Friday, November 30, 2007

Fiber Friday - TV Yarn

November is almost officially over, so I won't be flashing any more of my Noro stash at you for a while. Although I am still working on my Noro projects. The bag is almost finished being felted. I'll get it together and show you the shrinkage soon. The sweater is moving right along too. I'm into the second sleeve. But in between knitting, I've got to get some Christmas decorations up. We are staying home and having family over this year - a first for us. And at the end of my spinning class yesterday, the instructor gave us home work. I have to finish spinning some of the roving she gave us so we can try plying on a spindle next week.

But in the meantime, here is another yarn purchase from SAFF. This is TV yarn, aptly named since all the colors are named after TV shows. And of course it will eventually be knit in front of the TV. But I don't think that last bit had anything to do with the naming convention.

Yarn Details
Brand: White Oak Studio
Yarn Name: TV Sock Yarn
Color: True Grit
Content: 100% merino wool; Louet Gems Pearl
Skein Weight: 50 grams
Skein Length: 175 yards
Web Shop:
Notes: This was sold in a two skein set and it came with a matching sterling silver and Swarovski crystal stitch marker that I neglected to photograph.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Knitting Part is Finished

Well I've got the Noni Rather Large Carpet Bag knit and it is huge. As my husband says, "that is just ridiculous - what is that going to be an iPod holder". God - I hope it doesn't shrink that much. I'd be really upset that all I'm going to get out of this is an iPod cozy. But I'm crossing my fingers that in the end, it turns out to be a little bigger than an iPod.

See that expression on my face? That's why my husband doesn't take many pictures. He always ends up catching me with my eyes closed or some awful expression on my face. So usually I just don't ask him to take pictures.

I'm in the process of felting the bag now. I have washed the bag a couple times and have it drying on top of the washer to check when I get home from work. I think I'm going to go ahead and run it through a couple more times before calling it quits. I think it will turn out okay.

I'm hoping to get the whole thing felted and defuzzed this weekend. My mom will be here over Christmas and I plan on having her help me sew up a lining. I need to go ahead and order handles too. I'm thinking of finishing the top of the bag a little differently than the picture in the pattern. I'd like to use handles that can be thrown over my shoulder instead of the hand held acrylic type. I'm also thinking of adding a little flap that has a magnetic snap closure. I see the flap going from one side to the other on the outside of the bag instead of a snap on the inside.

These photos were from Thanksgiving and you can see we had good weather. We spent our time playing keep away with the Frisbee - that is Sherman's favorite game, watching movies, eating, and of course I knit. We had a great time.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fiber Friday - Silk Garden

I've realized that at least one portion of my stash could serve as a Noro salesman's sample case. I have amassed what seems like a crap load (translate = a lot) of Noro yarns Can you tell that when I started knitting and realized there were so many beautiful color combinations of Noro - I got a little excited and went a little overboard.

This is Silk Garden I have stashed away for a couple different projects. The nice red color has been put aside to knit Tilt from This is the third sweater I'd like to finish this winter. I'm not sure that I'll really get it done in time to wear it before spring, but you never know.

The other color is set aside to knit Halfobi by Ivete Tecedor. It's not really a sweater, more of a shrug. I think that this pattern will be much simpler than the other, but I love the colors just as much.

I'm really liking both colors together and have decided any and all leftovers from these two projects will be combined in a scarf. After putting these skeins together for photos; I've decided that I really like the combination.

Yarn Details
Brand: Noro
Yarn Name: Silk Garden
Color: #84 (red) and #245
Content: 45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lambs wool
Skein Weight: 100 grams
Skein Length: 100 meters

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Stitchin' Never Ends

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I decided to knit these two projects so close together. Both projects are just rounds and rounds of basic garter stitch. It's a little monotonous. The good news is that the carpet bag is nearing completion. It is turning out to be huge.

It doesn't really look like Kureyon to me any more. The striping seems a little bit lost. I do like the variegated color though and I imagine that I'll like it even more after the bag is felted. I'm expecting to finish the knitting of this bag over the Thanksgiving weekend coming up. I plan on spending a good part of the weekend knitting.

