Saturday, January 30, 2010

Okay, so I lied.

I said yesterday, that I was only going to chart and swatch for the shawl... but I couldn't resist. I went ahead and started it.

"Surf" is still languishing in my pink knitting bag, while I knit on this one. And actually, I took this picture last night; I've finished two more rows of diamonds since then, and it's about two feet wide at the top edge. Today, on a whim, I bought some tiny clear foil-lined beads, and I'm planning on using them around the bottom edge somehow. Princess is very excited about her shawl, and is calling it "Princess's Crown Jewels". The name was suggested by my friend Cyndye. ☺

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Princess wants a shawl. She's been asking me for one since I finished my Ichthus shawl last fall. But she wants diamonds, not fish. And she says gray is her new favorite color. Fortunately, I took apart several gray cotton sweaters recently, so I have a lot of gray(3 different shades, I think) fingering-weight cotton from which to choose. This swatch is just some yarn I had lying around(Paton's Decor "Chocolate Taupe"), not the actual yarn I intend to use. I was just figuring out the design, making sure that it would look in-the-yarn how I made it look in-the-chart.
And, lol, I just realized I should have turned the picture upside-down. The point should be at the top; it's the center of the back. Oh, well. I'm just trying to decide whether to do a triangular shawl, with two wedges, or a 2/3 shawl, with four. Guess maybe I ought to ask Princess!
Now that "Cathie" is done, I'm going back to "Surf"...I just wanted to get this other project charted and swatched. ☺

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Olympics are coming!

I'm sure, if you are a knitter, you've heard of some sites that do Olympic challenges; Ravelry and YarnHarlot being two of them. Well, I'm not on Ravelry, since they banned me and my friends last year without cause(Thanks, Casey, I've gotten so much more knitting and designing done since I wasn't wasting time on your site! And no, that's not sarcasm) I can't participate in their version of Olympics, with all of its rules and regulations...I'd be surprised if they allowed projects that are patriotic in nature; it might offend someone. (whew, okay, enough snarkiness; even thinking about Ravelry brings that out in me. Sorry) And, since I have nothing of a personal nature to say about YarnHarlot(except that I sure wouldn't have picked a moniker like that), I'll just say I'm not a fan of hers, so I'm not participating in hers either.
I am a member of another site for yarn artists, and we're having our own Olympic challenge. Originally, the idea was to pick a project with techniques you haven't done before, and since it's the Winter Olympics, to make it a winter project. But we tend to 'go with the flow' on our site, and since we're actually friends with each other, we decided there's no need for stringent rules. ☺ Since I live in Texas, and Christmas is over, I'm already thinking of spring and summer with my knitting. And there's nothing wrong with that. ☺ So anyway, I decided to do a project with a little bit of Fair-Isle, since that technique frightens me a little. Here's a swatch, and the fabric to go with it...
After making that swatch, I decided that I'm actually going to use thinner yarn, so I had to go find a white cotton sweater(to take apart) with the right gauge of yarn to match up with the red cotton yarn, which I got from a sweater last year. The red is actually a little darker than the red in my swatch, but not quite burgundy. Since the blue in the fabric is so dark, I decided that would be okay. And yes, that swatch was knit from the top-down, instead of the bottom-up; this project is going to be a little girls' sundress, in which the top half will be knitted top-down, in raglan style, and the bottom half will be a fabric skirt. The USA part will be on the front of the bodice, naturally. I'm not starting with the knitting yet, not until the Opening Ceremonies, but I'm getting all of the calculating out of the way, so that I can jump right in when it's time.
In other knitting news, "Cathie" is almost done. It looks great, if I do say so myself. And I hope Cathie likes it as well! I haven't worked on "Surf" at all since I started on "Cathie"... need to get back to that as soon as "Cathie" is done.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I just have a few minutes, before I have to go get the girls started on their schoolwork, but I wanted to update, since it's been a few days. I am about halfway done with "Cathie", my latest project (see my previous post). I am in love with this Malabrigo yarn. I will be sad to be done knitting with it. It's so soft and lovely. I think I will save up, buy some of my own, and make a "Cathie" for myself. ☺ I am really enjoying the design; once you have it memorized, it's actually very easy. Now if I could just figure out cabling without a cable needle, I'd be able to speed right through the rest of this project...
My youngest daughter, whom I have called "Dolly" since she was just a newborn baby, because she was the same size as one of her sisters' dollies, has informed me this morning that she's not "Dolly" anymore. Between meows and snuggles, she told me that she wants to be called "Kitty" now. I have to admit, it fits her well. So my two-year-old will be referred to as Kitty from this point on.
And now it's time for math...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Drive-by blogging...

