Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First come, first served ....

Free to Good Home (all I ask is reimbursement of any shipping costs involved)

I did some major decluttering of the craft room this past weekend. There is a whole pile of knit/crochet magazines sitting in my bedroom right now hoping to find a new home so I don't throw them in the recycle bin. If anyone is interested in giving them a new home, please either leave a comment or email me delanaknits(at)gmail(dot)com

Vogue Knitting
Holiday 2004
Winter 2003/04

Knit It!
Spring 2007
Fall 2005
Spring 2006

Knit 'N Style
August 2007

Ultimate Knitting
Winter 2003

Cast On
May-July 2006
August-October 2005
Spring 2005
May-July 2005
February-April 2006

Fall 2005
Fall 2004

Winter 2003
Fall 2004
Winter 2004
Spring 2005
Fall 2005
Winter 2005
Summer 2005

Family Circle Easy Knitting
Holiday 2005
Fall 2005
Fall 2000
Winter 1999/2000
Spring/Summer 1999
Spring/Summer 1998
Winter 2003
Fall 2004
Spring/Summer 2006
Holiday 2003

Creative Knitting
March 2007
May 2006
September 2005
January 2006
September 2004
July 2005

Family Circle Easy Crochet
Fall/Winter 2005

November 2006

BH&G Simply Creative Crochet

Spring/Summer 2007

Interweave Crochet
Spring 2007
Winter 2004/2005

Interweave Felt

Sadly, this list hardly put a dent in the pile left in the craft room. At least now though, all the projects I want to make out of those left is marked with a post-it note flag so I don't have to flip through all of them again to find something. Maybe I'll get industrious and add all those projects to my Ravelry queue so I know exactly which magazine to grab when I'm ready to make something. Ah to be organized!!

And now for some actual knitting content. Believe it or not, even with all that decluttering going on, I did get some knitting accomplished.

Since I finished up Stoney, I needed to decide on a new project for Thursdays. I chose to pull out the Flickering Flames skirt I started last summer and never got around to finishing. Hopefully with my new process I'll have this done in time to wear this season. I'm taking this Thursday off work to go with Paul for some tests so there will be quite a bit of progress on this later this week.

Last night I finished up the first Meida's sock. Maybe this project will be on the FO list in a couple more sessions. I might pull this one out this weekend to work on and be able to finish it up next Monday. Still don't have a great photo of the yarn. I forgot I was going to take it outside this week until after I had showered and gotten comfy in my jammies. Maybe next week :o)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's all about the layering

One down, 40 bazillion to go!

I did my shopping this afternoon, then sat down to do the finishing on Stoney. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and plan to wear it to work on Monday. The pattern was very simple and had just enough shaping to keep my interest. I used a ribbon type cotton yarn so I think it has a bit more structure than if I had knit it in the called for wool blend yarn. I think it would knit up beautifully in a silk yarn, and may make another one to test out that theory.

I only found one set of buttons that I really liked for this vest, so decided against the fasten with a safety pin idea.

Last night's project was Lauryn, the free gift that came with my Rowan subscription. I've seen quite a bit of buzz on the internet about not liking the pattern that came with the yarn. I kind of liked it myself, and since lately I've been all about layering with vests and such, decided I was going to make it. This is proving to be a really quick knit and should be finished up in another couple of knitting sessions.

Seems like this limting myself to one project per evening thing is going to work!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Almost done!

Thanks to all who sent such nice comments about the tree skirt. Even though it's not one of those nice portable, brainless knitting so I can watch a movie projects, I'm really enjoying knitting it.

Susan is contemplating trying out the "different project every day" method to finishing up her projects since she seems to be plagued with frogitis these days. I say go for it!! Everyone should send good knitting vibes her way so she can get her mojo back.

Last night it was Stoney's turn to be knit on, and I cruised right through it! I've now finished all 3 pieces and all that's left to do is the seaming/finishing.

Tomorrow I'll work on that after making a trip to JoAnn's for buttons. I'm thinking I might try to find shank buttons and use safety pins or somesuch to fasten them to the vest. That way I can change the look to match whatever top I decide to wear under it. Good idea? Or another hairbrained one?

I took a bit of a break from knitting tonight to play a computer game, so I'm not sure how much progress I'll have to show tomorrow. Of course, Friday's project is something I haven't blogged about yet, so there will be some.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Christmas in April?

I decided that one of the 5 projects I needed to concentrate on was going to be the Aran Tree Skirt from "Handknit Holidays". It's getting pretty bulky and doesn't want to fit well into a knitting bag. It's not a very portable project due to it's size and the fact you have to pay close attention to the pattern. I certainly don't want this one hanging around all summer, when I'm sure I'll be attending more knitting groups and generally dragging my knitting out on the back porch.

I'm just about halfway through the 3rd of 11 panels. This one will be posted about for a couple of months I believe. Next week I'll take a couple of closeup photos of the cable work.

Other than taking up some of my precious little knitting time in the evenings, posting on a daily basis about a different project is proving to be quite fun. Maybe I've finally found the recipe to get all those UFOs finished up and make good on my "post better" resolution!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks

Wow! Posts 3 days in a row! Go Me!!

Another sock to post about tonight. This is yet another pattern from "New Pathways for Sock Knitters". This is the pattern which drew me to the book, and the reason I bought it initially. I've since fallen in love with many of the patterns and will eventually knit them all.

