Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Few FOs

I have a few FOs to show off (2 of mine and one that my sister made while she was here). Let’s start with the one my sister made, shall we?

My sister is an early intervention and preschool special educator which means she spends a good deal of time working with kiddos in their home or preschool environment. She mentioned that she had seen a fabric memory game on Pinterest. There were a couple of different ones, but we ended up following this tutorial. Instead of using a printable icon of some sort, she just picked out one semi-solid fabric to use on all of the squares.

Adorable, right?

I let her go crazy with my scraps and she fussy cut 15 different fabrics for 30 total squares. She also made a drawstring bag for all the squares.

Next up is another sample knit for Stash:

Pattern: Turbulence Cowl by Laura Chau

Yarn: Shibui Merino/Alpaca in Suit and Ash

Modifications: Why, oh why am I always running out of yarn?! I aimed to knit this cowl in one skein of each color, but I ran out of the main color (Ash) with 4 rows left of the cowl. Instead of breaking into a second skein for 2 rows with that color, I bound off 4 rows early. I think the culprit was using a yarn that is more dense than the suggested yarn. At any rate, if I hadn’t pointed out that there were 4 rows missing, I doubt anyone would notice.

Yes, I realize it somewhat resembles a tube top. However, it is not. 

I actually made my blogging debut over on the stash blog today, and you can read more about the Turbulence Cowl and the fabulous Shibui Merino/Alpaca yarn over there!

And last, but certainly not least….a new pair of socks! I knit these as part of a Knit-a-Long at Stash and finished them up just in time (the deadline is Wednesday)!

Pattern: Paper Moon Socks by AnneLena Mattison from Knitty, Deep Fall 2011

Yarn: Sweet Georgia CashLuxe Fine in Savory (I think…I’ll have to double check at Stash)

Modifications: No intentional modifications. But honestly? The gusset and heel flap directions could have been more clear. I did what I thought the pattern was telling me to do, but my gusset looks a little bit different and I think there was an extra row that resulted in a little hole (which I closed up by picking up a stitch from the row below and knitting it together with the next stitch). I’m pleased with the finished product, but I think next time I would start with fewer stitches, as the toe is a bit boxy for me.

I love the look of the garter stitch on either side of the cables.

 The Sweet Georgia yarn was a true pleasure to work with. The resulting fabric is really soft and squishy, but seems like it will hold up over time. One of the socks survived a trip around the yarn in Sailor’s mouth today, so I consider that a win. And the colors are gorgeous. I think I’ll be picking up one of the other colors we have at the shop to make a shawlette or possibly even a summer sweater.

Perfect St. Patty’s Day Socks, I think! 

In other knitting news, I’m still plugging away on my Julissa sweater and am finally working on the sleeves. Tragically, one of them needs to be ripped out because the yarn I started using is much lighter and it’s pretty obvious. Thankfully it’s only about half a sleeve’s worth of ripping and not the whole thing!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

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Phew.

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks here at Casa de Grey Poodle. My FIL was in town for close to 2 weeks adding a bathroom to our house and my sister was here for 5 of those days. I don’t have pictures of the finished bathroom quite yet, but we’re hoping to have it all painted and really done by this time next week. I can give you a little peek at it, though.

Backsplash to the sink

I had purchased some glass tiles for an accent strip in the shower and we had quite a bit left (the shower ended up being slightly different dimensions than we thought, so our calculations were a little off). We had to create a little bump out wall for the vanity to hide the plumbing and we thought it would be a perfect way to use up some of the leftover tiles. Seth came up with the design and it looks fantastic! We’re hoping to use more of the leftover tiles to frame a mirror, but first I need to find a mirror to fit in the space! Easier said than done, apparently.

Once we get the correct light bulb for the shower, I’ll take some pictures of the shower.The linen “closet” is filled with tools for the time being, so that’ll have to wait to be photographed, too!

Seth’s Dad requested a pair of hand knit socks that he could wear rock climbing, so I spent a good part of the last week working on those. I managed to finish them just in time for him to wear them home on the plane!

