Beautiful Knitting

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

Archive for February, 2008

Knitting vs Knit-Biz

Posted by mtmom on February 22, 2008

I’ve been spending more time documenting my knitting (mostly dealing with my Designer page on Ravelry and the Pattern pages in the sidebar) than I have done actual knitting.  Absolutely NO knitting time yesterday!  (Urk!)  Today, I’m striving for a better balance.

I finished this:  dd models Spectrum hat 

Here’s what the top looks like:  top view of spectrum hat in process 

I even like how the brim turned out:  end-on view of brim, plus cat 
(Notice my “helper”/observer?)

I’m calling it the Spectrum Square-Topped Hat.  This was alot of fun to design and see how it would work out!  The yarn is acrylic, received as a gift/donation/discard.  It came sans-label, but a little research tells me it’s probably Red Heart Kids Yarn in colorway “Crayon”.  I used needles in 3 sizes:  US 7 (body), 6 (ribbing), and 5 (double-knitting portion of tubular bind-off).  The striping is totally dependent on the spacing of the color-changes in the yarn; a different brand would turn out differently.  I wonder if Red Heart would be interested?

My current happy-project is the 8-Trick Pocket Hat, being released in serial/KAL format over at TECHKnitter’s blog.  (Began on Wed., 6 Feb. 2008).  I’m doubling leftover sock yarn with lace-weight on US 5’s.  yarn and beginnings of 8-trick hat 

The first “trick” is an  Easy-peasy reverse stockinette tubular edging (her designation).  tubular edging on 8-trick hat

I want to go do some knitting now! 

Also teach some history and maybe music too. . . .

Coming soon:  re-drawing for book giveaway!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Scottish Deadline Reminder

Posted by mtmom on February 18, 2008

This past week, I got back in touch with my dear, long-lost Pipe Major, Lars SloanLars & 2 other pipers before competition 

[Yes, “my” Pipe Major:  I played in his band in my mid-/late-twenties.  This is me, circa 1987-88, enjoying the Texas Renaissance Festival from a different perspective.] Hamilton Pipers & me at TX Renaissance Festival

Lars is an incredibly skillful piper, and I was not that good a drummer, but what does all this have to do with knitting?

— It reminds me that a knitting deadline is coming up!  I have been hoping that by July I would have made significant progress on my kilt hose knitting.  Several bagpipe teachers will be coming to Flagstaff in mid-July, followed by the Northern Arizona Celtic Heritage Festival on July 19-20, and then the Highland Ball/Football in Kilts in August.  [NB:  I’m the 3rd adult from the left in the “Clan Flagstaff” photo on that page, along with DS, DH, and one little DD all to my right.]  I’ve promised Lord Scott a pair of customized kilt hose, and I want to have them ready enough to show other kilted gents at the piping school and festival. 

That’s a while off yet, but I have alot of work to do!  I need to:
(1)finish knee socks,
(2)compare socks-that-fit to leg-measurements to see about ease,
(3)construct a cuff sampler to show Lord Scott for his perusal,
(4)knit the actual hose for him, & that by July so that I can…
(5)show hose to other pipers and see if they want some too!

Here’s the current state of the prototype socks:  knee socks as of Dec 2007

I have finished the Spectrum Square-topped hat, but that will have to wait for a later post — I’ve gotta get back to “work”!   TTFN.

Oh, P.S.  Check out the new link in the sidebar Blogroll:  “Live Webcam”.  That links to the camera on top of my next-door-neighbor’s roof and gives you a live picture of the San Francisco Peaks (if it’s daylight).

Posted in Celtic, Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Trying to give away a book

Posted by mtmom on February 16, 2008

Still no response from Jane, so I’m going to try again to give away a book in honor of my first blogiversary this past 29 January.  I will re-enter all the previous names, but also welcome new entrants.  Just leave a comment.  [And, Jane, if you’re still out there, please feel free to enter again if you wish.]

Here are the books to choose among if your name is selected:  giveaway book choices

Posted in fun | 2 Comments »

Mystery Revealed: Rubik’s Cube explosion

Posted by mtmom on February 15, 2008

Today, we have a guest blogger!

My teen-genius son will tell us about the origins of this week’s Mystery Photo:  a disassembled Rubik’s Cube.  (Commenters bea and Merri both got it right!)

efforts to repair cube

Thanks Mom!

 In late December and early January, I went to Iowa to volunteer for the Mike Huckabee campaign with a group of about a dozen other homeschoolers.  We drove all the way: two days on the road.  As my best friend Dominic and I were deliberating beforehand about what to do in the van, he mentioned the possibility of learning how to solve a Rubik’s cube.  As a geeky brainiac, I thought that sounded like a great idea.  So I did a bit of research online and found a beginner’s method for solving the Rubik’s Cube.  Unfortunately, the Rubik’s cube made Dominic carsick.  After the trip was over, however, I memorized the various steps.  By the following weekend, I was able to solve any solvable position.

After a lot of practice and some silicone spray, I was able to consistently solve a cube in under 1 minute 45 seconds, with a personal record of 1 minute 21.27 seconds.  Of course that’s nothing compared to some people, and I continued to work toward my goal of solving the cube in under 1 minute.  But it was not to be.  One day as I was working on improving my technique, the cube exploded!  It literally fell apart in my hand.  Rubik’s cubes do disassemble, but they’re not supposed to do so while you’re solving them. . . . This cube did more than fall apart: it actually broke.  The red center piece came off.  It’s supposed to stay attached to the central structure of the cube, even when the cube is taken apart.  No glue I’ve tried will get that central piece to stay attached now.

the guts of a cube

I’m hoping that Rubik’s will replace the cube.

