Thursday, January 13, 2011

Still here, still knitting!

I know, everytime I post here, I say I'm going to be better about posting, and then I go months without a word.  Terrible blogger I am, huh?  Oh well.  Life happens, kids take up a lot of my time and energy (as I type, my 20 month old is climbing in and out of my lap!) and my blog gets pushed down on my priority list.  Sorry about that.

I have been busy knitting.  One of the few good things about living in a place that gets snow again is that hand knit items really come in handy!  I've made hats for several of my friends and relatives, scarves, blankets, and today I finished a sweater!  This one was SOOOO quick too, I highly reccomend it for anyone who wants the beauty of a hand knit sweater without the long committment of one.  I finished this sweater in under a week!  It is the "Iced" cardigan from, knit in Berroco Vintage bulky.  The yarn actually felt closer to worsted, so on the big needles (size 11) it has a very nice drape.  It is a top down raglan too, so no seaming!  And though I don't reccomend this, I will confess that I didn't do a gauge swatch.  I never do.  I hate swatching.  It's not a big deal with socks because I know that on size 1s, anywhere from 60-66 sts with fingering weight yarn will usually work with my foot size.  If the pattern has more or less stitches, I go up or down a needle size accordingly.  Scarves and blankets etc, gauge isn't that important.  With sweaters though it is a different story, so I'm lucky that my gauge is pretty consistant with the norm :-) 

Anyway, without further ado, I give you "Iced".  Great name considering the weather!

Crappy pics, I know, but I didn't feel like getting out the camera and the cord and all that.  Much easier to just email them directly from my phone.  I love technology!  And can you believe, the sweater is NOT purple?!?  It is a nice denim color.  It is soooo soft, a mix of acrylic, wool and nylon, and will be great for snuggling in while watching TV in the evenings.  I wouldn't even mind making another one of these down the road. 

OK that's all the time I have for blogging this evening.  I have a sick child to attend to and kids to tuck in.  Happy knitting!

Monday, August 16, 2010

new photos FINALLY!!

I know I've been saying for months that I would have photos of my projects soon.  Yeah, well, soon is finally here.  Sorry it took so long!  I couldn't get the camera cord to work on my laptop and my PC isn't working.  Finally my friend Dawn told me that she never uses the cord, just the card reader.  Oh, DUH!  Major smack-my-forehead moment.  I forgot all about the card reader!  After downloading the 200+ photos on my camera of the last couple months, I finally got around to not only posting them here, but (you may want to sit down for this!) posting them on Ravelry too!!  My handle is iffer over there if you want to add me.  I NEVER post things over there.  It used to be because the whole upload to flickr then to ravelry was too much hassle.  I couldn't even remember my flickr login info half the time.  But I finally put these 2 projects on there along with the couple projects I've had on there since I started Ravelry.  Maybe I'll start uploading more often. . .then again, with my busy crazy life, who knows.

close up of the pattern on the Cheshire Cat Stole.  Thank you so much again to my friend TB who helped me get this yarn!  Pagewood Farms Chugiak in Plum.  Matches my bridesmaid dress perfectly!!

since I used larger yarn and needles than the pattern called for, I took out one repeat.  Measured out perfectly during blocking!  Looks great!  I used silver beads, the bride's colors are sangria (plumish) and silver.  I will hopefuly have photos of me in the dress wearing it.
my Tappan Zee cardi.  I still need to find buttons.  never would have thought that purple and brown would look good together, but they really do on this!  I'm thrilled with it.  The purple is the lovely stuff Suna gave me as a going away gift and the brown is some stash knit picks stuff.  love love love this.  Now I just need to find the right color tank to wear under it. 

OK so I hope you enjoyed the pics I finally got around to posting!  Right now I'm working on the Timeless lace stole (I think that's what it is called) in the latest Knit N Style, and the hearts and flowers socks from wendy johnsons toe up socks book.  I think I've gotten addicted to lace. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

project excitement!

