Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happiness is...

taking these two items

and using them to make these wonderful yarn cakes!

I finally got a ball winder to wind my hanks of yarn! After I took this picture I wound up 4 more cakes. I have been watching for a 50% off coupon from Joanns.com for just this purchase. One came through my email last week and I immediately ordered the ball winder. The total cost including shipping and handling was $24.78. Not a bad deal, eh?

It's not the fanciest and I have to pay close attention when I'm winding but it's so much easier than winding the balls by hand. Looser and neater, too. Maybe I'll start using up some of the wonderful yarn I've purchased in the past that is still in hanks. Oh, and I don't use them the way they are pictured. The winder is clamped to a bookcase to use. This picture just shows them together.

I love my swift but I'm afraid that too much use is going to hurt it. I bought it at an auction over 15 years ago. I'm not sure how old it is but it's old. The sticks that allow me to adjust the tension of the yarn hank are actual branches from a tree that have been sanded a little and varnished. One is in the basement waiting to be glued back together. They are a little fragile so I try not to use them. I wonder if Scott could duplicate the swift and make me a new one. It would save wear and tear on the old one. Might be a good winter project for him.

Two of the 5 dishcloths are finished. I have a third one about a quarter done. Chances are I'm going to have to crochet the other two in order to get them done by November 30th. I'm very tired of working with cotton right now.

The knitting on the baby sweater is done but I still have to weave in the ends and sew on the buttons. Then I should make a hat to go with it. It won't be done for the knitting group tonight. Maybe next week. And we won't mention the wrist warmers today.

For Christmas presents this year, I think I'm going to knit a bunch of ornaments. There are cute ones in the knitting magazines and my knitting books. More on these as I get them done.

And the cold that I was dodging last week? Hit me like a ton of bricks on Saturday. I felt awful Sunday and Monday. Today is much better so I hope it's on its way out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

And we have more hats!

Apparently I like making hats. I always seem to have one on the needles. These four hats were sent off to Stand Up For Kids in Boulder, Colorado. What do you mean, they look just like the four hats I sent there last month? I just make what the kids will wear.

Here are a couple of Fruit Hats. These were donated to my Tuesday night knitting group. They raise funds for the library where we meet. Cute, huh?

I'm trying to get a baby sweater and hat set done for them, too.

I haven't made much progress on the socks I'm knitting. In addition to the boot socks and the lacy socks, I started a pair of Tabi Socks from the book Not Just More Socks by Sandi Rosner. I'm using Lion Brand Magic Stripes on size 2 needles. The Tabi socks have a split toe so you can wear them with flip flops. They are for Alek so I'm only making a 2 inch cuff. It will be interesting to see how they turn out.

The poor wrist warmers that I mentioned in my last post are at exactly the same spot they were when I posted. I forgot about them until I reread that entry. I'll have to drag them out and finish them before Thanksgiving.

I'm not sure how many things I will make for Christmas. The rate that I'm going it won't be many. I need to have 5 dishcloths knit by the end of November for an exchange I'm doing. I have two partially done.

A cold virus is running rampant through this house. Scott and Alek have it bad. I think they've gone through two boxes of Kleenex so far. I seem to have ducked it for now. I had a sore throat for a day and I have a little cough now but that's it. I hope that's all I get because they are miserable!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ahh, November!

And it begins again! This picture was taken from my front stoop a mere 30 minutes ago. Nice, huh? It started snowing around midnight and it's still going. Luckily we aren't supposed to get much accumulation. It does make me want to knit warm things, though!

I don't have any knitting pictures to post right now. I am working on two pairs of socks. One pair is on size 1 needles in fingering weight yarn and the other pair is on size 6 needles in worsted weight yarn. Quite the contrast! I'm not posting in progress picture, though, because that's a sure jinx on them.

I also have a pair of wrist warmers going and I might post a finished picture of them before the weekend is over. One is done except for the thumb and the other is done to the thumb gusset. Now I will put the gusset on a holder and finish the top. Then I'll do both thumbs and they will be finis.

In lieu of knitting pictures, I give you this yarn.

I may have posted a picture of it when I first got it but that was over a year ago so I'm showing it to you again. It's a worsted weight, hand dyed skein of merino wool from River Ridge Fiberworks in Lime Time. The yardage is listed as plus/minus 550 yards. It was a prize from Vixenpath. A link to her blog is in my sidebar.

This yarn has been popping into my mind lately. Obviously it needs to be knit up into something spectacular. The reason it hasn't been is because I don't know what to knit it into! The colors are wonderfully rich. I haven't wound it into a ball yet so I don't know how long the colors go. I don't want to make it into a scarf. Any suggestions as to what this skein of yarn could become?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

These socks are for me!

After over a year and a half, I finally finished my Regia 6 socks! Here they are in all their glory!!

I don't know what took me so long to knit them. Granted all the other socks I finished were done on size 8 needles with two strands of worsted weight or were baby socks but still, I should have finished them a long time ago! The stripes didn't match up exactly but they're close enough for government work.

Pattern: Classic Socks for the family by Yankee Knitter Designs
Yarn: Regia 6 fadig Color #5174 (2 skeins)
Needles: Size 3

Yesterday I sent two hats to Afghans for Afghans.

The first one is a spiral rib pattern in Patons Classic Wool.

The second one was supposed to be child sized but I accidently cast on 11 stitches too many and didn't count them until I was on the decreases. Oh well, I'm sure someone in Afghanistan will be able to wear it. This was also knit in Patons Classic Wool. I love working in this yarn. Oops! I guess I should have taken the picture so my color jogs didn't show.

And finally, a couple more smashed fence pictures. This is the portion of the tree that smashed the fence.

And this is how the fence looks now that the tree is all cut up into firewood.

Quite the mess, huh?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tree trimming party!

No, I'm not starting my Christmas decorating a month early. Here is a picture of the tree that got trimmed at my house on Sunday.

If you live anywhere on the east side of the United States, you had very high winds this past weekend. Very high, damaging winds! This tree is laying across what is left of the left side of our pool fence. Actually I should say this half of a tree.

Our friend Kevin is standing on the right side of the pool helping Scott cut up the mess. The tree did do slight damage to this side, too.

It also put a gash in the winter cover so that also needs to be replaced. We're lucky that it was the only tree on our property to come down in the wind.

This is a shrug I made for Ariane. You can find the pattern here. It's a fun, easy knit.

I used Paton Brilliant yarn doubled and adjusted the numbers to get the right gauge. Ariane says it fits just the way she wants. It looked small to us but it's very stretchy. Weaving in the ends of the Brilliant was a little tricky since the shrug is reversible. I wove it down the sides of the ribbing. I also used a needle and thread to anchor the ends. I was afraid that it would pull apart otherwise. It seemed to work okay.

When I first started it, I took it to my knitting group and two of the ladies had to make one for their granddaughters. They came out really cute. Now I'm supposed to make Ariane one out of Jo Sharp Silkroad. My LYS has it on clearance so the cost wasn't bad. I haven't cast on for it yet. I need to make a swatch because I'm going to have to adjust the numbers for this yarn, too. If she's lucky, she might get it before Christmas!