Monday, March 31, 2014

knitting for babies

My Fuji Cherry trees are blooming!

Now, I feel like Spring is here.

I'm supposed to be taking a break from knitting while I wait for Round 2 of Sock Madness to begin.  But, my Godson and his Bride are expecting their first baby, my sister's first Grand-Daughter, and my first Grand-Niece (ha ha ha I have 3 Grand-Nephews).  The baby shower is this weekend, so I needed to get something finished super fast. 

I made the Mermaid costume for this baby
and dropped it off when I was last down in So. California.  I wanted to send something handmade for the shower, as well.  So, this weekend, I knit up two hats and 3 pair of socks.

The most fun ones to make were, of course, the striped ones.
The hat is a mini version of the Turn a Square Hat by Jared Flood.  I cast on 64 stitches.  The stripes are 2 rows of lavender and 3 rows of pink. Super fast and easy.

The white and pink socks are just miniature adult socks.  They have ribbed legs, slip stitch heel flaps, and gussets.

I made them to be for the baby when she is newborn, so they are pretty small.  I used worsted weight yarn, and only cast on 20 stitches total for each sock.

I wanted the striped socks to last a bit longer, so I cast on 28 stitches for each sock.  They  have a short row heel, and I used the Fish Lips Kiss method of "wrapping" really not wrapping the stitches in the short rows.
Fast, fun, and cute baby projects.

shaping the planet with 3 more pair of socks!  (ok, they are tiny, but still socks)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Better Photos


We have already broken the record for rain in March, and the month is not over.

I wanted to post some better photos of the Round 1 Sock Madness socks, Diamond Shreddies.

I just love the cable detail.
It is knit at both sides of the sock, and again at the top of the instep.
The heels are an Eye of Partridge pattern,
but the designer, Carrie Van Kessel, carried the ribbing from the cables down into the sides of the heel flaps.  It makes them that more interesting.

I am really happy with them.
shaping the planet in yellow silk/merino cabled socks.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Finished Round 2


It rained all day today.  I worked as a Teachers' Aide at a wonderful private school in Medina.  For the first hour and a half, I sharpened pencils.  I kid you not.  Actually, it was a peaceful way to spend the morning.  Then, I had to take 4 periods of recess duty.  They have a nice large area with a garden (not planted, yet) and fruit trees that are just beginning to blossom out.  Even though it was raining, the students still went out for recess.  They don't have a covered area, like my kids' elementary school.  Instead, they have bins of umbrellas, or bumbershoots as we call them.  Some kids, and all three supervising teachers, held these large umbrellas as we walked around.  But about 1/3 of the kids just played in the rain.  It wasn't cold.  They had so much fun.

I sometimes knit when I supervise recess.  But, because of the rain, I didn't get any knitting done.  I had to work on the Round 1 socks, Diamond Shreddies, when I got home.  I finished the foot pattern, it's a repeat of the pretty cable pattern, last night, so this afternoon/evening, I knit about 1/2 inch more on the foot, and then knit and kitchenered the toes.

This photo is horrible  because it is with my camera's flash:
But, at least you can sort of see the cables. We have to email Sock Madness when we are finished with a link to our project page.  The project page must have a photo of the socks in progress, and a finished photo with a tape measure.

I'll try to take a better photo tomorrow, so you can see how pretty these are.  I love how the yarn, Redfish Dyeworks Silk Sock, feels.  And it shows the cables beautifully.

shaping the planet with a classroom full of sharp pencils, and some yellow socks.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Eastside Stitchers, Wednesday Meet Up


Tonight was the regular Wednesday meet up for the Eastside Stitchers.  Again, we had the beautiful Addie, one of our newest members, joining us for a bit of fiber fun.  She is such a great baby.

GwenS told me to take a photo quickly!  of the newest project she was casting on.
I'm not exactly sure which Mal March project it is.  I know that she didn't have enough of the long tail to finish this cast on and was ready to frog and recast when I took this photo.

BlueBerryMary has made some nice progress on the sleeves of the fisherman sweater for her grandson.
She will be leaving for Haiti soon.  I hope she has a wonderful trip.

Pam2 has started a lacy summer sweater.
She is using a cotton that is blended with something acrylic to keep it from stretching.

Alphabetadell has made nice progress on her 2013 Advent Calendar Scarf.
She is using some lovely Madelinetosh.  I am having deja-vu all over again.