Posted in fun | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

The Mystery continues, and so does the Spectrum

Posted by mtmom on February 14, 2008

I have not yet removed the old Pattern pages, but I have today added links on the “Free Patterns — Index” page, accessed from blog’s sidebar.  When you click and view the “Index” page, and then click on the title of one of the patterns found there, a PDF document should pop up in a new window.  Please check out this new function and let me know what you think.  Next, I want to link to these from Ravelry.  Exciting developments here at chez MountainMom Designs! Progress on the Rainbow hat — or Spectrum hatcolors starting to align

I’ve added some more rounds since this photo was taken, but you can start to see the blues and greens coming into vertical/diagonal alignment.  That’s my aim.  I think it’s going to turn out quite nicely!  Maybe afterwards I’ll make one with a slightly different stripe line-up by adding a few more stitches to its circumference.  First have to see how large this one ends up.  Fun!

No guesses on the Mystery Photo?  Here’s another hint:  each piece is approximately 3/4″ square.  And here’s a slightly different angle.  mystery photo, alternate view

Go on, give it a try. . . .  I won’t reveal until at least one person guesses!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mystery bits and Colorful caps

Posted by mtmom on February 11, 2008

A shortish post:

Can you guess what these are?  [Answers in a subsequent post.]  Hint:  has to do with a recent interest of my teen-genius.   mystery bits

I shortened the Dreamsicle hat, but DD still prefers to wear it with the brim turned up.  Here are two sides at once of our youngest daughter trying it on.  2 Cherries trying on hat 

I hope to finalize the written pattern and then change the way I post those on the blog.  If all goes well, you will soon be able to click on a link in the Patterns Page (see sidebar) to download a PDF of the pattern of your choice.

Having finished one hat, and longing for color, I have cast on for another cap with some rainbow mystery yarn given my by Julie McDonald.    square cast-on for cap

This is a novel beginning, sort of like a sock technique I read somewhere. [First guess:  WendyKnits.]  It’s progressing nicely so far.  I hope to show more pictures in days to come, and to write up the pattern if it turns out well.

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kid-time, peach vest, and SockMadness 2008!

Posted by mtmom on February 10, 2008

Well, Lent is turning out to be more “intrusive” than I had expected.  Conscience has pricked me in a couple of areas, and one of them may well impact my blogging.  I’ve decided to attend more to some maternal responsibilities that I had been delegating.  (That means, spending more time with my kids and less on the computer!)  I think my posts will end up being shorter.

Some knitting progress to report:

The peach vest I’m making for dd and for my Master Knitter certification now has a back about 6 1/2″ long.  back piece of peach vest

I have also worked about an inch of the front — just gotta see how the lace panel is going to look and how many rows of it will fit before the undearm.  More photos as this progresses.

Eventhough I feel I’ve got enough projects going, my soul is in great need of some beauty to feed it.  I want color!  So, I’m thinking it’s time to pick back up the Fair Isle — a favorite in these pages.

Start thinking about itButton from Round 2 of Sock Madness 2007
Sock Madness sign-ups will begin on 15 Feb! 
The excitement, the drama, the commraderie, the sore hands. . . .  It’s really wonderful.  Go to their site and check it out.  You’ll need a Flickr account and a way to upload photos of in-process and completed socks. 

Update on the book giveaway:  I have not heard back from Jane/jolenna1.   [Hey, gal:  where are you?]  I’ll wait a few more days, but once it’s been a full week I plan to draw another name.  Wanna move out one of these books I’ve set aside and get that “hot spot” off my floor!   stack of giveaway book-choices, et al

Posted in Biblical/Spiritual, Knitting, Master Knitter, Sock Madness | Leave a Comment »

Lenten Cogitations, More Snow, and Giveaway Winner

Posted by mtmom on February 5, 2008

First off, congratulations to Jane, whose name Chloe chose at random.  random drawing

I’ll be contacting her by e-mail.

Sunday night/Monday morning, we received some more snow.  Here is today’s view out my garage’s back door.  big first step

That’s a big first step!   But the birds need birdseed, so off I go.

Chloe is here standing upright in one of the footprints I left behind.Cat in snow footprint 

And here she checks out the path from our patio door to the grill — yes, we do grill in the snow!  snow-packed grill 

Today has been “Super Tuesday” in the US, and also Shrove Tuesday.  That’s the day when, traditionally, Christians feast to clean all the “indulgent” foods from their larders before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday.  Our family usually attends our church’s Pancake Supper.  This year, some of us wore Mardi Gras beads and masks as well.  dd in Mardi Gras mask

I have been considering what lenten discipline to take on.  The observing folks I know tend to follow one of two paths when it comes to Lent:  some “give up something” for Lent, some add something on.  Both are seeking to become more sensitive to the spiritual aspects of the issues in their lives (and in the world) during this time, and to add to the personal impact of the upcoming feast of Easter.  My current plan is to listen to a daily podcast that I find edifying, and attend a workshop in contemplative prayer led by a church-friend of mine.

On the Sock Madness front, my pattern is being test-knit right now!  The tester says she can see the work I put into writing the pattern [gratifying] and also has suggestions about clarifying notes to add.  This feedback is great — an exciting development-process for me as a designer.

Posted in Biblical/Spiritual, Cat, Design, Sock Madness | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »