Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas Presents Finished--Well, Some, Anyway

I confess, I only got about half of my knitted Christmas gifts finished--a shawl with pockets for my mom (from Vogue Knitting on the Go: Shawls), socks for my sister (Sox on 2 Stix) and mittens for my sister's husband (Manly Mitts). I knitted as fast as I could, I swear! But there was just too much other "stuff" to do.

I'm still working on a shrug for my younger daughter, a shrug for my older daughter (both of them are the Aran Weight Top-Down Shrug, though in different colors of course!), and fingerless gloves for my older daughter's husband (Men's Fingerless Gloves). Oh, and I promised my husband something--anything--he can choose. I feel like I need to make him something as well, so he's not the only one without something hand-knitted by moi. :-)

So, did you get all your holiday knitting done? What did you make and how was it received? Can't wait to hear! And what's next on your needles?

Happy New Year and Merry Knitting!

Liz

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Quick Post

Just a quick post to say, I finally found a picture of the coat I'm going to make. Look here at the coat in the middle of the first row, off white and called "Long Coat." That's it! Only...mine will be purple. Hey, I'm not a white kinda gal. ;-) So how do you like it?

Liz

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Yes, I *Am* Still Alive And Knitting

But I'll bet you all thought I had disappeared. :-) The past four weeks have been a whirlwind with four trips out of state. I've spent more time packing and unpacking than anything else! The only good point about all this travelling is, more time to knit.

So, I finished the socks for my mom and gave them to her for her birthday (my first out of state trip). She loves them and is showing them off to everyone. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of them...because I finished them at midnight the night before her birthday. Deadlines can be so inspirational!

I've done about a foot on my Trellis Shawl and I love it. Not just the pattern itself, but the yarn is so soft...I spend a lot of my knitting time fondling it. ;-) It's done in Classic Elite Premier yarn, which is a combination of Pima and Tencel. Does anyone know how it holds up to washing and drying? I hope it stays soft and lovely.

I've begun working on the Wave Knitting Bag (you can see it here: http://saboardman.tripod.com/id15.html) but my local yarn store didn't have five coordinating shades of any color...the closest we could get was four. So instead I'm making it in five jewel tones, which I think will be lovely when felted.

And...my big project I'm about to start is the Pierrot Long Coat from the Fall 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting. It's a swing coat type of pattern, with extra-wide sleeves with big cuffs, and a seed stitch pattern done in super bulky yarn. I've ordered the yarn through my LYS and am waiting anxiously for it to come in. Has anyone made this pattern, and if so, do you have any hints or tips for me?

Anyway, that's what I'm working on now! I'll try to post a little more frequently from now on, and maybe next time with pictures...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Knitting, And Knitters, In Public

Here's a recent picture of me with Amy S., a fellow knitter who was visiting the U.S. from Israel. That's a long way to come! So while she was here, besides lots of sightseeing, she visited lots of yarn stores, and lots of knitters she'd met through the Internet, including me. :-)

We had a great time chatting over coffee and Danish at a local coffeeshop, comparing knitting projects and talking about this and that. Also, she picked up a couple of my books, and I was delighted to autograph them for her. I met her husband and adorable daughters, who are so lucky to have a mom that knits! Especially since knitted clothing and accessories are now all the rage.

I had an interesting "knitting in public" experience the other day. I had to take my son-in-law to the ER (fortunately it turned out to be just a virus and he'll be fine). I had several hours to kill in the waiting room, so I brought out my knitting. I was working on a dishcloth with variegated yarn. Pretty soon an 11 year old boy, whose mom had left him in the waiting room alone for a minute, ventured, "That looks pretty cool."

I said, "It's called knitting. Would you like to come over and I'll show you how it works?"

He came a few feet closer. (And I thought, Good for you Mom, you taught him not to go TOO close to strangers!) I demonstrated how knitting worked, then told him I was making a dishcloth, showed him the pattern as it was emerging on the dishcloth, and the picture on the pattern of the finished item. He said it was "cool" and seemed quite fascinated.

A few minutes later his mom returned, and pretty soon I heard, "See that lady? She's making a dishcloth!"

So I told his Mom, "Yes, we had a knitting lesson over here." She said she thought it looked like a soothing hobby, to which of course I agreed.

So who knows...maybe a young convert? ;-)

I'll bet some of you out there have interesting stories of meeting other knitters, or knitting in public. So, fess up and spill them!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Adrift in UFOs

I haven't posted recently because I wanted to finish something before posting again. I don't like to post without photos. But I just have so many irons in the fire right now, nothing is complete.

I've finished one sock of a pair, and the second one is started.

I've finished a potholder and 3/4 of a dish towel, still need to finish the towel and make the dishcloth.

I've done a few more inches on my Eros Glitz shawl.

I've purchased the yarn for another shawl.

I've done a few rows on a sweater.

Oh, and I did a big organizational project. I bought a large 3-ring binder and a bunch of those plastic sleeves. Then found all the patterns I've printed out or purchased over the years (well, many of them anyway) and slipped each one into a sleeve and put into the notebook. I have so much fun now just flipping through it and imagining all the projects I'm going to make! As if I don't have enough going already. ;-)

So, how do you keep your patterns organized? Do you have a filing cabinet...a notebook...just tossed in a trunk? Do you separate them by name, by type of pattern, by size, or something else? I'd love to hear!

Next time I post, I hope to have a photo of a finished object to go along with it.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My First Clapotis Shawl Is Finished

I've finished my first clapotis shawl. Hooray! I think it came out pretty well, all things considered. Here's a picture of it, with our cat Burt looking on and wondering if he dares set foot...er, paw on it. Naturally, he's a smart cat and he recognizes the "just try it!" glint in my eye, so he doesn't touch it.

It was made with Cherry Tree Hill Oceania yarn, and the colorway I believe is called Blueberry Hill. This yarn has a thread of glitter material running through it, which you can't really see on the photo, but it makes it a little dressier and would work for evening. It comes in a 1440-yard hank, which my sister and I split, so I had about 720 yards to work with. Even though that's more yardage than the pattern calls for, by the end of the shawl, I had very little yarn left and the shawl was barely long enough, so I blocked it in order to get a few extra inches of length.

Here's another picture of it, a little closer up, with Burt still posing for the camera:

You still can't see the glitter thread in it, but you can see the colors a little better. They're really gorgeous...I loved the combination.

The glitter thread did tend to get caught or missed sometimes, and the thread is a little fuzzy so it didn't always drop without a lot of help when it was time to drop a stitch. Bottom line: next time if I used something similar, I'd get something without the glitter thread, just to make it a bit easier on myself, but the fuzziness of the yarn I liked enough to make it worth working with again.

I'd love to make another one in a heavier, worsted-weight yarn so it would work for colder weather. This one is great for late spring or summer.

Next project: finishing up a sweater I started last fall. Maybe it will be ready to wear by THIS fall! I'm making the Applegate Shirt by Oat Couture, and you can see a picture of it here:
http://www.oatcouture.com/patternpages/405Applegate.html

I'm using a denim-colored yarn and it's coming out wonderfully. I'll wait to choose the buttons till the sweater is finished. I can't believe it, but I'm actually anxious to finish the pieces so I can seam them! That's thanks to my recent finishing class.

Heading the the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival tomorrow for Mother's Day, with my husband, daughter, grandchildren, and son-in-law. IF the weather is at all reasonable. Today it's pouring rain, with more predicted for tomorrow, and with a cast on my foot and two toddlers tagging along, pouring rain just won't work. Mist I can take...or light rain...so I'll hope for that! Hope you all have a great weekend. What projects are you working on now?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Finishing Class

My latest knitting endeavor was attending a "finishing" class last Sunday afternoon at my LYS. I learned a lot, including three-needle bindoff, mattress stitch, kitchener stitch, short-rowing shoulder shaping, and lots of tips on knitting a project in a more customized fashion. The class was scheduled from 1-4, but actually ran until about 5 with all the material to be covered. It was definitely worth the $30 fee, and I know my finished garments will look better because of it!

I'm getting close to the finish line on my Clapotis shawl and can't wait to see how it looks when finally off the needles. Also, I've signed up with my state chapter of Newborns In Need (www.newbornsinneed.org) to knit hats, sweaters, booties, and blankets for newborns and preemies whose parents can't afford such things. Also, for those who can manage without too many tears, the organization provides handmade burial layettes for those babies who don't make it. :-( Anyway, it feels right to do something to show those parents that someone cares. Now I'm on the hunt for great patterns in newborn and preemie sizes, with minimal seaming (for comfort), no ribbon trim, easy on/easy off, etc. Any suggestions?

What are YOU working on now?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

First Multidirectional Project Completed

Hooray! My first multidirectional project, a scarf, is finished, and here's a picture of it. I used the book "Modular Knits" by Iris Schreier, and the "Multidirectional Scarf" pattern from it.

This was made with some VERY old yarn from my stash, from the 70s, called Caron Dazzle Aire. It's been waiting a long time for its perfect project! You can't tell from the picture, but it's fuzzy yarn, like mohair, with a slight sparkle or "dazzle" effect to it.

This was a fun pattern to make, as Iris's technique is very clever. You make the various triangles using short rows instead of cutting the yarn, so it's all made in one piece. I hate working in ends, so it's definitely the right technique for me!

Now I almost hope we have one more snowstorm left before spring and summer, so I can try it out...

