Friday, March 31, 2006

Happy Bloggiversary!


Baby Breeze Cardigan
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
I'm so excited! It's the one year anniversary of my blog. As a pretty-much-computer-illiterate person, I'm amazed that I've been able to keep this going for a year. My husband's been teasing me and saying I'm becoming, "Geeky". (Which is rich, coming from him....the Software Engineer who loves to play video and arcade games!)

Anyway...

Showing my 16th (is that right?) FO today....a baby cardigan made as a sample for Joanne's store, A Knitter's Garden in Chester, NH....(check it out!)

Pattern: Knitting Pure & Simple
(Babies Neckdown Cardigan)
Needles: I used Addi 24"circs in size 5 and 7 and also Brittany dpns.
Yarn: 3 balls of Hierloom Breeze (cotton, wool and lycra blend)
Size: Smaller than the 6 month size...so maybe 5 months.

It took me about 13 hours to knit this over the course of about 6 days....it was a very simple and easy pattern...made all in one piece. I think the buttons really show off the fabric well...so silver and shiny. The finished cardigan is nice and stretchy with a cool, light feeling.

A great big thank you and hug to everyone who's read my blog and, especially, to those who leave me comments. It's fun to have feedback on what I "Show and Tell".

Guess what else?

I'm truly looking forward to this afternoon because...I'm getting my WHEEL!

Laura, the generous and thoughtful Laura, is going to meet me about an hour from my house to sell me the wheel of my dreams, The Ashford Joy. (There's definitely a reason WHY it's called the JOY!) At 12 noon, I will officially be a spinner! Not just a drop spindler...didn't know there was a difference before....now I do!

Another thoughtful and generous spinner, Nancy, invited me to her spinning group (that is thankfully local to me) last week and let me use her wheel (also the JOY) all night! What a great experience....it was at the moment when I was able to spin a whole puff of fiber into yarn in only 2 hours (instead of 2 weeks!) that I was hooked....totally hooked!

Tonight, I'll be able to bring my OWN wheel and spin the newest fiber I got from Greenwood Fiberworks (link on right).

I'm nervous, happy and impatient to start my spinning tonight, so wish me luck!

Happy Knitting and Spinning to all...and to all a Good Day!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Whoops...forgot the label!


RussianMohairWool
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Okay, I guess I'm a little out of it today (after watching 3 episodes of "Lost" last night with hubby and going to bed REALLY late)...

The yarn is called "Something- A- G/Q- A". Now, that's much better isn't it? Don't know what the first letter is supposed to be...looks like a capital A with the bar missing and the third letter is either a g or a q. Hmmm...

The back clearly shows no machine wash or tumble dry, no ironing and P for dry cleaning.

65% mohair (or MOXEP)
25% wool (don't have such symbols on the keyboard)
10% acrylic (I know...don't I ever learn my lesson?)

It's 120 meters or approx. 132 yards per ball.

And it also says,

50+-3R, and I'm not sure what that means.

The best part?

It's only $5.00 per skein! And...I like it! : )

Hmmm...Minor Glitch there.....


MohairShawl
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Here is the shawl I'm knitting (not sure who it's for yet...) out of a terrific Russian Mohair.

I'm just doing a diagonal triangle knit....with a yarn over after the first 2 stitches and knit until the end..like the baby blanket. It's very soothing and a good project to bring to my knitting group...so I can talk and not mess up.

It's a beautiful ocean blue, turquoise and snow white blend and it's got an interesting "pattern" when I knit it up....it's soft and fuzzy, though if you don't like mohair "hairs" all over you, you probably shouldn't use this. Me..I don't care...the fuzzier the better!

I'm using 4 balls of this for the shawl and since this has only used 1 so far, I'm thinking 4 will be perfect.

A Heavenly Halo-Type Yarn!

Interested In Russian Mohair?

Sleepy Eyes Knitting

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cable TV? Not for ME! Cable HS...Oh, YES!


CabledHandSpun
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
If you haven't already figured it out, my lovely reader (at least I hope someone is reading...or I'm talking to my self here!), HS stands for Hand Spun.

Inspired by, not only Vicki (my Spinning Angel), but also by the newest Spin Off magazine, I'd decided to make my first cabled yarn.

Not having any idea in hell how to make such a thing, I was happy to find a little note in the front of the mag with the exact question I had...and there was an answer! Imagine that!

One type of cabled yarn (and something I thought I might be able to do) is just spinning two 2 ply yarns together. Not too bad, I thought....so...

I spun my white (soft as a baby's bottom) merino handspun with my purple (a little less soft...maybe more like Ian's bottom) corriedale. This 2 ply came out very nice and I decided to keep going.

