Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Being selfish!

I've bought this yarn quite a while ago. Always having something for myself in mind, but not exactly what. I've finished the cashmere gift, but I can't show pictures just yet. I've also started some dark grey socks, which are too boring to show, because they are pattern less, just simple socks knit with 2mm needles, at least that's a first for me. I've also spent some time with the courthouse blanket and enhanced it with 3 more logs. If that doesn't sound too great, oh well, you must understand, that the rows are quite long and take forever! But it's easy knitting if one is tired and watching TV.

So now I've started this vest for myself. It's a multidirectional something, a version of the P90 I made for Hannah, but this one's way bigger and longer and - just different.
I love the color - orange-pink. It's Artyarns Ultramerino 6, 100% Merino Wool/100gr-274 yds on # 6 needles, color # 135. It's kind of funny, because after you stretch it, it springs back perfectly, almost like a rubber band, but the yarn feels nothing like rubber!

So, it will be a while until I can show you a finished object again, since I'm tired a lot lately (probably allergies- ragweed) and my knitting mojo has left me hanging. I've also started to read more again and am enjoying it! Oh, by the way, Hannah's back from her Europe trip, there might be a picture of her and the asymmetrical cardigan in the near future.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

LYS's are dangerous to your mind!

I was browsing through my LYS the other day and I found this Rowan summer tweed, 70% silk 30% cotton. I had a pouch in mind and only needed one skein. This one fit the description in my head. I was happy to find it and shocked at the register. It was on sale and it still cost me CAN 15.00! Sometimes I thing the wooly fumes in a store are clouding my judgment. The funny think is, I went in there to get some needles to weave in the ends, but they were all out of needles of any kind. Huh?
This evening I started in on the little pouchy thing. I was repelled (I know it's a strong word) by the feel of this yarn. I know it is knobby, you can see that, but has it to feel knobby too? Every single stitch was hard labor to get off the needles (I've used DP to knit in the round). I poked a hole in my finger by pushing stitch after stitch. That made me a bit cranky. Still, I finished the pouch but had lost the joy of knitting it. When I bound off the last stitch, the yarn broke. Grrrrrr! I left it as it was and came back to it the next day. I was thinking long and hard and ripped it out with the utmost pleasure.
Now I'm wondering: Who had knit with this yarn and what??? I really like to know. Is it getting any better after washing? Anyway, what am I going to do with this little, unloved sorry ball of yarn?

On another topic: I've joined a KAL: I'm going to have a year to complete a shawl triangular or otherwise. I thought I could do that. ;o)

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Foto by

I was knitting for hours yesterday, but have nothing to show for it, well, nothing interesting. I was looking for a pattern for a gift I'm going to knit with this cashmere yarn. You can not describe it's softness, it's unbelievable! (Artyarns cashmere5, color # 247, 100% 5-stranded cashmere, 50 gr -102 yds). I got overwhelmed while I was looking through all my pattern books. There are so many wonderful ones, which I would like to try out sometime and I thought, that I will not be able to make all that I want to do in my lifetime! I've knit several swatches but nothing was right for this purpose, even though I liked the patterns, they were just not right. Well, you guessed it, in the end I found one which was acceptable at last. I had something else in mind but it just didn't work out. I can't show pictures of it just now, because it will be a gift. I've never knit with pure cashmere before and I guess I never will (sooo expensive!).

Yesterday was not my day. Outside, it was raining on and off, my mood was not so sunny either and I was knitting with grey yarn. But there's one thing which will cheer me up for sure, looking at doggy pictures.

Here's one which I LOVE, naturally it's Sammy when he was a few weeks old.

A funny note on the side: I was using spell check and it wanted to replace "Artyarns" with "earthworm"! Ha!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Yet another pair of socks!

Can you stand to look at yet another pair of socks?

My first socks knit with Koigu KPPPM 100% Merino wool, 50gr 175 yds. The first two pictures show almost the true color. It's more yellowy, softer,warmer. It all depends on the light. There was not much left of the yarn and that's good.

