Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hemlock afghan

OK so when I saw this pattern on Ravelry a few month's back I just fell in love with it. The pattern comes from a 1942 knitted doily. Well someone, OK a lot of someones knit this using Cascade Ecological wool and size 10 needles. I think there is even a yahoo group working on this. I used the same yarn and size needles. It ends up being about 49 inches across so its more of a lap afghan then anything. The pattern does tell you how to make it larger, but I decided to knit it the size I first saw so that I could tell how big it was. I am planning on teaching a class on this afghan in March so I wanted my students to see what size it would come out as. I do think the next time I make this I will make it larger.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Angora Mits

OK so I don't usually do a commercials on my blog, but today I am. I have a dear friend that is like a sister to me and we exchange gifts on Christmas and our birthdays. I have to confess that I look forward to her gifts the most. She has a way of out doing herself each year. This year was no exception. One of the wonderful gifts is what I'm going to talk about. These fingerless gloves are a kit. The yarn is 85 % German angora and 15% merino wool. The pattern and the yarn come from . The kit cost is just $20. You can't buy a ball of angora yarn for $20 and you get the wonderful pattern too. Which by the way was very easy to knit and they fit my hands just perfectly which is great as its going to get down to the single digits tonight . So if you are one of those people who are already starting to think about next years Christmas gifts or you know someone who needs a great Valentine's gift or if you want just treat yourself. Check out the web site and order a kit or two. She also has other kits that I'm sure are just as wonderful. I know I have my eye on the sock kit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I must be crazy! or is it just old age

I must be crazy! or it might be old age or both. This year I have decided to knit a black sweater. I know I know I'm totally nuts. But I figure I better knit it now while I can still kind of see the yarn before I can't see it anymore. The only problem is I think I might need bifocals. So I can only knit on it during the day light hours. I chose a some what easy pattern from the book 100 knit projects. The yarn is Galway in black on size 7 needles. One of the reasons I chose this pattern is the cable I really like the way its turning out. The other reason is its a top down. you got to love the no sew patterns. The body it totally 2 X 2 ribbing so its keeping my interest. I know the picture of what I have so far looks grey but it really is black. My hope it to have if completed by the end of the month but we will see.

Sense I can only knit on this sweater during the day light hours I have also started another sweater. Well its really a cardigan but who's counting. I found the pattern for this cardigan in the latest issue of Knit Scene. If you haven't seen this issue you might want to check it out. As a rule I really don't like this magazine but this issue has several things that I think I will make. The yarn I'm using is Lorna's Laces Revelation in a green and purple colorway. Now I have had this yarn for years. As a matter of fact Lorna herself dyed it. So that's how long I have had it. Its a nice change from the black sweater as I'm using size 10 1/2 needles. I'm really happy with how its turning out so far.

Finally finished

Have you ever had a project that you just couldn't seem to get done. Well these socks are close to that for me. I started them back in November and I really do love the pattern but I just seem to not be able to knit on them. If it wasn't Christmas knitting for someone or some other thing that needed to get done I just couldn't work on them. Well I finally finished them today. They fit just perfect so I can't wait to wear them. So what's next? Not sure I think I will look through my sock patterns and see which one to do next. I do want to try to have a pair of sock on needles at all times. I have been thinking of making the Jaywalkers and I have notices that I really don't have any blue socks... So I think I will go take a look for some yarn and get knitting.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

January fiber

Well as I have talked about I want to try to spin new fiber each month. So for my first fiber I have chosen pagora. I purchase this roving at a fiber festival in Salt Lake City from Wooly Wonka fibers. Now this isn't 100% pagora there is some wool in it but I can't remember which one. It is very fine, I don't think its merino but its something close. My plan for this roving is make a lace scarf, although I don't have a pattern picked out yet. I have to say it has been spinning up like a dream. I think it will end up somewhere between a lace weight to a fine weight 2 ply. I think for next month I will spin angora, which is a great fiber to spin in the winter when its not so warm. I plan to in later months spin hemp, silk, alpaca,flax, yak, camel,and many others so keep a look out

