12.29.2013

Slog-A-Long

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I’m knitting a Bone Yard Shawl by Stephen West. Using some of my handspun fiber. A Persimmon color Blue Faced Leicester fiber that I added a strand of Sulky bendable thread to it to give it some dimension. It looked so “flat” spun alone.

I skein I had overspun, Ugh, overspun yarn is spun too tightly, when I hold it out flat it immediately winds up on itself and kink. The “fix” for this is to run it back through the spinning wheel the other direction and then I soaked it and dried it, to ‘'reset” the twist. That came out find, and didn’t take as long as I thought it would. So now, I just have a bit more to go before I’m done.

IMG_2233I must have been stressed when I spun this!

Read more on spinning yarn with the correct twist and balance, plus other helpful tips in Knitty article

This was going to be a gift for a girlfriend who is going through tuff times, but when complications set in (with my knitting, not her), I ended up gifting her my Citron shawl

IMG_2227Steve and Penny at the local DNR wildlife area. Bird?

You may notice my “bone yard shawl” is missing the ribs. I looked at the pattern and started while I was watching Netflix (gotta love Netflix), many rows later I discovered that I had omitted the knit row that made the ribs. I just kept knitting, but wish I had frogged it and put it in now, as the shawl looks very ordinary, and boring to knit. (but good TV knitting)

Hope everyone had a great holiday and got some knitting done!

12.19.2013

Citron Shawl, Done for the Holidays & some Knitty patterns that are trending for some quick knits

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This is my Citron Shawl, done! I have been working on it for a long time. But had I knitted this all at once, it wouldn’t have taken too long. Love this easy, swingy pattern. Thanks Knitty! Free pattern here made by Hilary Callis.

Knitty is a great online knitting and spinning magazine. Plenty of great articles and free patterns. This Winter Knitty 13 has a wonderful article about Ethnic Knitting Adventures by Donna Druchunas, it is about Designing A Norwegian Ski Sweater. Check it out, along with the other features they have.

The pattern is a  semi circular shawl/cap (depending on the size yarn used and the length you knit it), It is all in stockinette stitch, with increases and decreases to form the gather/ruffle areas. Easy knitting, good for beginning knitter. Great item to watch TV, movies, or anything that you want to be on auto pilot.

I was worried about the bind off, as I tend to bind off tightly. This pattern had so many stitches and they were at the full point of the last ruffle, so I needed to find a loose one. A Ravelry knitter who had knitted it suggested the Russian Bind off and included a video in her message. Video to Russian Bind off. It worked nicely and the shawl ended up with good movement.

Yarn used: I made this with some yarn I bought while visiting my Dad when he had a surgery. From JoAnns, it is Patons Lace, and I would highly recommend it (gauge 4 inches = 26 sts on size 4 needles, and 498 yards/455 meters), so much that I have bought 4 other colors and found it with a sequin added in it. I love the super long color changes, it allows for a striking repeat in this pattern, it also comes in solids. The yarn is a good mix of acrylic 80%, wool 10%, and mohair 10%. It is so soft and light to work with. As a bonus easy to care for. When finished I was pleasantly surprised at how it blocked up, and the movement, it was light as air and with the 10% mohair, it has a beautiful halo.

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I made this with some yarn I bought while visiting my Dad when he had a surgery. From JoAnns, it is Patons Lace, and I would highly recommend it, so much that I have bought 4 other colors and found it with a sequin added in it. I love the super long color changes, it allows for a striking repeat in this pattern. The yarn is a good mix of acrylic and wool with a soft halo to it. It is so soft and light to work with. As a bonus easy to care for.

It was a gift to a girl friend going through some  hard times, when knitting for a non knitter I like to use a super wash wool, or one with some acrylic in it. I’ve found several excellent ones now that are 100% acrylic that I’m in love with. (More on that in a later post)

Yay, now on to my Boneyard shawl, and I’m in the process of making a quilt.

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Hope your enjoying your knitting!

Need to find a knitting pattern try the Knitty pattern finder (link below)
(link to Knitty pattern finder)

A selection of Knitty patterns:


Diversify cowl by Andrea Rangel-good for any gauge yarn, and it looks like a quick knit
beauty shot
Nymphalidea by Melinda VerMeer-A beautiful airy, butterfly like shawl/scarf

Commuter by Stephanie Sun- Fun fingerless mitts with an added bonus!

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Mandelbrot by Alexandra Tinsley- fast to knit up, good way to use up some handspun, I think I’m going to cast on this one, I may leave the pompom off.

