Sunday, December 30, 2007

I LOVE Short Rows!

How cool is this Dishcloth? OMG, I love it! I found the pattern for this on Ravelry (here it is if you're interested) and it is just great. I had some various scraps of Peaches and Cream left from baby bibs, etc. and I decided to try this out and see what it looks like. It was so much easier than I expected and I could not be happier with the results. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm thinking about making a couple of these smaller and giving them with some pretty soaps for a Wedding Shower gift. I looked up her towel colors on her Registry and I have a perfect complimentary yarn already in my stash. :)
So, the Baby Surprise Jacket continues. I'm actually further than this picture shows and I even have more current pictures but I'm not posting them since I just sent the link to this site to the Mom-to-be and I don't want to ruin all the surprise. I will tell you what happened though. I got all the way to the last 6 rows and ran out of yarn. I could not believe it. When I bought the yarn, the lady at the store (not my usual LYS but one we went to while camping) said she made this jacket in the same yarn and used 2 balls. I bought three to be safe and still ran out. Damnit! Well, the yarn isn't carried by anyone around here and I didn't really want to spend more than double the cost of the yarn in order to have is shipped from somewhere. So I got a great suggestion from a fellow Raveler who said to try and find a complimentary yarn and use it for the last few rows as an accent. I went to my LYS, Knitorious, and worked with Sandy the owner, to select a yarn. I came home and did the last 6 rows with this new yarn and it looks AWESOME! I think so anyway. I'm going to seam the sleeves and crochet an edge around the collar and cuffs to tie it all together and it's ready for the mail. The baby isn't even due until the 29th so I am very proud of myself. I do think it's too big but babies grow so it shouldn't be an issue. :)
So, what do you think of that beautiful yarn? I got it to do a Hemlock Ring Blanket for me. I came across this pattern (again thanks to Ravelry!) and I just love it. It's a lace pattern but it uses worsted weight yarn so it should go faster and be a bit easier to do. I used some of my Christmas yarn money to buy this beautiful hand-painted yarn "Classy" by Dreams in Color. Oh, it is so lovely. I knew I would need some color variation in the yarn (solids tend to bore me) and I also wanted something washable since I have too many animals and voila, Sandy showed this to me and I was in love. I'm getting started on this one after I finish this post. So pretty!!!
I also got this nice, masculine yarn for a pair of socks I have to make for Fred. Well, not "have to" but "want to." Fred got boned at Christmas (just not enough time to go around) so he's getting a little something special for his February birthday. I really like this yarn and it doesn't look too fussy so hopefully he will too. He wears really cool Italian shoes with neat colors and patterns so I don't think he'll be afraid of a little color and pattern here. I found a nice simple pattern to use and I just need to get them going.
Lastly, I finally found a use for that old pitcher filled with marbles I've had on my dresser for years just collecting dust. Damn, what took me so long to figure out that one? Love it!!

Just When You Thought It Was Safe...

I started thinking this morning about what I wanted to knit and I came to the realization that although the "Holidays" are over, my knitting list has only grown. I have a number of projects I need to get completed over the next two months and I figured I would make a list here so I can keep track and get them completed. So here they are:
1. Wedding shower gift for co-worker - due Jan 11 - I'm thinking some round small facetowels like the dishtowel I did with a couple of pretty soaps.
2. 2 Co-Worker Baby gifts - end of Jan - Probably bibs or hats - these are quick and fun and whatever I'm in the mood for at the time
3. Mom's B-day gift - due Jan 28 (the 20th to get it in the mail on time) - I already know what this is going to be and I have the yarn, I just need to get my gauge swatch completed and get it done. I can't say what because my mom is my only loyal reader here that I know of. :)
4. Fred's B-day gift - Due Feb 22 (again need to be completed early to send by mail) - got the yarn yesterday and I've found the pattern on Ravelry so I just need to swatch and go.
You know, it sounded like so much when I was listing it in my head but it doesn't look too bad written down. I guess I better get knitting though.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Organization is GOOD!

