Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New bunnies!

Yes, I did!  I went and got some fine looking bunnies!  I actually drove to the Syracuse New York area. There was a rabbit show in Fulton. Both former owners are from the Vermont area, so I was glad that we could rendezvous at the rabbit show. One bunny is a red, the other a fawn agouti. Both are totally delightful... pet me, hold me, pet me! 

On the way back I brought the bunnies into the hotel room with me. I kept them in their cages, but opened up the top, so they could sit comfortably. They settled down right away, eating and drinking and staring at me!  What good bunnies.

I will be getting hutches for them, but until then they will be in the old cages I had. They are in the garage for now, check it out:

This is Floppsie
This is Rosie
Life is good with bunnies back in my life!

Small projects...

After a big project like the last one, I like to shake it up, both in type of knitting and size of the project.
I found some lovely roving on the Fyberspates website. It's wool/silk/nylon/silver. Think socks. I wasn't thinking socks, but the lovely shawl pattern "Aeolian" from the Knitty. The roving was called Sea Mist, a perfect name for the shawl.

Now all 14 oz are spun up; waiting for inspiration before I start knitting...

Here is more knitting candy. A silly little scarf knit with Malabrigo Lace.

Yet more knitting candy.

I like knitting candy. This is a pattern from "Stahman's Shawls & Scarves" called the Walter Seaman's Scarf. This could be a Christmas present...
Lovely yarn candy... the pattern is from the Knitty called Kernal.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Yes, I've been knitting...

It's The Beaded Diamond Shawl by Catherine Devine. The pattern was first published in the magazine Knit 'N Style, December 2006. I was able to purchase a kit from Earthfaire. The yarn is from Schaefer, called Andrea (100% silk) in the Margaret Mead colorway. Like I said in an earlier post, this project starts with a knitted band from which stitches are picked up along the side. So the band turns into the collar (of sorts). The band is continued on as you knit and becomes a border (very clever!). It becomes a 4 - part triangular shawl, with each row getting longer and longer. At first, a row would only take 5 minutes; towards the end, a row would take an hour! There is a bead in the center of each square. I used a crochet hook to put the bead on every 8th row.

This is a close-up of the stitches.

I purchased this fiber from a website in Great Britain called Fyberspates. It was a closeout called, "Sea Mist." It is a merino/silk/nylon/silver blend, I think because of the nylon it is for socks. But I will be using it for the pattern Aolian Shawl by Elizabeth Freeman from The Knitty.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things..."

Good-bye my trusty steed - another symbol of my youth bites it! We haven't used this car, my 1984 Toyota Celica (named Sally) in over 2 years, almost 3. The engine ran fine - she was peppy to the end, but the electrical system was failing and became unreliable. The radio was down to 1 station in AM; the muffler was going; the clutch was almost going...      

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I am done with the steeking!

What I found to be true about steeking was to take your time, and work on it when you are ready. It got easier and easier to cut the yarn - I have to admit! And picking up stitches and knitting the facing was actually a little like sewing facings of fabric garmets. Yes, I have conquered my fear of steeking! Yeaaa!

See how you just start snipping, and then more snipping and then...

And then you have snipped the entire opening. No stitches go anywhere. They all stay put obediently. Smart stitches!

Then slide the sleeve in the opening (the sleeve already had the facing knitted on). All that's left to do is...

Facings are very neat and tidy. They hide all those loose ends.

And like magic, the sleeve is sewn in and ready to go!

That's right, this sweater won first prize at the county fair!
Life is good!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Steeking isn't so bad after all!

Well, I gained some calm from the other projects, and decided how bad could it be to cut the steek? It really wasn't bad at all. In fact, there is actually a certain beauty to it. I did find it to be a bit fiddly, but I don't mind that at all.

First, I crocheted a chain on both sides of the steek. I did look at the Interweave Knits Winter 2006 which had an article about steeking. I did not follow all their directions, but it had a lot of good information for me to follow and feel confident about. It was simply confidence that I was lacking!

I carefully picked up stitches along the edge of my knitting.

See the edge of the crochet stitches on the steek as I picked up the stitches on the edge of the knitting?

Here the stitches have been picked up all along the edge.

This is the underside of the first row of the picked up stitches. See how close to the crochet stitches it is.

Now I have knitted several rows, and have formed a facing of sorts to go over the raw edge and crocheted stitches.

Now the facing has been whip stitched down. I must say it looks so tidy. The facing makes for 3 thicknesses, so the edge is a bit firm, but looks wonderful and firms up the shape of this jacket.  I do still have to do the sleeves, but am taking a break from the fiddly stuff here.

This is called The Beaded Diamond Shawl by Catherine Devine. The construction is quite clever, but the pattern itself could benefit from more words. Like, a better description of the instructions. You knit a border, and then pick up stitches along one of the sides and continue the border on both sides of the shawl. Sounds odd, but it does work. And, yes, there are beads! The beads are placed in the center of each square, every 6 rows... so not too often. They are placed on using a crochet hook, so you have to put your needles down each time. Well, I do anyway.

I used a silk yarn, Andrea by the Shaefer yarn company in the Pearl Buck colorway.

