Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Always trust the math

Thinking that I finally had the 'star' down that would make me happy on this Lonestar sweater, I was beginning to second guess my 'math abilities' once more. Now, I KNOW that I hated high school math. ULG. That was sheer torture to my teen aged brain. Years later as I was driving my middle daughter down the street in front of her high school, and we were listening to my then 'new' Jimmy Buffet CD, the song 'I Hate Math' came on. I thought I'd died and gone to math-hater's heaven! That song had us cracking up the whole trip home! Fabulous, I thought, I've discovered my 'anthem'!

Getting to this point of the sweater once more, the star was falling into place, but the counts on the side of the star were off. Not to matter, I just marked up my notes once more. Good thing, I thought, that I'd not written my notes in public yet-clearly math was my nemesis once more and I didn't want to put bad math skills out in the open...(ya..cue music here)...What I've since learned over the past gazillion knitting years, is that if the math doesn't 'add up'...generally there is a reason. If your counts are off by one, and you haven't had any decreases...there's generally a problem-somewhere.

Have you found mine, yet?

Ya-all the way back to where I ripped out the first star...apparently I neglected to pick up one of the stitches. That sweater has been set aside in the time out bag while I settle down before ripping it out once again. I figure I need to be less 'math crazed' so I can count well enough to make sure I've picked up ALL of the stitches next time.

In the meantime I did what any yarn fanatic would do...

I started yet another project! Now that the 7 oz skeins are back on the shelves with a REAL WHITE color (as opposed to the icky-grey-yucky-wannabe white)...We are back in business. And since Syracuse daughter has a friend who is awaiting the birth of her first child, I picked up my 'h' hook and started in on Lion Brand's Crayon Ripple Throw. Then...

I stopped at the local nursery for the first time in YEARS...and thought I'd pick up a few plants and see if we can outsmart the gophers this summer. Time will tell. The day I went into labor with my middle daughter, I had planted a whole row of tomato plants. Before I was finished so I could head off to the delivery room, you could hear and then watch..."chomp chomp chomp...woosh!" as the gophers were eating and pulling the plants underground. Just like in the cartoons! ulg. Enough to make your head hurt.

Today, the blanket is now one repeat of the white away from the top rainbow section. I'm going to go sit in the sunshine, and see how far I can get this afternoon.

Watch out Lonestar Sweater...your mess with my math days are numbered!

Enjoy your knitting, and pay attention to your Math. It always wins. dagnabit!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

still not happy...

I'm not happy with this 'star' call me Queen of Rippet these days..back to the drawing board.

In other news. Please extend Sympathies to Kay and her family after the passing of her husband last Saturday. I think I can safely say, the knit blogging world is in shock and sadness with the news. Love, hugs and prayers...sometimes, it's all I know to say.

Monday, April 20, 2009

paying attention will make a difference...

Ok, this isn't the best of the pictures that I've posted, but it will give you a bit of an idea of the pattern in the King Cole sweater. I would take more, but I'm debating on whether to finish the sweater as it, or frog it...why?

Because as I was putting on the last stitch holder at this point, I went to pull out the smaler tips of my needles to start the sleeves, and discovered I'd been using the 4.5mm tips rather than the 4.omm tips. I thought as I laid this sweater down like this, that it was looking a bit on the wide. side. ulg. What a pain. I'm going to measure it - later and see how much wider it turned out to be before making my decision. In the meantime I did what any other knitter would do....

I cast on for another baby sweater! This is the Lonestar sweater from P2Designs. I'm using Bernat Satin Sport weight yarn. The original pattern was worked up in Bernat Sox yarn. However, since I found this pattern several years ago, I've not been able to find the solid colors in the Sox. I have to say...this is feeling really soft! And I like the way it's working up. Certainly hope it will withstand repeated washings! This is the kind of sweater that should be passed around between family members. We'll see how this one turns out. Rather than sew on a felted star, I am going to knit in a star intarsia style. You can find the pattern here:

Friday, April 17, 2009

knitting along...

Yesterday I swung over to Michael's just to have a little look around. Like I really needed to, huh? But rumors have been heard about how they're going to re-do their whole yarn department so I thought ...what the heck...let's see what's going on. Well. I found a lot of their yarn on clearance. I picked up some 'grape' to start the preemie sized sweater that I showed you from the King Cole patterns.

It's written for King Cole DK weight, which I don't have. However, I thought I'd substitute this for it. Since this sweater is going to be sent to a charity, I'm not really worried about the gauge being spot on. If it's truly a preemie size, it'll head down to the Balboa NICU. If it's a bit larger, it's heading towards WRC in Texas. Both are AC4C projects this month.

I have finished 4 of the pattern repeats.

As per usual these days, I've connected all three parts and am knitting it from the bottom up with the 'edge' stitches being garter stitch to make seaming it easier later on.

I've had some questions about the pattern, so I was online today trying to find more information on where it might be found. This is King Cole pattern #2979 for DK & 4 Ply. It's called a Matinee Coat and Bonnet, knitted in either King Cole Baby DK or King Cole Baby 4 Ply. This is a new company to me. And it's sold through Cascade Yarns. You can see the whole catalogue of their patterns here: it's a pdf file, so give it a few moments to load up. Their picture looks better than my cropped down one here. I did email them earlier today, and the only answer I got back was to 'google search for it.' Sorry, it wasn't the answer I was hoping for, either. However, I'm thinking of going to my local stores that carry Cascade yarn, and bring in the list of all the patterns that I'm interested in, to see if they could get them for me. There were quite a few that I'd be happy to knit up. They're really cute, if you ask me.

Then, just about the time I was ready to leave, I thought I'd give the yarn racks one more look over...and look at what I found...

are you ready for this?

Do you KNOW what this is???????

Any ideas yet?

Here's the label information...

If I'm not mistaken, it's the WHITE-WHITE that's been long awaited! Back in the stores...well, unless I get there first! (haha....ha........) Sorry...but, 'tis my job to help you find what we're all looking for...after all, life is to short to knit up that ugly grey stuff! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

checking in from the upstate areas...

I'm checking in for a bit. It's been fun and busy around here. Before I left for my daughter's for the holiday, I managed to finish another camo beanie (Cathy's Beanies, size medium) for one of the AC4C groups in April. It's going to go down to the Balboa Hospital for the hospice program.

Then, while trying to remember where in tarnation I put my sweater pattern and wool that I'd picked up back in Bay City I think a year or so ago, I started pulling out bags of yarn, etc... from two closets. You know how one thing leads to another? Yep...well, one of the things I came across was this 'Christmas scarf' that I'd started several years ago. It's on a pair of (US) 3's (3.25mm) needles using 3 skeins of Regia Nations sock yarn! I made one out of the Navy/Maize for my Auntie N before starting this one. But never had a deadline to finish this one. So I've pulled this out and have it sitting next to my chair as a 'fill in' project. I'd like to get it out of the yarntainer and free up the needles. But then again, I'm in no hurry.

In the mean time, while re-organizing all of the stuff, I went to bring some things out to 'organize' them and what did I find? The sweater stuff I'd been looking for since Christmastime already 'organized'! I tell you, this is why I should never organize things at home. I can't find a bloomin' thing that way!

Here's where the sweater is today. I started it while on the plane to Cincinnati before taking a nap. Then worked on it after getting to my daughter's apartment. It certainly makes for an easy conversational opener! The flight attendant saw my casting on and had to take a look. Turns out she's a knitter herself! Can you imagine-her kids are 'tired' of too many hand knitted socks! (I didn't dare tell her of my recent saga!) It was fun to tell her about Hobby Lobby and AC Moore (she'd never heard of them!) and watch her reaction to the sweater.

The particulars of this sweater-it's Rusic Wool in denim and the "Florence" sweater from Ella Rae book 7 the Queenland collection. I'm knitting it bottom up as one piece. So you'll notice the stitch markers to denote the sides of the sweater and the cable sections. I've made the 'edge' stitches in garter stitch to make the mattress stitching up of the side seams easy-peasy when the time comes. And now it's taking a 'nap' while I go back and catch up on a few other things. Once I'd found it, I couldn't resist getting it on the needles!

I've made more wine charms and stitch makers for the Easter holiday/Spring time with beads I picked up from AC Moore and Jo-Ann's in Syracuse/Fayetteville areas. Too cute? I just wish I could have found some little bunny charms! Trust me, they were no where to be found....

The night before Easter, after mulling over my daughter's request for a 'cute apron' to wear while serving her guests...I stitched this up. Now, had I been home with the sewing machine, it would probably have been done in about 20 minutes. HOWEVER, daughter doesn't have a sewing machine, so I had to hand stitch the whole thing! It's See & Sew pattern B4585. Again, I've changed that, too. I double layered it for a reversible apron. Little Easter eggs on one side, solid pink on the other. I used gros grain ribbon rather than fabric ties on the side and the top. I'll be adding the pockets at a later time. I took me freakin' forever to back stitch all the way around this puppy, and I'd rather stitch the pockets with the sewing machine, thankyouverymuch. The hole in my finger tip will agree with that executive decision!

