Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sunday - Where Am I???

No photos this morning - I'm feeling too lazy to haul things upstairs and mess with the camera. I think I'm in my normal DST funk - the Fall one is easier than the Spring when we lose an hour, but my internal clock will still be off kilter for a day or two.

Still, I feel the need to take stock of what I'm working on and where I want to be by the end of this coming week.

  • Megan's sweater is still where it was when I took the photo on the 19th. I want to get past the neck shaping, three-needle bind off the shoulder seams and get started on at least one sleeve.

  • I have about 2½ to 3" of the silk & wool bowl / basket / whatever knit and I'm trying to decide how tall to make it before I start the bottom. I really like the way that the silk and wool are working up together. I'd like to have this done by the end of the week so I can felt it and get it and the samples of the silk shawl & the Xmas stocking sent off to Stephanie.

  • I have 13 washcloths finished for the Cloths For Katrina project (6 still need yarn ends run in) and another one on the needles. The one pound cone of yarn is starting to look pretty skinny, but I think there's at least enough for one or two more cloths after this one is finished. These need to get done and shipped out.

  • I've finished one child's hat & one adult scarf for the K4 project since Thursday and have another hat almost done and started another scarf this morning. I'm trying to learn Continental style on the scarf, so it's going a bit slower than normal as I do my best to maintain gauge. I'm not sure about this experiment. The hat that's now on the needles is double yarn on my new 16" size 15 circular. That one is going FAST. I'm combining a rather wild variegated with a strand of tan. I'd like to finish the scarf and make a couple more hats before Thursday.

Hmmm.. This list is making me a bit tired just looking at it. I'll work on Megan's sweater tonight during TV time. Tuesday's TV will give me time to work on the silk & wool project. I usually knit on the washcloths while I'm up here browsing blogs so I'll continue that and the hats & scarves are small projects that I can take along when I'm over to Mom's for morning coffee and again after dinner. Monday's knitting class will be a good time to run in yarn ends as that goes faster when I have someone to visit with as I'm doing it. OK, that's my plan for the week - I'll update as events warrant.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Xmas Is Coming

I finished the Xmas stocking that will be a new pattern for the Wool Peddler. This one is made from Banana Silk and is 18" from top to toe, but there will be a smaller version and I can see the large one made up in wool and felted.

When Virginia took 19 hat & scarf sets to FISH a week or so ago, they requested some children's sets, so I played around with the Window-pane hat pattern and decreased the number of stitches to 42 & did 4 "panes" high instead of 6. I also used my brand new 16" size 11 bamboo circular (a joy to knit with) and came up with two hats and two scarves that I'll be turning in tomorrow. I also finished another gold scarf to go with a hat I made a couple weeks ago and have a good start on a cranberry colored one to go with another completed hat.

I noticed the other day that I've been neglecting my Books Read section of the sidebar. I have been reading, just not jotting down the books & dates, so I'll probably put a list of the ones I've completed with just the month. I completed the new Jonathan Kellerman mystery, Twisted about half an hour ago and stuck a new Sci-Fi by Joe Haldeman, Old Twentieth on the couch by my knitting to delve into this evening.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Latest MeMe....

There's a new one going around that you just pick up off someone else's blog rather than being tagged. It's kind of fun - and I could use a bit of fun at the moment.. Go to Google and put "{your name}needs" in the search window to see what comes up. Here are my results along with my comments:

  • Jane needs a vacation - probably, the last one was in June of 2003. I could use a California trip to see the grandkids, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.
  • Jane needs your prayers
  • Jane needs more time - I'm "officially" retired now, but the days go by so fast and I wonder at the end of every day what did I get done today?
  • Jane needs some exercise - unfortunately TRUE
  • Jane needs to kick out all the jams - huh?? I sort of like my door jams
  • Jane needs a new will - this sounds ominous
  • Jane needs to remember to feed herself body & soul - body doesn't seem to be a problem. Soul? who knows?
  • Jane needs to change jobs - ok, if someone showed up with my old job in telecommuting form so I didn't have to relocate, I'd jump on it. I really miss what I used to do.
  • Jane needs to be useful - true, I feel better when I'm doing something for others. My genealogy page with transcribed records for researchers, the charity knitting for the K4 project and Cloths for Katrina
  • Jane needs lots of love - that's one thing I'm sure that I already have {g}

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Ooops, I did it again..

Our K4 meeting was this afternoon. I took in 4 scarves, finished a hat while I was there and cast on for another one. I've been promising myself that I wouldn't bring home any more yarn until I used up the leftovers from other projects or at least worked the skeins down to the point where they were only suitable for addition into the rag-tag afghans, but I succumbed to temptation. Actually, it was a case of the people at FISH requesting child sized hats & scarves and most of the yarn I still have here was chosen to make plain color caps & scarves for men. So I came home with a skein of pastel yellow and one of variegated baby shades for the kids' caps and a skein of pink, turquoise & purple variegated that I was planning on putting with black, but I think it might work for kids if I use white or cream for the other color. I'll try that after I finish this grey boucle hat to match the scarf Marian made a couple weeks ago.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

When Good Intentions Go Astray

TEN days since my last post?? I was sure that I had posted last week, but if I did the post never made it to the blog. So here I am at 12:30 in the morning taking photographs and trying to come up with something clever. Suffice it to say, that the photos turned out ok (i.e. the camera batteries worked and I didn't put my thumb in front of the lens), but at this time of the night (or morning), I can't guarantee clever. Come to think of it, I can't guarantee clever at any time.

The big news, and what I thought I'd posted, is that last Wednesday the Jaki Design patterns (the ones Kim & I did) went on sale on Stephanie's Wool Peddler site - look under the Kits & Patterns links on the main page. Yippee!!!

On the knitting front, I'm working on a Xmas stocking pattern for Stephanie that should be done in the next few days. Then I have a felted wool & silk bowl / basket that I want to try. The Recycled Silk held up well through two hot water cycles when I made the catnip mouse, so I think it will work this way too. Updates to follow.

I turned in two more hats and a couple scarves at the K4 meeting last week, but I can't remember if I updated the totals on those in the sidebar. I'm going to assume that I did. I have three more scarves ready to go and a fourth one almost done. The gold & red ones are form a heavy but soft craft yarn that someone donated. They're 16 stitches on a size 15 needle and work up quickly. The variegated one will go with a windowpane hat that uses an old rose for the ribbing and grid with this variegated underneath. One of the sets that I finished before last weeks meeting was the same hat with a solid color scarf in the old rose. One each of the Bernat 6 oz variegated & 8 oz solid worsted acrylic will make two hats & two scarves.

I've been making progress on the sweater I'm making for Megan - this is my knit version of the crocheted sweater her Mom made in hot pink. I like the way it's turning out. I used a seed stitch on the variegated panel to add some texture. The next row starts the neck shaping, then I'll use a 3 needle bind-off on the shoulders and pick up the sleeves from the armholes and knit them down to the wrists.

I'm still working on washcloths for our Cloths For Katrina project. I have a dozen finished and one on the needles. Latest count of PIPs is up to 9 as I found a Feather & Fan baby afghan that I was working on last fall and put aside when I started making all the hats, scarves, etc. for the K4 project. So much yarn, so little time!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Stitching Away

It's been a week since my last post, but while I haven't been writing much, I have been keeping the needles flying. The Rag-Tag afghan is finished and I'll be starting another one soon. It's getting chilly here in Michigan, so working on an afghan in the evening lets me curl up under it and stay warm.

I finished the two hats I spoke of in the last post and made a third one, finished the scarf - those along with the afghan were turned in at the K4 meeting. Here's what I'm working on now - two more hats and another scarf. I also sewed three pair of slippers together, but I still have another three or four pair to do. The vest and the cable yoke cardigan are back in the PIP bin. I need to calculate the armhole and neck shaping on the vest and I'm still looking for another skein of cranberry Love Knit so I can finish the cardigan.

