Thursday, February 21, 2008

works in progress/finished objects

Last Friday I took some photos of some projects I was working on. I realized today that they were still on my camera, so I took a few more pictures and finally uploaded them. Here's what I've been working on. As you can tell I'm not happy unless I have multiple projects going. As a matter of fact, I have since cast on an additional pair of socks that are purple lace. Anyway, here's my stuff:

some socks I'm working on. I'm further than this now, I'm about halfway thru the heel flap. Very basic stockinette stitch, anklets. I'm worried they may be a tad small for me though, but we'll see. pretty purply self striping yarn. Wool, unfortunately, but still pretty.

my progress on the "envelope afghan", although I'm about a foot and a half further since this photo was taken. Great easy mindless knitting. I'm doing it in three strips of the tan and 2 of black then will probably do a black single crochet around the whole outside.

this is a baby blanket I did, the colors didn't come out very well in the photo but it is a REALLY REALLY bright orangy/yellow and a blue verigated. The orange was free, a friend of my mom's passed it on to me. Several skeins of this and camo orange, the oranges clashed just enough that I can't really use them with eachother, so I was raiding my stash to find something that might work. Kinda funky colors though. I don't know. I do like the pattern though, it is actually crochet. Very easy, since I can do it ha ha ha.

this is the sweater I started for myself last night. I got the yarn at my LYS, in accordance with my new year's resolution of splurging on yarn for myself sometimes. Scott gasped when I said told him how much I spent, and I said "Yeah, but if I bought a nice sweater at Macy's it would easily cost that, and you're always telling me to buy nicer clothes for myself." he said "I thought the point of making it yourself was to save money?" LOL. He so doesn't understand! Anyway, it is butterfly cotton, very soft and light and georgeous colors. I got 2 different purples and a purple and green verigated.

these next 2 are photos of a pillow I made for some friends, he graduated from MSU and she's a big U of M fan. I had to force myself not to throw up on the MSU side when I was making it LOL. (GO MICHIGAN!!) THey loved it, and spent the whole weekend arguing over which side would be facing out on their couch and which side would be the dog's side. :-)

preemie hats galore. I've made 5 or 6 more since then. I'm having fun making these!!
my 2 faves, the one on the left has a flower on top (idea taken from a child's hat pattern somewhere) and the one on the right is my design with french knots done in oink on the center fair isle squares.

So that's what's on my needles. What's on yours?

Monday, February 11, 2008

free fair isle preemie hat pattern

I've been heading a drive from my online knitting group for preemie hats to send to Stitches from the Heart ( That got me thinking, and since I've always been terrible about giving something up for Lent (I usually end up cheating by day 20) I decided to make it my goal to make a preemie hat a day during Lent. By Easter I hope to have at least 40 hats made by me to donate. So far so good, I think I even have one extra in case I miss a day. But I digress. I have a couple of favorite patterns but after making 40 of them I knew I'd be sick of them, so I decided to make a few different ones. Last night I got in the mood to try some color work, as I'm still trying to get the fair isle thing down without having the threads be too long or two short. So, being too lazy to go up to my computer to search for a pattern, I came up with this:

This is the perfect project for someone learning to do fair isle, not too involved and only takes a short time to complete and has an easy to follow pattern. Lots of stranding though, so lots of practice. :-)
close up of the fair isle

the seam (blue hat) and the inside (purple hat).

OK, here's the pattern. I'd prefer if you made these for charity, but as with all my patterns you are free to make them and sell the items as much as you want, just please don't sell my patterns. If someone asks where you got it, send 'em here :-)

Worsed weight acrylic yarn (I used Caron Simply Soft)

size 5 straight needles. Gauge is not critical to this project, as preemies come in all sizes!

pattern notes: Stockinette Stitch-purl all stitches on wrong side, knit all stitches on right side.

