Saturday, December 31, 2011

Arc Mittens

I finished a quick knit over the last couple of days, the Arc Mittens by Peggy O'Grady, from the recently released Interweave Knits Accessories 2011. The name comes from the shaping on the palm, which the designer calls a "lifeline."

Arc Mittens - Palms

Arc Mittens - Backs

Arc Mittens - Candy

The pattern called for Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn. I had been wanting to use a Brown Sheep yarn in the colorway "Strawberry Patch," because I liked the colors in their recent advertisement, the one with the red, pink, and green bulky wrap around a baby. It's been in a lot of magazines, lately; it is on the third page of the "Accessories" issue mentioned above. I confirmed the color with some folks on Ravelry. The yarn in the ad is "Burly Spun," which is super bulky... a recommended gauge of 2.5 stitches per inch. The Arc Mittens call for 4 stitches per inch. I found the same colorway on a different Brown Sheep yarn called "Handpaint Originals," which is a worsted yarn with some mohair. (See the mohair halo in the pictures?) So, I knitted the larger size instructions in the pattern using the smaller yarn. Perfect fit!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Thursday, December 29, 2011

India Pink Socks

I made some more simple socks using some commercial yarn this time... one that looks a bit like handspun. This is Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Stärke 6 in the colorway "India Pink." The colors caught my eye, and like a raccoon with a shiny thing, I grabbed it.

Zauberball India Pink

I think that it does a good imitation of handspun hand-painted wool, the way it looks in the knitted socks. So if you're wanting to try some handspun socks, but don't spin, here's something to try.

sock54 - India Pink

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

P.S. I used David's Toe Up Sock Cookbook again.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Let The Portraits Begin!

I finally splurged and bought a DSLR camera (Canon EOS Rebel T3i), which I have been longing to do for some time. I played with some of the modes, today, and took some portraits of Mitchell.

Mitchell 12-27-11 --01

Mitchell 12-27-11 --02

Mitchell 12-27-11 --03

Mitchell 12-27-11 --05

Mitchell 12-27-11 --06

Mitchell 12-27-11 --09

Mitchell 12-27-11 --10

Mitchell 12-27-11 --11

...and my favorite...(click on it to see it bigger)

Mitchell 12-27-11 --08-fav

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Hubby Portraits

I tried out the new camera during some Lego-building, also... and so Chris had his portrait taken, too.

Chris - close up 1

Chris - close up 2
Chris said I could only use this photo above if I included the caption: "This is what seven years of marriage does."

Chris - close up 3

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Mitchell enjoyed Christmas morning, with many Lego items, several of the Star Wars variety, and a couple Harry Potter items, too.

Mitchell stuff 1

All the grandparents came for lunch. After lunch, there was Lego assembly... Here is the Republic Frigate under construction.

Lego building

Mitchell kept taking breaks! Here he is after finishing it...

Mitchell frigate 1

... and getting out the next kit:

Mitchell falcon 1

We're in for a lot more Lego building over this week out of school and work:

Mitchell Lego haul

Merry Christmas,
Lisa Kay

Christmas Socks

Those socks I was knitting on Christmas Eve are "Achilles Heal" socks from the Winter 2011 Knitty. I used the latest Rockin' Sock Club installment, "Comfort and Joy" in the Socks That Rock Lightweight. Sign ups for 2012 Rockin' Sock Club start on January 4th, here.

Christmas Socks

Aren't they great Christmas socks?

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve

My side of the family had a Christmas gathering, today. My brother and his wife brought their two sons, and our folks came over for lunch. I finally met my new nephew, Reese.

Christmas 1 - Dave Dane Reese Gma
Gma held Reese, and Dave helped Dane look over his new CAT.

Christmas 1 - Mitchell and truck
Mitchell really enjoyed his new Hummer!

Christmas 1 - Dane and Lisa
I asked Dane for a snuggle while Chris used a knife to take the wrapping off the CAT. Dane kept an eye on him...

Christmas 1 - Dane and states
Chris and Mitchell showed Dane our United States puzzle. Dane showed that he knows where we live!

Christmas 1 - Dane and Mitchell wrestle
The boys enjoyed each other, and the six-year-old did not always have the upper hand over the 2-and-a-half-year-old!

Christmas 1 - Dave Lisa Steph and Reese
After lunch, we just hung out. Stephanie fed the baby, and you know that I don't sit still for long without knitting in my hands.

