The Finished Objects of 2007

Well, It is the last day of 2007! The year has certainly flown by! I've realized that I am always so concerned with how much knitting I have to do but sometimes I think that I should reflect on all that I have accomplished. The end of 2007 has allowed me to look back on the year and count up all of my finished objects. Here is the rundown.....

I have completed in 2007:

5 baby/toddler sweaters
7 baby/toddler hats
2 headbands
2 pairs of mittens
2.5 pairs of adult socks
3 pairs of toddler socks
2 adult sweaters
4 dishcloths
3 felted bags
1 felted diaper bag
1 camisole
1 thong
1 crocheted purse
1 knitted lace bag
1 tea cozy
1 teddy bear
1 teddy bear sweater
8 scarves
6 adult hats
2 knitted flowers
1 pair of gauntlets
1 caplet
1 wrist band
1 lace shawl
1 pair of baby booties
1 shawl
1 felted box
2 pairs of adult slippers
1 pair of toddler slippers
2 pairs of leg warmers

Bringing the grand total to 66 completed items! (And no, I didn't count the 1 sock that doesn't have a mate.)

So, thinking about the 66 items makes me feel really good. I have a nice collection of hand knit things around the house and all my friends and family have at least one hand knit item from me. I guess that it makes me realize that I actually AM accomplishing something.

I also added up all of the finishing and repair jobs I did over 2007.

I seamed/finished:

6 adult sweaters
1 tank top
5 baby sweaters
5 miscellaneous small projects
I also repaired 5 afghans

I unfortunately still have 6 unfinished objects:

a project for a customer (a kitchen aid stand mixer cover)
Ava's red Smock Coat ARRRRGGGHH I have to work on that!
my crocheted Leaves Sweater
my Tilted Duster
my Klaralund sweater
Ava's Seedling sweater

Right now they are all on the back burner because I am working on a Top Secret project to submit to Knitty.com. The rules state that I am not supposed to blog about the project or pattern until it shows up in the issue, if it ever does. I'm really excited about it. I've never done anything like this before! I thought I might as well give it a try! The deadline is Jan 5th and I just decided that I wanted to do this so I have really been knitting every chance I get to get this all done. If Knitty decides that the pattern is not their thing then I will just put the samples on display at The Scarlet Skein and make a class out of it! You see, I am thinking positively. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much.

My knitting goals for 2008:


I wish that I could tell you that this is all of it. But that would be lying. There is actually more....
I think I have a problem. So anyways.... yeah, 2008 Im gonna knit it. Or most of it, at least. :)

I'd also really like to submit a pattern every quarter to Knitty. I have some good ideas and I think it will be really fun. We'll see how this one goes though.


Coming in February...

I recently bought a skein of Noro Cashmere Island completely on a whim 2 weeks ago at work. Since then I discovered an awesome free pattern on Ravelry called Short Row Hat. It was a perfect match for the Cashmere Island and would you believe it...a February class was born!

Here is a picture of my work in progress posing with the yarn I used.

If you don't want to work with Cashmere Island, I think any of these yarns would work great with this pattern.

Just check your gauge!

I enjoyed making this hat so much that I know it will make an interesting class. If you have already taken the entrelac class this hat would be perfect to wear with your scarf. It almost has the appearance of entrelac but there is no picking up stitches. It is worked entirely in short rows hence the name. It will be a bit challenging for the average knitter because you have to pay attention carefully. In the class you can expect to learn these techniques: Provisional cast on, k2tog, ssp, short rows, 3 needle bind off, working in the round on double pointed needles, and

I will post class dates and times when it gets closer to February.


Clog Class

My clog family is now complete!

I set them up for display at The Scarlet Skein with the patterns and all of the needlefelting supplies. I think that they will make a fun class for January. The great thing about this pattern is that I found three shortcuts that will probably cut an hour or more off of the knitting time! I'm going to be sharing this technique with the students that sign up for the class.

