Saturday, December 10, 2011

FO: Mini Mitten Ornaments!

I made this darling mitten ornament one rainy day this November. My mom gives ornaments to her grandchildren every year and I was originally going to make her some little sweater ornaments for each of the kids but that turned out to be a really bad idea... so I was going to knit up a bunch of other little ornaments like these mini mittens, only to find out that she purchased ornaments this year (somehow she must have sensed I would not follow through on my knitted ornament promise - which is fair, frankly, ha ha).

Here's a pic:


and to give you an idea of what the size of these are, here I am modeling them:

I used Knit Picks Palette yarn in Cyan and Custard and size 1 bamboo dpn needles. The pattern is a free Ravelry download, available at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mini-mitten-ornaments. They only took a few hours to complete and were a very fun knit.

FO: Jaywalker Part Deux

I loved the Jaywalkers that I made my mom so much that I decided I had to make a pair for myself. Of course, since they were for me I could go pretty wild with the color scheme and chose this awesome rainbow Felici yarn from knit picks. This is the same type of yarn I used on my mom's socks and I'm really happy with it! It's super soft with no breaks or knots so the stripes come out nice and even. Love this pattern too!


yarn details
Knit Picks Felici in Afternoon
Fingering Weight
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
dye lot 61610
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$4.49 per 50 g /218 yd ball

project details
pattern: "Jaywalker" by Grumperina, available as a free Ravelry download http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jaywalker# size: small (measures 9.5'' from cuff to heel and 8.75'' heel to toe)
needles: size 2 bamboo dpns
gauge: 32 st x 48 rows over 4'' in stockinetteyarn used: 1.62 skeins (about 353 yards)time span: May 6, 2011 - August 20, 2011
notes
  • to make the stripes match up I was careful to start each sock at the beginning of the same color repeat - this meant I wasted a few yards of yarn at the beginning of the skeins, but I think it was worth it for the nice matching look. (My mom's stripes didn't match, but I think that looked okay because they were more monochromatic).
  • I did a longer leg on these than I did on my mom's socks to show off the stripes. (Even though by the measurements it looks like I used less yarn on this one than I did on the other ones. That's because on my mom's socks I measured the amount of yarn left over whereas here I measured the amount of yarn actually used... it makes sense if you think about it.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I don't heart finishing

I'm done knitting the edging to the baby blanket! Yay! Now for the dreaded finishing. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate finishing? Ha ha.

Here is a pic. It's gonna take me FOREVER to sew this edging on... but it will look SO cute!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Milestone!

I finished knitting the main body of the baby blanket! Yay! Now all that's left is to make the edging and attach it. Not really looking forward to that part, but at least this means no more awful K4tog row 7!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The World's Biggest Socks!

Behold my giant freak show socks:

(hand included for scale... and to show off my pretty manicure)

So, I keep thinking these socks are going to be way too big, but then I try them on Eric and they aren't too bad. So, I am carrying on with knitting the freakishly large socks. I've never knit men's socks before - maybe they are supposed to look this way?? I'm hoping in the end I won't regret my decision to keep going at this size. But I have gauge! And they do fit! It's definitely a looser fit, but I honestly think Eric will like them better that way.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Updates

Here are a few updates on my projects:

1. I finished up my latest pair of jaywalkers last weekend - FO post to come! (You know, in like 5 months...)

2. I am almost 3/4 of the way through the main body of my baby blanket! Yay! I will be really happy when I am done with this main lace part, though I'm sort of dreading the sew-on border. I suck at that kind of stuff. Nevertheless, I shall be fearless and forge ahead! Here is a pic of my progress (sans Roxy):


3. And here is a picture of what I have done with Eric's socks so far: (Not much)


Thursday, August 18, 2011

I was right...

I was right, those socks were way too big! I finished the top ribbing and had him try it on and there was at least a good inch of slack, even around the widest part of his calf. This is a little frustrating because I took the time to do a gauge swatch and I still had fit problems! Arg! Anyway, I had trouble deciding between going down a needle size or keeping the size 2 needles and going with the pattern instructions for a smaller size. I ultimately decided to keep the needles and knit the next size down. I spent all night reknitting the cuff and had Eric try it on again and it fits much better. It is still just slightly loose but I think he will prefer a looser fitting sock. As much as it sucked to start over, I guess the one good thing is that I got to fix my cast on mistake and do a cable cast on this time. All's well that ends well, I suppose.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Socks of Love

Monday night I casted on a fresh pair of socks (more Jaywalkers!). I'm knitting these for Eric, which is kind of funny because there is a well-known hesitancy among knitters to knit something for your significant other because it could lead to the collapse of your entire relationship. (You worked really hard on it + he never wears it = he doesn't appreciate you.... and so on). Anyway, Eric was quite insistent that I make him these socks and I warned him that he'd have to wear them, so we'll see how it goes...

I'm knitting this pair on nickle plated needles instead of bamboo like all the other pairs. There is no particular reason for the switch, other than that I'm just a little bored with the bamboo needles and wanted a change of pace. I swatched it out because I was afraid I'd have a much tighter gauge on the metal needles but there was no difference.

So far I only have a few rows of the ribbing done and these look really big. I've never knit men's socks before so maybe they are really supposed to be that big? I'm going to have Eric try them on after I get a few more rows into it to make sure I'm on the right track. I already made one minor goof in that I used a long-tail cast on instead of a cable cast on, which I usually use for socks because it is a little stretchier. I considered starting over when I realized what I had done but, like I said, these look like they are running on the loose side so I'm not overly concerned about a tight cast on. Also, I might have to start over anyway if they are too big so I'm just going to let it ride for now. Hopefully I won't come to regret that decision down the road!

Monday, August 15, 2011

FO: Classy Socks #2

These are the socks from hell. I started making them back in December and I thought they were going to be a relatively quick knit. I had worked through this pattern before and didn’t experience too many difficulties. The only difference was that this time I was going to use circular needles and magic loop instead of dpns. Well, I don’t know what my problem was but I had nothing but trouble with these suckers!! Soon after I started, I was overcome with the feeling that I was knitting and knitting but I never seemed to get anywhere. Well, this is because my gauge was SUPER tight and I had to do almost double the pattern repeats as I did on my last version of these socks! The fabric is seriously so thick that they can pretty much stand up by themselves! I think that was the most frustrating thing about these socks – how slow they moved along. Plus, I was making them for my mom but it became rapidly apparent that she was never going to fit in them, so I decided they would be mine and I would give her a different pair I was working on.


I should have given up on these babies when I was ¼ way through the first sock and realized how much I hated them, but I am too stubborn for that. That is one area where I really need to grow as a knitter – to know when it is time to cut my losses. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t take on a challenge, but I often find myself knitting something I hate or that I know won’t fit, just because I’m too stubborn to quit. Lesson learned. Thank you red socks for showing me the way.





yarn details 
Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Gypsy 
Fingering Weight 
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon 
dye lot 9597 
Machine Washable/Tumble Dry Low 
$9.99 per 100 g /462 yd skein


project details 
pattern: "Classy Slip-Up Socks" by Betsy Lee McCarthy in the book Knit Socks! 
size: one-size (women's large) 
needles: size 1 nickel circulars 
yarn used: 356 yards (77% of a skein) 
time span: December 14, 2010 – July 29, 2011 
notes
  • IMPORTANT PATTERN MODIFICATION: on rounds 2, 3, and 4 the pattern tells you to start with one knit or purl stitch and then slip the next stitch, etc., etc., then end the round with two knit or purl stitches. This creates an ugly jog. Instead, start the rounds with the slipped stitch and end with three purls/knits. The slipped stitch hides the jog.

FO: Jaywalkers

The knitters on Ravelry.com have knitted Grumperina’s Jaywalker socks 8,570 times… and I can see why! I love, love, LOVE the pattern. It is super easy to memorize and is no more mentally tasking than just knitting plain stockinette, but the resulting socks are so much more impressive! My favorite thing about this pattern is that it’s easy to find your place when you pick up the project so it’s really something that you can keep in your bag and peck away at a few minutes at a time on the bus, in waiting rooms, on your lunch break, etc.

The only thing that I don’t like about these socks is that I ended up giving them away!! The pair of socks that I was knitting for my mom turned into a painful lesson in swatching and so she got these instead, which I was originally knitting for myself. I thought the striped yarn might be a little wild for her, but she loves it. Speaking of the yarn, I love, love, LOVE it too! It is Knit Pick’s Felici self-striping and it is SO soft and comes in the best colors!

It is always so refreshing when you finish up a knitting project that you love. Not just love for the finished product, but love for the process as well. I really enjoy knitting, but some projects can be a real pain in the ass. Particularly, I have run into quite a few terribly written patterns lately with really confusing instructions. So I want to thank Grumperina for writing a great pattern! She has the perfect level of detail in these instructions – she doesn’t overcomplicate what is really a simple pattern, nor does she give sketchy instructions on the assumption that we can figure out such a simple pattern ourselves.



yarn details
Knit Picks Felici in Green Veggies
Fingering Weight
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
dye lot 51897 Machine wash/Tumble dry low $4.49 per 50 g /218 yd ball

project details

pattern: "Jaywalker" by Grumperina, available as a free Ravelry download http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jaywalker#
szie: small (8’’ foot circumference)
needles: size 2 bamboo dpns
yarn used:
1.7 skeins (about 370 yards) time span: January 20, 2011 – April 21, 2011

notes

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Baby Socks FROM HELL!

Seriously - I hate everything about these baby socks that I'm making. I have been obsessed with them this weekend and they are cursed. The pattern is crazy - it has you doing a short row toe - exactly the same as the short row heel, which is crazy on these teeny tiny socks! Then, the needles I'm using are really long for some reason and I'm afraid I'm going to poke my eyes out. Finally, the yarn SUCKS!! It keeps breaking at random intervals every few rows and the socks are full of weak spots where one ply of the yarn broke but I forged ahead anyway. This yarn thing makes me very sad because it is the prettiest color but just truly awful in every other way. I remember I bought it on a clearance table and I was so sad that it was the only ball they had because I loved the color so much - now I'm glad I didn't stock up on the stuff. Anyway, baby socks = evil. I finished one this morning but I'm not even going to knit the mate. The only reason I finished this one was out of pure stubbornness. I wasn't going to let that lame little baby sock get the best of me!! Anyway, I still want to knit socks for all the babies in my life but I'm going to have to find a new pattern because this one just isn't cutting it (plus new yarn and new needles...).

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Baby Socks!

Started these months ago and picked them up again yesterday. I thought knitting baby socks would be quick and easy, but they are actually kind of a pain in the ass....


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

FO: Monkey Socks

I love everything about these socks! The pattern is easy and gorgeous (and free!). The yarn has so many pretty colors, it's easy-care, cheap, and all around was great to work with. One of my favorite things about these socks is that the pattern leaves some eyelets that let your feet breathe a bit on warmer days, but it still feels like a nice solid sock, not overly lacey.
Pictures:


yarn details
Berroco Comfort Sock in Southland (1813)
Fingering Weight
50% super fine nylon, 50% super fine acrylic
dye lot V1264
Machine wash on gentle cycle in warm water. No bleach. Tumble dry on low heat. Do not over dry. Do not iron.
$8.99 per 100 g /447 yd ball



project details
pattern: "Monkey" by Cookie A, free in the Winter 2006 issue of Knitty at http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTmonkey.html
szie: women's medium
needles: size 2 bamboo dpns
yarn used: 0.67 skeins (about 300 yards)
time span: November 2010 - January 2011

notes

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New Project!

