Friday, March 31, 2006

Machine knitting

So I finally got around to setting up and learning how to use my Ultimate Sweater Machine. It required 2 trips to Home Depot to get the right size board to clamp it to, and a couple hours worth of playing around. At first I just practice knitted my way through the skein of yarn that comes with the machine - that took all of 10 minutes. Then I started reading the instruction and pattern book that comes with it and thought I should try an actual pattern. This hat was from one of the patterns in the book - and took me about 1 1/2 hours to make.

The knitting is great - it looks like hand knitting accept it's perfectly even. I'll have to look closely at my hand work, but I think there is always a stitch or two that is slightly looser then the rest - even with a knitter that has been knitting for a long time. For that reason, it lacks the character of hand work. But, as my boyfriend put it, "you could really bang out some blankets". Yes - I could easily bang out some blankets.

So far I like the machine. I think when I get more comfortable with it, I'll combine machine with hand work. There is a sweater pattern I have in mind that can easily be converted to the machine since it's all stockinette stitch.

So exciting to have a new toy! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 26, 2006

My new knitting toy!

Ahhhhh....the perks of working at michael's! I went in to my Michael's yesterday to help out with the free family fun event they were having nation wide. I walked into the classroom and was imediately greeted by my boss the EC (event coordinator). After a few instructions on what I would be doing that day, she opened up her cabinet and pulled out this little beauty! It had been returned to the store and nobody new anything about it and couldn't tell if it was broken, or missing something, or why it had been returned in the first place. So, me being the resident expert on all things knitting and yarn related, she gave it to me to figure out and "demo occasionally".

I think the person who bought it didn't even really try it out. All the pieces and parts seem to be there and intact. I watched the video that comes along with it and it seems complicated but not rocket science.

My task today...getting it set up.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

How could I forget ...

...these little needle knit booties that I made to go with the blanket! Sheesh. I just couldn't resist making something baby sized to go along with the blanket. These booties are super easy and super quick to make. I found the pattern at Knitting Pattern Central, which linked here for the pattern.

Needle Knit Baby Blanket - 100% finished

I've finally crossed to baby blanket finish line! It's a good thing, too. The baby shower is tomorrow! This leaves me just enough time to get the gift bag and card and then figure out how I'm going to wrap this sucker.

For the record, here's the stats on the baby blanket:
Yarn used: COATS & CLARK TLC Baby Yarn
Color: New Mint Sparkle
Needles: Size 8
Pattern: The pattern was out of a 1945 pattern book published by Red Heart yarns. The yarn it's published to promote doesn't exist anymore.

Scroll to see the finished product!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Loom cables - on the Knifty Knitter

Well, after working cables in the needle knitting world, I thought it best to transfer my knowledge to the looms. I know this isn't a new concept for all you loomers. Cabling directions can be found in many places including: and Dream looms. But I've never really found satisfactory directions for the Knifty Knitter, and especially not for free. No offence to Anne (I think it's Anne?) at - I'm sure her directions are wonderful and well worth the money. I just have the bug I call the "I-don't-need-no-stinkin'-directions" syndrome. So this is the swatch I came up with this morning. I'm not super happy with it. I think it might be the yarn though - too thick? I used some Lion Brand Thick 'n Quick I had on hand. It was kinda tough to twist the stitches on the loom, but I'm not sure if that was the yarn or my underdeveloped technique. I'm going to play with it some more and see what I come up with. I was thinking of eventually making a simple cabled handbag pattern out of cotton yarn for summer. I can picture it my head - open lacey work with a few twisted cables in it. It would have to be lined, though, so all your handbag contents would stay put! Since warm weather is around the bend - scarves, hats, and slippers seem out of date right now. Summer patterns will be my focus - once I'm done with all my winter patterns already in que. Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Finished Mitts!

I finished the second fingerless mitt last night! Very happy with the results and I'm sure I'll make them again. Kimberly, the pattern designer, wanted to add them to her photo gallery. I'd love that Kimberly - grab any pictures you want! I tried to take one while they were on my hands, but they all came out blury. Here's the stats on the mitts and scarf:

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft inOrchid (#9717)
Needle size: size 7 double pointed for the mitts and size 8 for the scarf

I used one whole skein on the skarf and only a little bit on the mitts. Thanks for making the pattern available Kimberly! I love it!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cabling projects

While the weather outside is yucky, I've been knitting like a fiend. Going along with my new years resolution to attempt more intricate knitting projects - I started a latis work cabled scarf about a month ago. I have a crafting and coffee date with a friend of mine each week and this scarf was my project while we sat, chat, and sipped.

It's my first cabling project and I'm super happy with the results. I got the pattern for the cabled part out of the "99 knit stitches" book by Leisure arts. I then added a column of seed stitch to each side of the cabling. I think it looks really nice and I think I'll be hooked on cabling for a while now. The best part is, it looks really complicated and hard to do but it's pretty easy once you are in the swing of the pattern. Next Xmas will be a lot of simple cabled gifts I think.

I'm also making these cabled fingerless mitts to go with it. It's a great pattern and simple enough for a first time cabling + shaping project. I followed the link to the mitts from the Knitting Pattern Central website. This is a great resource if you are in search of something specific - like I was.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the finished set. My Boyfriend tells me the color doesn't look great on me - so the set might end up being a gift for someone. My Mom and her twin sister really like purple, so maybe I'll give it to one of them. Of course if I give it to one I'll have to make one for the other. *sigh* That's the problem with giving hand knitted items to anyone in my family. I give one thing and I get orders for the same thing from everyone else. At least people appreciate my work.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Last fall I gave a family friend a pair of hand needle knit socks. She had just been diagnosed with a very bad form of cancer and I wanted to bring her spirits up. I gave her the socks and a nice card with a note of encouragement. The socks in the picture on the right are her socks - and, thankfully, she has recently been told by her doctors that her cancer is in complete remission!

Now as I just finished a large knitting project for another friends baby shower, I needed (yes needed) to start something new and quick. I had leftover yarn from knitting those socks and in the aim of reducing my yarn stash I decided to knit myself a pair of footie socks. Now you know I love easy-to-slip on footwear (scuffie slippers & princess slippers)! So I took a great(!) sock knitting pattern I had previously purchased and instead of knitting the entire top cuff, cause I didn't have enough leftovers for that, I cast on with a smaller size needle and worked the cuff 1 x 1 ribbing for 3/4 of an inch. Then I followed the sock directions from the heel on in the regular size needle. The result are these oh so cute footie socks!

The stripey part is made from self striping worsted weight acrylic sock yarn that I got from Michael's on sale a while back. I don't remember the brand name. The socks above are made completely from the same yarn. The grey toe end of my footie socks are knit using worsted weight Lion Brand wool ease - acrylic and wool blend. So, not a perfect match in leftovers, but we'll see how they wash and wear. This was more of an experiment and stash usage project then anything. You might see a post later in this blog whining about how they completely fell apart because of the mix of yarns I had to use. I'll keep you updated :) LOL

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Loomed Princess Pompom Slippers

How darling! I love slippers that are easy to slip on. These fit that bill and are even cute, cute, cute to boot. I've already made a couple pairs for myself - the latest in pink fun fur and pink baby cloud yarn. The pink is more fitting of the "princess" title. LOL You can purchase this pattern here.

More stats on the slippers:

Yarn: Made from 2 strands of worsted weight held together or one strand of a bulky weight plus some fun fur if desired.
Loom: Instructions included for both single rake round and board looms
Skill Level: Intermediate
Techniques used: On the round loom I use E-wrap, Purl, decreasing, and gathered bind off. On the board I use Stocking Stitch, decrease, and gathered bind off.
Notes: These make a great gift and are easily customizable to a smaller foot size. Instructions are given for measurements.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Needle Knit Baby Blanket - 90% finished

My friend Jen and her husband are having a baby in June. So, round about January 10th I got started on a gift; a baby blanket. As you can see it's not totally finfished - it still needs a good blocking and some seeming. I can't wait to see the finished edge pieces blocked - they will be beautiful and lacy and delicate.

This is the first of my projects that are incorporating my sudo new years resolution to "make more intricate knitted pieces". Up until now I've stuck with basic knitting and basic shaping techniques. I want to try my hand and lace and cabling. These aren't hard it just takes a little more concentration and a little less TV watching on my part. Since I usually knit while watching TV or a movie, lace and cables have taken a back seat. This blanket was a good starter lacey project because the whole center piece is just garter stitch - garter stitch, garter stitch, and more garter stitch! 36 inches square to be exact. Perfect for the mindless nights when I didn't feel like concentrating on what I was doing.

The pattern came from an old pattern book - I think it was published in the 1940's. I love old patterns 'cause they are more intricate and the techniques are usually more advanced then patterns today. I think knitters now, for the most part, only have the patience to knit in big chunky stitches. Chunky = boring - in my opinion.

So the finished blanket is about 48 inches square - unblocked. So add about 50 inches square when completely seemed and blocked. It's a big blanket but good, I think, 'cause the kid can grow into it more. The middle square is garter stitch as I mentioned, and the four edges are in this lacey pattern. The edges don't look anything like they will when blocked - but still pretty already.

Anyway, I'm very happy with it so far and happy with myself, too. This wasn't nearly as hard and didn't require nearly as much concentration as I thought it would when I tackled it.

There will be more pictures to come of the final FINAL blanket. But for now - scroll down to see more pictures of the WIP!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hello world!

Hello world!

Pegs and Needles is my first adventure into the blogging world. Hopefully this will become a place to post info, ideas, pictures, etc of my knitting (both on the pegs and on the needle).

A little about me...
I'm 29 years old and I live in Boulder Colorado. I'm a trained graphic/web designer and interface developer - currently freelancing. I also teach knitting and looming classes at my local Michael's craft store.

I've been needle knitting since I was seven. I was taught by my grandmother and have been in love with the craft ever since. I learned how to loom about a year ago and I am still excited about where it can lead.

Here are a couple pictures to tell you more about me...

Here's our cat Yakko. We adopted him from the Boulder Humane society a year and a half ago. He's...well...interesting. Quite a personality on him. Lately he's taking to peeing (!) on our stuff when we aren't paying him enough attention. He's like a 4 year old in kitty clothing! Well, a 4 year old with his own website.

And here's a sweater I finished last spring. What I called my first 'real' sweater. Oh, and there's the kitty again. The sweater is made using the Ribby Cardi pattern over at Chicknits. I own many of her patterns and love every one of them! I read her blog a lot too.

Here's my most recent loom knitting pattern. It's a stitch I tried on the loom (Bobble stitch from knitting) and liked it so much I thought I'd work it into a pattern. I really like the outcome and think I'll make myself a larger one soon.