Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recently Fallen

I've been neglecting this page for far too long, though I do have a good reason. I was blogging at Paton's for the past year, so it isn't like I haven't been chatting about yarn, just not around here.

But that is all about to change, as I finish up my commitment there and move back over here to discuss and post about my latest knitting projects. Really blogs are nothing more than a grown up version of Show & Tell. Or as my father used to say, Bring & Brag.

So in the spirit of Bring & Brag, I would like to share two hats that recently fell off my knitting needles:

Rain Down Hat
(Ravelry Link)

This is a free pattern I found on Ravelry that makes a great hat. The recommendation is to knit it in favorite team or school colors. I chose the colors of my husbands winter coat and his running jacket. Sorry for the horrible pic, but the light today is terrible.

Machu Picchu Earflap

And with that completed, then I made the Machu Picchu Earflap Hat (Ravel linked) by bluegirl knits, using up the Cascade 128 Superwash leftovers I had from Nicholas's Christmas sweater. (Wow, I guess I will have to blog about that as well!)

As you can see, it also includes a remnant of polar fleece--because I am going to attempt to line the hat to make it extra warm. That remnant was a steal--70% off! So I got a nice sized piece of polar fleece, nearly half a yard, for a $1. And it matches perfectly. Oh, yeah, I like it when a plan comes together. Well, it isn't together quite yet, but this weekend . . .

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Comfort Knitting

I was working on a project that went wrong in so many directions it isn't even funny. So when I threw it down in frustration and refused to look at it for a week of moping, it was time for some comfort knitting.

When all else fails, there is something so comforting about knitting a plain pair of toe up socks with a self-striping yarn. And boy, did I need these!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Vested Interest

I began this vest ages ago, and it got put down for Christmas knitting and when I picked it back up, I realized I hated the short rows I'd put in for the bust.

The project is a Vestish, which I am knitting in KnitPicks City Tweed DK, in Plum Wine. I loved this pattern the moment I saw it--seconded by my love of vests. And the City Tweed? Nummy with alpaca! Just check this out:

So all those months back when I started this, I thought I needed more shaping up in front for the girls, but when I tried it on, it looked silly, so I frogged back 7 inches of stockinette. That hurt. So this week, when I ran out of yarn on my latest Paton's project (another "oh, crap" moment), I picked this up and swore I would finish it so I can wear it to the PLA (Public Library Association) conference in Portland at the end of the month. Nothing like a deadline to get the knitting moving.

I also modified the pattern by knitting it in the round rather than pieces, so it does take some time to get from the bottom to the divide, but tonight I will hit the happy 16 inch mark and be able to start dividing it up. After a lot of cabling and calculating on another project, I am in love with the joy of just knitting, round and round.

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Between

Now that I've begun blogging for Patons (you'll find me over there as "YoElizBo") I have found my knitting divided: my projects and their projects. Since I have to share what I do for them over there, I thought I would fill in with a little bit about what I've been doing on the side.

Socks . . .

I took a mini-class at Madrona Fiber Arts with Charlene Schurch (YES!!! That Charlene Schurch) and it was awesome. The class was on making socks more durable, a class I desperately needed as I have worked holes in nearly every pair I own. Mostly having blown out the heels. Charlene had some great suggestions like:

1) use the needle that gives you the tightest fabric. If you are seeing too much air between your stitches--it is too loose. Even if that means going down to 0s or smaller.

2) Use heel stitch all the way down the back and under your heel. Duh! This dense, thick fabric will keep your heels in play longer.

3) Use carry along thread to add an extra bit of support.

When I sat down this Saturday to patch my very first pair of hand knit socks, I realized all too quickly they were more hole than sock and they needed to be . . . tossed.

It was hard to do, but there it is--they gave me eight years of warm feet, so I have to say I got my money's worth with that pair.

I also took the current pair I am knitting and frogged the first sock back about three inches and starting doing the sole stitches in heel stitch to thicken up my "trouble spot."

And Using Up Sock Yarn . . .

I saw this absolutely fabulous version of the Multnomah Shawl on Ravelry and could not resist trying one with some Trekking XXL I had on hand. I think this is going to be fun, bright and warm to toss on, as well as being nice and soft.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Slipping into 2010

I went into this New Year looking for something new to do with my knitting. So many people on Ravelry were doing "10 for 2010" lists--you know, ten things they wanted to do this year, but as I read the lists, I realized that I had done a lot of that last year.

I made strides in my lace aversion and actually knit several lace projects. I learned entrelac. I've given up trying to learn new and faster and improved ways to knit. I find those classes don't improve my knitting or my speed, and I end up spending money to have a teacher sniff over my knitting and telling me how much better I could be if I did it their way. And since I am a good, even knitter there really is no need for changing. Took me a few classes, dollars and soul searching to figure that out, but I'm good with how I knit.

So this year I didn't need to go out and conquer the new, I needed to find something different--a different direction. And of course, when you go out and ask the universe to send you something, amazing how it finds you. So I answered a post on Ravelry to be a blogger over at Patons Blog, and I am now part of their team. They provide materials and projects and I get to knit them. So, I essentially get paid in yarn. So the right thing at the right time. Watch for my first posts over there sometime after Feb 15th. And my first project? To cute! But for now it is a secret.

Starting 2010 off right, just what have I been knitting since the beginning of the year? Well, baby, its been cold outside and so I've been knitting slippers. Three pairs of them. I discovered that all the felted slippers and booties I had were just plain worn out, so it was time for some new feet around here.

Felted Clogs for me. I've wanted to do this Bev Galeskas pattern for ages, and then got this wonderful reddish burgundy Cascade 220 yarn in a swap and knew it was the perfect yarn for my clogs.

I love how big they are before you felt them and then "Voila" out of the washer they come and they are just your size. Though I have to admit that they took longer to felt than I would have thought. It took three run thrus to get them down to size.

But apparently you can't knit just one pair of these. And since they are uber-fast to knit and fun, I knit a pair for the oldest child, because he wouldn't take mine off.

This turned out to be the best way to get mine back.

And now there is a second pair of happy feet in our house:

Then I came across this pattern, Bunny Hop, and went into a "Must. Knit. Now." knitting zombie mode. I made a pair of thrummed mittens years ago, so I was familiar with the technique, and had to imagine all that warm wool around be awesome.

Got all the materials and promptly sat down to knit them. I love how the thrummed stitches (which is a knit stitch with a piece of wool roving knit along with the yarn) make a cool pattern on the outside.)

Of course the inside is another matter. My DH looked over one night and asked if I was knitting a poodle.

Okay, so maybe they do look a little poodle-ish on the inside, but slide your toes into that thrummed roving and you will want poodle jammies to go with them.

Case in point: I let him slip his toes in and he decided they were heaven, but complained that I shouldn't have made them pink. The boys loved them as well, but the pink is like kryptonite to the three fellows around here--they really avoid it, so these little bunnies are all mine.