Thursday, June 30, 2005


I have a finished object to show! I finished seaming and sewing on the buttons just now so I had to get the camera out to record this. My first FO since starting the blog!

Introducing Jasmine, unblocked but done!

Project details:
Pattern: Rowan Junior Jasmine
Yarn: Knitpicks' Shine & Shine Twist in Blush
Needles: US #3, 3.25mm (for ruffle trim also)
Notes: Cast on using cable cast on because I could not work out how much yarn I would need for 360 stitches. To take account of the different yarn used, the number of stitches were reduced by 20%. The decrease shaping for the shoulders and neckline was re-jigged also. The waist-shaping was not used due to the belly of my 5 yr old Boo! Seaming was done following the directions in the excellent book "The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques" by Nancie M Wiseman.

I also took pictures of the amazing invisible seams; can you spot them at all??

Tomorrow I will get Boo to model it.

Off now to sort through that list of new projects and to work out how to add a Done & Dusted gallery to my template

Next Projects

I have a large number of possible next projects buzzing around in my head that I need to get out of it so I can do my proper job! I also need to plan this carefully. In just under 5 weeks time the kids and I are off on our holidays back to the UK. With ticket prices for the summer rather high we like to make the most of it, so we are going to be there for just over a month. But because of this it will be difficult to know what knitting take with me. I know that I will have quite a bit of time to knit; more than usual at least, so I need something fairly substantial.

So here is a list of all the things that I would like to do:
  • Premier Pullover
  • The Go with the Flow partner sock
  • Sockapal2-za socks - the new IK has a nice cable sock pattern that I am considering now
  • Tivoli from Grumperina (because I want to try it too!)
  • A Cozy for my m-i-l's birthday
  • Finish up my ChicKnit Ribby
  • Socks for the family
  • Felted bag(s) - French Market maybe??
  • Fair Isle sweater for Mr KN
Not too much really.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Weaving about

I am working hard on seaming Jasmine. The sleeves are sewn on to the shoulders and now I am "weaving" up the sides. For a long time I think that I just guessed how to seam knitted garments. Sometimes I would use back stitch, other times I think that I made up my own side-by-side method. Not any more. I have a book (The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman) that has pictures of how to do it properly and it's fantastic that it actually makes a difference. I will post pictures tomorrow of this break-through. I actually had to work hard to find the seam at one point this evening!

After swimming lessons today we went to the Golden Fleece where Boo chose her 7 buttons for Jasmine. So we are all set for a FO in the next few days if my neck can hold out. ( I find seaming requires much more neck strain for me...)

The kids are at Horse camp, run by a couple of the parents from school this week, which involves much more than just horses. Today they were catching salamanders in the pond when I arrived to pick them up. Needless to say they don't want to come home with me!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The mysteries of short row shoulders

A frustrating, but ultimately successful knitting day. I decided that it was about time that I learned a 3 needle bind off as I dislike sewing shoulder seams. I had already cast off the body pieces for Jasmine a while ago with horrible stair-like steps. Having suceeded on the sleeves to work out how to improve on the "steppy-ness" of the stairs, I wanted to make the shoulders neater too.The no stair sleeve
In order to do this I needed to rip back the fronts and back, to before the shoulder shaping. I have never been at ease with ripping knitting back. It has always been a bit nerve-racking watching the yarn pull out and I have never quite trusted that fact that I could get all the stitches back on a needle. Today was to give me a lot of experience!

Short-rows on the two front pieces were a breeze, and I followed the tutorial that nona had so kindly written. It was when I wanted to use short-rows to shape the back shoulders and neckline that I became unstuck. I must have ripped out the same few rows at least 5 times trying to work out what I needed to do. I am still not sure that I managed to get exactly what I needed, but I ended up with two lots of 19 stitches on each shoulder to bind off. It was a fantastic feeling watching that perfect looking seam appear just by knitting two needle-fulls of stitches together! Although the photo does not do the beauty of it justice!Three needle bind-off seam
The button bands followed this evening:

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Now that I have sorted out the strange invisible Sockapal2-za button (Thank you to gibsongirl on KR for that!) I feel that I can start thinking about the socks!

Boo & Moose had swimming lessons again today. Their lessons are at a pool that is right next to a great yarn shop! So after the required (discount) cookies from the equally close cookie bakery, we wandered in. I was in search of bright coloured sock yarn and the kids helped me pick out this:

Of course this was after they each decided that they would also like some socks. I have a feeling that this Christmas everyone will be getting socks!

So, do you like it? Do you think that my Sockpal will like it? The only problem that I have now is to work out the pattern. I have looked through both of my sock books and had a quick look on Knitty. At the moment, and given the tiny swatch that I knitted tonight I am leaning towards knitting Broadripple. It looks challenging enough to be interesting but not too much of a textured pattern that would be obscured by the varigated yarn. Unlike this:
Go with the Flow sock
which is a close-up of my first sock (Go with the Flow). I love it and its going to be great once I have its partner done, but it doesn't really do justice to the lovely pattern.

I have just looked at these sock photos and see that the yarn for my Sock pal does not look so different from my Go with the Flow sock at a distance. However, I much prefer the Lorna's Laces yarn colour. Much better to have purple than blue and green.

Meanwhile, back in the Golden Fleece, the kids & I had a lengthy discussion about buttons for Boo's Jasmine cardigan. The unfortunate thing was that all the buttons that we liked had only one or two buttons in the container. Also I have no idea how many buttons I need! So that will be a later trip to the shop! Its not really a problem because we are there twice a week anyway! HeeHee.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

How I started, stopped and then started again (Part I)

I learned to knit in my teens (I think). My Russian grandmother crocheted and knitted; I remember the royal blue cardigan that she knitted for me to wear to school when I was at Junior School and also the large crocheted square blankets that were around her house.

