Friday, May 22, 2009

Crafts Update

Besides my Maryland Sheep and Wool haul, I have a few other projects in the works and a major completion.

Bamboo Clapotis


Pattern: Clapotis
Yarn: South West Trading Co. Bamboo, 3 skeins
Needles: US Size 6 (4.0mm)

I added in an extra increase section and worked a total of 21 repeats in the straight section. This one nearly killed me - I had to really force myself to work on it and get it finished. I don't really like knitting flat and this is one of those projects that doesn't need as much attention as a lace pattern, but it's not mindless knitting either. I did find this handy little pdf that has a nice chart where you can check off each row as you work it - Clapotis Chart.

Design-a-long: Lacy Tank


This is my first Knitty Keen knit-a-long, designing a lacy tank with bust shaping. I just posted the first installment which talks about some of the why's of designing your own and a bit on swatching so pop on over to take a look - Design-a-long: Lacy Tank.

Lacy Shrug Cardi
I bought a couple of balls of linen/viscose blend over the weekend with the idea of making some sort of cardigan/shrug. I made a swatch since the ball band had no needle suggestions and the swatch at my LYS seemed way too loose for my taste.


The yarn seems very happy on my US Size 4 (3.5mm) needles, but I still needed a pattern. Monday morning was spent playing with several ideas, but nothing jumped out at me until I started surfing Ravelry and found a pattern from the Spring '09 IK.

I didn't renew my subscription to IK this year and when I did a quick scan of the spring issue, nothing really caught my eye - I definitely have to look at these things more closely in future. The Whisper Cardigan definitely fits the bill for what I want - a cardigan with a shrug neckline. The Ravelry pattern page has a link to the designer's website with a schematic of the cardi, so while I do intend to purchase the magazine once I track down a copy, I don't actually need it to make one. I have to do major mods anyway due to my body shape, so I'm taking what I know about my shape and the info I learned from knitting up two Mia Shrugs to make this.

Wooly Goodness

I was able to make it down to Maryland Sheep and Wool this year and here are long overdue pictures of my haul this year!

Zeilinger Wool Co.

Brown Wool/Alpaca

Fingering weight wool/alpaca mix


Light Fingering Wool/Alpaca
(this picture does not do justice to the depth of color on these skeins)

Brooks Farm Yarn


Solo, Sport/DK weight 100% Wool

I Love Yarn


DK Weight 100% Rayon
(another where the picture doesn't do the yarn justice)

Koigu Wool Designs


Lots and lots of KPPM mill-ends


subdued grouping



Not a bad haul. Everything has a specific project in place for it. In the interest of full disclosure I will admit that the KPPM was just bought willy-nilly, but since it's fingering weight it doesn't count ;).

cross-posted on Knitty Keen

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quicky Crafts Update

I proudly present the first Orange Diamond Sock (aka Devon from Cookie A's Sock Innovations).




I actually did this one pretty much as written - a first for me when it comes to socks. I did have to add another pattern repeat to accommodate my wide feet and worked the heel flap for three inches for my high-insteps. I learned a lot - how to pick-up and knit (something that I've been doing ass backwards all this time or avoiding outright) and how the heel-flap/turn/gusset all work together to affect fit. I enjoyed doing top-down and can definitely see the appeal, but the worry of running out of yarn before I'm done is probably enough to keep me doing toe-up. I only did two pattern repeats on the cuff and wanted to do at least one more but I was too afraid I'd run out of yarn in the middle of the foot (note - I probably had enough to do another two repeats). With some luck I'll get the second one done in enough time for MDS&W.

The last of the Patchghan Patches





Be sure to head on over to Knitty Keen for a handy reminder to not forget the crochet hook and a tutorial for sewing on nearly indestructible toy limbs.


Pics abound!

Easter moments



If only it was always this easy to get him to sleep.


MacGyver Moment #247

When you are in the middle of Andean plying, which you haven't done in at least a year and consequently wrap the singles way too tightly around your hand to the point that your middle finger turns an alarming shape of purple, don't worry - just grab the baby's handy ring-stacker and viola, instant nostepinne!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This is the conversation that should be taking place...

during Autism Awareness Month and it pains me that it's not happening yet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Glad that MLS is good for something

walking to my parent's house on Sunday
Michael: Mommy, can you read that number for me? (house number written in cursive)
John: It says 321, Michael.
Michael: (in amazement) You can read numbers too, Daddy?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Rainbows and Sakura

I've been actually bringing the camera along with me most of the time recently. Granted, it's because I've been taking lots of pictures of knitting techniques for the Knitty Keen blog, but the side benefit is pictures of the kids a little more often.

Here's the double rainbow we were lucky enough to see on Friday evening.


The clouds kept rolling overhead while we were at the park and we were waiting for the downpour to start any moment. It did start to rain while we were walking home then the clouds rolled and the sun came out treating us to this.

Philadelphia Cherry Blossom Festival - Sakura Sunday


I awoke to Michael bounding into our room this morning telling me how excited he was to be going to the Cherry Blossom Festival. He also shared his excitement with everyone (and I do mean everyone) we bumped into on our way to Fairmount Park. I went with Alex tucked into a sling last year on a windy gray day but this year we had picture perfect weather. Bright sun with enough of a breeze so it wasn't too hot. Michael enjoyed the drummers and his fruit salad while I found a neat bento box for him and these super cool and super cute little zipper pulls.


John poked fun at me for quite some time afterwards because he said I actually squealed when I opened the package and was bouncing when I was asking him for more money to get another one. The stand where we bought them from has a shop in town which I will definitely be visiting in the future (for the curious - Omoi).

Alex slept through the entire thing, but we got him up to eat before the bus ride home and managed to get Michael to stay still long enough for a quick family picture.



Saturday, March 28, 2009

Click on through...

to Knitty Keen to see my first technique write-up, or how I learned to make my entrelac prettier.


Detail - Entrelac worked without wrapping


Detail - Entrelac worked with wrapping

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Someone found the camera cable (Crafts Update)

...and finally got around to downloading/uploading pictures of what she's been up to.

Mia Shrug




Pattern: Mia Shrug
Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
US Size 7 Needles

I did this (*gasp*) almost exactly as written, with the exception of the 2x2 rib along the collar and bottom edge. It's a very nice pattern with info for knitting flat and in the round in addition to customizing your sizing. The only thing I would change would be info on adding ease. As written, it makes a close fitting garment (no ease), so if you want something a little looser around the upper arm be sure to take that into account.

Chudley Cannons Lunch Bag



Pattern: Brown Bag
Lambs Pride Bulky
US Size 13 Needles

Another pattern I pretty much did as written (I know, what is the world coming to?). I had planned to do a complete I-cord bind-off around the top edge and flap, but I ran out of yarn after doing the flap so I opted for a simple bind-off for the top edge and it worked beautifully - no horrendous flaring. This is a pattern I definitely plan to use again.

Troll Patchghan Squares

These are for an afghan that's going to be raffled off to support a message board I'm a member of.


Pattern: Original Design
Louet Gems Opal (green) and Knit Picks Kettle-Dyed Sock Yarn (Purple)
US Size 1.5 Needles

It looks really, really cool - but it's double knit with fingering-weight yarn on tiny needles and was a tremendous pain to knit.



These are the rest of what I've gotten done so far. Lots of playing around with stash yarns, patterns and textures. Lots of fun to do and something I'm going to keep up so I can make my own blanket to donate to Project Linus.

In other, non-pictured news I dusted the cobwebs off my Green Thread socks and turned the heel only to realize that the instep is really a bit too snug so I'm going to have to frog it and start all over again with more instep stitches and a few more gusset increases. I love the way the yarn is looking in this pattern, but travelling rib is not my favorite thing to knit so it's probably going to be put away for a bit in favor of something a bit more satisfying - most likely the mate to my Monkey Sock.

I also have finished my first ever garment for myself - a heavily modified Dream in Color Shrug. I ended up changing the sleeves quite a bit, added a collar from Knitting on the Edge, adjusting it to fit my line-backer shoulders, and of course worked it in the round. Now all I have to do is get it, a basin and my wool wash in the same place at the same time and we'll be good to go.

I'm getting ready to begin my mad dash of Easter knits next, hopefully I'll be able to actually get done what I'd like to this year. It shouldn't be too hard considering I have a whole bunch of half-finished things from last year's attempt at being super-knitter. I also need to knock out some sort of sweater for Alex. I started a February Baby Sweater for him, got about 2/3's into it and the realized that I don't have enough of yarn to finish it so it'll be frogged and re-done with a contrasting yoke, cuffs and hem. His Birthday BSJ needs to be heavily blocked and I'm still not sure it'll even fit him so that may be frogged as well and re-knit on bigger needles with some contrasting colors tossed in to make up the difference in yardage.

That's about it for the moment. TTFN!

More pics than you can shake a stick at

if you are so inclined to shake sticks at pictures...


He really did fall asleep this way


and Michael, as always, getting in on the action


just shy of 14 months


pure ham


where there's one...


the other...


isn't far behind

Wednesday, March 18, 2009