August 31, 2009

Time to Hit The Books

Today is the first day of school for our kiddos and we all are going to be hitting the books.

Upon my return from summer vacation, a box awaited me with 3 new books I ordered from Knit Picks when they were having their book sale.

First is Sweater 101 by Cheryl Brunette...Kimberly recommended this one as she uses it to help write her patterns. Having seen her work and her patterns, I knew I had to add this to my collection.

Next is Vogue Knitting Stitchionary which has knit and purl stitch patterns. I only have one very old book of stitch patterns and the photos are marginal at best. This book is just gorgeous.

Last is Lace and Eyelets - a Harmony Guide by Erika Knight. I figured this gave me a good balance with the knit and purl book.
So, now I have to hit the books. Miss America sketched a sweater last fall and I have yet to make it for her. I secretly wish I could design patterns...I think I can, I think I can.

August 28, 2009

Lots of good things

So many good little things to share with you. I was knitting up my Twisted V Pullover and realized I had not ordered enough of the Knit Picks Merino Style. I ordered this yarn ages ago in April or May but I took a chance and called them. I told them the dyelot and asked if they were still pulling from that one...miracle of miracles they were so I quickly ordered 3 more skeins.

Then, with this yucky Hurricane Danny weather system, I decided to finish my Annikki. The button bands were a quandry and I didn't know how to attach them as the directions were vague. So, I went onto the Norah Gaughan Fans group on Ravelry and Norah herself answered my question with this: "I would seam the outside edge of the button band to the front first, using mattress stitch then fold and sew the inside edge down to the seam with an easy and quick whip stitch." To think the master herself responded to my question and to think that it was the perfect solution!

I finished seaming Annikki and now it is resting after a bath...I hope to model it soon after I hit the button store next week.

Lastly, I blocked my Wisp and it is even more beautiful...photographs don't do it justice. I decided against the buttons it calls is simply perfect the way it is. I'll take better pictures when I wear it for real...this was a mirror self portrait.

August 26, 2009

What a difference!

I'm always amazed at the magic of blocking. This pattern really opened up and became more defined. I moved from liking it to loving it.

The yarn, Saphira by Southwest Trading Company" is not one of my favorites. I loved the colorway but it had lots of knots in it and caused problems with the color transitions. As you can see at the bottom of the scarf, I cast on and it was light blue and then there was a knot and it went right to dark blue. It looked interesting so I left it and replicated the effect at the end of the scarf.

Now, for the pattern...I have to learn how to do a PDF file and put a button on my side bar. For now here it is:

Saphira Scarf
Yarn: 2 Skeins of Saphira by Southwest Trading Company or any other bulky yarn (2.5 stitches to the inch and approximately 275 yards)
Needles: Size 11 or size to get gauge

The stitch pattern came from one of Barbara Walker’s Treasury books…it is called Open Star Stitch.

Cast on 25 Stitches

K 4 rows in garter stitch
Row 1 (WS) - K2 edge stitches, K2, * yo, K3 then pass the 1st of the knit stitches over the other 2 as in a psso, rep from*, end K1, K2 edge stitches
Row 2 - knit all including yo’s
Row 3 - K2 edge stitches, K1, * K3 then psso the 2 stitches as before, yo, repeat from*, end K2, K2 edge stitches
Row 4 - Knit all stitches including yo’s

Repeat Rows 1-4 and when scarf is right length (and you have enough yarn for 4 rows of garter stitch) end with Row 4 of pattern.
K 4 rows in garter stitch.
Bind off loosely.

Block aggressively as it really opens up the star pattern.  Weave in ends.

August 23, 2009

Pretty and Quick

My knitting sister gave me some yarn called Saphira by Southwest Trading Company. It is bulky and slightly variegated so I decided a good textured stitch would work.

Here is how it was looking yesterday and I have since finished it. I think once it is blocked the interested stitches will open up and it will be more lacy in effect.

When I have a chance the stitch pattern will be on my Ravelry project page.

Now it is time to finish seaming my Annikki. I'm really dragging my feet on that one.

August 19, 2009

You can never have enough....

Knitting bags!

I found this one at a little "Christmas Boutique" that was held locally yesterday. It was half price which made it even more attractive - it came to $15.

It has a good stable bottom so it doesn't tip over, not enough pockets inside but the zipper pocket on the outside is perfect.

I've started a new project with the help of Kimberly (I almost typed "my friend Kimberly" but by now you know she is my friend). We consulted with one of Barbara Walkers Treasury books that she has and found a lovely stitch...I haven't photographed it yet but will do so soon. I'm enjoying the stitch pattern and I am using my new bag to tote it around.

August 17, 2009

Words Don't Do It Justice

When my friend Kimberly went to the CGOA meetings in Buffalo, I asked that she pick up some little fiber treat for me. She gladly agreed knowing how wonderful it is to share fiber.

Upon her return she asked asked me to close my eyes and put the softest little ball of yarn in my hands. I kept my eyes closed and stroked it and smelled it (yes I smell yarn). When I opened my eyes this was what rest in my hands - Qiviuk.

I had never heard of Qiviuk before. It comes from the underbelly of the Canadian Arctic Muskox. Who would have thought something that looks like this could create something so sinfully soft and luxurious.

This is a better representation of the color. When Kimberly gave me this ball of delight I was inside and when I took it outside on my way home she heard a whole new squeal of happiness at the color and it's beauty. Photos don't do it justice either.

So what does one do with a cherished object? Put it on the mantle of course. It has sat there for days and I often walk over and pick it up and savor its softness.

Now the question is...what to make with it. It has to be perfect. Thank you Kimberly! What a special treat from a special friend.

August 12, 2009

What is your favorite knitting book?

Okay, so Knit Picks is having a sale right now on books. I've been looking at a few and have toggled back and forth between Knit Picks and Ravelry to see what kinds of patterns are in each book.

Before I buy anything, I thought I'd ask you all what books are among your favorites...any thoughts? I'm open to any suggestions from pattern books to stitchionary type books to reference guides.

I just hate when you buy a book and only like one or two patterns in it. In the past I've had some really wonderful picks which have had several winner patterns - Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard and Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel are highest on my list. If I had to pick one of those two I'd vote for Custom Knits.

So, let me know what you think!

August 10, 2009

I'm so lame

I can't even post on my blog! I'm sorry. I just realized it's been 8 days since my last post...but I don't really have much to say.

This summer I'm volunteering at the club we belong to during the summer. It's where the kids play tennis and I'm heading up the tennis program. This "job" is time consuming and totally thankless. I'm organized which helps but it is the curve balls of rain in the morning when you have 2 tournaments being played that day which makes life difficult. I'm also learning that there are complainers in life - people who just never are happy and all they can do is complain. I should just attend the tournaments with some duct tape to put over their mouths.

The upside is that while I'm watching tennis, I can knit. I've started the Twisted V Pullover and am on the endless ribbing. What was I thinking? Mindless knitting but DULL. I know it will get interesting when the ribbing starts patterning.

Tomorrow night our summer Stitch & Bitch is at my house. I'm planning on taking pictures of everyone's work and I'll post that.

So that's it for is going to be hot as blazes today and I'm not doing anything tennis...I'm just going to the beach.

August 2, 2009

Not the Best with Shorts and a T-Shirt

Here it is - un-blocked and un-buttoned. It doesn't look that great with a pair of shorts on but I was not going to put on a pair of pants in the heat of the day. I quickly took the sweater off right after the photos were taken - it is a VERY warm sweater.

Presenting my Tilted Duster - used the recommended Peruvia and even had some yarn leftover. When I got to the skirt and the collar I ended up casting on the number of stitches for the next size down...just how it fit better than the recommended stitches for the size I was making.

I'm looking forward to this being a staple in my wardrobe.

August 1, 2009

Doesn't It Drive You Crazy

When you start a new project, join it in the round, start to get the pattern established with a twisted rib and THEN you realize 75 stitches back you did two knit stitches in a row instead of a K1P1? Tinking doesn't work as you lose the loose frog I did...186 stitches.

Sometimes I get so disgusted I have to walk away...writing about it helps a bit. Time to pull up my socks and cast-on again.

P.S. Finished my Tilted Duster...will get Miss America to take a picture later but be forewarned it will be unblocked and unbottoned.