Monday, April 28, 2008

sock progress

Loopy wanted to show off the progress I made on the Sable Panda Cotton socks this weekend:
He thinks the socks are a little big for him and suggested I check my gauge.

How do I explain that they're for ME not for HIM?

I think Loopy may need his own pair of mini socks at some point!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

a little loopy

My favorite place to shop for yarn online is The Loopy Ewe. Pictured above is part of my order that arrived yesterday! (I ordered Tuesday night - they have GREAT service!) I just had to buy one of the "Little Loopy" stuffed lambs. Isn't he adorable? His red shirt says "a little loopy". He is sitting on the knitting bag I bought so I can start knitting on the go (if I decide to do that). I haven't taken that plunge yet... I always knit at home.

Loopy also wanted to show off the new Panda Cotton yarn I bought:
This color is Periwinkle. Also, check it out, his arms/legs are one continuous piece so you can make him have long arms and short legs as above or...
He can stretch out his legs with my Panda Cotton yarn in Sable, which you can see I already wound into a ball last night so I could start a pair of socks:
That is the progress I made last night. I am following the same basic 6-stitch pattern instructions from Sensational Knitted Socks that I used for my blue Panda Cotton socks. But, I am trying a slightly different rib stitch. I am using "twin rib" as opposed to "slipped-stitch rib", which I used on the blue socks. I don't think this dark yarn will show off the stitch much anyway and I wanted a pattern that was easy to remember so I didn't need the pattern in front of me when I worked on it.

Also, the lace scarf knitting is complete, but I haven't blocked it yet or taken pictures. I will try to take pictures before, during and after blocking so you can see the change. This will be my first major blocking so I'm not sure how I'm even going to do it! I just want to make sure I have rust-free pins!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All Creatures Great and Small... Knit and Crochet...

I just had to post a picture of the beautiful tulips blooming in my yard right now. They're my favorite flower!

I recently found a pattern for crocheted Loch Ness Monsters - "Nessie" - and just had to make a batch of them! At first, I followed the pattern, and came up with the following two:
But, I wanted them to be bigger, so I held two strands of worsted yarn together and used a bigger hook, and came up with these:
It's a little hard to tell from the picture, but I am using the same book for reference in the photos.

They were a lot of fun to make! And my friends who requested them when I showed them the pattern are happy with the results. I will probably make more in the future, because they are quick (I can make one in an evening) and I like quick projects.

Last night, I wanted a small, quick project so I decided to knit a snail from a pattern I found online. Isn't he cute?

I put a quarter in the picture for reference. He's a wee little thing! I'm sure I'll make more of these too. I need to get the shell to spiral more. I think I stuffed it too much and it just barely curves around. I'll have to work on this as I make more little snails.

I'll leave you with another tulip picture:
I'm so happy that it's spring! I love the warm, sunny weather and long days!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Misc. Saturday update

I went to two yarn shops this weekend and didn't buy any yarn. If I would have seen Panda Cotton or Wick I would have scooped it up in a heartbeat, but I didn't.

I did see this though:
It's blue (of course, that got my attention right away), it's fabric, it's in a yarn shop...
It organizes my double-pointed sock knitting needles perfectly!! Just the right number of needle pouches. (That is until I buy MORE dpns but I'll worry about that when the time comes. And it even has a little zippered pouch on the side to hold my cable needles, darning needles, scissors and other misc. stuff I always need when I'm knitting.

I bought it at Purl One, Sit Too in Strasburg, PA. It is made by Lantern Moon.

Also, I wanted to post a picture of the progress on my Branching Out scarf:
Wow, not a very great picture, but you can see I have been working on it! I promise to take a more "in focus" picture once it is done.

And last, but not least, (well, maybe it should be least) remember the yellow "beginner's bear" that I mentioned in my first bears post? Yes, my sad, pathetic first attempt at a knit bear with yellow and white dishcloth cotton. Well, here it is:
Notice the yellow yarn hanging down from his one arm. I really didn't follow the directions when attaching his arms. So sad...

I've come a long way. I'll leave you with a picture of one of my better knit bears, "Sleepy Sam", also from Sandra Polley's The Knitted Teddy Bear:

Socks, Socks, Socks!

For the past 6 months or so, I have been on a sock knitting kick. My mom bought me some Panda Cotton sock yarn for my birthday last year. It is bamboo and cotton. I love it! It is so soft and I really have not found a wool sock yarn that I like. I couldn't wait to try it, but I thought I should practice with some other yarn first.

I had bought "Sensational Knitted Socks" (SKS) by Charlene Schurch and decided to try knitting a pattern from that book using some acrylic sock yarn that I bought at A.C. Moore years ago. I loved the colors in the yarn but hated the feel of the acrylic and also didn't like how the pattern I chose worked with that yarn. So, that remains a lone single sock stashed away in a closet somewhere...

