Monday, April 30, 2007

SP10 strikes again!

I got home today to find my Secret pal sent me a box! Yeah and still 3 days till my birthday! Inside was this book of sock patterns (20 in all) all of the patterns were made from hand spun yarns. Very nice, in fact I think my spoilee might like this book as well. I will have to see if I can locate her one. is that cheating? I think I might try one of the patterns in the yarn my pal sent me. There was also a bag of Trader Jacks Apple Chips. Take my word for it they are yummy. Thank You Secret Pal. you made my day.

In other news... I am going to New York City! The boss is sending me to a dealer training for 3 days in June. I should have some time for a yarn buying adventure.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Draw String Gift Bag pattern sort of...

So I sat down to write the pattern up for this bag and came to realise pattern writing is harder that I thought. I sort of made it up as I went along.So I will give it my best shot.
Note:I would think that you could make this bag out of any weight yarn and any size needle. Just check your gauge and use the number of stitches needed to get the size you want.

Here is what I did for the purple bag
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Merino Wool fingering weight
color: Purple Urple by: yours truly
needle: US size 2 16" circ also from Knit Picks
Bag is knit in all SS except 1 round
Measurements: When laid flat 9" h x 7" w

I cast on about 120 stitches. Join ,( careful not to twist) and knit one round
Purl one round This makes a nice little edge to the top. I left this step out of the Redwood bag. If you want the top to curl up about 3/4" skip the purl round
Knit every round for about 1 1/2" ( or longer if you skipped the purl)
Eyelet round: I did knit4 YO K2TOG around. The YO K2Tog makes a small hole. the key here is to come out with an even number of eyelets. This is where you will thread your drawstring later.
After the eyelet round knit 3 rounds.
I wanted a round bag so increased about 12 stitches in the next round. I did knit 9 knit through front and back loop, however I think a make one might work better.
After the increase round work 1 round and then increase about 10-12 stitches on the next round.
This gives the bag a little fullness under the closure.
After the 2 increase rounds I knit every round for about 7". then I count my stitches and divide by 5. lets say I have 150 snitches
place marker every 25 stitches. Now we decrease for the bottom of the bag.
Round 1 Knit to 3 stitches before marker K2TOG knit1 slip marker k1 SSK around
Round 2 Knit
Repeat these 2 rows until there are 14 stitches left between markers I used DPN's from here to the end.
at this point I decrease every round so the bottom will be flat. Gather the last 10 stitches and weave in the ends. This is the same as if you were knitting the top a hat.
I used a piece of 1/4" ribbon for a drawstring. I think an I-cord or something else would be just as nice.
Not the best pattern ever written but there you go. I would welcome any suggestions for improvements or corrections.
I plan to try the same idea with worsted weight yarn and fewer stitches. this should make a chunkier bag...maybe I will felt one...
Anyway I hope this helps. if you make one send me a picture, I would love to see...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I have the best Hubby ever!

Hubby took me out tonight for my birthday! We went out to one of our favorite places to eat and stuffed ourselves on pasta and then to see Billy Joel!!! It was great. He played all of my faves... including The Entertainer and Captain Jack. Boy Billy was on tonight! he played great and is a really funny guy. The highlights for me were the above numbers as well as We Didn't Start the Fire and New York State of Mind. Also of note was Angry Young Man which he did not play in concert for ever.
Hubby knew I had always wanted to see him so he got the tix as an early birthday gift...and he got me a tee shirt and he is driving the babysitter home. I love that guy!

Friday, April 27, 2007

A few notes on the EZ books

Elizabeth Zimmerman was a pretty funny gal.
I got Knitters Workshop which does have the Baby Surprise Jacket. The pattern looks so interesting. I can't wait to try it...the whole thing is knit flat and then folded. How she figured that out is beyond me. I am thinking I will knit the Rib Warmer first.It is also knit flat in all garter stitch (EZ is not a fan of the purl) looks pretty easy, sewing up will be the toughest part. What I love about her writing is stuff like this "continue in K2,P2 until you are sick of it..."

She is a big fan of knitting in the round and gives many patterns for seamless sweaters. In the sweater section we also learn about her percentage system. I will not go in to detail but it tells you how many stitches to use for sleeves, neck,etc based on you gauge and size needed. I am sure there are knitters who already know all about this but it is all new to me. Everything I need to design my own sweater pattern is in the book. I feel like if I just do what she says it will come out well.

I also got her first 2 books
Knitting without Tears and Knitters Almanac. At first glance almost every pattern seem doable. With each pattern she writes about the knitting of the pattern and tells wonderful stories about her adventures with her Gaffer (husband). They lived in an old schoolhouse in the north woods of WI. I love it up there and she did too.
I am sure there are a million book reviews for her out there so I will not go on and on, but I will say reading her books is like learning to knit with my Great Aunt when I was little... funny, warm and no pressure. GA never pushed me to hard but she never gave up either. I bet EZ was the same.

I would recommend EZ as reading for all knitters...Her writing celebrates our art and its heritage while encouraging the knitter to make it their own and enjoy the process and much as the finished item.
I know this will seem strange but this is the very reason I love doing Theatre... the process is often just as rewarding (if not more so) as the end result. I guess you could say Theatre is my team art and knitting is my solo art. I am sure this is why I have taken to dying my own draws out the process and adds another creative element to it.

OK that was a little deep and just a bit cornball...
I hope to post the pattern later today MB just dumped a whole bottle of water on the floor...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Note to self and what is coming

So I am going to send my famous mint toffee cookies in to the Mrs Fields cookie contest. I have it all written up and I will test bake this weekend with MG. I will need a test baker to make sure I got it right so Mom and Lynn watch your email.

On the draw string bag... both of my readers have said I should write up the pattern. I have done it and will post it when the MK's are sleeping.

and to my SP10 thanks for reading and commenting. I am new to blogging and it cheers me up to know there is someone out there:) I am also having a great time being a SP. my upstream pal is really fun to spoil.

Oh I got the books I ordered 4 weeks ago. 3 by Elizabeth Zimmermen. More on EZ later... I love her. I feel like a real knitter now.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

One sock Two Sock

So here is the teal sock. The directions I used to graft the toe did not work out well. gonna have to see if I can find some pictures to see where I went wrong. I did it last night while the MK's were running around. Silly Mommy, never try to learn a new skill while the MK's are awake!. On the right we have my new sock. this is the super wash yarn I dyed last weekend. See the stripes? I meant to do that. I need a name for the color, it sort of reminds me of where I grew up. We had 2 big pine trees in the backyard and a big Oak(I think) in the front. I am not crazy about the flecks of white but maybe it will grow on me. I was going to knit the Campfire socks pattern but I did not have the right dpn's so I am knitting the same sock as before. Should have the toe thing figured out by the time I get to it, If I don't I 'll go to the LYS. there is a very nice lady there that can knit anything.

In other knitting news, Hubbys hat has been frogged, let us not speak of it...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Two More FO's

So here is the babysitters bag and the Purple urple. They came out just as I hoped. A small drawstring gift bag. Each will be filled with goodies and given this week. The purple is really purple not blue as the photo shows.
I really like the Redwood one. you can't tell from the photos but the colors spiral around the bag changing as they go. both are sock yarn and very soft.
The spa goodies are all ready inside!
I think I may have to knit a few more of these...

I cast on for hubbys We call em Pirates hat. not sure of the gauge yet... we shall see. I love color work projects so this will be fun. the plan is to finish the sock tomorrow and then start the campfire socks.

Note to family. The MK's and I will update their page this weekend

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Not one but 2 FO's

Here is the neck warmer and hat I knit up with some hand dyed yarn. I really like the hat. I didn't follow a pattern and the fit is great. Yea me! Blogger is acting weird so I don't know if the pic will show up. I will try to repost tommrow.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

So the MK's are with the mil till noon today. they have been gone since Friday night so here is what I did this weekend: I slept until my body decided all but it self it was time to get up! I don't do that very often so this was a treat. 8:30 2 days in a row. Hubby had to work Saturday so:

I did this (and I knit many inches on the purple urple bag. only 2" to go before I decrease for the bottom.)

The color in the pic is close. the green is a little darker, more like trees in the late summer. I ran out of the string I tie skeins with so I used some cotton yarn. Won't do that again, I ended up with some Tie dyed spots. I did this one for me. I have a sock pattern in mind for it. If memory serves the pattern is called campfire socks. I am thinking these will be my next socks. The yarn is from KnitPicks. it is superwash wool so I can wash the socks! The price is right too $5.99 for the yarn and about $1.00 worth of dye and vinegar. add that to a free pattern and I've got me a $6.99 pair of hand knit socks! now I just have to knit them.

in other knitting news The hand dye neck warmer is done and a matching hat is close. I do hope the giftee likes them. I will have to wait a while to find out as they will not be sent till Christmas. Yeah one down.

The sock is almost done. a few more decrease rows and I will have to graft the toe. I did find instructions so we will see. I have to get the purple bag done because my friend is moving in 2 weeks. only 2 hours away and all but she is leaving the company, a little going away gift is always good.

The Irish Hiking Scarf goes on here and there. I have quite a while before I will need it.

In other weekend activites, Hubby and I went out to dinner and had nice alone time at home. a very nice time indeed...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Some body really likes me...

Look what I got in the mail today!My Secret Pal sent me a box. I was a little worried when I saw it because it look like the FedEx guy sat on it but all was well within. Check it out.
I got a cute little Easter Basket with an egg that will grow into flowers. MG will love this, there are some Dove eggs. um some may have not made the pic. a set of size one bamboo DPN's, the little curly things to keep my DPN's together and the must beautiful sock yarn I have ever owned. I left it upstairs but I believe it is Artyarn in shades of red. My fave! I was stunned by its beauty! I am in love! The color in the group shot is closest but let me tell ya it is gorgeous. I spent a few minutes just petting it.I am going to knit one pair of practice socks and then these babies will become socks for me. I am not sure what kind yet but I want them to be perfect. Selfish I know but the yarn was given to me so...
Thank You so much to my SP10! I hope you are being well spoiled by someone.
I have also sent a box to my spoliee. I do hope she likes it. This exchange has been fun. I really tried to pick things I think she will like. And I loved everything I sent. What fun! I am always stunned by just how wonderful people can be to people they have never met. I can not wait to "meet" my pal. I hope she gets as good as she gave...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Purple Urple

So here is my first hand dyed sock yarn. The yarn is 100% merino wool from Knit Picks. I was going for all purple but the dye seemed to crack in the pot and I got this beauty. I wish you could see the range of colors, from pale violet to bright indigo. This pretty will become a little bag for a friend who is having a baby. I dyed the yarn with her in mind. She does not want baby stuff as she has tons from her first 3 kids. so I am putting together a Moms luxury bag for her to take to the birth.

In other knitting news:

I just finished a little bag for my babysitter. her hubby got a great new job but it is in Cleavland Ohio. MB will miss her and his little buddy Trenton. We have a new sitter but we will miss Tina. I will post a pic of the bag after I have given it. I designed it myself and am quite proud of it.

The sock goes on. I am working on the foot. 2 more inches to go before the toe shaping and then grafting the toe. I can do that, right?

Oh and I started my holiday knitting. I know it is early but this is a quick knit. I am almost done with a neck warmer in hand dyed yarn. I will not say for who but this is an other one of my custom dye jobs. can't say for who but I am pretty sure they don't read the blog. FO pic and pattern info to come with the babysitter bag.

Had a note from my SP10 today. she sent me a box. can't wait...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The sock

Yarn: Koigu KPM in teal

Needle: Knit Picks size 3

So here is the sock. I have turned the heel and picked up the stitches for the gusset. I see one little hole where I picked up the wrong stitch. I left it. The Koigu yarn is wonderful. I am thinking I may use the other ball I have to make Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mits.

I will need to get a 2nd color...

I love the sock and will finish it. I do not think I will knit its mate because the idea of hand wash only socks is a bit much. I will keep it and love it. I have some sock yarn to dye and then I am going to make a pair of socks...2 that match!