I've started a new project, but this one has to stay secret for now. I'm participating in a UFO(unfinished object)/Orphan (yarn with no plans) swap. Each participant sends either a UFO or orphan yarn from their stash to another participant, who stitches that yarn into something wonderful, then sends it back to the original owner. Then we'll all open them on the same day, in March, in a wild online party. ☺

I sent fingering weight navy blue cotton/bamboo/silk yarn to Angela, who is a whiz with Tunisian Crochet. I can't wait to see what she comes up with! Cathie sent me Malabrigo Sock yarn, in the colorway "Persia"; it's a combination of greens and browns. OMG, this yarn is so incredibly soft and squishy! I love it. I've never had an opportunity to work with Malabrigo before; it's too expensive for my budget. But I finally understand why everyone loves it so much. I will be saving up some money to be able to afford my own in the future. I'm about 1/5 of the way through with my project. When I'm done, this wonderful, soft, gorgeous(if I do say so myself) project will go back to Cathie. I hope she likes it! I'll post pictures in March, after our party.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Surf" in progress

Here we are in January, dealing with Globull Warming in Texas! It didn't get above freezing today, and it's not likely to tomorrow either. We'll have to bring the cats into the garage again tonight. It amazes me that even Al Gore still believes the drivel that he's been preaching the past few years. Then again, maybe he knows it's bull, and is afraid to admit it. Anyway, I'm wearing a wool sweater today, and I'm warm enough, though my feet are freezing. I need to work some duplicate stitch on the bottoms of my wool socks, so that I can wear them again; they're a little threadbare. And I need to make myself some more wool socks. This is crazy, how cold it is here.
Since I can't do anything about the weather, I'm thinking warm thoughts with my knitting. This is my latest project: Surf. It's a rectangular shawl, or stole. I was inspired by the stitch pattern, and decided to pair it with Caron Spa yarn, which is a silky bamboo blend. The color is called "Ocean Spray", so it's perfect for an ocean-inspired project. I love beaches. I love relaxing in a lounge chair, listening to waves crashing against the shore. This project lets me imagine that I'm there, and it's summer...instead of here, in the winter.
I'm knitting this stole lengthwise, so each row is very long; 336 stitches, except for the yarnover rows, which involve adding 14 loops for every 10 stitches! Of course, I drop all of those extra loops in the next row, but still, that's a lot of loops! I do intend to post the pattern on my pattern blog, since it's a very simple design. I've only done 6 repeats of the lace pattern so far, and I need to do a total of 16-20 repeats, so it'll be a few weeks. This stole is a gift for a very dear friend of mine, someone who sent me a whole boxful of Christmas gifts, with the full knowledge that I couldn't afford to send her anything. ☺ I hope she's not reading my blog right now; that would totally spoil the surprise. ☺ And then, as soon as I finish this one, I need to start another surprise project for my other dear friend who sent me a boxful of Christmas gifts....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Princess's poncho

I just realized I promised last week to post pics of Princess's poncho, then didn't deliver. Sorry about that. Here they are!

She really likes it. Anytime I remind her to hang it up in the garage(where all coats and such belong), she says, "I'm gonna wear it instead."
Even in the up-close picture, you really can't see the cables well. Oh, well, they aren't really anything special, just basic 4-stitch rope cables. They're visible enough in person; just don't show up well in pictures. Oh, and it's not really a different color around the bottom edge; it just looks like that because when I laid it out to block, I needed to spray extra water on the edges to get them to lay flat.
This project doesn't get a name; I may at some point rework the design, and make another one. But for now, I'm less-than-thrilled with it. I'm just glad it's done. I'm looking toward spring and summer now, and working on coming up with some new designs.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I like shawls.

The pattern for my "Gracefully" shawl is now available for free on my pattern blog; the link is over there on the right! ----->

And here's a sneak peek at my newest project. I started this one New Years Eve, while I partied online with my best friends in the whole wide world. One of these days, we need to meet each other in person. ☺
Anyway, this is going to be a rectangular shawl, with a wavy lace pattern. I wanted the waves to go the long way on the shawl, so I'm knitting it sideways, from one long side to the other long side, if that makes sense. Which means I had to cast-on over 300 stitches. I doubt this project will take any longer than my other shawls, but it seems to take forever just to finish a row. The yarn is Naturally Caron Spa, in the colorway "Ocean Spray". (I absolutely love this yarn!) When I saw the stitch pattern, it reminded me of ocean waves, so I knew I needed a yarn worthy of the design. The working name for this pattern is "Surf". Surf is a gift for one of my dear, dear friends; I really hope she likes it. I already know she loves Spa yarn, and the color is one of her favorites, so it's really just a matter of hoping she likes the lace pattern as well.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Introducing "Gracefully"

Yesterday, I finished the shawl I've been working on. I polled my friends for a better name than "Going Gray", and my friend Cathie suggested "Gracefully".

I am working on typing up the pattern, which shouldn't take very long, since this was a very simple project. Hopefully I'll have it up on my pattern blog by next week.

And by the way....HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here's to a better year than the last one!