Monday, October 7, 2019

Harvest Pumpkin Pattern

Back in 2001, I wrote a knitted pumpkin pattern. I never published it and it sat resident on my computer until this year. A friend asked if I had ever knit a pumpkin, because she was wanting to make one and that spurred me on to editing, making more pumpkins and actually redesigning the pumpkin a little bit. Here is the link, where you can purchase the pattern on Etsy.

The picture above shows the darker pumpkin, the original one, on the left hand side. The newer pumpkin on the right hand side. The basic directions are still the same, the difference is in the finishing technique. So, you can still make one like the dark orange one. :)

Here is a close up of the new one.

I have been having so much fun making these little guys, in our 90+ degree weather. They keep reminding me that it is fall and cooler weather will come soon. Some of these pumpkins were sent away for a gift and more have been made. 

Several local friends have been making the pumpkins too! Here are a couple of pictures of Laurie's pumpkins. Laurie is doing some artsy curlicue's with her stem. :)

Friday, July 12, 2019

Front Patio, Backyard, Knitting Trick

We have had a rainy spring, which is good for us in north central Texas. It stayed cooler longer and we were all hoping that the dog days of summer, wouldn't ever arrive. Hahaha! Well, they did and they have stayed. I loved having a long spring, because I was able to spend a considerable amount of time out in the yard.

But before that, I had spent part of the winter watching You Tube video's about how to build a patio, with pave stones. I wanted to have just a small patio out in front of the house. When it came right down to it, I ended up putting it in where there was a flower/bush area up next to the house. That way, mowing the lawn would be easier.

I did do 95% of the work. I did get Jeff to help with carrying the pave stones, he is more the Hercules type. :) Have you ever lifted a pave stone?????

The first step was to measure out my area, pull up 6 bushes and roots, then dig the hole. Next, I poured in sand, leveled it and then "placed," more like heaved and hoed the pavestones in place, At this point, I was thanking God that I had decided on only a 3x4' area! Oh, yeah, then I discovered, the stones weren't centered under the window, so I moved each one 4 inches to the left. This window is my studio window, so I get to look out on my handiwork.

During the winter, I had also decided that we needed a raised garden bed. I did enlist the help of Jeff and his truck to help me in bringing home the cement blocks and dirt. I was careful to place the perimeter blocks, in between the sprinkler heads of the lawn sprinkler system.  In May I spent time with the grand dog, Skye, while her family went on vacation.

Here's a knitting hint. I have a new pattern that will be coming out on my TerrificCreations page on etsy, it will be named Butterflies. My local spinning/knitting friends helped me by testing the pattern for me. Pictures will follow for that.  I decided to knit another Butterfly with them, and realized that I have a trick that I do when a lot of stitches are on my circular needle and they want their freedom. I pull the needles so that the stitches are all on the cable, cross the cable and place a little girl's butterfly clip over the cord. This has been a real life save for me.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Is That Top-Down Sweater Done Yet???

Almost. :)

I did knit on the sweater, off and on, all through October and November. This photo was taken in November. One thing I had noticed, while knitting sweaters from the top down AND then knitting the sleeves in the round, was there was a different gauge on the sleeves. Hmmm, am I the only one that sees this, or is bothered by it????

Did you know that your knit stitch has a slightly different gauge than your purl stitch? The purl stitch is a bit larger. So, in a cardigan that is knit(and purled), back and forth in rows you are working both of those stitches. The knit stitch and the purl stitch. Working from the top down that is exactly what you do, so with the purl stitch above and below the knit stitch your gauge and the texture is affected.  Most people, me included, will knit a sweater top down because: 1. You can try it on as you knit and 2. No seams, if you knit the sleeves in the round.

The gauge and the look of sleeves that are knit in the round differs, because you only knit every stitch in every round.

Here was the dilemma..... To seam or not to seam...... Slightly different gauge on the sleeve with no seam, or same texture/look/gauge and seam the sleeve.

I decided to seam the sleeve and worked back and forth in rows.

If I had thought about this ahead of time, I could have worked the sleeves BEFORE the body and done them two at a time. But, no I did them after the body, one at a time...... It was difficult to do this, because there isn't much room at the armhole section for adjusting the stitches on the needle. The first few rows were tough to knit. I would recommend doing the sleeves before the body if you were going to knit them in rows, whether you knit them two at a time or just one at a time.

Worked on the sleeves all through November and December. The sleeves were finally finished right after Christmas. Then the sweater sat and I decided what front band pattern I wanted to use and how many buttons.

The pattern that I was using, Top-Down Sweaters by Ann Budd, didn't really have much help for this, or tell me how to work the band around the slight angle formed by the straight center front and the v-neck. Thankfully, though, I have other top down books and went on the hunt for info. Finally finding out what to do, I had peace of mind to start picking up my stitches for the front band. I picked up starting at the bottom right center front and worked around the back of the neck and then down the left side. Then worked the band in one piece.

With the stitches picked up, I decided to work the band in garter stitch(knit every row). I went looking for help for the button spacing and there was no help in the book for that either. After searching other patterns I had used, I found some help and decided to try to space the buttonholes about every 3 inches, starting 1/2 inch from the top and bottom edges. The bottom button is a bit higher than the 1/2 inch suggested. 

The front band is now done and the left front is marked with the safety pins for where I need to sew on the buttons. Buttons will be sewn on soon. :) Really, that is all that is left!!! I have even hidden all the ends. 

One thing this project has reminded me of, is that I LOVE to knit with my handspun yarn. :)

One of the projects that I made while the sweater sat, is this Coffee Cozy. Here is a link to Ravelry and my project: Link

In December my daughter Rebekah, two of my granddaughters, my oldest granddaughter's fiance and I made cookies together. We had great fun with lots of cookie tasting going on. Rebekah's house smelled really fantastic at the end of the day, too. We made 8 different types of cookies. Some recipes we had doubled too, so there would be plenty for us to give away and share. Both Rebekah and I decided to  mix the cookie dough before the actual baking day, so progress moved along smoothly.

Here's beautiful Claire! Not much you can do, but to smile, when Gramma sticks a camera in your face and says smile. 

Here's beautiful Nicole with her fiance Josh! They are rolling peanut butter balls for our buckeye ball recipe. Those peanut butter balls were eventually dipped into chocolate. Yum!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Candy Corn and Peanuts with some knitting

One of my favorite treats in the fall is the mixture of Candy Corn and Peanuts! It is like eating a Payday candy bar and the easiest thing to make. Purchase a bag of candy corn and a can of peanuts.

Next you open each and pour them into a container and stir up. That's all there is to it. 

I have been working on my mittens and did finally get them finished this week. Now all we need is for the cold weather to arrive. I am sorry that my picture is a bit dark. We cannot seem to get many sunny days lately. 

Here is my sweater update. I am knitting the body of the sweater and working back and forth in rows. I have placed the sleeve stitches on waste yarn and have about 2 inches done since the division of the sleeves and body.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Where ya been???

Can I say the dog ate my homework???  Noooo, guess not. I don't have a dog..... But, what I can say is that my computer went to the great place in the sky for computers. I am told that computers don't last forever and mine had lasted a long time.... I was sad to see it go. BUT, on the bright side I now have a new computer and it is working superbly.

When we last met, I had cast on my sweater from my dark red hand spun yarn. Well, I misunderstood the directions and started my knitting in the wrong place, after the cast on. This caused an issue, in that it was large enough for a a 4 year old, when I was told to divide the arms off from the fronts and backs. A ripping I went and had to start over. That was sometime around the beginning of August, right around the same time as the computer issues.  August was a great month. Hahahaha!

Here is the new beginning of the sweater. Still using my classy stitch markers. :)

Here we are today. I am getting to the real point where the sleeves will be divided off from the body of the sweater.  I refuse to count how many stitches I have on that needle. I think when I am ready to divide there will be way over 300.  I say that I won't count, but I am.... A knitter always counts..... It takes about 30 minutes for one row right now. You may be saying to yourself, "Why does she do this to herself, when she could knit pieces and stitch them together?" My answer is that I am not crazy about seaming, so I decided to work top down. That doesn't mean that my next sweater won't be pieces and seamed, just that this one won't. If I start the next one right away, it won't be top down. :)

I have been spinning! I finally have my Easter egg dyed roving plied.  I have about 386 yards. It is a sport weight yarn. There aren't plans for it right now. 

