Saturday, April 30, 2005

It's not like I don't have enough books. I got 2 more books today from Amazon, Confessions of a Knitting Heretic and Men in Knits. Then I printed out more 30% off Border coupons, but then I saw the 2 books I wanted were over 30% less at Amazon. Yep, I ordered them too. Treasury of Rowan Knits and Folk Vests. See that little space? I'm squeezing them in there!

Magic Looping and Workshop News

Friday is my favorite day of the week now that I get to go to my Knitting Workshop out in El Cajon. First I went to Borders in Mission Valley with my 30% off coupon trying to decide which knitting book to get. Had my eye on Folk Vests, Best of Knitter's Shawls and Scarves, and a Rowan Favorites big fat book. Ran into another knitter, got to talking, discovered we read some of the same blogs. Had a good laugh. Gave her my extra coupon, knowing I wouldn't be back to use it. Got the Shawls and Scarves one. Want to try my hand at a lacey shawl, especially since I can experiment inexpensively with the Knitpicks offerings.

Workshop was great as usual. We did a Show & Tell our our earliest knitting efforts. Brought in sweater pictured below. Someone had an EZ vest she'd made in the workshop back in the 70s. Yes, it's been going on that long. I only started this past August. Instructor pointed to EZs Knitting Workshop book on a table and said, "I think it's in here." A voice calls out, "That book's free for the taking." And I, who had actually been paying attention, was first to claim it. Score!

I ripped back my 2nd attempt at doing my set in sleeve on the Peasant Pullover top down. I should probably have read one of my many books telling me how. After conferring with Athena, the Workshop's trusty second in command, I'm just going to do it cuff up, with the shoulder shaping in the pattern. Boring. At least I'm doing the sleeve in the round.

Which brings me to Magic Loop. Got home to find my needles from The Needlepoint Joint had arrived. Got those size 1s out, got the sock I was working on, and figured out the Magic Loop thing. Hmm.. I go faster on DPNs, but it's a new skill. Realize 2 things. The join on the Inox Express is a bit rough, especially having to shove the stitches from the coil to the points. Catches and stops the flow. 2nd: the cable is too long. Put this pair back on the DPNs. Return to my sleeve, which at the cuff stage is on DPNs, try Magic Looping with my 32" Addis and it's great. Now I realize I probably didn't need to go out and buy those 12 pairs of 16" Addis. But such a pretty collection.

Look how cute! Back in 1979, for our first Christmas as a married couple, I made us matching sweaters. We were stationed in Rota, Spain at the time. We were asked to bring in our earliest work in our Knitting Workshop and Bob still had his.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Poncho sighting, con't

I'm not much of a poncho person, but this one was really stylish. It had a seam on either side of the front and back panels, so it appears the sleeves were made separately. But the direction of the stitches matched the direction on the main part, so it was more a rectangle.

See? Doesn't take much to excite me.

On a less creative note, the more I looked at the weird sleeve on my Peasant Pullover, the more wrong it looked, so it's been ripped back and I'm experimenting with a less square top, more of an oval set in sleeve shape. I can't just follow the pattern instructions since I made the overall sweater larger with deeper armholes AND don't want fullness the pattern calls for. Tell me why, at this stage in my life, would I need to things flapping around my upper arms in an otherwise fitted garment?

My weekly workshop session is tomorrow, so I'll bring it in to have the instructors and other knitters look at it and set me on the right track.

I was shopping at my local Henry's and almost attacked the woman in front of me in line to I could get a better look at her poncho because it had sleeves! She'd mentioned something about "Newport catalog", so after an aborted attempt at drawing the thing, I googled and found it at Newport News Fashion. The description reads, "Angora-blend poncho
Ultra-soft cowlneck poncho has long sleeves with folded ribbed cuffs. Ramie/angora blended with acrylic/nylon in a mix of stitches; fringe trim. Hand wash. Imported."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Here's the Peasant Pullover so far. The sleeve in progress is on a 16" circular, so it looks weird. Still have to do collar and ties. The rest is all in seed stitch. It's coming along quickly.

Hello out there in Pennsylvania!

It was the neatest thing. A fellow knitter in PA saw my blog about the 1970s sweater and posted a photo of the very same one she had made back in the day. No pix of mine dammit... Small knitting world. Gave me a wonderful feeling of belonging. Am done with the body of the thing and am playing around with doing the inset sleeve from the shoulder down, circularly. Let me go take a picture of it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Spending money on needles, again!

I did it again. After looking all around the internet and locally, I found only one source that MAY have had the 40" US size 1 [2.25 mm] needles. I had to call to see if they had them. Did that yesterday. Was so tickled. I had made up this shopping list of all the needles I wanted, but told myself that if this vendor, The Needlepoint Joint, did not have the size 1's I wanted, it would be an omen. When she checked and had them, I gave her my wishlist. What they didn't have could be special ordered and sent right to me. $90 later....

Inox Express Sizes 1 &2 40"
Brittany wooden straight cable needles - set of 3
Addi turbo flex [flexible straights] in 0, 1, 2 and 10. I have the sizes in between. These were the boogers which added to the tab. I know I could use the Addi circulars, but I LIKE these.

Half the order will be mailed today, the rest will come along within the next 2 weeks. You have to call in your order, but it's an 800 number.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

I figured out the sidebar!

Well, some of it anyway.

The reason I enjoy being retired so much is I get a lot of enjoyment from the little things in life. Figuring out how to change the button link for the webring from a blank X to one of the little San Diego webring pix provided was a triumph. Then I ciphered how to add the link for all my online photo albums. Oh, the joy of it all.

