Monday, March 31, 2014

Finished, Done, Completed

More than a month later, the egg head hats finally have there little horns, and have become deviled eggs. Fortunately, the hats are big—because the girls are growing (as all proper children should!) like proverbial weeds. Every day, bigger, stronger more interesting. They now stay awake during the day when you visit them, smiling and gurgling. Their different personalities are becoming more and more evident.
They will (willing or unwillingly) wear identical hats for a few more months, and then will start exerting their will. Caroline will be the tricky one to start—she clearly does not like hats-(though she may out grow this)-and is like me in this.

I love to knit hats, but this winter, the coldest, snowiest one in 20 years found me wearing a hat fewer than a dozen times—and truth be told, it was closer to half a dozen times. I like and have worn fancy hats (and wear my own lace hat design more in the summer than I ever wear wool hats in the winter) but I don't much like any hat (in any fiber!) that sits close to my head—and I hate hats that cover my ears. Only when its cold enough that I think my ears are going to freeze do I don a winter hat—and that's not often.

Since the hats have been finished, I've gotten 1 row done on the edge of the striped and lacy shawl.
Instead of working it, Or on the baby sweaters... I have been knitting up some holiday eggs....
I've made eggs like this in the past, (the 3 as a group are a ten or so years old). When I sold my house and moved to this apartment a dozen years ago, I gave away 2 dozen eggs to a neighbor. She had a small dogwood tree in her front yard that was hung with dozens of (store bought) egg.

Fancy eggs (but not too fancy!) are something that's been in the family for some 40 years. Some of my eggs were blown (and nicely decorated, not just dyed), and some were styrofoam, covered with cloth (mock quilting) and some were covered with pearl cottons, and the last of the double dozen were knit.
All of these were fun—for hunts and tricks—blown eggs that cracked, as blown eggs will do, were sometimes tossed at unsuspecting visitors—to startle them. Egg hunts were fun, too, and lost eggs—no problem—nothing lost but a shell.

So here I am, closing in on a half dozen of eggs for the girls. There will be some new ones for me, too, so when the girls visit in future years, they will have eggs to hunt for here, too. For now unbreakable knit ones, later, blown ones, or beaded ones.

The smallest (the light blue chenille yarn) is about the size of a common chickens egg, all the others are closer to goose eggs size. The yarns are all washable ones—all left over bits from past projects..The biggest issue is, I am not much of a pastel person--(as that largest goose shows—those clear bright colors are festive (and work) but are hardly pastel!) and I don't have much in the way of suitable scraps.
I have left overs of Patons Grace (a DK weight cotton) from my summer lace hats—some of the colors are not quite pastels but will work.

Friday, March 28, 2014

It's a Triangle!

Not done—but, well almost. The last repeat of the pattern was finished up last night and it was photographed—then after dinner, I began the tedious work of picking up stitches for welted edge. And there are some ends to weave in, too (you'll see them)

Well, the pick up got done. I haven't knit a single stitch on a single row—yet. Today, my first order of business is laundry, then the devil horns are going onto the egg head hats, and then tonight, after dinner, the first row of the welt will be knit. Or at least, that is the plan.

I like this shawl—even thought it has so many details I generally don't like!

It's a bit small for my taste; or rather the welting makes it a bit small. The welting is much tighter on the wide end—as happens, and looser on the narrow end. The weight of the work stretched the welting out—more and more as the shawl got heavier. I think the tight end will relax a bit with wearing; or maybe that is just foolish hope. (It looks great on the dress form—but the dress form is almost child sized!) At the same time, you can see how the lace stripes seem farther apart on the narrow end than they do on the wide end.

As the length of the rows changed, the striping pattern changed—another detail that I normally don't like..the long (264 stitches!) beginning rows are tweedy. The long color changes weren't long enough for 2 rows of knitting.The stripes are tweed and only vaguely stripes.  At the narrow end, a color change lasted almost a full pattern repeat. There are different dye lots too. Well, that is to be expected when you find skeins with out bands.. but one skein has 3 knots—and the dye lot changed with in the skein itself. The dye lot changes are visible in some light, but with all the color and the tweed vs stripe effects—they are not a dominant feature --as they might be in plan knitting or a solid color.

(All three of the skeins had knots--I love the color way, but I hate knotty yarns--I would have been upset if I had paid full price for this--And I won't likely buy any more for the same reason.)

The whole thing is asymmetrical—and while I am not as ridged about things being symmetrical as my DD, I, too tend to prefer symmetry. Asymmetry is usually not my thing.

So there are a lot of reasons not to love it.. But I love it anyway!  It's warm--too, but acrylic often is--the welting keeps it from being over warm

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What's Up?

Well the triangle striped lace shawl had gone from 77 stitches remaining to 50 something.. 2 full 24 row pattern repeats done (and a few more rows on the next repeat.)

Quickly it's going to be done! (Well, maybe not so quickly) I do plan to pick up stitches on the diagonal edge and add some welting.. How much? I am not sure! As much as I have yarn for! At least one set of welts (3 rows of stockingknit and 3 rows off reverse) I'd like more welting.. but I don't plan to buy any more of this yarn—I started with 3 damaged (2 label-less, and one a bit shopworn (knotted and messed up) skeins from a clearance bin... Any more yarn would be full price. But I do think it will better with at least some welting.

I'll work on it today, and maybe take a photo when I finish off the main triangle--the welted edging will fit on a single circular needle, but it will be wrinkled and bunched up as I knit--and it won't photograph well.  But--definitely a photo when it's done!

Yesterday I was out from early morning (8AM) to 7PM (if you count door to door) and while it was a good day—(I was mostly indoors and not out in the freezing, windy air) it was a long day. I got a little knitting done—
See here: 4 little devil's horns knit for the egg head hats. Today they will be grafted onto the hats, and I'll have Deviled Eggs! My plan was to graft them to the hats last night—but that didn't happen.

I am going to knit up some fancy holiday eggs, too (in cotton) for the girls as little toys—I've knit these before (for myself, and for my other grandchildren)  They are fun for egg hunts (well not now—the girls are just 9 weeks old and not up to doing egg hunts—they can barely find their own fists!) but if I knit 2 or 4 each year, and by the time they are 4 or 5, there will be a dozen or so to play with—then I will switch to blown eggs 

No one in my family was a big fan of hard boiled eggs—so most of my children's holiday eggs were blown eggs.  The girls dad loves deviled eggs—but there is no way to hard boil eggs (and decorate them) if you are making deviled eggs!

The eggs will be done in fine cottons and some novelty yarns (--remnants mostly)—in stripes and  stranded color work style, and just plain —and they will help me get over my urge to knit socks (Or at least to not start any socks till I have finished all the other WIP's)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Yeah, I Have Been Knitting...

I just have been starting, and starting but not finishing...The baby sweaters are still missing sleeves. The egg head hats still are missing their devils horns.

There is a shawl has been in progress for a few weeks, (and it's crying out to be finished!) and a silk scarf has been started....(more on that tomorrow or Thursday—tomorrow is a busy day, and I might not get anything posted)

And suddenly, all those project bags with socks kits in them are looking so attractive! I am jonesing to knit a pair of socks.. and I got it bad.

So I decided to, at least, come clean about what I am really doing. Well-- I am doing some cleaning and reorganizing—(and this doesn't really help—since it often leads to distractions—stash yarn remind me of things I planned to knit.. (like pink shell in sock yarn, and matching cardigan in some alpaca—I love my leafy green shell and want another one—In pink, in blue, (I don't have blue yarn) in brown, (again—no yarn, just a dream)

And I have been busy socializing—My DD and new granddaughters for one, sibling for two, a knitting group that fell apart when most of the members experienced some health related problems...

