Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for September, 2007

A Trip Down (Sweater) Memory Lane

Posted by mtmom on September 29, 2007

From comments I’ve received on my post about finishing my “first for-me sweater”, I can tell that this term is too ambiguous.  What I meant was that it was the first sweater I’d ever made for myself.  Not to worry, though.  It triggered a little scavenger hunt — sweaters, sweaters, where are all the sweaters?  I pulled out all the sweaters I’d made before the Neapolitan Ice Cream Sweater (, all for children of various sizes.  And here they are:  All the sweaters made for the girls so far

These were made for the girls.  Clockwise from top-left:  gray cardigan was first, then yellow sweater-dress with color-work yoke and hem areas, the cream/brown boatneck for newest dd, soon followed by the green t-top.  The last 3 all self-designed, with varying degrees of input from books, especially by Elizabeth Zimmermann (Knitting Without Tears) and Maggie Righetti (Sweater Design in Plain English).

And this one I made for teenaged ds — had to broaden the chest from the original plan before I finished knitting it!  From the inner hem, one can tell I made this item in 2005.Michael's green sweater

Help for this one came from Barbara Walker’s Knitting From the Top.

So, now we’re up to date!

Posted in Design, Knitting, Sweaters | 1 Comment »

Action on Several (Knitting) Fronts

Posted by mtmom on September 28, 2007

I received my invitation to Ravelry this week, and have been busy posting photos, describing projects, and linking to posts on this blog; my handle there is “mtmom”.  It’s cool how much the system already knows about yarns, patterns, and books — I type in a yarn name and the screen fills in the yardage automatically; I enter the name of an online pattern and a thumbnil pops up!  Entertaining.  I’m trying to restrain my self and limit the time per session I spend there.  The features I most look forward to utilizing are (1) yarn-searching, where I can see what others have made from a particular yarn and hopefully get a feeling for whether it would work for what I might have in mind, and (2) pattern-searching, to see one item in several different yarns/colorways and explore which appeal to me most for that item and, hopefully, what they look like on various body-types, like Knitting Daily has done recently with their “Galleries” — same sweater modeled on different women.

Meanwhile, knitting has not stopped just because I finished a large project (yay, me!).  I have pursued a number of ideas for nexts, as well as kept at some WIP’s.  I even finished a new item!Choco-cherry cap

My lion seems to be taking a cue from WendyKnits‘ teddy, but he’s still a bit camera-shy.  I started and finished this cap all in the space of 28 hours, so it bears 2 names:  “the 28-hour cap” and “Choco-cherry cap” after the TLC Essentials yarn I used for the main body.

The knee socks are progressing, too.  After making it all the way to the top this past week, I decided the calf was too spacious at the widest point and ripped back to just before the last pair of increases.  I have now re-progressed to this point, about halfway through the top ribbing.Knee sock, just into the top ribbing

I was of two minds about whether to rib in k1-p1 or k2-p2.  The former I’ve had good success in binding off flexibly but neatly with a tubular BO, but the latter pulls in so nicely and I prefer it’s appearance overall.  I’m going with the 2×2 — at least, for now — and we’ll just have to see how the BO goes.  I expect to try a tubular variation.  Then, I want to see how my final sock compares with the measurements I have written down.  I hope this will help me make future socks, for folks I do not have handy for try-ons, from measurements only.

And here’s an update on the entrelac baby blanket — now on the 6th row.Sixth row on entrelac baby blanket

I’m choosing colors as I go, rather than following an algorithm, like the colors of the spectrum in order.  (That was one plan I considered a few rows back, but the turquoise-blue seemed too strong to go just after the lime-green. . . .)  I guess this is going to be a “cool” section, then “warm” again later.  We shall see.  I’m becoming much more confident in my entrelac work, picking up the stitches and joining the rectangles and edge increases/decreases and such.  That’s a joy to me.

And, speaking of increasing my confidence — drum roll, please — I’ve dived back into my Master Knitter work for Level 2!  (ta da!)

Here’s swatch #4:
  seaming 1×1 ribbing.k1-p1 seam swatch

(Actually, I’ve reworked the bind-off since this photo was taken; I think it’s an improvement.)  And, in case you wondered why you’re seeing green through my cream stitches, the seam MUST be worked in contrasting-colored yarn for the judging.  Swatch is currently drying from yet another blocking.  Next will be labelling, writing up, and moving on to k2-p2 seaming.

And this photo represents the very beginnings of one of the projects for Level 2:  the vest.CO for peach vest

You see here the US size 4 needle, Dale “Falk” yarn, and a page from Ann Budd’s book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.  The cotton yarn on the needle forms a provisional cast-on, to be removed later.  I’m currently planning to add an in-the-round bottom edging onto both front and back pieces after I’ve seamed them.  I’ve also chosen a lace panel pattern from Barbara Walker’s Treasury and LeisureArts’ 99 Knit Stitches to use on the front, but I’m keeping that under wraps for now.

I am a busy knitter!  (And lovin’ it!)

Posted in Knitting, Master Knitter, Socks | 3 Comments »

Rejoice with me!

Posted by mtmom on September 13, 2007

The Ice Cream Sweater:  it’s finished!finished sweater, on juniper

Three days ago, I was at this point, eager to pick up neck stitches.neckline, waiting for band

When I had 20 stitches remaining in each sleeve section, I put the center-front stitches on a holding thread and began knitting back and forth, instead of in the round.  I continued decreasing at the 4 raglan points, but also decreased at the neck edges a few times in order to round the front neck corners.  See?

I was quickly running out of cream yarn, and so I rejoined the pink.  Then I ran out of that!  But I had enough cream to do the last few rows.  In the above photo I am ready to pick up stitches and work a band of ribbing around the opening.

Before long, that was completed!trying on the sweater

Over the next 3 days, I did the finishing:  wove the underarm joins and tucked in all yarn-ends.

So, now (barring changing my mind about the crew neckline & deciding to lower it), I’ve completed my first for-me sweater.  Hurray!

I’m already planning what’s next, yarn and books out on the bed . . . .

Posted in Knitting | 2 Comments »

Autumn Images

Posted by mtmom on September 8, 2007

The season is starting to turn, here on the mountain.

First, the sumac.Sumac leaves

And now the aspens.Small aspen tree, leaves turning gold

The edges turn gold first.Close-up view of leaves

Aren’t they lovely!  I just love the changing colors of this time of year!

The summer has been a time of growth.  Look at the size of this Locust tree “volunteer” that sprang up at the edge of the lawn just this past spring — that’s one season‘s growth.One-season-old locust tree

Unfortunately, this variety of locust bears some nasty-looking thorns.Thorn 

I’ve trimmed some of them off, but thought you all might like to see one.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Priorities, priorities. . .

Posted by mtmom on September 7, 2007

I’ve been pondering.

Our preacher this past weekend spoke about pride and humility.  What’s relevant here is his point about limitations and fraility being part of being human.  I cannot do everything — not even everything I want to do.  Not even all the knitting I would like to do. . . .

And David Reidy, in the essay portion of his delightful podcast last week (Aug. 26, Episode 33:  “Carpe Lanam”), encourages us to stretch ourselves and attempt a knitting challenge that interests us, saying things like, “Life is too short to/not to. . . .”

And I’m also beginning to feel the first twinges of possible-arthritis in my hands.  I remember my grandmother’s struggles. . . .

All this has me thinking.

Of the many the knitting projects I’d like to get around to, and all the skills I’d like to develop and hone, which would I put at the top of the heap?  Which would I really consider a shame not to get around to?  Which of my most heartfelt knitting goals remain unrealized? 

I REALLY want to make myself a cardigan that fits well (and looks great).  What concrete actions am I taking towards that goal?

[Better get back to the Ice Cream sweater and Fair Isle swatching! ;)]

And then I’d also like to make Lord Scott and Major Bruce some nice-fitting kilt hose.  That area is progressing nicely, what with the knee socks I’m working on for shaping-practice.  Though at times it does seem to be going more slowly than I’d like — can’t do it all at once, but one step, one stitch at a time.  I’m human, remember?

Still, if it’s worth doing [and that’s what we’re examining here], then it’s worth the time.

But, what about some of those other things on my needles and in my queue. . . ?  Re-evaluation time!


Sorry that I have no new photos for you today, dear readers.  Just ruminations on Knitting and Life and Time.

Posted in Biblical/Spiritual, Knitting | Leave a Comment »

2007 Coconino County Fair — Family Stuff

Posted by mtmom on September 4, 2007

It “always” rains during County Fair weekend, and this year was no different.  Friday evening, the girls got soaked while enjoying “the bouncy rides”:  inflated slides and bouncing-chambers for the younger set.  We all came back on Sunday afternoon, though, and were blessed with sunshine and moderate temperatures (70’s).

All of us who entered items, received various ribbons.  DH won an Honorable Mention in “Fine Arts” for his computer-generated image of the solutions to a set of mathematical equations — esoteric but cool.  Two “Open Youth” blue ribbons went to teen ds for photographs, and a variety of “Open Youth” ribbons to dd for a variety of craft projects.  Here is a montage of images of their entries.  (I’ll do mine in a separate entry.)

Kathy's God's Eye
Jim's computer art
Kathy's paper crane

Kathy's tree photo

Michael's black and white photoKathy's vest for her bear

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How’re those knee socks coming along?

Posted by mtmom on September 1, 2007

Here’s tonight’s photo:sock on floor

The pins represent 10 rounds each, and save me re-re-(and re-)counting when I go to reproduce the size in the second sock and on paper.

As you can see, I’ve progressed with the calf-shaping almost to the widest point.  My calculations told me I needed to average one pair of increases every 4 rounds.  However, after increasing at that rate for a while, I felt the leg was getting wide too quickly, so I ripped again. — Just a few rounds this time, though. —  And I began again, this time spacing the increase-pairs 5 rounds apart and planning to speed this up only as I got further up the leg.  I think my gauge may have tightened up a bit; I’m getting more rounds to the inch here than I was getting on the foot.

But the fit is looking pretty good!sock on leg

Here’s a close-up of the leg-back decreases and increases.  Two stitches between pairs of +/-‘s.close-up of shaping

I’m rather pleased.  What do you think?

Coming soon:  2007 County Fair ribbons!

Posted in Knitting, Socks | 1 Comment »