The brother and sister not-in-law are having a baby which means only one thing... baby blanket! Yay! I have been procrastinating a bit on getting started with it, but I bought the yarn on Thursday and did some swatching and casted on this morning. The blanket has a cute heart lace pattern and then a lacey border that is knit separately and sewn on at the end. I originally casted on with a cable cast on because I thought it would be good to have a little stretch, but then I was afraid that such a sturdy cast on would make it hard to sew the edging on later so I started over with a long-tail cast on and I think that's going to be a lot easier to sew. I have a bad habit of making my long tail cast ons too tight but I did my best here to make it nice and loose.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my swatch:

p.s. I'm proud of myself for swatching! I even tried two needle sizes and decided to go with a larger needle than the pattern suggests.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Socks with "Character"

I have been working on my jaywalker II socks a little this weekend (which means I've made a lot of progress since they knit up so fast!) Anyway, last night I noticed I twisted two stitches the wrong way on row 15-ish and I'm now to row 100-ish. Damn! And I did the same thing to one stitch on row 50-ish! Double damn! The mistakes are in the double decrease column in the pattern so there is no sane way to drop the stitches down to fix it, so my only option is to unravel... and HELL NO to that idea!!

I'm really mad at myself that I didn't notice the mistake sooner, but I guess mistakes like that are just part of the nature of the knitting beast. Some people say that a little twisted stitch is part of the charm of a hand knit item, which I guess is true. Whenever I used to make mistakes in my crafty ventures when I was a kid my mom would always say "that's okay honey, it gives it some character." So, I guess I'm stuck with socks with a charming character, ha ha.

I just need to move on and promise to be more diligent in the future to periodically review my project for mistakes. I'm usually pretty good at catching them and I'm proud to say that I usually have the discipline to unravel to fix the problem, but watching out for mistakes is kind of hard with this pattern because it's so fun to knit and it zooms right along and I really feel like, in this situation, unraveling half a sock is just not worth it. C'est la vie.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jaywalker Progress Report

I love the Jaywalker socks I gave to my mom so much that I'm making a pair for myself! The pattern is knitting up so fast - I already have one nearly complete. Yay!


p.s. because I'm behind on FO posts, here are what my mom's socks looked like:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

new sock yarn = new socks!

Knit Picks sent me a horrible email announcing that a ton of discontinued colors of sock yarn were on sale and blatantly reminded me that sock yarn does not count as stash. Vixens! So, of course I stocked up! Yay!

I loved the Jaywalkers that I gave my mom so much that I bought two more colors of the felici self-striping yarn to make some for myself. I love the pattern because it knits up so quickly. I started knitting on Friday and I already have probably 1/4 of a sock finished. (On the other hand, I am totally neglecting my classy socks #2 because the pattern knits up very slowly!)

Now I'd better stop blogging and go get ready for a mother's day brunch I am attending this morning, hosted by my sister not-in-law who is possibly the world's best cook. Happy day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

FO posts!

Yay! As you may have noticed, I got two FO posts up this weekend. I'm very proud of myself. I think one of the many things that has kept me from post on the blog recently is the big backlog of FO posts I've had, so - yay for me for getting them done!

FO: Teddy Bear Blankie

I made this darling blanket for my newest niece Kadyn. I was tempted to knit a lacy heirloom blanket but I thought a more utilitarian blanket would be more fun. No one wants the lovely blanket from Auntie Pepper that you can't use and is a pain to store... forever. ("Saving it for your own baby someday.") This puppy is made from double stranded, acrylic, machine washable, soft yarn. And because I didn't spend 200 hours painstakingly knitting lace, my feelings won't be hurt if it doesn't survive to another generation.


Close up pic of the teddy bear:


yarn details
Berroco Comfort in Raspberry Sorbet (9728)
Worsted Weight
50% super fine nylon, 50% super fine acrylic
dye lots V1884 and V1584
Machine wash on gentle cycle in warm water. No bleach. Tumble dry on low heat. Do not over dry. Do not iron.
$7.00 per 100 g /210 yd ball



project details
pattern: "Teddy Bear Baby Blanket" by Barbara Breiter, available for free at http://www.straw.com/cpy/patterns/baby-child/merino5-bear-baby-blankt.html
dimensions: blanket 31.5'' wide and 25.5'' tall; each teddy square is 9.5'' wide and 8.5'' tall, border is 1''
needles: size 10.5, long circular needle, knit flat
yarn used: 5 balls - 1050 yards (double stranded)
time span: October 2010 - December 2010

notes
  • changed border to 5 rows of seed stitch at top and bottom and five stitches of seed stitch at the sides - meaning I cast on 106 stitches instead of 104
  • knitted with two strands held together throughout
  • I did this kind of nifty thing to help me follow along on the chart - I wrote a number in front of each stitch change to tell me how many stitches I had to knit on that part. Observe:


