Posts Tagged ‘Knitting’

Mystery Mitts KAL – 2nd Clue

January 23, 2011

Posting one clue at a time for a mystery knit is fun!

I didn’t realize that splitting up a pattern would basically necessitate retesting each portion – it’s easy to inadvertently change or overlook a detail in the process of breaking up the instructions for each clue, so the original pattern testing doesn’t guarantee accurate instructions.  No major hiccups, just a lesson learned in tracking versions of a document.

Now the second clue has been published to Ravelry FGF Group, we can post our pictures of completed clue 1:


I’m loving the shades of green in this yarn, and I’m almost regretting not saving it for socks since the yarn has a delightful, firm and springy quality that would feel marvelous on the soles. Maybe I’ll have enough left over for a pair of short socks or slippers.


My cotton gloves are soooo pretty! I find it interesting that the stripes start with a knit row, yet appear to be just a purled row. If the first row were not knit in the contrast colour, the purled bumps would have been half white/half pink. Unfortunately, purling the second row means the technique to avoid “jogs” in circular stripes (lifting the stitch from the row below and knit with the first stitch when working the second round) doesn’t work. I plan to use duplicate stitch when sewing in my tail-ends to neaten up if necessary.

The second clue focuses on the thumb gusset. The increase stitches for thumb gussets are important. It doesn’t matter if you substitute your preferred method, but you should choose an increase that can be worked in mirrored pairs if you want to create a balanced “V” shape. You should also consider whether holes in or under the increased stitches are desirable. Although Mystique has small and large eyelets, I did not plan to have holes in the thumb shaping, so I chose lifted increases. Lifted increases can be worked right-leaning or left-leaning, and they do not make holes.

Lifted increases are easy-peasy but most things knit are easier when you’ve seen someone else do it. I’m posting a video here because all of the great tutorials I normaly refer to are either a little blurry, or they demonstrate the left-leaning increase incorrectly. I only have a wee, little, basic camera so I hope this little video (my first!) is good enough to be helpful.

You may download the pattern here:Chris Abbott Ravelry Designer Page


Mystery Mitts KAL

January 5, 2011

The Fingerless Gloves Fanatics group in Ravelry has always been the most welcoming, informative, and fun group to hang out with. Last year I volunteered to be one of the designers for their Mystery Mitts Knit-Alongs, and finally the stars are aligned, and I’ll be doing just that this month!

So how does this Mystery KAL work? I’ll be posting materials needed and a few details (like gauge and needle sizes) on January 15th. Each week thereafter, I’ll post a portion of the pattern and everyone will knit that portion, not knowing what the final gloves look like until the end. The idea of KALs is that anyone unfamiliar with a knitting technique may get support from the group, and have fun sharing pictures of progress.  Oh, and the pattern will be free to members of the group for the duration of the KAL.  (Anyone in Ravelry may join – both Ravelry and the Group are free).

I plan to post pictures here each week. Although none of the techniques are especially challenging for moderately experienced knitters, I think newer knitters might like to see pictures of them (such as how to make mirrored increases for the thumb gusset).

This design will offer the knitter two choices for the glove: one uses two colours of sport-weight cotton, the other uses sport-weight sock yarn. There will be options to customize the look of the gloves in the final week. This will be fun!!

(Wot no pictures???) Here’s the pretty sunrise I saw on the morning of Christmas:

Sunrise Dec 2010

Beaded Hot August Nights & Other Projects

October 7, 2010

Care to join me for a cup of tea? I couldn’t resist donning these gloves for my afternoon ritual. Turns out that adding beads isn’t too difficult, and so so pretty!


Next time I knit up this design, I think I’m going to make them elbow length. I made this pair for Fingerless Gloves Fanatics Summer Swap on Ravelry. I’m thrilled that they look to be a good fit for the recipient.

I participated in another swap: OT FGF Insanity Housewares Medium Flat Rate Box Swap – that’s a long name for a swap! I tried knitting dishcloths and a market bag – I have a new respect for these items and will have to make some more for me:

Housewares Swap

Here’s a really versatile yarn, raffia!

