Monday, September 25, 2006

I'm almost done w/ my 1st pair of BBS!!!!!!

Can I hear a "whoop whoop"?!?! Finally a very LOOOONG combined 50 inches later, I am finishing my toe decreases on Sock #2. I hope to get hubby to model them tonight, after I kitchener the toes. HOORAY! Well in time for the Oct. deadline, too. I know it is only one pair, but I will keep knitting and sending more, although my next pair will be for my Jason. Hope to hear from him soon as well -- just sent him a package w/ a bunch of neck coolers and I am wondering how they will work for him.
(Actually loosely modeled by me -- kitchener still to come.)

In other knitting progress, I am on the final stretch of my ZigZagger sock, as modeled here by my rather cold feet (Sereknity Sock Options Gothic Rose colorway). This will be the only lonesome sock knit -- I need to save the rest of the skein to finish my gauntlets -- but had to knit it to write the pattern. My feet are begging for me to knit them some socks, tho, as I only have ONE PAIR OF HANDKNIT SOCKS AND THEY ARE TOO GLORIOUS FOR WORDS. My children have more than I do! This will definately be my next cast-on.

I had actually cast on a few pair recently, but I have been in a major ripping out phase. I cast on Jaywalkers w/ BlackPearl Lorna's Laces -- ribbit! Couldn't get jazzed about the colorway after working on the Big Black Socks. Then I cast-on in lovely red Baby Ul to knit Studio Socks found in a 2005 Cast On Mag. Ribbit! I kept making silly mistakes in the lace -- think I was missing yarn-overs -- that I will write off to the nasty head-cold I had. Lemme see, what else? I have decided to frog the pink angora scarf I started to re-cast with larger needles to accentuate the lace -- yeah, I have about a foot and a half done of that -- into the frog pond!! And lastly, and not too significantly, I frogged the original ZigZag sock begun w/ Angora Valley Monarch Sock Yarn in favor of using my own so as to get the correct guage for Sereknity yarn.

Projects in the queu? A Rogue Sweater for me, and a Debbie Bliss Jacket for Rachel.
I bought 20 balls of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran at Webs when I travelled to see Miss Stephanie, and should have plenty left over to make an adult sweater as well. The Rogue will be done in this FANASTIC 100% wool yarn by Universal I purchased at A Knitter's Garden -- isn't it gorgeous? And so soft -- comparable to Cascade 220 in weight and price and much softer, too.

On the business end, my warping board bit-the-bullet today after I convinced it, with much cajolling and cursing, to hold a full pound of fingering weight merino superwash. Yup. 1lb. 2240 yrds. It wasn't happy. So, after this big batch of Goody Gumdrops, I won't be able to do any stripes for a few weeks, until I get a sturdy permanent board built. (The last was made from scraps and too-thin dowels, so no real surprise, just a bummer.) I'll be dyeing again tomorrow, and hope to get last week's items listed in the shop -- I also am working on a new batch of needles, including DPN's for a few new kits. I'll post pics of all the colorways soon. Hubby threatened to give me "hours" for work soon -- I was still working at the warping board when HE called ME to dinner. Ooops! Guess I'll have to start behaving myself.

Like that'll happen.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

FYI -- Gauntlet Pattern Corrections

For those who have printed the Gauntlet pattern, you will want to re-print. Gina was gracious enough to send me errata as she worked on her mitts. I think all the bugs are worked out now. Sorry! ~Heather

Monday, September 18, 2006

A day in a yarn shop, flying fingers, and serious color

WELL, it has been a very eventful weekend. I had the pleasure of spending Saturday with my dear friend Joanne (sadly, blogless) at her shop, A Knitter's Garden for her very first sale. What a great bit of fun! I got to sit, surrounded by lovely yarn, of which she has some FABULOUS new products, and talk knitting with fellow enthusiasts. Oh, yeah, and I helped out a bit too. hehehe. A few highlights of the day were the visits of Gina and Erica and knitting-fiance Chris from the Manchvegas crew. (I just love those people. You know how some people just make you smile because they are there? Yeah, they do that for me.) The sale ended at 3pm, and sure enough hubby with munchkins in tow to hunt me down! I swear I was just packing up! Just had to finish the row! I swear! Hey, at least they got to go meet the chickens. (Sorry -- no pics, but I'll get some when Joanne's new SHEEP move in -- yes! SHEEP. I am so psyched. I am living vicariously through her...for now.)
So, since I had been so horribly fiber deprived all day, I HAD to spin when I got home. Seriously, I hadn't spun in at least a month and sitting staring at fiber and Joanne's wheel all day was really just too much. So, 3 full bobbins of singles later, I then plied and had 2 full skeins of yarn (I had one bobbin previously spun) -- one border leicester/angora mix in a periwinkle-blue heathery color, and the other a Border Leicester/mohair mix in yellow and white I have promised to make the Boy mittens from. The blue will join the spindle-spun skein of the same colorway in making a hat and mittens for either myself or some deserving soul (who will NOT felt it in the wash) for Christmas. I think I will keep this for myself tho, as it was my very first handspun. Tough call -- I have someone in mind for it. We'll see.

