Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Winding Down

I've come to the conclusion that I will not have mom's sweater ready in time for Xmas. All this hat knitting has seriously compromised my sweater time. Once again it has cooled down and Skyline is still not ready. I've also managed to knit a hat for almost everyone except me.

The Sideways Spencer is blocking and tomorrow I'll tackle the ribbing. Today at work I realized I was about to make a grave mistake that would prevent the sweater from being ready Christmas day. I forgot that it closes with buttons. Very large buttons.

It's kind of hard to buy buttons without taking the sweater. The spencer should be finished by Sunday and ready to go on the button search. The niece that I knitted this for lives out of town so it's important that I have this finished on Christmas day.

Still working on the hats, haven't gotten much down on Skyline, but I'll attempt to finish it sometime between the day after Christmas and New Year's Eve. I'm already on the hunt for the next project.

Monday, December 10, 2007

O Christmas Tree

Each year I knit a few more ornaments to add to the Christmas tree. Some years I may only have time to knit 1 or 2 and others I may add at least six. We rotate through four color schemes so it never gets boring.

So far I've done 4, including one that was complete with the exception of having the top glued on. It looks like I may complete the Victorian color theme. I've already strung the remaining colors and will take time this weekend to complete the remaining skeins. It takes me about an hour to make one with the pulling and pushing of beads up and down the strand.

Ornaments thus far are:


Double Diamonds


Ups and Downs

This is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas holiday.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hats Anyone

Hats, hats and more hats. That's my major focus at the moment. I tend to lose focus on the larger projects when the temperature keeps fluctuating as much as it has lately. The heat was on in my section at work today and I had to keep the window open all day. Normally I have to run a small heater because the air is on and it is freezing in my office.

First up a child size beanie from Knit Great Basics by Vicki Square.


Pattern: Sport Fit Beanie
Source: Knit Great Basics by Vicki Square
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Navy and Brick


Pattern: Garter Band Hat
Source: Improvised by me
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino in Harvest and Royal Purple
Needles: 8 circs and dpn's
Started: November 2, 2007
Finished: December 1, 2007


Pattern: Odessa by Grumperina
Source: Magknits
Yarn: KFI Peru Luxury DK
Needles: Sizes 4 and 6 US 16" circs and 6 US dpn's
Started: December 2, 2007
Finished: December 3, 2007

If you know someone who needs a hat and their hair is on the long side check this pattern out: Hannah. My mom even pronounced it cool. It's next on my now much shorter list.

I haven't completely neglected my other projects. I'm almost finish with the sleeve shaping for Skyline, the first sleeve is completed on the Sideways Spencer and I've finished the back of the Belted Wrap Jacket. Tin Man continues tonight on SciFi along with the season finale of Hero's so I don't predict a very prosperous evening.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas Quik-E

While browsing for gift ideas last Thursday I came across two excellent suggestions.

1. Koolhaas from the Interweave Knits Holiday special. I put this on my to do list the minute I saw it on the Brooklyn Tweed blog and it's the main reason I purchased this issue. I subscribe to IK but don't usually purchase the specials.

I used Brown Cascade 220 wool. This hat can be easily made in a day or less.

2. 86-10 Drops Headband in Alaska attributed to someone else as Panta.

I knitted the headbands using the Noro Silver Thaw leftovers from Rosedale and the EZ Percentage Jacket I knitted for my mom. I still have enough to do another headband in the Rosedale colorway and will make one for me.

All of my current projects involve keeping accurate counts of stitches and rows so these provided a quick much needed mindless knitting break. I'll be on the look out for more quick knits for Christmas gifts but for now it's time to get back to the grind.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sniffle, sniffle

The fall allergy blues have begun to make their presence known I find it difficult to knit while either constantly wiping and blowing me nose or having my view somewhat obstructed by a piece of tissue stuck up my nose with eyes swelling at the same time. It hit me like a ton of bricks this weekend and Benadryl has been my constant companion.

I'm well into the second sleeve for Skyline and have managed to finish one of the Marokko Color socks. That's not a big accomplishment considering it's a sport weight yarn.