If you do click on the PHOTO ALBUMS, you'll have access to hundreds of pix at my Webshots site. One is devoted to knitting in general, another to knitted socks. A lot are from The Southbay Seamrippers, the neighborhood group of the American Sewing Guild I belong to. I'm the photographer for the group and keep a hard copy photo album for the non-internet members. My interest in knitting was rekindled at an ASG quarterly meeting where some of those North County Knitters showed off their stuff. Then another ASG person turned me on to socks and raved about the Knitting Workshop.

There are the family pix. Here's where you'll find yours truly in uniform. Last summer [when it was too hot to knit] I spent many hours at the computer scanning and repairing old family photographs. Several aunts trusted me with some of their favorite photos which I scanned and played with using Photo Elements. These folks are around 80, so I was quite happy to get names and places from them. It was a wonderful interlude down memory lane. These are in the 2 Vintage Family photos albums.

Since the elderly relatives don't have or want computers, I put all the pix on a CD. I learned they all had DVD players, and the one who didn't promptly got one for about $40. They could see them all on the TV. I was overwhelmed by how happy they all were. My mom said it was the best present she'd ever had. Now, if I could only get her to part with her photo collection. But she's in Virginia Beach and wants me to come get them. This all gave me the idea to burn CDs for all the cousins and pop them in with the Christmas cards. In a way, it was a handmade present.

Works in progress report

I used to just have one project in the works. Sigh... Since I took up knitting with a vengeance about 2 years ago, I've been cranking out all kinds of things, mostly socks. My sewing has taken a back seat, as has all that reading I used to do. Now it's audio books for me. Only the simplest patterns allow me to do some actual reading while knitting.

I've got 2 sweaters and 3 pairs of socks in progress. In my knitting basket waiting to begin are Pink Ribbon socks and the 3rd skein of Koolaid dyed yarn. I think I'll do the Walking Away socks pattern for that. I also just got Cool Socks, Warm Feet and am eager to try garter stitch heels and toes.

I just ordered 2 more books, Men in Knits and Confessions of a Knitting Heretic. Although I work my socks with DPNs with no problems or ladders, I'm also interested in trying the Magic Loop method. I'm having trouble finding 40" circulars in US sizes 1 and 2 [2.25mm and 2.75mm] The Addis are larger [2.5 mm and 3 mm] Inox Express supposedly makes them, but I haven't found a vendor who carries them. Well, it's not as if I don't have enough to do.

I'm going to have to force myself to stop knitting in order to get some sewing done. With my oldest moving out, I've got to do something with that day bed in her almost empty room. Got the fabric, pillows and bolsters standing by. Now if I would just get struck by some motivation.

Here's the photo of the sweater I'm working on. Posted by Hello

This is my primary project using Lion Brand Fisherman Wool. The pattern is from the 1970s book The Woman's Day Book of Knitted Sweaters. This is a remake of the first sweater I ever made back in 1975 when I was teaching in New England. The original was in peach. I have no idea when I got rid of it - maybe my mother, the pack rat still has it somewhere in her many boxes of treasures. This time I'm making it in the round and in a larger size to accomodate my buxom figure. The neckline is supposed to be slashed and tied with I cord. We'll see. I already know I'm not making the sleeves as full as the pattern. Posted by Hello

A second sock! This is my portable project. Just a plain sock dyed with grape, orange and berry blue koolaid. I did remember the Wooly Nylon on this one, but did do some hand darning in the area where my pinky toe rubs through all my socks. This merino wool is so soft, it's a real pleasure to work with. Posted by Hello

I dyed this with black cherry Kool Aid and some Berry Blue, leaving sections undyed. It pooled strangely along the back of the leg. I forgot to use Wooly Nylon at the heels and toes, so I hand darned the inside. A bit tedious, but I don't want all my good work to sprout a hole. This is that Dye Your Own Merino Fingering yarn from Knitpicks. At $3.49 for 100 grams, you can't go wrong. I bought 3 skeins to dye, then got 3 more. I plan to use it undyed in some lacey socks and to mix and match with leftovers for hodgepodge socks. Posted by Hello

Here's that worsted cable sock pattern again. I have several skeins of Woolease left from the shawl I'd made my aunt for Christmas last year and figured if nothing else, they'd make good house socks. I used a strand of Wooly Nylon for the entire sock. Posted by Hello

This pattern is from Rowan Denim, a book I found at The Grove. I'm using Paton's Classic Wool and am making it in the round instead of on straights with separate pieces. It's a tunic style sweater with somewhat set in sleeves. This is a totally stay at home project because the chart for this is huge. Every section is different. I'm up to the point where I'm about to start completely different motifs in the next set of sections. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Here's the finished result. Somehow I thought both photos were going to pop up at once. Bear with me as I still am not sure about this blog thing. Posted by Hello

I used the leftover yarn from the felted bag to make a pair of socks. Charlie, my workshop instructor, gave me an old pattern of hers. Uses about 4 oz of worsted yarn with size 5 needles. I can see this will be another basic pattern for all those yarns left over from my sweater projects. Posted by Hello

My felted knitting bag. I was trying to use up a problem yarn - Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed. It's on the bottom of the bag and of course did not felt as well as the other wools I used. I ended up sewing a welt along the squared off bottom on the inside so it wouldn't be so bell shaped. I've got a stiff board in the bottom to provide support. Overall, I'm pleased with the bag and learned a lot about felting. Posted by Hello

Mitered Cardigan from Vogue Holiday 2003 issue. Made with Red Heart Tweed yarn. All in tedious garter stitch and the tweed was hard to see. However, I really like the sweater and will probably make again. Last Knitting Workshop session's optional class project. Posted by Hello

My first time dyeing with Kool Aid. Knitpicks fingering Merino for socks Posted by Hello

Going crazy

Okay... I've decided to try this blog thing so I can be part of a local knitting webring. Now if I could only figure out how to set up my profile photo and other basic items.