Thursday, November 18, 2010

No, I'm not dead

My goodness it's been a while since I've posted!! I've been on a semi-knitting hiatus I suppose, as often happens in the summer. Plus, I started a new job with exhausting hours staring at a computer screen so getting home and staring at tiny knitting needles isn't exactly my idea of a good time. When I first started the gig back in April I could knit at work while my computer processed large files but management eventually discovered the big productivity loophole there and created a different system for processing. C'est la vie. I guess I can't really be mad at them for expecting me to actually work when I'm at work.

Anyway, I've been back at it lately since the weather has cooled down. Most notably, I'm making a baby blanket for my brother's newest little one! Yay! It's supposed to be a secret but I don't think they read this blog so my secret is safe with you. I've also really been enjoying my classy socks that I finished up in September. They are perfect on these cold New England mornings in my new place (yes, I moved!) So, I've been obsessively knitting another pair of socks this week so I can have more hand-knit socky goodness. I'm making the Monkey socks from the winter 2006 Knitty. The yarn is just Berroco Comfort Sock again but the colorway is fantastic. Loving them so far! Here's a quick pic then I'm signing off for now:


Peace out homies!

Monday, April 19, 2010

:(

Ugh! I just had to rip out 2.5 inches from the foot of my sock because I realized I somehow slipped a stitch back there rather than knit it and it left a hole. These puppies are super bulky - they are gonna be warm as hell!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

FO: French Press Slippers


My lovely friend Sarah told me about these darling felted slippers and I simply had to try them! I'm not much of a slipper person myself but I figured my mom would love them. Unfortunately my mom will never see them because they turned out AWFUL!! (Though sweet Sarah still says they're not so bad...)


Why so awful? First, the seaming is a mess. If you look at the pictures you can see the HUGE roll-like seams on the insides of the slippers. This makes them far too uncomfortable to wear!! I blame the pattern here. It said you can seam them up using whatever method you prefer so I just did the standard mattress stitch. Mistake! It turns out you have to use a totally seamless method like the Bickford seam. Had I bothered to read the Ravelry forums before I started the project this would have become immediately apparent. Shame on me for not doing my homework. (Note: 4 days after I finished these monstrosities the designer released an updated pattern directing you to use the Bickford seam!)


Second, the texture of the felted fabric itself is really yucky. I guess the best way to describe it would be that it's kind of furry? I chalk this up to my own inexperience. I used a heathered yarn which I thought would create some lovely dimension in the felt but it turns out that all the heathery bits just kind of did their own thing in the felting process. Now I know: just use a smooth yarn when you're gonna felt. And third, this is 100% my fault but somehow a piece of paper or a tissue or something ended up in the washer while these puppies were felting. This led to random little paper bits embedded in the yarn! Oops!


Still, these slippers are definitely worth a second try. They knit up lightning fast because they are done with doubled/tripled yarn on huge needles and the end product really is very cute based on all the pics on Ravelry.

OK, here are the specs:


yarn details
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Amber Heather
dye lot 87483
100% Peruvian Highland Wool
worsted weight
hand wash in cold water
50 grams/110 yds @ $2.19
purchased 1/10


pattern details
pattern: "French Press Felted Slippers" by Melynda Bernardi (web download - $7)
needles: size 15
size: medium
yarn used: 2.38 skeins
started: January 17, 2010
finished: January 25, 2010
total cost: $12.21 (including pattern purchase)

notes...
p.s.  this is what the slippers were supposed to look like:


9/28/12 UPDATE:  Just for fun... I'm linking this up to Jen's Stinky Linky Party over at Four Marrs & One Venus!!  ... because these slippers are stinky!!


10/5/12 UPDATE:  Guess What??  I was featured on the party wrap up post as one of the stinkiest!  Check out my cool prize:

Darn it!

