September 15, 2014

Fall Knitting Begins

Congratulations to Audrey Allen, the WINNER of my latest "Poor Baby Sweater" Giveaway. All she had to do to win, was become a "follower" of this blog. Audrey is a newlywed, who has just become the Mother of 5 beautiful children. She is so happy, and hopes to add some additional children to her family soon. Perhaps this little sweater will be of more use to her, than most (that is if she has at least one girl, little boys don't generally like wearing bright pink).

Fall is definitely in the air. My garden is producing like gang-busters. I have spaghetti squash, eggplant, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and green beans coming out of my ears. I'm quickly filling my freezer with green beans and sundried tomatoes. The mountains around us are turning a brilliant shade of orange, and night is arriving a little sooner each day.

I love this time of year! It's always so inspiring to start planning those cozy autumn sweaters. No concern about the weather, and if it will be much too hot to wear them. It's always fun to wear a snuggly sweater, when you are leasurely knitting another.

I've joined the "Custom Fit Fall Festival Knit-a-Long".  The sweater I am going to knit for this KAL is "Leaving" by Anne Hanson This will be my 2014 F2F #7.
I'm knitting it out of Lisa Souza - Baby Alpaca Silk in the color "Cranilicious".  This picture doesn't do the color justice.  It is a rich blend of rusts and grays.  The perfect Fall combination.

It is an A-line design, so I am following the pattern as written, up to where "Custom Fit" shaping starts.
This is what I have done on the back.  It is moving along quickly, since I just started yesterday.  The pattern is beautifully written.  The KAL runs from September 1 through November 15, so I should be able to finish, even though I'll be knitting with small sized needles (US4 to 6).

 
 
 
I've finished my "Lady Kina" sweater, which I knit in a "growing leaves" pattern.  It was knit of KnitPicks - Comfy Worsted, in the color "Doe".  I was afraid it wouldn't fit me, since I didn't read the pattern carefully to start, and later realized the sizing was in French.  Luckily some good blocking to stretch out the leaves, has made the sweater just my size.  I'm so excited to wear it.

This is the sweater to be knit by my "Knit Night" Group.  We started our KAL on September 4.  There were so many beautiful yarns of every color, there that night.  I just can't wait to see all of their progress at our "Witch Knit" on October 2.  I had missed seeing all of these ladies over the Summer, but we are right back "in the groove" again.  I had started my sweater in early September, so I had a head start.  Along with a sample version, which I knit for my Grand-daughter, I was hoping to work out the bugs in the pattern before everyone else started.  I'm so glad I did!  Otherwise, everyone would be knitting the wrong size.
In addition, the Salt Lake Knitting Guild has started a KAL too.  I have chosen the "Flowering Weeds Shawl" by Karalee Harding.  I'll be getting this started soon too.  You know me . . . never happy unless I have at least 5 wips (works in progress) at all times. 

In case you are wondering . . . my "Stella Pullover" is still on the needles.  I'm working on the sleeves, and this has become my perfect "take-a-long" project.  I'll continue to work on it, as time goes by.  Hopefully, it will be ready for next Summer.

Well, I've put up all of my Halloween decorations, and I'm planning costumes for several of the grandchildren, along with mine.  We'll all soon be taking trips to the pumpkin patch.  I hope your Fall is kicking off to a great start, like mine!  Happy Knitting!

September 05, 2014

Vacations & Knitting


Just when Summer was ending, we were able to squeeze in a few vacation days. We spent a week in San Antonio, cruising the River Walk, remembering the Alamo, visiting Gruene, Berne and Fredricksburg, taking pictures of the LDS Temple. It was really HOT there, but fun just the same. It was a great city to visit. Many thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for always generously sharing their time-share with us. We ate a lot of great Tex-Mex and BBQ. Kyle is the super-sleuth of finding little out-of-the-way eating establishments. They often look scary from the outside, but always end up being delicious!! We shopped at a HUGE outlet Mall, where we found some great deals, and at many eclectic boutiques in the small surrounding towns.




My take-along knitting project was my "Stella" sweater. The yarn came wrapped on a cone, so it was easy to slip into my carry-on bag. It knit up really fast, with a lace weight yarn and large needles. I've finished the body, and I'm currently working on the left sleeve. I may actually get to wear this Summer sweater before the weather cools. It is looking like my "Eva" sweater may be put "on-hold" until next Summer. Fall is coming and I'm itching to start knitting warmer sweaters.
The day after we returned, my husband went to work on an Elk Hunting Ranch for 2 months, and I traveled with my grandchildren to see Dinosaur Land in Vernal, Utah. School has begun again, and we wanted to squeeze one more fun trip in. It was a one-day whirlwind trip, but so much fun! I always forget how excited little boys get about dinosaurs. It was amazing to see the dinosaur bones of many different types of dinosaurs, still in the mountainside.


Dont's these two guys look alike? I couldn't resist taking these pictures. It guess it is an "Easton-asaurous"???

After this fun week, it was back to work and back to school. However, it was also time to start up "Knit Night" again. We had a great turn-out and we started our "Lady Kina" KAL. There were so many fun colors, chosen for these sweaters. We should have quite a fashion show of them at the end of the year. In addition, some brought their Summer Projects to share.

