Friday, August 29, 2008

New Toy

I popped into Michael's Craft Store today to try and find a birthday gift for my 6 year-old nephew (going to be 6). I walked around the store twice before I settled on something.

But in all that walking and looking I came across this new Knitpickers bag. I immediately fell in love with it.



It is absolutely perfect for my sock knitting. I really like the fact that it is clear -- you can see what you have in there. I LOVE the handle and the wide zipper.

I knit socks in the car or in the kitchen when I'm cooking dinner. So this is the perfect little tote for me! AND, guess how much it was? $8.99. I thought that was a great deal.

Happy Knitting! Have a wonderful weekend.

Sweet Feet

We have had several little babies born in our church within the last month. I couldn't imagine knitting four or five little sweaters for them -- I'm fast, but not that fast. Instead I made some cute little socks for them. I loved making them. They are so fast and fun to make.

Pattern: Wendy Johnson's Generic Top-up Sock Pattern.
I modified this pattern to fit a baby by casting on 15 stitches, working the short-row toe and picking up 15 stitches on the other side of the short row for a total of 30 stitches.
After the short-row toe I worked 16 rows before I worked the short-row heel.
I made the cuff as long as I wanted to.
Yarn: Shibui Semi Solids
I made three pairs of socks out of one skein
Needles: Clover #1, 5"
I realized I MUCH prefer Clover sock needles over the Brittany sock needles.
I have yet to try the Harmony sock needles -- but I have only heard good things about them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bliss

There is nothing more pleasing than the sight of a basketful of handspun yarn & and handspun, handknit shawl, is there?
Ah, sweet contentment.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Raspberries

On Tuesday I put down my knitting and pattern drafting for the whole day. Can you believe it? The reason for this interlude was --


.... this luscious fruit. The glorious raspberry. I joined my older sister, her kids and my younger sister for a day in the raspberry fields.

It was wonderful! There is nothing like the taste of a raspberry, juicy and warm from the sun.


All the kids helped. Rachel was industrious, just like her mother. Andrew was so diligent and helpful. James was a sweetie pie and told me stories as we picked. He also made us all smile by wearing his "sunglasses." Little David tottered between all of us begging for "pick berry" or "berry there" (both meant, "please, put a berry in my bucket for me to eat."


Here is Heather picking berries. She is very serious about her berry picking. She was also the fastest berry picker of us all.

By the end of the day little David figured out how to get his own berries. However, we had to keep reminding him to pick the red ones. He made some interesting faces when he ate the green ones!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Baa, Baa Black Sheep...

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes, ma'am, yes, ma'am,
Two bags full.
One for Lin, and one for Christina,
and none for the little boy who lives down the lane.

Yes, can you believe it? The mysterious shepherd stopped by the shop this past Tuesday and brought some more clean, carded Shetland roving. AND it was a beautiful black.

Lin's heart was stolen by Neva's fleece - a dusky charcoal black. I was smitten with Esther's fleece - a beautiful dark black color.

We have begged the shepherd not to return for a while. Our little feet can only spin so fast and our fleece budgets can only buy so much. But this stuff is worth it! It is so soft and clean.

I think I have my winter spinning stock! Happy Spinning!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Lizzy Hat

Hooray! The "Lizzy Hat" is done. A fellow knitter had requested me to try to make a pattern for the hat she loved to wear but could not find the pattern for. So, here it is, the "Lizzy Hat", named after the fellow knitter herself! =)


It's a fun pattern to knit. You don't get bored knitting it and it's done before you know it. I knit this second sample one while watching Michael Phelps -- yep, the Olympics has been quite the draw for me this year.


I love the swirly top. I think it's kind of cute!

The pattern will be available at Stitches & Scones on Wednesday! I hope you all enjoy!

Happy Knitting!

Summer Lace Errata

Opps, I forgot one of the lace repeats in the back lace panel of my Summer Lace pattern. There should be three repeats not two. Of course, if you like two, that's fine with me. But for those of you who wish to have three repeats, here is the correct version!


Summer Lace Errata
(There should be three lace repeats instead of two. Here is the correct lace pattern:

Back Lace
Row 1: K1, K2tog, yo, K1, yo, SSK, K2, K2tog, yo, K1, yo, SSK, K2, K2tog, yo, K1, yo, SSK, K1
Row 2: (WS) P
Row 3: K2tog, yo, K3, yo, SSK, K2tog, yo, K3, yo, SSK, K2tog, yo, K3, yo, SSK
Row 4: (WS) P
Repeat these 4 rows

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Clara Dress Update

I have been making slow progress on my Clara Dress just because I have so many other projects in the works right now.

I am in love with the yarn. I can't believe how nice it is to work with.



The pattern is okay. It does not hold your hand all the way through the little V decreases at the bottom. But, you can muddle your way through it. But don't let that scare you. It's definitely a fun knit.

Eucalan

I just recently tried Eucalan Wool Wash for my knitting things. OH MY GOODNESS. I really love it. It is a no rinse, delicate wash for all your lovely handmade things. What I love about this particular wash is the fact that it is enriched with lanolin. Thus making your wool, so delightfully soft. And, no, it does not add a lanolin smell to your sweater. You will not smell like a sheep.
I have not tried SOAK wash yet. I am eager to do so. But I guess I am just blown away by how soft my sweaters were after using the Eucalan soap.
Happy Knitting!

The February Lady Sweater

For those of you who are on Ralvery you already know that the February Lady Sweater is the hotest sweater of the season. There are 1349 sweaters being made from this pattern.

I loved the pattern, but I didn't want to make it with raglan seams. For some reason I didn't like how the raglan interrupted the flow of the garter stitch top.



So with a bit of math and gauge calculations I made my own in a top-down yoke. I love the results. And so does my mom -- this is her Christmas sweater. She is supposed to forget about it until Christmas time, that's the agreement. But I had to try it on her -- I was worried I had made the wrong size.

Happy Knitting!

Ripping

I have this habit of taking out a sweater and reknitting it into something else rather than buying more yarn. I haven't done this in a while (well, since last month), but I suppose it's just another sign of the economy. Because, well, frankly, reknitting saves a bit of money. Besides, it's all about the process; isn't it?


This lovely bit of creamy wool is being reknit into a sweater coat. I can't stand being cold in the winter time and have often wished for a long, cozy sweater.


It's still in it's beginning stage, but it's coming along nicely!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 8, 2008

For the love of .... pure fiber

Wednesday morning I had barely entered Stitches & Scones when I was greeted by Lin. Her eyes were shining and she said, "Look what I have." She disappeared behind a doorway and came out with two big bags of clean, carded roving. I dropped my bags as she said, "It's clean, carded Shetland roving." I couldn't believe it.

Lin had found the most amazing treasure. It was beautiful, soft, Shetland roving. Often times the roving is course or over processed. But this roving was perfect (sure, the white had a little bit of gray in it as well as a little VM - vegetable matter - but that's a sheep's life).


We split it up, each taking home half of the white and half of the brown. That evening I spun a little skein just to see what it was like. Oh, my goodness. It is a dream to spin. You can spin is SOOO thin! It just runs through your hands like butter and zips onto the bobbin. I am so happy to have it.

I thought it was so cute that the bags of fiber still had the sheep's name on it. The white came from a little Shetland named "Heather." Isn't that sweet. I'll have to ask Lin what the name on her bag that she took home.
Just to reassure you that do use my handspun, here is another Swallowtail shawl that I finished last month with some beautiful brown fiber from the Greencastle Fiber Event.



Have a lovely weekend and Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Clara Dress II

The Clara Dress has arrived. I am terrifically excited. I tried to cast on, on Friday afternoon only to realize I didn't have any 16", #2 circular needles. Oh, the disappointment. A quick stop at Stitches & Scones on Saturday afternoon fixed that and on Sunday I had it on m needles.


The yarn is divine -- really, I LOVE it. I love soft yarns that have some body to them and are not limp. So often mills sacrifice the body of the yarn for softness. But this yarn is perfect. It is a blend of alpaca and wool and is the best blend I have ever laid my hands on. Now, I have only knitted with the Isager 2 so I can't speak for the rest of the line... but this stuff is simply divine.

Several people have asked where I purchased the pattern and yarn. It is a bit hard to track down isn't it?

I purchased mine from the lovely people at Tutto . They were extremely helpful and sent the box off with haste. As I mentioned before there is no yellow. However, I was quite happy with the Celery color. There are so many colors to choose from, anyways, so it really doesn't matter too much!

Happy Knitting everyone!