Friday, April 30, 2010

Vertically Challenged

I am, well, short. Super short. Short. Short. Short. I always have to alter my sweater length a few inches and my sleeves a great deal. Until now, I never realized how much shorter I am from my waist to my knees. I am all squished together in that area. I thought I would only be off by an inch or two, as I am in my torso. Nope. I decided to make a knit skirt and a crochet skirt. Well, to my surprise, I need the length for a pre-teen. Ugh. Wouldn't you know it the first skirt I make is crocheted with short rows down the length. After studying the pattern for a few weeks, I dove in.

I settled on using the stitch count for the girls size for length and then making the number of pleat panels for the adult size. Then I can put on the adult size waist band. I measured it against a skirt that fits me well and it appears to be perfect. (Note that it will have a 3-4 inch waistband and a 2 inch lace detail at the bottom. Also, the variegated regions get pulled together at the top to pleat those areas.)

In addition to my first skirt, this is also the first time I remember doing short rows in crochet. I do them in knitting all the time, but hadn't come across a need in crochet until now. Of course, like I always find crochet to be, it is easier to do in crochet than in knit. You work to the location, slip stitch, turn, and work back. Then, when you work a row that goes past the turning location, you place a stitch into the slip stitch. So simple. It makes excellent "pretty pleats" as the name of the skirt goes.

One other note on this project...I really like the Wrong Side better. I like the texture that the spines add to the skirt, so I plan on using that as my Right Side instead. That's the other thing I like about crochet...much easier to just roll with it and try it out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Distraction...

This past weekend was one of little knitting and crochet for me. After 4.5 years, I decided I needed to change up the color in our bedroom. After taking a Facebook poll, eggplant won out as the new color. (Thanks to all who sent me ideas. You guys are colorful!) We hunted down bedding, the wall paint, and one wall hanging and we were set.

The before...chocolate, gold, and red.
I did hold onto the wall painting we did. It is in my yarn studio now.

10 brand new pillows to fight the allergies. (Target had a REALLY good sale.)
I feel like a grown up with actual drapes.

We still need to finish up the master bath. It will be a lighter purple tone. I also used the opportunity to get rid of a ton of stuff. We sent two large pieces of furniture and bag after bag of stuff to Goodwill. Such a good feeling to clean out things, freshen the house up, and donate to a good cause. Can you tell that I accidentally caught a hoarders episode? Patrick "discourages" me from watching this show because I go crazy cleaning after seeing the stuff on there. Of course, we have minimal things out, but I start obsessing about a drawer, and a closet, and get the idea. I was watching Dr. Oz the other day and he had a hoarder on--thus, the accidental part. Just blogging about it makes me want to clean out the dresser!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Briar Rose!!!!

God, I love this stuff. The yarn is just gorgeous. I can't find anybody who didn't buy some of it at the recent fiber fair. I bought some last summer to make Patrick his Christmas sweater. I loved it so much that I bought the same yarn in a red colorway to make something for me!

Fourth of July
Red colors
4 sts/inch on US 6-7

Purple colors
3.5 sts/inch on US 7

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pretty Pleats Skirt

I started working on my Sasha skirt and although I am enjoying it and think I will love the end result, I also find it slow going. I also had an urge to crochet something. I pulled all the crochet magazines off the wall one Saturday at the store and flipped through to see what I could find. I came across a skirt crocheted out of fingering weight yarn. Designed by Annie Modesitt for the Summer 2009 edition of Interweave Crochet, it is sized from a 19" waist to a 46" waist.

I settled on two semi-solids in Koigu KPM and a variegated from Claudia's Handpainted Yarns. I plan to crochet on this, my sasha skirt, Raleigh's blanket, and my scarf for our KAL throughout April and May. Let the fun begin!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Flowers...

Last fall we did a lot of bulb planting...well, I shopped and mapped it out and Patrick planted them. We finally saw the benefits this past week.

This is our dwarf pear, right. I think they sent us the wrong plant 7 years ago.
The thing is HUGE!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Alhambra KAL

Last week Carol, Nancy, and I ventured over to a local fiber fair and met up with Tonia, Margo, and a bunch of other friends. It was a lot of fun--food, fiber, friends, and fun! (Will post my Briar Rose finds in a few days--it's like a drug!) Anyway, N & C found a Knitspot pattern that they loved. They decided we would have our own mini-knit along. They picked up some Briar Rose laceweight and then Nancy shopped for me out of my stash yarn. We casted on Tuesday and started knitting away.

