Project Tote and Sweater Progress

Knitting Tote Outside

I really scored this weekend at a yard sale. I nabbed up a cute little knitting tote or project tote. I don't know what they are officially called I just know that all of the inspirational knitters in my life have them and mine was $1.00!

Project Holder Knitting Tote Tote

It came at the perfect time since I've been spending a lot of time knitting out in the sunshine.

Sweater Start

I like to sit on our back deck and soak up some Vitamin D while I work on Shane's sweater, watch my kids and chickens play, and watch my garden grow. The problem I was running into was that my ball of yarn seemed to fall off the table and somehow target a pile of chicken poo, which doesn't tend to have a very good outcome. This is no longer a problem! I can keep my ball of yarn in the knitting tote, poo free!

Starting Noro

I've made some progress on the sweater I'm working on. I'm using chunky Noro Yarn - that I'm completely in love with. It is great to work with and self-striping and the colors are great! I started off using size 6 needles at the bottom. The first piece I'm working on is the back. I think I cast on 99 stitches and I used size 6 needles for 6 rows of 99 sts in stocking stitch or stockinette stitch (which is just knitting one row and purling back on the other side). After those six rows the pattern tells me to switch to size 10 needles and work 16 + inches. I thought I loved the look of this pattern on Ravelry when I was admiring a photo of someone's completed project, but once I visited the pattern on Yarn Forward I wasn't as impressed. I decided today that a stripey colorful version will look much different. I can always fall back on myself as the owner of the sweater if all else fails.

Sweater Progress Noro In Tote Stripey Noro

One thing that I have thought of, is since this pattern is having me do the front independently from the back the stripes most likely won't match up, but I don't think I care and who knows, maybe I'll get lucky. The cable stitching near on the armholes will also prove to be very tricky, as I have no idea how to work with cable needles. I will learn I suppose! And I realize that might be a matching nightmare also - again I don't think I care. I just wanted this first sweater to be a fun, toasty, colorful sweater and I'm prepared for the imperfection that comes with it. I think the Noro yarn will make up for it.

Pouty Model Yogurt Pop Yummy Sweater

My little model wasn't thrilled with me, he was just trying to enjoy his frozen yogurt pop.

More to come soon on the sweater, just knitting my "spare" time away.

Happy Knitting!

Knitting Chickens

Chicken Birthday

Today is a special day at our house. Exactly one year ago today we went to the post office and picked up a box filled with 25 peeping chicks. We nurtured our baby chicks to 6 week old gawky weirdos in our bathroom in a refrigerator box and then moved them to their new coop outside in our backyard. We didn't keep all 25 of them, just 5. Today we are celebrating Compsognathus, Octopus Pie, Fire, Boingy and Captain Dan's first birthday. They are little egg laying machines and so much fun. In lieu of the celebration I thought I'd knit up a handful of chickens, so I got one done. I have all kinds of yucky old acrylic yarn laying around that I got for like 50 cents a skein a while back, so maybe in 10 years if I keep knitting little stuffed animals I'll have it all used up. I just have to keep creating one creature a day. My intention was to knit a chicken that resembled each chicken we have but I only got Fire (our yellow chicken) done in time for the celebration.

So I used size 4 double pointed needles, simply because I don't have just regular size 4 needles. The pattern I was sort of following was in my book Knitted Animals - which has a wide assortment of beautiful little knitted animals in it. Luckily there are three chickens to choose from. I started off with yarn that was too big though so I just went out on a limb. I worked in stockinette stitch, so knitting the entire time. I think I cast on 16 and then knitted until I thought it looked close to square. I folded the creation into a triangle and sewed the two sides together and stuffed the baby bird right from the bottom point and sewed closed.

Chicken Start

I then used another piece of this acrylic yarn and sewed it around the body to create the dip in the chicken's back. I also stitched a bit of beak on using some orange acrylic yarn (I have every color of this stuff you can imagine!).

Beak

starting to look chicken-like

Then I crocheted a bit of red acrylic yarn to create the comb. I didn't really know what I was doing, just "winged" it. It ended up looking enough like a comb that I was happy with it. Oh and I used some black yarn (the really heavy stuff - good for buttons) to make the little eyes. It by no means is a perfect bird but it made my kids happy. Maybe by Easter I'll have more to fill their little baskets. That's my goal. It is all about setting little goals for myself, that's how things get done with five chickens, two kids, a toy store and an oil business (just to mention a few things).

Making Corn Cake

Gus and Chick

Ooh we even had time to make some corn cake for breakfast for the chickens (they shared with us too). Look at that happy little knitted chicken.

Birthday Ring

Who knew a knitted chicken could lay so many eggs! Happy Birthday and Happy Knitting!

Corn Cake Eat

Grandma’s Neck Warmer

Grandma's Neck Warmer

So just to show what a rookie I am - yesterday's post mentioned that the scarf pictured was garter stitch (but it wasn't) this neck warmer actually is! So yesterday was a stockinette stitch. I'm learning I'm learning. So I decided the first project should probably warm Grandma's (Mom's) Wisconsin Winter Chilled Neck. The only kicker was that she had to sew on her own button. Not that I can't sew on a button - she just has a much better button selection than I do. So she did actually put the very finishing touch on right before she snapped this pretty photo of herself.

I didn't have patterns for either of these projects I just kind of held them up as I went along and when I was satisfied with the length/width I called it good. They both came out pretty well (small pat on my own back) for a first timer! So onto more experimenting! This was similar to the scarf - I used a chunky wool blend and knitted it together with a variegated yarn to just add a little spunk. I used big needles again - just because it really speeds the project along and I like the look of it. I actually was in the middle of the yarn shop seeking out yarn when a sweet older woman approached me. She approached me because I was wearing my very colorful scarf that was actually knit by Jan (who is modeling this neck warmer).

Mama's Colorful Scarf

She told me she felt very comfortable talking to me because I was wearing something so colorful (warm fuzzies). Her advice was to get this inexpensive gigantic ball of yarn to mix with the solid colored yarns I selected - so I followed her advice and one of the skeins was the variegated I used in the blue scarf and the other was the variegated I used in the green neck warmer and there is still another color scheme you'll see in some of my projects. They are the balls of yarn that will last a lifetime - well not really - at the rate I'm going- but they will last quite a spell. Okay so that's all for today. I'm not sure on the size needles I used for the neck warmer - maybe 11? Something big! Happy Knitting!