Mutter of Purl

My opinions (and I do have a lot of them) on knitting and sometimes other topics.

Friday, April 28, 2006

What is it?

Take 3 skeins of Cascade 220.Add these 3 skeins to some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Carrot.

Mix in one of these and what have you got?

A birthday present for a special niece. Shhhhh! Don't tell her because she hasn't gotten it yet! I will post photos of the finished and felted bag.

*note the little daisy button below the DPNs.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fun in the sun

Yesterday was one of those gor-ge-mous days in the Pacific Northwest that makes you glad you live here. The sun was shining and the sky was severe clear! What a perfect day for hanging out with knitters and yarn!

Marilyn's Yarn held their first annual Open House on April 23. There were handcrafters from around western Washington showing their wares and talking and sharing their techniques and interests.

The local radio station Kafé 104.3FM (if you are familiar with the proclivity of people in this part of the country toward coffee, you will see how appropriate the station's name is!)broadcast live all afternoon from the event. Perry the POPCORN KING was popping up great smelling popcorn, caramel corn and refreshing Hawaiian Shave Ice.

Kathy displayed an amazing variety of stitch markers, yarn charms and beaded knit bracelet kits. Kathy and I go way back to 8th grade in 1968. Sorry, Kath. Now everybody knows how old you/we are!

The lovely Melissa makes great handbags and knitting needle cases.Melissa is working-her-way-through-college-to-get-a-lot-of-knowledge so if you bond with one of her hand-made items (my favorite is the aqua and taupe knitting needle case) in the photo, send an email to me and I will get Melissa in touch with you.

Emmo and her friends stopped by for a chat.Emmo (on the left holding the toy alpaca) confessed that she used to be a crocheter but had recently come to the knitting camp and was enjoying it more. Blonde Girlfriend on the right (holding a piece of paper with my blog address on it) made the comment that crochet was Emmo's metaphoric first boyfriend, and that she had moved on to a more mature relationship with knit. Yeah, that's right.

Dottie and a co-worker stopped by for a bit and the conversation got around to sock yarn. Dottie pulled up a pants leg to show us her current favorites (a wool and nylon blend, I believe) in their natural habitat.

LOST RIVER ALPACAS came with two adorable yet cranky alpacas. In all fairnesss, they were in a pen and people kept trying to touch them. I learned a lot about alpacas and their calming effect on people. And you thought they were only good for producing luxurious fibers and yarn! Hah!

We had a great time and told Marilyn that we would love to come back next year. If you want more information, call Marilyn or send her an email to get on her mailing list.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Early morning post

This will be a short post this morning as I am heading out today with my friend Kathy to go up to Bellingham. She is displaying her gorgeous yarn charms and stitch markers at an open house sponsored by Marilyn's Yarn. Kathy and I found and fell in love with this not-so-local yarn shop last fall when we were in Bellingham putting the final touches on our Mais oui! catalog. She found a great outlet for her charms (knitting, that is...Kathy has many others that I won't go into!) and I found the mecca of "Socks That Rock".

Just so you don't think this is text only, here is a photo of the swatch I have started for my Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" cardigan. I can't show you a photo of the finished garment or give you a link because I am making it up as I go along. The only details I can give you are that it is being made from Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in the color "Cotton", the base of the cardi will be the diamond pattern (thus the name...DUH, Molly!) #9 from "Knitting Lace" by Susanna E Lewis and it is planned to be a v-neck cardi. The swatch is coming out okay, but I think I am going to go down one needle size from a 4.00mm to a 3.5mm. The gauge is just a tiny bit too loose.

I will post more when I get back from our fun, yarn and knitting-filled day!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Déjà vu, all over again

Now that I have frogged the Peri sweater, the progress seems to be going very slowly. I think it is because I have been here before! I believe I am now on the right track. Wendy posted some revisions to her Somewhat Cowl pattern and the modifications I have done to mine are almost the same. Now it is just round and round and round until I reach the ribbing.

What is this? Well, I'm not exactly sure. I was inspired by a tank top pattern I saw. I thought, "Wouldn't it be cute to have this more fitted at the waist and then flare out at the hips and make it longer? Also, wouldn't it be cute if there were some knitted lace at the bottom?".

Yes. And, no.

While I love the Suede yarn, it is sticking to the needles. I prefer the ebony needles when I can use them and don't like metal needles at all. However, in this case the Addi Turbo needles are really the only choice. I will get used to them. Unfortunately, this entire top is being frogged because I decided that the fabric is just too heavy for a light summer top. Now the plan is to make a drop-stitched skirt, knit around and with shaping to make it flared at the bottom. And long. Stay tuned.

Lastly on today's offerings is a swatch I made for an everyday cardigan sweater. I have a black cashmere sweater that I have had for about 5 years. It has gotten constant use and is falling apart. Time to replace it with a hand knit! Again, not going to be able to use the ebony needles for obvious reasons. My eyesite is bad enough without destroying it altogether. I have enough Dale Baby Ull in black to more than complete this project. (I love that yarn because t is so soft and machine washable) On size 2 needles, I believe it will take me a long time. The biggest problem is that I can't decide if I want the 4 stitch cable pattern or the 2 stitch cable pattern. What do you think? Can you tell from the photo of the swatch?

What, you don't care?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy day!

Happy Easter and Passover.

As for me, it's Happy Sweater Machine Day! This is my new toy that I bought from my friend Char in my knitting guild. What is a hand knitter doing with a knitting machine? The blasphemy! I used to think so too until I found this. Uh huh. Sort of gets you right there, doesn't it? I gotta try it!

