Satisfied customer

I must say, there's just something so fun and satisfying about getting yarn in the mail. Can't even say exactly what it is, but opening a box that's on your doorstep to find yarn in it is just too fun.

I love my new yarn. I love the choices I made (turns out, the color accuracy on their website/my monitor was spot on) and am very pleased. Though I am excited to start knitting with it, I am going to hold off and just admire it for now, since there are way too many things going on right now. And I don't mean just knitting, since I actually have my WIPs under control. It's Life In General that has me frazzled. Our new house and the changes we're making and the self-imposed deadline of moving day is what has me all worked up. But we're making progress, however slowly.

Speaking of progress though, I took my Sitcom Chic sweater along this past weekend on our road trip up north and managed to get a bit of it done. What I thought was going to be an endless stretch of knitting (200+ stitches per row is a lot) is actually coming along. I'm at inch 11 and need to go to 14.5, so there's definite light at the end of the tunnel. And the best part is that once I get to 14.5 I get to put that on hold and cast on for the sleeves. Yay! I am so looking forward to the 50 stitches instead of 200+. I will post pictures soon.


Yarn from Cyberspace

Some yarn will be arriving at my house soon, from cyberspace. Yay! Yes, this is indeed a momentous day. I placed my first online order for yarn. I am very excited about this and already I can't wait till it arrives.

The site: KnitPicks. The yarn: well, two actually. In three colors.

Firstly, I got some of this sock yarn, Dancing, in this color, called Ballet (I just love the pink and purple):

KnitPicks Dancing yarn - Ballet

(Just so we're clear, that's not my sock, it's the sample color picture from their website. I'm not that fast. Especially considering I don't have the yarn yet.)

Then I decided to be brave and try something new: I got some lace yarn, for the purpose of knitting some real lace, a first for me. I have decided to try my hand(s) at knitting a lace scarf. So here's my plan. I am going to try this pattern, Branching Out from Knitty, because it says it has an "easy, leaf-motif lace pattern" so we're hoping that's true. I decided to get two colors, since I liked the looks of them and their descriptions, and couldn't decide. Oh, the yarn you say? It's Alpaca Cloud, in these colors:

KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud - PeppermintPeppermint

KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud - MistMist

Don't they look fun? Now that fall is here (though only on the calendar...the actual weather needs a bit of work) I will be excited to work on a scarf. I do plan on finishing off some of the other things I have going first, but this will also be a very different project/pattern from anything else, and therefore, allowed.

Speaking of other projects, I am making some headway on the black sweater. I have done several inches and even though it's not the easiest stockinette around (holding two yarns together that each want to split) I am finally making some progress. So I have updated my progress bar at the right to reflect that. I might be more than 20% along but I am being cautiously optimistic. Though I am of course enjoying this project (as with any knitting), it is one of those that will be fun to have and wear and so it is one I am anxious to finish. But we're not quite there yet.


Two socks for two feet

Woo hoo! Another project completed. I am on a ROLL here!! It feels good to be lightening my load of WIPs. This is what I am trying to do with my entire life right now, preparing for The Move. I am, by nature, a pack rat. And naturally, I have collected many things over the years. So it is quite fortuitous right now that my dad was moving at the same time we are (extremely fortuitous considering we got to buy his beautiful house which is now our beautiful house) so this has given me/forced upon me the perfect opportunity to go through every last thing I own, not only what's in my house in preparation for moving, but also what was stored in my dad's attic.

Back to knitting. Here they are...two whole socks. I finished the Striped Socks from this pattern. This project used less than one ball of Lion Brand Magic Stripes yarn in the "Purple Pattern" color. Here are some pix:

Striped Socks

Detail of striped sock

Now on to other projects, in between going through crap stuff in the house. I am plugging away at the fuzzy sparkly scarf at the moment, though that is fun to knit and might be nice to save for when it gets cold out (which it is not right now as we have a "tropical air mass" over us at the moment that is making things very damp and sticky. Isn't it September?? September in southeastern PA is normally very nice. Not like this. Sigh. And I've already resigned myself to the fact that we're not going to have a gorgeous fall because of the lack of rain we've had all summer. Oh well. That's what family trips to Vermont are for!)


Ready for Fall

Well, it is finally done. Whew. That pesky longways-striped scarf. And know what? I actually like it now. Finished casting off, put it around my neck (I was pleased to see that my calculations for its length worked well, as it is plenty long enough to go around my neck with enough length for holding it in place) and decided it is rather nice and cozy after all. The stripes going that direction are quite fun.

So without further ado...here is the Sideways Striped Scarf:

Sideways Striped Scarf

I had made that double layer gray hat out of the same gray as the darker gray in the scarf. So actually this will be a nice set. Now for some mittens. Truth be told, I tried making a pair of mittens for this set but was rather unsatisfied, as mitten #1 came out WAY too small, even though I used my usual pattern and same weight of yarn as other successful mittens from my past. The only thing I can think of that might have gone wrong is that I might have changed the gauge when I pulled my color changes tight (I didn't have any jogs though!) Oh well. That design I really ended up not liking so perhaps I'll just pick one of those other colors and make some solid color mittens to go. There's a plan.



Well, it would appear that apparently I do not in fact know how to pick up a dropped stitch in garter. Even when (or perhaps especially when) every row is a different color.


So I was knitting away this weekend on this scarf when as I was moving my stitches around the needles, my hand slipped and off went one of them, and because I'd pulled it a bit, it went down a couple of rows right away. Curses. So I dutifully got out my crochet hook and tried my best at picking up that stitch. But I was totally mystified. I got out my books...I went online seeking instruction...and I still couldn't get it. And I consider myself a competent knitter? Sheesh. So after a very frustrating half-hour or so (during which time I hollered at my poor husband who happened to say something at just the wrong time--sorry sweetie!) I decided to run a "life line" through a few rows down (which actually ended up being quite a few rows down since I'd managed to make the dumb thing "run" a bit) and pulled out the knitting. This was after I threw it across the room.

The second-to-worst part about this (the worst is the fact that I have discovered I can't pick up stitches) is that I don't even really like this scarf anymore, and I would have given up on it a while ago if it weren't for the fact that every row is its own length of yarn that could not have been saved if I decided to scrap the project. So I decided to soldier on and finish the thing, and then this happens. Hence the throwing it across the room.

But there's a happy ending. Even though I went back about 12 rows (and that's saying something considering there are I think over 200 stitches per row) during a rather bad movie we watched on Saturday night I got nearly all of it reknitted and am on the last row. Yay. Oh, I forgot the other painful part of this whole thing... I was on the next-to-last row when I dropped the stitch. ARGH. But it's all over now...if I can just get that last row knit and bound off, then I'll be a happy camper.


Sock #2 nearing completion

Had a nice weekend with some time to knit! There was no threat to my knitting by other things I should have been doing, like going through things in preparation for our move, and that's because my husband and I spent a weekend away at a wedding of one of his good friends. A very lovely wedding! And since we went for the rehearsal on Friday and the wedding wasn't until 3pm on Saturday, we had some relaxing time in the morning and so I had some nice time to knit.

I'd taken along the socks I'm working on, and I made some good headway on the second one. I turned the heel and did all of the picking up of stitches and then the gussets, and now I'm in the home stretch part of the foot.

I have decided that I really want to finish off some things I have going. So on the list of things I want to finish soon are:

So that's my plan. I want to get these little things out of my way so I can concentrate on other stuff, like the sparkly black Sitcom Chic sweater.

I have also decided to try and keep my WIPs down to a minimum (every now and then I get this urge) and really make the effort to try and keep just a few on the needles, including one more involved project, and one "mindless" project that's good for travel, etc., like a scarf or socks. In this case, once I finish the socks, then the wavy scarf will become that project. A little part of me has always been bothered by having little, slightly boring projects going, but now I have a new way of looking at it, which is, there is nothing wrong with having a nice travel project around that I can just grab and go! So that's my plan.


A little bit of fear

That's how I feel about this pattern...Rogue. It is just SO beautiful. I love the cables, and the hood, and the pocket... I am thinking about investing in the pattern because really it's not that much of an investment, and maybe one day I'll be brave enough to try it. See, I am afraid of the charts. The website says that the cables are written in chart form, which I have never used. And clearly it's a rather complicated pattern. I do have confidence in myself that I could do it...I do, I really do...but still a little scary. At least there are vast amounts of stockinette so I could do most of it just fine, and only get stuck on smaller parts...right?

Oh how I love that sweater...

Not much knitting

I have been very remiss in writing here lately. And I have been so busy that I haven't even had time for any knitting (gasp!). This whole impending move thing is taking up a lot of time, going through stuff and trying to be brutal and get rid of stuff. (I am a saver, a.k.a. pack rat, and I come by it naturally since my dad is one too!)

As mentioned before, I did take the black sweater along on our camping trip...but then got so completely sucked into my book, Maeve Binchy's "Nights of Rain and Stars" that I didn't even pick up my needles once! That's what happens with me when I read her books. I love them, and become very anti-social when I am into one.

So I have a weekend trip to a wedding coming up and I was going to take along the black sweater, but really it's not a project very well-suited to travel. It's not that big yet but rather than the issue of volume I am more concerned with protecting the yarn. I'd like to keep the snags to a minimum, and that's better done from the relative safety of my own home.

Therefore I am taking my sock. The one that has a mate that's already done. So conceivably, depending on how much free time I have, I could have an entire pair of socks done soon. I am at the point where I am about to turn the heel, such a magical thing. Yes, I definitely think this is the best plan for travel. I have some other yarn for socks waiting in the wings (some fun self-striping yarn in red and gray and some pink that's plain but I just couldn't resist, cuz, well, it's pink...kind of matches this page, come to think of it) and when I am done with this sock, I might consider starting one of those others because as I keep seeing people on the knitting parts of the web point out, socks really are a great on-the-go project. I could even keep them all ready to grab, self-contained in their own little tote (seeing as I have more bags than you could shake a stick at, to borrow a phrase I've heard my parents use more than once). That or a scarf. In fact, now that I think about it, for a travel project I should probably finish up one of the scarves I have going before I start any more socks...


