Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Um, yeah. Last night I made a couple mistakes with my lace scarf and I just couldn't figure out how to fix them. I ripped it out and cast on brand new for the fourth time. It's not the yarn or the pattern, it's me. I was just having a bad day. The good news is that this time I should do much better because I'm used to knitting with lace weight yarn now. It's really hard to switch from worsted to lace quickly. I took the time to rewind my ball on the ball winder so that it's much looser than before. My Dad helped me wind this one and it was way too tight (not his fault at all).

I need to work on my unknitting skills with the SSK stitch. That's the one that keeps messing everything up for me. It's not a big deal to unknit a few stitches in a row if you forgot a yarn over or something like that BUT it turns into a big mess if you can't correctly unknit that SSK. I thought I knew how to do that just fine but with this fine yarn I just can't seem to do it this time.

I'm just going to take deep breaths and take my time. No deadline with this project either although being in Ravelry seems to make me want to knit faster so I can get to more projects on my To Do list.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Break for Lace

I decided to cast on the next Elizabeth I pattern, Glorianna on Friday night. I'm using my Alpaca Cloud in the Autumn colored hank for this one and it's just beautiful. It's like a deep reddish brown color with hits of orangish yellow when the sun hits it. My picture doesn't do it justice:

I struggled with it on Friday night and had to rip it out 3 times. I think that might be because my husband was traveling and his flights kept getting delayed until it was eventually cancelled since there was blue skies in Chicago (oh no!) and then he finally got on a flight to Rochester, about an hour and a half drive at 10 pm. So my mind was not focused on my knitting.

I do like knitting lace. The pattern repeats aren't going that fast for me yet and I'm not sure if I'll get to a point where I don't have to look at the pattern but then again I always say that.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Free Pattern - Braided Cable Alpaca Scarf

I noticed that many people are searching for this pattern when they get to my site so I contacted Sue at Adirondack Yarns in Lake Placid and got her approval to post the Braided Cable Alpaca Scarf pattern. Enjoy!

Braided Cable Alpaca Scarf

2 skeins of Catalina Baby Alpaca chunky (109 yards each, 3.5 sts & 4.5 rows = 1" on #10.5 needle, 100 grams or 3.5 ounces each)
US 10 needles
cable needle

Gauge: It's a scarf, let's be adventurous . . .

Pattern Notes:
C6F - Slip 3 sts onto cable needle & hold to the front, knit 3 sts, then knit the 3 sts from the cable needle
C6B - Slip 3 sts onto cable needle & hold to the back, knit 3 sts, then knit the 3 sts from the cable needle

Cast on 24 sts

Row 1: *C6F* repeat 4 times
Row 2: P
Row 3: K
Row 4: P
Row 5: K3, *C6B* repeat 3 times, K3
Row 6: P
Row 7: K
Row 8: P

Repeat these 8 rows until desired length is reached.

Here is a close up of the cables (please excuse my poor photography skills - it's actually red yarn and this further proves I'm a knitter, not a photographer)

Friday, August 24, 2007

GAAA - Morioka Square

Yup, it's done. It took 8 days to do it but only 7 nights of actual knitting. I am so impressed with myself that I'm going to cast on a lace scarf tonight just for fun.

This square combines my love of lace and cables. Here's a close up of the lace zig-zag pattern bordering the cables:

No, my yarn isn't dirty. I just haven't figured out taking pictures in full light yet. Anyway, here's a close up of of the cable work with the lace mixed in:

I really like it. I can't wait to start the next square but I'm going to keep up the routine of working a square every other project. I don't want to get burned out working with the same yarn every day for the next couple months. Here's the full FO picture:

Pattern: The Great American Aran Afghan - Meredith K. Morioka square
Yarn: Plymouth Encore color 7357 worsted weight
Needles: size 5 US (3.75mm)
Notions: cable needle & 2 stitch markers
Size before blocking: 11" x 13"
Time frame: 8/15/07 to 8/23/07

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Knitting & Family Time

Last night I was able to complete another pattern repeat. We watched Are we there yet? (I just love Ice Cube) and then the season finale of America's Got Talent (my parents were really into this show - me not so much). Anyway, I have one more pattern repeat to go. I think I really have a shot at getting this GAAA done in my life time!
My husband is traveling this week and my parents have the week off so they're here having some grandparent time with our son. I took a break from work and went downstairs to see what they were up to.

