Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Timeless Tuesday

I swear. This is the last one. Yes, another Kaffe Fassett sweater! Tumbling Blocks this time:

This was supposed to be for Rob's dad, Christmas 1998. However, between buying the house, getting a puppy...he didn't get it until April 1999! But I don't know what else I was working on in the mean time. I'm not a slow knitter. I know I was also doing scrapbooking, and supply teaching, but really...I should of had it finished before then, or at least have other things to show for that timeframe! (I'm sure there's probably hats or mitts). Again, this was knit with mostly acrylic worsted weight yarns, although the mottled diamonds were two strands of DK/sock yarns. I like the Tumbling Blocks idea, and I think I did a good job of separating yarns into light/medium/dark (the picture shows all the dark as being about the same colour, but there really are more than two different dark yarns!), but there's still something a little too bold about this sweater. Perhaps the blocks should have been a smaller scale? I'd definately do this one again as an afghan, although perhaps not the afghan in his book. Actually, many of his designs would make stunning afghans.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Where is my Book?

Please help :)
I linked to cmeknit.blogspot.com the other day as a link from someone else's site, and she happened to show a picture of a boy and man wearing balaclavas (called face helmets in the book). Huey had just said he wanted one! I KNEW I had that very book in my collection of older books. I could picture it in my mind. I searched. I found another equally outdated winter headwear book, but not this one: I KNOW I have it. Where is it? I don't loan books. I don't think I've made a hat from an actual pattern in quite a while. In cmeknit's post with the picture, I can make out that it uses Canadiana, which is great because I'll probably use Decor (even though I might not get the EXACT same results, LOL). For the man's, you cast on 104sts, but I can't see the boy's pattern.
If you have the pattern/book and are coming on Thursday to my soiree, please bring it! Or, if you're not coming, could you just tell me how many to cast on, and how many rows/inches until the mouth opening...and how many stitches to cast off for that...You know, just drop it into a casual conversation....Please?

Friday, November 24, 2006


The yarn in the picture of Megan under my machine...the bag of blues off to the left is from Headwater Wool, it's Gauja, I think about a fingering/DK range. Good value, 100% and 350m/395yd for $5. Supposively you can machine wash it on cold. Or felt it on hot. And it comes in several other thickness, so you can do interesting things. I hope to try dyeing this yarn after Christmas. The nicely wound ball connected to the knitting that Megan is holding is Plymouth Colourspun (bought in Georgetown). The colours in it range from yellow to red to green to blue. Very neat. The bag of green off to the right is the infamous Lion Brand "Alligator" that has been in the works since Aug 2004. Huey found that bag, recognized it and told me to get working again--put it in the half knit basket, he said!

A few minutes ago I heard a chorus of emergency vehicle sirens. We live near the ambulance station, so often hear that one, but there was more than just one. Now, a helicopter has gone over. It was white. The LifeFlight ones are mostly orange, a few are dark blue. White could be the CTV helicopter or a York/Toronto police helicopter. I'll have to watch the news tonight!

The thermometer outside says 10 C. Wow. A couple of really nice days! Was last weekend winter, and now we're back to spring? It's so hard to teach the kids about the seasons with weather like this!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Timeless Tuesday!

After the Icon sweater, things get a little fuzzy. The knitting too. I know I started a christening dress and a baby blanket in the spring of 98 for my niece Ally, born at the end of May. They were both made with Bernat Lollipop Sparkle, a baby weight. The christening dress was adapted from a toddler dress pattern in a library book. I still have the pattern, but I don't know what book it was. I did buttons on both shoulders as it seemed like it might be hard to get on/off. I think it was my first lace attempt, and I think it went pretty well considering the adjustments I had to make. I just wish I had used better yarn! A nice cotton or baby wool would have made it a true heirloom piece. As it was, it got worn by only my two nieces.

