Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nordic Knitting - From Turkeys to the New Year!

You may wonder what Turkeys and Native American cookies have to do with Nordic Knitting? And that is a very reasonable question. Since I am an academic, the end of the semester has interferred with documenting the ongoing projects in the Nordic Knitting Group at River Knits. Final lectures, tests and grades came in a big rush after Thanksgiving and I am just getting the post out from our end of November meeting, but here it is - better late than never.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving cookies with various personalities at our November meeting, the Monday before turkey day. They were a tasty treat and gave us the big sugar rush we needed to get going on those patterns and colors. The theme for this fall seems to be mittens and hats. Many of the mittens are coming from the Selbuvotter book, from a pattern of Nancy Bush's from the Piecework magazine, and from Dale of Norway flyers. Daletta, Falk, Heilo, Nature Spun Sport, and Baby Uhl are the favorite mitten yarns. Karen's (red), and Beth's mittens (teal and white) are beautiful on both sides and ready to wear. They report that they are very warm!

Mine aren't quite done yet as you can see. :<) I left them like this so that you could see how the thumbs are constructed (ha, ha).
Then, last night we had our New Year's - December meeting, skipping right over Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. And Karen has started another pair - the Nancy Bush pattern, which uses a few less stitches than the Selbuvotter patterns, and so fits smaller hands better. She even had the great idea to use a slightly variegated yarn (Lucy Neatsby Celestial Merino) for the light stranded color, which goes beautifully with the lilac (below, right). Beth also started another pair last night. These mittens are addicting!
Toni and Dawn looked at patterns for mittens,
gloves, and doll sweaters last night, so we are looking forward to seeing progress with them in the New Year.

Later this week, I will show you the hats and socks that others in the group are working on in November and December. No large garments to report on until the New Year, but the beginnings of a really cool vest and a sweater were in evidence last night, so stay tuned. We made a lot of sweaters the last two years, so I guess it is time to warm the extremeties.
Meetings will continue in 2009 on the last Monday of each month at River Knits from 7-9 pm. As always, you can purchase items you need for knitting at the meetings, and everyone is invited who loves Nordic Knitting!! Nordically yours, Sheryl

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Name That Crocheted Dog!

So...it's time for another Tales From the River contest!

I was recently given this crocheted weiner dog by a friend who understands my penchant for old, weird, crafted things. He (or she) is now my office mascot, but needs a name!

Please send your Name That Crocheted Dog contest entry to riverknitstrivia@yahoo.com. Prizes will be given to one Grand Prize Winner and one Worthy Attempt. Can't wait to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

From Alien to Charity (and maybe to Elf)!

This project started out as an Alien Hat for Halloween. As you can see, it turned out pretty well. I scared a lot of students at work (I teach at Purdue) on October 31. At least, they looked frightened while I was lecturing in this hat. I planned on making two of these as presents, but only got one done, so I kept it. (I really did covet it anyway). The pattern is a free one from the polarknit.com website. I substituted 2 strands of encore for the polar fleece it calls for and it worked great.

The project is so quick that I decided it would make a great hat for our charity knitting at River Knits. I have a hard time getting things done quickly enough for Holiday giving. I made a smaller one using the 2 strands of Encore again, and didn't put the spots or the eyeball stalks on it. I thought it might not look so great for a christmas present to have eyes coming out the top. (I might have been wrong with that though). I put a chain edging of a contrasting color around the earflaps and braided ties on the flaps using both colors. This version looks a lot like ones I see on campus. They are very popular now. And the whole hat takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to make on 10 or 10.5 US size needles. Cute and quick!

So, the next version may be an elf hat. The pattern is a little different and on the same website - polarknit.com (see picture below from the website). They even have ears! They would also be great for charity knitting for the holidays.

Happy knitting over the Holiday Turkey Weekend. Knitting helps calm me when relatives are around. Nordically yours, Sheryl (the Eyeball Alien)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Have camera, will blog!

I have a camera again!! Yeah! I've missed being able to post pictures of my knitting and life in general. Last summer I enjoyed a wonderful canoeing trip on the Wabash. This was the last picture I enjoyed taking with my old camera.

