Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Four at a time!

Yikes! I am busy. I am working on all these at the same time. I am almost done with the ribbing on the bottom of my sweater. Can't wait to to start the endless miles of mindless knitting of the body of the sweater!

I started Sam's Syracuse hat. This is the start of the blue hat. It will be 2 hats in 1. A full blue hat and a full orange hat that will be reversible with either an orange brim or a blue brim. I am trying to get it done by October so I can bring it to him in October for parents weekend. I hope he likes it. 

The second bird nest is coming along. It's taking way longer than the first one. I want to make like 10 of them and send half to wildlife places in Madison and California. It makes me feel better to knit for animals than people. Animals can't hurt your feelings if they don't use the nests. Mothers who won't let their kid wear what you make hurts my feelings. I want to make hats for the babies and toddlers and 1-2 year olds in church but I'm afraid they won't like them and the kid won't wear it. I want to use the 5 skeins I have of this yarn for the nests up.  

The sock is coming but it is really slow going even if it was the only thing I was knitting. Fingering weight yarn and size 1 needles are slow going. But so far so good.

Back to knitting.....

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sweater beginnings

I have started the sweater. 337 stitches on the needle. The green and orange stitch markers mark off every 20 stitches. Those will come off as the ribbing starts, it starts from the bottom so the bottom ribbing will be done first. Then it gets worked up to the underarms. I will post pictures along the way. I have no idea how long this will take as this is the first sweater I've ever knit and it is the biggest project yet I have undertaken. I am nervous. Will it really fit? Will it be way to big or to tight? According to the website it is supposed to be a custom fit. We shall see. Slightly skeptical and yet hopeful. Spent a lot of money on the yarn and the pattern. The pattern itself is 9 pages long! Off I go to join in the round and start the ribbing. Wish me luck!

Sweater rough start

I have cast this sweater on 3 times and it is not cooperating. First time I tried to join it in the round. I think I managed to do it without twisting but the join was not good. Plus I ended up with 7 more stitches than I should have. I ripped it out. The second time I decided to knit it flat. Somehow ended up joining in the round and it was twisted. Plus both of these times the ribbing didn't look right. I'm not used to dealing with 334 stitches at the same time. I got frustrated, put it in the corner to think about what it's doing to me. I decided to start a sock. 

Attempt number 3 seems to be it. It feels good to have some knit rows undertaken hands as I knit. It makes me excited but these rows are long. I decided to knit the ribbing flat instead of in the round. The picture doesn't show it but trust me, it is. I need 2-1/2 inches of ribbing before I can start the body. I only have 3/4 of an inch so far. Here is a picture:

I also started a sock while this was in time out. I am excited for these as well. I am knitting these on size 1's the smallest I've ever done but they should be warm! They are slow going because of the small needle and the sweater. I am hoping to have the pair done by November. Here's a pic of the toe:

I will ost again when I am ready to start the body of the sweater.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy days

This has been a good knitting month for me. First was Maryland Sheep and Wool.  How cool to visit over 125 vendors and all the sheep. Plus share the weekend with over 50,000 people! I do want to go back, but in a few years. It takes hundreds of dollars to buy what you want without much worry about a budget. But, I also had specific things I wanted like a set of needles and cashmere that cost quite a bit. It was very worth it though!

The other happy thing is this picture.

This was the hat I made for my niece. It looks great and it looks big enough. I am soooo happy with how it looks. This may be my go to baby hat pattern. The yarn may also be my go to for baby hats in the future.

The last happy day was going to a yarn shop in Pittsburgh where I was "professionally" measured in order to knit myself my first sweater. Here is a picture of what I want.

I want something so simple I will have a hard time messing it up. All it is is stockinette stitch for the body and ribbing for the collar, waist and wrists. I can do that! The reason I am getting measured is because there is a program developed called Custom Fit. You go to a yarn store where the workers have been trained to correctly and thoughly measure you. Then they put all the info in the computer and say what kind of sweater you want, how long you want it, if you want positive or negative ease, do you want to knit it in pieces or in one piece without seaming it? Then you pay $11.00. If I buy the yarn at the shop, I get $10 off the cost of the yarn. I had the money so I bought the yarn. 

Then you go home and knit a swatch to determine what size needle you want to use based on the thickness of the fabric you made. You wash it, dry it and bring it back in. 

They measure your swatch (they explained it but I still don't quite understand it. Something about knitting to your gauge and not the gauge of a typical pattern) and put in more info and then finally print out a pattern for which you pay $10.00.

Ok ok so it's not a cheap process. But if I 
can make a sweater I love it will be worth it.

The yarn I choose is from American Columbian breed sheep that live and graze in Oregon. The coolest thing is I will be knitting with the same yarn (but different weight) that the Olympic sweaters were made from! Now, they were dyed and put together in other places but the process started with this yarn! Here is a picture of it and the color I choose.

I choose this color because the sheep are naturally this color:

These are the sheep that make this wool.  I figure, why mess with nature and buy dyed wool. Plus it should go with most things. I started my swatch:

The lady said to make multiple ones with different sized needles. This one is on size 4 needles. This is my regret. I listened to a lady who told me that if you are heavy to not use thick yarn as it will make you look bigger than you are.

I had the chance to go with a DK weight which is one tick up from what I bought. The fabric I am getting is very stretchy but not quite as thick as I'd like. I will continue and try a size 3 needle next and see how I like that. I am mad at myself for having blinders on and listening too closely and not thinking about it more. The thinner the yarn the longer it will take to knit. I want this done by winter. I could take 3 of the skeins back but I had them wind up 2 so I couldn't return those and each skein was $21.00. The yardage on this yarn is nice at 395 yards. The holes in the swatch are neat little indicators. There are 4 holes which means I used a size 4 needle! Pretty slick huh?

That's all for now. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Almost Maryland time!!

 Friday I leave for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I am excited but I have been sick for a week. I have a bad cough that gives me a headache and bad coughing fits. I have a slight rattle that doesn't want to go away. My voice is weird and I don't have much energy. I need all my energy for this weekend! I am starting to get worried. It's a viral thing that lots of time will heal. I don't have time, I need this gone now! 

I have a list of what I want to buy. Cashmere is at the top. Most likely 2 skeins. I plan to knit a scarf with one skein. Lots of wool from various breeds of sheep. British yarns are on the top of my list to. Plus other things like maybe a new set of interchangeable needles and a new ball winder. 

The weather looks like rain on Saturday. I  keep reading how muddy the fairgrounds are. Really hoping for dry weather. I am also treating myself to a seafood dinner. Here is the link to where I am going:

This place is only 10 minutes from the fairgrounds so I will go there right from the festival. I want to leave the house and get to the hotel around 3:00pm. Check in, settle in then settle in to knit. I'll have a leisurely frozen dinner that is brought from home and a dessert. Watch a little tv but spend the late afternoon and evening knitting and listening to knitting podcasts on my iPod. I specifically got a room with a microwave, fridge and comfy chair. Go to bed between 9-10pm and try try try to sleep before getting up early to make a 30 minute trek to the fairgrounds. 

The shopping starts at 9am. This place is big so I hope to scout out stuff and organize my plan of attack before hand as I wait for vendors to open. I hope to see sheep dog trials. Sheep sheering as well. I also plan to pet many sheep and maybe some other animals like angora bunnies or goats or alpacas and dogs that work the sheep.

And doing this all alone!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait. I will try to remember to take pictures and video so you can get a feel for it. 

My knitting has been slow. I've been knitting on two things, a hat for a toddler, and a scarf/cowl for me. Here's a picture: 

That should do it for now. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014


This hat is really trying my patience. It's a hat I'm knitting for my unborn niece. I know how to rib-or I thought I did. I have ripped out the brim, never more than 1/2 inch long 8-10 times !!!! I tried everything, magic loop, I bought a hat needle, tried two needles. I finally decided to knit on straight needles. But I gave away all my needles. But I remembered that you can knit straight on a circular needle. I decided to do that as a last resort. I will have to seam up the brim but I can handle that. This almost 1-1/2 inch piece in the picture has taken me a week!  Can you believe it?! 

I think I finally have it beat. Putting in life lines every few rows really helps my sanity and I am far enough along that I don't have to rip it all out and cast on 84 stitches again. I'll keep you posted.


I haven't posted in awhile. I went to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. It was in a large ballroom with many many vendors. They had the Olympic sweaters on display! I got some pictures.

 I finally broke my year long yarn diet. But this was just an appetizer. I plan to go full pig out mode in May when I go to Maryland. I can't seem to stop collecting Packer yarn when I find it. The purple yarn is for two baby hats and two sets of baby socks for two different babies. I spent a pretty penny on this yarn so I hope they like it even if they don't appreciate what went into them. 

The yarn is much more tonal that the picture shows. You can see a better picture below. The gray yarn is from a breed called Jacob sheep. Slightly rustic. The red yarn is 50/50 merino and angora. The brown yarn is 25% cashmere 25% angora and 50% merino. 

I plan to start the first baby hat on Sunday. I am practicing a pattern for baby socks with this stupid acrylic that I bought. I'm not sure if the socks will look like socks when I am done. It requires some seaming. I make a point when I go to these festivals to try and buy yarn that you can't buy or easily buy in your local yarn store. I found out the red yarn is discontinued. 

More next time!  Bye!