Wireknitter brought some fingerless mitts that she designed herself,
and a new shawl.
Chockelet came late and also brought a Malabrigo March project.
This will be fingerless mitts called Spate by Jane Richmond.

Sorry for the short post, but I'm so tired. 

shaping the planet with daffodils!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3rd Blog Anniversary


I almost forgot that today is the 3rd anniversary of my first blog post.  I want to say thank you to everyone who reads my blog.  I honestly think that I would keep writing even if I knew no one ever read this, but it is way more fun now that people DO read it.

shaping the planet with 3 years of blogging!
PS.  I've finished the gussets on the Sock Madness round 1 socks!

2014 Sock Madness, Round 1


I finished my Brucie socks in time to be placed on a team for 2014 Sock Madness.  My Team is:  Tenacious Tadpoles.    I was a minnow last year, which I think was the slow team.  I'm pretty sure the Tadpoles aren't much faster... but perhaps not the slowest?  Thank goodness, though, because it's much harder to finish socks quickly when you have a job, even a part time job.

That being said, I'm now on the first round of real competition.  Sock Madness calls the pre-lim round or the "placement" round:  Round 1.  I call the first round when you are actually on a team: Round 1.  Hope that doesn't confuse anyone, but, that makes more sense to me.

The round 1 pattern is a beautiful cable pattern, Diamond Shreddies by Carrie Van Kessel. 

I'm using yarn I bought at the Madrona Fiber Festival last year, Redfish Dyeworks Silk Sock.  I was looking for some yellow sock yarn (ha ha ha I have plenty, now) and was bemoaning the fact that although there were some beautiful yellow FINGERING weight yarns at the festival, there were none that had nylon in the mix.  The person from Redfish Dyeworks talked me into trying their silk sock, saying that the silk content took the place of the nylon in adding durability.  Well, we shall see how durable these socks are, but I can say that the fabric feels amazing.  It is so... silky!  I catch myself just stroking the stockinette sections.

The pattern has these beautiful cabled sections that will be on each side of the sock.  In the beginning, you knit the cables (if you are using magic loop or 2 circular needles) on the "front and back," then when the legs are finished, you move the stitches so the REAL front and back are in the right places to knit the heels.

The only thing I don't like about the pattern is that she has it set up so the break between the "front and back" sections originally falls between two purls.  This always causes laddering for me.  I can sort of have a knit and a purl where the sides split and not get too bad of a ladder, but two purls just doesn't work for me.  Finally, when I got to the cables, I twisted the pattern just a bit so my front and back split in the stockinette section.  It made a a big difference.  I just hope the ribbing (where there is a bit of a ladder) will even out with washing and wear.

The heels are a modified Eye of Partridge pattern.  I do love this heel.  It is so pretty.  The designer has modified the traditional Eye of Partridge heel flap by keeping the ribbing on the sides of the flap.  It is just beautiful  and really shows up well in this yarn.

I hope to finish the turn today, and the gussets (that will be a bit of a reach...).  Skeinherder is coaching me again this year.  Honestly, I couldn't compete without her help.  She texts me occasionally during the day to check my progress and cheer me on.  She checks the group threads for me.  I am way too chicken to see how many people have turned in socks.  I know it will just waste time and make me more nervous about whether or not I will make it to the next round.  Skeinherder is my thread mole.  She reports back how many socks are in so far, and always tells me not to worry!  She also reminds me to stretch, get up occasionally, and stay healthy.  Coaches are so important to success.

Anyway, back to the heel turns.  I'll report back in tomorrow, though I will be working all day so I'm not sure how good any photos will be.  We shall see how good the light is in the late afternoon.

shaping the planet in Round 2

Saturday, March 22, 2014

High Plains Drifter


I finished my High Plains Drifter shawl by Kirsten Hipsky last night.  I finished the knitting at about 9 pm, and soaked it and got it on my blocking mats before I went to bed.
I used two of my blocking wires to make the part that goes around the neck as straight as possible.  I thought of using more wires for all of the ends, to make each section straight, but, instead, I decided to just smooth it out, and leave it to dry.  I didn't want to make it any bigger.  I used about 635 yds of yarn, and it is a nice size.  I didn't even bother to pin it.  I just laid it out on the blocking mats on our dining room table, and went to bed.

When I got up this morning, this is what I saw.
Let's not forget that the cats are NOT allowed on the dining room table.

