Archive for the “knitting” Category
Not false or copied; genuine; real
Made or done in the traditional or original way
Being what it is represented or claimed to be
from The Simple Woman’s Daybook via Bliss and Folly as inspiration in conjunction with One Little Word
Outside my window… a snow bank so high I cannot see my driveway. It is bitterly cold, but I must go out soon trudge through the 2 feet of snow to pull wood out of the pile to stack next to my backdoor.
I am thinking… different things I can do this year to discover the Authentic Me. My New Year’s Resolution is to “be more me” so I’ve taken “Authentic” as my One Little Word for 2011. There are so many things I have to try to figure out this year. I’m not sure what the starting point will be, but I hope writing about it will help.
I am thankful for… a little bit of quiet after 2 snow days, but oddly I find myself looking forward to the girls coming home from school today.
From the kitchen… the noises of the dying elephant in my dishwasher. I really don’t think it is normal for my dishwasher to sound like this, but I can’t seem to convince my husband that we need to have something done about it.
I am wearing… my jammies still
I am creating… the beginnings of finding my Authentic Me
I am going… knitting with my Mad Knitters on Sunday. It is time to get out and see my friends. Really.
I am reading… The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow. I’ve just started reading this, but this is about a girl looking for herself and her place in this world.
I am hoping... that my two daughters with mid-terms will be focused in their studying so that we can still do some fun things even though there are many tests coming up in the next couple of weeks.
I am hearing… the dishwasher, the furnace, Snickerdoodle purring…
Around the house… Quiet–today is my first day this week with everyone at school or work. J will be home early today, around 1 I think, as she has a half-day.
One of my favorite things… I don’t know. I can’t think of something. I’m a little tired of things. I would really like to have fewer things. Nothing is really coming to mind at this moment.
A quote to share…
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow,
as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
William Shakespeare in Hamlet
Here is some knitting that I am sharing…
I have for you (are you ready???) – My completed Sock Blankie!!!! Ta Da!!!
According to my Ravelry Project Notebook, I started Sock Blankie on April 1, 2008. He was always intended to be a long term project, so the fact that I’ve been working on him for over 2.5 years isn’t really a big deal. For anyone new to Sock Blankie you can find the pattern information here. Sock Blankie isn’t really made out of socks, but rather spare sock yarn. Once you start making a sock blankie, sock yarn will come to you*. Trust me. My Sock Blankie has 113 squares. Some are leftovers from my knitting. Others are leftovers from my friends’ knitting and my sister’s knitting and even from my sister’s friend’s knitting. I also have some from a yarn ball exchange from the BlankieMania Group on Ravelry. Sock blankie is from all over the freaking place, isn’t he! Sock blankie is also surprisingly stretchy, bouncy, and a lot of fun. Maybe Sockie Blankie is me – a lot of pieces and colors put together in a way that you wouldn’t think would work but somehow form a cohesive entity.
* Want some? I haz some! LMK!!!
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Socks, Baby Hats, Thorpes, and now Sock Blankie…
I’m knitting in batches. A lot of something then moving on.
It started in the fall when I had to keep knitting to keep my sanity — 3 pairs of socks. Then I moved on to baby hats — made what? Like 6 or 7? Next up was mostly Thorpes with a Pixie hat thrown in. I offered to knit them for all K’s friends for gifts to help her out. Thorpes is the style of hat that is very popular this year, so I hope they are wearing them. But, if not, that is okay too. Recently I was asked how I feel about giving away my knitting and if I worry about what happens to it when it leaves me. I’ve been thinking on this quite a bit to figure out my answer. If course, it is always nice when a hand knit items is appreciated and worn. That being said, I think I’m more of a process knitter than a product knitter so I don’t really obsess over it. As long as I have the photos and the history, I’m good. I don’t even wear all the knitting I keep for myself, so I don’t think I can get all that upset over it.
But you are waiting for the photos now, so I’ll be moving along.
J was very happy to model for me. The only hat for her though is the light green beret that I made last year and finally got around to weaving in the ends. Altogether I think I have made 8 Thorpes. One for me, one for K, one for B, and 5 for K’s friends. I have requests for 2 more that I need to start on soon before I’m completely out of the grove. I used different yarns for the Thorpes mostly drawing on my stash. I think they look best in handspun though. I even used some of my Tour de Fleece yarns.
