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Molly's Needles

My adventures in knitting... and a few other things thrown in for fun.

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Location: Massachusetts, United States

I got back into knitting because of the Harry Potter scarves and sweaters. Although I knit other items, replicating HP-wear remains my first love.

Monday, January 30, 2006

It's wrist warmer time!

After finishing PiP I noticed that I had almost 2 skeins of yarn left. So I grabbed my size 10 double points and started fooling around with an idea. The result is a simple tube in K2P1 ribbing with a hole for the thumb. Nothing fancy but they will fit nicely under the sweater and at least I'll match. Coordination is everything. ;)

I also found a pattern for more sophisticated fingerless mittens. Dawn Adcock's Twin Rib Fingerless Mittens. She used worsted and size 4 needles. I really want to use the Fixation so I may go down to a size 3. She said the rib is very stretchy so it shouldn't be a big sizing problem. I hope to start them tonight.

And, no, I haven't forgotten about Sunset Garden. It's just that we are less than 2 weeks from the Olympics, when I will be feverishly working on the Fan Stitch Half-Circle Shawl and I thought it would be good to work on something simple.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Finished sweater!

So I had a serious knit-in this weekend and finished the Pretty in Pink sweater. It still needs to be blocked but I had to share.

It is tunic length since I thought to wear it out in cool weather and figure the more coverage, the better! So, it comes down to my fingertips when on. The back of the neckline also wraps around higher, which should be comfortable outside. It's a stockinette body with seed stitch for the trim, and as you can see, no real shaping. Just a basic knockabout weekender.

I still want a pair of wristwarmers and think I have the yarn to do it- a while ago I bought two skeins of Fixation in the colorway Lupins for some socks, but I never found a pattern I really liked. I'm betting they would make comfy warmers for indoor use knitting, reading or typing on the computer. I'll start them this week and let you know how it progresses.

Just in case you didn't have enough with the news of PiP, here is a shot of the Great Hunter stalking some prey.

And what is he hunting? The elusive Piggy.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Busy day

First, thank you, Dreamcatcher, for the praise of Blaze. He really is a dear and is quite happy with his web debut. I'm sure he'll demand more time in the future. Thanks, too, for the kind words about me. :) It is rather difficult taking your own picture, isn't it? And I really love your wrist warmers and may have to make a pair for myself very soon. They look quite cozy.

Yesterday was a rather busy day. I finished the body of PiP up to the sleeve attachment and cast on for the first sleeve. Since that only increases to 62 stitches, I think I may be able to finish it tonight and start the second one tomorrow. How nice if I could finish the sweater by Monday, but if not it won't be much beyond that. I decided to forge ahead with this as winter does seem to be back. I'll pick up Sunset once the sweater is finished and should be able to get some more work done on it before the Olympics.

Speaking of the Olympics, I swatched the Lacey Lamb. I like the way it looks on the US4 needles but I think I may have to find some bamboo. The yarn is rather slippery on my Addi Turbos and I don't want to spend my 16 days chasing rogue stitches. If I can't find a pair of 4's that I like I guess I'll use my Denise 5's for it. It will be a bit looser but I think it will still work.

I also played around a bit on my spinning wheel, Minnie (that's the little one I received as a gift last year). I had some brown Corriedale that came with my Ashford drop spindle kit and I finally got it to work. The yarn is totally useless but I am more interested in the process than the product right now. My goal is to figure the speed and twist well enough to spin the baby alpaca fleece my father gave me last summer. There isn't much to it as the animal was only a few weeks old when shorn, but if I can get a laceweight out of it I may be able to make a simple scarflet. As I say though, that is down the road a piece when I am feeling more confident of my abilities.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Quick update

No pictures of me tonight. I need to recover from the horror of seeing myself staring blankly. My excuse is that I was actually looking at the bathroom mirror behind the camera to see if I had lined up correctly in the viewfinder. Yup. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :) Instead, I offer up a picture of someone who is much more photogenic than me. My darling cat, Blaze.

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Sunset Garden is progressing. I don't quite know how big I'm going to make it. I'm still on the first skein of yarn and I have 6 total that I can devote to it. I have another 6 in that colorway, as well as Trail and Leprechaun, but they are being saved for something down the road. I'll get to that at a later date.

