Tuesday, December 27, 2005

All I Want for Christmas ...

I rarely get knitting gifts even though I am an avid knitter. This year was different. I got the best knitting gift ever. A full set of Colonial Rosewood knitting needles. My mom totally surprised me with this one. The only problem is I'll be afraid to use the smaller sizes, but in the meantime I'll enjoy my needle bouquet. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 24, 2005

We Wish You A Merry Christmas ...

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. The packages are wrapped. All the knitting didn't quite get finished but all is well. Hope your travels are safe and your visits are fun. May peace and joy be upon you each and everyone! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


The Maze socks are finished. This is a beautiful pair of socks which will probably never see the knitting needles again. At least not in a size 12. I consider this my sock "tour de force". They haven't been blocked yet, I'll do that tonight and they will definitely not be blocked on the sock blockers. I discovered that they are way to big for even the largest size! I had my brother try them on after the first foot was finished and they were just a little too long, so I knitted the second one a half-inch shorter and frogged the first one to match. Sometimes it's good to know what you're getting for Xmas and he can't wait to wear them. Posted by Picasa

Calf detail with maze pattern. Posted by Picasa

Foot detail with pinstriping. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 16, 2005

Stash Enhancement Part II

The stash enhancement continues although most of the following will be used during holiday knittng.

1. Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted in Turquoise Wonder and Brown Sheep Handpainted Originals in Tropical Wave for Mohair Ballet Slippers.

2.Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted in French Clay and Brown Sheep Handpainted Originals in English Garden for Mohair Ballet Slippers.

3.Dazzling Knits complimentary copy from Martingale & Company.(I was determined not to buy this book, but I love the designs even if they are reworks. I've got so much Silk Garden on hand that I'm bursting with anticipation.)

4. Sock Blockers in S,M, and L. (Still to small to block the brothers socks. Only 19.95 and free shipping from Inspirations Yarn They also have excellent service).
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Stash Enhancement Part I

Little Knits is having a sale and even though I shouldn't purchase anything else as I've already reached XSABLE status (Extreme Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectancy), I couldn't resist.

1. 2 skeins Helen's Lace in Black Purl and Bittersweet

2. 3 skeins Shepherd Sock in Flame and Goldenwood (I meant to order 4 and they've sold out of the Goldenwood, but I will be ordering more tonight. They have excellent service.)

3. 6 skeins of Araucania Nature Wool in assorted colors to make the Shared Border Cardigan from The Knitting Experience: Color
.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Christmas Slippers

Another Xmas FO. These are the Mohair Ballet Slippers from Beverly Galeska's Felted Knits. I knitted these for my niece yesterday evening using Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted in Peruvian Pink and Handpaint Originals English Garden. The colors are true in the picture. This is a quick and enjoyable knit. I also felted them last night which was fairly quick given Nature Spun's excellent felting qualities. I highly recommend these for anyone looking for a quick to knit, fun gift. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Peaceful Palms Complete

The Progressive Gloves are complete. I really enjoyed knitting these and I've already made plans to knit more. I finished them on the Monday before Thanksgiving, but due to the holidays I was lax in taking pictures. I finally finished the first Maze sock. In the photo is my gift certificate for sending in the pattern corrections. After looking through the catalog and realizing that I own an obscene number of books printed by this company, I chose Dazzling Knits. I'll finally get around to using more of the Silk Garden and Kureyon I have in my stash. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 19, 2005

De Colores

Recently I've been working on the De Colores cardigan from Module Magic by Ginger Luters. I'm using Silk Garden color 234 and Cash Iroha color 80. This is a Xmas present for my mom.

In an effort to avoid second glove syndrome, I've started my second glove for the Peaceful Palms knitalong. The gusset is finished so unless I get distracted by another wip these should be finished tomorrow.

The Maze socks are coming along. I ran across a few errors in the pattern and reported them to the publisher. They in turn sent them to Charlene Schurch who confirmed them. I received an e-mail asking for my snail mail address so that they could send me a gift. This isn't the first time I've found an error, but it is the first time I've reported one. It's nice to know that the publishers respond so promptly and appreciate corrections.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I've Got A Peaceful Palm!!!

