My 1st Sweater Design completed

Well, truth be told, I have designed other sweaters before, but this is the 1st one that is wholly my own. The stitch pattern is mine, although the vertical striping technique I learned from Barbara Walkers. All my other designs used stitch patterns from various stitch libraries, such as Barbara Walker’s books. The shaping design is mine. The measurements are all mine. I’m a little giddy over the fact that it is completed and it came out the exact size I designed it to come out. Woo!

In my giddiness, I’ve even hammered away to get it uploaded to my Flickr and my Etsy store.

Now, I just need to convince my model she can still fit into it. Then, I can get some decent pictures. I would model it myself, but I’m a bit too petite (**short**). It is designed for a taller woman or, as the industry might say, the standard woman.

Doing the Sweater Dance!

And can I say how fulfilling design work actually is? OK, OK, it’s frustrating at times and annoying at times and it wakes me up in the middle of the night at times with little corrections to my pattern, but oh, at the end of the day, it is worth it! I never got this much satisfaction from my day-to-day job.

So, what do you think of it?

The whole idea behind it was to design a sweater that had vertical stripes, but didn’t require changing the color every 2-4 stitches. I HATE Fair Isle. This sweater (when I wasn’t ripping it out for the umpteenth time) was actually quick to knit. Basically, you slip the stitches in the color you’re not using out of the way and only knit the stitches in the color you are carrying at the time.

BTW – More pictures of this sweater can be found on my Flickr site.

No More Knitting my Striped Sweater

It’s so close to being done. The collar, which has been my nemesis these past 2 weeks, is done.

All that is left is a mountain of loose strands to weave in.

Better pictures to come Friday.

Right now, I’m off to celebrate with Jake. A translation: I am off to toss him a few well-worn sticks around the yarn.

Happy Day to you too!

Stitch n Pitch night at the Phillies

Last night, was the 1st Stitch n Pitch night at the Phillies park.

Isn’t this hat the best?

The first 100 people to buy tickets for the event got a grab bag. Since Hubby came with me, and he still refuses to learn how to knit or sew or quilt, I came out with 2 bags.

There was so many wonderful things in each of the bags. I tried to line everything up and take pictures of it all.

Phillie items: 2007 Calendar, Magnet Schedule and a Tug McGraw bracelet

Knitting items: #19 Premium Wood Knitting Needles from Clover, ball of Frizzato Yarn by Plymouth Yarn, ball of Soft Kid by ggh, ball of Bel Air by ggh, and a sample size of Soak.

Other items: Flexible Self-Adhesive Dots by Colonial for hand quilting, brochures from nearby yarn shops, and quilting & knitting patterns

My Stitch n Pitch project was a scarf knit from 2 different yarns: one cotton and one unknown. (I raided my leftover stash section for the yarn). I started the scarf in the car during the car ride down to the stadium. Like usual, my gauge was loose.

The temperature at the game was in the mid-eighties F. Naturally, I was glistening like a sun-catcher. Then, the yarn started sticking together and to me and to my clothes. So, as you can see, my gauge started getting smaller and smaller. No way to salvage it; the scarf will be added to my frogged pile.

Despite losing the scarf, it was a wonderful night. I hope the Phillies host a Stitch n Pitch night every year. I’ll be there with bells on!

Strawberry Jam

I couldn’t believe I had let myself run so low on my supply of strawberry jam. Every spring, I make 8 jars of strawberry jam and then spend the rest of the year smothering it onto scones, muffins and bread. Of course, I give some away too. I can’t eat 8 jars all by myself!

This year, due to the California crisis, I had skipped making the jam. I figured I would wait until the strawberries came to harvest here in Pennsylvania.

It’s summer time now and I had seen the strawberry prices drop, but I still thought I had time. There were things to knit, you see. Well, I went to smother some jam on my scones Saturday and realized that I only had enough for maybe two more slices of bread.

So, I stopped everything, and made myself jam on Sunday. I feel much better now.

Yard Sale

I don’t normally go to yard sales. But, when the newspaper ad listed knitting and sewing supplies, I HAD to go. It wasn’t an option. What if they had bags and bags of yarn or fabric? I can’t pass that up.

By the time I got there, I had myself into a frenzy thinking that there was going to be a mountain of yarn and fabric.

Well, there were no mountains. There wasn’t even any fabric. The yarn, spread out over 3 blankets, was mostly acrylic. I was a little broken hearted.

Then, I saw a skein of wool in all that acrylic. So, I did what any self-respecing yarn lover would do. I got down on my hands and knees and sifted through the entire stash of yarn, pulling out all the balls of wool and cotton. I ended up with a plastic bag (grocery store size) full of yarn. I paid $1.00 for the entire bag. I tried to give her more, but she didn’t think it was worth that much.

I brought it home and laid it out on my dining table.

