Sunday, August 31, 2008

NeenerKnits' 28Thirty Sweater

Cast on today another WIP (Work In Progress): a sweater called 28Thirty. I saw a gal at REI and noticed her sweater right away and it was her very first sweater! She did such a great job too! She told me what pattern it was so I paid $6 on to download it. I am doing it in this loden green since it was a Superwash 220 wool on sale today and they had 5 skeins of it. Pattern is knit from the top of the neck on down and has some interesting detail in it. It is cropped, but alot of people doing it are lengthening it. And some are varying the sleeves, etc. I am seeing all this on Here's a shot of 28Thirty so far. Starting from the neck and knitting downward, this is with the first buttonhole showing on the left. I will have to pause my work until I can find a 32" or longer size 8 circular needle (harder to find) since soon I will need to have to increase to 276 stitches on the needle as I knit the front.

I am still working on the Everyday Cardigan and have finished the back of it, and now have started on the right front. It looks kinda the same as my previous pics, so I won't post a new pic on that yet!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Signs of Fall..Felted Totes

Look what blew my way today...the first sign of fall. Leaf pic was taken on my Tangerine Felted Wool Tote. I have recently uploaded all my projects onto and under the name NeenerKnits and am "meeting" alot of knitting buddies there, and learning alot about new patterns. There are like a zillion people on the site and more waiting to get on! It's amazing! If you click on the Flickr bar on the right side of my blog on one of the pictures, it will take you to my Flickr photostream. If you click on the Ravelry Button, it will take you to the home page of the Ravelry site. It is easy to join. You just have to request an invitation and wait a few days for it to be processed. It is a huge knitting and crocheting community.
Here's another shot of the tote. Maybe I can post some pics of my previous projects while I am working on my sweater. Back to work, so not as much time to knit these days... This tote was made with a pattern that I modified a bit, changing the handles to one instead of two. It was knit double-stranded (holding two yarns at once) with the tangerine color and the Noro wool throughout. I didn't felt it completely because I wanted the size to remain more on the medium side.

FELTING: What is it? Basically, it is taking wool and with heat and agitation, the fibers cling together to form a smooth surface so the stitching is no longer or almost no longer visible. The wool tote was placed into a pillow case and put it in the washer with hot water and agitated for several minutes, then I kept checking it and repeating the process until it was the size I wanted. You must watch it and be careful when you are spinning the excess water out that it doesn't spin too long or get creases set into it. Some books say not to spin it at all. I did a little.Then it is set on a plastic "mold" aka: tupperware and/or hung to dry. Shown placing the purse in the washer:

My very first felted purse with stripes of Lamb's Pride wool and novelty yarn. Made with a pattern I got at knitting group that required learning to "pick up stitches" and making an I-Cord. I ended up selling this at a fair. Here is the purse as it is drying on top of a tupperware to shape the bottom as it dries. For a larger tote, you may need to use a larger box or item to dry it on. It takes several days to dry. Here are several other totes:
The large green one is a great knitting bag! It gets lots of compliments wherever I take it! It has a stablizing piece of cardboard in the bottom to keep the shape and help it hold things better. It's made from a kiwi colored wool, double-stranded with Noro Kureyon wool.

This one is a "Bubble" tote and had decreasing to make the bubble shape. It is softer and used a silky Noro wool along with another blue wool. My Mom also made this identical tote and we worked on them together one year at the ocean. Handles are more delicate. Not too much weight goes in this one. So there you have it! Your first lesson in felting!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blocking Worked!

Ok, forget that this is a badly self-taken picture and the orange tank doesn't match....
Yay! The goal was to stretch out the bottom a bit. The blocking worked and I can button the sweater if I want to! But I may not even want to. Now I can move on to Everyday Cardigan once again. Working on the back now, 22 inches seems really long. I may decide not to do that many inches. We'll see...This is a dropped sleeve loose- fitting pattern. Very different from what I just made in its fit and sleeve type.

On to the closing ceremonies and doing a few more inches. It is pouring rain here by the way. Not exactly August weather!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blocking V-Neck Cardigan

This is a shot of blocking the cardigan out on the bottom. I'm letting it dry for a few days...smells like a wet dog. In the meantime, a little hike to Twin Falls with the hubby and a picnic lunch on the tailgate!

I have just received my "invitation" and have joined Ravelry the group of knitters/crocheters/etc. and am learning now how to set up the whole thing. It will take me some learning. Wow, there is a ton of info and groups on that site! I am only beginning to get into it. If you go on, I am NeenerKnits. But you've seen it all here on the blog!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Adding the Buttons

My final "Olympic" feat: Adding the buttons! Which of course are merely decorative since I can't button the thing...but that's OK! It's DONE!!!!!!! I think I am proud of how it turned out, little flaws and all!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Almost Done With Air "Blueberry" Cardigan

This sweater will remind me of the time my husband and I stayed at the Inn at Langley on Whidbey Island and while he was in meetings, I went to the Knitty Purl shop where I bought this wool from England. And the friendly lady at the yarn shop got me started on the pattern. And how I was "brave" enough to try doing a pieced cardigan.
Here I am shown trying on the cardigan before doing any blocking on seams or adding buttons. In 94 degree weather! Whew! What a day to be finishing a wool sweater! HOT! We have NO Air Conditioning here! It is pretty small on me in the middle which I knew it would be. I could possibly block it out or not worry about it and just not button it! I am holding it together here! HA!
Sewing in the sleeves was probably one of the hardest parts to get right. I had to pin them in first and be so careful. Also tricky was picking up the front stitches to do the button hole band. But the sleeve length turned out perfect! I learned alot of new skills on this sweater for sure! When you are working with piecing a striped sweater, it is a challenge to match the stripes. I tried to whenever possible to make it look the same on both sides. Sometimes it was impossible, and that's just the nature of this wool. I will go shopping for some cute buttons to go on it. Even if I never button them!

