Friday, December 14, 2007

Beaded mini sweaters ... but wait!

Leah asked for a picture ... here you go:

These are all based on the pattern I posted here. I just string a dozen beads on before I start, put 6 on the purl stitches in the second row and 6 on the purl stitches in the second-to-last row.

The pink one has a knitted-on ribbed neck after the fact, and I made a loop with crochet chains from the remaining length of yarn.

But if I get tired of this pattern, I've found a dozen more mini sweater patterns from Berocco. Love the little cables, those I may have to try!

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Hey UFO'ers...I might be getting somewhere! I have 2 UFO's to share that are finished...pretty much :) But they are SO close that it's worth posting and getting excited about. I even took crappy pics because I'm so proud of myself. Actually, I've finished three but am not sure if I blogged the sweater vest weird thingee yet....I think I did but I'll have to check here in a minute.

Anyway, the Chevron Waistcoat from Knitter's...this was a blast to knit, was an excellent stash buster BUT I ended up knitting past my gauge and it was huge. I have to admit I cheated and let my Mom rip it out and redo the sides because she knew I would be so disgusted with it that it would end up at the bottom of the UFO basket for ages. Anyway, she finished the rib edgings for me as well and was knitting along and forgot the buttonholes...LOL! But, that's no big because the buttons I wanna use will fit through the knitting, I'm sure. (I SWEAR I did NOT ask her to knit the edging...I didn't!)

Yep, those are loose ends ratting me out and screaming "I'm still a freaking UFO!" (And the conspicuous lack of buttons ain't helping either.) I did the back before I discovered the wonderful way of knitting in loose ends on THIS SITE. I no longer have unreasonable fear and hatred of stripes because of this :) Anyway, on those nights when I'm sick to death of knitting (and sometimes it happens!) I can weave those babies in and put on my abalone buttons and be a VEST WEARIN' STASH BUSTIN UFO'in KINDA GAL!!! And honest...having my mommy help me isn't cheating, is it?

Then there's the Summertime Tunic from Interweave Knits (free pattern HERE) and this is such a lousy picture but it's cute. I need to wash it since the linen/rayon blend I used is really weird and waxed...the water is just disgusting when you wash it and I *should* have washed it before I started but it's very slippery tape yarn that would have been a nightmare in a skein so I elected to knit as is and wash later. I need to add the beads to the ends of the ribbon ties and put it on a mannequin or something to take better photos. It was a LONG time in the knitting since it's done on size 6 needles in stockinette...ugh. The bottom is knit the waistband on size 4's in rib and that part sits right about hip level for that sort of fit. I think it'll be great under jackets or on its own in summer *if* I care to bare that much and these days, that's iffy. Pushing 44 and things just ain't the same in the ol' arm department. Sigh....

UFO's actively in progress include the big blue bumming around sweater and some "black" rambouillet on a spindle that will probably end up being a chores hat for me. It's 4 oz so am not sure it'll work but we'll see. I'm certain there's something else handspun in a small amount in my embarrassing stash of handspun that can go along with it for a cozy hat.

The hugest sweater in the universe custom knitting order is coming along. 58" chests in sweaters on size 7 needles should be against the law or something but hey...I got myself into it and one day soon I'll be halfway through the damn thing. And I've got dye pots on the stove...getting 6 clean pounds of polypay fleece ready to process into variegated roving so we'll see how that goes...charteuse, turquoise, deep violet and white. I dunno....but contrast is the key, I hear, in variegated rovings being successful. Not sure about the polypay either but it's good to have a new experience now and then, eh?

AMELIA...we want pictures of mini beaded sweaters! How cute must that be?????

And who's doing holiday knitting? NOT ME! I *might* do some holiday spinning but have freed myself (somewhat) from holiday knitting this year. I may possibly knit my hubby a black alpaca scarf but it ain't lookin too good folks....

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tackling UFO's ...

I ran across a great post on JoanKnits' blog, Joan's Wacky Dot System, which is a technique for prioritizing and finishing UFOs ... while still dreaming up future UFO's (grin!)

Me, personally, well, I'm still knitting mini sweaters; sometimes I do a stitch pattern on the front but lately I've knit them plain except I put some beads along the bottom border. Tres' cute and it helps cut into the bead stash, LOL. I must have beads on the brain because I've been spinning alot of beaded yarns lately too!

I did finally finish a fingering weight scarf on size 9's ... nice and drapey. It's a bit wider and shorter than I wanted, so maybe I will block it out. Hmm, does that mean it's not finished yet? I think next up is actually some weaving, as I joined a local study group and will be trying to keep up!

Well, no pictures, sorry(!) but the camera battery died and it's still in the charger with a red light.

Happy holidays all!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not much progress, unless you call dreaming of new UFO's progress...