Pattern: Classic Socks for the Family by Melinda Goodfellow

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight (I tossed the ball band without noting the color)

Mods: This pattern is written for several different gauges and sizes. I followed the instructions for the cuff of the largest fingering-weight size. Once I finished the gusset, I decreased an extra 8 stitches over 3 rounds (2 decrease rounds and 1 straight round in between). My FIL wanted a snug fit on the foot, but needed the ankle to be a little bit bigger than the foot. He also wanted an ankle sock, so knit the cuff until he said it was long enough and then did the same amount of rows on the second sock (I think it was about 16 knit rows after the ribbed cuff, maybe?).

My FIL was a foot model in a former life

Check out our new tile floors in the new bathroom! 

Socks that Rock has a super tight twist, and the socks feel pretty bulletproof. I think (hope!) they’ll hold up well!

I’ll be back soon with another shop sample for Stash, a fun project that my sister did while she was here and bathroom pics!

How about one last parting shot of my favorite grey poodle hanging out with my FIL:

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Featherweight Cardigan

Awhile back (ahem, november, ahem), Sonia (the owner of Stash) asked if I would knit a lace weight cardigan for the shop. Of course, I agreed, since the pattern was simple and straightforward and the yarn was GORGEOUS. I honestly thought this would be done fairly quickly. It wasn’t. I had a disagreement with one of the sleeves which had me start and stop the same sleeve at least 3 times. Once that sleeve was finally finished and I moved onto the second sleeve, the sweater was done in a mere few days. Anyways, it’s now finished and I even have photos to prove it!

Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

Yarn: Sweet Georgia SeaSilk Lace in Tourmaline

Modifications: Since this was a shop sample I made very few modifications. I wouldn’t have many any, except that when I went to start the first sleeve I had a huge gaping hole when I picked up the amount of stitches called for in the pattern. I knit a few rows somehow thinking it would magically go away (it didn’t…shocking, I know), and when it didn’t I ripped back to before I picked the stitches up and tried again. This time I picked up more stitches than called for and decreased to the correct number on the following row. All good, right? Wrong. The underarm looked great, but after a few rows I realized there was a stitch that not been unpicked correctly, and I had to drop the stitch down a few rows to fix it. The other issue I was having was with my needle choice. I was using my Addi Lace Clicks, and while I generally love them, the lace yarn was snagging in the join. I happened to have a set of 24″ size 6 Addi lace needles and once I switched to those things went MUCH smoother! literally. The only other modification I made was to the front band. I was so close to being able to finish the sweater with one skein, it seemed kind of silly to break into a second skein if I didn’t need to. I cut the band short by about 1/2 an inch. After binding off, I realized I probably could have gotten a few more rows out of the yarn, but it would have been really annoying to run out on the bind-off! I knit the sweater to the specifications in the pattern, but it grew like crazy length-wise. It ended up about 2″ longer than the pattern calls for, but it still looks nice.

Let’s talk about the yarn for a minute, shall we? The Sweet Georgia SeaSilk Lace is made from 60% seacell and 40% silk. The blend takes the dye beautifully and the yarn has a wonderful sheen to it. Knitting lace weight yarn on larger needles in stockinette stitch was a new experience for me. At first I was really frustrated because my stitches looked sooooo uneven. It was making me crazy. But blocking is magical. I had my doubts, but my stitches appeared much more even after soaking and blocking. And the yarn totally transformed. Don’t get me wrong, it was lovely before I soaked it. But the drape is amazing and it has a wonderful light and silky feel. My only complaint? The yarn bled. A lot. Strangely enough, it didn’t bleed on my hands as I was knitting with it, but it bled like crazy when I washed it. Not a huge deal since I only used one color and I would never wash it with anything else. However, I can see it being a problem if someone wanted to pair it with a lighter colored yarn in a project.

The pattern was very well written with easy to follow instructions, which is always awesome!

The other exciting thing going on a casa de grey poodle is that we’re adding a bathroom to our house! My father-in-law is here to help us turn our laundry room into a laundry room/full bathroom! I forgot to take a picture before we started tearing it apart, but here’s a pretty good representation of it:

There was a cabinet above the counter and there was a carpet on the floor. 

