Friday, April 30, 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, Day 5

Where do you like to indulge in your craft?

My living room is my studio. Sometimes it looks kind of like this or it did when we still had the couch in there and when the stash was over flowing.

My Crochet Spot

My Crochet Spot

Now it looks a little more like this if I keep things more orderly.


My glider is the chair you will find me in most often knitting or crocheting while listening to a good audiobook.


Sometimes I like to spin next to the window. All my yarn and fiber stash is stored in the dresser. I have been busy washing up the sweaters to get put away for next winter.

I do love to knit in public. I yarn when I'm at the skate park and sometime I bring my wheel along. I especially like hang out with my fiber friends on Saturdays and on Tuesdays.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, Day 4

A New Skill

I really want to learn to weave.

Leclerc Medico Loom

Where do I find the time? When I also...


spinning corner

Lavendar Socks

Spiral Shawl

Orange dye bath

Cook and Eat

Spend time My Husband

and take care of the zombies Kids.

and sometimes I just need to chill with a glass of wine!



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, Day 3

Crafter I admire?

I really enjoy Lucy from Attic24 blog. She uses such beautiful colors in all her projects. She was the one who inspired my flock of birdie bookmarks with her Birdie Decoration pattern.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, Day 2

What do I aspire to do? Good question.

Honestly that's hard to say. I want to learn it all yet at the same time I knit and crochet for pleasure. So I'm torn. My next big project will be my first sewn knit sweater with cables because I really would liked a cabled sweater. The pattern I'm itching to do is the ubiquitous Central Park Hoodie but without the hood.

I'm also interested in a colorwork sweater. That could be my first colorwork yoke sweater. I also want to spin all the yarn for sweater. I'd also like to do more lace yarn work like tackle an EZ pi shawl.

I'd like to write up some some patterns but writing patterns make my head hurt. Remember I like knitting to be fun.

So what do I do? I'll go spin:



Monday, April 26, 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, Day 1

Since I have been at a loss for something to say. Since a local knitter shared on her blog about the Knit and Crochet Week. I thought I would participate too.

How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting?

I learned to crochet when I was 10 years old or maybe younger. I have always known how to double and single crochet. For some reason I never did anything with it as a child or young adult, not even a granny square. Then in 2001 I brushed up on my skills again and just had a blast with my hook.

I fell in love with doilies:
Hazelnut Doily

And Amigurumi:

I kind of miss these guys. Then I learned to sort of spin then got sidetracked with knitting. I made this:
Gryfindor Scarf

Was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies?

My dad crochets and my mom did do lots of crafts. I brought Mom back in to the knitting fold. She's kind of a crazy sock lady although she will deny it now that she is more into sweaters. I don't know who taught me how to crochet but it had to have been my Mom or Dad. I had to relearn the basic for crochet and how to read a pattern but I fumbled through.

I really like to learn from videos so NexStitch crochet videos were my friend when I was learning to knit it was

What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?
I had been looking for a hobbies that I could make some functional and beautiful things and some times some fun things. The fact that it's popular was kind of bonus. Not so much that I wanted to join the crowd but that there are so many cool things for me to make I will never be bored again. (The being bored thing is not entirely true though. I still get bored but I really shouldn't because there are so many cool things to make)


Friday, April 23, 2010

The Lasagna is in the Oven

So I thought I'd share the finished hat I made with the yarn I dyed a few weeks ago. At first I knit it way too long so it kind of flared and the cast off was all wrong too. Confused? It's a top down hat. I used Jeny's Amazingly Stretchy bind off but it was just too stretchy. So I frogged back a few rows and tried the knit two together through the back loop cast off and that also looked wrong. So finally I did a loose basic cast off.

Fail - Frogging back a few rows
Also a bad photo. It was raining that day and lighting kind of sucked.

Ah much better....

And oddly last a work in progress photo to show the stitch.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I fell in love with my garden again....

On Tuesday after edging and weeding most of the garden beds in the front yard, I planted a few more things in the Mail Box Bed:

Mail Box Bed

I transplanted some phlox and sweet woodruff from the front patio bad. You can't see the sweet woodruff very well because it's behind the daylillies. The Ajuga I planted at the end of the last year is doing great. The peonies look like they like it there too. They came from Stephen's grandmother's house and before that they came from back east somewhere in the 1800's.

Mail Box Bed

Wednesday I started on the back yard. I weeded garden Bed D.

Garden Bed D

I added few things from the fence beds. I'm going let the fence beds go this year. Then figure out what I want to plant there. I want to get the weeds under control first so I'm not constantly weeding that area.

Then I weeded the Patio Tree Bed.

Patio Tree Bed

I added some sedum ground cover, more yarrow and some salvia. I also cleaned off the porch but I don't have a photo of that. Not much to see really.

I also prepared Garden Bed C. I attempted to grow pepper and some basil in this bed last year and failed. I had laid an old sheet down to prevent weeds so only a little weeding here. Then I had an empty flower canvas to fill.

Garden Bed C

So I transplanted some purple gay feather, yarrow, sedum, cone flower, salvia, a mystery plant, etc...

I called that good for Wednesday so Thursday I prepared part of the new Herb Bed. The bed was a fail as for Asparagus. It gets too wet. I moved many of these herbs from another wet part of the garden so they should do fine here.

Herb Bed

Here we have thyme, cat mint, chives, salad burnett, a sad bit of lavender that barely made it over the winter, winter savory, and cone flower.

Patio Tree Bed

I did a bit more work on the Patio Bed. I added some of the mystery plant, sweet woodruff and some cat mint where you can't see it. I took a lunch break then decided to do a wee bit more so I weeded the two Back Patio Beds.


