Tuesday, August 31, 2004
The yoke is finished, as is one sleeve and the second sleeve is on the double-points. I decided to make another adjustment to this pattern and joined the two fronts (overlapping the 3 stitch garter edge) to make it a pullover with a pseudo-placket. There won't be that gap in the front that lets the tiny belly get cold, but it will be easy for mom to put on and take off because of the wide opening. The inspiration for this possibility came from one of my e-lists. Damned if I can remember which one right now!
I should be able to finish it up in the next day or two, probably coming in close to the 5-hour mark. We shall see. Sidebar: It looks a lot better in real-life than it does in the photo!
On another real-life note, I would like to go on record as positively hating the end of the month! There is so much to be done, and not all of it needs to be mine (not that it all is). 'nuff said!
* 1955 Humphrey Bogart/Fredric March and the 1990 Mickey Rourke/Anthony Hopkins re-make
Monday, August 30, 2004
I love the chattiness of Cottage Creations' patterns. I love that they are seamless. I love that many of them come in multiple sizes from toddler to very large adult. Cottage Creations patterns include the Wonderful Wallaby, the Rambling Rows afghan and sweater, and the Babies and Bears sweater, all of which I've made, some of them multiple times. Also several ethnic dolls, some nifty socks, and a couple other great sweaters, all on my to-do list. Oh, and Babies and Bears now comes in grown-up size. Must-lose-5-pounds-so-I-can-buy-this-pattern. And some yarn.
Here's the result of my first hour on the 5-hour:
Yes, I'm timing it. Shut up!
See the drawing of the baby between the points of my needles? That's the sweater with the hood.
And for the record, I have no affiliation with Cottage Creations. I'm just one more satisfied customer.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
The Green Scarf*
Two of my groups are doing ponchos for "charity," and a couple more are doing them on knitting machines of various types. I decided to combine the efforts and did my poncho for my charity-of-choice, the Billy Mills Youth Center, The Main, at the Cheyenne River (Lakota Sioux) Reservation in Eagle Butte, SD, on my Bond USM.
I used Lion Brand Yarns: Homespun for the main color and Boucle and Fun Fur for randomly-placed contrasting stripes and edging. I used my basic formula (4:9 ratio) and added a neckline edging and a 6 ridge garter edging on the bottom.
The random striping gave me two different looks.
* The Green Scarf was a 1955 British movie that starred Michael Redgrave.
Friday, August 27, 2004
I like spring, and I like fall, but I like summer most of all. (It rhymes, so shoot me!)
We are trying to get a serious perennial bed going in the front yard. So far, the weeds are winning.
I have no idea what that thing is that looks a bit Like Audrey II (Little Shop of Horrors? Seen it?? Hell, I live it!) is.
If, late at night, I hear something muttering "feed me," I'm outta here, equity or no.
And those aren't fern. They's volunteer mimosa. Impervious to Round-Up.
Those coreopsis are planted. But, and I repeat, the weeds are winning.
We have bee balm in another part of the bed. It's done blooming. And big ornamental grasses (they haven't started blooming). And in the spring, these beds are a bower of daffodils. But right now, the weeds are winning.
I've heard that if you plant enough stuff, weeds can't grow. But I think the stuff has to be something like kudzu. You know, BIG weeds.
Maybe I'll drop a few chrysanthemums in there this fall. Maybe the weeds won't kill them.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Marathon (wo) Man
I spent the better part of the time cleaning the house (or at least digging out some of the worst piles) and knitting.
I finished all my fair entries and will deliver them at 8. Yay, fair! Yay, finished! Yay, 14 entries!
What I learned in my six days:
1) There are more dogs in my neighborhood than I could possibly have imagined! And they bark. All day! Okay, one barks. Then the rest chime in. All day!
2) My cats have a sweet life! *They get up. They eat. They poop. They go back to sleep.* Repeat from * to *. All day!
3) There are many moron drivers in my neighborhood. Example: Wednesday morning, I heard the usual falling-off-muffler noise with an unusual "whomp, whomp, whomp" that made me get up to look out the window. Here's the moron part: two flat tires. Both on the passenger side. Guess he didn't see them when he got in the car? Other morons drive past our house, too. All day.
