Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's Finished

I was up late last night finishing it, didn't get a chance to block it. As soon as Ryleigh saw this morning, it was claimed. It's a bit big on her by design. I'd like to see her get a few years wear out of it LOL As promised, I'm making her a skinny scarf to go with it. That should only take a couple evenings.

I know I said I am not a fan of slubby yarn, and still am not but man it makes weaving in ends easy. All I did is knit two strands together when ever I needed to join a new ball. Also when ever I cast on to start a new peace. I would knit the tail in on the second row. Easy peasy! At the end I only had a couple to weave in. The slubs anchored the yarn in place, so no worry about slippage.

Now I've got to get to work on Teaghan's cabled vest.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I have been noticing this comment more of late. I do not know who coined the term but it is very apt. Could have been when you "rrrippp IT" out...*smile

I am knitting lace after all and the needles seem to so their fair share of leap "frogging" back across the knit rows.

I have lost a stitch some where. The charts appear to be working fine so it must be in the border and although I am a fuss budget I am going to let this one ride.

I had an interesting conversation with youngest daughter on the subject of swatching. It went something like this..."Swatch , I don't swatch. Who needs a pile of victorian hankies anyway." This was followed by a lesson on how to shorten your knitting. Mike's new sweater, according to him is a dress. According to Julia, it is a little long but will keep him warm. I sang the "swatching song" but she just shrugs it off. So using Elizabeth's "after thought pocket" as a guide line she is going to shorten the sweater.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Proof that I do swatch....sometimes

My oldest has decided, for now, that she wants a vest. I guess if she changes her mind in the next couple weeks and wants sleeves it shouldn't be too had to make a set and sew them in. (I hope) LOL At least I'll have enough yarn.

See I really do swatch sometimes if I'm not sure of the tension, or if in this case I am making it up as I go along. I'm going to do some cabling on this one, but do to the weight of the yarn I don't have much to work with. There will be on central pattern going up her back. Teardrop pendant on Seed stitch (19st pattern) and on each side I'm going to do Sheepfold (16 st pattern)which will run up and over her shoulders and down each front.

I've cast on 61 sts for the back and worked 5 rows garter stitch. On the last row of garter I increased 1st on either side of center stitch. That is to give the main cable some breathing room and the sides don't pull in as much.
1st Row: Purl 5 sts, 1st row of sheepfold, p1, 1 row of cable pattern, p1, 1st row of sheepfold, p5.

I wish I had some pictures I could post for you, but clicking on the names will take you to Knitting Fool and the patterns are there. I just found this website and it looks really interesting, worth a closer look for certain.

I'll post pictures as I go, once I get a few pattern repeats in and you can see how it looks. The sheepfold is a bit tricky with twist stitch patterns that I am not familiar with but it should only take a couple times and I'll have it sorted out.

~Update~ rrrrriiiiiiipppp, yea that is me tearing out 6 rows of work. Not that I don't like it but as the pattern started unfolding I realized a HUGE tactical error.
The sheepfold looks like ribbon zigzaging up the sweater, and it was zigzagging in the same direction on both sides. It would look much better if it was a mirror image on either side. *sigh* I'm back to row #2.


Celtic Knot Stole..row 36

Four more rows and I start the center panel. I think it bears mentioning that the first skein I wound of this yarn did not have any knots or defects. Very impressive. Right now it is about 19" wide in an unblocked state. I just flattened it out so you could see the pattern. The colour is really a beautiful rose, more blue tones than orange. When it is finished I will take a picture in natural light.
I have the front finished on Ryleigh's sweater and I am at the middle colour at the back.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Update on Caribic shrug.

Not liking it at all. The yarn is a bit tricky to work with and I have to pay more attention then I want to. It' s easy to catch a stray loop off the yarn then the actual yarn loop. So it's being torn out, reballed and dropped to the bottom on the yarn stash for the time being.

Never fear I have a replacement and as soon as I can get my oldest to agree on a pattern I'll post the details.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I have yet to finish one, before I start another

As any true knitting junkie knows it is almost impossible to finish one project before starting another. I raise my needles to those who can because I an just not one of them.

