Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Sweater Continues After the Family Fun

Ahh.... ten days of family holiday fun.  They all left Monday, giving me a week to myself.  Of course, the Universe and it's great sense of humour, has given me a cold.  However, even though I feel like crap, I can still knit.

So, my gansey is coming together nicely; literally coming together.  I finished the front with shaping for the neck.  It wasn't hard at all; however, I got a bit obsessed that my front wasn't looking like the one in the picture and that my decreases were wrong.  I should have just plugged away at it because it all worked out fine and it looks like the picture.

The next part to tackle was attaching the front and back with a horizontal shoulder strap.  This was definitely a learning experience.  The directions from the book were not clear to me; so, I looked in "Knitting in the Old Way."  These directions made more sense.  However, I didn't like the way the join between the body and the strap was turning out.  It wasn't a nice, horizontal stocking stitch.  I decided to play around with it and see if I could get what I wanted.  I eventually did.  I don't know if there is an easier way but I settled on: RS, slip first stitch from right needle to left, K two stitches together.  Knit strap in pattern up to last stitch in strap, SSK.  Slip first stitch from left needle to right, insert left needle in front first two stitches on right needle (like a SSK) and knit together (this is actually the first stitch on the next row).  Turn work to work WS.  Move yarn to front, slip first stitch from left needle to right and knit strap in pattern up to last stitch in strap pattern.  Purl two together, turn work and repeat. 

In all, I think it turned out pretty good.  You can still see my earlier work as I was too lazy to rip it out and start over.

Today I'll start the neck band........

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Sweater Saga

It's been sometime since I last updated the progress on my current sweater attempt.  Life has kept me very busy. However, that doesn't mean that I haven't been knitting.  Here are the latest images of my progress.  I'm at the point where I separate the front and back and put the gussets on stitch holders. 

I was really worried about the knitting the gussets.  I don't know why; I've done them on mittens.  And....imagine, they were just as easy to do on a sweater as on a mitten!

Anyway, I'm really happy with how this sweater is turning out.  The next big hurdle will be the cable shoulder strap.  Thinking about that one had me up way past midnight combing through knitting books trying to figure out how it was done.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Quest for a Sweater That Fits

So, my previous adventures in making sweaters has not turned out that well.  My first sweater was a seamless sweater from Knitting Workshop.  I didn't follow the directions for the decreases and it didn't fit.  My next sweater attempt is the one shown in my earlier posts.  It is almost finished, just needs the collar done.  It sorta fits; it is very tight on me. One good thing is that it fits my nephew.  I'm also not wild about how the saddle shoulder turned out.  I think there is a mistake in the pattern.  The upshot of all of this is that I'm learning quite a bit about knitting.  So, why stop trying sweaters now?  Here is my latest attempt.  It is a traditional gansey from Cables, Diamonds, Herringbone: Secrets of Knitting  Traditional Fishermen's Sweaters.  The wool is Cascade 220, Pumpkin Spice.  It's Knitting up really quickly.  The pattern is cables, knits and purls.  This pattern also includes a gusset.  I've done these before on mittens but not on a sweater, yet another learning experience.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wine Tasting...A Little Break From Knitting

Oregon in the fall is spectacular and yesterday was just amazing.  Jeff and I decided to go to our one of our favourite wineries out in Dundee called White Rose.  The view from the tasting room reminds me of looking out over Umbria from Assisi.  We took our white girl, Toni, with us.  She had a blast!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Knitting Club Again

I totally, have to tell this story from knitting club yesterday. So, I was working with my boys on purling and this was the conversation as they were knitting away (Keep in mind these guys are 6th and 7th graders).
Drew: "Scott, if you could make napalm or a grenade which would you make?"
Scott: "Dude, I'd do dynamite."
Jesse: "What?" Dynamite over grenade?"
Me: "Totally grenade."
Drew: "Oh yeah."
Jesse: "You get cool fragments and stuff."
Me: "It would be so cool to go to like a melon patch and throw a grenade."
Boys: "Awesome, that would be so cool."
and the conversation continued about blowing things up. I'm so proud of them.
The lesson here is, even if they are knitting, boys will be boys.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Knitting at the Beach

Living in Oregon has many advantages, cool weather, great wine, stunning mountains and a beautiful coast.  I had to go to a conference this last week at the coast.  It was awesome weather there.  This picture doesn't do the area justice.  I had such a great time just sitting with my dog, Toni, knitting up a storm and listening to the ocean.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Knitting Club at ACMA