I spent some time this morning organizing my little knitting storage space. I have an old toychest from my childhood in the other room that has gift bags filled with yarn in it. It's a mish-mash of novelty and various acrylic yarns I've bought over the last year or two. The space below is in my knitting room and it's where I keep my "in progess" stuff, books, tools, etc. My partner and I share the closet and although I am much shorter I have the top since it was easier to clean out. Since I only have one shelf and a rod, which does me no good, I've had to improvise some and it seems to have worked out pretty well. It's hard to see but my books are too the left perpendicular to the door because the shelf doesn't actually go all the way to the back wall. There's about a 4" gap between the shelf and the wall and the books can't sit back there without going all catywhompus (how does one spell that anyway?). Behind them are the few cones of Peaches and Cream I have been working my way through. On the rod are 4 bags; one with completed stuff, one with various Peaches and Cream or Sugar and Cream cotton, one with all my feltable wool, and the last with my blanket in progress.
On the right are my bins with DPN and circular needles and tools, journaling tools, and swatches. Below those is a container with some stitchmarkers I made and lastly, the box with the embroidery floss from my Grandma. I'm very pleased with the final result.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Achin for an Urchin...

...for me anyway. This isn't it unfortunately. I cast on 22 sts for what I thought was going to be a medium size Urchin hat that I would wear with true abandon. Alas, it was not to be. When you don't do a gauge swatch (bad Zillah) you don't always get the size you want. This project demonstrates the need for a gauge swatch all too well. Anyway, it's totally adorable and, while I can get it on my head, it would look better on a smaller little girls head. I used exactly one of the skeins so I'm thinking to do a little matching scarf and give it to a little girl I know. In the meantime, I will be looking for another suitable yarn in order to make another of these for myself. Once I figured out how to do the first wedge, the pattern just zipped along at about 15-20 minutes per wedge. Time to do some shopping for a nice thick and thin yarn.
Now that the holiday knitting is all finshed and at the post office, I am working diligently on finishing the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket for my upcoming niece. It's moving along really well and if I focus on it over this extended weekend, I might even be able to get it finished. I'm using Laine du Nord's "Papiro" yarn and I just love the colors and the fabric it is making. I am also using the Boye circular needles from my little interchangable needle kit, and I gotta tell you, they're driving me nuts. I'm seriously thinking about starting to buy new circular needles as I do projects and investing in the good ones. I like the one pair of bamboo circulars I have so I'm thinking maybe more of them. I'm also considering buying some Knitpicks Harmony needles for an upcoming project. I'll see how I like them since they sure are pretty! So, last night I was surfing the web and I was over reading Crazy Aunt Purl and she had documented the confrontation between her two kitties for the new scratching pad she brought into the home. Apparently this scratching pad is very popular in the house. After looking at several comments and getting turned on to these adorable scratchers, I decided my guys needed one. Well, this afternoon I went to Big Lots and lo and behold they had the great Cat Scratch Fever Dance Floor for the kitties to get their groove on. (I think I combined decades with that comment) I brought it home, dosed it with the cat nip, and joy insued. They seem very happy and, I hope, they will figure out this is a much better choice for scratching than the speakers in the music room.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Brother

First, Happy Birthday to my brother if you read this today. Your present will be in the mail tomorrow (sorry it's late) and I hope you have a great day and stay nice and warm where you are which should be a problem as close to the equator as you are at the moment. :)
Meanwhile, last night while it did this...
I did this...

Very fun pattern. This is the Calorimetry for one of my aunts who has nice long hair and spends a good deal of time outside. I hope she will like it. I'm going to do one more for the other aunt too and then all my gifts are finished. That's my project for today and then I get to start on my hat. I've purchased some beautiful Debbie Bliss chunky yarn and am thinking to do the Urchin hat from knitty. Too cute for words! :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I've Been a Busy Girl

The second knitted Watchcap is done. This pattern is just so simple but looks really cool when it's on. This one is for my stepdad who asked for his own when he saw me knitting the one for my brother. I did want to make them look a little different so I added the green stripes which I really like. For some reason though, this one drove me nuts when I started decreasing for the top. I had to frog back several rows the first time when I realized I had gotten off by one stitch. Then, I did it again. Finally I realized if I would just quit thinking so much and just knit what I see, I would do a lot better. And guess what, third time is a charm sometimes.