Sparkly black sweater

Well, the completion of the bath puff came at a good time, as I have now started something else new. This project is going to be my highest priority for now since it is something that I could wear now, rather than the fuzzy warm things like scarves and socks that are also on my needles.

My continued searching for the right yarn to make the Sitcom Chic sweater finally paid off and the Lion Brand MicroSpun paired together with the Patons Brilliant works great! I am getting just the right gauge and so far so good. Yay. (I was thinking of adding a couple of swatch photos here but realized that pictures of black yarn aren't that exciting or necessary. But suffice it to say they are playing nicely together and I love the effect.)

I am only about 2 inches into the bottom of it, but the good news is the back and two sides of the front are worked all as one piece. So far it is going very well, although the yarn took a little getting used to. It requires some care as both yarns that are being used are prone to splitting which then leaves little unsightly pulls. So I am trying to be careful with that.

This project is coming along on the family camping trip this month--and I can't wait!


Bonbon Bath Puff...complete!

Yay! I am happy to report that I have completed something. Woo hoo! My latest finished object is the Bath Puff. And I am very pleased with it so far. That is to say, I like how it turned out, but haven't tried it yet. But here's a pic of it:

Bonbon Bath Puff

I used the Bonbon pattern from Knitty and made a couple of tiny modifications. As mentioned before, I chose not to use the yarn called for, but used a ball of Lion Brand Incredible. That worked out great, and I love the color!

The other thing I changed was how I tied it all up. Instead of using the suggested nylon string, I snagged a zip tie from my husband's stash of handy things and used that instead. That allowed me to get the puff very tightly drawn up in the middle. I also secured all loose ends with it as well as the string with which to hang my newly completed puff.


Second try...

Well, I finally found some yarn that I think will work out for what I need it to do, which is to be carried along with the black sparkly stuff I have (Patons Brilliant) to make the Sitcom Chic sweater. I wandered around several stores, pondering my options. I was about to give up when I found enough in one dyelot of black Lion Brand Microspun that I think might do the trick. I even thought about abandoning the black sparkly sweater and tried to find another nice cotton blend yarn in some fun summer color that would work but no place I tried had enough of one dyelot and I couldn't spot any hiding up on top of the displays.

Anyway, I did find the Microspun and I think the combination of that, which is so delightfully soft and nice, and the Patons Brilliant just might end up being rather nice. That is, if the gauge comes out right! I haven't had time to try a swatch yet but I will soon! More on that later.


Fancy bath puff

So I have started yet another project...I know, I know. But there's just something about starting projects that can't be helped. My justification is that it is a small and potentially quick project. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! It's the bath puff Bonbon from Knitty. I didn't get the yarn the pattern called for, but got some of Lion Brand's ribbon yarn called Incredible in the "Carnival" color. There's a sample of the color on my June 8 post below.

Back later!



What's that? It's pink + purple. :) My husband came up with the term. I thought it was cute. I got some yarn last week that's going to become a felted tote. The pattern calls for two strands to be held together, so I got two colors this time: a bright pink and a purple that's slightly darker, to be held together. It should produce a neat effect, and I figure I can't go wrong since they're my two favorite colors.

I have made this bag before...it was my first felting project, and I thought it was a lot of fun! You can see the product on this page here. That one was the medium sized bag, and this time I want to make the small. I am excited to start this one, but am going to hold off since this will be a great project to take along when we go camping next month.

Dressy sweater wanna-be

Well, so much for that. I really really want to make the Sitcom Chic sweater from Knitty but cannot seem to get my hands on the yarn called for in the pattern, which I like a lot. It calls for Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn. So off I went, hitting up all of the local stores that carry Lion Brand yarn. This included two Michaels, A.C. Moore, and a new JoAnn's. Humph. I believe I have now exhausted all of my local resources for this stuff, and looked it up online. The website charges a lot more for it, so now I am just not sure what to do.

The other part of my quandary is some yarn I did get, but which I cannot seem to find a pattern to match. It is Patons Brilliant in Black Dazzle. It's very nice, has a fun sparkle to it. I thought it would make a really fun dressy sweater thingy for wearing out on a summer evening. I have tried searching online for cute sweater patterns and have found some nice ones but the gauge is way off. But I just can't seem to make the gauge work in my favor, and I hate to go up too many sizes of needles for fear that it would end up too thin. So now my thought is to find a thin black yarn to carry along with the sparkly stuff. If I can find something appropriate I might be able to make the gauge work for that yarn and the Sitcom Chic pattern. So here's to hoping.


Just saying Hi

Hi. Haven't got much to report at the moment, but thought I'd post a note anyway.

I was just fiddling around with my template and added some stuff on the right. I added a list of completed projects with links to pictures of them. I'd also seen that nifty progress bar thingy on someone else's knitting blog and thanks to a kind soul on the knitty forums I now have the code for here. :) Very fun.

