December 07, 2006

Feet to Prayers Package

Yesterday the mailman brought this lovely package from Sharon in OH! There is a pretty sock in purple/blue/turquoise, a kitchen towel that she embroidered, a little card with the Footprints poem, and a magazine with some great cookie recipes. How did she know that I am in the middle of my holiday cookie baking! The sock fits perfectly! Thank you so much for your generosity Sharon!

November 29, 2006

Loopy Toddler Socks

I have finished my socks for both of my sock swaps. I'll post pictures here after I get the boxes out and my partners receive their goodies! I can hardly wait for the ladies to get them!

B loves to spin with me. I brought out my drop spindle a few weeks ago, and she had to spin too. I have a little one that don't use, so I gave it to her. I spun up a short length of yarn for her, and she had a blast "spinning" her own yarn.

She also loves socks and handknit things, so I made her a pair of slipper socks out of the first yarn I spun on my wheel. It is slightly thick and thin, but was mostly a light worsted weight. I'll give you the numbers that I used, but it is just a basic sock recipe. I did not write out explicit directions and I assume that you are already familiar with basic sock construction. If you aren't you can find a pattern with pictures here.

Size: Toddler size 6
Yarn: 100 yds worsted weight handspun wool
Needles: US 3, (3.25mm)
Loop Stitch: Knit 1, but so not remove stitch from left hand needle. Bring the working yarn to the front between the needle tips and wrap it around thumb. Bring the yarn to the back again, slip the stitch from the right needle back to he left, and knit it together with the original stitch. Another description with pictures can be seen here.

Cuff: Cast on 36 sts. Work these 6 rows back and forth
R 1: Work loop st. in every stitch.
R 2: Knit
Repeat these 2 rows 3 times. The remainder of the cuff is knit in the round. With the loops on the wrong side, join and work 10 rounds in k2, p2 rib.
R 1: Slip 1, knit 17, turn.
R 2: Slip 1, purl 17.
Repeat these two rows 9 times total.
To turn the heel, work as follows:
slip 1, k10, ssk, k1, turn;
slip 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn;
slip 1, k6, ssk, k1, turn;
repeat, working one more stitch before the decrease until all heel flap sts have been worked, ending with a purl row.
Slip 1, knit across heel, pick up 10 sts in slipped stitches of heel flap. Continue across the instep in st st, then pick up 10 sts on the other side of the heel flap.
Decrease for the gusset every other round until 36 sts remain. Work even until 1" from desired length (3 3/4")and then decrease for the toe.
Decrease eor (every other round) 3 times, then er (every round) 2 times. Graft remaining sts together.

Knit a second sock to match. If you knit a pair of these socks, please consider knitting another pair in some warm wool yarn and sending them to CIC.

Copyright 2006 Chrysalis Knits.

November 04, 2006

Knitting the blues

In my last post I forgot to show what else I had finished in the last week. I've been spinning up some blue and green merino to knit into a hat for A. I'll spin up the rest, with added glitz, to make a hat for B. I spun a firm but springy two ply and is 270 yds in the two ounces. I probably won't start the other two oz. for a week or two.

It has gotten chilly here lately, so I took out some fruit hats that I made last fall while I was pregnant. It is a blueberry hat, inspired by several other fruit hats I've seen, but I didn't knit with a pattern, I just used my basic hat formula and added green at the top and a little leaf. I used Wendy/Peter Pan Velvet Touch. It is like knitting velour and, unlike chenille, it doesn't worm. I love this for baby things! It is so soft. So here is a picture of A today, before our walk to the park.

November 03, 2006

A knitting "snack"

I've been diligently working on both of my swap socks and some soakers. I am almost finished with the heel of one, and I'm very happy with how it is working out. It is always nice when what you see in your head actually works on your needles! No pictures now, but I'll have some when my partners have theirs socks. I did finish another soaker this week. I love playing around with fair isle patterns and variegated yarns, and I thought that this one came out really well. More Patons Classic Wool since it was close by when I needed it.