I just haven't had much knitting "me" time! I'm working on a huge custom order sweater (size 7 needles...not a big deal, but we're talking 58" chest here ladies!!!) so there's that...I've been working on a big, run-outside-and-feed-the- creatures sweater for me, which may end up being huge (I'm in the Everything is Huge rut these days ~ intentional or not!) and the wool is kinda "eh" ~ I got it free from my Mom and it's from the mill where I work. It doesn't felt so I'm thinking this is a wash in the washing machine sweater and since creatures will be part of it's daily life, that's a great thing.

I'm knitting it loose and hoping it felts up just a tad and softens up that way. It's from Weekend Knits by Melanie Falick and is just a plain, simple, sweatshirt type pullover. Mindless which can be a wonderful thing :)

BUT...on the right there is my newest fantasy ~ Annie Modesitt's latest, the LL Swing Jacket....isn't it marvelous? The pattern is available right now on her site ~ I'm trying to think if I have something in my stash that'll knit to 4 stitches per inch and is 1320 yards or so. Wow...tough call! There *might* be a rose grey alpaca only I'm thinking, since it's 100%, that a garment this size would really stretch and be heavy out of 100% alpaca (and please, alpaca people, do NOT hate me forever for saying so!!!). Not sure if I have enough of anything to spin in stash but I could always dye up some of the wool/silk laps I sell and dye the yarn...I mean, I never save any for myself and maybe it's time I did!

My stack of magazines/books with post-it marked pages of crap I NEED to knit is embarrassing and so is my UFO basket, which is NOT a wimpy, tiny little thing with a handle. No. It's a tall, waste-can sized handmade basket, of which I must take a photo to share. Everything in there is all neatly zip-loc bagged and labeled though and all the mags and patterns and books are in a drawer. Sheesh ~ at least I *touched* all of them recently, eh?

I just have these several things that are so near completion and it's horrid that I dont' seem to have the mojo to just sit down and finish them! We're talking simple little finishing details on at least two of is threading a ribbon through the front and back and tying beads onto said ribbon. I mean, C'MON's a summer tank so that's my excuse. Lame. Really. Lame. Sigh...

Anyway, I'm off to update my list and maybe try to work up the mojo to take on one of those little projects tonight...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Back on the face of the earth

Just in case everyone thought I fell off the face of the earth, I'm back. It has been a busy summer (the usual stuff) and fall (my Dad was sick). On the up side, I did get the back of my cable sweater done. I'll post a pick next time I have my camera out.

Currently I'm working on a hat and mitten set for my husband. I have the had done and most of the first mitten. I think winter may be here permanently, at least for now, so I had better get cracking on that.

Karen in northern MI

Thursday, November 8, 2007

OMG...did you all think I'd died and went to knitter's hell or something?

Well, I didn't! But life has been unbearably crazy for me over the summer...I ended up closing my brick and mortar shop, taking on another 30 hour a week job and deciding that I needed to do fiber shows this fall. And...ahem...the house...

BUT...things are slowing down a tad and it feels good to be able to breathe again without crying because I want to crawl into bed and give up :) I got through it and I'm feeling pretty good. So good, in fact, that I FINISHED SOMETHING!

Nevermind that it's something weird...remember that Knit 1 funky scarf vest thingee out of my very own first handspun? There it is. I think it's a little big but I can live with that. The yarn was a challenge to work with a bit...different thicknesses and all that. And I had to spin up some merino/silk to make the collar. It's kinda cute and my best friend says she LOVES it (but isn't that what best friends are meant to do?)

And, since our house is still not even remotely close to being finished and we're in pretty-much-almost-winter and I"m freezing my a#$ off right now, I really really need to make a big cozy pullover that I can wash all the time because I'm gonna live in it this winter, lemme tell ya. I have some acrylic (egads...don't let me go there!) but I want WARM WOOL so I'm gonna thing about a blend of something. I could maybe spin up some superwash but I don't have that kind of time right now. Soooo.....anyone know of a killer washable kinda bulky wool or wool blend yarn that doesn't cost an arm and/or a leg??? Hmmm?

I organzied my UFO basket the other day and thought of all of you :) I have 2 projects that are sooooo close to being finished I can do it this weekend. That will bring my total to about ... oh...
7???? 8???? Sigh...and I have a ton of customer knitting to do this month.

Anyway, it's good to be back and I hope we can get this ball rolling again...I'm so sorry to have been away so long :( It's off to dinner and the CSI/Without a Trace mega tv viewing night!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Yayyyy! (Ancient UFOs within radar range)

After a long knitting drought (maybe it's just one of those summer things), I finally picked up the needles again, and three of my dormant UFOs are now active again. Woo! Alas, I have only one photo, but that'll have to do.

The first is the sleeveless Sahara I started for a Sexy Knitters' Club knitalong a few months ago. I finally managed to get it to the point where I've joined the front and now I'm knitting in the round till the finish line, a.k.a. the bottom hem. (Well, I'm counting that as a finish line, anyway, even though it'll still need the armscye and neck edgings knitted on after that.)

