Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FO: Deep Blue Sea: Shark Mittens

These  mittens were fun and ... challenging.  The mittens themselves were super easy ... embroidering the teeth was a big pain in the butt and the french knot eyes took a little research and practicing.  These are a fun xmas gift for hubby ... so they HAD TO BE DONE by Christmas!

The mittens are worked, then the fins and mouths are separate and sewed on. 

Pattern: Deep Blue Sea: Shark Mittens
Start: 12/11/14
Finish: 12/23/14
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash (Grey) and Cascade 220 (Red)
Needles: US 7 DPNs
Notions:  A tapestry needle and A LOT of patience ....

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Felines Vol. 35 2014


She hasn't knocked down the tree this year ... yet.  But as you can see ... she's being the terrible cat that she is and she found their stocking.  After this pic ... I had to pull her off the window ... she was up to the stocking.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

FO: Massive Granny Square

This was improvised from another pattern.  I know how to make crochet stitches ... but I wouldn't say I know how to crochet (like knowing how to make a knit stitch vs how to make a sock or sweater).  So I wanted an easy project to brush up on my crochet skills.

Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown USA 100% Acrylic Super Bulky
Hooks: 10mm and 6.5mm
Cast On: 11/23/14
Finished: 12/5/14

Its 48" square ... perfect size for me (5'3") and it was a super fast project.  Probably would have been done quicker if 1) I didn't run out of light grey yarn and have to go back to the store twice until it was restocked and 2) its so bulky it hurt my wrist to work on it for extended periods of time.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Felines Vol. 34 2014


This photo is blurry and grainy because its dark, my husband goes to bed much earlier than I do (I work at 3pm) Riley does what we refer to as "tv time" with my husband .... but he also serves as mommy's bed warmer, LOL!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 12

Final Submission

I've got everything printed out and ready to go.  All written work is complete, all swatches are knit and blocked and labeled.  I've checked all references (to make sure anything I cited is indeed listed as a reference).

The program required 17 swatches and a mitten.  Each swatch is accompanied by a page in the binder with cited references for the techniques, some required writing instructions or a paragraph about the technique.  One swatch required writing a pattern so that another knitter could make the swatch.

A 2-4 page report on blocking and care of hand knits with references.

22 questions answered and cited; some questions having 2-5 sub questions.

I gave myself a deadline of 6 months to complete this Level of the program.  I received my instruction packet on 6/8/14 ... and its done as of 11/28/14!!  I took two fairly large breaks where I didn't do any additional work on the program (4-6 weeks).

I did not keep up on blogging about it - mainly because I took all the photos of the swatches on the same day, LOL!

I learned a tremendous amount.  Especially about tension and different increase and decrease techniques.  I've never had any real issues with tension in my knitting, but I still learned some techniques to improve it.

Ravelry Project Page

You can see all the posts on this topic on the blog by clicking the TKGA Level 1 tag below or searching for it in the box above.

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 11

Level 1 Project

The Level 1 Project is the Classic Mitten with Stripes.  Looks very easy, but that cuff was a doozy!  In addition care must be taken to obtain the appropriate gauge, length of knitting as stated in the pattern and it must be blocked appropriately.

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 10

Swatches 14-16 Cables

These swatches required cable work.  The cables should not have over stretched stitches or ladders between the purl stitches.  They should also be blocked properly to not flatten out the cables.

Swatch 14: Single Cable Cross

Swatch 15: Horseshoe Cable

Swatch 16: Cable Swatch & Pattern

This swatch required writing a pattern and knitting the appropriate number of multiples and repeats of the provided cable stitch.

Swatch 17: Colorwork

This swatch required a mid-row color change join that avoids holes or uneven tension.  It also required changing colors in ribbing and avoiding bi-colored purl stitches.

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol 9

Swatches 11-13 Lace

These swatches include eyelets and decreases.  Swatch 13 required writing a paragraph about how the different yarn overs are worked.

Swatch 11: Simple Eyelet Pattern 1

Swatch 12: Simple Eyelet Pattern 2

Swatch 13: Yarnovers

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 8

Swatches 7-10 Decreases

The decreases, like the increases, are supposed to have the same tension on either side, the mirrored decreases are supposed to look as similar as possible to each other.

