Saturday, October 8, 2011

And again!

Once again I am slightly tipsy from one drink and deciding to blog. I am recovering from a cold and probably babying myself. I had a full and active day today. I walked 2.4 miles in an outfit that showed just how fat I am and worked in the yard for about 2 hours. I have finished a lot of knitting recently and actually have reworked a sweater that I had finished but hated how it looked on me. I am working on that now and am about half way there. My knitting has really come along. I can look at a pattern and work it on my own. I prefer top-down no seams and can adapt any pattern to that. I made a sweater this summer that one of my daughters actually seemed to want - so I gave it to her. I hope that wasn't a mistake. I always get so hurt when they don't actually want to wear anything I made. but she genuinely seemed to like it. I of course jumped on that - I so want to be loved - and gave it to her when I finished.

I actually miss it - the yarn was a cotton, silk, wool blend and I liked the sweater. I did a good job on the sleeves - first time I actually did the math and it worked. Sometimes I am so lazy.

I am reworking this sweater - I really liked the yarn and the sweater - it just looked like shit on me.

I really wanted to knit it but using my top-down no seam approach. I'll let you know how it turns out.

We have our house for sale - since July. No offers - no second tours. We want to move to North Carolina - the weather.

Actually a lot has been happening. I should blog about it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I just can't keep this up.

You know, I try and I try but I always seem to run out of steam for this blog. I guess I even bore myself. I have been knitting so much I got a trigger finger and had an injection. I feel so much better now - but I have been crocheting instead of knitting to give my finger a chance to heal. I am slightly - ok maybe more than slightly tipsy from too much wine at dinner. I worked really hard and long in my garden and got drunk from wine when I came in. We are going to Charlotte tomorrow to see grandson #1 - Paw's favorite. I am not looking forward to it. I have been so passive for most of my life that I am finally starting to resent it. I would really rather stay here - I am quite happy knitting and reading and sleeping late and puttering in the garden. But there is graduation from preschool no less and our presence is required. Paw would never say no - in fact we are going a day early to catch his last t-ball game. I should be ashamed - not a proper granny attitude but I am so tired of doing what everybody else wants.
Oh and by the way - Republicans are morons. And anyone who votes Republican is too stupid to breathe.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New FO and ADHD Knitting

Just finished and already worn. This was my own design. Long flat cables where I took the opportunity to teach myself to cable without a needle. Such a time saver. I should have done it long ago. And it is really not difficult at all. The yarn was Moda dea wool and silk in a charcoal color way. I really liked the yarn. It was knit into 2 different sweaters before I made it into this one. It held up really well and is soft, very warm and because of the stitch pattern stretchy. The sweater is knitted bottom up with the sleeves picked up after the shoulders are grafted. I need to work on my sleeve technique - I think I pick up too many stitches and then do not have enough length to do the proper amount of decreases. These sleeves are a little long but I wore this to the bookstore yesterday and they really didn't annoy me. If I find they do, I will probably shorten them.

I am really having a bad case of startitis - if that is a word. I started a sweater from Fearless Fair Isle Knitting -that is a beautiful book. I am knitting the one on the cover and it is really sort of cheating. The pattern calls for Mini Mochi in 2 color ways. So while it looks like intricate fair isle, it is really only 2 yarns alternating throughout the sweater. I have done real fair isle before and this is easier and less a tangled mess. I am really happy with my progress so far.

I love working on the fair isle and so I started a vest using Noro Transititons for no reason other than impulse. Do love the yarn though.

And then there are the 5 different scarves that I started all in one night - entrelac, reversible, lace, sort of entrelac lace, and another lace. I think I just wanted to see if I could learn the techniques. I did and then I would start another scarf.

Yesterday at the book store I bought a sock book and apparently now I am going to learn toe up socks. I thought I was also going to learn how to knit socks on 2 circular needles instead of DPNs, but I pulled out an UFO sock that I had almost complete and it was knit on 2 circulars! Evidently I learned and put it away and then forgot. It was really easy to pick up once I looked at everything - I would have worried if it wasn't since it was a review and not a new learning experience. I finished the first sock last night and boy do I hate the Kitchener stitch. That is why I want to learn to knit socks from the toe up. I'm going to knit the second sock that way. My theory is that no one will be able to tell which one was up and which one was down.