They put him to work doing the laundry!

He's going back for another load of clothes!

He spotted me and decided to take a break from all the hard work.

But he's not sure which toy to play with.

Still not sure so he sits down for another look.

The wagon wins and he's off to the races.

With a break for a photo op of course!

After running all around the house he wipes out at the bottom of the stairs.

All of that running makes a boy tired! Time to take a break with Grandpa!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Knitting Meme

No pictures today since I'm still working on the GAAA square. I was able to do an entire pattern repeat last night so now I only have 2 to go.

This was on the Knitting Help forum a little while back. What exactly is a "meme" anyway?

1. What are your favorite things to knit?
I like to knit gifts. It can be anything really but something knitted for someone else is the best. Socks, scarves, sweaters, hats, blankets, etc it doesn't matter what it is. I really love to knit requested items. Lately I've been knitting things that force me to learn a new technique so I'm all over the place with projects.

2. What yarn/fiber do you like most?
I tend to use wool and alpaca blends but anything with alpaca will top my list. I love lace weight alpaca and how it's so soft you just want to put it up to your cheek.

3. What needles do you tend to use (i.e. type/material)?
I use bamboo DPNs and metal straights, nothing fancy here. I have a set of Denise interchangeable circulars and have used them in the past but I'm not proficient with them yet.

4. Do you tend to knit more in one specific part of the year than others?
Nope, I knit just about every evening. I used to knit all day on Sunday's during football season but with a 1 1/2 year old at home I'm just happy to knit once he's gone to bed for the night.

5. What style of knitting do you use?
I'm a Thrower (aka English) but I would really like to learn Continental for seed stitch patterns. But since I'm a process knitter speed isn't a huge issue for me right now.

6. Do you consider yourself a “fast” knitter?
Not really, more of an average knitter. I'm very slow at the beginning of a project and then speed up as I get more into the pattern.

7. Who is your favorite knitting author?
I really like the Knitting Pure and Simple patterns. I know that they're not as exciting as some of the other patterns out there but I'm not exactly a runway model. They're written extremely clear and concise which happens to work well for me.

8. What is your favorite by said author?
So far it's the Men's Heavy Weight Boot Sock but I plan to knit up some of their sweaters and cardigans in the future.

9. How long ago did you learn to knit?
I learned to knit right around the time I got married so 2001 would make it 6 years now. My mother-in-law was gracious enough to teach me the basics and then I found Knitting Help's free videos for when I had questions (we lived 900 miles away from each other at that point).

10. How do you knit small in-the-round objects?
I lean towards my bamboo DPNs but I have used circulars in the past.

11. What is the most useful technique you have learned so far?
Seaming and understanding charts. I'm still no expert in either but seaming something well just makes the finished project look nice. I just recently learned that you need to read odd rows on a chart from right to left and even rows from left to right. That is going to be very helpful in my upcoming projects!

12. Do you prefer to knit fine gauge items, mid-range gauge items, or large gauge items, or do you like it all?
I like it all but I tend to stay in the mid to fine range with my projects. Super Bulky yarns knit up quickly but I like the look of the finer stitches.

13. How do you like to knit your sweaters?
I've only knit a couple baby sweaters so far so I only know those with seaming. I plan to try a top-down raglan in the future so that should expand my techniques more. I've heard that's the way to go with sweaters.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend Knitting & Shopping

I have finished 2 out of the 5 repeats for the Morioka square and it's going faster each time. I may have this one done in weeks instead of months! Here's my progress:

I love how fast this is knitting up now. I was so intimidated by this project and now I'm just loving the details.

I found a male volunteer to be my guinea pig and let me knit him a sweater. He selected the pattern an the yarn. He's also married to my mother-in-law so he definitely appreciates the hard work that goes into a project. This will be my first adult pullover. I'm excited to get working on it but I'm not sure when I'll start. I don't have to have it finished until May at the earliest - but I could sneak in and try to get it done for Christmas.

He chose the cover pattern from Men In Knits to be knit up in Wool-Ease Chunky in the Charcoal color. I think it will look fabulous!

