Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
A couple of months ago, I asked my sister what I could give her son for his birthday. He was the one that received the horned toad lizard. At that time, he told her that Stitch needed a space suit. I laughed and told her that I could do it, but probably not in time for his birthday. This last Sunday, I was home and looking for something new to start. I have plenty on the needles, but wanted something without a complicated stitch pattern that I could expect to finish in a day. I used Tuulia Salmela's Tailored Sweater pattern for the top and free form for the pants. It came out very cute...at least as cute as Stitch can be! :) I used short rows for the pants and also used bind offs at various intervals to create the legs as 2 pieces that are sewn together down the center front/back.C
Posted by Danielle at 11/25/2009 07:20:00 AM
Friday, November 20, 2009
I finished another Christmas present this morning...These are the Tantilizing socks from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters book. They knit up quickly, maintaining my interest long enough to finish them! They are a men's size 7, knit on 2.5mm needles and using Colinette Jitterbug. I used nearly the whole skein!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
One of my SIL is nearly always cold. As such, she is a great candidate to receive hand knits for gifts. In my quest to knit something for every one, this year, I found 3 balls of Rowan's Tapestry on a good sale and my favorite LYS, Village Yarn and Tea. I really liked the look of the Double-Bordered Scarf with Diamond Borders Adapted from Weldon's by Jane Sowerby that is in the book Victorian Lace Today. I cast on for this project months ago, but with an inappropriate yarn. After about 1 repeat, I ripped it out and made a completely different pattern with that yarn. However, Tapestry was perfect for this project. I have decided not to block it before gifting it. I really love the look as it is and am a little afraid that there would be too much of a halo effect after a good wash and block. I cast on for this project on 11/7 and finished on 11/12! People always tell me that I am such a fast knitter, but this was so enjoyable that it almost seemed to knit itself. I used a dk weight yarn and size 9 (US) needles rather than the pattern's lace weight and size 3 or 4 needles. :)
Monday, November 16, 2009
Last Thursday, I received the latest installment of the Malabrigo Projects club from Eat Sleep Knit. There are 2 skeins of Lace in Applewood, beads and a shawl pattern that uses both. It is beautiful, and yet not a typical color choice for me. I am sure to use it and love it any way, though! I am rather excited to find something to knit with the yarn. I will probably not knit this pattern as I have already made 2-3 projects with the same or similar motif as the one the designer chose for the center panel. Frankly, I am tired of knitting it and I still have about one third of my current project left! (This current one uses a different stitch pattern of which half of it is the one in the new pattern.) I do love it, though, and know that ESK has created another big hit.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I recently worked with Monica Woolsey, trying out her recipes for a nutritional counselling service that she was getting ready to launch. One of those recipes was Kung Pao Chicken. I didn't feel like that meal on the day that she intended, but did make it last Wednesday. (This was a few weeks after she sent me the recipe.) I made some changes, like using canola oil instead of peanut oil, as I already had it in the house. I also added broccoli to the dish. It was spicy and delicious! The flavor was similar to the orange chicken at Panda Express, but I am sure that it was much healthier! With all the carrots, celery, onion and water chestnuts, along with chicken and peanuts this was a tasty, high protein and low carbohydrate meal that was thoroughly enjoyed by both my husband and myself.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Since my last post, I did finish the third block on the afghan, but didn’t take a photo before putting it away. I really like it, but expect that it will be difficult to photograph until it has been blocked, so I may leave it a while before snapping it.
About 10 days ago, I was with one of my SIL. She told me all about how she made her husband (my brother) pick out a shirt for her. She has been trying to get him to tell her what he really likes best on her so that she can dress just for him when they go out on a date. He, of course, was reluctant, but eventually chose 2 different tops. One had a low scooped neck and the other was a cowl neck! Quite opposites, but her story gave me an idea for a gift for her. I am always making mental notes when a person tells me something like this. I never know when I will need a great knitted gift idea. The time came quicker than I expected when my siblings and I drew names for Christmas. We were all in different rooms at my parents’ house, so someone was walking from room to room having each of us draw. Said SIL was writing it all down and when she came to me and I told her that I drew her name, she half-yelled, “YES!” It is so nice to know that my hand-knitted gifts are appreciated.
