Thursday, June 29, 2006

It really surprises me that I am a tight knitter

My friend's daughter is a knitting maniac. She's fast and furious and uses the strangest method I've ever seen. I can never remember what it is called. One day while knitting around my friend's kitchen table we were chatting about cast-on methods and such. Friend was using the double cast on method for socks. When I commented about how I wouldn't dare use that cast-on for fear I'd never be able to stretch the sock to get it on, Friend's daughter said it was because I am an extremely tight knitter. Huh. The thing is, I can still get the stitches off pretty easily. I would think that if I were to knit much looser my needles (almost typed "kneedles" LOL) would fall right out of my knitting. *shrug*

So as you can imagine being a tight knitter is a bit frustrating to someone who doesn't normally check gauge.

I decided a couple of weeks ago to knit an afghan for my mom for her birthday (and if you know my mom, please, please don't give away the surprise!). A week or so ago I finally settled on a pattern, the cable twist throw. That night I ordered yarn from JoAnn's, which incidentally was my very first internet yarn purchase! Mom can't wear wool so I wanted a soft acrylic. I chose Caron Simply Soft. I wanted 4 colors for my afghan, dark sage, sage, raspberry and then couldn't decide between bone and off white - so I ordered both. And too much of all 5 - plus some yarn to knit up for babies and LucyBug.

I was so excited when the UPS man made a stop at my front door yesterday!

The pattern calls for size 8 needles. Silly me, I tried knitting it on 8's but fortunately this one time I did pause to check gauge. Waaaaaaaay off! I couldn't believe how much smaller my knitting was. The piece was supposed to measure 6 inches across and 1 inch in length. I had about 4 and a quarter or so inches and about 1/2 in. long. Ugh. So I tried again with 9's.

Hmmmm still wouldn't work. I couldn't find my 10's, but did have some 10.5 circular needles. I tried those and the gauge was right on. One problem: I really detest circular needles. No problem, I asked my nine-year-old daughter if she wanted to go to the craft store with me (on the promise of new needles for her too) and she agreed. A while later we were back home, new bamboo straight (phew!) 10.5's for me and bamboo 3's for her (she doesn't like needles larger than 5 but also doesn't care for her 1's very much).

So this is what I have so far. I decided on bone for my fourth color. I really like the color as well as the feel of the yarn. It is so very soft. I can't wait to give this afghan to my mom. I hope it will help keep her warm this winter (her birthday isn't until November, so I ought to be able to get it done on time, right? LOL!)

a close-up of the stitch pattern:

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Angel Wings Bereavement Set

Here is a gown set I have been working on for about a week. I don't think I will include a hat. It seems complete without one. The dress pattern was designed by Mary Glynn for Heavenly Angels in Need. It is the same pattern knitted by Wool Winder. I modified it slightly, using a moss stitch for the skirt as well as five eyelet rows through which I ran a light pink ribbon. I wasn't totally happy with the outcome so I employed my very limited crochet abilities and added a fringey little edge to the bottom of the skirt as well as the edges of the sleeves. I like how it turned out.

I also decided to line the gown with a soft flannel to match the ivory colored yarn. I love the way it feels. I was not pleased with the look of the moss stitch (I felt it was too easy to see through) and the liner solved that problem for me. It also keeps the yarn from curling and so it didn't need blocking!

For the booties I used another slightly modified version of a pattern - this one by Michelle Howard. I love these booties because they knit up very quickly and can easily be changed to suit my whims. The changes I made to this pair include adding an eyelet row for ribbon and shortening the cuff by one row. I left the ribbons long in case they need to be retied.

The angel was designed by Mama Bear.
I realized after I took these photos that I forgot to add her little halo. I may do that later. I may leave it off though as I think she's pretty cute as she is. Her wings were feeling a bit moody when I went to take the picture. They are much better looking in person.

This set will be donated to LucyBug.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The REAL test

The final test for a knitting blog - does it handle photos the way I want it to?

We shall find out...

I don't have any new knitting pictures to share (though I have a gown I'm finishing up and will blog about soon). These are some of the flowers from my mother's front garden.

Well, the pictures are not doing what I want them to do. It is frustrating. They keep messing up with the text and I don't know how to solve this problem. Ugh!

Perhaps I will just grin and bear it. I suppose it this is the most annoying thing, I can survive, huh? *breathe* I will just have to add all photos at the end of my posts. But I really don't like that idea. :(

Anyway, here is what you are looking at:

first are the blue Lobelia. They are growing nicely. I love how bright and happy they seem.

These next ones are, of course, pansies. Cheerful and colorful, what garden is complete without them?

The photo of the lavender looks like it just might be sideways, however that is just the way these are growing. Is that typical for lavender? I wouldn't know. I am not a huge fan of lavender scented products but I think the actual flowers smell heavenly.

Finally alyssum. The flower that fills my childhood memories more than any other. Nothing brings my heart home more than the sight of these tiny blossoms. White and purple are the colors I remember most. Certainly I have a flower bed full of them here too.

***UPDATE*** The problem seems to be an annoying incompatibility between blogger and my beloved mac. *sigh* I will have to post from the PC I suppose. I won't betray my mac. I will still do my blog checking and other posting from there.

a new knitting blog

I've been trying to get one working here on blogspot. I don't like that people can't comment on the old one, but have had a lot of trouble setting this up. We'll see how this go-around goes.