The second is my long-put-off first pair of Big Black Socks for Socks for Soldiers. I discovered when re-swatching for the third and final item that I was knitting tightly for once, which gave me the right gauge on the needles I have for the BBS. Yayyy! I now have eight inches on the leg of the first sock ... four inches to go till I start the heel flap!

The last resurrected UFO is Brian's Duel sweater ... which I admit wasn't actually even into the knitting portion of its progress yet. But hey! I hand-dyed the yarn and had even managed to swatch, so that counts as being started, right? Anyway, now I have about five or six inches of the back done ... Exciting. ;D Here's the Duel sweater:

Oh, and that's "duel" as in, "I challenge the boyfriend curse to a duel," because this sweater is for my boyfriend. ;)

Anyway! Thought I'd post, since I had an update. Hope everyone else is getting some UFO-banishing goodness done, too. :D

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summer FO's!

Boy we're a quiet group! I have a few things that I've finished recently that I wanted to share. The scarf wasn't on my list of UFO's. It's a gift for my friend Stephanie's birthday. Since I have an ever multiplying stash of sock yarn, I figured it was time to use up a little bit of it! The shawl has been a long term project. I spun the wool from a sheep named Ernie and then knit the shawl from the Lacy Prairie Shawl pattern from Folk Shawls. It's not quite as big as I'd like it to be but it'll keep my shoulders warm at night. The socks are for DH. He picked the yarn himself - quite the flashy guy! He knew I'd finished the first sock, but had given up hope that the second one would get done. I have bad cases of Second Sock Syndrome!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A couple of finished projects to share

I had a wild hair and decided to knit something for my daughter. This is the first time I just sat down and knitted without a pattern. I think I turned out really well. Although I would make the skirt longer next time.

this is my shawl from the mystery shawl knit along yahoo group. I spun this yarn myself and that was a chanllenge becasue I am not all that great of a spinner yet and some sections were thinner than others. The boader was much thicker than the rest of the shawl so it does look heavier. Oh well, I like it so that's what matters

I have never made a hat before so one day decided that I was going to make hats. well the first two pictures are of Trinity in her lion bran mohair look yarn and the last two pictures are Autumn in here hat made with my very first spun yarn. 100% alpaca.

I still have to work on some of my ufo's from my list like Hunters train blanket and the scarf for my sister in law. but that darn sock went to the pond (rip,rip). My alpaca long cardigan is on hold right now since I'm using those needles for one of my new shawls that I just started last week. I guess you could say that right now I'm in a shawl craze. Well back to some knitting.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A little progress to share...

Hello everyone! Well, here's the finished bag which my mommy lined for me (yep, my mommy helps me and I'm not ashamed to admit it!) in the most perfect flannel plaid! The button is a vintage leather one that I had and it's perfect for it too...this is the first bag I've ever made for myself and it's adorable I think :) And Silver...I haven't forgotten you girlfriend!!! Have patience with me....)

On the other UFO fronts, I FINALLY blocked the annoying scarf vest and can now seam it and knit the collar, which is on a back burner since no chance in hell I can wear it till fall now. I think the next thingee I'll work on is either the Epic Sheep Shawl, the Lacey Riverine Heartstrings scarf in Jaggerspun Zephyr or the Size 1 needles purple lace sock so I have a pair :)

I have a new UFO to finish...the Summertime Tunic from Interweave Knits. On size 6 needles in miles of stockinette stitch. But I have 7" of the 12.5" required before I can split it and start the "neckline" which is kind of a misnomer in a way. There's a free pattern for it ~ it's really cute and naturally, I'm using a totally different yarn but I'm GETTING GAUGE LADIES!!!!! Wheeeeee...... go ME! It's a funky rayon/linen blend tape yarn that's going to be nice and drapey...I have a huge cone at the shop so while this is for me, it's also a store sample as well.

I'd take a pic but I deliberately left it at the shop so I would be forced to finish my Dad's boring birthday sock. He ADORES the socks I made him out of an 80/20 acrylic/wool blend yarn. They pilled up and looked horrid but he LOVED them so I'm making another pair out of wool-ease. He wore the other ones out in about 6 months so I can see myself making him many more of these. Ah well, they're fast and easy and they make him happy. He wears them with his motorcycle boots. Did I mention my Dad is a tattooed freak and biker at 62 years of age??? He's a really cool guy but I do believe he's gone over the edge :)

Monday, May 7, 2007

ba-ah humbug

Finally a spot of good weather - yay since I've just come into possession of 10 (supposed to be 6!) California Red fleeces, 3 of them wet, and need to skirt, dry, and ship them off for processing. I've used OVNF and Zeilinger's before, so I may try Frankenmuth, just to cover the "big" bases. For the record, both OVNF and Zeilinger's did a great job!

So much for avoiding a new project, LOL. But just to make some UFO progress, though this one is so old it isn't even on my list, I ripped out the swatches for a sweater ... you can see them scrumbled on the right side of the photo...