Raffia Market Bag

Made a pretty market bag, and see what I did with the leftovers:


Its pretty late in the year, but I don’t think you can ever count on the weather in Oklahoma, so I may as well throw caution to the wind, and a few seeds on the yard. I’m sticking with a small patch as an experiment – most of these seeds are for late Fall/early Winter crops, some I may try to cover and hope that they don’t die come the first frost.

Nettie’s Neckwarmer

July 26, 2010

Remember that BabySis knitted some lovely neckwarmers while visiting with me recently? I promised her I’d design some more. The stitch I came up with is reversible – here it is in Berroco Vintage which I have to say doesn’t look too great right now:



Likely it will look fine after washing – the yarn does feel pretty good for having 50% acrylic, but its probably more suited for a man’s sweater that would be worn over a shirt than for wrapping around a sensitive neck. Even though I’m super-busy at work, it shouldn’t take me long to finish up and rinse this baby…..


June 29, 2010

My silk top is coming along nicely.  I’m limited on opportunities to keep knitting on it while travelling as it isn’t really a convenient size, and I’m having to work out little challenges (such as how to make the pleats face the right way).  I’m working up one side of the front neck right now.  If this thing looks good on me, I’ll probaby write it up and have some different sized knitters test it for me.


Summer Glove

June 27, 2010

Here’s my latest fingerless glove design, Summer Glove:


I just love how the shaping for the thumb fits in the design:


This pattern is currently only available at Robin’s Nest, and is part of the Summer Mitts Kit. I believe there are still kits available and, while I haven’t seen the Summer kit yet, I know the Spring kit had lots of lovely extras included.

The yarn for my pattern was supplied by Craftsmeow. Its really nice to work with – I had no problem coming up with a design that would show off the pretty raspberry & mango sprinkles. (I’m adding Craftsmeow to my very short list of favourites).

New Cast On?

June 15, 2010

I started a simple top in Silk 2 from Lotus Yarns.  I needed something that I could just keep knitting in stocking stitch while I was studying for an exam since I have the hardest time sitting still with a dull book.  Mindless knitting helps me sit still while focusing on the content of my reading. 

This will be a short-sleeved t-shirt with a pleated neckline. Since the top will have pleats, and should have a little drape, I needed a cast-on edge that is stretchy and not bulky. So regular cast-ons were out, as well as any kind of cast-ons that involve making a hem, which I believe would cause the lower edge to stand away from my body in an uncomplimentary fashion.

I settled on a variation of the Channel Islands cast on, and I think I may have created a new one here since I can’t find anything like it.  I added a k1, p1 row just above, then a couple of rows later a K3, p1 which does not create the bulk of a rib, yet has stopped the edge from curling up:


 I couldn’t find a similar cast on in any of my knitting books – has anyone seen a cast on that creates picots and eyelets like this?

I haven’t decided whether I’ll publish to pattern for the top yet, I guess I’ll see how the top and sleeves turn out.

Cutting Back & Catching Up

May 1, 2010

My son is about to be 19, lives at home, and is studying for his Bachelors degree online at home. I figure I have a couple of years to influence or educate him in anything we somehow didn’t cover while he was a child. Each year my husband and I pick a month to spend as little as possible – this year, I decided to include son. I’m pleased to be able to say that he has shown an interest in helping out. I asked if he’d contribute ideas if I show him our bills as they come in. We just got our electricity and gas bills, and I offered to split the difference with him if he would help lower our utilities. (I’m pretty chuffed with that idea).


Look at my lovely windowsill garden! It has several layers (this one has basil sprouts in it). I grew (and ate) some lovely mustard cress which was superb on egg salad sandwiches. All it takes is a handful of seed, water and light to grow these nutritious babies. This is well in line with my desire for spending less.

I already subscribe to the theory that home-cooked meals are cheaper and healthier in the long run. Lately, my 19 year old son has shown an interest in eating healthy foods. He’s not highly motivated to help out, and he is very fond of pizza and soda. He’s also very ADHD and struggles with getting his classes done on time, although the quality of his work is mostly very good. I need to figure out how to get him more involved in food choices and preparation (it was a no-brainer when he was six!) So we had a discussion about foods that will support his growth, concentration, hormone swings (he’s still growing) and immune system, because these are things he is interested in.  There’s so much information about diets and nutrition online, it wasn’t difficult to find ideas.  However, just to make it harder to get him involved, he cut a finger pretty bad yesterday, so he’s only using one hand. After we agreed on the foods he should try to eat more of, I picked a recipe and asked him to gather up the ingredients for me.


