Friday, September 25, 2009

Why Can't I Just Knit From a Pattern

This past Thursday at Market Street DayKnitters, our knit group, I started a simple shawl in Fiesta's Starburst La Boheme (Aster 22107). I have had 3 skeins of this yarn stashed since 2006 thinking I would find something I would like to knit with it. With no new flash of inspiration coming, I started Fiesta's Fabulous Shawl pattern, to have something beautiful to knit on Thursdays where there is too much conversation and fun going on to focus on much of anything at all. It's a good thing Borders serves coffee and tea instead of margaritas or we would be kicked out! After seeing how beautifully La Boheme knits up, that flash of inspiration hit me between the eyes and I have frogged the shawl. After sketching out a shape of an idea, I have cast on and started again. I will still be knitting and probably frogging, at times, the pattern in my head and scribbled on paper as I knit along. Isn't this absolutely gorgeous?
It knits up light as a cloud but yet holds the shape of each stitch beautifully. I want to be wrapped up in this yarn. Therefore, the inspiration.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Breaking for a Shrug

Alexis is going to her FIRST Homecoming in October. She has her dress; it is a beautiful garnet red satin with spaghetti straps. Deciding to use silver as an accent; she and her Mom have put together a beautiful ensemble. I think she may need a little something for her shoulders. So, taking a break from my serious knitting, I am going to knit up a quick shrug. I just happened to have some Crystal Palace Yarn Soiree in silver stashed (imagine that). It is truly gorgeous and even more so when knitted. It knits up very soft even though it has a metallic thread running through it. It is truly like liquid silver; so much so, that you should contain it as you knit as it falls away from itself. Seriously.
Initially, I tried the Love Knot Stitch but it looked very ornate; too much I think for a teenager. So I tried for something simpler. This is just a knotted stitch that opens up when it's stretched a bit.
You can get a better look at it here. There is garter stitch at each sleeve edging which will be above the elbow making a nice evening shrug.
I will post a finished shrug picture later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Update on Ryan's Socks

I have been working on Ryan's socks for a while now. I made the leg ribbing extra long (9") since he is quite tall. The foot portion of the sock is a total of 10.5 inches long. At the toe decrease of the second sock, I RAN OUT OF YARN. Determined not to panic, I called Twisted Yarns, my LYS where I bought the yarn. They were out and did not plan to reorder that particular yarn. Near panic now, I turn to Google! After Googling the yarn manufacturer and name; only ONE place came up that had a skein. One skein! I am so thankful to be living my perfect life! Now to knit one toe and kitchener two socks!
Blogger has turned my picture AGAIN but you can still see how big these socks are.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

In the Garden at Dusk

When we moved into our house, we had an acre of yard that had been bulldozed. After nearly a year of construction, the yard had become very overgrown. It was pretty awful. Weeds were shoulder high hiding, at times, the local wild life in the yard. The second night we were here, I walked out onto the porch late at night. It was, and still is, beyond dark since there are no street lights. Hearing heavy breathing nearby, I realized there was a large animal very close. Screaming and running into the house, Joe informed me I had scared the hell out of a deer. It has been two years this month, since we moved in. Joe and I have worked in the yard Spring, Summer and Fall of both years. There is still so much yet to be done. It is amazing how an acre can soak up several hundred dollars in plants leaving you wondering where it all went. Kim and Todd, with their children, visited a couple of weeks ago. Grandson, Matthew, paid us a great compliment not knowing it would mean so much. While sitting on the back porch early one morning, he told his Dad how much he enjoyed being outside here as it was so pretty. I am going to show a tiny bit of our yard. On the right/east side of our back porch, the morning sun welcomes whoever is sitting out there having coffee by shining blindingly into their face. So, Joe put up a trellis and we planted Moon Vine early in Spring. The Moon Vine has covered the trellis and has been thinned out twice! Next year, we are going to try Morning Glory Vine and decide which we like best.
This is Coral Impatiens planted in the flower bed that the trellis is grounded in. They are beautiful. Keep in mind, I am taking these pictures in deep dusk one evening.
This is our Moon Vine trellis at dusk. Moon Vine blooms in the late evening. The large white flowers are gorgeous and fragrant making it most enjoyable to sit on the porch in the evenings (if it isn't still sweltering hot).
Multiple flowers on the vine are truly beautiful but you must come out in the evening to see them!
Moon Vine flowers - a close up view.
Yard work is almost as gratifying as knitting. There's a whole lot less sweating with knitting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Bit of Halloween Fun This Morning

