Friday, December 30, 2011

Knitting pictures

Here is a black scarf I am making. You can't make out the pattern and it is a lace scarf so it has holes in it. Another really easy lace pattern.

Here is the hat I knit for Joel. The colors are NOT what the hat looks like. You can't tell but the ribbing is crap and there are holes in the hat in certain places. I haven't ripped it out yet but I will soon.

Here is a scarf I started on Christmas Day. The yarn is 80% wool and 20% angora. It is very soft and an easy knit.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post Christmas news

Well, I gave the hat and the shawl to Joel and Grace. I explained they weren't done or needed to be reknit. So now I have to do that. They were good about it. I realized I have 7 unfinished projects laying around. I decided to print out the month of January and write in a project on each day and see how much I can get done in a month. If I finish something, I will add another project to that day so that project will get a second day each week to be worked on.

Two projects have been bothering me. A gray scarf made from baby alpaca with a twist yarn. It had been a UFO (unfinished object) for months. I dragged it out and looked at it. I hated how it looked. Like a 5th grader had knit it. Loose stitches and gaps and just bad knitting. I have learned that alpaca is a yarn that needs to be knit at a tighter guage to hold its shape. I was knitting the scarf on size 8 needles which is to large even for this tight knitter. So I decided to rip it out. I have 68 grams of the yarn. It is a DK (double knit) weight and not a worsted which I thought it was. I decided I want to make bed socks out of the yarn--if 68 grams is enough! DK is probably double the thickness of fingering/sock yarn. I don't know if I will have enough yarn to complete a pair of socks. I have only knit 1 sock so far due to not having a second skein and not finding the colorway anymore in stores. The reason I want them as bed socks is to give me something luxurious to wear to bed and keep my keep very warm. Being that we don't have any carpet in the house I can't wear them around the house unless I want to pretend I'm an ice skater! Plus I don't want to get them dirty or get holes in them.

I am enjoying knitting with two circulars! I finished Joel's hat with them and will make him a new one with 2 circs. I am finishing a practice mitten I started months ago on cheap red heart yarn someone had given me back in my loom knitting days. As I was getting close to the top of the mitten, I switched to 2 circs and it was so easy. I noticed an improvement in my knitting. No more ladders! I am now knitting the thumb and loving it. I can't wait to make more things with 2 circs. it is more expensive to have 2 pairs of every circular size but if it improves my knitting and makes me enjoy knitting more, so be it! I have an eclectic collection of circular needles. More than half of my pairs are from St. Vincent DePaul and they are old but they work. I want to get enough nice needles-either Knit Picks or Susan Bates so I can get rid of the Goodwill needles.

I have so many things I want to knit in the coming year but I also want to finish all my unfinished projects (UFO's) to. So I will be busy but I will keep you posted!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

learned new technique

I am almost done with the hat for Joel. I was knitting happily on my circular when I noticed I was decreasing and I was struggling to get the stitches around the needle. In short, my needle was to long for the number of stitches I had. So in my "brilliance" I decided I could transfer them to straight needles. I soon found out you can't do that. I was wondering why I couldn't find anything on the web talking about transfering from circular to straight needles.

I went to my yarn store and she gave me 2 options. I could use 2 circulars or use double points. I choose the 2 circs. She showed me how to do it and I was a bit confused but something told me it was simple. And it is! I expected to get ladders but there are none. I get ladders in my socks working on one large circular or magic loop. It's smooth and I can decrease my stitches and low as needed and the 2 circs method handles it perfectly. I am quite impressed and surprised. I always dismissed patterns with 2 circs because it looked to hard with all theose needles hanging down. Ha! How silly am I? I am serioursly considering starting my next pair of socks with 2 circs. I'll do anything to get good looking socks. I might even use 2 circs when I rip out the hat and start over.

The shawl has screetched to a halt. I have been focused on this hat. It's much more interesting and I know it will get done for Christmas. I have a bad case of start-itis. I plan to start 2 scarfs on Friday and Saturday. One yarn is wool and angora and the other is a discontinued expensive yarn I found at Goodwill for $.99. Both scarves should go fast since one is 2 50gram balls and the other is just one 50gram ball.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I was doing it wrong!

I was at kniting group tonight and we were talking about reading the written chart. Someone mentioned doing the ssk stitch - slip slip knit. They described how to do it and I realized I was doing it wrong! I was slipping the 2 stitches and then knitting the third. Nope! You slip 2 stitches and then knit them off from the right needle. It's a left leaning decrease. I panicked because I have two projects that I think use ssk's. One is a shawl and I think I have not gotten to the ssk's yet. The other project is a scarf and I can't find the directions at the moment. Both these projects are UFO's-unfinished objects. I will attack them again next year.

I really like this group. It's at my local Ben Franklin once a month. I won a book tonight. They drew names. I hadn't won before. It's a book for beginning knitters. There are a few patterns I would knit.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Anniversary to me!

Today December 6th is my 1 year knitting anniversary. A year ago today I sat down in front of the computer with needles and yarn and learned to knit. I haven't a lot to show for it. I have 11 projects done on Ravelry and 2 I knit on the knifty knitter loom. So I guess that's a total of 13 projects done in 1 year. I guess that's not bad. I have another 12 ready to be finished for next year. I am anxious to get started. I am going to have a fit of startitis when the new year hits. If you have never checked me out on Ravelry you can see all my finished projects, and patterns I would like to knit. Just go to My user name is mlcspouse.

A quick update on my Christmas (turning into Valentine's day) knitting. The hat: I finally finished the 6,000 inches of ribbing. It was only 3 inches but ugh! I am now on the 10,000 miles of stockinette stitch. But doing it on circulars, I just knit every row to get the stockinette. I love it. I don't have to think. I haven't been working on the shawl. Grace commented that it was kinda small for the blanket I have told her it is going to be. I had the idea that I might have to knit a seperate panel to get it the right width. Sigh...The pattern called for cotton yarn. I am using thicker than worsted but not bulky yarn. I didn't swatch. I must learn to do that. It is supposed to be 11 inches wide. The last time I measured it, it was like 8or 9 inches wide.

I don't know if the hat will be done foe Christmas with all this ribbing and stocking stitch. I am a slow knitter but come on!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2012 Knitting Resolutions

Finish all my project for this year. There are 12 of them.

Learn the Brioche stitch

Learn the Linen stitch

Buy some expensive yarn

Buy some Malabrigo yarn-Check bought some sock yarn

Christmas knitting update

Well, I am working on the hat for Joel and the shawl for Grace. But...the hat looks terrible. The ribbing is bad and loose and holey. I decided I was going to finish it, gift it to Joel but as soon as he looks at it and tries it on I am taking it back, ripping it out and redoing it with smaller needles. I hope I can take what I learned knitting it and having him try it on so I can make it work finally. Why can't I do ribbing?

Grace's shawl will not get done either. It looks like it will take at least 3 skeins or maybe 4. I am not quite halfway through the second skein. I will gift it to her with the needles in it and then take it back and finish it however long it takes.

Hannah's hat: I decided to not knit it for Christmas but for her birthday. With the hat and the shawl I just don't have time. My interest on the hat and shawl is not what it should be. I am so interested in getting back to knitting for myself and for others that aren't my family.

I bought two skeins of sock today so I can cast on for another pair of socks in the new year. I have one pair on the needles which I will get back to in the new year.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My single sock story

Back in July I made my first sock. Yes, only one. I had one skein of Patons Kroy sock yarn. I didn't have enough to make a second sock. I made an ankle sock. I went looking for the colorway and no stores in the area carry it. So I have an orphan sock.

Today I went to a football game and the weather was cold mid to high 30's and windy. I decided to do an experiment. On one foot I wore my handknit sock. On the other foot I wore two of my normal cotton socks. I wanted to see which foot stayed warmer. I wore my sketchers shape ups.

I forgot about my feet till halftime. I focused on my feet and noticed that both feet seemed equally warm. My toes were the only things chilly. At the end of the game I noticed that they were still equally warm. So my wool sock did as good a job as two cotton socks. I am very pleased with the sock. It was warm and comfortable. I can't wait to make a pair now. I will have to buy 2 skeins this time. I will wear my orphan sock now with pride.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Birthday scarf is done!

I finally finished my nephew's birthday scarf. It didn't turn out perfect but I hope his mother likes it enough to have him wear it. It is plenty long. He is a small kid for a year old. There are so many people who will not knit for those who do not appreciate it. I hope my sister in law is not one of them.

Onto my Christmas knitting!. I am currently knitting a shawl for my daughter and a hat for my other daughter. Although I have run into a snag. I do not have size 7 inch circulars. I asked the designer if the pattern could be done on straights. I hope she gets back to me quickly otherwise I will have to find money for the circulars. The last thing I am knitting is a hat for my husband. Hopefully it will turn out ok and be large enough. I'm a bit concerned that 88 stitches is not going to be big enough to fit his head. But we shall see.

