Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hacking Bites!

So I admit, I haven't given my little blog enough love, haven't posted in over a year, but to find that someone hacked it and posted some "news" links in Poland, just burns me. 

Like I tell our kiddos, if it's not yours, don't touch it!

Go create your own blog to post this stuff on, and keep your hands off of mine. Sheesh!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

All Out of Love

All right, time to admit it -- I'm all out of love with my Aeolian shawl. The beads are really getting me down, and  just past the  half-way mark, so the rows are getting longer and longer, so taking much longer to knit through each. It's the same thing you face with every top-down shawl, unfortunately. I can't really change the beading plans, as I've proposed it as fully-beaded to my OWL examiner at the HPKCHC, and I'd feel like a wimp if I changed it now. Sigh.  I did submit 50% in time, so earned the 75 midterm points for Ravenclaw, but I just don't know if I can complete it by the end of November.  I think I'd rather put it aside and work on it when I'm inspired to work all the beads, than push through it, not enjoying the process, and resenting it afterwards. I haven't fully decided yet -- just felt the need to vent a bit. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Aeolian at 20%

For this Term's OWL project, I've chosen to knit an Aeolian shawl with the Polwarth/mulberry silk in Black Eye that I spun as part of last Term's OWL. I'm knitting the full size, fully beaded version. 

I have to say, the beads are pretty but they sure slow it down immensely. I'm about 20% completed, and I'm not sure I can get it done by the end of November, and get any of my holiday gift knitting done. sigh....

I'm plodding along though, and will do my best! It's very cool to be working with my own handspun, though I'm finding all my inconsistencies as I go, lol. 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

My New Love!

She's a Kromski Minstrel, in Mahogany finish. She arrived at the end of March, and I've been learning to spin with her ever since. Her name is Katheryn, after my maternal great-grandmother. 





She's been to Table Rock Llamas for a spinning class, and she's traveled with us cross-country already to visit with our family in Pennsylvania.  I love that she's compact enough to fit into both the minivan and the Jeep, so we can spin wherever we want!  I hope to get in a class at next year's Wool Market in Estes Park. That would be sweet. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year, everybody! Even though I'm a bit groggy from staying up late last night to ring  in the new year, I love January 1st, with its promise of a fresh start for the new year. My plans? More knitting and crocheting, of course :), along with being the best mom and wife I can be, and doing the best job I can at work. I'm going to try to balance things a bit better; we'll see how I do.

It's the first day of the new Term for the HPKCHC, as well. I'm a Sixth Year Ravenclaw, Charms Professor this Term, and really excited to be Ravenclaw Quidditch Assistant again too! My plan for this Term is to make as many blanket squares, hats, and maybe some go-overs and vests that I can for Knit A Square.  Now that gift-making is over, I can refocus on KAS. Check out the latest video ezine -- it's so wonderful to hear Sandy and Rhonda's voices, and to see more pictures and videos of the children they are helping. 



Let's see, what are my current active WIPs that I have a chance of finishing?

I have some gifts for friends I'm still working on, so won't post those here in case they peek. ;)

Advent Calendar Scarf 2012 - I'm on Day 6 of 24. This one is actually just for me, which is probably why it's taking me so long.



Percy Monster for Newtown, CT, through 600 Monsters Strong. I had knit a Penelope, but DD2 fell in love with her, so I caved and let her have it (with purple feather, below). I'll have to knit another one, as I wanted to send at least two to them.






Ron Weasley blanket. I have one and a half rows to finish, though I'm thinking of adding perhaps another two rows and wide border, so that it fits our queen-sized bed better and stays put at night. This is the last stretched-out pic, though there are 7 1/2 rows now. Time for an updated photo shoot!



Prayer shawl for D. This one is embarassing - it's over a year old wip. I have to finish it to send to my old boss; I started it when her dad passed away, and then she lost her mom. So sad.

 
 
I'd like to start planning out holiday gift knitting and get started this summer, so I'm not crafting at a mad scramble again to finish things at 3AM! We'll see how things go.
 
Well here's wishing everyone a safe and healthy New Year, full of yarny goodness!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

KAS Solid Granny Square


I wanted to make a truly solid granny square pattern for the charity blanket squares that I crochet for Knit A Square. My prior pattern, Gramma Cookie's Solid Granny Square, has holes at the corners, and I wanted to devise a square with no holes; the "KAS Solid Granny Square" was born.

It can be crocheted either half double crochet/double crochet, or double crochet/treble crochet.

This pattern is in U.S. terms.

Hook size: U.S. size H
Yarn weight: Worsted or Aran, approx. 60 yards.

