Friday, December 30, 2011

Finished Object Friday

Last Friday of the year.  Hard to believe.  Here is the second baby sweater for baby Olivia who will be making her debut in March.  The wrap cardigan is a lovely shade of lavender (to my eyes), some people say it is periwinkle but it isn't.  And this picture isn't doing it justice - it is lavender not blue.  It is a bamboo blend yarn and once I changed to bamboo needles it was much easier to work with.
Pattern is here, though I changed the lace to something that made more sense to me, did the trim differently and skipped the embroidery.  Olivia's middle name will be Lily, so I am considering embroidering a lily on it.  We'll see if I get inspired.

For all the other great year end objects, head over to Tami's.  Have a safe and happy New Year's.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The year is winding down

My company has all left this morning and things are going to get back to normal - or at least our version of normal.  We didn't have 20 for dinner last night, only 17.  It was a blast - I highly recommend honey baked ham.  Makes life much easier for the hostess and they sell turkey breasts too.  We had a lot of kids this year and I played Wii Fit with them.  So much fun but I'm hoarse from cheering them on.

My exciting news of the day is that I set myself up as a designer on Ravelry this morning and posted my Mosaic Dish Towel pattern there as a free download.  I have a couple of other designs in process and one submitted for a publication - hope to hear soon on it.  So I have crossed something off my to-do list for the year in time.

I haven't made my resolutions or plans yet for next year but am thinking about them.  We'll see if I am bold enough to publish them here for all to see and hold me accountable.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

The day is almost over and calming down a bit.  Presents have been opened, dinner was fantastic (my husband was in charge so its not bragging) and a cookie baking marathon is over.  My husband's relatives arrive in two waves tomorrow so this is the calm.   It seems like we rush through the holidays so much now.  We put up decorations after Thanksgiving and take them down on the 26th.  It is supposed to be the 12 days of Christmas.  Having company later helps stretch that out.

This picture is an ornament I've had since I was a little girl.  It is a dove in a nest - there are even a few pearl eggs.  One of my favorite parts of Christmas is finding the right place to put it on the tree.  It represents not only peace but home and love to me over all these years.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I wish you peace and joy and time with the ones you love.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Happy Wednesday.  I'm enjoying lots of different knitting projects at one time.  First my vest is assembled and I had delusions about doing an i-cord edging and being done for Friday.  Two problems with that thought.  I-Cord edging is boring.  Second, it is not working that well; I don't have the right gauge and it is puckering.

I'm probably going to pull it out and do a crochet edging but I'm still in denial.

I'm moving along well on my Noro sweater.  Front and back are done and I'm maybe a third through the sleeves.  Worrying about having enough because I've been trying to match the color striping.
The baby sweater has not been touched.  And I have started swatching on the silk I won at guild, thinking about a cowl.

What are you working on?  Head over to Tami's to see lots of other fabulous projects.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Finished Object Friday

Yeah, it is Friday.  I have been trying to speed up this week by a day since Monday.  My finished object is my Level Three Masters Final Project - the Aran Sweater with cables and a bobble (that is the requirement - you can do a fair isle sweater but then your hat has to have cables and bobbles).

I didn't take a lot of pictures of it because I was so afraid of damaging it/staining it, stretching it/ ruining it before it was submitted.  In general I am happy with it.  I am sure I will get comments and constructive feedback, but I am just glad it is done.  I heard from the office today that it is already on its way to the committee for judging.  I should hear in 10 - 12 weeks.

For all of you doing holiday gift knitting, I wish you well.  I'm seeing plenty of people freaking out on blogs right now.  I opted out of Christmas knitting and cards both this year and am much less stressed as a result.  I do have five people coming for 4 or 5 days between Christmas and New Years and at least 20 people for dinner one night, but that hasn't sunk in yet and I am still blissfully happy to have crossed something off my list.