The Ajuga-Woodruff bed Patio Bed was fill with dead nettle and other weeds. I pulled them all out and added some yarrow and a cone flower. Then I weeded the Hosta Bed but I'm holding off on adding more to this bed for now.

Hosta Patio Bed

Here's Garden Bed B that's covered in weeds so I got more work to do.

Garden Bed B

I better get back out there so I'm so I'm really sorry but this:


and this:


Will just have to wait.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Knit Princess

No, that's so not me. But a knitting comic that's quite funny. Go find it here. That's all for now as I need to take photos to share more.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More Flower Woo

More yummy flower goodness.


This time to pretty up some salad and soup.

IMG_3245.JPG IMG_3246.JPG

Some pretty flowers in the garden too.

The violets in their natural habitat.


Phlox and more phlox.


Some blue bells on there way out.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oh yes, I'm dyein' please believe me....

I started with this yarn here:
It's some of my bulky handspun. I actually dyed the fiber for this yarn some time last year. I kind of felted the fiber. So I carded the semi fielted fiber and spun it up.

(this photo is totally off in color)

I added the yarn to my dyeing Crockpot along with a few gluggs of vinegar. I squished it a bit to make sure the yarn was socking up the vinegar water. There's just enough water in the pot plus a little more to cover the yarn. After the water temp reached 140 deg F I added the dye. About 2 cups of water with one teaspoon of neon purple food coloring.

Here's how it looked soon after adding the dye liquor:
When It got to 180 deg F it cooked for about an hour or longer. I let the yarn coo off in the pot before rinsing it. I was very patient and waited for all the dye liquor to soak in. The water was clear when I removed the yarn. It bled very little dye when I rinsed it.

Ahhhh a natural light photo, so much better.


I like how the dye struck on the fluffy bits of yarn. It has kind of a heathered look to it. Stay tuned for future hat.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kiwi and Wild Flower Fruit Salad

More flowers yum! Violets and Red Buds.

Kiwi and Flower Fruit Salad

Organic Kiwis were on sale at my local market for 39 cents each as opposed to 69 cents each. So I bought a few. The green of the kiwis makes a great back drop for the pretty flowers.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Socks Pattern Smattern... Part I

I was tempted to enter Elinor's Sock contest but realized I don't follow sock patterns so how can I in good conscious write a pattern for someone else to follow? Yet, I will share my sock madness process because I love hand knit socks.

I only knit toe up socks, with magic loop, at the same time but on separate circs, most often with a fleegle heel.


See it makes it easier to try them on and see how they fit. Since I make them at the same time I don't suffer from second sock syndrome.

Right now I'm working on pair of socks with Knit Picks Felici.

It's a really soft springy yarn so I'm going to go with 2.00 mm needles because I shoot for a gauge around 9st/inch but I don't mind if it's 10sts/inch. If the yarn was a bit stiffer I'd go up a needle size or two. Since I plan to knit some very plain vanilla socks I'm going to use my Hiya Hiya needles. If I was going to do a pattern that needed lots of increases and decreases I'd use my fixed Knit Picks needles because they have long pointy tips.

Let's start with the toe. I start by casting on about 24 sts. I find this works for my foot. Less or more might work for you. If you have really pointy toes you might use less. So as I said I start by casting on 24 sts using my favorite toe up cast on, Judy's Magic Casts On, or look here for more Magic Cast on.

Knit one round even
[k2, right leaning inc, knit to the last 2 sts on the needle, left leaning inc, k2] x2 (On the first increase round I add an inc/dec marker so I can keep track of my rows)

I repeat the above rows until I get the number of stitches I need. Then end with knit one round even row.

See knifty inc/dec markers below: (inc/dec position on the left and knit even position on the right)

IMG_3191.JPG IMG_3192.JPG

IMG_3196.JPG IMG_3197.JPG

How do I know how many stitches I need? In general I know I need about 64-80sts using sock weight yarn depending on the gauge. So at about 60 sts I take a look at my gauge.

For this pair of Felici socks I'm getting 9st/inch. The ball of my foot is 9.5 inches. I like some negative ease in my socks so I strive between 15-20%. I say strive because I don't always get the perfect fit but I get a good enough fit. I figure the more socks I knit the better I will get at it. This particular pair of socks I'm trying to get a better fit so I'm going for 20% negative ease.

20% ease: sts/inch x ball of foot x .80 = number of stitches needed
15% ease: sts/inch x ball of foot x .85 = number of stitches needed
So for my foot I get 9 x 9.5 x .80 = 68.4 for 20% ease or 72.67 for 15% ease. Round the numbers up or down. If you don't want to crunch the numbers feel free to use this hand dandy spreadsheet here.

The pattern I have in mind, 3 by 1 seed stitch ribbing, is a multiple of 4 so it will work for both 68sts and for 72sts but I'm going down to 64sts because I don't think I need the extra 4 sts and this means I have the same number of stitches on both needles. If needed I can add some stitches later. I need to do that sometimes for my arch.

3 by 1 seed stitch ribbing pattern:
R1: knit 3, purl 1
R2: knit all
Repeat rows 1 and 2 to create pattern.

Note: I have a bit of an issue with balance so I like to frame the the pattern on top of the sock whenever possible. To make that work in this sock I knit or purl the last stitch in pattern on the sole so the pattern on the top of the sock is framed.


So far so good:


I'll knit until theses socks until they are both 3-4 inches long. Then take some more measurements. Stay tuned for further progress.