Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dishcloth Mania

This summer I knitted quite a few washcloths for my knitting girl friends, for our knitting camp weekend. Since then, I have been on a cotton bender. I have finally turned the corner and while I am still knitting some cotton, it's not the only projects on my needles that I'm actively working on.

Here are some of the finished cloths, many of which were made from the leftovers of Reynolds Morocco (a bulky cotton/linen blend):
Garter Ridge Washcloth from Knitter's Stash
Basket Weave Cloth
Starfish Cloth from 
Leisure Arts #3892 designed by Evelyn Clark
 Bubbles Border cloth from Leisure Arts #3892
Berries Cloth (Leisure Arts #3892)

For the cloths, I used Reynolds Morocco, a discontinued bulky linen/cotton, for the Berries cloth, Garter Ridge cloth and the Basket Weave cloth. I used Sugar N' Cream for the Starfish cloth and the Bubbles Border cloth.
I have another cloth that wasn't pictured yet, but it is late, so I will upload it next time. I have cast on for some new projects. Lately I have been in sock heaven and have 4 pairs of socks on the needles. I ripped out one sock that wasn't working out and have cast on for three new pairs of socks, while needing to finish the second sock of a pair I've been working on for awhile. I also cast on for Tomato with some lovely bamboo/silk yarn which I will have to share with you all soon.
One of my LYS is going out of business. The owner has owned the shop for 30+ years and did not find a seller when she was interested in selling the business. As the owner has gotten older, she wants to retire, which is understandable. Strawberry Tree closes its doors on August 31, 2009. This was not the store where I learned to knit, but one that I spent considerable amounts of time after my first knitting class. In the past 8 years since I have become a knitter, I have spent many memorable hours shopping, conversing with customers, winding yarn, sifting through old patterns and sitting and knitting. It breaks my heart that the store is closing, although I completely understand the reasons why. I live very close to this store and will no longer have the option of just popping in on my way home for no particular reason, or to visit one my friends who works there. Things change and we must adjust. I am sad to see this LYS close. Thankfully I live in a city with several yarn shops, but it is still sad to see a beloved yarn store with so much history close its doors. I suppose it is a good thing the shop owner is able to close the shop on her own terms.
School is back in session and I am back in the swing of things. I hope to be back here to post soon as well.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Still Here and Knitting

Yikes, I was hoping to be back sooner than this, but at least it is twice in a month, right? I actually have a finished object photo for this post too. I mentioned in my last post that I finished Lutea Lace Shoulder Shell.
I really love the finished result and have worn it a few times already. Since I covered it in the last post, I won't go over all of it again. Here are the pics:

I didn't get M to take a photo, but one of my knitting girls helped me out. Thanks Terrie!
Project Details:
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease
Needles Used: US 7 (4.5 mm) needles used
Project length: a month or so. It really didn't take me very long to knit this top up. The tank knits up so quickly. I ripped out my Hey Teach earlier this summer as I could not face the task of figuring out where I was in the lace pattern. I had found some errors and I had to rip back anyway and when you dread a project, it's not an auspicious start to begin working on it again after I'd put the project down last summer. I decided if I had that much dread, perhaps I should just rip it out. I did and then worked up this bottom-up tank in no time and actually have 3 skeins of the Raspberry colorway. This project has made me fine-tune my short-rowing skills. I have found that I am not dreading short rows like I used to. The V-neck is worked by short-rowing, which is quite unusual. Again, very satisfactory knit.
Until next time . .  .
P.S. And today is my birthday. I have had a great day with lots of fun birthday greetings on Twitter and FaceBook. M cooked me breakfast and dinner and I took the day off from work today. Went to see a matinee of Julie & Julia today and just enjoyed it. We also had to go to Back to School Night for M2. Tomorrow we will go out for dinner.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Has It Really Been This long?

I can't believe it's been 2 months since I last blogged

First, thank you to all of you were able to contribute to my cousin's Scleroderma walk. That really meant a lot to me, especially as it at the last minute. Anything that we were able to raise was helpful.

Since my last blog post, so much has happened. I don't think I mentioned it previously, but in May I went to Atlanta to visit my with my mom and sister. And I got to see my favorite nephew, Chason. I flew in on his birthday and got to attend his 4th birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. And yes, I did volunteer to go this party. Mad props to my sister because she planned it at 10:30 a.m., so there were no other children there. We had the whole place to ourselves, which was perfect for the 4 year-olds who wanted to get on rides too big for them or play games where their feet or arms didn't reach and required adult assistance. I had a ball and it was wonderful to spend a birthday with my nephew. We also took a short weekend jaunt to Tybee Island and Savannah, GA. I had such a great time staying on the beach and touring downtown Savannah, I didn't want to come back.

After that, I decided to take off the summer from school and it was the best thing I did for myself. I really needed a break as I was starting to get burnt out. And there is no deadline to completing school. Better to take a rest than to take a permanent break from school. Now the fall term is upon us and I am refreshed and ready to start anew.

In knitting news, I have been knitting in fits and starts. I decided recently to take the pressure of NaKniSweMoDo off and just knit what I want to knit. I'm a NaKniSweMoDo dropout and I'm ok with that. Our knitting group recently had its annual Camp Retreat weekend and this year we decided to make or contribute items to the goody bag rather than have it assembled for us. My contribution to the goody bags were face/washcloths.

I am posting a couple of pics here:
However, you may look at the rest of the photos on Ravelry at my Camp facecloth collection.
Also, I have completed the Lutea Lace Shoulder Shell and I love how it turned out. I have already worn it three or four times, but I really need to get a modeled pic.

I have another summer top, Pintuck, on the needles and it is coming along. Please excuse the horrible picture. I wasn't able to get a progress pic in natural lighting.

I also have a pair of socks on the needles. Actually two pairs that I just started and I will be ripping out one pair, as I don't like how it's knitting up.

As what seems to be my habit now, every summer I am inspired to knit dischloths/face cloths, etc. After I had to knit 10 wash cloths in about 17 days, one would think that I might be a bit burnt out on cotton cloth knitting. Not so, I am still knitting face cloths, with the leftovers for myself. After three of them and I still have enough yarn to knit 2-3 more, I am moving on to dish cloth knitting. It's time to refresh my kitchen with new dishcloths and perhaps purge some older ones. It's always fun for me to knit up some new patterns and see which cloths are the best to use for my kitchen. I have found that overly lace patterns do not work well for the kitchen. Perhaps those are better suited to the face. I have about 7 skeins of dishcloth cotton hanging around my house. I would be very happy if I could use up what I have and get rid of it. Then when I am ready to buy new cotton yarn, I can just do so.

I'll post some pics of the dish and face cloth pics next time. I'm sorry for the length of this post. Hopefully I'll be back to post again in a shorter time frame.

Till next time . . .

Thursday, June 04, 2009

And There is a FO Pic

Ladies, I am pleased to present finished FO pics of my latest garment, Flutter Sleeve Cardi. It turned out great! (If I say so myself! ;-)

Anyhow, not going to be much of a write-up. It's late and I would like to go to bed.


The pictures were taken at the end of the day and M is no stylist. Overall, I am very pleased with the look and fit of this garment. If I were to make any changes, I would add a third button and perhaps make the cardi a smidge longer, but really no complaints. I am seriously entertaining the thought of a second one. When I would get to it, who knows, but it certainly a winner in my book! Yay for finished projects.
This is number 4 for NaKniSweMoDo. Got some catchin' up to do. Oh and in the photos, you might notice that I added some highlights to my hair.