4) I don't know why this comes as a surprise. How many years did I spend every summer afternoon at the pool with swim team? Every child that gets near a pool needs to shriek. All day.
There is no knitting content today. I will probably not knit. I will finish a poncho that I started a couple days ago on the Bond. Then, I will post a picture. Maybe.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Today is the last day of my 6-day weekend. Tomorrow, it's back to the grind and work and all that, and I must deliver my fair entries. I am seriously down to the wire, here, folks.
"Company," in the form of my older child and his significant other is arriving on Friday. The house is a wreck. My to-do list is only half-scratched off. The house is a wreck (I think there's an echo in here). And I still have two freakin' snowpeople to finish!
I'll spare you the details of what remains un-accomplished (ironing, floor scrubbing, wall painting--no, wait, I said I'd spare you. . .) and show you this:
It's all of the pink yarn in my stash. Every ball, skein, hank, cone. You see, there isn't very much of it when it's all gathered in one spot! However, I suspect it's plotting to take over the rest of the stash, so I must use it up and be rid of it!
Later today, I will post the pictures of my snowpeople. That's assuming 1) that I finish them and 2) that my hands don't fall off in the meantime.
For now, I'm off to take a handful of generic Advil.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
And on to the knitting: After several hours of fiddling with them, I am pleased to announce that the Clauses are finished:
Aren't they cute?
And the pink poncho is finished and blocked (this is for my charity group, not the fair):
It's just the right size for an about three year old, I think. Made from leftover Bernat Breeze.
I've started another on the Bond, using what's left of my green Homespun, some Lion Brand Boucle in Lime Blue and some Fun Fur in Sapphire as accent stripes. Should be kinda cute for a young teen. At least that's the size I'm shooting for. The Fun Fur and Boucle were bought about a year ago. I thought I might make a scarf with them, but I sat and thought abouit it until the urge passed.
And I have a good start on my first snowperson (no picture yet).
Monday, August 23, 2004
What About Bob?
I got the pattern (free, on-line) here: Bob . The only change I made was to lengthen the sleeves ever so slightly out of respect for my non-buff upper arms.
Then I made this cute little hat:
It's Aunt Lydia's some sort of "Denim" worsted weight cotton stuff that I got at one of the big box stores. The pattern is Beach Beanies, designed by Maggie DeCuir, from the Spring 2004 Knitter's.
I am coming down to the wire. Three days left create a pair of snow people (I'm still planning on cables) and to finish Mr. and Mrs. Claus:
Anyone putting money on this??
Sunday, August 22, 2004
What's New, Pussycat?
In any event, she's a pretty special part of this household. And here she is:
I'd ask that you note the lack-o-tail, but it's not too obvious. Tail shot will follow if I can get her to cooperate.
And here are the most recent FO's. I am getting down to the wire (today, plus 3 more days) and starting to get a little nervous!.
Percy, our penguin-friend, and a Christmas stocking:
Nearly all of the Santa pair parts are finished (just the hair, beard, and Santa's hat to knit, plus the actual construction), which will leave me about 3 days to design and knit a pair of snowpeople.
Then to get them tagged and to the fairgrounds by 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Garment photos tomorrow!
Friday, August 20, 2004
It's basic geometry. The stitched together part of the poncho forms a square which is actually 2 right triangles sharing a hypoteneuse (do not fade out on me here). The hypoteneuse is the length of the poncho from the neck to the bottom of the point at the center front (or back).
The formula for determining the length of the hypoteneuse is c square= a square + b square or c= the square root of a square plus b square. Got that?
In the case of a square, a and b are equal, so the formula becomes c= the square root of 2 a squared.
Example: If you want a finished length of 20", plug 20" into the formula as "c":
so 20X20= 2 a squared
400 = 2 a squared
200= a squared
the square root of 200 (a bit more than 14) = a
A being the width of your rectangle and in the ratio, A being the "4" part. Divide the 14 by 4 (to get about 3.5) then multiply that result by 9 (for the "9" part of the ratio) and each of your rectangles will be 14 X 32.
