web spinning

To start my next project, grandma's shawl, first I had to ball the yarn. 2200 meters of it. That's like, over a mile of yarn I wound BY HAND. Yes, I'm insane. It took over 2 and a half hours. My arm was SO sore the next day. I totally need a ball winder.

I've started knitting this Cobweb shawl and so far I'm enjoying it. The yarn is a very very fine boucle type mohair/wool/nylon blend. I'm using my Denise Interchangable Needles, which work well because the tips are really pointy.


first lace

Yay! I finished my first ever lace piece. Isn't it purdy? It's the Branching out scarf on knitty. I used Fleece Artist Kasula (special purchase through a yarn co-op) colorway Mahogany. It's a DK weight 100% mohair, and I really liked knitting with it. And I LOVE the color, shiny rust and gold. It's scratchier than I thought it would be, and knitting with it left me covered in mohair, but it was softer and less fuzzy after I washed it. I used size US 9 wooden needles. Those worked well because I didn't have to worry so much about stitches slipping off the needles, but the ends were pretty blunt, so made some of the decreases challenging.

I knit this as a birthday present for Stacey, and since she turned 31, I did 31 repeats of the pattern. It took about a week for me to finish, knitting just a few hours each night. The key step of course was blocking it at the end. My dirty little secret is that I've never blocked anything ever before. Shhh. Don't tell anyone. I've mostly only made felted bags, soakers, longies, hats and booties before, so nothing really seemed to need it. This scarf definitely did, and it made such a difference.

Check out this "before blocking" photo. I knew I needed to cast on loosely, and originally I had planned on knitting with size 8 needles, so used a size 10.5 needle to cast on. But then I changed my mind and used the 9s, so you can see how the cast on edge pulled in. The blocking fixed that. You also just couldn't see the lacy pattern clearly until it was blocked. So now I'm a blocking convert, and I surely will do it more often. I wonder what happens to blocked items next time the item is washed. Does it go back to being all yucky?

My next project I've got going is a shawl for my grandmother. Started it a few days ago, it's looking okay, but it may end up being way too small because the yarn I'm using is a very very fine laceweight yarn. We'll see.


header pieces

I thought I'd start with the creations I've got up in the header right now.

This is a little felted bag I made in November 2005 as a Christmas gift for one of my many nieces. Knit in the round, with attached i-cord handles, I made it up as I went along. I used Peace Fleece Worsted Weight in Glastnost Gold, Moldova Burgundy, and Lena's Meadow, on 24" Ebony 8mm circular needles. I got the needles from Kalaidoscope Yarns and I love the current one I have, but the first one they sent me had a split in one of the needle points. KYarns was great, though, and sent me a new one as soon as they received the defective one back. The Peace Fleece felts well, but the mohair content (30%) leaves it really, really fuzzy. So I always have to spend a long time grooming the items once they're fully felted.

I recently knit this soaker for a friend who needed a heavy, overnight diaper cover for her toddler. It's the undersoaker from the Little Turtle Knits Flirty Skirty pattern. It turned out a bit big, probably because the yarn I used, a 100% merino wool (color: Lugano), is on the thicker side of worsted, rather than the light worsted the pattern calls for. This is the first time I used elastic for the waistband, instead of a drawstring. I liked the way it turned out, but I'll probaby just stick with drawstings in the future, because of the extra effort involved. I'm lazy like that.

Speaking of being lazy, this felted bag took way too much effort. I knew I wanted a lopsided purple star on it, since it was to be a gift for a friend who loves lopsided purple stars. Little did I know how much of a pain knitting a star would be because of all the color changes necessary. I've since learned that it would probably be a better idea to just knit the bag in the background color, and then embroider the star on it, but I've never embroidered before, so I could be wrong. The structure of the bag I based on this pattern, and I used Lamb's Pride Worsted leftover from knitting a My Little Companion felted bag. The Lamb's Pride also has mohair (15%) in it, so this bag neede a haircut after felting as well.

reason for being

I first learned to knit about 10 years ago. My then future mother-in-law taught me when I asked her as a way of breaking the ice at our first meeting. I started a sweater, but that was definitely too ambitious a first project, and I forgot about it half way through the back. I only really started again summer 2004 when we went to visit my MIL, this time with our 1 year old daughter. MIL refreshed my memory of knitting, and now I had someone cute and little to knit cute, little projects for.

Back home, as I started working on various knitting projects, I had no one here to help me when I had questions. So I went online, and found everything I ever needed to know. I've been able to review and purchase yarn, patterns and accessories. Lately, I've most enjoyed reading knitting blogs. I love seeing pictures of what people are knitting, seeing what yarn goes good with what patterns, reading what people think of specific fibers, yarns, needles and patterns, and getting helpful tips on all things knitting. So as a way to give back and hopefully help other knitters in the same way, I thought I'd start a blog, too.


first entry

I guess this is my first post. Hiya!