Finishing Projects

Today I can proudly say that I survived my first week as a Clinic Assistant. It wasn’t without bumps and bruises but I escaped mostly unscathed.

This weekend is a little bit bittersweet since I say goodbye to my guy on Monday for a week – he’s spending a week with the guys in North Carolina – and I have decided that I need to concentrate on finishing those projects that I’ve been carrying around for ages … well, at least one has been carried around for ages.

DROPPS Tunic ... ready to travel

DROPPS Tunic … ready to travel

My DROPS Design tunic is the first on my list. I’ve taken it to my knitting guild meeting and to my knitting group this week. I have an inch or so of 1×1 ribbing (on size 1 needles) to go before I reach the straps … and then I “just have to seam it”! Since it’s been so blasted hot here in Florida this August, I’ll be excited to have it finished and be able to wear it!

Hair Elastics holding my stitches on the DPNs

Hair Elastics holding my stitches on the DPNs

The beaded scarf is ready to be grafted together. The construction is unique to me in that it is knitted from the bottom up in two pieces (with the beading being on the bottom or at the beginning of each piece.) Now, both pieces are a bit longer than the 27 inches that is suggested in the pattern so that (I hope) it can be wrapped double around my neck and the beaded edges pulled through the loop. We’ll see when it’s grafted. I haven’t ever grafted a 2×2 rib before so this will be a new adventure for me. I found a YouTube video that was a very *very* brief explanation of how to do this and I’ll be writing about my experience after I’m successful!

I have my bag with the lace end panels, too, to finish. They’ve really taken a back seat in my knitting bag. Mostly because I have to start working on the lace in relative seclusion. So, next week, when I’m alone at night after work, I will be working on the lace panels. I’ve already knitted and frogged the first panel several times. Maybe the fifth or sixth time will be the charm.

Felted Scuffs ready to be Felted Today!

Felted Scuffs ready to be Felted Today!

Last, but not least, I have to felt the scuffs that I knitted in Maine this summer for N. Just a bit of hot water in the washer and I’ll be good to get that done this afternoon. Maybe after his daughter, R, washes her couch slip cover … I hear it needs it! 🙂

Gone knitting!

All my Yarn is Packed?

Cascade 220 and Colinette Jitterbug

Cascade 220 and Colinette Jitterbug

When we head north to Maine for vacation in the summer, we’ve always driven. And I’ve been able to take a bunch of yarn (often more yarn than clothes) so that I can pick and choose my knitting projects.

This year, however, I’ve been working and wasn’t able to leave when N. decided it was time for him to go. So, I kissed him and our big brown dog goodbye and off they drove. What I didn’t realize is that I would have to be really choosy about what yarn I bring because I haven’t got a big plastic box to fill … I have one suitcase (which will fly free, thank you Jet Blue!) to fill with clothes, N’s birthday gifts and yarn, needles, patterns and all the notions that I need to do what I do! Yikes!

So, here’s what I am planning …

1) I have four skeins of Cascade 220 in a multi-colored colorway that will be knitted into slippers for N. Part of his Happy Birthday. The pattern will be Fiber Trends Felt Clogs (design by Bev Galeskas).They may get leather soles so that they last longer. To be added when we get home and they’re felted.

2) I have four skeins of Cascade 220 in a turquoise colorway that will be knitted into slippers for me. I’ve been waiting to use the pattern by French Press Knits, French Press Felted Slippers (by Melynda Bernardi). I’ve been coveting this pattern for ages and it’s time to give it a try!

3) The beautiful blue Colinette merino is going to be made into a vest from the book, Swing Swagger and Drape (by Jane Slicer-Smith). A vest because I live in Florida. I can always add sleeves if needed later on. I saw the pattern, Boxes Drape, at the Maine Fiber Frolic and it was love at first sight.

4) I’m taking the Purl Bee cowl to fix and finish.

5) I’m taking my brothers 50th birthday socks to finish.

Fiber Frolic 2012 Yarn ... frogged Boxy Cardigan

Fiber Frolic 2012 Yarn … frogged Boxy Cardigan

6) I’m taking my yarn from the Maine Fiber Frolic … the frogged Boxy Cardigan … hoping to find some inspiration and get it knit up into a wearable piece of Maine to bring back to Florida in the fall.

