Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Summer Knitting

It's almost too hot to knit. Almost.

Alaina (my youngest daughter) asked me for a lavender coloured beret for Oceanna. I managed to do that in spite of the heat (30C at least).

The yarn is one strand of Sirdar Snuggly DK and one strand of Alessandro Kid Seta (I think that's right) held together. The pattern is based on one in Ann Budd's "Handy Book of Patterns", but adapted slightly. I first knitted it as written, but the top ended in a point, making it look almost obscene. I frogged it to halfway through the decreases and redid the final shaping. In the book, the decreases are worked every other row. I did it that way, then, when I had half the original stitches, I worked the decrease on every row. That worked out MUCH better!

My thanks to my very patient model... a spaghetti squash. So much easier than trying to find a real model with the right sized head.

If you look at my Finished Objects 2006 page, you'll also see an entry for two facecloths and a soap sack from a FiberTrends pattern. I didn't take a picture of them because they're on display at the store. I used Evelyn A. Clark's "Bathing Beauties" pattern. I'd recommend that one to anyone wanting to experiment with technique. The round facecloth uses Emily Ocker's circular cast on (based on a crochet cast on) and the square facecloth uses a provisional cast on. I did one of each. The soap sack uses a regular cast on for knitting in the round, but in order to save on sewing it up, I used Judy Becker's Magical Cast on (found at Knitty.com). It's nice to have some lacy things that will eventually be for myself. I'm allowing things to get far too masculine around here.

Now, I need to find a way to beat this heat. A jump in the lake is sounding very tempting at this stage, no matter how cold the water may be.

Friday, June 23, 2006

One FO and Some Tropical Punch

Which would you like to see first? The finished object or the Tropical Punch cardi?

Let's start with the finished object. We got a bunch of Fibertrends patterns in at the store and among them was this little bag. I fell in love with the colours, and since I love lime green, that's the one I HAD to make.

The first picture shows the colour pretty much as it is. The bag has, obviously, been felted already and is stuffed with plastic bags to hold the shape as it dries. The second picture is meant to show you the actual size of the bag. I'm assuming most of you know the average size of a geranium plant. When knitted, the bag was approximately 13" tall. Now, it's about 6-7". As I said, it's a Fibertrends pattern, the Gelato bag, designed by Bev Galeskas. The yarn I used is Malabrigo in Green Apple. It's the first time I've knitted with that yarn and I must say it's really, really nice! So soft and cozy. John said it was a shame to felt it. Even felted, though, it's still nice and soft. Touchably so.

I'm tempted to make a couple more of these bags in different kinds of yarn. The pattern was/is easy to follow, well explained and the bag is cute. I'll be putting on a magnetic closure and a button on the tab; not sure what kind of button yet. I'm even thinking this would be a fun bag to decorate with beads, embroidery, whatever.

Ok, on to some Tropical Punch, as my daughter named it because it looks like lemons, limes and pink grapefruit.

This is the cardigan I originally drew up. The yarn is Mandarin Petit, 100% Egyptian Cotton, knitted on a 3 mm needle. It's being worked from the hem up to the armholes in one piece. The cast on for the ruffle? 542 stitches, thank you very much. It took almost an hour just to do the cast on. (Ok, that could be a bit of an exaggeration, but it did take a long time.) The ruffle, incidentally, is the Petite Dinner Bell ruffle from "Knitting on the Edge" by Nicky Epstein.

I think that's it for today. It's a lovely summer day (finally!) and I want to catch some rays. I know they say that no tan is a healthy tan, but I do like the look of a bit of colour and my tan is coming along nicely. I'm not a sun worshipper, but I like being outdoors when it's nice. I intend to enjoy it while we have it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm Back!

Briefly today, but I AM back. Since I have a few moments before I have to get ready for work, I thought I'd share a picture with you of the Citrus Punch cardigan on it's non-intended, but appreciative, new owner.

The day Kristen and Trinity arrived, I tried the two cardigans (Ripples and Citrus Punch) on her. She didn't want to take Citrus Punch off. Every time we took it off, she'd pick it up and say "On!". I had no choice but to give it to her and am making a different cardigan for Oceanna (pictures tomorrow). Both the cardigans fit Trinity beautifully, though I could have made the Ripples cardi a little bit longer. I forgot about toddler tummies.

The chevron top was another story. It turned out beautifully. The colours looked very nice on her. It just didn't fit over her head. The neckband was too snug, so I frogged it (just the neckband) and redid it in a crochet edge. We didn't get an opportunity to try it on her with the crochet edge, but it did fit with no band at all.

I noticed when I downloaded all the pictures that I didn't get any of Trinity wearing either the Ripples cardi or the chevron top. She did, however, walk around with the chevron top on for a good part of one morning, string hanging down her back (keeping the neck stitches from running). She didn't want to take it off, even though the sun was shining and she had another top under the chevron top. Silly little girl!

All in all, we had a wonderful time with my daughter and granddaughter. I didn't get a lot of knitting done, but did do start what Kristen dubbed a Tropical Punch cardi for Oceanna. Kristen and I both picked up a hairpin lace loom (more on that tomorrow) and I showed her how to use it. I also let her have my copy of Interweave Crochet, which has the tutorial in it.

I'll post more tomorrow and update with a few pictures. Now, I have to get dressed and ready for work. Enjoy your day!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Just a Note

I thought I'd just let you know that I'm still alive and kicking, but with my daughter and granddaughter here, just haven't had the time to update you on anything. We're driving them home today, and will drive through to Vancouver to visit John's dad (and will visit with my parents as well).

We should be back some time Tuesday night, as I have to work on Wednesday. I'll try to get some pictures posted later in the week of Trinity wearing her new hand knitted wardrobe additions. Till then... enjoy your week!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Citrus Punch is an FO

I finished Oceanna's Citrus Punch cardigan yesterday. It's a big hit here at the house. Everyone living here has commented on it's cheerful, bright colours and the happy design. That pleases me. Might I add that that last sentence is an understatement? I'm thrilled about getting as much positive feedback on this cardi as I've been getting.

Without further ado...

I do need to find some buttons today, but otherwise it's a fait accompli. May I start something new now?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

An almost-finished object

I didn't start anything new. Let's get that out of the way right up front. I wanted to. I didn't. That's a good thing, right?

Yesterday, I managed to get all the pieces of the Citrus Punch cardigan knitted. Now, all I need to do is sew it all together, weave in the multitude of ends (I know, I should have knitted them in as I went along, but you know what they say about hindsight), and work the button and neck bands. And find buttons. This little sweater needs just the right buttons. I guess that means a trip to the fabric store this week and if I don't find anything there, I might just head over to Michael's and look at some of the craft buttons.

Oh, you'd like to see how it's looking? I did promise to take a picture when the body of the cardi was done and I didn't (it's been a crazy weekend), so here she is.... Oceanna's Citrus Punch cardigan...

...and a close-up of the ruffle and sleeve edging.

The button and neck bands will be the same edging as the sleeves. Two rows each of orange, green, yellow, green and orange. I thought about doing a ruffle at the neck edge, but that might be a little much, especially with this type of ruffle. It would have to be a collared cardigan in that case and I'm not really big on collared (ruffled) cardigans for babies.

Today, I'll be attempting to sew the sweater together and getting at least the button band (as opposed to the buttonhole band) and the neckband finished. I say 'attempting' because it's a glorious, sunny, warm day today and I may not feel like doing much knitting. Add to that the fact that I seem to be developing a cold (which I'm trying to stop in its tracks) and feel like crap, plus the fact that I'm trying to put something together which will earn me a little income on the side (if it all works out...more on that later), I'm not sure how much knitting I'll manage to do today.

On a different note, Lakewatch 2006 is finished, I think. The lake seems to have reached it's high point. If it does go any higher, I'll make sure to post pictures. I do know that the snow in the hills has not all melted yet and we've been getting rain, so it could go a bit higher yet, but right now it's staying steady.

On with my day...