Sunday, December 13, 2009

I can be taught!

HI!!! My name is Emma. Aren't I cute? My mom says I am and that it is a good thing. I think I am , but I'm not sure why mom says it over and over again. It must be to boost my self esteem.
I love yarn. Almost as much as my mom. It feels so good between my teeth and it is terrific fun to run throughout the house, unraveling it behind me and wrapping it around the furniture.

I'm responsible for this....... (this eventually became mom's Spring Forward socks)
And this...... (this became a February Lady sweater).
There may have been a few other adventures as well, but we'll just keep those between us.

Then mom went to this place called Stitches East and came home with some of these......

It's called a Fibersphere. Mom thinks it's absolutely genius. I think that it has ruined all my fun. Seriously. What is this world coming to?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Time Flies!

Gosh, I am not really sure where the last 3 weeks went but I have been sneaking in some knitting. I've been on a kick to finish up a few projects that have been lingering and not surprisingly they've all been socks!

The first pair is the Waving Lace socks by Evelyn Clark. The pattern is in the Favorite Socks book published by Interweave Press. I used Claudia Handpainted sock yarn and the color is called "Last Night's Wine". These were a lesson in "trust the pattern" for me. The pattern called for a gauge of 9 stitches per inch in stockinette and this pattern is very clearly lace. I usually look for 7.5-8 stitches/inch for a 64 stitch sock so I went up in needle size. I underestimated how much give the lace would have and I am a little worried that they will feel sloppy on my feet. I loved the pattern though, so I'm going to knit these again using gauge!
This next pair is The Purple Rose of Loopy by Wendy Johnson. This was the consolation kit for those who did not get into The Loopy Ewe's sock club for 2009. I used the yarn in the kit which was Handmaiden's Casbah. I loved everything about this yarn! And the little bit of cashmere in it makes it so soft. I've worn and washed them a couple times and they seem to just get softer! These were also the first pair of toe up socks that I've made that I am happy with the fit.
This last pair is Shur'tugal by Alice Yu. I used Miss Babs Yummy sock & baby yarn and the color is Verdigris. I made these as a birthday gift for Justin's girlfriend. A funny thing happened while I was making these socks. I pretty much zoomed right through sock #1, but when I got to sock #2 I kept making a mistake on the instep in the gusset decrease area of the sock. I kept reading my knitting wrong and was knitting the wrong rows of the pattern repeat. I ripped it back twice to fix it before I finally got it right. I get to the point where I think the foot is about the right length, but I wasn't in the same place on the pattern. After some head scratching I realized the mistake I made, and ripped out twice, I also made on sock #1 but didn't notice! Ugh! So I was off by 6 rows! And I needed to end in the middle of the pattern repeat on row 5 because there is a toe pattern that builds off row 5. So I did a little fudging to make it all work out and nobody will know except all of you! Shhh!!!! Don't tell Sammi :-)
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stitches East part 2

This is the shopping portion of my trip to Stitches East. There was so much to see and touch, and so many samples displayed that it would have been very easy to get carried away and buy 2 of everything. I tried to only buy fiber that is not available in my local shops and I did pretty well at that.
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This is all the sock yarn that I bought. Clockwise starting at the top left corner is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Cookie's Deep Dark Secret, Fleece Artist Trail Sock in Woodland, Handmaiden Casbah in Blackberry, String Theory Caper Sock in Black Cherry and then another skein in Navy, and finally Socks That Rock LW in Strange Brew. I seemed to be attracted to the sock yarns that have some cashmere in them!
I also bought some Superwash Merino from Tess' Designer Yarns in Steel Blue Grey. I love this yarn! It is incredibly soft and has a wonderful drape. I bought all that she had in this color at the show. It's a total of 1140+/- yds in worsted weight. I want to make a light weight cardigan with it and I'm hoping that you guys will be able to help me. I know I have enough for a February Lady Sweater, but I'd like to consider other options. Knittinggolfer suggested this Knitting Pure and Simple Cardi #241. Please share your ideas, I'd love to hear them!!!
This is just a close up of the color. Depending on the light it's almost black or a rich grey or steely blue. It's so pretty and I love how it's different every time I look at it :-) In fact, all of her colors were beautiful in person. And her shop is just a little over an hour's drive from where I live! I suspect I'l be visiting sometime in the future.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stitches East Part One

First I wanted to show you why you should come to New England in October! This is the view from my deck right now. I love days like this. It's so pretty.

I went to Stitches East this past Thursday and Friday in Hartford,CT. I went with my friend Nancy and we took a class called Cable Variations taught by Melissa Leapman. I thought it was an awesome class! I certainly have done cables before, so that wasn't new, but what I did learn was how to combine other techniques with cables and how I might use them in a project.

Here are a few examples.......

