Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Steeking yes you can do it!

Steeking Yes you can do it and not pass out in fear. If you are not familiar with this technique its where you knit a sweater totally in the round then you cut up the center to make a cardigan. Yes cut it up! This little sweater is a class sample that I finished today. During the month of February I will be teaching a class on this technique. SO if you are in the Boise area during the month of Feb. Give Knit Wits a call and sign up. This little project has a two fold purpose. Not only will the students learn to steek, but we will then put our mini sweaters on teddy bears and then donate them to the local police department. Then they will be given out to children that are in crisis. Now for a little bit more information on the sweater. I used some lopi lite that I had. Then once the sweater was all knit, using a sewing machine I sewed four seams. Then I cut down the middle of the four seams. The next thing I did was fold over the edge and sew it down, then I picked up in the purple and knit the edging. After my class does this two week class we will then start in on a full sized sweater, but this time we will add color work as well.

Another Top down Sweater only smaller

Boy do I love the to down sweater patterns. Can you tell. I'm not sure how many I have made over the years but I never get tired of them. This is the latest. This time I made the bulky weight one. Which is so fast to knit on. I think it took me a little less then a week to make. But of course I was using a size 11 needle. The yarn was one of my favorites Cascade Eco Wool. This is just a great yarn to work with. The price is very good. Around 16 dollars for 478 yards. I used a cream, medium grey and then a dark grey. The really neat thing about this sweater is when I finished it I thought oh great its to small, I will have to wait to wear it, until I loose a little bit more weight. But no.... Its fits just great. Which of course makes it even better.

The Last of Christmas knitting

Yipeee! I'm all done with my Christmas knitting. This was the last of my planned projects. This coat is for my youngest daughter who is quite the fashion diva. She of course loves the color pink. I was unable to find the right pattern for what I was looking for, so what I did was modify the child's top down sweater from Knitting pure and simple. Instead of joining the sweater I turned it into a cardigan. Then I made it a bit longer to make it more of a coat. I added two little buttons for a closure and then black eyelash yarn at the collar and then both the cuffs. She has knee high boots that are black and I think will pick up a pair of black leggings and then a white turtleneck to complete the outfit.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Picture Perfect

Well, this whole process has been quite fun and I'm thrilled with the final results. My youngest daughter said it not only looks like the yarn in the picture but it is the yarn. It come in at 20 WPI and 325 in yards. The picture shows it to be a bit brighter then it really is. I really like the tweed effect instead of Navaho plying so that the colors stay with each other. I like the subtle changes in colors, but that is my preference it doesn't have to be yours. The big lesson I learn here was that if you can't find what you want make it happen. I know I have come across some really nice hand dyed rovings on eBay that were only an ounce or two, not really enough to make something with. So now I think I will try to copy them myself.

Friday, December 08, 2006

And the wheel is just a spinning

Well, as you can see my pursuit of a picture project is just spinning along. I'm spinning this rather small. I'm thinking of making a triangular scarf with the yarn. As I look at the progress I think there may be too much pinks and oranges. I would like a bit more green but we will see how it turns out. I'm planning on plying this as usual. I want the colors to mix. So be on the look out for the final results in a day or so.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl harbor remembered

December 7, 1941 .... On this day every year our family remembers my uncle Charles Anderson, a survivor of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor Hawaii. As a young navy diver stationed there at the time he saw it all. The Navy a few months later gave my uncle a medical discharge for ear damage. A few months after the Navy discharge he was drafted into the Army and became an officer. If this sounds like I'm proud of my uncle Charles ........... You bet I am!!P.S. Uncle Charles is still holding his own at home in San Diego, California.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My pursuit continues

My pursuit of a picture continues. Well the roving is dry and ready for me to spin. I have really happy with how it turned out. I think it will spin up to look just about the same as the one in the picture. I plan to spin it long draw or at least my version of the long draw. I can't decided what I want to make with it. I was thinking a lacy scarf. I plan to make a 2 ply as usual. I really like the tweed effect, where the colors are all mix up rather then keeping the pinks with the pinks and the greens with the greens. I will update you on the spinning process in a day or so.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

In pursuit of a picture

I love to read the magazine Spin Off. When it comes in mail the first thing I do it look through it then usually at bed time I start to read each article. Well I came across an ad that just caught my eye and have been thinking about it for a day or so. The ad is from www.stick-and-stone.com( a great site to get some great spindles and other goodies). I went to the site and didn't find the roving that is in the ad,(by the way its on page 102 in the Winter 06 issue). So again I got to thinking. I just really like how that yarn looks. So this afternoon I got my dye stuff out and made my attempt to copy the picture. I had about 6 or 7 ounces of corridale that was purchased at my last visit to Fuzz a new fiber store here in Boise. I was given some Dylon dyes a few years ago and I have used them in the past and really like the way wool takes the dye. So I picked out Olive green, mandarin orange, and Tahiti pink. I then soaked the fiber in warm water and about 1/2 white vinegar, for about 30 minutes or so. Then I layed out plastic wrap on my counter. Lightly squeezed out the extra water, then lay out the roving in an according fashion on top of the plastic wrap. Then I mixed up my dyes in paper cups. Using foam brushes I patted in the pink on the right end of the roving, the orange in the middle and the green on the left end. I then carefully covered the roving with more plastic wrap making sure that the colors would not be able to run onto each other. Then I placed the packet into the microwave and cooked it for 10 minutes then I place the packet on my dryer and opened it up to cool. That so far is what I have. The picture show it cooling. Later, once its cool I will then rinse it out and hang to dry. I think I will be able to get the result I want although the picture doesn't really show there is a difference in colors between the pink and orange. I will update you on the progress of this project. So keep coming back to see what happens

Friday, December 01, 2006

My whisky hat

I fell in love with this pattern back in May or June, the first time I saw it in a magazine ad. I had such fun knitting this hat. The neat thing about it is even though I was on a size 3 needle and the yarn is what I would call smaller then sport or Dk, its totally lined. The process is you start with a provisional cast on that knit the brim, then purl one round and then repeat the brim pattern again. The reason for this is at the end there will be 4 layers around the ears. After both brims are knit then you begin the hat, you can't see but there is pattern work all over the hat. Once the hat is done I added the tassel, and then went back to the provisional cast on and pick up the live stitches and knit the lining in the teal. I can't wait to wear it when we as a church group go Christmas carroling later this month. I'm sure I will be toasty warm.

My shelpy sweater is done and just in time

Well I have finished my shelpy sweater is finished and just in time. We had about an inch of snow last night, that the weather guy said wouldn't be, So after I got home from the gym, and I showered it was so nice to put it on and stay warm for the evening. To recap the pattern is the wonderful Wallaby and the yarn is Ella rae. I made the XL and it took only 6 balls. So if you are going to knit this plan on not using all the yarn that the pattern calls for. I also made mine longer in the sleeves and body. I like my sleeves to be long so that if needed I have hand cover if it gets cold.

Another great Fiber of the month

Well Amy of Spuckyfibers.com has once again out done herself. This month's fiber is called Pie in the Sky and its 4 ounces of Finn. Now I have never worked with this breed before, I find it very similar to Wensledale. The staple length it about 4 - 5 inches long and it has a bit of a stiffer feel to it. As you can see the spingles that I'm working on is coming out quite nicely.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Yea new books and new projects

Yea I love new knitting books. I picked up Victorian Lace Today, today at the yarn shop. I was going to wait until after Christmas but once I saw it today it just jumped into my knitting bag demanding to come home. As a rule I don't buy a book unless it has 3 patterns that I want to make. Well I think there are only 2 that I don't want to make. One of the first will be the shawl on the cover. The hat pattern comes from a Renyolds whiskey pattern book that I have had for a couple of weeks I have begun this hat. I hoping to wear it when I go Christmas carroling in Dec. The thing is a normal hat usually has about 80 stitches for the brim. This one has 168 so it will take a while but so far its quite fun to do.

What's on the needles now

Well with Christmas on its way the needles are busy around here . Now don't feel to bad for me as the larger dark purple project is a Hoodie for me. I have been wanting to make myself a sweater that I can shlep around the house with and the Wonderful Wallaby is just perfect for that. A few years back I made one for each of my daughters and they whore then out. I have a student in one of my knitting classes that is working on this so I thought I would make one along with her. If you have not tried this pattern , think about it. You can make one for every size in your family. From babies to XXL adults. The pink and purple blob is a top down sweater coat for my youngest daughter who just loves pink. She at the young age of 8 is a fashion diva and loves sweater coats. I don't really have a pattern for this but I am adapting a top down sweater pattern that I have to make a coat. I plan to add black eyelash to the collar and cuffs. The perfect touch for a diva.

SP9 - Wow

After a long day teaching knitting. Yes I know its a hard job but somebody has to do it. :-) I came home to a wonderful good box from my SP9 exchange. Wow am I getting spoiled. 8 wonderful skein of a wonderful Goddes cotton/wool blend.The color in the picture doesn't show the color as well as it is in person. Its a deep deep purple. I also got some great hand lotion and a bath fizz ball with the lavender scent. My favorite. Thanks so much for th e good box whoever you are.

And the world just keeps spinning

Well I have been having fun with my spinning wheel as you can see. The green is the roving I talk about earlier. I'm thinking of making a lacy scarf with it. The huge ball of green,white and tan is a skein that I have been thinking about trying. The olive green is merno, the white is corridale and the tan is alpaca. I spun up about 500 yards of about a Dk to a worsted weight. My plan is to knit up heavy boot socks, so that I can wear them when I go Christmas carroling in December.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Knitter's felted quilt block tote

I was able to finish the Knitter's quilt block tote, that is in the current issue. Wow was this fun to knit. It done using basically the modular method, but with a twist. The center square is more like grandma's favorite dishcloth instead of a modular square. I used a new, to the shop Knit Wits, yarn called Ella rae. This 100% wool yarn is just wonderful to work with. The color range is more suited to my taste, they are more muted then most colors. I was also very impressed with the way it felted up. The tote is hanging in the yarn shop for a while before I take it home to use and enjoy. Like I said before I have been working on getting little thing done so that I have move on to other larger projects. I have started a Wallaby for my self and a top down coat for one of my daughters for Christmas. I will post pictures later of their progress. I also have that wonderful blue/green fiber on the matchless wheel. I will add a pictures later this week of its progress.

What you can make with not so perfectly spun yarn

This scarf is a great example on what you can knit up with not so perfectly spun yarn. This yarn is a silk/merno blend that I spun on my matchless. This was the first yarn I spun the the new wheel I'm not sure if you are like me but when I spin on an new wheel or at least one new to me. Its like I'm learning to spin all over again. As a matter of fact I didn't have the bobbin on right. If you have never spun on a matchless the bobbin ends are different sizes. One is for Double drive which is smaller and the other end is larger for use with scotch tension. Well I had for got that and spun it with the large end on a double drive so the spinning isn't very even or smooth. But I really love the color so I thought I would try to knit something up with it. Its kind of hard to tell but I used the leaf pattern called a world lit but fire from the book Lavish lace by Carol Rasmussen Noble and Cheryl Potter. The neat thing about this pattern you can really see the unevenness of the yarn. As the temps fall I plan to wear this with my black leather coat.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

As the days spin by

I have been working on odds and ends for the past week or so the first being the coat I talked about in my last post. But I have been spinning also. I finished my confetti yarn. Its about a worsted weight yarn and I came out with enough to make a top down sweater. I think I will try to get to that after the new year. Last week I got my box from Spunky fibers. This months fiber of the month is called Monster mash. I know the picture isn't very good but, the colors are lime green, lavender, rust and a little bit of grey. Amy thought of this color as if several monsters, the great big purple people eater and the green monster being a couple of them, when on a roller coaster and this is want the mash of colors would look like. The fiber is called Falklands and I have to say I really like it. I spun this rather small and tight, my plan is to knit socks with it. I'm not a real big fan of long socks so I think the 290 yards will be enough to make ankle socks. My last pic is of the next roving I'm working on, I bought this at a new fiber/yarn shop here in Boise. Its called FUZZ. They carry some yarns, but are more of a weaving and spinning store. The neat thing is the store is not to far from where I live so I don't have to travel far to get some fiber when the need comes on.

The Einstein coat

Well Its finished, and I'm well pleased with how it turned out. It just goes to show that you can break a few rules when it comes to knitting. This as you may have read is the Einstein coat and I used Noro Kureyon. Yes I used a worsted weight yarn and it still turn out right. I was able to get the gauge that the pattern required. It is more like a sweater then a coat which is fine as that was what I was looking for. I didn't worry about color placement. I have knit things in the past from Noro and did match the color changes but this time I thought it would look nicer if it was done randomly. I have worn it a few times and have gotten great feed back on it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Its beginning to look like Halloween around here

Its beginning to look like Halloween around here. Today the temps have fallen and so are the leaves. We have our costumes ready and now we just have to collect the candy. Well today I did get some candy so to speak. I received my first box from my SP9 pal. To update you on this. A few weeks ago I sign up for the secret knitting Pal swap. It will run for three months and I will be getting boxes each month or so durning this time. My first was wonderful. I got some neat yarn that I have never seen before. Its called Kathmandu. Its a merino wool, silk and cashmere blend. I have a little bit over 400 yards. I'm thinking of making a hat and scarf with it go with my black leather winter coat. Next I got a tin of hand cream from blue Sky Alpaca company. I have used this before and really like it. Next was a Mark lip stick/eyeliner from Avon. I also did get some candy, pumpkin truffles to be exact. My daughter who love pumpkin pie thought they are wonderful. She got to taste one. Lastly I got a 10 dollar gift card for Barns & Noble. I plan to spend some time tomorrow looking for a good knitting book. I am still working on my Einstein coat I should have it done either tonight or tomorrow. I have also been working on my white fiber, that I have been working on for a few days now. I should have that done by Friday. So pretty soon I will be looking for a new project to start. I think I will look around the web and see what I can find. Or maybe a new book from Barns & Noble.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gansey Workshop -the pin cushion

This last week I started a Gansey workshop that is being hosted by the traditional knitting, located in the yahoo groups. So far this has been very informative and fun. Every couple of days Liz ( the designer and leader) uploads a file or two on the art of Gansey knitting. Our first project was this pin cushion. Each side has a different pattern. If you are not familiar with ganseys they are sweaters that are knit very tightly and have lots of texture. The designs are done with knit and purls not colors. Traditional ganseys were knit for fishermen and usually are made with dark colors. Navy, grey etc. I have always been interested in the both the history and method. I plan in the future to spin and then knit a gansey for my self. So if you want to learn to knit gansey this might be the workshop for you. We will be making several smaller projects using the knit and purl patterns. I next pattern I plan to try will be a pillow cover, then socks.

Monday, October 09, 2006

What I'm working on Now

I have been knitting for other people for so long that is has been fun to be a bit selfish and knit for me. I do have a couple of Christmas gifts to do. I plan to start then next. Right now I'm working on an Einstein coat from Sally Melville's Knitting experience the Knit Stitch book. I have knit this before and really liked how it turned out. The problem with the first one that I did was that I ran out of yarn and the sleeves ended up a bit to short. I have decided to break the rules some. I am using Noro Kureyon. I know its not a bulky weight but I did get gauge on the size 10 needles so I figured why not. I have had this yarn in my stash for a long time and its time to use it. I know the coat is going to be more of a sweater then a coat but that's ok as I have a heavy sweater coat already. I did ask about the yarn change on a knit list that I'm on and was advised not to. Well sometimes I think its a good thing to break a rule or two when it comes to knitting. That's what makes it fun. This has been a great mindless project. I have been taking it with my when I have to run errands. It seems that now that gas prices are dropping so everyone is on the road. I also seem to have the luck of hitting every red light there is, so I have been knitting at stop lights, which help without the road rage that can occur in heavy traffic.

What's on the wheel now

I have been trying to spend a hour or so spinning each day. At first I had a little trouble getting used the matchless. Every time I spin on a new wheel it seems that I have to relearn to spin. I haven't tried any of the other size whorls yet. I'm still using the medium one. Right now I"m working on 2 pounds of a wool roving that is called confetti. I can't remember where I bought, but I'm sure it was ebay. The roving it white with what I would call small sewing thread threads mixed in. The threads are all different colors. It has a bit of a rainbow effect. I know the picture its the best but it has been fun to spin

Secret Pal swap 9 questions

Below are the questions that I need to answered for the Secret Pal swap that is going on now. If you are not involved it still gives abit of info on me. Enjoy. 1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?I'm a total yarn snob I love to work with wool, angora, silk, alpaca hate to work with any man made yarns.2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?I mainly use dps and circulars, they are held in a jar and and a wall holder respectfully 3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?I have been knitting for 9 years and would say I am advanced. I have taught knitting for about 5 years now and I love to do all kinds of knitting 4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?please email me for the info 5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)lavender 6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? YES dark chocolate 7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? Yes I spin I also crochet, tat and I love to read a good mystery. 8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I mostly listen to Christian rock ( newsboys etc.) I also like Celtic, bluegrass 9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?Greens are my favorite but I also like jeweltones. I'm not a huge fan of pastels 10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?Married for 19 years, three daughters ages 16,12 An 8 one dog11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?I do wear hats, mittens and scarves but no ponchos 12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Whatever the next project is13. What are you knitting right now? An Einstein coat 14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?Yes15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?I use only nylon circular and dps. I really like the new bryspun but the old grey nylon Susan bates are my all time favorites 16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?Yes but they get used a lot.17. How old is your oldest UFO? 2 weeks. I'm kind of strange I work on one thing at a time.18. What is your favorite holiday?Christmas19. Is there anything that you collect?teddy bears and sheep 20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?I subscribe to Knitters, Interweave knits, vogue knitting, and Spin Off. 21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Not really I love to cables, color work, enterlac, steeking,felting, really all types of knitting. 22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?I knit maybe 2 or 3 pairs a year so I'm not a huge sock knitter, but my shoe size is 723. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) in April

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fall is Here Yipee!

Here in Boise its has been a long hot summer. I really don't like the hot hot weather. I grew up in southern Oregon near the coast so even on really hot days it would cool off at night. Even though I have live in the Boise area for 20 years I still really hate July and August here. Its just not fun when at midnight its still 90 some degrees outside. Well the leaves are changing colors now and things have cooled down some. We still have not had our first frost but it is more livable. To celebrate falls return I decided to reknit this sweater. Yes I have knit this pattern before but that was a few years ago when I was a much larger size. I have gotten rid of all my size 24 cloths but kept all my hand knits so that I could take them apart and reknit them. This is one such sweater. The pattern is one of my favorites from knittingpureandsimple.com . This top down sweater is the light weight V neck. If you have never made a top down I can recommend them enough. If you don't liking working with straight needles and sewing up seams this is the sweater for you. The yarn is interlacements and the color way is called poppy fields. Or as I call it the drug sweater. All kidding aside it is a wonderful fall colorway. I think it I will wear it at my daughters next football game.

Wow has it been a month?

Wow I had no idea its has been a month sense I updated my blog. I have been rather busy with kid events. My oldest daughter is in marching band at her high school and it seems I am either picking her up from practice or a game every 5 minutes. I have been able to fit in some knitting and spinning while all of this has been going on. So over the next couple of days I will update you all on some of my finished projects and then talk about a couple that I'm still working on. To start, this in my latest dishcloth. The pattern was a fun one to do and shows up nicely with this tan and white ombre. The pattern comes from my yahoo group monthly dishcloth list. This was the mid September cloth.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Got To Love those KAL's

You just gotta love Kal's ( Knit-a-long). This last weekend The love 2 knit email list had a Pj party and one of the activities we did was the Sheep KAL. I know the picture isn't very good but its a sheep. The funny thing about this is. A week or ago I was thinking that it might be neat to add a few sheep to my rather large collection of Teddy Bears. So what's the next dishcloth I knit. A Sheep. So I guess that's a sign to start collecting sheep. Well, at least that's the story I'm sticking with. The other cloth comes from the monthly dishcloth Kal email list group I'm on. Again the picture isn't very good. The pattern is of an oak leaf. Just in time for Fall. Which I can hardly wait for. Its been so hot this summer here in Boise. I'm really looking forward to cooler temps. We have also had really bad smoke for the past week or so which has caused us to have to stay inside. But temps are cooling and it looks like it might even be in the mid 70's. Which will be great as I am planning on attending a wool growers festival and then a bluegrass festival on Sunday.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Another goodie in the mail

Today I found another goodie in the mail. This is mini stocking that was waiting in my mail this afternoon. This came from another exchange I did on one of my email lists. This was for a hand spun mini sock. I'm not sure who spun and then knit this little beauty but its just wonderful. The spinner says this is from her first spun yarn. Boy I wish my first few balls of hand spun looked so good. The yarn is wool and one ply is a cream and the other is a pink/purple Kool-aid dyed. Just wonderful. My Christmas tree each year is full of mini socks and this one will be a very great addition.

Monday, August 28, 2006

How I did at the fair

Well the fair is over and school has started. We all did really well this year. My husband made his first knife and got third place. He lost to a Roman metal costume. My oldest daughter got second place with a hat she knit. It lost to a full sweater. I also did somewhat well. I got second place on two sweaters. They both lost to machine knit ones so I don't feel to badly about it. I did get a few blue ribbons. My FLAK cabled sweater got first place and also the Best knit item from the local knitting guild. That came with a $50 dollar gift certificate to the Craft warehouse. I also got a first place on a skein of alpaca that I spun and a pair of socks I knit. All told I won $73 in prize money and another $75 in gift certificates. Yes I did get a $25 one for the mittens that the lady thought were machine knit. Which I think is pretty funny as there were two sweaters that were machine knit but neither were mine as I don't own a knitting machine. I went to the Craft warehouse on Friday to spend my prize money and I was there over an hour. My plan was to get one of those rice baskets, but they didn't have anymore. So then I thought I would buy a book, but there weren't any I wanted. I usually buy my next big project with some of my prize money but I have already got the supplies for that. I plan to spin, and then knit a gansey. So I have decide to put most of the cash money on the spinning wheel, and I bought $50 worth of Sugar and cream yarns for dishcloths. I haven't decided what I will buy with the $25 dollar gift card. Its for a very exclusive yarn shop in Boise. I'm thinking of getting another set of Lantern Moon rosewood dps, but we will see. All in all I entered 18 things and got 18 ribbons. I won 6 blues ribbons, 10 red and 2 red, one best of division ( for a miniature teddy bear) and two best of awards from the Local Knitting guild. So I'm much closer to totally owning my Schacht wheel and I'm ready for dischloth KAL's. I do plan to work for the Best in Needlearts award next year. The gal who won that entered over 25 things so I best get busy.

In the Mail

What is better then getting mail addressed to you? Getting something fun in the mail. I spent most of Saturday teaching knitting classes so I was pretty tired when I got home to find two boxes. The first was this skein of yarn. It was part of a skein swap that I didn't some months back on an email group I'm on. Beth, the gal who spun this skein said she could not remember what type of wool it is but she dyed it with Kool-aid. I'm not sure what I will knit with it, so for now I will put in a basket with other yarns and just look at it. The second box was the September fiber-of-the -month. Amy calls this "cool rain" and boy do we need that here in Idaho. It has been one hot summer and I have to admit I'm ready for fall. I will be looking forward to some cool temps and even some rain. The fiber is South African Fine. I have not felt or used this fiber before. It somewhat feels like merno but it doesn't have the sponginess. Which I don't care for anyway. I'm really looking forward to giving this a try.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Vest

I finished my husband vest this evening. It worked up really fast and was fun to do except for the sewing up the side seams. I never have really enjoyed sewing sweater together but this one was a bit more tricky as the purl side of stockenette was on the out side so I had to take extra care. He is really pleased with the end result, now we just have to wait for the temps here to cool down so that he can wear it. Tomorrow its going to be 100. Yuck.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Machine Knit?

