Felted wool hat

I finished a hat for my mom using Baabajoes Wool Pak yarn, 14 ply, from New Zealand in a neutral taupe using a Fiber Trends pattern for a felted wool pak hat. Pre-felting, it was one of the ugliest things I have ever knitted. Doesn't it look like a character from Fat Albert? Felting helped alot.

Hints and FO

I was reading Knitting with Laura today and found a very nice list of "glove hints" that any knitting gloves might enjoy. Turning the fingers into the glove so that they don't get into the way while you are knitting the others -- why didn't I think of that???

I finished knitting a (project named removed to protect the gift recipient) today for (name removed). Have you ever knit something so ugly that you don't want to ever see it again? Hopefully, felting will help, and I'll post pre- and post- pictures after Christmas.

Second pair of gloves --- done!

My second pair of gloves are finished. These are a Christmas gift. I was VERY TIRED of them, and had threatened to throw them away if I didn't finish them soon. These are garter cuff gloves (as done previously) in a black and green Plymouth DK yarn. GLAD THEY ARE DONE.

Sock and Mitten Tree

These are the mittens that I did for the Sock and Mitten Tree at church. Purple ones done in the "pumpkin" pattern without the leaves, and the pineapple mittens (done with the leaves). For the second pineapple mitten, I switched from knit three together to another double decrease, Slip 1, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over -- as suggested in a comment to my previous post. It was SO MUCH easier, and while I realize that this is a different kind of decrease, I really couldn't tell by looking at the mittens that I had made the change. It saved this pair -- I was dreading the second mitten with all those K3T -- they actually made my hand hurt.

Knit Unto Others Mittens

Each Christmas at our church one of the younger Sundays school classes sponors a sock and mitten tree. Socks and -- you guessed it -- mittens get hung on the tree to be donated to the local food and clothing pantry. I bought some of those "one size stretches to fit all" gloves at Target to hang on the tree, but decided to knit some mittens. On the left is a pineapple mitten -- very hard to knit. Not a difficult pattern, but physically hard to do -- every fourth row was full of Knit three together. I've finished one mitten. The mitten on the left is actually a rich eggplant purple, not blue. It is the "pumpkin pattern" on the same pattern sheet with no leaves, so tha it really just looks like a mitten with a rolled cuff. I finished the first one today (except for the strings which need woven in). It was a much faster knit. Posted by Picasa

Knit Unto Others

I've joined a new Knit along. This one is a short term (ended November 30) KAL designed to motivate us to knit for charity. It is called Knit Unto Others.

Our church has an annual Sock and Mitten tree -- bare tree decorated with mittens and socks which are then donated to our local food and clothing pantry. I'm knitting mittens for the tree.

The pattern I've started with is from Fiber Trends. The pattern sheet is Mitten Mania, and I'm doing the Pineapple mittens. Check out the photo of the little girl on the pattern sheet. Notice anything strange? She has three hands. Very odd. Even the lady at the Knitting store commented on it.

I'm using Encore Plymouth yarn in a dark green and yellow. It is 25% wool, so the mittens will have some warm wool content and still be machine washable.

Jealousy Defined...

In my younger son's Sunday school class yesterday, the teacher was speaking to the students (ages 2nd through 5th grade) about jealousy. My son came up with the following: "It's like one of you friends owns all the stores in the world, and you only have one, and it's a knitting store."

Could it be that I've taken this poor child to too many yarn stores? Nah.

Second set of Gloves

Here is a photo of the second pair of gloves in progress. I'm working on two at once to avoid "second glove syndrome." I'm up to the fingers. When I finished the thumb on the second glove, I realized that I had made two left hand gloves. Luckily, the pattern is the same all around, so I just knit 3/4 of a round and converted the second glove to a right hand glove -- I hope. Posted by Picasa

More Gloves and a Walk

I've started on another pair of gloves -- this one is a Christmas present. I'm using the same pattern as the pair I just finished. The yarn is DK weight Plymouth Encore in a green and black combo. I've picture it earlier here. It's really hard to see in the photo -- the color, I mean -- but I'll try to get a photo of the gloves taken in daylight to add to the blog.

I just got back from a Walk to Emmaus. What a wonderful, grace-filled experience. My husband was my sponsor -- he went in April. Our community is located in Ashland, Kentucky. I highly recommend this experience.

Kim needs...

Have you seen the blog "activity" where you plug in your name + needs into Google's search engine and then list the top ten google results? Here are mine -- I think the first one is very ironic, considering my last post:

Kim needs to take off the gloves
Kim needs to talk
Kim needs some hints
Kim needs some help
Kim needs him the most
Kim needs a boxer
Kim needs to talk
Kim needs to go
Kim needs counseling
Kim needs your help

Two completed projects

I finally got the Highland Triangle Shawl blocked. Isn't it amazing what blocking can do for wool? The points are pointy, the holes are open, and the whole thing is bigger. The drape is so much better. Yippee. She's stretched out above on our newly exposed wood floor. The flash makes the color wrong -- it is actually a darker blue, and the floor is actually a little more gold looking. The shawl is knit in KnitPicks merino (storm) on the size needles specified in the pattern. She measures 80 inches across, 50 inches from edge to point, and 60 inches on the angle, which is bigger than the pattern specifies.

I have also finished the gloves. They knit in leftover merino style from the pattern in Weekend
Knitting. I found what I think are a few errors. Here is what I found, and how I "fixed" them:
  • The index and ring finger patterns call for decreases in the tip of each fingers, which is fine and expected. However, starting with 15 stitches on the needles, I was supposed to knit two together around, and end with 12 stitches. Truly knitting 2 together to complete the round would yield 8 stitches. Instead, I interspersed 3 K2T while knitting the rest of the stitches = 12 stitches at the end of the round. I then continued on with the decreases as specified.
  • When I finished the left glove, the index finger and middle finger were too long. I wish I had taken a picture because the glove looked a little deformed. I frogged back the decreases at the end of each finger and three rows of regular knitting. I then knit the decreases to finish the finger (in effect, making these two fingers three rows shorter than the pattern specifies). The other two fingers and thumb were fine as designed.
  • I had some trouble with the directions for the right hand glove. The only described difference in the right and left gloves is the placement of the thumb (which was fine). The instructions are to knit the other fingers as for left hand (placing them in the correct order for the right hand). In order to make this work, I joined the yarn at the base of each finger on the back of the hand instead of on the palm, as described for the left hand.

I had to come back and stitch closed a few holes at the bases of the fingers. Maybe with the next pair I will be able to avoid these holes. I also noticed something that looks like a seam in the garter stitch cuff where I changed from purl to knit and back again. Springy seems to be having the same problem.

Glove Knit Along

I joined NonaKnits Peaceful Palms KnitAlong. Check out the patterns and updates.

How I Found Knitting Confidence in the Palm of a Glove

I don’t remember why I was thumbing through my copy of “Weekend Knitting” by Melanie Falick. I had it with me on a Friday evening, sitting in front of Chili’s, waiting for a table for dinner. My husband and two boys were with me, and they are used to mom bringing her knitting along. I stopped on the page with patterns to make gloves – both fingerless and whole. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn; I had just finished my Highland Triangle Shawl using Merino Style from KnitPicks, and knew I had almost two skeins left of this DK weight wool.

I have been knitting for almost two years now, but almost all my life (since fourth grade?) I have been a crocheter. I am fond of saying that I can crochet anything, as long as it is square (or rectangular). When I started knitting in early 2004, I was motivated by a New Year’s Resolution to “learn to knit.” I started knitting; it was fun. I found an internet community of knitters; it all became even more fun. I was determined to really learn how to knit – not just rectangles, but other, more useful, shapes. My first finished project was a scarf followed by a multitude of Christmas present scarves. My resolution in 2005 was to knit a pair of socks – sufficiently un-square. I’ve done that. This year I’ve knit socks, a clapotis, a shawl, three bags and a lace scarf. I saw the glove pattern, and thought, “I can do this.”

And then I read the pattern. It looked intimidating. I snapped the book shut that Friday evening, and said, “That’s too hard. I would never be able to finish a glove.”