Knitting is progressing slowly. I did finish the odd little "bag" for my car, which worked out well but isn't worth posting a photo of! Other than that I am alternating between my fuzzy blue scarf and sock #2. They are quite different animals...one is worked on size 11 needles with two yarns held together, all fuzzy and pesky, and the other is on size 3 DPNs with sock yarn! So whatever suits my mood is what I end up picking up.

Okay, my apologies for the boring post. Have been starting to wander around the Knitty Coffeeshop forums, which is fun. Still need to figure out how it all works, but I made my first post, to say thank you for the progress bar code. The internet is an amazing and fun thing!

Until later then...


Odds 'n' Ends

I guess I have been a little behind on my knitting lately. It's been so warm and there are other things to be done around home that I just haven't been doing as much knitting. But I am still plugging away at the blue scarf which I am enjoying working on.

I had come up with an odd little idea of something to make, nothing exciting, but I think it will be useful. In my car, there is a little "table" in the middle of the two front seats. It is a bit hard to describe, but it is hinged on one side and folds down to get out of the way, or can be pulled up to create this "table". It has two cup holders in it and a couple of shallow cubbies. On the two front corners of it are two mysterious hooks whose real purpose I am unsure of. This little table is not high off the ground so hanging things like a bag for trash wouldn't really work. But I came up with an idea to make a little bag that's not very tall, to hang from these hooks. I will make a small basic flat bag with two squares, and then loops on the two top corners to hang on the hooks. I though I could use it as extra storage for things like tissues or my cell phone charger, since the little cubbies in the car are kind of full. I started it last night and am making it in dark blue cotton yarn so that it will blend in and not be obvious. We'll see how that comes out.

The other thing I am about to start making is something I saw a pattern for on knitty.com. It is a bath puff! Here is a link to the pattern. It is supposed to be made from nylon ribbon yarn so that it will dry quickly. I investigated the yarn that the pattern calls for and that seems to be hard to find and pricey. So yesterday when I was in Michael's, I found some colorful, nylon ribbon yarn that might work. It's not the same, no where near as wide I don't think, but it just might work. The yarn I found is Lion Brand Incredible, and the color I chose is called Carnival. Here's a sample of it:

Sample of IncredibleLion Brand Incredible, in "Carnival"

I will be back with updates and hopefully this funny little project will work out okay!

Something new...

Wow, so here I am posting to a blog. Never really thought I'd take that plunge, but hey. Going to use this to talk about knitting. I'll be back...need to go see about how to change the color scheme...

Okay, I'm back. Have now changed this to a lovely pink, and added a photo to my profile. I realize that I have not yet written a word about knitting, and I am sure everyone is waiting with baited breath. I will get to that, just need to get my bearings here first.

Now my next task will be to figure out how I am going to neatly, and in an organized manner, transfer over all of my posts from my original online knitting journal. Need to go think about this...back later.

Okay, just figured this all out. I discovered that I can change the date on my posts...so I am just going to back-date my old posts! Whoo hoo! Gotta love technology...

The truth comes out! The posts from before today were actually all posted today! See, today is when I started this blog. So anything from today on is truly current. But I am happy that I was able to back-date my previous posts from my old journal. So there ya go.


Blue scarf

Since I have finally gotten my list of In Process Projects under control, (and I was slightly bored working on sock #2), I decided to start a new project. Actually, this is mainly because I was finally able to find the right amount of two particular yarns and colors (and enough of each) that are needed for a particular item that I had spotted a while back in a catalog and thought might be nice to make. It's just so pretty...and a color that is not often found on my needles, so it's very refreshing to me. It is a scarf that is featured in the Lion Brand catalog, and it is a pattern you can buy (it is also offered as a kit).

Here is a link to the pattern which has a picture (just a few typos on that page! ...can't...stop...myself...) and here's a picture of it:

L.B. Northern Lights WrapLion Brand Northern Lights Wrap
(click on photo to see larger image)

I decided that I really didn't need to purchase the pattern in order to make something that looks a lot like it--it's really a very simple pattern of stockinette stitch bordered by garter stitch to keep it from rolling. I think mine will be a bit narrower than the pattern calls for (that was intentional; I didn't want it to be huge and wide) and I have managed to figure out how to make it essentially the same as the one in the picture. You use two different yarns held together throughout, and actually, one of the yarns is made up of two different strands itself, so it's really three very different yarns all together. It's really fun yarn, a little tricky to work with, but fuzzy and quite delightful!

Here are the two yarns as they appear by themselves (the first one is Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair, in "Glacier Bay", and the second one is Lion Brand Trellis, in "Ocean"):

Though the Trellis has more brighter blues than the Moonlight Mohair, the two yarns complement each other very nicely. The Moonlight Mohair is the one that's comprised of two yarns--though it's hard to tell in the picture, it has a strand of a variegated blue mohair (which creates a subtle color shift throughout the knitting), and then a strand of a somewhat sparkly yarn that really makes it quite fun. So far I love the way the scarf is knitting up, and it's a great TV project to work on while catching up on my soap!


