Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Channeling the Eveready Bunny

I keep knitting and knitting and knitting.  Torri's shawl has been growing nicely and I have progressed to the second ball.  Once again, Lizzie agreed to pose with it while trying to nap.  We won't talk about the exasperated look she gave me as I draped it over her.
The orange marker near her head marks the end of the first skein.  I wanted to have a reference point to refer to when I get to my last skein and try eke out every bit I can.
I know the actual stitch pattern doesn't show well in pictures, but I will post the pattern, with a Ravelry link when I finish anyway.  I told Torri it will still be a one of a kind, as Knit-Picks has discontinued this colorway.
The worse thing is, this blog is going to be very tired of pictures of azure ripples before I finish I'm afraid.  I'll try to change it up  with other projects.
Wow! An excuse to be fickle.  I like that.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In Memory

I recently had been looking for a picture of the Civil War Veterans' Memorial to use on my other blog The Cemetery Divas (see sidebar for link.)
So I drove through Maple Grove cemetery after church to get a picture.  And I got so much more.
I have seen the memorial before, but all the flags surrounding it today caught my attention.  All around it were small stones with GAR flag holders next to them.  But the most touching were ones like the one below.  Unknown Civil War Veterans. 
To see those markers, with their flags decorating their resting places truly represents the REAL meaning of Memorial Day.
(Oh, see my other blog now and on the traditional Memorial Day, May 31, for the obituary of a veteran and a victim of war.  Let them not be forgotten.)
Oops!  I mentioned the "real" Memorial Day as being the 31st.  It was the 30th.  But my posting on the Divas will still post on the 31st.
So I'm stretching the holiday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Oh Yeah, the Wallaby

I guess I forgot, in all the new project excitement, to mention than I finished the Wallaby for Sandy's grandbaby.  
I managed to finish this on Friday, but neglected to post.
And since I passed it on to Sandy this morning, its a good thing I got a picture first.

The Raspberry Summer Hat.

I finished the hat yesterday.  All I had to so was knit and thread the i-cord through the eyelets.  I will be showing it off at Knit Nite tonight.
It is large, and needs starching, but I like it.  I will be working on Torri's shawl tonight.  I hope it isn't too complicated for knitting in a crowd.  But just in case, I'll be sure to take the shrug too.
Oh, and after upsizing, see how much yarn I had left?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Raspberry Summer Hat.

I enjoyed my class yesterday on making a summer hat.  The yarn, Classic Elite Provence, is a nice crisp yarn and I love the color.
Of course I adapted it by adding a couple extra rows in brim, and leaving out the last decease row.  If I make again, I probably will cast on a few extra stitches.  But since I had the brim worked as written to the first decrease before class, it was too late for this hat.
You can see below my progress so far. And with the current heat, I may devote myself to this today, and leave the wool for cooler temperatures.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Startitis Strikes Again

Every once in a while, I get hit hard with that dread disease--Startitis.  This time, it was a fairly severe case, with three new WIPs clinging to the needles when the dust settled.
I can easily rationalize all of the new projects though.  First is some raspberry cotton from Classic Elite Yarns for a summer hat class I am taking.  I had to cast on and knit the first few rows before the class this Saturday. 
 Next was the project I have been mulling over since so many at Spin Guild have made it out of their hand-spun.  I had originally spun this yarn for Spunky Eclectic's pattern in a past Knitty: Tappen Zee.  For some reason, I read the pattern as saying it required bulky.  It was not until I had purchase three bags of Lorna's Lace Red Roving top and spun and Navajo plied it for a 3 ply bulky yarn that I re-read the pattern.  It takes DK weight.  Sigh.
 So I cast on the stitches for the Ladies Shrug, from Plymouth, for their Royal Llama Silk yarn.  I wanted it slightly larger than the pattern's largest size.  By going up one needle size, with the bulky yarn I think I can knit as written for extra width.  Being entirely ribbing, except for one decrease row and one increase row, It will be pretty much brainless knitting.  I may have some travel coming up, so a good project for that.
 And finally this wonderful yarn.  It actually is not on the needles yet, but as soon as I finish the Wallaby sweater for Sandy's grand-baby, it will be.  I have five skeins of this.  It is Knit Pick's Swish, a wool superwash.  When she asked me to knit a shawl, I told her ok, if she bought the yarn.  If she wanted warm, it had to be wool I told her.  I'm a yarn snob and can't knit with plastic.  And if she wanted easy care, it would have to be superwash.  She bought this delightful Blue Yonder colorway for her own Hagen original.  I double checked the stitch I am using, it is called Fan Shell stitch, a variation of my favorite Feather and Fan.
And since I am already on the hood of the Wallaby, it will be cast on before the weekend is out, I am sure.
As you can see, I only have about four inches of hood, then graft the underarms, weave in ends, and Shazam!  I'll be done.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Knitting Like Mad

On the knitting front (if no where else) I have been pretty busy.  As you can see below, I am past the pocket and have attached both sleeves to Sandy's grandbaby's Wallaby.  I am rapidly closing in on the neck, and then just the hood and grafting underarms will remain.
What to do then?
Well, next up on the official list is Torri's shawl.  She purchased some lovely Knit Pick's Swish superwash wool in the Blue Yonder colorway.  I gave her several choices for a design stitch, and she picked the Clam shell (I think the name is--I will verify later) out of the blue Barbara Walker book.  (I love those books.)  It is sort of a feather and fan, but the decreases come over several rows, and then all the increases on one row.  I think it will be quick and easy, once I get into the rhythm.
And then there is the Ladie's Shrug that is the hit of Spin Guild and now Knit Nite.  Super simple in all 2x2 or 1x1 ribbing.  I may break down and use this yarn below for it.
I had originally spun this yarn from three 10 oz. bags of Lornas Lace roving in the Red Rover colorway.  I had misread the pattern I wanted to use it for.  I thought it called for bulky yarn, and the picture looked like about that weight.  But since re-reading it shows it to call for sport weight (I still can't believe the picture is of sport weight!), I may decide to use it for the shrug instead.  I am thisclose to deciding for sure.
And then there is Color Affection.  I am still tempted by that.
Startitis is a wonderful thing.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Two Sleeves