However, on the way home from dinner that evening, I stopped and bought the dpn that I would need to knit the gloves. That evening, I started the pattern, using my very soft, storm colored merino wool along with my hope that if I just followed the instructions, I could actually knit gloves.

The next evening, I was dancing around the family room, holding up my half-finished glove, sing-songing, “I have a thumb. LOOK! A thumb.” Happily, my husband was suitably impressed.

Knitting gloves in public is a fun adventure. First of all, your knitting looks like a porcupine, with all those sharp needles sticking out. Friends and strangers alike must ask what I am knitting. At this point, I get to enjoy the fun of showing them the first, already completed glove. I really enjoy their reaction – “A glove? You’re knitting a glove? Isn’t that hard?”

We all know that it isn’t. It’s just one stitch after the next. But – WOW – at the end of the project, I’ll have a pair of gloves. I will also have a huge pile of self-confidence to tackle the next, more difficult project. I am on my way to becoming a Knitter (with a capital K). Someday I’ll do a sweater – one stitch at a time.

Book Review -- KnitLit Three

I just finished the book KnitLit the Third, and thought I would share my thoughts about it. The book is edited by Linda Roghaar and Molly Work and is subtitled, “We Spin More Yarns.” As can be divined from the title, this is the third book in a series of collections of yarn stories – stories written by knitters across the country (world) and compiled for our enjoyment.

Before reading this book, I had read the other two editions, and very much enjoyed them. They are full of funny and heart-warming stories concerning our lives with knitting and yarn. I was looking forward to the third edition.

After reading it, I must admit that this sequel is more poignant than funny; it has more stories concerning the role of knitting in the crises of our lives than in our mountaintop experiences. I felt that the balance of hilarious to tear-jerking stories was out of balance. This book has many more stories centering on death or illness than previous editions. I felt bombarded with deep-felt emotion with not much to relieve the stress. I don’t mean to say that all the entries should be funny, but I could have used more light stories to counteract the heaviness of the others.

However, this book does have some gems. I love the story by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the Yarn Harlot concerning her experience in an airport without (gasp!) her knitting. (And if you would like to read another story about the Yarn Harlot in an airport, check out this blog entry about “The Weenie.” Hilarious) It was great to read Ann Shayne (of Mason-Dixon Knitting) tell the story of how Ann and Kay came to be blogging buddies and then co-authors. “Have a Mice Weekend” by Kay Flores was a hoot. The poem by Harry Kelley called “The Cardigan” reminded me of Dr. Suess, but was a great read. There were other stories that I won’t take the time to list that made the purchase of the book worth its price.

Overall, I’m glad that I read it, but hope the next one is less morose and more merry

Highland Triangle Shawl Hints

In order to always know where I was in the pattern, I used an excel spread sheet with row numbers and the number of stitches in each row. I had the spread sheet laminated and then marked off each box as I completed a row instead of using a row counter. I used two spread sheets: middle section and edging.

When doing the lace pattern, be aware that Row 1 and Row 2, as written in the directions, are rows 1 and 2 of the chart.

When working the edging, be aware that there are always just two stitches between the center markers. The YO at the corner are on the outside of the markers.

I used markers throughout the knitting of the center and edging. It takes some work to place the markers correctly so that the decreases do not displace the markers. Using markers really helped me to know if my stitch count was correct.

I checked the stitch count often -- sometimes at the end of each row -- to try to catch mistakes early.

Be sure to follow directions and "bind off loosely" at the end so that the shawl will block nicely.

For all posts relating to this shawl, go to this link.

(Post recovered and added from old SandpiperKnits website, which is now closed (due to Geocities stopping free web pages).

Yarn and needles

We went to Lexington again this weekend, and I made a trip to the yarn store. I purchased Encore DK weight yarn in color 455 -- it's a mix of green and black -- 2 skiens. I thinking another pair of gloves for a Christmas gift. I also bought a pair of Lantern moon ebony needles, size 15 (a splurge) and an Anne Norling pattern for scarves.

Look! A Glove!