Tiffany took a quilt piecing class over the Summer. She made this beautiful sampler quilt. It is all ready for quilting, and just in time for the arrival of her fourth child.
This cute little guy was the recipient of one of Erica's "Poor Baby" Sweaters. Lucky guy. You'll remember that Erica knit 3 "Poor Baby" sweaters at our last "Knit Night" KAL.
Jennifer is expecting her first baby in December. She knit these two darling little elephants over the Summer. The original pattern produced the small one, and she figured out how to upsize it, but using bulkier yarn and larger needles. They are so cute! Jennifer's Mom is quite amazed at how quickly Jennifer is picking up knitting skills. She is a little concerned that she may be "left in the dust".
Along with my "Stella", I am frantically knitting to finish up "MY" "Lady Kina" sweater. It is coming along nicely, but will likely not fit "ME" in the end. I was a little late in figuring out the pattern was written for French sizing. Oh well . . . I already have some small sized volunteers to take it off my hands. You can see from the picture what a difference blocking makes. I can't wait to get this intertwined leaf pattern stretched out. It is working up just as I had hoped.

Well, now that Fall is in the air, I have a few KALs of my own, that I am hoping to participate in. I've joined Amy Herzog's Fall Festival Sweater KAL.  I've decided to knit "Leaving", designed by Anne Hanson.  I've chosen Lisa Souza Baby Alpaca Silk in the color "Cranaliscious.  I can't wait to get started.  I plan to swatch this weekend, so I can get my Custom Fit pattern ordered up and ready to go.

The nip of Fall is in the air, and the leaves are quickly changing.  Our garden is producing like crazy, and I'll be freezing lots of grean beans this weekend, along with trying some new cucumber and zucchini recipes.  It has been a great Summer!  Happy Knitting!

August 18, 2014

"Lady Kina" - sample #2

My "Knit Night" group will be starting a KAL in September. The "Lady Kina" sweater, designed by: Muriela. I've missed seeing my "Knit Night" ladies during the Summer, and can't wait to see them again.
This was Sample #1.  As you can see, the sweater is far too small.  I thought I had used measurements that were too old.  The measurements were taken at the first of the Summer, and my Grand-daughter is 12, which is an age where she is changing daily.  
 
 
 
So I tried again.  This time I sized up, and used a heavier yarn [Rowan Cork/Tangerine (discontinued)].  This is one of my all-time favorite yarns, which has been discontinued, and I was lucky enough to score 6 skeins on eBay.  This time the fit was perfect, but I guess that was just a fluke!  I thought I had knit the sweater in a Size 34" Bust, but on later inspection, discovered the pattern was written for French Sizing.  The conversion to US sizes meant the French Size 34 = US Size 2. 

Wow, it is a good thing Emery is so skinny.  Anyway . . . the sweater fits her perfectly and she seems to just love it.  It will make a perfect addition to her new school clothes.  And, I found the perfect necklace to go with it, on my friend's website:  http://nowyours.com/.  She'll be returning to 7th Grade this week.  She is growing up soooooooo fast! 
I know that I committed to only knitting for myself this year (2014), but I thought I could produce a sample for my KAL more quickly, if I knit the "Lady Kina" sample in a smaller size.  Oh well . . . I guess everyone makes mistakes.  My mistake in reading the pattern, caused me to knit 2 samples, and was time-taking problem!  Thus, the "Lady Kina" sweater for me is still on the needles, and will likely not be for me anyway.  The sizing confusion will likely produce a sweater that is 4 sizes too small for me.  I'm sure one of my daughters will oblige.  We'll see who it fits???     
After knitting up some prizes for my next "Knit Night", I've got "Stella" underway, and packed for an upcoming trip.  The yarn for "Stella" is a lace weight, and is wrapped on a cone, so it is perfect to pack along on a plane ride.  Hopefully, I'll get her finished before the Summer is totally over.
You still have time to WIN this little pink sweater.  Simply sign up as a "Follower".  The drawing will be held on Labor Day.  If you want a chance to WIN a FREE copy of the pattern, for making your own, simply "Comment".  Happy Knitting!!!

August 04, 2014

F2F #5 - The Laura Leaves Tank

I've finished my F2F Sweater #5, which was knit as a part of the Custom Fit Summer Sweater KAL. It is another "Laura Leaves Tank", with added Custom Fit direction.
  
This is how I like to show it . . . on my dressform.  She never has the yo-yoing weight issues, that are always a part of my life.  However, I have got to learn to deal with this issue. 
 
 
Here is how it really looks.  The fit is perfect, thanks to CF.  Even though it is nicely packed.  Knit of Fyberspates Scrumptious, it has lots of stretch and recovery.  Hopefully I will get on that bike and shed a few pounds, so I can put the recovery to the test.

I finished up my second "Lady Kina" sweater, and I'm just waiting to have some time with Emery to take a few pictures.  I think this one is going to fit her . . . so much better.  It pays to take new measurements, each time you start a new project.  Unlike me, Emery is simply growing, as 12 year olds do.  I need to learn . . . "short-cuts never pay!" 

Along with "Eva" and "Stella Pullover", I have cast-on for my "Lady Kina".  As per the swatch pictured above, I am incorporating the pattern from the "Growing Leaves Cowl".  As per instruction from CF, I have decided to knit my "Lady Kina" according to my shoulder measurements, and I'll increase for the bust.  I'm testing out their theory that fit through the shoulder is the most important fit for a sweater.  It is coming along nicely, and I'll be ready to split for the sleeves soon, however I think I need to commit some time to "Eva" for a bit, as she has been tucked away for a bit too long.  I'm planning to take "Stella" with me on a little vacation I have coming up soon.  The yarn for "Stella" is on a cone and will be so easy to tuck into my travel bag.

I spent some time trying to make zucchini chips this past weekend.  It was a disaster.  I was tending a grandchild at the time, and kept burning them!  The first batch was cut too thin, and they quickly turned to ash.  The second batch I added some parmesan cheese too, and the cheese started burning long before the chips were crispy.  So I left the next batch plain.  They were coming along nicely, until I started smelling that burned smell.  There is fine line between crispy and burned.  I'm watching for another zucchini to appear in the garden, so I can give it another try. 
Don't forget, I'll be drawing a name from my "Followers" on Labor Day, to win a "a Poor Baby Sweater".    It is bright pink, and would be so cute on any baby girl in your life.  In addition, you can add a "Comment", telling me who you would knit this little sweater for, for a chance to win a free copy of the pattern.  The sweater has an easy back zipper, which makes it easy to slip baby into.  Get signed up for a chance to WIN!

I hope you are enjoying a fun, knitting Summer.  Happy Knitting!!

July 30, 2014

Summer Fun & Giveaway

With the beginning of August, we are moving into the end of Summer - that is, time out of school when there is plenty of time to play.
We have been enjoying some warm Summer rains the last few days.  This is our Grandson and some neighbor boys out kayaking in the flooded park near our house.  They had such a fun afternoon paddling around, and we didn't even have to drive to a mountain lake.  It rained again during the night, so I am sure they will be back out there again today.  Good times! 
Last night, our Daughter and her Husband's team took 1st Place in a Slow Pitch Softball Tournament.  It was a nail-biter!  In the last inning, they came from behind to win with an 8 point lead.  It's amazing how fast I can knit, when watching a tense game.  They played this final game at the field behind Sandy Elementary, where I went for K-6 Grade.  It was nostalgic for me to be there again, after all these years.  Good times!

 
 
 
                         

It is amazing what a difference 2 months has made in our garden. I am making lots of baked zuchinni chips right now, and eating lots of cucumbers. We are expecting our tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and green beans to come on soon. I'll be doing lots of blanching and freezing, along with making roasted tomato sauce.

As always, I've been knitting too. My second Lady Kina sweater for Emery is nearing completion. This time I took careful, NEW measurements and chose a two-tone orange in Rowan Cork (a discontinued yarn that I was able to score on eBay).
She really liked the color and the feel of the yarn, and it seems this sweater will fit her better.  I just need to finish the bottom border, sew up the underarms, weave in all of the ends and sew on the button, and she'll be ready to wear it when school starts at the end of the month.  I made another sweater for her when she was 3, out of this same yarn (even the same color).  She wore it a bit, but her little brother took it on as his favorite go to, and it is now just a pile of holes, dirt and darker colored yarn.  I hope to wash and unravel it soon, and re-knit it into something for his future child.  It is the best, when something you have knit becomes a family heirloom.
I have also swatched for my "Lady Kina" sweater.  I'm planning to fill-in the solid stockinette stitching with an evolving leaf lace pattern. 
I've found the pattern does not call for enough yarn.  I've used nearly 3 extra skiens on the orange sweater, so I'm going to need to order more of this milk chocolate yarn for mine, before they run out of the dye lot I need.  However, I've always found that KnitPicks always finds a way to send me the dye lot I need.  I've run out of yarn many times before.  I'm going to knit this evolving leaf lace pattern in a downward direction.  I hope it won't draw the eye to my ample hips. I've asked a few people what they think, and everyone thinks the open front will direct the eye upward.  I sure hope so!  I should be casting on for my Lady Kina tonight, that is if I don't get too involved in making zuchinni chips. 
My "Knit Night" groups will start meeting again in September.  We are going to be start a KAL, with the "Lady Kina" by Muriela.  Everyone is in the process of selecting their yarn and knitting their swatch.  We can't wait to get started.  I hope to have lots of pictures to post during the process, along with the finished sweaters.

Don't forget . . . The "Poor Baby" Sweater giveaway is still in process. On Labor Day, I will be drawing a random member of my "Followers", to win a bright pink sweater for a baby girl in their life. I will also be drawing a random person from the comments section of my blog to win a free copy of the "Poor Baby" sweater pattern. Just drop me a line about who you plan to knit the sweater for. So far . . . there is still a good chance of winning, so get signed up and/or comment today.
I hope you are having a fun summer too! Happy Knitting!