They are toe-up's of course with an eye of partridge reverse Dutch heel. The yarn label called for 3mm needles, but I don't think it was meant for socks. I've used 2.5mm needles and could and would have used 2.25mm if I had them. They are a bit loose right now, haven't washed them yet. I hope they'll tighten up a bit. I cast on 64 sts. The little fake cable is a YO cable from the book Sensational Knitted Socks and the overall design is my own. I can't wait for the temperatures to fall so I can wear socks again! ;o)
What about Sam, you ask?
He's very into his nylabone right now and doesn't want to hear anything about knitting (or fiber of any kind).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Serious stash enhancement!

Yesterday evening my son came home from his vacation in Europe. He also visited his grandparents and look what my mom sent me! She gave me all her knitting needles she had left, bought some sock yarn and three wonderful booklets with collected patterns from the region where we are from. Also a stack of old knitting magazines which were real fun to look at. There's also some yarn I've ordered before David went over there from Uta was so kind and put some lovely pink Kauni uni in with the order - thanks so much Uta! I was happy (and still am) as a kid in a candy store!

Here's another picture of the latest socks I've finished. I'm a dabbler in dying yarn, I confess, but it is fun and with every skein I dyed I learn. The pattern for this socks was not the best, but I didn't know how the colors would come out. The right one was pretty consistent and darker in color. The left one pooled a lot and looks more washed out. I really don't care too much. They are for myself and will keep me warm. They fit very well. I've knit them toe-up with the magic cast on and the reverse Dutch heel and the sewed bind off (E.Z. style). I don't think I will change the way I knit my socks anymore, just the colors and the patterns.
I've got green Koigu socks on the needles right now. I love this color and this yarn. These will also be mine and I'm looking forward to the cold days so I can wear them.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hi all, as you know there is a picture of this blanket (not mine) in the Mason Dixon book, but no pattern. Pat Ashforth has asked me to post here a short message. "She would love to see pictures of the Curve of Pursuit or any other of her designs. They have been inundated with requests for the booklet since they got back from vacation and eBay has been playing up a bit". So if you have a picture of a finished Curve of Pursuit or know of somebody who does , you can get in touch with Pat at . Thank you all, Monika

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blood-Sweat and Tears!

I'm not quite sure I can express the relieve I feel that this cardigan is done. But I'll try. Knitting was the easy part. If you are partial to a glass of wine (I'm not) you would have needed a whole bottle to get going. Me? I've knit quickly a pair of socks to calm my nerves (and cleaned a little) and played with the dogs and listened to music and cleaned out my car and organized my books alphabetical (just kidding) ... Anything to avoid this nightmare. I've found a video online to learn how to do the mattress stitch. They show it with a piece of stockinet stitch, which looked easy enough. My sweater was not knit in stockinet stitch. Nevertheless, I think I did pretty good. (I don't care if you don't think so)

The picture to the right comes close to the actual color. You would think the outside light might give you a better result, but no. This cardigan is for my daughter Hannah. She's picked it out of the book "Knitting Nature" by Norah Gaughan, I think by now everybody knows that book. She also picked the color and the buttons. I never read all the instructions before I start and so I didn't know that the buttons where supposed to be 1 ". Mine are 1 1/2 " big. When I knit the button hole the one YO made me laugh. How the hell ..... I did 3 YO's in the end and the buttons get trough the holes but with a little force. Oh well.
I made a mistake in the pattern on the back, if you want to look for it, be my guest. I didn't want to tink back a few rows and no way was I letting all the sts off the needles!
The pattern was very well written. I did everything (except the button holes) exactly as in the book. But I found a mistake in the pattern. On page 14, Back: Shape Sleeve: it says to work even for 13"" which would make the back 3 " longer. Stop at 10" because you are going to knit 3" ribbing and that makes up the whole length.

So now to the specifics:
pattern: asymmetrical Cardigan "Knitting Nature" by Norah Gaughan
Size: petit
yarn: Gems Sapphire Chunky Weight, 100% merino wool, 1 skein = 100gr= 103 yds; I needed 8 balls
needles: 5.5mm for ribbing, 6mm for body
error on page 14: Back: Shape Sleeve: work even for 13" (do not) work only 10 ".

