Saturday, December 30, 2006

A knitter's Christmas

I was totally stoked when Brad's parents came through with the Knit Picks Options Needle set! I was suprised to see that the needles were so sharp, but happy that now I have a set! I just need to get a set of Double Pointed Needles (DPN) now to complete my knitting supplies until I can find something else that I absolutely must have!!

I have already started using the Options needles on the project below for my mom. I really like them and they are comparable to the Addie's however I have found them to be a little more "slipperier" if that's a word! I mentioned the sharp, right?! I have already found myself wincing a time or two when I go to push my needle through with my finger!!

My best friend got me the gift that keeps on giving...a subscription to Vogue Knitting Knitsimple and an issue of Better Homes Knit It. She tried getting the subscription to Knit It, however, they are not in subscriptions yet.
She has already requested a few items from the Knit It magazine and the article about them was quite interesting. The article was called Mobius Magic and it's about a knitting innovator Cat Bordhi who basically came up with Mobius designs - a mobius strip is defined as only having one side, as the article describes it, takeing a narrow strip of paper and giving it a half twist and taping the ends together. If you draw on one side, you end up with a continuous line. So, my girlfriend found two handbags: A felted tapestry bag with beautiful vine embroidery and a mobius bag that is undescribable. But - this is great as it will give me incentive to learn new techniques especially felting!

And, of course, I had to check out the Local Yarn Stores in Knoxville and only found one, Loopville. It isn't very big, but the owner was "wicked" nice (a New England term) and very helpful! I spent about 30 minutes in there, when I finally made it up to the counter...I had originally stopped in to buy a new mitten pattern since the one I had was giving me "holey gussets" (see previous post), but since the ladies at the yarn store helped me resolve the "holeyness" I decided I could at least buy some yarn for my I'm at the counter and she rings up 4 skeins of the chenille and 2 skeins of this beautiful hand painted merino wool! It's Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Black Walnut and it's just gorgeous!! I decided these would be for a pair of socks that would be MINE...ALL MINE!!!! It's just waiting on the PERFECT sock pattern that I'll need to scope out in Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch! So - 30 minutes, 6 skeins of yarn and $80 later, but husband rushes the yarn store just as she's telling me the price. I immediately apologize for spending the money and he says, "I don't care how much you spent, just hurry." What a great man!! Christmas time and he's not upset I blew money on some yarn!! We're not what you would call "free with our money," but then again who is?!
So now I'm on a mission to find some Jamieson's Shetland Heather and DK wool to start the felted tapestry bag, but now that I have this needle set and a few dpn that have nothing on them, I have to fight the urge to start multiple projects! I realize that there's nothing wrong with having multiple projects, but I tend to get overwhelmed...geez - I also have two baby blankets to knit for a set of twins my cousin is having...they're not due until I have some time!

Friday, December 29, 2006

A knitter's Christmas

We have returned from our Christmas vacation in Tennessee and amazingly enough, I got a lot of knitting "almost" done! On the plane from Providence to Detroit to Nashville, I started Brad's "dorm socks" or as I have dubbed them, Mountain Man Cabin Socks! It is made from Mission Falls superwash that I picked up at the Yarn Shoppe in Canada a few months ago and I used the Yankee Knitter Basic Sock Pattern with, 3 by 1 rib. Brad wanted a long sock to keep his legs warm so the one sock I've made so far has used two whole balls of yarn! I didn't finish the toe yet as I've never done a Kitchener Stitch and wanted to be at home to do it first rather than on the road.

I also started mittens for my girlfriend Rhonda to match her Danica entrelac scarf. I started these on Monday night, but my gusset was "holey" where I was increasing. I went to the Local Yarn Store (LYS), Loopville, in Knoxville, TN, where the owner so graciously helped me figure out why I was having the "holey" gusset. So, I had to rip the mitten back out and start all over! I didn't restart the mittens until Wednesday night and finished one...the other I started on our journey back to Nashville - 3 hours - and almost finished it. I didn't have anything to weave the ends in with, so I fessed up to Rhonda that I would have to ship her mittens to her when they were officially complete! I used the Starter Mittens pattern from Lion Brand website. I did find a few mistakes for anyone that may want to knit these mittens.

As I was home knitting, I found out my little mother used to knit and crochet! She helped knit the mittens above and then asked if I would knit her a scarf - which I would have never guessed she would have ever wanted! My mom is not the accessory lady! So when we scouted out Loopville, I was talking to the owner and saw a beautiful scarf made out of chenille. I've always heard that chenille is a knitter's nightmare and it is very difficult to knit with since it has no give. But this yarn was so soft and the colors suited my mom so well that I had to buy it and take my chances. Since the chenille doesn't show stitch definition, I decided to knit the scarf in a simple 1 x 1 rib pattern and I'm very pleased with it so far. It is made from Plymouth Sinsation and is just awesome to knit with. I've also been using one of my new Christmas gifts - the Options needles from knitpicks.
So - I've been very productive this vacation break and am looking forward to finishing these projects up to start new ones!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Countdown

As Christmas is nearing - I am slowly finishing my knitted Christmas gifts with a few that will be delayed. My 4 year old niece, Anna B, is all about the fashion and she's all about the pink. So rather than buying her toys, her parents said a scarf would be perfect. So, during a trip to Ewe'll Love It Yarn store in Nashua, NH, I found some beautiful Rowan Romance yarn in pink and immediately thought of Anna B. I used a Diagonal texture pattern out of The Harmony's Guide 440 more Knitted Stitches Volume 3 and my finished product looked like this.

I also knitted her another scarf with a matching hat and the same for a teddy bear for her. I used pink Baby Soft Lana Gatto yarn and Ann Norling's basic hat pattern for the hat. I used a waffle stitch pattern from the Knitted Stitches book and I think it turned out very cute!

I also finished my entrelac attempt of a scarf for my girlfriend Rhonda. That picture can be found on my MySpace blog - as I've written an entire blog about entrelac being the devil!!

AND - last but not least, I finished one of three baby blankets for some cousins that are expecting. Stephanie is expecting a girl, so I knit a small car seat blanket for her made out of some cotton fleece from Ewe'll Love It. It came highly recommended as a washable yarn, so I went with it. I originally bought 5 skeins, but after knitting for a few weeks on size 6 needles, I decided to make it a "car seat" blanket - the termed coined by my knitting master, Carrie! So I have 2 skeins left to go towards my stash! I also used a Brick and Garter Ann Norling pattern for the blanket.

As we are leaving tomorrow morning for Christmas in Tennessee, I plan to work on some mittens for Rhonda using a pattern from I won't see her until Thursday night, so I'll hopefully be able to finish them by then!!

As I'll be in the sticks of Tennessee with no internet access - my blog will be on hold until Friday when I'll be back. Hopefully I'll post the mittens to complete my Christmas knitted finished objects!

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

First Time Blogger

The ladies from the Myspace Stitch N Bitch group along with various others have inspired me to start my own blog! Seems like everyone is doing it, right? As I have moved into a new job at work that requires a lot of travel, I hope to be able to blog about projects I can complete while on the road as well as yarn stores that I will visit. Hope I am disciplined enough to actually keep up with this blog as well as knit enough to keep posting!!