After putting in some time at the History Center, and a quick nap and supper, I settled down for some NASCAR and knitting.
While the race has about an hour to go, my knitting has the second sleeve in the winners circle.  And with two sleeves down, it's clear sailing now.
Since I can almost knit the rest of the sweater with only occasional glances at the pattern, I can now turn my mind, at least partialy, to my next project.  (Projects?).
I plan on doing some ball winding tomorrow.  And there may be a couple things getting wound up. 
Pictures of that to follow another day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sweater Girl

No sooner had I finished Evelyn's cardigan, than I had cast on for another sweater.   This time it is The Wonderful Wallaby, by Cottage Creations. 
I love this pattern and have made well over a dozen, from baby to adult.  The pattern only goes down to size 2T, but I adapted it to a smaller 12-18 months size.  That is quick, and great for baby gifts.
Having only cast on Monday, I've made splendid progress.  It also helps that i have made it so often.  I have about 4 inches of ribbing and body and I also knit the pocket in preparation for fusing once the body is long enough.  I also am working on the sleeves. The first one is 5 inches long already.  Once I get the second  sleeve ready, I'll go back to the body.  At that point, it will be clear sailing with nothing to stop me till I'm done.
Then on to Torri's shawl.  And my Color Affection, and my shrug. And.....
I better give you a photo update, and get back to knitting.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

And They're Off

No, I'm not referring to the Kentucky Derby, but the the parts of Evelyn's Misty Blue Cardigan.  The last piece came off the needles a couple hours ago.
Gertrude modeled as best she could after I pinned the pieces together.   But a size 3x model just can't due justice to the smaller sweater.
The next project is ready to cast on.
Pictures of that another time.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Skirting the Issue

Today was spent with some of my fiber friends skirting raw sheep fleeces.
Skirting is the process of spreading out the shorn fleece on a screen, then shaking and/or picking out the nasty bits.  All the pieces of hay, burrs, all vegetable matter (known as vm), and of course the "dietary by-products", aka the poop have to go.  We also tried to pick out the second cuts.  The shearers sometimes make a second pass with their clippers, to even out the sheep.  Spinners don't like second cuts, they are hard to spin, and then they pill when knit.
The raw fleeces varied greatly in the amount of attention needed.  Some just needed some long straws of hay picked out before re-gagging and weighing.  But others were filled with dirt and grass.  A couple we tossed out directly. 
Those fleeces usually came from rescued sheep, whose shepherds would have simply tossed the wool anyway. 
Other sheep were raised by shepherds who had spinners flocks.  One has registered shetlands.  Another had some sublime crosses:  Romney, Leicester, Polypay.  Gorgeous crimp, wonderful color. 
And the best thing?  Raw fleeces are chocked full of lanolin.  My hands are so soft and smooth.
Here is a picture of Pat, Yvonne, and Mary immersed in fleece.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Infected by the Affliction of Color Affection

Anyone who follows the Yarn Harlot's blog and especially her recent post about sock camp and the "infection" they all suffered, probably are way ahead of me here.  But for once I am on the cutting edge of a trend. 
Oh, I probably won't be able to start knitting this for a while, but I have already been stash diving for this project. 

And I bought the pattern.  I am so ready to start.
What project?  The Color Affection shawl (Ravelry link) that was the hit of the weekend.
Three colors of fingering weight yarn that use the magic of short rows and garter stitch to make a wonderfully wide and stripy shawl.
My trip into (one of) my sock yarn tub came up with three colors that I think will work.  Knitpicks Essential (the former name of their current Stroll line) in Bordeaux and Eggplant.  And that wonderful sherberty swirl of peach and pink of Brown Sheep Wildefoote.  I can't recall the exact name, but I love that color.
Now, le'ts see--Evelyn's sweater is almost done, then there is a Wallaby for Sandy's grandbaby due early July.  And of course Torri's shawl.  But I am sure I can squeeze this in there amongst the others.
After all, what's one more project.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Knitting Updates

The knitting on Evelyn's cardigan continues.  I am on the last sleeve now.  Woooo Hoooo!  No pictures though.  (Sorry Evelyn.)  This one should go faster.  I have all the increases marked and rows counted on the first sleeve, so just have to keep comparing that to the new one.
I am determined to finish that sleeve. this week.  I hope some good movies are on Turner Classic Movies so I will not read so much.  I have been reading a lot this past week. My aunts and cousins meet once a month for lunch.  We pass around some Christian romance books that one aunt and one cousin subscribe to.  I can whip through a book a day, and that has cut into my knitting time this past weekend.
Lots of projects ahead though.  I have 3 that I am committed to, as well as some of my WIPs--several shawls and a couple sweaters are lying around tying up my needles.
But, just for the heck of it, I found the instructions for this stitch counter in an old Knitters magazine (Fall 2007 I think.)   It can count to 10 rows, sliding a bead after each row.  But, I thought I would make a second, with different colors perhaps.  Then after each full 10 rows, I can slide bead on the second and count up to 100 rows.  Since they can be pinned to your knitting I think they will come in handy.
I better start knitting.  Good thing tonight is Knit Night.