It was also the first time I used a chart for the pattern or lets say I could read it.
There's only one thing left to say : I hope it fits Hannah!

These are the socks I made to avoid starting the sewing together. I used Gems Pearl yarn, self dyed it (in June I think). I never get them to be twins. The better looking sock is on top. It did stripe, the second one did a lot of pooling, but I don't care too much. They are for myself and as long as they'll keep me warm....

Helga: I would like to answer but I don't know how to get in touch with you. Maybe you could leave me an e-mail address. You can use my e-mail in my profile to write to me. Thanks.

To conclude this tale - it was a CHALLENGE to make this cardigan. I'm not sure I'll repeat this experience any time soon.

Somebody asked for a link to see how the mattress stitch is made, have a look here

Friday, August 18, 2006

Experienced knitters please help!

This is the asymetrical cardigan from Knitting Nature. The color is darker not that grey although it's sage green. I still have the collar and the button bands to knit and sew on. What I would like to know is, do I steam it or do I soak and block it? As you can see it's rolling in and I would like to get it as flat as possible without destroying the pattern. Second question: How do I sew it together? With what stitch? It's been about 20 years since my last pullover and at that time I didn't especially care how it looked as long as it was holding together. But this time I care! It should fit real good and look nice. So please, if you could spare me your two cents?

Thanks everyone for your advise! I appreciate it very much. I'm still not quite sure how I will go about it. Finishing is scarry!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Now it's Biko's turn! (to be a model)

I was dyeing my one skein angora today. I've got it from my Oneskein secret pal in July. It was always in the back of my mind and what to do with it. Last night I decided to dye it and I'll make some wrist warmers for me.
Here is Biko with the ball of yarn between her legs. I've put it down close to her belly. She started sniffing it and tossing it around and when it got away too far, she gingerly took it with her teeth and pulled it back towards her.
Then came Sam and she growled at him as he got too close. That was HER new chew toy (but not for long)! Well, she's the boss, so Sam left.
click on pictures to get a good look

This one skein angora came from Argentina. I still don't know who my secret pal is, but she let me know that much, that she's bought it in Barcelona (if I remember correctly). Uh uh, boy was I wrong. She bought it in Buenos Aires; sometimes I'm just imagining things. ( I'm not always that bad, but I have to admit that I'm severely geographicaly challenged). But nevertheless it's great yarn. I think you can see the fuzzyness of it. I can't wait for my mitts to get something so warm, I'll need it. I've weight it before dyeing - 49 grams and after dyeing - 49 grams. Ha, real dry again. It's hot enough today. I'm starting to figure out the old digi camera. It has more buttons then I'd like. If it were for me it would have an on/off button and a "click" button - no more!
Anyway - I'm almost done with the asymetrical cardigan (Knitting Nature). Only the buttonband and colar left to knit. After that a bit of blocking, sewing (oh god!) and picture taking.
Last night I HAD to cast on for socks. I couldn't stand it anymore. I'm knitting socks with selfdyed yarn. Pictures coming soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Don't get used to it!

I will not be posting every day even though it seems like it. It just happens that I had this pictures for a few days now. I was saving them, since my digi is on vacation. Sam says Hi! He's real proud, that this time the modeled scarf is a bit more manly.

The rainy day scarf is on the back burner now, resting comfortably, until I'm done with the cardigan. I don't like progress pictures of swaeters very much, so there will be a pictures when i'm done knitting it and maybe blocking it and when it's done completely. So, stay tuned for that.

Hexli was asking about my doggies. Biko is the female. Is that a guilty face or what? She hardly finds it worth eating, but on that particular day she ate her share, licked her bowl clean AND ate Sam's share as well. She was not amused that I found her out and took a picture of her crime! ;o) She's six month older than Sam (he's a boy). They have the same dad but different moms. Biko will be 5 years in October and Sam was 4 years at the end of May. You can read all about them on their dogster website (side bar) if you are interested.

supplemental: rainy day scarf:

yarn: Kangaroo Dyer (Valley Yarns/Webs) BFL Alpaca, 50% wool, 50% alpaca, 250 gr hank (350 yds), color: Night Sky


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A little something!

