January 30, 2015

The Boat Sweater: Project #2

I can wear sweaters in the dead heat of summer. I always need one when we are on the beach in Panama City every summer. I play in the sun all day and by nightfall I am usually pretty cold. Sunburns will do that to me every time.  Then there is nightfall on the water. Out on the boat. There is always a cool breeze on the water and when I have been out in it all day, I get a chill when the sun goes down, yes, even in August. 
My husband thinks I am nuts, but I never leave the house without a sweater, no matter what time of year it is. 
And this sweater just has Boat and Beach Sweater written all over it.


Tho that is not the name of the pattern, I look at it and I think about cool spring nights and weekends on the boat fishing and hanging with friends. 
Isn't that what you see?

                                                 
                                                              

I decided this would be perfect for all that extra Pure Wash Merino I ended up with from the Stonewall sweater.  It is the softest yarn once it is washed and if I'm going to end up with a sunburn, soft is always a good thing.


I really love this sweater and couldn't wait to cast on and get started yesterday. There's just one small problem. 
Reading this pattern is the very definition of muddling through. 
I always try and go through a pattern one good time before I cast on. Just so I know what is coming up before I get there.  Even that didn't help. 
You really have to have a clear understanding of top down knitting and sweater construction or don't even bother starting this project. There is nothing about this pattern that allows for a new knitter. 
Maybe that was the authors plan, I don't know. 


I have read lots and lots of patterns that have way to much (in my opinion) technical information. Turning a 3 page pattern into a novella. 
That is not the problem with this one. 
I think the pattern is well written, it just jumps all over the place. 
So if you have never made a top down sweater. Don't make this one your first. 
By all means, after you knit a sweater or two and have a feel for the process, make this sweater. It's bound to become your favorite.

I am not saying this pattern is not doable, it is. And I think once I am finished it will quickly become one of my favorites to wear.
Maybe not to re-knit, but to wear. 

On the good side, she has the King Charles Brocade written out as well as charted, which saved me some time, because I would have had to write it out myself. 

Once I muddled through the beginnings of the pattern, it started flying around the needles. 
It really is going to be a nice sweater!







Dealing with all this wool has really dried my skin out. Especially on the finger that the yarn runs across. My skin actually cracked and started bleeding last week. 
This has now become a huge part of my nighttime regimen.  We won't even talk about what age is doing to my skin. It's the wool!  


January 26, 2015

FO: No More Stonewalling!

I am finally finished with the Stonewall sweater. 
I absolutely love how this sweater turned out. Tho I did have a few "OMG" moments when I was putting the sweater back together again.
And then there were the dropped side stitches that ran back for about fifteen rows that had to be picked back up again. 
All in all, I LOVE IT!
These are the first pics. They aren't the best, and when Brat #1 gets off of work today, I will have her get some better pics.
 
This was an easy to follow pattern. If you are looking for a great looking sweater, with easy instructions, I highly recommend that you make one of these!







January 21, 2015

Second Sleeve Syndrome

We have all heard of, and had, second sock syndrome.  But now I have been afflicted by another kind of syndrome. Second Sleeve Syndrome.
Didn't know that was a thing did ya?
Apparently it is. 
 
As you can see in the picture 34 sts, even on the shortest needles, has to be stretched around the needles for a few rounds. 
By the time I had finished the first sleeve, my finger was so sore from forcing the stitches around that I had to take a day off to let it stop throbbing. 
I know I could have used dpns but where would be the fun in that?
The first sleeve was actually done on 16" needles so it took allot more effort to get the first 24 rows of stst on. 
I finally found these 12" needles and it has made a huge difference in the first few rows. I'm still struggling, but not half as bad. 
By the time I was up to the second increase row, 24 rows in, the stitches finally started moving smoothly around the needles. 
Once I did get past the struggle part, I am happy about knitting this again. 
Yesterday, when I had to force myself to pick up the needles to start the second sleeve, I was seriously afraid that I had developed a bad case of sss and this sweater was going to end up in the WIP pile for a while. 
 
