Sunday, December 27, 2009

a shortie

Bugg made it home safely and our first Christmas in our own home in Louisiana was wonderful. The weather has been heavenly but did cool down on Christmas day.

We have been going to basketball tournaments and FYS has gotten a little playing time.

Progress has been made on the Christening gown and I love the way it is turning out. It has little cap sleeves. I did alter the pattern in the lace skirt: First repeat was knit to spec, but every following repeat lost a pattern 1-4 and 13-16 repetition. To compensate for the length, the Frost Flowers pattern was worked 10 times.

I will really need to move on the second half.

Hope you and yours had safe, joyous holidays spent with the ones you love.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chris' scarf

A few months ago a car full of friends headed to Baton Rouge for a yarn day. Chris picked up three skeins of Berroco Bonsai Colors and asked me to make something with it.
At 77 yards per skein, pattern choices were limited.

The Easy Drop Stitch Scarf Pattern by Christine Vogel worked well with this yarn.

Knit on US 8 needles, the scarf was finished in just a few days. Chris has not seen it yet, I hope she likes it!

Finished measurement" 6" wide; 58" long

Friday, December 18, 2009


Remember the Punta Mericash that I encouraged you to hunt down and buy, buy, buy?
I recommend it even more highly now. The drape and softness is definitely at the top of my list.

Two skeins were plenty and it feels luxurious when wrapped around my neck.

It knit up quickly on US 5 needles

I am devising a plan to get more in a blue-ish colorway.

It was a pleasant diversion, but time is awastin' and I really need to focus on the Christening gown.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A little more than knitting

When we moved into our new home this past summer, little thought was given to the fireplace. From the inspection, we knew that gas was run to it and that the previous owners had burned real wood in it. Nice wood logs were stacked on the metal grate. As it would be, I found time to actually clean the fireplace out and discovered long cracks in the refractory brick panels. Not to worry, we hunted around for replacements and were told about a product that would seal the cracks up to be good as new.

Fast forward to last weekend:

We have been getting a little cool weather and the draw of an open flame has captured my desire to install some gas logs. I performed a pre-hunt for just the right ones then Hubs went with me to buy them. It took another trip to the hardware store to buy a pipe wrench.

Sidebar: the difference between a pipe wrench and a monkey wrench is that the pipe wrench has teeth on the part which grips whatever you are wrenching (probably not a word, but you glimpse at how my mind works).

Pipe wrench and Hubs were able to remove the old piece of gas thing-a-ma-jig that was there and we surveyed the existing refractory brick that was to have it's crack(s) sealed.

We glimpsed at each other and I began prying out the old brick panels - trust me, we were thinking the same thought. We would never feel comfortable doing this half-butt and just knew that we would have to go purchase replacement panels.

It was Sunday and there were two options for parts. One was closed for inventory and the other had an employee who took the information and promised to "call us Monday after 11A with an estimate". We are still waiting for that call. In the interim, the place who has spotless inventory records, gave a price and is ordering the parts today.

This is a prime example of the typical do-it-yourself project at our home. I am convinced that God is still trying to teach me patience and wonder why he couldn't give me a tad to sample and practice growing.

Will we have a nice flame for Christmas? Probably not and I will learn to deal with it. Hopefully, we will get to use it before the weather gets hot again. I am convinced that the parts will come in fairly quickly, but wonder about what the next hurdle will look like.

Oh, why can't everything in life be plug-and-play?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snow? Really?

They didn't say it NEVER snows here, they said it RARELY snows here. Expecting to see the little white flakes every 10 years or so, imagine my surprise when snow fell last week for the second year in a row.

This was my only evidence that it had 'snowed'.

Granted, it didn't stick around long. As a matter of fact, it didn't stick at all. The snow here is more like little water crystals.
I've decided if this is the extent of it, I am staying and will deal with the kooky drivers who have no idea how to negotiate the slightest bit of icy weather and really have no business driving in such conditions.

Apparently, the semi-cool weather finally inspired my husband to wear those socks I finished for him just after Valentine's Day. He did not understand that they are meant to be worn, no matter how many times I insisted that knitter's want recipients to actually use and enjoy the finished product.

He says he didn't want to wear them out.

I've also cast-on an infinity scarf. If you haven't had the opportunity to see Punta Yarns Mericash in person, just take my word for it and order some. I'll bet this is going to be flying off of every shelf that stocks it. At around $20.00 for 262 yards, it was irresistible. The colorways are fabulous and did I mention how soft it is? It is soft, really soft! You need some!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Finished in a month!

