Sunday, December 20, 2009

My First Taste of Dyeing with Kool-Aid

I've been knitting away on some holiday scarves. One of the patterns I was curious too see in a lighter weight yarn so I did a swatch with Knitpicks "Palette" - a fingering weight wool. I then had a chance to use my new blocking mats from Knitpicks. The result was beautiful. Well, I don't usually knit with white, and was itching to play with some color. For some strange reason, we had some orange Kool-Aid packages - even though we don't drink Kool-Aid... So I wound up two balls loosely and threw them in the microwave. The effect was vary ... variegated. I let them dry a bit and then rewound them and redyed them. I love how it came out the second time.

I'm going to enjoy knitting a lightweight scarf with this variegated Oranges & Cream color. Of course I couldn't wait to knit with it so I started off the same as the white swatch, and you can really see the difference blocking can make. Now it's back to holiday gift knitting...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Too Busy to Blog

I've been a bad blogger. But that just means now I have more to share! I haven't been keeping up with my photos either... Our trip to California in May consumed my two cameras and it's hard to sift through over 2,000 pictures!!! (And of course I've been just adding more. I can't believe my memory cards can hold that much!) Above you'll see a picture from our vacation. Zady was very excited to visit the Lego Store in Anaheim (Downtown Disney.)
He lost his first tooth while visiting Disneyland and the tooth fairy left him $20!!! (She must have known how expensive Disneyland is...) We went straight to the Lego store the next morning to purchase the Crystal King set.
Look at him checking out the $400 Death Star Set.

We just went to the Lego Kidsfest a little over a week ago here in CT at the Hartford Convention Center - so that's why I've been revisiting these photos. It was a major hit and super busy!!! We weren't as surprised as most to see the lifesize lego creations because we had seen a lot of them already at the lego store. Here is Darth Vader...
We'll have to make a special trip to find a Lego store here on the east coast because it was one of Zady's favorite things about our vacation.

Look for more blog updates (with knitting) coming soon!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

FO - The Wonderful Wallaby

I recetntly finished my a seamless sweater for my son. Because of the unusual weather in Connecticut this summer, he's actually been able to wear it a few times already! I finished it on Tuesday and tried it on my little man right away. All the ends were not sewn in yet, but he wouldn't take it off!

Here is a link to my Ravelry Project Page.
pattern - "The Wonderful Wallaby" by Cottoage Creations.
Yarn - Knitpicks "Comfy" cotton/acrylic, machine washable and dryable.
MC Planetarium (Navy Blue), CC Siver Sage (silvery light green), CC Ivory
Needles - size 6 and 8 24" knitpicks Harmony circulars. size 6 clover dpns
One of the tips on my size 6 broke but I called knitpicks and they shipped a new set of tips out right away - I think I got them 2 days later.
Size 8 - Warren Wallaby - for my almost-7-year-old

Mods - I added 2 inches to the length of the body and sleeves.
For the body I cast on the total number of body stitches and did not do increases after ribbing.
For the sleeves I did gradual increases instead of all at once after ribbing.
Sleeve ribbing is 2" instead of 3"
I did the k1,yo method for picking up stitches for the pocket but wasn't happy with it so ripped back and did kfb, placing extra sts on holder.
I added an R2D2 intarsia motif to to the pocket.
For the placket I made sure the garter ridges matched up.
For the hood - I did the "Less pointy" version by decreasing 2 sts every other row (with 2 sts between decreases) starting 2 1/2" before the end of hood.

The pictures of Zady wearing the sweater are after it was machine washed and dried. It washed really well and overall I think it came out great!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Working the Wallaby

Lately I've been working on the Wonderful Wallaby. It's a sweater pattern by Cottage Creations with sizes ranging from 2 to adult xxl? I'm making one for my son and then I plan on making one for myself! I'm doing a mini knitalong with a knitter that lives fairly close by whom I met on Ravelry.

I'm using Knitpicks comfy - my new fave cotton/acrylic yarn. My son is a bit sensitve to wool and I inteded this to be a summery pullover so cotton is the best choice for his. Because it's for my son, of course I had to add a little something special so I added a R2D2 motif to the pocket.

I wasn't sure if I was going to do a different bottom band and cuff but ultimately went with the directins, calling for a 1x1 rib. I added the pocket using the k1, yo method - then ripped it out and did kfb. That first row of the pocket is a little loose for my liking but I'll live with it. I guess I'll just try to follow the directions next time - picking up stitches for the pouch afterwards. I also ripped back the pocket to center the motif better.

I'm at the armholes now... I added an extra inch to the length. Now I just have to knit the sleeves and join them to the body. I will add an extra inch to the sleeves as well, and do an inch less ribbing. The directions say to increase all stitches right after ribbing but I will be doing a gradual increase.