Now, check out these patterns I was able to pick up yesterday, while out shopping with my friend Norma! remember her? She's the fastest crocheter I've ever seen! And after her medical issues, she's doing GREAT!'s such a blast to see a friend who is looking SOOOOOOOOOOO healthy! I was so excited about seeing her, and shopping for all things yarny and pattern'y'...I plum forgot to get pictures of us! She's a fabulous yarn shopping guide! And I can't wait to see her again! Ahhhhhh....friends who knit/crochet/sew and can talk such topics...are a lot of fun!

But, back to the picture. Check out the center pattern-it's written for preemie, newborn, and I think 3-6 months size! Really cute? ya! And my needles are itching to get one of those cast on. If I can get the big pink blanket finished soon, I'd really like to make one in the Preemie send to Balboa NICU with the AC4C projects. For now, I'm going to post this and get back to my needles. I'm so enjoying that Rustic Wool...but I'm making myself finish the other things first. We won't talk about the 10 skeins of Easter Egged colored cotton balls I'd picked up and started with dishcloths the other day as well....But hey, I need a way to stop talking to the daughter while she's writing her last papers of the semester!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Here's hoping you found lots of laughter....

Some great food...

Maybe a surprise, or two along the way.....

But above it all...

Great friends and family to share it with!

Monday, April 6, 2009

*sigh* gauge really matters...

I'm so frustrated here! Can I get a Hallelujah from the choir somewhere? Here I was on out of my mind excited that I had figured out how to make socks that actually fit me! Check it out..I got one sock done, and while I was working on the 2nd sock...I'm wearing the first one out in the sun...heat biggie...I was stylin'...and prancing all over the my freakin' foot was on some sort of red carpet on premiere night.

And it doesn't stop there...I pull out the cell phone and snap some more to send off to my daughter. "Look at what your Mom can do!" I can hear her eyes rolling now..oh boy she's now adding socks to her obsession....

See the ankle there on the last shot? See how nice it looks, all prim and proper...and pretty...see how I learned from reading of so many other people..nope, no 2nd sock syndrome here, I tell you...I couldn't wait to test these puppies out! I was going to have SOCKS! I tell you.

I stayed up all night long until 4:03am to finish weaving in the last of the ends of the socks so I could wear those long awaited prized possessions. I laid down for a bit to take a nap in my socks, until 6:35am before taking pictures of my socks to send over the phone to show my daughter. After all, she's close to finals and working on her papers. It wouldn't be a 'good mommy' thing to have woken her up at 4am to show her my socks. After all, her friends are the knitters...not her. *sigh* I don't think she would have 'gotten' it.

Later on, I took a nap with the Birk's on with the socks (remember the whole reason I bought the Birk's? Ok, so I can't wear regular shoes, but Birk's are like what the COOL kids wear with their hand knitted socks. Right?) Now, those of you sly ones, will see the big project that I've been working on lately, which is why it's been so quiet in the posting department lately....but back to the saga here...[you DO know there's a saga here...right??????????? ya..cue the music...]
Because after 3 nights of wearing the socks at bedtime to keep my freezing tootsies warm...they look like this.....

Totally stretched out..and saggy...and it was only AFTER wearing them for a couple of days around the house...on carpet..NOT outside....that I measured the *&(**%&% gauge...the pattern said 26 sts for 4"/10 cm...what are mine? 20.

ya...20! freakin' stitches in the stockinette section. They stretched..and I never knit up a gauge swatch in the beginning.

So, I'm asking you all of you Kings and Queens of Sockdom...those Royalty of Knitted Wiseness...what did I do wrong? Was it not to gauge in the beginning, or did they just stretch that much! They started off looking so good, and fitting so snugly. Just the way I wanted them to. But then....ulg.

Back to the drawing board.

Maybe I'll never be a sock knitter.

Just don't tell my Mother. She's been buying me sock yarn so I could make myself some pretty socks. And she keeps asking me how they're coming along.

I went back to hat knitting today. I KNOW how to do that! Besides, AC4C is sending things down to the Naval Hospital this month in San Diego. That will fit someone.

No matter how crappy my socks turned out.