Sunday was spent in the company of my father out on the ocean for a fantastic whale watch. The kids were delighted -- time w/ Grampy and WHALES. Rachel had the whole upper deck in stitches when we saw the first whale of the day -- you haven't truly heard enthusiasm until you have heard my girl -- "A WHALE! LOOK, MOMMY, A WHALE! Oh my gosh! WOOHOO! YEAH, BABY!" Yup, cheering on the whale -- I was waiting for a good ol' Arsenio dog-pound yell, but we were thankfully spared. The kids were fabulously behaved, suitably awed, and the boat turned back to port just as they began to get antsy. Oh yeah, and the whales? All humpbacks (my fave). A bit lazy -- lots of "logging", which is when the sleep side-by-side near the surface, and quite a bit of feeding going on, but no breaching or fin-flapping. They are such amazing creatures, tho -- so gentle and graceful, despite their size, which alone is enough to make anyone take pause. We did see 13 in all, and as the captain is a friend of Grampy's each kid got to take a brief turn at the wheel. Pretty cool stuff. (Rachel and Jaocb are pictured below, back to -- her in pink and Jacob in his green Wallaby.)

Oh! And the flying fingers thing? Yeah, you know Gina? Ok, so she comes to Joanne's shop on Saturday, picks up a skein of "what else?...Watermelon" and the Smocked Gauntlets pattern, retreats to her home and Sunday I have THIS in my e-mail box!
AND she was 1/2 done w/ mitt #2! Crazy woman! How can we mere mortals ever compare???
Today, it was back to the dye pots. Yes folks, I'll be here all week -- literally. LOTS of fiber to dye, ideas to bring to life, and orders to fill. Here's a little preview of some store yarns, as well as some special orders.

The rest of the week will be spent working on self-striping yarns, and I do hope to FINALLY get my Zig-zag rib sock pattern finished. I just need to check the gauge for the Sport weight Sock Options Yarn. I'll have to use my remaining Gothic Rose, as I don't have the yarn to spare. I think it will still leave me enough for my second gauntlet. We'll see! Of to dinner ... hubby made stir-fry. YAY FOR HUBBY!!!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Smocked Gauntlets free pattern

********** Pattern revisioons as of 11/12/06 -- Please note that the ribbing has been corrected to read P3, K3 rather that K3,P3 as previously stated. I am so very sorry forthis inconvenience. If you printed a pattern prior to this date, please mark the revisions on your copy or print a new pattern. *******************

My first ever free pattern! There will be more to come in the future (I hope!) and this will soon be packaged up in the etsy shop in a neat little kit w/ needles and yarn. In the mean time, I have a few hanks of the superwash sport listed presently, or give it a go with anything suitable from your stash. I would love to see pics of FO's and if you encounter any probs with the pattern, please let me know, and we can work them out together. Let's get knittin'!!

Smocked Gauntlets, a Sereknity Knits pattern
Created by Heather J. Spellman

1 skein Sereknity Sock Options Merino Superwash Sport, 4 oz. Approx. 250yards, Gothic
Rose colorway
Five size 3 double pointed needles
One Cable needle or extra Double pointed needle

Made to fit Ladies Medium, but has plenty of give.

Gauge – 28 stitches over 4 inches in stockinette.

