Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New old furniture!

I haven't gotten much knitting done today. I'm about 3/4 done with the sheep shawl edging, and I needed a break. So I've been playing with this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Why is she playing with a table you ask?







Because it's not a table!

It's a new/old Sewing machine!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This has been sitting in the upstairs hallway of my parent's house since I was a little kid, piled with junk and most recently my dad's deodorants and other toiletries. (Notice how beat up the top panel is.)

After I made the little sock pouch on m grandmothers old machine I've been itching to sew more.
Then I remembered my mother had an old sewing machine too! She used to make all my Halloween costumes when I was a little kid but hasn't used it since before I was a teenager and I'd forgotten all about it.

This is a Sears-Kenmore model, and I think a bit newer than my grandmother's Singer.* (Which also was a hide away/table combo) besides the plain old straight line I could get on my grandmothers, this one also does Zig Zags! (I am far too easily amused)

It also came with my mothers sewing bench, which had some bobbins, thread, a few rusty hand sewing needles, two packages or replacement needles for the machine, a little tool and parts box, the manual, and several old pieces of clothing from my childhood in the 80's (bright coloured stretch pants... yummy!)

We brought it home Friday (Bill says it was HEAVY!!) and set it up. But after reading the manual I realized it probably hadn't been oiled since before the last time mom used it, and I didn't want to kill it right away. I was able to pick up some sewing machine oil today as well as some pins, and needle threaders. This afternoon I got to work dusting, cleaning and oiling everything up.

Then after dinner I got stitchy!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It's another little sock sack.
I'm still not a very good seamstress. And I'm learning about all the weird little quirks this machine has, but I'm pretty happy overall.

*Random trivia: I live about a two hour boat ride away from Dark Island. The home of Singer Castle. It's quite beautiful there.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm out on the border, I'm walkin' the line

I finally made it to the edging!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I'm about halfway through right now, and it's going much slower than I anticipated.

I really wanted to have this shawl off the needles by the end of the month. But now I'm not sure if I'm going to make it or not.

When I finished the main body of the shawl I stopped to celebrate and started a (not quite so) small crochet project:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The will eventually be wonderfully gaudy slippers for Bill.
He's already gone through two pairs of knit slippers this winter, and I'm hoping the denser crochet fabric will hold up better.
Also, with this pattern I can make a separate second sole to sew on, and as he wears through it, I can just take it off and make a new one before the whole slipper is destroyed.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Sky

Today while we had Cayenne out for her afternoon romp we decided to walk down to the river to see what we could see.

All that white? That's the mighty St Lawrence. Frozen.
Those brown splotches in the foreground and the pole in the middle of the picture are the docks.

I was actually standing on the water when I took this picture.
Gotta love winter in the North Country!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Saturday Sky, taken February 24, 2007 at 12:45pm

Don't believe I was really standing on the water? Here's a picture of Bill and Cayenne out on the river too:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
that's the dock next to them, Bill is getting ready to slide across that patch of exposed ice next to him.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

But the lamb loved Mary so

I am most definitely not Mary.

I have reached the sheep, and am beginning to regret my initial excitement at knitting them.

They are kicking my butt.
Hard core.

So far I have gotten half way through a row, not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES only to discover I messed up a stitch count somewhere at the very beginning and need to tink all the way back.
Did I mention each pattern row takes roughly half an hour to complete now?

My biggest problem is they are not all neat and geometric like the rest of the patterns, so I'm having a more difficult time reading my knitting than I was before, so I don't notice the mistakes sooner.

Le sigh.

Luckily after the first few hellacious rows I'm getting better at reading the knitting and predicting how their little sheepy shapes are formed. Here you can see the leg-less sheep in all their evil splendor.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
(the shawl is getting quite large and it is becoming more and more difficult to photograph it well.)

I lied earlier.
I haven't been giving the shawl my undivided attention.
I can't.

You see, I need a simple project I can put down quickly and don’t need to pay very much attention to for times like knit night, which was last night, and when I take Bill his lunch at work, like I did this afternoon.

So I have the Naga socks:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I'm using the blue green hand dyed I made, and I'm designing the pattern as I go. Hopefully I'll have a really neat sock pattern for you all when I'm done.

You may remember that these were the 100% wool socks that I knit a bit of sewing thread along the toes. And then later learned that this may not be the best thing for socks. So the other day I went looking around the net and discovered that many sock knitters prefer a stuff called woolly Nylon for a reinforcing thread on 100% wool socks. It's nylon so it's strong, but It's stretchy and soft, so it will stretch with the yarn, and won't cut through the yarn like sewing thread is said to do.

It comes in about 50 different colours, and I found a great deal for them at www.threadart.com about $3 for a 1000 meter spool. (since you only use it on toes and heels, one spool will last a long time!)

Ta da!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I'll be running a strand of the green along the heels of the Naga Socks.
It will be and interesting experiment!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Purple cabled socks!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I JUST finished these, Just in time to wear them to knit night tomorrow, I'm so excited!

These are my second pair of socks (I've knit other sock like items with worsted yarn, but these are my second sock yarn socks) and I'm getting much better at perfecting the fit and design that I like!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The stats:
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential Tweed in Plum
Needles: HiyaHiya US size 2 (2.75mm) 40" circulars.
Gauge: 9 stitches and 11.5 rows per inch

Toe up, two at once, Turkish cast on 30 sts, increased to 77, short row heel over 38 stitches, (11, 16, 11)

3x3 cable with moss stitch from page 68, "Sensational Knitted Socks" by Charlene Schurch, and eye of the partridge pattern over heel stitches.


  • I did the cable patted slightly differently than called for in the book, I didn't want the moss stitch flanking the sides of my foot, and I wanted to see how a cable would look next to plain stockinet, so I switched the 'front' and 'back' of the pattern.

  • The last pair of socks I made from Knit Picks essential is fuzzing up more than I would like, so I knit these at a tighter gauge, and I also decided to try my hand at the Eye of the partridge heel I keep reading about. It's usually done on heel flaps, but I like the way short row heels fit me better, so I just threw in the pattern over the heel stitches as I was short rowing back up.
    I enjoyed this type of heel, it looks neat, and I'm hoping it will hold up better. In the future I don't think I'll do the patter over the full number of heel stitches, it looks a bit funny on the sides since I do my heels over a full half of the sock stitches. Next time I think I'll only do it over the middle half of the heel.

  • I don't particularly like tall socks in general, and anyways my legs are quite fat, so they always get a bit too tight if I go past a certain height, and I was feeling too lazy to figure out how to increase neatly for my calf. So I didn't. Unfortunately cutting the leg so short makes it look kind of stumpy when I'm wearing it, but I don't mind that much.

  • despite my earlier complaints, I LOVE knitting with this yarn, it's soft and squishy comes in such pretty colours and is just generally delightful to knit.

Now that those are done, it's back to the sheep shawl, which has been languishing since I made a mistake and had to tink back over half a row. I was crushed and haven't been able to look at it in two days.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Sky

Just another dreary snowy day.
Although the temperature is finally going up a little bit!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Taken February 17, 2006 1:30PM across the street from the Platypus Nest.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Woo hoo!

I just checked my mail and I have some awesome news!

The post I made on the Thumb Trick made it into this month's YARNIVAL over at The Purloined Letter!!

YARNIVAL is a neat little monthly round up of interesting tips, tricks, and articles about Knitting from around the Blogosphere. It's hosted by a different Blogger each month and he or she gives their own personal spin on the articles they choose.

My favorite link in this months YARNIVAL is not mine, but the link to how to use a nostepinne at Fiber Fool (scroll down to the "Perfecting Our Technique" Header)
The technique is invaluable and the blurb by this months host is positively priceless!

Go on over to YARNIVAL and check it out. I promise you will not be disappointed!

v-day yarn take two

The yarn dried over night and by this afternoon as ready to be wound.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It looks even more stunning in the ball; I seriously can't wait to knit with this.
I already have three pairs of socks on the needles, so I'm going to have to wait for now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

happy v-day.

Bill was going to take me out to my favorite restaurant for valentines day today, but instead a giant Nor'easter decided to eat the state, making driving very yucky indeed.

So we stayed home, cuddled, I dyed yarn and he cooked me a delicious dinner.

The yarn:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
(Not the most flattering picture, I know, once it's dry I'll wind it up and take another picture so you can see how the colours interact.)

