Location: Crescent City, California, United States

I love to make things with my hands. My current passions are knitting and spinning.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Gifts, and De-Stashing

One more Christmas gift done! I had been wanting to make a hat for my oldest son - specifically the Swell hat. I tried about 3 different yarns, and at least that many different needle sizes and still couldn't get gauge. Sooo.... I ended up just making a ribbed hat (my husband talked me out of making one with a cable design - oh well).
Specs: Yarn used: Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8 ply, color #1825. One 50 gm. ball (with about12" of yarn leftover!!)
Needles: Brittany U.S. size 7 DPNs
Pattern: Basic hat pattern.
Since I finsished the Lenore socks, I had to get another pair of socks on the needles (no matter that I already have several projects on the needles). So I went through my patterns and found the Celtic Braid Socks pattern (# 157 in the Cabin Fever catalogue). It is one of the first sock patterns that I bought when I started knitting, and certainly one of the first cable patterns that I purchased. I do so love cables!!! The yarn I am useing is Lana Grossa - Melenweit Cotton stretch, color #8004 ( a de-stash yarn, she has been sitting around waiting for me to notice her for about a year). This yarn has a very nice hand, and the color is beautiful. What a change from the dark color of Lenore!
Once I got the hang of the cable pattern, things have started really progressing.
Close-up of cable pattern.....

I am trying not to stress out this year and make everyone handmade gifts, so I don't really have anymore plans right now to knit anything else for Christmas. Of course that could change at a moments notice, especially since I haven't bought anything for my sister for Christmas yet. It is so nice making things for my family, they really appreciate handmade things. I think they know how much love I put into it.
Well, the needles are calling for my attention. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Flashing my FOs

I have been back home from Texas for a week, and finally have a moment to "flash my FOs".

The day before I flew to Texas, I took a class in crock pot dyeing. I didn't have the colors available that I really wanted, so my first attempt doesn't look exactly as I had imagined. But isn't that the way with so many things when we are first learning? I know my first few knitting projects didn't turn out how I had hoped.

The green is too much on the "kelly" side, so I tried over dyeing it with brown. That muted it some. Since I did this, I have gone shopping for other dye colors and have about 10 now. I am looking forward to having a morning to play with yarn and dyes.

I also finished the Lenore socks.......

Sorry about how dark the picture is, but black is hard to photograph.

While I was visiting my mom and sister, I enjoyed visiting with my sister's cat, Pandora. Pandora is gorgeous (as you can see in the picture below) and her fur is very soft...and luscious... and a very soft creamy color.

The more I thought about it, how she gets combed every single day and how that beautiful fur was just being tossed into the trash can, an idea began forming in my head. Now the fur is being placed into a bag, and when at least 4 oz. has been gathered, it will be shipped to me and hopefully spun into some gorgeous yarn and knit into a lacy scarf to give back to my sister to enjoy for years to come!!
The biggest accomplishment for me during my 2 weeks in Texas, was designing a pair of fingerless mitts. The design is actually based on 2 different patterns. I have e-mailed both of the other designers who have given me permission to offer the pattern for free on the Internet. I have a friend who is willing to proof read the instructions for me. When she is done, I will be posting the pattern here and on Ravelry. I have also had a few ideas for sock designs rattling around in my head. Who knows where this will lead me?

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Vacation Post

I am currently in Texas visiting and helping out my sister and mom (mom recently had a knee replacement and had a few complications).
Flying on a plane is a great time to do knitting. You can sit and knit and not feel guilty! I have finished one of the Lenore socks, and would have finished the second sock, but have been sidetracked on other projects. Since I have been here (in between cooking, cleaning and playing chauffeur), I have worked on:
1. The Lenore socks
2. A present for my sister for her birthday in December
3. Adapting a fair isle hat pattern to fingerless mitts

As soon as I finish working out the bugs on the pattern for the fingerless mitts, and get the OK from the original pattern designers, I hope to offer the pattern for free either on my blog or on Ravelry, or both. So stay tuned!!

The day before I flew to Texas, I took a yarn dyeing class. We dyed the yarn in the crock pot using Wilton food dye. I wasn't especially happy with the way that my yarn turned out - I was hoping for more muted colors instead of a bright Kelly green. Since then I have bought more dye colors and more yarn and hope to possibly do some experimenting in the next week. Please look for more pics in about 1-11/2 weeks.

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