Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

I love autumn!

Hey there!  If you haven’t seen this on my last few posts, this  is cross-posted on my NEW website and blog! I’ll cross-post for a few more times but please visit me over there and subscribe to my new blog so you can continue to find me!


What’s not to love? The cool weather, pumpkin pie and leaves changing color are all wonderful but what I also love are all the sweaters! Everywhere I go I see fabulous knitwear that makes my closet seem boring. Okay, my closet’s not too boring but I can’t stop coveting other people’s sweaters, hats and scarves. I sit in church and focus my attention on the backs of people’s sweaters. I have been known to follow shoppers a little too closely at the supermarket because I was trying to burn a stitch pattern into my eyeballs so I’d remember when I got home. It never works, by the way. I only remember that there was something that I loved. So far I’ve never been bold enough to snap a picture but one of these days I may just have to do that.

This is the season that causes my knitting lace tank topmojo to come out of hibernation and so here it is- my first finished project of the season. It’s the Essential Tank Top from the book Lace Style. A knitted tank top, you say? True, a tank top is not the most common item of clothing this time of year, but it’s an awesome layering piece and here you can see it in action on a cold, rainy, blustery Portland day. The merino/silk blend of the Knitpicks Gloss lace yarn is really pretty and warm, even in lace tank top form. This was my first time knitting a lace garment where size mattered and it was a little nerve-wracking. I didn’t really know if it would fit until it was all done and then I was convinced it was too big until I seamed it all up. Ahh, perfect. I love it and will wear it all season and I’ll keep wearing it when the weather gets warm.

lace tank top backI carried my camera around all day and went some pretty places but the wind and rain canceled any hope of a pretty photo shoot. Mike snapped these pics as we were grocery shopping when we were tired and windblown but hey, it wasn’t raining! I’m loading up more canning jars in the car. I have a whole basement of canned goods now and these are the latest addition to my food stockpile- A whole lot of quince products. I got quince practically free from a nice lady on Craig’s List and they just may be my new favorite fruit.

quince canning jars

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Spring Lace

First I want to thank you all for the nice comments, emails, and tweets about my new website. I’m still adding some pictures to it and tweaking it a little but I’m really excited about it.

I have several finished items that I’ve neglected to share on the blog.  I keep wearing them and forgetting to take a picture and when I do think of taking a picture, they’re in the laundry or some other unphotographable state.  But no more!  What’s more, even though I knitted them a while ago, they’re lace so I’m thoroughly enjoying them this grey, sunny, hailing, heat wave, cloudy, normal Portland spring.  Winter and Summer fight over who should dominate Spring, but eventually Summer always wins out.
green leaf socks
In the meantime, I will wear these lovely green socks.  The pattern is Polly Jean (though I had Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean stuck in my head the entire time I spent knitting them) and it’s a free pattern!  I changed it up a little.  I subtracted a couple stitches from the cast-on since I like my socks pretty snug.  I also opted to not to the twisted stitches, though they do look pretty, just because I don’t like to knit twisted stitches.
green leaf socks side
Thirdly, I did a basic 2×2 ribbing for the cuff instead of the 1×1 ribbing called for in the pattern.  I like how snug the cuffs are but I did lose the way 1×1 ribbing would have flowed right into the main pattern.  To that I say oh well. I love these socks! I also love that the yarn was free.  It’s Louet Gems that I won in a contest.  How awesome is that.
fingerless mitts
Another free lace pattern with free yarn.  These super soft fingerless mitts are Cafe Au Lait Mitts (free Rav download).

fingerless mitts pairThe yarn is Bouton d’Or Ksar and I got it from a secret pal a while back.  It’s 50% camel and 50% wool and is so amazingly soft!  I had 2 balls of it and I have maybe 1/2 a ball left.  I wish I had a thousand balls of this yarn.  I changed not a thing on this pattern and I love love love my mitts.

In other news, I have doing a ton of gardening!  I really want to put a picture of my garden on here but, like my knitting, every time I think of it, the conditions aren’t quite right for picture taking.  Things are starting to grow and I’m excited for the summer when everything will be leafy and full of vegetables. I’m looking forward to a summer full of yummy salads like this one from Eco Metro!

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DSC04709You do not know how happy it makes me to be done with this sweater!

It started about 2 years ago with Mike picking out his yarn, and hours spent finding The Right Pattern.  He settled on the Spartan Pullover from IK, but wanted it to be a cardigan and the design at the bottom to be a little simpler.  I did the alterations, started knitting and it became apparent that the size wasn’t working.  I frogged it and refused to start on it again for a while.  I eventually scrapped that pattern and that led to more time spent finding The Right Pattern #2.  Mike’s a little particular but I don’t really mind because the end result is that he wears his handknits and loves them.  Here’s the first blog mention I can find about this sweater.   The sleeves I say I’m done knitting were part of the frogged version.  That was almost 2 years ago!  Apparently I started on this final version back in May.  Pattern #2, the winning pattern, is Avast from Knitty, but when I started knitting the cabled band that goes around the bottom, we both decided that it was a little wimpy.  I found some better cables and pretended to let Mike pick, but I vetoed his choice and went with this one because it’s what I wanted to knit.  Hey, the knitter should get some say in the matter.  In fact, I don’t even think Mike would remember that this wasn’t his fist choice except that now I’m reminding him.

Have you knit a sweater for a grown man before?  It’s a lot of stockinette.  There were many times this got pushed to the back of the line, like when little sesame was born, or when summer came around (for the 2nd time) and I realized he wouldn’t wear it right now anyway so why hurry finish now?

The weather got cold again and the guilt grew, as did the demands from Mike that it be finished.  I started working on it again then realized that any simplicity caused by knitting it in the round (no seams!) was completely offset by all the turned under edgings (so many seams!).  It was worth it because the edges look awesome.
Then there was the blocking, the measuring and the ordering of the zipper (all easy) followed by the waiting for the custom zipper to arrive (hard because we’re both fairly impatient at times).

Finally, every last edge is sewn under, ends woven in, pesky armpit holes sewn shut, zipper sewn, more edging seamed and he’s worn it twice in a week!  Ahhh.   The relief of being done, and of it being a success, is fabulous.


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The Final Two

DSC04600Here they are- my last two finished projects of 2008!  I started the mittens when all the snow was still on the ground and Mike complained of not having any mittens.  (Note that my kid cried because her hands were cold and she still does not have mittens.  Again- What is wrong with me?!)  I finished them just as the snow was melting, 3 days later.  Or so I thought.  Mike tried them on and deemed them perfect but then yesterday, as I was picking up the living room, I stacked the mittens on top of each other and found that one was about an inch shorter than the other.  Oops.  I had to undo it and reknit the top of mitten two.  It was fitting because as I was knitting the first mitten, Mike and I had a little exchange that went something like this.

Me:  Hey, I’ve gotten to where I should start the decreases so try it on and see if it seems about right.

Mike:  Um, it feels kind of loose.  Maybe the decreases should start earlier.

I rip back 7 rows and knit about half the decrease rows.

Me:  Okay, try this on now and see how it feels.

Mike: It’s too tight.  The decreases probably should have started where the pattern said.

So I got to rip back again, reknit the 7 straight rows and then do all the decreasing.  Not a big deal but a little annoying.  I guess the universe is all balanced out now that I had to knit the top of the second mitten twice too.

DSC04603(This is Mike’s “Ha, ha, you can’t tell if I’m flipping you off or not” picture.  Thanks, Mike. )

The pattern is Basic Men’s Mittens (Rav link)  and the main yarn is Lion Wool and the burgundy is some Cascade 220.

DSC04599FO #2 is a pair of socks that I knit this summer but never blogged.  I knit most of them on our camping trip to southern Oregon and they won a ribbon at the state fair!  I really just started wearing them now that the weather is good and cold.  I don’t remember what yarn I used and I wish I did because it’s such a pretty color!  The pattern is the Embossed Leaves from IK. (Rav link)  I followed the pattern exactly but do wish that I had made the leg a little longer.  I certainly had enough yarn left over to add another repeat.  Oh well, I still love them!


And that’s all for 2009.  I did knit some cute soakers for the kiddo that never made it on here but diaper covers aren’t super interesting to most people so you’re not missing much.  If you’d like a complete recap of this year’s knitting, just click on the ‘FOs 2008’ in my tag cloud over on the right.

I have some failed Christmas knitting and a knitting disaster of 2008 that I’ll be posting soon but I want to ring in the new year with something positive so that’ll have to wait.  Goodness knows I need positive things to happen this year!

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In the last week we’ve had snow and ice and lots of overreacting byt weather forcasters but this weekend the storm really came!  We have about a foot of snow and it’s still coming down.  This is Portland, people!  We usually get a little snow and some ice but this is nuts. The first pictures are from yesterday when, with chains on the car, we could get out and go to a Christmas party.DSC04463

DSC04482Today there’s no leaving the house but we can sure play in the yard! Sesame liked “sledding” until she fell in the snow and her hands got really cold. I realized that I am a failure as a knitter because my baby has NO MITTENS! Really- how long would it take me to knit some? Maybe an hour? What is wrong with me?

Those pants she’s wearing are her Noro pants I knitted her last summer. I don’t think I ever blogged about them. I love them and wish I could knit myself an adult pair! Her cute blue hat is one of my recycled sweater hats that I sell on Etsy. I loved that one and had to keep it for her. Unlike last winter, she likes wearing my hats now and that makes me a happy mama. A similar hat actually made it onto the front page of Etsy on Friday. I just happened to see it and it made me feel a little like a celebrity.  Do you see it?  It’s the blue hat near the bottom of the screen.

front page

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Mmmm . . . Apples

DSC03562We went to the Apple Celebration at the Portland Nursery last weekend and and tasted over 60 kinds of apples and pears!  Luckily we got a paper to write notes on and we learned a lot about apples.  We bought a bunch of apples too so next up- applesauce!DSC03565

Even sesame got into the harvest spirit and sampled several apples.  She isn’t a big fan of them at home but food is often more exciting when we’re someplace new.
Look!  It’s her ruffly striped cardigan I knitted at the beginning of the year.  It’s still a little big but totally wearable if I roll up the sleeves.  Every time I pick her up I just want to squeeze her and never put her down because it’s so soft.

Crafty Wonderland was fun and successful.  Check out all these coffee sleeves I made for the show!  I don’t have nearly this many left over so it was a good day.
Now that the show is over, I’ve been working on my knitting projects.  Mike’s sweater still looks like a giant mound of yarn but there really is a nearly completed cardigan in there!  I knit this adorable sweater for the baby toddler but it’s not quite done so I’ll wait to show you the whole thing.DSC03583DSC03582

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I’ve finally written up a pattern for my eyelet skirty (or is it skirtie?) that I’ve been showing you lately. It’s more of a guide than a pattern but it’s free and I don’t think any of you will have any trouble with it. Happy knitting!

birthday girl in soaker

The pattern is below but I’ve also made a pdf that you can download and print. You can get that right here!

I knit this as an addition to a knit soaker (diaper cover) but have included a description of how to adapt it to be just a skirt for your little one.

To knit the skirt attached to a diaper cover:

1. First knit the soaker of your choice. I used the curly purly soaker pattern.

2. Using a circular needle the size that you used for the body of the soaker, pick up a row of stitches just below the ribbing, or about 2 inches below the top of the soaker. (Note: This is much easier if you purl the row after the ribbing when you’re knitting the soaker. Then use the purl bumps as your guide when picking up the stitches.)

3. Row 1: Join to knit in the round and *K1, yo* around. This doubles the number of stitches on your needle and adds fullness to your skirt.

4. Knit for 5 rounds. Next round (eyelet round): *K2tog, yo* around.

5. Repeat these 6 rounds until your skirt measures approximately ½ the desired length.

6. Change to needles one size larger than those you’ve been using. This will add a little more fullness to the bottom portion of the skirt. Continue in pattern until skirt is almost the desired length. End with eyelet round.

7. Knit around

*K2tog, yo* around

Repeat these 2 rounds one more time. (Ending with eyelet rounds close together prevents the hem from rolling)

Bind off.

Note: If desired, knit stripes of a different color as often as you’d like. Also, the frequency of the eyelet row is not essential.

To knit the skirt alone:

1. Knit a gauge swatch with your desired yarn and determine how many stitches per inch you have.

2. Measure around your baby’s waist. Multiply your stitches per inch by the number of inches your baby’s waist measures. Round this number to the nearest multiple of 4. This is the number of stitches you will cast on.

3. Using a needle sized 1-2 sizes smaller than you used on your swatch, cast on desired number of stitches and *K2, P2* around for approximately 2 inches.

4. Switch to main needles and knit skirt, beginning with the K1, yo round in #3 in the above directions.

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