We have a new baby in our extended family! Manny and Jennifer have a new son - Landon Cole! He is so handsome; just like his brothers. Yes, for all of you who are counting, Alexis now has 5 brothers! Whoa! I have been knitting a few of the Perfect Baby Bibs (in Fixation) to go into Cole's gift box. This morning, as I sat tucking in the yarn ends while enjoying a large mug of Snickernut coffee, I saw fun Halloween potential. Looking at the purple and orange bibs, I knew they needed spiders and pumpkins. I realized that with a little black yarn and some outline stitching, these would be so cute! After Halloween, Jennifer can snip the yarn , pull out the outline stitches and still use the bibs. Having already made a Target shopping trip for cute baby stuff; his box is ready to go! I have included a Halloween Onsie and matching socks - really cute!
These were so simple and quick. A little free-style embroidery and viola!
A close up of the Pumpkin face so you can see how simple these stitches are. You also get a good look at the Fixation that is slightly variegated.
I tried to upload the close up pics of the purple bib but Blogger kept turning them sideways. I finally gave up. You can view them in my Ravelry notebook in the Perfect Baby Bib pattern. I am going there next to upload the pictures.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to Ryan's Socks

Whew! I unfolded the cuff so you can see "the whole 9 yards". In reality, it is JUST 9" of ribbing; but that IS a lot of boring 2 X 2.
The toe is ready to be kitchenered (is that a word). I am meeting Loretta tomorrow for a "knitting lunch". She needs to go over kitchener again; she isn't pleased with how her last one turned out. It is undone and ready to go again. I am taking this one and we will do them together. This yarn made a nice man's sock, I think. I enjoyed knitting with it.
A close-up of the stockinette stitch - really nice.
So, this is where I am right now. Toe ready to be kitchenered and I have cast on for the next sock. I have quite a lot of yarn tail left over from the cast on. Maybe I should weigh the yarn to see how close it's going to come for the second sock. There's enough yarn to Kitchener the second sock if I were to run short - hmmmm. The sock foot on this particular sock is 10.5 inches.
Cast on via the 12" circular.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Project!

I know, I am supposed to be knitting Ryan's socks; it' a big sock and I need a project that's just "knitting" for when I get tired of knitting on a sock. I know you know what I mean. I started this project for tomorrow - Thursday - Market Street DayKnitters knitting. Our knit group is growing and there is usually a lot of conversation going on. (I think a couple of ladies are there JUST for the conversation as opposed to some of us who are there to knit together). I needed something simple to knit with a luscious yarn. I dug in my stash and VIOLA! Manos Silk Blend; and several skeins of it!
I loved this yarn when I saw it; loved everything about it - the color, the feel - it's very soft and it really has no twist. I have been wanting to knit this up for a while. Seems now is the time.
Up Close - great colors! (I think Berroco has a sock yarn Metallic that is just about these same colors. I think I see matching socks in my future)
Just starting - OTN
I am going to knit this pattern. It's a Manos pattern book and I like the look of Newport.
I will be blogging about this for the next couple of weeks. P.S. Loretta we are missing you! Hope you are home soon and back to knitting with us.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Projects OTN