As a side note, I told my father about the project and he said that he likes sweaters too. It looks like I'll have a sweater to knit up for next Christmas now too. Now I just have to get him to pick a design that's in style and that I like . . .

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mission Organization

I got around an inch of knitting done last night. I would have done more but I kept messing up the SKP stitch. For some stupid reason I keep wanting to k2tog instead of just k1 on that stitch. UGH!

I finally broke out the fancy row counter and it's a godsend! There are technically only 2 patterns (A and B) and it's set up where you knit ABA except the second A starts half way through. I decided to consider this 3 patterns and just use my stitch counter. No more tic marks on a notepad for me! I'm knittin' super fancy!

My goal for this afternoon is to reorganize my pattern binders. I've got the nice plastic sleeves for them but I seem to forget to use them. My patterns just keep piling up next to the printer. I might be able to get it done since my two trouble makers seem to be cuddling (the snoring is starting to get annoying).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I casted on the Morioka square last night for GAAA. This will be my third square and I'm looking forward to getting to the pattern. It's a combination of lace and cables - both my favorites. I literally just got it started so here's an exciting picture of the beginning ridges:

Yup, just thrilling to photograph. Nothing says beauty like 6 rows of knitting with one foundation row. I don't have many distractions planned for the rest of this month so I'm interested to see how long it will take for me to knit this up. I'd like to use this one to get a realistic time frame for completing the project. I still don't plan to knit one square right after another though because I don't want to get burnt out.

Over the weekend I started more of my mindless knitting for when it's too busy around me to work on the GAAA square:

I'm trying to get all of my cotton yarn in summer colors knit up first while it's still hot outside. I still have many balls left of Sugar'n Cream - too many to count right now (I don't want to get depressed). The good news is that they are quick to knit up and I should have all of them done by Christmas time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Finished Object - Peapod Baby Set

After about a half hour of searching through my stash of buttons I finally found some that I was content with using. I wanted to got with some wooden looking ones but I just didn't have the right size. I found a set that looked horrible on the little white card they were sold on but I think they are lovely against the green.

Not bad for only being my second baby cardigan and maybe my 4th or 5th hat ever. While I already know that I am not a photographer, I'm also not a seamstress. Those buttons make me nervous especially since a baby could choke on them. I did my best but I plan to attach a note so that Sean's mommy can double check that they are secured enough. She's definitely a very good seamstress. As for now, I'm happy that they're not falling off:

Just in case you don't believe me about not being a photographer, check this out:

Yeah, that's pretty bad. In real life the hat doesn't bell out like that but I wanted to show the pattern with the nice decreases on top. Can't blame me for trying! On to the specs of the project . . .

Pattern: Peapod Baby Set (Free)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Grass
Needles: size 5 straights (long & short versions) & DPNS
Notions: size 5/8" buttons
Time frame: 7/19/07 to 8/13/07 (I procrastinated with seaming & sewing the buttons on)

General Pattern Comments: I would say that my frustration level was pretty high with certain sections of the pattern because it is rated at the Intermediate level and I'm still maybe an Advanced Beginner at best. Now that I've done it once though the next time would probably be much easier. I just got confused in the parts where it's written like a conversation and not row by row instructions.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's Friday already?

No pictures today since I already packed the camera. You'll have to trust me. The pea pod cardigan is all sewn up and there's only a few rows left on the hat. The search is on now for the perfect buttons in my giant inherited stash of buttons.

I'm heading up north again this weekend to go camping with my folks. Just me and the big guy this time since my husband is heading over to Watkins Glen with some friends to watch the NASCAR race. I don't plan to knit much while I'm there but I'm thinking I should stash a washcloth pattern and some yarn just in case we have a campfire . . .

I just recently added Silver's Palindrome reversible cable scarf to my To Do list. It's a spin-off of the Irish Hiking scarf and I can't wait to try it out. I'm also still hunting for a manly scarf pattern to knit up in Chicago Bears colors (yes I still live in NYS and I'm still a Giants fan, this is a co-worker request). I'm having a great time adding projects to my queue in Ravelry. I'm probably adding 2-3 each time I sign in! Thanks a lot of knitting :)

UPDATE: The hat is finished! Pictures on Monday!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

"It wasn't me! It was the one armed man!"

