Thursday, June 28, 2007

Eco-Friendly Knitting

I want to make one of these: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=165049.0

It has been on my to knit list for about half a year, but I've been putting it off. I'm trying to save cotton projects for hot Boston days and knit with wool as long as I can in the rents' frigid basement.

Of course, I will have to make about 6 of these in order to compensate for the amount of swiffering I do vs. how infrequently I do laundry...

p.s. I spent Tuesday knitting a super secret project for my swap partner on teeny tiny needles, and last night I made a little progress on my second sleeve for the raglan.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One down, one to go!

Last night I finished up one of the sleeves on my raglan. As you may recall, I was really unhappy with how wide the sleeve was. In consequence, it is composed of a lot of frantic, somewhat random decreases through the length of the sleeve. Luckily, you don't notice the random construction too much and I kept track of all the decreases so I can knit the second sleeve exactly the same way. It ended up being just past my elbow, with a 1 inch grey rib at the end. I didn't keep track of my decreases to keep the stitches in multiples of four for the ribbing. Didn't even think about it until it came time to knit the last two stitches of the first row of ribbing... and.... yes! they were multiples of four.

Now I just have to knit one more sleeve and weave in all the ends. Yay! I will definitely finish this week.

Monday, June 25, 2007

UFO: Binary Scarf

Look at the stunning UFO I found in my stash! (UFO = unfinished object, long abandoned) This is about 4 inches of the binary scarf from Knitty. It is knit in the round, in a tube (so imagine knitting a scarf twice as wide as normal) and after I got through these 4 inches I was like, "Frak this! This is going to take forever!" I decided maybe I would use the binary pattern to make a pillow or something small like that, but I never quite had the heart to frog this little fellow. Perhaps I will pick it up again? I could use the fair isle practice.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sacrilege!

My mom wants to use my yarn as packing material in the boxes we are sending to Boston. Fellow knitters, feel free to cringe.

I spent the morning sorting through my stash picking out the yarns that I won't be using for a few months for her to pack with.* Of course, if I ever knew which yarns I was going to use I probably wouldn't have a stash in the first place.... anyway, I mostly picked out all the cheap yarns and the one-skein impulse purchases to be demoted to packing peanuts. I'd like my nicer yarns with a high likelihood of being used in an actual project not to get dirty or lost or damaged. But, it was a fun opportunity to go through my stash. I found a lot of stuff I forgot I had!

Last night I worked on the sleeves of my raglan but I'm not too happy with the way they are turning out. They are really wide, even with shaping. I think the problem is that the armholes themselves are just too big. I never should have let my mom make me make them so wide... lol. She was helping me try it on when I was knitting the yoke so all the stitches wouldn't fall off the needles and she kept insisting I needed to knit more rows to get the armholes the right size, but I thought they looked the right size about 5 rows before I stopped (and that was a compromise!). But this is my first top-down raglan, so I guess in all fairness, neither of us knew if the armholes were supposed to run on the small side or the big side. Now I know. It's really too late to do anything about it now since I'm not about to frog the body up to the yoke! I'll finish this sleeve and if it looks way too baggy I guess I'll frog it up to the armhole and just make some puffy cap sleeves.

*note: I'm not packing my own boxes for the move because I do not have an aptitude for packing and this drives my mother so crazy that she is compelled to do it herself. It's not because I'm lazy.

Friday, June 22, 2007

FO: Cotton Headband

I made this headband to hold my hair back while I am wearing a mask or washing my face. Pretty utilitarian, but a finished object nonetheless.

I brilliantly used velcro for a closure. It's the new kind that irons on. I was a little skeptical, but the bond is really strong. Hooray for velcro innovation!

yarn details
yarn: Bernat Cotton Tots - in my stash without a label, just a little note that said "cotton tots."

findings:
velcro; $5 at Joanns

pattern details
pattern: my own design - 3 inch wide band of seed stitch with two rows of single crochet around the entire thing; ended up being about 25'' (laid flat)
needles: size 7 straights, D crochet hook
gauge: 20 stitches X 25 rows over 4" in seed st
time: 2 hours
entertainment: BSG and 90210

notes
- this ended up being way too wide and way too long - I underestimated how much wider the crochet border would make it and I didn't account for the stretch factor with the length. I guess I didn't think seed stitch would be that stretchy - especially with the crochet all around.
- burnt a small spot when I was ironing on the velcro... couldn't help it. David proposed to Donna and my attention was obviously pulled away from ironing.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

ribbing from hell

Over the last two days I knitted, unkitted, knitted, unknitted again, then knitted the ribbing on the bottom of my raglan. Last night I bound off while learning how to cook lentils on Good Eats. I decided to make the ribbing two inches rather than one, then I noticed the pattern said to make it five inches... but I'm not doing that! I will end up with a mini-dress!

