Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ishbel, Blocked

Snapped these pics while I blocked the Ishbel scarf, finally.  It's beautiful.  It's a gift for my friend, but I'm 97% sure she's never seen this blog, so I feel safe posting these pics.

Here's a little washcloth made using short rows.  I used Christmas yarn, and every time I spy it in my kitchen now I think it looks like a giant Christmas mint.  Yum.

Teacher Gifts and Other WIPs

I made it into Chart B on the Travel Shawl but now I am feeling burned out.  That thing is getting really big.  I was going to try to knit it on the 24" circular I already had.  I gave up on that.  I bought a 32" from the LYS (all they had in stock was an Addi Turbo - completely fake sadness here).  That was many rounds ago.  Now even the 32" is packed with stitches.  Approximately 460 stitches.  Plus Chart B is awkward to knit.  And honestly I just needed a break from the Travel Shawl.

I made a hat for my friend:

It is the Rustling Leaves Beret from Coastal Knits.  I used Fiddleknits Dye-a-Tonic and I am pleased as punch with how it turned out.  The pale green looks great worked up in wavy leaves on the hat.  Also the yarn blocked up all soft but still defined.  Ravelry details here.  Friend says she loves it!


I also started some cross stitching.  I've been making tiny things, because they don't take long, but then I have something cute to show for my labors.  As opposed to a giant gray blob that is still on needles.  Ahem.

I made a tiny sewing machine as a tag for a Christmas present.  Obviously I can't show that one yet.  I am also stitching up little ornaments for the kids' teachers (3 school, 2 church).  At first I wanted to make 5 snowflakes:

But that freaking snowflake took like 4 hours.  You can't even tell but it's a boatload of backstitching.  Plus I foolishly did white on red felt which looks snappy when finished, but when I was stitching white on WHITE waste canvas it was a pain in the neck.  So I was like, forget that.  The remaining four are two reindeer with a heart between.  Takes an hour to pop out one.  I'll take another pic once I have them in actual ornament state.  I have 1.5 left to stitch.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I got the Amande Vest off the needles.  It just needs buttons and then to be blocked.  I'm a little concerned because the vest really seems to pull down at the bottom from the weight of the yarn, while there's not much holding it up at the top.  Hmm.

I still need to block the Ishbel shawlette!  I am a blocking procrastinator.  Partially because I have to block on the floor of my bedroom and then make sure the baby doesn't get in there.  Not easy.

Anyway, I did finally finish that scarf for Miss E too.  It's only like 3.5 feet long.  Haha  But she wore it today to school, and she said she wore it all day except at PE, so I'd call that a knitting win.

The pink Marian cowl was finished in one day.  Very easy, very cute.  E uses it like a baby sling for her dolls.  I liked hers so much that I bought the proper sized needle (19, not 15) and made myself one of navy yarn.  Love it.  I also popped out a pair of fingerless mitts for myself from Eco Duo.  They're extremely basic, I use them on chilly mornings when I run.  So, only twice so far.  Haha

Right now I am halfway through a pair of fingerless mitts in green camo, to match M's cap.  Not so motivated since we are having gorgeous fall weather and mitts are a bit excessive.  Honestly though reason one is it is time for the thumb and I sort of hate doing thumbs.

Reason two being I started the Travel Shawl from Knitting 24/7.  I've been focusing on that project, and really enjoying it!  I only had to rip out the beginning and start over once (and I had only made it to about row 8, so very little invested), which I think is pretty good.  As usual, once the pattern got established the shawl became 9,000 times easier to knit.  It's good tv knitting.  Also I am now quite proficient at a k3tog!  Haha  Right now I'm on a 24" circular (size 5).  I'm slightly concerned I'll have to invest in yet another circular needle, bite the bullet, get a 32".  I have a feeling I'm going to have a very hard time fitting 500+ stitches on a 24" circular.  We'll see.  I do have some credit at my LYS...Anyway, I love this pattern and I think I'm going to LOVE the finished product.  I am using the yarn called for by the pattern, Peace Fleece, even the same color (Father's Gray).  It's very rustic.  Picking out bits of straw as I knit!

