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Knitting Like Crazy For Christmas…

Yes, it’s almost here.  Or so it feels like, anyways!  I have so many things I want to finish up and a few things finished, so far…

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These are my ‘Inspired By Colour’ mittens using Marks and Kattens ‘Trend’ (party colourway) and Patons ‘Kroy Sock’ 4 ply (black). They knit up to a medium woman’s size with a snug, cozy fit and a longish cuff to keep your wrists toasty all winter.

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I’ve made sweaters for two of my girls…the first is ‘Amused’ by Jordana Paige (from knitty, winter 2008). I knit this with Patons ‘Classic Wool’ (where did you go merino?) in Jade Heather.

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The second is ‘Egret’ by Norah Gaughan, available as a free pattern from Berocco.com. I knit this one also in the Classic Wool, in Cognac Heather.

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The buttons were just perfect!

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Off to knit a pair or two of slippers…the list is far from done! Happy knitting and have a great day 🙂

Inspired!

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I’ve been working on a new pattern – for stranded mittens – for my daughter for Christmas. The pattern was inspired by a really beautiful yarn. It has everything stranded mittens need (in my opinion of course!) – great colour, fingering weight, a bit of ‘grab’, superwash and wool. For what more could I ask?

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I’ve paired it with Paton’s ‘kroy’ sock 4 ply in black – to give it a chance to do it’s colourful thing. Oh yes – the yarn – it’s Marks and Kattens ‘Fame Trend’ in the colourway ‘party’. I found it at the Knit and Quilt in Barrie a week or two ago. Beautiful! I will definitely be back for more!

I’ve finished the pattern and have knitted the first mitten. I’ve posted the pdf pattern, if you’d like to use it –

The pattern;
InspiredByColourMittenPattern

My mitten (unblocked)…

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Please let me know how it works out for you!
Have a great day 🙂

Something Bright!

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I’m a little sick of Christmas knitting – I needed a break from the pressure, lol. So, I started this with acrylic scraps to lighten the mood. It will be a blanket, some day! I’m winging it, making each square as it comes with two colours – trying not to repeat myself too much, lol. The basic knitted mitred square was a little tricky to figure out at first but I’ve got one I like now. (I decrease at the centre three times every four rows, every row for the last four rows). I’m using smallish needles so it’s a little hard on the hands (3.25 mm with worsted weight yarn).

Seriously, I need to lay out all the things I’ve made for Christmas and fill in the gaps — money is tighter than tight and our Christmas is going to be as small as it’s ever been this year. The knitting isn’t the ‘little gift on the side’ – it’s the main thing.

I tried making apple studel yesterday, for the first time. What a beautiful thing! I didn’t realize (my recipe was one that didn’t include cooking times) and probably undercooked mine a bit so I’m going to be trying again. It was delicious though 🙂 The dough is so weird – you stretch it like pizza dough but it’s unleavened and it stretches paper thin.

I suppose I should decorate for Christmas but I’m hesitant. Not sure if it will feel more festive or more depressing since we don’t have any gifts this year. Guess I should do it for the kids. Thankfully they are old enough to understand our situation. I wish that meant they wouldn’t be dissapointed. I know they’ll try not to be.

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 🙂

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…

A New Project…

I’ve found another pattern I *need* to knit.

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Pretty huh?

It makes me want to design something geometrical, something of my own…! Another perfect use for the palette sampler pack I’ve been knitting down. I couldn’t sleep last night, between the wicked thunderstorm, my son’s nightmare, the daschund crying(because of said wicked thunderstorm) and the ideas crowding my brain. Why do all good ideas seem to come at about midnight?

Another find…the Knit On The Net E-zine. Really, HOW did I not hear about this before now — issue #6?!

They offer free patterns, interesting articles, a blog (haven’t checked that out yet), AND (drumroll) they offer a knitters graph paper generator which you can set to your gauge, amongst other things! I’ve yet to read the whole thing but I recommend it to anyone knitterly 🙂

I’m beginning to feel knitters guilt. I look at my wip page on ravelry and it’s like TWO ROWS or so. I haven’t touched the medallion sweater in about a week, nor the apres surf hoodie, NOR my son’s cabled sweater! I keep telling myself it’s ok to play — it’s summer! Pretty soon though — unless I want to stress myself right out — I’ll be getting back to the sweaters. A fair goal is finishing them before fall 🙂

And spinning, I LOVE spinning yet my wheel is sitting dusty while I explore all the OTHER things I love. Soon, dusty baby, soon.

My garden is growing beautifully, especially considering it’s growing on the front steps, in pots on the deck!

