Saturday, June 30, 2007

Next FO/MS3 update

After recovering from that moving experience with the fair isle sweater I had to go right ahead and finish something else. Yup, the lace doily is finished too and just in time for the kick off for the Mystery Stole. So here is my finished doily. It's from the book "The Lacy Knitting of Mary Schiffmann" on page 41 and is called the plastic doily, because she retrieved the pattern from some cheap plastic print they sell in card stores. Funny, but it sure came out beautiful.

Instead of 18 inches like described in the book I ended up stretching it out to 24 inches. Must have been the yarn. So right now it's suffering on my floor, being tortured into shape, but isn't it pretty?

Ok, now that we have covered this subject really quick, lets move on the the next one. Yesterday Melanie released the first clue of this years Mystery Stole and I tell you it must have been a frenzy getting that pattern. I took my time. I waited a couple of hours and had not a single problem downloading the pattern and printing out the four pages for the first clue. I still get all the emails for all the messages people post on the yahoo group, but I sure don't get all of their problems. They are worried about the beads, the crochet hook to use, the color of the beads, the yarn, reading the pattern as a chart or written out. My god, use some common sense and just do it. Sorry, but I had to let this out. Most the time I just skim through the subjects and delete one after the other. The only message I really read are the ones from Melanie and with half of them she has to answer questions to topics mentioned above.

Now do you still want to see what the first clue looks like all knitted up? Originally I thought I could stay up all night and get it done, but that was wishful thinking. Plus I my good night sleep got interrupted by my dog barking when some kids (I assume) had nothing better to do than egg, tp, key and do some other disgusting things to some cars in our neighborhood. Hooray to my guard dog. My neighbors car ended up with salad dressing on the windows. Now that's a new one.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the clue. Well, I finished it today and pinned it out so you can see the beautiful pattern emerge.

The group is still open to new members until coming Friday. She will close up the group then and post the second clue. So if you got a taste for it now and still want to be a part of this group with currently more than 3500 members then go for it and sign up, because the count down is on.
No I'll go back and stare at my yarn and figure out what I'll do for the next couple of days until my yarn from KnitPicks arrives or the next clue comes out.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Semi Finished Object

This one is for Marina. I did it! I cut it, I finished the steeks and almost finished my Fair Isle sweater. All I need to do now is tuck in the beard and sew the sleeve steeks down and I'm done. Here is a picture documentary:
The cut of the machine reinforced steek.

The inside of it.
The arm steek.
The almost finished sweater in the blurry bathroom mirror.

Aren't you all proud of me? I finished my first real Fair Isle sweater, steeks and all. I still like the color and knitting was fun, but ....

Yes, here it comes, the but of the story. I don't like the scratchy yarn and I wish I would have made it a size bigger. Given the fact that there has to be clothing worn under this sweater it is fitting somewhat snug. Also, if you can tell, the sleeves could have used another inch in length. But it's too late to change that. There is NO WAY that I will take out one single stitch on this sweater. I rather give it up to someone that deserves it and appreciates all the work that went into it. Hey, it was a learning experience for me. I don't know why I was afraid of cutting into my knitting. Well, yeah, it sounds really scary, but after having my sweater under the presser foot of my sewing machine, nothing scared me anymore. Not even the scissors coming towards all those stitches, soon to be cut into two pieces.

What could be the next challenge awaiting me? Who knows. For now I have to finish the doily, I will swatch the merino/silk once more before Friday with a 2.5 mm to see the difference and another Knit Picks project is on the way to me. The other one should be printed in the September catalog, the next one then in October.

Happy knitting

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Weeding through the stash

Today I was weeding through my stash. Why? I was searching for the perfect yarn to cast on a chevron scarf. I got the book with the pattern from the library so I could get started. So off I went and dug out every piece of yarn I could find in the house. I dumped them all out on the floor and started sifting through and put them back into the boxes and bins. May I present the result?

Handspun yarn compliments of Rachel (shoebox), leftovers (plastic bin), various yarns in multiple skeins of each color (big box), acrylics (basket), unknown (small box), fun fur (bag in front of basket), cashmere (zip lock) sock yarn (laundry basket) oh, and behind the knitting machine is another plastic box with various yarns I brought from Germany. Remember, you can only see the tip of the iceberg or in this case the top of the box and they aren't stuffed with paper either.

