Monday, February 28, 2011

Rainbow Jacket - It's Done

My Rainbow Jacket is no more.  Thanks to everyone who weighed in on both sides - finishing or taking it apart.  I carefully considered all opinions.  What finally swayed me was the realization that I'll very likely never wear the jacket.  I guess my tastes must have changed in the years since I bought the kit. 

It took me well over 3 hours to rip out the the jacket and wind the yarn into balls.  Luckily I hadn't yet started to weave in any ends or sew the pieces together.  It made the task easier.  My arm muscles feel like they've had a good workout and will be sore and tired for a day or two.

The mug (isn't it cute?) was added to show how big the balls of wool are.  Before I put them in my stash, I'll label each one with the color and dye lot and weigh it.

Even though I no longer have this jacket, all is not lost.  I have lots and lots of lovely Harrisville wool in fingering weight.  I've wound the colors into balls but before I can use them I'll have to put them into skeins and wet them to relax all the kinks in the wool. 

Someday it'll be a lovely sweater - perhaps a Starmore or Fassett design.  Maybe one of my own.  It won't be anytime soon, however.  I've got other projects to finish up first. 

It feels good to have this project settled and out of the queue.  This jacket was a case of "use it or lose it', and I decided to lose it, and it's okay.  The guilt of not finishing this project is gone.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Opal 516 Socks - Finished

This finishing stuff is addicting!  I've finished a pair of socks that had been hanging around for a long while. 


Yarn:  Opal Sock Yarn
Color #516
Purple with yellow, red and blue stripes

Needles:  US #0/2.00 mm

Size:  Ladies Medium

Pattern:  Generic - knit from top down
1 x 1 ribbing
Short row heel
Stocking stitch legs and feet

Now, back to the second Mullet sock.  There are also other unfinished socks in my queue and someday, I just know it, I'll start a brand new pair of socks!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

No Lyin', I'm Knittin' a Lion!

I got the okay from the designer, Audrey, to talk about the test-knitting project that I'll be doing for her.  I'm going to be knitting a lion hand puppet.

The following two pictures are hers.  I'll have pictures of my own shortly. 

Isn't he adorable?  You can see more pictures on Audrey's Ravelry page, click here.

I now have the pattern and it also includes patterns for a dog, a rabbit and a dinosaur.  I've read over the pattern and it appears to be very well-written.  There are a lot of pictures to help the knitter to understand exactly what they need to do - good for a new knitter and reassuring for an experienced knitter.

When I'm finished with the knitting and giving any suggestions that I may have to Audrey, the lion will be sent to Calgary to my grandson.  I just know that he's going to love it.  But, who's going to have the most fun - grandma as the knitter, or Braydon?

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Campaign For Wool

Yesterday I received a lovely package from Cheshire in the U.K. from the Laughing Hens yarn shop.  Isn't that a great name?  It was the Rowan yarns I ordered to make Kaffe Fassett's Triangle Squares Cushion.  I'll blog about that project when it gets to the top of the queue.

Included in the package was a very nice surprise, a knitting bag from the Campaign For Wool.

I hadn't heard of it before, so I went to the website and learned that the campaign was started over a year ago to support all aspects of the wool industry:  the farmers, shearers, manufacturers of clothing, furniture, things for the house as well as textiles and crafts.  The patron of the Campaign For Wool is HRH, Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales.  He doesn't have to convince knitters of "the benefits of this wonderful, natural fiber", does he?!!

I think you might enjoy these two short videos which explains more about this initiative:

...and you have to love the idea of sheep in downtown London.  I wouldn't mind a Wool Week in the streets of downtown Denver!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Test Knitting

Other projects are going to take a back seat for a few days while I test knit a pattern.  I'll post the details as soon as I get the okay from the designer.  For now, I've got the yarns.

Plymouth Encore DK, color #3182, sunny yellow:

and Lion Brand Fun Fur, color #124, champagne:

and lastly SirdarFoxy, color #430, sable:

Yes, I'm going to be knitting with a novelty yarn.  It's going to be quite a change from the knitting I usually do.  Doesn't the saying go, "a change is as good as a rest"?  This is going to be a fun little project, I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Sometimes finishing doesn't mean that you're going to complete a project, e.g. a sweater, or in this case, a jacket. At times it means finally putting to rest something that's been languishing for much too long.  Such is the case with my Rainbow Jacket by Vivian Hoxbro.

This is how it's looked for at least a couple of years:

It's about 95% finished, if not more.  I ran out yarn on the very last stripe and was sent more (no cost), but while I was waiting for it to arrive, I got sidetracked by other knitting.  So, this has been sitting in a basket all this time.

This is what it's to look like when finished, with a change.  I reversed the colors so that the greens and yellows are on the sleeves and away from the face, and the purples and reds are in the center.  I also prefer the jacket with the neck open rather than done up tightly as in this photo.

I don't know what's changed - the passage of time, a change in my taste in clothes, ennui, wondering if I'll really wear it?  All I know is that I'm trying to finish up what I've started and I'm not sure if I really want to finish this jacket.  I'm thinking that, even though it'll be a big job in itself, that I should just take the jacket apart, give the yarn a bath to relax it, let it air dry and then roll it into balls for another, future, project.

Decisions, decisions.  I'll make up my mind soon, though, as I refuse to let this project hang around for another few years.  It's finish - or be done with it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As Seen On TV

Or in the movies...

Do you ever watch TV shows, movies, or in this case, a commercial, and admire the sweaters?  I do it, all the time.  Travelocity has a commerical currently in rotation in which the couple are wearing these sweaters:

I like both sweaters, but particularly the lady's sweater.  It's a beauiful design in lovely colors.  Okay, so it's over-sized, but it suits this sweater. 

If this was available as a knitting pattern, I'd be looking for the yarn right now.  I'll save this picture and, who knows, maybe I'll attempt to make it one day.  I'm thinking of a shetland yarn.  The pattern looks like a basic argyle design and it's the colors that make it so eye-catching.

I watched the movie, Proof, a couple of years ago and spent as much time looking at all the gorgeous sweaters that Gwyneth Paltrow was wearing as I did following the storyline.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mullet Socks - One Finished

One of my Mullet Socks is finished.  When I mentioned the socks to a couple of friends, they thought that there might be some kind of long stands on the back.  Actually, I wasn't thinking of copying the Mullet haircut exactly.  Instead, I was thinking of the theory behind it.  The definition of a mullet hairdo is:  "business in the front, party in the back."  So, these socks are meant to be business/party socks.

When you wear a pair of socks with pants and shoes, what you would see is the Business sock, plain black, dull but practical, workplace-appropriate:

However, if you lift the pant leg and kick off your shoe, it's now time to Party!!

For some reason, the green looks a little muddy in the photo, but it isn't.  It a nice, clear dark green, as in the photo, below.  For these socks I used all of the colors in Cabin Cove's Moose Toes sock kit

I found a knitting graph of African dancers that I liked in "1000 Great Knitting Motifs" (page 240).  I like this book very much - lots of inspirations.  I had to change the graph slightly to make it fit onto the sock.

Other than knowing that I wanted to use this graph, I had no plan at all.  I was winging it all the way through, although I did make good notes so that I can make the second sock match the first one - IF I want them to match.  Maybe party socks should be different from each other.  I'll decide later. once I start knitting.

I started with casting on 120 stitches and immediately knit 2 together around to make a small ruffle.  After that, I just changed colors when it felt right.  The sock is my basic generic one. 

After using all but two of the colors, and while still working on the leg, I switched and knit only in black until I was almost to the toe.  Then, I returned to the colors, using the remaining two:  purple to finish the foot in decreasingly narrowing stripes, then red for the toe.

