Bam! and Neon Socks.

I am on my mission to finish started projects.  Yesterday I finished this:


These are the “Fightin’ Words” fingerless gloves.  I never blogged about starting them, but I specifically remember starting them when we went on a trip to Crested Butte back when we lived in Colorado.  I began them in mid-August 2012.  Now nearly four years later, the first mitt is complete.

I did immediately cast on the second mitt though, and I am determined to finish it before I do anything else.


I bought a kit to make these mitts from Knit Picks.  I am pretty sure that the yarn I am using is Knit Picks Stroll Fingering weight.  It’s a nice soft superwash wool and nylon blend.  I like it lots.

Davey took one look at the finished mitt and decided he wants them.  The second mitt will say “Pow”!


I also finished my NEON socks.  I used Plymouth Neon Now which I bought at my awesome local yarn store.

These were fun to knit.  I love self-striping yarn, and I always enjoy this simple sock pattern from Susan B. Anderson.


Now back to the POW mitt!

Sometimes Lace Baffles me

I started a new little cardigan the other day.  The yarn I am using for it is Knit Picks Galileo.  I can’t say enough good things about this yarn.  It’s a bamboo/merino wool.  It’s very soft and has such a pretty sheen.  

I am knitting a pattern from a designer whose blog I have followed for a long time.    The blog is in French, but I love just looking at the pictures of the beautiful things she designs and knits (fortunately, she provides the pattern in English).

So I started this little sweater.  It has lace across the front.  I knitted several rows and I saw that the lace was not coming out right.  So I pulled it out and started again.  I thought I must have been off somewhere, but I basically did the same thing over again.  Reminds me of the quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”  (I thought Einstein first said this, but apparently this may not be the case.)  But I like that quote.  It’s apt because that is what I did.

I was getting very frustrated and mad at myself.  I don’t like it when I just can’t figure something out.  Fortunately, there is ravelry.  I went through the project notes of several other knitters who have knitted this pattern.  Thankfully, one of these knitters enlightened and saved me!

So typically when you knit a lace chart you start on the right side and go left. 

chart1 (I also figured out how to do put in arrows using Photoshop.  I was proud!)

But when you have lace on the front of a cardigan this won’t necessarily work.  You have to take into consideration that you are just knitting the front, and also that there is a divide between the left front and the right front.

IMG_9901 copy


I was very very very happy when I figured this out with the help of ravelry.  Third time was a charm and it’s gone easy as pie since then.  



The purple yarn at the top is an indication of something else new that I learned.  I did a provisional cast on (so I can add the neck border later). I’d done this type of cast on before, but not quite with this technique.  I used the knitting needle and a crochet hook.  The video I used made this very simple and easy to understand. 

It’s going to be really pretty, and it’s a fun pattern to knit!




Knitting Knitting and a Baby Shower

While we were in Oklahoma, we had a baby shower for my brother and sister-in-law, and my cousin and her husband (my cousin-in-law?) They are due on the same day! It was a great time.  I’d knitted several gifts for the shower.

I found a pattern on knitpicks for a cute little cabled cardigan.  It was very fun to knit.  It’s pretty darn small though.  It is not going to fit anyone for long, but I just loved it anyway.  I made it for my beautiful cousin.  (I babysat her when she was an infant.  Crazy!)

I also found some pictures of the Maile cardigan that I had made for Holly.  I couldn’t find the pictures the other day, but I just knew I’d taken some.  I had.

Like I’d mentioned, the Maile Cardigan is a great pattern. I used Kertzer On Your Toes Bamboo.  This yarn is just wonderful to knit with.  I made a shawl with it last summer, and I bought enough that I can still knit something else.  There’s actually a little dress that I’m hoping to make with it.  It’s another pattern from the Sock Yarn One Skein Wonder Book.

Anyway, this will look so much sweeter on a baby (or 1 year old perhaps given my sizing).

Some knitters mentioned that they found it difficult to add the sleeves to the body and then begin knitting in the round.  The stitches are crowded at first and it’s hard to maneuver around “the corners” (this would make sense if you had it in front of you!).  However, I used really long circular needles, and I just kept scooting the stitches around.  I didn’t find it to be that big of a deal.  I think the construction is well worth it.  I definitely want to make this again sometime.

Here’s Mommy to be with the sweater.  The color looks so different in this light!

I have to share too the entrelac baby blanket that my sister made for Holly.  It turned out so pretty!

Totally unrelated, but I wanted to write this conversation down.  Davey was helping me water this morning.  I told him that when we lived in Arkansas we didn’t have to water so much because we got so much more rain.  He likes to talk about us feeding the plants, and what they need to “eat and drink” to live.  (sun and water).  He was watering with the hose and he said, “Well I know they sell garden hoses in Arkansas, but I sure don’t know why they need to!.  I always enjoy his observations.

Here he is when he was helping me take pictures of the baby socks and hat I’d made.

Embroidery + Knitting

I used to embroider quite abit, but it’s been a long time, and since I became obsessed with knitting, I’d not even thought about it for ages.  But then a friend showed me one of her really cool embroidery projects. I was inspired.  The pattern she was using came from Sublime Stitching.  Their webpage announces: “This ain’t your gramma’s knitting”.  I love it!  There are such fun patterns there ranging from space aliens and rockets (which I bought) to roller derby girls  and sexy librarians (which I did not buy – yet)!