And here's my hambone baby just for fun!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Scarf for Miss E

This scarf is making me crazy.  I started it in the Xs & Os cable pattern, but I was out of yarn and the scarf was only 2 feet long.  So I frogged it and started over with fewer stitches and a different pattern - Chevron from Barbara Walker's 1st stitch dictionary.  But I didn't like it.  It was too dense and the pattern was barely visible in the Sundara yarn.  So I frogged AGAIN.  I HATE frogging.  I opted for something a little lacier.  I'm using the Hourglass Eyelet pattern from the same stitch dictionary.  I think this one will be the final version.  It's only 17 stitches wide so hopefully I can get to 4 feet at least?  I guess I had less yarn than I thought.  :( make myself feel better I cast on for a Marian cowl in a fun pink also for Miss E.  I am using a size 15 instead of a 19, but I figure, eh, Miss E is only 6 so smaller is fine.  Hopefully.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


These pictures are a bit old, but here is Ishbel.  It's finally off the needles.  I have a bunch of other things I want to make right now, but I was making myself finish Ishbel first.  I made a few mistakes, but I didn't care enough to frog & restart.  It's nice that my perfectionism occasionally takes a break.  Haha  I'm giving this to EK for Christmas.  The color (on my laptop these pics look bright blue, kinda gross) is really a dusky blue.  It's St Denis Boreale in Fjord.  It will look smashing on EK.

Now I'm working on the hugs & kisses scarf for E, then probably some fingerless mitts for M to match his camo cap.  Then a balaclava for Husband (I found the His Or Hers Cowl, which suggested you present it to your man as a balaclava, worked like a charm  haha).  Then maybe some tiny mittens for Baby.  Then a little something for myself.  Or a big something, since I am planning on making the Travel Shawl

And here is a T Rex roller skating, courtesy of Friday Freebies at Knit Picks.  I made a few washcloths to give me a little breather on Ishbel.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIP: Amande Vest

I just started the cable on the back of the Amande Vest.  It's knitting up quite quickly, thanks to bulky yarn.  I'm using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Coal (black).  I'm making it in the smallest size.  New skill: applied i-cord edging & i-cord.  I can see why people like that edging, it looks polished.  I did the 2nd increases in the side seams wrong because I was chatting with my friend and therefore couldn't be bothered to look up how to M1L and M1R.  I can never remember those!  Haha  There are therefore small holes at the increase sites because I just did whatever.  I decided that's not a big deal since those increases are under my arms.  And I really, really hate frogging.  For the needles, I went down one size to 9s to get gauge.  I think I'm really going to like this vest when it's done!

Next week on our road trip, the vest will be staying home.  :(  haha  It's too bulky for lugging around in the car, which will be packed to the gills with all the crap one needs for three small children.  I'm planning on starting the Ishbel shawlette for my friend EK.  I have two balls of St Denis Boreale in Fjord - the most beautiful blue, which will look great on EK.  I figure that will be small enough to tuck into a small bag and tote around with me.

Multnomah Shawlette

Here are some pictures of the Multnomah Shawl while it was being blocked.  On my laptop, it looks dark blue, when it is really more of a teal.  I used Spud & Chloe Fine in Anemone #7805.  I call this a shawlette.  Honestly I wish it was a bit bigger.  Wish I had read other reviews on Ravelry to know that others were dissatisfied with the size.  Especially since I have quite a bit of the second skein of yarn left.  Oh well.  I do really like it, but now I want a shawl pin for it!  Haha

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Not So Motivated

 Here are pics of the mitts & hat I made for my husband.  He actually used the hat several times before Oregon warmed up.  He says it is perfect for hunting.  The mitts are a bit big, I'm going to try to felt them a bit.  Otherwise I'll just knit him a new pair in the next smaller size.

