Thursday, July 29, 2010

Free Fiesta Fingerless Mitt Pattern

I was a little undecided as to whether I should share this or not. But I am so excited about some of the possibilities opening up that I am going to go ahead with this free pattern.
As a note, when my etsy store opens up I will be selling the completed mitts, if anyone is interested. I know a lot of people out there like hand knits, but can not neccessarily make them.

For those of you who want to jump right in and make these, here is my Fiesta Mitt Pattern!

These mitts are knit up with my wild Fiesta Yarn, of which I still am not at liberty to talk much about. sorry. I'll quit mentioning it.
Notes: This pattern can be made 2 ways: with worsted weight yarn and size US 8 needles, Or with a dk weight yarn and size US 7 needles. I will write this up for dk, but also include the worsted options. Length measurements are the same for both. If something isn't clear please leave me a comment or email and I will try and explain.

Fiesta Mitt Pattern
Yarn: 80 yards Dk or Worsted weight yarn.
Needles: For DK mitts, size US 7 set of 4 dpn
For Wosted Mitts, size US 8 set of 4 dpn
For DK, looselycast on 28 stitches. For Worsted, loosely cast on 24 stitches. (Note: from here on out both patterns are the same)
Divide evenly on 3 dpn needles. Being careful not to twist stitches, join in the round. Work in a 2x2 rib (knit 2, purl 2) until piece measures 4 1/2 inches from the cast-on edge.
Next row: Bind off 2 stitches, finish row in 2x2 rib. Do NOT re-join in round yet. Wok back in forth in rows in a 2x2 rib as established for another inch. At end of last row, cast on 2 stitches and join in round.
Work another 3 inches in 2x2 rib.
Bind off loosely in rib.
And your fiesta mitts are complete! I hope you enjoy this pattern! I would LOVE to hear back from you what you thought of it. Also it would be neat to see pics on ravelry or your blogs. Thank you for trying my pattern!

The Nameless Post

I know I pop in and out of my blog so inconsistently it's a wonder anyone reads it. Thank you to those of you who persist in coming back. The above yarn is mohair, the batt that I carded and then dyed. Yesterday I finished spinning a small amount and wound it into this center pull ball. I then plied it into a little skein of yarn. I meant to show you the yarn itself, but when we rushed out the door this morning to come to my Aunt's place it got left behind. It is about 95.25yards. I am not sure as to the exact weight. There is a LOT of the batt left, in fact I have barely made a dent! But since I do not have a lace spindle I am making little skeins. The spindle I have becomes to heavy for a light weight yarn and the ply breaks.

I finished the poncho I was making. The yarn is Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Natura. It is an 8 ply yarn, probably about a heavy worsted weight. This is a baby poncho, for 1-2yrs. The pattern is from the book Holiday Knits. I liked this pattern because it was such a quick knit. A fast knitter could make it in just a few hours. I made a mistake and happily knit along for 6 inches of my mistake before realizing what I had done. So that cut a huge chunk into my time calculations. I'll have to make another one soon. The pattern does come in 5-6yr and Adult sizes as well!!

My spinning from the alpaca fleece I processed is coming along slowly. I can't seem to get in to the project. Maybe it is because my batt is a little scuffly. I think I was kind of wild in my carding. I am most anxious to get started on a cabled scarf for the gentleman who gave us the fleece. So that is probably what is keeping me persevering in my spinning. I am thinking I will make his wife fingerless mitts. Anyways, I am excited to give them items made out of their alpaca fleece!

Another slow-progressing project, the baby blanket I am making for a friend.
It is so dull. Like knitting a giant dishcloth. Dishcloths are good and well in there place, but an everlasting dishcloth....
I rest my case.
And I still have to knit the first half until it measures 36 inches from the point! Gasp!

However, I must admit, it is pretty.

And that is it of my knitting/spinning projects. I'll probably get a chance to update my blog early next week a couple of times. But after that expect a dry spell of a couple weeks or so. I am hoping to have my birthday shawl done this weekend, so I should be able to get that on here. Take care and have a marvelous weekend!
Oh, about the flowers. Autumn Joy Sedum, not yet in full bloom. As there name suggests, it will be autumn before the turn a deep red-ish pink. I thought the green was pretty stunning though.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lace, Cotton, and More Cotton.

So I just realized....I have several cotton projects in the works! Normally cotton is not the fiber of choice, although I like cotton, I usually end up with some sort of wool.
But before we get to the cotton, let me update you on the everlasting shawl. I am convinced that I must be one of the slowest lace knitter's on the planet. Which I find odd, because normally I can crank out other knits at a decent speed. Oh well, nothing wrong with taking one's time. And believe me, I have taken my time on this project! I started it near the end of May, and finally the end of the shawl is now in sight! Hurrah!

I have 11 rows left on the lace ruffle, and then the crochet bind-off. Oh how much fun! I can't wait to block this and show you an actualy photo that includes the whole shawl laid out. Instead of these little shots and scrunched up bits of knitting.
Yes, there is that everlasting swatch of lace, and the beginnings of my ruffle. I think part of the reason I take so long knitting lace is because I dread tearing out a row or two that consists of 400 stitches. And I am prone to making some tiny mistake mid-row and not noticing it until I get to the end of my row and my pattern repeat is all wacky. This year I learned a lovely trick for creating yarn-overs in a spot where one was supposed be, but you forgot to put it in. This comes in handy when you knit a row and leave out a YO, then do a purl row, and finally on the next right side row, discover your mistake. Because dispite all my good intentions, I forget a yarn over now and then, and no, I don't check my stitch count at the end of every row. And now after all that yammering, I don't even have a photo to show you how the technique is done. I don't have anywhere to refrence either as I discovered this on my own, although I am sure it must be in a book out there somewhere!

Here is my entire Lillia Hyrna Shawl, all scrunched up and anxious to be taken off the needles. I am hoping to squeak the last few rows and bind-off out of that ball of yarn. I still have another skein, but I don't want to use it if I don't have to.

Now I am pretty sure that my friend, Amy, doesn't read my blog. So I can safely post this picture of the little poncho I am making for her 1 year old, without ruining the surprise. This is where we get in to all the cotton knitting. I did have the label for this, but it is floating in my knitting bag somewhere. So all I have to say about this yarn is that it is a mercerized cotton, heavey worsted weight. I found this pattern in "Holiday Knits". It is a poncho that is sized from 1 year to adult. It is one of the cutest ponchos I have ever seen! Amy's little daughter will look so sweet in this. And the pattern is very easy, I did all of this, except for the last inch, in one evening. The pattern takes about 300 yards worsted weight yarn.

As you can see, this project hasn't gone anywhere yet! I have a baby blanket that I am making for another friend who is due in a few months. It is from the Knitting Encyclopedia. The blanket will be worked from corner to corner. It is a pretty simple pattern, just reverse stockinette and stockinette stitch. I was waiting on this project until I finished my shawl because those are the circulars I need. But now a friend has graciously lent me a pair so I am all set to knit.

And last but not least, a couple of basket weave dishcloths that I whipped up Friday night. I used US size 9 needles and cast on thirty stitches. I alternated purl 5, knit 5, across the row, for 8 rows. Then switched to knit 5, purl 5 for another 8 rows. And back and forth until it was as long as I wanted. I am staying with an elderly lady for a few days and I thought these would make a nice gift for her.
I'm not sure when I will be blogging again, so just hang in there, I'll be back.

A Bit Of Crochet, And My Latest Spinning.

Hello Everyone! It's good to be back with you! How is your summer going? Mine has been wonderful so far, it's definitely been a very busy summer.
I have been alternating between knitting and spinning the last week because I have been getting some arm pain when I knit for any extended period. It is pretty frustrating because I have all kinds of knitting projects that I have going on, or need to get started. But having burning pain in one's arms tends to slow down knitting. So when my arms hurt too bad I switch over to spinning.
A while back my cousin mailed me a delightful package which contained enough fiber to spin up into yarn and then make the composed mitts from Interweave knits. I had other spinning projects going on at the time so didn't start the fiber from the package. But last week I pulled it out and got busy spinning. When I took the above photo I had already started spinning up the deep purple fiber.