C/O 48 sts in main color (MC). K2 P2 ribbing for about an inch, ending with right side row.

purl one row (wrong side)

switch to contrast color (CC), DO NOT CUT MC, and Stockinette stitch 2 rows. pick up MC along the side being careful not to pull too tightly, and begin colorwork pattern.

Colorwork pattern (sorry, I don't know how to do charts on the computer) is as follows:

row 1: *K2 with MC, K2 with CC* repeat across, pulling new strand over the top of old strand every time. It will be very twisted by the end of the row, but will fix itself as you purl back. Be careful not to pull too tightly as it will bunch. I usually spread the stitches out on the needle before pulling strand across.

row 2: *P2 with CC, P2 with MC* across

row 3: *K2 with CC, K2 with MC* across

row 4: *P2 with MC, P2 with CC* across

row 5: repeat row 1

row 6: repeat row 2.

work colorwork pattern thru once, then stockinette stitch 2 rows with CC. Cut CC, and pick up MC. Stockinette stitch 2 rows, weaving in end of CC as you go on the first row (wrap it around MC before every stitch for 5 or 6 stitches, this saves you time later).

decreases: row 1 *K6, K2tog* across.

row 2 and every following wrong side row: purl

row 3: *K5, K2tog* across

row 5: *K4, K2tog* across

row 7 and 9, K2 tog across (row 9 will end with K1)

Cut yarn, leaving a long enough tail for seaming. thread onto a tapestry or yarn needle and draw thru remaining stitches. Pull tight and turn hat inside out, lining up fair isle on either side. Using mattress stitch with right sides together, seam hat. Weave in any remaining ends and it is done.

If you have any questions or problems with the pattern please leave a comment so I can help! Enjoy! :-)

finished socks!

This sock thing is getting addicting! I finished my 3rd pair today and have plans, yarn and needles for at least 4 more pair. Now I have to choose which pair are going to be cast on first. Will it be the purple lace, the pink beaded, the plain stockinette with the self striping yarn, or the manually striped yarn in any 2 colors from knit picks pallette sampler? hmmmm, decisions, decisions.

here they are on my foot. Sorry, funky view but I was taking it myself. Mock cable ribbing. The only thing about them is that the selvege purl stitches don't quite line up since it was a dpn pattern that I converted to a 2 at a time on 2 circ pattern, but I doubt anyone but myself will notice.

side view. Just above the heel flap you can't see it but I actually started a different heel flap. The actual pattern called for you to slip stitches on each side, so that every stitch was slipped at least once. To me it made it too tight to knit comfortably and I wasn't thrilled with how it looked, but I had already done like 5 rows. Rather than attempting to tink that back, I just started from there with the heel flap I know, where you slip every other stitch on the front and purl them all on the back. But again, it is a mistake few would notice. I tend to hold myself to a higher standard than others expect from me :-)

Close up of the eyelet/mock cable ribbing and toes. I like kitchner stitch a lot. I know it is not popular among most knitters, but I find it very methodical and soothing, and over all I think it looks the best. I considered carrying the pattern thru the toe decreases but I was worried the ribbing would cause it to bunch in the toe, so I stuck to the pattern (GASP!) and did it just stockinette. Hopefully I don't wear holes in the bottoms of these. Oh, didn't I mention that on here? Yeah, my 2nd pair, the green ones that I was so thrilled with, have worn holes in the bottoms. I wear them around the house without slippers, and I guess walking on the carpet is not good for cascade 220 superwash wool. Good thing to know, preferably BEFORE you knit the socks. I was able to save them and put some duplicate stitches over the holes, but it isn't pretty. Oh well. now I know so I will be more careful. Darn it, I meant to buy slippers today at target!!

Anyway, back to my lovely orange socks. Orange is not a color I wear, well, ever. Although of course I say that and look down at my shirt to see a large orange flower on it, but that's the only article of clothing I own with orange on it, I swear! But this yarn was just sitting in my stash looking pretty and already balled on my ball winder, label long gone, so I had to do something with it. I love how the handpainted yarn looks, with subtle color variations. Now that I've seen a project made with handpainted yarn, I'm going to have to get more (or even, dare I say, dye my own!). too fun!