Knit picks superwash and nylon bare.
Once again using Wilton's food dyes.
Holy crap does the super wash suck up the colour!
It sucked it up so quickly in fact, that it wasn't able to penetrate through all the layers of yarn at the top of the containers I was using.
I was a little upset at first, but now, I actually kind of like the white at pastel bits.

I can't wait to knit with this! :D

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I've been a bad girl

So I uh, haven't really been working on the shawl much.

See, I think I'm addicted to socks.

I joined the sock a month KAL because I enjoy making socks and hell if I can get entered to win a prize every time I make a pair, more the better! (And it's really fun and inspiring to see everybody else's socks as well.)

When I joined I already had the Regia socks, and then I started the cable socks.
But then the other day I dyed some sock yarn, and it came out so pretty I just HAD to start another pair from that. And then I was *so close* to the heels on the cable socks I couldn't stop!

The evidence:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The green is pretty spot on, but in real life the blue is more... blue and less cyan. I used Wilton food dyes, I would love to use real acid dyes, but that whole needing to buy a whole new set of pots and utensil just wouldn't work right now. (btw, doesn't that photo look neat, sometimes I surprise myself with really good pictures, normally I suck at taking good pictures, see the purple socks below.)

The yarn is 100% wool, so I knit in a length of sewing thread at the toes and will do it again at the heels to give it more strength.
(After I had started I read somewhere that using sewing thread is bad, and I should get some Wooly Nylon. I hope these socks hold up, I love the way the colours are working.)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

These are going surprisingly quick for cables. I decided to try an eye of the partridge heel and am going to extend it up for another cable repeat before doing the cable pattern all around the ankle.

Now it's February 11 and I have 17 days to finish one of these pairs for the KAL. And I really should get back to the shawl, as I'm very close to done on that, and I want to get started on my wedding veil shawl soon.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday Sky

I didn't get a Saturday Sky last week because of the thing with my dad, but I got one this week!

I went out with Bill when he took Cayenne for her daily romp in the snow and caught this beautiful sight above the bushes beside our yard.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Take February 10, 2007, 12 noon, out front of the Platypus nest.

Monday, February 05, 2007

And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden

First: a great big, huge THANK YOU to everybody who sent well wishes to my father.

He came home Saturday evening, much earlier than any of us were really expecting, and is doing wonderfully.
They did not do the stents that they had originally been planning, I'm unsure of exactly they did end up going with, but apparently they couldn't anesthetize him during the procedure, and it was incredibly painful for him, but a much quicker recovery time.
He's still experiencing a little bit of discomfort but can return to work as early as tomorrow if he would like. That is a huge weight off of my shoulders, and I'm very glad to be home again.

While I really didn't think I would get much knitting done while at my parent's house, there was a surprising bit of downtime with just me and my thoughts, so to keep my mind busy I cast on for and knit these:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

they are a variation on the 3x3 cable with moss stitch pattern from Sensational knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch

I'm using Knit Picks Essential tweed in Plum.

I am not quite happy with how bright and ... circus-y the tweeding is. You can't see it very well in the picture, but it is *bright*. I had originally meant this yarn to be for my cousin Tasha for my wedding, but this is not something she would wear. I'm glad I saw an example of it knitted up on the knitting curmudgeon's sight before I started something for her. I don't mind the bright tweed as much, so they are now socks for meeee!

And to hold the socks in progress I broke out my grandmother's old singer sewing machine and made this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

the strap has a little snap and can fit over a wrist or be hooked through a belt loop, very similar to these but for a fraction of the price! I'm not the world's best seamstress (or even a very mediocre one) but I had a great time making this, and want to make a few more to coordinate with my socks in progress! It is way better than my usual method of storing socks when I'm not working on them. (a plastic grocery bag.)

Speaking of socks, before everything with my father happened I had finally reached the heel on my mis-matched Regia socks:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

how fun and bright!

Once I got home as was able to relax I got back to the sheep shawl.
Even with a week long break I'm making pretty good progress:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I've finished the village and the sunflowers and am ready to start the first grass chart before the sheep! So excited!

Creative Commons

Creative Commons License
This blog and everything contained within is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.