I am anxious for the new year so I can get back to my own knitting and start on new gifts for others. I have 2 teachers and a possible third person in the works for gifts. A scarf for one teacher, dishclothes and dishtowels for the other teacher and a scarf for the third person. If I start in January, they should all get done by May which is the deadline. When in May I don't know yet.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Birthday hat turned scarf

I was working on a hat for my nephew for his 1st bithday. I was knitting on straight needles and it was going fine till I made a mistake I couldn't fix due to my bad knitting and inexperience so I ripped it out. I really really need to learn how to knit a hat on circular needles. So I decided to try and knit him a scarf. I have a tight deadline of Nov 10th. Nov 11th is the party but I need some time to wash it and block it. It's going well but it's not perfect. I am hoping to knit 1 inch a day from now till the 10th. That would give me 14 more inches for a total lenght of 2 feet. It is curently 10 inches long. I do not know how long to make it and I don't know if 2 feet is long enough or not. I have a 6 month old baby I can use as a model. I will post a picture when I can. I am using the same yarn I used for the hat, Patons decor in a medium green. I really like the stitch pattern as it looks very similar to the brioche stitch I would like to learn. I am using size 5 needles so I can have a tighter knit scarf.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Knitting for Christmas

My daughter Grace is always cold in church in the winter. So I decided to knit her a shawl for Christmas. She saw me kniting on it yesterday and asked me what it was. I said I didn't know. She didn't buy it. So then I said a blanket. She got excited and said she wanted it. It wasn't a total lie. It is a blanket for your arms and shoulders no? I do not know if I will get it done because of my new job that leaves me very tired. Plus I have been sick and I have a hat for my nephew I am working on and a scarf for myself both with deadlines of November.

My finished neck warmer

I finished it but haven't worn it yet since it got warm and has stayed warm.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My cowl that turned into a neck warmer

The other day I was at my daughters cross country meet and it was cool and windy and I wished I had comething to put around my neck. I decided I was going to make a cowl. I came home and found a pattern for one I liked. It used Patons classic wool.

I wanted wool and not some cheap acrylic. Joann's came out with a bunch of coupons for %40 off. I grabbed one and went to Joann's to grab me some wool. But when I got there, the yarn was on sale! Even worse, the sale goes till Oct 1st. And guess when the coupons expire...Oct 1st. So all those coupons are worthless because the yarns
I would want are on sale. Very frustrating. So I went back to the drawing board.
The wool/alpaca yarn I bought at Sheep and Wool festival is sport weight and I want worsted at least. I went through my stash and didn't see anything I really wanted.
I found a bag at the bottom of my closet and grabbed it. What do you think I found? Patons? No. But I found a skein of Wool Ease thick and quick and a skein of Caron simply soft both in red.

I decided to use the acrylic (80/20 acrylic wool blend) and went to find a pattern that uses the wool ease. I did and this is how far I've gotton so far. I need 22 inches before I can think about binding off. I hope to have it done by Wendsday in case I need it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival

This was my first festival of this sort. Other states have this as well. It was in Jefferson, WI. I went on Saturday and got there by 7am to watch the sheep and dog trials. It was quite interesting! I was able to talk to one of the participants who explained how it all works. I watched him work one of his dogs and it sounded like they did pretty well. Then I went to check out the sheep. I saw a bunch of different sheep breeds like Blue Faced Leicester, Romney, Shetland, and others. I petted some and watched a shearer sheep some sheep. It was interesting as well. It's amazing the sheep don't put up more of a fight.

I had lunch and ate a bbq pulled lamb sandwhich. It was good and didn't taste like lamb at all. The highlight was the shopping. I didn't get much because the prices are so high. But I got one hank/skein of shetland/alpaca wool. It's the black picture. I took pics of the lable. This lady raises her own shetland sheep and the yarn is not dyed. I am anxious to knit with it. Then I got a second shein of the Packer yarn. I had one skein and needed another. They are from the same shop. My luxury item I bought was a pair of double knit (lined inside with the same yarn as the outer just connected at the cuff). Alpaca mittens! I needed new mittens and am going to attempt to knit my own at some point.

The last thing I bought was a shawl pin. As soon as one of my shawls is finished I can use it. I hope I can go again next year.

My new projects

My nephew's 1st birthday is coming in November so I thought I would TRY to knit him a hat. I do not know if it will fit him or not. I half expect it to be to small. If so, I need to go at least 1 size needle larger than the pattern says, gauge be darned. I will come with a alternative gift. I am a tight knitter and I need to compensate for that. The other project is a scarf/shawlette. The color is maroon not the red that the picture shows it to be. I am hoping to wear it for church during Advent and Lent. The third picture shows what it's supposed to look like. I choose maroon because I need a little color in my winter gray/black wardrobe. Gray is my FAVORITE color but I need a color pop occasionally. I am 1/3 done with it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm back

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. I have been knitting but haven't finished anything. I started a pair of Packer socks and haven't gotten much past the toe. I am working on a practice mitten, and I have my Rowan shawl calling my name.

