Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Socks for my dear daughter....

Beads for my dear friend......

This is a linen market bag for my sister.... pattern here. I really liked how this turned out, and will make one for me out of a more humble sotton, so doubt. The linen made it really crisp and showed off the lace effect.

You can see I have been very crafty this Chrismas, and had to wait to post these photos. Hope all had a merry and warm holiday and found time for knitting between all the eating, drinking and merriment! Cheers.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

No Hat-Hair Hat!

I wanted to make a hat that holds snuggly around my head like a headband, but has a slouchy top, so that my hair is not squished. This is an easy pattern, and you can make it with any yarn that knits on 5mm needles and knits to gauge.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns, Lana Bambu: one skein (100grams, 196 yards.) Colour 3 (tan mix)
Needles: 5mm, (US 8)
Gauge: 16 sts = 4 inches in stocking stitch (knit row one, purl row two)
* note: I knit this flat, but you could knit in the round and change from circular needles to double points at the decreases near the top*
Pattern: Cast on 90 stitches. Work in K2/P2 ribbing for 7 inches.
Next row: Increase 18 stitches like this... [Knit 4, knit in the front and back of the next stitch] repeat in the brackets across the whole row (right side).
Next row...Wrong side: purl across 108 stitches. Right side: Knit across all stitches.
Repeat this stocking stitch pattern for 4 inches ending with right side facing.
First decrease row: Knit 21, [place marker, knit 2 together, knit 19 more] repeat the bracket 3 more times, then knit last 3 stitches.
2nd row : Purl wrong side row, slipping markers.
3rd row: [Knit to marker, slip marker, knit 2 together], repeat four times, then knit to end.
Repeat 2nd and 3rd rows 4 more times.
Purl next row.

Final gatherings; Row one: [Knit 2 stitches, knit 2 together], repeating until all are worked.
Row two: purl across. Repeat row one and two twice more.... cut yarn to 24 inches. Thread end onto a darning needle and draw needle through all the remaining stitches, pulling it snuggly closed, then proceed to sew down the back seam all the way to the cast on ribbed edge. Turn big ribbed edge up in half to make it thicker and warmer and perfect!.

Stay warm!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fraternal Socks

I finished two pairs of the Christmas knitting socks, and love the feel and sturdy softness of the yarn I used... Patons Kroy Sock Fx. The only thing is, they are impossible to match exactly, making a pair of related socks that are not twins, but more fraternal.

The green colour is most obvious, and in two balls of yarn, I could not confirm a repeat in pattern at all. The grey ones are also non repeating, but it is not as obvious.

I have a hat to knit, with a lovely wool and bamboo yarn I got on my Lancaster - Intercourse trip in July. It has always been destined to be a hat, but it wasn't until yesterday, when the freezing cold wind was whipping in my ears as I ran from the car to the YMCA, that I remembered I had this warm hat almost ready to wear (actually haven't started it, but how long could one hat take to knit?). I want a snug warm band around my head with a bit slouchy top part, so as not to mess up my hair too much.... I think it should only take a day, so look for the pattern tomorrow or Monday. Tomorrow is likely to be a knitting/watching football day, as most of my Christmas shopping is done!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fringy Suede Scarf

This long textured scarf was inspired by the yarn. The suede feel and natural colour reminded me of a suede jacket I had in the 80's that had a row of fringe around the chest and shoulders. I wondered if I could knit the fringe as I went, and tried casting on and casting off 10 stitches at the start of every row. A really easy project, and quick knit on 6mm needles.

Yarn: Lion Brand Suede, 3 - 85gram balls.
Needles: 6mm (US 10).
Pattern: Cast on 25 stitches. Row One: bind off 10 stitches, Knit the 15 remaining. Turn.
Row 2: Cast On 10 new stitches at the start of the row, then bind OFF 10 stitches, and knit the remaining 15.
Repeat row 2, adding a new ball of yarn when you run out, until the length desired or almost all of ball three is done (mine is 7 feet long, and I used only half of the last ball).
Last row: cast on 10 stitches, then bind off ALL 25 stitches. weave in ends.

Funky, fringy, cool.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Future Projects!

Just found this project on Elann! The Pinwheel Sweaters! I think it would be great for using my stash! I have several balls of worsted weight superwash merino, and other odd balls of same weight! I will gather together these and start knitting in a pinwheel after the Christmas knitting is done. If you don't have a stash to gather, I would recommend the kit... what a great price and a cool project. Only $30US.
I am working on a cool scarf using Lion Suede. I snagged 3 balls at Michaels for $3 each. I really like the mocha colour. It looks like real natural suede to me. Here is a peak at the scarf so far.
Pattern to follow, so stock up on Suede!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mail-Yarn and Bobble Scarf

I whipped up the bobble scarf in ONE HOUR!... it is only 5 stitches wide and four feet long, and light and cute!

I also got some mail-yarn while away, and here it is. It is from Elann, ordered days before my trip on a huge full bag sale. 10 balls of Elle Elite, wool-cotton DK yarn in teak for $15! (sorry, sold out quickly). It has a cottony feel, but is 50% wool, so should be warm and easy to knit. I am planning a short sleeve, cowl neck pullover, maybe with a bit of a pattern stitch to amuse me. Still have some gift knitting to finish, so may be a bit delayed on this one.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Arizona Knitting!

Sorry to step away from the blog for a week, but we were in Arizona, for golf and sun and fun... and although not too much knitting was being done, I did manage to find a lovely yarn shop in Carefree, Arizona. The place is Bonnie's Yarn Crafts, and it is LOADED with lots of yarn and wonderful ladies. They even engaged my hubby in chatter about where we are from and things other than yarn (great instincts on their part!). I found some cool sock yarn ....

Classic Elite Yarns, Alpaca Sox. It feels so soft. Here feel it....

And also Gnocchi, from Lana Grossa, a bobbly yarn for fashion scarves. One ball makes a scarf, so I snagged three! Knit on fat needles, you cast on 4 stitches and knit back and forth until the yarn is done! You only catch the skinny part of the yarn and let the bobbles hang free. Photos to follow really soon, as this is a QUICK knit!
Here is me, looking for my golf ball in the desert... what an amazing place to play golf.The lush green fairways are surrounded by desert and cactus! A cool contrast that never got boring to me!
And of course, the roadrunner made an appearance!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quick I-Cord Headband

I am growing my hair a bit longer, and have taken to putting it in a short ponytail when busy working on my stuff. I like the look of those skinny headbands, especially when worn in twos or threes. I bought some in the past but found they were SO tight, they slipped back and hurt my head! So I dove into my stash and found some leftover Esprit (cotton with lycra stretch) in black. The pattern is easy:

Yarn: stretchy worsted weight (suggested knit on 4.5mm needles)
Needles: two 4mm *double point needles* (or one size smaller to make a tight cord that still stretches)
Cast on 4 stitches: Knit across row. WITHOUT turning slide the stitches to the other end of the double point needle and starting again from that side, knit across row. Instructions for I-Cord knitting is HERE.
Repeat I-Cord stitch until the length is about one inch short of length to go around head (without stretching) then bind off and stitch ends together.
I will make a few more of these, in several colours. EASY!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lost and Found

While I can't show the work in progress (Christmas surprises) I do have a cute tale to tell.
Rick and I were golfing on Sunday, and it was a bit overcast, so he was trying to find his non-tinted glasses (the ones he keeps in his golf bag for days when he can't wear his sunglasses - which he also keeps in his golf bag). They were not there! Rick always has two sets of glasses in his golf bag to cover all weather conditions, and had used the sunglasses almost exclusively for the last few weeks (lucky us, a sunny fall). So he grabbed one pair from the car (of course he has clear and sunglasses there too!). As we played, he wondered where he could have left these glasses. He came to the conclusion over breakfast at the club, that he may have wandered into the club with them, and removed them to eat a meal, then left them on the table by accident. I asked which frames they were (he has so many) and he thought the black metal with the plastic arms. While he was changing shoes in the locker room, I asked the waitress to check the lost and found for black frames.... There were not in the basket where they toss the lost glasses, although there were LOTS of lost glasses! Oh well.
As our meal arrived, the hostess (knowing we were in the glasses business) asked if we knew where they could donate these lost glasses to a good cause, and I told her we collected them up and sent them twice a year to Cuba and India, and other points of need. With our check came a bag of specs for donation!
When we got home, Rick found the black glasses in the Truck (two more pairs there) and realised that the missing golf bag glasses were the rimless brown frames. The waitress did not look for THAT frame.... so we opened the donated bag of glasses ... and there they were!!!
Funny how things sometimes work out.....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Inukshuk Kit on the Net!

