Sunday, October 31, 2004

Riddle Me This

I am a cream and peach variegated colour.

I am knit in cotton.

I have five sections and a middle.

I am made with both straight and circular needles.

What am I?

While you ponder the riddle, here is a photo of the project I use for Comfort Knitting. You know, the project you pick up when you need an easy pattern to work on, and something soft to handle. This yarn has mohair (hmmm soft) and is done entirely in moss stitch. It is destined to be a shawl for my Mom for her birthday. (Relax, the Empress S does not read my blog. She does not even have a computer in her house).

Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Knitting Is Magic - a Fairy Tale In One Part

Once upon a time in a land close to here, there lived a beautiful, young, intelligent knitter named Mrs. R. (Hey, its my fairy tale … I can lie if I want to, lie if I want to... you would lie too, if this happened to you!)

Mrs. R's mother, the Empress S., had taught all her sons and daughters to knit when they were children, but Mrs. R. had only learned to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. K2tog and YO were also mastered, but that is as far as she got.

In August Mrs. R. took up the needles again. Our heroine quickly accumulated a stash and merrily started many, many projects.

With the help of wizards like Lucy Neatby and Sheryl, the owner of Tangled Skeins, along with spells engraved in books like Weekend Knitting, Mrs. R. quickly learned 4 new techniques.

First, the making of icords was revealed. Mrs. R. marveled at how knitting at the opposite end from the yarn supply could result in a tube shape. The fairies themselves must have invented this clever technique.

This is Sophie the Second, modeling her icord handles.
Posted by Hello

Next, Mrs. R. was introduced to the fabulous art of the Kitchener Stitch. Joining separate ends of knitting without leaving a noticeable join line using just two knitting needles of live stitches held parallel and a darning needle is, quite simply, MAGIC!

The next technique was somewhat intimidating to Mrs. R. Short rows. The concept baffled our heroine, but she needed to make fingerless mitts for when she walks the puppies (er, I mean, when she flys with the Watch Dragons) and the spell in the book called Weekend Knitting used short rows to shape the mitts over the hand. So, the fearless Mrs. R. cast on and, muttering the special 4 letter words (er, I mean, the incantations) she short rowed away. In the end, our heroine had this to say: "SHORT ROWS ROCK!!"

Finally, the spell for fingerless mitts called for a 3 needle bind off. Here, our heroine's nerve failed her. Gremlins whispered in her ear. For this task she had already learned short rows, and how to cast on over a gap in the fabric (for the thumb). Wasn't that enough? Why was she being pushed so hard? What evil lurked here? Angels wafted into earshot and counter-attacked. "To whom can you turn for support and courage?" they asked her. Ah, Earl Gray to the rescue, with a dash of Captain Morgan on the side. Once fortified, Mrs. R. defeated the confidence-destroying gremlins and bound off successfully.

And everyone lived happily ever after.

- The End -

Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Coming Soon ...

... photo of a new Sophie bag (it's in the washer being felted right now). A glimpse of how I decided to use that mohair/acrylic blend. Photos of hand warmers a la Weekend Knitting (short rows rock!). A fringed Loretta, whoo hoo!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Tea at the Frog Pond

My first attempt at knitting socks is turning out to be - shall we say - interesting. Frustrating. Challenging. Fun, even. Sadly, that teeny cuff you see on the left side of the photo must be frogged. Some holes appeared in the rib (no, it isn't meant to be lace!). However, I have mastered the use of 5 needles and can rotate the stitches around at whim, to prevent laddering on the "corners" . So, all in all, a good learning experience. While visiting the frog pond I intend to sip tea from my stash of samples, courtesy of Adagio teas and Lisa Y. (Thanks again Lisa!) So far my favourite is Ceylon Waltz. That pumpkin-hugging puppy is on my calendar for the month of October. Remind you of anyone? No, my Dorey is not the cover girl. (By the way, is it my poor eyesight, or is this photo really blurry? Anyone?) Posted by Hello

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Slightly overstated

This quiz is fun, but somehow I skipped the Apprentice stage and zoomed right on up to Guru. Hmmmm. How about you? Try it!

  • Knitting Guru

    You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting

    and do it all the time. While finishing a piece

    is the plan, you still love the process, and

    can't imagine a day going by without giving

    some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation

    involves leaving ample space for the stash and

    supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn

    ends and you begin.