I plan to try this out on my Bond.
Then, there's the easy way: How big do you need it to be? Measure from your neckline to your wrist. That's the width of your rectangle. To figure the length, divide the width by 4. Multiply that result by 9.
Example: you want the neck to wrist measurement to be 12". Divide that by 4 (3"). Multiply that by 9 (27") Make 2 rectangles 12X27. Plug your stitch gauge (actually swatched if size is critical, or from the ball band if it isn't) and your row gauge. Knit away.
This one, I know works!
Labels: knit recipes
I had all this pink Bernat Breeze yarn from Smiley's left over from another project and this burning need to play with every other needle and bulky stuff on the Bond, just to see if I could get it to work, so I conjured up this toddler-size poncho.
The second garter edge still needs to be finished and I really need to do something about the neckline (maybe a bit of ribbing to fill it in, maybe with some buttons so it's not an "issue" getting it over some 2 year old's head).
I bought the yarn to make a (requested) poncho for a friend. I way overbought! I've already used some for a blankie, and this poncho, and I still have 4 untapped balls. I'm thinking a teen-size poncho might use the rest of it up.
Here's the recipe:
Make two rectangles with a L:W ratio of 9:4. In my sample, my rectangles are 30" long X about 10" wide (a ratio of 3:1). That's why the neckline is so wide open. A better size (for about a 2 year old) would have been 30" X 12", I think. This is knitting, not rocket science.
You can Bond it, pattern stitch it, garter it. See that seam in the photo? That's where and how you will seam the short end to the long side. Front and back are the same. Add a border if it's curling or not big enough. Do something to neaten the neck if it needs it. Weave in the ends. Done! Add fringe or tassels if that's your thing. The yarn I used looks like it will be a mess in cut pieces, plus toddler and fringe? I don't think so.
Lest you think my tension is also a mess, let me rush to tell you that Breeze is a thick/thin homespun-y yarn.
And now, for a nature lesson. Last night, at dinnertime, we saw two hummingbirds here:
That's our flower bed. They are so tiny and the zinnias are so big that they were perching on the edge of each flower as they ate. And they taste-tested each one! It was fun watching them dive bomb each other. Playing, I hope! They hung around for about 5 minutes.
Sparky, the bob-tailed wonder cat, never even noticed!
Labels: knit recipes
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Two Way Stretch
I was sure that they could look better. After all, they looked great
on. The difference being that on, they were stretched and off, they weren't!
Now, I know that I've said that I'm nothing if not cheap, and the thought of shelling out 25 bucks for sock blockers that I would use maybe a half dozen times over the next decade was way more than I could stomach.
But wait! I remember reading somewhere an-line that sock blockers of the more disposable kind could be had for free for a little work!
I hauled out the raw materials:
A box (it's one I can't reuse because it's so honkin' big that the postage on it would be $20 or more--that's a Priority box from the Post Office. Free, but the postage to ship priority will kill you!)
Some plastic (I used some of those big bubble things that come in the mail these days, because they were heavy, the right size, and, yep, free)
That thing in the front is my salad spinner. Not everyone has one. I use it to extract as much water as possible before blocking small items. It's very useful. And since I buy my salad bagged these days. . .
I traced around a new pair of socks, then cut out a couple of sock shapes, wrapped the shapes in the plastic stuff (after I let out the air) to make:
After getting my socks very wet and spinning them nearly dry, I stretched them onto the sock-shape being careful to line up the center row of eyelets alongthe blocker edge:
Here's a final shot of the socks, blocked, but still damp:
When they came off the blockers, they looked like a different pair of socks. The lacy parts are open and the bobbles pop!
Yeh, yeh, two bucks.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Older Son needs his birth certificate. Do you think we can find it (or any of the others)?? The list of places it isn't is growing long. The places that it could be (in which this big packet would fit) is getting shorter.
WhereTF is it??
Last place you ever think to look. The place that is way too small. And there they were!
And I'm not telling where. 'cause I might want to hide something very valuable there someday!
