Sock
Needles: Size US 4 16" circlular

It was a very cool pattern. I would do it again. I don't know what I did back in September when I cast on though. I had to rip it back twice to get the decreases to match up with the increases from the beginning. The scarf it worked starting from one corner, increasing to get the width in the middle, the edging done throughout and then decreased to the other corner and cast off.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

FO: 10 & 0

I finished these gloves a while back, but since I painted my nails for Halloween, I thought now would be a good time to get pics.

They are quite toasty, since it was a little chilly and damp outside for the photo shoot. I noticed how warm they actually were!

Pattern: My own, will be posted for free once I decipher my notes.
Yarn: Caludia Handpainted in Purple Earth
Needles: Grafton Wood in size US 1 (2.25mm)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Leaves are Falling

The leaves are falling here in New England ... which means its really time to start thinking about holiday knitting!

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in. 1/15/10
2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.
3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing. 1/14/10
4. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed. 1/25/10
5. Cable bottom up sweater - Just needs ends woven in and buttons put on
6. Reversible Cable Scarf
7. Bat Shawl
8. Christmas Stocking
9. Baby Blanket
10. Drawstring Bag

I am still working my way through my list of projects I wanted to finish up this year. I would like to start the new year without projects that have been hanging around for years.

I finished knitting the cable sweater, just have to weave in the ends and put the buttons on and that one will be done!

I would like the bat shawl to be done by Halloween so that I can use it ... probably won't be wearing that any other time of year :o)

And the Christmas list:

1. Joe gloves
2. Diane's stocking
3. Mom headband - found a great pattern, forget where!
4. Knitter's Guild Project - we are exchanging baktus scarves this year. I got the yarn this past weekend for mine.

Took the drop spindle class this weekend and did pretty well. Now I just need to practice to get consistent with the drafting so that the yarn is the same width throughout. Practiced for an hour last night :o)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Eeek! Its almost Fall!!

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in. 1/15/10
2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.
3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing. 1/14/10
4. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed. 1/25/10
5. Cable bottom up sweater
6. Reversible Cable Scarf
7. Blanket square
8. Lavitan Mittens
9. Bat Shawl
10. Christmas Stocking
11. Baby Blanket
12. Drawstring Bag

I picked the cabled bottom up sweater back up now that the time to wear it is almost upon us and its going well. I am over half way done the second sleeve.

Derek's scarf needs some serious attention before snow comes!

I was hoping to have the bat shawl done for this Halloween, but not sure if that's going to work out.

I would like to also have the baby blanket done by Oct. so I can give it to a coworkers who's wife is due then.

And the Christmas list:

1. Joe gloves
2. Diane's stocking

If I don't keep these items in my mind they will be forgotten!

Not sure if I am going to dye this weekend, was thinking there may not be too many nice days to dye outside for much longer.

Got a drop spindle, got to spinning, I can spin ... just not well, LOL!! A coworker who knits and I signed up for a class at the end of Sept.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where does time go?!?!

Where does the time go? I thought I posted just a week ago and its been over four now! Yikes ... which also means Summer is near an end. I love Fall, but I do not like Winter, so I don't really enjoy seeing Summer go.

Here's the yarn I dyed a while back that I mentioned in my last post. All came out very good. The far left was something similar to a colorway I saw online that I was trying to work on mixing colors to get the color I want, for example, the yellow straight from the jar is a vibrant, bright sun yellow. I muted it down a bit with purple (its complement on the color wheel) to get the yellow I was looking for.

The middle was a way to use up some excess dye I was storing and came out a lot better than I thought it would once it was set.

The far right is Red Eyed Tree Frog. The red wasn't actually how I intended, but I do like it and I got the idea from using the colors of tree frogs. I used much more green than the other colors since the frogs are primarily green. I am curious to see how it'll knit up.

I've been working on the Icarus Shawl. I had to stop for a few weeks when I installed a new dining room floor and really did a job on my neck. I couldn't turn my head at all for about a week and then only minimally for the next two. So knitting was out, it caused more pain. Other than that, I managed to get this much done:

I've put the shawl aside for a little while since I have another two repeats of the same thing I've been doing this entire time while it keeps growing and growing and I picked the February Lady Sweater back up now that its not in the 90s and humid ... oh its still humid, but more like 70s, so I can deal with the wool of the sweater.

