Thursday, April 30, 2009

Skirt I

I have been doing some sewing, lately! A couple of Saturdays ago, I drove down to the local Joann's in search of some fabric and a pattern to make a spring/summer skirt. Finding this wonderful, cotton and lyrca fabric, I bought what they had remaining, along with a pattern (on sale for 1.99), a zipper and a spool of thread. As soon as I had arrived home, I put the fabric in the washing machine and had it washed, dried, ironed and cut out in a matter of hours. Fast forward a couple of days to 4/22. Since I had been up so late on 4/21, I did not go into work. My work gives 3 paid days as bereavement for employees in my situation, so I used the day to spend extra time with my husband and a little sewing. I started to work on this project, again, and found that in a matter of just an hour or two I had sewn all of the seams, inserted the zipper and serged the edge for the hem! By 4/25, I found some more time and sat down to finish. It only took about a half hour. I tacked down the waist facing and then ironed and sewed up the hem. It fits beautifully and I love the fabric.
This is from Butterick pattern # 4136 view C. I changed the waistline in the back so that it comes up a little higher and shortened the pattern abuot 2 inches so that it would fall right below the knee instead of at the widest part of my calves.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tailored Sweater Update

I have been making quite a bit of progress on my Summer Pullover, since finishing up my Malabrigo projects from ESK's Malabrigo Projects Club. (More on those later...) I have at least 4 inches of the side seams done, but am getting rather bored with all this stockinette stitch. It does, however, make for great meeting knitting as I rarely need to look down at it. I am really looking forward to the next ESK shipment so that I will have another project to begin. That is, if I don't start something sooner. I have been thinking about the Queensland Cotton that I purchased a while back from Elann. I would like to have a sweater knit out of it, but am really not sure what I want. I guess that I could knit some swatches and see what looks good. If I found a lace pattern that I particularly loved, I might even be able to put the gauge into the Tailored Sweater Pattern and work it out for a great fitting, lacy, summer top. I have been have been sewing myself some summer skirts, lately and it would go perfectly!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Mystery Sock Project

Just before starting the shawl, I also discovered a Mystery Sock Along on Ravelry. Upon this discovery, I purchased the kit for the project from Knitter's Brewery. The yarn is lovely and very soft. The iridescent beads are wonderful and I am anxious to get to the part of the sock where I get to knit with them! The socks are toe up with a short row heel. I don't like the way that short row heels fit me, so I will probably use Cat Bordhi's method of knitting a gusset and then the heel that way. They are so much more comfortable. The pattern starts to be released May 1st, but the first release came with my yarn and beads so that I don't have to wait. There will be 7 clues and the socks should be finished by the end of May. That means a new clue about every 4 days, or so! I really like how quickly this KAL is going to move. Already, I can see a bed of tiny flowers appearing in the knitting! :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mystery Shawl: Mia Bella

Two weeks ago, one of my online knitting groups sent out a notice that a new pattern would be released in pieces like a mystery shawl. I have not knit any of the past patterns, but decided that I would like to participate in the next one. So, when I was at Village Yarn with my friends K & C, on April 18th, I purchased some lovely Misti Alpaca Lace. I started knitting on the first chart just shortly after arriving home from the store. The yarn is lovely to work this, and while I wasn't very sure about the pattern at the beginning, I am loving it. I finished the few rows that I had and then logged onto the group to find out when the next piece would be released. To my happy surprise, it was already on the site! I finished that chart (#1 in reality, I had been knitting from the tips sheet) almost the same day. At that point, I was liking it better, but wasn't entirely sold on it. Then, I received the next piece to the pattern on 4/23. After finishing that one in one evening, I totally love it and can hardly wait for the next release!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Joan" Miner


I don't often write about topics other than knitting, but this special lady deserves it. This is my mother-in-law, Joan. On Tuesday night, surrounded by 5 family members, she passed on to be with our Lord Jesus Christ.
She is the only person that I have never worried about giving my hand knits to. She was always happy to see another knitted gift and even asked for socks on several occasions. I knit many pairs of socks, several hats and a scarf for her over the 11 1/2 years that it was my privilege to know her. She was a considerate hostess and we often had the pleasure of her hospitality on Friday nights for dinner and cribbage. Having been in the hospital for the past several months, her chair has been empty or taken by some one else those evenings. However, it was last night that we missed her presence all the more. Several times, one of us would say, "As Joan would say it, '_____." Knowing that we will all see her again is a comfort and we are all helping one another get through this trying time.
As far as MILs go, she was wonderful and we very rarely had a disagreement.

