Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One Down, One To Go

Ta da! One mitten completed. I really like how it turned out, even if I had to make up the top/decrease pattern all on my own. (The original called for another panel of the main floral motif which decreased along the natural "upper" triangle of the border.)

I got guilt-tripped into entering the state fair knitting contest/exhibition again this year. There is some scuttlebutt out there that entry numbers are down and fair organizers are trying to decide if keeping the fabric and threads category (at least for things non-quilting) is worth it. Area knitting guilds (and other needlework groups) are begging people to enter just to prove to fair organizers that there are, in fact, so many of us crafters out here that to NOT continue isn't even an option.

So I sent my $5 and got 5 entry tags. This pair of mittens will be one entry. I have a couple pairs of socks I can enter too. Not sure what the other two entries might be. We'll see.

Wish me luck, and happy knitting!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Mittens

I'm headed into the busiest part of my month with the magazine, but I thought I should post a pic of what has been keeping me sane over the weekend and up to now.
I started my next pair of Latvian mittens....

I had to take the chart to Office Max and blow it up on the copier for easier reading. (I discovered the eye strain of looking at the small one was taking away from the amount of time I could actually knit!) While I was there I found this great magnetic dry erase board to use with a magnet strip to keep my place on the chart.

It works great! Now I must get back to work since I also picked up some freelance work for another area newspaper and have several projects due in a week or less!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Latvian Mittens

I had a productive weekend in the knitting department!

The second mitten went much quicker than the first since my fingers sort of knew what they were doing. (Plus, I didn't have to fiddle around forever trying to figure out that loopy fringe bit!)

The simple pattern on the hand section really did wonders for helping me get the feel for color work holding two yarns, one in each hand. I think the floats had better tension on the second mitt as well.

Granted these are sized to fit a youth, not an adult. I'd say someone in the age range of 8-12 years old, depending. (They are too small for anyone in this house.)

I did have concerns about the amount of white yarn, thus I made the thumbs all blue. Good thing I did, because when I finished mitt #2 there were only 1.5 yds or so left of the white. I doubt it would have been enough to finish two thumbs.

I think I may try some of my Knit Picks Palette yarn on the next pair. It's fingering weight, however I'm convinced that the patterns are calling for what we would think of as fingering/sock yarn weight, rather than sport weight. (This was supposed to be a "child's" mitten to fit a 5 year old.....obviously too big, although I knew the gauge was off.)

Anyway, I'm really thrilled to have accomplished this, my first (and certainly not last) pair of Latvian mittens!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Houston, We Have Liftoff!

Well, let the mitten knitting begin!

Here is my first attempt at Latvian mittens.

I am really liking the color combination!

The cast on wasn't difficult. It's just the long-tail cast on using two yarns. One color goes around the thumb and the other around the index finger.

The fringe sort of threw me for a loop for a little while. I tried and ripped 3 times before the lightbulb went off on what the directions were saying. Once I figured it out, it went ok. I'm sure mine is too tight and I didn't get it all pulled evenly before securing the stitches in the next round, but what do you expect from a first attempt?!

The braid section was easy, fun and produced a cool result IMHO.

I am actually knitting the colorwork section using two hands, holding the blue in my left hand and knitting it Continental and carrying the cream in my right and knitting it English style. I can see I need to work on making sure my strands aren't too tight so that it doesn't pucker. But I think I'm doing pretting darn good for my first attempt ever.....!

I really like the challege and I'm glad I've set myself the goal of doing these for Christmas.

If there are any female relatives reading this who would like to put in a color request, please leave a comment!!!!!!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


When life hands you cloudy skies and skid loaders in front of the building you're supposed to photograph, shoot the robin in your driveway.

I'm trying to get a photo of a new bank here in town. It's still under construction, but they need a shot for an ad and promotional piece that is in the works.

The weather is not cooperating for that lovely "blue sky and fluffy white clouds" picture-perfect background!

And the contractor has left big equipment parked all around the exterior of the building. (I am not kidding! There is no angle on this building site that doesn't have some sort of equipment screwing up the photo!)

I pulled into my driveway feeling a bit "harumphy" (that's the mood which accompanies the sound "hhrmph!") This robin flew up onto the fence and stared at me through the windshield.

When I failed to exit the vehicle immediate (s)he began to sing. So I snapped a quick picture [not the best focus, to be sure!] and felt at least I captured something!

Monday, June 01, 2009

It's June (Finally!)

Ok, way back in February or March we realized that May was simply going to be "graduation" MONTH at our house. Between family and friends and our own events, there were several "graduation" events (rites, ceremonies, festivities, etc.) each week in May.

We had our party this past weekend. We had it at the county park just north of town. They have a WONDERFUL shelter there with a small kitchen, fireplace, lots of tables & chairs and AC!! The day included:

Memories. . . .

Family. . . .

Lots of Friends (way more than I can put on here). . . .

Some Teachers. . . .

Food & Conversation. . . .

. . . . and generally a good time for all!

We ended up buying WAAAAAY too much food. (Live and learn....won't have to cook this week as we consume sandwiches and cupcakes!)

We're tired but very happy to have given her a party and chance to say thanks to all her friends and family who have supported her throughout these 13 years of school.

And now I assume life will get back into a more "normal" rhythm, which will hopefully include my regularly scheduled knitting and photography!

[On that note: I have purchased Lisbeth Upitis' book on Latvian mittens which I hope to make for some of the women in the family for Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck!]

[Also I was out earlier today with the Federated Garden Club shooting photos for an upcoming issue r.e. their garden tour in July and enjoyed shooting some fun garden photos.]

Happy Knitting & Shooting!