Knitting Daily posted this helpful nugget of wisdom on Wednesday about how to darn a sock. It's a really cool method - way better than the mess I made trying to fix my mom's sock the "proper" way. Basically you just weave a little patch over the hole. Nice.


p.s. Now that I think about it, I don't think I ever posted anything about when I darned my mom's sock. I think I was trying to suppress the memory or something. I basically concluded that knitting a new pair of socks would have been easier! I used this method: http://www.hjsstudio.com/darn.html

Friday, April 2, 2010

Magic Socks

I started a new pair of socks this weekend and I'm trying out the magic loop technique. I've finished the leg of the sock already and am about to start the heel. So far the magic loop is pretty cool - the only thing that bugs me is that my right hand sometimes gets caught up in the loop when I go to throw my yarn. If I were a continental knitter I think I would totally love the magic loop. (One more reason to learn how to pick!)

I'm using a worsted weight yarn and size four needles so this project is going really fast. I recently started a temp job and I have some downtime each day while the computer processes the files I work on so I've had some time to do a little knitting every day. It's nice. Of course, right now I'm using my downtime to blog. :)

I'll post pics of the new socks soon!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Update

Well, I was kind of a knitting machine last week but this week I haven't picked up the needles once due to my NEW JOB! Yay! I'm only temping but it's work=money and I'm happy. :)

Anyway, I'm almost finished with the second sleeve of Tess. After that I've just got the neckband and button bands and then finishing (boo!). I'm on my last ball of yarn and I'm kind of worried that I'll run out. That would majorly suck.

In other news, my mom received the Grandiflora shawl and she loves it! Yay! I'll get an FO post up for that sometime. I have a backlog of those, as usual.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Space Bags to the Rescue!

I went on a six hour cleaning frenzy yesterday, almost an hour of which was spent reorganizing my stash... The stash resides in a series of four large underbed boxes. Previously only 45 balls of white acrylic yarn were stored in a space bag. Yesterday I ended up using 2 more space bags, thus freeing up an entire box which I needed to accommodate my fabric scrap stash... also in a space bag.

Yes, I'm a packrat and a dork. Thank god for space bags.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Finished!

Yay! I finished up Grandiflora tonight! That's 22 tassels folks!

And here I am modeling it: (flyaways and all)
More later. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Yay!

I'm done weaving in ends! Woo hoo! I've decided to block this thing one half at a time - I really don't have anywhere big enough to block it all at once (that is, nowhere where it will be safe from miss kitty....)

Unfortunately, I forgot that now I have to make a ton of tassels for the ends... arg! Really, it shouldn't be too bad. I think the worst is over!

Update: here is just slightly under half of it blocked... about 49''!



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

yuck

38 down, 20 to go. Guess I missed the deadline....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why I Hate My Life

There are many reasons why I could hate my life. There's the six months of unemployment, the ten pounds I've gained since summer, the temp guy who is totally jerking me around, my upsetting credit card balance, my very naughty kitty cat... should I go on? No, there's no need to go on, because if you ask me right now why I hate my life the answer is BECAUSE I HAVE TEN MILLION YARN ENDS TO WEAVE IN ON THIS STUPID SHAWL!!!!

I've been meaning to knit this Grandiflora shawl as a gift for my parents since I bought the yarn in the spring of 2008. I finally casted on at the beginning of this November in hopes of giving it to them as a Christmas gift but I'm still not finished. (Though I have to give myself a pat on the back for knitting it this quickly - it was some pretty detail-oriented stuff). So here's the thing, now I'm finished knitting but I'm just beginning the finishing! ARG!! I hate finishing! Whah!

Here's what I've got:

Do you see all those little bows tied up on it? These:
There are 28 of those little bows. Each of them contains two pieces of yarn that I have to weave in. Then there are the cast on and cast off tails. That's 58 ends to weave in. Into lace. What on earth was I thinking when I chose this project?

So far I have 8 done, 50 to go. I arbitrarily picked February 15 as my deadline for finishing this task. I picked that date 14 days ago and I have only done 8 ends since then... all of them yesterday. Will she do it?? Who knows!

(And I may be getting ahead of myself here, but how in the hell am I going to block this monster?)

