Saturday, August 30, 2008

new projects

When I saw this cute project on Lime & Violet's Daily Chum blog, I knew I had to try knitting it! It's "Sunshine in My Pocket" from So Knitpicky's blog. So, I cast on last night using Lion Brand Microspun yarn. 128 stitches on US 1 dpns - yikes! I think it would have been easier using Magic Loop but I don't have US 1 circulars yet! It's amazing that with all the knitting needles I own, there's still more that I'd like to buy. The first round was really tricky, but I got through it and knit the second round. I'm hoping the remaining rounds get easier! I can't wait to see how it turns out. I don't think I would walk around with it in my jeans pocket, but I think it would look cute on my shelf at work!

I also did a small swatch for a shawl that I will be knitting for my mom:
It's just a basic garter stitch pattern (knit every row, back and forth) with increases on either end to form a triangle shawl. It was tricky to photograph! I'm using Black Caron Simply Soft yarn because she wants it to be machine washable.

So, those are the projects I'll be working on this weekend! Hope everyone has a nice Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

another hat

I finished my 2nd hat for Caps for Kids! This is a striped hat that I knit using the "no pattern hat recipe" in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book "Knitting Rules".
This was a fun knit because I was sort of "designing" it as I went along. I used Caron Simply Soft yarn leftovers that I had from some scarves I had knit a couple years ago. This hat only took me 2 evenings to knit! (Granted, I probably knit for about 4-5 hours the second night to finish it!)

I cast on 90 stitches on US 7 circular needles and just did K2,P2 ribbing. I changed colors about every 8 rows. When I started the last blue color towards the top, I started decreasing evenly on every other row. Then I switched back to the grey I cast on with and also switched to stockinette (and also switched to double-pointed needles... there was a lot of SWITCHING going on at this point!) and continued to decrease until I had about 8 stitches and then I just pulled the yarn through those stitches and bound off! Then I had to weave in all those ends from the color changes! Not too bad though.

The hat is very stretchy so it should fit almost anyone. And since it's for kids, if it is too long, it can also be worn cuffed up:
Here's what the top of the hat looks like:
I like the way this hat turned out, especially considering that I was working without a pattern (this is rare for me!). Now I just have to decide what new project to cast on tonight!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

quick post

First hat for Caps for Kids is complete! I love these quick projects after knitting socks on tiny needles for the past few months!
Next hat will be a striped hat using up more Caron Simply Soft yarn in my stash:
And Shelby has a new toy, which he loves:

Monday, August 25, 2008

non-sock knitting!

First, I finished the fingerless mitts for my Dad:
I cast on the 2nd one Saturday morning and finished it up Sunday morning. Woo-hoo!

Then, I started a hat for "Caps for Kids" because that is part of our registration fee for Knitters' Day Out in September. I decided to use Caron Simply Soft yarn that I had in my stash and a pattern that I found on Ravelry. I believe it is called 3am hat:
It's actually a similar stitch pattern to the Irish Hiking scarf that I knit last year. It looks small in the picture, but it's pretty stretchy. I'm actually following the directions for a ladies' small hat, but I used US7 circulars instead of US8 since that's what I had. I'm sure it will fit some child's head! I'm planning on knitting 2 hats for Caps for Kids and the 2nd one will be striped since I have a lot of small amounts of Caron Simply Soft in different colors and I think they will look nice as a striped hat. I'm planning on using the no-pattern hat recipe in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Knitting Rules book as a guideline.

I had a nice surprise in the mail today - I had won a prize on the Socks and More blog and it arrived today!! I received 2 skeins of Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Soy in Evening Blues (which is beautiful and so soft and I can't wait to try it!) and a pattern book called "Twelve Bags Fulled" by Terry L. Ross:
Close-up yarn shot because it's so pretty:
Panda Soy is 49% bamboo, 33% soy and 18% elastic nylon. My first impression is that it feels like a cross between Panda Cotton and Maizy - two of my favorite sock yarns! I may be starting another pair of socks sooner than I expected!

Thank you to Laura of Socks and More for this great prize!!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I finished the Maizy socks tonight! Woo-hoo! I am happy with how they turned out.

With that, I think I am also done with Summer of Socks 2008. I am ready to move on to some non-sock projects, and I doubt I could finish another pair by September 1st anyway. I signed up for this KAL back in May and thought I'd look back at my blog post of when I outlined some goals for myself here.

My goal was to knit 8 pairs, and I knew this was pretty ambitious. That was also under the assumption that I would knit a few pairs using worsted weight yarn. I ended up completing 5 pairs, only one of which was worsted weight. Two of the pairs were on US 1 needles and really slowed me down, especially the Brigits!! But, I am happy with all 5 pairs I completed, so that is good!