I had some leftover yarn from the Highland Triangle Shawl, and I saw a pattern for gloves in the book Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. I read the pattern, thought that it looked way to complicated for me, and decided to try it anyway. Look! A glove. I'm working on the other one now. I feel like a real Knitter!


Folk Shawl Finished

My Highland Triangle Shawl is finished. I haven't blocked her yet, but she is done. I stayed up late at night to finish it off. You know that feeling when you get close to the end of something -- it just must be finished.

Edging close to the Finish Line

I've started -- actually I'm 2/3 done with -- the edging for the Highland triangle shawl. I stopped by my LYS and bought a new set of short, straight needles to use on the edging. I figured the cable on the circular ones would become annoying knitting just 9 stitches (at the most). The LYS owner recommended
Balene straight needles from Boye. Here is the point close up. I like it. These needles have a certain flexiblility that I've never had in needles before.

As I mentioned, I've done alot of the edging. Here is a photo of that:

Cherry Tree Hill Stash Enhancement

While at my LYS shop today, I bought a skein of Cherry Tree Hill yarn. It is
froth in colorway water. It is a "boucle blend of mohair and a touch of wool worsted weight with a put up of 8 oz / 650 yards. Gauge: 13 st to 3" on size 7 needles." She had used in in a garter stitch wrap that I want to try.

Knit knit knit

No really interesting pictures to post. Everything just keeps getting bigger. I have three more rows on the inner boarder of the Highland Triangle Shawl. I think I'm going to like this one. Have you noticed that if you are working on more than one project, that it seems like FOREVER until you finish one? I've put aside the Mystery Shawl until I can finish the Highland Triangle -- time to focus. The Edgar scarf is my "knit at lunch" knitting and my "knit during my son's tennis game" knitting. Highland stays at home for TV knitting. She's getting awfully large to travel.

I'm working on a web page to parallel this blog. Two projects are already detailed on the web page -- clapotis and branching out. You can reach them from the sidebar. I really like finding information on projects on the web, so I thought I would add my 2 cents worth.

I've also applied to the Knitting Scientists Blog Ring. It looks interesting. I'm a Research Associate in a diabetes research lab. Sometimes I think knitting and scientific thought are different parts of the brain, but I like the dichotomy. Life at work is kind of busy right now -- we're putting together an NIH grant -- due October 1. I can't wait until October 2.

A year ago we were in Lisbon, Portugal for the International Congress on Endocrinology, so I thought I would share a photo to commemorate the trip. This is the Tower of Belem.

An administrative note

I've added word verification to the comments section to help control the spamming that takes place when an update is posted. I don't get many real commentors; I hope this doesn't inconvenience the few that do get. I'm a little tired of deleting the spam, though. Thanks for understanding.

The Edgar Scarf

The new Knitty is out. I've placed a botton on the sidebar in case you want to go check it out. So far I've used Knitty patterns to make the Clapotis and Branching Out. This time I like a few patterns. I chose to do Edgar. It seemed like it would make nice and quick Christmas presents. I think that Ella would be an interesting pattern, but I don't think I would want to do it without a chart. What a complicated LOOKING pattern. I love the Samus sweater -- maybe someday. I also thought that the article about plying was very informative. Check that out!

So, with Edgar in mind, I bought some Noro Kureyon, color 159 at The Stitche Niche in Lexington. It is described as brick / green / purple / blue, and that is about right. I find the yarn to be a little rough, and sometimes unevenly spun, but it is fun to watch the color change as I knit with it. Here is one yarn review (I think I like it better than Allison does in this review -- I haven't noticed any smell to the yarn at all.) I bet I would like this yarn better if I were going to felt it -- I bet it would make a great felted fabric.

Oh, and I'm using my Brittany needles from Myrtle Beach. I like them for this pattern. The pattern reminds me of short row knitting, but it's not. The repeat is very simple and easily memorized. Great car knitting. Great lunch knitting. The scarf is a little narrow for my taste -- actually I like it, but I'm wondering if the intended recipient would like a scarf this narrow.

How about some more stitch markers. These are addictive. I'll never use all of these markers.

Mystery Shawl at the end of clue #2.

Provide some relief

If you are like me, you have been watching the news over the past few days, stunned by what you see. If you are like me, you have been moved to want to do something to help. Here are two good opportunities:

1. Contribute to the Red Cross. If you do, also check out the Give a Little Blog that Margene and Susan have established as a motivation.

2. Contribute to UMCOR -- the United Methodist Committee on Relief. I'm a Methodist, and this very well-respected relief organization holds a special place in my heart.

I think that knitters are a generous bunch. Here is an opportunity to show how much.

Psalm 57:1 --
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.

Grace and peace,

The World Keeps Getting Smaller

I am a member of the Mystery Shawl KAL (link on sidebar), and have been working on my shawl in Maine Line claret fingering weight. It's coming along. The last of five clues have been released, and people are now finishing their shawls. It came to me as I read the emails from the group how amazing this all really is. People in the Netherlands, Australia, the United Kingdom, the US, Canada, Luxembourg, Finland, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark -- practically all over the world -- are knitting this same shawl, sending messages and pictures to each other. We've never met, and will probably never meet, but isn't it all amazing? I'm in awe for just a few moments. And then I will get back to knitting.

Stitch Markers

My knitting is moving along at a regular pace -- no real progress pictures to show -- everything just looks bigger. I have worked on some crystal stitch markers. Here they are:

Storm Merino style

Isn't it interesting how color monitors and different cameras and who knows what can change the color of yarn? This is the color of yarn I ordered for my Highland Triangle Shawl. It's Merino style and is the color storm. This kind of looks like the color I received (this picture is from the Knitpicks web page.) On the web it looks lighter than in the catalog. The pictures of the shawl in progress I've put on the blog are a different color completely. I think the one from Knitpicks is probably closer to the actual color of the shawl, but really, neither are exactly right. And I was actually hoping for something darker.

I have TONS of yarn available right here at my desktop, but I can't see its real color or feel it. Oh, well, I order it anyway. I do like this yarn. It is knitting up very nicely. No yarn "vomit" as I use the skeins. Only a very few knots.

All in all...progress

I'm making progress on both shawls. First, the mystery shawl. I am working my way through clue 2. Here it is at the end of clue 1 (the first time). I say "the first time" because, several rows into clue 2 I realized that I had made an awful mistake. Somewhere I had done two purl rows. The effect of this was to reverse the shawl, making the front the back and the back the front. If that makes any sense. See those white lines on the shawl? Those are lifelines, and thank goodness for them. I ripped back to the lineline between clue 1 and 2, and started clue 2 again. All is back in place, and I have moved on.

On the Highland Triangle Shawl front. I am working now on the edging. Once I got the pattern established, it has gone very well. I'm anxious to finish this one. I can't wait to snuggle with it.

I mentioned earlier that we dog-sat last weekend. Our beagle, and our neighbor beagle puppy took some time getting used to each other. Molly, our dog, is very calm -- not aggressive at all. She mainly just ran from the little eight week old puppy. Finally, Molly would have enough, turn around and BARK. Precious (the neighbor dog) would run and hide behind one of us.

Below is a photo of my latest stash enhancements. We went to Lexington this weekend. I purchased some Berroco Softwist, in color 9429, which doesn't seem to be on their web page. Discontinued? I bought it to go with Plymouth Firenze in color 438. I also picked up two skeins of green sock yarn -- Fortissima Socka in color 1092. Fun shopping trip.

If you are looking for some funny or intestesting blog entries to read, try the Yarn Harlot's description of her book tour in Vancover and Edmonton. Hilarious. Want to try beads and knitting? Take a look at this interesting tutorial. I bought the crochet hooks to give this a try.

Yarn stash enhancements from Lexington.

Molly and "Precious" having a little talk.

Shawl from the latest Vogue Knitting. I like this one. Why do I always choose projects in magazines that are made with cashmere?

Two major projects -- Why oh why?

I currently have two major (knitting) projects on the needles. First, the Highland Triangle Shawl. Yes, I finished the middle section. Yes, that went well. I finally, after, I think three tries, picked up the right amount of stitches to knit on the edges. I knit the eyelet section -- OK -- then on to the lace edging. I knit four rows. I unkit the fourth row, a few times. I reknit. I am now unknitting, trying to get the stitch count right. I thought the stitch count WAS right. Apparently not. But I am determined to get this right. And once I do, I'm adding stitch markers between every two repeats. (I actually had them in, and then had to remove them as I unknit this last time.) I really feel like once I get this part in line, I will be off and running again.

The other project in the Mystery Shawl. It is in Maine Line 2/8 fingering weight, color claret. I love the color. It's a nice, dark burgandy. The first two clues have been released. I worked on the first one, thought I was doing well, but had to restart twice. I have now installed lifelines -- for the first time ever -- and ever since then, I haven't made mistakes. Well, what is insurance for if it is not for insuring that you don't make mistakes? Isn't that the umbrella and rain theory? The car wash and rain theory?

Anyway, we puppy-sat the neighbor's beagle this weekend, which didn't allow much knitting time. It's hard to concentrate on yarn overs and double-decreased when a little needle-teeth puppy is trying to devour your couch.

Most of my weekend knitting -- that I got in around the puppy -- was backward anyway. Tinking is not nearly as fun as knitting. And it is kind of discouraging to end the weekend with less completed project than you started with.

I'll post pictures.

Bigger and Bigger Triangle

The Highland Triangle Shawl is finally appearing to increase in size. Have you ever worked on something for a LOOOOONNGGG time and not seen it increase in size? Finally, I looked at it today, and said, "It looks bigger!" If all my tinked rows had actually been knit rows, I would probably have been done by now. I'm habitually counting each row now to make sure it is right. This doesn't keep me from making mistakes, but at least I catch them pretty early.

The texture is kind of interesting, and here is a close-up:

I found a couple of interesting blog entries today:

  • This one in Mason Dixon Knitting from Kay, who says, "That's knitting; it's not for the stupid. It requires a constant, graceful kind of intelligence." I love that -- a constant, graceful kind of intelligence.
  • Here's an interesting essay from Naive Knitting about "Why we choose the projects that we do."

Gift from Husband

My husband brought this sandpiper home for me yesterday. It as a surprise gift. He bought it for me because the name of my blog is Sandpiper Knits. Isn't that great! It sits on our computer stand -- as mascot as I type. He's a sweetheart.

The blog has been accepted to both the Knitters Blog ring and the Knitter's Review blog ring. Welcome to anyone arriving from these rings.

I've signed up as a member of the Mystery Shawl yahoo group. I'm trying to pick out yarn. I'm leaning toward a claret color of this yarn (Jaggerspun Maine Line 2/8). I need to order it soon -- the KAL begins on August 1. It sounds like fun -- it's a mystery shawl because only portions of the pattern of released at a time.

I bought some more yarn to do another Branching Out scarf -- this one as a Christmas present for ??? I'm not sure yet. It's more Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool.

I'm making some progress on the Highland Triangle Shawl. I made an Excel spreadsheet with the stitch number for each row. I had this laminated, and I mark each row of the middle triangle off as I complete it and confirm stitch number.

Start on Shawl

I've started the Highland Triangle Shawl. I used a white "Word" screen to that the pattern could be sort of visible. It's too dark to take an outside picture. The color I'm using is darker that is looks here. At first, I was having trouble with the knit 2 togethers and the slip 2 together (as if to knit), knit 1, and pass the slipped stitches over -- difficult to manuveur. I think I've relaxed with the pattern, my tension is a little less stressed, and the stitches are easier to complete.

We've also started reading the new Harry Potter. DH reads outloud while the boys and I listen, so I started a simple HP scarf -- 1 x 1 ribbing in maroon and gold.
The color here is a little bright, too.

I picked up a ball winder at AC Moore -- 40% off coupon -- yippee. I told DH that he would have to continue to the the swifty husband, since the swift was $60.

Finished Object and Stash Enhancement

Branching Out is finished and blocked. Final stats --> It took a little more than 1 skein of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in charcoal. I don't know how much more exactly because the I had already used a little of the first skein. I did 28 repeats of the lace pattern on size 8 (US) needles.

To see all posts related to Branching Out, click here.

On to stash enhancement and my next project:

My KnitPicks order came today. It includes the yarn in the photos below. First is 10 skeins of Merino Style in storm. I will use this for my next large project, which is the Highland Triangle Shawl from Folk Shawls. I also ordered five different skeins of Wool of the Andes in Stream, Winter Night, Cloud, Cranberry and Spruce. I picked up the Elizabeth I lace scarf patterns and two hanks of Alpaca Cloud in Midnight (my favorite of the lot) and Autumn. All yarns are yummy soft. My only problem with them is that they are generally lighter in color than I expected. It's really hard to tell on a computer monitor, isn't it?

I joined The Knitter's Guild of America today. I've been thinking about it for a while, and thought I would give it a try for a year.

KnitPicks Merino Style in Storm for Highland Triangle Shawl.

Yarn from KnitPicks -- Wool of the Andes in Winter Night, Stream, Cranberry, Spruce and Cloud. Alpaca laceweight in Midnight and Autumn.

Cabled Shrug

I was browsing through Fall 05 Interweave Knit and found this cabled shrug. I normally don't like shrugs. They are too small for my body type -- just too form fitting. But this one looks comfy -- the perfect thing to wear on a winter night in front of the computer or curled up in front of a fire (if one must have a more romantic image). It looks like it might be easier to keep positioned than a shawl. The back image is not online, but it is beautifully cabled. I think that this in on my To Do list. I'll have to find a yarn substitute, however. It calls for Trendsetter Kashmir, which is 65% cashmere and 35% silk. Luxurious, I'm sure, but more than my budget can handle. At $23 per ball x 12 balls for project = way too much money. It is listed as heavy worsted, so I'm sure I can find something else to use.

I've placed an order with KnitPicks, and am now waiting with baited breath.

Here's Molly from above, sleeping in a little doggie curl on the couch.

Blocking of Branching Out

I've never blocked lace before, and I hear that it transfoms it. So -- I did it. I followed the directions in the Knitty pattern. Cold water soak, carefully squeezed out the water, placed length-wise in towel (beach towel) and pulled out most of the water. I lay the protective pad on our dining room table, then the beach towel doubled over twice, and pinned the scarf to the towel. I ran out of pins -- twice! I hope it dries in the shape to which it is blocked (isn't that the purpose of blocking?) We'll see.

Thoughts and Prayers

I didn't want today to go by without a mention of the London bombings. My thoughts and prayers are extended to all in London. I remember on 9/11 how heartwarming it was to hear support from people in other countries, so I take this opportunity to extend the same to you. I offer this Irish blessing (source: internet; author: anonymous):

The light of God surround you.
The love of God enfold you.
The power of God protect you.
The presence of God watch over you.
Knitting news -- The blog was very quickly reviewed and accepted to the Southern Knit Bloggers ring. Welcome to any who wander this way from the ring.
I am trying to decide on a new knitting project. After the Yarn Harlot talked about this shawl -- the Highland Triangle Shawl from Folk Shawls, I got interested. I already own the book. It calls for a DK weight yarn, and I'm thinking about Merino style from Knitpicks in the Storm color. I'm part of the Summer of Lace yahoo group, and saw the finished SeaScape shawl pictured here. Hmm, another possibility, maybe with Alpaca cloud from Knitpicks in midnight? And then Creatures of the Reef from Fiddlesticks came to mind again. I like the yarn used in the pattern, which is Zephyr wool-silk, maybe in Indigo. See a blue pattern emerging? Time to order yarn!

Pushing it out of the Nest

Here is a photo of my Branching Out scarf unblocked. Wish me luck, as I am now going to take her upstairs and block her. I hope this works!

I've worked on my blog now for several months. It has been a learning experience -- trying to understand tags, incorporate pictures and buttons. I've really enjoyed it. Today I shoved the baby Sandpiper out of the nest. I applied to be a part of three knitting blog rings. We'll see if I get approval to join any of them.

