Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I have also had an urge to go back to designing stuff, so I decided to design a blanket for her. Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns has a couple of motifs that I will be using, and I am currently working on a swatch of a pattern from Walker's Third Treasury.
I will be using Bernat Satin for the actual blanket, but I am using Caron Simply Soft for my swatch. I know, I should use the same yarn, but oh well. Both yarns are the same weight, and both claim to have the same gauge. And frankly, swatches have been known to lie.
So far the current swatch measures 9 inches across, not including the garter stitch border. The motif starts with 40 stitches and increases to 48 then decreases back down to 40. The other two motifs require 50 and 54 stitches, so using three of this particular motif will work out nicely.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Well, while I was working on the fingerless mitt, my friend Tim complained that the hand got better stuff than he did, so I told him I would make him a pair of fingerless mitts. Tim did not believe me, but he was very touched when I actually did.
Being an artist, Tim had me take a few posed pictures for the blog. We of course had to get a picture with a glass of Guinness and the songbook.
And of close-up of the song:
Lyrics to The Black Velvet Band
Well, Tim really loves the mitts, and he made a remark about wanting another pair. So here he is, wearing his second pair.
About the time I finished this pair, a coworker asked if I knew where she could buy a pair. I told her I would make her a pair. I started another pair out of the left-over gray yarn. However, it was really, really cold last Saturday, and I finished that pair up at the pub. I figured Rich could use a pair, and frankly I figured the dark gray would be a good color for him, so I gave him the mitts.
Since I can get two pairs of mitts out of one skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease, I used the left over in the natural/undyed Wool-Ease to make a pair for my coworker. I finished those last night, but I have not taken a picture yet.
I have now started on a pair for Rich's wife. Thursday I got an email from him saying he loves the gloves, that his wife was jealous and wanted them. So I wrote back and said I would make her a pair. Later I asked what color and found out she wanted either gray or black. Well, yesterday morning I went through my stash to see if I had any yarn that would work. All the other pairs have been made from Lion Brand Wool-Ease, but I did not have any in black. I did have some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Cashmere and Laines Du Nord Cashsilk. However, I am not sure what circumstances she will be wearing them in, and I figured she might want something that is machine washable. Besides, the Wool-Ease has worked really well, so I went out yesterday during my lunch hour and bought a skein of black.
All the mitts pictured are Clara Park's Maine Morning Mitts. I can generally do a pair in two or three days, and with the exception of the first pair I did for Tim and the one for the hand, all have been done two at a time, magic loop method. Once I finish Marcia's mitts, I will probably cast on a pair for myself. I have some Crystal Palace Yarns Fjord Print in 9573 Ultramarine that I purchased at Wildflower Yarns and Knitwear in Manhattan a few weeks ago.
Kennita also had some Jamieson's Shetland Heathers in a variegated blue-green colorway that I resisted purchasing. However, I may have to go back and get it for another pair. I picked up a couple of skeins of Reynolds Whiskey in teal at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence last Saturday that I may use for a pair of fingerless mitts as well.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Pete has been wanting a Jayne Cobb hat for quite some time now, so I started looking for patterns. I opted for SMarieK's Jayne Cobb Hat. I used Dark Horse Fantasy Yarn in Dark Yellow, Orange, and Cherry. I think it turned out pretty well.
Now to wash them--hope they don't shrink ;)
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I really liked this pattern, but it was a bit tricky doing it two at a time by magic loop method. I would not recommend it for a first attempt at doing two socks at a time, but other than that, I encourage people to try this pattern.
This pattern is available through Ravelry.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
We got together to dye the blanks on October 19. We used condiment bottles to apply the dye, which worked pretty well. Since some people wanted their colors to bleed into each other, we did not add vinegar to the dye stock. I did not really want my colors to bleed and someone said something about maybe spraying the blank with vinegar before applying the dye, so I gave it a try. I did my first blank in green and gray stripes. Once I finished applying the dye, I sprayed it with more vinegar. The green part turned out okay, but the gray is a bit darker than I intended. I over-saturated the yarn too.
