Friday, January 30, 2009

Knits for Jack


Yesterday I met my nephew Jack for the first time. He is so adorable and is a cuddle bug. Sheldon the Turtle is happy at home with Jack. Of course, I had to knit up a few hats to keep Jack warm. After all, the kid did come home in zero degree weather! I ordered the Itty-Bitty Hats book several weeks back and planned my "if it is a boy" projects and "if it is a girl projects"--all knit from stash yarn, I might add! Here are two of the knits and the little guy himself!

Simple Baby Hat #2
Knit out of partial skein of Fiesta Boomerang

Stocking Cap
Knit out of leftover Dream in Color Classy

Next up...Vertical Stripes hat out of leftover Tahki Cotton Classic. These are great projects for using up leftover bits and bobs. The hats also go fast, are too cute, and make great gifts. Would be wonderful for charity knitting and stocking up on baby shower gifts.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sheldon the Turtle

Okay, I've never been a fan of the knitted or crocheted animals--just not my cup of tea. However, I did see the Sheldon kit on KnitPicks and ordered one to make for my new niece/nephew. He just looks so cute (and a little more modern than most knitted animals)!

He was a fast little knit and even comes with little clothes that you can make for him. Here he is all knitted up and awaiting the arrival of his new friend. Come on baby, we are ready to meet you!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Valentine's Day Yarn Swap

Are you on Ravelry? If so, join our Stitches & Sconers group. It is a group geared toward fans of Stitches & Scones. Info about happenings and events are often posted there, plus you gain a large group of friends.

I am organizing a Valentine's swap for anybody who is in the group and is interested. In Ravelry, PM me with your name, snail mail address, and whether or not you will be at the store at 10 am on 2/14. Registration goes through 1/31 and I will assign partners on 2/1.

Guidelines:
  • Package of $30-$50 value (can be from stash you already have)
  • Must contain at least 1 knitting-related item

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Myrna Progress

I've made a little bit of progress on the Myrna sweater. The back looks like it might fit my arm right now, but it is rib and I'm getting gauge and tested my swatch (before and after washing). I really like knitting with Classic Elite's Wool Bamboo. I did add selvedge stitches to this sweater to make the seaming go easier and to get the rib pattern to come out even. I'm getting a lot of inspiration from this sweater regarding topics for the White Lies Design KAL.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Westfield Parks and Recreation

This week I start teaching beginning knitting at the Westfield Parks and Recreation department. I am so excited about this opportunity to teach at another location and to expose more people to the craft. The classes on scheduled for Tuesday nights from 6 to 8, so I'm hopeful that this allows people to sign up that aren't usually able to attend a Saturday session.

Beginning Knitting January session: Tuesdays 1/20 and 1/27 from 6-8
Beginning Knitting February session: Tuesdays 2/10 and 2/24 from 6-8
Beginning Crochet March session: Tuesdays 3/17 and 3/24 from 6-8
Beginning Knitting April session: Tuesdays 4/14 and 4/21 from 6-8

To register, you can contact the department at 317-574-1074 (www.washingtontownship-hp.us).

The fees for the classes include materials. For all you knitters, this is a great opportunity to learn how to crochet in March.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

KnitGauge: Another iPhone app

Last week I blogged about two iPhone apps I had found: KnittyBag and StitchMinder. During my Internet crawling this weekend, I discovered KnitGauge. This is a free app that means you will never again be without a way to check your knitting gauge. It displays a portion where you can lay your knitting on the phone and then you can adjust the two arrows on the display to the start and end points of the stitch count. It provides you the measurement between the two arrows. Handy little tool that is worth the time it takes to download.

Knit on!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Book Review of Glam Knits, Boutique Knits, and Itty-Bitty Hats

During an after Christmas sale, I picked up three books at a great discount. I was so excited when they arrived today!
  • Glam Knits by Stefanie Japel: I loved Stefanie's Fitted Knits book and have taught her One Skein Wonder Shrug as a class. (If you ever get a chance to take a class from her, she is great.) This book is full of glamorous knits out of some yummy yarns. If you have a fantastic body, this book is for you. For the larger ladies in life, not as many patterns that you would find comfortable, but still a few not to be missed. I especially love the Cascade 220 Tweed coat sweater. The buttons lining up the sleeve are used in a creative and beautiful way. It is definitely on the must knit list.
  • Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin: I love to make hats, but not your normal knit hat. I like to make hats with style. I was immediately drawn to this book that is full of stylish hats and other accessories. From the side cloche hat to the argyle lace hat, you will want to make them all. I am planning to make as many from them as stash as possible to whip up some Christmas 2009 gifts and a few for myself. (For you Stitches and Sconers, I did tell Molli about the book and she has a few copies on order.) In addition to the hats, there is a half felted/half unfelted purse that I find intriguing and a GORGEOUS pair of fingerless mittens. Buttons on the mittens and the argyle hat are too cute.
  • Itty-Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson: I have a new niece or nephew on the way (WAY SOON). I wanted to knit up some hats to keep the little one warm. He/She will be living an hour outside of Chicago, so the little one will need something to keep those ears warm. This book is a treasure trove of fun baby hats. Something for girls and boys throughout the pages. I've been waiting for years for the right sale to purchase this book. I'm so glad I finally purchased it. Depending on the gender of the baby, I have the hats all mapped out. AND, I already have a lot of yarn in my stash that will work perfectly. BONUS!
Now, I need to go button shopping for all the patterns I love that utilize buttons. Happy knitting on this subzero weather day. I'm off to knit a turtle, but more on that later...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Back to School Vest Is Finished