I'm hoping to get it finished so I can figure out lining and handles and get all the supplies so I can finish the bag up over my Christmas vacation. I'm going to have a couple weeks off work again. Plus my mom is coming to visit, so I'll have an expert seamstress in house!

I also got a little jump start on my Portland Sweater using the Noro Sakura. It's more of the same, just rounds and rounds of garter stitch. The good thing about this one is that I'm really excited about the colors and texture of the yarn all knit up. It is going to be an excellent light weight sweater, great for spring. It has such a different feel than the Kureyon I'm using for the bag. I'm hoping to make some more progress on this sweater this weekend

It's kind of nuts to be knitting this now. I knit a 100% worsted weight wool sweater in July; now I'm knitting this light weight sweater at the beginning of winter. Well, maybe I'll get myself straightened out eventually.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mistakes Don't Have to Be Bad

I started out with the intention of knitting Criminy Jickets' Ridges and Ribs socks. I liked the pattern because ribbing always seems to create a nice fit even if I have to slightly adjust the number of stitches in a round. And, I can easily pull out the stitch pattern and have it work okay with my current method of knitting socks.

So I began with a short row toe and glanced at the stitch pattern specifics and off I went. After a couple repeats of the pattern, I realized I was doing something wrong. See the little V-shaped column? That is supposed to a solid ridge line down the sock.

With a little help from Dave, I was able to see that I was actually slipping a stitch purl wise that the pattern calls for slipping knit wise. Slipping the stitch knit wise will cause it to tighten up and line up in a straight line. Slipping it purl wise leaves it a little loose and open to form the V's. I like how the V's look though. So my mistake has now been upgraded to a modification. I like it when that happens.

I also dropped the eye of partridge heel and opted for a much easier short row heel and straight shot up the leg. I love this pattern though and will definitely knit it again, both with or with out my lack of twist modification. The pattern does exactly as intended and makes a nice combination to work with hand painted yarn.

This is my first time actually knitting with Cherry Tree Hill yarn. I must really give it a big thumbs up, two snaps, and a twist. It was really a surprise to me how much I enjoyed knitting with this yarn. I mean it feels nice in the skein but I'm just surprised and how soft it knits up and just the overall look and feel of the finished project. I must thank my mom for this. She picked it up as a surprise at a local shop sale.

Project Info
Project: socks for me
Pattern: Ridges and Ribs by Criminy Jickets
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill; color - old rose
Needles: addi TURBO Lace Needles- US# 1
Stitches Around: 64
Notes: I knit these socks toe up using a short row toe and heel. The square pictured to the left is for my sock yarn afghan. I use leftover sock yarn to knit a square for each pair of super wash wool socks I make.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fall Arrives at Geddesburg

The autumn colors are finally at their peak in our area. I think all the hot dry weather we've had may have had an effect. But the weather was beautiful yesterday. The sun was out, the sky was clear, and the air was fresh and brisk. Even Sherman will venture out now. So yesterday we spent part of the day outside enjoying the fresh air.

These are some of the better photos I took yesterday. Fall is one of the prettier times around our house. I love all the orange and yellows of the turning leaves against the crisp blue sky.

I've been knitting too. I've been working on my carpet bag and I've started the first sleeve of the sakura sweater. I've also got some finished socks to show you tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fiber Friday - Silver Thaw

Another Noro yarn from my stash. This one is being held to make a cardigan sweater. I have no idea when I'll actually get started in this sweater - but it is sitting there paitently waiting. This yarn seems to have a lot of orange in it. I'm hoping that when it is knit up that some of the blue and purple will show up.

I actually have yarn for three sweaters sitting in the queue waiting to be started. The one last week, this one, and one I'll show you next week. All are scheduled to be made from Noro yarn. The good thing is I bought all of the yarn on sale. My goal is to get all three finished this winter.

Yarn Details
Brand: Noro
Yarn Name: Silver Thaw
Color: #5
Content: 50% wool, 25% angora, 25% nylon
Skein Weight: 100 grams
Yardage: 220 yards
Yarn Weight: worsted

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nifty New Knitting & Fiber Tools

I had been looking to expand my knitting needle selection and was considering buying some of interchangeable needles. Zonda brought some of her fabulous needle cases she makes specifically for interchangeable needles to SAFF. I couldn't resist and bought a case on the spot. I ordered the needles when I got home and now I've got needles to go into my cool new case. You can get your own case in Zonda's Etsy shop.