In this swatch we pretended that we were knitting a v-neck sweater with a center design that carries around the neck line. Notice the "full fashion shaping" that pulls the design to the left and right. I also dropped my yarn at the center line and then continued the patterning by attaching a new ball of yarn and continuing across the row. Also one side of each cable cross is lace.
This was a funky one for me. It's not a great picture, but I think you'll be able to get the gist of it. It starts with stockinette and adds a lace design that grows toward the center. I then did a cable cross with the lace, then 2 crosses in the other direction above that, then a single cross in the first direction above that. Then continue with the lace design in a mirror image from below the knot that was created with all the cables. It really pulls the center in so I think the best way to use something like this would be on a tank just below the bust. It has enough pull that I think it could be used as shaping.
This one was fun. It's elongated stitches. You wrap on the knit side and cable/drop on the purl side. Melissa showed us a sample that she made for one of her books using this stitch and ribbon yarn. It was very pretty.
This last one was the most challenging for me, but it is a cool effect! I only completed this one cross which uses 8 stitches total, but we also talked about other options for crossing columns of colors, including one using 6 stitches where the center 2 essentially are an axis that the outside stitches cross over. I can see throw pillows for the couch in my future using this technique.

I also went to a lecture by Anna Zilboorg on her new book Magnificent Mittens and Socks. It wasn't quite what I expected it to be, but her mittens and socks certainly are beautiful.

I also did some shopping but I'll show you that in the next post!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Megan!!!!

This is the kidlet that lives next door. I absolutely love her :-) She is everything that I would want my daughter to be if I had one. She's spunky, creative, passionate, a good friend, witty, strong, independent, and just enough "girly" without being obnoxious. And she appreciates my handknits.
I made her an Amanda Hat. (I made Chandler model so I could take a picture. Doesn't he look thrilled?) I used Dream in Color Classy in Pansy Go Lightly so that it could go into the washer. There was an unfortunate incident with a hat I made her last year out of Manos del Uruguay, so machine washable was a must for it's replacement. I was not happy with the fabric at the the recommended gauge of 4 stitches per inch, so I made some modifications so that I could knit this at a tighter gauge of 4.5 per inch.
Since this is a free pattern I'm going to share my mods in detail: Cast On 97 stitches and then worked 13 rounds of garter stitch ending with a knit row. Worked lace pattern 3 times (12 rows total).worked 6 rows garter starting with p row end w/knit row. Repeat lace pattern 3 more times. Then repeat 6 rows garter beginning w/p round. crown decreases - round 1 k6, k2tog, repeat until 9 stitches left knit 7 k2tog. knit next round until last 2 stitches and k2tog. k next round. round 4 - k5, k2tog, repeat across round. k next 2 rounds. k4, k2tog, repeat. k next round. Continue in this pattern until 6 stitches left. Run yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight.

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Yarn!

It's been a fun couple of weeks for stash enhancement! I received 2 club shipments, the Rockin' Sock Club and Woolgirl Oz Club. They are both below so if you're trying to avoid spoilers come back after your kits arrive :-)

But first I'll show you what I bought while I was killing time between hockey games last Saturday. I was able to visit The Yarn and Fiber Co. in Derry, NH last Saturday between Chandler's games. I have visited and enjoyed their website many times so I was really happy to be able to stop in and visit. Great place! They had lots of fiber and the store was set up very logically, so if you were looking for a DK weight yarn, they were all together in the same area. The staff was very helpful too. I like to make Chandler a hat for winter each year and he saw a yarn that he liked. He picked out Dream in Color Groovy in the color In Vino Veritas. I knew it would be perfect for a Thorpe Hat, but I didn't think to bring the pattern with me so I wasn't sure how much to buy. No problem at all. The kind lady jumped on line and looked it up for me. This will be a great hat for Chandler!
I also saw this Dream in Color Smooshy in Absolute Magenta, which I think is Absolutely Gorgeous! I'm thinking that I'm going to use this for Having Hope socks. Proceeds from the sale of this pattern are sent to Cancer Research in Australia. I may not live in Australia, but cancer research is cancer research. And doing them in this hot pink will symbolize my personal victory over Breast Cancer. They'll keep both my feet and my heart warm.
Next up is my RSC September kit. The color is River Rocked and this month's pattern is by Cat Bordhi.
Isn't it pretty? Very earthy fall toned colors.
Here it is all wound up. I haven't cast on yet, but I hope to very soon, maybe even this week. This should be a fun knit too, because I will no doubt learn something new. Cat Bordhi has an amazing ability to see unique potential in something as ordinary as a sock. I can't wait to have that AHA moment I always do when I knit something by her.
This came in today's mail. It is Woolgirl's Oz Club and the kit this time is Emerald City. Jen really had me thinking about this one, because she said "remember the horse of a different color". Hmmm...... Maybe Emerald City wouldn't be green?
But it is! And a gorgeous green with some blue tones too by Madelienetosh Tosh Sock Yarn. It came with a pattern by Kristi Schueler that has "emerald cut gems" adorning the cuff and toes.

