Thursday, November 23, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The BBS I've been working on won't be done, neither will my socks or the socks for Christmas. So I made a rash decision. I made some toddler socks! I knew I could get them done in time. With only a few hours to spare here are my Socktober socks.
Yarn: Baby Softee (from the old crochet stash), Bamboo dpns size 3.
Pattern: Terry Royea's Socks 101 adjusted for size. I used her pattern and instructions for the first pair of socks I did. She has a very helpful tutorial.
Happy Halloween Everyone.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I've been working long hours lately which has not been conducive to blogging. I am on vacation this week (good thing, I was close to losing it)! Where have I gone? Not to Rhinebeck...I do hope to go next year. But I have gone somewhere very special. Kalamazoo! I am visiting two of my favorite nieces. We spent some time yesterday looking for the important places for an Aunt to take two poor college students, Sam's Club and Meijer's. Along the way, we found this:
Their father (my brother) is a Farmall fan. Had to get a pic for him. We had a very enjoyable dinner at Pasta Pasta last night. Wonderful Italian food with great service. Each of us ordered something different, along with appetizers, and shared. Everything was delicious and we had plenty for boxes to take home.
The nieces and I will wander over to the Chocolate Garden for some taste testing one afternoon. Perfect way to spend a fall day. If I can't be knitting.
So what have I been knitting? I have been having my butt kicked by some Big Black Socks. I have had to frog this one sock 3 times. I've dropped stitches I couldn't recover, I've messed up the ribbing and not discovered it until I was an inch further away. I have added another 1.5 inches since this picture. And what did I do to the sock today? I pulled one of the needles out. Confused it with my working needle. Thankfully, I was able to put it back with every stitch intact! I'm very frustrated, but determined to knit these. I didn't make the October deadline for the Socks for Soldiers. Plan to have these done for the January shipment. (Dare I hope also a second pair?) The group is still collecting funds, toiletry items, and socks, so please consider helping them.
Yarn: KnitPick's Essential
Needles: KnitPick's Options dpn size 1
Here are a few of the items I have knit for the Dutchican Triplets. Something different for each of the boys.
Here is something on the Christmas list. (Shhhh.) I have placed a feather and fan pattern with some ribbing on the instep. It is my first sock(s) done without a formal pattern. I've graphed out how I will handle the cuff, just have to work out the heel transition. Since these are intended to be 'bed/house socks', I am considering a short row heel because they won't have the wear and tear of a shoe. I am very pleased with how they are going.
Soon as I charge my camera batteries I will have some more 'in progress' and hopefully some more vacation photos.
Stay warm and dry everyone.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Those of you who know me, know that the Yarn Harlot has had more than a little influence in my knitting life. Who else would introduce me to White Buffalo yarn, enticing me to add all that I could find to my stash? Who would make me laugh during some of my dark days? I could go on and on, about so many things, such as all of the blogging knitters that she has introduced me to, that have each been so kind to me. Well, go on over and visit Stephanie, she has finished her book.
Posted by Jan at 3:51 PM
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
No, this is not a variation on the double knitting that Kory Stamper describes in her article for Knitty. Ms. Stamper details how to knit two socks at once, on one set of doublepoints! I'd read articles about sock knitters doing this during WWI. She does a wonderful job of explaining the technique. (But I digress.....)
This is an opportunity for anyone that wants to help with their needles. A virtual baby shower is being held for the Dutchican triplets (not their real name, although a very clever one), who are expected to arrive this winter. Yes, three babies to keep warm! If you would like to help their family keep these darling boys in handknits, go on over to Red Dog Triplets aka the Dutchicans. Like any baby shower there will be prizes. Some gorgeous skeins of yarn, including from one of my favorites: Gypsyknits! Come join the party, we will have lots of fun.
I don't have any photos of finished objects to post today, but I have it on good authority (myself!) that I will soon. Just one more lecture tomorrow morning...then freedom to knit freely.
The weather here has been up and down, lots of rain, temps ranging anywhere from the low 40's to the upper 70's.....can't figure out what to put on in the morning and I always feel so silly dragging my winter coat home in the late afternoon. However, my birkenstock sandals will remain in use until the snow gets deep enough to chill my toes. Then the birkenstock clogs are put into use.
I hope everyone is enjoying this autumn. It is my favorite season.
Posted by Jan at 6:47 PM
Monday, September 25, 2006
I want to get all of my partially completed items out in the open. I keep thinking it will force me to finish them. I have to stop starting new things. I am getting more and more convinced I have a form of Knitter's ADD.
These socks are very special. They have had their picture taken with The Yarn Harlot. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee looks lovely in the photo as does her sock. I am not so pleasing. I will save you the horror. (If you are very curious as to what I look like, you can see me on the Yarn Harlot's blog, her visit to Ann Arbor, I am the whole person on the very left of her picture of the audience.) My neice, S, and I went to see her in August. (S's thigh is all that made it in the photo.) I will tell you more about that day another time. Except to say that we thoroughly enjoyed her and all the other knitters. Don't you think Stephanie is the Erma Bombeck of knitters?
Back to the socks, the yarn is lucious and comforting. It is some of GypsyKnit's hand-dyed cotton/lycra blend in the River Rock colors. I am just doing a simple stocking stitch cuff down pattern with round heel and flap. The yarn is very easy to work with (no splitting) and the colors gently flow from one into the other.
This is the Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Lawrence. Her instructions are very clear and I seem to be moving along. The yarn is from Fearless Fibers, Superwash Merino Wool, colorway is Shades of Teal. Another joy to work with yarn, soft and scrumptious. I've not had any splitting. I am using my Addi Natura needles. The lifeline was placed after 3 repeats of the body pattern. I am enjoying this pattern and the yarn.
These socks are a gift for a friend, there is already one done. Those are Comfort Zone Needles. They are very flexible. The colors will prevent me from losing them and make it easier to keep track of my stitches. The SockBag is from a swap with trek. It is just the sweetest thing. Helps put a feminine touch when I am knitting the masculine socks. The bag is very well made. I have another item from the swap, but it is a gift, so I'm keeping it hidden. I am very happy with the swap. trek and I both have a thing for the BYM needles. I will show you my Bloodwood dpns when I cast on another pair of socks.
This is the project I have been keeping by my desk at work. This is a faroese shawl "Stora Dimun Shawl" from Folk Shawls. I am using Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. It is soft and rustic all at once. Perfect for the pattern. Using Inox gray circulars. I will have to bring this home soon, as the bottom edge is almost done and I will need to be able to focus closely on the pattern for the lace border.
I'm looking for a project meter that I can use. I hope it will help encourage me to keep on with the items that are currently on needles. I have to get some done, so I can complete additional projects I am committed to do.
One more week of lectures, an exam to write and I'll only have one full time job, so there will be more time to knit.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
That's my pirate name. I be likin it.
Of course, I don't have arrghyle to show for it. I be working on that for the future.
I've been busy working on my lectures, so the knitting has had to take a bit of a background. I'm still collecting all of the unfinished objects for photos. I should be able to post more on Thursday. Until then, I have a few new buttons on my page. (I can't figure out how to link them to their respective sites, Please, can anyone help me?) So I have put the links for the Charity buttons here:
Socks for Soldiers: knit a pair of socks for those in the military that need them.
The Red Scarf Project: Knit a red scarf for those that have outgrown the foster care system, cause everyone needs to know that someone cares. Theresa has written a great message regarding this project. Check out her Septmeber 14th post on her blog here.
Ryan has announced The Dulaan Project 2007. Her descriptions of the need, make it difficult to not participate.
In the non-charity category:
Socktoberfest 2006 is a personal need for me. I'm planning on using its enthusiastic sommunity to help me get some of the socks here off the needles.