Apparently the camera got wet after that and thus I have been incommunicado in the blogosphere. But now I am back!

Even though I don't approve of Christmas trees in November, I was delighted to see how Milissa set up the River Knits tree for the Holiday Open House! It is full of knitterly goodies that would delight even Scrooge on Christmas day!

Best are the wooly socks hung on the wall with our names on them. But if you want to see them, stop by soon. After Thanksgiving they'll be heading across the globe to warm over the feet of over 500 kids and teens living in orphanages in 2 cities in Kazakhstan. They are all part of the sock drive we've been contributing to all summer for Mittens for Akkol. If you'd like to contribute, ask me how! Meanwhile we're knitting up some slippers for the girls at Cary Home. Ladies size medium is what is needed, as well as warm hats & warm scarves and mittens.

So what's on my needles? Well I just finished a pair of Fetching mitts for my daughter. She is in her "black phase" now, so I chose a mostly black colorway of Karaoke and she is quite pleased. They go with her black coat. And black eyeliner. And black fingernails... You get the idea.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nordic Knitting Time!

With the advent of fall, it is time to get Nordically Knitting! This is a callout for the Nordic Knitting Club at River Knits. Our first club meeting will be on Monday evening, September 29th, from 7-9pm, at River Knits on Main Street in Lafayette. You can bring a project you are already working on, or come and pick out a new project. I will help anyone who is looking for inspiration or guidance, and there are plenty of other people in the club to help out too. We will have sample pattern books of sweaters, mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks for all ages and sizes. These will include a Teddy bear sweater pattern for a trial garment with nordic patterning and Norwegian sweater construction techniques on a small scale. It is really cute and you can see it modeled on a Teddy and a Raggedy Ann below. Also, there are great nordic patterns for Christmas Stockings, small and large. Or, bring a pattern you already have, and we will help you pick out the appropriate yarn.

Any type of northern European knitting is appropriate for this club - Norwegian, Estonian, Swedish, Icelandic, Fair-Isle, Finnish, Latvian and others. This isn't a class, so it is helpful if club members know how to knit in the round and how to use two colors while knitting ("stranding" technique). You don't have to be an expert though, and we can help.
So, don't be shy and come and join in the fun! Nordically yours, Sheryl

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Charity Knitting Times Two

Did you ever read those instructions that tell you to go through a pattern and circle the numbers that apply to your size? Well, I do this (most of the time) when knitting sweaters and other larger projects, but didn't really think that I needed to for socks with only 2 sizes. Well, a senior moment has proved me wrong. (Or maybe it is the fascinating and distracting conversation at charity knitting on Wednesdays!) I was making a pair of socks for the CIC (Children in Common) sock challenge, and had decided on the larger of the two sizes. Since I was knitting the second one of the pair on the plane during a business trip, I left the first sock at home to save on space in my knitting baggie (really - it is a plastic sandwich baggie). I had counted the heel stitches and knew that I had 20 on the heel flap. So..... that must mean that I was making the smaller of the sizes, and I couldn't remember for sure. The pattern uses Noro Kuryon and is from the pattern-a-day calender. The larger size was CO 44 and the smaller size was CO 40. I was a little surprised when I got home and put the two socks together and they were pretty different in size! (Photo 1) I started pulling on the smaller one on the right, trying to make it bigger, and thought that I must have been pretty stressed on the trip to have changed my gauge so much. How could this be?? Maybe I could block it bigger, but it really wasn't even close. Finally I had the sense to count the stitches. Even though the heel flap in the first one was 20 (don't know why I did that, is is supposed to be 22), the total stitch count was 44 around. So now what to do? Rip one of them out? They were too different to make a pair, especially for charity. There was no way I was sending them off to a child I didn't know, looking like this. I had started with 3 balls and had a ball left, but not enough to make two more socks.