Pretty quickly, too. I wasn't even knitting monogamously, either.

Lana Grossa - Linea Rossa No. 2, Model #9

This yarn is truly dreamy. The softness factor is off the scale. There were a few thick and fuzzy pieces in some of the skeins. I cut most of them out and wove in the extra ends as I went.

The pattern called for a button, but I couldn't imagine putting a button and I-cord/crochet loop on the front of this sweater. I opted for a shawl stick. My LYS just received a very nice one that would coordinate perfectly and it may become mine today.
The only thing I frown upon is the way the cables poke out in some places . They are 10 stitch cables and they will tuck back in, but I prefer for them to look all fancy without any of the extra work.

Link to the Cardigan on Ravelry

This is the second model made from this book and I find the designs very wearable and stylish. Not your great-grandmother's knits.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Miller's Hat - a finished object!

Miller's Hat came out from Through The Loops Designs just as I was finishing up the mystery sock.

What a cute, stylish hat and made with worsted yarn. I knew my daughter would love it.

It knit up quickly in just 3 days. I'll admit it was obsessive knitting, but you still have time to get a few finished for Christmas.
The main color is Tosh Worsted in Betine. This is from my fiber club subscription and there is one more skein of it.
The pink trim is Malabrigo Silky Merino in the color Rupestre. This was held double to attain Worsted gauge.

These yarns made for a super soft hat.

This is the only Christmas gift I've made this year!

See it on Ravelry

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Circa 2000: my first socks ever

10 years ago I embarked on a most satisfying hobby adventure. Knitting had always interested me and the day I walked through the doors at Mass Ave Knit Shop changed my life.

Truly, knitting changed my life!

In the early days, my yarn purchases were like those of many new knitters. It was on sale, so I bought it. Many of those yarns are in my yarn closet to this day.

So, when the sale came up and Jo Sharp DK wool balls were in the bin, I noticed. There were many odd balls and the owner told me that there was enough for socks.

Knitting was new to me and my second sweater was nearing completion, but were my skills sock worthy? No worries, I plunged in with Learn to Knit Socks and my new yarn.

The Basic Sock pattern looked pretty easy and my first socks were born.

The stitches look pretty even for a fairly new knitter.

It is apparent that gauge was not a huge consideration in my early days. The fit is not great.

The toes make me laugh! They are finished with two different techniques and one hasn't been recognized by the knitting community as a valid option for closing toes.

All-in, I keep these socks just as they are for many reasons.
They remind me how far I've come on my knitting journey.
They make me think of the valued relationships knitting has brought into my life.
They show me how something useful can be made with two sticks and some string.
They are keeping my feet warm this rainy day.
I still have some of this yarn in different colors...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gloves on demand

Bugg arrived home for Thanksgiving break with a goal in mind. She intended to head back to school with a pair of handknit gloves to keep her hands warm.

I was skeptical at being able to pull off the task while planning the holiday dinner and all of the other tasks that had me trailing behind that busy week.

Hubs and FYS often comment about my ability to 'whip something up' pretty quickly, so with that boost in confidence, I embarked to make her gloves.
This pattern is Hourglass Eyelet Gloves from Webs. I used 2 skeins of Valley Yarns Sheffield and the yarn is wonderful to knit.
Construction of this pattern is a little unique in that the fingers are all knit as an i-cord and closed by picking up a row of stitches along the ladders created in the back of the fingers. Once finished with this, the fingers are connected and the hand is knit in the round. Easy enough, but I prefer the more finished look of traditional knit gloves.
Bugg was happy and tucked them into her bag while one was still a little damp. She called to let me know it is c o l d at school. Just knowing she will slip these gloves on to keep her hands toasty warms my heart.

Friday, November 20, 2009

This is all I got

Really, work needs to be completed on the Christening gown for Mallory. A little change was made to the pattern and overall, I don't think it will have as big of an effect as originally thought. It will be impossible to tell until it is blocked. Blocking seems far far off at this point.

Real progress has been made on the second Lana Grossa model. It is knit in LG Baby Alpaca which is super soft. It has a little halo fuzz to it, but just enough. The back and left front is finished, the right front is to the armhole decrease.

The front photo shows the true color of the yarn.

I took a time out Monday in the hopes of getting my curtains made before this weekend.
Chuckle chuckle.

This fabric is beautiful! It is silk with organza ribbon sewn throughout. It really brings the room together and adds interesting texture.
My first experience with interlining was successful and it adds body to the silk that I couldn't have imagined. They are extremely heavy.

I was able to nearly finish one panel and buy new rods. There are cool finials, but my son needs to cut the rods down first.
There are also round hold backs, but no time to monkey around with them until they looked good. Those will most likely wait until the other 3 panels are finished for a decision.
I also have some fabulous beaded trim. If the hold backs work, the trim will look wonderful down the inside of the panels.

So, that's all I got. Many things to do and nothing really finished.
What did you make this week?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Modeled photos of that soft little vest

I adore this vest. FYS took photos for me this morning. I can definitely see many opportunities to wear this!

Linea Rossa No 2, Model 5. Knit in Lana Grossa Come (which is ultra soft and wonderful to wear - Highly recommend!!)
US 5 needles
It took every inch of 8 skeins

Monday, November 09, 2009

Supplies and steps for making that yarn wreath

You are going to have so much fun! It helps to have a friend nearby to hold things in place, twist the wires, or squirt the glue.

Supplies used for this wreath:

1 wire wreath

1 decorative garland - here is an example from Michaels. Just make sure it can be twisted to cover the entire wire wreath and has branches that can be twisted and bent to fill empty spots

Styrofoam balls:

2 Large
6 Medium
8 Small
6-8 Extra Small

2 specialty - we used green fuzzy with gold circles
6 plain green
5 gold glitter
8 green glitter

Glue gun
Glue for glue gun
Craft glue
Floral wire
wire cutters

Yarn in miscellaneous colors and textures
We used:
Moss green

Pea green

Spring green

2-ply fuzzy
*we also separated the 2 ply and used each by itself then used the fuzzy ply with the spring green. This brings in different colors and textures throughout the wreath

1. Cover your table with paper
2. Place the wire wreath form on the table with the curved edge toward you

3. Position the decorative garland into the wreath and wire around using floral wire

4. Spread the decorative branches so they will show after the ornaments are attached

5. Using Styrofoam ball of your choice and yarn of your choice, place some glue on the Styrofoam ball attach yarn and begin to wrap the yarn around the Styrofoam making a yarn ball. Be sure to cover the entire area so nothing shows through the yarn. Secure the end of the yarn with a pin and glue the end down (this end will not show). Allow glue to dry
6. Continue wrapping Styrofoam balls with different yarns

7. Cut 8" lengths of floral wire (these will be used to secure the yarn balls to the wire wreath)

8. Push a wire length underneath 7 or 8 yarn threads on the glued and pinned side of each yarn ball. Twist the wire ends a couple of times to secure

9. Position the yarn balls in a varied pattern around the wreath (it might help to take a digital photo once you get them into a position that you like)

10. Begin wiring the yarn balls around the wire wreath saving some of the small and extra small ones aside

11. Cut appropriate lengths of wire for ornaments

12. Loop wire through ornament hook and secure them to the wire wreath in a varied pattern around the yarn balls

13. Use glue gun sparingly if necessary to hold ornaments in place. Glue will show on yarn so make sure it is tucked behind the ornaments when you use it

14. Arrange remaining small and extra small yarn balls to fill in gaps or on top for dimension

15. If desired, cut twigs from the decorative garland and reposition to fill in any gaps

16. Use floral wire to form a strong loop on the back top of your wreath. This will be used to hang your wreath on a nail or wreath hanger

We took turns holding the wreath up and standing back to determine where fill-in ornaments were necessary. If your wreath will be in the weather, you may consider spraying it with a protective layer sold at craft stores.

Don't forget to send a link to your wreath, Ang and I would love to see it!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Make a yarn wreath

Remember those cool wreaths decked out with yarn? Starbucks had them last year, but were too stingy to sell them. That was very unfortunate because we were in the middle of a major cross-country move and all of our Christmas decorations were MIA. It was one week before Christmas when we arrived to our new City and it would have been nice to have had a ready-made yarn wreath.

The wreaths caught attention of the knitters I know and my friend, Angella, decided to do something about it.
She found a blogger who posted about making her own wreath. Using Kara's information as a guideline, Angella gathered her supplies and we got together.

We had a goal, one besides hanging a finished masterpiece. Ang is hosting a wreath making party later this month and we wanted to be able to test the theory and make a list of the supplies needed for her size of wreath. We were skeptical that all of this could be accomplished with just a glue gun. Withstanding actual use for the entire season was a concern and we decided to enhance the stability with floral wire. We used a lot of floral wire.

I wish we had taken more in-process photos and I will at the party. In addition, I will post a list of supplies.
The result was incredibly beautiful. My color scheme is already chosen and I will be picking up things to put into my very own wreath.