Pattern stitch – smocked rib, adapted from the Knitting Stitch Bible

Row 1, 2, 3 – *p3,k3, repeat from * 3 times, p3
Row 4 – p3, w/yarn in back slip 9 to a cable needle, wrap working yarn around base of all nine stitches (snug, but not too tight!) counter-clockwise 3 times, ending w/ yarn in front ready for the next stitch. Slip stitches back to right hand needle, p3, wrap next nine in the same manner, p3
Row 5,6,7 – *p3,k3, repeat from * 3 times, p3
Row 8 – p3,k3,p3, slip next nine to cable needle and wrap as previous, p3, k3, p3

***If working with a self-striping yarn, I would recommend omitting the wrapped yarn and using pattern stitch as a simple p3,k3 rib so as not to detract from the yarn.***

CO 54; Divide stitches over 4DPNs -- #1 – 12, #2 – 15, #3 – 12, #4 – 15

Work in p3, k3 rib for 1.5 inches.

Begin palm and pattern stitch –
Needle #1 – stockinette, Needles 2&3, pattern stitch, Needle #--4 stockinette.

On 16th row (2 pattern stitch repeats completed) begin increases for thumb gusset as follows…

For Left Hand:
Round 1 -- Knit 9, pm (place marker), kfb,pm, knit 2. Continue pattern stitch on needles 2&3, knit to end of needle four.
Round 2 – knit even on 1&4, continue pattern stitch on 2&3.
Round 3 -- Knit to first marker, kfb, knit to last stitch before the last marker, Kfb, knit to end (2 stitches). Continue pattern stitch across needles 2 and 3.
Repeat rounds 2 and 3 until 20 stitches exist between the markers.

For Right Hand:
Round 1 -- Knit Needle #1, Continue Pattern Stitch on Needles 2&3. On needle 4, k2, pm, kfb, pm, knit to the end of N4.
Round 2 – Knit even on needles 1&4, continue Pattern stitch on 2&3.
Round 3 – Knit even on needle 1, continue pattern stitch needles 2&3, knit to marker on needles 4 (i.e. K2), Kfb, knit to last stitch before marker, kfb, knit to end. Repeat rounds 2 and 3 until 20 stitches exist between the markers.

On next round, knit as established to first marker on needle #4, place 20 marked stitches on scrap yarn, pm, co 3, join and knit to end of needle #4.

Continue for one round even.
Next round at marker k2tog twice. Continue as est.

When pattern stitch has completed 4.5 times (or if you prefer longer mitts, 5.5 times), begin next round in p3,k3 rib. Continue rib for 1 inch. BO in pattern stitch (K3,p3).


Divide thumb stitches over 3 needles. W/ 4th needle, pu 4 stitches and knit 2 rounds even. Begin k3p3 rib for 1 inch. BO in pattern stitch.

Weave in ends and Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

So what has Heather been doing ...

...'cause I know you want to know...
TONS of stuff. We were camping (yes, again) this past weekend, but I have still managed to get quite a bit done. My fingerless mitt pattern (I think it will be called Smocked Gauntlets)is nearly completed and I am working it up in the Gothic Rose colorway of my sport weight super-wash merino yarn with my own HAND-CARVED, HAND-FINIHED DPNs. They work great! I am so proud of myself. Although I will be listing the pattern on-line for free, I plan to package the DPNs, pattern, yarn, and mostlikely stitch markers in a kit for sale in the Sereknity store. The new site should be up and running soon, and by Christmas I hope to have a number of local products listed under the Ewe-niquely New England heading. I am hoping to profile a different artist each month and am really looking for some of my girls (eh-hem -- I think you know who you are) to come on board! I am also hoping to feature some wonderful soy candles produced be a friend of mine -- they are so yummy, you would die. As I write, I am enjoying the delightful aroma of Wildberry Zinger Tea. O. M. G. You have no idea how sinful this is. mmmmm.
I have also been working on some new beaded, hand-carved needles featuring swarovski crystal accents. My first batch of sz 10.5 needles were made with oak, and while I love the woodgrain in these, I think I am going to use maple in the future. I used maple for the DPN's and love how soft and satiny they feel while knitting. Some of the needles and items in progress are pictured below -- like my rudimentary sanding set-up? may not look like much, but it works like a charm! I should have these needles listed in the etsy boutique before the weeks end.

I haven't gotten too much done on the sewing front this week, other than a boat load of neck coolers to send to Jason and his unit in Iraq. I took a break from my BBS for this, too. I was thrilled to get e-mails to the kids from him today. They sent him e-mails last week when my little guy, out of the blue while we were all watching cartoons says, "Mommy, I miss Uncle Jason." So I offered immediately if they wanted to write, and of course they did. Here are my monkeys reaching out across the terrible miles.