Felt Clogs Class

Cost is $35 for a two part class

Saturday, January 5th 9:30-11:30

Wednesday, January 9th 11-1

Saturday, January 19th 9:30-11:30

Wednesday, January 23rd 11-1

Needle Felting Workshop


Saturday, January 26th 12-2

For the needle felting workshop, I am bringing all of the roving for everyone to use and I will be offering direction and instructions for using the tools. You can get all the supplies you need for both classes at the shop.

These are just the class times for January, but as with all of my classes I will be offering the Felted Clogs class for several months. Look on the website for current class times!

Call 805-466-YARN if you are interested in signing up!

I was so excited to finally finish the clogs. They fit each one of us perfectly. I was really happy that the pattern offers such a great size range with special instructions for different foot widths. I keep having little clog fantasies where I envision everyone in my family getting a pair. I should probably finish the 5 projects I have going on now before indulging in that fantasy any further. Speaking of my knitting projects... I'm getting nothing done!!! I keep getting more and more j0bs from customers!! Not that I am complaining or anything. Currently I am repairing an afghan and knitting a custom stand mixer cover. I better get knitting!


Huge Clogs, and Lessons Learned

In a previous entry I said that I was going to get my last pair of Felt Clogs done by last Wednesday.
Well.. that didn't happen. Mainly because of this...

I agreed to alter a machine knit sweater for a customer. I cut off sections and unraveled one stitch at a time and carefully bound off the stitches on size 0 needles. I didn't think that this would be the time consuming monster it turned out to be when I took on this job. I simply thought I could snip some threads at the bottom and unravel. That didn't work out. This sweater was made with literal cotton 3 ply thread that just split, tangled and knotted up like you wouldn't believe. I maybe spent 15 hours or so getting this sweater under control.
Lesson learned: Just say no. It isn't worth it!

Despite the sweater nightmare I did get some things accomplished. I knit the second sleeve of Ava's red coat, I knit an inch or 2 on the tilted duster, seamed and finished two small projects for customers, and made two of these....

Is it a wierd hat?

Is it a completely useless toddler sleeping sack?

No! It's a pair of EVEN more gigantic Felt Clogs!

This is my last pair. These are for Jason who wears a 13-14 shoe. Are these clogs ridiculously huge or what? I'm going to visit my sister-in-law tomorrow and felt the 2 pairs in her washer. I've got a useless front loader. So i'll be posting pictures soon.

I also did a bit of spinning this week. This is the wool/tencel blend I got on my weekend trip recently.

I just love the sheen on it. I think it will knit up into a beautiful scarf. This is so not a priority though. I've got lots and lots of knitting still to do. I just have one more miscellaneous job to do for a customer then I can knit whatever I want to for a while. I've got to get that red coat done soon before Ava grows out of it. Wouldn't that be tragic. Until next time...

2 Socks on 2 Circulars

I taught my first "2 socks on 2 circular needles" class today!

For the most part it was a success. It's a challenging technique to learn, and I felt all of the students hung in there even when things got tricky. I think that the hardest part about this is keeping everything untangled. At first it feels so awkward with the two balls of yarn and 4 needle points. It does get easier though. I told the class that I taught a friend this technique and at first she had trouble. But a week or two later she had 3 pairs of child's socks completed. So just like anything with knitting, if you stick with it, it will get easier and easier.

I recommend this class for anyone who is just plain old sick and tired of knitting that second sock. It's also great for those who want to expand their knitting knowledge and are up for a challenge.

For current class times be sure to check the website.


New Stuff!

So... I got back from my trip and all of this came home with me.

- two new yarns: Handmaiden Seasilk and Manos Del Uruguay wool

- two new fibers to try spinning. A 100% silk roving as well as a wool/tencel blend

- miscellaneous roving scraps for my new upcoming needle felting class

- needle felting needles and foam

- a new book "Knitted Babes" by Claire Garland

I had such a fun, relaxing vacation. One of the highlights was finding the coolest little yarn shop in Santa Barbara.
It is called The Loop and Leaf. (She sells tea too.)