And I have another cardigan planned for Tuesday. I want to go to a new yarn shop Stormy Blue in Murrysville and get yarn for it. The yarn is only an excuse to go - I don't know why I need an excuse, but I feel like I do. I am hoping that they start a new knit night and I can join in. I would really love to talk to someone about knitting. No one else I know knits. How weird is that?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snow Sucks!

Last week it was nearly 70' and today it looked like a foot of snow had fallen. I don't think it will last, but really this sucks! Tomorrow we are driving to North Carolina and I really hope the weather will be spring-like. Last trip we had planned for NC had to be cancelled because of snow - in NC!!!!

I just finished Cerisara. I really liked this pattern. It was top-down which is the way I think all sweaters should be knitted and the lace pattern was easy to memorize. I wasn't sure I would like the lace on the sleeves though. I thought I might look like a linebacker - I thought it would add bulk to my already bulky upper arms. So I made the vest. I used ribbing instead of reverse ss. That is the only thing I didn't like about the vest - the reverse ss. If I ever make the pattern again, I will have the ss on the outside. The fit is great and I really like it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Really Good Weekend!

Two of the scarfs I have finished in my knitting scarf frenzy. The striped one is Noro Taiyo and is Jared Flood's simple knit 1 purl 1 rib for two rows in one color and then two rows in another. I love that scarf - it's not boring because of the color changes. The second is Sassy Scarflette which I also did in Noro. I love that yarn.

Yesterday I went to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet show in Cranberry. I love that festival. It is inside the Sheraton - a big beautiful hotel with plenty of room for venders and classes. I didn't take any classes this year - I didn't see any that I felt I would learn from. That sounds like I think I know everything, but I know I don't. It's just that I have learned from taking classes, that I already know most of what is covered. There were some name teachers there - Nicky Epstein for one but I am not a big fan of her work and she brought a Barbie Doll knitting show with her. I really wasn't interested in that - not for the price of the class.

Steven Be was there - I thought he had been a rock star from the 60s at one time because of the way he dresses, but evidently he is a knitting rock star and not the musical kind. He dresses really eccentrically and seems like a really nice guy. He is the one in the Addi ads in the knitting magazines.

I bought a couple of patterns and one book. There were two other books I wanted but knew I could get them on Amazon for half the price. When I am spending my own money, I seem to be frugal - ummm, cheap! I bought yarn for scarves. I am going through really strange knitting cravings. I started 4 scarves last night and woke up this morning thinking of starting 2 more. I get bored once I learn the pattern so I thought if I started a couple I could alternate working on each and wouldn't be bored. Evidently I have no self-control. That happens to me when I am knitting sweaters too. At least the scarves won't take as long to finish.

I am getting really tired of winter. We haven't had the really bad weather like the mid west has had, but it has been consistently cold and snowy forever it seems. I feel like I need to go outside and sit in the sun - if it ever comes out again. We talk about moving south but then think of the hassle selling and buying a new house would be, and stop complaining. Danny wants to go to a movie this afternoon - Inside Job but I hope he decides not to. It is coming out beginning of March in dvd and I am tired.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mitts for Me!

I decided to make mitts for me from the Steeler Pattern. I like primary colors.

Leaf Top

This is the Leaf Top from Bernat. It is knit top down and I love that knitting technique. Most of the sweaters I do without patterns are knitted top down. It is such an easy way to check size and the exciting part of the knitting comes first instead of last. Of course, that may be the reason I have a few UFOs lying around. I'm minimizing. Anyway, I used organic natural color cotton, a really soft slubby yarn. You have to really pay attention to the yoke - not a TV knit, but once you are past that, it is an easy knit. It looks good over a shirt or by itself.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jacobite Sweater

This is the Jacobite Sweater from MamaZooma Handknits on Ravelry. I wanted to try something different. The yoke design is knit first and then the stitches for the body and the neck are picked up along the yoke and knit. It worked out really well. It looks better on than lying flat. I lengthened the sleeves to 3/4 length mostly because I had the yarn. My only dilemma is to decide the buttons. The light blue ceramic look the best but that will limit what I wear under it to something light blue, so I am leaning towards the brass buttons. I haven't sewn them on for over a week and I think it is because of the buttons. Maybe I will flip a coin.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Steelers Mitts

Again - yea Steelers!!! I didn't want to make a hat for my daughter - she is not a hat person - but she loves mitts. This is just a basic mitt pattern. The pattern stitch is a slip stitch pattern - also basic.

