Thursday, January 31, 2008

We Bring You The Letter B

My first thought for the letter B was to choose our dog Bandit. She is a great companion - she loves to cuddle and gives great kisses. Bandit is a wonderful addition to our family. And she's always smiling.

I have also been very obsessed with making baby things lately. It must be because they are so small and come together quickly - baby things are fun to make. So between baby bibs and baby sweaters, I bring you my other B.

Baby bibs from the pattern in Bend the Rules Sewing.

A bunch of baby sweaters in different stages of development:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Where's the Coffee

There must be some sort of stomach bug going around and I was up quite a lot with my daughter last night. I think I'll be calling the doctor's office when they open as this has been going for for a while now. I really need this:

I haven't taken any pictures of my projects this week, but I should have another finished baby sweater soon. I love knitting with chunky yarn. Also, I have been doing some sewing from this book. I have been making assembly line bibs. I think anne's right about the little baby things - it's too easy to just keep going with them (By the way, did you see the cute baby socks she just finished writing a pattern for?).

I have quite a stash of fabric from my quilting days so I have plenty to play with - although that didn't stop me from buying more fabric to start this Amy Butler bag. It's fun to be doing some sewing again. A friend pointed me to the blue blog to check out this book - Girls' Best Book of Knitting, Sewing, and Embroidery. This looks like a fun book for my daughter and there might be some good projects for the Brownie troop.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Can anyone explain to me why when everything is going along great, there always comes that bump in the road?! I mean, why can't things just stay simple for a while - would that be too much to ask!! It's not really a major thing - just more of a major pain and something that will take up much of my energy and cause some stress for the next week or so. I need to have fun things to think of - like this:

Isn't this the cutest sweater - and such fun to knit!! I have enough leftovers that I think I will make a matching hat. Meanwhile, I started on another baby sweater in chunky Zealana which I had ordered from Twisted (Shannon talks about the yarn here). This yarn is a New Zealand wool/possum blend which is bringing back memories of my trip to New Zealand. I remember being told what a pest the possums were so I am glad their fiber is bring used for something so wonderful.
But, I got slightly distracted by making one of these.

It seems like it is a little larger than it should be so it's a good thing we have all those automatic short row buttonholes. I'm hoping this will serve two purposes - keep my head warm and avoid the dreaded hat hair. I used Noro Silk Garden on size 8's and would probably drop down to 7's if I used this yarn again.

The Ribby Cardi pieces have been blocked. This may not seem like such a big deal, but the fact that it is actually out of my closet after hiding in there for quite a long time - well, it's amazing. So, my goals for next week are to start sewing Ribby up. I am slowly coming to grips with the zipper. Thank you to all of you who offered comfort and advice.

I've also been playing with some embroidery.

I want to continue working on these embroidered dish towels since they will be a house warming gift for a friend. And I may even pull the sewing machine out since I've been on a bit of a fabric buying rampage lately.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What Fiber Are You?

Have you taken the quiz over at Potter Craft? You can find out what kind of fiber you are by answering a few questions. Just click here to check it out.

Here's what it says about mohair:
Mohair – A smooth, polished surface
“Mohair is warmer than wool, with larger, flatter scales that contribute to an overall silky-smooth appearance. The fiber absorbs dye readily and, thanks to that smooth surface, reflects it back brilliantly.” –The Knitter’s Book of Yarn
Mohairs are positive and confident. You always strive to make a good first impression because you are a proud person, and you care a good deal about what people think of you. You are careful with your words and are always tactful. You enjoy having a broad base of support and respect from those whom you come in contact. You attract this with your warm, sunny, and inquisitive personality.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Another Wednesday and the WIPs and FOs

I’m really enjoying this weekly prioritization of projects. As I commented to Anne, it has helped me to focus on what I need to do and instead of jumping around from one project to another and not really getting anything done, I have goals.

As you saw from my last post, Ariann is complete. I found some great buttons at a place I used to take sewing lessons. Apple Annie's has good quality fabrics and one of the best button collections I’ve seen around here. Of course, as I was nearing the end on Ariann, I will admit that my mind began to think about what sweater is next. I have a few ideas which I will share in time, but the best idea is probably to get out the pieces of Ribby Cardi and continue on with that.

My daughter now has a new pair of fingerless mitts from this pattern of anne’s and she has already worn them to school. It has gotten so warm this week that we didn’t have to worry about freezing little fingers. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca sportweight and I think it is a great partner for this pattern. Alpaca is so soft and cozy.

And the Tulip baby cardigan is nearing completion – one cuff left to go and the finishing around the neck. It was a great idea to take breaks from the knitting and weave in the ends as I’d hate facing them all at once. So, this will be complete by next week if not today. For some odd reason, I have an irrational desire to finish this sweater exactly 2 weeks from the night I started it. Hmmm… we’ll see.

Now this leaves me to consider what is next.

I’m pulling out Ribby Cardi as I said above – the back, fronts and sleeves are complete and now need to be blocked. Then I better get to looking for a zipper – maybe ordering it online is the way to go since I’ve read of a few people doing that. Any suggestions or help with where to get the zipper and how to put it in will be appreciated. I'm a little worried about measuring to order the correct length for the zipper. When I was sewing clothes, we would always just shorten a too long zipper by cutting it and folding the top over while sewing it in - couldn't I just do that here also if I need to? Claudia has an excellent tutorial about putting in a zipper and I loved Julia's explanation of knitting in a facing.

I also want to start another baby sweater so that I have a few in my stash. It never hurts to be prepared and I have some yarn that I had ordered from Twisted to start another sweater. Shannon and Emily even sent along some buttons so I have everything I need. I think this should keep me busy until next week, don’t you?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A is for ...

I thought about several different things for my A post for the ABC Along. And then it hit me that the answer was right in front of me - Ariann. I was able to weave in the ends and find great buttons this weekend so now I have a completed sweater. Let me present my completed Ariann. First, the headless mirror shot:

And now a shot with one of my favorite dogs:

5 - 6 skeins (sorry, but I can't really remember the exact amount I used) of Cascade 220 in color number 8013. I made both the body and the arms longer than the pattern called for and also ended up making a larger size sleeve than the body size I made. The first sleeve I made seemed like it would be a little too snug and so I went up in size. I wore it to work today and am quite happy with my new sweater.

I'm hoping it will be a sweater that I pick up often although I may block it just slightly larger the next time I wash it. I'll decide that as I wear it more. This is my third completed item from one of Bonne Marie's patterns. They are well written and if you do happen to need help, all you need to do is send an email and she replies back quickly. I actually do have a fourth item from one of her patterns almost completed - a Ribby Cardi - but I've been stalled by the idea of putting in the zipper. 2008 will be the year that I conquer that fear!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Details

Yesterday was pictures, now for some details.

Ariann will be one of my goals for this week - now that I am home, I should be able to weave in the ends and hopefully look for buttons. I love the mitts I tested for anne and my daughter is requesting her second mitt, so I will also set that as another goal for this week. The Tulip baby cardigan will be worked on also - working the ends in as you go is really the thing to do if you hate being faced with all those ends after the knitting is complete. And those small sweaters knit up so quickly.

The fairisle hat that I showed yesterday was a Traditional Hat kit from Bea Ellis Knitwear. I had completed about a third of it and since I was looking for a gift for a friend, I grabbed it for the trip to NJ. It was easy and fun to finish and I remembered how much I enjoyed working the fairisle pattern. I think there will be more of those in 2008. As a matter of fact, my friend Connie and I are planning a stranded mitten project. We did socks together once and it is time for another project together. I have a Frostrosen mitten kit from Nordic Fibers somewhere in the stash which I must search for - it will be perfect for this.

Also, the baby mittens are thumbless mittens, not fingerless mitts as I wrote - I think I have those on the brain as I just bought the Hot Waffles pattern from anne. Remember - keep those hands warm.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

FOs and WIPs in Pictures

Ariann blocking

Finished hat

Fingerless mitts

Tulip baby cardigan

Fingerless mitts