December 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Entrelac Experiment

It's been a very long time I think since I posted for WIP Wednesday, but since I have a few projects on the needles I thought I'd go ahead and share the new Entrelac project and update Honey's sweater project. procamera So here's where I am with the Entrelac. Looks pretty good, huh? There was that New Year's resolution knitting list for 2011 ... And I accomplished much, but not all. :( So in these last few days of 2011, I am attempting to do one last item on the list by learning Entrelac and making this scarf--which will probably end up getting sewn together at the ends to make a cowl of some kind. As I may have mentioned before, I think this is a tedious process of knitting. I get bored after about one right side and wrong side round and have to set it down in favor of other things--sometimes I don't make it through an entire side--, like the iPad I got for Christmas that is taking me forever to set up to fit my needs. Be that as it may, I think that I am about 50% finished with this project. Optimistically speaking, it could be done by New Year's Eve. I would like to say that this silk/merino is of my own label, but it's really some Cherry Tree Hill that hasn't seen the light of day since I bought it--something from the Vampire collection, which should tell you that it's been waiting in the drawer for eons. I like it but don't like it--the strands separate too easily when I'm picking up stitches, but it's soft and snuggly with a nice pattern repeat and a little sheen. Now about Honey's shawl collar sweater ... I'm still working on that project and it seems like I am getting nowhere even though it's sucking up the yarn like crazy. (Being an English teacher, you'd think I'd have a less colloquial analogy, right?) I've been working my yardage expectations according to that Drops pattern at I had originally begun this project with. Now I'm thinking that the numerical errors in the stitch count weren't the only problem with the pattern. I think that the yardage required for the pattern was sans sleeves and collar! I ordered another blank skein to dye up upon the expectation that I wouldn't have enough yarn todo sleeves, but now I'm thinking, as this sweater continues to burn through the yarn, that I am going to need at least two more skeins. I'm doing this bottom up, and I have the ribbing and about 4.5 inches of the body done. This is total automatic knitting, and it's becoming a car knitting staple. I think it's also going to be a faculty meeting staple. (I know the picture is upside down, but I'm still getting the hang of this Incredibly convoluted iPad thing.) Uploaded by ProCamera And the other new project on the needles is a new pair of Sportsman gloves for Scout #2 who washed and dried the first 100% wool pair that I made him. He needs these for the big January Pine Mountain camping trip. Maybe I should spend more time on the gloves and less time on the Entrelac scarf now that I think about how close the date of this trip is. Well, off to knit something. In case I don't get back to posting before the first of the new year, Happy New Year everyone!

December 26, 2011

Monday Masterpiece Trio

Between the wrist brace and a December that was truly out to get me, I didn't think that I would be able to get all of may Christmas knitting done in time, but I managed to pull it off with two days to spare. Not only did Rocket get her hat and mittens set (and has thankfully decided on a flower decoration on the side instead of that a crazy i-cord decoration on top of the hat which would totally cover the perfect circles on top of color) ...

but Scout #1's chullo was finished on Friday ...

and I manages to whip up a second fair isle hat for Scout #2 last Thursday--yes, that last hat was done in an afternoon! And I finished with two days to spare.

Then, on Friday, I also taught myself to do the one thing that I have said I was going to learn and haven't for the last two years: Entrelac. I think after 11 completed rounds and 10 inches of knitting I finally have the knack of it without having to revert back to the basic instructions. I have to say that entrelac may be even more tedious than knit-one-below, which I also learned how to do and then never did again.   Entrelac isn't fun to knit, but it's not any worse than knitting bobbles or cables, I guess. I will not, however, have that entrelac item that was on this year's knitting to-do list done before New Year's Day.  C'est la vie.

There's a new shrug pattern brewing in my brain now that I've learned entrelac, and I think it might be my submission to The Twist Collective for next fall's collection, so that means no details for my readers' inquiring minds, I'm afraid. We'll just see how it goes.

December 12, 2011

Monday Masterpiece & Giveaway Winner!

First, the winner of my $20 electronic gift certificate giveaway is:  Lorraine!  Yeah!  Congrats Lorraine!  I'll be in touch, so check your email later today.

For a change, the weekend was productive on the knitting front.  I managed to finish the hat for Rocket's hat & mitten set for Christmas.  I'm debating about whether or not to knit up a flower to embellish it after she said something to me this morning about how she would like "a hat with a flower on top".  I don't think I would necessarily put a knitted flower on the very top of the hat, but maybe I could do an I-cord and make the shape of one.  That one will take a little thought.

The big masterpiece for today is this little number: my very own, no-pattern used to make this scarf, braided scarf in emerald hand spun bulky wool. 

I think that for a woman working without a net, it turned out pretty swell (even if my camera doesn't want to cooperate with color indoors today). All that I did was to figure out how wide I wanted my scarf to be and then improvised the braided parts.  I think I will wear it to work today, since the weather is threatening to be cold, windy, and raining. Brrrrr!

December 08, 2011

Giveaway Ending! (And a free ribbed cowl pattern to boot!)

So the gift certificate giveaway is still going on.  There are only a few comments, so chances to win are pretty good.  Click on this link to go to the $20 gift certificate giveaway for my Etsy shop:  Gift Certificate Giveaway!  Giveaway ends at midnight this Saturday, 12/10/11.

And while I was NOT resting my injured hand/wrist like I was supposed to do, I whipped up this little number.