Friday, April 17, 2009

More Whisper Progress

I am seeing some great progress on my Whisper Cardigan. It is really starting to look like a sweater, now! I have 6 of the 8 inches required before binding off for the bottom edge. I may have a new FO to show on Monday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

First Lacy Diamonds Sock Finished

This month's Eat.Sleep.Knit Malabrigo project contained a ball of sock yarn and a sock pattern. After knitting for a while on that pattern, I realized that it was going to be too small. So, I frogged it and cast on for this month's Sockamania pattern, Lacy Diamonds Socks. I did add a pattern repeat so that this one would fit with the size 2.25 mm needles and the Malabrigo Sock yarn which is on the thin side. I'm loving it and have already begun the second sock.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yet Another Exciting Knitting Class!

Also on Saturday, as we were leaving the yarn store, we came across a lovely, intricate, lace shawl that had been knitted my one of the store employees. It was a mobius. As we were fondling it and talking about how beautiful it was, the knitter came over and made sure that we knew that she is teaching a class on how to make it. We talked to her about it for a while and she told us enough about the techniques and variations for the pattern and yarn combination, that I expect us to sign up to take her class. All 3 of us were intrigued by the finished product. A little over a year ago, I checked out a book on mobius knitting from the local library. The technique looked interesting, but the projects in the book were ugly, boring, or just not useful to me, so I returned it rather quickly. However, this particular shawl, knit on size 4 needles with very fine lace weight yarn, was so lovely that I am willing to try her class. I did not sign up that day, as I wanted to think about it, but will probably sign up the next time that I am at the store. I do kind of wish that I could move the class to another day, though, as it is planned for the day after my skirt class, which is also a Sunday. Usually Sundays are spent at my parents’ house playing card games or watching a movie. I always enjoy these lazy Sundays and will miss it, but it will be worth it for that shawl! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Saturday Fun with Friends

On Saturday, my friend K picked me up for knitting, about an hour earlier than I expected. My DH and I had just returned from a walk, so she was lucky that I was home, but this also meant that I was ready to go. We picked up another friend and headed off to Village Yarn and Tea. We had a lovely few hours knitting and talking and then realized we were all hungry, so we headed off to the Mongolian Grill, a restaurant near my house. There we had a plate of fresh, lightly stir fried vegetables and our choice of protein (beef, chicken, tofu, etc.) We sat there for almost an hour and a half and then I needed to get home so that I could leave again. I had been invited to another friend’s house for dinner. DH was playing in a softball tournament, so I went alone.
The evening was filled with good food and interesting conversation. Also invited were our church’s missionaries that have been living in Central Asia and are home to gather more support and then will be moving on to Austria to work with the same people groups, but these will be refugees. Listening to them talk about their experiences was fascinating. The couple comprises of an American man and his Austrian wife. With my love for accents, I particularly enjoyed listening to her talk. She also brought a little different viewpoint on each subject, being from Europe rather than the US. We talked of governments, learning new languages, and told many personal stories and the occasional joke.

Monday, April 13, 2009

More Whisper Progress

This weekend, I made much progress on my Whisper Cardigan! I finished the ribbing and all of the short rows on the last section, including about an inch of fabric all the way across the back. I was able to try it on, and it looks like it is going to fit beautifully. When I picked up stitches, I wasn’t quite sure how many it should be, because I had knit the back somewhat longer to increase the pattern size. To figure this out, I divided the number of stitches the size L calls for in the pattern by the approximate number of knitted rows. (This last number I calculated by multiplying the number of rows per inch from the gauge times the total length of the back.) I took that number, roughly .75, and realized that I could just pick up 3 stitches per 4 rows and get the same ratio. There is just a slight gather to the stockinet pieces on both sides of the ribbed section. When put on the body, this ribbing stretches just perfectly, allowing all of the other stitches to lay beautifully flat. This type of work, especially when it comes out so well, gives me great satisfaction.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Knitting During Work Hours!