Pink bag completely complete

The Pink Bag is now even more complete! The design of this bag is an open top one. This makes it fun and cute, but not altogether practical since there is no closure to keep things secure. However, another fun thing about the bag is being able to see the coordinating fabric lining. So a zipper would really detract from this feature and hide the lining.

Therefore, I decided to make a small zippered pouch that attaches to the inside of the bag. This weekend I took a piece of the watermelon fabric, a bright green zipper and a snap, and I stitched a little bag that attaches via a small strap to a snap inside the bag. This should be a handy spot for small things like pens and chapstick.

Here is a picture of the bag with the little "dinghy" (a great name for it that I got from my friend Jeanne) hanging out of it. Now the bag is truly complete!

Pink bag with dinghy


Pink pix

The Pink Bag is now complete! AND...I have pictures. :)

As mentioned below, I went to a [brand new and enormous JoAnn's] fabric store with my new pink bag in tow in search of some fun fabric with which to make a lining for it. I happened upon the perfect one, and the pink in the fabric is a perfect match for the yarn I used.

I have never made a lining for a purse before, so I just made it up as I went along. I measured the knitted bag and just sort of made a matching "bag" of the fabric. (Took me a little while to wrap my brain around which way to sew the fabric...I kept wanting to turn it inside out. Did it wrong once, had to start over. Lesson learned.) I then gave it gussets at the bottom to match the knitted bag, and then stitched it around the bottom to the inside of the knitted bag to secure it. I then stitched the top part of the lining to the inside top of the bag, and was very pleased with the result! It's not perfect, the lining's a little skewed, but overall I am thrilled.

So, without further ado, here are some pix!

Here's the bag itself. To give an idea of size, it measures about 9 1/2" by 10".

Pink bag

Here you can see the whole bag, and the lining:

inside of the pink bag

And a close-up of the lining, which I thought was just too fun and too perfect a match!

lining of the pink bag


Pink purse almost complete

The pink bag is knitted! I finished the knitting portion over the weekend. Of course there was much indecision as to whether to put long or short handles on it. Finally decided to put short ones on it, as the pattern suggests. I am pleased with that decision. I actually used the purse yesterday when we went out to run some errands. I want to put a lining in it so I decided to use it as a purse when we went out and stopped at the fabric store along the way so that I could find some fabric to use as the lining. Kudos go to my dear husband who was very patient with me at the store, which was, I might add, a brand new JoAnn's. Very cool...a huge store, complete with many yarn choices. grin.

So my intent was to pick out a fun, coordinating fabric for the inside of the purse...and I was successful. (Now just to sew the thing in there...) I found a fat quarter (just the right amount of fabric) that has a design on it that matches the pink PERFECTLY and is a fun print. I won't share details yet...check back to see pix!   ;)


Pink suede hiccups

Had somewhat of a hiccup with the progress of the pink bag last night (Here's a link to my other post where I first mention this bag I am making). I finished the knitting of the bag to the height I wanted (about 9 inches...the width is about 10). I then needed to figure how many stitches I needed to bind off between the handles, since as I had changed my stitch count I couldn't follow the pattern exactly. Once I determined that, I started my bind-offs and put my handle stitches on holders.

Then it was time for the bottom, and here's where I made my error. I decided to start stitching across the bottom from the start of my rounds (I used mattress stitch--another variation from the pattern which had you casting on with waste yarn and then doing a three-needle bind-off). BUT...the problem was that the bag twists a little, so even though stitch-wise everything lined up, in reality my handles would be off center. So I decided to try and undo my stitching along the bottom and redo it where the bag naturally wanted the side seams. (Now in retrospect I guess I see that this is why the pattern has a side seam? Ah well, live and learn. Still, I am happy I decided to knit in the round because of this funny yarn.) But...trying to undo my stitching along the bottom gave me oodles of troubles and I could not get the stitching undone, so I decided my only option was to undo my bind-offs and redo that part instead. So I sat for a while, undoing each bound-off stitch and putting them back on the needles. Now I need to figure out how it wants to hang, and then act accordingly and put my handles where they will work better.


Pink "suede"

The other day I started a new project...a bag, of course! It's a fun pattern I've had my eye on from Knitty. Here's the pattern. It's a cute little purse made of "suede" yarn. I didn't feel like searching out the exact yarns the pattern called for, so I decided to just find some nice yarn that would make a fun purse. I had settled on a blue/purple variegated stuff, I forget what it's called, but then I turned around...and found this:

Sample of Lion SuedeLion Suede, in "Rose"

I just had to have that yarn! It's by Lion Brand, and it's called Lion Suede, and it's just so pink, and so soft and fun. I wasn't necessarily after a "suede" yarn like the pattern calls for but when I spotted this I decided it was fate, since I wasn't really jumping up and down about my previous selection. This got me excited to make the bag, so I knew it was the right yarn! They had other great colors too...a couple of nice purples, one so dark it's almost black.

So I anxiously began my bag, and, so far so good. I have made a couple of modifications to the pattern, mainly because my yarn is thicker than what's called for so I had to reduce my stitch count. I also decided that I wanted to knit it in the round instead of flat with a seam on the side. I decided this partly because who wants a seam where there doesn't need to be one? and also because after swatching this yarn, I found that it's one that you need to keep an even tension on, or you'll get visible irregularities in your stitches--it's not too forgiving. I decided that I'd be more likely to keep it all neat and even if I was just knitting around and around and not purling.

I also noticed when I did my swatch that it's hard to cast on loosely. So for the bag I cast on with a size larger needles. I am still using pretty small needles for this yarn (7s, I think, rather than the 9s the yarn recommends) so it's pretty tight, but do-able.

One thing I am intrigued by is the effect I am getting with this yarn. It's hard to describe, but my stitches are doing funny things such that I am ending up with something akin to corduroy. And since it's so soft and nice like corduroy, that makes it seem all the more like it! Kind of fun actually.

My only fear, which I hope turns out to be unfounded, is that this yarn will "worm" like chenille. It is a similar yarn to chenille, but a lot "denser"...there are more fuzzies to this yarn. Anyway, here's to hoping for no worms!


Sock #1 is done

Okay, I'm back...with photos. :) I completed the grafting (a.k.a. kitchener stitch) on the toe of the first sock. I am very pleased with the sock, and it fits too! So here is a picture of it:

Striped sockThe striped sock
(click on photo to see larger image)

The self-striping yarn really was quite fun and satisfying. It definitely kept your interest since it changed so often. This sock was fun to knit, and overall, the pattern worked out fine, although I did have to make a couple of adjustments.

And some detail of the gusset and the toe:

Sock gusset detail

Toe detail(click on photos to see larger images)

And now, I go back to the mitten. The striped mitten that I am not so fond of. Here's a photo of it so you can see for yourself and make your own judgements...

Striped mittenThe striped mitten
(click on photo to see larger image)

It has potential, but for some reason it is just not that interesting to me. That and it doesn't even fit me, so I might just make the second one and then find a child who might like them. We'll see!


Good stripes and bad stripes

Hi. It's been a while, hasn't it? I've been busy doing lots of stuff...and actually accomplishing things. Unfortunately, they haven't been knitting-related! It's spring cleaning time...

But...I do have this to report: my first self-striping sock is almost complete. I just have to graft the toe, and we're all done. Then it's back to work on its friend! But that's the fun part to me, since I've already worked out all of the kinks and know how many rows to knit, etc., with the first sock. So, I promise to post a picture of the completed sock very soon!

Oh, I almost forgot. I finished the striped mitten...and I am disappointed! First of all, my tried-and-true pattern and stitch and row counts failed me, because the silly thing is too small! I haven't figured out why yet. I have used this yarn before, and I did everything the same. My only thought is that when I was securing all of the ends from changing colors, I might have pulled it a little too tight. Not sure. Secondly, I am not thrilled with the color combo. These colors work better in narrow stripes on the scarf. I am not such a fan of the big stripes. If I re-did it, I might just stick with pink and the two grays. Anyway, I will post a photo of the lone mitten soon. That project has gone to the back burner! I am still thinking about completing the scarf...we'll see.


Photos of striped things

Well, I've finally gotten around to uploading some photos of my works in progress. So without further ado...here are some pix:

Here is a photo of the striped mitten I am working on:

WIP striped mittenWIP Striped Mitten
(click on photo to see larger image)

Now for the scarf. This is going pretty well, and I like it. Here's a picture of the whole thing, scrunched on the needles:

WIP striped scarfWIP Striped Scarf
(click on photo to see larger image)

And here are a couple of closeups of both sides of the scarf. Each side is a little bit different. I think that one side is beginning to look more like the "right side" but there really isn't a right or wrong side to this scarf.

(click on photos to see larger image)

striped scarf
striped scarf


Saga of the striped mitten

Hi. Okay, so I don't really have all that much to report on right now, but I have completed a lot more of my first striped mitten. I took a picture...but I didn't upload it yet, and right now I do not have access to it. So we'll have to wait for that one!

I debated re-vamping the mitten...not loving the color combo at the moment, but it's growing on me the more I knit. I loved the pink and gray section, and contemplated frogging the whole thing and just doing pink and gray stripes. But I decided not to do that...so we'll see how the first mitten looks.

Anywho...just wanted to get on here and reorganize a bit. I needed to come up with a plan for "archiving" past entries, so that this page doesn't get too long. I think doing it month-by-month should work well enough. You can now see the link to the February page above.

Back later!


Stripes, stripes and more stripes

My latest new project is more mittens. Surprise, surprise! I have mentioned below the 6-color striped scarf. These mittens will be made from the same yarns so they will go with the scarf. (The gray double-layer hat mentioned below is also meant to go with this set, but I made that in just gray so I can wear it with other things too. By the way, love the hat! I have worn it and it's toasty warm. I would highly recommend that pattern, found here.)