After putting all my organisational skills to work I still didn't know what to use for the scarf. I made one out of sock yarn, matching his mittens and socks, for my little one before. He wore the heck out of the mittens and the socks, but was complaining that the scarf was itchy. I think it was just not soft enough, so I'm leaning towards the "others" instead of the sock yarn. I'm even thinking of mixing up different yarns and giving the pattern a new twist. I guess I'll sleep on it, work on my doily, research steeks a little more, try to get over the fear of cutting into my sweater and give it another try tomorrow.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mystery Stole 3 Swatch

I guess I have to swatch my yarn for the mystery stole to get a feel for it and an idea how it looks like. I ordered the Grignasco Merino/Silk from the Woodland Woolworks in natural white, which has a yardage of 1533 y/3.52 oz or 1.400 m/100 g. I was so sure I could use my size 5 needles, but that was a wrong thought. Way to big. Now I tried the 3 mm needles I used for my kimono shawls and this is the result.

What do you think. This is the 35 stitch swatch which gives me a good 5.5 inches in width. Now, if the whole stole doesn't have more that 99 stitches, I'll end up with roughly a 16 inch stole instead of a 22 inch. Hmm, well I'm afraid if I use bigger needles than that it'll look very holey so 16 inches it is. Also, I put in some beads I found. They are size 8/0, as requested and the bottom row is in crystal, which has a rainbow sheen to it and the top ones are in ice, which is pretty much clear. Unfortunately the picture doesn't show much of a difference, if you can even see the beads at all.
Now, what do you think? I guess I'll leave it like this.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Recovery Sunday

Today is a lazy day to recover from this week. Yesterday we went to the beach and came back with a nice sun burn. My older son, which tans easily and usually never has a problem with the sun, has his first sun burn and is not very happy about it. Welcome to my world. So the only thing we are doing today is hanging out the house, maybe cleaning all the sand out of my Jeep, and knitting on stuff. That is my part anyway. I don't think my boys are going to start knitting for me, like Tiennie's husband. Hale to him, I bow in respect.

I've been doing some stuff these last couple of days. Here is what is going out in the mail today. Still shrouded in mystery, but this is all you get until the catalog comes out. When? I don't know yet.

Then I did a dozen of those again. Since we are an army post with mostly deployed soldiers right now, these flags are selling very well. Bad for us wives, who's husbands are gone, but good for me.

I'm getting ready for the start of the MysteryStole 3 on Friday, the 29th. I'm itching to get the first clue and casting on with the very soft merino/silk blend yarn I ordered just for this stole. I also have beads to knit in with it, but I'm undecided on the color. The race is on between the ice and the crystal. I'd show you pics of the beads, but my camera didn't want to focus the way I wanted it to and then the batteries ran out.

Then there is another thing that is holding my knitting spirits above water. Since I'm not in the mood for socks at the moment (Monkeys are sleeping), I don't want to touch 100 % iceland wool in almost 100 degrees (Fair Isle is hibernating), there was a certain lace doily that was calling my name and I answered. I found this nice pattern in The Lacy Knitting of Mary Schiffmann. It's called the plastic doily and it's just what's keeping me busy until Friday. As you can see I've already made some progress. I don't know what it is with the circular lace knitting, but it's fun. I don't know who this is for, but I had to knit something interesting, airy, lacy for now and that was it. I'm knitting this with 100 % Cotton crochet yarn on 2.5 mm circular needles. It's some german brand that gives me 267m/50g and is usually worked with a 1.5 to 2 mm hook. I know I'm nuts, but that's just me.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another blog to destash

For all of you that miss the destash for cash blog, here is another one to check out. I stumbled across it and had to put in on my favorite feed right away. Here is the link

It seems to be pretty simular to the old one, but is run by different girls. They also have a "sister" blog for people that are looking for certain item. You can go there from this blog. Check it out.

Now back to our regular scheduled knitting.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mystery Stole 3 KAL

So I've signed up for another KAL, like we don't have enough to do right now anyway? But I couldn't resist. I also got most of my stuff in order to get started to. I went to the Mall today (which is a place I like to avoid or lets say I go in, get what I need and leave) and got my beads. AC Moore is having a sale on jewelry making supplies with 50 % off, so I paid 50 cents for a 3/4 oz. of 8/0 seed beads and it didn't bother me too much that I couldn't make up my mind on which color to get, so I just got both. No big hole in the budget there. I also ordered my yarn from Woodland Woolworks on Friday for 20 %. They must have heard about the Mystery Stole. You think? Anyway, I decided on the Grignasco 80/20 Merino Silk in natural white. When the yarn comes I can still figure out if the ice or the shimmer beads look better with it.

