Month: April 2009

Ruffle is done – ready to decrease

This newborn baby girl ruffle hat is coming along nicely. The ruffle is finished and I’ve sockitnette stitched about 3.5″. I’m ready to begin decreasing. The ruffle wasn’t nearly as complicated as I thought it would be. It’s just two rounds of knit two together (k2tog). Knitwtich has a very clear video demonstrating k2tog in addition to just about any stitch you would want to learn.

When casting this on, I thought I had miscalculated for sure. I used 288 stitches! But, after the first row of k2tog the number of stitches was halved and then halved again on the second row to a much more manageable 72 stitches. Good thing I powered through it even though I had my doubts and recalculated the number at least 3 times, just to make sure.

My current dilemma is what yarn and color to use for the crochet flower. Right now I am going back and forth between a neutral medium brown, or a creamy soft white ivory. There is a subtle variation in the pink color where it fades to very pale pink, it almost turns ivory, which is why I’m drawn to that. But, I also think it would be very sophisticated for little one to have the chic brown and pink color palette. Some times I also think a little pop of green would look nice too. I don’t have any cashmere yarn left either (boo hoo), so I’ll have to make due with what I have. I’m sure I’ll be making several flowers to test them out… maybe that can be a feature… pin on your own bow 😉

Oh decisions, decisions… what color for the flower detail? Brown, Ivory, Green, Black – help!

Fun Fact #3: The average sheep yields its entire coat in one piece with very little protest. And there are about 8 to 10 lbs of wool that comes off each sheep. A good shearer can shear from 175 yo 200 sheep in one day and the method has not advanced with technology. That’s nearly 1 ton on average!

New yarn YAY!

A new Purlsoho box at my doorstep means new baby pink 100% Cashmere yarn! New baby pink 100% Cashmere yarn means new little baby girl on the way!! Not for me of course, but for my best friend’s sister. She is due in July. I decided to make her a little hat… it might be too hot to wear at first, but in a couple months when the weather cools down a bit, it will be perfect!! I found a very sweet little hat pattern for free at Little Sesame Knits. You must check her blog out, she’s very talented!

I started making a swatch to measure my gauge last night and OH MY GOSH, working with cashmere is like working with angles hugging each finger gently and signing on high a sweet sweet melody. Really, I am not exaggerating. If you have never spent the money to buy cashmere, I highly recommend you do it at least once. Keep an eye out for sales. This yarn was originally about $50 and I got it for $25. About the price I would spend on a non-personal baby shower gift – and I get the pleasure of working with this exquisit yarn.

I joked about getting a goat in my previous blog post… I may really consider it now. The yarn is that good.

What’s next?

I went ahead and scrapped my toddler socks for now. I definitely need a longer circular needle than I have. So, rather than start a new project, I’m working on an old scarf that I started over a year ago. I’m so bummed though! I only bought 2 skeins of yarn because they were kind of expensive at $12.50 each, but this scarf takes 4 skeins. I received the two additional skeins needed, and the die lots are obviously way different since it’s been a year later. The bigger yarn ball in the back of this picture is the new one… and it is much darker and greener than the original bright orange (in the front). To attempt to hide this color difference, I switched the yarn balls, and will use the remains of the bright original color to finish the last 25% of the scarf. At least the ends will match… and, like the socks, this one is for me because I figured it would have lots of mistakes considering it is my first knitted scarf!

This weekend I’m working on a non-knitting mothers day project. It’s silhouette pendants of my son for the grandmas. I’m making myself a key chain too 🙂 Should be fun, I’m lucky to have a very crafty friend (check out her blog at Quilt Otaku) that comes up with cool ideas like this – or I should say the Grandmas are lucky because this looks like it will turn out very cool!!

Finished my first pair of socks!

I’m so happy!! I finished my first pair of socks. What do you think? I lucked out and almost matched the stripes.

On to new projects… I started the 2-at-a-time socks on the plane, but the circular needles I have are too short for it to be convenient. I think I’m going to pull it out and and start over. So, I’m relegated to working on my scarf which seems much easier to work on now that I’ve finished with these socks.

I’m enjoying the rain and thunderstorms here in North Carolina with Katy. We had a whirlwind shopping and eating day, it was wonderful. I’m going to introduce her to the Flight of the Conchords tonight – YAY!

North Carolina here I come!

I fell short of my lofty goal to complete this entire sock by today. It’s ok though. I’m going to bring it on the plane as back up… I have a feeling they are not going to let me get on the plane with my metal circular needles anyway. I have to bring my self addressed envelope just in case!!!

The lego creation was by my son and my mom. He says it’s WallE 🙂 And behind that are some seedlings that we are growing for our garden this year. Hopefully I will have time to drop some off at Marisa‘s before my flight. We have a ton of pumpkins, cucumbers, green beans, egg plants, carrots, basil and peppers!

Gusset Done!

I’m not going to finish this sock by tuesday, but I made some really good progess. I’m now on the tedious part of knitting the knit stitch over and over again until I reach 7 inches. Hopefully I can avoid laddering this time.

I ran across this beautiful lace scarf that claims to be easy and made up of all of the same stitches that I’ve used in these purple striped socks so far. It’s called the Checkerboard Lace Scarf and is available at Purl Bee’s Blog. Perfect for my first attempt at lace. I’m adding it to the next-on-my-list of projects – after the toddler socks of course. Christopher, my darling son, has been wearing around my one purple striped sock and was very excited when I told him I was making him a pair of his very own socks next. I will miss him so much on my trip to NC!!

I just checked to see if I will be able to bring my circular knitting needles on the flight and it’s really going to be up to the security officer checking me in. The Transportation Security Administration recommends that circular needles be bamboo or plastic (not metal like mine) and no longer than 31″. I’ll have to bring a self addressed envelope just in case!!

Heel flap done and turned!! I’m a knitting machine!

That’s right folks, I knitted the heel flap and turned it in one night. I have no life. It was Friday night for goodness sake. Technically I watched Twilight at the same time, but watching a movie and knitting is more like listening to a movie and not watching it at all.
Anyhow, I am so proud of the heel colors lining up nearly perfect. That was a sheer (no pun intended) accident. I had fully intended to check the beginning yarn and start at as close to the color I started with on the first sock (that’s important if you are using striped thread and want to stripes to match the other sock) – but I completely forgot to do that. Luckily it turned out damn near close. I don’t think I could have planned that if I tried. I’ll have to call these my lucky purple striped socks from now on. All those mistakes in the first one really did pay off!!
Maybe I’ll get a chance to start the gusset while my 2yr old is sleeping. I am really trying to finish this by Tuesday, and if I do, I will be seriously amazed with myself.
Fun Fact #3: Wool fibers have scales on the outside called serrations, they may overlap at the edges or entirely encircle the fiber. They cause the felting quality in wool which doesn’t exist in any other fabric.

Purple Stripe Tube #2 Done

Wow, the curse really has been lifted. I worked on the tube of this sock during lunch yesterday and at night, and again during lunch today and a maybe an hour after work today and I’m all ready to start the heel flap tonight… I haven’t had to pull any rows out yet! (knocking on wood right now). I really want to finish this by tuesday so that I can focus on my toddler socks during my trip to NC. Fun fun!

Finished my first sock!

I’m doing the happy dance right now in my first ever knitted sock. There’s only one problem, my other foot is very cold and jealous. Oh it is bittersweet to be “finished” but really only be 50% done with a pair of socks. I’m incredibly temped to jump to my toddler sock project… but I haven’t done it yet. I found some nice yarn at Beverly’s and at 30% off which is perfect for first-time projects. I’m on yarn buying lock down until I use all the Beverly’s yarn up. Then I can go nuts at Purlsoho on more expensive, but immensely beautiful yarn.

I’ve learned a great deal doing this sock that I will take with me on the, bound-to-be superior, companion purple striped sock. Here are some of the things I learned:
  1. Knit slip vs Purl slip and why it matters. See comments in my “Heel Flap…. Check” blog post. Thanks again Paula and Marisa for helping me solve that little mystery… which leads me to #2.
  2. How to do a correct knit stitch 🙂 My V’s were upside down prior to this unbeknownst to me and my previous projects.
  3. I have to make a conscious effort to pull tighter between the needles to avoid laddering. This sock has a long ladder in the sole. Theresa from Knitty gives some great tips on how to avoid the dreaded ladder that I’ll be using on my future DP work.
  4. Count early and often! I didn’t realize I was two stitches shy on my tube until I was down to the bottom… the two stitches would have made the tube just right, it’s a little stretched as it is (I did not pull it out and restart).
  5. Knitting anywhere and everywhere (including during the stoplights in my car – I swear I put the needles down when the car is moving!) makes progress quick which is great for a busy mom, as long as you can live with a few mistakes.
  6. Sewing the toe is difficult. I got the hang of it after I botched the first half of the toe, but I’ll remind myself next time with this… Front: knit, slip then purl & pull… Back: purl slip, then knit & pull.
  7. This was the first time I did an SSK (slip, slip, knit) stitch. I was wondering what the difference was and found this great explanation with pictures and videos of decreases and how they are different from each other… she also shows an “improved” SSK that lays flatter!

I’m going farther into the knitting rabbit hole with every project and it has been very delightful so far. I look forward to stoplights and waiting in line now. I am looking forward to sitting on a plane for hours – I might just be able to complete a pair of toddler socks in that time… assuming they let me on the plane with two pointy metal sticks connected by a wire, great for stabbing and strangling. Hmmm… I better check American Airlines website before I pack my carry on bag. We’ll see how far this rabbit hole goes. There is some beautiful $50 a skein cashmere yarn that I can’t afford, but if I buy a goat and make my ownok ok, I’m not going that far… yet. 😉

Fun Fact #2: The first sheep arrived in this country were brought to Jamestown in 1609. George Washington imported the best grade of sheep and experienced spinners and weavers in 1776 in order to encourage the woolen industry and in 1800 the first Merino sheep were smuggled in from Spain! (and 209 years later, here I am using beautifully died Merino yarn for my chevron scarf!)

side note – Yes, I did paint my toenails a coordinating color specifically for this photo.