Sunday, April 30, 2006

Kool tool

Have you seen these?
They're called KnitKlips and they are totally awesome! I'm a complete gadget girl. If there's a tool out there to make life easier, I want it. These were reviewed on Knitter's Review a few weeks ago and sounded like a really neat concept. You line up the pieces to be joined and insert the peg on the clip through an individual stitch on each piece. Makes it super easy to make sure your seams line up exactly.

I've never been real good at the whole sewing up thing (as I've mentioned before, I've even resorted to using the sewing machine to seam my sweaters!) But I'm striving to become a better knitter, and that includes learning proper sewing up. I got out the knitter's bible, found the section on seaming and had at it.

This is what I'm working on. It's the Fast & Fun sweater knit on my Bond USM using crappy acryl-yuck Red Heart yarn I had bought to make an afghan (but finally gave up on). I've knit flat stuff on my USM with pretty good results, but had never tried a sweater. The other day I just got this thought I wanted to give it a try. I figured it probably wouldn't be wonderful, so I didn't want to waste any "good" yarn trying, thus I resorted to what I had most of in stash. To my utter amazement, it has turned out fantastic! The sleeves look insanely long, but I had steam blocked everything flat for seaming. They'll be rolled when it's finished. The yarn doesn't seem too horrible either. I will definitely knit this pattern again, this time with good yarn! (Oh yeah, if you need to steam block, try this. It's da bomb!)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Catching up

Tax season is FINALLY over and life is slowly returning to normal. We’ve had beautiful, warm weather the last week and I’ve been happy to get outside and “play in the dirt”. Dad rented a tiller and turned my garden. All I’ve gotten planted so far are onions. The tomatoes I started never really developed very well. I’ve set them outside, hoping the spring air will perk them up, but I have a feeling I’ll be buying tomato plants again this year. If it doesn’t rain too much this weekend, I hope to get out and get some plants in.

It looks as if my wisteria may bloom this year. It was planted in 2000 in memory of my granny Kleibrink who passed away that year. Two years ago it had one blossom. Last year, it looked like we were going to have flowers, but the weather turned windy and rainy and knocked every bloom off. Here’s a picture of some of the flowers about to open. They smell just heavenly. It is supposed to rain the next few days, but hopefully not so bad as to wash away my flowers!



Progress reports on the knitting projects:

Here’s the 3 Seasons cardi. Finished the back and one and a half pockets. I struggled with meeting gauge on this one and it does look like it may end up being big. It’s so hard to tell at this stage. The pattern is only one size and there are no schematics. There should be RULES about that sort of thing.




This is a really crappy picture of the CC Tunic. Dark green is not the easiest color to photograph. I’m well out of the black hole and knitting up the bodice. The body was worked in the round and I was able to get my Continental knitting down pat. The bodice is worked flat, but still all in knit stitch, so I’m groovin’ right along. I must admit, Continental is much faster than English. But I still like purling better right-handed.


The quilt show was a lot of fun. Despite the cold, windy, rainy weather, we had a great time. I got some fabric and a bunch of Australian quilting magazines. I was completely surprised to find a yarn vendor at the show this year. Her stuff was gorgeous! All hand spun and hand dyed. Unfortunately, it cost an arm and a leg ($40 - $60 per skein!) so I had to pass. I didn’t find much inspiration in the exhibit quilts, again, mostly art quilts which just don’t float my boat. I saw several wall hangings in the vendor mall that I’m considering making. Top of my list is the “Wool” quilt from Alphabet Soup. Didn’t buy the book at the show because the pattern looks pretty simple to emulate. For now, I’m working on this little wall hanging. It’s Bear’s Paw by Eleanor Burns from the August 2003 Quilter’s World magazine.

Oooo, looky-looky…

The Opal yarn prize arrived. My hand still isn’t up to sock knitting, but it’s pretty big inspiration to get back at it!


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Winner!

Ooo, lucky me! I was reading the current Opal Chatters newsletter (http://www.ptyarn.com/aprilnewsletter.html) and found my Opal socks in the sock drawer. They pick a number of socks from those posted on their website each month and feature them in the sock drawer. If you find your socks, you win a ball of Opal yarn! Woo-hoo! Can ya' tell I'm happy? My love of Opal appears to be well placed as the Opal-gods keep smiling on me. I've worn them several times and everyone who sees them seems to like them. Sadly, the weather is getting too warm to wear them much longer. But at least I'll be able to enjoy more Opal goodness when the new yarn arrives.

My hand is feeling somewhat better so I've been knitting pretty steady. I've packed the socks away for now, though. Even the size 3s are too small and make my hand ache. I'm alternating between the two sweaters, since I'm knitting one English and the other Continental I can give my hand a break when I need too. I'm better than half way done the back on the 3 Seasons Cardigan, but still in the black hole on the CC tunic. I think I've got another 4 inches or so before I can start the garter stitch yoke.

Spring has sprung and it was great to be able to open up the windows today. Quinn and Stuart sure enjoyed it!