It's a glove. Knitted using Brownsheep NatureSpun worsted on size 4 dpn's. It's been a joy to knit this based on the Progressive Gloves article from Knits (Winter 2003). I have XL hands and it's nice to be able to have gloves that fit. I should have done this a long time ago. The bag is the felted KISS purse minus the handles. I must find my grommet tool, because I just absolutely refuse to buy another unless Xmas catches up with me. Posted by Picasa

I'm currently working on the Maze socks from Sensation Knitted Socks for one of my brothers as a Xmas present. I've never done mosaic knitting, but this is really enjoyable. There is a small error in the written instructions for the maze pattern, but the charted design is correct. The other sock is one of my own design. I've decided to branch out a little and try something new. This is my first attempt at designing socks and I must remember to write this down. Posted by Picasa

Leaf lace shawl from Fiber Trends knitted with Opal Handpainted (2 skeins and about 5 yds of a third) on size 4 circulars. I didn't block to the full size of 90 x 45. I really enjoyed knitting this and it was quick except for losing the pattern in the recliner for 2 days.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I've Succumbed!!!

After a year of blog surfing and trolling the various knitalongs, I've finally given in and joined one. Am I conforming? Does this have anything to do with the fact that I've already knitted 1 1/2 pairs of mitten for Xmas? More likely it's that the fickle finger of fate has finally tapped me on the shoulder.

On one of many sleepless nights recently, I was reading a back issue of Interweave of Knits and came across an article on gloves. The next day while I was blog surfing I came across a mention of this knitalong and curiosity has gotten the best of me. I still haven't decided on the yarn, the pattern or the style. One thing is for sure, the yarn will come out of the stash.

In the meantime, I'm too busy playing with my new toys, a fullsize notebook and a Palm T|X. Hopefully, I won't spend too much time moving stuff from the other PC to get this done even though fate has intervened again and killed the monitor on my old PC before I could even get started setting up the new one. As long as I can get my knitting database I'll be happy. After all, it's all about the knitting baby!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

KISS (Keep It Simply Stranded)

I was raving about Sally Melville's book the other day because I couldn't wait to get started on this purse. It's the KISS purse. I used Noro Kureyon(80) and a gray worsted that I had in my stash. This is a really quick knit and I am pretty pleased with the results. The Xmas presents are rolling right along in spite of the doubt I have had about not being able to knit fast enough or for long period of time.

I've spent most of the day knitting and watching the Sci-Fi channel's zombiefest. These movies are so corny and silly that it's easy to watch them and keep merrily knitting away. Gotta go. It's time for --- "Brains!!! I need more brains!!!"

The almost completed purse. I have to finish the bottom, make the straps and felt it. This has been a really quick knit now that I can finally knit 2 color stranded with 2 hands.  Posted by Picasa

This is a close-up of the KISS. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

All Color, All the Time

This weekend I purchased Sally Melville's newest book The Knitting Experience Book 3: Color. I am totally in love with this book. I've already started the KISS purse. This is my first real experience with knitting with two colors. I thought the two-handed method was really hard but when I started this pattern it suddenly clicked in. I've had the first 2 books as soon as they came out and never knitted anything from them. That's probably because I was so far beyond plain knitting and purling that nothing in them said "KNIT ME".

On the knitting front I completed the Leaf Lace Shawl on Monday. It still needs to be blocked so there will be pictures to come at a later time. I also completed the Sock It To Me Toe-Up Chevron Pattern Socks. I made these using Froelich Wolle Special Grunband 4-Fach. They ended up shorter than most socks that I make because I didn't realize that this yarn was much thicker than my usual sock knitting yarns and was only 175 yds/skein. My mom loves them none the less.

Had an MRI of the non-cooperative shoulder so I'll find out Friday morning if it's something that needs to be fixed or just nerve and muscle damage from the ongoing neck dilemma. Regardless, I'm determined to keep on knitting. Maybe not as much and not as often, but I shall knit on just the same. To this end I've decided that I've knitted quite a few pairs of socks from other peoples patterns, so I'm designing one of my own based on a lace pattern from one of the Barbara Walker Treasuries. Everyone knitter should have these books in their arsenal.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm Back (Partially)

After a long hiatus, I've finally made it back to the world of blogging. Albeit with some new hardware. On June 6th I had surgery for a herniated disc that caused a vertebral collapse at C5 and C6, was pressing on the nerves and had leaked, severe degenerative arthritis at these vertebral levels and cervical radiculopathy of the left arm. Now I am the proud recipient of some fancy permanent neck jewelry that shall forever remain invisible. After months of physical therapy, there's still some pain and stiffness that may remain for months, maybe forever, but I feel very blessed to be able to function at a level that allows me to at least go to work and move around for part of the day. Being able to do something other than just forcing yourself to get dressed every day in order to keep some semblance of normalcy because you can't do anything else is finally over.

