Sunday, December 30, 2007
As I was knitting I thought how nice it would be to have a whole sweater made this way! The un-fun part is predrafting the fiber and rolling it into a usable ball. But once you start knitting, remembering to pull out a good length of fiber to prevent yanking on it and ending up with a fluffy end in your hand, it is really not much different than knitting with regular yarn. I am really excited about my mitten--hopefully this will carry over into getting the 2nd one knit soon.
Also, along the lines of finishing UFO's of 2007, I finished the knitting part of a Moebius basket that I started in June at TNNA in a workshop with Cat Bordhi. The workshop was great and mind blowing and learning from Cat Bordhi was delightful. But I learned the fun stuff that day and only had the regular old circular knitting left to finish the base of the basket. So it had been living in my entrelac bag since June awaiting a burst of motivation. Drawing the year to a close with less unfinished business was just the ticket. I transferred the stitches to a 16" circular instead of the 47" needle that was necessary for the moebius part of the basket. I have determined that I really am not crazy about Magic Loop (or Herniated Loop, ala Cat Bordhi). It felt ungainly to me. Once on the shorter needle it was just a matter of going around and around. Now I just need to get myself to a top loader--I don't trust my front loader with this one. I don't want it to end up permanently creased. It's going to be a very cool basket--I want to make sure the felting works right.
AND the Gianna Bag is officially done!
Sewing in a lining reminded me why I don't sew often. But I do think the bag is much more useful with a lining and with practice I suppose I could improve my sewing skills too. The crochet part was really easy, even for me, and I really don't know much about crochet at all. I completed the whole thing in one evening. Everything needed to crochet the bag, including the pattern and handles, comes in the kit. The lining was my idea and I loosely used the ideas at Hello Knitty to help me with it.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Tonight it is this:
The Child's Neckdown Jacket from Knitting Pure & Simple pattern 249. I made mine in Baby Soft from Needful Yarns and it IS soft--like a cloud.
Yesterday I guess I didn't finish anything at all. I actually started something. The Arizona Colors bag made from Gianna. This is a kit from Southwest Trading Company. (Yes, we have some at River Knits!). I really wanted to finish my Regia Greenie socks, but well I needed more yarn and I was home...so I really had to start something new, right?
Before that I watched the Bourne Ultimatum and finally finished Brent's Mittens. He had gotten one in his Christmas stocking but the 2nd one was delayed due to the omission of about 1.25" between the ribbing and the thumb ont he 2nd mitten--I was just in too much of a hurry, confirming the old adage once again.
While I was waiting for Christmas to arrive but couldn't really knit on the secret 2nd mitten I made this Diversion Hat. It is the Fiber Trends pattern called Everyone's Favorite Hat and Scarf knit in Nashua Painted Forest. It only took a few hours so it's questionable just how much of a diversion it actually was.
Let's see, I know I've finished something else this week...oh it was technically last week. But I got them done in time--in spite of ripping out the first foot which was just way too big due to assuming I knew my gauge when I really didn't.
That's all for now...but I have 3 more days in 2007!
Friday, December 14, 2007
I can't tell you how glad I am to be done with this one. It's a plain old 2X2 rib using Cascade 220. I love 220, but got really tired of the ribbing and the color. I'm not sure if I'll stretch it out a little when I block it (I would if it was for me) or just wash it to soften it up a little. We'll see how I feel tonight when blocking time rolls around.
I'm also a little undecided about Danica. I used Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, which I love...and the entrelac was a really fun process...I just am not sure how I feel about the look. The back ends up pretty messy, so I wish I was skilled enough to sew a silky lining on the back or something clever like that...but oh, well. It's done.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
But after a few days he started wondering where his fingerless mitts had gone. He looked in all the usual places and remembered that he had worn them to the school that day. He looked in his pack basket through all his primitive equipment he had taken to show the kids. No mitts.
We have lost handknit items before and I've come to terms with the fact that things that are actually used will sometimes get lost. But darn it--these were the first (and I guess only) things I'd ever knit out of my handspun. Not works of art; actually they fit in really well with a presentation on all things "primitive." We all thought it was too bad that they were lost.
Meanwhile I started another pair of regular mittens for him. He still doesn't know this so mum's the word, ok?
As it turns out I haven't worked on these much in the last week. My husband had to stop by the school for something last week and he decided to look at the lost & found table. Guess what he found? One t-shirt of our daughter's and...yes, his fingerless mitts! I think it has been a long time since he found anything of his in the elementary school lost & found.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
My sock day has come and gone. My sock drawer is bursting and I can't fit all my socks into it. My feet are very happy this winter. :-)
Thanks to my good friends who gifted me with so much sockie joy.
Happiness is warm wool socks.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
My family drove to Connorsville, Indiana, to catch the Whitewater Valley Railroad's train to the Metamora Christmas walk. I had verified that the kids had appropriate winter apparel before leaving Lafayette, and had told them before leaving Lapel that now was the time to get out all the warm things. So I wasn't at all concerned about being caught unprepared for the cold weather. But of course these are *my* kids we're talking about. The same ones who argue with me over warm winter accessories at every turn. I should not have been surprised when we were waiting to get on the train to discover that neither of my daughters brought a hat and my son had valiantly tried to leave his mittens in the car (because who wears mittens or gloves?)! But I was rather furious that I had gone to such great lengths to make sure they were prepared only to be far from any hats and about to get on a barely heated train to walk around in 20-some degree weather for 3 hours before riding again on the barely heated train.
After many tears from my daughters who lost their computer privileges for not listening to their mother, we finally boarded the train. It was then that I remembered that I had *something* in my knitting bag... yes, an unfinished hat!
This hat was the 2nd of a set that was originally started for charity. I finished the first one that is already int he donation basket. But this one was started with the remaining yarn just to see if I could get another matching hat completed. I had already decided that I needed to use another yarn to finish it off and now I had a compelling reason to work on it.
I didn't really think I could finish it before we reached our destination, but it was therapeutic to knit on it in the train. At one point my mom said, "Now you're working on something else! What is that?" I couldn't help but enjoy the irony of it: "A hat."
Well, the 15 mph old train gave me more time than I thought I would have. But I began to lose light as we traveled and the overhead lights weren't working properly so it was quite dim. Nevertheless, by the time we disembarked this is what I had:
We had at least one warm head!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Here are your winners:
In 4th place, we have NATALIE KANABY. Natalie didn't get all of the answers right, but she did throw in a little sucking up by thanking us for the fun contest. :) For her efforts, Natalie wins the Elizabeth Austen glasses case.
Third place goes to LADONA SORENSON. Ladona wins a Sock Club T-shirt in recognition of one of the funniest answers we received. In answer to the question "What is Amanda referring to when she says she has gone over to the 'dark side'?", Ladona answered, "Knitting socks on two circular needles. She further went down that path by crocheting. If she ever crochets a sock on two circular crochet hooks, we may lose her forever."
Second place goes to SAM BLACKMON. Sam had all the correct answers! Congratulations, Sam, you win the Needlecrafters Travel Companion. If you only traveled more often, that might come in really handy. Oh well. :) (Sam actually travels all the time, and may be gone as we post this...)
And...the first place winner of the Tales From the River trivia contest and recipient of the super terrific cashmere prize package is...
Dana not only had all of the correct answers, but she made us laugh with almost each one of them. For example, to the question "Where did Heather lay out her 'show us your socks' picture?", Dana answered, "At Davidson Fields, on top of a pile of rocks that is guarded by a 'leave rocks alone' sign. My first thought was 'I wonder if any of those socks with rocks are made with Socks That Rock?'" Her answer to the question of who had provided surveillance during Boot Camp For Socks? Simply this: "Corporal Wenig, Sergeant Doggett and Sergeant Gill. I can't help imagining 'Mimi LaValley and 100 Nuns' knitting their way up to the School of Assassins."
Congratulations, Dana...and thanks for the fun answers.
Honorable Mention goes to...
LAURA SHUMAR, who wondered if you could use a felted clog as a bicycle seat cover.
ELIZABETH MILLS, for remembering details...even though the answer we were looking for with the question of how Fiona Ellis arrived in Lafayette was "in Sheryl's mustang convertible", Elizabeth remembered that they went the wrong way on the ramp during the trip.
MELISSA BISHOP, who is recognized for the following questionable pun: Who provided surveillance during Boot Camp for Socks? "Corporal Wenig and Sergeants Doggett and Gill--they did a great job to boot." :)
Congratulations, winners! And thanks to all who played. I can hardly wait to do it again!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
While doing so I wrote a little song. I'll have to share that with you later too.
But I do have something that is not TOP SECRET that is coming along nicely.
Colleen's Wallaby! I know the hood always takes longer than you think it's going to, but with any luck I can work through that still this weekend.
After tinking both projects last weekend and writing songs of knitting frustration, it would feel like coming out of a very dark place to finish two projects in one weekend. So alright already; get off the computer and KNIT!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Simply send an email to our special trivia mailbox with the answers to these trivia questions. Much like my favorite radio show, the questions have been painstakingly researched; the answers have not. All determinations of winners shall be final and in the event of a tie we will determine extra points for creativity, accuracy, or daring-do. If all else fails we'll use the time-honored technique of drawing names out of a hat. So turn on your thinking caps and send in your responses. We can't wait to see how much you remember.
1. Who are the Tales From the River contributors?
2. Name one rule of Sock Club.
3. Which contributor turned a heel in the middle of a scarf?
4. Which RK regular had to wear a pink shirt after a charity knitting challenge?
5. Which contributor worried her Shire Silk summer tee was turning into a tent?
6. What does SABLE stand for?
7. When is World Book & Copyright Day?
8. Where did Heather lay out her "show us your socks" picture?
9. Who won "Name That Yarn" at the RK retreat?
10. What position did Michelle play on her junior high softball team?
11. Who provided surveillance outside of RK during Boot Camp for Socks?
12. Elizabeth's husband could tell by sight that she had not knitted an item he was using. What was that item?
13. What is Amanda referring to when she says she has turned to the "dark side"?
14. How did Fiona Ellis arrive in Lafayette for her Jump Start Your Creativity workshop?
15. Who is the star of the "Boys Who Knit Are Awesome" post?
16. Which house scarf did Elizabeth knit for her daughter to wear to the Harry Potter book release?
17. Which contributor had to admit in July that Elizabeth had been right about Wildfoote sock yarn?
18. Which contributor started an elicit affair with Ultra Alpaca Light?
19. What is Amigurumi?
20. What was Rhianna wearing on her head in the August 14 post?
21. What did Sam and Elizabeth make for Heather's sock day?
22. It looked like a scepter or a head whacker, but what was it really?
Don't forget to send your answers to our special trivia mailbox Contest ends Monday, November 12th or whenever we get around to judging it, which ever comes later.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
1. forgot an appointment (which I had written on the calendar)
2. forgot to pay someone (who recently posted to this blog)
3. couldn't find my car in a parking lot--for more than just a minute. (I guess we're glad I don't have any pictures of that!)
4. lost Michelle's first sock (which was later found--joy!)
5. forgot how to do a technique on Michelle's second sock that I did quite nicely on the first sock. This is the one I find the most perplexing. How did it work out fine the first time if I can't seem to get it to work out now??? If I were knitting this sock for anyone else, who would I ask for help? Michelle! So now I guess I'll have to figure it out on my own. I have decided to put it away until Monday in the hopes that whatever phase of the moon or ill wind that has affected me this week will have passed.
And while I'd be glad to show you my 2nd sock and its problems, that is currently CLASSIFIED information...so you'll just have to use your imagination!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Which woman from the Outlander series are you?
You are Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser. You are resourceful, practical and a strong woman. You're not afraid to stand up for yourself or do whatever is needful for those you love, whatever the risk to yourself. You have a gift for healing and you are a faithful lover.
Take this quiz!
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Sunday, October 21, 2007
I found out that the Mittens for Akkol list is a few pairs of socks short of a whole orphanage full. So I cast on for a little Joan's Sock on Saturday while visiting with October Fest goers who were browsing at River Knits. I got all but the toe grafting done in one day! You really have to love that pattern. Someday someone is really going to have to make me try something else because I just can't seem to stop! I think I can cast on for the 2nd of the pair Wednesday at Charity Knitting and sneak this pair in before the group organizer leaves for Kazakhstan. This one is Big Mexiko and a strand of Lana Grossa Meilenweit. I wanted this one to come out a bit smaller than the pattern is written. I was shooting for 7" and I think I just about have it!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I finished the Breeze Footies, just in time to tuck them away to await the return of Spring...
And I finished the Reversible Stocking Cap (pattern available at RK) by Teresa Gaffey. Essentially you knit one cap then pick up stitches from your cast on edge and knit another one! Stuff the one in the other (or vice versa) and you have a reversible double-thick cap! Very warm. This one does take a while since you are really knitting two caps to become one. But the effect is fun and the warmth is unbeatable since you end up with 4 layers in the brim!
As for my back feeling better, I attribute that to the book Back RX. It contains a series of exercises that take only about 15 minutes to do. You are supposed to do series A until you can do them painfree, then move on to series B and finally series C. My back has been sore since before TNNA but after a few weeks of doing the exercises in this book, I feel much improved, am sleeping better and have begun the series B section. If you are having low back pain, you might want to check this book out. I can tell you that the TCPL does have it and I will return their copy soon since I just bought one to keep for myself.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
These items from the River Knitters went out to Afghans for Afghans in the first box for this challenge. What you see is my rescued vest and some Joan's Socks from other folks who like to come to charity knitting. (I think Sam, Kerry & Debbie but forgive me if I missed someone!)
Sam has volunteered to send another box on Saturday for any remaining last minute items. I got one more hat done that will go in Box #2! I know that lots of other people are trying to furiously finish that "one more thing."
(If anyone else has any wool garments you would like to be included in the very last minute box you need to have it to River Knits on Saturday before 11:00am!) Thanks, Sam!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
But on to the Finished Objects...
One is Foliage, a pattern from Knitty.com. I used malabrigo (I've never used "delicious" to describe anything but food, but I might say this yarn was delicious to knit with!). I think the color is "Bijou Blue", but regardless of the name, this picture doesn't do it justice. There are a few more hanks of this color at River Knits, and you should absolutely pick it up and pet it a little bit. This hat is worked from the top down, which was a welcome change to hat knitting, and the lace pattern was easy to follow, but enough of a challenge to make the knit seem really fast and satisfying. It is for Josie's noggin...and I have enough left to make a second identical hat. I suggested making one for her friend Kayla, but as some of you have heard me say, apparently matching hats wouldn't be as much fun in 7th grade as it might have been in 6th grade. Maybe a few hats should be thrown in the Basket O' Scarves? I could do up another Foliage to be the first hat of the bunch...
The second FO is the Irish Hiking Scarf, scarf number 8 for the Basket O' Scarves. I am glad to be done with this one...I was getting a little tired of it, and it took a very interesting movie adaptation of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome on BBC America to get me in a rhythm to finish it. I love the look...and now that I have a week's distance from it, I'm thinking of making another in a softer yarn...this one is Lamb's Pride, which I love...but it's not quite as delightful to the touch as Ultra Alpaca. Or Malabrigo...
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
With that done I needed to decide what to do about the printer problem. The terminal is quite ancient so buying a new printer for it seemed like a bad idea. I had a newer terminal that has both the processing and the printer in one unit. I called technical support again. And I guess saying "I called technical support again" doesn't really convey what that is like. I dial a very long number on my cell phone and then go through voice mail to get to the right department, then am prompted to enter my merchant number, which must be at least 20 digits. Entering these repeatedly on a cell phone is in and of itself quite a vexing experience. Suffice it to say I called them at least 4 times this evening and repeated this process each time. Once the cell phone cut out so I guess it was 5 times.
The first very nice tech support guy told me he could send me info to download to the new terminal and took me through a long and circuitous process of entering strange combinations of letters, numbers and what felt like Morse code into the unit. When we finally reached the download point the unit displayed, "Waiting for line" which meant it couldn't connect to the phone line. That was really a low point in the process. Did I mention I was really hungry?
After disconnecting the FAX, the phone, the terminal and reconnecting them in various configurations we managed to get the terminal to receive the phone signal. And yes, then I got to call tech support again to try the download thing again. We let it start downloading and finally went to dinner.
We returned to River Knits after dinner hoping the display would read "download complete" but I admit I was skeptical. Amazingly it WAS complete and after installing the new programming I tried it out by swiping my own credit card and EUREKA! It worked!
