Knitting

02/13/08

Working on a new book of knitting patterns and having a fun time. I also am working on new hand puppets. Talk about a creative opportunity! Last night I crocheted one that I think will become a cowgirl with fringed skirt and vest. I’m putting the finishing touches to the sheep puppet who is already cute, even in his unfinished state.

 From the UFO pile, I finished the baby blanket and began the textured sweater that will replace the one I have been wearing for 17 years – that one has finally started to disintegrate on me. Ah, the lasting ability of dinosaur fiber!

Up next will be more hand puppets so I have plenty of variations to show off in my SAFF class. I am spinning the yarn for Rapunzel now – she should be awesome!

02/02/08 

This morning has been great! First, I stopped by a friend’s house. She is housebound for the moment and had asked me several weeks ago if she could have some of my sock stash so she would have some knitting to do and so she could knit up socks for me for my birthday! This morning I picked up four pairs of socks for myself and two pairs that match for my 18″ doll, Lianna. What a blessing to have Maureen for a friend! The socks are flawlessly knitted and fit perfectly! An awesome birthday gift!

Then I continued on to Covington to meet with a group of knitters at a coffee house. Besides the delicious coffee and muffin I had, the knitters are a wonderful bunch and we had a fun time. If you are ever in need of a great place for coffee on a Saturday morning and want to drink said coffee in the company of some fun knitters, drop in at the coffee shop in Covington between 10 and 12. You will be glad you did! (Information on finding the coffee shop in previous post.)

 I finished my red cotton cabled vest and then found out that a friend is going to be a grandmother again. I dug around in my UFO pile and, sure enough, there was a baby blanket there that was half done. So I am working on that now so I can give it to the grandmother-to-be so she will have plenty of blankets around when her new grandbaby comes to visit!

quidditch-banner.jpg I finally figured out, actually Andreana figured out, how to hang the Quidditch banner on the wall. It will be hung this afternoon and I just know it will give me immense pleasure to see it every time I look up from my work!

01/30/08 

There is a new knitting group that has started in Covington for those who are in the area. This great group of women meet every Saturday morning between 10 and noon at the Town Center Breads Coffee House, 4171 Raphael Street, in Clark’s Grove Neighborhood in Covington. For a map, go to towncenterbreads.com. Not a formal group, you can come and go as you please, stay the entire time, or just pop in to get a knitting “fix” before heading out to do all your weekend errands. I met some of the ladies at the library last night and they are a fun bunch.

No, I have not finished my Trinity Stitch Sweater – shame on me! – but instead started the British School Vest from the Folk Vests book. It is such a quick knit that I will have it finished in two weeks – start to finish. I just have one armhole on which to put ribbing, weave in the ends, and voila! It will be finished! I have only worked on it during the evenings, so this really is a quick knit. I am using Frog Tree’s Pima Cotton in a sport/DK weight with size 6 needles for the main part and size 4 for the ribbings. AND this yarn was in my stash! So one more yarn gone, gone, gone! If I keep this up, I might be able to walk in my studio by the end of the year.

01/08/08

derbyscabledsweater.jpg  indyscabledsweater.jpg The dog sweaters are finished and another yarn from my stash is gone, gone, gone! Now it is back to work finishing the Trinity Stitch sweater (that also uses stash yarn – YES!). I also am trading my sock knitting expertise for fiber from a dyer friend. When the sock yarn arrives this week, I will be quickly knitting it up into sock samples for her. Then it will be back to puppets, puppets, and more puppets! I can’t wait!

Got a call yesterday from a reporter doing an article on me that will precede my talk at the Newton County Library on January 29. Have you ever had to explain the Knitting Olympics to someone who knows nothing about fiber arts? It was painful and I shudder to think how the article will turn out. Don’t even ask how we got on the subject of the Knitting Olympics! Though I am a writer, I am clueless as to how newspaper reporters brains work.

 01/04/08

In keeping with my goal of stash reduction, I used more of the Lamb’s Pride Superwash Bulky and made Juliet a sweater, too. I have just enough left to make my two Boston Terrier nieces, Derby and Indy, matching sweaters and this particular yarn will be gone, gone, gone. Then I can move some yarn from the floor to the bin vacated by the bulky yarn. Progress!

01/02/08

Instead of finishing my Trinity Stitch Sweater, I decided to knit Emma a sweater to keep her warm during the blast of artic air that is hitting Georgia this week. I started it on New Year’s Eve night and finished it last night. I love quick projects and this was especially rewarding because Emma loves her new sweater!

If you have a special dog in your life who needs some extra protection from the cold, a dog sweater is the perfect way to temper your knitting cravings. You can be as creative – or not – as you want. I put a single 8-stitch cable down the back of Emma’s sweater. It was a fast knit, helped along by the yarn – Lamb’s Pride Superwash Bulky – yarn from my stash! YES!

It is a new year! Let’s knit like crazy on our projects and insert a few “quick knits” while we are at it to give us an even greater feeling of accomplishment! 

01/01/08

Happy New Year! Instead of resolutions, I made 2008 goals.

(1) Use my stash whenever possible and don’t add to it if possible.

(2) Complete one UFO a month.

(3) 2008 Study: weaving on a rigid heddle loom.

(4) Write two books and 10 articles – YIKES!

There are lots more, but you get the idea. It will be a busy year for me with working, writing, and teaching and I think that’s fabulous! What are your goals for 2008?