Jaime took this picture--thanks Jaime!
The next blank I wanted to do black and turquoise stripes. I tried to be very careful and use the dye very sparingly, but it bled all over the place, and the blank was largely black. I also managed to over-saturate this one too. I kept rinsing turquoise out of it for quite some time. The next time I do this, I definitely want vinegar added to the dye.
There are actually turquoise stripes in the black blank, but it is not terribly obvious from that picture.
Some people wanted to knit directly from the blanks, but others of us wanted to wind ours. So the next knitting group after our dye session, a few of us brought our ball-winders. Since the blanks are double knit, two us wound at the same time--except when I was filming Jaime winding both. I wanted to try soaking the black blank some more, so I did not wind mine that night. I later unraveled the blanks, wound them into balls by hand, then used the ball-winder to make pull skeins.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I had recently found Caoua Coffe's Lohengrin Pattern on Ravelry, and I decided to try it instead. I cast on for two socks on Friday and knit some at the pub. I am not sure how many hours I have put into them so far, but I am really liking them. The pattern is much more visible than it had been on the Bayerische Socks.
I still plan to do the Bayerische Sock pattern, but I think I need to use a yarn with a tighter ply
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I do not recall hearing about this before, and I am a rather disturbed, even though I do not live or work in that county. About half the state of Kansas elects judges, and there was proposed legislation a couple of years ago to have them all elected, including the justices of the Kansas Court of Appeals and Kansas Supreme Court. It did not go anywhere, much to my relief.
I know that some people think electing judges is a good thing, and they are entitled to their opinions. The county I live and work in does not elect judges, but I have dealt with elected judges in other counties. Some of the elected judges are very good at their jobs. Others are not, but the same can be true of appointed judges as well.
I do not favor electing judges, but if we are going to do it, well then the Board of Bar Examiners need to add some subjects to the Bar Exam.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A few of us from Topeka went to Kansas City last night to see the Yarn Harlot. It was awesome! Stepheny bought coffee from PT's and Jaime brought Tallgrass. It occurred to me today that we should have brought her some Kansas wine. All I had for her was a Ravelry button, which she already had one, but she did not have it with her.
As we suspected, Lynn made the blog, because of the story surrounding her first pair of socks.
Stephanie was shocked by the photographic evidence Lynn provided. She actually took a picture of Lynn holding the photograph.
Karen and Melissa also made the blog.
If you look really close at the top picture, you can see some of us from Topeka :)
The Yarn Harlot's post about Kansas City is at
Stephanie, if you are ever in Topeka, Kansas on a Friday night, come join us at Francis O'Dooleys, where we can knit, drink, and listen to Rich Stevenson, the Irish Rebel.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I am using Dark Horse Fantasy Yarn in Renaissance Green. I had originally found one skein of this yarn and color at Laura May's Cottage in Lindsborg, Kansas last year. I liked how it felt, so I bought it thinking I could do a hat or something. Well, when Settlers Farm in Wamego opened up earlier this year, a few of us went there and then went on to Wildflower in Manhattan, where I found more of the same color. Not only was it the same color, but it was the same dye lot! I bought five more.
Friday, September 5, 2008
As I mentioned in a previous post, I planned to enter this in the Kansas City Irish Fest's knitting contest. The contest theme was cables. My friend Stepheny and I drove to the fest Sunday (it was a busy weekend), and I entered the afghan. There were only three entries in the non-wearable item category, so I was guaranteed to win something. There were two other afghans, one was knit, and the other was crocheted (crochet was accepted as long as the item was cabled).
Yes, that is a 1st place ribbon :) I won a $50 gift certificate to Yarn Shop and More (already spent). I did not win grand prize, but that's okay. It is my understanding that it was a matter of points.
