Wednesday, March 29, 2006

felted sushi

felting sushi

the top two on the left were not felted when the photo was taken, but they're all felted now. i'm impatient, so i felted by hand, in the sink. i don't think i will be doing that again, as my hands feel a bit raw and can't seem to be quenched with all the lotion i keep slathering on them. i still have to sew the wallet together before felting, but will likely felt by (someone's) machine!

yep, that's butterfly in the background. she makes a wonderful backdrop. she's still drying ....

attack of the killer bunnies!

first of all, everything she says is true!
secondly, look at these!!!!

attack of the killer bunnies!

yesterday, debbie stoller was touring the triangle area, promoting her latest book, _the happy hooker_. it was great to see a packed bookstore full of fiber enthusiasts, all ears for "doctor" stoller (yes, she has a Ph.D. from yale university ... so, not only is she sassy, she's smart!).
pinky and i were at the back of the crowd, playing dressy bessy with all the sample garments that came our way. in the photo above, that's pinky's foot on the left, mine on the right, and a kitty ipod case in the center.

it was a true treat to be able to examine these samples in person. though i call myself a knitter, i do crochet on occasion. i've been known to say that crochet is a series of knots, and i've been overheard refering to the needlepoint shop as the house of snippets. i was pleasantly surprised at how drapey the sweaters were and how much nicer samples were in person vs. on a book page.

great to see you debbie! have fun in miami!

of course, whenever any knitterly or crocheterly (new word!) person goes anywhere, it's not without at least one project in the bag. i was toting around two projects yesterday, and made some good progress on one of them. first, i finished knitting the wallet portion of my sushi wallet, and even knitted a couple of the pasties sushi pieces. i made even more progress on my ghostly humbug ....

ghostly buttonholes

i finished a sleeve the other day, and then started the sweater front. humbug features a column of slits down the center front. these slits are giant buttonholes. the first one is made after only 4 rows of knitting, so i learned quickly that the method for the buttonholes was sloppy at best. thanks to the internet, i soon found another method for making a neater buttonhole.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sunday, March 26, 2006

knitting plethora !

ripped sleeve caps

after consulting with my knitting girlfriends, we decided that my sleeves could stand to loose about an 1". today i finally ripped back and reknitted the caps of little miss butterfly. i had told myself that it would be quick. reknitting sleeve caps should be fast, as it's all decreases. but, it did take longer than i thought it would. that could be because i was watching a movie during the process.

what sucks about sundays ... there's nothing to watch on tv! i only own about 3 dvds, and a few more vhs tapes. today's entertainment as i knitted the noro? ... one of my all time favorite movies, same time, next year. i have seen this film countless times, and each time i watch it, it's like it's the first time all over again (though, i can quote it like i do steel magnolias.) some things never get old with me.

i think what i like so much about these films is that they're so dialogue driven. no special effects and glitz, just solid intelligent conversation.

a brief sewing interjection ... of course i'm going to have to make a skirt, a loooong skirt, to wear with butterfly. sometimes the sweater is not finished with just blocking and sewing in the ends.

okay, on with the knitting ....

summer tweed ghost

it's not that i have a thing about sleeves, it just makes the most sense to knit that part first incase of gauge issues. so, i have another sleeve knitted, on another sweater . in my defense, this sweater is what i'm considering my no brainer project, as it's knitted on size 8's, in plain stockinette, with simple shaping. this is humbug from rowan magazine number 37. the yarn is summer tweed, in a new shade called ghost. ghost looks like bleached out driftwood with blips of pale lavender and blues. i like humbug's peek-a-boo styling, and i could not resist this new shade of summer tweed. though, i want to go ahead and start the sweater front, i'm trying to stay on task and finish butterfly. trying. intend to ...

i also spoiled myself with a little treat yesterday.

sushi to go

... soooooo cute! the little kit is by pick up sticks, and has three options to knit. i'm going for the design in the on the left, as it looks like tuna!

wallet design options in kit


socks ... what's a posting w/o socks?! i love my handknit socks. i almost wear them exclusively during the colder months. and yes, i've been on a kick of washing them in the shower with me each morning. today i washed my mountain color's bearfoot socks . their colorway is rosehips, deep reds. they seriously bleed everytime i wash them. i never realized this until they took a shower with me, and the bottom of the tub turned red and pink. i called mountain colors, and they said they could not stop some of the colors from bleeding. they had tried vinegar and lots of other methods. they suspected it had something to do with the superwash process. when i first knitted these socks, they were my favorites! i was an absolute bearfoot convert in the world of sock yarn options. but now, not so much. they do feel great, they were a pleasure to knit, but they bleed when washed and the mohair has fuzzed up quite a bit, obliterating the nice checkerboard cable pattern i knitted them with.

not that this has anything to do with the yarn pictured above. up above is some yarn i ordered from elann. i ordered four 100 gram balls of regia cotton yarns. i tell you what, when some things go up for sale on elann, it's like a feeding frenzy. some of the colorways sold out in minutes! i will finish my pinky stripes socks before i start knitting with this fresh yarn! i think mom will like the blue yarn. too bad she'll have to wait.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

knitting theory

i always thought it would be fun to teach a class called theoretical knitting 101. we could all sit in a group and talk about the what if's of knittings. "what if i went up a needle size on the lower body, but used the smaller needle on the bodice ... what if the raglan decreases run out before the sleeve cap is finished ... what if ....?"

what is this all about? it's about butterfly! i've come to the conclusion that my knitting on claudia is so painfully slow, and my knitting of otto seems even slower, because i have not finished butterfly. never mind that claudia is knitted with fingering wt. cotton on size 3's and that otto has a crazy pattern of wrapped/slipped/dropped stitches, it's all about the butterfly curse.

so, i've commited myself to finish little miss butterfly asap. i tried her on (again), and am having trouble deciding how much i need to shorten the sleeves. i think 1/2" would be enough, maybe 1" would be too much. i called dr. meilenweit to confer. the doctor said to bring it to knitting tonight, and we will get a second and third opinion. in the meantime, i'm petting another of colorway of albany, trying to hush it's knit me cries.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

rowan's vintage knits book

this arrived at my doorstep yesterday. i was amazed that my postal person actually left the box on the porch vs. leaving me a slip to pick it up at the postal annex. there are some really nice designs in here. i do love rowan!

pretending to have a sweater

i have about 6 or so inches of the body of claudia knitted. though the knitting is fast, the progress is sloooooooowww. i'm still on gauge (7 sts/inch) too! don't be deceived by the picture, as i've only knitted those few inches of the body starting at the bottom hem. i just laid the sleeves, folded in half, to get an idea of how it's going to look finished. it's going to look lovely :)

i have not totally neglected my albany otto. i'm actually thinking i will take a break from these size 3 needles and work on otto with the 6's. and butterfly? she's still armless! i'm too lazy to pin the sleeves on to check for length.

laundry day

parting shot ... washing socks in the shower!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

perpetually in love


i'm so anxious for some summer knitting, that i'm easily seduced by cotton right now. this is the newest crush ... claudia from rowan magazine 31. i don't know what it is about this sweater. maybe it's the exotic model, maybe it's designed by one of my favorite rowan contributing designers, maybe it's the cool shoes this girl is wearing in the picture (yes, you must take a look at this magazine to see what i mean!). (how many of us knit things because we're seduced by the picture? wanting to be the model, wanting to be in that local ....?) so, i got the yarn yesterday, and knitted a sleeve this morning ... and now i am the envy of the blond hunched over in her saggy halter, enjoying a wonderful afternoon in the piazza ...see what i mean?!

sleeve stitches

both yarns are shades of navy blue. the sparkle yarn is rowan's lurex shimmer, and the cotton is jaeger's siena. the pattern calls for rowan's 4ply cotton, but it just does not have the lustre of siena. the body of the sweater will be altered, as i do not like it's shaping. i might knit sleeve #2 tonight, or i might knit on the albany sleeve, or both.

yeah! more socks!

hey, i have some new socks to wear! yippy! though they're not a perfect match, they're still very pretty. they make me think of watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe. summer flavors of a wooly sock....