Ok so I have a funny fair story to share with you all. Yesterday the fair opened so my family and I headed down to see how we did on all our fair entries. I will talk about my ribbons and how we all did later but these mittens have a story to tell. While I was looking around at all the items, looking to see what I lost to or what I beat, there was this lady that was extremity upset. So much so that she went and got the suprervisor that is in charge of the Needle arts area. It turns out that she was upset because she just knew that these mittens were machine knit. She was so mad that she was screaming at her about how it wasn't fair and how there was no way that they where hand made. She was ranting and raving all over the area, along with her family. So much so she plans to write a letter to both the fair office and the local knitting guild. While she was doing all this my family and I were snickering. She didn't know I was the one who made them. Now the supervisor knew they were mine and didn't let the lady know so I'm grateful for that. But I would like to have told her that I don't even own a Knitting machine. Now here is the really funny part. I got third on the mittens. Go figure.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Latest try at spinning

I'm not sure if you are like me but everytime I think I'm so smart I prove myself wrong. I have been thinking about spinning the silk that I received this month for the Fiber spin-along. So what I thought I would do is pick up some silk/merino wool to try on the Schacht and get used to both the wheel and the silk. I figured it will be easy and it will turn out perfect. NOT So. I first really need to learn my wheel. I spun the entire 4 ounces with the bobbin backwards. I kept thinking that it was the fiber, but no it was that fact that I didn't check what I was doing like I should have. The skein isn't to terriblely bad but there are parts that are over spun and wirey and not at all what I want. I bought this fiber from a friend of mine that will shortly have a web site up and ready to sell to anyone. As soon as that happens I will let you know the address. This fiber is in shades of greens and is 70% merino and 30% tussah silk. I found a neat fingerless glove pattern that I think I will give a try with this as I have to use smaller needles to make a tighter fabric and I think the over spun parts won't show as bad as maybe a looser knit item. So look for the gloves to come soon

Fair! I think I'm ready

Well now that my FLAK is done that means its time for Fair. I really don't take competing at the Fair as a real big deal. My daughters are in 4H and we have to spend quite a bit of time there. In the past they have shown rabbits and cavys but as they are getting older they are finding it hard to commit that much time to showing. My oldest daughter will be starting High school this fall and is wrapped up in band. As a matter of fact she starts practice on Monday to get ready for football season. This year my oldest daughter will be showing knitted socks and a hat along with some hand spun yarn and some herbs. My middle daughter will be showing a knitted pillow and socks, hand spun yarn, tea bags and jerky and some frozen bread dough teddy bears. My youngest is still a cloverbud so she will be showing frozen bread dough also. A cloverbud is a child who is under the age of 8. They don't really compete they just show something they did over the year. My husband has also gotten in the act of showing things at the fair. This year he will be taking biscuits and snickerdoodles. He has won second place on his biscuits in the past and its looking to get the blue ribbon. He is also going to be showing a knife that he made. He has been learning the art of blacksmithing. As for me I
will be taking a few things. Ok a lot of things. Now I look at winning a bit different then other do. Its nice to win but if I don't its OK. As long as I loose to something better. Which in the past has not always bee the case. Anyway we as a family do it mostly for the fun of it. We usually use our prize money to eat dinner one night at the fair. This year however I think I will do pretty well as I have a few things I'm really proud of. First is my Steeked cardigan. It was a bit scary to cut up after I did all the knitting. Then there is my FLAK sweater, and my lace poncho. But I think the one area that I did some real improvement is in the hand spun yarns. First the 4 skeins that I'm entering I think are better then they have been in years past. I contributed that to the fact that I have a better wheel this year and I took a few spinning classes this spring. Also I made a crocheted purse and knitted mittens from my hand spun and I don't think you can tell they are hand spun. Its kind of hard to see but the purse is the light brown one and the mittens are the grey ones. So we will see how we do next week. We have to turn in all our stuff by Tuesday the 15th and then its judged on the 16th but I won't know how we did until Friday the 18th

Please make me something

Well I have herd these words for quite some time now, from my husband. So with my FLAK done and all my other projects done I finally caved in and am making a sweater vest for him. I'm using Encore chunky in a dark sage green. Now he is a big guy so I am making it a 57 inch. He also likes his shirts and sweaters a bit on the longer side. So I have added 4 inches to the body of the vest so that the total length will be 30 inches. I found the pattern booklet on sale at JoAnn fabrics and so far its knitting up very quickly, but its should as I am using 10 1/2 needles. The pattern book is called 9 Family knits from Lion brand. The patterns all call for Lion barnd wool-ease chunky, but I like encore better thus why I chose it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

SOCKS, enough already!

Ok so I have become very addicted to blogs. I try to look at a few everyday. I have been noticing one big common dominator with knitting blogs. SOCKS. It seems everyone is knitting socks. Now I know its summer here in America and its hot and socks are a great summer project, but there are other things you can knit in summer. Case in point I just had to knit up the garderlac dishcloth today. If you have not come across this pattern you can find in at http://criminyjickets.blogspot.com/2006/07/garterlac-dishcloth.html, Dave has a wonderful blog and you just have to try this pattern out. Now the pattern tell you to cast on very loosely. What I did was cast on over two size 7 needles. Once I had the 24 sts cast on I slipped out one needle and then continued on with the pattern. I used Sugar & Cream in the color Summer splash. It can sometime be tricky to use a variegated yarn and make it so there won't be any pooling. This as you can see works great.

I'm all FLAKed out!

Finally, Finally, Finally! I'm finally finished with my FLAK sweater. I started this on the first of January and its now drying on my bed after I blocked it. Now I have not been steadily working on it. I have had to stop to work on other knitting "jobs" so that's why it has taken me so long to finish. OK so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I really wanted finish this in time to show it at the fair. Which is great as I need to turn stuff in on the 15th. I have to say I really love how it turned out. I decided to make the neck a simple roll instead of a ribbing. I also made sure to do both the bottom and cuff rippings so that it would come out of the cables. When you are doing a cable sweater I really suggest that you keep an eye on this as it makes it look more finished. I used Alchemy's sanctuary in the color of teal. If you have not tried any of Alchemy's yarn you really need to treat your self. They have the neatest colorways and nearly solids that I have ever seen. The best part of this sweater is that it fits perfectly. Now I can't wait until it cools off so that I can wear it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

New dishcloth and what's next

Well, today I was able to wear my pink modular sweater to church and received many complements on it. Its kind of a warm day so it works well to look nice and stay cool. Today I also finished my first Monthly dishcloth KAL from the yahoo group I joined. The funny thing is that my daughter just made this cloth for a 4H project she is doing for fair. Hers was knit in white and my is sugar and cream soft teal. I am also now able to get back to my cabled sweater that I started Jan 1. For those who don't remember this is the sweater that the yahoo group started call the FLAK. I hope to have it finished by the end of the week so that I can enter it into the fairwhich is next week. I should be able to as all I have to do is finish the body. The yarn is from Alchemy and its just wonderful to work with. I'm not sure what will be my next project. So if you have any suggestions I will gladly listen. I do have a sweater I like in the new Fall 06 Interweave Knits. I also got my copy of the Fall 06 Vogue Knitting and I have to say there was nothing in it that I liked. It looks like the issue could have been printed in the 80's, so I guess its the 80's turn to be back in fashion. Maybe I will look in my old pattern books and see what I find.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Modular Top finished on to other things

Well I was able to finish my modular top this evening. The color in the picture is a bit misleading. Its really a hot pink not red. It was lots of fun to knit and it will be a nice top for summer as I think the cotton will be cool. If you have never tried to knit modular I do suggest that you weave in the ends as you go. It saved me lots of time weaving in the ends. I did however go back and we've in some more as cotton has a tendency to work its way out. I did think the top was a bit short in the body and if I were to make it again I would most likely make the tunic length. But sense I used 100% cotton I think as I wear it, it may get a bit longer. My next project is to finish my other two projects that have been waiting for me to get back to. I have been knitting for other people for so long that I have had to put my own projects aside. Well I plan to enter my FLAK sweater in the Fair later this month so need to get that done. I have to turn it in on the 15th. So I just have 13 days to finish. I don't think that will be a problem as I just have to finish the body. As you may remember this was a sweater I started on Jan. 1 from the top down. I have had such fun working on this and I can't wait for cooler temps so that I can wear it. My other project is a simple top down sweater. I have had this one sitting in my car, I have been working on it as I wait for traffic or to pick up one of my kids from some activity. This one is in pinks and will be very similar to the lime green one I made early this year. After these two projects I have nothing on the plate. I will be teaching a simple cable sweater at the yarn shop I work at but that will not be until Sept. So I figure I can start to look around for a project soon. You know the next project is always the favorite.