I've been wanting to make a garment from Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel since I got the book several years ago. I finally gave in and knitted the Back-to-School Vest. I used three balls of Dream in Color Classy in the color Blue Lagoon. (Interestingly enough, after I purchased the yarn I looked in Ravelry to see if anybody else had used Classy. Two other knitters had and we ALL used the same color. How funny.) The vest is knit from the bottom up, in the round until the sleeve division. The top is knitted in what the author labels Waffle stitch, which is a simple K row, K row, K1/P1 row. There are bust darts on the front for extra room. I really liked the pattern and the finished product. It was a very fast knit and I should be able to wear it in winter and spring.


The pattern itself was not difficult, but I did find that the book was written more for someone with a little more knitting experience. For instance, there were a lot of generic instructions (increase here, decrease there) without specific instructions. I found myself playing around with different techniques to find what I liked best and what I would teach newer knitters to do if I ever taught this as a class.

I will definitely be making more items from this book and it motivated me to order Glam Knits.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Namaste Notions Case

One of my favorite things I received as a holiday gift was my Namaste Notions Case (thanks, T). I hadn't seen them before, so I thought some of you might be interested as well. So what makes this case so special?
  1. It is small. Generally, I love large bags and cases, but I had really been wanting something small that could hold my scissors, tapestry needle, tape measure, and a few stitch markers. Perfect size!
  2. It is a hard case so it doesn't get crushed and lost in your knitting bag.
  3. There is a divider to insert in the top or bottom to "lock" in the contents of one side of the container.
  4. Both the top lid and the bottom lid are magnetized. This is the best feature for me because I am CONSTANTLY misplacing my scissors and tapestry needles.














Overall, a great little product.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Myrna


I purchased the yarn to knit my Myrna sweater from White Lies Design. After much deliberation, I am going to use the Wool Bam Boo in Tomato red and Watermelon--not pictured--(for the stripes). Tonia, Nancy, and I are planning the next Stitches & Scones knit along centered around White Lies Designs, so the pressure is on to knit this one up. I have swatched and I'm ready to cast on. I can't wait to wear it--hurry up spring...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Milinda Sweater


I had originally planned to knit the Evangeline sweater instead of this one for the upcoming KAL. However, I feel in love with this one after it arrived in my holiday package. I love the lace and the little tie. Using my holiday money, I picked up some Berroco Touche in an ice blue tone. It is a cotton/rayon blend, so I'm hoping the stretch factor isn't such a concern (I am planning to knit a size smaller than normal, too). Instead of knitting the cord for the tie, I picked up some silk ribbon. Another spring top, can you tell I'm so over winter?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Knitting and the iPhone

I can be a little geek when it comes to technology. Not as much as some people I know (you know who you are), but more than normal. As I was playing around on my iPhone the other day I did a search for apps related to knitting/crochet. I discovered two apps that I downloaded and put into use:
  • StitchMinder by Quilt to Go: This app lets you use your iPhone as a row counter. You can track Rows Completed, Pattern Rows, Pattern Repeats, and Increase/Decrease Rows. Leave the setting at 0 an then tap the number to count up to what your pattern requires. Or Reset the beginning number to your goal and select ascending, then tap the number to count down. A simple app that works well and, if you are like me, you are never without a row counter now. Best of all, this app is FREE.
  • KnittyBag: This 99-cent app is well worth the money that it will save you. The app lets you input all of your needles so that you always know exactly what needles sizes/types/lengths you have at home. The needles are organized by straights, double points, and circulars and you can input size, length, type (metal/wood/plastic). You can also track your crochet hooks. Finally, there is a brief glossary included that lists common abbreviations and their meanings. I have all of my needles/hooks tracked in Ravelry, but the Ravelry needle inventory sheet doesn't readily display the specifics. This little app is well worth the dollar!
These were the only two that I have found thus far. If you know of any others, please share with your geeky friends!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Medallion Bag Is Finished!!!!!