Also I'm getting closer to completing the back portion of the knitpicks project. That is the third of the five pieces I need to complete it. Come on, can I make it any more obvious? Never mind. I'm knitting all the time and soon my neighbors are going to call the wagon with the nice people with the long sleeve white jacket. Did you ever try knitting with your hands tied behind your back? Hmm, I wonder. :)

Another thing, Sue just had to tell me about another KAL. It's the one for all those cute little Chevron scarves that are floating around out there. So if you are knitting one, or in her case two or more, this is the place for you to sign up.

Also I think it's time I admit it and get signed up with the knitting addicts and get their button on my blog, if they think I qualify. I don't see any reason why not. :)

PS: Did we have enough links on this entry?


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Army

To all of you that didn't know it, today is Flag Day and also today is the US Army's 232nd Birthday. So

Happy Birthday Army!!!

Ok. I did my duty as an army wife, now back to the regular schedules programming, which contains knitting. Oh, that reminds me. Has any of you watched the show "Army Wives" on Lifetime yet? It's pretty interesting. It's on on Sundays at 10pm and repeats during the week a couple of times, like this afternoon at 2pm. Check it out if you want to.

Here is my finished body as well as the finished sleeves for the fair isle sweater. Taa-daa:

This is what's left over.

I only need some yarn to sew in the sleeves and to knit the neckline and the rest is..., well I guess it's going in the stash. Oh, Laurie, in September, if you should be running low on some of your Lopi yarn, remember, that I have some to spare, in case you need it.

I guess I could give you a little peek at what the UPS man brought me yesterday. Just in time when I finished off the second sleeve, the rang my door bell and brought me the package with the yarn and instructions from Knit Picks. Yuuhuu. More yarn.
(Sorry about the tease, but I'm not sure yet how much I can show and I don't want to get in trouble yet. :)

Of course I had to cast on right away and after a late nighter I actually finished the first piece. It's being blocked as we speak and I'm working on the second piece. Hey, I can knit and watch TV at the same time. At this rate I won't have any problem with the deadline at all.

Well, gotta knit and the kids demand their best friend (the computer) back. It's a hard life for kids nowadays, when mom needs to use the computer and they don't know what to do with all that time. Well, back in my days.... Don't worry, I'll spare you, plus I'm not THAT old.

Later and happy knitting. :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

It's all your fault!

Oh, this is all your fault. No, I'm not angry, it's just that with all those enablers out there I couldn't resist and had to sign up for the Mystery Stole 3.

Last year, during the process of the MS2 I got to know Keri and I followed the development of the lacy stole with great interest. After a couple more lace pieces in between I'm sure this one is going to be much fun to be a part of. It's just, what did I get myself into? Am I growing more arms? Has my day suddenly more than 24 hours. We'll see.


Ok, here it is

You were wondering what I was making the fuzz about? Well, it's not a big thing for some people, but it's great for me. I was approached by knit picks (yes, the catalog) to be a test knitter for them. Don't ask me how I got that honor, but I think it's too cool. I didn't want to jinx it before it was official. I can't believe I'm getting paid to knit, which I'm doing in my spare time anyway, and believe me, spare time I have lots of. I love this. I already have my first project on the way to me. I'm not allowed to tell you exactly what it is, but I guess I can show little hints, kinda like Eunny did with her entrelac socks, or Grumperina with her sock in on of the latest IK issues. That's why my own knitting is going to be on hold for a while, because those projects have deadlines I have to keep. I hope that the blog won't be getting boring for my devoted audience now, but I'm hoping to have time for some regular knitting in between too.

I was thinking of signing up for the mystery stole 3 or knitting something from my new book lace style, that I got not too long ago, but I guess I have to concentrate on my first real paid knit project to see how my timing is. I've never really kept track on how long things took me to finish, sometimes I had some distractions, but do you remember how fast I zoomed through that Rona Lace Shawl? And that was not a dish cloth either. That shawl was huge, but it was fun and interesting to knit and that's what kept me going. So we'll see how that first project will be. Keep you fingers/needles crossed for me that I don't screw this up for myself. My kids are very confident that I'll have no problem. Well, I guess they don't mind eating take out, when I don't have time to cook or finding their favorites (Chef Boyardee or Pizza) on the menu :)

Oh, and I started on sleeve # 2 for the fair isle sweater and finished one for two monkey socks. A productive weekend after all, even though I caught my sons cold.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Happy Anniversary to me

I just wanted to share with you what my husband sent to me via UPS yesterday. It was a box that looks like a little house and had this little guy in it.

