October 31, 2011

Vacation Day!

I took the day off today - so a bonus post this week!

My big plans included a conference call at 8:30, but I slept through that.  It's ok, I will catch up tomorrow at work.

Other plans include a chiropractic appointment, go to the chiropractor, giving candy to people that knock on my door and finishing a sweater.  My Fuzzy Wuzzy KAL is almost done.  3.3" of stockinette and I have the knitting done.  I figure 2 hours of knitting and about 3 hours of seaming to the finish line.  I even pinned the sweater together last night to try on.  It fits very comfortably and I am now very motivated.

I also have a few projects that need some TLC.
1.  A sweater that needs a button rearrangement.  I made Moonstruck with a coupon code from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and I love it.  It would be perfect as a knit coat/outdoor sweater right now.  However the diagonal button placement is insane.  I had a problem with placement, and now when I button it the hem looks great but the collar is not laying right.  I will need an assistant to do that I think.

2. I have a Juliet sweater (very similar to the February Lady Sweater) that I don't like the collar. I want to add a little extra.  I've found people that put a ribbed boarder around the whole thing - I have a lack of yarn problem, so that's not an option.  But I did see someone that picked up and put a collar with the lace pattern on it.  I will try that and pray I have enough yarn left.

3. Lastly, I have a sweater who had sleeve problems.  Oh yes, after two months of wearing it, I realized the sleeves were WAY too long.  I ripped them out - seriously, just ripped those babies right out.  Now I have to re-knit them though.  Maybe I didn't think that all the way through.  It has been languishing for about 3 months. I would like that sweater now....

Here we go!

October 30, 2011

Lightweight Lady's Beanie

A pattern for The Lightweight Lady's Beanie.

This beanie in a light weight yarn is perfect for summer or wearing indoors.  The ribbing gives lots of stretch as to accommodate a wide variety of head sizes.

1 stitch marker
US 5 needles, circulars or double pointed
Darning Needle
About 25g of fingering weight/sock yarn

15 stitches/2 inches in 1x1 rib, not stretched.

Cast on 108 stitches loosely.  Join in the round placing marker at the start of the round- careful not to twist your stitches - and work in a knit 1 purl 1 rib in the round.  Work in K1 P1 rib for 7" - 8."  Start decreasing every other row until 18 stitches remain.

Decrease rows: Slip 1 as if to knit, knit 2 together, pass slip stitch over, work 9 (7,5,3,1) in established ribbing.

Last 2 rounds - work 1 row in established ribbed pattern.  Slip slip knit all the way around the next row.  Cut yarn, and pull end through remaining stitches to secure the top of hat.  Weave in ends :)


One this about having a lot of projects going on is that there are sometimes a lot of finishing going on.

Two KAL's done!  Both small shawls are done.

The Momijiari from the Dream in Color Club was finished up this week.  I had a couple extra rows in my base triangle, which meant I was low on yarn.  As it became evident I would not make it to the end of the lace edging, I began thinking of options.  Well, I found an error on the edge of the lace, and without a chart (I am a chart lover) I really couldn't visualize how I messed up.  So I ripped the whole edging out and started picking up stitches again.  It wasn't too bad because they pattern created loops to pick up!  Very nice feature of this design, and very decorative too!  So I picked it all back up - and after the setup rows, I took up the pattern where I was (without adjusting for the extra stitches I had).  I skipped the "stem" rows but completed the leaves.  I really think that this shawl embodies fall.  A base of amazing colors with leaves falling off of the edge! Way to go Beth Kling!

I finished the Progressive Needles Shawl on Saturday.  I added an extra 4 rows of the last pattern, but I probably could have done 8 with what I had left in yarn.  The picot edging was a nice touch, but a pain to complete.  I have to say my Triplicity Shawl was challenging, but in a good way.

Two other items left the needles - two pieces of headware.  One Hallowig for Halloween, I went as a witch-doctor and as I cannot wear facepaint - I wore the blue/green hallowig!

I also finished a hat for Halos of Hope - they are looking for 200 women's hats before end of year.  I was starting one hat and ended up losing the instructions and winging it.  Here's a picture of my Lightweight Lady's Beanie

I'll put up a pattern next blog post as I've already cast on another in a great DiC purple!

October 23, 2011

A week in which I make progress

I made progress on some KAL's this week.  I ripped out some others.

The progress! Progress was made on both the Progressive Needles KAL and the Fuzzy Fall KAL.  The Simplicity Shawl has made it to clue 3.  The yarn is so very soft and these stitches are very challenging.  The pattern does keep me engaged.  However, I'm not making amazing progress because I'm not printing the pattern - I'm only working on it in front of the computer.  I highlight the row I'm on and work it, then highlight the next.

The Fuzzy Fall KAL is moving along.  I'm done with the sleeves and now am working down the back.  I worked about 5" over the Packer game today, only about 11" left and I'm ready to seam!  Wow, I'm pretty close.

The ripping.  The dream club Momijigari isn't going well.  I am knitting at a loser gauge than in the pattern, but I like the fabric a lot.  I love the color, but as I started the boarder I thought I might run out of yarn.  As I got to row 10 of the 20 row boarder I knew I was going to run out of yarn.  There are 15 of us all knitting the same thing, with the same yarn, I would probably be able to bribe someone for scraps - but every skein was very different, no chances of looking cohesive.  Well, the decision to rip back was made for me as I found a mistake at the edge pattern.  I missed a SSK and a YO 2 or 4 rows back - and it looks so different from the other side.  I couldn't figure out the pattern well enough, I needed a chart.  I ripped back and created a chart.  It makes more sense.  Now - I'm re-starting the boarder - but skipping a few rows - it will work out and I won't run out of yarn.

I did attend a stellar event this week!  The Yarn Harlot is on her book tour, and she made it to Chicago-land!  I made it and this picture says we look like we could be related.  It's the round cheeks and fluffy hair.  It's a look we rock.

I re-started the first book of her's I got for Christmas last year.  It is so funny, and very hard to put down.  I understand knitting humor, knitters should right for knitters.

October 16, 2011

A grand Knit-A-Long indeed

So I talked with my mom last night.  We needed to chat over how the merging a 3rd dog into the household was going.  Not good at all, and the dog went back was the answer to that.  However, she asked me what I was up to, and the obvious answer was that I was knitting all the things in the world.  "In the world?"  "Yes, Mom, in the world.  Let me give you a run down of what I've got on the needles/hooks."

I pulled up my rav page and began rattling off all my projects.  Whoa boy - I've got 8 or so and some hibernating.  I'm happy to report grand progress on the knit a longs!

My Dodgson sweater is over 1/2 done!  I've now joined the collar pieces, and moving down the back.  It's a cardigan with a one piece construction starting at the bottom front worked up and over the shoulders then down the back.  I've started down the back, now only using one working yarn and the working the broken rib on the ends of the sleeves.  I have a hunch that once the shaping is done this sweater is going to be very boring to work on....

I did start the Knit Purl Hunter's Progressive Needles KAL.  I have some aqua colored Simplicity Yarn.  The yarn is a mystery to me, it's a Merino Wool, Nylon and Acrylic blend.  It feels like a Merino but I feel like it acts like a cotton.  It isn't very stretchy.  I do love the color though, and it is working well with the pattern.  It is a "simple" triangle shawl with sections of stockinette stitch and sections of texture.  The texture has been stitches that I have never done before.  So far it's been the knit 1 below and the knot stitch.  I can't wait to see what comes next!

I also picked up the October Dream in Color Dream Club stuff.  The yarn is a blend I haven't seen from them before (to my knowledge), a Mohair Merino blend in a very fun color that is exactly what the changing leaves look like.  There was a kick-off of sorts in the store and we all cast on at the same time.  It was interesting to have such a wide variety of skill levels in one group.  Fun though.  This shawl is a triangle shawl worked sideways in garter then we'll come back and pick up along one edge and do some great lace work. SO EXCITED - the garter stitch portion of it is working up quickly but those rows are getting a bit longer now.

The garter stitch portion of the shawl reminds me of Fit to be Tied.  It's a cute free pattern and here's what mine looks like.

On Saturday I cast on a new project - to celebrate I Love Yarn Day - because I love yarn.  I started something that my knit-friends and I have been plotting for months now - Spectra by Stephen West.  Very clever Stephen, very clever.  I picked out a Dream in Color Starry in Deep Sea Flower as my boarder color and a Lang Jawoll Magic in pinks and oranges to go in the "windows."  The contrast is great so far!  Or at least I thought so in the not-so-natural light. What do you think?

