Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I think I'll take a Fifth







Yet another Christmas hat worked its way off my needles yesterday! And, if I am counting correctly, this is the last of the "I need to hurry up and finish these, they have to travel a long way for Christmas" knits. :)

Turn a Square by Jared Flood
US 7 Needles
Lion Cashmere Blend for the base and
Noro Silk Garden Sock held double for the stripe.
The pattern promises a quick knit for gifting and it certainly was that...got this done in an evening with time to spare to finish up the knitting portion of :
Kind of funny looking? It is I am a Mole (and I live in a Hole) tea cozy, minus the flowers and the mole! Hard to finish up the mole when you forget about getting fiber fill stuffing!

Can you see it's little toes?
Those were a pain in the you know what to knit, but look oh so adorable on the finished mole! Hopefully soon you can see them the way they should be.

Next up?

Another biggie, so no finished objects for an Ohio minute!*

~M


it does not mean 60 seconds when used in slang terms. Usually means a long time, from a week to a few months, maybe even a year.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I must spend too much time on You Tube

As usual, there are apologies going out .....this time to The Ramones.

Well the yarn was wound to cakes and ready to go It was ready to knit now! She got her pattern It’s from the net ,she was going to knit another cabled Durrow But she just couldn't stay, from the pattern she had to stray


A top down raglan really has is all oh yeah, oh yeah


Durrow is a Top Down Raglan And she turned it into a Cardigan

Durrow is a Top Down Raglan now


Ok, enough fooling around!

Loosely based on Durrow, at least the cable is mostly accurate!
Worked from the top down, with pockets on both fronts we have my Dad's Christmas Cardigan!
Wanna see the cables?
Not really that much difference worked bottom up or top down. :)
Yarn was from a company that appears to have long since gone out of business...Colorado Yarns, Durango in what I am calling Dryer Lint black. Whoever came up with the idea of just laying slubs of lint next to the yarn in the winding process to create tweed was out of their mind and I have a little pile of bits that I picked out as I was knitting. But, complaints aside it is a pretty soft wool and will keep the cold man warm.

Just to keep this a really picture heavy post, another finished object to show!
Herringbone Mittens (ravelry link)
size Large, needles 5's and 7's (US)
Lion Brand Lion Cashmere Blend in the palest of pinks and black.

If I wasn't scared of jinxing myself I would say that I am making some headway on the holiday knitting....

~M

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Count them down


In this past of the world (North America, specifically the United States) this past Thursday was one of great anticipation. Anticipating lots of good food and time spent with family or friends. Anticipating diets left on the road side while turkeys roasted (or deep fried) across the country. There is thankfulness across the land, being thankful for what we have or had throughout the year, thankful for food on the table, roofs overhead.

Knitters have much to be thankful for too. Consider that in many parts of the world the struggle just to get enough to eat, and here I am with food overflowing my table and a yarn stash over flowing its bounds in my craft room. Just the fact that I can afford the time to knit is amazing when there are people who toil from sunrise to sunset to feed their families is more than enough to be thankful for and that my stash includes some really nice fibers is certainly icing on the cake!

But...

As a knitter there is another type of anticipation that comes with Thanksgiving in America. Or maybe it should be called terror!

How many days left to knit before the BIG DAY ?

How many presents are left to knit??

Well knock a couple more off my list.

Presenting more Christmas Hats.





Here we have Hat 3.
Just a simple watch cap style ribbed hat with wide turn up brim. Two by Two ribbing from start to crown decreases and I fudged the ribbing from there.
Lion Brand Lion Cashmere Blend (I am pretty sure this is discontinued which would make sense as my sister picked me up a large selection for a song ages ago!) in a rich navy blue and a buttery cream, held double from start to finish.
Size 10.5 (US) needles and it was cast on, cast off in a matter of hours.

With the left overs from that we have :
Four of Hats.

Same yarn, same needles, this time as a Garter Ribbed beanie and I cut it very, very close on having enough yarn for this adult size hat...inches of yarn left over at the end.

Two hats in one day isn't bad, but if I am going to actually get all of my knitting done I need to pick up the pace just a little. It truly isn't fair that in my family part of our "counting down to Christmas" involves counting birthday parties between now and the big day.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and that your own holiday knitting is going well!!

~M

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Would you like a better look?