Plus I am currently slightly obcessed with a new pattern called A Little Ruffle by Jennifer Lang. You can find the pattern on Ravelry. But here is a picture:

I really like this because it's in gray and I want a new scarf to replace the one I made on the loom that makes me look like a clown when I wear it. It seems to me more of a shawl than a scarf and some people have shortened it but I haven't figured out how yet. I have this old fuzzy probably alpaca sweater that I love to wear and this new scarf/shawl will go nicely with it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did it! I made a sock. It's not perfect, there are holes and gaps and ridges and all that should not be there. I wish the sock was good enough to wear in public but I think they will make good bed socks. I will make a second one but I have a problem. I weighed the leftover yarn and the sock and I am 6 grams short!! Now what do I do?? I suppose I could rip it out and make a pair for my youngest daughter. I don't have any money to buy new sock yarn-even with coupons. I am curious to maybe try some sock yarn that is named stretchy. But I'm afraid my tension would be weird because I will feel I need to knit really tight to compensate for the stretchiness.

I really want to make another pair. I am proud of my holey, gappy, ridged sock. According to at least 3 yarn store workers, I chose a very hard pattern (that isn't well known) to try, in addition to my learning to make my first sock. That makes me feel good. One woman in her 20's and in college said she has been knitting since she was 6 and she still hasn't tried socks. I have been knitting since December. The only change I would make to the pattern is to try and give my toe at least 1 extra row of room. I am so used to slightly roomy toes that it bothers me a bit. But in the winter I don't think it will matter.

So now I am going to obsess about knitting more socks. I will be knitting socks on my vacation. I hope you like my sock. The pattern really wasn't that hard but the bumps in the patttern road slowed me down but I'm glad I had them so I could make sure I did it right. I do think this may be the only template I use. I do think I can use other patterns and knit lacy or ribbed socks etc. just keep the same template. But I do like just plain stockinette socks. With a size 4 needle you can hardly see the stockinette.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More sock progress!

Here is a picture of the sock on my foot.

Here is a picture of the heel that is still opened and I will need to close with a 3 needle bind off. Another new skill to learn. Hope it's not to hard.

Let's see, where did I leave off. I had lost half of the stitches because I accidentally pulled the needle out. I needed to go to a yarn shop to get them back on. Then I kept knitting on the sock and it went around my heel. I knew that was wrong so I went for help again. Turns out I needed to do the decreases as written and not worry about how small the opening was getting. So this picture shows the decrease heel where the colored stitch markers are I will need to close the heel next, and the opening for the leg that I CUT! (I only had to cut 1 stitch and unravel to make the hole). I am so close to finishing. This second picture is the sock on my foot. It fit better than it did as I was trying it on as I was knitting it. I think cutting the leg opening makes a difference and relaxes the stitches.

The next post and picture will be of a finished yet mistake sprinkled sock! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Scarf frustration

I have started this scarf 3 times now. The first time was on plastic circs. I got to row 9 and then I noticed I had did something different back like around row 5 and there was a line-similar to using two vastly different dye lots. So I ripped it out. Cast on #2, I decided I didn't want to follow the directions and knit it in the round but as a normal scarf. Forgot to read directions and I was supposed to knit for an inch before I follow the pattern. I knit 1 row then started the pattern. Ugh! Rip again. Then I decided to use straight needles. Great got all 57 stitches on and knit one row till I realized I was using size 4 needles (the size my sock is in)instead of 7's or 8's. Rip it out again.

I am trying to decide if I should bother anymore and put it away and find another pattern for this 70's acrylic fake mohair yarn. The color is a light pink and I can't see myself wearing it unless I create an outfit for it. And that requires me to lose weight. Anyone have any ideas??? The picture is from the pattern that was posted on Ravelry.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hit a wall with my sock

I was going along just fine till I hit one part. The wording wasn't clear. I tried to get help on line from people who have knit these socks before buy no one could help me. So I went to a yarn shop and she took the time to read the directions and help me through it. I am anxious to get back at it but we are going to see the last Harry Potter movie (I can easily wait months for it to come out on video) so I won't be able to knit on it till Monday. I have a wedding to go to tomorrow. I need a few uninterupted hours to work through the next phase of this sock. I am causiouly optimistic again that I can finish this sock. Keep your fingers crossed. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So far so slightly frustrating

Here is a pic of my sock so far. The first picture I took I ended up ripping out because it was way to big and too many mistakes. I recast on (at least 4 times to get it right) and this is my progress. I think I was reading the pattern wrong and I altered how I was doing the increase rounds. It has made it better and doesn't grow as fast. I have a few holes which I do not know how they happened. I knitted on the wrong side somehow for a few rows, twice. The sock now has 2 horizontal ridges on it. Plus I have been dealing with side ladders.'s an easy knit so far. I am so causiously optimistic that I will end up with a sock when it is all said and done. If this works I will email the book author and give her a virtual bear hug!

