Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Toe-Up Up and Away!

I mentioned yesterday that I registered for another class at Craftsy.  The class is called "Knit Original Toe-Up Socks"* and I got it on sale for $19.99.  I'm already a pretty experienced sock knitter, but I figured I would sign up for this class to see if I can't learn something new.

I'm sure you're wondering why I signed up for the toe-up class and not the cuff-down class, since that is the style I prefer.  The answer is mainly that I have the least experience with toe-up, so I though that is the place where I will learn the most.  If I like the class, I might consider enrolling in the other one too.

This is all the material that is going to be covered in the course.  I'm especially looking forward to the heel-shaping lessons.

* That's an affiliate link up there... if you use it to buy a class on Craftsy, I'll get a little extra yarn $$!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More Craftsy Fun

I was just on Craftsy, registering for yet another class, when I accidentally happened on their 404 error page.  I just had to share because it's so frikkin' cute!!

That is all.

New Socks on the Needles

I cast on a new pair of socks this weekend - this is a pair for my wonderful Aunt Carol.  I want to knit her socks because she has little feet, so they won't take very long to finish.... lol.  Just kidding, I want to knit her socks because she rocks.

I considered using the Seaweed Socks pattern for these socks, but I really didn't want to do lace because I want these to be cozy warm socks she can wear around the house on chilly fall mornings.....  I knew I didn't want to knit yet another pair of Jaywalkers, and I considered doing another Nine to Five or maybe even another pair of Classy Slip-Up Socks...  but I just wasn't feeling any of those options.  So, I hit Ravelry and used their advanced search to scour non-lacey sock patterns.  Well, it turns out that unless I wanted to knit something super boring.... I was in cable territory.  This made me a little anxious because I have a fear of cabling.  Something about it just seems so slow and fiddly.  Nevertheless, I decided to face my fear and forge ahead.  I picked the Business Casual pattern because the simple lines remind me of my aunt's simple style.

Here's what I have so far.  I'm loving them and they are knitting up faster than I suspected, even though I'm fiddling with a cable needle.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Can you name this headless cheerleader?

Look at what I'm crocheting!  .... no pattern, so I'm just making it up as I go!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FO: Mousseux

I was a little unhappy with the fan shawl that I made for my mother, so I decided to try again with another pattern.... and I'm glad I did!  I think this shawl turned out beautifully and it was an easy, fun knit.  I would definitely knit one again.  (Funny thing is, my mom likes the first one better!  lol!)

yarn details
Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering in Pepper
dye lot 0416
100% Wool
hand wash, dry flat
50 g / 310 yds @ $4.20 per ball

Knit Picks Aloft in Black
dye lot 14339
75% Mohair 25% Silk
hand wash, dry flat
25 g / 246 yds @ $6.99 per ball

project details
pattern: "Mousseux" by Organdi Bidouille, free pattern available here: Step 1, Step 2, Step 3.
needles: size 10 nickle-plated circs
gauge: Oh please!  Like I measured gauge for a shawl... lol
yarn used: this is approximate, but.... 1.22 skeins (378 yds) of Nature Spun and 1.54 skeins (379 yds) Aloft
finished size: apprx 55'' wide and 30'' at the longest point of the triangle
duration: February 21 - April 6, 2013

  • The pattern is in French, but it has an English translation under each step.
  • The picot bind-off takes forever, but is totally worth the effort.

Linux Likes Me!

I interrupt your knitting to report that just "liked" my pin of my knitted penguin, Pasha.

Check it out, from my news-feed:

This is almost as exciting as the time I got retweeted by Silhouette!  (It would be more exciting if I still had sweet little Pasha and hadn't given him to someone whom I now virulently hate...)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Maybe Monday: The Sapphire Shawl

I usually cruise around Ravelry to find patterns that I want to feature on Maybe Monday, but today I decided to check out what's trending on Craftsy and I'm glad I did!  I found this gorgeous shawl, the Sapphire Shawl by Brian Smith.

What I Love About This: This is knit out of worsted weight yarn, which is pretty cool because most shawls seem to be knit out of a lighter weight yarn.  Not only does this lead me to believe this shawl will be warmer, but I also like to imagine that it will knit up fast as well.  Also, I'm digging the fact that it was designed by a guy.  Male designers are kind of rare in the knitting world, so I'd love to be able to support one.

Why I Might Not Knit It:  I don't really wear shawls, but that could change.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I Love Doll Clothes!

