Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fall Is Here!

So with Fall being officially upon us, I thought it would be really cute to knit up a couple of pumpkins for my family to decorate their homes with. This is my first pumpkin. He doesn't have a stem yet, but will have one tomorrow. This was really super easy to make & knitted up very quickly. The pattern is available for free here. I love experimenting with new things when it comes to knitting. And this is a really fun way to do it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Present

I started this scarf and hat set about a year ago. It was meant to be a birthday present for my husband last year. In between moving and a newborn baby the project got lost somewhere in my memory. I picked up the scarf again sometime this past February and finished it sometime later. (I can't remember). About two weeks ago I got into a knitting funk and didn't want to work on any of my projects, but I still wanted to knit. Suddenly, the fact that I still had to knit the hat to match David's scarf popped into my mind, and I got to work. The hat is my first ever completed hat.

I used Baby Alpaca Grande yarn by Plymouth Yarn, color number 679. The picture doesn't do justice to the color of this yarn; it is a beautiful deep emerald green with traces of blue. This yarn is luxuriously soft, and I loved working with it! I knitted the scarf on size 10.5 Ebony Lantern Moon needles, and the hat on size 10 Coconut Palm Lantern Moon needles. Both sets of needles were 14 inches long, which worked great for the hat, but was a bit too long for the scarf. The pattern is from Plymouth Yarn, No56, Peruvian Hat and Matching Scarf. I, however, knitted the hat without the earflaps.

Things I learned with this pattern/project:
How to make a cable

An Empty Box #1

I have finished my hat for Trystan. Now I will tell you again that guage swatching is IMPORTANT! In my great anticipation for starting a new type of project, I decided to forego the prescribed gauge swatch and just dive right in. Therefore, I ended up with a hat that fits my ten-month old daughter quite well! Haha! Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I have a partial skein left, so I may try to just make another hat using less stitches. I figured out that the pattern I am using is divisible by six, so maybe I will subtract one or two sets of six to make it fitting for a newborn baby. I don't want to buy smaller DPN, since my needle fund is kind of bankrupt at the moment. Here are some pictures of my all too unwilling model showing off my very first knit-in-the-round hat!

She's such a drama queen!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Welcome a New Knitter!

Last night my youngest sister, Elin & her husband came over to visit my daughter for her birthday. We chatted away & had a good time just in fellowship with one another.

While Elin was here, I suggested that maybe I teach her how to knit. (Rod had seen the socks I knitted for Luke & was wondering where his pair were.) So I thought no time better than the present for her to learn. And thankfully, she was willing to indulge her older, somewhat pushy sister!

I grabbed some scrap yarn & a pair of needles & off she went! I showed her how to do the cast on (which she got right away), the knit stitch (which she got right away) & the purl stitch (which she got right away)! I was really shocked at how quickly she caught on. She did a great job.

So we ran back downstairs to the "stash" so she could pick out some yarn she liked a little better than the scrap yarn that I had. She decided that she'd like to start simply & make a scarf (which I thought was a great idea). And by the time she left, she had done 10 rows! I was so impressed with her!

She called today to let me know of the current status of her knitting & I am proud to report that she finished one whole skein of yarn & wanted to know how to join on the 2nd skein!

P.S. - She got a new haircut yesterday. Doesn't it look fab???

Friday, September 19, 2008

Andrew's Blankie

I finally finished Andrew's baby blanket. It took me forever to find a pattern that I really liked. And while the basket weave isn't my favorite, it does the trick. It's more boyish than most of the other free patterns I was able to find.

This blanket was knitted on size 11 Lantern Moon Rosewood needles. It took approximately 8 skeins of yarn. I chose Patons Rumor yarn because it was so soft, however, it sheds little hairs everywhere as you're knitting with it. I love the color changes within the yarn. The yarn really makes a nice, soft, warm blanket. It came out larger than I realized. It always looked so small as I was knitting it & when I measured it today it came out to 40" wide x 6' long! So this will definitely be a blanket he can use for a long time!

I hope it will be something he will always keep & cuddle with - even long after he's married! Maybe he can pass it on to his children to come.

Box #4

Box number four is going to be a blanket for my friend Katherine's little boy. I found a neat pattern for a diagonally striped blanket. It's pretty simple, but I figured I would need something pretty simple since the yarn is already textured and has variegated colors. It would just be overkill to have an intricate pattern. I picked up some Lion Brand Homespun yarn in colors 399(Apple Green), 395(Meadow), 302(Colonial), and 335(Prairie). I am unsure, yet, of which size needles I will use. More than likeley they will be Lantern Moon circulars.

Box #3

Box number three contains my "Dollar-and-a-Half" sweater!! Yea! This is going to be an everyday, around-the-house sweater for me, however it will still be luxurious. I am using two different colors and types of yarn for this project. The main color is a suri merino yarn from Blue Sky Alpaca. It is 60% baby suri alpaca and 40% merino wool, and the color number is 419. It is a beautiful burgundy red. The second, more minor color is Blue Sky Alpaca's sports weight 100% baby alpaca yarn; its color number is 508, a medium grey. Both yarns are luxuriously soft, and I cannot wait to put this baby on. I am knitting this project on size 9 Lantern Moon Ebony circular needles. Things I have learned with this project so far:

How to PSSO
Gauge swatching is essential! (I did FIVE gauge swatches before I got the right needle size)

Box #2

In box number two we find a lovely little sweater being knit for my darling little girl! This is my first sweater project. I am knitting it on size 7 Addi Turbo circular needles. I have only knitted on Lantern Moon wooden needles (which I LOVE, by the way), so it took me a while to get used to the Addis. I began this project on size 5 needles when I realized I had done the gauge swatch in the wrong stitch. Erin encouraged me to redo the gauge swatch, which I eventually did and found out I had knitted a third of this sweater for nothing!

So, frog away I was slightly depressing starting all over again. However, I have past already what I had knitted with what I am knitting now. I am knitting both the back and front at the same time, and plan to do so with the sleeves as well. So far I am almost half way up on my body of the sweater. I am hoping to have it done in time to give to Emmaline as a Christmas present.

I am using Royal Llama Linen by Plymouth Yarn, which is a mixture of Fine Llama, Silk, and Linen. The color number is 1548. So far I have really enjoyed working with this yarn. My one and only complaint is that I have found burrs from the linen part of the yarn still in the yarn, however it has been pretty easy to pick out the few that I have encountered with out doing any damage to the structure of the yarn.

Box #1

In box number one I have my first ever douple-pointed needles (DPN) project!! I am so excited about this one. It was so intimidating and challenging that I was actually dying to try it. I had heard so many horror stories about gaps and loose knitting, so I thought, "Hmm...that sounds really difficult. I have to do it!" Most of the time I put off things like this because I am afraid, but I decided to grab the devil by the horns; I was surprised by how easy it is once I got the hang of it. Granted, though, that it is a really simple baby hat just knit in the stockinette stitch, but I am still proud of it and myself! This hat is for my friend Katherine's little boy who hopefully will be born on my birthday! I am knitting this hat on Lantern Moon Ebony DPN size 7, and the yarn is Sugar N' Cream color number 02214 Sunny Sky.

Things I have learned with this project:

How to pick up a dropped knit stitch (one of my stitches fell off the end of my DPN and I had to repair it. Not as hard as I expected)
How to knit in the round! Yea!

Yarn Stash

I am sure all of us knitters have a lot of yarn stashed somewhere that we have no earthly idea what we are going to do with it, but it looked so pretty, or soft, or neat that we just HAD to get it!! I started off stashing my yarns in a three tier rubbermaid container that is probably two and a half feet wide. It is now FULL!! (Gasp, Horror, the Shock of it all!) Upon having nowhere to place my newly purchased yarns, I decided I would separate my knitting yarns and projects from my crocheting yarns and projects. Off to the store I went and purchased a smaller container (at the time I wasn't really planning on going overboard. Haha, what a joke!) which would hold my needles and notions along with my yarns and patterns. This worked out until I finished my first ever knitting project. Then I became an unfortunate victim of the knitting bug; I got bit by it and have suffered from its malady ever since.