Lucky for me, Elizabeth at River Knits had one more ball of the same color of Kuryon (different dye lot), so I snatched that up to make another pair of one medium and one large sock. The upside is that now there are 2 pairs for the charity basket instead of one! The large pair is shown in the second picture. My memory lapse had a positive end result. Now I circle my choices on the instructions, even when there are only two. I told myself that I must be getting wiser as I'm getting older. Something must be improving, because it certainly isn't my memory. And I had twice as much fun knitting these great Noro socks!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Are you a Ravthlete?

Those of you who are on Ravelry know what I'm talking about. Those who aren't.....well, here's a brief explanation. Ravelry is sponsoring it's own version of the Knitting Olympics: Ravelympics. Those who are participating (like me) are called Ravthletes. Cute, right? The rules: You choose a project (or projects) that will challenge you as a knitter, and you work on them during the Olympics. You aren't allowed to start until the opening ceremonies and your projects must be complete by the time the closing ceremonies end. If you chose a truly challenging project, it's pretty tough to get it done in time.

Two years ago, I participated in the winter Knitting Olympics, organized by the Yarn Harlot. I chose a great project: fair isle knee socks. I did not finish them in time. In fact, I didn't finish them until January of this year. I was not a successful knitting olympian. This year, however, I was determined. I chose a smallish lace shawl in fine laceweight yarn on size 4 needles. I figured I'd be lucky to have it done in time.

I was wrong. But in a good way. I finished it this afternoon---more than a week early. It was an easier pattern than I expected. It's a birthday gift for my mom (if you know my mom, please don't tell her...her birthday is September 16, so please help me keep the secret until then). The only real stumble that I had in this race was running out of yarn 1/4 of the way through crocheting off the final row. Fortunately, I found some creamy white Misti Alpaca laceweight at River Knits that matched the color close enough. It was a little finer than the cashmere I used in the rest of the shawl, but it was close enough.

Pattern: Hyrna Herborgar from "Three-Cornered and Long Shawls"

Friday, June 20, 2008

An A-to-Z* Circular Vest Pattern, by Margie Towery

An A-to-Z* Circular Vest Pattern, by Margie Towery
*A-musingly simple, drop-shouldered, many possibilities, next to Z-ero finishing
With thanks to Susan H. Esser for her vest pattern with garter stitch edges. I’ve revamped it to make for much less finishing. Please do not use vest for sale or sell pattern. It’s meant for charity purposes and for gifts for family and friends.