I only have one more sleeve to do on the Fresco sweater and it's done so might as well start planning out my next project.

Last night as I was digging through one my stashes I came across 9 balls of Novita Caribic. Did you know that there are not any patterns on the www using this yarn? I looked. Found a couple of books on sale on EBay but they were some scary looking 80's stuff. Really I just wanted to get an idea of what it would look like finished.

It is kinda like a boucle, but a bit softer and I was thinking about making a shrug of some sort out of it. Something I can pull on over a tight T or a tank. It would look cute with a pair of jeans.

Since I have a lack of pattern, not that I really follow them anyways, I'm playing. At the moment I am thinking of having bell sleeves that tighten at just below the elbow. I might even throw a couple rows of rib in there to hold it.

**Let me state now that I did knit up a swatch to give me an idea of the gauge. 5mm needles; 5.5 = 1inch. **

So I've cast on 120 stitches and will work my way down to 60 stitches at the elbow and then I'll need to increase a bit up the top of the arm and across the back. I've never knit a shrug before so I'm not sure how many to go up to. I'll play it by ear and post my findings as I go.

I'm also thinking about throwing a lacy design or pattern across the back for fun and to make the work go a bit quicker. I'm going through a Barbera Walker to find one I like. To be fair I should mention that this is MUM's book that I have permanently borrowed off her. I lend it back to her every once in a while LOL


..... and so it begins

I have decided on the 4mm needles with the lace weight. What is it with foundation rows? I *glanced* at the pattern (*warning warning) and proceeded to cast on 121 stitches, a little slippery but me thinks it will be ok. Got the first row knit and the second row purl. Whew, on my way. First row of pattern calls for YO, knit 2 tog, K4. piece of cake. HAH, My fingers are "savants" they remember the last lace pattern. That pattern was K2tog THEN YO. so of course everytime my mind wandered I was slapping in another yarn over after the knit 2 together. Ah damn I kept going back and reknitting, got to the end and what the #$&* I don't have the right number of stitches. I unknit back to the beginning and do the row over......noticing that the cast on was a *little tighter* than I really like (warning, warning).....I am at the end and still I am out, this time it is a different number than the first time.. Weeping and Gnashing of teeth. Now I re count the stitches. Yup I got 121 stitches alright. So I spend another 10 minutes walking my fingers along the row repeating the mantra..knit 4 , yarn over, knit 2 together, knit4..blah, blah, blah. Still out. @#^%$*&^%$@$#*&+^%$
Now I go dig in the bag and find the pattern. Oh shit, I was supposed to cast on 112 stitches. I spend another few moments thinking if there is a way I can fudge this cause I really do not want to cast on again...Then I start looking at the cast on edge. Oh for frig sake. Just start over.
Cut the yarn and take the stitches off the needles. I have worked them so much they are fuzzy.
This time I cast on with 2 needles, much better. Re count the cast on row 4 times to make sure. Re check the pattern Yup 112 stitches. Whew, Manouver the first two rows. Have a serious talk with my fingers re those yarn overs and I finally made it to row 4. Should be a piece of cake for here on .....Oh and I decided to edge the whole thing in border too. Once there is enough to show I will post a picture.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Swatching the Malabrigo

Swatching is not my favourite thing but I am always glad when I do. Inevitably the design will need to be changed and in some cases like this one even the project!

I cast on about 20 stitches and then threw in a couple of YO,K1,YO to see what it would look like.

I started with a 5mm needle and garter stitch. It was alright but didn't really appeal to me. So I got out a 4mm needle and tried again. As you can see I incorporated a few eyelet holes to get the feel of how the lace would look. I have come to the conclusion that garter stitch doesn't work for me. So I tried stocking stitch.

That's better. It is softer and lighter looking than the garter stitch. Looks like I am about to change the pattern too. I am having second thoughts about the pi shawl. I really want to make one but it's the garter stitch thing again. I finished the second pneumonia vest. I just have a "turkish carpet" of ends to weave in and I am garter stitched out!