I am at the point in my foot where my foot actually turns inward (my arch?). I try on the sock every few rows to check for tightness. It feels fine I guess. Problem is, the pattern only talks about increases due to a tight fit, not for a sock that is growing wide. I guess I would just take the increase directions and just decrease instead. Maybe I won't have a problem. So I keep knitting and praying.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I realized something...

The book I am trying to make socks from, the author Cat Bordhi has taught the Turkish cast on. But she never says the name, she just teaches it. I realized this when I was reading a book of knitting stories and the author describes the cast on and says it's a Turkish cast on. I can't believe I know this cast on now. It really is simple-it's just harder with sock yarn and small needles. Another feather in my knitting hat. Funny thing is I can't do the long tail cast on. That is hard and one of the most common cast ons in patterns. I need to figure out of you can use the Turkish cast on with anything or is it just for things like socks. Here's a link to a tutorial of the Turkish cast on.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I have begun....

To learn to knit socks! Here is the beginning of the toe from the book "Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters" by Cat Borhdi. Many questions I have are, am I knitting to tight? What do I do if I make a mistake? How do I rip out on something like this? The method is on 1 circular needle and half the stitches are on the cable. I put a lifeline in but do not know if it will help. I am most confused on sock yarn and what is the best and what thickness I will want to knit with most. But I keep knitting. It's hard because it's hard on my hands and shoulders for some reason. I think the thin yarn makes it hard and the dark colors of the yarn makes it harder to see. I am almost to the point of getting it over all my toenails comfortably like the book says. I will take a picture when I get to that stage.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

MP3 holder

Look what I made! I used a pattern and just modified it to fit my MP3 player as mine is old and large compared to those most people have today. I am quite proud of it and will use it a ton! I love listening to my MP3 player as I knit work and excercise. It is also very comfortable.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Knitting in Public

As I am getting more and more into knitting, I am taking it with me when I go places. Today I spent a few hours sitting in a mall food court and knit while my daughter and her friends went shopping. I felt slightly uncomfortable as a older man seemed to be watching me or at least was facing my direction as he sat in a chair. I noticed I fumbled and bumbled and made mistakes as he sat there. I finally settled down and then relaxed when he left. I really was to interested in my knitting to be looking around to see who was watching me. But I am getting more comfortable knitting in public. I knitted while I waited for a parade to start, and I knitting at a pool.

I also realize that when I knit in public, I am out of the house and do not feel guilty knitting. I seem to enjoy it more. I had 2+ hours of guilt free knitting today, yesterday I had 2+ hours out knitting while I was at a pool and my girls were swimming. I'm looking forward to my next knitting in public non-guilty knitting time.

I am still working on my Rowan shawl. I am almost down with my second ball. I love working on this shawl. I love the needles, I love the yarn and I love the feel of the needles and the yarn together. It's an easy pattern as long as you pay attention.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My first purse

As I was kntting the scarf, I was needing another skein so I went to Micheals and Joanns to get one. Well, since I got my first skein free and the dye lot was different, I couldn't continue the scarf without a distinctive color change line in it. So I decided to rip out my heavy thick scarf. I was looking for a one skein project to use it up. I found this pattern. I am not sure if I will have enough yarn but will knit till I use it up or till I finish the pattern-which ever comes first. I plan on going to Joanns and buying some fabric to line the purse with. I also plan to buy a button and knit a button band (as I call it) as a closure of the purse (instead of a snap or magnetic closure). It should only take 3-4 days to knit this. Then the fun begins as I choose a fabric lining. I will not put the ribbon bow on it but I will use dowls. It will give it a bit of a handle and texture. I will show more pictures as I finish the knitting and when I have the lining and button.

I am almost done with the knitting. I have 2 rows left or until I run out of yarn. I am glad I had enough yarn to do the "button band". I made the button band with the opposite end of the yarn ball. It seemed to work well. I bought a dowl and some poly-stain to "paint" the dowl with to protect the dowl from water when the purse gets washed. So far I am pretty pleased with it. It won't be done till later this month because I have to have my cousin put the lining in. I'm anxious to take it to church as see if anyone notices.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Yarn Trip

Last weekend I went on my first Yarn trip. I started in Hartford and hit every yarn store all the way up to Green Bay. I was floored at how nice the stopres looked. Interesting layouts, lighting and design. I really loved being in them and wish I could go back. I spent the night in Green Bay. The next morning I headed south and hit all the stores down to Milwaukee. Those stores weren't as nice and one was so crammed and cluttered with yarn and so small it wasn't even a pleasure to be in there. Of all the stores on my list I only missed 2, 2 because they were out of buisness and 1 because I didn't want to drive an extra 30 minutes to get to it. I am really glad I did this trip. We are moving next summer and it may be out of state. I am glad I got to explore some of what WI has to offer in yarn stores.

Knit Socks

I am determined to learn to knit socks. I have been wanting to learn the 2 at a time on magic loop. But haven't bought the needles and I want to take a class. I have been dragging my feet. I need socks! So the other day I was reading knitting blogs and forums and came across a method of a cast on that is so simple. It got me so excited! The book is called Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters: Book Two in the New Pathways for Sock Knitters Series. I went to the library to reserve my copy. Then I made a comment on some site saying how excited I was to learn this method. Someone emailed me and said I could have hewr book for free! Here is a link to show you how to do the cast on. The second link is the overview of the book and how the method works. I really hope I can do this. I have visions of a full drawer of colorful hand knit socks.

My first cabled scarf

I decided I wanted to learn how to do cables. I found a pattern I liked-Cable Scarf by yarnhag. It can be found on Ravelry. I wish I knew how to link to my page on Ravelry. Anyone know how? The pattern calls for super chunky yarn and I had a skein in my stash so I went for it. Cables are easy! I really enjoy watching them form. The only problem with this scarf is that it's so chunky, it isn't very flexible so I don't know how easy it will be to wear. There is a hat that goes with it and I will see if I can drop down to a 5 in the yarn. The cables on the hat go around the brim and I'm afraid it will be to tight to fit anyone. This scarf and hat may end up as a gift to someone. I really want to make a cabled scarf for myself. I found a pattern that uses yarn I want to try-Malabrigo. Such soft squishy yarn. I have my eyes on that yarn for a sweater I want to make myself. But I have to lose weight first. I am trying to upload a pic but the kids have messed with the camera and now I can't get any pictures to upload. I will keep trying. In the meantime, here is a pic of what it is supposed to look like.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Garage Sale finds

Today I was at my local yarn store and they were having a customer garage sale. The customers bring in items they want to sell, price them and then other customers come in to buy. I had a fairly successful trip. I didn't want to spend a lot because it is eating into the money for my big yarn trip in a couple of weeks. I did snag a circular needle carrying case for $2.00. I bought two circular needles and some double points. I also bought 2 Rowan sweater patters for $1.00. My biggest find was two partially used skeins of pure baby alpaca! It was only $1.00. I had to figure out how many yards I had and then find a pattern they would work with that yardage. I found a scarf pattern. I am working on it now. I hope to have it finished before the 17th when I leave for my trip. I want to be able to start a new project on the road if the mood strikes me. There was a lot of yarn-much unmarked and some marked. Some named yarn was priced high and some was cheap. I learned this was the first year they have done this garage sale. I'm sure it will continue. I had fun. Hope to do it again next year.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kate's Shawl

Kate, now the Dutchess Of Cambridge was seen soon after her wedding shopping at a local grocery store. This is the shawl she wore. The knitting community at is all a twitter over this shawl. Many people are knitting their version of the shawl. No one can find the one she wore to get the correct yarn-cotton, wool etc. or the stitch pattern. All knitters are going off photos which aren't as close as we'd like. I want to make one of these. But as you know, I have 2 shawls already on the needles. So, as soon as I finish one, I may start this.

Blue Shawl update

After much gut checking, I have decided to rip out the blue shawl and start over. I have knit 10 rows so far. With such thin yarn it is very slow going. In contrast, my Rowan shawl I have knit 49 rows. I am almost done with my first skein. With the blue shawl, I have made many mistakes, knit the wrong row,developed holes that shouldn't be there, got messed up mid row, etc. I decided to retype the pattern making extra spaces bewteen each row and each stitch direction. Example: then: k1,p2 now: k1 p2 I need more space so I don't mess up. I want this blue shawl to look good. Plus if I left it as is, when I block it, it will be glaring every mistake I made and I will hate it and wished I ripped it out. So, here I go, rip rip rip....

Monday, May 23, 2011

First dishcloth finish

Technically this is my second dishcloth. The first one was quite holey. This one has a few holes but is much better.

Update on shawls

Here is the progress I have made since May 18th. The Rowan Shawl is coming along nicely. I will finish that much sooner than the blue shawl. I am between 1/2 and 3/4 done with the first skein. I am only on row 9 on the blue shawl. It really is slow going. I have to concentrate greatly on both shawls. I love knitting the blue shawl and then switching to the Rowan shawl. It's so soft and luxurious! Neither of these shawls with be mistake free-especially the blue shawl. But I am doing my best to not make mistakes. I shudder to block either of these because the mistakes (especailly the blue shawl) will be glaring.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another project

After I wound up my skeins last night I had to start something with one of them. I decided to try making a shawl/scarf. This is a picture of the shawl with a pretty white/off white color. Mine will be made of this color: It is fingering weight with is really thin lace weight yarn. I am using size 5 needles and that makes it doable. I don't think I could use size 1 or 2 with this thin yarn. I am using my "new" size 5circular needles that I got at St. Vincent DePaul. They are good! Needless to say this will take me a long time!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My birthday presents!

