Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Me and Beige

Beige. Not a good colour choice for me!

I look much better in vibrant colours. My reasons for choosing this yarn for my second Panta have nothing to do with how the colour looks on me. The yarn was chosen for a more practical reason.

I needed an absorbent yarn that wasn't too warm and could survive being machine washed and dried with my gym clothes. . . . I hope to be brave enough to wear this Panta to the gym regularly. My thick, heavy hair falls in my face and drives me crazy when I am working out!

This is "Sonora" by Nashua Handknits, a silk/linen/rayon/nylon blend. The label recommends hand washing but I'm going to treat that as a "suggestion" and throw it to the washer. If it fails? Well then I will have nothing to show for an evening of knitting. But then when is an evening spent knitting ever wasted, even if you have nothing to show for it?

Edited to add: It survived a trip through the washer and dryer with no ill effects. *whew* I also wore it to the gym today and no one fell over in fits of laughter. Perhaps they restrained themselves until I was out of earshot? Anyway, it worked VERY well. Not only did it keep the hair out of my face, but it also reduced the brow mopping to a bare minimum.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Handspun Panta

Ever get caught up in a project that there is a good chance you will never wear, but you just have to make it anyway?

This panta (hairband/ear-warmer thingy) is one of those kinds of projects. I saw the pattern on Ravelry and just HAD to make it even though it's rather "out there" for a grandma like me.

Still, there is something about it that appeals to me in a funky, never in public kind of way.

I knit it from , hand spun, hand dyed, hand combed mohair.

Friday, September 25, 2009

LONG Term Project

This will likely be a very long term project. Today I purchased the pattern and some of the corriedale roving I will spin up in preparation for making one of Alan Dart's Yuletide Gnomes.

I fell in love with these little fellows way back when I first saw one on Michelle's blog.

If you're interested in spinning for one of these, or any other humanoid type toy or decoration, flesh coloured corriedale can be purchased from Sandi at "Shades of Narnia".

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The Ryder Lake Spin-In, hosted by the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild, was held on Saturday. Lots of conversation and laughter, a nice lunch, and vendors with tempting wares.

I certainly didn't need any more fibre to spin, so I was able to avoid much of the temptation. Much of it, but not all. These two little cuties followed me home. They are very tiny, about the size of a large gumball.

I also didn't spin. I plyed. And plyed, and plyed. I spent all day plying two huge, 250g skeins of "Everglade" colourway. This is a 2 ply of approximately DK weight which I plan to knit into a vest some day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stocking Progress

I'll be focusing on Kenzie's stocking for the next while, trying to work on it for at least an hour every day. It must be done by December 1st, when her family traditionally decorates for the season.

sept 20 09

These handmade, beaded, sequined and embroidered stockings are just too pretty to be kept hidden away until the last minute on Christmas Eve. . . . so they go up with the other holiday decorations at the beginning of the season. I'm sure Santa understands.

Friday, September 18, 2009

NOT on the Baby!

Kenzie wasn't too sure about wearing the llama's hat.....

Kaylen however, was VERY sure. . . . . .Sure that it was a VERY terrible idea for her Best Little Sister to be wearing a hat that belonged on a toy!

She was inconsolable until the hat was back where it belonged. . . . on the llama!

(No grandchildren were actually hurt in the making of this blog post. Traumatized maybe, but not actually hurt.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Llovable Llama

This fellow has been in the works for quite some time. I started him right after finishing Shaggy the Sheep, but put him aside when other items took priority place in the line-up.

I think he's adorable, but I'm so glad that he is off of my list of "must finish" items. Crocheting worsted weight acrylic yarn with a small hook to achieve a tight gauge is very hard on the hands!

Loop stitch is no picnic either!

The hat is also included in the pattern, but I think I like him better without it.

I have a feeling that my granddaughters will like him better with the colourful hat though.

So, one item done. Kenzie's appliqu├ęd, sequined and beaded Mary Maxim Christmas stocking will be the next item in the priority list I think. Wouldn't do to be late with the stocking for her very first Christmas.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shapely Socks

You know those "shapely" socks I was making? The ones with the weird, balloon-like toe?

They're finished.

And they fit great!

Lots of wiggle room for the toes, a snug instep that conforms to the foot, and a heel that fits just right. This wide toe thing might be an accidental "design feature" that is worth repeating.

I used a figure 8 cast on, 12 stitches each needle (24 total); increased every row to 48 stitches; increased every other row to 64 stitches, and then after knitting for a bit decided that they were actually too wide so decreased every other row back to 56 stitches. As the depth of the arch of my foot deepened I started the gusset increases a bit early adding 4 stitches to each round (2 each side) every 4th row, so that by the time I reached the spot where I was supposed to start the gussets I was back to 60 stitches. I used the 60 stitch count to calculate the heel turn, heel flap and cuff.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Another On The Go

I finished these socks a little faster than I expected to when I wrote that last post. We made two long car treks over the past week and I spent 26 hours in the passenger seat, mostly knitting.

I finished one pair and got a good start on a second pair.

I know this second pair looks a bit odd, "shapelier" than usual. I had increased to my usual 64 stitches but then decided that in this cotton blend yarn it was working out to be a bit wide. Rather than rip back I decided to just decrease back to a more reasonable width before widening again through the gusset. It makes them look very peculiar when they are lying flat, but on the foot they look normal and fit perfectly. I actually like the extra wiggle room in the toes!

I worked the heels this evening so it's just a matter of doing the cuffs now. They could be ready for a FO debut tomorrow.......or a year from now. I'm that way with sock knitting.