Here are the Buns ... finally figured out we got a boy and girl ... so the boy will have to be fixed when old enough ... which may be really soon considering the way he's acting with her ... ah hem.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Knitmas in July

I hope that July is a month of finishing. I have several WIPs at the moment that I would like to complete soon so that I can start Christmas knitting early. I only have two things this year so far, so not a huge daunting list, its entirely workable.

I dyed some yarn this weekend, it just finished drying a few hours ago and its 11pm now so no photos yet, hope to get some in sunlight tomorrow.

We have baby bunnies! I will also post some photos of them when they are acclimated ... they are stressed enough right now being taken away from their mom and home, don't want to scare them too much with a camera flash :o)

Started my second Nugatory sock today. Had to purchase another set of size 1 Knit Picks circulars so that I could knit 2 at a time on separate needles ... hope that helps alleviate second sock syndrome.

The hibiscus are blooming again .. funny thing plants, they want this life sustaining liquid called water ... like every day. These poor things were dehydrated all the time, I finally realized they like - literally - about a gallon of water each day that its hot and sunny. I have a two gallon watering can and split it between the two and they are so much happier now. Plants and I don't get along so well sometimes, I either kill them with kindness or neglect :o)

Monday, July 5, 2010

OSO Mission 1 Debriefing

While I didn't get through my entire stash, I am happy with what I accomplished thusfar. I did go through the stash in the closet in my craft room, and I went through my pattern binder and pulled out anything I intend to knit in the near future and started a smaller binder with those patterns. What I refer to as my "Next to Knit" binder. I put the patterns in there and also noted if I had the yarn already and its general location. I also put a sheet in there with information about the pattern, intended recipient, what yarn I plan to use and if I have done a gauge swatch.

While doing this I got sidetracked into finishing the doors in my craft room. I completely remodeled this room last year, but the finishing touches were not done until this year. One thing I wanted to do was replace the door hinges, which the previous owners were nice enough to paint all over and make them look hideous, I jsut happened to have those on hand already I purchased them previously making sure they matched the other hardware that I replaced in the room. Also, I never painted the inside of the door jambs when I painted the doors, so I figured while I had the doors off the hinges, I might as well do that. It was a minimal pain in the butt since I had to tape off all the molding I lovingly replaced last year and spent oodles of time painting just right, but otherwise wasn't too bad.

Next plan is to check out the stash in the basement, maybe reorganize it so that like yarns are together (ie sock, baby, sweaters, etc.). Make note if they go with any patterns in my Next to Knit binder. I like to check out the stash in the basement every few months to make sure nothing has made a home in it that needs to be evicted for non-payment of rent :o)

Another task I've been putting off got somewhat done - windows. Another thing the prvious owners didn't seem to think important. Don't get me wrong, the lady did an excellent job cleaning up when she left, you could eat off the floor, it was the detail cleaning they never did. Mildew on ceilings, windows full of dirt and leaves and bugs. They also didn't realize that storm windows are meant to put down in winter. Most of them were up when we moved in in December, which leads to more crap in the sills. I cleaned two windows, storms, screens inside and out ... took a few hours. So I am not looking forward to the other 19 that still need to be done :0)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Operation Stash Organization

Since its a long weekend and I am low on funds, I thought it would be a good idea to re-organize, catalog and pillage my stash. My stash isn't all over my house ... through no fault of my own. I have these great deterrents in my house that force me to refrain from leaving yarn, needles or other knitting paraphernalia all over my house ... they are called cats. Cats are thieving, conniving, devious little creatures who were put on this earth as the bane of the knitter's existence. Don't get me wrong, not all of these creatures are of this sort. I've had the pleasure of living with some who had only one concern when I was knitting ... to sit on my lap and be in the way.

Now, if you have your own knitting room like I do and use this space as sanctuary from the evil creatures, beware .. I told you they are devious. While you sit in your sanctuary for peace and try to pray to the Knitting Goddess, they will come and attempt to foil your plans. While scratching on the door and screeching, you may think, oh poor creature you must be in pain to screech that loudly, you must be in great need of comfort ... do not fall for it ... do NOT open the door whatever you do. They often work in tandem. One will distract while the other one (and sometimes two) will succeed in accomplishing their devious plan.