My son-in-law Ryan requested a pair of socks for his birthday. At the time, he knew they would be a bit late as I had project deadlines looming. Ryan didn't mind; it's not like he's going to be wearing them anytime soon as we are in the Dog Days of Summer. Now, I have one OTN and I am enjoying knitting them Thursdays at Market Street DayKnitters. I really do enjoy knitting for someone specific at times; especially if they are excited to be getting something knitted. So, below are a few pictures of Ryan's sock. It's not quite a "neverending sock like Joe's is; but I am glad to be knitting it on the small circular so I can pick up some speed on the foot now. The yarn is Lana Grossa. (no matter how hard I try, I even have each project in a separate basket, I still misplace yarn labels - I am sure I will find it on my knitting table somewhere)
Close up of the cuff - of 2 X 2 Ribbing
Yarn and Beginning on the Small Circ
Close Up of the Heel
Another -
There we go - all 9" of ribbing
Next -
This is the short row shawl I have been working on while I was a bit "under the weather". It was relaxing to knit something I really didn't have to think about AND was turning out gorgeous! I have thoroughly gotten into this shawl adding an ample hood onto it. Now, I am working to make a hood in a non-traditional way. In other words, I don't want to just sew a seam across the top of my head front to back! It's been a labor of love with no anxieties since it's for me! I have written everything down as I am sure I will want to do this again. It will have beading around the face of the hood. The next one will have some yarn over details and beading between the short row designs.
Close Up of the Colorway
I have been knitting this while it is literally "hot as Hell" here in Houston. I daydream about how much I am going to enjoy wearing this when Fall finally does arrive. Even though I love Summer, I was daydreaming about fireplace weather just yesterday. (I know I am going to knit matching handwarmers to go with this)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders

I have received official notification from Storey Publishing that two of my original designs are going to be included in the newest One-Skein Wonders book! These books have not only been favorites of mine, but also favorites for everyone that I know! This has absolutely made my day! I had submitted two designs hoping that one of them would make it into the book. I was most surprised to receive word that both made it! So, when the book debuts; get your copy and look for Ruby Begonia and Calypso! (happy dancing and singing with squeals in the background)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fun Knitting

After finishing 4 design projects, it feels so good to be knitting for my enjoyment only! I have the Ilene bag almost finished; Todd's socks are almost finished and Ryan's socks are ready to start. Then, there's a shawl I started with Noro - couldn't resist the yarn.
We went to Lake Charles for Memorial Day. took Todd's socks to knit on the way. Just needed to decrease and kitchener one toe to be finished with the pair. Forgot my double points (I guess that would be a menopausal moment according to SOME people). I was disappointed as I wanted to give them to him while we were there. Below are a few pictures. Thought I would share. Back to knitting pictures tomorrow.
Matthew in his Indiana Jones hat with whip
Matthew up in a tree. (don't think his Mom knew where he was)
Pam letting Jayden nap in her lap. He was so tired.
(there may be more family pictures next week as Pam, Alexis and Jayden are coming to spend 10 days with us)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mississippi and Guam Socks are Finished

My socks are on their way to Crystal Palace Yarns via UPS as of yesterday! Woohoo! Today, I am finishing up edits on the written patterns and a short bio. Several pictures of both pair are below. First is the sock for Mississippi. Guam sock pictures follow. (blogger turned some of my pics again)
Leg of Mississippi sock
Heel of Mississippi Sock
Tiny beaded rib of Mississippi sock
Pictures of Guam Socks This pair of socks are siblings but not twins; meaning they are not identical. It is their differences that make them interesting.
The colors are reversed for the socks plus one sock has one more row of edging than the other. I liked them that way so didn't change it. Knitters can do their socks however they want them. Flowers are positioned on the outside of the socks slightly above the ankle. The inside of the socks have small lazy daisy flowers with beaded centers.
Closeup of sock with red flower, orange edging and orange lazy daisy flowers.
Closeup of the sock with the orange flower.
On to the next big thing!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bluebonnets of Texas

