Knitting Paragon

KNITTING: to make a fabric by looping yarn together with special needles. PARAGON: a model of perfection or excellence.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fingerless Mitts

This is they...Sad but true, I have not gotten as far on these as I had hoped. I am knitting them at the same time so they will be the exact same length. A mock cable on the "right side" but a nice 2x2 rib for the flip side and that is nice too.

I have got hung up on increasing for the thumb gore. I decided I would do that in stockinette stitch but have still had trouble getting it right, ripped back several rows several times. A thought crossed my mind, I oculd just keep going with the mock cable rib pattern to the end and just sew up the sides and leave a thumb "hole." I know I will like the actual thumb knitted, so that is the plan as of tonight.

Started the new job. I am enjoying it so far but am very tired. Between the learning curve of new software, a somewhat of a new language (medical) and not sleeping well at night. Ugh. I am thankful to be working.

Here is a nice shot of the flip side. By the way, this is Lion Brand Wool Ease worsted that I had in the stash. It may not be the real thing, but it is nice and will be adequate for this test pattern.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mamma's gotta brand new....job

That's right. I begin working tomorrow and the boys go to daycare. We visited daycare today after preschool, to see what it is going to be like. They did not want to leave. I take that as a good thing. We have the Spidey lunch bags ready and waiting for the goods to be packed and carried joyfully in their roller-backpacks and be on their merry way.

As for me, I have to decide what to wear so my morning is less of a disaster. Typically, I don't sleep well before starting something new...other than sleeping very well about two hours before the ole' alarm. Yeah, that's fun.

No new knitting except for a Christmas stocking for Mistletoes I started and will finish frogging to rethink the project. I originally planned on knitting felted Christmas mittens to be hung by the fireplace with care, but decided there is not enough of the right colors of wool. As a result, I thought I would do a nice striped big sock and try putting the boys' initials via intarsia. Clearly, that was a bust. I have never been able to handle intarsia. Think I need to speak with an expert and get some serious help. I know there is a trick to twisting the colors when you change and not carrying the color too tightly, but those tricks escape me.

Well maybe now that mamma has a new job, mamma can buy some new wool for big felted mittens.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cooler weather

Oh thank goodness, it has cooled off! The boys this a.m. They look so much more grown up with new jeans, polos and new light-up shoes.

Then there is knitting. Here is the fingerless mitt I frogged and tried to upload yesterday. I began my own pattern of knitting mitts flat so both will be finished at the same time. For some unknown reason, I can never get ribbing to look right when I'm knitting in the round, unless I've been able to knit several rows. Maybe it was the coffee I drank, but the join looks crappy! After several tries doing several things, I gave up and went to flat knitting. I don't have a picture of those just yet, but will later. Off to school, yeah!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Happy birthday Matt

I nearly forgot that my brother-in-law's birthday is today. One month to the day from mine (give or take 20 years). Yes, my little Munk is another year older, a sophomore in college, and well over 6' tall.

Still being determined to upload a photo of my nearly finished fingerless mitt that I will promptly sit and frog, here is another try...

This dog will not give up without a fight. Will try again later!

Beautiful weather

Most of the week was rainy and crummy. The boys first day of school was foggy and ended up with rain and proceeded to finish their three-day week in puddles. Friday, we woke to sunshine and a nice breeze. We had to take advantage, of course and get out the bikes. We went for a cruise of the neighborhood twice on Friday. They loved it. And they only hit my ankles once each.

As for knitting. More could have been finished. But here is some progress and completion. The model for this shot is Boy B. He was willing to get his picture taken in a pink and purple hat. He is secure in his masculinity. Frankly, he has always liked pink and since purple is his mom's favorite color he likes that too! Boy A tried the hat on several times as I was progressing, but really did not want proof of said things.

The new project is the fingerless mitts, pattern here at Midnight Knitter. I decided to not do a ribbed cuff. I thought I would like the little roll that results from stockinette and I do. Except the whole mitt it is a bit tight. The pattern says it is for "average woman." Clearly, I am not your average woman. Duh, should have thought of that. Nevertheless, the pattern is clearly written, easy to work and all-in-all a fun knit. It will be fun to frog and fuss with too! All I have left is the 2 or 3 rows of the thumb. Sad to frog. Maybe I should knit the other and give them to the church charity auction. There's a thought.

I knitted this with yarn from my stash and size US 8 needles; the pattern calls for US 7, thought that would make enough difference in size. A Lion Brand Wool Ease that has been around for several years. DH has a cool rib scarf and I have a pair of mittens that mom knitted me (long before I knew how to knit anything exept long strips of fabric known as a scarf).