Version A: Malabrigo worsted weight in light blue, about 350 yards, size 9 needles (24” circ and straight); gauge: 4 sts/1”; finished size: chest 25” and length 14-15” (2-4 yr-olds?) Shown in photos.
Version B: Lamb’s Pride worsted weight, 2 skeins (380 yards), size 9 needles (24” circ and straight); gauge: 3 ½ sts/1”; finished size: chest 31” and length 18-19” (7-9 yr-olds?)
Version C: Cascade 220 Heather, 3 skeins (660 yards), needles size 5 and 7 24” circs and 7 straights; gauge: 4 ½ sts/1” on 7s; finished size: chest 38” and length 24” (small adult)
Instructions are written for A (B, C).
Cast on multiple of 4: 100 (120, 172). (For adult version, cast on and ribbing on size 5 needles)
Join, being carefully not to twist sts.
Ribbing: 6 rows of 2x2 (6 rows of 2x2, 10 rows of 1x1) (adult version, change to size 7s on first row after ribbing)
Stockinette stitch for about 9 (11, 16) inches in the round to the underarm. At this point you should have used about ½ of your yarn. From now on you will be working back and forth rather than in round.
Slip the last half (50, 60, 86) of total stitches (that you just knitted) onto holder for the back.
Turn to wrong side. Use cable cast on, CO 4 (4, 5) stitches. This is the garter sleeve band. Turn to right side. Knit these 4 stitches and half of remaining stitches: 25 (30, 43).
Slip remaining 25 (30, 43) sts onto holder. These are the stitches that are next up on your needle.
Turn to wrong side. With cable cast on, CO 4 (4, 5) stitches for garter neck band for left front.
Knit these 4 (4, 5) stitches, purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts., knit the last 4 (4, 5) sts. If desired, use markers as reminders to maintain garter bands. Also, try to keep garter bands somewhat loose.
*(RS)k4 (4, 5), k to last 6 (6, 7) sts, k2tog, k4 (4, 5). Turn. (WS) K4 (4, 5), purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).* Repeat * to * until you have 10 (12, 18) sts left between the garter stitch borders: 18 (20, 28) stitches total. End with the purl row. Break yarn; slip stitches to holder.
Return to right front. Slip stitches onto left needle, so you’re ready to knit them from the right side. Using long-tail method (and leaving a 24-inch tail), cast on 4 (4, 5) sts to right needle (the right front neck band). Keep yarn tight for first stitch or two and knit across 25 (30, 43) sts. Turn. Use cable CO, cast on 4 (4, 5) sts for sleeve band. Knit back across these. Purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).
*(RS)k4 (4, 5), SKP, knit to end. Turn. (WS) K4 (4, 5), purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).* Repeat * to * until you have 10 (12, 18) stitches left between the garter stitch borders: 18 (20,28) sts total. End with the purl row. Break yarn; slip stitches to holder.
The only finishing bit: Go back to the tail from cast on at the V of the neck and use it first to cinch up any loose or stretched center stitches and then tack down the v-neck pieces. It’s much easier to do this now than later.
Note: There are no decreases on the back. You’ll add the garter bands then knit most of the back flat. When you get to the last few rows, you’ll add some ribbing.
Slip the back stitches (50, 60, 86) onto the left needle ready to knit across the right side. With right needle, pick up and knit 4 (4, 5) sts from garter sleeve band, knit across back sts (50, 60, 86), pick up and knit 4 (4, 5) sts from garter sleeve band. Turn. K4 (4, 5), purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).
*(RS) Knit across total stitches (58, 68, 96). Turn. (WS) K4 (4, 5), purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).* Repeat these 2 rows 13 times (26 rows) for A; 16 times (32 rows) for B; 21 times (42 rows) for C. In order to figure number of back rows for other cast ons, count number of decreases in front times 2 minus 4 rows. For A, 15 decreases (25 to 10) x 2 = 30, minus 4 rows; thus, 26 rows.
Last (4, 6, 8) rows: (RS) k4 (4, 5) to maintain garter band, k14 (16, 23) to match front stitches and one band, 2x2 rib for 22 (28, 40 but in 1x1 rib for adult size), k14 (16, 23), k4 (4, 5).
(WS): k4 (4, 5), p 14 (16, 23), maintain ribbing, p14 (16, 23), k4 (4, 5).
For A, work these two rows 2 times (4 rows); for B 3 times (6 rows), for C: 4 times (8 rows).
Lay vest out flat and make sure your front matches the back in length. If not add rows as necessary.
All back stitches are now on one needle. Turn vest so right sides are together or face each other. Slip stitches from left and right fronts onto another needle. You’re ready for 3-needle bind off.
Bind off the first 18 (20, 28) stitches as 3-needle BO. Use regular bind off for the next batch of stitches of BACK only until you have 18 (20, 28) stitches left, to match the other front vest part. Now BO 3-needle wise the rest of the stitches.
Weave in ends and you’re done!
For adult sweater I used the texture pattern as follows: Multiple of 4 sts
Row 1: k3, p1 across
Rows 2, 3, 4: maintain stockinette st.
Row 5: k1, *p1, k3* across
Rows 6, 7, 8: maintain stockinette
After knitting in round to armhole, end with purl side rows 2 or 6, so set up rows for v-neck are done on stockinette rows.
Comments or corrections? Please email to mtowery@aol.com

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Sockday to me! Happy Sockday to me!

After two years of waiting, my day finally came. This evening, I was gifted with seven pairs of glorious, gorgeous hand knit socks.

Aren't they beautiful?! Want to learn more about them? Then get on over to the Gaea Creations blog to read more!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What Once Was Lost...

...Now Is Found!