Using Zephyr yarn in laceweight. A beautiful blue!

Knitted on US#3. As with all lace knitting, it is super ugly during the knitting process because it is all crunched up. 

MUCH prettier all stretched out.
The pattern describes the design as "pinwheeling arabesque motifs of the kind found in Islamic art and architecture throughout Andalusia and southern Spain."

If you are looking for a simple lace pattern to whip up a quick scarf to wear in the spring/summer, this is a good one. The pattern is an 18-row repeat. I do recommend using lace needles to aid you in the knitting techniques. I used a long-tail cast on and 7 stitch markers.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Silk Scarf/Knit Garter Scarf

At the recent Greencastle Fiber Fair, I picked up a silk scarf and yarn kit from Hand Painted Knitting Yarns. There have been mixed reactions from people--some thinking it was a cool concept and some who didn't like the look. I thought it was SO cute! I found a colorway that would go with my wool winter coat and that I thought was really beautiful.

First you knit (in garter) the long scarf with 4 stitch buttonholes spread out at equal intervals. Then you weave the silk scarf through the eyelets. 

I think I will most likely wear it cinched with the silk scarf in a bow in front. 

Modifications: I only used 3 of the 4 balls for a total of 300 yards of a worsted weight. I shortened it by two sections to compensate for my shorty stature. US#8

Friday, April 9, 2010

Flowers of Spring Hat

My knitting pal, Tonia, made a Flowers of Spring hat for her niece. I couldn't resist posting the picture. She is a GREAT little model. I love that Tonia decided how many flowers she wanted and then added all the leaves to set them off. That's one of the great things about the pattern, every hat is different just like no two flowers are the same.

I wish I had eyes like that!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Petal Baby Afghan

I am excited to announce my newest design! The Baby Petal Afghan is perfect for little ones, but also perfect for adults to use in the spring and summer as a lapghan. The flower motif is a little bit of lace detail that makes me smile.

4 skeins of Berroco Vintage (worsted weight; 800 yards total used)
Color shown is Pale Orchid
US 9 circular needle
28" w x 43" h

The pattern is available for sale online in Ravelry and my Etsy store. Hard copy patterns will be available for sale at Stitches & Scones in Westfield, Indiana starting on 4/8 in the evening. In addition to the pattern, if you are interested in purchasing a made Baby Petal Afghan, I will be selling them off of my etsy site this summer/fall. If you need one before that time, please feel free to contact me for a custom order.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I had fun putting together baskets for the boys this year. Jack got the frog and Aidan got the robot. For Valentine's Day we got Jack these little cars that you pull back and then they go across the floor. I bought several more to complete the set for Easter. Patrick and I had great fun tormenting the dogs with them before sending them home with Jack! He also got a little t-shirt from Turks and Caicos. Aidan's old enough that we got him some candy this year. We got him a hackey sack and dreadlock hat when we were on the island. HILLARIOUS!!!!! Aidan didn't really get in on the joke, but all the adults thought it was funny.

Jack finds an Elmo egg.
On the move!
Doug, you look so proud of your son!

Poor kid.

Too cute!

Next Easter I will get to put together 3 little boy Easter baskets! I need to buy boy stuff in bulk.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Economic Swap

One of the swaps I was in for the spring was an economic stash stimulus swap. You sent yarn/items from your stash to your partner and someone sends you stuff from their stash. Great idea! I had totally forgotten that my package was in the mail. I opened the front door around lunch time to enjoy the near 80 degree weather! (WTH? 80 degrees in April? I could SO get used to this...) There was a USPS box and I stood looking at it thinking, "Did I order something when I was awake all night Monday?"

  • Vera Bradley project bag
  • Knitter's gift tags that say:
    Of Course I Made It Hope You Like It After All the Time & Thought I Put Into It, You Better!
  • Magnifying bookmark
  • Photo album
  • Herbal teas
  • Tape measure
  • 6 balls of Merinos Otto
  • Lobster stitch markers (I've named them all Fred.)

Thanks to Connie for the wonderful package. I am looking over patterns to use with the yarn. Thinking about a summer throw for my family room since it matches my couch exactly! Might use my own (in design) baby afghan pattern. It would be a great lapghan for an adult in the summer evenings. Hmmmm....