28 Mar 2009 @ 3:26 PM 

This is what I have been up to. I have finished the Karen’s Smoke Ring (Rav link).  I am far beyond pleased with it.  It knitted up so quickly I can’t even believe it.  It was a very simple pattern and it shows off the yarn very nicely.  I feel I have to thank Amy King for this one because the colors are so very perfect for this kind of project and the yarn is so very soft.  I only regret that it is starting to warm up so much around here and I probably won’t get to wear it until next fall.  Sigh.  Oh well.  Here are some finished object shots. (Click on the shot and a separate javascript window will open with a large image for more detailed view.)

Old Shale Smoke RingOld Shale Smoke Ring

Old Shale Smoke RingOld Shale Smoke Ring

Old Shale Smoke Ring

In my recent Tweeting and Plurking, I mentioned that I started the Woodland Shawl.  My super adorable friend, Angela, is going to knit this with me.  Gosh I miss you Angela!  So I told her I would post my progress to day with some pictures.  I started this a few days ago but frogged cause I couldn’t figure it out.  I restarted on Thusday while David was under the knife.  I am currently on the third repeat.  Here’s what I did wrong:  I thought it was a 12 row repeat so I started row 13 as row one but it’s a 16 row repeat.  No wonder it wasn’t working.  Those models ARE dumb as stumps.  I am really enjoying it but I haven’t quite figured out each of the rows yet but I’m sure I will.  The yarn is a bit heavier than the pattern calls for but it’s handspun and super soft merino.  This is why I am calling this one my Cloudy Day Woodland Shawl (Rav link).  The yarn is gray and cloudy and soft and smooshy.  I love clouds and think they are like big cotton balls.  I am using size 7 needles to keep it very loose and it’s nice so far.  Here are some progress shots:

Cloudy Woodland ShawlCloudy Woodland Shawl

David had his ACL replacement surgery on Thursday.  It’s going really well so far.  The nurse came to the house yesterday to take care of his dressing and remove the drain from his knee.  Today the physical therapist came out and made him do things that almost made him cry but she said his movements were great and he is very strong.  He is out of work and annoying me all next week.  We will see if we make it to our 19th anniversary.

Next post will be about my Kromski Harp which I got a couple weeks ago.

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Posted By: loopykd
Last Edit: 28 Mar 2009 @ 03 26 PM

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 14 Jan 2009 @ 2:31 PM 

Zen MerinoZen MerinoI spent a good amount of time after the holiday spinning one pound of merino for fun and therapy. It was both. The color and the fiber were both so soothing and therapeutic. Here are the finished skeins. There are four of them. There is a total of 744 yards of 3 ply merino at 16 wraps per inch.  I think I will knit something warm and toasty for myself with this yarn.  I was thinking some kind of shawl with a little lace in it but nothing too fancy.  This yarn is more like a homey kind of yarn.  It’s very springy and somewhat elastic.  If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.  I can’t think about knitting right now though cause it’s currently 88 degrees on my back patio.

Sunshine of Your LoveAnother project I am working on is really fun.  I joined a group on Ravelry called Ply by Night. The very interesting concept for this group is that all the members of the group order and spin the same fiber in the same colorway and knit the same pattern with it in the end and compare the results.  I have put a lot of thought into the process I would use.  I came up with something not too creative but fun nonetheless.  I split the fiber into the three most prominent colors.  I will spin each section onto it’s own bobbin and then ply them into a 3 ply yarn.  I have already started spinning the lightest color which is white with  yellow.  I was unable to split the colors into even weights so I had to add some of the yellows to each of the other colors.  I will just throw them into the middle of the colors where I can. Here is the first bobbin in the weight I hoping to maintain for the other bobbins.

Singles

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Posted By: loopykd
Last Edit: 14 Jan 2009 @ 02 31 PM

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 29 Oct 2008 @ 9:02 PM 

I don’t know if you are all interested, but I hit 20 pounds lost today on my ticker at the right over there. That’s right baby! Depression and constant pain help you lose weight and get to your goal!

I am finishing up my baby blanket slowly but surely and finishing some spinning I started forever ago. I finished one bobbin of 8 ounces of silk/alpaca in brown and cream. I have some dark chocolate colored pure alpaca with a bunch of vegetation in it that I am spinning up to ply with the blend. I believe it will be beautiful together. It will be 16 ounces all together in a two ply. I have never done that much before in one project and it should be done within the next couple days or so. I can’t wait to ply and finish and display! Bella has asked me if I will knit her a dress with it when I am done. Are you kidding? No way Jose! I don’t know what I will do but I am thrilled to finish it up.