Friday, March 17, 2006

growing sleeve

growing sleeve

i almost forgot today is st. patrick's day, and the one day i can legitimately use this border!

i shot this a little earlier this afternoon, but i now have 11" of sleeviness knitted.

i usually knit a sleeve first when i'm making a sweater. i figure if i have gauge problems, i'd rather rip a sleeve vs. a sweater back. well, i was double checking my gauge earlier and confused the fool out of myself. the front side is what's pictured ... slipped knit stitches on a reverse stockinette fabric. essentially, it's a 1 x 3 rib. when i was measuring my gauge (again), i was measuring the wrong side of the fabric, which looks like all knit stitches (you just don't see that one slipped purl stitch, it gets lost because it's slipped). so, while i'm counting my stitches, i'm not really counting all the stitches, just the visible stitches. so, i had a slight panic attack. slight. dork!

great beginnings

...and stalled knitting.

i'm really good at starting a new project. professional! but i'm also good at running into obstacles. here's the problem. i have some increases on this sleeve, that i must incorporate the slipped loop pattern into. the part i can't decide about is how close to the seam will i want to introduce the loops. hmmm ....

the design is called "otto" and is from jaeger book #11. the yarn is jaeger's "albany". the yarn is discontinued, though can still be found on the net. my colorway is called "cheer" and is much richer than it appears in my photo. i made another sweater from this book several years ago, and it's one of my most frequently worn sweaters. jaeger patterns are very well written!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

happy feet yesterday! these were finished a couple of weeks ago.

sad sock that will be ripped (i don't like the blip of gold at the top of the cuff).

crazy zags all over! sock is almost finished.

and butterfly has her wings and no sleeves.

the theme song from sanford & son just popped into my head. hmmm ..... must be that giant collar. now, if i were a good knitter, i would go ahead and start sewing the sleeves onto butterfly. if only ....

but i've had summer knitting on the brain lately. i want to knit with cotton and hemp. i want to try my hand at a top down sweater with the help of babs. i discovered in my stash yesterday, what might be enough for a long sleeve v-neck pullover, bunches of hanks of classic elite rockland cotton. its gauge is 4sts/inch, and it's a rich dark brown. yummy!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

i blocked my pieces of butterfly yesterday so i could pin the sleeve in to decide on its length. i think the sleeve is still on the longish side, but part of me thinks it woud look kinda ridiculous shorter. the body is quite long too, but that's okay, as it looks more like a jacket vs a sweater. it will look good with a long skirt. i actually sewed the shoulder seams together, and i think the next step is the collar. i believe there is an errata for the collar instructions on the net somewhere .... yep, here it is!

the sock saga ... seems like i'm not the only one with pooling problems. what changes this? does it have to do with where in the yarn you cast on? tension/gauge? sock gods? i just decided i'm going to have a mismatched pair. i don't care enough to change it. it's just a sock. i was extra good and cast on for the pinky stripes too!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

how many bags does a girl need? hmmm .... it would be nice to say this was a stash buster project, but no, it was fresh yarn. i couldn't resist. these handles are slightly smaller than my bamboo handles of the first bag, but this dark brown rattan looks nicer with the yarn. if i make another, it will be with stash yarn. really! by the way, the yellow bag has been working nicely as a small knitting project bag. i actually carried around this bag in progress with the yarn, and yarn for some socks.
i finished these socks when i went to my parents to babysit last week. i've been meaning to cast on for the mates. i'm thinking i will work them at the same time too, on two different sets of dpns (pinky sock uses size 1's and melon sock uses 3mm needles). oh, and the strapaz melon socks is colorway 127!
i went to the craft stores yesterday after work. i had my coupons of the week inhand, with the intention of buying some crochet hooks for mom. well, when i got to the first store i spotted this book i've been wanting for awhile ... and i put the crochet hook back on the wall. i did get her a crochet hook from the next store (probably because they didn't have any books i wanted?).

Friday, March 10, 2006

in the bag ....

fat bottomed bag completed!

isn't she pretty? this was a super quick crochet project. i don't think i could had knitted this much yarn as quickly as i crocheted it (nevermind that it's double stranded). i LOVE this bag. the handles are 6" circular bamboo. i first thought i would line the bag, but, it's just fine unlined. if i do use it as a purse and put in small things that would like to poke between the stitches, i will just put those little things into a small zipped pouch (or ziplock bag). i've been using this bag as a small project bag since its completion ....

new yarn bag?

inside the bag, i see my yarn for my next sock and yarn for my next crochet bag.

i'm holding two strands together, as in the first bag, but it's making some funky tracking/patterns ... i don't care, as i really love the colors, and it's a whole different experience up close.

i still need to finish the two socks to match my singles. oh! i forgot to photograph my socks! next time ....
i need to finish butterfly. i need to finish the throw. i need to ....

