Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Lost Is Found!


Oh my goodness. I have been looking for this Noro yarn for weeks. This is what happens when you clean up. I new exactly where I left it after I bought it. In a bag on the dining room floor between the table the the hutch. Then I started cleaning the dining room so it could actually be used as a dining room for Christmas and I have been looking in boxes and totes ever since to find this yarn again! I had success tonight! I had stuck it in a box that it did not belong in (when will I learn??)

This yarn it going to be knit into an Entrelac scarf. I have 4 50g balls of Noro Silk Garden. This will be my New Years project. One more dishcloth finished and another started...almost there!

Happy New Years Eve everyone. Have a good night!!

It Is A Miracle


It is a small miracle. I have managed to please teenagers! They like their hats and have been wearing them...in public! I am totally hooked on knitting all of my hats top down from now on (I have another one almost finished, just working on the ribbing)so far they have fit perfectly every time.

I managed to get one more dishcloth finished today and knit a few rounds on the sweater. I had someone tease me today about what would I be doing on New Year's Eve...knitting? It seems like a perfect way to end one year and start the next to me. Plus I may need the knitting time to get everything finished. There are always more projects than time.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Presents


I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and that Santa filled your stockings with yarn!

No yarn for me this year. It seems that my whole family thinks that I already have too much yarn and they were not about to add to the stash. Obviously, they are not knitters and do not understand the bond between a knitter and her yarn! Some people cautiously looked into my knitting room and noted that it was fuller than before. They would be right. In order to host a family Christmas I had to gather all of the yarn from the dining room and living room, box it up and add another row of boxes on top of what was already piled at head height in my knitting room.

I did get two great knitting books. Knitting Over the Edge and Knitting Beyond the Edge by Nicky Epstein. I am so excited to have these books in my library and can't wait to try some of her interesting edgings, cuffs and collars.

Most of my Christmas knitting did get finished but it did keep me busy right up to Christmas Eve.

My current project is a top down raglan pullover for my niece. It is coming along nicely so far. I will be seeing her on Friday for our last family celebration so I will be able to check the size. I have been guessing a little bit at the sizing so we will see how well I did!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guild Meeting



Tonight was the Knitting Goddess's knitting guild meeting. We had a lot of fun! We started the meeting with a talk from Sue from The Clever Cat Knits who talked about dyeing wool and other fibres. She brought samples of the silk, mohair, merino, cashmere and alpaca that she dyes in incredible colour ways. She sells online. This could be dangerous!

We had our unveiling of our scarf challenge project. Everyone had wonderful scarves with no two alike. Great choices of colours and patterns ladies!

One of our newest members who has only been coming out to our guild meetings and our Friday morning knitting groups since October has been one very busy knitter. She is shown here with 7 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of mitts, and 2 scarves!! Excellent knitting! It is great to have such an enthusiastic knitter join our group.

Christmas knitting update - two neck warmers on the go.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another One Finished!



Slowly but surely knitted gifts are being knit. Here is another top down hat. This was knit using two 50g balls of superwash wool held double on two 6mm circular needles. I started this hat using the circulars and not the dpns. I enjoy knitting with the circulars over the dpns as you can just try it on any time you want to as you are knitting as in the first picture. Just be careful of the needle ends! I also don't seem to have any ladders knitting this way which is an extra bonus.

Neck warmers are next on the knitting list. I hope everyone's Christmas knitting is on schedule!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Top Down Hat


I am really loving this top down knitting. This hat was knit with no pattern and (sit down before reading any farther) no gauge swatch. For all of you who know me, you know that I always stress the importance of checking your gauge but with this hat there is no need to. You try it on as you go and knit it until it fits.

This hat is knit with an unidentified chunky weight yarn and I started out using 4 double pointed needles size 6mm. You begin by casting on 8 sts, dividing them onto 3 needles and joining in the round. Then you begin alternating an increase round with a knit round until the hat is large enough to fit the top of your head. Then you continue knitting until it is the length you want it and add whatever you like for ribbing and you have a hat that fits you perfectly!