The composed mitts call for a dk weight, so I spun it up a fine ply and then wound it in to a center-pull ball and plied from both ends.

See, aren't these tiny little skeins cute?! I wound them all and measured the length. The are all somewhere between 18 and 30 yards. These little skeins go so fast! You certainly get a sense of accomplishment spinning them.

I like the colors. :) I should have some very cheerful mitts! I have always loved the Composed Mitts, and I am pretty excited about making some for myself. Each of these little skeins is about 5 1/2 inches long. As you can see from the first photo, my main color will be a dark brown. I haven't started spinning that up yet. I still need to finish up the red and the pink roving.
I haven't done hardly any crocheting at all recently. This rug is from "Simple Knits For Easy Living" by Erika Knight. It is made with strips of cloth. Then you simply chain a certain amount and go at it with single crochet. I have all the tails hanging loose right now, but I will probably tuck them in. The book says leave them in or out, but I would prefer them in I think.

It is going slow because most of our scraps get turned in to quilts. I can't imagine turning good material in to a rug! So I collected all the sad pieces of fabric from around the house, as well as the skinny strips that can't be used for anything else.

And no, I am not even to the halfway point yet! I am going to use this rug next to my bed. I think it would look lovely there on the wood floor. A nice cushy rug to sink one's toes into when getting in and out of bed. :)

My multi-colored yarn is finally done! It is a bit on the wild side, very different for me, but I like it a lot. I still have special plans for it, plans that I am not free to discuss right now. But you can at least see the yarn.

Isn't it so fun!? I can't wait to sart working with it. That is the problem with doing so much spinning, I am making more yarn that needs to be knit up. Hmm...maybe instead of planning projects I should just sell or give it away. That way my arms can get a rest.
I'll think on it.....

And one last shot......just because it is so cheerful!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fiber & Knitting Updates

I'm spending a few days with a friend that I haven't seen in 5 months. We have been having a great time together, making some wonderful memories. There has been lots of knitting and spinning going on too. You'll see a small bit of it at the end of this post.
Here is my first spindle full of mystery yarn, wound off on to a dowel. I only have 2 bobbins and I am using them for something else, so it is back to using dowels. Perhaps I can talk my brother into making me some more? Maybe if I ask sweetly.... :)
My shawl is progressing, little by little. I am plowing along through the lace, I think I have about 16 more rows left on my chart. It is fun to do, but I am excited to see what the next step in the pattern is. In fact, it is so long since I looked at anything pertaining to the pattern, except the chart, that I am not sure what comes next! I know I am coming to the end soon. I can't wait to knit the ruffly edge, it is so pretty! The book is just over in my suitcase but I don't feeling like going to fetch it and see what comes next.

It will be fun to block this and see the pattern open up.

So as I have previously stated, my parents gave me both the yarn and the book to make this project. They saw the project in the Knit Picks magazine. Well, in the magazine it stated the amount of yarn that was needed, so that is what my parents bought. But what we all missed in the fine print of the magazine was: "Yarn was held double throughout". Yup. Makes a great deal of difference in the amount of yarn one uses in their project! Let's just say I was halfway through my shawl when I finely read the fine print. I panicked thinking that perhaps I was using the wrong weight all together and my shawl would end up the wrong size( No, I didn't make a gauge swatch). But it was a huge relief to read that I WAS indeed supposed to use a lace- weight, Knit Picks simply double stranded the yarn to make a thicker shawl. Whew!!!!
But now I have double the amount of yarn I need which means that I will have 2 skeins of my main color and 1 skein of my complementary color left over. Dear, dear, what is a knitter supposed to do with extra yarn!? Actually I am pretty excited about extra yarn, I have all KINDS of ideas in mind. It should be fun.

My chevron tunic is progressing slowly. As you can see I need to buy another skein of yarn. It should be my last, I hope. The front of my tunic doesn't look much different from the back at this point. It will eventually grow longer and then I will make the shoulder straps. Come to think of it I didn't even show a picture of the completed back, did I? It isn't that terribly exciting to look at, but I am pleased with the way it turned out.

Glass Socks! While I have been here at my friend's place we have been whipping up some glass cozies. They are so much fun, very easy, and take a small amount of medium weight yarn. We are using Sugar and Cream cotton yarn.

Sometimes the yarn turns out these great stripes, which is always fun!
The two glass socks above are made by my dear friend, Randi.

I made this one, and two others that I didn't take photos of yet. The pattern can use different rib variations, 1x1, 2x1, 2x2, etc. But we have been experimenting with different stitches as well and have come up with all kinds of fun things. If you want to make a glass sock, just get on Ravelry and search soda can cozy.
Then let your imagination fly!
That's about it for now. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence Day 2010

Oh! Thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand, between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our motto: "In God is our trust." And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
~The Star-Spangled Banner

Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!
~ Patrick Henry March 23,1775

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.
~Psalm 33:12

It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not by religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.
~Patrick Henry

From every mountain side,
let Freedom ring!
~Samuel F. Smith

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for ALL.
~United States of America's Pledge Of Allegiance

Fiber Updates

Hello Everyone! Glad to be back in the blogging world with you! I didn't think I had much to post but on second thought I found a few things that I am working on.
I purchased 5 ounces of mohair roving at the last fiber festival I was in. It was a creamy tan color and I bought it for Mother. But she wanted me to dye it, so Thursday I pulled out my Greener Shades Dyes and all my dyeing equipment and got to work. I completely forgot to take pictures of the process but here are some pics of the finished project.

In real life this is much greener, with only a smattering of blue.

5 ounces of mohair could go pretty far so Mother asked me to spin it up as thin as possible. I am aiming for a lace weight, but we'll see. My spindle is a little less than an ounce so it should work. I will wind the yarn off into smaller skeins to keep the spindle light.

Remember the yarn that I spun up a couple of weeks ago with roving that I had hand painted? Well it was only 362 yards and I needed 8 more yards for the shawl I want to make. I finished spinning up the little bit of roving I had from my four ounces while I was at the fiber fest waiting for customers.

I ended up getting another 193 yards so I am all set to go on my next shawl project!

This picture probably comes closest to the true color of the yarn.

And my rust yarn is now ready to go. But I still need to spin up the rest of my roving, I had 8 oz total. I have a project in mind for this one but that one won't be in the works until late summer at least.

My birthday shawl is progressing beautifully. As a reminder it is the Lillia Hyrna Shawl from the "Knitter's Book of Wool". Well, I say progressing beautifully, but in actuality I am slowed down by rows & rows of lace.

See this section above? The NEVER ENDING LACE!!! I finally have the pattern down enough that I can work on it while watching a video. But I have 26 rows left of chart B and sometimes it seems as if I will never be done. I am pretty particular about when I work on my lace bit, because with that many stitches, (so many I have lost count), I would hate to have to tear back, or even worse, frog the whole thing! I have had a few snarly moments when I didn't have a clue what was going on with my knitting. Knitting left on it's own is bound to get in trouble. Stitches quietly jump off the needles and go for a hike several rows down. Yarn overs decide to get in a tangle. Not to mention sharp objects in your knitting bag grabbing a loop of lace and making a run for it, thereby resulting in a mile long snag. All kinds of other shocking things can occur when you don't keep an eye on your knitting.

I started an experiment last night. Unfortunately I can not give you all the details, but I can show you some shots of the yarn that my experiment is centered around.

It is a bit wild for me, but so far I am liking it. I spun all this up last night and my spinning time seemed to fly by! So I am happy that it is a fast project.

I'll update you all later on how things turn out. It isn't anything top secret, I just don't know if I'll go anywhere with this idea yet (business-wise) so am keeping it quiet for now. All kinds of mystery surrounding that innocent little bit of yarn, eh?

Tomorrow is Independence Day here in the USA! We have plans, which involve fireworks in the evening. :) I quite enjoy fireworks. Not sure what else are day will hold, besides church a.m. & p.m. of course.

So happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans out there! The rest of you have a wonderful day as well!