It was unlike any yarn store I've been in. It was quaint, modern, artistic, yet cozy all at the same time! She had the awesomest selection of beautiful obscure yarns that are hard to find. I found that alot of the yarns in the shop were spun out of very unique fibers such as Camel, Yak, Seacell, Soy, and there was even an awesome stainless steel yarn!

Here is a picture of a swatch made out of the Stainless Steel yarn. Its manufactured by Habu and it is surprisingly soft. Celeste the owner showed me that when you squeeze the swatch it maintains its shape due to the memory of the stainless steel. Crazy stuff.

Celeste was kind enough to let me take a few shots to show off her beautiful space.

After walking around patting all of the beautiful things I finally settled on the Handmaiden SeaSilk because I have heard about this yarn for a long time and it has always appealed to me. I've read that as you wear the garment made from the yarn the Seacell which is a form of seaweed leeches skin softening nutrients into your skin. So of course that sealed the deal for me.

The store and all of the things in it were lovely. The owner was also lovely. Very kind and helpful. I definately recommend checking this store out if you are in the Santa Barbara area. The only problem I had about the shop is that the yarn there is just too wonderful. Afterwards when I went to knit on my "works in progress" with my so-called-nice-yarn, everything just looked and felt cheap. I think that The Loop and Leaf could potentially turn me into more of a yarn snob than I already am if I spent too much time there.

While I was gone I had big plans of doing lots and lots of knitting. I only got a few inches of Ava's red coat done, and one Felt Clog. That sucker sure is huge before felting!

When I got home I was so inspired by all my needle felting supplies that I had purchased so I immediately needle felted onto Ava's felt clogs that I had just finished. I think that they turned out pretty cute so I put them on display today at The Scarlet Skein. This was my first attempt to felt an item by hand. I don't recommend it. It was hard and it took forever!

My new knitting plan is to knit my other felt clog, knit a pair for my husband, and work on Ava's red coat on the side. I'm going to stick with those things at the moment because I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of my knitting projects. I hope to by next Wednesday (The next day I work) have all the felt clogs done and needle felted. Ready for display!

On the 15th is my first class I will be teaching with knitting 2 socks at the same time on 2 circulars. I am charging $35 for a 3 hour workshop and my workbook is included. If you are interested in this class you can check out class times and more information on the website.


Too many projects! Too little time!

This week has been pretty good. I do finishing work for customers, and this week I got two things seamed up. I've also made some progress on my knitting projects but it is a little hard to tell because I have five going at once and I've been working on them equally. So they are growing slowly. I have decided that I am not liking this "five projects at once" thing. It is starting to feel overwhelming. I think I ended up starting so many because they are all sweaters, and none have a real deadline because they are all for me or for Ava. As we all know with sweaters, they can take a while and they get boring, so I just couldn't help but start more and more.

Here is what I have going right now:

Project #1 The Klaralund Sweater from Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Book 2: made with Noro Silk Garden

I like this sweater because there is hardly any shaping so it is really easy to knit. I hate this sweater because it has hardly any shaping so it will probably be entirely unflattering. Obviously I didn't think that one through. To add insult to injury I am stupidly making a size too small. I've thought about frogging the whole thing but I just can't bear to see all that work gone to waste. I'm going to finish it, stretch and block the heck out of it, and hope for the best.

Project #2: Leaves Sweater from Crochet Me: made with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

I've changed the pattern a bit for this sweater. The pattern calls for leaves hanging down on the bottom. I chose to go leaf less because in this color I thought it would make me look like Peter Pan. I think the bottom border looks just as good without. When I saw the book I just had to start this project right away. Before seeing it, I could never remember seeing a crocheted adult sweater that I actually would wear! It was also so much fun to do a little crochet. I started on crochet years back and haven't done much since I began knitting. This sweater has made me remember what I like about crochet. It is so easy to fix mistakes! No such thing as a dropped stitch! This pattern is also nice because it is always changing and it hasn't gotten boring. Oh Leaves Sweater how I love you!

