Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Comes to an End

So here's a quick look at the end of '07. It's been a huge year of growing and starting new things.

One thing that really doesn't show up here is the growth in my book library, not to mention all the new supplies and growth in my stash.

It's been a great year for sure!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hats and Jogless Joins

Fresh off the needles is the second hat using Purl Bee's great 70's Ski Hat pattern. I really enjoy this pattern and could continue knitting them well into the new year. They feature a soft half lining with a wool outer cap, are knit in the round in one piece. The use of a provisional cast-on, started on one edge of the lining, allows you to fold and connect the hem inside the hat. The white lining on this one is a Rowan cashmere blend, just right for the little grandbaby for which it's intended.

One feature worth learning is Meg Swansen's jogless join, which was introduced by Meg in her Knitters article (issue 45, Winter 1996).

Knit the first round of a new color as usual. Before you start the second round, find the old color stitch below the first stitch in the round and lift it up on the needle. Knit the old color stitch with the first new color stitch.

It's really very easy and produces a smoother transition between color bands. Here's a look:

It virtually disappears at a distance. And that's "A Good Thing" to quote Martha!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Moths: Pretty and Pricey Protection?

I just love pretty things and I tend toward Victorian styles. I also love my knits and my soon-to-be-knits (a.k.a. My Stash). So when I recently came across a blog post about discovering a moth invasion in her stash, I started to wonder. I have an old Victorian farm house, and YES, that means we have been visited by many different little buggies. I just wouldn't want them to be moths - especially stash eating moths!

So when a shopping blog popped up with this pretty little package, I swooned. How pretty - - how dainty.

Perfumed Cards for Wool & Drawers
50ml/1.65 fl oz. - 20 cards
Notes of clove, lavender, cedar, rose and mint that will scent your closets and drawers and keep your woolens moth-free. Simply spray (two to three sprays on each side of the card) the beautifully embossed acid-free paper cards then put them in your drawers or hang in closets. The lovely scent will last for 1-3 months depending on conditions. When the fragrance becomes subdued, simply spray again.

How Dare They?? I mean really? Something that smells good, looks good and might keep my stash safe, but might cost me $65 plus shipping. How Rude!! Unless I was to add up the cash value of my holdings. I won't actually do that, as someone might see the cash total and call the stash police. But if they came, wouldn't they enjoy the lovely scent?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hats off to me

So it was one of those weekends. Snowy and cold, all the holiday decorations were finally put up, a great batch of soup, Kielbasa and Bean (totally yummy), and time to knit without interruption. Perfect is the only way to describe it. So the coffee pot went on with a great fancy bean blend, the wood burner was lit, audible book plugged in, and I settled into a nice soft chair. Sigh............. perfect.

I am on a mission to get three hats done this week. Two for my son and one for my mail carrier. I did have a hat near finished for my son earlier this fall, a lovely fair isle pirate skull cap. It was down to the bind off rows when it was eaten, cable needles and all, by one of my labradors. Curse you little soft mouthed dog! You'd think that eating a pair of socks every other week would be enough!

Any way, here is the first one. It's Smariek Knit's Utopia Hat. Really fast knit and I'd say a great way to learn cabling. Pretty happy with the results, except that it seems a bit short to me. I still need to get this one blocked.

And then there was Purl Bee's great 70's Ski Hat. This is a realy sweet knit and fast finish. I'm just getting to the decrease and only have about 6 hours into it.

Check out the great lining behind the brim. It's made of a cashmere blend and very, very soft.

Ok, I'll get them blocked and finished tonight. And keep them above puppy height!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

All hemmed up

I love my Grandbabies. I love knitting. I love fair isle patterns. I love knitting sweaters. So of course, not much could be better than knitting a fair isle sweater for my grandson. It's a Dale of Norway pattern from the 2006 Olympics. I've changed a few things up, but basically it's a designed.

It has a little stitch pattern row tucked into the colorwork at the hem that really stands out nicely.

Like most grandma's I know, I too have a nickname given by the babies early on. This house hold calls me "Maga Barn", as in the Maga who lives on a farm with barns. The other daughters kids call me "Baah", short for grand-ba, I think! Don't you just love that?

