Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Nearly Finished Project

Last night, I finished the knitting on the French Market Bag for my ITE IV Pal. I'm looking forward to the next steps: felting and lining. The body of the bag was a bit boring, and as such I put it down and didn't work on it for about 3 weeks. (The body is stockinette stitch knit in the round. Easy, but not very interesting.) When I finally pulled it out, again, I realized that I only had about 3 inches to go! I love the way it looks, but am not sure if I'll make myself one, in the future, or not.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quick Progress Update

I started the shoulder decreases on the front of the Green Tea Raglan, and finished the front last night! Its hard to believe how fast it went once I started decreasing. I'm ready to star the second sleeve, however, this pattern suggests a needle that is one size larger for the sleeves than for the body. (This is so that the gauge is more similar between the stockinette stitch used for the sleeves and the moss stitch used for the body.) When I started the front, I had to use the larger needle to take the stitches off my smaller needle. (I only have one size 7 circular and it was on the Market Tote.) So, this morning, I put the tote back on the smaller needle, so that I could reclaim the larger, size 8 circular. Somewhere I have another size 8, but this seemed like good motivation to get my bag finished before finishing the sweater. I am a little closer to being finished with the knitting than I thought, which is good. There is a deadline for the bag, but I think that I still have plenty of time. I knit several rounds on it in the van pool on the way to work, this morning, but it still doesn't look much different than it did before. I'm hoping to finish the body of the bag and start the handles, tonight.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Yesterday, my husband and I attended church and then spent the remainder of the day with my family at my parents' house. Everyone was there, except one brother. We played had a great beef stir-fry for lunch, played some cards, and I had a few hours to knit as we all talked. It was a nice day and I wish today could be another like it, but I have to work. I finished up to the heel of the second River Valley Sock and up to the armhole decreases on the Green Tea Raglan. Sorry, no pictures, today, but they are both showing progress, which I love!

Friday, June 22, 2007

No Time for Blogging...

I've been so busy knitting, lately, that there seems to be so little time for blogging! {giggling} I have about 10 inches done on the front of the Green Tea Raglan. Its a fun and rather quick knit.

Since I've been spending all my knitting time on this one, I haven't progressed any on the River Valley Socks, or any other project for that matter...

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Knittin' Weekend

I used most of my weekend to knit! On Friday night, I finished the first River Valley Sock. When I arrived home from dinner at my in laws, there was another package waiting for me. This time it was from the No Sheep Swap. My pal sent a box of yummy raspberry tea (one of my favorites and I was out of it!) and a skein a of Phoenix Soy Silk. Since, I finished the sock, I cast on for a hat with the new skein. I made Odessa from I finished this project on Saturday and then cast on for the second River Valley Sock. I almost finished turning the toe. Upon checking the mail, on Saturday, there was another package! This time it was yarn that I had ordered from Sarah's Yarns, teal 100% Bamboo! I quickly set about to find a pattern. I settled on Green Tea Raglan from Interweave Knits, Spring 2007. I finished the first sleeve and started the front! Like I said, I really had time to knit this weekend. It was so fun, probably because I didn't do any housework, either. Of course the house doesn't clean its self, but my husband was working on it off and on during the day on Saturday. What a sweetheart!

On Saturday, I met with a friend for tea and crochet lessons at Village Yarn and Tea. (She asked me to continue teaching her where another friend of hers left off.) While we were getting started, another customer was watching us and my friend C invited her to join us. She, too, is new to crocheting, so I ended up helping them both. It was fun and I enjoyed getting to know another needle artist along the way. We set up time to do the same thing, next Saturday, and L (the new knitter/crocheter friend) was invited to join us, too. Surprisingly enough, I did get about 1/4 of the hat done and all of the River Valley Socks knitting during this teaching session. Neither needed as much help as they thought that they did, so it was easy to get some knitting done while talking and helping. I usually have a project with me to work on when I am teaching (I've only ever taught 2 people at a time, never more than that!) so that I don't feel like I'm hovering/watching every stitch. When I've been the one learning, I've always found it easier if I'm shown and technique, left to practice, but still knowing that the teacher is nearby to answer questions when they arise. Most times, this has worked well for both me and the person I'm teaching.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Another Package!!

When I arrived home, last night, my mail box was stuffed full! I opened the first padded envelope and found the Sweater Stone that I had ordered. The felted bag that I received from the ITEIII was picking up balls from other fabrics, so I used the "Stone" on it. It worked great! The bag looks like new, again. I still need to do a tiny bit of mending by stitching the lining down in a few places. (I am very hard on this bag. It goes to work with me everyday and is often over stuffed. I can't say enough about Jen's knitting ability that it has lasted so well, and still has much, much more use left in it!!)

The second package was a puffy from Gail for the Things Knitters Want...Exchange. She sent 2 sets of markers (1 for tiny needles, like when knitting socks, and the other for a little larger needles.) They're perfect! The extra stuff was so much fun, too!

I've continued to work on the first River Valley Sock and have the cuff almost half done. The knitting is going a little more quickly than I thought it would, especially after knitting the last pair of socks with such thick yarn.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

River Valley Progress

When I arrived home, last night, my husband said that I had a package! Here are just 2 of the great items that Kris sent (from the Stuff Knitters Want Exchange.) The stitch markers are the perfect size for the medium to small sized needles that I typically use, and the tin will be perfect for keeping loose tea fresh! She also sent a star-shaped knitted cloth.

Lately, most of my knitting time has been spent on the River Valley Sock. I turned the heel, last night!

There has, also, been some progress on the French Market Tote, but its difficult to tell, so no picture, yet...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Restarting the River Valley Socks

I know it doesn't look too much different, but I did rip and restart the toe for this sock. The green & black was pooling on the top of the foot. The sole looked great. Weird, huh? I ripped and then restarted using the cast on suggested by the pattern. I do like it better, and the patterning is coming out much more to my likeing, as well.

The real reason that I gave in to ripping out what I had done, was that it was too big. I knew that I was going down 1 needle size, so I carefully measured the gauge and found that I was getting 8.75 stitches to the inch, instead of the pattern's gauge of 8 stitches to the inch. So, I added an extra stitch in each of the purl columns. I turned out that the extra was not needed. I was ending up with a sock that would be too big. I should learn to rip sooner. I'm always more pleased with the finished project when I take the time to redo.

I'm loving the pattern. I was just a little concerned that the pattern might be difficult to memorize. It has a similar feel to it as the Luna Moth Shawl. However, the big difference is that their is no center line that mirrors the effect on the left verses the right side of the patterning. So, this one is quite easy to memorize. It only took 1 pattern repeat. I'm no longer carrying the directions, as I know how to do the short-row heel suggested in the pattern. I'll just work until the top is long enough. At that point, I may have to look at the pattern, so that I'll be able to work the cuff as suggested.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I finished the Rainy Day Socks, yesterday!! They are probably the best fitting sock that I've ever knit for myself. Oftentimes, I am in a little too big of a hurry to get the project finished and so I don't rip it back, like I should, when they turn out a little to long or short. This time, I did! It took 3 time of knitting the toe on the first sock to get it right, but I am so glad that I went to the extra work. The yarn is a sport or maybe even a dk weight, so the knitting on these went very quickly. They'll be great for wearing around the house on cool days or evenings. My feet always seem to be a little cold, so finding a good time to wear them should not be a problem!

My next project in line to be started was the June Sockamania pattern, River Valley Socks. I took the yarn and pattern with me over to my parents' house, yesterday, in hopes that I would finish the ones above. Since I did finish, I cast on for these. I'm knitting the toe up version, but used the Magic Cast On from Knitty. It worked well, especially because I did not have the waste yarn with me that would be required to do the crochet cast on called for by the pattern. I like the way that it is turning out and am excited to see how the pattern will begin to zigzag. So far the lace "holes" seem to run straight up the foot, whereas the pattern picture shows a zigzag or scalloped pattern to them. (I've only knit one pattern repeat, so far, and I can see it starting a little, but expect that it will show up even better

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Blissful Saturday Morning

When I woke up this morning, I decided that I'd like to do some more sewing for myself. However, going into my sewing room (an extra bedroom that I share with my husband for all our hobbies) I found a mess! I had scrapbooking, stitch marker stuff and balls of yarn/started projects covering my desk and the ironing board! I really do want to sew today, so I worked for about an hour to clean everything up. It looks much better, now, see? Just as I was finishing, I received a call from my mom, wanting to know when I'd like to meet her to go work out. We decided to meet only about 15 minutes later. I rushed to get my clothes changed. After our workout, we went for coffee. By the time I arrived home it was 11 AM!

I sat down at the computer to catch up on email, etc. I was only there for 10 minutes when the doorbell rang. It was the postal carrier, with a birthday package from Kathleen! She sent everything I need to start another pair of socks! The color of the yarn is perfect and the book is one that I've had on my wish list for a while! She even sent a set of size 2 needles, of which I only one 1 set and could always use another!!
In knitting news, I finished the first Rainy Day Sock and about 1/4 of the second one last night. It fits great and the yarn is so soft on the feet! (Thanks SP10 Pal!!)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Rainy Day Sock, 1/2 Done!!

Here is the current progress on the Rainy Day Sock. I've finished turning the heel and am speeding on to finishing the first sock! Since the yarn is sport weight, I am only knitting on 48 stitches. This makes the knitting go quite quickly. I hope to finish the first sock at my inlaws, tonight. If I can finish the pair, then I will be able to start the June Sockamania Sock. I really liked Dipsy's suggestion to buy another set of needles!! I may do that, too. I have about 3 sets of size 1 needles, but could use another set in size 2 and a set of size 1.5.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

New Socks on the Needles

I cast on a new sock pattern, last night. I needed a more complicated project to break up the endless stockinette stitch on the ITE Tote. I'm using the Mountain Colors, Mountain Goat in color Lady Slipper, which was sent to me by my Secret Pal. The yarn is knitting up beautifully and the socks are knitting up quickly.

I just received my June pattern for the Sockamania Club. Now, I want to cast those on, too, but I cannot as I need the needles that are on the Rainy Day Socks!! LOL...What a dilemna. [Not really, I can handle it! Right?!]

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm finally working on my Civil War Shawl, again. I've done 4 rows in the past week. That's pretty good progress considering it takes about 45 minutes to complete one row! The KAL group that I started with is about 2 repeats into the edging, and I still have 38 rows to go before I can even start it. My new goal is to not get behind the second KAL group (same KAL, new group as of June 1st.) Since I am several weeks ahead of them, if I keep working on it, this should not be a problem, right? =) The only difficulty I have with working on this project, is that I have to give my undivided attention to it, which means, no TV watching and no commuter knitting on it! This, however, is when I get most of my knitting time. I'm determined to finish this one by the end of the summer, so get knitting, I must...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Another FO

I finished the Mitts for Mary, last night. I hope to get them in the mail tomorrow evening. For anyone who would like the pattern it is as follows:

Eyelet Lace Fingerless Mitts

Note: this design is based on the pattern "Evening Stockings for a Young Lady" by Barbara Bush in Vintage Socks

Needles: US Size 3 dpns, 1 US size 9 dpn (used only to cast on and bind off)
Yarn: fingering weight, I used Mystic Alpaca, purchased on Ebay

Gauge: 8 sts per inch over k2, p1 ribbing

Lace Pattern:
Rnd 1: *k1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 2, 4 & 5: *k5, p1. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 3: *k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, p1. Repeat from * around.

Cast 36 sts very, very loosely and join to work in the round.

Work 15 rnds in k2, p1 rib.
Work 1 repeat of Lace Pattern.

On next round, start the thumb gusset.
Gusset rnd 1: k1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1, pm, m1r, pm, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1.
Gusset rnd 2: work rnd 2 of Lace Pattern, knitting stitch(es) between markers.
Gusset rnd 3: k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, p1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, p1, sm, m1r, k1, m1l, sm, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, p1,k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, p1.
Gusset rnd 4 & 5: repeat Gusset rnd 2.
Gusset rnd 6: k1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1, sm, m1r, k3, m1l, sm, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1.

Repeat Gusset rnds 2-6, increasing stitches that are knit between increases so that the m1l is before the second marker, until there are 17 sts between the markers. On next rnd remove gusset stitches from needles onto waste yarn. On remaining stitches work 4 more repeats of Lace Pattern.
Work 5 rnds k2 p1 ribbing
Bind off very, very loosely.

Slip gusset stitches from waste yarn back onto dpns. Pick up and knit 1 st from the hand section, k1, *k2, p1. Repeat from * to end of rnd. Work 9 rows more in k2, p1 ribbing. Bind off in pattern very, very loosely.
Weave in all ends.

Monday, June 04, 2007

May Day Socks Really Finished!

Here they are, and this time, they match!! (For details click here.)

This weekend, I also worked on the Mitts for Mary. The second one is a little over half done.

Mom's birthday was yesterday and she really liked the sweater. She was surprised, saying that she couldn't believe that I made it for her!

Update 6/24/07: Mom was wearing the sweater today. It fits great and she said that it is very comfortable.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Green Gable is Finished!

Here it is!! Green Gable is finished, blocked after weaving in all the ends! I'm even more pleased with it than I thought that I would be. Though it was a somewhat boring knit, I love it and may have to buy some yarn to make me one, in the future. It looks great and is just a little snug on me, so it should fit Mom perfectly! Her birthday is Sunday. I don't know if anything is planned, yet, but I know that we will all go see her after church.
(You can see the details here.)