Also worth noting, I knit quite a bit of this in the Irish pub I go to. Speaking of which, it is almost time for Rich to start playing, so I had better sign off.
I had baked the cake the day before, leveled it, and crumb-coated with icing. The icing crusted up nicely overnight, but the additional coat did not want to cooperate. I think it must have just been too humid out. Note to self--get dehumidifier. So anyway, I had tried doing the pattern transfer twice, but the icing was still not set up enough, so I stuck the cake in the fridge and went and did something else for a while. The frosting set up, and I was running out of time, so instead of piping gel, I used black gel, flipped it over on to the cake. It worked so well that all I had to do was fill in the spaces.
I had originally wanted to do something along the lines of Celtic knot work along the the sides, but my pattern book of borders is packed up somewhere, so I opted for the saying, "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."
Tim loved the cake. Here he is, slaying a dragon.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I am not really into knitting lace, but I am really liking this.
Cables from left to right: Braid Cable, Hollow Oak Cable, Six Stitch Cable, Triple Twist Cable, Four Stitch Wave Cable, Celtic Cable, and XOXO Cable.
The XOXO Cable and Hollow Oak Cable are perfectly symmetrical, so I did not need to do anything to those. To get the Braid and Four Stitch Wave cables, I started on another row (I think it was row 5). For the Triple Twist Cable, Celtic Cable and Six Stitch Cable, I just reversed the crossings (ie if the original called for a back cross, I substituted a front cross, etc.)
The afghan is mostly done, but somewhere along the line I made an error in the Six Stitch Cable I did for the other side, so I decided to redo it.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
It turns out I am not the only one who ran out of yarn on this project, but I did what the other person did and used the contrast color (navy) for the bottom of the bag.
I also have finished the Felted Entrelac Tote by Melanie Smith. This project was both fun and easy, and I think it turned out very well.
I also did another pair of socks.
I used the Symphony colorway of Wildfoote by Brown Sheep Company. It felt a bit rough before washing, but washing them softened them up quite nicely.
After we left the Studio, we ventured on to MisKnits. It was a smaller store, but they still had a good selection of yarns and books. More importantly, they had 40 inch size 7 Addi Turbo circular needles. Better yet, they were reasonably priced at $14.95. I consider that a reasonable price considering some places charge more, and even if I found a better price online, shipping and handling might make them more expensive. I got the aforementioned Addi Turbo needles and a shirt that says Knitter on the front and MisKnits on the back.
Next it was on to the Crayola Cafe at Crown Center for lunch. I was a bit disappointed about the service. It was quite a while after we ordered our drinks before we actually got them. They were not extremely busy, but the did not seem to have enough waitstaff on hand for the amount of people there. They did have a birthday party going on, so maybe they were stretched a little thin. The food was pretty good though. We hit the Crayola store next where I got an activity book in case my niece ever visits me and a 120 count box of crayons.
The original plan was to go to Ryukyu next, but we made a detour to Urban Arts and Crafts. They did not have nearly as much yarn as the other two stores we had visited, but then again, they were not exclusively a yarn store. They also carried a good selection of beads, some fabrics, and a lot of scrapbooking supplies.
While some of our group stopped in at Ryukyu, the rest of us headed on to Yarn Shop and More, with a slight detour to the Krispy Kreme store. They were making glazed chocolate cake doughnuts (my favorite), so I got a couple fresh off the line before they went through the proofer.
While visually appealing to some, I did not like how Yarn Shop and More was organized. They have yarns organized by color, so it made it a little difficult to tell what brands they carried. Their selection of tools had also been pretty well picked over, but for all I know, a bunch of people bought stuff for Mother's Day. I did find one skein of Regia Galaxy in a colorway I liked, but she did not have any more in stock, and it takes ones skein per sock.
