Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Challenge

At our February guild meeting we all picked a bag of yarn. The challenge is to knit something for charity with this yarn and bring it to the April meeting.

With that meeting only a few weeks away, it is time to start knitting. There is a total of 191 grams of yarn. Three different shades of yellow, one ball of brown and one ball of green. All are worsted weight except the larger ball of yellow which is a sport weight.

I have been debating what to make since we received the challenge. It is now decision time. Should this yarn be turned into a hat, mitts or a scarf. Should I knit a lace, cable, or fair isle pattern? I think I have an idea. Knitting will begin tomorrow night.

The Answer Is...

Yes, it laid flat. Here is the finished dishcloth that is serving two purposes. First, it is going into the pile for the seventy dishcloths that my knitting group needs as a fund raiser and secondly, it was a trial run of the Bernat's free pattern From the Middle Blanket. The pattern worked and it was fun to knit. Here comes an afghan in the near future!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another Great Find

Does anyone know the secret to passing up a good deal? If you do, please let me know. I ended up making a quick stop at a thrift store yesterday to take a look for some knitting needles. This is what I left with! The 2 skeins of white is a light weight wool (shawl?). The 8 skeins of brown is a worsted weight wool(sweater?)

While I was there I saw another fellow knitter doing some shopping for yarn as well. The difference, she managed to leave the store with only two knitting items. She obviously has the will power and self control to only buy what she needs to make a project (she is making a scarf). Apparently, I don't. Does anyone see knitting needles in this purchase? No, me neither.

Friday, March 26, 2010

This Week's Knitting

It has been a slower knitting week than usual but I did manage to finish five dishcloths and start another one.

Four to them are just the really quick garter stitch diamond shape ones. The pink one is one of my favorite patterns the ridge stitch. The one in progress is a pattern starting from the center and working out in a stripe pattern to use up the part balls left over from the other cloths. So far it seems to be working out well except for one misplaced yarn over. I know other knitters have tried projects knit from the center and the center has not laid flat for them. I am planning on making an afghan for a Christmas present using this pattern so I thought I would test knit it with a dishcloth. While it was on the needles the center square was puckering but once off the needles it flattened out. Once I fix the off center yarn over, I will continue and see how it goes. Will it lay flat as more rounds are added to it or will it begin to bunch up? Stay tuned for this exciting conclusion, lol!

By the way, all of this cotton was donated by one of the Knitting Goddesses who generously gave up her cotton when she heard of my other knitting group's need to knit 70 dishcloths in the next month. Thanks, this was a great help!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

One Sweater Finished

Yahoo, it is finished!

I am much happier with the ribbing now that I have reknit it. The actual ribbing is four rounds of k1, p1 followed by three rounds of knitting, followed by five more rounds of k1, p1. The first attempt at casting off was using the Russian cast off that I had used around the rolled collar. It worked great for the collar. I like how it looks and it has lots of stretch but for the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater that cast off was way too loose and didn't lay nicely. In the end I just cast of purlwise and I think it looks good and it lays flat.

The next project to tackle is reknitting the sleeves on the other blue sweater.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Guild Meeting

The sweater almost made the Wed night deadline but not quite. The sweater is still a work in progress. It was finished but I decided last night that I didn't like the Russian cast off after all. I knew as I was doing it that it was going to be too loose and not lay as flat as I would like but I kept going and finished it anyways and tried it on. I didn't like it so I pulled out the cast off edge and I am in the process of casting off again. It looks betters this time, I hope!

All of those little pieces from the previous post ended up being this cute bunny and it was finished for the Wed. deadline. One of our Knitting Goddesses will be having her second baby very soon. Most of our members had a chance to add some stitches as the bunny was being knit and this was one of our gifts to her.

As some of you may know, I tend to buy a lot of knitting stuff. Yarn, books, needles, patterns and apparently a darning egg. Years ago in my travels I found some knitting needles and patterns in an antique store along with a wooden thing that was shaped more like a tear drop than an egg so of course I bought it too having no idea what it was for. For our guild meeting, I did a little research on darning socks and read about the use of a darning egg (which I am assuming it is). I don't have a picture of it as it went home with this knitter so she could finish repairing her socks. You insert it into your sock at the area that is worn or has a hole. It stretches out your knitting and gives you a surface to work on. Here it is being used.

With any luck the next pictures will be of a finished sweater!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tomorrow's Deadline

Today's knitting is divided between these two projects. My goal is to have them both finished for tomorrow night.

The sweater only needs a few more inches and most of the ends are already sewn in. The new project being knit in Mission Falls cotton is a group project that I have had help knitting and I am going to finish it off tonight.

I have the whole evening free for knitting. I am feeling hopeful I will get most of it done tonight and squeeze in the last few rows before and after work tomorrow. Then it is on to reknitting the sleeves on the light blue sweater for Monday.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Night Knitting

Here is how I have been spending the night. The one advantage of knitting round after round on the body of this sweater is that I can read, listen to the hockey game and knit all at the same time.

I was hoping to have the sweater finished for Monday night so I could wear it to our knitting class but since I will be away most of Sunday that isn't likely to happen. I am going to try for Wednesday night instead and wear it to our guild meeting.

Break time is over. I am heading back to my knitting. Now that I have given myself Wednesday as a deadline, every row counts.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Two sleeves finished, one collar finished and the body started.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Yarn Shopping Day

Our shopping trip began in Listowel at the Spinrite factory outlet's winter sale. The knitting group that I belong to in London was asked to knit spa clothes for a fund raiser...70 of them! I thought that I would top up our cotton stash with some bright colours of cotton.

This yarn is for me. The green sock yarn in the front will be a pair of socks for me. It is the Patons stretchy sock yarn. The cone of green varigated cotton (I think) came out of the sale bins and I think that it will make a nice summer shawl. I might double it and retry the Citron pattern. The small balls in the back are the cotton/corn blend and they will turn into a summer tank top knit from the top down. The larger balls are Classic Wool and the colour is Paprika. These will also be another sweater for me.

This is all cotton. There are 23 balls in 6 different colours. This is going to be an afghan for my daughter for Christmas.

This is more yarn for me! I bought a fair amount of the classic wool and these are the worn denim and the salmon heather colours. Of course there is more sock yarn. I couldn't just buy 2 balls.

This was from our second stop of the day. We came home through Stratford and stopped at the CloseKnit yarn shop. She has been open for just one month and has a nice shop with some very nice wool. I left with 10 balls of Zara which is a very nice Merino. The picture doesn't show the colours very well. It is a varigated blue, brown and red. I am going to make a vest out of it starting tonight. I am planning on wearing it to our workshop on April 10 because I am hoping that it will be too hot to wear a wool sweater by then.

It was a great day!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Stratford Gardening Show and More Wool

In preparation for tomorrows day of yarn shopping, I dropped my son off at my parent's house tonight for a sleep over. Before I left, we drove to Stratford and spend a couple of hours going through the gardening show. This was the first time I had been to this show and it was very good. I was very excited to have found two varieties of Nicotiana (flowering tobacco) that are extremely fragrant and impossible to get unless you order them from a seed catalog. While we were looking through the rest of the displays we came across the Lavender farm in Sparta, Lavender Blue. I have been in their store a few times and you could tell that she was trying to remember where she had seen me before. We chatted a bit and talked about having belonged to the same curling club last winter and that is when she remembered and she excitedly said "you are the knitter!" What a great way to be remembered :)

I found this new yarn yesterday by accident (well kind of). I went to Goodwill to drop off some things and of course I couldn't leave without checking out the yarn and once I saw this I couldn't leave it there. It is all wool. Two balls are a nice merino and the others are similar to Briggs and Little wool. In total there are 10 balls totaling 974 grams all for a grand total of $4.28. I love finding a great deal!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Warm up for yarn shopping road trip

In anticipation of our knitting guild's yarn shopping day on Saturday, I stopped in at Lens Mills and looked through their bargain bin. This is what I found. Both less than half price!

The green cotton needs a little TLC and I am hoping that it isn't tangled too badly. I found more of this cotton last summer at the Mary Maxim tent sale. I am planning on making a summer tank top out of it so when I find the rest of that yarn this skein can be added to it. The white Classic Wool will end up being dyed at some point and then knit into a pair of mitts or a hat.

I am so excited about yarn shopping this weekend. Hopefully we find some good deals at the sale in Listowel. I can always use more yarn!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympic results

Well, here it is. My olympic knitting goal had been to knit a pair of socks two at a time using the magic loop method. As you can see I didn't even get close to a pair of socks and to make matters worse they were to be a child's size.

I did manage to master the casting on and getting the first few rounds completed which was a small feat itself. I learned that markers are a tremendous help in marking the beginning of the round and distinguishing between the two socks because you have to remember if you are knitting the first or second sock and if you are on the first or second needle. My biggest concern for knitting two at a time was ending up with a huge tangled mess from using two balls at a time. This didn't end up being that much of a problem it just took remembering to turn your work in the other direction at the end of every row to untwist the yarn.

The biggest stumbling block ended up being that I wasn't really interested in knitting socks right now. I was at the start, but as I worked away at it I found it slow going. Each time that I started over, three times I think, I found the process easier and faster and I have no doubt that someday I will knit a pair of socks this way. In the end I spent my time knitting my sweater.

I may not have met my olympic goal but I am happy that I have learned the process and some tips along the way and that I am one sleeve closer to wearing my sweater!