28 November 2010

Bunch o' Finished Projects

I went home for Thanksgiving and come back to school with a bunch of finished projects. Most of the projects were already knitted when I went home, they just needed to be blocked. The project that I finished knitting this weekend was the Wool Festival Hat. I also "finished" the horizontal cowl for the 2nd time, but after I blocked it, it measured more than I bargained for, so I have to start over. Alrighty, here we go with a bunch of finished projects:

Purple Clutch

Yarn: 2 skeins Cascade 220 (7811 Purple Jewel Heather)
Pattern: Inca Felted Clutch by Leigh Radford
Needles: US 10 29" circs
Misc: Black 14" zipper, 1.5" button, purse snap, fabric for lining

This project is finally finished. It was pretty easy, although the directions are a little weird. The picture w/ the dimensions don’t match what is written in text for the pattern. When felted, the “center” of the flap isn’t really in center of the purse. Next time, I would take this pattern and use it as a guideline and write my own. Not sure if whomever wrote this and edited it had a little too many grasshoppers at Thanksgiving or what. Also, before you felt, make sure you sew the flaps that you created down (bottom of clutch) so it felts all together nicely. I didn’t go with the ribbon around as it encloses the purse, but went with a snap (off-centered) and a 1.5” button (centered). The clutch is also lined and has a 14” zipper.

Finished: 7.5” x 13” (when closed)

Bella's Mittens:

Yarn: 2 skeins Cascade Yarns 109 LE Bulky
Pattern: Bella's Mittens by Marielle Henault
Needles: US 7 DPN

Charcoal Leg Warmers
Yarn: 2 skeins Brown Sheep Burly Spun (Charcoal Heather)
Leg Warmers: Daisy Rib Buttoned Legwarmers by Sarah Wilson
Needles: US 13
Misc: (8) 1 1/8" buttons

This is a really easy knit; I finished one in just a day. Going to start the other one tomorrow. Once I finish them both I’m going to block it before I sew buttons on to hopefully stretch it width wise (I have stalky calves, unfortunately).

I love “vintage” buttons, I picked these.

Finished size: 16”x20”

I may have one concern, but it's minor. The leg warmers do go above my knees a bit; I guess my legs are a bit vertically challenged.

Finally, my Wool Festival Hat

arn: Pilgrim from Briar Rose Fibers
Pattern: Sarah by Ariane Caron-Lacoste
Needles: US 4 & 6 Circs

I don’t remember why I used US 6 needles, the pattern called for US 7. Anyhow, the body of the hat was knitted in US 6.

The pattern was really easy to follow. Occasionally I mucked up on a few rows due to losing track what I was doing, but each row pattern was really easy to memorize (pattern is reverse as you knit along the row).

Well, that's about it folks. I think that from now on, I can't start any new projects; I should "try" to finish some projects that I've already started. Note I said "TRY"; I can't guarantee that it'll happen ;-)

13 November 2010

Nice and Chilly

New Beginnings -
I've successfully made it to the 5th trimester of Chiropractic College. The 2nd week of school I had 3 quizzes and 1 exam and that's what to expect nearly every week until the end of the trimester in mid-February. After this tri, only 5 more to go :-) ~1.33 more years until I'm officially a doctor. I've also found out that I'm going to be an "Aunty"; a friend of mine is pregnant. Currently the due date is unknown and the gender of the baby is going to be a surprise. Over break, I went to JoAnn's and picked out some yarn for the baby blanket; I'm just hoping that I'm able to finish it before the baby is born. I'm not sure if I'll finish it for the shower, unknown date, but if I can finish it before the wonderful birth, then that's all that matters. After I got the yarn, I then chose a pattern and this is what I picked out:

Pattern: Cielo Baby Blanket by Lisa Dusseault
Yarn: Caron One Pound (Soft Sage)
Needles: US 5 29" Circs

Mods: CO 168 for 7 sts garter stitch border on each side. (measured 47+ ” so frogged and new CO is 126 to try to get 34” for a width) Knitting 7 row garter stitch for the boarder and will finish off with a 7 row garter stitch boarder. Once I finished knitting the blanket, I wanted to be finished and not have to worry about adding on a different border.

