Monday, December 25, 2006

Since Santa's presents come in different sizes I decided to try something new in smaller sizes. I just learned how to use dpns, but I am still pretty awkward with them. So as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

I have wanted to send something here for this project for some time now but never thought I could make anything that small. Well here are two of my efforts so far. One was more pointy and the other was more rounded. I goofed somewhere, but I think they might still take my stuff. I was too late for Christmas '06, but I think I can make it for '07. I am excited to be a part of the efforts, and I hope my efforts get my better with time!

Thanks to Tracy from Wool Windings for the inspiration to create something I have never made before.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hats in the Round
This past Saturday I took another class at The Knitting Corner. I wasn't expecting to take the class but it came up and I thought it would be a good one for me to learn. I learned how to knit a hat in the round with double point needles. I thought it was a bit awkward at first but once I got it going, it was fun. The pattern is from Ann Norling.
Below is the work in progress.

Here is the finished product. Actually it's Sue's (the teacher).
Now here is the true finished project done by me. Can you tell that I am proud of my new hat??

Clearly, I think I can make a hat in the round now. This is what I made the next day to see if I remembered how to do it. I used some left over wool that I had in the wool basket. It will be donated to Caps for Kids.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I have been knitting...REALLY!
As my last post said, I have been having some computer problems. Then after I got things up and running, I loaded the wrong program to save and post my photos with and never knew why things wouldn't load. Hubby and I finally figured out I needed to load a different program and now things are back to where they were. Thank goodness.

While I have not been posting, I have been knitting. I am not fast but I am steady knitting every day. Some days it's 5 rows some days it's a total of 5 or 6 hours while doing laundry, simmering dinner and watching TV. Yesterday was one of those days.

I finally finished "the nephew's" sweater and matching hat. I did have a bit of a mishap with the hat and will have to re-knit it. But it did not go to waste. It was taken The Knitting Corner and given as a donation to the homeless shelter that Susan takes things to. It fit my head! Way to large for a 6 month old baby, even if they say he has a large head. So a second hat will have to be knitted and shipped out later. I steamed the sweater to block it and it got a little larger but it looked great. I can't say that about the hat. It got so large...well you already know the outcome. There will be no blocking of the second hat.

Above is the project that I have been most stressed out about. I saw a fellow knitting guilder's felted bag and fell in love with it. I had to have one to store and carry my knitting, well...unfinished knitting projects in. She was kind enough to tell me the pattern that she purchased from The Knitting Corner and I headed right down there and spent my birthday money and then some on the yarn and pattern for the bag. I of course, never do things that are small. I made the largest bag in the series.

I have never felted anything in my life so this was an expensive way to start, but thankfully with all the coaching from the ladies at the shop, I love my new bag. It turned out well and I am so excited. The first time I felted the bag, it was beyond huge! On the ladie's urging, I felted it again yesterday and today it's over a heating vent drying out a second time. Takes a while but it's so worth it. I am going to felt myself a Noni oblong purse without the straps to use as a needle case. I will have to find and pay someone to put a zipper in it, but I think it will be worth it.

The felted bag pattern is by Fiber Trends-Fabulous Felt Totes. I used 7 skeins of Donegal Tweed homespun. That was $10.99 a skein. Then I used a novelty yarn and didn't save the label. The novelty yarn was the knitted in with the other two strands of Tweed. It looks great at the top of the bag.

I have more but can't get the pictures to post. Blogger must really be busy this time of the day. But hopefully in a few days I can post more of the things I have been doing!

Thanks to everyone who has been coming by to see if I am still alive.

I know my mother-in-law is a lurker. Hi Joan!! Are you shocked??

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I am sorry that I haven't been here, but really I have. I come all the time to look at the site and then wish I could figure out how to post my latest projects on the blog. The desktop of the last 6 years had a hissy fit and locked me out with my own password. I had a computer repair man come out to fix it and $200 later he got most of the important stuff off the desk top and on to the new laptop. I had been dragging my feet about switching things over and I want kick myself for not doing any of this sooner. The upside is, I still have all the importants things like recipes, that keep my business going but the downside is, I can't figure out how to get pictures posted on the blog from this new laptop. I have a new picture storage system and I can't figure out how to down load to the pictures to the blog. This is hampering my blogging!! So please hang in there and hopefully soon I will have some pictures of what I have been doing instead of blogging.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hands that Give Comfort
On Saturday, for 5 hours and again on Sunday for another 5 hours, I will be knitting so that it gives comfort to others. I have always thought that a social conscience is a good thing, but I have never really excercised mine, but Saturday I did.

The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are commericals on TV, radio, in print and at my local yarn shop, The Knitting Corner. So going there once a week as I do, I decided to let my hands give someone else comfort. We are knitting shawls to give to women who are undergoing Chemo treatment for breast cancer.

I was totally amazed how many women showed up to give a few hours of their time to the whole five hours. I stayed the whole five hours and will go back again today on Sunday to knit some more. Below are some picture of the selfless women who are doing the knitting.

The woman on the right in the white top, is a cancer survivor. I don't think she will mine me saying that.

Here is a close up of the colors for the shawl. It's easy to knit and uses size 11 needles. The shop provided the supplies...
but we supplied the hands that will give comfort.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I really don't have much experience with blocking, but like everything else concerning knitting, it's a work in progress. I knew from reading other's blogs that you really needed to block lace. To what degree of care, I wasn't really sure. So since I have been knitting the Wallis Knits Lace Scarf, I have been learning about blocking without pins or blocking wires. The stripped towel is just a cotton kitchen towel.
Then I took the iron and set it for steam. I also had a larger white wet towel. I laid the white towel on top of the scarf and then used the iron. It flattened it out a lot and help to smooth out the rough edges.

Below are the results laying on top of the green stripped towel. The scarf dried for a few hours and then was folded neatly to save for a Christmas gift. I will knit at least 10 of these between this year and next to give as gifts.

I found another lace scarf I want to try and knit after I finish this one..I will need some help on the new scarf because it calls for starting off with some crocheting in the beginning. I am not sure how that is supposed to work but I will learn and will post it here another time. I have no idea what is wrong with me, but I have gone gaga over knitting lace scarves. It usually takes one 50g ball and makes a quick knit for a price that is great. The lower the price, the more I can give as gifts. Now back to the pink scarf...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Contrasts in Color
I really have been very busy knitting every day that I can. I put off vacuuming, I am having a yard sale and haven't really looked at what's going out next weekend, need to clean 2 bathrooms, but knitting comes first. I even have challenged myself to do housework first and then knit as a reward for cleaning. Doesn't work, who are we kidding?? Only ourselves, so no more games. I just knit as the house falls down around me and frankly, I don't care. I think as you get older, you realize that time is ticking away and there are fun things still not yet done.

Since I am such a slow knitter, I only have so much to post. Today I actually have some pictures to post of what I have finished and what is in the works.

I have been working on my first "true" lace scarf It's been finished a while but I just haven't had time to get it up here. It was great for a beginner and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try their first lace item. It was my first time working with baby alpaca. It was soft and a little fuzzy, but so easy to knit with.
I took this picture with an orange pitcher to show the softness of the green.

The funny thing about the whole experience is that there is one glaring error from the first row 7 throughout the whole length of the scarf. Since I am a beginner I did not realize that I had been reading the directions incorrectly from beginning to the end. Since I met the woman who designed the scarf, I had her watch me and she pointed one thing and a huge light bulb came on. Since I had already made the error in the 7th row for 52 sets of repeats, I continued on. The person who will be getting this scarf will not know there's an error every 7th row. So I am okay with it. I am chalking it up to beginner's errors. The error was... not knitting one stitch after the YO. The row reads k2, YO, k6. I did k2, YO,k1, k6. I thought you had to do a knit stitch right after the YO. Wrong. So it turned out well. I only ended up with one stitch at the send that shouldn't have been there, and I made an ajustment every 7th row.