But at this point we had the terminal directly connected to the phone. We had bypassed the FAX and the actual telephone. A splitter and more phone line was needed to make the new terminal work. I went home to relieve my parents who had spent the afternoon with my kids and guess who spent his anniversary running to Target to buy a splitter and phone line and just called me from River Knits to say it was all working? Yes, my husband.
It is a great example of why he is a wonderful guy and why I'm really glad to be celebrating another anniversary. So if you happen to see him, tell him thanks for getting us back up & running so you can still buy yarn tomorrow! :-)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
This year, I've been all about the Tomato. I finished one last month. Now I'm working on another.
I don't think I could possibly be happier with this pattern. It's very rare for me to knit the same thing twice (other than socks). But I am really in love with top-down sweater construction. I've been trying this on every few inches, and I'm able to make it fit perfectly.
A note about the yarn: This is the Shire Silk I reclaimed from the failed Lacy Leaf Shrug. It's knitting up beautifully. I have to admit that I wasn't enjoying the flat knit part, because I had a hard time purling with this stiff yarn. But, once everything was joined and all sts were knit, it's great.
I'm forcing myself to stop working on this garment because I'm knitting it along with the class I'm teaching right now. The whole point is for me to show the steps I'm going through, so I can't finish it as quickly as I'd like. So, what should I work on instead? I can't show you the two other projects I'm working on: Michelle's Sockday Socks and the two RK Mystery Shawls. And, frankly, I'd like to take a break from both of those. Honestly, I'm in the mood to crochet something. I want something I can finish fast. An instant-gratification project. But I can't seem to find anything that really appeals to me. Has that ever happened to you? If so, what do you do? I've looked through a bunch of crochet magazines, and the few crochet books I own, and I'm at a loss. Maybe I need to go to the library....
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
So, to those of you who attended the River Knits retreat and participated in the auction that benefitted our program...THANK YOU! Some of the money went toward replacing the basketballs, kick balls, and jump ropes we go through so quickly, but some of it also went toward replacing our knitting needles...
So that we can continue making things like this baby blanket, which was knit square by square by several of our kids, ages 7-13. This blanket is being donated to a family in another of our agency's programs.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Ready for the but? BUT...I had the sweater on the floor, between my knitting chair and the end table last night (along with my Highland Kilt Stocking, Folk Socks, Knitting Vintage Socks, The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns)...when someone I love very much, who had been eating some KFC and whose fingers were greasy...dropped a huge glass of milk onto the sweater. It is very, very milky now. I took all of the effected items to the kitchen immediately...I laid the sweater down and got to work cleaning up the books. This morning I grabbed the sweater, and realized that in my mad rush to clean my books, I had laid the sweater down on the KFC gravy lid. See below...
I think I need some help from the Patron Saint of Helping Knitters Feel Better!!
On a positive note...last night's Irish Hiking Scarf class was really fun...
Monday, September 10, 2007
A scepter? (Because I'd love to be Queen of the World?)
A head whacker? (Because I need to keep Brent in line?)
No--It's a sock darner! Because I'm wearing holes in my socks.
Brent made this for me last winter when I noticed I was wearing holes under the heels of my Hauk socks. It is modeled after Michelle's prototype. He finished varnishing it and gave it to me on my birthday.
You use a darning egg by putting it inside your sock to give it form and shape while you are repairing it. I suppose it keeps you from accidentally sewing one layer of your sock to the other side too! I've heard that some people use lightbulbs for this purpose, but that sounds dangerous to me. I'm not very good at darning yet.
I guess now that I have a darning egg, I need to get cracking on those socks. Winter will come again...
Friday, September 7, 2007
This summer I decided to try to knit enough pairs of socks for Joe that he could wear handknit socks everyday, and I started the project with patterns from this book.
Here's what I've got so far...
The Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel, using Gems Merino (such a great sock yarn!) in a colorway called "Pewter". I'm not sure how the Dutch heel will feel inside a shoe, it's a little bulky on the bottom of the heel, but it was a great knit.
This is my favorite, both for the name and for the knit...the Gentleman's Fancy Sock. I used Lorna's Laces. I think the colorway is called "Baltic Sea".