It Fits!!

I actually knit myself something that isn’t overly huge.  And I’m proud of it.

It’s the Cotton Candy Stripes shrug found in the Summer issue of Love of Knitting.  I just picked up the magazine at a local grocery store and thought it had some nice projects in it.  This one seemed perfect.

Here, is the shrug in its circular form.  How you do it?  Knit the back flat, don’t cut your yarn and pick up and knit the cast on edge.  It’s a lot of stitches for that lace ribbing, but it tend to go quickly the more you knit.  I will say binding off was tedious, though.

Below, you can see me in smug pride showing my newest piece.  My DH took the photos.  Want to see the details?  Check it out on Ravelry.

It fits!!

It fits!!

It fits!!

It fits!!

It fits!!

It fits!!

 

OT: I need your votes!

Just for fun, I have entered in Fine Art America’s contest to see if I can get a photo in one of their commercials.  Now, I don’t have a prayer in winning, but I thought it would be fun try and get a little more exposure.

What I did was enter three photos in their contest to be voted on.  Would you take the time to vote for me?  I’ll love you forever!

Here are my entries and their links:

Crafty Finds At Work

My boss had some crafty books on her desk.  She said she found them in the lunchroom across the hall.  One of the people from another office had left them there and were free for the taking.  So I took two.

The first one is how to incorporate flea market finds into decor. It includes some lovely instructions in the back and looks like it may spark a few ideas.

The other one is a book of purses to sew.  I may have to give one or two of them a try, but tailor them to my style.  Luckily, fabric comes in all sorts of colors and patterns.

When I tire of these books, they will have a home at Art of Recycle, as a way of passing them along to the next person when I’m done with them.

Still, right now, yay for free books!

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Getting Back to Charity Work

I haven’t done charity knitting in quite a while, and it’s time to get back to knitting my chemotherapy hats for the patients at my local cancer center.  I have lovely soft yarn that would make great hats, and I need to get going on that.

Chemo patients need hats even in the summer when nights get a little cool.  Sometimes I switch over to cotton hats, too, for them.  Cotton is soft and washes well, but isn’t quite a stretchy as other fibers.

Interested in knitting chemo caps yourself?  Here are some tips:

  • Soft acrylics and cotton yarn or blends are best.  Avoid wool due to allergies and scratchiness.
  • Knitting hats in the round are great for bedtime wear because they do not have a seam in the back.
  • Make hats in a variety of colors.  Men need them, too!
  • Contact your local chemotherapy centers to see if they have any specific needs from patients.

Do you have any other charity knitting ideas that you would like to share here?

Three Projects

I am behind on updating my FO’s, and here are three that I have completed and want to share with you guys.

1.  Murky Waters Scarf

I’ve knit this scarf a few times, and I felt like doing it again for a Ravelry project.  I also spun the yarn a while ago.  I think it turned out quite nice!  I’ll probably put it in the pile to sell at a craft show.

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2.  Raven Collar

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I love it when I can knit something out of Vogue Knitting, or at least adapt one from there.  In the Spring/Summer 2013 issue, there was a series of collar that looked fun and fashionable to knit.  I gave on a shot, and here it is!

Below is a closeup of the actual lace pattern.  This one is modeled after “Tango.”

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3.  Lovegood Square 3

I always thought owl cables looked difficult, but they really aren’t and I gave on a shot for one of my Hogwart’s squares.  I had some lovely yellow Plymouth Encore Worsted that made for nice knitting and made a lovely background for my owl here.

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Well, those are my three projects that I wanted to share with your this evening?  What have you finished recently?  Tell me!

Knitting Lessons

Deb arrived last night with a pair of US 8 needles and a bright multicolored skein of yarn. I was going to teach her how to knit.

Deb’s grandmother had taught her how to cast on and knit Continental style, rather than the English style that I use. As with learning any new craft, it’s best to do what comfortable for you, so she’s going to be Continental knitter, and that might encourage me to learn that style, too.

She’s pretty good! I gave her a ball of Lily’s Sugar and Cream and started her off on a garter stitch washcloth. Basically, I’m going to be showing her how to read a pattern, decreases and increases, and how to fix stuff.

I’m very happy to have a new knitting buddy! Deb and I have been friends since high school, and I’m glad that she’s joining me in knitting. We knit for a while, and then she left to pick up the kids, with needles, yarn, new project, and one of my books in hand.

I told her to look at how to purl with Continental knitting, and then we’ll start a flat hat. It’s getting a little too warm for hats and scarves right now, but they are still good to practice with and can be stored for when the cold weather comes again.

As for myself, I might give Continental knitting a try. Deb says it’ faster, as others who use the style say. What do you think? English or Continental?

