Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yak Tunic

A continuation of the last post from Sock Summit. Blogger is getting very testy. It would not let me post anymore photos. I wonder if anyone else has this much trouble with the program. Anyway, back to Sock Summit. I spent some time at the Bijou Basin booth. They make this lovely Yak and Bamboo yarn. Yak! who would have thought it would be so soft and blended with the bamboo it really is soft and has a lovely drape. I am making the Sweetheart Lace Tunic designed for this yarn. It is just lovely to knit with. A few days before departing on our road trip to Montana via Portland, my new Zephyr needles arrived. These are the latest interchangeable needles from Knitpicks. The points are nice for lace knitting, but they take a little getting used to however. What bothers me a little, and I am getting used to it now, they are clear so you see the back side of the yarn on the needle. At first it made me dizzy knitting with them because I had to focus my eye on the front of the needle so intensely, now I have gotten used to that so it isn't quite so bothersome. They are a little flexible and they definitely hold the yarn, maybe just a bit too much. They would be wonderful for really slippery yarns like rayon and bamboo. They are a nice addition to my collection of needles.

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Sock Summit Market

I arrived in Portland the last day of Sock Summit 2009, just in time to check out the last hour of the Market. I found this wonderful basket from Lantern Moon which is just perfect for a small project...socks!

The market was a little sleepy, but it was also the last hour of it. Lots of interesting booths to explore with unusual yarns. I didn't even see one knitting celebrity, perhaps they were preparing for the Luminary Panel, which I did not attend.

Another view of the bag. The fabric lining is beautiful cross-dyed silk.

I also purchased this soft bag from the same vendor.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A State of Bliss?

The Alphabet Blanket if FINISHED!

As with most Debbie Bliss patterns, I love her designs, I hate her instructions and this project was no different. I should have read ALL the entries about this project on Ravelry. As with most complicated lace patterns it is very important to keep your attention on what you are doing, no TV watching [listening is okay], no wine and no interruptions! Period! This project took me almost 2 months to complete. While I didn't work 100% on it [always have other things on needles to distract me] I did spend a great deal of time with it everyday. A lot of those days were spent ripping back maybe 10 or 15 rows of mistakes from the evening before. The old go forward 10 steps and take 20 steps back. So frustrating to say the least.

Last night I gave it a soak and spent a long time blocking to get the ruffles out from too many stitches picked up on the sides. I followed the pattern, it said to pick up 227 stitches - just too many. The edge has 258 stitches, you would think that picking up 227 would be okay...I read from another person's post on ravelry that made this blanket and they picked up 187...why didn't I read her post earlier. I am so disappointed with the edges I could scream. All that work, all that time!

This morning I looked at the blanket and it looks okay. The edges are still not the way I wanted them to look, but it will be fine. I just hope that when the blanket needs to be cleaned it doesn't turn into a nightmare for my niece...after all this is a baby blanket and it will need to be cleaned. I hope she enjoys it.

On a side note, does anyone else have so much trouble with Blogger. The editing is wonky, it keeps deleting pictures that I upload. So frustrating!

I am now going to work yet another Debbie Bliss pattern...will I ever learn!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Time to Let it Go!

Why can't I just send this away? It's the Helena sweater and Bunny for baby-to-be Katherine.

I love the tag I made from a vintage photo of a little girl knitting.

Just love looking at the package.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Just Flying By

Okay...tomorrow is June 1st and why is this year going by so fast? Before you know it there will be all those summer sales in the stores before summer ever gets going. Where I live it never feels like "summer" weather until August.

I am still making the baby things but after the blanket is finished I am movin' on to other things. I actually started an intarsia project but I will save that for another post.

This sweet little jacket is called Helena. It is a free pattern from knitty. I finished it a couple of weeks ago. Now it is all boxed up and ready to be sent away.

The yarn is Baby Bunny from Plymouth. A nice combination of Pima cotton, modal and angora. I changed a few things on the pattern to suit my taste and to cover up a boo-boo.
I made the lace skirt one less repeat long. I wanted it to look more like a sweater than a long coat. I changed the edging around the neck and front to match the transition between the skirt and the bodice and I changed the closure.