For example, Shaded Sapas
became this hat for K:
Since the holidays, I have been knitting on Sock Blankie. He is almost done! Just about 5 squares left and an edging. What is up after that? I have Stripey Cardigan to finish and yarn for Hemlock Ring (woot!). I think my knitting group is going to do Hemlock Ring as a KAL. That will be fun and I’m really looking forward to it! Oh, and I almost forgot. I have 6 skeins of Mountain Mohair to make into something for my sister. I think probably a vest as it is not enough for a sweater, but any thoughts, let me know, okay?
So, this is a pretty good start back into blogging right? As always I hope not to go too long before the next post in which I hope to talk about Sock Blankie in more detail and my One Little Word for 2011. Until then, take care and thanks for reading!
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Posted by: Tamara in knitting, tags: hats, socks
Knitting is a lifesaver. Since the end of September, I have made 3 pairs of socks and 5 baby hats. Just easy, thoughtless knitting that keeps my hands busy doing projects that I can complete.
I was just knitting socks of various sizes for really no apparent reason and with no clue what would become of them. Then one day on Facebook, I saw some local friends posting about the Library Holiday Craft sale. I donate crafts to it every year. When the girls were little we would make ornaments or I would Mod Podge something. Last year, I donated hand-dyed yarn and scarves I think. Perfect, I thought. I have socks!!! So I just need to print up some labels as to sizes and care instructions and off they go.
At the library where I work (which is in the next town over), we are knitting baby hats to donate to a hospital as our Wednesday Night Knitters charity project. They are not preemie hats or anything, just regular baby-baby hats. According to Knitting Rules, baby heads have about a circumference of about 13 to 14 inches, but I think they can be as big as 18 inches so this is a pretty easy task. I have knit 5 in a variety of sizes.
It is fun and easy – I’m using left over sock yarn and knitting them on 2 circs like I knit socks. And the same as when I knit socks – as soon as one is done, I immediately cast on for the next hat.
It has been a rough fall here at my house. Thank goodness I have knitting.
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I don’t really have any irresistible knitting projects going at the moment. Mostly right now, I’m knitting dish cloths for the summer reading program adult incentive baskets this summer. They are fun and quick, but I keep forgetting to capture their images before they leave my house!
I also have a couple of traveling knitting projects which live in my Stitched by JessaLu bags…
The first one is Hedera by Cookie A. This was the project I started for my trip to Michigan during April vacation. I’ve been on the heel flap for a while. The yarn is Merino/Tencel blend from my shop. Yup, product research, lol! I wanted to test this yarn on a sock to see if it would be stretchy enough as the blend is more drape-y than spring-y. The result is that I think these are going to be lovely socks to wear. The yarn is soft and smooth and there is definitely enough stretch in the fabric so that they will be comfy socks too.
The second is some kind of Summer Waves pattern that Cheryl was knitting when we went to Spa: Knit and Spin in Maine in February. The yarn is Oasis by The Woolen Rabbit which is SO soft! It is silk and Camel in the colorway Ribbit (which I do think is a rather unsophisticated name for a yarn with elegant fiber and spectacular depth of color.). I confess that I haven’t knit on this one too much lately either. Maybe I need to do some more traveling?
Since it has been awhile since I have last posted, just a couple quick updates…
Reading: I’ve also been stuck on the same book for awhile too! I’m trying to read The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller. It is good, but, well, it is just not The Hunger Games, you know?
Gardening: Today, I need to do some soil prep to plant the wildflower seeds that I just bought from New England Wildflower Farm. I’m going to plant these along the edge of our new field. In the middle, the baby grasses are coming in nicely, but the edges are sparse and we also need to reduce the mowing area. Everything in my yard so far is growing like a maniac with the early warm weather we have had. We have had full size leaves on most of our trees since the beginning of May. This is very unusual for where I live!
Spinning: I’ve been spinning some yarn as R&D for my Etsy shop. I’ve started to use Greener Shades dyes on some of my rovings and I’m going to be launching a new fiber by the end of May! Stay-tuned for more info…
My Etsy Shop: I had closed my shop during the month of April for travel and to catch up on home maintenance (which never, ever ends, btw). I have plenty of great items in there now and have more to list so here is my shameless shop promotion – please go check it out!
Well the sun is out, and the Earth is calling. I’m off to play in the dirt! Have a great day and thanks for reading!
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…of The Unofficial Olympic Temptest rides in Spring Fling Mondo!
Can you believe 2 sweaters in such rapid succession?