By Wednesday, I was already getting anxious to start her gift, so I went on Ravelry in search of the perfect pattern. After finding one, I clicked over to Elann to search for the perfect yarn. I found Elann's Peruvian Highland Chunky and purchased 14 skeins, enough for a pullover. The color is gray, but is a heather with red, blue and yellow in it. I think that it will be a lovely, classic color for a rather simply garment. The yarn came on Saturday and I cast on almost immediately. By the end of Sunday, I had finished the back and most of the front. The sleeves were both finished before I arrived home yesterday! It is now drying. I am really hoping to get the whole thing sewn together tonight and then, I can start working on the neck.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
These are knit from the Sourwood Mountain pattern from Fiddle Knits. I used Debbie Bliss Cashermerino DK which made for a very soft pair. They still need three buttons on each cuff. I am thinking of buying some round pearl buttons.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I received this wonderful package from my secret pal, late last week. It couldn't have come at a better time...I have been sick lately and yarn in the mail was the perfect pick-me-up. :) Enclosed, but not pictured is a small, cranberry scented candle. It was burning already when I took this picture, so it wasn't feasible to lay it on its side so that it could be shown. My pal was Alicia, and she sure did a great job.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I recently received 3 balls of Malabrigo Chunky in Paris Night from my Malabrigo projects club. Though I liked the pattern that came with the yarn, I have been wanting to knit the Celtic Cable Bag from Interweave Knits Winter 2007. I didn't have quite enough yarn to knit the bottom of the bag with the blue, so I used the remainder of the green from all the back stitch that goes around the cables. It is only partially visible here as the bag is difficult to photograph. I still need to buy hardware and fabric as I plan to line the bag with something fun. It is a nice medium size and I expect that I will use this as a purse for work for a while once it is finished.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
One more Christmas present is finished. These are the White Witch Mittens made for my FIL's fiance. They were a relatively quick knit. I used Elann's Peruvian Highland Sport for 3 of the colors. The fourth is Dalegarn Falk. I couldn't get a light enough blue from Elann, so I found the Falk at Village Yarn and Tea. It was a little heavier, but came together quite well in the finished project.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
I finished another Christmas present, last weekend. This hat knit up very quickly as I used Elann's Peruvian Highland Bulky. I wasn't very pleased with the yarn while working with it, but the finished project is beautiful. Check it out on Ravelry for more details.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Several weeks ago our clothes dryer started making all kinds of noise. I contacted our landlord, my dad, who did very little for a while. He asked that my dh call a repair man. About 10 days later, said repair man arrived. After about 20 minutes, he came to the conclusion that it would be expensive and that other more expensive or impossible repairs would need to be done before long. The old machine was a stackable pair, so both the washer and dryer needed replacing. (The old washer started not working very well a few days before we expected delivery of this beauty.) I have spent the day doing laundry in our new machines. Having a new piece of machinery always makes a chore fun for a while.
At the suggestion of the repair man, dad went to the Maytag store for a new Maytag. I have never had a front loading washer before and am amazed at how little water it looks like it uses. Fortunately, the detergent and other products I was using are HE, so I don't have to give away the rather large amount that I already had on hand. The new machines don't fit well in the old space, so I need to get a curtain to hang over the opening. More to come...