7) The cotton tank tunic is also going along unless it’s finished before I can leave.

8) Lasts but not least, N took his “boyfriend” sweater up in the truck. It has been closeted away (literally) for at least a year because I can’t bear to look at it. All the work and expensive yarn … and it doesn’t fit. Not even close. Another do-over opportunity.

9) I have to add to this list that I will be teaching myself to crochet this summer too, in addition to the knitting projects that I have on my list. I’ve wanted to learn and am making this promise to myself. I will be able to crochet (at least be a beginner)!

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend some time in Maine again this summer. I am also grateful for the opportunity to work for the school that I’ve worked for for the last 50 days. I have loved the experience, the students, the teachers, the administration … it’s been great to be part of the Woodlands family.

Gone knitting!

 

Get ‘er Done!

I’m getting a lot of stuff done so why am I still beating myself up and saying that I’m unproductive? Why do I “worry” about being unproductive when I am getting work done? Because it’s not the work that I “need” to be doing? That others expect me to be doing? Because I’m not making “enough” money? I just need enough to pay the bills and can make do with less than most so what’s all the “anxiety” about?

My Boxy Cardigan is two thirds complete. Sleeves are all that is left to do. They should go pretty quickly and I hope that I love the sweater as much as I remember loving the one on display that I saw at the Maine fiber frolic.

The cotton tunic has kind of been set aside so that I can make a few new items to add to my Etsy shop … or new 3 B Street shop (more about this in a later post) … but the back is so close to being done – despite the inches and inches of 1×1 ribbing on US #1 needles!

I have knitted a new pair of fingerless mittens in a very simple 2×1 rib and just have to weave in the ends. I suspect that they will need a button or some embellishment because just by themselves they’re a bit flat – at least in my opinion – despite a variegated yarn.

And then there’s the Rasta Basket that I have knitted in a wonderful colorway called “Archangel” and while the knitting part is finished, the finishing part is a bit sticky for me! I am not really a sewer. (I can hear friends of mine in my head telling me that I am labeling myself and if I want to be a success I need to consider myself an adept sewer!) Yesterday I got out the old Singer and it took me a good part of the afternoon to assemble the lining only to discover that the handles that I chose are about two inches too big for the bag! Back I go to the store today to see if I can find some that are smaller!

I have pulled out the old Michael’s samples that I haven’t seen while I was away this summer. I am ready to make my board for knitting classes (did you see my calendar for classes?) and have to take some signs for the yarn aisle in the store. I also need to make copies of the calendar for the demo desk! I sure hope that the knitting classes will pick up since it’s fall …I hope!

My to-do list keeps growing but I am checking things off, too. Just for today, I am going to be pleased about what I have gotten done and what I will do today. Life is good.

Gone knitting!

 

UFOs and Abracadabra, Y’all!

They’re finished!

I sent off the Baby Life Ring socks and the hat that I designed to match with it’s little dreadlocks on top and the Grandmother-to-be loves them. Makes me so happy to please people with yarn-y wonderful-ness! And I have to be perfectly honest, the little hat is pretty stinkin’ cute!

An original Queen Bee Knits design – “Baby Dreads”

While visiting my college roommate here in Atlanta, I’ve finished knitting and embellishing the “This Little Piggy” hat that I designed for another friend’s granddaughter. I’ve knitted up a pair of thumbless mittens to match. The pattern is called Stay Put Baby Mitts by Jillian Neary. It’s on Ravelry … of course! The pattern is really simple to knit up and since it’s knit in a worsted-weight yarn (at least that’s what I used), they knit up quickly. The little single-crochet “string” tie at the wrist keeps the mitts on the baby’s hands. The string attaching them together keeps them from falling off and getting lost. They’re not embroidered yet (they need to have cloven hooves) but they will be finished and sent out as soon as I am back in my southern atelier!

“This Little Piggy” hat – an original Queen Bee Knits design

The hat pattern will be joining my other originals on Ravelry when I get it test knitted. I am really pleased with the adorable piggy ears and it’s little curly tail. I giggle when I look at it because the pig’s face seems so quizzical … like it doesn’t know what to do – go to market or stay home!

