Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What I've been doing...

*Still working on the Column of Leaves scarf. It's coming along just fine, it's eating yarn up like you would not believe though! I'm definitely going to use every inch of the 440 yards that I have.

* Little pink socks on the needles as well. I'm rarely without a pair of socks in progress. :) The yarn is a cotton/elastic blend that I picked up over the summer. I can't find the ball band ANYWHERE and I'm in desperate need of a second ball. We no longer have it at the shop, so I'm hoping that I can show it to the owner or someone else at the shop and they'll recognize it. Otherwise, these socks are just going to be anklets.

Next projects I'm thinking about:

* Elann's Pinwheel Cardi: I love the look and am dreaming about the colors I'll choose.

* I'm so intrigued by steeking a fair isle sweater, so I've got a pattern for a small teddy bear sweater that will be knit fair isle in the round before I....gulp...cut out the arm holes. I figure I'll start with a small sweater. It can't be THAT hard to knit up a sweater that you've put a lot of time and effort into can it? (LOL)

It's snowing here again. I'm all wrapped up in my zip front fleece onesie. Dirk calls it "the potato sack". It's basically a big square of fleece that zips up the front, has long sleeves and two little ribbed holes all the way down at the bottom where my feet poke out. It's amazingly comfortable and perfect for lounging around in.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Football Alternative for this weekend

DYI TV is running a Knitty Gritty Marathon, Sunday Feb 4, 5-11 pm ET, to give an alternative to the SuperBowl. They are encouraging viewers to knit or crochet 7x9 squares for Warm up America. I hope it's a success; and it is telling that the network decided to do this instead of, say, a plumbing marathon!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Work in Progress: Brooke's Column of Leaves Scarf

Been working on a new scarf for myself since Dirk got the last one that I made. There area few (glaring to me) mistakes that suddenly have suddenly appeared too many rows back for me to think about ripping it all out without bursting into tears. The pattern isn't really hard but there was a weird stitch that I'd never done before that was throwing me a curve ball until I got some help in an online knitting community.

I'm eternally grateful (snort) to my husband for pointing one the mistakes out. Here's a peek at how the conversation went:

Me: "Look how far I've gotten on this scarf. I finally got that stitch worked out, but I'm leaving in the first bit where it went a little wrong. Can you tell?"

Him: "Not really, but what's up with that other spot that looks weird?"

Me: "What spot!?" (as I twist the scarf around to face me in a panic)

Him: "There...right below your thumb."

Me: "Shit"

Him: "erhm, uh, yeah, I can barely tell....(from all the way across a not very well lit room)."

Me: (holding up project with tiny tears ready to spill..) "Crap, there's another mistake'

Him: "I still love you even if you can't knit for crap"

Monday, January 22, 2007

Striped Socks!

Striped Socks
Originally uploaded by BoxerPixie.
I finished these socks last night - and they are the tallest ones I've made for myself so far. I originally intended to make them knee socks, and would have had plenty of yarn, but ...sigh... I get so excited once I get the foot and heel done to bind off and put my finished socks on!

I usually make my cuffs as long as the foot from heel to toe for a nice balanced sock. But these are 2 inches longer than the foot. Maybe I'll be patient enough for knee socks some day!

The only thing that bothers me about this pair is that the color is off between the two of them. The yarn was the same color and dye lot, but one is significantly lighter than the other. I pulled from the center of the skein so I am pretty certain it isn't fading from sunlight or anything.

CTH method
Cascade Sassy Stripes Superwash
US 1 needle
Magic Loop

Friday, January 19, 2007

What I've been knitting lately!

First, my lovely husband requested a "long black scarf". He stopped in at the yarn shop while I was working to pick his yarn out, of course the first skein he picked up was a small $20.00 skein of super soft alpaca. (snort). I politely pointed out that I was *not* knitting a $60.00 handwash only scarf for him and shoved two balls of Cascade Superwash into his hands.

I used the popular "Irish Hiking Scarf" pattern, which was super easy to memorize and worked up fairly quickly. I used almost all of both balls of yarn (440 yards!), but he loves it because it's long enough for him to wrap around his neck and still have a nice amount hanging down in front. He's literally worn it daily since I made it, so I'm guessing he's really pleased with it.

The only thing that I don't like is the way the one end flares out -- I think this is the cast on edge. However, I think if I blocked the whole scarf this would be solved. I'm already thinking about what color I want my Irish Hiking Scarf, I know there are two balls of Cascade Superwash in a heather green at the store that would be gorgeous. (Putting on psychic hat....I predict a trip to YarnArts this afternoon to get some heathered green superwash wool.....)

<-- Here's a nice closeup view of the cables --dog hair, flared end and all.

For about the last six months I have been totally entranced by a felted fair isle bag at the shop that was knitted by one of the women who also works there. So, I finally sat down with some wool, some graph paper, a calculator, a pencil and a really big eraser to try to design my own fair isle pattern for a bag. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. There are some things I would have done differently for the shaping, but overall it I think it turned out great. I bought grommets yesterday for the handle to slip through, but apparently I can't count and need to got get another set so that I have enough. The bottom is round so it's a barrel shaped bag, which you're not really seeing in the photo and the top is bunched up where I folded it to dry into the folds that I need to grommet. I'll have to get some sturdy plastic canvas to cut down to size for the bottom to hold the bag up properly.

Well, it's almost lunch time and I have some things I need to finish around the house before I head over to the shop to get me some heathered green Cascade Superwash!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Woven Two Handed Fair Isle


For weeks, I've been dreaming of a felted fair isle tote bag. On Friday morning I sat down with needles and wool and knit, unknit, reknit, unknit and reknit until I finally got the math right for a flat bottom that is circular.

On Saturday, I sat down with graph paper and drew out a fair isle type pattern and with lots of determination *finally* got how to complete fair isle with no floats.

This afternoon, I bound the bag off. Now I need to decide what color and style I want an i-cord handle so that I can felt both the bag and handle at the same time.

I'll post photos tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I've got yet another pair of socks!

I've had this yarn hanging around in my knitting bag forever! I but when I saw a friend knitting a pair of socks with her yarn just like it, I dug mine out because I loved how her socks were turning out. It's Crystal Palace Bunny Hop, which is a microfiber, nylon, angora blend. It's super thick and very soft.

I used my standard two at a time on Magic Loop (US 3) with the Crazy Toes and Heel method. The ribbing is the garter rib from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Socks book.

The fit is awesome and I love the colors. I will definitely get some more of this yarn for additional socks!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Magic Loop Crazy Toes and Heels KAL

On the Crazy Toes and Heels yahoo group, I was asked to help with a KAL using the CTH method with Magic Loop to knit two socks at once. This is my preferred sock method since I get great fitting socks and no second sock syndrome!

I'm a little nervous about running my first KAL, but I figured I'd give it a whirl! If it goes to crap, we're all in this together, right? (wink)
Here's the materials that you'll need to get started:
Sock Yarn: either two balls of 50 grams each, or one 100 gram ball *which will require you to work from both ends of the yarn* Be aware that using a self striping yarn and knitting from both ends will make the socks "fraternal" and the striping will be upside down on one sock.
Needle: Your favorite size needle in a 47" to 60" cable length. Some people use a shorter cable, if that works for you then go for it, but for two socks at the same time, it's helpful to have lots of cable to move everything around on. I prefer my Addi Turbo, but I also use the KnitPicks or Denise needles with the long cable when I am using a larger needle size, like a 4 or 5.
Other materials: Standard stitch markers and double loop markers for CTH method.
Pattern: We're going to make this up as we go! wooo-hoooo! You can use your favorite leg/cuff pattern once we get cast on. I'm planning on a simple garter rib from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Sock book.
Get your materials together and we can cast on on Friday, January 19th -- this should give everyone enough time to get their materials together, ok?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

'Elifine Socks'

'Elifine Socks'
Originally uploaded by BoxerPixie.
I finished them last night -- and I love them!
The pattern is 'Elifine's Socks'. The pattern is well written and easy to read.

The yarn is Knit Picks 'Palatte' in cream, which was leftover from Dirk's black socks with white toes and cuff stripe. The yarn is a bit splity to work with, but very soft.

The only thing I would change is that I used the stretchy bind from the Magic Loop booklet. It's almost too stretchy and flares a bit on my leg as you can see in the photo. I suppose if the socks had been longer the flared part would be on a wider part of my leg.

As usual, I knit these both at the same time on Magic Loop -- which is my favorite way to do socks. Honestly, I don't think I would have made it through a second one if I did them one at a time. Lace socks are hard work and it's easiest to just get them done at the same time.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Knitty Heart Scarf

This weekend's knitting project was super quick and easy! I started this scarf on Saturday afternoon and finished it yesterday. The pattern is from Knitty's Breast Cancer Awareness PDF.

It was knit with Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Bulky. I did have to lightly block it to flatten the edges that wanted to roll due to the amount of stockinette stitch used. It could probably use another blocking -- I'm not really good at blocking due to impatience. LOL

I really like the pattern and it's a great introduction to lace patterns for someone who hasn't done much lace knitting. The bigger needles (US 15) and bulky yarn make it easy to see where you are in the pattern and learn to read your lace knitting. The finished scarf will go to YarnArts tomorrow as a store sample for Valentine's Day gift ideas. Doesn't Maxwell look charming in a pink scarf? He's obviously very sure of his manliness. My husband asked if the scarf was for him since it matched his pink MP3 player...laugh...

As a side note, this is the first time I'd worked with Lamb's Pride. I've been spinning for just a short time and have been frustrated with how my yarn looks - but while making this sweater, I realize that this is almost exactly how my spun yarn looks! At least it's not the overspun twisty stuff of my first tries at spinning!