It also came with a great project bag by Sheila D, and lots of other fun goodies like a stitch marker, a penwith a green highlighter on the end, gift tags that have horses of different colors on them (hehe), and a tin.
All this should keep me out of trouble for a while. Plus I have a couple other projects planned or already in the works. I'll show those to you next time :-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's a Mystery!

I've decided to try a mystery sock knit-a-long this month. This is a huge leap of faith for me! I'm pretty particular about what I knit because I want to love everything that I spend my time and money on. I joined the Socktober group on Ravelry and one of the threads was for a mystery KAL by Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops. I actually have some of her other designs in my queue, so I figured I'd be safe. I cast on this afternoon and knit the first clue.So far so good! I really like it! I'm using my favorite Socks that Rock lightweight in a millend that I purchased at Sock Camp. I'm not sure if the color is KMBFLA or Bleck. It's definitely purple but not pastelly purple. Sometimes it looks more grey, but honestly? It depends on the light. The second clue will be posted Thursday and I can't wait to see what comes next?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Hockey Count Begins!

This is what I do, honestly pretty much year round, but more intensely September through March. I take Chandler to hockey. Practice, games, lessons. It fills a lot of time. A lot of time in the car talking, a lot of time watching, a lot of time at the rink waiting.

It's a great time to knit, and much like I kept a tally for "The Summer of Socks", I'm going to keep a tally for hockey 09-10.
First finished project is Spring Forward Socks by Linda Welch. I made these with Pagewood Farm Yukon in the colorway Crayon. I basically liked working with it, but I did have to be careful that I didn't split the yarn. The finished socks are very soft and I think that I will ultimately really enjoy wearing them.
I have cast on two new projects. The first is the Amanda Hat by Gina House. I made one of these for my favorite neighbor kidlet with Manos Del Uraguay last year for her birthday, but there was "an incident" involving the washer and dryer and well....... it now doesn't even fit her American Girl doll. This time I decided to use Dream in Color Classy in Pansy Golightly which is a nice superwash merino. Hopefully this will avoid any laundry disasters :-) I am using a smaller gauge so am making adjustments to the pattern to accommodate that. I'll share the modifications when I finish and know what worked.
I also cast on The Purple Rose of Loopy by Wendy Johnson. This was the consolation kit for those who did not get into The Loopy Ewe Sock Club 2009. The yarn in the kit is Handmaiden Casbah in the exclusive colorway W(h)ine with Roses. This is the first time I've used Casbah and I'm IN LOVE. I'll definitely be adding more of this to my stash :-) The reason that this moved to the top of my queue is that one of the choices for the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group on Ravelry this month was any pattern by Wendy. Perfect. I just need to finish the pair by October 31 to be eligible for prize drawings, but the real prize will be to have another pair of socks complete by Oct 31:-)

What are you working on now?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Dorothy Gale from Kansas

The Woolgirl Oz Sock Club for July was Dorothy. This is most of the fun that came in the kit. Bookmark,stickers, magnets, luggage tag, a pen, a wonderful reversible project bag by Sheila D which I don't have a good picture of,
Dashing Dachs sport yarn, a Dorothy stitch marker by WeeOnes, and a pattern by Bethany Whitney.
This was a great pattern in that it fit the theme fabulously! The body of the sock is a basket weave check that so reminds me of Dorothy's gingham check dress. And the sock has a single cable that runs down the outside of the sock which reminds me of Dorothy's signature braids.
Check out my sock model :-) I gave him the choice of modeling or taking the picture.
He wanted to model and thinks that the sock is pretty comfy!
I may have to make him his own pair of socks!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Woolgirl Sale!

Woolgirl had a sale recently and they had a great discount on Miss Babs Sport! I may have bought a few :-) And a few other fiber goodies as well. Clockwise from top left is Miss Babs Fingering in colorways Denim, which I have been coveting for a long time, and A Day at Powell's which makes me think of the Twilight book covers. Next is Miss Babs Sport in Lilac, Rose Garden, and Merlot. And the last skein is Hazel Knits Artisan sock in Chuckanut Drive. Love this one! It's such a fun color and I have a pair of Monkey's planned for it. Even my husband thinks "it will knit up beautifully" hehe. Of course he immediately followed that with "I can't believe I just said that" :-) Rose Garden is destined to be a pair of Cotty Socks. No real plans for the rest of the yarn, just lots of fun!
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Grammy Pete!