I have been plugging away at Christmas knitting, and the photos will be lacking due to the wow factor of the recipients! No need to spoil the surprises, right?

For those who have thought of making the Inukshuk from this blog, I will again offer the kit on eBay, including the pattern, all the yarn and the pre-cut foam shapes, numbered and ready to knit and assemble. Since the Olympics are only a few months away and the symbol for the Vancouver games is the Inukshuk, I think the time is good for more Inukshuk knitting to be done! To that end, I give you the link to the eBay kit sale, HERE, and the link to the pattern for the Inukshuk doll HERE, and lastly the Inukshuk sweater HERE!
Hope all your Christmas knitting is progressing well, and you manage the stess of the season as best you can. I like to plan ahead, and shop on the net (hate the malls in December). Keep things simple, that's the secret! Remember, life is more about who you spend time with, not what you spend money on! The joy of the hours spent knitting, the rhythm of the needles, the feel of the yarn in your hands, that is the true gift. Your time and your heart. Who would not love hand knit socks after all that. Happy knitting!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Six weeks of Christmas Knitting

Time to buckle down and put a dent into my Christmas Knitting List. First some socks. The hand dyed yarn socks are more than half done, and the new yarn was on sale at Michaels', only $5 a ball. I like this green mix colour.
I have not fully planned all the gift knitting yet, but the socks are a start. I have yarns for hats and scarves in my stash and will plan the rest while plowing through the socks! Besides, I have not decided what to do with some Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK that has been calling to me from my stash.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I finished the linen cardigan, and I am in love with this one. The yarn was sturdy, almost stiff to knit, but softened a bit on blocking, and sewed up easily, then I washed it again and it has a softer feel again, but not droopy or stretchy like cotton can be. I wore it today at work and was pleased with the comfort and sheen. This will not be the only linen garment that I knit!

This is the kind of fabric that can be worn all year round. It will look even better with a little white camisole underneath, but it's too cold right now rof that, so the turtleneck will have to do!

Thanks Kim!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bohemian Scarf

In my stash were 3 skeins of Patons Bohemian, a super-soft fuzzy yarn in a fabulous orange called copper chaos. I whipped up this boa style scarf on big needles with 10 stitches across. Really easy and very cool....
3 skeins Bohemian (Patons)
12 mm needles (knit with three strands held together)
Holding THREE strands together, Cast on 10 stitches.
Row one: knit all stitches
Row two: knit 3, purl 4, knit 3
Repeat these two rows until skeins are almost gone (3 feet left)

Last row: knit 3, cast off middle 3 stitches, cut yarn and pull end through 4th middle stitch.

Only 6 stitches remain on the needles, 3 on each side of the cast off stitches.

Pull 3 stitches off the needles and unravel one loop at a time down the side of the scarf, with each loop, make a knot at the base of the loop, pulling it tight so the knot is close to the body of the scarf. Work your way down the side of the scarf, making loppy knots all the way down. Repeat the loops on the other side, dropping the 3 edge stitches there too, and knotting the loops until all are done.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Puppets and Falling Leaves

I was away golfing for the weekend, and arrived home to find a bagfull of these...

Jane dropped off 14 bodies in my mailbox! She finished the knitted bodies of lots of POPPETS, and left them for me to embroyder the faces and attach the hair. For those that don't know, my knitting girls and I provide a friend with finger puppets for the local Childrens' Hospital. He mentioned he was needing more for the kids and the girls and I have kicked it up a notch...
This pattern is one that I get the most emails about, and the puppets are knit for kids in hospitals all over the world! I am the most proud of this fact and love to hear from knitters who are doing this too for their local hospitals.

