Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wedding Dress Distraction

This week has been full steam ahead with the wedding dress.... and only a few hours for knitting to relax late in the evening. I have the back of the rose cardigan finished and half of one front....
this is a new pattern from me, and will I will post it when it gets done... :)
I also have a sock done and have started the second.

At the same time, we have heard that the house in Waterloo (our student house) that we have worked so hard to get ready to sell, had over 30 showings in less than a week! We heard today that an offer has been made, but wait, a second offer is coming in too.... could this be a bidding war? Keep your fingers cross that this works out really well for us, and we can put that one thing behind us.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Newest Socks

OK, I am in a crazy sock mood... They are quick and mindless (for me) and since I am in overdrive with the sewing projects (check out my other blog if you don't know what I am talking about) I need easy, quick knits.
These are from my stash... Arabesque Superwash wool, worsted weight. I have several balls of several colours of this, and two 50 gram balls will make socks if the heel and toe are from other sources. The yarn, being 100% wool, needs a blend for the heel and toe and I have used leftover Patons Decor (and acrylic wool blend). This is important for the hard wearing areas of the sock. The pattern is my quick knit sock pattern. Easy easy easy. The pattern is knit with only one strand of this thicker yarn, but the needles and numbers stay the same.... Fast.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Socks done and doing...

I finished the softest socks in the world. They are knit with Alpaca Sox, purchased in Arizona at Bonnies Yarns in Carefree. I love the colours and the yarn makes fraternal twins (not completely identical). I wish you could reach through your monitor and feel this yarn. So soft. I hope this doesn't mean it wears out too quickly but I will keep you posted. Both socks are knit using my best sock pattern found HERE.

The other sock is a lovely hand dyed that I received for Christmas. I am doing this one on one circular needles (Addi 2.5mm). I love this way of knitting socks, there are no dropped needles and no dropped stitches. You work the sock in simple front and back sections instead of in thirds, so the math is simple.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend Reno-Warriors

The weekend was another in the on-going fix -it-up-to-sell visits to the Waterloo house... This one involved bathroom wall patching and painting. We have three bathrooms and all three need attention. The two with showers have areas around the showers that have water damage... you know, if you don't quite close the sliding door, the water trickles through and drips down the wall and leaves, well, a marred paint finish. So scrape and spackle and sand and respackle and sand again, then paint. The two rooms are at the second sand and paint stage by the end of the weekend, so one more weekend will have them done! We also removed the window air conditioner and restored the screen and curtains on the back window. Also cleaned the oven (yes, it is grey enamel inside, not black charcoal!). Painted the stairway and hall downstairs a sunny yellow (still the old blue that was toooooo dark and dingy) and painted the doors downstairs a creamy white. And the powder room on the main floor was painted yellow.
The only knitting I got done was on the hour and a half drive to and fro the house, and a break from painting of about an hour. This was equal to almost one whole sock. (sock photos will be another day, when they are all done)....
It looks like we will be ready to list the house next Sunday, then keep fingers crossed that it sell easily and on budget, and we can all relax and focus on getting Robin through exams and then we can all enjoy Jamaica and the wedding! Hopefully there will be plenty of time for moving out and closing the house after the trip.... :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Finished Blanket, and next Project

I finished the big blanket and it is AWESOME! I used lots of Noro and Colinette yarns, in black, purple, rose and blue. I had 10 skeins of Silk Mountain in black, and the rest are one or two or partial left over skeins from my stash... The pattern is easy. Here goes: Use extra long circular 6.o mm (US 10) needles (Addi are my favourites). Cast on 160 stitches, break yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail of yarn . Using a different yarn, start with a 12 inch tail, knit across the row, then break yarn with a 12 inch tail. Keep adding different yarns, sometimes use the same yarn 2 - 3 times in a row, but always start with a 12 inch strand dangling and finish withbreaking the yarn and leaving a strand. As you go along tie the new tail and last rows' tail in an overhand knot to secure. (this creates a fringe of all the different yarns. Mix the colours as you feel, and sometimes knit, sometimes purl.... totally random! Work until about 4.5 feet wide (should be about 6 feet long) or until any size you like!

I picked up some new yarn. It is a lovely rose colour with a shine and softness about it. Lustra, Berroco, wool and tencel. Knit on 4.5mm needles (US 7). I have 7 100gm skeins, and I have a sketch for a hoody button up cardigan.
And this is how it looks so far....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cabled Tee Shirt

No matter what else I knit, I always find I am drawn back to my favourite. The classic and timeless cable. This one is a simple four stitch, left twist, six row repeat. It becomes almost like a rib pattern, in the four purl, four cable stitch repeat throughout the whole sweater.
The yarn was an Elann bargain. One of their full bag sales, so there were ten balls to work with, and I thought it would be enough for a tee shirt style. I have noticed lots of tees being worn in the winter over long sleeve tees and even over collared shirts, so that was the look I wanted with this one. Any DK weight yarn should work with this (test your gauge), abd the ribby cable will ensure a snug fit as long as the yarn is sturdy enough to hold the cable (not flatten out at the first wash like some soft wools).

Yarn: Elle Elite DK: 50% wool, 50% cotton, 125 yards/ 50gm ball, 10 balls.
Size: fits medium, (about size 10) about 38 inch chest, but stretchy and could fit larger or smaller.

Needles: 4mm (US 8), cable needle

Gauge: 28 sts = 4 inches, in the ribby cable pattern

Ribby-Cable Pattern: Right side, Row 1: K5, [p4,k4] repeat in brackets until last stitch, K1.
Row 2: K1 (edge stitch), p4, [k4, p4] repeat to last stitch, k1(edge stitch).
Row 3: like row 1,
Row 4: like row 2
Row 5:(cable row) K1, *cable 4 left* (place next 2 sts on cable needle and hold to front of work, knit next 2 sts, k2 from cable needle), [p4, cable 4 left] repeat to last stitch, k1.
Row 6: like row 2.

These six rows are the whole pattern, keep repeating, using the cable row every row 5 of 6.

Back: Cast on 118 sts. k5,[p4, k4] repeat across row to last stitch,k1. Next row: k1, p4, [k4,p4] repeat to last stitch, k1.... repeat these two rows for 2 inches.
Begin the ribby cable pattern, working up the back until 15 inches have been completed from the start.
Armhole shaping: Bind off 7 at start of next two rows. Keep in the cable pattern throughout, Decrease one stitch each end of right side rows, 6 times. Continue even until piece measures 24 inches. Cast off all stitches.

Front: Cast on as for back and work the same until front measures 18 inches and armhole shaping has been done. Cast off center 20 stitches, and with second ball of yarn work both sides as follows:
Cast off 3 sts at neck edge, twice on each side. Decrease one more at neck edge, two times more on each side. Work remaining stitches with out further shaping until same length as the back. Bind off all stitches.

Sleeve: Cast on 70 sts. Work in k4, p4 ribbing, with one edge stitch each side, for 2 inches.
Start Ribby Cable Pattern, AND start increasing one stitch each end, every right side row for 10 times (90 sts). Keeping up the cable pattern and adding new stitches into the pattern, increase one each end every 4th row four times (98 sts). When the sleeve measures 7 inches, Shape Cap: Cast off 7 sts at start of next two rows.
Decrease one each end every right side row 7 times (70 sts)
Decrease one each end EVERY row 20 times (30 sts)
Cast off 5 sts at start of next 4 rows. Cast off the rest.

Neck Rib: Join one shoulder seam. Pick up 104 stitches evenly spaced around the neck opening (front and back). Work back and forth in k4, p4 ribbing (no cables), until 2.5 inches (or go for 8 - 9 inches and make a turtle neck - may take another ball of yarn). Cast off LOOSELY in rib pattern.

Stitch up other shoulder, joining right up the neckband.
Sew in sleeves and stitch side seams too. Done.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sweater done!

I finished the cable pullover. It is a snug cable-ribbed tee shirt style with short sleeves. I have to work out the pattern to post and will do so on the weekend, but thought you may enjoy a sneek preview!

nice, eh??

Friday, January 1, 2010

Renovation and Cables

We are at the Waterloo house for two days over New Year's , to refinish the Kitchen cabinets and install new carpet in the third bedroom. So far we have taken the doors and drawers off, painted the backs (they were still old wood - lazy previous owners) and flipped them and have done two coats on the fronts. The colour is a medium toffee, in a satin finish. The framing is also done, and now we are ready to put new brushed nickel hinges and new nickel handles on the doors, and hang them up in place.

This house has been our student house, for our kids and their rent-paying friends. It has been a fun project for hubby and me. We have brought our skills in home repair and decorating, and have made drapes and art (me) and a shed, plumbing (hubby) and new carpets and tiles (both of us). We will be selling it to new student parents in the spring, so will be doing last minute painting and cleaning in the last month.

Here is the kitchen work so far..

I am also working on a cabled pullover sweater - a new design, to be posted soon - made from a merino/cotton blend which holds the cables well.... I allow a short break to rest and knit every few hours (sore back needs a break)...

The sweater will be a short sleeve with a big cowl neck. Worn on its own or over a long sleeve tee shirt, it should be trendy-cool.... :)

later..... the finished kitchen...