Round 1: In a Magic ring, ch 4, *3 dc in ring, tc in ring,* repeat three times, 3 dc in ring, sl st to the top of beg ch 4 to close the first round. Pull starting yarn tight to close the magic ring, and crochet over it as you continue to build your square. (16 sts)

Round 2: Ch 4, 2 dc in same st, *dc in each dc on the first side, (2 dc, tc, 2 dc) in corner tc.* Repeat for each side. In last corner, 2 dc in base st of the ch4 to finish the corner. Sl st to top of beg ch 4 to close the round. (32 sts)

Round 3: Repeat round 2 (48 sts)

Round 4: Repeat round 2 (64 sts)

Round 5: Repeat round 2 (80 sts)

Round 6: Repeat round 2 (96 sts)

Round 7: Repeat round 2 (112 sts)

If I'm using Red Heart Super Saver yarn, seven rounds makes an 8" square, which is the required size for Knit A Square.

If I'm using thinner yarn such as Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn!, I may need to work an eighth round in single stitch, to reach the 8" square size.

Round 8 [If Needed for size]: Ch1, 2 sc in same st, *sc in each dc on the first side, (3 sc) in corner tc.* Repeat for each side. In last corner, 1 sc in base st of the ch1 to finish the corner. Sl st to top of beg ch 1 to close the round. (124 sts)

Knit A Square requests that you weave in the beginning tail (if you haven't crocheted over it on the first row), and also leave a 20" long tail at the end, which will be used to sew the squares together into blankets.

With Photos:

Round 1: In a Magic ring, ch 4, *3 dc in ring, tc in ring,* repeat three times, 2 dc in ring, sl st to the top of beg ch 4 to close the first round. Pull starting yarn tight to close the magic ring, and crochet over it as you continue to build your square. (16 sts)


 
Here, the dpn is showing where to slip stitch into the top chain of the beginning chain 4 to close the round.











 
 


Round 2: Ch 4, 2 dc in same st, *dc in each dc on the first side, (2 dc, tc, 2 dc) in corner tc.* Repeat for each side. In last corner, 2 dc in base st of the ch4 to finish the corner. Sl st to top of beg ch 4 to close the round. (32 sts)
 
Here I have made the Ch 4, 2 dc in same stitch to start the first corner:
 
 
Double chain in each double chain on the first side - 3 dcs. The dpn shows the top of the treble crochet in the row below, which is where we make the five stitches for the next corner:
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Two double chains, one treble chain, two double chains to make the corner: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Now continuing the double chain in each double chain below, and the double chains/treble chain/double chains for the corners, continue around to the first chain 4 in the first corner, where we started.





 
 
 
 
 
Round 3: Repeat round 2 (48 sts)

Third round completed.
 
 
 
Round 4: Repeat round 2 (64 sts)

This round, we add in another color to make a striped square. Simply tie a new color around the main color strand before closing the round, drop the main color, and work the slip stitch with the new color. Chain 4 to start the corner, and off you go.
 
 
















If I plan on carrying the main color up to alternate rows of color, I twist the yarns as I make the final double crochet in the corner, so that there aren't any large loops loose on the back of the square, that could get caught on something.

 

I'm switching back to solid blue for the next round, so pull through the blue yarn when making the slip stitch to close the round.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Round 5: Repeat round 2 (80 sts)













 



Round 6: Repeat round 2 (96 sts)

















Round 7: Repeat round 2 (112 sts)

















If I'm using Red Heart Super Saver yarn, seven rounds makes an 8" square, which is the required size for Knit A Square.

If I'm using thinner yarn such as Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn!, I may need to work an eighth round in single stitch, to reach the 8" square size.


Round 8 [If Needed for size]: Ch1, 2 sc in same st, *sc in each dc on the first side, (3 sc) in corner tc.* Repeat for each side. In last corner, 1 sc in base st of the ch1 to finish the corner. Sl st to top of beg ch 1 to close the round. (124 sts)

Here I've added a row of sc:













 
Knit A Square requests that you weave in the beginning tail (if you haven't crocheted over it on the first row), and also leave a 20" long tail at the end, which will be used to sew the squares together into blankets.






Thursday, December 20, 2012

Utter sadness for Newtown

As a mom of three, with our youngest being a first grader, I am devastated over the shootings in Newtown. I can't even fathom what the parents are going through right now.

I'm knitting some toys to send on to the school, and crocheting squares for Knit A Square in the children's memory. I wish I could do more.

Please pray for the children and adults lost, and especially for the family and friends left behind.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Deer sweater yarn - and the winner is...!

Ok so I’ve made a decision on the yarn for finishing my Bopchie's reindeer sweater - I can’t find any vintage yarn to match, so I’ve bought a few different skeins, and I’m going with the one all the way to the right, Cadena in Natural from Knit Picks. I’ll knit alternating rows of the existing wool and the Cadena, so it’s not a harsh line on the sleeves showing where the new yarn starts. Still isn’t a perfect match, but it’s as close as I think I’m going to get.

She had the two sleeves squished together on one aluminum needle, I’ll be transferring them to a #9 circ KP Harmony and jumping in!



And of course, it can't be that easy - in laying out the pieces on the floor, it seems the three body panels are three different sizes. :)  The right front is two rows too short, and the back is four rows too long. Not to mention, the left armhole doesn't match up quite right with the back, even after shifting the back down four rows; that I'll just adjust that as I add the side panels to increase the width to fit my torso.

In the picture, you can see where the two top green grass rows don't match between the two front panels, and the front and back bottom grass rows don't match up either.  I want to make all three body panels match up correctly before knitting the sleeves, collar, and side panels, so I'll be ready to seam together once the remaining knitting work is completed.  I'll need to add in two background rows above the deer in the right front panel (leftmost in the pic), remove four rows in the background below the deer/grass bottom row in the back, and then may need to add in  a couple of background rows above the deer and below the top grass, not sure yet - I have to count up the total body length first, to be sure. A good bit of blocking might do the trick there.

I didn't want to unravel her knitting, but wanted to try to insert rows and remove rows as needed, without disturbing her original knitting too much, especially the intarsia.  It may not be perfect, but it was knit by her!  As I told my husband (who truly thinks I'm insane spending so much time and energy on futzing with the sweater), when she's no longer with us in this world, I'll have the sweater that she knit to put on and imagining her hugging me through it! Yes, this is more than worth it.

Back to the process.  I knit a swatch, complete with 4 sts in reverse stockinette for the zipper band, and proceeded with yarny surgery.

I've inserted needles above and below where I will cut. Carefully snipping the center stich and unraveling it, I had to adjust where the needles went into the stitches for the reverse stockinette. After separating the top and bottom halves, I added the new yarn to the bottom needle, knit two rows, and then lined everything up to begin kitchenering. Working the kitchener from right to left on the reverse stockinette was confusing, until I found a tutorial by Queen Kahuna that explained the "same off, opposite on" mantra. Knitty's Techniques with Teresa is helpful here, too. I just need to be careful where the purl is next to the knit stitch where the zipper band ends. I'm explaining this in detail for myself, as I've not done this before, and I want to keep things straight!
Ok, enough practice, on to the beast itself! Crossing fingers and toes that I don't mess it up. :)










Friday, July 20, 2012

Quality time with Ron Weasley

Back in February, I started the Ron Weasley Blanket. The pattern is as faithful to the movie blanket as possible. I thought that as garter stitch squares, it would be a good, mindless knit for my post-surgery time, and it was. It's written as 80 squares to be knit and sewn together afterwards. I'm trying to join as I go, to eliminate sewing so many edges together. So far, so good. I'm knitting the diagonal squares separately and then sewing them in and continuing to pick up and knit the next square.

This worked really well in the winter. Now that we have 90 degree weather outside and the AC going in the living room, it's not so fun to knit with a growing afghan on one's legs, even if one is directly in the path of the AC!

I'll have to get creative with the positioning somehow. My July classwork is done and handed in for the HPKCHC, and Ravellenics/Quiddyllenics doesn't start until Friday afternoon, so I can have some quality time with my Ron Weasley blanket.

Until classes start up again in September.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vintage Deer Sweater yarn

So I've won the eBay auction (no other bidders on the lot), and sent payment. Now we wait for it to arrive. My hope is that if it's nearly as old as what I have, the color will be a fair enough match, and I could hold two or three strands together to at least finish the sleeves with near-enough matching yarn (this is Mary Maxim worsted weight pure wool, and I need Mary Maxim Northland wool). Of course, that might look just awful; maybe I should ply them together on my larger drop spindle. Wish I had a spinning wheel with a bulky bobbin right about now! Will have to play with it a bit and swatch and see what works better.

If the Cadena is a better match gauge-wise, and not too bright a color, I could just use it to finish the sweater and add in side panels to make it fit, and be done anguishing over it.

It's a special sweater to me in that my grandmother knit most of it. I can hold it to my face and smell her in it. We are almost two thousand miles apart, and Alzheimer's is taking her further and further away from us every day. It will have both our handwork in it together, and others might question the final product's appearance, but it will mean the world to me. :)