Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FO: Norwegian Star Earflap Hat

Pattern: Norwegian Star Earflap Hat by Tiennie Knits

Yarn: Cascade 220 in Pink and Purple (half a skein in main color and a quarter of the other)

Needles: US 5 circular needles

Started: November 30, 2009

Finished: December 5, 2009

This hat was super fast to make and I loved the pattern enough to make a second one for Miss Mac. I really should clarify that. I indented on making one for Miss Mac and misread the instructions and ended up making a hat for myself first!

This photo was taken before I added the top tassel, which I will have to eventually take pictures of. It's just really difficult to find proper daylight during this time of year.

I did finish the other two hats for the kids in time for Christmas. I waited with anticipation the morning of hoping that they would swoon over my knit wears. The craziness took over and without even knowing it my son had opened his present. All I saw was a blur as he came dashing over to slam hug me as I sat on the couch trying to stay above the holiday wrapping paper and boxes.

He was really pleased with it and I was shocked. I figured he would have tossed it to the side without a second glance. Now Miss Mac opened her slowly and picked it up and the next thing you know dropped the hat on the floor without a second thought. WHAT?? She's the one who has always loved my knitting. To say I was a tad hurt is an understatement. I'm leaning towards the Too-Much-Going-On-In-One-Day kinda reasoning for her reaction. Hopefully I'll get finished pictures of all the hats over the New Year weekend.

New Years. wow. Hard to believe it's 2010. I raise my cup to everyone of you out there. Be Healthy, Be Safe and Knit-On!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snicket Count Down Begins

I have roughly 60 hours left till the end of the year for me to finish these socks.

Do you think that is going to happen? I don't think so either. It would be nice though, right? I have approximately 5 inches of knitting left to these.

I'm also planning on ignoring the off pattern section that happened along the way. I see nothing.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lemony Snicket

I fell in love with this pattern some time ago, but it wasn't until now that I've decided to cast-on for these socks based off of Lemony Snicket – A Series of Unfortunate Events.

The only downside to doing this pattern on two circular needles is the traveling cables that are suppose to happen in between the two socks. If you've knit socks on two circ's you might be familiar to the danger having to move stitches.

This is not an easy task when it comes to knitting two-at-a-time. If you plan on having the traveling cable meet with the other cable on the other side then stitches need to be placed on holders. Then when they travel back to the other side then again your moving stitches.

I chose to not travel the stitches on either ends of the socks. The cables will run more like a panel on top and a panel to the back. Life if too short for me to do this finicky task.

I don't think these will be done in time for xmas but I'm hoping a late gift will still be appreciated.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Now Want To Add Fleece To EVERYTHING

With the seriously low temps hitting the Chicagoland area, I'm thinking of fleecing every article of fabric in my home.

I found the perfect tutorial for lining hats with polar fleece. Check out TECHknitting's blog post that totally helps in the construction.

Unfortunately, in the tutorial it wants you to wear the fleece on your head to give a more perfect fit. With gift knitting, that's kinda hard. So, I used the my matchy-matchy to Mac's hat as a test.

I measured my head and then pinned the fleece. I then tried the fleece on my head to see if it would fit and it does. I then placed the knitting hat on top of the flat fleece and pinned around the outside of the hat to get the slop of my skull. Give your self plenty of wiggle room. You don't want to match it perfectly because it will need room to stretch. You can see I also included the earflaps on my tracing.

Then pick up some matching thread. I used a general all purpose thread and was happy to see it matched so well.

You then sew along the pinned area with the good side facing towards each other. I really don't have a clue what kind of sewing technique that is... mattress, whip... something that is strong. What I love about fleece is there are no worries about fraying.

You then take your knitting hat and turn it inside out and do the same with the polar fleece. You place the fleece on top of the hat and begin pin the two items together.

Once pinned in place you go along with your needle and thread to secure the fleece edges with the knitting edge of the hat. And really that's all there is to it. I've made three of these so far and I'm kinda hooked.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

FO: Gumdrop Socks

Pattern: Gumdrop Socks by JC Briar

Yarn: Cascade Heritage Sock yarn

Needles: US 1.5 circular needles

Started: November 24, 2009

Finished: December 12, 2009

The pattern is totally fun, interesting and easy to memorize. Which I think is was saves me lots of times with socks. The stretchiness of this stitch makes for a good gift knit.

The other cool thing is that the socks are reversible. How fun! One major gift down and now it's time to cast on for another pair...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Clock is Ticking...

Only 16 days until Christmas and I think I will be able to finish what I've set out to do. I'm really kinda pleased with that.

The Gumdrop socks are close to toe construction... just had a slight delay while I had my children on a secret mission to discover Grandma's shoe size. I was a little disappointed to hear that there are three size shoes all through out the house... 9, 10 and 11. What is a knitter to do? I'm going with a 10 as I'm hoping that is her average and knowing socks stretch I shouldn't have too much of an issue.

Ya'll just don't know what goes into getting these work-in-progress shots... I swear putting on a pair of socks that are connected at the toes (without loosing a stitch mind you) AND trying to get the right angle with the camera. Without knowing it I think I just invented the next torture-aerobic-workout!