Since this is a blog largely about knitting, I must post the obligatory photos of my cats.

Topaz is 19 years old, as far as we can tell. She adopted us one August Saturday when there were lots of people and children here for a party. She stayed. I guess the accommodations aren't too bad. Six kittens (she was in the family way when she arrived) and a dislocated jaw (when she decided to cross the road in front of the neighbor's moving Honda) later, she is still the Queen of the castle. So I think she thinks.

This is Sasha. I think she is about 4. We got Sasha last October from friends who couldn't keep her in their apartment. They found her in a former apartment complex after some rat-bastards moved out and left the kitten there to fend for herself. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. They kept her until the Mrs.'s allergies got to be nuclear. They asked me if I would take her. Was there ever a question as to what my answer would be? I had met Sasha at a party and loved her from the start. She is very intelligent and has lots of personality.

Chuck says people might think that my before and after photos from yesterday are mixed up as most people's knitting gets bigger, not smaller in the after photo! He has a point...

I thought this was going to be a short post...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

One giant leap backward

As I was progressing on my Somewhat Cowl sweater, I kept thinking that it was looking kind of big. Real big, in fact. I finally put all the stitches on scrap yarn and tried it on. It fit. What is wrong with that, you ask? I will tell you. I want it to fit AFTER I lose weight, not now. Nothing else to do but send it to the frog pond.



Two skeins back from where I was isn't so bad, is it? Better that than not liking it when I was finished and never wearing it. To quote Marilyn Monroe from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, "A thing worth doing is worth doing well".

I submit to you another future frogging. These are socks that I am making for DD/S, my oldest. I love the yarn. It is Socks That Rock in the color Pebble Beach. I have them started on size 1 needles and I feel like I am knitting on toothpicks. I like #2 better. I am also trying out a new toe-up cast on. The instructions for short row toes came from Apparently I can't follow instructions very well because I have screwed them up. They are NOT supposed to look like this!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

WIP it, WIP it good

This is embarrassing.

These are the projects that I am working on concurrently. When I get tired of one, I go to the other. They are all different knitting techniques so each eases the boredom of the other. First, there is my KAL with Sexy Knitters Club. I am making the Somewhat Cowl. The yarn is Lion Brand Micro Spun from my stash. The color says Lilac on the tag, but to me it is Periwinkle. Henceforth my sweater shall be known as "Peri".

The next is the One Button Cardigan from IK Summer 2005. Again, this is stash yarn. Antique stash yarn, my friends. The label is Columbia-Minerva Worsted...anyone remember that? Hmmm, I thought not. This yarn has been the beginnings of 2 different, unfinished sweaters for someone who has long since become unworthy. *Ahem* Brown is the new black, you know, so I am making it for me. I bought a really fun carved wood button for it (it only requires one) at Le Bon Marché in Paris last January. (Shopping there is another post altogether.) I am almost finished with the lower edging.

Last (in this post) but not least is my Olympic Knitting sweater, the Gingham Cardigan. The pattern is from a McCall's Needlework & Crafts issue August 1988. I have started this cardi twice already, but never gotten past one or two pieces. Children, housework, etc. took my time from knitting then. But now the children are grown and on their own and I have long ago abandoned the myth of a clean house. When The Yarn Harlot challenged all of us to the KO, I knew immediately what I wanted to do. As you can see form the photo it isn't quite done yet. Okay, so I didn't medal. It was the challenge of trying to finish that was important. I have about a half of a sleeve left and then the neckband and finishing. Lots and lots of finishing.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Testing, testing 1, 2, 3

In order to test my photo resizing capabilities, I am testing out a photo.

These are Chucks new socks that I finally finished. They are made from Socks That Rock. I love the yarn and how it feels while knitting on it. They wash and dry fairly well, although others I have made from STR tend to felt ever so slightly. I used the "Magic Loop" method or what I call simply knitting two socks at the same time on one long circular needle. Hmmmm, come to think of it that isn't any simpler. Whatever. Size 2 bamboo needles in the toe-up method. I am still trying to perfect my heel. I use a modification of the k1sl1 cushy heel that I learned when I made my first pair of socks on 4 dps, one at a time, top down. For the most part it works, but there are a few kinks I need to work out.

Anyway, if this works out, I will be posting a lot more photos of my WIPs and that will then push me to make them FOs!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ta-da! My first post!

Now that I have convinced myself that there might be other people who have an interest in my knitting, I can't for the life of me decide what to say about it! Well, here goes.

I have trouble being a monogamous knitter. I must have ADD or somethin', because I get bored working on a project very easily. I have, at any given time, about 6 or 7 projects going. This doesn't take into account the long-term projects (i.e. the double knit afghan I started in about 1994 or the 60" X 90" oval hooked rug that began in 1977 but I digress...) or the many that I have just given up altogether. I sometimes joke that I am like a crow, my attention easily diverted by another shiny object.

Once I realized this, I gave myself permission to work on whatever project I was interested in at the time. Now, that didn't help during the Knitting Olympics this past February. I did manage to only work on my Olympic sweater. (I didn't, however, manage to finish it. I am a half sleeve short of a finished sweater. Half a sleeve and neck ribbing and some stockinette strips to cover up the monstrous fronts where I picked up and knit the button bands. The yarns carried up from the rows below look awful. I consulted the Fair Isle expert in my guild for guidance. It is now back in the queue.)

I always enjoy knitting blogs that have a lot of photos. I plan to be one of those. Obviously not today, but soon. Very soon.

Thanks for reading my first post. Hopefully we will become friends.