Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ooh la la!

So I have a birthday coming up. I haven't thought about it too much (seriously). I normally plan my own dinner party with my friends, but this year has been busy and I just haven't gotten around to it, and whatever. So hunky boyfriend tells me he has made a dinner reservation for my Paris.

I'm going to France! This french girl is going to the motherland!

(About 8 hours knitting time there, fabulous dinner, French yarn stores, 8 hours knitting time back - love it)

So, any yarn store recommendations?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I Need a Vacation From My Vacation

No, you're right, that's not much progress. But see those dpn's? They are the wrong size. I forgot that I was making the sweater with us6 and when packing, grabbed my us7's to make the sleeves. Duh. No LYS in sight so I just put it aside for my whole vacation.

Yes I know, I will never get 4 coasters done at this rate. But who wants to focus on knitting linen lace when it's 90 degrees by the pool? It's been a rough winter, let me be.

Now these got most of my airplane time. These are the Padded Footlets from summer 2005 Interweave Knits. I am making them in Lorna's Lace's sock yarn in "Cranberry". I am absolutely fascinated by the pattern. The lace bits are interesting, and the sole is knit with 2 strands. The pattern is written for dpn's but it was fairly easy to translate to circs. (The trick is to put the sole stitches on one needle and put the instep AND the gussets on the other needle, marking the beginning and end of instep with stitch markers.)

The construction of the sock is truly interesting. They have great detail, as you can see here in the heel. And since there is no leg, they are pretty fast to knit. I'm loving them.

Nothing like coming home from vacation to find a box of yarn waiting for you! Before I left I ordered some yarn from Knit Picks. Main Line in "Dusty Lavender" and Shine Worsted in "Terra Cotta". I thought I was over the shrug thing...but then I bought a simple black jersey sun dress. And I thought, hey, I can make a cute somethin' somethin' to wear with it since I'm always cold...or I could make 2 things....and whatever, you all are knitters, you know the rest. I picked up a copy of Options by Margie Morse Pulley and we'll see what comes off the needles.

I haven't had a chance to sit at my loom in quite a while so I'm off to get my weaving fix. Hooray!

(BTW - I signed up for the blogger SP8. My inner child is very happy.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Feel Good Knitting

There it is - a preemie cap for Project Sunshine. My knitting group is having an event to knit preemie caps for this non-profit, so I whipped up a little head doily to check out the yarn. (Nice! And machine washable, very important) There are many variations of these hats out there in the internet free pattern world, but here is what I came up with:

Simple Preemie Cap

Yarn: Knit Picks Shine (60% cotton, 40% modal), 110yards in "Butter"
Needles: us4 and us5 dpn's or 2 circ's
Gauge: 6 stitches = 1 inch using size us5 in stockinette
Finished size: 9" circ, 5" high


Using smaller size needles, cast on 56 stitches.
Being careful not to twist stitches, place marker and join in the round.
Knit 5 rows.
Change to larger needles and continue until hat (unrolled) measures 4 inches.

Begin decrease:

Row 1 - *Knit 6 stitches, knit 2 tog. Repeat from * 6 more times. 49 stitches remain.
Row 2 - (And all even rows) Knit.
Row 3 - *Knit 5 stitches, knit 2 tog. Repeat from * 6 more times. 42 stitches remain.
Row 5 - *Knit 4 stitches, knit 2 tog. Repeat from * 6 more times. 35 stitches remain.
Row 7 - *Knit 3 stitches, knit 2 tog. Repeat from * 6 more times. 28 stitches remain.
Row 9 - *Knit 2 stitches, knit 2 tog. Repeat from * 6 more times. 21 stitches remain.
Row 11 - *Knit 1 stitch, knit 2 tog. Repeat from * 6 more times. 14 stitches remain.
Row 13 - *Knit 2 tog. Repeat * 6 more times. 7 stitches remain.

Begin i-cord:

Row 14 - Knit 3 stitches, knit 2 together twice. 5 stitches remain.

Place all stitches on one needle and knit 5 rows. Break yarn and thread through remaining stitches. Pull to close i-cord and secure on wrong side of work. Weave in ends. Done!


