Monday, February 8, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan



Norah's Vintage Afghan


Pattern Link:  http://www.berroco.com/patterns/norahs-vintage-afghan

I saw this pattern on Facebook a month or two ago and pointed it out to my friend, Belinda.  I had no intention of making this project since I just started teaching a year long class using a different pattern (Building Blocks Afghan). 

Belinda suggested we should make this afghan along with the Building Blocks Afghan.  Next thing I knew, we were picking out colors and ordering yarn.   The colors we selected are Mochi (off white), Smoke (light grey), Cracked Pepper (dark grey with pale grey specks), Cast Iron (black), and Black Currant (a heathery dark purple-red with black undertones).  We will make 20 blocks total (4 of each color).  The pattern is by Norah Gaughan and is available on the Berroco Yarn website (www.berroco.com).  The yarn recommended is Berroco Comfort or Berroco Vintage (both of which are worsted weight). We are using Berroco Vintage.

Here is a sneak peek of Block #1 (terrible photo... just me curled up on the couch in my craft room with my knitting on my lap).  The funny thing about the pattern is that the only photos in the pattern are the two photos above so you don't exactly know what each block is supposed to look like. It's almost like a Mystery Knit Along. There is very little written instruction for each block; the instructions are the charts.  I look forward to sharing my progress on this project. I think it's going to be a really beautiful afghan. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

This Pair of Socks is DONE!




I got this yarn at the Interweave Yarnfest in Loveland, Colorado, last year. It's called "Summer Sprinkle" and its from Western Sky Knits in Lennep, Montana. 



At first I was calling these my Cupcake or Funfetti Socks. The yarn reminded me of of the Funfetti Cake shown above. 


But as I knit these socks, the blue became more dominant and the socks reminded me of the artwork in the children's book titled "The Rainbow Fish". The yarn has sparkly silver stellina threads running through it, just like the book illustrations feature lots of metallic silver in the fish scales. 


I just started a REALLY BIG knitting project. I'll share more about that soon. I am also trying to focus on finishing some other WIPS that have been lingering. It feels good to finish things. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Chicago Socks


Chicago Socks

Just in time. These socks are done!
These socks are for my baby boy who will be 19 years old tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be the first time I've not seen Zach on his birthday.  I went up to visit Zach at college last September, but Ron has not visited the campus yet.  So tomorrow Ron is driving up to college for a visit and will bring a little care package, including these socks.

Below, I am trying to take various measurements to know how long socks need to be for Zach.  His feet are Size 12. The measurement here is 6 1/2 inches from the edge of the heel flap to the beginning of the toe decreases.  After the last gusset decrease, I knit about 52 rounds before starting the toe decreases.


I sent Zach off to college with a similar looking pair of socks.  That pair was made in Wisdom Yarns "Seattle" (primarily dark teal green with lots of decorative stripes and designs in varying colors).  Those socks were knit two at a time, from the cuff down, on size 2.25 mm needles.  I definitely struggled to get the fit just right. I knew I had this other ball of Wisdom Yarns in my stash, so I figured I could adjust a few things and hopefully finish a pair of socks for Zach while he is away and they will fit a bit better this time around.

This color way is called "Chicago".  I cast on 68 stitches for this pair (the Seattle pair was knit with 64 stitches).  I still used the size 2.25 mm needles (40 inch long cable) and also knit these two at a time, from the cuff down.  I do have a confession to make though.  When I got to the heel, I took the socks off the long circular needle, and knit the heel flap, did the heel turn, and did all the gusset decreases on double pointed needles. These socks were languishing in my UFO pile because I DO NOT LIKE TO KNIT HEELS TWO AT A TIME FROM THE CUFF DOWN ON ONE LONG CIRCULAR NEEDLE.

When I knit this kind of heel on one circular needle, I find that I really struggle with the heel.  You just end up with so many stitches on the heel side of the circular needle after you pick up and knit stitches on both sides of the heel flap.  I find myself wrestling with it all too much as I work on the gusset decreases.  No fun!  Otherwise, I am a huge fan of knitting socks two at a time on one circular needle.

Recently I've heard about a heel called a Strong Heel.  It sounds as if it is very similar to the Fleegle Heel that I've used in TOE UP socks and you do not have to pick up and knit stitches. The Fleegle Heel is great when knitting socks two at a time on one circular needle from the TOE UP so I need to try a pair of socks from the CUFF DOWN, two at a time, using the Strong Heel. 

I'll keep you posted.



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Snow Day Knitting


It's a very snowy day in Southern Colorado. Great knitting weather. We got new windows installed in the house last week. Good timing before the snow. 


My craft room is no longer cold and drafty thanks to this beautiful new window. I have a futon in front of the window and I sit with my back to the window. 

But the puppies sure enjoy the view. 


Today we went for a great snowy walk down at the river. Here are a few photos. 




Now that we are warm and cozy I am madly knitting these socks. Ron is going to visit Zach up at college later this week and I'd like for these to be done by then. Knit, knit, knit. I am racing toward the toes. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Zipper Pouch


I made a little pouch with a zipper. I thought it might be a great place to store knitting notions such as darning needles, stitch markers, etc. I know I have gobs of stitch markers and darning needles but they seem to have gravitated to other project bags. So a special case to keep things in one spot would be a really good idea for me. 


This pouch matches a draw string bag I made not too long ago. 


The pattern I followed is on www.craftsy.com and is called "The Night Before School Starts Pencil Case". I struggled a bit with the zipper. I think this may have been the first zipper I've sewn in since 1986. Seriously. 

This pouch is pretty small. It would easily made larger for more storage. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Knitting Project Bags


Snoopy lined with red batik fabric. 



Barnyard fabric with a peachy yellow lining. 



Knitting Sheep lined with a great red print. Looks as if there is white yarn all over the red fabric. 



I've been sewing up a storm. I am enjoying making these drawstring bags. They are great for storing small knitting projects such as socks and hats. I am experimenting with various lining materials to give the bags a little structure. So far I've used quilt batting, featherweight iron on interfacing, and medium weight iron on interfacing. Personally the bag I like best is a bag I made with no extra lining material. 

Here it is.   


This one is lined with a pretty blue batik fabric. 

I especially like how the bottom of this bag turned out. 



Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rainbow Fish Socks



This is what I am focusing on this week. 
Previously I was calling this project my "Funfetti Socks". I thought the yarn looked like Funfetti Cake. 



Now I am calling these socks my "Rainbow Fish" socks. The colors remind me of the illustrations in a children's book. 


I found a tutorial on line the other day. I used this technique and it really helped prevent holes in the gusset, which seems to frequently be a problem. Here is the video link: