Monday, January 28, 2008

A wrap gone awry. And an old sock pattern

I finished my wrap. Totally did not end up with the dimensions I hoped for...

Note how it perfectly covers the ottoman. Oddly enough, I'm not shaped like an ottoman. So it didn't turn out very "wrap" like. However, it is a nice lap type blanket, on the small side though. But I think it will end up being a decorative piece. Not that I have a room that has those sort of bright colours in it... But it will work somewhere, at some point in time.
I don't know if you can really tell in this picture but I ended up picking up a bunch of stitches in the last section. It fans out a bit. What a newbie mistake. I sometimes struggle with the novelty yarn...
On to socks. I had picked up this most amazing sock yarn at the spinners retreat. It's 50% Cashmere and Silk and 50% Alpaca. I'm making socks for me. That's right, for me! I can't freakin' wait!!!!!!!! I love homemade socks. It's a lot of work but there is nothing more luxurious then slipping on a pair of homemade socks on a cold day! The yarn is from the Belfast Mini-Mill in PEI.

The last time I visited my grandmother I went through all of her old patterns. I brought home a ton of them. This is the first one I am attempting. It's funny because the needle size is the old British sizes. Luckily Mom had mentioned the differences or else I would have been completely befuddled. And my needle sizer has the British numbers included. So these end up being knitted on size 0. This is my first time working on size 0. It's really hard after working on the 15mm I was using for the wrap...

Here's the 2 patterns I have it narrowed down too. One is simple except for the cable and the other is actually an easier pattern to follow but more detail. I'm not sure which one will bring out the beauty of the yarn best. Luckily both patterns require a 4 inch 2X2 rib so I don't have to decide until I get to that point. And by then I should have a better idea of how the yarn knits up.
I love cables and the cable pattern is an interesting cable within a cable. I'm just worried that the yarn won't show it up well.
And this one is nice too. Decisions, decisions, decisions...
I also put the hoodie I was working on a while ago back on the needles. I just can't remember what size needles I was using. The pattern calls for 4mm and 4.5mm but I don't have 4 mm. So I don't know if I used 4.5mm and 5mm or if I just used 4.5mm only. And now I have different needles, I have wooden ones to use with this cotton acrylic blend. I should be able to tell after a couple of rows if I have the right needles in or not. I'm going with the 4.5mm until I see differently. It's a pretty boring pattern but good for TV watching.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mitten Procrastination

So this is how the mitten turned out. Not bad.

But I'm not sure that the wool is right. It seems too loose. For a mitten the wool should be tight enough (not sure I'm explaining that correctly) so that the air can't get through too easily. Anyway, I decided to take a break from mittens while I contimplated the practicality of this knitting project.
So I moved on to a wrap. I found a pattern for bulky weight yarn and got starte. I was looking for something that I would knit on long circular needles, widthwise. I missread the pattern and ended up with a pattern that runs widthwise but when I change yarn it's lengthwise. So the pattern and the yarn run differently. It may end up looking really weird but I'm loving these 2 different yarns together. I split the yarn up so I'll do three sets of the first yarn on the right and 2 of the one on the left. In this picture it almost looks like the needles are running widthwise but they aren't.
It should be interesting to see how it turns out. But first I have to finish that other mitten and get that parcel in the mail!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mitts are easy - Right?!

I finished the scarf. I think I'll give it to my sister-in-law for her birthday.
And I finished the socks for my brother. They turned out nice. But they are just socks so I thought I'd do him a pair of mitts. Mitt's are easy, right? I've never knit a pair before. Somehow or another my brother ends up being my guinea pig for new projects.
After 2 cast ons of another pattern I finally found a pattern that called for the bulky type yarn I was using. (the needles are still off by .5 mm but it should be okay - shouldn't it?!)
These have a finger flap. Very practical. The pattern was only for a woman's size medium so I had to add more stitches to make it bigger for my brothers large hands.
The instructions for adding the cover flap were a little vague. I'm still not sure I have it right. Yes, you BO the mitten part with the contrasting colour. I didn't make that up myself.
We'll see how they turn out. I'll keep you posted. My brother's birthday is in 11 days and these have to go in the mail. Knitter's delusions has set in yet again. I am always starting a new type of project with no regards for the time require to figure out the project. It's an illness. Luckily I know a whole lot of other people just like me. We should start a support group. Although I'm not sure we'd be all that supportive, more like a group of enablers, not so much supporters. Sigh.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I thought I'd better blog so no one would think I was being slack. So before the football games start for the day (GO Indy! And my boys - The COWBOYS!! I've almost got Ollie to say "how 'bout them Cowboys?!" but it mostly just comes out Owwwooo in his doggie language.). And while the guys are doing this....

I thought I should take the opportunity to bring you up to date. I finally finished a pair of cable booties for myself. They are made from Blue Sky Cotton which is really nice but I do need to do a pair in wool. I won't wear them next to my skin so I shouldn't have too much of a reaction and nothing really warms like wool. And nothing is worse than cold tootsies!
Then I started on a pair of heavy socks for my brother who's birthday is Feb 1st. I want to do him a pair of mitts too. This wool is some stuff my mom had in her stash. It's making one heck of a nice sock! Acrylic though... I hope they are still nice and warm.

Only working on socks was boring the bejezuz out of me so I had to cast on a scarf/wrap. I'm inspired by the wool Granny Tan gave me for Christmas. I don't want to work it yet until I come up with the perfect pattern but I am serious in the mood to do wraps. I don't think I'll have enough yarn here for a wrap but it's going to be one funky scarf. The light one colour yarn is from one of those bulk bag you get at Walmart or Zellers. My aunt gave it to me after she used enough out of the bag to make herself a scarf. The other is one of the novelty yarns. It's a fun effect, combining the two. However the bulk yarn is made from "unidentified fibers" and I may be having an allergic reaction to it. This scarf will go in the gift bag for some lucky recipient in the future.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Christmas gifts for ME!

I went to see Granny Tan yesterday, first time since way before the holidays. I was slightly embarrassed to see that all her Christmas stuff was put away. I swear I'm taking down my trees today!

Tan had knit me this snood/neck gaiter! Now I don't have to knit one for myself. And it's super soft. I wore it home!

Tan also had gotten some white pulworth, dyed it just for me, then she spun it and then she plyed it with a silver thread. It's really beautiful. I can't wait to knit something with it. I'm not going to rush it though. I'll wait until a project jumps out at me and says "this would be perfect with that pink and silver yarn Tan made for me"!

The Grand Finale for the Christmas Gifts

I haven't even updated my other blog because I was so busy knitting over the holidays. And I had a great entertaining menu to share... Well maybe I'll put it up for some summer entertaining. Anywhoooo, here's the last of the Christmas gifts. Some weren't even started until after Christmas morning. I wasn't seeing my step-sister and step-brother until after Christmas day so it worked out okay. Tim got me a new knitting mag that had this quick pattern for a Snood. I used lion's homespun. It knit up quick and was soft and luxurious! So this is for my step-sister.

I did this hat for my step-brother's fiance who I still haven't met. She didn't make it over the night my step-sister and brother came over so I still haven't met her. Mom told me these were her colours. I hope she liked it. The yarn was from Granny Tan's destashing that I got. It's a great yarn!

I did a neck gaiter for my step-brother. It is also from some of Granny Tan's destash. It also turned out quite nice.

I finished the clogs for my mom. I got some cork bottom sandals from Walmart and took off the leather straps. My mom needs more support in her slipper than the bottom of the felted clogs has. She wore them for a day and the cork bottoms stayed glued. I was quite happy. The only concern I have is that the felted slippers seem to stretch so I may have to try re-felting them with the cork bottoms on if they get to big. I'll keep you posted. Don't you just love the fun fur cuff?

I did these for my mom's husband. I ran out of the grey twist and thought I could replicate it well enough for felting with beige and black. As you can see, I failed but Dennis doesn't care and he will always be able to tell which foot is which.

After Dennis fell and broke his collar bone just a couple of weeks ago, I thought he should have solid bottoms on his felted slippers too. I wasn't able to get cork bottoms for his (oddly enough the selection of summer sandals isn't great right before Christmas) so I used a foam flip flop slipper bottom for his. The foam bottom had no give so they wouldn't stayed glued.

I had heard of a way to reduce the slipperiness of the clog by putting puffy paint on the bottom. I wish I had heard of this before I sent a pair to my entire brother's family. As my brother put it, my slippers give the work "slipper" a whole new meaning...

The worse part is, I had a whole bag full of 3-D fabric paint. So I could have easily painted the bottoms of all the slippers before I sent them. I have informed my brother's family of the solution to the slippery bottoms. Here's hoping they take my advice before a lawsuit is issued.

One of the gifts for my mom's husband was given with needles still in it. I am happy to say, the gift is now done. They are what I am calling 'bed socks'. They are knit with Knitpicks Wool of the Andes which is a worsted weight wool. But they are amazingly light. They may fit in a boot but they will be great for wearing in the evening while watching TV or curled up in bed!

Here is the last Christmas item to be finished. A pair of cabled booties for my mom. Everyone else has a pair, so she might as well too. They are also done in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. Mom will love these. And they are wool which is the best at keep cold tootsies warm. (I'm doing a pair for myself after I finish these!!)