Friday, October 31, 2008

Been off-line....

....and not by choice!! The graphics card on our computer went ka-put, so I've been down since last Saturday. It's all better now, thank goodness.

I've been working on a few things. I finished the gloves for my father for Christmas, and the socks for my MIL. I still have a ton left to do, but it feels good to have a few things done at least!

Here are Dad's gloves. I loosely followed the Ken glove pattern (and I mean loosely.) I used a fabulous wool/llama blend yarn from a LYS (Shepherds Choice) - I fell in love with this yarn and simply had to have it. The pattern is written for a worsted weight yarn and this is a DK, so I just modified it to be knit on size 6 DPN's. I am thrilled with how these look!!

And here are the socks for my MIL. I used some stash Carons Simply Soft. I've made myself socks using this and I really like them. The pattern is rather easy, but the YO's can be tricky since they are at the start of each DPN. I still have some ends to weave in, but overall, I'm pleased.

I also started a Dragon scarf for my son. He helped me pick out the yarn last spring, but I decided to wait to knit it until he would use it. I'm not loving his yarn choice (Red Heart and Vanna's Choice), but it's knitting up nicely, even though it makes my hands hurt. I'll have pictures soon, but he's home right now and I don't want him to know I'm making it!!

Knit on!

Friday, October 24, 2008


I'm not really a huge fan of knitting dishcloths. I know people love them, but I just *hate* to knit them. The current dishcloth obsession came from a meeting with my neighbors. They both wanted to learn to knit (Hi Shari and Michelle!) And nothing is easier than a dishcloth. After an afternoon of making caramels (super yummy) and teaching them both to knit, I came home and started knitting dishcloths. After Saturday and Sunday I had made 7. The obsession wasn't quite over, and now I am up to 11.

I think the main reason I don't like to knit dishcloths is the feel of the cotton. I usually use Lily's Sugar and Cream or Wal*Marts Peaches and Cream (sorry - it's not on their website). They are both pretty rough on the fingers. After Saturday, my index finger was pretty raw, but I persevered. By Tuesday I really didn't even notice it anymore. (But I'm not sure if that's really a good thing.)

There are tons of patterns for dishcloths. This is my favorite site. But this is the pattern I used. I have been knitting a few other things, but mostly dishcloths. I hope I run out of yarn soon!

Knit on!

Friday, October 17, 2008

My gloves (and a card!)

I realized when I was posting yesterday that I never posted a picture of my super cool new Knotty gloves. They were fun to knit and I love how they turned out. (The picture isn't great, but the gloves are!!)

And another card. I seem to be stuck on this layout lately; I've made about 4 cards using variations of it this week! I like this one enough to actually make a few for the Christmas card pile. I might have to change it a bit though, the ribbon might make it too thick to send in the mail.

Stamps - Snow Swirled from Stampin Up
Paper - Cool Caribbean, Basic Gray, White (Stampin Up), Patterned paper - Basic Grey Figgy Pudding
Ink - Cool Caribbean, Basic Gray (Stampin Up)
Other - Silver Eyelet (Making Memories) Circle Punch (Creative Memories)

That's all for now, knit on!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I have been knitting....

....just not blogging! I finished the Knotty gloves - they are divine! I'm now planning on knitting a bunch of pairs of gloves for holiday presents!

I finished my niece's hat for her birthday. She has one of those late December birthdays - poor thing! I made the Foliage hat. I really like the pattern, but it turned out a little bit big. I think - in general - I knit looser than average. I usually find myself going down a needle size. I probably should have gone down to a 6 for this hat - and I even have a 16" circular in a size 6! Silly me......but I'm NOT re-knitting it - it's just a hat!

I had a hard time getting anyone to model this hat for me today. Usually the kids fight over who gets to, but not today....go figure! (DD finally agreed, but the hat is huge on her!)

And I'm also making a Liesel scarf to go with this hat. I started it last night and got through 2 pattern repeats. I'm trying VERY hard to read charts when I knit instead of written directions. There are several patterns that I would like to make, but they only have charts. It's time I learned! Since I've knit this scarf before, reading this chart should be a little easier for me. (At least that's the hope!)

In other knitting news, I still have my moms sweater on the needles. I finished the body and was working on a sleeve when I decided to frog it back to the arm hole decrease. I had mom try it on and she was fine with the fit, but I wasn't. The sleeves were just turning out to be too tight and I thought the body could use more room (sorry to overrule you mom!). So I ripped it back to the arm holes and did two more sets of increases. The body was increased by 8 stitches and each arm by 4. I may also change the rate of decreases for the arms, but I'll have to wait until I get there again. I guess I prefer to re-knit something than to have it not fit. *sigh*

I've stated my dad's Christmas gloves. The first one has two fingers to go. I think it will fit, but I'll probably have him try the first one on before I start the second. (*double sigh*)

My MIL's second sock has not even been cast on. I know it will only take me about 5 hours to knit it, so I've been procrastinating.

I'm going to be knitting gloves for my FIL and his girlfriend. They are not really the type to appreciate a hand knit item, but I have the yarn and I have the time. It will save me from having to agonize over what to buy them. And you can always use another pair of gloves, right? I may make the Knotty glove for the girlfriend (in black - arghhh!!) and a plain pair in gray for FIL.

Until later - knit on!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Overdyeing 101....

.....Or: How to make a complete mess of your kitchen in three easy steps!

I was supposed to go on a field trip to the pumpkin patch with my son today. Due to the inclement weather, I suddenly had a morning free. What better time than this to try overdyeing two balls of sock yarn!

Let me start this all by saying, I have never dyed anything in my life - except for tie-dyeing in Girl Scouts, but that hardly counts. I read an article on about how to use Kool-Aide to die yarn. I purchased some close-out sock yarn on Knit Picks a few months ago. I know you can't tell colors well on a computer screen, but this blue yarn was MUCH brighter than I expected. Today was the perfect day to change that!

The first step is to sock the yarn in some luke-warm water. Here is my obnoxiously blue yarn in it's first bath:

I opened my 4 packs of Black Cherry Kool-Aide for dying and added them to my pot. Then I started to heat the yarn/dye mix. I knew I was cheating my leaving the yarn in balls, but I was WAY too lazy to change them into a more dye friendly form. I started to mix the yarn as directly. I noticed that the color was getting very dark on the outside, but I was still seeing large portions of bright blue yarn. So I started to "open" the balls up a bit so the dye could get to the center sections. I think that was the last smart thought I had.

It didn't take long until I realized I had a huge mess on my hands. So I decided to just keep going. I figured the worst thing that could happen would be for me to throw away a huge heap of yarn that I paid about $2.50 for. So this is what I was left with. I kind of liked the colors, but man-oh-man was this a huge pile of yarn!

It took me about 2 1/2 hours to untangle all of this yarn. Yes - I did cut it. I think it would have been impossible not to. I did end up throwing a bit away too. The last portions of the second ball I wound were just too tangled. I plan on knitting these with the inside sections first so all the lovely colors will be showing since the outside sections are just too dark - and I only need about 150-180 yards per sock and each ball has 230 yards. All in all, I think this will make a lovely pair of socks.

And yes - my hands are stained and the yarn smells like Kool-Aide!