 

January 16, 2015

Stonewalling At It's Best

With it all wet and rainy and cold yesterday I decided that would be a good time to sit down and get some serious knitting done on the Stonewall sweater.
I fired up Hulu, found the first season of American Horror Story, put it on auto play and plopped in front of the t.v for the rest of the day, and night. And as you can see, I did get quite a bit of knitting finished. 
The first picture shows the detail in the pattern and the second is is the actual color of the yarn.
I think once it is finished and blocked, the purl pattern will pop out a little better. Right now it is just a pile of bumps all willy nilly looking throughout the sweater.

I am a totally intense knitter. When I am watching t.v. while I knit, the more intense the scene, the faster I can knit. And let me tell you, anytime you see Dylan McDermott's naked body running all over the screen, it's intense!

The obligatory "process" shots below were not all done in one night. Though I am moving right along. This is two nights of work. 
I am really excited about wearing this. 
And the pattern is really straight forward and easy to follow. 
I know allot of you like all the techie info that turns two pages of a pattern into, like 20, I do not. Give me straightforward with a few tips here and there and I am one happy camper.

I did actually force myself to put this down last night about midnight. I had to order the shorter needles for the sleeves and they will not be here until Wednesday. 
I don't know what I am going to do with myself until then, I think when I get home today I will tear apart every closet to see if I can find some shorter needles I may have stashed away somewhere. 
If I can't...........I guess it's back to linen stitch cloths until next week.
 


January 14, 2015

Stash Diving Pays Off

As soon as I had a spare moment yesterday, no small feat with kids and cleaning, I went stash diving. I have a military foot locker full of yarn. That seemed like the most logical place to start. 
Digging through that thing for about fifteen minutes, I came to the realization that I have a lot of different yarn, but not enough of any one kind of yarn. 
I really did go over board during the Great Stash Enhancement of 2011. I mean like, REALLY!
Luckily that is not the only place I have yarn stashed.  (really? did you think it was)
Unfortunately when we cleaned out the bedroom to make room for the new furniture some of my yarn I know I had was put somewhere that I can not find in my house. I searched every closet and open corner and could not find what I was looking for. 
Somewhere in my house is a full bag of Knit Picks Swish, which I think would be perfect for this sweater, but I'll be damned if I can find it.
But, tucked in the very dark corner of the very last closet I looked in, I found this!! 
 
I bought this yarn about three years ago when I got the grand idea that I was going to design myself a new sweater for work. Of course you see how far my ideas get sometimes.
But it all works out in the end doesn't it.

I didn't get a lot of time yesterday to work too much on this. 
I did however make a pretty good start with what little time I had.

On a funny note, after two solid months of linen stitch,everything, guess what the first two set up rows of this pattern are??? 
K1, sl1 wyif! I had to LOL while I was doing it.
Then, once again after two solid months of the linen stitch, it took a huge amount of concentration to switch over to k1,p1. 
My fingers kept slipping 1. 
After about two dozen rounds I finally worked the memory out of my fingers and the ribbing started flying by. 



I did manage to get a pretty good bit finished before bedtime last night. Once I untangled and retrained my fingers it went fairly smooth.



January 13, 2015

No Reason Not to Stonewall

I know everyone is tired of listening to me complain about not being able to find a project interesting enough to me to start.
Well I have good news for you..........I FOUND IT! 
My next project, the one that has me searching online and hunting around for the perfect yarn! 
I just can't explain how happy and excited this makes me. 
I love doing my cloths, and towels and scarves, but I want something a little challenging without being so irritating it ends up in the WIP pile until I don't feel guilty about ripping it apart. 
I know you all will find this hard to believe, (on top of all this wonderful news) but I purchased the pattern! 
It just hit me as something I just really want to make. And I am sure I could have hunted half the internet to find a free one that was pretty close. And I am sure half of you will, but I like THIS pattern. And if I like it and the price is not so out of this world, I don't mind paying for it. And this was only $6 so, I jumped in and bought it.