This is supposed to be a blue sweater with embroidered flowers on the arms. I was thinking a blue vest with embroidery on the front. Well, some day. Maybe for DD when she's in college ... she's 7 now so there's time, right? right?? I hear you all laughing!

And now back to my regularly scheduled UFOs ...

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Calling Miss Silver ~ email me so I can get with you about your thingee (hee hee!) You can get the email addy off my website (link in the sidebar I believe!)

Fly by post here and no hiss! Anyway, I've been dyeing myself silly and have not worked on a UFO in forever. Ugh. The dyeing is fun but the knitting shouldn't be suffering this much. I've been spinning like crazy too since I have a show on the 19th and need to have some stuff to sell there :) I'll be back someday soon!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I've finally updated my blog

Wow, I can't believe that it has been almost a month since I have updated my personal blog. if you'd like to see what I've been up to take a look. Leah, I emailed your a question and the pattern that I was talking about the yarn for is pictured. I think that you'll figure it all out. Let me know.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Here I am...

I do apologize for being a horrid blog mom and being MIA for so long! My personal blog has suffered horribly as well and I really do have to commit to fixing that. In my defense, I've been dealing with the remodeling, have since changed the entire lay out of my brick and mortar shop, am still nursing my very old and ill piggie, and trying to get the dye work done that I need to do.

The pic at left is something that was a UFO but is now a FO :) See? half the fiber is spun on the spindle in the pic and is now done! This was a colorway I was playing with and ended up testing out on a small amount of fiber I had laying around. This stuff makes me wish I could navajo ply, which I WILL learn one day. It wouldn't have made much sense with this since it's only about 60 yards in a 2ply. But the singles were really pretty!

Most of my UFO's are spinning projects right now. I still have the Sheep Shawl, which I've done a few rows on but that is an Epic UFO and will stay that way for awhile. The Target Mittens still languish, as does the Mesilla tee, the purple lace socks, the Funky Scarf Vest (I'm GOING TO WASH THAT TODAY DAMMIT!) the Lacey Riverine Scarf at the shop, and a pair of little cotton button up sox at the shop. George...I THINK THAT'S ALL! hahahaha...really though, with the exception of the Sheep Shawl, that isn't so bad. One mitten, one sock, sleeves on a tee and a collar to knit. The Lacey Riverine scarf is about half done as well.

I did knit this up one day so it doesn't really qualify as a UFO...but it's out of my very own early spindle spun yarn and is done :) I've been obsessed with the book, One Skein Knitting lately and this is the little Umbrella hat in there. I have a show May 19th and wanted to have a couple handspun knit examples for it. This was a super fast, fun knit! I carried along two similar fingering weight yarns for it and it's cute!

This is a skein of yarn I'm selling, but the UFO status is that the pin drafted silk/merino needed a sample spun up (never mind that most of it's already sold and I only have 2# left!) and I did the above dye colorway on it, using a fun little heathered technique with a paintbrush that I'm now in love with! This fiber didn't spin up really smooth...there are teeny noils from the silk being processed but the resulting yarn is soft, lovely, slightly slubby with awesome drape. Another skein I don't really want to sell but will.

The top skein here is a total UFO since I still have 2 bobbins of it to ply. This is from a batt that my friend made up for me on her drumcarder with odds and ends I gave her. Some wool/silk dyed laps that were "waste", a small bag of silk noil, a little nasty matted dyed angora and some plain white wool/silk laps that were also "waste" (meaning they were the nasty bits I sorted out of what I sell) I discovered that I HATE spinning with silk noil but it's a fun, funky skein of yarn. I think the total weight of the batts was about 12 oz but it did spin up relatively bulky due to lumpy bumpies and will be fun to work up into something!

The other skein is the yarn from the spindle pic in the beginning of the post. Sigh...yet another small skein I'll obsess over, trying to find something teeny to knit. I have that problem...I spend a lot of time knitting my small bits...sometimes I combine them, but often, I try to find a little something to make with them that isn't a little bag. It's a challenge and I'm not sure why I do that but when I'm kind of bummed out or stressed, it's one of the weird things I do.

Thank you all for the b'day wishes...they meant a lot to me!