And - finally - Megan's sweater is on the needles. She's tall for her age, but thin, so I'm making it 30" around but adding length to the sleeves & body. Instead of the neon crayon colors of the Red Heart Kids variegated, I'm going to use the Jetstream from Caron Rainbow Dreams for the bands and I picked up the purple in the Jetstream for the contrasting color. I think it will turn out nicely.

Megan's Mom - my Darling Eldest Daughter - finished the crocheted version and did a wonderful job on her first sweater ever.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

PIPs - Projects In Progress

Last week, my friend Sallee of Knitnana fessed up to how many WIPs (Works In Progress) she had on the needles. She started out with 6 and then found 2 more for a total of 8.. Hmm, I may have to delve into the quilting corner to beat 8, but here are my PIPs (Projects In Progress)..

First of all, we have the projects for the K4 group. On the left and across the desk is Rag-Tag Afghan #9. It's not quite half finished. In the center front is hat #112; #111 is finished except for running the yarn ends in so I'm not sure if it should count or not. On the right is scarf #16, another simple garter stitch of 20 stitches on size 11 needles. So that's *3*.. The background is comprised of the latest 6 garage sale wool sweaters that need to be frogged.

Ok, maybe it isn't officially a PIP because I finished the third washcloth from this cone of Sugar & Cream last night and haven't cast on for another one, but I'm going to! These are for the Cloths For Katrina project, and there will be many more. I'm going to count this as a single PIP, so that makes 4.

Now for the personal projects. Those multicolored piles in the back are slippers that have been knit but not yet sewn together. Sewing things together is the bane of my existence and doesn't get done all that often. I normally go to great lengths to change patterns so I don't have to sew pieces together, but I've yet to come up with a way to make these slippers without doing so.. Brain cells ticking here - I might be able to do the toe on 4 needles and cut back to just the heel seam.. hmmm... Still it's starting to get cold here in south-east Michigan (the car windows were covered with frost yesterday morning) and I'm going to need slippers as the older ones have worn through, so I guess I'd better get stitching.. Anyway, on the left is a cabled yoke cardigan. I first made this pattern in grey heather and I love it. I'm almost to the armholes on this one - I reworked the pattern to start at the neck - and I'm afraid that I'm not going to have enough yarn. I'm using cranberry Love Knit, a wonderful slightly heavier than worsted weight yarn that Kmart used to carry. Kmart no longer carries yarn and I haven't been able to find another skein, so this PIP has been sitting for quite some time while I try to decide whether to risk going ahead or cutting my losses and frogging it. On the right is a vest I started for Mom. It's my own design using the EZ percentage system, Bernat cream acrylic and Caron Rainbow Dreams in Jet Stream for the design. I like variegated yarns used this way far more than using them alone to make a garment. So, counting the slippers as one PIP because they only need sewing (aarggg), that makes 7 PIPs. Sallee is still ahead.

So I guess I'll have to toss a PPIP - that's Potential Project In Progress - into the mix. If I hadn't been so lazy this week it would have been on the needles - honest, cross my heart, it would have! This is going to be a sweater for my Darling Grand-Daughter, Megan. Her Mom sent me the flyer with the crocheted sweater pattern that Megan picked out at the store. I'm not too fond of crocheted sweaters, so I'm going to rework it into a knit sweater with the same look. I bought two skeins of Bernat in bright turquoise and I'm still looking for the right variegated to go with them. The pattern calls for Red Heart Kids yarn, but the only place that I know of that carries it is JoAnne's and that's quite a drive from here. Gas just took a huge jump - about 40¢ a gallon in the last couple days - so it may be a while before I get over that way. If Sallee lets me count a good intention, I can at least tie her.. {g}

Acrylics Anon/a