Friday, December 30, 2005

I'm Back!

Whew! I've been so sick the last couple of days I've barely been out of bed. But the life in me is coming back, now I can blog again.

Hope every one had a fabulous Christmas and best wishes to all for the New Year.

We had a wonderful Christmas, my sister gave the surprise of my life by turning up on our doorstep Christmas Eve! They decided at 11:00 a.m. Christmas Eve morning to come down here, packed everyone and everything into the van without telling us! My best Christmas present ever. So, that made this year's Christmas dinner the first that the whole family: my family and the extended family on my dad's side from his marriage were all together for Christmas. Dinner was great and a houseful with 21 people from 80-something to 7 mos.

My knitting related Christmas presents included a few much coveted items:

I've spent more time using the ball winder than actually knitting this last week! But as I've been winding I realized just how much stash (never-ending stash) I have and was going to make some kind of New Year's Resolution about it when I found out about this Stashalong.

So I do hereby declare that I will not buy any new stash for the next 3 months!

In the spirit of the Stashalong I started a mitred square rug out of Phentex that has been sitting at the bottom of my stash since who-knows-when. Also in progress I have the Whitby socks (worked both at the same time) at the foot and my stranded sock I'm designing has come out of retirement now that the holidays are over.

Click here to enlarge.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Boot Socks

Knitting is down to a minimum as Christmas approaches. I am working on the stranded socks of my own design that I am using Lucy Neatby's Travelling Socks pattern as a guide but I have set them aside now until after Christmas as my knitting has to be portable and mindless at the moment. I have also just started the Whitby socks for the KOTR kal, easy pattern.

I also just finished these socks. My 5yo needed some warm, long socks to wear with his boots so I call these Boot Socks.

Pattern: used the Garter Rib stitch from "Sensational Socks"
Yarn: odds and ends of sport weight yarn
Notes: basic 48 st sock with 2.75mm (US2) needles

Also picked up some new knitting magazines this week:

And finally, I made myself a stitch marker. I am always envious when I see the gorgeous stitch markers that many knitters make themselves. However, this is not my scene. I hate fiddling with tiny things and would never have the patience to fiddle with beads and wires. So I simply attached a charm to a small ring and presto a stitch marker. My camera does not do close-ups so the photo is horrible but hopefully you get the gist.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Country Socks

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Country Socks by Nancy Bush from "Folk Socks"
Yarn: old yarn from stash. Gold is 60%wool/40%nylon, Navy is Pinguoin 100% wool
Notes: very easy, simple rib pattern. Followed the pattern exactly. I now love the star toe and it has become my favourite toe. Until now I have always used a 2.75mm for sport weight. These were done on 2.25mm and I am really impressed with fabric this creates. I will most certainly switch down to the smaller needles with sport weight from now on whenever possible.

I also finally received my free ball of Disco yarn from Bernat that was offered in the summer, I think. Not sure what I'll do with it but the colour is gorgeous, "Aqua Velvet"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Traveling Socks

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Traveling Socks by Lucy Neatby from the book "Socks, Socks, Socks"
Yarn: variegated yarn is Knit Picks Sock Memories "Hawaii" that I received from the Sock Scrap Swap. Solids are from stash.
Notes: Incredibly fun pattern to knit. Followed pattern but since some of the patterns intentially did not meet properly on the leg I increased and decreased so they would. Knit on 80sts, the heel and toe are somewhat boxy and next time I would go down to a 2mm to make them more fitted. Also note that the pattern calls for a 200 and something yard ball of the variegated, the knitpicks I used only had 192 yds and there was not enough to do the toes in the variegated so I used one of the solids.

I had so much fun knitting these that they inspired me to make my own following the same principles. I cast on the other night for another pair, using 2mms this time. I am using the same colour distribution as in the original pattern but am substituting my own stitch patterns and motifs.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Warm Hands, Warm Feet

Not as much knitting as usual going on around here but I do have some FOs to show.

Warm Feet

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Munstersocken for my niece. no pattern
Yarn: odds and ends of sock yarn
Notes: basic 56 st stocking stitch with a star toe.

Warm Hands

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Salish Mittens from "Folk Mittens"
Yarn: odd balls of bulky weight from stash, the brown is a mohair/wool blend that has a gorgeous halo that can't be seen in the picture and these mitts are WARM!
Notes: followed the pattern exactly, no adjustments. The colours are a bit lighter than shown in the photo. I love this pattern and will knit again soon.

My November sock of the month club kit came on the 30th. This is an easy pattern but with a unique idea of double strands for the leg.

WIP Report
1) no progress on the yellow crochet blanket lately
2) one Travelling Sock finished, second one working on the leg
3) started the Country Socks for the "Folk Socks" knitalong

Upcoming Projects
1) Whitby Socks for Knitting on the Road Kal
2) Shadow Socks for sixsox kal
3) fingerless mitts for me and the 16yo

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This and That, FOs and WIPs

Ah,the joy of quick and easy knits! Two FOs to report, which were both extremely fun to knit.