The yarn is a little thinner than other sock yarn and the black is very, very dark, which means the stitches are almost indistinguishable.  I like that about this yarn as it give a very smooth look to the sock.  I found that the best way to knit was with my yellow, pointy plastic double-pointed needles.  It made it much easier on my eyes as I could spot a split or dropped stitch immediately - the right tools for the job.

This was such a fun project.  I'm now going back to my Opal socks to finish up that pair and then I'll return to the second Mullet sock.  No "second sock syndrome" for me!

One more thing, there is a brand new group, started yesterday, on Ravelry, "Friends of Cabin Cove".  Join us, won't you?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Budding Musician?

Recently my grandson, Braydon, celebrated his first birthday (a year already???).  Part of a grandma's job is to spoil him.  I love music, no surprise, and I thought it would be fun to share that with Braydon.  Along with the other toys and clothes that I gave him was a toy Mickey Mouse guitar.  I also included a promise that if he was at all interested that I would get him a real, child-sized guitar when he is around 7.  He seems to like this toy guitar and the sounds it makes.  Here he is, "playing" it:

Calgary, Alberta - January 2011

I can't help but wonder if he will, someday, take to the Blues.  I do notice a similarilty in his "technique" to a blues group I particularly like, Delta Moon.  Only time will tell!!

Kitchener (Ontario) Blues Festival - August 2010

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Give One, Get One

If you read my earlier posts you know that I had a little blog contest to give away a duplicate knitting book that I had.  Jen, I'm mailing it out to you today.

Well, Jen isn't the only winner.  I, too, won a blog contest.  That's what I call good karma!  This one was hosted by Canadian Living magazine on The Craft Blog.  By the way, they have other excellent blogs as well.  This is one of my favorite magazines and websites.  They have some really nice free patterns, great and reliable recipes and interesting stories. 

So, what did I win?  Yesterday I received the book by Louisa Harding, "Knitting in the Details".

So far I've only had a chance to skim through the book, but my first impression is that the book is lovely.  The patterns are very feminine.  While I might not make some of the designs exactly as they appear in the book (they are a bit young for me), they do stir the creative juices and I would use some of the ideas and techniques and fly with them. I particularly like the sweaters, and the little embellishments are inspirational.  There are lots of small projects such as handwarmers, scarves and hats that would make good last-minute gifts.

A funny side note:  When I looked at the back of the book I saw that it was published by Interweave.  The book was mailed from Etobicoke, Ontario (near Toronto) to me here in Colorado.  Interweave is also in Colorado, in Loveland, roughly 70 miles away from where I live.  The book has pretty-much made a round trip.  Cool!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Saroyan is Finished

I can officially call my Saroyan scarf a finished object, an FO, now that it's blocked. 

Blocked (still wet)




Pattern:  Saroyan Shawl by Liz Abinante
(I call a scarf, however)

Yarn:  Wolle's Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton
(Links here and here)
1 ball - 100g, about 480 yards
Fingering weight - 4 untwisted strands
Color:  Tropical

Needles:  US #2/2.75mm needles
Knitted back and forth on circular needles.

Size:  56" long x 11" at the widest section

Method:  I worked 12 increase sections, 12 straight sections and 12 decrease sections.

Note:  This is a clear, well-written pattern.  I'd like to make another in a plain color.  Check out this pretty version on the "I Knit. Any Questions?" blog.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Heads-up

Tomorrow is.....

This is according to the World Wildlife Federation - Canada.  But, why stop at Canada?  Why not celebrate everywhere that it's cool enough to put on a sweater in February?

This is a great way to think GREEN.  Here's a excerpt from their website which explains the thinking behind National Sweater Day.

"National Sweater Day gives Canadians the opportunity to show their commitment to the planet by turning down their thermostats. Wearing a sweater is a symbolic gesture of support for rethinking our energy consumption and using energy in a more conservative way. It's a fun, quirky and energetic way of starting new dialogue about energy, and building buzz about one of the most critical environmental issues of our time."