I've started the Sideways Spencer for my niece for Xmas. I've been slightly biased against bolero-type sweaters, but may end up making one of these for myself.

My favorite project at the moment is the Belted Wrap Jacket.

The pattern is easily remembered and rhythmic which makes it a fun knit. It's intended to be a Xmas present and I don't see any obstacles at the moment, but that doesn't mean some won't sneak in. Each time I say that something happens to knock me off schedule so I'm adding a little "knock on wood" to that statement.

I've got a couple of other small items to add to the Xmas knitting that I wasn't planning to do. Next weekend will be a long one which means plenty of extra knitting time in between the pigging out on the Thanksgiving goodies.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside

I had great hopes of having Skyline completed before the cold weather struck. I've been plagued by several frogging episodes during the knitting of the first sleeve and front secton. The pattern depends on maintaining precise stitch counts at areas indicated on the schematic. Now that I've worked my way through the right side the left should proceed at a slightly better pace.

Monday I was in need of a little project break so I cast on a sweater for my mom. It's the Belted Wrap Jacket from Interweave Knits Winter '05. I've had this sweater on my radar ever since. I was trying to keep the cost down since I plan on making one for my mom and another for me. had the perfect subsitute for the Filatura di Crosa Zara. The yarn is Filati Italian Collection Tebe Extrafine Merino.

In order to satisfy my need for a mindless knitting project I also cast on a pair of basic toe-up socks. The yarn is Regia 6fadig Marokko Color. They are knitting up quickly, but I doubt that they'll fit in any of the shoes we wear due to the thickness. More than likely they'll be used for some nice comfy and warm house socks.

And last but not least, I'm waiting on the arrival of a package from Webs. I want to knit the Sideways Spencer from IK Fall '04 as a Christmas present for one of my nieces. I started it in orange but decided to go with a more neutral color. I wouldn't have a problem wearing a loud orange sweater but that doesn't mean that she wouldn't, so when I doubt take the past of least resistance.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Slow Down

I predicted 2 Fridays ago that I would be finished with this sweater. I didn't take into consideration that my eyes would get tired from Charcoal/Black coloring. I took a two day break and this past weekend I had a little visitor.

I ran into a couple of stumbling blocks in the interpretation of the sleeve directions which resulted in several frogging episodes. Mind you, not the entire sleeve, but in the upper arm section. I'm back on track and today I finished the right sleeve section. The fascination continues.

The sleeve is attached to the body section using a 3-needle bind off.

Once it is completely attached, you shape the remaining rows and once that is done proceed to the right front triangle.

The temps have finally cooled down and down we are below season normals. I should have this finished in the next week or so and hope that we won't rebound back into the 80's.

The sale at the Hook 'n' Needle was good. There was much stash enhancement which I hadn't plan to do. Besides getting things set-up on Ravelry which has turned into a major time suck, I've also been going through my books, mags and the stash selecting projects. I've yet to tackle any of the leaflets or individual patterns.

I've gotten a lot of inspiration from the projects and have some new and very interesting knitters. I'm going to tone things down a bit in order to get the few projects I plan to make for Christmas.

Monika of Smoking Hot Needles has created a gorgeous pair of fingerless mittens. The pattern for KYLA is free and available on her blog.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Sweet Obsession

Row upon row of garter stitch rythmically taking shape. I've been hooked by the wonder that is a Hanne Falkenberg design.

The back is completed and Saturday night I started the right sleeve. I'm not quite sure that I fully understand the mechanics of assembly once the sleeve is done, but with a little patience and perserverance it will all come together.

A big thanks to Vera for the info on knitting shops in the Myrtle Beach area even though I was unable to make it to either one of them. By the time we finished shopping it was time to head back and get ready for the banquet and dance. I'll have to make that my number one priority the next time I'm in the area.


