Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lace Style

Guess what I got in the mail the other day? Well, the title gave it away, I guess. Sorry.

Anyway, I'm excited to tell you about this book I ordered from the destash blog. The couple of pages I saw on knitpicks and then in the last catalog ensured me, that I made a good choice buying this book. I couldn't wait to dig through it and I found lots of nice things I'd like to knit. I might not necessarily wear them all, but I'm sure I'd find some takers/victims for my desire to knit. The jacket on the front cover as well as the lace-edged corset on the back are already on my to do list. Unfortunately my camera didn't have enough "juice" to take more pictures of the different projects, but I'm sure you have seen some of them.
Don't worry, I'm not going to throw the woolly rainbow sweater into the corner and pull out the lace needles. I'm still knitting along on it and only one more pattern repeat, which means half a "rainbow" and it's decision time again. I'm going to get to the neckline and I have to figure out how to knit that. I'll try the steek, like Laurie did, but if that doesn't work, I guess a couple of rows back and forth don't hurt? Or do they? I never did fair isle in rows, but then I never did fair isle like this before anyway, what am I saying. :) I'm just proud I made it that far.
Also, if you need some help with spinning, like my friend Keri did, check out Erica's blog. She put together a tutorial on predrafting 101 for brand new spinners and now I know why my drop spindle hasn't seen the light of day in a while and I still have a piece of a sheep somewhere in my closet. I might just pull it out and finish it off soon (that didn't sound right, did it?)


Monday, May 28, 2007

Remember Me

Remember Me on Memorial Day

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Knitting Steeks

I can't believe I'm knitting the steeks. It's not as hard as I expected it to be. To be honest, it's kinda fun getting to either side of the sweater and knowing, that I'm half way around again. See for yourself:

Now, the professional Fair Isle knitter will see right away, that further down the line I'm going to run into a problem. Well, the problem is, that knitting the medium size of the sweater gives me an uneven (11) number of repeats going around. Therefore the pattern on either side of the steek is different. So that would mean that my shoulder seams won't match up when I get to the top. Am I right, Marina? You are my idol in this technique and you would have probably noticed this right away. I'm new to this and didn't catch it, until I did the steeks. But you know what? I'm not going to worry about it until I get to the shoulders and even then, I'm not going to loose too much sleep because of it. I still love the sweater, even if the shoulders don't match up.

After reading this blog and the dilemma she ran into, I had to put the point protectors onto the needle and slip into the knitted hose. (Excuse the blurry pic, but the camera doesn't like to focus in the mirrow and the mirrow wasn't windex clean either)

Great, it fits and we don't have any further problem in that department. At least I did good with the swatch, which I usually like to skip, but thought of being essential for a project like this. Good thinking. So, now I'm going to knit along for another color repeat, before I will tackle the problem of the neck steek. Laurie is my guinea pig for this sweater and she already finished the body. The pattern doesn't call for steeks, it rather tells you to knit back and forth, but we won't listen to this. So just to keep it interesting (especially for a first FI piece for me) we had to try our own version. I'm sure we will succeed. Don't you? Doesn't look so bad so far.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Lopi update

I don't have any exciting pictures for you this time, because I don't think you would want to see one that looks close to the last one, would you? I have two color repeats done which brings me close to the steek for the arms. The pattern calls for knitting in rows, but thanks to Laurie's encouragement I'm following in her footsteps and going with the steek. She also did a steek on the neck of her sweater, but that will take a while for me to get there. For now we will attempt to master the arm steeks. I have never done this before, so bear with me.

Also, I turned the heel on the first monkey sock. I'm creeping along slowly on either one of my projects and don't know why. I'm dreading to start on something else, because that would slow down the rest of them even more.

Another thing is, that my kids are out of school now for the summer. Oh boy! That means no work for me, since I only have a little side job that makes enough money so I won't have to run for an ATM all the time, but not enough to pay for a babysitter for two kids. So, being the loving mom that I am (cough) I put my "waste of time" on ice for the summer and am staying at home with the kids. That should give me lots of knitting time, you would think. Well, we'll see about this. I found the plug to our keyboard a couple of days ago and now the well hidden Mozart in my oldest son is trying to get out. Most the time he makes pretty good tunes, but after two cups of coffee and the little one bugging to play something that just won't work, nothing that comes from that keyboard sounds remotely soothing to me. And this is only the first morning!!! What to do?