Have a great Friday and head over to Tami's to see lots of great projects.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

It is truly exciting that I can be knitting whatever I want to be working on.  A couple of projects going on.

First a vest - it's actually blocking now ready for being sewn up and edging done.  Maybe this weekend.
Second is another baby sweater.  It was an adorable wrap pattern in a very soft bamboo blend yarn.  Why does knitting with bamboo sound like so much more fun than it really is?  Fleegle has a great post here about different fibers and I wish I had read it before buying this yarn to remind myself that every bamboo adventure has not turned out as expected.  I've ripped out twice to the beginning.
Obviously it is not high on the fun list right now.  The last project is!  My first Noro Silk Garden sweater.  The plan is for it to be a square neck pullover hopefully with three quarter length sleeves.  I love the colors.
I'm actually almost finished the back after spending hours yesterday at the outpatient clinic.  My husband had a colonoscopy - no fun but an all clear result.  I have an aunt who is dying of colon cancer now - big reminder that it is important to get the screening tests done.  This is very easy for me to say since I'm not old enough to have to have gone through it yet.

Head over to Tami's to see lots of great projects.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Major Milestone for Level Three!

I have just returned from the post office and mailing off my level three submission.
One very large notebook, a hat in a zip lock bag, and a sweater in tissue paper that got majorly crumpled and torn while trying to find a box big enough at the post office.  Yes, I do have a knack for picking the busiest day of the year for shipping.  They ask you to keep it to under five pounds; I'm at six.  If they are insistent on that rule they shouldn't ask for so much stuff.  Very relieved to have it on its way, before the holidays.  It will probably be three months before I hear back and some amount of redo is guaranteed.  I'm hoping to be done and complete and official by the end of June.

PS - the sweater will be my Friday FO.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Finished Object Friday

Happy Friday!  My finished object is a lace and bead scarf.  The pattern is my own design and it was accepted by Knit Picks to be in their independent designer program.  I will let you know when the pattern is available on their web site.   As you can imagine, I'm very proud of it.
To see all the great finished objects, head over to Tami's and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Work in Progress Tutorial

Okay, I have not been very diligent lately on posting and I forgot that today was Wednesday.  But I do have a tutorial that I have been meaning to post lately.  So here is my work in progress - a tutorial on adding beads as you knit.  Here are two methods for doing it - one with a crochet hook and the other using dental floss.

Placing beads with a crochet hook: 
Knit the stitch indicated and put a bead on the crochet hook. 

Use the hook to remove the stitch just knitted from the right hand needle.

Push the bead from the crochet hook down over the knitted stitch. 

Return this stitch back to the right hand needle and adjust the tension of this stitch.

Placing beads with dental floss:  This is my preferred method.  You can string a bunch of beads at once and don’t have to worry about stabbing yourself with the crochet hook.  You must use the Super Floss that comes in pre-cut lengths with one end being fuzzy.  (I’m told this floss is designed for people with braces.)  Thread beads onto floss.  The fuzzy part will keep them from falling off and I tie a knot around a bead at the long end to keep them from falling off that end. 

Knit the stitch where the bead goes, thread one end of the dental floss through this stitch and remove the stitch from the right needle.

Hold both ends of the dental floss together and push a bead down from the fuzzy part of the floss so that both ends of the dental floss are through the bead. 

Push bead down onto the stitch and replace this stitch back on the right hand needle, pulling it to the correct tension.  Remove the dental floss.

 Of course there is one last way to add beads and that is to string the beads on your yarn.  Then when you want to knit in a bead you move it up to the working yarn next to your stitch.  I did make the Shipwreck Shawl a few years ago and strung 5,000 beads onto the yarn.  It is a beautiful shawl but I don't think I will ever do that again.  You can get a very similar effect with one of these methods.  (If you want the bead to be on a yarn over, then you must string them.  If you are okay with the bead being on the stitch, you can add as you go.)

 Head over to Tami's to see the other great Works in Progress