Sunday, September 17, 2006

New photos!

Second day of vacation and I'm getting some good progress done on my knitting projects. First off, the other night I finished the first full skein of Silver Spruce on my DH's Vest of Many Buttons so it's on the back burner now for a bit. I'm not following the exact pattern in that I'm not doing the cables on it and changing the armhole shaping to suit him. And he doesn't want any buttons on it, since it's not designed to close anyway.

Next is Elizabeth of York, which I'm making for DH's daughter out of Blue Faced Leicester in sport weight yarn on size 2 needles. It's going surprisingly quickly so far, being mostly gansey style knitting in knits and purls. I've finished one time through the chart so am taking a break from it for a bit.

Next is my St. Brigid, from the KAL, and I've finished the first skein of Turquoise on it, just a bit ago. I'm making it in the round up to the armholes and it's a pleasant knit. I'm on the second time through the chart and this time I did the second increase round correctly, in knits and not purls.

And last but definitely not least is my Mara. I started the first sleeve yesterday while at my Mom's, after deciding how many stitches I needed in the sleeve and calculating how many rounds I will need (going with the same number that Veronique used in her Dad's). I used AS's method of picking up stitches in the inside leg of the edge stitch, but played it safe and didn't cut the steek until after all the stitches were picked up. Which meant I used my 16 inch circular for one side and a straight needle for the other. But it worked fine and I'm working away on it. After I get off here I'll sit down and do some more knitting on it. I'd like to have one sleeve finished this week while I'm on vacation if possible. Since it's starting with 170 stitches and decreasing down to 72 before the ribbing, it should be doable. The steek stitches are lying nicely flat on the inside so far so I may not do any finishing on them (I know, heresy not to cross stitch them down but that's me all over!).

The final pic is the socks I'm making for DH's Mom for Christmas out of Regia 4-ply, a yarn I really like for socks. It's machine washable, durable, comes in lots of fun colors and patterns, and I haven't noticed any color fading in any of mine or DH's.

So I'm doing pretty well so far on making progress on my projects, need to do some work on Inishmore later today to find the 16th row down from the shoulder strap section of the sleeves so I can do my front neck shaping in the right place. DH has been doing some work outside and I was knitting while watching Patton on tv, since I don't like most sports shows and that's all that's on right now. Tomorrow morning if it's not raining I'm going to do some trimming on the rhodies on the north side of the house as they are taller than the windows now and with winter coming I know better than to leave them that way. They won't get pruned until spring and they will bloom before the weather is nice enough to do it. DH wants to get the hedge trimmer out and use it on them (yukk!) but that chops the leaves up and makes brown edges on them. Because the leaves are large, I much prefer to hand trim them and it doesn't take more than a couple of days an hour or so each day to get it done. I don't think rhodies look good trimmed like boxes.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Eek! A steek!

I took some new pics this morning of the projects I am working on and one that is now finished, yea! I finally decided to use Fray Chek on the left back armhole on my Oregon vest as the stitches were already pulling out and then washed it. Now it's sitting on the dining table drying before being put in the cedar chest for cooler weather. The solid blue line on the inside edge is the edge of the crocheted steek, finishes the edge rather neatly, I think.

I also finished my FLAK a while back and it's now sitting in the cedar chest along with DH's FLAK and my Aran Pullover - fun to watch the chest start to fill up with beautiful knitted garments for us to wear! I think, outside of socks, this is the most garments I've made for myself in one year for a very long time. I decided last Christmas that I wasn't going to make things for family members who don't appreciate them any more and just give them giftcards and it's been such a freeing decision! My brother and his youngest daughter appreciate and enjoy the things I make for them so they will still get handknit items, but his wife and oldest daughter will just get giftcards to Nordstroms.

The comment about the steek is about my Mara sweater. I crocheted the front and both armhole steeks yesterday while watching old movies on tv. I've posted one shot showing the whole sweater with the steeks in red. The second one shows the top of the sweater with all three steeks. The third one shows the inside where I tucked the yarn ends under strands to keep them untangled while I crocheted (but then I ran into another problem - I had only used 8 stitches for the front instead of 9 so had to decide which side would have three and which would have four. I went for the right to have three and will do Meg's way of picking up stitches for the bands instead of mine, since my way pulls more on the yarn ends.).

My sister has asked me for sweaters for her boys, the youngest goes to a private school and a blue sweater to match his eyes would make her and him very happy so I'll see what I can do about a quick knit one for him (but not using bulky yarn, that hurts my hand
s and is way too easy for a 7 year old to snag the life out of). I have green Blauband yarn for a pair of socks for DH, along with his Forest for Kelly vest that I haven't touched for months but need to do some work on pretty soon.

Since I finished my FLAK and my Oregon
vest, I cast on for some new projects (was only going to cast on for one but, what the hay! I cast on for three). First up is Elizabeth of York for my DH's daughter. It's in natural Blue Faced Leicester yarn I got from Woodland Woolworks last year thinking it would work for St. Brigid. It's a light sport weight and St. Brigid calls for Aran weight so that didn't work out but I got almost 3000 yards in two hanks. So plenty for Elizabeth and I took a pic of her this morning to load here.

The first pic is the bottom of the back right piece (yes, I broke down and am knitting this one as written, the shaping is more complicated than just tapering the sides as there is a back vent) and the one on the right shows the stitches up close. I'm knitting this on a size 2 needle and warned DH this would not be ready for her birthday or Christmas this year as I'm not going to put everything else on hold. He understands.

Next is the quickie vest I'm making for DH out of the leftovers from my FLAK, in Cascade 220 Silver Spruce. I'm using the Vest of Many Buttons pattern from 'Folk Vests' but not doing the cables. I'm making a size medium since there won't be the pull in that the cables would have provided. Size 7 needles and worsted weight yarn make for a quick, easy, soothing knit while playing games on the computer.

And last but certainly not least is my St. Brigid, out of Turquoise Cascade 220, on size 5 circular as that gives me the fabric that feels the best. Being wool, I can block it out a bit if I need to but I think it will be just fine. I'm making the larger size, since I'm not a beanpole, and the patterns are flowing nicely. In fact, I get grumpy if DH calls me for breakfast and I'm knitting away on it, lol.
I did just make one discovery on the directions. In the stitch key, she explains one symbol in terms of purl stitches, and I didn't stop to think that since I'm making it in the round, I should change those to knit stitches. Ah well, it will pass the galloping horse test and I'll know for the next repeat. Alice is so good at writing her directions as a total package, I didn't stop to think that because I am doing it in the round up to the armholes, I need to change any directions specific to the wrong side to right side stitches. And again, I was just flowing along with the rhythm of the knitting. Being only 4 rounds in, I don't think anyone will notice the difference, since it's making three stitches out of one anyway so they're all scrunched together at that point. But in case anyone else changes it to knit in the round, I thought I'd mention it as something to be aware of. I'm taking St. Brigid with me to Portland today to show my Mom. DH is staying home to sand the living room floor some more, a long job when he's using an electric handsander to work on some stains and uneven spots. It's the original wood floor from when the house was built in 1962 and we both love natural wood colors.

DH did give me a surprise yesterday - I have vacation coming up in another week and he said he needs to let the floor dry for 36 hours after he puts the final coat on it, so we're going camping for three days! At the beach! Yee haw! And yahooie! I've really been needing some time at the beach to recharge and what a gift to give me! Now to plan what knitting to take along.........