Sunday, March 05, 2006


on friday, when the kids were in school, i took some time out to watch a dvd and knit on butterfly. when home visiting, i often hang out in the formal living room, as there's no kid stuff in there, thus, no kid interest ... quiet.

knitting sanctuary at parent's house

and, i finished knitting all my pieces!

butterfly pieces finished

they still need to be washed and blocked, but i didn't think to bring home my wool wash.

um, okay, my pictures were not suppose to look like that, and i don't know how i got a snowy scene in the second photo. bizarre, i've never even seen that snowy scene before .... let's try again.

on the toe on the gusset

i'm on the toe of the melon colored sock and started the gusset of the pinky stripes.

what's next? i might whipped out my crochet hook and chain on for this!

crochet handbag

this is from debbie stoller's new happy hooker book.
a friend of mine made one as a sample for my LYS and it was cute. she also emailed me some corrections for the pattern, so i should be able to make it look like the photo. i'm going to use some berroco cotton twist, and it's stash yarn from an abandoned project last summer.

cotton twist yarn

Friday, March 03, 2006

the sock knitter

knitting socks

i was good and cast on for my sock mate immediately after sewing in the ends for sock #1. i'm very pleased with these socks. it's all about the tubular cast on!

finished summer socks!

the tubular cast on has made me fall back in love with my self patterning sock yarns, because now the top edge is continuous, vs. how often the top edge is an obvious horizontal line, often of a different color than the first row of knitting. so, i dug around in my stash and pulled out another ball of yarn. this yarn is meilenweit fantasy by lana grossa.

and knitting another sock!

9 st/inch

i'm still on the heel flap because i got distracted by this ...

what's this? a sock?

7 1/4 sts/inch

here's my defense ... i'm at my parent's home babysitting all weekend. my parents left before dawn this morning, and i'm taking care of three kids, ages 6, 9, and 14 yrs. i was optimistic and brought home lots of knitting possibilities, and really thought i would have some time to work on butterfly. i even thought i could finish butterfly! i even thought i could cast on for something new, like a hemp summer sweater. i brought home my pinky striped meilenweit socks to work on too, which, i'm grateful i had them in reach during the drive, as i ended up in an interstate parking lot twice on the way here.

i stopped along the way at needles in concord, nc. this place certainly has the right name, as they stock more knitting needles and crochet hooks than any another shop i have visited. the bulk of their business is mail order, so their shop is rather utilitarian vs. decorated. i was on a quest to fill in some gaps in my sock needle sizes ... such as sizes 2.5 mm and 3 mm. i found both, and am trying some new needles. the 3 mm needles are by swallow. they're smooth, flexible, and light. the points are good too.

special notes on swallow needles if you are considering them: it would be nice if they came in a set of 6 or 7 needles, as i've almost lost 2 needles, both in the same day. the first time my mom was showing me, under the hood of her doodlebug(volkswagon bug), where to reconnect the battery. i had a needle in hand. i leaned forward to see the special dial, and OOPS! i DROPPED MY NEEDLE INTO THE GUTS UNDER THE HOOD! AAAAAAAAARRRRRG! &$#@+! it took us about 30 minutes to retrieve the needle with an 18" contraption with a grabby thingy on the end ... think cable release with a claw on the end. later, we were at wally world. and of course, i'm walking around knitting. we get back to the car and i'm sitting in the passenger seat looking at my sock with only 3 needles on it. ummm, where's needle #4? WHAAAAAAA! luckily, i didn't have to look far for it, as it had fallen on the floor next to the door. just so you know, they're easy to drop, barely make a sound when they land, and are almost invisible!

swallow knitting needles

this yarn is strapaz multi by steinbach wolle. it is a sport wt. sock yarn and is knitting up nicely with the 3 mm needles. the other needles i bought are pony pearls in a size 2.5 mm.

pony pearl dpns

and i got this too, as i was weak to the fantasic lime green merino ...

future sock hopeful

i have 2 balls. future socks. fresh yarn. this yarn is a finer version of this yarn i used for my stampato socks i made in november.