Friday, December 28, 2007

How-To Tuesdays

I've been playing around with the idea of devoting a day of the week to either a free pattern or a how-to tutorial. Since I don't think I'll be able to churn out a new pattern every week, we'll just do How-To Tuesdays. So stay tuned. Next week I'll show you how to knit 2 socks at the same time, or in the case of longies, 2 legs at the same time. I love it! I love it so much that I've knit 2 pairs of socks since Sunday. That's 2 pairs, not just 2 socks!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I get sidetracked so easily, I don't know why I bother making to-do lists. I never follow them. I found a cool sock pattern yesterday, Round About Sock. The texture has been intriguing me and I'm working on putting it into a sweater. If it is knit how the sock pattern has it, it would pull to one side, so I made a swatch with the pattern mirrored on one half and the swatched turned out awesome!!! Will post a pic later. I have a ton a bamboo that I've been trying to figure out what to do with, and this stitch on a bamboo sweater is perfect. Now to dye enough bamboo for a whole sweater.

I'm leaving for Minnesota tomorrow, so no more posts until after Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rippin' away!

This used to be a sweater :-) Now I'm going go soak it in a vinegar solution to prepare it for dyeing and to work some of the kinks out. I love orange, but this is a little overboard, so we'll put some red in it, get some flame action going. Now to find a big enough pot...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thrift Store Mania!!!

Holy cow! I love thrift stores! I found the coolest sweaters in the world today. I went in just looking for 100% woolens and come out with that and then some. Either I'm fashionably defunked or I'm creative enough to see potential in what others view as trash. I'm seriously hoping the later. I found a 100% cashmere Free People sweater!!!

I love the buttons! It is too freakin' cute.
Other "scores" include 1 hot pink and 1 white 100% cashmere sweaters, bags and bags of merino/new wool sweaters, 3 angora scarves, 1 ultra chunky 100% wool Gap scarf (looks like knit roving), 1 angora hat, and gorgeous knee length 100% cotton Gap sweater.

Now the question, to rip or not to rip...

Moebius Cast On Video

Man, I had a hard time uploading anything yesterday. Well here is the video. Not the greatest quality; I'm hoping to reshoot it with the aid of my camerman in better lighting.
When it comes to storytelling though, I'm no Cat Bordhi.

Part 2. This one shows you how to join it in a round.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Moebius Cowl Video Tutorial

I'm in love. I searched and searched for directions on how to do it, found quite a few, but I really wanted to do it the way Cat Bordhi does. I knew she had to have the best way. Anyway, I finally found her directions on, but there was no video, only written instructions. That's fine for me because I'm one of the few people in the world that can visualize written instructions easily. These directions really threw me for a loop, not because they were written badly but because it is so freakin' crazy! So I figured I've got to make a video of this cast on. So, here it is. I had to do it in 2 shots as the first was interrupted by a child.
I did forget to mention that every other stitch on the first round will be twisted. Just make sure you knit into the right part of the stitch.
I am planning on re-shooting this in better lighting at some point in the future.

Ok, maybe not. My videos aren't uploading for some reason. Maybe tomorrow.

A call from the other side...

of the world that is. Monday morning, 6 am, the phone rings. No one in their right mind would call at that hour unless it was important so I haul my butt out of bed in search of the phone. I find it just as the answering machine picks up and I hear my brother's voice from over in IRAQ!!! Excitedly I push the "talk" button only to find nothing happens. The phone is dead. Are you kidding me? I sit in torment as I listen to his message, unable to do a thing. He did hang up with the promise to try again. Luckily he did call back on Tuesday and both my hubbie and I got to talk with him. It was so good to hear his voice and know he's doing well. Apparently he is the pilot to the stars as he got to fly Ollie North, Tito Ortiz, and Kelly Pickler. Pretty awesome! We are big Ollie North fans, so that was pretty exciting.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Aidan Sweater is done!!!

Hee, hee, I'm so sneaky. I told hubbie to compliment Aidan's sweater and ask if I could make him one in hopes that this would change Aidan's mind about the sweater. So hubby goes on and on about how cool the sweater is and how he really wishes he could have one just like it. Aidan barely let me finish knitting the collar, he wanted to wear it so badly! Aidan has a new favorite sweater that he at one time swore he would never wear. I rock!
Here is my big ham modeling it. What a goof! He even had me take a video of him. DSCN4282


I love the difference in the personalities of my children. These pictures are classic Aidans. He is the clown, attention junky of the family and has always been this way. We have the hardest time getting a normal picture of him. Actually, I guess this is about as normal as he gets.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Deep Deep Smit

I think I'll call this colorway Fuego! It took me a couple tries to get it how I wanted but the end piece is awesome (at least I think so).

This one started out with the same watermelon base which I dyed a gorgeous orange (who doesn't love orange). The orange was beautiful, but after it was done drying I thought, "This needs red." So, using a piece of PVC piping to suspend the yarn, I dyed one half red. It went from a blazing orange to this wonderment that I appropriately call, Fuego.

Deep Smit

Oooh, am I in trouble!!! I am the queen of hobbies and I don’t need a new one. I sure hope everyone wants dyed bamboo for Christmas because that is what they are getting! Good news is, I have to wait at least 1 hour for the dye to set. Maybe I can get my Christmas knitting done during that time (or maybe I could do the dishes and laundry then).

I followed these directions using a G&K dye kit. Purple and red is my goal, let’s see if I can do it!

Here is the yarn that I am overdying. I washed the yarn in Synthrapol to remove any dirt/oil/grim/finish from the yarn. The original color is kind of a yucky watermelon pinky red, but not for long...

Here is the yarn soaking in the dye. I mixed blue dye in 1 cup of room temp water and fushia dye in another container. I then poured the blue dye over 1/2 the yarn and the fushia dye over the other half. Next, I slowly poured enough water over the yarn to just barely submerge it, keeping track of how many cups of water were added. 2 cups with the dye and then another 7 cups to submerge it. I then mixed in 1 tsp soda ash for every cup of water in 1 cup of water. So 10 cups water total (2+7+1=10) and 10 tsp soda ash. Before adding the soda ash mixture, I let the dye mix with the yarn without stirring at all for about 5-10 minutes. I then slowly poured the soda ash mixture evenly over the yarn and let it set for about 90 minutes.

After rinsing the spent dye from the yarn in about 4 changes of water, I washed it in hot water again with about 1/2 tsp of synthropol and then rinsed it again in cold water until the water ran clear. And here is what emerged from the pot.

I am smitten, I am in deep smit.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Almost done...

He looks a little less than enthused :-) Stinker actually told me he would never wear the sweater. That's what he thinks. He says it's too girly. What?! Argh, boys! So, I'm going to make one like it for his dad (I know James loves it) and maybe if ultra cool manly Daddy wears it, than maybe he will. I need to add a few more inches to the arms and the body (must have his mommy's monkey arms). That's the beauty of making your own clothing, all my sweaters fit my monkey arms. I want to get this sweater done so I can get started on Ice Queen for MIL (and I seriously need to clean the house).

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Step, yeah!

Got strep? We do! Pretty pathetic that I'm excited about having an excuse to stay in my pj's, lay on the couch and knit all day. Let's see how much Christmas knitting I can get done. I've got 1.5 sleeves to knit on Aidan's sweater and then I'm going to cast on for Ice Queen from Knitty's new e-mag for my MIL. I really really want to make a moebius scarf as well, but Ice Queen was just so pretty and I know my MIL will love it. So the improvised moebius in Noro is just gonna have to wait.

Now on to knitting!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My camera is back!

My feet are freezing!!! Once I finish up Aidan's sweater (today or tomorrow) I'm getting started on slippers. I'm on a mission now to find rubber type soles so I can wear them out (don't want to make something beautiful and not show it off!). I'm so cold!
These are what I'm going to make in big person size.

I really want to try them with mohair but I'm not allowed to by any more yarn for a while. So they will be in wool with some texture added. I started out crocheting a pair a few nights ago, but I'm one of the few people in the world who knit faster than I crochet. So after 3 rows I gave up and ripped it out. I like knitting better.

Back to dying bamboo. I improvised this skein winder.

Now winding the skeins goes much faster. I want to go to Home Depot and gets some PVC to make this I also have a vision of a lazy susan with pegs mounted on the wall. Give that baby a whirl and now we're talkin' fast! I've got over 7 lbs of bamboo to wind into skeins from cones so I can dye it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Knitwear Charting Software!!!

Oooh, I'm so excited. I found this great knitwear charting software that will make getting my designs down on paper sooo much easier. Got it from . If you don't hear from me for a few weeks, it's because I'm busy charting! I'm such a geek!

Now the Adorabubble Baby Bag can go forward. I've been reluctant to release it because I haven't been satisfied with the charts. No longer a problem!

A Better Fitting Raglan

Does anyone else notice that if you make a raglan according to the standard directions of increasing every alternate round, by the time you get the yoke long enough, you have a body and sleeve that are humongous? It's ok if you want a really big comfortable sweater, but I like fitted sweaters. So I've been playing around with rearranging the increases to make the yoke long enough and the body more proportionate. I think I've perfected it for baby sizes and I'm now working on kid sizes. Once that is done, on to big people and then I'll have a whole family of well-fitting raglan sweaters. I'm thinking of turing this into more of an e-book than just a pattern because I want to show you all the fun things you can do with a basic pattern. I'll even include my formula so you can adjust the pattern for your unique fitting and gauge (I had an epiphany last night while trying to get to sleep on how to do this and keep the pattern easy readable).

I wish I had may camera, Aidan's cable raglan is turning out so incredible and only I can enjoy right now :-(

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bamboo to dye for!

I finally got to experiment with dying bamboo. I have about 7 lbs of watermelon red bamboo, the color of which I'm not very fond of, but I got a great deal on it. So, I'm playing with dying it! Got the dye from The Yarn Stash last week. Dying cellulose fibers is definitely different than wool, more complicated and takes longer. I tested out 100 gms, going for a purple yarn and it turned out beautiful. I wish I had dyed more than just 100 gms because I'm not sure what I'm going to make with so small an amount. I'll figure something out. This morning I made 200 gms of a beautiful orange. I think my next attempt will be at handpainting it.

I don't know why I started dying now as I have so many Christmas projects I need to work on. Aidan's sweater is coming out beautiful! I love it. It is a take on the cabled baby bag in a big boys size. I'm also going to make a Moebius scarf for my MIL and am eagerly awaiting my Pure Wool shipment to start that. She is one of those that has an allergy to wool, but I'm pretty sure she'll be ok with the Purl Wool (if not I'll keep it and make her another one out of a different fiber).