Friday, July 28, 2006

My latest project. Yes, I'm going to do a sampler afghan. I am looking to challenge myself in knitting a bit. Now that I've finally figured out what kind of knitter I am - combination knitter - I've finally been able to figure out the last few things that always stumped me - like making decreases slant in the direction they are suppose to, and not the weird looking, sort of slanting decreases I've done until recently (a few months ago). So, in between knitting other squares from other patterns, I'm going to tackle some of these squares, too. They are not for the faint of heart - no plain st st or garter stitches squares, no easy yo lace. I did tackle one of the easiest squares I could find in the book - Number 85 - basketweave, which believe it or not, I've never done! I used the recommended 40 stitches & size 9 needles, with a finished size of 8.75" square - slightly bigger than the supposedly 8" finished size. I decided I wasn't going to sweat the finished size too much for any of the squares I make - when I actually put the squares together (possibly with some sampler crochet squares that I'm debating about doing), then I'll worry then about putting squares together. Maybe I'll border them with crochet to get them all one size, or perhaps I'll go crazy & knit/crochet so many different squares that I'll put together several afghans with several different sized squares. We'll see where the mood takes me!


Thursday, July 27, 2006

photos of FOs and WIPs and more...

I admit, it's not the clearest photo, but isn't Zorro just the biggest help ever?


The cloth is done! I managed to figure it out, and once I did I was in absolute love. I'm definitely going to have to make up more of these. From a brand new cone of cotton yarn

The log cabin afghan. Knit on size 9 needles, I believe, with gabs of stash woolease yarn. Zorro, as you can see, is in love.

Another FO, finally finished. It's a hexagon afghan that I started last year or so. This is the wrong side facing with all the yarn ends still dangling. I tried to weave them in as I went along, really I did, but I just wanted to get this baby done. Jon & I spent about 20 minutes on opposite ends of the afghan weaving in ends this am. We're almost done - but not there yet.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

a few various photos

The buttonhole bag was ran through a cycle of hot water, this is the result. It definitely needs more felting, but has shrunk up a huge amount. It's actually a really cute size right now, but I'd definitely like to see it felt up more.


A close up of one of the recent afghans I finished, one of the red, white & blue afghans I made. I posted other photos at the 25 things for charity blog. You can see my entry here.


I started a really cute dishcloth, called garterlac. I've never tried entralac before, so I thought this was perfect for me, plus being a quick & easy but yet impressive looking project? I'm so there. After a bit of struggling, I've gotten through the first 3 "rows" - what do you call it?


Yahoo! Photos - perhiksentyttis's Photos

Yahoo! Photos - perhiksentyttis's Photos

Go check out these gorgeous knitted afghans - some are log cabin, some are mitered, some are garter squares, but all are gorgeous & for charity. There's over 100 finished afghans to look at!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

contest 2

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Another blogger's having a contest http://knitster1.wordpress.com

- a fun way to display yarn, whether knitted, a UFO, or whatever. Here's mine, complete with a ballband dishcloth

granny square afghan



One of the UFOs I finished up this weekend. It measures about 32 by 32 inches, just right for a nursing home lapghan.

contest

I can't believe I won a contest!

I was just out looking at the blogs this afternoon, surfing away. A few people mentioned contests that they had entered & won recently. One thing led to another & another, and I stumbled upon the "sock porn" blog. I've been there before, but I hadn't put the site into my blogmail account, though I've tried in the past & for some odd reason, blogmail doesn't like the site url or something. Anyways, I think I've fixed that problem.

Anyways, I ended up getting a little comment on my blog saying that I was her 1000 commenter on her blog, and she was going to give me a little prize - a mini contest, if you well - and it's sock yarn! My favorite!! I can't believe I won!

So please go visit Aija at her blog at http://sockpr0n.blogspot.com/

felting on the stovepot

Recently, reading one of my crochet yahoogroups, someone mentioned felting on a stovetop. She said she had recently talked to the owner of a LYS & that the owner had suggested trying it, as an alternative to the more usual machine felting. I was instantly captivated by the idea. I've machine felted multiple times, but living in an apartment complex, I have to pay big bucks to wash a load, and the water's not terribly hot. Sometimes I have to wait for a washer. So, felting on the stove would be ideal. I also thought I could perhaps have more control over the process & dye the item at the same time!Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


I instantly set out to knit the buttonhole bag, courtesy of Mason Dixon knitting. It was on my mental to do list, and after resting my hands for 4 days (from knitting, that is, not completely resting) and finishing up 5 languishing afghan UFOs that have been sitting for over a year (and more), I felt ready for a "reward". I picked some vintage purple wool & grabbed a couple of leftover skeins of wool, that I knew from past experiences felted fine. The original pattern calls for double strands of bulky & size 15 needles; I used double strands of the worstened weight wool & size 10.5, the largest size circs I own.


