Saturday, April 28, 2012

3KCBWDAY6 :: Improving Your Skillset

"In knitting, steeking is a shortcut used to knit garments such as sweaters in the round without interruption for openings or sleeves until the end. After completing a tube, a straight line is cut along the center of a column of stitches, in order to make room for an opening or place to attach another piece. The steek itself is a bridge of extra stitches, in which the cut is made, and is usually 6-10 stitches wide. This technique was developed by the knitters of the Shetland archipelago and is particularly associated with Fair Isle sweaters, although it can be used for solid colors as well." Wikipedia

I mentioned in my hero post that Mary Scott Huff is a steeker. Steeking just seems so smart to me. You knit this fabulous fair isle sweater in a giant tube and then get out your scissors and cut it carefully and make something useful. This way all those carefully knit strands of yarn stay nice and neat and you don't have to fiddle with intarsia and all those awful bobbins. Also, knitting in the round is my favorite way to knit, no purling!

I have also seen it used by Susan B Anderson to add in buttons to a sweater that didn't call for it after she had already knit it up. Brilliant!

In the coming year I would like to bite the bullet and take scissors to my knitting. I don't have a pattern picked out yet, but I think it would be smart to start with something small, maybe something for Stomper. Here are a few that I like for him: green, vest, and yoked. I wish Mary lived closer so I could go to one of her classes!

Friday, April 27, 2012

3KCBWDAY5 :: Something Different

Tired of loosing your rock in the water?
Does your Mom tell you not to throw rocks?
Worry no longer, now introducing.. 

Knitted Rocks.

Just tie the string around your wrist and throw!
Your rock will never hurt anyone, will never wash away down the river.

Order your pattern today!
Just $50.00 plus shipping and handling.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

3KCBWDAY4 :: All Season Knitting

Summer Knitting vs Winter Knitting:
I knit all year long. Sometimes I start a project in winter that is for winter, but don't finish it until the summer, but I solider on. I do try to knit smaller things in the summer because we are constantly on the move and dragging along a big bag is cumbersome. I am not a sock knitter, so I tend to drag toys with me. My favorite toy to knit is the Nursery Baby Doll by TwinsKnit (links at bottom of post). It is fast and flexible. This summer I will be finishing up two different finger-less mitten projects, one for me and one for my sister. This winter I will be casting on a simple garter stitch afghan inspired by the yarn my grandmother left behind.




Nursery Baby  made into Bears, other clothes
Gauntlets (for the sister)
(Pink) Cow

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3KCBWDAY3 :: My Knitting Hero

I have two knitting hero's Susan B Anderson and Mary Scott Huff.

Susan is, in my opinion, the best toy knitter ever. Her patterns are innovative, creative, fun, and easy to knit up. Her most recent toy book: Spud and Chloe on the Farm is sitting on my night stand. I've read it several times. The patterns are so simple and straight forward I wonder why I don't see more toy knitters. 

Mary Scott Huff is a brilliant designer and master steek(er). Her fair isle knitting is extraordinary and intricate. It just blows my mind. If I could die and come back as a knitted object of hers, I'd probably return as her Queen Bee Sweater.

Both of these designers inspire me to pay more attention to details, keep my designs simple, and strive to challenge myself.

Monday, April 23, 2012

3KCBWDAY1 :: Color Lovers

At the prompting of this post prompt I went into my stash of yarn and pulled out every ball of yarn I had bought. Not balls I had inherited, but actually went to the store and website to buy. This is what I found.

Most of the yarn was purchased for gifts. These neutrals were used to make a cow (ravelry page) for my son.

These were used to make various hats for various people. Some of the hats were used in trade to purchase a photography shoot for my son. What a great use of yarn!

These I use in toy making. The greens were used to make a turtle for a baby shower recently and another ball of the gray is on my needles being made into a teddy bear.

I realized that I don't buy yarn for me. Most yarn I buy I buy for a purpose. I usually have a pattern in mind or a person in mind and buy for them. In fact I can count on one hand the things I have made for me: a hat and a pair of mittens. 

Jan 2010
Although the cow I made for Stomper I really wanted to make, but it's not technically mine. The only bits of yarn in the basket for me are some from a kit to for a mystery KAL, that I haven't knit. It will be a hat (ravelry page) once I get around to knitting it.

This beautiful yarn was going to be a sweater, but I lost interest in it I think because I had an infant in the house. 

Instead I made this out of it (ravelry page) and I hope to make the second one this summer. I hope I don't forget and use up the scrap yarn to make the top.

I tend to naturally gravitate to earth tones of green, blue, brown, and gray with maybe a pop of pink tossed in. This summer I hope to knit myself a new hat and a Christmas sock, I think I will treat myself and buy fresh new yarn for it! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Hat

This has just got to be the cutest hat ever, don't you think? Of course the cutest little boy is wearing it so that certainly helps. I made this hat at the beginning of the year after I failed at making him one for Christmas. Well, it wasn't a total failure. I managed to make a hat, just not one he could wear. I made this a bit big so that it would fit more than one year and as a result it falls down over his eyes. Luckily there is a handle to pull it back up again. 