Pattern: Velvet-Edged Jacket
Source: Special Knits by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: baby cashmerino Baby Blue
Started: August 12, 2007
Finished: September 8, 2007

Modifications: I opted not to add the velvet piping since this is a care intensive baby garment requiring either hand washing or dry cleaning. Little Eric now weighs over 8 lbs and is thriving and growing by leaps and bounds. The gift was delivered at the baby shower was on October 8th.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Skyline, Pumpkin and the Alps

Whew! I've been busy entering projects, books and stash on Ravelry and investigating the different groups. I'm trying desperately not to completely neglect my knitting pursuits.

I completed the last sleeve on the Pumpkin hoodie for my nephew Isaiah and rescued my long forgotten Hanne Falkenberg Skyline kit and casted on today. I've been unable to find a kit with this exact color scheme. Mine seems to have the teal, which looks more aqua in the picture, substituted for the orange. So far I've been pleased with the progress and will try hard not to get completely bored with the garter stitch and put it aside in the hope that we will have enough cool/cold weather to actually get some use out of it.

Tonight I casted on mom's Alpine Knit Scarf which took a trip to the frog pond a few months back. It's her Christmas present for last year and I can't let Christmas sneak up on me again without getting it finished. It doesn't appear that I'll be making most of my presents this year. I may get a few hats made, but at this late stage in the game it's not worth it.

Progress has been painfully slow on the Chain Rib socks. I'm doing the ribbing for the first sock, but working on them always gets deferred for another project. Even though my participation in the Summer of Socks was terrible, I'm participating in Socktoberfest. My pressure project is finished and even though I'm still driven to get things accomplished it feels less stressful.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Stage 3 (Warning: Picture heavy post.)

Chatelaine reached Stage 3, completion, last night. I've thoroughly enjoyed this exercise in design and will certainly undertake it again. I grossly underestimated the finished size and could have easily worked one less repeat widthwise and two fewer lengthwise.

It's harder than I thought it would be to part with this shawl. The fact that it will be raffled off to support two good causes for the Ladies of Auxillary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars makes it more special.

1. Operation Uplink which provides phone cards for our service men and women.
2. Cancer aid and research.


Pattern: Chatelaine Shawl designed by Beverly
Sources: Chatelaine - Charted Knitting Designs - A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker
The Brand Iron Edging - Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr 2/18 in Real Red
Started: July 8, 2007
Finished: October 1, 2007

Modeled by the most wonderful mom in the world!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

And a Ravelry We Will Go

I got my Ravelry invite this past week. I was still on the fence as to whether or not I wanted to join. I've got everything catalogued in knitable and the stash on the fiberitis stashblog. Man was I wrong!

It is too cool. I've been checking out designs, completed projects and wip's. Frecklegirl and the Codemonkey have done a fantastic job. I was wondering what the hype was about and now I know!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stage 2

Stage 1: The Chatelaine shawl body was completed Saturday night.
Stage 2: The edging commenced yesterday as a picked up border. Today I ripped it out and decided to do a knitted on edging. I've done this type of edging only once and that was about 4 years ago. I couldn't make sense of it Sunday, but once I made up my mind that it was a better choice it seemed to flow.

I'm using the Brand Iron Edging from Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting. I thought this book was an extravangance when originally purchased. I've consulted it time and time again for this project. It has been a great resource for shawl knitting and I highly recommend it. I purchased my copy from the lys during one of the sales.

This project hasn't been without its' share of trials and tribulations. I am pleased with the look thus far and hope that stage 3, blocking, will bring out the true beauty.

I won't say that I see many more shawl designs in my future, but I feel more prepared for the challenge of actually charting out a shawl and writing the pattern. Next time I'll try my hand at either a triangular or square design.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I'll admit it. I'm a slacker.

It has taken me two weeks to get this sweater blocked and seamed. The sweater is seamed and then the collar added last. I finished the last bit at work this week and blocked the collar Friday.

No velvet on the edges yet. I haven't located any here in town, but I did find two sources on the internet. Their products are so drastically different from each other that I don't know which one is the correct choice. The saleslady in Joann's told me that although they didn't have velvet piping, they did have the cording so that I could make my own. I about peed my pants!

Don't get me wrong. I've made cording before, however I prefer not to do it in velvet.