The bag knitted up quickly, with just a couple of adjustments due to the difference in gauges/needle sizes.


So, having no idea how to felt on the stove top, I grabbed my biggest pot, brought it to a boil, added a bit of soap & dunked in my bag. I knew I would need to do some temperature changes, so I filled the sink with cold tap water. I stirred the bag around pretty much constantly, occasionally covered the top, and dunked it into the tap water in the sink several times - at least 6 or 7 times.


And the bag stretched out of shape.


And the boiling water got very, very purple.


Dunked in & out of the hot & cold waters again, with absolutely no luck.


Boiled the hell out of it. Started to cross my fingers & chant that this would work. Began cursing that I should have gone online & done some research before trying this.


And then a vague nagging doubt: Didn't I try to felt a hat this way before, and it failed miserably? Oh yeah, I did; early on in my felting career, I had tried it, but didn't dunk it in cold water; I was just using hot. So, the way I was doing it today would work just fine, right??


Well, after an hour, getting burnt several times, and ending up with purple, wrinkling fingers, I gave up. Squeezed out the bag as roughly/harshly as I could, and hung it up to dry. It was way stretched out of shape & definitely not the slightly bit felted. I could have felted it by machine & been done with it by now. It probably would have been half dry as well.


So, now I'm on my trusty (ha, ha) computer & I googled felting on the stove top.


Surprise, surprise: there's very little out there.


A knitty article (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter03/FEATfelthis.html) from winter 03 briefly mentions it - and recommended against it, because the results were unpredictable & often the garment would bleed funny.


Now he tells me.



I found some mentions of it via blogs, but all they really suggested was to use ice cold water in the sink, and boiling water in a pot. No mention of soap at all. No mention success or failure. Funny mention of hand felting a cat toy mouse here http://www.quantumtea.com/blog/?cat=11 (sounded like it was a failed attempt).

Monday, July 24, 2006

bright stripey socks



from my socknitters sock swap partner. I have another pair (from a different partner) that I also received recently, but haven't photographed them yet. They fit perfectly & I love the colors - bright & stripey, my favorites! Thanks, Bev! (yarn is regia)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

mason dixon knitting

I love this book!

I'm knitting 2 ball band dishclothes (still) & a log cabin afghan, that I have been obsessing over lately. It's slowly growing, and the stash of woolease is slowly going down. Very, very slowly.

Monday, July 17, 2006

some minor reorganizing

I've done some minor reorganizing of my stash of needles & stuff. we picked up a small, lightweight wooden bookcase last week for free at the auction, so we moved that into the bathroom - yes, the bathroom! we have a small space/apartment, so we have to make do with the space we have. I stuck half my FO's there since I ran out of room on my side of the bed. I stuck some of my odd needles/hooks (the collectible stuff, anyway, that I don't use because they are 50-100 years old), etc. Still working on organizing it. It looks kind of cute - I got some Barbie dolls on the shelves mixed in with books, needles, hooks, projects, and I may put a plant or two on there, too!

I started knitting 2 ballband dishclothes from the Mason Dixon knitting book. I got it from the library recently & I'm in love! I also started a log cabin afghan, based upon the book, too, but just changing colors randomly. I'm using up woolease that I have mainly in an oatmeal color - I have several pounds of it, but not sure I really have enough for a ghan. If it comes out small ish, it'll just go to the nursing homes. No biggie. I don't really need another afghan for us! But, it's the first knitted afghan I've attempted, as I always crochet them. So it'll be an adventure. I'm using a 10.5 size circ.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

meme from Sara

From http://deneens.blogspot.com/ who got it from http://crochetallday.com/:


1. What inspires you first? The pattern or the yarn? Yarn. Definitely. I try & try to do it the other way - there are so many wonderful, beautiful, creative projects from other designers that I want to do, but it doesn't work that way most of the time (the exception being sock patterns). I have to fondle & play with the yarn, and it tells me what it wants to be. Sometimes I don't get as clear a signal - so I start something, and it just doesn't work out, so I frog & plan again. But most of the time, I pretty much right away know what the yarn wants to be.


2. If you are most inspired by pattern, where do you find the most inspiring patterns? Books? Magazines? Other blogs? A little of everything, really. I love blogs because I find out about patterns I otherwise wouldn't know about or have seen on my own. I'm a vintage junkie, so I get a lot of ideas/inspirations/starting points from my magazines. My favorites are mainly from the 60's, but I have a lot from the 20's as well. I've seen older needlework mags, but haven't bought any yet. They're usually about $5 for one, I can't reconsile (sp?) spending that much on one old magazine right now. I have a rather large book collection as well - from the 50's onto current books. Most are from the 60's & from the mid-90's to current. I have a large collection of patterns that were printed in local newspaper columns from the 40's-60's. The main columnist would publish her patterns, and others would write in & share their patterns. The great majority of those don't have pictures, and they are usually riduled with errors, but to me, that's half the fun of the patterns from the newspaper - they were just a bunch of non professional designers, sharing their joy/love of knitting and crocheting with others. The projects were mainly very quick & easy, so it's easy to figure out right away where the mistakes, if any, are.


3. Are you a member of an in person? group of knitters/hookers? Sadly, no. I would absolutely love to, but there's little interest in my area. I know of others in my area (via email) who have tried to start up groups, but no interest. Of course, when they tried setting up the group, I didn't even know about it, so I'm not sure how much advertising/listing they did to inform other crafters. My dream is to start up a local mixed media craft as art group - people who dabble in a wide variety of groups, who can help inspire & teach others in the group. I'd also really love us to focus on charity work, since that's a passion of mine, fiber wise & personally, as well.


4. Do you read a pattern all the way through before beginning? Yes, always, and sometimes more than once. The exception again is sock patterns. As I ONLY knit toe up socks, I usually skip the majority of the directions since they are usually written top down. Why bother reading the directions on stuff like that, when I'm going to reverse it all, anyways? Then again, I change patterns 99.99% of the time so much that the finished project usually isn't recongizable, anyways.


5. What is your gauge swatch record? I do knit gauge swatches almost always. I don't cut the end off, however, I leave it attached to the skein/cone & measure the swatch & the individual stitches per inch, and then frog & reuse that bit of yarn. For crocheting, I usually just wing it. I've been crocheting long enough, to know how I usually crochet with said yarn & said hook. If someone says an H hook, I know I'll probably need a J, so I trust my instincts, start with a J and work a bit. If it's a garment, I'll start the sleeve first & then check gauge. If I guessed right on hook size & my gauge matches, then at least I have the beginning of a sleeve done. Otherwise I only have to frog a fragment of crocheting as compared to if I started the body or front or back of the sweater.


6. What level do you consider yourself? Expert crocheter, except I don't do thread. I can't see the stitches, I don't have the patience, I don't want to do thread. I have probably crocheted everything with yarn that is possible to crochet, from the usual afghans & toys & hats & scarves & sweaters & tops & bookmarks & squares & bags, to making trash baskets using recycled grocery bags, rugs out of tee shirts, sweaters for my cat, etc. etc. etc.


Knitting is very hard to say - I'm good at fair isle/mosaic, changing colors, semi complicated lace. But I don't do cables. I knit ala Annie Modesit - combination knitting, she calls it. Because I have to do my decreases a little differently, I get confused way to fast trying to do cables cause my knit stitches sit differently. I do mini cables/fake cables, but haven't really tried too seriously to do more than that. So, I guess I am probably an intermediate knitter. I knit mainly socks, sweaters, hats, and I'm starting to really enjoy mittens, though I've only knitted one pair so far. I have knit the usual scarves, haven't knit toys yet or squares/afghans yet.


7. Do you have any favorite color combinations? Not really. I love color, so I love using LOTS of different colors!

CIC knitting & sock knitting

 
Well, all my other projects have otherwise been abandoned. I was planning on doing the mystery shawl 2 - plenty of lace weight cone yarn, but I wasn't happy with my needles. To get a good look to my fabric, I needed to use size 3 needles - and all I had was straights. I despise straights. I always use circs, even when knitting flat. I tried a bit of the stole & gave up. Too ackward, too painful, too heavy a fabric right away.
 
I have my top for the great lace - abandoned. I frogged the chenille stash busting top. Haven't started any other "real" stash projects, though I did try to crochet a basket with some woolease but it was a major flop - literally. Zorro stole the bottom part of the basket. So, woolease is still sitting, several pounds of it, waiting to be used, so is the cotton chenille, so is the lustersheen.  Sigh.
 
