Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Mailman Delivers!

I was so excited yesterday when I looked down on my step and saw a box that the mailman delivered.  I purposely ordered from Schoolhouse Press on Wednesday hoping that they would get my order out and it would be here by the weekend.  And they did!

My Unspun Icelandic came along with a pattern I ordered.

The pattern is not an immediate cast on, but one that I will save for later this winter.  But, the yarn, oh it was an almost immediate gauge swatch! And a quick cast on, well not a quick cast on because it takes a while to cast on 400+ stitches, but I did get my Stora Dimun Shawl, cast on.

Today, I'll knit a bit on it IF I get to the point on Miss Mona Lisa's daycare blanket and the Karma shawl done.  Thats the deal I have made with myself.  Gives me a little incentive to work on those two things, eh?!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kicking Back on a Weekend

It would seem that there is a bit of a bug around here.  Both the Tall Guy and Baby Boy B are at the ends of it with the coughing and stuff.  I think I might be trying to get something and rather than head out to the shop and infect everyone today seemed like it would be a good day just to kick back, do some knitting interspersed with laundry and ventures into the yarn room.

I had to rip back my Arachne's Bower shawl to it's roots because in my excitement to cast on, I failed to read the all important directions and knit that first row after casting on.  I had just merrily jumped into the chart.  So, this morning, while I am fully awake, I ripped it back and cast back on.

Miss Mona Lisa's daycare blanket is on the decreases part.  I will save the knitting on it for later this afternoon when the Cardinals are on.  It is a great baseball knitting project.  I am hoping to finish it this weekend, but may need some more purple yarn which would have to wait for a run out to the shop on Tuesday.  I want to have this in the mail to her by Thursday of next week.

One of the other projects slated for completion this weekend is my Sequim shawl out of Berroco Karma.  This is another great baseball knitting project and should be great to work on tomorrow for the final game of the regular season.

Yep, I've got my weekend planned out for knitting.  The Tall Guy and Baby B are going to work a bit on the remodel of the front porch.  And, finally, we have made a decision on the kitchen remodel.  Calling the contractor on Monday to confirm.  Finally!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Just A Little Cute For A Friday

This was a week ago when we had Fall like temps.  Miss Mona Lisa is wearing her hat from what was her Spring ensemble.  It is good to know that she'll still have some cool little knits to wear this Fall!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Am Not A Spinner

but I love this magazine about spinning and wheels and fleece and color.

I love a good magazine and Jacey Boggs has hit this one out of the park.  Printed quarterly, $36 a year.

It may make take me into another world...someday.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Website

Schoolhouse Press

Ooo-la-la.  I am heading over to buy at least one of the new colors of Unspun Icelandic for a shawl.  Can you guess which one?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Words of Wisdom

Before I went merrily casting on with all of my Christmas projects from yesterday, a conversation came back to me that I have had with a knitting friend.  The conversation kind of finished with the question, "why do we feel the need to knit something for everyone we know for Christmas?"

{Sigh of relief} when I rememberd that.  Right after I posted yesterday, I kind of went into a frenzy looking at the calendar and seeing the magnitude of the knitting I thought I needed to do.  I'm better now and back on track for knitting for me.  Merry Early Christmas, Penny!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Are You Sitting Down?

Or rather, what are you doing reading this, you should be knitting!  Christmas is less than 100 days away.  Eeek!  I have some knitting to do!

On my list:

Two Stephen West Purl Ridge Cowls for the two ladies who I supervise at work.  I bought the yarn last  Spring at the Knitting Pipeline Retreat.

I had a crazy idea the other night to knit this sweater for my two great nieces, and for Miss Mona Lisa.  They would all look so darn cute in the same sweaters, I don't have the pattern or this colorway in yarn.

But, I do have it in this one.  Sonic Lavendar.

I really think Miss Mona Lisa needs Spud and Chloe on the Farm, but after seeing that she has a little farm set last weekend, I think I may save this for her for next year's birthday.

But definitely, she needs some Topsy Turvy knits for her Christmas this year.  And I am wondering if a  five year old is too old for one of the Topsy Turvy Dolls?

And before we even get to Christmas gift knitting, I want to knit the youngest great-niece and Mona Lisa a pre-Christmas sweater!  And a Fall sweater!

Perhaps rather than asking what are you doing reading this, I should ask/tell myself, what are you doing on the computer ?  Go go go knit something!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Website

You have to listen to this podcast, really you do!
Meg Swansen

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ima Bit Peeved

This morning, before I headed off to work, I decided I would block my baby afghan and peapod for my hairdresser (I wanted to take it tomorrow night).

 I put the afghan on the dining room table and decided to grab one of my fluffy white towels and spread the peapod out on it on the yarn room floor.  When I got home tonight, it was a bit dark in the room and I felt it, and it was quite wet still.  So, I decided to move it to the dining room table where the fan is directly over it.

When I pulled up my nice white fluffy guest bath towel, this is what I found!

Seriously, I have never had this happen.  And there was absolutely no dye in the water when I washed and rinsed it.

I'm glad I didn't buy anymore of this for peapods.

I've got the towel down soaking in a bleach bath, I sure hope it comes out.  I need to warn my friend who is knitting a couple of these to beware of putting it on white towels to block.

Monday, September 16, 2013

This Doesn't Really Count

 Yes, it looks like a new project that has been cast on, but it really is more of a class sample/teaching sample/using up leftover yarn that is doing double duty as a project.

I am teaching three ladies (two that I used to work with and one of their friends) to knit.  We started last week, and this week, the plan was to move them towards increases and decreases.

While I was over in Iowa, Baby Boy A was telling me how they took their own sheets to day care every week and a blanket for Miss Mona Lisa to nap under.  He did not want to take the one I knitted for her at her birth because he was afraid of what may happen to it.

Enter my stash/leftover yarn.  I figured I have some stash that would be great for a day care blanket.  And if something happens to it, so be it, I have more stash.  I have been eyeballing this pattern to use some stash Cascade Pacific up and this became the perfect pattern for this blanket.

And best of all, I can use it as a demo piece for increases and decreases. too.  Only problem is, I don't have a whole lot of the light pink left so I may have to sub with this darker pink or cream.

So, I really didn't cast on something new, well, yes, I guess I did.  But really, it doesn't count, does it?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I'm Really Trying

But it is so hard.  I want to knit on just one thing.  I want to finish projects.  I don't want to cast on anything new.  I am trying to knit stash.

And I have been really good on the last one, but the others, there are so many tempting things I want to cast on since coming home from Iowa this weekend and visiting this little precious one.

When we got over there on Friday night, she was walking a bit, holding onto things here and there.  And then last night, she is going like a house a fire, albeit a little wobbly at times, but I think she will be a full fledge walker the next time we see her.  It was so much fun to be a part of that!

When we got there, she was again quite shy of us, but by last night, she was walking up to me while I sat on the floor giving hugs, wet kisses and sitting on my lap so I could read the endless books.  Made my little heart swell and dream of retirement in Iowa, someday!

On the way over I got a lot of knitting done on my Scallop Shawl and it is the only thing I took in the house with me, so I was forced to knit on it when she was napping.

I am changing it up every other pie piece to do stockinette, which means there is a tad bit of purling on it, rather than all garter.  I like the changes, but it really would be faster to do all garter which is another option.  But, for now, I have committed to the stockinette, so this one will go as it is.

I did the spit splice on the join.  I am not really sure that I will continue with that for the next one, may go back to the russian join for the next one.

It is damp and cool in Central IL today, finally we got some rain.  I know that I should be knitting on this shawl, but after a weekend with Mona Lisa, I am anxious to be knitting on something for her for Fall.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Finished Friday .

In April, I had a nice long week off where I did just what I wanted to. Made some trips to my local yarn shops and knitted.  This little gem, Kudo is what I bought to make another Knitting Pure and Simple Sumer Cardigan.  The yarn just looked so summery!

I knitted on it for a while and then it was set aside for most of the Summer while other things were being knitted.  After, I finished my Sierra Quatro top, I decided to knit one more of my Summer WIPS. I thought it would take me just another week, but I got kind of bored with it, and really didn't knit on it for a couple of days.  I was really wanting to cast on something new, but I stuck with my original decision to knit WIPS until Autumn officially starts.  And besides, it was almost 100 degrees here in Central IL.  I figured I would have plenty of time to knit and wear it.

I will still be able to wear it now that it is finished.  I don't really think that these below 70 degree days we are going to have in the next few days are really here to stay.  I am pretty stoked now that this one is done.  It feels so good to finish something, strike it from the list and post both here and on Ravelry in my projects.