The alpaca is soft like butter so it should be super soft when it’s finished (I hope).  The bobbin in the front is the blend and a full 8 ounces on there and the brown I am working on now is on the farthest bobbin.  This is a picture I took months ago when I started.  I decided to finish up unfinished projects and knitting and it’s going very well!

Fiber love

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Posted By: loopykd
Last Edit: 29 Oct 2008 @ 09 02 PM

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 16 Aug 2008 @ 9:35 AM 

Charlotte's Web TipsAnyone who reads my blog knows I am now knitting Charlotte’s Web Shawl.  This is my first lace project and I am enjoying it so much.  I have had a few hiccups and frogged the whole thing once but I still love it.  I thought I would document my method for keeping the lace repeats straight without using stitch markers.  There are just too many repeats and I totally don’t want to mess with stinkin stitch markers all the way across 300 some stitches (about where I am now).  First, here is a photo of my entire progress so far.  I am about to start row 153 which is row 7 of the pattern.

Charlotte's Web TipsHere is a photo to show the row numbers.  The pattern is repeated twice before anything changes.  The triangles of stockinette are shown pretty clearly in the chart so I won’t explain those. I am hoping that as I explain, you can understand what I mean. First, as I have blogged or plurked this shawl, I have jinxed myself every time. I am hoping to break that habit here and now. The first row of the pattern has the fewest yarn overs. There are just two yarn overs which makes this row the least repetitive. However, it can be easy to remember what you are doing. Every time you do a regular knit stitch here, you will be making a stockinette row. You will be able to tell when you are knitting if you are knitting into a yarn over or a stockinette stitch. If your knit (as opposed to a slip-knit-pass or knit-two-together) stitch is into a yarn over, you have done something wrong. Once you are finished with the lace repeat, you will knit three stitches and then start the next lace repeat. These three stitches are a YO, stockinette, YO in that order. If you don’t come across them this way, you have done something wrong. It should be easy to go back and figure out your error if you follow this pattern.

I haven’t counted my stitches since row 138 and I am about to start row 153.  I am confident I don’t need to count but I sure needed to do it up until this time.  Here is what I learned about that.  If you have two many stitches, you probably forgot to pass one of your stitches over your knitted stitch.  If you have two few stitches, but your stitches worked out the way they were supposed to in the row (i.e. you finished with your proper number of stockinette for the edge triangles) then you probably missed a yarn over.  You should be able to look at your stitches and easily know where a yarn over belongs but is missing.  If all else fails, go back to your lifeline rows and start again.

Charlotte's Web TipsThe eight stitch lace repeat can be found between the stockinette rows shown here by the red lines.  If you lay the shawl down, you can easily see these raised rows in your shawl.  This is where I ran into a problem that I blogged about earlier. This little tip can also help you figure out where you are in your repeats.

Charlotte's Web TipsAll even numbered rows are purling back over the entire length of the shawl so I won’t talk about those rows. Row 3 of the lace is kinda fun. The knit stitches are the same as the first row. By that I mean that they should all remain stockinette and not be done into a YO. Between each of the stitch repeats is a yarn over so it’s quite repetitive and should be mindless. This can also help you when you are checking your work. Remember the stitches look like a single stitch, a slip-knit-pass, (I call this a double because it looks like two stitches knit together), a slip-k2tog-pass (triple), K2tog (double), and then a single again because you are at the end and have your stockinette row. So it goes, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 like that. If you are trying to find an error, you may miss your stockinette which is easy to spot. A mistake I made a lot was to skip the slip-knit-pass and go right to the slip-k2tog-pass so I could spot that too.

The 5th and 7th rows are the same and my favorite.  Very simply it is slip-k2tog-pass, yo, K1 until the last stockinette triangle.  Super easy to knit and to check because it is very symetrical.  The K1 is like the previous rows and continues a stockinette stitch.  Sometimes it’s not a row all the way up from the center, but it’s not a yarn over either.  Easy to check and see an error.

Well I hope this has been helpful to anyone who is interested.  It took me quite a while to see these patterns and repeats myself and I hope it can be helpful and understood by someone else.  Otherwise I will just refer back to it when I knit my next Charlotte’s Web (and I will knit another).  I am very excited to finish this and I am super obsessed!

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Last Edit: 16 Aug 2008 @ 09 35 AM

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 01 Aug 2008 @ 7:56 AM 

Well I don’t know what you did, but I know what I did.  I was so busy yesterday for a day off.  We went swimming, I knit a bunch on my Charlotte’s web, I started a new project, and I went to a movie!

