May 30, 2009

Got to Love the Local Library

When I read about Debbie Bliss's new book "Design it, Knit it", I put in a request that my wonderful local library purchase it. Yesterday the email came saying it was in and I rushed to the library to pick it up.

I curled up with this brand new book and my cup of coffee this morning and actually gave it a good read through. I had high hopes for this book and thought I'd get some great designing tips. There is some good information here and a few lovely patterns. However, it is not a hold your hand book in designing...perhaps your hand should not be held?!

The elements of design and design considerations are there and there are pages for graphing and sketching ideas. However, there is nothing about how to take your design and actually knit it. This book might work with Ann Budd's
The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns but it doesn't work by itself.

I'm still on the fence as to whether I'll purchase it or not but I'm so glad I have it for 3 weeks from my library.

May 27, 2009

It's Wednesday so here are some WIPs

We went out of town for the long weekend and I had a total of 4 hours car time and a baseball game which lasted 2 1/2 hours. So I decided it was time to cast on Annikki. This photo doesn't do justice to the lovely color of the Cascade 220 in Garnet Heather - I just love the color. I'm about 22 inches into the project and while it is boring stockinette stitch it is satisfying to know I've put a big dent on this bug project.

I've stalled on Miss America's Tempteen II as I started the first sleeve and found this yucky bit where I dropped a stitch and it didn't pick up nicely. I need to frog it and I know it is only an inch and a half but I'm annoyed and don't want to do it right now. Perhaps I rip it out today.

Last week I grabbed some yarn and the pattern for Wisp and cast on during my daughter's choir concert. I think I need Addi lace needles as the K2 together bit of the pattern isn't easy with my Addis. Any suggestions - I've never been a big lace knitter. The color is lovely - I picked this yarn up at Rhinebeck last fall.

Oh, and the lovely project bag I picked up at the LYS the other day. It is so bright and cheery and I love toting it around.

May 22, 2009

This Looks Better in Person

Another FO - Button-Banded V-Neck from Knit Simple. I made it out of Knit Picks CotLin which was very affordable - then I got some lovely buttons which ended up costing more than the yarn! Doesn't matter - while this picture isn't that great, it looks much better in person and it will be very snappy with a pair of white capris. I'm going to have to work on another photo shoot...the ones I took yesterday didn't look good and this will have to do for now.

The pattern has you knit a seed stitch band and use it as a guide for button placement.

I had a lot of fun picking out the buttons and even used some from my button jar.

Last night I cast on for Wisp during my daughter's choir concert and by the finale I realized I made a mistake so I'll have to tink back and find out what went wrong.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

May 19, 2009

Just When You Think You've Seen It All

I was visiting Rachel's blog and she mentioned this knitting project done in England. It's a Knitted English Village - they even have a cricket match! Just when you think you've seen it all...

I'll have some knitting to show you soon - I finished my Button Band V-Neck and now have to do the neckband and find some buttons. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

May 15, 2009

An Epic Project

Yesterday I got a bee in my bonnet to make a coat for this fall - I spend a lot of time on the flag football sidelines and a warm long knitted coat would be perfect.

I perused a bunch of patterns online, in Knitting Central, in my library of magazines but this one spoke to me. It is Annikki by Norah Gaughan.

Cascade 220 is on sale at Webs right now so I bought the book and the yarn all at once. I'm going to make this my Epic Project for the Finish or Frog It 2009 group on Ravelry.

I can't wait for the yarn to arrive and I can start my knitting.

May 14, 2009

15 Years Ago Today

I don't have words to begin to describe how lucky I felt 15 years ago on this day and how incredibly lucky and blessed I still feel!

May 13, 2009

What More Could A Mom Ask For

Miss America left this on my pillow...we had a rough morning yesterday with middle school 6th grade girl drama. All was fine in the end and it was nice to know I did right by her.
I cast on her Tempteen II based on Tempting II. Nothing to show yet but will post as soon as it looks like something besides a tube of K1P1.

May 12, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

Since I don't have any interesting pictures to show you right now, I thought I'd follow Carole's post for Ten on Tuesday. The theme this week is my 10 Favorite Places to Shop...this is one I can easily post as I do enjoy shopping. You're going to get a mix of shopping for me and shopping for my knitting addiction.

1. Costco - bulk sized products, decent clothes, books, and samples - need I say more?

2. Target - I pronounce it with a soft G and a silent T at the end so it sounds French (tarjay).

3. Ann Taylor - my favorite clothes come from here and I never buy anything for full price as they have wonderful sales.

4. Land's End - I love their overstocks section online which I frequent quite often.

5. Etsy - I discovered Etsy when I wanted to sell my knit items and found that there is wonderful handspun yarn, handmade products etc. I like supporting "the little guy" when I shop and this is a great place to do that.

6. Little Knits - I've posted about this wonderful store in Seattle before. They have great sales and their service is fantastic.

7. Webs - Another great knitting source for me and great sales here too. Can you catch the theme of bargain shopping I like to do?

8. Knit Picks - affordable yarn which lets me make lots of things for my daughter.

9. Home Goods - a fun place to putter around and you never know what you're going to find. I've even found knitting books at a great price.