12.15.2013

Project Runway at my House

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I had  been thinking about sewing a fleece vest for my husband. Problem was I knew exactly how I wanted it to look. Of course. I couldn’t find a suitable pattern. So I decided I would draft a pattern for it myself. Inspired by the series “Project Runway”, which I am a long-time fan of. I found the confidence to give it a go.

I used muslin and pinned it to him and then cut the pieces out. This did take 3 tries to get it acceptable. A lot of laughter and a couple of pin pricks.

I used fleece on the out side and the lining, with batting in-between. My husband wanted the pockets to be a specific way. I settled on a simple pattern idea of a small stand up collar, basic front and back, zipper, and the most complicated part were the pockets! He wanted to be able to slip his hands in, and have a separate compartment with a secure flap. I had bought these lovely gunmetal grey snaps to apply to the flaps, but the fleece was so thick I had to default to using Velcro.

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I also decided to quilt the fleece, I used some of the lines of the plaid design to follow.

The pockets also have batting in them, so his hands will be warm. (thus making my snaps impossible to apply)

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Overall I’m happy with it, and I got it done before the snow came!

Now on to some Christmas knitting!

11.02.2013

Boneless Boneyard Shawl

I saw a link to this Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West and thought it was beautiful. Digging around in my stash I found some of my handspun that I have never used.

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I started knitting it up, it is a fast mindless knit, and I love how the yarn looks in this pattern. Notice anything? Yes, I took it “on the go” to knit and didn’t notice until several inches after the first “bone” that I had left it out. Sigh, so I decided to just keep going.

Take a look at all of the Ravely shawls in this pattern, it can look so different with each knitter.

I suppose this is my boneless shawl! I’m planning on gifting this to a girlfriend who has persimmon trees and makes everyone persimmon bread, cookies etc.…for everyone during the holidays.

Love the color and I hope she likes it. While searching for this pattern I also came across the Quaker Yarn Stretcher Shawl/wrap. I love that one so much, it is not a free pattern, but I’m going to have to buy it and start that one next. It looks like the perfect pattern for lots of small amounts of spun up yarn. Hoping to get through some stash with it!

See Stitchnerd’s blog post for info and lots of great photos!

If you are not familiar with the Quaker stitch, it is super simple, you’ve probably used it and didn’t know it. I’m including some free Quaker pattern links below:

Quaker rib Afghan by Krista Albright

Quaker Cowl by Lisa R. Myers

Simple Quaker Rib

1. Knit row one, purl row two, and knit row three. This produces three rows of stockinette stitch, which is smooth on the front side.

2. Purl row four, knit row five, and purl row six. This produces three rows of reverse stockinette stitch, which is nubby on the front side and smooth on the reverse.

3. Alternate these two sequences until your project is of the desired length. You'll have sections of equal length of smooth and nubby rows, and the item will look the same on both sides.

Another version of Quaker Rib

1. knit
2. purl
3. knit
4. purl
5. knit
6. knit (first ridge)
7. knit
8. purl
9. knit
10. purl
11. knit
12. knit
13. purl (2nd bigger ridge)
Repeat the 14-row sequence for a nice variation in the rib pattern. Continue until your project reaches the desired length. This pattern will not be the same on both sides14. knit

 

Happy knitting!

10.12.2013

Dummy Clap Shawl

I finished my Dummy Clap Shawl during my stay with my Dad back in March, when he had colon cancer surgery. But then didn’t knit again until just recently.

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I would recommend this pattern, I originally picked it because I was always attracted to the Clapotis shawl in the Knitty Fall 04. I never knitted it, but found this pattern and decided to try it. I will say, love the pattern, knitted it with Brown Sheep single ply yarn. Love this yarn, but I knitted this over a long period of time and it started to felt, due to all the packing around I did. The night before my Dad’s surgery, I decided to unravel the laddering, it took me 8 hours to individually unpick them, but that kept me busy and my mind off of other things. I’m pleased with how it turn out, length, width, it is easy to wrap around and small enough to use as a scarf. I only used about 2/3 of the cone of the Brown Sheep yarn, I would buy it again. (although it seems hard to find, I bought it in a spinning shop)

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BTW, I still am shocked when I see a photo with my hair undyed, I dyed it for so many years, I still forget what it looks like, even several years after I let it grow out. Periodically I want to dye it again, and then I remember what a pain the upkeep was, my DH assures me it looks good *snort*. Well it sure saves me $$ that I can use on yarn.

