Last Saturday of 2012

Cloth Corsage to match quilted jacket
Early this year several people around me were making positive resolutions for the year. Instead of the usual, lose weight, save money, and other life and health style resolutions. I was inspired by hearing people resolve to do something either weekly or daily like take a photo every day, or write every day or draw a picture everyday. I had started this blog at the end of 2008. I did not revisit it for almost a year and then again until the beginning of last year. My resolution was to write more blogs. Certainly not daily because I knew I would not have enough time or topics to write everyday, but maybe weekly.

I have discovered it is hard to find the time to blog and work on projects because taking time to write about the project, and photograph it along the way at various points really slows me down. When I am working on a project it is so easy to just move from one step to the next and keep going. Taking photographs requires that I stop working on the project, move it to the table with good light and take the pictures. Then move back to the work area and continue working on the project. This stops the forward progress and impairs the motivation as well. If I write about the project after I complete it then there is a good chance that I did not take an important photograph along the way. I am not sure what I might do to make it easier, but I am glad that I wrote about my projects.

Knitted Shrug
This year I also spent some time knitting. I am definitely a sporadic knitter. The weather has to be right, the yarn has to feel good on my hands. I might knit like crazy for a long time then one day I am finished. Not interested in looking at a pattern, designing a pattern, reading about yarn or techniques or anything else to do with knitting. I am OK with that because I have more than a few hobbies. This year however, after several years of not knitting a thing because it has been too warm or just no interest I have found that I have about three projects going at once. I think it is because it was so unbearably hot this summer. When it cooled off it just felt so good to work with the yarn I could hardly resist knitting again. Socks are a wonderful small project to take with you for those times you have to wait for something or someone. Wristlets are fun too because you can use small swatches to test patterns before you actually commit to making something bigger and you have something very useful when you finish. Before I finish knitting this winter though, I plan to convert some flat knit patterns to knit in the round projects.  

Next year? I plan to write in my blog again. I am not sure if I will keep a scheduled blog though. It could be more likely that I will pick some specific projects and work more on them. What about you? Will you make a resolution? Did you make one in 2012?  Did you keep it? Will you make one for 2013?  Will it be the usual, lose weight, save money, or will it be something positive to promote a hobby or interest?

Favorite Projects this year:
Unexpected Quilt Designs
Purple and black quilted jacket

Cloth Corsage to match jacket - larger photo above
Jeans that fit - copied from a favorite pair 

Creating a copy of a favorite pair of jeans


Wristlets and Fingerless Gloves

I am almost finished with the wristlets and fingerless gloves. Just need to finish sewing them together. I will probably also pick up stitches to cover the thumb. For speed I used straight needles, but some designs work very well in the round with double point needles.

Knitted wristlets, ready to sew the side seam.

Yarns: Vanna's Choice, 100% Acrylic, size 4 and
Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted, not quite as  thick as Vanna's Choice, but much so

White Cable Wristlet, Instructions Below

Cable Wristlet

1 pair straight size 5 knitting needles
1 double point size 5 needle, or cable needle
1 ball Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted yarn, 4 ounces, 203 yards

11 stitches, 14 rows = 2"x2" in stockinette stitch

Cast on 40 stitches, using long tail cast on and allow enough yarn tail to sew sides together.
Work in K2, P2 ribbing for 10 or 11 rows, longer if you want a long cuff or to fold your cuff
Left Wristlet:    (Right Wristlet changes listed below)
1st row above cuff, (Right Side)  K5, P2, Slip 3 to cable needle, hold in front, Knit next 3 from left needle, Knit the 3 from the cable needle, P2, K25
2nd row above cuff and all even rows between cuff ribbing and end ribbing, (Wrong Side)  P25, K2, P6, K2, P5
3rd  Row above cuff, K5, P2, K6, P2, K25
4th row above cuff, repeat 2nd row
5th row above cuff, repeat 3rd row
6th row above cuff, repeat 2nd row

repeat 1st Row above cuff and continue in pattern for two more patterns then end with 1st Row 

Work in K2, P2 ribbing for 4 rows, bind off in pattern, leave a yarn tail to sew top cuff

Finish by sewing about 2 3/4" up from lower cuff and down about 1 inch from the top cuff.  This should leave approximately a 1 3/4 or 2" opening for the thumb.  If desired, pick up 4 or 5 stitches at the bottom of the thumb opening, and increase one stitch on each side as you pick up the side stitches on the thumb opening, work 7-9 rows with the pattern side facing the outside, finish with two rows in K1P1 ribbing and bind off.  Tuck yarn ends, trim yarn ends.

Right Wristlet:
Pattern Rows: 
Row 1. K25, P2, Slip 3 stitches to cable needle, hold in back, K3 from left needle, K3 from cable needle, P2, K5
Rows 2, 4 and 6. P5, K2, P6, K2, P25
Rows 3 and 5. K25, P2, K6, P2, K5

With thumb gusset
Without thumb gusset


What a difference the yarn makes

Two Pair

Last week I struggled with sub par yarn and got disappointing results, but what a difference the yarn makes. This week I used Deborah Norville's Everyday soft worsted and got much better results.  I still need to sew these together and make 5 more pair.  So this post will be brief.  I promise I will post more about them once I have finished.
Close up for Detail


Less Than Desired

It is that time of year when the elves and Santa helpers are busy with final touches and this year is no exception. I like to sew, I like to bake, I like to knit, design, paint, take photographs. I even enjoy working on most days, but I don't like this.

"This" is a disappointing yarn from a brand I usually like. This brand is softer than most and usually a joy to work with but I am not going to buy this style again. I may even return two unused balls to the store.Yes I really dislike it that much. While I will occasionally return things I don't like I don't usually return a small purchase.

It may be OK for some things, but I just finished a pair of finger-less hand warmers and sometimes the yarn had been spun tight creating a thin strand other times it was barley spun having a loose roving texture. The final product has a loose, slightly fuzzy finish, like a bad quilt filler. I don't even want to weave in the loose threads and finish it. It looks and feels hand made and I like my work to look and feel high quality and professional.

The whole experience was comparable to trying to drink tepid tea or eat a mealy apple. I am sorry I wasted my time on it. This yarn is better suited for kindergarten art projects not knitting. When have you had less than desired results and what did you do with the finished product?


Just in the Nick of Time

This year has just zipped by. It seems like every time I looked up the calendar had flipped to the next month.  The same is true for this little coat project. I started it before Thanksgiving, but stopped working on it because I traveled out of state for the holiday. It is for a contest on instructables.com which has to be entered by tonight. I am happy to say I did just get it submitted with about 90 minutes to spare, but I am worried that my chances to win will be reduced because the listing will be so far to the back of the competition.

Dot gave it a close up inspection.

With this little project completed I can work on the St. Nick items on the to do list.