Then, I spun the rest of the white merino with the remainder of my first-ever-spun-yarn in the pink varigated wool (not sure what breed). That was nice, too.

So, I had two 2ply yarns and both looking like Easter candy canes....when I spun them together....

WHOA!....

It created something entirely different and surprising. It looked almost like a braid, but not quite....the white sometimes went against itself or the pink/purple....super fun and unexpected.

Hopefully, when I send this in to the "Your Yarn!" section of the Spin Off magazine for June, they will accept it and put it in the magazine....not sure if my handspun is quite up to PAR....at least not yet.

But, I'm happy with it and it was a fun experience....it's perfect for spring and I may have enough left over (after I send my 5 yard entry in) to save for me.

Will I try again with cabled yarn? You better believe it! : )

Denise Knits! Markers


DeniseKnitsMarkers
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
I wanted to (belatedly) write about the absolutely wonderful stitch markers made by Denise of Denise Knits! (http://deniseknits.typepad.com/markers/).

I found out about them through Secret Pal 7 and, after seeing how cute they were on her website, decided to have a set made for my Secret Pal. Not only did Denise create an amazing, personalized set of "Force of the Stitch" markers, but she delivered them very quickly to my pal and with great wrapping.

The "Force of the Stitch" markers (an idea I had to go with my Secret Pal's love of Star Wars and the Dark side) were all silver and made with chain mail hoops. One of the bigger markers featured a super green "light saber-like" crystal....the set was amazing!

Now, here is part of my own "Princess" set that I ordered...complete with silver Celtic and decorative beads and lots of Swarovski crystals in my favorite colors....pink, clear, purple and a dazzling ruby. You can't tell how sparkly and impressive they are from this picture (shown against my current baby sweater project for Joanne's shop), but you just have to take my word for it....

and my word is....

SPECTACULAR!

Please visit Denise's website and order some markers...she is super friendly, wonderful and very talented : )

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Can you say CASHMERE?


CashmereLaceDrape
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Okay...I know...I'm addicted to, not only angora, but YES, cashmere as well. My husband always complains that I'm NOT a cheap date...or wife. If I even plan to go to a yarn store, he's nervous. Now that I'm spinning and buying my wheel (and planning to go to the NH Sheep and Wool festival), he's downright FRANTIC! (he's almost ready for soothing drugs....)

This is the finished lace shawl that I made for my Grandma Heath's 86th birthday...which is next month. It was extremely fun to knit and I used the Garter Lace shawl pattern from the "Traditional Lace Shawls" book.

The yarn, as you know , is 100% lace cashmere...handpainted by Robin Pascal.

You can't imagine how soft this is and how much I wish it was mine...but, it's a little smaller than I'd hoped (only 440 yards large) and my bust is...well, BUSTIER...than my little less than 5 foot tall Grandma's. So, I will make another one for myself soon : )

What do ya think?

Monday, March 20, 2006

No Rose Smells *Just* as Sweet


FeltedKaraokeBag
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Okay, maybe I was a bit paranoid...no cameras or mumbling men. (except maybe Ian...)

I felt that omitting the 10 roses could possibly eliminate this #14 knitted item from being the ultimate "Kick Gina's Ass" project. I also didn't think I could continue my loving relationship to the Karaoke (which I was hoping to keep) if I did make those d*mn things....so, they're gone.

This is the finished bag (sans roses), which I was pretty happy with in the end. It felted very happily (without the fuss and irritation of Kureyon) and has a very sturdy bottom. The colors are even nicer, I think, so I believe I'll keep it.

Would I recommend this project to others?

Only if you're willing to spend many hours of hideous frustration knitting up those 14 tabs, 2 icords and 10 roses...(remember to use 5, not 3, skeins of yarn!)

Or...

You can smile sweetly and say, "Hello, Candid Camera...welcome to my home."

Am I on Candid Camera?


FeltedBagAlmostDone
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Once again, I have a "Yarn Problem".....very similar to the "Noro Kuryeon Scandal" of 2005.

Where does the yarn go? If you know, please tell me and relieve me of my misery.

I mean, (with hands on hips), when the pattern for a felted bag calls for 3 balls of worsted weight, varigated wool yarn (much like Karaoke or Kuryeon...those Killer K yarns!).....(index finger pointing), 3 skeins should be ENOUGH! Right? Am I right? Someone please agree with me.

As you can well imagine, this bag (now called the "Bastard Booga-Like Bag") used 4 skeins of Karaoke and I still need to knit:

-2 23" icord handles
-10 roses (with a cast on of 72 stitches)
-14 (yes, 14!) tabs for the handles

Can someone explain to me how only 3 skeins of yarn can make a bag with 40 double stranded garter stitch rows for the bottom and 68 (plus 6 garter rows) for the bag itself...plus all of the before-mentioned items?????

Needless to say, I am furious at Creative Knitting magazine and its designer and slightly peeved at my now-not-so-favorite yarn.

I feel like someone is going to jump out of one my 50+ kitchen cabinets and yell, "Surprise, You're on Candid Camera!" (while mumbling to someone nearby..."what a fool...thinking she could actually knit one of those things correctly this time!...amateur...")

Did I hear a noise?

Kisses for Karaoke


FeltedBagStart
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Have I mentioned how much I love this SWTC Karaoke yarn?

I LOVE It!

Although the varigated colors seem to be silkier and more shiny than the solid colors, they're both excellent worsted weight yarns and I can't say enough about how fun it is to knit with them.

Here I am knitting and knitting, around and around...getting slightly dizzy....and giggling unconsciously as I slip the sweet yarn from side to side.

Can the colors be any cuter? This one, called Child's Play, is more like sweet tart candies...lemon, strawberry, lime, orange and purple (which is usually like a sour grape).

Wondering what it'll look like? Me, too!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Art thou....entrelac? Certainly NOT!


ShortRowHat
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Despite the very entralac-like look (try saying THAT 10 times fast!) of this hat, it's actually an ingenious use of short rows. I have to tell you that I had the more fun with this hat pattern than anything else so far this year...which is really saying something!

This hat is not for me (alas, it's not to be...boo hoo), but as a sample for Joanne's store. She supplied the pattern by Veronik Avery (Winter 2005 Webknit from Interweave Knits) and the 2 balls of Karaoke yarn (now, one of my absolute fav yarns!).

I started this hat yesterday at about 2 pm and finished it today at about the same time. (Please don't boo and hiss at me!...as my friend Donna says, "She's a prolific knitter!"...and I stick by that...or else I'm completely INSANE, which I won't deny)

At lovely Laurin's house, after being spoiled ROTTEN with homemade spicy green beans (which were to die for), a yummy Weight Watchers ice cream and the most unusual and delicious hot pepper jelly with crackers, I forced myself away from the food (not an easy task) and started to knit.

(Though I have to confess that during this time I also bugged Laurin for about an hour to try on a wedding dress she had and, by golly, she let me try it on! It was FUN!)

After begging Laurin to let me borrow some size 7 straight bamboos (Crystal Palace!), I went to work. The only trick with this pattern is this:

KEEP TRACK OF WHAT ROW YOU'RE ON!

If I hadn't written down every single, teeny, tiny pen mark, I would've been doomed! But, luckily, I'm a compulsive journaler/note taker/list maker, etc., so I had no problems there.

That Karaoke yarn (50% soy silk, 50% wool and self striping) made the diamonds on the hat look like I changed yarns every diamond or so...which I most certainly did NOT. If you've never tried this yarn, oh, go out and try it now. So silky and wonderful.

So, project number 13 is done (with #12 being the baby tshirt) and now onto finishing up #14, which is the felted rose bag made out of,

what?

Yes, you guessed it...

Karaoke! (in color, Child's Play...very cool)

Like that hat?

BabyTshirtDone
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Here, I wove some silky organza white ribbon through the eyelets and now, it's DONE! The ribbing at the sleeve and shirt bottom is very stretchy and nice...I think the baby will be so cozy in this little shirt.

Welcome to the World, little Katharine!

Hoping I have the opportunity to knit more little baby girl things in the future...

: ) Oh, the joys of baby knitting!

Silky Soft Shirt


BabyTshirt
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Ooooh....finally, finally finished the baby tshirt I started for Richard's baby....good thing because I just found out she was born a few days ago!

This yarn was even better than I thought it would be...

2 balls of Rowan 4 ply Soft
100% merino wool (or as I call it...Baby Buns Soft)
Pattern from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies by Ericka Knight (beautiful things to knit!)
Size 2 and 3 needles

It was a joy knitting with this yarn, but I must say that I wish I'd looked at the pattern more closely beforehand....the finishing up was more work than knitting the little shirt and I'd wished I'd knitting both the shirt and sleeves in the round. All that weaving in of ends almost KILLED me!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Get Ready, Get Set....Moebius!


FeltedMoebiusReady
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Project # 11 to begin!

