Saturday, November 28, 2009

Purr of Approval

The Chunky Log Cabin is done! And Pouncy has already given it her purr of approval... standing in the middle and kneading it with her paws (and claws) *gasp!* Actually she kept lying on it while I was knitting it. She looooooves the chunky yarn. The bed it's lying on is a queen size, so that should give you an idea of the finished size, though I haven't measured it. Started and finished in 15 days.... not bad! Thank you chunky yarn and giant needles.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Wool Boogaloo and other things, too

So I finally finished my sweater on Tuesday, November 10.
I think it turned out great. Unfortunately, I've put on a little weight since the last time I'd tried it on, and it fits considerably snugger than it did the previous times I tried it on, but I'm still really pleased with it and I wore it to work the next day anyway. The top-down instructions I took from: were really easy to follow... I didn't want to steek and make a cardigan, and I opted to start my ribbing just below the bust for maximum waist shaping, but there are many ways to knit this differently, so I'll definitely be using these instructions again... If I had worked on it every day I could have finished it in under 2 weeks, so it's a fairly quick knit, really, unless you have KADD (knitters' attention deficit disorder) like I do.

And now for something completely different... at the same parking lot sale where I bought the New Wool I used in this sweater (back in May), I bought a bunch of navy blue acrylic bulky yarn thinking I could use it as the base yarn in a boy baby blanket or something...I've tried knitting with it but I hated it on the needles recommended by the ball band. Well I decided to see just how quickly I could knit a log cabin using size 15 needles and bulky yarn.

The center bit is Lion WoolEase Thick and Quick in Cranberry, the next is the horrid navy yarn, the next is WET&Q in Butterscotch. Hopefully I can find enough contrasting bulky weight yarn around the house to break up the navy a bit, but I am going to alternate the navy in between any other colors I use, just to use up as much of this horrible yarn as possible. I cast on last night during Survivor and knit the center block as well as half the navy block. I knit the remainder of the Navy and all the butternscotch this evening... it's coming along pretty fast, maybe I can finish this weekend? *crosses fingers*

Finally, this past weekend I went to the fall parking lot sale for Fiesta/Ironstone Yarns. I didn't fill my hatchback like I did back in May, but I did find some fun stuff to play with for just a buck a skein, as well as some luxury yarns for  $4 per skein. So here's some gratuitous yarn sale pron...

as well as my sister and fellow-knitter Jan doing some major stash-building with me...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My So-called Crafty Life

Almost no knitting done this week on my sweater or anything else. I've had quite a bit of inflammation/pain in my left elbow (arthritis), and knitting aggravates it. Crochet doesn't seem to bother it, though, so I've been working on that a bit. I have so far learned single crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet. I had a spot of trouble with the treble crochet, but FINALLY got it learned last night. *yays!*

Before starting the double and treble lessons I started a throw using single crochet, but after about 4 rows I was so bored I ripped the whole thing out. So in addition to learning three crochet stitches, I have also learned that I absolutely cannot do a throw out of all single crochet, unless it has more complication to it with shaping or something. It's kind of odd really, because I don't seem to bothered as much by plain knitting. Weird, huh? Once I get through the rest ofthe CD rom I may tackle a pattern. Hopeully my elbow will feel better soon, though, because I REALLY want to finish my sweater!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not quite finished yet

Didn't get as much work done on Sweater #2 this weekend... I tried it on again and need to knit a bit more ribbing before casting off and starting the sleeves... I really loooooove how it is turning out, though. I know I've mentioned it, but I really do love it. I'm going to be so proud to wear this sweater, it's really turning out lovely.

On an additional crafty note, I picked up the Coats and Clark CD Rom "Crochet Made Easy"

this week at Joann's with my 50% off coupon. And it really IS made easy. I've tried from online tutorials and from books but nothing has clicked, I always did something wrong when attempting the second row of single crochet. Not this time. By jove I think I've got it! The Coats and Clark "Knitting Made Easy" CD Rom is how I learned to knit more than 6 years ago... it shows the camera angle directly down on the hands of the person demonstrating, so it's like looking down on your own hands. It just seems to be the way my brain needs to see it in order to understand, I guess. Anyway, I've got the single crochet down, so maybe later this week I'll delve into the next section of the cd... In a couple of hours I managed to crank out a rectangle of 6" x 10" using up the entire remnant of "I love this yarn"  and size K bamboo hook I was using for practice...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sweater #2 "New Wool Boogaloo" coming soon to a body known by you!

I predict that Sweater #2 will be finished by the end of this weekend... I transferred it onto contrasting yarn from the needle last night and tried it on, I still have another couple inches of ribbing on the waist, then just the sleeves and I'm done!  This has been a great pattern to use, and I will DEFINITELY use it again. Stephanie Japel I have just one thing to say to you..... mwah! While trying it on last night I decided I'm just going to knit a few inches on the sleeves and then about an inch or so of ribbing and be done with it. The sweater is quite warm and I prefer to wear wool over a cotton shirt, so I'm think long sleeves might not be the way to go. Oh, and I am still only on the second skein of yarn! Wow.

On a more frightening note... remember the parking lot sale in May when I bought all this lovely New Wool yarn? Um, yeah.... they are having another one the first weekend in November... I mean, I have to go... they might have stuff they didn't have last time... or cheaper than last time... But this time I am bringing less cash and NO credit card.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sweater #2 (New Wool Boogaloo)

My goal this month was to post more frequently, even if I didn't have a project finished... so here I am!

Currently contemplating 2 swaps... one is a bookmark swap (deadline to complete 3 bookmarks is Tuesday, yipes!) and a Halloween goody box swap.... deadline for that is Friday, so still time there... and only need to fill one box so that's cool too... if you've never done a swap I highly recommend it, as long as the person running the swap is someone you feel you can trust to run things well... both of these are being run by people I know will do a good and fair job organizing, so no worries there... the trouble is just getting the items made and/or packed... that trickster REAL LIFE has been getting in the way of any crafting other than knitting at the moment... so we'll see this week, I guess...

In my last post I mentioned I sweater I started knitting from Glampyre Knits:
Let me just say that I love, looooove, LOOOOOOOOOVE this pattern! It's more a guide than a pattern, really... for instance, I'm not doing a cardigan, I'm doing a pullover... and I'm going to be starting my ribbing soon (as soon as I get past my boobage an inch or so)... I just transferred it from needle to string today to try it on and so far it fits PERFECTLY........ PERFECTLY.  And it's super easy! And as for the Ironstone Yarns New Wool yarn I'm using...

 I love it, too... it's definitely not as bulky a yarn as the ball band indicates... I'm using a size 8 needle for the stockinette and size 6 for the ribbing and it looks perfect for the yarn... the ball band suggested a size 10! No way. At most this stuff is a heavy worsted, NOT bulky unless you use two strands together...  Oh, and get this... When I bought it I thought... "$1/skein? Well, I'm going to get a whole bag of 10 to keep it all in the same dye lot and make sure I have enough for a sweater"... Um, yeah, so I have 10 skeins, cast on with one strand at the neck and am already nearly to below my boobage and I AM STILL ON THE FIRST SKEIN. I think at the most this whole sweater will take 3 skeins, and that's only if I make the sleeves fairly long... what to do with all the rest of this luscious wool?  And to top it off since the price was so low I also have a bag of purple, a bag of lime green, and a bag of ivory in this same yarn... Guess I won't be needing any wool for a while... maybe I should start making hats to sell or something... or at least gifts for family in the colder parts of the country...

Friday, October 2, 2009

After the Brainiac

So Baby Brainiac took much of my life and crafty energy... so much that I didn't pick up needles for many days after it was packaged and gifted. Then I realized the time had come for the premiere of Survivor-Samoa (I am SUCH a Survivor addict!) and decided I needed a nice, uncomplicated "zen-knit" to work on... and dragged out my giant project back with my Scrappy Log Cabin that's been hibernating for months. I threw some new leftover yarn in the bag so I had even more to work with and got busy. It's the perfect TV project with all that garter stitch, and I can pick it up and put it down at will... I do have a bit of "knitters elbow" the morning after, but what's a little pain when the finished product will make me so happy, right?

