Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Castlegar Cardigan Final

Designer, Laura Chau, came up with a fingering weight gauge cardigan that really piqued my interest. 

   Yarn:  Knitpicks Stroll
   231 yards per skein
   Color:  Burgundy
   Needles:  Size 3 US circular needles and size 2 dpns

This cute little cardi took considerable time, but I'm not a very speedy knitter, and I do believe I could have made it a little shorter, probably 2-3 inches.  I always forget I'm not 5'5"....crap.

Do you notice the puckering?  Yeah, me too.  I could have made a size smaller, but there's nothing more uncomfortable than a tight sweater.  Well, I guess having to go to the bathroom while standing in line for tickets at the movies is a bit more uncomfortable, but I digress.

Ignore the fold line down the back of the cardi.  It was waiting patiently for a photographer.  Thanks, Alexis.

This was truly a breeze to knit, and I highly recommend the pattern.  Just make sure you have enough yarn.  The neck area could have been about an inch higher, if I hadn't been living on the edge, with less than half a skein of yarn and no button bands. 

See what I mean about the buttons?  They do seem to be a bit heavy, but I love them with this pattern, so I think I'll leave them as is.  I will definitely take that into consideration when I make another lightweight sweater again.  By the way, those are freckles, not age spots!  Don't judge me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Button Hunt

The task of finding the perfect button for a hand knit sweater is daunting.  I've made my choice, but I'm having second thoughts.  The nickel buttons I've chosen might be too heavy for the lightweight sweater front.  I'll sew them on first - decide later.  I might have to choose some kind of lightweight plastic button.  Finished pictures coming soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Socks on the Needles

Autumn is a good time to indulge myself in the beautiful colors of the season.  I simply love fall in all its majesty.  Here, we have some pumpkin colored yarn that I purchased for a sweater, but it was not to be.  All that yammy color was just too much.

I made up the pattern myself.  That's to say, I didn't use a pattern from Ravelry, or any book or website.  I'm sure someone out there has made socks with a diamond pattern on them, so they're probably not 'original' in the truest sense of the word.  I used graph paper to sketch out the design I wanted, and began knitting using basic sock measurements.  We'll see how they come out.

The diamonds are subtle, I know, but I didn't want anything too fussy with this very bold and stripey color.  I hope to finish them before Halloween.

I'm loving my little sock project bag. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Twisted Rib Socks - Complete

At last!  These socks featured a twisted rib cuff, and a simple knit all-over design.  Nothing complicated, at all.

Yarn:  The Woolen Rabbit
           Essence/ Merino Wool
           400 yards
This lovely yarn is very soft with a muted blue/grey color.  They were knit using US 1 dpns, at 8 stitches per inch gauge. 

My daughter was kind enough to model them for me, but they're knit for someone with slightly larger feet, so they're not quite the perfect fit in these photos.  Sorry for the gloomy looking pictures, but the lateness of an already cloudy day was not in my favor.

All in all, a very comfortable TV watching knit, though the pattern seemed to drag on.  I suppose there should be a balance between what is easy and what is interesting.  Hmm, I'll have to give that some thought for my next pair of socks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Doggie Treats, anyone?

I've been making Ruby's doggie treats for years.  One reason is economical, but the most important reason is, Ruby absolutely loves them.  She turns down Snausages, Bacon treats, Milkbone, and almost any purchased dog treat on the market. 

Even if your dog likes name brand treats, you might give these a try.  They're so very easy to make.

2 C. flour
1 C. grated cheese, any cheddar will do
1/2 tsp. salt
1 individual size serving of apple sauce

Mix the above ingredients until a somewhat soft dough forms.  The exact porportions are not important. 

Pat or roll out the dough until approximately 1/4 inch thickness.  Parchment, Silpat, or use a cooking spray of your choice.  It should form somewhat of a rectangle.

The dough can be scored lightly with a butter knife or a pizza cutter.  I forgot to take a picture of the scoring part.  You can skip this part if you want, but scoring makes the cooked treats a little easier to cut after baking.   Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or so.  It should be brown around the edges and the cheese bits on top should be starting to brown too.

Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  Here's the important part:  Since there are NO preservatives, they should be kept in the freezer, in a ziplock bag.  I usually portion about 10 at a time in a little container in the refrigerator and use those for Ruby.  As many treats that can be used up in about 5 days is a good amount for the fridge.  The rest of the treats will stay nice and fresh in the freezer.  Re-fill the fridge supply as needed.

Doesn't your dog deserve homemade treats? 

Friday, October 1, 2010

A story and some progress

What a crazy week! 

First, our computer crashed.  Bummer.  It was down for 2 whole days, and I have no other computer resource, so those 2 days seemed like 2 long weeks.

 The following day, I had an overflow of sticky, sugary batter in my oven.  When the cake directions say to use a certain size pan, I suppose they mean it.  My pan was too small....way too small.  I wasn't too worried, because I have a  BRAND NEW oven,  and it has a 'self-clean'  feature.  Ever since we moved, I've been using a, what shall I say.... economical oven... yes,  that's what you call an oven that doesn't have any bells or whistles.  Understand, I love to cook, and spending time using  Easy-Off  on crusty, greasy bits is not a good way to spend an afternoon.  After a lengthy discussion on the benefits of my cooking versus going out to eat every night, my husband agreed.  Back to the story.  The spill was truly nasty.  After removing the disgusting cake pan  from the oven, I was eager to try this miracle of technology - an oven that cleans itself!  Did I wipe up the spill first?  Of course not.  Did I read the directions first?  No way!  I just pushed the cleaning pad, and heard the oven door lock.  Did I mention it was 10 o'clock at night?  Smoke began billowing out of the oven vent faster and thicker than one could imagine.  All four smoke alarms were blaring while Ruby began barking and running around the house like it was on fire...ahem, yeah, weird.   I began opening all the windows, yelling at my husband (who was soundly sleeping at the time) to help me.  Long story short -  the smoke cleared, but the smell lingered on.  We've spent several days cleaning drapes, washing every fabric that was possible, and yesterday, we finally shampooed the carpet. 

Today, it seems we won't have to call professionals, after all.  The smell is about 95% gone.  We are somewhat back to normal, and I can get back to really important matters, like knitting.

The Castelgar cardigan is winding down, finally.  I'm nearly finished with the collar portion, then come the button bands.

My biggest problem is YARN.  Do I have enough?  I'm on the last skein, and it's going fast.  When I bought the yarn, I thought I would make the sleeves quarter length, but I changed my mind when I began the project.  Can I say "Houston, we have a problem"?

The directions say to graft the underarm section, after the cardigan is completed.  I suppose this means using a Kitchner stitch?  That's the only graft stitch I know.  Maybe an online search is in order.