Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ROE swatch

I managed to do a quick swatch for the Rose of England (ROE) shawl:

Now I'm just not sure if I like the stockinette with the other stitch patterns. Yeah, I know the ladybird stitch isn't right--I got interruped too many times, not to mention working late at night in poor light, but I figure it's a swatch, so not a big deal.

I'm using a wonderful yarn from my friend Elizabeth, and the new KnitPicks Options needles in size 3US. I LOVE them, but I'm thinking I might go down one needle size to make the stockinette more dense.

Opinions, please!!

Added later: the yarn is actually that wonderful raspberry color from the previous post's picture--I didn't take the time to perfect the color in the picture above. But the yarn does look more red in certain lights. It's very pretty!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I can print!!

My new printer arrived today. I've been printerless since my daughter yanked a paper out of the old workhorse, an HP Laserjet 4+. I LOVED that printer. Apparently when she "encouraged" the paper to come out faster it broke a gear, which then fell into the fuser to the cost of $166 for repairs. Since the printer was $200 to begin with four years ago, and they're going for $40 in working condition, we decided to retire it.

My new printer is a Samsung ML-2010, and it's small enough to actually sit on my desk. Not that my desk is small, 'cause it isn't. It's just that 1.) it's usually covered, and 2.) the old one was huge, and there was no way it would've fit on my desk. Well, it would've fit, but nothing else would have.

I'll never own another inkjet again after all the trouble I had with my Epson and the inks drying out constantly. If I need color printing, it's faster and easier to send it to the Wally World photo lab.

On to the knitting content!

One of the projects coming up is the Rose of England KAL (from the Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting by Kinzel), and here's my yarn:

It's a gorgeous, 2,500-yard hank of yarn from my internet friend Elizabeth. Thank you, Elizabeth!! It's going to be absolutely perfect for that ROE shawl. The official start date is Sept 9 and I'm not letting myself swatch until all my fair stuff is done. We'll see how well I stick to that!

Also on the needles is a dishcloth from the Mason Dixon knitting book, although I'd saved the pattern from this website before the book came out.

I wasn't too excited about it until I saw them done in a variegated yarn and a solid yarn, and I was totally intrigued by the color changes. I'm really enjoying both of them, but after the second one I'll be done for a while. I'd forgotten how hard 100% cotton is on my hands, especially if I neglect to select the right needle size. These will probably be Christmas gifts for someone who raved about cotton hand-knit dishcloths a few years ago. They won't coordinate with her kitchen, but who says they have to? I like that they're happy and bright.

And in my Crafting-ADD world, I also had to try the Shadow Knitting technique. It's been calling to me for quite a while and I finally had to give in and just do something small to make sure I had the concept. Voila, a small hot pad:

What? You can't see the design? Oh, let me turn it a little:

Yeah, I know I'm a nerd. I'm eyeballing the kimono (scroll down on this page) from the Shadow Knitting book in a big way.

There. Now you're all caught up with me and my life. ;-)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Lots of projects almost finished

I've been bad about blogging, but I have gotten a lot done instead of being on the computer....

I had some wool that was burning a hole in my stash (well, if money burns a hole in your pocket, so to speak, can't wool/yarn do the same in your stash??) and with the available colors, I had the strange idea to make a Christmas Felted Vessel.

It was an enjoyable, if odd, project. :-) Before felting:

After felting:

And the other side:
The yarn is from KnitPicks, some discontinued bulky-weight wool that felted beautifully. The pattern is an original, straight out of my head. I'm sure you totally couldn't tell that, with all of its inherent funkiness.

And this has been done for a while, but I just blocked it this morning:

And of course it immediately had a kid on it.

There's a detail of the edge. This is the Doily with Spiral from Nurhanne's site, with a correction to the edging. Looking at the pictured doily vs. the instructions, I think that rows 96-100 should be deleted or the text following ("to finish") makes no sense. Yes, it's large. I haven't actually measured yet, but I will in the morning after it's relaxed a bit. I think, just guessing, that it's close to 50" across.

The dark spots on my blocking sheet are where the doily/tablecloth was a little more wet. The blocking sheet, btw, I came up with last night. I used an old sheet, made two perpendicular bisecting lines, and tied a long piece of string to a pin. I put the pin in the intersection of the lines, and used the string like a compass with a permanent marker to make the circles. They're far from perfect, but they're certainly close enough for me! Now I just need to mark more radiating lines for 8-wedge and 6-wedge doilies so I don't have to do so much measuring between the points.