Tools:

- A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting by Cat Bordhi
- Set of Addi Turbo size 11 needles 47" (!) and 16"
- Skein of Manos in color # 116 (eee!)
- Stitch markers and leftover yarn

Biggest Challenge:

*Trying to get the Moebius Cast on to make sense and attempting NOT to stab anyone coming by who breaks my concentration at that time*

Biggest Reward:

*Holding that adorable basket in my hands after felting and marveling at the genius-ness of it*

Let's GO!

MoebiusBasket
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Is this amazing or what? The texture is nubby, soft and just firm enough to stay upright on its own without being stiff.

I have to thank my Secret Pal 7 for this gorgeous yarn...I mean, how can you ever go wrong with Manos del Uruguay? This colorway says "Spring is coming!" and I'm trying to think of somewhere special to put this unique basket.....would make a perfect Easter basket for a special knitter friend, I'm thinking...just add grass, candies and a little stuffed bunny.

MoebiusBasket2
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
A somewhat too bright pic of the finished moebius basket...but I liked the way you can see part of the woods behind my house and the wood grain of the picnic table (made by my hubby!).

I'd definitely recommend trying one of these baskets. Once you get the knack of the Moebius cast on, it's a breeze and the yarn TRULY makes all the difference....the kettle dyed colors are so breathtaking.

Try one if you have time!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ben Winter Wallaby


WallabyBenNoHood
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Is he a handsome boy or what?

Here is my youngest son, Ben, who just turned 3...wearing the Wonderful Wallaby that I knit him. Besides the clashing red pants, he looks so adorable in the sweater and it fits like a dream.

I made the second smallest child's pattern with a slightly thicker yarn and it came out to the perfect size. Could have gone up a size for next year, but this was my try-out sweater before knitting one for my older son, Tim, my hubby and me. (Can't wait to wear mine....must....be.....angora...or at least alpaca!)

WallabyBen
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Here's Ben wearing the Wonderful Wallaby with the hood on. The hood fits just right...not too small (like some kids' hoods can be) and very stretchy. So cute!

The pattern is:

The Wonderful Wallaby
Cottage Creations at the farm on Deer Creek
Carpenter, Iowa
504-426-0070

The yarn is:

Zitron LOFT
100 meters
100% unspun merino wool
Color 570
Handwash

The pattern is simply awesome...easy to understand, very cute with pictures and there is a sizing pattern for every member of your family.

The yarn is...well, let's just say....sensational! Super lightweight, soft and smooth, velvety and extremely easy to knit with....no snags, no bumps, just...ahhh! And oooohh! Lots of yardage, too.

Have a Happy Wallaby Knitting Day!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Look INSIDE!


CircNeedleInside
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Okay, here is Heather's (A Crafty Kat) circular needle holder on the inside.

Can you believe I have at least 20 needles in there? And it could fit at least 5-10 more, depending on size.

I put almost 4 needles of size 5 and 7 in the pockets. It's unbelievable! It folds up like a dream and there is no problem closing it....not even as bulky as you'd think it would be.

Heather has made a Star Wars one for my Secret Pal and I think she's going to FLIP when she sees it. It came out so great.

On special orders, she'll take a percentage off of the price if you buy your own fabric (one for the accent and one for that's sturdier for the base fabric..... about 1 yard of each). Then, you can match all of the bags (straights, circ and dp/crochet) and even a TOTE! (She's made at least one tote so far, but is perfecting the design for the next batch of bags...one of which will be MINE!!! heh heh heh)

You'd be insane not to try out one of her bags....you'll really love them!

An Example of Ingenuity


CircNeedleHolder
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
This circular needle holder is the BEST I've ever seen or used. Not only is it extremely cute, but it is:

1. Sturdy (sewn firmly and with lots of care)
2. Easy to open (with two metal snaps)
3. Adorable (look at this fabric!)
4. Holds LOTS and LOTS of needles

You'll see in the next (or previous pic....can't get the hang of adding in pics yet) pic how ingenious the design of this is. Heather came up with the PERFECT balance of practicality in a bag and compact design.

This was approximately $25 and worth every single penny. This was her first circ bag (eee...it's ALL MINE!) and, as you can see, the prototype is just wonderful.

Spectacular Stitch Markers


StitchMarkers
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Heather's stitch markers that I'm in LOVE (true, true love, as only another knitter can appreciate) with.

You can't quite tell how gorgeous they are from this picture...they are much more shiny, sparkly and you can SEE how well made they are. They don't snag at all and you can't wait to get to the next marker...just so you can smile at the beauty of them again.

I have three sets here: (these were only $8 each set....eeeee!)

Green Glass Fish (3 per set)
DragonFlies (4 per set) with pinkish/purple crystals
Garden Set (4 per set) with blue crystals, sunflower, frog, butterfly and side butterfly.