I have a wonderful mother-in-law and she celebrated her 77th birthday this week. She is an incredible quilter and I am lucky enough to have a home filled with beautiful quilts made by her. So for her birthday I decided to make her a pair of socks. She loves them! The pattern is Summer Lovin Socks by Knittingnonstop. I used Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Yarn in Cabbage Rose. It was the first time I have used it and it won't be the last! It's a great yarn!

Happy Birthday Mother! I hope you enjoy the socks and wear them often :-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer of Socks Ends

The Summer of Socks 2009 officially came to an end September 1st at 10pm. I'm pretty pleased with what I got accomplished. I have 3 completed pairs of socks.......

Four single socks...............

And 3 more socks started. Two of these started socks are second socks, so I will have 2 more pairs completed before long.

I had set some goals at the beginning of the summer and I had mixed results. I had hoped to keep up with my sock clubs. Well, that was a fail, although I do have the yarn wound for the 2 that arrived at the end of July. I had wanted to start working my way through Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters book. Well, I've looked at it several times, but that's it. I wanted to make a pair of socks from the toe up. Didn't happen, although I do have the Loopy Ewe Consolation Kit which is a toe up design by Wendy Johnson, and the September SKA Challenge is any pattern by Wendy Johnson. That will definitely be going on the needles sometime in September. I also wanted to try some sock yarns that were new for me. This I did have success with! I tried Claudia Handpainted, Zen String Lotus Toes, Pagewood Farms Yukon, and Hazel Knits Artisan Sock. That was fun and I will definitely keep trying new yarns this fall!

Now the question is.... do I keep knitting just socks for a while or is it time to give a shawl a try? Or pick up one of the sweaters that have been resting over the summer?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Lovin

I have a new love in my life and her name is Hazel! Hazel Knits actually. I had bought a couple skeins of the Artisan Sock Yarn a while ago and I've been wanting to give it a try. I cast on the Summer Lovin Sock by knittingnonstop this weekend using the Cabbage Rose color and WOW do I love this yarn. It has a great feel to it and it makes a beautiful fabric. It's sturdiness and twist remind me of Socks That Rock, but Hazel Knits has some nylon in it as well. I wonder if the nylon actually makes a difference in how the yarn wears?

I also tried a new cast on. Turtlegirl76 mentioned on her blog last week that she had used a super stretchy cast on for some knucks that she learned in a cast on class at Sock Summit. It is the Twisted German Cast On. I found this handy video tutorial on You Tube and decided to try it myself. LOVE. IT. It is in fact super stretchy and it is very uniform and sturdy in it's appearance as well.
See what I mean???
Give it a try. I think you'll love it too!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Give me an A!

These socks get an A all the way around! I started them in April and finished them in August!

Pattern: Hedgerow Socks by Jane Cochran
Yarn: Socks That Rock lightweight
Color: Tanzanite
Needle: Addi turbo 1 (2.5mm) magic looped
Mods: I changed the toe to a wedge toe

Edited to Add: Oops! I intended this post to go on the Sock a Month blog! But I'm glad to share them here too!

July Club Kits

I'm a little behind in my posting! I can't believe that I haven't added my July kits yet, so here they are. The first one is the Rockin' Sock Club July Kit. The yarn color is called Garden Daze and the dyer notes really brought to life for me the thougths of garden vegetables. Can't you just see the peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and corn? I can.
But I also see my flower beds..........

I wasn't crazy with the pattern, called In Season, that came with the kit this month so I know that I won't be knitting it with this particular yarn. I love my Socks That Rock too much to knit the anklets that came in the kit. I'll probably do the pattern at another time with something else. And since this yarn reminds me so much of my flower gardens I think I'm going to reknit the March RSC pattern, Rogue Roses, with it.

This is the sticker that came in the kit. I love it :-) What I love even more about it is that I left it on the kitchen counter for a couple days and all of my boys thought it was hysterical. First they couldn't believe it was mine, and then they really couldn't believe it came with my yarn! The looks on their faces were priceless and the stuff that memories are made of.
I also got my July Woolgirl Oz Kit. As you can see this month's theme is Dorothy! I want to grow my hair long just so I can have those wonderful braids and wear ruby shoes for Halloween! Every time I open a box from Jen it's just like Christmas. The goodies are so much fun in her kits. There's 3 magnets, stickers, bookmark, a luggage tag, a pen, a fabulous Dorothy stitch marker by Wee Ones, as well as a pattern, yarn and a project bag. So much fun!
I haven't cast on yet, but I do have the yarn wound. It is Dashing Dachs and I chose the sport weight. I have to say I am very glad that I chose the sport weight because this particular yarns' recommended gauge is 8 stitches per inch on 2.5mm needles! Can you imagine what the fingering weight is?!? I'm looking forward to trying it!

I have been busy knitting too, but I'll save my project updates for another post. But I will tell you that I did let my bad case of startitis get the better of me and have cast on a couple new things as well as finishing up some stuff!