Unfortunately we did not make it to KnitWit in Olathe. Oh well, maybe next time.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
You're To Kill a Mockingbird!
by Harper Lee
Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you, but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
However, the picture on the cover shows a ball of yarn, so at least that aspect is right :)
Monday, April 7, 2008
Seriously though, Memphis played a great game. It was a real nail biter.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Last night was the KU-North Carolina game, and I left my apartment with about 3 and half minutes left in the first half. I got to the pub shortly before halftime started and got a table. I am sitting at the table by myself, and the usual Saturday night waiter is not there. I see a waitress going around getting people drinks, and she went by me a number of times. Eventually one of my pub friends came in, and when he got to the table, I made a comment about now that someone else was there, maybe the waitress would see if I wanted something. The sad thing is, that was pretty much the case. I think she knew I was a regular, because she asked if I wanted a Diet Coke. I told her no ice, and she did bring it in the large glass that the usual Friday and Saturday night wait staff bring me. However, I had been there for almost a half hour before she bothered to see if I wanted anything. At one point in the evening, one of the other guys I was sitting with had to flag her down, because she pretty much ignored me. The soda runs me $2.00, and I gave her a five. I guess I should have told her how much to bring me in change, because she never brought me any. I had not planned to tip her $3.00, because I do not think she earned it. Now the usual people who wait on me earn the $3.00 tips. They know my name, and they tend to bring me my usual (Diet Coke, no ice in the big glass) without me even having to ask for it. They also check on me to see if I need refills. She did not. Now with it being the KU game, the pub was a little more crowded, but I have had better service even when it has been busier (like the Saturday right before St. Patrick's Day).
I have dealt with poor service on Saturday nights before, but fortunately such instances are few and far between. However, it did not stop with the waitress. The bartender called last call around 1:15 a.m. I well realize that Kansas law requires us to be out by 2:00 a.m., but there have been other times I have been there when last call is not until after 1:30 a.m. Then they were trying to kick us out at about 1:35 a.m. When this was mentioned to them, the bartender and the guy who acts as a bouncer (at least I think he does) got really rude and nasty. Since I was there until 2:00 a.m. the night before (I do not always stay this late), this does not seem to be a standard practice. I am seriously considering writing the owners to inform them of their staff members actions and the poor customer service. I know I do not spend much money at their establishment, but if the poor customer service continues, I will spend even less.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
There are three other people on Ravelry who have this as a project. One frogged it (ripped it out), because they were not happy with it. The other two have theirs done, and they seemed to have turned out pretty well. However, I have run into another problem. I am running out of yarn. The pattern specified one hank of Wool of the Andes Bulky in Navy and two hanks of the hand-dyed colorway Yukon.
Since taking this picture, I have finished the last pattern row of the textured pattern, but I need to do four more rounds of stockinette then work in stockinette until it is the length specified in the pattern. I think the four more rounds of stockinette will get it to the specified length. The shaping for the bottom of the bag adds another couple inches of length, so I am certain I do not have enough of the Yukon colorway to finish the bag. I have sent messages to the others on Ravelry who finished the bag to see if they had the same problem.
Because I will have to order more yarn to finish the project, I am going to work on the handles to see if I have enough of the Navy. I doubt I will be able to get the same dye lot, but oh well.
Overall conclusion: The pattern is doable, and I think it will look very nice once it is finished. If you are going to do this one, buy extra yarn.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
It still needs some blocking, but other than that, it is done.
On another note, I was just poking around on Ravelry, and Julia Roberts has joined. She has requested a private profile, but I cannot say that I blame her for that. She announced when the movie web site for Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs will go live (June 23). It was not as fun a read as Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik, but it is still good, and it should make a decent movie (I hope).
