Friday, July 31, 2009

Holdiay Knitting Is The Best

I could really get used to getting up and not going to work every morning. Holidays are the best. I have spent the last few days picking up my knitting whenever I wanted to and knitting until I felt like putting it down, reading the latest knitting magazines, checking out Ravelry and (they have new patterns up) and finalizing the knitting demo schedules for the Western Fair coming up in September. As for my actual knitting, I have the flying geese block finished (boarder knitted on, and the ends woven in too) the blue shawl is now 20" long, the cable block is started, I have wool set aside for a new pair of socks, I found a pattern for a new sweater and I have wool soaking waiting to be dyed. Even being on holidays I can't fit it all in but I am going to have fun trying!

Here are some pictures of how the flying geese block will look when it is finished and how to pick up the garter stitches to sew the one seam. I hope everyone had fun with this block!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Star Knitters

Once again ladies, excellent knitting! Three blocks down, three to go. You have some extra knitting time with next Monday being a holiday. So enjoy your knitting time and remember you can always stop in on Saturday mornings if you need any help or just want some moral support when weaving in your ends on the flying geese block!

Everyone was off to a great start last night on the flying geese block. It is very similar to the log cabin block so you should knit along without any trouble. Have fun picking your colours. It's going to be fun seeing everyone's finished blocks with all of the different colour combinations. After looking at my finished multi coloured block when I got home last night, I think that I am going to stick with it instead of the new one I started knitting. Here is a brief summary of our class last night.

The first picture of the flying geese block shows you triangle 1 (large), triangle 2 (small purple on left side) and triangle 3 (small purple on right side).

The next picture shows that 25 stitches were picked up along the top of the block (12 purple sts, 1 orange, 12 purple) to be able to start knitting triangle #4 (large) and then 12 stitches were picked up (plus the last st from triangle #4 still on needle, totals 13 sts) with yellow on the left side for triangle #5, and 13 stitches were picked up along right side of triangle #4 with yellow to knit triangle #6. Then the block was turned to the right and 25 stitches were picked up along the left edge of the block to start knitting triangle #1 again.

You will knit the 6 triangle square, turn the block and pick up sts to knit another 6 triangle square three times so you have a total of 4 squares. The only seaming is joining the side of square 4 to the cast on edge of square 1. I'll post a picture of that tomorrow.

Happy knitting!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Knitting Update

Happy Monday to all of you knitters! I can say that with more enthusiasm than usual because I am still of holidays this week, yahoo!

The last time I posted I was off to mini golf with the kids. Due to the rain we changed up our plans a bit and mini golfed inside and played a game of bowling as well. We had a fun afternoon. (I won the bowling game and I would say I won the golf game too even though we didn't keep score.) I did manage to fit in some knitting time at lunch and the kids weren't even all that embarrassed with me knitting in the restaurant. I think that was a first.

Friday morning was our knitting group at Carrie's Quilting and Knitting shop. As always, it was a fun morning knitting and visiting with other knitters. I worked on my blue shawl for the morning and it is now 15" long. Wow, I'm even surprised at that length. That is about 1/4 of the way done. I may just get it finished for our beach knitting day on Aug. 23 after all. Or not, I'm not making any promises. I spent the rest of the afternoon shopping with a knitting friend. We had a great time and found some knitting related items. At the lavender farm we each bought a large bag of dried lavender to make into sachets that will be put in with sweaters and the wool in my stash to keep the moths away while at the same time smell wonderful. Next was shopping for pottery. I have to admit that I have a weakness for pottery. I decided to use two of the new pieces (the one's on the right) to hold my knitting odds and ends that always seem to go missing. I think that they worked out great. The small bowl is the perfect size for holding the tape measure.

On Saturday, I was back at Carrie's shop giving some extra lessons to the knitting students who are taking the summer classes. We worked on the mitered squares for the star afghan block. We had some other knitters just stop in to chat and knit. It was another great knitting morning.

On Sunday, we headed to a used book store and an antique store. I found more patterns and books for my collection. I am starting to wonder where I am going to display or store all of these items that I am collecting. Organizing these things is on my to do list. I'll keep you updated on how that is going in a few days.

I hope that everyone else had a great knitting weekend as well!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Warning, Tape Measures Lie!!

Take a look at this. The numbers on the white tape measure are way off. With the yellow one the square measures 13" with the white one 10".

We discovered this Monday night at our class when I was measuring a sample of the mitered squares to show that it was about 4 1/4" square. I measured with the white tape measure and it came out at 3 1/4". Hmmm. Now I knew that it was the right measurement (4 1/4) because I had just knit it that afternoon and had double checked it at home before I left for the class. We switched measuring tapes and sure enough the square was the right measurement. Crazy. I'm not even sure where the white measuring tape came from. All I can hope for is that I didn't use it to measure my gauge on the sweater that I am knitting! It is hard enough to get the right gauge to ensure a proper fit without a faulty measuring tape!!

My square turned out to be 13" instead of 12" (no matter what tape measure I used) so I have a little fudging to do. I have a plan. Stay tuned.

Happy knitting. I am off to mini golf in the rain :(

Monday, July 20, 2009

Awesome Find!

This is what I call starting my holidays off on the right foot.

My plan for my time off is to knit, rest and relax, knit, catch up on some house work, knit and look for any knitting items (yarn, needles, patterns or accessories) to add to my collection. Friday night on my way home from work, I stopped in a second hand store that I knew has had some vintage patterns in the past. What a pleasant surprised to find they still had a good selection of patterns as well as a basket of yarn! It gets better. The yarn was Lopi which is 100% wool made in Iceland and there was enough to knit a sweater. Eric was a great help and weighed all of the balls for me. In total there is over 1200 grams. It gets even better. The price of the wool was $0.50 per ball. On top of that, I also found 14 vintage patterns for my collection. I can't begin to tell you how excited I was!! If the rest of the week has more finds like this one, it is going to be a great vacation!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Have Been Blipped!

You actually used that picture lol! I guess you are right, it isn't that bad of a picture after all. I'll have to pose with my knitting all of the time.

Everyone should take a few minutes and check out this site (sorry, haven't figured out how to do the linking thing) Not just because of the really cool picture of me and my shawl but to take a look at this Knitting Goddess's great photos. Make sure you check out July 15, 13, 7 and 6 (these are knitting pictures).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kniting Goddesses Guild Night

Tonight was our knitting guild meeting night. We have a really great group of women who come out to our meetings and we always have a fun night.

Donna from Keeping Kids Warm told us about Knit Out London being held in Springbank Park on Saturday August 15 from 10-4. There will be snacks and drinks available. Everyone is welcome to bring a lawn chair and their knitting for a fun day in the park.

I am working on organizing a knitting day at the beach. The date is yet to be decided (thinking of August 23) but it will be a Sunday in August at Port Bruce. We will meet at 3:00 at the park by the pier with our lawn chairs and knitting to knit for the rest of the afternoon and then have supper at Shutters. I can't wait. I love to knit at the beach.

The basket of yarn was won by Cathy. Congratulations!

Here are some of the Goddesses' projects. Awesome knitting ladies!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Everything Is Always "Right"

Knitting the log cabin pattern is really a lot of fun and very simple to do once you get started.

We started out knitting a garter stitch square (center green) by casting on 10 sts and knitting 20 rows or 10 ridges then casting off and leaving the last st on the needle.

Then you will turn your square to the right and pick up and knit 10 sts, working right to left with a new colour for a total of 11 sts (10 picked up sts plus the last cast off st). Knit 9 rows or 5 ridges. Don't count your pick up row in the 9 rows.

Cast off on a right side row. Leave the last st on the needle, cut the yarn, and turn the square to the right.

With a new colour and the right side facing, pick up and knit 15 sts from right to left. There will be 5 from the end of your last garter stitch strip plus 10 from the center square plus the last cast off st for a total of 16 sts.

Keep following this pattern of picking up 5 stitches from the ends of the garter stitch strip and 1 stitch of every cast off st on a cast off edge. Then knit 9 rows and cast off. Keep turning to the right and repeat. Have fun picking your colours for each new strip.

Take a look at the pictures. The first one is showing the right side of the square and how your square will look when you have finished the cast off row leaving the last st on the needle on the top left corner.

The second pictures shows the square once it has been turned to the right. That last stitch is now on the top right corner and the right side is still facing.

The next picture shows the vertical strand of yarn on the last garter stitch. This is what you pick up and knit on the garter stitch ends.

The next picture shows picking up the cast off stitches. Remember to pick up the front half of the stitch or "v" ( the strand closest to you) don't pick up both legs of the stitch as it will make a bulkier seam.

The last picture shows the back/wrong side of the square. Besides all the tails, look at where the new colours were joined. See how you can see part of the old and the new colour. You want this to be on the back.

Have fun with this square. For everyone who is working on the afghan you will find this a nice break from last weeks square:)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It Is Time To Join!

How has everyone made out with their first block. With any luck you will be close to having all four small squares knit and will soon be ready to use the mattress stitch to join them together.

Here are 4 small sample squares that I knit up to demonstrate joining them.

First, go ahead and weave in all of your ends. I usually make an L shape on the back side of the work. Weave the tail in over about 4 stitches and then up or down 3 or 4 stitches. There is no magic number as far as how many stitches to use. Use what you feel comfortable with. Cut your yarn. This should hold your tail firmly in place.

Then, decide how you are going to place your squares. Which ones are going to have the stripe pattern horizontally or vertically.

Next, double check that you have the matching squares both facing the same way. The stitch or the "v's" should be facing the same way either up or sideways. Note that in the first picture that the bottom right square is not facing the same as its partner on the top left.

