Saturday, October 23, 2010

Market Bag

I did a little sewing this week.  Click HERE to check out my Market Bag.

My Knitting Corner

This is the view from my knitting corner.  The little space I have next to the window.  This is my view.  Pretty nice, huh?  The space between the window and my chair is where I stow projects in progress... I have a difficult time keeping it tidy since I usually have too many projects going at once. I've not been having a lot of time to knit this week; it's been rather crazy around here... to say the least.  My husband severely sprained his ankle playing tennis with our son.  This week, we've been to the Emergency Room, the Orthopaedic Specialist, a Physical Therapist, and then back to the Orthopaedic Specialist. My husband does so much around the house, so this week I've been busy helping him get around and taking care of his chores and mine... and tennis playing since our son misses his Pop for playing tennis.  Despite this, I started a scarf with beads and I made a cover for my husband's amazing foot brace/boot/walking contraption.  The boot reminds me of a snow ski boot with an open toe.  It's padded inside and has straps for adjustment and is rigid enough for support but allows for movement (walking).  It actually has an air bladder built inside it so he can pump it up for more support or release the air if it's too tight.  Here's a photo of the cover I made (he wanted the cover to keep it clean when he has to go out and about).  It has a zipper and a drawstring top.

A few shots of the beaded scarf...

On another note, our son had a football championship tournament on Monday.  His team was undefeated this season and they won the championship as well.  You can see the final score in the background... Home Team 40; Visitors 14!  It was a good end to our son's football career; next year, he's switching to tennis.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Operation Holiday Stocking

I have been wanting to find a charity knitting project.  I even recently bought some yarn to make baby hats, only to find the yarn I bought was the wrong kind.... contained some wool, not good for little babies.  On Ravelry the other day, I found a perfect match for me: Operation Holiday Stocking (OHS).  Click HERE for the link. 

A number of year's back, a lady named Sue started this project. You can read more about OHS on her project web page. It's a rather cute story, but long story short... this project is all about making little holiday stockings for soldiers serving in the United States Armed Forces. The stockings are filled with goodies and then shipped off.  Can you imagine the smiles this must put on the faces of the young men and women who can't be at home with their loved ones during the holidays?  I don't know about you, but my Christmas stocking (lovingly prepared by my mom each year), was just about the best thing about Christmas for me when I was growing up.  (Thanks, Mom!)

I made two stockings this past week using the pattern I found on the OHS webpage (see two photos above).  But if you know me, I can't follow patterns (just like I can't follow recipes) with out "tweaking" things a bit.  Don't get me wrong... the pattern on the webpage is great.  The stockings are made on straight needles. After you knit the cuff, you do a series of short rows which magically creates a heel. Amazing to see it develop before your eyes. Problem is... you have to SEW a blasted seam to finish up the stocking.  I was knitting nicely but sewing poorly, so I modified the pattern so I could knit on my favorite pair of double pointed needles.  My little stack of stockings is piling up.  Sue at OHS would like to receive stockings prior to November 24, 2010; they will fill the stockings and ship them over Thanksgiving.  I plan to make as many as possible between now and then, but am looking forward to working on this project throughout the year for 2011.

Some stockings with my "tweaked" pattern (with traditional heel and gusset and toe).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Socktoberfest...Jester Socks are Complete!

On Ravelry, October is "Socktoberfest".  They are encouraging folks to work on socks, finish up unfinished socks (the dreaded "second" sock!), and otherwise work on unfinished objects.  I finished my "Jester Socks".  The pattern is called RIBBED SOCKS FOR BIGGER FEET... a Susan B. Anderson pattern.
The yarn is from Knit Picks and the color is called "Jester Multi".  The colors in the yarn remind me of a juggling jester in a clown-like costume... you know, the goofy guy with the funny three-pronged hat.  What are those hats called anyway?  Jester hats?  I had good intentions of working on unfinished objects for the remainder of the month, but that did not last long.  I cast on a sweater last night.  More on that another day...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chestnut Cable Cardigan is COMPLETE...FINALLY!!!!

While it's a nice big accomplishment to finish a big project, such as a sweater, it's also a big ol' relief.  After all that work you are thinking to yourself... do you like it? does it fit? is it what you hoped for? I am pretty happy with my Chestnut Cable Cardigan.  I got to wear my sweater to my Thursday knitting group; it was bit hot out for that, according to my husband, but that did not disuade me! Hee, hee.  It was still kind of hot out when we went to our son's football game, but I knew we'd be in the shade and the sun would be going down.  The game ran so long they actually had to turn the field lights on and I discovered my sweater is perfect for watching a football game on a beautiful autumn evening.
Lesson #1:

My sleeves could be a bit longer.  I discovered that when I got in the car and reached for the steering wheel!  Huh!?  Lesson learned: don't just look in the mirror when you are trying on a garment in progress.

Lesson #2:

When I knit the sweater, I knew I'd be going back and picking up and knitting stitches up and down the right and left fronts of the sweater. When making heels on socks, I've learned that if you slip one stitch at the beginning of each row, then there's a nice and obvious loop where you can easily pick up stitches.  I thought I'd "out smart" the pattern. At the beginning of each row, I slipped one stich.  When I went back to pick up and knit to add the ribbing edge, I ended up having only 1/2 as many stitches to pick up and knit.... if that makes sense.  I stewed about it for awhile and then decided to... pick up 1 stitch, cast on 1 stitch, pick up 1 stitch, cast on 1 stitch... all the way to have an appropriate number of stitches.  Phew! Problem solved.  Lesson learned:  Follow the instructions!  Don't think you are being clever and don't try out smart the pattern. Follow the instructions! Of course, if you are an experienced sweater knitter... you can wing it.  As for me, this is my FIRST adult sized sweater... I need to follow the instructions!

Lesson #3:

I made my button holes horizontal.  They are okay but not my favorite. I just sort of winged it. The bottom button hole was too big especially since the sweater tends pull toward the back. I made the button hole a bit smaller by closing it up with yarn and needle.  Do you like my buttons? I got them at my closing local yarn shop at 40% off.  Since I only used three buttons, it really wasn't a budget buster... even if I would have payed full price.  I LOVE my cool buttons. Lesson learned:  Cool buttons rock!  Don't scrimp on buttons; with all the work I put into this sweater, it deserved some nice buttons.

Lesson #4:

My mom has an awesome yarn stash. My mom allowed me to take this yarn home in my suitcase a few years back. Lion Brand "Wool-Ease" yarn in a heathered "chestnut" shade.  Thanks for the yarn, Mom!
Lesson learned:  Always listen to your Mom.  Mom's are very smart... especially if you have a mom who knits! 

Pattern source. 
If you'd like to see the pattern I used, click here to see the Lace Inset Cardi. If you look, you'll see I altered this pattern quite a lot.  See, I told you I am not good at following instructions!
The cable up and down the front is from "The Great American Aran Afghan" Book.
The cable on the sleeve is from the "The Great American Afghan" Book.