Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bad, Bad Weather

Our weather has gone to crap this week. My husband picked the perfect time to take vacation. He doesn’t have to be out in the blowing snow. Sunday was a lovely warm day. Which is probably why I was sliding sideways down our driveway in 4wd Monday morning. Today and Tuesday we’ve had high winds and snow. I pity all the beasties out in the weather. Yesterday was really nice. I could use some more of that!

I’ve been doing some knitting since the weather is perfect for it. I had decided at the beginning of January that maybe I wouldn’t buy any yarn until I had knit up 35 balls of my stash. Yesterday I decided I would join Stashalong since I had already set myself a goal. I don’t really have a huge stash, so I guess I am just practicing stash control. Or maybe punishing myself. Stashalong is having a February knit along and I’m trying to decide what to make for it. Or if I should. I am torn as to whether I should start any more projects or not. If I decide to go for it, I may do some socks for Brent. He has a birthday coming up in 10 days. Heh, as if I could make them that fast. But maybe in a month.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Spring is Coming


The other day, I was in JoAnn’s and found these cute prints for some dresses. Not for me, of course. For some small people I know.

On the knitting front, I have started another new project that is probably to avoid finishing a mitten. It is the Luna Moth Shawl from Elann. I’m making it with some Alpaca With a Twist that I got in secret pal more than a year ago. It is so soft, I just love it. I have actually started the thumb on the mitten. I can’t wait to start the second mitten, I’m just a bit tired of the troubles with the tip of the mitten and trying to find the stitches to pick up for the thumb. On the second mitten, I may try to slip a string in so it isn’t such a trial picking up the stitches. Maybe I should explain a little. These mittens don’t use a gusset, you slip off 18 stitches and place them on a stitch holder or run a string through to hold them. Then you cast on 18 new stitches using the backwards loop method. Those little devils are a night mare to pick up.

Comments:

Yes, that was ME in the picture. You guys may see more of me if my husband keeps taking pictures that aren’t blurry. Thanks to Rebecca for her input on fixing the heel of my father’s sock. It is definitely going to require a creative fix.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Finished Hat

I finished it! The first picture is the obligatory kitchen cart shot. But there is a cool action shot, too!






Survivormom scans the horizon for signs of food. It is time to go check the snares (braided from her own hair) and see if there will be bunnies for dinner…

I found that I rather enjoyed doing the attached I-cord. It was way better than knitting yards of the stuff. My biggest difficulty was in deciding whether or not to do color work on the earflaps. I’m glad I decided against it. The hat is finished just in time because it was -3 F this morning. I just had to open my big mouth a few days ago. Too bad I don’t have some finished mittens to wear…

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Hat!

Here is my hat:



I am being sort of optimistic and hoping I will finish my hat tonight and be able to wear it tomorrow when we go to preschool. We have been having some REALLY cold mornings. It was 6 degrees yesterday morning. At least it hasn’t been below zero. Yet. A person needs to be careful saying things like that. It’s like daring the weather to do it.

Does anyone out there have any advice for replacing the heel of a sock? I made my Dad some socks for Christmas. One his dogs had his way with one of them and the entire heel is GONE. Is a hole that large fixable? I have never had to repair any of my socks.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Last Week's Sewing

I finished up a bunch of sewing projects last week. Here are two of them:





The first one is a Built By Wendy pattern. It is Simplicity 4111. I made it to go with some red Capri pants I made using the the Built By Wendy pants pattern. The pants pattern is Simplicity 4110. I have to say, I LOVE the pants pattern. So far I have made 3 pairs of pants/shorts with it and love them all. I’m wearing a pair of them right now as a matter of fact. The second top is Simplicity 3887. I made it with the sheer fabric to layer over tank tops last summer. I didn’t finish it in time for that, so I am currently layering it over long sleeve t’s. Best of all, the fabric was something I found on the clearance aisle at JoAnn’s last year. It probably cost me less than a dollar for the fabric.

My Survivorman Hat is coming along. I had to rip it back to the cast on because it was so tight on my head that it made my head hurt. I had cast on only 70 stitches using the gauge given on a hank of similar yarn in my stash. My gauge was a little tighter, so I did my math and cast on more stitches. Fortunately, Lopi is a nice sticky yarn, so I didn’t have any problems with the cast on row wanting to unravel before I got needles back in it. I am enjoying this experiment so much that I didn’t even mind ripping it all out. It is a nice break from my mittens. I love them, but the tip was aggravating and I need a break before starting the thumb.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Survivorman

Finally, I have a picture of my Crinkle sweater:



It isn’t the best picture, really. You can’t see the lace pattern very well. I finished the tip of my mitten today. I must have counted wrong when I started the decreases, because I ended up with way too many stitches on one side. It didn’t look like I had missed any decreases. The mitten feels too short right now, but you are supposed to block it longer. I haven’t started the thumb yet.

At our house, we love the show Survivorman. I really love Les Stroud’s wool hats that he wears when he is doing a cold weather show. So I am going to make myself a Survivorman inspired hat, and I’m going to call it my Survivorman hat. I’ve got some Lopi laying around just dying to become something. I do wonder if he buys the hats or if someone he knows makes them. Some of them appear to be lined with fabric and I have seen hats sold like that. Mine will not be lined, but if I had very short hair it might be. Did I ever tell you about the time I shaved my head? I thought it would be cool to see how my hair would look if I just shaved it all off and let it grow. And I thought to myself, ‘guys do it all the time, so why can’t I?’ So I did. In January.

This morning, I was making my blog rounds for the first time since Thursday morning and found out some wonderful news. Loneknitter is engaged. Congratulations, Jenny and Manly!

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Sewing Weekend?

I thought that I was going to make this weekend a sewing weekend. I got a little bit done. Better than no sewing at all. I would like to finish up some ongoing sewing projects and concentrate on a quilt that I cut the strips for last summer. There are at least 5 projects at various stages. Plus some repair projects.

Since I didn’t do any sewing, I planned for sewing. I looked through my patterns and decided what to sew for the kids for spring. It’s just like planning a year’s worth of knitting instead of actually knitting. And JoAnn’s has patterns on sale this week. I’ll have to take a look at their spring fabric, too.

I’ve started decreasing for the tip of my mitten. I had to pull out half of my first row because I forgot to carry the black with me for the 2 stitches per row. I’ve been knitting away on my Crinkle, too. With the poor light we’ve had lately, I haven’t had the opportunity for any good pictures. It remains pictureless on Ravelry. The pattern is easy to follow and I think it will be a great sweater this spring.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Knitting in the Fog

First off, I am going to show you guys my experiment from yesterday:



These are cookies and my brand spanking new from-under-the-Christmas-tree cookie racks. The experiment is the cookies. The girls seem to like them, but I’ve only tried one. They are the Betty Crocker cookbook’s oatmeal cookies. The cookbook from 35 or 40 years ago, anyway. They may have changed in the interim. I used less butter, added chunky peanut butter, and put in M&M’s and dried cranberries instead of nuts and raisins. I will have to sample them some more to see if I really like them. The kids need them 3 or 4 at a time, so I probably shouldn’t worry about whether or not they taste good to me.

Here are my growing mittens. I really, really love these things. Somehow, skipping a third of the stitches in nearly every row feels almost like cheating. Like I’m not doing all of my knitting and I’m getting away with it.



I have tried them on several times along the way and they seem to fit well. I’ve never done a thumb like this before, so it will be a new adventure. A new technique to fill out the sidebar here.

ADD Knitter says she’s jealous of my snow. Since my last post, we have gotten more snow. Anyone want to be jealous of our fog? Late this afternoon I got a vague glimpse of our neighbors house. It made for a great day to lay around knitting.