After I had the increasing finished I took the time to dig out two 6mm circular needles to finish the hat. It was too much trouble to keep going on the dpns as there was just enough stitches on all three needles that the end stitches would always drop off the needle. Knitting on the two circular needles also makes it possible to try on the hat whenever you want to to check the size and length. This was a great way to knit a hat. One gift finished, many more to go!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Two Needle Mittens




These were fun and fast to knit! They were knit out of Paton's Classic Wool that was dyed with Kool Aid in the microwave. Straight needles (or a circular needle used to knit back and forth not joining your work) were used to knit a one piece mitten that had you knit the thumb as you got to it and then continued on with the rest of the mitt. At the end the mitten was sewn together. This was a definite plus for anyone who doesn't like going back to finish knitting the thumbs!

I am close to finishing a top down hat and have new yarn ready to start one of the teddy bears. More details soon. Happy Christmas knitting everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Christmas Gifts


Here are 11 dishcloths ready to go to a family Christmas this afternoon. As you can see, this was what kept me busy knitting this week. In my attempt to be organized I did have three of these knit a couple of weeks ago and then I fell back into a mitten knitting mode. Luckily, I was able to find two dishcloths that I had knit a few months ago so that left me with 6 to knit this week (plus a tiny bit of mitten knitting). As of last night they were knit, ends sewn in and packed ready to go - a whole 12 hours before they were needed! This is giving me hope for the rest of my knitted gifts.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Clothes pins!


This water bottle cover was knit by a new knitter that joined our knitting group in London at Sherwood Forest Mall. This was her first project using double pointed needles and she was determined that she was going to master those dpns! After a few tries at casting on, joining in the round and beginning the ribbing pattern at the knitting club, she went home to continue knitting. The following week when we all met again, we were eager to see how she had made out on her own. She laughed and said the stitches kept falling off the needles! A trip to the dollar store for these miniature clothes pins fixed that problem. Where there is a will there is a way! Great job Grace!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Finished Top Down Mitts




I am so excited to have these mitts finished and I mean totally finished, all of the ends are sewn in as well!

Knitting these mitts from the top down was fun for a change. This pair was knit with Paton's Classic Wool on 4 double pointed needles and I just made up the colour pattern as I went along. That part was a lot of fun! The most difficult part on this project was doing the Magic Cast On with the dpns. I found that you had to cast on loosely to have enough play with the yarn to get the first round knit. If you survive that, lol, the rest is a piece of cake! You work increasing rows until you have reached the size that fits your hand then it is straight knitting until you are ready for the thumb placement. Then continue knitting until you reach your wrist then switch to ribbing and work until the cuff is the desired length. Not to hard at all.

Knitting the after thought thumb using a piece of waste yarn was very easy to do and does make a nice thumb. The first two pictures show the waste yarn marking the thumb stitches and then the live stitches that are picked up once the waste yarn is picked out.

I would knit these again but I do still like the traditional method of cuff up. I am working on a pair of mitts that are to be knit on 2 straight needles (I am using a circular needles and knitting back and forth, not in the round) to make a mitt that will be seamed together. These are a very fast knit, I am just working on the top shaping and one will be finished. More about this pair tomorrow.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

More Mitten News




For those of you who were wondering what the "ransom" mitten was all about, I will fill you in. Last Monday evening we were at our knitting class at Carrie's Quilting and Knitting store knitting mittens. At the end of the class when everyone was gathering up their pattern, needles, tape measures, yarn, etc. We found this poor, lonely mitten left on the table. Of course we knew who it belong to but we thought we would have a little bit of fun and one of the other knitters in the class came up with the idea of a ransom note! All of us had a lot of fun with this (even the mitten's owner). It created a lot of laughs with the whole group from us writing the ransom note to the knitter realizing her mitten was being held hostage! I returned the mitten in a couple of days, without any ransom, because I couldn't stand the thought of a knitter being without her mitten. This knitter and her mitten joined us for our Friday morning knitting group and both seemed very happy to have been reunited!

In other mitten knitting news, everyone is busy working away on various patterns. We are knitting our way through the basic mitt, a cabled mitt and some of us are attempting the top down mitt with an after thought thumb. We will have one more pattern this Monday night. This one will be knit on 2 needles and then seamed together. There are so many ways to knit mitts that every knitter can pick and choose which technique they enjoy the most.

The first picture shows the basic mitts. (This talented knitter also makes pottery!)
The second picture is of various mitts at different stages. And the last one shows the start of the top down mitts knit on 4 dpns. I am looking forward to seeing everyone's progress Monday night.

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Today's Progress


Today was a busy day that only left me a small amount of knitting time. I worked on my second top down mitten. I knit the first mitt down to where the thumb was marked with a piece of waste yarn then knit a few more rows. I couldn't wait to finish the rest of the mitt before I unpicked the waste yarn to pick up the live stitches and knit the thumb to make sure the thumb placement was in the correct spot. It wasn't quite but since this pair is for me I am not going to pull it out and reknit it. I adjusted the pattern and the second mitt will fit better.

I also found the wool that I am going to use for my challenge scarf for the December Knitting Goddess's Guild meeting. Hopefully tomorrow has more knitting time. As much fun as I am having knitting all of these mitts, I need to get this scarf started soon!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ransom


Hmmm, what would be a good ransom for a wonderful hand knit varigated wool mitten. Merino, sock yarn, lace weight alpaca.....

Top Down Mitts


Here is the newest pair of mitts being knit. As you can see they are knit from the top down. They start out with the magic cast on and increase every other row until they fit your hand. They are going to have a random stripe pattern in various colours to add some excitement while knitting in stocking stitch down to the thumb. For something else different, this pair of mitts is going to have the after thought thumb. So far this has been fun to knit once you get the first couple of rows knit. Getting started is a bit tricky. My first tip for knitting mitts top down is to cast on loosely!!

Tonight is another knitting night at Carries shop. Fun, fun, fun! See you there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mitts, Mitts, Mitts


Look at everyone's mitts!! November is mitten month at Carries Knitting shop. Our first pair of mitts was a plain, basic mitten to get everyone started. This week's pattern is for a cabled mitten with a braided cable on the back of the hand. It is a little more challenging but is still a quick knit.

It is hard to believe but November is half over and our knitting guild meeting is tomorrow night. We are going to knit (and crochet) some jewelry. Hope to see you there.

Happy mitten knitting!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Finished Mitts



My week has been filled with mitten knitting. Here is what I have accomplished so far. These are not quite done as I want to add some embellishments to both pairs. I just have to go searching through my stash to find just the right colours to use. I am having a lot of fun knitting these mitts. They are so simple and very fast to knit. The next pair on my list to be knit are the cabled mitts.

Christmas dishcloths are still in the works. Knee high socks, gloves, two teddy bears and an afghan are still in the planning stages. So much to knit and so little time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Basic Mitten


I had a great day today. My Mom came for a visit. This was a nice surprise but it did put me behind on my knitting. This is all I have to show you of the new mitt. It is knit out of Patons Classic Wool on 2.75mm dpns and the gauge is 6.5 sts per inch. In this picture I have just finished the increasing for the thumb gusset. On the next row I will put the thumb sts on a holder, cast on one extra stitch and then it is straight knitting to the top of the mitt for a few decrease rows. Then back to pick up those thumb sts, knit the thumb, decrease a few sts and the mitt is finished! Finished pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Finished Bag #2



Well, here is the second felted bag. The unfelted measurements were 15" tall and 19" wide. The felted measurements are 7" tall and 16" wide. It shrunk way more height wise than width wise. I know that this is what happens during the felting process but my original plan for this bag was to be taller. What I didn't expect was that it would get wider after the first wash in hot water. It came out at 21"! This bag ended up going through three or four washes and the dryer to shrink the width and as a result the height continued to shrink as well. I have read that one of the benefits of hand felting is that you can control the direction your project shrinks depending on the way you rub it on a wash board. Has anyone tried this? I wasn't about to go to that much work. I just put it into the washer again. Even though the finished size isn't what I had been hoping for I still like how it turned out.

My knitting projects for the last few days has been dishcloths for Christmas. It has been fun to knit such small and quick projects. These dishcloths are somehow making me feel less stress over my Christmas knitting even though the large projects have yet to be started. There is still six weeks to go. Lots of time. I am not worried yet.

Mittens are the project for tonight. So I am off to search through the totes storing my wool and then try to find 4 dpns the same size. This might take longer than actually knitting the first mitten! Pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

UFO Night



Last night was the last night for our felted bag class and everyone brought in their finished bag to show off. They all looked great!