I've also been hard at work on preemie hats, and after I finish this post I'm going to do another post, yes 5 minutes from now, with a new preemie hat pattern I designed. :-) Enjoy!

Then after that I'm going to finish a project for some friends. Gasp, 2 projects (well, 3 counting the hat) done in one day?!?! What is happening to me?!?! LOL. Happy knitting!

Friday, February 1, 2008

guilt free knitting

I'm experiencing something I haven't felt in a couple months--the freedom to knit what I want, when I want. true, I really did have that all along but whenever I knit something for myself I felt guilty that I wasn't working on all the knit food for my friends. Not that they had deadlines or anything. They said they'd be happy to get it whenever I was able to finish it, but whenever I worked on something else I heard a nagging voice saying "finish the food!" LOL. So now that it is done, I can work on stuff for myself without guilt, and can switch projects at will. For example, I really want to do an envelope afghan. Several people on my knitting loop are making one, and the more samples I see the more I like it. Isn't that always the case? Anyway, I have the Simply Soft yarn I got for the square afghan I was doing, and I'm not thrilled with how that is turning out. I think it would have looked a lot better in the Homespun yarn the pattern reccomended. So I think instead I'm going to attempt to do an envelope afghan. Looks like a good pattern to work on in the car or when the kids are running around, its not complicated and looks easy to memorize. Never mind that I already have, uh (counting in my head) 4 projects going and plans for 3 more. Only a couple of them have deadlines, a pillow for some friends of ours that are coming to visit (its a quick project though and I'm almost halfway done already) and the Secret of the Stole 2, which I'm already behind in (clue 3 came out today and I'm halfway thru clue 2), but I WILL catch up.

It's an illness, I'm telling you. Last night I didn't want to go to bed. I wanted to stay up and knit, and I did for a while. I finally gave in at about 1 am and went to bed. I really just wanted to keep knitting LOL.

ALthough, I can't knit anymore tonight until I get some stamp stuff done. That's right, I'm working on another crafty project that doesn't involve knitting! Long ago, before I was a knitter I was a rubber stamper. I have enough stamp stuff that it fills a room. Seriously. My gameroom upstairs is all stamp stuff, sitting there collecting dust. I'm actually going to be doing a class tomorrow. That's right. I teach stamping. In fact, I'm a Stampin' Up! demo. Bet you didn't know that! Probably because I only talk about knitting. That's mainly because knitting can be done while my kids are awake and while I'm watching TV with hubby. ALl my stamp stuff is upstairs so it doesn't get used as much. Well, hardly at all if the truth be told. But, as we (my Mom and I are team demos) have customers that are begging for stamp classes, my knitting must be set aside for a little while so I can spend some quality time with my stamps. I miss them. really I do. I miss having ink on my fingers. I WILL stamp more, I WILL.

So, off to stamp! (then to knit after I'm done LOL).

Oh, a friend posted a funny quote on my myspace page today, I have adopted it as my signature quote line. "If I knit fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise?"


I'm a winner!!

OK, I'm not sure what the hell is going on with blogger, ugh, it won't let me hit enter in between photos so I can't separate the text and the pics but oh well. Please bear with me LOL. Anyway, I got an email today that I was one of the winners of the Charmed Knits KAL!! I sent in photos of the owl I made (it was supposed to look like Hedwig but ended up looking more like Errol LOL) and they drew random winners from all the people that submitted photos. I won a autographed copy of Charmed Knits, another book called "Visual Quick Tips: knitting" as well as a set of bamboo needles. WOOOHOOO!! I never win anything, so this is a real treat for me! :-) LOL. Here's some photos of my owl, I "wore" it to the release of the last Harry Potter book. My teenage brother who went with me pretended he didn't know me LOL @@.