Thursday, February 26, 2009

At the Finish Line and Beyond

In the last week or so I’ve finished a couple of projects: Like these: Sweetheart Socks; Pattern: Color Collision by Chrissy Gardiner from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn in Classic Elite Alpaca, size 2 dpns; I liked the unusual construction, but I would probably change the foot to knit a regular heel and toe if I do this pattern again. Then I whipped up this little guy for the “hatchling” as DD#1 is referring to her baby-to-be. So quick and easy and fun; I used a little bit of this and that from my stash. The pattern is Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing by Frankie Brown. I found the pattern through a ravelry link. Too cute and fun! I can see more of these coming off my needles in the future. I also did these:

These fingerless gloves were my entry for the one skein challenge. They didn’t get the popular vote, but they were very commented over. The pattern is my own and I’ll be making it available for a small fee once I have found a test knitter. (Anyone?) ; Pattern: Fingerless Mitts Plan and Fancy; Yarn Claudia Handpaints Fingering in Begonia, Size 2 DPN. And since that wasn’t enough to chase the grey out of the February days, I cast on for these: I am calling them my Celtic Knotkins; Pattern: Nutkins by Beth LaPensee; Yarn Down Home Art Socks by Knitivity, Size 2 (2.75mm) needles And I cast on for my next sweater I’m calling this Desire; Pattern: Delve from Rowan #43; Yarn Summer Tweed, Needle Size 6. I got gauge with the size 8 needles the pattern called for, but apparently the swatch was not completely forthcoming and when I started the back it was on course to be about 3” too wide (which would have given me an additional 5.5 inches on the circumference with seam allowances). Frogged and restarted, much happier and closer to the actual desired circumference on the size 6. I've only knit about 3 repeats of the plain lace pattern, and it's pretty boring to look at right now. So no picture of this.

And because this project has been sitting in the on-deck circle for a while and winter is still here, I cast on for a pair of Mittens: Pattern Honeycomb mittens from Homespun Handknit by Linda Ligon. This is one of my favorite go-to pattern books. The yarn is Lambs Pride Worsted and Twillys Freedom Spirit. Size 6 dpn.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Alone Again

It’s back to just me and the kitty girls. I had a lovely visit with my daughter and got a few things done while she was here. We kept it really low key due to her fighting a virus and still having the challenges of early pregnancy. On Wednesday we took the train down to Chicago to visit the Shedd Aquarium … we saw all sorts of interesting creatures there… the aquarium features amphibious and aquatic life from the marshes in IL to the Congo in the Amazon. The centerpiece is a large Caribbean tank which features a team of divers (at set times) who answer questions about the inhabitants. There is also another exhibit featuring the larger sharks, etc which we didn’t see due to time constraints, but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit there. We also ended up seeing the remains of the winter festival in one of the downtown parks. DD took all of the pictures since I forgot my camera that day. Here’s a glimpse of our day: Then we did a lot of hanging out at home and spent a thoroughly lovely morning on Thursday baking banana bread and watching Roman Holiday on TV. The cats approved of that sort of activity as seen from the lap waiting queue. She also got to come to knit night with me and see the store and meet some of the knitters and crocheters I hang out with. And just in case that wasn’t enough, we had an inventory to do on Friday and DD got the honor of helping with that and with the One Skein Challenge event on Saturday. She was enchanted by the shop and satisfied that I’m happy with my work. And I wasn’t the only productive one while we were hanging out. She finished this cute little guy being inspected by Saucey: I’ll have to save my knitting accomplishments for the next post because this one is getting longish. I had a great time with my daughter and am looking forward to our next visit in August.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One More Down

