Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Maybe Monday: Cistern Spring

Oops, I forgot to post my Maybe Monday yesterday.  Well, here it is....

I love this hat from the latest issue of Knitty, Cistern Spring.


What I love about it:  I love all the pretty colors and it would give me a chance to practice my sadly underdeveloped fair isle skills.

Why I might not through with it:  Five colors in this hat means I'd have to buy a lot of yarn, which could get expensive....

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Wine Tote (from hell)

You may recall that I started crocheting a wine tote last October.  What ever happened to that?  The thing is,  it sucks, so I've been avoiding it.  I'm good at that.  How does it suck?  Let me count the ways....

1.  I think I was drinking too much wine while working on it because there is this weird bulge near the bottom of it.  Like, I added in extra stitches, then got rid of them a few rows later?  (Though, I don't recall doing that....)  I don't know.  I should have frogged the thing as soon as I noticed the bulge, but I didn't.  I tried to take a picture of it for you....

2.  After I was about 50% through with this, the pattern designer sent me an email where she was like "oops!  I said to make X stitch through the whole thing, but I really meant Y stitch."  So, that's why it's not looking like the picture....  And I should have frogged it at that point....  but I didn't.

3.  It's kind of boring to work on.

Anyway, I don't know what the fate of this wine tote shall be, I may finish it, I may frog it, but I do have some exciting news...  remember how I said I wanted to write my own knitting pattern this year?  Well, I'm going to create my own knitted wine tote (that doesn't suck).  Cool, huh?  I'm not sure where to begin - do I knit first and write down what I did later or do I do mathy stuff first, write it down, then knit it up?  It's such a simple concept, I could probably just do either and it would be hard to mess up a cylinder, right?  I guess we will find out soon!

Stamps!

Yay!  My knitting stamps from Cupcake Tree arrived!  Look how cute!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Super Quick WIP Update

I'm happy to report that I got tons of knitting done over the long weekend.  I feel so relaxed and excited to see the progress I'm making on all of my projects.  Everything got its turn this weekend.

Smokinskip Scarf: I got through two more letters this weekend, so I'm on the first "i" now.

Jaywalkers: Turned the heel and started the gusset decreases.

Nine to Five Socks: Just half an inch shy of being finished with the leg on this guy.

Treasured Baby Blanket:  Almost done!  Thank goodness, because I am really getting sick of this thing.

If I had my act together, I would post lovely photos of each of these projects to show you how they are coming along... but I don't have my act together, so you will just have to take it on faith that they are progressing as I have reported above.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Maybe Monday: Twigs and Willows

Welcome to my second Maybe Monday feature, in which I introduce you to an awesome project that I am thinking about/dreaming about knitting or crocheting sometime in the near to distant future...  (an idea that I lovingly ripped off from Designs by Hebrew Hands).

Today's maybe project is the Twigs and Willows cardigan by Alana Dakos.  Check out this beauty:


What I love about it:   I love how simple it is - a nice fitted cardigan, mostly in stockinette, with a pretty decorative yolk - it is totally my style and I can really imagine myself not only knitting it, but actually wearing it too.  (Sadly, many of the sweaters I knit, I rarely wear...)  I also like that the pattern is (going to be) available digitally, so I won't have to have another book sitting around on my bookshelf for all eternity.  I also love the yarn - it is definitely something I would splurge on!

What might stop me from knitting it:  Although I love this baby, I'm skeptical that I will actually knit it.  Why?  I just haven't had much luck with knitting (err.. finishing knitting) large projects lately.  I seem to get about 3/4 of the way through them and then lose interest, or gain weight, or run out of supplies, or simply come to a frustrating point and quit...  So I'm hesitant to willy-nilly throw a sweater on the needles again when I know there is a good chance it will just be a big waste of time.

Nevertheless, I have added the pattern to my never-ending Ravelry queue... perhaps some day I will be inspired to take up a big project again and this will be right there waiting for me!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stamps for Knitters!

I was just playing around on etsy and I found the CUTEST thing!!  Check out this adorable personalized stamp for knitters:

And, as if that wasn't enough, there is a matching monogrammed yarn stamp to match!

Of course I had to order both right away!  I can't wait until they get here!!  Now, go get yours...

p.s. and while you're on etsy, swing by my shop too! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Project!

Even though the last thing I need is yet another project on the needles, I totally started one anyway!  I got this amazing new sock yarn from Knit Picks (Stroll Glimmer in Foxglove) and I just couldn't wait to cast on a new pair of pretty glittery socks!


I have had the Nine to Five pattern by Nicole Hindes sitting in my Ravelry queue for a while and I thought it would be a great pattern for this yarn.  I'm enjoying the pattern so far - it's not complicated and the special twisty stitch is really fun to make!

The pattern calls for size 1.5 needles, but I don't have those, so I'm using size 1.  That's the smallest needle size I've ever used!  Go me!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

31 Days to Get Organized

I just discovered that this month the WEBS blog is doing an awesome series called 31 Days to Get Organized.  I need this so bad!  My stash is completed out of control... and I have an embarrassing number of WIPS hiding away...


So far my four favorite posts are:

I highly recommend you check out the series.  I'm looking forward to seeing what else they are going to come up with the rest of the month!

Is your stash as out of control as mine?  .... if not, would you like some of my yarn to build yours up???  lol!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Maybe Monday... a new feature!

So, I just happened upon a crochet blog called Designs by Hebrew Hands and she has the cutest idea for a weekly feature called Maybe Monday.  Every week on Monday she talks about a pattern that she is thinking about crocheting.  Now, as you all know, I am a total queue whore on Ravelry, so this is totally an awesome feature for me to steal!  I love dreaming about patterns that I will knit someday, and this is a fun way for me to get to share them with you!  So, here it is, our very first Maybe Monday feature....

It's the Purple People Eater!


I'm totally in love with this little guy designed by Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches.  (And you may have noticed a theme...  I am in love with amigurumi monsters designed by Stacey....)  I just want to crochet him and and cuddle him to death!

So...  will I actually make it??

  • (Pro) I may or may not have already purchased the pattern the moment I saw it.....  so that means I have to make it, right?
  • (Pro) It's not a large project and the yarn doesn't have to be anything special, so the materials will be cheap.
  • (Con) I kind of hate to crochet, but one of my 2013 goals is to get better at it, so I can't use that as an excuse anymore.
  • (Con) Perhaps a more compelling reason why I wouldn't actually go through with this project is that it requires changing colors in crochet, which intimidates me.
After weighing the pros and cons, I can say that I will PROBABLY go through with crocheting this pattern... eventually.

I hope that was a fun feature for you.  Tune in next Monday for another dream project....

Friday, January 11, 2013

DIY DPN holders!

Guess who has been playing with her sewing machine?  This girl!

I saw a cool idea on pinterest to make your own DPN holders by sewing some fabric on the ends of a piece of wide elastic and I couldn't resist giving it a try.  So.... voila!  Here is my very own DIY sock needle holder:



And here is a pic of it in action.  My needles aren't going to fall out of these socks-in-progress no matter how much it gets shuffled around in my project bag!


How did I make them?  It was easy-peasy.  I cut a piece of 1.5'' elastic the same size as my sock needle, then I make a little 1.5'' pocket out of some scrap fabric, stuck the pocket over the top of the elastic and sewed it into place.  I hope that makes sense...  I guess should have taken step-by-step pictures for you.

I'm sure I'll make them again, so I'll do a more in-depth tutorial if anyone is interested.

p.s.  I also made this cute bag!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Sweet Treat from Knit Picks!

Knit Picks released a new kit to make the cutest knitted cupcakes!!  Finally, my love for cupcakes and my love of knitting can be united.

{image from knit picks}

In addition to being darling, this is actually a really good deal.  You get the cupcake pattern plus seven balls of Wool of the Andes yarn (one of my faves) for only $15.99.  I think there are some free cupcake patterns out there on Ravelry, but I have to say, this one looks way cuter than the others I've seen.  I like the swirly look of the frosting - just like a real gourmet cupcake!  Definitely going to get one of these kits.  Now I just need to think of $34 worth of other stuff to buy so I can get free shipping...  that really won't be a problem, lol.  How about this?  And this?  And this?

Monday, January 7, 2013

WIP Report: Smokinskip Scarf

I've been neglecting a lot of my other knitting projects lately in favor of working on the baby blanket and making little critters, but my brother reminded me that he really wants his scarf, so I dedicated this weekend to working on it.  To refresh your memory, the scarf is an intarsia project that is going to say "smokinskip" on it. I had made some pretty good progress on it, but this weekend I decided the M looked messed up so I frogged it back to the beginning of the M and started over.  Yuck.


When I knit the S, I knit the piece flat and wrapped the stitches at the sides to keep it looking like it was knit in the round, and I stranded the yarn behind the S, catching it every few stitches to keep from having long floats in the back.  This produced kind of a bumpy finished product, which I didn't like (but didn't hate enough to rip out), so I tried a new method with the M.

I knit the M completely in the round and started a new strand of purple yarn with each row - weaving the ends into the black as I knit, leading up to the color block and after the color block.  Then I just stranded the black yarn behind in one big long float.  This produced a much nicer looking intarsia block, but I'm a little worried about the long-term consequences of having those giant floats in the back...

Here is a close-up of the S compared to the M:


Here is a picture of the back of the work:  On the bottom is the S, all neat and tidy, and on the top is the M, pretty damn crazy looking....

I am starting on the O now and doing it the same way as the M, but I'm thinking about stopping and doing a test block to see what happens.  If the S gets de-bumpied in the blocking process, I will probably go back to doing it that way (or some variation thereof).  I will also get a chance to see how the floats are going to behave after blocking on the M, which should be interesting.

Yes, I think that is what I will do before I go any further....

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

FO: Ro, the Tiny Monster

Check out Ro, my newest friend!  I've been on a kick knitting up the little critters lately, right?  I can't explain why.  Sometimes I just get in the mood to create little friends and I can't stop myself once I get started.  Anyway, if you recall, one of my new year's resolutions was to improve my crochet skills, so I figured, why wait?  And I got started right away on New Year's Day.  I think I did a good job with this little guy.  I took my time to count stitches and rows and I watched instructional videos, etc.  Even though this was a pretty easy little project, I still wanted to make sure I did everything by the book.  And I did.  So, not only is this little monster a cutie, he is also technically perfect.  lol.


yarn details
Berroco Comfort in Raspberry Sorbet
Worsted Weight
50% super fine nylon, 50% super fine acrylic
dye lot V1584
$7.00 per 100 g / 210 yd ball

Green Oak Acrylic in White
Worsted Weight
100% acrylic
100 g / 200 yd ball

findings
12 mm safety eyes
polyfill stuffing

project details
pattern: "Ro the Tiny Monster" by Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches, $4 available on Ravelry or here.
hook: size H
gauge: no.
yarn used: I didn't measure, but the pattern says 40-50 yards
finished size: about 3'' tall
duration: crocheted in a few hours on January 1, 2013

notes
  • For the most part, the pattern is very well written and simple to follow.  The only thing that is a little confusing is that the pattern says to start with a sloppy slip knot in the notes section, but then in the actual pattern section it tells you to start a different way.  So I just ignored the pattern instructions and started with the sloppy slip knot because that's what the notes said and that's how Stacey demonstrated it on her website.
  • As my crochet skills improve, I hope to crochet more of these little guys with smaller hooks and thinner yarn until I am able to do one in lace weight yarn at about an inch tall.  That's the dream, anyway.  Wish me luck!