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Munstersockens for the 5yo. No pattern, 3x1 rib
Yarn: scraps,bit and pieces of sock yarn
Notes: 56 sts on 2.25mm needles.

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Bulky-Weight Andean Mittens from "Folk Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski
Yarn: Odd balls of wool from stash.
Notes: Love this pattern. Second time around was a breeze and I'll knit this again. Beth's idea (in the comments) of doing mismatching mittens (same pattern, different colours) is fabulous.

Next up is my order from yesasia. I am fascinated by Japanese Crafting and these are my first actual Japanese books. I can't stop looking at them!

WIP Report

Click here to enlarge.

1) in the background is a yellow afghan I am putting together from squares received from my crochet square exchange. I'm bordering each with Sage.

2) on the left, that tiny bit of ribbing is the start of the Salish Mittens from "Folk Mittens"

3) on the right, I am now working on the Traveling Socks by Lucy Neatby from "Socks, Socks, Socks". The variegated yarn is the Knitpicks "Hawaii" I received in the Sock scrap Swap. This has got to be the most fun I've ever had knitting a sock. I just love it!

Up Next: The sixsox, Folk Socks, and Knitting on the Road KAL's are all anouncing their next socks on the 1st of Dec.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

More Mitts and Socks

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: no pattern
Yarn: Lane Cervinia Forever Jacquard Shade 40/ 2.25 mm needles
Notes: Basic sock pattern with a bit of rib down the sides, my first man size sock done with sock weight yarn. Also my first time using this yarn and I really enjoyed using it.

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Bulky-Weight Andean Mittens from "Folk Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski
Yarn: various odd balls from stash, 3.75 mm needles
Notes: Followed the pattern as written except the first mitt (the one on the right) ended up having points at the top of the fingers and thumb so I fixed this on the second one by doing one less decrease round and the finish is much more round. I love these mitts and the pattern. Using 85gr of MC, they can use up odd bits and pieces for the other colours, great stashbuster. And they are super fast to knit. I have another pair planned and may even make more!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gotland Island Mittens

Click here to enlarge.

Close-up of pattern:

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Gotland Island Mittens from "Folk Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski
Yarn: Lang Thema 100% wool on 2mm (US#0) needles
Notes: Followed the pattern almost exactly. I had one false start using the #1 needles the pattern called for, I had to go down to #0's to get gauge. Also the finger shaping band is done in pattern and I prefer a striped band so I changed the 3 band sts to 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 blue. This was my first time using 5 dpn's and I will always use 5 now when doing stranded work in the round. Much, much easier than using 4.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pine Cone Scarf

I know, lousy photo. I need a new camera badly.

Pattern: Pine Cone Scarf from Interweave Knits Winter 2004
Yarn: unknown. bought a bag of it at a garage sale, definately contains wool. very nice to knit with and very soft. Can't really tell in the photo but the colours are green, brown, and a dark brown that is almost purple.
Notes: really like this scarf. followed the pattern exactly using a chunky yarn instead of a worsted doubled.

Also did some shopping:

Gotland Island Mitts Update: I have half a thumb left to knit! Next post will bring you a photo of the finished mitts!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Mosaic Socks

First pair of socks for hubby! Now he wants more!

Pattern: Six Socks Knit-a-long Mosaic Socks
Yarn: vintage Pinguoin Sport Weight 100% wool
Notes: I used sport instead of fingering. Changed stitches to 56 sts. Used US#2 and US#4 needles. Worked my normal heel, instead of the strong heel in pattern as I thought it might be too boxy with the thicker yarn. Easy pattern, and fun to do. Will definately look at doing another mosaic pattern.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Latvian Socks

I am finally finished the Latvian Socks. I feel a sense of relief at having these done, not a hard pattern but on 2mm needles I seemed to knit and knit and get nowhere with these. But I am really pleased with them, they were well worth the effort.

Pattern: Latvian Socks from "Folk Socks" by Nancy Bush
Yarn/Needles: Fortissima Coton Colori Shade Santa Barbara, US #0
Notes: I knit a rib instead of the picot edge, and I cast on with 72 sts instead of decreasing down to 72, rest of sock was knit per instructions.
Heel/Gusset/Toe Notes: Heel and Gusset were knit with my usual method, I did however, learn a new method for the chain selvedge. All my life I have used the slip the first stitch method and this method created the same finished edge but was done by slipping the last stitch p-wise, then ktb the first stitch. Toe is the same as the Conwy toe and I am now used to it. And after wearing the Conwys quite a bit now, I like the way it fits too.

