Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

While I was away…

Written by: LindyBeir

May 10, 2013

Charlotte in Her Purple Hat
from this blog, a truly wonderful event occurred in my life — My DS and DIL had their second child!

A wonderful little baby girl that they named Charlotte Grace.

I, naturally, have fallen head over heels in love with this sweet babe. 😉

The little purple hat with the pink flower is one of several I knit her while awaiting her arrival.

She’s already making a fashion statement — don’t you think?

Pattern is a basic beanie with a rolled brim. I used “I Love That Cotton” from Hobby Lobby.

More on knits for Charlotte in my next post.

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Back from Hiatus

Written by: LindyBeir

May 3, 2013

It has been nearly 6 months since I last wrote a post. This was due in part to the fact that my office was in the process of being remodeled, as well as the busy holiday seasons (Thanskgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s). I am glad to say that my office is now finished and looks quite lovely — but I am still unpacking things. I have made a promise to myself that when I unpacked the hastily packed boxes, that I would take the time to go through them and eliminate things that I no longer used, need or want. So far I have kept that promise and I am gradually putting the things I have decided to keep in their new homes. I have 4 boxes left to unpack.

One of the most difficult tasks for me as I unpacked was to sort through the many years accumulation of knitting and crochet magazines, patterns and pattern books. I love books. And I have a lot of knitting and crochet books. I am proud to say that I was focused enough to really let go of those that I will never use and those that are really out of date. I gave a few to some of my knitting friends, but in the end — most of the old magazines ended up being recycled. Are you someone who collects books and magazines? If you are — you know how much of a struggle it was for me to finally let them go.

New Bookcase in My Office But now — I have plenty of room for NEW BOOKS! 🙂

One of the changes that I have made over my 50 years (yes, 50!) of knitting is that I no longer buy knitting patterns, books of knitting patterns or those knitting magazines that you can find in your local supermarket. As I have written in this blog before, since I first read Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears, I have moved from buying patterns to buying books on techniques and stitch libraries. These days when I see something in a magazine that I think I would like to knit — I study it for the details — i.e. the design elements, the stitchery, etc. — and then I sit down and figure out how to knit it up without the pattern — I draft my own essentially. I find I am much happier with the results.

I am doing that now — what I have on my needles is a raglan cardigan sweater, knitted from the top down — size 18 months. I hope when I finish this little sweater that I will be able to develop another sweater calculator for doing top down raglan sweaters. I’ll post it when I am certain that it works correctly.

For those of you who wish to move beyond following written patterns — Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books are a great way to start.

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FO: Ruffle Scarf — Birthday Present for MIL

Written by: LindyBeir

October 27, 2012

Ruffle Scarf I knit this scarf as a birthday present for my MIL. She wears scarves all the time and I thought she would enjoy this unique scarf. I knit this using a novelty yarn called “Sashay” by Red Heart Yarns. It’s a very interesting yarn to knit with. And Yes, it ruffles as you knit it up.

The pattern is really simple. You cast on 6 stitches and then just knit every row until you have used up the entire skein. It only takes one skein to make the scarf and when finished it is about 6 feet long.

My MIL was thrilled. She put the scarf on and wore it after she opened the bag. She exclaimed at how soft it was. She said she would be the envy of all the ladies in the independent living facility where she lives. (I made a BIG hit!) 🙂

Here’s the details:
Yarn: Sashay (Red Heart Boutique) Colorway: Hip Hop
Needles: U.S. 9 (5.5 mm)
Finished length = 72 inches Width = 3 inches

Notes about knitting with this yarn: See picture below of the yarn before knitted. This yarn is essentially a stripe of lace — with the bottom edge more finished than the top. The bottom is the finished edge of the ruffles. You knit this yarn using the top two strands of the upper edge of the lace. The yarn is quite slippery and it takes some getting used to — I used metal needles for this project and the combination of the slippery yarn and the slickness of the metal needles nearly drove me crazy! I recommend using a type of needle with some grab for this yarn — if I knit it again I will use bamboo needles. Also — it is not possible to weave in the ends on this yarn. When you are done, get out your sewing thread and a sewing needle — you will need to sew down the unfinished edges of the scarf to prevent the ends from raveling.

Ruffle Yarn

Returning to Blog and FO: Clapotis Shawl

Written by: LindyBeir

October 13, 2012

I have been away from blogging for about five months. There were a number of reasons for this. First, I just got busy with other things and didn’t seem to be able to find time to sit down and write any posts. And then, my knitting projects just didn’t seem to be getting finished — even though I was knitting. And then, my husband started on our remodeling project — which was/is my office. The remodeling will be worth it when it is done — but when it will be done doesn’t seem to be anytime soon. I now have my computer set up in the spare bedroom and I have retrieved a few skeins of yarn and patterns from the boxes I packed up several weeks ago — so I can knit. But heaven help me if I need to find any of my knitting books or any of my yarn stash! It’s all in boxes and plastic containers, stacked three deep and nearly to the ceiling in the garage. (So any future knitting projects are an excuse to go yarn shopping…) I’ll update you on the remodeling progress — here’s to hoping it’s done by the time I need to decorate for the Christmas holiday.

I do have a finished object! I have finished my Clapotis shawl.

Clapotis Shawl Clapotis shawl - full length

I haven’t blocked it yet. Blocking will have to wait until I have free floor space again (remodeling). Here are the details:

Pattern: Clapotis – free on Knitty.com
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr (50% wool, 50% silk) Colorway: Teal Needles: U.S. 4 (3.5 mm)
Since this is a laceweight yarn, I knit 18 repeats of the straight rows to get the length I wanted.
Unblocked the shawl measures 17 inches wide by 62 inches long. It will be wider and longer after blocking.

It’s a lovely, soft shawl and I am very happy with the way it turned out. I liked the finished shawl so much, I cast-on another using Knit Picks Gloss from my stash. More about this WIP another time.

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Book Review: Knitting Plus by Lisa Shroyer

Written by: LindyBeir

May 13, 2012

The subtitle for this book is “mastering fit + plus-size style + 15 projects”. The first two chapters of this book cover the basics of how to knit garments that fit. While the focus is on plus-size, the information is applicable to any knitted garment. The information in these two chapters is worth the price of the book if you are wanting to learn more about how to modify patterns so that they actually fit your body. Chapter One discusses the common elements of a sweater and “what they mean to you” and Chapter Two covers the use of measurements and how to redesign patterns for a custom fit.

The remaining five chapters cover different types of sweater styles: The Drop-Shoulder, the Set-In Sleeve, The Raglan, The Seamless Yoke, and The Dolman. There are three projects for each type and these are really lovely designs for us plus-size gals. Each project also has helpful notes for the knitter. So this book is both a “how-to” guide and a set of 15 plus-size patterns. And some of those patterns are the sort that makes a knitter’s fingers itch to pull out some yarn and needles and get started. The “Poppy Cardigan” on page 67 is on my list of future projects for sure.

If you are interested in this book, click on the picture at the top of this post. It will take you to the book on Amazon.com.

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FO: Hermione’s Every Day Socks

Written by: LindyBeir

April 29, 2012

I am happy to report that I have finished this pair of socks. This pair of socks has been very patient with me. You see, this is the pair of socks that has spent much time sitting in my car and waiting for me to knit on them at odd moments. I have occasionally taken them into my office and worked on them over the lunch hour. I have also taken them to my knitting guild meet-ups whenever I have forgotten to take any knitting with me in the morning. It was just one of those projects that I would pick up at different times, with no particular need to finish at a particular time or date.

Hermione's Every Day Socks on footHermione's Every Day Socks -- view of heel

The pattern, Hermione’s Every Day Socks is a free download on Ravelry. It’s a very popular pattern both on Ravelry and within my knitting guild. There are several things I like about this sock pattern: 1) It’s a very basic sock pattern with a nice heel; 2) the pattern is a simple 4 stitch, 4 row pattern that you can easily memorize — makes for an easy knit; 3) the toe-shaping is not too angular or pointy. Details: Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll, colorway: Duchess Heather. Needles: U.S. 2 (2.25 mm) Gauge: 6 spi.

WIP: Progress report on the Clapotis

Written by: LindyBeir

April 15, 2012

The clapotis scarf is knitting up nicely. I am now about 3/4 done with the straight row section. So far I have dropped 9 stitches and now have 9 ladders of varying length running diagonally to the edges.

Clapotis - Straight Row Section

The straight row section is supposed to be complete after 12 repeats of the 12 row pattern. However, the instructions also say that if you want to make your scarf longer, you simply knit more repeats of the straight row section. So, I when I finish three more repeats, I will need to decide if the scarf will be long enough, or if I need to add some more length. The 12 row pattern for the straight rows is really fairly easy to knit and it doesn’t take too long to complete one repeat. I am thinking that I’d like this scarf to be a little longer than the 55 inches stated in the pattern, but will see.

The scarf is really soft and has a nice drape. So far, I’m happy with how it’s knitting up.

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