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:  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!

July 25, 2014

Summer Giveaway

What would Summer be without a backyard campout?
We chose the most humid weekend of the season, to have our Annual Grandpa Sleepover with all of our grandkids.  There are six of them now, and we had the most hot, fun, sleepless, wet, amazing time.
We had a super fun water fight, where Grandma and Grandpa through water balloons at the kids, all standing in a line.  If they were able to catch the balloon without it breaking, they got a free through at the Grandparent of their choice.  Many balloons were caught, and guess who they always chose as their target.  You guessed it, ME!  I was completely drenched by the time we all went in to put on our pajamas.  They all got a squirt gun too, and even little Alivia was able to take aim at everyone's faces. 

Once our pajamas were all on, everyone was given a bag to hold their prizes from a fishing game.  They were all told not to put the bags over their heads, but as you can see, some could not resist.  They were all good fishermen, and caught many prizes.  Then it was time to go into the tent and find our sleeping places.  We ate treats and watched the "Lego Movie".  There was a lot of giggling going on.  Almost everyone fell asleep at around 10 pm, that is except Hayden.  She continued to dance and jabber in the dark until nearly 1 am.  This is when Grandpa always says, "Never again".  But he quickly forgets, once the tent is taken down and everything is put away, which is when he starts talking about what we should do next year.  I always suggest a hotel, with a big swimming pool.  Perhaps I'll get my way . . . one of these years!
It is time for another GIVE-AWAY!  Since I've noticed that many readers come to this blog as a result of my "Poor Baby" Sweater Pattern, I've decided it is the perfect give-away. 
On Labor Day, I'll be drawing a Winner from the list of Blog "Followers", for this little, bright pink, backzipping baby sweater.  If you are not a Follower already, get signed up for a chance to WIN!!  If you are Follower already, just cross your fingers and hope to win. 
If you are a knitter, as I'm guessing most of my readers are, you can Comment on this blog for a chance to win a free copy of the "Poor Baby" Sweater Pattern.  It is a really fast, easy little sweater to knit, and with the easy zipper in the back, it is really useful too.  I have knit, a least a hundred of these sweaters as gifts for newborn babies.  The pattern is written for sizes 3 months to 18 months.  All you have to do to win, is tell me how you feel about my blog in the Comments section. If you are the winner in this category, and you already own the "Poor Baby Sweater" pattern, you can choose a free copy of any one of my other patterns for sale.

I have been knitting away, although on a different project, everytime I have a little knitting time.  As you saw from my last post, I am a bit scattered in focusing on 1 project at a time.  My "Laura Leaves Tank", knit with a Custom Fit recipe, is nearly finished, as it just needs a little seaming at the shoulders and the ends weaved in.  Then it will be time for picture taking.  I should have pictures for my next post.

I also finished my Fall Knitting KAL sample, "The Lady Kina Sweater", which I was knitting for my Granddaughter.  Well . . . in the knitting world, there aren't always perfect endings.  I always think I can take a short-cut.  This never works out well for me (you would think I would learn)!  I hadn't seen Emery for a few weeks, and thought I could start the sweater, working from measurements from 6 months ago.  Emery is 12 . . . (WHAT WAS I THINKING?)  Had I forgotten that 12 year old girl's bodies change daily?  Needless to say, the finished sweater does not fit . . . ugghh.

Emery is a beautiful girl, and she was able to put it on, but the fit was over-all too tight, and she'll have outgrown it next week! I loved the pattern, written by Murial. And thank heavens . . . I will enjoy knitting her another one. We've chosen Rowan Cork for the next one, in a bright, two-tone orange. I think she'll be just as pretty in this new color, and in a sweater with a looser fit, which she'll be able to wear for at least a few years. In the meantime . . . I'm in negotiations with a younger girl, who's Mother is a fantastic knitter herself, to see if she would like to acquire my first attempt at this sweater. Hopefully, I'll have some additional pictures of my "Lady Kina Sweater" for a future post.

Even experienced knitters "drop the ball" occassionally. This little fiasco has delayed any progress on my "Eva" and "Stella Pullover". However, the Rowan Cork is a stiffer yarn, and my hands quickly tire of knitting with it. This will open up some windows for knitting on my "Eva" and "Stella Pullover", as they are both knit in a fine gauge yarn with large needles.

Our garden is thriving, and we are eating lots of zucchinis, spaghetti squash and cucumbers, with tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant and green beans coming on soon. I'll hope to have some pictures of the garden's progress in my next post.

Be sure to get signed up for the two give-aways. Happy Knitting!Knit-Zilla Ravelry Downloads

July 16, 2014

Sticking to ONE?

For some reason, I have the hardest time focusing on just one knitting project at a time. I've had to purchase many sets of knitting needles in the same sizes, because the ones I need are alway lurking around in another unfinished object (UFO).

Currently, I have quite a few UFO's in varying stages, which are riding around in my knitting basket, sitting on the corner of the couch, or are tucked into the ottoman where I store upcoming projects. Here are a few of them:
This is another "Laura Leaves Tank", which I am knitting from a Custom Fit recipe for the "Custom Fit Summer Sweater KAL".  I'm knitting it of "Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply.  This is my all-time favorite yarn to knit with.  It is coming along nicely, with just the neck and arm bands left to knit.  I hope to have this finished before the KAL deadline on August 15.  This will be my F2F #5 for 2014.
This is "Eva" by Cheri Christian, which is my F2F #6 for 2014.  She is knit of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, in the color "Sweet".  She is just getting started, and you can see the front ruffle will have a tiny little row of sparkly beads. 
This project is just about finished. It is my "Lady Kina" sample, for my "Knit Night" KAL, coming up in the Fall.  I knit this sample for my darling, little grandaughter, so I should have pictures of her wearing it soon.  I hope it fits!   
It was coming along nicely, until someone stepped in my knitting basket and put this nice red dirt footprint on the inside of the back.  I'm hoping it will wash out, when soaking the finished sweater for blocking.  If not, I guess it won't be too upsetting, as it is on the inside of the garment.  This sweater is knit of KnitPicks - Gloss DK, in the color Sea Spray. 
I've finally decided on the yarn for my "Lady Kina" sweater.  I've ordered KnitPicks Comfy in the color "Doe", which is a soft brown.  Knitting two "Lady Kina" sweaters in simple stockinette stitch, is much too boring for me, so I've decided to incorporate the lace pattern from the "Growing Leaves Cowl" by Meghan Macko, into the body of my sweater.  Hopefully, this will all work out. 
In addition, I just received the yarn to knit a "Stella Pullover", by Kristen Hipsky.  It will be knit of Valley Yarns - Alpaca Silk, in the color Black.  This will be F2F #7 for 2014.  I'm hoping to caston for this sweater tonight.

I know . . . I'm totally A.D.D, when it comes to knitting!  I'm always in a state of finishing, starting, or ordering.  Do you really think having 5 WOP (works in progress) at one time, is too much?  I always mark my pattern and use a stitch counter, when I move from one project to another, so I don't waste time when I come back to it.  The only problem seems to be that I don't finish Summer sweaters until in the Fall and Winter sweaters until the Spring.  I guess I need to switch up my planning a bit. 

I hope you are enjoying the Summer and that there is a bit of knitting moving on your needles.  Happy Knitting!

July 09, 2014

Southeastern UTAH

I just returned from a whirlwind tour of southeastern Utah, where I saw some sights for the first time. It was HOT, dusty and especially BEAUTIFUL! After seeing a recent movie, which was filmed in Monument Valley, I just had to see it for myself. Here are some of the pictures we took.

In all, we visited Arches National Park, where we saw Delicate Arch; Mesa Verde; Four Corners, where we creatively stood in 4 states at the same time (Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico); and Monument Valley. We packed our lunch each day, and drank a LOT of water. It was a great time! 
On our return, we stopped at this location to take a few pictures, and found the tread had come off a tire on our 5th Wheel, which completely beat up the wheel well and side of the trailer. Funny, we didn't even realize it had happened until we stopped. Lucky this was our only problem on the trip. You can see in the picture, that 2 little boys thought they could hike up to the rock formation all by themselves. Luckily a baby was crying up there, so I was able to convince them they should stay and help Grandpa change the tire.

As we were traveling from place to place, I was madly knitting on my "Kina Sweater" sample. I ran out of yarn and even knit up the yarn from my swatch. In our jumping from car to car, someone stepped into my knitting basket and put a nice red dirt footprint on the inside of my sweater. I hope it will wash out, but if it does not, we'll have a nice momento from the trip. Luckily, the dirt footprint is on the inside, and won't be seen when worn. Anyway, I'm hoping to get some more yarn to complete my sample in the same dye lot, so I can finish it up. In the meantime, I'm back knitting on my Laura Leaves Tank.

I hope you are having a fun summer and you are taking time for a vacation or two. Happy Knitting!