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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sock Hop

The first sock is finished - KnitPicks' Palette in Marine Blue Heather on size 2 dps with a lace pattern borrowed from Knitty's Falling Leaves

A better view of the lace on the cuff and the heel shaping. No "second sock syndrome" as I cast on for #2 this evening while watching the Pete Seeger episode of American Masters on PBS and finished the toe shaping. I'm hoping that I'm familiar enough with the lace pattern now that I can work on it during tomorrow night's LOST where I try to keep my eyes on the screen as much as possible because one never knows what's going to happen next.

Sadie likes to perch on the computer tower and keep an eye on me while I'm up here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

One Finished & One Pair Almost Half Done

I finished DGD's sweater.

No seams except for the sleeves which were 3-needle bind-offs. I hope she likes it.

The sock is coming along. I'm working the lace from the instep all around the leg. I'll probably do another lace repeat and then some ribbing to help it stay in place.

I like the way that the heel turned out. I used my friend Sallee's toe-up heel flap but moved the decreases from the back of the heel to one stitch either side of the instep.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Keep On Trucking..

Grand-daughter's sweater is continuing apace. The sleeves are finished except for the cuffs and in this photo you can see the neck shaping. I was planning on a Henley style neck, but neglected to leave some space for the plackets so I'll probably just crochet around the opening, first in the light blue and then in the darker blue of the fair isle. I'm debating whether to do the neck, cuffs & bottom ribbing in the dark blue.

The pink & red cotton yarn chains are holding the provisional stitches for the front of the neck. Because this yarn is heavier than the Knit-Cro-Sheen I used on the toddler sweater last month, it didn't pull through the stitches and make them hard to pick up.

The entire three-needle bind-off for the underarm seams of the sleeves worked beautifully. I'd never been able to get them looking this nice if I'd tried to sew them or - even worse - use kitchner stitch.

The sock has been progressing. It went a lot better after I discovered that I was skipping the "rest rows" of the lace. I had to frog back to the toe shaping and start over but now it's going smoothly. It looks a little funny on my foot as I've started the heel shaping with gussets and it's a little too long to fit on my foot without putting the instep on two needles.

Here it is flat which shows off the lace better. Once I finish the heel, I plan on using the lace pattern all the way around the leg. I'm getting to the point where I only have to refer to the chart now & then which is a huge improvement over most of my attempts at lace.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

An Almost Finished Kitchen!

Finally, as promised, photos of the new kitchen..

Looking toward the wall with the stove, microwave, refrigerator (on the left) and the dishwasher. Haven't taken the labels off the dishwasher yet - probably should have before taking the photos.

Look at all the counter space on the peninsula!!

Another shot of the peninsula - can you tell that I'm in love with all the counter space? {g}

A close up of the counter laminate - Coral Roca by Wilsonart. It has a nice textured look without having a texture.

All of the base cupboards except the blind corner between the stove & dishwasher and the sink one have two pull out shelves that are adjustable in height.

Another close up, this time of the wrought iron finger pulls on the drawers & doors. I love the little engraved leaves. I didn't get a good photo of it, but I found a wrought iron style floor grate for the heating duct that moved out to the end of the peninsula. It looks right in period with the pulls and the Mission style quarter sawn oak. Now I need to figure out the most efficient use of all this space which is probably between two & three times as much as I have in this house.

On the knitting front, I've finished the right side of the sweater yoke and need to put those stitches on a holder so I can work on the left front yoke. The lace pattern on the Marine Blue Heather sock is going better now that I finally realized that the chart only showed the pattern rows & I need to work a plain "rest row" in between.

Friday, February 08, 2008

A'designing We Do Go...

Doesn't everyone sketch their sweater designs on USNews subscription pull-out cards?? It was the only thing handy when I started thinking what I wanted DGD's sweater to look like. The notebook page is the rough draft of what I'm doing to turn the sketch into a pattern. You'll notice many scratched out numbers.

I'm starting this sweater out in a different way than I've ever tried before. First I crocheted a long chain in dishcloth cotton having learned from the toddler sweater last month that Knit-Cro-Sheen wasn't heavy enough to control the picked up provisional stitches. From there I picked up enough stitches to form both sleeves & the back yoke which will be knitted up & over the shoulders. The pink is the cotton that will go away once I pick up the stitches; the sweater will be light blue as the main color & colonial blue for the small fair isle design that will run across the shoulder & down the sleeve.

Here's a closer look at the very simple 6 row fair isle. I'll reverse it on the other side of the neck so that all the "leaves" will point toward the wrist. I'm just starting to shape the neck. After a few more increases, I'll use another provisional for the front of the neck and then work the front yoke to an equal depth with the back. It's going to have a Henley style neckline. Once the yokes are completed, I'll use a 3 needle bind-off for the sleeve seam and then knit the rest in the round from the yoke down. I'm hoping that it all turns out the first try, but if not, I've had a lot of practice visiting the Frog Pond. {g}

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Dance!!!!

The mail person brought me a box today!

Presenting my Nana Sadie Rose Grand Mera bag. Don't those leaping kitties bring a grin to your face? I know that they do to mine!

Here's the inside. Six - count em', SIX - pockets to put knitting accessories, patterns, and what have you instead of having them scattered in the bag and snagging on the knitting. And plenty of room in the center section for several projects and extra yarn. I *love* it.

I ordered a matching Oressa double point needle holder and promptly stuffed it with all the DPs I could find. My size 1 & 3 Harmony needles are in the lower pockets with the longer size 4s in the upper pocket. I love the Harmony needles, but the cellophane packets they come in are annoying and difficult to get the needles in and out. Now my needles have a far nicer home. My size 2 Harmony needles aren't in the Oressa because they're busy with the sock I posted yesterday. But look at that clump of metal needles in the upper size 2 slot. I had no idea that I had somehow accumulated fourteen size 2 metal DPs. I have a feeling that a lot of these were garage sale finds as I don't have the will power to turn down a bargain. However, those metal needles may be moved into storage as they're hard on my hands. I stuck a couple small crochet hooks in for those inevitable times when a stitch slips off a needle and has to be recovered.

Here's the outside that matches the Grand Mera.

And all rolled up. Note the button - a gold star to match both the little stars in the leaping kitties print and the gold stars on red that Sallee used to line the Grand Mera.

And last, but not least, a Posy in a print that is Grateful Dead friendly. Ok, it's not officially the Skull & Roses (note the t-shirt I'm wearing in the photo of Boomer back on November 15th), but it's close enough. This is going to be the new home for my sock projects. The long strap lets me put it over my shoulder and have both hands free for knitting on the go. No more having the needles catch on the small felted bag I'm using now - with up to 5 needles and 10 points used working on a sock, you'd be surprised at how many ways they can catch!

And here's the inside - more pockets!! Can you tell that I'm super happy?? Thanks, Sallee!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bad, Bad Blogger

It sure seems like I've posted here at least once since January 14th, but I haven't - at least not a regular post though I have updated the book list a couple times. I have been busy.

I've been working on this shawl off and on for a couple weeks. It's similar to the ones I made for K4, but this one is all mine thanks to Sallee sending me the Rainbow Dreams yarn when she decided that she didn't like it.

A slightly wider shot, but at the moment there's no room to spread it out here. Too much junk pulled out in the process of packing. It's a large triangular shawl started at the neck and worked out in triangular sides on size 15 needles, 4 increases every other row. The feather & fan lace gets a little lost in the color variegation's of the yarn, but it will be warm to snuggle with these cold winter nights.

Here are the blue socks I started back in November finished last week. I wasn't quite sure that I had enough yarn to make lengthy cuffs on both so I shorted the first sock only to find as I was completing the second one that there was lots of yarn left. I made that cuff longer and then went back and picked up the stitches of the first one off the cast-off row (tinking back four rows before I was sure that I had all the stitches) and lengthened the cuff to match.

Here's a close up of the lacy ribbing for the cuff. It's a K2tog, YO, K1, YO, SSK repeat on every other row.

And because I can't seem to stay away from the size 2 Harmony double points and soft yarn, here is the next experiment. I'm working this one in KnitPicks Marine Heather Palette. I love the color though I am having a bit of difficulty seeing it when I'm working in the evening. The lace pattern is one repeat of the lace used on the Falling Leaves socks on Knitty, but the sock pattern itself is my own and another experiment. I used a figure 8 cast-on over two circulars, but then worked a 5 row rectangle on the stitches on one side before picking up 2 stitches at each end and the loops on the other circular needle. After that, I increased as usual and started the lace pattern as soon as the toe increases were completed. I'm still no whiz at knitting lace, but I am getting a little better at following charts.

Acrylics Anon/a