Over Break I started and finished knitting Bella's Mittens. I want to block it before I would say that It's completely finished.

Yarn: 2 skeins Cascade Yarns 109 LE Bulky
Pattern: Bella's Mittens by Marielle Henault
Needles: US 7 DPN

Using the US 7 makes them a bit snug, but not too tight; concern is wearing clothes underneath the cuff portion. Will try US 8 next time as instructed (if I come across this yarn again as it is discontinued)

Then I started the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival Hat:

Yarn: Pilgrim from Briar Rose Fibers
Pattern: Sarah by Ariane Caron-Lacoste
Needles: US 4 & 6 Circs

Of course, it seems once I start a project, I have to start yet another. Going along with the matching winter set, I'm making leg warmers, a cowl, hat, and mittens in the same color.

Yarn: Brown Sheep Burly Spun (Charcoal Heather)
Leg Warmers: Daisy Rib Buttoned Legwarmers by Sarah Wilson
Cowl: Horizontal Cowl by Jennifer Fay
Hat: Shroom by Lee Wood Juvan
Mittens: Super Bulky Mittens for Women by Diane Soucy

I've started the leg warmers:
I've wanted to make these for a few years now and finally decided to make them. My legs were getting pretty cold, so I started these first.

Yarn: 2 skeins Brown Sheep Burly Spun (Charcoal Heather)
Pattern: Daisy Rib Buttoned Legwarmers by Sarah Wilson
Needles: US 13

Well, that's it folks; wish me luck on finishing the blanket :-) In addition, hopefully I'll at least be able to finish one set of matching mittens, scarf/cowl, etc to use this winter.

18 September 2010

Summer's Delight

As I mentioned earlier, I had gotten lots of wonderful goodies this summer. Let's start off with something that I have actually finished.

Yarn: 2 skeins Berroco Seduce (4460 Kitten Gray)
Pattern: Windansea by Kristi Porter
Needles: US 6 circular and dpn
Size: L

Apparently I have a large head.
The hat is finally finished. The pattern is actually really easy. I ended up having to redo the pattern because I screwed it up at first. I did add the elastic and am a little disappointed as to how thick it was. JoAnn’s didn’t have anything else. Maybe next time I won’t add the elastic if I decide to make the hat again. I ended up ordering the millinery wire from Judith M Supplies. Since I have been inside most of the summer either in class or studying, I really haven’t had the opportunity to wear it much.

Something that I've started but had to redo:

Yarn: 3 skeins Cascade 220 (7811 Purple Jewel Heather)
Pattern: Two-Tone Ribbed Shrug by Stefanie Japel from Fitted Knits
Size: 17" shoulder to shoulder

I decided not to do a two-toned shrug, but one color instead because of the limitations of what I could wear with two colors. I started this on US 8 needles, like the pattern advised, and checked my gauge - it was okay, so I forged on. I was nearly done with one of the sleeves when I decided to measure the back and it measured 21" or so. One of my biggest problems that I never do, but need to is make a swatch. It happens all of the time and you'd think that I would learn from it? I'm going to try knitting on size 9 needles and hopefully it'll work this time, but first a swatch.

More Yarn:

Yarn: 2 skeins Cascade 220 (7811 Purple Jewel Heather)
Pattern: Inca Felted Clutch by Leigh Radford

I decided on the same color as the shrug, so I can make something out of the leftovers.

Yarn: 5 skeins Berroco Weekend (5940 Plum)
Pattern: Lacy Leaf Satchel by Pam Powers

Yarn: 8 balls Valley Yarns Goshen (17 purple haze)
Pattern: St. James by Tonya Wagner

Can you tell that I like the color purple??

15 September 2010

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival 2010

I really haven't had the time to knit lately or rather, I haven't made the time to knit lately until this week. I painstakenly completed part 1 of National Chiropractic Boards (there are 4 parts total, including PT). After boards, I went home and enjoyed the company of my cat and dog. This last Sunday, I was in heaven and went to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI. The festival was absolutely wonderful, as usual, although it seems like the vendors didn't bring as much as last year. I enjoyed looking at each little shop. The roving was gorgeous, spinning wheels were spinning, and there was lots of lovely yarn. I had to go through the two big barns twice though to soak in all of the beauty - my eyes and brain was a little worn out from the previous to days I believe. I certainly was in my candy shop. I went to the wool festival knowing that I wanted to get a new ball winder (Royal). My now former ball winder wasn't a Royal and it would click each time I would wind the yarn up into a ball. It just wouldn't work as nicely as a Royal. I knew that the ball winders would be cheaper at the festival instead of JoAnns or anywhere else, plus I wouldn't have to worry about paying for shipping. Other than that, I went in to enjoy the scenery. Of course, I can't leave empty handed after going to a wool festival. This is what I got:

Royal Ball Winder from Sutter's Gold 'n Fleece

Shall Pin from Yarn's Forever

I'm not sure what I'll use the shall pin for yet, but I thought that it was pretty.

Pilgrim from Briar Rose Fibers

I plan on making a matching color set of Hat, Mittens, and Scarf. I only have odds and ends for everything and wanted to have a matching color set. I plan on making the following:

Feather & Fan Wrap by Briar Rose
Karin by Kamilla Svanlund
Sarah by Ariane Caron-Lacoste

I haven't started the hat, mittens, or scarf, but I did start a shrug. I need to update about this summer's yarn, but that will be updated later.

23 June 2010

I can actually knit.... now that the trimester is finally over!

Wow, it's been awhile. I really haven't had much time to knit over the last few months, but I did manage to start some projects and put them on the back burner.

Originally I was going to make felted hot pads for Susie's Bridal shower gift out of the Berkshire Bulky Yarn, but decided against it, as I believe that I mentioned before. I intended to make the Shalom Cardigan by Meghan McFarlane, but the pattern called for a 32" bust, and I didn't want to futz with it. Well that's an understatement for my next decision. I decided to pursue to knit Buttony Sweater by Katie Marcus. Oh boy, did I get myself in trouble or what?

The pattern given really wasn't much and I wanted my project to turn out correctly the first time around, so I also followed the Top Down Raglan Sweater Generator by Knitting Fool for specific cast on instructions, etc. The funny thing is I started off knitting the "loose" fitting portion and realized that was way too big. So I frogged everything until it measured 17 inches from shoulder to shoulder. I can't even remember what I did because I started it during my March break. My intent was to already have it finished, but that clearly didn't happen. I'll have to update the specific details later, but here are some pictures. I believe these pictures were taken before some major frogging, but I can't recall - I should probably take a look at the project again since I have some time on my hands.

Since Buttony required so much concentration, I casted on another project.

Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace (2 skeins - Hollyhock)
Needles: US 6

I must admit, it is a slow going project, but it's my first time knitting with lace weight, so it's going all right. I haven't gotten very far and hopefully before pigs fly I will finish it, amongst every other project that I start.

I also started to spin from my drop spindle that I bought eons ago. I watched some youtube videos to refresh my mind about the concept and tried it without pre-drafting, but it wasn't successful. Then I read some books that I got from the library and learned about pre-drafting and it is turning out better, but it is still a slow going process. I'm having a hard time keeping my spindle spinning without spinning in the counter clockwise position. Also, I clearly can't keep the same gauge, but with some practice and time, hopefully I will be able to get a whole lot better. Not sure if I'm doing anything wrong, but here are some pictures.

The current "yarn" product

Predrafted Roving

Initial Spinning Product

I only hope it turns out better and that I can perfect the process and make something that I can be proud of. I know that the "novelty" yarn is also nice, but the accomplishing perfection of a steady gauge would be absolutely wonderful that I hope happens.