But I cannot remember if it was she or my Mum who actually taught me to knit. And I can't really remember now what I knitted at that stage, although my Dad has found some large black piece in my wardrobe at home. At some stage I knitted a Rowan yarn jumper for my boyfriend (now Mr KN) that was probably in the early nineties.

I then got stuck on a Jaeger chenille cable gigantic tunic. Clothes were worn much larger, and so the back piece that I still have has basically a large green rectangle. I think that that got abandoned in mid-1992 because I went off travelling in Africa for a few months.

Strange that this really doesn't photograph very well...

Zoom forward 14 years(!) Married (for 9 years)and living in Northern California with two kids I suddenly felt the urge to knit again. I have no idea why I did not do this before when the kids were babies, and I now regret all the potential tiny items that I could have created. At the time though, I think that I was too busy coping with the parenting part!! The decision was definitely brought on by the realisation that small people would require smaller sweaters; it would be much easier to finish children's clothes than a large green tunic!

You will notice that I have not mentioned hats, scarves, socks or other small clothing items. Maybe it was the time that I started knitting, or what was available in Scotland at the time, but I don't remember books or patterns for interesting small items, or eyelash yarn that produces a cool scarf; so I get bogged down with the enormous tunic!

Monday, June 20, 2005

No knitting today... just whining!

The unfortunate thing about this blog business is that I am spending too much time tweaking the template, and no time either knitting, taking photos or writing witty entries! I have however, managed to get a fantastic project bar working on the right, with a link to a photo of the project too!

I am at the start of a marathon week. Mr KN is off in NC on a business trip. He left yesterday morning (Father's Day, poor guy) and won't get back until Friday late. This is the one week that the kids are not at camp too. To add to this fun, I will have two extra kids to entertain tomorrow and Wednesday. I will get go to work at the end of the week once I am totally shredded!! Ha Ha.

Although it's late, I think I should go and get my knitting fix in.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

First Knitting photos

It has taken me a few days to get my template looking as I like it. The banner is a photo of fungus taken by a river in March. It looks pretty great when faded a bit in Photoshop. It has nothing to do with knitting of course; I just like the picture!

Anyway. The project that I am working on at the moment as mentioned before is Jasmine from Rowan Junior in Knitpicks Shine & Shine Twist in colour blush. I love Knitpicks yarn because it appeals to the frugal side of me. I have enough cotton yarn from them to knit a cardigan for Boo and a sweater for me; all for under $50 including shipping, how can you go wrong??

The pattern gauge is different, so I have had to edit the stitches and increases somewhat; taking out a calculator and knitting graph paper. Having discovered the graph paper I am finding it much easier to follow for increases and decreases than written instructions. I must be a visual learner.

The stitch is fairly simple, but lovely to knit and to look at!

The other project that I have been working on recently is my first sock. I had some Patons Kroy that I bought during the winter, and when I saw the Go with the Flow socks from the summer '05 IK I wanted to give it a try. Remember, this was the first time ever that I had picked up DPNs and knitted in a circle. It was very tricky, but also fascinating. I love the engineering and structural architecture of knitting a sock. As I have only ever knitted large items, I appreciated the speed of finishing an item. Although I still haven't started the second sock yet.... I hope that I don't have this problem for the Sockapal2za.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm swimming in the rain.

Wow, the weather has become strangely like (CA) winter again. We were out for the day at Monterey Bay Aquarium to visit the remodelled seashore part (very well done) and the clouds were threatening all day. On the way home it started to sprinkle, but by the time we arrived at the kids' swimming lessons the heavens were open and a full winter style rain storm started. The pool is outdoors and has nice tables and umbrellas on a wooden deck. The umbrellas were just about waterproof, so there we were sitting watching the kids swim in the rain! Quite fun for about 5 minutes. Had to come straight home afterwards and change!

The two knitting books that I had ordered from arrived today. Folk Socks and Socks Soar. I had found them in the library last weekend and felt that they were both worth buying. I am looking forward to trying my hand with the two circular needles technique. It seems to make sense to try it! As a novice sock knitter I found my first sock a bit clumsy with 4 or 5 DPNs. I could not get the hang of how to hold them. I did work it out by the time I got to the toe. I also need to work on my grafting which did not look as it should on the first sock; it seemed to have purl stitches where there should have been knits.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Virgin Territory

I have over the passed months become slightly obsessive with reading the large quantities of knitting blogs out there. I enjoy reading them so much that I thought I would like to join in. This is not least because I happened to find the Sockapal-2-zer sign up on the right day and felt like I should jump on board. I had just started my first sock (Go with the Flow from IK Summer), so I was feeling (over)confident! I felt that the possession of a blog with buttons down the side would make me a bonafide member of the knitalong!

My current (pre sock) knitting project is Jasmine from Rowan Junior which I am knitting in Shine & Shine Twist. I love the laciness of it and the frill at the bottom of all the pieces, but not the casting on of 380 stitches to frill the back! The pattern is simple and very easy to remember. I have completed the back and the front pieces currently and am working on casting on the sleeves. I have used cable cast-on because I find it easier that I don't have to estimate how much yarn to use as in Long-tail cast on.

I am enjoying this so far. Let's hope that I can keep it up.

Now off to cook dinner and find out how to get photos on to this blog.

So, I managed to get a photo in and realise that because I was using Safari most of the options don't get shown in the editor. A quick change to Firefox and I can see clearly! Of course the photo has nothing to do with the blog, but it was one of the ones uploaded to my iDisk, so is suitable for linking to here.