Tag Archives: Knitting

Podcasts I like Part 1

While working on the ebay stuff I like to listen to podcasts.  Some of my favorite podcasters talk about knitting, spinning, and books.  I keep “discovering” new ones because each podcaster likes to mention and discuss the podcasts THEY like to listen to.

In no particular order:

Crafternoon Tea with GrannyG – From New Zealand!  (I can’t believe spell check doesn’t recognize that Zealand is a proper word).  “A fibrecraft podcast from NZ featuring interviews with inspiring people.”  And recipes.  Cooking yummy stuff!  She even prepares fiber for spinning – I love messing with wool.

The Knitmore Girls – “A Mother Daughter Knitting Production”  Jasmin and GiGi share their knitting projects and errors, spinning, sewing, and reviews.  I really enjoy their respect and love for each other that comes through each discussion.  Makes me cherish the memories I have of my mother even more.  Of course,  she would never record her voice because she sounded “too southern” as do I.

CraftLit – Heather O discusses her knitting, life, cooking, and comments on the book portion.  She serially presents a book in audio form from Librivox and discusses the themes, plot, and other information that enhances your understanding and enjoyment of the book.  It is like sitting down with your friend the English teacher over her/his favorite books.  I got hooked on her with Jane Austen and stuck around for Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.  It is not a book I would see myself reading (so many books, so little time…) but I am enjoying  the commentary and a few chapters each podcast.  The reader is fantastic.   I am looking forward to going back and “reading” some of the previous books with Heather.

CogKNITive – A Knitting-Psychology Podcast.  Dr. Gemma is a practicing Psychologist in California in both private practice and the prison system.  Each podcast includes a discussion about knitting, crochet, spinning, aspects of her job, and a life strategy.  She organizes a small fiber festival each year at the beginning of October and I wish I was close enough to go.  I love her common sense approach to living life.  Knitmore Girls mentioned her, and I am so glad they did!

Knitting update

It is nearly time for my personal realization that Christmas is coming and I have gifts to make.  Not quite yet because Thanksgiving is the panic button day.

So I am doing general knitting and spinning.

I started a shawl (Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl) with my own handspun, a single ply, and it is not going well.  I don’t spin well enough yet to skip the all-important plying step to help hide some of my way too thin parts.  Grey wool on silver knit picks needles?  Not so easy for my eyes on the cobweb weight parts.  I will persevere!  The parts that are done look nice, so that is encouraging.  At the rate it is going I will still be working on it 2 years from now.
Since I wrote this draft, the above shawl is no more.  We made it to row 30 and I was spending more time tediously tinking back than I was knitting forward.  Some yellow baby yarn was in my stash and I began knitting with it to see if it was the pattern or the yarn giving me problems.  It was the yarn.  The lovely gray has been ripped out and wound carefully back into it’s ball to await further inspiration.  Even though the yellow is kind of bright and squeaky acrylic it is fun knitting.  The pattern finally MAKES SENSE!

The sock yarn blankie is going well and will have a lot of blue.  I had never noticed how many of my knitterly friends liked to make blue socks.  He (the blankie is a He.  For some reason I have begun to refer to IT as a HE) has been a traveling companion and dr’s office calming device.  Quite a few people commented on how serene I looked knitting while waiting for my eye surgery.  Knitting makes a great socially acceptable pacifier for a medical procedure wienie.

Socks are on another pair of needles and actually got about an inch or so done on them today. 

The all important heel is coming up and the anticipation is daunting.  I need an easy to engineer heel that can be readily altered for large ankles.  Very large ankles.  I’m trying to decide between Widdershins (a kind blogger even broke it down farther for some of us) or Fleegle heel (Fleegle fine tuned the method in another blog post).

Spinning is chocolate cherry wool from my VA shepherd(ess?) friend and I am TRYING to make a thicker singles.  I would love something I could ply 2 together and get a sport weight.  Or even go whole hog and 3 ply!  wow!

Take Care!

Snowdrop Lace

One of the KAL (Knit A Longs) in a Ravelry group I belong to is the Snowdrop Lace Facecloth.  It was pretty and I started with a yarn I had close by – a variegated purple, green, and white (seen previously in my Turn Up the Heat Mitts).  After some struggles with the pattern I finally had a repeat I was happy with…but was not happy with how it looked.  Knitted another repeat.  Still not happy with how it looked. Variegated worsted is not the best yarn for a lace pattern, the pattern of the colors  interferes with the texture of the knit pattern.