I've begun knitting again. At first the left hand didn't work too well, but everything is starting to come back together again. It took me 3 weeks to knit a pair of Broadripple socks. The only downside is that now they think that I have a torn rotator cuff and couldn't tell because the pain from my neck was so completely dibilitating. Such is life.

Now is the time to start preparing for Xmas. I've made 1 1/2 pairs of mittens and picked up some of the new Opal Handpainted sock yarn. Beware of this yarn. I was warned by Maureen of the fabulous Hook-n-Needle that she had some problems with fraying where the darker colors were added, so I bought it for cost. After winding 3 balls and not having any splitting or fraying in the process, I'm hoping I got lucky. I'm going to use it for the Falling Leaves shawl. Here's hoping that it's not a collosal failure since I've never knitted a shawl with sock yarn. Ta-ta for now.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Oh My Aching Neck

For the past 8 to 9 months I've been battling increasing neck pain. Went to the doctor in December and the diagnosis was degenerative arthritis. Treatment was hot/cold packs, Darvocet for the pain and Mobic for the inflammation. For 3 months I didn't take anything for the pain figuring it would eventually go away. Well after taking the initial prescription and getting two more prescriptions on seperate occasions for stronger pain medicines and visits to my doctor twice I finally have the real diagnosis. Two slightly bulging cervical disc, one bulged cervical disc, a pinched nerve and a more severe form of degenerative arthritis. Needless to say there hasn't been a whole lot of knitting or anything else.

I finished my sister's jubilee socks, my mom's regia jacquard colors socks and I've knitted a pair of the broadripples from Knitty for me. I've been home for 2 weeks on my back most of the time as sitting or standing is too painful. Hopefully traction will help get them back in position and I can avoid the dreaded surgery. Until then, I won't be blogging much.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Stash Reduction Failure

In November I had the wonderful notion that I would embark on a SRD(Stash Reduction Diet). I can now report that since then I have failed miserably. I received a call from my mom to meet her at our local lys during lunchtime on Friday. We were there to take advantage of a 50% off hardback book sale that turned out to be a 50% off selected books sale due to misinformation given at our last guild meeting.

I have now added the following books to my already pretty extensive knitting library:

1. Cotton Knits for all seasons - Debbie Bliss
2. The Best of Lopi - XRX Books
3. Sweaters from A New England Village - Candace Eisner Strick
4. Irresitible Knits - Kirsten Cowan
5. A Season's Tale - Kim Hargreaves
6. The Children's Collection - Alice & Jade Starmore (Purchased purely for the elephant design.)
7. Chunky Knits - Vogue Knitting
8. Toddler Knits - Vogue Knitting
9. Bags & Backpacks - Vogue Knitting
10. animal KNITS - Zoe Mellor
11. Angels a Knitter's Dozen - Gerdine Strong
12. The Jean Moss Book or WORLD KNITS - Jean Moss
13. Handbook Aran Sweater Design - Janet Szabo

I also purchased the new ponchos & wraps-a Knitter's dozen by XRX. I'm generally not a fan of compilation books, but this one is nice. Even though it is a republication of patterns from Knitter's, this is a great little reasonably priced book at $15.95. There are several designs I'd like to knit and I don't have to go searching through my back issues.

On the knitting front, I'm almost finished with the Regia Jacquard Colors socks. These are my second pair of toe up socks knitted from Judy Gibson's sock pattern.I plan on trying Wendy's next. The second poncho in a lovely light blue color of Sirdar Domino for niece number 2 is coming along well. The Stash Buster Spirals have been frogged and put on hold, but after searching the group archives I think I've found the cause of my jogging problem.

Stash addition. Posted by Hello

Also from 50% off sale. Posted by Hello

Purchased from Hook N' Needles 50% off selected books sale. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

First pair of toe up socks in Regia Jubilee Color - Taiga colorway. Size 1 dpns. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Sock Go Round

As I'm always willing to learn new things, I've finally decided to tackle the toe-up sock. I'm using Regia Jubilee Color in the Tiaga colorway. The yarn is lovely and knits up into a beautiful fair isle type pattern.