On to stash organization. I've got tubs, I've got baskets, I've got bookcases. I've got patterns and queues ... all of which are in no particular way, shape or form connected. My plan is this - to connect the dots. I'm going to go through my stash and catalog yarn and patterns and make some sense of it, wish me luck. If I do not return you know what my fate has become ... I am down in the basement room with the tubs of yarn and I have been a victim of a yarn avalanche. If this is the case, please send the aforementioned evil creatures down there ... they may not attempt to rescue me, but once they are done destroying the pile of stash I am buried under I may find a route of escape!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

FO: Baby Surprise Jacket II

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici Sport
Needles: US 5 Addi 40"
Cast On: 6/15/10
Cast Off: 6/23/10
Sew Up & Buttons: 6/25/10

I love this pattern. It is so amazing to knit this weird, wonky looking thing and if you fold it the proper way, its a lovely baby jacket :o)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yarn Dyeing

The yarn dyeing bug has definitely bitten me. I have so much fun dyeing yarn. And over dyeing adds twice the fun!

This red one, started out as a Louet dye kit in browns ... well the main color was more like terra cotta, which I am not a fan of, so I overdyed it red.

This one was something that I wanted to purchase online, but didn't love the pink in the original, so I did more of a raspberry color for the pink and it came out really good, can't wait to knit this one up ... now to choose a pattern. With this one I used a different method - dipping instead of squirting color on the yarn and it worked wonderfully.

This one was the attempt at the above, but done by laying the yarn on saran wrap and squirting color on it, well the top of the skein always looks great, but underneath, not so much, so I over dyed it all blue and it came out nice shades of green, purple and blue.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Knitting Headaches

I always thought there must be a way to duplicate stitch a hole in a sock and make the knitting match up, rather than weaving like traditional darning - which I do not like the look and feel of. I found a link to a video tutorial on you tube from Knit Picks on darning techniques.

At first it was going very well, a little frustrating because of the broken ends that kept getting in the way or pulling out of stitches I thought were secure, but all in all not bad.

Further along (not pictured) when I got to the end where the coriolis band meets with increases and decreases, it wasn't going so well. While it looks better than traditional woven darning, it isn't great. I think because I was creating too many stitches and not replicating the original decreases. However, despite realizing that I was actually grinding my teeth in frustration (I do grind my teeth in my sleep, had no idea I did it while conscious!!) I gave up and went to lie down and watch tv.

I've been working on my February Lady Sweater in Malabrigo (which is such a lovely yarn to knit with) and its going well despite the fact that I keep missing yarn overs in the lace pattern. I ripped it back 6 rows last night because it was too hard to try and knit back and or rip and pick up stitches so I went back to the beginning of the lace since it was only a few rows. Now I am keeping track and making sure I have all the correct stitches. I just found a missed yarn over, but was able to correct without ripping back. Geesh! Yarn and I are not getting along this week!

Wollmeise Contest

Go and visit Jessi at her new blog and for a chance to win a lovely skien of Wollmeise!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The time has come ...

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in. 1/15/10
2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.
3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing. 1/14/10
4. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed. 1/25/10
5. Cable bottom up sweater
6. Reversible Cable Scarf
7. Blanket square
8. Lavitan Mittens
9. Bat Shawl
10. Christmas Stocking
11. Baby Blanket
12. Drawstring Bag

Here's an update of my focused knitting list. I've taken the Lavitan Mittens off of there. I started them at a knitters guild meeting to learn the technique of braids, and that's all I did on them. Since its not actually something I was intending to make, I'm taking it off the list. I would like to complete this list by the end of the year so that I can start out 2011 without any WIPs hanging around that have been around for a few years. I've added other items which are also WIPs that I had started before we moved in 2008.

Derek's scarf needs to be completed before it gets cold out. This has been hanging around for way too long, I think I heard over the past two winters ... "Where's my scarf??" The Christmas Stocking needs to be completed by the end of the year for obvious reasons, LOL! The drawstring bag I know I was actually knitting when I went to FL for my grandmother's funeral ... in 2007.

The time has come to think about 2010 Christmas knitting! Its already half way through the year. I made some promises to knit things for people this year (but definitely didn't over extend).

1. Diane - Christmas Stocking
2. Joe - Fingerless Mitts

Now off to get knitting ...

