Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rainy Saturday Night Fire

So, another week is over. I have done lots of knitting but there has not been a whole lot of finishing. One of the projects I am currently working on is actually a test knit for Megan William's first pattern called Serrated Scarf. It is absolutely lovely and I am on pattern repeat 5. I am also running out of yarn. I had a 490 yard skein of lovely Merino Sock in Teal Feathers from Hiwassee Creek Dyeworks and I thought I would make it through 5 repeats and edging and be fine... but... maybe not... actually it is more of a probably not. So I will be stash diving later to find a good yarn for the edging. Anyway here is a picture of the scarf after 2 pattern repeats.

I also realized that I never showed you the most recent addition to our growing stuffie collection. He has joined the other couch-occupiers and seems pretty happy. My husband calls this one Mr. Dragon, which is a terribly creative name for a stuffed dragon toy. In any event he was finished a little while after Christmas and is very cute. He is a pattern that was written by Katie Boyette and published in her second book "More KnitWits". If you are into toy and monster knitting you should definitely give her a try. I really enjoy her creativity and innovations.

I will try to have something done soon. So be on the look-out for more. ;)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Evening Blog Post

The new semester has started. The first few weeks are over and I am getting into the groove, shall we say. This semester is definitely a lot calmer than last (at least for now) and so there is actually time for knitting, and ravelry, and yes even blob posts.

I think I will start this off with what the Knitmore Girls call: "When knitting attacks". A while back, last summer to be exact, I knit the Masquerade Cardigan by Louisa Harding. Despite thinking I got gauge and holding the pieces up numerous times to see if they fit, the cardigan ended up being too small for me. It went into time-out for a good two months, because I just did not want to deal with it. About a week ago, I decided that the cardigan really needed a new loving home and offered it to one of my favorite knitting podcasters where it now lives. If you want to see it in all it's glory just watch the first few Minutes of Stockinette Zombies Episode 16, where you can see Megan wearing it. It made me so very happy to see her wear it! Yeah!

The cardigan-fit-mishap has, however, by no means deterred me from trying to knit another garment. This one was "requested" by a friend of mine, that one weekend decided that I was going to knit him a sweater. And so I am. I am about half-way, maybe a little more, through the Joukahainen by Kristel Nyberg. It is a really really fun knit. And I could not be happier with how it is turning out. I am checking gauge constantly on this one and hopefully it will fit. Currently I am knitting everything up to the row before you decrease to join arms and body together so that I can take it with me to the city and have said friend try it on. We will see how it goes. And I will post pictures once it is more than rows and rows of gray stockinette ;) I have to give a big virtual "Thank you" though to the authors of The Perfect Finish - A no-nonsense guide to finishing techniques for knitters of every level which was edited by Kara Gott Warner. I picked this book up in Mid-January and read through the instructions and tips section in one weekend. It was so helpful and enlightening. Just the little things that you basically go "Why did I not think of this before" after you read them. Anyway, I think that without this book my swatching for Joukahainen would have gone terribly wrong and probably jeopardized the entire project. So give it a look if you get a chance.

I also finished three pairs of socks. All for me, as I am so in love with my hand-knit socks that I don't really want to wear anything else anymore. The first one is a Cookie A. pattern from her book Knit.Sock.Love.. The pattern is called Cusp and is knit in some Knitpicks Stroll Multi in Sunset.

The next two socks are plain vanilla socks with an afterthought heel in self-striping yarn. The first pair I call my sock-monkey socks made out of Hiwassee Creek Dyework's Sassafras Sock base in, wait for it, the color Sock Monkey (yes I know I was very creative in the naming of my socks, right?). I absolutely love Christy's yarn. And I may have ordered two or five more skeins of it ;)

The other pair is also from Hiwassee Creek Dyework's yarn. This time it is in the Twinkle Toe base in the colorway Black Ice. So creative as I am they are my Black Ice Socks. And I also love this one... LOVE!!!

And I am happy to say there is even a stuffie to report. I knit another giraffe from Sarah Keen's Knitted Wild Animals. It was a gift again. So Mr. Giraffe is no longer with me, but found a new home with a newborn a few towns over. It is really amazing I have now knit 6 out of the 15 patterns, three of which I have done twice... I just really enjoy making these and they are so perfect for baby gifts.

And that is all for tonight I think. More coming soon....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Long Overdue...

Wow, I cannot believe it has been since April. I guess last year was just really busy. And looking back it sure has been. I got a job teaching college, and this fall applied to go back to school.I also knit a lot. So this may be a longer post.
The stuffie invasion on our sofa has grown.

There are Chad and Brad. My two Owls that have made lots of new friends on the sofa. They were both part of a kit that I was given last Christmas called "Crochet Momma and Baby Owl Amigurumi Kit" by Amy Gaines, which you can still purchase in her crochet pattern collection on Etsy.

We have Sushi Cat, who joined the others. Sushi Cat was inspired by a game and I made up the pattern.

Some stuffies have left home and gone on journeys. Most of them now live down the road. There is for example Lizzy. The scary deep sea angler fish. That was a Christmas present. She was made from a pattern by Hansi Singh published in "Amigurumi Knits".

And there is Joe. A very friendly shark that really only looks scary. His pattern can be found in "More KnitWits" by Katie Boyette.

Two of my stuffies even moved to Manhattan where they live close to Times Square now. They are both modified versions of the "Man dressing up doll" pattern by Phoenixknits, which can be purchased on Ravelry.

Otherwise my time has been taken up by tons of sock knitting. Most of them are Cookie A. patterns from her book "Knit.Sock.Love". In fact, I love knitting her socks so much that I now own her first book "Sock Innovation" as well. And I have joined her sock club for 2012. I finished Monkey, Mona, Hedera, Rhombus, Stricken (all on the pickture), as well as BFF, one Twisted Flower, and I just started Cusp... Then, of course, there were many Vanilla Socks, and After-thought heel socks.... So the Sock-bug bit me and I have not stopped knitting them...

I am sure there has been plenty of knitting that I am simply forgetting about. Shawls, hats, mittens, gloves, Christmas Stockings... all the good stuff that I may share in a different post. You never know. Hopefully, I will not abandon this blog again for so long. But life is what happens while you are making other plans so we will just take it one post at a time...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ewok Test : Teeny Tinny Little Bear

I finally got around to try out the yarn I purchased for the star wars character knitting project I am going to embark on. Since I did not just want to make a felted blob I decided to knit up a tinny little bear. He was very easy and fast to put together. I think overall it took me about 3 hours (embroidery, felting and all).

The felting process was great. I am very happy with what I got and with how much control I had over it. I soaked him in hot water and then just rubbed parts I wanted to felt between my fingers. Worked out great. I got the result I wanted and I am ready to start the Ewoks now.... Well almost at least. First I need to finish the socks I started on my US#3 Double Pointed needles. For now here is a picture of my tinny 2inch Bear. That has already been adopted by my husband and is sitting on the X-Box to fully dry off...

For those interested in making their own tinny bear here is how to:

Material: left over brown worsted weight yarn, feltable (I used Knit Picks "Wool of the Andes" in Chestnut), scraps of black for embroidered features, scraps of white, and some pink felt for the inside of the ears. A pair of Straight US size 3 (3.25 mm) needles. Tapestry needle.

Body: Cast on 5st, (kfb) 5 times, purl all, (Kfb K1) 5 times, purl all, (Kfb K2) 5 times, purl all, (kfb K3) 5 times, purl all, (kfb K4) 5 times, Stocking net for 9 rows, (ssk k4) 5 times, purl all, (ssk k3) 5 times, purl all, (ssk K2) 5 times, purl all, (ssk K1) 5 times, purl all, (ssk) 5 times, pull yarn through all stitches. --> sew together and stuff.

Arms: Cast on 6 stitches, knit stocking net for 5 rows, ssk 3 times, pull yarn through all stitches --> sew together

Legs: cast on 10 stitches, Knit stocking net for 3 rows, ssk 5 times, pull yarn through all stitches --> sew together

Ears: cast on 5 stitches, purl all, ssk k1 k2tog, pull yarn through all stitches, cut little felt insert that will fit and sew to the wrong side.

Finish: Sew arms and legs to body. Pull yarn ends from arms and feet to back where you want the tail and make a tight big knot (this is going to be the tail), felt in hot water, let dry, sew on ears, embroider face.

I am sure you can also knit him in the round (which would save you a lot of seaming).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lots of Bordeaux and Wonky Turtles...

Keeping myself busy this weekend was a really easy task. I knitted two projects and finished them. Project on is what I call my Bordeaux Spring Thaw. It is a small shawlette that fits perfectly around my neck and locks great with my leather jacket... And this time I am definitely going to keep the shawl.

I also knitted a pair of fingerless gloves in the same yarn a few weeks ago which I gave away... (as most of my knitted items)

And then there is of course the Turtle. This was a request and it had to be green and pink. So I made the top part of the shell pink and purple which turned into a beautiful flower. The rest of it is knit in two different shades of green and two different yarn weights (dark green is a worsted, light green is a DK which I doubled). The reason I call her wonky is because of all the seed stitch used for her shell.

The pattern for the turtle can be found in Fiona McTague's Book "Knitted Toys". The shawl pattern is available on Ravelry by Cheri McEwen "Spring Thaw Shawl" and the Fingerless Gloves a worked after a pattern by Laura Peveler called "Leafy Fingerless Gloves".

Friday, March 18, 2011

A note on Franny...

A while back I brought all of the monster and animals I knitted into my German 2 class. My students were supposed to give their monster a name, describe the way it looks and talk about what it likes to do in its free time. The exercise was a huge success. My college (!!!) class had a blast with it, they were super creative and spoke German. Mission accomplished!

On Wednesday, I was talking to my students before class and one of them told me that she dreamed about me leaving to go to Switzerland. They got a new teacher and that teacher was super mean and would not belief her that I had an owl that I brought to class and that that owl was super colorful and that her name was Franny.... The student said she was super upset about the dream and was glad it was only a dream.

I guess teaching with my knitted creations had some kind of a lasting impact ;) That lesson also had an impact on me since I liked the name my student gave the owl so much I decided to keep it. So my rainbow owl has been called Franny ever since ...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It feels like spring

Today for the first time this year it really felt like spring outside. How fitting than that I got around to blocking my Echo Flower shawl. It is knit in Knit Picks Gloss lace yarn in a wonderful bright yellow called Dandeline. The shawl sure looks like spring. And I cannot wait to wear it. But see for yourself: