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, 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.