And lastly, this is really last minute and I do apologize. My only family member here in Denver was diagnosed with a disease, scleroderma, a couple of years ago. This weekend, I will be walking for the second time in the Steppin' Out for Scleroderma Walk. This disease doesn't get as much publicity as others, but it can be life-threatening to those affected by it. Thankfully, my cousin is okay, but she has a lot of health conditions, including hardening of the skin, which can affect her organs. It's also scary because it can be hereditary too. I walked last year and didn't receive my registration packet in the mail, so I just signed up online yesterday. If any of you are able to contribute to the fundraising efforts, I would appreciate it. At the top, right-hand side of the page, you will see a widget to the donation website. You can also go directly there to donate as well. If you can't, that's ok too.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

In Which I post twice in one month

Just under the gun, I'm back again. I was hoping to be able to model my latest handknit garment, but it was not meant to be. I finally finished knitting the tabs, which took all of 1 hour and sewed them on the garment. I bought cute vintage glass buttons, but I need to move them over a bit, as the cardigan looks a bit strained. I will re-sew them and steam block the cardigan. Hopefully I can wear it to work tomorrow. If so, I should be able to get a picture soon.

Since I don't have a garment, I do have a pair of handknit socks that have been completed. At least there is some knitting, right? Yay! Besides, handknit socks are always good.
In a beautiful and crazy colorway of Trekking, I finished a pair of simple, stockinette socks.

Here's a teaser of the Flutter Sleeve cardi. I have to say that this project was really worth the effort. The cardigan is very flattering. I tried it on at knit night and my knitting girls were all very complimentary. Can't wait to actually wear this and have it as part of wardrobe.

Ok, I will be back soon with modeled pics.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What Had Happened Was . . .

I guess I took an unexpected break from blogging. I have thought about it frequently, but all the good intentions do not a blogger make. Anyhow I am not making any promises for when I will next blog, but I am hoping to be able to blog a bit more. I have been online quite a bit, but mostly on Facebook and sometimes on Twitter.

School has also been pretty crazy the past couple of terms. However, I decided for the summer to take a short break. I thought this might be good for my sanity. It doesn't mean that I am or will regain my sanity, but there's hope? lol

There has been knitting and more knitting. I finished a pair of socks, but don't have a FO pic to share. I need to take more pictures soon.

An impromptu photo session at my LYS with photos taken by Mary-Kay display my latest FO. For NanKniSweMoDo, this is my third sweater. A bit behind with the count, but still plugging away.
My third sweater for the NaKni blah-blah-blah is Hanna. The yarn used is Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Brushed Alpaca. Since the yarn is alpaca, although the photos are not the best, I am going to use them for now to call this FO done. In the winter, I will try to get some better pictures, but going into summer, I'm not too interested in modeling alpaca right now

Project -  Hanna 
Needles used:  size US 10.5 (6.5mm) needles
Modifications: none
I got suckered by the quick project idea, which never really works out for me. Unless I am knitting a cowl or a hat. Otherwise, they don't knit up quickly. It wasn't bad and I really like the end result. It's just a cardigan knit in one piece and that's a big slog. Not as nice as working in the round, of course. I do feel like it was worth it. I may even purchase the shawl pin pictured in the photo above. I used one at the shop for the photo. I think it looks really nice. Overall, happy with the sweater.
I have another project that I hope to complete tomorrow today. I just have to find some buttons and knit two tabs. Seems doable. Perhaps I will start that now, since I can't seem to go to sleep yet.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Knitting, Who me?

Hi all,
Wow, I have really been remiss with the blogging. No blogging occurred in the month of March. Oh wait, this is the last day of March, so this may count. Ha!

I have wanted to blog, even while I was on Spring Break, but at the end of a term, I'm apparently no good to anyone and can't be bothered to blog. While I was away, much knitting has ensued. Still no FOs though. My NaKniSweMoDo goals are still in place; however, I am working on two projects, one of which I hoped to complete this month, but it's still not finished.

I may have not posted about the , mainly because my pictures of it look like a crumpled blob. It still looks like that as the cardigan is knit in one piece, back and forth. I am at the stage where I am working the sleeves, as it were, so at least I have some (short) sleeves to show. I hope to complete the sleeve in the next few days and then it will be time to join the sleeves to the body.

I also cast on for the Aleita shell out of my new favorite yarn, yes more Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, in February. I had hoped this would be my Vest-uary project, to be completed in February, but seeing as how I didn't cast on until the middle of an already short month, well, it's obviously still not completed. I am at the part where I will need to pick up the underlap stitches and I'm kind of stalled at this point. I can probably figure it out if I sit still, but haven't had the brain cells to do that part yet.
At least during all of the busy time, my sock knitting has picked up again. While I'm reading boring class topics, I work on socks. It seems to be the only way I can continue to do my required reading without completely and totally losing my mind. I love how these Trekking socks are turning out. The color is 101 and I purchased them almost four years ago at Estes, from a UT vendor. Also, my instructor allows me to knit in class this term again, so I knit to my heart's content. Sweet. I like it when my instructors let me knit in class. It helps me to pay more attention while they are lecturing and my hands and heart are happy.

The past couple of weeks we have been installing hardwood floors throughout the first level. I did not have access to my table, the primary surface for picture taking, or really any flat surfaces. I have mostly been in hiding downstairs, trying to drown out the sounds of hammers, air compressors and nail guns. At least the floor looks good.

M has done a great job with the floor. We still need to have it sanded and possibly stained. At least most of the current round of home improvement is at a standstill. Till M gets new inspiration, hehee!
I will be back soon-ish, with more updates. It's time for bedtime now and I would like this blog post to be put up before April 1.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back with another FO

It could almost seem that I was that impressive with back-to-back FOs, but I finished this sweater well over three weeks ago. I'm a bit ambivalent about the finished result. I like how it looks, but I had some problems with the pattern. Even though I reknit the neck, it is better, but the neck doesn't sit properly on me. Once I put on the sweater, I have to adjust a bit to make it sit right and fumble with it all day to keep the neck/shoulders up. I think it's a good pattern, but I must have made some errors when I knit the pattern. I also chose to knit the sleeves plain.

Enough with the blathering and on to the pictures. I could never get the timing right to have someone take photos of me at home. I had a presentation tonight in one my grad school classes and I wore my sweater with a skirt and felt comfortable enough to give a presentation, so I think it was a winner in that sense. Unfortunately you get bathroom shots. Sorry about that, but I thought that was better than waiting awhile longer. Soon it will be too late to wear this sweater at all.

Full-on frontal view:

 On the side:

And a couple photos just because I liked them. I went to the extra effort of rolling my hair for the presentation, so I wanted to document the hair. Silly, I know.

Project Specs

Pattern: Ribby Pulli by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) and US 5 (3.75 mm)
Length: October 2007 through January 19, 2009

This project really shouldn't have taken me this long. I was going strong on it initially, but in January of 2008, I put it aside to work on the Everyday Tweed sweater. Once that happened, I did not come back to this sweater until November of 2008. After my previous neck debacle, I had to rip it out and start over with picking up of stitches around the body and reknit the ribbed neck. This time the amount of stitches seemed correct, but I think that I could have decreased it by eight stitches for a better fit. Whether or not I want to do it again, eh, not so much.

The high point to all of this is the yarn and the color. I absolutely adore Silky Tweed and have already added enough yarn for 3 projects to my stash.

Thanks for reading this far along, if you did so. Hope you all have a great weekend. I'll be back early next week with a new post.

Monday, February 16, 2009

FO Report: Back to School U Neck Vest

I finally have a finished garment that I can show on the blog. You might be surprised to see that it is the Back to School UNeck Vest by Stefanie Japel, instead of the Ribby Pulli, but pics will be coming.I finished the Ribby Pulli first, but have not yet had a chance to get modeled shots.It is super comfortable. I have already worn it twice.