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I water frequently (these are the plants I started as seeds in the house this spring) and also fertilize frequently with a vegetable safe fertilizer. I’ve even started to get tomatoes! Some of the tomato flowers are rotting off though – not sure why, maybe too much water? Too much something, I’m sure.

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Oak Leaves Pullover

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This is the “Oak Leaves Pullover” that my mom picked up part-way finished at her second hand store.  I’m finishing it for her.  I picked it up midway through the leaf design and it has a line through the knitting — I assume because it sat on the needles for nearly forever.  I guess I should have taken out a row.  Since I didn’t, we’re going to make this the back…so mom never has to look down and see that line 🙂  The pattern is from Mary Maxim and uses dk weight acrylic.  I do love the colours!

Oh Happy Day!

Yay, my tree skirt is finished!

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I’m pretty happy with it…and happy to be finished it!  LOL, large projects always feel like they are taking forever, no matter whether they really are or not.  Those last few rows felt like a marathon!

You can’t quite see some of the tone on tone colourwork I did to prevent having to use plain blocks of colour.  I thought it makes it more interesting looking.

Basically I cast on 144 sts (12 panels of 12 sts) and increased (12 sts – one in each section) twice over six rows until I was to 118 rows.  You could continue it as far as you liked though.  For the colour pattern, I use graph paper and graph out one section only, as I go…more than once I had to add in more paper because I changed my mind, lol.

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Good Morning :)

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My tree skirt is coming along pretty well!  I’m about half way, row-wise…which of course means I’m no where near half way knitting when you take into account the ever increasing row length, LOL, but it’s getting there 🙂  I’m pleased to be able to use my scraps for something we will really enjoy.

My mom is awesome 🙂  She found me this neato thing at a second hand store.  It is an older drop spindle set but hasn’t (from the looks of it) been used.  It is a beginner set (excellent, I am a beginner) with a spindle and an instruction book.  Who knows when I’ll get around to trying it but I have no doubt that someday I will 🙂

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This week I shall be awaiting my wool (the malabrigo I ordered from www.fabulousyarn.com ) and finishing this skirt. 

Enjoy your day! 🙂

This May Be a Record!

Well, this may be my fastest frog ever!  I got almost halfway done the first quarter panel of the tree skirt and realized I don’t really like it very much. 

Soooooo…..

I’ve frogged it and cast back on for an improvised skirt.  I’m using the basics (the cast on number of sts and the increases) from the pattern and I’m going to design my own ‘insides’.  I like the holly leaves/berry so I’ll include those.  I’m going to do the entire skirt at once rather than make it in quarters.  I realize this means my needles will be very full by the end, lol, but hopefully it works out ok!  

November…

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So, Now Halloween is over and it’s time to focus on CHRISTMAS!!

I’ve finished a scarf for my nephew, tried to finish a matching hat…lol…didn’t swatch and designed it myself so it turned out baby sized and will be going to Christmas Cheer.   I’m sticking to the same idea and adding 20 sts to the next one.  They are hats using the ‘my so called scarf’ stitch, modified to work in the round.  

Because I’m frustrated by the non-fitting hat, I’ve put that aside for now and have cast on the ‘floral tree skirt’ from Handknit Holidays.  The pattern is by Michelle Rose Orne (which I just noticed) and she is the same designer that designed the composed mitts as it turns out!  I’m using stash yarn, mostly red heart….LOL, I added my stash to ravelry and I now feel obligated to find stash busting projects.  It seems I have a little wool problem!

Must go knit and de-Halloween this house, lol (the kids have decorated everything in sight).  Have a great day! 

It’s Going To Be A BUSY Day :)

Good morning, Happy Friday 🙂

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I’m so Happy!!  I have completed the scary cutting of the steeks on the Autumn Rose and it went beautifully 🙂  Look how pretty.  These are my first steeks!  I used the instructions given in Eunny’s crocheted steeks tutorial and they are awesome 🙂

The Wool Gods do love me as it turns out….I had just enough of the yarn to finish the sweater even with the modifications I made.  I have yet to complete the neckband and I have a plan for that (as I’m running quite low on ‘sunrise’)…I’m going to run bands of colour…two in peat, two in sunrise, two in madder, two in sunrise, two in peat, using the background ‘old gold’ and ‘bracken’ for the purls.  I highly doubt anyone who hasn’t knit it or read the pattern will ever see that there even is a modification! 

I am enjoying this coffee…and I better…as soon as I am done, I have to start preparing for the kids’ halloween party this afternoon.  I’m making a spider cake with green guts…awesome stuff for the 9 and 10 year old set!  I have to get jelling my jello though and baking or we’re in trouble!  I couldn’t see making a cake and filling it with jello and then storing it over night even….I pictured bad things happening so I’m making it fresh today.  I did buy the canned frosting (cheating yes) so that step will be so quick. 

Another thing on my list….filling and hanging the pinata…(oh yeah, and adding legs and eyes to him so he looks spider-ish.  The pinata has worked out well so far and I just hope he can take more than one whack!  LOL  I think the first kid to try is going to break that open!

For ME…I’d really be happy if I can finish Autumn Rose and wear it but I have a feeling time will be short today even though it is only ten rows to finished.  Oh, and the lovely end weaving…I was doing it periodically as I went but haven’t caught up in a while, lol.

Have a fantastic day! 🙂

Happy Friday! :)

I love Fridays.  Even though I am a stay at home mom, I feel like all the pressure is off come Friday.  Makes no sense, but that’s how I feel 🙂  Me and the kids do the ‘yay friday’ cheer together…lol.

On this Friday, I have to clean my house.  Somehow autumn rose isn’t helping lately, lol.  I’ve been so knitting obsessed with it that I’ve been slacking a little, I admit.  My youngest daughter did a wonderful job yesterday on the upstairs…the least I can do is the downstairs!

Autumn Rose is coming along nicely…all ready to add the sleeves and begin the yoke…I’ve just started the first sleeve and I’m praying to the wool gods that I have enough to finish it without buying more.  I’m thinking about faking it if possible…there is no rule that says the colours MUST be where they are on the chart if I run short in the neckline for instance.  We’ll see.  Stay with me wool gods.

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I was browsing this morning for information on knitting socks on two circulars and I found this tutorial.  Awesome and easy from the looks of it.  Check it out if you have any interest in learning this (if you are one of the few like me who haven’t yet!)…it is very clear and easy to follow 🙂

Getting There :)

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I’m happy and stressed out over this sweater! 

I added the extra repeat in the waist section and started my increases a few rows earlier to ‘re place’ the waist a little lower than it is on the original chart (pattern wise).

I’m running low-ish on some of the yarn colours already and now I’m fretting about the neckline. 

Knitting wise, the pattern is beautiful and the fair isle is coming out excellently if I do say so myself.  I’m really happy I’m making it and I’m going to focus on that…the positive!

A Few Days…

Yes, I’ve been away from this computer for a few days.  I got my Autumn Rose pattern book and the yarn…so I’ve been knitting!!  I’m so happy with it so far 🙂  The yarn (shetland spindrift) seems very scratchy at first, but it works up beautifully in the fair isle.  Holds the stitches sort of like velcro.  Very hard to ‘un knit’ though!!  LOL.  Found that out the hard way after making a 2oo+ stitch mistake!

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Here’s the thing though, I don’t know for sure what to do regarding length!  The pattern says it is 22 1/4 inches in length.  I have to make the small size to fit me ‘around’ and yet I’m 5 foot 7 so I usually add length to sweaters.  The length, as is, will be short-ish compared to what I normally like.  So the decision has to be made soon.  I figure to add in the extra pattern repeat in the waist (most narrow) area. (because of the yoke patterning, I need to add in a full repeat in order to keep the pattern constant — or I considered making the coloured bands between the medalions wider through the waist area…that could work too)  Then there is the wool thing.  I’ve already spent an arm and a leg on this sweater…adding the extra rep could add another 20 dollars or so.  I won’t know until I get near the end though so I need to knit fast or my dye lot may not be waiting when I realize what I need!

Then there is the option of leaving the pattern as is.   I may just do that, but my fear is not loving the finished length after going to the work of knitting this.  It isn’t like a usual sweater where I’m ok with the idea of frogging and re-knitting! 

I’m way, way behind on the blogstalking posts…four and five I believe I need to post yet.  And my ravelry invite came!!!  That will take some time to set up…now I can see what everyone was saying when they said to be prepared. 

My ravelry name is knitsnthings.

Off to knit….have a great day! 🙂

Finished First Mirasol Glove :)

Here’s a picture of the first glove, all done….  Mirasol Glove

 And a look at the inside….Mirasol Glove - Inside Look

I would change a couple things with this pattern.  What I do is knit and then take notes, after each row, as I go.  I find it difficult to write it all out and then knit it.  I have no clue how others figure out their designs, but that’s my way.  With these, I would hold the kroy doubled in the cuff, to make it more fitted.  Also, I would have picked up a couple more stitches in the pinky and next-to-pinky fingers (I caught on and started doing that after those two).  They are a little snug.  But, in the interest of not frogging, because I hate that!, I am going to make the second glove as this first one.  They may be a little imperfect, but at least they will match 🙂