FO: Baby Surprise Jacket

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket
Yarn: Berroco Comfort Worsted
Needes: US 7
Cast On: 5/4/10
Cast Off: 5/31/10

I took a class on this project and learned a few new things in the process. This was an awesome pattern and one I will use again if I know of any impending babies. The buttons are awesome, I got them at my local yarn shop and they really made the jacket super cute!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Lessons Learned ...

Saturday I went to a coworkers house to dye yarn with her. The first skein that I had an actual plan for went very well. I have a pansy out front that is very pale yellow with dark purple streaks and dark orange in the very center, that was the inspiration for this color:

The second one, not so good ... in fact I refer to it as the Great Dyeing Debacle of Twenty-Ten. However, I learned that if you hate the dyed yarn that much, pick a primary color and dye it again ... ALL OVER (except for one tiny section in this case) and all your problems will be solved. I really wish I had taken a photo prior to the over dyeing, but I really didn't want any permanent record of the disgusting colorway I had originally come up with ... the image is forever burned into my brain. Originally it was red, green and grey ... what I like to refer to as "Elf Barf" or "Christmas in Hades" or the "Bloody Hummingbird Masacre". I still want to try to make a hummingbird colorway, but not a bloody masacre, LOL!

Recently I took a class on the Baby Surprise Jacket, its done ... a little wrong, but that's OK. Meanwhile I had cast on the February Lady Sweater, which uses the same increases as the BSJ that I had done wrong ... I also ripped out the Feb Lady Sweater and started again doing the increases correctly! Good timing to learn that one.

Just needs seaming up and buttons!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lilac Kool-Aid

I have some acid dyes in my stash, but have not dyed yarn at home (did it once under the supervision of a yarn dyer at the Knitter's Guild meeting last September). My only concern is that the dyes are slightly toxic so I don't want to do it anywhere the cats hang out. Then I thought I'd check out the dyeing with Kool-Aid thing, since that's something you actually eat, you can use your kitchen and regular utencils to dye with.

We had grape and cherry in the house, so I used 2 parts grape to 1 part cherry wanting a fushcia type color. It was a very cool process, the water became clear once the yarn soaked up the dye and I do think the color came out pretty close to what I wanted - I was thinking of the lilac we have out back.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

FO: Leaf Pattern Baby Sweater

Pattern: Leaf Pattern Sweater Set - Designs by Jeannine
Yarn: Dreambaby DK by Plymouth Yarn
Needles: US 4 & 6
Cast On: April 25, 2010
Cast Off: May 1, 2010 (buttons sewed on 5/15)

This is a really cool pattern, the yoke is completed (which goes fast) then one sleeve and then the other sleeve and then the rest of the body. Really quick knit! I love the buttons I found for it, I think they really work well.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Focused Knitting Update

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in. 1/15/10
2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.
3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing. 1/14/10
4. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed. 1/25/10
5. Cable bottom up sweater
6. Reversible Cable Scarf
7. Blanket square
8. Lavitan Mittens
9. Bat Shawl
10. Christmas Stocking

I totally forgot about this plan to finish up some WIPs before casting on new projects. I didn't forget about the WIPs - some of them stare me in the face every day when I sit down at the computer, LOL!

I have decided that I don't like knitting blanket squares and I don't want to make a blanket. Its too long of a project and I just don't want to do it. Life it too short spending free "hobby" time on something you don't want to do ... that's what working for a living is for.

I have knit two baby sweaters, one is completed and I posted a picture of it. The other one needs buttons and I am currently knitting a matching hat. I am taking a class on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket starting tomorrow.

The second baby sweater was the Leaf Sweater Set from Designs by Jeannine.

I hope the hat fits. The first sweater I made came out too big - more like 12-18 months instead of 3 months. This one I think is more like 3 months, but not sure the hat is big enough for a 3 month old. Wouldn't be a big deal, but the kiddo is due in June ... who needs a hat in June besides a sun hat, LOL!

I hadn't touched the Bat Shawl in several months and was pleasantly surprised that I could pick it up and knit after looking at the pattern and chart for only a minute or two. I hadn't touched it in so long figuring I would not be able to find where I was in the pattern. I am using a chart keeper and have the last place marked off, but still its been bounced around for a while, so I figured the magnets had moved and I lost my place. No worries there!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Turkeys, Pansies and Cricuts ... Oh My!

Work has been interesting to say the least ... I don't even want to talk about it since its Sunday and I am not there so no dwelling.

Thursday morning we had a lone wild turkey in the backyard. I tried to get a picture while she (I am guessing it was a she) was eating from the small tray we leave for the squirells, but by the time I got the camera she was walking back into the woods.

I get pansies every Spring to plant in pots and hanging boxes around the house. The number of colors that voilas and pansies come in is amazing. It is getting harder and harder evey year to leave the nursery without breaking the bank. Sometimes pansies seed themselves and come back the next year. This lone one showed up near where some pots were sitting last year.

For Christmas my mom got me a Cricut die cutting machine. It rocks! I just tried it out yesterday (yeah I know its been sitting in the box for that long) and it really is awesome. I didn't have any particular project in mind so I started by testing out the cutting of a butterfly. Then thought, hey, I can make Mother's Day cards with this and after a few hours had these done:

FO: Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater

Pattern: Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater
Yarn: Red Heart Ltd. Soft Baby Pompadour
Needles: Addi Turbo Size 5 40"
Cast On: 2/28/10
Cast Off: 4/24/10

I started this sweater when I heard from a friend that his wife was due to have a little girl in June. The pattern is very cute, but lacking in the details department. Since there was no gauge listed I just went ahead and started knitting and ended up with something more like an 18 month size rather than 3 months ... oh well. Its still super cute and will last longer anyway. The yarn was really rough to knit with, but once washed and dried softened up a lot.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Finally Finished

I took this past week off from work with the intent of having some time off to decompress and maybe do some renovations to my bathroom ... never did get to the bathroom. That's not saying I didn't do any renovations. I decided to finish the room I started last year before starting another project. My craft room was pretty much entirely remodeled last year by myself, I tore up the carpet, fixed the wonky walls, painted walls, ceiling and window trim. Ripped out all baseboards and door moldings and replaced. All that was left was to fill in the old attic access that's not needed since there are pull down stairs in the hallway, put up ceiling molding and paint the inside trim of the windows.

This is the old attic access without the trim around it to hold the board in place. I had to fix this first because it inhibited the ceiling molding on this wall. Also pulled off some bad sheetrock tape that was peeling up.

Here's why I didn't use my computer for a week ... it got way messier than this.

And here's the filled in hole and some of the molding! Voila!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunshine and colored eggs

Oh where has the time gone? I can't believe its April already! Though you would think it was July with the 80 degree temperature outside this weekend.

Easter was fun, saw the family and ate some good food. THe kids always make eggs and we get a dozen to take home, which I always look forward to! I recently got a round baking stone from The Pampered Chef and I love it! I made two things on it already. For today I made a creamcheese and apple pastry, kinda like a danish. I want more stone bakeware now!!

The baby sweater now has a sleeve. Once the other one is done then the sweater will be complete, probably this week.

Next week I took off from work for a break and I am thinking of painting and replacing the trim on the bathroom. After I completely remodled my craft room last year I didn't think I would redo another room for a long time, but I am ready now. Plus the bathroom isn't in as bad of shape as this room was, so it will be fairly easy.

I am also working on something a co-worker asked me to make for his kids, something a character in a movie wears. When its done I will post it and the pattern, but no details yet!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring has Sprung

Its finally something resembling Spring here in New England. Winters seem longer and longer as I get older. I don't have any use for Winter, I don't like to be outside, I don't participate in any Winter sports or activities ... its just cold and dark and wet in my opinion. I'm not a big hat, mittens or scarves person either, so even knitting is not dependant on Winter for me ... plus it gets pretty cold here in Spring and Fall anyway, so plenty of time to wear those things if I did want to knit them!

The baby sweater is coming along. After looking at many different patterns, I think this is more of a 12-18 month size, so I am making the length match the circumference accordingly. Once this one it done I am going to try again to make a 3 month size, with a different pattern and yarn ... let's see if this one is small enough. Usually I make things too small, not too big, LOL!!

I went to a Buffalo Buffet to showcase lace weight yarns from Buffalo Gold last Sunday at my LYS. I have always wanted to try Buffalo yarn, but if you've ever seen it in a store, its quite expensive! So I never did pick any up. Since this was a special event, the yarn was on sale. So I did indeed get a skien, only one, even at sale price it was still $42. I'm not sure what I am going to make, but one of the women at the yarn store made up a pattern for lacy fingerless mitts that was free with purchase, so I will probably do those.

I finished up my Easter cards this week. I've had this stamp in my stash for at least 3 years now, possibly longer. Every year I think to make Easter cards, but too late and then don't have time to get them out by Easter, well not this year. I started them mid March and just finished them the other day.

Once I finish the purple lace socks I am knitting I am going to cast on a plain vanilla pair in Ty-Dy Socks by Knit One Crochet Too ... I've often seen this yarn in the store, but never a color I HAD to have, so one that I REALLY liked while I was there so I grabbed it. Even though I think plain stockinette socks are boring to knit ... I find them extremely comfortable to wear. I have plenty of self striping yarn in my stash that knitting up an ample supply of plain socks isn't a problem. Plus they are great on the go projects, don't even need to bring a pattern!

For me? You don't have to heat it, I'll eat it now!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Whoa! Time Flies ...

I can't believe I haven't posted in two weeks, thought it was just yesterday. Well last weekend kinda got deleted from existence since I had the flu and was in bed from Friday night until Sunday morning, and most of Sunday I was pretty out of it, so that whole weekend was completely lost to me. Feeling fine now and getting back on track.

My work had layoffs this week, so this was a terrible week and I am so glad it is over. I still have a job ... just not entirely sure what it is ... but considering I still have a job, I'm not complaining and I'll just wait until they tell me where to go and what to do. I think my job did get eliminated, because I now work for a different supervisor, whom I worked for before I took a my current (now former existing) position. So not quite sure what they intend for me to do going forward.

I looked back on the blog and saw that the last FO I had was January 14th ... yikes! I am working on a few things and really would like to add some more FOs to the list for this year soon. I always feel like I am starting to drown when the WIPs are overruning me and I am not finishing anything.

Cabled Hoodie - I finished the right sleeve and put the body back on the needles and ripped back one row. I had finished the body and cast off the stitches under the arms, but the body was 2" shorter than the pattern called for. I stopped here because that's where the pattern said to stop on the cable chart, however, the cables continue up the back once the sleeves are attached, so it doesn't matter where I stop on the back, I can just pick up and continue the chart there. I made the sleeves 1 " shorter for now to see how they will be once I attach them. I measured a sweater I wear alot and the sleeves were 2" shorter than the pattern for this sweater, so I compromised by making it 1" shorter (so they wouldn't be too short). I can always make it 1 more inch if it doesn't look OK when I go to attach the sleeves to the body.

Lace Socks - I have 10 more rounds and the toe on the second sock and I'll have another pair. These were socks I started a long time ago, so they are longer than I typically like, but its a fun pattern and I will enjoy wearing them anyway.

Derek's Scarf - Has been sitting for a few weeks. Will be finished for next winter.

Christmas Stocking - I am at the decreases for the toe, maybe this one will be done for next Christmas, LOL!

Baby Yoke Sweater - I cast on for a baby sweater because the kiddo is due in June and I was afraid if I didn't start it soon, then I would miss the boat, which has happened all too often when I try and gift things. I am making size 6 months, so really I have until December, but I wanted to give it at the shower or when the kiddo arrives.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Naughty Strikes Again

That arrow, though hard to see, is pointing to a hole in my sock that a little nasty yarn chewing furry monster in my house created. I should have stuck something through it to make it more clear, it was large enough for my index finger to fit through. I darned it, doesn't look great, but at least I can still wear them. Guess stuffing them in my pants in the hamper wasn't enough of a deterent.

I think I am going to get a nice basket to put on the top shelf of the bathroom shelves to keep my dirty socks in until I was them ... uurrgghhh!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Swatching and Theoretical Planning

I wanted to make Jaywalkers a while back (before I was confident in altering a pattern and trying things on my own) and had the perfect yarn that I got in a swap. I cast on, not once, but twice and unsuccessfully started the sock. It was too big - I didn't even get to the heel flap, it was readily evident that this was not going to work.

While stash diving recently I found that yarn. I used my ball winder and split the 100g skein into two with the intent of tackling this pattern once more. I wanted two balls so that I could complete the socks at the same time - on different needles, but working on each sock individually, so that they are completed at the same time. I pulled out the pattern, saw that it called for 76 stitches on size 1 needles ... well this is probably why my previous attempts were unsuccessful. I have found that a 64 stitch sock at 9 sts per inch fits me well and a 60 stitch sock at 8 stitches per inch fits me well and a 50 stitch sock at 7 stitches per inch fits me well. So let's do some math.