You would think I’d know by now.  Continuing with a project while unhappy with how it looks does not always make you happy with how it looks.  Each time I saw the pretty white lacy appearance of the photo on the pattern the more unhappy I became.

Rippit…frogged.  Next I used some 2 ply cotton yarn I received in a Pisgah (home of Peaches and Creme yarn) grab bag.  I think it was a ball of their Article 925C, a 2 ply sport/baby weight that normally comes on 1 lb cones.  Love those grab bags!  And I love how it is looking, but what to make with it?

snowdrop lace cloth in progress

I can continue and make a pretty, lacy scarf (I think I have another ball of yarn in my stash) or continue to the end of the ball I’m on now.  Or maybe a little longer  and I think it would make a nice hand towel in the bathroom.  Or end it now and make a face cloth out of it.

The bit of purple towards the top is the lifeline.  In case I make ANOTHER mistake I know I can quickly rip back to this point and save unknitting each  stitch one at a time (called tinking).

Need to switch back to the R2D2 hat, as it MUST be finished by Sunday!

Sigh.  Had to rip back to the lifeline and decided this is now a facecloth.  Period.  Move on.

Binding off with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off as shown by Cat Bordhi on You Tube

Knitting for Warmth

Christmas is past, and I was supposed to start knitting for ME now.  Not so fast.  The R2D2 hats I knit for the nephews were quite popular and a couple of people have actually begged me to knit one for them.  The knitting is finished on one, and the second has a good start to it.

I did break in the middle as it was unseasonably COOOOOLD in Florida and I wanted something to help keep me warm IN THE HOUSE.  Yes, I have heat, but my body heard how cold it was outside and refused to listen to the thermostat reading.

Peaches & Creme cotton yarn is one of my favorites and so I tried knitting some hand warmers (fingerless mitts) and a cowl out of two different colorways.  Both turned out and I will be going back to the P&C for warm things again. Some of my buddies on the P&C Ravelry list in the cold north lands (New England states!!!) say they like wearing the cotton items, except when scraping ice off windshields.  BRRRR.

fingerless mitts

Free pattern found through Ravelry, Susie’s Reading Mitts by Janelle Masters (click the link to go to the free pattern off Ravelry).  Of course I felt I had to mess around with it and initially did a ribbing cuff at the top.  Didn’t like it and ripped and reworked in the edging the pattern called for.  The yarn was quite a bit heavier so I cast on 36 stitches with size US 6 knitting needles and worked in the round by Magic Loop. Color is Country Garden (much prettier in person than in the scanned image)

The next item was a cowl, Stacked Eyelet Cowl – I wanted something to keep my neck warm as my short hair wasn’t quite long enough.  An advantage of this pattern is you can pull it up to sink your mouth and nose into the soft warmth or let it accordion low on your neck.  It drapes nicely and the choke factor is quite low with this cowl; I truly hate something pressing on my throat.

cowl from P&C

The yarn is Peaches & Creme Passion and is a lovely mix of gold, peach, coral, lilac, light red..and I keep seeing different shades of each in it.  Simple knit and I started with a cast on of 110 instead of the 120 the pattern called for – again the pattern is written for a finer yarn. I just kept going until it was the size I wanted.

Warm and cozy!  And the temp is finally back up in the 70’s.

Pre-Christmas Crafting Push

I’ve been working on and off on Christmas gift items for a while now and have one large project finished and a few smaller ones.  All will be held in secret until Dec 25 or when the packages are finally delivered.

As with many of us, gifts this year will be those created.  Knitting is still enthralling to me so many of them are knitted.  Dust will be removed from the sewing machine for some fleece projects that have been popular in previous years.  Lots to do!

While trolling for knitting patterns I ran across these sites and thought to share.

Most of my pattern searching has been on Ravelry, but other places have ideas, too!  Lots of knitting charts and patterns are here.  The creative and generous designer is Jessica Tromp and I have only begun to explore the site.  I’m eager to try some more color work! The mittens page is full of some adorable ideas.

Ever been to www.colr.org? I was led there through a Google Widget and it is fascinating to pick a color out of an image and give it a name.  Lots more possibilities and need to see what else is offered.

 

Adventures in Knitting – shhhh – it’s a secret!

The focus of the latest adventure is not for public consumption yet.  I’m knitting a small tote for a Ravelry Group Swap and don’t want to give too many details in case my victim/swappee reads this.

It is an adventure, though.  I was planning on knitting something in my beloved cotton yarn, but it wasn’t speaking to me and didn’t feel right.  So that went back in the barn for the next project.  I carpool to knitting group and my buddy S wanted a chart keeper for her new lace project.  We stopped at Michaels and she picked out a cute mini-lunchbox tin big enough to keep her yarn.  Of course we couldn’t leave without checking the yarn.  Still no update to the yarn section, but there are some additional yarns on 99 cent special – including Lion Brand Feltable Wool.

Ping!  My inner designer liked the thought of a brilliant eye-knocking color felted bag.  A few skeins jumped into my cart – I wish I had glommed more and off we went to knitting.

I enjoy reading patterns and then winging it, especially when it is a simple idea.  A rectangle for the bottom, pick up stitches and knit around and around.  But how many stitches?  Hmmmm… 47 was the last cast on I did on a dishcloth.  So I did 50.  Like round numbers.

It grew.  And grew.  It got wider and wider, almost like magic.  I didn’t take into account I had switched from 4 mm to 9 mm needles.  Ooops.  Big isn’t a problem with bags, but it was too narrow and I didn’t like the proportions.

Rip

Returned home and located the pattern.  Only 25 stitches??? That would be wayyyy tooo small.  I want the bag to be big enough to actually use; a paperback book, an apple, and a sandwich should fit.  Or a small knitting project.  So I cast on 35 stitches and like the size.  I’ll felt carefully so it doesn’t shrink to nothing.

The pattern strap may be changed too.  I’ll have to think about that.  I like smaller handles on small bags as I usually stuff them down a larger bag.

Yes, I have Too Much Stuff.  How did you guess?

Got lots to do…better get this proof read, posted and move along.

My Knitting Adventures – Socks 3A

I really love knitting socks.  Working on pair 3 AND 4 at the same time!  I had stalled on pair 3 and started on pair 4 at knitting group one week and have continued to switch back and forth.

This is sock 3A

Pair number three, first sock (Sock 3A)

The yarn is a cotton/nylon blend called Lagoon from Sara’s Colorwave yarns.    I purchased some crochet cotton from her in the past and was impressed with the quality of the base thread and her dyeing skills.  It was VERY reasonably priced – anytime I can get enough yarn for a pair of socks in size huge from one skein of yarn for less than $10 I am going for it!

Closeup of the yarn under my "daylight" lamp

I know the socks look kind of odd-shaped but that is what it takes to fit my feet.   They are a teeny bit short- about two more rows and they would be perfect.  Socks 3B are past the heel but I’m not happy with the sloppy way I did the heel turn.  A heel turn is not the time to watch a show you actually pay attention to.  Frogging is in the future.  The very near future.  Yuk.  But rather frog than SEE those holes (both of them…LOL) or know they are there.

I’ve been wanting to try some summer yarns – it gets pretty hot in Florida and I wore my first pair of wool blend socks and my feet were HOT.  And it isn’t really summer yet!  We have a couple of weeks before the night temps go above 85…LOL.  Cotton fiber socks are an option and I am aware that cotton yarns have the rep that they stretch all out of shape but I’m hoping the nylon in these will help hold the shape.

I did the ribbing for these sport socks in the same size needle as the rest of the sock – size US zero and it is much too loose.  I had a JoAnn’s coupon and bought the Susan Bates set of DPNs in sock sizes.  The 00 size will be used for the ribbing for socks 3B and if I like it better, guess what – I’ll rip out the ribbing on socks 3A and redo with the small needles. And then find circular needles in 00.  I can use DPNs but like circs MUCH better.

Some may think the ripping is excessive but I am learning more and more about knitting each time I try something, rip,  and then try something else.  The Toe-Up Gusseted Heel from Maia has been a fantastic heel and I can almost do it without looking at the instructions.  Not quite, but almost.  When studying sock construction I kept finding wrap and turn methods but they seemed…fiddly…to me.  Maia’s heel was straightforward and simply slipping the first stich allowed me to yank up the stitch tight to eliminate the holes.  Most of the time.  When I am paying attention to the knitting and not watching an episode of Chuck online.