Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Yarn in the Post (Mail)

I found a great deal on eBay... I won't tell you how great a deal it was, you will only hate me with intense yarn-envy and wish dropped stitches on me for a month!

It is from a lovely yarn internet site in UK, and I checked out her site. It is worth bookmarking and popping in to see what's new. Looks like the prices are quite good on a regular basis...

The yarn I scored is Tagliatelli, one of my favourite Colinette yarns. The colour is a bit bright, maybe discontinued, I don't know, but it makes me very happy to look at it and to touch the merino-yumminess, so I am sure whatever I knit with this will be equally neat and cool!

There are five 100 gram skeins here in a fushia pink mix. Stay tuned to see what they become...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Children's Hospital Knitting

Every once in a while I take a few days and knit like crazy lots of these.....

These are finger puppets featured HERE, and I make them for a friend who takes them to the local Children's Hospital. They are quick and fun and a great way to use scraps. I was in a very Puppy mood this week and mostly made those.

Please find time to do the same for your Children's Ward, and bring a smile to their faces (look at those puppies... it will bring a smile to yours too!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alpaca Silk Easy Cardi'

Now with Multi-sizing!  I decided this would be the first of the updated patterns, since this one was the most requested.  It is truly easy... to knit and to wear.  Enjoy!

I have been looking at a bag full of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK for over a year, and could not decide whether it wanted to be scarves and hats or a garment! Finally I pictured it as a soft fitting cardigan, more drape than shape. This leads to an easy knit, and I did it on a bit bigger needle to emphasize the soft drape. The easy design includes self-finished edges (no ribbing to pick up and finish) and picked up sleeves (no shoulder seams to sew later!)
Sizes:  Small (fits bust 32 – 34 “), Medium (fits 36 – 38 “), Large (fits 40 – 42), Xlarge (fits 44 – 46)
Yarn: 9, [10, 12, 14] balls of Debbie Bliss alpaca silk dk, colour 26009 (teal) ( 50gms, 114 yards) or any DK weight that knits to GAUGE, you may need more balls if longer sleeves are the choice.
Needles: 4.5 mm (US 7)  (adjust to get GAUGE if necessary)
Stitch marker.
Gauge: 14 sts = 4 inches, and 19 rows = 4 inches.  *** please check your gauge and change the needles or the yarn choice to match the gauge.  This will insure the size you want!!

Stitch patterns: Seed stitch: Row 1: [knit1, purl 1] repeat across.  Row 2: knit the purls, purl the knits!  Repeat these two rows.
Stocking Stitch: Row 1: knit across all stitches. Row 2 purl across all stitches.
For multi sizing, the first number will be small the rest in the [brackets] like this:  small[medium,large,xlarge]

Back: Cast on 56[63,70,77] stitches, Work in seed stitch for 12[12,14,14] rows. Change to stocking stitch. Work in stocking stitch for 11[12,13,14] inches (above seed band). Cast off 4 stitches at start of next two rows (armhole placement). Continue in stocking stitch until 10[10,10.5,11] inches above armhole decrease.
Cast off 12[14,16,18] stitches at start of next 2 rows. (24[27,30,33] stitches left). Work 6 rows of seed stitch on these remaining stitches for back of neck. Cast off all remaining stitches.

Front Right: Cast on 46[50,54,58] stitches. Work seed stitch for 12[12,14,14] rows. Next row: work seed stitch for 10[10,12,12] stitches, place marker, work stocking stitch for the rest of the row. Continue to work a seed stitch band on the right edge (inside marker) and stocking stitch on the rest for 11[12,13,14] inches above the lower seed stitch band. Cast off 4 stitches from the LEFT side of the piece (at the start of the wrong side of knitting).  Work until the piece is length to the shoulder of the back piece. Next row (right side facing you):  Work in seed stitch across to the last 12[14, 16, 18] shoulder stitches. Cast off these 12[14,16,18] sts (shoulder). With wrong side facing (next row) join yarn again and work the last 6 rows in seed stitch for all remaining stitches. Cast off all stitches.

Left Front; Cast on 46[50,54,58] stitches. Work seed stitch for 12[12,14,14] rows. Next row: work stocking stitch until last 10[10,12,12] stitches, place marker, work seed stitch for the rest of the row. Continue to work a seed stitch band on the left edge (inside marker) and stocking stitch on the rest for 11[12,13,14] inches above the lower seed stitch band. Cast off 4 stitches from the RIGHT side of the piece (at the start of the right side of knitting). Work until the piece is length to the shoulder of the back piece.
Cast off first 12[14,16,18] sts (shoulder) then work the last 6 rows in seed stitch for all remaining stitches. Cast off all stitches.
Shoulder: Stitch the shoulder stitches together on the fronts to the back, and stitch the short seed stitch back piece to the short seed edge on the front piece (bit of a collar - only an inch seam).

With right side facing you pick up 68[68, 70, 72] stitches along the armhole.  Knitting down the sleeve, use stocking stitch and off you go. Decrease one each side of the sleeve, every 6 rows until the length you want - mine is 14 inches for a 3/4 length sleeve. Finish with 6 rows of seed stitch, and cast off. Repeat for the other sleeve.
Sew side and sleeve seams.

*****update January 2015****** Michelle sent me her photo of the finished Cardigan!  Lovely

Saturday, July 17, 2010

hot hot hot

It is still so hot, I am less inspired to knit, but plug away at the alpaca silk cardigan. I finished the front pieces, stitched up the shoulders and picked up the sleeve stitches at the armhole. This is purely laziness on my part, as I can knit the sleeve down to the cuff and avoid having to sew the sleeve into the armhole later. The yarn is soft and drapey, so the straight armhole join is fine (you would need a tapered rounded sleeve top if it weren't so soft). I finished the first sleeve yesterday while watching the British Open on TV. The gallery there were wearing sweaters and even toques (knitted hats for those who are not Canadian). Since I turned up the air conditioner and watched the wind blow cold Scottish air over St. Andrews, it helped inspire my knitting! Today on our golf course it was gale force winds with drizzling rain (like Scotland) but 32 C (89F) .... (NOT like Scotland!).
The sweater will be done soon, and I will be posting an easy (lazy) pattern for you!
(later this weekend...)
Just found and added this cool photo... this is how we all feel around here!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Knitting Update

I splurged on some new Noro Yarn... Sekku. It is a lace weight, cotton, wool, and silk, with the famous Noro striping. I am knitting on 3mm needles, in a mostly garter stitch with 30 stitches across. The plan is to make lots of 4 inch wide lengths and attach them together to form a rectangular shawl that is lacey and light and has lots of squarish chunks of colours. One length completed so far. When the yarn changes to a new colour, I do a row of knit one, yarn over, repeat, followed by a knit one, drop the yarn over repeat on the next row. Easy pattern... knit along with me!

The other thing in the works is a Debbie Bliss Alpaca DK in teal cardigan. It will be short sleeved as I only have ten balls left over from last years Needle Emporium tent sale. I really have to use up the last bits of yarn, because there is this years' tent sale coming in August!!! I need to make room for joyous goodies of the fibre persuation!
Check out my sewing blog, you will see I have been busy with lots of stuff there too!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Knitting Groups

Returning from my weekly knitting night, I have to pause to reflect on what it means to me. What my knitting friends mean to me. We usually meet at the club, and after a nice dinner, retire to the Ladies Lounge for decaf and knitting and chatting. Most weeks we pry ourselves off the comfy couches to make our way home, at an hour when all the other club members are gone and the staff are making cleaning up and closing down noises.
Tonight it was different. Due to a tournament at our club, the dining room was to be occupied and we would likely be pushed outside or downstairs right away, and food service would probably suffer. We were pro-active and arranged a pot-luck at Jane's house. We arrived at our usual 6pm with appetisers, salads, breads, veggies and salmon in baskets and tupperwares. Jane had some lovely wine and we sat down to linger over the huge spread of goodies. The talking was animated and ideas and stories flew around the room. The food was very good and plentiful and we finished with rhubarb pie and decaf on Jane's deck.
It was about 9:45 when we all realised.... none of us were knitting. We just talked and laughed and had such a great time.
This group of ladies, these friends of mine, showed me that it is only a very small bit about knitting and a very large bit about friendship. We are so lucky that knitting brought us together and sharing our lives keeps us together. Everyone needs friends like that!
We are truly a close-knit group... and I thank them all for a wonderful evening.