Beautiful Knitting

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

Archive for October, 2008

Tale of the YarnStealer

Posted by mtmom on October 30, 2008

I woke up this morning to this disquieting sight at the foot of my bed, and knew something had happened during the night.  I followed the trail of evidence.

On the outer side of this kitty-door, the trail continued.  And at the other end of this hallway. . .  The victims!

Meanwhile, back at the scene of the kidnapping, er . . . yarn-napping. . . Aha!  The culprit!

She doesn’t seem to be having any troubles with her conscience. 

Posted in Cat, fun | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Master Knitter Vest

Posted by mtmom on October 24, 2008

Peach Vest, for Level 2.

This project has held most of my concentration lately, and I’ve made some progress, some discoveries, and some design decisions. 

You can see the progress.  “What discoveries?”, you may ask. 

Well, I found that, although I had centered the lace panel in the fabric (31 sts, 16 st panel, 31 sts), when I divided the motif into its left-travelling and right-travelling “halves”, I discovered that the center stitch of the motif is nearer the right edge.  (With an even number of stitches in the panel, it would have to be uncentered, right?  sigh.)  The side points both reach the edges of the panel, but on different rows.  So, when I split it, I had more leftover stitches off the left side.  Since some of this designing is seat-of-my-pants style, I expect to run across things to have to decide about.  For this one I considered a few alternatives:  (1) go on as is and write the pattern as worked, but note for the evaluators what I found and what I decided and why, or (2) go back to the armhole shaping and bind off 1 additional stitch on the left (wearer’s right) side and mention it (or not) in the write-up, or (3) write the pattern with one fewer stitch on in the original cast-on and hope the discrepancy goes unnoticed (honestly, I didn’t consider this one for too long, but it *did* occur to me).  I decided to go on as is and wait to the end to see if a change still needs to be made and make it some place unobtrusive.  The places the centering will *show* are at the neck-division and at the shoulder-join.  If things are OK at the shoulder, I’ll just finish it off; if not, I can still rip back to the underarm.

(I’m taking careful notes!)

As I got closer to the shoulder, working both sides of the neck at one time, I realized that the stair-step bind-offs would be on different rows for the 2 sides of the neck and this might be used to my advantage in the mismatched-stitch-count dilemma.  I bound off the wearer’s-left half on a RS row, but worked the stitches on the wearer’s-right half for that one more pattern rep, so the final decrease ended up in the same (mirrored) L-R position as that on the other half — hey!  (I also inconspicuously decreased one stitch at the neck edge in this final row.)  They now look the same!!  Both have 14 sts, with the decrease-line 1 st in from the outer edge.

So now I’ve gone back to the back piece, to make it match the front.  I’ll need to bind off those shoulders in the same rhythm, too. 

(More of those extra-careful notes!)

And, since the pattern’s movement determines the depth I can make the neck-opening (it moves outward 1 stitch on each RS row and eventually runs up against the edge), the front’s opening is about 1/2″ shorter than I want, so I’ll need to add a 1/2″ dip in the center of the back piece — being VERY careful about how I center it, yes?!!

The real test will be in the sewing-up.

Leaf Fall.

We had a deep-cold snap about 2 weeks ago, and the leaves turned brown and gray (instead of gold) and are now falling. 

See that deep blue?  That’s really how it looks on a clear day here at 7000 feet+ elevation.  Just not that much air between us and outer space!

Days are currently in the 60’s; nights in the teens or 20’s.

Saw the doves again the other day. 

And the Dark-eyed Juncos have appeared at the millet feeder, too  (no photo yet, sorry) — a sure sign of approaching *winter*.  And I’m trying to keep the thermostat down . . . brrrr.  I need a new knit shawl!

Posted in Design, Knitting, Master Knitter, Yard/Garden | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Lots of Hats and Scarves

Posted by mtmom on October 19, 2008

I got a pretty nice photo of me wearing the Nuance hat and scarf, in front of the maple tree in our front yard.

I included this image as I updated my Finished Object page — see sidebar.  Documentation can be a fun project in itself, and helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something when I might otherwise feel I’m just on a treadmill of activity.  It’s also quite helpful when the County Fair rolls around, so I can tell which items were completed between the Sept 1’s.

Chloe has been helping me with my photos lately.  Here she is, as close to modeling as she’s likely to get, with an alpaca baby hat and an elementary-school sized “28-Hour Cap”.   (Gotta write up that pattern!!)







Teen-genius filmed me finishing the green cap with a Tubular/Grafting/Kitchener bind-off.  Once he edits it, we’ll post it to my YouTube page: .  (or, try clicking on one of the sidebar links to a paricular video)

Here’s the newest charity project.  I’m calling it the “Fiery Eyelash Scarf”.  Yarns are Patons Shetland Chunky and Bernat Boa, and needles are fat 17’s.  Held together, these yarns wanted to be BIG long stitches, so I’m double-wrapping the 2-strand rows, and working one garter ridge of just the smooth yarn in between double-wrapped rows.  I hope to get better photos, with better color, as the work progresses — light was getting low when I shot this one — also with help, as you see.  There is some hope that I’ll finish this in time for the second weekend of the Craft Sale — Julie likes to have fresh stock to lay out then.  This bulky scarf progresses quickly.  We shall see.

And, “what about the Fair Isle sampler?,” you ask.

The first set of motifs is just about finished — 3rd round from now will be the one where I change the original pattern to make the motifs interlock and interchange MC and CC. 

The yarn has changed color again, this time from turquoise to purple, and it turns out to be nicely centered with the brightest color on the center rounds, making it seem to “glow”.  Nice, eh?  (Also more white on those rounds.)  A very different look from the bands with deep oranges and greens, just below.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how it looks with several vertical repeats!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Cat, Color-work, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

One new, One steady, One old.

Posted by mtmom on October 12, 2008

During the week, I work on my Sock Madness socks and on the vest for my Master Knitter level 2, and sometimes other items, but this weekend, these are the three projects that got my attention.


From my “charitable” queue:  a baby hat in yummy-soft DK “Classic Alpaca”. 


The Noro yarn has segued from blue to aqua, and the pattern is revealing itself.

The next milestone for this will be when I introduce the interlocking rank of color-reversed St. John’s Cross lozenges — about 15 more rounds.


For fun, I pulled this out of my UFO stack from summer 2007.   Check out the “yellow” (1st photo) and “blue” (2nd photo) sides of my sampler of reversible 2-color patterns.  The 3 stitches I’ve tried so far are (from bottom to top) “two-color garter stitch”, “cross-rib stripes”, and “roll-over reversible”.  See how the two sides are different, but neither is “wrong”?


[from Jane Neighbors’ book, Reversible Two-Color Knitting]

Posted in Cap/Hat, Color-work, Knitting, Reversibles | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

“Nuance” Project Done

Posted by mtmom on October 8, 2008

This project has been on the needles for months, and today I tucked in the ends and finished the second piece of the set.   I’m pleased with how they turned out.  A  very  l o n g  1×1 ribbed scarf and coordinating hat in my 3-Color Spiral pattern (see sidebar). 

You can’t really tell from this photo, but the Paton’s “Nuance” yarn has a metallic strand in it.  For the hat, I picked 2 coordinating solids from my collection of TLC Essentials (these are all available in the Big Craft Stores we have in town, you understand), and used the Nuance remaining from the scarf for the 3rd color and the turned-up ribbed brim.

These will be going to Julie McDonald, the woman who taught me to knit, for her annual church fundraiser Craft Sale.  (I try to give her something each year to sell, in token of my gratitude for my much-beloved hobby.)  I attach yarn labels for their care instructions.

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

Managing my Videos

Posted by mtmom on October 6, 2008

I’m moving my YouTube demonstration videos to a new account, styled “MtMomDesigns”.  I’ll be updating the links in the sidebar to reflect their new addresses.  Any new videos will be going to that account, not to the old one.  [So, now you know!]  Isn’t it cool that I can do that at all?!  Thank you, YouTube.  And thanks to teen-genius, my Camera Guy!

You can “subscribe” to my knitting videos from any of the Mt. Mom YouTube pages.  Then, if I upload a new video, you’ll be notified.

Posted in Knitting | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another Fair Isle pattern band done!

Posted by mtmom on October 6, 2008

There has been a dirth of knitting content here of late — partly due to the “secret” nature of my work on a new pattern for publishing.  I think this photo may be “safe”, though.    I had been concentrating on only this for the past several weeks.  But now that the pattern has been submitted, I have branched back out.  I’ve resumed my work on Level 2 of the Master HandKnitter program — hurray!  I’m so glad to be at it again.  The Master’s program is so satisfying to me!  Here’s some progress on my vest project: 

I intend the finished product to be for my 8-year-old DD.  Then there’ll be more swatches, projects, and reports. . . .

And, also very exciting to me, I just completed the “Autumn Colors” pattern band in my Fair Isle sampler. 

I drew the motifs and colors from Betts Lampers’ cardigan design, “Autumn Colors Fair Isle”, in Sweaters from Camp, a soon-to-be-out-of-print book from Schoolhouse Press.

I have had the next band in mind for some time:  same motifs, but interlocking, and done in Noro sock yarn on an off-white background.  You can see the barest beginnings of it at the photo’s top.  I wonder how many rounds I’ll get before the yarn changes color?  I had to tink back 3 times before I got the colors aligned properly, but I’m hoping I can forge ahead from here.

The exciting news around the knitting/crocheting/fiber circles of Flagstaff?  A new LYS opening later this month!  “Purl in the Pines”, the ONLY yarn shop in town.  We haven’t had one for 2 1/2 years, since Unravel closed after about 2 years in business.  Many of us are very hopeful of gaining a new place to see and feel yarns, and a new focus for community.  (When I get a link, I’ll post it in the blog and in the sidebar.)

Posted in Design, Knitting, Master Knitter, Sock Madness | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »