Monday, December 21, 2009

Socks

I brought my classy socks home to Utah to work on while I'm here for the holidays. When I was on the plane I realized that these are the same socks that I started last year when I was home for Christmas! lol. (I also realized the book I brought along is the same one I brought along last year and never started... man I'm a procrastinator!)

Anyway, I finished the leg and knit the heel flap on the plane, then yesterday morning I turned the heel and started the gusset stitches.... then yesterday afternoon I realized I had made a mistake on the heel flap which led to a large hole in the gusset and I had to rip it all back to about half-way through the heel flap!! ARG!! That was probably two or three hours worth of work I frogged, then it took me a good hour to figure out what the problem was and to rip it all back and get the stitches back on the needles correctly. Anyway, I finally got it done and knitted back to where I was... so, in conclusion, I'm on the start of the gusset again. No matter what I do, I always get a hole on the top of the gusset (only on the right side)!! Frustrating! It must have something to do with the way I pick up those stitches on that side, who knows. I ripped it out a few times and tried all sorts of techniques to avoid it, but to no avail. C'est la vie.

Next time I have my camera out I'll take some pics to post. My goal is to have it finished by the time I get back in Boston. (Which will put me just under the one year anniversary of casting on).

p.s. I brought my cat home and as I was sitting on the plane flying alone with my cat and my knitting I realized what a horrible cliche I have become... (lots of realizations happening on that plane!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

a knitted tree topper

This is pretty cool. Maybe I'll make one for my little tiny tree. (BTW, I'm still working on the happy reindeer... maybe I'll finish it up today??)

Monday, November 30, 2009

FO: enV cozy

I got a new cell phone for an early Christmas present, so of course I had to knit a nifty cozy for it! It matches the Chinese Charm Bag that I knitted back in 2007. I don't actually have that bag anymore because it was a gift, but I always thought it was cute and I had leftovers so now I've got the matching cozy. :)

Now my shiny new phone won't get all scratched up and void the warranty, lol.

I used size 10.5 dpns and Moda Dea Cache yarn in wink, just like the bag. Began by casting on 19 stitches and just knitted up till I reached the length of the phone, then I casted off half the stitches and knit a little flap. Easy peasy.

p.s. This phone is awesome! I highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

FO: Delphine

I'm writing an FO post for Delphine... finally!! In short, I love this top. I had a lot of frustration while I was knitting it, but it was totally worth it in the end. The top is a little tight so when I make another one I will definitely go a size up. The Knit Picks Comfy yarn was a pleasure to work with. I might also try it out with a lighter weight yarn and see how that goes - the lace is so beautiful I think it will create a lovely texture.


yarn details
Knit Picks Comfy Sport in Silver Sage
dye lot 5151
75 % Pima Cotton 25% Acrylic
sport weight
machine wash
50 grams/136 yds @ $2.79
purchased 4/09


pattern details
pattern: "Delphine" by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes from French Girl Knits, reprinted in Spring '09 Interweave Knits
needles: size 3, 4, and 5 circular
size: small - 27.5'' bust
yarn used: 3 skeins
started: May 1, 2009
finished: August 8, 2009
total cost: $8.37

notes...
  • Next time I am definitely going to to a picot stitch cast on. I'm surprised the pattern doesn't call for that in the first place since it has you finish off the neck and armholes with a lovely picot crochet edging. In general, my cast on with this piece was way too tight! I think part of the problem is that I used the wrong method, but I also think my cast ons in general are too tight. Maybe I'll start doing it with a larger needle?
  • The sizing on this pattern is really tight!! Especially at the armholes and across the stomach!
  • I skipped the buttons on it and just used the ribbon closure. It looks cute with or without the ribbon though.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Crochet....

I'm excited to start decorating my apartment for Christmas next week! I decided to crochet a cute little Rudolph stuffie to get the holiday season going. (Yes, I realize this is a great use of my time with all I've already got on the needles right now...)

Here is his hot bod (limbs not included):

And here's what I'm aiming for:
I might have gotten the eyes on mine set a little too far apart, but I think it will all come together once I've got the ears and antlers in place. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gifty Gift!

I decided to put Tess aside for a while and work on a gift project. It is coming along really well - I wish I could post pics for you but that would (a) give away the recipient, and (b) ruin the surprise factor! If you are on Ravelry you can check it out there by clicking on "gifty gift" on my status bar to the right... but only if you are certain I will not be giving you a gift (i.e. stay away mom!).

The best part?? Stashbuster!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monthly Update

I feel like my posts to this blog are becoming monthly updates! lol. I've sort of been on a blogging diet lately, but I haven't been on a knitting diet.

I went to six flags on Halloween (yay!) and knit up most of the foot of my classy slip-up socks on the car ride there - so I've finished up sock #1 now. I think it looks really good and it is super comfy. Now I'm on a mission to finish the second sock asap so I can wear them this winter. I love hand knit socks - they are SO cozy! Here's a pic:

I also resurrected the Tess cardigan I was working on last spring and I'm making excellent progress on that. I've got the left front and the back piece finished now and I just have to do the armhole/neck/shoulder shaping on the right front and I'll have the body of the cardigan finished up. Damn - I just remembered I have to do the sleeves too! Arg! I've still got quite a way to go but I want to finish this puppy up as soon as I can too. Here's my progress:

I'm conflicted because I really want to finish up these two projects but it's also not too late to do some gift knitting for Christmas, so I can't decide if I should start on those projects or devote all my attention to these. If I go the gift route I could probably only knit up one or two gifts, and nobody is getting store bought gifts this year due to my extreme unemployment so it might be weird to give only two gifts. Is that just me rationalizing being selfish and working on my own projects?? lol. Who knows what I will do. Tune in next month to find out... j/k, I hope to post some more updates soon. I also still need to do FO posts for Delphine and Rusted Root. As usual, I've waited too long to post them and now I barely remember the details. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fini!

I finished up Rusted Root! I've got to say - not my favorite project!! I think it's a little too tight and I'm not sure about the purl row on top of these weird puff sleeves. Also, the tight BO on the bottom is driving me crazy! I might rip it out and try again, but I already tried to do it loose the first time - I don't know how to make it any looser.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Post #2!


Here is a pic of the progress on my tie-back shell. I knit it as long as the pattern suggested, but I have a feeling I'm going to want it longer (yarn supply permitting), so I left the hem stitches on a piece of ribbon just in case.

Whoah!

Holy crap it's been a long time since my last post!! Honestly, I haven't been knitting a whole lot lately. I don't know why, I've just been in sort of a funk.

Anyway, I finally finished up my Rusted Root yesterday. I've been almost done with it for a long time, but I was pissed off at binding off my ribbing because it was too tight so I gave it the silent treatment for a while. I ended up leaving the tight BO on the bottom edge, but I modified the ribbing on the sleeves and neckline to a 1X1 rib and did a tubular BO to keep it stretchy. (My first tubular BO! Yay!) It's on the blocking board now, we'll see how it turns out. This has certainly not been my favorite project. I think all the negative feelings it has given me has been part of why I haven't been knitting a lot. Too much stress!

Here's a pic:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hallelujah!

I finally finished that endless strip of twisted rib for my waistband of the tie back shell! Yay! I also picked up all the stitches to knit up the bottom half. I can't believe I'm actually excited to knit several inches of stockinette in the round... but anything is better than that waistband torture. Lol. My plan is to knit as per the instructions down until the turning ridge on the hem, then transfer the stitches to some scrap yarn and let it hang out there until I finish the rest of the top - that way I can adjust the length if I want it a little longer. (I tend to wear low-cut jeans, so I hate it when a top is too short and it shows my belly sticking out!) Incidentally, this is going to be my first time using a hem in my knitting. I'm a little nervous that it's going to look weird, but the sample looks very nice, so I'm going to trust the pattern.

BTW - picking up the stitches from that waistband for the bottom half wasn't so bad. I think I've finally got the hang of that particular skill. (Yay!) Of course, figuring out the correct ratio for picking them up was kind of a pain, and it turned out that each segment required a slightly different ratio - so I hope that won't cause any weird effects; I don't think it will. So far it looks okay.

OK - less blogging, more knitting!

p.s. I'm going on vacation this week which means a long plane ride to knit! Yay!

Friday, August 14, 2009

new project

Last week I started a new project - the tie back shell from the latest issue of Knit.1:

Darling, huh? The waist band ties in a bow in the back. You knit the waistband first, and then pick up stitches from it to knit the top and bottom of the shirt. It's a pretty smart design, but it means that for the past week I have been knitting an endless strip of twisted rib and I'm about ready to go nuts with it. I've already gone through one 120 yard skein and I'm only about 2/3 of the way through. Observe:


I can't believe I chose another project that involves picking up mass amounts of stitches, but I feel like after all I've been through in the past few months with the hexacomb cardigan and Delphine, I'm kind of an old pro at it.

The yarn I'm using is absolutely fabulous; Ella Rae Silkience -- 49% Cotton, 39% Modal, 12% Silk, 8% Rayon. So soft! (you all know me and my obsession with modal). The color is also a really pretty aqua - I don't think my photo does it justice. I got it from WEBS online on clearance in May with some of my graduation money. I only paid $2.49 a skein! Whoo hoo! With all the stress of finals and graduation this spring I went on a bit of a naughty yarn shopping spree, but I think I deserved to treat myself. Now that the bar is over I want to treat myself again, but unfortunately I don't have any more sweet graduation gift checks rolling in.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Progress Report: Rusted Root

To update since my last post on the matter- I did indeed frog my whole Rusted Root sweater and start over to fix the lace pattern (nearly 200 yards frogged!!) I added a few extra increases/rows before I separated the sleeves and the problem with the tight armholes is now much better. They are still pretty snug, but I didn't want to go too crazy because this puppy is cotton, so I know it will stretch itself out.

I've been working extra hard to catch up on this piece and I'm proud to announce that I'm at least 70% done now! Yay! See for yourself:


I think I'm going to add some hip shaping at this point so the sweater doesn't pull quite so snugly across my belly. I didn't do any really dramatic waist shaping, so I don't want to go too crazy with the hip shaping, but I need something in there or I'll feel self conscious and never wear this thing. Which would be a shame, because I think it's really cute!

p.s. Why am I suddenly leaning to one side in all my pictures? Posture, young lady!

Hooray!

My extreme blocking of Delphine worked! I can actually breathe in it! Sadly, it's still a little tight in the armholes. I'll definitely fix that in the next one. Now I need to find a cute ribbon and decide if I want to add buttons or not. Then I'll actually put on some makeup and take some nice photos.

In the meantime, here is a sneak preview:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The blocking queen

I finally finished edging the neck and armholes of Delphine yesterday. It was such a bitch picking up all those stitches! Plus - on the armholes I had to single crochet around the whole thing and then pick up the stitches. Ick! Nevertheless, it looks very cute. I wonder why the pattern doesn't have you start off with a picot cast on, since all the edging is picot. If I had been a good little knitter and read ahead I could have realized that before I started knitting and made the adjustment.

Speaking of being a good little knitter, I should have frogged this damn thing the second I realized it was too tight across the belly! I've already blocked it twice throughout this process, hoping it will stretch without too much luck. Right now she is blocking again. I completely saturated her in water and wet blocked- I've got her stretched out as far as humanly possible - 15 inches. (Compare to the shaping the last time she was on the board). If this doesn't do it - I think I'm just going to have to lose 5 pounds. lol.

Despite all the aforementioned headaches my dear Delphine has given me, this is really a gorgeous top! I'm already thinking about knitting another one (perfect this time). I've got some glitzy yarn in my stash that I think would be darling...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Awesome! Techknitting does it again!

I just ran across this post on TECHknitting about how to avoid that hole at the top of the heel on your sock. This also would have worked out really well for my split neck on Delphine - too bad I didn't read it in time.

Crossing stitches: one way to avoid a hole on a vertical opening in knitwear

The bar exam is in three days and I really shouldn't be surfing random knitting blogs that I haven't read since at least April 11, but my brain is totally fried and this seems like the right thing to do. Now that I have indulged a bit, it's time to get back to the studying. Secured transactions... yay! (ha!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Frustrated Knitter

Frustration #1: Delphine
I took Delphine off the blocking board and it is still pretty skin tight. It's a shame because it's actually a really darling top - something I think I would wear often, but probably not if it is so skintight that it makes me look fat/sloppy. Also, there is one row of the lace where I screwed up that sort of bothers me - but not too bad. It kind of gives it character. Kind of.

What to do? I still need to join the shoulders, then I'm going to try blocking again... and be ruthless with the stretching this time! I made it really long, so I think I can get away with a lot of horizontal stretch without making it too short - the challenge is just going to be getting the yarn to give that much. If this doesn't work - I'm going to have to frog and start over knitting the larger size. This pisses me off - especially given frustrations 2 and 3....

Frustration #2: Rusted Root
I've been knitting the ever popular Rusted Root sweater from Zephyr style - which is a short sleeve raglan top with puffy short sleeves and a lace panel running down the front. The instructions are kind of poorly written, which has made the project kind of frustrating, but I finally got the hang of it and yesterday I reached the the point where I separated the sleeves - so it's easy sailing from here... except...

I've thought the lace looked kind of weird since the beginning, but I kept thinking it would look better once several repeats got going. Now that I've got 4 repeats I finally figured out what my problem it. The problem? In the middle of the second repeat I accidentally created a hole in the wrong place!! Arg!! I can't live with it and I'm going to have to rip it back. Here is an illustration:

You might also notice that the leaves look a little sloppy. That's because I've been slipping the stitches the wrong way! Arg! (I slipped purlwise and it turns out I should have done it knitwise). I discovered this about 10 rows back, but I decided it would be fine as long as I kept doing it throughout. But now that I'm ripping out 20 rows, the logical thing to do is just to rip it all out and START OVER slipping the right way. Yup - after all my struggles getting through the top I've got to do it again! (which, BTW takes FOREVER with a raglan - as you probably know)

Another frustration with rusted root: I tried it on and the underarms are way too tight. This means I'm going to have to make mods, which means I'm going to have to think. Lame.

But, like Delphine, it is going to be a really cute top. Here's what I've got so far:

R.I.P.

Frustration #3: Hexacomb Cardigan
It's too big and I'm pissed and don't know what the hell to do with it. :(

Frustration #4: the bar exam
I'm taking the MA bar in two weeks, which means I have to study all day HARDCORE, but I can't stop thinking about all these stupid knitting problems! I deal with stress by knitting, but now that I need to knit to deal with bar stress, all I'm turning to is knitting stress. Maybe I should just ditch it all and make an old-school garter stitch scarf? lol

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blocking Delphine

I finished up the back of Delphine and now it's on the blocking board. I was pleased with how much it stretched out -- I think it will be an okay fit. Cross your fingers! I'm joining the tops of the straps and doing the neck edging after blocking -- that's recommended in the pattern and it's a great idea because it means you can add/subtract from the length of the straps.

Here's a pic:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Delphine

I'm knitting a top called Delphine from the new book French Knits -- but I got the pattern from the Spring IK. I like the name because Delphine was my "french name" in French class in Jr. High. It's also the name of the lead Aqua Ranger, or something like that...

Anyway, I'm almost done. I just need to finish the back and do a quick 3 needle bind off on the shoulders. I think I'm also going to go around the edges with a crochet hook and make some cute picot edging. Here's a progress pic:

It looks (and feels) atrociously skin-tight, but it's going to stretch out a lot in blocking. (Let's all just keep repeating that until it comes true, OK?)

Friday, June 26, 2009

FO: Cashmere Arm Cosies

Look! I'm finally posting the details about my cashmere arm cosies. Can you even believe it? These are really pretty, super warm, and they were a good learning experience for me to practice cables.



yarn details
Lion Brand Cashmere Blend
72% Merino Wool 14% Cashmere 14% Nylon
aran weight
machine wash cool and lay flat to dry
40 grams/84 yds @ $2.97 each (on deep clearance)

project details
pattern: "Cashmere Arm Cosies" by Lion Brand Yarns - free at http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/60159A.html
needles: size 8 dpns

yarn used: 294 yards (about 3.5 skeins)
finished size: 8.5'' long, 7.75'' circumference at arm
duration: February, 2008 - February, 2009
cost: about $10.30

notes

  • Oh goodness! I had so many notes, but I waited so long to write this post that I don't remember most of them. I have them written down though. If anyone wants to know the knitty gritty details, let me know. :)
  • I converted the pattern to knit in the round instead of flat. This was awesome, but I'm not sure I like the way I did the decreases in the round. I did them "gusset style" but thinking back I should have done them all decreasing toward a center line.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not much of an update....

I'm still alive. Still knitting, but not as much as I would like to be. I spent about an hour knitting today instead of studying for the bar - yay!

Things are rough my friends. It's a rough life.

Monday, May 25, 2009

not an update

I've been knitting up a storm and stashing up a storm as well!  (naughty!)  Unfortunately, I have not been blogging up a storm.  I've been uber busy and not on the computer a whole lot.  If anyone is on Ravelry you can check out my notebook to see what I've been up to.  Otherwise, I'm going to do a ton of back posts in the coming weeks (hopefully!)

On a personal note - I graduated from law school last week!  (Yay!)  But I start my bar review classes tomorrow.  (Boo!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

FYI...

Cascade 220 is on sale at Webs for $4.89 a hank. AWESOME DEAL! I want to buy some, but my wallet says no. Someone else should stash up and think of me.... *sigh*

Friday, April 24, 2009

necking!

I finally faced the beast yesterday and did the neckband on my hexacomb cardigan. I've been avoiding looking at it since the fiasco I had with it last time. This time I had the same problem with all the gaps/holes forming and I was starting to get really frustrated. I think one of my problems is that my stitches on this project are really loose or something -- especially near the edges. Anyway, I hopped online and found a few sites that recommend picking up stitches one or two rows from the edge to deal with gaps, so I did that and it looks much better!!

So, the neck band is done. Next up? Button band. Yuck.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Knitting Law Student

Today I brought my knitting to school and knitted in class for the very first time! I figured I might as well go for it since I only have two days left here (EVER!! YAY!!). Though, I'm not that much of a rebel: it was in my mediation seminar and we were watching a lame video and the professor wasn't in the room.

Also, last Thursday I attended my very first meeting of the BU knitting circle. It was pretty chill. I found them on Ravelry - there are just a few people who met up and we were all graduate students, so we had a lot in common. It sure beat knitting with Roxy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Frogging Cressida (finally)

This morning I finally frogged the pieces I had knit for my Cressida sweater to harvest the yarn for Tess. I had only knit the back panel and about half of a side panel, so it wasn't a whole lot of work to frog it and I recovered a little more than one ball of yarn.

