Thursday 24 December 2009

Birthday Sox

I just had my birthday and I thought I'd share my Birthday Sox's from Deb.You might notice that they've been worn, natch, and are about to go into the wash.

I pretty much always get socks on my birthday from Deb, but it wasn't always that way. Well, it was for years, but one year Deb decided that I should learn to knit socks (now you need to remember, Deb is my older sister and the one who taught me to knit ... so, you get the picture). So, that birthday ... *gasp* ... no socks!!! I was devastated. So, while I may be stubborn (like my older sister, mmm?), I'm not stupid. I learned to knit socks. And guess what? Yup, socks started showing up again on my birthday. And, it's weird, I can easily knit myself socks and do as well, but somehow, it's those birthday socks I look forward to each year. Thanks Deb!

May you have a safe and happy holiday season,
- Lyn

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Time for a holiday

I've finished the last Christmas hat and have one orange pom pom to make and that's all. Done, Over. Time to block a couple scarves and wrap 'em up.

Yesterday we had one last meeting for the Teen booklet before we go our separate ways for the holidays.

It was a little dark in the restaurant but I'm not complaining because they let us sit and knit for 4 hours. We did eat lunch too but that was totally an aside. These are the beginnings of 3 of the sweaters. My brown cardigan which you've seen, Bernice is working on a cabled hoodie and Dana is swatching for a tunic with a chevron pattern.

In January we are going to go hard at it because we will be ticking the days off on our 2 month deadline. Time for a break I think.

Today I'm officially declaring myself on holidays. No knitting for work is to ensue for 2 weeks. I'm having an awful time gearing up for this. I work at home and my knitting work surrounds me. It's beside my chair in the livingroom, it's beside my bed, under my bed and stacked up beside the computer. The temptation to just do one last little thing is very strong. It's not easy to ignore so today I put it all away. The Valentine sweater is away, the Teen project work is away, the beginnings of a sock book is away, the cross-over sweater I would like to reknit is away, my teaching gear is away. Not far away but in one pile under a bookshelf with a Do Not Look At sign on it. Now I need to switch my mind over to any projects I might like to knit just for fun. Hmmm.

Saturday 19 December 2009

How's your Christmas knitting coming? I'm on a couple of the last items - the boyfriend list.

On the right is the crown of a brown hat for Lynda's boyfriend. It's chocolate brown, nice guy colour. I'm doing Lynda's pattern from the Need A HAT booklet, thought he might like that. The orange is for my daughter's boyfriend. He bought himself a 'old school' 3 wood (golf club) and would like an 'old school' cover for it. How can I resist such a request.

Friday 18 December 2009

It's a winter wonderland here. Just a couple days of snow and everyone's worries of a green Christmas are over. I walked home on Wednesday on the Lightfoot Trail. It was a bit of a slog as you can see, snow up to my knees. And I was almost properly dressed. I had wool socks on, 2 pairs of wool mittens, a wool neckwarmer and a wool hat. About half way down that stretch I was wishing I had thought to put my long johns on or at least had thought to wear my flannel lined jeans. It was a lovely day and a beautiful walk.

Yesterday was a bit of a family day for me. My dad came over and we put the wood panelling back on this wall. My mom walked over and made us lunch which was really nice. Because of water damage, we had removed the panelling in the spring. My husband and I had reshingled the roof in the summer and Tom came over and sealed up the last 2 places it was dripping. So now I think we're water-tight (my fingers are crossed). It's so nice to have it done. I still have to put up some trim but it's sure nice too look at wood and not plastic and pink insulation.

I got to some knitting in the evening.

Moving right along.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

I'm moving along with my Teen knit. It's a little hard to knit with my fingers crossed but I'm at the great divide now and had to take a run to the shop to collect a couple more skiens of wool.

There is some more knitting on this sweater on the program tonight.
Last night I made a mitten.

And this morning I started the second mitten. I had put in some short rows across the back of the hand and when I got to that point this morning I couldn't remember how often I had worked them. Last night I thought 'I'll remember how many rows I did'. HA, HA, HA, HA. What is it they say about us being our own worst enemy?! I don't know what I was thinking. I was being delusional. So... I ripped back so they were both at the same point and thought I would knit them both together. Have you ever done this?

Both the backs of the hand are on one circular needle and the palms are on a second. I tried knitting them this way for a bit and finally resorted to using a third circular needle, like knitting with 3 very long double pointed needles, which worked pretty good. They will match now but I must admit it's a bit awkward since I kept dropping the empty needle as it emptied (if that makes any sense).

They are drying now on my mitten dryer over the hot air vent.

Saturday 12 December 2009

Step Forward

I'm stepping forward on a couple of projects now. The process of 1 step forward, 2 steps back, is pretty normal for me, not being an abstract visualizer I have to do it to see it. But it usually leads to something good and a giant step forward. I started up my scarf again and after aborting the Feather and Fan pattern after a couple of inches I've settled on the Dewdrop pattern (the blue Treasury of Knitting Pattern book).

Here's a closer look at the pattern. It's fairly easy to memorize and if I can just get the row beginnings worked out I will be able to do this without carrying the pattern around with me.

