Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

  • Interweave Knits Subscription
  • The Knitter's Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using and Loving this Most Fabulous Fibers by Clara Parkes
  • Colorwork Creations: 30+ Patterns to Knit Gorgeous Hats, Mittens and Gloves by Susan Anderson-Freed
  • All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

30th Birthday

I received many lovely presents for my 30th birthday but since this blog is devoted to knitting, I thought I would mention those that are most relevant to it.

Two large Chic-a Quick Draw Bags (colors: cherries and strawberries), Knitt
ing Daily TV Series 100 - 400 DVDs and Knitting Daily Workshop: Inside Intarsia DVD with Anne Berk.

I have several Blue Sky Alpaca Pretty Cheap Project Bags in colors tangerine, turquoise, berry and purple. They retail for $7 compared to the $25 for the Chic-a Quick Draw Bags. The cheap project bags are made of muslin and feature a bird motif on the front. The quick draw bag is made of cotton that is double fabric. The outside fabric is polka dots and the inside is a single color. The bottom of the bags feature a vinyl fabric that is patterned. The inside also features a pocket. It's really important with the cheap project bags to not leave any small needles uncovered. I found one of my bags with a rather large whole from a size 2 dpn that I had been using for a sock.

Now, I think I'd like a Chic-a Single Yarn Keeper to keep my pesky balls of yarn from flopping about.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Simple Noro Sock

When we were doing the road trip to Disney World, I started on a pair of simple knitted socks using some Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn that I had purchased at the 2008 STITCHES Midwest. Yarn tends to linger in my stash for ages before I'll use it. I'm trying to break my hoarding tendencies and use up yarn that I have purchased. I'm not allowing myself to purchase any new yarns unless they are truly unique. As in, I'm not going to be purchasing any Cascade 220 at this year's STITCHES.

I've just completed the first sock of the pair. Picking up the stitches to turn the heel lingered longer than I had originally anticipated. I really did not want to go through the effort of turning the heel and knitting the foot. It took two months just to complete this one sock and I have another one to go. I'm hoping I can get it wrapped up in maybe a month.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Prep for STITCHES Midwest

In preparation for STITCHES MIDWEST from August 26-28, I've been knitting swatches. As a 30th birthday present to myself, I'm taking the following classes:

Custom Fitting Existing Patterns with Lily Chin - Friday
Design Your Dream Sweater with Leslye Solomon - Saturday
Crochet for Knitters Eckman with - Saturday
Round Up! 4 Ways to Knit in the Round with Beth Whiteside - Sunday

Two of the classes I'm taking require a total six swatches in terms of homework. The class with Lily Chin requires the most swatches and they reflect a variety of needles, yarn weights and stitch patterns. It seems it's to illustrate how using various needle sizes can augment the drape and texture of the fabric. As well as how stitch patterns can augment a fabric knit with the same yarn and needle. It should be an interesting class. I'm grateful that I completed Level 1 of the Knitting Guild Association's Master Knitting Program because I feel prepped for this.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hippity Hoppity

This is the Bunny Blanket Buddy from Lion Brand Yarns. I knit it in Lily Sugar'n Cream (colorway: Toffee) with size 8 and 10.5 needles. The face is embroidered in Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton so that I was only using machine washable cotton. The head is stuffed with blanket batting. I was afraid polyfill would poke out through the stitches and considering the head isn't knit very tightly, it definitely would have. It's a free pattern that can be found at the lion brand yarn website. It used only 15 grams / 25 yards of yarn. I have a coworker who is having her last day next week and wanted to be sure that I give her something for the little boy that's about to enter her family.

What's most am zing about this little knit, is that it's knit entirely in one piece. One piece, in terms of arms, head and ears. Seriously, that is really, really clever. There's no way anything is going to come off and harm a baby. I loved that the head is knit using the double knitting technique. With the use of slip stitches on both even and odd rows you are knitting the front and back at the same time. I was doing a brand new technique to me without even realizing it. The ears are knit by casting on and binding off additional stitches. In order to stuff the head, I had to place the stitches associate with the front and back on two separate needles so that I could get the batting in. It worked out splendidly.

Overall time to complete (includes embroidery)...4 hours. Not bad for a gifted item.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Felted Slippers

I started on a pair of French Press Felted Slippers in May. While I was able to knit all the pieces in 2 days, I was rather slow going on blocking and sewing them together. I like to take my in I really hate seaming. Hate it! Little did I know, that your seams will disappear in felting and so it doesn't matter if they aren't very good. They only need to lay flat.