I wasn't exactly sure what method to use to get the kinks out. The yarn is a single ply with a little metallic fiber wrapped around it, so it's not super straight to begin with. Given that, I didn't want to be too aggressive with stretching the kinks out because I didn't want to totally ruin the spring in the yarn. I ended up wrapping it around the back of one of my chairs, tight enough to straighten the kinks, and then I used a spritz bottle to wet the whole thing. I'm hoping that will be enough to work the kinks out.

Here are some pics:



I actually conducted a massive yarn harvesting project a few months ago that I always meant to blog on and still haven't gotten around to it (but I will!). There, I was frogging a project made with wool-ease and it was hell trying to get those kinks out! I tried every trick in the book to stretch the yarn and nothing worked. Finally, I used a garment steamer and that did the trick beautifully, but I don't want to use the steamer here because I'm fairly certain the steam will ruin the yarn.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

update

I have been working on a non-fiber crafty project lately so I haven't been knitting like I should. But the alternative project is fun. It involves glitter - which is always a good time. I'll post more details later if anyone is remotely interested (and even if you're not interested - it's my blog and I'll post them anyway!)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tess Therapy

I've been really blue lately and unfortunately I'm in that place where I'm afraid to go to bed because as soon as I'm alone in the dark I start to cry. :( Anyway, I've been staying up until like 2 or 3 in the morning this week just watching TV and stuff. Last night I decided I might as well be semi-productive and work on Tess while I was avoiding the inevitable. I got about 10 rows done, which is like amazing since they are pretty damn long! I'm a little over half-way through the increases now, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm really happy with the way the increases are looking. I've been incorporating them into the lace by creating eyelets when I don't have enough stitches to complete the pattern in the increase area. They are blending in very well. If you are closely examining it you can tell that the lace gets a little loose, but I imagine I'm going to be the only person to ever look at it that closely.

I tried it on because I was a little worried about those weird increases but it looks like it's going to be okay. My chest measures about 32'' (which is the size I'm knitting) and it's going to end up being about 34'' when I'm done with the increases, plus the button band is pretty wide. I examined the picture though and it looks like it has a decent about of positive ease, plus I'll be wearing it over a shirt, so I think it will be okay. Also, having it a little bigger will ensure that the buttons don't make gaps across my chest, which is a very good thing.

In other news, I must finish the hexacomb cardigan!! It's getting ridiculous. Maybe I will do that tonight? Though I generally like to do finishing in the daylight. I don't know why, I just think it helps.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Update

I haven't been blogging a whole lot lately, I haven't been kitting too much either, I guess. I've been kind of bummed out and playing video games instead. Anyway, I have made some progress:

I turned the heel on my classy socks and started the gusset. There is a hole forming at the top of the heel, which I'm not super psyched about, but I think I'll just go back later and reinforce it rather than rip it all out. For some reason, all the stitches I picked up for the gusset were insanely tight! So, I don't want to do it again.

I've also been working on Tess. It's taking a long time because I'm knitting it all in one piece so the rows are really long. I'm a little weirded out because after you knit the ribbing on the hem it has you increasing stitches for several inches, which seems counter intuitive, but I'm blindly following their instructions, so hopefully it will be okay. Anyway, this had been a pretty thought intensive process because I've had to work these increases into the one-piece, since I can't tuck them on the edges like I would have with three separate pieces. I've been hiding them with eyelets and I think it looks okay. Here's a pic of what I have so far:

Finally, I worked on the neckband on my hexacomb cardigan over spring break (2 weeks ago! it's been a long time since I've posted!) After about 10 hours of work I had picked up and ripped out stitches so many times that they started to look a little wonky, so I blocked it and I'm hoping the stitches set back into place a bit. Now I'm scared to work on it because I'm afraid I'll just botch it again. The problem is that I kept getting holes on the corners, but I'm starting to wonder if that has more to do with the way I knit the body than the way I am adding the neckband. I want it to look perfect, but I don't know if I want it bad enough to actually unseam the shoulders and unravel a huge portion of the body. Whatever I do, I need to do it soon because spring is almost here and it's a spring cardigan.

Oh, and here's my cool knitting case/bag that I'm using for Tess. Cute!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's a good thing she's cute...

I left my classy socks knitting out and Roxy chewed up one of my bamboo sock needles. Damn.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

knot fun

I spent the whole morning working a massive knot out of my yarn for Tess. Today is just one of those days. All I want to do is go to sleep and wake up when I'm thirty or something.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

FO: Kick Pillow II

Roxy loved her first kick pillow so much that I decided to make her another one - this time with some funky fringe. On the last pillow I used the ugliest yarn in my stash, but this time I picked out the prettiest yarn! I wish it wasn't a scratchy acrylic or I would totally make myself some socks out of it! Roxy doesn't seem to notice a difference...
it's good for biting:and good for kicking:
yarn details
Red Heart Super Saver in Williamsburg Print
worsted weight
100% acrylic
141 grams/244 yds

Lion Brand Fun Fur Solid in Olive
bulky weight
100% polyester
50 grams/64 yards @ $3.00

findings

polyfill
catnip
nylons

project details

pattern: loosely based on the kick pillow by Karen Mortensen in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders
needles: size 5 dpns
finished size: apprx. 6.5'' x 3''
duration: from January 2 - March 8, 2009 (though really only a few hours of work)
yarn used: very little
total cost: maybe $1-ish

notes1. CO 58 stitches and worked in the round until it looked pillow-sized, then I cast off. I whip-stitched the seams after stuffing.

2. I put the catnip in the toe of an old nylon and then stuffed that in the pillow along with polyfill. (If you just let the catnip run loose on the inside, it works its way out while kitty plays and then it looks like you have illicit substances spilled all over your floor).

3. I used a crochet hook to attach the fun fur around the edges after it was all stuffed and ready to go. For some reason, this process took me three hours!! Stupid crochet!! Arg!

4. Here is an artsy video of Roxy demolishing this toy.

FO: Penguin of Love

On the day before Valentine's Day I was inexplicably overcome with the urge to crochet a penguin.

yarn details
worsted weight acrylics:
Lion Brand Wool-Ease in gold and black
Green Oak Acrylic in white


findings

9 mm safety eyes

project details

pattern: Amigurimi Penguin by Lion Brand (free)hook: size F
finished size: 3'' tall with a 4'' "wingspan"
duration: an evening and a morning, Feb 13-14, 2009
yarn used:hardly any
total cost: negligible

notes

1. This time I actually remembered to make my turning chains! I still hate crochet, but this makes it somewhat more bearable.

2. On all of the pieces except the eyes I used the directions for making a small/invisible hole using a loop of yarn from Happy Hooker on pg. 52.

3. And here are my notes on body part placement:
  • eyes: inside edges are 6 st apart on black/white line, bottom of eye covers 1 row of the white; 9 mm safety eyes
  • wings: edge of wing is about 2.5 st from the outside edge of eye on black/white line; top of wing is about 2.5-3 rows of black
  • beak: spans the 6 stitches b/w the eyes
  • feet: about 3 rows up from bottom, about 0.5 st apart, stuffed with polypellets
... after I finished this little guy he was so freakin' cute that I knew I had to send him to my friend Erica. He practically begged for it. He wanted me to spread the love. He's the penguin of love.

Voila!

In case this was bugging anyone else but me: I finally fixed my little drop-down list of FOs so it is alphabetized and current. I certainly hope other people are doing something more exciting for Spring Break...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Another Roxy Video...

I finished knitting Roxy's second catnip kick pillow today. I took this video for y'all, but then I got a little carried away at the editing stage. Hey - if I can't waste time at the beach over Spring Break, at least I can waste time making silent films.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tess

I finally started working on Tess last weekend. Tess is the slayer of Cressida. That is, I'm frogging what I have of Cressida to harvest enough yarn for Tess. I just decided that Cressida was maybe a little too funky and I'd get more use out of Tess. Also, I obviously haven't cared enough about her to pick her up in the past year.

So, here is Tess. The beauty who graces the cover of Martin Storey's Classic Woman.

Martin says I should knit three pieces: two fronts and a back. I say: Nay! I am knitting it in one piece! I will not make a sacrifice to the finishing gods today!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The truth about Scott's hat

So, I have owed my brother a rasta-style hat for at least two years now, I think it might actually be closer to three. I was really truly going to knit it this December/January, but you may recall that I had serious hat size/gauge/pattern clarity problems, so it never happened. I've been thinking I need to start it again, but it suddenly occurred to me that I don't have nearly enough yarn to make this puppy!!

I remember now that last Spring I ordered two different colors of main line from knit picks as samples to see which one he liked. (By the way, he never responded, so he is also partially responsible for the delay). Now he has chosen the dark brown color (cocoa) so I'm going to have to get more. Which brings me to my dilemma: if I place an order with knit picks, I can't just order two balls of yarn. I just know that I'm going to want something else, then I'm going to end up adding things until I get the free shipping and I'm going to be out $50. The truth is that I would like to buy some lacey yarn to make that Zickzack Tunic in the new issue of Interweave. And I haven't bought any yarn in 58 days, so maybe I deserve some? My other option is to go to the yarn store and pick out a different yarn for him. That's going to be more expensive yarn than knit picks, so I might already be into it like $12, so..... On the other hand, I'm totally broke and the chances that my brother will actually wear this hat are probably slim to none. Reality bites.

Friday, February 20, 2009

SSK

I used the nifty version of SSK on my cozy and it looks SO MUCH better! Yay ! I wish I'd done this sooner.

Monday, February 16, 2009

decreasing and podcasts

I used to listen to Kelly Petkun's Knit Picks podcasts all the time while I worked out, but since I sort of dropped the ball on working out over the last 10 months or so (bad!) I haven't really listened to them. I'm not sure if she actually does them anymore because the last one my computer downloaded was in August. Anyhow, today I finally listened to one while I was waiting for the train: episode 21, decreasing.