Christmas 1 - Dane on the hearth
Cute little Dane discovered the hearth...

Christmas 1 - Dane jumping
...and that it was great for jumping!

Merry Christmas Eve!

P.S. No pictures of Gpa, because he *took* all the pictures!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Autumn Leaf Mitts

I used up the rest of the Autumn Leaf fiber making Vera Brosgol's Easy Handspun Mitts. I got them done yesterday afternoon and today, facilitated by taking an early holiday break from work. I normally don't get that much knitting done in two weekdays...

The image is a composite, because I took the pictures myself, one at a time. I'm toying with the idea of buying a nicer camera with a remote shutter release, for just such occasions, but I haven't settled on a model.

Autumn Leaf mitts - both edges

I have just a small amount of yarn left, perhaps enough for a mini-stocking! Hmmm...

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Autumn Leaf Socks

Southern Cross Fibre's October fiber clubs, both on Polwarth, included a colorway called, "Autumn Leaf." I decided to try to make matching socks, with mixed results, as you'll see.

I broke the fiber into two pieces in the middle of the length, and then I split each long piece into six more-or-less equal weight strips. Here is a picture of three of the strips (1/12 of the 4 oz fiber, each).

Southern Cross Fibre - Polwarth - Autumn Leaves - prepped

Then, I spun each 1/12 of the fiber into a single, as shown here:

Southern Cross Fibre - Polwarth - Autumn Leaves - singles

I plied three singles together, using three from the same half, lining up the colors as much as possible. Here are the first two pairs of three-ply yarns (half the fiber):

Southern Cross Fibre - Polwarth - Autumn Leaves - first 2 3-plies-washed

And wound into balls, ready to knit "matching" socks...

Southern Cross Fibre - Polwarth - Autumn Leaves - first 2 3-plies-wound

So, I started knitting socks, using David's Toe Up Sock Cookbook, and used up the first half of the yarn. I had a couple of setbacks, mainly because the two yarns weren't exactly the same thickness. I got the first sock through the gusset, careful to allow for fit, and then knit the second the same number of rows... but the second yarn was skinnier and the sock ended up too small. I frogged the second sock back to before the gusset and made it longer before re-knitting the gusset. After tweaking the second sock and using up both of the first two skeins of yarn (1/2 the fiber), the socks looked like this:

Autumn Leaf Socks - First Half of Yarn knitted

Then, I had to go back and spin the second half of the fiber. I was having some trouble with breakage and generally driving myself crazy with treadling like mad to make skinny yarn, when I finally followed some advice to use a smaller whorl. After some searching, I found my smaller whorl attached to the back of my wheel, where it has been since the day the Ladybug came home in 2008. Go figure. After switching whorls, I made much faster progress and ended up with two more skeins of yarn which looked remarkably like the first two skeins:

Autumn Leaf -Second half of yarn

Yes, those really are two different skeins than the first pair!!

So, I joined my second half of yarn and finished my socks.

Autumn Leaf Socks Done 2

Autumn Leaf Socks Done 3

I was trying really hard to make socks that matched... Well, they're pretty close...

I also have just about enough yarn left to make some mitts. The leftover yarn is shown in this shot:

Autumn Leaf Socks Done 1

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, December 11, 2011

We Took To The Woods Vest

Perhaps you noticed the hand-knit vest I was wearing at Mitchell's birthday party? Well, I had just finished knitting it using my "We Took To The Woods" handspun. (Previous posts on the yarn here and here.)

We Took To The Woods Vest 5

We Took To The Woods Vest 2

We Took To The Woods Vest 1

We Took To The Woods Vest 4

I used instructions for a top-down "sleeveless sweater" in Barbara Walker's "Knitting From The Top." The shoulders start with a provisional cast on, followed by short-row shoulder shaping. I like the way the short row shoulders look a little bit like a saddle-shoulder, emphasized by the variegated yarn.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Mitchell!

We held Mitchell's sixth birthday last night at The Little Gym. The kids played on the equipment and did some running and jumping. I think everyone may have slept well last night!

Little Gym 1

Little Gym 2

Little Gym 8

Little Gym 3

Little Gym 4

Little Gym 7

Little Gym 6

Little Gym 5

Hard to believe the little guy is six. I said to Chris that one third of his childhood was over. Chris just said, "Shut up."

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay