Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My first cables

I picked the Asymmetrical Cable Hat in Leigh Radford's One Skein book as my first cable project. I bought the yarn in February of this year because it seemed we were going to have a cool spring. I finally started knitting it at the end of August for my daughter Liv. The cables were surprisingly easy once I got the hang of it. The largest cable was 10 stitches and some of the stitches were a little too tight to easily knit. But I made it to the end and was very happy with the results. I wish the pom pom was a little fuller but Liv is pleased with it. I think she will enjoy wearing it this fall, in fact she's already been wearing it around the house, despite our record breaking heat wave.

Olivia's Christmas stocking

I finally got my very busy pro photographer husband to take some pictures of the stocking I made for Olivia last year. I've started on one for him and I'm about one quarter finished. Calendar's September and I've got loads of knitting and crafting projects to get done too! He keeps saying that he's going to have another Christmas with the ugly blue fuzzy store bought stocking. I can't let that happen!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Still kickin

Well, gosh, thank you, thank you.
(I'm imagining my friends welcoming me back to the blog world. - humor me)
Thanks to all of the friends that have hung around while I've been out of blogging commission for a few (okay, several) months. I won't go into all of the details that have kept me away but I'll just say that it's been one hell of a year and it's not over yet! I will however divulge one secret that has been a major contributor to my absence. That secret is a little bundle of joy that I'm expecting to deliver in January of 2010. I'm (knock on wood) just a few days shy of finishing my first trimester. I'm still quite low on energy but nothing like the extreme fatigue that hit many weeks ago.
So what have I been working on craft-wise? Well for some reason along with my appetite for food, my appetite for any project that required thought flew out the window when I got pregnant. So I started a Christmas stocking for my husband. It's a kit with stamped felt, sequins, beads and thread and only requires that I be able to read instructions and thread a needle. So it won the battle over all knitting projects cause gosh darn it I still struggle with gauge and it hurts my brain.
Life is still nuts around here so I can't promise that my return to blogging will be full steam ahead just yet. But I just wanted to pop my head out there and say "Hey, I'm still kickin".

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Updated links...more to come

I've been really behind in updating my links (like months behind) and have much more updating to come. Baby's crying...gotta run. But in the meantime please check out some of the great blogs on the right.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I have a lot of unravelling going on but I will save that for my next post (it has to do with my Easter projects).  Right now I'm going to post the promised pictures of my Calorimetry v2 and a few of the v1 flop.  V1 is blue and V2 is red.  You can see how the V1 is too wide.  For V2 I cast on 90 stitches and it worked out perfectly.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crafty toddler

Some of my favorite childhood memories involve crafting. I made clothes for my dolls, tents out of sticks and leaves, and ironed Holly Hobby patches onto canvas bags (included iron marks from leaving the iron in one spot for too long). My daughter is almost two years old and I've got the itch to start crafting with her. One of the great things about having a child is getting to relive your favorite pastimes. So this past Saturday we did our first craft project together.

It was pretty simple but loads of fun; we made plant markers for the garden. I had some colored wooden pieces in tongue depressor, heart, star, circle, square, oval and other shapes and sizes. I laid out a waterproof table cloth on the floor, poured out the bag of wooden pieces and got some gel glue. My daughter was the designer. When she was drawn to pick a piece I asked where she would like it to go. She would lay it down on a stick and I would then glue it into place. After a short time she wasn't content to just "design" and she got the urge to do some gluing for herself. Gulp. Toddler + glue = ? I checked the glue lable and it washes off so I encouraged her to play with it. Also her hands were not strong enough to squeeze much glue out of the bottle. She got the sense that she could do it herself and I didn't have to scrape her glued pants off the floor. After the pieces dried I used a permanent marker to write the plant names on them. I would definitely do this project again. She had fun picking out the pieces by colors and shapes and I had fun encouraging her creativity. And I think she will enjoy putting the sticks in the garden by the plants she and her daddy are growing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekly Unravelling

(or "knit one bitch two" according to my husband)
I've unravelled the Murano scarf at least 4 times in the past week and now I've called it quits for a while. I started the scarf on a whim which is really cool except that I have a few projects to finish by Easter. So while I was knitting and frogging the scarf I was also thinking tick tock, Easter is just around the corner.
There were two problems with the scarf. One was the p2sso that I couldn't find a definition for in the Interweave Knits magazine that had the pattern. I got an explanation from my friendly LYS but it still didn't turn out right. For the p2sso I was instructed to slip 2 stitches knitwise (individually) and then slip them over individually. But the pattern called for a slip 2 stitches right before that. So I think I was slipping a total of 4 stitches and then passing over only 2 which got me off pattern by two stitches. I'm not sure about this theory and I won't have an answer for a while since the project is hibernating.
The second problem was that I picked out lovely yarn but then changed my mind about the colors of one of them. I'll make a decision about that later.
I'll post again soon about the Easter knitting projects I've started.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What a Wednesday

I had a lovely surprise in my mail today. My fellow knitting bloggers Domie's Mom and Lara have given me the Kreativ Blogger award. A big thank you to both of them! And now I'm going to share the joy.

The rules are

1. copy the Kreativ Blogger award to your blog

2. put a link to the person from whom you received the award

3. nominate 8 other blogs

4. and link to them

5. then leave a message on the blogs you nominated

It's going to be hard to pick just 8 but I'm going to try. And if I've left you out it doesn't mean I don't love your blog too!

1. Right Out Loud

2. The Crazy Lady and the Baker Man

3. Paradise Found

4. Lunaticraft

5. Sew Liberated

6. Maternal Spark

7. Knittinwizardry

8. Tante J

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weekly unravelling

What's got my yarn unravelled this week? The lovely Calorimetry that I completed last night that doesn't fit. Nope, I didn't read anyone else's blog posts about sizing. Shame on me! I'm a blogger and I didn't read anyone else's blog before I cast on. Okay maybe I'm over reacting a little. The finished measurements are 21 by 7.5 inches. My husband says it's still cute even if it hangs off the back of my head with a hint of a ruffle.

But I'm going to cast on again. This time around I will make some adjustments. Calorimetry I was almost 6 inches too long. And since I knit 5 stitches an inch I will cast on 30 fewer stitches for number II. This should also make it less wide. I'm sticking to my "I knit mistakes so you don't have to" motto. I'm going to post pictures of Calorimetry I and Calorimetry II so you can see the before and after side by side. I hope this helps you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm still here

You may be asking yourself where the heck has this girl gone? Has she forgotten that she's supposed to be a blogger? or maybe her pile of dirty laundry finally consumed her in the middle of the night? or better yet has she lost all of her knitting needles in the teensy weensy craft corner of her itty bitty house?
The answers: nowhere exciting, no, not yet and thank goodness no!
I've actually been working on my first knitted design project. shhh, it's still a secret.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Where are my knitting needles?

I'm hopelessly disorganized. I'm one of these people that is organized in a perfect world. I know what organization should look like I just have a problem achieving it. I criticize myself endlessly on this topic. And I answer myself by saying "Self, life is complicated" or "I'm busy" or "I'm creative". I think I have to have an intervention with myself. I am not organized. Just because I love the Container Store and all things related to organization it does not mean that I am an organized person. Okay, there, now I've done it.

You may ask what sparked this confession and self-intervention. I lost my knitting needles damn it! I had them in my hand one minute and they were gone off the face of the planet the next. And this has happened not once, not twice but at least a dozen times in the last few months. Knitting needles, knitting books, yarn for goodness sake! I'm fed up with myself. Help!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Olivia's Simple Baby Bib

I made this bib from the Simple bib pattern and it was a very quick project. I enjoyed using one of my Grandma's vintage buttons. It's the first time I've used one since I inherited her collection and sewing kit this past year. It makes the bib extra special to me.

The yarn is from Blue Sky Alpaca. I'd like to knit the world a big fluffy blanket with their organic cotton. It is so soft and the color is so fresh. My color choice was inspired by a vase of hydrangeas that my mother has on her table. It reminded me of spring, Easter eggs and little girls' dresses.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ruffly is done

My Just Enough Ruffles scarf is complete and I'm so happy I could run around the house squeeling. A little like my daughter does when we mention the word "outside" (you'd think we keep her locked up in a closet). It is my first finished object of the new year and it is a success.
I love the Malabrigo merino yarn and once I figured out the short rows all was well.
So I've decided that I need to knit the scarf in another color. Because lime and blue just doesn't match all of my outfits. I have a couple skeins of some peach colored wool that I bought two years ago and have been stumped with what to use it for. Maybe this will be a good project. On the other hand I'd like to have this scarf in cotton, since winter doesn't last long in Austin. I'm currently enamored with Blue Sky Alpaca's dyed cotton so maybe I'll buy some of that.
And since I'm on a roll with short rows I've decided to do the Calorimetry ear warmer. I've had my eye on it for a while. It will be perfect for our chilly (but not too cold) winters.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I took my Just Enough Ruffles scarf off the needles a few nights ago and I have to admit I'm a little frightened to block it.  I thought I could avoid the blocking process.  I wore the scarf to work today (it's very cold in our office so I was able to wear it all day long) but the it didn't drape nicely; it curled onto itself and the stockinette section was basically lost in the curl.  So I've decided to give blocking a try for the first time.  I looked for some references and knitty was there for me with a nice article.  Check it out.  I'm very tired but I'm going to block this tonight and will let you all know how it looks when it dries.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Easy baby bib patterns for knitters

Third on my list of fun and easy things to knit is the baby bib. Fancy bibs are nice but parents and babies need lots of sacrificial bibs for every day use. You know those days when you don't have the energy to keep them from slinging food all over themselves and you say "Go for it sweetie, I'm not going to stop you today." I have those days a lot.

Bibs that secure with velcro are nice but my daughter pulls them apart about as easily and quickly as she pulls a barrette out of her hair. So here are two free easy bib patterns; one uses an I chord tie and the other a button hole. If you prefer velcro it should be easy to adapt the patterns.
The Simple baby bib uses a yarn over to create a button hole.
The Garter stitch bib pattern makes the ties out of I chord.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yarn tutorial

I found a great site with loads of information and free patterns. One of the tutorials discusses ply and yarn which I thought might help explain why some yarns split and others don't. Take a look. And if you have some more info please share.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I wish I had an update on my ruffly scarf but sadly I don’t. I’ve had to stop knitting temporarily due to some crazy muscle spasms in my right arm. It all started a few weeks ago when I was home from the office for two weeks over the holiday. My right arm started getting achy and tired. Then it decided to complain while I knitted. I can understand it complaining while I scrub dried food off of a plate, but knitting?! Come on!
So what’s the deal? Apparently my desk job has turned me into a softy. No, not the cute kind that you find on etsy, I’m talking about the puny muscled kind. Clearly my right arm can’t withstand taking care of a 28 pound 19 month old toddler, laundry, dishes, dog walking and knitting for two weeks straight. Now I know why I go to work five days a week. I go to give my body a rest!
The doctor says I must give my arm a break. And treat it nicely. Massage, alternating ice and heat, lots of stretching. Then when the muscles are back to their usual amount of tightness I’m to begin functional strength training. You know, the kind of training that helps you lift kids into car seats without crumpling over in pain. Let’s just hope it all works and I can avoid physical therapy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The second item on my list of fun things to knit when you live in a warm climate is the washcloth. I've heard people scoff at the idea of knitting one. Why work hard on something as small and simple as a cloth that no one will ever see you wear?
I have many reasons to knit washcloths. They are quick to knit which is a very nice change from longer projects like baby blankets. They are a nice way to test your new skills. They are heavenly in the bath. It was a washcloth that taught me that garter stitch gives knit fabric a wonderfully fluffy, scrunchy texture (especially nice with soap lathered all over it). And finally gifting them is a wonderful way to say you care and to give someone a little bit of luxury.
Here are a few free wash cloth patterns that I think you might enjoy.
Buttercup Baby Washcloth
Cotton Chenille Wash Cloth
Wedding Washcloths

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I am a person of many lists. Without them I spend the day with a quizzical look fixed to my face; I walk quickly through the halls and don't engage people in conversation. I am afraid to lose what's in my head. People comment on how serious I am. It's not really the case, I'm just remembering.
I live in a warmer climate and when I became a knitter I wondered "What can I knit?". I always associated knitting with blankets and sweaters. While I was happy at learning a hobby that I had always dreamt of doing, I was a little disappointed at the idea of having a closet overflowing with sweaters and not enough cold months in which to wear them.
So I decided to help other disappointed warm climate, new knitters by compiling a list of project ideas.
My first item is the purse. Here are a few free patterns of purses that involve beginner level techniques.
The Ultra Mega Chunky Bag
Make it Yours Purse
Book Purse
Felt Purse with Clutch Handle
Please share your easy purse projects or comment on any of the above!

The list is to be continued.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Update on the Just Enough Ruffles scarf

I'm going to rip back to the first wrapped row. Why?
I'd like to just say "I did the short rows incorrectly" and leave it at that. But since my blog is all about discovering my own mistakes, and hopefully helping other people to avoid them, I must be honest.
Yes I did the short rows incorrectly, but how? It's that word "previously" before "wrapped stitch" in the Short Row 3 and 4 of the Shape Curve section that I didn't pay attention to. What finally clued me into my mistake? I wasn't decreasing; there was no curve.
I think the tag-line for my blog should be "I knit mistakes so you don't have to." Above is a picture of my rectangular disaster soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

My first post of 2009. I haven't spent a whole lot of time thinking about today beyond planning to take down my Christmas tree and knitting my scarf designed by Cosmic Pluto. I'm very excited about this project. I haven't knit anything for myself since this past summer's sweater. I've been wearing a lot of scarves at work the past few months because my new desk is next to a window and it's very cold. I'm anxious to have a new one to add to my wardrobe.
I worked on the gauge swatch a few nights ago. I chose size 9 bamboo 29 inch circular needles for my first attempt at the swatch. I wasn't even sure if I could get 200 stitches on 29 inch needles. The swatch worked out and I was ready to cast on. All of the stitches fit and somehow I managed to miscount and get 210 stitches, knit the first row and then caught my mistake. So I did the cast on again today and knit the first six rows.
I like to cast on about as much as I like to wash my daughter's dirty diapers. The thought of casting on 200 stitches was enough to make me procrastinate a few days. Counting stitches on circular needles that twist onto themselves is not fun. Now it's almost the end of my "vacation" and I still don't have my new scarf.
To try to make the counting easier on myself I decided to use a stitch marker every 10 stitches. This turned out to be a mess. I used hair ties because I couldn't find my stitch markers and a hair tie every 10 stitches was a visual distraction and actually made the counting more difficult. So that's how I cast on 210 instead of 200. The second time around I still used the hair ties (I still couldn't find my stitch markers) but I only used one every 50 stitches.
Happy 2009 everyone.


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