Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Quills for sale at Amana Woolen Mill. I bought five of the purple color. Posted by Hello

Amana loom Posted by Hello

Yarn feeding into a loom at Amana Woolen Mill Posted by Hello

Viva bag prior to felting Posted by Hello

Airy scarf Posted by Hello

Broadripple sock Posted by Hello

Knitting in the Pella vistor's center. The attached note talks about mitten parties held in the Dutch community. And hey, I found out one of my ancestors was one of the early settlers in 1847. Posted by Hello

Look what they grow in those Iowa cornfields Posted by Hello

Home again, home again...

...knitty, knit, knit. Photos are forthcoming from the trip, probably tonight or tomorrow.

I actually knitted a lot less than I thought I would during our weeklong trip. Casting on for my first sock ever, with smaller needles than I've ever used before, which were somewhat blunt, was difficult enough. Add to the equation that I was sitting in the middle seat of a three-row coach airplane section, and trying to entertain a two-year old, and it reaches Herculean levels of difficulty. I did, however, manage to get the damn thing cast on. Twice, since the first time I started knitting with four needles and you're supposed to use five, and I couldn't figure out how to undo it. That's okay, I thought, it's a long flight, and did it again. When we made it to our hotel in Lenexa, I discovered that I had done the wrong stitch pattern for first eight rows, and had to rip it all out, at which point I got snitty at it and put it aside for a few days. (I am now about three inches into the first sock. Casting on when not at 30,000 feet made all the difference.)

I did get one thing started and completed during the week - the Airy Scarf in Kidsilk Haze. It's purdy. I started working on it during the drive up to Iowa, and finished it on Thursday. I meant to wear it to work today, but left it on the arm of the couch accidentally. Now I need to engineer another outfit that it will complement to wear tomorrow.

We arrived in Iowa on Nana's 70th birthday, and I gave her the Tie One On I'd made. She really seemed to like it, and when we saw her having breakfast with friends the following day, she had it on again.

I bought some thin purple wool yarn, on quills, during a visit to the Amana Woolen Mill. It seems like fingering weight, and I have a design idea for it I sketched out yesterday. I won't say more because I am so confident of its eventual fabulousness that I may submit the design for publication, even though not so much as a swatch is in evidence as yet.

In other good news, Knitters' Forum should be getting off the ground soon, according to the administrator. Within the next week or so I should be able to start testing. Thanks to all of you have volunteered to check it out; you'll be hearing from me soon!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Small World

I keep forgetting to mention that I was reading through the Broadripple Socks pattern a few days ago, and finally took a look at the little About the Designer section that Knitty includes at the end of each pattern. I didn't realize until then that the pattern is by Rob, who is totally my Knitting Bloggers webring neighbor.

That Felt Good

The Viva bag has been drying in the dining room for a day and a half. I think it turned out pretty well for my first bag, first felting, and no pattern. The strap could probably be a bit longer, and I plan to add a snap closure after I get back from vacation.

We leave tomorrow morning for a weeklong trip. In an effort to save the socks and Airy Scarf for vacation knitting, I filled in knitting time with Viva, a cotton dishcloth, and some free form short row practice.

I gave a friend her first knitting lesson this week, which was very fun, and lent her some needles and my copy of Stitch 'n' Bitch. I cast on for her and we worked on the knit stitch. I think the next lesson will be casting on.

I must not forget to wrap and pack the Tie One On tonight, and take my scissors and tapestry needles out of my purse. I think it's time to make a list.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Viva bag WIP

Viva bag WIP
Originally uploaded by ShelbyD.
Body of Viva bag. I'm basically making this up as I go along, and will felt it when done. The red, green and ecru stripes reminded me of the Mexican flag, hence Viva.

Viva bag strap

Viva bag strap
Originally uploaded by ShelbyD.
Beginnings of the strap for Viva

Sigma tank

Sigma tank
Originally uploaded by ShelbyD.
The amazing headless me in my completed Sigma.

Sigma tank

Sigma tank
Originally uploaded by ShelbyD.
Completed tank, modeled by my table.

Here come the dinosaurs...

These are too adorable.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Rip it Good

Saturday I took Ellie on a stroller ride to a nearby Salvation Army thrift shop. I was on the lookout for sweaters to frog and recycle. After reviewing and rejecting several things, I selected three large white cotton sweaters and a tan silk top. The silk top is from Talbots and actually pretty cute - I may wear it as is. If I don't like it, the fiber looks like the perfect weight for the X-back pattern from the last Knitty. Total cost for the four pieces was just under $7.

I managed to rip up two of the cotton sweaters over the rest of the day, which resulted in several big balls of yarn and teensy bits of white thread and fluff all over my floor, rug and furniture. When we get back from our vacation, I plan to try my hand at dyeing it.

Since it is really tragic and wrong to only have one WIP at any time, yesterday I took some leftover Cascade 220 out of my stash basket (stashket?) and cast on for a smallish felted bag of my own design. This will be my first experience with felting, so wish me luck!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sigma is Done!

I finished up my Sigma top last night. Before I did the finishing, I tried it on and saw that the armholes were enormous. I ended up taking them in a bit to avoid having it look really saggy.

I'm wearing it today over a white shirt. Will try to remember to get some pics this weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Volunteers Needed

If you would be willing to poke around Knitters' Forum in the testing phase, please send me an email. Feel free to forward this to anyone else who may be interested.

This post will be living at the top here for a bit; please keep reading for current knitting stuff!

Broadripple Socks

I think that I'm going to use this pattern for my socks. It seems easy enough to be accomplished while being difficult enough to be interesting.