 I can't remember if I posted this pic or not.  This is my Pinkerton Shawl which I blocked after wearing at least five times!  Haha  I wear it wrapped around my neck anyway, so it wasn't a big deal.  Though of course now that it's blocked it can actually function as a shawl.  Ha

And finally, here is what I am not so motivated about.  I have four rows left of my Multnomah Shawl, and yet!  Still not done!  And not motivated!  FOUR ROWS.  What is wrong with me?  I don't know.  But hopefully my next post will be very soon, with a pretty picture of a completed Multnomah Shawl.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Off the Needles!

I got so excited about that ribbing being out of the way, I finished the Watch Cap that very night! (Sunday) My husband likes it and it fits him well.  He even wore it out and about running errands yesterday, so I know that he actually likes it and isn't just saying that to make me happy.  Haha  He said it's warm and not itchy.  How it doesn't itch him, I have no idea because it's Fisherman's Wool!  And it's not like I washed & blocked it before handing it to him to wear.

The next day I pulled out my yarn for the Amande Vest (KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky, fyi) and got it all into balls, sat down with the pattern...and realized I don't have the correct needles.  Hate that.  I ordered them and they should arrive soon.

In the meantime I had to get something else going and I didn't want to have to wind any more balls because I had just put my swift and winder away.  I grabbed a ball of Spud & Chloe Fine that I already had wound and searched Rav for a shawlette to match.  I am about 25-30% into Multnomah.  In the most un-Multnomah-ey (new word, that one) color - a bright teal.  Haha  The body is garter, garter, garter so it's ideal for tv knitting.  And the color is gorgeous, especially against the silver Addis.

The shawl revealed to me that my tension has improved dramatically since I started knitting a lot a couple of years ago.  I used to have to go down TWO needle sizes.  Now I actually can go with the needle size in the pattern often.  Sometimes I still need to go down one size.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Serial Monogamy

Fiiiiiiinally finished the ribbing for the Watch Cap.  I am making the 21" hat, with the folded brim, so I did 6.5" of ribbing.  Holy moly I hate ribbing.  It's so boring and it takes forever.  Now that the ribbing is done I wouldn't be surprised if I get this hat off the needles by Tuesday.  Maybe even tomorrow.

I've decided to make the Amande vest next.  I already have the yarn, some bulky yarn from Knit Picks, I can't remember what.

Somehow I've become a serial monogamist when it comes to crafting.  I have two other WIPs, but they've been hibernating for about a year, so they barely count.  (Cardigan & cross-stitch towel.)  Other than those, which are deeply buried in my big craft basket, I have been mostly doing one project at a time.  I think I have finally accepted that when the going gets tough, I have to keep plodding along or I'll end up with a string of WIPs taunting me from around my entire house.  That is my personality. 

Which somehow reminds me, when Jane Richmond showed her stash I was completely surprised.  It frankly doesn't even count as a stash.  It sort of made me want to mail her some yarn.

My husband just pointed out the sun is shining (rare in Oregon in March).  Then Miss E told me we need to go in the sun to get Vitamin D.  Apparently I taught her that.  I am soooo smart.  So we are all going out into the sunshine.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Duty Knitting

 Ace poses good-naturedly in his spiffy new hat.

Instead of fun knitting, i.e., knitting for myself, I keep getting sucked into duty knitting, i.e., knitting for my family.  Haha 

First I made some fingerless mitts for Dh, from Knits Men Want

Now I am knitting hats for all the children from the same pattern (Quynn from Bambeanies) in different sizes.  This revealed that my kids have big heads.  Even the baby needed the second size up!  The first hat, Ace's, was fun and a new pattern and therefore completed in four days (knitting only after all kids are in bed).  The second hat, Baby C's was tiny and therefore completed in three days.  The third hat for Miss E is still languishing in my knitting basket.  Because now I have already made this hat twice and the pattern is no longer exciting.  Plus, I have to make the biggest size for Miss E and her 5-year-old head.

Once I am done with that I am committed to making the Watch Cap for Dh, also from Knits Men Want.

Then I think I will make this vest or maybe this shawl...hmm the possibilities!!!!

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Search for a Good Needle Case

Crochet Hook Case $25

I stole permanently borrowed my initial collection of knitting needles from my mother. At a Salvation Army in upstate NY, she found a giant, funky plaid case (we're talking 1960s in all its glory) full of just about every size knitting needle you could ever want.  When I went to college, it came with me.  The collection of needles is a bit odd.  It's so a product of the 50s and 60s - long needles in sizes 1, 2, and 3, but only one set of dpns (size 5, so random), and not a circular needle to be found.  The needles are all metal. I love to wonder about the woman who collected this set and what she made with the needles.

My crochet hook case was a little case that came free with my mother's order of Vanna's Afghans A to Z.  Funny that she ordered it, because she did almost no handicrafts in the 90s.  In the 90s I was very into crochet, especially doilies (it was my Victorian phase, okay?), so I had a complete set of the impossibly small crochet hooks and a few larger ones.  As I (thankfully) outgrew the Victorian phase, I slowly added regular crochet hooks to my collection.  My mother gave me the case, I did not steal that one.  However, it was lined with a felt-like material that was always snagging my tiny metal crochet hooks.  This tells me that Vanna is not a doily-maker, because an actual tiny crochet hook user would never have let that lining go in.

Anyway, now that I have become more of a knitter I have found the dear 1960s knitting needle collection to be insufficient.  I have added many circulars and several sets of dpns.  I had been storing them all in a magazine holder, which just wasn't cutting it.  I had been looking around for a cute case, but hadn't been having much luck.

I am so happy to report my search is over!  I have found the most adorable cases for knitting needles and crochet hooks.  They are made by Stephanie Boardman who owns the etsy shop Fanciful Belongings.  I bought the two cases shown in this post a few months ago and they are great!  So great, in fact, that I just ordered another needle case for my dpns and a small zippered pouch for the growing collection of stitch markers and notions that I've been shoving any old place.  Boardman uses a beautiful array of fabrics and you can pick which you want when you place your order.  She then makes the cases just for you.  They are of excellent quality and I cannot recommend them enough!

Circular Needle Case $29

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In Which My Yarn Fast Lasts Two Entire Weeks

After the excesses of Christmas, our budget was rather depleted and we were feeling the pinch.  My husband and I decided to tighten our belts and start saying NO to ourselves instead of "yes yes yes" to whatever we wanted.  I vowed to go on a yarn-buying fast.  Dh asked, "Do you have enough yarn to last you for a while?" Ah, sweet innocent.  Apparently he has not found all of my stashing locations.  I admittedly breezily that I had enough for a year.  (Probably three years.  Don't tell him.)  This was immediately after Christmas. 

Well, his parents came to town this past weekend.  I grabbed my m-i-l and we escaped (no baby! no children whatsoever!) to the library and the yarn shop.  Exciting, I know.  But it was the first time I had been to my LYS since October.  (In November I bought yarn off etsy.  haha)  They had just received January's Dream in Color shipment and I wanted to check it out in person.  I decided to pass on the DiC, but somehow I left with 2 skeins of Cherub DK, 2 skeins of autunno in rainforest, and a Kollage kit that had been clearanced (Feed your creativity #13).  Oh and a set of 8" bamboo dpns for a hat I'm making for Ace.  The 6" metal dpns were too slippy and I was losing stitches left and right.

The shop might even have inspired my m-i-l to pick up needles again after umpteen years.  She saw a wrap she wants to make.

My husband rightly teased me for my weakness.  But I'm back on the fast, I swear.  I really don't need ANY more yarn. 

One-Cable Mitts

 I made One-Cable Mitts for my friend for Christmas.  ...And I finished them on the 26th.  So basically I'm a bad friend.  My husband was not around and I needed to give them to my friend, so I handed the camera to my 5-year-old and asked her to take a pic.  This is what she took.  And then she handed the camera back and refused to take any more.  "It's too heavy!" she proclaimed.  Later my husband asked that I not give the 5-year-old the really expensive camera ever again.  Blah blah blah funwrecker.

Anyway so after E refused to assist me, I decided to take some pictures myself.  How hard could it be? I thought.  Answer: very hard.  Look at these jokes:

Moral of the story: Wait until husband can take pictures for me.  I suck at self-photography.

But my friend likes the mitts.  :D