I Love Yarn Day

Yes – today is I love yarn day.  Doesn’t that mean I should have bought some yarn?  I didn’t – but then there’s still several hours left in the day. 😉    I just adjusted my tallies and added  to the yarn stash page a new photo of a finished project.  So, I have now knit 700+ yards more than I have purchased.  The “knit” tally just counts finished projects, not those in the works in various stages (there are a lot in the “various stages” of completion category).

This week I finished the last of my Loopy Academy knitting projects for Sophomore Semester 1.

Each side of the pillow has a different design.  I used the Decorative Pillow Cases pattern.  Both are intarsia patterns – which is just short rows but no wraps  or wraps to pick up.

pillowssbs

I like the patterns, and it was my first intarsia which went pretty well, but I did  make a change to the side of the pillow that looks like a flower.  The pattern said to make only 12 petals but that was not looking right when I tried sewing the end together so I made 13 petals which seemed to match better the 13 blades on the blue pillow and make them the same size.

I had such a fat 22″ down pillow form that I had to add a little to each side of the pillow.  since the inside circle of the pillows is closed up with single crochets, the slipped knit stitches around the outside edge of the pillow were perfect to single crochet in.  I added two rounds of SC in the  respective background colors for each side of the pillow and then one round of SC on each side using the off white yarn.  Then just slipped stitched it shut with the crochet hook.

Clover Wonder Clips which I use for holding quilt binding while hand sewing are also a perfect knitter’s tool.  They are great for holding pieces of sweaters, etc. together while seaming.  They also worked great to clip the two sides of the pillow around the pillow form so I could slip stitch it shut while on the pillow form.

As I was finishing up sewing the pillow I happened across a popcorn stitch flower pattern that I thought might look great in the center of the pillow rather than just the brown circle there.  It was the perfect accent to the pillow.  All that crocheting did remind me why I don’t crochet anymore tho.  Boy it is hard on my hands, but even more so my wrists.   I’m glad that project is done.

20151017_12The back is nearly done on my Pooling Experiment sweater made from my Loopy Legends Denise’s Gannets yarn.  First major pooling at the bottom is where the waist shaping stitches are and then again above the armholes.  I’m just letting it pool at will.   And while there are those “oh the horror your yarn is pooling” group of knitters – I’m not one of them.  Sure some things I don’t want to pool and I will take steps to avoid it but this sweater is my “toss on with jeans” sweater and since jeans are my weekend attire and not office attire – a comfy sweater with pooly splotches is just fine with me.  It will be interesting to see how the front differs in pooling from the back and what the sleeves will do.  (Don’t you love my bright green Loopy Ewe bag – it’s a great project bag.)

20151017_11This week my order of purse closures also arrived.  There’s two Mickey Mouse type closures and then two others.  I love the coppery color of the one Mickey Mouse closure.  So I’m anxious to get started on one of these little purses.

 

 

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On the Needles

I have another finish!  So exciting since I started this sweater April 2014.  It’s a CustomFit pattern tho this one is a bit looser than the norm – but I’m okay with that – it was because of something I did.  I’ve told you before I love the CustomFit program and I continue to.  I finally sewed the side/underarm seams on this Thursday night and wore it to work yesterday.

sweaterI snapped this quick photo when I got home from work yesterday – not the best photo but I couldn’t wait to peel it off – or actually peel off the nylon camisole I had under it since it was about 90 degrees and 90% humidity yesterday.  The sweater itself isn’t overly warm – it’s made with Bamboo Pop – 50% Bamboo/50% Cotton but that camisole was not helping what little breeze there was cool me down.

Anyway -I wanted a tunic sort of top and I got one.  The Bamboo Pop seems to stretch a bit – the bottom seed stitch hem looks a bit stretched in this photo from sitting at the computer most of the day and I think it grew in length slightly from the weight of the sweater itself by the end of the day but all in all I’m happy with it.  Especially since I put such a wide lace panel in it (stitch pattern taken from Birch Trees scarf pattern) and I knit lace loosely I didn’t take that into account and was worried the sweater would be way to large.  I managed to pull in the lace at the neckline by using smaller needles, picking up fewer stitches and knitting it as tightly as I could.  So the neckline turned out the way I wanted.

And this sweater has done wonders for my Knitting from the stash numbers:  Knit to date yardage: 12,040;

stash added to date yardage: 12,275  so I’m only 235 yards away from having knit as much as I’ve put into the stash.  Not bad.  Actually my numbers are even better since I have two other sweaters ready to be blocked but can’t count items till finished.  My numbers will take a bit of a hit next week when my “school supplies” for Loop Academy arrive but those projects all need to be done by the end of the Academy semester so they won’t linger.

smProgress so far on my Laura Aylor SMKAL project.  I’m working on Clue 3 which came out this week – the striped sections of the gradient on the right side.  I just started color four and have one more to go after that.  then there is one more clue next week which should use more of the background color.

