Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Knitting....as Usual :)

I've been SUCH a busy knitter.....so busy that I couldn't even get on here to talk about it!

So, to make up for lost time, I'll try to show everything I've done since my last blog post.

A friend of mine is opening a new yarn shop in Charlotte (in the NoDa district of the city), called "Yarnhouse". He gave me 3 skeins of yarn, asked me to knit some things with them to display in his shop.

Using Queensland "Kathmandu Chunky", I made this nice, cushy hat.

Here's the free pattern: "Handspun Ribbed Hat"

Kathmandu Hat - Brim Up

With Mirasol "Hacho", I made this lovely "Gloria Cowl".

Hacho Cowl Complete

And with Elsebeth Lavold "Silky Wool", I knit this sweet baby hat and booties.

Scalloped Lace Baby Cap (free pattern on Ravelry).

Mary Jane Baby Booties

Hat & Booties

While working on those, I was also adding a few rows on one of our large Oddball Charity Blankets. I was actually able to bind off the stitches this week! Yahoo!!! Now, I'm adding a crochet border, and the blanket will be ready for donation to charity. :D

Oddball Blanket #5 - Crochet Border

I'm still going on the Bernat Side Button Hooded Cape, and have also cast on my next Bernat Blog project, the "Knitted Star Afghan". I'm using red, black, and gray yarns, because that's the colors my step-son requested for an afghan. He's been waiting a couple years for one, so this is my opportunity to make it for him. The beginning was the hardest part, with the 3 dpns in a teeny tiny circle. It's getting better now.

Star Afghan - Casting On

I'm using a large project bag (LL Bean) that my mother-in-law gave me for my knitting. She used to knit and crochet a lot when she was younger, and knew that I would need a bag this big. It's PERFECT for carrying my afghan project supplies. :)

Star Afghan Project Bag

And I'm still working on the gloves and Christmas stockings as well. Maybe I should just go back and knit now..... I don't have time to sit at this computer any more, with all that waiting for me in the craft room! (tee-hee)

Talk again soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finished the Back of My Cape!

Yay! Last night, I finished the back of the cape I've been working on. It looks so nice! Cushy and comfy. I just can't wait to wear it.
Cape Back Complete

I didn't let myself rest on my laurels, though. Time to start the front!
Cape Front Started

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bagsmith "Little Brown Bag" Kit

Yesterday, I got the greatest gift from a friend in the Knitting Help Forum.

It's a "Little Brown Bag" kit to knit a nice purse. How cool!
Gift from traceleighj 2

The kit contains everything I need to make a nice purse...and it's in my favorite color - brown!


Getting Busy on the Christmas Stockings

Now that I have all the yarn I need to make the Christmas stockings, I'm able to get to work.

Before I started knitting, I charted all the names and years I'll need on a sheet of graph paper. I placed the chart on a music stand, with a magnetic bar to mark my place. The stand is just in front of my knitting chair, so it's easy to see.
Christmas Stockings - Name Chart

Here's my knitting chair. I'm using my old Fujitsu laptop computer to view the pattern. It would have taken 5 sheets of paper to print it out, and I'm out of toner right now. This is working very well, because I can zoom in and out of the document for better viewing.
Christmas Stockings - Casting On

After the first day of knitting, I had completed casting on all 3 stockings. Now all the ribbing is done - Yay!

The following day, I completed the name and year on one of the stockings. Looking good!
Christmas Stockings - 1st Name Complete

Everything I need for knitting the stockings is in a basket, so I can get going right away.
My Knitting Spot

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Persistence Pays Off

Yay!!! Today, I received the yarn I needed for my Christmas stockings. I asked my client to order the yarn from Knit Picks, because it looked like it would be a perfect match (gauge and color) for her stockings. I was right! WOO HOO!!!

Here's the yarn and stocking together - couldn't be better.
Christmas Stockings Yarn - PERFECT

And here is another photo, without flash. It STILL matches! :)
Christmas Stockings Yarn - No Flash

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Other Knitting News....

Aside from the lovely gloves and Christmas stockings, I'm also in the midst of knitting a cape, and a ribbed hat, among other things.