We spent the rest of the evening working on UFOs. There was a child's cabled sock, a drop stitch scarf, man's hat, two pairs of ladies mitts, two more felted bags and a dishcloth being knit.

As always, thanks for a fun knitting night ladies!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Finished Slippers


I spent more time today organizing my knitting things than actually knitting but I did manage to finish the second slipper and they are already being worn. It is such a great feeling to know that the items we knit are appreciated.

I did spend some time knitting the rest of the felted bag and as of right now I am ready to make the holes for the straps. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be finished for tomorrow night.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Slippers!



We had a great time this morning getting together to knit and slippers were the focus. Margaret is showing off her first finished slipper. Way to go!! This is a great project for beginners or anyone looking for a quick project to knit as they are knit all in garter stitch with a little shaping around the heel, then straight knitting until you reach the toe, a few more rows of shaping, sew up two seams and you have a slipper! I added a row of crochet along the top edge of the slipper to add a little more height and to give it a nice finished edge. You can add any other embellishments that you like. Right now I am loving knitting these flowers so of course they are going to be added to the slippers. When knitting slippers, you will find yourself having the same problem as you do when knitting socks or mitts. You have to knit two of them. They are small and knit up quickly so it really isn't a big problem. (I have the second green one half knit)

I was lucky to get a sneak peak at a couple of the felted bags that have been knit this week. They have turned out great. I can't wait to see all of them Monday night!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Felted Bag #2


Here is the start of my second felted bag. I decided to change the colours for this bag from black, forest green and orange to forest green, lime green and olive. So far I am liking how it is turning out. I am following the same pattern that was written for a worsted weight wool but substituting a chunky wool instead so of course it is turning out larger. I think I will just knit it a few inches longer to balance it out. Most of what has been knit so far has been done in the continental style where you hold the working yarn in the left hand. So far I wouldn't say I am knitting any faster (which is supposed to be true for this type of knitting) but I am certainly much more comfortable knitting this way even though I still have to look at the stitches as I am knitting them. This has meant that a couple of times I had to switch back to holding the yarn in my right hand so I could multitask and keep knitting. Hopefully the speed will come soon to help me meet my Christmas knitting deadlines! I can feel a repeat of the last few Christmas happening again. Why I leave everything to the last possible moment is beyond me. One of these years I really will start my Christmas knitting in the summer.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Felted Bags and a Mitten



That is what we were knitting tonight in our knitting class. It was second class for the felted bags and everyone is doing a great job. Once again, there are wonderful colour and pattern choices with no two bags the same. One bag is even being knit in a Fair Isle pattern and looks amazing! A knitter we have not seen for a while, joined us to finish the thumbs on her mittens. Seeing someone knit mitts was just the inspiration I needed to get me ready to start my own mitts.

Some of you were wondering about the fate of the purple sweater. I finished knitting it a while ago and then slowly worked at sewing in the ends. The sweater is still at Carrie's shop waiting to be picked up by it's lucky new owner and Becky was a good sport to model it even though it was way too big on her. It was a good job we pulled it out to look at it as I had missed sewing in two ends. (This sweater just won't go away!)

I started another bag today and have the bottom knit and I am just working on picking up the stitches to begin knitting in the round. I guess the bag beat out the mitts as the next project. Knitting this second bag will give me some more time to decide on the mitten patterns to start in a few days...cables, fair isle, worsted weight, sock weight....there is lots to choose from.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finished Projects!



Yeah! I love it when I finish something. It means I can start something else. I just have to decide what should be next. Another bag, my sister-in-laws birthday socks, my Mother-in-laws birthday scarf, a hat for me using the Kool-aid dyed wool, or mitts. I think I am leaning towards the mitts. Not that it will matter that much because they all need to be started soon. We have a lot of birthdays coming up plus, for anyone who didn't realize it, Christmas is exactly 2 months today. Yikes!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

More Yarn Shopping


Here is the rest of the yarn purchases from last weekend. After a great day last Saturday at the Woodstock Fleece Festival we spent Sunday in Toronto at the CreativFestival. Overall the show seemed smaller than it had been in previous years but there were more than enough knitting booths to keep us busy for the day. As you can see, it was another successful shopping trip with the purchase of 2 balls of Noro sock yarn, a skein of Merino for mitts, and lots of a chunky weight wool for more felted bags and possibly a sweater. Now I just have to start knitting!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Success!!



Well, here it is!! This bag is knit from Patons Classic Wool. To knit the bag it took one full ball of green and about half a ball of the orange. The unfelted measurements were 13" wide and 14" long.

Tonight at our knitting class, for fun we started hand felting this bag. That is a lot of work! The felting process had started but we were not even close to the end result. This is how it looked after being in a hot wash in the washing machine for 8 mins. I took it out and was happy with the size so I hand rinsed it and put it back into the washer to spin out the excess water. The felted size is 9"x9". Now it just needs the i-cord handles and the embellishments and it will be ready to use.

For those knitters who are working on this project, here are some helpful hints to know.
-when you change colours don't worry about the stair step/jog in your stripe because you won't see it.
-don't get too fancy with your pattern. It did blend more than I had thought it might.
-remember to put something that will not felt into the holes for the handles (I didn't and I know we just talked about it...short memory) but I was able to open the holes back up with a little bit of work.

I am happy with how my bag turned out. Good luck with your projects!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Day Filled With Yarn Shopping!







This was the first year for this show and it was great! Everything a knitter could want was there, beautiful hand dyed and hand spun wool, silk, cashmere and alpaca yarns, patterns, needles and accessories, spinning wheels and supplies and books on every topic related to fiber.

I wasn't planning on buying any wool today but our first find of the day were these skeins of wool for a really great price. It was such a great price that between two of us we bought almost all of it. I am so excited about this wool that I am winding one of the skeins into a ball now to knit a swatch to see how it felts.

What I was looking to buy was patterns. I found a shrug pattern that looks great and should be a fast knit and these two mitten patterns that I couldn't resist as well as an Elizabeth Zimmermann book. One pattern is for twined mittens and the other is for Lovikka (Swedish) mittens.

The next two purchases ended up being yarn again. The blue and grey varigated is 100% cashmere and is sooo soft. The green is a Merino wool and silk blend. Both of these will be scarves and will most likely be gifts.

As a final bonus, I was lucky enough to win a door prize. These socks where knit on an antique sock knitting machine.

Tomorrow is the trip to the Creativfestival in Toronto. Another fun day with knitting friends. I can't wait!

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Hat Yarn


I was in the mood to dye some wool today with Kool Aid. I had been looking through some patterns on Ravelry and came across the foliage hat pattern. Since the hat pattern only requires one ball of wool this made for a quick and easy dyeing session.

The wool is Patons Classic Wool (merino) in winter white. The colours I was hoping to end up with was a dark brown and a burnt orange. For the brown I mixed one package of strawberry, one package of grape and added a small bit of lime green. For the orange I mixed 2 packages of orange with a bit of purple. It only took 4 two minute cycles of cooking and cooling in the microwave to absorb all of the dye. Then it had a quick rinse by hand and a spin in the washer to get rid of the excess water and it is hanging to dry. The end result was close but not quite. The dark brown has a purple tinge and the orange is brighter than I had planned but I still like it and still plan on turning it into the foliage hat some time soon.

The knitting is finished on the purple sweater. Just two seams and the ends to weave in and it will be finished!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Slow Knitting Week


Yay, it is a long weekend! I am so ready to have some time to relax. This week has been filled with more hours in the emergency room than knitting time. I did manage to finish the second sleeve on the purple sweater during the first visit to the ER and I have the edge stitches picked up ready to knit the boarder. So much for my goal of having it finished on Tuesday.

The only finished project this week is a tiny pair of slippers (knit during our second trip to the ER) for my niece who requested some Christmas slippers last weekend. I promised her I would have them ready when I saw her for Thanksgiving. Here they are (thank goodness she has tiny feet!)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekend Progress


Well, here it is. It is Sunday night and I am heading off to bed to dream about a finished sweater. I didn't get as much knit on the second sleeve as I had hoped for but I am still happy with what I did manage to get finished. I am aiming to have it finished Tuesday evening. As for the fronts, they look like they are the same size to me. I still have not measured them but I did find two measuring tapes so if or when I decide to double check their size I am ready.