Here are the details…
Pattern: Mondo Cable Cardi with Cap Sleeves by Chic Knits
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in GoGo Grassy (2.25-ish skeins)
Knitting Enabler: Cherylz
Yarn Shop Enabler: The Knitting Experience
Needles: Sizes 8 and 6 Addi Turbos
Modifications: I “slimmed down” the neck band for spring weather. I also think I’m going to leave off the buttons in favor of closing it with a shawl pin.
Thoughts: During my Spa: Knit and Spin weekend with Cherylz, starting this sweater was all that she could talk about and apparently it rubbed off! There is actually so much to write about Spa, but for the sake of posting this sometime this century, I’m going to jump ahead to our trip home when we stopped at The Knitting Experience (which is rather like the knit shop version of “Cheers” btw, I just wish it was not as far away as Maine!). I loved the pattern when I saw it. Choosing the yarn was a bit difficult, but after knitting with Dream in Color Smooshy and knowing how soft the merino is, how could I not choose it? I had some doubts about the color not being sophisticated enough for the design, but I think that due to all the subtle variations and depth that it has, it works great for a Spring Fling Sweater – one which also goes great with jeans!
Well, I’m running out of time for now… I have a couple of smaller finished projects to post and a couple to start. I also have last year’s spring sweater to finish. I don’t know… we’ll see!
Have a great day and thanks for reading!
Oh yeah, and a few more photos:
My husband was making me laugh!
Check out all the subtle colors!
Love these cables!
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I like this photo the best because it makes me look way thinner than I really am. I think it is the stripes.
I started this sweater prior to the Olympics and finished after the Olympics, but the main bulk of the knitting did indeed occur while watching the Olympics. So I think that officially this can count as my official Unofficial Olympic sweater.
Pattern: Temptest by Ann Weaver
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Punky Fuchsia. I purchase 4 skeins and used about 2. I overdyed 2 skeins for the darker orchid stripe. I used less than 1 of those and just touched in to the second of the plain Punky Fuchsia. I have probably enough to make a whole ‘nother one of these if I reversed the stripes.
Needles: Mostly size 7 Addi Turbo with some 4 for the bands and a 10.5 for binding off.
Modifications: I can not stand 3/4 length sleeves. I just can’t. I don’t know why as most of the time I push up my sleeves, but to just have them 3/4 length to begin with drives me absolutely nuts! To make these sleeves longer, I added 1 entire stripe plus a partial stripe. After reading through a lot of the notes on Ravelry, I found that a common problem people had with knitting this sweater was with the sleeves being too tight. Because of this and the fact that I always have that problem anyway, I started knitting the sleeves with the directions for my size (35), but increased up to the next size (37) for the shoulder shaping.
Issues and things I would do differently if I were to do this again: First, I would not slip the first stitch of every row especially in the shoulder shaping areas. The pattern says that slipping makes it easier to seam, but so not so for me. I just didn’t have enough bars to use and had to sometimes go in further to seam (which I think used up precious shoulder room.) Second, I would read the pattern better! I just now (!!!!) noticed that it recommends using a Sewn Bind Off. That would have been very helpful had I noticed it, as the first time I bound off, it was a puckered sweater from hell. I had to go all the way up to size 10.5 needles to get a loose enough bind off around the button bands and neckline. I think I would have also picked up a few more stitches along the way, but it seems okay now so just a few more would be good, not too many more.
Other things to note: Seaming took an ENTIRE DAY. I’m not kidding. Dedicate a day to stay in your jammies and watch movies. This is also not a very photogenic inprocess sweater. I did take photos and did intend to blog about it along the way, but really each piece just rolled up into a tube before blocking. Can you believe that I did not own a blocking board before this sweater?
And one more thing I forgot to tell you: While this is may be my official Unofficial Olympic Sweater, I don’t think I won a Gold Medal — I would give it probably about a Bronze Minus. I found knitting fingering yarn on size 7 needles to be very confungling! I kept accidentally knitting into the stitch below and my stockinette was a disaster. I spent quite a bit of time unknitting. While I think I fixed most of my mistakes, there were a few that persevered and I know that they are there. I really thought that this would be one of those obviously hand knit sweaters, but when I wore it to work today, I didn’t get the usual, “Hey, did you make that?” So maybe it is okay after all… I’ll probably forget where the mistakes are in a few years anyway. I mean, I can’t find my major Tangled Yoke mistake anymore after all.
13 buttons found at JoAnn’s Fabrics. I consider it a streak of luck to have found the perfect color in the correct quantity on the first try!