I did not end up knitting with the Tofutsies yarn, so that is still in my stash (in two colors!)

I did not attempt the Mosaic pattern, although I do plan on doing that one of these days!

I DID knit a textured pattern with the Periwinkle Panda Cotton (the Brigits) and I started SOS08 off with that which was pretty ambitious. If it wasn't for SOS08, I may not have stuck to it and finished that pair, so I'm glad I did!

I did not learn to knit toe-up socks, but I did learn the Magic Loop method! Yay - new technique! And, I plan on signing up for a toe-up class in November.

I certainly increased my sock yarn stash, so I'll be able to knit lots of socks over the upcoming years!!

Overall, I had fun participating in SOS08 and it was great to see all the socks that everyone knit posted on Ravelry. Gave me more inspiration of patterns I want to try!

Next project... knit the 2nd fingerless mitt!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


We just returned from a trip to Erie over the past weekend. Had a great time! Here is the progress I made on my Maizy socks while in Erie:
I did knit in the car on the way up and back, but not the whole time. I also knit most evenings while watching the Olympics. I am just a slow knitter on US 1 needles! I should be able to finish these in a few days, I would guess.

While in Erie, I visited the Erie Art Museum and got to buy some art from the Art-o-mat. This is such a cool concept. They are using the old pull-knob cigarette vending machines to sell orginal art by various artists! Each artist's items are packaged in a box the size of a pack of cigarettes. I read about this on another blog and knew I had to check it out when I visited Erie! I ended up buying 3 items:
The first one I chose was "Steel Heart Designs - Beaded Jewelry by Sarah F. Aitken". I got a beautiful pair of earrings made by an artist in Washington DC!
Next, I chose "Folk Art Sculpture - stoneware clay" and got a cute little clay sculpture of a beaver, a fish and some sticks to build a dam. Here's how I arranged it to take a picture:
This was by an artist named Joyce Lyman. Very cute!

The last item I chose was by an artist named Amanda Kay Wallace. I wasn't sure what I was going to get; it was just labeled with a picture of some pretty flowers. And, that's what I got - a wooden block, painted black with a funky flower painting on the front of it! Pretty cool!
It's called "The Power of the Flower" and mine was numbered 46/50.

Each item was $5.00 and there were about 20 different artists to choose from. There were 3-D paintings that came with little 3D glasses, keychains, mobiles, and lots of other choices. If you want to see if there's an Art-o-mat near you, check here.

I also visited the Erie Zoo yesterday and took some pictures of the animals, although most of them were sleeping.

The Red Panda was hanging out, posing for a picture:
My favorite animal at the Erie Zoo is the Geoffrey's Tamarin. They run around so fast, it's hard to snap a picture of them. But they do like to come up to the front and pose if you're patient:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

a late blog post

Sorry, I missed updating my blog yesterday!

I did finish the heel on the 2nd Maizy sock last night, picked up stitches and I am ready to start knitting the foot now. No pictures yet...

Also, my Dad tried on the fingerless mitt and it fits so I will be knitting a 2nd one to match. He also liked the grey socks!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Here is a photo of the first completed fingerless mitt for my Dad.

I'm debating about whether or not I should just knit the second one or have him try this on first. (I'm also busy knitting the Maizy socks!)

Speaking of which, here is the first completed Maizy sock:
I hope it fits my mom! If not, it seems to fit me pretty well. ;-) But, the Maizy yarn is nice and stretchy, so I'm sure it will be fine. I cast on the 2nd one last night, but only knit a couple rounds of the ribbing. Hopefully more progress on that tonight!

Here's a close-up of the toe section:
And in case anyone is interested, here is a pic of the gigantic marigold by my front porch that grew from a seed:
Yes, that is ONE plant. I don't think I've ever seen a marigold quite that gigantic before, and as you can see there are still quite a few more blooms getting ready to burst into flowers. If it gets much bigger, it's going to start knocking on our front door! Ha, Ha.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Maizy progress

I just posted my latest update on the Olympic Sox blog here. Everyone is making great progress on their socks! Here's a close-up pic of the first Maizy sock:
I got a lot done yesterday - the heel, gusset decreases and start of the 1X1 ribbing. I haven't made a lot of progress today, just a few more rounds of the ribbing. But, I will sit down to watch the Olympics soon and I hope to make some progress tonight!

