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2003MattieMeehan
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Sweater Design

I deciced to use up some merino tweed wool that I bought from WEBS, but couldn't decide on what to do with it.  As I was thinking about what I would like, I envisioned a fitted sort of turtlenecky sweater with ribs half way up, narrowing at the waist, and then just knitted the rest of the way up.

After swatching, calculation of guage and stitches to cast on, I was off!

Here is the back.



I have actually finished it now and have started up the front.  I am a little worried about what I am going to do at the front neck, but I suppose I will figure it out as I go.  Basically, it will be a miracle if the sweater turns out okay.






Posted at 09:57 am by loulouknits
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Thursday, August 12, 2004
Spot

We have added to the family

.

Posted at 09:58 am by loulouknits
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Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Wooly Rabbits?

I recently attended the local 4-H fair in our small rural community.  All three of my boys are active in 4-H, and came home with ribbons for their arts & crafts (Willy won third place for his knitted huggie!),

    
thier science projects (Crenshaw won Grand Champion for his Science Project on the Hydrological Cycle), and pet-related projects (Henry received second place for his CAT poster).  Luckily, our county fair is still so small, that you can let your kids run wild for three days straight! 

Since our kids are relatively new to farm life, we had to think seriously about what type of animals, if any, they would begin to take care of, and eventually show at the fair.  After considering goats, chickens and rabbits, we settled on rabbits.  Initially we purchased two SATIN rabbits, Fluffy and Fuzzy.  Unfortunately, Fuzzy (a jet black bunny) met a tragic fate when he escaped his hutch and was captured by our Miniature Schnauzer.  It was traumatic for all, but a valuable lesson wasl learned about animals, breeding and the food chain!

Fluffy has made it for two years now, and Willy showed him for a second time in the small pet divison at the fair.  Last year, Fluffy and Willy one 4th place.  This year, they had both "matured" (Willy is now 10, Fluffy 2) and came away with 2nd place. 





While waiting in the small pet barn, I struck up a conversation with another 4-H mom whose children were showing not only rabbits, but also cows, pigs and SHEEP!  Of course, I couldn't get enough of the sheep talk, and learned that not all sheep's fur is good for spinning into wool. (Who would have THUNK???)  (Okay, I am a city girl at heart!)  Anyhow, the conversation really got my juices stirring, wondering if I could put a sheep or two out in the back field.  My husband immediately vetoed the proposition, stating that all of the animals we incur seem to always fall under his watch (ie. dog, cats, rabbit, guinea pig and fish). 

Not all was lost.  I was off to PLAN B.  Some good friends have just bought a big farm nearby.  I am going to convince THEM to get the sheep!  But I still want something furry and fun that will produce wool for me.

SO - Plan C....I have started my research  of Angora Rabbits, and have found a breeder close by who has young bunnies ready to go.  We just may need a field trip!  Stay tuned...

Posted at 01:05 pm by loulouknits
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Thursday, July 22, 2004
Polka Purl Dot Done!

Polka Purl Dot is done!



The pattern was easy to follow and I learned some new starting and finishing techniques!  I used yarn from ELANN - the Summer Sonata Collection which has been relisted for about $1.98 a skein. I really liked the yarn and feel that it was a great value.

DYING

I am still trying to figure out dying.  I bought some GAYWOOL Dye yesterday but am feeling a bit intimidated.  My current project is trying to get some variations on NAVY BLUE for a soaker project.  Why is it so difficult to get the right color?  I keep mixing up concoctions, but can't seem to get the right combo. 

I also purchased the book COLOR WORKS:  The Crafter's Guide to Color.  It is published by INTERWEAVE PRESS - my personal favorite.  I started reading it last night, and found much of the color theory fascinating.  I have never taken art classes - so this is all new to me.

Here is my current dying project (using kool aid and wilton dye)

 



Back to the Dye Pot!


Posted at 11:38 am by loulouknits
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Monday, July 12, 2004
Polka Dot Progress

Finally, I am at the finishing stages of the Polka Dot Shell.  I have to admit that I was intimidated by the finishing instructions.  The pattern called for a Tubular Bind Off - the opposite of the Tubular Bind-On that I completed at the start.  Basically, you prepare your stitches so that the last row is finished with a kitchener stitch.  It required casting on approx. 390 stitches for the front/neck edging, working in the seed stitch pattern for several rows, then dividing the stitches so that every other is on 2 different needles.  This sets up the process of using kitchener stitch to finish. 

I have to give myself KUDOS for giving up before I started - it sounded too hard!  But I stuck with it, and actually, once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy.  Although, it takes a bit more time than a regualar bindoff.  The edge it provides you is quite nice. 





Here is a picture.  It is ALMOST DONE. 




Posted at 03:36 pm by loulouknits
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Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Dying from the Garden?

I got inspired last night to try and dye with some beet juice.

I started here, in the gardent with some beets.

BEETS

Once in the kitchen, I washed up some yarn.  I use Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool for my experimentations.




I had boiled up the beets and got a pretty good dye bath.



I added a little vinegar to set the dye and then cooked it in the crock pot for several hours.  I then turned off the pot and let it sit and cool overnight.  This morning I rinsed.....


And, guess what color I got?????



YEP....a golden brown....WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?


Okay I know it...I really need some help...or maybe I should go back to KOOLAID!

Posted at 12:29 pm by loulouknits
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Tuesday, July 06, 2004
ELANN SWAP TO THE RESCUE!

Another reason why I love ELANN is the Elann Swap page.  If you make a boo boo like I did and are in desparate need of a certain yarn, you just leave a little note and others who might have extra can offer theirs to you.  IT WORKED FOR ME!!!  I will soon be wearing that ribbon side-to-side sweater!

WHAT I DID OVER THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND...

1.  I am working on the neck band to the polka dot shell.  I will be wearing it soon too!!!

2.  I went out to my garden and picked some beets, boiled them, and now I have a wonderful hot pink jar of dye just waiting to color some yarn!

3.  Started dreaming about my next project.




Posted at 01:20 pm by loulouknits
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Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Pregnant Wrist

The glove seems to be helping a bit. 

I dressed in black today to match the glove.  My kids called me a "Goth" (that's their term for someone who dresses in black....my generation called the same person a "NUN").

    My Wrist Looks Pregnant due to the beads in the glove to act as extra support when you use your mouse!

Since I am getting better about posting, and now that blogdrive has made it soooo EASY to upload the pics, I will soon post a pic of the polka dot red wrap.  I am half-way up and ready to start diving for the arm hole decreases.  I should probably finish within the week, if my arm holds out.

My garden is also blossoming with lots of fun plants, and I am contemplating doing some dying over the weekend.  I want to try calendula...those golden flower petals. 



Posted at 02:58 pm by loulouknits
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Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Wrist Casualty?

I was going to try and be better about posting....and yet another month has gone by so quickly.

I never did find any of the SCALA it is color #16 if anyone can help!!!  I have searched far and wide.  I am considering ripping out the beginning of the one sleeve and finishing both with a similar but different yarn at the cuff... I'm still mulling over it.

I am about halfway done with the Purl Polka Dot Wrap Shell out of Spring Interweave Knits.  I  think it is going to be great and I am sure that I have enough yarn - whew!  The only problem is that my wrist on the right hand is hurting really bad....that achy, tingling feeling.  I actually went out and bought one of the SMART GLOVE wrist bands at the local drug store to try and see if that would help.  I am on the fence right now.  I feel a bit better, but I also took several motrin.


Posted at 03:13 pm by loulouknits
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Thursday, June 10, 2004
ISO Katia Scala Yarn - INDIGO

Just returned from whirlwind vacation. There was a lot of driving time which means knitting time for me! I picked up a copy of the summer issue of Interweave Knits Magazine and caught Amy Singer's (of KNITTY fame) article on the perils of shopping for yarn online. The article soon came to haunt me. I was just about finished with the Side-to-Side Ribbon Sweater (from Spring issue of IK) when I realized that I would not have enough of the KATIA SCALA yarn to finish the last 10 rows! I had tried to estimate the yardage I would need when I ordered from ELANN some time ago, but didn't do a good enough job. See those 10 lovely blue skeins below....well I needed 11! Now, Elann is out of the yarn, and I have a sweater that just needs a few more rows to finish. The deal was great on Elann, but I missed being able to run down to the lys and pick up another skein! Now, I am in search of 1 skein of KATIA SCALA INDIGO YARN! I will buy outright, or can trade with a set of hand-made stitch markers! Anyone who can help - contact me!

Posted at 03:50 pm by loulouknits
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