Sunday, April 29, 2007

Still working

I'm finally into the most difficult part of the sweater and I can say with little to no hesitation at all that


I love how it looks once it's done.. and maybe if I knew what the hell I was doing it wouldn't be so much like giving birth to my children. But I know nothing. Nothing at all.

The good news is that I knew going into this project that I wasn't experienced at fair isle knitting and as such decided against a difficult pattern. I just keep reminding myself that it will be over soon.

In other news, I've been working on a Log Cabin blanket (ala Mason Dixon) using el cheapo Red Heart acrylic because 1) it's cheap! 2) they have about a zillion colors to choose from! and 3) it's machine washable!!

Here's a progress shot:

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's not very far along. We tend to watch TV after the kids are in bed, but we do so in the family room and this blanket is a bed project so it's neglected often!

And in still more news, our lillies are coming!!

We received lillies several years in a row from Grandma and decided to replant them in bigger pots... They grew and grew and branched out! When we moved into this house we decided they should be planted in the ground so they could really expand. They definitely have!! I think we started with 3 plants that each had about 2-3 stalks and we now have an entire area of different colored lillies. They're beautiful when they bloom and the blooms are HUGE!!

Here are a couple of pics of last year's blooms:

And for frame of reference, a photo of my then-18 month old daughter in the flowers:

Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

A little tease

If all turns out the way I'm hoping, this will be a bit of a teaser for the project I've been working on feverishly for my dad's friend. I'm not thrilled with the lack of color contrast in this little dodad, but I'm not in the right mindset to search out alternate colors. I also don't want to buy anymore yarn for this project.

Can you tell what it is? I sure hope so!! :-)

I went to the library yesterday to check out several books I've been eyeballing for a while now. I found a few patterns I'd like to make up from the Cables Untangled book and two Lucinda Guy books. I am going to show some restraint, though, and wait until I have some of my to-do list completed before even buying the new yarn. I PROMISE!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

BSJ #3 has buttons!

They're not what I had hoped for, but they look ok with the colors of this yarn so it's all good.

I'll be back later with more interesting writing, I promise.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Spring has Sprung... Finally!

I think, anyway. The weather has definitely been nice and the kids have enjoyed being outside!! As a result, I've gotten little done on the knitting front. It's a happy trade-off. Next summer ought to be the first I can get some knitting done while the kids are playing in the yard or front, etc. This year my youngest is still too young to be semi-self-sufficient. He still has ZERO fear and likes to climb up the slide backwards, almost fall off the platform, then slide face/head first back down!

I have made some progress on the dad-friend-sweater. A whole sleeve is done (except for joining it to the body) and the body has been started. I also bought some yummy yummy yarn for my dad's scarf. He's not exactly a high-maintenance type guy, so I had to find something that was nice and soft but also easy care. He asked for charcoal. I thought that was far too boring, albeit useful since it goes with anything, so I found a great color variation in Lorna's Shepherd Worsted. I figure I have some time to get started since it's also spring in Colorado where he lives. :-)

So that's it in a nutshell for me. I'm going to get back to the knitting since the kids are sleeping. Good Night!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

BSJ #4

I finished the fourth baby surprise jacket this morning. That is, except for buttons. It's always the buttons. I might try to get to Joann or one of the LYS's to find the right buttons today, but it's more likely that won't happen until the weekend when I have a chance to leave the kiddos at home.

Here it is:

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop
Needles: Size 8 addi turbos
Gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch
Yarn: Jojoland Rhythm, color #M05, a bit more than 3 balls or ~375 yards

I'm not thrilled with the color variations in this yarn, but it's definitely a nice thick wool-y jacket for a little girl. I thought the colorway would produce more pink colors than it did, which is in large part why I bought the yarn from the Destash Blog. No biggie, though. I'm thinking since the chest measures ~21" when it's closed it'll probably fit a 12-15 month old, but maybe younger as well. I still haven't seen this jacket in action, even after knitting 4 of them!! :-) I have intentions of making one using larger needles and Lion Brand Wool Ease since I have so much in my stash. Based on figures I've seen online, I think this combination might fit my youngest son.

I also cast on last night for the dad-friend-sweater. This attempt will be using the same yarn as the first try, but instead of following a set pattern I'll be using the EPS system from Knitting Without Tears. I have about a quarter of a sleeve done so far. I haven't decided if I'll be doing a yoke sweater with a design or a raglan style with no design. Too many choices, ya know?! I'll be sure to post pics once it's done and received by the dad-friend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Chugging away

So I still haven't reworked the collar on my baby-gift-to-be. I figured I would take the time to finish the project I had FINALLY decided on for my dad's friend while I cooled off at the irritation of the Debbie Bliss pattern errors. I worked like a madwoman on the sweater and when it was all said and done, I really shoulda listened to my gut and knitted the thing circularly in one piece. Really really really shoulda done that. But even if I had done that, I wouldn't have been able to avoid the problem that sent this project to the frog pond. The fronts were curling in (because of stockinette stitch) and my I-cord (that was supposed to fix this rolling issue) didn't keep the rolling at bay. The only way you would have been able to tell this sweater actually had front pieces is if it were ALWAYS zipped. Darn it!

I have little knitting to show for this past week... or two. I decided to rip the sweater and it's now sitting on the dining table in yarn cakes waiting to become something else. I'm almost done with yet another BSJ using some yarn I bought from the Destash blog. LOVE that blog!! I'll have pics soon, I promise.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Why you should always check for errata

I give you a baby gift... that needs the collar to be ripped and redone following the errata given online. I will do exactly that, but not until I've cooled down. I'm sooo irritated at the screw up, but even more so that I didn't notice that the collar wasn't centered on the neck properly as I knit away. Oh well. Lesson learned. FYI, the pattern is the Shawl Collared Jacket from Debbie Bliss's Baby Knits for Beginners book. I used some el-cheapo acrylic TLC Heathers in Teal color on size 8 addis. I figured the mom would appreciate the washability of the stuff. I also like the color very much. Think it's very boyish. I do have to say that the more patterns I knit from Debbie Bliss the less I like her style. The things she designs are so very cute, but are way too oversized, in my opinion. This sweater pictured is the 6-12 month size. My son is a thick child and at 19 months, this fits him except for the too-short sleeves. The finished chest measurement is 24"!!! That's almost big enough to fit my 3 year old!! Just my opinion. I need to remember that her stuff is always oversized and adjust accordingly on future things.

I still have the rest of the second sleeve for the lady-friend project I spoke of in the last post. I hope to finish that this weekend so I can wash the whole thing, pack it up and ship it off!!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 9, 2007

I am still here, I promise!

I've been working feverishly on a project for someone close to my dad. I had promised to make something for her and just couldn't quite find the right thing to fit. I haven't actually met her in person, but have spoken with her on the phone a couple of times and get the feeling I kinda know her already! Anyway, I kept finding projects that I thought would suit her well--her personal style, work environment, etc and when I would go to find the right color of yarn for it, the bottom would fall out. I wanted the item--sweater or cardigan--to be as close to perfect as possible. So much so that I was beating myself up about it. Then I finally realized a few things: 1) This woman is so generous and forgiving and kind that ANY project will be well received, 2) I don't think it's possible to create anything perfectly, and 3) I'm being WAAAAAAAY too OCD about my choice!! :-)

I don't have any knitting photos for you today because I'm not done with the gift yet and she might just be lurking here... I wouldn't want to give it away before she opens the box I have yet to send! So I'll leave you with what I think is a cute shot I got while on vacation.

Monday, April 2, 2007

I'm Back!

We were on vacation for a week so there was no posting and very little knitting done. Much beach time, though so it all worked out great!

The view from our condo:

And some knitted goodies:

This is the Tomten from Elizabeth Zimmermann and I LOVE it! I intentionally made it large in hopes it will fit next winter. It might be snug in the chest, but maybe not. I can hope, right? The only things left to do are block it and sew in a zipper. I've never done a zipper before and although I've seen many great looking tutorials online, I have no previous knowledge of sewing and think it best to seek professional help!! I'll be finding that at a LYS nearby. I can't wait, too because the zipper is a great matching yellow and it's gonna look GREAT!!

Specs: No clue on gauge. I just knit... I'm thinking probably around 4.5 - 4.75 spi on size 8 addi turbos using Paton's Classic Merino Wool in Dark Grey Mix, Natural Mix, and New Denim as well as Nature Spun in Impasse Yellow for the I-cord edging. I don't know how much I used total, but I will try to weigh the entire thing soon and guesstimate.

I also knitted this while on vacation:
It's not done yet because I can't find the right buttons. I found some awesome ones at the LYS, but I need 5 and they only had 3. I could almost cry. But there are others and I will find the right ones soon enough. I used Blackberry Ridge's Mer-Made merino wool in fingering weight on size 4 knitpicks options needles. Not sure of gauge, but it's probably 6-7 spi. It's definitely newborn size. I intended to make socks out of this, since that's what it's supposed to be for. As luck would have it, I was actually wearing a pair of socks I had made in the past using this exact yarn in a different color while we were on vacation and they basically shredded at the ball of my foot. I'm completely dissatisfied with their wear-ability and will never use this yarn for socks again. I think it's perfect for a little jacket that won't see lots of hard-wear time.

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by!