The needles fit nicely in the case and I have lots of room for expanding my collection. My original goal was to get some needles and long cables so I can knit my STR log cabin throw and keep the needles in the live stitches. So for this plan, I'd need a total of 4 size US 6 needles on 60" cables.

I usually use addi Turbos and didn't want to go that expense for needles I probably wouldn't use again - so I decided to go for the Knitpicks Harmony Interchangeable needles and ordered a few needles and cables. I ordered 4 60"cables not realizing that 2 cables come in each package. So now I have a total of 8 60" cables. I need to read a little more carefully before hitting the order button.

But my favorite new knitting toy is my spindle. I haven't done a lot with it yet. I did spin up a 2oz ball of unknown pink fiber that I got at SAFF. The picture above is my first spindle full. I've taken this off the spindle and it is waiting to be plied with the results of my second attempt - pictured below. I've thought about just tossing this out and starting fresh - but I figure I can make an attempt at plying anyway. I'll be sure and post the results.

I've been using the park and draft method while sitting in a chair. It is slow going, but I think my second attempt, while still fairly thick is at least a little consistent. I've ordered a book by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts about spinning on a high whorl spindle. I'm going to try plying this weekend and hopefully I'll have a chance to try spinning something else. If you've got a favorite book or website about spinning - please share. I'd like to read more.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Free to Good Home - Felted Mittens

After knitting my hat, I still had a couple skeins of Kureyon in color #95 leftover so I decided to knit a pair of mittens and I figured felted was the way to go. I'm not that fond of wearing Kureyon next to the skin, I find it too scratchy. So I though maybe I'd tolerate it better if it was felted.

Once I knitted the cuff on the first mitten, I realized that these would never really fit me if I went ahead and felted them. I went ahead anyway - I wanted to see how they turned out. I knit them using two strands of yarn and I was curious how they would felt. you can see them pre felting to the left.

They did come out okay - in my opinion they could use a couple more turns in the washing machine to get rid of the remaining stitch definition. But I did go ahead and stop since I'm not going to be wearing them anyway. As expected, the mittens turned out to be way to small for me.

So if you know someone you think these will fit; email me and I'll send them to you! the finished measurements are below. I want to get some more yarn to see about making a pair that will actually fit me.

Project Info
Project: Felted Mittens
Pattern: Fiber Trends - Snow Country Felt Mittens
Yarn: Noro Kureyon - color #95; 2 skeins plus leftovers from hat
Needles: addi TURBO - US# 11 (8 mm)
Pattern Size: Medium (Women's)
Pre-felting Measurements: 11" x 5"
Final Measurements: 8" x 3.5"
Notes: I knit these according to the instructions for the medium size - but they seem very small. I would knit these again. I like the patterns - it gives the mitten shape. The double strand created a very nice thick material. Next time I would use US 15's and knit a larger size. They were very quick to knit.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Fiber Friday - Sakura Sweater

In the spirit of Norovember, I'm going to try and highlight the Noro yarns that are currently in my stash for all the FIber Fridays that are in November. I'm thinking I have enough different yarns to show.

So, first up is Noro Sakura. I bought this yarn while it was on sale and ended up with three different colors of it in total. I used the pink color (#6) to make a dream swatch. I also have some blue (#1) stashed away that I'm going to use for Monika's Cherry Blossom Shawl and then I also have the color in these pictures, green (#5), that I'm going to use for a lightweight sweater.

I've even gone ahead and done up a guage swatch for my sweater. I am right on target accorfding to the pattern at 6 stitches per inch. The sweater will be the Portland Sweater pattern from Webs - it was design for one of their Vally Yarns. It seems like it will be vey easy to knit both sleeves and them pick up and knit the body. There will be no seaming at all.

Yarn Details
Brand: Noro
Yarn Name: Sakura
Color: #5
Fiber Content: 36% Rayon, 28% Polyester, 18% Nylon, 11% Silk,
Skein Weight: 40 grams
Yardage: 147 yards
Yarn Weight: DK

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Which Way Do I Go?

