Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Did I Do on Those 2009 Resolutions?

Last year, I posted the following at the beginning of the year. I thought it only fitting that on the last day of 2009, I would own up to my progress, or lack there of!

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. Update: COMPLETED
  • 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. UPDATE: COMPLETED (ALTHOUGH THAT CLOSET...)
  • 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. UPDATE: COMPLETED MOST OF THEM, SEE BELOW...
The Projects




Colinette Throw: 15% completed  
UPDATE: COMPLETED AND IN USE IN THE YARN STUDIO

Crayon Box Jacket: Both sleeves done and 45% of body.
UPDATE: FROGGED. IT WAS TOO BIG!

Marmalade Sweater: Both sleeves done
UPDATE: FROGGED. TOO BIG AND NOT REALLY ME.


Back To School Vest: 75% done
 UPDATE: COMPLETED; HOWEVER, IS NOW TOO BIG


Sunny's Dog Sweater: 65% done
UPDATE: COMPLETED

Iain Sweater: 10% done
UPDATE: AFTER SWATCHING, CASTING ON, MEASURING I HAD TO SWITCH YARNS. THIS PROJECT WAS FROGGED AND NEW YARN HAS BEEN PURCHASED AND STASHED TO KNIT THIS UP FOR PK.


Medallion bag: 40% done
UPDATE: COMPLETED AND TAUGHT AND TAUGHT AND TAUGHT!


Cable Sweater from Happy Feet: 5% done
UPDATE: FROGGED DUE TO SIZING; NOT REALLY SURE I WANT TO MAKE THIS GARMENT ANY LONGER SO THE YARN MIGHT LIVE ON IN ANOTHER FORM.


Crochet Shawl: 60% done
UPDATE: FROGGED. WASN'T ME AND I CAN USE THE YARN FOR SOMETHING ELSE.

Babette Blanket: 60% done
UPDATE: STILL NOT DONE. IN THAT RESPECT IT WAS MY BIGGEST FAILURE FOR THE YEAR, BUT IT IS NOT ONE I'M WILLING TO GIVE UP ON, SO IT WILL BE ON THE 2010 LIST. I DO HAVE IT MORE LIKE 80% DONE NOW.

In addition to the items listed here, I knitted or crocheted 60 items this year. I wrote a new blanket design that has been very popular, I opened my etsy shop, started selling my patterns on Ravelry, and actually lost weight. A very productive year! Bring it on 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow Dogs and Project Updates

I've been very distracted the last three days with all the holiday events and playing with my new DS. (Thanks, PK!) I have such an addictive personality. You put a game, knitting, whatever in front of me and I go and go. I do have a Walking game for it and several workout games for the Wii, so at least I'm continuing to exercise. However, it got my knitting off track! Before that happened, I had made a lot of progress on Anne of Green Gables and the Candy Stripe Jacket.

 
Anne of Green Gables
The body is done so I only have the yoke to complete.

Do you ever worry about the fit of a sweater as you are going along? When you make your swatch, measure it BEFORE and AFTER wash and record you info. If you do this, when you hold up your pre-wash sweater while you are knitting you will know how much it will grow after washing. This will help to lessen your fear that it won't fit. For this cardigan, I plan to make up for any needed extra width by creating a wider button band. Why, you ask? Didn't you do a swatch? I did!!!! This yarn has silk in it and silk STRETCHES like made. So...I knitted this a little tight to compensate. I might have overdone it a tad, thus expanding the buttonband (if needed) will be my solution. Never be afraid to adjust your knitting to suit you. YOU are the one with the brain, not the yarn and needles.



The bottom band of the Candy Stripe.

It has a provisional cast on with waste yarn (the green). I used a knitted case on that is then cut out when the time comes. This results in 1 less stitch in the pick up than I had in my original cast on. I don't often use this provisional for that reason, but it was the suggested cast on for this pattern, so I thought I'd play along. My favorite provisional cast on is the Crochet Provisional Cast On. This one REALLY does just unzip when the time comes.


I love the stitch definition and feel of the Spud & Chloe Sweater yarn.

