Wednesday, July 25, 2007

felting oh what fun

I really enjoy felting but it has been a long time sense I have made something to felt. Last weekend I taught a class on needle felting and I thought I would knit up and then needle felt the sheep on this bag. The pattern comes from Fiber Trends. When I felt, or I should say the correct term is fulling. When you knit a object and then wash it to make it smaller its called fulling. When you use roving or wool bats and wash it to shrink it its called felting. Anyway when I knit a bag, hat or any other item that I want to full I love to use Renyolds Lopi or Lope lite. It is the very best for felting. So the blue is lopi and the sheep is made from some roving that I have in my stash. I really love this bag mostly because of the pockets. There are two on the sides and then two on the front and back. This bag fits just perfect between the seats in my car so that I can have knitting with me while I wait at lights or in traffic.

And the socks keep coming

It has been so hot here in Idaho this month. We had only 2 days in the month of July that were below 90 degrees. Most days have been in the upper 90's and 100's. So I have spent a lot of time in the house trying to stay cool. Of course if you are knitting crazy like I am I have still been knitting. So here are a few of the things I have been working on. The first pair of socks are made with Hempothy and the pattern was a free one from Nancy Bush's web site. The other pair have a bit of a funny story to them. You see I have the issue when it comes to things matching. Well its more of an obsession. I just have to have everything match. So every Saturday when I walk into work I am asked to show my socks because they always match my outfit of the day. Well I chose then self striping yarn because I thought the colors were really neat. As I was knitting them I got a bit disappointed with how they were turning out. The yarn looked better in the ball then as socks. Well every month or so in the summer I take a couple of minutes and check on my wool sweaters to make sure there are no little critters having lunch. Well as I was looking through them I found a turtle neck sweater that I have and forgot about. Well they are a total match with the socks I have been working on. Yippee I can't wait to wear them this winter.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Still on a sock kick- two more pair

Well I know I have said before that I'm not a big sock knitter. Well I think my opinion has changed some what, well Ok its changed a lot. Think there are three factors in my change of mind. First, I have a complete set of Rosewood dps from Reynolds, they are the 5 1/2 inch size and I have to say I just love working with them. I have sizes 0 -5. I have a set of Lantern moon too but the Reynolds are so much better so if you are looking for a great set of needles for socks you might want to check them out.
Secondly socks are so portable. I have been able to pack my socks around where ever I go. The pattern is so easy to memorize that I don't need to carry a pattern so that also helps.
Third. Its so hot here in Idaho this summer so far that it has been great to knit on something that I don't have to have sitting on my lap.

So now I will talk a bit about these socks. The first pair I knit for a Harry Potter socks swap. I have to say they were so much fun to knit. What I did was look through my stash and choose the colors for the Ravenclaw house,( my partners favorite colors). In these socks there is wool, cotton, angora, mohair, silk and even some eyelash for texture. My partner just loved them and even more importantly they fit perfectly.
My second pair is my first attempt at knitting with self striping yarns. I knit them on size 1 needles so I could see if the needles would bend. If you have ever knit with size 1 bamboo you know they well bend way out of shape. Well the rosewoods didn't. I have to say that the fabric is rather firm too. I think its at 8 sts to the inch. I chose a fall color way as I am hopeful that cooler temps will be coming soon. Well one can dream. So now what am I working on. Another pair of socks of course. But I will talk about that later.

So why did I start to knit

Ok so I have been asked " why I started to knit", well I have been crocheting for about 20 years. I taught myself to crochet on a car trip from Oregon to Idaho,which is a 10 hour trip. I decided to learn to crochet as a way of making gifts for family that would be less expensive. Well after crocheting for years I began to find more knitting patterns that I liked than crochet ones. Plus if you have ever crocheted a sweater then you know how heavy they are. By the way knitting takes about 30 % less yarn then crochet. So I decided to take a class through a community ed. program. Our first project were these little slippers. Well I made one and totally hated it so I never did finish the other one. So instead I made this little romper for my then 3 month old daughter, She is now just about 9. I take this romper to my beginning knitting classes to show what not to do. There are twisted stitches, the seams are terrible and it was for a size 6 month old and my daughter wore it until she was 4. Oh the lessons in knitting.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sock it to me swap -questions