I've cast on for my next Noro project, but I've kind of reached a stand still. I've decided to knit a felted bag and I'm going to be using one of the Noni Carpet Bag patterns. I'm going to be knitting the largest size, The Rather Huge Carpet Bag.

The pattern calls for holding two stands of yarn together for a firmer fabric and I like that idea, especially since the bag is large. I'm going to knit this with some Kureyon (color #147) that was in my stash and now I'm trying to decide if I should match the colors of the two strands for knitting. I've knit several rows of the bag bottom to help me decide.

This first example was knit with the colors matching for both strands as close as possible. I like the way it came out and the stripes are easily discernible. I think it might be important to note that the individual stripes of color will not be as thick on the sides of the bag. There are a lot more stitches in a round as I knit the sides than there are on the bottom of the bag.

For this second example, I just randomly selected two skeins and held the strands together with no regards for matching the color of the strands. You can still see the stripes, but maybe the stripes aren't quite as prominent. I do like the way each color is variegated too. The overall color effect of this one does remind me of some old 70's shag carpet. But I kind of like that idea since it is a "carpet" bag.

If you have an opinion, I'd like to hear it. Maybe you don't see a big difference. My husband didn't. He first said that each sample had different colors in it. And while that is true, it isn't the difference that I was going for. I explained the differences and then he picked, but he really wasn't into at all. I don't know why I keep asking his opinion on stuff like this.

So maybe you can help me decide. What do you think? I'm leaning towards option two. I think the mixed colors might look really good together when felted. But I wonder if I will miss the regular stripes of Kureyon.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Jabba the Hat

Well - the hat kind of sinks in on itself when I sit it on the table but it does look better on my head I promise. When pulled onto my head, the hat resumes it's normal more familiar beehive like appearance.

This photo is a better likeness of what the hat looks like on. I did try and take a picture of me wearing the hat. But I couldn't get it right and I didn't want to take out a tripod and try to set the photo up properly. Instead, I found an old wooden spool and used it as a hat stand.

This project kicks off Norovember for me. I always like knitting with Noro. I was having trouble picking a project to start next and I ran across the post for Norovember. One of the reasons I love to knit with Noro is that I love to watch the color changes as I knit. I have plenty of Noro in my stash, so joining this knit along made sense.

When I started knitting the rounds of of knit and purl, I realized I have knit this type of hat before. It was for a much smaller head and the final outcome was a little different. But it is still basically the same type of hat.

I knit this for a co-worker a couple of years ago before I started blogging about my knitting. it was very easy and quick to do. the only down side was the little one only got to wear it once or twice before it was too small. I guess that is just the down side of knitting for little ones.

Now - off to start another Noro project.

Project Info
Project: Jabba the Hat
Pattern: Noro Hat by Saartje de Bruijn
Yarn: 1.5 skeins; Noro Kureyon; color: # 95
Needles: addi TURBO (Lace Needles)- US# 7 (4.5 mm)
Notes: I added an addition section of knit and purl rounds before starting the decreases. I wanted to make sure the hat was big enough to cover my ears. This turned out to be unnecessary.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fiber Friday - Mas Acero

I got this yarn while I was at SAFF. The Brooks Farm booth was great. They had several nice yarns and each yarn came in a good variety of colors. The one I ended up choosing feels very soft and seems like it will drape very well.

I'm planning on knitting a simple shrug with this yarn. I got the pattern while I was at SAFF too. I'm trying not to buy random yarn anymore. My goal is to have a pattern or project in mind when I buy something. I looked at my stash a last week and saw so many things that I want to knit. I'll never get to them if I keep buying all the new yarn I see.

I did decide to go ahead and get this because I had a specific project in mind and I could get this yarn at the local shop. I love the colors and the feel of it. I'm really looking forward to getting it all knitted up to wear.

Yarn Details
Brand: Brooks Farm Yarns
Yarn Name: Mas Acero
Fiber Content: 60% Super Wash Wool / 20% Silk / 20% Viscose
Skein Weight: 8 ounces
Yardage: 550 yards
Notes: 2 skeins; heathered look