I don't recall the needles I used, they were probably a 7 or an 8. I do remember what I did. I made a gauge swatch, measured the boys head, and figured out how many I would need in the end. I started with the ear flaps. I cast on 3 stitches and made an i-cord then increased in the middle several times over several rows until I had ten(ish) stitches on my needles. I then knit until they were a few inches and put it on a waste piece of yarn while I made the other. I then cast on between the two flaps a few more in the front than in the back.and cast on appropriately. I was going to add a moose afterwards, but the husband said it looked great with out one. The green part is supposed to be grass, water, then rolling hills. Then I was going to duplicate stitch in a moose standing in the water. 

I may write up the pattern if there is enough interest. So if you are interested, let me know!
Pattern is now available for downloading, click the link "download it here" to get your copy!

Download it here

Friday, April 20, 2012

{This Moment}

A single photo, no words, that capture a favorite moment from our week. Check with Amanda for more moments. Feel free to leave your own moment in the comments.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Eleanor Cardigan 2.0

I'm close to finishing the Eleanor Cardigan, not there yet, but close. I rewrote much of the pattern (which looks a lot like Evelyn I know) to make it easier to follow. I saw something from someone that said KISS--Keep It Simple Stupid so that is what I did. I do think I will change the edge and do a picked up edge rather than the one I have. In the lighter weight yarn (this yarn is sport) the Twisted Stitches (mock cable) is a little harder to see and I think I will add some space between the Twist and the Lace next time. Think that I will make a swatch though before I cast on. I am also going to buy some quality yarn at my LYS for the finished product.

I am proud to say that I figured out several sizes so far. 3, 6, 9, 12. That being said, the little model is almost 4 and she is wearing the 12 month size (it's a bit tight in the arms), which also fits a 12 month old (I tried it on a toddler) so there is quite a bit of give in the sport weight. I will probably adjust my sizes to be 3-6months, 6-12 moths, 2T with the sport weight because of the give of the finished sweater. I think that next time I will also knit it a little longer, maybe an inch.

Once finished the pattern will have two yarn choices: worsted or sport and two sleeve lengths/options. Plus photos of how to do the Twisted Stitch because I had to watch it on YouTube several times before I could figure it out.

I let the little girl pick out the buttons, the amount of buttons, and the thread to attach the buttons, because it is going home with her. She is very excited. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cleaning Smelts

Papa went smelting last night and since Stomper is too little to go, he thought that the little guy might enjoy some gutting. I'm not sure what Stomper thought they were for, but he had a good time scooping them up and throwing them back down.

Monday, April 16, 2012

While Mama's Been Sick

While Mama's been sick there's been a slight change in the air. A shifting of seasons, a feeling of change, a glimpse of growth. There has been warm sun where there once was a chilly gray sky and there has been a shedding of layers.

Outside the signs of spring are every where. I took a moment from my sickness to get a little sun and fresh air. Jason took me on a little walk (I over did it of course and then had to take a nap) into the woods for a bit of squirrel hunting. I took the camera to get some pictures of growing things. It was so nice to get out into the pines, to smell the air, to feel the sun; I am so glad that winter has passed.

I noticed that a little boy keeps changing and growing too. He has been practicing jumping, making counting sounds, picking up musical tunes, learning to wash his hands like a big kid, learning to annoy the big kids less, he swings on the big kid swings holding on with his little hands like a pro, he's an expert with a spoon too this toddler of mine. 

He looks taller, older, wiser to me. He still loves people and thinks he's the most hilarious thing in the world, except now he doesn't like to be held. He eats everything, as long as he can feed himself. He had liver (just a taste) and onions with Papa and Grandma and several sips of goat milk yesterday; and then he begged for more. At church Jason noticed that he "reads" to himself turning the pages of the book thoughtfully. The dog is beginning to trust him too, now that he's a bit calmer around it. Where did this little boy come from, was it while I was sick?

He spent several over nights at Mimi and Bumpa's house so that we could sleep, so that I wouldn't worry about him feeling neglected. Is that when he grew up? Now that I am out of my sickness fog he seems different to me, it's like he slipped from being an infant to a full blown toddler while I was ill. Or maybe, it took his absence from my life for me to see it?

I am enjoying each snuggle that he allows, each kiss, each book, each tug for me to follow, each new taste, each excitement he shares with me because I know that before I can blink he'll be Mr. Independent and  he won't think he needs his Mama. I am savoring it as long as he lets me. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Egg Hunt 2012

There it is, the first egg.

Carefully he picks it up,

And drops it in his bucket.
One down 227 to go!

Luckily at Mimi and Bumpa's house everyone hunts eggs.

Great Grandmas, Great Great Grandmas, Aunts, Uncles, Great Aunts, Mama and Papa too!

Tuckered out boy snuggling with his Bumpa.

Hope your Easter was full of family too!

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