Long Lean Sweater: Week 4

IMG_2014_edited-1I’m still working on the back panel of the sweater, but I have finished the back shaping and hope to start the raglan edging tonight.  Then, on to the sleeves!

Otherwise, not a whole lot to report on my progress.  I did take another few days off on the weekend and knit a sock in that fantastic yarn I got from KareDan Farming Initiative.  It’s just a tube sock, but it looks cute on my foot.  I will publish the finished pair probably sometime next week, as I have to start the second one.

I have next week off as vacation, so, between cleaning binges, I will be knitting and working the sweater.  I also plan on sending off some of my charity knitting as well, and I will tell you about that when the time comes.

October Crafting Ideas

October is one of my favorite times of year.  Well, mostly because my birthday is in the month, but it’s when fall really kicks into gear without being too cold and quite pretty with the foliage.  It’s a great time to get crafting, and here are some ideas that I have come across, along with some ideas of my own.

  1. Go beyond the traditional jack o’ lantern.  Get a kit and carve that pumpkin in a creative fashion.   Make a picture or go for a 3-D look!
  2. Check out this Squidoo lens about Halloween knitting crafts.  I got some great ideas from here!
  3. Join in on Socktoberfest on Ravelry.  Even though I’m just doing tube socks right now, I still am going to join in on the fun.
  4. Get some black and orange beaded jewelry and see what lovely Halloween glam you can come up.  I have my beads ready to go!
  5. Get your own Halloween costume together.  Sewers, this is a great time to show off your talents.  Fabric.com has some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
  6. Start your Christmas crafting.  I know, it’s only October, but the holidays will be here before you know it.
  7. Bake something!
  8. Gather some fall leaves and use them in a creative manner, such as putting them under plastic for a decoration.
  9. Make your own Halloween candy to give to the kiddies and your neighbors.
  10. Create a big birthday present for me.  (Just kidding!)

Hockey and Knitting

I may be a nerd, but absolutely love ice hockey. My favorite team is the Philadelphia Flyers, and I watch whatever game they are playing in that I can on TV. Hockey is the only sport that I will pay money to go see, too.

IMG_1176_edited-1_236x240I also love to knit while I watch hockey. In fact, I get a ton of knitting done while I’m watching it. Last night during the pre-season game versus the NJ Devils, I put a lot of length on that sweater. That’s about two and half hours worth of knitting time that I reserve. It’s my favorite cold weather past time….knitting while watching the Flyers.

I’ve only knit one Flyers-related item, and that this flat hat that I’m sporting here with a cheesy grin. I made this during the playoffs last year.

Here’s to the regular NHL season starting next week, and here’s to plenty of knitting. I can’t wait!

KareDan Farming Intitiative

One thing I love about the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is all the beautiful artisan products.  Jewelry, glass, blacksmithing, woodwork, they are all at the Ren Faire, but I discovered one place that made me excited.

My friend Joan and I had been at the Faire no less than ten minutes when I saw it:  a line of hanks of yarn drying on a line.  Being that I’m a yarn addict and am attracted to bright colors, I had to go take a closer look.

6190839256_6b2e99305f_mWhat I discovered was KareDan Farming Initiative, a farm where Renaissance farming techniques are practiced.  They are located in Baltimore, MD, and have a stand at the PA Ren Faire.  They have everything from their own honey from their own apiary to soap from the milk of their goats.  Still, my main focus was the yarn.

Their yarn is beautiful.  It is handspun and hand painted, and was sheared from their own animals. There are blends ranging from alpaca to wool.  The hank that my hand went for was a bright blue and orange one of superwash wool sock yarn.  (I know, more sock yarn!)  It came home with me.

Oh, spinners, they sell roving from their animals, too.

Danielle of KareDan gave a quick demonstration of how to shear a sheep using her Shetland sheep, Badger.  Now, Badger’s fleece was too short to be shorn, but she put him through the motions.

I also spent time skirting the fleece previously shorn from Badger, and spent time speaking with Karen of KareDan about their farm and crafting.  I also learned what lanolin is and that is why sheep shearers have soft hands.  I also loved seeing part of the process that shows me how yarn is made.IMG_2008_edited-1

If you are going to the PA Renaissance Faire, please visit their stand.  Other demonstrations are given by Karen and Danielle, too.  There is a lovely herb garden in the back and they have a petting zoo.

I plan on going back towards the end of the season sporting a pair of socks knit from that hank.  In the meantime, I encourage you to take a look at their web site, Facebook, and Etsy site.  These two women are using their animals to the fullest and are preserving Renaissance farming heritage.  I highly recommend checking them out.