Friday, March 30, 2007

Knitting Dilemma

Now that I have finished my first SAL, I'd like to begin a new one but I have a bit of a dilemma. It all started yesterday when I found the Webs site. They have lovely yarns on closeout and I can't make up my mind which ones I'd like. Well, maybe this really began back when I received my email from Elann with their sales yarn. Hmm, or it could have started with the KnitPicks one. Either way, my dilemma is this ~ I don't know how much yarn to buy. I have a little moola that I can spend on yarn but I don't know what to buy. I have picked various textures ~ no problem; I've selected various colors ~ no problem; but I can't seem to get the quantity down. I do realize that if I want to make Tuscanny from No Sheep for You ~ it will require about 3-6 skeins (depending on which yarn I get).

You see, I've recently learned that I enjoy making things for babies and I think in terms of what I could make for one. If I don't think specific project for a baby then I just purchase yarn to make requested items for family and friends. I've never actually made anything for myself other than a scarf. Now this should be an easy dilemma to solve, right?! Especially since I am in a few KALs but its not. I am a little intimidated by some of the projects, you know I'm new to all this and the other thing is "do I really want to make that" syndrome has been sharing space in my head.

Ok, so if you have any suggestions for me, I am totally open. I've at least managed to figure out that I should buy each skein in quantities of two, that way I can either make a scarf, a hat or socks. Maybe not much else but it won't go to waste. Also if its wool or acrylic ~ I can make dish and wash clothes or even something for a baby. LOL

So, suggestions please. Btw, which stitch markers do you like best? I don't have any of these.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Knitting along...

Haven't said much in a week, but progress has been made. I have finished my first SAL goal ~ Yeah! Though I earned a strike at the end ~ boo ;( However, it was well earned. ;D

I will upload pics as soon as we can get the camera working or I buy a new one, which I think might be the best option. The CAS Seaman scarf that I was doing is done but it doesn't look quite right. I am hoping that when I upload the pic some of you more experienced knitters can help me out, then I can make a new one. I also finished the red/silver scarf which I named the skein of yarn from hell. LOL

I've started a child's sweater using some of my daughter's stash ~ its Red Heart Sherbet we got on clearance. Oh speaking of clearance, the items that earned me a strike were all clearance items. I picked up several skeins for my dc and secret pal but couldn't resist getting some of it for myself. Namely ~ Lion Brand Wool Ease for $.73 to $1.78, totally a bargain. Some of it will make socks, some will make scarfs and I will be able to pickup more of one to make a sweater or shawl. Not sure which yet but the most I spent for one skein on clearance was $1.78 and the least was $.47 ~ Red Heart, TLC, Caron and Lion Brand. Now tell me, would you have passed up this deal?! It was fun and my dh tried to help me out. He offered to purchase 2 skeins of the LB Wool Ease so that I wouldn't get a strike but I wanted all 7 skein. Oh well, he tried but I said "it was just to good of a deal to pass up." I wrote more here. I will be starting a new SAL goal soon, once I decide which option to do next.

The past week has been very busy around my house. My dd's have been teaching the neighborhood children how to knit and I think have started a little knitting group of their own. I went to my fav LYS and the owner showed me how to use a swift and winder ~ totally cool. I was thinking about getting one but I think it would be more fun to visit w/her and use hers. ;D I ordered my subscription to Interweave Knits and joined several kals too, including one for IK. I've fallen in love w/Debbie Bliss' work and hope to acquire a couple of her books. I picked up over 30 books from the library but am lovin' learning the patterns in DB's books. I've confirmed that I love making baby things more than anything. I may occasionally branch out to other things ~ especially my dishclothes but baby things call my heart and they are quick too.

Well, I'll leave you with some thoughts I found in the Mason-Dixon Knitting book, p17. I am enjoying reading this one too. I'll type up a list of the books I have reviewed later in the week. Have an awesome day!

~ Great things you will do ~
knit far into the night
wake up and start knitting before you've had any coffee
buy more yarn before you have finished your first project
buy a pattern book
Google "yarn"
finish something and feel like you've reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
~ I agree with each and every one of them because I've done it. ;D

1st SAL Goal ~ Done!

Hello all,

I've been MIA of late, working on things around the house and school. However, I did manage to complete my first SAL goal though I earned a strike too. ;)

Last week, I finished off the last 12 oz of my original plan under option #1:
CAS Seaman scarf dark blue yarn - done
Child's scarf red/silver yarn ~ done and now known as the skein of yarn from hell ;D
Blanket squares true red ~ done
~ there is only a small amount of each left which I will put in the pile for the scrap scarf I'd like to make. I am hoping for some advance regarding the Seaman scarf because it doesn't look quite right to me. I'll upload pics as soon as I get the camera working.

Now about that strike ~ I had gone to a local store to purchase some cable needles. There was a 40% sale on all knitting and crochet notions ~ woohoo. I picked up many needed items then started looking for the yarn I needed to complete my Country Cousins blanket in yellow and green ~ I had used up all that I had in stash but needed 2 more skeins to finish the blanket. I didn't find what I needed, but found 3 clearance bins of yarn. There were several brands for sale and lots of variety. Each skein cost from $.47 to $1.78, such a bargain I was willing to take the strike for the ones I bought for myself ~ Lion Brand Wool Ease and TLC Essential. I purchased about 10 skeins for me and several for gifts and my dc stash ~ they've even started a knitting group in the neighborhood. ;) I'll upload pics of these too. Funny thing, since my dc started their little knitting group, I've lost about 3 skeins of this sacred purchase. LOL

Its been a productive two weeks and I am looking forward to doing more in the next few days especially with my new yarn. I am looking through lots of books I borrowed from the library and I am hoping to make my first pair of socks. My oldest dd made baby socks and they are so cute. I think I'll start w/these myself. I'll update again soon.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Knitting 101

I've learned something new ~ I learned to cast on long tail style. Yep! I did it all by myself, twice too. I am really likin' how it makes my work look. I figured it was vitally necessary to the stability of my garterlac clothes and my new one is looking really good. I've started a new cloth pattern and used it and it looks very good. It almost looks like a popsicle to ~ guess its because the color is "orange sherbet" which is varigated. ;D

I've made 2 more crochet items today. They were the crochet caps in the "One Skein" book which took about 1 1/2 to make each. Not bad at all. I'll upload pics tomorrow so you can see how they look. The first one was made using a N hook but the pattern calls for a P. I did the second one with the correct hook but I think my tension was a little loose because Sk8rChick says its too big compared w/the first one she had on her head.

Both girls have requested more of them along w/a couple of the first hat I made. We'll see. I need to get back to my scarves but I'm having fun making quick projects. It kills the time and uses up my stash. I'm working on creating a WIP list and may create a FO flickr page too. We shall see. Off to bed w/me. See ya tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Garterlac Dishcloth #1

Here it is, I'm done. I've already cast on a new one in the PnC ecru remains of the bath mat. Sorry the pic isn't very good but I'll do better next time.
Not much else happenin' around here. Peace & Quiet is the order of the day. ;)
Have an awesome night.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

SP10 has begun!

SP10 is in full operation now. We have been distributed our spoilee's and I have even received an ecard from my spoiler. ;D I'm looking forward to having fun and will make sure to keep you updated but don't expect details on my gifts to my spoilee. That would "spoil" it! ;)

I hope to a have a button soon but until them,
dear SP my questionaire is in the sidebar under "SP10". ;D

First 30 days!

I have been SALing now for 30 days and I love it. It has been the incentive I needed to keep working even when it is warming up outside. I now take it with me. LOL Before, I only did handcrafts from fall thru winter, while snuggled indoors. Once it starts to warm up, I’d leave my projects til next fall. Most of the time, I only purchased enough yarn to finish a project or worked on a cross-stitch item that can be easily picked up again. Since I began homeschooling, I have collected more yarn than I had imagined in hopes of using it for school projects. I even had charity yarn I’d forgotten about. It was made apparent that I needed a better and more efficient plan. ; ) Thanks to SAL, I have one, plus it is a lot of fun to see what others are doing, be motivated by their progress, glean new ideas, and share my own trials and successes. It has been a wonderful experience for me.

Here is my progress report:
Goal ~ destash 24 oz
1. scarves ~ 1 done 2 oz
2. washclothes ~ 4 done 3 oz
3. afghan squares ~ 5 done 4 oz
~ gifted navy blue ball ~ 3 oz
total as of 3/12 = 12 oz (yeah! half way there)
*balance is WIPs, so I’m hoping to have it all used up by or before my finish date.