Yarn - Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted
Needles -8 double point - I usually use 4 - use what you are comfortable with.
Gauge - 4.5 stitches per inch
Size - Adult Medium

Cast on 36 stitches and join being careful not to twist your stitches. A neat trick: when joining your cast on stitches, use the tail and the working yarn to knit the first few stitches. You won't be able to tell where you have joined the stitches. Make sure to place a marker at the join.

Knit 2, purl 2 for 2 inches - or as long as you want the cuff to be.
Begin the pattern on the next round. The pattern is a 4 row repeat.

Row 1 - Knit with contrasting color (CC)
Row 2 - Purl with CC
Row 3 - Change to main color (MC) and *knit1, slip 1* repeat from * to * to complete the round.
Row 4 - Continue with MC and *purl 1, wyib slip 1* repeat from *to * to complete the round.

Repeat these 4 rows for the pattern.

Complete 3 pattern repeats and begin the thumb gusset. Decide where you want the gusset - the mitt doesn't have a front or back.

Round 1 - Work pattern, place marker, knit 1, place marker, complete row in pattern.
Round 2 - Work pattern, sm, m1, k1, m1, sm, complete row in pattern.
Round 3 and all odd rounds - knit
Round 4 - Work pattern, sm, m1, k3, m1, sm, complete row in pattern.
Round 6 - Work pattern, sm, m1, k5, m1, sm, complete row in pattern.
Round 8 - Work pattern, sm, m1, k7, m1, sm, complete row in pattern.
Round 10 - Work pattern, sm, m1, k9, m1, sm, complete row in pattern.
Round 12 - Work pattern, sm, m1, k11, m1, sm, complete row in pattern.
Round 13 - Work pattern, sm, k13, sm, complete row in pattern.

You have 13 stitches between the markers for the thumb.

Next round - work pattern until marker, slip the next 13 stitches on a stitch holder or waste yarn, cast on one stitch and continue in pattern. When bridging the gap where the gusset is, pull your yarn tightly to close the gap. - another neat trick is to pull the first stitch tightly and then pull the second stitch tighter. It works - if it doesn't for you, when you are weaving in the yarn ends, close the hole.

Continue in pattern for the body of the mitt for 4 pattern repeats or the length you wish. Drop the CC and knit 4 rounds of garter stitch (knit 1 round, purl 1 round) and bind off.

Slip the 13 stitches for the thumb onto your needles - divided however you wish. Using the MC yarn pick up 1 or 2 stitches at the base of the thumb where the gap is. The number depends on how close you have managed the gap. Once all the stitches are on (14 or 15) knit 4 rounds of garter stitch and bind off.

Weave in all of the ends - closing any gaps around the thumb. Make another mitt just like this.

Yea Steelers!

Steeler Mania!

Yea, the Steelers are going to the Super Bowl! I am so not a football fan, but I won't irritate anyone with my reasons. I'm glad that the Steelers won and actually hope they win the Super Bowl, but I am sooooo not a fan especially of Big Ben. But that being said, my SIL and my daughter are really big fans. I wanted to make them something for the game and I knit so...

I liked the hat and mitts so much I actually posted the on Ravelry as patterns. My first. I have made my own patterns before - I have been knitting too long not to have, but I have never published any of them. I thought I would try it.

The hat is a basic hat pattern.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted
Needle: 9 circular 16"; 9 double points
Size: Adult - 22"
Gauge: 4 stitches to an inch

Cast on 94 stitches, join in the round being careful not to twist, place marker at the join and knit 2, purl 2 for 6 inches - This is really up to you. The brim can be as wide as you wish. I was knitting for a big guy so a 3 " brim seemed good.