I took these pix with my new camera. The old one was one of the first digital ones they made, so it was time for an upgrade. I sounded like an idiot telling the guy I needed to take close up knitting shots! It also does continuous capture, so I'll be able to put up some tutorials for you all with more detail.

Snow Dogs

Of course, I didn't just get the camera for the knitting pictures. I have the dogs to capture, as well. We received a fair amount of snow here this weekend and the dogs were "enjoying" it a bit. Poor things! They get it stuck to their fur and Kennedy gets really cold.


Riley with a snow beard.



I think that is a, "Get this off of me and get that camera out of my face!" look.



This scene was just too funny. Kennedy loves her little toys. She takes them everywhere as a comfort. Well, she took her Christmas toy outside and lost it in the snow. See all those tracks? She ran around in circles trying to uncover the hidden toy. Did we help? No, of course, we just took pictures!



Toy recovered.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Lois & Ruby

A good friend and colleague of mine has started a little craft business with her sister. I was clueless as she kept it secret from me and sold some product to my hubby for stocking gifts. Now that I've busted her, I thought I'd share her cute creations.


A Santa ring...

 
Little dog and lady...



A special knitting magnet...

To place an order, you can email loisandruby@yahoo.com.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Knitter's Christmas Goodies

Today is the day after Christmas and I hope all of you are having a great holiday season. I actually slept until 7:10 on Christmas Day!!!! Wow. I'm usually making Patrick get up at 5 am even though it is just us. I know this will come as a shock, but I received many knitting-related gifts. Love them! Many of them are from etsy, so I thought I'd share the info with all of you.


A few great designs from Kristen Hipsky that I requested from Santa. The one of your right (#288 Thetis Pullover) is knit from the cuffs in and then those are joined and you knit the body down. The other one (#281 Point and Line Cardigan) reminds me of a Ysolda design. I thought it might be a good one to knit up for the spring. I can see it over a white tank with capri pants.




Patrick took notice when I got a yarn bowl for T's birthday earlier this year. He picked out this beautiful one in a nice blue shade. It is extra large to hold LARGE skeins. This particular bowl is from Dancing Pig Pottery.




My nephew thought I was being silly when I said I asked for heads for Christmas! Here are my new friends (a man, woman, and child head). I wanted these for designing and selling my hats. I think we should name them! Anybody have suggestions?




We all know about my stitch marker addiction. Boy did I get a great stocking full of them!
Little yorkies from Designs by Tami. They are made out of clay and are super cute.


 
Flowers and Gnomes from WeeOnes Creations. She makes my favorite stitch markers.
A note about the gnomes: My husband gets a big kick out of how much I enjoy the Travelocity commercials. A few years ago I received one of their ornaments in my stocking. I see a trend developing! I promise not to put any on my lawn.



My yearly supply...
You see, I am CONSTANTLY dropping my tapestry needles or losing them. I receive a few packs in my stocking every year to get me through until the next Christmas. It has become a huge joke around our house. So much so that PK used the saying that I blurted out to make me a custom t-shirt!





Hilarious!!!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thrummed Mittens

Today is Christmas Eve. I was supposed to be enjoying the day with my mom and brother. Instead, we were too freaked out by the potential for ice to drive the 3 hours each way. Plus, my mom ended up having to work. Yuck. I'm trying to not be too depressed about it--after throwing a fit last night (sorry, PK). So, what's a girl to do? Knit, of course. It is always right beside me and you never have to worry about the weather, traffic, or anything else!

I decided to go crazy and set myself lofty knitting goals each day. Today, I am trying to
  1. Knit my first thrummed mitten.
  2. Get 12 rows knitted on the yoke of my Anne of Green Gables.
  3. Get at least 1/2 my back knitted on my Candy Stripe Jacket. 
Now, that might not sound like that much BUT



  • Thrumming takes some time! I guess you really are lining the mittens in addition to knitting the outside, so you have to think of it that way. I'm just so used to knitting along that the stopping to insert the thrum is taking longer than I expected. However, I am LOVING the process and the results. These will be nice and toasty when done. Never done any thrumming or heard of it? You take bits of roving and put them in every so often (along with the main yarn). The ends of the roving go to the inside of the mitten and line it. Super soft, cozy, and warm.