I love the design element of the thin, slimming stripes in the middle. So smart that designer!
The yarn is so soft and stretchy making this sweater so easy to move in. Due to the softness of the yarn and the loose gauge, I could even wear it to work without being too hot.
I decided to just leave the ends of the sleeves as stockinette and let them curl a bit. They do match the hem at the waist as I added a purl row where the hem folds. I debated doing a bit of ribbing, but I do like them like this.
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The other day, I was gazing out my window and saw these odd little tracks in the snow.
Since it was a cold, blustery day, I thought the tracks looked rather fresh and decided to investigate further.
I put on my coat, my gloves, my scarf, and my hat (all hand-knit of course) and headed out into the wind.
The first thing I noticed was that I was being watched.
Who was that watching me? Mr. Barred Owl? Were these his tracks? Was he watching me or did he have his breakfast in sight?
As he quickly became rather intent on something nearby, I gathered it was his next meal.
Whatever had made those tracks better hurry and run for cover lest he become Mr. Barred’s feast of the day.
I walked around my house closely following the odd little tracks in the snow. Finally, I discovered the creature not-very-quickly making his get-a-way. A new one for my yard — definitely a life-lister!
Mr. Penguin!?! He must have been blown off-course during his annual migration to Florida. Being stuck in Connecticut with the hungry barred owls doesn’t really look like his idea of a good time, does it? Mr. Penguin appeared to be very frightened. He was frozen in his spot and didn’t know what do to next. I decided to rescue him and carried him inside for a nice hot cup of cocoa.
Mr. Penguin Project details:
Pattern: KnitWhits Stanley Softie by Sonya Philip
Yarn: Louet Riverstone
Needles: Kollage U.S. size 8 – square
Thoughts: I enjoyed knitting Mr. Penguin. I bought all his components at Stitches East. The KnitWhits booth had kits, but I decided to buy the pattern and the yarn separately as the kits had purple yarn instead of black. I found the yarn on sale at another booth so the pattern and 3 entire skeins of Louet Riverstone ended up costing about the same as just buying the kit. I think I can probably make 2 or 3 Mr. Penquins if I so desire. The square needles seemed to be the *new hot thing* at Stitches East so I treated myself. They were very nice to knit with and you don’t really even notice that they are square.
The most difficult parts of making Mr. Penguin are sewing on his feet and his making his eyes. I think his eyes came out okay though I do think he looks a bit worried. But then, who wouldn’t be worried with Mr. Barred watching your every step!
After a few rounds of hot cocoa he is back on his journey south. If you see him, add a splash of Kahlua to his drink to keep him warm — he likes it that way.
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Oh yes, I have more!
Here is my Damson:
Pattern: Damson by Ysolda Teague, I purchased it as a Ravelry download, however.
My Ravelry link: Here
Yarn: Superwash Blue Faced Leicester, fingering weight
Needles: U.S. Size 4, I believe
Colorway: Hand-dyed Grape Goddess, a Spincerely yours colorway
Thoughts: This was a great pattern to knit. I love patterns where the designer “spells out” for you how many stitches you should have on each row. That being said, I do have to admit that I was always off, so just stopped counting after a while. I started over a few times, but then just gave up. I just knit until I had the correct number of stitches to start the lace section. Oh yes, and how can I forget? I LOVE the clever way this shawls starts out. It is super-nifty.
So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It is so hard to believe as November has passed so swiftly this year. I guess that is what happens when one is not home for an entire month of Saturdays (and this Saturday I have to work at the library). We are gathering at my parents this year and my sister (Llamafarmgirl) and my BIL are also coming. They decided at the last minute so it is an extra-special treat. The girls were so excited when we told them.
My Thankful List:
I am thankful for:
- An incredible husband who takes care of us ferociously and supports me in everything that I do.
- Three lovely and healthy daughters who are kind, loving, and try their best in everything they do.
- My mom and dad who call me every morning to wish me a happy day.
- My sister and her husband who are strong, supportive, fun, loving, and generous.
- My house – even though it is a ton of work, it keeps us warm and dry.
- My job which gets me out of my house and into the world where I get to practice being with people and feeling more confident in myself.
- My Etsy shop which lets me be creative with color and fiber and share it with the world.
- My friends who I never get to see enough but love dearly.
- My cat Snickerdoodle because he brings good cheer to my family and he is orange and he is soft.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Enjoy your day!