Thursday was an awesome day! I woke with a migraine (alright not so great) and took a full dose of Excedrin Migraine to ease the pain so that I could work. The caffeine always gives me a bit of an adrenaline high for the day, so I was rushing through everything that I was doing. I sped through many of my tasks at work and then had a meeting from 10-11:30. I always love meetings at work, as long as I’m not presenting, as I can knit! I worked on Whisper and nearly finished the second sleeve. Forgetting that I had another meeting in the afternoon, I spent my lunch working to finish the sleeve and did! As I was binding off the last stitch, the coworker I was eating with said, “It’s a good thing that you went to lunch early. Remember we have a meeting this afternoon.” At first, I thought that I might not have anything else simple to work on, but found my teal, cotton pullover in the bottom of my bag! Whew…Disaster averted! (I get very bored in most meetings and have difficult time concentrating and not fidgeting when my hands aren’t busy.) So, that afternoon, I had another 2 hours to spend knitting. I finished half of the last few armhole decreases and am only an hour or two away from splitting the sleeves from the body of the sweater. I reached this point a little over a week ago, but then realized that I had knit the armhole too long and ripped it back so that it would fit better. I usually find it difficult to regain momentum on a project after a problem like this and the meeting was perfect for this.
After arriving home from work, I picked up Whisper, again. I pulled out my circular needle and wound the 2nd ball of yarn. Then, I sat down to pick up stitches. I didn’t count how many, but it is a ton! Luckily, I had this week’s episodes of NCIS and CSI: NY to watch, so the time went rather quickly. I even knit a couple of rows!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Another New Project!

Well, that was a short finishing streak! (Only 1 project...) On Monday evening, I returned home to find a package from Eat.Sleep.Knit. It was my April shipment for the Malabrigo Projects Club! Inside I found a skein of lovely sock yarn and a pattern. The yarn is so soft and silky that I just had to wind it and cast on. I finished most of the leg when I realized that it would never fit over my heel. I debated whether to add a pattern repeat or just switch patterns. The stitch pattern is rather unique, but in the end I decided to try Anni's April Sockamania pattern. It has been quite a while since I finished one of her lovely patterns and also many months since I finished a pair of socks. I like my socks to be firmer than she writes for and so I went down a needle size to 2.25 mm needles and then added a pattern repeat, taking the cast on stitch count from 63 to 72. This means that I will need to fudge it a bit when I come to the heel, but that's alright as I have knit enough socks to know what I am doing. :) After just a couple of days knitting, I have the first one almost completed!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

LYS Tour Plans

My friend K and I are planning to visit all 23 stores on the LYS Tour, this year, so I have been planning our route already. I love planning as it lengthens the amount of time that I get to anticipate a fun activity. I have spent quite a bit of time online doing my research through maps and directions that can be found online. I used Map Quest for some of my planning as they allow me to enter many locations and then change the order easily. By reordering and looking at the total time that they think the driving will take for the trip, I can come up with a good, optimized route. I don't know the Seattle area very well, so figuring out the best way to drive is difficult. Because I am expecting there to be a high number of highway construction projects on Saturday, and we have 3 days to accomplish our goal, I am expecting us to go to Churchmouse early on either Thursday or Friday and then go to several of the other south end stores. The other weekday will be more of the same, leaving all of the north end stores for Saturday. I am already getting rather excited for this year, even though it doesn't begin until May 14th!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Whisper Progress

Since finishing the Baby Hoodie, last Sunday morning, I have gone back to knitting on my Whisper Cardigan. (I have yet to photograph the baby cardigan as I did not take my camera with me to my parents house when I gave the sweater to his parents.) I am almost finshied wit the second sleeve! It looks like a long tube, and everyone seems to think that I am knitting the most boring scarf ever. (Those are my words not theirs. They love the color, softness, etc.) I showed my SIL that it was indeed teh start of a sweater by putting on the finished sleeve and then pulling the other side around so she could get an idea of how it will look. She loves it on me. All this stockinette makes me a little sleepy, but hearing the raves come back keeps me working away on it. Finishing that one, little sweater has spurred me on to finish some other things, so you can expect me to be working on projects that have already been started for at least a few days! :}

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Baseball Yarn & Contest

I recently saw an add on Ravelry for Seattle Mariners inspired sock yarn. My DH is a huge fan of baseball so I clicked the link to take a close look. When I saw that she only had one left, I bought it up! When the package arrived, I asked him, "What does this remind you of?" I received a blank stare in response and then, he replied, "Baseball." If that weren't his regular "silly" response to a question about yarn or knitting, I would have been impressed. :) Instead, I teased him about his answer and then showed him the color name on the label: Hometeam Baseball. He should had a good laugh over that one! I do plan to knit him another pair of socks with it some time this year, in hopes that I will finish a Christmas gift for him long before the holiday shows up. Does anyone have any pattern suggestions that would go with the theme of the yarn? Anyone who leaves a comment with a link to a pattern, by Thursday, April 16th and has (and has a US address) will be entered into a drawing for a ball of yarn from my stash. I look forward to reading your responses. :0

Monday, April 06, 2009

End of the Parade

Here is another finished project: Clustered Leaves Shawl. I made it from 2 skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fine that were gifted to me by one of my secret pals. I didn't like the result of trying to knit a sock with this yarn, but it made a lovely shawl! I ran out of yarn before finishing the lovely border, so I created my own, narrower one and loved the effect. I plan to give this to my MIL as a belated birthday gift. (DH gave her his gift on her birthday so she was not forgotten. I usually make her socks, but she is still in the hospital after many months and they prefer her to wear socks with rubber soles to keep her from slipping.)

The Parade Continues Into Week 2!

This is a sock that I started back in January when I realized that I didn't have very many socks left to wear. I abandoned it in favor of knitting more sweaters. However, it will still fit, when I finish it and I still love the pattern, one of Cat Bordhi's from New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Tailored Sweater for Me

It may not look like much, since it is all wadded up on the needles, but this is my progress made on a sweater for me made from Tuulia's Tailored Sweater Pattern. This picture was taken on Tuesday night, so I do have a little more progress made on it. Its really coming together quickly and I am working on the sleeves, now. Then I will move on to the body! The yarn is a wonderful cotton: Elann's Lara in Algiers Teal. This will be one more that will get much wear, I expect!

Friday, April 03, 2009


This is one of my newest projects: a baby hoodie for my nephew. His mom just loves to receive hand knits for him and puts them on him very often. I, of course love knitting for him, but know that his mom takes little time to wash his things, so I always look for a very machine wash friendly yarn. I have washed my cardigan made from Elann's Super Cable Aran, a cotton yar, and have found it to be an easy to care for garment. I'm hoping this means that it will wear well for him, too! I picked up a few balls of it on my last stash enhancement from Elann and cast on nearly the same day it arrived. My secret pal sent me a knitting pattern a day calendar, and the pattern comes from there. Its a cute sweater that I'm sure will work wonderfully. I took it with me to the class last Saturday and worked on it between the instructions given by Tuulia. When my hands are busy, I am much more patient. (As an asisde, I guess that I really am a fast knitter. I waited on everyone else quite a bit and was the only one to finish the sample project to the point where the sleeve stitches are taken off the needles!) I went to pull it out to finish it on Sunday, and found that my directions were missing! I sent an email to my friend, who drove us to the class, and they were no where to be found. I remembered putting them into my bag when cleaning up from the class, so I kept searching the house. I finally found them tucked inside the notebook that I took with me for note taking, which I never wrote in, but I FOUND THEM! Hopefully, I'll get some time soon to finish this as he is growing more and more every day and it won't fit if I don't finish soon!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Fourth: March's Malabrigo Project

I have continued to work on Whisper from the current Interweave Knits, but it has been all stockinette stitch, which I find boring. I have finished the first sleeve and most of the back. (In the second picture, you can see the "gathers" that make up the center back jus a little bit to the left of the marker.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Several weeks ago, you probably read that I was planning on taking a class at Village Yarn which was cancelled. Through the marvel that is Ravelry, I read that it had been rescheduled for 5/30 and at $10 less, so I re-signed up for the class. Before the last scheduled class was cancelled, I finished the swatch that was our homework. I used Knit Picks Hand Dyed Wool of the Andes and a size 5 needle. After blocking the swatch, I hung it on my refrigerator with some weight attached to the bottom to see if and how much it would stretch. It did not stretch much, to my surprise and happiness! Now, I am all ready for the class, and very early, too!