Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wool Gloves and Mittens

Just in time for the 85+ degree weather this weekend:
I've finished a pair for wool gloves from Selbuvotter! Of course, not being some one who can finish a project and not immediatley cast on for another, I started a mitten from the same book last night and finished the first one this morning. Yep, I'll be toasty warm today! (No, I'm not reeaalllly going to wear them! LOL)
The black yarn in both pair is Palette from Knit Picks. The white in the first pair is also Palette, but the background color in the second pair is from Crazy4Dyeing's sock yarn club and is the same yarn that I used to knit the Touring socks in yesterday's post.

I'm hoping to take a little time to sew the lavender dress that I cut out last week, in time for church, tomorrow. We'll see how that goes, though.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Finished Project and new WIP

On Tuesday night, I finished my Touring Socks from the LYS Tour. They fit a little tight. I think that I may have knit them a little too short. I might rip back a little (they are knit top-down) and add some to the foot length, or I could give them to someone with smaller feet.
As I had finished one WIP, I decided to cast on for another. Just as I was finishing the socks, the yarn for some gloves came in the mail from Knit Picks. The pattern is Annemor #11 from Selbuvotter, by Terri Shea. This is the second project that I've knit from the book and I'm really enjoying it. I have the second glove nearly done to the fingers!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Secret Pal 12: Question of the Week

What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?
Several skeins of sock yarn (around 3-6) in a variety of colors and yarn for the next 3 or so sweaters. I also like to have a few skeins around that I have one skein patterns for so that I can start and finish a project quickly, if need be. :) All of this needs to fit in my 1 plastic box. Right now, I have more than this, and it is spilling onto the floor in my closet. Its starting to irritate both myself and my husband. However, I did just sell the remaining 10 skeins of yarn from a sweater I knit that took half of what I expected it to! One more bag off the floor, whoohoo, and I have money to buy more yarn. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More On Sewing

Last Wednesday, I decided to take Thursday off from work to do some sewing. That night, I stayed up way too late preparing the patterns, ironing the fabric, and cutting out the fabric. I worked on 2 of the 5 projects on Thursday. First, I made the short sleeved version of the blue shirt shown on the package. I used a very light-weight white linen/cotton. As I wore it Sunday, it needs washing and ironing before I'll have a good picture of it. I like the pattern well enough that I plan to use it again. I already have the fabric for the next shirt to be sewn. This, next, time I plan to make another short sleeved shirt, but the button up version, instead. I will leave off any ruffles, etc. that the designer put on the front, though.

The next item that I worked on, was a skirt. I used a black and white bamboo print. It doesn't fit quite the way that I expected and needs a couple alterations and a hem before it can be worn. I love the black and white and expect to wear it with the above white shirt and maybe a black jacket.
On Wednesday night, I also cut out another dress from the same pattern as the light blue one, only this one will be lavender and have short sleeves. In addition, I cut out a jacket and wide leg pant from a medium weight black linen/cotton blend. I'm really looking forward to some new basics in my wardrobe, figuring that black and white can be worn with almost any other color.

Meanwhile, I have nearly finished the turquoise floral skirt. It needs to be hemmed, but I haven't taken the time to do that, yet. I actually have 2 hems to make on that one, as I fully lined it. Since the embroidery on the fabric is a type of eyelet, I wanted to make sure that is could not be seen through. I used a very, very light weight cotton for the lining and the fabric layers move as one.

I have also finished a pale pink wrap shirt, in the past few weeks. I made the view that is in pink on the pattern sleeve. Instead of cutting out my own bias tape, I used packaged white tape. I really like the contrasting colors which both look good with my light, cool coloring.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ravelry Influences

Recently, I’ve been working on another sweater. I really didn’t need one more on the needles, but I couldn’t help it. I was reading some of the forums on Ravelry (part of the problem!) and someone was talking about how she had been seeing the same pattern cropping up in all of her friend’s queues. Being the curious critter that I am, I had to take a look. The pattern is a simple but beautiful combination of lace and garter stitch. I cast on the following Saturday morning! This is the third pink sweater that I have started for myself and none of them are finished yet. However, this one is coming along quite quickly, compared to the other 2. I have the body done and the first sleeve about half done, in only 10 days! I still have not been doing well at remembering to take pictures of my works in progress, but I do finally feel like I’m getting somewhere with a project.
Over the weekend, I was working on this sweater in Village Yarn & Tea. Two of the ladies that work there were commenting on how they're going to knit this one, too. Anyone that commented on the project was as pleased with it as I am.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Secret Pal 12: Question of the Week

As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?

I usually looked forward to not having homework and having nicer weather for playing outside. The longer days also meant that my parents were less strict about bedtime, too. As I love to be outside, summer is a great time for fewer responsibilities and more daylight hours. Several years, we did do some travelling, which I looked forward to, but it certainly was not the most forward thought in my head.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bamboo Print Jacket Finished

I've been having so much fun sewing, lately. I have been clothes shopping several times and am having a terrible time finding things that fit. I am short waisted, so any tops that are even a little fitted, never fit well. In comes sewing as the perfect answer to the problem! As jackets are one the most problematic clothing items, I started this one. I really liked the blue satin print on the package in the lower right corner.

While in Joann, I found this bamboo print fabric, which is heavy enough to make a wonderful, season-less jacket, for 60% off! That means that I could make the jacket for about $15, counting the notions, and everything. (There were a few things that I already had, like the button and thread.)

It fits well, but when I use the pattern again, I plan to leave just a little more room in the upper back, so that I can move a little more freely in it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Secret Pal 12: Question of the Week

What is your favorite summertime drink??

What I like most, right now (and I'm guessing that I will continue to like this summer) is iced Organic Coconut Pouchong (green) Tea. I buy this loose leaf tea from my LYS, Village Yarn and Tea. It is my favorite, cold or hot, without any sweetener.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Weekend Knitting

This past weekend, I did tire of the same sweater pattern, and pulled out my nearly half done Civil War Shawl. I completed several rows, which at around 1400 stitches on the needles, is quite an accomplishment! I'm now only about 6 rows from starting the edging. That point is about half done. I still love it, but it is not a good van pool project as I am needing to look at the chart too often. Maybe I'll pull it out again next weekend. The wool/silk blend yarn I'm using has a beautiful shine to it and I really would like to get the finished before the end of the year. (If you notice on the side bar, it was started almost a year and a half ago. I think this may be my oldest UFO.)

Cables and Os is coming along, nicely, too. It still takes quite some time to finish a row, but I have the pattern memorized, so its not that big of a deal. I had forgotten what it was like to knit a sweater in the round, because I've been knitting them in pieces, lately. It seems to take a long, long time to get to the row where the division happens for the arms, but what a sense of accomplishment! I'm just biding my time right now. :)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Cables and Os

I've working away on my latest project, Cables and Os, from No Sheep for You. Its a lovely pattern and I'm enjoying it immensely. However, when working a complicated, but easily memorized, stitch pattern over 352 stitches, it takes forever!! I knit and knit, but seem to have little to show for it. I'm using Elann's Camila in Sunset Rose, which is lovely but not so stretchy. I machine washed and dried my swatch and the fabric does not (surprisingly) shrink and is softer, but the cables still pop. What an amazing fiber! I'm just plodding away and hope to get near the arm holes, where I'll be working fewer stitches at a time, before I tire of the project and cast on something else. Those that knit with me often laugh at how quickly I move on to something new and at how many, many projects I cast on at once! (Along this note, I have to say that I am laughing right with them, as I can hardly believe it myself!)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Another Great 4 Day Weekend!

This past weekend was very nice. I spent Friday at home doing some cleaning and knitting. I continued working on the "secret" project that was started the previous weekend and am very pleased with it. I also did some much needed cleaning and organizing. It was lovely to have the time to work at a leisurely pace, often flitting about from one thing then went to the post office to mail it to the intended recipient. The post office is near Joann to another. (This meant that I was going between knitting and actual work! :) ) I finished the project on Saturday morning and Fabrics, so I, of course, had to stop there, too! While there, I found some fabric that I loved on sale for 50% off. I bought enough for a skirt, but I didn't have a good pattern for one when I arrived home. (I still washed the fabric, though and intend to buy a pattern this weekend when they have some on sale for $1.99.)

After lunch, I went to meet a friend for knitting and tea at Village Yarn and Tea. We had a very nice time talking and knitting. This afternoon, I finished my Selbuvotter mittens! U After that was done, I went back to starting a cabled cotton sweater for myself from No Sheep For You. The ribbing (twisted rib on 352 stitches) seemed to take forever, but I finished just before bedtime that night.

After knitting group, I made dinner and then headed off to the movies with my husband and some friends from church. We had all been wanting to see the latest Chronicles of Narnia movie and our friends had a coupon for $6 per person. (Compared to the normal price of $9.50, this was quite a deal!) We thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The plot mostly followed the book, but they did add a little. However, even these additions were done very well and think that CS Lewis would probably approve.

Monday was a wonderfully relaxing day. I awoke only an hour or so later than usual, but stayed in bed reading for a couple hours! When I did finally rise, I worked around the house for a little while putting more stuff away and folding laundry. I was overjoyed to have the bedroom, bathroom and hallway cleaned up. It really looks wonderful.

After breakfast, I returned to sewing. On Friday, I had altered a dress pattern that I was thinking of trying to see if my skirt fabric would be enough. Before I began to pin the pieces on the fabric, I found another fabric in my somewhat small stash that I like better for the pattern. I would sew for a while, then knit for a while. Alternating like this meant that I did not tire and sore and achy, like usual. I even finished the dress! It fits so well. Hopefully, I can post some more details on this project later on this week.

I used Simplicity pattern number 3827 view C (sleeveless, short) dress. I made a few alterations: moved arm holes forward a little and the neckline a little higher. Instead of making my own facings I used single fold bias tape in nude. The fabric is a drapey linen/cotton combination that is very cool, but still has some weight to it, so that it is not see-through and will not be easily blown by a light, summer wind.

SP12 Questionare

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love knitting with yarns that are mostly (if not all) natural fibers. Plant, animal, it doesn't matter. I wear wool sweaters for 3 months out the year and have been known to don a cotton (or other natural fiber like linen) during the summer. I don't like yarns that are mostly acrylic or nylon and also prefer smooth yarns as opposed to mohair or other very fluffy or bumpy yarns

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?I have 2 pouches from Ashland Sky, one for my dpns and the other for my circulars. If you haven't seen these, check it out! I bought mine from Elann.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting for about 5 years. A friend taught me how to do a backward loop cast on and the knit stitch. Since then, I've been reading and learning new techniques on my own and now consider myself an advanced knitter. The only project that has ever made me decide not to knit it due to complexity at the beginning was a lace project where the open work was created by yarn overs on both the wrong and right side rows. I dropped a few stitches, which I could not figure out how to pick up again, and I switched to a simpler pattern. I do have plans to try again, but have too many other projects on the needles right now.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I have a list on Google. There isn't much on it right now, but I will try to remember to add a few more items.

5. What's your favorite scent? I am allergic to most scents, but do like peppermint and lavender. I occasionally use soaps that are scented using essential oils of these two plants.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? No, however, I do like dried fruit as long as it is unsweetened or fruit juice sweetened. I also like nuts (preferable raw.)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I don't spin, but keep thinking that I would love to try drop spindle. I crochet a little, but mostly only for edgings on knitting. I also enjoy scrapbooking, photography and singing.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like classical, a little country, and Christian music. I do have the capability to play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I like muted pink, purple, blue, and neutrals. I don't like orange, yellow or very bright colors.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am married with 2 cats.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I do wear all of these except ponchos. I often wear a 24"x72" stole that I knit.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I knit just about anything that catches my eye. I've knit toys (for my nieces, nephews, & cats) sweaters, socks, scarves, hats, mittens, gloves, slippers, & shawls.

13. What are you knitting right now? Right now, I have a crocheted tablecloth, 4 sweaters, 2 socks, a pair of mittens and 3 shawls on the needles.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, I love them! :)

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I use either bamboo or metal needles. My favorites are Clover and Addi Lace.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes, to both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? 5 years. I started and am about 70% finished with a crochet tablecloth. It was just a couple months after starting this project that I was taught to knit. I've hardly ever looked back! I do love the tablecloth, though, so I do still plan to finish it...Someday...

18. What is your favorite holiday? Not sure. I like any time when the entire family gets together. I have 4 sibling, of which 3 are married. We all live in the same general area of the country (north of Seattle) but don't seem to get everyone together at the same time nearly often enough.

19. Is there anything that you collect? No, unless you count yarn!

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I subscribe to Interweave Knits and have my eye on More Big Girl Knits. There are several sweaters in there that I'd love to start.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I would like to get better at fairisle. I've made a couple of projects, but am still not very happy with the way that it puckers, sometimes.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes. My foot is 9" long, 8" at the ball of the foot and 9" around the instep. I wear a women's US size 8 shoe.

23. When is your birthday? May 23.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? danim