Monday, September 30, 2013

The Beginning of a BIG Project!

I told you that I was going to make the Hue Shift Afghan from the latest Knit Picks catalog and I'm doin' it!  Here is what I have so far... I have a feeling this baby is going to take a looooong time to finish, but I'm up for it.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

FO: Business Casual Socks

My sweet Aunt Carol is always so nice to let me stay with her when I go home to Utah and she is an amazing host, so the last time I was there I casually inquired about her shoe size and I set out to make her a pair of socks!  I spent quite a while searching for the perfect pattern to knit for her - I didn't want anything too frilly and lacey, but I didn't want anything too boring either.... then I found Business Casual - it is a simple sock with a great cabled argyle-ish pattern.  I knew my aunt would love it!



The yarn is Knit Pick's Stroll Tonal, and, I have to say, this is quickly becoming my favorite go-to sock yarn.  I'm not a fan of variegated yarns, but solids can sometimes get boring.  This yarn is a perfect in-between for me.

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Thunderbird Tonal
dye lot 35709
75% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine Wash Gentle Cycle / Tumble Dry Low
100 g / 462 yds @ $10.99 per hank

project details
pattern: "Business Casual" by Tanis Lavallee, free pattern available here.
needles: size 2 bamboo dpns
gauge: 25.5 stitches and 33 rows over 3'' in stockinette
yarn used: 0.56 skeins (258.7 yards)
size knit: small
finished size: top of cuff to bottom of heel - 8''; back of heel to end of toe - 7.75''; foot circumference - 7''.
duration: June 22 2013 - September 20, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

100 Ravelry Projects!

Exciting news!  I just started an adorable new project this weekend and it bumped my Ravelry project count up to 100!  Yay!


Of course, this includes hibernating projects, froggies, and WIPS, so it's not like I have 100 completed projects, but still, it's pretty rad.

So what put me over the top?  This cutie:


He's going to be a Purple People Eater, another design courtesy of Stacey Trock.  (Am I totally obsessed with her lately?  It seems so....)

I've also got this on the needles, it was #99, so it still deserves some recognition.  The leaf beret.  I queued this baby back in 2009, and it is finally seeing its day in the sun.


This is a pic from a few days ago... it's actually almost finished now.  The air is starting to get just a little crisp, so I've been racing to finish this up soon so I have a nice fall hat.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

FO: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Amigurumi

I am proud of this little Buffy doll because I didn't have a pattern - I just used my mad amigurumi skills to freestyle this baby!  Yay!  My inspiration was this Buffy doll crocheted by Skeeboo on Etsy.  I fell in love with the doll and contacted Skeeboo to see if she would sell the pattern, but, alas, I never heard back from her, so I was on my own.

"You have a sacred birthright, Buffy. You were chosen to destroy vampires, not to... wave pompoms at people." - Giles

yarn details
Knit Picks Brava in Canary, Wine, Cream, and Black
Worsted Weight
100% Acrylic
$2.99 per 100 g / 218 yd ball
(body)

Green Oak Acrylic in White
Worsted Weight
100% Acrylic
85 g / 115 yards
(shoes)

Knit Picks Main Line in Butter Pecan
Aran Weight
75% Cotton 25% Merino Wool
$3.29 per 50 g / 82 yd ball
(hair)

findings
polyfill
9mm safety eyes

project details
pattern: freestyled it....
finished size:  aprx 7'' tall
hook:  4.25mm G hook
yarn used: no clue... didn't measure
duration: June - September, 2013

notes

  • If you want to design your own amigurumi, I highly recommend Stacey Trock's class on Craftsy, Design Your Own Monster.  I learned all the skills I used in this creation from that class.
  • I crocheted the skirt as if I was attaching a ruffle, increasing in each stitch I picked up as I went around.  If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have increased so much because I think it gave Buffy some pretty monsterous hips, so that's something to consider.
  • For the hair, I used this tutorial on Stacey Trock's blog.  Adding in the bangs was a little tricky and it's difficult to explain how I managed to do it, but I basically added the bangs like normal, then the first row of hair behind it like normal, then I went in and sort of picked up some yarn between the two rows and added in another line of hair to prevent a bald spot between the bangs and the hair line.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A New Project? The Hue Shift Afghan

I was just browsing through the latest Knit Picks catalog and I spotted this beauty:


I'm seriously considering knitting it.  Knit Picks is selling the kit with the yarn and pattern for only $31.99, which is really a good price for an afghan project.  It is knit out of their Brava yarn, which I happen to love (even though it's acrylic).

I feel like all I knit lately are socks, but I don't really have a strong desire to knit a sweater because I refuse to accept what size I would have to knit it in.... so this might be a fun non-damaging-to-my-self-esteem change of pace.

The mitered squares in this blanket kind of remind me of the Modern Quilt Wrap that I used to be obsessed with back in '07, but I never knit it because the yarn was too expensive on my student budget (and, now, too expensive on my paying-back-student-loans budget).  Maybe this will finally fulfill my age-old dream to knit a colorful mitered square project?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

FO: The Prettiest Hot Pad Ever

When you set out to knit the prettiest hot pad ever, that's kind of a lot of pressure.  I mean - what if you finish and it's just not pretty enough??  Well, luckily, I don't have to answer that question because mine came out super pretty!!  Check it out:
This baby is double-knit so it's reversible with the pattern appearing in the inverse on each side. In addition to this being a gorgeous design feature, it's actually quite a clever way to design a hot pad because you have two layers of fabric, making it thick enough to withstand the heat!  Neato!

(obligatory action shot)

yarn details
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Peapod and Celestial
dye lots 44526 and 42013
100% Peruvian Highland Wool
hand wash, dry flat
50 g / 110 yds @ $2.49 per ball

project details
pattern: The Prettiest Hot Pad Ever (TPHPE) by Heather Zoppetti, available as a free Ravelry download.
needles: size 5 straights
gauge: 19 st x 21 rows over 4''
yarn used: apprx 36 yards of each color (about a third of each ball)
finished size: 8'' wide x 7'' tall
duration: August 17, 2013 - September 7, 2013

notes
  • I did not follow the pattern instructions for creating the selvage edge; instead I followed the directions given by Alsadair Post Quinn in his Craftsy course Adventures in Double Knitting - I knit the first pair regularly, then the last pair I slip both stitches.  (It's slightly more complicated than that, but, that's the gist of it...)
  • I'm giving this as a gift to my grandmother, so, in retrospect, I probably should have knit it out of superwash wool, which is a good rule of thumb for all gift-knits.  Alas, I didn't think of that when I ordered the yarn.  Let's just cross our fingers and hope she doesn't accidentally felt it!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Quick WIP Update

I finished up the prettiest hot pad ever (TPHPE) yesterday... here is a pic of it on the blocking board:


I think I'm going to give this to my grandma, she is a knitter too and I think she'll really appreciate its beauty.

I'm also making progress on my yet-to-be-named original sock pattern. Observe:


In related news, I'm going to be unemployed for a little while, so I will have lots of time to knit this week.  Yay!  (FYI:  In case you were wondering why I'm unemployed so often, it's not cause I'm a spaz and get fired all the time... lol.  I am a contract worker, which means I travel to different companies working on a project-by-project basis, so when projects wrap up, I'm unemployed until the next one comes along.)

Monday, September 2, 2013

FO: Ro, the Tiny-er Monster

.... he's back!!  It's Ro the Tiny Monster, and he's even more tiny this time around!  I crocheted him with fingering weight yarn and a 3.25mm crochet hook to get him down to his petite stature of about 1.5 inches tall.  Squeee!!! He's so cute!!




And here is a picture of Ro with his "big" brother (about 3'' tall):


yarn details
Knit Picks Palette in White and Cyan
Fingering Weight
100% wool
dye lots 1716 & 1309
$3.39 per 50 g / 231 yd ball

findings
8 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 D (3.25mm)
gauge: tiny
yarn used: didn't measure, but hardly any...
finished size: about 1.5 inches tall (not including the amount the ears stick up)
duration: maybe 5 hours worth of work on August 30-31, 2013.

notes
  • It was pretty dang hard getting the fat stem of the safety eyes into the nearly invisible hole at the center of the white eye piece.  Next time I need to remember not to pull the center closed so tightly to leave room for the eye stem to poke though.  (You can see that one of his eyes is slightly wonky because I couldn't get the safety eye through the exact center of the piece, so it's a little to the right.... but it gives him character.)
  • Crocheting at the tiny gauge wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, until the last few rows on the top that you crochet after stuffing the body...  they were a real bitch to work because I could barely see what I was doing with all the stuffing in the way!  Arg!