I love them!

I love this yarn and my needles!

The yarn-you can see the fuzzy mohair in it. I couldn't get a good picture of my 3 row progress.

I cast on for my shawl. I am using Rowan Cocoon yarn. It is made with 80% wool and 20% mohair. What is Mohair you ask? Well here is a description of it:

"Angora goats produce a very beautiful, luxurious and incredibly durable fibre called mohair. It is one of the warmest natural fibres known and one of the most versatile. Angora goats took their name from Ankara, an ancient Turkish city where they originated. Although the goats were farmed for their fibre from early times it was not until the 16th century that export of the goats was permitted. The first exports were to France and Spain. They later spread to many countries, reaching the Americas in 1849 and Australia in early 1900s. South Africa currently produces more than 60 percent of the total world production of mohair. Australian production totals approximately 250,000 kg. World production is 5 million kg per year.

It is a wool-like textile fibre ie it is a protein fibre. It has a smooth cuticular scale pattern on the surface that imparts lustre and it has low felting capacity. This scale is different to the wool fibre scale and consequently is not 'itchy'. The mohair is generally shorn from the animals twice a year. The mohair grows rapidly at about 2 cm per month. The fibres range from 23 microns in mean diameter at the first shearing to as much as 38 microns in older animals. The wide range of uses of mohair fibre is a result of the range of diameter of the fibre produced. Mohair from young goats (kid mohair) is used in knitwear, from intermediate age it is used in suiting materials, and the stronger 'fine hair' types are used in coating and rug manufacture."

I love how this yarn feels! Soft, warm, squishy. I needed to concentrate when I was casting on because there is not a lot of twist to the fibers so it's harder to see where the stitches are. One blends into the next. But after the cast on row, things got better. There are little white hairs-from the mohair that sheds as you knit.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Important finding

Something I just learned. If you click on any picture you will see a close up. If you click the picture again it will make it even more close up. Try it with the needle pictures to read the words on the packages.

Happy Birthday to me!

These are great double pointed needles! The wood ones are good Clover dpn's the problem with all the double points is they only come in sets of 4 not 5. I hear using 5 is easier with working in the round. I am going to learn how to knit with these if it kills me! Notice the prices on everything I got was $.50 each.

I found all these at St. Vincent DePaul tonight. Normally I would not buy these because I don't like plastic but they are circulars and I want some. When I can afford to buy really nice ones, I will and then decide what to do with these. In the meantime I can start all sorts of projects! I love how old they are. How far needles have come in 20-30 years. Now the best you can buy are made of airplane metal and cost $40 a pair and are wrapped/shipped like they are some precious jewel. I don't own any but saw a picture on a blog.

Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I broke my favorite needle! It somehow got smashed in the car door. $8.00 door the drain. I will have to buy another pair. I would have taken a picture but I threw the needle away and It got lost in the garbage.

Selene Wrap

Yes, I just finished a shawl. But is is one I want to knit! I saw it made at Knitch and fell in love with it. It was done in gray and that is my favorite color. But Knitch was discontinuing the colors and they were out of gray. So I picked blue. This is going to be a challenge and I pray I don't make to many mistakes. I will put lifelines in every 4-5 rows. That will slow me down but I don't care. I will count my rows. I will focus and not try to quick knit a row. Tomorrow is my birthday and it will be a great gift. I have my circular needles. They are Knit Picks Harmony options. I can't wait to use them!

Shawl is done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I finally finished it! It took forever and I will never make another one k3 p3 again. I am convinced now that I know how to count to 3! So relieved! There are holes and mistakes in it. I'm kind of embarrased to give it away but I worked so hard on it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

First Dishcloth

I was desperate to cast on something. I am wanting a ball winder for either Mother's day or my birthday. I will buy it myself if I have to. Knit Picks cataloge has one for $20. I don't know if it's a sale price or regular price. But the catalog expires May 16th. Anyway, I found a pattern for a dishcloth. I am using my Knit Picks needles and cotton yarn. Love these needles! I want to get every size in them. I will have the dishcloth done tommorow.

I am currently trying to get a shawl done so I can cast on for a shawl I will make for myself out of a Rowan pattern book and Rowan Cocoon yarn. I can't wait! I will post a picture when I'm done.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I am working on my 3rd practice mitten with a new pattern. So far this pattern is the easiest and best. It is supposed to be a flip top mitten. I love this far. I have 4 more rows until things get slightly complicated. I need a stretch of time to tackle this more complicated part. My knitting is the best so far on this mitten. I hope it continues. I won't be able to focus on knitting till late tomorrow afternoon. I may not get any knitting done. I had a great day knitting today though. Nothing like curling up on my bed propped up with pillows and wrapped up in my heated throw and listening to a great knitting podcast from Knit Picks to keep me company. I'm addicted and very happy!