I got some work done on PiP today. I'm about 20 rounds from sleeve attachment. Based on the colder weather (we actually had snow today, which is not an unusual thing in winter but we stick out 30 miles or so into the Gulf Stream so tend to get rain instead) I think I may want another warm sweater, so Pink may take precedence before the Olympics start. We'll see.

Just found out that a Cary Grant box set will be released February 7th. Being a huge fan of his I find this welcome news and think the 5 films will be great "knit with" watches. As I think I mentioned, I really need a movie that I am familiar with to knit along to so that I'm not distracted from the important things. Like hitting that double decrease correctly. :)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Cowl Scarf, Part Two

...protect your face or pretend to play Cowboys again. :)

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Here it is pulled up over the lower face. I did some shaping on the top so that it would fit snuggly when up and also when down, since I didn't want it flopping over and allowing air in. Sort of defeats the purpose.

I had wanted to put these together but Photobucket hates me right now and Hello will apparently do one picture at a time. Sorry for the extra mess, folks.

Cowl Scarf, Part One

In an effort to bring you an image of the Cowl Scarf I am doing something I rarely do- photograph my face. ;) Here is what the cowl looks like worn down around the neck. I tried it with my jacket and it fits down below the collar, so it should provide full coverage worn this way.

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Don't get me wrong, I love my scarves and have several but I think it would also be nice to not have ends working loose.

Plus you get to do fun things like...

Winter's back

I woke up this morning to the end of our early spring. Here in Eastern Massachusetts it's been 50-60F for some time. This morning there is a snow/rain mix and near Boston and west schools are closed. I guess Mother Nature remembered that we're supposed to be having winter, too.

I wasn't able to get a picture of the Cowl Scarf taken last night. I completely forgot that I had a football party to go to after work. Which meant a mad dash to the store to pick up something to bring for dessert. I'll do it tonight so you can all see the lovely work and the lovely me. :)

Sunset Garden progresses. I only got one repeat done last night after getting home from the game. Well, as I said, I'm not in a race to finish this one. And Dreamcatcher, I love the colors as well. The picture makes them look a bit darker than they are in real life. Hopefully I can get an outside shot done later this week.

I pulled my abandoned pink sweater out and will try to finish it up. This is the one that is being made from the hot pink tweed. It got shoved to the rear when I started all the holiday stuff. While Sunset occupies me at home, the sweater is an easy knit for slow days. And if it's going to stay colder for a bit it will be a welcome addition to the wardrobe.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A shawl is born and team buttons

I know you are all amazed, but yes, it is a new photo here on my blog! :) Hope you enjoy it. As for what it is, it is the start of the Sunset Garden Shawl I mentioned. I've got about 6 repeats done so far and am happy with the way the colors are looking. I think over a white dress and with a light tan this will be very nice.

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Also, if you cast your eyes onto my sidebar, you will see one of the buttons made by the lovely Jen and La for our use. And, depending on how things progress, I may change mine to the "Swearing at Lace" button. :) We'll see.

Finished the Cowl Scarf today. I still need to weave the ends in. I think it came out nicely but would like to have someone beta test the pattern before unleashing it on the unwary public. If anyone is interested, shoot me an e-mail and I'll send it to you. I'll post a picture of the finished item tomorrow (assuming I can take a good photo of myself wearing it!)

Now, I'm off to watch my taped episode of "The Book of Daniel" and get a bit more done on Sunset Garden.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Adaptation makes the world go 'round

Or something like that.

I started casting on for the Lacy Prairie Shawl and decided to take a baby step toward creating my own design. So, I'm still maintaining a garter stitch border with YOs up the sides but in the center I am doing a stockinette version of Shetland Leaves. This isn't a huge pattern but it's big enough that the varigations don't obscure it. I'm calling it Sunset Garden because it is a leaf pattern and the colors, although called Rose Garden, remind me of a sunset- yellows, oranges and rosy-reds.

This is the first time I've used this yarn and I really like it. It's nice and spongy but very soft. I'm not totally suprised by how much I like it since it's Merino and I am in love with that anyway.

I've been reading other blogs and it is great to see some of the projects people are planning on for the Olympics. It will be quite interesting to see everyone's items once this is all over. I think we should all get medals just for trying. :)

Being at work right now (shhh! don't tell!) I don't have my shawl with me but I think I may be able to finish the cowl. I'll work on the shawl tonight and hope to have a few repeats of the pattern done.