And the last thing I'm managed to finish has been Gillian's doll, although she needs clothes. I figure she's got on a bodysuit, but Gillian says she still needs panties. I was thinking I'd do a sweater first. LOL!
The pattern is from the book Knitted Toys by Fiona McTauge, the princess doll with a different style of hair. I'm also not going to make the clothes that go with it, but mine will just be unique.

And speaking of our princess Gillian, Saturday she lost her first tooth:

This was taken this morning, on her first day of KINDERGARDEN!! I can hardly believe it. Ryan can't either, obviously. ;-)

Here she is with her new backpack:

She HAD to have the one with the hair. It's probably going to be gross within a week, but she absolutely loves it.

And no, Tracy, you weren't bugging me. ;-)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Boy IN sweater!

I finally talked Ryan into trying on the finished sweater. He wasn't too happy about it, but he liked seeing himself on the camera and the computer.

Doesn't he look happy and thrilled to be wearing it??

In this picture you can see the open zipper. I'm quite pleased with it! Now if only he'll wear it once it gets cooler. I can't really blame him since it was 104 today....

Monday, August 07, 2006

Wallaby picture

I still haven't managed to get the boy to put on the sweater so that I can take a picture, but Gillian offered to model it for me. Silly girl! She wears size 6 and the sweater is a 4, so it's a bit on the small side.

I decided to do a rolled edge on the collar after the ribbing, and I put a zipper in the front. The sweater isn't perfect but I'm quite pleased with it!! Now if I can just get him to wear it....

And of course since I finished one project, I immediately had to cast on for a new one. Yeah, that's not a good way to finish up any UFOs. However, I plan to enter this in the fair and I have to have it completed by mid-September so I have to work fast.

I picked up the pattern at the yarn shop in Idaho Falls, Idaho, when we were visiting my parents. The yarn is Bernat's Softee Baby, which is acrylic. The pattern calls for cotton, but I thought that with the difficulty I had getting baby spit-up out of my daughter's clothes when she was tiny, there was NO WAY I was going to make it in something as absorbent as cotton. Plus, I figure it's too dressy for a baby to wear for very long (probably just long enough to spit up all over it, which is what experience tells me LOL!!) so it being acrylic won't be too uncomfortable.

I'm not getting gauge on the baby gown since my yarn is closer to sport-weight than fingering, but I'm O.K. with that--I'll do more decreases before the upper lace section so that the skirt will just be more full than in the original.

And oh yeah, I'm NOT pregnant. [shudder!!] Just in case you were wondering about the small-ish items I've made lately. They're satisfying my urge to make something and FINISH it, since most of my lace projects take a while. Especially when they languish in their bags for weeks at a time. And no, I don't have anyone in mind for this dress. I may hold on to it for a while, but I just haven't made up my mind yet. We'll see how I feel about it once it's finished.

Of course what I should be working on is my Hanging Garden Stole, or my Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl, or any of the other unfinished projects I have going....

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Wallaby completed!

Wow, this sweater went REALLY fast!

I decided to not do the hood, especially since my boy has such a big head. I'll do a hat instead, probably with the leftover yarn. Not that he'll actually wear it, but he wouldn't wear a hood, either.

The little stinker needed a nap (and he's having one now, hooray!!) and didn't want to try it on for me so I could take a picture, but hopefully later this evening I'll be able to talk him into it. I had it on him earlier before I sewed up the underarms and it looked really cute, but hopefully it'll be even better now that it's done.

Well, it's not really done--I'm thinking I'm going to try putting a zipper in the placket since it's kind of gaping. I'll put it on him and decide then.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

More Wallaby progress

I've made quite a bit of progress on my Wallaby since my last post--I've been trying to spend less time on the computer and more time doing things like keeping my house clean. Oh yeah, and knitting. :-)

I'm into the part where it's not in the round any more, so I'm getting close to the hood. I've decided to not do the white stripes in the hood and I'm pleased with it so far. For some reason I've had a terrible time with the "conversational" style pattern, and since I'm planning to make more of these I'll probably end up re-writing it for me. I lose my place too often when the patterns are chatty. I know some people love them, but it's not my cup of tea for this project.

Now I'm trying to decide whether to make the hood garter or stockinette, and I'm leaning toward stockinette since 1.) my boy runs on the hot side; and 2.) nothing else but the placket is in garter stitch.

Opinions, anyone?