I am very lucky to teach at Arts and Communications Magnet Academy.  This year, I am also the faculty adviser for Knitting Club.  My favourite substitute teacher, Linda, came in every Monday last year (whether working or not) to run knitting club.  This year she is doing the same thing (on Tuesdays).
Today was the first day of Knitting Club and I had Four...yes FOUR boys show up and some of my favourite girls too.  I'd post pictures but I can't put up pictures of students.  Anyway, it was great.  We made our own needles, learned knitted cast on, long tail cast on and knit stitch.  The kids struggled with the casting on and knitting but we got some stitches from one needle to another.  I'm hopeful that the kids will be coming back a lot.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Green Chili and Knitting

It's Green Chili time back home in New Mexico. There are lots of farms selling their chili on corners throughout town. They roast them there and the air is full of the smell of roasted peppers. This is one of those regional things that I can't do with out. Seriously, I can't imagine not having green chili at least once or twice a week. Of course, I live in the Pacific Northwest now and green chili isn't available (canned green chili is crap and it's not hot). However, I have a great dad who will ship me chili. So, the green chili arrived yesterday and I spent today roasting it. The house smelled amazing. My nephew and I love the smell; however, Jeff called it "Burnt pepper smell." Anyway, I spent over four hours roasting chili today. This box was full at nine this morning
Here they are out of the broiler.

Anyway, the roasting provided me with the opportunity to knit, put the chilies in, knit two rounds, check on chilies, knit again, flip chilies, knit again, etc. It worked great. I got done with the first sleeve of my sweater.

I'm a little concerned about the sleeve being too tight but I think I can correct that when I block it. We'll see.
So, out of all of this I got my green chili addiction fixed as well as my knitting one.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And the Knitting Continues

Well, I have actually found time to knit even though this is the third week of school. I've been hyper organized so that I don't have to do work at home. Also, my students are really nice this year which means that I come home less tired.

Anyway, the Saddle Shoulder Sweater continues. I finished the body last night. 18 inches of Prime Knitting. I also started the first sleeve. As you can see there isn't much to it yet.
Then, just for fun, I decided to give the Hemlock Ring Blanket, by Brooklyn Tweed, a go. This is the first sorta lacy item that I have done. I'm not wild about how the center turned out. However, it was such a pain to start that I decided to leave it and not rip it out again.

Both of these projects are in Cascade 220 Heathers. I just can't seem to get enough of this yarn. I just love the way it feels and how it knits up.

Okay, time to go knit some more.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Champion!

Our youngest poodle, Trudy, won a three point major this past weekend in San Diego making her a champion. Trudy loves knitting too; she devoured my bamboo knitting needles.
Anyway, the best part about all this show stuff is that she gets to come home. She's been gone since February and we have missed her so much.
Maybe I'll welcome her back with another set of wooden needles to chew up.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Work Continues

Here are the beginnings of the Saddle Shoulder Pullover. One skein of yarn down. It's really knitting up nicely and I'm totally in love with this colour.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saddle Shoulder Pullover

My work on this seamless sweater is going really well. I like the bit of a pattern that it has on the sides. This is the picture from the pattern. I replace it when I get some pictures of my current work. It's a free pattern from Knitting Pattern Central. I'm tweaking the it a bit. I hate making swatch after swatch trying to get on gauge. So, I did a swatch on US 7 needles and adjusted the number of stitches to match my gauge. Plus, I liked the way the yarn worked up on these needles. I'm using Cascade's Autumn Heather.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Well, to go along with my knitting glass and knitting addiction, I have yet one more. I love dishes. I think I got this when I was just out of high school and went to work in a department store in their china dept. Growing up, we never had fancy dishes. I really never knew they existed until I got that job.
My current fascination is with china patterns from the '50s. I already own several sets and I just found one more that I can't do without. I figure it can't be too bad. I mean, I could be spending money on crack or something like that. I'll get a pic up when I find a good one but this pattern has a pink band with those mod 50s gold stars and in the center of the starts is a little dot of turquoise. Can't wait to get them!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back from Men's Fall Knitting Retreat

Well, I got back from Seattle yesterday after spending the weekend at the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat.
I had such a great time. It was great being around other guys who knit. I'm actually a little sad that it had to end.
Besides the great social atmosphere, my knitting skills improved a bit. I think it was due to sitting around and knitting for hours on end.
I'm also very inspired now. Most of these guys have been knitting for years and do such amazing work. Seeing their stuff has pushed my buttons; making me want to churn out the same quality of work.
So, here I am starting a sweater that I've modified a bit. Let's see if my experiment will turn out well.