Archive for January, 2008

Only the border remains

I finally finished the last miter for my youngest son’s blanket on Friday. I then began seaming the entire thing together, and let me tell you that if I never see another miter, it’ll be too soon! I can’t imagine making one of the queen sized bed versions and having to seam the entire thing up. This one just about killed me–my back was is hurting a bunch, but I’m really happy with how it’s turned out so far.

Mitered Blanket

Once again, I have a lacking-in-sunshine photo to offer. I’m hoping to get a real FO shot once I’ve added a border of some sort. At the moment, I’m thinking attached i-cord, but I may just wait until the pain of seaming has lessened to make my decision. I do like the garter stitch mitered border suggested in the book.

I have not blocked or washed this in any way, and as you can see in the photo, I haven’t even woven the ends in yet. I had toyed with the idea of backing this with a flannel fabric, but I’m just not sure… Until I decide, I don’t want to go cutting the yarn, ya know?

Pattern: Mitered Square Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease, old and new colors… amounts listed below

Needle: size US8

Measurement: each miter measures approx 7″ across and the entire blanket as shown measures 41″wide by 58″ long.

Started this October 24, 2007… Finished (almost!) January 27, 2008. There was a lot of Christmas knitting done during that time which resulted in this being pushed aside a whole bunch!

I used approximately 4 balls of White, 2 balls of Lime, and over 3 balls each of Ice Blue and Candy Blue to make this blanket. Each miter weighed about .75 ounce, and I used almost every last bit of each color by adjusting the row count in the multi-colored squares. If I were to do this over again I would make all 48 miters multi color, but not like the book suggests. I would make them like the white/lime and ice blue/white blocks-with thicker color bands. The skinny color bands make me dizzy!

I think my son likes this and will get some good use out of it because it’s larger than your standard crib size, the colors are fun but not too baby-ish, and it’s washable. I’ve read good reviews on cotton ease’s wear-ability, which is a big part of why I chose the yarn for this project. That and the colors.

Now I’m off to work on my second attempt at the Hubby Hybrid sweater. This time, I’ll be using Cascade Eco + color #515:

Cascade Eco +


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My First Clapotis

I finished this Monday evening just before bedtime, but didn’t get around to washing and blocking until yesterday.

Pam's Clapotis

I can’t get any great pictures because the sun is hiding once again and yesterday when I tried, the gale force winds weren’t helpful! (I’m aware that the yarn ends haven’t been woven in yet in the picture below)

Pam's Clapotis

Pattern: Clapotis from Knitty

Yarn:  Knit Picks Shimmer in Turquoise Splendor, held double

Needle:  Size US8 (5.0mm)

Started:  January 12, 2008

Finished:  January 21, 2008

I knit this exactly as the pattern states because I wanted to see how it works and how large it would end up with the yarn I chose.  I think it’s a  very well written pattern and is simple enough for anyone to knit, so long as you pay attention for the first few rows to be sure you’re setting up properly.  Otherwise, I honestly don’t see the need for spreadsheets and such.  I got by just fine using a sticky note and a ball point pen!  🙂  The stitch markers are kind of a pain in the @$$ but make the project more mindless than using the purl stitch method, in my opinion.

It shouldn’t have taken as long as it did to finish, but whenever I knit holding two strands together, I take longer to finish… I have to pay more attention because I have this nasty tendency to lose a strand somewhere along the line and not notice until it’s a TOTAL pain to fix.  I love the yarn I used for this because it’s lightweight, soft, silky, drapey, and just pretty!

Fair warning about this yarn:  I had to wash/rinse too many times to count. The bleeding was outrageous!  Every time I rinsed, the water seemed more blue than the time before!  I finally boiled a bunch of water, dumped that into the sink, added a GOOD dollop of vinegar, and carefully placed the Clapotis into the concoction and walked away.  Not sure if that was the right thing to do, but it seemed to work because the bleeding stopped.  There wasn’t even color transfer on the towel I blocked on.  I’ll give the recipient a little warning that it could bleed if she’s in a drenching rain and hope for the best.

Once I blocked this out (very gently, I might add) it measured approx 16″ wide and 74″ long!  It’s definitely huge, but I don’t think it’s too big.  I wish I could pull off this type of style because I love how it looks.  So elegant, but so simple.

I’m off to knit more miters.  Wish me luck!

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12 to go!