I plan to celebrate.  The hard part, however, will be trying to decide just what sweater to wear.  Perhaps a green one is in order.

How about you?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mullet Socks - The Beginning

I've decided what to do with the Moose Toes Sock Yarn that I bought from Cabin Cove recently. 

Picture is from the Cabin Cove website.  Used with permission.
The socks that I'm going to make will be called Mullet Socks.  Now, if you remember the popular(?) mullet hairstyle from a couple of decades ago, that's my inspiration.  Don't remember it?  Think of Billy Ray Cyrus.

In the posts to come, I'll explain why I chose that name.  I've already started knitting, so I'll have a picture for you in a few days.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Playing For Change - Music Monday

Playing For Change is one of my favorite bands, not just for the good music, but their concerts are so darn much fun.  At times it's hard to tell if the band is having more fun, or the audience.  I've been to two concerts and I hope that they come back again soon to the Denver area.  On top of it all, the money they raise goes for a good cause, building music schools in poor areas around the world.  Music is a universal language afterall.

Is there a better message on Valentine's Day, or any day, than to live in peace with each other, no matter who you are, where you are?

Here are some of the members of Playing For Change performing Bob Marley's "Redemption Song".  Enjoy.

Happy Valentine's Day 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Opal Socks

Since I've finished up a pair of socks it was time to dig into the old UFO knitting basket and pull out a project that has been waiting for attention.  I found this unfinished sock:

This is what it looked like when I set it aside, I don't know when.  I was only a few rows from turning the heel when I started ignoring it.  I don't know what Opal collection this is from, but it's got to be from more than a couple of years ago.  The color is #516. Now, I'm proud to say that I'm working on sock #2.

You can see little pins on the right side of the sock.  I place these every 10 rows.  It helps me to make sure that my socks line up when I work the second sock.  If row 30 is a yellow row on sock #1, then I try to make sure that row 30 on sock #2 is also yellow.  I know.  I know.

Finishing is such a cool feeling!! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Finished Fabel Footwear

My Fabel socks are finished and I'm pleased with the way they turned out.  I'm normally very particular about making the socks identical.  The striping doesn't match exactly, but I've decided that, this time, it's close enough.


Yarn:  Drops Fabel Superwash from Garnstudio
Color #547 - black/brown/gray mix
(the picture is a little too yellow as the socks were photographed under a regular lamp)

Needles:  US #0/2.00mm double-pointed

Size:  Ladies' Medium

Pattern:  Generic
1x1 ribbing, stocking stitch legs and feet, short row heel

This picture better shows the colors in the socks.

These socks were knitted with the new, to me, needles that I found at Wool-Tyme in Kingston.  They are my new favorite sock needles:  very comfortable, warm to the touch when knitting, not easy to bend and the points are just the right amount of sharpness.  I liked them so well that I phoned and ordered another set.

Again, the picture is too yellow. I should have opted for natural light.

Friday, February 11, 2011

It Itches Contest

On browsing through my knitting books I find that I have two copies of Franklin Habit's funny book of knitting-related cartoons called "It Itches".

All you have to do to win is to leave a comment and tell me the name of your very favorite knitting book and why you like it so much.  That's it, easy!!

Cut-off for entries is 11:59pm (mountain time) next Thursday and I'll draw a name at random and announce the winner one week from today, Friday, February 18th.  I mail the book out to the winner the next day, no matter where he/she lives.  Good luck!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Theodora Mini Mystery Kerchief KAL

I've been good about finishing projects lately.  Braydon's red sweater is packaged up and ready to take to the post office, the Saroyan scarf is in a Soak bath and will be blocked shortly and I've worked on the second Fabel sock and I'm turning the heel.  A finished pair of socks is in sight.