Saturday, April 30, 2011

FO: Classy Slip-Up Socks

These are my first pair of “real” socks – that is, socks made with actual sock yarn and tiny needles. They took me forever to knit because this is kind of a slow-going stitch pattern and I had to unknit and frog and cry a lot, but I love the results! They fit me like a glove and are super warm and cozy.

Here are some pics:


and a close up:
yarn details
Berroco Comfort Sock in Dusk (1731)
Fingering Weight
50% super fine nylon, 50% super fine acrylic
dye lot V1172
Washing Instructions: machine wash, do not bleach, do not iron
$8.00 for 100 g /447 yd ball @ Windsor Button


project details
pattern: "Classy Slip-Up Socks" by Betsy Lee McCarthy in Knit Socks.
size: one-size (women's large)
gauge: 28 stitches and 45 rows over 4'' in stockinette (measured after several wears and washes...)
needles: size 2 dpns (set of 5, bamboo)
yarn used: 0.73 skeins = 326 yards
time span: January 2009 – September 2010 (yikes!)

notes
  • leg of sock is 5.5'', 18 rounds of ribbing and 15 pattern repeats
  • I shifted stitches along the needles throughout knitting to avoid ladders. Worked like a charm with this pattern.
  • on gusset decreases I decreased on rows where you knit the slipped stitch
  • at first I thought the yarn was a little splitty but I think there was just a learning curve knitting such fine yarn with bamboo needles which aren’t all that pointy
  • there are holes in the gussets – I need to learn if there is a good post-hoc way to fix these??

Friday, April 8, 2011

Flashing the world in my flirty skirty!

We've got some beautiful spring weather in Boston today and I am celebrating by wearing my flirty skirty! Fun! Truth be told, I love all my knitted creations but I don't wear them out as often as I should. I love making them and sharing them with my knitting friends, but sometimes I guess I don't want to put them up for scrutiny to the non-knitting public. I suspect I'm not the only knitter with a closet full of sweaters we rarely wear. (Or, in this case, skirts). Anyway, not today! Whoo hoo!

The only thing is that I'm convinced the skirt is see-through and I'm flashing everyone who looks at me. People keep looking at my lower half more than usual. Maybe they are just admiring the awesome skirt? Or maybe they are thinking - "does she know I can see her underwear?" I was concerned with this when I first knitted the skirt and considered sewing a lining inside, but it turned out to be fine. Today I put it on and didn't worry about the see-through factor, but after I left the house it occurred to me that my hips are a lot wider than they were when I first made the skirt, and hence, the fabric is probably stretched out, pulling the stitches open more and letting light through. Oops!!

p.s. Yes, I know I need to post a million FO posts! Working on it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FO: Niblet Socks


Since the Sassy Stripes socks that I gave to my mom keep getting holes in them which I can never seem to fix, I decided to knit her another pair - using worsted weight yarn this time to try to ward off holes! I also had another secret motive: I wanted to try out magic loop on a pair of socks that wouldn't take me forever to knit.


I planned to use the same Starter Stockinette pattern I had used before for my own worsted weight socks but I decided that it might be a good idea to use a pattern specifically written for magic loop since it is my first time. So after a very quick Ravelry search (in a hurry to get started!) I found this pattern and decided to give it a go. The pattern was very easy and produced some very thick & warm socks in a jiffy.

I'm still not sure if I like the magic loop method. I love the fact that it doesn't create any ladders running down the sock leg and traveling with your project is much easier, but it makes for kind of an awkward knitting position for the English-style knitter and I kept getting all tangled up in the cable. I honestly think I work faster on dpns, but maybe I just need more practice?