SILVER wins again ~ she guessed correctly about the mystery project, which I'll post about as soon as I get it back (lined) from my Mom. Yes, I ask my Mommy to line my bags. I know, I know...grow up and use your own sewing machine!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I'm on a roll lately with finishing socks! This is probably a good thing since I've discovered The Loopy Ewe and I've been buying new sock yarn like a fiend!
Both of these pairs are knit from Opal. I started both pairs last summer. The red striped pair are for DH - I started these when we went to St.Louis last summer to visit DD. For some reason, DH started calling these Superman socks. The other pair were started for me, but DD came home to Maine two weeks ago and really liked them so I gifted them to her. I was surprised she liked them because she's never been fond of hand knit things until recently. In fact, since she's been home she's learned to knit herself and has started a scarf!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Two Socks on 1 Circ

Okay, I'll admit this project wasn't on my list of UFOs. That's because I didn't list balls of yarn as UFOs -- if I did that I would need my own separate blog, and of course, yarn is not a project when it's sitting in the balls -- it's potential that could be realized in any one of a countless number of ways. Just because it's sock yarn doesn't mean it will become socks, right? Anyway, I bought this ball of Trekking XXL because I like ombre-type yarns, this one looked like it would be great with denim, and I was wanting to try knitting a pair of socks on circular needles. My last pair of socks was, oh, 15 or so years ago, done with sportweight handspun on double-pointed needles, and while I was proud of them and liked them I was not inspired to keep knitting socks. But I do like wool socks, and with the new yarns and the new popularity of sock knitting, it seemed time to try again. I decided to avoid second-sock syndrome by doing them both at the same time on one circular needle. I used a 32" size 1 from KnitPicks (I knit loose -- most people would use a 2 or 3 to match my gauge). I did cuff-down, no particular pattern, just a basic turned heel and a toe that seemed to make sense. I tried them on as I knit to get them the right size. I didn't want a big cuff to turn down or bunch up -- this height seemed right to me, somewhere between anklet and typical cuff height. I divided the skein into two center-pull balls and then put the two balls in a ziploc bag and fed the yarn from the center of the balls through small holes in the bag... this to keep the yarn neat and organzied (the one drawback to doing both socks at once is keeping the yarn from getting tangled and twisted up -- I think my zip-lock bag method helped keep this to a minimum.). Here's a picture of the socks in progress, on the needle, and one of them completed. I can't say that the sock knitting bug bit me, but I like these and I'm glad to have at least one pair of handknit socks in my wardrobe. If and when I do another pair (assuming I don't get a sock knitting machine, that is), I would definately take the two-socks-on-one-circular approach again. And I'll remember the technique for gloves, sleeves, etc. -- the technique is a definate keeper!
- Melissa

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Leah!

As a birthday treat, here is my progress report (hahaha). Well, at least it's not April Fool's Day.

Respinning the purple yarn (my newest UFO?) -- on hold.

Knitting the Oregon Jacob Tote -- on hold, but itching to get worked on. Gotta find the tote it's in!

Miniature knitting -- had two new colors come in, so they got done instead of "old" colors. But I have now, I think, standardized on the mini sweater and my own "we hate finishing even _small_ things" knitting pattern (below, for your knitting enjoyment).

The Fair Isle Arm Warmers -- hey, this has been ACTIVE lately. May even finish arm warmer number one. But I think I may skein up the remaining yarn rather than knit #2 this summer ... maybe next winter, LOL. This yarn is seriously cool looking, if-i-say-so-myself (see the picture?)

On the plus side, I got all the tax paperwork organized and on its way to the tax man! So they may even be done on time this year unless he finds a spanner in the works.

Miniature Sweater Knitting Pattern
Use an appropriate needle for your yarn (sweater size will vary). Takes about 20 yards of yarn. Except, I stick to US3 for stuff finer than that, as knitting this with US1's kills my hands.

Cast on 12 stitches. If you want Knit 3 rows K1P1 rib. Knit a total of 12 rows, include any patterning you want. A little 2/2 cable up the middle looks sweet :-).

At the start of a right-side row, cast on 6 stitches, using e-wrap cast-ons (this is one of the sleeves). Now, K1, P1, K across to the other arm-edge, and cast on 6 stitches there, using e-wrap cast-ons. Yes, the arms end up slightly catywumpus from each other, but it really doesn't matter. Note, the K1P1 at the start of the row is so the sleeve edges sit flat. Cool trick, not original to me.

Now, you are on a wrong-side row, facing 6 e-wrap cast-ons. Work your way across like so: P1, K1, P until 2 stitches remain, K1, P1. (you should have 24 stitches on the needles right now ...)

You need to knit 4 more rows before you bind-off some neck stitches:
K1 P1, K until 2 stitches remain, P1, K1;
WS do P1, K1, P until 2 st remain, K1, P1.
Repeat. There are your four rows!

OK, now: K1, P1, K7, cast off 6, K7, P1, K1
And next: P1, K1, P7, cast on 6 (e-wrap style works fine), P7, K1, P1.

Now you need six more sleeve rows:
K1 P1, K until 2 stitches remain, P1, K1;
WS do P1, K1, P until 2 st remain, K1, P1.
Repeat two more times. There are your six rows!

Now we get to the tricky I-hate-to-finish step:
turn the sweater inside out and match the cast-on edge of the sleeve you are working on up to it. As you knit across the sleeve (just to K's this time, skip the non-curling purl), pick up and knit it with a stitch from the cast-on edge and cast it off; yup, K-with-picked-up-cast-on-stitch and cast it off, 6 times. Then K across the sweater and the other sleeve until 2 stitches are left, P1, K1.

