Saturday, June 24, 2006
Anyhow, the girls and I are up in Williamsburg for a week. I am teaching an online summer school class this summer, and I get to meet and greet the parents on Monday.
I have my official teaching assignment for next year. Deep sigh of relief.
So on the drive up I got oodles of knitting time. Since we move in five weeks, and my working wardrobe is a bit thin I have set a challenge for myself. I am trying to go through as much yarn and fabric as I can to rebuild a work wardrobe.
I am finishing a raglan sweater I did in knit picks palette a few months back...It has been sad and sleeveless.
I am also halfway through a vest in a snappy green color. the yarn was left over from another project from last fall...Recycling at it's best.
I have also made a good stab at a project I might submit to one of the online mags...it's for a Halloween costume for the girls, so I am not sure it Knitty or Magknits would be a better option...any ideas?
Otherwise, some sewing, some packing, and a whole lot of entertaining (did I mention TWO days early!!). A busy week.
While I am here in Willy I plan on hitting the stores to find some sock yarn and other sundries for my hurricane sock buddy. To the person that got me (if they are even still bothering reading this sad neglected blog) I do have the questions halfway filled out, and should get them e-mailed to you tomorrow.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
As I have mentioned my mom died while I was in college, and my dad married pretty soon afterwards. I won’t go into her patience at inheriting a house full of teenagers. She is amazing.
Plus she’s crafty. She paints, sews. Used to weave. Gardens. She even made my wedding dress, out of antique lace of my grandmother’s. There was not a lot of yardage and she made it work. Plus, she did both bride’s maid dresses. Every year both girls get at least one homemade dress from their “Muz”.
As I have also mentioned I am living in a fiber desert. Unless you count Walmart and Red Heart, and I really don’t. So every time I head home my first mission is to get over to the Knitting Sisters in
So this winter she decided to take a knitting class. She bought a ton of this gorgeous yarn, and has been doing this rather snappy garter stitch scarf. The only problem was that about 7 inches in there was some snaffoo and a hole was knitted in…a mistaken yarn over I think. And she wanted to fix the first few inches anyway, since they were a bit lumpy. And I felt so bad, because this last trip I had promised to cut it off and bind off just after all this for her, but we ran out of time.
Again this amazes me, because this is the first beginner’s project I have ever known anyone to actually plan on wearing.
So this week I got this e-mail:
I enjoyed the updates on the blog. Thanks. We will post some pictures soon but Dad is now playing with loading more music on his ipod and playing with his new TV. I am getting into a sewing binge and just unraveled my entire scarf to reknit!Let me stress she had already done at least two feet on this thing. Can you imagine the fortitude of frogging your first project??
I think we have a knitter.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Did it work out? And how! He's worn that hat everyday for three weeks. I can't get it alone long enough to take a picture.
Then, two weekends ago, while we were camping he said, nonchalant like, "You know, we could use a bag to hold stuff like food, but something we could see into. Could you knit that?"
What was I going to say? "Nope, too dull!" This my friends is opportunity knocking.
So I am working up something. More of a hammock than a bag. The prototype is for the girl's room to hold stuffed animals. If this works he'll be getting his camping bag really soon. And you all will be getting another pattern.
And of course, you know what this means...not too obvious? I'll explain.
He sees my knitting as a solution to real world problems. A useful activity.
This is big folks, big. It's all part of the master plan.
It started with getting him to pose in items knitted for others (see above). Then we replaced his favorite hat, the one he's had since middle school. An exact museum quality copy. Then finally this breakthrough.
Next he needs socks. He has feet shaped like hobbit feet, and that's being nice about them...very wide. So socks with a custom fit...he won't be able to say no.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
#2 circular needles
#4 circular needles
I cone of Valley cotton in 3/2 size from Webs, or Paton’s Grace (about 5 balls)Gauge:
5 stitches = 1 inch on size 4 needles.
Fits a size 34 bust.
Some references you might use:
tubular cast on/bind off:
Some references you might use:
Cast on 180 using tubular cast on using the #2 needles.
I use a crochet chain to do a provisional cast on. Chain 92 stitches.
Tip, tie a knot in the end of the yarn that you pull through to end the
chain, that way you know what end to undo to "unzip" the cast on.
Pick up the bumps along the back of the chain (90 total) using a size
two circular needle.
Set up row: K1, yo across row. K1 in last stitch.
Being careful not to twist the stitches join both sides. Slip the first stitch on the right hand needle to the left needle. K2tog. Place marker.
Work the round as follows: [K1, yarn in front, slip stitch] repeat across round
Next row [yarn in back, slip stitch, purl] repeat for this round.
Repeat for the next two rows.
Body of the tank:
Work in 1x1 ribbing for 2 ½ inches.
Switch to the size four circular needles and knit in plain stockinette stitch until the piece measures 13 inches from the cast on edge.
(If you need to adjust the finished length this is the place to do it. Add or remove a few inches as necessary. To figure out how much to adjust, measure from your armpit to where you want the tank to hit on your hip. Add about 1 ½ to 2 inches to this.)
Knit 60 stitches. Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle. Work the next stitches in 1x1 ribbing until you get to the last four stitches. Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle.
Repeat this row until the 1x1 ribbing measures one inch. If you are concerned that the ribbing might not be tight enough, switch back to the number two needles just for the ribbing section.
Knit the first 60 stitches. Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle. Cut a length of yarn about 3 times the length of the ribbed section. Cast off these stitches only using the tubular bind off.
Top of shirt front:
Row 1: Looking at the right side of the tank, reattach the yarn on the right. Place the first three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle. Knit until you reach the last four stitches. Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle.
Row 2: Slip one stitch to right needle, purl to last stitch, slip last stitch to right needle.
Row 3: Place the first three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle. K 2 tog. Knit until you reach the last six stitches. SSK. Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle.
Row 4: Slip one stitch to right needle, purl to last stitch, slip last stitch to right needle.
Rows 5 – 12: Repeat rows 3 and 4 four more times.
You should now have 58 stitches left.
Row 13: Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle. [P2tog, yo] repeat to last four stitches. Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle.
Row 14: Slip one stitch to right needle, purl to last stitch, slip last stitch to right needle.
Row 15: Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle. Knit to last four stitches. Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle.
Row 16: Slip one stitch to right needle, purl next three stitches. [K2tog, yo] repeat to last four stitches, purl 3, slip last stitch to right needle.
Row 17: Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle. Knit to last four stitches. Place the next three stitches on a cable needle. K1, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle.
Bind off:Slip first stitch. Purl 3. Cut the yarn with a length about three times the length of the ribbing. Cast off ONLY the ribbing stitches using the tubular bind off. The first four and last four stitches should NOT be bound off.
That's one snappy tank!!
Lets face it, after birthing two children there are just certain things that I cannot wear. No amount of dieting and exercise will reattach the skin to my torso. Stretch marks? You better believe it.
So all these cute summer tops are grand, but short of surgical intervention there will always be a bulge. If I was a female form the TV series Manimal, all I would be able to turn into would be a Shar-pei.
And my obsession was born. I have wanted a knittable summer top that would not hug the belly. Nothing too hot or clingy, it’s hot here!!
So for the last four days all I have done is measure, knit, re-knit. And at last I have it.
It is done on size two and four needles using the Valley mercerized cotton from webs. (By the way, have you seen the new website? Very nice re-design. Looks great, and much easier to find things.)
As I have said before, I love this stuff. For less that $17 you get an entire cone of yarn. 1260 yards. Do you know how much yarn that is?? This top took less than a half a pound. I have so much left over!!
Also, it comes in over 70 colors. SEVENTY. I have gone through at least six cones over the years.
You could also substitute Paton's Grace. I get about the same gauge with it.
I have half the pattern typed up, and will try to get it up by tomorrow. It is for a size 34 bust. I can try to work it up in another size if someone is interested.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
So I was out to dinner the other night (we were coming home form camping) and this gal walked by in a very snappy tank top. It was tight at the hip, then a bit blousy. A few rows of lace at the top. Hers was a jersey knit, but I think it will translate well. I figured this would be nice and cool.
So I have been busy casting on what I thought was 342 stitches. And doing 3 inches of 1x1 ribbing.
And it was looking a bit small, but I just kept going. Then I counted. 180 stitches. My hips cannot be circles by a mere 180 stitches.
So, rip, goodbye eggplant ribbing. This was using the tubular cast on.
Deep sigh. Progress shot later. I have some counting to do.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Do you remember that show? “Fight Back with David Horowitz”. He exposed consumer fraud and allowed the viewer to fight back.
Well, in researching this blog post I found out he’s still out there, and it might be my time to contact him. Really, check out the site. It even has the old theme song.
My sister loved this show. When she was in the sixth grade she was on the lookout constantly. She wrote in to the show and got a letter back and everything. I have vague memories of her getting a fight back badge in the mail…I should ask if she still has it.
OK, here’s my deal. So everyone in the civilized world knows about Mason Dixon Knitting and the amazing new book. I have visited it at Barnes and Noble several times now. The girls play with the Thomas the Tank engine trains and I flip through it. No purchase yet since I am trying not to add any more bulk…moving next month and all.
I NEED that book. What I have skimmed has been so snappy, so we won’t be asking David to fight back against the book.
Here’s my issue. That Peaches and Cream cotton is like crack. Seriously, I almost never just buy random yarn. I generally have something in mind for everything I get. I might not ever get to it, but it has an intended purpose.
That said, there is something about $1.19 for a ball of yarn that just intoxicates me. So I have a few in my stash. And now there is a book of really great pattenrs using this stuff. So obviously I need more.
Side story, the death of the bathmat involves a turtle named Broccoli, markers, glitter glue, and toothpaste. Don’t ask. The turtle, federally protected endangered turtle the husband unknowingly brought home, I might add, is back safe and sound in its natural environment unharmed, but the mat is no more. There are things even I cannot wash out.
So I pulled out a few balls, then headed to the store to make sure I had enough. Here’s the problem:
Yup, they’ve gotten smaller. The one on the right is the ball from a year ago, the left the one I got yesterday. Same price, but a whole 1 oz. smaller. I want a Fight Back badge for this!!
The bathmat is going great and should be done by tomorrow. Pictures once it is done.
I also made a bib to be mailed of Monday, the girl’s newest step-cousin.
Oh, and I sold a pattern. Cannot yet say where it's going, but I am so happy I could burst. We even ate dinner out...I couldn't concentrate to cook.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
This is a test post via e-mail. Since things will be up in the air over the next few weeks I am trying out new ways to keep this up to date. I'll be back later today with some photos. It's baby central around here, I have two new babies to knit for, so it's time to get crackin'.