Thursday, September 28, 2006

Brenham County Fair

It is fair season here in Texas--so we headed off to the Brenham County Fair, one of the best small town fairs in the area.

There's always a petting animals area--this year with merino goats! Nice yarn...

Brenham County Fair
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Brenham County Fair
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

And there's a small carnival area. Do you like the biker girl look?

Harley GIrl
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Bruce and the child enjoyed checking out the tractors. He has been looking at this model for 2 years. I think at some point this will be a purchase, but right now he's still dreaming.

Brenham County Fair
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

In preparation for the October 1 kick off Kerry Cardigan knit along, I am feverishly trying to finish the Rowan Denim jacket. Here are all the finished pieces prior to the wash:

Rowan Denim Pre Washing
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I love that this yarn is designed to be tossed in the washer and dryer. You wash it in hot water and dry it in the hot dryer its first time out. The length shrinks quite a bit (30% I believe) but the width remains stable. Notice the swatch on the left hand side that looks like a wash cloth? You have to wash the yarn you plan to use to sew the seams. Elann suggests that you knit a big swatch to throw into the wash--so there it is. I pulled it out ends and wound it into a little ball.

I have to admit that I watched the water turn blue during the washing process. It was pretty nifty to watch the overdyed indigo wash off in beautiful patterns. More soon!

Rowan Denim in the Wash machine
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Monday, September 25, 2006

When Life gets hectic, Knit more

Life seems to be increasing hectic from this mid September to mid October--I have major items to complete for work. And, when things get nuts, I just want to hide and knit. On top of all the other items I am finishing, I was tempted by and eventually joined the Black Water Abbey Kerry Cardigan Knit Along.

I have been wanting to knit with this yarn for a very long time. Who can resist a yarn that is made at a small Co. Kilkenny, Ireland mill? Plus, BWA will send a free color card. I asked for one two years ago and every month I pull it out, look at the colors, and try to decide what I want to make first. The knitalong just pushed me over the edge!

It looks like this will be a very helpful knit along--the leader has made charts and a check list so far. I like the very active knit alongs the best (otherwise I tend to pick up other projects, cough , cough), so I joined up. We have an Oct 1 start date.

Here's the pattern picture, thanks to BWA:

The pattern is one of their own (6$). Plus, I ordered the cutest celtic cross buttons. And what color? Ocean from BWA:

The owner, Marilyn, said my items would be mailed Monday. I can't wait! Better finish that denim knit before the wool shows up!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Grafting Touch up

I finished up my second sleeve this weekend (no pictures--just a ad boring ole sleeve) and was ready to start the button bands when I looked at the back yoke. I finished this oh so long ago, and must have misread the pattern. I had the stitch facing the inside--it is to be out. SO, I could either rip and re knit or try something new -- graft. Since I have only grafted sock toes, grafting it was. Here I am just starting to pull out the yarn and settle the two sides on skinny needles.

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.
Voila. Two pieces. A flip around to face things the right way. Add another two rows to even things up:

Two Pieces
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I used Nancie Wiseman's The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques to figure out where exactly my needle needed to move in and out of the loops. Once I figured out the technique and remembered to tighten things a bit on each loop, it went pretty smoothly. The I only issue was that the yarn that I used to graft the two pieces together wore more quickly than the surrounding yarn. In other words, this yarn is dyed so that the blue dye rubs off over time. This one piece had a bit more wear, so it appears lighter.

Post Grafting
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I think that when this is washed that color shift should disappear, as the yarn will wear like blue jeans and appear much more even. My stitches aren't perfect, but the inconsistencies are hidden by the ridge. A good technique to try--and if it works on cotton, it should be great on wool. I'm off to work on button bands!

Close up post grafting
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Sleeve

I'm on sleeve island, slowly moving with the waves... The first sleeve is complete, the second about half way.

the Sleeve
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Remember that Rowan's Denim yarn shrinks about 10% in length when you do the initial wash, so the sleeves are longer than usual. Excuse the hair--this was pre-drying! Notice that my daughter seems amused by Mom taking crazy pictures on the back deck.

LONG sleeve
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

The sleeve is as long as the child is tall! I haven't seen any problems with the dye coming off on my needles, though they are metal addis so they shouldn't stain. I have noticed a bit of the indigo on my fingers, but not much.

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

What else do you do with a sleeve? Apparently it makes a great scarf!

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nordhav Mittens

I have something to show! I ran out of yarn half way up the final thumb of my Nordhav Mittens, so had to order an extra ball of yarn. I sat down and whipped through that final thumb this weekend. Once I finished and stitched in the yarn ends, I took the advice of Deb, owner of Nordic Fiber Arts, and steamed the mittens very, very well. I dampened a tea towel, heated my iron and pressed on the wool. The stitches all went into place and the mittens look much more even.

Here's what I have:

Nordhav Mittens
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I'm including lots of pictures of these mittens, since I'm so pleased with how they turned out. My Mom gave me this kit for Christmas, and I'm going to give the mittens to her for a Christmas gift.

Nordhav Mittens
Originally uploaded by amyeetx

One up , one down.

Nordhav Mittens
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Here is a close up of the cuff:

Nordhav Mittens
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

And a close up of the band:

Nordhav Mittens
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New knitting loot

A bit more knitting loot:

New knitting loot
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

The yarn and Folk Knitting in Estonia book come from Nordic Fiber Arts. The skein of yarn will allow me to finish my Nordic mittens--finally. Pictures soon! I have wanted to pick up the Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush for a while. From what the Nordic Fiber Arts owner says, this one is close to out of print, so get your copy while you can!

The smaller blue and white book is a great find: They Lived By the Sea: Folklore and Ganseys Of the Pentland Firth by Hetty Munro. Elizabeth Lovick sold about 30 copies of these books through one of the knitting lists that I receive. Apparently Munro's niece and nephew had these copies in their attic and wanted them to go to knitters. The book focuses on both the history of Ganseys of the Pentland Firth and includes a number of patterns. I am intrigued with these simple, yet beautiful designs. If you want additional information on these check the website.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Lost & Found: Rowan Denim Voyage

When I was trying to decide what to do with the discoloring cabled sleeve, I was fishing around in the stash and look what I found!

This was my Olympic project that never happened. I had finished the back and the right front. I cast on for the left front, which went really quickly. I suppose that my skill level has increased, because this is no longer a difficult knit.

Front of Denim Voyage
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Rowan denim is a cotton yarn that is overdyed--you can already see the changing colors in the yarn. I like the look of the cables.

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Here's a look at the pattern:

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

The sleeve construction is interesting. You separate the cast on to make the cuff (complete with button holes and flap). Then you join the stitches and leave the sleeve seam open. Pretty interesting!

Voyage Sleeve
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Knitter's Story

I think I've finished the redesign of my blog. Everything SEEMS to be in place. It's interesting--I was not that interested in blogging (or knitting) this summer, but with the start of the school year, I've found this burst of interest and energy. I have some exciting knitting underway (more on that soon), and am fully ready for fall!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Gallery of Finished Objects

Gallery 2007
Gallery 2006
Gallery 2005
Gallery 2004

On the Needles

Cable Cardigan

Faroe Island Sweater

Rowan Denim Seahorse


Future Knits

Lisette from Rowan

Lorna's Laces Socks

Backyard Leaves Scarf

Eloise from Jane Ellison


The WeatherPixie


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