Not a very good picture, but you can see all the roving tucked inside.

  • 12 little rows on Green Gables--what is there to complain about, right? Each row is 300+ stitches. Thus, the challenge! Did I mention that it is 1 already and I haven't touched this yet today?
  • The Candy Stripe goal for today isn't a tough one to hit, provided I get around to it.
Why all the goals? Well, it gives me a focus so that I don't sit around feeling sorry for myself that I didn't get to go home for Christmas. It also is incentive so that I can finish up a few projects and start new ones!

Hope you are enjoying some knitting time today, too. Tonight, I hope Santa brings all of you some fiber goodness!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Solstice Swap Package Arrived!

On Monday I received my swap package for the Ravelry Winter Solstice swap. My partner, Julie, timed it just right so that the post office dropped it at my door on the 21st. It was like Christmas came early!


I think she must have read my blog to see that stockings are such a favorite of mine. I'm not sure, but she might have made this herself. It is super cute and is hanging in my yarn room to add a little holiday cheer to the yarn studio.




Inside the stocking:
Peppermint Sticks
Peppermint Bark
1 skein of Spud & Chloe Sweater
2 balls of red/white roving
Pattern for thrummed mittens
4 stitch markers shaped like peppermint candy (already in use!)
Candy cane buttons (great for a kid's sweater)
Red/white vintage flower (I put this on the tree and it looks great!)

It is so much fun to have another fiber enthusiast shop for you. She was so on target with everything it was scary! I have a new friend and a bunch of goodies! I plan to make the mittens soon because they are a perfect match for my red dress coat. I have already signed up for my next swap. It is an Olympic theme where we have to use the rings as inspiration. Found at least one perfect item this morning.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jack in His Knitted Hats

Yesterday I posted all the info about the hats I made Jack for Christmas. Well, you didn't think I would skip including pictures of the little guy in the hats, did you?


Teddy Bear Hat



I'm a dinosaur!



I'm a snowman!




 
Pappa is a dinosaur!



My Bob Marley Hat!



Enough of these hats already...




Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jack Hats

Now that our family gift exchange has taken place, I can post pictures of all the hats I made for Jack. I made them all in one week in September. It was a marathon hat making week!


Pattern: Bear Hat from Patterns for Knitted Hats
Yarn: Partial skein of Dream in Color Classy
Needles: US 6



Pattern: Dino Hat (in Ravelry)
Yarn: 2 colors Dream in Color
Needles: US 7
Additional: Button
I found this pattern to need some editing. If you make it and you are a newbie, use a basic hat pattern and then apply the scales from this pattern. Advanced knitters can figure out the wording and such. I LOVED the finished product.


Pattern: Snowman Hat from Itty-Bitty Hats
Yarn: Partial skeins of 4 colors
Encore Worsted
Needles: US 6
Despite the finishing work involved, I really enjoyed making this hat.

Pattern: Inca Hat from Itty-Bitty Hats
Yarn: Partial skein of Dream in Color Classy
Needles: US 7
Made this one to keep his little ears cozy.

I hope that enjoys all of these toasty little toppers. We love you, Jack!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Patrick's Finished Sweater

I hesitate to call this Patrick's Christmas sweater because that conjures up all kinds of horribly ugly knitted holiday-theme sweaters. It is his yearly "Christmas" sweater in that I knit him one sweater or vest every year that he receives as a gift. Typically, he is involved in picking out the pattern and yarn (within reason!) so that I know he will like it. I am super happy with how this one turned out. As posted yesterday, it was the first saddle shoulder I had done. I was also impressed with my seaming on this one--first because it looks good and second because I did it right away and in one day, which NEVER happens. Ask any knitter!


The front: The sleeves are nice and cover his arms.



The sleeve has a reverse seed stitch cable all the way up.



The back: I added short row shaping at the top to help prevent back creep.



He was happy and liked it. : )



The stance...



To get a perfect blocking, use a sweater that fits the receiver well. My knitted sweater is hiding under this one that I used to make sure the width, length, and sleeve length was accurate.



All laid out to dry.