And, Melissa and Gina, thanks for the good wishes in the shawl. I'm really looking forward to seeing your items, too.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Back to the drawing board

Don't you hate it when you put all sorts of work into something and then realize that it just isn't working? That's what happened with Stóra Dimun. The pattern is great- the lace is very easy and quickly memorized but the yarn just wasn't doing it for me. I love the softness of the Shimmer but the colors were too strong and obscuring the pattern. I still want to do this shawl but I think it will have to wait until I pick up some fingering weight in a solid color.

In the meantime, I still need to occupy myself until the Knitting Olympics start. I've got a ton of Gossamer in Rose Garden that I've been wanting to do something with but it's also a bold color scheme so I haven't yet. However, I think the Lacy Prairie Shawl from Folk Shawls will work. I've knit this before with a thicker yarn and it went fairly quickly. If I'm not done in time for the Olympics, I will set it aside, but since I don't want it until summer that isn't a problem.

And I've decided what I will make from the Lacey Lamb for the Olympics. I'm going to do the Half Circle Fan-Stitch Shawl from Martha Waterman's book, Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls. Since I've done two shawls from that book and been a bit shy on the final size (probably due to my tension) I'll use a size 4 for it. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Knitting Olympics, anyone?

I was just reading Stephanie's blog and she has a great challenge for us all. Choose a project that would be a challenge for you to accomplish in 16 days. No casting on before the flame is lit and it must be completed by the time the flame is out.

I'm thinking this might be the perfect thing to use my Lacey Lamb for (2 skeins of black). I wanted to do a shawl but haven't quite found the pattern yet. This gives me 4 1/2 weeks to finish Stóra Dimun (which I should be able to do if I'm not working on 17 other things) and find a pattern. Or rather, pull one out of the several books I have.

Anyone else up for this? If so, head over to Yarn Harlot's site and leave a comment. She'll be putting a list of "competitors" together soon.

Speaking of Stóra Dimun, I got it cast on last night (so glad that's over!) and knit the first 8 rows. Now I get to start the decrease rows, which I'm hoping to do tonight. 14 of them before starting the lace pattern. This should go fairly quickly because it's garter stitch. For some reason I thought only the border was in garter but it seems that the whole thing is. Yay for minimal purling! ;) And, even though I only have an inch or so done, I can tell it will be so soft. Can't wait for it to be done!

Monday, January 16, 2006

House Cleaning

It always feels good to clean things up, whether it's around the house or online, doesn't it? That's why I've decided to clean up my sidebar and update everything there.

Not a lot done, really. Just cleared the FO list (except the Pygmy Puff pattern because I may want to find it easily myself. :) And the Feed Your Brain list is cleared for books that I am reading this year. Let's hope it doesn't stay so pitifully short!

I've said I have the Stóra Dimun Shawl on the needles, but that's a bit of a stretch at the moment. I cast on last night. Four times. Maybe trying to cast 449 stitches of doubled laceweight on when you are tired or listening to Celebrity Fit Club (yes, I watched it. Sue me.) with all the numbers there isn't such a good idea. I'm going to try again tonight and see if I can get started. It will make a nice Springtime shawl.

As I said in my last post, I got a bit burned out from trying to get everything done before the holidays so I'm taking it much slower now. I may only have one or two projects going. And I'm going to try to get holiday stuff started this summer so I can do them at a more leisurely pace! We'll see if that resolution is kept.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I think I can

For some reason, the post-holiday season always brings a slowdown in knitting for me. Maybe it's because I was so feverish before the holidays to finish things that I need a slight decompression time. :) Whatever the reason, my needles haven't been moving too quickly lately.

My father is sending back the socks I made him. I was pretty sure that would be the case since I had to guess at the sizing. I told him what measurements I needed and he will include that in the package. Then I can rework the socks to the correct size.

The moderator of the LJ community "practicalknit" has issued a contest idea. To take less than 200 grams of yarn (no fun furs or the like) and create a practical item from it (hence the name of the community). No one else seems to have taken interest in it yet but I think I may try even if the contest doesn't fly. Since I have several orphan skeins of Cascade 220 around, they'd be perfect for this. I'd like to try a cowl that could be pulled up over the mouth and nose as well as scrunched around the neck. If the pattern works out well, I'll post it here. It should be a quick and easy thing to make.