Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Birthday

To me!
Photo courtesy of foter.com
We're gonna celebrate tomorrow night 'cuz one of my boys had band commitments. It was still a happy happy birthday. :D

Feeling thankful and very grateful for all the good people and all the good stuff in my life.  Also thankful for you.  Thanks for reading my thoughts and reflections on all things crafty.

Cheers!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Score!!

Oh yeah!  After a busy week with little knitting (Who am I kidding?  There was no knitting.), I finally scored some crafting stuff.  Seriously!
Cute crochet kit
First off, a cool crochet kit.   Isn't it neat?  There's enough yarn for one Beatle, but the book has patterns for all 4 Beatles in their early years AND patterns for the Sgt. Pepper versions (I know, right?).
Sgt. Pepper's version
Besides the kit, I got my hands on two knit books.  One is a book on children's top-down knits (check out some of the patterns over at Ravelry.com). By far, top-down is my fave way to construct a sweater.  There are some cute items (and I dare confess that I've photocopied a pattern or two in the past . . . ). The only drawback is that the photos in the book are all B&W--but that's a small drawback.
Book on top-down kids' knits
View of more patterns
The other book is a re-working of vintage knits (check out more over at Ravelry.com).  And while I might admire the patterns more so than make them, there a few accessories that caught my eye (scarves, a hat, bolero and 2 shrugs).  It'll be a neat addition to the crafting library.
Vintage Knitwear book
Circular knit vest/bolero
Cute bolero
At a dollar a pound, we made a steal!  In total my husband and I spent about $37.00 for over 25 books (including the crochet kit, 4 gardening books, half a dozen kid's books, quite a few paperbacks and over-sized hardcovers.  All the items had been donations from the local community).  Seriously, we scored big time!  And all the proceeds go to funding our local library (seeing as our provincial government has frozen current funding, local libraries need as much as they can get in the way of fund-raising.  See CBC news for more details).

Now I'm off to peruse my finds.  
Later,

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Lost Mittens?

A pair of mittens from November 2015 were finally finished (they were intended as a gift, but then my niece got a new coat and the colours were all wrong.  Long story short: the unfinished mitts went into "hibernation").  While they were a smidge big for the youngest toddlers, they were still wearable.
Finished Mittens
Sadly these mittens have since gone MIA.  Yes, that's right: I lost my mittens.  At the centre, one of my toddlers wore them ('cuz it was still snowy).   The mittens went into the dryer along with all the other wet hats and mitts.  Then they were no more.  I suspect someone took them home by mistake, but they have yet to return.  Hope that means somebody likes them . . . 

To comfort my loss, I started another pair with some mods to create a better fitting mitt for smaller toddlers. Then I got to thinking: why worry over mods?  And wouldn't pure wool make a better mitten?  After all, wool's properties allow it to retain body heat even when wet. 
New mitten project in Briggs and Little
Browsing through my stash I found lots of Briggs and Little.  One skein would make lots of wee mitts.  So the search was on for a pattern using worsted weight.  Lo and behold, check out Another Pair of Mittens (Rav link).  
Mitten detail
Thus far I've made minor mods with the exception of how the thumb is created.  Instead of an after-thought thumb, I'm doing a regular one.  It seems to create less holes and it isn't as fiddly when picking up the live stitches.  I may have to tweak the numbers, but someone may have already done the math for me as tons of Ravelers have already made this pattern.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Still Winter?!

What?  Winter still here?!
 Yeah, it's blustery out there today.  I dare say it is even blizzard like with all the snow and wind . . . Thank heavens my hat is finished 'cuz  I can still wear it!
Friend modeling my hat :)
I really do like the fit.  I did something different by casting on the smallest size for the ribbing, then I increased twice--once to reach the medium size stitch count for the brim/ribbing and then again as per the medium size instructions.  
Top view of my "meret"
I also made the hat a little more slouchy by repeating the simple lace pattern twice before working the crown decreases (pattern offers suggestions for making mods.  Gotta love it when the designer gives you options).  And I love it!  Now onward to another project . . . .

Saturday, April 2, 2016

MIA?

Missing mojo is sucky, but I gotta confess: even though I have been absent the last number of weeks, I got over my slump.  Yes Martha, there HAS been knitting!  And really, that's all that matters.
Pretty yarn
In fact, I finished one project and am very close to finishing another one.  And surprisingly, there are a few other small projects in the works--nothing new or special, but something that is needed (more on that later). 
In-progress beret
So the hat I was working on is one that's been in my queue for ages.  It's Wolly Wormhead's Meret (aka Mystery Beret).  It's a lovely pattern with clear instructions and tips for mods (you can find it here along with other free patterns ).  Everything about this project made me happy except for one thing: I lost a circular bamboo needle.  The cable separated from one of the needles.  Thank heavens I didn't lose any live stitches, but I was not happy.

With school just about done, I hope I can get back into regular weekly blogging.  More importantly, I wanna get back to regularly scheduled knitting--as in every night, if you please.  It's a great cure for itchy fingers. ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

No Mojo :(

Finished socks :)
So the socks got finished.  Yay!  Even with readings, assignments and a group project taking up my free time, I managed to pick at the project long enough to finally finish. I'd like to say that once finished, I immediately cast on something else.  But that didn't happen.  No.  Instead I was stuck--more like, lost in quagmire.  What to make next?
Fits great!
I thought long and hard, but couldn't make up my mind.  Do I make more worsted socks (enjoyed using Glenna C.'s worsted sock so much, I wanted to make more)?  My sock drawer was certainly lacking a nice pair of thick--almost "workman-type"--socks.

Maybe a beret?  With winter still around, I'd been itching to finally make that matching hat for my lovely cowl (I'd even printed off a bunch of beret patterns ages ago).  And hats are often quick projects, especially in worsted weight.

But I also needed mittens--specifically toddler mittens.  I had the pattern and lots of leftover yarn from Christmas.  Many a toddler at work often needed an extra pair and the spares at work were often too big for their wee hands.

Then there was that list of waiting WIPs.  Some of those projects needed just a little time . . . .

What did I do instead?  Nothing.  Nyet.  Nada. I made no choice, so sadly there was no knitting.  And now, my little peeps, I am feeling the withdrawals.  The fingers are itchy and twitchy.  My jaw is clenched.  My stomach is in knots.  I gotta grab some needles and string quick before I stab someone in the eye . . . 
:(

Sunday, February 21, 2016

More Socks!

Knitting tools with yarn
 Yup, socks are king at my house--that is, worsted socks.  For some reason, socks grow quickly in worsted weight.  And that's part of the appeal.
Sock detail in worsted weight
I'm using Briggs and Little 'cuz everything I saw on Ravelry recommended it as very durable and washing-machine friendly.  Living in a small town, my options are limited regarding yarn availability.  However, Briggs and Little is readily available--and there's lots in my stash!
Heel detail in contrasting colour
The pattern initially was to be Heavy Socks (link to free pattern on Ravelry), but the numbers looked too big.  The 54 stitches looked more like a man's size.  So I checked out Paton's Basic Sock (worsted weight version) 'cuz I had used it before.  The 48 stitches still looked big, so  I adjusted the numbers again and reduced my cast-on to 44 stitches (I like using long-tail cast-on for socks 'cuz it makes a nice even edge at the cuff).

I always cast on on DPNs and then move my work to 2 circulars after working a few rows. My preference is working in the round on circulars ('cuz for me it reduces ladders).  Rather than using a pattern, I prefer plain ribbing 'cuz it usually provides a decent fit.  Besides, ribbing can fix a multitude of sock sins.  Hoping the two-tone blue and cream looks fun and interesting.
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