Sunday, February 27, 2011

Swatching Sausalito

It's a fabulous Sunday afternoon and I had planned to be outside potting geraniums today while Joe planted onions in the garden.  I  just wanted to putter around on the back porch and in the sunshine taking in some vitamin D; looking to see what has survived our exceptionally cold winter.  Plans have changed!  The wind is blowing so hard (literally gusting around 30 mph) that neither one of us want to go out now.  Someone must have left the door open to Oklahoma!

It's a great time to work on a sock design for Susan at Crystal Place Yarns. She sent two different colorways of their new Sausalito a few weeks ago.  I have been working on other designs while thinking about what to do with the Sausalito. I had placed it where I could see it while I knitted.  I knew I wanted to try a smocked stitch for the sock design but hadn't even swatched with the yarn yet.  So, I wasn't sure it would look right with the yarn.

Late yesterday I began working with the lighter colorway.  To be honest, it didn't look like much in the ball - pretty; but just kinda okay - sorta ho-hum.

I started swatching with Sausalito and fell in love with it.  It is so soft and silky with the colors transitioning so smoothly.  Silky yarns gets me every time.  I should have known; it's Crystal Place Yarn.  I already know that I want to knit a wrap/shawl with this very yarn!


I am not able to capture the exact colors today as it is now overcast, but the representation is close.  You can see how nicely Sausalito is working up.

 Based on what I am seeing as I knit, I think a nice picot edging at the top with about a half inch of ribbing and then the smocked stitch pattern would look very nice.  Maybe add beading at the top in the picot edge..... 

So, this is what's going into my workbasket based on the swatching of Sausalito colorway #8117.  Swatched piece gets frogged for a new beginning.  Looks like it's gonna be fun and pretty.

My constant and always entertaining knitting companion, Bella.  She is on the pillow ONLY because she can't get into my lap.  I know, it's my fault.  I held her constantly while she was a puppy knowing she wouldn't be little for very long.  I enjoyed every minute of it too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Joe was home for the last five days. We worked on our Christmas shopping for grandchildren and decorating our home for Christmas.  Our goal is to have all grandchildren shopping done before Thanksgiving and we are well on our way.  I didn't really think we would manage it but we have 11 completed with 4 to go! 

Since some of our kids and grandkids come for Thanksgiving, but not Christmas, we are always decorated for Christmas at Thanksgiving (confusing?).  It takes us (me) several days!  This year, I decided to start mid-November so there wouldn't be the big rush right before Thanksgiving.  It feels really good to be "ahead" instead of running "behind" and trying to catch up. Joe has misplaced some lights that are important to the front of the house.  We are still looking........ (I probably put them somewhere special so I would be able to find them)

We are going to be babysitting Audrey (Audie Doodle) for the week before Thanksgiving while her Mom and Dad are out of town.  Audie is four years old, cute as a button and a handful!  I have been stocking up on crafty things for us to do together - making bead bracelets, ornaments and some baking.  We are looking forward to spending time with her.  I hear she already has her bag packed.   I promise to post some pics of Audie Doodle.

My Knit - I finished both pair of Cabled Footies that I was working on.  This is the same pair; pictures taken at different times with different lighting.  The pic on the right is closer to the actual color of Jade.

Closeup detail

Blocked and ready to go

Agean Pair unblocked
 I posted the last pair showing what they look like unblocked.  Blocking makes a huge difference in looking "finished".  You know, the difference between handmade and homemade.  It is important to block knitted items especially when they are a gift.  The presentation is so much better looking, don't you think?

The "Fun Knitting"

I started another sweater for Bella in a red yarn with sparkle.  It is Red Heart Shimmer in red #1929.  It is acrylic but I saw a display swatch and it was really pretty knitted.  It has been fun to knit a little red sparkly sweater that is very soft! 

Beginning first sleeve
 You can actually see the sparkles - I didn't think they would show up! 

Collar Detail
This looks like a sleeve cuff!  It is the turtleneck for the sweater.  Red is Bella's color!

Serious knitting - I have to finish up Jayden's Wallaby.  It is finished except for kitchenering the hoodie and tucking away the loose ends.   Not much to do but needs to be done.  He will be here next Wednesday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bella's Birthday!

Today is Bella's First Birthday!  In honor of her day, I am posting pictures of her.  Bella was my Christmas present last year from Joe.  She was born on November 12th, 3 days after my birthday.  We took her home a couple of days after Christmas.  We visited her several times while she was still with her brothers and sisters

 Her first picture @ 3 days old
We had to choose our puppy on the spot as they were all sold before they were born

Side view

Wearing her first knitted sweater

Same day - Joe is holding her

At home under our Christmas Tree

She has grown into her first knitted sweater

She loves her nap
Valentine's Day
T-shirt X-small

Getting into her toy box
Her shirt says "if you are looking for trouble, you found it"

Her second Vet visit - Hiding her face
Sporting her knitted Hooded Jacket

Can't imagine our days without Miss B

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bella in Her Christmas Sweater

Bella finally decided to get up although she doesn't seem quiet awake yet.  I think she thought she heard the doorbell. 

