Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sweater Done

I've finally finished the sweater with interesting pockets. Not sure what else to call it. See what you think:



It's hard to tell from a small picture, but see that collar that runs down the front edges and across to the side seams? That's the pockets...you can tuck your hands in there to keep them warm. Very cozy.

The yarn for the main body of the sweater is Patons Divine in the "Floral Fantasy" color. When I saw it in the store, I had to have it, even though I didn't know what I'd make of it yet. It reminded me of a Renoir painting, all soft, blurry colors. It feels like a kitten's fur and is so luxurious to wear.

The yarn for the collar/pockets is Plymouth Encore Worsted and it worked well, except the bottom band was done in a smaller size needle and I think that was a mistake. The Plymouth Encore Worsted should all be knit in the larger size, since it's a somewhat thinner yarn than the Patons Divine.

Now I'm back to working on Dan's heavily cabled cardigan--I can only work on it periodically as the cables are rough on my arthritis. And I'm also finishing some lace fingerless gloves for a Christmas gift.

What are YOU working on for the holidays?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Balaclava--Anyone Hungry?

My latest finished object is a balaclava for my husband, to wear under his bike helmet as he commutes to work. It's getting cold now and he needs something to cover all but the middle part of his face.

I found a pattern for World War I Red Cross Balaclavas and he chose this one:



He requested it in black. It came out very nicely, and he's already gotten some good use out of it.

Next, I'm working on some fingerless lace gloves for my mom. She works at her church, and her hands get awfully cold, but she can't type with regular gloves on. Here's the pattern I found: Lace Fingerless Office Gloves. So far they're coming out looking nice, but they seem very tiny. We'll see when I have one glove finished. I'd hate to have to start over...

What's the "hungry" part of my post, you ask? Well, I can't help but think "baklava" when I hear "balaclava" so it makes ME hungry, anyway! Anyone know what "balaclava" means? Wish I knew how to make a baklava as easily as I made the balaclava...

So, what are you working on? Christmas/holiday gifts? Can you talk about them, or are they a secret? ;-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Finished Jacket, and Gorgeous Shawl Pins

First, I have to brag a little about a finished object. It's a bulky top-down jacket in seed stitch, and it was my first top-down pattern. But it definitely won't be my last. The combination of the top-down knitting and the bulky yarn made it go super-fast and kept my interest the whole way. The pattern is called Verandah (I think) and it's from the Knitting Sweaters From the Top Down book, which has a bunch of other lovely patterns in it, as well as general instructions on how to design your own top-down patterns.

Here's a photo of the finished object. Hope you can make it out...I think I need a new camera. ;-)



The only change I made is leaving out the button(s) at the top. The original design has two ties at the top with large buttons sewed over them. I was just going to do a button and button loop. But the jacket is also designed to not quite meet in front...and with my...ahem...generous proportions, I figured if I just buttoned the top button and the rest gapped, I'd look like I made it a size too small. So, no button and it looks great.

Second, I recently asked Rosemary Hill of Designs By Romi design a shawl pin for me. It's a simple design, but one that seems to really speak to me. Here's a picture:



The spiral design seems like infinity...world without end...life goes on. And that message is very important to me right now.

While I'm on the shawl pin topic, here's a picture of a gorgeous shawl pin I picked up at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival last May:



Not the best picture, sorry about that. The pin comes from Gita Maria. This is a link to the pin I bought, just in case my photo above is less than adequate. ;-)

So between the two gorgeous shawl pins, I have something to go with every shawl. So far. But just looking around at those two websites makes me think I need more...

Okay, enough for now! Talk to you again soon.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Fun Quiz, and Ravelry

First, here's a cute quiz to try:


What kind of yarn are you?





You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.
Take this quiz!








Quizilla |
Join

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code



Hope I copied the code right.