Also did some quick knitting and made a cabled scarf.

Pattern: Karaoke Cable Scarf from Knit Pixie
Yarn/Needles: vintage Mary Maxim Chunky wool blend. 8mm needles
Notes: I really like this pattern, very simple, but the cables create a neat effect looking like a more complicated cable, rather than two simple cables side by side.

Now that the Latvians are done, I will buckle down and get some serious work done on the Gotland Island Mitts. I am currently working a few more pattern repeats then I start the finger shaping.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sock Scrap Swap

Edit: added link for the sock-of-the-month club.

A couple of FOs to show first-off. This is the Feather & Fan Shawl which I actually finished a while ago but forgot to take a photo. I started off thinking I'd go with Fall colours but it ended up being more Christmas-y colours.

The Big Granny Square Blanket is done. We've had this on the bed the last two nights and it is warm!! The colours are much more brighter than shows up in the photo.

The mailman paid me a visit this week. My Sock Scrap Swap yarn arrived from Liz. Yeah! I love it! There is Knit Picks and Sockotta, I haven't knit with either of these yarns before and I love the colours. Now, to decide what to use them in.

And my partner, Judy, received hers from me, too!

My October Sock-of-the-Month Club kit arrived. I can't say enough about how thrilled I am with this club. A beautiful lace pattern this time with gorgeous merino lambswool. The colour is a heather blue with wonderful subtle shades. I honestly can't stop stroking this yarn every time I pass it.

Click here to see larger pics of everything.

WIP Report:
1) Gotland Island Mitts - just about to place the thumb on the second mitt
2) Latvian Socks - working on the heel of the second sock.
3) Mosaic Socks - finished the first sock. It fits hubby perfectly and he loves it!
4) Fishies - knitting away. This is the TV knitting.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Child's Winter Helmet Pattern

This is a vintage pattern I have been using, I have rewritten it to work in the round.

Yarn: 100 gr. worsted weight
Needles: 3.75 mm (US #5) long dpns or short circular; and a longer circular.
2 safety pins or stitch holders.

Size: this fits my 5yo, but it will easily fit about a 3-6.

Cast on 70sts. Join. Work 3" in K1,P1 ribbing.

Next row: Rib 10, Knit 50, Turn. Put remaining 10 sts on holder.
Next row: Purl 50. Turn. Put remaining 10 sts on another holder.

Working on centre 50 sts. work back and forth in rows in stocking stitch until entire piece from beginning measures 9", ending with a Purl row.

Short row Head shaping:
1st row: K34,Sl 1, K1, psso. Turn
2nd row: P19, P2tog. Turn
3rd row: K19, Sl 1, K1, psso. Turn
Repeat row 2 and 3 until all 20 sts are on one needle, ending with 2nd row. Cut yarn.

Face ribbing: With right side of work facing and using circular needle long enough to fit around face opening, rib across 10 sts on first holder, pick up and knit 26 sts along side of face edge, knit across 20 sts, pick up and knit 26 sts along other side of face opening, rib across 10 sts on 2nd holder. Join, and place marker for beginning of round.

Work 9 rnds of k1, p1 ribbing. Cast off loosely in ribbing.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Flashing for Socktoberfest

I have a case of startitis and have too many wips at the moment. I've recently started these:

Helmet for the 5yo, finished.

Started working on the sixsox Mosaic Socks, my hubby is pestering me to knit him some socks so these are for him.

An irrisistable urge to knit fishies hit me one evening.

Other wips are the Latvian Socks, Gotland Island Mitts, and Big Granny Blanket.

I hereby do declare that I will not start anything else until all most of these are done.

The end of Socktoberfest is drawing near and I'm celebrating by flashing my sock stash. Join the celebration and flash yours too!

This just includes sock weight yarn, it does not include sock weight I've set aside for non-sock projects, nor does it include any sport/ww I intend to knit socks with.

The Solids

The Multis

Click here to see bigger pics of everything.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Etsy Shop - Shameless Plug

I'm moving my entire inventory over to my etsy shop. I sell vintage (and not so vintage) knit and crochet patterns & supplies. There is not too much listed yet, but I have thousands to add. Come visit and you can add my etsy shop to your Bloglines feeds with this url:

Sunday, October 23, 2005

One Hand, One Foot

Bought a couple of new mags and am doing the happy dance cause I got a 2006 calendar! I am one of the poor unfortunate souls who did not get a 2005 because I waited too long and they were all sold out.[sob] I l.o.v.e the Holiday Vogue, there are several things I am going to make and we will be seeing them in progress soon.

Three more dishcloths done and when I've finished a cloth there is always some cotton left over, but not enough for another cloth so I've been crocheting the leftovers into 4" squares and then bordering with red to make placemats. So here we have one placemat finished.

Warm Hands Post

Here is one finished Gotland Island mitten.