I told you I was trying to knit a little bag, had to ripp it out once because the chevron pattern was pulling it together way too much. For some time now, I wanted to do the mermaid patten by Lucy Neatby (not Nancy Bush). Thanks Debi for pointing out my error, you were right of course. I thought I'll do some socks but have no time for socks right now. This little bag was exactly right to try the pattern. Now I know I will not be doing socks with it any time soon.

It looks beautiful, I like the look a lot, but it drives me crazy doing it. I started with Emily Ocker's cast on from the bottom up and ended with a picot edge (which I'm not a fan of either). Again , I like the look, but not the making of it. I didn't have to make eyelets since the pattern produces holes. The I-cord was done quickly. I've used ON line Supersocke 100 "Fun-color" on 2.5mm needles.
Supplemental: I made the Emily Ocker cast on, you know with the crochet hook - 8 stst put on 4 DP's. I increased every other row until I had 80 sts on four needles (I always knit with 5 DP needles, unless it is too big for the short DP's, than I use circulars). When you have 80 sts knit one row purl. After that start the pattern of your choice, in this case Lucy Neatby's mermaid pattern. Knit about 3-4 inches high (or whatever length you like) depending on the pattern make some eyelets, knit a few rows, bind off. If you like to do a picot edging, do that. Make an I-cord (3 sts) 10-12inches long. These sketchy directions are meant for sock yarn only. But I think you can do that with any yarn, it just gets bigger or smaller whatever yarn you'll use.
Sybille made some mermaid socks and also a pair with only the cuffs in mermaid pattern. She's got a sock parade for us to see.
I've finished reading Yarn Harlot "The secret life of a knitter" and I must say I felt unterstood. Now I know I'm not weird, I'm stinking normal in a knitters world - I'm one of many!
By the way, since my digi camera is on vacation in Europe, I had to dig up my old one and let me tell you, this camera has a will of its own! Press the button lightly and it tries to focus and tells you, now you can press hard, the picture will be perfectly sharp (Ha!), also if you think you can take the same picture of the same object more than once, think again. As I was uploading the pics from the camera, it tells me, that this picture already exists (no it doesn't) and therefore it's not possible to see it. I'm weak, so I gave up and that's the story of the crappy pictures of today.
Looking forward for my digi to return home, hopefully with lots of stories to tell.
My asymetrical cardigan (Knitting Nature) is looking good, ladies, the dimensions are correct, even without swatching! I realize that I got lucky and will not tempt fate in that way again.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Felted bags times two.

Sometimes it's hard to take pictures of dark things. The above foto shows the actual color, it's chocolate brown and this is another Lucy Bag by Two Old Bags. The yarn I've used is Berroco's Ultra Alpaca, 50% wool / 50% alpaca. I love this yarn.

I made those bags in the last couple of weeks. This one is also after a pattern by Two Old Bags but the yarn is Evilla Artyarn 100% wool. I can't imagine knitting something else with it. It's soooo scratchy but perfect for felting. I LOVE the color though.

I have a collection of old buttons from the time I was still sewing clothes and did some serious quilting (not that I needed many buttons for that).

You can see the difference between before and after felting. I had to let it through four wash cycles and was thinking of a fifth. It's still a big bag, hence the name I guess (Bucket Bag)

It looked like a feed sack in the beginning. For the picture I've stuffed it with sock yarn. I might make a lining for it still. Have to see about some fabric. It would have to be done by hand. My sewing machine is "out of order". But I think things like bag linings have to be done by hand anyway. This green bag will replace my summer bag I made a while ago, when it get's near the end of summer.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Little distractions!