The Stonewall Pattern




Doesn't it look absolutely cozy, comfy, jeans and slippers warm?
I love it! 
Now I just have to find the absolute best yarn for this project.
It calls for worsted/10ply 9WPI yarn.
I was almost set to buy some online then I decided to take the reasonable route and wait until I get home and check the stash.
I want to take this project nice and easy, not rush in with all these grand ideas, as I normally do. That's how it ends up in the WIP pile for so long.
So, until I dig in the stash this is as far is this goes for right now..................
Give me an hour and a half and things will change ;0)

January 9, 2015

Let Me Inspire You: LOTD

Since I have absolutely no idea what I want to start on next, I thought I would just look at a lot of different patterns until one finds me.
Then I thought, I might as well share some of the cute patterns here. 
So here is what I have been looking at today.

Fancy Ribby Hat: An adorable ear flap hat

Eveliina: These actually might make me check the stash. Cute boot slippers.

Contiguous Method: for set in seamless set in sleeves

Mini Sampler KAL: for learning the contiguous method

Ambiente: using the contiguous method

Seelie Cardi: nice garter stitch cardigan

On The Beach: name says it all

Driftwood: another great water wear sweater

Flappy: a tailored vest top down

Sweet Reflections: Cute kids sweater

A very long list of patterns that use the contiguous method some free all awesome!
Ravelry Patterns Made Using The Contiguous Method For Set In Sleeves 

I think I have just made a bigger problem for myself. 
I want to knit them all!!!

January 8, 2015

Really?


 http://learn2knit.ca/wp-content/gallery/too-funny/e4545a90add54669672c4a620e459917.jpg


I am lost. Like seriously.
I have no clue what I am going to start knitting. I want to make the sweaters for the babies. But I don't want to start a project that big. (BIG?)
I want to do more dishcloths, and I have one half done on the needles, but surely this will eventually get boring. Well, it kind of already has. But the thought of starting anything that might take longer than a great night of t.v. has me all ....uuuugggggghhhhhhh!

And with all of this wandering around in my brain (what little there is) I am getting to the point where I just want to put the needles down again.
I do have to whip out about 6 more dishcloths.
Yeah, I'll just stick with that, and maybe by the time I am finished I will have figured out what I am going to do next.
Hopefully!


January 7, 2015

Interesting LOTD (Links Of The Day)

I have basically been surfing around the internet, entertaining myself and posted a few links over at the  Knittinfun Facebook Page but I didn't want to bomb everyone with all the nifty things I am looking at today, so I am going to post some here.
My little list of "oohhs and ahhhs"

Audrey Hepburn
Boot Slippers
Braided Cuffs
Cornflower Gloves
Easy Knitted Fingerless Mitts 
Forest Park Cowl
Mostly Lazy
Oh handsome Cabled Sweater (men)
Owl Wings Stole
Phrygian Cap
Party Bottle Cozy
Reversible Snowflake Hat
Seamless Soap Sweater
Tri-Colour Slouch Hat

Not Another Dishcloth, Towel or Scarf!

I have been so busy with all the cloths and cowls and scarves and towels that now, with no particular thing in mind, I am at the moment when I think "What the heck am I going to knit now."
The door is wide open, I don't HAVE to knit anything specific. It's kind of a weird feeling. And at this moment I don't think I care for it.
Not enough structure.
Too many want to knits bouncing around in my head.