I've been plugging on cotton socks for my "bless your cotton socks exchange" - they're about halfway done.
 
My CIC mohair shawl is done. I didn't like the point, so I cut off the point & reknit it - and it looks worse than when it started. And somehow there are extra increases in the top, so my triangular shawl - is not so triangular. Colorwise, it looks stunning. Just ignore all the mistakes!!
 
I've finished a couple of fair isle & one crocheted CIC vests. I'm working on a 4th. It's slow going since 1 strand of the yarn is angora, which I've discovered I'm slightly allergic to. I can knit about 30 minutes before I start to break out in a rash where the yarn rubs up against my hand. So I'm just knitting a little at a time on it. I just divided for the armholes & so is getting there.
 
I knocked off a small pair of socks (this is the sock challenge, after all) & started a couple of other pairs. The first pair was a semi striping/ribby pattern. The 2 on the needles now are just going to be plain, basic, toe up socks.
 
Let's see - what else? I'm planning on casting on a pair of socks using a couple of other patterns I've wanted to try, and I'll probably cast on a pair of basic straight st st "travel" socks. I still have difficulties talking, walking/standing in line, and knitting anything other than straight st st, even after almost 4 years of knitting. I can knit semi-complicated stuff at home with the most complicated TV/movie on, but talking & knitting is still a little harder for me.
 
Hmm. I guess that's it for an update!

Friday, July 07, 2006

happy Friday

Things are OK here. Still plugging on those unnamed design projects. Trying to just get the kinks out, and hopefully it'll be ready to be mailed off tomorrow.

Did a little knitting this am - the mohair shawl for CIC - and worked on a hat design last night.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

designing news

Well... The yarn is here for the two books. And designing time is officially here. One unnamed project went swimmingly well; the design was already in my head & I had worked several of them up in various types of yarn already, so it was just a matter of using the yarn I received in the mail.

Project two is a little tougher: I had a design already worked up, but in a totally different fiber & weight of yarn than what I had received. And, belated, I found out that I was going to be using 2 colors, not one variagated as I had originally designed. So I'm back to the drawing board. I've spent about 4 hours so far, and I think I have the basic pattern in place. Now it's a matter of working out the kinks, so to speak, working on sizing & other issues. Don't want to say too much, but it's been grand fun, though definitely much more stressful than I had anticipated.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

UFOs, FOs WIPs

Inspired by: http://kdysworld.blogspot.com/

UFO's
various crocheted scrap afghans for the nursing home - buried underneath the bed. There's the crocheted quilt; there's the hexagon afghan; there's the granny squares I got from my grandmother that I have to weave in the ends & crochet together, enough for several afghans; there's the 12 inch squares from a swap, enough for 2 laphghans, if I just crochet 1 more square; there's the 10 inch afghan square swap, enough for 1-2 afghans; there's the 8 inch Halloween square swap, enough for one ghan, and the 8 inch fall afghan swap - I have to make a few squares for that one, as the fall squares are leftover from the first afghan I made; then there are literally bags full of assorted sized/gauges granny squares.

There's a large bag with hundreds of 2 round grannies, leftover from a 3 round granny afghan that I made, these are the squares I didn't border & crochet together, but certainly enough for a lapghan.

Then there's the bag of granny's daughters, that I may or may not add rounds to, or may or may not use as is. How many is that?

The sad thing is, as many UF afghans as this is, I do work on them from time to time. And I have finished a few of them.

WIPs

various hats for charity, some wool & some acrylic

socks for my sock swap partner

scrap socks for me

socks for Renee

mohair shawl for CIC

purple lace top for "The Great Lace"

alpaca/lace crocheted shawl for me

2 un named projects that are going to be published in two unnamed books


Ripped/Frogged

The black/grey cotton chenille top I started for the Summer of Stash. I've tried, and tried, and tried to do something with this yarn, and I keep failing. Most recent attempt frogged.

WIMs
more Barbie doll clothes - I got naked Barbies here, people!
More charity hats
fancy gloves for my mom for Christmas
socks for Jon
cotton socks for my summer cotton sock partner




Recent FO's


hats, acrylic &/or wool, for charity

barbie doll clothes, crocheted &/or knit

CIC wool vest, toddler sized, crocheted & my own design

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


scrap socks for me (based upon toe & heel of the current six socks pattern, but different leg & ribbing)

scrap socks for me (exact 6socks pattern)


Other Crafts

embroidery for Queen's Favors for Pennsic

a spindle full of wool (with just a little more to spin up) that needs to get washed/set/hung up
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us