I'll have to put the Wallaby on hold while on Vacation next week. My first real Vacation in 15 years... After reading the airline restrictions on knitting needles I realized I would need a portable project that didn't require dpns or long circulars. So, for my vacation knitting- I'll be making a Noro Striped Scarf. I just purchased the yarn for this the other day and I'm having a really hard time not casting on. I'm anxious to see how the colors play out. I really splurged on the yarn for this and now I'm thinking of going back to the shop to get more! The colors I picked are looking a little too similar so I may need a different colorway. Something I wouldn't normally think would go together. Then I'll just keep the other color and make Noro mitts for Christmas gifts.

Windows Live™: Keep your life in sync. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Cookie Craziness

I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter holiday!
Last week was pretty crazy around here. The little guy was home on spring break so I was busy entertaining him and I even took him to work with me a couple of days. There was a lot of last-minute Easter shopping and preparations to get done. We spent all day Saturday baking and decorating Easter cookies. i had actually whipped up a batch of cookie dough Friday night after work (midnight) but as I was reviewing the recipe (figuring out how it was different than the recipe that didn't need refrigeration before rolling and cutting out,) I realized I had goofed and only used half the butter I was supposed to. So, I just started over Saturday morning with the other recipe. I also made my own icing this time after discovering I could use meringue powder which makes good cookie icing because it sets up quick and you can stack them. We used Easter shaped cookie cutters and had lots of fun decorating with special Easter sprinkles, colored sugar, and coconut. Too bad we completely forgot to bring them when we traveled to RI for Easter brunch with family on Sunday!!!

I did remember to bring these mitts I made to my Mom. I meant to give her them for Christmas but I haven't seen her since early December at Thanxmas ( a combination celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas.) The pattern is "Maine Morning Mitts" from the Knitters Book of Yarn. (You can find the pattern free on Ravelry.) I used Noro silk garden in colorway 279. I really love these mitts and plan on making some for myself. I may take someone else's suggestion of using 2 skeins of yarn, to match up the colors. These mitts look as though they could have been 2 different colorways.

My blog has a new look! I haven't really played around with it much, but it could definately use some tweaking. You would never guess I have a degree in Graphic Design...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Snow Fun!

The snow here in Connecticut has been disappearing over the past week. It looks like spring is on it's way. Well, we weren't ready to say goodbye to winter yet so a few days ago we took a day trip up north to Vermont to have some winter fun in the snow. We went skiing at Mt. Snow which is near Wilmington. My son is finally old enough to ski with us unassisted so we thought it was time to take him on ski trip. He has been only ever skied at the small ski area nearby and he was ready to explore a new mountain. We had a great time but I wish we hadn't ventured into the stunt area at the end of the day. My son was really being a daredevil and no matter how many times I told him not to, he went for the crazy stunts and jumps. He even went over a 6 foot jump!!! He was pretty much done skiing after he crash landed that one...
When we left we saw these cool wind turbines spotted across the horizon.

Happy (belated) Leprechaun Day!

The other night my son said to me "Don't forget - tomorrow is Leprechaun Day! I need to find something green to wear." He was saying this as I was weaving in the loose ends of the GREEN sweater I had just finished knitting for him! Perfect!!! Even though the weather has been very spring-like lately, it is still cool enough to wear a sweater and of course I wanted to test it out on him and see him wearing it right away. I haven't gotten a picture of him wearing it yet, but here is the finished sweater...
The pattern is "children's neckdown pullover" from knitting pure and simple. It was super easy. My gauge was a tiny bit off (18 sts over 4" instead of 16) but I like the fabric at that gauge so i did the 6-8 size figuring that my son is a slim six, it should fit fine. The fit is absolutely perfect. So perfect that I am concerned that he may not be able to wear it in the fall (depending on how much he grows this summer.) I do plan on knitting this pattern again with different yarn. Next time I will do the 8-10 size. My son did complain when he first put it on that it was itchy and asked if it was wool. I lied and said no. It is Plymouth Encore Colorspun which is 25% wool, 75% acrylic. I told him he would get used to it... and he did. When he came home from school, he was still wearing it and didn't want to take it off.

I will not be using this particular yarn again. The yarn has a marled/plied look which I like, but the separate skeins in the same dyelot are noticably different in color(to me). Some areas of the yarn are also darker. I came to a knot in the second skein and snipped it and conitnued knitting, only to realize the part right before the knot was almost a solid green. I almost ripped it back but my husband said it gave the sweater character. I came to the same issue on the sleeve but did rip it back. You can kinda see what I mean in the following photo.
I guess it looks fine, it still bothers me a little bit...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sneaky Little Thief

It seems we have a sneaky little yarn thief living in our house! I recently splurged and ordered a bunch of stuff for new projects from Knitpicks and Webs. I stashed my new goodies away in a zippered grocery bag in the living room for easy access. When I came home one night, I found the puppy playing with a skein of my new yarn! Ahhhhhhh!!!!! It was Blue Sky Alpaca's Suri Merino which I was planning to make this kitty hat for my son with.
The puppy had somehow jumped over the pet gate, nuzzled his snout into the partially unzipped bag, snatched the skein, and jumped back over the gate... Well, the yarn didn't look completely destroyed, just a tangled mess. I was very angry so I put the little puppy in his crate for a "time out", only to discover the OTHER skein of Suri Merino stashed away in his crate! Luckily this one was still intact. I will definately have to keep an eye on this little guy in the future!

