Sunday, June 14, 2015

I Visted My Yarn Room this Morning

Oh Boy! I went downstairs to do the laundry and was side tracked by my messy, very messy yarn room. The poor room has been neglected lately due to the fact I have been working on so many different things. So I took a little time, and dug through some things and found a couple of UFO that I had totally forgot about. One was a scarf that I started maybe 3 years ago, I have no idea what the pattern was, but after taking a look I think I can make it into a cowl and call it good. I found a baby blanket that was started by another lady, then given to me to finish about 2 years ago. It's a simple pattern that I think I can pick up and finish. I found others that I had no idea what I was doing. Those will be frogged or donated to the trash man. I can't believe that I have let my knitting room go so bad. I am totally embarrassed at the stage of disarray. But, I don't have time to really dig in and get it shaped up. So I will be adding that to my to do list, for this fall. Yep, I said Fall. Only because I have so many other things on my plate that I won't have time until September or October. UGH!!

I had an idea for decoration at the yarn shop and I decided to give it a try and see how it would work out. I purchased a blow up beach ball for a $1 and the Dollar store and found some red yarn. I begun wrapping the yarn around the beach ball to form a huge ball of yarn. I had it almost covered when I ran out.... Well, as I was working in my yarn room I looked and looked for another bit of red yarn. To my surprise I have no red yarn in my stash! What the heck! But I did find 2 skeins of orange. So I think I will try again and just make it orange. But I really want red, I may have to go buy some red yarn to finish this project.

Update on Baby G, He is 8 and a half months old now. He is pulling up and just started getting the courage to let go and stand for a split second before he plops down on his bottom. He is also teething something awful right now. Along with all that, he has broke out in a horrible diaper rash. We are doing everything we can think of to clear it up. My little guy just hasn't been that happy this week.

As far as the yarn shop, I don't have much news on it. But I do have my eyes on this sweet girl that works in the quilt shop. She is a knitter too. We talked the other day and she really wants to come work in the yarn shop. I think I will see if I can snag her from the main shop to work with me. I love her personality and she has tremendous knitting knowledge. She has been knitting almost all her life. She was taught by her mother and is very much in the know of the young knitters. So I am crossing my fingers that Mary can help out in the yarn shop when it opens. I've also got my eye on a couple other ladies at the quilt shop. Nicole, I've worked with her a few times and she is very detail ordinated and once she is set on a task she gets it done. The other thing I love about Nicole, is her smile. She comes off a little shy at first, but when she smiles her face really warms up. The other young lady is Sara, however, Sara doesn't want to learn to knit and she is fitting in very well at the main quilt shop and does an amazing job. As much I would love to work with her, because she lifts my spirits every time I'm around her, I don't think it will happen.

It is exciting to visit with people about the soon to open yarn shop. It's crazy how many quilters are knitters and the are all super excited that soon we will have yarn available. I've received nothing but positive feedback from our shoppers. I'm crossing my fingers that this shop will take off like a rocket! I can't wait to find a group of knitters to share ideas with. Maybe, if we have enough local knitters we can start a knitting group one night a month.

What's on my Needles?
Well, right now I'm working on a new sock pattern. I've already titled it Big Foot. My husband has a size 13 foot and wants a pair of socks. I'm working out the numbers and trying to find a pattern that is interesting to knit but plain enough for a guy to like enough to wear them.

I've got ideas in the back of my head for an apron, revisiting my towel toper, and I might attempt another sweater.

I don't know about sweaters. I've made a few and they have all had stories of their own on how they turned out. But I have this fear in my gut about making fitted garments... To me, Socks are safe and easy. Sweaters are Mount Everest!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Baby, Fireworks, Yarn Patterns and Quilt Shop

Yep my plate is full right now.

First off, Baby G is turning 9 months soon and I need to get him in for his check up. He is teething and not sleeping well, thus, I am not sleeping well.

Next week our tent will be set and product delivered for our firework tent. My husband runs it, but I help with pricing, inventory control, scheduling, payroll, running to the store and breaking him so he can go home to rest and take a shower. This year the tent is setting a week earlier than normal. So instead of two weeks, we are looking at three full weeks of life under the big top. If you have never worked a firework tent, you have no idea how hard it is. I'll just leave it at that...

I've also been working on some knitting designs. A simple dish cloth and not so simple socks. I want to get a bunch together and see if I can get them published. That is a dream that I really hope comes true. Next I plan on making a pattern for a baby blanket, re-working my hat design and towel topper. When I'm done I want to have around 10 designs to package.

I'm also working at the Quilt Shop while working on everything else. It has been a blast! Recently I've had the opportunity to spread my wings a little and work in a couple of the small shops. It's been so fun! I can't tell you how many quilters I have ran into that are also knitters! They all seem very excited for the yarn shop to open.

So as of right now, I've got a check up for Baby G, Fireworks for 3 weeks, the yarn shop opening, then a small surgery for Baby G in August. Next thing I know summer will be over...

Oh and my poor garden! I didn't pick all my radishes soon enough and they went to seed. I picked a couple of turnips today and made turnip fries as a snack (yummy). Only one Cauliflower plant made it and the Broccoli looks really sad. Carrots look ok and the yellow squash has blooms. I thing most of the corn got washed away. Nothing else really made it. I think one tomato plant has got a couple of fruits on it. But this year the rain and flooding has not helped the garden grow.

So it's 2am, Baby G is finally sleeping and I need to be up in 3 and half hours to get ready for work... Wish me luck!

Seed Stitch Border Dishcloth by Jenny Fish

Seed Stitch Border Dishcloth
I'm looking for test knitters that would like to try this pattern and leave feedback. Please comment below if you are interested.
1 Ball Cotton Yarn
Size 10.5 US Knitting Needles
Darning Needle
Tape Measure
Optional: Stitch Marker
Using the long tail cast on method CO 27 stitches
Row 1 (RS): (K1 ,P1) to end of row
Row 2: Knit the purls, Purl the knits to end of row
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Repeat Row 2
Row 5: (K1,P1) two times, PM, K19, PM, (P1,K1) to end of row
Row 6: (K1,P1) two times [to Marker], P19, [to Marker] (P1,K1) to end of row
Repeat rows 5 and 6 until piece measures 6 inches.
Repeat Rows 1-4.

Cast Off all stitches.

CO= Cast On
K = Knit
P= Purl
PM= Place Marker
RS= Right Side
Knitting Cast-On
CO=Casting On is the term for making the foundation row of stitches on your needle.
To begin, you will need a pair of knitting needles and a skein (also called a 'ball' or a 'hank') of yarn. The terms 'skein' , 'ball' and 'hank' refers to the form factor for the bulk yarn.
  1. A 'skein' is the form that the yarn is in when it wound by the manufacturing equipment. Some skeins are designed so that you can pull the yarn from the inside as well as the outside. These are called 'pull skeins.'
  2. A 'ball' is yarn that has been rolled into a ball (sometimes done by knitters for convenience or to divide a skein into multiple quantities for use)
  3. A 'hank' is the yarn wound loosely in a circle. Hanks are common in hand-spun or hand-dyed yarn, but are not common in commercially-prepared product. If your yarn is in a hank, it will tangle easily and it is advisable to roll it into a ball before beginning work.

Long-Tail Cast-On
Also known as Double Cast-On or Continental Cast-On
It creates an even, stretchy edge that works well for stockinette stitch or for ribbing. It's easy to knit from, easy to pick up stitches from, and is also the fastest cast-on.
Tip: When a pattern calls to "cast on loosely" (like sock cuffs and turtle necks), do this cast on over two needles held together as one.  Results are a cast on that is literally as stretchy as your ribbing. Dangle the tail from your thumb for two reasons: 1) Your tail length will not fluctuate with the needle size, so it's easier to estimate yarn.  2) The yarn on the thumb side will tend to "untwist" as you go, but since it's not attached to the ball end it's easy to reintroduce the twist as you wish.

Slip Knot
For most methods you will need to know how to make a Slip Knot.
Pick up the yarn with your left hand.
Create a loop by taking the long end of the yarn (attached to the ball) and winding it over the top of the shorter end. Hold the point where the yarns cross, creating the loop, tightly between your left thumb and forefinger.
Use your right hand take the long end of the yarn (attached to the ball) and put it under the loop and up through it, creating a new loop.
Take the new loop with your right hand and pull until the first loop has tightened
Place this new loop over the end of your knitting needle and pull the long end of the yarn to close the loop over the needle.

Seed Stitch

Seed Stitch involves one row of knit 1, purl 1 followed by one row of knitting the purl stitches and purling the knit stitches.
This is a good texture stitch to use for borders because of the stacking of stitches the fabric will not roll.

Casting Off-
Is a finishing method to remove live stitches from needles.

Knit the first two stitches. When you have two stitches on the right needle, use the tip of the left needle to pull the first stitch up and over the second stitch. Leaving one stitch on the right needle. Knit the next stitch and repeat the process until you have one stitch left on the right needle.

Leaving a few inches clip your yarn and pull the end through the loop and pull tight to secure the stitch.

Weaving the Ends:
Weave the end of the yarn through several stitches to secure the end, using a darning needle or sewing needle. Hint: if you have a slick yarn, you can tack it down with sewing thread.