12/29/07

The Never-Ending Pillows

The Never-Ending Pillows are finished and delivered and were received enthusiastically! I have learned not to use the Fabric Stitch for anything big – the backs of the pillows took 200 hours using this stitch. It is very dense and so is a good stitch for such things as pillows, but just know that it takes a front-of-pillow-2.jpg   back-of-pillow.jpg   sofa-pillows.jpg long, long time to knit due to its compactness and density.

The lace pattern for the fronts of the pillows would make a pretty vest. The issue with the fronts of the pillows is that I had to use a size 2 needle with a sport weight yarn – not fun and a LOT of knitting. The pattern turned out well, however, so I may use it again for a project.

The pillows were made using Frog Tree Pima Silk. This is a lovely yarn, though it has multiple plies, so care must be taken that you get all the plies into each stitch. Due to this issue, the pillows took longer than usual because I had to be careful with the yarn.

I have been working on these pillows for a year and a half and am thrilled to finish them. At the bottom of the pillow project bag, I found an unfinished pair of socks. A couple of evenings got those finished, so I have two FOs to end the year! 

FREE PATTERN: For those of you who knit for an 18″ (American Girl-type) doll, here is a sock pattern so she can be dressed in style.

LIANNA’S FAVORITE SOCKS

Designed by Margaret Heathman

MATERIALS: Small amount sock yarn such as Trekking XXL, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn, etc.

1 Set of 4 double-pointed needles, size 1

2 Stitch Markers

Tapestry Needle

CUFF: Over 2 needles, cast on 30 stitches. Divide onto 3 needles, placing 10 stitches on each needle. Join, being careful not to twist stitches.Work in K1, P1 ribbing for 10 rows.

HEEL FLAP:

Knit across 10 stitches of needle 1, then continue knitting 5 stitches from needle 2 onto needle 1. Divide remaining 15 stitches between needles 2 and 3 to be worked later.

Working back and forth on Needle 1 stitches only, continue as follows:

Row 1: Slip the first stitch with yarn in front, purl the remaining stitches.

Row 2: Slip the first stitch with yarn in back, knit the remaining stitches.

Repeat these two rows 2 times more, then repeat Row 1 once more.

TURN HEEL:

Row 1: (RS) K10, ssk, k1, turn.

Row 2: (WS) P7, P2tog, p1, turn.

Row 3: K8, ssk, k1, turn.

Row 4: P9, p2tog, p1, turn.

With free needle, knit across 11 heel stitches. Pick up and knit one stitch in each stitch down the edge of the heel flap. Make a note of how many stitches you pick up. With the same needle, knit 2 sts. from next needle. Place marker. Finish knitting the stitches on the needle.

With the free needle, knit across to the last 2 stitches on the next needle. Place marker. Continue knitting to end of that needle and then, with the same needle, pick up the same number of stitches on the 2nd side of the heel flap as you picked up along the first side.

Place the last 2 sts. worked onto the free needle. Now continue knitting across the 11 stitches of the heel flap and then knit the first 2 sts. from the next needle. You now have 15 sts. on Needle #1 (the needle with the heel flap stitches). Knit around needles 2 and 3 until you are back at the beginning of Needle #1 again.

GUSSETS:

Rnd. 1: Needle #1: Knit across. Needle #2: Knit to 2 sts. before marker, k2tog, slip marker, knit to end of needle. Needle #3: Knit to marker, slip marker, ssk, knit to end of needle.

Rnd. 2: Knit around.

Repeat these two rounds until 30 sts. total remain: 15 sts. on Needle #1 and 15 sts. divided between Needles #2 and #3 (8 on one needle and 7 on the other needle).

FOOT:

Knit 3 rounds.

TOE:

Rnd.1: Needle #1: K1, ssk, knit to 3 sts. from end of needle, K2tog, K1. Needle #2: K1, SSK, knit to end of needle. Needle #3: Knit to 3 sts. from end of needle, K2tog, K1.

Rnd. 2: Knit around.

Repeat these two rounds until 14 sts. remain. Place all the stitches from Needles 2 and 3 onto one needle. You now have 7 stitches on one needle and 7 stitches on a second needle. Kitchener stitch the toe. Cut yarn, leaving a 6″ tail. Thread tail into tapestry and slip all stitches onto tapestry needle. Take needle to inside of sock, pull yarn taut, and weave in on wrong side of sock to anchor tail. Weave in ends.

Repeat instructions for second sock.

Lianna got handknit socks for Christmas that are just like mine. I used what was left after knitting my socks and there is still yarn left over. This is an excellent way to use up bits of sock yarn.

NEW SHAWL PATTERNS: New patterns are coming for the Half and Half Shawls. The current patterns available are:

margaretshawl.jpgmargaretshandspunshawl.jpgThe All-Knit, No-Purl, Lace-Edged Half and Half Shawl shown here full sized in pink and as a scarf made from yarn spun from a handpainted roving from Dicentra Fibers.

The VanDyke Chevron ShawlThe VanDyke Chevron Shawl shown here made with Frog Tree Alpaca.

The Cinderella Shawl – this one has vertical stripes of lace holes. The shawl can be worn “as is” or ribbons can be woven through the holes for a “presto-chango” fabulous look. Here is the shawl pre-Prince. To give it some glam, simply weave shiny ribbons through the lines of holes. This was made from Malabrigo and is oh-so-soft! Cinderella Shawl - Before the Prince

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