So then at work they decided that in addition to my weekly timesheet I also have to punch a timeclock. Well, friends, that means definitely taking a lunch break, so I needed something a little more challenging (for me anyway) to work on during lunch. I wanted to knit a vest, but just couldn't find the right pattern for any yarn I have on hand. I started a wool version of the Pretty in Pink Tank (I did a cotton one for my very first sweater, too small for me, but looks great on my daughter) but then frogged... :(

Then I started a top down raglan using Stefanie Japel's pattern from Glampyre Knits . I'm not ready to steek and actually *gulp* CUT my handknits, so I'm doing a pullover instead. The yarn is yummy and knitting up very nicely. I should post a progress pic this weekend, shouldn't I? We'll see... And since I got the yarn at $1 per skein from the Fiesta/Ironstone Yarns parking lot sale, the price is right too... I might actually knit a sweater for less than a storebought one would cost! What a novel idea...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sewhooked Award

My Baby Brainiac just got featured on as a Sew Awesome Craft on  the Sewhooked Blog! I'm VERY flattered, even if the owner of sewhooked is my bff, she has very discerning taste when it come to crafts. ;)

The post is here:

thanks Jen, to me yours is the highest praise indeed!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baby Brainiac Blankie - the pattern!


  • Plenty of TIME
  • Size 8 circular needle at least 24 in. long (for weight distribution and knitting comfort only, you will NOT be knitting in the round)
  • Worsted weight yarn (for the smaller, two-color version shown finished here in black & white - for the larger version I sugges double the amounts of both colors to be on the safe side)
    • Color A: 650-700 yards
    • Color B: 450-500 yards
Note: Whenever you bind off and also when you turn the block to pick up your next batch of stitches always keep the “right side” of your work facing you. Your blanket will have a definite front and back, and you will see all the color joins on the back side. The front side will be clean & neat rectangles!
Block #1:
With one strand of A cast on 10 stitches using long tail method, leaving 4-6” tail. Turn work and knit back and forth until you have 11 garter ridges (ending on right side). Measure without stretching: block should be pretty much square (I got 3.25”x3.25”). Bind off loosely and cut yarn (A) leaving 4-6” tail.

Block #2:
Turn block one quarter-turn clockwise. With Color B pick up and knit 11 stitches along the side of Block #1 Turn your work and knit back and forth, ending on a front-side row when you have 10 garter ridges. Bind off loosely. Turn work quarter-turn clockwise (with the “right side: facing you).

Block #3:
Continuing with Color B pick up and knit 11 stitches along the side of Block #2 and 11 stitches along the edge of Block #1. You should now have a total of 22 stitches on your needle. Turn your work and knit back and forth, ending on a right side row when you have 10 garter ridges. Bind off loosely and turn work one quarter-turn clockwise.

Block #4:
Continuing with Color B pick up 11 stitches along Block #3 and then 11 more along Block #1. Turn work and knit back and forth, ending on the right side when you have 10 garter ridges, then bind off loosely. Turn clock-wise one quarter turn as with previous blocks.

Block #5:
Here’s where it gets slightly more complicated… Pick up 10 stitches along the edge of Block #4 with Color B then pick up 20 more stitches along the edge of Blocks 1 & 2 with Color A (I twist the Color B around Color A once to prevent a gap). You should now have 30 total stitches on your needle. Turn work and knit back and forth until you have 10 garter ridges (ending with right side facing you), working the Color B stitches with Color B and the Color A stitches with Color A. Make sure that you cross the two strands of yarn when changing from one color to the next to avoid gaps between the colors (guess what, you’re doing Intarsia!). Bind off loosely and rotate one quarter-turn clockwise as with previous blocks. You will only be knitting with the Color A now for a while, so you can go ahead and cut Color B leaving a 4-6” tail.

Block #6
Continuing with Color A only, pick up 10 stitches along the edge of Block #5 , then 20 stitches along Blocks 2 & 3 (30 total stitches). Turn work and knit back and forth until you have 10 garter ridges (ending with right side facing you). Bind off loosely and turn work to the right one quarter-turn.

Block #7:
Continuing with Color A only, pick up 10 stitches along the edge of Block #6, 20 stitches along the edge of Block #3, and 10 stitches along Block #4 (40 total stitches). Knit back and forth ending on a right side row when you have 10 complete garter ridges. Bind off loosely and turn work one quarter-turn clockwise.