Project that is …. The Loop through Scarf is finished: Pattern: Garter Stitch Loop through Scarf by Marci Richardson From 101 Designer One Skein Wonders Yarn: Dream in color Classy, Visual Purple Size 4 needles
It's now on display at the shop
I also finished the super-secret one-skein project that I have been designing for our One Skein Challenge at Prairie Arts and Fibers this weekend. It will be unveiled during the event on Saturday so if you are in the area, stop by, otherwise, you’ll just have to settle for this sneak peek: I cast on my swatch for Delve and plan on having it on the needles sometime soon. And last but not least, the Color Collision socks had to be frogged and restarted. I got through the heel turn on the first sock and could no longer deny their tiny-ness. So, I frogged them and started over with a bigger needle. I'm thinking there should be a rule that pattern designers should disclose whether they are tight or loose knitters with the gauge information. Anyway, this time the size is much better; I am back to the heel. You can see the cuff from the original sock in this picture: I'm leaving for the airport now to pick up DD#1 when she arrives for her visit. I am so excited! Hopefully I’ll be able to post about our adventures, in the meantime, Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Few Things

I finished the Cover Girl sweater! Only 3 days behind schedule… not bad! Pattern: Knit it Down, Creative Knitting, January 08 Needles: size 9 circular Yarn: Moda Dea Cartwheel in Ocean Fit: PERFECT.
The only modification I needed to make was to lengthen the sleeves about 2 " (after I snapped the pic) from the pattern instructions, otherwise I made it the way it was written.
Love, love, love this sweater. Hopefully Mr. Skilling will make good on his promise of some 30 degree weather in the near future.
The sweetheart socks (color collision) are coming along. Next though, I think I’ll finish that Loop Through Scarf that has been hanging around on the list for a while now. Then, I’ll cast on for…. Well, I’ll see what jumps up and down from the on deck bin!
I am finding it a little hard being by myself sometimes (take above photo as proof that some things are better with help). I’ve been missing my hubby a bit and even with a busy schedule, the house seems just a little too empty. I think the cats know this because they have been trying their very hardest to keep me company. They are rarely more than a room away at any given time. But mostly, they have been hanging out here: And pretty good about taking turns at it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Off Schedule

Things here at Chez Nana were a little wonky last week. I ended up “working” every day. Three days at the shop as normal and two days away from the shop doing work related activities… not that I’m complaining, just ‘splaining why I haven’t’ be online lately. I had a lot of catching up to do over the weekend, and I was knitting, knitting, knitting whenever time allowed because I really wanted to get my “cover girl” sweater done by this past weekend. I almost made it; but, since the "sleeve fairy" didn't visit last night, I still have one sleeve left to do: Which is okay, because temps have been in the 40-50 degree range and I wouldn't have gotten to wear it right away. My favorite forecaster promises there's more cold on the way, so hopefully it will be ready to go when that front arrives.
Sunday during the superbowl, I succeeded in finishing the Horseshoe Cables socks, (despite an unfortunate need to tink back 5 rows due to last minute touchdown). It just took me three days to take sock #2 to work and take a picture of them together. They are both hanging out at the shop now. (the right hand picture is more the actual color)
Then, I cast on for a new pair of socks from the Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarns book. I cast on for one pattern on Monday, but I ended up frogging that one and then casting on for a different pattern on Tuesday. I’ve knit about one half of the leg so far. The construction on the sock is unusual and a little fun; you knit a garter strip, seam it, pick up stitches around the edges, work some ribbing, then work another garter strip after the ribbing. I’m not really sure how long it will take me to knit the pair. I might have to cast on a plain Jane pair as a back up for my SAM socks. This is what it looks like so far:
The pattern is called Color Collision Socks and the yarn I’m using is Berroco Alpaca socks in color 1862 (reds, orange and pinks). There are also a couple of smaller projects lurking in the bottom of the knitting bag that I plan to knock out this week. Linda wants me to do a vest and a baby sweater as samples for the shop and I’m thinking I can do that, but I should probably get a few of my personal projects out of the way first. We’ll see how that goes! Might wait on the baby sweater until a certain DD#1 comes to visit because she might want to claim it after it has been in the shop… so I think she might get to pick the yarn for that one. I think I touched on getting good news from TX a few weeks back, but it is official that DD#1 is expecting her first baby this summer, so there is some baby knitting to be done. I have a few ideas, but I’m going to let her look through some patterns while she’s here to get a better idea of what to make.