So after all those cloths and cowls and scarves and towels, I decided I wanted to knit something, anything that wasn't flat or linen stitch.
Don't get me wrong, I am still in love with the linen stitch and for t.v. knitting I still have a few more cloths to get on the needles to fill requests from the "non-recipients"
I want to knit something that doesn't wash a dish, or hide inside a jacket.  Something that can bee seen and appreciated right out there in public.
A sweater!
But OMG it takes so long to finish an adult sized sweater. I would eventually get bored and it would end up in the wip pile for months and months. The answer?
Baby sweaters!
I have two new grandsons who I haven't knit anything for yet. And it is actually, finally, getting cold here on the Gulf Coast.
I went messing around on the net and found this cute little sweater from Tricksy Knitter
WALA! My  next project! No linen stitch, a little bit more involved then my last two months of mindless knitting without being so complicated that I have to lock myself in the bedroom to concentrate on what I am doing.
I actually have the perfect yarn in mind for this project. KnitPicks Swish and I think the colors are and exact match to the picture. ;0)






ToddlerHoodieImage1
Click on the picture to get the pattern

January 5, 2015

Pattern: Linen Stitch Cloths

The linen stitch cloths are all finally handed out! 
Six baskets with four cloths a piece. 
Great t.v. watching knitting 
The pattern was easy and fast. 
Just a basic linen stitch, but I will post it here just in case you would like to make some of your own.
These cloths come out very dense and in my opinion are perfect for dishwashing, and probably kid scrubbing too. 

Linen Stitch Cloths
Size 8 needles (I use circulars for everything.)
4 ply 100% cotton of your choice
CO 38 sts
R1: (ws) P1, sl1 wyib (with yarn in back) across row
R2: (rs)  K1 sl1 wyif (with yarn in front) across row
Repeat these two rows 30 times
The easiest way I have found to keep up with row count is the on the wrong side row you count out 30 bumps and there you have it!
I cast off on the following right side row with a very tight CO, I didn't cast off in pattern, but if that is what you would like to do it will look fine. I just found it easier, and looked just as good doing a straight cast off.
I have already had a lot of requests for more of these from people who did not receive them as gifts this year, so beware if you will be handing these out.
Everyone wants some!
I have already made 10 more since these.

December 22, 2014

Those long awaited gifts

Head on over to the Gift Knitting 2014 link to the left to see some of the gifts that were handed out yesterday.
Or just go here:
I am very proud of these buckets.
They came out a lot cuter than I thought. And they were a huge hit at the Christmas party.

December 16, 2014

Let's do the math

Math has never been my strong suit. I hate it actually. 
Now here I am, years and years later, working with numbers for a living. 
Go figure. 
I have been working away on the cloths for the gifts and I am up to 22 cloths. 
2 more to go and I am finished!
As I was plunking away at it last night, the numbers started running around in my head. How many cloths I have made vs. how many stitches I have put on, just to get these gifts finished in time for giving away. 
Let me tell you, by the time I figured most of it out in my head, I seriously thought about keeping them all for myself. 
That is a lot of work!


So to put it all out there for you, let's do some math (I know, but it won't hurt too much)
38 stitches X 60 rows = 2280 stitches X 22 cloths = 54720 stitches
and to take it down a little further
54720 / 2 (purl row, knit row)= 27360 purl stitches and 27360 knit stitches
27360 / 2 (stitch, slip)= 13680 purl/knit stitches and 13680 slipped stitches


That! my friends, is a large amount of stitches. 
You would think I would be sick of the linen stitch by now. Especially considering the dish towel with two matching cloths, three 5ft scarves, two cowls and two hats. 
That is a ridiculous amount of linen stitch, and yet I am still in love with the stitch.
Of course right now it could be more to do with habit than anything else, it's just such an easy and versatile stitch, you can do anything with it, and I have done allot. 
You have to try some dishcloths in the linen stitch. The density of the fabric is absolutely perfect for washing dishes and cleaning counter tops. 
Anyway, just had this running around in my head all night as I watched NCIS plugging away at the final few cloths so I thought it would make an interesting post.
See ya on the flipside!


December 3, 2014

Time to make the donuts...oh, no, wait.......

