It’s another week on and I’m on my sixth skein of yarn with the maxi-cosi blanket. I drastically under ordered yarn for this project but luckily Knitpicks is having a sale on Wool of the Andes bulky in this color. I also picked up brown yarn for the next blanket. The blanket is no longer confused for a scarf but I have a long, long way to go.
So, I am a little more than half way through with my blue sky shrug. I really do love this pattern. It is so simple to follow but it is taking more time than I would like to finish it. I thought I had less yarn than I do and I’m already wondering what to do with the leftover homespun. Of course, I’m not as thin as the model below, but I’m looking forward to wearing this. Here in Florida, alpaca is used sparingly. Today is cold and my cats are continually sitting on my work in progress.
This weekend has been especially lazy. I have zero motivation. I’m even having trouble getting enough energy to surf through pinterest. I did manage to finish my chocolate homespun yarn. I bought the batt at the Florida Fiber In back in September but haven’t really had time to sit and spin it until recently. I tried to create a thicker yarn this time and it worked. I used the navajo plying technique to create a three ply and I can’t wait to use it. I’m not sure for what yet, since I don’t have that much.
Finally, I started a bobbin of what will become my cotton candy yarn. I also bought this at the Florida Fiber In back in September. I’m going to pair it with a gorgeous hot pink. I’m thinking socks for this two ply yarn.
What did the recently former vegetarian say when the doctor told her to go on a high protein, low carb diet?
There are a few things you should know about me. 1- I was a pollo-vegetarian (vegetarian who still eats chicken but no other meat products) for a few years in my early twenties and a true vegetarian for about a year when I was twenty-two. I stopped because I was severely anemic and sickly. Vegetarianism only works when you eat correctly. I pretty much only ate pasta. 2- I was a true vegetarian (no meat but cheese and eggs are okay) for over three years until recently. I’ve been sick, stressed and too broke to do the vegetarian thing right. I’ve never been a big fan of meat, so giving it up has never been really hard for me. I truly believe that we as a culture eat entirely too much processed meat and the animals are not treated properly or even processed properly. Even as I write this, I am rethinking my decision to continue eating animal products.
So how to I go low carb? I am probably the only person on the planet who has never tried or even researched a low carb diet. I love pasta and rice and potatoes but most importantly PASTA! I have been craving sugars constantly lately. I don’t know if it a stress reaction or a health reaction but I feel like I cannot survive without something sweet entering my mouth. I used to be a health freak and in the last year have gained a bunch of weight and has lost all self-control.
I think I can regain self-control soon. Once my classes are over, hopefully I can go back to normal. I have other stressors, many of which have been especially bad in the recent months, but even those have to go back to normal sooner rather than later. I haven’t had time to knit lately and I wonder how much that has to do with not being able to center myself. I finally finished a pair of socks and started a new pair for myself despite all the Christmas knitting that has to get done way too soon.
If anyone has any low carb ideas for a former vegetarian who doesn’t want to eat meat 24/7, please let me know. I need advice!
I remember hearing in a blog about product vs process knitting. There are two types of knitters, those who knit to get something out of it such as a pair of socks or a sweater and those who do it for the love of knitting itself and learning new techniques. How can you tell which type you are? Do you have a million unfinished objects laying around your bedroom? If you do, you are likely a process knitter. Do you get bored easily and move on to the next thing? Process knitter. Do you work as fast as possible on one thing and only feel happy once it is finished? Project knitter. I like small projects like socks and accessories because I love finishing that special something and showing it off. I get frustrated easily though and have given up on a lot of projects lately. Plus, if I have more than one thing on my needles, something gets thrown aside and never pulled out again.
2011-03 I-Pod Cozy
2011-03 I-pod cozy
A few weeks ago I cracked the screen on my I-Pod. Thank goodness I had a warranty and was able to get a new (refurbished) one. However, I realized that my cover was not good enough. I had an idea of what I wanted but it was only last week that I was truly able to envision it. This is knit with my own homespun, but it is a sock weight yarn. It is a simple pattern but looks fantastic and knit in wool, will protect your I-pod from minor damage as well as getting wet.
Gauge 7 stitches 8 rows = 1 inch with size five needles or appropriate with gauge. (this is knit in homespun. Do a swatch. My I-pod is 2 ¼ inches by 4 ¼ with the case on it.)
Cast on 30 stitches.
Row 1 : Knit
Row 2: Knit 1 Purl 1
Repeat until it measures 5 inches long.
Do a second rectangle as above.
Cut a piece of cardboard out that is 4 ½ inches by 5 inches. Fold this in half and stick under a book for a few hours so it stays folded.
Using a whip stitch, seem together the two rectangles, with the cardboard in between.
Then fold this over and using the whip stitch again, seem just the top and bottom edges, leaving enough space for the I-pod.
Create a 2 ½ inch 3 stitch I-cord with double-pointed needles. Sew these into the inside of one side of the I-pod cozy. Sew a button onto the front of the cozy and use the I-cord to keep the case closed.
2011-03 I-pod cozy
I have been chock full of ideas in this last week. I’ve ignored the housework and have been focusing on fiber related projects. I spun up a skein of white alpaca and yellow wool plied together. This came out perfect and I’m really happy. However, I had some left over potluck wool on one of my spools so I decided to try navajo plying, which is spinning one ply into a three ply by creating loops with one hand and controlling the twist with the other. It took a little bit but I caught on and can’t wait to try it again.
I have some wool/mohair mix that friend gave me and I decided I would try a few new things that I’m looking forward to. It spins up real easily. I started this yesterday and then the hubby and I went to a neighbor’s party. I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but if I have more than one drink, I can’t sleep! So, I wake up repeatedly this morning and finally around 6 am I give up. With a glass of water and a cup of coffee, I sit in front of the spinning wheel.The rest of the wool/mohair mix spins up quickly and I go to navajo ply it. I try and try and try but I can’t get the flyer to pick it up. The yarn keeps breaking. I was really looking forward to navajo plying and then dyeing it with food coloring. Uh well. I finally give up and pick up my socks that I’m making with my homespun.
Filled with frustration, I rip out what I’ve already done. I’m using Judy’s magic cast on for toe up socks. I love the book, Socks from the Toe Up. I think toe up socks are easier to do and better for someone like me who tends to drift from the pattern and think, “I know how to do this.” You can try it on as you go along and can fix problems as they come up. The problem I have with the Judy’s Magic Cast-on is that it is easy to create a whole in the toe area if your cast on/knitting is not tight enough. I had tried this twice before and decided to switch to smaller needles. I am a simple sock maker and wanted to try something a little nicer. I try different patterns on the top of the sock and can’t seem to get anything to look right. The yarn is variegated (or closer to muddled) so it should be a simple pattern. I’m now on my fifth attempt trying a seed stitch pattern. Oh, and I don’t like how it looks. Sigh.
Okay, I decided to record myself. This is only six minutes long, but it is my first attempt at what may some day be called a podcast.
This is really just a larger version of the other baby headband that I posted with a pom-pom on top instead of flowers. This is worked with Caron Simply Soft Acrylic Yarn on size 5 needles.
Gauge: 5 stitches = 1 inch 12 rows = 1 inch
Cast on 10 stitches
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1 P8 K1
Row 4: P1 K8 P1
Continue this pattern for about 12 inches (Newborn) 13 inches (0-6 months) 14 inches (6-12 months) 15 inches for (12-18 months), and 16 inches (18-24 months). Bind off. Seam together.
Take 2 different colors yarn and create a pom pom.
Pom Pom instructions:
Cut two circles from cardboard. Hold together. Wrap yarn around (inside and outside of ring). Then cut inbetween the two pieces of cardboard. Tie around center, securing the small pieces of yarn together. Attach to headband.
While I have not been updating my blog nearly enough, I do assure you that I have been busy. In the last few weeks, while juggling school, housework, intense summer classes and the usual drama, I have been knitting and spinning in the few and far between spare moments.
1- Finished the Isobel skirt. While this is not as pretty as I hoped, it is comfortable and a bit bigger than I would like. I sewed in elastic around the waistband so it would stay up and cinched it in by putting the buttons further from the edge than the directions called for. The good news is, if I gain another thirty pounds, this baby will still fit. I may try again with wool later on.
2- I knit this pair of small socks for Grandma with a worsted weight sock yarn that is no longer sold. I believe it was made by Paton a few years ago and discontinued. These are tight on my enormous feet but knit up in a few days. I used the toe up technique used in Socks from the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits. This is a great tool that should be in every sock knitters’ library.
3- As I mentioned before, I had asked my grandmother what she wanted for Christmas with the stipulation that I was handmaking her gift as usual. She said, “Those slippers that you made me before, you know, before. . .” One day my mother decided to teach me to crochet. I could not sit still or even pretend to listen to her. She went away for the weekend and when she returned, I had created slippers. The funny part was my mother’s dumbfounded reaction. “But you didn’t even listen to me.” Have I mentioned that my mother is the type that needs specific instructions to do anything and I’m more of the color outside of the lines- I’ll figure it out on my own type. Ha- sorry Mom! Basically, I made slippers for everyone I knew over the next few months and soon forgot how to do it. This is my attempt at making them years and years and years later. They aren’t the prettiest things but they are done.
4- Finally, the spinning wheel bag. I was tempted to make this a pattern, but it is too simple. Basically, I cast on 51 stitches of Caron Simply Soft. I then alternated between the knit stitch and knit 1 purl 1 rows. I used about 10 rows of purple, then 14 rows of pinks, and ten more rows of purple. Once finished, I folded the panel in half, right sides together, and sewed both sides. I flipped it out so the finished side was outward and used regular string to attach it to my spinning wheel. Now I can leave my oil and other knick knacks where they won’t be lost.
I was surfing the net, trying to get an idea about what to write about and found a list already created of the 50 Best Knitting Blogs. Now, I know everyone who reads this would be stunned to find out that Knitwerks was no where on the list. I’m sure I’ll get at least a dozen comments on this. Interweave knits puts out this list and I recognized a few. I fully expect that everyone will continue to read my blog (please) but here are 50 others you may want to take a peak at in between updates.
I have decided to become more creative in finding fibers to spin. While I may not have a lot of time to devote to my crafts, I still want to work on learning more. One way to do this is to post an ad on Craigslist (without personal information!!!!) asking for fiber. My post in the free category, requesting Wool/Alpaca/Misc Fibers to Spin has already gotten many responses despite the fact that I live in Southern Florida where sheep don’t thrive. So far I’ve received an offer for Llama fibers. I did some research and found that it is very similar to alpaca. There are not the same natural oils as in Sheep’s wool, which makes it cleaner to spin but not necessarily easier. I haven’t tried it yet so I will have to let you know. I also received an offer for trade. I would provide spinning lessons for Alpaca fibers. This I am especially excited about. It will be nice to work with someone although in the interest of full disclosure I did let her know that I was still inexperienced. Craigslist is a great way to get in touch with people from your area for supplies and lessons. However, remember to be careful in who you give your information to. I just wish I lived somewhere colder where there were more sources of fibers!
Along with working full time, going to school and juggling the ever present drama of my life, I am working on my newest project. I’m currently over half way through with the Isobel Skirt found in the Winter 2010 edition of Interweave Knits. I know, isn’t it odd that I’m working on a winter skirt during Florida’s spring, otherwise known as the Summer part I. Instead of using the Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend as recommended in the pattern, I decided to try it out with Berrocco Comfort, which is a Nylon/Acrylic blend. I had this around for another project that was never started. The problem with making clothing is that different materials lay differently. There is a proper term for this, but I cannot remember it for the life of me. I think this pattern would work better with natural fibers than with man-made nylon/acrylic yarns. The other recommendation would be to avoid increasing next to the knit rows. It only throws off the lines in the pattern slightly, but my eyes are drawn to those small deviations.
I love this skirt and I have to have it, even with my imperfections. As of right now, it remains a mini-skirt but I’m working along fast enough. The seven hours I spent on the airplane helped. This is a great simple pattern that will be fun to wear and show off, even in Florida’s summer weather, I hope.
I’m running around getting ready to fly to NY on short notice thanks to a death in the family. I’m in the middle of knitting a skirt, which unfortunately thanks my not so tiny waist is a big project. I find some lacy yarn and decide that my backup project will be a lacy shawl/scarf. I need something that I can hide in my purse.
Now it’s time to get my bag ready. No scissors, the TSA doesn’t like those. How many knitting needles are too many to take on a carry on? I am to bring my knitpicks stash but what if they say I can’t bring it on the plane. Better to lose one or two needles than my whole set. I have to go through the stitch holders and make sure nothing looks dangerous.
Now I’m also worrying that the pattern I picked out for the scarf/shawl is too complicated. I don’t think I’ll be able to pull off knitting during the wake, but I want to be able to bring it out at other times. What if my flight is delayed twelve hours like the last time I flew home from NY? I know, I am overreacting. Is this knitting a hobby or an addiction? I am getting anxious trying to decide what I’m bringing.
I’ll figure it out somehow and will write more later.
I made this headband to go along with the baby dress I made for a baby. The dress is supposed to fit a 6-12 month baby and given that I have absolutely no idea how big a baby’s head is, I decided to improvise. With some prodding from coworkers and advice about making it able to tie (her baby girl had a big head) I created this.
The baby head band below is worked with Lyndon Hill yarn by Bristol Yarn Gallery on size 1 needles. You can adjust the gauge for the size desired. The flowers are created using the technique described on The Art of Crochet by Teresa’s blog http://crochet-mania.blogspot.com/2009/07/slinky-crochet-flower.html
Gauge: 8 stitches = 1 inch 10 rows = 1 inch
Cast on 16 stitches
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K2 P12 K2
Row 4: P2 K12 P2
Continue this pattern for about 10 inches. Bind off. Take three pieces of yarn approximately 10 inches in length. Tie them to the corner of headband. Braid until about 5-6 inches long. Each side should have two braided edges. Tie off and weave in ends.
Create crocheted flowers as described in http://crochet-mania.blogspot.com/2009/07/slinky-crochet-flower.html. Sew them to the top of headband.
Put on adorable baby girl!
After a month and a half’s work, that include a complete frogging because I didn’t know how to purl correctly, the baby dress is complete. I believe this is one of the best things I have ever made. This pattern is named Baby Dress by Jo Lynne Murchland and I used Lyndon Hill yarn from Bristol Yarn Gallery. It took a little over 2 skeins to complete. The yarn is 85% cotton and 15% silk leaving the dress soft and perfect for hot summer days. It’s a great project for prospective mothers, aunts, grandmothers or just friend. I just wish that the few holes I made would disappear. I never seem to be able to finish a project without leaving at least one mistake visible. I guess it is part of learning. Happy Knitting.