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
My brothers mittens are completed and I have the fingerless mitts for my sil nearly finished, as well. Here are the finished mittens, Peekaboo. They have a large "buttonhole" in the palm of the hand to allow the fingers to poke out in case the full sense of touch is required for a task. I love them and hope that they fit him well. They are knit with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK, which is quite soft and lovely.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Though I just blogged about the yarn 2 days ago, I actually received it over a week ago and have been enjoying knitting through it just as quickly as possible. As a result, I have 2 presents completely finished: a pair of socks for my dad and a scarf for my sister's husband. I have started 2 more, a pair of mittens for my youngest brother and an afghan for my mom. Each one is coming along quite well and I am excited to work on each one. I have one mitten completely done and 2 skeins (out of 14) done on the afghan. I have made something for everyone only once before and had such fun with it. I love to give hand made gifts and they like receiving them as well. The other year that I did this was 2 years ago and I had been knitting since February. This time, I did not decide to do it until about 2 weeks ago, and will have to push myself a little to get them all done. However, I am happy to do so. :)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Last week, I went on Ravelry, searching for the perfect gifts to knit for my family for Christmas. I have 4 siblings, all of which are married or in a stable relationship. Two of them have a son. This ends up totaling 16 people! After finding the perfect patterns, I opened my stash page to see if I already had the yarn that I needed. In a couple of cases I did. However, I was able to happily click over to Elann.com, next. There I found just the right yarn for over half of the projects for which I did not have the right thing. Elann didn't have much selection in DK weight yarns and the remaining projects that I still need yarn for all require it. I am really looking forward to doing some shopping with exact projects in mind. It always goes quickly and yet is still quite fun.
First up, is 4 skeins of Peruvian Highland Bulky. I plan to make my middle brother a hat. Then, there is the Zarina in Tangerine. The color looks a little darker in person and will become a Gator scarf for my BIL who is a big Florida Gators fan. The white Superwash Bamboo is slated to become a throw for my mom. Finally, there is the Peruvian Highland Sport which I plan to make a pair of White Witch Mittens for my father-in-law's fiance.
Posted by Danielle at 9/23/2009 05:41:00 AM
Monday, September 21, 2009
About 2 weeks ago, I was talking with my sister about her son's 7th birthday party. When I asked what I could give him, she wasn't sure. Then, she started to list some of his favorite animals: sharks, lizards and dogs. He has several dozen stuffed dogs. (I'm not exaggerating, really!!) So, I decided that the subject matter should be one of the other 2 choices. After deciding that I wanted to make his gift, I searched Ravelry for some choices. Many of the shark patterns were far too "cute," and I was looking for something more dangerous or angry looking. :) There weren't very many lizard patterns available, at least not something other than a gecko. I wanted something very original, so when I happened on this "Texas Horned Lizard," I knew that I had it made. I clicked over to Etsy to make the pattern purchase and the designer emailed the crochet pattern to me within 24 hours. What, "crochet?" I hear you saying? Yes, I do crochet. I was taught to crochet as a child, but rarely use it. It makes my shoulder hurt and knitting is so much easier, but when a cute, quick pattern comes along, who am I to complain? I finished Fred in just 2 evenings and am not in pain from it, so all is well.
In addition to the critter, I found a used book that is a story about this type of lizard, where he lives and eats, etc. The book looks like it is probably intended for an 8-10 year old, but I am sure that if he can't read it himself, that his parents won't mind. He is ahead of the curve, though, for reading, so I expect that this will be thoroughly enjoyed.
Friday, September 18, 2009
This month's shipment from Eat.Sleep.Knit. is a skein of Sock in Abril. The yarn was so lovely, that I just couldn't wait to begin, not even long enough to take a picture before winding the hank into a ball! I cast on as soon as I finished the square for the afghan. The accompanying pattern has cables around the top. Otherwise, it is a basic, top-down, stockinette sock with an eye-of-partridge heel. I have added some arch shaping and love the effect. I finished the first sock just 3 days after I had begun. I started after work on 9/9 and finished it 9/11. There have been many things going on at church, allowing for several hours of knitting that I might not have had otherwise!
By Wednesday, I had finished the second one, even though I spent much time on Saturday knitting a swatch for a new project that I want to start.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thanks for the two wonderful ideas. Have any of you felted Malabrigo? I do like the idea of knitting a bag and love carrying ones that have been felted. I have made so many shawls, lately, that I am looking for something else, though I liked the pattern that was suggested.
AND, the winner is: Jen!
Monday, September 14, 2009
I have been enjoying the purchasing of many thousands of yards of yarn, lately! I received an email from Eat.Sleep.Knit that they were clearance-ing some colors of Malabrigo. I just had to buy some and finally made the (difficult!) decision to purchase Citrus. I have over 1200 yards with which to make a shawl. I am probably going to make this with it. I already have white, glass beads to use, too. I believe this combination will be wonderful.