Some of these swatches required writing instructions for the technique.

Swatch 7: SSK & K2tog

Swatch 8: K2tog & SSK

Swatch 9: SKP & KSP

Swatch 10: SSP & P2tog

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New Cowl Pattern Released!

The meaning of Astrid is Divine Strength. Astrid is an infinity cowl that combines graceful, delicate lace with bold, strong stitch patterns.

It works great with variegated yarn and will also work well with tonal or solid. 

Each stitch pattern is a multiple of 2 stitches; this can easily be modified to make a longer or shorter circumference if desired.

It is most definitely potato chip knitting ... just one more round ... just one more round...

Uses less than one skein of sock yarn. Great use for that special luxury blend.

Astrid  $5.00

Saturday, November 22, 2014

FO: EEeekkk!

Pattern: Baby Mice
Yarn: Left over bits of Malabrigo Sock
Needles: US 2.5 (3.0mm) and US 0 (2.0mm)
Body 1 1/2" long, tail 2" long
Cast On: 11/2/14
Finished: 11/22/14

Actually mice don't frighten me ... I think they're pretty cute.  I don't like them in my house (yuck) but we live in the woods so it sometimes happens ... we rescue them from the cats ...

I modified the pattern by knitting an i-cord tail on US 0 instead of the twisted yarn tail the pattern called for.

Friday Felines Vol. 33 2014


She is a little goober ...

Friday, November 14, 2014


Pattern: Beans the Cat
Yarn: Swan Island Worsted
Needles: US 6 DPNs
Cast On: 11/11/14
Finished: 11/12/14

Love this pattern, its free, super quick and a great use of left overs.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I've had sinus/allergy issues as long as I can remember ... had an allergy test last week ... want to guess what I tested positive for??  I'll give you a hint - I've also had cats in the house my entire life (like one slept in my crib).

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 7

Swatches 4-6 Increases

These swatches are different types of increases.  Increase stitches should have the same tension on the left and right.  These were fairly easy for me, I've used these types of increases in the past on various projects.

This portion of the program includes placing increases evenly, mirrored increases, shaping and of course ... following instructions as written.

Swatch 4: Bar Increase

Swatch 5: Make 1 Increase

Swatch 6: Lifted Increase

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 6

I am almost done!  One more swatch to go.  I am going to break up the posts here by sections (there's a lot).  These are swatches 1, 2, 3 & 15 and they have to do with different stitch patterns and measuring gauge.  Lighting could have been a little better for the photos ... but I am not taking another 16 photos!

In order to pass, tension has to be even, ends need to be woven in unobtrusively and securely, the directions need to be followed exactly (knit ribbing for 2" means 2"), and all swatches must be blocked appropriately with no distortion of stitches (especially ribbing or cables) or pin marks.

Swatch 1: K2, P2 Ribbing and Garter Stitch

Swatch 2: K1, P1 Ribbing and Stockinette Stitch

Back of swatch 2 showing even tension on the back side.

Swatch 3: Seed Stitch

Swatch 15: Horseshoe Cable

Friday, October 24, 2014

Decisions ... decisions ...

I signed up for the West Knits Mystery KAL 2014.  I didn't do the last two, but I did the first one, which is now Earth & Sky.

For this one, he suggested 3 yarns that are similar in contrast and one main color that was a contrast to the others.  To easily figure it out, you can gray scale a photo and see the contrast.

So the green, orange and blue are staying ... the yellow and purple are the contrast ... can't decide ... any opinions???  BTW the yellow is more of a mustard yellow, similar to the 3 other colors ... its not THAT bright in real life  ...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

FO: ITW Merino - Follow the Butterflies

SPINZILLA!!!  Well, I am happy that I accomplished an entire skein during Spinzilla week.  I did not however accomplish my goal ... BUT spinning up this was WAY MORE than I have ever spun in that time frame, so I am happy.

Fiber: Into the Whirled Combed Merino Top
Colorway: Follow the Butterflies
556 yds of 2-Ply

I spun up 556 yds of 2-ply for Spinzilla that equals: 1 ply 556 yds + 1 ply 556 yds + plied 556 yds = 1668 yds spun!