    What Kind of Knitter Are You?

    brought to you by Quizilla

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    The sound of a deadline

    Advent Calendar : deadline fast approaches. I have, in fact, worked on this. Honest! See the proof below. Remember, this is hand pieced. It will be done on time. It will be done on time. (On time means Nov 15). Ah, deadlines. I love deadlines. Especially the sound they make as they fly by.

    Posted by Hello

    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    Stitch Markers! Get yer stitch markers here!

    Have you ever wandered through a dollar store ("Every thing for a Dollar or less") just wastin' time - and hit the jackpot? You know, like finding tea towels that match your kitchen colours exactly, or those plastic lids for opened soup cans ... stuff like that? [Yes, I'm easily amused. Wanna make somethin' of it? Huh? Huh?] ANYWAY, as I was sayin' I was wandering t'other day when the children's hair elastics display caught my eye. Now, normally this wouldn't even register with me, seeing as I have no children. But, the KnitList chatter that day had been all about stitch markers. A KnitLister had mentioned using hair elastics as markers. So, there I was, standing in front of a wall-o-hair-elastics, marvelling at the wealth of stitch markers. The blue binder in the photo is what I bought. It contained those bright cheerful hair elastics and it snaps closed into a neat little package to throw in your knitting basket. All for one dollar !!! (That's 80 cents for you Americans). I added some goodie elastics by hooking them over the binder rings (300 pieces for a dollar, various sizes) and I put my hand crafted beaded markers on the rings too. At the top of the binder you see a stitch holder. Some of the markers are in action, as you can see, on a Sophie bag for moi. I'm using the Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride wool/mohair blend sent by my fabulous Secret Pal (hi SP! waves). This yarn is delicious - nice and soft to work with and knits up quickly. I bet its going to felt well too. Posted by Hello

    A big spender, I am. So, I splurged for two more stitch marker binders at the dollar store and customized them by adding some lovely beaded stitch markers (purchased, not clumsily hand made by me). These are going out as RAOK's real soon now. Right after I read 130 blogs. See ya on the RAOK ring!

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    French Market Boo Boo: Sophie to the rescue

    Knit God #1: "That Mrs. R. is spoiled rotten. She gets so many RAOKs, and she just got a new car."

    Knit God #2: "Yup, she sure is spoiled."

    Knit God #1: "We should do something to rain on her parade."

    Knit God #2: "Cool! What did you have in mind?"

    Sigh. As you may have read earlier on this blog, I was making the French Market Bag as a gift. To be presented on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday at noon I pulled the FMB out of the washer. It felted beautifully (everything they say about Cascade 220 Quattro is true. I love the stuff.) Sadly, the lovely felting could not compensate for my mistake in placing the handles. So, this mess is what I'm left with.

    Posted by Hello

    This is how it is meant to look.

    Posted by Hello

    What happened, you ask? Well, I knit the bottom in a rectangle rather than in the round. The pattern gives instructions for both methods. I didn't feel like wrestling with dpns to make the round, so I knit a rectangle and picked up the stitches instead. But, I forgot to mark the corners. When it came time to make the handles, I just willy nilly started binding off, with no regard to where I was in the shape. Hence, the misshapen mess. Ugh.

    Remember, at this point it was noon on Saturday and the gift was due on Sunday afternoon. What's a knitter to do? Pout, of course! Once I got that out of my system, I remembered the pattern for the Sophie bag. And, just the day before, I had purchased 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon to make a hat. There was no way around it - the hat had to be sacrificed in favour of the Sophie. I knit practically non-stop from 3 pm Saturday to 1 am Sunday until only the handles remained. Got up at the crack of dawn on Sunday to make the icords, then felted her. She took 3 rounds in the washing machine, and turned out like this:

    Posted by Hello

    Not bad, eh? Sophie was delivered, along with the Booga Bag, to a happy pair of princesses (a.k.a. my nieces).

    Posted by Hello

    By the way, as I was motoring along on Saturday night, I started to worry about having enough yarn. The stores are not open on Sundays here, so I was genuinely concerned. (Um, to be more accurate, it is fair to say I was "freaking out"). In the end, I did have some yarn left over. How much, you ask? 9 inches of yarn left, to be exact. Whew. That was a close one!


    My Secret Pal sent me this postcard. Cute, eh? Suits me to a "T". Thanks SP!

    Posted by Hello

    Ann sent me a sock themed RAOK. Those charts are really going to come in handy for this newbie sock knitter. The booklet has 4 sock patterns - really cute ones. And the CrazyQuilt note cards are going to come in very handy. Check out the hand-crafted card, with RAOK spelled out in tiles. Awesome. Thanks Ann!

    Posted by Hello

    Thursday, October 7, 2004

    Busy, busy

    Mama's busy again. She got a perfect postcard from her Secret Pal and she got an amazing RAOK from Ann, all about socks. These things made Mama very, very, happy and much less grouchy, so thanks SP3! and thanks Ann! Once Mama finishes buying a new car to replace the "Hunk-a-junk" and gets back to her routine she'll take some photos and blog more about it. In the meantime, here is a file photo of us, doing what we do best. That's Kobie on the left, with her nose stuck in the air, and me (Dorey) on the right, tucked up nice and pretty.

    Posted by Hello

    Tuesday, October 5, 2004

    A Dog's Life

    Hiya everybody. I'm Dorey. My mama is too grumpy and busy to blog today so I'm doing it for her. I had a fun morning. Mama left her sewing room door open when she went to work, so Kobie and I got to play in her yarns. We took those boring skeins and made pretty trails all over the living room and hallway. When Mama got home she was very excited and made lots of loud barking noises. Kobie ran and hid behind the couch but I like it when she's noisy! Now I'm rolling around on the couch without a care in the world. Ahhh, a dog's life is good. Posted by Hello

    Monday, October 4, 2004

    Beading Challenged

    Having a bad day: car broke down, I mean really broke down. Have to buy a new one. Don't want to. Decided, on a whim, to make beaded stitch markers. Gathered tools:

    1. needle nose pliers - check

    2. plenty of pretty baubles - check

    3. wire cutters - check

    4. memory wire - check

    5. hand/eye coordination - .... I said, hand/eye coordination ...???

    Nope, not got that. After much swearing, flying beads and puppies cowering in a corner, I have this to show for my labours:

    Posted by Hello

    I'm still grumpy.

    Sunday, October 3, 2004

    Rockin' RAOK Ring

    Posted by Hello

    Welcome to all the fiber freaks, er, I mean, fiber addicts, er, fiber fans, who were added to the Fiber RAOK Ring yesterday. Let's have some fun! If you love Crazy Quilting, let me know using the comment section on this post. I might have a little treat to send you. See you in the comments!

    Saturday, October 2, 2004

    Step AWAY from the knitting needles Ma'am!

    Posted by Hello

    Today is supposed to be a quilting day, to make progress on the Advent calendar. So what have I been doing? Knitting of course. Cast on a booga bag with the Lamb's Pride my Secret Pal gave me. Worked a few rows of the French Market Bag. Thought about fringing Loretta. In short, everything but quilting. This is ridiculous!

    Friday, October 1, 2004

    Look Ma! No pattern!

    The wonderful Jennifer sent me a RAOK that has me bouncing with joy. This yarn is a divine mix of 16% mohair, 72% acrylic and 12% polyester, so it is, you guessed it, machine washable! It feels soft and warm Posted by Hello

    I really, really like the colour too. It reminds me of a gentle, fluffy cloud springtime sky. I like this so much I dropped everything and started swatching. This would make a yummy shawl. I looked through all my patterns (meaning the one book and three magazines I own) but couldn't find anything calling for this amount of yarn, so I decided, "hey, I'll just make it up as I go along!". So what if I've only been knitting for about 6 weeks. Audacious is my middle name. I cast on 3 stitches, then motored away in st st, increasing around the center stitch on every knit row. So, those of you who are more experienced knitters than I, or just plain smarter than I, have already realized I have a problem on my hands, er, needles.

    Here's how it looks in closeup, with the needle stretched straight:

    Posted by Hello

    Nice eh? I have a feeling that roll edge is just going to get worse as I go along. Perhaps its time to re-think this.

    I've cast on again, on needles two sizes larger, and will alternate increasing in the middle with increasing on the ends and see if that solves my little roll problem. I'll report the results tomorrow. But if any of you would care to take pity on me and provide a solution, I'd be most grateful.