Here is a better look at Annis, the mini shawl that I made last week. (See how sneaky I am, I said I was all scarfed out so calling this little bit of lace and nupps a mini-shawl made me knit it up lickety split!)
At least a few things have been flying off the needles. Unfortunately others have lingered for far too long before making their debut as finished objects!

Pattern : Nemesis
Yarn : My personal sock yarn favorite Land O Lace Steffi in Little Falls
Mods : None, just followed the pattern as written
Thoughts : I might have to make the larger size for the monster man for Christmas. He suggested socks would make him happy and we all know that keeping the monsters happy leads to a peaceful life!

Want a better look ?

Nothing makes me smile as easily as a freshly knit pair of socks. :)

Where are you at on your Holiday knitting? For those who care to know, 33 days left!!

~M

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Time, Time, Time



Sung to you by Land O Lace Krissy (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)



Time, time, time, see what's become of me
While I was wound
Look for my possibilities
I wasn't hard to knit
But look around, leaves are brown*
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter


Hear the salvation army band
Down by the riverside, it's bound to be a better ride
Than what you've got planned
Carry your knitting in your hand
And look around, leaves are brown now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That's an easy thing to say, but if your hope should pass away
It's simply pretend
That you can knit them again
Look around, the grass is high
The fields are ripe, it's the Prom Time of my life


Ahhh, seasons change with the knittery
Weaving time in a shawl for me
Won't you stop and remember me
At any convenient time
Funny how my memory slips while looking over charts and scripts
Of unpublished rhyme
Waiting for my Prom Time.



Do you remember the teaser yarn pic? Let me introduce you to Liisi

One of the nicest things about knit alongs is that sometimes you meet someone that you just connect with and a beautiful friendship is started. Last year during Summer Squares one of the people that I (virtually) met was Bev of Land O Lace. Andrea used one of the Land O Lace yarns for her Dark Star Stole and I fell in love with the subtle color variations and had to order some for myself. I mentioned in the comments section of my order that I had found Land O Lace through the group and a virtual friendship was born.

Earlier this year Bev asked me if I would like to test knit a shawl pattern that she was working on and the rest is history.

Liisi is the first in a series of shawls that Bev is designing for her nieces, and very lucky girls they are too!

From the pattern page of the web-store :

Based on contemporary books on the market on Estonian Lace knitting, we have tried to stay true to that style of knitting, utilizing a double yarn cast on, traditional border and stitch patterns, while giving it a unique feel with the play of patterns along the wrap. The shawl is made in two pieces and grafted together.

I need to add my own comments here, call it a pattern review if you will!

The lace patterning is easy enough that you can memorize the play of nupps, yarn overs and decreases without ever becoming boring. There is tons of room to adjust the sizing by adding or subtracting repeats of the main motifs, no worrying that if you add to the middle the edges won't line up, Bev ensured that the pattern repeats sync up perfectly. As I got to keep the finished sample once it was photo'd for the pattern I made mine a little shorter than her white one and loved every minute of it.

The yarn is springy enough to handle seven stitch nupps and crisp enough to hold the yarn overs in the lace patterning.

Time ran away from me, it is many years too late for this to be my Prom Shawl, but TDQ is already thinking of dress plans to make sure it works for her!

If you like knitting lace, do yourself a favor and get the kit!

~M

*Leaves are certainly brown now..can you tell by the pictures this was finished in September?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another one?

A couple of weeks ago I got one of those dangerous emails from Richard at Colourmart...one of those emails that talks about a new yarn or blend that has just been stocked at their online shop. This time the yarn is a cotton blend. 45% Cotton, 15% Merino,15% Angora and 5% Cashmere....

I might have fallen off the Yarn Diet and accidentally thrown a couple of cones in my cart!





To make matters worse, I might have been trolling through Ravelry, just looking at finished objects and found that the designer of Annis had made a "mini" version that would be the perfect quick knit (yet impressive looking) gift.
In the original pattern the nupps make a deep v, in her mini version Susanna IC put beads in a diamond...I split the difference and worked 4 nine-stitch nupps on mine.

Proper pictures will have to wait until later this week, that is a still wet scarf/shawl/wrap that you are looking at!

I can't wait to see this one on our favorite model!

~M

Monday, November 15, 2010

Startitis, Finishupus

Sounds like something from a Harry Potter Book or Movie, doesn't it? I suppose if you look at the knitting needles as wands it is a little magical the way it works.

Yesterday morning I got out a single skein of Great Northern Yarns Mink/Cashmere DK in Marigold and set it on the table while I went to grab my swift.