Charlotte's Web First, Christine, my niece, came over for the day.  Her parents and brother had orientation at Cal Poly Pomona for the entire day.  This is what gave me the day off.  I didn’t have to entertain my daughter at all cause she had a cousin to play with.  Sometime in the morning, my sister-in-law called (a different one than Christine’s mom) and she offered for us to come over and hang by the pool.  Great idea!  Cathy was set to babysit Bella when David and I went to a movie later in the evening so I packed up some clothes and stuff just in case Bella stayed there for the day (just in case :D)  I took Charlotte’s web with me and worked on it at the pool while the girls were swimming.

The movie we went to was called Long Way Down.  This is a sequel to the TV show, Long Way Round wherein Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rode BMW motorcycles from London through Europe and China the long way around to New York City.  That was a fabulous show.  Long Way Down is the same crew and cast going from John O’Groats, Scotland down to Capetown, South Africa.  The movie is a condensed version of the TV show that began airing last night on Fox Reality Network for 10 weeks.  Please tune in cause it’s an awesome show.  David is the general manager for a BMW motorcycle dealership and the dealership sponsored the movie at the local Stadium 25 theater and bought 100 tickets to the show.  They gave away tickets to anyone who made a donation to the Pediatric Brain Tumor foundation.

The entire shop went to the movie and unfortunately for us, it was month end for David and he couldn’t leave the shop until the month was closed out in the computer.  We didn’t get to go to dinner with everyone but we did make it to the movie on time.  It was a great great show.  They completely condensed the show into a 2 hour movie.  There are a lot of placs they visited but the funniest thing was when Ewan and Charley went to the set of Star Wars in Africa (I forget the country) but there are posters of the later movies with Ewan on them.  Noone recognized him while he was there.  Hysterical!  I can’t wait to watch the entire series on Fox.

New multi-directional scarfWhile at the movie, Color Matched?I wanted to knit cause I thought that would be a great idea.  Well, I couldn’t take Charlotte’s web cause that would be crazy in the movie theater.  I started a new multi-directional scarf and it worked very well for the theater and here’s what I got done.  Thanks Adrian, for dying the lovely yarn I am using for this scarf in this beautiful colorway.  When I was taking this picture, the scarf was on the counter with a mango and I thought the colors were exactly matched.  See?

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Last Edit: 05 Sep 2008 @ 01 02 PM

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 24 Jul 2008 @ 7:18 AM 

Susie Hoodie I had 55 rows of 251 stitches done on this sweater.  I was almost done with the second full skein of yarn.  I knew the error was there in the cable.  I knew it didn’t look good and I didn’t like it.  I kept going anyway.  What the hell?  What was I thinking?  Seriously?  Did I think I could live with this?   If you look to the center of the image, you can see what I am talking about.  I had put down this knitting for a while and was working on my multi-directional scarf and other projects.  When I picked it back up, apparently, I couldn’t get where I was and rather than look at the cable, I randomly picked a spot in the pattern and knit that.  Dumbass!  It is soooooo messed up.  So when I get tSusie Hoodie o the top of the cable and make another error, I am upset.  Why is it that this one error at the top is bothering me so much?  This is the problem that I can’t live with?  I can live with the most messed up cable at the center but the one little one at the top is the one that throws me over the edge?  Is this at all right?  No! If you click on the image and go to my Flickr page, you can see the note where the miniscule problem I am speaking of is located.  So my mom is coming over this weekend and I think, I could ask her what she thinks and this is what I do.  My mom says correctly that it will bug the crap out of me the entire time.  I have a lot of work into this sweater and it just wouldn’t be right and that’s all I will see when I look at it.  So what is the bonus that comes out of this?  My mom is now knitting this sweater!  My mom is a knitter and she hasn’t knit in probably 3 years.  She sees this pattern and loves it (rightly so if I may say) and asks me to copy it for her so she can knit it.  She has some yarn already that would be perfect!  I bought her some Knit Pick Options a couple of years ago for her birthday and I don’t think she has even opened them and now she is knitting my sweater!  MY SWEATER!  People who know me know the problems here.

I don’t get along well with my mother but she gave me my creative juice.  I know this is a fact.  I am very very very competitive.  Everyone who knows me knows that now I have to beat my mom!  I have to finish first.  This is a good thing because I won’t put the stinkin thing down and lose my spot in the cable, right?  I hope so.   I am now 13 rows of 251 stitches in.  Well I am going to my mom’s tomorrow for dinner with my sisters for my littlest sister’s birthday.  I will get to see where she is in her sweater then (if she has even started).  My mom is a fast and excellent knitter and is very very very experienced and good at aran and cables.  She has many sweaters under her belt and this is my first one.  My bonus is I have been knitting more lately.  She had to call me and ask about the yarn weight.  Small victory!  I’ll keep you posted.

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Last Edit: 24 Jul 2008 @ 07 28 AM

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 11 Jul 2008 @ 11:16 AM 

Besides not finishing my vacation blogging?  I am knitting, spinning, sewing, and finishing.

Knitting my multi-directional scarf.  Note to self; don’t knit a scarf with sock yarn.

Singles Spinning 3 ounces of merino/tussah silk that Bella begged me to spin for her and please also knit a beanie with it when you are done.  So, yes, it’s done.  I started it in Eugene during BSG in my worsted vs. woolen class and finished it just yesterday.  I will Andean ply it tomorrow and then find a pattern for her beanie.  I think it should be a tight band with a wider head like a beret.  I’m sure she has other ideas.  I’ll keep you updated.

Sewing…..longer story.  During camp this week, Bella left her bathing suit at the aquatics center and they couldn’t find it when we called. I went to Costco and got  her another for today’s outing to the water park.  While there, she caught the crotch of her brand new bathing suit on some slide and it ripped a huge whole.  Luckily, it was in the seam and I was able to make the repair.  I have told her that this is the last bathing suit I am buying for her this year.

Bag Finishing….My niece, Christine asked me to knit her a bag.  It is over there on the right of my sidebar called Birthday Bag.  It has been there waiting to be finished for almost a year.  I know this because it’s almost her birthday AGAIN and it’s still not done.  She has been patient and I should have finished it long ago.  It’s done Christine!  I’m sorry it’s late!  I hope you like it!

The reason it sat around for so long is because I was stumped for the handles.  I bought some leather straps but they just didn’t fit with the style of this bag.  I toyed with the idea of some ribbon weaved into the top of the bag and gathering the top.  This is what I went with and took Christine yesterday to get some ribbon to use.  We chose three colors that match the bag and I started to weave them through.  She was very clear that she wanted a clasp or closure at the center so I put in a magnet closure that I had in my knitting bag.  I covered the metal of the closure with the white buttons on the outside.  I may put bows at the edges of the straps like I have shown in the bow photo but I’m not sure she will like it.  She is turning 14 and she chose the yarn from my stash and told me what shape she wanted.  I hope it is what she expected.  Here are the shots that show the detail.  The dowel is at the bottom of the bag to give it support if she put someting heavier in there.

Bow Birthday Bag

Birthday Bag Birthday Bag

Birthday Bag

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Last Edit: 11 Jul 2008 @ 11 16 AM

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 06 Jul 2008 @ 9:55 AM 

Basket case One thing I forgot to mention about the Black Sheep Gathering is the basket I bought.  I got it from this lady and I use it a lot.  I carry some of my projects around and even my toiletries when I was going from my trailer to my sister’s house and all.

Worsted vs. WoolenSaturday morning I was looking forward to most of all.  I have not taken an official spinning class until this day.  I am almost completely self taught with books and videos on Youtube.  I was thrilled to learn how to officially spin on my own wheel from someone who knew what they were doing.  The class was taught by Judie Overbeek. She was very knowledgable and friendly.  She allowed us to spin in our own style and taught us to refine it in a more proper way.  It was awesome!

Worsted vs. Woolen Here is Judie teaching us the worsted method of spinning.  For those that aren’t aware (and I wasn’t before this), worsted produces a smoother, tighter, heavier yarn.  Woolen takes the fiber and allows more air and fluff to come into the finished yarn.  Woolen is also known as the long draw method.  It requires a lighter mindset, I think. I had a really hard time with the woolen method.  I have been spinning worsted for the entire time I have been spinning and it’s very controlled and anal.  That’s me!  This is also called the inch worm technique or short draw.  I find the woolen method to produce a nicer yarn for sweaters and scarves but I don’t think I will be able to do it.  I am going to try and keep the practice going.

Worsted vs. Woolen Also interesting is that the plying of woolens and worsteds is different.  When plying a worsted yarn, it balances very well (when done properly).  When plying the woolens, most of the energy in a worsted single is available in the plied yarn.  This was super interesting and kinda fun I thought.  Such completely opposite results in each of the same action.  The picture here to the right is the plied woolen.  If you click on this photo, it should enlarge to a nice big size.  Note that the plied yarn looks very much like a single.  This is how this yarn should look as it’s plied.  Judie told us that a lot of your lumps and bumps created in your long draw spinning will come out in the plying.  I was not able to successfully spin anything with this method but I am going to try to at least finish 4 ounces by the end of the year.