I’m curious, does anyone know what happened to Socktopia?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Stranding and Snow

Lizzie asked for a tip on keeping her knitting from puckering (because that’s what it does when it isn’t loose enough). If I have a large gap where I don’t use a color, I give it a wrap around the yarn I am using between stitches. I just take my ball of yarn and drop it across the yarn I am using. By large gap, I mean anything over 5 stitches. On the cuff of my mitten, when I was doing the tops and bottoms of the flowers I would do it with the yellow about halfway through the stretches of black. The mittens are coming along. I am almost to the thumb now. I LOVE the texture of the hand. Now that I see how the mitten is done, I have hopes of not running out of black yarn before I finish them. The green really makes them pop, too.

Yesterday it snowed here. That was all it did, all day. Snow, snow, snow. All the schools are closed. Loads of happy, happy kids. This morning when we got up, we had a bit of a surprise. As soon as Brent turned on the kitchen lights, they went out. Our power was out for an hour. We went back to bed until it came on an hour later. He was heart broken to be forced to sleep an extra hour. Just this week, they have switched back to their 4, 10 hour days schedule. It is great for me, I have plenty of time to get my workout in before leaving for preschool. Anyone for a snowball fight?

Monday, January 07, 2008

My Mittens

As promised, a picture of the Cathedral Mittens:



I am really, really enjoying knitting them. I am interested to see what the hands and their slipped stitches will be like.

Today was not a good day here. Over the weekend my husband came to the conclusion that it was time to have his dog put to sleep. It has been an awful day. We haven’t told the kids yet. They haven’t noticed that she is gone because she tended to stay in her bed most of the time. If there aren’t any questions before tomorrow, I won’t have to tell them while he’s home. It is sad to see your animal friends get old and know that some day you are going to be without them. There aren’t words for how it feels to take them to have it done. Tomorrow is a new day, and it will be better.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Finished Goods!

My first finished objects of the year! Sure, I didn’t start them this year, but finished is finished. First are the socks:



They got a questionable reception from Knitter #2. She has recently decided that red is one of her favorite colors along with pink. Black toes and heels rate low with her and she refuses to wear them. If she doesn’t change her mind, her sister may be happy to wear them in the future. I tried to be big about it and not be irritated. It was difficult, but I got over it in a couple hours.

Next, the first pair of the mittens for the season:



Knitter #3 loves them. She was so devastated when I took them out of the house for the photo that she was forced to throw herself down in the floor and cry. Daddy couldn’t even tempt her with a sausage link. This kind of love of the hand knit good makes a mother feel GOOD.

Since finishing the purple mittens, I have started my Cathedral mittens. They are going to be black, purple, yellow, red, blue, and green I am enjoying them, but I may not have enough of a couple of my colors for them. I might be forced to get more yarn. (the horror) I thought I had more black yarn in the stash, but there is only the partial ball I am using. Perhaps I should have delved into the stash instead of just jumping in with goodies from the partial ball basket. I do enjoy living on the edge when I can, though. Pictures of the mittens next post!

Friday, January 04, 2008

What's Knitting Here

It is high time I make a post this year. This weekend, I hope to be doing a lot of knitting. When Brent comes home tonight, I intend to inform him of that. The weather is currently too nasty to go out taking down Christmas lights. At least we don’t live in California, it is supposed to get really nasty down there.

I enjoy reading about other people’s resolutions. Taste of June has set a goal of knitting 20 pairs of socks this year. If she does, I will have to worship her. I admire anyone who can knit over 6 pairs of socks in a year. I wish I could knit socks as fast as that. Hopefully, I will put a dent in my list of socks that I want to make. It seems to grow so much faster than I can knit.

Right now, I am knitting the pink and black socks that languished for so long. I am working my way up the leg of the second sock. After that, I am going to finish making mittens for the kids. Then I can make some mittens for me. I have wanted to make the Cathedral Mittens since I bought Homespun Handknit pre-children. The fabulous thing about them is that I can eat up some balls of yarn that are laying about waiting for the moths to descend upon us. Always handy. It seems wrong to set in making a pair of mittens for myself if I haven’t made any for the kids. First things first. The great thing about kids mittens is that they go quickly. Biggish needles and worsted weight and the next thing you know, I’ll be breaking out the fingering weight and the little needles...