Isn't he sweet? I don't have a name for him yet, so I'm open for suggestions. After 17 (!) years he still knows how to surprise me. Now this is a Build-a-Bear and he was made to my husbands wished, tuxedo, sash and roses added, the way he wanted them. Since my husband is more than 13,000 miles from home he is the next best thing for me to hug. And for all of you that wanted to see what I looked like, here we go. (The one with the red shirt is me).

I also have other news, that I can't reveal yet, because I don't want to jinx it (no! no family expansion here) I have something simmering, that might put some of my knitting projects, even planned ones on hold. I'll give you more hints as things develop. I bet I got you on your toes now. In the meantime I'm finishing up the first sleeve on my fair isle. Laurie, do you hear me? Keep up, girl.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Much better!!!

I'm happy. I took the sleeves off of my Bonita and redid the I-cord border and how do you like me now?

The before

The after

The close up of the make over

Much better I think. I tried the (now) sleeveless top on to take the picture and haven't taken it off since. I swear, I'm still wearing it. I'm so happy with it now. I still didn't make it outside with it though, because the 95 degrees on the thermometer don't seem very much inviting for me to go and check my mail. It's not going anywhere and will still be there, after the sun goes down. Now that I love my "new" top so much, I was thinking of making another one, similar to this one, but in different colors and pattern. The local library called today for me to pick up the books I reserved. They are three lace knitting books. I'll get them tomorrow and let you know what I found.

Also, I'm finally close to finishing monkey # 1. Somehow I just can't get myself to stick with these socks very long. I decided they will be for my sister in Germany, since I think I owe her some more socks for all the nice packages she keep sending me.

Also, the sleeve on the Fair Isle sweater is growing. I should be passed the half way point, since I'm on the second color repeat now and the sleeve ends on the third red part. Can you follow my thoughts without visual confirmation?

Keep the needles going, even if it's hot here today.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Bonita Redux

Wanna know what I did just an hour ago? I took Bonita, she completely trusted me, and I ripped her sleeves out. Yes, you are reading right. I had to fiddle with it for little while, but I took the sleeves out. After seeing Tammy's Bonita and the way her sleeves fit so perfectly, I decided it's time to do something drastic with mine, or I won't wear the shirt at all. I was going to wear it this morning, but a look in the mirror made me take it off again, so we went ripping. Instead I'll make it a tank or sleeveless shirt. I think that is the best way to go for me. I'll pick up the stitches and make an I-cord finish, just like before. Don't hate me for it, I just wanted both of us to be happy.

Also, I spent some time in one of my favorite stores today (Bath and Body Works) which is having a great sale and now my house smells wonderful like moonlight path and fresh linen. Hmmm. Hey, it was raining and I had to wait for the shower to be over, so I wouldn't get soaked.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Body is done

We actually had some rain yesterday. I mean all day! It hasn't rained here in weeks, maybe even months and we had wild fires between GA and FL going on for weeks. Hopefully that rain took care of that. I tell you, I felt sorry for my dog. I went out twice with her, but we got so wet that she didn't want to do what she was supposed to.

Anyway, that called for a whole day of knitting. After dragging myself onto the treadmill for an hour (oh, I'm so proud of myself) I devoted the rest of the day to the Fair Isle sweater and I finished the body of it. Here are some pictures. I hope I did everything right. It's not falling apart, so I guess I didn't do too badly.

This is a front view of the sweater, a side view with the steek and the "beard" and the shoulder seam with the edge of the steek. Now I don't know if I was supposed to connect the shoulders, if the steek isn't cut or secured, but I just did it that way. Now more pictures.

A picture of the neck steek and two more of the whole shoulder seam and the neck opening all together. As you can tell, I'm not rushing to cutting anything yet. I'm letting this body sit and simmer for a while, while I work on the sleeves. I already started last night on the first one. Hey, my neighbors next door didn't let me sleep anyway. At 11.20 pm they decided to bang with something on the wall on and off until almost midnight. I was going nuts. Do they have to do their remodeling in the middle of the night? Anyway, since I didn't get to sleep until after midnight, I started the sleeve. I hope I'm doing the increases right. I'm working it on a circular needle with the magic loop, just like if it was a sock. I don't have any dpn in that size.

Isn't that a nice basket full of yarn? This is how I travel from place to place, when I knit. I move it from my bed to the couch to the front porch, to the back yard. It's nice and portable that way.

I still haven't figured out what my next lace project from the lace style book is going to be, so if anybody has any suggestions or wants to knit something at the same time, let me know. It's always more fun to knit together.