Saturday October 28, 2006

Well, the time has arrived that I’ve been dreading.  The Works in Progress that I most long to show you are destined to be Christmas gifts for family members who read my blog.  Sigh.  Well, I will definitely take pictures and have quite a post-Christmas finished projects post!

Here are some things I can show you!  I began working on this knitted monogrammed pillow for our living room couch.  The pattern is found in a book I’ve mentioned here before, Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, and is meant to be made into a cushion/pillow for a stroller. Bah!  A 16” pillow for my couch is what it will be!  I’m using Knit Picks Shine Worsted yarn in Cream.  This is a 60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal yarn.   I didn’t much care for the feel of it coming off the ball, but oh, how I love the look and feel of this yarn knitted up!  It is very soft, almost silky, and there is a bit of a sheen to the knitted work.  The pattern is very simple.  The majority of the pillow is done in stockinette stitch, with garter stitch borders.  The initial will be worked from a chart.  This will be my first time working from a chart, so I’m glad it’s an easy project.  One of my knitted Christmas projects is challenging me a bit, so having this easy one to work on is nice for relaxing.  This is a nice, take along project and one that I can knit while riding in the car.

I ordered these Bryspun Flexible knitting needles from Knit Picks to make the pillow.  Maybe others like them, but I do not!  There is quite a ridge on the needles between the narrow point and the body of the needle.  Each and every stitch seems to drag as it passes over this ridge and I just do not like the feel of that. Fortunately, hmmmm…..unfortunately?…..anyway, I made a mistake in one of the early rows of the pillow and had to rip out a couple of rows to fix it.  Just because the pattern is easy doesn’t mean I can’t blow it when I’m talking and not paying attention to my knitting!  Since I was ripping out anyway, I decided to just rip out the whole thing and buy some size 7 needles in my favorite bamboo.  Aaaahhhh, that’s more like it!!

Anyone like the Bryspun Flexible Needles?  What sorts of knitting needles do you prefer, and why?  I’ve used metal needles, cheap plastic needles, the Bryspun Flexible needles, and bamboo; and I’m really liking the bamboo.  The double point needles I’ve been using are bamboo and they are so smooth to work on, and so comfortable in my hands. I even like the sound of the bamboo as I’m working!

I will say, though, on Knit Picks behalf, that I have been extremely satisfied with all of the yarn I have purchased from them.  So has Dani.  So far we have ordered yarns from the Shine Worsted, Shine Sport, Palette, Wool of the Andes, and Andean Silk lines.  It’s all been of very good quality and you can’t beat their prices!!!  We are taking the extra step, now, of ordering their yarn color cards for the yarns we’re interested in buying.  For the most part, what we’ve seen on our monitor is what we’ve received, but there were a couple of times the colors were just a bit off.  Not Knit Picks fault, of course, just the differences in color settings between equipment. The color cards are a good deal at just $1.99 each and are done very nicely, with the added benefit that you can actually feel the yarn before buying.

Finished up the dish towels!  Yes, I did.  Here’s how the last two turned out.  I cut off the frayed edges of the ends and ironed up a narrow hem and machine stitched them.  I was going to use embroidery floss to hand stitch in a hem using a running stitch.  That’s how my mom did the ones she made for me.  However, all of my towels lost their hems quite early on.  The floss seemed to break easily in the hems of them for some reason, even though the stitched designs have endured.  Anyway, these were machine stitched and are ready for me to give to Corin when I see her this evening.  (One Great Grandma turned 103 this last week, and tonight the family will gather as the other Great Grandma celebrates her 101st birthday!!)   It makes me feel very melancholy to let these dishtowels go.  It’s the first time I have finished a project that my Mom had intended to work on.  A labor of love this definitely was.

One other thing that I started awhile back and worked on quite a bit while I was down with my back is this project notebook.  I picked this pretty little notebook up at Wal Mart for under $4.  It has a rather flexible binding, with an elastic band closure; and I love the pretty cover and printed pages.   I’m writing all of my projects down on a page in this notebook and including any and all information I think might be useful in the future.  For example, on my knitting projects I’ve listed the yarn I’ve used and the size needles, along with how my gauging swatch turned out, and any changes I needed to make.  I’m also making a list of folks I’ve given my handmade items to for gifts.  I’m now including the wrapper from the balls of yarn on the project page, and will insert fabric swatches from my sewing projects.  Do you keep a project notebook?   I’d be really interested in hearing about it in the comments box.

Debraann left a comment awhile back on how organized my sewing nook looks.  Hmmm…..I think it’s because I always show pictures when projects are completed and everything is put back away. Here’s a picture of what it looked like yesterday while I was hemming Corin’s dishtowels.  Not the worst it can look during the week, but not neat as a pin either!

That’s all that was in the works this week.  All things considered health-wise for me, I think I did pretty well!

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households.
Proverbs 31:27

Remember to pray for Karen.
(For current updates, click the link under her picture in my sidebar.)

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8 comments to Saturday October 28, 2006

  • I am always encouraged when I read your blog Mrs. Cooper.  Corin and your other children are so blessed to have you as their momma.  :yes: 

    Blessings,

    Regina

  • I love coming here and seeing what you are up to each day. I really like the idea of keeping a journal of your projects. I wish my mom, grandmother and aunts had done that. Not only with projects, but recipes too. You know those special dishes everyone always brings to family gatherings, that nobody else can duplicate….?

    Hope your back is feeling alot better now

    Blessings
    Melody

  • I am so glad to hear you are feeling better! The dishtowels are beautiful. You did a wonderful job on them! I really like the knitted border on your pillow. I like the feel of metal needles and I like the sound they make too. :0) I just buy the cheap ones! Your notebook is very pretty and what a great idea to keep track of your projects. Will you take pictures of the Christmas gifts to share with us in January? 🙂
    Kelli

  • i just adore those dish towels! :heartbeat:

  • Thanks for the pumpkins!  Super cute 🙂  I just saw them this morning or I would have said something last night.

    I knit everything except socks on circular bamboo needles.  If you have any tension in your wrists while knitting or are prone to arthritis, it is better to knit with ciruclars- the connector between the needles bears all the weight of your knitting instead of your wrists.  Plus when you’re in close quarters such as an airplane, you won’t stab the person next to you with the end of your needles!

    I prefer bamboo because they are quiet.  I do have a pair of Addi Turbos and although I like the speed, I prefer the feel of yarn and bamboo.  My favorite circular bamboos are Crystal Palace.  They have a little piece of metal that pivots between the bamboo needle and the plastic connector.  Love it!

    Just my .02-

    Kenj:heartbeat:

  • Kenj – Thanks!!! This is just the kind of advice I was looking for from experienced knitters like yourself.  I’ve often wondered why women used the circular needles for smaller projects, and now I know!  I do have arthritis in my hands, so I’m thinking circulars would probably help there.  Next time I need a new size needle for a project, I’ll try circular bamboos.

    You are very welcome for the pumpkins, though I wish they had been oranger!  Dani went out to the garden almost every day, trimming away leaves, etc., trying to get them to ripen quicker.  No rushing these things I guess! 

  • Kelli – Thanks for letting me know what sort of knitting needles you like.  I’ve used the metal before and love the clicking sound (reminds me of Wallace & Grommet!:lol:)  The metal needles tend to feel cold in my hands now, though.  Guess it’s old age and arthritis. :rolleyes:

  • All your projects look wonderful. I agree about the Shine yarn; I wasn’t sure about it until I finished my daughter’s hat…the feel of it is sooo silky and she loves it!  As far as needles, I have used metal ones for years, but having tried bamboo recently they are my favorite.  I love the warm, smooth feel and they are not so slippery that I lose stitches.  A project notebook is such a good idea.  I often want to go back and repeat a project and wish I had taken more time to make notes on how exactly I did it!

    Debbie