THANK GOODNESS for the internet. He had me kind of freaked b/c he took so long to reply, but apparently everything is OK.
I have some more great pictures to post tomorrow, including a gorgeous rainbow from the lake, but can't find the USB cord today, so it will have to wait.
OK __ BACK TO WORK! lol...less than 2 hrs. b4 I get the boy!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


OK -- I am totally psyched! (To the point that I just went on record as saying "totally psyched".) Gina of Sleepy Eyes Knitting began knitting with my Goody Gumdrops self-striping yarn and blogged about it and look!...

is that not the COOLEST? I am thrilled w/ how it is turning out -- and that Gina is so happy w/ it. Seriously, go read her blog. I'm blushing.

Inspired by Jackie , I have begun designing a fingerless mitt pattern of my own -- my first official pattern which I will put up free once it is done. I hope to put together some kits with the pattern, hand-dyed yarn, and hand-crafted double-points to sell in the Sereknity store. I say it is inspired by Jackie because it never occurred to me to use my yarns for anything other than socks, but she plans to make mitts w/ her skein of GoodyGumdrops dyed in sport weight. Here is my design so far -- I should have it done by tomorrow. (And I actually took notes on this one, unlike the sock pattern I am working on!!)

In some disappointing news, not only did I have to frog the turned heel and flap of my BBS -- goodness only knows what I did to the poor thing -- but I have run out of yarn for the hood of Jacob's Wallaby and, bein a discontinued yarn in a very ...ummm...different...color (I love it for Jacob, but seriously, how many people are really going to buy Kelly green these days?) I haven't a shot in hell of finding another ball in any color, let alone the same dye lot. I'll be ripping back and making a nice ribbed collar in the next few days.

Now, if you are one of those bloggers/readers who is a bit sick of pet-antic pictures, you may depart now and no hard feelings, but for all others, here is Mouse, defying science...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Just a quickie...

hmmm.... that may not sound right. Eh-hem. Now for a short message...

The yarns are up in the new shop! Click the link on yesterday's entry for Sereknity Boutique, and you'll see 'em. And a little knitting note -- the Jacob's Wallaby is almost done! Here it is on him (please don't mind the pjs and the BIG MESS behind him.) Just the hood left!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hooray for school!

I never thought I would say this, but I am so glad the kids are back in school! I used to hear parents say this and think it was just so horrible -- why on earth did you have kids, then, I thought, if you don't want to be with them? That was before parenthood. Yeah, I know -- the old walk-a-mile-in-his-shoes thing. Now, I get it. It isn't about not wanting to be w/ them, it is about not wanting to KILL them when you are! Too much of a good thing can be a problem and we definately need a break from each other. As the kids strike out to establish their own identity, we, as parents, seek to reclaim some of ours. And let's face it, we make rotten playmates. Barbies? Hot Wheels cars? Ummm, yeah, I last about 5 minutes at that. So without further ado, I present...
Rachel, on her first day of second grade. YAY!

We (hubby and I) also made a major decision today -- we are switching Jacob's school (kindergarten). This energetic little information/science sponge needed more stimulation and a different focus of curriculum than his old school offered and this one really seems like it will fit him well. Doesn't really fit the budget, but we'll make it work. This school operates on 6 35min class blocks -- Lang. Arts, Math/science, Motor Skills, Enrichment, Art, and Music. SCIENCE! They have Science class! W/ a male teacher! Jacob is actually very excited, so I am really hoping it meets expectations. And an added benefit? 4 hours a day to work! His old school was only 2.5 hours, and not really conducive to getting work done but this I can work with!

And now, for a little yarn-candy -- yesterday's yarns, all skeined and ready to go I left one skein of Goody Gumdrops in a ball for fabulous Jackie so she can get right to business on her fingerless mitts! I can't wait to see them all knit up.

These will be posted for sale later today at the new etsy shop -- Sereknity Boutique . Check it out!

On a sad note, if you are an animal lover, or have ever loved and lost a pet, please pop over to Gina's blog and leave her a little note of condolence. She had to put her beautiful little angora bunny down yesterday, and her heart is just aching. I know it would do her and her son good to have lots of love and comfort sent their way.