Thursday, April 29, 2010

Finished Friday on Thursday night

OK, I'll admit I'm excited to tell you about my latest loom work. And since tomorrow is all about doctor appointments and miscellaneous errands with MIL, I'm blogging this evening.

This what I spent most of last summer and fall working on - I Can't Believe I'm Loom Knitting.

It has just been released so I'm not sure when you'll find it on Amazon, at Walmart, or in hobby stores. But it should be in time for your 2010 fall/winter loom knitting. Of course if you can't wait, you can order it from Leisure Arts. :)

There are new stitch patterns inside that come together for a sampler afghan.

The stitch patterns are then used to make a variety of items. Here's a little peak.

Child hat

Baby blanket or lap afghan

Adult hat and neck scarf

A lace wrap
A total of 18 projects that includes beginner hats but with other more complicated designs that make this perfect for seasoned loom knitter too.

A lot of love and brain power went into this little publication. Hopefully you'll find it filled with goodies that you can't wait to make!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday WIP and "Wii Knitting"

I've spent the last week primarily working on this sample knit for Knit Picks.

Part of the *deal* of being a sample knitter is that you are not allowed to blog about the pattern, and I'm not. Well, except for this part - I've learned a new way to do sleeves of sweater and want to find more information about it.

The sleeves are knitted first and put onto waste yarn until the body is knitted to the bottom arm hole. Then the sleeves are attached by knitting them on. There is a great deal more involved, including decreasing at armhole, but I won't go into that as that might be pushing the limits of what I can discuss about the sample. But IF you know what this type of sleeve knitting is called, EMAIL ME! I have some references to research once I have more time but it's fairly daunting without an exact name of the technique (or phrase to use).

What I did run across in the few minutes of research I did was the method of picking up stitches along the armhole of the body and knitting the sleeves using short rows to shape them. Barbara Walker's Knitting From the Top discusses this technique. And it's just in time for for me to use in the sweater I've swatched for myself.

As I'm still knitting from my stash (can you say YARN DIET?), I have to find patterns that work for the amount of yarn already on hand. (And let me tell you - this is getting mighty old!) In the stash is 10 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cathay (now discontinued) that is enough for a short sleeve sweater in my size...maybe....depending on the pattern.

This pattern showed up in my in-box earlier this week. I like it! And if I use the short row shaping method of doing the sleeves, I can make the sleeves shorter if the amount of yarn I have won't work. Good plan.

Swatch is done.
I'm casting on as soon as I finish the sample knit.
I recently came across this comic. Wii Knitting!!

Love it! hahaha

Friday, April 23, 2010

Finished Friday

Once in awhile I manage to finish something that's for family. This little guy was requested by my daughter as she saw a pattern I found on Ravelry (Ravelry link here; designer's blog post here)

The pattern is called Grumpasaurus.

You know - for those grumpy days. But Angela decided we had way to many grumps in the house don't suppose she meant me!?

Anyway, she wanted him to be a Cuteasaurus. So I improvised. :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday WIP and earthquakes

I am terrible at blogging! I immerse myself into projects or real life, and before I know it a week or two flies by without a thought to blogging.

Perhaps if I have a regular topic to blog about, I might be better (ya think?). So I thought I'd do a Wednesday WIP (work in progress). Hopefully a guaranteed topic will help me to blog weekly (at least!), and encourage people to visit and perhaps to comment.

This week's WIP is a bead crochet bracelet (most likely) . I have considered using it as a necklace/chain for an amulet bag. Time will tell.

I'm using size 11 green beads (favorite color and reminds me that Spring is here) that have a gold luster finish, which I've enhanced by using gold color thread. Sparkly!

It may be awhile before this one is finished. But it's such a treat to be beading again.

Bead crochet is one of my favorite crochet techniques. It combines two mediums that are near and dear to my heart. Plus I love bracelets - specifically bangles

I think the most difficult part of bead crochet is stringing the beads. There are two different methods I use for getting the beads onto the yarn.
  1. If the beads are loose, I use a bead spinner. You can make your own with these instructions.
  2. If the beads are in a hank (pre-strung), I use floss threader as a bead needle to take the beads from the string and onto the yarn/string I intend to crochet with.

    Floss threaders are inexpensive and easy to find (local drug store). They have a large "eye" so that any size yarn can fit in it. And the eye is collapsible so that almost any size bead will go over it, and onto the yarn.

A good learn-to-bead-crochet video can be found at Bead Wrangler's site (she also has great options for thread). There are also many books on the subject including my favorites from Judith Bertoglio-Giffin


Having lived in Southern California, I know about earthquakes. Experienced quite a few.

I was surprised to find that Oklahoma has them too. But in Oklahoma, I can hear them coming. Seriously. This morning, just before noon, we had a little one (only a 2.5). But I heard it a second or two before I felt it. Sounds a little like cattle stampede....then they wallop you! The epi-center is more shallow here then in California which makes the shaking felt more.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Problem solved

It's difficult for me to knit with dark yarns unless I'm in bright light. I was reminded of the problem while knitting with brown yarn last night without the overhead light on (lamp only).

This morning, while drinking my morning coffee and browsing the internet, I stumbled upon the solution to my problem - a clever gadget from Nancy's Knit Knacks

picture from Nancy's Knit Knacks

The Knit Light might be well-known to all of you (and why didn't you mention it?) but I've just found it. Order is placed and I am already wondering how long it will take to arrive.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Spring cleaning...

...inside and out. That's what I've been up to. I have been immersed in dirt outside, and cleaning up the dirt inside. Never ending cycle haha

Since we moved less then 2 years ago, very little spring cleaning was needed except for the carpets. With 3 dogs, and family members who forget to wipe feet, the carpets suffer. Which is why having my very own rug doctor is so great.

Love the convenience of having one for when I have an extra hour or two for cleaning carpet in a room.


We finished the closet remodeling and unpacking of a few more boxes just in time for Spring-time temperatures. So we headed outside to play in the dirt. :)

Out the front door is a walkway that leads to a side patio. Flower bed between the walkway and the house was filled with bushes.

I knew I wanted that tall one out. It grew faster then we could trim it!

So out it came. Actually it was two that had grown into one great big one!

I really like the openness of the area without it. That was incentive enough for taking out the medium size bushes too (there were 3). And I dug out the water grass-type things on the other side of the walkway (excuse the finger that slipped into view as I took the picture)

This was 2 weekends worth of work, with one weekend of snow in between. And even though I've been working out, my muscles ached for days after. Moral - if you want to find muscles that were not getting exercised, try doing some landscape work.

Anyway, with the removal process completed, I started planting this past weekend. Flowers! I love green and all, but more bolder colors are found with blooming plants. I started with my beloved roses - red, pink, deep yellow and pale yellow to begin with. Daughter chose two lily-type plants that love sunshine. And I planted spring bulbs (fingers crossed on those).

I'm not sure how much more I'll do in the flower bed for now. We couldn't get that 2nd stump out with digging. Had to resort to chemical death for it. So I think I'll be content with that flower bed for now, and work on the container planting I want to do for that side patio.


In between the cleaning and planting, and all the day-to-day stuff, I've started a bead crochet project. Funny thing - starting a bead project has made me want to knit again. So I am. More later.