I'm not one to shy away from difficult projects. I easily mastered the figure eight cast-on. However, sock sizing is another issue altogether. I completed the first sock only to discover that it was too big and bunched once in a shoe. In a genius moment, I thought I'd knit the second sock eight stitches smaller. Wow, eight stitches is not really a big deal. Wrong! That sock has turned out to be a little too small. So what's a girl to do?

Well I just ripped that ole first sock out to several rows before the gusset and started the gusset sooner. Voila! It's magic when the knitting works. I probably could have knitted 2 or 3 pairs in the time it's taking me to do these, but they won't go the route of the fluted banisters or the pink beads. You're quite welcome mom. ;)

Next item on the to do list should be completing Master Level II, but alas I am so easily distracted. I'm never going to make the March deadline for submission so I might as well learn something else. It will be toe-up short row socks. Still haven't decided if I'm going to do the stash buster spirals, a toe-up short row pattern. This is the fifth sock in the Six Sox Knitalong.

Having been enabled and feeling the need to enable others, another great sock knitalong is Jean Townsend's. The patterns are absolutely gorgeous. Besides, I have 10 more balls of this yarn. I have all of the colorways but one so I might as well keep going while the going is good.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Dodged the Bullet?

We were all geared up for a brute of an ice storm. We rarely get snow in Columbia, SC just that nastly old ice. I'm glad it was not near as bad as they were predicting.

All day yesterday I felt like I had ADD. Constantly switching between projects, going outside to check the freezing and just generally disorganized. The amazing thing is that when I got up this morning I realized how much I had really done.

1. Spun, plied and set some merino/silk. Too bad at 125 yds it's really not enough for anything.
2. Finished the swatches for a machine knitting class I'm teaching next weekend.
3. Almost finished the pink beads socks for the Six Sox Knit-Along. (Finished today.)
4. Taught myself how to knit socks from the toe up.

All in all it was a very productive day.

There's something eerie about having your options taken away as this storm did. Maybe it's the knowledge that even if you wanted to go somewhere it wouldn't be the smart thing to do. You have the car, the gas and the money you're still stuck. But then there's the ice. In spite of its' seductive beauty it's safer inside.

Pink Beads from the Six Sox Knit-Along Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Magic of Light

I recently got 2 Ott lights. A small one that clamps or stands and a floor lamp. The amazing thing is that I never realized how really bad the lighting was until I turned the first one on. It's amazing how much better I can see and the reduction in eye tiredness.

I was knitting on the standard knitting machine last night and moved the floor light next to the machine bed. All I can say is wow!! Mind you, I haven't knitted on this machine in over year but it is wonder that I accomplished what I did. It is making this second go-round of learning to machine knit so much more pleasant. Maybe I can actually make something other than hats and scarves now that I can see the stitches and needles better.

I also like the lamps for hand knitting. I've started using them mainly when working on socks or dark colors and there's no struggle to see the details.

Since I spent most of yesterday evening running back and forth from the machine to the TV, American Idol started last night, I've really got to blast ahead to get my swatches made for the demo on edgings. It also looks like I might actually finish the knitalong socks on time. The more I look at it the more I realize that I really dislike the beads but I'll cross that bridge before I start the second sock.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Scarf Central

I finished the Fluted Banisters for the Six Sox Knitalong and I've turned heel on the pink beads. I stopped after the first banister was done to knit Xmas presents.

5 Seaman's scarves, all from various "stash" yarns
1 fan and feather, Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK in a soft peach from "stash"
1 2x2 rib, love the Noro Implessions from the "stash"
4 felted purses
1 felted hat

The bad news is that the Hook 'n' Needle has a sale going on and I bought 12 balls of sock yarn (100 g balls), 2 books and 36 balls of Takhi Pansy (12 x 3 different colors). I'm still very conscientous about knitting from the stash yarn, but this didn't help the situation out much.

I must admit though, that I've been successful in using stash yarns with the exception of the yarns I've bought for felting. I just can't seem to part with the wools I have in my stash for felting. I prefer Kureyon, Brown Sheep, Cascade 220 or
Galway. In March I'll be teaching a felting class for the Palmetto Purlers Weekend Knit-In in Columbia, SC and another class on button making. I'll also be teaching a class on Machine Knit Edging for the Midland Machine Knitter's the first week of February. Busy, busy, busy.

The Susan Seaman's Scarf from Stahman's Shawls and Scarves by Myrna A.I. Stahman is a wonderful well written book. I recommend it highly.Posted by Hello