Ah, the closure. The pattern called for 2 sets of ties on the bodice. I decided early on I wanted to do a button and button loop closure. Well, after I did that I couldn't get it to close very well without it gapping. I accidentally cut live yarn when I tried to remove the button. The button on the left is placed over the hole that ended up. I picked up 3 stitches on the opposite side and did I-cord for about 4 inches and ended it with a leaf. The leaf pattern is from Nicky Epstein's book of felted flowers. On the left side is a button loop to complete the closure and another button added to balance the entire look. I think it works but will it work when there is a squirming 1 year old wearing it???


I had just enough yarn left over to make this sweet adorable bunny. The amazing thing is the bunny is constructed out of one knitted square and then sewn into a bunny shape. The ears are made separately and attached.
Now back to the baby blanket!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Now I Know My ABC's

I am knitting a very special baby blanket for my niece's new baby girl. It is from this book by Debbie Bliss. I have a couple of other Debbie Bliss baby books with nice patterns but this book has some really special, heirloom quality knits in it.

The pattern I have selected is called The Alphabet Blanket.

It is the kind of pattern that you first look at and get totally overwhelmed by the complexity of the charts. Four full pages of charts can look very skeery.

Now that I am about a third of the way into the pattern, it really is very easy, but you have to be really mindful - no wine, no new movies (they require you to watch) and it really is helpful if no one is around to distract you and mess up your counting. And if everything goes according to this plan, no ripping out mistakes, I should have this finished by the end of the month.

I am knitting it with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in neutral soft white. There is a triangle edging that goes around all the edges that I have decided not to knit. It is just too fussy and really a pain in the ass to knit....easy decision there. After it gets its border and will be quite lovely!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Katherine's Dress

The sweet pink dress for Katherine is ready to be sent away.

This is really the first "baby" thing I have ever knit. I am going to hold onto this through the weekend, just to keep looking and touching it, then it will be packaged up and sent to my niece, Katherine's mama-to-be.

The pattern states it is for a 3 month old. I guess I don't know baby sizes very well, cause this one looks a lot larger to me. I guess that is a good thing since babies grow fast. The booties on the other hand are really small and will probably only fit the first few weeks after being born.

Check out these cute little buttons! The perfect finishing touch.
I am on the hunt for more baby things to knit. Thinking of an heirloom blanket! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pretty In Pink

A sweet pair of mary jane booties for Katherine. Katherine is my niece's baby. She is due to arrive July 24th. The size of these booties is s.m.a.l.l. and I mean small. Katherine will be able to wear them about a week if we are lucky - after that I guess they can be put on a doll. The pattern was so easy and the results are fantastic.

I found the pattern through Ravelry which had a link to this website. The pattern is well written and knits up fast. There is a bit of seaming involved but not too much. I made the first one and fell in love with it...I guess too much. I was making the second one for the right foot but didn't realize until all the way to sewing on the button - I MADE THE SAME FOOT! Just a minor setback. They are finished and ready to be boxed up and sent away.

The yarn I used is Baby Bamboo made by Sirdar Snuggly. This yarn is so soft and lovely to knit with I can't wait to purchase more. The color range is nice too.

A separate post for the sweet little dress shown in the upper corner of the picture.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The White Elephant

Elephante is the pattern...

I made my white elephant out of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. A few years ago I ordered a bunch of this yarn with the expectation of making a baby blanket. I worked on the blanket for a while but never finished it. It was frogged and all this yarn was just living in a plastic bag in the stash bin. I still have lots left but this was a wonderful way to use some of it.

White elephant is knit on US#3 DPs. The pattern calls for the ears to be crocheted but I just don't do crochet other than simple "crab" stitch. I suppose that might be because I am left handed. I followed the pattern for the ears from the Rainey Sisters. I like the knitted ears better than the crochet ears - all the same technique on the little guy. He was fun to knit but assembling him was another thing. The feet were so fiddly to get them placed just so.

The last thing I want to do is make a small scarf to go around his neck then he gets sent away to a friend's new born boy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Finished, Just In Time

Kingscote. I am very pleased with this sweater - it actually fits!

Yesterday was a chilly early Spring day and it was perfect for wearing this sweater. I am so happy I got to wear it at least once before the weather warms up, which will be this week.

The buttons are clay with a light glaze and are from Incomparable. So cute!

And yes, I have a "Hand Knit by" tag to give it a completely finished look.
I ordered the tags from Charm Woven Labels. This company has lots of labels to select from and also the option to create your own.