The weight of them is perfect...light enough to not get in the way, but heavy enough so you can tell that they are made with the finest jewelry findings.

(Again, they're available online and at Joanne's store or she will take a special order)

You have to buy a set to believe how great they are!
Do it NOW! (please?)

Crafty Kat Knitting Needles


KnittingNeedles
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Here are just a few of the styles (in various needle sizes) she has:

The Flower Pots
Sheep/Lamb
Pink Bunnies

She also has dogs, cats with balls of yarn (so cute!) and horses. These are also available at Joanne's shop:

A Knitter's Garden
58 Derry Road
Chester, NH

Spoil yourself (or a knitter friend) with one!!!

Care for a Crafty Kat?


Heather
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
This is Heather Spellman, a wonderful knitter, crafter and new friend. We met for the first time this past weekend at our knitting weekend. She is super friendly, cute as a button, and a whiz with needles (both sewing and knitting) and thread (as well as yarn).

She designs her own:

- knitting needle holders (straights, circs and dps/crochet hooks)
- stitch markers
- handmade knitting needles with the most adorable tops

You can get in touch with her here with A Krafty Kat Creations:

- http://stores.ebay.com/crafty-kat-creations

*She usually takes special orders for all three and I'm sure she wouldn't mind an email request. Her work is AMAZING and I can't recommend her more highly : )*

(See pictures....either above or below)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Acrylic Anger (and also FOs)


BabyBlanket
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
How many times do I say, "I just CAN'T and WON'T knit with acrylic" ? Is it a million times or a BILLION times? It's practically my mantra when I enter a yarn store. Though I have to admit the progress acrylic yarns have made over the past 5 years, I simply cannot tolerate them. Okay....call me a "yarn snob" or a "acryliphobic"...I don't mind...just don't get that stuff near me.....

I don't know where my mind was when I bought this yarn....from lovely Joanne's store (no fault on her part).....it completely TRICKED me! Maybe it was the ball of pale lilac angora fiber in my arms that cast such a spell on me that I was temporarily blinded by L-O-V-E to actually "see" what I was buying.

In a quick glance, this yarn is great....gorgeous color (called Orchid Fluff....very nice name) and slightly fuzzy and soft....like marvelous mohair. And it said on the label, MOHAIR BLEND. So, stupid me, I thought it actually had some mohair IN IT!

No, I found out later (after my hands were raw and scratchy and I was dying to pull the yarn tightly around my own neck) that it's 100% acrylic! Okay, how the H*LL can it be a MOHAIR blend if there's no g*dd*amn mohair within 100 yards of it?

(Breathing, breathing, breathing....okay, I'm back)

I'm very happy with the pattern (worked on the diagonal with two knits and a yarn over and then knit the rest of the row) and the finished blanket looks much nicer than this picture.

So...

I'm going to try and let it go.

For Now. It won this round. Never again.

( acrylic 1, gina 0 )

Now, on to a more positive subject. My finished objects so far this year...

1. Knit Picks Hawaii iPod holder for Ann in sock yarn
2. Fushia Scarf for ME in Cotswold wool
3. Pink Valeria Di Crosa angora baby booties for Richard's baby
4. Lilac 1824 cotton baby hat for above baby
5. Sandstone Socks That Rock (or is it Smokey Topaz?) for Ian
6. Red Fonty angora/ribbon scarf for Grandma Chin
7. Knit Picks Northern Lights mittens for ME
8. Plymouth Fiesta Boucle scarf for my mom in a bluish/purple color
9. Orchid Fluff mohair blend (HA!) Easy Baby Blanket for Richard's baby

So far, so good! All done in February! Woo-Hoo!

Won't list UFOs just now....ah-hem.

Belligerent Birthday Scarf


MomScarf
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
A birthday scarf I made for my mom while at the knitting weekend....(finished it at home, though). I have to say that the yarn for this scarf (no matter how nicely it came out and how silky it felt when complete) is CRAP! Utter crap. At $13.50 a skein (needed 3 skeins for it), it was not worth the effort I put into it.

I don't know if it was my needles or what, but everything - and I mean everything- caught on this Plymouth Italian Collection Fiesta Boucle (I think it was Fiesta....) yarn...my skin, my nails, my needle...anything that was within 10 inches of this thing snagged it. It was worse than cotton to knit with. Ugh...arrrgh!

The colors are beautiful and the silky feel on the back of a bare neck is just great, but I don't recommend knitting with this yarn. At least by itself, anyway.

My mom seemed to like it (I think), so that's all that matters.

Right? (Feel free to disagree with me)