I decided that I would have better luck if I used a yarn I liked (Panda Cotton!) and tried another pattern from SKS. I had much better luck with these socks and actually wear them quite often. I just wore them yesterday as a matter of fact!
It's not a great picture because that was still with the old camera. But you can see the socks fit quite well! I was happy.

I wanted to try some other non-wool sock yarns. I believe the next pair I knit was with Maizy which is made of corn. I liked that yarn as well, only I don't wear the socks as often because I don't have a lot of clothes that go with the brown and green sock yarn I chose. This was also a pattern from SKS.
Also notice - new camera - much better pictures!

I then wanted to try Wick yarn because I had read about it on some blogs and I thought it would make a comfy pair of socks that were quick to knit. I was right! These were a fun knit and I wear these socks a lot even though the Painted Daisies colorway is pretty funky. I want to get some more Wick yarn in some less wild colors and whip up a few more pairs of these socks. I used Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's knitting recipe (from her book "Knitting Rules") for these.

And after all that sock knitting, I decided to make some mini socks!
I love knitting mini stuff so you will definitely see more posts on that in the future!

If you want more details on any of these projects and you are on Ravelry, I am EtownKnitter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


For the record, I crochet as well as knit. Although I do tend to knit more often.

I participated in the NatCroMo Free Form Crochet-along in March. (NatCroMo is National Crochet Month). I learned about this on Lime & Violet's The Daily Chum blog (which is a great blog, by the way, because it is updated frequently every day).

Anyway, this CAL (crochet-along) was my first attempt at free form crochet and it was so much fun! I loved learning new stitches and crocheting with lots of different yarns that I had only knit with before.

Here is what my final free form crochet looked like after 31 days of instructions:

Pretty bizarre looking, eh? I don't know what I'll do with it, but it was a lot of fun to make. It definitely made me want to start a crochet project again at some point, but for now I am still knitting along on the Seascape scarf from my first blog post.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Knit Bears

I thought I'd start by blogging about some of my past projects. I'll begin by sharing some pictures of the teddy bears I have knit. I had just taught myself to knit, back in 2004, and went to Borders one day at lunch to look at knitting books. I saw "The Knitted Teddy Bear" by Sandra Polley and just loved all the cute bear patterns in the book! I didn't buy the book that day because I just barely knew how to cast on and the knit and purl stitch. I didn't really think I was ready to tackle knit bears on tiny needles! But, I couldn't stop thinking about the book and ended up going back and buying it within a week.

My first attempt at a bear was the Beginner's Bear which basically consisted of knitting 5 squares of garter stitch (I could handle that!) and then forming them into a bear. I used yellow and white dishcloth cotton! The squares were easy to knit, but then it was time to turn squares into bears. That didn't go so well. I don't have a picture of it, but my mom still has the bear, so I will try to post a picture at some point. I didn't really follow the directions correctly to sew the arms and legs on and my attempt at embroidering a face onto it gave it a Billy Idol sneer. It was not a pretty site. But I couldn't get rid of it since it was my first attempt!

Well, I thought, maybe if I try following one of the "real" patterns I'd have better luck. So, I decided to try the "Oliver" pattern because I thought he was the cutest bear in the book and he was small, and I like small projects! But, again I started knitting with cotton yarn, some kind of almost braided cotton yarn that I found on sale at Wal-mart. It was thinner than dishcloth cotton, but had NO stretch. And here I am trying to do increases and decreases on US 2 needles with cotton yarn. Also, this is my FIRST time learning increases and decreases as I'm knitting on tiny needles with non-stretchy cotton yarn. I don't know how many times the stitches popped right off my needles and I would pull it all out and cast on again because I did not know how to pick up stitches. It was definitely a learning experience! So, I plodded along and eventually knit all the little pieces of Oliver and was ready to assemble. I hate assembling. So, I spend hours (probably) sewing together little Oliver knit pieces and end up with this:

Looks more like a rat, than a bear, eh? I think I took up too many stitches when I sewed his little head together and also didn't stuff it enough. Who knows!

Anyway, I later went to a real yarn shop, got some merino wool and tried the pattern again and came up with a much better looking Oliver:

[This was also after I had knit several other bear patterns from the book and figured out the best way to sew them up.] This Oliver looks like the picture in the book, a cute little bear. Alas, I was having camera troubles then, so the picture isn't very sharp, but at least you can tell it's a bear!

But, the first knit bear to actually come out looking like it was supposed to was the "Christopher & Rosie" pattern. I will post about that another time!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Well, here it is, my first blog post!

I have been thinking about starting a knitting blog for awhile and finally decided to try it out.

I am currently knitting a lace scarf using Panda Cotton and I am really enjoying this project! The colorway is "Seascape". Isn't it pretty? The pattern is "Branching Out" from

I also recently finished knitting a pair of socks using Sockina Cotton. The striping color changes of that yarn were a lot of fun and made the project go really fast.

I think I'll keep this first post short as I am still trying to figure out how to do this!