Anyway, I knit a little memory into the hem of this sweater. One side says "Mikey 2008" and the other says "Maga Barn". The rest of the bank is circled with hearts of love.

So, now off to start the top colorwork. This is really the best part of any project I think. Just can't wait.

Monday, December 10, 2007

He Who Looms

Well, I had a great weekend!! My grandson came over to stay and learn how to knit. I really wanted to see him succeed and decided loom knitting might be the way to go. So off to the store to buy the Kniffty Knitter Loom Set.

He took to knitting this way right off the bat, and finished one gift hat for his sister.

I was amazed at how fast his hands worked.

Here is the 2nd project. A set of slippers for sister #2.

Just one more to go!! Yippee!! One funny note: You can tell his moms knits! His biggest concern was that he would need to frog the hat. Honestly, I think he WANTED to be able to frog it. Got to love little ears and what they remember.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Show Me How: Knitting Storybook & How-to-Knit Instructions

I love Books
I love Grandbabies
I love to Knit

There, I've confessed and confession is good for the soul. When I found this knitting book in new releases, I marveled at the timing. I'm getting ready to launch a new knitter and found this book's description perfect. It almost sounds like it could be his journal entry following our weekend session. It goes like this:

Meet Mary Ruth—she and her brother Jacob are going to Grandma’s house for the weekend. There’s nothing Mary Ruth likes more, because Grandma has a wonderful crafts room full of cool things. And this visit, Grandma has promised Mary Ruth a special surprise: knitting lessons! At first, Mary Ruth is afraid it might be hard. But she discovers it’s fun…and easy too. The accompanying book features Mary Ruth’s knitting instructions written “just the way Grandma taught me,” with all the basic techniques and directions for four projects: a Barkley Ball, Hotsy-Totsy Hat, Tasseled Skinny Scarf, and Kitty Comforter.

Now, obviously his name isn't Mary Ruth...... but the rest is spot on. I do have a cool craft room, complete with a fireplace.

So take my lead, gather the babies near and teach them your craft. Here's a new book to get you started. BTW, the authors, Susan Levin and Gloria Tracy, are the the owners of K1C2 yarns. They also released a similar title for Show Me How:Quilting.

Knitty Gritty Camo Earflap Hat

The weekend is all set. One new knitter will join our ranks and I'll be responsible, and I can't wait. I hope he is excited too! That's right, I said HE... as is a new young male knitting grandson. I've got a project all lined up, a bright colored Camo Earflap Hat intended as a gift for his sister. Here is a peak at the original DIY Knitty Gritty version.

I'm going for a bright pink trim and camo body. I'll keep you posted on the results.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Never Knit near a hill!!

Knitting may not be considered a dangerous pastime to many. But knitting on a hill can be hazardous to your hair!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Girl-y Wristlets

I really appreciate the generosity of bloggers. Here is a sweet little pattern I knit up for one of my granddaughters. The original pattern design was shared by KT on her blog. I changed the pattern up a bit by adding a little fringe yarn on the final two rows, just to increase the girlie factor.

I made a great discovery during the photographing of these though. They would make great little anklets, sort of a short leg warmer. How cute is that!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Moebius

Sometimes, I just can't get enough knitting in my system. I think about it at work, while driving, and in the shower. So I absolutely appreciate the Knitty Gritty TV series. I record it on my Dish and have instant gratification when I need a knitting infusion.

So when this project aired, I just couldn't resist the urge to try it out. I didn't need a moebius and honestly couldn't imagine what I would do with one. But the real question was - "Could I knit a moebius"? I mean a seamless version.

So with my remote between pause and play, I grabbed some extra alpaca yarn, a long set of 40" cable needles, and cast on. I got so caught up in the process of learning the new cast on that I didn't count stitches. I just kept casting on until the needles where full. I also used a size #5 cable instead of the #10 called for simply because I was waiting for my new needle set to arrive.

It turned out to be great fun and very addicting. I did frog it though, as I had way too many stitches and way too small needles.

So this weekend I cast on again, with the right number of stitches and on the right size needles for gage. It was a fun project. It's a bit hairy from the Alpaca, or should I say my workspace and I ended up hairy! I added a color change to give the edge more of a collar look.

This is going to be gifted to my Mail Carrier here at work to keep her nice and warm and very, very girlie.