The other projects I've been working on are hats for the kids. I downloaded Norwegian Sttar Earflap Hat which is a free download (revelry link) and got started.

The first one turned out too big and it wasn't until I bought more needles that I realized I had actually knit the larger hat instead of the child's version. D'oh!

It turns out I had enough yarn to make the smaller version and now I have TWO! so now me and Miss Mac will be Matchy-Matchy!!

The next item on my list was a hat for Eric. It was time to bring out the Failed Anime Hat that I started this time last year.

Second time around it turned out much better. It's still wonky but I'm hoping with blocking and a polar fleece lining it will smooth out.

Here is a better side angle of the Red Cloud symbol that Eric's favorite character Itachi wears.

Just look at all those ends I have to weave in. sigh. That might take me just as long to do as it took to knit.

My only other item is a pair of socks for my sister-in-law. I don't plan on seeing her until after the holidays and this my perhaps give me the extra time I need to finish those for her... I just can't decide what pattern to knit. Maybe I'll try the Snicket Socks.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

All Around Us

Recently I've fallen in love with some designs that really pull at my love for letter forms. One prime example is from a local blogger The Panopticon who just got back from across the pond with some amazing finds.

This then got me thinking about my own surroundings and how everyday we're all surrounded by letter forms that are more like works of art.

Even numbers are pretty remarkable...go check out this Perpetual Calendar

My idea is to collect letters and numbers to create my own piece of artwork. It's almost like a scavenger hunt! I'm kinda excited about what I might find.

Gum Drops on the Promenade

My latest project is some gift knitting that I'm sure the recipient wont be spoiled by this blog. My son's grandma had hinted at some socks for her very own when Miss Mac went for a visit wearing the purple and pink striped ones.

Don't fret grandma, you're getting some Gum Drops in your stockings this year.

The pattern was from the Rockin Sock Club last year and is now available for everyone else. I love the stretch with this pattern, which puts any fears of not fitting out the window.

As a quick note. I picked up a remote for my camera. I can't tell you how awesome this is.... no more back and forth to set a 10 second timer. Hoot!

Friday, November 20, 2009

FO: Ornament Covers

Pattern: Knitted Christmas Ornament Covers by Knoxsocks Designs

Yarn: Cascade 220 (scraps really - perhaps 25 yards, if that)

Needles: US 5 dpns

Started: November 15, 2009

Finished: November 19, 2009

Modification: The bulbs I had on hand were a little bit larger then what was in the pattern, so I just knit a few more rows to make up for it. The pattern is so stretchy that it just hugs the shape.

I did get busted by the Millennium Park Security when I took these photos. He asked me while he was approaching me... "Taking pictures of the tree, are you?" and I turn towards him and say "Not exactly." His head tilts to the side with the look we've all seen. "You made those?" why yes, yes I did.

He was very sweet, but he couldn't understand why I would do such a thing. It's okay, lots of people don't get. I'm still wondering if he's curious why I knit Christmas ornaments or why I was taking pictures of my knitted Christmas ornaments. Most likely both.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

FO: Willoughby

Pattern: Willoughby by Jared Flood

Yarn: 2.25 skeins of Sunday Knits, Nirvana

Needles: US 7 circular

Started: September 14, 2009

Finished: November 11, 2009

This little number was a Must Knit on my list. I feel in love with the pattern from day one, except the yarn I chose was not working with the design. So, after hours of scouring the isles of Stitches Midwest this year I located this beautiful yarn. I couldn't resist the added blend of cashmere. Oh Yeah Baby!

The only modification was to add 5 more repeats to each end to have a very long scarf. The pattern is well written and the chart easy to read. The bobbles were actually my favorite section of all. They're not overly dramatic and gives nice texture to this piece.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And the scarf goes on...

The Willoughby scarf is still on the needles, but folks we're talking really close. I've not allowed myself to knit on anything else because I want this done.

Although that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. I was going thru my sweater stash to see what would need washing and just checking the condition of my hand knits. I was quite surprised to see so many sweaters.

Do you remember this? It's the Ogee Tunic. I finished this last October and in that years time I've worn this in public twice. I don't like it. It's way to big and it grows with wear. The sleeves are bell shaped and I like bell shaped sleeves, but not when they measure 14 inches of growing fabric.

I frogged it. That sweater no longer exists and let me tell you it was a pain in the ass. I have learned that I certainly know how to weave my ends in so good they don't come undone;)

I unwound the entire sweater with the help of my niddy noddy. Then secured each skein and plopped them into a hot bath with a little sweater soap. I then let them air dry on hangers.

Now that it's dry I've started to swatch. I'm in the designer mood and I've been wanting to get this idea down on paper for some time now.

On another note, I'm signed up to teach my sock class again at Nana's Knitting Shop. If your interested toe-up two-at-a-time on Saturday afternoons let Trish know!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

FO: Ishbel Beret

I'm just smitten for this hat and amazed that I was able to get it finished with the already dipped into skein. Love That!

Pattern: Ishbel Beret by Ysolda

Yarn: .75 skein of Isager Strik Alpaca 2

Needles: US 2 and 6 circular

Started: October 25, 2009

Finished: November 3, 2009

Modifications: except for doing an added repeat of the lace chart. I have a big head big hair and wanted to give more slouch.

The other cool thing I like about this, is the matchy-matchy with my scarf. I'm usually a Colorful Punky Brewster, but how cool is it to look put together.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Else Would I Be Doing...

In the mists of carving pumpkins and Marking. Each. Day. Off. The. Calendar. Because we're so close to Halloween the kids can practically smell the candy. I'm a glutton for punishment. I finished the Ishbel scarf and had to immediately cast-on for the Ishbel Beret.

See the lifeline? Oh yeah, I've already ripped back twice and I'm still loving it. I'm kinda sick that way;)

I've been making some good progress on my Willoughby as well. I had reached the end of the required amount of repeats for the pattern when I noticed that I was only at the end of a one skein. I have three set aside for this project.

What do I do? Do I go as the pattern suggests and be left with a practically full skein? What would I do with it? Fingerless mitts? Nope... I really wanted to just use up all this loveliness in one scarf. I decided to add a few more repeats and that way I'm not left with a dilemma of too much left overs and the scarf will be all the more lovely with the added length.

Monday, October 26, 2009

FO: Ishbel

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda

Yarn: 1.25 skeins of Isager Strik Alpaca 2

Needles: US 6 circular

Started: October 14, 2009

Finished: October 23, 2009

This is one very popular pattern and you'd think it would be a fairly easy knit if so many people have made it. Well, I was wrong. It was very difficult for me. There is something about that darn yarn-over move that just makes my life hell. This is not to say that it isn't easy for someone else and I certainly don't want anyone to think I didn't like doing it. Granted NOBODY likes having to rip out anything, but this was an obsessed challenge that was I was not going to lose at.

Ishbel = 0 / Me = 1

The only modification that I did was knitting the larger size lace pattern on my smaller stockinette beginning. I did have to dip into a second skein which makes me ponder... Could I get a small version out of just one skein?

With the leftover yarn I'm going to cast-on for the Ishbel beret. I foresee tons more cussing;)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Random Monday

Just popping in to give some random updates. Lets see...

Linda and Eric got married. Congratulations! and how can you not love the lacey-loveliness she has draped over her shoulders.

Took advantage of the sunny day and made our way to the pumpkin patch.

And this piece of evil has been driving me bonkers. Yes, I love it and I want to burn it at the same time. Why-oh-why do I feel this driving force... I will conquer over this Ishbel.

Friday, October 16, 2009

FO: Boat Covers

Pattern: my own generic toe-up 2-at-a-time on 2 circular needles

Yarn: 1 skein Cascade Heritage Hand Painted

Needles: US 1.5 circular (2.5 mm)

Started: September 29, 2009

Finished: October 12, 2009

After completing Miss Mac's socks, I could see a slight twinge of jealously in my son's face. I ask ever so softly, would you like me to make you a pair? He replied with a very soft, okay.

He then went on to request red and white flame socks. Whoa-boy!

Yeah-no. You can pick from the stash, thank you very much. I think he chose wisely. The Heritage yarn was REALLY nice to work with and hell, you get 437 yards... plenty to cover this boy's boats. We lovingly tease him about his large feet and it has become a habit to requst him to remove the his boats from the ship yard... otherwise known as removing his shoes from the living room.

I didn't knit every yard of this yarn and should have made them a tad longer in the cuff, but you know when your just "done"... yeah, I was done.

I did try my had at the newest bind-off to enter our knitting world: Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. I love it. Love it. Love it. and plan on using it more often and for every sock I do toe up...oh, and in case your interested in seeing the matching cast-on by Jeny as well. All very cool indeed.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

That which wasn't documented...

I don't know exactly what's in the water lately, but it seem there are tons of people popping out babies... I alone personally know of 3 who are preggers, two more by association and one who just had a baby.

This is Larry. Larry works at the Panera where we gather for our South Suburban Stitch 'n Bitch. His wife is due in November with a little boy. I pumped out that hat he so fabulously has topped on his head.

The pattern is from the Itty-Bitty hats book and is called Vertical Stripes.

As cute as it turned out I don't think I will ever. ever. knit that again. It was a quick knit, but knitting in cotton and trying to not have gaps in between the strips was next to impossible. Just to fussy.

In one weekend I was done and the next SnB night I handed it over to Larry who just gushed. Hadn't even realized that I hadn't done a "real" photo shoot with the hat yet until I was heading home. I think I've become a snob photographer. I'd rather redo the photo shoot then post a unflattering photo.

My latest project has been something simple and mindless. Toe-up socks for my son. Let me rephrase that: These are Huge Ass Socks for my Son's Size 13 Feet!

The great thing about toe-up is you knit until you run out of yarn and I'll be doing exactly that. I hope he likes anklets;)