I have knitted and felted the Medallion bag. I have the bottom plastic in the bag and the handles on (still need to put in a zipper), but otherwise it is finished! I am happy with it, but do have a few notes:

1. I didn't come close to use the amount of yarn called for in the pattern.
2. I think I didn't come close to using enough yarn because I was getting 3 stitches per inch. This caused my bag to come out smaller in the width than I expected. When I make this bag again, I will definitely go up to a 15 needle instead of the 13. I believe this tightness (unusual for me) was due to knitting with both hands to complete the fair isle.
3. The black bled onto the white a tad. At first I was pretty bothered by this, but as it dried it came out looking fine (see last picture).

Overall, despite these critiques, I'm VERY happy with it
and it will become a much-used knitting bag.

Pre-felting: 31 across/21 deep

A Yorkie on the bag to give you an idea of scale.

After felting.

After felting with handles. Ready for use!

I did add another class for March for the Medallion bag.
The February class is already full!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I Was Dreaming of a White Lies Christmas

We all have "the one" thing that you really want for Christmas, right? This year, my most wanted item was a subset of the White Lies Design patterns. My Santa brought me ones that we had at the store on Christmas morning and notified me that the other ones I had wanted were on order. Today's USPS brought the rest of them. I'm so excited to work on these (after my must do knitting of the Medallion bag, Sunny sweater, and Back to School Vest is done). I plan to knit the Evangeline and Myrna first. Of course, that was the plan before I started drooling over the others. How to decide?!?!? This just might be a year of White Lies for me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Progress on the Medallion Bag

The past few days I have been working on my Medallion bag. (I have a class coming up on this soon and wanted to get the sample done for students to see in person. Plus, I wanted to get it done to use it!) It can take a long time to knit fair isle. I always forget this in between projects. Anyway, here is the progress that I've made. I'm really excited to see the finished result soon.

This is a Noni pattern named Medallion. I used 6 skeins of white and 6 skeins of black in Cascade 220. I used a 32" circular needle, size 13. I am getting 3 stitches to an inch holding the yarn doubled. I purchased the handles from Heirloom Handles.

If you are local and are not able to sign up for the class and would like a private lesson, please contact me at ginakanouse@yahoo.com. I'd be happy to schedule a lesson with you to make this fantastic bag!

2009 Goals

Every year I make resolutions about a variety of things. This year, I've decided only to make knitting/crochet ones. I figure I have a better chance at achieving those than I do of anything else. After all the work changes in 2008, I'm ready for 2009 to be a year of maintaining.

So, just what are those goals?
  • Now that everything (except for a few old projects) are in Ravelry, keep it updated as I complete projects, purchase yarn, etc. As much work as it was putting it all in, it would be even MORE work to figure out what I did/didn't have in there if I get off track.
  • Keep the yarn room organized. It somehow always gets to a point where things are thrown all over. I'm never sure how this happens since I typically keep everything really, really organized and clean.
  • Finish the projects that are in my projects and queue as of 1/1/2009 before beginning anything else. I know. This one will be REALLY difficult. There are 10 projects in my projects (active or hibernating) and 2 in my queue. (There is one exception to this goal. I have a new niece or nephew expected in January. I am allowing myself to have ONE active baby project at a time in addition to these 12 projects.) I figure if I can even get 50% of them off the needles by March, then I can get them all done by end of 2009 and do some new things too.
The Projects


Colinette Throw: 15% completed

Crayon Box Jacket: Both sleeves done and 45% of body.

Marmalade Sweater: Both sleeves done

Back To School Vest: 75% done

Sunny's Dog Sweater: 65% done

Iain Sweater: 10% done

Medallion bag: 40% done

Cable Sweater from Happy Feet: 5% done

Crochet Shawl: 60% done

Babette Blanket: 60% done


The two projects in the queue are the Evangeline sweater and the Myrna sweater, both from White Lies Design. We are planning a KAL centered around WLD patterns.

So, what are your knitting/crochet goals for 2009?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Crochet Swirls Class

Are you interested in learning how to crochet? Love cool hats? Here is a class for you...

Full Day Crochet Workshop on January 24th, 2008 from 9:30-3:30
Price: $25 class fee (includes plastic canvas)
Class detail: If you are new crocheter, you will learn all the basics (chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet, how to read patterns/and your work, slip stitch, weaving in ends, etc). We will learn, step-by-step, how to crochet the Swirls Hat pattern. (This is free pattern available online that you will need to download, print, and bring to class.)

Scrap yarn for practicing crochet in the morning will be provided. You will need at least a G hook and 250 yards of a light colored light worsted weight yarn that has a good drape to it.

You will also be provided a detailed handout with pictures and written instructions for basic stitches.

There are still a few spots open! To sign up, email me at ginakanouse@yahoo.com or sign up at the shop (317.896.4411).