Thanksgiving holiday is over and it is time to get down to some serious knitting.
 I finally found some Raffia that I wanted to tie the cloths up with  on Ebay
KRAFT-SYNTHETIC-RAFFIA-Wraphia-RIBBON-100-Yard-Spool-TAN-FREESHIPPING-brown

I opted for the synthetic instead of the real thing because, let's face it, they are just going to be ripped off and thrown away. I think I will get more enjoyment out of how cute the little bows will be than anyone I give the baskets to.
I still need to find five of the perfect baskets for the cloths. I am trying to find little square baskets that will hold about four cloths rolled up.And then I need something cool and interesting to put my MIL towel and cloth set in.
I think I am pretty close to having enough cloths finished so I can start on the scarf for the ole man, a coaster set for my Aunt and  the wrist warmers to go with my Mom's set.
I don't know if I can finish all that and still have time to whip out a small box of cloths to take to my MIL's Christmas party this year for all of my SILs but I am going to give it one hell of a try.
I know I gripe, often and loud, about Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving but when you are doing all these gifts by hand, you really don't have much of a choice. So yeah! It's non-handmade presents I am against purchasing before Thanksgiving. ;0)

November 21, 2014

Free patterns are easier to find

I post allot of pattern links here at the blog. 
I would say over 90% of what I post are free pattern links. (Thank you to all the wonderful designers who post those free patterns!) 
I don't have a problem paying for patterns. I have actually bought a few over the years but free patterns are always the best. 

I have spent the last couple of days combing through the blog and digging out the links I have posted and tried my best to gather them all together over there --------------------► to make everything easier to find. 

I will be checking the links periodically to make sure they are still good but sometimes they get past me. 
If you come across a link that is no longer working just drop me a note at knittinfun @ gmail dot com and I will see if I can find a better link for it, or at the very least, remove the bad one.
You can also email me at that address if you have or know of a link you would like to stick on the list. 

As far as the blog roll, I try and not let any of the links go longer than a month without a new post. Not that I am one to speak, but I like to keep up with active blogs. 

The links I post are what is interesting to me.  This is after all, my blog and record of my knitting and things in the crafty world that interest me. 
Having said that, I am always open to suggestions ;0)

 

November 19, 2014

Very Productive Knitting Day

Yesterday was probably the most productive knitting day I have had in a while.
The hat for my Mom is finished! I probably could have made the slouch a little slouchier (yes that is now a word) but I was just so over this hat and how long it was taking me that as soon as I got close enough I was ready to be finished with it.
I don't think she will mind though. It did come out wicked cute.

Sorry about the grainy pictures. As you can tell I still haven't found the right lamps for the living room and it was way too cold in the house to even think about getting uncovered and going to another room to get better pictures. Sorry.
And yes, I have the weirdest hair ever, it doesn't know if it wants to curl or be straight so it does both. Drives me insane!



I also finished the second and final cloth for my MIL's towel set.
Two gifts down in one day! Like a boss!
Plus..............................
I started on my next gift on the list.

Abbey decided I needed help with the last one.
She is checking for knots and kinks, yeah, that's what we will go with. She's inspecting!
She says it's a go! I can now use this yarn.        
Of course that is after she tasted it a few times first.
It's all about quality control around here.

I can't tell you what this going to be, but if you have been following me lately, you could probably take a pretty good guess.
And no, I apparently have not gotten over the linen stitch bug.
I really like this yarn, even though it is sometimes hard to deal with, once you get a handle on the fuzziness, it really is a pretty yarn.

So all in all I am glad it never got above 41 degrees outside yesterday, it made me sit and get some things finished so I can keep moving through this ever growing list. that and I don't have to cut the grass ;0)

November 17, 2014

Hats of all different sizes

The needles I ordered to re-start my Mom's hat came in Friday. Yay! 
I ordered some Clover bamboo 16" needles from a lady on Ebay and let me tell you, that was some super fast shipping.  
The one problem with my yarn is on the metal needles it was too slippery, on the bamboo needles you have to drag it around the needles. 
But I am a stubborn one somebody and pulling around is much better than slipping off the end of the needle every time I had change from purl to knit and back again. 
When it was time to sit down and watch some football I had a cute little slouch hat pattern picked out, just a basic pattern that I found on my Ipad. The pattern called for size 9 needles, which was what I tried the first time and it was just way too loose. So I decided to go up to the largest hat size and use my new size 8 needles.
                              