Block #8:
Still using Color A pick up 10 stitches along the edge of Block #7 you just finished, then 20 stitches along Block #3, and 10 along Block #4 (40 total stitches on needle). Knit back and forth ending on a right side row when you have 10 complete garter ridges. Bind off loosely and turn work one quarter-turn clockwise.

Block #9:
In this block we return to two-color knitting (intarsia!) similar to what we did in Block #5. Still using Color A pick up 10 stitches along the edge of Block #8, then with Color B pick up 30 stitches along Block #5, and 10 stitches along Block #6 (total of 50 stitches on needle now). Turn work and knit back and forth until you have 10 garter ridges (ending with right side facing you), knitting with like colors together as in Block #5. Bind off loosely and turn work one quarter-turn clockwise. You will now only be knitting with Color B for a while, so you can go ahead and cut Color A leaving a 4-6” tail.

Block #10:
Using Color B pick up 10 stitches along the edge of the block you just finished, then 30 stitches along Block #6, and 10 along Block #7 (50 total stitches on needle). Knit back and forth ending on a right side row when you have 10 complete garter ridges. Bind off loosely and turn work one quarter-turn clockwise.

Continue in this fashion, with the number of garter ridges and/or bind-off stitches determining the number of stitches you pick up when starting each new block. As you can see in the numbered chart on page 3 (smaller version), the only blocks which involve knitting with both of your colors are #5, #9, #13, and #17.

To match version of the pattern shown finished here you’ll be knitting a total of 24 blocks. For blocks 21-24 I knit 15 garter ridges, instead of 10. This will give you a slightly wider block and makes the border look more noticeably like, well, a border. Then bind off, weave in all your MANY ends, and enjoy (or wrap it up nicely and give it to a loved one!

I considered making the blanket larger and the last 4 border blocks in a third color (Red would have been interesting, for instance, with the black and white spiral inside). So I’m showing you both charts I created. So far the only one I have knit is the smaller, two-color version.

For a larger blanket just continue in the manner of previous rounds instead of starting your border, continuing the spiral as before. To end the spiral make sure you knit with only Color A for your next block (in this case #21, but it could be block 25, or 29, or 33, depending on how much you really enjoy knitting just garter stitch. Just make sure you end the spiral before starting your border). I think this spiral pattern would look great with bright solids like Caron Simply Soft Brites, or even with neutral colors, like Lion Fisherman’s Wool, especially in the new colors they’ve added this year.

As with all my patterns, feel free to use this pattern to make items for yourself, gifts for others, or to donate to a charity, but not for sale and/or profit. If you want to mention the pattern on your website or blog, please do not repost the pattern but instead link to my blog.

Most importanly... just have fun!

Link to printable pdf version of pattern is in the sidebar.
Let me know if you make this, I'd love to see it in different colors!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Baby Brainiac Update

It's finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

About a week and a half ago I finished knitting, wove in all the ends, made a nice little card and giftwrapped it for the impending recipient.

The baby was due Aug 26, the day I left the package on his soon-to-be-daddy's desk, and baby Dominic was finally born Wed Sept 2. I got a lovely thank you email from the dad (my co-worker).

In between other things I'm trying to finish up the pattern for Baby Brainiac so I can post it here and link to it from Ravelry. The finished produce came out a little different from my original etimates, so I need to update that and make the pattern a little less wordy. My goal is to get that done this weekend, but I do have much going on so... no promises there.
Frankly I am in a bit of a crafty slump, at least where knitting is concerned. I'm not sure what to do next, and getting my daughter ready for her first day of 7th grade this coming Tuesday. I'm thinking crafty thoughts but not actually doing anything with them. Instead I'm just filing them away for another day. Hopefully when that day comes I'll be able to remember what I wanted to do in the first place!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Blast from the Past - Baby B's Blanket

I originally posted this blanket pattern in my livejournal in 2007, but since I created this blog specifically for crafts I decided to update it a bit and move it over here.

BABY B's Blanket

This pattern is heavily based on a blanket I made previously using this free Bernat pattern: ( . I didn’t plan out how many stitches wide I wanted it and I didn’t use self-striping yarn... instead I sort of winged it, but loved the results. I used Caron Simply Soft Brites, one skein each 5 colors and a one-pound skein of white. In my opinion the colors meld into one another smoothly because of holding the strand of white throughout the entire blanket.

