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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