Spins A Good Yarn

Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

On With The Show!!!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted to this blog and I apologize to anyone who has been reading and has become frustrated with my non-bloginess. My life blew up last November and I’m still trying to find my place in this new world. My husband decided he didn’t want to be married to me anymore and the whole thing has left me quite unsettled, to say the least! I’m trying to move on and thought getting the blog going again would be a great place to start.

I’ve been knitting quite a lot. I joined a group on Ravelry which is titled the “Year-Long-Gift-Along” and I’ve been knitting gifts for Christmas as well as all the smaller ones that occur through out the year. Here are some of the gifts I’ve knitted so far:

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These socks were for Meagan’s birthday in March. The pattern was “Sailor’s Delight” from the book “2-at-a-time Socks” by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. The yarn was Misty Mountain Farm Jubilee in the Sandy Foam colorway. She really liked them and they were really fun to knit. I knitted them on dpn’s instead of one long needle, but I am going to try the one needle technique soon.

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I’d never knitted a lace shawl before and I always wanted to, so when I found this Calypso (be sure to scroll down) pattern at the Sewing and Quilting Expo in Cleveland, Ohio, this spring I had to buy it and make it. It used two skeins of Aussi Sock yarn in the colorway Faded Valentine. The colors remind me of melted chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream. I loved knitting this shawl and want to start on another one immediately. I made it for my mom for Mother’s Day. It fit her perfectly!

I have discovered that I LOVE knitting lace!!! I started the Icarus Shawl, but don’t have much knitted on it yet. I’m using Cherry Tree Hill Merino Lace in the “Old Rose” colorway and the yarn is knitting up into a lovely and very soft fabric. It is SOOO very nice!!!

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I’ve finished several smaller projects and have stashed them away in my “Christmas Box”. What a great idea to have gifts already knitted up and ready to give to someone if a present is needed in a hurry. Not to mention the less stress at Christmas when gifts are already knitted and all ready to be wrapped. I knitted a prayer shawl for my aunt who has lost two of her children in the last four years. I gave it to her for Mother’s Day because I knew she would be missing her sons a lot. She really liked it and uses it often. I want to knit up another one to have on hand for someone who may need it in the future. I like the idea of prayer shawls and think they are a real comfort to anyone who is going through a hard time.

I’ll leave you with a picture of two of my new little friends. Hope you enjoy!

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51 in 1001

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

I found a group on Ravelry which led me to this site, 101 To Do In 1001 Days. You are supposed to make a list of 101 things you want to accomplish in 1001 days (which is approximately 33 months). There is a great calculator which will figure out your ending date here. It started on January 1, 2008, but, as you can see, I’m a little behind! In fact a LOT behind, as I only have 51 items on my list. I found a new friend in Meagan’s knitting group in Mentor, Ohio, who also wants to do this, but doesn’t have 101 items either. So, we decided to mentor each other and do our lists even though we don’t have quite enough items. Any progress is great, I say. So here is my list:

Knitting Projects:
1. Finish Blue Sweater
2. Knit 1 pair of socks per month (2/33)
3. Knit 18 items from Ravelry queue (1/33)
4. Knit 12 charity projects (1/12)
5. Finish purple socks
6. Finish Fair Isle sweater
7. Sort knitting needles
8. Have all Christmas presents for 2008 knitted by December 15, 2008
9. Have all Christmas presents for 2009 knitted by December 15, 2009
10. Rip out sweater with three yarns held together and rewind yarn *Done 1-29-08*
11. Find patterns using knitted and felted sweaters
12. Record stash on Ravelry

Weaving Projects:
13. Finish 7’ shawl on loom *Done 1-29-08*
14. Weave second 7’ shawl
15. Weave 4’ shawl
16. Finish woven jacket with two 7’ and one 4’ shawl
17. Weave 20 minutes each day on tri-loom

Spinning
18. Spin 20 minutes each day on wheel or spindle

Health
19. Lose 15 pounds and keep it off
20. Make appointment for physical
21. Make appointment for mammogram
22. Make dentist appointment
23. Use hand cream every night before bed
24. Take vitamins and calcium each morning

Reading and Writing
25. Write blog post once a week (2/143)
26. Start and maintain a gratitude journal
27. Journal through Rebuilding book
28. Journal through Law of Attraction book
29. Read 1 non-fiction book each month (2/33)
30. Write thank you card if a gift is received
31. Answer emails the same day I receive them
32. Make a list of “5 Things To Do” each day and DO them
33. Make a list of “100 Things That Make Me Happy”

Music
34. Organize CD collection
35. Purge CD collection
36. Purge Itunes
37. Add new Cd’s to Itunes
38. Purchase two new movies from Itunes
39. Add new movies & music to IPod Video
40. Start playing flute again
41. Start playing whistle again

Household
42. Put loose recipies in black cookbook
43. Do “hanger thing” with clothes every 6 months (0/5)
44. Use reusable grocery bags every time I shop

Exploration
45. Take a dance class
46. Go hiking
47. Go camping
48. Go to the ocean
49. Learn to sell on ebay

Miscellaneous

50. Make 100 stitch markers (0/100)

51. Make 1 weavette square each month (0/33)

This is a great concept and I’ve already been working on some of the ongoing projects and I feel a sense of accomplishment already!

Here is a picture my friend Judy sent to me!
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Isn’t this a hoot!?!?!

A Tale of Two Scarves! And a Free Pattern!

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

My son wanted me to knit him a scarf. My 21-year-old son, who is very, very picky and just slightly opinionated! He wanted a scarf that was green, grey and cream with the stripes going the long way.

Okay, where to start… First, I found a yarn that he would think was suitable. Not wool, not scratchy and with dark colors. We had Kraemer’s Summit Hill at the shop where I worked and he didn’t have to know that it was superwash wool. It was not scratchy and the correct colors, so I cast on and knitted and knitted and knitted! On and on and on on small needles as it is a rather thin yarn! It was the neverending scarf, but finally it was done. Here it is:
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It was a lovely scarf and just the way he wanted it to look. Can you hear the “but” coming? It was too long!!! By about 2 feet! He didn’t want to wrap it around his neck, he just wanted it to hang on each side of his neck, on his coat. Couldn’t I just “fix” it? Rip it out and reknit it? Fix it!

Did I mention that this scarf was a gift for Christmas of 2006 and here it was almost Christmas of 2007 and he still wasn’t going to wear that “too long” scarf. I was secretly hoping he would just give in and wear the thing, but he has a long memory and started with the “can’t you just fix it” argument again. Guilt set in and I was determined to find an answer.

I could not bear to rip that neverending and oh, so nice scarf out, so I decided to make a second one. I found some Lamb’s Pride yarn in my stash and refigured the pattern for the different gauge and length and started off again. The yarns were a perfect match even though they were from totally different yarn companies and I was very pleased with the result:
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Here are the two scarves side by side:
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I am pretty happy with the second scarf. I figured the gauge just right and it was just the right length and I felt pretty smart. I thought I would post the pattern in case anyone else might like a lengthwise striped scarf that is not too long or too short so here you are:

Lengthwise Striped Scarf – 68″ x 5 1/2″

Lamb’s Pride Worsted Yarn ( 190 yards-4 oz.) , One skein each of Forest Green, Dark Gray and Cream

Gauge – 4 1/2 stitches per inch on #9 circular needle (I do knit rather tightly so check your own gauge)

Note: Slip first stitch of each row purlwise with yarn in front, then move yarn to back to continue knitting row. Also, it makes your edge neater if you change colors on the last stitch of previous row by knitting last stitch with new color.

Cast on 280 stitches loosely onto circular needle with Dark Gray. Knit 5 more rows with Dark Gray.

Knit 4 rows Cream.

Knit 6 rows Forest Green.

Knit 4 rows Cream.

Knit 6 rows Dark Gray.

Knit 4 rows Cream.

Knit 6 rows Forest Green.

Knit 4 rows Cream.

Knit 5 rows Dark Gray.

Bind off loosely with Dark Gray. Weave in all those pesky ends and then enjoy your scarf!

Christmas Presents I Received!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

I received some wonderful presents this year and thought I would share some of them with you. My daughter, Meagan, made me a beautiful scarf from the book 101 One-Skein Wonders.
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She used a mohair-linen blend by Louet in my favorite color green and I LOVE it!!!

She also made me a soft, cuddley and “oh so warm” fleece and flannel throw! Isn’t the doggie flannel just the cutest thing?!?!?!?
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My mom and dad gave me a Cobra GPS navigation system so I can get around without getting lost and I am so thankful for them! My mom also gave me these way-cool knitting notion bags! (Okay, they are really cosmetic bags, but they will be PERFECT for knitting notions and knitting projects and knitting….)
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I bought myself a super-cool present! Meagan and I LOVE watching the “Gilmore Girls” and were sad when the last season was over. I saw that a 7-Season Set had been produced that had the entire seven seasons and was supposed to look like a “Barbie Doll Case”. I was innocently looking around at the mall, when what jumped right into my hands but this little case! I HAD to get it and here it is!
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The cover opens up and has all the seven seasons in individual “booklets” on the right-hand side. The DVD’s are all pink and there are pictures of the characters on each booklet.
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There are two booklets in the set. One has an episode index with lots and lots of pictures and the other is a “Gilmorism” dictionary of sorts!
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It is SOOOOOOOOO fun!!!!!!!!

I received lots of other wonderful presents and am so thankful to everyone for thinking of me this Christmas season!

Christmas Knitting!

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Christmas came and went and all the presents were wrapped, unwrapped and enjoyed by their recipients! Here are some of the gifts that were knitted:

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This is the sweater that I knitted for my mom. The yarn was Silky Wool and I used a #5 Harmony circular needle from Knit Picks. I used a “pattern suggestion” from the book “The Sweater Workshop” by Jacqueline Fee. You do a gauge swatch and determine the stitches per inch, then using measurements from the intended wearer, you work off percentages of a key number which is the waist/high hip measurement x the stitches per inch number. I had never done anything like this before and was a little nervous because I jumped right to the back of the book, skipping the basic sweater, basic cardigan and onto the V-Neck Cardigan. I was a little worried, but all went very well and (except for running out of buttons and almost not being able to get any more) the sweater turned out very nice and fit my mom just perfect. Like it was made for her, LOL!!! She knew about it as I kept having her try it on as I was knitting it. I will certainly knit another sweater or two or three using this wonderful book!!!

The underarm seam was joined using the kitchener stitch and was the last thing to be finished. It was not hard and looks great!
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I made two pair of socks for her birthday, also, which is in December. This first pair is made using Wendy Johnson’s toe-up feather and fan pattern and the yarn is from Ellen’s 1/2 pint farm. It is a blend of wool and tencel and is very soft. I had to knit the first cuff twice as it was too small the first time. GRRRR! This pattern was really fun and easy to knit!
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The second pair was knitted with Zitron Lifestyle yarn, toe up with a short row toe and using the slip-stitch heel with gusset pattern which was also written by Wendy Johnson. I got the yarn at the Summer Gallery at Chautauqua, NY, where I taught knitting this summer. Wonderful yarn!!!!
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I made Marcus a hat which spells out “H-A-T” in binary code. I used this pattern for the basic hat and charted out the three 8-unit letters of the code. I may make some more even though I used Red Heart yarn which was not my favorite to knit with. It did have the perfect colors, though! And it fit and he likes it, yay!!!!
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I gave Meagan a pair of socks from the 2007 Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Club. The colorway was “Monsoon” and she just loved them. I knitted them in February and saved them for her until Christmas. She was so happy!!! I forgot to take a picture of them. Sorry!!!