Holding one strand each of white and color A, on size 13 needles I cast on 4 stitches.
Row 1 (WS): Knit
Row 2 (Inc Row): K2, YO, K to end of row.
Repeat last row until blanket is about as wide as you would like it to be
(see note below regarding stripes/color changes).
Next row (RS): K2, YO, K2tog, K to end of row.
Repeat last row.
Next row (Dec Row): K1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K to end of row.
Repeat last row until there are 4 stitches left on needle.
Next row (RS): Knit. Cast off.

This is such an easy pattern and can make all sizes of blankets. Use all the same color or change colors whenever you feel like it.

NOTE: I knit my chosen colors in the order they would appear in the color spectrum. I started with the pink, and when I decided I was ready to change to yellow, I waited until I was ready to knit on the RS and then cut only the pink yarn and tied on the yellow, and just kept on holding the white throughout as I changed from one color to the next. I counted how many garter ridges I had of pink and tried to keep about the same on each color (22 ridges) so that the stripes were pretty much the same thickness.

You could make the stripes all different widths and that would be really cute for a baby too. You could even adapt the pattern and stripe it like the Harry Potter movie scarves and/or ties for a “house blanket”. The sky's the limit!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Baby Brainiac or Log Cabin Fever?

Well, right around the time of my last post I had started a new log cabin. Yes ANOTHER one. This one is a baby gift for a coworker's impending first bundle o' joy, which they already know is a boy, so I hopped into excel and designed what I wanted to make and then cast on. It is well underway and shouldn't have any trouble finishing by the end of July, which is my goal. As of right now I'm calling it the Baby Brainiac Blankie, because the contrast of black and white is supposed to stimulate baby's brain, and the optical illusion is kinda cool... I'll post the full instructions and pics of the design when I'm done, but here's how it's going so far:

I'm also involved with a 12" afghan square swap (knit/crochet), and have a couple of those knit but not blocked yet, so I'll save those for another post. I'll try to do better about posting more often, okay?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mom's Squishy Log Cabin

Seems like most of my blog here has had something to do with log cabin knitting. I guess that's just my current knitting obsession. I fell in love with the ones featured in the Mason Dixon Knitting book and started experimenting. My original "scrappy" log cabin is still in progress, and I keep it next to my spot on the sofa so that when I'm in between other projects or just don't want to have to think about my knitting at all I pick it up and work on it. It may not be finished until it's winter again, who knows. I'm on no deadlines, and that's what I love about it, along with it being an awesome way to use up leftover partial balls of worsted solids.

On May 1st, with Mothers' Day fast approaching, I decided to look at what I had on hand for something to make my mom. She really can buy anything she needs, that's the trouble with buying gifts for grownups. She's allergic to wool, but when I was just barely learning to knit I knit her a lap throw out of Lion Brand Homespun, and she loves that throw. She loves that it's washable, and gets softer with every wash, but she hates having to wash it because then she doesn't have it there next to her recliner for a bit. So as I looked through my stash and found several skeins of Homespun in complimentary colorways I decided I would use them to knit her a lap throw log cabin style. I had the tan, red, and purple, but decided I needed one more colorway to break them up, so I used my Joann's coupon to get the multi-colrway that incorporates all three of the original colors.
In true log cabin tradition I started with a red center square, then just chose whichever one I wanted to use next, never really following the same sequence, but just making sure I didn't use the same colorway for adjacent blocks. I started kind of late, so she didn't get it until the Saturday AFTER Mothers' Day, but it's the thought that counts, right? Now she can use this while washing the first one I made her, and vice-versa. Currently it's thrown over the headrest of her recliner, giving her a nice squishy place to lay her head while napping.

