4.27.2010

Simple Diamond pattern shawl

This is the month that I finish my UFO’s. Not planned, but it seems to be what is happening.

I picked this up and like so many UFO’s, I’m not sure what my problem was when I put it down. I finally finished this easy repeat up. This pattern would be good for a beginning lace shawl knitter. Simple, and it teaches you to “see” the pattern and follow it.

I was trying to bind off, and after trying several methods, Obstiknit on Plurk helped me out by suggesting I try the I-cord bind off. I searched on You Tube for some help and found a good tutorial from iknitwithcatfur, she has a variety of knitting tutorials to view.

Yay, it is not pulling and looks good!

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Chart in Norwegian translates to “Monsters seen from the right side”, could this be right? That doesn’t seem correct!

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-From Knitty Winter 04, an article about reading knitting charts. 

-Another take on how to read knitting charts from Smart Knitting-Crocheting.com

-Need to make a knitting chart? Here is one that you can customize to your needs thanks to Jacquie.

-I also found a knitting chart generator that enables you to use color also, from ChartGen.

002 Blocking the shawl!!

I found a good tutorial on how to block a shawl from SeeEunnyKnit

From Knitting Daily; how to block a shawl using blocking wires, which I found a lace blocking wire and pin set from KnitPicks for a very reasonable price.

Finished!! No photo of me, due to the fact I’m still on crutches and photos were entertaining, but didn’t show off the shawl!

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On the to next shawl!!

Any suggestions on an intermediate shawl for me??

 

4.25.2010

Featured Etsy Seller

This Etsy seller has two shops MadaleneJewles and MadaleneKnits, you can read her blog at Magdalenejewelsblogs

Nothing conjures up more of a magical feeling within when one see the first buds on the trees; the robin’s call to its mate; the burst of the crocus breaking the winter’s earth. Spring is not just a season to many, but a calling of renewal. The smiles return, the warmth of the sun begins to shine through, thoughts of love in the air filled with the aroma of the flowers of Spring.
So too does beauty exist within many other realms in life. Here I bring forth “like a burst of Spring” a few pieces from my shop, which I hope will bring that warmth of Spring with magic in the air.

And with this, I agree!

From her knits shop

babylamp

 Crocheted Baby Lamb $20.00

I love this little baby lamb!

NeckWarmer - Dark Brown Tones $30.00

 neckwarmer

Who wouldn’t be happy with this? And it would go with everything! So feminine.

From her beads shop….

SwarovskiCrystal Necklace of J onquil.Peridote with Floral Polymer Pendant $65.00

dailynecklace

I love this springy daisy necklace, it would look good with a summer dress!

Swarovski Crystal Light Topaz Pendant Earrings $22.00

topaz earrings

I like these, simple, but they would dress up any outfit, from a prom, wedding or just a night out!

Enjoy shopping!!

4.23.2010

Kumara Bed Socks

Kumara Bed Socks; I fell in love with this pattern from the Interweave Knits Holiday 09 issue, and like so many patterns, knew I needed a pair of these.

After starting with one yarn, that “wasn’t making me happy”, these sat around the house and “mocked” me for quite some time, until I cast on again with some of my own hand dyed yarn using the Spicy Mama Colorway. I like the fast repeat of the colors. The yarn is worsted weight and the color repeats made it an exciting knit.

010005 The pattern was easy, I like the look of a little lace and some dainty cables. Quick to knit, (once I actually got knitting), and I’m very happy with how they turned out.

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I can’t wait to wear them around the house, and to bed during those wintery nights, or maybe I’ll just turn the AC up….

May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies…

4.22.2010

Gauge, a necessary evil..

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I was rereading the DomiKNITtrix book the other day. (by Jennifer Stafford, also see DomiKNITtrix website) She does have a number of free patterns available, as well as patterns to purchase.

One of my favorite tricks she has is her technique for knitting the gauge.

She suggests buying only one skein of the yarn you are considering for a project, now I don’t have that much self control. But it sounds like a great idea.

Use the needle size recommended, or the size you think will give you gauge (I am a very loose knitter and usually go down two sizes). Cast on the number of stitches that the yarn label recommends for 4 inches square, plus add a few stitches. Knit garter for 3 to 4 rows,  now knit the stitch that will comprise the majority of your pattern, (lets say that is stockinette stitch). Knit in the pattern stitch for an inch or two, now switch to stockinette stitch, (if you are not already using that stitch) and in the middle of the swatch knit the corresponding number of purl bumps as your needle size you are using. Measure and see what your gauge is.

OK, now I know this isn’t washed yet, but switch to the next likely needle size (stitches look too loose? go down a size. Too tight, up a size) now knit several rows in SS stitch and then knit the corresponding number of purl bumps in the middle of the row as the needle you are using. Continue in this manner until you have a swatch with all of the possible needle sizes that you think are necessary.

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Continue in this way, when done, wash as you would treat your garment, and let dry, now we measure.

I have also discovered swatches that have the “before" 4 inch square” outlined in a running stitch of contrasting thread, then after washing it is very easy to see how the measurements change.

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The beauty of this method is that we have one swatch, with several different needle sizes to refer to. And if you actually had enough self control to buy only one skein of yarn, at this point you might think “NO, not that pattern, but it would look good for this ____”. Your swatch is done, and it is easy to refer to the size needles that were used.

Happy swatching!!

