Archive | November 2008

Silk!

So, I’m sure we’ve all done it. Bought that beautiful yarn – that ‘must have’ – and then discovered that it’s not so easy finding the ideal use for it.

My most glaring example are the ten balls of Plymouth Shire Silk in sea green in my stash. Had to have them. Love the feel. The texture. The nubbiness.

Yet every single thing I’ve tried to knit with them has been frogged.

I’ve had them for two years now! A sweater’s worth of silk without a purpose.

Silk is warm, strong, resists mold and mildew while being very absorbant and is VERY lightweight. So…I’m trying it in a scarf…

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It’s working out beautifully! Sure, I won’t have enough left for most sweaters but at this point I’m just really happy to find a use for it. Not sure it’ll do for a matching hat – we’ll see…

Who Knew?

I finished up the second mitten this morning and learned something I had no idea about!

I’m a knitter who has learned from books and by reading on the internet I’ve learned so much more BUT I had no idea that floating a colour on the bottom vs the top of the main colour had such a BIG effect on the results!

I’ve learned that I like to float the pattern colour on the bottom and let the main colour be on top. It makes the pattern colour so much more prominent!

These are the fronts – you can’t quite see the difference, or at least not as well…

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And the backs…LOL…where you can surely see the difference!!!

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The one on the right…I like that one 🙂 It has the coloured floats held to the bottom. The one on the left? Not so much. Black is the prominent colour and the brights are almost lost. They are staying as is though…a learning experience and I’m not big on ‘re-dos’.

The moral of the story? Writing down your float orientation IS useful IF you tend to pick up and put down projects or (gasp!) get sidetracked.

Lesson learned 🙂

A Quick Knit Lace Scarf

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I had an inspiration this weekend so, of course!, I had to try it out…this scarf was inspired by a stitch I saw and liked. The best part? It’s completely done by knitting and working yo’s which are then dropped on the following row! Really pretty, really simple, really satisfying 🙂 I think it would be a great project for any knitter.

The pattern is in my pages, if you’d like to make it 🙂

I May Have Slipper-itis

Seriously! LOL

I thought the ‘Ribby Slipper Socks’ (from the holiday IK) would be a cute gift for my daughter. Then I thought they’d be even cuter if they were felted. Now they’re so cute I can’t stop!!!!

Here’s the first pair, (of a probable MANY)…using mystery wools bought second hand SO CHEAPLY…

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Aren’t they pretty?

The next pair…in Bernat Felting wool, the green mix…slightly modified to make the back a little lower on the heel…

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I feel like casting on another pair, lol. Of course, the good news is that if I make too many, they all fit me perfectly 😉

Hello Winter!

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The icicles are great knitting inspiration! Seems we can’t warm up fast enough this week — winter’s come so early this year!

I’m working on some felted Ribby Slipper Socks (from the holiday IK) using some mystery wool. I needed to give my hands a break after knitting the first of the floral mittens — I find it works best for me if I break up working on things using fine yarns with chunkier yarns. Saves my hands from the ‘I-can’t-grip’ syndrome.

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I suppose another alternative would be to take a break (what is a break?) but I’m not even sure I know how anymore, lol.

The socks are done except for the cuffs — I’m felting them (or trying to) in the sink to hopefully avoid over-felting (not a satisfying experience – been there, done that) in the washer. I HOPE they turn out nice! The pattern doesn’t call for felting so I’m winging that part. I’m going to do the cuffs in superwash after the feet are dry — maybe, depending on the final fabric, I’ll needle felt them too.

Up next – finishing the mittens. Next next? Sewing the quilt. May the Christmas elves be with me! LOL. Happy crafting 🙂

Pretty Mittens

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I’ve started knitting another pair of mittens (more for Christmas!). I’m using knitpicks ‘palette’ in assorted colours, from my stash. They’re turning out really pretty 🙂 I’m hoping I don’t run short of the black. I definitely need to get myself a bunch more…I love having the palette around for all kinds of colour work and felting. It’s great to have all the colours to choose from! Maybe Santa will bring me some more…

The Beaumonde Inspired Hat!

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I’m so pleased with this hat!! I love how the cable decreases came out sort of ‘leaf’ looking.

It is ladies medium, I would say. I used the drop stitch idea in the first bit and then had it come together on top. The needles are 5 mm and I used my handspun superwash merino – about a heavy worsted I’d say.

The credit goes to SmarieK for her beautiful cables and her fabulous ‘Beaumonde scarf’ pattern – I’ve put this hat pattern in my pages if anyone is interested in making it 🙂

Enjoy 🙂

Fabulous Cables!

So, it SNOWED here last night — it even stuck to the ground!!

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I’ve been working on a beautiful cabled scarf using some olive green superwash merino which I spun on my baby (the Kromski wheel) earlier this year. I was planning to use if for the ‘bella’ pattern but I think it’s a little thicker than I’d like. I seem to spin a heavier-than-I’d-like worsted. Oh well 🙂 The yarn is working out nicely on 5 mm needles for the Beaumonde Scarf by Smariek knits. What an excellent pattern maker she is! I love this scarf and most of her other patterns as well 🙂

Definitely have a look – I think you’ll love her patterns too…

A Hat For My Husband

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Another thing for my Christmas gift collection 🙂

I used Patons Classic Merino in paprika for this project…a wool I’ve had in the stash for a few years now. It’s nice to use up the odds and ends! It was left over from a sweater I made myself back when…the obligitory ‘extra’ ball just in case of unforseen shortage or disaster, lol. He quite likes oranges so I’m thinking he will like this hat.

The pattern is ‘A hat fit for a boyfriend’ and is available for free. I think it’s an excellent pattern and have already knitted three of these so far. It’s quick, easy and looks nice when finished!

I’m really feeling the time flying by…just over a month to go. I want to make so many things in so little time, lol. Wish me luck 🙂

It’s Perfect!

I’ve finished my version of ‘Starsky’ (by Jordana Paige) and I have to say it’s turned out amazing!

A couple pics…front and back…

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I made a few modifications…beginning with the yarn. The pattern calls for a bulky yarn (knitpicks sierra) but I used Bernat ‘denim style’ (cotton/acrylic blend) and I really think it’s a great choice. It’s light and warm/cozy at the same time, completely machine washable too! The denim style SAYS it’s worsted but it knitted like a bulky for me.

I knit the body and sleeves in the round rather than including seaming in the design. I joined the shoulders with a three needle bind off to eliminate seaming there too. The ONLY seams are those used to set in the sleeves.

I made the sleeve cuffs a little longer than the pattern calls for. I also incorporated one panel of the pattern, centred, up each sleeve. I like the texture and it made the knitting more interesting too 🙂

Mine is the small size and the pattern is available free, from Knitty. I have yet to decide on a fastener or knitting an i-cord tie…

It fits perfectly and the yarn is really too comfy to describe. I can see me making more things with this lovely yarn 🙂

I Knitted Those Mittens (And Finished That Blanket!)

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They are the heart mittens – the pattern is available for free.

They knitted up quickly using worsted weight yarn and size 3 mm needles. I used an acrylic/tencel blend (black) and Bernat ‘glow in the dark’ in a baby blue (looks white). I think the glow in the dark is a neat idea 🙂 They will be for one of my girls for Christmas.

I got the neatest pattern book today – I’m a magazine junkie, lol – for a knitted ‘advent tree’ and 24 tiny knitted ornaments. The tree is so-so but the ornaments are definitely calling me! I’m wondering if they wouldn’t be sweet to use up bits of sock yarn left over from other projects. I KNEW I was keeping that for a GOOD reason 😉

I really need to finish up my sweater – and show it. I’m not even sick of knitting it, just terribly side tracked with my Christmas list…

Less Than A Round To Go…

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The pattern is free, if you’re interested in making this (or a variation of this!).

This is the blanket I’m making out of mostly stash boucle, along with some fluffy stuff and the odd ball of wool. Thank GOODNESS it’s almost done because I swear my hands are seizing up! I dropped my coffee pot today because I had no grip, lol…it was an extremely sad moment — thankfully my coffee pot also brews into cups 🙂

I so want to knit something small, like a mitten! I’m going to reward myself with that whenever this is done, hopefully tomorrow. And work on the quilt, oh, and the sweater….and sometime find time to clean the house,lol…

Happy Halloween :)

My son’s costume this year was very cool…and scaaaaary, of course! 🙂

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In other news…

My blanket is coming along nicely, knitted mostly from the stash.  It’s about 50 x 50 inches so far!  I’m using a simple, short row spiral pattern that I found free on the net – I’ll post pictures and a link to the pattern as soon as I’m done.  It’s another one for the Christmas pile. 

A good thing too…it’s a transition time for us – my husband, bless him, had a feeling things at work were not going so well and he was absolutely right — the boss is now just about bankrupt AND without any work at all.  Thankfully my husband is good at this kind of thing and isn’t skipping a beat – he’s got a new job beginning monday.  The nice part is we get to spend TWO whole days together this weekend, lol.  The not so nice is we were ripped off for a few hundred dollars when the guy up and changed the way my husband was paid last week WITHOUT even talking to him (I’m pretty sure it’s illegal) and changed him from salary to hourly – meaning we’re a little short but we’ll be fine with a bit of juggling.  S’ok, he owes my husband quite a large amount of holiday pay (almost two years worth – thankfully we have every pay stub) so that should help us once it is paid – here’s hoping that’s reasonably soon.  We sort of think it’s going to take the labour board to help get him to do that.

It all makes me want to knit us up a whole Christmas – which I quite possibly could, lol.  I’ve got quite a lot in the stash and I feel it’s a great time to cut back where I can and use the things we’ve stored up over time.  Our kids are old enough and have enough that they already know that I want to focus less on presents and they are fine with it – my one daughter is in total support and old enough to understand my opinion that ‘stuff’ makes us weak – that ‘stuff’ is not the important part – that ‘stuff’ is mostly just a waste of money and the time spent making the money.