Here's the finished throw:

Here's a view from above:

I've been asked to try to remember what I did, perhaps write a pattern. What I will do first is to refer you to the book Mason Dixon Knitting. And also this tutorial from their website/blog, and the entry dated Feb 15 2004:

That will give you the basic premise behind the technique of log cabin knitting and start you on your way. You'll only be limited to your imagination and what needles/yarn you are using. Another bit of advice... don't use Homespun for your first attempt, expecially if you have never picked up stitches before. Homespun is fuzzy, and it was difficult to find where to pick up the stitches at time. If I were you I'd start with solid color worsted weight yarn or solid color bulky weight yarn. But if you're going to make the attempt, I guess I can make an attempt at a pattern, right? So without further ado here it is:

Mom's Squishy Log Cabin*:

For this blanket, you'll need 4 skeins Lion Brand Homespun, each a different colorway:

  1. Using red (or your first chosen color) yarn and a size 10 circular needle (just to help distribute the weight, you're not going to be knitting in the round here) cast on 12 stitches, turn your work and then knit back and forth, turning your work each time you get to the end of the row, until you have 7 garter ridges. On a right side row(your cast-on tail will be hanging from the "tip-end" of your needle) , cut your working yarn leaving a 4-6" tail and
  2. start knitting with your next color. Knit back and forth until you have knit 7 garter ridges of the new color. At the beginning of the next right side row, bind off until one stitch remains on the needle. Keeping the right side facing you,
  3. turn your work one quarter turn clockwise to the right and using your next colorway knit the final stitch on your needle. Keeping with that new colorway (cut the 2nd color leaving 4-6 " yarn tail) pick up and knit a stitch between each garter stitch ridge until you get to the end of that side of your rectangle. Turn your work and knit back and forth until you have 7 garter ridges. On your next right side row, bind off loosely until one stitch remains on your needle.
  4. Turn clockwise and using the next color you've chosen knit the remaining stitch. Then with that new color pick up and knit a stitch between your garter ridges, and then pick up and knit a stitch along the side of your original cast on stitches. Turn your work and knit back and forth until you have 7 garter ridges with right side facing you. Again bind off loosely until one stitch remains, cut the working yarn leaving a 4-6" tail and
  5. turn your work to the right (remember: each time you turn your work to the right, it is just a quarter turn). Using the same color you used for rectangle #3, knit the final stitch on the needle, then pick up and knit one stitch between each garter ridge of rectangles 4, 1, and 2. turn your work and knit back and forth until you have 7 garter ridges, ending at the start of a right side row. Bind off loosely until a single stitch remains on the needle, then
  6. turn work one quarter turn to the right. Your original color is now the center square surrounded by 4 rectangles, each a different color than the center, and no color is touching a square of the same color. Using your red (or original) color yarn, knit the final stitch on the needle and pick up and knit one stitch between each garter ridge of rectangle 5, pick up and knit each cast off stitch along the top of square 2, and pick up and knit a stitch between each garter ridge along rectangle 3. turn your work and knit back and forth until you have 14 garter ridges, and continue in this fashion. When you get all the way around and have a knit 4 sections each with 14 garter ridges, the next series of rectangles will have 21 garter ridges. Once you have gone all the way around the square again, it's time to start your border. Using the yarn of which you have the most left on the skein (in my case it was the tan) do the next section with 5 garter ridges, and continue all the way around, but when you bind off and turn, don't cut and change colors, continue with the same color, until your blanket has a border of 5 garter ridges on each side. On the final side with right side facing you bind off looser than ever, in fact, I would suggest using a needle the next size up in your right hand for the bind off to ensure less wonkiness along that side. Turn your blanket over and weave in the 4-6" tails that are at all of your color changes, and you're done! For further clarity, I've provided a picture of the blanket with the blocks numbered in the order they were completed. The 6 bullet points above tie directly to the beginning of the first 6 blocks on the photo below. Now go make your own!
*copyright 2009 Julia Murtha: You may use my pattern to make items for charity or for personal use, but do not use it for profit. Please do not reproduce this pattern in entirety, but instead link to this page.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Logs Are few and far between in the Desert

Well, hard to believe it's been OVER a month since my last crafty post. Way too much real life going on, but believe me, there's still plenty of knitting happening here, just not much picture- taking (or blogging).

So I've gotten a bit farther on my Scrappy Log Cabin, but frankly, it's so damn hot already I just can't bear to pick it upfor a couple of weeks at least, so it's hibernating until cooler weather comes along, or we switch the swamp cooler on... here's how it looks at the moment... you can see I have made it all the way around at least once, almost twice since the last pic I posted.