As for my knitting "snack".... I was tired of sock knitting for the day, and last weekend while shopping for some fabric for some Christmas gifts, B found this yarn that she loved, Caron Glimmer, a glittery chenille, in purple. She loves hats and has been trying to wear several hats that are too small, so I figured that his would make a nice hat for her. Since I only had 49 yards to work with, I used a circular cast on and arbitrarily cast on 9 stitches. I started increasing at regular intervals and worked from the top down to use every last inch of yarn. After weaving in the ends, I had two inches of yarn left at each tail! I think she looks pretty cute in her new hat, and I enjoyed my "snack" knitting. Now I can get back to my socks!

October 18, 2006

Harvest Socks cast on and Soaker

I've finally cast on the socks for my Harvest Sock Swap partner. It's a pretty pattern, but not too complicated. The yarn is not to busy, but nicer than a plain solid. I hope that my partner will like it. But I'm not going to post a picture of my sock until after I finish the sock and my partner receives it. I want it to be a surprise!

But I do have one picture. I finished this soaker earlier today. It is Paton's Classic Merino in leaf green. It is a modification of the Curly Purly pattern. As much as I don't care for 1x1 rib, it does stay on well, and the long waistband covers even the bulkiest nighttime diaper.

October 14, 2006

Finished Bee Sweater and FTP Yarn

Well, I finally finished the baby bee sweater. I used about one and three quarters skins of Lion Brand Wool Ease. It's not my favorite yarn, but it is for a mom that I don't think will want to handwash them. My mom fell in love with the bee buttons, and we though they would look cute sewn on to the honeycomb sections. It's my own design, but I don't think that I can write a pattern for it since I just made it up as I went. The hat is my own design as well, but I can probably write a pattern for that if anyone is interested.

I am please with how the hat turned out too. I started without much of a plan, and had no idea what I would do about the decreases when I got there. I think they flow pretty seamlessly, and I really like how the top came out, and especially like the flower-like shape.

I also spent a few days during naptime and a few evenings to spin just under two ounces of rainbow colored Bluefaced Leicester top into a three ply sock yarn. I've never Navajo plyed on such a large scale before, and I really like how the colors maintained their separation, yet blend nicely too. The color is much more true in the picture of the bobbin of yarn. In the skein the colors look a little garish, but they are prettier in person, and I think they will be perfect in the sock I have planned for my FTP (Feet to Prayers) partner.

October 04, 2006

Feet to Prayers Swatch

I've been working on my Feet to Prayers sock swap swatch, and I narrowed it down to two patterns. The multicolored yarn is a different color than the one that I will use, but it was what I had on hand. I'm finding that I am spinning a little finer than I'd like, so I'll have to work on that, and it is already a three ply! So, which pattern do you prefer, the top or bottom?

October 03, 2006

Harvest Sock Swap

I haven't had too much time for knitting in the past week, but I did get a swatch knit up of the cable pattern that I want to use in my partner's socks. It is a 20 row cable that I don't recall having seen much before. It is not as prominent in the variegated yarn, but I like it anyway! Now that I have swatched the cable, I can figure out my gauge and get started on the sock itself!

September 27, 2006

Baby sweater progress, and Harvest Sock Swap yarn

I've been working almost exclusively the honeycomb baby sweater. I finished the body last night, and the sleeves should only take a few more days. The button band is a braided cable with the button holes in between cable twists. Here's a picture of the progress:

I also decided on the yarn for my Harvest Sock Swap sock. It is a variegated blue Sockotta. It should work up nicely and I'm leaning towards more cables.

And here is a picture of B playing her guitar with her daddy. She loves music!

A is getting so big. He is the happiest little guy. His sister just dotes on him. They are so cute together, even when they are threatening to drive me crazy!

September 23, 2006

CA Feet to Prayers Sock Swap Questionnaire

When is your birthday? January 12th

Do you spin your own yarn? If so, do you also like to work with raw fleece (washing, dyeing, carding) or only from prepared fibers (roving, top, batts)? I like working from both raw fleece and prepared fibers, but I have enough fleece at the moment. I'm starting to save for a drum carder to process the fleeces I have.

What small projects do you like to make? Socks, mittens, scarf, hat, baby items, wash cloths, doilies, shrugs etc. I love knitting socks, but have been knitting more baby things lately again, especially since B and A are the right size for it!

What are your favorite scents? My favorite it vanilla, but I like anything that smells like home baked goodies, like cinnamon cookies, hazelnut coffee, pumpkin pie, etc.

Do you like stationary and cards? I like both. I've been looking for some plain cards since all I seem to have are "thank you" cards!

Do you like hand lotions or soaps? I like lotion, but haven't been using it much lately since I wash my hands so much. That will probably change though, especially once the cold weather sets in.

Do you like to make/or use stitch markers? I usually prefer to use a piece of yarn/thread for stitch markers since I can move them more easily and they don't snag on my yarn.

Do you collect anything? I collect post cards. I used them as wallpaper in one of my rooms during college.

Do you have any allergies? Smoke, food, fiber, pets, etc. I don't have any allergies.

Do you have any hobbies? (besides knitting, of course!) I've been sewing a lot lately, and spinning, of course!

Do you like scented or unscented candles? I'm partial to scented candles.

Are there any books you are secretly wishing for? I've been looking at Wendy Knits book, but other than that, I don't think so.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse/story or character from the Bible? My current favorite verse is Matthew 18:3-6 (ESV)- "Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Seeing B grow and ask questions, this is so real to me, I think that we all need to see the world through the eyes of a child more often.

September 21, 2006

Busy Week

This has been a busy week and a half. Last week my husband's car broke down. We fixed it, and not wanting to deal with any more car troubles, we sold it last night! It was only listed for two hours before we got a call. Praise God for the quick sale and the much needed funds! We are now down to one car, but that will be okay for a few months. Fall has also arrived here, so I've been strapping A into the Snugli, and have been taking B for a walk every day. She loves to hunt for acorns, pine cones, bird feathers (because "feathers help birdies fly, Mommy"), and various other things that are such treasures to two-year-olds. It is wonderful to be able to do this again after the scorching summer that we had. Since it has been too cool for swimming, I used B's pool to dry some fleece that I washed last week. It was dirty and I had almost given up on it since I usually wash fleece in the sink, but I decided to try the washing machine method since I wasn't going to lose anything, and it came out pretty well. It really is a pretty fleece, a nice variegated grey Corriedale.

I've been steadily working on my husband M's sweater. I've finished the back and am almost to V-neck shaping on the front. I am looking forward to the color sections of the sleeves again. This isn't the greatest picture, but I wanted some natural light.

My mom is going to a baby shower for her best friend's daughter next month and crocheted a blanket for her. She asked me if I could knit a sweater and hat set. The daughter's favorite color is yellow, and since they do not know the gender of the baby, we went with that. They also have a bumblebee bedding set, so I decided to design a sweater with honeycomb cables. Mom found some cute bee buttons that we will sew on the front. I'm knitting a raglan cardigan from the top down. I just started this yesterday, and am pleased with the progress thus far.

I took a break from knitting a few nights ago and spun up one of the samples that I got from Carole at Twin Brooks Farm. She has such beautiful blends. This blend was my least favorite of the bunch, reds, yellows, and oranges are just not my cup of tea, but my mom loves autumnal colors, so I'll need to find something to combine this with since it is only 1/2 oz. and 41 yds.

This lovely skein of yarn arrived this week from Bear Farm Yarns. It is a heathered burgundy and is a heavy worsted/aran weight. It is from their flock of Corriedale sheep. This skein is destined to become a soaker for a dear friend. I started the pattern in another yarn but didn't have enough, so I am looking forward to seeing if the finished soaker matches the picture in my head. Can you tell that I really don't like to follow patterns and would rather design my own!

I also received my Harvest Sock Swap pal, and have picked out a nice yarn for that, and hopefully will get it cast on this weekend. I just need to spend some time and swatch up some of the designs in my head and see what looks good.

September 11, 2006

New Blog

Well I tried transferring my old blog to Blogger Beta and didn't like it at all, so I am starting over. I am up to the arm holes on my husband's sweater from Family Circle Easy Knitting, Fall 1999. It is an easy knit, but interesting too.

I took some pictures of how I hold my yarn for stranded or fair isle knitting. I hold the background color over my left index finger (I knit Continental), and wrap the pattern color in the opposite direction over the index finger. If there is a third color, I use my middle finger to carry it.

In the photos, the background color is charcoal, the pattern color is denim, and the third color is light grey. When I pick up the light grey, I go under both of the other strands. When working with two (or more) colors, it is important to be consistent when carrying the colors across the back. I always carry the background color over and the pattern color under. Both Ann Feiteleson and Alice Starmore discuss this in their respective Fair Isle books.