Friday, October 26, 2012

Finished Object Friday

Pattern: Juta's Stockings

Yarn: Sydney Sock with Nylon from Studio June Yarns

Modifications: None. (I know, pretty amazing eh?)

Comments: The sock yarn was given to me by Jill at Studio June Yarn as a 'thank you" for designing some Ravelry ads for her. The colourway is unnamed on the label, but it makes me think of summer skies streaked with the thinnest cirrus clouds.

This yarn is beautifully smooth yielding perfect stitch definition which is very satisfying for a simple sock like this. Other than lace panels on the side of the legs and the top of the foot it's a vanilla sock pattern, but the result is quite elegant I think. It's another winning sock pattern from Nancy Bush!

It's Friday so check the links at Tami's Amis. Why not see what everyone else has finished? It's also Socktoberfest, so chances are these socks are in some good company!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

My friend's birthday is fast approaching, and it seems to me that now's the time to finish these shelf liners I started for her more than two years ago. I planned to make three, but only finished one and started a second. Look how wrinkled they are from being scrunched up in a bag in the cupboard for so many months! Once I finish them they'll definitely need some steam blocking.

The pattern is based on this Montague table runner which I have adjusted to make longer and narrower. There's also an intentional jog in the seed stitch borders at the beginning and end of each liner where the framing of the cupboard narrows the otherwise open shelf space.

I'm knitting in dishcloth cotton; after attending a tent sale at the Spinrite Factory Outlet I find myself with a ton of it. This is a great way to make some headway through that part of my stash. isn't it. It's also a practical choice for a shelf liner I think - machine washable, can be bleached if needed, absorbent and not linty. Also, the worsted weight cotton makes a thick cushion for glasses and dinnerware.

The only downside is the tedium ... it's like knitting three matching scarves. I guess that explains why it's been on the needles for what seems like forever. Well that stops right now. I'm going to try to knit monogamously on these shelf liners until they're done. Wish me luck ... or patience and self-discipline, more likely.

Of course it's Work-in-Progress Wednesday so I'm linking up with the gang at Tami's Amis. Why not have a look to see what everyone else has been up to?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Year of Projects 2: Juta's Stockings 01 and Merike's Gloves 05

Folk Knitting in Estonia: Aino's Gloves • Anu's Christmas Gloves • Anu's Mittens • Anu's Stockings • Avo's Mittens • Ellen's Stockings • Helgi's Mittens • Hilja's Mittens • Ilmar's Socks • Juta's Stockings • Kalev's Mittens • Kristi's Mittens • Laila's Socks • Landra's Gloves • Liidia's Gloves • Liivi's Stockings • Maarja's Socks • Maimu's Mittens • Marko's Mittens • Meida's Mittens • Merike's Gloves • Rita's Stockings • Sander's Mittens • Tiit's Socks • Ulla's Gloves • Virve's Stockings

Finally I can show you some progress on my second of Merike's Gloves! I've knit the cuff of the right glove and started the thumb gusset. In the pattern the right is worked as the left with the shapings reversed. I'd prefer if full written instructions were provided for both gloves, but they're not, so I guess I'll have to keep my thinking cap on. It does slow me down a bit, because I don't want to start a shaping section unless I'm certain to have time to finish it.

At the same time I've cast on Juta's Stockings. The yarn is a lovely subtle tonal in summer sky blues from Studio June Yarn. Because the pattern is so simple - mostly stockinette with a simple column of lace on each side of the leg and the top of the foot - I can readily pick it up and put it down without losing track of the pattern. Easy, peasy; the first sock is already off the needles.

Having a second project on the needles helps make me feel like I'm making better progress on my list of projects. At least now I have something more to post about in my weekly updates. As well, making visible progress on one project makes me less impatient with the slow pace of progress on the other. So that's the plan going forward. Besides, the Christmas gift pile still needs several more pairs of socks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

All of a sudden I cast on a sock. Well, it's Socktoberfest, so why not? After all I can't show you my secret Christmas knitting, can I? And I suspect you may be nearly as sick of the second glove I have on the needles as I am. So a new sock project is definitely in order.

