Friday, May 21, 2010

Miyoko T-Shirt

I had planned to move on from my skirt to my other already active projects. As I was updating the Pretty Pleats record in Ravelry, I saw this new pattern pop up from C2Knits. I had been wanting to knit a top for the summer that would be lightweight. I had also been looking at Berroco Seduce since it arrived at the store. I thought it looked interesting--sort of a lumpy bumpy yarn that is thin but says dk/worsted. I returned my leftover yarn from the skirt and picked up the yarn for the top. (I'm referring to it as my 44 cents t-shirt since that was the balance!) The pattern listed Seduce as one option. Perfect!

You knit it from the top down like a normal neck down cardigan, but the front has a big space missing. You then pick up the stitches long ways and knit the front center panel and three needle bind it off. A lovely sheer ripple panel runs down the front.

I cast on Saturday night while my nephew was over. He asked me to show him how to knit, so we did a few stitches together. It was fun to see how fast he got the concept and he would certainly be a continental knitter. Even though I showed him how to knit English, he had been watching me knit continental and he did it that way right away! I about past the divide for sleeves point and am now working on the body portion.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Broad Ripple Art Fair

Patrick and I went to the Broad Ripple Art Fair this past weekend. I had never been before and was excited to see all of the art. I was surprised by how few painted pieces there were. Lots of glass art, pottery, jewelry, and photography art. My favorite "pieces" were actually handbags made out of vintage fabric.

 I couldn't resist picking up this onesie for Raleigh.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A new look

After 10 years, it was time for some new couches. If you have pets or kids, you know that is a pretty good run for furniture. Our old stuff was still in pretty good condition, except for two spots. Guess where those spots were? Yep. One on each side of the back of the couch--shaped like two yorkies. In addition to these two locations, Riley liked to hide under our old couches when it was time to go in his crate, take meds, or any other human-imposed activity. The new couches don't have a solid back cushion and they go all the way to the floor. I LOVE the color. It really brightens up our downstairs and makes me happy.

The couch is extra long and the pillows are soft! A great nap sofa. 

The supersize chair and ottoman are great for knitting.
I see Kiki and I spending many hours in this location.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pretty Pleats Skirt Is Finished!

Loved making this skirt. Because I am short and the length is in the short rows, I made the 27” size for the length, 7 pleat sections, and then adjusted the decreases and height on the waist band. I also only put on two buttons instead of three and used a smaller hook for the waist area to draw it in.

Because I liked the wrong side of the fabric better, I reversed it for the pleat section. I went on my own path for tacking the pleats together because I was trying to see how many pleat repeats I needed for my body. I single crocheted 3 inches of the spines together as I went for fit.

Yarn: 4 skeins of Koigu in a raspberry, 3 of a Koigu in a beige, and 2 of Claudia’s Handpaints in a lovely variegated. Yummy.
Hooks: G, F, and E

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Felted Crochet Slippers

A lot of people have been knitting French Press Slippers. I made a pair around Christmas time (thanks to Carol for the gift of the pattern and yarn). I wear them every single day. They have held up so well and are comfortable in the cold and hot. I saw a lot of posts asking about a crocheted version. Several months ago I searched and searched for something for a student and didn't come up with anything as cute. Well, A Life Crocheted developed a crochet pattern that looks like the French Press knitted version. I scooped up the pattern in the morning, bought a skein of yarn in the afternoon, and crocheted them that night. Talk about a fast project! It took me 3 hours to make them and felt them. Seriously...

1 skein of Cascade 220 (I have some left)
H hook
Size: 7/8, but I shrunk them a little more to get a 6.5

Here they are all felted with the cute buttons. I wanted more of a spring color for this pair.

Notes: I think the next time that I will use a larger size hook so that when they felt the stitch definition disappears even more. It took about 40 minutes for them to felt. Each time I stopped the washer to check them, I put them on to shape them to my feet. I felted them to be a little tight because they do stretch out over time with use. CUTE! Pattern is for sale in Ravelry from A Life Crocheted and is named Felted Crocheted Slippers.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Know It All Bag

Okay...I admit it. I'm a little part geek. I think if you work in publishing (and a large part of that time on computer books) and you marry a geek, it is bound to rub off. Well, it was only a matter of time before it all crept into my knitting. First it was the iPhone with knitting apps, Ravelry for oh so many things, Ning for taking online classes...the list grows each day.

The latest geekie knitting invasion is the Know It All bag. When I saw this free pattern in the Spring/Summer 2010 edition of Knitty, I immediately said I was going to make it. After pulling two skeins of Cascade 220 out of my stash, I trolled to see how much the components would be. As it just so happened, I won the basketball bracket bet that I made with my husband. He had to pay up by buying me a knitting-related item online. I picked these LilyPad gadgets! That makes it a free bag, right?

Anyway...the thing that makes this bag geekie is that you put LED lights on it along with a programmable board. You program in your pattern and the lights display it. For example, Light On equals a knit stitch. I spent a few hours Friday afternoon knitting the bag. A VERY fast knit.

The first part is knit long ways. Then you knit the sides and handle in one piece.

You whip stitch the sides together.

Then you felt the bag. Mine took 40 minutes in my Duet.

You needle felt the outside decorations.

After the bag is completely dry, you put on all of the components with the conductive thread. SCREEEEEEEECH....I came to a slamming halt. The conductive thread is slick as, well, snot--as we used to say in grade school. The tiny openings on the Lily Pad are difficult to get into. After trying for what seemed like hours and realizing it was only 15 minutes, I gave up because it was like torture for this non-seamstress. I'm hugely disappointed, but it isn't worth my frustration. If any of you like to sew and would like to get your hands on a Lily Pad kit, I'd be happy to sell you mine for a great price (compared to the full price you get online). I would like to see it land with a happy home!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sharon's Finished Gina Shawl

One of my students, Sharon, blasted through a Gina Shawl knitted out of Malabrigo sock. She did such a beautiful job and, oh, the yarn. Love the colors! We had great fun trying it on in different directions. It looked great on her in all of the different ways.

So pretty!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Trifold Knitter's Bowl Is Finished!

I knitted up the pouches and the top closures, felted the bowl in my front loader in about 50 minutes, and shaped it with towels to dry. I LOVE it! I ended up using odds and ends of different colors in my stash to complete the project. It's all colorful and fun. I plan to get a lazy susan this weekend to use. Very happy with the results!

A view of the bowl prior to felting.

 A side view.

After felting--love it!

The floppy nature of the pre-felted bowl completely goes away and a nice, sturdy bowl is the result. I really do think it is magic that Cat was able to think in such an abstract manner to create this wonderful pattern.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Garden Time

This past weekend we put in flowers, the garden, and mulched. The dogs, as always, helped out. Not a lot to say, but I thought I'd toss up some photos...

Here is farmer Patrick. Love this photo of him. So cute.

Kennedy helped in her red dress. She carried her toy all over the yard--all weekend.
We put a fence around the garden to keep our rabbit (named Riley) out!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Trifold Knitter's Bowl

Years and years ago I took a class from Cat Bordhi. I learned how to make her magical moebius cast on and knitted a felted stocking and a moebius scarf. When her second moebius book (A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting) came out, I decided that I wanted to make the Trifold Knitter's Bowl. Well, technically, I saw it as an ad in the first book and decided then! As with a lot of patterns, it went on the long list of "I want to make X".

The other night the bowl invaded my nightmare. Yes, that's right. I was in the middle of a nightmare full of things that scare me (rats, mean people, etc). There on the table was my finished trifold knitter's bowl. I remember thinking in my dream state that I needed to make it for real. In my nightmare some people I knew growing up (and haven't seen or thought about in 20+ years) were make fun of my passion for knitting. I decided to leave school and knit more knitter's bowls and my mom said that sounded like a great idea. Well, when I woke up I had a huge laugh and thought, "I have to make that bowl if it is coming to me in my sleep." I truly don't know what brought it to my sub-conscious because I hadn't looked at the pattern in years.

I went to my stash and looked around. I found some colors that match my new couch and thought it would be a great item to have for my knitting storage downstairs. (Note: I am REALLY good about confining my knitting to the yarn studio. However, we all have a basket next to the couch, right?) I casted on, created the three turns, and re-introduced myself to the magic that is Cat Bordhi. It is by far my favorite moebius item yet.

First, you make the moebius portion (in this case twisted three times instead of one), apply the second color i-cord, and bind off. Do you see the three twists?

Then, you pick up around the moebius and across it and knit the bowl portion. You insert waste yarn in specific areas to be picked up and knitted into pouches later. See the red line? That's the waste yarn.

I have a few more steps (knitting the pouches and the top closures) to complete. Then I can felt it and put it onto a lazy susan. Couches arrive on Thursday, so I need to get knitting!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Nephew Raleigh's Baby Shower

This past weekend we went down to Valley for Baby Raleigh's shower. It was so good to visit with my mom, aunt, and cousin. I miss my mommy!!! I got to see my brother's new home and then we were off to the shower.
Baby Matt and Baby Nicki with a diaper cake between.

