Saturday, December 31, 2005

Another year has ended

Bear: "It has been a great year here at Bear Knits! I have been getting quality time hanging around Mom. I am looking forward to more quality time in 2006.

Thanks for stopping by!"

Ya'll come back now!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Fingerless Gloves

This may possibly be my last FO for 2005. Introducing my first pair of (fingerless) gloves!

I signed up for Nona's Peaceful Palms KAL way back when. It took me awhile to get started (long story here). Anyway, once needles were available it took off until I had to work the digits. Working the first glove took longer since it involved constant fittings by Hubby. Once I got the necessary numbers, the second one only took 4 evenings.

Hubby can't wait to use his driving gloves. He even indulged me with some photos.

Fingerless Gloves
Pattern: Modified from Ann Budd
Yarn: LB Wool-Ease in Blue Mist
Needles: Addi Circular and DPNS in US 5
(November 27 - December 30, 2005)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Knitting Hiatus over

Boy did the knitting machine really intimidate me. Instead of opening the video to watch it, I picked up my knitting (after a 2 week hiatus) and finished 1 Fingerless Mitten. I'm working on the second one.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Gifts

Presents from the Hubby:

I received four books to greatly enhance my knitting library. This means I can return the library books now :-)

He also got me a knitting machine. The Ultimate Sweater machine intimidates me. It will simmer in the box until I work up the courage to use it.

Some officemates got me a few knitting goodies, too.

Included in the photo are:
1. a tapestry bag (aka knitting bag)
2. 24" Addi Turbo US #7 circular needles
3. an accoutrement bag (replaces its predecessor - snack size Ziploc bag)
4. an Inox needle sizer
5. a customized pack of 30 labels with my name on it
6. a needle case for straight needles

I really got to get back to my knitting soon.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Stealth Knitting

Friday was a snow day. I ended up staying home with the 2 kiddies ... and guess what I did. I started a bulky sweater. I know I was not supposed to start another project. But I needed an instant gratification project to get me out of the rut.

KP Suri Dream on US #13s make for a quick knit. My shoulder and arms ache from those big honkers. However, by Sunday night while watching Grey's Anatomy I had finished the back piece. Woohoo!

Other project updates:
- 1 Green Mitten DONE.
- Fingerless Mitts has a pinky finger!

Thursday, December 8, 2005

It's been slow around here ...

It seems like I lost some steam after Thanksgiving. I was so excited with some new yarns but did not want to start yet another project until I cleared off some WIPs.

KP Panache and KP Suri Dream

On December 1st, I attended my first Sit-N-Knit in our area. I brought along Ribby Cardi (which I haven't worked on in months). It energized me a little but then came the realization that I'm making things more difficult than it needs to be. WHY in my right mind did I think I could fudge with an already perfect pattern? I've come to the conclusion that I will need to frog whatever I have knit up and just start over (in pieces this time). It will make for a more relaxing knit. I don't need more stress during the holidays.

This past Sunday, I had to drag out the ole sewing machine. Pumpkin Girl played an Army Ant in her 2nd grade musical "BUGZ" and I had to make four appendages to attach to her shirt. All in all, it came out great! While we were waiting for the kiddies to come out, I overheard another parent comment on her costume "That's neat! How'd she do that?" That made my day.

My Little Army Ant

Hubby is tapping his fingers patiently waiting for me to finish his Fingerless Gloves. I'm stalled because my DPNS are on Pumpkin Girl's Mittens. I'm trying to work as fast as I can on her mittens to free up the needles. I know, I'm too cheap to just go out and buy another set of DPNS.

Yes, I know they do not match.

Molly is ON HOLD. The blisters on my fingertips have healed (weird reaction to acrylic) but I don't think I can muster enough courage to pick up acrylic yet.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Peaceful Palms update

I've been a slacker on this KAL. Hubby requested Fingerless Gloves in a bright cotton yarn. So first, I had to finish Little Man's Placket Pullover Sweater. Then my size 5 DPNS were tied up with Little Man's Mittens so I had to finish those, too. But wait! Pumpkin Girl requested Mittens after seeing Little Man model his mittens. So now, DPNS are being used on Pumpkin Girl's Mittens.

I finally convinced Hubby that cotton is no-good for Fingerless Gloves because it will stretch out. He wants me to knit from the stash. So I found enough leftovers from Little Man's Mittens. Enough procrastination. I finally cast on last night and ended up using Addi #5 circulars. I just finished 3" of cuff.

Bear: "I hope she's not making me wear that tube.
Should I make a run for it?"

Bear: "Whew! I'm in the clear."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Irish Hiking Scarf

Overall, our trip to PGH was successful. I got some knitting done. This will be a Christmas gift for FIL. It is safe to post a picture of the FO because they don't read my blog. Hubby picked out the yarn and the color. Unfortunately, grey is a difficult to capture in pictures. Trust me the cables are there.

For my first major cable project, it is a success. Not only did I learn how to knit cables, a few rows into the project I tried knitting without a cable needle. It goes so much faster. I love cables!!!

Irish Hiking Scarf
Pattern: Hello Yarn
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino in Dark Grey
Needles: Addi Circular in US 8
(November 05 - 26, 2005)

P.S. - Hubby loves the scarf. He wants one in Red.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday

We braved the weather (high of 25 Celsius) and drove by my old neighborhood. Although it was sad to find out that one of our old favorites Sichuan House has closed. It was great to stumble upon Pittsburgh Knit & Bead. The very gracious owner greeted me at the door. It was overwhelming (since I don't frequent a LYS). Twice they offered to wind up the yarns into balls. But since Hubby and sleeping kids were waiting in the car, I declined the service.

Here's what I snagged.

Noro Cash Iroha #22
Destined to be Hand/Wrist Warmer from LMKG

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Red
Possibly for another Branching Out

Ebay is great! I had to show you what arrived on Wednesday night while we were packing for our trip.

Noro Kureyon #95 and #153(?)
Destined for Pumpkin Girl's Scarf from LMKG

If my experience with Noro is successful, I have my heart set on Klaralund.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

We're off to see the wizard

the wonderful Wizard of Oz. We leave tomorrow bright and early for ...

Here's a better picture ...

I have some small projects to work on during the trip. The kids (including Mr. Bear) are looking forward to seeing snow. I may get to visit a LYS in my old digs at Squirrel Hill. Can you guess where we're headed???

Happy Thanksgiving to All!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Psst Sandy ... over here!

I keep reading about second sock syndrome. Is there such a thing as second mitt syndrome? I've been dragging my needles on this. However, since we're heading to colder weather for Turkey Day, he'll need his mittens ASAP.

The requests are coming in ... Pumpkin Girl wants green ones to match her new winter jacket and Hubby keeps saying "Where are my driving mitts?!?" I hope to make some Wrist Warmers for me if I can snag some Cash Iroha.

The matching cap was one of my earlier projects back in April/May.

Little Man Mittens
Pattern: Ann Budd
Yarn: LB Wool-Ease in Blue Mist
Needles: DPNS in Size 5
(October 31 - November 20, 2005)

Thursday, November 17, 2005


A quick cable project. Great for those learning to cable! Instant gratification! What more can I ask for?

Pumpkin girl absolutely loves it. It can be worn as a neck warmer or as a headband. She actually wore it to school this morning. See how it matches her hoodie to a tee.

Pattern: Knitty Winter 2003
Yarn: KnitPicks Merino Style in Petal
Needles: Addi Circular in US 5
(November 14-16, 2005)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Happy Birthday Mr. Bear!!!

Our oldest kid turns 9 today. Happy Birthday Copper Bear!!!

We'll celebrate tonight with some cake and ice cream. He also gets a special treat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Time Out

Molly is in time out. I picked up the 214 stitches for the front band last Sunday and after knitting 1 row it looked wonky to me. I'll need to redo that (no problem). It's the yarn that was giving me a headache. The yarn is so soft and pretty but acrylic makes my fingertips breakout in little blisters.

So while my fingers are trying to heal, I started another teeny pink project. I had this lone ball of KP Merino Style in Petal and found a cute cable project called Nakiska. Actually I was 50% done on the 2nd size last night then I measured it and it was only 12.5". I totally forgot to take into account that the gauge was off so I ripped it all out and started again. This time I'm doing the largest size.

Above picture captures the true color.

Cables show better in this picture.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Child's Placket Pullover

This was a fun pattern/color to knit. Easy-peasy for a beginner like me. The only modification made was to omit the buttons for a more relaxed pullover. It would've been finished earlier but the siren call of lace (Branching Out), cables (Irish Hiking Scarf), mittens and this pink project (Molly) distracted me.

The verdict is still out whether I like the discontinued LB Cotton Ease. It was a little bit rough on my hands during knitting. However, it will be overlooked because of its ease of care (machine wash/dry).

The recipient is really happy with his new sweater. All in all, it was a perfect stashbuster project plus I learned how to knit plackets. Woohoo!

Child's Placket Pullover
Pattern: Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: LB Cotton Ease in Pineapple
Needles: Addi Circulars in US 6
(October 3 - November 12, 2005)

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Irish Hiking Scarf

I took the plunge and tried my hand at cables. It looked simple enough 2 rows of repeating patterns. Then a change on the 8th row. First 7 rows nothing. I was so anxious, ready to rip things out and modify the pattern because my project did not look anything like the picture. Then lo and behold after the 8th row, it happened! Things started to fall into place.

I'm liking it so much that I'm thinking about making wrist warmers for me. Another portable project - Yay!

Friday, November 4, 2005

Must stay focused ...

As a new knitter, I feel like a sponge (NO, not Spongebob!) that wants to absorb everything I can learn about knitting. That being said, I want to try cables. I'm contemplating the Irish Hiking Scarf. I need to start small so that I can eventually knit Blaze. I fell in love with this sweater the first time I laid eyes on it.

Of course when Pumpkin Girl saw Little Man's mitten she asked me to knit her a pair, too. We'll need to make a trip to the LYS so she can pick her colors. Looks like we will have 2 pairs of Warm Hands this winter.

Peaceful Palms update - I will attempt fingerless gloves for the hubby and maybe for myself (if I don't run out of steam).

That plus my current WIPs should keep me busy through the end of the year.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

One Warm Hand

If you're checking up on my Warm Hands progress, I think the picture speaks for itself. One mitten done, one to go.

I think the recipient is very pleased. Notice the other hand is cut off from the picture because it is still bare.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Mr. Bear is confused!

I swear he thinks he's a cat. He drinks milk (started when I craved milk and apples during pregnancy for now 7 year old daughter). I guess he had the sympathy cravings, too. He's got the paw kneading thing on the carpet down pat. He rubs up against the couch or my legs. And this morning, see what I caught him doing ...

Maybe this is a better shot.

So what do you think? Should I break it to him gently???

Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Treat!


The witching hour is upon us.

Look, it's my daughter's pirate pumpkin.

The moons must have lined up mysteriously. See what it made me do ... that, my friend, is the beginning of my son's mitten (a first for me).

I will leave you with a rare picture of Jasmine, Buzz Lightyear and Moi in my Hourglass Sweater.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Progress pictures

With Branching Out out of the way, I just wanted to show you where I am with the other projects.

I picked up the Child's Placket Sweater on Friday and knitted up one sleeve. I did the 2nd sleeve today.

The last time I worked on Molly was last weekend. I finished off the left front. I had to take a break from it. And of course, Branching Out was distracting me. Boy do I already dread having to seam those sleeves.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Branching Out

I missed knitting this week (too busy with kid's school projects and homework). I felt like I was in a rot because I kept seeing my WIPs and had no sense of accomplishment in sight. Earlier today I picked up Branching Out which was at 16 repeats. I sat down and planned to do a couple of pattern repeats. There's something about lace that kept pushing me to continue knitting (just one more pattern). I got so engrossed in it that I ended up finishing it (all 27 repeats).

It still needs to be blocked but here it is ...

Branching Out
Pattern: Knitty Spring 2005
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino in Red
Needles: Addi Circular in US 9
(October 17 - 29, 2005)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The truth comes out ...

I guess there are several reasons why I taught myself how to knit.

1) There's this obnoxious officemate who said "knitting is so easy, if you can manipulate 1 and 0s in your programs then I don't understand why you don't know how to knit".
2) It keeps my hands out of the potato chips.
3) I was so frustrated last winter when I could not find any mittens for my Little Man. His poor wrists were freezing in the snow everytime those oversized mittens slipped off.

Of course, reason #1 really set me off. So off I was to Michael's to get myself a Learn to Knit kit. The kit was for a scarf and hat. I finished the (garter/stockinette/ribbed) scarf but never did the hat. Reason #2 really works as it gets me out of the kitchen and I don't want crumbs on my projects. Just keep those fingers busy and the chips stay in the pantry.

I think now I'm coming close to full circle by finally attempting to knit mittens. I joined Peaceful Palms KAL yesterday and just joined the Warm Hands KAL.

Of course, full circle means these mittens become FOs.