 

 

On the Needles – Friday, 8/21/15

First – if you’re doing Laura Aylor’s Summer’s End Mystery KAL and don’t want to see what the finished clue 1 looks like — close this page now — there will be a spoiler photo of my clue one below. 🙂

I am still knitting along on the neckline/front band ribbing on my Featherweight sweater.  It gets a really wide rib finish – 3″ maybe – can’t remember for sure and I think I’m at about 2″ or slightly more but with 500+ stitches and fingering weight yarn, it takes a while to do a row.  I am hoping tho that I may get that finished off this weekend.  I still haven’t started blocking any of my other three sweaters.  One of them I may just start seaming without blocking – It’s cotton yarn and the lace I used across the front made it really drapey and probably a bit baggy so it may actually need a bit of time in the dryer rather than laying flat to dry so I’m not real concerned about blocking that before I seam it.

I also am working on a pair of socks that I had started  — well heck I just checked Raverly and I never created a project page for them so I can’t remember when I started  – I’ll have to look on the blog later but they have been sitting around for quite a while.  However, as I was putting them back in my tote after my bus ride to work I felt a “pop”  – yep snapped one of my DPs so need to find where the other one is.

Okay — now to the spoiler of my Clue one for the Mystery shawl KAL.

mkalclue1

 

 

You use a group of five gradient colors and then a background color.  This gradient is called Gingersnap.  So this is my first clue which has all five gradients used in it.  It decreases towards one end at an angle at the darkest end.  Now to wait until the middle of next week to find out what happens next.

Off the Needles – 8/14/15

First – the stats you’ll find on the Knitting the Stash page.

Stash Yarn knit up to date:  6790  Yarn added to Stash to date:  12,275    Net:  -5,485

I do have a new finish – hot off the needles last night.  The House of Targaryen socks I started in November 2013 – yep it was high time I finished them.  The photo at the link that shows the stitch pattern on leg better is more the true colors of the yarn.  It’s a bit washed out in the photo below.  The yarn is Cephalapod Yarns Skinny Bugga in   Hawaiian Bobtail Squid colorway. I love this yarn but alas Cephalapod Yarns is no more.

gamesocks

 

The stash numbers above will be taking a bit of a dip next week since it’s the start of Laura Aylor’s Summer’s End MKAL – First Point of Libra.   It starts 8/19/15 and my yarn is ordered.  I forgot I was going to be home on vacation when I ordered the yarn so had it sent to the office where I is hanging out right now rather than here with me where I can swatch (and enjoy its loveliness).

I’m always game for a mystery quilt project – love those – but I have not been enamoured with a couple of the mystery KALs I did so the stars have to align correctly for me to do a MKAL these days.  The most important factor in joining in this one – I love all of this designers shawls and wraps so that bodes very well indeed.  And I’ve been eyeing some lovely gradient yarns, which is what you need to make this project, so I think it was meant to be.  The yarn I chose for it (which has not been added into my stash tally yet since I don’t have it in my hands yet) are from Black Trillium Fibre and oh what lovely gradients!  You can see the yarn I chose here.

Last night I started picking up the neck edge stitches for the ribbing on my Featherweight — it is a long long way around that neckline and I’ll have something like 550 stitches or more to rib.

Today’s vacation plans — work a bit on my PatchKats, one of my sweaters I decided I’m going to block after seaming so I may get started on that, and perhaps put another sweater in to soak so I can get that on the blocking boards.  And there’s some banana bread I want to make.  And one of my most favorite dinners is on tap for tonight.  Baked potatoe, asparagus and Chicken Chablis – my most favorite chicken dish.  Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  Friend Janet T sent me a cookbook that had the recipe in it but I also found it on line.  If you haven’t tried it – you really should.

The changes I make to the recipe below — I use skinless chicken.  That pitty little 3 ounce can of mushrooms — well if you don’t really like mushrooms I guess you could use it but I use a box of fresh mushrooms sauted in the butter instead.  I can never have too many mushrooms.  And this recipe freezes very well too.  Quick and easy and oh so delicious.