So after every trimester, my reward to myself is yarn. Well my mom found a traditional Ashford Spinning Wheel on Craigslist and I called about it, but the lady was supposed to call me back, but never did. If the spinning wheel worked out that would have been my reward for completing 3rd tri successfully, but it never worked out, so I picked out "some" yarn instead. The more that I think about it the happier that it didn't turn out because the spinning wheel that she was selling didn't have the original flier and I'm not sure if the traditional would work out the best as far as ergonomics go. The traditional would require treadling with the right foot on one far side and then spinning the yarn through the orifice with the flier on the far left side. I'm not really sure how comfortable that really will be in the long run. I'm wondering if I want something with the treadle directly under the flier, where the yarn is spun. As they say, it is best to try a bunch out before buying a spinning wheel. In addition - people if you say that you are going to call someone back, don't be rude and not follow through.

I must admit that I start and set aside tons of projects, but I did start and finish a project this summer already, even if it was a really small one.

Pattern: Basic Dishrag by Jennifer Jackson
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Cotton Chenille Solid (Blue, Green, Yellow)
Needles: US 6

I was just using scrap yarn and this is what I came up with- a face cloth.

Well, that's all that I have for now folks. I hope to finish some more projects later. I also have to start studying for boards and learn my basic Activator protocol.

22 March 2010

The Big 25!

So today's my birthday and I got some goodies from mummy. This is what I got: Roving (94% Coopworth Sheep, 6% Silk: Plum Crazy; 80% Coopworth Sheep, 20% Silk, S (cant' read the writing) Nights; 94% Coopworth Sheep, 6% Silk, Egyptian Bazaar). Can't do anything with it though until I learn how to spin on my drop spindle - note to self, gotta work on that one. I still need that spinning wheel.

08 March 2010

My purse is finished

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted (2) M115 Oatmeal & (1) M185 Aubergine
Pattern: Damask by Berroco
Needles: US 10 Circulars 29"

I finally finished my purse. I managed to finish the knitting bit two weekends ago and went to the laundry mat to felt it last Tuesday. At JoAnn's there were lots of purse handles, but I liked the wooden ones the best. I thought that the dark color would complement the burgundy color in the purse nicely. At first I wasn't sure how to attach the handles but decided that the burgundy color would work well. I knitted a long thin strip for the attachment of purse handles and chained a long chain for the tie go go along the perimeter of the purse. They ended up going with a load of whites in the laundry at home, but didn't really felt nicely. Since there wasn't anything else to felt, going to the laundry mat wasn't an option, so I felted it in the shower - weird, yeah, but it worked. Lining was added and a magnetic snap to ensure it stays closed (thanks to mom).

Before felting: 17"x54" - not sewn together
After felting: 10"x15.5"

Well, here it is:

07 March 2010

Madison's Knitting Shop Review

I've been to all of Madison's and the area's (west side) knitting shops within the last two months and I've decided to write a review. I don't really travel to the east side of Madison, so the knitting shops in Stoughton and Sun Prairie have not been reviewed.

Just to let you know what we are working with - my map is from Knitmap.

The order of appearance is from the best shop to the, well, you can get the hint.

The Sow's Ear
- S Main St, Verona WI
Excellent knitting selection and has tons of yarn (natural fibers). I was surprised to see yarn from School House Press there in addition to roving. They have enough yarn in one color so you could make a large project if you wanted to, which is always great. In addition, the coffee shop is really nice, there is enough room to sit and knit. The Sow's Ear has a lot of bamboo knitting needles and the workers are good natured and pleased to help you out. When I walk inside and look around, I feel all warm inside and can drool over tons of yarn, which in my book makes this a good yarn shop.

The Knitting Tree - Monroe St, Madison WI
The shop has tons of yarn, a great selection, and a variety. The staff is willing to help out with any problems or whatnot and they have a ton of drooling yarn. Unfortunately, this shop is one where you wouldn't go to sit and knit.