Here's the latest view of the cape. I'm halfway up the back now!
Halfway Up the Back

And the hat is going well also.
Kathmandu Hat

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cedar Chest is FULL

Remember my new cedar chest? Well, it's filled to the brim now, with lovely wool yarns and a few handknitted items. Time to buy another chest! Ha!
Wool Yarn in Cedar Chest

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Yarn Adventure for Christmas

As you know, I've been commissioned to make three Christmas stockings. She's already paid me for two of them. I told her to pay me for the other one "on delivery", to give me an incentive to finish them. (tee-hee)

Anyway, when I agreed to make them, I had an idea of the yarn I would be using. I figured it would be easy to get a good match. HILARIOUS!!!! The yarn has turned out to be the most frustrating part so far! :P

To start with, here's a photo of the original stocking I am using as a guide. It was knit with acrylic yarn a LONG time ago:
Christmas Stocking Original Model

When I saw the colors, I immediately thought, "Red Heart Sport yarn would be perfect".
So, I went to my local Michaels, Hobby Lobby, then finally AC Moore, and found the Red Heart Sport in red, green, and cream. I also found Red Heart Designer in a great blue to match.
Yarn for Christmas Stockings

I was happy with my purchase, and set it aside to start working on it in a few days. My time was focused on making gloves for Cottage Yarn. Aren't they pretty so far?
Gloves with Little Fingers

In the midst of this, I had also been asked to make some samples for a new yarn shop in Charlotte, so I was figuring that out as well. AND I was working on a cape for the Bernat blog I've committed to doing. (I think I need ONE more thing to knit, don't you?) Ha!

So, after a few days of divided knitting, I took a look at the Christmas Stocking project again. I looked closely at the stocking, then looked closely at the yarn, and said, "Oh my gosh....this yarn is too thick." UGH!!!

So, off to Hobby Lobby I went, because I remembered having seen "I Love This Yarn" sportweight in the right colors. I was able to get a refund on the Red Heart yarn at AC Moore, so that turned out okay.
I Love This Yarn Sportweight - Red I Love This Yarn Sportweight - Green I Love This Yarn Sportweight - Ivory

Then, I took my new yarn purchase home, and tried knitting a swatch with this thinner yarn. No go....STILL too thick. ACK!!!! :(

Back to Hobby Lobby I went on the following day....and got another refund. I kept the green yarn, because I figured I could make it work if necessary....the green was the hardest to match. So, there I was....starting over again.

This time, I got SERIOUS, and went to a real yarn shop. Cottage Yarn, where my cousin happens to be the owner. :) I was happy to see my cousin there, so I could show her the gloves I'm making to display there. She loved them. Yay! After some mutual glove fondling, I told her all about my problem with matching yarn for the Christmas stockings. I showed her the original stocking, and asked if she had any yarn that would knit to a gauge of 28 stitches per 4 inches (7 stitches per inch).....IN THE RIGHT COLORS.

We searched for quite a while, and only came up with two yarns that might work. Katia Mississippi 3, which is a cotton-blend, and Universal Pace sock yarn.

Katia Mississippi 3 - Red Pace Natural

I had found some Delft blue DMC floss at AC Moore that matched the blue section, and figured I could just double strand it to knit the eyes and shirts on the stockings. Not the best option, I know, but I was desperate. So, now, here was my new yarn configuration:
Stockings - New Start

I wasn't too happy about it. Because, now I would be using FOUR DIFFERENT YARNS to make the stockings. I didn't feel like it would knit up well. But, I thought I would have to settle for it.

Then, when I got home, I had a brainstorm.....Why not just knit it with all wool yarns? My client said that she never washed the stockings, because she was afraid she might mess them up. So, this gave me hope. I then remembered that I had a nice red wool in my stash. Bear Brand Ever Match Sock and Sweater yarn. So, I went digging in my cedar chest, and found that yarn at the bottom of the chest. Gorgeous yarn.
Bear Brand Sport Sweater - Red

I knit a swatch with the red yarn....wonder of wonders. It matched gauge PERFECTLY!!!!!
Hallelujah!!! Praise the Lord!!!!!

I couldn't believe it....I think I fell to the floor in tears.

So, now I had a little bit of hope. I wondered if I could possibly find a match for the blue, green, and cream in my stash. I spied a skein of Knit Picks Palette in White, and quickly knit a little swatch. Again....PERFECT GAUGE!!! YAY!!!!!

Unfortunately, the white was too light for the project, but I had a great feeling inside. I decided to look at the Knit Picks website, to see if I could find a match for the other colors. EUREKA!

Chicory is a perfect match for the blue.
Cream is a perfect match for the ivory.
Grass looks VERY CLOSE to the green.

So, I'm ordering yarn from Knit Picks for the stockings. They will all work together nicely, and should look very professional. I'm so pleased!!!

Christmas Stockings - Yarn Found

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I'm a forum moderator and blogger for Spinrite Yarns (www.yarnspirations.com), and I spend WAY too much time there. :D You can also find me on the Knitting Help Forum occasionally