Back to the Lace Project: I found this marvelous pattern for a Celtic Knot Stole.
The only thing I might do differently would be to continue the edging all the way around., not just on the ends. We will see.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Ultimate Knitter's Accessory

The credit for finding out about this great accessory goes to Joe. I have been shopping around for one ever since I read about it on his blog.
Thank heavens for Canadian Tire, or as it is affectionately known, "Crappy Tire." This is a Mastercraft 6" Electronic Caliper with Digital Display, complete with case and an extra battery. No more guessing knitting needle sizes and ideal for checking your knitting gauge. Possibilities abound. It can be set for inches or metric read out.
WooHoo! I am so chuffed about this I even wrote a review on this for the CT web site. Now don't all flock there to read it just yet. Information has it it may take 72 hours to show up. Now here is the REALLY good news part. It's on sale for $14.99 until Jan 24th. I have already tried it out and it works like a charm.


Friday, January 18, 2008

The 17 year old sweater

I was rooting around in my yarn closet and came across this basket once again. It is a sweater I started about 17 years ago made out of Philosopher's Wool from a Kaffe Fassett pattern.

I remember deciding to knit the sleeves separately because the idea of having that many stitches all at once was quite intimidating. At some point I have lost the other sleeve and part of the front....but then I do have a faint recollection of ripping the front apart one day in a pique because the the tension in the kitting sucked.

It's sad really because I will probably never finish it now. It's not that there is anything wrong with the pattern or the yarn. Both are quite lovely but over the years I have decided that I detest Intarsia and Fair Isling. It's just not my thing.
I love Cables. For me they make knitting go by quickly, and they're fun. I can memorize the pattern and go on, but working with colours... That requires my looking at the pattern for every row and constantly detangling the yarn, and making sure the yarn isn't carried too tight across the back and that the stitches stay uniform. UGH! Not my thing.

Of course haveing said that I have promise to make my husband another sweater similar to his favourite. Which has lots of Fair Isle at the top of the sleeves and over the shoulders. He's lucky I love him enough to put myself through all that. LOL


So Much to Knit....

Work is progressing on the second pneumonia prevention vest. I have passed the neck shaping so it is down hill from here. The second one went much faster than the first. See my blog if you are looking for the pattern. A little charity knitting is good for the soul! Ryleigh's Ice Cream Sweater is coming along well also. I have passed the arm hole decrease. There is an excellent article in the Interweave Knits magazine this month on PERFECT set in sleeves. I am using the formula for this sweater. Because this is an all rib sweater, I have deliberately made it longer. As she fills out it will become shorter. I am enjoying working with the pastels for now.
NOW, because I am such a superior human being I decided that although I blew the budjet on Saturday what could hurt if I got some of this Malabrigo Lace Weight??? I mean what if they never get it in again???? What of I never see this lovely rose colour again????? sooo, I justified the purchase of 4 hanks. One of which I have already wound. Now I have to tell you I am known for winding very soft balls of yarn. Never wind tightly, you stretch the yarn and it is ruined because as soon as you wash it it has a memory and will go back to its normal you know why it appears your wool knitting has shurnk...ha. This yarn is so fine that even my ball of yarn ended up being 3.75 inches in diameter and this yarn has approx 470 yards to 50gms. I am going to swatch up some of it and will let you know what size needle I end up with. I want to do one of Elizabeth's Pi Shawls. I will probably put a fairly fancy border on it though. It will look nice when I am in a government run nursing home when I am old because I have no that's a little too close to the truth.

As you may have noticed I knit almost everything with a circular needle. 'Cept socks. I like the little short bamboo ones for that. I tried using the circulars to knit socks or mitts, yuck. It didn't turn my crank.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Last Knit.......

When knitting becomes an obsession..........sigh


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bead Knitting : Evening purse pattern

Here is a free pattern for you bead knitters out there. I wrote this pattern and I share it freely with you. Please do not reproduce it with the intention of selling it. By all means pass it on with a link to this site.

Myfanwy's Purse

Finished Bag is approx. 4 x 4” at the widest point (excluding purse frame)
Materials required
2 hanks #11 seed beads
1 ball #8 perle cotton
Knitting needles #1.25mm ( #0000)
Crystals for embellishments, beading needle, nymo, thread heaven
3.5” Purse frame
Fabric for lining

Transfer the strands of beads onto your perle cotton before starting.