Julie is willing to spin some yarn for you. She just needs to get a wheel first. I think she is offering a bargain for 50 gms. of handspun. Check it out here.
I've got to get back to PowerPoint.......arrrrgh.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I have too many things on needles and swirling around in my mind. Perhaps if I begin to actually show you all of it, I will be shamed into completing things before I start anymore. (True panic started to set in when I saw a sign today stating only 108 days until Christmas! Can that be right?)
So in no particular order:
The Adamas shawl. I have begun it, again. Lorette has given me some very good suggestions, including using a light colored towel on my lap while I work. I have also added some more lighting to my favorite knitting spot. She has really encouraged me to keep with the Redwood Forest. Thank you, I do so want to succeed with this. Here it is, in it's infancy:
Socks. This is the first in a pair. It is my first successful toe up. (I did one several months ago that required complete frogging.) I used a turkish cast on for the toe, starting on two circulars. I switched to dpns after I was beyond the toe, because I needed the circs for another pair of socks. I also find the dpns a bit faster and easier to transport in my purse. I haven't a knitting bag for my projects other than Ziploc freezer bags or the gift bags that Sephora sends. The Sephora bags are good for the projects because the needles don't go through the reinforced fabric, though the black makes it difficult to find things within. The sock pattern is Denise Powell's using the reverse Dutch heel. Yarn is Regia cotton, very easy to work with. These socks will be for me, I have a huge wide foot (10 1/2 EEE), so it is taking awhile to finish. I think these colors will look good with my clogs at work. Very cheerful in the winter.
Another pair of socks: These are for a good friend who admired this yarn while we were shopping. It has more purple than is showing in the photograph. They are being done two at a time on circs. (The article in Knitty about two at a time on dpns has me very intriqued.) I keep this pair by the computer, so when I have to wait for downloads and/or printing I have something to do. I'm almost ready to turn the heels.
Those are some of the UFOs I have in my baskets. I will post more later. Now, I have to show a finished object (or my morale will sink to the floor). I found Criminy Jicket's Garterlac dishcloth pattern last week and went to town. His pattern and pictures made this very easy to do. I find the geometry of this knitting soothing. Here is my first of this pattern. Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton, color is grape. Needles used were size 7. I finished this in a single evening. Nothing like a little instant gratification to boost my mood.
I'm sending this to my neice, M., for purple is her favorite color.
For those that may not have read Vonnie's blog the last few days, there is a request for yarn to be used in a local middle school's knitting class. Sounds like a wonderful use for those yarns we won't use, that are just cluttering up the stash. All the necessary information can be found here.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
The shawl was coming along very nicely, until I noticed I missed a yarn over. I tinked back a whole row, part of another and then stitches started dropping, the lifeline was tangled in somehow (not helping at all!) and there was this ugly mess. So I frogged it, re-cast on, and have just started the upper block. Again. I'm wondering if I should be doing this with a lighter colored yarn. Would it be easier for me to see my mistakes before I get so far along? I love the color of Redwood Forest. Can't decide.
Posted by Jan at 10:07 AM
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I had fallen out of blogging because I was still dealing with a dial-up connection. Now I have broad band so I intend to get back in the swing of this. I have been busy for the last 4 months. There has been much knitting done with a few actual finished objects. I will post my photos of these as I can. I think I am somewhat frightened of finding out how many things I have going with so few finished.
I have taken the plunge and am trying to knit a lace shawl. Adamas designed by Miriam Felton. This has proven to be quite challenging for me. I chose to start this on Monday, I knew I would have a nice block of time that would be uninterrupted (and inconvenient for me to be working on my lectures for the fall, thereby lessening the guilt factor). Perfect knitting time, a surgical waiting room. (A dear friend was having a small procedure done, it went very well, thank you.) What I didn't count on what how much focus I was going to need on this. I spent two hours and had ripped out the first 5 rows so many times I can't remember. When we left I had nothing. Nothing. Spent some more time on it Monday evening, and finally got to the upper chart. Then had to frog it, again.