She had a lot of cool ideas about how to place decreases in your pieces, so I thought I'd make a note of it here so I can go back to the podcast next time I'm in a decreasing bind. One thing I especially want to note is that she suggests making a flatter SSK by slipping the first stitch knitwise and the second purlwise (vs. the traditional instruction of switching them both knitwise.) I'm pretty sure I've heard this before, but I always seem to forget it. Anyway, I'm never really happy with the look of SSK decreases, so I've got to try this. I'm using them in my cashmere arm cosies, so I'll do it next time I pick that up. I still keep meaning to make myself an increase/decrease play swatch to get a feel for all the different methods. One of these days....

p.s. visited iTunes later tonight - it turns out they are still podcasting, but apparently iTunes hasn't been downloading them for me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Day!

My Spring issue of Interweave Knits arrived today! YAY!! YAY!! I'm almost sad that I have plans tonight because all I want to do is kick back and bask in its loveliness.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

FO: Koolhaas

Yay for hats! This is by far the most beautiful, awesome hat I have ever knit! I love the texture and it was fun to knit -- not so easy you get bored, but not so complicated that you can't work on it while you watch TV, etc. This is definitely the first of many!

yarn detailsLion Brand Wool-Ease in Dark Rose Heather
20% wool, 80% acrylic
worsted weight
machine wash cool and tumble dry low
85 grams/197 yds @ $2.50 each (on sale)

project details
pattern: "Koolhaas" by Jared Flood, Interweave Knit Gifts 2007, available for purchase online at the Knitting Daily pattern store for $4.50
needles: size 5 and 7 circulars and size 7 dpns
gauge: try as I might, I just can't count out a gauge in the lattice pattern!
yarn used: 132 yards (about 70% of the skein)
finished size: about 15'' in diameter (on brim), 8 inches tall
duration: January 24 - February 11, 2009
cost: about $2.00, plus $4.50 for the pattern

notes
  • I don't think this was a good yarn for this project. The color is beautiful, but it's a heather and that means it is kind of furry. It's not the kiss of death, but I think a solid colored yarn that gives more stitch definition will really make things pop!
  • When I joined to knit in the round I did that thing where you switch the places of the first and last stitches. I feel like this made the join less obvious, but it might not have made a difference.
  • I used the "skimming method" to weave in the ends. Loved it!
  • I used a random needle tip from my Boye set as a cable needle. This made everything go so much more smoothly. I was hoping to try cabling without a needle on this project, but I think the stitches were pulled too tightly on the circular for it to work - they always unravelled themselves.
  • The pattern calls for size 6 & 8 needles, I goofed and used 5 & 7. Everything worked out okay, but next time I think I'll go with the recommended needle sizes.
  • I originally did 4 pattern repeats (for the women's size) but the hat ended up being too short for my liking, so I frogged back and did 5 repeats. Perhaps if I use the correct needle size this won't be necessary.
  • On all of the knit stitches on this hat you knit through the back loop and I'm pretty sure that I forgot to do that on a bunch of random stitches, just because it is so counter-intuitive. It still looks good, but maybe it isn't as neat as it could have been. Next time I will be more vigilant about it and see if it makes a difference.

FO: Bite Me Pillow

There's nothing quite like a cynical candy heart pillow to get yourself in the mood for Valentine's Day.

It's a key accessory to make my bed a welcoming place for potential lovers:

yarn details
Lion Brand Chunky USA in Cherry Blossom
100% Acrylic
bulky weight

pattern details
pattern: "Valentine Candy Pillows" by Jennifer Stafford on pg. 105 of Domiknitrix
needles: size 10 straights
size: final dimensions were 7.5'' x 8''
yarn used: 108 yards
time: February 2008 - February 2009

notions
red felt
Unique Stitch fabric glue

notes...
  • I started this project last year but when it came time to embroider the letters I had massive problems and I got so frustrated that I tossed it in the back of the closet for a year. In that time, I decided to accept the reality that the letters weren't going to happen and made the plan to just make the letters out of felt.
  • I think did a good job outlining the letters for the embroidery, but it was just impossible for me to fill them in a way that looked remotely nice.
  • The felt letters are Arial Black, 175 pt. and I glued them down with fabric glue after I already assembled and stuffed the pillow.
  • In general, I'm pretty unhappy with this project. I think the felt solved my lettering issue, but the heart shapes are just not very pronounced and don't really look good. Also, the way she has you do the seaming is really strange and it looks kind of messy. If I had wanted to spend more time on this project I would have used an attached i-cord to outline the heart shape, at least on the front. But, it's just a fun little decoration to pull out once a year, so I'm not going to lose any (more) sleep over it.

