Sunday, December 31, 2006
Speaking only of the knitterly aspect for a moment, 2006 has seen my confidence in my own skills soar. I've become a much more passionate knitter than I ever thought I would become. Again, it has been your encouragement that has helped me to stretch my wings and reach new heights with my knitting.
None of us is truly alone in this world, unless we choose to be. I have discovered that when you open yourself up to others, whether it be face to face or, in this case, in the form of a blog, people respond. People care. When you share your joys, they are immensely multiplied; when you share your tough times, they become just that much easier to bear. That is what all of you have done for me this past year. At the risk of sounding sappy, you have no idea just how much I appreciate each and every one of you who read my blog.
I'm nothing special. I'm a middle aged woman who just happens to like writing and knitting. When I started Strings 'n Things, it was intended to be a way for me to track what I was actually finishing. Along the way, it has grown. There are now an average of approximately 100 readers per day. That is a thrill!
To each of you, I wish I could give you a thank you hug for the part you've played in making this blog what it has become. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Now, to change the direction a bit, we're back at the house now. We're actively hunting for a new place to live, but the pickings are slim right now. We're hoping that the first week of January will bring a few more listings. In the meantime, today will be spent relaxing in front of a fire. We will ring in 2007 tonight, and tomorrow we will face head on whatever comes. A couple of you have mentioned how calmly I seem to be taking all of this. Let's just say that as soon as I can sneak over to the doctor's, I'll be asking for another prescription for sleeping pills. *grin*
I do, on occasion, vent to John. Without him, I don't think I'd be holding up as well as I am. I have my moments. There have been a few occasions when I allow myself to cry, just to get it out. There's not much I can do right now to change the situation, so I do what I can. This coming week, that will include packing up everything that isn't necessary for daily survival. For the past week, it was knitting. Wine helps, too. I know that this is only temporary and that makes it all the more bearable.
I apologize for the rambling nature of this post. Today is all about writing out my thoughts. I'm looking forward to whatever 2007 may bring. I hope that, for all of you, 2007 will be a year of good things, of creating good memories, with the people you love and care about. From the beautiful, snowy, chilly Okanangan, I wish you all a Happy New Year.
See you all next year!
Friday, December 29, 2006
Some of you left some wonderfully touching comments on my last post. You had me in tears (no, I was sobbing actually). I am not feeling sorry for myself. This is something I know we will get through. It's just not fun while it's happening. We'll be back here in the house by this weekend, primarily to pack everything up in preparation for a move. We've not yet found a place to move to, but I'm confident that the right place will come up at exactly the right time. As difficult as it is, I'm not worrying. Really, I'm not. Oh, ok, I'm worrying a little. But just a little.
On to knitting! I told you in the last (brief) post that I have knitting to show you. Here we go... where shall I start?
Remember how excited I was/am about top down hats? Well, I don't know if I mentioned it, but I'm amazed at how many people find my blog via Google searches for earflap hats. So.... I've been making top down earflap hats. This is one of them that is an adult version. Here's another picture of the same pattern, but with garter stitch flaps rather than stocking stitch flaps.
...and in guy colours. And, yes, the pattern is available. For now, you can click here. It will (when blogger smartens up) be available on my freebie site as well.
I have this lovely book that I crack open now and then. I took it along to the house we're staying at right now and read through it (a little more thoroughly than I usually do). I made this little hat, kid sized, using the book as inspiration.
Oh, the book? It's "Style Your Own Kid's Knits" by Kate Buller. Love it! The only problem I have with the book is that the patterns are written only for dk weight yarn. This little hat is knitted with worsted weight yarn. I altered it to be the size as written in the book. It's such a cute design! I figure it will fit a child from the ages of about 4-10ish... or a small adult.
Because there wasn't a whole lot to do while staying at someone else's home, I spent most nights knitting. One other little project I completed (apart from choosing buttons) is this little sweater for my new grandson.
The pattern is from Sirdar's Early Arrivals 2, knitted in Sirdar Snuggly DK in a lovely dark green/teal, 3-6 months size. It was a quick knit, done in about 3 evenings. Now, we just have to make a trip to the coast to give it to Teagan in person.
I've also been working on John's sweater. The remainder of the body is a great "tv watching" project. I'm not sure how soon I'll have it finished as we'll be doing a lot of packing and preparing to move in the next week, but he will definitely have it before long. The left sleeve is complete now; the stitches for the right sleeve need to be picked up and knitted. The body, as well, needs completing, but that's the tv project. We can't be packing ALL day, after all.