On my free day, I increased my stash by 45.5 oz:
~ bath mat - done 12 oz
~ washclothes - 2 done 2 oz
~ dishcloth WIP ~ 2.5 oz
total decrease = 16.5 oz (29 more to go)
*this does not include yarn for secret pal gift nor 16oz of cotton my daughter is now using. One thing I did manage to do was delegate all but 3.5 oz to a project which will ensure that I use it up quickly - you can read more here.

My original plan has been slow and steady. I’ve learned that I must keep variety, to include lots of color, in the stash selection so that I don’t get bored. This is all a learning process for me and I am looking forward to the next 30 days and beyond.

Happy Destashing!

~ Garterlac Progress ~

I am almost done. Yeah! I’m planning to make a couple more too but will have to use a different needle. I used the Peaches n Cream white w/#5s. PnC recommends #7s for this cotton, unfortunately we couldn’t find them when I was ready. I will try the 8s next time and because I still am learning tension, I may even be able to use my 10s. LOL We’ll see and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
Have a great day!

Monday, March 12, 2007

It is done

I finished the bath mat today. It was nice to hold the finished project in my hand and know that I made something nice for my home. I don't remember the last time I made something for my home by hand. Its been a while. This was a one skein project but, as you will see in the final pic below, it didn't use the entire 16oz cone. I have enough left for at least 1 washcloth or 2 bath mitts. I'll let you know which I decide.

Here is the 1/2 way mark pic followed by the final:

I also completed 2 ecru washclothes too. I worked these in between working on the mat because I wanted to have completed something this weekend. Then I started my garterlac dishclothes. Boy, these are very easy but you must be a good knitter because the instructions, no offence to Dave, assume you really know knitting terminology and have done similar knitting before. I was able to get starting help from my LYS friend but I failed to let her walk me through the entire pattern so I had a lot of ripping out of stitches this weekend before I actually got the hang of it. Now that I have memorized the basic pattern to create the cloth, I am really enjoying making them. It will take me a bit to finish the first one but I am confident that I will be able to whip them up in half the time next time. Here are my clothes, the first is the beginning of the garterlac and the other is simple crochet ones:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bath Mat Progress

This project is really stretching me. I've never worked w/2 strands before nor with cotton. It is hard on my hands but I can handle it. I've notice that I am having to be more conscious of my wrists when knitting and my left hand when crocheting this mat. Care is needed to not injure myself and to have neat work. No ripping apart for me ~ it really makes me sad to have to do that especially after the time spent doing the work.

Anyway, I've also completed another 10 x 10 square in pastel yellow which is another additional 1.5 oz or 42 grams of yarn destashed for the week. Woohoo! I am enjoying watching the projects come alive and take on shape. Oh, I even managed to detash about another 100 g to my dd ~ Riley has decided to make a rippled afghan. Unfortunately, we haven't found a pattern that suits her and we just ripped apart her first effort to try again. LOL She'll get it and I want her to get it so she doesn't give me the yarn back. ;D

Well, off to read blogs, get some typing done and back to my book & needles or hook ~ not sure which. Like having a choice. Have great evening.

Monday, March 05, 2007

My First Free Day

Well, as you may recall, friday was my first free day during SAL. It was a lot of fun. I visited several online stores but I didn't purchase anything. I may in the future but I opted to pickup some yarn from my new fav LYS and at Walmart.

This LYS hosts a pot luck and it was fabulous. The girls tagged along, the oldest dd made homemade cupcakes then we picked up some chicken. It was a wonderfully quiet evening at the shop. The girls and I made new friends, learned some new stitches, loved the yarn and we did buy some. I even picked up a couple of skeins for my secret pal gift. No peeking ~ you will only see what I bought for my own stash enhancement and for gifting.

Red Heart Pumpkin ~ will be used to make a couple of OSU hats for my men :D

Peaches & Creme ~ will be used for home items: the large spool is for a bath mat, and the small skeins will be for making washclothes in solid colors, and dishclothes in varigated. I am hoping to use the Garterlac pattern for dishclothes. I will be using the One Skein book for the bath mat (p75).

Bernat White cotton ~ will also be used to make a bath mat but I don't think I'm making it. Sk8rChick has asked to make one so she may use that.

Debbie Bliss ~ not sure what I will do with these yet, but they are ooh so soft in lavendar and cream ~ cashmerino chunky. It will be something for myself, I think but not sure what since this is all I could find at the LYS. I may search online for more.

Here is the last one ~ its a deep purple that doesn't photograph well but hopefully you can see how rich and beautiful this hank is. I loved it the first time I saw it 2wks ago and was so happy to see it still there when I came back. I am still uncertain what I will make with it though. Any suggestions? Its Cascade Yarns "Sierra" ~ Pima Cotton and Wool (80%/20%).

I have depleted my stash by 3oz today making 2 10x10 squares for the Country Cousins Blanket. Yeah! Its a Lion Brand pattern you can see here. You must be a member to actually access the pattern but thats no big deal its worth the effort with all thats available when you do. I'll post pics of the project as I get further along. It requires 9 total squares, so I've got about 7 to go but they work up fairly quickly and will help to deplete my stash by another 9oz before I will need to purchase more yarn to finish it off. I am also planning to use some other yarn I've got to make another one and that would help to reduce the stash by at least 10oz more. Now I will need to figure what this actually totals in grams since most projects, and people I talk to, consider that more than ozs. I've always done ounces so I'm learning something new and my dc are practicing metrics in the process.

Talk w/you all soon. Have a great night.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Its the Weekend!

Well, I’m ready but I’m more ready for what today will bring. I am planning on visiting a couple LYS in person and online. I may purchase a skein or two but really I need to get some more needles. I’m may just head on over to Walmart and pickup some trusty aluminum. However, Sk8rChick now only likes bamboo after buying that awesome set of dpn’s. Oh the joy of finding something you like. ;D I may get her pair in 7s but she really wants this beautiful yarn and her guitar strings. Decisions, decisions ~ she’ll have til about 9p tonight to decide or else I’ll have to decide for her. I’m not sure if buying yarn for my dc and secret pal will count as a strike for me so I’ll use my today to purchase some for them if not myself that way I’ll not get a strike. I don’t want one, I’m enjoying coming up with ideas to use what I currently have on hand. It amazes me how I managed to stock up on yarn. I usually buy just enough for a project I’ve decided on, finish it and thats that. There may be some leftover but one of the dc usually grabbed that. So when we found all this yarn in our house, and there is more ~ I realized that I had 2 of some balls but can’t find them at the moment, I wasn’t to incline to go out and buy anymore. I love the beautiful colors and textures I have now been exposed to but not enough to risk a strike, mess up my budget or to create more stash to figure out how to get rid of. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy for a while. I did need some skeins of current colors to finish up projects but have since found they are no longer available. So these remnants will work great with the ripple along blanket I’m doing.

Off to plan my day. Talk w/you later.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Knit 1, Purl 2...

Progress is steady around here. I have managed to complete 3 squares and I'm working on the 4th one. Each is a different knit stitch which has been fun to do. I've learned a lot in the past week and am really enjoying myself. I recently joined a new KAL, "No End In Sight. . . Ripple Along" which is more for crocheting, which I love dearly and have been doing for over 30 yrs. I searched thru my stash today looking for options and am planning to use some of the remains from my knitted squares, when I found a UFO baby blanket. I started this blanket over 2 yrs ago. I have completed 30 rows in a ripple pattern that is very easy. The problem ~ boring. I began to get very tired of the same drill and the white. Man, who knew that white could wear you out and create a sense of not going anywhere. I crochet lots of baby blankets in white but this one never was finished which is too bad really. I'll work on it but with some modifications. Since I really like this ripple pattern that I have modified it to make scarves and found a UFO too when I was searching the stash pile. I'll have to put this on my "to be completed" list.

What I need to do is decide how to proceed w/the baby blanket. I would love to add a new color but should I continue from where I am or should I remove some rows then add more color. Here are some color options I am considering ~ some of the colors (blue/yellow) are projects that didn't workout that I will take apart. I also have some other colors not shown like lt pink and green:

I have not purchased any yarn and tomorrow is my free day. I am not sure that I will be able to purchase any but I will be looking and enjoying an opportunity to buy if I want. I never actually was concerned about purchasing before and after finding more skeins of yarn around the house this week, I don't think I need to purchase anything other than supplies ~ need more needles. Oh, but I will need to pick up somethings for my secret pal, that way I'll have things on hand for when it gets underway in the next couple of weeks. ;D I like being prepared, it keeps me on track especially financially now that I'm at home full-time.

Well, off to re-take the pics of the squares. I am planning to make several of these, in different stitches, and sew them together to make a baby afghan. There are now 4 friends of mine who are expecting and this will be a wonderful way to pray for and bless each family.

Talk w/you soon. Oh, yes ~ if you have suggestions for my ripple blanket, please leave me a comment. thx ;D