Updated patterns!

I'm in the process of updating my old patterns, particularly the bibs, to include charts. I'm rewriting some of the directions to make the patterns even easier and including alternative methods for beginning the bibs and for making the ties. Look for these patterns in the sidebar to see which ones have been added. It's a slow process, but eventually, they'll all be there!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Little Lace

Okay, so I know that over 1200 people have knitted the Shetland Triangle by Evelyn Clark, so what's the big deal if I made one too? Well, I don't knit lace. I find it difficult and I have to concentrate so hard that it takes most of the enjoyment out of knitting. However, I fell in love with the Swallowtail Shawl and wanted one very badly. I knew I would screw it up, so I didn't even attempt it, but I always had the pattern at the top of my list of things to make someday. Then my friend, Kathy kept posting all these wonderful lace projects on her blog. (She's an amazing knitter.) Finally, I decided to give it a whirl. I decided on the Shetland Triangle but discovered that it was only available in Wrap Style , and this was the only pattern in the whole book that I liked. I didn't want to spend that much money on a book for one pattern and our local library is useless when it comes to knitting books. At last, Interweave Press had a huge book sale on their damaged books and wouldn't you know it, Wrap Style was on sale for only $5.00! That's less than the cost of one pattern! Feeling pretty pleased with myself, I decided to go forward. I saw this gorgeous green bamboo yarn that was hand dyed by Melanie of The Knitting Siren. (Yes, that's the same Melanie of Turtle Butt fame!) The yarn is called "The Grass is Always Greener" and you have to see it in person to appreciate how pretty it is.

This last picture gives you some idea of the sheen. I had never knit with bamboo before. I found it to be a little splitty and I had to pay close attention, but then again, I have to pay close attention when I'm knitting lace anyway!! I have to confess that I think I may be a convert to lace now. The pattern was pretty easy to memorize and I only had to go back to a lifeline once! I'm not sure that I'm ready to tackle the Swallowtail yet, but its prospects of getting made are definitely looking better!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bad Blogger!

I've been pretty bad at blogging lately. I guess I just would rather knit than talk about it! Anyway, here are a few projects that I've finished since the last time. It's getting cooler here in New England and little Marty was going to need some pants! This is Melanie's basic top down pants . I just used different stitches to change it up a little bit and make it a little more interesting. The yarn is Cascade 220 in Summer Sky.

After I knit the blue pair, Melanie changed the pattern a little by doing a new gusset and I offered to test knit it, since a boy can't have just one pair of pants! I really like this new gusset. It's seems to be roomier, but I'll have to wait until it's actually "test worn". I do know that's it much easier to knit than the other version. I didn't seem to get those holes that always appear when you're picking up stitches in a corner! She is such a talented designer.

Here's a side view picture. This wool is Araucania's Nature Wool, Chunky Multy. I had never used it before, but it was so nice to work with. The pants are nice and thick so I think they'll work really well in the cold winter. I picked up the yarn in a little store I found in Maine this summer and when I went back this Fall, she was having a sale. Great timing. I picked up more in each of the colorways she stocked. (Well, except for the pink!!)

I've also been knitting up some socks for Jack and Mickey. For some reason, Mickey just loves to wear my socks! Every time I make a new pair he sits down and trys them on! It tickles me no end that he's so pleased to get them! Most of these were made with Cascade Fixation. The striped pair in the middle were made with Regia and the little blue striped pair for the baby were made with Knitpicks Felici. This is not a good choice for baby socks as the color changes are really long and you don't get the effect of the changing stripes. The sock on top came out really cute, but the one underneath is just....well, ordinary! I've made a couple of other pairs too, but Mickey grabbed them before I could get pictures! Some have a short row heel and the others are made with a standard gusset. I like the pattern in Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns . I use a U.S. size 6 needle and cast on 36 stitches with the Fixation, so they go super fast. I love this book. I even bring it with me whenever I go on vacation, just in case I want to try a new project. I'm always changing patterns, so this book really is handy for basic templates.

Finally, I got to test knit a brand new pattern that my pal, Alli, is going to be putting up for sale on her great website, Knitwits Alley . She's hard at work on her Christmas patterns, all of which will be for sale soon. I think this set is so nice and what a great gift it would be for a pastor. It's called "O Holy Night". Of course, that might change once it's for sale, but I think it's perfect.