Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Knitting Like Never Before

I've been knitting non-stop since late last year.  You wouldn't know it from this lonely blog with no recent posts.  As in none for 2013.  Nor any updates being made on Ravelry.

I've been busy with my photography.  The other (professional) hobby.  I've done a few weddings and portraits and that's been keeping me busy when I'm not knitting.  

My knitting pictures are scattered between my iPhone and my laptop.  There are times when all I have with me is my iPhone to take pictures of my knitting progress.

So I leave you with a picture of my recent projects as proof I've been knitting.  


Once I sort out my knitting pictures I will be back to post my projects, thoughts, and techniques.  

Stay tuned!  ��

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Finally Found My Knitting Mojo

It was lost, then found, then lost again. It came back last weekend and I have something to show: a cropped cardi!

Now, I don't have final pictures of it. I finished my cardi late last night. I had to finish the seams under the arms, weave in all those loose ends/threads, and sew two buttons.

The yarn I used was Araucania. A marled berry/beige merino wool yarn. I thought I would have some itchiness/scratchiness issues. No issues here. It knitted up beautifully

The pattern is from Plymouth Yarns. Here's some pictures from my knitting adventure:











Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Knitting Mojo Came Back...Slowly

I've started a small knitting project.  A quick and easy project to feel like I've accomplished something.  A lace cowl in a raspberry color.  It's still a work in progress.  I carry this project in my backpack hoping I might have a few minutes to knit during my lunch break.

I haven't lost interest in knitting.  It's just a lack of available time.  Also, I have an issue with competing hobbies.  Two weeks ago, I picked up another hobby...oil painting.  I'm teaching myself (not unusual, huh?) and so far working on my 5th painting.  I've noticed when I sit down to paint, I paint in 2 hour increments mostly alla prima (wet on wet).

This weekend, I do get to spend sometime with my yarns and teach a friend (Mavis) how to knit.  I will be teaching her the basic stitches, knit and purl as well as the long tail CO and binding off.  I plan to pull out some yarns I have from my out-of-control stash and let her pick something for her first project a scarf.  I have another friend (Kim) who wants a refresher on knitting so she can start her own project.  I need to set aside some time for her.

I'm feeling overwhelmed for the lack of time I have for myself.  I always tell my friends to make time for themselves and do something fun.  Right now, I feel torn between knitting and painting.

What do I do?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Lot of Reading, a Trip to Alaska, and Some Yarn

It's been awhile since I last posted.  Not much knitting going on.  My vest is still on the needles waiting for me to do something.  My knitting mojo just up and left me.  Okay, so a gadget has something to do with that.  Over the summer I bought an Amazon Kindle eReader w/3G & wifi.  I've downloaded a lot of free Christian contemporary fiction and have been on a reading-spree.  I never thought I would get hooked reading on a thin device.  I have.  I also purchased one or two knitting reference books to use when my knitting mojo comes back.  I have bought and downloaded a 500+ page photography reference book from my DSLR.  This thin eReader device has come in handy.  It fits nicely in my purse and I take it with me wherever I go.  Including my recent trip to Alaska.

I found two yarn shops in Anchorage:  Far North Yarn and The Yarn Branch.  FNY had the best selection of yarn I've seen so far.  They had plenty of aran and chunky versions as well as high end yarns.  The only low end yarn they carried was Plymouth.  They were well stocked with a variety of colors and had enough on hand to make up to two sweaters.  Speaking of sweaters, they had a lot hand knitted garments on display.  I was impressed with their store...especially for a place as far away as Anchorage.  TYB shared a store front with a quilting fabric store.  Their selection and variety was small.  No comparison to FNY.

I was happy to see that knitting was very popular in this beautiful city.

I managed to purchase a few skeins and balls of yarn.  They did pack nicely in my luggage.

Louisa Harding-Grace Hand Dyed (hanks of blue/gray, purple/mauve, & pink/raspberry)/Noro-Maiko (black tweed hanks)/Rowan-Amy Butler Belle Organic DK (Raspberry balls)



While I was in Anchorage, I went a local Michael's store and scored a fantastic find:




The bags are called the Yarn Traveler.  They were regularly $11.29 and I found them in the clearance section for $3.49 each.  Once other nice thing about Anchorage...no sales tax.  I stuffed each one with my new yarn I purchased and in the suitcase they went.

Oh knitting mojo...please come back soon!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Working on Lace Vest from Vogue Knitting Mag


Since the beginning of this month, I have been working on a lace vest that was in the Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer '11 magazine.  I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece yarn.  The border and base ribbing is in a lovely Sedona Red while the lace body is Terracotta Canyon.  

As you can see it's knitted in one piece (both fronts and back) including the button bands.  Sweet!  

I'm knitting the buttonholes using the one row horizontal technique that I found on the Vogue Knitting website.  I like this technique as it looks neat and everything is done on one row and then I can move on. 




Here's a close up of the lace pattern:  





Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another Look at Prosperous


Still knitting the body. Almost finished with the shaping of the body. Have two more sets of increases to do. Will knit the body for a total of 12.5 inches. I love knitting with Brown Sheep Serendipity Tweed. There's about 200 yards per skein and I used one skein to knit all the way up the body for about 8 inches. Too cool.



This tank looks amazingly smaller than my first version using the Cascade Sierra yarn. That's a good thing. I'm hoping for at least one inch of negative ease. Two inches would be nice. Once I knit the body for 12.5 inches, I will add an extended cable to my addi click needles and try the top on for size.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another Prosperous Top and a New Knitting Case


A week ago today, I started another Prosperous tank top. This time, I'm using Brown Sheep's Serendipity Tweed in Striped Coral Root color. It's a beautiful tweedy yarn in 60% cotton and 40% wool. It doesn't feel itchy when I rub the skein against my skin. I'm hoping the knitted fabric will hold true. I'm knitting the same size as the olive version, size 32". This time I'm following the pattern instructions...verbatim.

I did a provisional CO of 160 sts using size 7 circs. Knitted for 4 rows, then did a picot row of YO and K2tog. Switched to size 8 circs and continued for another 4 rows. Undid my provisional CO sts and threaded another circ through the loose sts. Matched WS together (RS facing out) and knitted through the two needles to produce the picot hem. Here it is in the round (knitted from the bottom up):




The beautiful skeins of yarn:




Now onto my new accessory....

Here's my new knitting case. It's a Mini Hanging Organizer by Vera Bradley. I stumbled upon this at my local boutique in Old Town Manassas. When I unzipped the main compartment, I knew this was a knitting case in the making.




There's a back pocket as well as a handle on top:







Even though it's small, it can hold a lot of knitting accessories:




There's a metal hook at the top....




...that can be tucked into it's own little pocket:




Plenty of zippered pockets for all sorts of knitting knick-knacks:







I was torn between this bright and bold print and a black and white version. I'm glad I chose this one. The quality and craftsmanship of this case is superb. There is no way I could sew one of these for the price I paid.

I don't know why I'm attracted to Vera Bradley. I used to think it was for "older gals". VB has some really nice bags and accessories. This mini hanging organizer is one of them.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Finished!


Finished and just in time to wear for our 90 degree weather we're having this weekend. My Sierra Prosperous tank top was a fun knit, but the sizing is off. As you can see from the pictures, there is no 4 inches of negative ease anywhere. I'm blaming this on operator error. Moi. I did get gauge with this Cascade Sierra yarn, but have no clue as to what happened during the knitting stages. I knitted a size 32", but ended up with something close to 35-36"...my bust size.

I finished the neckline and armholes with a single crochet stitch. That resulted in a snug fit in the upper part of the top. I was pleased with the results of this finish.



I really like how each of the back cable and lace pattern continues into the straps.



I'm happy with the way the back looks. The picot stitches add some interest.



So, doing a provisional cast-on was a first for me. The picot hem was also a first and I really like the finished look...mostly it doesn't curl up and out.

What's next on the needles? Another version of this top. This time I plan on removing the shaping around the waist and depending on the yarn I use, I may or may not cast on less stitches. We will see.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Some Pictures of Prosperous Tank Top


I thought I would share some photos of my Prosperous tank top...still in the works. It's a fascinating knitting project. I'm still knitting the front and back straps. This is a project where you have to try on the top to figure out how long the straps should be. I'm getting closer to the final lengths...at some point, I will put all the straps on waste yarn and do a loose slip knot to tie the shoulders together. By the time I finish this top, it will be summer. Glad this project is sleeveless.

The front view:



The front neckline close-up:



The back view:



The front cable and lace pattern:




Other hobbies have taken over my knitting time. One of which is making Origami cranes. I have no idea how and why I've started this hobby. Last year, I happened to be searching on the Internet and found the "crane" instructions. I started with plain white paper which got pretty boring after I mastered the folds. I happened to be at my local Michaels store and sure enough...they carried the fancy Origami paper that came in plain colors and printed designs. Too cool! I'll post pictures of what they look like later this weekend. For now, I'm watching Lord of the Rings with my hubby and folding beautiful sheets of Origami paper.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Somewhat Quiet Knitting Weekend


I'm finally getting over a week-long cold. I thought I had the allergies and couldn't figure out why the allergy meds weren't working. That's because I had a head cold. Makes more sense as I haven't had a Spring allergy for years. After being duped up for two nights on NyQuil, I'm feeling better. Feeling like my ole knitting self.

The weather here is going back and forth between 60 to 80 degrees during the day. I'm starting to wear my sandals and starting to feel like knitting for summer weather...like sleeveless tops.

Sometime last week, I started knitting Prosperous Plum Tank which I renamed "Sierra Prosperous Tank" because I'm using Cascade Sierra yarn. BTW, this is a free pattern on Ravelry. The yarn is moss colored and a joy to knit with. It's 80% Pima cotton with 20% wool.

This Prosperous Tank is an interesting knit for me. First, it's knit in the round (way cool). Second, I did my first provisional cast on. Third, I learned to knit a hem (e.g. picot hem). Really, way cool! I had way too much fun at the beginning of this project.

The instructions includes two charts (A and B) for the pattern which has a bit of a cable pattern along with a squiggly lace pattern. As I was looking at what others knitted on Ravelry, I noticed I disliked the dominant continuous squiggly line which is in chart A. I ended up modifying the pattern a bit by reversing one of the cables in the pattern. In chart A, instead of doing a C6F, I changed it to a C6B.

Here's what I have done so far for the front with the pattern going up the center:



One thing is for sure, I'm having a blast knitting this top. Here's the back with the pattern going up along each side:



My Sofia is still waiting to be finished. I spent a few minutes here and there sewing up the seams of my cardi. It didn't take too long and I actually enjoyed my quiet moments joining the pieces. Taking the refresher class late last year probably helped with the overall enjoyment process. I confirmed I was doing the seaming process correct and I learned to take my time and just enjoy it. It worked.

I'm still knitting the eyelet border to go around the fronts, sides, and back. I'm past the halfway point, but still have a few inches to go.




I'll be back later this week to post (with pictures) about my provisional cast on method and the picot hem I learned.

Happy Easter!