Project #3: Seedling Sweater from the book Minnies: made out of Filatura Di Crosa Zara Plus

I started this project out of necessity sort of. You see, The Scarlet Skein had a huge 75% off sale and I just had to buy 60+ balls of Zara Plus. So I ended up with only 4 of this color and that is just enough to make the 12 month size that will fit my daughter for not much longer. So that's how this one got on the needles. It's going pretty quickly. The strange this is that the pattern called for a size 8 needle and I had to go up to a size 10.5 to get gauge. And I'm using the same weight of yarn the pattern calls for. Go figure!

Project #4: Smock Coat from Simply Baby: made with Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere

I also have a love/hate relationship with this project. I love the pattern. I cannot wait to see little Ava running around in a cute little red coat. I love the yarn. I have used this one in the past and I love the drape of the fabric. I HATE knitting it. It is miles and miles of seed stitch on size 4 needles. It is really boring me to tears. The problem is that I have to finish it this season so Ava can wear it while it fits her. So I'm going to have to set up knitting incentives for myself to finish this one up.

Project #5: Tilted Duster out of Interweave Knits: made out of Filatura Di Crosa Zara Plus

More uses for my Zara Plus! I really really really love this pattern. It's just the kind of sweater I would wear all winter long. The Zara is 100% merino so it will be so warm. Zara is also machine wash and dry. I did up a swatch and through it in the washer and dryer and the fabric softened and held up great! So I think I am going to be more than happy with the finished result!

I think what I am going to have to do to make some serious headway here, is pick just two projects for awhile to rotate. Hopefully that will make me actually finish something. I think one of those projects is going to have to be the Smock Coat and the second will either be Leaves Sweater or Tilted Duster because I enjoy those so much.

On top of all that knitting is the knitting I do for the shop. So I just purchased the Felt Clog pattern by Fiber Trends and the Children's Felt Clogs too. Over the past few days I knit up a pair of the children's clogs in Ava's size. Im going to do a pair for me next. My plan is to get that done quickly so I can put them on display at The Scarlet Skein. In January I'd like to offer a class on the pattern and also a fun extra class on embellishing the clogs with needle felting. I'm going to bring all my roving and just let those who sign up come and play with the colors and design.

And as if I needed any more yarn or any more projects, I also bought this:

This is Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb in the Gold Rush colorway. I have big plans to make the Clapotis Shawl. I think that too would make an awesome class for January. It is such a popular pattern right now!

I have no clue how I'm going to get all this done. The good news is that tomorrow my husband and I are leaving for an overnight stay in the Santa Barbara area. That means some extra knitting time for me. I'm planning on bringing the Smock Coat and the materials for the Felted Clogs. I really really want to start the Clapotis but I am trying to be responsible and hold off.
It should be a fun trip, and my very sweet husband recommended that tomorrow will be reserved for yarn stores. I can't wait.


Inspired to join the blogosphere!!

Hey there

My name is Alana. I've been completely obsessed now with knitting and crocheting for a little over 5 years. With just now joining Ravelry, I am so inspired to finally get organized and start blogging about all of my knitting adventures.

I have been happily married now for 5 1/2 years and have a beautiful little daughter who's picture will probably be popping up a lot.

I must mention that I have THE best job. I work at my local yarn shop, The Scarlet Skein. I have taught classes there for the past 4 years, but for the past year or so I've worked at the shop as well. I really have never liked any of my past jobs so I find it such a treat to get paid doing something that I absolutely love. aka: knitting, talking about knitting, teaching knitting classes, organizing knitting supplies.
Could it get better, really?

I look forward to developing this blog more over time and making good use of my Ravelry account. I go into work again tomorrow, so we'll see what this week will bring for me in the knitting world.