Cable cast on

I did it! I learned how to do the cable cast on. I do not like how the thumb loop cast on looks. It's stupid simple but doesn't look good. This is a firmer neater cast on. It took three differnt videos to get it right. It is a slow cast on for me.

Went to a new yarn store!

There is a new Yarn store in Brookfield. It's called Cream City Yarns. It's in a old church that turned into a bank and is now a yarn store. It's bright, clean, and orgainized and not over stuffed with yarns. They have yarns there I haven't seen at the other yarn stores. I will probably go back at some point but there really isn't any yarns there I really want. Plus their prices seem higher.

Here are my 2 practice mittens. The first one looks really bad. The second one was more fun and easier to knit. I had far fewer mistakes. But I don't like the pointy top and the thumb is too tight. What I want to do is make mittens large enough to knit a liner into them. I might try making the first mitten again with the green yarn and change how I do increases and see how it turns out. I guess I'm slightly obcessed with making mittens since I can do it, I just need to tweek the pattern and eliminate the mistakes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My new needles!

I bought some new needles yesterday. They are from Knit Picks and they are called Harmony straight needles. They are made from birch wood and have really pretty colorings. They are very smooth. My local Ben Franklin carries them now. They also carry the Options where you buy the tips and the cables seperatly and then the cables screw into the bases of the tips to give you a circular needle. I plan to buy myself some for my birthday. They are cheaper than the Addis. The tips are sharper. I also learned that you can use them as straight needles. You attach a cable to the end of the tip but then you cap the other end with the caps they provide. Do the same thing to the other tip and you have 2 straight needles. I'm a bit sceptical how well this would work. As you can see in the picture, I have been play knitting with these needles. Not making anything but just knitting to knit with them. I plan to use these soon on a pair of practice mittens I am attempting to knit.

Classic Straight Harmony wood needles 10" and 14" lengths. Our straight needles continue to deliver sharp, tapered tips, radiant waves of color, and a lightweight feel just like our circulars and dpns. Straight Harmony Knitting needles come in US sizes 4-17 in 10" and 14" lengths.

From an independant reviewer:
"The Harmony needles are made of laminated birch. Laminated birch is mostly used for flooring and furniture, meaning that it’s strong and long-lasting. Knit Picks says that this material allows them to make the points sharper on smaller sizes without sacrificing strength."

AQ neat thing about the Options is, let's say you are knitting a scarf. You are bored with it and want to start something new . The scarf and the new proju=ect call for the same size needle. No problem! Just unscrew the tips and place the end caps on the cables. You can set the scarf aside and happily work on your new project. Your tips are now free to knit something else! Each package of cables comes with 2 cables-not just one! That is neat!

Friday, March 25, 2011


I wanted to knit something for my oldest daughter for her birthday. I tried bookmarks but couldn't handle the thin sock yarn. So I decided to knit her a couple of headbands. One is thick and one is thin. I have till April 30th so I am ok on time. I don't know if she will like them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Knitting Bag

Here is my finished bag.I think the 2 strands slowed things down. I like the "self patterning" look of it. I do think working on circulars makes me a better knitter. I have made 2 mistakes so far and fixed them and I can't see where I screwed up. I stated this on March 4 and finished it on April 8. The bottom edge curled but I sewed that together.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baby Hat done

I finally finished the baby hat. There are a lot of mistakes and I'm not sure the hat will fit on it's head. I'm glad I was able to make it but will use different yarn and a different pattern for circulars next time. This took way too long. I wish I was a good knitter so I could knit things I am proud of. I will give the hat to the mother today. I hope she will like it. She did like it very much. But I doubt it will fit. Not sure I will ever see the hat on the baby.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My First Circulars

They are Clovers size 9 with a 16" cord. I really like them! I like that I don't have to worry about losing a needle. The only thing is the cord is stiff. I am going to try dipping it in hot water to soften the cord. I realized I have to cast on and knit looser otherwise I can't get the stitches over the join and onto the needle. I do like that I only have to knit to get stockinette stitch. That makes it easier-you don't have to think.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's done! But uh oh.....

I finished the scarf! It curled badly but I decided to try to iron it and hit it with steam. It worked! It's flat. But I noticed my knitting got really bad at a point. I am embarrassed. Very raggety edges and at one point you can see I increased some stitches somehow. I'm thinking it might look better curled so you can't see the mistakes. The hole is supposed to be there as it is a scarf with a slit. I learned many lessons on this scarf. COUNT YOUR STITCHES every 2-3 rows. Use a lifeline. This yarn was hard to work with as getting good tension was difficult. I also learned that binding off on the purl side looks much better than the knit side. Plus I need to learn a tighter cast on. I will do that from now on. I will wear this scarf but see If I can hide the mistakes. Hopefully no one will look at it too close or touch it.