Okay, for some unknown reason, I am unable to upload a picture of the mitt. Is this fate or what?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mom knits too!

My mom came over last night to take her youngest child and her two grandsons out to dinner and shopping (DH has class). The boys chose Target and some glow-in-the-dark Spidey t-shirts were had! Mom brought me a dish cloth she knitted for our new kitchen. And it matches these perfectly.

Mom taught me to knit when I was about 10 or 12 and watched me flirt with it on and off for years. Always teaching having to remind me how to purl and bind off. She encouraged me to use her extra yarns (acrylic wonders!) to make squares for an afghan. I have a basket full of squares all knitted in garter stitch in an array of scary colors. It would be a bit more encouraging if the squares were nice, large squares, but they are small less than 4" square! Then, an idea came to me to knit double the size of the original and long scarf-like strips to connect and edge with. However, still those squares and strips are in the basket all unattached. But hey, I used up some of her acrylic stash! Here's da'lovely dish cloth.

These days mom says I knit way past her. That's the best compliment for a teacher. For the student to go beyond the teacher. I hope she thinks so too. I really don't knit any better than her. I think I'm just into it more.

Now for the boys. Here are their new Spidey t-shirts. We made it through the first week of school. They are off today and Monday. Back to the grind Tuesday and probably with these tees. (Mom will have to get them washed and ready!)

Boy A loves red. Boy B loves blue. Yin and Yang in the flesh.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hat progress

Here she is in all her glory. I am happy with this yarn and not sure why I have not knitted that little girl poncho I bought the yarn for. It is rather "snaggy." It tends to grab my not-really-all-that-dry fingers, but aside from that, it certainly is fleece-like once knitted. Maybe I will get to that poncho soon. Our darling little God daughter (DH has several, we have one together) would look cute in the poncho and her birthday is coming up next month. Hmmm...

There is about 2 or 3 inches to go before working the 3-needle bind off for Sprout, and should be completed by nightfall.

I did not cast on the second sock as planned and have not done anything with the Mistletoes KnitAlong either! Better get busy finishing cleaning the house so I can play!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Charity hat no. 2

I started this hat Sprout yesterday late afternoon thinking I would just whip right through to the finish line. Not so. The stars were not aligned for that. What they were aligned for was frog and repeat, frog and repeat. Finally, this morning, while the boys were at school, I got in a groove and this is where I am so far.

I have altered the pattern to suit me more (I know, not a big surprise). A 1x1 rib edge and a stockinette "body" instead of seed stitch. I am making the largest size (6/8 yrs), but started with 72 stitches for the ribbed and increased to 80 once I changed to the pink yarn. Because I do not have any aran weight yarn and am currently unemployed, the yarn is from my stash, it's TLC Amore, a worsted weight beauty, that once knitted up looks somewhat like a terry-cloth towel.

I did finally finish a shorty-sock this afternoon also. All I had left to do was graft the toe. A couple of obligatory shots of the sock.

So, as to avoid Second Sock syndrome, I will be casting on the twin by nightfall...even if no actual knitting will take place. My two most unfavorite parts of sock knitting is the casting on and then the grafting of the toe. I will say, this is the first time I have knit a sock with such a beautiful yarn. It's Lorna's Laces, Shepherd Sock and I am lovin' it. I chose to knit a shorty-sock so I would have enough of this pricey (for me) yarn to make a pair of fingerless mitts or a cute scarf. This sock took about half of a hank plus I have another in the stash.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The completed charity hat

Here it is in all it's glory. And another picture to show the beautiful decreases. It's a snug, snug fit on my smallest 4 1/2-year-old (Boy A) and therefore, think it will be a good fit for someone around 2-years-old.

Whoooohoooo! They are back in school!

Sure it is ceremonious; the boys going back to school, but I have to say, I am excited to have a good two hours to get something accomplished. Not sure what I may get accomplished, but something I'm sure. To perpetuate the saying, "they are growing so fast," they are, in fact, growing quickly. Time is flying by and I feel old but know that I am not. 'Course, it doesn't help that my birthday is looming in on me sooner than later.

Boy A was pretty quiet once he stepped into the classroom, but sat down to color (and stay inside the lines, of course) and Boy B was excited, but just as quickly as I could say, "look, it's Clifford" he turned scared and worried. Their new teacher gave them their name tags and as I started to say I would be back later to get them, Boy A said, "yeah...we love you too, mom" before I could say anything. Cute, cute stuff here. I hugged and kissed them (going to do this for as many years as possible) and practically ran out of the room so as to not distrub other children.

The cuteness will not stop here. They will be home in a few hours with tall tales of school today. I can not wait to see them!

I promised some knitting pictures and progress today too. Here goes:

Progress on the charity hat is nearly finished. This is an easy knit, but tough on my hands. Using size 6 with worsted weight is killin' me. Even though these babies are Addi Turbos! Anyway, there are a few rounds to do and weave in the ends to be finished.

In the meantime, I've got my next projects planned. For my next hat trick it is going to be this cutie (and free!) called, Sprout found at MagKnits. Finally a pair of fingerless mitts that I think I will enjoy making. Check out this freebie at Midnight Knitter

Have a great day and as a good friend of mine says, "choose your attitude!"

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 and I remember

Thinking back to 9/11/2001 I remember vividly what I was doing. It is like those stories my parent's generation spoke of when JFK was shot and killed. They remember specifics of their day. Not only where they were, but who they were with, what they were doing, eating or drinking. They remember. I remember.

Our boys are now 4 1/2. I was pregnant that September day. I was home on bed rest that I thought was ending within a day or so. My husband was home, by chance, it was his regular day off. We were watching our satellite shows that morning and my good friend called from her office wondering if I knew what was going on. They were thinking we were being bombed or something. We immediately turned the channel to a local station to watch in horror something we'd never seen before.

We watched the first tower go down not believing it was happening; then the second. Was that people jumping? This is a movie, right? War of the Worlds? What was happening. We watched the news anchors tear up and eventually, break down and cry. We were speechless. We were sickened and scared. Like many Americans we didn't want to watch, yet we could not turn off the horror. We wanted to know what was happening, but certainly did not want to believe it was happening to our families, friends and neighbors.

Now, five years later, it seems like a lifetime ago, yet still like it was yesterday. Time flies and life has a way of going on. I pray for those who lost their lives and for those of us left behind to miss them.

I have worked on knitting, but now that I have written the "9/11 and I remember," I will show you pictures tomorrow.

God Bless America and keep us safe from harm.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Photo for my profile

Charity hat and horses

My pattern, roly poly hat, is a simple one. I am deviating from the pattern, however, by making the "rolls" different sizes. Just changing from purling to knitting somewhere between four and six rows. When it's all finished, I'll measure it all and write down the pattern to share. So far, I can say I am using US 6 circular (16") and worsted weight. My hope is to fit a toddler to four- or five-year-old, but think it's going to be a bit smaller. For me, this is a good way to develop a pattern, since it's a hat for charity and really no one specifically in mind (it will surely fit someone) I can knit away and measure later. Love that.

Knitting in the round is such a cool thing too. You can put in only one stripe of color and always be on the right side. Love that too.

The boys are so looking forward to school beginning next week. Every day they ask if today is school. I'm looking forward to freeing up some time to concentrate on the job search.

We're running to my mom's today to help deal with the hay she just got and re-arrange the barn to fit this new hay. Ugh. I suppose the fresh air and hard work will do us all good. Plus, the boys can see Top'em.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mistletoes Knitalong

I've committed to my first knitalong ever, Mistletoes. Little scared, little intimidated and very nervous that I've bitten off more than I can chew. Can I finish the stocking-mitten (felted) in time? Will I have any progress to report each week? Time will tell. I am hoping that the knitalong will keep me accountable and my family of four will have new stocking-mittens to hang on Christmas Eve.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oh the possibilities

A skein of yarn can just bring you to your knees. If you have a love of this craft and a ball/skein/hank of yarn doesn't bring you to your knees, can you call yourself a knitter?

This isn't an expensive or even luxurious yarn, it's just chunky yarn. Some wool, some man-made stuff, but it certainly has possibilities. Let your mind wander and let it imagine those possibilities. I'm thinking cute circular purse, like the one in "One Skein" book. Or could it make a nice pair of fingerless mitts? What do you think?

hat for charity

This hat is one of hopefully many I'll be knitting for my mom's church auction. They annually hold an auction of donated items, of all sorts. Mom will knit matching mittens as I really don't enjoy knitting mittens and she can whip them up much faster!

This is my pattern that should fit a toddler-5 year old. I'll show my progress as I get along. Tomorrow it should have some more "stripes."

brother-in-law scarf

My brother-in-law, David, has been wanting a scarf for well over a year. While it certainly doesn't take me a year to knit a scarf, it has taken me that long to decide on a plain pattern. I wonder if I would make a decision quiker if it was a more interesting pattern. That is something to think about. Anyway, he's an accountant and the triple stripe might be steppin' out a bit. The tails all need weaving, but all-in-all will go to the recipient asap.