Gauge is not so important, as preemie heads come in many sizes. I like the roll brim because it is adjustable. If you are worried about the roll moving too much (or not rolling at all), tack it into place in the back with a simple whip stitch when weaving in your cast-on end.

And yet another charity project. My group has also taken on a group blanket project. We are making a block blanket for Project Linus. 96 squares will make one 40 x 60 blanket. We have 173 squares! If all are usable and the colors work, we should be able to make one 40 x 60 blanket and another at 35 x 35. I will be documenting the piecing togther progress here...*gulp*. It's just a big, fun's just a big, fun puzzle...

Tomorrow I head out of town for a couple of days. Will hopefully have much knitting progress to report. Won't have much access to yarn stores, but I made up for that yesterday. I had an hour to kill so I popped into a LYS and walked out with 2 skeins of Koigu in a lovely celery color. Yum.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Walk, Don't Run

Yay! My Apartment Socks (aka Jaywalkers) are done! I said they would be done by Monday morning and by golly, they are! They're a little tight pulling them on over the heel, but once on they are so comfortable and not at all tight.

Yarn used was Koigu KPPM color P334. Despite using the same dye lot, one sock is darker than the other. Groovey. I used size us2 Addi Turbo's and tweaked the pattern a bit. I was originally worried that they would be too big, so rather than go down in needle size (I'm a tight knitter), I cut the stitches in between increases/decreases to 6 stitches. Then they ended up being just a wee bit tight (the pattern doesn't have much give). I left an extra 2 stitches in the sole part of the foot and the foot fits great. I fudged my way through the toe decrease (pattern is for 4 dpns and at this point my stitch count was different anyway...) The end result - I love these socks. They are very comfortable. I would make Jaywalkers again.

My reward for finishing - I cast on for Mary Snyder's Padded Footlets. Must...finish...other projects...first...


Friday, April 14, 2006

I Should be Cleaning...

But I'm not. Here it is, my experiment with linen and lace. I don't have a name for it yet, but it is essentially a fleurette coaster. Coaster is my design, and fleurette lace is from A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker.

Linen used is Louet Sales Euroflax. Full specs to come, in fact, that coaster in the picture is still damp. The lace was fun to knit, I love knitted hems and I love the depth given to the lace by backing it with a deeper color.

Now I just have to make 3 more...uffda!

Slow progress on the Jaywalkers since the only time I really work on them is when riding the subway. My goal is to finish them this weekend. Yah, by Monday, sure.

I have hardly worked on the baby sweater, though the yarn (Manos Cotton Stria) is lovely to knit with. Priorities. Once the Jaywalkers are done, this sweater will have more of my focus. I'm almost at the arm shaping...should fly...

Speaking of flying, once the loom is dressed (took me 8 hours) weaving is ZOOM ZOOM. I am making 2 placemats, though I think they will turn out rather thin. Maybe they are hand towels. Whatever. I love that I can hem them on the loom. I was planning on machine hemming, and did the hem there by hand just so I wouldn't lose any threads but I like the way it looks so much that I may just keep it like that. We'll see what happens once it is washed and shrinks down a bit.

We are having 2 friends over for brunch on Sunday, so I have to get to cleaning. I just bought a bunch of hollow chocolate bunnies wrapped in foil, HOORAY!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Not Quite Table Runner, Not Quite Placemat Thing

My first official floor loom project is finished! What is it? I call it The Not Quite Table Runner, Not Quite Placemat Thing. I love it. So humor me as I rehash my trials and tribulations as a novice weaver. I also don't know a lot of the terminology yet and continually embarrass myself calling things "thingy's" and "jiggamabob's" but hopefully you can follow me. Non-weavers may want to look at the pictures and skip ahead to the bit at the end about knitting. (No offense or anything, but it's a lot of technical mumbo jumbo and even weavers will be bored)

It took me awhile, as expected, to thread the heddles. It was easier to do the left side then it was to do the right side. I stuck to Terry's (my teacher) claw method as my brain stopped holding information when I was shown an alternative method. I thought I was doing fine sleying the reed, but my order got messed up here and there. For the most part it was 1,1,1,2 but I found a section that was 2, 2 but I figured it was no biggy. *gulp* As I started weaving I could see my sleying order, which made me nervous because I thought I had done something wrong, but mistakes are beautiful, right?

Well, then I must have tied the warp incorrectly, because as I began to wind it around the cloth beam, the knots started sliding. (I tried Darby's rabbit ear knot thing, but again, I think I was missing a step). Perhaps I should have stuck with what I knew, which was the surgeons knot, at any rate...I went back and retied the knots as best I could but my tension was off. I was still very pleased that my weaving didn't end up too wonky. I was able to wind it on the cloth beam evenly, despite the tension being loose.

I forgot to put 2 floating selvedges on each end and only put one on each end. Atleast I put floating selvedges and gave myself a pat on the back for that one and moved on. Figured out my treadle order (march right left, right, left) and put my plain weave treadles on the outside. Not sure if that's how it should be done but it worked for me. Lesson learned, tie up extra treadle ties, otherwise they catch on the treadle hooks and lift unwanted shafts. Otherwise a pretty, but not planned design will be produced. It was exciting to finally get the hang of throwing the shuttle, boat shuttles rock! (Such a newbie, I know)

When I was done, I just cut the warp. I didn't want to untie the knots in the front because I wanted them as reference for next time I wind on a warp. Originally I thought I was going to hem the edges, but the cloth was thick and loose so I figured I would just do an overcast stitch on the edges. Well that's nearly impossible off the loom so I pulled out my sewing machine and did a tight zig zag stitch on the plain weave section and called it a day.

Washed it, ironed it, and yay! Here it is, The Not Quite Table Runner, Not Quite Placemat Thing. I'm very happy.

I've been showing a lot of yarn and very few projects lately, so I won't bore you with another picture of another skein of yarn. All I will say is that I've joined this:


Friday, April 07, 2006

Sock Happy

I feel the need to write about socks. I never truly realized how cool it is to knit socks. The yarns are amazing, the patterns are interesting and they are actually pretty damn comfortable. So last night I dug through a couple past issues of Interweave Knits and started planning my sock projects.

This Artyarns Ultramerino will become Padded Footlets as designed by Mary Snyder. You can see a picture of them here.

These balls of Lorna's Laces in Cranberry will also become Padded Footlets. In fact, they will probably become Padded Footlets first because they will be a gift.

I have been holding on to this Koigu for awhile, waiting for a special project. And then yesterday I came across this post from KnittingSpaz and I was inspired. Turns out I have Winter 2005 issue of Interweave Knits, so this Koigu will become Embossed Leaves Socks as knit by Mona Scmidt. You can see the IK picture here.

I actually have no idea what I am going to make with these. I picked up this Katia Mississippi (60% cotton, 40% acrylic) during my recent trip to L.A. Perhaps Falling Leaves? I really want to make them...

Oh my poor Lorna's Laces. I tried making Jaywalker's with them but they were horribly ugly. Perhaps this yarn will have to turn into simple socks. Speaking of simple...

I have never made socks with true self-striping yarn. I have also never knit with Knit Picks yarn. So what the hell, kill two birds with one stone. So what to make? How will these look as Jaywalker's? And speaking of Jaywalker's...

Despite knitting for 5 hours straight on my flight to L.A. (slept on the red-eye back home) I am only at the foots. Someday, another finished project will appear on the blog.

Now, on to the trivia questions from Flash Your Stash - Annie Style.

Jennifer Beals' dance double was Marine Jahan, though she did not get credit at the time. In the final dance sequence, (the audition) she actually had 3 dance doubles. (Very close, Hila!) Marine Jahan did the technical dancing, Richard Colon "Crazy Legs" did the breakdancing, well spinning on his back, and Sharon Schapiro did the acrobatic bits. And yes Karen, you are correct. Jennifer was actually good at welding, but the director wanted more sparks so she welded like crap.

I'm off to knit socks...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Introducing Bob

Here she, er he is. The pattern is Kate, but I call him "Bob the Cat" since he is going to a little boy that recently was able to come home from a stint at the ICU.

Lamb's Pride Worsted, took a couple days to make because I've been busy, but was fun to knit. Sorry about the crap photo, but the sun has set and that was the best place I could find decent lighting.

Finally, a finished project!

Now on to my Jaywalkers, lacy stuff and baby sweater...and Sunrise Circle Jacket...