Swatch using Judy's Magic Cast on and tips from New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

My ankle is about 7.5" circumference and my foot is 7.75" circumference. The previous socks I mentioned before come out to 7.1" - ah ha this is the size to shoot for! Jaywalker pattern calls for 7.75 sts per inch in stockinette and 9.5 sts per inch in pattern stitch. Well I get 8 stitches per inch on size 2 needles, so if I use the recommended size one, my gauge will be way off and not to mention I did twice before and the sock was too big. I am leery of just going up a needle size with 76 stitches. So I figured if my stockinette gauge was 8 sts (and I actually swatched), my gauge in pattern will probably be about 9.5 to 10. At this gauge my sock would be 8" - too big. I can cut out a pattern repeat, which I found someone did successfully on Ravelry and use 68 stitches. At 68 stitches the stockinette portion on the foot would be 3.75" and the pattern portion should be 3.5 and my final sock will come out at 7.25 - voila! Now to see if my theoretical approach works out in real life! Stay tuned.

I am still working on my list and I am trying not to start any new projects, but I have decided that I always need a pair of socks on the needles. My purple ones are almost complete so I will cast on Jaywalkers next.

I am at the toe decreases for the stocking. Its going much better on two needles than trying to stretch the stitches around the one 16" circular. I don't think I have DPNs in Size 4 so I am going to use the two needles to finish off the decreases. Once the toe is done then there are three connected i-cords for the top.

Derek's scarf is coming along nicely. I am really enjoying the pattern and the color changes. Its about 1/3 done.

This is my January blanket square ... yes I know its Feb 20th now! This is going to be a house and tree with blue background for the sky. Its coming out nicely, but I don't think I'll do any more intarsia squares for this one.

I am halfway done the first sleeve on my cabled hoodie. Hope to finish that one up this weekend and start the second one. Am still hopeful that this will turn out OK even though my gauge is off. I will definately swatch for sweaters in the future!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Focused Knitting Update

1. Diane's Gloves - need thumb an ends woven in. 1/15/10
2. Derek's scarf - needs to be completed.
3. Leyburn socks - second leg needs finishing. 1/14/10
4. Toe up socks - second heel and leg needs to be completed. 1/25/10
5. Cable bottom up sweater
6. Reversible Cable Scarf
7. Blanket square
8. Lavitan Mittens
9. Bat Shawl
10. Christmas Stocking

Well I am getting there. I did start something that wasn't on this list, but its a second sock to a sock that was sitting in a box almost finished, so I think it counts as a WIP and not a new project.

I have been working on Derek's scarf, I got a few more colors added.

I picked the Christmas Stocking up again and remembered why I didn't finish it in the first place. Stranded knitting and I don't get along, I understand the concept, but because I knit so tightly its hard to strand properly, I try. Also, because this stocking is 1" smaller than its supposed to be its hard to get the stitches around the 16" circular needle that should be no problem if it were the correct gauge. I found a 24" US 4 needle in my stash and am going to try and complete the toe with 2 needles.

I started the sleeve of the cable hoodie and I think I am at the point of the increases.

I'm getting there ...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

One ... of ... those ... days ...

Today was one of those days, where you drop things, shut cabinet doors on your foot, get your sleeve caught on something while walking through a room, start making something from a recipe to find you don't have all of the ingredients, but its already cooking so you continue with what you have, paint a door and wonder why its not drying right and notice that the can says flat when you thought it was satin ... one ... of ... those ... days! Not entirely catastrophic, but ultimately annoying to say the least! Then I think of those less fortunate, without a roof over their head, clean water to drink or freedom and think, wow you don't have it so bad now chicky do you?!??! Stop complaining!

Last night I went to a Ravelympics Cast On party. We watched the opening ceremonies for the Olympics and had goodies to eat and sat a knit something until it was time to start new projects. The hostess had door prizes and every half hour or so she picked a name. Towards the end my name hadn't been picked yet and at the end I figured I didn't win anything because the prizes were out in boxes and there was only one left. She said there were only two names left and she was going to make an executive decision since one of the people was here with her sister and wasn't a knitter (she came to enjoy the company and was interested in learning to knit, but hadn't started yet). Well come to find out I won the BIG prize!

A sweater quantity of Rowan Big Wool in Forest Green!!!