Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the trouble with Christmas knitting....

you're so busy trying to get it finished in time (and in some cases mailed to England) that you forget to take pictures! As well as the gifts I sent home to England, I knit a cowl and some mittens for my neighbor/friend, a golf club cover for my father-in-law to add to his stocking, and I forget to take pictures of them. I'm hoping that some of the recipients might send me some 'modeled' shots of their 'wears' but I don't know when that will be. In the mean time I do have a picture of my sweet Mam not quite modeling her shoulder wrap....

I mentioned on my daily blog that my dear Mam had her pacemaker replaced a few weeks ago but due to some complications she was in hospital for 3 weeks instead of just a few days. I thought she might not even get home for Christmas. And of course not being able to get to England and be with her just breaks my heart. She came home two weeks before Christmas and is still having some 'not so good' days. She spent all day Christmas Eve in bed, not feeling very well at all. The above picture was taken on Christmas day at my sisters. She's 84!

I mentioned in a previous post how 2010 would be all about ME when it comes to knitting.... can I be honest and say I think I've changed my mind! Honestly, I love knitting small gifts for others (and sometimes not so small when you think about the cabled throw) that I just don't want to stop. I've already cast on for this .... (haven't taken a pic yet, so this is from Ravelry)

It's the beautiful 'Fresco Basket Whip Cowl (Ravel it HERE) I'm using some Caron Simply Soft that I have in my stash in a lovely soft blue color. I'm just about finished, so in a few days I should be able to post pictures. I'm not even sure who it will be for yet, but there are plenty of gals I have in mind. I won't even say here who it's going to be when I decide (they might be reading!). I've got lots of little nephews and nieces I can knit for too (actually they're the kiddies of my nephew and nieces!) so I'm browsing all my knitting books and magazines to see what I fancy casting on next. If I knit for everyone in my family back home in England it should keep me busy for most of the year ;-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

and you thought I hadn't been knitting...

Back in October it looked like this.....

Today it looks like this.....

I finally finished the Cabled Throw, with not an inch of yarn to spare! I think my neighbors will love it though. I know hubby does, he keeps hinting how nice it would be if we had 'one of our own'. Guess I know what I'll be knitting in 2010!

I got lots of little knitted goodies out to my family this year, some just quick knits like cowls and mittens. I didn't take pics of them all though. Hopefully the recipients will mail me pictures after Christmas?

One of my favorite little knits this year was the Hedwig cowl and mittens I made for my nephew's wife. She's a huge Harry Potter fan and I know she'll love the owls on these. I wish I could see her face when she opens them....

I also knit my sweet Mam a shoulder wrap... she could probably use it right now, she's in hospital having some complications after her pacemaker was replaced. We're hoping she comes home this week, after 3 weeks in there!

Didn't get a good picture of this, so hopefully Mam can model it for me after Christmas :-)

Ravelry Pattern can be found HERE.

I'm already thinking ahead to what I can knit next year. I know I said I might knit just for me... but I'm just not sure anymore? I get so much pleasure knitting for others, I find it hard to stop. I'm already planning on knitting toys for the kids.... I bought Susan's new book 'Itty Bitty Toys' and can't wait to try some of those cute things out. I also plan on finishing my mystery socks, that sadly got left by the wayside while I was trying to finish up the throw, and lastly I still have one small gift on the needles for a sweet friend for next week ;-)

SO, what will be your first knit of 2010?

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Winner!

I just realized I didn't post the winner on this blog after I announced it on Friday night at my other blog!
The winner of my scarf give-away was Jessica of The Pelkey's Place Thanks for everyone that took part in it.

I'm behind on my mystery socks! Haven't even started with clue 4 from last week, but I should hopefully catch up and get them knit before the next clue is out, at least I think there is a next clue? I haven't really looked at this one but I'm assuming it doesn't include the toe finish yet?

Friday, October 16, 2009

My latest knit. . . . A Give-Away!