I am using some Collinette Jitterbug yarn I bought sometime last summer, I believe. I'll definitely be using more of this in the future. I really like knitting with it. It's "sproingy" if you know what I mean. It has good stitch definition and the colors are so vibrant.

I am know at the point where I am doing the arch expansion, so this sock should be done in a couple more knitting sessions.

The cuff is made to wear either turned down or not.

I'm thinking I won't turn it down. I kind of like the look of the cuff worn up with the bit of flare it gets from the slit in the back.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Socks, Cast Ons, and Ladders

Monday is for Meida's Socks.

At least until they're done! I made quite a bit of progress on the first sock last night. Amazing how much more you can get done without a bunch of other projects gazing at you so imploringly from the many knitting bags piled up next to your bed.

I really need to get this sock outside and get a good photo of the yarn. It has such lovely shades of pinks, blues, and greens in it, and they just don't photograph well indoors.

I got a couple of comments on my post yesterday about having only 11 projects LOL. I've actually got more than that on the needles, but only had that many piled up in the bedroom. The rest were, and still are, down in the craft room waiting for their turn to be in the knitting rotation.

Speaking of comments, I've neglected answering a few questions. Most often, I can't reply to comments via email because Blogger doesn't always give me an address.

Kellistarr asked how I did the cast on with the fur for the fingerless mitts. I used the crochet over the needle method and it worked out well. If you're not familiar with this method, it is very similar to the provisional crochet cast on, only instead of just chaining x stitches, you actually chain over a knitting needle.

A quick tutorial in pictures:

1. Make a slip knot and place the resulting loop on a crochet hook. Hold the tail and knitting needle together with your left hand. Tension the working end of the yarn with your left hand, making sure it is fed under the knitting needle as in the below photo.

2. Take the crochet hook over the knitting needle, yarn over, and draw through loop on crochet hook as in below photo.

3. The working end of the yarn will wind up on top of the knitting needle as in below photo.

4. Take working end of yarn around knitting needle so that is once again under the needle as it was when beginning your cast on. You should now have one stitch on the needle, and a loop on the crochet hook ready to cast on the next stitch. Repeat these steps until you have one less stitch than is needed. Your final stitch will be the loop left on the crochet hook. Place this loop on the needle, and you are ready to start knitting.

I love the edge this cast on gives. I believe it resembles most closely the look of a bind off, and use it quite frequently on items such as scarves or stoles where I want both ends to look the same.

Kellistarr also asked for some advice on preventing ladders in knitting, and said that she thought my knitting looked neat and tidy. LOL I always thought I was the queen of ladders. I guess photos help hide that little quirk in my knitting!

I normally don't stress overly about ladders unless they are really really bad. Most times, a good blocking once the item is finished gets rid of the ladder effect. I get ladders when I use double points most often, but I also get them sometimes in cabled items. They show up between the cable and the following purl stitch. I find these even themselves out in blocking too.

If you find that you are getting ladders in ribbing and are knitting flat, this little trick might work. When you do your purl stitches, wrap the yarn backwards around the needle (clockwise insead of counterclockwise. When you do your next row, knit all the knit stitches through the back loop. Wrapping backwards creates a tighter stitch, and knitting through the back loop untwists the twist you put into the stitch.

This method can be used anywhere you get ladders, including knitting in the round. Just be careful that you are untwisting the stitches on the following row. Or not! You might like the look of the twisted stitches.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Catch Up Post

Uggggg. I waited way too long to post again, so I'm going to bombard you with FO photos.

First off, I did finish both pair of Braided Cable Fingerless Mitts. I didn't get a photo of Kathy's before I took them to work and gave them to her, but maybe I can talk her into posing for me one of these days.

The yarn is soooo soft and silky, and the fur is just the right touch. These will get a lot of use next year.

Pardon the horrific photo. I tried to make the colors appear better, but I think I made it worse. Unfortunately I both deleted the photo from the camera and saved the goof before I realized what I had done. Oops.

I needed some mindless knitting for a change and dug out some fun stuff from the stash for a garter stitch scarf. I think I'm going to have to try to get a closeup photo of this to really show the bamboo yarn and the hint of novelty goodness between the stripes. I used some Bernat Bamboo yarn for this and it is scrumptiously soft. It reminds me of my soft squishy robe from Brookstone.

Got all of Baby Benson's socks completed too. He or she is due this Thursday and will have warm tootsies right from the start. All three of these patterns came from "New Pathways for Sock Knitters". New goal ...... knit every pair in the book!

Two more Dishcloth of the Month cloths hot off the needles too.

I counted how many WIPs I had next to my bed (where I do most of my knitting), and came up with a whopping 11!!!!! Since I can't keep up this pace, will never get anything finished with so many projects to choose from, and am having difficulty getting into my closet for work clothes in the morning, it is time for an intervention. First thing I did yesterday was make a list of all the WIPs I had out of the craft room. Next, I moved all those knitting bags back to the craft room. I have chosen 5 of the 11 as my work week knitting, and will knit on one each evening Monday through Friday. Weekends are for knitting whatever I feel a fancy to, and for doing all those finishing functions that I just don't seem to have enough time to complete in one evening during the week.

As I finish something, I will choose something else from the list to work on during the week. Maybe knitting on something different each day will keep my interest, and knitting only on 5 projects at a time will actually result in FOs. And, maybe by working on something different each night, I might actually post a bit more regularly! We shall see.