31 July 2006

Afghan update

With all of the other projects, I forgot to update on the afghan for our friend with brain cancer. Lorie and I pieced all of it together. We are now awaiting a crocheter to do her magic and crochet a beautiful edge around it before we present it to him. Here's two photos of what we've done thus far:

I'm not sure what I would do differently next time. This was a project knit with a lot of heart and hands and that means there are going to be problems along the way. Some squares were too big, others a shade too small. Only one square really didn't fit, but we made it work. All of the patterns and personalities and love show through on this project and that is what really matters. We hope it will give him plenty of comfort and joy during these dark days.

And a photo of Lola taking advantage of an empty bag! Isn't she cute!

30 July 2006

Miss Kate (and other projects)

Lorie thought up this great idea to knit a stuffed animal. Dani has completed two. I've completed one. Lorie, where's yours? Where are your posts? We know you've been knitting!

I made a Kate from Knitty. I love my Kate. She is for one of my two baby nieces. I have to knit another, slightly different Kate for the other. I used Cascade 220 for the body and pants, and Nashua Wooly Stripes for the sweater. I love the sweater colors. I'm going to use the leftover for a bowl. A beautiful felted bowl. Here is the progress of Kate:

I loved making Kate. I only noticed one mistype in the pattern and was able to fix it before it showed. I will knit my second with no modifications. However, I want to make a mini-kate for myself and I'm considering knitting all of the pieces and attempting to felt her and then sew her together. What do you think?

Besides Kate, socks, and scarf, I've also started a baby blanket

and a to-be-felted cat bed.

I've accepted a job up north and will be moving in 3 (THREE) weeks to be with my sweetie. I should be packing, but I'd rather be knitting. So I've enlisted friends to come and pack one night next week, so that I don't have to do it all by myself. I will miss my friends dearly. But its only two hours away. Just two little hours.


The ferocious, scary, mean and not so hairy dino's are here to take over the world, or at least Mr. Fireman's attention for the next many days! The patterns came from Xtreme Knitting (http://xtremeknitting.com). It's a great free pattern that I love, love, love. It's fun and only takes a few hours to make. Stuffing and sewing togther isn't bad either.

There are three options with the pattern. Mr Stegs, Trice and Bronty. I made two Trice's as one is for a friends 3 year old son, and the other is for Mr. Fireman. He originally wanted a green one with a brown belly but I didn't have any brown yarn.. The stats on these little guys are:

Rowan handknit dk- not even one skein
Needles: Clover Bamboo size 5 circular (pattern calls for size 6 but I found that I liked a tighter knit)
Size: 11.5 inches long approximately. Managed to be pretty much to the pattern measurements on the smaller needles.
Modifications: Next time, I would make the horns a bit stronger. I think I would end up crocheting them. Also I think I would puth their legs a bit closer together, because at the present time they seem to like to do the splits. Sure it's cute, but not a tough dinosaur move. No body is afraid of a gymnast when he or she is in the splits on the floor routine.

The green dino worked much the same, but I used (not quite) 1 skein of Knitpicks Shine DK. I like the feel of the green dino better, but I think the Rowan yarn will hold up much longer as it is stronger yarn. Only time will tell. I am confidant the orange one will be fine as it is going to the three year old, and Mr. Fireman is going to get the green one. I somehow don't expect a grown man to wear out the softer yarn nor abuse the dino as much.....

13 July 2006

So you had a bad day....

I have that Daniel Powter song playing through my head as I work on attempt #3 of a pair of Pedicure socks. And I realized the other night, on graveyard shift, as I re-started sock #1 for the 3rd time that the recap of my last 6 weeks of knitting has been much the same, save one completed pair of socks.

Now those that know me know that I devour projects. I am one of those fortunate souls that can knit at work. This means when I am stuck at work for countless hours in the middle of the night, I become a very productive knitter. In many ways it is a wonderful thing. But after the last 6 weeks I wonder why I haven't thrown in the knitting towel. Here is a brief re-cap of my last many frustrating weeks, that I somehow makes you feel better than it does me.

1. Interweave Knits Sunrise Jacket: Started this one with stash yarn that I had a project in mind for but couldn't get the guage to work. So it has sat for years now waiting for a project. I was thrilled when I saw the jacket. Absolutely, fantastically giddy over the prospect of using my great orange tweed yarn that I adore. So after three guage swatches and needle changes, I thought I had it just about right. Sure the pattern would be tweaked here and there, but I am not someone who just joined the knitting world, so I should be able to manage. Done it before.....WRONG. Somehow the guage issue is back. So it sits in the guest room/knitting storage taunting me evertime I look through for other things.

2. Green socks: Tried to use a toe up method on circulars. Figured if I was going to make socks on cirulars for the first time might as well go for the gusto and do it the most complicated way possible. Two attempts, not happy, moved on to dpn's and a lacy pattern. Then determined after getting done with the leg of the first sock and to the heel gusset that this sock yarn, no matter if it is labeled superwash is way to scratchy and itchy to work with and that there would be NO WAY that I could wear them or give them as a gift. So....yarn is in a bag to go to goodwill- of course after I ripped out all my efforts.

3. Embossed leaves socks, from Interweave knits winter 2005 with Socks that Rock Lightweight yarn in Farmhouse colorway: I did an initial swatch and determined that size 1 worked best for the pattern and then proceeded to knit, as a way to de-stress over the problems with the black and gray pedicure socks. Turns out that "de-stress" didn't really work as my guage on my swatch was that of a de-stressed woman but when it came to make the socks suddenly my 8 stitches to the inch decreased in half...okay not quite but enough that it meant another sock ripped out at the heel.....argh....

4. Pink Trellis Scarf from interweave knits (do you see the theme here, interweave and knitty are two good friends of mine): Started one afternoon when I was home alone. All progress was fantastic once I found the right type of needles. Susanne's ebony needles are a dream for knitting light colored lace weight yarn. Well worth the cash. All went well, until I decided to knit while on delay for a flight to Portland, where I lost a stitch in the middle of a knit 7 together and there was no recovery. RIPPPPPPPPPP. Sure, I will pick this one up again, when I have a good light and a table to knit at.

5. Alpaca with a Twist Shawl: This lovely lace weight shawl pattern and yarn was purchased with birthday money. The whole idea was that I wouldn't start it until I was further along on my evergrowing stash and had the time to sit ALONE and knit. But then one night on graveyard shift, I decided that since I sit alone there it should be fine. I was wrong. The evening when something like this: start stop rip, start stop rip, start stop rip, STOP.

6. Aforementioned black and gray pedigree socks: A last minute belated gift for a friend. Completed sock number one! Yippee! Only to look at it critically then decide to place it on my own foot for comparison of how it will work for her. After attempt number 3 of pulling it around the heel I decided that I made it more for a 12 year old than a 32 year old.........Oops. RIP and begin again.

So all I have to show for myself from the last 6 weeks is one pair of socks and a lot of frustration. But since they were the first pair of socks I designed I should take stock that I managed to make something work. Hope your knitting is more productive than mine!


04 July 2006

Super extra long post!

It's been a long time since my last post, so this one will be extra long. Where to start? Dani's socks are beautiful and inspiring. I finally finished my second pair of socks. It only took a year and a half! I hope the next pair is done in time for present time.

I'm working on an afghan with Lorie and 16 other people at work for a friend's husband who has been diagnosed with brain cancer. It is a slow project, but will hopefully be finished by the end of the month. Here are a few photos of what we have so far. Ultimately it will be 4 squares by 6 squares. I'm still waiting for two squares before we can finish it all up. It looks a little rough right now, but I hope it will improve when it is all together.

During the wait, I'm working on socks and a scarf. The scarf is a pattern from Hilltop Yarns in Seattle. I love it! It is a fun lacy project.

I've bought yarn recently for gauntlets (armwarmers), felted vases, a bag for my sister, and a felted cat bed. I'm up to more projects than I can handle. All while job hunting and hoping to move soon! No stress like lots of stress.
My obsession with knitting books continues. Dani brought me Cat Bordhi's "Socks Soar on Circulars" which I adore as this is how I knit socks. I just bought "Alterknits". I love the creativity, encouragement, and new ideas in this book. I have "Wendy Knits" checked out from the library. I'm not so fond of the patterns, but I love her writing style. My new favorite must buy book is "Knitting Nature". Talk about creative. It is a fabulous knitting book. Wow! I highly recommend picking it up and looking at it.
I've also started teaching Rich to knit. He's taking to it very easily. I'm not sure if he likes it yet, but he's a natural! Either that or my teaching is getting better and better!
Dani, Kendra (she will declare herself "Knitter" soon--she just started purling), and I went to the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene last week. What a great event! You get to meet the sheep, see the wool, watch the entire process of wool to yarn right there. That was where I convinced myself (with Kendra's help) to buy sock yarn to knit gauntlets with!

I'm going to make up some cabled pattern for them. I did resist all other urges however. I especially loved the sheep. And goats as we learned some of the sheepy looking critters really are. Hmmmmm. I need lessons. And the fluffy bunnies. Here's some photos.

Meanwhile, Rich and I put a flowerbed in at the Portland residence this weekend. We also bought grown-up furniture! A rust-colored sofa and loveseat are coming our way soon. The 70s non-descript duplex is getting some style!
Lorie--you're it!

02 July 2006

Pomatomus! What fun!

I had no idea how hard it was to take good pictures of your own feet? Did you know? Here are the Pomatomus socks I made in May. Sure I should have posted them then, but I was distracted by who knows what. Aimee has seen them up close and personal, so this is for you Lori. And speaking of Lorie....

I demand photos! You said you had a fancy new fangled camera, and some great projects to brag about....yet weeks have gone by and nothing! I want to see what you've done and the skills of that newly acquired camera. Am I asking too much? :)