So, the knitting and reporting commences. Here's my dishcloth entry. Dull, boring. You know, dishrag. The pattern is from a Leisure Arts booklet. Old. The yarn is Sugar 'n' Cream. The cheap stuff. In a color called Potpourri Print. Let me tell you aboutthis color! The "print" is painted on and bled like crazy when I wet the damned thing to block it! I mean bled like a shaving cut! I was really glad that I had planned to wet block rather than spritz and shape. Can you just imagine??
Of course, I prefer to think of it as a washcloth. So much more refined:
And a lot more subtle with all the excess dye washed down the drain, too!
And as long as I'm on a roll, I hate the term "dishrag." It sounds so "throw it out, it's a rag." And don't call my stuff "homemade!" "Handmade," maybe. Homemade sounds like, well, junky crapola from a church bazaar. You know the stuff.
So see that ya use the right terms!
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
There's a reason that passwords were invented!!
I've had this problem at home as well. I am too nosy for my own good sometimes!
Today, for your viewing pleasure, the stocking pattern in all its glory:
and with its heel turned (short row heel):
There's a tiny "oops" on the other side on the heel seam, but I don't think anyone but me will even notice. This, folks, is what I did instead of watching the Olympics last night. Badminton? You have got to be kidding!
And speaking of the Olympics, when did syncronized diving become a sport?
Monday, August 16, 2004
Pretty in Pink
From Debbie Bliss' Quick Baby Knits (available in paperback all over the place), a little pink (okay, mauve!) sweater.
Bliss patterns run big. I believe I've heard that a 12 month size in a Bliss pattern can often be worn well past the second birthday. Since this sweater is intended for a child in a very poor part of the United States (one of the Sioux reservations of South Dakota), I certainly hope that's true.
The yarn is Red Heart Soft. I do not like this yarn. It has very little body and it's more than a little "splitty." Other Red Heart yarns are a lot more to my liking! The 2 buttons are pearl hearts. See the pretty little triangles on the cuffs and bottom hem?
Wear it in good health, little one!
Oh, yeh, Two bucks.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Unfortunately, I had looked at the 'paper before venturing out, and what was only rumor yesterday, became reality this morning.
Another promising life, snuffed out way too soon. Is that 3, or 4, or more, of the rising stars?
This young man was barely 16. A swimmer, a soccer player, runner, Eagle Scout. He played in the high school band. The 17 year old driver was wearing a seat belt. He wasn't.
It's a small town. One death diminishes us all.
My walk gave me an opportunity to observe in ways that driving doesn't. And even though I walked only about 7 blocks (1400 steps according to my pedometer) or less than a mile, I was struck by the small town beauty of my neighborhood. Most of the homes were built in the early to late 60's and there's a pride of ownership that sings.
Makes me want to get out and pull some weeds!
And, since this is a knitting blog, I give you
Indeed, that fiddly little WIP (all of 5" tall) is all I have to show for an entire Saturday (unless you count the cleared-out-in-anticipation-of-Hurricane-Charley rain gutters or the pruned Magnolia tree) !
The gold pile o' string is his feet-and-beak and the "X" next to him is a pair o' drink stirrers that say "Fernwood is the Poconos-PA." that I found among a bucket o' thirty year old crap in the basement. They'll be covered with knitted sleeves before I stitch them to his tiny feet [ouch] so it doesn't matter that they don't match or that they have an ad for a resort on them.
I'm still debating the colors/materials for his tiny hat and scarf. I have some great lightweight Shetland and some even better (colorwise) Persian. Both are the real thing (wool) and neither is in danger of becoming another project in the next decade. Hell, the Persian is leftover from my needlepoint/bargello days, and I haven't touched it since the kids were little. The plastic shoe box container it's stored in has an avocado lid, for lord's sake!
Saturday, August 14, 2004
The Turning Point
Well, not exactly, but I expect to reach it sometime today. This time, a Work in Progress (WIP) for the fair, my Christmas stocking. Entry title: "Handcrafts-Mixed Materials Christmas Stockings, knitted (limit 1)."