This is a picture of my cousin's daughter modeling the dress. She was too big for it by the time she had her christening. You can see the lace along the bottom. It's also around the arms and the neck. I've since used that edging on just about anything needing an edging. At the bottom were some eyelet rows that had pink ribbon laced through (it could be switch to blue for a boy, but it never happened), and a section of lace faggoting.
I used that lace faggoting and the same yarn to make a baby blanket for Ally. It didn't get done until Christmas. I have no idea what else I was knitting! No pictures, nothing. I know I did some baby outfits for "Guardian Angels", and probably some mitts/hats. Anyway, the blanket. The first one I designed! I used vertical panels of faggoting separated by a cable panel. I didn't know how huge lace could stretch, and I think I used needles too large, thinking that would make it lacier. It ended up being pretty big! That's Allie hiding behind it. I did the lace edging in pink.
I did a blanket for each of the 7 kids on that side of the family. Huey never liked his, and Megan's was made on the machine...and still has no edging (but we use it anyway). Each blanket was different, but they were all made using Bernat Lollipop Sparkle, except Megan's--it had been discontinued and I used a sportweight version instead.
Speaking of Megan and the machine, check out what I found under my knitting table today!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Finished Object!

Alert the media! I have finished something. And I mean finished as in I could put it on and wear it in public. Which I will tomorrow morning.

Socks, made on the LK150! I started these early in the new year, before mid-February when we put the house for sale. Then they got packed somewhere and I found them this fall. I was hoping to get them finished in Socktoberfest, but I would have had to try just a little bit harder. I was putting it off because I still had to seam the second sock.
First off...the recipe comes from here. I used the tutorial but did them from toe up--I was working with a finite amount of stash yarn--Schoeller-Esslinger Fortissimma 6 ply. I prefer the S-E Fortissimma 4 ply, and lighter weight socks, however, since I can't wear my regular shoes anymore thanks to a bunion, I think the thicker yarn will be better in my clog-ish shoes.
I notice on the toes that one edge starts a row sooner so it's more squarish on the other edge. Almost like a left and right sock. That's logical as they're done with short rows.

I'm not sure about the fit. I do think they should have been a couple stitches bigger, and the foot a few rows longer, but I find that the short row heel does not come up high enough on the back of my heel. If I was doing them by hand, I assume I could have used more than half the sts for the heel, but on the machine, you make it from one edge (which is along the side of the foot) to the half way point, and the toe is made the same way but on the other half of the sts. So the seam runs right up one side along the outer 'point' of the short row heel. On the sock on the left, it runs down the leg to the upper left corner of the dark grey heel, then down to the toe. So, you can't take more than half the sts. If you look at the link, you can see the sock in progress which explains it a LOT better, LOL. I'm wondering if on the top portion of the heel, could I do two short rows per every needle pulled out of work for part way across? Would it make the line where the short rows meet too bumpy? Or, I might put the sts on waste yarn and finish them by hand using the afterthought heel with decreases... I figure I could stretch it out better. Any other ideas?
I also was not keen about doing the ribbing on the machine, as I was new to it, and it was dark grey yarn in a dimly lit room. So I took them off the machine, did the seam, then did the ribbing in the round. I had less main yarn than expected (but enough for another round or two), and more dark grey than expected. They look a little out of balance. With the cuff folded down they look rather cute and will make good 'wear with shorts and sandals while camping' socks.

The seam is called a Bickford seam. I learned it from Marg Coe (of Omemee, Ontario) who is in various Yahoo machine knitting groups. It makes a pretty good flat seam. You can sort of see/feel the ridge on the right side, but really, you can't feel it on the inside. I did have some problems lining up the edges where the toe meets the foot and there's a bit of a bulge. But oh well, it's a first. Can you see it in the photos? On the outside one, it's about half way down, on the inside shot, it's about 1/3 of the way down. That's the first one I did. I couldn't find the original instructions, so she posted them again but they were written a little differently and I think I did it a little differently. But it's still acceptable!

Will I make socks on the machine again? I think so! I bought two balls of the self patterning type yarn at the K-W Knitter's Fair, and I've already done a swatch with one, but I think I'll need to do another when it's time to actually make it. There's another technique I want to try that seams them as you go. I think it's great for the plain (or self patterning yarns) socks. I don't know about lace...although I have done lace on the machine... However, I have a box full of Kroy 3 ply and I think that'll be a touch fine on the LK150. So....I'll just have to get more suitable yarns :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

So Cute!

The kids have been wild the past few days so today we dragged them out and drove them around hoping they'd fall asleep while we checked out parts of town we don't see anymore (why did the people who bought our old house take out the weeping crab apple tree? I wanted that for years, and finally got it two or three years before we moved!). Then we went to a park for about 10 minutes in the cold! Then I told Rob to stop at Zehr's so I could run in for something---possibly the last issue of Interweave Knits in town! Hee Hee.

These adorable booties are a free download! They only go up to 9 month size though :( But I do have the actually recommended yarn! And hey, Z....they're felted :) Maybe I could make Megan a pair of Fuzzy Feet. I saw that Robeez makes winter boots, but they're $35! I know the Fuzzy Feet wouldn't be winddproof like leather bootees, but if they were big enough, with a drawstring, they could go over her other shoes. Or maybe I should just get out the snowsuit with the snap on bootees :) We need something for babywearing in the winter.

There is a baby bootee book I really want, I think "50 Baby Bootees to Knit". I almost bought it at the K-W fair a few years ago--they had it for a great price...but you also had to buy a kit with it and I didn't have enough money left for the book and the kit. Oh well.

Back to the baby Santa hats!

Icon Update

I threw one sleeve of the Icon sweater into the wash, and it came out smelling MUCH nicer, and is also softer and drapeyer. So, now what to do with it? The front (or was it the back?) was ripped down past the neckline. I don't really feel like re-knitting it. I could make a pillow...but will I always look at it and think "That was once a great KF sweater..." and it doesn't go with our decor either. And what about all the other early projects? I wore the grey and white sweater yesterday, and the shape is hideous on me. It doesn't have a cosy feel, and I don't see much purpose of having it around, except for the good laugh of using hot glue on a knitted item.

I think after Timeless Tuesday I'm going to be AWOL for a bit so I can spend my computer time download the almost 200 pictures off the camera. It takes several minutes to do each picture! Then I want to update my Yahoo photo albums. I really want to get it done before Christmas so I can start fresh again in the new year!

I deleted a portion of this post, which was a chain email from my MIL about how your birthday indicates what kind of tree you are...so if the comments don't make sense, that's why :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Fancy a Ferrari?

Ever wanted your own Ferrari, but just don't have the cash? Knit your own! Holy smokes, LOL.

And, just for Theresa and Z I found the site for the new sock knitting machines! I had a great time last night! I was doing laundry today (gasp) and thought, "Hey, now that I have couches, we could have a felting party! And even have a dip in the hot tub!" But I don't know what to do with the kids, LOL. It might be fun to meet at different people's houses once in a while.

That's all, I'm going to download the photos of Megan smashing cupcake in her face :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A bit More on the Icon Sweater

Huey thought the sweater in the last post was a puzzle too. They're not as hard to make as they look actually. Because of the geometric nature of the ones I did, they flow very rhythmically and predictably. However, they do become much more dated looking than say, a traditional Fair Isle design. I'm hoping after Christmas to do some Fair Isle patterns, using this dyeing idea.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Timeless Tuesday

Yes, it's that time again. Timeless Tuesday. Perhaps it should also be known as "Progression of Fassett in Acrylics". This one is called "Icons" (or maybe "Icon").
I made it for Rob, before and after we got married...so 1997 to spring 1998. It was a busy time. Got Married, I moved to Bolton, a month later we moved to O'ville. Then it was Christmas, then the Ice Storm of Jan 98.
I liked the colour scheme of this project. I wanted the feeling of 'sea glass' (even though all my sea glass is really 'Lake Ontario glass'). Blues, greens, yellows, and some other colours for shock value. What I don't like is what I've mentioned before--the solidness of the acrylic colours compared to the tweedy/heathery colours used by Rowan.

The other problem is the gauge. It's knit at about 20st/4" which isn't too bad for most worsted acrylics. But with all the ends woven in, and some of the yarns being a little thicker, it has an overall unyeilding feel. Rob says it doesn't fit, but the problem isn't so much the actual measurements, it's the lack of flexibility in the plastic yarns. I did have it finished, and he did try it, but complained. So I took it apart. I was going to make the sleeves set in by knitting side panels to add on. I'm not sure why I had ripped the front back before the neck....perhaps I was going to make it bigger. I think the needles (long since stolen for another project) were 3.75mm. A little small, LOL.

It's been stored in a plastic box for almost 5 years, and it has a strange feel and smell now. Don't know if that's just dust, or the acrylic yarn's attempt at biodegrading.

I thought maybe I'd rip out the whole sweater and make a few little boy's sweaters in the Fassett style, then I saw the 'Tessellating Fish" afghan and thought maybe that would be a good use for all these small bobbins of yarn. But I've hesitated so long that I know that I must really not want to.

The picture of all the yarn...that Ziploc bag is labeled "Outlines". When I made the swatch, I took it apart, and measured the yarn needed for the outlines, and the yarns needed for the cross. I pre-made a bag full of these butterflies, for each size. I quickly ran into a problem with the outline. If I started the outline in the bottom corner, with the end of the yarn, I'd get to the next row and have the yarn for one side of the outline, but not the other side. So I found the middle of the butterfly, and started the bottom with that. Then, for the next row, there'd be one end of yarn for each edge of the outline, and no end to weave in :) However, when finishing a cross, there'd be the two outline yarns and the main yarn of one cross ending, and the same for the start of the next one up. Lots of ends in this puppy--which added to the inflexibility.

I still like the graphic design of this sweater. I like the colours. I don't like the yarns.
And can you believe it...there's still at least one more Fassett design to come? :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Round Blanket Disappointment

This is Heidi's Round Lace Tablecloth. I made a white version for Megan. This is the giant skein of Bernat Baby Soft DK that I bought at Listowel in the summer (I added pictures to that post awhile ago, including one of the giant skein).

Looks okay from the top view.

Not so from the side view. In fact, it's so bad, Blogger won't display the photo, despite saying it's been loaded! There is major poofing. Almost as if I did too many sections. I thought about taking out some sections, but the problems are more in the inner half of circle...the outer portions lay flat. So it's a problem of the short row design in relation to the row gauge of the yarn.
Oh my, things just went crazy and my photo appeared!
I think it might be improved by taking out a section or two, but then the outer edge might cup under like Megan's does.
So...keep? Or frog? Or partially dissect?

The original posting of this post included a story about a troll in a parenting group I'm in.  I've moved that part of the post to my other blog!  That's why the comments seem to be not related to this post :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Timeless Tuesday

Tomorrow is a special day, so Timeless Tuesday is happening today. And considering how long it took me to make the one post last week....

This is a hat I made for Rob. He asked for it :) It's one of two things I've made him that he wears. The other is a pair of tipless gloves. He asked for both things. The things I made for him of my own accord...the socks are in my drawer, the Kaffe Fassett sweater (yes, another one) is in little tiny balls in a Rubbermaid box.

I still had gauge issues. Most things I had made were made larger than the body part (ie--sweaters). I think I thought a hat would be the same way. It took several tries to get it near the right size. Later, when I knew more, I cut off the cuff and reknit it smaller, downwards. So it does some strange rippling when he wears it (but he does wear it!).
It's made of cheap acrylics. The purple variegated was a yarn I got when I was little and learned to knit!

I didn't know what was meant by pattern repeats. I got some of the stitch patterns from a book at the library. I didn't know you should plan things ahead, so that you didn't get to the end of the row and have half a star leftover. I didn't know you could add a stitch inbetween motifs to make the number of sts work out better. I think I learned that by the time I got to the Christmas trees. I didn't know about knitting in the round. I knew about mattress stitch, so I'm not sure why the seam is ugly. You don't want to see the weaving in of all the ends!

Even with all the faults, Rob's sister, Lou, commissioned me to make a few stocking caps for her to give as gifts. I used Patons Decor this time (which is why I have the huge bag of leftover balls) and knit them in the round.

The one on the left was for an adult man; the one on the right was one of two for two young sisters. I REALLY wish I had pictures of the finished hats. I added some motifs in the man's one to match his interests. I know there was a small band of Queen's flags, but I can't remember now if I did a band of planes, or a band of skiiers. It was a hard decision at the time. So Lou, if you're reading this...any chance of getting some pictures emailed to me...even just the one I made for you....please?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Yarn Tragedy!