Somehow or another I have slowly managed to knit a few more miters for my youngest son’s blanket-in-progress. I have 12 left to knit up, and at the rate I’ve been going I should be able to get those done by his 3rd birthday in September. Maybe. 🙂

Mitered Square Blanket WIP

Above is roughly what it will look like. I haven’t decided how I am going to seam each 4-miter block together or how I’ll seam each strip together. There may be another color involved or there may not. I just don’t know yet. I do know that I’m glad I stuck with only 4 colors as the main portion of the blanket. In my opinion, it’s just busy enough but not so crazy that you have to avert your eyes to avoid instant blindness. 😉  My apologies for the washed-out photo.  Only 4 or 5 more months of winter left, right?  I’m kidding…

I’ve also made some serious progress on the Clapotis.  The finish line is in my sight and I completely understand two things now.  First, I love and detest knitting this thing.  It’s soooooo dang boring, but it’s perfect for sitting in front of the tube watching TV and movies.  It makes perfect sense why so many people have knit it up.  Second, I loooooooove how it’s turning out and completely understand why people knit 3, 4, and even 5 of these!  It’s just awesome the way it drapes and curls and looks and feels so cozy and elegant and stylish all at the same time!  It’s a great pattern, that’s for sure.   Now if I could just finish it!

I hope you all are enjoying a 3 day weekend and enjoy a 4 day work week even more!  Be back later in the week with at least one FO post, I promise!

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I got spoiled over the Christmas school break! I was actually able to knit quite a lot because the kids were playing together (for the most part) and I could just supervise. Now that school’s back in session, my 4 and 2 year olds are love-hate ALL DAY!! It reminds me of my brother and me. We were either playing happily and all was good in the world or we absolutely hated each other and did everything we could come up with to irritate each other. Granted, he is 5 years older than I am, so he had the upper hand. 🙂

I don’t have much knitting content today because of the aforementioned antics around the house. I have succeeded in knitting several more miters for the youngest’s blanket, but they’re truly not worthy of a photo shoot. Not yet. I also cast on for a Clapotis. Yes, I am completely aware that many of you have knit this pattern in multiples, and you probably did so before I became aware that it existed at all. That doesn’t mean I can’t hop onto the latecomer’s bandwagon, does it? I am currently at the almost-bored stage having just reached the straight section. Behold:

Pam's Clapotis

Do you notice anything not related to knitting in this photo? Anything at all? No? Well, my friends, that would be SUNSHINE!!! YAY YAY YAY!! I am so happy to see real live sun that I could almost cry!  I won’t though.

Back to the Clapotis:  I am using Knit Picks Shimmer in Turquoise Splendor and so far I really like how it’s turning out.  It’s very lightweight but not so much that you can’t feel it at all.  It’s very drapey and super soft.  I can’t wait to get into the dropping of stitches.  As of now, I’ve only dropped that first little row of them.  It’s almost as if the pattern’s author knew that we’d be tentative in the intentional dropping of stitches, and as such wrote the pattern with an easing-into of the dropping.  A short line of them to start, a little bit longer on the next run, etc.  🙂

I hope you’re all having a great week so far, and I promise not to leave you hanging much longer about the reason we’re in need of passports.  Maybe later this week, but I’m not sure.

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IKEA…and a couple of gripes

Need I say more?

Ikea Storage!

This is the mostly finished storage solution I’m now using for my yarn… it’s new home is in our bedroom. I’m shocked to say that the hubby actually agreed to my storing yarn in there! Yay! I love the unit and the baskets/bins are HUGE and hold lots of yarn!!

I would love to give you some progress on some sort of knitting, but there really isn’t any worthy of posting about. It’s because of something I’m actually a bit irked about. I ordered some yarn from WEBS and from Knit Picks–each with specific projects in mind. Both projects are somewhat time sensitive, if you will. My plan was to cast on for the two projects immediately upon receiving the yarn, but NOTHING has arrived. Let me begin my complaint with the acknowledgment of the fact Holiday Season just ended and it was a busy time for most every company. That said, I ordered from Knit Picks two skeins of Shimmer and one 16″ needle. That is all. I know that they were closed until January 2, but I wanted to place my order so I wouldn’t forget about it or whatever… I ordered Dec 29. I just received an email late yesterday stating my order is on it’s way. That’s 5 full days… from when they opened back up, not from the order date.  Four of those 5 days I presume the company was open (closed Sun?) since their website said they reopened Jan 2 at 8am. 5 days to fill an order? Good Lord… I’m thinking they might have had to shear an alpaca, gather the silk thread from a caterpillar, spin it, dye it, and skein it before packing it up to send my way. 🙂 I know I’m being petty, but 5 days seems a bit excessive in my opinion. Add to that the 5-14 days to ship my way. Then add to that my order from WEBS. This order I placed Jan 1. Again, I realize the company was probably not open on that day, but I imagine they opened Jan 2, right? I got my shipment confirmation from that order about an hour ago. 6 days there (excluding Sunday!)  There’s a price for the convenience of not driving to a store to shop with kids, I guess.