Then, about a week later, I recceived a similar email from Knit Picks. Their yarn costs less and was such a great buy that I purchased enough for 3 shawls! This is around 4800 yards worth. First, there are three hanks of Gloss in Raisin. Then, 4 hanks each of Shadow in Midnight Heather and Hot Rod. I am not entirely sure what I will make with these, yet, but have been wanting to make a project from Victorian Lace Today. I have started a couple of things out of it, but have never started using the right yarn. The projects are so lovely and complex that they require a simple yarn, like these. I would love suggestions, please feel free to leave me a comment with your favorite idea. Ravelry links are especially welcome. :)
NOTE: Remember that the contest closes tomorrow. Leave a comment on that post, if you have an idea for me!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I love knitting in groups, especially in groups of people who are all knitting the same thing. So, when Faye, at Village Yarn and Tea, started talking up her aran afghan class, I was intrigued and signed up. I didn't want to spent hundreds on the yarn, so I ordered 24 balls of Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks in white. My living room is mostly black and white, with a floral black and white couch, so this will go great. It is also a great, neutral color so if I decide to use it in a different room it will still go great.
Class began on September 8th. We started the simplest block, Candle Flame, during class. Faye taught cabling without a cable needle, a technique that I already love to use. The class was fun and I look forward to October's class.
I finished the block the next day. The top picture, is of the unblocked "square." Faye recommended not blocking any of the squares until the end as they will probably come out different sizes, due to the nature of the patterns. They will need to be blocked to match one another closely.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Back on August 31st, I told you about a sale at my favorite LYS, Village Yarn and Tea. That day, I also purchased a skein of Araucania Lonco Multy in a beautiful variegated orchid color. It is 440 yards. I started searching Ravelry, almost immediately for the best pattern and easily narrowed it down to a pattern from "Victorian Lace Today" and Zetor. Both were shawl patterns. When I finished my Fan Shawl, I had those needles, the ball of yarn and both patterns with me. (I usually take the bus from work to my father-in-law's house on Fridays and this Friday was typical.) I began to work with the pattern from VLT. The needles I had were too large and so I was unhappy with the way that the pattern was working. I frogged what little I had knit, and cast on for Zetor. BEAUTIFUL! The Saturday after I began the shawl, I was at VY&T with my friend K (like usual) and she found some black beads on clearance that were just perfect for the shawl. So, I purchased them and added beads to an already wonderful knitting pattern. I loved knitting the pattern so much, that in a few days I had the entire shawl finished. I did wait almost a week until I blocked it. Blocking, as always, really made the knitted piece shine.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Last Friday, I finished knitting the main body of the Malabrigo Shawl. I took all but around 2 yards of the 5 skeins of Silky that I had from Eat.Sleep.Knit's Malabrigo Projects Club. To knit the border, I dug into my stash and pulled out the remaining 1/2 ball of Silky from a club shipment earlier in the year. I love the raspberry color with the gray. Blocking this one was difficult and I am still not completely happy with the results. As you can see, there are points where it should be round. I may need to re-block it and not use blocking wires. However, I was trying to get some good stretch to it and felt like I needed the wires for that. The shawl is soft, lovely and warm. It will be a great addition to my fall wardrobe.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
When I get really tired of my current stealth project, I have been working with the yarn from last month's Malabrigo shipment. I am knitting the Fan Shawl from Crystal Palace with Malabrigo Silky. It is a free pattern that I found on Ravelry and is very fun to knit, while still being simpler than the said stealth project.
Monday, August 31, 2009
When I knit for babies, I just love to make sweaters. I have used both washable wool and cotton many times. I have found that mom's don't mind laying a sweater out to dry instead of throwing it in the dryer, so I don't worry about it much. My SIL, with the 18 month old, is not usually very careful with laundry. However, she loves the things that I knit so they are well taken care of. I made a little hoodie for her son E last spring and she puts it on him all the time. I used Tuulia Salmela's Tailored Sweater Pattern, which is lovely. A person does need to know exactly which measurements to use, but I have found that with a little research, I can make a pretty good guess.
Over the weekend I was in my favorite LYS, Village Yarn and Tea. They were having a 40% off sale on many of their summer yarns and Tahki's Cotton Classic was on the list. Available for sale, they had a deep chocolate brown, a bright orange and a cornflower blue. I purchased two skeins of blue and one of each of the other colors and figure that it should be easy to get a sweater out of it for him for less than $15. I plan on using the orange and brown for accent stripes.
FYI I finished the stealth project, so I should have more stuff that I can actually blog about, now! :)
Friday, August 28, 2009
Not long ago, I received an email from Eat Sleep Knit announcing that they were discounting some soon to be discontinued colors of Malabrigo. I have been wanting to make another lace shawl, so I purchased enough lace weight in Citrus to make a good sized shawl. I will probably make Pearled Romance by Birgit Freyer. I love her patterns and have this one in my posession already. I am thinking about which color beads to use. My favorites so far are orange white and pearl. It may just depend on cost. I need almost 650 beads, so that will be a concern.
Don't forget the contest from my last post! (Make sure to enter the comment on that day's entry.)
Monday, August 24, 2009
Welcome the latest kit from Eat Sleep Knit's Malabrigo Club! It came with a great pattern for a lap blanket. The pattern looks simple enough, but I detest knitting mitered squares. I love the project, but would probably never finish, so I am looking for a new pattern to knit the yarn. Any suggestions? Leave a comment with a pattern that is on Ravelry and make sure to enter your email address when you do...I'll do a drawing of all those that leave a suggestion and send a skein of yarn. Open to residents of the USA. Drawing closes on 9/15/09. Bring on the IDEAS! :)
Monday, August 17, 2009
I received these very, very well knitted socks in the mail last Wednesday. Sock Wars didn't go so well for me this year, and I ended up with a pair of socks that I couldn't wear. So, I was assigned to a wonderful person who knit me a pair as a consolation and they fit GREAT! The knitting is also very professional and I am really going to love these once the weather is cool enough to wear them! :) She also sent some chocolate, which was wonderful, too.
Friday, August 14, 2009
While putting away sewing patterns, last Sunday, I found a dress pattern that is very simple. I also found some fabric that would be perfect for this pattern. However, I don't have enough for this dress! I have wanted to use the pattern for some time, so I may go to the fabric store tomorrow for the perfect fabric. As they are getting in their fall fabrics, I may just find a good price on something that I could wear now and then continue to wear through September. We usually continue to have nice, warm weather until the beginning of October. With the amount of enjoyment I have been finding in wearing skirts, lately, a dress sounds like the perfect choice.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Last week, I opened my email to find the latest version of Tuulia Salmela's Tailored Sweater Pattern. My friend K & I took a class from her on this method of knitting sweaters from the shoulder to the hem early last spring. Since then, I found an error and she wanted to make some improvements. I was so happy to see the new file come out. I own the book "Custom Knits" by Wendy Bernard. Preferring Tuulia's method and yet loving the "Slinky Ribs" pattern in the book, I merged the two patterns together, but am using the recommended yarn, Silky Wool. I took my own measurements and a some from the finished garment diagram and created a new pattern with Tuulia's spreadsheet. So far, it is working quite well. The biggest problem I am having is that I want to keep knitting on this one, instead of finishing a stealth project that I am working on that has a deadline! I started this one last Thursday evening and only managed to get the back about halfway to the point where I needed to start the front shoulders. However, I worked on it all day Saturday, too. By the end of that day, I had the underarm increases about one third finished. I am looking forward to finishing to the point where I can knit in the round instead of knitting rows. There are also no increases or decreases to worry about at that point, but rather when and how to go from the 2x2 ribs to stockinette.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Last Tuesday, I spent several hours fixing some of the skirts that I have made in the past 6 months. Several of them were too full and so I didn't really wear them very often. A couple of them were too loose around the waist, too, so I fixed that while I was at it. I dislike making alterations very much, so I just put on a movie and spent as little time possible using a seam ripper. Mostly, I was able to just cut the seam allowances off and then re-stitch the seam. Now, I have 5 skirts (4 of them that I fixed) that fit perfectly! Since I have so many, I have been wearing them more often. The past two Sundays, I dressed up for church and I've worn skirt to work a couple of days, too. Now I just need to buy or make some knit tops that will go with them as I do prefer knits with my skirts. Somehow, wearing a woven shirt with them just feels too bulky. However, the problem is probably more with the fit of the shirt rather than the type fabric.