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Since then I have found several other similar patterns. (all have the dropped stich technique, which is slightly frightening/fun)

 

I love the one below, It is lovely with the different yarns. I think I’ll give it a go, it would make a nice gift.

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Terraform by Cheri McEwen pattern, similar but knitted in a triangle, looks nice to drape on neck/body.

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City Tweed Dropped Stitch shawl by Knit Picks

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Dropped Stitch scarf, super easy, and you can make it bigger for a wrap, free pattern from Christine Vogel

Happy Knitting!

10.09.2013

Break Over…

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In my hiatus from blogging and knitting I missed the fact that Google Reader has been retired. Yes, I guess I’ve been living under a rock. I’ve had to reset my email passwords etc..
Working on my Citron Shawl, I know! Shawls look a mess when I’m knitting them and then beautiful after blocking!
So I’m left trying to figure out how to read my blogs!  I’ve looked into Blog Bridge, and Feedly, what are you using?
I’ve bought several knitting magazines, and been trolling Ravelry, looking at patterns and inspiring knitters and their projects.
Patterns I’m loving!!
Sideways Rib/Cowl Hood from V.Vine (rav link) free

The Lonely Tree shawl (free pattern
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A basic super soft merino hat from PurlBee (free pattern)

Thanks to all of the great designers!

10.06.2013

A little spinning at the house

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One day I was reading blogs, and saw Paul The Quilter was making The Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West (rav link, free pattern), and decided that would be the perfect gift for a girlfriend! Off to my stash to see what yarn I had to start it! I came across my handspun, I haven’t spun in around 2 years and was lost in looking at my spun stash. I have around 17 oz. of a strange pumpkin-ish colored yarn that I spun, I even ran it back through the wheel and added a multicolored thread to make the color pop a little, because I thought it looked a bit flat. I don’t look good in that color and it would be perfect for her! Yay!

My husband and I thought it would be perfect for her due to the fact that she makes persimmon bread, and especially yummy cookies this time of year. We had just been to visit her and my husbands best friend to go to a music festival. I took some photos of a backdrop on one of the venues. Seem like this color was everywhere!

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I got so excited I finished up some fiber that I had been playing around with, the blue combo below.  I think I’ll make a small scarf with it. I found this great list by Simple Knits.com of 653 patterns to make with 1-285 yards of yarn. It is a blog link list to patterns, Not all of the links are still active but most of them are. Check them out. It is a great source of creative bloggers  (saving this link for possible gifts!)

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I’m still working on my Citron shawl, it is going so well, I’m making it larger than the pattern calls for, I have a 2nd skein and I’m just going to keep knitting until I’m tired. I did leave a row out. Of course it was a decrease row and I didn’t figure it out until around 2 inches later. So I’m just going with it. Needless to say it got really large fast. How did I overlook that? I was knitting and visiting and just kept going, for two days.

Also working on the Lala scarf and ditto there, not the mistake part but the making it larger than the pattern calls for. I am wondering if I’ll leave off the frilly edging? Can’t decide.

photos later

9.29.2013

How do you keep track of your knitting progress ?

Proof that I never know when I'll put down a knitted project, and leave it sit for  hours/days/months or years! Here is the citron shawl, I stopped knitting in the middle of a row! 
Citron shawl is a great simple pattern, with rows of alternating increases & decreases along with stockingnet stitch, simple yet enough to give you some texture.
How do you keep track of your progress?

Coming along, only brought one skein with me! Mistake, so I'll be moving on to another project.
Discovered I missed a decrease row, erg!  Think I'll just keep knitting & see how it looks!

9.26.2013

Knitting on the road

Leaving for a music festival! Never know when some knitting time will present itself! I have 2 shawls ( lala scarf & citron shawl), packed & a possible third to start, lol. What do you like to knit on the road?

9.20.2013

Hats I must make (free hat pattern links) ;)

I’m coming out of a creativity slump, and thought that some hat patterns would get me going. After looking around I realized, crazy hat patterns is what I’m looking for.

#1 to make the Viking hat pattern and beard, I didn’t realize these were two different patterns, the Viking hat is a pay pattern from Tara Murray. The Viking beard pattern is a free pattern.by Melissa Campbell, Links included.Beard-hat-c_medium 

I think wearing this would either invite conversation or people would cross the street to keep away from me! Either way a win.

#2 The Hallowig by Megan Reardon (free pattern)508054613_6d01a4ff5f_nLove this, and think of the colors that it could be made in!

#3 I was looking for a knitted cat scoodie pattern, and found it (by Cat Morley) , but I fell in love with the modification that a Ravelry knitter made to make into a fox scoodie! Go raverly, thanks Ficklephonebug! Cat knitted scoodie pattern here. Fox knitted scoodie pattern here.

9.19.2013

Knitting again…tips, fun free patterns to get me in the mood, (not to hard)

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Photo taken at Blue Grass DNR in Southern Indiana

I been totally out of the knitting spirit. For way to long, I have a load of excuses. Looking back in the times of my life when I’ve not been creative, it seems the especially emotionally draining periods leave me too tired to create, or think of creating!

My husband got me a new knitting bag for my birthday, I think that is a hint. LOL Knitting wife better than non-knitting wife? Bag is a Vera Bradley, tote in the Dogwood pattern, love the inside pockets! I’ve got it filled up already with two projects, which are both shawls/wraps. Simple and fast, I hope. *grin*

075New bag and new cover on chairs, need to replace seat foam also, hopefully before two years pass!

If you struggle with lace knitting charts or have never tried them, I found this excellent blog post with videos from Emily ONeal.

I have 3 lace projects going, all are out of a yarn, which I would have never bought, but I was not close to a real yarn store and needed a yarn fix! I bought two skeins of Patons Lace, and absolutely love it! It’s fiber content is 80% Acrylic, 10% Mohair, 10% Wool, 3oz/85 gms = 485 yds/455meters.per skein. It is easy to work with and has a nice feel with a small halo. I have not washed and blocked any item yet, so I don’t know how it will turn out, but I’m loving it so far. The colors are soft and multicolored, with a gentle transition of colors that makes the lace pattern lovely.. This was so unexpected, I returned and bought another color, and then upon returning home yet another.

Photos to follow for projects, *grin*, all pattern linked are FREE! Thanks designers, we love ya!

Projects are: Citron Shawl pattern free from Knitty 2009, I’m knitting that with Patons Lace in the color sachet, which is a greens/lavender/plum mix. 

Lala Scarf by Kat Coyle from the book Greetings from the Knit Café by Suzan Mischer, simple pattern yet interesting enough to keep me going, knitting this in Patons Lace in Woodrose colorway.

Third project is still somewhat up in the air, I’m considering the Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia with a yarn from my stash or I have two more balls of Patons Lace in a blue colorway , (in a bin in the basement so I’ll have to look at that later), that I’m considering for Sommerblau by Halbe Prinzessin.  However in trying to locate more of that I ran across this: Patons Lace Sequin Yarn, I’m totally loving that!

Get Knitting!!

4.01.2013

Back Home and Ready to Knit and Spin

I’ve been caught up in some family health matters, and away from home. In the process got a nasty bug myself and had to recover from that. I’m back now and trying to get caught up with everything.
What Dorothy said is true….There is no place like home….
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I am knitting on 3 shawls and a sweater. And have a quilt that I’m still looking for more fabric prints for. Also doing some spinning. Hope everyone is well, I’ve missed reading what everyone is creating!
Until then, check out this new Knitty Spring/Summer 2013!!
Happy Knitting

2.24.2013

Get Creative

be creatvie

Five fun links….

-I like this idea of monograming your own mugs, Hey and Valentines day is coming up. Thanks Design Mom!

-I love reading Threadbanger! Here she has found a tutorial on making a cuff watch out of a mens shirt!

-Sneezerville teaches us how to unravel a purchased sweater, find some great yarn in a bad sweater? Turn it into a beautiful item with a little work.

-Print your own calender with Sofia’s World! Free and pretty too, get organized!

-How about sewing  a Memory quilt with Todera, use some of your memory filled fabric or clothing.

-And I couldn’t resist this one, make some Monster Spray for your little one.

--
Knit Fast, Dye Yarn
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

2.23.2013

Cool DIY Planter and Hanger

I was making several plant hangers for my plants to save space (see post here with free crochet plant hanger patterns). I ran across this YouTube video from JoeyFingis. I though it was interesting that he up cycled a 2 liter pop bottle into a planter with a water run off reservoir using a water bottle, and made a acrylic crochet plant hanger to hang it with. I think the idea is stellar. Check it out!

I thought this would be good for starting seeds, and cuttings for plants. Which started me thinking about all kinds of things.

I found this quirky idea of hydroponic gardening with a crocheted net from grubbycup on urbangardenmagazine

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I’m ready for spring, and definitely going to try this, let me know if you do!!

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2.17.2013

Shawl Cast On Itis

I’ve become a casting on fool. While at my Dad’s house, I cast on the LaLa Shawl by Laura Linneman (free pattern) with the yarn I had at hand which was a multicolor yarn by Paton's Lace. I wasn’t sure if I would like the color changes, but I turned out to really like the look of it and the yarn.

I’m still working on my Dummy Clap Shawl, I just keep knitting, and thinking it is not long enough, I am knitting it in a fingering weight and it is never ending. I’m trying to decide if I should just cast off and be done with it. *grin* Love the pattern, but it is a little to mindless, after a bit, if I had made it with worsted weight (I believe it calls for that) I would be done by now.

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My Dad lives 4 hours away from me, so I had picked up a skein of Paton Lace from JoAnn’s, not being close to any real yarn stores, It is described by Paton's as a Soft lace weight with a beautiful halo. Beautiful range of gently shifting colors. The fiber content is 80% acrylic (I know, this made me nervous), 10% Wool, 10% Mohair. I must say I really like working with it, it feels nice, and does have a slight halo on it, Not too much. I don’t know how this will block up? Anyone tried it? But I’m enjoying knitting with it, and would recommend it so far.

In fact I bought more yarn to start the Citron Shawl pattern (free pattern) by Hillary Smith Callis, published in Knitty Winter 2009. I know many people have made this pattern and I love the look of it. It looks fast and easy. I’m going to use more of the Paton's Lace

093In a green/dark purple/white color variation called Sachet. Well will see how it goes. I need something to keep me busy while visiting my Dad again as he has colon cancer and is having surgery. Need some knitting that doesn’t require much brain power.

If you need info about colon cancer, staging and treatments, the best online source to help you understand it is at Cancer.gov, the National Cancer Institute, it explains the staging, treatments etc…. This is an excellent site for many types of cancer info that you are looking for help in understanding.

I’m also casting on a 3rd shawl made with Vickie Howell Caron Sheep(ish) 70% Acrylic, 30% Wool in the color Plum(ish), I haven’t decided what pattern to use on this yet I have 4 balls, which is about 640 yards.

094 The shawls I’m considering are the Oaklet Shawl by Megan Goodacre (free pattern)
The Schieffelin Point Shawl by Kate Gagnon Osborn (free pattern)
The Crow Waltz Shawl by Juju Vail (free pattern)

Which now that I look at them all together are very similar, back to the Ravelry pattern search I want something simple but with a little more lace pattern. Any suggestions??

1.20.2013

Knitting and This and That

I’ve had to travel to my Dad’s house due to some of his health issues. Thanks to everyone that has expressed concern, he doesn’t have internet access and am sorry if I’ve not gotten back to you. I’ll be traveling back and forth in the days to come, just wish I could knit in the car, I could get so much done!

Was at my Dad’s house and he looked out the windows and we saw this beautiful sunset. Had to try and capture it. Of course this is about 30 snaps in, love digital cameras!

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I don’t know about you but I love to listen to knitting podcasts! Especially since my car cd/radio is broken! My favorite’s right now are Knitmore Girls, Stash and Burn, and a new one I heard about Jane and Jen KnitFunny (I really enjoy listening to these girls!) Of course there is Cast On (my classic). Please let me know if there are some that you listen to and enjoy, I have lots of driving time to fill!

Now on to knitting. Over the years I’ve discovered I like to have 3 types of projects going (at least) a mindless (potato chip knitting) for work or TV or stressed out, I can’t concentrate on anything mode. A sweater, to make me feel like a real knitter, ha (and I don’t do complicated sweaters, just basic something that I can wear, classic type ones), Then something a little more complicated with a stitch or color pattern project like lace or cables, but not too large, maybe shawl or socks. I need to get that other crap out of my head and just think pattern.

In addition to the Dummy Clap Shawl and the Zuma Tunic, more on those later. I just cast on the LaLa scarf from the book Greetings From The Knit Cafe. It is an easy lace repeat I’m knitting on #6 needles, because that is what I had with me when I started it. The yarn is lace weight Patons in the color way wood rose, not what I originally intended to do with this yarn,  (the color changes go from dark brown or maroon to white and pink, I’m a bit apprehensive about how that will look), but I just needed to cast on something.*snort*

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The moon is going to be close to Jupiter the 21st, I tried to get some good photos of it, not close enough yet, but this is what I have so far. Hopefully when I moves closer to the moon I’ll be able to get something.

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Clear sky today, lots of sunshine, got a snap of the moon.

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