Second, I finally got my invitation to Ravelry! You can find me there as "delisi" and I hope you check out all my ongoing projects and finished items, since it took me an entire day to post what's up there. And that's not even all my stuff. ;-)

I organized some of my current projects into separate bags...mostly grocery bags, but some tote bags or knitting bags where I could find 'em. Now I can see how shamefully many projects I have planned or started! Takes over a whole corner of the living room, right next to my side of the couch, which is where I usually sit to knit. But did that stop me from starting a new one? Noooooooo.

Heeheehee! Yes, I freely admit I'm not only yarn/fiber addicted, but also new project addicted. And I don't want to be cured!

I try to justify it by telling myself I only have this many projects going right after my birthday, when birthday money was spent on as much yarn as it would buy. And that's true. But...some of the projects I've bagged up to start are with yarn I bought with LAST year's birthday money. ;-) Oh well!

Okay, back to work but needed a break to post the yarn quiz. Hope to see you on Ravelry! Add me to your friends lists.

Liz

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Finished Seatbelt Cover

Don't know if you ever have this trouble, but I drive an older car, and the seatbelt height is not adjustable. I'm short, and thus the seatbelt always runs across my neck and is very irritating. The only solution I've found is a seatbelt cover. Walmart (and other places, no doubt) sell one that looks like sheepskin and closes with velcro. I've used one like that for years. A little heavy in summer, but better than the alternative of the seatbelt digging into my neck.

Well, the velcro on my seatbelt cover is all shot and the darned thing won't stay on. I was going to buy another one, when I came across this pattern:

Seat Belt Snuggles

I was enchanted. Knitting things for my car is a novelty...and although buying the Berroco Suede yarn for the project was probably more expensive than going to WM and getting another velcro thingy, somehow it FELT thrifty to knit one.

So I bought the yarn yesterday, finished up the snuggle last night and put it on the seatbelt in my car this morning. Fits like a dream and is prettier than the pseudo-sheepskin. Now I just need an excuse to drive somewhere so I can test it out.

I'm really curious now. I've knit my fair share of sweaters, afghans, socks, shawls, and baby blankets. But this is the first thing I've knit for my car.

What are the most unusual things YOU have knitted? Inquiring minds want to know!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Finished Tendrils Shawl

A few weeks back, I finished my Tendrils Shawl from Knitty. I decided not to use beads because of the weight, and also because I had no experience working with beads and knitting. Since then I've been working on the Mystery Stole 3, which has beads and I'm having fun with them, so someday I may try it again with beads. Anyway, here's a picture of the finished object:



I ended up wearing it over this past weekend, while my husband participated in the Timberman Triathlon. It was cold...much colder than expected for mid-August! And windy. I was thankful to have a nice, warm shawl...though three or four of them would have been better. ;-)

Here's a closeup of the stitches:



There's a mini-cable, a "regular" cable, and a ladder stitch. It was a lot of fun to work on.

The yarn I used was Classic Elite Premiere. It's a gorgeous yarn, 50% pima cotton and 50% tencel. It's SO soft, I spent a lot of time just patting and stroking it. Came out beautifully after washing and blocking and feels great next to the skin.

So, what are YOU working on? Something you'll still use this summer, or have you all started your fall and winter projects already?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dreaming of Yarn

I had a dream last night about knitting. Although I often remember bits and pieces of my dreams, this one is unusual; I don't think I've ever dreamed about knitting before, no matter how much knitting I've done during the day.

In this dream, I was making a pullover long-sleeved sweater out of either worsted or dk or sport weight yarn, and I can see the color clearly in my mind. It was a variegated yarn with peach and a denim or Williamsburg blue. It didn't make tiny little stripes of color, but instead made big blotches of it. The pattern was just a plain one to show off the yarn colors.

Now, naturally, I'm hung up on finding this color, but searching every online yarn store for it would take forever. I've already checked my LYS and no such luck, they don't carry anything in that color combination.

So if any of you out there know of a yarn that's peach and Williamsburg blue, would you please send me the link to it and end the torture? ;-)

In the meantime, have you ever dreamt about knitting? If so, what did you dream? Did it result in a project in real life?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

On Board For Mystery Stole #3

I've signed up to do the Mystery Stole #3 KAL. To sign up (hurry...you have to sign up by July 6), send a blank e-mail to mysterystole3-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. As you may guess, this is something that's gone on before since this is the third in a series. Some of you may know what i's all about, but I didn't know myself until a few weeks ago, so I'll fill you in if you're similarly uninformed.