Tomorrow I will start on the sleeves. They're knit with dpns, but I need to tweak the pattern a bit because I want to add sleeve shaping. The pattern author gives a link with tips to do that, so I need to study it. I'm leaning towards decreasing needle size rather than actually decreasing the stitches. I don't know what method she recommends.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Anthropologie Capelet

So, remember that ugly blue shawl I knitted? Well, I frogged that and used the yarn to knit this ugly anthropologie capelet.

The yarn is cursed.
As I was knitting it, my mom and dad kept saying "that looks awfully small" and I kept saying "it will stretch!" Well, it does stretch a little, but that doesn't keep me from looking like I'm wearing my 3 year-old niece's cardigan.



I took these pictures to illustrate how poorly it fits, but really they look pretty good... no? Well, I cast off waaay too tightly on the sleeves so they almost cut off my circulation and then I think I ended it a little short (which was partly because I was afraid I would run out of yarn, like I did with the nasty almost-shawl.) Also, the worst part, which you can't really see in this picture, is that the capelet/shrug is super short in the back and then longer in the front. It looks ridiculous! Ha ha.

I guess I'll try again.... someday.

The cursed yarn is Jiffy Mohair look. I have had 4 cursed balls of it in 4 different colors for almost 4 years. Maybe it will have an "accident" in my move next month??

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Progress on Raglan

I'm nearly finished with the body of my raglan sweater. That pink stripe on the bottom is the last of the stripes - next I just need to add a row of grey ribbing on the bottom. I'm debating whether to make the bottom rib one inch or two-inches like the neckline and the rest of the stripes. I think I'm going to make the ribbing on the end of the sleeves one-inch so I thought it would be nice to have another matching rib somewhere on the sweater. I guess I'll knit an inch and try it on, then decide. I'm liking the tunic-look:



I love this top-down pattern because you can try the sweater on while you knit it - I think this is what helped my waist shaping to be so spot on. And with my Boye interchangeable needles it is such a cinch to try on - you can just screw off a needle on one end of your cable and screw in another cord in its place to make the cable long enough to go aroun your body. Best $45 I ever spent.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Massive Sale + Sad Pepper = Yarn Debt

So, Joann's is having an amazingly awesome sale this week and my mom and I went to pick up some photo boxes to help us organize the out of control craft room we've got going on. Anyhow, I've been feeling a little down this week so I mosied on over to the yarn section and found some great deals! Two yarns I have been coveting both had deeply discounted colors: Red Lion Cashmere Blend was only $2.97 a ball (compared to $8.99) and Platinum (grey) Moda Dea Cheerio was only $1.97 per ball (compared to $5.99). Yay!! So I cleaned out the Platinum - got 8 balls (which my mommy graciously bought for me!) and I picked up four balls of the yummy cashmere (or as close to cashmere as I'm realistically going to get... until I sell my soul to The Firm.)


I also picked up my own copy of Greetings from the Knit Cafe! I will blog about that awesome book later...

Oh, and I bought a heat gun. So no one piss me off!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Headband

This weekend I have been working on making a cotton headband to hold my hair back when I'm washing my face. It's been a pretty easy project - I'm almost done. I just knitted the band in seed stitch and now I'm going to crochet around the edges to give it a more finished look. It should be rad. I needed a petite break from sweater knitting.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fitted Knits!

My very own copy of Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits arrived in the mail today! I'm super excited. I originally checked it out from the library to knit Blue Bell, but it is such a hot item that I couldn't renew it, and since I love every pattern in there, I decided to just buy it myself. I ordered it off Amazon.com and it was almost $10 dollars less than it was at Barnes & Noble. Funny story too: because I had a $10 gift certificate to B&N but it would have ended up costing me more to buy it there even with the $10 off once you added tax. Funny.

Here are some pics of Blue Bell, my next project:


And here's another one I'm dying to knit, the airy wrap-around lace sweater:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

FO: Dashing Arm Warmers

Another hell project: Knitty's "Dashing" Arm Warmers. OK, to be fair, the project itself is not from hell, but my freakishly tiny wrists and hands are. When I put these on they look horrible - you can't see the ribbing, you can barely see the cabling, and they come up so high that my pinky finger is completely covered. So they became the hell project when I finished one, realized the fit problem, and had no desire to do the other one but also no desire to frog since I was already half done and the glove itself was quite lovely, just not on me. Oh, and also, I ran out of yarn on the second glove just before starting the thumb. I had to buy a new ball for literally two yards of yarn...

