Friday, January 30, 2009

Cable Scarf


I found a pattern for an Irish Hiking Scarf and thought it was absolutely adorable. It was done with a lovely light blue yarn but I thought that my Gedifra would do just fine. I'm making this for Glenn's teacher Ms. Chisolm who is a great teacher and a wonderful person. She's so good to my son that I felt the need to make her something that is both pretty and useful. I really like this scarf and it's easy peasy to make even though, to non-knitters, it may look difficult.
I'm finding that there are two kinds of patterns for me. There are the once only things and the pattern that will become a staple in my knitting endeavors. Fortunately, or unfortunately depeneding how you look at it, most of the stuff I've knit thus far will be staples..things I know I'll make over and over again. They're relatively easy and look good. I don't think I'll ever be the kind of knitter who will constantly look for challenges. I like being comfortable knitting. I know I will choose things that challenge my abilities but it won't be something I'll seek out for myself.
We're off to the country this weekend. There's a lovely yarn shop in Monticello that I'm looking forward to visiting. I'll let ya know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Karma

Karma Chameleon

This is the comment I got from my darling niece:

"Ahem. Gold yarn, Gretel hat. Just saying. And consider this payback for terrorizing me as a child. xo
PS: Wearing your beret as I type!"

I guess I should have been nicer to her when she was little huh? She's taken to giving me knitting orders. With a lil love behind it mind you. Btw...I'm a great aunt to her..she's just looking for another freebie.
I did get the Gretel pattern but I've been knitting other things. I've been doing repeat projects so there's really no need to post them. Beanies and Star Crossed Berets. Although I DID try a new beret made with the Rowan yarn I made the seed stitch scarf out of. I have to start to do swatches. It looks like a yarmulke. It won't even fit Patrick and he has the smallest head in the house.
I don't know why I'm so reluctant to do swatches. I know that they're the best way to figure out your gauge but what if my gauge is off? What do I do then? Do I have to have the pattern re-written? Do I use smaller/larger needles? Oh I also have a fear of blocking. I have yet to block anything for fear that I will squish it too much or stretch it out too far when it's drying and my FO will be ruined. Maybe I'll block the yarmulke and find a nice Jewish boy to give it to.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jamieson's Neck Warmer

Here's my new neck warmer I made from the Jamieson's marl I got on sale. It's called Cherry Garcia and I found it on Ravelry. It was a quick, easy, fun knit and it's way warm, if a LITTLE itchy. Maybe not the best yarn for this project but that's what this is about isn't it? The journey not the destination. Again thank you to my gorgeous, if somewhat reluctant, model for throwing this on and enduring his mother's nagging.
Right now I'm just working on Stella's Hat and another Star Crossed Beret. Nice and easy keeping my hands busy. I really have got to get a pair of mittens going. Everyone's got warm heads but cold hands. That damn thumb gusset has me scared to death.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sistah Love


Yes this is the same hat as I made for my niece but in a different color. My sister saw that hat and fell in love with it and, since I love her, I made it for her. And got the name for this post. Yes I do love stating the obvious at times. Again an easy, fun, fulfilling knit. Her joy in getting it was great.
In other news...I went to the point yesterday with Al and who did I happen to see? Paulina Porizkova! She was hanging out there with a couple of friends, sweet as can be. Stunningly beautiful, with little or no make up mind you, and a great knitter! I thought it was so neat that she was there just hanging out knitting.
I'm currently working on a cable hat for Patrick because the beanies are just not warm enough. Hopefully that will be done today. I also got a pattern for a chunky beret which I'll use my chunky Rowan to make to match my seed stitch scarf. Then I'm going to tackle mittens. I think. Maybe. Have I mentioned that I'm not a big fan of the DPNs? Ugh.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oooo I Gotta Have....Faith!


That's who runs through my head sometimes when I'm knitting....yeah that's right, George Michael. Don't laugh. I'd rather hear him than other voices I can't recognize.
This is something I've learned about knitting...faith and trust. I will be knitting something and reading the pattern thinking "Oh that's not gonna happen" then George kicks in singing to me "Ooooo you gotta have...faith!" I just keep knitting and have faith that the pattern maker knows more than I do. Which is always the case since I've only been knitting a few months. Then before you know it, it does happen and I have a lovely finished project. I love how that happens. Like magic. You start with a bunch of string and two sticks, add a pattern, a little work, a little faith and before you know it, you have something that will make someone you love happy and warm.
Another thing that keeps running through my head is "knit with love, not haste." I find myself rushing through the end of a project because I have thismuch patience and I can't wait to finish. When I find my fingers moving faster than my brain, my mantra becomes "knit with love, not haste." When I start thinking about the person I'm knitting for, it slows my hands down and makes me want to knit well and not fast.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Did I Mention I Love Pastaza?