Well, it's time for us to head back to the house we're staying in for now. We've been keeping the heat down as low as possible here at the lake, so it's bloody cold here (didn't take my coat off until an hour and a half after we got here); why pay for heat when there's no one staying here? As I said, next week will see the bulk of our possessions packed up and ready to move. For now, we'll be enjoying warmth and hot water for as long as we can!
To all of you, many of you who've become friends in this past year, I wish you a very happy New Year. May 2007 be a better year for all of us!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
We got word from the neighbour yesterday that there's no way we'll have water here until the spring. I don't think we can survive that long in a house with no water.
Tonight, we're going to the local rec center for a dip in the pool, hot tub and shower (definitely a shower!). From here on, I'll check in and post when I can. Keep us in your thoughts and send good vibes for the perfect new home!
If I don't post before then, I wish you all a blessed and happy Christmas.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Well that's all I can think of right now, I'm sooo tired (3 hours of sleep is not enough), but we'll put some more pictures up and update how they both are doing soon!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Updates... still no water. It's 10:00 a.m. at the time of this writing and I've not seen any service vehicles next door. I really hope this doesn't last very long. I'm feeling the need for a shower. My hair's getting fairly long and doesn't really need daily washing, but I really would like a shower... or a bath... even better. As much as mutual sponge baths could be fun, a nice hot bath or shower is sounding really good right about now. Kate suggested buckets of melted snow to help flush the toilets. That would work if we had that much snow; it's almost all gone now. We do, however, have the lake. If push comes to shove, we can use lakewater for the toilets.
Waterless shampoo... yes.. you can also use baking soda or talcum powder. All you do is sprinkle it in your hair, leave it for a few moments, then brush it out. I may have to resort to that. Our other option is to rent a hotel room and take our clothes to the laundromat until we have water again and send the bill to the landlords.
John's sweater is coming along very nicely. The left sleeve is almost to the cuff; so close, as a matter of fact, that I want him to try it on again to see just how much further I need to go. I was a little concerned that the sleeve might be too snug on him. There are 75 stitches at the upper arm. A book that I'm referring to for general sizing (Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns) indicates 90 stitches for a 44" chest sized sweater, so I started second guessing my measurements. However, when he tried it on, it fit him just right, just how he wanted it to fit. I suppose I should trust myself a little more, huh?
I may have mentioned before that this house gets pretty chilly in the winter months. (If I didn't, it does.) Last winter, I made myself a pullover vest that I'm pretty happy with (other than the length... it's a bit shorter than I like, really). I've been wearing it quite a bit this winter. To that end, I've decided to make myself another one. This time, though, I'll use the original one as a blueprint... make it longer, make the V a bit deeper. Seeing that John's sweater is nearing completion (well, the end is in sight), I've started my vest. Can we say startitis?
The yarn is, once again, Online's Tessa, in a deep green. It's fully patterned with a knit/purl argyle-type pattern. This is a worsted weight yarn, so it will be a little heavier than the Country Style DK vest, but that's alright. It just means a little more warmth for me. The pattern is a 16 stitch repeat (which means it would be a good one for socks, too) over 32 rows. Once I've completed one pattern repeat, I think it will be a fairly easy pattern to read. I'll let you know. A picture? Certainly!
A final note about the water situation: we live on native land. That means we're not serviced by the city here. And that means we're at the mercy of whomever the neighbour has called to service the system. I only hope they get here quickly. I think the only thing I can do today is sit and knit like crazy. It may help keep my mind off the entire situation.
To that end, I'm off to get those needles clicking!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Apparently, the neighbour (who's property has the pump house on it) has called someone to check it out, but the guy never showed up today. We have no idea how long we'll be without water and with the weather staying below freezing, who knows whether they'll even be able to do anything. I am NOT impressed!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Now, back to my knitting and watching the snow fall and listening to the crackling fire.... do you think it's too early for a glass of wine??
My apologies... apparently the link to the pattern wasn't working. It should be fine now. :)
It's not far, I know. From here on, though, it's smooth sailing. So far, I've incorporated three decreases. I wanted to pick up the stitches for the second sleeve at this point, but I've only got one 20" 4.5 mm circular, so I'll work this sleeve to the point of having to switch to double-pointed needles, then pick up the stitches for the second sleeve.
