Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Next up is the results of my class knitting, last Saturday. I took a class with Tuulia at Barb's house. She taught us her Tailored Sweater Pattern which is a top down, set in sleeve sweater pattern that is simply wonderful! We had a wonderful day chatting and knitting while learning this technique which seems quite a mess when hearing about it. Once you get in and try it, its not too difficult and looks wonderful!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Let the WIP Parade Begin

I plan to show a progress update on each of my knitting projects, this week. First up is actually a finished project! Here is Tangled Yoke, minus buttons as I plan to give a gift card with the sweater so that the wearer can choose her own.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Well, we didn't make it in time for breakfast at Ikea, but we did enjoy ourselves! We shopped through the store for over an hour and then ate lunch. I always do enjoy their meatballs! We continued to shop for around another 2 hours. I found a great, new mat for outside my front door. It's pink and blue and very lovely. I also purchased a new cover for our chair that the cat has been scratching. The old one held up very well considering his destructive nature, but is starting to look a little sad after a year of being used as a scratching post! It has a few snags and the top stitching along one of the seams is nearly gone, but it really isn't too bad off. Ikea uses some good, tough fabrics. I also bought some new microwavable storage containers. My DH likes to have soup for lunch every day and often overheats it, staining the containers various shades of orange. The old ones from Ikea have held up very well, not melting or cracking and are a great, low price. Since the first two worked so well, I figured a couple more would be good and I could throw out or recylce some of the old Glad or Ziploc disposable containers that he has been using lately.
As we were walking through the display rooms, both my friend K and I would love to redecorate our bedrooms. We talked about mattresses and what type we would like to buy as well as of bed frames and other furniture. I have been interested in tossing the heavy, tall furniture that I have now and buying new, lighter colored pieces. Unfortunately, I have yet to save the money required to do this, so my DH and I continue to use our older, less functional pieces. Someday!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Progress Update

Wow, have I been a schizophrenic knitter lately! It seems I get a little finished on a project and then move on to something else. I have many, many projects in various states right now. In my knitting bag, I have my Whisper Cardigan and a short-sleeved pullover that I have been making for myself, as well. Both of those are getting some work. On the cardigan, I am back to about one third finished. It is looking much better this time. I am also getting little spurts of my pullover finished. Somewhere in there, I grew tired of those 2 projects and didn’t want to go find a different one, so I picked up the Fuschia Scarf that I had started a few weeks ago. In 2 nights it was finished! I really enjoyed the quick knit of the scarf and the lace pattern. I still need to block it, so I don’t have a finished picture, yet. However, you can see the beautiful pattern from the picture I took at the beginning of the project.

And now, I'm off to Ikea for a free breakfast and a good time with a friend!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Old UFO Becomes New FO!

Several years ago, I bought a bag of Pure Alpaca from Elann.com. At the same time, I purchased a pattern booklet from Berocco and set out to make a skirt. I finished the knitting relatively quickly and then held it up to see how it would fit. To my astonishment, it appeared to be too tight and too long. So, rather than finishing, it went into a “time-out.” Fast forward to Thursday night…This project had been pulled out of hiding several weeks ago and had been sitting on my end table in the living room. Not having another project within an arms reach, I picked it up, seamed it and wove in the ends. It still needs the elastic inserted into the waistband, but I blocked it out last night. It is drying, currently. I am still concerned about the length, but I tried it on after I finished the seam and it is not too tight. It may even be little loose once it has been blocked. I am hoping that it fits perfectly and does not continue to stretch as it is worn. I wish I knew about the stretchy property of alpaca before I had bought the yarn, but maybe this one will pleasantly surprise me. I should know by Sunday, as I plan to wear the skirt, if it fits correctly!

Sweater Workshop

Last night I began to work on a swatch for the “Top Down Sweater with Set in Sleeves” class with Tuulia that I am registered to take on the 28th. First, I spent a little time on Ravelry looking for a yarn that I could use. I searched my stash for a yarn that was left over from another project, but that there are still around 300 yards. I landed on the leftover yarn from DH’s Christmas sweater. There is more yardage than I need, but it will work and I have absolutely no idea what else I would make with it. I cast on using my Knit Picks Options wood tips in the recommended size 7. After knitting the swatch, I measured it to make sure that it was matching gauge for both the stitch and row gauge. It looked good. Then, I put it in to soak and laid it out to dry. This morning, I didn’t have time to measure again, but it looks about the same to me. The fabric feels rather crisp, but that will be alright for the sample sweater that we will be knitting during the class. After finishing the knitting I spent a little time putting together a tool kit to take to class containing all the little markers and holders, etcetera that she suggests. I’m all ready and still have week to wait! :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Playmates: Cat and Spider?