Twilleys of Stamford -Pattern from Freedom Spirit Book 455 (Pattern book and wool found at Knitty Purls in Langley, WA)
Wool in 506 "Air" colorway -7 skeins
Needles used: Sizes 5 and 7, circular
Longer version, size 36 bust. True fit was to be size 38, but I could have gone up one more size to allow for true fit due to close ribbing and style.

And now I will show you the jewelry I got to go with it a long time ago that has the blue, the khaki green in it -well you can kinda see- and the earrings match!
Very fun and rewarding to be almost finished. Can't wait until the weather cools off to wear it! Time to go watch Phelps swim again!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Movie Night and Art Display

"Office" Ladies night out was to Cheesecake Factory... (Kalua Coffee Mocha was mine though I couldn't eat it all!) Had fun celebrating a friend's Birthday and then off to the theater for Mamma Mia-which was, by the way, hysterical! On the way through the lobby was this amazing glass art. Famous Dale Chihuly's works I'm pretty sure.
The movie was a blast from the past and even though certain cast members couldn't sing, it was still fun to go. Great to go with a group. Especially if you grew up in the era of "Abba"...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Buttonhole Band

Whew! The buttonhole band is finished and cast off! Pieces are still not sewn together so it is looking sort of "wavy" here laying on a beanbag chair, but it is very ribbed at the bottom so it draws it in quite a bit. That's the part I am worried about fitting into! HA! My very first buttonholes! How cute!! (Thanks, Mom! She came and helped me today!)
And now I am finding the next part a challenge also: the seaming up of the sides and setting in the sleeves, though I have two excellent books to help me out on the different options. "Knitting for Dummies" and another book I found called, "The Knitting Answer Book". I tried to start pinning tonight but am too tired to it will wait!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Knitting

What better way to spend the eves than watching Phelps winning gold medals while frantically knitting the back of Everyday cardigan sweater at the same time? I'm supposed to do 22 in.of stockinette stitch up the back. Good to do while watching relays! Keeps you from biting your nails instead! Yep, this is the newest sweater.You can see the difference in color now in these pics. The top one is very grey heathery blue with flecks in it. I will work on the Air "Blueberry" cardigan below more this week and conquer buttonholes! They're gonna go right along the edge here soon:
I can finally see the "light at the end of the sweater" as far as getting closer to being finished. It will be funny (NOT) if it doesn't fit me! If it doesn't fit, I can get it wet and block it out maybe a bit. Or lose 30 pounds...hmm...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Camping, Geocaching, New Project

Camping in "Harvey" the RV...We drove east to one of our favorite spots by the creek.
Since no campfires were allowed due to burn bans, we made S'Mores on the grill!
And a banana boat, which looks gross here, but was yummy! (Stuff marshmallows and chocolate into a banana and that is a banana boat!)

Our campsite is right by the creek and it sounds so peaceful all day and night...

One day we decided to go Geocaching near by. This is a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) device. You look up coordinates for the "hidden cache" and find it. Usually!Here's Michelle searching for the cache...I cannot tell you where it was -it's a secret!Aha! She found it! It is inside this container! Inside are a bunch of things other geo-cachers have left behind. You can leave a trinket inside. The weirdest thing had to be the DVD movie or maybe the metal tea steeper, or the Keebler elf, and the coolest thing was the European coin! You sign the "log" that you've been there...
In between lots of time to relax and read and hang out together, I got a new project on the needles. This is the Peace Fleece Everyday Cardigan, a revised version that is apparently longer with few buttons than the original. It has been in my stash since January when everyone at the local store was casting on to knit it at the same time, but I didn't start mine then. The worsted weight wool is Russian/Romanian/American (Hence, the Peace Fleece-it is a project to promote peace between nations-begun in 1986 in response to the cold war)
It is a 70% merino wool/30% mohair blend
Color: Zarya Fog

But I haven't forgotten about my other cardigan...I am waiting to get help on my buttonhole rows from Mom!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Anatomy of a Cardigan

Here's what the parts all look like laying there. You've got the back in the center, and the little strips are actually the front pieces of the cardigan all scrunched up, because they are ribbed as well as narrow, and not blocked out,....the outer wings are the sleeves!:

This helps you see how it all comes together. I seamed the shoulders.Next step, I am picking up stitches (making new stitches where there are none basically) all along the front and neck edges and this will be the start of the ribbing needed. Though I am not sure how to pick them all up in one continuous line as the pattern reads. I will run out of cable on my circular. Unless I hold on to them with a metal stitch holder instead...hmm...the pattern didn't say I needed a humongously long cabled needle...Must be time to think about this and stop! Or go buy a really really long cabled needle!