Bella - not fully awake
 I was right.  She is on the back of the sofa going back to sleep.  Sigh........

Back to sleep in her favorite place

Monday, Monday

Monday isn't ever my favorite day of the seven days in a week.  After a full weekend of TexMex dining, Greek belly -dancing (Loretta and I did the tradition circle dance NOT the belly-dancing) at The Olive Oil and NFL Football Sunday; here I sit trying hard to remember if I took my antihistamine when I got up. This morning, after the time change, Joe was up before 4AM and so was I.  Getting up that early, I never feel like I am at my best.  A nap is probably on the agenda for later.....

The Christmas red and white stripe sweater is finished.  I am pleased with the way it has turned out; resisting the urge to add a bit of crocheted lace around the collar.  I know there will be other Christmas sweaters in the next few weeks.

Bella is currently taking her morning nap.  This is the best I can do until she is ready to play.

I have started some gift knitting (and I am leaving it at that).  To get in the mood, I got out my Christmas knitting basket and put my current "knit" (as Kayla says) in it.  It helps me to be "in the Season" and persevere with the knitting to be done.  The projects are the Cable Footies in Oneskein.  I have one pair completed; and two more to go.  If you have knit them, you know they go very fast.   Hope to be finished with these by the weekend. 

Christmas Knitting Basket

completed pair
with no hints of who they belong to!

Pair in progress

The neat thing about this VERY sock is that it is the FIRST time EVER, after years of knitting socks on a small circular, that I have not used double points at the heel and gussets.  No, not at all!  I was watching the news this morning and had knit the heel, turned the heel, and started picking up gusset stitches before I realized that the dps were not in my hands.  Probably had a lot to do with getting up so darn early.  Bazinga!  (don't you just love Sheldon?)  HI Matthew!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Christmas Dog Sweater

I have been working on this cute little red and white striped sweater for the Christmas holidays.  I love the stripes; they look so crisp. Trying to make it unisex; I have used a plain collar.  I added a couple of snowflake buttons for embellishment.  I can't decide what to call it - Santa's Little Helper or Candy Cane - still thinking about it.  This sweater is knit completely in the round except for the sleeves.  Circular knitting stops at the collar as it is knit back and forth.  Super easy! 


 I have fallen in love with Cascade Fixation all over again.  Seems it is perfect for dog sweaters, especially in a warmer climate.  It has just enough stretch to make pulling it over Bella's head easy for both of us.  (she gets a treat for trying on sweaters - doggie dressup is fun)

Collar with Snowflake Buttons

Armhole detail

Friday, November 5, 2010

Crystal Palace Yarn's New Sausalito

Crystal Palace Yarns is debuting a new yarn, Sausalito, in the Spring of 2012. Susan emailed and asked if I would work up a new sock pattern, using Sausalito, for their website. Of course, I would! It is an exciting opportunity to design with a yarn that is brand, spanking new! She said samples are arriving, and she would send some to me. The yarn arrived a couple of days ago. (I LOVE getting yarn in the mail) Sausalito is truly gorgeous and as soft as silk!
80% merino and 20% nylon
198 yds/181m
50 grams
2 - 5 US needles
This is colorway 8117
shades of taupe and light blue
This is colorway 8107
russets, navy, greens with some plum
I have started swatching with this one on a size US #1. It is swatching beautifully; the colors are really blending together as I knit. You can get a good idea of the actual size of this yarn from my thumbnail in this photo. (yep, I am still wearing Halloween polish - hoping to change out this afternoon before we go to dinner)
You will want to be watching for Sausalito at your LYS next Spring. It is a sock yarn but as everyone knows, we are knitting EVERYTHING with sock yarn. Posts of my progress with Sausalito will be forthcoming.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sock Yarn One - Skein Wonders

Here it is! The One - Skein Wonders new book! I received my Designer's copy in the mail last Thursday. Yippee!
I was blessed to have two patterns chosen to be included in this book. Two patterns were submitted hoping that maybe one of them would be chosen.
Ruby Begonia was designed several years ago while sitting with a group of dear friends and knitters in Lake Charles, LA. It was our weekly knit group meeting at Joe Muggs. Joe, my husband, had recently gifted me with a gorgeous pair of purple glitter sunglasses. (I know, they are fabulous) I was afraid of getting them scratched in my handbag so Ruby Begonia was created to protect those much-loved sunglasses. (Ruby Begonia was a character in my favorite after school program as a child)
I had just finished Calypso when I received the invitation to submit a design. I loved the sock yarn and the stitch pattern; decided it needed some beads to go with the sparkle of the yarn. Of course. Shoulder shrugs are the greatest little wrap ever. (Calypso was a tropical beauty in the last Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow movie)
I am certain you will love this book; especially if you love sock yarn as I do. There are many beautiful patterns to knit which means, of course, you will need MORE sock yarn.