One of my new projects is a pair of Fair Isle Mittens. These mittens were designed by Kate Davies and are named Jazz Hands, the pattern is on Ravelry here. Kate writes a wonderful pattern, I have knit one of her patterns before. My friend Debbie at the momartist blog recommended her patterns to me.

The dark yarn for my Jazzy Hands is a deep eggplant purple color and I had spun it back around 1998 or 1999.  It is a single ply yarn, that I steamed and then shocked, so it would felt a little. The beautiful yellow, pink and orange color was a prize that I won from mysistersknitter's blog.

I am sorry if the pictures look a bit dark or of bad quality. I have been trying to wait for some sunshine to take them, but we keep having uncharacteristically cloudy weather and rain. So, I decided that I will just take the pictures, so that I can blog about my projects.

Thanks for chatting with me today. :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Knitting a Sweater from Hand Spun Yarn

With swatches done and the size for my sweater chosen, it was time to start knitting. Using the size 6 US needle, I cast on and knit a row.  THEN, I remembered that it had been recommended to me years ago, to cast on with a smaller needle for the top down sweater and then change to your chosen needle. 

The weight of the sweater will put a lot of stress on the neckline of a top down sweater, so a tighter cast on is beneficial. In theory the neck line shouldn't stretch out of shape, as much. SO, I ripped out the row that I had knitted and my cast on stitches. I went and found the size 5 US needle, cast on my stitches and then used it for the first row.  After that row I changed to my chosen needle size, the 6 US.

I have my fronts, sleeves and the back marked by stitch markers. My "fancy" stitch markers are actually made from a thin cotton yarn. I fold the cotton yarn with an end long enough for making a knot and the fold/loop part large enough to go over the needle and slide nicely. Then I tie an overhand knot as tight as I can get it. 

On the right hand side of the photo, you will see coil-less safety pins along the neck edge. I am making a v-neck, so the center front edges are increased more frequently than the shoulder shaping is done. I am using the "make 1" technique for the center front increases and since they are almost an invisible increase, I decided to put a pin on each increase when it is made. It is much easier to count the pins, than the stitches and I usually don't forget to add the pin. There are others there to bump my hand to remind me. 😃

For the increases at the shoulders, I am using the "knit in the front and the back of the next stitch" increase. I like the look of that for that part of the sweater. 

So far I am loving this sweater and the yarn! I do enjoy knitting with my hand spun yarn!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Join me on a journey, knitting a sweater with hand spun yarn.

In my last post, I showed the finished hand spun yarn that I had just finished. I decided, after a great suggestion from Debbie, that I would make a v-neck cardigan with the yarn. 

I looked at several patterns on Ravelry and then remembered to look at my books! I had remembered that I had Top Down Sweaters, by Ann Budd. In this book are directions for many types of sweaters using many different sized yarns and gauges. She also has sizing from children through adults! 

I think this is a great plus when using hand spun yarns. Sometimes I will find a pattern and knit the gauge swatch and then not meet the gauge, so then I start rewriting the pattern. With this book, I don't have to do that. All the math is worked out for me. :)

Below is the picture of the book and the copies I made for my sweater choice. I have decided to make a v-neck cardigan and write about my journey on here. That way I will be held accountable to finish! Maybe.......

I am not sure if you can see it, but I have highlighted the numbers in the column for the gauge and size that I want to make. I make the copies, so that I can write all over them.

Here are two of my swatches.  I did three swatches, but ripped out the third one, to be ready to start the sweater. Using a size 6 US needle, I cast on 20 stitches and knit 4 inches.  My gauge is about 18 - 19 stitches to 4 inches. Since my yarn is hand spun, it is not perfect like mill spun yarn. I decided to use three separate balls of yarn for my gauge swatches. I fell in love with this yarn and just wanted to keep knitting my swatches.

If the sweater isn't enough to keep me busy, I am in the middle of writing a new shawl pattern. I spent a good portion of yesterday making a chart for the first 12 rows and another chart for the bottom lace portion of the shawl. So far, I have put the pattern through 3 edits and there will probably be three more, before it is released. 

Here is the shawl(and my Yeti cup), so far.