Anyway, I wore the shawl out tonight to dinner and the Village Theatre.  It looked great.

shaping the planet with a new shawl.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Vernal Equinox


One of the most fun things about writing this blog is getting feedback.  I remember the first comment way back almost 3 years ago, and how excited I was to have someone not only reading, but actually writing back.

As I have made a wider circle of fiber friends, the feedback has increased, but not always on as comments on the blog.  My Eastside Stitchers friends tend to either pm me on Ravelry, or simply text me.

I love how this allows me to correct mistakes and fill in the gaps when I don't get all of the information on who is knitting which pattern.  I like to think that my blog is a little bit of the history of our group, and also a reflection of what types of patterns were being knit each year.  Thus, it is important to report on the patterns and the designers.  In addition to the historical aspect (ha ha ha), it's a nice resource for any reader who thinks, "I want to make that gorgeous shawl that WireKnitter brought for show and tell." (chances are it was designed by Susan Ashcroft)  Or, "I am ready for a lace project, and Tara1682 has knit some beautiful ones, maybe I'll try one of the ones she has made."

This is all a long way to say that GwenS pm'd me to fill in the blanks for the cowl she was starting last night.  The pattern is Leaded Windows by Kate Vanover.  I was right about the yarn.  It is a Malabrigo.  In fact, it is Rios.  She is using Arcos Iris, which is a red, and Azul Profundo, which is a blue.

GwenS also remembered the name of the beautiful lace shawl that Tara1682 is knitting.
This is Juno Regina by Miriam L. Felton. 

Thank you, GwenS.  I really count on your memory.

shaping the planet with way more sunlight.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Back to Eastside Stitchers', Wednesday Meet Up


I still only have one daffodil in bloom in my yard.

Enough complaining.  It was cold and wet today.  O! wait, I was finished complaining.  Really, I'm not complaining about the weather, I'm glad we are getting more snow in the mountains.  I do NOT want to  have to be careful with water usage this summer, and for that we need lots of snow in the mountains.

The real reason I have no need to complain is that today is Wednesday, and that means Eastside Stitchers' Wednesday meet up at Crossroads in Bellevue.  And, sorry everyone who was present, but the best part of the meet up tonight was that Addie, one of our newest members came to watch us stitch!  No photos of her tonight, but wow, you can't believe how cute she is.  We just love having our newest little members join in the fiber fun.

Who else was at Crossroads, and what were they stitching?

We had a new person for the first hour or so (which means that I did not get a photo of her project or even her Ravelry name because I am a bad reporter).  She was one of the raffle winners of an Eastside Knitters Guild Prize Basket from Vogue Knitting Live: Seattle/Bellevue, but as she had left the Meydenbauer (the convention center where the event was held), we arranged for her to pick up her basket at Crossroads tonight.

Readnitdream joined us again at the round table near Half-Price Books, but as she is knitting a test knit project, and doesn't have the permission of the designer to have the project photo posted, I am not going to show you her work.  Cute yarn, though.

Wajio was swatching and practicing the interesting stitch combination for the shawl she plans to knit.  The pattern is Limonade, by Corinne Ouillon.

This yarn is just her practice yarn....

Tara1682 is making great progress on her latest beautiful shawl.  She told me the name of the pattern, but, I didn't write it down, so there you have it.  I don't know the name of the pattern...
GwenS was just starting a cowl.  I am assuming she was using some weight of Malabrigo. 
The beautiful Addie, who brought GwenS, was not actually knitting, she was too busy looking cute as a button.

WireKnitter was working on a surprise, but she brought two beautiful shawls for Show and Tell.
The first was in this wonderful gradient yarn, KnitWits Freia Handpaints Freia Ombre Lace.
The pattern is A Certain Slant by Susan Ashcroft.

She was wearing her Orient Express, also by Susan Ashcroft, but this shawl is in Madelinetosh Sock.
Alphabetadell was just beginning a 2013 Advent Calendar Scarf.
and BlueBerryMary was making good progress on the Fisherman's Sweater she is knitting for her nephew.
BlueBerryMary is getting ready to leave for a mission trip to Haiti with members of her church.  She has posted some photos of her trip to Haiti in 2012 on her own blog.  I am looking forward to reading about the trip this year.

We have such wonderful people in our little stitch group.

shaping the planet from Crossroads.