21 December 2005
I knitted some bath puffs out of cotton chenille for my girlfriends and was in such a hurry to send them off that I forgot to take a picture. They turned out really cute and just when I finished them, my yarn order finally arrived on Friday so I've been knitting my dad's scarf like crazy. Every spare moment I was knitting and I finally finished it last night. When I got up this morning my first thought was that I didn't have to knit that scarf today and I was thrilled! I have so many other Christmasy things I want to get done and now I can because the scarf is no longer consuming me. Part of the reason I was able to finish so quickly (really in 3 days because I didn't knit Monday because I went and saw U2 on their final show of the tour!!!) was that it snowed on Sunday! I got sent home 3 hours early from work and went in 2 hours late on Monday because it was icy so I had more time to knit. Portland doesn't usually get snow so the city kind of freaks out. My dog had never seen snow and he went nuts! He ran around like a crazy possessed dog and scooped up lots of snow in his mouth. Here's a picture of us in my snowy backyard. So my dad's scarf is knitted out of Knit Picks Andean Treasure. It's 100% baby alpaca in the color Granite and it's so soft! I love it. If it weren't such a boring, masculine color, I would be tempted to keep it for myself. I don't think any of my pictures captured the true color. It's a pretty medium shade of brown mixed with a little grey. I think my dad will like it. I knit three braided cable patterns with a seed stitch border. My original plan was to knit a complex celtic braid since my dad is Irish and loves all things Celtic but that was before the yarn took so long to arrive. Since I was running out of time to knit, I realized I needed a simpler pattern that wouldn't take so much brain work to knit. So this is what I settled on. Before I blocked it, the seed stitch edges curled in.But after blocking, it looks great. I woke up this morning and it was actually dry. I was hoping that it wouldn't take forever to dry as I only have a few days to get it in the mail but all it took was one night. I love this yarn!
I made Mike model it to see how long it turned out. Notice his cute grey hat knitted by me a few years ago. It's the only hat he wears. I'm such a good knitty wife. Did you notice his arm in the picture above? That's his flame sweater he's wearing! Here's one last picture of my dad's scarf. This shows the back, too. This pattern makes me think of the forest and I think the back looks like tree bark, althoughit's kind of hard to see in this picture. I hope all of you have a great Christmas and a happy new year! I don't know if I'll post again until the new year as I'm going to California to hand out some lovely knitted gifts to the family!
15 December 2005
I am on a roll. Christmas is almost here and my presents are almost all done! Well, except for the scarf I haven't started yet because the yarn is taking forever to get here. My most recent finished project is a scarf for Margitha, my stepmom. This is the scarf that started out as gloves and then briefly was the ruffles scarf from Scarf Style but now it's a lace pattern with beads. The beads are little pale pink leaves. I finished sewing them on earlier this week and I just wrapped it all up today.
The yarn I used was Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino. I used exactly 2 skeins and the finished size after blocking is just over 6" wide and 4' 5" long. I don't remember what size needles I used. I took it off the needles a while ago. 6's maybe?
I didn't use any particular pattern. It's just a simple lace pattern. The two panels on the sides are slightly narrower than the middle panels to give it a little variation. I hope Margitha likes it!
Several people have commented on my little stocking Christmas ornament that has the dtar of David on it. It's for my friend David who is Christian but since his name is David, he likes the star of David a lot.
13 December 2005
Millie: Hi, this is Millie. I can answer your questions regarding blah blah, blah blah, or knit picks orders.
Me: I have a question about my knit picks order.
Millie: Do you have the order.
Me: No, but I have my order number. (I tell her the number and she verifies who I am.) I haven't received my order yet and I'm wondering if I could get a tracking number for the package so I can see where it is.
Millie: I know you're anxious to get it, dear. We say that it should arrive in 5-14 days so it's a little soon to be worried.
Me: I understand. I'm not worried but it's been over a week and I would just like a tracking number. I'm just curious where it is.
Millie: Dear, I know things never come as quickly as we would like them to but you just need to be patient. It will get to you. I could track it but it would just say "in route" and that wouldn't tell you anything. We say it takes 5-14 days so give it some more time, dear.
At this point, I give up because I'm at work and am really not supposed to be on the phone so I can't take any more time to squeeze the tracking number out of Millie. The damn woman has it but won't give it to me!
Today, I asked my husband to call again on my behalf. Hey, my name is gender neutral, he could be Casey. I came home and he said that his conversation went something like this:
Mike: I'm wondering if I could get the tracking number so I could find out where the package is.
Someone other than Millie: Sure, I can look that up for you. . . . It is in Kent, WA but it hasn't reached the post office yet so it probably won't leave Kent until tomorrow.
Mike: Could you tell me the number so I could look it up on my own?
Someone other than Millie: Sure, it's blah, blah, blah.
Why do companies employ super UNhelpful people like Millie? It seems like I always get the Millies of the world. It was nice to find out where my package is and getting the number would be nice if it worked for anything. I can't actually use it to track my package, but giving it to me was a nice gesture, I guess. Hopefully it won't take another week to get here from WA and I hope your holiday odering is going well!
09 December 2005
I'm going to use them as decorations on my Christmas packages and I think my family will be impressed. This way, everyone will get something knitted. It is going to be a knitted Christmas for my family. Here are my mother-in-law's socks all wrapped up and pretty.
I also made a label for my mom's gyrid top. (This is the last picture you'll see of this top. Well . . . unless I get a picture of my mom wearing it) I used iron-on transfer paper and ironed it onto a ribbon. It turned out really professional looking, if I do say so myself. I even tried it on and I couldn't feel it at all. No scratchy label for my mama.
07 December 2005
Pattern: Jesse's Flames from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation
Yarn: Lions Brand Wool-ease. Not my favorite yarn but the sweater is soft and arm and Mike likes it. What more do I need?
Changes I made: A lot. My guage was really different than the pattern. Luckily I like math so it all worked out. I made it a little longer because Mike wanted it that way and left out the red stripes around the cuffs and neckband because, again, Mike wanted it that way. He really wanted the yellow edging around the flames that the sweater had but when I started duplicate stitching it on, we both agreed that it looked really sloppy. It wasnt my fault (really!), it's just that the yellow didn't cover the black very well so it didn't look crisp and nice at all. Looking closely at the picture in the book, you can tell it looks kind of sloppy there, too. That's not a good sign. Mike was disappointed about not having the yellow but I think he's over it now. If you're thinking of making this, I recommend knitting the yellow in intarsia even though it's only one stitch wide. You'll appreciate it when it's done.
What I learned: How to do intarsia! And that it's not hard! Although I think that more colors would challenge my coordination. I also have come to the conclusion that neckbands suck. I have never knitted one right the first time and this was no exception. Maybe someday I'll get one right on the first try. I also learned that knitting something as complicated as a sweater for a man is really interesting. I loved knitting for Mike but the next thing he's getting is a smaller project.
04 December 2005
Then I realized I am being stupid. It's not that he doesn't appreciate all my work, he just has never had any doubt that it's going to be great. He figures that if I'm knitting it for him, it's going to fit him and look awesome. I really should just shut up and be flattered that he thinks my knitting is that great. He has none of the paranoia that I, the knitter, have that it's not going to turn out well. And, to top that off, he constantly says that he wants me to finish it so he can wear it on Halloween/Thanksgiving/to church/to the party this weekend, blah, blah, blah. You would think the fact that he is so eager to wear it and really wants me to finish it would be all I needed to feel appreciated.
So, as of now I am going to stop coaxing the "yes, Casey, I really like it" comments out of him and let him show me that he likes it in his own way. Why do I sometimes make things more complicated than they need to be? I am going to finish the sweater tonight. I'm close, really. Just seaming the sleeves and knitting the neckband. Stay tuned for the picture . . .
30 November 2005
Since I last posted, I started knitting the ruffles scarf and then ripped it all out. With the baby cashmerino it was looking much too much like a corkscrew and it didn't have any of the flowiness that the one pictured in the book did. So after a few more swatches I finally settled on this stitch pattern.I didn't think I would ever decide on a pattern that I liked but I'm over half done with this scarf and I think it's a keeper. I don't know I was being so picky.
I've also been working on my fog sweater. I really like it now that it's not just ribbing. It's going to be really warm, which is good because it's super cold here! It might snow tonight. I kind of hope it does. I don't have to do anything tomorrow and it would be nice to see snow out the window. I just walked outside barefoot and now my toes feel like icicles.
I'm almost done with Mike's flame sweater. I keep getting distracted and can't seem to finish. He's gone this evening so I think I'll work on it. I really am close to finishing and I do want to get it done.
20 November 2005
In other news, I bought some lovely baby cashmerino in a pretty soft pink color and started knitting gloves from the book Handknit Holidays.
The picture is so pretty and I thought they'd be great for my stepmom who is very classy and likes nice things. I got about halfway done with the 1st glove and decided to frog it and find a new idea. I tried it on and it was really loose around my wrist. Gloves should be more snug. I thought about starting over with fewer stitches around the cuff but I was also scared they wouldn't fit her hand because they were knitting up to be not very stretchy. I didn't want to guess on the finger lengths and then have them not fit. I got cold feet (or cold fingers?) and scrapped the idea. It was a hard decision because I want to make my stepmom something nice and had the gloves worked, they would have been perfect. Oh well. My new idea is to make her the ruffles scarf from Scarf Style out of the baby cashmerino. I'm a few inches into it but haven't really committed yet.
That's all for today. I should have pics of my finished flame sweater soon. Well, as soon as I finish sewing it up.
15 November 2005
Ta da! Here is my very first pair of knitted socks! I was happy to have finished the 1st one but a complete pair is much more exciting. I wore them for a few minutes last night but then put them away because they're a Christmas present. I will miss them but (hopefully) they will be loved my my mother in law. It's exciting to finish projects. Now the only thing I'm knitting is a sweater for myself. Mike's flame sweater needs blocking and then it'll be done. I might just have to start something new.
Here's the info on my socks:
Pattern: Dublin Bay Socks- a free pattern found online. I have a link to it on my sidebar.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces shepherd sock. The colorway is called watercolor. This was my first time using this yarn and it feels really nice! It's 4-ply, though, and can be splitty.
Knit for: Diane, my mother-in-law since she often buys me cute socks.
Changes I made: I decreased a few extra stitches so the foot was 4 stitches smaller then the pattern called for. I tried them on when I'd knit the "correct" number and they felt loose around my foot. They feel perfect now so I only hope Diane's feet are the same as mine!
What I learned: How to knit a sock! It was easier than I imagined and much quicker than I thought knitting on size 1 needles would be. I need to make another pair, this time for me.
10 November 2005
I finally finished my gyrid top! Here it is! I didn;t mean to not show my face in the pictures but I was using the self-timer and that one happened to be the best picture of the shirt but I didn't have it lined up right to get my face.
The finishing was the hardest part because a lot went wrong! Nothing I couldn't fix, though. I seamed the sides and knitted the neckline a few nights ago and then tried it on, expecting it to be fabulous and was very disappointed to see that it bunched a lot around the bottom of the waist. It was pretty bad. That was the biggest problem and it was totally my fault too. I discovered after I had knitted a fair amount of the front that there was an error in the pattern and instead of knitting for 3 inches before starting the waist shaping, I should have only knitted 1 1/4 inches. I didn't want to start over, naturally, so I assumed it wouldn't really matter only to discover that it really did matter. So, when I thought I was done I had to go back and rip out the first 15 rows on each piece, and reknit the bottom edge. The result is that it's about an inch shorter than it was originally but it's okay. I also had to knit the neckline 3 times because it was too bunchy and scratchy and then it was bound off too tightly and didn't stretch enough but I finally got it right!
Here are the details:
Pattern: Gyrid from Elsebeth Lavold's book 'The Viking Knits Collection'
Yarn: Silky wool (actually the same yarn the pattern was written for- that hardly ever happens!)
Knit for: My lovely mother
Changes I made: I made the armholes 1 inch shorter that the pattern was written and added 1" to the body to keep it the same length. I also knit the bottom edge and neckline with size 5 needles instead of size 4. I picked up way more stitches around the neckline than the pattern called for because it was too bunchy with the 'correct' number of stitches. Finally, I added a cable detail on the back because it was too boring for my taste. The cable pattern was from the same pattern book.
Lessons learned: Look for errata BEFORE starting a project! That was a hard lesson. Because of my error I unravelled from the cast-on edge for the 1st time. I learned that it's much more tedious but less difficult than I had thought it would be.
That's all, folks! I hope my mom appreciates it come Christmas!
04 November 2005
It's beautiful but I'm making some changes. I'm eliminating the eyelets to make it warmer. I'm also knitting it in the round and am making the ribbed section at the bottom a little shorter and so far, I've just about finished knitting it (the ribbing that is). I haven't forgotten the flame sweater. I ran out of yarn (again!) and haven't been able to get to the store to buy more. It's close to completion, though.
Have a good weekend everyone!
01 November 2005
I hope you all had a great Halloween yesterday! I handed out candy to trick-or-treaters and it was fun- my first halloween in our new house. Here's a picture of the pumpkins we carved.
As promised a whie ago, here's Phoebe minus a lot of fur. She doesn't really hold still so it was hard to get a non-blurry shot.While I'm showing off my pets, here's a picture Mike took. It's a rare occurance because my cats hate each other. Well, it's really just one that hates the other but we rarely see them both in the same place at the same time. Here they are, though, both sleeping on my bed. The top one is Ramona and the bottom kitty is Gatsby.
30 October 2005
- Daylight savings sucks for me this year. I went to the store this morning to get some breakfast on my way to work (yes, I have to work on Sundays) and was surprised that the store was closed even though the signs said it should have been open. So I went to a different store that was open and thought I was going to be late for work, and was getting stressed out and driving faster than I should have when I realized that I never set my clocks back last night! So, here I am, an hour early for work on a Sunday. It sucks but at least I have my sock with me to knit!
- I've been doing some frogging! Speaking of my sock, I have successfully turned the heel (I don't know why that scared me so much). I couldn't tell from the pattern what was going to happen to my sock when I started knitting and turning my work but miraculously, a turned heel appeared! This sock thing isn't so hard after all. I did frog several rows lastnight, though, because it was a little loose around the foot and I wanted to decrease a little more. I'll post a picture tomorrow- I'm going to a comedy club tonight so that doesn't leave time for posting pics. I also frogged about 8 inches of the last sleeve of Mike's flame sweater because I realized that 8 inches back I somehow switched knitting needles and so my gauge was all wrong! How do I do things like that? Does anyone else make such dumb errors and not notice?
- About comments: I know you're out there reading my blog but nothing makes me happier than comments from you all. I know you've got something to say! A reader of another blog said that she didn't know that bloggers really appreciate comments so if you're like her, I'm here to tell you that they do! I never realized this myself until I became a blogger.
- Okay, I know I said 3 things but here's a 4th. I haven't forgotten that I promised you a picture of Phoebe post-haircut. Once I finished cutting her hair I didn't want to immediately torture her more with a flashing camera so I decided to wait a few days. It will come tomorrow.
23 October 2005
Meet Phoebe! She's my hybrid German Angora bunny. Isn't she beautiful? I have tons of her fur saved and really want to learn how to spin it. Nevermind that everyone says angora is hard to spin. I have dreams of mittens with super soft cuffs made of Phoebe's fur. I started giving her a haircut tonight. It takes a long time since her fur is so thick so I'll finish tomorrow and post an after pic later. Here's one of her getting a haircut. I gave her a giant chard leaf to munch on to keep her occupied.
Here's a Gyrid update. I finished the back and added a small cable design just below the neckline to spice it up. It's blocking on my bed. My bed isn't usually covered with black plastic. Mike painted the bedroom today (see the pretty grey-blue wall in the background?) so that's a tarp to keep paint off the bed. It still smells like paint in there so we're going to sleep in the guest bedroom. In the meantime, the bedroom's a pretty good place to block some knitting, don't you think?
And . . . Here's my sock. It just keeps growing because I don't know when to start the heel! I think I'm going to have to soon. I'm just scared I'll mess it up. But it's pretty so far.
I'm plugging away on my dublin bay socks. So far, my 1st sock is almost 7 inches long. This being my first pair of socks, I'm not sure when to stop. How long do you like your socks? I'm using Lorna's Laces sock yarn and I don't know exactly how much they'll stretch lengthwise when they're on and I'm knitting them for my mother-in-law so it's not like I can try them on and knit until they fit me well. How long should I knit it before starting the heel? Advice is appreciated.
21 October 2005
I also found this link to a good cast-on for socks. It's called the twisted german cast-on. Unfortunately I came across it AFTER I started my first sock! My sock is going well, though, so I will probably knit another pair and then I can use that cast-on. There is always something to look forward to!
19 October 2005
Since I am a socktoberfest member, I thought I'd better start knitting my socks. So, 3 attempts later, here it is- My first inch of a beautiful sock! I started with a different pattern and then changed my mind. Then I read the pattern wrong and cast on too many stitches. When I cast on a third time, I counted wrong and cast on too few! I realized about 10 rows down. Oops. I was starting to feel stupid because I couldn't count but then I finally got it right.
The pattern I'm using is Ryan's free Dublin Bay pattern. It's a simple sock but has a small lace pattern down the sides. I'm excited that my stitches are starting to look like a real sock!
I also finished the back of my Gyrid top but couldn't get a good picture tonight.
17 October 2005
While I was looking at all the yarn (because who can go into a yarn store and simply buy what they came for and not look at everything else?), Mike sat on the couch and looked at pattern books and found a great holiday book- Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick.
He was particularly excited about the Aran tree skirt because we need a tree skirt and I'm Irish. It would be perfect! So when I came home, I bought it from Amazon. Now I have to wait for it to come to me but I have enough to occupy me until then.
Speaking of other projects, I have started sleeve #2 for Mike's flame sweater and am only 2 inches away from having Gyrid finished. Unfortunately I ran out of yarn! The pattern says 4 skeins. I had 3 and was hoping that would be enough since I'm making it a little smaller but I didn't quite make it. The yarn store I got the yarn from is closed today so I have to wait.
09 October 2005
01 October 2005
The pattern is pretty simple except for the cabled part. She uses lifted increases that I've never seen in a pattern before but I think I've got them figured out. Here's my progress so far. I've actually done a lot in only a few days!
The color is kind of off in this picture but you can see how the cable pattern is turning out.
Knitting the flame on the sleeve was my 1st attempt at knitting intarsia and it was totally successful! I was expecting lots of frogging but after only having to rip out a few rows at the beginning, I got the hang of it. Here's a close up of my 1st intarsia motif. Pretty nice if I do say so myself.
As a reward for finishing the back, I started a new project.
The reasons I deserved a reward:
1) Knitting a large man's sweater is a LOT more work and takes a lot more time than what I have been knitting all summer- small women's tank tops for me.
2) Also, I'm knitting it with Lion Brand Woolease, which is not my favorite yarn. I started knitting it though when I lived really far away from a yarn store and only had access to Lion Brand yarn (well, Red Heart too, but I won't sink that low). Buying yarn over the internet didn't occur to me as I'm much too impatient to wait for it to arrive. So I wanted to take a break from the Woolease, though it's really not that bad.
3) Knitting miles of stockinette with a few increases thrown in is boring after a while. I love lace and cables and patterns- anything interesting.
So . . . The new project I started in the Gyrid tank from Elsebeth Lavold's book The Viking Knits Collection. I already have half the front finished and I must say that her cable patterns are not for the faint of heart but they are really cool! And her silky wool yarn is really nice to knit with. The finished top is going to be a Christmas present for my mom.
27 September 2005
They're knitted with cotten chenille yarn. It feels really nice but I didn't really like knitting with it. The finished project feels so soft though, I think I need to knit one for myself now!
25 September 2005
Bradely, all wet and happy after swimming.
one husband and 1 new (to me) house. The house, by the way, is the reason I missed going to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this weekend! I got so caught up doing work on the house that I totally spaced on the festival and forgot it was this weekend! Of course I remembered too late to get there yesterday and today I have to work. Anyone buying an old, fixer kind of house should definitely weigh risks such as this. It's probably a good thing in the end, though, because I shouldn't be spending any more money on yarn right now. I have a lot of projects that need finishing.
As I mentioned yesterday, I sewed a great roll-up knitting needle case. Here are some pics. The print fabrics are cotton upholstery fabrics and the solid is a sateen cotton.
Now my needles can be neat and tidy! I just need something for those pesky circulars . . .