Saturday, September 29, 2007

I Got a New Toy for my Birthday

I know I haven't been writing much but that is because I got my new drop spindle and fiber (BFL) in the mail early this week. (Yeah Hoo!!!)
Spindle and Fiber

I got started with the natural, just in case I was really bad at this. But it turns out, I could draft a fairly consistent yarn. At least better than I though I'd do.

First yarn spun

So this is my first ball of handspun. It was really fun and relaxing to make!!!
First Spinning
I started to spin up the Fern color. I bought this color to make myself a hat for this winter. The practice on the natural color has helped to even out my yarn even more. I'm already thinking about how I should ply it.
Fern on the spindle

The other project I've been trying to finish is the vintage gloves
I added a ribbing to the wrist. I like my gloves to be snug around my wrist.
They took almost exactly 1 skein of this wonderful handspun alpaca. I'm not sure what I will do with the other skein. Maybe a matching hat or scarf???

Have a great weekend

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thoughts on Izzy's

The Izzy Sock Pattern was born out of my love of Fair Isle, my need for mindless patterns, and my curse of a tight hand. These factors do not mix when it comes to sock knitting!!!

I love to work with color. I’m always surprised to see how colors interact in my knitting. But even more, I love mindless knitting. Following a Fair Isle pattern is not what I call Mindless knitting. I find that sock patterns with easy to memorize repeats of lace or cable patterns, are my favorite. I can work on them anywhere, put them down and pick them up, without skipping a beat. That is my kind of knitting!!!

Then, there is my Curse. I am a tight knitter. So I really have to pay attention when doing work that requires me to carry strands of yarn along my work (ala Fair Isle). My Fair Isle work does not stretch, at all. This isn’t exactly great for sock knitting.

So I tried to come up with a pattern to do color work where I carry the yarn behind the front of the work but would also be stretchy enough so that I could get the sock on my foot.
The pattern is a simple K2 P2 rib all the way to the toe. So the stretch is great on these socks. And the 2 color work is completely mindless. You really don’t even need the pattern if you follow this simple recipe.

Stitch pattern:
Always K in Knit stitches and P in Purl Sts.
Carry the non-working yarn behind your work throughout the sock.

Color pattern
The color pattern is a 2 row repeat, so every 2 rows the color pattern will change.
The color work rows are :
1st 2 rows: 2 color work
2nd 2 rows: single color work

The Single color rows are alternating main color (MC) and Complementary Color (CC) color.. So it goes 2 rows of MC, 2 rows of color work, 2 rows of CC, 2 rows of color work, back to 2 rows of MC, etc.
The 2 color rows are worked thus, always work the Knit sts in the opposite color of the previous solid color row and the purl sts in same color as the previously completed solid color row. For example, you have just finished 2 MC rows, the next row you start by K2 st in CC, P2 in MC, repeating around for 2 rows.
After you finish these 2 rows you go back to the single color row instruction. Since your last single color rows were in MC, you do the next 2 rows in CC. And so on. Really, once you do about 8 rounds (1 full repeat) the pattern is stuck in your head.

If you are the kind of person who needs a line by line pattern. Just leave a comment, and I will email it to you.

Summer of Socks 2007 ending

Well, if any of you follow the summer of socks, you know I did not win. Boooooo. But Yea for Ina!! Her pattern was really pretty and I am excited to try it myself. I thought about submitting this one to Knitty but I think it is disqualified because I've posted pictures on my blog. So if anyone is interested, I can email them the word (.doc)or the works (.wps) file. Also I may post it in the text of my blog, but that makes it difficult to print. Leave me a comment if you want the Izzy socks pattern sent to you with your email or drop me a personal email at

Izzy's 1

Saturday, September 15, 2007

More Art, less functionality

You know, I've decided my blog pictures are boring. Yes they show the projects I am working on , but the are just BLAH!!!!!

I'm going to try to start adding some "artsy" project and yarn pictures. Bear with me, I am learning.

What do you think?

More Boring version:
Skinny Scarf

More Artsy version:
Skinny Scarf In Cascade Cloud 9

Either way. This is the knit side of my Skinny Scarf I promised.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oh!!!! Fall is coming

Well I just realized that I have been blogging for about 1 year. I remember starting sometime around fall last year. I've been much better at keeping up with it now. I was pitiful a the beginning. I'm faster now at downloading pictures.

Thanks for all who check in on me to see what I am up to....Speaking of what I have been up to. I finished the scarf for my daughter. She like it. At least it has found a place in her closet among other clothes she will wear.

If you will notice, the picture is of the wrong side of the scarf, but my camera battery has died so I will have to get the correct side ( or I should say the knit side) photo to you later.

I've also been working on a pair of gloves. I purchased some handspun alpaca last year and it has been in my stash just waiting for me to knit up a pair of gloves.
I have this one complete except for the thumb. I actually kitchner stitch the last 6 stitches together. I think this makes a flatter top of the finger. I used the vintage knit gloves pattern. i just added a 3 inch ribbing tot he wrist. They fit so nice. I love gloves. I am planning on casting on the other one tonight.

I've also decided to treat myself (for my birthday this month) to the hobby of spinning. I've been researching it and I think it is time for me to jump in. I put the order for the Book, Spinning in the Old Way and I ordered a spindle and various medium grade wools to begin with from Elizabeth was great help in letting me know what I needed to get started. I'm so excited. I cannot wait to get my supplies.

I decided to go with hand spinning on a spindle. I know it is very different than wheel spinning, but I like the control factor and the simplicity of it. I thought about why I wanted to spin and it is not about pumping out lots of yarn. It is about learning a new skill and trying to get really good at making yarn. From all I read, there is alot of control over this process with the Spindle. I guess we'll see....

I'll keep you posted..
Have a great weekend.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Still Knitting....Just Not Socks

Okay Okay, I have no Stamina...I've fallen off the sock knitting band wagon at the end here. This is the time I should be devoting myself to finishing up as many pairs of socks as possible, but I know I cannot win....In the spirit of it all. I did get my design pattern in on time. Hopefully more people will enter something. I understand that Jess has extended the deadline because she is 4 patterns short of her 15 minimum to run the contest. Booo.. I hope she gets the patterns to run this contest.
Back to my non-sock knitting. I've started and finished some seat covers for my car. I have black leather seats and they get really hot when the sun shines on them, and they are really cold in the winter (until I get the seat warmers cooking). Anyway....My daughter burnt her butt on the hot seat the other day so I promised her I would finish this weekend.

Car Seat Covers

Nothing too special. But they are really soft, and they will keep my butt and legs from sticking to the seat in the summer. I still have to make on for the back seat. I don't have enough Katia Beetle yarn. I do have some acrylic that might be great for that. I just am not particularly fond of knitting with acrylic. It just doesn't feel as nice. I know these seat covers are going to take some abuse. Soccer season is coming up. We'll see what I can come up with.

Also, I got my Cloud 9 from Webs: Scrumptious yarn. It is so soft, and it knits up so nice. I'm using it for the scarf for my daughter. It is still in progress, but I should finish it soon. I'm more than 1/2 way there.
Scarf in Progress

This pattern has a great stitch. I've seen it used in pillows because the fabric it produces is very sturdy and smooth. But I like it more for the way the colors blend into one another. I want to make a matching hat, just because I have enough yarn, (not because my daughter wants one.) I'm not sure if this stitch pattern will work for a hat, but I may try to work it out.

Well, I'm off to work on another pattern that I am putting into the correct format for Knitty. I decided to try to get it into the next issue - Deadline is Sept 15. I have to get a good picture of it. I guess this is key to getting things accepted to the magazine. That could be a bigger challenge than anything else in the process.

Enjoy the rest of your Labor Day Weekend.