Having spun worsted for so long, I really have a hard time with the long draw method.  It seems like there is no control and the resulting yarn is uneven.  If anyone out there is a woolen spinner, please enlighten me cause I just don’t get it.  Do you enjoy spinning with both techniques?  Do you easily switch back and forth?  Please let me know!

More to come on my vacation.  Summer is harder blogging time as I have a 7 year old weight on my ankle all day every day annoying the living crap out of me.  Motherhood is such a joy. :)

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Last Edit: 06 Jul 2008 @ 09 56 AM

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 02 Jul 2008 @ 5:44 PM 

The Black Sheep Gathering was a wonderful event.  The idea is to get the fiber animal people together with the spinning and knitting people.  End to end kind of networking.  I didn’t do nearly what I wanted to and didn’t even bring my Black Sheep Bingo card with me when I was out and about.  I am going to try to go about this post in chronological order.

Multi-directional scarf First, I had a class on Friday morning called Multidirectional Scarves.  The instruction was J.C. Briar.  She was an awesome instructor!  Her instructions were clear and her handouts were very informative.  It was certainly well worth the money for this class.  Multi-directional scarfI knitted a small sample during class with this yarn and then after class, I started a full sized scarf which is pictured.  It’s really very mindless knitting once you get the hang of it.  I t’s easy easy easy.  Everything is garter stitch and increases and decreases.  With J.C.’s technique that she teaches, I think you can see that there are no bumps at the join in the center.  It lays completely flatI think once I finish this one, I will design something a little more complex and exciting.

Lori Lawson Friday afternoon, I had a lot of time to walk around.  I had intended on playing Black Sheep Bingo but I left my card at the trailer and couldn’t play at this point.  There is so much to see and I decided I wasn’t going to shop right away.  I wanted to see what was around first before I started dropping all my money.  I was very successful at this and saw some wonderful things.  I also saw some people that I knew.  This is Lori Lawson.   When I was shopping for my wheel, she let me come to her house and spin on her wheel to see if I liked it.  I did.  I bought one just like hers.  If she sold them, I would have bought it from her.  She is a super nice lady and a talented spinner and dier.

Saturday, I took a spinning class called Worsted vs. Woolens.  This class was enlightening.  I learned I am a control freak and that I don’t like woolen.  I will practice this technique but I imagine I will remain a worsted spinner.

EntrelacThe afternoon class was entry level entrelac.  This class was great and I really loved entrelac.  I think the technique taught was more designed for certain items and not for generic knitting whatever you choose. I enjoyed J.C.’s class a little more.  One of the interesting parts of this class was the technique to keep the color bleedthrough that you see in my photo of the blue coming through the gray.  In my photo, it’s not so evident, but her technique really helps.  She had us start our secondary (or tertiary)  color by sliding our work down our circulars to the other side and picking up the stitches with that color.  This allows us to have our secondary (or tertiary) color already on the needles when we start the next row (if that makes sense).

When I was shopping on Friday, I realized I didn’t have yarn for my Saturday afternoon class.  In a world of sock yarns or superbulky yarns, it’s hard to find worsted weight in any form.  I did it though and bought each of my skeins for $2 each on closeout.  I met a lovely lady who brings her closeouts for people who need stuff for classes.  Awesome, huh?

Ok, backing up to Friday night; there was a Ravelry meet up and pot luck which I attended.  I met some lovely people and knitted some on my multi-directional scarf.

Black Sheep Gathering 2008 Black Sheep Gathering 2008

Black Sheep Gathering 2008 Black Sheep Gathering 2008

Squeeze InnPre-BSG:  Backing up even further; on the way up to Eugene, David wanted to stop in Sacramento.  The reason for the stop was a burger joint we saw on Food Network’s show Diner’s, Drive-in’s, and Dives.  The show went to a place called the Squeeze Inn in Sacramento.  The burgers here are made the regular way, but when it’s time to put the cheese on, he takes a giant handful of cheddar and throws it on the burger with the top bun.  Next, he throws a handful of ice on and a huge lid on the burger and bun combo.  This steams the bun and makes a giant cheese halo around the burger.  David wanted one of these desperately and we had one (me and Belle split one and David had his own).   The Squeeze Inn is TINY and  has only about 8 stools for seats at a bar.  There is additional seating out back.  We showed up at 10:30am (to avoid the crowd?) and found three stools together but it sure got crowded as we left.  The wait staff was very helpful and super friendly.  The burger was delicious but I don’t know if it was worth the extra mileage at these gas prices.  If you want a good laugh, go to Flickr and look up the Squeeze Inn tag and see what comes up.

I think that’s enough for now cause I’m exhausted!

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 09 Jun 2008 @ 8:12 PM 
 

Doh!