It's a group that's doing a lace stole KAL (knit along) together. The interesting thing about it is, the "clues" (i.e., bits of the chart) are sent in small pieces, so you only get 25 charted rows per week (equivalent to 50 rows of actual knitting as the purl-side rows aren't charted). You receive hints about what yarn type and color to choose, but the finished stole pattern is a mystery.

Also, this stole features beads and though you don't HAVE to use beads to participate, I've decided to give it a shot. Heck, in for a penny, in for a pound, right? I'm feeling brave about the beads since I learned of what sounds like an easy way to add the beads. Check it out: Beading Made Easy.

Another challenge for me is the clues come out in chart form. I've only rarely worked from a chart, and then only in filet crochet. I much prefer written out directions. But the question is, could that be because that's all I work from? We'll see! I've ordered a magnetic Chart Keeper from KnitPicks, so that should help. A little.

And the stole even has a theme! Of course, no clues about that just yet either, though there have been many interesting guesses.

Here's my swatch with my chosen yarn (Skacel Merino Lace in white), though this is NOT the pattern for the stole, we've been assured:



I'm really excited about it. Of course, I need another project like I need a hole in the head. But I've had this laceweight yarn in my stash for maybe five or more years, just waiting for the right project. So the time is right!

Have you worked on lace projects before? Do you enjoy it? Do you work from a chart or a written pattern? Tell me your best tips! :-) I'm gonna need 'em.

Liz

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Felted Knitting Bag Finished



I finished knitting the felted bag, and finished felting the knitting bag. Which are one and the same. Hah! The colors in the picture are a little off...it's actually dark purple, dark blue, magenta, teal green, and light purple. But for some reason it ended up looking almost all blue. Anyway, you get the idea.

Didn't turn out one hundred percent the way I planned. For one thing, I think it felted a teeny bit too much. My fault; I checked it at ten minutes and it was hardly felted at all, so instead of setting the timer for another five minutes, I set it for another ten. Oh, and I added my "secret weapon" to the second felting session: a kettle full of boiling water.

Word to the wise: check your felting objects frequently.

But it's still large enough to carry a knitting project in, so I'm happy.

The other weird thing about it is, the top edge came out ruffly. This is definitely NOT the way it looks in the pattern (see previous post for link), but I kinda like it, so again, I'm happy.

It's drying now...and drying...and drying. Has been drying for three days and still damp inside. Felted stuff sure takes a long time to dry! Another word to the wise: don't felt something on the same day you want to use it.

So now I'm back to working on a shawl from this pattern at Knitty: http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring06/PATTtendrils.html Only, no beads. It's coming out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. Only problem: the cast-on edge is tight. This could just be a function of how tight my knitting is in general. But...does anyone have a suggestion for a stretchier cast-on method? I just use the single cast on...or thumb cast on? Would the double (or long tail) cast on be better?

Well, back to work. I need to start more projects!

Liz

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Goddess Shawl Finished


I finished the Goddess shawl I purchased the kit for at the NH Sheep & Wool Festival. I think it came out nicely...I never would have thought of putting all those yarn colors and types together, so it was fun to see how they worked. I just did a single strand of each of the nine yarns, and while they were all probably a baby yarn weight, some of the novelty yarns came out thicker or thinner. But that's part of the charm of the shawl, I think. I wore it yesterday and although it's light in weight, it's very soft and warm.





Here's another picture, this time a close-up of the nine different yarns so you can see a stripe of each one.



Now I'm back to working on this felted tote I'm going to use as a knitting bag: http://www.karpstyles.com/catalog.html?item=1592 But because I couldn't find five different shades of the same color in my LYS, I'm going with five different jewel tones. We'll see how it looks after it's finished and felted!

