Monday, May 13, 2013

Begin Again

Looks like my hiatus from blogging has lasted a year and three quarters. Good grief.

I go under the laser in 17 days to get a cataract removed. I am so looking forward to being able to see properly (all appendages are crossed!) I want to knit up a storm!

 I'm gathering momentum. Last weekend I took a Shirley Paden Master Designer workshop -- and "Finishing 'The Final Touch.'" Talk about an intensive, mind-melting, knitting weekend!
p.s. None of the above knitters is me, I took the picture.
    Today I signed up to join The Knitting Guild Association because I want to take the Masters Program.  
Watch out world, I'm comin' back!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baby Caps for a Good Cause

This quick and easy baby cap was designed for the "Click for Babies Period of Purple Crying Caps” organization, a group trying to educate new parents about normal baby crying and how to respond to it.

It's called "Purple Pigtails (or not) Baby Cap" because, while it looks cuter with the corners embellished, Click for Babies wants donated caps to be plain, so, not on the caps for donation.

This pattern is free for anyone who would like to knit it for charity or for their own use. Click here to download the pdf. The pattern has quite a few illustrations, but all of the directions are on the last page. Look at the pretty pictures on your computer monitor and just print out page 3 to save paper and ink.

The Purple Pigtails (or not) Baby Cap has the Sachi Cat seal of approval.

Thank you so much to all of the fine Ravelers who test knit this pattern for me. Couldn't have done it without you.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Amil Fingerless Mitts

These simple, knit in the round, fingerless mitts are intended to celebrate the beauty of the yarn. They can be made in any length from wrist to elbow. They are identical and interchangeable, so no need to worry about mirroring the thumbs. A quick knit in worsted weight yarn, they would be a good first mitt for a new knitter.

RockLady, whose first name begins with an A, came to me before Christmas and asked if I could knit a pair of fingerless mitts for her mother-in-law. The word "No!" is rare in my vocabulary when it comes to knitting. Heck, if someone actually wants me to knit something for them, I'm tremendously flattered. So I sat down and knit the mitts, which were a great success.

This spring, another friend was having trouble with cold hands as a result of chemo therapy, so I knit her a pair for her birthday and decided to formalize the pattern.

Thus were born the Amil (A's Mother In Law) Fingerless Mitts.

The pattern is free to good homes. It comes in pdf format in three parts:

The full, illustrated pattern -- gotta download this one, it's got all the bells and whistles.

A bare-bones version suitable for printing (I don't know about you, but I sure don't want to print out the color photos and extraneous verbiage.)

An addenda describing how to customize the longer mitts for more muscular (or voluptuous) arms.

And there's even a MAN size -- if you can manage to get a man to wear a pair of fingerless mitts...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Her Humie's Kitteh

What's this?



Can you tell she's my kitteh?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Campolmi Roberto Filati

When I was in Florence in September, I went to the biggest yarn store in town, Campolmi Roberto Filati.It presents a modest storefront tucked into a small alley under the shadow of Il Duomo. If I hadn't seen the two bright skeins of yarn tacked up by the open door, I might have passed it by.

The store had two rooms packed floor to ceiling with yarn.

I bought two skeins of this

to make baby stuff.

And, I thought, this single skein of shiny cotton.

Turns out the cotton was a mistake. It's several lengths all tangled together. I am trying to untangle it and wind it into a ball - or balls. I suspect it's going to take forever. I like the yarn, though, so shiny, so soft, such a wonderful color.

Dang, I hope that one day I actually get it into shape to knit with...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Italia Filati

Filati is how you say yarn in Italian. I know this because in the last week I've been to yarn stores in Siene and Florence. (Woo-hoo!) Look for the full report with photos when I get back to the USA.

Yes, I did buy yarn, but not enough.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So How Am I Going to Do This?

I've decided to make fingerless mitts for my Minnesota nieces for Christmas. It seems that fingerless mitts are a hot fashion statement this year. I messaged the elder niece on Facebook and asked for current favorite colors: red and orange.

The mitts need to fill several requirements.
1. Warm for the Minnesota winter.
2. Machine washable - a biggie.
3. Bright and colorful - got a leg up on that with red and orange.
4. Unique, yet not in an Aunt Ethyl ruffled underwear sort of a way.
5. Relatively quick and easy to knit.

Numbers 1, 2, 3 and 5 can all be covered in one fell swoop. Superwash worsted weight wool, variegated for interest.

The red was pretty easy:
Cascade 220 Superwash Paints in colorway 9958 (such an evocative color name.)

I think a simple big cable down the back and we're cooking with gas. I can sound like Aunt Ethyl even if I'm trying to not knit like her.

But try to find a nice, bright, orange worsted.


I finally ended up deciding to combine two yarns, Cascade 220 Superwash Sport colorway 822, two 136 yard skeins, and Knit One Crochet Too Crock o' Dye sock yarn in #250, variegated oranges, one 416 yard skein; held together to knit doubled.

One thing I really prefer to do when knitting pairs is knit both pieces simultaneously on one circular needle. That way they're pretty sure to come out the same.

Geeze, I thought, ain't this gunna be fun, knitting with two skeins of orange sport yarn and one skein of variegated sock yarn, pulled from both ends. The possibilities for tangles would be endless.

Fortunately, in my case, laziness is the mother of invention, and when I realized I was going to have to ball all three skeins anyway, I decided to try to pair up my strands early on.

The Cascade and Knit One Crochet Too skeins were almost identical in circumference once I got them unwrapped, so I placed the sock yarn on my swift first, then stacked the first sport skein on top, making sure that both would unwind in the same direction and start at about the same place.

Know what? It worked! I now have two skeins of doubled yarn all ready to knit with.

Let's hope that my offerings, unlike Aunt Ethyl's ruffled undergarments, are kid-cool enough not to end up living out their lives in the back of a dresser drawer. That's requirement item number 4, by the way. The one I still have to make sure I cover.