On to other things... I mentioned last time that I'm knitting another one of Elann's reversible hats out of sock yarn. This time, though, I'm knitting it from end to end, rather than from middle to end and middle to end. I've got the first half of the hat finished and have joined the solid colour.
It looks funny, doesn't it? I mean, it's just one long tube, really. Here's how it will look when finished. You'll have to use your imagination a little bit, ok?
One last picture...
When I knitted Trinity's hat (pattern will be posted either later today or some time tomorrow), I don't think I used even one half of the 100 gram ball. Since I don't like having half balls of yarn in my stash, I thought I might make a little scarf out of the remainder. To that end, I started this little project using another ball of James C. Brett's Marble and a ball of SRK's Baby Monkey. Trinity's scarf will be similar, but in the purply yarn with purple Baby Monkey.
It's a very simple scarf. Cast on 16 stitches on 8.0 mm needles using Baby Monkey. Working in stocking stitch (knit the right side, purl the wrong side), work 4 rows in BM, then 12 rows in Marble (or yarn of choice). Continue alternating in this manner (4 rows BM, 12 rows Marble) for length desired, ending with 4 rows of Baby Monkey. Cast off loosely. The scarf will curl in on itself; that's the intention. It will look more like a boa, or a tube, when it's knit in stocking stitch. I'll post pictures when it's further along.
For now, that's it. I've got Lentil soup simmering on the stove; there's laundry that needs to be put into the dryer and there's a sweater waiting patiently for me. I'll let you know when I've posted the pattern for Trinity's hat.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I mentioned in my last post that Little Miss Trinity has requested a purple hat. And that I had it done. Here's how it turned out...
The yarn is James C. Brett's Marble, on 4.5 mm (US 6?) needles. On my monitor, the colour is pretty close to what it actually is. I knitted it from the top down, beginning with 4 stitches for the I-cord. I think I'll make the pattern available for anyone who wants it, but it still needs to be written up. It really is a simple knit. Really! Beginning with an I-cord was easier than working the crochet circular cast on and starting the increases immediately. At least, there was something to hold on to.
The other small project I finished (and started) yesterday is one from Knitty. As soon as I saw Calorimetry (how DO you pronounce that?), I wanted to make it.
I love it! I love the yarn, too. It's Malabrigo. Don't ask me the colour name or number; I threw out the tag before even thinking that you might want to know the details. If you've never worked with Malabrigo, get your hands on some. It is THE softest 100% merino I've knitted with. Soft and light. And warm. I haven't even shown this project to John because I'm pretty sure they're not colours he likes... or likes on me. I love these colours. Lime green.... blue.... green.... yummm!
So, I've mentioned (more than once) that I'm really enjoying knitting hats from the top down. Kate left a comment about another knitter who likes to knit that way, too (see here). I've been to her site before and did knit a hat according to her directions. I liked it, but at the time, didn't realize the possibilities. Now, though... well, it's a whole new world!
Last year, I made each of my grandkids a reversible hat from Elann.com's free pattern section. That hat is started with a provisional cast on and worked from bottom to top, then the provisional cast on is picked up and the second part is knit from the bottom to top. I'm knitting that hat again, from tip to tip this time. I've started with a 6 stitch crochet circular cast on, increasing to the stitch count required for the size I'm making, then working straight down for the length required; then I'll be changing yarn and working the entire thing in reverse, to the final decreases. I'll let you know how it turns out. So far, so good.
Now, I'm going to go and spend the rest of the evening with my husband. (His sweater is waiting for my day off; I can't knit it in the evenings, as it's simply too dark to knit comfortably on it.)
Sunday, December 10, 2006
On Monday, after John and his dad did some shopping, I took the car and drove back to Abbotsford, where I spent two nights at my parents' house. Monday night, I cooked dinner and I knitted. And knitted. And knitted. You saw John's sweater in my previous post... well, you saw the start of John's sweater in the previous post. Here's what it looked by Tuesday morning...
It's working up very quickly! I'm having so much fun knitting this sweater. And he can try it on as I go along! I love, love, love knitting from the top!
Allow me to show you a close-up of the pattern detail...
I copied a portion of a sweater pattern I found on Garnstudio, then recharted it and changed the colours. When I got back to Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon, I had John try the sweater on. From the bathroom, I could hear "Wow, I love it!" It fits him perfectly (after I remembered to factor in the ease) and it looks good on him. Remember I said this sweater will be seamless? Well, it will have one small seam; I'll have to stitch the collar to the sweater at the base, as it will be a shawl collar (which, incidentally, is already done but the picture came out blurry or I would have showed you). Even the sleeves are not sewn in.
A detail of the sleeve...
The stitches for the sleeve are picked up and worked in short rows until you get back to the underarm. From there, the sleeve is simply knitted in the round, with decreases spaced evenly (like a regular sleeve, just backwards) to the cuff. I'm thinking I'll knit both sleeves before I finish off the body. At this point, the body is just brainless knitting down to the waistband.
I'm hoping to do some more knitting on it today. I have to tell you, knitting a sweater this way is a lot more fun than knitting all the pieces, then sewing them all together. Is there a single knitter out there who enjoys sewing sweaters together? I know I don't. With this sweater? No seams to sew up. No making sure the pieces fit together just right. No question about fit. I highly recommend Barbara G. Walker's Book, "Knitting from the Top".
Anyway, back to our trip. On Tuesday, I spent most of the day with my kids and grandkids... after checking out the local yarn store and Michael's. At the yarn store, I bought one ball of yarn and a set of bamboo double-pointed needles. Yes, that's all I bought there. At Michael's, I bought a couple balls of Paton's Canadiana in variegated colours and a set of Nifty Knitters, which I was going to give to my daughter but forgot to. Little Miss Trinity decided she wants a purple hat. So, grandma's going to make her (has already made her) a purple hat. I finished it yesterday and will mail it to her, along with a few other little hats for other (new) members of the family.
I spent most of the afternoon with my youngest daughter, whose second baby is due any time. I got to know my second granddaughter, Oceanna, a little better throughout the afternoon. She is such a sweetheart, a chubby little angel. That evening, I took all three of my kids and their kids (my five grandchildren) out for Chinese. After dinner, the girls went home and I followed my son to his girlfriend's home, where we spent a bit of time getting to know each other again (that's a whole 'nother story). Let's just say that our little family will be expanding as Julie has three children. That means three more kids to knit things for, right?
On Wednesday, I drove back to Vancouver and we spent the last night there, with John's dad. John took us out for dinner at Hy's (the most expensive steak dinner I've ever had), something he's been wanting to do since we first met. Thursday, we packed up the car and headed back to Kelowna. Again, the roads were good. Wet, but no snow, no ice. We were home by dinner time. I'm sure it won't be too long before we go back, if only to meet my soon-to-be-born grandchild.
Now, in addition to working on John's sweater today, I'll be knitting more little hats. I'm just having so much fun with them. It seems (so I heard from my son's mate) the hats I make are a hit, so I'll just keep making them. They're quick, they're fun... so, why not? I'll post pictures of the hats I've already done the next time I post.
Till then, stay warm, knit up a storm!
Friday, December 01, 2006
Ever since John saw a sweater that I'd finished for a friend (who moved to Australia before I could get it back to her and who I've not heard from since), he's been enamored with shawl collars. His sweater will have a shawl collar. One night this week, every time I woke up, I found myself thinking about the collar and how to do the shaping for it. I think I've figured it out. We'll see if it will actually work.
I think I mentioned that the sweater will also have a band of fair isle across the chest and back, just under the arms. I've been hunting online for an acceptable pattern (one that we both like) and found one at garnstudio.com. I'm not making the entire sweater, just borrowing the fair isle band pattern, altering the colour scheme to my own preferences.
The yarn I'm using is Online Tessa, a worsted weight superwash wool; I wanted real wool (as opposed to something with acrylic) for John as his shoulders have been bothering him lately and the warmth of wool just seems to ease the pain a little more than anything else does. There was one night when the only thing that gave him any comfort at all was my alpaca Clapotis. So, wool it is for my man. I'm using 4.5 mm (US 7) needles and getting 20 stitches and 28 rows to 4" (just like the label says I should). The main colour is a deminy/tweedy blue that has a little bit of purple and tan through it. It's really quite nice. I dislike making a large project like a man's sweater in a completely solid colour. Something tweedy just makes it a little more interesting. As you can see from my last post's pictures, the fair isle band will be done in purple, dark green and tan.
As far as other projects go, right now I'm working on the sweater. Hats have been pushed aside for the time being. I've been wanting to do this sweater for John for a long time now and am finally going to do it. Of course, progress will be monitored and you will be updated as I go along.
Monika asked me about the pattern for the green Classic Wool hat and could I point her in the direction of the pattern. I hate to tell you this, Monika, but the pattern is still in my head. Well, sort of. I have a preliminary version of it on paper, but will have to type it up and proof read it. Contact me via email, ok?