Now on to the Back-to-School U Neck Vest. This project was very easy, as evidenced as I knit it in just over a month. I would have had it completed by the month's end if I hadn't screwed up sewing the seams. This vest is knit in the round, until you get to the bust area. When I needed to seam the shoulders, I ended up seaming them to the wrong sides. And then I wove in all the ends quite well. I was not able to find the ends and had to wait to take it to my LYS to help find the end(s), so that I could seam the correct sides together.

Now, for a couple of shots.

Project Details-
Yarn used: Cascade220 in a blue-green variegated color, 3 skeins
Project: Back to School U-Neck Vest by Stefanie Japel from Fitted Knits
Needles: US 7 (4.5mm)
Length of project: started January 1, 2009 and completed February 7, 2009
Mods: I didn't make any modifications to this project and knit it as written. It was an enjoyable knit and I liked the addition of bust darts in the vest. Very quick and easy even with loads of 2x2 ribbing. I love how the vest turned out and it looks great with my teal shirt or I can wear it with a white shirt. The vest was the perfect amount of warmth too. While wearing it, I never felt too hot, which is always a concern for me. All in all, a great project. Here's to NaKniSweMoDo!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

January Knitting Goals Progress

So dear readers, it's been awhile. I have been meaning to pop in and blog and it just never happened. I've been thinking about this alot and that I will have a goal of blogging at least once a week. While I haven't been blogging, there has been plenty of knitting going on. I even managed to make most of my knitting goals for January too.

The first goal was to knit myself a hat. Finally did that:
It was made using my Malabrigo leftovers from the Ruffles scarf. Oh, so yummy and soft. The hat pattern is the Amanda Hat of Sleepy Eyes Knitting. This hat went very quickly and I had just enough Malabrigo leftover to knit the hat. Good way to use up leftovers!

Second goal was to finish up M2's candycorn socks. Done! They have been washed and blocked and given to M2. And they have already been worn a couple of times, so it appears the socks are a success.
These socks were made from  Red Rocks Fiber Works , hand-dyed by my friend Mary Kay. Very nice base sock yarn. I am scared for M2 blowing out a heel, but of well. There is plenty of wool for socks in my house.
Third goal was to continue to make progress on my vest project, the Back To School U Neck Vest. I did pretty good with progress for January.

Actually this picture is not the most accurate of progress. The vest is now completed. I finished the picking up the stitches around the neck and armholes just earlier today. I hope to block it early this week and wear it soon.

I also ripped and reknit the neck for the Ribby Pulli. It has been completed and blocked, but I have yet to wear it. Once I finished the sweater, it took about a week to get around to the blocking. However, the weather in Denver has not been cooperating for me to have a photo shoot or even wear it. The weather the past week has been mid-to-high 50s into the 60 degree temps. Sorry I wasn't willing to wear wool to get a photo op! :-)

I hope to have some FO photo pics by next week of the Ribby Pulli and the Back to School U NeckVest.

Talk to you soon!

Friday, January 09, 2009

'09 Knitting Resolutions

As I mentioned last year, I'm no longer doing knitting resolutions, as I am doing monthly goals instead. This year I signed up for NaKniSweMoDo . Yes, I know a collective gasp of shock has rippled through the crowd. Although I didn't finish a ton of sweaters for 2008, I'm using NaKniSweMoDo to motivate me to turn many of the sweater yarn amounts I have into sweaters. One of the main points of this idea that I embrace is turning WIPs into FOs, as well as counting vests and tanks for adult-sizes as finished objects as well. These points work well for me and I'm motivated to do it. I've been planning some various sweater projects.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the fastest knitter around, although I do okay. But I am fairly persistent with knitting and even enjoying the long slog of some sweaters. My main goal is to end up with more sweaters that what I started with. My goal is 12, but if I don't make it, I won't beat myself up about it.
I started out the New Year with casting on for a vest. Last year, I got the bright idea to knit a few vests, as I do actually like vests. I cast on for the Back to School U-Neck on the first of the year and have been making good progress so far. I started out on a 32-inch cord, but it was too long and had to move down to a 24-inch needle. Once I did that, the 2x2 ribbing started flying.
That's the first project on the needles for NaKniSweMoDo project. Here we go!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

January Knitting Goals/December Knitting Goals Wrap-Up

In December, I  postulated what I expected to complete that month. Those results were semi-satisfactory. 50% of my goals were accomplished.

