Monday, November 30, 2009

Latest Afghan Block

This past Tuesday night was the last afghan class for this year. I finished the first block, Wednesday. This is The Palms and I loved knitting it! It just flew by so fast that I almost wanted to knit another! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Toy Design

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 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

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Present Finished

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

Christmas Scarf/Shawl Finished

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

November Malabrigo Kit

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

Great Recipe

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

Project Updates

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.