Sunday, July 31, 2011

Still on Vacation

Sooo Peaceful . . .
Greetings.  I haven't returned home yet, but I'll be back soon.  Hope you're enjoying your summer.  Talk to you soon.   :D

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh My . . .

New projects!  I know I have lots on the needles already, but I wanted something new for my vacation projects.  If nothing else, I'm amply prepared--although seriously how much knitting will I get done?

I've already cast-on for the Dandy Neckerchief (Ravelry link) using the Patons Angora Bamboo.  Its a nice soft yarn--just right for a scarf.  Big plus for the pattern is that it starts at the point: I just keep knitting until I run out of yarn (although 400 yards should be plenty, right?).
Beginning of Dandy Neckerchief
And much to my surprise, I discovered extra balls of Patons Silk Bamboo: thought I only had 4, but in fact I had 7 of them!  Its the same yarn I used for my mom's lacy scarf back in Christmas 2009.  Instead of a scarf, I'm attempting a simple but shapely tank top: Soleil from Knitty Spring 2005.  Right now I'm still swatching: I either have to find smaller bamboos (only have 4.5mm, but probably need 3.75mm or 4.0mm); or I have to attempt a smaller size in the hopes that I end up with a bigger size.
Swatch for Soleil

I seriously doubt I'll have 'puter access while on vacation (my parents don't know much 'bout the internets, but at least they have air conditioning).  So there'll be "radio silence" whilst I visit with the family back in Ontario.  See you in a couple of weeks. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Progress and Maybe Something Else?

Yup, I couldn't resist casting on for the body (I'll get to the second sleeve eventually).  My mods thus far include casting on 206 stitches (I subtracted the 10 stitches for steeking 'cuz I'm working it back and forth).  So far so good.  I should probably use another circular needle to spread out my work and measure the width.

Bottom Ribbing-Cables of Bohus

With vacation coming up, I hope I'll be able to work on the Bohus and thus complete much of the body.  I'll be flying out to visit family (haven't seen them in 'bout 4 years--that's a long time!).  I'm wary of taking metal needles in my carry-on baggage (even though the airline's website says its okay to take knitting needles); instead I'll work on a scarf or shawlette in-flight (What?  Another project?  Aren't there enough WIPs 'round the house?).  My reasoning is that bamboo circulars are less likely to be confiscated (being that since bamboo is not metal so the metal detectors won't go off--right?).

What yarn shall I use?  Last year I acquired some lovely Patons Angora Bamboo (about 5 balls) in brandy wine.  

Some Soft Angora Bamboo in Lovely Colour

So I've been eyeing projects that require less than 400 yards.  I've only a few days to find something suitable. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rainy Days

Have I mentioned that summer keeps stalling over here on the east coast: lots of clouds, rain and cool temps (I blame global warming for shifting the position of the jet stream.  It used to lie just past our shores so that only Newfoundland got crappy weather.  Now the jet stream is further inland and we're getting the crappy Newfoundland weather. Ugh!).
Freshly Baked Choco-Chip Oatmeal Cookies

So in honour of rainy days, I'm baking cookies (chocolate chip oatmeal--yum!), watching movies (yup, Lord of the Rings which our boys are enjoying for the first time) and knittin' so much that the first sleeve of my Bohus is almost done.

Fave Movie Eva!

By the way, I had to share: when baking I usually wear an apron 'cuz invariably I get flour and grease all over myself (try as I might, I can be very messy.  Notice the grease and flour stains?).  
First Sewing Project
I made this apron eons ago (and I do mean eons).  It was after 5th grade, over the summer, at a special arts and crafts program for "gifted" children (Yes, its true.  I was sorta brainy and nerdy during my early years at school--not a la Lisa Simpson or Martin Prince, but no Milhouse either).  I still wear my beloved apron 'cuz, after all, I made it with me own two hands.

Have a great crafty weekend! :D

Friday, July 15, 2011

Take a Guess

Which project did I choose?  The Bountiful Bohus of course.  'Cuz I really do need a warm-all-purpose-goes-with-everything cardi for the fall and winter.  I've got some ratty looking cardigans that need to go into the trash (don't worry; they're store-bought ones from 10 years ago so they've more than served their purpose).  And anything I made over the past 2 years is probably too big as I've recently lost weight (you'd think 20 lbs wouldn't be a big deal--and normally it would not be a problem--but in fact, those 20 lbs disappeared over the last 6 months.  In total I've lost closer to 35 lbs over the course of 2 years so that now I seriously need to go clothes shopping, especially since attempts at shrinking my clothes in the dryer haven't been too succesful).

Beginning of First Sleeve

I decided to start off with the sleeves 'cuz if the sizing isn't working out, I can easily rip it out without too much guilt.  Already I've made mods: instead of casting on 100 stitches as called for in the pattern, I'm using 80 stitches.  Thus far, the measurements have worked to my favour--at least according to the pattern schematics.
Detail of Cables on Sleeve Edging
Since my swatch told me I've got 5.5 stitches per inch (instead of the required 5 st/in), I'm gonna aim to use the medium size to give myself a sweater that should turn out to be large.  What?  There's no medium?  The smallest size is large?  Yeah, I'm gonna have to extrapolate the numbers on that one.  But that requires--ack!--math!  No worries.  According to the pattern, each subsequent increase in size went by 20 stitch increments.  So I'm hoping that a decrease in 20 stitches will give me the required size.  The key word here is HOPE.

Wish me luck--please wish me luck 'cuz I'm gonna seriously need it.  :S

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Decisions, Decisions . . .