This is an adaptation of a sock pattern: Winter's Hope Socks (pattern by Nannette Huber) , from the Cast On Accessories 2002 (whatever happened to 2003 and 4, I wonder?) issue. The original calls for Koigu Premium Merino and size 1s. I am using worsted weight acrylic (Bernat Aspen ( a blend with 20% merino--this stuff is pretty yummy for an inexpensive blend. It would make nice kids' sweaters, I think.) for the red and TLC Essentials for the white) and size 6s (US sizing) and getting a nice, firm fabric, which is what I wanted. The fair isle/Norwegian stranding keeps it from stretching more than a little. I want a Christmas stocking to stretch, but not so much that stuff comes through the fabric!
I'm about halfway to the heel flap. (It'll be red, as will the toe.) I think it looks good.
Top prize in the "Handcrafts--Mixed Materials" category is $4. Of course, most of my entries are pairs like Mr. and Mrs. Snowman so I guess there's another theme going: Top Prize= 2 bucks.
And another "turning point". Weight is down about .5 (that's "point 5") pound this morning. Considering that I have been wishing and hoping (but not doing anything about it) for a month or more, this is good news and incentive!
The ladies at Curves were a bit better behaved than usual for a Saturday morning. No, wait, the "regulars" were all absent. Wow! What a difference! I should have checked license plates!
Friday, August 13, 2004
Friday the Thirteenth, Part 2
So , for your viewing pleasure, the next fair entry.
A pair of baby bootees, that will wind up on the tiny feet of the next baby girl born to any of my friends (or the next friend's grandkid that is female) or possibly into the "community" (translate: "charity") box.
They're a pattern from Zoe Mellor's 50 Baby Bootees to Knit, made up in basic sport weight acrylic (Phentex Sport, what can I say, the colors were pretty and the price was right: $1) in a color called "violetta." (Isn't that a pretty name for basic-baby-lavender?)
Right now, they have this sort of shimmery organdy ribbon. Before I give them away, I'll probably make i-cord to use for ties. So much more practical (and washable!)
Prize money on "bootees" is the same as everything else: 2 bucks.
Friday the Thirteenth
Last night, one of the guys I work with "played out" which is a technical term meaning that the band that he plays with had a gig, on a week night, opening for some big name group in a local rock bar. I am musically impaired. My fandom began and ended sometime in the 60's or 70's. Think Beatles, think Little Anthony, think Smokey. Please don't think Bee Gees!
The whole food bank staff (those not already ill or injured) went to see him and cheer him on. I suspect that they, too, will be ill or injured this morning.
It's gonna be a long day!
Thursday, August 12, 2004
The Longest Day
This won't be the Million Man March, but we're hoping for a good enough turnout to get some attention from the folks who can legislate a difference. See you there?
And now, for the next entry for the fair.
I wish that I had taken progress pictures of these really neat mittens. They are modular, sort of, and very, very easy as mittens go, The hardest part (if there is one) is the seaming. It's all one long seam that wraps around the mitten
They are made with some of that dollar-a-skein yarn I picked up a few days ago and I was really wishing that I had reversed the colors (so that the cuff would be solid), but they are starting to grow on me.
They are called "Origami" (Japanese paper-folding) for very obvious reasons. The pattern is an on-line freebie available from Inknitters in their 2002 charity booklet. Scroll to page 6 for the mittens, or heck, download or print the whole booklet. There are a lot of good charity patterns in it.
First prize for children's mittens, knit, is $2.
If I were a rich man. . .
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
In the Heat of the Night
Yep, that's when I worked on the afghan-from-hades. It was hot in July and I was pleased to finally call it done:
The pattern is in Big Needle Afghans published by House of White Birches (the Knitting Digest folks, but please don't hold that against them). It's the pattern called Ruble Red that is pictured in Brown Sheep Prairie Silks (72% wool/18% mohair/10% silk), but I am nothing if not practical and the intended recipient has a teenager (male), so I used Lion Brand Homespun in Everglade instead. Homespun tends to stripe. You can't see it very well in this photo, but the stripes are pretty obvious in real life.