A broken right arm (on a righty) plays serious havoc with knitting. And a frozen shoulder on another group member doesn't help her knitting —any more than ambulatory issues on a third is any help in having her join us--especially when this winter has been one of snow and ice! I had my own set back with the lose of my knitting mojo, which is slowly coming back--but the other issues are getting resolved.. Collectively we are all better, and getting together monthly, if not weekly.

So here is MOST of a shawl--(only 6 (maybe 7) pattern repeats left to go.. (but each pattern repeat is 24 rows!)--it's Red Hearts Unforgettable (a single ply acrylic from the Boutique collections). The good news is there is are 12 decreases in every pattern repeat, so the row get shorter (and easier to work)--the bad news is there are still a lot of rows to go!

The pattern is a series of welt, (3 rows of stockingknit, 3 rows of reverse stockingknit) and every 4th welt has a little bit of lace. 

I like how the stripes and the color effects change.. at first, I could just knit a row or two before the color changed—and the effect was not so much a stripe as it was a tweed. Now I can get 4 to 5 rows before a color change—so the appearance changes (and by the end when there are even few stitches, the stripes will be bigger still!)

The diagonal edge will have a welt or two added to finish the shawl.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Long Enough

I think. I like long baby sweaters—ones that cover them from shoulder to hip—I am tempted even to knit a sack—a long long sweater from shoulder to toe.

But that's an old fashioned style. The yarns stripe and pool and well I am not sure using 2 balls for each sweater has made much of a difference. 3 of the 4 balls have had knots—and these have changed the pooling patterns more than anything...

So its time to start a hem, and then go one to work the sleeves. The matching hats will be mostly pink, (a closely matching solid pink acrylic) –to make it clear these are baby girls—since these sweaters are really unisex with all the blue. Thought the bit of lace at the shoulders does make them a little girlish.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oh, There Are These, Too.

I didn't knit or blog much for most of last summer, fall and the beginning of winter. I spent a lot time reading (and I still am reading) and a lot of time catching up on media—movies & TV show—with my Google Chrome and Netflix.

But I did get some knitting done --some of it has been frogged—I wasn't happy with the results.

These socks didn't get frogged—but they are also a bit of disappointment.

The yarn is Paton's Kroy—in a color way called Rainbow--(these are not rainbow colors!) and some left over grey. I needed the grey because the ruffle used up way more yarn than I realized.

And well, the ruffle doesn't really work, does it? Kimberly (of my Tuesday knitting group) thought they would be great boot socks—and the ruffle would look good as a boot topper—but I hate boots, and rarely wear them (just twice this past winter with all the snow we had.)

I love to experiment with socks—and every once in a while I come up with a great design. And then again, every once in a while, a dud.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Beginning to Look Like Sweaters

With a few inches of the body knit—they are beginning more and more to look like sweaters--

Following the manufacturer's suggestion, once I started the plain stocking knit, I also began to use 2 skeins—working alternate rows with different skeins—K, k, P, p—is the easiest way with a circ—It has changed the pooling a bit—but there are still large pools of blue, and large pools of pink--

I don't think I am going to bother working with 2 skeins per sleeve—that is just to much—especial because I like to work the sleeves 2 at time (or in this case, 4 at a time!), in the round, with 2 circular needles.. adding 8 skeins of yarn to mix is just to much! Beside, the sleeves are so narrow—it won't make much difference.. there will be pooling.

I am going to make the sweaters long—and they will be hemmed, not finished with ribbing. The sleeves, too will be hemmed. Its hard enough to get little baby arms into sleeves—they don't need tight ribbing to make it harder. (as I am writing this, I realized, I will end the sleeves with folded back cuffs—the kind that will serve as mittens. A much better idea than either hems or ribbing.

But sleeves are a way off—first I have to finish the bodies of the sweaters!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Egg Heads

These egg hats have been done for almost 2 weeks now—well done-- but not deviled. I know I have some (a partial skein) of red yarn—but where it is? It is a mystery. I've done 2 projects, and started a third while I continued to look for the red yarn.

Yesterday—I gave up and took a partial skein of white (left over egg white!) and dyed it a rich dark red—so now I have only to knit the 4 little horns to have these hats finished. They are still a bit big, and while today is moderate (not quite 50°) there is still more cold weather predicted for next week—and the hats will fit for a while –so if spring rushes in, they hats will hold till the fall.  But even if the weather gets warm, March is a windy month--and baby's need hats for the first two years in my opinion (My DD is not sure yet--but I keep her well stocked with baby hats, the girls will wear them!)

I'll finish the sweaters first. I just go a few row of the plain stocking knit below the arms done yesterday, so there isn't much of change to see—You'll have to wait till Monday. By then, I should have some real progress to show off.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Skein 1—Done!

Well to be perfectly honest—it's not quite done yet—I have enough to do one more row—and that row will be the division row—when I slip some stitches on to holders, for the sleeves, and start working the body of the sweater.

As for the lace—I think I will continue it into the body of the sweater—at least in the front. In the back, there will be a few short rows to make the back longer than the front—a better fit even for babies.
It will be easier to leave the back plain

The manufacturer suggest alternating 2 skeins as you knit—I didn't do that for the yoke—the increase naturally break up pooling a bit, but I think I might for the body of the sweaters.

As you can see from this small section, this side of the sweater is almost all blue and white—the right side (stuck in the middle of the circ cable) is mostly pink... I am not displeased with the results—These are baby sweaters—they will fit for a few months.. Late spring, cool nights in the summer, and then again in the fall.

Chances are they won't fit come next year –(though it is possible) Baby sweaters are well,ephemeral,  almost! They will get fancy sweaters (read: stranded color work!) when they are aged 5 or 6—something that is big year 1, fits perfect year 2, and is (hopefully) beloved, and squeezed into year 3--

And there is a single sweater planned (to match one my M-I-L knit)--so they can have some cabled irish style sweaters. 

There is an effort –with lace and pretty yarn—but I am not going to obsess over how the yarn pools for a baby sweater.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


In the clear light of day, I frogged, and then cast on again—perfectly--the first time.

Today--I have several inches of the sweater yoke knit/

I worked some ribbing, made some increases, and began an other version of a favorite pattern—well an adapted version of a favorite pattern. The pattern isn't as obvious as it could be in this busy yarn—but I am happy with the results—none the less.

Both sweaters are being knit at once--(just one in pictured)--and I am still on ball 1 (of 5 available) and should have plenty to finish both sweaters, and to make a hat, too.

I love this pattern—the sweater yoke is about 90 rows--(half of which are plain purl) the other rows? Each one is different! I have used this pattern in sweaters, and in hats, and shawls, and now, back to sweaters.
But for this version, there are fewer repeats of the petal like lace pattern--(3 teirs instead of 4 or 5)--so the 90 row yoke will be closer to 60 or maybe a 76 row yoke.  

There are fewer petals, (pattern repeats in each row) too, so instead of the optimal increases (8 every other round) there are only 7--but babies have narrow shoulders and this shouldn't be a problem.--Plus--Lace is stretchier than stocking knit, so the lace will provide the ease needed. 

So these sweaters will have a yoke with fewer repeats--and shorter--than I've done in the past--but i think they will be just as pretty.  

Here is another versions-- one in a heathery wool, and another version in green cotton-- (the green "Artichoke" version was knit for my first grand daughter (she's now a teen!) 

Once I worked out the pattern, it's been easy to adapt, and do again and again. The first row is the hardest—getting things set up—after that, it is—to me—almost mindless knitting.

The girls will end up having various versions knit for them again and again--

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Here—and Gone.

One day, I am going to remember, I can't start a project after 9PM with out paper work and real pre-planning.

But  last night wasn't the night.   I started a pair of baby sweaters—top down raglan's—and cast on 72.
72 is the wrong number to cast on! I needed 71, (the pattern is a multiple of 10 +1)--but I needed some more stitches for the button bands--I totally forgot to include button band stitches in my initial stitch count. 

72 is also wrong for 1 X 1 ribbing—I like my button bands to start and end with Knit stitch—and I need 12 stitches for the button bands—I work the button bands in a slip stitch pattern, so they aren't nearly as wide as they sound like they would be.

I also decided for some stupid reason to start them sweaters not together, but separately. And that caused further problems, when I couldn't (well I couldn't last night) get the sweaters to match up—and have an equal number of rows, and the same side out on the cast on--which matters with the cast on I used--it is one with a definitely side A and Side B (I won't call them right and wrong (both sides are interesting, but not identical) 

And in spite of this, I kept knitting, thinking it would be OK... but when it came time to do the pattern—well I didn't have the right stitch count--D'oh! (but it did take me tinking counting and reknitting the row before i realized what was wrong!)

So this AM I gave up. The ribbing you see is gone—the work has been completely frogged, and started over again in the light of day, with just a brief bit of figuring.. and now, 3 rows of ribbing completed.
Next up the first button hole, and soon after that, the pattern will start.  

By tomorrow, there will be something to see. A completed neck band, and a few rows of the pattern established.

The yarn is Adrialfil's IMPULSO—a machine washable wool and nylon blend—that was a special at one of Smiley's sales a few seasons ago. I have 10 50g balls—they suggest 9 for a medium womans sweater, so I think I'll have enough for two little sweaters. The lace will make them girly—and if I have extra, they will get hats to match—more likely, they will get pink hats—trimmed with some of the Adriafil yarn—not perfectly matched hats, but coordinating ones.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

One Twisted Mess

Yesterday—Today, a long narrow mobius scarf. It's about 40 inches long—and folds up nicely to an 20 or so inch cowl. I don't much like tight scarfs around my neck--(I don't really much like cold weather scarf to be honest) so this cowl is a nice fit for me.

It look bigger on the dress form—but remember, the dress form is a teen size one –and a small one at that. The last few yards became a little flower for a stick pin—I still need to sew it on to a pin—it's just pinned in place here.

Next? Um—maybe another UFO will be tackled—There are enough of them! Soon a sweater mate for an Aran sweater, and then a pair of lacy baby sweaters in aran weight machine washable wool...Maybe before either, a pair of lucky green hats....

Monday, March 03, 2014

One Done, Another Begun, (and almost done!)

The Pieces of Eight mitts are done—and finished, and ready to wear. I love how they look, and they were a fun bit of knitting.--They are however very difficult to photograph! 

The pattern is free, and not the best written—and to be honest, I didn't really try to follow it. I did follow (for the most part) the photo's—which were excellent. My mitts are much bigger (but my yarns was heavier (sports, not fingering) and so were my needles (US5 vs US3)--but I like fingerless gloves that are more like gauntlets and cover half the arm.. (If it's cold enough to add fingerless mitts over gloves, it's cold enough to need something that come half way up your arms!

I didn't quite have enough of the Lane Mille Colore partial skeins—so the mitts were finished with some chestnut brown hand dyed Lamb Pride.  I had 2 50g skeins of this yarn--Lovely stuff, but there is a limited amount of things to be done with 100g of sports weight yarn--especial a solid.  There was more than enough to finish off the mitts, though 

Once done, I still had 1 full (50g) skein of the Mille Colore plus 2 partial skeins of the Lambs Pride.  So a cowl—I kept thinking I wanted a figure 8 cowl—but in the end, settled for a mobius cowl. It's been a good number of years (10? 12?) since my last mobius—so it was time. The cowl is about 36 to 40 inches (I can't really be sure till I bind it off!) so it can easily loop like a folded figure 8—which will be a good go with the mits.

By the end of the last night, all of the Mille Colore was gone, and the edging of chestnut brown Lambs pride was started. A few more rounds and this tangled mess will be a matching mobius cowl.