 By halftime I had finished the ribbing and had a good start on the cap.
As you can see, the stitches are much better on the size 8 needles.

            

 And by the end of the third quarter I had a cute little hat finished. Unfortunately, even making the largest size, there is nothing slouchy about this hat.  I followed the directions exactly and the hat, while adorable, is not what I needed for my Mom.  The cuff was an ok fit, but six inches then bind off, no, that was way to small. Not for a hat, but definitely for a slouchy.
Gauge? Did you ask if I checked my gauge? 
Pfffffffftttttt, it's a hat, it will fit one of the many, many people I have to knit for. 
I already have the intended recipient in mind, so it's all good.

                                                                                                              

So, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, I cast on 96 sts and tried again.

This time I decided to go with the old tried and true linen stitch to make it a denser fabric to keep her head warm, plus it will better match the cowl that goes with it.
It takes absolutely forever to get 7" on a hat in linen stitch for some reason. This one is going at 8 rounds to the inch. And I am knitting about as loose as I ever have to make it easier getting those stitches around on these bamboo needles. I think it is because I am having to physically move my stitches along, verses them gliding smoothly around, that is making it seem like the longest small project ever!
I haven't quite figured out in my head how to do the bind off in linen stitch, but I am sure I will figure it out when I get there. Hopefully this evening, Gotham is coming on ya know.

I do love the way it is coming out. 
I think she is going to love it!



November 12, 2014

Charitable Knitting ..........Maybe


 

I would love to be one of those awesome knitters who just knit away for charity but................
every year I start dreaming of patterns and whittling down that huge pile of 'forgotten zone' yarn.
I want to knit hats for homeless people,blankets for homeless pets, socks for the military, though sweaters for penguins never really clicked for me.

I get the idea, I get super excited about it, I plan, I pick out yarns and patterns....................
Yeah, usually that's about as far as it goes.

I don't know why I don't just make that push on through. I just don't.
I come up with every excuse in the book why I don't have time to knit and donate.
I knit, someone sees it and wants it and I give it to them instead of the intended charity.
Or worse, (yes I'll admit it) even keep it for myself.
I just absolutely suck at charitable knitting!
Though I could try and make myself feel better with the whole, "I gave it to someone who couldn't knit", thing. But that's not exactly the same is it?

I know once I actually accomplish knitting an item and donating it that the feeling would be awesome. I just haven't gotten to that point yet.

I saw the blizzards starting (already!) up north and that made me think about all of this. Why? Who the hell knows, but it did.  So now I am on an online hunt for the one project I want to get involved in.
I'm not going to lie about it, it's going to have to be small projects. Hats for the homeless maybe. There is no sense in me pretending I am going to take on huge awesome and very worthy charity knitting like sweaters and blankets for the homeless. Tho I would love to that will have to wait until I get old enough to get bored sitting around the house too much. Right now, that is definitely not my life.

Maybe by starting with something small and sticking with it I will get the bug and it will blossom and grow into more.

I went on a web hunt this morning and found a website that looks like it will be a great starting point for me.
KnittingforCharity.org

I'm going to have a looksee and get back to you......


November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day!

To all those who have taken the oath, served our nation and sacrificed great and small  
                                       THANK YOU!




I want to share some pictures of my two favorite Veterans 
Thank You Desire' and Cole
Love you! You are my favorites!

 

                    



   
          
 

              

Unfortunately all of the pictures I had from Desire's return home from Iraq back in 2008 were on an s-d card that just fell apart before I could get them transferred to my computer. There were a lot of great pictures and yes, I cried, allot, when I lost them.