Posts Tagged ‘swatch’

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


Lovely Lavender

June 5, 2010

I’ve been working on socks a lot lately, and its necessary to keep a pretty tight tension on those for good fit and wear.  I decided I’d like to work on something with a looser tension for a change, which brought lace shawls to mind.  However, I didn’t want to start on another large project so I decided to do a miniature shawl using some Silk 2 that I bought from Lotus Yarns when I was in China. The yarn is very strong and makes lovely lace:


I used this mini-shawl as a way to practice attaching a border to a square. I’m going to try some more ideas out this way. Seemed to me that this is a swatch that I can turn into something useful. It so happens that I got a harvest of lavender from my neglected courtyard this week. My dining room (temporary lavender-drying room) smells heavenly right now.


I plan to remove all the flower heads to fill a silk square topped with my lace mini-shawl. Lavender repels moths and smells wonderful (to me) so I think this would be a super project to keep around my precious stash or maybe it should go into my best sweater drawer?

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.