Saturday, November 29, 2008

More progress....

The Razor Shell Lace Scarf has been sitting idly by while other projects have caught my eye. It's not that the yarn, Malabrigo Lace - Purple Mistery, isn't a joy to knit with. The pattern is rather simple too. Just two rows and only one of them take any thought. Needle size is a respectable US 8 so not working with really thin yarn on tiny needles.

I think its the speed of progress. A couple hours work and you've only grown maybe four inches or so. I know I need to remember that its lace and this is probably a fairly decent bit of progress.

Today I decided I needed to spend time working on this scarf. I added just over a foot in length with a total of 13.5 inches added. I would have had more length but found that watching "The Orphanage" with William threw my counting off while also trying to knit. I found myself having to tink back I think it was three separate times and doing several rows when I did. After the last one I measured and set aside and decided I would come back to it fresh tomorrow and finish those last eight or so inches or until the yarn runs out (both are close).

ETA: I finished this up on Sunday November 30th just before bed. I'm in the process of blocking it now.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


What I've accomplished since I last posted:

1. Kyle's Fingergless Gloves - with half fingers, pattern from Knit Picks (omitting the finger cover portion)

2. A Spiderman Mitten - regular pattern:
Much too long to fit on a three year old's hand! So I needed to modify them.

3. Corbin's Spiderman Mittens - modified:

4. I was on a roll with the Spiderman thing so took the charts and alternated them for a hat and then used a modified version of the 'Turn a Square' raglan decreases to finish the hat. I think Corbin is going to be a happy little boy:

5. We found out when Aunt Debbie was going to do Thanksgiving dinner, so we planned to go there after my cousin's. I needed another gift, so made another Turkey dish cloth:

Still working on the Baby Love "Logan's Half Blanket" for charity. I've also added a few more rows, no where enough of course on the Razor Shell Scarf.

More gloves/mittens and hats are in store over the next few weeks.

Thanksgiving day was enjoyable visiting with my family in Dundee at my cousin's house and then afterward at Brandon's Aunt Debbie's house. I made a widely well received Candied Apple Pie Cheesecake. Brandon made a croissant style roll with cream cheese and prosciutto and cranberry sauce. The rolls were yummy and enough leftover that we can enjoy them.

I tried to take my next project with me in the car but was running late and didn't fully read the pattern requirements and so forgot the size 3 needles, but had the 4s. I hope to start them in the morning.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One step forward, two back

We drew Brandon's cousin, Kyle, as our person(s) for the family gift exchange this year. So I started Jared Flood's Turn a Square hat and used some leftover Lion Brand Wool-Ease and some leftover Nashua CreativeFocus. Actually both are leftovers from other hats that I've done. The hat pattern was fun to have a set repeat to follow for doing the striping and using the jogless join was a fun trick to learn too. Otherwise it's just a basic hat with raglan decreases. Kyle's hat from the top, with Brandon modeling for me. One shot is really dark then the batteries died so I haven't gotten Brandon to model again for me:

A trip through Jo-Ann's netted me a deal on more Wool-Ease for making Corbin's Spiderman mittens. Just the right red and blue and an extra navy blue to use with the leftovers to make some nephew hats. I tried starting the mittens yesterday and was diligently following the directions when I realized that there must be a mistake in how I'm reading them, but then going back to look a the two that are done I'm not sure....I frogged before checking. I think the floats of the black were a little tight the first few rows anyway and need to make sure that the next start is better about that.

Same trip to Jo-Ann's also had a trip into The Knitting Bee where I picked up three skeins of Berroco Pure Merino to use on Kyle's Fingerless gloves. Squishy soft yarn! Great deal too since it was the yarn of the month and I got 15% off. I had made it through a good portion of the thumb gusset when I looked at how big the hand is becoming. I tried it on and it seemed too loose. This meant I had to set it aside until I could have Brandon try it on as a size check. I was following the XL directions using the correct needle sizes. So I'll be frogging back that glove too.

Before I had started the mittens I started another Baby Love Blanket called 'Logan's Half Blanket'. The pattern calls for a chunky on US10, I'm using the DK I have and using US7s and I'm doing the 'larger' sized version. That thankfully is coming along fine so far and I'll take it again to public knitting today at Insomnia.

Have not yet started a batch of soap. I'm not sure why. I did get Brandon to take all supplies down off the top shelf of the pantry so that I could get started. Rediscovered that I had a full container of olive oil up there. Sigh. Not a problem! Means more castile soaps or ones with olive oil when I get them started.

Took the previously finished Baby Love Log Cabin Baby Blanket to Haggen's last night, but missed that Bobbie wasn't going to be there. Did have fun chatting with Susan and Gail, then Jeanette. Had not seen Jeanette for a while since she's busy taking classes Thursday afternoons to become a Civil Engineer when she grows up. I got to take a look and give Susan an idea for a name for one of her dyed sock yarns. She's doing a variety of dye experiments for future lines. An enjoyable couple of hours knitting and chatting!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Deadlines - they sneak up on you

I fell into some knitting and forgot to climb out. ;^)

First off to put myself into the holiday frame of mind I made what was supposed to be a 'two hour Santa hat'. I must be slow. Brandon also made a request for more brim:
It used up some long ago stashed Lion Brand Chenille that I'd used part of to make a Speed Stix Scarf for his mom a couple years ago.

I whipped out a couple of Thanksgiving themed dishcloths. One to have as a hostess gift to the cousin and his wife that are doing Thanksgiving for the tribe for the first time this year. They live in Dundee so a much shorter drive than the usual trip down to Corvallis. My Aunt Zoe isn't doing to well with her cancer. I thought the pattern went so well for the first one that I'd use the excess for one for myself:

Put more effort into stashbusting by using the Baby Homespun on a baby blanket for the Baby Love Blanket Drive. I found a free copy of the 'Moderne Baby Blanket' in the Mason-Dixon book online and used that as a guide. It successfully used up the white, yellow, green and purple that I had available. Unfortunately it wasn't a lot and was coming out smaller than their preferred sizes. I tried to make it bigger by adding on a crocheted border also using up some more Lion Brand Jiffy and ended up with a blanket that is 21x30 inches. I'll still give it but it's small:
I'm glad to have this project done because working with the yarn hurt my hands and wrists. I'll give it to Bobbie for drop off on Wednesday. I have some nice soft Cascade Cherub for another Baby Love Blanket, if I can squeeze the time in to make it.

To give my hands a rest I thought I'd work on some nice soft cotton and so made a couple of very soft face cloths that will be part of William's Christmas gifts, Squidge and Square Textures:

Next up was the Brain Monster Hat for Corbin but Brandon didn't think it would be as popular as something with Spiderman. So the hat will go to the next younger male nephew, Logan:
Smokey the Bear, an antique, models the hat for me. He was a bear that was heavily loved when my sister and I were kids that we got from my mom.

Brandon thought the plastic googly eyes weren't as cool as knitted ones would be. So I had to go find a pattern on how to knit eyeballs. I modified one I found for making ball shaped eyes and I think the dimensionality adds to the hat.

I have a lovely Excel spreadsheet that has all the people on our list that we have to give to and the proposed ideas I had for knitted items. This last week after looking what I had on the list and the number of people, number of items, and the days remaining until we see them for gift exchanging, lots of adjustments were made. I double checked finished items I have stocked up, what still needed to be done and then all the things I wanted to also do and made cuts. I think I have a realistic schedule but I also have two weekends that have classes that I need to attend before the end of the year cutting into knitting time. Throw in a need to get some baking done and things may become really interesting.

I thought I was doing really well with getting all the things done that I had gotten done last month. Now I'm feeling the pressure. Anyone else with this problem?

Trying out infusing lavender from the yard into olive oil. I simmered it for most of a day this last week and have strained out the lavender. Tomorrow the plan is to get a batch of lavender Castile soap made. A couple other soap recipes may also be made but I haven't settled on which ones yet. The Castile soap needs six weeks of cure time so I'll probably look for others that don't need as long so as not to run into issues with gift giving.

ETA: Forgot that last weekend I spent time spinning and came up with this:
It's the merino/tencel 70/30 I got from Woodland Woolworks. I'm currently calling it Purpleberry.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

October Wrap-Up

Looking back over all the knit items that were done in October, it was a highly successful month! Throw in a few yarns, a niddy-noddy, and a t-shirt and it was busy. I have an October projects album here for viewing.

Here's my Malabrigo October projects that are complete: 2 pairs of fingerless gloves, teddy bear hat, teddy bear sweater, Tudora, Celtic Cable Neckwarmer, Martian Scarf, Lace Cowl: I'm still working on the Razor Shell Lace Scarf. The Tudora and Celtic Cable Neckwarmer are nice, but not on my shorter neck and no appropriate jacket to showcase them with. ;^)

The t-shirt was Corbin's (guess who he's named after!) birthday present. I came up with the idea and bought the items. Brandon freehanded the design onto the shirt. His first time with fabric paints so a few paint smears, but 3 years olds don't care:

William's Where's Waldo outfit came out well we think too:

Brandon had fun decorating the house for Halloween. Today, it all comes down since we didn't get out yesterday at all.

The leaves seem to be turning color faster now and falling too. The wind and rain we've had over the last few days have helped I'm sure. I collected a few color samples from the backyard:

November looks to be busy with further knitting and craft projects in preparation for holiday giving. I really need to get down to the Cash n Carry to see if I can get some inexpensive olive oil for soap making. I'd really like to put the handmade soaps in the gift baskets too this year, plus we all miss having them around for our use. I have some yellow mustard seed on order with New Seasons, so homemade mustard will be made. No jams, jellies, or salsas in the gift baskets, definitely need to do those next summer! I think I'm also going to follow along with the Yarn Harlot and make a day for spinning. Friday I think would be nice.