It's my birthday this weekend, so to celebrate I thought I would have a 'give-away'. It's also my way of saying thank you to you all for reading my blogs and taking the time to leave your sweet comments.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month I wanted to knit something pink.... and I wanted to give it away to a lucky winner on my blog :-) I chose this beautiful 'Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf from Ravelry.com. Knit with Patons Baby Bamboo, it is a mix of 45% bamboo and 55% acrylic and is super soft. I love it (might have to knit myself another one!).It's machine washable too :-)

For a chance to win, it's simple really. . . . just leave a comment here and your name will be entered in to the drawing. I will draw a winner next Friday (Oct 23).

For an extra entry post about this give-away on your blog and link back here so others can enter too. (leave a separate comment to say you've done this).

For another extra entry 'follow' my blog. (leave another comment to say you've done this).

That's 3 chances to win :-) Make sure I have a way of contacting you (email, blog site etc) if your contact info isn't in your profile).

I will draw a winner next Friday (Oct 23).

I'll also be posting this give-away on my Daily Blog but duplicate entries over there won't be counted - a maximum of 3 entries per person will be allowed. This give-away is open to non-USA residents.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I've gone a little crazy....

.....with the cast-ons this week! I got started on my mystery socks last Friday as soon as my yarn arrived. Here's my 'cake' all ready and waiting :-)

and here's my progress from week 1 (the next clue is out today and I haven't even had a chance to look at it yet! That's next on my list as soon as I've posted this). I'm not sure the pattern will show much with this variegated yarn, but I do love the colors, and I'm loving how the yarn feels as I knit with it.

As well as the socks I decided to cast on for a sweet little scarf (in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month), it's THIS pattern over at Ravelry. I'm using Paton's Baby Bamboo in a soft pink. And just yesterday I decided I'd carry on with some small Christmas knits so I've just cast on for THESE. I will have to make about 6 pairs for my 'niblings' (the kids of my nieces and nephews back in England). But they are small so I shouldn't think they'll take me long.

Just off the needles is a 'bed jacket/shoulder shrug' that I knit for my Mam in Lion Brand Homespun. I need to add a ribbon tie, then I'll take a picture of it.

With that said, I'm off to grab my next clue ;-)

Friday, October 2, 2009

i just wanna hold it!

LOL :-) . . . but if I did that, I'd never get a sock started! My Schaefer 'Nichole' arrived today. Oooh she's so soft and squishy, I just wanna hold her all night! I love the colors in this. It doesn't say on the label what they are but to me they range from olive green to teal to mustard. I can now get started on the mystery socks. Well first I have to wind this in to a ball, then I might just be a good girl and check my gauge. . . . or then again I might not!

I've been dying to check the forums and see a sneak peak of what the pattern looks like (I'm assuming some of you have posted pics already), but I shall wait until I've cast on and got the cuff done and some of the pattern before I do. Hopefully that will be tonight.

Enjoy your Friday evening..... I'm off to wind ;-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Getting Antsy!

Kirsten's Soctoberfest Mystery Sock 09 starts today.... and I'm joining in :-) Only problem is, I haven't gotten my yarn yet! I bought a lovely skein of Schaefer 'Nichole' from a fellow Raveler's stash but it was only mailed to me on Tuesday. I am hoping it might arrive today, but I think that's wishful thinking. If I'm lucky it might arrive tomorrow, or perhaps not til Saturday. I'll be a day or two behind in that case, but that's ok. I have nothing else on my needles (that I'm working on) except this. . . .

It's the Cable Comfort Throw from Lion Brand. I fell in love with this when I first saw Leslie's HERE. The one I'm knitting will be a Christmas gift for my lovely neighbors. I've also thought I might make some pinecone firestarters to go with it. It doesn't get cold that often here in Austin Texas but there have been times when it's cold enough for us to light a fire and many times when the mornings are cooler that we like a blanket over our legs when we're sitting on the sofa. I think I'd like to make one for us once I've done this one. I can't stand the thought of seaming, so I'm knitting this on one big circular needle.

Also, I finally finished Woodland!! Can I hear a big 'hooray' from you all? It only took me about a year, make that a year and a half. Ravelry shows I cast on for this in April 2008!