Cousin Seth decided to face plant into the cupcake!

Seth decided to curl up on my aunt and take a nap. Enough of this girl stuff, already!!!

Nicki liked the blankie. She is a big UK fan and Matt is a Duke fan, so she got a chuckle out of the ribbon. I told her the Duke burp bibs for Daddy and Baby to use!

Nicki also enjoyed all the outfits that Aunt Chris and Laura sent out from PA. Too cute!

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Kids

Just a few fun pictures of what the kids do while I knit, design, clean, work, etc...

Kennedy suns herself.

She holds a toy in her mouth when she gets upset, which is any time I clean. Yorkies hate for things to be different and that includes moving the furniture to clean the floors.

She sits next to me looking cute while I knit and crochet.

And Riley...well, he is camera shy and spends his time sleeping under the couch. He's not going to be very happy when the new couches arrive that don't have a gap under them for sleeping. I wonder if he would go into one of the igloo type cat beds so he could hide his eyes--I love that his legs are crossed.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What's Keeping Me Busy

I've been BUSY this past week and a half. I've been working on organizing things around the house, cleaning the floors and baseboards, organizing photos, knitting on my skirt, and many other things. I'm super excited about two of those other things:

I'm taking another online course from Stefanie Japel. This one is for instructor's. I'm learning how to set up my own online classroom. I'm very excited about launching an online Brownie Knits classroom that will focus on teaching my patterns. I think it will be so much fun to meet people from around the country--assuming anybody is interested, of course. I think it is a great thing for those knitters and crocheters who live in small rural communities without a LYS. When the classroom opens, I will have a link on the blog and detail about the classes. I hope to meet many of you there!

It is SUPER hard to tell here, but this is a train-themed baby afghan. We had to have something for the boys, right? It is "in progress" and should be released sometime this summer.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What's in a Name?

During a recent class, we started talking about the names of patterns. I expressed that naming my patterns is my least favorite part of designing. They were all surprised by this and so was I when I first started fretting over the names. I never think I've been creative enough. One of the students mentioned that she loved the names of OPI nail colors. Right away, we all knew what she was talking about and you could tell we each had a color pop into our heads. (Funny enough, several of us had used Waitress Red!")

So, it occurred to me that I should use the blog to help with pattern names. Maybe make it a little contest. Stay tuned for the opportunity to name some future designs and win some prizes!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How It All Started...

I get asked in my classes how I started knitting. My answer is always brought back to when I learned how to crochet from my Aunt Christine. I was in 4-H and I tried my hand at crochet and sewing. Just like now, loved the crochet and hated the sewing. She taught me how to chain stitch and made me make a chain that went around the outside of the house 10 times. From there, we went on to single crochet and double crochet.

This past Friday, I spent part of the day cleaning out a lot of memory items and photos. I came across the little baskets that I made in 4-H that year! Two tiny little baskets made out of Aunt Lydia's crochet thread. I put them into the wash and then shaped them and put them in my yarn studio. I couldn't believe I still had them. I studied them and was surprised to see that I did a treble crochet too.

I think they were supposed to be little egg baskets for some reason. Now they will be holding stitch markers and buttons!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pretty in Pink Petal Baby Afghan

Marcia brought in her finished Petal Baby Afghan for me to see!!! She did such a great job on her blanket for her first grandchild, Macy. This one is out of a cotton yarn--perfect for a Florida baby. The side borders were modified to be 5 stitches wider on each side. Great job, Marica. (She's already working on a second one, too!)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Raleigh's Duke Blankie

Remember that Heaven blanket that I made at the beginning of the year? How cute and soft and fluffy it was? It is basically a big diagonal garter stitch washcloth pattern. I was looking at it and thought, "Those eyelets are perfect for a ribbon." I waited to find out whether we would have a girl or boy come along. When I found out that we were getting another nephew (Raleigh), I immediately knew what I wanted to do.

You see, my baby brother (I can still say that even though he is in his late 20s, right?), is a HUGE Duke fan...even though his older, wiser sister went to IU during the those Laettner years. I set out to order some Duke ribbion. Well, I didn't count on them winning the Final Four and all the ribbon in the world selling out. After a few months of searching, I found some online. I LOVE it and I hope Matt does too. I also found some burp bibs on Etsy in a Duke pattern. I suppose I'll have to ask the IU gods for forgiveness for a bit after putting this together!

It took 4 yards to go around and create a little bow. 

The ribbon can be easily removed for washing purposes.