Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finally this little bear cub has buttons!

I've been working on this little bear cub cardigan for a year now. I meant it for my husband's cousin, but Toby has now grown too big for this to fit, so I will find another toddler on whom to bestow it. This was fiddly to knit, and I had to talk myself through the colorwork (which I still don't love) and the confusing ears (which turn out to do a great job of standing up by themselves, but I had no idea what I was doing during the knitting and various sewing parts!). And then I had to sew on the pockets. Finally, I had to get the buttons selected, purchased, and sewn on. I can be SO lazy.

I used a half-acrylic, half-wool yarn for this, Filati's Oslo, and I really enjoyed working with it. Has the feel of a soft, high-quality yarn, but the acrylic adds washability and durability which is a must in a child's garment. I liked the nature-oriented color selection too. It's saturated without being garish, and it's a bit different than the usual child's primaries or pastels.

I selected orange buttons for this, and I'm happy with them. They have a small toggle-closure motif, which didn't particularly capture me, but the color is perfect, and they're washable (again, super important in a child's garment).

I have a bag where I put finished objects for which I haven't yet got a recipient selected. I'll put this in there along with the green socks I posted a couple weeks back. Yes, I know I could frog back the socks, stop the pattern earlier and close off the toes, but it wouldn't have the graceful pattern ending it does now, and I'm lazy. I think I could make a new pair of socks just as fast :-)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Finished some secret yarnination!

Happy to finally have these done so that I can show you. These are the Wood Elves Gloves I knit for my friend Nikki (of Everything and the Kitchen Sink podcast fame). They're knit in some lovely Sundara sock yarn in colorway "Cedars" which I adore. The yarn itself is so soft and squishy (washable merino) and the colors are so perfectly woodland.

I enjoyed this knit, but the pattern has a lot of errors. Some are translation errors (I think), but some are just error errors. I need to try to write them all up for my Ravelry notes. If you can work past the errors, the knitting is quite pleasant and the pattern very satisfying. I particularly like the unusual slip-stitch ribbing and the way the motif angles up the back of the hand.

The pattern is for full gloves, but I made half-fingers, as you see. I tried to calculate them so they'd hit just under the first knuckle of a normal length woman's finger (my fingers are quite short) and I think I did all right. Each fingers is a slightly different length for this reason.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Always tough when there's secrets

I'm working on some secret yarnination lately, so I haven't been able to show much on here, but while I was working on those two secret projects I did have this little pair of socks going out of Sundara yarn (colorway Grasshopper):

It's Mona Schmidt's Embossed Leaves pattern, a pretty little pattern with some clever touches, but either I didn't get row gauge or hers is off (probably me!) – this thing turned out about a woman's size 10-11, and the cuffs are tall enough that they are tight where they hit me in the calf. They're neither narrow nor wide otherwise — I did get stitch gauge. Hopefully I'll find someone that they fit. I'm sad because green is my favorite color and this is such a pretty one, but it's not like I need more socks really.

I will have two secret projects to show you SOON. I've finished one (blocking tomorrow) and the other is just a few weeks away. But I have to be sneaky because the recipients might read the blog, so…

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Let's study some more naughty UFOs

I've ripped the Airplane Sock, so we're all set there… just need to find something else to knit with that yarn. I'm not all that keen on the yarn, to be honest. Ordered it by mail and it's a bit scratchy. I have a lot of sock yarn so it can go in the back of the bin.

Years back, I ordered yarn for two Mosaic Tees and I thought I'd start with the least pleasing color combo first. Why do I do these things? The problem with this is that the green and lavender were too close in value, so there's insufficient contrast. I either needed to get some white instead of pale green for the background, or get a kickier color in place of the lavender. The yarn I chose (Cascade Cotton Club) isn't made anymore because I waited too long — but a little Googling showed me that Rowan All Seasons Cotton was pretty similar. So I tried ordering a kind of coral pink in place of the lavendar — loud, but something exciting was needed.
I can't quite decide if this is the right amount of exciting, or whether the contrast between the green and warmish pink is too great. Will have a think (and finish swatching).

Rob's socks really make me sad. I made the first sock, it fit like a dream, I knit the leg of the second one. And then I lost my notes. And I was making changes to the pattern, so the notes were kind of important, at least in a world where you want two vaguely identical socks. I tried a couple of times to figure it out, but failed (to the point of having to rip a messed-up gusset back), even though I'm half-decent at reading my own knitting. I need to spend some more time poring over the two socks until I can understand what needs to be done to line this pattern up properly and knit a decent gusset.

And these Jaywalkers... pretty pretty Jaywalkers... I can't tell whether I've messed up the pattern or what, but the stitch count is off. I should just rip them back and start over at this point. But I might need a stiff drink first.

Of course, staring at all these messed up socks made me have to cast on socks again. Embossed Leaves pattern this time....

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Best FO of 2014. Seriously.

No matter how many other things I knit this year, these (Morehouse Design) hedgehog mitts I finished for my dear friend Kathryn cannot be topped. They took me two months to finish (wasn't working on them non-stop) and they were very annoying to knit, so do not ask me to knit you a pair because I shan't.

Seriously, though. I squee just looking at them. This Morehouse Designs original is available as a kit, as I bought it, and I recommend it even though it is a total pain in the rump to knit.

So yeah. Best FO of 2014, except maybe for this baby one that I made for a friend's daughter...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Good patterns ennoble bad yarn

It doesn't always work, but it did this time.
 I had a skein of very strange yarn (apologies if it was a gift from anyone reading this!). It was laceweight, grey, clearly wool, with tweedy flecks of gold, warm pinky-red, white, and warm green. I felt I should use it for something but I just didn't love it — I do like grey, but my taste runs to cooler-toned colors. And I thought tweed was a bit odd in lace.

Then I saw Anne Kuo Lukito's Weekend Shawl pattern, and thought, why not? It looked like a pretty simple pattern which wouldn't overwhelm the tweedy yarn — and I could always use a little wrap. I had no idea how much yarn I had, so I chose the Medium Lace size. As it turned out, I could have knit the large size and still had yarn left over, but who knew?

I discovered towards the end of the Saturday Lace section that I had tons of yarn, so I knit a few extra repeats of each of the lace patterns. I bound off last night, basically when I got tired. I still have a lot of yarn left, but I wasn't going to rip back and knit more stockinette, so it's done :-) And very warm and cozy indeed.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shall we glance at some FOs?

I really do finish things sometimes. Here are a few of my recent finished objects. This next photo looks like a pair of underpants at first but look closer…

I knit this beauty for my friend Pat when she passed the bar last year. It's the Forget-Me-Not Shawl by Shui Kuen Kozinski and I found it pleasingly geometric, yet super classy. I knit it in elann's Peruvian Baby Silk, which I can heartily recommend — it's a light fingering weight alpaca/silk blend, and knits into something light as air and surprisingly warm. The perfect summer evening shawl. So pleased.

Also really happy with this afghan I knit for my cousin Cindy's wedding to Owen.
It's Lion Brand's Nature in Natural afghan, with a few twists to make it come out neater and prettier, and a little extra yarn to make it longer (Cindy & Owen are very tall!).

It took five months for me to get this done — I thought I'd do it in a month. Oops. I have enough yarn to knit another one for myself, because I really fell in love with the pattern. I think my yarn is light blue though.

Here I seem to be again.

I know no one's reading this. But for some reason, maybe because of endless unresolvable stressors in my head doing an incessant tramp through my brain cells, I'm feeling the urge to blog again.

I've got the habit of having a number of things on my needles at once, but right now it's out of hand. I'm fighting the urge to cast on yet again. Let's review a few of the items on my Ravelry list, shall we?

The Vandyke cardigan was a design I was making based on the pretty Vandyke lace stitch. But making a design takes thinking, dontcha know. Plus a healthy dose of having an idea. So a partial front panel and some notes on index cards it remains.

The Catkin Stole is part of a KnitPicks Estonian lace kit. Which is great, but I don't know why I picked the ugly pink stole to start with, because all I really wanted to knit was the lavender-grey wrap.

The Noro bag is going to be beautiful if I ever get back in the mood to work on it.

Bear Tracks. WHY IS THIS NOT FINISHED?  All it needs is having the ears sewn on!?!?
Honestly. I'm seriously finishing that this weekend. Even though it hasn't got a recipient planned out.

I'm ripping back the Airplane Socks. Or sock. Or really just part of a leg. It was only to entertain me on one airplane trip, and it turns out to be the circumference of my thighs rather than my leg. So.

The @#$(*@*#$(#@!(@#@*!(!! Corgi needs to be sewn together. SEWN. I'm a knitter, people. I hate sewing. So yes, this stupid tiny thing is going to take me years to finish because I hate it with all the hate of hating.

Ysolda's Cotton Reels mitts is a great pattern. I was using it to try to use up some sock scraps and practice my colorwork. Unfortunately, I was going to run out of yarn in the middle of the first mitt, so I stopped. I thought maybe I'd find some friendly similar colors for the next one, but the project just wasn't compelling enough without yarn I was in love with. I probably need to start over with colors that make me happy. Reality: I'm never going to use up my sock scraps.

I'll stop here and give you a chance to digest before I go on with the excitement of my UFOs. I'm determined to either finish or rip the lot of them sometime in 2014. You heard it here first, folks.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

What's your knit?

What kind of knitting do you like best?

Over the last six years of knitting, I've learned that I love cables, and I like lace (but not, yet, in laceweight yarn). I like ribbing, too, and eyelets and fagoting.

I don't like colorwork much yet, probably because I'm still fairly lousy at Fairisle, and I hate the twisting involved in intarsia. Mosaic is just 'ok'.

And stripes.

I hate stripes.

Now, this isn't because I hate weaving in ends. I don't. I actually find it comforting and calming, and if I really want to avoid it there are often ways to do that. But when the edge is going to show, you do not want to carry the yarn up, and sometimes even when it won't, that will add bulk in the wrong place. So you have to clip. And I think my hatred of stripes is really a hatred of being tickled, because what I don't like about stripes…

… are all those darned tickly, wiggly, iggly bits of yarn that tickle my arm and knee while I'm knitting.

Really I'm just silly.
 *keeps knitting*

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


I am really not enjoying sewing up this dadburned corgi.