So I thought – wouldn’t it be cool to embroider on my knitting!  I wasn’t quite sure what the best way to go about this was, so I started looking around on the web – and I found a great tutorial.

I got very excited and immediately knit Davey a hat.  The knitting wasn’t immediate, I guess, but it went really quickly as I used a bulky yarn.  I made it from the same yarn that I used to make my Gap-tastic Cowl – a wool silk blend from Knit Picks.  So anyway – great yarn, but maybe not a great first choice for embroidery.  Here’s what I did:

I followed the tutorial which explained that to embroider on a knitted object, you need some kind of stabilizer.  For one thing, it keeps the embroidery floss from disappearing into the knitting.  This was very simple though, as it consisted of basting the pattern to the hat.  I just used some embroidery floss. Like this:

(Make sure you cut the pattern large enough so that the basting doesn’t get near where you will make your embroidery stitches.  I was cutting it a little close.)

Next I started embroidering.

Embroidering on paper has a different feel to it then typical embroidery, but I got used to it. My embroidery skills were (are) a little rusty, so that coupled with embroidering on the paper made it a little more tricky for me.

After I finished the embroidery, the tutorial (which has some good pictures) explained that I needed to very carefully rip and pick the paper out.  If you don’t do it very carefully, the stitches will warp or get too loose.  This is a little tricky, but the important thing is to go slowly and be patient.

So the finished project was ok, but not great. Notice in the hat below, the little star thing that I’d embroidered in the rocket is gone.  Those lines of stitching got all loose and messed up when I worked the paper out.  So I took it out.

I am not overly happy with this.  The floss is not heavy enough against that bulky weight yarn and it doesn’t show up right.  I also realized that I went for too much detail and close stitching like you see at the bottom of the rocket.  It’s tricky to make it look nice. It was an ok first attempt, and Davey likes his new hat with earflaps, but I wanted to do better.

So I knitted some fingerless gloves using one of my favorite patterns the Jiffy Mitts.  I used a much lighter weight fingering yarn.  On both projects, I used all six strands of floss.  I think in the tutorial that I followed, she used 3 strands, but I preferred the look of 6.  I got a pattern from Sublime Stitching called “Fantasy Flowers” and I embroidered some flowers onto the gloves.  I experimented with the split stitch and the stem stitch, and I found the stem stitch to be a little easier for me.  I think I like the look of the stem stitch better, although I can’t tell that much difference, and I like the split as well.

Here are the finished gloves:

I kept them fairly simple, but I loved using different colors.  Here is a little more zoomed in shot.  Don’t look too closely at my embroidery.  It is a work in progress.

I’m looking forward to trying this again soon.  I want to make Davey another hat with lightweight yarn, so that I can do some better embroidery for him.



Two To Tango: Or “I Could Have Danced All Night”

Started Sock Pattern #2 in The Joy of Sox – “Two to Tango”.  I am totally addicted.  I did not want to put these down, but I am down to the wire now on my secret (gift) projects.  I really like fair isle, but I am pretty new to it.  I have never done it in a sock.  I have had tension problems when I tried it once with a mitten, so now I am really focusing on “keeping it loose and relaxed”.  This seems to be working.  I am using the technique where you have one color in your left hand and one in your right.  So I guess I am knitting Continental style from the left, and English from the right.  Talk about making a person feel like a real knitter!

First though, I knitted the cutest fun cuff.  It’s got a little ruffle to it.

And now – see the fishies?

This yarn is so soft and squishy too.  It’s the Knit Picks Stroll – Tonal.  It feels so nice and is awesome to knit with.  The colors are just right too.  I can’t wait to get back to it today!

Yesterday we had a nice Father’s Day.  Davey wanted an entire party.  We went to Walmart, and he wanted balloons, streamers, cups, decorations, and games.  We settled for a small cake, candle and singing “Happy Father’s Day to you”. This made him very happy – oh and David too!

And finally.  Yesterday David overheard Davey talking to our little Daisy girl.  She’s an older girl who we adopted a few years ago.  So Davey was sitting with her saying: “We love you sooooo much.  You are a precious girl.  You love wagging your tail and eating food and drinking water.”  Sweet boy.

Ok, now I am getting the hang of it.

Ok, the Roll in the Hay socks are progressing nicely.  I have got the hang of the pattern!  Here is what happens to me a lot in knitting.  What at first seems almost impossibly hard to figure out next becomes very simple.   I guess maybe that’s life in general huh!  So I am just going right along on my sock.  Basically it’s a k2 p2 rib with these triangles thrown in for good measure!

Here is something else I am excited about.  Stitch London teamed up with London’s Science Museum  for this Who am I? project.  Crafters are encouraged to knit, crochet or sew a mini version of themselves.  Once complete, I am supposed to send it to London where it will be part of an exhibit in the museum.  You can read more about it at:

So,  I finished mine this morning.  It’s time for her grand unveiling.  I have created “Frazzled Hot Sweating Arkansas Summer Christina”.  She is wearing her standard t-shirt, shorts and Birkenstocks.  Hair styling is an impossibility, so she has made an attempt to pull it back into a ponytail.

Now I have to mail her to London.  This makes me kind of sad.  However,  I bet it is lots lots cooler in London and not as humid.  She’ll probably be very happy that I sent her!

Here she is! (please don’t make fun of her funny left arm.  She’s really sensitive about it.)