Happy holidays everyone!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Happy holidays everyone!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
We’re getting a big storm this week-end. The hubby’s out with the snow blower and the kids are out having fun, too. At last, I can blog. This is the perfect type of week-end for baking comforting Christmassy treats! We bought a pre-baked gingerbread that has to be pieced together; we’re doing that just before Christmas. But that doesn’t prevent us from baking gingerbread cookies now. I didn’t bother making my icing this year so things went quicker. With the pre-made icing in tubes, I can attach all these wonderful decorator tips. My son requested that his gingerbread man have a guitar. I must say, I’m really impressed with what I pulled off this time.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
During the week, I was developing a balaclava pattern to use for my son’s dragon hat. I figured, it’s really not that much different from a sock. I did a small scale version with some yarn I had at home and was quite pleased with what I had come up with. The decreases I ended up working are different from what I would use for a sock but effective.
I then had to find a small doll to try this on. And thus it was that my daughter’s Princess Dora became Ninja Dora.
Here’s a bit of swatching I was doing as practice for the scarf. The yarn I’m using is from S.R. Kertzer and is called Northern. The mitred square is for dragon scales adn the in the round is for the balaclava.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Then it hit me. Oh oh, what do I do next? Go back to the 5 year old dragon sweater I designed? Go to the multicoloured but generally pink and purple shawl I’m designing as I go? My son’s anxious to cover himself with it since it’s so nice and soft – he thinks it’s a blanket. Then I see my kids playing in the snow and realize their hats and mitts are getting too small for them. Guess we’ll have to put off that dragon sweater for a while; again.
My poor daughter will get her older brother’s hat, mitts and scarf. I feel bad about that. I wanted to make her something pink and/or purple and furry. My hubby and the practical side of me think otherwise; no she can use her brother’s stuff when it’s still in good condition. I don’t carry this policy with their cardigans or sweaters. Those I make just for them and it goes to no one else; so she gets to wear girly sweaters not her brother’s. I didn’t want to have all hand-me-downs; she deserves to have things that were made just for her.
So I ask my son what he wants his hat and scarf to look like (he has water resistant store bought mitts now). I thought he might be a little indifferent. Maybe want to mull it over a bit, but no. Without a second’s hesitation, he gave me an answer. I was astonished by his memory. He wants a red dragon scarf and a blue dragon hat (blue’s his favourite colour; I’m still trying to convince him to go green). Where did he come up with this? A while back, I showed him this awesome dragon scarf that Morehouse Merino came out with that I would love to have for myself even if people would laugh at me as I walk down the street with it. I wasn’t intending on doing mail order from the USA. I’m trying to avoid buying yarn and use up my stash so I was just going to do my own version of it. He’s all gung ho about me doing my version of this scarf for him. Needless to say, I will have to do some similar creative work for his hat. Their hats, scarves, and mitts should get them through this season. I’m doing this now so I can have them ready for next winter. With any luck, he can start wearing them this winter. Now if only I can convince him to let me use burgundy and green, that would really help use up my stash.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
That work thing kind of gets in the way of me knitting. This coming Thursday will be the last knitting class I teach for the term so that should free up some time. The week after will be my last yoga class and the last family swim class. I don’t know what I’ll do with all that free time – work, Christmas shop, work, knit a bit, work, try to get some sleep, work, try to keep my sanity with the approaching holiday season…hmm Bailey’s.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The yarn has a slightly larger gauge than the pattern asks for but I thought it would work for me since I’m a tight knitter. Using the needles the pattern recommended, I did in fact achieve the gauge stipulated in the pattern. I intended to knit the pattern as is, but once again, I found something to change. When I did my stocking stitch gauge swatch in the round, I found the edge curled. I was concerned about the fingerless part of the mitten pattern because it made no mention of doing a different stitch after you cast on. Then it occurred to me, one of the fundamentals of knitting that had temporarily slipped my mind, ribbing along a border to prevent curling. So for the first three rows of the fingers, I did a 1x1 rib and problem solved. These gloves are knit from the top down in case you’re wondering why I’m worried about curling. The pattern was originally for embroidered gloves but since I ended up getting a variegated yarn, I think I’ll skip the embroidery. My son thinks I should still do the embroidery as shown in the gloves hanging from the tree in the Knitty pattern. We’ll see. I think you might drown the beauty of the variegated colour by embroidering.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
There are some truly novel yarns out there, bamboo, silk stainless steel (Habu Textiles in New York). Funny, he never quipped about the stainless steel bit but he got his feathers all ruffled up about silver in yarn. Why? The first thing that came to both our minds was, “but won’t that tarnish?” I haven’t had experience with this yarn and I don’t know the grade of silver or manufacturing process that went into this that might prevent tarnish. Another reason is because some people believe the antimicrobial properties of silver will carry over into the yarn and might prevent some foot odor. I’m not convinced that will be the case; again, I have no evidence either way. Is there an environmental impact to doing this? I don’t know if anyone has evaluated that aspect. Aren’t there other better uses for silver? I would have to say yes, but that argument could be made about the use of silver for jewelry as well.
All that being said, I’m really not sure why they put silver in yarn. I am sure that to me, there is no such thing as useless yarn (yet; never say never).
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I started knitting this dragon sweater of my own design just before my son was born; that was five and a half years ago. I kept leaving it for “higher priorities” I told myself. The truth, I guess I wasn’t happy with the way it was going. I hit a design mental block of how I wanted the final product to look and being the perfectionist that I am, I didn’t want to do a second rate job with it. I have yet to design the back of the sweater. My husband suffered in aggravation because he liked what I was designing, we spent a good amount of money on good yarn and he wanted to see me make good use of it. As he reads over my shoulder, he adds, “And I think it’s going to be amazing, too”. No pressure at all there. With such high expectations, I think one might understand my trepidation.
What was my reason for embarking on this venture? My mother-in-law gave me a lovely red purse once. I decided I had to make a red sweater to co-ordinate with it – any excuse to knit/buy yarn. The yarn I’m using looks like satin and it reminded me of the lovely sheen traditional Chinese jackets have. I used that style of jacket as my inspiration for this design. Below is the beginnings of a swatch I had done.
The red and green yarns are Lang Opal, the gold is Lang Opal-Maxi.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
This is the final sweater, unbeaded, unbuttoned:
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I did my gauge swatch to determine what tension I was knitting to and then picked a size whose finished dimensions according to my gauge would fit my daughter (stretching it a bit during blocking didn’t hurt either). I’m pleased to say that it has blocked very well.
See the unblocked example below:
See the blocked examples below:
The past two years have been full of monumental events/changes in my life both personally and professionally. I feel I'm at a critical turning point in my life and it's time to stop thinking about doing a blog and start doing a blog. Hence the title, "Finally! Fran Knitting!
I used to be part of the Mississauga Knitting Guild but the meeting times unfortunately don’t work with my schedule any more. I thought this blog might be a good way to keep in touch with current knitting buddies (I do miss them) and meet some new ones. I found the sharing of information enriching and support from the friends I’ve made invaluable.
Recent changes in my life, I’ve started teaching a beginners knitting class at night at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. I love it!
Much thanks and appreciation go out to friends and family members who have supported and encouraged me to follow my dreams.