Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Mini Vacation

We're off this morning for a little mini-vacation. A four hour drive (knitting all the way of course) and then a few days at my sister-in-law's (and another four hour knitting session on the way back). Good thing I have my knitting as I have a low tolerance for car travel.

After finishing up the Eyelet-Cable Tank last night I quickly drafted up plans for a second tank, this one using the red mercerized cotton I got at the bargin price of only $2. It will be my "on the road project" so I had to get it ready. It was no big deal to draft this second pattern as it was virtually a copy of the first, only with a different stitch pattern. I was so happy with the Eyelet-Cable tank that I thought, "Why mess with a good thing?". I did lower the front neckline by one inch though.

I was at the LYS recently and took a look at the going rate for mercerized cottons and found that they ranged from about $5, to over $7 per 50g ball. The $2 cone I picked up at a thrift store has 450g! That would be equal to 9 of those $5-$7 balls. So for $2 I picked up the equivalent of $45 to $63 worth of cotton. Awesome.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


The Eyelet-Cable Tank Top is now officially complete. I am very pleased with the way it turned out.

I think the edging around the armholes and neckline turned out very well. It gives a nice neat finish to the edges. It is simply a row of stitches picked up and knit, a round of purl (right side) followed by a purled cast off. It lays very nicely and goes well with the pattern in the body of tank top.

And now on to the bargin cotton and the designing of another tank top.

Tonight's the night.

Last night I finished knitting the front of the Eyelet-Cable Tank Top, and stayed up late in hopes of getting the finishing done. I found it took a lot longer than I expected to pick up and knit so many stitches. I got ONE of the armholes done. The edging is turning out great! I still have the neckline and the other armhole to finish and then will be able to take it with me tomorrow on my trip. :-) Before I go I will put up a picture.

Monday, July 26, 2004

It fits, it fits!

As planned I got the side seams of the Eyelet-Cable tank sewn and then tried it on. It is fanTABulous! I love it, love it, love it! Just the motivation I needed to get zooming along on this on again, off again project. I am nearly to the neckline of the front and of course, once the center stitches of the neckline are cast off it will go much faster. As I suspected, it looks like the back will be a little too short, but it is just a matter of taking out the shoulder short row shaping and knitting another inch or so. I will leave it for now, just to be sure, and will double check when I have the front completed.

I don't think I have quite enough knitting time left to finish the tank before a short road trip planned for Wednesday......but I am going to try. I really want to wear it.

With the great success of the Eyelet-Cable tank, I will likely use the same measurements but a different gauge and stitch pattern to generate a pattern to use with the new, thrift store bargin, red cotton. And once again the Bed and Breakfast Pullover gets shoved further down the line.

Eileen, in answer to your comment, I haven't done much on the Bed and Breakfast Pullover for a while now. I have the back complete and the front started (about 3 inches done) and there it sits. I keep shoving it to the back burner as other, more summer friendly, projects come to the forefront. It WILL be done by fall though, rest assured. I love knitting it, but want to knit up my summer weight projects first. The Bed and Breakfast Pullover is going to be a HOT one. Probably too hot for me to wear comfortably even in winter. I am knitting it more for the challenge than anything.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Turbo Charged

I was cruising through some of the KRring links and at EI Knits I found a link to a personality test. I came out as "Turbo Charged" which of course delighted me as I use Addi Turbo circulars exclusively. I do think I show traits of all the different "needle" categories though.
turbo charged
You are "turbo" charged.
Fast moving and classy, you get things done with
power and grace. Your expensive tastes can be
deceiving, since what you really value is
quality and efficiency. As you're careening
around those corners in life, finishing a dozen
knitted objects each month, stop and smell the
roses. Don't miss the beauty of process!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Up to the pits.

Last night I reached the armpits on the front piece of the Eyelet-Cable tank top. Actually, I knit one row too far and had to "tink" that row out! Of course that just happened to be the more complicated row involving sl 1, k 2, psso. >:-[

Today I plan to get the first few rows of armhole shaping done and then seam it to the back so that I can try it on. I am a little unsure of the length. I think I made the back, from the armhole shaping up, too short. In this stretchy rib pattern the length seems to be a product of how far the fabric is required to stretch width-wise. I got radically different length measurements depending upon whether or not I stretched the piece width-wise. I am hoping I won't have to redo part of the back piece.

