Monday, July 30, 2007

A little song reveals volumes

You've no doubt heard and probably sung at least once or twice that infamous childhood ditty "The Wheels on the Bus." Well, my 5yo has

updated it with a few new versus. Her version is very revealing about my family. The first versus are the commonly known wheels on the bus go round and round, babies on the bus go wah, wah, wah and mommies on the bus go shh, shh, shh...


"The sisters on the bus fight, fight, fight, fight ,fight..."

"The brothers on the bus they tease all the time, tease all the time, tease all the time..."

"The daddies on the bus they work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work..."

"The grandma's on the bus give gum to their 5yo grandchildren..."

And last but not least, for my cigar loving father:

"The grandpa's on the bus smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke...

All through the town...

Pictured is the baby sweater that gave me such troubles and the matching hat. By now one would think I could follow simple directions! I am pleased, however, with my "fix." I crocheted a border that added enough height to bring the edges up to wear it should have been. The sweater pattern is from the Mason Dixon book. The hat is a link from SLK designs. The yarn is Peaches and Cream. It's my favorite crochet baby hat pattern because it is a quick project. I'm still hunting for a favorite knit baby hat design. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

And on a somber/happy note - I dropped dh #2 (13) off for her month long camp. I managed to do it without sobbing but there were a few tears - just enough to embarrass her sufficiently.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Them's knittin' words

As a wordsmith, I have found one of the interesting things about knitting to be the language we have created. Most of us quickly become familiar with the terms "frogging" and "tinking." Here are a few others I came across in a British magazine called creatively enough "Knitting":

In the Queue: Projects waiting to be knitted (I have plenty of those.)

KAT: knitting against time (I do that just a bit)

SEX: Stash enrichment expedition (hmmm...)

TOAD: Trashed object abandoned in disgust. (I haven't actually done this yet, but I've come close.)

SABLE: Stash accumulation beyond life expectancy. (I don't think I'm there, yet).

The picture is a close up of the beach-knit scarf. It really was a fun pattern once I got my head around how everything had to line up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Crazy Knitting Lady

I think I've reached a new low (or high?) in knitting - I was (almost) seriously walking around the streets of Boston looking for a baby to try on this sweater! I found one that was too small and sleeping anyway and one that was just a little too old. I can only imagine the reaction I'd get if I actually make this request of a non-knitting parent.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sailing away

Yesterday my older children were upset with me because I was "making" them go sailing. Today they were bubbling about how much fun it is and how much they like it. My dh often says - and it is proved true over and over - that kids don't really know what they want. The challenge, I'm sure, will come as they get older and really do know what they want. How will I know the difference?
On the knitting front, the knitting muses are having a good laugh at me. I was frantically trying to finish a baby sweater using the Mason Dixon pattern, which I've done before. I read the pattern several times - really I did - so when things didn't work out the way they should have I figured it was just a misalignment and I "cleverly" added a few stitches in some spots to make it come out right. I was very proud of knowing how to add stitches and make it "come out right." Of course we all know what pride comes before... After I finished the left front and started on the right front I figured out that although I'd read the pattern, I missed a crucial line and hadn't started increasing when I should have.
Perhaps I should have gone back there and started the front over. But I was in a hurry so I just made the other side with the same fudges as the first one. Now that I'm "done" I'm not so sure this was wise. The pattern sort of looks like it's supposed to, but I'm not sure that it will actually stay on the baby Unfortunately, the baby is hundreds of miles away so I can't check it. Maybe I'll try to crochet around the edge to fix it. Maybe I'll just start over. It doesn't reallytake .that long . I know babies grow fast, but not that fast..

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thank you mom

Here it is: Proof that I really do knit with the yarn you buy me mom! This is Noro Silk Garden that mom found while on a biking trip. She also brought me some vintage knitting books that she carried on her bike! The scarf is made of triangles that are knit together in a very clever way. It was tricky getting started, but lots of fun once I got the hang of it. Losing the pattern out of the Jeep (see earlier post) made ending it more of an adventure than usual. It took me a few tries, but I figured it out based on what I remembered from reading ahead. I've even written the pattern down so I can try it again later. I was tempted to rely on my memory but really that's not wise.
Some people found it a little bit odd that I was wearing a scarf in the summer at the beach - clearly they are not addicted knitters well acquainted with the joy of finishing a tough project. Besides, it kept me toasty warm on a chilly night.
We've been back from the trip for a week now and I'm still unpacking! Everytime I think I'm done, I find another bag that's been tucked away. I don't even want to talk about the laundry - the mountains and mountains of towels, sheets, shorts and more towels. I think the kids brought and wore their entire wardrobe! Or maybe that's how they got unpacked so fast LOL

Monday, July 16, 2007

Beach Knitting

This is the tote I frantically finished while on holiday at the beach. I thought that it might not be so much fun to knit with wool in summer, but it turned out to be so cool that I was glad to have it as a little blanket to keep warm!
I was inspired by the computer bag in Leigh Radford's AlterKnits and the shape of the big beach bag I was using to tote all the beach towels, sunscreen and knitting.
The bag is shown with Barbies pre-felted and soaking up the sun after its bath.

