Monday, May 28, 2007

Fun for Feet!

I finished the socks I've been knitting for myself this week. I love the sport wt yarn as it works up a bit faster! This pair I made with an afterthought heel which is really slick. You knit the sock down to where you think the heel ought to be, knit across 1/2 the stitches with waste yarn, put the waste yarn back on the left needle, and then knit across those same stitches with the main yarn.

(It is the same idea as Elizabeth Zimmermann's thumb trick for mittens. She tells how to do it in Knitting without Tears. That is such a great book.)

You just keep knitting till you are ready to shape the toe of the sock (about 4 inches on these socks). Once that is done, you remove the waste yarn, put the stitches back on the needles, and shape the heel as if IT was another TOE! The amazing thing that happens is when you put the sock on your foot, that pouch becomes your heel! It is called a Peasant Heel and has been around forever. Very easy to reknit if you wear a hole in the heel. Which is why women started making them that way, I'm sure! I had to darn a lot of my socks this past winter and decided that making a Peasant Heel made a lot of sense. Instead of darning, I'll just take the heel out if necessary and knit a new one--any old color will do! Can't you just picture a beleaguered mother trying to keep socks on the feet of her many kids, knitting away! Better yet, teaching the older ones to knit their own socks!

The sock itself is very comfortable. I haven't blocked them yet, but wool is always so accomodating to shape itself! I rarely block my socks, just pull them on and let my foot shape them. Over a little time, they find the best shape! Hey, these are "keep my feet happy" socks!

If you want some step by step directions for the Peasant Heel (and a lot of other heels, as well) check out Nancy Bush's Folk Socks.
Fascinating book with lots of history and techniques. Enjoyable reading!

I have another pair of mittens about 1/2 done. Two strands of fingering yarn to equal a sport weight. I used a self-patterning yarn with black and it is making an interesting tweed. I also found several cones of Brown Sheep sport wt yarn that had been buried in my stash: rose, blue, and teal solids. I'll probably play with peeries and Fair Isle and see what I can manage. I have the book by Sheila McGregor called Traditional Fair Isle Knitting.

The photos are wonderful: hats, sweaters, vests, etc. Again history of the knitting styles and the last half of the book is devoted to nothing but charted patterns of all sizes! Small to large! The small patterns are easily used on mittens and socks.

Knitting is such an amazing activity! We get to play with color and string and make dashing clothing for ourselves and our families!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back to my Clover DPNS

I've been working on a pair of socks for myself using Magic Loop and Addi Turbos sz 3s, but the light has been glaring off of the needles and really bothering my eyes. Ever since I had cataract surgery I've had trouble with night vision and reflected lights. I remembered that I had some Clover bamboo size 3s so I switch over to them and they are MUCH easier on my eyes! No more glare! I love knitting Magic Loop and I did try Clover circs, but really didn't like the cable--too stiff. But the 7" DPNS are working fine for me now, so I went online to Knit Picks and ordered a few more sizes. (now don't laugh, Ann!) It's a good thing that I learned to make socks on DPNS many years ago, so it's not a BIG deal! But I will have to reorganize my knitting needles a bit differently now.

I found directions for sewing a simple school bag from Bev's Country Cottage. It is from the LDS Humanitarian link she has posted there:

We are doing a School Supply Fund for the Cheyenne River Rez and I am collecting the monies for that for us. We will be purchasing paper and notebooks for the kids online in early August and having them shipped directly to the Rez--hopefully for free if the order is big enough. So after looking at the School Bag directions, I decided that I would make some of them and fill them with everything on the list EXCEPT the paper. That way each child will have the essentials to start school with, Julie can supply the paper for them at the Main and I will have the fun of knowing that I am working for individual children.

I love projects like this--I always loved starting the new school year! My grandmother would take us shopping for a new outfit, my folks got us new shoes (which always pinched my toes after being bare-footed all summer!) and there was the excitement of finding out who our new teacher would be for the year.

PS No more Adult Surprise Sweater. Unraveled it. Hated the colors when knitted together, so will have to try again another day! I love being the boss of my knitting!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Have Cast on For My Adult Surprise Jacket

306 stitches later, I am finally knitting on my Adult Surprise Jacket. I've made lots of the BSJs, but this is the first adult version that I've made. We are having a knitalong on the knitbabysurprise group so it seemed like a good time to get it underway. I'm using red, off white, yellow, sage green, dusky blue and medium beige. Will be fun to see how they all work together!

I enjoyed a long talk with my granddaughter, Piper, in Calif today. Thank goodness for free minutes and mobile phones! She has learned to write her name in Japanese and said she would sign my Mother's Day card in print, cursive and kanji! I'll have to frame that one!

After Piper and I had a long talk, she wanted to chat with Cora and they talked and talked and talked! I loved listening to them! Cora told Piper how I sing to her at night before she goes to sleep and wanted me to sing to Piper. Which I did! Cora told her that I call them my Baby Dolls and that I love them both very much. She then turned to me and said, "Piper said she loves you very much, too, Grandma" I guess you know my heart was full of joy with those two little ones--they give so much love!

Piper told me the colors she wants for her Christmas sweater. I will have to make the ASJ for her this year as she is getting bigger. Love that percentage system. Cora orders up something new everyday!

I got the movie World Trade Center in the mail today, so will turn that on and knit on the ASJ. I hope it is as good as the Da Vinci Code which I watched yesterday. Boy, that one kept me guessing right up to the end!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

More Mitten Patterns

This one from Elizabeth Durrand
This looks like one I will want to try.

Also this one from Projects for Community Knitting It has a thumb gusset that is in ribbing.

And one more from Sivia Harding based on EZ's percentage system. So jump right in and make some mittens for the Rez!

I'm off to start a new pair now!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Knitting Help videos

I've been making Mariella's Sideways Mittens and needed some help with the short row technique. I found this site on the web. It has helped a lot. By the time I finish these mittens, I should be pretty good at it!

Mittens are great for learning new techniques: fair isle, cables, etc. Small enough not to frustrate too much, but big enough to feel successful!

Here is a pic of Cora's pink mittens in progress. She can hardly wait to try them on, even though the weather is hot now!

Allergies are kicking up now. Guess there are some things out there blooming that my body is objecting to breathing!

Sneezing and Knitting anyway! (The Kangaroo bag I made from material I brought from my trip to Australia when I was still teaching and had money to travel. Beautiful place!)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

It's Mitten Time Again!

Time to start knitting mittens for Cheyenne River Rez again. Oct. 1st is the mailing date if you want to participate in the Challenge. 7 pairs of mittens for 2007. See details for mailing on Ann's blog, Sheep Shots May 1st entry.

I've been trying to learn how to use the link button in Blogger, but so far no success! At least it lets me paste in the links in the regular way. I just think it is neat when a word lights up the little hand and then you click and it takes you to the other site. Well, I'll keep trying.

(Hooray and many thanks to Ann for helping me to learn how to use the Links! I feel so computer adequate right now!)

My little pink BSJ is coming right along. Got some new movies from Netflix today, so will be doing more knitting and movie watching tomorrow. Had some rain showers today, another good excuse (as if I needed one!) for staying in and knitting. Maybe I'll start a pair of those mittens.