Next up, my Boxy Cardigan. Pattern and yarn by Seacolors Yarn. The process Seacolors uses is very unique. It’s hand-dyed with sea water, thus it’s name! The cardigan pattern is very simple and square. What makes it unique is color-blocking and I’ve purchased (after a long, long, long time wandering their booth at the Maine Fiber Frolic) some great colors that I’m very excited to see come together in this sweater! I’m already dreaming of buttons … they also will have to have been made in Maine! I started knitting with the US size 7 needles as the pattern suggests but have frogged that bit knitted up because it didn’t make the gauge. I’m starting again with my US size 8 needles and we’ll see how it goes! I’m knitting the large size.

I’ve also had a request to knit up another top down baby sweater in the fabulous “Grateful Threads” colorway from Coveted Yarn. I am really excited about knitting with this yarn again!

My tunic is still coming along. Knitting a ribbed stitch on US size 1 needles is slow going and very tedious so I have to break up that work with other projects.

Dropps Tunic (Dropps 111-21)

Detail of the “gathering” effect

The construction of the tunic (it’s a Dropps design) is quite simple and the switch from the US size 6 needles in stockinette stitch to the 1×1 ribbing on US size 1 needles creates a bit of a gathered effect which is very pleasing. The back is nearly complete!

I am so grateful for the friends and family who have encouraged me to follow my passion around knitting and I’m certain that the future holds all great things for my business as it grows right along with me!

Gone knitting (in Atlanta), Y’all!

Sweat a Little, Knit a Little

Last week I made the mistake of bragging that we hadn’t been hit by the heatwave. Oops! I blew it. It’s hot here now … almost too hot to knit. I’m sure glad that I have no afghans or baby blankets on the needles!

I’ve started a second pair of Baby Life Rings Socks by Cat Bordhi for a friend. They’ll be matched with a little hat. I think I will use the same idea as the socks and make a couple of life rings on the edge of the hat but will add a solid color in stripes. This little toe-up sock with a short row heel is just adorable. I “need” to buy some solid color yarns and see how they knit up in solid colors. I’ve chosen to use Cascade Fixation yarn in a colorway that’s lime green, pink and lavender. Mom’s favorite color is purple … and that may be my accent color in the hat. Baby’s due in late fall.

My tunic is making slow progress in its second iteration. If you remember, I had the back nearly done when I realized that I was making the wrong size. Frogged and re-started. I still love the color.

I’ve finished the Gaia Shoulder Hug shawl. I am not a huge fan of the Noro colorway that I chose but the finished product is nice and I think it will be a good addition to a plain white blouse in the fall and winter. The Noro wool started out scratchy and stiff but it softened up quite nicely through the knitting process and I’ve blocked it but without blocking wires. If I’m going to do lace knitting, I have to make an investment in blocking wires!

My Maine Lobstah socks are coming along. Have gotten to the place where I need to turn the second heel. I will be happy to have them finished and start wearing them!

This Little Piggie baby hat is coming along. I’ve put it away for a few days because I was getting frustrated with the design process. I have knit the ears five or six times and finally got them right. And then the snout was out of place. So, I have to re-knit the snout and then   embroider some eyes and nostrils on it and knit the matching mittens. Fortunately, they’re a holiday gift and I still have time.

Next projects in my queue … a Penny Straker design sweater that I knit when my kids were little. Making one up for my new niece or nephew in a cornflower blue. Have a lace scarf in the bag … the one that I tried to make for Ravelympics several years ago (and couldn’t even manage the cast-on.) This time, I’ll be able to cast on and complete the scarf … and I’m casting it on on July 27 during the Opening Ceremonies (despite the Olympic Committee believing that it’s denigrating. Harumph!)

I wish I had brought my swift and winder to Maine … I have some Buffalo Wool Company yarn that I want to knit into a lovely purple shawl using the falling leaves pattern (more information later!) And I have the yarn that I bought at the Maine Fiber Frolic and the cool and crazy pattern that I bought for that – it will be a cardigan for yours truly.

There you have it. All this typing has made me hot … could be because my laptop is on my lap?!

Gone swimming!