Here is the formula - I can't really call it a pattern since it's a very loosey-goosey sort of thing that can be adapted to any size desired.
Using worsted with two strands held together or a single strand of bulky knit a rectangle that is 30 percent longer than you want the purse to be and 20 percent taller. The purse is knit vertically (rather than horizontally like most) so it will shrink more in width than height.
For my bag, I used Cascade 220 in Navy and violet, a dark purple Patons, and a verigated mystery yarn that consisted of several strands together. You can use a yarn that is not wool but only for narrow stripes or you will have trouble with the felting. Try making a small accessory bag first to test the yarns together. If you use a wool that doesn't felt for some stripes, I would recommend crocheting or knitting around the top so that the bag is completely felted for a firmer edge.
Make stripes as desired.

Sew the caston and cast off edges together. Sew the bottom. To create a flat bottom: With the purse inside out, flatten the corner so that it forms a V and sew from side to side about 3 inches up. Repeat on the other side.
Add pockets as desired.
For handles - make an i-cord with 4 to 7 stitches, depending on desired thickness. I used 7 strands, which made for a solid cord.
You can attach the handles before felting or after - I attached them after.
Felt the bag and attach handles if you haven't already.
For a closure - I made a felted triangle and sewed it on as a tab. You could also put on a zipper or close the bag with a magnetic clasp.
My unfelted bag was about 45 inches by 20. Finished was 35 by 14 (I confess I'm doing this from my memory, which is faulty)
I started out with 51 stitches. The first 30 rows (which ended up being the middle of the back) were in garter stitch. For the rest I did the top 4 stitches in garter and the rest in stockinette. I made the garter stitch border because I thought it would make a firmer edge. It turned out fine, but I'm not sure it's necessary. The garter stitch is a tad bit thicker than the st stitch, but it felted to the same height and wideth.
I didn't line the bag because I put pockets on the inside. It could easily be lined.
I have one note on the pockets - think about where they will be when the bag felts. I found that my front pocket was a little closer than I would have liked to the top.
Have fun and please let me know if you try this at home - I'd love to see how others turn out.
The bag is on its way to my International Tote Exchange IV pal.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dangerous knitting

Could the scarf by cursed? Haunted by a jealous knitter? A challenge set in my path to help improve my character?

I finally figured it out and have been making great progress. It's not difficult when you actually read the directions.

But then tToday, while I was knitting it in an open Jeep while riding down the high way at 65 mph - maybe not the wisest of moves, but I really want to get the scarf done and the radio doesn't work. Everything went fine for awhile. Then someone, maybe me, shifted a bit and the wind picked up the ziploc bag in which I had all my stuff. It turns out a zip loc bag makes a great kite. It up and sailed right out of the jeep. I grabbed the project and hung on to the yarn, but the bag and the instructions just floated right away. My dh laughed and laughed (with me, not at me of course, right?)

I thought about walking up and down the highway, but it was about to rain and I'm not sure a knitting pattern is worth risking a life for.

The instructions are from my knitting pattern a day calendar, so I'm not sure where (if) I can find a copy. Thankfully, I've memorized the instructions and looked ahead to the end. I think I can figure it out (fingers crossed).

I will post pics when I get to a high speed wireless. I'm on dial up now...

Monday, July 09, 2007

For some reason, blogger won't let me post a title!

I've been knitting on the beach, at the fireworks, around the fire and in the cottage at night. I managed to get all the tote done in time to use the washing machine in the cottage a friend was renting before she left - just before she left. I was up until midnight knitting the pockets and I was literally standing at the machine pulling out the pieces as she locked up! Talk about a knitting deadline LOL

I've moved on to a geometrical scarf that consists of triangles knitted together with increases and decreases. It's fascinating and fun. The only problem is that I forgot/got confused/got too cockey and when it said KSS, I slipped a stitch, knit a stitch, passed slipped stitch over when I should have sliped a stitch, slipped a stitch, knit two together. Really would it have killed me to check a reference book a head of time? I've now done it wrong for 20 rows!? Will it matter? Should I frog? Should I keep going and hope it won't matter? Should I make myself repeat the decreases 20 times on scrap yarn (like having to write "I will check directions when I'm not 100 percent sure" on the chalk board?) Maybe I should just relax - it's just knitting and I am on vacation. I don't have to finish the scarf!

It's just that I bought a bunch of yarns to try some free form knitting and I kind of wanted to finish the scarf first. Why do I put all this pressure on me?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sun Time in Connecticut

These are few scenes from sunny Connecticut. We've been playing at the beach, grilling, playing at the beach, shopping at the tourist store, playing at the beach and playing at the beach. It's been mostly sunny but a little chilly - not enough to hamper the fun but certainly enough that I'm actually glad to be knitting a heavy wool tote for the ITE 4. I've gotten just a few sideways glances for knitting around the campfire at night.

It's a felted bag that I'm making vertically instead of horizontally. I really hope it turns out because it's a lot of knitting and the deadline is coming up quickly. It's supposed to be felted so I may be heading to a laundromat - I don't think I'll have the patience to wait until I get home to see how it turns out.

I've also been teaching my cousin to knit. I
vaguely remember what it was like when all those loops looked alike! She's an eager learner, so it's been an easy job so far.