It was a lovely sight until I started looking closer at the yarn. Some of the yarn was worthless. The red yarn had frayed in so many sections that I had to throw the whole skein out. It looked like moths had just ravished it. They got to a ball of the green yarn too. Even the orange yarn, which mentioned it was mothproof, had damage on the outside of it. Thankfully, the cotton yarn was just fine.

After rolling most of the skeins into yarn cakes and securing everything into ziploc bags, I was left with this stash. It’s not half bad for $1.00.

I should go to yard sales more often.

I also learned that I should make a database of my yarn. In my efforts to jam everything back into my cedar closet, I came across yarn I had forgotten that I had.


More exciting news of the day: I’ve been invited to Ravelry. I’ve heard all the craze about it. I’ve been envious for months while I read blog after blog about how other knitters and crocheters were being invited.

I received the e-mail invite this morning. I updated my profile right away and that is where I am stuck. I’m a little bit confused as to how to use the rest of the Ravelry tools. They have instructions. I just might have to break down and read them.

My very 1st Magazine Submission

I’m so excited! For the very first time, I am submitting my pattern to a magazine. And not just any magazine. I am submitting my pattern to my favorite magazine: Knitter’s. So, here is a pic of all the materials going to them.

Well, you know I am not allowed to show you any of the details, so this is a picture of the back of the presentation folder. I picked up this little folder from Walmart. It’s the best! It has 12 protective sleeves in the middle and a clear window on the front. The sleeves will keep the documentation free from damage as well as my swatch. Obviously, I couldn’t fill all the 12 sleeves, but I filled half of them. Not sure how much information they wanted, I sent a sketch (although truth be told, this could be a mark against me, since I can’t draw to save my life!), a schematic, and a detailed description. Perhaps, it is overkill. Well, better to send too much information, than not enough.

So, now I bite my nails for the next month while I wait for them to get back to me. I have heard from other people who submit their designs that if they don’t want/like/need/etc your design, they will send it back to you with a Thank You card. So, here’s hoping I don’t get a Thank You card. Although, if I do, I will be sure to add it to my scrapbook. I just might be the happiest loser!

ACEO Challenge – Take 2

As mentioned earlier this month, EtsyFAST challenged all its members to create a Fiber ACEO (Art Card Editions and Originals).

I am much happier with my second try at an ACEO. My first attempt came out very muted; the colors blended a bit too well.

Determined to create an ACEO that I would be proud of, I decided to try again. This time I cheated (by adding a ribbon rose … I don’t know that it falls within the “fiber” rules). I think it is better for it though.

The ribbon rose was made by me. (It’s a folded rose, tucked in half to lay a bit flatter than it normally would). The background was knitted in a herringbone pattern with rayon yarn, taken from my leftover stash. The ACEO was then hand tacked to a piece of felt to provide some stability.

I must say I enjoy making these ACEO’s, though this will be my last. They are quick to make thanks to their small size (3.5 inches by 2.5 inches).

Sweater Progress

Well, I decided to stop fighting with my sewing machine over the double bias tape on the sweater afghan. Every night during the Phillies baseball game, I have been handstiching the tape down using a slipstitch. Amazingly, it is going quicker than I had hoped for. My estimate was 1 month. If I keep up my current pace, it will be completed within 2 weeks. Here it is laid out on my couch. It is a perfect afghan size … even if it wasn’t actually designed for it.

The striped sweater I have been working on took 2 steps backward yesterday. The stitches I picked up for the collar and swore I would not rip out … have been ripped out. Well, I learned something here. Never measure a v-neck collar on the diagonal and use this measurement to figure out how many stitches to pick up. Who knew? With this problem realized and easily solved, I am almost ready to reattempt picking up the stitches for the collar. However, I still need to figure out how many stitches should be picked up on the length from the top of the v-neck to the shoulder. It measures 5 inches. I had assumed that I would need to pick up 7 stitches per inch (as that is my gauge), but the most I could locate during my last attempt was 6 stitches per inch. Yet, if my calculations are correct, I’ll be missing 10 stitches. I could just roll with the puches. The very next row has me decreasing 1/3 of the stitches anyway. Then, I’ll only be out 3 stitches. Right? 3 stitches won’t make or break the collar (at least I hope not).

So, here is my sweater again. To make up for the lack of the collar, I snuck Jake into the picture. He always makes my knitted garments look better!

Angled Nesting Squares Block, 5th in Ode to Quilting series

The 5th block in the Ode to Quilting afghan:

This block is very similar to the “Nesting Squares Block”. The only difference is that I made fewer squares (only 2) and turned the squares at a 90 degree angle. To make the block a 12″ square again, I knit 4 right-sided triangles.

Pattern for Angled Nesting Squares Block:

Recommended Knitting skill level: Easy

Yarn: Lion’s Wool by Lion Brand or substitute any wool yarn from your stash that meets the below gauge specifications.
1. Color A = Rose
2. Color B = Autumn Sunset, divided into 2 balls
3. Color C = Sage

Needles: Lion’s Wool recommends size 8 (I used size 5)

Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows is 1 inch in Stocking Stitch

Stocking Stitch Pattern: Knit all stitches on the RS; Purl all stitches on the WS

Knitting Instructions:
In Color A, cast on 19 sts.
Row 1 (RS): K3, (P1, K1) 6 times, P1, K3.
Row 2 (WS) and all even rows: Knit the K stitches and Purl the P stitches.
Row 3: K4, (P1, K1) 5 times, P1, K4.
Row 5: K5, (P1, K1) 4 times, P1, K5.
Row 7: K6, (P1, K1) 3 times, P1, K6.
Row 9: K7, (P1, K1) 2 times, P1, K7.
Row 11: K8, P1, K1, P1, K8.
Row 13: K9, P1, K9.
Row 15: Repeat row 11.
Row 17: Repeat row 9.
Row 19: Repeat row 7.
Row 21: Repeat row 5.
Row 23: Repeat row 3.
Row 25: Repeat row 1.
Row 27: Bind off.

In Color B, cast on 36 sts. Work in stocking stitch for 14 rows. Row 15 (RS): K10. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 14 sts. K11. Working both sides at once, continue in stocking stitch until 40 rows have been completed since the beginning. Row 41 (RS): K11. Cast on 14 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K11. Work in stocking stitch for 13 more rows (54 rows since beginning). Bind off all sts.

In Color C, make two triangles.
Triangles: Cast on 26 stitches. Knit three rows in stocking stitch.
Row 4(WS): P3tog, Purl to end.
Knit two more rows in stocking stitch.
Row 7(RS): K5, P12, K4, SK2P.
Row 8: Knit the K stitches and Purl the P stitches.
Row 9: K5, P11, K6.
Row 10: P3tog, P4, K10, P5.
Row 11: K5, P10, K5.
Row 12: P6, K9, P5.
Row 13: K5, P8, K4, SK2P.
Row 14: P5, K8, P5.
Row 15: K5, P7, K6.
Row 16: P3tog, P4, K6, P5.
Row 17: K5, P6, K5.
Row 18: P6, K5, P5.
Row 19: K5, P4, K4, SK2P.
Row 20: P5, K4, P5.
Row 21: K5, P3, K6.
Row 22: P3tog, P4, K2, P5.
Row 23: K5, P2, K5.
Row 24: P6, K1, P5.
Row 25: K9, SK2P.
Row 26-27: StSt the 10 stitches.
Row 28: P3tog, P to end.
Row 29-30: StSt the 8 stitches.
Row 31: K5, SK2P.
Row 32-33: StSt the 6 stitches.
Row 34: P3tog, P to end.
Row 35-36: StSt the 4 stitches.
Bind off.

In Color C, make two mirror-image triangles.
Mirror Image: Cast on 26 stitches. Knit three rows in stocking stitch.
Row 4(WS): P23, P3tog.
Knit two more rows in stocking stitch.
Row 7: K3tog, K4, P12, K5.
Row 8: Knit the K stitches and Purl the P stitches.
Row 9: K6, P11, K5.
Row 10: P5, K10, P4, P3tog.
Row 11: K5, P10, K5.
Row 12: P5, K9, P6.
Row 13: K3tog, K4, P8, K5.
Row 14: P5, K8, P5.
Row 15: K6, P7, K5.
Row 16: P5, K6, P4, P3tog.
Row 17: K5, P6, K5.
Row 18: P5, K5, P6.
Row 19: K3tog, K4, P4, K5.
Row 20: P5, K4, P5.
Row 21: K6, P3, K5.
Row 22: P5, K2, P4, P3tog.
Row 23: K5, P2, K5.
Row 24: P5, K1, P6.
Row 25: K3tog, K to end.
Row 26-27: StSt the 10 sts.
Row 28: P7, P3tog.
Row 29-30: StSt the 8 sts.
Row 31: K3tog, K to end.
Row 32-33: StSt the 6 sts.
Row 34: P3, P3tog.
Row 35-36: StSt the 4 sts.
Bind off.

P3tog: Purl 3 stitches together
SK2P: Slide 1 stitch. K2 together. Pass slipped stitch over K2tog stitch.
K2tog: Knit 2 stitches together.
K3tog: Knit 3 stitches together.
StSt: Knit in Stocking Stitch pattern

Finishing Instructions:
Place the Color A square inside the Color B square. Using safety pins, match the corners of the Color A square with the inside corners of the Color B square. Starting on the right side and using the mattress stitch, weave the two sides together. Next, weave the top of the A square to the cast-on row of the B square. Continue around in this fashion until the entire A square is weaved together with the B square.

Turn the AB square 90 degrees. Place the triangles on each side of the AB square. Be sure that the triangles are situated so that the stocking stitch runs parallel to the outside of the block. In other words, your block should look similar to the picture on the left.

Use safety pins to hold the triangles in place while you seam the them to the AB square.

Finally, seams the points of the triangles together.

Weave in any loose ends.