The buttons are from Happy Owl Glassworks. I bought them ages ago maybe 2008) at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago. I'm not sure they even sell buttons anymore. They set me back $12, which I'm almost positive is more than I paid for the two balls of yarn it took to make the slippers.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kitchen Scale - Yarn Scale

I didn't realize how handy our digital kitchen scale could be. My husband uses it to help control food portions. I had some used yarn balls where I couldn't tell how much yarn was remaining for other projects. I switched the measumrent to grams and placed my ball on the scale and with a little math was able to discern how many yards I have available. I now know how many grams/yards I have my disposal for countless balls of Cascade 220, scraps from sock yarn and more recently (shown here) Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I have enough Cashmerino to make the Vine and Leaf Beret featured on the cover of Vogue Knitting Fall 2009. That'll be the first fall knit.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Simple Noro Sock

I started knitting this during the road trip to Disney. This knitting project has, honestly, sucked. I knit a full three inches on day one of the trip after having cast-on 68 stitches. I placed the tube on my leg and realized this would never, ever work. So, I ripped out. I re-cast with more stitches and all appears to be going well. But I'm still on the first sock and haven't yet turned the heel. As any knitter could easily see, I have no passion for this project. We'll see what happens with it.

I'm not convinced I would ever buy Noro Kureyon Sock yarn again. I have high hopes that I can make the pair matching. But by having knit on size 2.5mm needles and cast-on more stitches I'm not convinced that it's possible.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Disney World - You're the BEST!

It's a Small World...indeed. Even smaller the second go around.

It was scary the first time and still scary on the fourth!

Muppets. 3D. Miss Piggy as Lady Liberty Fountain. Heaven.

On Safari, checking out some rhinos.

Still traveling through the sub-Saharan.

To infinity and beyond!

Deutschland Cookoo Clock.

Bring on the vikings!

Cocktails in France: Grand Marnier slushie and Grey Goose Lemonade.

Sake in Japan.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Disney World - Rest and Relaxation

We drove straight thru Tennessee, Georgia and Florida on 5/21. We checked into a hotel right outside of Disney the night before and after waking up early, checked in at the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is a lovely hotel, walking distance from Epcot and Hollywood Studios. I loved the Mickey Mouse bed towels on the bed. Just perfect

(The Boardwalk all lit up at night.)
(The lights go on for ages.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

2nd Stop - Equus Run Vineyards

1st Stop - Buffalo Trace Distillery

Our Vacation Begins

We're taking a road trip vacation over the next couple of days. Destination: Disney World.
Mickey Mouse here we come!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Healing Hand(s)

My sister recently informed me that her glovelets had a run in with a moth. The glovelets ended up with a hole in the mock cable pattern. I did my best to mend them and think I did decent enough job.

Before Picture:
After Picture:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Simple Skyp Socks

After a few assertions that "you don't make me anything," I began knitting my husband Chris, some socks. I picked the Simple Skyp sock pattern by Adrienne Ku and Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Medium weight in the colorway Manly yes, but I like it too!, which really showcases the stitches - great stitch definition! It's a lovely gray.

I decided to not pick up an extra stitch on both sides of the sock to continue with the skyp pattern. This left me with just three ribbed sections of the pattern repeat on the foot, instead of five.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

STITCHES Midwest Registration

STITCHES Midwest Registrations opened today. For the first time since I've been going to STITCHES, I'll be attending classes. I booked 15 class hours! I'll be learning lots of things: how to augment existing patterns for a custom fit; to design a sweater from scratch; introductory crochet (for knitters); and various techniques for knitting in the round. While I knit with dpns and circulars, I'm particularly interested in learning how to knit with 2 circulars and the magic loop. I bought Two-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes a few months ago and I'm hoping this will give me the courage to give it a go. I've knit quite a few socks and each time I come down with second sock syndrome. That second sock just seems to take me twice as long to finish. What's equally awesome about this weekend is I'll be turning 30. The big 3-0. This is in part how I decided to accommodate the cost to go to classes. It's a present to myself. And, since I purchased classes at STITCHES, I decided I'd also partake in the WEBS ( anniversary sale that is going on this month and next month. I purchased:

  • 2 skeins of Cascade Jewel Paints (Cherry Berry and David's Eyes)

  • 4 skeins of Knit One Crochet Too Camelino (Honey)

  • 2 skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool (Dark Ash)

  • 3 skeins of Cascade 220 (Straw, Brown, and Charcoal Gray)

  • 16 balls of Berroco Pure Merino (Storm)
I picture making owls (sweater by Kate Davies), some Amigurumi knitted toys (release the kraken!), and French Press Felted Slippers. For the slippers, I have some awesome glass buttons (picture to come), featuring red octopuses on a blue background, that I think would go really well with the Cascade 220 in the straw colorway.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meet Henry. Henry Meet Everyone.