Stitcher's Crossing - Mineral Point Rd, Madison WI
This store is also a quilt shop, and that is the main emphasis of the store. They have lots of bamboo needles and a good yarn selection. It's not as big as the Sow's Ear or The Knitting Tree, but it is the closest shop in reference to where I live and they tend to have what I need of am looking for, which is always a good thing.

Lakeside Fibers - W Lakeside St, Madison WI
This used to be my favorite store, but it is no more. I do love the building, the old displays and the coffee shop, where there is lots of room to sit and knit, in addition it being next to the lake. The store used to have loads of yarn (they had a large baby and hat portion in the coffee area in addition to lots of Brown Sheep yarn), but in October I went, it downsized a ton. I also went a week ago and the yarn selection is horrible. There is a lot of Cascade and they probably have a larger Cascade selection than the other yarn stores, but the other yarn selection lacks severely. The sock yarn is horrible. Some say that the store is closing, but others say it isn't - which is it? If it's not closing, then they the horrible yarn selection? What happened to all of the drooling yarn? They have lots of bamboo needles and the staff is helpful, but the store just isn't the same.

Tis The Season - Hubbard Ave, Middleton WI
This shop is not really a yarn shop at all, more of a seasonal shop, but they do have a small selection of natural fibers and have bamboo needles.

Cat and Crow - E Main St, Mt Horeb WI
This store emphasizes on local yarns from farms, which is great. The thing is they don't have enough yarn for a project larger than 1 or 2 skeins - not good. With that said, I probably won't go again.

Off the Beaten Path - Williamson St, Madison WI
This store emphasizes on green, which again is great, but I got a weird vibe about the staff. I don't think that they were the most pleasant, in addition one of the workers followed me around the store like a hound and was a little too stern on trying to sell me something. I didn't find any drooling yarns either. I will not return.

I know my review probably isn't the best on a technical standpoint, but oh well, it is what it is.

22 February 2010

Stress + School = Knitted Purse

So, 2nd tri finals are finally here. Add a little stress to the mix of things and this is what you get:

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted (2) M115 Oatmeal & (1) M185 Aubergine
Pattern: Damask by Berroco
Needles: US 10 Circulars 29"

After 2 finals last Friday and being pretty stressed, I needed to something, so I decided to knit. My current cast-ons, however, require too much thinking. I scrounged around in my stash and decided upon Damask. I bought the yarn a long time ago (I don't even remember exactly - looking back, it seems like 2007, wow) at Lakeside Fibers in Madison, WI. I casted on and am nearly half way done with the knitting portion. It is working out pretty well. I am a little worried though because I don't think that I will have enough yarn. On ravelry, people have used Lamb's Pride Worsted and one person used 3 skeins of the main color and another person got by with 2. Currently I'm a little over eight inches with a mini size bouncy ball's worth of yarn of the first skein. I'm hoping that my next skein will last until the project is finished, all 18" of it. Unfortunately, I don't think that getting another Oatmeal color would be a good option because the dye lot would be a few years different. I guess if I run out early with the oatmeal I could potentially do a border with the burgundy color - that could work. I'll have to see though where I end up with the chart.

I often wondered why the name Damask, and now I know.

I've started to pack for home already and my knitting bin is ready to go:

16 February 2010

Bib for Emma

Cheryl, from school is having a baby girl (Emma) and I felt like making something for her. Originally my mom was going to just make something, but I wanted to contribute too. I found some cotton yarn in my stash last week and a pattern that worked out nicely. What was nice about this project was that I was able to finish it while watching TV. I hope she likes it.

Yarn: 1 (2 oz) ball Peaches n' Cream from Pisgah Yarn & Dying Co., Inc (Pink Lilacs 159 & Winter Berry 170)
Pattern: Baby Bib o' Love from MasonDixon Knitting
Needles: US 6
Buttons: 7/8 in.