Ever create a project that you just can't wait to see finished? I'm talking about the projects that require blocking or assembling, so you dont get to really see how it looks unitl it is done and off the needles (or whatever other creating medium you may be using). 

I'm working on the Tappan Zee short sleeved cardigan from  I had 4 balls of this really lovely plum colored yarn with some sprakly stuff woven in that my friend Suna gave me as a going away present.  When I was organizing my yarn stash on my shelf as I was unpacking, I was setting it with my other DK weight yarn (I prefer to organize my yarn by weight) and happened to set it next to 2 random balls of knit picks swish DK in a chocolate brown.  I normally would never think plum and brown would go together, but these two blend beautifully.  I think the plum must have a bit of a brown undertone to it.  It looked so pretty together that I decided I'd have to make something with both of them.  I had it set aside waiting for inspiration to hit, and then the latest knitty came out.

I don't usually like knitting sweaters.  I refuse to knit any that require assembling.  Nothing with sleeves that have to be sewn in, or a back and separate sides.  Nope, too much hassle, and the one or two I've attempted were never finished because once i got the first couple pieces off the needles, I was bored.  Similar to second sock syndrome.  So, nope.  I have since decided that if it isn't some sort of seamless sweater, like a raglan, then I wll probably never make it.  I've also never really considered doing a sweater in Dk weight because I'm not a small person and don't feel like knitting a large garment in small needles.  However, the Tappan Zee sweater is a top down, seamless, cap sleeve cardigan.  I loved the pattern when I first saw it so I did what I always do when I find a pattern I like; I went to ravelry to see what others had done with the pattern.  That's the best way to see if the pattern is easy or to see what modifications people have come up with that you might like to do.  lo and behold, I saw one that caught my eye.  She had done it in 2 colors, with the top half one color and the bottom another.  I immediately thought of my 2 yarns that had formed an unlikely pair on my shelf.  This pattern is PERFECT for these yarns!  The top half is fancy, with a simple lace design worked in, and is perfect for the sparkly stuff.  The dark brown will be great for the bottom half, it is simple stockinette and the brown will (hopefully!) be slimming.  Near the bottom is on repeat of the diamond lace in each corner and then a few garter rows, depending on how far my dark brown goes I may do those in the plum.  I'm hoping to do the lace in the brown then the garter border in the plum.

The most exciting part is that I just finished the top part and bound off the sleeves, so I was able to sort of try it on.  I didn't put it all the way around because I didn't want to have to put it on scrap yarn and I didn't want to lose any stitches, but I tried on one side and it fits perfectly!  I will have to block it wuite a bit to show off the lace pattern, it scrunches a lot, but it looks beautiful.  I know, I know, I'm tormenting you by telling you how great it looks and then not showing you any pictures.  I emailed myself a reminder to take a photo tomorrow when the light is good, though.  I promise I will post one very soon. 

Off to knit on my sweater some more!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The "Ah-ha!" moment

last night I taught my first official knitting class.  I've taught informal ones before, showing friends how to do toe-up or 2 at a time socks, but never a real class at an LYS.  I had 3 students and was a bit worried when one gal said she's only been knitting for a few months, had never even done increases, and another gal was pretty new to knitting too.  The third had done socks before but not toe-up.  I know her from my knititng group, and I feel kind of bad bc she wanted to learn 2 at a time but the class is for 1 at a time and with the other two being somewhat newbies, I didn't want to confuse them.

First up was Judy's Magic cast-on, from  That's IMO the hardest part of the class, and it can be a bit disheartening since that's what they start with.  I had hand-outs, and I brought some worsted weight yarn to demo with so they could see better what I was doing.  The vetran got it pretty quickly after casting on once or twice.  The other two had some trouble, one got it cast on after a few tries but then started knitting on the wrong side.  The other gal had an awful time getting it cast on but finally about halfway thru the class, there was that AH-HA moment.  You know the one, the moment where things just CLICK, and you're like "Oh, I get it!" and it is somewhat smooth sailing from there.  All of a sudden they just got it.  It was great!  I showed the newbie how to do a kf&b increase and how to recognize if it was a row to increase on or not, even drew an example on the chalkboard!  I felt like a real teacher!  LOL.  By the end of class they were all at least halfway thru the toe!  One of them said "I'll admit, I was worried in the beginning that I was going to be dropping out of this class, but this really isn't as hard as I thought it would be!"  So that is encouraging. 

Their homework was to finish the sock thru the gusset so they could work on the heel next week.  I told them if they didn't get that far it is OK, we could work on it the following week.  It is a 3 week class, but the 3rd week is just the cuff ribbing and cast off, so they can probably handle it by themselves.  I also gave them my email addy in case they had problems. 

This is fun.  I enjoy teaching, I think I'm patient enough to be good at it, and I get to make a little extra yarn money.  WOOHOO!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hail to the Victors!

Yay!!!  My Michigan socks are done!!!  I started these months and months ago, then stopped working on them for a while, then would work on them sporatically, you know how it goes.  When we left Texas I was about 3 inches into them, just starting the first color change.  I worked on them the whole trip here, then kept them in the car to work on whenever we've driven somewhere.  I took them to my first venture to a Michigan knitting group the other night just because they were already in the car, and everyone was very impressed.  I was kind of embarassed because I wasn't trying to show off or anything, and most of the people there were working on simple projects, but they were all really nice.  In fact, one of the ladies reccomended that I should teach a sock class at a LYS, she teaches there and told me I shold talk to the owner.  So, I stepped way out of my box, went to the LYS, introduced myself and told her that S___ said I should talk to her about teaching a sock class.  GO ME!  She was very interested, she wasn't sure if she was going to do it soon or wait until fall since a lot of people are busy with spring sports then vacations right now, but she said she'd let me know soon!  I've taught a few people how to do toe up or magic loop or two at a time so I think I'll be able to handle it.  That would be a lot of fun!  She also had tons of great yarns, including berocco metalics sock yarn.  Yeah, had to buy a ball.  I also got some heavy worsted acrylic/wool blended yarn in verigated purples (DUH!) and Im working on a hopefully very quick stole for myself.  It gets chilly here at night, even on the nice days, and hubby and I like to sit on the deck after the kids go to bed, just to unwind.  I have plans for several stoles, once I finish getting all my stuff unpacked.  I've gotten 4 boxes of yarn unpacked this week.  I *think* that is all of it.  I may be wrong.  I have too much yarn!  Actually, no, you can never have too much.  LOL.  I do promise I'm going to start working on my stash though, I have a ton of sugar and creme that I'm going to start turning into dishcloths for charity, and some acrylic that will make good baby blankets or something. 

Anyways, without further ado. . .   My U of M socks!

I purposly started one on yellow and one on blue so they'd be funkier that way I wasn't going to have to worry they would match up.  These would drive my friend Aggie crazy.  :-)

Because the color stripes were so short (about one round per color) I did a slip stitch pattern to make them a little less dizziness-inducing.  the only thing I'm not thrilled with is the ribbing at the top.  The slip stitches all the way around the leg made them snug, and I did a 2x3 ribbing at the top to show off the color changes a bit better (the purl stitches made the stripes a bit wider and they were 60 sts around so a multiple of 5 was easy) the ribbing is actually less snug than the leg, so it ruffles a bit.  Oh well.

I just did a simple short row heel so that it didn't mess up the stripe patterning.  I usually wont' do a gusset heel on a self-striping yarn because by adding stitches it shortens the stripes and makes themlook funny.  With these, I love how the color pooled and the stripes went diagonally.  I'm very happy with them.

Here's a good close up.  I think they turned out pretty well.  Hopefully they bring my team some good luck when I wear them this fall.  GO BLUE!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

what I've been knitting

I'm still here.  I promise!  I keep saying I'm going to blog more and then life just gets too busy.  I'm sure you understand!  :-)

We're getting settled into our new house.  Still have wayyyy too many boxes to unpack, but I did unpack some of my knitting stuff so I'm set.  My son may only have 2 pairs of pants because I haven't found the box with his clothes, but I can knit him a pair or something, right?  LOL.  We'll get the rest unpacked soon.  :)

I have been knitting when I take a break, or when I sit down by the water with the kids.  I'm not crazy enough to let them go out by themselves!  Even when i am there they do insane things like jump into the 50 degree water.  I have a feeling that this summer they will pretty much be living in swimsuits.  Not a problem for me, I love the water! 

On the way here I worked on my U of M socks, I figured it was fitting.  I got the heels done and am almost to the point where I'll start the ribbing.  I'm trying to force myself to make them longer than usual, since I tend to make them too short because I get bored.  I want these to be nice toasty socks for football season, so I'm bound and determined to not make them anklets!  After much debate and worry over stretchiness (or lack therof!) I decided to go ahead and do the slip stitch pattern all the way around the leg.  I've tried them on several times and they seem to be fitting fine, so whew!

Here's a couple other projects I've finished:

A bib for my daughter, who has yet to really master the whole sippy cup thing.  I rarely put hand knit bibs on her because I'm always afraid she'll stain them, but I put one on her the other day and was amazed at how much more absorbant it was, so I decided to go ahead and make some more, just simple easy quick bibs.  This one took me less than 2 hours.  No specific pattern, I just knit by the seat of my pants for this one.  I liked it though, so I may attempt it again and write up the pattern.

Here she is wearing it:

I've gone a bit granny-square crazy lately, with all the preemie blankets.  This started with some leftover yarn from my february lady sweater and some sparkly stuff I got at my LYS when it was closing.  The medium teal is caron simply soft that I added because I knew I wouldn't have enough of the darker color.  This is a decent size lapghan that I had intended to put on the black couch in the rec room, but my children keep taking it upstairs to snuggle with it.  My daughter made some excuse this evening as to why she needed it to sleep with.  I guess I can't complain that they like it, huh?  :-) 
a bit of a closer view.

Next up is some more bibs, and another rectangle blanket made with some yarn I had gotten for a baby blanket that I never finished.  It will go to my youngest when it is finished. 

This wednesday hopefully (or maybe the following wednesday) I'm going to go check out a local knitting group.  I miss my old knitting friends terribly but I also miss the outlet that our group gave me.  I need the one night a week for Mommy time away from the kids!  So hopefully soon I'll get to go, I've heard good things about the group. 

Happy knitting!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's so hard to say goodbye

Last night my wonderful, fabulous, fantanstic Texas knitting friends threw me a going away party.  I figured we'd all get together and knit like always and I'd bring a cake, but I was surprised by many sweet gifts too.  It was wonderful!  Everyone had taken time to find beautiful yarns they knew I'd like, my friend Suna even found a list of patterns that would be perfect for the yarn she gave me (and she wore purple in my honor!!) Suzanne sewed me a beautiful project bag with various purple fabrics, Aggie sewed me a sock needle holder, Susan gave me flowers, Kim even hand spun me some beautiful purple and pink fibers.  Dawn laughed and said they had to coordinate because she had almost gotten me the same colorway, and she gave me a skein of yarnorama's color of the month.  I was so touched that so many people like me enough to not only come to a party in my honor but to spend the time to make me gifts or to pick out something perfect for me.  I have such wonderful friends and I am going to miss them so much!!  I will be coming back to visit (probably for a long weekend this winter when I'm freezing my ass off in snowy MI) and I hope we can all get together when I come down. 

Keep in touch, my friends!  I will miss you all!!!!