Saturday, December 17, 2011

Traveling Woman Revisited

I am too pleased with myself! I was desperately trying to find a scarf pattern, then finish it to gift my oldest grandson's 3rd grade teacher. I found a beautiful skein of yarn in my stash that I'd planned for a one-skein hat that never happened. Long ago lost the label so didn't know what I was working with. I found a cute Ribs&Ruffled scarf pattern that called for size 13 needles and Misty Baby Alpaca yarn. I wasn't paying $27.00 for a handpainted yarn. Didn't want to pay the cost of one that wasn't handpainted or even the suitable substitute that had been suggested by my favorite LYS. So finally brainstormed and came up with another needle size (10) and the right amount of stitches to make the pattern work (see there is something to be said for learning to recognize patterns that is taught in kindergarten and 1st grade). And, success of all successes, I was able to use the beautiful yarn I found in my stash. Well after the time it took to get to that point, and preparing for the Christmas Pageant at the boys school, I just ran out of time. Oh what to do as I'd already let the teacher know she was going to receive a hand-knitted item from me!!!! Well I regifted a beautiful plaque that I'd received from my days as a 1st grade teacher; bought a pretty little red, apple-pie scented candle (symbolic of the apple you give to a teacher); and, AND came up with the genius idea of including the Traveling Woman shawlette I'd completed in a KAL with one of my Ravelry groups! Pure genius. It was too small for me to wear and I swear it makes me look like a really gifted knitter (lol). I packaged it with really beautiful paper and boxes and gift shopping bag from the Family Dollar down the street from the school and Grandson presented it to Ms. Lynch! He was ecstatic, telling me how she hugged him when she opened her gifts. She later found me, hugged and thanked me too. I was a bit concerned that she might not like it because she's a young woman. But she truly did. She's a tad bit on the conservative side. The night before she introduced me to her Dad and her Godmother. The Godmother had a beautiful narrow knitted item around her neck that she said she'd gotten from a craft fair. The Godmother then proceeded to show me how it could be wrapped to be worn in various ways. I feel very comfortable that Ms. Lynch appreciates yarn crafts and truly liked the shawlette.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting Back Into the Groove

I have missed my little blog. I have no defense for anyone who would say I couldn't have missed it that much since I've let almost a year go by since my last post. I should say no unique defense. Anything I offer as to my being an absentee blogger can simply be summed up in one word...LIFE! Shhh! It happens (lol).

I did complete my test knit of the Samantha (in the required time frame). I did techniques I'd never attempted before, will not be intimidated when and if I come across them again such as picot hems, etc. I'm glad I knitted it in a not really expensive yarn, but I could think of some yarns that would result in a beautiful version. Though I made a larger size, it was not meant to have ease. The body was not long enough for my tastes. I will post pictures of it one day soon.

I completed a ChicKnits summer sweater, the ChicKami---so easy!

Here's the biggie! I have been a Craft Yarn Council of America certified knitting instructor since 2001! I decided to put that to use. I contacted the CYCA to let them know I didn't need to take the new course, at a cost of $125...that I was already certified to teach at Michaels. So I've been allowed to teach at Michaels. Since I didn't have to pay for the courses, just get them done by a certain time frame, I decided to do both knitting and crochet. I really really really prefer knitting so I've drug my feet on the crochet end. I've taught a few crochet classes but I really prefer teaching the knitting classes. The coursework and what you have to do (submit homework samples to be critiqued by some of the top CYCA teachers) has become more stringent so I chose to do the revamped program. More about that later. Just had to start somewhere to get back to blogging.

Oh oh oh oh. I have to share that I taught my 8 year old grandson to knit (thumb cast on, knit & purl stitch) and crochet. He's taken to knitting like a fish to water! Next time!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Oblivious One

Well true to the motivation for this blog, I am challening myself in a big way. Let's just say if I crash and burn along the way .  .  . it will be a bonfire!!!!!

First I have joined a Ravelry group, 11 Sweaters in 2011. Members of that group have committed to knitting 11 sweaters in, yes, 2011. Some of these members are about to start number 7. And 6 through 1 were not all WIPs, UFOs, or OTNs! You don't know what those mean? Learn to knit. Well I have completed one, the one in the post before this one. Thankfully the Administrator/Moderator allowed for WIPs, UFOs, and OTNs.

Okay. If that weren't a challenge enough. I eagerly "raised my hand" when it was asked who would like to test knit a sweater. I was totally oblivious to what I was getting myself into. I've only wrapped my brain around the fact that this is not your already-published, in the magazine and/or book, all-the-kinks-worked-out, ready-to-knit pattern. Well either I'm in too deep now or my pride won't let me say, sorry another time. I've purchased the yarn, ECO +. It's a bit heavier than the yarn called for but I got guage, on-the-money guage! I think I want to really stick with this because I am learning techniques I've heard of but never used before. I've never done a provisional cast on before, or a knitted in hem with or without picot edging. I am using a picot edge and it's so cute. I am familiar with charts on flat knitting, but this is the first time I had to shift my thought to follow a chart for circular knitting. No doubt there are going to be other techniques I will learn and be the better knitter for! I've had a few false/slow starts. That's good because fortunately we are doing this as a KAL and others who are moving faster are working out the kinks I will encounter, and asking the questions and getting answers for that I will no doubt ask later. So on with the challenge. Here is the link to the sweater, Samantha, I am test knitting!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Catching Up!

Wow! Time really flies!!!! At least I'm still in the beginning of the year!

I completed my Super Cupcake Cowl & Hat! My Grandson obliged me and modeled it for me until I settled on a photo of me wearing the items, that I was satisfied with. Lots of knitting, but surprisingly I didn't get bored with it! This was the first time I've worked the K1B stitch. It is an interlocking stitch that provides more warmth than a regular rib stitch. And, AND, how did I notice the K1B stitch in the hats that others were wearing out in public--I was amazed. This is all about stepping out of my comfort zone and learning new things!

    Khalil J.


I also finally finished my Knitting Pure & Simple #283 Top Down Scoop Neck T by the fabulous knitwear designer Diane Soucy! I've been wearing it. I used, IMHO, a yarn that was way too expensive for this project. But the yarn feels really good on my skin. The tweediness of the yarn sort of hides the garter stitch borders around the neck, sleeves, and hemline. I will do this pattern again, in yarns more suitable for summer. And I might modify it and use a Seed Stitch for the borders. We'll see!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011

Well, I had good intentions (lol). To complete the hat and thus my Super Cupcake pattern, by the final hour of the outgoing year. I seriously had an inkling that wouldn't happen, and once all the Grand kids were here . . . well it's not rocket science to figure out where my attention and actions got redirected to (laugh). 9:40 AM and they are still asleep--the baby woke up but I managed to get him back to sleep. Sipping on a cup of coffee now, about to knit a few rows on my hat (or however many this peace and quiet will allow). But, before the day is out, I will start on my 11sweaters2011. I'll share more about that--it can't happen until I finish the hat though.

Happy New Year!!!!