Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May roundup

1 pair of baby tights and a new pattern!

2 pairs of adult socks for the M4A sock challenge.

Evelyn's no-sew baby blankie--just because!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sweater start

I've started a hoodie for one of next year's grads. The yarn just stared at me and stared and me until I gave in. I took it to today's soccer game, but it was too hot to knit.

It's one strand black and one strand blue knitted together using my standard Knitting Pure and Simple hoodie pattern. I had to up in needle sizes 2 times to a size 10.5 to find something that didn't hurt my hands.

This should be a nice, warm sweater.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


For the past week, I've been obsessed with making Evelyn's no-sew blankie from the summer Knitty. I started it last Friday evening and worked on it at every possible moment.

It's knitted section by section, each one reminding me of a washcloth pattern.

This corner section was fun, it did a 2 stitch decrease in the middle, and joined to the rest at one edge, all at the same time.

The sections are worked around in a rectangle, with the middle to do last. That's the only part that required dpns, the rest worked fine on circs.

The yarn was never cut until the middle was done. I used 5 skeins of Filatura Lanarota Fashion Tweed that I had gotten at Smileys. I used size 9 needles like it called for, which makes a nice, soft blankie.

This picture shows the most accurate color:

It called for a i-cord edge, but since it was a bit small, I decided to make a garter st border, knitting until I used up exactly 1/2 the yarn. Can you tell that I'm planning on making another one?

I finished this on Weds. evening, so that means it took 6 days--not too bad.

There's no plan for this blankie yet, but it's nice to have something in reserve--you never know when a new one will pop up!

Friday, May 13, 2011

2 more pairs

The Spring Socks are finished!

2 skeins of Filatura Lanarota Fashion Toes which is 90% Superwash Merino and 10% Nylon. Size 1 dpns, 60 sts. Pattern as written.

I really enjoyed this pattern. There are 37 rows for the chart and the rest is plain knitting. The toe is a bit different, too. It makes a more rounded top that I think I'll have to try again.

In between doing the Spring socks, I also finished a pair of plain socks!

These are also Filatura Lanarota Fashion Toes from Smileys, 60 sts, size 2 dpns. The yarn is a bit thicker sock yarn and worked up well on size 2 needles.

Believe it or not, I now don't have any socks on the needles. I'm going to have to cast on a pair soon--there's a lot of sporting events this week!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spring Sock

During the times that I'm not buying yarn, I've been knitting. These are the current bi-monthly selection from 6SoxKAL called Spring Socks.

They're my type of socks--detail on the top, plain st st on the bottom. I'm using the sock yarn from Smileys, so at least I'm putting it to good use.

In other news, we have our summer visitor at our house. DD#1 is starting her crazy work schedule in Ocean City so her dog Lucy came to visit. (That's DD#2 with Lucy.) Lucy is a very sweet dog and is a lot of fun to have around. (Now if only she could be trained to pick up after herself. Those rolling tumbleweeds of dog fur are just everywhere.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The problem with the pentagons

The last time you saw my pentagon pullover, it was April 11th and I had just perfectly cast on 100 stitches.

Since then, a back and a front were knitted.

I discovered that my knit and my purl gauges were different. I've heard that other people have that problem, but this is the first time I've seen evidence of it for myself. I'm going to ignore that issue, though, and hope that it will look more even after a good blocking.

The pattern, Swirled Pentagon Pullover by Norah Gaughan, gave two options for the bodice. The pentagon yoke could be knit separately and sewed on, or it could be knitted on as you go. I picked the later.

Once I finished the first one, I started the second.

I don't know why. Obviously that point on the first one had to go, and since it's cotton, I figured that blocking wouldn't do the job.

At this point I put in in timeout as I pondered what to do.

I checked out Ravelry for awhile and looked at other pentagon sweaters. Finally I found one that gave good advice. She pointed back to Grumperina who had made the same sweater and had the same problem. It turns out that there are measurements in the pattern for the size of the pentagons and mine are way too big!

I thought it was odd that the body was knitted on 8s, while the pentagons are on 9s, but I just forged ahead, thinking the pattern knew what it was talking about. It must be wrong, at least it's wrong for me. My pentagons are almost an inch bigger than they should be.

Before I redo the yoke, I think I'm going to sew the back and front together to make sure it fits before I proceed.

Until then, it remains in timeout.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

MDSW 2011

Today marked the sixth year that I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. For five of those years, DD#2 has accompanied me.  This year we almost didn't go. I didn't need any yarn. But DD#2 put on a pouty face when told that I'd like to stay home this year. "But it's so much fun to look at the pretty things and to pick out something for you!"

So we went.

And had a lot of fun.

We took just a few pictures, and nothing seems to show yarn. We'll have to work on that for next year.

We took our yearly picture of the alpacas (and a misc. guy in the background):

This is what the parking looked like, going up over the hill:

This is where we parked, looking down onto the festival grounds:

Not too bad! (I know, I got 2 pictures of the parking lot and none of the many, many stalls of yarn and roving and.. and...)

The crowds were as bad as always, but we tried to avoid them the best we could.

This is a sheep that was taking part in a sheep shearing demonstration. Apparently this sheep didn't like to walk, so it left the barn early so it would get there on time. It would walk about 5 steps and then stop. About 5 minutes later it would go another 5 steps. We never saw the demonstration--this must've been a reeeeeally slow sheep.

We also bought stuff! Even though I didn't need any more yarn, I couldn't resist.

This is Socks that Rock, sold in The Fold booth. In the afternoon the crowds had actually thinned out enough that I could get in and out of the booth fairly easily. The colorway is "Deck the Halls" and was one of my goals of the day, to find a pink skein of sock yarn.

Miss Babs was another crowded booth of the day. I didn't fight my way in, but I did find these skeins of worsted yarn out in front. They are unbelievably soft.

My ball winder was broken (due to a fall, not overuse), so I bought a new one, plus some grapefruit scented Eucalan at Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm. The first year I went I got a skein of purple yarn from Ellen and have tried to buy something from her booth every year since.

As I was checking out, I found this needle gauge pendant! Exactly what I've been wanting!

Here's some Roving from Pucker Brush Farm. I'm trying out some more since I liked last year's roving so much.

And finally, some sock yarn from Persimmon Tree Farm that is already being knit into a scarf! It's called Piggle Toes SW. I'm not sure if that's the colorway or the brand, but either way it's pretty!

We also got a spoon handle ring for DD#2, some vases as a gift, and a funnel cake! All in all, a good day, and we got home in time for a nap.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Um....I might have bought some yarn...

I've been on a yarn buying frenzy lately. I'm pretty good about avoiding pricey yarn (except MDSW, and then it all goes out the window.) Sales are my downfall. Although, is it really a downfall when I'm buying a finite amount of yarn, most to be used for charity knitting, and I'm getting a good deal for it? I think not.

Whenever I get the itch to buy a skein or two, I like to check out eBay for some deals. I pick a yarn that's listed cheaply, make a bid that's not very high, and then don't re-bid in hopes that no one bids against me. Every now and then something slips by unnoticed by others and I get a good deal.

Like this sock yarn:

Two separate wins provided me with yarn for less than $6 per pair (including shipping. That's my limit. Hard to find, but exciting when I find it.) Four skeins of Patons Kroy sock yarn are on the left in varying colors of blue and green. Perfect for subtle striping. On the right are two skeins of Lang Jawoll Color, each enough for a pair.

Next, there was this incredible Elann sale on Naturally Alpine. Check it out, there's still some left! Each skein of worsted weight yarn is 364 yards and $4.79. I got enough for four sweaters in charcoal(or black? I can't remember), navy, loden, and red. (at least, I hope I got enough. I have this nagging feeling that I should have bought 1 more skein of each color, but isn't that always the case?)

Then, we made a trip to New York. At this point I didn't need any more yarn. And I told my husband so. But then, as we were driving around, he asked me, "Are you sure you don't want to go to Smiley's? It's just around the corner." I ask you, what would you do?

So I caved, jumped out of the car, and I shopped.

This is Filatura Lanarota Fashion Tweed, enough for a baby afghan. Not that I know anyone pregnant, I just want to make an afghan.

This is 6 skeins of Filatura Lanarota Fashion Toes, enough for 3 pairs of socks.

And that's it. No more yarn buying for awhile. (Okay, let's make that no more yarn buying after MDSW, since I already know what happened there.)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

M4A box

I'm mailing my latest box for Mittens for Akkol. You've seen all of these before, but here they are altogether.

For the grads, there are 5 pairs of adult socks:

Two adult sweaters (in the never ending red and black and black and red):

Two balaclavas, one made by me, and one finished by me but started by another. (She took on an extra sweater, so I perfectly fine with finishing a hat. It was past the opening and everything.) Interesting how our gauges differ, isn't it?

Also, I have a small set of items for the baby house: one pair of baby tights and 3 pairs of socks.

The biggest chore? Squeezing them all into one box.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Baby Tights pattern

Time has passed, slowly but surely, and I have finally finished the baby tights pattern. And I have called it....

Wait for it....

Baby Tights.

Because that's pretty self-explanatory, isn't it?

I had some testers knitting it and testing it on their babies. Then the tweeking began. Other than a lot of typos, there was a left-handed/right-handed error. Also, I moved the sizes around so the hips and the legs would fit the same-sized baby. This actually added another size, so the pattern ranges from NB to XXL.

There are 3 waistband options in case you don't like the elastic one that's pictured. The feet have garter stitch heels and toes, which are easy to do without having to "pick up the wrap" on the short row heel.

It's listed on Ravelry at this link in case you're interested in taking a closer look.

I wrote this pattern to be able to make tights out of worsted weight yarn and send them to Kazakhstan to the baby house. This pair will be on its way soon, and hopefully they will request more!