I've also designed a new button; just for fun -- because I really like playing with the button designing web page. If you are looking for a site to use to design simple buttons, check out
GRSites Button Maker.

Project done -- almost

I finished the Branching Out scarf. Well, almost. I have finished the knitting and need to block it yet. I'm looking forward to the blocking -- everything I read says that blocking really changes the look of lace. I'll post a pre-blocking picture from home.

I've started another felted purse. Mom has been in the hospital, and I wanted something mindless to do in her room. I'm using a navy blue Brown Sheep Lambs Pride, 10 1/2 needles (circular, 24 inch) and just knitting knitting knitting. Cast on 88, knit 56 rows. No stripes in this one.

I want to do the project from Pawley's Island pictured in the previous post, but I need to pick up needles first. My LYS is closed for vacation, and I can't find size 19 needles with sharp enough points to avoid frustration during the endless K2T.

Stash Enhancement

I should have mentioned in the entry following our vacation that I went to a yarn shop at Pawley's Island while we were in South Carolina. It is called
Island Knits and is located in the Island Shops, right along Route 17. Take a look at the photos of their shop on the web page. The setting is just beautiful. It is set among several other small shops, surrounding a creek with a pond. They have ducks and swans; my husband and sons even saw either heron or an egret while we were there -- right in front of them, hoping up on the railing before flying away.

The shop itself is very nice. It has a front porch with rocking chairs. Sample knits on the porch and all through the shop. The lady who was working when I was there was very friendly and helpful. I had a great time shopping. She invited me back the next evening for there Wednesday evening class.

I bought the yarn and needles that you see above. One of them is
Ritratto by Tahki Stacy Charles. It is a mohair (28%), Viscose (53%), polyester (9%) and Polyamide (10%) blend. It is color #64. The other one is the Trendsetter yarn, Spruce in the Blue Calvin colorway. I bought these two yarns to make a "Spider Shaw" -- a free pattern that they gave me at the store. I also bought a pair of Brittany needles, size US 8. I just loved the ends of the needles; aren't they pretty? I would recommend this store!

Buttons in the Sidebar

Thanks to JK and this post in the Knitter's Review forum, I was able to add buttons to my sidebar that are links. I am so happy! I now have lots of buttons.

Branching progress

No new picture to post of the Branching Out scarf, but it is coming along. I've finished almost 16 repeats, which means that I am over half-way done. I've never knit with anything like this silky wool -- it feels different that other yarns I've used. I'm anxious to block this baby and see how she does. I've joined the Branching Out knit along (link on the sidebar). It is fun to see all the different versions people are doing. I don't know how to do it, but I think one done in fall colors would be nice, especially if it could be done like this one that Alison from Digital Yarn has done. Very subtle color changes.

Wendy at Wendy Knits has started a Summer of Lace. There is a yahoo group going hosted by Wendy -- post on sidebar -- as a knit along. I never thought of myself as a lace knitter, but I guess Branching Out is lace, and so is my Koigu scarf. I learned alot of increasing and decreasing stitches with the clapotis, so maybe it is time to learn something about lace. I joined the KAL.

What I did on my vacation

We just got back from vacation, and I thought I would share what I knit while we were there. I started a clutch from the book Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. I knit it from these yarns (except the Mountain Colors) that I mentioned before -- the blue, teal, dark green and remainder of Shaeffer Yarn. I felted it this morning. I has turned out larger than I anticipated, so I'm turning it into a purse -- I just need to find out what handle to use. I also need to figure out how to sew in a zipper. I've never done that before.

I started Branching Out from Knitty. This is a lace scarf that I'm doing in Elizabeth Lavold's silky wool. I saw the pattern on Knitter's Review and realized that I already had the yarn for it. Amazing. I like it so far. I'm about 10 repeats into it. I'm trying to teach myself to use the chart -- so far, so good.

I've also included a view from our window on vacation. Nice to sit here on the terrace, admire the view and knit.

Oh, and I read the Yarn Harlot's book book book, and loved it -- A Knit's End: Meditations for Women who Knit too Much by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

The view from our window on vacation Posted by Hello