Ok, I’m done bitching for now.

Since I ordered two projects’ worth of yarn, I didn’t want to cast on anything new. Didn’t want to be in the middle of something when new yarn was en route, ya know?! So I’ve been working on the Mitered Square Blanket for my youngest son for the past few days. I’ve actually made some good progress, but there’s not much worth posting in the way of pictures.

Mitered Blanket Progress

This is the best I’ve got for now because it’s dark and gloomy outside from the rain–yup, rain… in Chicago in January!! Crazy crazy weather around the country!

There are several other squares that aren’t visible in this picture because they’re already seamed into blocks of 4. I think right now I have something like 20 miters done. I need 48. Evidently I’m not a speedy knitter! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and have a great evening.

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I mentioned in a previous post that I had at least one more Very Warm Hat in the queue. Right after the New Year, hubby went to a business lunch with his friend/co-worker and they both wore their Very Warm Hats. Funny, huh? Well, apparently the two men they were meeting with really liked the hats and requested their own versions! I’m flattered, really… but sheesh louise! I only made one for now because only one of the two men making requests is semi-close to the hubby. Is that cruel of me?

Anyway, here’s the third version. I modified the We Call Them Pirates Hat motif from Hello Yarn and used a bit of the leftovers from the other two hats. Hubby wasn’t around to model this one, so please bear with the 2 year old (mis)fit! 🙂

Bensko's Very Warm Hat

Bensko's Very Warm Hat

And the opposite side:

Bensko's Very Warm Hat

I’m not very happy with the stitches on the black/white side, but I haven’t yet washed/blocked the hat. I’m hoping that will alleviate some of the unevenness of the stitches but even if it doesn’t, I’ll survive.

In other news, I can say with utmost certainty that if you decide to spend the first 5 hours of your day as we did today, you should really consider some heavy sedation before leaving your house. 🙂 I’m joking (mostly) but today was kinda crazy. All three kids were looking ragged around the edges and needed haircuts, so that’s where we headed. After haircuts, we headed to Ikea for some storage stuff because I got some really great ideas from some of the Ravelry posts regarding just that. I decided to get myself an Expedit bookcase and the bins/baskets to put my yarn into…  Anyway, we got to Ikea at 10am and didn’t load back into the car until 11:30.  Exhausting, I tell ya.  After that, we hit McDonald’s (yeah, yeah, I know it’s not great for the kids…) and then the best part of the day:  filing applications for Passports for all 3 kids.  Fun Fun Fun.

Actually, the day went really well considering how much stuff we did that is not at all within the definition of fun for a kiddo.  They tagged along (mostly) obediently and we got a lot accomplished.  I’ll post more about why we’re in need of passports next week sometime, so stay tuned!  This is our last weekend of Christmas Break from school and the hubby has to leave Sunday morning for a work-related trip, so I’m gonna go enjoy the rest of our break while it lasts!

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FO: Shetland Triangle

As promised, here is the Shetland Triangle for my dad’s friend:

Shetland Triangle

Pattern: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn A. Clark from the book Wrap Style

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss in Woodland Sage, just under 2.5 skeins

Needle: Size 7 US (4.5mm)

Started 12/26/07, Finished 12/30/07

Mods: I knit the pattern as written, plus 4 additional repeats of the body chart for a total of 12. I also went up a needle size from what the pattern calls for. Honestly, I wish I had gone up to an 8 or even a 9 because I tend to knit tightly. This pattern is so perfect for a beginner lace knitter, but it does come out a bit on the small size. Luckily, it’s super easy to add more repeats and more size. If I were to knit this again (which I surely will!) I would go up in needle size and maybe even add one more body repeat. I like the yarn–it’s a bit tight because of the silk content, but I didn’t think it was too splitty or anything like that. It drapes really nicely and it’s cheap… what more could you ask for?

Pre-Blocking Measurements: 40″ x 19″

Post-Blocking Measurements: 58″ x 30″

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