Last night, I was sitting and knitting while watching television. Suddenly a HUGE spider went crawling across the floor toward Thor, our cat. He didn’t even notice until DH put a drinking glass over the top to catch it. At that point he seemed to be overly interested and kept trying to get it through the glass. He even moved the glass some. Then, she would move and he would be enthralled once again. This was one of the biggest spiders that I have ever seen (at least in the wild.) He was afraid to smoosh it, because he didn’t want the guts all over the carpet. We let the kitty entertainment go on for a while and eventually put the spider outside. I was expecting him to kill it after putting it out, but he didn’t. (DH really hates spiders and I don’t like them much better when they’re that big!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stash and a Little Progress

More than finished projects, lately, I have been acquiring stash! Last week, I received my Malabrigo Club shipment for March and an order form Elann on the same day, last week! I have been really wanting to knit something for spring and therefore ordered a sweater’s worth of Elann’s Lara in a deep turquoise. I also ordered their sampler bag for spring/summer in blues. I may knit the free shawl pattern that is on their website, or I may use the yarn for something else…I haven’t really decided, yet. As for the Malabrigo, I loved the idea that several others had on the Ravelry group for this club: knitting the Whisper Cardigan from the most recent issue of Interweave Knits. Now, this cardigan hardly caught my eye when I first received the magazine, but I think that was because of the rest of the outfit that the model was wearing. I liked this idea so well, that I cast on the cardigan the very same night! I made it about a third of the way through the pattern, when I realized that it was coming out too big and I probable would not have enough yarn to finish. So, I ripped it out and restarted on Sunday. I am more than half way through the first sleeve. Getting and hour and a half of knitting time during a staff meeting yesterday really helped, too!

I have also been working on a scarf that I started a couple weeks ago when I couldn’t take my current work in progress near where the receiver of the finished project would be. I have it half done, now and it is looking quite beautiful. I really should get a picture of my Fuchsia Scarf to show it off!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nearly Spring Snow

On Sunday, we had more snow! It was so pretty to watch it falling that my dh went outside to play in it...Here is trying to catch the snow as it was falling. He did catch the "snowflake" pictured above in the palm of his hand. As you may notice, it looks more like a snowball, but that is how it was falling: in small snowballs from the sky. My crocuses continue to bloom making these past couple of weeks quite confusing, weather wise.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finished Sweater Versus Choose Own Button Style

Having finished my SIL’s cardigan, last week, I went to my modest button stash to see if I had any thing suitable. The pattern requires 9 buttons and I didn’t have more than 4 or 5 in a size and style that I liked. She has very different tastes than I do in some things. My debate is whether to buy the buttons and put them on, or give her a gift card to a store that sells buttons so that she can select her own. I would be willing to sew them on for her and I would do it quickly, probably the same day that I get them from her, so that is not a problem, but what would you do?

ETA: Please leave a comment. I can't get my poll to work and don't have time right now to troubleshoot. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Classes!

Watching the flowers start to bloom outside my front door and then seeing the snow flurries today, makes me impatient for spring. So, I have been looking to knit in lighter colors and fabrics. However, my friend K has also lured me into taking a class on skirt knitting at Village Yarn and Tea. I don’t have much money to spend on yarn for swatches, etc for the class, so I went stash diving on Saturday afternoon. I came up with what I think will be enough yarn for a skirt in Knit Pick’s Wool of the Andes Kettle Dyed. This one really does not fit with my desire to knit spring fabrics, but the colors are lovely! I started and finished my swatch for the class, yesterday. I even had it blocked by the time that I went to bed. I plan to hang it with a weight on the bottom to see how much stretching out I can expect when wearing the skirt. Since it is a 100% wool yarn, I don’t expect much, but thought that I had better check it.

I have also registered for another class with Tuulia Salmela on knitting sweaters from the top down with set in sleeves. I met Tuulia on the Seattle to Portland Yarn Train in January of this year and really enjoyed talking with her about the Kauni yarn that she had purchased. She inspired me to knit the Revontuli Shawl. I thoroughly enjoyed listening and expect to love the class. This one, I invited my friend K to join me on, so I am sure that I am just as much of an enabler as she has been in getting me registered for the skirt class!

ETA: I just received a call from VY&T. They had to cancel my skirt class due to insufficient students signed up. :( However, I emailed my friend to see what we should do instead, so we get the joy of planning another outing!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Sweater FO

I have been knitting and just plain feeling overly busy lately! I finished a cardigan for my SIL’s birthday, recently and still have not taken a photo, but you can be assured that I am still knitting!

The same day that I bound off the last stitch on her sweater, I cast on for a pull over for me. I have one ball (of 11) knit into it already and the fabric is lovely and soft. A while back, I purchased these 11 balls of Filatura Di Crosa’s Zara in French Lilac from Elann.com. I have always had such good experiences with their customer service and, being geographically close to them, I usually receive my orders within just a couple days! I had planned on knitting an entirely different sweater with this yarn, but when I was looking for something more spring-like, I happened upon this yarn in my stash. It may not be enough yards for a longer sleeved sweater, so I cast on for a Drops pattern, # 77-19 Pullover. Ravelry is so wonderful and of course I used the search to find this pattern. I have knit with Drops patterns before and thoroughly enjoy the process. The patterns usually are quite simply written, often leaving out extraneous words that explain something that most knitters would know any way. I find that it takes very little time to read the patterns and I have had no problems knitting from them. However, some new knitters find the patterns frustrating because they don’t tell you every little detail. Frequently, the pattern will say something like, “Knit rib for 5 rows.” A very new knitter may not understand that ribbing (at least when unspecified) is k1p1 across the row. Though I can be obsessive about getting a sweater just right, this type of thing does not bother me. I may even decide that I like a different rib better and change it out! :)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Final SP 13 Package

I received a wonderful, last package from my Secret Pal, a little while ago. Eileen has been a wonderful pal and I have enjoyed her packages very much! This most recent package contained 3 balls of Debbie Bliss Stella in a soft taupe. The yarn feels lovely, and as with all of the yarns sent to me, I really like it. Thanks for being a great pal!