As I've said before, I have a very strong aversion to making an actual baby-sized item. Don't know why, just one of those little quirks. It may be because they grow so fast and I want them to use it for a while. I made the 12-24 months size as planned since I didn't know the baby was going to be so tiny and I'd already purchased the yarn.

The Chatelaine shawl is eating up my time once again. If the original 10 pattern repeat plan works then I'm 69.40% finished with the body. Using 12 I'm only 58.22%. Still quite a ways to go. I won't be posting any pictures of it for a while as they all look the same just longer.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Trekking Along

I managed to start the second pair of SOS socks before I went on vacation. On the return trip I was about a quarter up the leg when I spotted an obvious error after the heel turn. The River Rapids pattern knits up beautifully, but I wasn't pleased with the look of the Trekking on the size 2 needles. The yarn is somewhat thinner compared to most of the others I've used. Saturday I ripped out the whole thing and cast-on using size 1's. It looks so much better

This time I'm knitting the foot plain and will put the patterning on the leg. SOS pair two on the way.

While I'm not in the running for most socks knitted during SOS, I've finished another pair. These were started before SOS began and have been languishing on the needles as I worked on and even finished other projects.

Pattern: My Basic Toe-Up Sock
Yarn: Regia Cotton Top Color 4075
Needles: Size 1 US Inox dpn's
Size: Women's 10
Started: June 14, 2007
Finished: August 30, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The City of Fountains

We're back home from the city of fountains, museums and barbecue. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Ladies Auxillary of the VFW convention was held in Kansas City, MO this year. We didn't escape the heat, it was just as hot and humid as Columbia, but it was an enjoyable getaway.

There was political campaigning. Hillary Clinton and John McCain spoke Monday morning. Fred Thompson and Barack Obama were there Tuesday morning. The President was there on Wednesday. I attended Clinton, McCain and Obama. It was interesting, but I was not impressed by any of them.

Sunday we visited the Negro League Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum at 18th and Vine in the historic jazz district.

In South Carolina we have Palmetto trees, Cincinnati has pigs and Kansas City has bulls.

Monday we visited the Studio Knitting and Needlepoint. I started knitting one of the fronts Sunday evening and realized I didn't bring the smaller needles I needed. jacket. I had planned to visit to other shops in the area, but with the busy schedule we didn't get there.

There was moderate stash enhancement with a purchases of Hand Maiden Sea Silk and Lace Silk. I also got some Louet Gems to try. The staff was friendly and there was a selection of yarns I hadn't seen, however a lot of their sock yarns were in colors that didn't appeal to me or there was only a single skein remaining.

Wednesday we went to Union Station and had a reception at the Liberty memorial on that evening. On Thursday we toured the WWI museum at the memorial. It was tiring but well worth it.

Thursday evening I had completed all the pieces for the baby jacket and was more than ready to return home.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

GrowthThrough Travel

Still getting organized for the trip to KC, MO. I'm trying very hard to avoid weight problems with my luggage due to overpacking. Making sure all the necessary chargers and accessories are packed. I plan to see several museums including the Negro League Baseball Museum, the American Jazz Museum, the Nelson-Atkins with its' new addition the Bloch and the WWWI Memorial. Yarn shops scoped out, food binges planned, I'm ready to eat, drink and be knitty.

I finsihed the jacket backet earlier this evening. I can only hope that velvet-piping is easy to find this time of year. That's the one thing I didn't take into consideration. Around the Xmas holidays it's a cinch, but in the middle of 100+ degrees August, maybe not.

Donna asked about my shawl pattern. It's mine using the Chatelaine chart from one of the BW treasuries. More details here. It's still a work in progress design-wise. Slowly morphing from sketches, notes and calculations on a legal pad into to something tangible. The first of many designs making their way out of my head as I stretch my knitting legs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just for Baby

When I found out my brother's friends were expecting their first I went searching for the "perfect" baby knitting book. Special Knits by Debbie Bliss and the Velvet-Edged Jacket pattern caught my eye. I was originally planning to make a smaller size in a nice denim color of Baby Cashmerino and purchased that at the same time. However, every time I looked in the book, which was often, I was drawn to the original color used in the photo and purchased that to use instead.