Anyway, here is a pic of my mom modeling the finished project. (She picked out the yarn and loves it. Frankly, I think it's kind of ugly... ha ha.)

yarn details

Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Woods
80% acrylic, 20% wool
worsted weight
machine wash cold; tumble dry low; do not bleach; do not iron70 grams/162 yds @ $2.99 each (mom's treat!)

project details
pattern: "Niblet Socks" by Kathleen Taylor; free at http://kathleen-dakotadreams.blogspot.com/2007/09/freebie-friday-niblet-socks.html
needles: size 4, 32'' circular (from knit picks nickel plated options set)
gauge: I didn't bother... naughty Pepper!
yarn used: 248 yards/1.5 skeins
finished size: ladies medium (7-8)
duration: March 27, 2010 - September 19, 2010
cost: about $4.60

notes
  • The heel/gusset area was created using short rows instead of knitting a heel flap and picking up gusset stitches like I have done with all my socks in the past. The short row method was really fast and easy and ideal for the magic loop needle set up (and produced no holes at the top of the gusset!), but I'm not super happy with the result. The socks just don't have the same fits-like-a-glove feel. It also looks kind of strange, though luckily that's not too obvious in this project because of the thick variegated yarn I used. I think it's worth the extra time to knit a flap and pick up stitches, but if you're in a hurry this might be a good option.
  • I enjoy that Taylor provided a chart for the stitch pattern - even though the pattern isn't that complicated. I love charts and always make them so I can stay sane while I knit, so she saved me some time by doing it for me! Yay!
  • On the foot I did five pattern repeats (starting halfway through the pattern) after the heel to measure 5.5'' and then 10 rows of stockinette so the foot measured 6'' and then I started the toe.
  • I finished off the toe with kitchener, rather than just sewing through all the stitches and tightening as the pattern instructs.

FO: Grandiflora

It seems like a million years ago when I found that awesome deal on RYC Soft Lux yarn and it was like kizmet because I was currently obsessed with the Cressida pattern in the corresponding Soft Lux Rowan pattern book, Classic Woman. The Grandiflora shawl pattern also caught my eye in that book and I thought it would look fabulous as a throw on my parents' couch but I ruled it out as a possibility since it took up so much yarn... then enter aforementioned sale. The fates aligned to give me the materials to make this shawl/throw/thingie, but it still took me about a year to find the motivation to knit it (and practically another year to write this blog post... ha ha). In the end, it was worth the wait! I'm so happy with the way this turned out. It was my first large-scale lace project, which means it inspired a lot of swearing and lots of frogging (I learned to love the lifeline technique!). And it looks great on my parents' couch, just as I imagined!


Here is a pic of me modeling it in my sexy jammies. You can see that it is like a really long, wide shawl. It's good to cuddle up in and long enough to drape over your legs to stay warm in the AC.


And here is a close-up of the lace pattern when I was blocking it:


Now to the details:


yarn detailsRowan RYC Soft Lux in Camel and Ciel
Dye Lots: 35885 (Ciel), and 63868 & 63869 (Camel)
64% extra fine merino wool, 10% angora, 24% nylon, and 2% metallic fiber
worsted weight
hand wash and lay flat to dry50 grams/137 yds @ $2.99 each (on sale)

project details
pattern: "Grandiflora" by Martin Storey in the book Rowan Classic Woman
needles: size 8
gauge: I am opposed to attempting to measure gauge in lace...
yarn used: 496 yards/3.6 skeins of blue (Ciel) and 735 yards/5.4 skeins of beige (Camel)
finished size: 21'' wide and 102'' long, plus 4'' tassels on both sides; the beige stripes are 4'' wide and the blue stripes are about 3''
duration: November 7, 2009 - February 28, 2010
cost: about $27

notes
  • The bad thing about writing your FO post a year after you finish the project is that you can't remember any notes that may have been helpful in the future.... c'est la vie!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Still Not Dead!

I'm back to the realm of unemployment so perhaps it's time that I post some FO's on here? My "works in progress" sidebar is getting a little crowded...