I started it on 10/6 and finished it on 10/12.

I remembered this time to switch to my sliding hook flyer to ply, that made life so much easier (the bobbin is bigger and can hold all the yarn).

This photo is more representative of the colors (the skein above looks more blue that it is).  

Its super soft and squishy.  I learned that Merino is best spun without pre-drafting.  It drafts fine on its own and pre-drafting just makes the top drift apart in some spots.  It was so nice to spin and I didn't over spin or ply it (I over did everything in the past).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Astrid Mystery Cowl KAL

The meaning of Astrid is Divine Strength. Astrid is an infinity cowl that combines graceful, delicate lace with bold, strong stitch patterns. 

It works great with variegated yarn and will also work well with tonal or solid. Each stitch pattern is a multiple of 2 stitches; this can easily be modified to make a longer or shorter circumference if desired. The pattern will be released in 4 installments. 

The KAL will run from 10/15 to 11/15 with pattern installments released on 10/15, 10/22, 10/29 and 11/5.The total pattern is 60 rounds; each installment will be 15 rounds.

Coupon Code for KAL participants for 50% off good until 10/22:  AstridKAL

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Impatiently Waiting ...

I am soooo impatiently waiting for Spinzilla to start!  Technically it starts at midnight ... but I don't think I want to stay up all night spinning, so I think I'll go to bed early (for me that's 11:30pm ...) and start in the morning.

My plan is to spin up each of these 4 oz and then ply them together.

And for the Spindlemania Group on Ravelry, they are also having a challenge Oct 6th to Nov 8th ... 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Silver Lining

I got this lovely Russian spindle on Ravelry in a de-stash.  Up til this one I have been pleased with all of these types of transactions.  While nothing is always perfect, people listing items are usually VERY clear if there are any defects.

The metal spinning tip looked completely mangled and there was a divot/chip in the flicking tip.  The photo below is AFTER I fixed it - I really wish I thought to take a before photo.  It had gouges all over it (tool marks) and a very large burr on the tip that caused it to wobble all over and barely spin.  Knowing my husband has some metal files, I put this away for a little while - DON'T file angry (see below). Today was a day off, so I tackled this, and it really only took 5-10 minutes to fix it up.  

It could still use some fine filing to get it ultra smooth, but I've learned when sanding/filing things, its best to do it in small, short sessions ... I did once sand a hand sander right through the wall trying to fix a really bad, old paint and plaster job from the previous owners of our house ... oh and by hand sander I mean a MANUAL hand block sander, you know a flat piece with a handle that you clamp sandpaper onto ... not an electric one.

Now I am confident in tackling some of my other spindles and sanding the flicking tips / making minor adjustments.

I am quite pleased with how this turned out and happy that I didn't waste $40.  It spins incredibly now that it has a smooth surface and I fixed the divot in the flicking tip too. Its a gamble when you purchase things like this from other people, but generally knitters/spinners are good peeps.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Felines Vol. 32 2014

Apparently when mom is at work and its the first chills of Fall evenings, its a good time to commander her pillow.  How Riley got away with this with Willow right there (mom's pillow is her domain) I don't know.  Even though she's a tiny little thing, she's Queen B in this house and wins all disagreements, disputes and arguments with the other cats, all ruling are FINAL and in her favor.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 5

I have finished knitting the Level 1 Project.  It is a mitten with some color changes and an interesting cuff.

When I started the Master Hand Knitter Program, I thought to myself "A mitten ... phew that's nothing!"

Uh huh ... said the person who had to cast on the cuff FOUR times before getting it right.  That nifty cuff is created by knitting open make 1 and k2tog tbl ... doesn't sound that hard right??  Try finding the running thread for the make 1 when its stacked on top of other make 1s and next to a twisted decrease ...

I am hoping my "jogless join" passes muster ... it doesn't look very "jogless" to me.  

Now I am taking a break from this mitten.  Then ends have to be woven in and it needs blocking, but I am so done with it for right now.

There's Halloween Self-Striping in the shop!  Get 'em before they disappear!