Since I learned from my mistake, this is take 2... I am knitting at least three or four more of the same pattern for friends. The yarn itself only cost me $6.49. How inexpensive of a gift is that? It's cute and really soft since it's Misty Alpaca? I still have a white and a pink to knit. I am not sure what I will knit after I finish this one but maybe it should be that baby sweater that I started a while ago that will be a baby present?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tidewater Knitter's Guild
I have been trying for almost a year to get to my very first meeting of the Tidewater Knitter's Guild. They meet the first Monday of the month and I had a schedule conflict. So I have finally solved the conflict and went to my very first meeting on the 2nd. It was pretty crowded. I was surprised at how many ladies there were. I think the average age is in the 60s somewhere. Now, I don't look at that as a bunch of old ladies. How I see it is, there's a WEATLTH of information in that room about yarn, techniques, and years upon years of experince of fixing mistakes. Believe me, I need those ladies!

They have a program every month and I was very surprised to see that the program this month was going to be featuring someone that I have gotten to know at the Knitting Corner. It's Ruth. Ruth is a fixture at the shop and I think she has knows the family who owns the shop for many, many years. Ruth would have heart failure knowing that I have talked about her here. She is a modest person and shuns public attention, but lucky for us she agreed to show everyone "What's in Ruth's Closet". Here are some pictures of the items that Ruth brought to show. Believe you me, these pictures do not even get close to doing her work justice. She had some really super stuff. See below...

Ruth made this afghan. It's reversable and has beautiful things on both sides. She said she designed this whole thing herself.

This is sweater that Ruth made that is vertically stripped. I thought that was pretty tricky myself.

This sweater looked much better in person. It's shades of Blue. I should have had Ruth model it. There are to more pictures but I can't seem to get them to load. So I will post them another day. One of them is a very beautiful lace shawl. Ruth has done a great job!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Going Back in Time
This week I was lucky enough to go and sit/stand in the log cabin at the Virginia State Fair with Mary Scott from Serendipity Farm & Studio. I was ticked that Mary called and asked me if I would come and be with her at the cabin since I was going to the fair one day anyway. My hubby and I have never been even though we have lived here for 13 years. Shame on us! So I gladly accepted the two free passes and we went to Richmond for the day this past Tuesday. The weather couldn't have been nicer. Even though it was a bit hot to be dressed in three layers, there was a nice stiff wind blowing that helped to keep things cool.

I had never dressed in period dress before so, Mary was nice enough to dress me. I felt a bit foolish, but after a while I got used to it.
I am the person who is admiring Mary's masterful weaving. We are discussing the pattern name. Since I am not a weaver I am fasinated by the patterns she brought with her. This woman knows her stuff. She knows many, many weavers as well as spinners. She is the person who taught me to spin.

Mary's display had a Great Wheel, which I have seen but have never had the chance to spin on. It was a bit imtimidating but, it was fun after I got the hang of it. Thankfully, there are much easier wheels to spin these days. The Great Wheel is strictly arm powered. You spin the wheel with your right hand and have to keep it moving at a nice clip. Then the left hand holds the roving and while you are doing all of that, you need to move backwards to make the thread. It sounds really complicated but I got the hang of it and actually enjoyed it.

I was so excited to have Mary show me how to use it since a wheel like this is what started me wanting to spin over 20 years ago. When we were living in Upper Bucks County, PA, there was a yarn shop on one of the main streets. They had a Great Wheel in the shop window and I looked at that it everytime I went to Doylestown. I thought about how cool it would be to learn how to spin on one. I never went into the shop but have always remembered it. I ran into a lady recently who told me that the shop is now gone. It's too bad I couldn't tell the shop owner it's because of her I have always wanted to learn how to spin.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Heading Them Off at the Pass
I knew about wool moths many years ago when I had a lovely felted handmade scarf from Iceland turn out like swiss cheese after being stored away one summer. My hubby was in Iceland in the 80s and brought me the gray and white scarf as a surprise present. The last laugh was the moth's who saw this as a summer buffet tucked in a drawer under the water bed. I couldn't figure out why it had holes and then someone told me about wool moths. Really, for me, they were an urban legend. Now they are the dreaded enemy.