Next are the dishtowels for my aunt. I think this turned out to be a really nice set. I love the colors and I think the variety of pattern and color is really fun. I hope to get them in the mail Monday and hopefully she'll enjoy them for years to come.
Following the dishtowels is the Shrug/Hood/Scarf thing for my brother's girlfriend. She's 8 months pregnant and I wanted to send her something she can enjoy now and later. I've never met her either so I have no idea if something like this is her style but I really like the way it turned out. I basically just knit a really wide scarf, twisted it once and then stitched the ends. I think I'm going to send copies of these photos with it so she can see the different ways she can wear it. I hope she likes it.

Lastly I needed a gift for my 14 year old cousin and when she was looking though my knitting journal earlier this fall, she mentioned that she really liked the purple fun fur in the picture of my stash. So, I took it and added some Lambs Pride worsted wool for warmth. I grabbed nice big needles (17) and knit up a quicky scarf for her. Although you can't tell from the picture, it's got a drop stitch repeat every 4th row. I think she'll enjoy it.

Two more gifts to go. I going to either do another couple of quick scarves, a couple of coin purses, or I might get froggy and try one of these. The pattern intrigues me and it looks like a pretty quick knit. I've got some yarn in my stash that I think will work so I might just give it a go for the rest of the weekend's project knitting. Stay warm where you are (if that's an issue) and I'll probably be sitting here knitting. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hat's Off to Me!

Yeah! REDs hat is finished and I think it looks great. If you're reading this RED, then you just spoiled your surprise but I don't think you check this out too often. Now I'm just waiting on an address to send it to since he's out of the country for a while. This hat is the Marsan Watchcap listed below and it was a good knit. The pattern is very simple but fun to knit with just enough challenge to keep it interesting. I liked that I could take this with me anywhere to knit since it's just a K1,P1 repeat where you knit is the back of the stitch to get a cool little twist to the ribbing. REDs dad saw me making it and wants one too so I'm getting ready to start another but I'm going to make it bigger because this one was pretty tight on me. It stretches a lot but MD has a big head, literally.
So last weekend, I went out for a walk with the dogs and I was thinking I needed a hat and how I would have to get one when I got paid. I don't know where my brain was because it took a minute for me to think "Wait, I make hats!" Duh!! I went on Ravelry (I LOVE Ravelry) and started looking at peoples hats. I really like the Urchin hat from Knitty but I don't really have the right yarn for it right now and I was broke and impatient. I had some Black Magic yarn by Caron and decided I was going to use it for whatever hat I made. Well, I never found a pattern I liked so I just knit a basic hat on circulars and decreases at the crown. I then put a little flower on it and viola, my hat. I wasn't able to get a picture of it on me before the batteries died in my camera so you just get to see it flat. I have to say I really disliked working with this yarn. The color ply was split in numerous locations and it was just a pain in the butt. It sure looks pretty though.

I also started working on the wrap/shrug/hood thing for somebody. Right now, I'm not totally sure what it will be or who it will go to but I have ideas. I'm thinking a twisted scarf type thing sewn together at the end that can be wore a variety of ways. I've seen them on the web but now that I'm looking for one to link to, there is nothing to be found. Maybe later. The yarn is making a neat pattern as it repeats. I'm almost half way through after working on it this afternoon. Since I didn't get a knitting done Friday or Saturday due to cleaning for the party last night, it was nice to make some progress tonight. I'll either work on this some more or maybe do another dishtowel or two tonight as we watch Serenity for the upteenth time. (Joss Whedon rules!)
The last items of progress to note are the dishtowels I'm making for my Aunt. They are a terrifically practical gift for the person who has everything. I figured anyone would find a use for dishtowels. These are just a couple of basic ballband patterns and the one that looks like brick can also be found in the Mason and Dixon book. I think they'll make a nice set.