Saturday, July 24, 2004


Yesterday I had an entertaining afternoon of scrounging around thrift stores looking for yarn bargins. I went to six different places and in half of them came up empty handed. My most common experience was finding a tangled box of little bits of this and that, mostly acrylic and only partial balls. I did however score quite well in an Hospital Auxilary outlet. There was a complete, one pound cone of a nice, 100% cotton yarn. It is bright red, one of my favorite colors, (although perhaps a little on the orange side). It only cost $2 Canadian ($1.50 US).

I have checked through my patterns and also some of the freebies on the internet and it looks like there is easily enough there to make a summer tank top, if not a short sleeved t-shirt style. Now I either have to design a pattern or do some more searching as all the patterns I own have a stitch gauge of only 20 sts over 4 inches and I am getting at least 24 sts before I have a "nice" fabric that drapes well. Maybe that's a good thing though.....if I had found a pattern immediately I probably would have cast on for yet another project without first finishing the ones I already have on the go.

My other bargins were picked up elsewhere. The four balls of DK yarn cost a mere 25 cents (19 cents US!) for the lot and I have enough to make some nice baby things. There are 4 50gm balls, two of which have never been used. I'm a little concerned that maybe the other two have been "cannonballed", but for 25 cents, what the heck? It is Acrylic/Nylon/Viscose in a white with a shiny blue thread and "blobs" of blue running through it. Quite pretty!

The other items in the photo are two 12 oz mugs that I got for 50 cents each (and they are my favorite kind....I already had two at home that I always use....dragging them out of the dishwasher if necessary, even when other mugs are available) and 4 stitch holders and a crochet hook I picked up for a total of 3 cents. How they came up with 3 cents for 5 items is beyond me, but I wasn't complaining. The crochet hook (for picking up dropped stitches) and a couple of the stitch holders are a gift for my daughter, a beginning knitter. Do you think I'll get away without buying her a birthday present? LOL

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A lady flew in.

I was visiting Stephanie's blog and had commented on her beautiful Ladybug afghan when thwap! a ladybug landed on the speaker beside my computer. It stayed quite a while so of course I had to take her picture! (Perhaps the lady was a male....I'm not up on my bug gendering).

Silverfish? Moths?

Yesterday I pulled a sweater set out of my closet to take a picture of it only to find that something has eaten small holes in both the skirt and the sweater. Grrrrr! Although I did not wear this sweater set very much (too hot!) it had a lot of sentimental value for me. I designed it myself, and it was my final project in a college machine knitting class. Not only had I received top marks for it (A+) but I had also received special recognition from the faculty of the Fashion Design Department. The staff and students broke into applause during the fashion show when the model wore this outfit down the runway. So, as you might imagine, I considered this particular work my "crowning glory".

Stupid me, I stored it improperly. Or more close to the truth.....I didn't store it at all. I had it folded neatly and placed at the bottom of a wire crate system on the floor of my closet. :-( When I first saw all the holes I assumed it was moths although I have never, ever seen one in the house. But, then I remembered reading somewhere that silverfish will do the same kind of damage and I have definitely seen those in our house, although never in our bedroom closet.

Anyway, a little late and much after the fact I have put the sweater set away in my cedar chest (where it should have been to begin with!) and someday, with a little creative redirection, it may become another pair of "fairisle socks" and a hat. *sigh*

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

ZOOMing along.

Knitting away at break neck speed for four straight hours netted me a whole 3 inches. Aargh. That works out to a piddlin'  three quarters of an inch per hour! I placed a pin as a marker so I would be able to see exactly how far I was able to get in one evening.

The answer was: NOT FAR. Looks like I have many days of work left yet. This could be good or bad depending on one's perspective. On the good side, I am getting a lot of knitting in per $$ spent on supplies. On the bad side, summer could be almost over before I am able to wear the tank top.