I have five fleeces in various stages of dirty, cleaned but not picked, picked and stored away. When I was at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show this past May, I picked up some herbal cedar chip stuff that is supposed to keep away those dreaded wool moths. I didn't buy enough to put in every drawer. A member at the spinning guild told me to buy those cedar chips they use in Hamster tanks and they spray it with cedar spray and store in a muslin bag of some sort. I did buy the chips but honestly I destest sewing so have made no effort to make the bags. Another person said to head off to Bed Bath and Beyond and buy what I need there. I did do that but sadly I think I will still have to sew down the road. I found this pack to thwart off sewing.

You get a combination of four bags and the a ton of rectangular blocks and then rounds with a hole in them. I love the round ones for my closet where I have some wool things stored as well as a wool suit that belongs to my husband.

Here is how I store my fleece.
The blocks came in handy. Whatever I didn't use was sealed up in a zip top bag and stored in the closet also. The total investment in the Value Pack was $14.99. To me, it was worth it to not have to sew and not lose any of my wool booth in fleece form as well as yarns.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Since I belong to the Southeastern Spinner's Guild, I decided to take part in my very first project at knitting handspun. In September we all brought a bag of about 8 ounces of roving to pick at random to take home and spin into yarn. I drew this...

I thought it spun very well and the yarn was really colorful and hopefully who ever has to knit it, will love the varations in colors like I did.

I drew this...

While I am not a pink loving sort of girl, it's a nice bright color. I think that if you were missing in a snow storm wearing anything with this handspun, you would be found for sure! I have started knitting on it even though I don't have to be done with it until the Jan meeting. I bought a leaflet with 6 different patterns for scaves. I picked on that I thought would give honor to the texture and the different shades of pinkish orangish coloring. Sure hope whoever owns it will like it. It's pretty long and I want to make it as long as possible.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Round vs Square
I tried to post this yesterday but flat could not get the photo to load. I wanted to tell everyone about these needles and was so excited about them. These are Kollage needles and they are....are you ready???? SQUARE. I kid you not. They are made from Forest Palm in Vietnam. When I first saw them, I though they were plastic. Odd looking needles. I have not knit with them but hopefully I will buy one pair and try them out and see how they drive. They are not cheap. A little more expensive than Addi Turbos, but they are such an odd thing, they might just be worth the price simple because they are unique. Here is the company web site so you can get a better look at them.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Shoppin' We Shall Go...Okay, I went
I needed some things for spinning and knitting today so I planned a trip out to Serendipity Farms and The Knitting Corner. I have been working on Big Chip's fleece (scroll down to toward's the middle of the page and you will see a lovely picture of Big Chip at the Farmgirl Fare site) and decided that if I wanted to keep it, I needed some heavy duty tools to give the fleece the babying it needed. So I called my friend Mary and went to the shop. I bought myself some news toys. I got myself some Mini Louet combs. I haven't used them yet, but Mary showed me how and hopefully I will have time soon to whip that fleece into spinning condition!

As if that wasn't enough spending, I headed off to The Knitting Corner and spent some more money there. I saw some INOX needles at Knitting on Trial and decided that if I was going to do more lace scarves, I needed some sharper needles. I bought these...

And then I decided that I really needed the right Needlegauge thingy and bought one just for my Addi Turbos. I have two or three sets of needles that are in projects and some how the bags have gotten lost. I don't know about the rest of you out there, but my eyes aren't what they used to be and I flat can not read that teeney tiny print on the cable anymore.

I have tried to post the last thing that I bought at The Knitting Corner but I guess I have gone over my picture posting limit. I was so excited to be the first customer to see these things and now I can't get the dog gone picture to post. I guess I will save it for another post another day. UGH!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Big Chip Day
I have been putting this off but finally broke down yesterday and got started. On what you ask? Well my good friend Susan from Farmgirl Fare, mailed me Big Chip's fleece after I begged to have a fleece during shearing. So she induldged me and it has been sitting in my closet since August. I want to get all my fleeces spun into roving and was thinking about taking them to the Fall Fiber Festival and dropping the off. Well, after there was an indepth phone call with another friend who owns sheep, I think I have changed my mind.
Chip's fleece is riddled with tiny weed seeds so I am going to need some help with this. I washed two bags of fleece and decided I needed to stop and not do anymore until I drive out to Mary's place for a second opinion.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

M is for Moose
I wanted to take a picture of the finished scarf for my oldest son and needed to do it in an interesting place. I tried the kitchen, a tree and on a chest of drawers, but this was by far the best of the lot. Moose was very patient with me and in the end he got his moment of doggie fame and a cookie for his good behavior. So I finished two of the three scarves I have started. The lace scarf will be a while. I have picked up the baby sweater that I was working on before my son came to visit.