I made Meagan some little mini socks from the Keychain Sock Blocker Sock pattern by Debbie Jennings (purchased at the Loopy Ewe of course!). They turned out really cute and she just loved them, but neither one would fit on the mini sock blocker that comes with the kit. I have to seriously knit looser!!!!! Each one only took about an hour. Both pair were knitted using the leftovers from socks that I had made her as gifts before.
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It was a very sad and strange Christmas. My life will be changing forever soon and is a scary place to be right now. Time will tell what will happen and I am keeping my faith in God and am very thankful for all my friends and their wonderful support!

Here’s a picture of Meagan and Marcus’s little yorkie, Alyssa. She is always dressed up for the holidays in all her finery!
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I will leave you with a darling picture of my little dog, Tiffany. I had some Christmas stuffed animals “decorating” my bed and she just blended right in. She is SUCH a cutie and very photogenic!
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Quilting (still)!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

I used to quilt! A lot. For years. I even worked at the Calico Cat quilt shop and taught quilting. I did bed quilts, lap quilts, baby quilts, miniature quilts and wall quilts. I did piecing, paper piecing and needle-turned applique (I really liked the applique). Then I started knitting. And knitting and knitting and knitting and spinning. Did I mention the knitting?!?!? I tend to become slightly compulsive with my hobbies in case you were wondering.

Anyway, I have a wonderful Bernina Virtuosa 155 sewing machine that makes quilting like play. It is a great machine and is so reliable. I have two friends who I still do machine quilting for. I am their own personal quilter! They have grandsons who are the same age and they like to make identical projects and then I get to quilt them.

Here are some of the quilts I’ve done for them recently.

This one is a baby quilt for Nancy. I did a medium stipple over the whole quilt. It is so cute!
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Both Bev and Nancy made a wall hanging out of this cute panel with borders. I stitched all the borders around the blocks and then did the outer borders. After Christmas, I think they are going to have me embellish them with beads, buttons and cute little hearts and bells, etc.
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This is a lovely throw that Bev made. It’s also quilted with a medium stipple.
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Bev made this beautiful quilt using panels and piecing around them. Notice the little “helper”! Here’s the front:
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And the back!
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Bev made this wallhanging with many, many little tiny pieces!
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And last but not least, Nancy made up this baby quilt with panels and strips.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip into my “quilting” life!

Now, back to the knitting!!!

Clapotis Finished!

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted! I’m sorry to anyone who has been checking this blog. I hope you haven’t given up on me! I visited my daughter, Meagan, in Cleveland for a week and I am still trying to get caught up! She has some great, new recipies on her blog, so go check them out!

I finally finished my Clapotis. I really like how it came out. The yarn is very soft and squishy, just perfect for wrapping up in. I used Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed and would recommend it to anyone who wants a lovely Clapotis. I think I used around 10 balls altogether. I took pictures of my friend, Joyce, wearing it. She is the perfect person to use as a model. Tall and thin and pretty! She even got all dressed up when I asked if I could take a picture of her wearing it. I didn’t even have to ask! She is a real GEM!!! Here are the pictures I took of her:

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Joyce really lives in our little town of Lakewood, but you would never know it. Isn’t her back yard pretty? We have our spinning meetings there all the time and sit out under the tree and just enjoy a “little bit of country in the city”! Thanks Joyce for being such a great friend!!!

I’ve got lots and lots of great stuff to blog about, so come back tomorrow while I try to get caught up. I promise I’ve got some fun photos for you!

See you tomorrow!

Ravelry: Spinsagoodyarn

Little Tiny Doggies

Friday, October 12th, 2007

As you can tell from my website and former blog-posts, I do love those little, white doggies. Check out these favorite pictures of my wee little ones!

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Here’s Mandie!

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And Tiffany!

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And last but not least, Dustin!

Now, I have a special treat. Here is a cutie, little doggie that I knitted from the Simply Knitting magazine, Issue 19, September.

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You see, she has her own doggie bed, blankie, three balls for playing fetch and a special rope bone.

