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, February 15, 2009

Double Duty

I finished my vest for the Vest-uary KAL last night, just in time for it to also count for the KnittingPurls Winter Warmies KAL which concludes today.

These hats are also for the Winter Warmies and, like the others before them, are destined for the Detroit shelter for homeless veterans. The one on the left is worked in Red Heart Amazon with a little dark brown added in as stripes to get the scarf to an acceptable length. The variegateds & flecks are such pretty yarns, but the skeins are always smaller than the solid colors. The set on the right is worked with three strands of the coned yarn that was donated to our K4 group about a year & a half ago. It's all machine knitting type yarn and quite thin, but used in multiple strands it's the equivalent of worsted weight plus it gives me the fun of combining colors.

Other than knitting, not much has been going on. Both DH & I were under the weather for a couple days but are feeling better now. We had a record breaking warm spell this last week but now we're back in the deep freeze with snow once again on the ground. At least the warm spell and the rain helped melt away some of the piled up snow and it was warm enough one evening that we celebrated by firing up the grill out in the back yard.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vest-uary Update

I probably should have chosen a better background as the front of the vest sort of blends into the fabric of the chair, but I wanted to show you how the vest was coming along. The markers indicate where I started or stopped shaping so I can duplicate it on the other front. I've finished the underarm area since this photo and am ready to cast on for the back of the armhole. The crocheted cast-on I discovered a year or so ago when I was making felted bags is working great for adding on without leaving the sloppy edge of some other "middle of the project" cast-ons.

Last night while I was watching TV, my lap was too full of knitting & the book I was reading during commercials in Boomer's opinion, so he made himself at home in the antique doll cradle. He looks pretty comfortable despite a bit of an overflow. {g}

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Catching Up A Bit

I didn't get photos of the two latest hat & scarf sets yet, but here is the start of my Vest-uary project - yarn, needles & a sketch with blanks to be filled in.

That's Caron's Rainbow Dreams in the Tradewind colorway and size 10½ needles. I took a measuring tape and filled in or corrected some of the numbers last night before I cast on. I'm getting a gauge of 7 stitches & 14 rows (7 ridges) equaling 2". I love knitting on size 10½ needles - something about them fits my hands perfectly.

Just before casting on for the vest, I cast off the sock that I abandoned last September. This one is destined to be an only until after the KnittingPurls toe-up KAL on Ravelry that starts in a few days. I used #551 Vinca yarn on size 2 Harmony DPs - you can see where it was when I stuck it in the PIP pile back on the September 1, 2008 post, so I really didn't have a long way to go.

I used the lace pattern from the largest size of Wendy's free seaweed sock pattern and added an extra purl so it was a 10 stitch repeat that would fit neatly into my usual 60 stitch sock pattern. I worked two repeats up the instep and then six repeats around the leg once the heel was complete. For the second sock, I'm going to try to reverse the swirl of the lace - wish me luck even though it will be after the KAL socks are completed as I only have that one set of Harmony size 2 DPs!

I mentioned a post or so ago that we'd purchased some wheat grass for the cats - specifically for Sadie. As you can see from this photo, she is really enjoying her treat. {g}

Monday, February 09, 2009

Better Late Than Never

The evolution of the CPSIA law was still up in the air earlier today when I removed all the child & baby sized items from the case at the Senior Center. However, late today, the commission finally issued guidelines that appear to exempt yarn!!


Saturday, February 07, 2009

More Than I Can Chew???

I'm still a sucker for KALs, so I signed up for two of them this month.

The Vest-uary KAL on Ravelry & the Toe Up Sock KAL in the KnittingPurls group. The Vest-uary one started on the first, so I'm already behind as all I've done is begin to design the vest I want to make. The Toe-Up one begins on the 17th so I have a little time for that.

For the Toe-Up, we're supposed to work from stash and fortunately, I added these two balls of Bernat Sox yarn to my stash at the end of last month.

The first is Faded Denim and the second is Wooded Denim (can you sense a theme here?) I'm planning on using the Wooded one for the KAL. In preparation, I'm almost finished with the first sock of the pair I was working on when Summer of Socks 08 ended several weeks earlier than I thought it would. I think that sock is destined for a period of "Second Sock Syndrome" until I finish the KAL. Besides, I used a variation of Wendy Knits Seaweed lace and I want to experiment with recharting it so the lace moves in the opposite direction on the second sock. I think it can be done, but I'll have to swatch!

In the meantime, I've been working on hat & scarf sets that will go to the shelter for homeless veterans in Detroit. Here are the first 7 sets that I made in the last few weeks.

That last poor set was hiding when I took the shot of the first six. I have another set that just needs the last decrease row of the hat completed and then yarn ends run in. I'll post a photo of it when it's finished. There's another hat just started on the arm of the chair below. Boomer loves to visit my knitting when I'm not actually clicking needles, but right now, he's curled up on my lap, pinning my left arm down and making it a bit difficult to type this.. {g}

I think he's relaxing after nibbling on the wheat grass we picked up yesterday to treat our furry kids. Sadie loves nibbling on grass - or at least she did when Mom was letting her out in the back yard for supervised nibbling - but she's now a full fledged indoor cat so she was face down in this pot as soon as it was placed on the floor.

I'm still keeping an eye on the continuing saga of the CPSIA law which grows more confusing with each passing day. Check in at CPSIA Central for the latest news and links.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Slight Reprieve - CPSIA

Last Friday, the CPSC placed a one year stay on the enforcement of testing & certification outlined in the CPSIA law. This doesn't relieve craftspeople from the responsibility of making sure that their materials do not contain lead or phthalates, but it does provide time to hopefully get politicians to amend the law to require component testing rather than testing of the finished item. At the meeting of manufacturers with the CPSC staff back on January 22nd, Coats & Clark representatives presented the test results on their yarns showing that there's little or no lead involved in the fiber or dye. If component testing is allowed, this type of results should eliminate many of the problems for crafters whether we sell or donate finished items.


Acrylics Anon/a