This is the back and two side panels of the baby sweater for my new nephew. I sure hope that he doesn't get too big for it before I get a chance to finish it. My mom said the other day he weighs over 11 pounds.

Monday, September 11, 2006

S is for Scarves
I know it's been a long time since my last post but I have had company for almost two weeks and a second son has moved back home to finish school. All this happened on the same day, so to say it's been hectic wouldn't do it justice.

Even though I have not had access to the computer to blog, I have not forgotten that I love to knit no matter what. My son and daughter-in-law each will be getting a new scarf. This is no surprise since they went to The Knitting Corner with me and picked out their yarn. So I have been knitting my fingers off to get them finished. I have almost finished my son's. Just 4 rows shy and some fringe and it will be done.
Of course I have run out of yarn, so that will call for another trip to The Knitting Corner. Oh, darn.

My son's scarf is made from 127 Print 100% wool and it made in Italy. It's going to be 74 inches long and is about 5 1/2-6 inches across. It's just straight knitting and was knitted on # Addi Turbos. It has just flown by. I just love how fast and mindless this was.

My DIL scarf is a bit more of a challenge. It's Galaxy. It's 62% Nylon and 38% polyester.

It's been a long time since I have knitted with anything that doesn't have some amount of natural fibers in it. I am using #15 Addi Turbos. There are 13 stitches and again it's just straight knitting. This is not a mindless knit other than it's the same stitch. I have to really concentrate because the stuff is so fuzzy. When I stand up I have to use a roller tape thingy to get all the stuff off of me. Is it just me or does that scarf look like that purple Easter grass?

I haven't forgotten my lovely lace scarf by Wallis Knits.
I was making good progress until I whipped out the son's scarf and now starting the DIL's scarf. So the lace scarf is on the back burner as is the white baby sweater for my nephew. So even though I had company for a while, I did still manage to get some things done. Now, let's talk about the way the house looks...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wallis Knits
I have been trying to finish two projects at once and get the rest of the spinning done for the guild meeting. When I get bored with one or lose my patience, I switch to something else. I can see how a person could have five or six different projects going at once. I have still have to finish my Mock Cable Sweater. I still need to re-work the arm, the collar and re-sew the buttons on the Green Lacey Jacket and the baby sweater that I started for my nephew. Geez, I have nothing to do with my spare time!

This is the latest project that I have been working on. It's a design by a local woman named Linda Johnson. She is currently the President of the local Knitting Guild here where I live. I think she works part-time at Ewe Knits and then designs.

I have talked in past posts about the Lacey Green Jacket, but it was done with baby yarn. It did have a lace pattern to it but wasn't "true" lace. When I went into Ewe Knits, I saw true lace and couldn't resist. I had to have the scarf by Wallis Knits. So I bought the yarn and the pattern and work on it about an hour a day. Since this picture was taken I have tripled it in size. There are errors, but I am excited that I am working on my very first lace piece. I will finish it and give it as a gift to a friend for Christmas then pick another color and make another one, hopefully without any errors.

I haven't worked on the sweater for my nephew as of late but I will soon. I will have a busy three weeks starting tomorrow when my son and his wife come here to visit for three weeks. I still have to work and then of course they will want to eat and I have to knit and spin! I will try and post while they are here but please excuse if they are a bit spaced apart.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Since I belong to a Spinning Guild I have been taking some chances. I threw caution to the wind and went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show this past May. Now I have my sights set on the Fall Fiber Festival in early October. Being with other wool lusting women has been bad for my credit card but great for my feelings of accomplishment.

The Spinner's Guild that I belong to is having a fun challenge right now that will last until the Jan. '07 meeting. In June we brought 8 ounces of roving in a brown paper bag and set it in the middle of the floor. Each of us drew a number that corresponded with a number on a bag and took the bag home to spin. We have until the Sept. meeting to take the roving and bring back yarn. Then we will do the whole process all over again and come back in Jan. with either a hat, scarf or gloves. Here is the roving that I have been spinning over the last three days. I am almost finished. I still have to ply what I have already spun and have just a tad more to spin and then of course ply off. I love all the colors but they are staining my fingers.
I wanted to make the colors match up when plying but I haven't learned how to do that yet. Here is the first bobbin. I finished the second one earlier this afternoon while watching Judging Amy. I should have been vacuuming the living room, but who cares? I love how dark these colors are. They are so my colors. Do you think I can talk this person into letting me have her yarn instead of mine?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Leavin' on a Jet Plane...
Well, it's my favorite time of the year; a work related vacation. I will be leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for St. Louis. I go once a year to a chef's conference where I will be teaching a class of 50 students ServSafe. It's a class for chefs teaching them how not to make their clients and the general public sick by bad food handling practices. After I teach that class all day on Friday, I will be taking some classes myself. I always enjoy going because we eat at new places and this year, hopefully, I will buying some St. Louis yarn. I am hoping to break away from the rest of the group and bring home a few things from a local shop. If not, that's okay because I am going to make some really good progress on my newest project; a sweater for my new nephew.

I saw this yarn in The Knitting Corner and decided this looked more boyish than girly so I could make my new nephew a nice little sweater for a Christmas present. This will be my second baby sweater. I am taking it with me on the plane so I can have some quiet knitting; that is if I don't fall asleep...

Here is the pattern. I am making the cardigan and then the little hat too.
Here is where I am right now with the sweater. I am working on the back. It says to make it 13" so I am here...
Well, this is it for me until I get back. Hopefully I will have made some progress!

Friday, July 28, 2006

The finished Product...well almost!
I finished the Lacey Green Jacket, but am not happy with two things and will be ripping one part out and re-doing another. I have never sown on buttons on a knitted piece and don't like the way the buttons line up.
So I will be ripping those out and trying again for a better line up. The second thing is...the second sleeve. I think I made it about an inch too long and didn't decrease as much as it said to. So I will rip that out and do the sleeve again so that it matches the first one better.

Even though I am going to do some ripping, I am still pretty pleased with the jacket and think that I will do a second one in the other color that I bought; yellow. I bought buttons for that one as well since I knew already about how large the button holes will be.

I have been smitten with lace work. I know this one is pretty simple and not lace weight yarn but it has whet my appetite for doing more, so much that I made am impulse purchase today while out scouting yarn shops for a pattern sheet that I saw on another knitter's blog. Actually I made two purchases but haven't gotten the patten for one yet so I will wait and show that later. It looked really simple so I thought I could do it.

I have already cast on and done 8 rows of this lace scarf. I can see already that I need more pointed needles for this. It's hard to see number one; and number two, it's hard to get the rounded points of the Addi's under the yarn to knit. Purling isn't as bad, but knitting it killer. I am finding that I have to go slowly because I am splitting the yarn. I loved the sample in the shop so I am hopeful mine will look as good as this one!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Amateur Mistake
The other day I had a dentist appointment. This wouldn't be so exciting for me but my dentist is really close to my favorite knitting shop, The Knitting Corner. I went early because I knew I would be able to sit a spell before going to the dentist. I needed buttons for my Lacy Green Jacket so I picked it up and took it with me. I was so proud that I had almost finished it. I laid it on the counter for the ladies to see and there were gasps. Before...

Evidently, I sewed up the sems in a not so attractive way. Susan (the shop owner) showed me the proper way. I was amazed at the difference in the two methods. Of course Susan's way was much better. You know what's coming next...I had to leave the dentist office with a new painful filling and rip out all my work from the day before. It truly was worth it.

don't you think it looks much better? Me too.
Here is the sleeve sown on too.

I have even got some buttons to sew on. I will be sewing them on tonight.