When the brim measures 6 inches, change to straight knitting - knit every round for 2 rounds.

Change color and knit 1 round. Change back to main color and knit 1 rounds. Decide where you want the XLV and change to contrasting color. Using a stranded fair isle technique:

Row 1 - Knit 3 MC, 2 CC, 3MC, 5 CC, 2 MC, 2 CC, 2 MC, 2CC, Complete round with MC.
Row 2 - Knit 2 MC, 4 CC, 1 MC, 5 CC,3 MC, 4 CC, Complete round with MC.
Row 3 - Knit 1 MC, 2 CC, 2MC, 2 CC, 4 MC, 2CC, 4 MC, 1CC, Complete round with MC.
Row 4 - Knit 2 CC, 4 MC, 2 CC, 3 MC, 2 CC, 3 MC, 4 CC, Complete round with MC.
Row 5 - Knit 2 CC, 4 MC, 2 CC, 3 MC, 2 CC, 2 MX, 2 CC, 2 MC, 2 CC, Complete round with MC

Carry the yarn all the way around the hat as you work the rounds. Every 4 or 5 stitches twist the main color and the contrasting color to carry the yarn. Always knit with the main color once the letter stitches are done for the row. The contrasting yarn will only show on the right side of the hat in the letters but on the inside of the hat there will be floats all the way around. Make your floats loose so the hat doesn't pull in.

Complete the letters/chart and knit 1 round in main color. Then knit 1 round in contrasting color.

Knit until the hat measures 8 inches from the cast on edge - or until you think it is big enough.

Next round - *knit 10, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round. 88 stitches remain

Round 2 and all of the even numbered rounds - knit

Round 3 - *knit 9, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 5 -*knit 8, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 7 -*knit 7, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 9 -*knit 6, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 11 -*knit 5, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 13 -*knit 4, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 15 -*knit 3, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 17 -*knit 2, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 19 -*knit 1, k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 21 -*k2tog*; repeat from * to * to end of round. 8 stitches remain.

To finish the hat, cut your yarn leaving a 10" tail, using a yarn needle thread the yarn through the remaining 8 stitches. Pass the yarn through the hole in the top of the hat and draw the hole closed tightly. Weave the ends in.

If I would have been making the hat for my daughter, I would have added a pom pom but not for my SIL. Pom poms just don't seem like a guy thing.

I'm sorry for those of you who were hoping for a chart - I tried, I really did but couldn't get it to post to the blog.

If anyone has any questions or finds a problem with the pattern, please let me know.

The pattern for the mitts will be posted later today.

Go Steelers!

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's Been Awhile!

It has been a long time since I have posted. I have some New Year resolutions - I'm even late on that - and for once they have nothing to do with weight, exercise or health. Those are major concerns of mine, but you know, talking does nothing. I am just doing. Not well, not even close, but better than ever.

That's all I have to say about that. KNITTING!!!!! Since I have retired, I have done nothing but knit - not true but I am really knitting up a storm. The Yarn Harlot posted about "startitis" - a condition that I am evidently really suffering from. I just finished a sweater - my second of the new year. To be honest, I started them both in December. And I started 2 more yesterday with a third ready to be started and I am planning a fourth. Oh, and I have 2 almost finished. I have been knitting and watching paranormal shows in my office on the computer and knitting while watching TV in the evening. I must have gained 4 plus hours of knitting in the day and I am loving it.

My resolutions are to actually post to this blog and to document my projects on Ravelry. I am on that site every day, searching for patterns and looking at everyone else's projects. I thought I would share since I am learning so much from others.

My first project completed was this vest from Knitting Green, the Eco Vest. I really liked this vest. It was featured on the cover of the book and pretty much the reason I bought the book. It was an easy pattern - knit from the bottom up. Not a bad way to work a pattern especially with cables, but I wish more designers would work from the top down. That seems to be my favorite way of knitting. I know it won't work with every design, I just seem to prefer it. I didn't put the button on it because I wasn't wild about the loop closure. I think I need a pin or stick to close it. I will have to look for that. Over all I am really pleased with this sweater!