Friday, February 29, 2008

Stash Busting Socks

My knitting hiatus did not last as long as I suspected it would, it just gets interrupted a lot more with potty breaks. (*sigh* still working on that.)

I'm still on my stash busting mission, so I present a new pair of socks. I'm not a huge sock knitting fan, but these were knit on US 5's, so that made it a little easier. And they also used up some pink Wool Ease I had in my stash.

I did commit a cardinal sock knitting sin socks do NOT match! I didn't like the look of the lace pattern after the first sock, so I modified it a little for the second sock. I also made the heel flap a bit longer on the second so it fits my foot a bit nicer. It's not something that most people will notice, and since these are for me I wasn't too concerned.

Here's a link to the pattern - and a cool site I found with hundreds of free sock knitting patterns. Next up is yet another pair of know, everyone warns you that knitting socks is addicting but I thought I was immune. Guess I was wrong - LOL!! Hmmm....maybe I will need to invest in some of those KP Harmony DPN's!!

Knit on!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A bit busy for the next few days....

....because of the newest addition to the family! We've adopted a golden lab and named her Luna (well, re-named her!) The picture is not the best, but it was the best I could do with the children running around screaming!

Knitting is going to have to take a back seat to potty breaks, walks, and general snuggling for the next week or so, but I should be back knitting soon. I have two different cardigan sweaters I'd like to make (Paton's Must Have cardigan and the Easy to Knit cardi from Knit 'n style). but really - how many cardigans does one person need?

Until later, knit on!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Sense of History

A few years back (like 15 or so), I inherited my maternal Grandmothers knitting basket - complete with some REALLY old acrylic yarn and strangely tiny DPN's. This basket moved apartments and homes several times with me, but I never really dug into it's contents much.

(A little side history on my Grandmother. She was a very crafty woman, always knitting or crocheting. I understand she was also quite accomplished at needlepoint in her younger days when her eyesight was still good. I was named after my Grandmother (middle name) and I understand we look quite a bit alike and are both accomplished crafters. Unfortunately my Grandmother had a severe stroke when I was 2 and had to live in a nursing home. My memories of her are all of going to visit her there. She passed away when I was 7.)

Fast forward to yesterday; my friend Rachael called and we were talking about our knitting projects. I told her that I needed to use up some of my stash before I would allow myself to buy anything new. I finished up DH's fuzzy feet yesterday and was thinking about the next project I was going to start. I went upstairs and saw my Grandmothers basket. I figured now was as good of time as any to really explore it. (I'll admit though, I got rid of the nasty acrylic yarn ages ago *wink*)

The first thing I noticed is that this is a really nice basket! So instead of storing my current stash/projects in miscellaneous boxes, I brought down the basket. (Doesn't it just scream "old time knitting" to you?) Most of my current "good yarn" stash fits in this basket nicely. I only have a few other skeins of miscellaneous yarn not in it, and quite frankly, I may never use that yarn!

I also went through all the needles. Almost all of them were metal (NOT a fan) and some were impossibly tiny! I pulled out my trusty needle sizer and discovered that the largest pair was a 2.75mm - yikes! The smallest pair was SMALLER than a size 0 - so that makes them a 00? Does that even exist?

So now on to my new project. Since all I could imagine knitting on the impossibly tiny DPN's is a pair of socks, I cast a pair on last night. For this project I have broken two of my cardinal sins of knitting: 1) Using a cheap acrylic. 2) Using an impossibly tiny needle size.

Since I've vowed to use up some of my stash, I will forge ahead anyway. I actually kind of like the way the striping is working out. These might actually be a nice pair of socks when I finish. And I have to tell you, I feel a tremendous sense of history using a set of needles that my Grandmother knit with and I feel strangely connected to her somehow. I guess it just goes to show you that what's old is new again.

Knit on!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ready to go

I finished these adorable little booties this weekend. (Pattern here.) They go with the cardigan in this post. I think they turned out absolutely adorable! I whipped up a quick card today (but forgot to take a picture) and packaged it up to bring it to my mom's house. Unfortunately I can't attend the baby shower - it's just too far away. But I know this adorable set is going to a good home *wink*

Knit on!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Look what I finished.....

finally!!!! (Pattern here.) I'm so excited!! It turned out just fabulous. It really wasn't so difficult once I got going in the pattern. This version is knit in a different yarn than my previous 2 attempts! Yikes!! I finally broke down and bought the yarn the pattern recommended and it made all the difference. I used Elsbeth Lavold Silky wool in eggshell that I purchased from Fuzzy Mable. (Great service and great prices. They get a big thumbs up from me!!)