Now that I've got one sock under my belt (still awaiting its mate), my mind is pondering the next project.  I'm itching to start something new--maybe something that ISN'T a sock?  But what?  What?!  I've got loads of yarn waiting to be turned into something (and more arrived yesterday!).

So here's what's in my Rav stash and queue:
Bernat Softee Chunky
There's enough navy Bernat Softee Chunky with pretty matching green and teal (eliminating the purple) to make a lovely Bountiful Bohus (Ravelry link).  Won't the colour combo be delicious?  Only problem: Softee Chunky is bulky, not worsted like the yarn called for in the pattern. Sooooo, that means I'll have to tweak the numbers after I work my swatch 'cuz I know my gauge is gonna be off. 
Bountiful Bohus
And I just love the Bohus!  I've been itching to make this sweater since I first laid eyes on it--only I won't be steeking (I know that's cheating, but that's the plan).
Patons Lace
I've also got some nice Patons Lace that I'd like to turn into a lacy shawl from Patons free library (Rav link).  I've been thinking about lace for a long time, especially something in a finer weight than I'm used to using.
Patons Free Pattern for Lacy Shawl
Not sure if the pattern might perhaps be a wee bit beyond my skill level.  Of course I've got tons of shawl patterns faved on Ravelry, so its not like there's a shortage of patterns to choose from.

Decisions, decisions . . . .

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One Sock Down

Yeah that sock from last week?  Done! :D  Still in shock over finishing a fingering weight sock in a week. That's a record for me!  I don't know how or why I zoomed through the knitting, but I'm betting the second one doesn't go as quickly (does it ever?).  My guess: sometime 'round September--but here's hoping I'm so wrong.

Finished Toe-Up Sock

While working on the leg and cuff , I kept an eye on the ball of yarn.  Would my sock be long enough?  Patons Kroy's yardage isn't what it used to be.  Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised.  The leg with cuff ended up being almost 7” long (5” leg plus 2” 1x1 ribbing). My advice: two balls should be sufficient, but get a third ball if your pattern uses a fancy stitch or your recipient has big feet.  Yardage could be a problem, although the feel and subtle colour changes are very nice. 

Stretchy Cuff?

As to cast-off, I had planned to use Jeny's super stretchy bind-off, but then found another easier bind-off.  One of the gals at knit group uses the decrease bind-off (she discovered it through the Yarn Harlot).  Not quite sure if its more or less stretchy.  (Incidentally the decrease method is the cast-off technique my mom initially taught me when I first learned to knit).

To compare the "stretchiness" of each bind-off, I'd have to use both methods in swatches and then compare (with pins and ruler).  But I'm not so ambitious at the moment.  Besides, whichever method is stretchy for me may not be as stretchy for another knitter 'cuz tension and such varies from knitter to knitter.  My advice: experiment to see which one works best for you.

Happy crafting :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Whimsy

My Niece and Her Freshly Picked Flowers
Whilst summer is here, enjoy the warmth, the light and the bounty: smell the sweet scent of wildflowers wafting in the breeze; listen to the enchanting calls of feathered friends; blow bubbles and watch them float away; savour the sugary sweetness of a popsicle as it drips past your chin.  Yeah, summertime is the best.

Nova Scotian Wildflowers

One weekend, I picked wildflowers with my niece.  We found daisies, clover, buttercups and other purple varieties I haven't been able to identify yet.  Aren't they just lovely!  Most people consider them weeds, but really they're wildflowers.  Just because they grow where you don't want them, doesn't mean they're any less beautiful or less fragrant than something planned (dare you to stand near wild roses and not succumb to the intoxicating fragrance).  Maybe sometimes we just need to see the world through the eyes of a three year old. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

All Socks All the Time :)

Yeah, its been a bit of a sock fest over here at Stitchery and Such.  What can I say?  Socks are my favorite take-along knitting project 'cuz:
1) socks are small and thus very portable;
2) basic patterns require very little brain power;
3) and they're very practical

And while we're on the topic of socks, I cast on for another pair of toe-up socks.  But this time, I'm using fingering weight.  Aren't I brave?  I'm really enjoying the colours in this yarn.  Its Patons Kroy FX (haven't used Patons Kroy in a long while).  I'm really lovin' the colour mix.  Uber-cool :) 
Patons Kroy FX in Clover
Using Liat Gat's Beginner Toe-Up Sock pattern (Rav link).  My first attempt on 2.75mm missed the gauge, but at least it was only the start of the toe.  Once ripped out, I started again on 3mm DPNs. After 2 rows, I switched to 3.25mm circulars (I don't own a set of DPNs in 3.25mm.  Besides, its easier for me to work Judy's Magic Cast-on on DPNs rather than on circulars--don't ask why).  So far, so good.  
Beginnings of Toe
This sock thing on two circulars is sorta new, but not completely foreign to me.  I've worked sweaters, sleeves and hats in the round on circulars, but never socks.  How hard could it be (other than the cast-on, but that's just me)?  The one bonus has been the lack of ladders.  Try as I might, I always seem to get ladders when I use DPNs **sigh**  Not so with the circulars--and that's a good thing. :)

By the way, I finished the worsted sock.  
Finished Worsted Sock
Its awfully pink, but its done.  Initially when I first cast off, I couldn't try it on 'cuz my bind-off was too tight!  Eeeek!  I had to pick off the cast-off edge and try something different, but what?.  Thankfully a search on Google turned up a stretchy bind-off over at  Check it out.  It really made a huge difference.

As for the pink sock's mate . . . well, I'll eventually cast-on for it.  Eventually. Just not today. ;)
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