I had to go to Chicago for work on Monday and Tuesday so I decided to start on the hat for the pea pod baby set. I love knitting in airports, it relaxes me and I don't get angry with delays. For some reason I wasn't relaxed. I found the pattern challenging and not exactly intuitive. I had to read it over and over again before I understood it. It may be that I was thinking about work stuff and not in the knitting zone. This is what I got done:

I'm at the last pattern section and I just can't figure out the decreasing stitches part while continuing the pattern. I'll have to look at that later on this week.

As a break from the hat, last night I finished the collar, sewed up the sleeve seams and sewed on one sleeve. Considering that I am a knitter and not a seamstress I think it's not too bad:

Not bad, that is, if you're a one-armed baby! I really don't like finishing work so why is it that I seem to find patterns with tons of seaming? I should be able to get the other arm attached tonight and possibly finish the hat (if I can decipher the pattern).

GOOD NEWS! The baby-to-be recipient is no longer a baby-to-be! He was born on Saturday with lots of drama but very healthy and absolutely beautiful. I won't be able to snuggle him in person for a few months since his mom and dad live 900 miles away but I do hope to get more pictures once they're settled at home.

Friday, August 3, 2007


I successfully finished the first sleeve last night. I tried to stay up late enough to see my husband since he was flying home late but I just didn't make it. I finished the sleeve around 10:25 pm and I was in bed by 10:30 pm. No all nighters for me!

Here's the sleeve in all its glory:

Plus a shot of the cuff for extra detail:

Looking at my schedule I don't think I'm going to make the deadline. I could knit up another sleeve tonight, work on the collar and finishing stitches tomorrow night and then seam it all up on Sunday night. But then I still have a hat to do and that's a lot of pressure to knit it up on the flight to Chicago. So I'm going to plan on mailing it and if I happen to get it all done in time then bonus for me!

On a technical note:
I'm researching photo sharing sites. I'm using the free Flickr for Ravelry and Picasa for my blog (I just became aware of that). I'm worried about privacy issues and size limitations. I've looked at Photobucket and Smug Mug but I can't tell which one I'd like to go with (and pay for). I'm leaning towards Flickr because I'm already familiar with the program but I want to make sure that my family and friends can see all of our family pictures but the general public can only see my knitting pictures.

Anyone have any advise or recommendations?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Mixed News

Well, my husband is still out of town but get he should hopefully get back around 11:30 tonight, if there are no flight delays. Last night I worked on the sleeve for the Pea Pod cardigan. I ended up ripping it back 3 times. I was over-thinking the pattern. When I just stopped and knit exactly what the pattern said everything looked fine. I got about an inch done so no pictures. I' should get much more done tonight.

With happier news I'd like to share a rare picture of myself:

Yes this is my chubby hand with my wedding rings. When I got pregnant I came to a point in December 2005 where I could no longer where my rings comfortably. It's now August 2007 and I still haven't lost the weight to wear them. It's not like they are extravagant JLo type rings, but they're mine and I am proud to wear them. This past weekend we went to a family friend who happens to be a jeweler and he sized them up for me. I feel like I just got engaged all over again! I can't stop looking at them! The picture doesn't do them justice at all. I couldn't get close enough to get the brilliance of the diamonds without getting a blurry picture. I'm so excited to be able to wear them now! I'm still losing the pregnancy weight slowly so I will hopefully be going back to have them sized down again. It's worth the money!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

More Pea Pod

As promised here's my update on the Pea Pod Baby Set. It's pretty much a vest as of today:

I do like how it's knit up in one piece but I would have liked a little heads up on getting the super long needles for the initial cast on. Once I did that it was so much easier to knit and I wasn't worried about stitches coming off. Here's what it looks like unfolded:

I'm excited to start the sleeves tonight. I'd probably have much more done by now except my husband is traveling for work so that means it's Netflix at night for me. I'm watching Rome and it just keeps getting better. Good thing I was mainly doing stockinette stitch last night and binding off. Man that series is good!

I started this project with no deadline involved but it turns out that I'm going to Chicago and if I can get it done in time then I can save on the postage. The mama-to-be thinks she's going to go early, good thing I'm knitting up the 6 month size!