So - that's enough of chat - I'm going to run to the grocery & the post office, and then snuggle down for some good Wisconsin sports & the Walking Dead tonight, with my knitting of course.

October 9, 2011

Teaching Time

The first time I taught someone to knit it ended in tears.  That's not an exaggeration or a lie.  My godson and his twin sister came to visit me for a weekend when I was living in GB.  We did fun GB things like Bay Beach and the NEW zoo.  It was a great time, and on the morning before they left the sister asked me to teach her to knit. I had been knitting while they were video gaming making something I can't remember and enjoying it.  I grabbed a pair of needles and some yarn.  I cast on 20 stitches, and showed her how to move them from one needle to the next.  As a young type A, she expected for it to be easy and got easily frustrated.  Made some disparaging comments and when I told her it was ok and she was doing good.  But she didn't believe it and we ended with tears.

Now I realize that she was a little too young to learn, on the boarder but still not ready yet.  I did send her a crochet kit a year later for her birthday along with a note saying how I felt crochet was a little easier and was what I started with.  She took to it like water.  She made a blanket for our mutual cousin's new baby.  :-D

Since then I have taught 4 people to knit and one to crochet.  I think I've improved my teaching skills a little.  Being upfront that it's not hard, but is tricky at first I think is key.  Having an enthusiastic student is also a great help.  Good tools is helpful too.

Last two was at charity knitting at one knitter came in followed by two non-knitters who wanted to learn.  With the all staffers busy, I jumped in to teach them.  It looked like a mother-daughter team of new knitters.  And I sat next to one, taught the knit cast on, and then I moved over to the mother and showed her.  The knitter who convinced them to come in hadn't done a knitted cast on before and wanted to learn too.  I will say that it was so cool to see how two brand new knitters knit differently.  Both knit English, but one propped her left hand needle against her stomach so it was perpendicular to her and worked only the right needle.  It was so fun!  :-D

Needles news:  I started the Progressive Needles KAL last night.  It was quick and the K1B stitch was easy to create but difficult to read.  That is to say, when trying to read my K1B stitches it was hard to figure out.  Yikes!  It will take a few more projects to get it down.

I also started a halloween costume, more to come...

October 7, 2011

I need a few more knit along's please?

I don't think I realized how many KAL's I've committed myself too.

What's on my needles?  Everything and I must knit all the things.

First is a Fall KAL for Fuzzy Wuzzy's Berroco KAL.  I picked out a 3/4 sleeve sweater called Dodgson out of Berroco Boboli.  It's a lofty one ply yarn, very short bursts of color and it's working up very shiney and fluffy.  I do like the pattern, no errors so far.  It's a different construction starting at the bottom front, over the shoulders and down the back.  The sleeves are knit as we go.  I'm unsure of how I will like the fit of the sleeves knit sideways.

I've got yarn to start Knit Purl Hunter's Progressive Needles KAL.  I don't know that I will start, as I've also got yarn coming for the October Dream in Color kit.  I've been working on a prayer shawl for a girlfriend of mine who's going through a rough time.  However, I've been struggling so much with the pattern that I think I should rip back and try something simpler.  So I was thinking of gifting one of these instead.  I know that the pattern I picked out would take about a year to complete and I think that she deserves a little comfort sooner than that.

Maybe we need a KAL for the blog?  Socks?  I love socks?  Who wants to knit the Groovy socks with me? I just finished the ribbing!

I've also been working on a design of my own - working one with beads and one without.  It's called Bleeding Hearts Shawl and here's a preview.

I've also been working on Christmas gifts, but not very hard.  I think I'm going to make slippers for the grands.  I know my grandparents have all the stuff they could ever need.  So I like to craft them something, and I know that my dad's parents have enjoyed the socks I've made them.  My grandmother on my mom's side likes them but needs more stability.  I will make her some with leather soles.  I also knit for Greg's grandmother last year too.  She's a crafter as well (actually - all of my family is crafters) so she knows the effort and uses the items I gift.  <3  I think Greg's mom will get a pair of slippers too - they should work up real quick.  I hope I have some quality colors in my stash for this!

See - look I'm planning more projects too!

But I really wanted to tell you about teaching others to craft and I'll do that tomorrow because I'm now itching to knit!