Upon my return I untangled the cat from the yarn and then wound it into a nice little center pull cake to begin knitting.

After digging through my knitting supplies I finally found the right needles, unwound the yarn from the cat (again!) and actually cast on for 198 yards of Heaven. A couple of rows in and I frogged the whole affair, grabbed different needles, changed the cast on, unwound the yarn from the cat and started all over again.

A few hours of raking leaves, cleaning house and cooking made this quick knit take all day, but by the time I was thinking of bed it was soaking and ready to hit the pins.

Late this evening The Drama Queen agreed to model, not the best action shots of a shawlette but they do show a couple of different ways of taking that triangle of lace and making a quick, soft, cuddly fashion statement! (above point in front, end tied over it)


A jaunty little to the side loop.


We would be wrong not to include standard triangle shawl style!

And The Drama Queen's favorite.....

Doesn't she look just like a bandit?

Once it was washed the cat left it alone, so I assume he liked the smell of mink!

Mods : Turkish Cast On, Additional Border Stitches
Ultimately I used 210 of my 230 yards of yarn
48 inch wingspan with a 23.5 inch drop.

Not bad for a days knitting.

~M

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No Kidding!







A couple of days ago, Amanda posted this.

When she says Blogging Buddies are the best, she really means it, and I have the proof!

Direct from Eat, Sleep, Knit to me, from Amanda! Scrumptious!! TDQ and I were having a heated discussion about who the Madelinetosh yarn was ultimately going to be for when Amanda gave the following words of advice :

"A wise woman once said, She who knits gets the socks!"

Words to live by in my book.

The only other thing to say is THANK YOU! You made my day.

On the, is she trying to give herself repetitive motion disease front we have.....

and by the way if you are related to me STOP HERE, SPOILERS AHEAD....



Supposedly this is my own design, but there are only so many ways you can knit a Raglan Cardigan so it looks an awful lot like this one in Knitty.

Stats : Top Down Raglan Cardigan with Happiness or St. John's Cross cables on the sleeves and something special on the back. The body is predominantly reverse stocking or stockinette stitch (depends where you are from!) which switches to 4 stitch cables, alternating right and left crossing, for the cuffs and bottom. There are five buttonholes awaiting buttons to go through them. (I made the buttonholes the wrong size for the buttons I wanted!)
Yarn : Aracania Nature Wool, Color 54, Just under 4 skeins
Needles : US 8
Size : Too big for me, so it should fit who it is meant for!

Oh, you want to know about the something special on the back?


I had a heck of a time trying to get that to show up in a picture!

The other two Christmas knits I have on the needles are steadily progressing, but both are in heavy worsted weight yarn and I am starting to feel it in my wrists and of all places my thumbs. I have been mulling over some solutions today, most of which involve starting the next project!

Sorry, I have to give you a little bit of back story to get to the question I have for you!

Last year, my ex-sil and her family sent me some yarn for Christmas. It wasn't something that I would have bought for myself and it wasn't in TDQ's fav color, so I knit a bulky weight (ick!) scarf and sent it right back to her! Being the polite person she is I got a Thank you letter almost immediately with comments about how she and her version of TDQ argued about who got to wear it. Having knit all those scarves for TNNA this year, I am scarfed out and really do not like the idea of making another scarf to send to ex-sil for Christmas this year but really I should.

Now wasn't that a long winded way of getting to this question?

If it were you, would you pick a nice yarn and knit a scarf or pick a nicer yarn and knit a shawlette? And if you knit the shawlette would you include pictures so she would know how to wear it?

If it helps, I was thinking along the lines of 198 yards of Heaven (rav link) in Great Northern Yarns mink!

Either way, to take the strain off my wrist I am going to go wind some yarn now!

~M

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Tale of A Stash

Today we bring you the tall, tall tale of a stash.

Not just any stash, by MY stash. But maybe we should make this tale about the knitter....

Once upon a time, on the outskirts of town there lived a knitter. Many years ago this knitter decided to organize the tools or her trade and organized her yarn stash. It was a beautiful thing, including a spreadsheet with a listing of every odd-ball skein of yarn she had. During the course of this endeavor the knitter discovered that although she had yarn, quite a lot if the truth be told, she didn't have enough of any one thing to make the sweaters and cardigans she usually knit. This had not been a problem when her children were smaller, many a sweater was knit with two or three hanks of yarn*, but as they grew the yarn requirements got larger and larger and they were starting to get tired of stripes!