So what are you knitting?

Liz

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Beautiful Spring

It's finally spring in New Hampshire, when a woman's mind turns lightly to thoughts of...knitting?

Last Sunday, on Mother's Day, I went with my two daughters on what I hope will become a Mother's Day ritual, to the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival. For a knitter, it's a delight. First, you get to see the sheep, goats, bunnies, alpacas, etc. that your yarn comes from. For the breeders, they get to compete for prizes, but for me, I just love touching them and imagining the supply chain from fuzzy animal to finished skein of yarn.

Then there are the sheepdog trials. You can watch dogs...mostly border collies, but a few other breeds...compete at being the best and fastest to herd a group of sheep hither and yon. I've seen it in the movies, but seeing a dog creep up on a group of sheep and then move them this way or that is really amazing. Those dogs are so smart! Makes my dog look like a slouch...he can't even herd our cat.

Of course, for knitters, the vendors' booths are the ultimate goal. It's so much fun to wander past booth after booth selling unique knitting needles, shawl pins, sweater kits, finished knitted items, and of course all that gorgeous yarn. And you're encouraged to touch the yarn...because the tactile sensation is as important when choosing a yarn as the color or weight.

I ended up purchasing a Goddess shawl kit from the Knitter's Knook booth (a retail store in Keene, NH, http://www.yarnshop.com/) and a shawl pin from The Elegant Ewe (a retail store in Concord, NH, http://www.elegantewe.com/). Would have purchased more if my budget had been larger. ;-)

Most of the New England states have a yearly Sheep & Wool Festival. I'm not sure about other states...but I'll bet YOUR state has some type of yearly tradition. Tell me about yours!

Most recent finished object: Finally finished the shrug for my older daughter that was supposed to be her Christmas gift. She got it on Mother's Day. ;-) Will post pictures when I get some.

OTN now: But of course...the Goddess shawl from the kit I purchased at the Sheep & Wool Festival! Patience is not my strong suit.

What are YOU working on?

Liz

Monday, May 07, 2007

New Finished Object


Here's my latest finished object. It's a hot pad, done in double knitting. My daughter Heather created the pattern, and I think she did a fabulous job!

Double knitting, for those of you who don't know, is a way of knitting a two-sided fabric at once. It makes great heavy fabric for a warm afghan, good insulation for a hot pad, or you could knit both sides of a pillow at once. The picture on one side comes out as the reverse, a mirror image, on the other side.

Here's the picture of the reverse side of the hot pad, so you can see what I mean:

I'm new to double knitting so not an expert at it. But it is an interesting technique that I'll definitely want to dabble with more. It might make a great, really warm baby blanket or afghan...shawl or poncho...and of course works great for coasters and hot pads. What experience have you had with double knitting?

Liz

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Barbie's Wedding Gown



Recently I made a Barbie wedding gown for my granddaughter Isabel's fifth birthday. Naturally, as always happens, I forgot to take a picture before I gave it to her. But my daughter has corrected that, so now I'm posting the photos. It's crocheted, not knitted, but heck, that's close enough! It's a craft. ;-)

Here's the free pattern I found and used for the dress: http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/jacobean/141/page2.html But as you can see, I made some modifications. Mostly because I ran out of time. I shortened the skirt, and left off the sleeves. And for a five year old, I think it works just fine.

Here she is with her doll. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Socks Finished


Not sure how clearly this picture will come out, but I've finished a pair of socks for me, and here I am modelling them. :-)

These are the "Sox on 2 Stix" from Knitty, and you can see what the socks look like better here: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall06/PATTsoxon2stix.html

I loved knitting them on straight needles. The only down side is sewing the seams. My mattress stitch still needs a little work. ;-) And I also learned a standard bind off (knit two, take first stitch off over second) is way too tight for socks! So the second sock I bound off with the sewn bind off. That's stretchier and it works, but I knit tightly and would like something even MORE stretchy, so the next time I'll try another bind off. Heck, it's a science experiment!

So, what have you finished lately?

Liz

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Free "Pi Openwork Dishcloth" Pattern



As promised, here's the free dishcloth pattern. I just ask that you not sell or redistribute the pattern, or sell finished dishcloths made from this pattern. It's for your personal enjoyment!

Liz

Pi Openwork Dishcloth

Pattern by Elizabeth Delisi


Materials:
Cotton worsted-weight yarn (I used Peaches and Cream, color 130 Shaded Pastels)
Size 7 knitting needles
Crochet hook or tapestry needle to weave in ends

Finished size:
Approx. 9x9" square

Gauge:
Not important

Pi Openwork pattern stitch:

Multiple of 3

1st row (RS): K2, *YO, K3, with left needle pull first of 3 st. just knitted over last 2 and off the needle; repeat from * to last st., K1.

2nd row and all WS rows: P.

3rd row: K1, *K3, with left needle pull first of 3 st. just knitted over last 2 and off the needle, YO; repeat from * to last two st., K2.

Repeat these four rows for pattern.



Dishcloth pattern:

Cast on 43 stitches.

K 6 rows in garter stitch.

Row 6: K5, follow Row 1 of Pi Openwork pattern over next 33 stitches, K5.

Row 7: K5, P33 (Row 2 of Pi Openwork pattern), K5.

Row 8: K5, follow Row 3 of Pi Openwork pattern over next 33 stitches, K5.

Row 9: K5, P33 (WS row of Pi Openwork pattern), K5.

Repeat rows 6-9 until piece is 3/4" less than desired length, ending with WS row.

Next 6 rows: Work in garter stitch. Bind off, weave in ends.

Variation: Use seed stitch for border instead of garter stitch.


Questions? Contact me at elizabeth@elizabethdelisi.com.

Have fun!

Copyright 2007 Elizabeth Delisi

A Couple of Finished Objects

I recently finished two projects, and thought I'd share with you.

The first one is a shrug I made for my daughter for Christmas...well, for January. ;-) Here she is modelling it:



And here's the back:



It came out pretty nicely. I used a pattern from the Internet, but changed the pattern stitch, changed the edging, changed the cuffs...so it doesn't look exactly like the original anymore.

I liked the pattern stitch so much, I decided to make up my own dishcloth pattern using it. Here's a photo of the finished object:



I'll post the pattern in a separate message so you can try it out for yourself if you like.

So now I'm working on a second shrug for my other daughter, Heather. Same pattern stitch, but she's chosen a different edging and cuff, so it will be uniquely hers.

I wish I had four hands so I could knit twice as fast!

So what are you working on now?

Liz

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Project Addiction

Do any of you find you get bored with a project in mid-knit and abandon it to start something else?

This seems to be my pattern. Oh, I do finish things...eventually. Especially if it's for a specific event like Christmas, a baby shower or a birthday. But that means most of the unfinished projects sitting around are the ones I'm making for myself, as there's no deadline, no pressure to get them done.

I did just finish those men's fingerless gloves for my son-in-law (a late Christmas gift) and had the pleasure of watching him drive off to work, happily be-gloved. :-) I have two other projects to finish for late Christmas gifts, two shrugs. And I really want to get them done. But my feet are cold, darn it, and I want some socks! Also, I'd really like to get started on that lovely coat I'm going to knit, so I can wear it at least once this winter before it's too warm for coats...

How do you deal with the new project addiction? Do you give in and start something new, or do you doggedly insist on finishing whatever you're working on first? Or do you switch back and forth? I'd love to hear your tips!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Contest: Any HTML Experts Out There?

You may have noticed I've changed the background on my blog. I like the new background, except...somehow it seems to have squashed the message area and the links area over to the left, with just empty space on the right. I followed the instructions exactly for installing it, so I'm at a loss of how to fix it.

So I've decided to hold a contest! The first person who can tell me how to fix this problem...that actually results in me being able to fix it...will win a free download of one of my books, whichever one the winner chooses. You can read about my books at www.elizabethdelisi.com.

Sure hope someone comes up with an answer! Thanks!

Liz