Back: Cast on 40 sts. “loosely”
Row 1: K1, *(S1B, K1), repeat from * to end.
Continue for 47 more rows. (total 48 rows)
Row 49: SSK, *(S1B, K1), repeat from * to end.
Continue each row in this manner until 26 st. remain.
Row 63: K1, *(S1B, K1), repeat from * to end.
Continue for 11 more rows.
Row 75: SSK, *(S1B, K1), repeat from * to end.
Continue in this manner until 20 sts. remain..

Note: If your purse frame is square cast of 20 sts. If your purse frame is curved (like mine) cast off in the following manner. SSK the first stitch ,cast off until the last 2 stitches on the right hand needle knit these together and them cast them off. This will “round off” the corners.

Front: Cast on 40 sts. “loosely”
Row 1:K1, *(S1B, K1), repeat from * to end
Row 2: K5, *(S4B, K5), repeat from * to end
Row 3: (right side) K5, S6B. K5, S6B, K5, S10B. K5, S20B, K5, S10B,K5, S6B, K5, S6B,K5.
Row 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 : same as row 2
Row 5, 7, 9, 11 : same as row 3
Row 13 : (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, S6B, (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, S6B, (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, S10B. (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, S20B, (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, , S10B, (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, S6B, (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, , S6B,(K1, S1B) 4 times, K1,
Repeat Rows 2-13, 3 more times
Row 50: Repeat Row 2
Row 51: SSK, K3, S5B, K5, S6, K5, S10, K5, S20B, K5, S10B,K5, S6B, K5, S6B,K5.
Row 52: SSK,K3, S3B, ( K5, S4B) 5 times, K5, S3B, K4
Row 53: SSK, K2, S4B, K5, S6B, K5, S20B, K5, S10B,K5, S6B, K5, S5B,K4.
Row 54: SSK, K2, S2B, ( K5, S4B) 5 times, K5, S2B, K3
Row 55: SSK, K1, S3B, K5, S6B, K5, S10B, K5, S20B, K5, S10B,K5, S6B, K5, S4B,K3
Row 56: SSK, K1, S1B, ( K5, S4B) 5 times, K5, S1B, K2.
Row 57: SSK, S2B, K5, S6B, K5, S10, K5, S20B, K5, S10B,K5, S6B, K5, S3B,K2
Row 58: SSK, ( K5, S4B) 5 times, K6
Row 59: SSK, K4, S6B, K5, S10B, K5, S20B, K5, S10B,K5, S6B, K5, S2B,K1.
Row 60: SSK, K4, S4B, ( K5, S4B) 3 times, K5
Row 61: SSK, (K1, S1B) 2 times, K1 S6B, (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, S10B, (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, S20B, (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, S10B,(K1, S1B) 4 times, K1, S6B, (K1, S1B) 4 times, K1.

Row 62: SSK, K4, S4B, ( K5, S4B) 3 times, K4

Row 63: SSK, K2, S6B, K5, S10B, K5, S20B, K5, S10B,K5, S6B, K4
Row 64: SSK, K3, S4B, ( K5, S4B) 3 times, K3
Row 65: K3, S6B, K5, S10B. K5, S20B, K5, S10B, K5, S6B, K3
Row 66: K3, *(S4B, K5) 4 times, S4B, K3
Row 67, 69, 71 : same as Row 65
Row 68, 70, 72 : same as Row 66
Row 73-76 : K1, *(S1B, K1) repeat from * to end
**Row 77 : SSK, *(S1B, K1), repeat from * to end.
**Continue in this manner until 20 sts. remain..
Cast off as for back.

With 2 strands of perle cotton sew the top edge of the front pieces of the bag to one side of the purse frame.
Repeat with the other side of the bag, Now sew the side and bottom seams.
With 2 strands of conditioned nymo thread sew
3 seed beads over each stitch
on the
edge of the purse frame. This is optional but gives it a nicer finish.
Add any other embellishments you want.

