All the cool kids are doing it! Give in to the peer pressure and join in by clicking on the link above. I think I'm going to use the left overs from my Constant Companion project. So, my warm Fuzzy Feet will match my knitting bag -- pretty neat, eh?
Thanks Kate for organizing this event and thanks Theresa for giving the world fuzzy feet!
The Constant Companion bag is coming along nicely. Kind of hard to see from the picture since it's all bunched up on a 24" circular. The pattern suggests using a larger size, but I had to make do with what I had.
Here are some delicious low-fat muffins. I made up the recipe this morning and baked up a batch. Good stuff!
Julie's Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 1/3 Cups whole wheat flour
1/2 wheat bran
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 egg whites
1/3 c. fat free milk
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp sugar-free vanilla syrup (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
2 large bananas -- very ripe
1/3 c. mini chocolate chips
In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl mash the bananas. In a large (2 c.) measuring cup, or another bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the bananas and wet ingredients to the dry ingrediants and stir. Add chocolate chips and stir. Divide batter evenly among 12 paper lined muffin cups. Bake at 400 for 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned.
These muffins are sweet, tasty and very good for you. If you are on Weight Watcher, they are only 2 pts. each!
Speaking of Weight Watchers -- I lost 10 lbs over the summer and then I decided to join WW before I put it back on. Not only have I kept it off, but I've lost another 24 lbs! (My sister goes with me and she has lost 20 lbs!) So, it does work and I can't say enough about it. I only have 4 more lbs. before I reach my final goal and I'm feeling pretty darn good.
I'll leave you with this unusual photo of my kitties -- Mud, Spike and Fancy. It's unusual because they are in such close proximity to each other!
Friday night I got to go see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and it was GOOD! I just had to put the pic of my favorite actor from the movie up for all to see. (Yeah -- I'm a geek. I've read the Tolkien books about 4 times all the way through and I've probably read the Hobbit about 6 times. I'm a geek for many other reasons too, but I won't go into that right now!)
I also finished a book this weekend --
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. I'm sure you've heard of this book -- it was on all the news programs a while back. Basically the author moved to several different cities and took low wage jobs to see if it was possible to survive on what she made. Very interesting reading -- I highly recommend it.
And in knitting news. . . I'm working away on the Constant Companion having finished the bottom, picked up all the stitches around it and worked about 3" of the sides. Now I think that I need to switch to the red, which means I need to wind up 2 of the hanks of yarn. Ugh. But I have to tell you about the picture! A little over a week ago, Theresa and I went shopping and I picked up this gorgeous Kureyon. Not sure what it will become , but I'm guessing that it will be felted in the end.
Yesterday I received this gorgeous Cascade 220 from ThreadBear Fiber Arts. I can't say enough about these guys -- friendly, fast and very helpful! Go visit their online store and drool over the Koigu! This yarn is destined to become a Constant Companion. I'm going to use the basic pattern from the Knitter's Stash book, but I'm going to make my own design -- stripes or something like that. I cast on last night, but it's not much to look at yet. I'll take pictures when I get further.
Pattern: My own pattern which I will post as I go.
Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Ultralight in color 60 (dye lot 1740) purchased at Knitting Workshop in Chicago.
Needles: US 6 Clover circular (24")
I thought I would never find yarn for a hat to go with the Cozy scarf, but the helpful woman at Knitter's Workshop suggested this yarn and I really like it! The hat has knit up very quickly, but now I am at a standstill because I don't have any US 6 dp's for the top. sigh.
I didn't have a pattern, so I just cast on 100 stitches and started knitting in the round. I decided that it might be a little big at 100 stitches, so after about 6 rows I decreased 10 stitches evenly across 2 row, so the body of the hat is 90 stitches. Once the hat got to about the right height (5-6") I started decreasing. Since I had 90 stitches here's what I did:
Round 1: K13 K2Tog
Even rounds knit even
Round 3: K12 K2Tog
You get the idea. When I go down to 60 stitches, I started decreasing every row. And now it's too small for the circular and I don't have the dp's. I tried "magic-looping" it, but that didn't really work. Michael's doesn't carry dp's, so it looks like a trip to the yarn store is in my future.
I made this picture larger than necessary so that you could see our antique dining room table. It is quarter-sawn oak which looks very cool. It is also a refractory table -- the leaves are part of the table. You just pull out the end and it swings up and into place. No storing leaves! And I also have to point out my Longaberger basket. I have a basket for almost every project -- I'm addicted. I even sell Longaberger now (although just about the only person who buys baskets from me is me!) I told my husband that I wouldn't buy anymore yarn, but I would have to buy some more baskets. Poor guy. I'm not sure how he puts up with me!