Now, do the same-on-the-flip-side to the other sleeve ... just purling, pick up and purl a cast-on-edge-stitch with each stitch from the needle and cast the new purled stitch off as you go along, 6 times. This leaves you with just the body left.

Now as you knit and purl each row, at the start and end of each row, pick up edge stitches (I didn't slip first stitches for this very reason!) and knit or purl them together with the last and the first stitch of each row. (ed. note: I haven't tried skipping one and just, for example, doing the knit-together at the end of each row or something. It might work. If I'm in a rush, I'll try it -- it would be easier!)

Do as many rows as you did in the front -- 12 rows total. Cast off after the last row. Be sure to repeat the ribbing if you ribbed the bottom front.

Now you have two small ends to weave in (or push up inside the sweater).

Whew. I know this is "rough" but if you try it, let me know if it's totally mud or obviously flawed, as it's typed in off-the-cuff (hardeharhar).


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Guess that Project!

Another UFO is born! This one almost didn't make UFO status, since I *thought* I would finish it the day I started yet. funny am I????

Anyway, I did meet one self-imposed UFO requirement before starting it...I finished a store sample scarf that I've yet to write the pattern for. Which was good...old shale on size 6 needles, longish scarf. Kind of an accomplishment for me:) Egads....I feel a marathon pattern writing day coming on soon. ugh. yuck. I should take a picture of it but I'll probably use the mannequin at the shop and try to be creative since it's going to be a pattern. Anyway, it turned out nice!

So, I had borrowed a few books from Mom, and was leafing through one of them and this thing jumped out at me. Particularly since I'd been sorting through my weird basket of little tiny balls o'handspun granny square crochet project. (I only crochet granny squares, btw. Nothing else) You know that itch you get looking at a book? The fever to grab yarn and needles and KNIT DAMMIT even though it means asking your DH to finish the dinner that's on the stove? It was that kind of project.

I had a few balls of handspun in there that were kinda big to dedicate to the granny square handspun history project and some small amount of wool/mohair on a cone and I commenced knitting right away and truly thought you ladies would never read about it on this blog. It so was not going to be UFO! It was a "study" I told myself, in how natural yarns mix when doubled and knit in no particular order. Ha. But I did discover that I really like grey and reddish brown doubled and knit together so the "study" was successful! I'm such a doofus when it comes to wanting to use up tiny balls of's a sickness and I'm becoming a master at it, lemme tell ya!

So...what is it? Can anyone guess? The first person to get it right gets a small giftie from me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Update on spinning and a new project

This I think... No I know I'm in love with!!!! This is my first spun yarn after buying my wheel and receiving it 3 weeks ago. I went to have a class with the lady I bought my wheel from last thursday and she said " you don't need to be taught anything, Your a natural!" WOW what a compliment!. This is 100% alpaca. there is approximately 682 yards and weighs about 8 oz on my kitchen scale. This yarn is a bulky yarn I would most likely knit it with size 9-11 US needles. I'm not sure what I will use this for as of yet but, I'm sure something with be calling it name/

this is some wool that I tried to make into lace weight, but It does not have enough twist. I guess I will have to spin faster!!

These two pictures are of clue 1 of the mystery shawl KAL. I spun this myself!!!! I'm so impressed. this is a 50 merino and 50 silk from the Copper Moose in black cherry. There is about 840 yards in the ball and skein that needs to be wound up. I think I will do one more skein but just a little bigger and we'll see if that will be enough for the whole shawl. I'm not sure but I don't want to spin more that what I need. I'd like some left for some lace weight. I am using a size 7 needle.

OK, well that's all for knitting at the moment. I need to get to bed tomarrow Hunter has a appointment at the University of Iowa for testing for ADHD and Autism. We have to leave at 6:00 am and hopefully will make it home by 6:00pm. So, I need to try to sleep but I don't think I'll get much. To much on the mind:((

Happy Knitting

Friday, March 23, 2007

"That" Shawlette

A while back folks asked for a photo of my shawlette. Here you go:

This is inspired by the Cashmere America Triangular Lace Scarf pictured here:
which uses Barbara Walker's Roman Walk lace pattern. I used BW's Madeira Lace, which looks a bit like spiders.

Have y'all seen the Barbara Walker Treasury Project? I have to knit up a sample just for that! really, I will ... does that make it a UFO? the wanting to do it? hahaha.

And yes, Dorothy, that is handspun. So it doesn't always get "stuck" as yarn in my stash, LOL. It's "Over the Rainbow", a specialty colorway (read: one run only) from Crosspatch Creations -- the purple is wool and silk, the orange is silk and silk noil. All gone now, though a lady at Camp Burton last weekend was spinning the ones she'd bought last summer. Nice to see folks working through their stash!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sad news and not much progress....

I'm so sorry everyone that I've been away for so has definitely been a challenge lately and Sunday I lost this little guy...Frank was very old for a guinea pig but that doesn't mean I was exactly ready for him to go :( He was a lovely little buddy and wonderful companion and I'll miss him very much.

I've been nursing my old pot bellied pig Bessie for a few weeks now and it's not looking real good for her either, but she's also very old (19).

Then there's the remodeling stress and Running a Small Business Stress and all of it together has made me pretty freaking listless. I hadn't even wanted to knit or spin or anything till the other day and I actually DID finish a UFO (Grey Ripples scarf shop sample) but I need to wash and block it before sharing. I have been slowly getting some dyeing done which feels good and my spinning wheel is definitely beckoning so I may take some quality time with it tonight. I've done some half-hearted spindle spinning too but nothing monumental to share there either.

I did manage to finally wash this little skein, which is what I spun up out of the Basil wool/silk laps I sell to finish the funky scarf vest. I *still* need to wash and block and sew that and hopefully this skein will be enough for the collar and to mix with the little bit of handspun left for some fringe. Love the handspun from the wool/silk laps...great drape and sooo soft! It's definitely spring here but I'm motivated to finish that thing and wear it at least once or twice before it gets too warm!

Keep posting away you guys...even though I'm quiet it's very nice to come here and see what you've all been up to! Looks like you're all doing some great work and that makes me happy :)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Came up for air and thought I would check in. Bad news, I can't find the pattern I was going to use for the triple berry sweater. On the other hand, I'm going to give a go at designing my own pattern (gulp). I'm going to use the basic sweater pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd and have been busy swatching cable designs. Yes, this will be a cabled sweater. The swatching is done and I have cast on, but now I'm a little scared since this will be the first time I've done any designing. The blue vest is making progress. I took it to work and am knitting during my lunch break.

Karen in northern MI

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Look what I've been doing!!!

This is my Ashford Traveller. (and my messy kitchen. Who wants to clean when this arives!!!!????). Well, now I just have to figure out what to name her. I know there are several people who have named there wheels. Any Suggestions????? Doesn't hurt to ask!!

OK, does this not look like a purple nightmare?????!!!! This is my first spinn on my wheel on Wednesday night. I actually don't think the the spinning was all that bad. But, I tryed to ply it and I have no idea really how to do that so that just might be the issue. Of course it's was a freebie so that's ok.

This is 3.2 oz of suri alpaca form Alpacas D'Auxvasse. I think I'm in love with this fiber. It is easy to work with and just so soft that you want to use it as a pillow. The only thing that I noticed is that it is a fuzzy yarn. I'm not sure if this is due to my inexperience or just the way it is supposed to be. I have not plyed it yet for I am waiting to have my first spinning class with the lady I bought my wheel from. I'm hopeing this coming Thursday.

This is what I am currently working on. It is a deep red superwash wool from The Sheep Shed Studio. I just have to keep reminding myself.... thin but not to thin. It's going well so far.

I would love to hear feedback from all you spinners out there.

Keep spinning

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Miniature sightings ...

I couldn't resist! With about 15 booth samples to knit and the first spring show next week, I've given up on the arm warmers (an in-progress project is usually a big booth hit, anyway -- people like knowing I'm just like them and can't finish anything!), not to mention the sock yarn spinning, and have been busily knitting minis. Descriptions available here ... photos below:

(Yes Leah, those are peas!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Leah, I couldn't RUN AWAY!!!!

Leah, I just couldn't RUN AWAY. I actually ran toward. I went today to look at the Ashford Joy and the Ashford Traveler. I unfortunatly had to have my son with me so I didn't really get a lot of time to spin but what I did looked pretty good for the first time spinning. SOOOOOO, I purchased one. I'm so excited that when I got home I ordered some fiber to. Everything should be here just in time for me to have to go to work next week, how unlucky could that be. Anyway, when I get her all set up and something spun I'll post so pictures of my progress.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

"What's a UFO Contest" -- winner drawn!

I wrote down all the entrants' names ... we had 5 entries -- woot! Lots of great thoughts.

My favorite remains the one that sparked the contest -- Melissa's email to UFOKnitClub that UFO actually means "Up For Other" projects. And Jennifer's comment on my blog posting about spinning adding to my stash (or not) - that I'm indulging (my word ) in stash transfer. Whew, escaped that one being stash enhancement. So the etsy package that showed up yesterday is "okay", LOL, since it's research on spinning, ha ha.

DS picked a random number from 1 to 5 -- he picked "2". So the winner, in my randomly written down list of names (that DS couldn't see while he wrote his number) is ... Elysbeth! yep, she wins again! The disco ball is now being plugged in ...

FLAK finished!

