Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Black & Gray Stranded Shedir

Here is the hat in progress for my hubby, for my Knit Talk friends who aren't on Ravelry. I'd like to tighten up the cast-on edge, it came out too loose once I started stranding! Any suggestions?? Back off to the couch feeling crummy.....darn head cold.

Make a Lil' Pumpkin Pin!

Lil’ Pumpkins Pattern

I made up some cute little pumpkin pins for some fall fun! This is a great pattern for using up your little leftovers!

The Goods: Worsted weight yarn, size 5-7 needles, either circular or DPN’s
Yarn used: for smallest pumpkin, some Malabrigo and green handspun; http://www.handpaintedyarn.com/ – I used their Colonia yarn for the larger pumpkins.

This pattern is pretty adaptable to just about any yarn. I recommend a worsted or heavy worsted, I like the way handspun gives it more ‘character’, though any commercial yarn will be just fine. Once you’ve made a couple of these, you can vary the pattern as you see fit, make them bigger or smaller! With this pattern (the Malabrigo pumpkin) the pumpkin came out to be about 2 1/4" wide and 2" high not including i-cord.

CO 7 sts. on either a circular or DPN’s.
Row 1: (K1, P2) twice, end K1.
Row 2: Work sts. as they lay.
Row 3: Inc. in first st., P2, Inc.1, P2, Inc. in last st. – you now have 10 sts.
Row 4: K1, P1, K3, P1, K2, P1, K1
Row 5-6: Work sts. as they lay.
Row 7: Inc. in first st., K1, P2, K1, P3, K1, Inc. in last st. – you now have 12 sts.
Row 8-11: Work sts. as they lay.
Row 12: K2tog, P1, K3, P1, K2, K2tog – you now have 10 sts.
Row 13: P1, K1, P2, K1, P3, K1, P1
Row 14: K1, P1, K2tog, K1, P1, K2, P1, K1 – you now have 9 sts.
Row 15: Join green yarn (or yarn you want to use for top), K across.
Rows 16-17: BO 2 sts., K to end.
Rows 18-19: BO 1 st., K to end.
You should now have 3 sts. left.

Now you can make a little i-cord with remaining sts. You can also make the i-cord smaller by binding off one more st. When you decide the i-cord is long enough, BO remaining sts. and pull yarn through. Tie a little knot at the top and cut yarn. Weave in ends. Give a quick lukewarm wash and pull into shape. Lat flat to dry.

At this point you can make the pumpkin into a pin if you like. What I did was cut a piece of green felt to fit the back. Then with an invisible thread, I hand sewed the felt to the back and added a flat backed pin. If you do add a pin, place it close to the top of the pumpkin so it doesn’t ‘hang’ over. You could also just sew it onto a hat or sew one onto a tote for a cute little Halloween candy bag! Wear it on your sweater for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
Please let me know if you have any difficulty with the pattern.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

And then there was spinning….or at least trying to spin. My class last week was less than awesome. I tried to spin on a very lovely wheel that I can’t remember the name of now, and….well….I suck. I absolutely suck at spinning. I was seriously over twisting my yarn until I had gobs of a kinky mess. Well there’s always next week. I can’t possibly be any WORSE, can I?? I sure hope not.

There’s been knitting. I’m trying to finish my Jane Crossover in that lovely Fleece Artist Ottawa. I’ll tell you though; the only thing keeping me going on this one is determination. I love the yarn, but I’m too bored with the miles of stockinette. It’s almost over!

My Biking Cardi is much more interesting to me. Those little purl sts. I have to keep up with in the pattern, along with the pretty subtle stripy effect of the Ella Rae Palermo are keeping me going on that.

But that’s not enough! Of course I had to add another project. It was my huge mistake of asking the hubby what hat he wanted for our anniversary. HUGE. He’s Mr. Picky from now on. Here’s a link to what I’m making for him: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/knittingheidi/shedir - if it looks familiar, that’s because it’s the Shedir pattern from Knitty. Only it’s stranded, for a cool two-tone effect. Found this version on Ravelry, and he loved it. I mean, he’s actually *excited* about this hat. Now, I just need to pray that it fits!!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Dwelling in All Things Fiber....

Where have I been? Well let's see....I started taking a spinning class last week at Earth Guild; it was great! We (all 7 of us) were brought into a room and introduced to "Moses", a Cotswold sheep fleece, laid out on the table in front of us. It was about as close to a farm as you could get without actually being there. I'm very excited about the class. We talked about types of fiber, and learned about washing and carding. We each took home 10 oz. of Moses to wash and card and get ready for the next class. I hope I can learn this!! (Warning: Graphic pics ahead!!) Here are the shots of Moses 'before' and 'after' cleaning. Wow, what a difference! There's still lots of grease and I'm getting to the point where I can card without drawing blood. (I kept hitting my knuckles...ouch!)

Today, I had the chance to go to an Alpaca Farm called Venezia Dream Farm; named so because the owner, Star, and her husband used to like to drink wine (I'm guessing Italian wine??) and dream about having an alpaca farm. As you can see, they have a pretty rough life here in Western NC. She's from CA, her hubby, Joe, is from New York. (David and I were a little closer geographically speaking, being from Phoenix and Philly!) It was great to speak with someone who is doing what we dream to someday. Sydney got right in there and made herself at home on the farm. Check out the great old tree at the edge of their farm, it's estimated to be at least 300 years old! It's days like these that I feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful place every day.
I've still been knitting! I'm plugging away on my Jane Crossover sweater, really enjoying the nuances of the Ottawa yarn. I'm afraid I may run out, and I'm hoping this will be a 'super ball' of yarn, you know the kind, you knit and knit and it never seems to get smaller. I'm also working on the Biking Cardigan, which I made a whoopsie and have to rip back a few rows. Have a Great Sunday!