10. Elm Street Books - our local book store...this year I tried to avoid all the big chain stores and support the little businesses in our town. The staff at Elm Street Books is wonderful and knowlegdable and they have superb service.

Okay, enough of shopping. Time to do the laundry.

May 8, 2009

Just In Under the Wire

Presenting my own creation which I've nicknamed Cathardigan - a cross between the Cathay yarn and the cardigan style.

It's done just in time for Finishing Friday...I just bound off minutes ago, grabbed my daughter and told her to start snapping pictures.

I had purchased buttons for the neckband and have decided against them. They would detract from the detail of the stitch.

Here's the detail on the back with a little panel of ribbing and gathered effect above and below.

As we were having the photo session, my DH came home early with this lovely bouquet for Mother's Day. He has his hands full this time of year as my birthday is next week and our 15th anniversary is the day after my birthday. When we agreed to the wedding date I reminded him "separate gifts, separate wrapping paper". For now, I'm loving my sweater and my new flowers...notice the snapdragons match the sweater?

Happy Mother's Day!

May 7, 2009

Another Library Find

I was puttering through my wonderful library and of course I checked out the new books section (746 is knitting) and stumbled on one that I missed - Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin.

This book came into the library back in November and I somehow missed it until now. There are a few gems in this book.

I was particularly intrigued with this pattern which is assembled using a strip of button loops that you buy at a sewing store. They are the loops for a wedding dress. You knit the bottom half separately and attach it with lots of little buttons. For some reason this appeals to me but I don't know how it would look on my figure. I also would give it sleeves and make it longer.

I'm not a fan of making hats but I could see this on one of my really is cool looking.

Great mittens....however, I still have to finish the ones I'm slowly working on.
As I said, a few gems in this book - so glad I found it.

May 6, 2009

I Need a Yoda for Knitting

You know how Yoda told Luke to "feel the Force"? Well, I need a knitting Yoda to say "Estella, trust the pattern!".

I'm making this cute top (which I apologize for the photo but I have yet to photograph brown or black and have it look right) has a seed stitch band which is supposed to go beneath the girls and have buttons sewn on it.

When the pattern told me to bind off for the sleeves area, the seed stitch band was not in a flattering place to have buttons - right across the girls so I added a few more inches. Last night when I held it up to myself, the button band was halfway down my waist. Where was my knitting Yoda when I didn't trust the pattern?

I'll rip out a lot and only add one inch instead of 3 to make the button band sit right...hopefully the "Force" will be with me.

I took some time to figure out how to re-do my neckband on my Cathardigan. I put some stitch markers evenly around and will keep track of how many stitches I cast on between each one. I really want to finish this sweater this week.

May 3, 2009


Here it is...Tempting redone as "TempTeen" or "TempTween". Miss America loves it and can't wait to wear it for a variety of events including a choir concert. We got several different color ribbons to thread through the top including some silver which should look lovely. She's already asked me to make another - it took only a week (I did find a mistake while threading through the ribbon but we put that in the back). I used KnitPicks Shine Worsted which is great for keeping kids clothing affordable - however, it does shed a bit while you knit.

I put my modifications on Ravelry if you have your own teen or tween who wants one. It really is an easy knit and easy to modify.

Now I can go back to work on my Cathardigan which I put down in disgust after the whole neckband mishap. Two baseball games today so I should get some good knitting done.

May 2, 2009

My Own Button Jar

I admit I had never heard of a button jar before meeting Kimberly - her blog is named My Button Jar. I went onto Ebay and found wonderful button jars for sale but held back as I really didn't need to be spending money on another collection.

When my godmother died, I helped go through her things and found a tin FULL of buttons. I took it home with me and over the years we've used the buttons for craft projects, school math counting projects, etc. I did have my own button tin.

My work on Cathardigan and other projects has sent me to the store to by buttons but I realized I need to put my buttons with my knitting stuff so I created my own button jar.

A few weeks ago I put my scraps of yarn in a bowl my godmother gave me and I realized that I have a jar that matches so it now holds my buttons. So perfect her buttons in something she gave me.

The big shell button in the bottom of hte photo was from my grandmother's stuff. The gold one with the pearls came from a dress I wore to our rehearsal dinner. Buttons can evoke some great memories.

Back to knitting so I can start using my buttons!

May 1, 2009

Almost Finishing Friday

I know you are looking at this picture and saying "who would that possibly fit?" It's a teeny, tiny tube with tubelet sleeves. However, it IS fitting Miss America and it IS almost done. I might have it done by end of day for Finishing Friday. We'll go ribbon shopping tomorrow...she can't wait to wear it.

Once I'm done I'll put the modifications on Ravelry for my TempTeen or TempTween.

I expected more reaction from my post about this month's Interweave Knits. I don't rant often but it did bother me today when I got an email from Knitting Daily saying the ONE pattern I would make is now free. Frustrating. I do think I'll let my subscription lapse...that was the straw that broke my back.

It is the perfect rainy morning to plug a movie in the DVD player and finish off this project.