FO: Button-Tab Hat

It's been a long time since I've knit a hat but I wanted to make one for my friend Christina's birthday this January. I queued this pattern on Ravelry months ago because as soon as I saw it, it reminded me of her. I bought this yarn when I was in SLC for the break. Again, as soon as I saw it, I knew that it was the yarn for this project! I forgot how much fun hats are! Yay! It's too bad Spring is almost over because I want to go on a hat knitting spree.

The hardest part of this project was choosing what buttons to use! I have a huge collection of vintage buttons that I inherited from my grandmother and it was just so hard to decide whether I wanted to do one button, or two, or three, and whether I wanted color or a neutral, size, shape, etc. Oh my! If I had been making the hat for myself I think I would have gone with buttons that were a contrasting color, but I thought Christina is a little more laid back and would like this wood-looking set.

Here's a close-up of the buttons:
yarn detailsLion Brand Wool-Ease in Avacado
20% wool, 80% acrylic
worsted weight
machine wash cool and tumble dry low (however, buttons are not machine washable!)
85 grams/197 yds @ $2.50 each (on sale)

findings
vintage buttons, o.75'' in diameter

project details
pattern: "Button-Tab Hat" by Marcie Nishioka - free at http://i-like-lemons.blogspot.com/2008/01/button-tab-hat-pattern.html
needles: size 8 circulars & dpns
gauge: 19 st and 24 rows in stockinette
yarn used: 112 yards (about 60% of the skein)
finished size: when laid flat - about 8.25” tall and 8.75” wide but 8-8.25” on the ribbed brim
duration: January 6 - January 20, 2009
cost: about $1.50, plus the buttons which are priceless....

notes
  • I initially tried doing a chain edge on the flap, but it looked way too loose, so I frogged and just did the regular stockinette edge according to the pattern.
  • The buttons are not functional. In fact, I decided to completely sew the flap down because it was looking a little unruly. It made it look a lot better - definitely worth the extra step!
  • I had some trouble with the Wool-Ease being splitty. Lame.
  • FYI: this project was listed as "Mystery" on my projects status bar on the off-chance that the Christina looks at this blog.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Spring in the air!

Also in honor of today's lovely weather in Boston, IK has posted the preview of the spring issue! Yay!!! I must knit the Zickzack Tunic the moment the magazine arrives!

Irony

It's a beautiful Springy day outside! Yay! It's so warm that I didn't even want to zip up my coat! So what did I do? I finished knitting my wool Koolhaas hat! Ha ha. I always do this! I start projects and then by the time I finish them, they are rendered moot by the weather. At least this time I'm pretty sure the heat wave won't last. Sadly, I'm sure Koolhaas will get a chance to make her appearance.

However, on that note: I must finish those arm cosies!!

(p.s. OK - maybe this is only ironic in the eyes of Alanis Morissette...)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wool-Ease

I've used Lion Brand's Wool-Ease a few times in the past and I liked it, but I've knit two hats out of it this year and I've found it to be intolerably splitty! What gives? On the plus side, the colors are gorgeous.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bite Me

Last year I started making one of the valentine candy pillows from Domiknitrix and I got up to the embroidery part and got so frustrated that I threw it in the back of my closet for a year. So, as Valentine's Day again approaches, I decided it was now or never to finish this thing. Except this time, no embroidery. I'm doing it old school: felt and glue.

So, I spent the whole night seaming up this biotch. Not fun.

Went from this:
To this:

Hooray! Now that I have a fabulously cynical pillow, the real question is: what will my Valentine's Day be like?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A short story about Koolhaas

I finished my Koolhaas hat on Monday. Whoo hoo! Except, when I tried it on, it was too short. Boo!
It doesn't really look bad, but I like a hat to cover my ears, so it wasn't as functional as I would have liked it to be. I was just going to leave it and remember to make the next one longer, but then I thought, "No, Pepper. There is no point in having an FO that you aren't going to wear." So I decided to undo the bind-off, unravel all the decreases, and add in another pattern repeat.

The decreases are only done over 10 rows, so it seemed silly to live with a hat that I wasn't in love with all for the sake of 10 rows. But let me tell you: unraveling those 10 rows was not easy! Sure, ripping them back was easy (and perversely fun), but it was really hard to find my place in the cable pattern for where I was supposed to start the new repeat. I'm not super familiar with the construction of cables yet, so they still seem a little magic to me - which makes it difficult to understand where I am in the pattern just by looking at the stitches on your my needle. But I learned. Anyway, I finally got it back to where I need to be to start the extra pattern repeat, so I should be finished in no time.

For the record: I did try the hat on before I started decreasing to check the length, I just underestimated how much length the decreases rows would add. Of course, if I had checked my gauge I probably could have made a more precise estimate. I imagine this shortcoming (pun!) was due to my mistake of using smaller needles. Live and learn.