The strap: Crochet a rope, make a beaded spiral what ever you choose. Mine is 2 strands of beading wire, covered with seed beads and joined every 2 inches with a crystal.
Lining is recommended, the beading is close enough together most things shouldn’t fall out through the beads, however it looks much more finished and you don’t have to weave in the ends! Just knot securely.

st., sts. Stitch (s)
S4B : slip 4 beads etc.
K1 : knit one stitch
SSK: slip, slip, knit together

Tip: When casting on “loosely” I cast on over 2 of the #1.25mm needles. Slide the second needle out when starting the first row of the pattern.

an original pattern May 31, 2006


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Who can resist a sale?

So, I popped by my "local" to see what was on sale. I get an e mail every Thursday and I knew most of the Rowan was on sale. Now I am not a "label snob." I am brave enough to say I do not like a lot of the Rowan yarn. I think it is over priced and in some cases very disappointing. I have always liked pure wool and the unspuns are wonderfully soft. Rowan Tapestry is gorgeous yarn and fulfills all my requirements.....including it was on sale for 25%. Then the clever little girl showed be the pattern book. The sweater on the front is a shorty kimono style. The only thing I would do differently is I cord the edge I don't care for the edging they used. So I bought enough of the Tapestry to make that one...then....I saw another basket 50% off. Rowan silk and wool. Yummy, but the yardage sucks, another of my reasons not to buy Rowan at full price, the colour and the texture appealed to me so much I gave in. Add the new Vogue to that and there goes the budget! Sigh.....

Knitting With Butter

I am such a colour junkie and this picture appeals to me on every level. Colour, knitting, cute baby, creative use of buttons, hats..I love hats...
The kettle dyed wool that is coming out of South America these days is quite lovely. My local yarn shop refers to it as "knitting with butter."
I have a weakness for lace knitting and the new Malabrigo lace weight yarn is just crying out to get on my needles. IF I could find my lace knitting books. I am sure I didn't give them to Julia when I was cleaning out my book shelves. You just know if I buy another copy mine will show up.
I have no idea what I am going to knit but I NEED some of that wool. True knitters have a mystical connection with the fibre which allows us to use our senses of touch, sight and of course smell to envision how the yarn will look when it's knit up. You can always spot a true fibre junkie.... they will be sniffing the yarn. *G*

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fresco Turtleneck

I've started a sweater for my younger daughter using Sirdar's Fresco. She absolutely loves the colour and texture. While I'm not a big fan of knitting 'slubby' stuff, I have to say this knits up easier then I had expected. The slubs are velvety which is giving the sweater a very chenille feel to it. It also has a bit of stretch to it which will make the finished garment very comfy and cozy in the end.

The sweater itself is very basic. I'm actually using an old Paton's Astra book as a guideline. The yarn is so busy I didn't want a fancy pattern, you'd never see it anyways. I couldn't be bothered doing any sort of rib at the bottom thinking it would look too bulky anyways.

I like the way it naturally curls at the beginning and am planning on leaving the cuffs to do the same thing. As you can see I am doing the body in the round and will split off at the arm holes.

My daughter is petite so I'm going to do raglan shaping so it fits her a bit better. Drop shoulder often looks way too big on her. She really wants a turtle neck on this sweater, I'm hoping that she will change her mind by the time I get there. I have a feeling that the sweater will be too warm. What I thought would look cute is if I do a simple neck on it. Then I'll make a matching long thin scarf that she can wrap around her neck.


It's all about the wording,

So I was playing with the format here and in the sidebar I have made a section titled "Currently Working On". Now I'm thinking I should change it to "Actively Working On".

I have way too many projects that I have started but at the moment I am only carting around and working on two of them. Or is it that I am just being too anal and should turn off the internal editor?

What do you think?


Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Version of the Foolish Virgins

This my alteration of Kaffe Fassets "Foolish Virgins" sweater pattern. At one point I had 42 colour changes across the back! It took me 3 months to knit . Then I put it away for 2 months before I tackled weaving in the ends. The last end was woven in and the buttons sewn on while traveling on the Trans Canada Train on the way home from Vancouver. The sweater had garnered a lot of attention from my fellow travelers and when it made its debut that night in the dining car there was a round of applause. I was very pleased.


Faces to the names

This is us. Aren't we cute *G*