My husband figures that 8 cups of blueberries in the fridge must mean he gets TWO pies. Aw well, he IS the world's best husband so I guess I can indulge him.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Banana Bread

I had a counter full of over-ripe bananas so made not one, but two banana breads despite the overwhelming heat in the kitchen.
Oh the silly things people take pictures of when they have a digital camera (and no developing fees).
Last night I managed to get in another two hours of knitting on the Eyelet-Cable tank. Two hours worth of knitting on that project does not look all that significant. Maybe tonight I will place a marker before I start and see how far several hours worth of knitting actually gets me. Then again, maybe I shouldn't! It might be too discouraging. I really want to get this tank finished so that it is wearable while we still have some summer weather.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Hours on both.

I knit like crazy yesterday. I spent two full hours knitting on the Eyelet-Cable Tank while watching an afternoon movie, then switched over and got the front of the B&B Pullover started and worked on it for two and a half hours while watching yet another movie. All in all, I spent a lot of time sitting on my butt (although productively). It was just too darn hot to do anything more physical!
This morning I am going to gingerly test my back by spending a few minutes on the exercise bike. Obviously, after yesterday's knitting marathon, I have proven that my back can now endure longer periods of sitting.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

One down, three to go.

I finished the back of the Bed and Breakfast pullover last night. For a while I had toyed with the idea of making that piece the front, (a difference only of where the neckline starts). The reason being that the front named specific rows to be at when you reached the neckline. My row gauge is a bit off so I thought it would be easier to make the front first and then knit the back to match.
With only a few inches to go on the piece I saw a mistake WAY down at the beginning, *sigh* where I was just getting the hang of how the cables crossed. It is even (in that I  did both affected cables the same way)  and it is positioned where the cable pattern changes from one style to the other, making it look somewhat like a "design feature" rather than an obvious error. While it is not glaringly obvious, it does annoy me now that I know it is there so I decided that I would make that first piece the back, where it is less likely to be noticed by anyone but me. (Although here I am displaying my mistakes for all the knitting world to see!)
I checked back on the first picture I posted of the project and YUP, there it is, the mistake staring at me in all its glory. I have added text arrows to the picture and reposted it here to show you where the "design feature" is situated, (both cables at that level NOT crossed) and how the cable crossing should look.

So today, somewhat deflated, I will start on the front piece.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Renewed Love

Now that the "cushion foot" socks are done I can turn once again to other projects in progress. I really do need to work on the Eyelet-Cable pullover so that it can be worn this summer, but really felt I needed a break from the fine-gauge knitting. I picked up the Bed and Breakfast Pullover (from Interweave Knits, Winter 2003) that had been sitting sadly in the corner, and it is love all over again. What a fun cable pattern! See a photo of the back 3/4 of the way done in the "WIP" post of June 30, 2004.
I spent a good deal of time today at "Aunt Debbie's Knit and Stitch", looking through patterns, magazines and of course fondling all the lovely yarns. No purchases today though, as I have several months worth of projects waiting as it is! On my "list" is:
  1. Eyelet-Cable tank top (a little over half done)
  2. Bed and Breakfast Pullover (back 3/4 done)
  3. "Kroy" socks (one finished, the other has its toe done)
  4. And the zinger of them all: The Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan (yarn and pattern purchased, but still only in the planning stages).

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Chair Thief!

"What? You were wanting to sit down?"

"Well I got here first and possession is 9/10ths of the law! If you are interested, my kennel is currently empty."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

"Cushion Foot" socks.

Well here they are at long last, the half done cushion that became a pair of socks. They fit perfectly. :-D

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Not a single stitch.

Such sadness. I didn't knit a single stitch today. I used up my endurable "sitting time" going to the Harry Potter movie with my daughters. That was more important than getting on with the socks. Hopefully tomorrow the pain in my lower back will have eased up enough that I will be able to sit long enough to finish the socks. I really want to get a picture of them up! I am so happy with the way they are turning out.

The Harry Potter movies (and books) are great for handknit sweaters, scarves and hats. Check out the free pattern for Hogwarts scarves here.


Oooo, my aching back! I don't know how I did it, but somehow I have "renewed" an old lower back injury and it is SO painful. It hurts the very most when I am sitting. THAT is a problem because I also end up with foot problems if I stand too long. *sigh* If I get any knitting done today it will have to be standing or lying down......HA! :-(

I guess I won't be on my lovely new exercise bike either. It hurts enough just to sit let alone sit and lift my feet off the floor simultaneously. (Gosh, I hope it wasn't the exercise bike that caused the problem?!)

Saturday, July 10, 2004

1 done, 1 to go.