What are your foot measurements? (Please give shoe size, length and circumference.) shoe size 6 ½ - 7, 9 inches long, circ. 8 1/2
How long have you been knitting? How would you rate your experience? (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced.) I have been knitting for about 9 years. I would say I am more on the advanced side of knitting
What is your favorite color? Greens, purples, blues. Most jewel tones are fine with me.
Your least favorite color? Even though I live in Boise Idaho home of the Boise State Broncos I really don’t like the color orange.
Do you have a favorite fiber? I love natural fibers What type. Wool, alpaca, angora, etc
Do you have any allergies to certain fibers? No but I really hate acrylic does that count . LOL
Do you have an Amazon, or other type of, wishlist? (If so, provide the link.)
What techniques, if any, would you like to learn? Well I’m not sure I really do enjoy all types of knitting, from lace to fair isle to all parts in between.
Do you have a sweet tooth? Yes What are your favorite snacks? I love dark chocolate, but I mostly only eat low sugar or sugar free types
What is your family situation? (Children, Husband, Pets...etc.) I will be married for 20 years on Aug 15, we have three daughters 16,13,and 9 of course they all knit.
Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Metal, plastic or wood? I have an allergy to metal so I only use plastic ( the old grey Susan Bates nylon ones are my all time favorites but really hard to find these days)if I can’t find a good nylon needle then I will use bamboo. I only use circulars for knitting anything but socks. For socks I am a traditionalist I know how to do and have taught the magic loop, and 2 circulars, but I would rather knit socks with dps.
Besides socks, what are your favorite items to knit? I love to knit Top down sweaters, I usually knit 3 or 4 a year. I also love to knit lace shawls
Is there a pattern, (sock or otherwise), that you are dying to try? The rogue sweater. I have looked at the pattern on line but have yet to buy and try it.
Do you like to read? What are you reading currently? Yes I’m a huge reader. Right now I’m waiting for Harry Potter book 7, then I have a Debbie Macomber series to read next. But I really love to read a good mystery.
Do you collect music? (On an iPod or MP3 player.) No I don’t have one yet.
What kind of music do you listen to? Oh boy I really like all kinds of music ( of course I don’t consider Rap music) but I would say my favorite is classical guitar.
Is there anything you collect? Sheep, Paddington bear
What are your hobbies, aside from knitting? I hand spin and crochet and tat
Are you participating in any other swaps or knit alongs? Not at the moment
Do you have a favorite scent? lavender
When is your birthday? (You don't have to add the year if you don't want to, LOL.)April 26

Monday, July 02, 2007

One among thousands

Yes I am one among thousands that began work on the mystery stole 3 project this last week. When I signed up for this , which was the second day that it was sign ups were beginning, who knew that so many people all over the world would join in. Right now there are over 3 thousand people working on this same stole. It took me a couple of weeks to decided on what color to use. Melanie suggested that either black or white would be best, but that this stole would not be a good idea for a bride. Well having no clue as to what this stole will look like I played it safe and when with Knit Picks lace weight blank. This yarn is designed to be dyed but I decided to keep it the natural cream. This stole as and added bonus. Beads. You think it was hard to pick what color yarn to use. The beads were a nightmare. I when to the bead store down the street three times to look at beads. When I did buy the beads I still came home with three different colors, I just couldn't make up my mind. That my friends is why I'm not a beader. Any way after several swatches it took my daughter to say "yes mom those are the right ones" for me to choose an antique cream seed bead.

Now as for the knitting the pattern can be found at a yahoo group called mysterystole3. Each Friday there will be posted a part of the pattern to work on. Be warned that the email list is huge so huge that I had to go to special notices because I just couldn't keep up with all the email. Anyway I have so far found that Melanie ( the designer) has done a wonderful job with the pattern, I have not had any problems following along with the chart. I can't wait for Friday to see what comes next.

Socks in one Day

Have you ever tried to knit a pair of socks in one day? Well today I did. I finished too! Now for the confession. This are baby socks. The cast on was only 32 stitches on size 2 needles. If you have not had the chance to see or buy ( which I highly recommend you do) Sensational Knitted socks by Charlene Schurch this is where the pattern came from. Its the sample sock towards the front of the book. Like I said it only has a 32 stitch cast on so they come out at about the right size for a baby. The yarn is new to the shop I work at and I wanted to try it out to see how the color change worked out. The yarn is elle Mexican Wave, the color way is black swing. Now if you have read my blog for any amount of time you know I'm a total yarn snob. I HATE acrylic yarn. I have been known to tell my knitting students that when it comes to picking yarn buy the best you can afford, but keep in mind that when you use acyclic its made from plastic so its kind of like putting a plastic bag on and wearing that around town. Anyway this acrylic is not so bad. Its very soft and it doesn't have that plastic feel to it. As you can see there is a subtle color change in the yarn.

Christmas in July

Yes its already July I can hardly believe that the year is half over already. Well when July comes around thoughts of Christmas come to mind. Now I would be totally lying if I said in July I start working on Christmas gifts and then get them all done with plenty of time to spare. I do think about Christmas gifts durning the month of July but I usually don't do much about it until November or even December. Well this year is a bit different. You see I have had these Christmas buttons for about 6 years. Most of my yarn stash its as old as these buttons are. The picture does show the snowman all that well, but there is a reindeer, Christmas tree, and present and then a snowman. This is the first project that I have ever knit that I did the sweater around the buttons. I am well known to wear a cardigan for a couple of years before I finally decided on the right buttons. So this time I thought I would do things a bit backwards. I had the buttons before I started the sweater. Of course I used a top down cardigan from . The yarn is a wool/angora blend from Berrocco called pleasure. This yarn is no longer being made so it would be really hard to find. This yarn was also a recycle. I had made a sweater from this year a few years back when I was much much larger, so I knew I would have plenty for this one. The color in the picture is not the same in real life its more of a dark red instead of a bright one.I think it will be great to wear over a cute Christmas mock turtle neck .