Last Thursday evening, I baked a batch of cupcakes for my niece's birthday party. Friday morning I baked the sheet cake before going to work. I took that afternoon off to decorate the cake. I iced it with plain, white icing. After that I stamped it with a letter press. Of course, it turns out I got the T and H in birthday reversed. Oh well :)
Next, I traced a picture of the Cat in the Hat onto tracing paper and placed a piece of parchment paper over it. Then I used piping gel to place the picture on the parchment paper. Once I finished that, I flipped it over on to the cake. Most of the gel did not stick to the cake, but it did imprint in the icing enough that I could see the outlines. I went over that with black frosting and red frosting. I finished up with a red bead border.
Cherokee loved it.
I also did cupcakes in case there were people who did not care for strawberry cake.
O'Dooley's is a center for cosmic convergences. I am there most Friday and Saturday nights, and a while back I ran into someone from high school. I thought he looked familiar and after a while when we were talking to some of the same people he recognized me and was really surprised to see me. Well, on March 21 he came in with two other guys I went to high school with: Matt Kreutzer and Cory McIlvain. I was rather surprised. They were too, because as I found out later, John did not tell them I am a regular. Another person I went to high school with was there as well.
Then last Friday we did a send off for Susan, who is shipping out to Iraq. I mention this because when she and Mike showed up on Saturday, I invited them to share the table I was at. After we talked for a while, Mike mentioned his last name was Van Doren. I asked him if he was any relation to Brian Van Doren (another guy I went to high school with), and it turns out he is Brian's younger brother. Susan this asked if I knew Sri Donepudi, and I indicated that she and Brian dated in high school. Turns out they are married now, which I think is pretty cool.
It really is a small world. Makes me wonder who I else I know from high school will show up at the pub.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I have also made considerable progress on the Persephone Scarf.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
So back to the graphics. When I took Course I, I learned how to do pattern transfers. What you do is put the picture under parchment paper, make an outline on the paper using piping gel, than flip the parchment paper onto the cake piping gel side down. Then you go over it on the outlines on the cake and fill it in. I have found one image so far that seems reasonable, but maybe I will see about coloring books this weekend or see about getting a copy of one of the books.
Hmm..maybe this is what I will do for my friend Tim's dragon cake later this year.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I washed them today and am wearing them as I type. I know I should get back to other projects, but I feel the urge to start another pair. I have quite a bit of Regia sock yarn, including four colorways of the Kaffe Fassett Design Line, and I also two colorways of Brown Sheep Company's Wildfoot sock yarn.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
This picture has all 8 of the cables called for by the pattern, but it is not wide enough for my liking. I am thinking I will repeat most of the cables and attach them in reverse order so the Ripple and Rock is the center panel.
Now back to the socks.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Once I was well enough to knit again, I made some progress on the cabled afghan.
I also ended up starting over on the latest pair of socks, but now they match up really well.
I finished turning the heels last night, so now it is on to the feet and toes. I am also thinking about working on the Persephone Scarf some more.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Before the latest cold snap, I started the Persephone Cable Scarf by SmarieK. I am using Brown Sheep Company Nature Spun in Deep Sea. After working on the cabled afghan, I have become used to cabling without a cable needle by holding the stitches in between my thumb and forefinger. I have tried it a bit, but it does not seem to be working as well, so when I go back to working on the scarf, I will probably resort to my trusty flying bird cable needle.
Last Friday at the pub, I started another pair of socks. I am using Schoeller und Stahl Fortissima Sockotta. While the labels indicated they were the same color, I am wondering if one of the yarns was incorrectly labeled. Looks like they are going to be another pair of Dobby Socks.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The original pattern called for a bulkier yarn on bigger needles, but I wanted to use the Red Heart Dusty Teal I had. I think I will need to either repeat most, if not all of the panels, or add a bunch of different ones.
Last Wednesday I left my size eight needles at Hastings where I go for knitting group. Fortunately, my favorite barrista found them and took them home, so I will get them back tomorrow.
In the meantime I have returned my attention to the Plaid Afghan. So far I have two and a half pattern repeats of the second strip done, and I am thinking I can finish the third pattern repeat this evening.