Sunday, August 31, 2008

A very frustrating weekend...

On Thursday things started going down hill rather fast. Our internet connection was getting slower and slower and then finally it came to a complete halt. We reset the cable modem and then we lost our phone. No internet, no phone. Yes, we did have cable TV. Thank goodness we have a cell phone. Called Comcast for help. To make a long story short we just got the internet and phone back today. There was a huge mix up at Comcast...poor communication within this communications giant. The whole thing was very frustrating. The good thing though our internet connection right now is working very, very well. I think perhaps things have been going bad for a long time now. Keep your fingers crossed for us. All is good now! (except fot the fact now I have to struggle to play blogging catch up again...and I didn't even get to go away this time!)Here is another pair of circle socks. Remember in my last post that I went in search of an extra skein of yarn(Paton's Kroy Socks Stripes) because I was afraid the two original skeins wouldn't be enough. Well, after all that.... I didn't end up using the third skein! They are a little shorter than my first pair of circle socks, but they seem perfectly fine. I'm going to take the extra skein back and exchange it for a different colorway and buy another skein. Now that I know I can make a decent pair of socks with only two skeins I think I would rather knit another pair later. Small yardage, but I think it makes a nice pair of socks for a reasonable cost, especially when you can buy the skeins with 40 or 50% off coupons from Joann's.
I know one sock looks bigger than the other. Trust me they are the same size. I have no idea why they photographed that way. The foot part matches perfectly, but the leg part not quite so good. I have no idea what happened there as I was very careful to start each sock in the same part of the colorway. Oh, well they are just socks :)

I also promised to show you all of my sock blockers. I have two pairs of the smaller adjustable womens sized blockers. One pair of longer womens sized and three pairs of the larger mens sized, one pair being adjustable. These will be nice once I start making socks for my boys. Not quite sure if they will appreciate them yet, but when and if they do...I'll be ready.
Hope everyone is enjoying this last weekend of summer. It certainly was a glorious day today. I will keep the residents of New Orleans and the surrounding area in my prayers. Hope and pray the area will be spared from damages from the approaching hurricane.

Happy Knitting everyone :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mission Impossible

Finishing my last Olympic project, a pair of socks, for the Ravelympics seems quite impossible to me at this moment. With only one toe completed and about an inch into the foot, it would take non stop knitting to finish them from now until the deadline of 11:59 am Sunday, August 24th. School starts Tuesday and getting ready for the big day is more than enough for me to handle...non stop knitting is extremely unlikely for me. Actually just starting this pair of socks is an accomplishment because I knew I would be short on yarn. Paton's Kroy Stripes yarn comes in 166 yard skeins. Originally I had two skeins. As I progressed with my circle socks I knew two skeins would never be enough. I went back to Joann's but they were all out. I dug out the leftover yarn from my monkey socks and figured I could use it in a pinch. Not being overly crazy about the idea I headed back to the store yesterday for one last try and low and behold they had gotten more in (same lot number, too). I bought one more skein and now with three skeins there should be plenty to finish the socks. I'm happy :)

Looking on the bright side I have finished four more ravelympics projects since my last post. (Check out Ravelry for details).

Finders Keepers dishcloth:
Dot's within Stripes Dishcloth ( I love this one...can see myself making more of these):
another favorite, the DW dishcloth:and finally my modified toe-up Circle socks. I'm please with how they match up. Not thinking to make note of the striping section before starting, I think I did pretty well matching up the second sock. Check out my "new" sock blockers. I found my grandmother's vintage sock stretchers quite by accident. I was thrilled to find them. They are quite old and some of them have the marking "Lee-Rowan" on them. In another post I'll show you all of them, large and small and some are adjustable.
I love how I can easily hang them up for photographing and in the future when I wash my socks I can hang them to dry!

Summer's almost over. Where did the summer go? I had so many plans to do so many things and I feel I have very little to show for it. Now back to the rat race and the least I'll have a chauffeur this year ;) With his learner's permit in hand (in his duct tape wallet) and a driving school lesson under his belt, my middle guy is raring to go. I told him when I start pulling out my knitting while he's driving he'll have passed the test in my book :)

Have a wonderful weekend with lots of happy knitting. Enjoy the last few days of summer :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My first Olympic project and more

I finished my first Olympic project, Lattice Facecloth (free ravelry download) for the ravelympics and received this medal:

I used cottontots yarn. While the yarn is super soft and makes for a lovely facecloth, I am disappointed in how it turned out. For this pattern I think I should have used a solid color.

I also finished Olympic sock #1. This sock is knit toe up. I used the short row heels and toes from my toe-up totem pattern (I discovered a couple of minor typos, which I will fix hopefully soon. Sorry if anyone has had trouble with the pattern because of it) and the stitch pattern from the Circle Socks. I love the results!! I also did my first stretchy bind off. The directions can be found here. I love this bind off. Great for binding off the purl stitches. I can see myself using it again and again and not just for socks.
This sock fits great. The pattern itself is very stretchy and to top it off- it's a very easy knit. I have a regret though...I should have paid more attention to where in the striping pattern I started my cast on for the first sock. I sure hope I can try to match them up. I still have lots to learn in the sock knitting department :)

In my last post I was very negligent. I forgot to post the pictures of my very generous yarn prize from Bumpydoink. In addition to the yarn, she sent me a cute alligator scarf pattern. Thanks so much Aim. There are three beautiful and colorful yarn skeins. I have an idea of what I want to make with it, but still need to investigate a bit. Sure hope it works out!

The last two photos-I am posting for Tea. This is the Raggedy Anne my dear mother made for me when I was a little girl. Toni was interested in seeing her. Toni made a crocheted doll that reminded me of my doll a while back and had photos on her blog. At the time I had no idea where my Miss Rags was, so I promised her if she was ever located I would post photos.

This doll is very special to me. Not just because my dear mother (who passed away in 2000, and I still miss terribly) made it for me. It's special because my mother was not a sewer. In fact my father had to teach her how to use a sewing machine. She could mend by hand, but she never would sew on a sewing machine. This Raggedy Anne was a real feat for her. She did it on the sly and with the help of her friends who loved to sew. When I received it, it was a huge surprise for me. I was very proud of her and I think she was pretty pleased and proud of herself as well. Check out the lace pantaloons. If I remember correctly the lace is antique.
Now I have to put her in a safe place that I will remember!!

One more week and then school starts up again on the 26th. I'm dreading getting the boys up for school again and the general old run around. Should be different though the running around part this year as my middle guy will be learning to drive. He's been in driver's ed this week and will go and get his permit tomorrow if all goes well. No stopping him now. Wish me luck...I'm going to need it...I've already been warned not to use the brake on the passenger side. I just can't help all reflex ;)

Have a nice weekend everyone :)

Friday, August 08, 2008

The set is complete!

I finished my ballband kitchen set! In addition to my appliance covers and towel, I now have a ballband cloth and two potholders to match. I'm happy :) I would have made a few more ballband cloths (you can never have too many) but I had to stop because of my ravelympics knitting!

Today I cast on my 1st olympic sock. Didn't do much on it, but it's officially started. The games have begun (8:00 am here on the East Coast) and now I have to get serious and do some power knitting (maybe? not really). Not sure how many projects that I will actually be able to complete. It was advised to set up more than you actually think you can do because once the games begin you can't add any more projects. I have 2 sets of socks and 3 dishcloths and 1 washcloth all lined up in my ravelry notebook. I know that is truly very over ambitious of me, but I guess that's why I'm on team OOYPP (Overly Ambitous, but Plausibly Possible)!Now back to the ballband set. I've had a few inquiries as to " how to". Provided you already know how to knit the infamous ballband I'll give you an idea of how I did each one. Just keep in mind your appliance may be a different size from mine, then you'll probably have to do some improvising.

First is how to make a simple ballband towel. Cast on 90 stitches and knit using the ballband dishcloth pattern the towel until you complete 33 ball band rows or desired lenght.

Now if you would like to make a rather large toaster (Cuisinart Classic Toaster Oven) cover you need to make a towel with the above directions and two ballband cloths with 13 ballband rows. Crochet the pieces together being careful to space the pieces so the result is even. If desired use crab stitch to edge the crocheted seams.

My mixer covers are knit in the round. For the Oster Kitchen Center and the Kitchen Aid Mixer(mine is the heavy duty Epicurean model) cast on 180 stitches. If your mixers are smaller cast on less stitches (multiple of 6). Here is the ball band stitch pattern converted to knitting in the round:
Round 1 and 2: knit
Round 3: with color B, knit 4, slip1 (*knit 5, slip 1) repeat from * ending knit 1
Round 4: purl 4, yarn back, slip 1, yarn forward (*purl 5, yarn back, slip 1, yarn forward) repeat from * ending purl 1
Round 5: repeat round 4
Round 6: repeat round 4 again
Round 7: with color A, knit
Round 8: knit
Round 9: with color B, knit 1, slip1 (*knit 5, slip 1) repeat from * ending knit 4
Round 10: purl 1, yarn back, slip 1, yarn forward (*purl 5, yarn back, slip 1, yarn forward) repeat from * ending purl 4
Round 11: repeat round 10
Round 12: repeat round 10

Repeat these 12 rounds until there are 20 ballbands for the Oster and 26 ballbands for the Kitchen Aid.
End with 1 knitted round and the last row k2 tog until there are 90 stitches and do a 3 needle bind off or crochet the front and back together creating a sack. If desired use crab stitch to finish off the edge.

Once you've made these it's easy to use exactly the same technique to make a potholder. Using small circular needles or dpn cast on72 stitches and knit in the round. The only thing different from the covers is that you need to close off both the top and the bottom. The first one I made I crocheted the top closed, but used the 3 needle bind off for the bottom. You could crochet both closed. I made a little loop by crocheting a chain(12) and slip stitched it to make the chain thicker. The second potholder I used a provisional cast on , then when I was finished knitting I used a 3 needle bind off for both the top and bottom. I like the 3 needle bind off better.
The one on the left, top and bottom are 3 needle bind offs and the one on the right has the bottom crocheted shut.

Well, I think that's about it. It's not rocket science, but I hope this at least gives you the general idea of how to go about it. You can easily adjust the number of stitches and the number of ball bands to fit your appliance. Good luck! If you have secific questions I'd be happy tp try and answer them, but please include an email address where you can be reached. Thanks :)

I've also been doing some more crocheting. I made a tote bag making up my own pattern as I went with some AC Moore cotton mill ends that I have in my stash. It's the crochet version of my big bag:
I just love how this variegated yarn pooled in such a cool way. Definitely not intentional. I wouldn't even know how to get that effect if I tried.For all of you whose blogs I try to keep up know who you faithful friends...I am very very behind in my blog reading. Life has definitely got in the way of my computer time. Plus I just don't know where the time goes. I will be trying to catch up bit by bit so please do not give up on me. I'll be visiting soon :)

Happy Knitting and Happy Olympics :)