I changed this pattern up a bit, adding considerable length to the bottom  and making the sleeves 3/4 length. All of the bands on the sweater have seed stitch rather than the ribbing that does nothing for me on this sweater.  The pattern had you do some decreases in the waist which I did, but I also did the increases too to take care/hide those pesky hips.

The sweater has all kinds of possibilities for wearing of tanks underneath as there are so many colors to choose from it's pallet.  

So, that is the end of my Summer Sweaters for this year.  I am pulling a couple more WIPS out now that are most definitely for Fall!  I love progress.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall for Shawls

It certainly is shawl weather here today!  I cannot believe the change.  I went into work yesterday and it was hot and muggy.  Came home from grocery shopping and it was cooler outside than it was inside with the air on.  This morning is crisp and is barely going to reach 70 degrees.  Now, I know that it isn't going to stay like this, because we will have some warmer temps, but I do believe the really hot stuff is gone!

I had a totally different post for today, but in light of the cool temps and my need/want to be working on some Fall Shawls, I am saving my finished object for tomorrow's post.

Later today, we are heading over to Iowa to see Miss Mona Lisa.  It is going to be a bit cool and I am always cold anyways, so I am going to pull out my Cheryl Oberle Best Loved Shawl to take with me and to wear for most of the weekend.

I did post earlier this Summer that it was the Summer of Shawls here at chez PJKnits.  It was a bit of a fail on the shoulder shawlette front because so many other knits kept making their way to the top of the queue.  I love those shoulder shawlettes for Winter as much as Summer. I wear a ton of them with a basic Evan Picone turtleneck that I bought in every freaking color a few years back.  I still plan on wearing them this year again.

As much as I love the shoulder shawlette, I am totally in love with the bigger shawl!   Thank you Cheryl for turning me onto those! I want something I can wrap my body in or throw over my feet, you know something substantial!  They may not be what I will wear to work, but they are definitely going to be a part of my Fall wardrobe.  As the weeks go by, here on the blog, I'll show you what I am knitting on and what is on my radar for knitting.  Spring is a long way from September, isn't it?!

So, what is first in line? The Scallop Shawl from It Is Always An Adventure in Knitting has been on and off of the needles more times than I can count.

  My local yarn shop Knit 4 Together has one in this exact color that when I get chilly, I throw on. After wearing it so many times, you would think I would just knit the dang thing.  I am sure that is what they are saying when they see me throw it over me!

It has been knitted countless times in all sorts of yarns and this has several possibilities.  Mine, hopefully is going to be a little longer because at the final rip back, I put it on a larger needle.  This is a perfect shawl for keeping warm and because is you want it bigger, you just add more welts to it.

It is going with me to Iowa this weekend in hopes that going to and from, I can get a bit done on it and ready to wear really soon.

And it would be another finished object out of the corner!  I am so excited on the shawls that are yet to come.  Stay tuned for more updates in the weeks to come.  In the meantime, go out and Fall for Shawls!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Now This Is A Catalog

For years I have enjoyed the ads for Bergere de France in knitting magazines.  Their sweaters were so different and so fashion forward.  I tried my best to find shops who carried their stuff that I could actually see, but did not have much luck.

I was so excited when I saw that they had a catalog that you could get for free.  It came today!  I've been waiting and waiting and reading about it!  This is the first time that it has been available to us.

I have had a love of everything French since I was in grade school and had a French pen pal, Martine from Strasbourg.  In high school, I took four years of French and thought that one day I would be a French teacher.  When I was 15, I was lucky that my parents gave me a 6 week trip to Europe in the Summer to study.  The chaperone was my French teacher in high school, Pam Stephens.  I fell even more in love with France, the language, the culture, the clothes, the art.

When I started knitting and dreaming of being a yarn shop owner, I thought a great name for a shop would be La Tricoteuse (the knitting woman).  When it was being published, I loved the magazine Tricoter.  Hey, it was French and it was knitting!

Fast forward to a few years back when I first started seeing the Bergere de France ads and then this catalog.  It is not just a catalog but a book!  I am so excited to have it in  my hot little hands.

Pages with actual yarn samples you can touch and feel and dream about.  A little je ne sais pas!
I am going to grab my cup of chai and have a look see and decide what I just cannot live without.