 

Ok, frogging the Natalie Coat again cause apparently, I can’t measure 13.5 inches at all!

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 09 Jun 2008 @ 4:31 PM 

Since I am not feeling 100%, I have been knitting and spinning like crazy. I can’t do my normal stuff, like hiking and housework. David is very understanding about it all but it drives me nuts! So here’s my stuff:

  1. Natalie Coat: I have frogged what I had to date and now I am restarting this from Big Girl Knits. As it turns out, if you don’t pick up a sweater or project for a very long time, you tend to forget where you are in the pattern. I wasn’t too far so I thought I would frog and get a good momentum going again. It’s going well and I am further in this pattern than I was before. There is a lot of “At the same time” stuff in here that if you aren’t paying attention could throw you for a loop.
  2. Lilac Ruffled Edge ScarfLilac Ruffled Edge Scarf Mrs. Gallo’s Ruffled Edge Scarf: This is for Isabella’s teacher. She is a very nice lady and will totally appreciate a gift like this for the end of the year. Bella has learned so much in school this year and I believe it’s due to the attention and kindness of her teacher. Mrs. Gallo taught her about enthusiasm, determination, success, and strength. This was done in a series of poems that were learned all year long and then performed in a play at the end of the year by her class. The concepts learned in these poems have been echoed back to me by Bella for a while now and I believe they are long term, lifelong lessons and I love her for teaching them to my girl. The yarn I used was handspun Hanks in the Hood Merino Bamboo. The scarf is a short one with pretty ruffled edges and I love how it turned out. It only took a day to knit and I am very happy with it.
  3. I got some fiber in the mail today. I bought enough of this stuff to make a sweater for Bella. it’s called Sweet and Sour and so far I love it. It should be fun to spin. I’ll keep you posted! Sweet and Sour Sweet and Sour Sweet and Sour
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Last Edit: 09 Jun 2008 @ 04 35 PM

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 13 Apr 2008 @ 8:54 PM 

FiddlesticksFiddlesticksFirst thing is that I finished my fiddlesticks. Here they are. They are way way too big. I attempted to felt them a little bit but I think I was too shy about it. I didn’t use hot water, I just used a little warm water. I tried to just agitate the crap out of them and I don’t think this yarn felts. Let’s think that’s what it is. So, let me make one thing really clear. The pattern is written absolutely correctly. The sizing problem is not in the pattern but lie solely with the knitter. I don’t have enough sock knitting experience to know how to knit for my own feet. I didn’t trust what the pattern said but the pattern was right and I was wrong. that’s all there is to it. Here is a close up of the mock cable for this pattern.

I also just bought some stuff from Scout’s Swag including these lovely sock blockers. I bought some other sock blockers that were adjustable but they were not nearly wide enough. They adjusted for length only and I think they were made for really narrow feet because everything is too big on them. I ordered the medium size and it’s all still too small for any of my knitted socks.

Kitchener tagsThe main reason I went to Scout’s Swag is because I got an e-mail from her about her shop update. In it there was a product I desperately needed. These kitchener stitch dog tags. Twice this week I wanted to finish my Fiddlesticks but I didn’t have my Knitting Answer book with me to help with my kitchener stitch. I suck at kitchener stitch and I definitely can’t do it without help. These will stay in my knitting bag or purse and I will never be without them. That’s the plan anyway. I am sure I am wrong about this too!

SwatchNext, let’s talk about this beautiful and perfect swatch for my Sidewinders. Ok so I’m like one or two switches long but who’s counting. It was perfect perfect perfect before I blocked it and that it went a little over. I’m going with it though because I am a glutton for punishment. Any way you slice it, I’ve casted on at this gauge so that’s it anyway.

Sidewinders And here they are! Well one of them and only like 11 rows. for anyone who isn’t familiar with this pattern, these socks are knit sideways. I just love how they look with a nice variegated yarn. I am hoping against all hope that mine turn out this way. I saw another pair on Ravelry that were with black and white yarn like mine and they look like metal socks. I can’t find that picture but here is another one that is also very awesome. I have started my heel shaping and I am about to start the calf shaping at the same time. I can’t wait to see how this works up. Wish me luck!

I have a post in mind for tomorrow about the crocodile on my Flickr photostream.

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Categories: Knitting, Socks
Posted By: loopykd
Last Edit: 13 Apr 2008 @ 09 02 PM

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 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:59 PM 

We like to affectionately call last year “The Summer of Bleeding Money”. This summer IS going to be different. We will not get stuck in Idaho because we are not going to Idaho. Woohoo! We are going to Portland. But….on the way, we are stopping in Eugene for the Black Sheep Gathering. I have sent in my pre-registration and I hope to attend three workshops; multi-directional scarf, woolen versus worsted spinning, and entry-level entrelac. So the trip will go like this:

1. Drive two days to Eugene and haul our trailer up there.

2. My last workshop is on Saturday at 4:30 and we will leave right after that. David is going to leave in the morning with the trailer and drive to Portland and park our stuff up there. He will drive back down and pick me up after my workshop.

3. Sunday, June 22, David will race at Pats Acres in his chosen genre, Supermoto. He is very excited. We will then go up to Portland and stay for a minimum of 1 week and visit with sisters and cousins. We are taking the Wii to play with cousins and have a great time! I am very excited for all the fun we are going to have.

Here is what will not happen:

1. We will not get stuck in Idaho.

2. We will not spend a fortune. We should save a minimum of $800 for the trip by staying at an RV park with full hookups, water, laundry, and two pools! David is thrilled because this is the shopping capital of Oregon, apparently. He figures we can pack light because there are a million malls right next to where we are staying.

3. I will NOT get sick and get a swollen uvula.

4. Bella will NOT have any asthma episodes.

That’s it! I think this trip is already shaping up to bet better than the summer of bleeding money.

On the knitting and spinning front, I am at the toe of my Fiddlesticks. I should finish them up by the weekend at the very very latest. I think I will try to felt them just a bit to make them fit better. The next pair of socks I am going to knit on the smaller size scale.

I have frogged triangle number 4 of 25 on my Magique Cloak because I totally lost track of the rows and messed them up pretty bad. I have been concentrating (when I am knitting that is) on my socks and therefore haven’t picked up my cloak triangles in a little over two weeks. I forgot to knit in the back loop on all the knits and every other row is decreases. If you forget where you are, you are way messed up. The cast on is only 41 stitches so the frog is no biggy. Perhaps some of you more experienced knitters can give me some advice. During the knitting of this triangle, I have to cast on 41, knit a row, and begin decreasing. I decrease at the beginning of the row, then knit to the center three stitches, decrease two stitches here, then knit to the end and decrease one there. In the center, I am placing stitch markers on either side of the center 3 stitches but I have to move them each time I decrease and then reknit on the next row. I am wondering if there is a better way to keep these stitches marked without having to move the markers. It’s not a big deal but I could knit these triangles much much faster if I didn’t have to do that part. It takes about as much time to move the markers on each triangle as I am spending actually knitting. Does that make sense?

Pre-decrease

Post decrease

The first image here is the pre-decrease. Next we decrease two stitches from the center. What I do is take the markers from each side and move them out to include three stitches. Any ideas?

Next, I got this new book on photography. It should be a lot of fun because there are exercises in it to make me look at things differently. I’ll keep the pictures coming.

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Categories: David, Family, Knitting, Magique Cloak, Photography
Posted By: loopykd
Last Edit: 31 Mar 2008 @ 08 59 PM

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 29 Feb 2008 @ 1:50 PM 

Before going to San Diego, I checked for some yarn shops around the area and I found one I liked. One thing they had that I hadn’t had any experience with Namaste bags. In fact, I hadn’t even seen one. God knows I don’t need any yarn (or do I?) so I did some research on these bags to see if it was something I would be interested in. It is. However, with the bags made of manmade material, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like the feel or look of them. I love how they looked on the Namaste web site, however, so I was very excited to see them.

After getting the blister from hell on Sunday night, the cold shower on Monday morning, the painful walking around the deck of the USS Midway on Monday night, I was ready for something really good. On the way out of town, we attempted to get a geocache and drop off a travel bug that I have been carrying around since December 31. We looked for THIRTY MINUTES and couldn’t find the stinkin thing. My mood was twindling. You aren’t supposed to carry travel bugs around but for a few days and I have been trying to get rid of this one for weeks. No luck again. So we hop in the truck and ask Margot-Rhonda (our GPS) where The Grove was and headed on our way. We found it and went in.

Such a nice store! Oh it was beautiful. The emphasis at this store was knitting and crochet. I saw the bag I was looking for right away and went right to it. I was very surprised at how soft and leathery the material felt. Not to mention the color! I was hoping to see the Jetsetter but they were sold out. As a matter of fact, she said she had a lot of trouble keeping any of them in stock. They had a Malibu, Laguna, Everyday, and something else I think in a couple of colors, but that was it. She said she had to reorder several times already and they were only out for a short time. Well I was in love with the Laguna at first sight. The idea behind these bags is to have a combination bag for purse and knitting. GENIUS! So I bought my beautiful Laguna in lime and checked out. I didn’t dare look at yarn! So we were chatting (me and the lovely lady who worked there). She said I should look at the clutch! “OMG, David give me your card again please!” He did and I have both. David told the lady that “You can only be as happy as the least happy person in the car.” Given our experiences over the few days in San Diego, he opted to buy me the bags. Isn’t he awesome!