I've been bad lately! I've cast on several things within one day. I've got the rainy day scarf on my needles, the asymetriacl cardigan for my daughter and a little bag with my own design, which I'm not even sure will be something at all. I had knit and ripped it out again last night. The two blankets I can see from the corner of my eyes, but they don't seem to bother me at all. I've a craving for little knits, fast knits! This bag in the foto is from the book "Oneskein" by Leigh Radford. I loved it in the yarn and color she used for it. Naturally I didn't have the same yarn. Rumaging through my stash I found this Debbie Bliss Maya (discontinued), which is nice, but not perfect. I did some changes, I just can't seem to do any knitting as given. I've used the Emily Ocker beginning. I've used DP needles and did not change to circular needles in part, because I don't have small ones, only extreme long ones. I've cast on 80 sts, but my yarn was lighter weight so it's not bigger. I didn't swatch, by god it's a bag. I don't care. That reminds me. I'm knitting a cardigan and didn't do a swatch for that either! Uh-uh.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lets see what we've got here...

Hat, hats, hats.

Last winter there were mayby about three hats in our house. We wore them after the first come first serve principle, if we could find them. I didn't knit last winter (other than dishcloths and the occassional socks). This year, there will be hats in abundance and no freezing the ears off or getting a head cold for me, thank you very much! In building up my stash I've purchased some single skeins and hanks of yarn because I've read about them here and there and wanted to know what the fuss is all about. So that's why I had two hanks of Alchemy Lone Star lying around and didn't know what to do with them for a long time, until it hit me and the time was right - to make some hats.

On the right you can see a ripped cap made with Alchemy Lone Star - Rosita. I don't care much for the pooling on this hat. I don't care about pooling when I'm knitting a sock or a scarf, but this does not look nice. But, it feels so soft and that's why it will be worn (maybe while shoveling the snow?). the yarn is 45% merino wool and 55% mohair - that's right. I'm not afraid of mohair any more, at least if it's blended with something else.

On the left is the same pattern (Ribbed Cap -Vogue Knitting Hats Too) with Alchemy Lone Star - Early Fall. Here the pooling made a spiralling pattern and I like it (not just because there's orange in it, there's green too people ;o)

The first picture shows the "Flower topped striped cap, also from the Vogue Knitting Hats Too book (which I've exchanged for an old Interweave Knitting magazine with Julie) I've got out of the book what I liked and it was lying around anyway. For this one I've used Koigu for the first time. The yellow and green skeins were on sale (guess why). It's Koigu Kersti crepe 100% merino and it gave me a surprise! After washing, the yarn melted like butter in my hands and the hat was at least 1/3 bigger as befores washing. So that's why my model head couldn't show it off properly. I like this pattern; it's interesting and think of the color possiblities! The dark green in between is Gems Topaz (louet) color Russian Sage. This yarn is great to work with. It was fun knitting these hats because they are fast knits -instant gratification- as we say.

It seems the steaming hot summer days are over. This is as close as Sam gets to the pool. He's lying in a puddle made by Biko after she got out of the pool and shook the water off. Normaly he'll avoid any kind of water but on this day it must have been cooling even for Sam.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A swap was made!

I've got mail! Look what the post woman brought today. It's a lovely bag for sock knitting (rahter carrying it around). You'll have it hanging from your wrist. It's got space for a 100gr sockyarn (comfortably) or two 50 gr balls. On the side there's a little compartment which can hold scissors and needles and it's closed with a cute little

I've given some Koigu sock yarn for it because I really, really wanted it. And Sarah did a great job sewing it! I understand the Yarn Harlot and I have now something in common (besides the love of knitting and a huge stash)! ;o)

Thank you Sarah and have a nice vacation!

By the way, I LOVE the card!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Free "Her-scarf" pattern posted!

Wow, writing that pattern took some discipline on my side. And it wasn't so bad after all. You can find it on the side bar under "Free pattern". I would love to see pictures of your versions!

On another note: This was at 9AM this morning. It was hot, humid, hazy and did I mention - hot?! Biko was playing with her tennis ball and Sam had his big red rubber ball. After the photo session Biko went for a swim (click the picture and see the down pour). Sam went straight for the door and went inside (A/C). Ha! I was not far behind.

There will be pictures of new knitting soon.

Don't sweat it! ;o)