To steek or not to steek!

I have been trying to get to steeking... but instead, I have been knitting other small projects:

This one is called the Sinful Ribbed Scarf by Classic Elite Yarns.

Here is a small scarf knitted with a reversible pattern stitch.

 I used yarn that was made by the seller (unknown) by putting 3 different type strands together, different colors also: angora, mohair and wool; white, light blue and blue.

Another project is for Christmas:
It is called the Birthday Cowl by Nova Seals. I used a yarn by The Unique Sheep House Blend, which I found to be quite scratchy. Even though it was made with alpace, silk and wool, there was so much guard hair left, evidenced by the fact it did not take up any dye. There were many white hairs sticking out of the yarn. I tried to pull them out, but you know, some are always left behind. However, I had plenty of yarn left over after the cowl, and I went on to knit a pair of fingerless mitts, using a smaller needle and reducing the stitch pattern from 11 to 9 stitches.
And then there was still more yarn left, so I went on to knit a cap. Unfortunately, it is a bit small. I mean to find some complimentary yarn and add to the top of the cap.

Then I started another project. This was a pattern called Branching Out by Susan Lawrence, found on the Knitty .

Then, using another pattern from The Knitty called Kernel by Bonnet Sennot, and using the yarn in the colorway called Summer Sky

This is as far as I got because the next row called for beads, and I can't remember where I put the beads! So until I can find them, I am setting this project aside.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I've been busy - check it out!

 I found the perfect buttons for my Gravel Road... well, I suppose that they could be MORE perfect if they were metal. Otherwise, they look great. I went to Field's Fabric store. If you can't find the right button there, well, you just aren't trying! I didn't block this sweater, I like the way it looks now. I wish I made it longer, but what's done is done!

Between big projects I like to knit a smaller project. It's like clearing the palate, before I get going on a long project. In my stash was a 600 yd ball (already wound up into a ball) of a vibrantly dyed corded cotton/acrylic with a thread of sparkle thru it; the color is called Midnight Sky. I purchased this from ebay years ago from one of the big yarn dyers. I am no longer sure which but it could be Over The Rainbow Yarn Store. I used a free pattern, called The Salinas Shawl from the a  brick and mortar yarn store, Woven Art, located in East Lansing. The corded yarn gives the shawl quite a bit of weight, and therefore drape.

I even took care of all the start and stops of this shawl, The Swirl Shawl.


Now I have no more excuses, but to go on and start the steek of my Raumagarn cardy.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Finished project, well, just about!

Yea! My most recent goal was to finish Janet Szabo's Gravel Road from the Twists and Turns Spring 2003 issue by June 1st. Yeaaaa! I just have to get buttons and block it. I was able to purchase the yarn Janet used, Classic Elite's Devon Tweed, from eBay. I started this in 2007, I am a little embarrassed to admit, but life happens. Doing this project has made me realize that I don't enjoy cabling all that much. I used a size 3.5 mm needle, which I like, but the cabling was very hard on my hands. I did a lot of thumb and finger stretches, as well as not to knit when it just plain hurt. I do enjoy the results, though, so I'm a little conflicted!

This is a picture of the tools that were used for the project. Apparently, I am a bit fussy when it comes to what knitting needles are used.  I do like pointy points, though. There should be a toothpick in there. I used it as my cabling tool! It worked great, Of course, it was pointy enough, and the wood was grabby onto the yarn, so I didn't have to fiddle at all.

Next in line project...

My next "must do" item is to finish this Swedish cardy.  It was a kit I purchased from a local brick and mortar yarn shop, The Threadbear, located in Lansing, MI. It is by the Raumagarn yarn company. Arnhild Hillesland had a workshop at the store for it, but I missed it, and purchased the kit anyway. I enjoyed knitting every stitch, and even with all philosophies (and I emailed Arnhild too) about which yarn should be "on top" or carried over, I brought every yarn color change from underneath the last yarn. Yes, the yarn twisted like crazy, but I enjoyed the whole process. This project made me realize how much I like the fairisle knitting: the changing colors always had me wanting to knit the next stitch.  So as you can see, the body and sleeves have been completely knitted up. Now I have to steek. I have let this project sit a bit. I did steek before - it was a Philosopher's sweater, nice fat worsted yarn... but I am choking right now on this. I have told myself that I will get on with it next. 

The wonderful beautiful lovely month of May

My lovely rhodys bloomed so nicely this spring. I really couldn't believe how long they lasted. As for my neighbor's backyard, well, I really can't say. Michigan does spring so nicely. The days get longer and warmer, and everything turns to green and blooms. It's like all the flowers get the same idea, "It's my turn to bloom! And bloom I must!" 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Where have I been?

My mother had out patient surgery in late December 2006. She never recovered. Well, physically she did, but dementia descended. Here she is 5 months later on Mother's Day. My brother (center) and I decided to move her to Michigan so she could be closer to me. We moved her in July 2007. She moved into an assisted living facility which was, for me, on the way home from work. By then she was using a wheelchair. She continued to decline until she passed in November 2008. I needed those last months with her. Now they are gone forever.