Did I mention how excited I am!  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday Website

I don't know why, but I am in the baby knitting frame of my mind.  No, no, there are no babies directly related me that are due anytime soon, I just feel like baby knitting.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Had An Idea Tonight

You know I love those flowy down the front cardigans.

You know I have one that I bought several years ago that is getting quite pilled.

You know I started Walpole over a year ago because it kind of reminded me of the above,

You know I love top down and Knitting Pure and Simple patterns.

So, what if I took the wrap top down sweater, knitted it and didn't wrap it?  Wouldn't it give me the look of the blue purchased one that is pilling that I really love wearing?

Things that make you hmmmmm, Arsenio.  Might have to investigate that after I finish my Boku Sweater that is not quite finished, but really will be by this weekend!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Sunday, September 08, 2013

If It Was Friday

I would call it Fractured Friday!  I stayed up really late or early this morning, catching up on past episodes of the Glades and knitting!  Which means I got to sleep in really late ( a full 7 hours of sleep), which puts me into mid morning.  I am working towards being ready to go to a birthday celebration later today.

There is some remodeling starting here at Chez PJKnits, starting with the front porch.  New windows are being installed by the Tall Guy and Baby Boy B.  It is going to be so cool.  Actual windows that slide up and down and can be cleaned.  The Tall Guy will be working on the rest of the porch this week and probably beyond, but it is a start and I am so dang happy!

We have a contractor that is coming on Tuesday morning.  After months of me searching and some open houses and some looking at houses, we realized that there really is not anything out there that is floating our boat, and won't cause us to have to sell it when we do retire,  so we have decided to see what can be done by expanding our kitchen and putting a small room on the back, watch the blog for details on that as it continues forward.

I am flitting from project to project today.  I am teaching a small group of beginner knitters tomorrow at a friend's house, so I am getting my stuff ready that.

Winding some balls for practicing knitting.

Making a sample to show seaming.

Making a sample to demo knitting.

Last night I finished the sample of the fingerless mitt.

I wasn't quite sure how I was going to like it, but I have to say after trying it on today, I really do like it! Now, back to my own knitting!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Next Hot Thing

Actually, the yarn shop down on the River, Fiber Universe has been doing this afghan since earlier this year.  A couple of the ladies I knit with happened upon it earlier this Summer down there and started knitting a couple of them.

I went down a couple of months ago and felt the one on display out of SimplyWorsted.  I impulsed ordered a sort of different color thinking I could use it for a baby afghan.  When you impulse buy, sometimes over or under buying occurs.  Thats what happened for this one.  If I was going to do it for a baby to born in the future, I only would have needed one bag, but I ordered two.

Then when Knit 4 Together finally got on board, and everyone started ordering colors, I ordered two bags for one for me!

The last few days I have been scoping out Ravelry to find a pattern that I may be able to use for my lime green SimpliWorsted that I bought.  I think I may have found it and this could be great for a boy baby in the future.

No, at this time there are no boys in our family or babies anytime soon, but one never knows.  And I think it is good thing to have a baby hope chest going don' t you?!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Sucker For Bags

What can I say, right up there with yarn, and books and patterns are my bag collection.  Whenever, I see a new one on etsy or a blog, I have to check it out.  Look at my new acquisitions.  But, wait, two of them are going to go for door prizes for a fiber event I am going to attend next month.  So, this is not as bad as it seems, really!

This little cutie has some cool colors to it.  It might hold a little shawl.  The cool part is the way the short little handle loops over the longer one to keep it closed when you are knitting.  The print is called Chocolate Chip.

Also from Sew Bendy, here is a smaller version.  Look at the cool insides!

It wasn't as big as I thought, and maybe just big enough for a sock.  It would be perfect for standing around in a line where you might want to be knitting while you are waiting.  It has another of those little straps that come over the longer strap to hold together.

From Thirty One, I loved my big bag that I bought a year ago with a lid.  It is great for storing yarns downstairs, and this one will hold my stash from Chris at Briar Rose Fibers.

One of the young gals at work was having a party and the first one that caught my eye was this new pattern with flip flops.  I have a flip flop collection that I put out every Summer, so I had to have it.  It is just the right size for carrying a small project when you need it.  I use it when I go out at night to sit and drink my tea.  Thirty One Bags are not fabric so they are easy to clean up should you get something on them.

I think my bag collection is complete for now, well at least until the new best bag comes out!