It's off the needles but I'm still trying to sew it all up, it's already taken me 2 days! Urghhhh, I never realized I hated seaming so much, and after Summer's End cardigan, when I realized that no seams was so nice, I will be hesitant about knitting a cardigan in 4 pieces next time with a band that has nearly 300 stitches on too!! I still have to block and find buttons for her, but I will try to get some modeled shots soon ;-)

So, until my yarn turns up I will knit away at the cozy throw. Are you joining in with Socktoberfest?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Farewell Summer

Hello Summer's End :-) Did a little photo shoot today to show off my Summer's End cardigan (despite the fact that it's still too warm to be wearing it right now). I took some pics inside then went out back too. You know how it is, you take about 50 shots and get about 4 good ones!!!

Summer's End - by Heather Sapp
Yarn: Taki Yarns New Tweed - 8 balls
Size: 36"
Needles: US 6 and 8
Started: Sept 1 2009
Finished: Sept 14 2009

It's hard to see from the photos (unless you click on them to enlarge then study the edging!) but I made a HUGE mistake with this and I only realized it when I was adding the sleeves!! When I looked at the pattern again I realized that I was supposed to keep the edge in st st, but I had been keeping it in garter stitch. I wondered when it hadn't mentioned buttonholes by the time I was adding the sleeves. You think I was going to frog all of it? You bet I wasn't. I thought I could make it work by just keeping the edge in st st then doing a few rows of garter stitch around the neck. It worked out well, the only thing still missing was the button holes. Not to worry, I sewed on buttons and I just created a hole by pushing the button through, at least just for the photo shoot. When I wear this as it gets colder, I probably won't even button it up.

In hind sight it was just as well I knit it the way I did, otherwise I would have ran out of yarn for the band! All in all I'm pleased with how this turned out, and what I loved the most is no seams to sew. I've never really knit a cardigan or sweater this way before, but I liked it :-)

What next? Well I feel inspired to get on and finish 'Woodland' for myself (in between knitting a few small gifts). I only have a little of the second sleeve to do and then sew it up and knit a button band for it. And after that I'm thinking I will tackle Spook. It would be nice to get it finished for Fall or Winter this year.

Anyone bought the new IK 'Weekend' magazine? What did you think of it? I love IK and pick up just about every magazine they bring out, but I'm not sure there is much in this one that I would knit. Can't wait for their Christmas Gifts one though. There's always some lovely stuff in that, and I love looking at my older issues too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thank you Robin :-)

I did get this sorted out thanks to Robin. The funny thing was, before I saw her comment I had just been knitting away and continuing with the decreases then realized I would indeed end up with 60 stitches, I just still couldn't figure out how I could!

Thankfully it was just me not counting right, and not me making a huge mistake which is what I feared. I did not want to frog this at all. All that said, I am indeed finished Summer's End :-) I have to block her today and hopefully take pictures soon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

HELP! Can someone help me with the math?!

I was doing so well with Summer's End but I've got to the point of decreasing after joining the sleeves. Everything was going good until I decided to calculate how many stitches I'd have left after I'd finished my decreases!

The pattern says I should have 238 stitches once I've joined the sleeves. This was correct. I am decreasing 4 stitches every RS row at the armholes. It says to do this 20 times. That would mean 80 stitches decreased - right? I also have to decrease at the neck edge every other RS row, a total of nine times. I decrease 2 stitches on these rows, (one at either end) so a total of 9 times would mean a further 18 stitches decreased. That brings the total to 92 stitches decreased. Take 92 from 238 and you're left with 146 - but the pattern says at this point I should only have 60 stitches left??? It totally doesn't make sense to me?

I've looked for any errata on the pattern, looked at other finished projects on Ravelry, but there is no mention of an error here.

Can someone help. Am I missing something obvious? If anyone can look at the pattern and see if I am mis-reading it at all, I would SO appreciate it. For now I'm rather stuck?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Full speed ahead...

I'm making great progress on my Summer's End Cardi. I know if I don't keep at it I'll get sick of it before long and think I'm never going to finish it. When that starts to happen.... well there's no telling how long the poor 'wip' will stay on the needles... in a basket... forgotten for a while (just like Spook and Woodland!)

But that's not going to happen this time..... no it's not! Here's my progress so far. I have about 3 inches to knit in st st on the body, then I put it aside to start the sleeves on dpn's!

It's hard trying to get a good picture of this because the yarn is quite dark.... so this is the best I could do for now.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's here...