Yeah I thought so. I love it so much that I ordered 2 hanks of each of the colors you see above from Yarn Country. I even managed to get some of it on sale! The top color, Summer Sky Heather, is going to be a lovely Star Crossed Slouchy Beret for my sister. The other colors, Highland Green, Birch Heather and Wheat Heather, will be made into as yet unnamed goodies for loved ones. The colors are gorgeous and the llama/wool mix is soft and light. Needless to say, I was very excited when my mailman buzzed me to tell me he had a package for me!
I've also decided what I'm going to do about a conundrum that has occurred. Some people want to pay for yarn if I make them something figuring that there's no reason for me to be GIVING them knitted goodies. To assuage their feeling of owing me something I've decided that, since I feel funny taking money from family and friends, that they can buy me knitting books or patterns! I think this is a good compromise and will build up my knitting library while keeping everyone's ears warm!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Husband Is A Bobble Head


Since I don't have a custom bobble head of my husband this Mr. Mets bobble head will have to suffice.
I decided to make my husband a London Beanie to keep him warm when he goes out to the beach metal detecting. He liked the ones I made for the boys so I wanted to surprise him with it. I have it about three quarters of the way done and I'm looking at it. Then I'm looking at his head. Hat. Head. There's a chance that this hat may be a bit too small so I ask him to try it on last night. He takes one look at it and says "Too small." I explain to him that beanies are meant to be small and tight, hugging the head. He shrugs and takes it from me, putting it on his head, pulling it down around his ears. He looks at me and smiles. Those stitches were holding onto one another for dear life. They were stretched to their stretchy limit. I'm trying to suppress a smile. Ok I was choking back the hilarity as I said "Ok maybe I need to cast on a few more stitches. And use bigger needles." He grins his "I toldja so" smile, takes off the beanie and hands it to me. I can hear the yarn breathe a sigh of relief. I look and it's a tad stretched out but I'm sure it'll snap back. I'll give it to one of the boys.
Don't get me wrong. I have the best husband in the world. He's smart, handsome, funny, compassionate, understands my nuttiness and always puts his family first. After twenty one years of marriage he still makes my heart flutter.
But the man has got one big ass head.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Goodbye To A New Friend

Last month I found a new yarn shop not far from my neighborhood that is really cute. Unfortunately they're closing their doors after twenty years in the same spot. I don't know what the reason but I'm assuming that it may have something to do with the astronomical rents that are being asked for commercial space in Manhattan. Yesterday Al and I decided to go have a looky loo to see if they had anything worthwhile left in the store before shutting their doors this weekend. Apparently they've had a sale going on since December so the pickings were slim. I did get a pair of 16" Addi's size 10 for about $11.00 which is a great price here in NYC. I also got this:



It's Jamieson's Shetland Marl in Wildflower. This picture does it no justice at all believe me. Sorry for the stock photo but I haven't had a chance to take a picture yet and just wanted to share this asap. I love that it's from Scotland, where my dad was born, and it's 100% wool. It's not at all scratchy and the colors are lovely. There's a bit of green in there that didn't show up in the photo. I got four balls of it and each ball is 120 meters (I really have to learn the metric system) which is well over 400 yards.
I've been reading a lot of knitting blogs over the last few months since I started knitting and I have heard some women saying that the yarn spoke to them, telling them what it wanted to be. I chuckled thinking they were high from the fumes of the yarn dye or something. Then yesterday it happened to me. I was just staring at a ball of this yarn, admiring it from afar when I heard a whisper, "neckwarmer". I looked around. Nobody there. I went back into my little admiration daydream. Again...a soft voice whispered "neckwarmer". I then realized it was the yarn telling me what it wanted to be! Hot damn! I'm hearing voices without the use of hallucinogenics and I LIKE IT! So needless to say Imma make a neckwarmer, or three, from this yarn. Now I'm off to find a pattern!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Et Voila!

