Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fingerless Mitts - In Progress

This is my first attempt at Fingerless Mitts. The ribbing looks crooked, but I think I yanked the glove on in a hurry. Seems like taking photos is not one of my favorite things.

Anyhow, the pattern is for fingerless gloves, but I didn't want little part-fingers on this one. And I didn't want mittens, either. in Minnesota this time of the year you need a little something to keep your hands warm, but it's nearly impossible to drive while wearing mittens or gloves. Maybe even illegal. Don't quote me on that.

Oh, and it's very, very plain, as you can see. I like that. But then I might be overdosed on wildly beautiful patterned knitted items, having been immersed in Ravelry way too much.

I plan to make a scarf to go with the mitts, but haven't decided on the pattern yet.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Big Lucy - Finished!

Yarn: Main color: Cascade Ecological Wool, color #8049 Stripes: Noro Big Kureyon Color #19.

The Lucy Bag by Two Old Bags

This pattern is really a beautiful style, and I like knitting it. Because I added the Kureyon, the bag didn't felt as much in that area. Now the debate is whether to refelt it, because it is a little bigger than the pattern said, so I have the room to do so.

Here's the Lucy BF (before felting).And here it is AF. Should I refelt it?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quoth the Raven

Warning: Socks That Rock Spoiler Ahead!!!

Here is a photo of the bag I purchased in Door County at Turtle Ridge.The leather work is very nice, and the theme is a bit unusual.

And here's a closeup of the bag. I don't know if these are crows or ravens nor do I know if there is a even difference between these winged wonders who get no respect.
In this vein, here's the--no peeking if you hate spoilers--(spoiler) .
It's the October shipment from the Rockin' Sock Club.

While it may be difficult to see the nuance of color in the photo, trust me, the yarn is an amazing melding of burgundy and charcoal. I love the colors and think the pattern is going to be very interesting, too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

October Sunset Socks

These socks are like an October sunset. Soft and gently colorful.
Yarn: Trekking XXL, Colour #160
Pattern: My own, with Gerdine Strong's heel applied
Comments: The Strong heel requires no picking up stitches for the gusset, but it does require a bit of attention to the corners of the gusset when you move down the foot. At least that has been my experience. The sock fits nicely, and I experimented with the number of stitches to Kitchener at the toe. For my feet, 8 seems like not enough, so I went with 12 stitches at the toe this time and like the fit much better.
Here's a closeup of the Strong Heel gusset:
If any reader has experience with this type of heel, please leave a comment!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mother of Purl, er, Pearl

Just one more photo of the diminutive Lucy Bag.

I could not resist adding an oversized button and some pearls to this bag. Maybe I should have saved it for the bigger bag I'll make one of these days. Nah.

Here's a closeup of the cluster of pearls on mother-of-pearl.

Embellishment is part of the fun of felting bags, and I'll probably dude up the next one I make.

What, Me Worry?

On the needles now, another pair of plain socks. Really, making those intricately patterned socks is something I have done a little bit, but they just don't fit in my shoes as well. So I assume they wouldn't fit in other people's shoes, either. Why don't sock knitters speak of this? Or do they, and I have just missed it? I run around the house in my stocking feet. But having high standards, I draw the line at going out for the mail in them and then I stuff my feet into the nearest pair of shoes and dash.

In the "what, me worry?" department, I ran across a post about this yarn stash--totally amazing, seriously overwhelming . It only makes most of us feel a little bit better about hoarding yarn. And maybe a whole lot jealous, too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An Unwatched Pot or The Lucy Bag - Finished!

Yarn: Cascade 220, Color #9403
Pattern: The Lucy Bag by Two Old Bags
Needles: 10.5 Addi Turbo 24"--I did the magic loop at the beginning of the pattern, and did not use dpns.

They say a watched pot never boils. Here is an example of an unwatched pot. I knew better; you must watch your felting. It was not just felting, it was melting. The nearly disappearing Lucy Bag.

You see, I tried to do two things at a time, the other being to reformat the hard drive on my laptop. I might as well have attempted brain surgery. My Lucy Bag dwindled from a large to a small bag in no time at all in my washing machine. It looks okay, just not the size I was hoping for. You will see another (hopefully larger) Lucy Bag here in the future.

And maybe a smarter felter. Ha.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Three Little Bags

Pattern: Jewelry Bag from the book Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas.

Yarn: Noro Aurora Color #2

Needles: Size 10 Addi Turbo circs

Comments: These bags are for the gals in my book club. Three of us made three bags each so that all nine club members would have a bag after our Fall Retreat. I thought mine were such a boring color that I added the little button at the top and the ribbon fit perfectly through the button slots. We also added the individual's initials at the end of the ribbon ties.

Here's a pretty good closeup of the button, although you can't see the initials on the ribbon too well.

This is my first felting project since the doomed BIG BAG. Even though the yarn didn't felt as much as we had hoped, I still am satisfied with the finished product and may do some more felting one of these days.

I sure hope they like them.

Monday, October 08, 2007

October Sunset

Fall is wondrous in its beauty, and the sunsets here in Minnesota can be breathtaking. If you live here and saw this evening's display, your heart was certainly lightened.

Here's some progress on the Lucy Bag. *snore*

Oops, more yarn.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Alpaca Farm Tour - With Photos

A friend and I visited the Rum River Alpaca Ranch in Oak Grove, MN today. I cannot begin to explain how pleasant our visit was. First of all, owners Jim and Judy Riess were such gracious hosts. They allowed me inside the pen to photograph these amazing creatures and gave us demonstrations on spinning and much information about Alpacas, even about their mating rituals. They even had lemonade and cold cider with cookies and brownies as refreshments! The tour is on tomorrow as well, in several Minnesota locations. See here for details. If you have children, or even if you are a child at heart and just love animals, you must see these gentle animals.
This is Mae. She is of the Huacaya Alpaca family, and she produced the lovely Alpaca yarn you see below. It's destined for a scarf and fingerless mittens. Isn't she beautiful? She looks like she's wearing eyeliner, doesn't she? We should all look that good without makeup.

Mae's beautiful yarn.
And who couldn't love a face like this?

Or this?
Or this?

And the totally precious baby Alpaca.

The ladies (and a couple geldings) get to frolic outside and meet everyone...

but the guys are stuck in the back forty, although they all crowded into this part of the barn and made jealous, whimpering noises. Well, okay, maybe they were mating songs, I don't know.We decided that we need to make journeys like this to expand our horizons and keep our minds learning new things. Next up? Maybe a journey to a B & B to learn how to spin?

Stockinette Stupor

I know, I swore I'd not make another big bag. But here I am again, in stockinette stupor. Somehow, knitting socks just isn't as stupefying--even with plain knitting--as a larger item. Maybe it's because of the mound of knitted yarn that sits in your lap.

The Lucy Bag has been around for awhile and it seems that knitters aren't doing as much felting as they did at one time. As ever, late to the party with my boring palate of neutrals. Plodding onward...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Alpaca Farm Tour

This is late notice, but there is a Minnesota Alpaca Farm tour tomorrow and Sunday (Oct. 6 and 7) if any of you are of a notion to see some of these beautiful creatures.

Here's the information on the Alpaca Farms and what they have to offer (some of them are offering hand spun yarn for sale).

Three of us gals are going to visit at least one of the farms! Will try to get photos...

The Tiny Little Socks

Pattern: Socknitters Mini-Sock by Linda Nelson

Yarn: Just scraps!

Needles: #1 dpns

Comments: If you hate the fiddliness of normal sized socks, you might be driven to distraction by this one because of its size. I made them for part of a tribute to a friend who also knits socks.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Corny Socks - Finished!

Yarn: Maizy by Crystal Palace Yarns (82% Corn Fiber, 18% elastic Nylon)
Color: Kelp Gray
Needles: #1 Quicksilver dpns (can't get used to using circs for socks)
Pattern: Purl Trax - See Side Bar.
Comments: This yarn splits too easily, and I had to pay attention, especially when doing the decorative purl stitches. However, it knits up into a very attractive fabric. It's pretty and so soft to wear. I haven't read anything about the durability of corn fiber (I keep thinking of corn husks and their fragility) so it remains to be seen how well they will wear.

Here's my rant for the day. Blogger's wysiwyg editing is so limiting, with its small window and the lack of photo placement that I am considering switching to another blogging product.

Can anyone give me some pointers on doing this?

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's a Birthday Card

My first email today was this:

Happy birthday!

For maximum celebration of your existence, we solemnly suggest that you party like a Mensan. But then again, you *are* a Mensan, so any celebration you choose will be right in line with our recommendation. Whatever you do, enjoy today your way!

With warmest regards and continued appreciation of your membership, American Mensa

If you have seen Mensans party, you know it's fun and not all brain-wracking conversation, although it might be highly unusual.

But going to lunch with my son and daughter-in-law today is something I'm thoroughly looking forward to! And tonight, a simple dinner at home with the Judge.

When you get to be the age of Paul McCartney's song with the insecure question, partying seems sort of silly if not downright dangerous.

Of the gifts I have received over the years, some of the best have been from other knitters, especially the ones who read this blog. They come in the form of comments and emails. Thank you all for being a blessing in my life!