My dentist got me in way too fast for my cleaning this morning. I barely had a chance to knit half a row in the waiting room. She did see the Sigma in my bag and we chatted a bit about knitting before she started in with The Pointy Hook.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Mother's Day

I had a lovely Mother's Day, part of which included enough time to goof around and take photos of my current knitting, as you can see below. I got Hollywood Knits as a gift, and spent a low-key day with Greg and Ellie. We went to the mall to check out 12-inch Powerbooks, to Unwind, a very nice not-really-local yarn store, and out for lunch.

I thought of the perfect traveling knit for our Kansas/Iowa trip. Socks! I will try to make some socks. I picked up skein of some sock yarn and a set of size 3 dpns at Unwind. Now I just need to decide which of the basic sock patterns I've looked at would be a good place to start. Do you have any favorites?

I also plan on making an Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts out of the skein of purple Kidsilk Haze I bought yesterday. I want to work on my larger projects before we go, so I have the maximum amount of sock knitting time available for the trip.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day Knitfest

050805Knitting 027

Hollywood Knits was my sweet Mother's Day gift, and we made a family trip to Unwind so I could pick up some sock yarn and needles, as well as a skein of Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

Tie One On

Tie One On, from the Spring '05 Knitty.


050805Knitting 029
Originally uploaded by ShelbyD.
Body of Sigma, with spokesmodel


050805Knitting 032
Originally uploaded by ShelbyD.
Current state of left front piece of the ChildHood sweater

Friday, May 06, 2005

A bit of progress

I'd been letting my Tie One On sit for a few days, because I was at the point of picking up stitches and wasn't ready to dive in to a new skill. Cheryl was kind enough to mention that picking up isn't a big deal when I expressed some hesitation about it earlier, and it turns out she was right! I picked up, decreased, and worked most of one tie last night. The tricky part will be making the other one to match.

Sigma is my current traveling knit, since at this stage it's just stockinette for 12 inches. Makes it easy to pick up and put down during the commute or on my lunch break. ChildHood is gathering dust at the moment, but I'll break it back out after I finish Tie One On.

The looming question now, though, is what am I going to take with me on our week-long vacation later this month? I may need a new project!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Potential forum logo

knitters' forum logo
Originally uploaded by ShelbyD.
Several people have indicated they'd be interested in this, so I'm planning to move ahead with the forum idea. I will keep everyone posted on progress!

Coming Soon to an LYS near you....

Stash Wars

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Round and around and around

Stockinette in the round is perfect TV watching knitting. I made it through most of one ball of yarn on Sigma during the first two episodes of Buffy Season 7 last night.

I found out this week that a very good friend of mine is expecting her second child toward the end of the year. I've been sketching out a blanket design, and now I have the best excuse for actually making one. And lots of tiny hats.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I was actually glad to see a full waiting room at the doctor's office this morning, because I knew I'd get some time to knit. I made it through about one and a half rounds of my Sigma top.

Note to others waiting: Didn't your mother ever tell you it is rude to stare? I know I'm fascinating and stunningly beautiful, but pick up a People or something.

I cast on for it in the car this morning. It was cast on attempt #4. Cast on #1 was actually fine, but remember when I was worried about 240 stitches? I should have been worried about 210. I discovered it midway through the first round. Sigh.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Knitters Forum

Are you tired of talking to yourself in your blog comments? Do you want to pick the brains of other knitters, share patterns and tips, join knit-alongs, and talk yarn all in one place?

I am interested in beginning a free knitters discussion forum, using Limelight Community software. (See The Perfect World for another forum on this platform.) Limelight offers the ability to subscribe to topics, keep track of what you have read, save notable posts as bookmarks for future reference, search within threads, and highlight interesting discussions or questions, all via a simple, easy to use interface.

And did I mention free? Forum costs would be covered via an affiliate marketing program and voluntary subscriptions. I'm currently gauging whether there would be sufficient interest to make the venture worthwhile. Care to comment?

UPDATE - 5/7/05: I am moving ahead with the forum. If you would like to get a preview of the forum when available and offer comments in the testing phase, please send me an email.

Sigma Algebra

I plugged my gauge into the Sigma pattern today. Cast on.....240? Oh, dear. I'm getting all flustered just thinking about it. Obviously I haven't made a grown up sized garment before, but that just sounds like an awful lot. Especially since my method of casting on usually includes many instances of losing count, counting from the beginning, losing count again, recounting, losing count again, recounting, and then running out of yarn for the double cast on about 15 stitches from the end and having to start the whole flipping thing over again.

I know I should just place a marker every twenty stiches or so, and save myself the raised blood pressure. I think 240 stitches may be the scare I need to actually start doing that.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Alive Enough to Knit

Barely. The ook has moved out of my head and throat and into my chest, giving me a lovely echoing elderly smoker hack. But I was with it enough to knit a bit last night and today.

I finished the body of my Tie One On (no photo right now, still too weakened to bother with digital photography). I haven't tackled picking up the stitches on either sides for the ties yet, though I did do some Stitch & Bitch research on the technique. I need to grab some paper clips or something to mark out the quarters of the side, so I can pick up evenly.

Rather than work on the ties, I swatched up the cotton I bought to make the Sigma tank, in order to get a gauge. It's one of those Choose Your Own Gauge patterns, so I need to plug my result into the pattern algebra tomorrow before casting on. (Note to self, since I'm damn sure that post-it will migrate out of my purse overnight: 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch on size 7 needles).

Tomorrow: Monday, audit kick-off, and bronchial convulsion. Could there be a better day?