So, our knitter did what any reasonable person would do...she bought a ton of yarn online and went on knitting happily away putting sweaters on her offspring's backs on a regular basis.** As time went on, this hoard of yarn started to dwindle and she was again faced with a lack of "anything to knit with" and this time she decided on a different course.

Socks! our knitter said to herself, They only take a skein or two and I have lots of skeins or two to knit with. Alas, everyone soon grew tired of worsted weight (or worse yet lace weight) socks that didn't wear well and so she went on a hunt for a better answer. Of course she found it, in sock yarn. Amazingly there was actually a yarn specifically designed to wear like iron when knit at a fine gauge and so she started buying the "good stuff" and suddenly another stash was born...the stash of walnut sized and larger oddments of leftovers. I'll use them, she said to herself and threw yet another partial skein into the basket.

Well today I did!
That is left over Sha Sha from Land O Lace (I don't keep the tags with the left over yarn so I have no idea what colorway!) What was left from a pair of fingerless mitts paired with some Knit Picks Stroll left over from that Baby Vest I showed you the other day. You can barely see that I needed the Stroll through the lace! Match those up with Bad Cats Saint-Michel's Beret (rav link) or grab it from her blog here. This is destined to travel across the country as a Christmas gift. I almost wish I was keeping this one for myself!

While I was shopping in the oddments baskets I found the leftovers from my FrogCable Cardigan and paired them with leftovers from Skinny Durrow to get this:

Turn a Square by Jared Flood (You might know him as Brooklyn Tweed) This one has been washed again since that picture was taken yesterday as it is also destined to take a long trip across the country.

But, back to our knitters story.

The latest stash organization did turn up a couple of bags of yarn that our knitter did not recall as having, the spreadsheet organizer, being six years out of date at this point, did not help but she put them with like weights of yarn and today started using one.

Colorado Yarns, Durango. (rav link, I can't find another) and here is a picture of the started knitting :Now is it just me, or does that look like it spent time in a laundry room stash - right in the dryer vent???? I have been picking out the particularly big "tweedy bits" that seem to just lay on the side of the yarn as I go.

The moral of this story, you ask?

Wait for it...

You don't have to hide your stash in the dryer vent, there is a yarn company out there that will do that for you!

To paraphrase Bad Cat Designs....

Knit On ! Christmas is right around the corner, but I will be back tomorrow with more knitting pictures and a small, surprise delivery that is making me smile!

~M

*Part of the problem being that if you need 2 hanks of yarn to make a baby sweater she would buy three and store the third.
**Funny side story : One of the teachers my children encountered in school (preschool as it turns out) would start each day standing behind my child during the morning Pledge of Allegiance so that she could turn back their collar and see if that was a hand knit or a store bought sweater they were wearing that day! Apparently she made a game of it with herself, guessing each day if the item was a "real knit" or a "store knit".

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nothing to see here...

A favorite author of mine who hangs out (sometimes) in an online virtual bar once let the cat of the bag that she was working on "the next one" with the comments...Nothing to see here, just move along, keep moving along.

In case you hadn't noticed there are some big holidays looming in the not to distant future, and too many of my family and friends have been known to stop by here...You know who you are, so take these words to heart!

There is nothing to see here for you.

Nothing you see on this blog is for you.

These are not the Jedi you seek...oops wrong movie!

So skaddale so I can show pictures of what I am working on, already!




Yes, this means you and you know who you are! Scoot!



Are they gone?


Just in case anyone is still lurking around...Hah! I fooled you, this certainly isn't your Christmas present.

I was asked if I could replicate a store bought vest in an infant size before Christmas, and as it turns out I can.

Stats: Baby vest
Yarn : Knit Picks Stroll Kettle Dyed in Soot
Needles : US 1's and 2's
Pattern : copying this one :


It has been a long time since I had any new little ones running around my house so the vest seemed to fly off my needles and while it is not an exact replica, it isn't too far off. Hopefully it is close enough to keep the new parents happy. :)

I still have one sleeve on TDQ's Christmas sweater to knit. I decided to change my system and it is actually on the back burner for a while. There are people that I have to mail gifts to and I really should get theirs knit first as I can (and have) sit up on Christmas Eve to finish things for people who live in my house.

I might be moving faster on this if I hadn't decided to make up my own pattern as I went!

Like I said, nothing to see here, you might as well move along!

~M