Saturday, February 23, 2008

7 Random Things ...

I was tagged by Tama to mention 7 random things ... so here goes:

1. I have three tattoos ... none of which you can see if I am clothed for the most part (two are on my ankle, but I usually wear socks and sneakers anyway).

2. I am a word freak, I love words. If I hear a word that I have not encountered before - even if I can figure out the meaning from the context of the sentence - I will look it up when I get home, or if I am home, the next time I pass the dictionary. When I am writing, I will take the time to look up anything that I am not sure of the spelling.

3. I have been to Hawaii and England on vacation - neither of which I paid for myself, LOL! My friend's dad took us to Hawaii - he usually took her somewhere when she went out to visit him in CA and I was given the opportunity to join that year. My mom took me to England in 2001 to visit a woman we met through friends while she was vacationing over here and I was emailing her back and forth since ... still do to this day.

4. I can ride a horse.

5. I drive a truck and don't think I will ever purchase another car / sedan for the rest of my life, LOL!

6. Macaroni & Cheese is my favorite food. I prefer real baked macaroni and cheese or Boston Market's version to the boxed kind.

7. Probably the most interesting knitting related thing ... I have NEVER, EVER made a pair of socks for myself ... not because I don't want to ... because it just hasn't happened yet. I have 3 pairs on the needles for myself at the moment ... maybe one of these days in the near future!!

Now I am off to tag 7 others!

FO: Little Sky Sock

Pattern: Little Sky Sock "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" by Cat Bordhi

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool, Worsted Weight, Color: Forest

Needles: Addi Turbo 40" size US 5

Cast On: 2/18/08 Cast Off: 2/23/08

I made these to learn the techniques in the book, so there's really no intended recipient. I will be giving them to my friend for his boy though, I think they'll fit him for a while, he just turned one year old this month.

The weather outside is frightful ...

Well its actually not so bad, but I thought we were done with snow for the year ... wishful thinking ... and we got about 7-9" yesterday and last night. So all the snow that just melted has returned.

I recently added to my sock yarn stash ... yeah, like that needed to be done!

1. Lang Yarns Jawoll Superwash in a dark green. I think I will use this for one of the sock patterns in "Knitting Vintage Socks" from Nancy Bush.

2. Berroco Comfort Sock - I have not used this yarn before, but it only cost $7 for a skein and it feels so soft!

3. Wildfoote in Rhapsody. I am making a pair of socks in Wildfoote at the moment and really like it, this color was really cool (hard to see in the photo) so I wanted to grab it before it dissapeared.

Here's what I've been knitting:

The above sock is knit in Panda Cotton, color "Roses" and I got it in a swap. I found this pattern on the Crystal Palace website, Menehune Socks. I think it might be because the gauge is so small (9 sts per inch) that is is taking me so long to knit these. Also I am knitting them on 1.5 Harmony Needles and I am a really tight knitter, so I think its slow going because I am concerned I will snap the wood, LOL!

These are the other socks that I am making in Wildfoote, the pattern is Magic Lace Rib by Natalie Wilson. I really like the pattern, its very pretty, but not so complicated that's its too much for TV knitting. I started the second one and hope to have them done at the same time.

This is the hat I am making for a class I am taking at my LYS. There is only one class meeting left. This yarn I also got in a swap and its working very well for this pattern. We learned how to make left and right leaning decreases on the ear flaps so that it comes out uniform. I also learned how to cast on and knit in pieces already done. I hope to be able to knit enough to get to the end or close to for the last class on Wednesday night so that it will be finished.

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Paths for my Socks

I got New Pathways for Sock Knitters a while ago, and browsed through it, but had other projects to finish, so I didn't try to start anything. Since this is a long weekend and I just finished that sweater project, I decided to start learning the stuff in this book.

First I made myself some "A" and "B" stitch markers so that I could follow along. Seems like there are some more advanced patterns later on that require up to "G" so I will be making more later, LOL!

