Monday, January 29, 2007

Ohhh...grams ARE important

There are so many things I still have to learn about knitting. My latest project taught me a few important lessons. It all started when I saw the adorable toddler dress found in the latest issue (April '07) of Knit N' Style magazine. I thought it would be perfect for Melissa's baby girl, Rowan, who had a birthday coming up. The pattern calls for about 400 yards of mercerized cotton. I substituted Plymouth Fantasy for the Schaefer Laurel that it called for. To make a long story short....the finished dress is very heavy. It feels like it weighs 2 pounds. But after reading the yarn label I realized that is mathematically impossible. I used a little over 3 skeins of yarn weighing 100 grams each. So, the dress weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 325 grams or .7 pounds. I purchased the beautiful Kelly yarn, that I posted about previously, because I didn't like the way my tension looked and because the dress seemed heavy. The Kelly yarn (55% cotton 45% acrylic) weighs 50g per skein. I will end up using about 3.5 skeins for a total of 175 grams or .39 pounds. That's nearly half the weight! Not only is the weight better, but my tension is much more even with the cotton blend.

So, let this be a lesson to new knitters out there. If you want a light weight summer garment, and the gauge and yarn content are basically the same, be sure to compare the weight of the yarn as well. I wasn't able to get the dress in the Kelly yarn finished in time for Rowan's birthday on Saturday. I guess that's ok since it's freezing outside. Jack and I had fun at her party. She is a beautiful baby. I can't wait to see her in the finished product. I will post pictures of the dresses later!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sewing Machine Cover

Sewing Machine Cover:

Yarn: Paton's SWS in Natural Geranium (70% wool 30% soy); 4-5 skeins, 109 yards each

Needle: Size 11
Gauge: 3 sts/inch
Measurements of my sewing machine: 14" wide, 11" tall, 6" deep
Finished measurements of cover: 14" wide, 10" tall, 6" deep

CO 52 sts
Work in st-st for 30 rows
(top of cover will be purl side of st-st)
Pick up 30 sts on the short side
Pick up 52 sts on the long side
Pick up another 30 sts on the other short side.
Place marker and join
Knit round and round and round for 78 rows. I was running very low on skein #4 and stopped at row 65. If you want your cover taller than 10", use 5 skeins of yarn and complete all 78 rows. BO, weave in ends.

** Paton's SWS felts extremely fast. ** Do not leave unattended when felting. Pull the cover out and measure it so you don't felt it too much. Roll it up in a towel and squeeze out excess water gently. Block the cover on your machine or similar sized box. I still had my plastic cover and kept this on my sewing machine while it blocked. If you don't have a plastic cover for your machine...try a large plastic bag. Don't put the wet wool directly on your machine!
Another wool yarn such as Cascade 220 or Galway should work just fine. It will, however, take longer to felt to these measurements. I will test this soon with one of these yarns.
Embellish to your heart's content. I used some scrapbooking brads and buttons to decorate mine. Have fun.If your machine is a different size and you need help figuring out how many sts and rows you need, just e-mail me.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Organized Chaos

Finally. All my magazines, books, patterns, yarn, and sewing materials are in one place. (Unless I'm working on 3 projects at once... then they are probably strewn all over the house) But now they at least have a home. The white bookshelf unit with the drawers is from Target. I really like the versatility of it. I can see adding another one on top pretty soon.

I was making really good progress on Rowan's birthday present when I got sidetracked by my sewing machine cover. That ugly plastic thing just has to go. I dug through the stash and found some Paton's SWS. I've really been wanting to knit something out of it. Of course I had 3 skeins and it looks like I'll need 4. Looks like I'm off to the buy more yarn. If the final product turns out good, I will post the pattern for the sewing machine cover.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yummy Yarn

I was able to correct the uneven tension mentioned in the previous entry by wrapping the yarn around my pinky twice when purling. (I'm a thrower) But...I'm still not thrilled with the look of the mercerized cotton. Sooooo I ordered this cotton/acrylic blend from . The colors are beautiful, the yarn seems just a tad bit more forgiving and it is very lightweight. I can't wait to get started on Rowan's birthday project with this yarn. Very happy with the service from Yarn Market. Quick shipping, etc. Would definately order from them again.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Knitting with 100% cotton....ugh

Thanks to everyone that has visited the blog in the last week. I've gotten great feedback about the dragon pattern. I'm looking forward to seeing a few of them finished.I started on my latest project this week. It is a birthday present for my friend's baby girl. I can't post a picture just yet in case she stops by the blog . This is the first item I've knitted with 100% cotton. It is so different from all the other fibers that I've knitted with. The lack of stretch in the yarn makes purling difficult. I also think it's going to be too heavy. I ordered a cotton/nylon blend from Yarn Market. I'll make another one of these with that yarn and whichever one turns out best goes to Miss Rowan. The ebay .

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fiery Dragon Scarf

I'm pleased to share this pattern with everyone. The inspiration for the scarf came directly from my son. He had been wanting a scarf all his own after watching me knit them for myself and others. I looked all over for a fun kid's scarf pattern...but such a thing just really didn't exist. This scarf, as knit, fits a 3 year old. You can adjust the length of the body to fit anyone in your family. I wanted the scarf to be comfortable, warm, and fun, yet practical. All of the features on the face are kid-safe. They are all sewn on with yarn or thread. There are no buttons or beads to fall off.

I would rate this project Intermediate-Advanced. The knitting itself isn't too hard...but there are lots of steps. I included extra photos in the pattern. I can post more here if more clarification is needed. I look forward to seeing everyone's interpretation of the pattern. This is my first design. It has been proofread by a professional knitting designer, but mistakes can happen. Please let me know if you find errors in the pattern, or something that could be improved or simplified. Click on the following link to download the .pdf file Fiery Dragon Scarf Pattern

Yarns used for Fiery Dragon Scarf: Variegated green: Dream in Color Handpainted Yarn in Happy Forest (superwash merino)- 1 skein (only used about 1/3 for my little scarfLight green:Ella Rae Amity in Green- 1 skein (used about half)Red: Encore worsted weight- 10-15 yards should be plenty. Check your stashOrange:Caron Simply Soft Brites in Mango- about 10 yards Fur: Lion Brand Fun Fur in Tangerine- about 10 yards

Correction: The .pdf file has been updated as of 1/23/07 to correct the numbering of the rows in the mouth section. Row 37-44 now reads Row 27-34.

New blog

[7/5/07- I started a blog earlier this year called . I created it as a place to post my Fiery Dragon Scarf pattern and perhaps future patterns as well. I'd like to blog about other adventures in knitting, therefore I'm changing names and formats. I will be reposting my previous entries here.]

An introduction:

I live in Minnesota. I am married to a great guy named Jon and we have a 3 year old son, Jack. I started knitting in November of 2005, and after a brief hiatus last spring and summer have been hitting the needles hard ever since. I enjoy making just about everything...but purses, totes, and things for my son are my favorite. I am a Realtor and really enjoy the flexible schedule that comes with the job.'s nice being my own boss. I hope to make some new knitting friends and share ideas.