One of the projects I completed with my new yarn is this chunky hat I knit for my Mom with Knitpicks Swish Bulky. My Mom had recently confessed to me that she had stolen the hat I had knit for my sister several years ago and hides it every
time she comes to visit. Since Mom's birthday was coming up, I decided she needed a hat of her own. I made this one very similar, with different yarn and a different somewhat different colors. I took my inspiration from the book Morehouse Farm Merino Knits... it is similar to the"Hats with Stripes" pattern which has a contrasting color in purl ridges for stripes. I played around with the color sequence and I made this hat wayyyy bigger. I really like the Swish Bulky. I made the last hat with Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky which was quite itchy on me... The swish does not seem itchy at all (although I only wore the hat for a total of five minutes to test it out.) The whole hat was knit in an evening and I tidied up the loose ends the next morning. Quick project!!! Here is a pic...
Right now I am working on a top-down seemless raglan sweater for my son, and a pair of fingerless mitts. I have put the Bat Sweater on hold because I am afraid the sleeves will be too short. Before seaming it and being disappointed I think I will baste the seams and try it on to get an accurate fitting. I allready added about 1 1/2 inches to the length of the body and the sleeves but I still think its too short. When flipping through the book I noticed that the many of the sweaters modeled seemed to have shorter sleeves than I like for my personal taste. All the knitting is done, anyway, I just have the enormous task of weaving in all the loose ends on the intarsia portion. I seam to always put off the finishing on my projects....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crazy for Crochet

I've been crocheting like crazy lately. What started it was an interest in some really cute (chickens) potholeder patterns I saw on Ravelry. So, I searched high and low for the pattern booklet and finally found it on ebay. While waiting for it to arrive, I dug through my own stack of crochet books/booklets and found one on crochet dishcloths... and because they are so quick, decided to whip up a few. Here is one that I did.
Then I was looking through a baby blanket book and noticed a blanket that I had started years ago but given up on. (I was really not happy with the drape - it was turning out rather stiff.) I decided to try this pattern again using Caron Simply Soft. I had a lime green color in my stash that is just perfect for my son's room. I've completed the first section of spiderwebs and just love the result. I guess I'll have to order more yarn online since they didn't have any more of this color (or any color yarn that I needed!) at Walmart.

I also started a Round Ripple blanket using some leftover Cotton-Ease.

And of course I've been knitting! I just had to work on something pink and lacy for Valentine's Day so I started this Spring Beret using Cotton-Ease. It may turn out a tad snug because for some reason, I decided to go down a needle size without adjusting the pattern! Oh well.. this pattern has two versions, a more slouchy and an active. I guess this will fit like the active version. I can't wait to have a new hat to wear!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jib Jib Jasper

Let me introduce you to our new puppy, Jib Jib Jasper. Well, fairly new. We got him on Halloween and next week he will be 5 months old! He is a Japanese Chin, which is a toy breed. In this picture, he is wearing the dinosaur sweater that I originally knit for his father, who belongs to my mom. He has just about outgrown it now so I guess it's time to knit him something new...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Macaroni and Tv, Please

My current mindless knitting project is a garter stitch blanket. I am working it in strips of 13" blocks, in this really bright orange and white. I plan to work 5 blocks per strip with a total of either 5 or 7 strips. I used Caron simply soft and size 10 1/2 needles for a slightly loose gauge. This blanket is so easy I can pick it up anytime, anywhere and knit, knit, knit!

My son named this the Macaroni Blanket. "Oh, because of the color", I said. He said, "No, because the stitches look like macaroni." I guess the garter stitch bumps DO look a little like macaroni elbows...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fishing for Hats

Here is my first finished project for 2009! I actually finished the knitting a couple of weeks ago but it took me that long to weave in the ends and add the eyes to this fabulous Fish Hat! I fell in love with this pattern from as soon as I saw it and of course my son wanted me to knit him one right away. Well, I aim to please. He is always complaining of itchy knits so I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease for this one. I went a little crazy with random stripes but I like how it came out. If I were to change one thing about the pattern, I would knit a complete row of MC (For the body) before working the wrap and turn rows - to make it less conspicuous. We did a LIVE version with crocheted eyes. Here are some photos of my son wearing it around the house...

I love this pattern and I'm even contemplating making one for myself.

I did attempt to make a fair-aisle hat for myself but it is now hibernating, waiting to be frogged. I was making a pentagon shaped hat from the book I mentioned in a previous post, "45 Fine and Fanciful Hats" but it was coming out too small... I was using Lion Brand Cotton-Ease for this one as well. So, I could either try to find a bulky cotton blend yarn to use or go up a needle size and add a pattern repeat. But if I did that, it wouldn't be a pentagon, would it?!