FO: Amigurimi Panda

You know how you just associate some people with a certain animal? For example, if you were playing a word association game with a psychologist you might respond "Pepper" if they said the word "cat." I am a cat person. Well, my brother is a panda bear person. That's why this year for Christmas he got a cute amigurimi panda bear! This is proof of how much I love him because, as we all know, I hate to crochet. I particularly hate to crochet with black yarn, so that's double love.*

yarn details
worsted weight acrylics in black and white


findings

9 mm safety eyes
poly pellets & polyfill stuffing

project details

pattern: "Panda Amigurimi" from Cut Out + Keep (free!). The url was: http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/panda_amigurumi, but the link seems to be broken now. I have the pattern saved as a word document if anyone wants it.
hook: size F
duration: December 16-17, 2009: pretty much a whole day.
yarn used:hardly any
total cost: negligible

notes
  • I used safety eyes instead of creating crocheted/embroidered eyes.
  • Remember to put the face on the bear before you stuff the head! :)
  • The pattern recommends using transparent nylon thread to sew the pieces together, but I just used matching yarn.
  • The entire body is stuffed with polypellets to keep this little guy grounded even with his massive head!


*In gauging my love for my brother, let's just ignore the fact that I have promised to knit him a hat for Christmas/his birthday for the past three years and have yet to do it. He got a panda instead.

FO: Rusted Root

OK- I'm way behind on my FO posts!! Here is one for my Rusted Root top, which I finished back in October. You'd think that since I don't have a job I could at least manage to stay on top of my blog, but you would be wrong. Have you ever noticed that the less you have to do the harder it is to get things done? Anyway, I digress.

Rusted Root!
(this is me massively sucking in my gut!)

I was so excited to knit this top based on all the awesome pics on Ravelry but it has really turned out to be a disappointment for me. "But it looks so cute!," you say. I have to admit that it does look pretty good in the picture but if you see it in real life it's pretty blah. (Perhaps all the great sweaters pictured on Ravelry are the same way?) To be fair, I don't totally blame the pattern. A lot of what I don't like about the sweater has to do with my own poor decisions.

First, the yarn I chose was all wrong for this project. (Though, in general, I liked the yarn. The color is to die for!). The pattern calls for a cotton blend but I think the cotton created way too much stitch definition. It looks great on the lace panel, but on the miles of stockinette stitch that make up the rest of the sweater the cotton highlights what would otherwise be barely visible changes in tension, which I think makes the end product look messy and "homemade" (vs. "handmade.")

Second, I made the wrong size. This is my fault, but there are extenuating circumstances: I gained ten pounds while I knit the sweater, during which time I was under extreme stress studying for the bar exam.

Third, the sleeves are a mess. They are insanely tight - and this is a separate problem from the sweater being too small in general because I enlarged these sleeves a few times (even when I was still legitimately an XS) and they were still bad. (Now that I think about it, I had the same issue with Delphine. Maybe I just have big armpits?) Also, the shaping it takes to make the puff sleeves is a mess. Again, if the yarn didn't have such insane stitch definition it might not look so bad.

Finally, my bind off on the hem is ridiculously tight and it makes the sweater pucker a little at the bottom. This is totally my fault. No matter how hard I try I just can't make a freakin' loose bind off!!! I did a tubular BO on the neck and arms which is so much stretchier, but you can't do a tubular BO on this 1X2 ribbing that looks so nice at the bottom of the sweater.

In conclusion: I think if I knit this again I could do better, but I don't think I want to invest all the time and energy in something that still might not work out.


yarn details
Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Seaspray
dye lot 39451A
50 % Cotton 50% Acrylic
aran weight
machine wash
100 grams/207 yds @ $5.50
purchased 5/09


pattern details
pattern: "Rusted Root" by Sarah & Rachel - Zephyr Style ($6)
needles: size 6 and 4 circular
size: XS (28-32" bust)
yarn used: 2.65 skeins
started: May 24, 2009
finished: October 3, 2009
total cost: $20.58 (including pattern)

notes...
  • did a 1X1 rib on the neckline and the sleeves (mostly just so I could do a tubular BO)
  • added hip shaping - Don’t forget to make waist shaping decreases match up (K2tog and SSK, not just K2tog).
  • added two rows of straight stockinette before the ribbing on the sleeves
  • converted the written lace pattern into a chart - this made life so much easier!