I started with the first Little Sky Learning Sock. I really like the way the increases are on the instep and the heel is short rows, but an interesting way to conceal the wraps and not end up with any of those nasty holes.

I also really liked that there are videos up on You Tube to follow along with. I usually do fine with diagrams only, but some of them in the book only have one photo for three steps ... so I wasn't sure how to place stitches on needles, etc. The videos were very helpful.
This sock took me a few hours to complete, I will make the other one soon. I think they are a bit big for my friend's boy, but that's good since its getting warm out soon. They can save them for next winter.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Winnings ...

I received my prize from participating and winning in the draw for Miss Me's recent blog contest! She sent some really cool stuff, more than I expected for a prize, felt like I was getting a whole swap package, LOL! She sent Smarties, similar to our M&Ms, but a little different, yummy though. Lavish soap in Almond and Goat's Milk, smells wonderful. Stitch markers from Knit2tog, in my favorite color! And the loveliest yarn "Hacho" by Mirasol, 100% Hand Dyed Merino Wool in a super awesome colorway with purple, greens and blues. Looks to me like some socks will come out nicely in this yarn. Thank you Miss Me!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

FO: Colorblock Sweater

Pattern: Colorblock Sweater, p 55, Knit Simple Magazine Spring/Summer 2007
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease (1 skein ea. Snow, Almond, Maize, Taupe)
Size: 1 year
Needles: Size 6 & 8 Circular (to accomodate stitches, was knit flat)

The sweater is done!!!!

I finished the sweater today. I think it took as much, if not a bit more to seam it all up then it did to knit it!

The first photo is of the sleeves set in. I had to undo and rework the first one I tried, because the center ended up about an inch from the actual center, LOL!

This photo shows the inside color changes and seams. Its nice to see that the inside is just as neat as the outside!

Now the sleeves are set in and seamed up. Again, I had to rip out and redo the first one that I did, the second one went much easier!

Ta da! The finished product!! This is a really great little sweater. It really doesn't take long to knit, but the seaming took a lot of time. I am sure though that if I did something like this again it would go much better, as noted above I pretty much had to redo everything I tried the first time.

This is a shot of the back.

I washed it tonight and it survived the washing machine. This yarn is machine washable and dryable, which is good for a one year old I am sure! Now its in the dryer at the moment and I am sure it will survive that as well.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sweater Seaming Sunday

I spent most of my day working on this sweater, but that's OK because it all went very well. I would hate to spend all of this time and then not have good results, LOL!

Last night I started the second sleeve and finished that around noontime today. Once I had all of the pieces completed I got ready to start finishing. This is the first sweater that I have seamed, so I had books and magazines at the ready for instruction, and I also recently took a workshop on seaming. I didn't need my books much once I got started.

Here are the pieces.

Here's a close up of the shoulder being seamed. The first time around I took out and started again, I wasn't getting a good tension to match the knitted stitches, but it was good practice, LOL! The second time around I was going very slow and making sure the tension matched well.

Once I seamed the right shoulder the pattern instructed to pick up stitches for the neck. I had subsituted the yarn for this project, so I had one ball for each 2 required for the pattern, but two would have been handy for the neck part. I made two small balls so that I could match the colors as required. It was still a bit messy though! I took it slow so I wouldn't end up with a knotted mess.

Here is the neck completed. It was nice that I came out with the correct number of stitches picked up the first time around, LOL!

Here is the sweater with the second shoulder seamed and the buttons added. I also wove in all of the loose ends. I should have taken a photo of the inside. I think there were about 20 ends to weave in throughout because of all the color changes.

Here is a close up shot of the buttons and neck. I had to take off and reposition one of the buttons. I really do not like sewing buttons on! They move around while I am trying to sew them on. No matter how much pre-planning and positioning ahead of time, inevitably one of them is in a bad spot and the closure doesn't line up right.

All in all I am extremely pleased with this project. All that is left is to seam the sleeves onto the shoulders and then seam up the sleeves and side seams. I'll save that for another day this week. I am all seamed out for the day!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Back and Forth ...

That's what Stockinette flat knitting feels like ... back and forth ... back and forth

I don't know why I procrastinate some projects. This child's sweater is actually a very quick knit if you sit down and do it. I finished the last 4" and shaping on the front and an entire sleeve last night. I cast this sweater on 1/7/08. I need to finish it by 2/16/08 for a birthday party.

It is coming out quite nicely. This is my first sweater with shaping and increasing. This will also be my first sweater that I have to seam all of the pieces together. I did a sweater for this same boy last year, but it was one piece and only had side seams.

I started these socks 2/3/08 when my Monkey socks ran out of yarn. I had to rip back to the cuff the other night and start over again for the pattern. I should know by now if something seems difficult or weird, I'm probably not doing it right.

One of the yarn overs in this pattern is done off a purl so its kind of backwards, when you knit it on the next round it seems like you are knitting in the back loop (but the pattern didn't say to ktbl so I didn't want to do that if it was wrong), so I was doing it through the front loop and wasn't getting a hole where the yarn over should be, so in the ribbing there were holes only on one side and what looked like purls on the other because I was twisting the yarn over and closing up the hole.

Lesson learned, sock looks good now and its much easier to knit this way, LOL!! Some how I was able to rip back and pick up the stitches on size 1 needles from the ribbing on the cuff. Usually I get really frustrated with this, but this yarn seemed to hold the stitches well and they were easy to pick up, many I had to re-position so that they were not twisted, but that's much quicker than starting over and knitting ribbing for 1 1/2" again!

FO: Hemingway Bear

This bear was knit up for the Hot Cocoa Swap. The pattern is from Knitty. This was my first toy and it was an interesting knit. This was also a pretty quick knit, so great for a swap project!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hot Cocoa Swap Package!

I received my Hot Cocoa Swap package today from Heather. It even came in a purple box! Heather sent 2 sets of awesome stitch markers that she made, they definitely have a Spring feeling to them, I love the colors. I also received butterfly notecards, gummies, Lindt chocolate (who doesn't love that?!?!), Starbucks Hot Cocoa, can't wait to try that. Soy Wool Solids in the most lovely shade of purple, my favorite and its enough yardage for me to use in a class I am taking next week to make a hat, that worked out well!! And last, but certainly not least, the CUTEST crocheted butterfly in the most awesome bright colors!!!

Not pictured, only because I was thinking Oh cool!! and took it out and put it aside so it wouldn't get lost in the fray of me opening my package - a tea cup stamp. I love rubber stamping, so this is a nice touch.

I am also amazed at how often I find something in a swap that is sent to me that is something I've wanted to try, but didn't actually mention that anywhere. Soy Wool by Patons has been on my list, but I haven't had an opportunity or project to use it for. So it is always cool to find something you wanted and in your favorite color in a swap package!!

Check out Heather's stitch markers, they are lovely and really well constructed. I can't wait to use mine!!

Thank you Heather!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Not so Rockin' Sock ...

I finished the first Monkey sock yesterday and then weighed it on a postage scale and the what yarn I had left. The sock weighs a little over 2 oz and the yarn left is about 1 1/2 oz ... so I don't think I'll be getting another sock out of that skein. Since there is not even one mistake in the sock, I really don't want to rip it out to make something else ... also I really don't want to rip it out and start something else to find I end up with the same problem and run out of yarn again. So I think I will order another skein to make another one and then I will be able to get yet another pair out of what's left.

So after this mishap I decided to start in on the Jaywalkers that I had started previously ... only to find out I was somehow slipping the stitches differently before and they were coming out different ... and I think not right. So I scrapped that and started new socks with Wildfoote and a new pattern that I purchased the last time I was at the yarn store.

I finished getting everything for the Hot Cocoa Swap package that I've been preparing. I am going to take the buddy that I made around the house today and take some photos of him sharing in the fun of waiting for the game to start on Super Bowl Sunday.

For the first time in what feels like forever I heard birds chirping outside today. It was in the 40s but really felt like Spring. I sure hope Spring comes soon!

Go Pats!!