Thursday, April 30, 2009

Teenagers - sheesh!

I've been dying to post this week. Not only do I have a finished object to show off but some significant progress on a new sweater and some other projects that have jumped to the front of my summer to-do list.

Alas, Hockeyman has sabotaged my efforts. He has fallen in love with photography and commandeered our one and only digital camera. Somehow, he managed to alter the settings in such a way that makes all my pictures turn out over-exposed and blurry.

He keeps promising to figure out how to reset the camera to its original default settings but our crazy schedule has kept him from accomplishing this feat of photographic prestidigitation.

Alas, you will just have to use your imagination.

First, the FO is a table runner and/or scarf made from the leftover yarn from my version of the Daily Sweater. There was just enough yarn to eek out a basket weave patterned table runner, much like the one pictured in the latest issue of Vogue Knitting. It is 4 feet long, so it could be worn as a scarf, too.

Second, remember this project? Well, it is now a pile of rag balls and the beginnings of a knit log cabin rug, from Mason Dixon Knitting. After struggling to make the rug lay flat and attempting to block it out, I gave up the battle and unraveled the whole thing. I think I'm going to like the more modern graphics of the log cabin rug anyway. (At least, that's what I kept telling myself as I laboriously ripped out all those rows of toothbrush knotting - oy!)

Third, I've been plugging away on a new top-down sweater from I have some inexpensive acrylic yarn in a lovely sea foam green shade that is working up nicely for this summer t-shirt. I have already progressed past the place where the sleeves are put on holders and am working on the main torso now. I can't wait to finish this sweater!

I am thoroughly sold on the top-down concept and plan on making several more top-down projects in the near future.

I've also been shopping at a local quilt shop and picked up supplies to make a rug hooking project this summer.

Well, guess I should go light a fire under the teen saboteur to get the camera back into some semblence of normal so I can take some pictures.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pride . . .

And prejudice. This is, without any doubt, my favorite sweater of all time!

At least so far . . .

This is my short sleeved version of the Daily Sweater from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. I used Ella rae Silkience (about 8.5 skeins) and size 2 needles for the body.

Modifications: I felt the neckline was way too floppy after knitting it according to the pattern, so I cut it off and picked up the live stitches and re-knit the collar with fewer stitches. I split the sleeve ribbing, to mirror the side slits at the lower hem.

I have also fallen in love with the tubular cast on and bind off. It was the technique I learned on the Pink Cardigan and it is, without a doubt, the slickest trick in my knitting arsenal.

What I can't believe is that it took me 30+ years of knitting to discover this gorgeous binding off technique.

Just goes to shows, you can teach an old dog knitter new tricks.

(In related news, my deepest condolences go out to Kay Gardiner of Mason Dixon Knitting for the loss of her beloved husband, Peter. My prayers are with Kay and her family.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A new obsession

I seem to be in the grip of yet another compulsion love affair. My latest project is The Daily Sweater from Mason Dixon's new book, Knitting Outside the Lines. It's been on my mental to-do list since I purchased the book but I finally bumped it up to the top of the list when the Pink Cardigan was finished.

I cast on in the car on the way to Easter dinner on Sunday and have had an incredibly difficult time putting it down, as you can see from the significant progress I've already made.

The yarn is Ella Rae Silkience (purchased from Webs on sale) and it has the most delightful hand of any yarn I've worked with recently. I love it so much I went back online yesterday and ordered more of it in another color.

Since I only have 10 skeins of this color, I'll have to modify the pattern somewhat by making it a short sleeved top. I'm hoping to have enough yarn to eke out a 3/4 length sleeve but will make do with what I have. After all, summer is coming and a new t-shirt would be just fine, too.

If you look closely, you'll see the sheep stitch marker I recently purchased from Glastonbury Glassworks. She is so cute, I just had to use her on this project. Isn't she sweet!

Well, I've been away from my knitting long enough. One more row, then I'll fold the laundry. Or maybe two more rows. Or ten . . .

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Nothing like wearing a new sweater on Easter morning.

Hope all my friends have had a most blessed Easter!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

It was a dark and stormy night, as I sat in my car outside a local church. At approximately 6:45, my children left the car to go to a fashion show/concert. Not being in the mood for loud music or a raucous roomful of teenagers, I opted to leave and run some errands.

At 7:00, I entered a grocery store to purchase laundry detergent. Mission accomplished.

At 7:10, a stop was made at the Walgreens to pick up some necessary medical items for DH.

At 7:15, I entered a local restaurant and enjoyed a Oriental Stir Fry Salad and piece of pie.

At 7:45, having paid my bill and exited the restaurant, I made the strategic decision to go back to the church and wait in the parking lot until the concert was over.

After circling the parking lot a few times, looking for a spot that had either a street light above it or some other source of outside lighting, I parked near the front of the church where a powerful floodlight illuminated the entire front of the building. There was enough reflected light for me to sit and knit without having to keep the car running or use the inside lights of the car.

There I sat, knitting away happily in the absolute silence and solitude of the car. I reveled in the peace I so seldom get to enjoy, being a full-time, homeschooling mother of four.

Until . . . .

A car pulls up beside my car and a large flashlight is turned onto my visage. After a moment, the car speeds away and I'm left wondering what on earth that was all about.

Five minutes later, the car returns and the window is rolled down. Cautiously, I start my car and roll my own window down.

A red-faced police officer, suddenly abashed by my middle-aged appearance and knitting-in-progress clutched in my startled hands, stammers, "I'm sorry to disturb you but I thought you might be a hooligan."

That's me, a knittin' hooligan.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

You can't just buy one . . .

Once again, I find I have little to blog about when I'm working hard on a larger project. The pink cardigan is consuming my time and attention. You could say I've been a little obsessed with it. The yarn is wonderfully soft and has beautiful drape. It is a dream to knit, even when it's just plain stockinette or simple ribbing. It is one of those yarns that keeps you saying, "Just one more row, then I'll go to sleep."

However, I found that the 10 skeins of yarn are not going to be adequate to finish the sweater. I have 2 skeins left and I still haven't finished the main body of the sweater. I have at least 6 more inches of modified 3x1 ribbing before I'm ready to bind off and start on the sleeves.

So, of course, I had to order more yarn from Webs before they ran out of this discontinued color. Well, you just can't buy one thing at Webs, so I picked up some gorgeous red cotton/silk blend yarn for a tank top as well. It shipped today, so I can't wait to show you all the new yarn, not to mention, keep going on this beautiful cardigan. My only fear is that I'll run out of yarn before the new shipment arrives. Gasp!

I did get a wonderful little treat in the mail this afternoon. Live and Let Learn has a wonderfully talented glass artist for a husband. So when I was hunting for the perfect button for the pink cardi, she was the first person I thought of asking.

As usual, she came through for me with flying colors. You can see how lovely the button at the right looks with the pink yarn. Unfortunately, the photograph doesn't begin to do justice to the depth of color in this beautiful custom glass button.

Of course, you can't buy just one at Glastonbury Glassworks, either. So I just had to pick up these sheep to socks stitch markers as well. They are so adorable, I may have to get a special necklace like this one so I can wear them like jewelry.

Well, back to my compulsive knitting binge . . . Just one more row, then I'll clean the kitchen.