Joe and I decided to drive to Brenham (home of Bluebell ice cream) and have lunch. It is about an hour away from us and a nice, scenic drive. It's one of the favorite routes to see Texas Bluebonnets in abundance. We had lunch at Must Be Heaven! Halving a sandwich; we saved room for a large piece of coconut pie that we also shared. It was delicious! Brenham is a wonderful little town with a center court house square. There are many many quaint little shops of antiques, flea market finds and crafts. It's a wonderful place to spend the day. Below, a field of bluebonnets that seems to go on forever.
A herd of cows grazing in a field of bluebonnets.
There were many cars stopped with people out in the fields taking pictures of their spouses, children, grandmothers and pets! It's neat to see dogs having their pictures made out in a field of flowers.
It was a bit overcast as you can see, but we had a great time.
Next weekend, Joe's kids and grandkids are coming. We are all planning to go to Chappel Hill for the Bluebonnet Festival. There will be more bluebonnet pictues, I am sure.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Still Working on Guam

I have been playing with the embellishment of Guam for several days now. I like the way it looks this morning; so I am going to make the other sock match but reversing the colors. The flower is located just above the ankle facing out on the sock. It does look very similar to what I had envisioned this sock to be. I have stayed very simple with any crocheted embellishment so that even a beginner crocheter could achieve the same results. A simple crocheted edging can give any knitted piece a look of additional refinement. IMHO.
This photo shows the center of the flower and the daisy stitch with beaded centers up close.
Another closeup of edging and flower.
I am hoping to finish the embellishment of the second sock today so that I can block them. I want to take them to Market Street DayKnitters tomorrow. Then, in the mail on Friday! Woohoo!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Guam Socks - Embellishing in Progress

To say I have been knitting like someone crazily obsessed is an understatement! I am proud to say the knitting is finished! At this point, I am working on the embellishment of the Guam socks. I thought I would post the process. For me, it is probably craziness at it's best! Actually, this is the FUN part - the creative part. I want these socks to be floral and very colorful yet something anyone can easily achieve. I want something "out of the box" for these socks. A look for socks that I haven't seen before. First, let me say that my intention with this sock was intarsia in the round but I became concerned about not having enough time to complete the socks since I have never done intarsia in the round. It would have been a learning process for me. (it is on my shortlist though) So, the next best thing would be the charted design in duplicate stitch. I have found that I really don't like duplicate stitch that much. I need a tiny embroidery hoop to make my stitches neater. I have been to two different craft stores looking for that damned little hoop. I had to settle for one last evening; I hope it works the way I want it to! While waiting to find the hoop, I wondered about satin stitching some flowers on the sock. Below is the result of some quick little satin stitches. Pretty neat, actually. Still going to do the duplicate stitch to see which I like best. It may turn out to be some combination of both. There is also a planned edging around the large flower. I hope the picture in my head translates well onto the sock! The socks are going to have different colored edging on the ribbing. One has two rows of that edging and the other has one row. I am leaning toward the one row. Already tried beading the edging and didn't care for it. This is about the 4th edging I have tried; deciding I like the simpler edging best since the socks will have flowers on them. I really like the little lazy daisy flowers hoping to scatter a few of those with a bead in the center.
Just playing around waiting to find a little hoop that will fit inside my sock.
I love these beads! They are glass and square. Not to mention the EXACT colors of my yarn. Hoping they wind up on the socks somewhere.
Don't know why Blogger turned these pictures sideways. Jeez.
I love the simplicity of this little lazy daisy flower!
Today, I will be in the yard with Joe. It is one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday or Sunday. He has our raised veggie garden ready to plant. (he does the work and I get to do the fun part) I have a flat of red verbenas and a flat of marigold to plant. The marigold go between the tomatoes and bell pepper plants to help keep the bugs off of them. Bugs don't like the smell of marigolds. Boy, I do! I had forgotten what tomato plants smell like! Nothing like it in the whole world! One of those simple pleasures in life. I will be posting gardening pictures along with knitting thru the Summer.