I'm giving myself a break and starting something new.  I decided to join the Theodora Mini Mystery Kerchief knitalong on Ravelry.  It's on the CriminalKnits group, a branch of the Criminal Minds group.  It started on Febraury 2nd and yesterday the second clue was released.  I'll start knitting today so that I don't get too far behind.

The suggested yarn is one ball of Wolle's Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton, 100g.  This is the same yarn that I used, and liked, for the Saroyan shawl.  The pattern is the creation of Hilary at threebagsfulled on Ravelry.

This time I'm using the "Desert Clay II" colorway.  The knitting starts at the top of the kerchief, so I'm going to cast on with the lightest color.  I prefer to have the darker yarn at the bottom of the small shawl. 

I had decided to not to participate in another mystery knitalong a while ago when I didn't much like the finished shawl, but I was weak and I wanted to use the suggested yarn again.  Besides, it's just a kerchief, not a full shawl, not a big project.  I'm feeling adventurous.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Welaxing Wednesday

With apologies to Elmer Fudd.  I felt the need for a bit of alliteration!

Is there anything more relaxing on a cold and snowy day than a cup of hot chocolate, made with milk, topped with miniature marshmallows and served in a cable-knit cup? 

By the way, if you want a laugh, and you like Elmer Fudd, Robin Williams and Bruce Springstein, check this out, click here:    It cracks me up every time!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saroyan - End of the Knitting

In a previous post I said that I was hoping to make it to the end of my Saroyan scarf with the yarn I have.  In the comments Sheila suggested that I knit faster so that I don't run out of yarn.  Too funny!  Well, I must be a very fast knitter, then, as I finished the scarf with a little yarn remaining.

Actually, there was a certain amount of luck, and touch of good fortune, involved.  On the label is printed 100g.  However, handwritten beside that it says 105g.  I think those extra 5 grams saved me.  I'm going to weigh the remaining bit, out of curiosity, to see what is actually leftover.  That was the good fortune.

The luck part:  The pattern tells you to increase to the width you want, which I did.  Then, work straight, and finally to decrease for the same amount of repeats as there were in the increase section.  As it turns out, I started with 4 strands of light aqua.  The color changes as just one of the strands is changed to a shade darker.  At the end of the ball is 4 strands of the darkest color.  It turned out perfectly.  I was in the last color section of the ball when the scarf was finished.  If I'd done one more repeat of any of the sections, it wouldn't have worked out as well as it did. 

I think that the knitting gods were smiling on me today!  I can't call this an F.O. (finished object) yet, though.  There are still two instructions left on the pattern to complete (after I weave in the ends):  "Block.  Adore."

Blocking is my least favorite thing to do, but it's a necessary evil.  Tomorrow......

Monday, February 7, 2011

Saroyan - In Progress

My quest to finish projects that have been languishing for a while continues.  Approaching the finish line is the Saroyan Shawl (also available on Ravelry as a free download).  The picture shows my unblocked scarf, folded in half.  I'm using Wolle's Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton. 

The scarf starts with the lightest aqua, gradually changing to a dark blue.  The pattern is well written and you have latitude to use different yarns, weights....and, to make the scarf as wide, narrow or as long as you like.  There are three sections:  an increase section, straight section and finally a decrease section.  I've been working on 12 repeats of each and I'm now working the decreases.  I'm hoping that I don't run out of yarn before I reach the end.  Should that happen, I'll rip back to the straight section and remove one or two repeats.  Right now, I'm optimistic, but I've got my fingers crossed.  I have 9 more repeats left to go.  The leaf border is on only one side of the shawl/scarf.

I should have an F.O. (finished object) to report in a couple of days!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Good Mail Day

It's rare to have a mail day as good as the one I had yesterday.  All of this arrived, and there wasn't a single bill in the mailbox.  Today, according to the weather reports, we have a 90% chance of a blizzard.  I won't mind at all!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guitar Cloud

When visiting websites and following links, sometimes you land at a place that's just fun.  I found this site after visiting a knitter's blog and some of the links she'd posted.  I tried out a lot of the possibilities and decided to use this one, based on my blog. 

