Monday, December 24, 2012
Hope everyone is staying warm (or, in some cases, cool!) and getting lots of knitting done. I haven't done too much knitting lately, but hope to have something to show next post.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Until this morning, I hadn't knit a stitch for a week. Just so much going on, and not enough time for sitting still and knitting. But the semester is now over and I got to kick off the break by getting together with friends to knit. When we noticed that half of us were knitting gray projects, we had to get a shot. If Snowden had been here, our chances of having five projects would have been high. Girl can rock the gray.
While there, Staci told me about an app she thought I might like. It's knitCompanion from Create2Thrive, and so far, I AM liking it. It allows you to upload patterns via Dropbox, and then manipulate them in all kinds of creative ways. So far, I've uploaded the pattern for the Fishbone Gansey Socks I'm currently working on, isolated the cuff chart, and added the written instructions side-by side. The app adds an automatic row highlighter, and with the tap of a button, it jumps to the next row. So cool! You can also color-code sections, add virtual stitch markers, and more. It was a little tough getting started, but I got going pretty quickly. It's already made this project easier to follow. It's a little spendier than some apps, but worth it, I think, just for the help in following charts.
And now to stop writing about knitting and actually do it. Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season and getting to knit as much as you want to.
Sunday, December 02, 2012
This year the decorations consist of the 55 balls I knit earlier this year and some toy-themed ornaments that are partly from a trip to Germany and partly from a cheap drugstore set from my first Christmas in my own home, which has a lot of sentimental value. I think they all work nicely together.
It all looks better than I'd expected. I just hope I put the new balls high enough up on the tree so that Kate doesn't snatch any of them.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
So on Thanksgiving afternoon I started a pair of Anne Hanson's Fishbone Gansey Socks. They're like a fisherman's sweater for one's feet! I like the sideways fishbone pattern across the cuff. It was interesting to make, although I'm already at the start of the heel. It seems to be business as usual from here on out.
And then I get to do it again. And on my rockin' new dpns. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I turned the final corner on the edging in the middle of the week, and made great progress while catching up on some Nova episodes in the evenings. When I got to my knitting group Saturday morning, I realized the end was near. By early afternoon I had finished the edging, grafted it together, given it a good long bath and had it on the blocking board. Well, mostly on it.
Now I need to figure out how to present this to the little one's mother. With permission, I'll post some pictures of it wrapped around a little bundle of joy when she arrives in February.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
In addition to a thoughtful (ahem) card and a gift certificate to my favorite local bike repair shop, I was presented with a set of 2.5mm 6” Signature Needle Arts stiletto-point dpns, in all their lovely greenness. They are absolutely wonderful and I put one of them to work right away on the edging on the baby blanket – only a little more than one side left to go.
As an added extra surprise, I was hoodwinked into bringing my Hillhead Slipover under the pretense of Staci borrowing it for instruction purposes. When I arrived, I wondered why Jene was wearing an over-the-top Christmas sweater, and then it hit me –- they were all wearing knitted vests. Those whacky gals! It’s one of the things I love about this group – we tease because we love. We share just about everything, and I find that meeting with this group on a weekend acts as a kind of emotional reset button. I really, really miss it when I can’t go. It’s about so much more than the knitting.
Thanks, ladies – I love each and every one of you!
Sunday, November 04, 2012
I've completed one whole side and about a third of another. The end is in sight. I can't wait to block this thing and see how the design shapes up -- and how big it's going to be.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
From the original 8 stitches, I've increased to over 600. It takes nearly 30 minutes to do a round now, and it's only going to get slower. When I look at pictures of finished Honey Babies, I can see that I'm only a few inches from the edge, but it's gonna take a lot of knitting to get there. So close and yet so far!
I'm posting this from the regional medical librarians conference I go to each fall. This time we're in Lubbock, and although I've had a great time, I'm ready to head home. The long drive is going to be much more pleasing than the ride up, because I'll be accompanied by another knitting librarian.
More progress soon.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
With all the increasing going on, this thing is gaining in circumference rapidly. It's also taking a lot longer to get a round completed, and I'm finding I'm making some mistakes from zoning out. I've caught each one before disaster struck. Mostly thy involve not paying attention to which direction a decrease should lie. Right now, I'm fixing a round that I messed up two rounds back. Tedious, but necessary.
So progress continues. I've nearly finished up the first pattern section. And although I just about have this one memorized, I'm eager to get started on the next one
Sunday, September 23, 2012
The pattern, Honey Baby by Anne Hanson, calls for sport, but I decided to go with fingering. Instead of size 5 needles, I started with size 3, and then quickly switched to size 2 (2.75mm). It looks about right now. The blanket will be smaller, but then, babies are pretty small -- or so I've been told. I seem to remember my nieces and nephews being tiny little things at one time...
So for now, I'm just following the chart around. Honestly, how anyone can knit lace from written out row-by-row instructions is beyond me. I can't wait to move from dpns to a circular, but my 16" 2.75mm needle is out on loan, and my one other one is a 32". I tried it earlier today, and trust me, I'm not quite there yet. But I so long for the speed and ease of whipping around on metal needles. These bamboo ones are getting very crowded...
I should also mention that I was totally inspired to make this by a lovely example I saw in Ravelry by gcnatter. So, so beautiful!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Yesterday, my niece was over. I had her in mind while making this. She tried it on, it fit her fine, and it looked great on her. So it's all hers. I finished up the I-cord border today and added the cords and tassels to the ear flaps. It's blocking right now.
This was a great project for going through some leftover yarn. It turned out okay -- except for the tassels. I don't feel I was quite doing them right, and they won't last forever. The tassel on top doesn't have any of the gray yarn because I was afraid of running out. As it turns out, I would have been fine. I had ideas of making more of these hats, perhaps with other animals, but not any more. I'm done. I need to make something with different yarn right now.
And that thing just might be Honey Baby. We have neighbors expecting in February and I've been admiring this pattern for a while. Problem is, I haven't planned ahead, and I'm going to have to go buy some yarn. Life's hard.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
I originally thought I might line this with fleece, but now wondering whether I want to go through all that when I could be knitting on something else. I suppose I could always tackle that later.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
great-grandmother's little sister, Gladys. I only remember my Aunt Gladys from her later years, living in the same nursing home as my great-grandfather (her brother-in-law). He didn't really get along with her, but I loved visiting her room. She and her roommate were crochet machines, cranking out pastel-colored blankets, dolls and cozies that covered nearly every corner of the room. This is a tablecloth that I think is crocheted. It might be tatting, though I don't really know anything about tatting. The work is very tiny. It only has a few stains and some tears that could be repaired. It's not really my style, but I do love it's intricacy.
I'm sure a big part of the appeal of these items for me is knowing something of their provenance and of their makers. It makes me sad that I can't talk to Aunt Gladys now and tell her how much I loved watching her work as a boy. Or that I will probably never know who made that quilt. But having these and pulling them out from time to time to admire them makes me very, very happy.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
The very first step in the process is knitting the ear flaps. The pattern calls for knitting them flat. I started doing that and quickly became frustrated after a few rows. I have such a hard time purling with my right hand, and although I've done it before, I had yarn dominance issues and I hated it. It felt so weird.
Now on to the more interesting parts of the hat. One concern is that the two shades of blue aren't contrasted enough. But even in the called-for colors, the flaps aren't as visually interesting as the top paet of the hat, so I'm going to keep going with what I've got.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Last night, I finished the last ball, Thirteenth Day Kari. I'm kind of surprised at how quickly this project went, although, like many projects, I did tend to tackle it in bursts. Once i had the main pattern down pat, I could almost do these in my sleep. The main thing I needed to know was what row the contrasting yarn started on, and then I could just take off. The last one I did was finished in just a few hours. As I wrapped this up, I thought about all the possibilities for making one's own designs that would fit inside this format.
I'm glad I used beads rather than gluing on the crystals. One summer of storage in a hot Texas garage, and I would have had a box of ornaments sitting on a bed of rattly sequins. But I do think that maybe I overdid them a bit on a few of the designs. Towards the end of the project I found myself wanting to use them less and less. Still, I can't wait to see if they sparkle as much as I hope they will once they are on a tree with lots of lights.
a tree with 1300 julekuler on it in many colors that looks quite fabulous. For now, 55 is a nice number.
Thanks for following along as I made these. I can highly recommend them as a project. Now all that remains is one more set of pictures, but those will have to wait for later in the year. Martha was kind to point out that there are similar Advent and Easter projects designed by Arne & Carlos and some of the designs look really cool. I probably didn't need to know about this!
Saturday, August 18, 2012
In any case, this little sock darner was well-used at some point. The finish on the rounded end is quite worn. And there are some dents in one side that lead me to believe that some child, probably my dad, used it to whack things with. I have no idea how to use one of these myself, but I know at least one of my readers has taken a class in sock darning. In fact, that's the reason I was able to recognize what this is. Maybe she can show me how to darn socks some day?
Back to organizing. Who knows what else I might find?
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
However, I did manage to finish the socks that I cast on for nearly a month ago with the yarn i got in Denver. In the last two days I knit the heel flap, turned the heel, decreased the gusset and finished the toe of the left sock. And, miracle of miracles, I managed to keep my instructions and charts straight between the two. Not so easy when the chart for the left sock is on the right side of the page and vice-versa. Seriously.
Now, I need to buckle down and finish those last five Christmas balls.
Thursday, August 02, 2012
I liked these designs, but as a group, I don't feel I excecuted them very well. Something about the really long floats over several rows, mixed with my lame right-handed tension, made for some puckered surfaces. I also didn't stuff these as tightly for some reason -- as if fiber fill was some sort of priceless commodity. Maybe I'm just getting sloppy as I get toward the end of this project. Must keep that in check.
The next one is just called Reindeer. Not much to describe, but I did like how leaving the legs on the far side of the deer detached from the body by one stitch lent a bit of three-dimensionality to the design. Not much, but it helps. And lastly, a Running Reindeer. I filled all the white stitches in the border and the three on each deer's body with crystal beads -- 60 beads in all. I think that's a record. Hope it doesn't snap off a branch.
Only 5 more balls to go!
Saturday, July 28, 2012
big!) goats made out of bundles of straw are a traditional Scandinavian Christmas decorating tradition. I'd never heard of this, but there are many examples to be found on the web. Now to me, "buck" would denote a deer of some sort, but Wikipedia says goat. And bock beer often has a goat on the label. And this little guy does seem to have a bit of a beard. The Wikipedia article mentions pranking neighbors by putting a julebukk in their yard. Some friends and I once did something similar with a deer made out of sticks and logs -- you know who you are! -- so maybe I've absorbed a Scandinavian Christmas tradition without knowing it.
Now we're off to celebrate our 8th anniversary (thanks, Canada!) with a fancy dinner.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Dave, one of the talented and stalwart knitters in our men’s knitting group, brought a cake to the meeting today. And to think I almost didn’t go – I had gotten on a bit of an online genealogy binge, and had a hard time tearing myself away. But I’m so, so glad I did. There were only three of us at the meetup today, so we had a bit of help eating it. Strawberries and cake and whipped cream and cream cheese and kirsch – how could it be bad? I had seconds. There, I said it.
And I’m getting ready for seconds on my Kalajoki Socks. I figure I’m going to do one half of the pattern rounds again (18), and then start decreasing for the toes. I may have mentioned that these are left and right-footed, so I have to be sure and get them right. I’ve tried them on and they fit like a glove, although I’m a little dismayed at a strange run that appears between my SSKs on the left gusset.
You may have noticed that the cuff looks a little longer than the last time. After knitting the heel flap and turning the heel, I thought the cuff looked awfully short. I weighed my remaining yarn and made an executive decision to rip back the heel and put in another 33-round pattern repeat. I’m glad I did. I think it looks way better.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
A little creative mathematics got me through the heel flap and around the heel turn, where I stopped to take the picture at the left. This pair will have an "anatomical toe," different for the left and right feet. I'm looking forward to seeing how that works.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
But, I learned some cool techniques and got some practice memorizing a lace pattern. The three part star-shaped toe with the mercifully rare P3tog was only slightly maddening. Working on this got me to thinking about socks again, which I haven't been knitting enough of lately. Perhaps I'll get started on some with the new yarn I picked up in Boulder. I'm thinking of making the Kalajoki pattern -- it's been in my queue a while and should look nice in a bluish green. I'll need to look into upsizing them for manly Flintstone feet.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The pattern is written for three needles, and although I usually use magic loop for socks, I'm toeing the line here. Past experience with patterns from this book taught me to do what I'm told. It's easier, and Ms. Bush hasn't steered me wrong yet. I have had some near disasters with 36 stitches crammed onto a 6-inch needle, though.
Gypsy Wools. All the yarn there is hand painted or hand dyed by the owner, and the colors were amazing. There many examples of yarns you don't always find, and I picked up two hanks of sock yarn in both a dark gray and a steel blue bordering on turquoise made out of superwash Blue Faced Leicester. It's a nice little shop with friendly staff and an amazing array of colors. Also, they have lots of
We head back to Texas, and the heat, tomorrow.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
First up is a Crown, which I bedazzled to the nth degree. The beads around the brow section are silver, with all the rest red. The next ball is a Lily pattern across two panels. It doesn't show in the photo, but the lilies to the left and right of the visible one point down rather than up. It looks like I may have had a tension issue with this one -- I see a bit of a pucker on the right.
Next are a Butterfly and an Anchor. The butterfly's wing spots consisted of three white stitches. I couldn't decide which of them deserved beads -- so I did them all. This may cross the line from flashy to trashy, but there you go. The anchor was tough because of the long floats.
And finally, a Greek Cross on a red background (my personal favorite of this bunch) and a Crown & Heart design. I like the heart, although it rides low in the design and was hard to capture. The crown on the first pattern is preferable to this one, I think. This one looks like a Dalek. And everyone knows that hearts and Daleks don't really mix, much less Daleks and Christmas -- except when they do...
Friday, June 22, 2012
Turns out tying a bow tie is very similar to tying one's shoes -- only with really fat laces that you can only see in a mirror. I think I'm pretty close to getting it right.
Polar Chullo for some lucky soul with a smaller melon than mine.
Whew! It's good to be done with the wad of wool on my lap for now. Now all I have to do is await some cooler weather so I can wear this thing, bow tie or not. And my other project is just the thing to bring on thoughts of wintry weather.