Those pics make it look pretty scary. It wasn’t quite that bad. I’ll be sure to post updates as we go!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Orcas Island 50K

This past weekend Seth, Sailor and I took a trip up to Orcas Island so that Seth could run the Orcas Island 50K. We headed out Friday morning, stopped at the REI in Seattle, had dinner in Anacortes, and then took the ferry over to Orcas Island. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of Seth from the race. Sailor and I only met up with him at the first aid station and then we spent the day exploring the island while Seth ran. Of course, we met him at the end of the race and saw him finish! We couldn’t have asked for better weather and the views from the top of Mt. Constitution were incredible.

Unfortunately, I’ve been having trouble with the automatic sensor cleaning on my camera (as in, it doesn’t do it…). It was so bright out that I couldn’t tell that all my pictures had a huge spot on them as I was shooting. sigh. I guess we’ll just have to go back! But I’ll share some photos anyways…just try and ignore the glaringly obvious spot (actually, a large line) on all of the photos.

View of Mt. Baker from the top of Mt. Constitution

Mt. Baker, the San Juan Islands, and the North Cascades

The tower at the top of Mt. Constitution, a lost runner, and the folks running the aid station

After exploring the island, shopping in the Eastsound area (and finding a glorious bakery with amazing cookies only to have Sailor steal 3 of the cookies when I was snapping photos), Sailor and I relaxed in one of the parks in Moran State Park (where the race was taking place) until it was time to go to the finish line to meet Seth. It was relaxing until Sailor saw these guys:

There were 4 huge swans just hanging out on the lake. 

When we were looking for a place to stay, one of the other local ultra runners suggested we check out Pebble Cove Farm. We had a fantastic view from our front door, there was homemade granola in our room for breakfast, and they have chickens, goats and a pony on the farm!

The view from our front porch

On Sunday, we headed out on the second ferry and drove to Seattle in time for lunch. Of course, no trip would be complete without a yarn shop stop! We stopped at The Weaving Works and I picked up a few skeins of yarn (no surprise there!). After a little yarn shopping we headed to Pikes Place Market to wander around and find some lunch.

And of course we had to stop and see the Gum Wall:

Gross, but kind of fascinating! 

And since this is a crafty sort of blog…here is a pic of Seth wearing the hat that he designed:

Taken on the ferry back to Anacortes from Orcas

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Iceling Baby Set

One of our camp friends, Amanda, is expecting her first baby at the end of February. Since she lives in Minnesota, she asked if I would make her little guy a sweater to wear after he arrives to keep him warm during the long Minnesota winter (and probably through some of spring!). Of course I said yes! I’ll take any excuse to knit adorable baby things! I wanted a cardigan so that it would be easier to get on/take off as well as something that was manly enough for a wee little boy. I found a perfect pattern that came with directions for a matching hat, so of course I had to make the set (his little head needs to stay warm, too!).

Pattern:Iceling Sweater and Hat by Carol Feller

Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in Happy Forest

Modifications: None!

I just love the buttons! This sweater sat in my craft room waiting for buttons for over a week. I wanted something fun and when the Wooly Moss Roots buttons arrived at Stash, I knew they’d be perfect! And the little matching hat is pretty cute, I think:

Adorable, right?!

I also have another gift knit to share. This is for the friend of a ravelry friend’s daughter who was recently diagnosed with Leukemia. I found some super duper soft yarn and made a slouchy hat that she can also wear with the brim flipped up for more of a beanie look.

Pattern: The Big Easy by Vivian Aubrey

Yarn: Three Irish Girls Bamboo Cotton Worsted in “How Not to Dry the Dishes”

Modifications: The yarn has a fair amount of drape to it due to the bamboo content, so I used one needle size smaller than the pattern required for the stockinette section of the hat. The felt flower is from Frabjous Fibers purchased at Stash. I also included a blue flower with the hat in case Emma wants to mix things up a bit.

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