On the shirt front, I did increase the width of the darts in one of my shirts, hoping to make it a little more fitted so that it would look better with my skirt. It only partially worked. To make that shirt better, I think that I need to widen the darts a little more and then hem it so that it is shorter. It has always been too long, so I am not surprised by this. Most ready-to-wear and pattern companies make things too long for me. When I make my own tops, I shorten the pattern before beginning, but for any that are store-bought, they all need hemming. (This group includes most of the tops that I own, right now.)
Friday, August 07, 2009
Last Saturday, my friend K picked me up and we went to our favorite store, Village Yarn and Tea for some iced tea and knitting. We spent about 4 hours there, and then went to get some lunch. Afterward, we went to Joann's. She was looking to buy some letter beads so that she could make some stitch markers for knitting socks from Cat Bordhi's book. Everything she needed was 40% off! While there, I found this piece of medium weight fabric with a beautiful jacquard pattern on it and purchased enough to make myself another skirt. I have been wanting another skirt and expect to wear this one many, many times due to the neutral color of the fabric. That night, I really wished that I hadn't any plans so that I could begin to sew. I did, however, start it washing so that it would be ready for when I do have time.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
I have recently finished 2 sleeveless sweaters that have not worked out quite like I had imagined. Both are knit top down and have issues that will make me rip them back to near the beginning of the project.
The first is the yarn from June's Malabrigo Club shipment, 100% Organic Cotton. I love this yarn. I knit a swatch, washed and dried it. Having done this, I decided that I liked it better knit on the larger of the 2 needles that I used, rather than the smaller. Before the blocking process, the larger needle made a fabric that was too open, but the yarn shrinks, some. So, using a pattern from Interweave and my swatch information, I redesigned the pattern to be exactly what I wanted. Much to my surprise, the sweater is too short and far too wide after washing! I am trying to decide exactly what to do. I will probably pull it out, back to before joining at the underarms, and reknit the armhole shaping and then the body. I have been hesitating to do this as I don't particularly like knitting stockinette stitch in the round and all of the interesting stitches are in the part that does not need to be reknitted. I am also unsure of which needle size I should use to reknit it. However, I do have to keep working on a project with a deadline, so I don't expect to get to it anytime soon.
Then, I began another top as I wanted something rather mindless for when I was at the Women of Faith conference. (I like to have my hands busy when I am listening to a speaker, but it needs to be something that I don't have to look down at.) I designed a simple top using Tuulia Salmela's Tailored Sweater pattern. It is mostly stockinette stitch with a simple eyelet pattern at the front neck edge. I left off the sleeves, and made the top part a crossover design instead of a basic v-neck. I wore it last Sunday and really love it. However, after a day of wear, the top has stretch to where it is not fitting well. This top is knitted with Tahki's Sierra, so it may be the fault of the yarn, as I am not familiar with this one. However, I am surprised as I slipped all of the stitches that I was supposed to have slipped. I am now debating whether to do the same to this top as to the first one listed here. Again, though, am not entirely sure whether to use the same needles or smaller ones.
Monday, August 03, 2009
I received a package on Saturday from Loopy Ewe. "That's funny," I thought when I saw the box. However, I did suddenly remember an email from my Secret Pal that included an USPS tracking code, that said to expect a package from one of my favorite stores! There is a beautiful skein of Colinette Jitterbug, a tape measure and some Tootsie Rolls. Its a wonderful package, SP, thanks! :)