CHICKEN CHABLIS RECIPE

5 tablespoons butter
1 (3-ounce) can mushrooms
Flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts, halved
2/3 cup dry white wine
Sliced Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet, stir in drained mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Remove mushrooms from skillet.
Lightly flour, salt and pepper chicken breasts. Add 3 more tablespoons butter to skillet and brown chicken breasts. Remove chicken from skillet.
Add wine to skillet and bring to boil while scraping bottom and sides of pan. Stir mushrooms in and remove from heat.
Place chicken breasts skin side down in a casserole dish. Pour wine and mushrooms over.
Bake uncovered for 35 minutes in 350 degree F oven. Turn chicken skin side up, spoon mushrooms over and top with thin slices of Swiss cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer, basting frequently.
Servings: 4

Okay – now I’ve made myself very hungry and must to find something to eat for breakfast.

 

On the Needles – Friday 8/7/15

Well it’s officially not Friday anymore but I got sidetracked before when I remembered I should do an OTN report.  I have managed to upgrade to Windows 10 and find my way back around and make sure all my programs were still working.  Haven’t checked everything but did check Electric Quilt since that was the one I was most concerned about all it appears just fine. Whew!

Anyway tho this photo doesn’t exactly look real exciting, I am excited about it.

DSCN4486[1]It’s exciting because it’s the second sleeve of my sweater and I’m about half way done.    And yes, the yarn is the color of the printing on a Coke bottle.

As I was straightening up the sewing room while the computer upgrade was running, I found the ball of yarn I’ve been searching for off and on for the last month that I needed for a different sweater.  I know I had set it down somewhere – and there is was buried under some fabric.  So the time the upgrade took was put to good use and the sewing room is all tidied up.

 

Now it’s not here yet but there will be a bit of yarn coming my way.   It seems like a long time since I ordered any yarn – well a couple months IS a long time. 🙂  But since I’m not knitting for Camp Loopy, I’ve been joining in some other KALs that are simple projects.   So I ordered my yarn tonight for the Laura Aylor Summer’s End MKAL – which is a mystery KAL.

I had a tough time deciding what gradient set I wanted to order because there are so many lovely ones on the website I was shopping.  But in the end, I just kept going back to a set called Gingersnap which is a very light golden color to a dark brown, and a natural color for the main color (background) to go with those.  Can’t wait to see them in person.

The other major excitement this week — another dang bat hanging on the ceiling in the office not far from my desk.  But I’m glad to say it was captured and evicted from the premises.  Ick, Ick Ick!!!  At least this one was asleep when it was captured and we didn’t have to chase it’s flying butt around the office like the last one a month or two ago.

Sheesh – it’s 3:15 a.m. – I have to go to bed because I need to get up soon go out to breakfast with a friend! LOL  Too bad I’m not the least bit tired at the moment.

On the Needles Friday – 7/3/15

I got up this morning thinking – ah, Saturday – and then remembered – Hurrah! it’s only Friday!.

So on the needles this Friday..

DSCN4431First the red sweater – right front that I still need to finish the shoulder on.

 

Rather than working on that sweater I’ve been working on my shawl for the summer shawl KAL Laura Aylor has running in her Ravelry group.

Here’s where I am right now — it’s already past the size the pattern calls for but I want to use up some more of the yarns I had chosen for this rather than have leftover balls too small to use for a project so I’ll continue on adding some more sections at will. 🙂

DSCN4430

 

On the Needles –

I didn’t even bother to try to get a photo of this to post last nice since I new the color wouldn’t come anywhere near true.

This is a slightly better photo in the light of day – it looks a bit red at least but not the bright cherry red it is and the lace pattern shows up a bit.

DSCN4352

This is the back of the sweater and the lace panel is across the upper back.  I’ve got about 13 more rows and then will bind off the back neck stitches – so not much more to do on the back.

I did not manage to get my CustomFit Cardipalooza cardigan done during the KAL but I knew I wouldn’t make it – which really only means I’m not eligible for the prizes they are giving away.  I do plan to pull it back out this weekend and finish off that cap of that sleeve so I can get that one blocked and start stitching it together.  The CF Summer Sweater KAL has started and as long as the sweater is “finished” during the KAL it doesn’t matter when it’s started  Maybe must maybe the pullover lace sweater I started for last year’s KAL will get finished for this one.  🙂

If you are a regular blog reader,  I know you’ve heard me say how much I dislike pin basting quilts — well it’s the same sort of thing when I get to the stage where I have to block something.  Not my favorite thing to do but then I always wonder once I’ve done one why I hate it so much.  It really doesn’t take that long to block sweater pieces  — I follow Amy Herzog’s method of blocking and it works great and you’re not pinning out every inch of every edge – just the strategic points.   Actually the real problem I procrastinate may be because I usually have to clear off the sewing room table of it’s mess so I have a place to lay out the blocking mats.

Maybe I’ll go put those lace pullover sweater pieces into the sink to soak – then I’ll be forced to get it pinned out to block.

On the Needles – Friday 5/29/15

DSCN4349My blue sweater isn’t finished yet –only about an inch or two of the sleeve cap to go on the last sleeve.  But, since I was going out of town last weekend, I needed something else to take along to work on where I didn’t really have to pay attention.  So I cast on this sweater.  Note that this is the worst photo ever.  Hot pink my sweater is not — it is actually bright cherry red but that’s such a hard photo to photograph in my sewing room on a gloomy rainy night.  So just pretend it looks bright red.  This one is Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton.  It will be a 3/4 length sleeve button cardigan. The back is plain and there will be a bit of design up the front along the button bands.

Now the second photo — those colors are perfect!

DSCN4343

That’s my Loopy Legend yarn – Denise’s Gannets.  The only downside of it — oh the yardage that will add to my stash knitting tally! 🙂   I have three different sweaters nearly done — two need blocking (after I finish that last sleeve cap) and the other needs the front/neck bands added.  If I ever stop starting new projects, I’ll be able to make some headway on that stash knitting tally.  In the meantime, I have to go add 3,045 yards on for my Gannets yarn. 😉

On the Needles Friday – May 15, 2015

DSCN4302 Same picture as last time — but I have made progress.  One sleeve was finished this week but it’s just not exciting enough to bother to take a photo of.  Cast on the second sleeve and have about three inches of that done.  I may be playing yarn chicken on this one – I “should” have enough left to do the button bands and neckline but it always makes me nervous as I see those balls of yarn disappearing.   Oh I just spied one of the balls of yarn not where it should be – I think I brought one into the sewing room to look it up online and see if I could order more if needed – whew – one more little ball of yarn than I thought I had so I do think all will be well.

This is my CustomFit Cardipalooza KAL project — which means its supposed to be done by May 31.  I don’t know if that will happen but if not, it shouldn’t take much longer than that to get done.

This evening’s plans — movies and knitting until the wee hours of the morning (my usual exciting Friday night plans — but it’s a great way to relax after a busy work week).   Tomorrow – well since I finally managed to get the new shower curtain done last weekend, I think this weekend I’ll tackle the new curtains I want to make for the sewing room.  I could decide on what fabric to use (and really didn’t want to buy more since there had to be something here that would work) and realized I have some bright (yes bright is not an understatement) very large floral print that I bought as backing for my Block Party Picnic quilt but I’ve decided it really needs to be curtains and any leftovers I can use to piece a backing for that quilt.  And these curtains are going to be super easy since I have curtain rings that a little clip hangs down from — just stitched a header hem and hem the rest of the way around and clip them on and string on the tension rod and insert in window.  And actually I’m contemplating just doing one curtain that I can push to either side, rather than two halves that open from the middle.  One of those windows I rarely open because the upstairs neighbors dryer vent is above it — since I’m allergic to a lot of scented things, her dryer sheet smell is not something I want blowing in my window so I think a single curtain it may be and I don’t have to worry about it not hanging exactly straight if it’s in two sections. 🙂

Friday’s On the Needles Report – 3/6/15

Gosh I can’t believe the first week of March is nearly done.  I’m looking forward to the second week of March tho since just maybe we’ll get above the teens in temperatures.  It’s be bright and sunny all week which is nice, just too cold to  actually melt anything.  So I’m thinking there will still be plenty of time to get some wear out of my Wiggle Wrap.

DSCN4122  It’s still not blocked but eventually I’ll get around to that.

So off the needles this week – my Wiggle Wrap.  It’s got a whopping 2,600 yards of fingering weight yarn in it which brings my total knit so far this year to 4,936 yards.  (a mere 1,380 yards have been purchased so far, and all of that for my Loopy Academy projects so it’s already back off the needles and used up.) I still have one project to buy for yet for this semester of Loopy Academy but I haven’t been able to decide which slip stitch project I want to do.

In the running are:

Slip-Zag  – tho I would not make it as long as in the original pattern – probably about half that length is more wearable for me.

From Russia With Wool

Slip It Good

But then how many cowls does one person really need.  I think great nice Eleanor may need a hoodie for spring since I came across this cute one.

 

 

You can see all the finished projects for this year by clicking the yarn stash button in the right sidebar. If you click on the photos there, they’ll enlarge.

Since I finished this project, I pulled back out my purple CF Deep Winter KAL sweater.  I’ve got the back and one front done and I’m just about ready to start the armhole shaping on the second front.