My next project, which I'll start as soon as I'm done here (yes, I AM a glutton for punishment) is a clapotis shawl. You can find the pattern here: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/PATTclapotis.html . Isn't it gorgeous? My sister and I are working on this project together...both starting today, and we're using the same yarn. We purchased some Cherry Tree Hill Oceania yarn in the 1,440-yard skein (colorway Blueberry Hill, http://www.yarnmarket.com/yarn/Cherry_Tree_Hill_Yarn-Oceania_
Yarn-670.html). We've split the skein and we'll see how it turns out, together!

So, what are you working on lately? Any new, exciting projects? Something summery maybe, with pastel cotton yarn?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Photos Of Pink Lady Bag


Ta da! Here's a picture of my Pink Lady bag. I used Lion and Lamb bulky yarn, the color was Victorian Rose. Not sure it came out in the photo exactly as it looks in person.


I found an absolutely stunning pewter button for it at my LYS. Unfortunately, my digital camera won't allow me to get close enough to see the details without making the button blurry, so you'll have to imagine. ;-)


I'm already using it. Naturally, I couldn't wait! I've posted two pictures, not sure if either one really shows the details or the color to its best advantage. Anyway...it's done and time to work on my next project! I think I need to make a large felted tote that I can keep my other knitting projects in. As soon as my yarn budget gets flush again!


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pink Lady Is Done!

Well...almost. I finished knitting it, including figuring out how to do the Kitchener Stitch to finish the handles. (No, I've never learned it before and it's a pretty cool way to join two pieces of knitting that are still on needles or holders.)

I've felted it and it's drying on the radiator now. As soon as it's dry, in a day or two, I'm going to my LYS to pick a really special button for the tab closure.

I made one slight change to the pattern. I know you can cut into felted knitting to create buttonholes. Really, I know it in my head. But my heart shrinks from it and doesn't believe it won't unravel if I cut. :-) So, I made the tab closure a little wider and knit a buttonhole into it. Hey, it'll work fine and my nerves were spared!

Speaking of felting, how do you do it? I always start out with the hot wash cycle, smallest load size, a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, throw the bag in the washer with something heavy, and then check every five minutes. I've found it usually takes about fifteen minutes, and the addition of a teakettle of boiling water midway through, to achieve the effect I want. I like it to be fully felted, thick and sturdy, and no stitches showing. I've felted with several different yarns and they all seem to work well with that treatment.

But one thing that bothers me is, I can't find a way to felt without fuzz from whatever I put into the washer with the bag coming off on the bag. I've tried dark and light, fuzzy and non-fuzzy towels. I've tried jeans, and a denim jacket, but they all leave fuzz behind to some degree. I don't think a mesh zippered delicates bag would help as it has holes in it. I might have to try a zippered pillowcase cover, but not sure if it will felt as well if shut up in a pillowcase.

Do any of you have tips for felting? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Making Great Progress

Thanks to a recent 3,200-mile car trip to and from my son's wedding in Kansas, I've been able to make great progress on my pink lady bag. It's nearly all done, but when it came time to finish up the handles, I realized I'd left my stitch holders at home. So tonight I hope to finish the handles and the closure tab, felt it tomorrow, then run out and choose a great button to close it with! Can't wait to see how it turns out. I'll definitely post a picture.

I did discover that the Lion and Lamb bulky yarn has a LOT of fuzz to it. ;-) It ended up all over me and the car while I was knitting. Not that it stopped me! I'll be interested to see how much fuzz is left after felting.

Have any of you had experience with felting with this yarn?

Friday, March 17, 2006

It's Here!

Woohoo! My "pink lady bag" pattern arrived today. I'm so excited...I've been waiting a while, even picked out the yarn, then had to be patient till the pattern came. Patience is NOT my strong suit. I'm trying to be patient again, till my work for the day is done, then I can start the purse. Whoopee!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Okay, I've Done It


Although I've knitted practically all my life, lately I've been SO into it, it's been taking over all my free time. I've also noticed it taking over my writing blog. I suspect people who visit my THE WORLD ACCORDING TO LIZ blog to read about my books might forgive an occasional foray into knitting, but not repeated ones. So, I told myself, I have to have a knitting blog!

Here is a picture of my most recently completed project, a felted purse, drying on the radiator. I've since added a snap closure and a gaudy rhinestone pin as a decoration. It looks great if I do say so myself, and I'm having fun using it!

Also on the needles are: a multidirectional scarf made with a very old variegated yarn from my stash; a shawl made with Eros Glitz ladder yarn; and a lovely sweater (you can see the pattern picture here: http://www.mypollywogs.com/OCApplegate.JPG).

And, I'm waiting for a pattern to arrive for another felted bag that will be my next project. Here's the pattern: http://www.carodanfarm.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/product504.html I plan to make it in Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn, color M-34 Victorian Pink: http://www.showersofflowers.com/images/yarn/brolmbwm34.jpg?
PHPSESSID=96b4ca48e1ab8a01561ee6c3b936c304

So, all you knitters out there...and crocheters, tatters, weavers, embroiderers, beaders, spinners, and any other fiber craft...what are you working on? Can't wait to hear!