It doesn't look like I will have time to photograph the first sock today, but that could be a good thing. By tomorrow I may just be able to photograph a pair instead.

The socks are turning out very nice......especially for a hashed together, design as I go item! Cutting and sewing the panel originally intended for a fairisle pillow has really worked well. After sewing up the back seam using mattress stitch I picked up the live stitches from a holder and knitted the foot part downward. When that was complete I went back to the top (originally the cast on edge of the pillow) and picked up and knit a K1, P1 ribbing. The results are pretty spectacular if I do say so myself. :-D Photos tomorrow.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Exercise Bike

This is my new "knitting chair" that will help me improve my health while at the same time knitting and/or watching TV.

With all the sitting and knitting I have been doing I have been concerned about how little exercise I have been getting. My prefered form of exercise, long walks, have been out of the question for over a year because of a persistant foot problem. My gym membership at Curves eventually languished in dis-use, and I was desperate to find something else more suited to my personality.

I was in Sears yesterday and came apon a warehouse clearance sale and got this awesome exercise bike for only $113 Canadian.....that's only about $85 US! It's not a fancy bike, but it will do the trick. I love the small doesn't take over the whole room. I also love how QUIET it is (yes....I DO mean while it is being used!). We have oscilating fans that make more noise than it does. With this style, feet ahead of seat, I should be able to knit without getting the yarn tangled in the peddles.

Slimmer hips, here I come!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

"Knitting Chair"

Ooooo, I just got a new "knitting chair". I'll have a photo up tomorrow. It's very loveme.....err....I mean lovely. ;-)


Okay, this photo is a bit of an obvious clue as to what the "Mystery Project" is going to be.

I conquered the sock heel problem! Yaay Me! Turns out I didn't have to look too far for the answer to the problem. My printer needs ink so I handwrote the heel turning directions from here. Turns out I abbreviated things a little too much. Lost in the translation somewhere was the fact that I was to be knitting 2 together through the gap. I had a six stitch wide heel and it wasn't getting any wider. that was going to fit!

Anyway, I'm back on track and zooming along on those tiny stitches (that I profess to love so much). These socks, with their start as a cushion cover....converted through "Cut and Sew", will be the most unorthodox Foot Snuggies you ever did see. By Saturday I should have a finished sock to show you. (I know, I're hanging on the edge of your seat waiting with baited breath!) I'll try to hurry. ;-)

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

As the heel turns.

Feeling way down today and not sure quite why. Perhaps it is because I stayed up late last night diligently turning a heel for a sock and then ended up frogging it. >:-Z Nothing quite like a good frog session to turn one's mood sour.

I have made socks before. I have turned heels before. Why is this one a problem? Because I have very little experience knitting socks from the top down. In fact, I believe I have only done it ONCE before and that was with line-by-line instructions. Most of my socks are done toe-up, my prefered method. I decided that there are more patterns knit top-down so I should give it a try. Not a good idea.

The "pattern" I was using is more of a commentary on HOW to knit socks than it is a line-by-line instruction.....which is good, for I am learning more about the whys and wherefores of the actual construction, but it is also bad in that I don't know what I am misunderstanding. Check out the site here.

Research I guess. I will look through my old (make that ancient) pattern books and see how they turn a heel and how my chosen "commentary" differs and/or is similar. *sigh* I'd rather knit than research.

Too many plain ol' text entries in a row get kind of boring so I thought I'd reach way back into past projects and show off a doily I made last summer. The cable-rib tank top I am making (see WIP entry 6/30/2004) is from the same knit/crochet thread.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The next step.

It took me hours and hours to "fix" the problem with my camera program. Uninstalling and reinstalling the program did not correct anything. Running an antivirus and "clean-up" program only partially fixed it. I THINK the problem MAY have been with a photo download device called "Dazzle". When I reinstalled THAT program I got further improvement. The problem is NOT completely fixed but at least I can now download photos from my camera and get them posted here.

Sewing.....ewww....yuck! I used to love sewing but some high stress Fashion Design courses I took in college effectively put a halt to THAT obsession! From that time on, sewing and STRESS have become linked forever in my mind! Sometimes though it is a necessary evil and I am glad I still have my old clunker of a sewing machine. (1978 Kenmore) Anyway, this was the next step in the Mystery Project.......formerly a 1/4 finished Fairisle Pillow. Now reassigned to? Tune in tomorrow when more photos follow.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Camera program meltdown.

