Monday, November 28, 2005

The powers that be strike again!

I've begun the homespun blanket for my friend. I love this blanket, it's so nice and soft and cuddly and FAST! I made one for myself a few years ago. When I started this one I decided to make it a little bit wider than my blanket. I increased it by 3 stiches and it is now eating yarn at a very alarming rate. You may think (like I did) that three stiches isn't really that much and your right, if your using a normal needle. I'm using a Q - that's big, really big. Three stiches uses almost an extra foot of yarn. I don't know that I'm going to have enough yarn to make the blanket the length I want. (Why does this always happen to me?!)

So now what? I've gone through the first set of skeins (it uses two strands together) and only have 15 inches of blanket. With two more sets that will give me 45 inches. My blanket that I love to death is 84 x 45 inches. I've discovered this is a wonderful size because I can lay full out on the couch and cover toes to neck with room to spare without miles of extra width to get crunched underneath or hanging on the floor. So what to do? Start over and take out the three extra stitches or leave it be and go with what I've got or go buy more yarn?

I really, really, really don't want to start again... I love this blanket but the pattern is so mindless it gets a little boring. So what I'll do is.... um.... go till I run out of yarn and if its to short I'll go out and get more yarn. Good idea, sounds like a plan!

Friday, November 25, 2005


I know - I've been neglecting the blog. But I have an excuse (a really lame one but an excuse) I didn't want to post again with no pictures. I'm very lazy about the photos (I think posting is smaller pain in the ass than taking the pictures.) Anyway, without further ado... The fluffy scarf for Aunt T. I know your so impressed! Isn't it pretty? I told you it would be. You doubted me didn't you?! If you could pet it you'd be even more in love with it. Of course as all my projects seem to go - this is the second version . On the first try I carried two strands of the Firenze together which made for a very lovely soft cuddley fluffy scarf. However it wouldn't have even come close to long enough, and since I am not rich I did not want to spend another 25 bucks on two more skeins (who really needs a $50 scarf anyway?!) I ripped it all out (very carefully) and started over, using a plain worsted weight as the second strand. It's not as soft as the first version but still really nice.

The secret sock project is coming along very nicely - chances are mother will get a whole pair for Christmas. I love these socks, so wish I could show you pictures, but I can't risk it. It's bad enought that she knows she's getting socks. I can't wait for Christmas so I can show you and so I can go back to knitting something for ME!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New Knitters!!

Guess what I did! I made Knitters!! I taught my friends T & G how to knit. T has finished her first scarf (she did a basket-weave all by herself, I'm so proud) and G is halfway through hers.

I taught T a few weeks ago and she has been cursing my name since for getting her into this! I love it, she is apparently obsessed! I'm so excited to have a close friend as crazy about this as me! We were on the phone for ages discussing her design for a poncho to match her scarf. I'm thinking she's going to be one of those knitters that doesn't do patterns...good for her!

G seems like she's might get to the obsessive point too (she has a natural obsessive personality - was that wrong of me?) Monday night at SnB I showed her how to cast on and knit, and after an hour or so she already had a good 4 inches & cramping hands. She was holding everything in a death grip to keep the tension even, but she kept right on knitting cramps & all. I'll have to think of a good project to teach her to purl, I knit continental & purling can be a little difficult and I don't want her to loose interest. Any ideas?

I can't even tell you how absolutely tickled I am that me (an impatient teacher) managed to teach two people to knit. And the real hoot - they both think I'm a good teacher. Oh the poor deluded souls.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Christmas collecting

I've never really been the type to give woolley gifts for Christmas. New babies always get blanket or a sweater set but I never really did "Christmas Knitting." Well this year I am making up for that with a vengeance. I seem to be "collecting" the Christmas projects this year. It all started with a hat for my niece. She is my first niece & only a year old & I love making stuff for her. I made her this ridiculous/cute Jester hat ( I'll show you a picture as soon as it gets it's bells) but due to the lack of cute girly colors the hat is a blue on blue stripe (that will make sense when you see a photo.) Now me...I love blue but I'm an adult and little girls are supposed to wear "girly" colors (or so I was told) so to justify the hat being blue I decided to make mom & dad hat's to match in the same colors (originally they were all jester hats, but common sense prevailed). So evolved the evil hat & the cable headband.

So I should be done with the Christmas knitting, but noooo I decided to make my mom socks (which are coming along fabulously, can't wait to show you pictures.) Still shouldn't be a problem getting them done, I've got weeks left.

Oops - forgot about the blanket I promised a friend for a birthday/Christmas gift back in September. In September that was possible, except now it's 2 weeks into November & I just bought the wool for it last weekend and it's all still in the bag.