Tomorrow, the plan is that we will be driving down to the coast. Hopefully, the weather will co-operate. I hate taking unnecessary chances when it comes to life and limb. We're going mainly to check on John's Dad, making sure he's being well looked after and that he's generally okay. We will, of course, be checking up on kids and grandkids, too. This will be a fairly short trip; we expect to be back sometime on Wednesday, as I work on Thursday.
Today, I intend to spend plenty of time knitting while we watch the Canadian political system at work (Liberal party leadership convention). That, and football will likely be what's on our televsion screen today. Between the two, I'll be left with plenty of knitting time.
I leave you with a picture I took yesterday, out of our bedroom window. It's a little hard to see, I know, but those spots under the tree are quail. One of them was even jumping up to catch the berries on the stems. They're such interesting birds to watch. When they run, they look like wind up toys.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
There's one thing wrong with this picture; the colour is totally wrong. It should look more like this:
The yarn is Paton's Classic Wool. I lost the label, so I can't tell you the colour number, but it's kind of an olivey-appley green. The hat turned out well. I knitted this one from the top down as well. I did mention that I love knitting hats this way, didn't I? And no, it's not the knitter that's upside down, just the knitting!
The only thing I don't like is that you can see the division between the dpns when I purled. That will even out in the wash, I'm sure. Hand wash, as it's 100% wool, not superwash (great for felting). I've been wearing this hat for the last couple of days; it's nice and warm and comes down quite nicely over the ears, except when the collar of my jacket pushes the hat up in the back of my neck. Oh well, it won't be this cold forever.
Then, there's some yarn to show you.
This, along with the other 15 balls of the denimy blue, will become a sweater for John. I'm going to be working it from the top down, a la Barbara Walker, in "Knitting from the Top". Another day, I'll post a picture of the drawing I made to show John what his sweater will look like.
The intention is that there will be a band of fair isle across the chest; that's because I'm not sure I have quite enough of the blue yarn for the entire sweater. Now, all I need is a design for the fair isle band. I'm not to that point yet, so I have some time to find just the right one. I might even copy the pattern from a sweater he already owns (that's almost nothing but threads at this point, but he refuses to get rid of because it's wool and it keeps his shoulders warm).
Now, we need to go and deal with a frozen drain in the kitchen sink. It's well and truly winter here with temperatures going down to -23 C at night. The pipes for the kitchen sink are on an outside wall on the north side of the house. The winds have been coming from the north. You do the math. *sigh*
Monday, November 27, 2006
All I really wanted to write is that I really, really, really like knitting hats upside down. I can see all sorts of possibilities. It's something of an epiphany, really. Hats are just the beginning.
Now, how do I go about convincing people that knitting upside down is a good thing???
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I finished another hat. Just a little one. Thing is, I'm not going to show you a picture; at least, not a picture of me wearing it. It's just a tad too big, so I'm going to try to felt it... slightly. It fits John very well and looks good on him, but his reaction was, "Purple? Ummm, I don't know." I can understand that. It's a great colour for me, a woman, but not so great a colour for him. Not to say that men can't, or don't, wear purple. It's just not a "him" colour. Yanno?
Anyway, I'm rambling. Well darn it all anyway! I had a post almost finished and my computer decided to send me an error message and shut down my browser. It all disappeared. Here we go... second try.
This is where I spend my knitting time. You can see my copy of the winter 2006 Interweave Knits. If you look closely, you can see a bit of purple near the bottom of the page. The yarn I used is Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed in colour #281108, a gorgous, deep, eggplanty purple. The colour in the following picture does not show the colour very well; it's a much deeper purple, very hard to capture with the camera.
Here's a picture of the crown of the hat.
The pattern starts the hat from the top down, which is a great way of knitting a hat. It starts with a cast on of 8 stitches, joined in the round. I didn't do that; I used Emily Ocker's circular cast on, which is basically a crochet cast on. Google it, I'm sure you'll find the directions for it somewhere. It's a good cast on to know. The pattern also uses the standard M1 increase, which is made by picking up the bar between two stitches and knitting it, making sure the stitch is twisted so you don't get a row of holes. I didn't do that. I used an increase commonly used by Elsebeth Lavold, and, as I discovered, also described by Barbara G. Walker.
I'll get back to that increase in a moment. This past week, we received two shipments of books at the store. Two of the books in those shipments had my name on them. They were sold before they even hit the shelves.
The first, "Shawls and Scarves", I had borrowed from the library earlier this year and decided I wanted. It makes a good addition to my library. Another great addition is Barbara G. Walker's "Knitting from the Top". I love this book and I think I will end up using it quite a bit. Back to the increases. It's all relevant, trust me, I'm not rambling this time.
On page 21 of BWG's book, she describes 10 (yes, 10!) methods of making a double increase. Obviously, for the hat, I didn't make a double increase, but the method (halved) is what I used. As she writes, "knit into the back of the stitch in the row below the seam stitch (inserting needle downward into the purled head of this stitch on the wrong side), then knit into the back of the seam stitch itself..." It's a nice increase that leaves no holes at all. It's also simple to work, unless you're using blunt needles.
Now, before I forget... Yesterday, I commented that I needed some input as to what to make with some laceweight yarn I have in my stash. It's gorgeous. It's Handmaiden Yarns, 100% laceweight silk. And I have no idea what to do with it. The colours are amazing. The pictures, as good as they are, do the yarn no justice.
What does this yarn say to you? I'm looking for ideas. If you've worked with this yarn before, or know someone who has, what pattern did you (or they) use? What's the yarn like to work with? Triangular shawl? Faroese Shawl? Rectangular Shawl? I keep picking this yarn up and it has yet to tell me what it wants to be.
Well, John's been tending the fire while I've been up here in the bedroom blogging. There's no fire up here. I think I'll head back down to where the fire is. Wherever you are, I hope you stay warm.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Here's the scene from our bedroom window...
Winter's finally (really) here. It's hovering around the freezing point today (0C up here above the 49th parallel) and is forecasted to go down to about -13C by Monday. We'll be using up some of the firewood this weekend, for sure! All the knitting I've been doing lately will be put to good use. And speaking of knitting, there's this stitch pattern that's been floating around the back of my mind for a long time. I've drawn out a sweater pattern that incorporates it, but there's also been an idea for a hat swimming around in the depths, occasionally surfacing. This week, it moved from the depths to the surface again.
It made the leap to the needles. It's not perfect; it's a little smaller than I'd like (I was running low on patience and the fight with the circular needle I was using didn't help the patience levels at all), but I like the general idea. It needs some tweaking. Yes, I'll show you.
My model (very patient, reliable and always at hand) doesn't look the greatest this morning. It is, after all, Saturday morning and little attention has been given to appearance. The hat is meant to be the true star (*cough*) of the shots.
I'm thinking of calling it the Diagonal Rib hat, as the rib pattern is.... wait for it.... a diagonal rib! At least, it is on one side. The top picture shows the diagonal rib side, more commonly known as the right side. The inside of the hat, though, is also quite presentable. That's the second picture. I tried to make the hat completely reversible. As I said, though, it needs some fine tuning, including more depth. As well, I'm not really happy with the bottom edge. It's a rolled edge, but it looks better on the inside of the hat. If you have some constructive criticism, please feel free. Constructive criticism, please. No comments on the model.
For those of you wanting details, the pattern is my own, not yet on paper (and won't be until I can get it right). The yarn is one ball (100 grams) of Paton's Decor, worked on 4.5 (US7) circular needles, moving to dpns for the top.
Tomorrow, I'm going to post a picture of some yarn I have in my stash. Laceweight. Silk. Gorgeous. I've had it for about two years now; it's been languishing in my stash; now and then I take it out and fondle it, admire it, ask it what it wants to be. I have no answer yet. I want input. Details tomorrow. For now, I think I'll take the camera for a walk and then I'm going to attempt to finish John's wristwarmers. He wants a pair just like mine, in black. Now, there's another story!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Aase was in yesterday and bought some sock yarn. She needs a basic pattern for a man's sock, though. For her, I've just posted the (very) basic pattern I use for John's socks. It's in the sidebar, under "My Patterns", entitled "Generic Sock Pattern".
Knitting the ruffles on her sweater has been just about all I've been able to accomplish this morning. I watched House last night, but made the mistake of watching it in bed. Now, my neck is out and I'm in a lot of pain. The knitting has helped a bit, as did a hot shower, but..... *sigh*
Other than bringing in some firewood a little later and starting a fire, I'll be doing a whole lot of nothing today. For those of my internet friends in the US, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your families, good food and good company.
Edited to add: I've just found out that the Patons book I got the earflap hat pattern from (#945, Family Accessories) is no longer in print. My apologies. I didn't realize that when I posted (or knit, for that matter) the pictures. If you really, desperately want the pattern, email me at stringsnthings at shaw dot ca (you know how that works). - Ev -
Monday, November 20, 2006
First, the pattern is written for two needles. I knitted it in the round. That meant I had to adjust the stitch count. Second, I didn't like the pattern on the earflaps; it didn't match either of the patterns in the body of the hat. I charted the earflap and worked them from my chart. Then, the top shaping, being written for two needles, didn't work in the round. My brain was too tired to think about that at night, so I worked it out on Sunday morning and finished the hat within an hour of putting in the markers for the decreases. All in all, I'm happy with it.
Here are two pictures. The first picture is pre-blocking, the second is post-blocking.
For anyone interested, I've posted a file of the changes I made to the original pattern. It only contains the changes. Don't ask me for the original pattern; it's from a copyrighted booklet. Again, the posted file only contains the changes I made to the pattern, including the chart for the earflaps.
This third picture is really sweet. Meet Landon, the baby boy who was supposed to have been a baby girl. And he's wearing the little hat I gave him!
How cute is that?!? It's been a while since I held a two-week old baby. He's sooooooo tiny! And the hat fits him perfectly.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The pattern is from a Patons booklet, in their Patons Classics line. It's book #945, Family Accessories. I never gave the booklet a second look, really, because I think the plaid berets on the cover are just plain ugly. This week, though, a customer was flipping through it when I caught a glimpse of the ear flap hat and decided to buy the book. There's at least one other pattern I'd make, a cable-ish hat with a drawstring top that also has two styles of matching bags.
I've re-designed the flaps with part of the design from the hat itself. I think it's going to look much better.
There ya go!
Friday, November 17, 2006
Here's the finished project...
...and a not so close up shot...
This is the Scarf Around scarf. Lisa was working on one of these at the SnB I went to (haven't been since last year) last week and I fell in love with it. The pattern is intended for the Red Scarf project, written by Maia at Maia Spins. It's a great pattern, a quick knit and you get to cut your knitting! Yes, you cut it! That's really the reason I wanted to knit it; I've never cut my knitting before. It just seems so...... rebellious. The entire scarf is knitted in the round and then cut. The cut edges are unravelled and tied to make the fringe.
The scarf is made with one skein of recycled sari silk yarn from Nepal and 2 balls of Paton's Classic Wool, in black. It turned out fairly long; I estimate it to be close to six feet long. I love it! I have one more skein of the sari silk yarn, so I may just make another one as a Christmas gift for someone. Don't know who yet. Just someone.
And, yes, I started something else. I don't have enough unfinished projects. Ha!
I've started the hat with the earflaps. I've chosen different colours, obviously. The yarn is Paton's Decor, a good basic yarn, eminently washable, a bit of wool content for warmth and memory. I'm changing the pattern somewhat, though. Hey, you can't just follow the pattern as written, you know!
It's almost impossible to see on that picture, but the picture with the pattern shows a pattern on the ear flap that simply doesn't match anything else on the hat. It's a completely different style of pattern and I didn't like it. So... I graphed out the ear flap and designed my own pattern. Well, sort of. All I did, really, was take the diamond pattern from the top of the hat and worked it, along with half of the "X", on either side of it. I like it much better. I'll post pictures when I get the hat done. Once I get past the ear flaps, I think it will be a fairly quick knit. It's been a while since I've done any kind of colourwork, so it's a nice change of pace.
That's it for posting today. Now, I need to install a router so the roomies can have internet, too. And, I need to bring in firewood. It's just that kind of day.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I haven't included pictures on the pattern sheet as I haven't actually knit them up. Well, I'm in the process of knitting the Brioche Scarf; I've swatched the Baby Cable Rib scarf. It would, incidentally, be a great go-along with the Baby Cable Wrist Warmers.
Also not included in the pattern is the yardage required. That's a fairly individual thing. Obviously, the longer you want the scarf, the more yarn it will take. If you only have 50 grams of yarn, it's pretty apparent that you won't have enough for a decent length of scarf. It's kind of a common sense thing, you know?
Enjoy the pattern; send pictures!
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Again, I knit these according to the pattern, but using a slightly heavier yarn than called for, giving the fabric a little more weight and solidity. They should be just right for work-related duty, don't you think?
Today's post will be a short one, but I did want to leave you with this picture:
I went for a short walk yesterday, while John was at work. I like having my camera with me on my walks. This time, though, the batteries died right after three pictures of this squirrel. I swear he was posing!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Anyway, that's not the reason for the second post. The real reason for this post is that I forgot to wish my baby sister Happy Birthday! You have not been forgotten, Gloria, and I will be calling you sometime today. She's the sister with a blog.... Capricious Cogitation*. Why not hop over and inundate her with birthday wishes???
If I had an embarassing picture of her, I'd post it, but I really don't. At least, not one that I can find. Sorry about that, Glor! ;)
In my humble opinion, the look good; they certainly feel good. The 2x2 ribbing pulls in very nicely on the wrists and the back of the hand. And, now that I have the pattern down, they're a pretty quick knit.
Now, I'm working on a pair of fingerless gloves for John. I have one completed and the second one is down to the ribbing on the cuffs.
Details? The pattern is Knitty's Knucks. The yarn is Louet Gems... um.... I forget which gem it is, but it's the light/worsted weight, worked on 3.5 mm (US 4) dpns. It's a tighter knit than it should be. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn, but I chose to work it in a light worsted because John plans on using these at work. After having knit my own set of Knucks, these seem huge to me. They fit him fairly well, though. The only critique he made was that they could have been a little tighter where the hand and wrist meet. Personally, I think the size is just not quite right for his hand, but he's happy with them the way they are and I'm not about to frog anything to make them fit him perfectly. I'll have the second one finished by the time he gets home from work today.
I think I mentioned, did I not, that I'm also working on a couple of scarf patterns? I don't think I'm really designing anything new and exciting, but I know there are people out there always looking for scarf patterns that look good on both sides. These designs qualify. So far, I only have a picture of one of the two scarves (the second one hasn't even been cast on yet, but will be a good match for the Baby Cable wrist warmers). Here's the Brioche Scarf.... well, part of it, anyway.
The brioche stitch is a simple one to work and produces a reversible scarf that's fluffy, warm and cozy. The yarn I'm using is, again, the Luxury Fine Merino Superwash DK. Normally, you'd use a 4.0 mm needle on DK weight yarn, but for scarves, I generally go up a minimum of one size, usually two. In this case, 5.0 mm made a fabric that was just a bit too loose, so I moved down to 4.5 mm. I think it's perfect. The resulting fabric is soft and cushy and will, I'm sure, be nice and warm around the neck. This yarn, incidentally, is very soft against the skin. I think I've said it before, but this is my new favourite yarn for basic knitting.
The pattern for the scarf is a very simple one. I will type it up and put it in the sidebar for the sake of ease (and will include the second scarf pattern on the same sheet), but for now, here's how it's done.
Materials: a nice soft dk weight yarn (yardage yet to be determined), 4.5 mm (US 7)
Using cast on of choice (I really like the crochet cast on for scarves), cast on 30 stitches.
Set up row: *yo, slip 1, k1; repeat from * to end of row
Row 2: *yo, slip 1, k2tog; repeat from * to end of row
Repeat row 2 only until scarf is the length desired. Cast off.
Note: when working yo, bring the yarn forward between the needles as if to purl
And there you have it. The reason I like the crochet cast on for scarves is that it gives you a cast on edge that looks just like the cast off edge. If you look carefully at the picture above, you can see the cast on edge. Looks good, if I say so myself.
What's that? You'd like to know how it's done? Ah, I can do that. The Keyboard Biologist explains it better than I ever could on her blog in this post... (crochet provisional cast on). Instead of using waste yarn, use the yarn you intend to use throughout your project. Cast on one stitch less than the pattern calls for; when you have the stitches required (minus 1), place the loop from the crochet hook on to your needle, giving you the required number of stitches. Doing that locks the cast on; it is no longer a provisional cast on. Continue with your pattern.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
You bet! The hats look great! Thanks so much, Kat!!
On to other things.... the Baby Cable Wrist Warmer pattern is almost complete. I finished the right one yesterday and have the left one ready to begin the thumb gusset. The pattern for the right wrister has been written and today will see the rest of the pattern written up. Pictures later this week.
I've also started another scarf. I'm doing it in a brioche stitch, very simple, really. I'm doing it in dk weight yarn on 5.0 mm (8US) needles on 30 stitches. Once I have enough knitted to take a picture, I'll show you. And I'll write up the pattern for you, too.
Now, on to more writing and knitting. I think I'm having a productive couple of days; it feels good.