So for the mittens, since I don't feel like dealing with a row-by-row color change like the scarf, I am making big stripes. A total of 11 stripes, where the dark gray will be surrounding each of the other 5 colors. Here's a rough schematic of the mitten (you can scroll down below to see the actual color samples):

Striped mitten schematicStriped mitten schematic

The way I figured out how to make the stripes all even was to count the number of rows (excluding the thumb part) and divide them by 11. Luckily, my row total came to 65 and it was easy to just add one more row to make it an even 66.

I have started the first mitten and am on the blue stripe. So I am not very far along! But I was away this weekend and this isn't the most travel-friendly project what with all of the yarn that needs to go along. Plus, I have to "share" some balls of yarn with the still-in-process scar



Didn't do a whole lot of knitting this weekend, but I did finish my Pink (Raspberry) Mittens. I believe I mentioned the yarn below...I made them with Manos del Uruguay, which is 100% wool. The color is a beautiful, rich, dark pink with purple sections in it. The hand-dyeing gives it such a fun look. It is also a thick-and-thin yarn that made it fun to knit with, lots of texture. So here's the pic:

Pink mittens

Oh yeah, the pattern I used was "Pop-Up Paws". I love that pattern and have used it to make several pairs of mittens. It is such a great pattern because the way it is written, it has each "section" of the mitten in its own part of the pattern, so you can use any combination of the different parts of it to make just about any kind of hand covering you want. For instance, I made some actual "pop-up paws" first...fingerless gloves with mitten tops that fold down. At each stage of the pattern, you choose what you want...whether you want a full thumb or half thumb, full fingers or half fingers...and then for regular mittens, I just jumped from right before the gloves would start to the finishing part of the mitten top. I have kept track of my counts and use the pattern over and over. I even made my husband some mittens in the larger size. (I actually have made him three mittens...two rights and a left. He lost one right mitten, just before we were heading on a trip. So quickly got out my yarn and made a new right mitten. Then he found it in the parking lot at work the day we were leaving. So now he has three.)

Speaking of rights and lefts, the other great thing about this pattern is that not only is it written out line by line but also there are complete instructions for right and left. So you don't need to go though and figure out your own shaping for the other hand. And because there IS a right and a left, they fit very nicely.

Here's a picture of my original Pop-up-Paws, which I made in a class I took a few years ago:

Pop-Up Paws


Photos of gray things

Okay, I'm back, this time with photos. Didn't really do much knitting last night (although I did finish the top part of my sock, and I am ready to start the heel) but I did remember to take pictures of things.

So here's the Gray Vest. This dark yarn doesn't photograph well but it's a very dark, heathered gray. The yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, and the color is called Charcoal.

The accent yarn that I used on the collar and pockets is called Bernat Galaxy. The color I used is called Deep Space. It is very fuzzy and has big fluffs of fuzz all throughout. Admittedly not the easiest yarn to work with though!

Here is the vest:

Gray Vest

Detail of vest collar

Detail of vest pockets

And lastly, back to the part about blocking. I blocked both the above vest and this sweater. The sweater really needed it because the cables in the top half pulled the whole thing in. So now, hopefully, you can see how it has been improved:

Gray Sweater - Unblocked

Gray Sweater - Blocked


Gray things

Last night I completed my vest. I had blocked it, along with my gray sweater, and they both came out great. So I just needed to sew the zipper into the vest and now it's complete. I think I might have gotten the zipper a tad bit crooked, but I am not going to worry about it. It was a bit tricky, working with such thick yarn. I am pleased with the overall result of the vest...my only disappointment is that it is really big!! The silly thing is huge. Now here's my disclaimer: this is not because I didn't take the time to do a gauge swatch to test it! I did know it would be big...but I just didn't quite know how big. I will have to see how it goes; I might try to make some little seams along the sides to take it in a little. Right now it has no seams as the entire thing was worked in one piece, so I could feasibly add some seams to take it in a little.

I have moved my picture of the gray sweater up to the next post, so you can do a side-by-side compare of the blocked and not blocked. So head on up there and check it out!


Striped socks

Hi. Not much new to report...except that I started another project. [sheepish grin] Socks. I had the yarn already, but never got around to starting it. I was reading something yesterday that just made me want to start them, so I did! So far so good. I am making them from a free pattern on the LionBrand website, which can be found here.

And here's a sample of the yarn I am using for them. It's some of that self-patterning yarn, and this is the first time I have ever tried it. So far it's kinda fun!

Sample of Purple Magic StripesLion Brand Magic Stripes, Purple


Of scarves and hats, and turtleneckwarmerthingys

I am back with some photos. Okay, since it's bright and cheery, let's start with the Pink and Purple Scarf. As mentioned below, this yarn, Plymouth Combolo, is a rather fun mixture of three yarns stranded together. Here's a picture of the three strands laid out:

Strands of Combolo

You can see the strand with the thin part and the poofy things, and then the one in the middle is sort of a braid-type with some silver in it, and then the other thin one with little fluffs in it. These strands all separate on the fringe of the scarf.