I have lots to report, but no pics so I'll just wait to post updates. Let's just say that someone's birthday is fast approaching, and I have been working on a special project for her. I have also started a hat, worked on Pete's sock and "enhanced" my stash. More later. . .
Every wanted to know how to cast on for toe-up socks without having to use a provisional cast on and having to graft later? Why not try the Figure 8 Cast On? I was looking for a good illustration of this technique, but had a hard time finding anything. Here's my attempt to explain it:
Okay, first you need to wrap the yarn around the two needles in a -- you guessed it -- figure eight motion. This means you go up over the top needle from the back, between the two needles and down around the bottom needle from the back to the front, back through the two needles again and you have two stitches. My picture shows a total of eight stitches -- four on each needle.
Make sure that the stitches you cast on aren't too tight or you will have a heck of a time knitting your first couple of rows. Now just pick up the working yarn and knit across the top row. Your stitches should look like the example above after you knit across all the stitches on the needle.
Flip your needles upside down -- same side facing you but the needle that you just knit across is on the bottom now. Now just knit across this needle. You will most likely have a very loose looking center row (these are the stitches that you cast on -- the ones that I told you to keep loose). After you knit a few more rows tighten these stitches across the first row toward the loose end. (Basically you will inch your way across that row, tightening as you go until you get to the loose end. Then just pull the end to tighten.) Now continue with your pattern -- why not try toe-up socks? That's what I'm making right now!
Not much knitting and these stamps are why. I have been so busy with my online store ( Stamping Online ) that I haven't had time to knit! All this crazy time spent working will result in cold hard cash to spend this Saturday at Tangled Web Fibers in Oak Park, IL. Theresa (go check out her blog -- it's looking great!) and I are going on a little shopping trip. I'm sure we'll also have to stop by Paper Source. I've been thinking about creating a knitting log book and they have great book kits there.
Theresa and I are also going to be taking a class in February at The Knitting Workshop in Chicago. It is a fair isle/intarsia class which I am really looking forward taking.
Yes, it's Cat Bordi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles! Now that I am conquering the "toe-up" technique this is the next step. If anyone knows of a godd place to get some reasonably priced addi-turbo's, let me know. And "Thanks again, Theresa!"
Pattern: Toe-Up Socks -- my own pattern which I will post as I go.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Forest (37) purchased from ThreadBear Fiber Arts
Needles: US 1 Brittany Birch dp's 7" (wish they were 5", but that's all I have)
I decided to try a toe-up sock for the first time! All the patterns that I had used some funky toe or were for a different weight yarn or had a pattern to them, so I'm making up my own pattern. So far I have used a figure-8 cast on with 10 stitches on each needle for a total of 20 stitches. (I think I will have to describe this technique in my next post because I couldn't find much on the web that would really explain how to do this.) Then I started to increase in the second and second to last stitch on each of the two needles. When I finished a few rows I moved half of each of the stitches onto 2 more needles. So now there are four needles plus the working needle. I continued to increase in every row (4 stitches each row -- 1 stitch on each needle) until there were 11 stitches on each needle, then I switched to increasing on every other row. I'm not sure how many stitches I will have in the end -- probably 64, 68 or 72.
And here is one finished sock which is now on hold while I make the socks above for my husband.
What was I thinking? Here I am with the huge Jo Sharp sweater project going on and I started a pair of socks last night. Actually, I always have to have an easy, mindless project in addition to a more complicated one. Since I finished Maddie's scarf, I thought I better start something new. This is my second pair of Regia's (here's my first), but my first pair of "self-patterning" socks and I am having a lot of fun knitting them. I tried a new cast on for this pair of socks and I really like it. I would tell you how I did it, but I'm sure that would violate some copyright law since I got it out of the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook. I've been trying to try a new technique of some sort on each new pair that I knit. My next pair may have to be knit toe-up (thanks Wendy!).
Maybe I'm being too optimistic saying that I am 10% complete, but I'm feeling pretty good about my progress. This is the first cabled item that I have ever knit and I am really enjoying it. I think that might have something to do with the yarn though. If you haven't knit with Jo Sharp wool, I would highly recommend that you try it. The stuff is so soft and silky. This picture was taken yesterday and I have already completed a few more rows since then. I wrapped the sweater around a canister to take the picture because I was mid-row when I had the camera out and it was a twisted up mess that didn't want to photograph. At least you can get a feel for the cable pattern here.
Things look promising for 2003! January first and I already have a completed project. You can see more info on this scarf in the gallery which has been updated. It's funny because I started this scarf back in December and last weekend I got the Winter '02/'03 issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting which has a scarf pattern using this same yarn! It's the pillows that made me puchase this magazine. I can't wait to knit up a few for several babies arriving in the spring!