Anyway, I finished these up on Monday just to get them out of my knitting bag and off my mind. I gave them to my mom because they fit her, but she's not really sure if she will ever wear them because fingerless gloves are a little "young". But I have washed my hands of them (pun intended). They're her hell gloves now.

A close up of the cables:
yarn detail:
Bernat Satin ("Satan") in color 04307 Sultana
100% acrylic
worsted weight
machine washable and dryable
cost: 100 g / 166 yds @ $2.29

pattern detail:
pattern: Knitty's "Dashing" , (free pattern!)
needles: #7 dpns, cable needle
gauge: didn't check... probably why these ended up going to hell
hours: ten-ish
total cost: $2.50

notes:
- to make these for myself I think I'll definitely try size 6 dpns and use a lighted worsted weight yarn to get a tighter fit for my wrists
- these only used maybe 170 yards of yarn, so I think it would definitely be worth it to splurge on a nice soft super wash wool
- and to temper my whining -- I think the gloves actually turned out really nice when modeled by my mom and the pattern was easy to follow; it was my first FO with cables

.... all of the UFO's from hell are out of my knitting bag!! I can finally devote my time to projects I actually want to knit!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Back to the Grind!

I hardly got any knitting done last week, but yesterday I clicked my needles almost all day. It was nice and relaxing. Anyway, I'm making good progress on my top-down raglan. I finished up the waist shaping and I've done two repeats of the hip shaping. It should be a breeze the rest of the way down. I'm still not sure what length it will be, I think just past the hips with the sleeves ending just above the elbow.

I need to finish it soon so I can start working on my Bluebell!!

edit 6/11, a pic (showing some skin...)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

FO: Pig From Hell

I finally finished my amigurimi piggy. I call him Pig From Hell because I had a hell of a time with this project! I'm much less skilled at the crochet than the knitting and I kept getting totally frustrated! This is also my first amigurimi so I don't quite have the hang of assembling the parts yet. Nevertheless, I am proud of my little hell pig.

Here's a profile pic. Love the way the curly tail turned out!!

yarn details
Red Heart Classic Solid in Pink
100 grams/190 yards @ $2.39
scrap pieces of black Caron Simply Soft

findings
leftover black eyes from Sheldon (these were slightly smaller than the eyes used in the pattern, but you can't beat the price... free)

pattern details

pattern: created by djonesgirl, sold on her etsy store at djonesgirlz.etsy.com for $6.00
gauge: who the hell knows?
hook size: F
hours: maybe 4, not including time spent brooding
total cost: Maybe $6.50 (not including the cost of the new hook, because it's not fair to blame that on poor little Pig From Hell)

notes
- IMPORTANT: embroider the nostrils on the pig's nose before you sew it on. (I didn't do this and it was hell to embroider them on later; in fact, they aren't secured at all because there was no way to do it - they're just hanging out. Pig From Hell hopes no one will pull on them).
- I was really confused about where to place the head; had to do it twice: it should go mostly on the top of the body cylinder, with just a little bit (or maybe even none?) over the end of the cylinder) And don't stuff it too much or he be too top heavy and fall over (also had to stuff it twice...)
- Since I was so confused about head placement, I didn't sew the eyes on before stuffing like recommended in the pattern. Although this wasn't as much trouble as the nostrils turned out to be, it still made things more difficult than they had to be.
- Legs: didn't get the hinge technique quite right. Well, actually, I did the first time. Then when I repositioned the head I had to move the legs and I was in a hurry so I just tacked them on without really following the instructions. Anyway, they don't exactly hinge.
- necklace? in the works.... but I really think I need to move on so I can lower my blood pressure.

Friday, June 8, 2007

New Cascade 220!

Unraveled Sheep sent me a discount coupon for my birthday, so I popped in there today before it expired and stocked up on some Cascade 220. I'm planning to use this pretty blue tweed for the "Blue Bell Sweater" from Stephanie Japel's new book, Fitted Knits. I rarely use the recommended yarn for any project, but this sweater is darn pretty just the way it is that for once I don't feel the need to substitute.

Pics hardly ever do yarn justice, but just because I like to use my new camera I'm including an image of my birthday haul:

I think I'd better finish up my beginner raglan before I put another sweater on the needles, so I'd better get crackin!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Progress on My Piggy

OK, so all the pieces of my crochet piggy are finished, and she just needs to be sewn together. As you may have noticed, I have an aversion to crochet, so this has been a start and stop project for me. I actually finished all of the pieces several weeks ago, I sewed on the head and it was totally messed up. So I put it aside for awhile. On Sunday I took off his head, took half the stuffing out, and reattached it higher on his body. Now he doesn't fall over from the weight of his head.

Here is Roxy enjoying my work in progress:

Up and running?

New blogger is so lame.