I was right, and the cowl did get finished before any of the Christmas presents that I have been working on lately.  The end result was a very thick and warm cowl.  This yarn is a little scratchy, so if you are not scratchy wool tolerant, you might want to go with something in a bulky cotton.  I like this cowl very much and am sure that my friends at work will covet it.  Mother Nature has thrown us a curve ball (70 degrees yesterday afternoon, 44 degrees this afternoon!) and given me the perfect reason to wear it to work today.  I like this simple pattern so much so that I am giving you the pattern for it right here:

I used all of 2 skeins of Valley Yarns "North Hampton", which is 218 yards of a bulky weight yarn.  Be sure to leave enough at the end of the project to sew on the button!

Using US 11 straight needles, CO 33 stitches.
Row 1:  Knit 6, Purl 3, Knit 6, Purl 3, Knit 6, Purl 3, Knit 6.
Row 2:  Purl 6, Knit 3, Purl 6, Knit 3, Purl 6, Knit 3, Purl 6.

2 inches from the end of your scarf (this was at 41 inches for my scarf), Knit 6, Purl 3, Knit 6, Bind off 3, Knit 6, purl 3, Knit 6.
On the wrong side, Purl 6, Knit 3, Purl 6, do a backward CO for three stitches, Purl 6, Knit 3, Purl 6.

Continue repeating rows 1 & 2 for two more inches.

Repeat rows 1 & 2 to desired length.  I knit my scarf to 43 inches.

To finish, sew on button and weave in any loose ends from joining skeins.

I wrapped the scarf around my neck twice and secured it with the button.

December 04, 2011

Christmas is coming ...There should be a giveaway !

It's December and the craziness of the season has begun. It began with my knitting injury.  Yes, I said knitting injury.  I'm pretty sure that the brace from my elbow to my fingers on my left hand is a consequence of trying to knit too much with too many small needles in too short of a time.  Although there was some kitchen and dining room remodeling, and it could have been a consequence of having to scrub linoleum glue off of the concrete floor with a wire brush for several hours for several days running in order to put down the Travertine tile in the kitchen and laundry room, I prefer to think that my left hand is toast because of the hat and mittens for Rocket, the cowl custom order (knitting and spinning involved in that one) for a friend--who incidentally after a week is still trying to decide if she likes it, the sweater for Honey, the chulla for Scout #1 (Scout #2 has decided he also needs one by Christmas, please), and the new cowl for myself. I'm thinking that the new cowl for me may be about the only thing that is actually finished by Christmas at this point.  The more I knit, the worse my hand becomes, even in this high-dollar brace and without actually doing anything but holding the needle and the working yarn in my left hand.  I think I should probably go to the doctor about this tomorrow, since it is starting to seriously affect the important things in life (my knitting projects).  Too bad that this injury isn't to my right hand, and it was grading papers that I couldn't do anymore.  I think I have multiple stress fractures in my forearm and wrist.  But, hey, since my cowl is, by comparison to the other projects that use US3, US5, and US6 needles, being knit on tree branches (US11), that's coming along fairly well, even if it's at a very slow pace.

But you know what I CAN do with this injured appendage ... Elf hats.  I can make elf hats for my Brownies.  No one else noticed the correlation between the Brownie Elf that is the foundation of the Brownies in Girl Scouts and the fact that my Brownies were all dressed like Elves in the Loganville parade last night, not even the other Brownie leaders, which is sadly kind of par for the course.  I spent all day yesterday making sparkly red and green elf hats for the Christmas parade last night.  Who knew that glitter spray paint could look so good on felt?

My girls were cute.  The parade was a whole lot of drama I didn't need.  I think we walked about 1.5 miles from the line-up place to the actual parade route in the dark, and then, the actual parade route was about 1/2 mile and it moved so quickly that start to finish we had to practically run and it took about 10 whole minutes.  It was the dumbest thing!  And there was so much leader drama created by the leader of one troop who showed up with her own FLOAT to set her troop apart from the other troops that were walking together to represent all of the Girl Scounts in the county that I was ready to go home before we even lined up.  We even lost a girl from our troop at the end of the parade.  Yep, you heard me.  LOST a 3rd grader!  Talk about a moment of panic.  Turned out that, when we said "get in the van" to our girls so as to ride back to our cars at the line-up site instead of walk, she saw people she knew on a float and, in the mass confusion at the ending point, got on the float.  FORTUNATELY, the float turned out to have her mother on it and after we searched high and low for about 40 minutes, we found mother and child.  You know what I wish?  I wish the holidays were like this:

Don't you?

I guess it can't be an Irving Berlin Christmas in reality, but wouldn't it be nice if the drama was over whether or not it would snow in time for the Christmas production instead of the craziness of our personal calendars?

With that said, I think that it is about time that I did a giveaway.  I haven't done one in quite some time.

So here's the deal:  I'll give one lucky winner a $20 gift certificate to my shop, and y'all follow these rules:

1.  One entry for responding to this post with a comment about what you would like to buy with a $20 gift certificate from my shop by 12/10/11.  Here's the link:  Zibeline Knits @ Etsy

2. Another opportunity to win by liking Zibeline Knits on Facebook--even though I will know you've done this, you have to comment here to let me know that you have done this so that you can get your extra entry.
3.  Another opportunity to win by subscribing to my newsletter--even though I will know you've done this, you have to comment here to let me know that you have done this so that you can get your extra entry.

All entries will be submitted to an automatic, computerized selection tool and I will announce the winner on 12/11/11.  Please be sure that in your comments you make it possible to contact you via your web page or your email address, at least through your avatar.


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