Oh and then yesterday I was at a party with some friends & I was knitting (mostly to keep out of the chip bowl) I was working on the socks and my friends says "I would really love a pair of homemade socks, do you think you could make me a pair?" I am a sucker, if you ask me to make you something, chances are I will (remember the fluffy scarf for Aunt T because she asked?) So that's a scarf, a blanket, a two pair of socks, and a secret project that can not be mentioned (for I do not know if intended recipient reads my blog) that all need to be done in the next six weeks. Not impossible, however at the rate I'm collecting these projects I'll never get done!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

She was open

The knitting Gods smiled on me today. Not only was the shop open and I got my cable needle but she had some of this fluffy stuff I've been looking for. I know all you yarn snobs are going ewwww that kinda looks like fun fur, and it is sorta. It's called Firenze its a wool, acrylic, nylon blend and it's so soft and silky and pettable that you can forgive it for being fun fur. My Aunt saw me knitting the other day and casually mentioned that she might like "one of those fluffy scarves" so that's what it is going to grow up to be. My very first knitting project was a scarf out of this stuff, and while it was obviously novice (I added stitches randomly all over the place, some day I'll show you) it looks great none the less. It's very forgiving yarn.

Here is the promised picture of the cabled headband. Isn't it nice? This was such and easy knit (after all my little "issues" got worked out.) This is one of those knits that I don't really want to give away. I suppose I'll have to make more.

Did you know how cool blocking is? Let me tell you...I changed the original pattern (I won't bore you with details I've already mentioned) and it caused the edges to be wavy. I wasn't really concerned about this because when you put the headband on it stretches out and looks fine. But after blocking it lays mostly flat - how cool it that?! (Can you tell I don't block much? Don't forget I'm a crochet convert that work in just acrylic that was self blocking)

See that mistake? I'm thinking that this should be a "trademark" with me. Never fails I've always got one cable going the wrong way! And I never notice it until it's too late, it would take more work to fix it than to re-do the whole stinking thing. No one will ever notice though...our secret ;)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Cables, socks, & thingies?

I finished the blue cable headband thingy (hmmm... this is why knitters come up with clever names for stuff... so they don't call them thingies... who knew?) Anyway I'll post a picture after I block it and the batteries for the camera get charged. I turned out really cute if I do say so myself & I might just have to make more!

I started a new sock this weekend. I'd love to show you a picture of it but it's going to be a Christmas present and I don't want to ruin the surprise. I'll will say it's going pretty fast... despite the fact that I'm using US 1 sized needles. It's my first time with needles so little, I feel like I'm knitting with toothpicks. I did cringe a little at first but after the first few rounds it really wasn't a big deal. It's the same process, the same stitches that I love to make. It just makes them much smaller, no big deal. It's not like using a small hook in crochet, where it takes forever to make any progress. I feel like I'm making these socks at the same rate I made the last pair. See...nothing to fear.

So since I cant' show you pictures of my new socks I'll show you this instead. This is going to be a hat someday. This picture isn't the greatest but it has lots of little cables all over it. I love this hat, it's going to be a fabulous hat... as soon as I figure out a method of cabling that does not drive me completely insane! I've tried J hooks, while they work fine they are terribly tedious to use. Those little crooked/straight cable needles, whatever they're called, I hate them, stitches fall off every time. I've tried cabling without a cable needle which I really like except it only works well with a four stitch cable, more than that it's just as tedious as the J hook. I did recently acquire a short straight needle at Rhinebeck however I am a moron and bought one that is too big and it makes the cables impossibly tight and very difficult to work with. I think that it may be the method of choice however I'll need to buy one of the appropriate size first. Unfortunately only one yarn shop near me sells them and by some bizarre twist of fate she has been closed every time I try to go (this is of course because I am a spaz and continue to forget that she is not there on Sunday's). Or maybe the knitting powers that be just think it's funny... who knows?

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Look at what I got today! Sock books! I'm so excited, I'm going out this weekend to get more sock yarn. Not that I don't already have sock yarn (those two skeins in the picture are the sock yarn I scored at my Stitch & Bitch destash night) but I don't have any solid colored sock yarn. Except for that 50g skein that will only make one sock. Don't know about you but I don't know any one footed people so I need two socks. So it'll be off to the yarn store (such a hardship, I know you feel my pain).

I can't wait to cast on socks but first I'll probably finish this.

This is going to grow up and become this. For such a little thing it is giving me such a headache. I cast it on and worked the first four rows, ran into some issues in the first pattern row so I had to rip it back, while I was doing that I decided I hated the seed stitch so I ripped it out completely and cast it on again. I changed the seed to a K2 P1 rib and then ran into the issues again with the first pattern row, I did it twice before I occurred to me if you don't change anything your going to have the same problem. So I analyzed the pattern, discussed it with mom, decided the M1 did not mean knit into the front and back of the stitch as I had interpreted it (I did not pull this interpretation out of the air - it says so in my knitting books...Really) anyway I figured out (after much trial and error) that you've got to pick up the stitch in between the stitches to get the pattern to work right. So we're golden now (I hope) maybe I'll get this done tonight and then Socks!!

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