Now with the right sides up and using a darning needle, join the bottom two squares using a length of yarn. You are going to go side to side keeping the sewing yarn straight (not on an angle) so it looks like a ladder. When you pick up along a cast off edge, you will pick up two legs of the stitch below the ridge made when casting off so the ridge will be pulled into the seam on the under side. On the other block, you will pick up two horizontal bars (rows 1 and 2) in the middle of the first stitch so only half of the stitch is pulled into the seam. These bars can't be seen when looking at your knitting (unless you stretch your knitting). You will pick it up when you insert the darning needle. Once you have done a few stitches you can pull the sewing yarn tight to hide the sewing yarn and join the squares.

Continue by joining the top two squares. Then turn your knitting and join the top and bottom together.

Congratulations, the first block is done! Now on to block number two.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Forgotten Shawl

This poor project has been neglected for a while. I can't remember when I sat down to knit a few rows on this shawl. It has been a week or maybe two. I guess that isn't too bad but considering how excited I was when I started it I wouldn't have guessed that I would have gone so long without working on it. That has all changed as of today. This was the project I worked on at our Friday morning knitting group at Carrie's knitting shop. Knitting with friends always cheers me up on those days when things just aren't going the way they should be. (Buying knitting books is a close second!) So far this has been knit with the two tiny part balls of yarn that I wasn't really even considering using and they produced 7 1/2" and I still have the 3 full balls left. What a a great surprise to get that much extra length for my shawl!

For anyone wanting some help or just some moral support while knitting the rail fence square, stop in at Carrie's shop from 10-12.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Two Handed Continental Knitting

Monday night we started our first afghan block for our sampler afghan. It is the knitted version of the rail fence quilting pattern in our Knitting vs Quilting summer challenge.

The knitting with two hands - a colour held in each hand is probably the easiest to catch onto. It is the purling with the left hand that is trickier but remember it is not impossible. You will get the feel for it! Here are some tips and pictures of knitting and purling with the left hand. Pictures 2 & 3 show the knit stitch and pictures 4, 5 & 6 show the purl stitch.

*the yarn is always wrapped counter clockwise. It doesn't matter if you are knitting or purling or if you are using your left or right hand.

*when you are knitting or purling with the left hand, the yarn goes over the needle, going away from you.

*when purling with the left hand, remember that you have to bring your finger right down in front of your work to hold the wrapped yarn around the needle.

*if you do wrap the yarn the wrong way it will not affect the pattern, it will just twist your stitch making it feel different or maybe harder to put your needle into that twisted stitch when you knit it on the next row.

*the first stitch of your new row will be worked with the contrasting colour

*you are always alternating your colours. 1 contrasting colour then 1 main colour and the colours are opposite to the row worked below.

*when you are finished the four small squares you will have squares 1 and 2 the same and 3 and 4 will be the same. When you are ready to use the mattress stitch to join them together double check that you have the 2 matching squares facing the same direction.

*There will be some pictures posted towards the end of the week to help with the joining.

Is anyone asking why in the world are we bothering to knit with a colour in each hand? It is because once you get the technique down it is much faster than just using one hand and switching colours every other stitch. Plus using the two handed method will keep your yarns from twisting around each other.

If anyone is having problems, please send me an email and I can help you with whatever part you are having trouble with. We are also getting together at Carrie's Quilting and Knitting shop on Saturday morning from 10-12 so feel free to stop in for some extra help. Good luck and remember that of all the blocks we will be knitting this summer, this one will most likely be the most difficult. Next week's block is fun to knit. We will be doing the log cabin!!

Happy knitting!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekend Knitting

The butterfly pattern is finished! This really is a quick knit. The first picture was taken Saturday afternoon. I decided to sit outside and knit and enjoy the nice weather. The second picture is of who was keeping me company. This is one of this years kittens. All four of them were getting braver and would come close but not close enough to be petted (or picked up to be brought into the house to be a house cat.) That last part is my plan but hubby doesn't know it yet! I knit most of the afternoon and evening, taking a few breaks here and there and it was finished 10 hours after I started it. That is not too bad when it is spread out over a week.

See all you afghan knitters tonight!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Alpaca Acres Trip

Hello knitting friends, is everyone looking forward to finding some knitting time this weekend? I sure am. I am finishing up the blocks for the sampler afghan and hopefully will have time to put the boarder around it in time for Monday night. The plan is to have the butterfly finished tonight. Wish me luck!

I thought I would share some of the pictures from the trip to Alpaca Acres. The brown alpaca that is being held was only 3 weeks old and soooo soft. Another baby was born just half an hour after we left the farm. Ann has a wonderful selection of alpaca yarns with more arriving soon. This is where that wonderful skein of black alpaca yarn came from that was the door prize at World Wide Knit in Public Day. Another trip to Alpaca Acres is in the works for this summer. Stay tuned for more details.