Ta da! Here's the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret I made for my niece. I've included the link to the blog where you can get this lovely pattern. I loved making this hat. I loved everything about it..the yarn, the pattern and the cables. Yes I loved making cables! I loved it so much that I promised my sister the exact same hat. Oh and I also ordered 8 more hanks of Pastaza yarn for future projects.
When I first saw this photo my niece sent me I was sorta like ummm...I don't do cables. I'm glad she's picky and only wanted THIS hat so I walked a tightrope out of my comfort zone. I must admit, it's easy to do when you have 2 people, like Al and Alyssa, holding the net beneath you. They guided me a bit but, in all honesty, it looks a lot more difficult than it was. I loved making the cables and thinking "that doesn't look cabley" then a couple of rows later, yeah...it DID look like a cable. Magic, I tell ya.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Simple Scarf


This is a simple seed stitch scarf I made with some of my Smiley's haul. It took 2 skeins of yarn and it's toasty warm. I love how the seed stitch looks but I hate doing it..the back and forth makes me nuts. Ok...more nuts than usual. I figured that it wouldn't be that bad because it is a thicker yarn on larger needles. It was. BUT I got it done and I really like it. It's not heavy but fluffy and warm. Now I have eight more skeins of yarn and not a clue what to make with it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pastaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaza


Introducing Cascade Pastaza color 303. My niece asked me to make her a hat and sent me a pattern. I gulped when I saw the photo because it has cables. I've not done them yet but decided I'd print the pattern and take it with me to The Point because I figured that either Al or Alyssa, The Point's manager who is incredibly sweet and knowledgeable, would be able to guide me through it. I was right. The only thing was that the pattern called for malabrigo yarn which they didn't have in stock. Alyssa suggested this Cascade and it was the perfect choice. It's 50% llama and 50% wool. It's soft and, although it looks heavy, it's very light. I love this. The hat is about halfway done right now and I'm hoping to complete it either today or tomorrow and ship it off to my niece. I'm also thinking I may make a fisherman's sweater with this for Patrick when I'm a bit more adept at cables and ready to make a sweater. It may be a while.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Same Beanie, Different Tigger


















Reluctantly, as you can see, I got my big boy to model for me. You can't tell he used to be a model by his scowl, can you? I guess he's used to getting paid for it.
Here's another London Beanie I made. It's easy and I love the stripes although I'm just not able to do the jogless join. Instead it looks like the drunken join. I'm assuming, ugh, that with practice it will get better.
I've made this for both boys and they said it feels small but I think they're just used to bigger hats. I just made one for my niece's boyfriend, O-Man, and instead of doing 10 rounds on either side of the stripes I did 12 to give it a bit more length.
Oh I also discovered the cable cast on which I love! It's a lovely look but it doesn't stretch much so if you have a big head, like most of my family, I don't think it's great for hats.
On another note, I've convinced my darling husband to take me and Al up to Yarntopia again. I really liked it a lot but it's all the way on the other side of Manhattan from where we live. In real terms it's about 10 miles, maybe, and I know that's not a lot but via public transport it's either an hour plus on the bus or train or a twenty dollar cab ride. Needless to say I'm very grateful to my wonderful husband for taking us up there because I won't drive in NYC traffic. Hey I only started driving a year or so ago so I'm chicken. Just a little.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A New Love - Cascade 220


I came across this yarn a while back but have recently developed a love for it. It's a great yarn to learn on because there's a lot of it, it's inexpensive, gorgeous and there are a zillion colors. The hat I made, below, was Cascade 220 as are the cakes above. There are so many colors but lately I'm leaning toward the Heathers, as you can see. The yarn is versatile and the fact that every color seems to match it makes it easier for someone like me who has no sense of color coordination. I've just completed a hat with 2 of the above yarns and I'm now knitting a hat with the two other colors. Seems I'll be doing the striped London Beanies out the wazoo since everyone loves it. I need more females in my life so I can make them lovely berets and hats. I'm getting tired of boy stuff.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another Year, Another Hat























I LOVE this hat! It's cute and easy! When I first saw the pattern on Knitting School Dropout
I thought it would be much too difficult for my beginning skills but much to my surprise I did it and I did it relatively quickly! The hardest part about it was convincing Patrick to model a pink hat for me. But he's a good boychick and he obliged as you can see.
I love the yarn. It's a Cascade 220 heather but I'm not sure what color. It's primarily pink with a bit of red in it. Hopefully my photography skills will improve along with the knitting skills so you'll be better able to see the yarns eventually. Just take my word for it. It is truly lovely and girly without being overly so.
Oh and Patrick's wearing a Mets tshirt to offset the girly pink hat.