Friday, February 4, 2011


Back in 2007, during a trip to Atlanta, I learned of Brittney, "The Knit Witch", and her lovely yarn bowls.  When I returned home I ordered one and it's been in constant use ever since ... until a couple of days ago when I dropped something onto it and a piece broke off.

It seems to be a clean break so I'm hoping that I can fix it.  What to use?  Gorilla glue?  Crazy glue?  Something else?  Ideas?  I really like my yarn bowl and I'm using it, even in its broken state, but I do want to fix it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Moose Toes

I'm still inside, keeping warm against the cold temperatures and recuperating nicely from surgery.  Yesterday I had a moment of weakness and I bought yarn.  I blame it on a case of "Cabin Fever"!!  Or, perhaps I was buying myself a Groundhog Day gift.  Doesn't everyone?  Cabin Cove has a new product, "Moose Toes Rainbow Sock Kit" and I must try it out. 

I expect that I'll be making socks, but I'm undecided as to how I'll arrange the colors.  This is going to be some fun knitting and planning, I'm sure.

In other news, I've finished up Braydon's red sweater, but I won't post a picture or details until he receives it.  He gets to see it first.  Perhaps his Mom (hint, hint, Jessica!!!) will send me a photo of him wearing it so that I can post it here.

The next two projects scheduled for finishing will be the Fabel socks that I started a few days ago, and the Saroyan scarf that's been patiently waiting for me to return to it since August.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Denver it's bitterly cold.  It's currently -8F/-22C.  It's hard to believe that it felt like early summer only a few days ago.

It's a good time to be recuperting and "stuck in doors" for a while.  I've been working on Braydon's red sweater, using this pattern, which I won't use again.  The shape, to my eye, is rather strange.  All seemed fine (after I conquered the neckband fiasco) until I started knitting the sleeves, top down.  While I believe that they are wide enough for Braydon's arms, no problem, they seem narrower than I've knitted baby's sleeves in the past.  Also, the body seems long as so little of the sides were taken up with the sleeve opening.  The proportions just seem wrong, but I'm hoping that they'll be okay when Braydon wears the sweater.

The perfectionist in me tells me to start over, at least the sleeves, but at the rate this boy is growing, he'll only be able to wear the sweater for a short time anyway.  As I said, I think it'll fit him alright.  The shaping is just not what I'd call ideal.  Hopefully it'll fit his teddy bear when he's finished with it.

Otherwise, it's been a relaxing day:  cold outside, a mug of hot tea nearby, knitting, fire in the wood-burning fireplace (love the smell), and a DVD - just finished playing. I'm not even allowing myself to get upset with the fact that I've run into 6, yes 6, knots in the yarn in just the sleeve.  The other balls of yarn are fine, so, thankfully, just this one is defective.

I am love-love-loving the DVD I've just finished watching.  It's no secret how much I like music, and it doesn't matter where in the world it comes from:  Europe, Africa, Canada, US.......  One day, more than a dozen years ago, I was in Kingston, in the Indigo Book Store, late on a Sunday morning.  Music was playing throughout the store and I was in awe of it.  I had to move to one of the couches in the store and just listen.  It was the Buena Vista Social Club CD and the music was from Cuba and it was different than anything I'd heard before.  Of course I left with a copy of the CD and I've played it often over the years.

Today, while browsing Netflix, I found that there was a free showing of a documentary DVD about the making of this CD and included stories about the musicians:  many who were big in Cuba decades ago but long forgotten.  Ry Cooder brought them together again and the result was amazing.  This is a very talented group.  I know that I'll want to watch again, so I've ordered a copy of the DVD

Back to working on the sleeve, and relaxing.  It's a good day here.  I hope it is for you, too.