Not only do I feel like 'Summer's End is actually here (we had a lovely big storm here in TX last night, and lots of much needed rain) but my new yarn arrived a few days ago so I could start knitting 'Summer's End . . . . I LOVE it! New Tweed by Tahki Yarns is a mixture of wool, silk, cotton and rayon, although it's said that newer skeins (silver label) have this fiber composition: 60% Wool, 26% Viscose (rayon) and14% Silk.

The color I chose (for Fall) was brown/chocolate but it has lovely little flecks of red and cream (like oatmeal) in it. I think it will be perfect for the cooler weather , that we hopefully will be getting soon. I like the softness of this yarn too. Usually if yarn has too much wool content in it I find it 'scratchy' on my skin. The mixture of rayon and silk keeps this from feeling so 'rough' for me. It's a perfect combination.

I cast on the same day I got my yarn, I've already started on ball #2. The pattern calls for 8 balls, which is all I bought. Now I'm thinking I should have bought more! For one, I would like to make the sleeves full length and not 3/4, but I don't think I can do that without buying more yarn. And I think it's always wise to get a ball or two extra just incase - I just don't know why I didn't!

I'm hoping to knit this up fast so I will be able to tell, at least half way through if I need more yarn, and hopefully I can order from the same company and get the same dye lot without a problem? I'll take pics of my progress this weekend and post again soon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just For Me!

Since I last posted I've been knitting up a few 'small' things for Christmas gifts. And I've started on a little 'shower' gift for a friend. I've been thinking a lot about my knitting lately, and can I be honest with you (even though I know this is going to sound really awful) it's not really much fun when I'm knitting for someone else! I have a few 'wips' on the needles that are for me, but I never seem to get around to finishing them because I'm always coming up with ideas to knit things for others as gifts.

The socks I just knit for instance. OK, I HAD to knit the socks because I promised my friend I would make her a pair, but the other 'gifts' that I've started knitting (for Christmas) are already becoming a chore and once again puts stuff on the needles for me 'on the back burner' so to speak. I recently decided that after Christmas I was going to make 2010 the year for ME. Well I've changed my mind. 'For Me' starts RIGHT NOW! I sound selfish, but honesty there really isn't much fun in knitting right now when all I do is worry whether the recipient will really appreciate my efforts or not.

So today, I ordered some yarn on line and I've decided to start afresh (yes, the wip's can wait) and knit myself a cardi for Fall, (despite the fact that it's still 100 degrees here every day, I can dream of cooler weather).

I've chosen this...
and what a perfect name. It's 'Summer's End' and it's a free download HERE on Ravelry. I ordered the Tahki New Tweed online today in the color 'Chocolate'. I thought brown would be great for Fall. I can't wait to get it. I got an email to say it had already been shipped today too, so I'm hoping it comes pretty fast.

Of course, it doesn't mean I won't knit any more gifts. In fact I may still be able to do some while I'm knitting the cardigan. But I just want to feel like I'm doing something for me, and reap the rewards of the many hours I knit when I'm finished . . . . . at least for a little while.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Knitted Gift

I'm back! Despite the fact that we are still in the throws of a very hot summer here in Texas, I have picked up my needles once again to get started on some gifts. Yes, I'm talking about Christmas gifts, and it's only July! I figure if I start now I might just have some things to send home this year.

But before I show you the Christmas gifts I've started on, I thought I would show you what I just finished working on this week.... yesterday was my neighbor's birthday and I decided to make her a pair of socks. Not something she needs in this heat, but she had hinted at getting some quite a few months ago, and well, that was about the time I started 'losing my knitting mojo'!

I picked up the needles a few weeks ago and started on these. . . .

And I finished them just in time on Thursday!

Specs: Curly Cuff Bedsocks, from Knitted Sock Sensations.
Yarn: Sublime Angora Merino (2 balls)

Needle size: US6 Clover dpns

Modifications: The pattern says knit on 2 needles and
sew up the back seam. Instead, I knit the cuff on 2 needles,
but then changed to dpn's and joined in the round
to finish off the socks.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

where am I?

Knitting has taken a back seat since my last post, hence the reason there's been no new posts from me! There's no doubt about it, I've lost my knitting mojo and I'm not sure when I'll get it back. I know the cause of it too - two things really... 1) the weather has been lovely here in Austin, spring has definitely sprung and I've been outside a bit starting to plant flowers in the beds and lay down new mulch... 2) I picked up the book 'Twilight' that I borrowed from my neighbor! and yes, like most others who have read it, I can't put it down. Well actually I can put this one down because I've already finished it. I started book 2 earlier this week! As well as reading that book I'm reading 'Three Cups of Tea' for our April bookclub meeting.

So, lots of reading and lots of outdoor time has squelched the urge to pick up the needles. I am so close to finishing my Woodland cardigan too, but I just don't get the time to pick it up. I have a couple of baby knits to do this month so I might try to get them started and hopefully they won't take long to finish either as they're so small.

Until I have something to show you then, I will just continue to visit your blogs and see what you're knitting ;-)

Friday, March 20, 2009

finally finished.... and fabulous!

Yay! I finally finished 'Soleil' and I really like how it turned out this time - in other words "it fits" and if I say so myself, I think it looks fabulous!

Soleil from Knitty, Spring 05
Yarn: Elsbeth Lavold Cotton Patine - 5 or 6 skeins (I can't remember!)
Size: 33" bust
Started: June 2008
Finished: (off the needles) Jan 09 (finished crochet edge 3/19/09)

So, without further ado..... here are some modeled shots!

You should be able to click on the photos if you want to see them larger.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

where am I?

I'm still here... in case any of you are wondering ;-) I just haven't had much knitting news so I haven't had anything to post about.

I have only half a sleeve to do on my Woodland cardigan then the massive task of picking up over 300 stitches to do the edging! I just can't wait for this to be done. I checked my Ravelry stats and noticed I cast on for this back in April 08!!! Of course I haven't been continuously knitting it all that time. It probably went in to hibernation for at least a good 6 months if not more, but every now and then I'd pick it up and knit a little ribbing here and there, and all of a sudden I found myself with only 2 sleeves to go so I 'found my second wind' so to speak and picked it up every chance I got. I may have to have a little party to celebrate when it's finally off the needles - either that or one big huge photo shoot!

Tonight I'm going out to book club, and I'm hoping to finally wear my 'Soleil'. It's been hanging in my closet for weeks now. I finally got the crocheted edge done but when I tried it on one of the armholes was a bit loose and I wanted to re-do it. I finally took it out today and re-did it, spurred on by the fact that it's 81 degrees out there so it's certainly a fitting day to wear it.

I'm hoping hubby will take some pics of me in it before I go out tonight and I can post again tomorrow to show you....... but don't hold your breath!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

no (knitting) news... is Good news

Well just because I don't have any knitting news to share doesn't mean I shouldn't post - right?
I'm making great progress on my 'Woodland' cardigan and only have 1 1/2 sleeves left to knit. I'm getting rather excited about it, I mean it's only been on the needles for 11 months! That's all the knitting news there is.... now on to good news....

I just wanted to post about a wonderful site I just found that sells great t-shirts (IMO!). And the good news is they are having a fabulous give-away right now. If I don't win one of these, I will have to buy one of these! They look great! Transform Your Mind is my favorite.

Hop on over and take a peek yourself. The button is in my sidebar, or you can click below to go straight to their blog!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Finished.... and only $6!

I finally finished up my Almeara gloves this morning. It took a little longer than I expected but not surprising when I actually knit a tank in between gloves!

Good news ..... these little beauties only cost me $6! The yarn is ' I Love This Wool' from Hobby Lobby. I bougth 2 skeins but only needed one (actually only used about 3/4).

Bad news . . . . I think our winter is already over, it's forecast to be in the 80's ALL week, so these little beauties will have to be put away until it's cold enough to wear them. I did wonder if I should 'gift' these or not but I made a decision - they're mine ;-) All mine!

Almeara Gloves by Jared Flood
Vogue Knitting, Winter 2008/09
Yarn: I Love This Wool - 1 skein
Needles: Clover dpn's size US#6
Started: Feb 6, 2009
Finished: Mar 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ribs and Lace

Pattern:Ribs and Lace Tank - IK Spring 07
Yarn: Naturally Caron - Country - 4 skeins
Needles: KnitPicks interchangable US#8 and US#4
Size: small - 33 1/2"
Started: Feb 14th, 2009
Finished: Feb 24th, 2009
I'm happy with how this turned out and it was a pretty fast knit. Just not happy with the photos! You don't wanna know how many clicks of the camera I had to make before I got a few decent ones!
I bought the yarn at Hobby Lobby because I liked the soft feel of it. It's 70% acrylic/30%wool! It was only after I got it home that I realized the pattern was knit in 100% cotton. Still it turned out pretty nice, and I should be able to just throw it in the washer and dryer (according to the ball band!). Don't think I'd use the yarn again though, there's too many nicer ones out there. I didn't actually use all 4 skeins, but had to break in to the fourth one when it said to split the top for shaping and knit both sides at the same time. I might even try to knit a pair of ankel socks with the left over, just to put on when my feet get cold in the summer! (yes I wear socks in the summer indoors cos the a/c makes my 'tootsies' cold!)

a closer shot of the back!

and even closer!

and my little Boo man, getting in on the action!

Monday, February 23, 2009

my 15 minutes of fame!

Over the past few days I've recieved 2 messages in my Ravelry inbox. They were from someone I didn't know - someone named 'bioengiknitter'! The messages were a request to use my photo on the Ravelry page for that particular pattern. The first was the Lace Bolero from Sirdar, and the second was the little baby jacket and hat I just knit. So if you click on these patterns you will see my photos featured in the left hand column :-) I have to admit I was rather thrilled to get the request - that someone liked my FO that much that they would feature it in the photos column... well, it really made me smile.

On another bright note, Hetty awarded me with a 'Fabulous Blog award last week - thank you Hetty!

Hetty wants to know 5 things I am addicted to and then I should pass the award on to 5 other blogs! Right now I'm seriously only addicted to one thing, and that's knitting, but I'll try to make a list of 5:

1. Knitting! There's not a day goes by that I don't pick up the needles.

2. Knitting Magazines - seriously! I can't stop buying them, even when I know I will probably never knit anything from a certain issue, I'll buy it anyway!

3. American Idol - I can't deny it, I love everything about this show and never miss it. AND... I really like Simon Cowell!

4. My computer! and all the things on it like Facebook, Plurk, IM... I'd feel totally lost without it.

5. and last but certainly not least .... RAVELRY! of course. To be honest, I don't think I'd be as addicted to knitting if it wasn't for Rav ;-)

I can't pick just 5 blogs to pass this on to! I think ALL of the blogs I read are just fabulous :-)

and look who's coming along nicely.....

...she may well be off the needles in the next couple of days!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I wish I could knit faster!

Don't you ever wish that? When I start a project I seriously wish it would take only about 3 days to complete, because by that time I'm already itching to cast on for something new! That would obviously be the 'ADD knitter' in me, but it doesn't help that there are so many great patterns out there that I would love to knit. I've always felt this way, and Ravelry certainly didn't make it any easier for me. I sometimes get on there and can sit for hours browsing all the patterns and seeing what everyone else is knitting. Silly really, because that is some serious knitting time I'm wasting!
I don't have any FO's to show this week, but I still wanted to just post an update (lest you all think I've disappeared and you stop visiting!). I'm half way through the second Almeara glove but I have to admit I've slowed down a little on it... that's because I cast on for the Rib and Lace Tank from IK, Spring 07. The weather is really warming up here in central Texas and all of a sudden I felt the urge to find some summery looking tops to knit (and by that I mean 'quick' knits that have no sleeves in them) ;-)

I am hoping I can get the tank done in the next few days. I have book club next Thursday, if the weather is nice enough I may even get to wear it that soon! One last thing before I go, I must point out my pretty 'knitting graphic' at the top of this post - isn't' she adorable? She was made by my sweet bloggy friend Judy form Homespun Blessings. Judy asked me what kind of things I liked, and of course I had to say knitting. I also love reading, so this totally sums me up. She created it so I could add it as a sigtag to my emails, but I want to keep her on my blogs for a while too.