Anyone who was at the River Knits Yarn Tasting might have heard me lamenting about my daughter's lost Wallaby. I had wanted to bring the Wallaby to the Yarn Tasting to show an example of a garment knit with Universal Classic Worsted Tapestry. When I asked my daughter if I could borrow her sweater for the evening, a horrible look of woe came over her face and thus I learned that said sweater had not been seen in months. That led to what seemed like a full-scale search and rescue mission that was finally ended with no leads into the whereabouts of the sweater.

I was sad, but I recovered. I do love my daughter more than the sweater.

So fast forward until yesterday when my dear daughter was cleaning her room and packing to go on a trip. I heard a loud, "MOM!" that inspired mild concern. I thought something was wrong. (But it was only mild concern because the something that is "wrong" is often just the presence of a small spider or something else that isn't really all too "wrong" even though it inspires that tone of voice in my daughters.)

My daughter appeared at the doorway with none other than the long lost sweater!

It had been packed in a long-unopened overnight bag that had never been unpacked after a previous outing. Mystery solved!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

UFO week - epilogue

This is my last day for blogging about the marathon UFO week and I was reflecting on how it had gone. I am very happy to have 6/7 projects done, and the 7th project very near completion. The pile of folded and finished items is very gratifying (see picture minus the 2 first projects that have already gone to their new owners). My friend sent a thank-you for her shawl (#1) and said it will be a comfort to wear to her chemotherapy sessions, and she loved the colors. I can't wait to wear the sleeveless linen top when the weather warms up, and I don't know if I would have ever finished it without this binge of spring knitting. Besides needing about 5 more hours on the last row, the last shawl (#7) also needs more yarn (of course). Elizabeth (River Knits and Tales from the River Blog owner) is looking for a skein of Kidsilk Haze that matches. She is the best. I am very grateful that I didn't run out of yarn on other projects. I also only have 2 knitting injuries - a very tight and sore deltoid and a stiff wrist, both on my left side. I am blaming the unfinished shawl. I have renewed respect for lace knitters. I did stretch every hour - shoulders, elbows and wrists - and credit that for not having more injuries. I usually get tennis and golf elbow from knitting that many hours a day. My workroom is a mess (see picture), but I will clean that up tonight. The best part is 7 empty knitting bags to go and fill up with new projects! Happy knitting to all of you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Last Long (and fun) Day

Day 7 of UFO Marathon Week, Monday May 26 (Memorial Day)

Today I started knitting at 6:30 am and stopped at 10:30 pm. I didn't knit or work on knitting for only 75 minutes during the day. Those 75 minutes were to eat, brush my teeth, run the dogs on my bike, make 14 cups of tea, coffee, espresso, etc. and to go an equal number of times to the bathroom. At one point in the afternoon, when I was 8 hours into the knitting, my husband commented (I was slumped on the couch with barely combed hair, and my "Life is Good" yellow labrador sweats and t-shirt on) that all I needed was my Camelback full of my favorite beverage and I wouldn't even have to get up! I did look rather rumpled and slovenly, and certainly wasn't going to accomplish anything but knitting on this holiday day off work. It is also a good thing that he does most of the meal preparation, or I would have starved this last week.

I started the morning with 6 hours of work on the shawl border. It is the Ruffled Fichu from "Victorian Lace Today" by Jane Sowerby. I am making the sunset red version with a beautiful green/purplish silk I bought in San Francisco for the lightweight yarn and Rowan Kidsilk haze from River Knits for the fineweight yarn. I had finished the body of the shawl and picked up for the border a couple of months ago, with 6 inches of the silk left (whew!) after finishing the body. The border is described by Jane Sowerby as "a relaxing knit ... please don't count the stitches halfway through the ruffle...just think of the beautiful garment you will be wearing at the end." Well, that is good advice except if you are trying to finish it during marathon finishing week! After 6 rows of the 19 border rows, I knew I was in deep doodoo. The stitches increased from 233 to 840 by row 17. Each row pair was taking an hour, so that was 9 hours of knitting, just to get to the last row picot bind off. That row increased to 1401 stitches while binding off. I started the bind-off row at 9pm Monday night and calculated that it would take about 10 hours to finish the last row. I did not stay up. I finished 4/38 bells in the pattern during that last hour on Monday, and am working on it about an hour a day. I am also probably going to run out of yarn. It is a learning experience.

The toddler sweater for CIC charity went much faster. I had blocked it the day before, and it was still wet in the morning, so I put it outdoors on the picnic table. It was dry by 1:30pm and I knitted the sleeves and put it together. It was done by 5pm. The pattern is from the Knit Girls Kids book (same book as other toddler sweater), and the yarn is Colorado by Katia, bought about 7 years ago and left over from a vest I made for me. I really like how the baby sweater turned out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 6 - Clothes Encounters of the Third Kind

UFO Day 6 - Sunday May 25, 2008

Today I blocked the socks on my moose sock blockers – they are a beautiful wood with a moose cut-out at the top and are just my size. You can put wet socks on them because they are finished with a waterproof varnish.

I also got the neckbands finished on the linen top. I had to do the cast-off on each of the neckbands 3 times because it flipped out at the edge when I followed the instructions. I ended up doing K2tog every 4th stitch and then binding off and that decreased the flare. I had already dropped down a needle size and was binding off tightly. It looked much better the third time. This project was a total act of faith and I still don’t know at this moment how it will turn out. I just now threw the top in the dryer to see what the finished size will be. I bought the pattern and yarn 5 or 6 years ago. The pattern is “Elizabeth” (2002) from Louet sales and is written for the Euroflax heathers yarn. I had taken a class about “knitting to fit” and so swatched this project using the pattern stitch as recommended, washed and dried the swatches to figure out the correct needle sizes and then what size to knit. I used Addi turbos size 4.5 and 4.0 mm, which are a size smaller than the pattern. I usually knit pretty loose. Also, I was 10 lbs lighter when I started this top, and it is very fitted, so don’t know how it will fit me, even if it comes out like I planned. The linen yarn is also a challenge to knit with (although actually fun and very beautiful), and so I had lost faith in the whole project about ½ way through. However, since my New Year’s resolution (this year) was to finish my UFOs, I picked it back up in January, and decided it would fit someone. I will know the answer tomorrow when it is completely dry. It is recommended to wash in the machine, dry for 15 minutes at low heat and then finish drying flat. I will put the 2 buttons on the shoulder straps tomorrow, after it is dry, and I can see where the buttons should go. Time to finishing from starting on it yesterday – 2.75 hours. It will probably take another ½ hour to put the buttons on, although it may take hours to pick them out. Now off to work on the fichu shawl.
The pictures below are after removing the top from the dryer, and you can see it has gained 4.5 inches across, or 9 inches around (26 inches bust to 35 inches). I am 40 inches, but it is very stretchy (I hope)! The linen feels wonderful.

UFO Days 4 & 5 - Starting the long Weekend

UFO Days 4 & 5 - THE START OF THE LONG WEEKEND! – Friday was day 4 and I didn’t finish a project. The work day was really demanding and long, and I didn’t get home until late, although I had been planning to leave early and get the socks done. I did get a couple of inches done on the foot (1.5 hours) after dinner and a margarita (which didn't speed up knitting), and figured I could finish the socks and maybe the sleeveless top on Saturday. On Day 5 (Saturday) I was successful with the socks. It was the first day of the 3 day weekend, and between doing laundry, running with the dog, obedience lessons at the dog club and putting away tent and sleeping bag from a recent camping trip, the socks got finished with 2 hours of knitting in the morning and another hour on the toe during Prairie Home Companion in the evening. The patterned yarn looks pretty nice in the lace part and then striped in the bottom, heel and toe. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, color Flamingo Stripe, and the pattern is the Peaks ‘n’ Valleys in "Knit Socks!" by Betsy McCarthy (yarn and book from River Knits). It is a good pattern for short stripes so they don’t pool. These were knit using 2.25 mm 40” circulars and the magic loop technique. It takes a long time to finish socks for myself since I have such Big Feet! (And I’m a slow knitter) - 4.5 hours total to finish the foot and toe.
I also got a good start on the neckband of the sleeveless top on Saturday (day 5), but didn’t finish it. The yarn is Euroflax Heathers – a wetspun 100% chunky weight linen yarn. I can only knit with it for an hour or two at a time, because the linen is so inflexible and makes my hands ache if I work with it longer. The neckband is a very tight basketweave cable, and I messed up picking up the stitches, and then the buttonholes were wrong, so had to do the front neckband twice (aaaaargh!). Hope to finish it tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Newsflash from Roswell - third UFO spotted!

There wasn't too much to finish on this afghan, and that was good because I didn't have too much time yesterday. I worked on it from 8 to 9:30 pm when I got back from work in Huntington. I was really freaked out sewing up the center seam because the instructions had suggested that I needed 30 inches and I left that amount of yarn at the start when I cast on for the project. It didn't look like enough last night. I had 2 inches left when the seam was done. The bears are enjoying it in the first picture on the left. (They have their own handknit sweaters). It looked like a blob before I cast off, and I used up almost all of the yarn. This project has been going on for at least 18 months, but I can't really remember when I bought the yarn. This is my wine drinking project (and sometimes tequila) since it is knit one row, purl one row, and all I have to remember is 4 increases every knit row. It may be the only project I have never ripped any part out. As with the rest of the afghan, I completed it last night while drinking a large glass of Merlot. I love how it turned out, and the beautiful mix of colors! It is very cozy and the yarns feel delicious. I can't wait to snuggle up in it, and with the cool spring, I don't think I will have to wait until fall. The pattern and yarn both came from River Knits and the yarn is the Lorna's laces bundle. This color grouping is Watercolor, Blackberry, Sage and Denim. There are several beautiful color groupings available and the yarns range from angora and silk to wool, mohair and cotton. It is really fun to knit

Thursday, May 22, 2008

UFO Day 2 - Toddler sweater finished!

I wasn't sure I would be able to post on the blog today, because I am working in Huntington. But we have a break at lunch, so here it goes, a new computer skill. The blogging is more challenging than the knitting part. Yesterday morning this toddler sweater was in 4 pieces and today it is on its way to the 3 month old baby it was made for. Forest was born in March 08, and his sweater was finished knitting in November, but not put together in time for his birth! Good thing it was finally sewn together yesterday. Before I would know it, it would be too small, although it is size 3. The yarn is a delicious lumpy bumpy stuff hand dyed by Charlene, 99% merino. The pattern is from "The Yarn Girls Guide to Kid Knits", a collection of quick and very cute kids and baby patterns that I bought at River Knits. It took 4,5 hours to finish yesterday, 1.5 hours sewing with the charity knitting group at noon at River Knits and 3 hours watching the Mets last night. Before leaving at 7am, I packed it in a little lamby gift bag, and gave it to my husband to deliver. I hope that his parents like it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A week of UFOs - day one

The first day of this knitting marathon finished successfully with the delivery of the shawl. I belong to a knitting group in Indianapolis
called the Knitwits (of course!), and we met last night at a restaurant in the Trader's Pointe area. One of the knitters will deliver the shawl to my friend who is also a member of the group. She couldn't make it last night, but will find out today what her treatment plan is for her breast cancer. It is the UFO that was started most recently (2 weeks ago) but needed to get done first. The pattern is the triangular shawl pattern from River Knits that works with the Cherry Tree Hill Boucle. I used another yarn from my stash to make the shawl this time. It is handpainted by Valentina Devine (America Knits Book), and is a boucle that I got about 6 years ago in New Mexico at a workshop she held at Ghost Ranch. It knitted up quickly on #17 needles and made a cozy shawl 74 inches tip to tip. Time to finishing - 80 minutes including working the ends in. Time for wrapping - 35 minutes (I am very slow and had to find a box, paper, bow, card, etc. you get the idea). I got up at 5:45 am and finished it before going to work on Tuesday and left after work to go straight down to Indianapolis for our dinner meeting. Lots of fun, but tired today due to arriving home at 11pm. 1 project done and delivered!! Blogging done, now on to finishing a toddler sweater, so that I can blog about it tomorrow.