I have joined the crowd on Twitter. I selected the name "alwaysknitting" only because "sittinandknittin" didn't fit. You only get 15 characters. Alwaysknitting is what I do anyway, so it works!

I am trying needle felting - more on that later.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Spring Fever

The sun is out and the sky is blue and I have been bitten with the Spring Fever bug.

I just ordered this book...can't wait for it to arrive some time in April.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

More Fun at Stitches West

Okay, I went a little over board at Stitches West. I just attended the Market on Friday and came home with this.

Brooksfarm Yarns: 3 skeins of Duet,
5 skeins of Solo Silk in a yummy minty green, 2 skeins of Solo Silk in a variegated green/brown/lavender color.

Berocco yarns, purchased at WEBS: 11 skeins of Pima Cotton for my Flower Child Top, 10 skeins of Seduce in a blue/green color, 10 skeins of Mica in midnight blue,and 8 skeins of Seduce in the Colorway Rye.

And a large skein of baby alpaca.

And of course, BUTTONS...BUTTONS....BUTTONS...

I have never seen so many fiber folks all in the same area. The line to buy a ticket was so long it took 35 minutes to get to the front of it. It just seemed that there were so many more people this year than last. Lines, Lines, Lines at every booth. I had a good time, saw friends and spent way too much money.

Spring Fever

My favorite knit wear designer...Norah Gaughan. The new vol.4 is out and loaded with fun Spring/Summer tops.

I have cast on using Berocco Pima, the specified yarn. I am going to make the shorter version of this lovely top and may or may not lengthen the sleeves.

The pattern is intriguing, as are most of Norah Gaughan's designs. This one is comprised of triangular shapes that sew up into a beautiful garment with just enough embellishment to make it interesting. I purchased the yarn from WEBS while I was at Stitches West. With all my other projects staring me in the face I came down with a terrible case of startitus. Bad girl. I just couldn't resist starting.

I usually don't like knitting with cotton, but let me tell you this Pima is a different animal. It knits beautifully with just a slight bit of splitting going on, not enough to be bothersome. I love the color so much, of course! It's green.

After reading the Yarn Harlot's post on her February Sweater I have decided to finish mine. I just have that last sleeve to do and sew on the buttons. Funny, I started that sweater February 2008.

Kingscote is blocking. It's still Winter so I hope I get to wear it at least once before our weather turns warm - around here in Northern California that will be in a few weeks.

I went to Stitches West on Friday...I got carried away and came home with a bundle.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Sunday's seem to be for blogging and catching up on all kinds of things...hanging out on Facebook (my newest time suck), doing the laundry, knitting......

Current projects on the needles:

Kingscot. That is the name of the pattern, however it is spelled incorrectly. It should be Kingscote. The designer Norah Gaughan realized after it was published the spelling was wrong. But who really cares about that minor detail. The pattern is lovely..

The yarn: Berroco Ultra Merino DK Purchased from WEBS

The Color: Teaberry

The Needles: US Size 6 and US Size 4.

I was a little side tracked last week with making myself another pair of felted slippers. These took a couple of days to whip out. I have a front loading washer so it makes the felting process really hard to control. I am going to put them through one more time to shrink them just a bit more. I don't like being able to see the knit stitches and they're just a bit too big.

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The Pattern: Mohair Felted Slippers from Felted Knits

The Yarn: Plymouth Outback Mohair and Cascade 220

The Colorway: Electric Blue

The Needles: US #13

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Can't Bear It Anymore

Harry Bear II. He's sustainable too, inside and out! He is knit with the suggested yarn for the pattern, Berroco Chinchilla (it's Rayon). Colorway: Fawn. Stuffed with Bamboo. I have never tried bamboo fiber fill before. It is nice and squishy.
I am getting so side-tracked with these stuffed animals. It is time to put them aside and continue with my other projects on the needles. 1. Nora Gaughan's Kingscot. I am half finished with the back. 2. Nora Gaughan's Flow. I have completed the back and getting ready to cast on the front. 3. Luscious Lace Scarf...hanging out waiting to be picked up again.
So...happy knitting Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pardon Me But....

you have a cute butt!!!! Couldn't resist. Harry Bear II.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Side Tracked

The other day I was poking around on the Berroco website for possible errata for Flow (I came across something in the pattern that didn't make sense) and stumbled upon this cute critter. This is Harry Bear. I immediately fell in love with him and dropped everything I was working on - Norah Gaughan's Flow and Kingscot.