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Finally, a finished project to share! Or rather, I believe, I am finally finding time to share a finished project with you…
Pattern: Wonky by Brittany Wilson
My Ravelry link: Here
Yarn: Hand spun yarn from a Spunky Eclectic Fiber
Fiber: I believe this is a superwash merino/bamboo(rayon)/nylon blend
Colorway: Can’t remember its official name, but I think of it as Ice Cream. I’m not really sure why as ice cream isn’t typically that color blue.
Thoughts: This pattern is a super-speedy-quick knit. I whipped this up in just a few hours. I had to hold back actually once I cast on so I would have something to knit at my knitting group. I think this would be a great project for someone just starting out learning to read patterns and ready to branch out into the knitting world.
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You would think I would know me by now being that I’ve 4 whole decades on me, but no, sometimes it takes a while for me to catch on. I thought I could live with a certain little mistake in my Damson shawl. I knew it was there and continued to knit on. 6 rows later, at 300 stitches per row, I had to rip. So for the last 3 days I’ve been ripping and tinking and now I think I’m finally back to my error and moving forward once again.
I’m knitting Damson by Ysolda. I think this may actually be my first shawl (or a least a can’t think of another at the moment). I’m knitting it in Grape Goddess. Grape Goddess is my favorite late summer color – I can’t resist its purples, greens, and golds for the goldenrods and purple asters. I think it may even smell of ripening grapes.
Here are some quick project details:
Pattern: Damson by Ysolda which I purchased and downloaded from Ravelry
Yarn: Superwash BFL in Grape Goddess by Spincerely yours
Needles: Size 5 Addi Turbos – the pattern calls for size 6, but I liked the look of the stitches at size 5
Thoughts: This pattern is very well written. I like the detail given to how many stitches you should have on your needles on any particular row. Mine seemed to be a bit off from time to time, but after restarting once, I continued on. This is very addictive knitting and does make for good travel.
More thoughts: And the cleverness! The cast on for this shawl is so incredibly clever! There is no seam at all! I forgot to take a close-up of the beginning so I’ll have to save that for the next post, but I’m in awe!
I’m through with the garter section and it is in the lace section where I made my big mistake. I forgot to do one decrease. I thought, “oh, no big deal, no one will notice” and I knit on. And on. And on. And then I couldn’t take it any more and ripped out. Didn’t rip out far enough so had to tink back. Dropped a few stitches so had to pick them up and now three days later I’m knitting on again. Phew…
Well, as I haven’t been seen around these woods of my blog lately, I suppose I should give some quicky updates. Here goes:
Weather: September weather has been awesome! Must give it its due. Good job September, you rock!
Reading: Just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and have started on Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. They are both for book clubs. Both book clubs are meeting on Monday, Sept. 21. Since one of them is meeting at my house, I think that is the one I will go to.
School: All the girls are back at school and they all have way too much homework. We have finally finished going to all the open houses and maybe we will be able to breath again.
Fall Sports: Agent K made the varsity field hockey team and scored a goal in her first game! Between field hockey, school, and all her clubs, haven’t seen her too much lately. I did clean her room the other day, but I will withhold all info on the *interesting* specimens found wherein. Agent B is running cross country for the first time and is sticking to it even though I believe her feelings toward it are less than love-filled. Agent J is not playing fall softball as there were not enough girls for a team, but instead she is taking an art class that she loves, so all is well. (And we can rejoice that our weekends are sports free!)
Etsy shop: I’m busy trying to find new ways to promote my Etsy shop. I’m starting a mailing list (you can see my sidebar for info on how to join) and I’m starting a Facebook Fan page. I’m still debating on starting a Ravelry group. I’m not sure how many different things I can maintain and I have to admit to being less than stellar at keeping up with bulletin boards and always figuring out the best things to write without wanting to go back and delete.
Gardening: My flower gardens are starting to perk up with the return of the sunshine, but it was just a little too little, a little too late for the veggies this year.
Nature: It felt like last summer there was always something new and unusual in my yard to blog about. Not so much this year. I have not even seen a turtle. Haven’t seen any snakes either, but that is way good. Not too many butterflies and no interesting metamorphosis stories to tell. We did have a great crop of very friendly and personable hummingbirds this year. They have all moved on now. I think the one at my feeder this morning was a traveler from a distant land as he just didn’t look familiar to me.
This weekend: Tomorrow I have to work at the library, but after a long week away from my dye dungeon studio, I hope to get back down to it on Sunday morning. I have lots of wonderful special requests to brew up for you!
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