Yesterday, things improved and this evening I have completed the upper chart. 20 whole rows after 3 days. And these are the short rows! I might finish this in this decade.
Here are the details: I am using KnitPicks Shadow in Redwood Forest. The yarn is very soft without being too 'fuzzy' for me to tell which stitches I have missed. I am still struggling with which needles to use. I started with Clover Bamboo circular then changed to Crystal Palace. The sharper point and polish of the bamboo allows me to more freely manipulate the yarn with the Crystal Palace circular. However, the metal ferrule keeps catching the yarn. I've switched back to the Clover Bamboo for now. I've considered trying to sharpen the tips. I've never done that before and am not sure exactly how to do it without creating more problems.
Here it is. I've since added a lifeline and have completed 6 rows of the body. I welcome any suggestions.
Posted by Jan at 10:30 PM
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I've spent a good part of today trying to post pictures of my first pair of knitted socks. I'm still having trouble with those photos, so I'm going to show you my first pair of mittens.
These pictures come with a bonus - Pierre!
Pierre is my sister's dog. He very kindly posed with the mittens. We think he really wants a beret (or is just very tolerant of his humans.)
Can you see how frightened I became of running out of yarn on the left mitten (pictured on the right)? I believe I fell out of gauge! My kitchener on the top of that one is very angular, and I redid it twice. Finally decided to just leave it. Any input would be appreciated. I am very proud of the thumbs, I had a very difficult time figuring out what the pattern was trying to tell me to do. Ann Budd's Book of Patterns saved me. Strongly recommend the book.
Wish me well with the sock photos.
Posted by Jan at 10:17 PM
I'm still learning about posting pictures. Today I am going to share the first pair of socks that I knit. I gave them to my niece at college for a valentine's gift. She might have been most enthralled with the green paper that I slipped into one of the socks. The self-striping Modea sock yarn was used for these. Was on my way to the post office when I realized I hadn't taken any pictures of them, and knowing that socks don't last forever, I wanted to have something to remember them with. Consequently the photos were taken on my dashboard.
Posted by Jan at 10:43 AM
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Hello. It is a beautiful warm Saturday Spring morning. There will be no Easter Dust (snow) this year. The daffodils and tulips my cousins planted in my lawn along the driveway are ready to bloom tomorrow.
Mona, my dog, has learned to not tread over the sprouting plants among the grass. Every year either the daffodils or the tulips bloom on Easter morning. (Except last year, last year was different.) This year I will have both. These gifts they placed for me several years ago, bring me much pleasure.
Until December I was a crocheter. I had tried knitting. Even completed 3/4 of a sweater 23 years ago, didn't enjoy any of it. The needles were cold and uncomfortable, I was very slow, it seemed tedious and admittedly too involving. Then I tried to change Christmas. I felt it had become too monetary. I wanted to give something that was more meaningful to those I love. I was in one of the local thrifty grocery/department stores looking for yarn to crochet scarves, when I found the fun furs. Those jewel tone colors! But all of the patterns on the skein labels were for knitted scarves. I hesitated. This found me eye to eye with the swatches. Very nice swatches. I reread the label. The US 19 wooden needles looked like it would be pretty quick to do. Those colors would be just perfect for my nieces. And the yarn was on sale! (I am now convinced the starw were aligned, for there are no coincidences.) How could I not try it? If I needed help, I thought I could go to my friend/sister-in-law who knits, or perhaps find some information on the web. Oh, what I have learned on the web! How to knit, purl, yo, ssk, cable and TURN A HEEL! I made seven scarves for Christmas. Since then I've done a baby hat, booties, dishcloths, socks and a pair of mittens. I've had fun! I've also managed to accumulate a stash, a mini library of books, and discovered a whole world of knitters on the web. I am very grateful to the many people who have provided so much information and inspiration.
I hope all of you have some of this beautiful sunshine.
Posted by Jan at 12:45 PM