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She was really fun to knit. I knitted her with Classic Elite Lush which is 50% wool and 50% angora so she is very, very soft. She has a little white scottie button on the back of her little hand-dyed alpaca sweater, too! Her blankie is made from some leftover Twisted Sister cotton yarn. The little “fetch” balls were felted to make them nice and sturdy.

The really funny thing is that I knitted this whole bunch of stuff at a QUILTING retreat!!!!!

Alpaca Yarn and the Apple Festival

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Last Sunday, Dan and I went to the annual Apple Festival that is held in Busti, New York. We got there just as it opened and the fields that they use for parking were already full. It was a beautiful day and there were lots of food and craft vendors, and lots and lots of people. We bought some maple syrup candy, cinnamon almonds and, of course, some apples! There were demonstrations of old time crafts like butter-making, log hewing, corn grinding and leather tooling. Everything was very interesting to watch.

Kat and Jen from the Waterways Knitting Guild were selling some items at their table and I scarfed up these little beauties, lickety split!!!
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Four (count them!) pairs of Fetching Fingerless mittens knitted by Kat! I couldn’t decide which ones to get, so I bought them all!!! What wonderful gifts these will make, although I will keep a pair (or two) for myself! Oh, how I do love fingerless mittens!

I also plied up the two bobbins of black alpaca roving that I spun last Saturday at the Y B Normal Farm.

It really filled up my Niddy Noddy.
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It was the first time I had spun any alpaca and I didn’t think it was any more difficult than wool or a wool blend to spin. I used a short draw technique and didn’t let any twist get past my thumb and finger into the fiber. It’s hard for me to spin very thick yarn, so I was pleased to get 227 yards out of 10.5 oz. to make a lovely worsted to aran weight yarn. I’ve been trying to spin what I want as far as thickness instead of having everything end up as sock-weight yarn!

Here’s how it looks in the skein:
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I think I’d like to make up a teddy bear of some sort with it. I don’t wear hats and there isn’t enough for a scarf, so a teddy bear would be perfect.

Clapotis Update and Weave-It Afghan

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I have been working right along on my Clapotis and have reached the 11th repeat in the straight section. I added two repeats in the increase section, so I will have to work two more repeats in the straight section before I can start on the decrease section. I want this shawl to be quite large, so I am guessing as to how big to make it since this is the first one I’ve knitted. You know how the first time you knit something, it is quite experimental. I am very happy with how it is looking!

Here’s a new photo:
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I received my Harmony needle set today from Knit Picks. I was hoping they would come today when I was home and not tomorrow when I’ll be working. I switched the Options tips for the Harmony tips (size 8’s) and started knitting away. They are very nice! Not too slippery, but very smooth. I HAD to knit several rows to get a good feel for them, you know! LOL!!! I tried to get a picture of the set, but the plastic case is very shiny with my flash. The needle tips are very pretty. I like how they look with the raspberry yarn I’m knitting with!

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I wrote all the sizes on pieces of paper and slipped them in the needle pockets so I’d know what size the needles were. I did this in my Options set, also. Might look a little primitive, but it works for me!

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I finished another 2 oz. of spindle spun sock yarn singles. I want to ply them, but am trying to hold off. I have another 4 oz. or so to spin. Lovely fiber!!! And a closer look of the Harmony needles just waiting for me.

Back in June, there were some garage sales on the street where my mom and dad live. We were selling some stuff, too, and I had to check out the other sales that were close by. At the house next door I found this beauty:
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It is made up entirely of 4″ Weave-It squares. There is a crocheted edging all the way around it, also. Some of the yarn is acrylic and some is wool. The wool squares felted after being washed so the blanket is a little wonky in certain places. I paid $3.00 for this blanket and it is one of my favorite things in the world. It is very large and smooshy. I use it ALL the time. I have some weave-it looms of my own and know how much time must have gone into this blanket. I am glad that I was given the opportunity to save it from being a dog bed and to appreciate the person who took so long to make it.

And to finish off this post, here is a picture of Tiffany!

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She is JUST that CUTE!!!!!