Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sweater Accomplished

I sewed on the last button of Lil Farm Gal's Eyelet Yoke Cardigan this morning.

I love the sparkly buttons. I should. I have used the smallest ones on her doll's sweater and a medium size on my black eyelet cardigan. I hope she likes it.

I will be working in my SWestie Shawl next. At least until decide on my next project.....Shetland lace shawl or cardigan. I am about half done with the SWestie. I will be starting the solid blue yarn very soon.

I also loaded my 24 inch rigid heddle loom into the car. It was hardly used. The first project is still on it. I really prefer knitting to weaving, even to spinning. I have decided to try to sell it and am taking it to the Open House at Chickasaw Farm near Reed City (14162 Beech Ave, between 17 and18 Mile Roads, between 10 am to 4 pm) to try to find a buyer.

it is warped and I have the pattern notes, as well as the yarn, and extra shuttles and heddle. I can't find the books I had to sell with it. If I find them they will be included in the price. ($300----value approximately $375, without books.). And notice the stand? The stand is a great option that comes with it as well.

If you are interested, feel free to contact me. Delivery is available if nearby. And don't worry about lack of books. They can be found on line....I think Knit Picks has the ones I have. And YouTube is a great resource. I found videos that will coach you along.

If I find a buyer for it, I may be able to go to a fiber festival this summer.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

This past weekend Hubby drafted my help in cutting down some trees.  Well, it was supposed to be some, but we only got one done.  The trees were in my brother's neighbor so I got a time for a bit of chatting with some of my grand-nephews and favorite sweater recipients.
I am not used to that kind of work.  I was saw-dusty, and several of my muscles were quite upset with me and let me know the next day.
Hubby, tree cutting last fall at my brother's home.
 There were some large pieces that were left that wouldn't fit on the truck.  So the next day, Hubby went back to pick them up, with the horse trailer.  Being lower, he could just roll them on the trailer with a small ramp.  However, for some reason when he got there, it was very hard to backup into their drive. He finally made it however and loaded the wood.  
When he got ready to leave, Hubby noticed one of the tires was flat.  The family was gone, so he left, with the trailer blocking the garage, intending to come Monday to remove the tire and get it fixed.
I convinced him that we better go back and at least move it out a bit so they could get in and out of their garage. 
We went later that evening.  While jacking the trailer up, the tire went no where.  The front of the two tires actually went up before the back, flat one.  Hmmmm.  
The family were home this time, and got another jack.  With some bracing, and after hooking the truck up to the trailer, we found the spring had broken.  That had cut the wall of the tire.   (Suddenly the free wood wasn't looking so cheap.)
So, finally a tire was obtained.  Not a great tire, but the only one available in the whole town that size.  A friend of our son's owns a welding shop and will be coming with his portable welder and hopeful find enough metal to weld the spring back up so we can get the trailer either home or to his shop.  And out of their driveway.
I just thankful that it didn't happen Monday, when Hubby was planning to take it to the cattle auction, and bringing home a feeder sized beef cow.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Back In The Lineup

Lil' Farm Gal's Eyelet Yoke Cardigan is back in the knitting rotation.  But not without torment and fretting.
Finally, I bit the bullet.  This shows the sleeve before taking action.
Then I ruthlessly pulled out the needles.  But before the frogging began, I started picking up stitches from just above the first sleeve row that had been knit.  The little white and orange markers show the last yoke row, that I use to measure length from.
Here you can see the stitches picked up just above the markers.  I go slow the last row or so of pulling out the knitting, because I usually slide up or down a row when picking up the stitches, but this is much easier going than unknitting all that distance.  And quick as that, I'm back where I started.
I picked up an extra 8 stitches for 66 rather than 58 for the sleeve. I feel much more comfortable with the diameter now.  It is closer to the diagram of what it should be.
And I remembered to make notes to make the other sleeve match.  Always a good plan.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Time Out to Think Things Over

I finished the body of Lil Farm Gal's sweater. I closed it with some mini hair clips to take this picture.

I use them to hold knitting together when seaming. When the sweater is finished, it will be wider with the front bands.

It seems to be coming along okay. Except, now that I have worked a couple inches of the first sleeve it is too narrow. I hit gauge ok, I have the right amount of stitches, but it is narrow when compared to the schematic. So the question now I continue? Do I rip out the entire body back to the arm divide and increase a view more stitches into the sleeve?

Maybe I can just rip out the sleeve and pick up extra stitches. I could get enough for an extra inch or so there. So I need to think it over and make a decision while I knit something else.

So the sweater is sitting in time out.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Lace Prep

I haven't started the lace projects, or even decided which of the lace shawls I mentioned in my last post will be my lacy shawl  project.  But before I go to far on it, I need to do something about when it is finished and ready for blocking.
Many of my knitting cronies from Knit Nite laugh mightily about my obsession with swatching before a project and constantly checking my gauge during knitting.  They also are rather lackadaisical about blocking.  I know that I am not as adamant about blocking as I should be, but before I go too far along on my lace shawl, I need to make a blocking frame.
The purpose, for non-knitters, of such a frame is to stretch out the knitting and really enhance the lace and open it up.  For most blocking, like sweaters and such, I can lay them out on the bed with a fan blowing on it, and hope it drys before bed time.  But with the frame I can stretch the lace out and even take it out to let
If you enter "lace blocking frame" into your favorite search engine, you can see many images of what I want to make.  I saw this link first and was ready to purchase supplies for it.  Nails and boards and such, a few small bolts and wing nuts.  Plywood I could find around the house.
But then I clicked on another link.
PVC!  What a great idea!  It might take more time lacing it to the pipes, without the nails, but I think it would work.  And if I want to take it outside to dry, it would probably be lighter and easier to move.  I think I will be looking into the cost of pipes and connectors.  If I use four foot lengths, it should make a plenty big enough octagon, and the can be connected end to end to make it long enough for a rectangle shawl.
And while you are googling around, try searching "wooly board frame", and check out the images.  I don't think I will get that fussy on blocking my sweaters.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I have reached the bottom ribbing of the sweater for Lil' Farm Gal. While the pattern calls for the sleeves next, I think that I may put the neck stitches and finish that off.  It to have the back of the neck raised and then ribbing and bind off.  Since the stitches were a provisionally cast on, I can get them off the cable they are waiting on.  I think then pictures will work better.  Then sleeves and the front bands will finish it up.  Which means.....
Trying to decide what to cast on next.  Whooo hoo!
I want to start a cardigan with my wonderful Plum Cake yarn I purchased this summer.
I have ideas in my head for what I want: stockinette top, with set in sleeves, and lace below the arm divide, once I get past bust shaping.  Trying to decide if I want to free-form it, with a basic recipe, or if I want to try to find a pattern to blindly follow.  
Yeah, like I would blindly follow it anyway. 
And of course, I want to work on a Shetland style shawl, probably using one of my cones of lace or fingering weight yarn.  Maybe while working on the sweater I can sketch out and plan for my shawl.  Then if it gets too hot to work comfortably on the sweater, I can switch to the shawl.  Even in fingering weight, when it is in wool, and in my size, it can get pretty warm on the lap. 
There is also a circular shawl pattern or two I really that I could jump right into.  And if I do, I just might use this.
I estimate it to be about 2000 yards.  Isn't it lovely?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Changes in Store

Change is around the corner. I would like to remind my readers that I enjoy the winter and cold. I don't mind spring too much. But after a couple of frost advisories these couple nights, the coming forecast sounds miserable.....possibly 80 and humid is just too much. Obviously time to get the AC back in the window. Such weather is too much of a change for me.

At least I am knitting smaller pieces though. The Eyelet Yoke Cardigan for Lil Farm Gal is past the sleeve divide.

I have finished the eyelet rows and have worked about three inches further than shown. I need a little over seven more so it is mindless knitting. I have to watch that the yarn doesn't split though. I have had to drop a stitch down several rows in a couple places when I found I only had knit through a single ply. That's an easy fix, especially with a crochet hook handy.

This picture shows the eyelet rows better. My pattern was 8 rows stockinette, followed by a knit row on the wrong side. Then just "knit 2 together, yarn over" across the next row. Now that I am past the yoke it will be plain stockinette for the body. I am using Ann Budd's great book "The Knitter's Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters". Unlike the doll sweater I styled it after, this will probably have ribbed collar and bottom..

Since this sweater and my SWestie shawl are now going well, I guess it is time to cast on a pair of socks. I decided on a free pattern called Hermione's Everyday Socks. I couldn't copy a link, but you can find it online.

I forgot what the yarn was, so I pulled out the label. I had guessed colorway and source. The color is Spuomi, and it came from Yarn Hollow, one of my favorite local dyers. The yarn is Chrome, half merino super wash (yummy soft) and half tencel, for shine.

I gotta go cast on.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pass Off Complete. Onward!

The blankie and vest were packaged up with my usual fancy wrapping (a plastic Walmart bag) and read for deliver.  I did manage to get a picture of both together at Knit Nite last Tuesday.  Take a good look, that's probably the last I will show or see them.
You can tell the yarn for the vest was different from the yarn used on the blankie.  But for casual use, they are fine.  I hope.
Ever onward, I returned to Lil' Farm Gal's Eyelet Yoke Cardigan.  After frogging it earlier in the week and casting on again with a different provisional cast on, I am again past the third eyelet row.  Of course, like the blankie, the rows get longer and longer.  There are only one or two more increase rows, but they really pack on the stitches.
And I might say that my fingers are very happy to kiss the 100% acrylic good bye.  While this is machine washable, at least it is a wool blend.  
And as usual at this point, I am contemplating new projects for travel knitting.  I can use the neglected SWestie shawl, that is manageable, and fairly brainless. That is less than half done. 
As long as I don't lose the markers it is easy going.  Maybe I will attach a string to them to weave through and hold them on.  But I do need to get a set of socks back on the needles too, besides the pair I leave in the car for random periods of waiting.  I am contemplating two patterns, and I will make a decision once I get some WIP tubes, or at least something to protect the points of the sock needles from poking through bags, as well as hold the stitches on the needles when the silly knitter snatches the sock from the knitting bag. 
And while, I have the above sweater to knit, as well as one or two I have been mulling over for myself, I have been inspired by the two blankie projects to finally attempt a lace weight square Shetland style stole.  Out of wool of course.  I have pulled out my stitch pattern books, and Shetland knitting books and am drooling over..... oops, I mean studying them.  I want to do a center square, probably garter, and certainly an all over pattern, not sure yet if I want to go corner to corner, or not.  That square will be followed by another pattern, going around the square.  I am leaning to feather and fan or some such pattern with a moving pattern.  And then I will polish it off with a lace.  Contrary to the complaints about the length of time it takes, it really isn't that hard to do a sideways lace as your bind off.  As long as I have presence of mind to choose a reasonable lace pattern.  I have that really call to me. 
Then there is this crazy part of me that wants to do the same shawl, but only triangular instead of square: half the yarn and knitting, all the pleasure, and not too hot to wear.  
Well, I should have some time to mull this over, since I have a few projects ahead of it.