Monday, October 20, 2008

October update

Wow - I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted. I have been knitting some but mostly my time has been absorbed by work, travel, and minor health issues.

I did knit a cute little baby kimono for a work friend who is having her first baby. The pattern was from the Mason-Dixon book. I forgot to take a picture before I gifted it. You'll have to take my word for it that it was adorable.

I didn't finish the matching hat before the baby shower so I managed to get a picture.
The cabbage rose is from Nicky Epstein's Embellishments book. I can't wait to see it on the new baby!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Square Knitting

I found this fun book the other day that appealed to my love of geometric shapes. The book has great ideas for combining square patterns and colors for making different items. The pictures are very good, the combination formulas are helpful, and the pattern instructions clear.
I made a dishcloth square (can't have too many dishcloths). The square was a bit small for a dishcloth so I added a half double crochet edging. I like the way it turned out.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Constant Companion is ready for action

I completed the Constant Companion felted bag from the Knitters Stash book. I learned some clever new techniques from this pattern. I am always amazed that people create this stuff.

The slots for the handle straps were made during the first bind-off I-cord. I bound off 3 stitches by slipping and passing over then continued the I-cord without binding off to make a length of I-cord that is the top of the slot. I then continued the I-cord with binding off. Here’s a picture of the slot before felting. Pretty cool, isn’t it? The loop and button closure was made in-line in the same manner. Here’s a picture before felting. The “button” is a length of I-cord tied in a knot.
And here are the after pictures. I felted the pieces in my kitchen sink last Sunday while Tropical Storm Fay dumped 20.1 inches of rain on my house in 2 ½ days.
The yarn is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Cobblestone Heather. The contrast color is Wine. I think I’ll get a lot of use out of this bag.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Add a binding to your books

Tropical storm Fay has us socked in. We have had 8" of rain since yesterday morning. And there's still a lot of storm to go. We lost power 3 times so far - just for short periods. We did have to light the hurricane candles. We are storm veterans so we know the drill.

On the knitting front, I did something I think is really cool. My friend K. told me about a tip Knit Picks' Kelley gave on one of her podcasts. The tip is to have a spiral binding put on a knitting book.
If you are knitting from the book, you can fold it in half and stand it up. Here's my Knitters Stash book after the spiral binding was put on. Kinkos charges about $4 per book. It really works well and I had several books bound.
Check the inside margins of the book to make sure there is enough white space to add a spiral binding. You can also ask the copy shop staff if the book is suitable for binding.
Well, I'm going back to knitting on the couch while the storm rages.

Monday, August 18, 2008

More stash

One of the local yarn shops in Tallahassee had a big sale last week and one of the yarns I snagged is Margarita by Plymouth Yarn. It's a 78% nylon 22% micro tactel blend (whatever that is). I was really attracked to the colors. The picture is a bit fuzzy but the colors are true.I knit a swatch to see how it would look with those little knubby things sticking out. As you can see, the nubs disappear when it's knitted up. The first few rows of the swatch are garter stitch. I switched to stockinette to see which I liked better. Stockinette won out. I'm going to make a sleeveless top - I think a very plain pattern will work best. The yarn will do all the work.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Felting a companion

I have started another project from the Knitters Stash book. I love this book. It is full of patterns from the owners of yarn shops around the country. The layout is lush, with great pictures and delightful narratives about the shops. Everytime I crack open this book I want to yell "ROAD TRIP", hop in the car, and visit every shop.
I am making the "My Constant Companion" from the My Yarn Shop in Coos Bay, OR. I can't wait to felt this bag and put a knitting project in it. I haven't felted in a while so I am itching to shrink some wool.
I am using my very favorite felting yarn, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, in Cobblestone Heather. I will use Wine for the contrasting color on the pocket. I will also make an extra pocket to attach on the inside for extra organization.
The Rambling Rows afghan and Henry scarf (both Christmas gift knitting I am working on) will have to go in the back seat for now while I knit something for myself.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Roomba don't knit

I have a robot! My robot cleans for me while I am at work and if I want it to, it will go on another cleaning mission when I get home.

I bought a iRobot Roomba model 580. It is awesome and I love it (I have no affiliation to iRobot).
Here is Roomba vacuuming around my knit bag.
This is a technology gadget that provides real value to me. The last gadget I bought was a Garmin and I can't say enough good things about it. I was in Orlando at a conference recently and I just happened to leave at the beginning of a fierce thunderstorm. Visibility was just a few yards and I was driving in unfamiliar territory. The Garmin guided me flawlessly through many turns to get to the turnpike. I love my Garmin. It found a brew pub in suburban Chicago when we only knew that the pub had the word Rock in the name.

Back to Roomba. It really works just like the web site says. You can guide it around your house, deny it entry to areas, or just turn it on and let it go. It goes under couches, tables, beds, chairs. Who knew there was so much cat fur under my couch? Ewh! But Roomba doesn't care. It doesn't judge me for not vacuuming under my couch for a year. It just does its job and then goes home to its little pod to recharge. Thank you, Roomba.