And now for my new Teen cardigan.

I'm pleased with the collar which runs into the Front Panels which will go down the entire length. Ignore the colour of the button. It was the only one I had at home which is the right size, nice and big.

That's the end of the first skein of wool. It's almost a garment already. A short capelet? A large neck cozy? I can see where it's going now. I'm sure there will be a couple more hurdles to get over but it's coming together.

Thursday 10 December 2009

Rip it

My goodness, blogspot's site has just improved a lot. Wow. Now I can underline, oops, nope. I can highlight, OK now I can't get out, rats, how do I get out of here? There, Phew. This might not be a great idea for me. I'll just stick to what I can do. Although, there are some possibilities here.
You haven't heard too much from me because I haven't felt like I've been very productive. It may have something to do with 1 step forward and 2 steps back on several projects. I knitting this,

which had some problems, so I frogged it. Yes it's gone, gone, gone. But I reknit it in this colour, more Valentine-like I thought and very gorgeous too.

And I had a scarf half way done but have decided as I look at it more and more that the colour is too dark for the pattern and so this got ripped out too.

I reskeined the wool, wet it and it's drying looped over a door handle as we speak. It should be dry by tonight. I'm going to simplify the stitch pattern since the very dark navy hides the pattern but I sooo love the colour. I think a simple Feather and Fan pattern would be more suitable.

In the meantime I've reknit the buff coloured wool,

into this but it's going to get frogged too. I know! I'm thinking of buying a condo on the shores of the frog pond.

This sweater is for a project which I haven't told you about. It's a Teen booklet which will be finished in the spring (May, 2010). The sizing will start at a 28" finished sweater and go up to a 40" sweater (small/medium adult size) with the emphasis on the 12-15 year old teen. But that doesn't take the rest of us out of the loop if the sizing works. I think I may knit one of the sweaters for myself. This is my first attempt at my entry, a long cardigan with a large collar and cuffs. I like the pattern in the collar but I made the panel in the front too wide with too great an overlap. I was going for a double breasted look and on paper I thought it worked but it's not doing what I wanted. So I'm back to thinking of a single row of buttons and this is getting the rip it, rip it, rip it treatment.

I wonder if I could launch a small boat on the frog pond to take a little trip around and see what other knitters are doing there (it's always summer at the frog pond). Is anyone else sitting on the shore? We could wave to each other and maybe meet for 'happy hour'.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

New Pattern Now Out

I've just posted Deb's new pattern #622 Last Minute Baby on our web site and in a downloadable format on PatternFish. Here's the final image ... but you've watched the work in progress the last little while! It's a top down, super fast knit using heavy worsted/aran weight yarn. You change the size by adjusting the needles. If you need a quick baby gift, this pattern is the one!

I've got some lovely yarn to dye and try it out myself!

Monday 7 December 2009

Putting Beads in

I've been doing the test knitting for the Beaded Mittlets (by Shirl the Purl). I was interested to see if different methods would display the beads differently. So I thought I'd explore:
  • stringing the beads onto the yarn and placing them by purling them on one round, and knitting through the back of the stitch on the following round (which is how it's written in the pattern itself);
  • the crochet hook method of placing beads as you come to the point in the pattern of needing the bead (which I used on my shawl shown last month).
So, I tried it on my next pair of mittlets (Christmas present for younger sister Heather). And the answer was? Yes, there is a difference. See below:

The pink and red mittlets (far left and middle) used the pattern method (stringing the beads) and the blue version in progress, on the right, used the crochet hook method. Can you see the difference? Here's a close up:
The beads on the left show better. They are more prominently displayed as they sit more "on top" of the yarn. The blue version almost hides one bead in the cable. They also sit further "in" the yarn. I doubled checked this by turning the mittlets inside-out and sure enough, you can see much more of the beads on the blue version on the inside. I think the cable also looks like it crowds the beads on the blue version.

So, I think it depends on what you're doing. I would NOT have liked to carry the beads for my shawl all the way to the end just to use them on the 2nd last row. Also, the fact that the beads show on both sides works very well for the shawl. So, for the shawl, the crochet hook method works better and for the mittlets (or The Beaded Hat or The Beaded Mittens) the stringing the beads on method is better.

Good to know.


Thursday 3 December 2009

cables and stripes

I've come a long way baby.I'm below the decreases for the waist and starting to add on stitches for the hip, which you can't see because my needle is pulling it in. It's coming along swimmingly. It's not my size and I am dying to try it on someone. I might have to wait until it's finished.

In between crossing cables I am ribbing the Noro scarf, sans Noro. I'm picking up whatever wool I can find which changes colour throughout the ball and casting on. These stripes are the result of 2 different colourways in 2 different kinds of wool. I love it. Today I am going to cruise through my local craft store and see if there are any more combinations I can find there to make. I've run out of stuff from our own shop.

My son is asking for black again. He did come out of the black phase and into rainbow colours for a couple of years but moving to the big city for a couple months has him right back into the black. What is that? And I was having such fun with all these coloured stipes. He might have talked himself out of a scarf.