We settled on a fish pie – it has fish, onions, potatoes, eggs, and lots of fresh parsley in it…..and he ate a bowl full :o) I used the extra oven space to bake some blueberry muffins. I tried to substitute soy flour for some of the wheat flour. The flour mix worked out OK, but the frozen blueberries do not quite hit the spot. Ah well, still a cheap & cheerful breakfast option.

Now I have the cooking & clean up done, I want to get back to my knitting. Here’s what I’ve been working on:


Its about time I got some serious swatching of the yarn I bought on my trip done. I can’t decide whether a pattern using a lot of twisted stitches is a good use of the yarn or not. Its pure silk, and is prone to pilling – It looks and feels gorgeous though.

Life on the Ocean Waves…

April 5, 2010

Only two more destinations in China left on my trip…..(sigh!)

Looking back, I see little evidence that I was even on a ship.  I’ve picked out a few pictures, but I guess I’m not a good blogger because there’s huge gaps.  I hope none of my travel companions will be offended if they do not see themselves here, I was too busy enjoying their company to stop and take pictures. 

I’m sure you’ve seen cute things made out of towels before, but have you ever seen anything like this hanging from the ceiling?

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I jumped out of my skin the first time I saw him, the eyes are foil-covered chocolates and they shone eerily in the half-light. Oddly enough, there were no bananas on the buffet for the first time immediately following this guy’s appearance.

This is Rita (and me) dressed up for formal night – I have a lot of affection for Rita, she looks like my grandmother and is just as nice. I loved the photograph she had of several generations of her family, all wearing a sweater she knitted. My grandmother was miserable if she strayed away from her home town more than a few hours. Rita obviously does not suffer from such an affliction:

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She’s a mover too:

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Remember our visit to Hiroshima and the Tulip Needle Factory? The tulips they gave us stayed fresh until the last couple of days:

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We tried to keep our cabin reasonably tidy since there was room to relax, and knit or play cribbage. Mary Beth finished this in time to wear on formal night (good knitters find a way to block their FOs anywhere):

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…..but whenever I just got back from shopping, everything exploded!

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I met so many nice people, not only were our group of knitters fun & interesting to hang out with, but other passengers on the ship were pleasure to meet too. I found myself giving knitting lessons to Deborah in the breakfast buffet (we were up earlier than most). I wonder if she is still knitting on this kidsilk scarf:

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I can’t believe I didn’t take any picture out on a deck until our trip was almost over – I guess I must’ve been busy. On this day, it was very windy, but I could feel the temperature rising nicely as we headed away from Beijing.

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Beijing & the Yarn Bus

April 2, 2010

We’ve finally arrived in China! 

Everything is a little different here – like they had real immigration people (that looked real serious) to check our passports.  The Lotus Yarn company awaited us….with a bus FULL of yarn:

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Got cashmere???

They had all our pre-orders ready, plus lots more good stuff. I got silk, silk, and more silk, some cashmere, bamyak, bamboo, and some cotton with a touch of cashmere blended (Autumn Wind). I swatched the cotton blend right away and am in love with it. Finally I’ve found a yarn that will be good for Oklahoma weather, and with the cashmere, is soft enough to be a pleasure to knit. Uh-oh, I just spotted some merino lace-weight that I have to buy….(and all this without getting out of my seat!)

We have a long drive to Beijing so occasionally I set my knitting down and took a picture:

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When we arrived, I really didn’t pay attention to what we were going to do, I just (barely) kept up with the group and took the odd picture of my foreign surroundings along the way:

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Here I am, just inside the forbidden city – yes, the layers were necessary (so glad I took some warm knits with me). Although we were blessed with a sunny day, it was chilly to say the least.

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This place is amazingly beautiful

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…so much to look at

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Everytime you go through a gate or doorway, there’s even more ahead of you than you’ve already seen:

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I was fascintated with the ceramic roofs. They are incredibly ornate, and glistened like gold in the sunshine:

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Evidently, I’m drawn to golden things

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…but I did try to remember to look down from time to time

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(and up)

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There’s me again, still uncomfortable with being on the other side of the camera:

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“Look at those knockers!” (couldn’t help myself)

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