I also knit the thumb of the first fingerless mitt last night while watching Michael Phelps break the world record in his first swimming event. So, the first fingerless mitt is complete, but I forgot to take a picture of it. Next blog update!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Projects for my parents

Since I was waiting for the Olympic opening ceremonies to start my next pair of socks, I cast on another project on Thursday night. I am making a pair of Men's Fingerless Mitts for my Dad. I knit the wrist ribbing and started up the hand Thursday night, and finished the hand section on Friday night just as the Olympic ceremonies were beginning. All I have to knit is the thumb (and a second mitt!) The pattern is "men's fingerless mitts" - Designs by KN.
As the TV coverage began on the Olympic opening ceremonies in the Eastern time zone, I cast on the "Walking in the Maize" socks that I am knitting for my mom (and SOS08... and OlympicSox2008). The colorway is Ballad Blues and it's really pretty! It's also interesting, because even though the colorway is called "blues" and the yarn looks blue as a whole, as I'm knitting it, it really looks like a mint green, with hints of a light lavender and a darker lavender. Nonetheless, it's very pretty and nice to work with.
You can read my post about these socks on the OlympicSox2008 blog here. And to see what everyone else is knitting for OlympicSox, you can check out all the blog posts here.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Wow, after finishing my Magic Loop socks last night, I decided to finally finish up my blue cabled purse. I just had to sew in a lining and sew on a button!

Of course, Loopy had to check out my latest FO (finished object).

Here's a close-up of the button. I found it at Wal-mart and actually got two of them for less than $2 - what a deal!

Here's a better look at the inner lining:

And a picture of the completed purse:
I think this is an FO that I will actually use!

I lucked out and found this perfect piece of fabric in my fabric stash. The pattern called for a piece of fabric that was 7 1/2 inches by 20 inches. This piece was about 7 1/4 X 21!! I used 1/4" seam allowance instead of 1/2" to compensate and it worked out beautifully.

This was a really fun project!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

finished Magic Loop socks!

I finished the Magic Loop socks at class tonight! Last night, I had finished the foot and started on the toe. These were a really fun knit and I will definitely use the Magic Loop method again. But, I'm not giving up my dpns!!! I think both methods have their advantages and disadvantages and I'm glad to have learned another option for my sock knitting.

In other news, I won a prize on the Socks and More blog! This is a blog about projects using Crystal Palace yarns (of which Panda Cotton is one of my favorites!!). I had entered my Brigit socks and the Fall Herbs socks in the "May, June, July contest". This is my first time winning a prize from a blog. I'm so excited!

I have also decided to participate in OlympicSox2008 which is being organized by the same person who hosts the Socks and More blog. We will knit socks during the Olympics and enter them in different events such as Marathon for the longest sock, Gymnastics for cabled socks, or Water sports (blue socks). So, if you like to knit socks, check it out! There's many more events than the ones I listed. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun. I just wish I had more time to knit!!

I also wanted to mention that there are some new online knitting magazines that launched recently and they're both very nice.

Knotions has a free pattern for Sampler Socks using Sockina Cotton yarn that I really want to try and quite a few other nice patterns as well.

The other is Twist Collective which I heard about on Ravelry. This is set up more like an actual magazine format where you flip through the pages on your screen. It's a very nice layout and has some really interesting articles and patterns. Most of these patterns are not free though, but they seem to be reasonably priced (around $7.00). I haven't bought any yet because I have more than enough patterns on hand right now to last me for quite awhile.

Since I'll be participating in OlympicSox2008, I will wait until Friday to cast on my next pair of socks. I could use a little break anyway, since I've been constantly knitting socks since 6/21/08 (with only 4 pairs to show for it; those Brigits really slowed me down!) I'm hoping to make a good run and knit a few pairs during these remaining weeks of SOS08 and OlympicSox2008. I now have double motivation!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

new yarn

I placed my first order from I needed some worsted weight yarn for the fair isle class that I'll be taking at Knitters' Day Out (KDO) next month. As preparation for the class, we need to start knitting a fair isle hat pattern in a main color and then bring 3 other colors of yarn to design the fair isle pattern. So, I needed to buy 4 colors of yarn for this class. Well, I couldn't quite decide what colors would go together so I bought 6 colors of the "Shine Worsted" yarn:
Shine Worsted is 60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal natural beech wood fiber

And then, I wasn't sure if I'd like the Shine Worsted, so I thought I'd also try the "Comfy" yarn:
Comfy is 75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic

I also needed Sport Weight yarn for the Knitting with Beads class that I'm taking at KDO, so I bought one skein of Shine Sport:

And, of course, I had to try their Risata sock yarn (as if I need more sock yarn!), but since I was ordering yarn from Knit Picks anyway...
Risata yarn is 42% Cotton, 39% Superwash Merino Wool, 13% Polyamide, 6% Elite Elastic

So, I am officially going on a yarn fast now. I am well stocked up for quite awhile!! But, it will be fun to work on some worsted weight projects once the Summer of Socks is over.

I am making progress on the 2nd Magic Loop sock. I finished the leg today and knitted most of the heel flap. I expect to turn the heel, pick up stitches and start the gusset decreases tomorrow.