Photos of the almost leaf-less trees in western New York....

the golf was cool but fun. I am not ready to hang up the clubs just yet.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Half-way done several things (but nothing is complete!)

I am at that lull time, when lots of projects are dreamed up, planned and underway, but nothing is near finish, so I just seem to be plugging away...

The Blanket, made up of Noro and Collinette yarns, has been underway for a month now. I pick it up when I want to actually watch a TV show. It is all knitting or purling, and every row is a new yarn, cut with a fringe at the start and finish. I can't remember off hand how many stitches are in the row, but I am using a 6mm Addi afghan needle and the whole thing is about 2.5 feet wide already (and about 6 feet long along the cable needle). That makes it around half way done. It is thick and wooly and wonderful already.
The lace linen cardigan is almost up the the armholes, so it is more than half done on the body, but of course I still have the sleeves to knit. I am at the plain stocking stitch part, so again it feels a bit droning on, but the split of the sleeves should perk me up a bit. The sleeves themselves are lace patterned at the cuff, so there will be some excitement ahead!
And also exciting is the new Vogue Knitting Magazine... I found this puppy...

And I can hardly believe that batwing sleeves are back! I used to LOVE wearing those, but had to put them aside in the 90's as they were hopelessly outdated! I should have suspected their return, as big eyeglasses are showing in the sales-reps' cases once more (definately an 80's return - fueled by the "kids" that never wore them before and think they are starting a new trend (eyes rolling!)) I pick and choose what new "styles" I am personally willing to embrace, balking a bit at the return of bell bottoms a few years ago (they can't be as cool as they were in the 70's), but I wore them, although not cut low enough to show a belly piercing (not going THERE!). Won't do the sideways trucker hat, or the velour tracksuit in baby pink with Juicy or anything else written on my butt (they remind me of the "leisure suits" and "pant suits" of the sixties. Did not like them then either! Mostly I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, and of course fabulous sweaters on top. Can't go wrong with that :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New blog!

I have decided to blog about sewing separately from the knitting. If you are interested in all the needle arts that I am you can bookmark the new blog HERE.
I plan to bump up my sewing time, and hopefully as winter is approaching, it won't cut too much into knitting time, but it will be a test of my leisure time management skills!
Hope you stop by both blogs and comments are more than welcome on either site! enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The new Linen cardigan is coming along well. I have finished the lace border that runs around the bottom. The whole front and back are knit in one piece, so it should be nice to not have so many seams at the end. The linen feels a bit stiff, but I understand it gets softer and more drapey after washing. We will see. I have never knit with this before, and I like the feel of it so far.

The other thing that has kept me busy for a few days is a sewing project. I know, this blog is about knitting, but many of you have multi-interests, so you may enjoy walking through this one with me. I wanted to make a winter coat, and challenge myself with the many pieces, finishing details, lining and fitting and all the rusty skills I have not used for a while! The pattern is a great Vogue classic. The fabric is a charcoal grey melton (felted wool) and the lining a pretty patterned print.
The medium length (pictured in red) is my choice.
The buttons I am using are hand made from Moose Antlers, and are all a bit different, beige with a grey streak, and chunky thick. I am trying out some of the features of my new sewing machine, and have designed an embroydered detail to topstitch the collar and the pocket band. The pockets are not in the pattern at all (who makes a coat without pockets???) so I added a band and pockets on the side seams, and duplicated the band as a mock belt on the back, attached with two more Moose buttons.

The fit is good so far, and next I will be working on the lining and finishing details.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Noro Vest & New Linen!

Busy Thanksgiving weekend involved more cooking than knitting, and now I can get back to the projects on the go. The Noro button up CashIsland vest is done, and I really like the results. The bands are framed by Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in burgundy, and the colours are fabulous together.
I will wear it over a burgundy turtleneck or a white long sleeve blouse.

The collar can be unbuttoned and open on the shoulder, or buttoned to the top in a turtle neck!

The new project is a pure delight. My favourite sister came to visit from Winnipeg, and brought for me a precious package of Louet Euroflax wet spun linen, and a cute lacey cardigan pattern. This came from the fabulous Ram Wool in Winnipeg (go if you can, or shop the website, the gals who run it are great!)