As mentioned in the previous post , I completed the Sister scarf, as well as the Good Luck cowl. The Ribby Pulli sweater is still going strong. I worked on the yoke, but realized that apparently my row gauge was different than the pattern called for. After I completed my decreases, I still had 4 inches of knitting to do, for the sweater to fit correctly. Once done, then I had to pick up a zillion stitches around the neck for 2x2 ribbing. However, I did not pay attention to the amount of stitches I was supposed to pick up. With Bonne Marie's  patterns, I should already know that she is very thorough. I just picked up stitches and didn't count the number that I had. I'm sure I had far too many. When I finished the neck, I was so happy that I wove in the ends, my first mistake, and tried it on Big disappointment, as the neck is too floppy, which makes the sweater not wearable.

Darn it all, but I'm sure once I get the rip the neck and redo, I'll be on the right path. This sweater really does not want to be completed. Or rather, I guess I get the pleasure of knitting with Silky Wool a bit longer.

I never even made it to working on a hat at all. I really need to get on it. It's been pretty cold here lately, so you would think I would be motivated. Lately, I've been in a mood of casting on. Startitis has been going around in these parts.

Knitting goals for January:

1. In the spirit of keeping warm, I should knit myself a hat. Hopefully with leftovers from my Malabrigo Ruffles scarf.

2. Finish M2's candy corn socks. I'm on the second sock and have finished turning the heel and picked up the stitches. I've finished the increases and just straight knitting on the foot. Hopefully I should be able to finish them this month. I'm ready to cast on a pair of socks for me.

3. Continue to make progress on my new vest project.

4. Cast on for a second Ruffles scarf.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The End of 2008

A lot of people are doing end of the year round-up posts. This year, I don't really feel up to it. I've been off work since Wednesday evening and haven't done much except knit. If the spirit doesn't move me, I decided to just not worry about actually doing it. I have a couple of projects that were finished in 2008 and thought I'd blog about those instead.

None of these projects is actually modeled, but at least there are photos and that'a saying a lot right now.

I was working on a scarf for my sister. It has been completed, but still not sent out. Bad sister, I know.

The pattern is Tipsy Rib scarf, pattern here , courtesy of Flint Knits 
I love the pattern and the yarn. The yarn felt reasonably soft in the ball, but knitting it was an even better experience. It has a very pleasurable hand. I think my sister will be pleased with the yarn. And what made it better is that my sister didn't want a very long scarf, which made knitting it go much quicker for me. I like scarves, but the monotony of scarves gets to me after a time.
Next up, a couple of cowls were finished. I'd mentioned the Good Luck Cowl  before. It's been completed, as well as blocked. I love the finished product and the yarn that I used for this. I do feel that I should have widened it by adding a repeat to make the circumference bigger. If I get to making another one, then I will do so. With this pattern, I used Lonesome Stone Mountain Feat yarn in the Shimmering Desert colorway.

The last cowl knit was the Gloria Cowl . This is obviously a simple and easy pattern. Just stockinette and using sock yarn doubled. I used more of my sock yarn "collection" of Red Rocks Fiber Works in the Blasted colorway. Love this colorway. Not so sure of this cowl. Actually, I don't like the cowl at all. I cast on the amount of stitches the pattern called for in version 1, but then increased to 110 stitches. This would have been fine, if I were still knitting in sockweight yarn. But once I doubled it, I did not need it to be this wide, so it's too wide. I may rip it at some time and reclaim the sock yarn for socks. Once I knit with it, I really liked the colors. For now, the yarn can "rest" in the cowl, until I'm ready.

I'll be back soon with status on my December goals, my January knitting goals and resolutions, if any.