Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's so hot here I'm knitting lace and taking pictures of my "stash"

I don't really have a "stash." I buy yarn with specific projects in mind. The bottom container has left over yarn from baby layette projects, cotton yarn and a couple of sock yarns. The smaller container has sock yarn in it. I have small travel size bars of zest in the containers too.

I'm knitting the lace Twist and Shout socks. As I've written previously. I'm not liking the way the short row heel looks on the sock. I wrapped the stitches using Charlene Schurch's method in More Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm ready to pick up and knit the wraps. I'm going to pick up and the stitiches following Misocrafty's short row heel tutorial.

I've started knitting the Branching Out Lace Scarf from I'm using Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool (65%wool 35%silk) in color#24 which is red claret. The lace pattern repeats 27 times. I already learned that I need a lifeline. In the middle of the third pattern repeat, I discovered that I only had 30 stitches when I should have had 31. I ripped back to the knit rows and I've put in 2 lifelines. J suggested that I do that then after every 2 pattern repeats alternately move them up. J also suggested that I use dental floss as my lifeline. She told me to highlight the RS of the pattern so I won't get lost.

I bought the book, Lavish Lace to help me with lace knitting. There's alot of nice patterns in it. I going to make the Ocean Moods pattern in the book after I finish the Branching Out Scarf. J suggested that I use Jaggerspun Zephyr since beginners find it easy to handle.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Crochet Wednesday very, very late.......

Well, I'm behind and I haven't been doing my homework. I'm still working on the homework from Lesson #3. I've only made the Shell stitch block.

I've been crocheting but I've been making potholders. I found a tutorial on the potholder that J made for me. I've made potholders for myself, my aunt, and friends. I going to try to get back on track over the next few weeks. I'm on vacation so I haven't been doing much crafting. My soapmaking class is postponed for a few weeks. I won't be able to take it again until October :-(

Friday, August 24, 2007

Expanding my Craft Book Collection

I was feeling a little down so I thought... what would perk me up? I went shopping for books so I could get ideas for knit/crochet projects. (I'm such a nerd.)

Since I'm learning to crochet, I bought this beginner book, Getting Started Crochet. It has this great pattern for crocheting hats that I'm going to try as soon as I finish the Twist & Shout socks(Oh by the way I'm not liking how the short row heel looks on the sock. I've already ripped it out twice. I'm going to try it one more time. If I don't like it, I'm going to do a heel flap.) I bought the Knitting Loves Crochet book because the Shaped Cardigan with Shell Sleeves pattern. I don't know how to knit cardigans but I want learn so I can do that pattern. Learning to knit cardigans is on my to do list. There's also a cute baby washcloth that has crochet edging, pillow covers and placemats and napkin rings that I like.

I added Favorite Socks to my sock book collection. (I want to add Ann Budd's Getting Started Knitting Socks so I can read her tips on sock knitting.) The patterns that stand out and make me want to knit them:
1. Retro Rib Socks for my uncle
2. Embossed Leaves Socks for my friend, N- they're pretty like her
3. Mock Wave Cable Socks for myself
4. Cable Rib Socks for myself
5. Diagonal Cross Rib Socks for my Dad
6. Undulating Rib Socks for my Dad - I've decided that for the next few Father's Days I'll knit my Dad a pair of socks.
7. Go With the Flow Socks for my friend, S - they fit her personality
8. Waving Lace Socks for my cousin, T - they're pretty like her

The only criticism that I (and others) have for the Favorite Socks book is the note, " To make the socks larger or smaller, use needles one or two sizes larger or smaller and lengthen or shorten the foot as necessary." To make a knit a sock smaller or larger using that note will only work if you're adjusting the size a little bit. Charlene Schurch's books have taught me to look at the stitch pattern and make adjustments based foot measurements and yarn gauge.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Awesome Loot!!!!!!

Surviving's Craft Room is an awesome spoiler. I love handmade gifts and she made me a Mandy's Candy Bag (filled with lil sour candies..they taste like sweettarts), a soap holder and the DW dishcloth. I made the DW dishcloth for Ally B...... great minds think alike. I got 6 skeins of Sugar n Cream yarn, 3 sets of stitchmarkers, a flipflop notepad, and great smelling soap! I also got 3 dishcloth patterns: DW dishcloth, Bee Stitch cloth, and Cupcake with a Cherry on top. The Cupcake dishcloth is Heather's very own pattern that she designed.

Mandy's Candy Bag was knit with same pretty colorway as my DW dishcloth. I'm going use the pattern to knit lil Christmas candy bags for my niece, nephews and lil brother. The pattern looks like its a quick knit.

The soap holder is based on the Bee stitch dishcloth. Surviving ingeniously crafted the dishcloth into a pretty soap holder. The soap is from Olive Branch Soap. Its very aromatic. I smell lime and eucalypus. (9 more days until my soapmaking class....... I can't wait!)

Heather made these stitchmarkers herself. Surviving's Craft Room's esty store recently opened up and I know that I'll be buying some stitchmarkers from her for my Secret Pal and other exchanges to come.

I'm sooo happy with my Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Exchange package!!!! I cannot wait until the Fall exchange. THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH Heather!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I don't have a favorite or least favorite yarn to knit with. I did knit a couple of hats using Classic Elite DK Cashmere and Karabella that I thought were the softest yarns I've ever felt. Any yarn that feels scratchy I wouldn't want to knit with.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have hangers that have clips on them and I use them to store my Addi turbo circs so the cables don't curl. My bamboo ansd aluminum straights are in a large jars. My crochet hooks are in a ziploc bag.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I started knitting On October 24, 2006. I made my first garter stitch dishcloth that day and have been hooked ever since. I learned to knit by taking a class at my local LYS. In the class, I learned knit and purl stitches, the long tail cast on and to bind off in knit stitches. I consider myself an advanced beginner. I love to learn new knitterly things. I've been knitting socks since January 2007. I learned to knit socks by watching Nenah Galati's Sock I dvd and reading Charlene Schurch's excellent book, Sensational Knitted Socks. I also bought Cat Bordhi's Socks that Soar book but I didn't like it.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No. If I was to have an Amazon wish list, it would have sock knitting books on it. Socks kniting books I want to purchase include Socks, Socks, Socks, by XRX Inc, Favorite Socks by Interweave Press, and any sock books by Ann Budd or Nancy Bush

5. What's your favorite scent?
It depends.... I wear to work Love Spell. I've been experimenting with the blending of essential oils. I've blended lavender, Ylang Ylang and grapefruit with good results. I use as a massage oil lavender, chamomile and sweet almond. I've worn sandalwood, jasmine and jojoba oil on my days off. Grapefruit, jasmine and Ylang Ylang are also good.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I like chocolate.
I'm a chocoholic. I love Ghirardelli bars. For something sour, I like sweettarts.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I've started sewing again. I recently made my own body scrub using essential oils and raw sugar. I'm going to be taking a soapmaking class at the end of the month. I'm interested in dyeing yarn and I want to buy the Twisted Sisters sock book. The only spinning I do is in chairs.<---- I stole that line from somebody.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like all kinds of music. Lately I've been listening to Journey, Eric Clapton, John Mayer and Jackson Brown. I'm MP3 ready.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like reds, pinks, blues and purples. Right now, I'm not liking brown.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I'm single with no children. I don't have any pets at this time.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I love scarves and hats! I want to knit myself a pair of fingerless gloves. My body is a no poncho zone.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I love knitting socks. I learned to knit because a girl named Amber and her Socktoberfest exploits. She would recap Project Runway and I read her other posts in addition to the recaps. I thought to myself.... I can do that.... I want to do that...

13. What are you knitting right now? OTN: sock #1 Twist &Shout Socks (it's the first lace project I've done outside of lace dishcloths), baby burp cloth, Calorimetry headkerchief

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I have aluminum and bamboo straights and Addi Turbo circs. If I could knit everything with the Addi turbo circs I would.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? No but I'm thinking of making the yarn winder a knitting anniversary present to myself.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
February 2007 New England Stole, I'm using a substitution yarn that's all wrong for the stole I need to frog it and pick out a different yarn.

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect? Sea shells and butterflies

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
_____'s sock yarn Fill in the blank with anyone's/companies' name, Heatstrings FiberArts patterns. I have a subscription to Interweave Knits

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I would like to get into lace knitting. I received a free pattern for a Rose trellis shawl that I would love to knit. One of my to-do things for the Fall 2007 is to start knitting lace so I can make the pretty but intricate shawls

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
YES I AM!!!! I define myself as a sock knitter. Foot circumference 9, heel to toe 8 1/2, toe 2, leg 7, heel flap 2.

23. When is your birthday?
April 29, 1968

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? I'm on the waiting list for Ravelry. There's about 9000-10,000 people ahead of me.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Wheel in the Valley

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

See I can do math.... I took that test after trying unsuccessfully a few times to crochet the Wheel in the Valley. I couldn't get the right number of stitches after doing the 2dc, ch1. I was suppose to crochet 48 sc around, but I was always getting a different number. I asked one of my crochet friends to take a look at the pattern and she told me how many stitches I should have after each round. She taught me how to count the stitches in a round. So here's the Wheel in the Valley. I need to work on getting my tension consistent, but I'm happy overall with the square. Of course it will have to be blocked before I sew it into the lapghan.

I've made some real progress in the Twist & Shout sock. I'm almost done with the leg. I have about an inch left to knit. I think its neat how the pattern is making the twist.It's an illusion that looks like I'm rotating stitches from one needle to the other. I'm in the process of reading the research I did on short row heels. I'm thinking of practicing with some cotton yarn before I try doing it on the sock. I want to make a short row heel that doesn't have any holes in it. I've been looking at Amy's short row video on Knitting Help so I can see how to wrap the stitches. (The Calorimetry doesn't use wraps in the short rows.) I'm going to use Misocrafty's technique for picking up the wrapped stitches.

I'm almost done knitting the Calorimetry. I started this project because I was frustrated with the granny square I was trying to crochet. I thought the yarn's colorway had more green in it than it actually does.

Checkout the cute stitch marker. The set that Nichole sent me has 2 flipflop, a bikini and a sand pail.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Crochet Wednesdays

Here's the 2nd pattern of my homework from last week, Basic Granny Square:

I had a hard time doing the granny squares because I kept misreading the pattern. I tried working on the pattern Monday and Tuesday. I could never get my square to look like the picture. I posted a question on Knitting Help about how many sets of 4dc that I should be doing, and Larudden not only answered my question, but she also provide me with an excellent granny square link. I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong...... I got so frustrated with the granny square that I casted on and started knitting a Calorimetry.

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have the Wheel in the Valley squares completed. I'm having trouble with the 1st one. I don't have enough sc to do round 5.

Learning to Crochet - Lesson #3
In lesson #3, I learned the shell, popcorn, V, puff and bullion stitches. The Wheel in the Valley pattern I'm working on has the shell stitch and the V stitch.

My crochet homework this week has 6 different patterns. I start on it and post them when I'm done with last weeks patterns. I'm planning on Lesson #3 being done over 2 weeks.