That is my beloved yarn winder. The straight thing infront of it? A circular coiled (self adjusting) tension belt. Doesn't look circular? It was, moments before the photo :(
I bought this little treasure at an out-of-the-way yarn sale, May long weekend of 2004. For one dollar. Yup. I hadn't found much else at the sale, and I casually asked the woman if she happened to have a swift or a ball winder (she had had a yarn store long time ago). She sold it to me for $1 because the cord was wrapped in electrical tape (still is). I spent the rest of the weekend winding up all the odd balls in my stash :)
This is a close up of the label, in case anyone reading can tell me what it says, or when it might have been made.
Last night I went to Knit Night at the LYS. It was a small turnout (but there were some great suggestions to deal with hot coffee while driving, LOL). I spent the entire 2 hours wind one skein of lace weight yarn for a Flower Basket Shawl. I tried it on the shop's swift, and my electric ball winder, but the winder was too fast for the single ply fine yarn. So it was the back of a chair and my hands. There were a few minutes left, so I thought I'd get started on the knitting. You use two end together. Obviously, I wasn't about to start winding the second skein. So I tried the old trick of using both ends of the ball. I thought I had wound it loose enough, but when I pulled the inner end...it broke! I couldn't dig out the end from the middle, so I gave up and browsed the shop some more. I decided I would re-wind the ball on my ball winder today, so I could use both ends, and it would be a neat and tidy ball winder ball. Sob. I didn't get very far.

I'm not sure how I feel about the colour. It's almost the same colour as in the pattern in Interweave Knits. I kinda like yarns with a bit more shading, but this was cheap :) It will be my THursday night project.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Timeless Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday

I've been having a lot of trouble posting this week (particularly doing pictures--and what's a knitting blog without pictures!). I love the 'pot drawer' comments from earlier this week! There was no smoking in my university rez, so I don't think pot was the mood enhancer of choice for most...but booze...I think someone tried to tap into the plumbing once....)

OMG!!! I got a comment (the post with the lace baby blanket) from Bonne Marie of Chic Knits!!!! I'm so flabbergasted!! I had visited her blog and read about her giant Rowan jacket and her plea of what to do with it now. I left a comment about my own Kaffe Fassett cardigan dilemma, and my 'series' "Timeless Tuesday". She left me an email saying she loves the "Timeless Tuesday" idea (look for a button soon! OMG!!). Then I'm scanning my old entries when I checked in today, and there's a comment from her! I have enough yarn stashed away to make 3 Ribbi Cardigans, and a couple of CeCe's. And the newest pattern is also on my list now! I just haven't bought the patterns yet cause our computer is so old, I'm a little wary of downloading things, and the printer (NOT old), won't print in black. I think it needs a new print head. But we'll get that sorted out soon for certain now! OMG!!

Okay...a day late, but here it is:
Was it worth the wait? LOL. The green/blue ones should be a little brighter teal. Those are the six squares I made after getting the big Vogue Book of Knitting (the older one) from the library. I was going to make a bunch of those squares! I still did not know about gauge and stitch patterns.

I also--despite having the book right there--was inconsistent with the decreases I used. I'm not sure why I changed them. I'm also not sure why I thought yarn from the dollar store would make a good blanket.

In this square, something happened and the wrong side became the right side. That would be fine if it were a mobius, LOL.
So, I finally got them out last year, and crocheted around them. I tried to make each one become the same size by how much black border I added, but even that didn't work out. I had planned to take it to the OSPCA...surely a cat would enjoy it. Don't know why it's still here!

And a little bonus!
This is "Mosaic Vest" from Kaffe Fassett. It's pretty firm! Still knitting with worsted and getting a DK gauge! This was to use up yarn. The dark grey is from my grey and white sweater, the light blue is from the cat sweater, the pinks and greens are from the cardigan last week. Although some of the yarns are slightly heathered, it still doesn't have the look of the original (although on the display on my camera, it actually looked rather good). The back....I didn't want to take the time to do the colourwork, so I did the outlines in two shades of grey. Wasn't happy with it, but it got done. The stair stepped shoulders are cast off and grafted, the side seams were mattress stitched, the bands were hems with a turning ridge...so I really did start to improve my techniques with this one. The buttons are FIMO, made by me. A little too thick though.
The issue with this one (other than the flammability) is the fit. The shoulders are too wide. I don't know if it was a man's pattern, or a unisex pattern, or a victim of the '90s, but they are just too wide. And too much work to make narrower. I could almost wear this one in public...but the way the shoulders flare up at the outer edge reminds me of something...