I started a Henry Rollins "knitted action figure" back in 2005 after going to one of his spoken word shows. I had high hopes that I could quickly make this and give it to my husband. It wasn't meant to be a gift really because I can't do deadlines. But oh my, should I have had a deadline. Without one, this thing lingered in my UFO pile for four years. I had everything knitted up within a month or so but when it came to seaming, I just didn't want to do it. I hate sewing things together, which was the very reason why I knitted the Drop-Stitch Tank in the round. My seaming skills are lacking and it's a bit obvious when looking at Henry Rollins arms. I didn't sew the shoulder seam correctly and by the time I noticed, I had already picked up stitches for his head.

He was knitted with Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic, which is kind of a crisp yarn. I think he looks pretty good.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Noro Obsession

So in total over the last month, I knit a striped scarf, a striped hat (twice - I had to reknit the striped hat after it was apparent it was too big), and a regular hat. All with Noro Silk Garden.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Curlicue Baby Blanket

Shortly after learning a close friend was expecting her first child (started on September 3), I decided I needed to knit a gift. With this in mind, I purchased 10 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a Khaki-ish color at Stitches Midwest. On size 4 (thought they were size 6 - oops!) needles, I cast on for the Curlicue Blanket by Skruddevutt (found on Ravelry. The yarn isn't exactly a mom's best friend but it's so unbelievably soft with it's fiber content: 55% Merino wool, 33% Microfibre, and 12% Cashmere. It's machine washable but is unfortunately dry flat and cool iron. But it can be dry cleaned.

The top and bottom border is 13 rows of garter stitch (approximately 1") and left and right border is 16 stitches of garter stitch. It's a lovely stitch pattern. Because I'm using a Sport-weight yarn, this is going to be a large project to tackle. I decided that I wanted the blanket to be at least 30" wide and 30" tall and cast on 209 stitches. This blanket, that is if I count my swatch gauge correctly, will have approximately 60,000 stitches. Crazy.

As of November 6, the blanket is 18 inches tall (over halfway there) and 30 inches wide - and it's only at 5 balls. This is by far the most intense project I've ever undertaken. It has to be comparable to knitting a sweater, right? Since it's just a square, it's not as though it looks like it's ever growing.

November 21, the blanket is 22" inches tall - 6 balls.

CO on 12/18/10 and blocked the next day. The final measurements are 36" wide and 31" tall or if one wants to place the blanket the other way 31" wide and 36" tall.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I cast-on a new Noro Striped Scarf this last weekend using the same yarn as the new Noro Striped Hat - Noro Silk Garden, 45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair and 10% Lamb's Wool (colorway 275 and 267). The first time I made this scarf, I used size 7 needles and found that the fabric was too dense. I also cast on almost 40 stitches and found myself not liking the width over time. So, this time, I used size 9 needles and cast-on 25 stitches.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Striped Hat Part Duex...Too Big

After losing my striped hat on Black Friday, I opted to knit myself another one. This time I used only Noro Silk Garden, 45% Silk, $45% Kid Mohair and 10% Lamb's Wool (colorway 275 and 267).

CO 106 sts.
K2 P2 for the first 1.5" (approximately 12 rows). First four rounds are in colorway 267. Next four rounds (5-8) are in colorway 275. Next four rounds (6-12) are in colorway 267.
Round 13 increase 6 stitches (total stiches 110) evenly. Alternate two rounds in colorway 275 and 267 for 6.5". (I also made a jogless stripe so the lines would line up.)
Start decreasing every round until only 11 stitches are remaining.
Sew tail of leftover yarn through the 11 stitches.

Oh my. Now that it's on my head I'm keenly aware that it is too big. This thing has no negative ease at all. One weekend, I'm going to rip it and knit again.