The blocking went well. I was a bit nervous since I had never blocked before, so I stopped by my LYS for a bit of advice. After a nice 20 minute chat, I left with some T-pins and a lot more confidence. You just can't beat a LYS for advice! And here's pre-blocking and post blocking photos:

I also bought two other colors of Silky wool so I may make another scarf (or two). Or I might go back and finish the cream version I previously started. I like the color, I think it will block nicely, but the pure wool was just a bit too scratchy for my taste. This one is for my SIL, so I wanted a slightly softer yarn.

And I think I found a new home for my baby cardigan!! I just found out my foster sisters daughter (my foster niece??) is having a baby and the shower is next weekend. I need to whip up some booties to go with it, and it'll be good to go. I love it when that works out!

Knit on!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another bag (for Patricia??)

I had lunch with my friend Patricia today. She really liked my knit bag (I've been using the Celery Green one the darker green handle.....) So anyway, if this one doesn't sell at the craft show, this ones for Patricia!!

Bag is WOTA - several different colors stranded with Cranberry. Handle is black with grey Fun Fur. I love how this handle came out, it's fun and funky - just like Patricia!!

Knit on!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Market Bag....

I just love making these. The pattern is from Hakucho's blog. I was never able to get the plastic bags to work for me so I make mine from 2 strands of cotton yarn. (In this case, Lily's Sugar and Cream in Hot Blue.)It's amazing how much you can fit in them. I took a picture of it holding 5 oranges and 5 apples so you can see how much they stretch.

This one is supposed to be for someone, but I just love the color. I'm not sure I can give it up! I think I have enough purple yarn to make another.......hmmmmm......decisions, decisions.

Knit on!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I've been tagged!!

My friend Dawn tagged me on her blog as an Excellent Blog!! Can I even tell you how excited that made me?? (Yep - I'm a total dork.)

And now I need to tag some more people, so here goes.

1. Heidi - Life in Layouts. I love Heidi's style and love to check out her blog for the latest things she's done.

2. Amanda - She's such a fun gal and her projects are always a blast!!

I think that should be enough!!

And can I show you the cutest pattern ever?? I found this Teddy Bear pattern on the web. I'm dying to make one (or twenty!!) to use up some leftover yarn bits. Not that I need another project right now.....I have too many going as it is! Oh can never have enough to knit!

Knit on!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

So Sweet

This little cardigan is so sweet it almost makes me want to have another baby.......just kidding!! When my DD was born, my aunt knit her a sweater very similar to this one. I adored it and was determined to find a similar pattern to make for babies. I found this pattern and thought it would do the trick. It's so darn cute and a fairly quick knit.

I made this out of Bernat Softee Baby....a super soft acrylic yarn. Knitting for babies really should be done out of a soft washable material, and acrylic is just perfect. (We all know how many times a baby will spit up on something, so washable is the key.) And there is even enough left over for me to make a pair of booties and maybe even a matching hat!

Now I just need to swing by my local Joann's for some buttons, sew in a few loose ends and it'll be done! Now.....who do I know that's expecting a baby?????????

Knit on!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Another Bag

I just love this bag pattern, it's very quick to knit and the bag is just so darn cute!! So I started another one yesterday.....I used black WOTA from KP and a Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair. The mohair is really gorgeous - 2 strands, one a purple/blue mohair and one metallic. I knew the Mohair would not felt as nicely, but I was knitting two-strands - one wool and one mohair - and hoped that would work. After I finished knitting, I threw it in the washer with a fairly large load and washed it on hot. From experience, I knew it would need at least a few washes to felt properly.

After 3 cycles on hot, it still was not felting like I wanted it to. Finally, I just threw it in the dryer on hot (and we all know what the dryer does to wool.) I think it's as felted as it's going to get! The picture above is the mohair version along with one of my original bags (that I'm actually using as my main purse. Notice how nicely the handles shape themselves with use - love that!!) The mohair version is noticeably larger. On the plus side, it is sooooooo soft and snuggly. The metallic adds a gorgeous shimmer and is really very pretty. Here's a close-up:

(and no, the picture is not fuzzy - the bag is!!)

If I were to make this again (and I just might!), I would knit it three-stranded; 2 wool and one mohair. I think the acrylic content of the mohair was just too high and the wool just couldn't compensate for it.

For now, I'm going to add this bag to my craft sale stash. I'm actually hoping it doesn't sell and I can use it as my knitting bag. I think it would be perfect for that. And now to finish that baby cardigan I've been working on.......and the lace scarf......and the fuzzy feet for DH. Sheesh - I've got a lot of projects on the needles right now!

Until next time, knit on!