Harry knits up really fast. I went to one of my LYS and found the suggested yarn, Chinchilla and lots of other fun alternatives. I decided to start the first one (I told you I fell in love with this bear) with this yarn:

Sprinkles made by King Cole

Yep it is 100% Polyester (just stay away from the fire)

Color: Koala

65 yards to a skein. The pattern calls for 77. So I had to buy 2 skeins and have a ton of yardage left on the second one...oh well.

The yarn is a bit tricky to work with because of all those textural loops. I went slowly so I didn't make a mistake because there is no way to tink your way out of it.

Success! I whip-stitched the pieces together and you would never know it. It looks seamless.

I raided my stash and found this chenille from Crystal Palace Yarns. Not a very good choice at all. It knit up sloppy. You could see all the short rows and after I stuffed it you could see that too. It also knit up really tiny compared to Harry above. It was a good excercise to work through the pattern. He will end up in the frog pond.

Happy Knitting!!Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Going With The Flow

Norah Gaughan's Flow that is...

Last week I ordered Seduce from came so fast via usps. A couple of days before that I ordered yarn for another Norah sweater (more on that another day) and it still isn't here. Webs sent that yarn UPS, or slow boat to China. I guess if it weighs a certain amount they go with the cheapest route. Who knows, who cares. I am just happy I have something to work on now. After receiving it yesterday I promptly went to work on Flow. This will be my second Flow. I love the patten so much, fits well, looks great, etc. The last Flow I made was with Berocco's Soft Twist. It turned out okay and was a suitable substitution but now I am making Flow with Seduce the way it was designed. The yarn is luscious. I love the color green and this hue is just my shade.

I have about 4 inches into it already. This is a super easy pattern to knit. The pattern calls for us#8. When I started out with the size 8 it was so sloppy and gauzy I went down to a size us#6 and have gauge and like it much better.

The yarn is a mixture of rayon and linen with little bit of nylon for strength. It is slippery which is why I am using my Knit Pick Harmony interchangeable needles. So not a problem.

Tomorrow is the MLKJ holiday so lot's of knitting time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fingerless Mitts - Quick and Easy

What's not to love about fingerless mitts. I wore these cute pink ones the other day and a woman mentioned to me how much she loved them but they were so hard to find and when you did find them in a store they cost over $40. We knitters are so lucky to be able to whip out a pair in a day and have the cost be less than $10, depending on the yarn used.

This pattern is easy and fun and can be found for free on Ysolda's blog. I already mentioned the particulars on another post so I won't repeat here. I am planning on making a few more in different colorways using the same Rowan Felted Tweed yarn. I think one of the things I like the most about this pattern and the yarn is the mitt is not bulky so you don't feel like you have "paws" on your hands.

This mitt below I made-up the pattern. I had bought this alpaca yarn to make a sweater last Fall...well, I never made that sweater - didn't like the pattern. The yarn just sat around and after poking around in my stash I decided that a pair of mitts would be perfect. I doubled the yarn to get a worsted weight and improvised as I went along. They are friendly mitts but sort of on the "paw" side. I actually love them to throw on when I go for my afternoon walks, which lately have been very chilly.

The yarn is Drops Alpaca knit on #5 dpns. I started with a garter cuff and worked into stockinette body with no additional increases. I like thumbs with gussetts so that is included. Easy and quick, soft and warm. My basic fingerless mitt. There are lots of options you can create with this basic pattern.

Happy Knitting!!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

More Needles

One can never have too many needles. My husband gave me Addi Clicks for Christmas!

My box doesn't look like this picture however. I have 3 compartments where the cords are and there is a cool needle sizer in there too.

I haven't really had an opportunity to really use them other than a quick cast on just to give them a test drive. They are really nice. I thought the connection between the blue cord and needle would be a problem because when you run your finger over the join it isn't completely smooth, but the yarn doesn't get hung up there so that is a good thing. My biggest disappointment is there is NOT a size US 5. What's up with that! I am working on two projects right now that I am using #5 needles. I read reviews from Knitter's Review, the newsletter that Clara Parkes writes and she mentioned that a #5 is going to be manufactured to add to the kit. I think it is sort of weird that the #5 was not included. They could have omitted the #15 - how many times do you knit with that size? Me, very rarely. But I am happy over all with the product. Can't wait until they come out with the lace tips!!!!!

Happy Knitting!!!!