I'm taking a much needed break from the shawl and this projects rhythmic progression of stockinette stitch is just the ticket.

I'm in the process of catching things up and would like to recognize the following as a

Donna of Confessions of a Yarnaholic. Whom I met by chance and has the most creative crafting families I've ever met.

Theresa of Knitting Nonpareil who keeps us entertained with photos and stories about her grands. Are you moved in?

Stash expeditioneer Yargineer whom is a member of the wonderful SC Knitting Guild in Greenville and was a very patient chaffeur for a few of us at the knit-in.

Not five as the others I wanted to list have have already been nominated. A toast to all "Rockin' Girl Bloggers."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Upward and Onward

Total project commitment. Sucks! I can do it but it truly is not my personal knitting style.

Stretched the shawl measures about 33 x 31 inches. My original plan was to have a finished length without borders of 60 inches. I calculated that I'd need at least ten repeats to achieve my goal and today I reached what would've been the halfway point. I decided that since the shawl/stole is for a raffle it might be best to err on the side of wider and longer so I'm adding two additional repeats.

Conspicously absent is my lifeline which didn't worked as planned. I kept weaving it through one of the fibers every now and then and ended up abandoning it about midway the third repeat. So far there haven't been any major problems. Knock on wood!!!

Things have been hectic all around for several weeks. Saturday I'm flying out for vacation and some much needed R & R. I have yet to cast on for the second pair of socks for SOS which will soon be over if I don't get my a-- in gear. I'll be knitting the River Rapid socks by Sockbug in Trekking XXL. I'm planning to take them and one other special project for a precious little boy that caught everyone by surprise coming 8 weeks early. His parents are friends of my youngest brother and some of the most wonderful people I've ever met. Does anyone know if they still have baby showers for early arrivals?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Humble Pie

Kathy of Irisheyes knitting blog nominated me a "Rockin Girl Knitter". My knitting hasn't been rockin so much lately, but I am deeply flattered by her nomination.

Sometimes you can get too confident. This weekend knitting buddy Calvin was over for a visit. He was working on a neat Artyarns hat pattern. I worked a little on Shedir then switched to the Chatelaine shawl. Neither one of us seemed to be accomplishing much except flapping our mouths. He asked me about using a lifeline when knitting shawls. I blithely told him I never use one and I continued to knit on after he left.

As I said previously, I have serious issues with talking or watching TV while knitting on this particularly shawl. About 12:00 AM I headed to bed smugly smilling and admiring my handiwork. Too much confidence will get you every time. I'm still eating my humble pie.

I had knitted rows 2 and 3 twice and had to manually undo 16 rows stitch by stitch. You can best be sure that I ran that lifeline in as soon as I got back to the correct row 3 early Sunday afternoon. I'm going to move it about every twelve rows. In a 48-row repeat that's a number I can live with and my belly is already full.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Broad Spiral Ribbing

Pattern: Broad Spiral Ribbing - More Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Regia Bamboo Color 1072 - Jaffa Color
Needles: Size 1 US Inox dpn's
Size: Women's 9.5
Started: May 1, 2007
Finished: July 26, 2007

NModifications: Worked toe-up with Turkish cast on and short-row heel.

This a very easy 6-stitch, 4-row repeat. I was the turtle trying to catch the hare. I now have lots more time for knitting and spinning and sewing and having fun with the nieces and nephews. Hip, hip hooray!!!

This little cutie went back home Thursday evening. She is a hoot. Love you Miss G!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Marvelous Myrtles

All around Columbia Crepe Myrtles are blooming. For days I've been checking them out around town in hopes of seeing if ours are an aberration this year. So far I haven't seen any that come close.

I think it's probably from the abundance of water they've received. We've been watering regularly this spring and summer due to new sod in the backyard that was put down after the addition was completed. We have three Crepe Myrtles and they're all performing the same way. It's amazing to see how flexible the clusters are and when it rains they bow their head even more.

Soon this amazing show of color will be over and all that remains will be the Lantanas which are performing in a similar manner.