Monday, June 29, 2015

So Close...

Just a quick update on the mitten knitting.  The thumb stitches have been put on a holder and I finished the medallion cable pattern.  There is just a few rounds to knit until the shaping begins for the top of the mitt. Should be finished by tomorrow!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Garter Stitch Sunday

I had a wonderfully quiet Sunday; lunch with my son, chatting with friends, a lot of relaxing and naturally some knitting.

Working on my mitts with a complicated cable chart just didn't seem to fit in with my quiet, relaxing day so I picked up my scarf and quietly worked away on row after row of garter stitch.  Very calming and zen like.

Tomorrow I'll pick up the pace with the cabled mitten.


Mitten Class - part 2

Today was the second and last mitten knitting class at Little Red Mitten. It was as fun as I thought it would be! We read through the medallion chart deciphering the cable and twist symbols then we started knitting!

Joan made everything super easy to understand and gave great demos on how to fix the mistakes that we will most likely make. By the end of the class we were all well on our way. Above is a picture of us all modelling our mitts and Joan wearing one of the finished pairs she knit.

Thanks for a great class Joan!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Aran Mitten Class - part 1

Tonight was the first of two mitten knitting classes held at our local yarn shop, Little Red Mitten.

We cast on and started working the cabled cuff. Joan had lots of great tips for knitting in the round, increasing and reading cable charts. I'm really looking forward to Saturday's class when we work through what looks like a pretty complicated medallion pattern.

For now though our homework is to knit the cuff and start the gusset increases. I've been playing around doing some of the cables with a cable needle and some without to see if I could tell the difference. I can't. Knitting a cable without a cable needle was one of the tricks Joan showed us tonight. Pretty slick!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Little Extra Knitting Time Today

Today I did something that I have only ever done once before; ride the city bus.  I'm used to jumping in my car and going wherever I need to go but today that wasn't an option and I didn't want to spend the money on a cab so public transit it was.  It really wasn't all that bad.  I know everyone always complains about the inconvenience of taking the bus but today the weather was nice, the buses were on schedule and I was prepared with my knitting.

I've always said that while you are driving it's wasted knitting time.  So today I got to sit back and knit.  It didn't even bother me that it was a little over an hour before I got home when driving it would have taken 15 mins.  It was just extra knitting time.

Look at the progress I have made on the scarf I cast on last night at the movies.  There is something to be said for chunky yarn and large needles!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Girls Night Out (with yarn of course)

With the winter being so busy my daughter and I hadn't had time for our monthly girl's night out.  Tonight we started it back up again by eating out and seeing a movie.

We saw Jurassic World in 3D and really liked it.  My sock wasn't really movie knitting material so I grabbed a small ball of chunky yarn and cast on while we were waiting for the movie to start.   

These are my theatre knitting tips:

1) Circular needles - you don't want to drop a straight or dpn and have it roll to the front of the theatre part way through the movie.  It puts a stop to your knitting and then you have to go searching for it.  I only had to do this once and I learned my lesson!

2) Wooden needles - they are quiet.  You don't want metal needles "clicking" during the quiet parts of the movie, the people sitting around you don't appreciate it

3) Knit something simple like garter st, stocking st or seed stitch.  

I was able to finish the ball of purple yarn before the movie was over so another charity knitting project is off to a good start.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Night Knitting

Tonight was my first night back at our Monday night knitting group since the fall. It was great to be back! I only managed a few rounds on my sock. I was too busy visiting and checking out everyone's knitting. Already looking forward to next week ladies!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Teaching Dad to Knit

Today was a great day; I was able to spend Father's Day with my Dad.

We spent the afternoon watching the ball game. The Blue Jays made a comeback at the beginning of the game but got behind again in the 9th inning. While we were watching and waiting for them to get the runs they needed to win the game I gave Dad a knitting lesson.

With Cascade 220 and wooden needles I cast on 12 stitches for him to work the knit stitch back and forth. Dad was a good sport and gave it a good try but in the end he didn't think knitting was for him and wouldn't be trading in his woodworking tools for knitting needles. I think he just wants me to keep knitting his socks for him ;)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sock Reknitting

Today was a knitting day. A sock reknitting day to be exact. Remember a few days ago I showed you a picture of my sock and I said I was off to a good start and there weren't any mistakes in it. Well......I was right there wasn't any mistakes but it was too small! So I pulled it back to the cuff, added some stitches and started the leg again.

I spent the morning knitting on the deck. I was really worried I'd drop a dpn and watch it fall through a cack on the deck never to be seen again. Luckily that didn't happen. I moved inside to watch an afternoon ball game. The Blue Jays lost.....but my sock fits!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pretty Girl Scarf Photo Shoot

The multi coloured scarf is finished, ends are darned in and the fringe is added.

Pattern - Pretty Girl Scarf by Wildflower Wool
Yarn - 12 colours of odds and ends of sport weight Patons Astra
Needle - 3.75 mm
Finished Size - 5" x 60" (not counting fringe)
Stitch - seed stitch in various widths
Fringe - 5 strands of yarn each cut 8 1/2" long

This was a fun and easy scarf to knit. It's super colourful and is a great stash buster.

I'm hoping to knit more of these scarves so I can donate them at Christmas to either the children's hospital or the women's shelter for my charity knitting project this year. I'll write up the pattern and share it for free for anyone who would like to knit scarves for their local charity.

Thanks to my model for braving a chilly evening so we could get some fun pictures.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Off to a good start

Thankfully I don't have any mistakes to show you tonight. What I can show you is a sock in progress (hopefully it is mistake free!)

This is the sock yarn the I received in our yarn swap last weekend at KIP day.  I love knitting with this Patons Stretch Sock yarn and pattern I'm knitting is quite  fun too.  The cuff was worked in a twisted rib and the leg is done a herringbone rib pattern.  I knew the pattern would get a little lost in the multi coloured yarn but I'm happy with how it is turning out.  It is giving the sock a little bit of pattern and texture and keeping me from being bored with plain stocking stitch :)

My big decision now is how long to knit the leg.  Do I do a full leg or a short leg for summer wearing?   

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fix or Rip?

Earlier tonight as I was thinking about what I would post I was really at a loss.  All I could come up with was just to show you an update on the three projects that I'm knitting.  That didn't sound all that exciting.  

Then, as I took a closer look at the seed stitch scarf what did I see....a mistake.  All of a sudden I had something to share with you!  

If you have knit seed stitch before, you know that there is a fine line between that and ribbing.  In seed stitch you knit your purl stitches and purl your knit stitches.  If somehow you get a stitch off track you end up knitting your knits and purling your purls which results in ribbing.

Can you see the three columns of ribbing.  Crap.  So, what would you do?  Would you rip it out to the row below the mistake or would you ladder down and fix your stitches?

I always try to fix before I rip.  Here I dropped the first stitch down 6 rows and worked my way up picking up a knit st then a purl st alternating all the way back to the needle.

When picking up a knit stitch you want the strand of yarn behind your stitch on the crochet hook before you pull it through the stitch.

When picking up a purl stitch you want the strand of yarn in front of the st on the crochet hook.

One thing to be careful of when picking up your stitches to to make sure that you pick up the strands of yarn in the correct order.  Always pick up the lowest one first and work your way up.

The picture below shows two of the columns fixed and one to go.

Just like magic, fixed. No ripping out needed....... this time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Learning Gloves

This glove knitting workshop was offered at one of our local yarn shops, Little Red Mitten. Joan had brought in an amazing local instructor, Catherine Forbes to teach us how to knit gloves that fit. These are the very first pair of gloves that I've knit.  I learned so much by knitting these and even though they are full of mistakes I LOVE them!!

I truly believe that the best way to learn is through our mistakes.  If I were to list all of the mistakes learning opportunities I had while knitting these gloves, this is what I would tell you:

*  They are too big.  I knew after the first few rounds that my 2.25mm needles were too big and therefore so was the glove.  But my intention was never for this to actually become a glove.  I thought it was just going to be a sample, something to learn on so I carried on.

* There were holes at the base of some of the fingers.  I followed Catherine's instructions for some (no holes) and then I played around with how to pick up sts and where doing my own thing for the others (holes). You have a yarn tail at every finger so I was able to darn in my holes.  Easy fix.

*  Not all my knitted fingers are the same size.  Part of what we learned from Catherine was her magic formula for making everything fit.  This works great if you can count.  Apparently I got confused with one finger because it is 2 sts smaller.  Again, I carried on after all what's 2 sts?  Well, on a finger it does make a difference.  I added the extra sts to the next finger and then worked 2 extra decreases.  (By this time I had also decided that I had put too much knitting into this glove to pull it out and I was going to knit these for myself.)

*  I messed up the placement of the bead on the first glove.  See what I mean.

off center
I put the bead on the st right in the center of the flower but the bead sits one row lower. Ooops.   So on glove number two I placed the bead one row above center and it sits perfectly.   Everytime I look at my gloves I'll remember.  I won't be doing this again.

*  I cast off each glove using a different technique.  One has a tighter cast off.  This was just the regular conventional cast off. The other one has a looser cast off that makes the edge want to curl up.  This was Lucy Neatby's Modified Conventional Bind Off.  I find it faster to do and it does give you a much stretchier edge if that is what you are looking for.

*  I'm super happy with the cuff that I added to the glove.  My original plan was to knit an intarsia pattern in the round using a technique by Anne Berk.  In the end I decided to do a fair isle pattern and I'm glad that I did.  The stranded knitting really pulled in my knitting and the cuff fits great which makes the rest of the glove fit better too.

a look at the wrong side of the fair isle knitting

 *  The last thing I learned is that I will most definitely be knitting gloves again!

Monday, June 15, 2015

In Search of Pulp Free Yarn :\

My morning started off great. I was having breakfast in front of the tv and doing a little knitting on the multi coloured scarf.  Everything was going fine until I set my knitting down and my little tiny ball of pink yarn fell right into my cup of orange juice!!

After a few choice words it was upstairs with my wet ball of yarn to rinse out the juice and pulp.  It then had a little bath in some Soak wash.

Then it spent the afternoon spread out on the patio table to dry. The scarf knitting will get underway tomorrow, after breakfast.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Yarn Swapping

Yesterday at our Knit In Public Day we did a yarn swap.  It was just like Christmas we each picked a gift bag and unwrapped some new to us yarn!  I got two new balls of Patons Stretch Sock yarn and believe it or not this is a colour that is not already in my stash.  I'm so excited about my new yarn that I cast on for a pair of socks already :)

Isn't the colour great?  I think it's just perfect for summer sock knitting.

I have to admit that I love it when the yarn has a name and I love it even more if I like the yarn name.  These balls are named Sugar.  I like the name :)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Fabulous KIP Day!

The weather cooperated with us and we had a great day for World Wide Knit In Public Day.  It was a little cool and windy when we arrived but the sun eventually came out.

We set up our lawn chairs, put out the food, pulled out our yarn for the yarn swap and got ready to knit.

One of the other Knitter's daughter and I were being silly taking selfies before settling down to knit.

One of the boys that joined us today liked wearing my glove when he wasn't colouring dinosaurs in his colouring book.  My glove could look like a dinosaur claw couldn't it?

There was some double knitting going on.  A blanket in the works and some finished felted coasters.

We had a demo on how to use a Lucet.  It looks really fun.  Now I need to find mine.

There was a beautiful entrelac blanket,

A finished Hitchhiker Scarf,

and an almost finished scarf.

 Before we knew it the afternoon was over and it was time to do our yarn exchange,

 take a few more pictures and pack up our knitting.

Thanks for a great day ladies!