Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Is Almost Over!

I am so glad that this year is almost over. Not that it's been a bad year but it seems the theme of this year was "major household issues" dealing with spending money way too early for things that we were saving for. I guess that comes with the territory when you buy a 40 year old house.

I started this blog back in April so the list of Finished Objects on the side is almost everything that I did in 2007. I am very happy with what I accomplished and look forward to new things in the new year.

I looked back to my resolution list for 2008 and it stands as:
1. Learn how to knit using two circular needles
2. Knit a project using color work techniques (more than one color in a row)
3. Finish the Great American Aran Afghan

BUT I also just went through my stash and listed out my projects that I currently have yarn for. Out of the 16 projects listed (yes - 16 projects counting GAAA only once even though I have 21 squares left to knit) only #3 will get accomplished. I did see a couple themes in the projects stashed though: lace, scarves and kid sweaters. It should be a really cute knitting year for me.

I wish everyone well and hope that 2008 brings great things!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Free Pattern - Boa Tube Scarf

This is a quick and simple project that is great for little girls playing dress up or for that special older lady that loves a little flair. I think I've made 4-5 of these in the past and they take very little time to make

[I'll post a finished picture ASAP]

Boa Tube Scarf

2 balls of Fun Fur (60 yards each)
US size 10 DPNs

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

Cast on 24 stitches and place 8 stitches each on 3 DPNs
Join in a round and knit until you're out of yarn

Close up of DPNs

Notes: You really can't be anal when it comes to this type of project. If you should happen to knit 2 together by accident just increase to make sure you keep 8 stitches on each needle. It's not like you're going to be able to see any mistakes. If you prefer a longer and skinnier scarf go with 18 or 21 stitches total instead of 24. This is a great mindless knitting project to take with you!

One other note: The scarf turns out so much better if you pull the yarn out of the ball correctly. You want to go with the yarn rather against it so that you'll have as much fur on the outside as possible. I'll try to illustrate:

If the end of the yarn is on the right, then you're going against the fur and you'll have a crappy boa scarf

If the end of the yarn is on the right this time then you're going with the fur. You'll have a lush boa scarf this time

I have 3 nieces and they have all loved having these for dress up or for a fun day out!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Finished Objects - 2 Irish Hiking Hats

These were last minute gifts knit up using yarn left over from the sweater. I probably have enough to make a third hat but I really can't stand picking up stitches right now. The first hat will go to my Father-in-law to match the sweater and the second will go to my husband because he begged me to make him one to match. He was my assistant to get the right sizing and just fell in love with it. So now he has about a million hats now - I swear he buys a new toque in every city he visits.

Photo gallery of the two hats:

Pattern: Irish Hiking Hat (bulky version)
Yarn: Wool-Ease Chunky in charcoal
Needles: US size 9 circulars and US size 10 DPNs (I didn't have size 9 DPNs handy)
Time Frame: about 3-4 nights of knitting for each hat

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Finished Object - Jerry's Sweater

I am so proud of myself for finishing my first adult sweater way before the deadline of Christmas. The true test will be if it fits correctly but it's might warm - exactly what my father-in-law asked for.

I liked working the cables with the seed stitch borders. I made a conscious effort to weave in my ends as I went so it would be less work for me in the end. I learned a lot about sweater construction with this project and how I would like to try other methods in the future. Knitting the sleeves on was challenging at first but by the second sleeve I was cruising. One nice benefit was that it served as a comfy blanket for me each knit that I worked on it.

I am worried that the sleeves are too long BUT he asked me to make the sleeves longer than normal for warmth so I hope it's just right. I can't wait for Christmas day now to see him try it on! The cool thing is that I have 2 full skeins left over so I'm going to try to make him a cabled hat as a bonus gift.

Pattern: Jack's Aran Pullover-Adult from Men in Knits
Yarn: Wool-Ease Chunky in charcoal
Needles: US size 9 and 11 circulars
Notions: stitch markers, cable needle
Time Frame: October 15 to December 12 (weeknights only)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Finished Object - My So Called Scarf

I finished this scarf on Sunday night and I was only disappointed in my Bind Off row. It made the scarf flair out at the end unlike the Cast On row that was nice and straight. I'll have to research different methods to see how I can do that better in the future.

I like the this pattern and it was a great mindless project to work on as a break from the more complicated sweater. I might do this one again in something that self-stripes just to see how it turns out.

Pattern: My So Called Scarf - I found it via the Ravelry pattern browser
Yarn: Fingerlakes Soft Wool in lavender - I used 2 hanks
Needles: US 8 bamboo straights
Time frame: November 10 - December 9 (knit on weekends only)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Chugging Along . . .

No pressure to finish. Really! In fact I'm already searching for a matching hat pattern to knit up as a last minute gift to go with the sweater. I should have extra yarn and I know he'll wear a nice warm hat made by his favorite (and only) daughter-in-law. Here's my progress:

I should finish up the second sleeve tonight if all goes well. I'm a little paranoid about making sure they're the same length so I'm not rushing this part. Here's a close up of the cables on the front and down the sleeve:

They are simple cables and I love how they look with the seed stitch panels. Once the second sleeve is finished I'm going to take a break for 2 nights and work on that scarf. I have a feeling that the collar is going to be difficult or at least challenging so I want to start that fresh. I am so glad that I didn't overload myself with Christmas knitting projects. 1-2 WIPs at one time is about all I can handle!