Click here to enlarge.

Socktoberfest Post

Here is one finished Latvian sock.

Click here to enlarge.

So Friday night, I'm working on the Feather & Fan shawl (I have 8 rows left till it's finished) and I got this huge urge to crochet, mindless crochet, round and round in granny squares. So I pulled out a K hook and odd balls of chunky/bulky yarns and here we have a Big Granny Square Blanket in progress.

Click here to enlarge.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Nicola Needs ...

OK, I don't usually do these things but I'm having so much fun reading these all over blogland that I just had to play too!

10) Nicola needs to embrace the natural qualities of her hair rather than fighting it with appliances and products

9) Nicola needs to make sure she doesn’t just become somebody who is marketed and
hyped for a quick profit

8) Nicola needs to use the phone for long gossip sessions with her friends about
how wonderful you are and you're expected to pick up the tab.

7) Nicola needs to work toward making commitments to fewer projects so she completes
more of the ones...

6) Nicola needs clothes

5) Nicola needs to actually see a real p*nis.

4) Nicola needs a rocket going somewhere.

3) Nicola needs to follow her heart!

2) Nicola needs to relax and forget about mistakes

1) Poor Nicola needs all the rest she can get these days.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Socks, Mittens and Cloths. Oh My!

Sandy is having a mitten-along and of course I had to sign up. This should help the Gotland Island Mitts to keep progressing. I'm currently finishing the first thumb then I'll post a pic of the first mitten.

For Socktoberfest, I present you with a wip photo of the Latvian Socks from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush.

And I'm so excited! I got my Sock Scrap Swap partner today. Looking through my scraps I've chosen to send these. Hope she likes them!

And for a FO, I've completed three more dishcloths. The green ones I'm keeping for myself.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Presenting Conwy (& others)

To everyone who commented on Thrift Shop yarn buying, there is one key word here "perseverance". It really is hit and miss but you have to keep going back, if something good comes in, believe me it will not last long. I am admittedly a thrift shop junkie, but all the times I come up empty handed are happily offset by the occassional rewards. I've found lots of super yarn deals and thinking of the best I would have to say the time I got 3 balls of kid mohair and the time I got a box full !! of hanks of Briggs & Little worsted wool (still have lots of this left). And all for less than a buck a ball.

Come join the fun over at Straying Power for a Sock Scrap Swap

Now, onto the WIPs and FOs. First may I present Conwy. This has been designated as my favourite sock to date:

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Conwy from "Knitting on the Road" by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Harris Tweed Shetland 4ply Shade 3
Gusset, Heel and Toe Talk: following my plan to follow instructions here, the gusset and heel were done using my regular method, so nothing new here. The toe was something new for me, with decreasing done 4 times in the round, I believe this is called the star toe. Can't say I'm too crazy about the decrease lines on the top and bottom of the toe but it does fit nicely and I will give it another try and see how I feel after I've worn them a while.

Second FO for the day is the Feather & Fan Comfort Shawl:

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Feather & Fan Comfort Shawl
Yarn: odd balls of novelty/specialty/bulky yarns from stash.

And I leave you with a peek at the WIPs:

Click here to enlarge.

1) Another feather & fan shawl, this time with fall colours.
2)green dishcloth. (yay! the yellow is all done).
3)Latvian Lace sock (doing a rib instead of the picot hem)
4) Gotland Island Mitten, getting close to the finger decreases.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Weekend Shopping and FOs

Did a little bit of shopping this weekend in Lethbridge. Popped into Walmart and they had some of the green cotton I've been looking for and having a hard time finding, plus the newest issue of Creative Knitting. Not much in it but I picked it up because there are two Christmas Stocking Mosaic patterns I like.

Did the round of the thrift stores and made a score at the Mennonite Thrift Shop. A bunch of old McCall's Needlework & Crafts (I collect these from the 50s-70s) and a little bag of odds and ends of sock yarn that immediately called out monster socks to me. There appears to be three different colorways here.

And finally, went into a wonderful little yarn shop: Knitting Time, where I found some lovlies. Been looking for the Great American afghan books for ages, they are very hard to find around here. So I picked up Great American Afghan and Great North American Afghan 2. Also got some cute Regia sock needles with little sock protectors, these are Us #0's which I needed a second set for the Latvian Socks the Folk Socks Kal is knitting. And finally mustn't leave without sock yarn, so here we have some Online sock yarn in a beautiful fall shade orange/lime/red.

And I did get some knitting done. Not as much as I had hoped, I was way too tired on the ride home to knit but did get the Chevron socks finished, and have another set of yellow dishcloths done. I have just enough yellow left for one more cloth I think.

Click here to enlarge.

Click here to enlarge.

I'm on the gussets of the second Conway sock and should have a FO next time I post.