The stitch is sort of open and cabled. I seem to have a theme going with that too! It should be warm and cuddly.
And first prize for afghans is $6. There's no accounting for it, is there? First prize for a grown-up sweater is $2 and there's a lot more work involved in knitting a sweater!
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
As Good As it Gets
First I made a shawl. If a triangle dishcloth shawl made from LB Homespun can win a ribbon, just imagine what a really nice shawl can do! So I dragged out some Woolease that I had in the ol' stash and started to knit.
I do love this shawl:
I have drooled over the photo in this book:
Earlier this year, I decided to attempt the knitting and produced a slightly less lacy version:
Monday, August 09, 2004
The Color Purple
It's my current favorite. A lot of what I knit is purple. I like to wear purple! But I am learning to dearly hate the purple socks!
At least I am making progress! Before too much longer, the dreaded purple socks that have been on my needles for nearly 2 years will be finished.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Something to Talk About
This was the result of a quick trip into Michael's last weekend to pick up "a skein or two" to finish a few charity afghans. Twenty six dollars ($26) at $1 a skein later, I had this great new collection of yarn for charity baby things.
Then I discoverd that I still need yarn to finish the afghans.
My everloving other half suggested that it looked as though a yarn truck had dumped its load in the house. He further suggested that if trucks were going to dump loads here, next time, could it please be a beer truck. Men! They just don't understand!
Here's a sample of the stash, just the stuff on shelves:
And there was some progress on thefair entries last night. Meet Mr. and Mrs. Soon-2-B-Claus:
Saturday, August 07, 2004
I have tried rewards. I have tried self-imposed chocolate/chips/french fries fasts. I refuse (yet) to resign myself to being this weight for the rest of my life.
I have a closet full of great clothes that are too tight. I NEED to do this and now! Maybe if I went there more than just once a week for 30 minutes. . .
On a knitting note: I finished the leg/cuff of the purple sock from hell and did the heel flap/turn last night. Today, I will pick up the gusset stitches and continue on to the foot (no more bobbles in the pattern, so it should go faster!)
Here's the bobble lace, up close and personal:
On another knitterly note: I am at the shoulders of my Santa.
Had to get pink (stop laughing) yarn yesterday for the face. I wisely went to the hardware store for this (Red Heart in all the colors: $1.39US a skein) because I knew I wouldn't be tempted to buy more than just the pink I absolutely need. It's brighter than I would like, but it will do. It will have to do. It's here. Paler/better colors are someplace else, mocking me and calling to me with siren song: "Just come on over here and touch this blue stuff, and this green stuff, and this wonderful red stuff." "Back, back!" I say.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
The Other Side of Midnight
I'm using a Jean Greenhowe pattern that's in Knitted Toys for Santa and will adapt the Cinderella pattern to make Mrs. Claus. There's a cute snowman in the same book so if I get bogged down (as I have for the last two fair seasons) on a cabled version, this one looks fairly quick. The embellishments will be what makes Mr. and Mrs. unique.
Socks. What can I say? I'd hate to scare off my readers, so I'll just say that I did this to myself.
Socks are not hard. This pattern is tedious. And the needles are small. And the yarn is fine. But, in general, socks are not hard.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
What if I reward myself with yarn when I lose weight???
Lose a pound, gain 100 g of yarn??
It's my birthday! And there were presents including,in the middle, wearing a quilted blanket, the new sheep that joined my collection today, a gift from Younger Son.
Also new is a taleidoscope, a tube lined with mirrors, using a clear marble as a lens, creating images from the real world, like those a kaleidoscope does with bits and pieces. This one is encased in an exotic wood tube and has its own stand. I had asked for one, thinking I would use it to help with color selection. (It will work well for that, too.) However, I find it fascinating to just look through. Patterns in the rug, the blinds on the window, my stash all take on new dimensions.
I can vaguely remember visions like these. But then, I stoped drinking. . .
The Origami mittens are finished (I wish I could say the same for this stupid purple sock!) We spent a couple hours getting the camera to interface with the computer. There will be more photos. Just not today.