I finally finished the FLAK sweater. I started this as part of a KAL last January. Since I have huge issues with Start-itis, it kept getting sent to the bottom of the pile. Last weekend, my Grandmother fell and broke her leg and died as a result of surgery. This week has been very difficult, but I have learned from my experience in hospice that it's better for me to work through feelings, than try to put them aside. So, I did lots of knitting and thinking this week. My Grandmother wasn't a knitter, but she would have been very happy that I finished this. She was the one who pretty much raised me after an abusive early childhood and she taught me how to quilt, embroider and sew my own clothes.

The yarn is Galway in Sage Heather. On my computer, it looks gray, but the color is really a soft green. I am such a loose knitter, that I used size 4 needles for the body and size 3 for the twisted ribbing. This sweater was a huge confidence builder for me. I learned how important swatching really is. I also now feel like I can knit any sweater to fit me, something that I've struggled with for years. Now what to tackle next before the Start-itis bug bites again?

Friday, March 2, 2007

questions about spinning

Hi everyone,

I know that there are some of you that spin and I have some questions for you. I am considering buying a Ashford Joy spinning wheel, now keep in mind I don't know how to spin yet but am going to find some classes in my area. I want a wheel that is able to pack away from my three children who just can't seem to keep their hands off of things. So is this what would be a good choice??? Also, where do all of you buy your fibers from??? and what fibers are good to spin with for a beginner???? I hope that you can offer me some advice. Thanks

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Wait, how does making yarn not add to my stash?

OK, this is really a WIP. It was never a UFO. But now it may become one while I re-touch another UFO (spinning again ... hmmm, I sense a trend here).

First, we had this:

Actually, to be technically 100% correct, we had the fraternal twin of that, since this is the other four ounces-plus, to be spun as a 2-ply at 15 WPI rather than the 3-ply 18 WPI I've now done (oops, cat's out of the bag ...)

Let's see, I bought that at Madrona Fiber Arts, so that would have been January 26th.

Then, by last weekend we had this:

And just after lunch today (March 1st) we had this:

Hey, who put that shell there?

Now, "Hang on Sloopy" is taking a sensuous soak in the sink and considering renaming herself "Sunshine for Buttercups". I had to censor that picture, so here's the "dime shot" for you to check out the 18-WPIness of this Navajo-plied yarn:

Why is it in danger of UFO'ing itself, when there's just a two-evening session between this skein and its sock-dom (two evenings on a sock machine)? Well, I pulled out my Journey Wheel and got back into spinning _that_ sock yarn. Then I pulled samples of every commercial sock yarn I had onto a card, the sloopy, the JW's yarn, and even some handspun sockyarn I bought off of etsy just for this purpose (ok, I've cracked ... I admit it!)

Minor observations: most commercial sock yarns are 4 ply! some are 2 ply (the cotton/lycra, and Koigu). Opal and Lorna's Laces have the same plies and twist angle, but LL seems alot softer. Most of them have a twist angle of betwen 27 and 33; the handspun I bought is thicker (14 WPI) and less twisted (21 TAngle). Opal is finer than Regia -- 18 WPI Opal, 16 WPI Regia. But hard to see with the naked eye when looking at bare strands! So, I'm going to spin the second half of Sloopy to be about 15 WPI 2-plied with a 30 degree twist angle. Now I need my calculator to figure out what the singles' WPI and twist angle will be ....

Remember, just 2 days left in our "what makes it a UFO" contest! post your comments, email the list -- redefine UFO! define UFO! whatever. If aliens take it off the planet, is it technically a UFO? or a LISO (lost in space object)?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Pair of Monkey Socks Done

I think I'm done with Monkey, at least for now. This second pair was done with some Lorna's Laces in Bittersweet that I picked up from a knitter who was destashing. Gorgeous stuff to work with! The pattern is a breeze, and for the record, I worked it upside down. I have issues with cuff down knitting. I'm strictly a toe-up kid. But seriously, this is a great pattern for novice sock/lace knitters. It's a breeze to memorize and fun to knit.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Progress Report

I finally have a finished project! Over the weekend, I finish the hubby's scarf. Now I can move on to other things. I also finished spinning the berry colored wool for my sweater, however, I lost the pattern. Or rather, I have it hear somewhere, I just have to find it again. The only bad thing about the weekend is that one of the spinners was de-stashing and I couldn't resist and of course, just had to start on a new project using some of that wool.

Karen in northern MI

Monday, February 26, 2007


Here it is! I posted a picture of this as a UFO a few weeks ago, talking about how I was to the border and procrastinating because the idea of doing a side-ways knitted-on border wasn't exciting me. I mentioned the idea of doing a different border that was knit in a circle like the shawl, wondering if I could make that work. Well, I decided to go for it, and it worked splendidly! I'm very happy with the results. The shawl is done in 100% cashmere from, 3/28 heavy laceweight. It measures 64" in diameter and weights five ounces. The points on the lace edging could also be blocked to make softer scallops instead of points, but I thought the points went well with the spiral center so that's how I blocked it. This is my design, which I'm planning to write up and publish/sell in some manner. Feedback appreciated!