I have been knitting too

I at the same time as I was getting my yarn room all set up I have been taking time to knit. The first project I have worked on and finished is the Oregon vest. I found some Encore chunky in my stash. I chose to knit this vest using the bulky pattern. So I held two strands together and knit with a size 13 needle. It knit up really fast. I think it took me about 2 days to get all the knitting done. I haven't added the zipper yet. I want to find a zipper that has rindstones on the teeth. I know I have seen them here in town but I'm not sure where so I'm still looking. Check Spelling
I love to knit socks and I think one if not the favorite pattern is Cookie A. pattern called Monkey socks. Well I started these socks in November, but I have had to put them down as I finished up Christmas knitting. So my goal is to get them done this week. I just about have the cuff of the second sock done So I should have it done soon.

My other project that I have been working on is Crystal Palaces' Taos diagonal Jacket. I have to say I just love this yarn. Its so soft and the color changes are just great. This jacket is knit in 6 pieces and sewn together, which is not my favorite thing to do but so far its not been to bad. I just have to finish the sleeves and then it will all be done. By the way the color is 04 mirage.

New year new look

So for a while I have been thinking of reorganizing my yarn room. If you are a fiber nut like me you have quite a stash. The big problem with a good sized stash, is as you get older you forget what all you have. So I have been thinking of ways to make it more user friendly. As I talk about this I really thought about if I should share my yarn room with you all. Then when all the changes were made it turned out so much better then I thought I decided to share so if its something you might want to try. First of all in my house I have a bedroom that is really small. My youngest daughter used the room until she out grew her toddler bed. This room is so small that if you put a twin bed in it you would have no more room for anything else. So for the past few years I have been using this room for storage. I have for years had all my yarn and spinning fiber in plastic binds. Needless to say this room is always a mess. I never really knew what I had and where it was. Well in the current issue of Knitters there is an article about how this gal over a weekend bought wire crates and set them up to hold her yarn. Well when I read that I knew this is what I wanted to do. I looked all over town for these wire crates and could only find them at Fred Meyer. With some luck the day after Christmas the crates went on sale. So I went and bought a few and set them up. Now I have to tell you that it took a lot longer then I thought it would. About 3 hours. I then put my yarn and rovings in somewhat by colors. I wanted to have the yarn mixed with the rovings to give some visual interest. I also set my books up so that they can be seen and easily accessible. The next thing I did as I was cleaning everything up I hung on the wall all my unfinished needlework projects. Not only does it decorate the walls but it also helps remind me to finish them at some point. I then added a comfy chair so that I can sit and knit or spin in what my daughter calls Mom's yarn store. Because all my girls knit I have a bin that is full of my leftover bits of yarn. They know that they can grab anything out of it and make something with out fear they took something I had saved for some project.
One great thing I have found by doing all of this is it has helped my remember what I already have. so when I'm at a yarn store looking at yarn or fiber I know how much green yarn or maybe I have nothing in red. So it has helped my on adding to my stash. It as also make this store room into a little den. My middle daughter likes to go in there and play her violin or just read. And yes it does have a look of a yarn store. The great part of that is I have already bought everything in there so I don't have to figure out how to sneak in the house.

New year New things happening

Well Its already 2008. Yikes! Where did 2007 go? I was talking with a friend of mine this weekend and we were lamenting on how busy we both are and yet getting nothing done. Well I do have to admit I have been very busy these past few weeks. Not only do we have tons of things going on around the holidays but my oldest daughter's birthday is on 4. So Now with all the parties over and everyone is back to school, I can get back to normal. I really wish I knew what normal was. Anyway, every year I don't make resolutions I set goals. So 2008 its so exception. So here are my goal for the year,in no particular order;
1. Loose 50 pounds by 8/8/08 - the first day of the Olympics
2. Read through the Bible
3. Get more fit - which goes with number 1.
4. fiber a new exotic fiber each month
5. knit a pair of socks every month
6. read a really good book every month
7. Take a few minutes to just stop and be still
8. design my own sweater
9. Enter knit, crochet,tat and needlepoint items in the State fair
10. Stop and list my blessings every week.

Now as the year progress I will let you all know what how I am doing on each of these goals.