The pattern is Juta's Stockings. It's little more than a vanilla sock with a narrow column of very simple lace on each side of the leg. I'm knitting it with Sydney Sock from Studio June Yarn and I'm loving it so far. The yarn is entirely smooth so stitch definition is perfect. Very satisfying for a vanilla sock.

And that's all I've got today, but of course, you can get your fill of yarn projects through the links at Tami's Amis. Have a great Work-in-Progress Wednesday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

fo: Pillow cases

Pattern: Pillow Cases Small Sewing Card by Valori Wells (scroll down towards the bottom of the linked page to see this particular pattern)

Materials: Quilting cotton in three patterns - a light fern leaf pattern, a dark brown batik and a dark green pattern called "Camelot". There is such a huge variety of quilting cotton available that I could readily find colours and patterns that matched my paint colours, my headboard and my existing bedding.

Comments: These really took no time at all (maybe an hour each?) and I love them. It's amazing how a small thing like this makes such an impact in the room. It really ties the colours in my room together. In fact,  I love them so much that I'm already considering making some for the guest bedroom, and maybe some Christmas themed ones ...

 My friend seemed dismayed that I would pay $3 for the Sewing Card pattern, however the front cover image was really bright, colourful and inspirational, and, I have a sincere appreciation for having all the math done for me - exactly how many yards I should buy and to what exact size I should cut the pieces. Well worth the $3 in my mind. I followed the directions exactly as written, and the cases fit my pillows perfectly, every inside raw edge is oversewn to prevent fraying and I had very small scraps of fabric leftover. All good.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Year of Projects 2: Merike's Gloves 04

Folk Knitting in Estonia: Aino's Gloves • Anu's Christmas Gloves • Anu's Mittens • Anu's Stockings • Avo's Mittens • Ellen's Stockings • Helgi's Mittens • Hilja's Mittens • Ilmar's Socks • Juta's Stockings • Kalev's Mittens • Kristi's Mittens • Laila's Socks • Landra's Gloves • Liidia's Gloves • Liivi's Stockings • Maarja's Socks • Maimu's Mittens • Marko's Mittens • Meida's Mittens • Merike's Gloves • Rita's Stockings • Sander's Mittens • Tiit's Socks • Ulla's Gloves • Virve's Stockings

I'm only slightly further ahead on my Year of Projects this week compared to last week. At least now I've cast on and started that second glove. Although it may not look like much yet, chances are there will be lots of progress this week. After all those are my only size 0 needles, so I have to finish this second glove before starting anything else. And by anything else, of course I mean socks.

Seems like that's all I feel like knitting these days ... socks, socks and more socks. And that's just when I feel like knitting; I've spent the last couple of days sewing instead. (More on that tomorrow). In the interest of not falling too far behind on my Year of Projects I've decided to knit some of the sock patterns in the book sooner rather than later. It's not a bad idea considering how much sock yarn I have on hand. Besides, socks make great Christmas presents so it's two birds with one stone, right?

Is it really mid-October already? Christmas in 10 weeks or so? YIKES! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Finished Object Friday

Pattern: Sagittarius

Yarn: Alley Cat BFL in "Badlands" colourway

Modifications: As usual I upped the primary stitch count to switch to size 0 needles, this time casting on 78 sts. I prefer the fabric I get from finer needles. I also switched out one pattern repeat on either side of the leg for K4P2 rib to make the sock stretchier. And as usual, I opted for Eye of Partridge heel.

With all those modifications it took me about three tries to get the fit the way I wanted. Ripping out once, then again was annoying but now that they're done I'm very satisfied with how it all worked out.

Comments: The last socks I knit were from a cashmere/merino/nylon blend and I thought I was sold on that, but now this BFL yarn is giving me pause. It's really soft too, and lovely to work with. This pair is part of my Christmas knitting but it's going to be really hard to give them away. I opted for the men's version of this sock pattern, with M1s in place of lacier YOs and with an unpatterned foot to suit the guy on my list.

It's Friday so check the links at Tami's Amis. Why not see what everyone else has finished? It's also Socktoberfest, so chances are these socks are in some good company!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

Almost done! The felt numbers arrived from Monika at Monkey Business by yesterday's post. Last night I spread out the 24 finished mittens and arranged the numbers sequentially. Several minutes of gluing, some drying time and then they're ready for hanging!

The pattern - Smitten (A Holiday Garland)- includes instructions for a garland for stringing the mittens along a mantel or railing, but I'm omitting that. My plan is to decorate the Christmas tree with the mittens.

Now I need to come up with ideas to fill them. Gavin thinks little chocolates for everyday is a good idea, although, he warns, make sure they're wrapped so that they don't melt inside the mittens. I checked, those credit-card style gift cards fit in the mittens just fine too. With a month and half to work on this, I'll just pick up cute little things here and there when I see them.

It's the darnedest thing. This set of 24 mini-mittens seems to have taken forever but now, seeing how darling they are, I have the urge to make another set for a friend. Crazy, huh?

There's some secret Christmas knitting going on that I can't show you. But there's woodworking too, and that I can show you. After seeing online plans to make these Treasure Chests I decided to have a go for the nephews and niece. Gavin has made the boxes from solid maple and now we're working on the domed lids. My next step is to sand the ends of the zebrawood lid slats flush with the maple end. At the same time I'm looking around for some leather straps. I struck out at the fabric store and now I'm checking thrift-shops for second-hand belts. If you have any idea where I could buy 3/4" wide leather straps, please let me know!

It's work-in-progress Wednesday so there's lots to see over at Tami's Amis! Why not take a few minutes to get some ideas for your Christmas lists?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

shhhh ... it's a secret

It's that time of year again! Yep, Christmas knitting time ... so let the secrets begin.

Last year I knit a Gryffindor scarf for my brother, and after glancing at a single yarn photo he told me that he could guess from the colours exactly what it would be. It was obvious, he told me. How could I possibly think he wouldn't guess?

This year I'm knitting for the same brother. Today's photo is a hint for him. But here's one more hint: things are not always as they seem!

That's all that I'm going to say on this matter, and that's the last photo you'll see until after Christmas day. He reads this blog ... although he admits to just skimming the really "knitty" posts. Now don't anyone ruin the surprise, please! What about you? Have you started your Christmas knitting?

Friday, October 5, 2012


Why should I share? I'm pretty sure Auntie Jane made it for me!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

As promised I'm working on Smitten - A Holiday Garland. Mittens 1 to 16 are done. Mittens 17, 18 and 19 are knit but the finishing is still to be done. Mitten 20 is on the needles in Briggs and Little Anniversary Twist.

Over the last several weeks I've mused about how to number these mittens. Up until a couple of days ago I was resigned to duplicate stitching the numbers in a contrasting colour ... but then I found this. Cream coloured numbers have been ordered and are expected any day!

Just four more mitts to go and I'm determined to finish this week. I'm so looking forward to the part where I can just think about all the fun little things to put in them :)

It's work-in-progress Wednesday; be sure to check the links at Tami's Amis for all the updates!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Surmount the Stash October update

It's that time again; time to evaluate my progress to Surmount the Stash. This month the news is more upbeat!

Monthly budget of $50 for all knitting related expenses: This month I spent $3 for a single pattern and not one red cent on yarn. Much better than last month. Maybe there's hope for me yet?

Manage my WIPs: My Smitten Advent calendar is STILL not done. I'm will finish it this week; promise, cross my heart. Last month I made six hats, a pair of colourwork mittens, one sock and one glove. This month I need to finish the second sock, the second glove, as well as that advent calendar.

Plan projects to work through my inventory of yarns in my Stash: By focusing on hats I cut my stash of acrylic worsted by more than half. But, even though I didn't buy any yarn last month my sock yarn stash grew. Yesterday a package arrived with three gorgeous skeins of sock yarn from Studio June - a thank you present for designing her Ravelry ads. I know, I'm spoiled. Turns out Dee is right ... it is SOCtoberfest! Now which three patterns to choose?