Baby Kue's pinwheel blankie is also on hiatus at the moment. Turns out they know for sure it's a boy, and, well, I've decided I'd like to try a cotton log cabin with larger blocks for his blankie. I haven't decided on the yarn for that yet, though... but I really want to give a cotton baby blanket a go. A coworker is going to be a grandma for the first time in the late fall, so I may decide to finish the pinwheel blanket for her grandbaby. Or I might just bind off on it and give it to the cat to lay on. No new pic on that one, though, it'll look the same in pics until I get it transferred to a longer needle and it can spread out more.

So what to knit when the weather says "no more blankets!"? Why, socks of course! I finished the first sock finally of my Springy Spiral Stretch socks.

I haven't started sock two, however, as I am working on another little project that I can't talk about quite yet. The Spiral Sock looks really cool, and the Patons Stretch is pretty darn comfy, but I don't know why I decided to make such a long sock when it's so hot here all the time. Dumb. So I'll eventually make sock two, but I'm thinking my next pair of socks with the other Patons Stretch Sock I have will be footies, or ankle socks, maybe even some "pedicure socks" that I can wear with flip flops.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Log Cabins Aren't Built in a Day, You Know...

So I'm still plugging away on my Log Cabin Blanket (instructions from Mason-Dixon Knitting),

but I think I'm going to take a break from that one for a while to work on a few other things I've got going. As you can see, I suddenly started making the blocks narrower. That started with the sort of light olive there, where I was running out of yarn. I decided to go ahead and do the same narrower width for the next three blocks so that it is that way all the way around the square, then go back to the wider blocks and skip that color next time around, since I'm trying to avoid buying any new yarn for this project. It's currently about 2'x3' so about half the size I'd like it to be when finished.

I recently cast on for a pinwheel baby blanket by Genia Planck found here: and am making decent progress on it. The yarn itself called for a size 10 needle, but that seemed way too holey, so I am using size 8s and love the gauge I'm getting. A co-worker and his wife are having their first baby, and I thought it'd be a cute gift. Right now it just looks like a hat (kinda like that "artful elegance" (lion brand) blanket I made my friend Christina for her wedding gift last year). You start out with just 5 stitches on dpns, then increase every other row. Here's where I am so far with this one:

It's like a cute little beret, no?

And this pic shows the massive skein of yarn I got at Joanns. It's super soft, and perfect for babies...

I went to knit with some folks last Sunday, and came home with the knitpicks harmony options set. I got it for less than they are selling it online since she's used it a few times. She's a lefty and knits kind of strangely, and the way she knits kept unscrewing her needle tips. Other folks I know that have the same set don't have that problem, and they're all righties, so we're pretty sure it came from her "leftist" knitting methods. I also saw someone knitting a sock from the Patons Stretch Sock yarn, in the same colorway that I had bought and never used, Plum, and it looked so nice and springy that I came home and cast on a sock using a pattern written for the yarn from the Patons website. I am loving it so far, but am still early on...

So that's where I am craft-wise, at the moment. I'm trying to branch out a bit, and am also planning to cast on soon for the Lion Brand Weekend Retreat Cardi that was just featured in the Lion Brand Newsletter. I downloaded the pattern already, and just need to get some good cotton yarn for it. It calls for their recycled cotton yarn, so I'll check that out and if I don't like any of the colors I may go to Bernat Cottontots, which I really like.
That's all for now... guess that's enough to have going at once, don't you think?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Care for a Jelly Baby?

Received an awesome gifty from my friend Amber "the Crochet Fiend" (aka hp5freak on LJ) today in the mail! Totally made my day as I have been sick, headachey, and generally cranky. Amber totally rocks the crochet world and makes the most awesome Harry Potter themed blankets (and yes she does occasionally take commissions, within reason people). She had a little contest on her blog which I won and I couldn't think of a favorite HP quote, but I did think of a few Classic and New Dr Who references of which I'm fond, so I sent her those and let her pick. (She has also done Twilight-themed items as well as awesome commission blankets not related to any of those three fandoms).

Amber does amazing awesome work and I salute her. Here's the awesome blankie I received today...