Rats. I had a photo of the "mystery item" in progress that I wanted to share but I can't seem to get the camera program up and running. :-( It kind of looks like I will have to reinstall the whole program. I would just go ahead and do it but I am thinking that I likely have to UNinstall the first one to successfully reinstall it again?

Anyway, the Mystery Project has gone one step further ahead and I am pleased to report that it seems to be working out very well. Hint: It involves a sewing machine and that piece that WAS to be a fairisle pillow.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Creative redirections?

I am a little unhappy with the Fairisle Pillow. I think it looks lovely as is, but I'm having second thoughts about its' suitability for our living room. There just seems to be too much red in it.

The color selection of the yarn I wanted to use was quite limited and I ended up with only 5 different colors. 4 were perfect, the fifth was a compromise that I felt I could live with. Well, it turns out that while 5 colors are "do-able" for the fairisle pattern, they are very limiting. With such a small color selection the deep red is required to repeat far too often for my liking. The resulting fabric is way too red dominate for the "cognac" coloring of the leather love-seat the pillow was destined for.

I already have a LOT of knitting done on this pillow (measured by hours NOT inches) and I am loathe to frog it all. Besides, with fairisle you end up with just a bunch of short pieces of yarn if you frog. I am thinking of reusing the knitting in what I am calling a "creative redirection". The new destiny for the finished knitting? I'm not telling. You will have to come back for a further update. I promise to post a picture IF I am successful. Hint: This will not be a BAG or anything else rectangular!

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Along Came Polly

I rented a movie last night, "Along Came Polly" and quite enjoyed it. Some very funny bits in it that my family could really relate to.

Unfortunately, my son wanted the lights low for "optimum movie viewing" and I couldn't see to knit. *hmpf* I knit less than two rows on the Fairisle Pillow yesterday.......just enough to see that I have made a mistake about 3 rows back. Aargh! I checked the picture of the project posted yesterday and the error is not visible. It was within the next couple of rows. I have decided to leave it as is for now and maybe "Swiss Darn" it later. It is a "consistant error" in that I did the same wrong thing all the way around the row. Maybe it can be a creative "design element" hey?

I came away from the movie with a desire to "think outside the box" and occasionally do something a little differently, not always on automatic pilot, not always picking the safest route. Routines can be comfy but can also sneak up and become mind dulling RUTS.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Who's hoodie?

I remembered yet another FO I have lying around. This was tucked away in a cedar chest with the idea of being a baby gift some day. Truth is, I loved the pattern and wanted to knit it despite not having a recipient in mind.

I worked a little more on the Fairisle Pillow last night. No....I worked a LOT on the Fairisle Pillow but only seemed to make small progress! Around and around I go (288 sts per round) making only teeny progress with each round. I have a total of 3 1/2" done now. Adding to the feeling that I am getting nowhere is the fact that being all stockinette stitch it curls like mad and I never really see what I've got done unless I pin it I did for the picture.

It looks like it is going to be a lot cooler today so maybe I'll take a break from the teeny tiny stuff and drag out the Bed and Breakfast Pullover. For anyone interested the pattern is from Interweave Knits - Winter 2003 issue.

Lookee what I found here! A whole page of Knit-a-long links. Boy I could get into trouble there. I had better save further exploration for AFTER I have finished at least a couple of my current WIPs.

My daughter is coming for a visit today and she is a relatively new knitter. She's only been knitting for about a month or so and is already working on her second sweater! It's a cable and moss-stitch affair that we concocted together on the Sweater Wizard program.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Another obsession.

Probably the last thing I needed was yet one more thing to be obsessed with. Now I can add blogging to the heap! I spent far more time yesterday blogging than I did knitting.....and I spent a fair bit of time knitting.

The Fairisle pillow has grown another inch or so. I pulled out my "Philosopher's Wool" book and have started using the "Color Your Own" chart to add to the pillow. The little flower motifs I started the pillow with just were not enough to hold my interest. The "Color Your Own" chart definately is! I had a hard time putting it down last night.

More photos of the Fairisle pillow coming in a few days.....when I get a respectable amount done.