And here is the finished scarf:

Pink and Purple Scarf

Last night I officially completed my Gray Double-Layer Hat. I added a little tassel to it since I thought it needed a little bit of oomph. Not too much oomph, just a little. So here's the very exciting photo of the gray hat:

Double Layer Hat

And last (and definitely least), the turtleneckwarmerthingy. Don't really know what to call this thing. Anyway, as I mentioned below, I am not thrilled with its outcome, but such is life. Here's the very exciting photo of it:


(Note added later: gave the turtleneckwarmerthingy to my husband who wore it skiing. He liked it...I think.)

So that's the latest! Still working on the pink mittens, and the multi-striped scarf. And waiting patiently in the wings I have two big projects. A sweater that will be a raglan-style in a lovely dark red (#999), and the yarn is called Plymouth Encore. Here's a sample:

Plymouth Encore, dark red

And the best one is the wonderful Christmas gift from my husband which was an afghan kit full of delightful Colinette yarns, which I can't wait to dive into but am waiting till my current fascination with mittens and hats passes so that I can give it my undivided attention and love.

Oh, speaking of Christmas, I almost forgot. Just before Christmas I was racing against the clock to complete our Christmas Stockings. And here they are, hung by the "chimney" with care. (Okay, okay, they're hanging from the bannister. We do have a fireplace, but no mantle on which to hang stockings.)

Christmas Stockings


Superbowl knitting

Well, last night, during the Superbowl, I managed to finish off two projects. I had also completed another the night before. That one was the pink and purple scarf made with the fun yarn I mentioned below. I took a picture of it and will post that when I get the chance. I am very happy with it, it's fun and bright, and the fringe is nice on it. And I even have a little left over in case I want to incorporate it into some future mittens. In the meantime I have some bright pink stretchy gloves that I got at A.C. Moore for $2 that go nicely with it.

I also completed my black, fuzzy neckwarmer thing for skiing. I am not 100% pleased with this however, as the ribbing is stretchier than I'd hoped so it's not as tight as I'd have liked. But we'll see how it goes, I'll try it when we [hopefully] go skiing in a month.

I am on the other hand very pleased with my other completed project, which was the double layer hat. Here's where you can find the pattern. I made it in gray, out of Lion Brand Wool-Ease, Oxford Gray. (That is one of the colors in the scarf I am making, see below for a sample). But this hat is great...it's going to be nice and warm because of the double layers, and the ribbed cuff on it makes it look nice and will be very warm over my ears. I think I am going to add a tassel of some sort...perhaps on a string. It needs something else to liven it up a bit. But I love it...very comfy and I hope it gets cold enough again this year so I can wear it!


Raspberry Mittens

Last night I decided to leave work right on time so I could make it to a little yarn shop near home. The traffic almost kept me from making it there in time but I managed. I purchased some yarn to make some "fun" random mittens that don't match anything else. Anyway, I think they are going to be wonderful. The yarn I got is called Manos del Uruguay, which is hand dyed, in a lovely dark pink that has a bunch of purple bits in it. So far so good... The thick-and-thin of it adds fun texture, and I love the color. Very satisfying. (There's a chance it might even go with my wavy scarf...but haven't checked yet.)

Here's a little sample of it. The color's not too far from the real thing...

Manos del Uruguay #57Manos del Uruguay, Color #57


My foray into the online world

I have decided to reorganize my online knitting journal, and try to keep it up to date with what I am making. So here goes!

Lately I can't seem to stop starting projects. So needless to say I have a few irons in the fire. It's just that I think of ideas and then want to start them right away. That's not to say that I don't finish them...I just get so excited about diving into them and getting them all going. So for instance, right now I have a scarf I am working on with 6 colors. It's a sideways-knit scarf, where I have cast on a lot of stitches onto long circular needles and am working one color for each row. So far so good. I am using old Lion Brand Wool-Ease that I had in my stash, in a medium gray, light gray, lavender, light pink, darker purple, and a medium blue.

I've also almost completed a hat in the medium (darker) gray that's included in the scarf. And there are plans roaming around my head for mittens...haven't yet determined how I am going to work the colors in. I want to do some stripes perhaps.

What else is in my knitting bag? A fun scarf, not designed to be a toasty warm one, in a bright pink and purple color, with some silvery accents in it. For this I am just knitting every row, and with about 20 stitches. The yarn is called Combolo, by Plymouth Yarn. It is actually a 3-part yarn, one part a thin string with little bundles of fluffy stuff, one with little fluffs, and another with blobs that have silver in them. Okay, since a picture's worth a thousand words, here you go:

Sample of Plymouth ComboloPlymouth Yarns, Combolo (Color #1040)

I am also making a tube-shaped neckwarmer in a fuzzy black yarn--Lion Brand Jiffy. It's for skiing. I had to make a new one since my old pink one won't go with my new purple ski coat. (Logical, really.)

Oh yes, and there's the wavy scarf. Pattern can be found here.
I had some yarn in my stash that needed a project, and when I found this pattern, I thought that would be a good plan. And so far I love it. I'm not in a hurry to complete this one, as it's a great project to tote along on trips. The yarn is Lion Brand Imagine in Purple Haze.

Sample of Purple HazeLion Brand Imagine, in "Purple Haze"

The wavyness of the pattern is really fun, and I am pleased with its results so far.