I'm currently obsessed with the idea of knitting doll clothes, especially American Girl doll clothes.  There are some super cute patterns out there and I also bet it wouldn't be hard at all to write your own patterns, based on the general shapes/designs of regular people-size patterns.  It would be a quick project for instant gratification and it would be a GREAT way to stash bust.  I'm sold!!  The only problem is.... I have no idea what I would do with them!!  I don't think my nieces have those dolls, and even if they did, they probably don't want crazy Auntie Pepper's homemade clothes....  (Or maybe they would?)  I checked etsy and it looks like little doll sweaters are going for for about $20 each, which isn't too bad considering that I would just be using stash yarn to make them, but the problem with selling them is that I would have to buy a doll to model them on... and those suckers are expensive!!  (No wonder my parents would never buy me one when I was young).  I'd have to sell at least five sweaters just to recoup my start-up cost of buying the doll... and it is so hard to gauge whether you are going to be successful on etsy.  I'd hate to waste $100.  So, in conclusion, it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to fulfill my new dream of knitting doll clothes.  Sad.  Nevertheless, here are some cute patterns!!

First off... would love to crochet these adorbs animal beanies!!

 And how cute is this teeny-tiny granny square afghan??

Little SOCKS??  OMG!

And check out this sweet lacy dress....  (I probably wouldn't actually crochet this because I really prefer not to venture out of my single-crochet comfort zone... but it's still damn cute!)

And one more.... this tunic sweater is so trendy and cute!!

OK, so those are just a few.  Can you see what I mean about how fun this looks??  Now, I will go back to Ravelry to look at more!  Fun!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Ouchie Owl....

This weekend I've been crocheting Nelson, a cute owl amigurumi designed by Stacey Trock that I am working on through a Craftsy workshop.  Here is what I have so far....

That's his body and the start of his head.  I've still got quite a way to go, which is unfortunate because I am developing an ouchie crochet-induced blister on my finger.  Observe:

Does this happen to anyone else?  Any tips to avoid it?  I'm pretty sure it means that I'm working too tightly, but I don't really know how to loosen up... that's just how I hold the hook.  I think it is particularly bad with this project because I am using a hook size that is probably a little too small for the project, which means I'm just holding it even tighter.  I accidentally grabbed a g hook instead of the h hook that I usually use for amigurumi.  By the time I realized I had the wrong hook, I was already like 8 rows into the project so I just decided to go with it.

Anyway, I'd really love to keep working on this little guy, but I think I may have to give my finger a rest.  Poor me.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Duvino Progress

I'm about a quarter of the way through my double-knit Duvino headband that I'm making as part of my Craftsy class, Adventures in Double Knitting with Alasdair Post-Quinn.  Check it out:

I'm using a Knit Picks yarn, Gloss DK, and I totally LOVE it!  It is super soft and luxurious feeling.  The colors are really pretty too, no?  I picked the coral color and Knit Picks suggested the purpley-black color to go with it.  I think they make a really nice pair.

As far as the double-knitting goes, I think I'm doing pretty well.  I've only made a few mistakes and I have been able to go back and fix them with almost no visible evidence of the error, so I'm proud of myself there. (Alasdair says the best way to fix mistakes in double-knitting is just not to make them... and 'aint that the truth!?!)

The only thing I think I'm struggling with in the double-knitting is maintaining an even tension on the reverse-side.  It's not really noticeable when you look at it, but I know in my heart that I'm not tensioning the yarn properly when I go in to make those purl stitches.  I think that's something that is only going to come with lots of practice.  I also think it would be a lot easier to keep an even tension if I was a picker instead of a thrower, but there's not much I can do about that at this point since I'm not going to try to learn two new skills at once!  lol.

I've been keeping this project upstairs in my office next to my computer instead of downstairs by the tv where I keep most of my knitting.  I've been doing one or two repeats each morning or evening while I sit at the computer and it's been really nice to squeeze in some knitting before work every day!  Also, it's moving along faster this way and I'd like to finish this up this month because I am going to need these needles for my July KAL!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Maybe Monday: Seaweed Socks

I'm back with Maybe Monday, my sometimes-weekly feature where I show off a pattern I am thinking about knitting.  This week's "Maybe" is more like a "Definitely" because it's already listed as #1 in my Ravelry queue!  I'm talking about the gorgeous Seaweed Socks by Wendy Knits.  Here are Wendy's pics:

And here's a close-up of the lace pattern:

What do you think?  Pretty, huh?  I've been looking for a pattern for socks to knit for my Aunt Carol.  I was tempted to just knit another pair of Monkeys, but it might be nice to try something new.  My only concern is that she might appreciate a non-lacey sock because they are warmer, but the only patterns I can find that are looking interesting to me lately are lacey.  Maybe it's because it's hot out.  Who knows?


Why I might knit these socks:  I love the pretty lace pattern and it looks like it is probably easy enough to memorize for some TV-knitting.  Also, I bought a nice tonal yarn for my Aunt's socks and I think this pattern will really show off the subtle variations in color well.  Oh, and the pattern is FREE!  Sweet!

Why I might not knit these socks:  They are toe-up, which isn't my preferred sock-knitting style, but I can deal.  I saw some people on Ravelry have converted the pattern to a cuff-down version, but that sounds like it could lead to a headache for me.