4.21.2010

A trip down the stairs

I have been down and out lately, I took a trip off a platform, and landed on the stairs and kept going.
I have my mother to thank for her strong bones, even when she was under 100 lbs and ill, she never broke a bone. So no broken bones, but crutches and lots of ouchies.
I can sit for a short while in a chair now, but besides feeling like I was drug behind a train, I’m having spinning withdrawal! I haven’t been able to knit much, but I can knit dish cloths!009
So everyone I know will be getting one when I return to life. I took a trip to the doctor yesterday and discovered that the leaves on all of the trees came out, while I was hibernating.
I’m starting on my sock again, since I’m decreasing my pain meds, and am hoping to be able to finish that.
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Pattern: Kumara Bed Socks
Yarn: My own dyed yarn,Turn it Down a Notch , Spicy Mama Colorway
Take care, and get your knitting needles out!

4.20.2010

Libras and PVC niddy noddys

My astrological sign is Libra. Libra, also known as "The Scales" or "Balance", is the only symbol of the zodiac that is represented by an inanimate object, rather than an animal or human.

As a Libra I like everything, just so, with my niddy noddy, I can quickly determine the yardage of spinning I have done and have a better idea of what I can knit with it. Before the N-N, I was flying by the seat of my pants.

My new PVC niddy noddy is the perfect balance of function and affordability. The plans were given to me by my ravelry girlfriend, Dana. PVC niddy noddy plans, also see the valuable “notes” in FiberFools blog about the dimensions, and resulting yardage. For less than 4.00 I have a great tool to quickly measure my yarn!

You can have the guy at Home Depot, etc cut it for you!

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The yarn that is pictured on the niddy noddy is some that Dragonfly Soars sent to me, it spun up beautiful and very fine. I decided to autowrap it with some Sulky thread.

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Spun up single (above)

(below) with sulky thread auto wrapped

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I got approx 300 yards of this, I like this pattern the Arrowhead Lace Scarf by Sydney Harper, and this one, Kid Merino Cat's Paw Lace Scarf by S. Jo Morohashi,  for the kitty lovers, and Wisp, by Cheryl Niamath, from Knitty summer of 07. Just to name a few!

Below is a You Tube from JazzTurtleCreations about autowrapping.

I’m very happy with the softness of it! Can wait to see what it becomes.

Play with your yarn this week and have some fun!

4.11.2010

This and that, interesting knitting accessories

Well if I’m not knitting, then I love to look for patterns, magazines and new knitting tools.

Here are some of the latest I have come across that caught my eye:

First I had to buy these:

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-From rycrafty.etsy.com stitch markers, made out of little ball and chains, in all different colors! They slide so easily on my needles, and you can remove them and use them for row markers if you need to. She has a variety of colors and a large and small size, I love them!

-I found this Portable Lazy Kate from Ogledesign.etsy.com, perfect to take along.

portable lazy kate l kate portable

-From Jessica at How About Orange.blogspot.com these cute knit fonts, free! She also has a variety of other cool free downloads on her blog.

-YarnPlayCafe.etsy.com has fun knitting theme tote bags, reasonably priced. These would be a cute gift for anyone. Who doesn't need another tote bag? She blogs here

tote bag

-I am always looking for a good hand cream, my hands are always cracking and bleeding. Davesgarden.com gives us his recipe for hand cream, considering the price I have paid for OTC lotions and creams, I will definitely try this one.

handcream

Enjoy your knitting!

4.09.2010

Knitting, cleaning, and meditating…now spinning

meditation

I’ve been on a big destashing mode lately.

It makes me feel good. I can give, toss, or make something to give to someone. I have wanted to have a space in my office/craft room for meditation and yoga/Pilates.  Now I do! Almost done with it.

Left on the list is new curtains, or some kind of window treatment. I was thinking about bamboo shades, until my neighbor’s son came over when I was piling baskets into my trash can. He said his mom wanted the one on my top shelf if I was going to get rid of it. I was so confused, until I realized that she could see that from her window across the street. (maybe with binoculars)! So blinds and or curtains.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of spinning (for me). I met a girl on Ravelry that has become a good friend, she showed me how to core spin. While I still feel two thumbed when I’m trying this here is my first attempt:

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Spun up from a batt that I purchased from UniquelyYoursDesign.etsy.com 

Fiber Content: Corriedale, Merino, Bamboo, SW Wool, Artsy Corriedale, Angelina, and Shredded Money (EXTRA Shredded money included on the side.)

I’m ready to ply this superwash merino that I purchased from The RanchesAngora.com (a long time ago), it spun up nicely and quite fine.

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I just got this batt on the wheel and can’t wait to finish it! It is wonderful to spin, thanks to DragonflySoars 011

It is a delicious blend of wool, firestar and soy silk from Ogle Design. Just touching it makes me go ahhhhhh…..photos soon..

Until later, get your knitting needles out!

4.06.2010

Basketball and Butler

Living in Indiana and coming from Indianapolis means basketball! This final four was great and exciting!

So it has been all basketball at my house, with a little spinning thrown in, too much excitement for concentrating on a knitting pattern. Now we are big dog people and I’ve got to tell you, I love the Butler Bulldog doggie!

If you were wondering… The Lucas Oil Stadium of the final four policy is; "We allow teams to bring pets in the building if they are the mascot and it is a domesticated animal.” bulldogs

Blue II, the live bulldog mascot, yes he has a live feed, he blogs, he is on You Tube, and more!

Of course Butler's real bulldog with his giant rawhide bone is adorable and who can’t love this guy! Because he is "real and carries a bone."

This sweet and wrinkled dog breed is usually pretty easygoing, loyal and even a bit goofy. Despite its reputation for multiple potential health problems, the Bulldog makes a wonderful companion. If you are a Bulldog owner, then I'm sure you are more than familiar with the great qualities of this breed - perhaps so much that you don't mind the snorting, snoring and slobbery kisses! Love the breed? Please tell me all about your Bulldog!