Well, I leave you with this and try to do something constructive with this started day today. Next post will have steek pictures, I promise.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sox on the Beach

Read it again, before your mind starts wandering off into the wrong direction. After all, I'm, what we call in Germany, a grass widow. I don't even know if that is a valid term here in the states, but pretty much it means married, but temporarily separated. So keep your mind on track, after all this is a knitting blog, even though this is going to be a family trip entry. As proof however, that there was some knitting going on, here is a picture of my monkeys out of the bag on the beach.

The other pictures are my boys playing in the water and the sand, which we had fun getting out of the hair afterwards. I guess that means laundry and a cleaning session with the Jeep tomorrow. Fun!

My neighbor also took a picture of me, but since I didn't want to alert green peace and the coast guard about a beached animal, I deleted those snap shots and spare you. Sorry, I just don't happen to look like Tyra Banks, even though my scale has been very positive with me. I love my scale lately (when it gives me the right numbers, that is!). Unfortunately self consciousness is something that I'm having trouble overcoming. That's why there are not very many pictures of me out in public.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm hooked

Well, what can I say, I'm starting to enjoy the fair isle knitting. I'm finally done with the first repeat in color/second repeat in pattern. Sounds funny, I know, but looking at the picture you'll know what I'm talking about.

There are at least three more repeats just like this one by the time the body is done. Wow. The bottom looks a little bumpy in real life, but it's getting better all the time. I just don't know if anybody holds the yarn the way I do. I hold the background color in my left hand, like the regular continental knitting, and then pull the pattern yarn out from underneath and wrap it around one stitch at a time, like the way Americans knit, just with the left hand also. I know I'm weird and if you didn't know it by now, well, I am. Hey, any which way it works is fine with me. Now this is really going to be a itch, warm and somewhat heavy sweater. Just what I need here in Georgia, right? Well, like so many other things, I love the sweater anyway, I love the pattern and for me it's mainly the journey, that I enjoy. I can still wear it instead of a jacket in winter time, I guess, but surely there has to be a long sleeve turtleneck underneath.

Also, here is something I found in my local library today. I've looked at the spine of the book a couple of times before, but never bothered to pull it out of the shelve until today. And now I can't believe I never noticed it.

It's "Sweaters from Camp" and it has 38 of the most gorgeous fair isle patterns in it. I had to take it home. I was going to give you all a sneak peak of some of my favorite patterns, but unfortunately the battery on my camera gave up on me. Partially, because there were so many I liked. I might just put that book on my wish list, but maybe I should finish the first Fair Isle sweater first, before I get all carried away with it.

Oh yes, the other one with the Barbie crochets just had to come home with me too. Not like I have a single Barbie doll in my house, but I'm just thinking of one more thing how to use up all those little balls of yarn rolling around in my leftover basket. Those would be so perfect for it. So if I'm tired of the big sweater and I need a quick fix and instant gratification I'll just pick up that book and a crochet book and go to town with it. Who knows what I'll come up with. You'll definitely know, because I'll blog about it.

So anyway, here are some of the pictures I was talking about:

Sorry for the blur, but since the camera's batteries were low I just snapped away and didn't wait for the focus. But you can still see the image somewhat.

This is, by the way, what I woke up to on Sunday morning.

In case you are wondering, it's coffee, a glass of Gatorade, dry fruit loops, two slices of very light toast, one of them in heart shape, strawberry yogurt and two chocolate suckers, which I bought for the boys to give to me so I could give them back to them. Did you follow that last part? It was sweet of them and they even got up at 6 am on a Sunday morning and those are the same boys that take forever to get out of bed on a school day! Also, I appreciated that they didn't try to set my kitchen on fire. :)


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fair Isle Update

Well, it finally made it! The yarn made it to my door step (ahem, like two days ago). I was glad to see it and had to open the box right away, of course. I was a little surprised about the yarn. I guess I expected a little softer yarn, but coming from Iceland, I guess I should have expected a little rougher yarn. All in all, I'm OK with it. It's just not merino or cashmere, but it's knittable and I'm getting used to the feel of it. There is just no way that I could wear this straight on my skin, but that's not what that sweater is intended for anyway. So here is the yarn:
Here is the pattern:

And here is my progress so far:

Looking at the pictures now, I have to say I'm kinda impressed about my self. Not so bad, I think. It's fun seeing the pattern emerge, but I tell you what, that beard (I think you know what I'm talking about) is growing with every color change. I also still have my issues when it comes to changing rows and starting a new repeat. I guess I need to do some more research on that one. And whenever I don't feel like putting up with it or I run into a problem, this is what I'm working on:

Excuse the blurry picture, but I really thought this was in focus, when I took the picture. Either way, can you identify the pattern? ......(Elevator music playing)..... Yes, it's Cookie's Monkey Socks. I was going to work on the Baudelaire Socks, but decided I liked this pattern better. It's really easy to remember and doesn't have too many lacy holes. Give it a try some time, it's fun.

Also I want to thank Marina and Laurie for their support in making a fair isle knitter out of me.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Vine Lace Baby Hat

Here are some pictures of my version of the Vine Lace Baby Hat from the Knitting Daily website. Isn't she cute? She is already over 30 years old and still in good shape. Not a wrinkle on her baby face. I couldn't decide which picture to use, so I posted them all.
This pattern and two more are compliments for signing up for their newsletter. The design is by Sandi Wiseheart. It only took me two days, with interruptions, to knit. I'm already on a second one, this time with a picot edge on the bottom.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Crochet FO

Here it is, the crochet Bolero, my latest FO. It was actually done last night, but it was late and I had to find a victim that would take a picture of me. I tracked down my trusty neighbor and also tried one of those famous bathroom mirror shots (I think I'm getting the hang of it). What do you think?

I guess it didn't turn out too bad. Of course I can't pull it off quite like the model, but I think it's nice. Maybe the grey is not the most flattering color, but that's what I had available at the moment. I also think that an extra row at the bottom of the bolero wouldn't have looked so bad either.

Now here is the next thing I'm working on:

Since we have a couple of pregnant soldiers in my husband's unit (needless to say they are here and not in Iraq), the wives are planning a baby shower. For that reason I started on this cute little baby hat. I found the pattern on the Knitting Daily website. This website is run by Interweave and has lots of interesting articles, a blog and daily new patterns. I signed up right away. I found it through the IK KAL, when somebody posted a FO from that site. Go check it out.
Oh, and I'm still waiting on the yarn from Webs for the Fair Isle sweater. .....ETA: monday. (?)

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Almost there

OK, blogger just had me loose my whole entry by me pushing some dumb button, so we'll try this one more time. Let's see. I wanted to let you know that my Bolero is getting there. In fact, it's almost done. I've attached the two sides to each other and I finished one sleeve and right now I'm working on the second one, which was actually the first, but I ended up pulling it out again and making it wider. I just don't like it, when the sleeve is too tight under the arm, plus I'm going to have to wear something under that little lacy piece here anyway, so we don't want it too snug. Anyway, all I have left is one half sleeve and the bands to tie it together. So hopefully the next picture you will see will have a model in it instead of a in-progress shot.

I ended up changing a lot of things on this pattern, size wise that is, but the pattern is still the same. The pattern is more like a guideline anyway and can be altered anytime. That's the whole beauty about handmade things.
On another project note I can tell you that I got the pattern for my next sweater in the mail yesterday. Thanks to Rhonda's speedy delivery I ended up with the pattern first and I'm still awaiting the arrival of the yarn, which doesn't even have to cross any borders. Hopefully it will be there by the time I get done with the Bolero, or I will be forced to slip another project in between. I love the pattern book and all the other sweater projects in it as well as the hats, scarfs and mittens. It will definitely be used for more than the one pattern, but it will surely be a challenge knitting them with 100 % wool in this kind of weather.
We already hit the 90 degree mark today and it was toasty, to say the least. To make matters worse we were getting all the smoke from a nearby wildfire, that has been going on for a couple of days now, so that was a plain headache day for me. Let's just hope that we actually DO get a little bit of rain soon to get rid of that fire the natural way, since firefighters here can't get it out. That sure reminds me of another fire we had in SoCal a few years back, that was right outside our door too. No fun at all, especially when you are getting packed up to go overseas and you are wondering if you are going to HAVE anything to be packed up. But as you can tell we made it and so did all our stuff and this one is further away, but still visible on satelite pictures.