Friday, March 23, 2007

Well I finished Spring Break and all of my mid-term exams finally. I don't know how everyone else's Spring Break was, but I have a few complaints about mine.

First of all, it came two weeks early this year. How could this be a problem you ask? Well, now I have two months of school to finish out with NO BREAKS!! Trust me, two month straight of college classes is NOT my idea of fun.

The other complaint I have about Spring Break this year is that I wasted most of it trying to recover from my first bee sting (ever in my life). Yes, I discovered that I experience an allergic reaction when I am stung. NOT FUN. I thought I would die, for reals!, before the doctors decided to treat me for an allergic reaction instead of an infection. I was so sick!! Bees and I have always gotten along, now....well they just better keep their distance is all I have to say. The doctors told me that I need to be careful from now on because the next time (like I will allow a "next" time) my reaction could be a lot worse.

All the fun I could handle. I hope yours was better.

So, now for the good stuff!!!

I finally found a pattern I have been looking for. It is for a pair of knitted pants. They are similar to sweat pants in that they have a draw-string waist but that is where the similarity ends. They are designed to be low-rise (or if you are of my generation--hip huggers). I am very anxious to get started on them. So anxious that my other six projects will just have to wait. Whenever I do that (set aside projects) I think of the section in Stephanie Pearl-Mcfee's book "Yarn Harlot" that is the letter to her from one of her projects entitled "The Cardigan Letter". (If you have not read this book I recommend rushing right out and obtaining a copy.) Anyway, Stephanie talks about a letter she receives from a very unhappy cardigan that feels very neglected and severly accuses her of being a "Tramping, Harloting Trollop" because she is working on all of these other projects and keeps neglecting the cardigan. Anyway, like I said you have to read it. I still get the giggles when I think about that book.

So back to the pants. I found the pattern in an old issue of Interweave Knits. The Spring 2004 edition. There are several GREAT projects in this issue. The pattern is called "No-Sweat Pants". If you are interested in the pattern you can go to Interweave Press's website (LINK AT THE LEFT) or contact me and I will see what I can do.

I need to get this cast on so I gotta go for now.

Happy Knitting!! You know I am!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Starting this month I will post a "Pattern of the Month". These are all original designs and you are welcome to use them. However, if you start making a lot of money off of what you make with them I want a percentage!!!! Have fun with the patterns and look for a new one each month.

This months pattern is what I titled "The Ultimate Sock Pattern". With this pattern you can make any sock using yarns from sock weight to worsted weight. I made this pattern up when I was teaching sock classes for a local yarn shop. What is so great is that all you have to do is add in your own patterns or colors and follow the instructions. I love to use this pattern for making the socks from the yarn that makes its own designs as you knit such as the Knit Picks yarns "Simple Stripes", "Dancing", or "Parade". (See the links section on this page for a link to the Knit Picks web site).

So, what are you waiting for...get knitting!


Size: Average adult

Materials: Two skeins of sock weight, (sport weight, or worsted weight) yarn. If working a heel you will need a small amount of contrasting waste yarn.

Needles: One set of 5 dpn in size 2 (size 4, size 6) and a tapestry needle

Guage: 16 sts = 2 inches, (12 sts = 2 inches, 10 sts = 2 inches).

***Note: the changes for using larger dpn and heavier yarn are in parenthesis.***

Leg: CO 64 (56, 48) sts. Divide evenly onto 4 needles and join into the round. Work 2 inches of 1x1 rib. Change to stockinette stitch (st st) and work leg until it measures 8 inches from the cast on edge.

**Work heel if desired. Not working the heel simply results in a tube sock.**

Heel: Using the contrasting waste yarn, knit across next 32 (28, 24) sts. Using main yarn again, knit across remaining sts.

Foot: Continue working in the round with the main yarn until 2 1/2 inches from the desired finished length (measure from the center of the ankle-bone to the tip of the longest toe and subtract 2 1/2 inches from that measurement).

Shape toe: Round 1: needle 1--knit 1, ssk, knit across remaining sts and across all sts on needle 2 to last 3 sts. K2tog, k 1. Needle 3--Knit 1, ssk, knit across remaining sts and all of sts on needle 4 to last 3 sts. K2tog, k 1.

Round 2: Knit all sts even.

Work these two rounds until 24 (20, 16) sts remain. Place sts from needles 1 and 2 onto one needle and sts from needles 3 and 4 onto another needle. Graft toe sts together. If working the heel, continue with the next step. Otherwise, finish by weaving in all loose ends.

Heel finishing: Carefully remove waste yarn and place all "live" sts onto 4 needles (make sure sides of heel and sides of the toe on your sock match or the sock will be twisted). Working in rounds and st st work 4 (2, 1) round(s) even. Heel shaping is worked the same as the toe shaping. Work these two rounds until 28 (24, 20) sts remain. Place sts on needles the same as for toe shaping and graft sts together. Finish by weaving in loose ends.

HAPPY KNITTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

SEE!!!!! THERE ARE JUST SOME THINGS THAT ONLY A GOOD YARN CAN SOLVE!!! I FIGURED OUT THE PICTURE THING AGAIN. A little more complicated now, but.... as long as it works!

Knitting is the answer to all of lifes problems, I am convinced.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I just noticed something very funny. Somehow my age on my profile says that I am 250 years old. WOW! I am not too bad for being two and a half centuries old. I think that makes me the oldest person alive, hands down. Now I know that knitting and spinning yarn sounds like a grandma or great-grandma type thing, but I am not even close. I think I have it fixed now. I'll have to check it again later.

I am currently attempting to figure out why I can't post pictures on here again. How hard can it be? It seems that every time I get it figured out, something changes and I have to start over again. I will post more later.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Remember my comment about making some socks with a certain percentage of angora fiber in the yarn? Well, I made two pair. Unfortunately, I didn't get to keep either pair and the yarn that I had spun up to make another pair sold before I could even finish spinning it. However, my husband (who stole the first pair I made) thinks that the angora blend socks are by far the NICEST pair of socks he has ever put a foot in. "Not only are they extremely soft, but they are extremely warm even when it is very cold outside," I believe were his exact words. He has put in a personal request for several more pairs before next winter by telling me things like, "If you really loved me you would have enough made for me next year so that I would have a pair to wear everyday." Then he thought he would sweeten the deal with, "If I had a pair for each day of the week you wouldn't need to wash laundry everyday...just think of how much time that would save you." He's always so thoughtful.

So the socks are definitely nicer than just wool, as I hypothesized would be the case. I plan to do several more experiments in the future since Colorado can't seem to get out of the deep freeze yet.

Happy knitting!!