I now have five projects on the needle and needed somewhere to separately put all of my current projects. I hated having to open the drawers to my rubbermaid container, so I looked into a knitting basket. Upon finding some online, I realized I did not wish to pay that much for something like that, plus most of them had no way of closing. I have to protect my yarn from my two dogs who think they are cats. I can't tell you how many times I have come home, having left a skein or two out, and yarn is everywhere! So I decided to go to my local Hobby Lobby to see if I could find a cheap basket and some fabric to sew into it. And then I saw these:

They're perfect!!! And pretty. They close on their own, so I don't need to sew a fabric closure into them. Now I have somewhere to put my projects so they are not all over each other, AND it only cost me $20!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finished Socks

So here are the socks finally completed. I got the heel turned & the gusset stitches picked up as well as began working on the foot of the sock before I realized that my sock was too big & not correctly formed. Painfully, I frogged both of the socks in an effort to begin afresh & anew.

In the meantime, I asked around on Ravelry & was able to get some excellent guidance. I don't know where I'd be without that site! The people on there were a tremendous help.

After a few days of negotiating with myself on whether or not to start back up with the socks, I finally buckled under Luke's persistent begging. While they are by no means perfect or even pretty, they are done! I'm proud of myself for figuring it out & sticking with it. They were extremely stressful & I'm glad to have them off my queue of things to do. And now I can move on to other new things!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Day 2 - Socks

So here's what I've accomplished on Day 2. I've gotten the cuffs done!!! Well, almost. They are measuring 5 3/4" & they need to be 6". So maybe a row or two more & I should be ready to move on! I'm a bit nervous now because here comes the hard part! The cuff was surprisingly easier than I thought & I really enjoyed working on it. I love this yarn. It's so soft & nice & stretchy. Should make for super warm socks!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My First Pair of Socks

So, I never do the projects I say I'm going to do next. Seems to be my tendency to not be able to follow through with what I say. :-(

The Hubs has been begging me to make him a pair of socks. I have checked out countless books at the library in search of how to learn how to knit socks on two circulars. I found this really awesome book with great pictures & everything! So I decided to cast on with my yarn & make a pair of socks.

Well, I couldn't get past the casting on part. I got all my stitches cast & ready to go, but I just couldn't figure out how to knit in rows. Which end did I start with? Do I knit both sides with the same thread? Does a row go all the way around or is it just one side? I was so confused. So I decided to frog the socks & wait until I could take a class.

Desperate for his socks (he must really be dreading the winter cold!), the Hubs found a few videos on YouTube for me to watch on how to knit two socks on two circulars. Cat Bordhi's videos were especially helpful. Her way of describing this are a bit weird, but believe me, it will stick in your head! You'll never forget what you're supposed to do. :-)

As I was knitting a gift for someone else, the whole thing finally clicked in my head! I had renewed desire to make socks again! So last night I cast on for a pair of socks for the Hubs. My first pair of socks. It took me a while to get the stitches cast on & my yarn situated so it wouldn't get tangled all in itself. But I finally got it all worked out & was able to complete a few rows.

I'm using Patons Shetland Chunky yarn in Charcoal on size 8 circular needles. The pattern I'm using is called Chunky, Cozy Cotton Socks from the book "Knitting Circles Around Socks". Thankfully my library had it so I didn't have to buy the book, but I'm seriously contemplating it! (I'm a firm believer in getting things for free!) I'll post updates on my progress! I'm so excited & can't wait to see the finished project!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ode to a Darling Sister

As a new contributer to Peaches 'N Purls I would like to take the time to praise the original creator of this blog, my wonderful sister, Erin. I am so proud of you! Not just because of how you have taken off with knitting, but also because you are such an inspiration to me. You are a woman worth looking up to and emulating, pursuing your ideals and aspirations on being more Godly wife, mother, and woman over all. I am so impressed by how quickly you have picked up knitting and just gone with it, looking for new challenges, neat yarns, and the perfect needle! And I am so glad we can share getting giddy over a particularly scrumptious yarn, or neat pattern. I am just so excited that this is yet one more common bond between us!

On days when you are feeling down and out I hope you come back to read this and know how much I love you, and, again, how proud of you I am.