Amber's Awesome!!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Everyone loves a cozy log cabin

I recently checked out Mason Dixon Knitting from the library again. The first time I checked it out I skipped right over the section on log cabin knitting, but this time it caught my eye and after reading it through I thought, "Hey, that looks fairly complicated, but sounds actually pretty easy! So I decided that would be the perfect way to use up stash so that I had an excuse to buy more yarn (right, like I need a REASON to buy more yarn). I cast on Feb 9 and I would say that based on how large a blanket I want to make, I am about 35% done.

The name I gave this project on Ravelry is Scrappy Log Cabin. I also joined the Ravelry group Log Cabin Fever, where others addicted to similar projects can meet to discuss how badly our hands hurt. ;)

Here's an in-progress pic as of my putting down the knitting this evening.

Not too difficult, I really like the way it is turning out, and of course, the farther out I get the more yarn it takes, which means my scraps probably won't be enough and I might actually have to buy more yarn in order to finish it, unless I start using novelty yarn as well as just the acrylic worsted remnants I'm currently using. Gee, what a shame, having to buy more yarn... too bad. :P
Oh, and if you would like to friend me on Ravelry, my name is jewells68.
Keep on knitting!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

UFOs are controlling my life...

Currently on the needles: top-down hat made with sock yarn of my own design; throw that I'm going to donate to a charity; broken rib socks from a book a got for xmas... may frog and use that yarn for something else, I got bored with the pattern; couple of dish/wash cloths I started during ofenjen's dishcloth swap round 1 that were too complicated to finish in time; bag/basket to felt that's on my big yellow KK loom.

Just finished a hat for my DD in yarn/color of her choice, mmmm, recently frogged a few things... and just to add a picture to this post... here's a "gun sweater" I made for the co-worker who's name I drew in the office gift exchange over the holidays... I couldn't find a pattern online, so I just made it up as I went. He loved it and has promised me a photo of it actually on one of his guns. It's sort of an office "inside joke" which he totally got and I think enjoyed. The inside of the card reads "Happiness is a Warm Gun"...

I'm determined not to buy any yarn for a while. I have tons of yarn and have some really nice yarn I've received as gifts including some really lovely yarn from hardhatcat in Australia that I very much want to make into something. Just trying to weed through my current crafting chaos and plan some projects...

Need to crank out what's currently on the needles and take stock of what supplies I have and just start trying some new interesting patterns...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Not so Square Throw

This time last year I was knitting a throw for my friend's wedding. She was my best friend throughout middle school and high school, and we have remained friends all these years, even though our lives have taken us in different directions... I wanted to give her something from my heart, but I also wanted to challenge myself a bit. I searched for the perfect pattern and finally, in an old Lion Brand catalog I found something called the Artful Elegance Afghan. Now they call it something else, I don't remember what, but I bought the pattern download, bought me some yarn and got busy. When all was said and done, I had made a gift that I recently learned my friend actually went and just had framed to hang in her entryway of her new home. I am too touched for words.

So here, no longer having to be called the Super Secret Wedding Gift, is what I call the Not So Square Throw. I highly recommend this pattern to anyone who wants a bit more of a challenge, but no so much to be discouraged, if they are kinda new to knitting...

Monday, January 19, 2009

What can I say, I love to knit hats!

So this is my new space to talk about crafts and show off stuff I make. Here's a couple of hats I made over the week of Thanksgiving. Did not follow anyone else's pattern, but they are both a 2x2 rib knit with a mixture of DK and worsted weight wool yarn: the yellow is Lion Wool, the orange is Patons Classic Merino, and the rest was KnitPicks Swish DK. They were all left-overs from other projects, and I decided to mix and match the colors in ways I hadn't seen before. I really am trying to use yarn I have on hand for stuff for myself and family to de-stash a bit. I allow myself to buy yarn for gifts I'm knitting though. I knit them both on a size 4 circular needle a la magic loop and therefore did not have to change to dpns when I decreased at the top. I loves me that magic loop!
The brown stripey one is my favorite. I call it my Thanksgiving Hat because, well, I finished it on Thanksgiving, or actually the morning after. It's super soft, super warm, super stretchy, and I made it long enough that I can turn up the brim a full 2-3 inches, which keeps my ears warm.
Yay for hats!

About Me

My photo
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
This is my place to talk about crafting, what I make, and maybe even why I make it.