The Clutch opens wide and holds needle individually in the inside section. The sides are held together with strong magnets. Both sides of the Clutch open with snaps that you can see at the top and have pockets for storing trinkets and knick knacks that you need for your project. Lucky for me, the Clutch fits right inside the Laguna. I am sooooooo happy!

Without any further ado, here are the photos:

Namaste Laguna Namaste Laguna
Namaste Clutch Namaste Clutch
Namaste Clutch Namaste Clutch

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Categories: Fun, Geocaching, Knitting
Posted By: loopykd
Last Edit: 29 Feb 2008 @ 06 53 PM

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 24 Oct 2007 @ 1:31 PM 

I am having such a hard time working this pattern backwards from the finished product. Please bare with me and understand I don’t want to go out and buy another 10-12 balls of Bohemian yarn to test knit another one. Patience will be required and I will try to take lots of pictures to show you how I am getting this information I am spewing as a pattern.

First, I have counted the cast on stitches. I have counted the stitches at the widest part of the poncho, and I have counted the stitches at the bind off edge. I have also counted the rows for the entire poncho and the rows of the hood.

Counting increasesNow all I have to do, is put it all together. Easy, right? Wrong! I can’t tell at what scale I did my increases. The poncho is a slightly bell shape as the person I knit it for is always always cold. She wanted something warm and toasty so I made it to have room for her arms but to come in after her butt so it would keep her warm and hold out the air (or something).

Ok, I held up the poncho to the light to see if I could count the increases and the rows. I have posted a black and white photo and one I have doctored up to increase contrast and clarity so I can count the stitches and increases. To the right is the high contrast photo. You can see where the increases are here and how many rows there are between them. Now, to write this up….brb.

Here is the count:

Neck: 40 stitches
Widest portion of poncho: 440 stitches
Bind off stitches: 300 (approximately)
Total rounds: 72
Rows in hood: 28

Ok, here goes:

Supplies:

Size 13 DPNs
Size 15 Circular Needles 24″
Size 15 Circular Needles 60″
10-12 skeins Patons Bohemian yarn in chosen color
Stitch marker

CO 40 stitches on dpns and divide evenly between your DPN’s
Place marker. Knit all stitches for all rounds. This creates stockinette stitch when knitting in the round. Switch needles when you feel you need more room to work.
Join and knit 3 rounds.
Round 4: Switch to size 15 needle. *K3, kfb. Repeat from * to end.
Rounds 5-7: Knit all.
Round 8: *K4, kfb. Repeat from * to end.
Round 9-11: Knit all.
Round 12: Repeat Round 8.
Round 13-15: Repeat rounds 9-11.
Rounds 16-23: Repeat rounds 8-15.
Round 24: *K5, kfb. Repeat from * to end.
Rounds 25-27: Knit all.
Rounds 28-39: Repeat rounds 24-27.
Round 40: *K6, kfb. Repeat from * to end.
Round 41-43: Knit all.
Rounds 44: *K6, kfb. Repeat from * to end.
Rounds 45-47: Knit all.
Round 48: *K7, kfb. Repeat from * to end.
Rounds 49-51: Knit all.
Round 52: *K20, kfb. Repeat from * to end.
Rounds 53-59: Knit all.
Round 60: *K5, k2tog. Repeat from * to end.
Rounds 61-65: Knit all.
Round 66: *K5, k2tog. Repeat from * to end.
Rounds 67-72: Knit all.
Bind off.

Hood:

Pick up 36 stitches along neckline with smaller circular needles.
Row 1: Purl all.
Row 2: Knit all.
Continue for 27 rows finishing with a purl row.
Row 28 (RS): Using a spare size 13 DPN, find the center of your work by counting over 18 stitches and place a marker. From this point, pull the cord through this spot leaving half the stitches on one of the needles and half on the other half. This is a magic loop technique often used for knitting socks on one long circular needle. We are using this hear to use the three needle bind off technique to close the hood. Line up the first stitches and begin the three needle bind off until all stitches are bound off.

Weave in all ends and enjoy!

kfb = Knit in the front and the back of the stitch making two stitches from one.

Real Supermodel

Real Supermodel

Real Supermodel

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Categories: Bella, Knitting, Patterns
Posted By: loopykd
Last Edit: 02 Jan 2009 @ 12 42 PM

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