Progress on the Christening outfit…

July 6, 2012

While I’ve been working on a bunch of projects this summer, I’m making good progress on the hat and dress for M.’s baptism.

First three layers of the Flore Hat

As you can see the first three layers of the hat are finished, and the fourth layer is started (but not pictured).  I’m sure that it will be done in time (early August).  While knitting the multiple layers feels a little like knitting overkill, the hat is so cute I tend to coo over it when I take it out to show someone.  Sewing down the points of each layer will only make it cuter.

One half of the dress for M.

I have both skirts of the dress done.  I’m starting the bodice on one side.  The knitting of the bodice should go really fast as the number of stitches just keeps getting smaller and smaller.  Sewing the sides together and crocheting the picot edging around the armholes and the neckline should go pretty fast.

I’ve also finished knitting the afghan for Vernita and Andrew.  Now I just have to do the finishing so that it’s really done.  If I do experiment to create a reversible seam, the finishing is going to take awhile as it will involve picking up ALOT of stitches and doing a lot of kitchner.  I’m psuedo-committed to trying this out for the sake of learning a new technique, but I’m also sort of thinking that I’d rather just sew the seams and be done with the whole thing.  There are 4 seams that need to be sewn.  Maybe I’ll entertain myself and sew each one a different way, but that doesn’t seem like the best plan for something that is a gift for someone else.

My last picture isn’t really a project yet, it’s just a twinkle in my eye if you will.  Earlier this week, I suddenly realized that I am doing alot of travelling between now and Stitches, so I started to put together the yarn and notions for the classes I’m going to take.  I needed to pick out some yarn for the Harmonia’s rings cowl.  Needless to say, I tossed the stash looking for something that I had enough of, in the right weight, and in a color I wanted a cowl in.  I needed a little extra yardage, because I’m hoping to actually make the tunic version.

Swatch for the Harmonia's Ring Cowl with one strand of cotton and one strand of silk in shades of white.

The swatch has one strand of the Sesia Baby in pure white and one strand of the coned silk yarn in off white.  I think the fabric and the color is lovely.  The mixture presents as off white, but not quite as yellowed as the yarn on the cone.  The shine in the silk will give the cowl a little sparkle.  I’m a little bamboozled at the moment because the gauge info on the cowl and the tunic are not the same.  My swatch matches up with the info for the tunic and hopefully that really is the same as the cowl.  I picked out a couple of alternate yarns also, but the white is definitely my favorite.  I’ll take all the yarn to Stitches and see what the instructor recommends.  Now I just need to find some beads, but I have to figure out where to look first.


FO: Hitchhiker shawl

June 11, 2012

Last Thursday I finished knitting my hitchhiker shawl (and promptly wore it to work the next day).  E. got a great shot of me wearing it Friday evening.

It is good to have a daughter who is willing to take pictures of you wearing your new handknits.

I ended up with 32 teeth instead of 42 teeth (42 teeth is why the original shawl was called Hitchhiker), but since I started with 339 yds of Sockina Cotton instead of 575 yds of Wollmeise I’m not complaining that I didn’t end up with enough teeth.

Instead, I ended up with an easy almost no thinking knit in colors that I loved every step of the way (definitely including wearing it at the end) which looks plenty big enough to me.

I’ve just about finished the last strip of Vernita and Andrew’s afghan which means I’m almost out of one color no thinking projects. I’ve pulled two ideas out of my stash to start playing around with, so look for some more posts soon.

Well I’ll just wing it…

June 7, 2012

This story starts almost a year and a half ago…  My friend Julie was cleaning out her closets in preparation for her move, and she asked me if I wanted 6 balls of a blue-purple ombre acrylic yarn.  I had no idea what I might do with the yarn.  However, I figured why not if I really can’t figure out something to do with the yarn, then I’ll pass it along to someone else.

A couple of months later, a mutual friend announced she was pregnant and I realized that the yarn from Julie was the perfect colors for Vernita.  I figured I would start knitting a baby blanket in panels so that it never got so big that I didn’t want to carry it around with me.  I cast on 100 stitches and used a feather and fan stitch pattern and I was off.

My first panel used 3 of 6 balls of yarn and was 2 ft. by 3 ft.  It didn’t seem big enough for a baby blanket, so I started knitting the second panel.  Now I had a blanket that was 4 feet by 3 feet.  It still didn’t look quite right, but all of my yarn was gone.

I went looking for a coordinating solid, and knit a third panel that was 56 sts. wide instead of 100 sts. wide.  I laid out the three panels and it still didn’t look quite right…

So now I’m in the process of knitting two 23 sts. wide panels to “tie it all together.”

Feather and Fan panel on 23 sts. with needles

As you can see I’m almost there.  When the picture below was taken I had 30 ripples on the last panel to go.

Almost Complete Blanket

My iPad and my photography skills are to blame for the bad colors.  The blanket is really denim blue and royal purple.  I’ve ended up with a blanket that is a little over 5 ft long and 3 ft wide, but the knitting goes the “wrong” direction.

I figure that I will finish up the last panel in another day or two, which is good because this is all the yarn that I have left

Bits and Bobs of yarn

This is more than enough to finish knitting the panel, but whether its enough for my ambitious project to practice a 4 needle seam on each of the 4 seams that I have to sew… well that’s a whole different kettle of fish.  Maybe this blanket will have different types of seams in different places.  However, I think practicing this type of seam (reversible with no visible ends) before I do it on my Moebius Vest is a good idea.

This is the last of the projects that I am actively working on… I have a few more that are hibernating.  So look for some posts on hibernating projects, posts on projects that I would like to get started on, and at least one finished object post as I finished hitchhiker today.

Moebius Vest — Take 4

June 3, 2012

I’m a high school math teacher, so I’ve long been fascinated with knitting mathematical objects.  I’ve started knitting Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Moebius vest several times, but I’ve never brought it to perfect fruition.  I’ve had previous posts about my attempts and I have a third attempt languishing in time out upstairs.  Now I have my 4th attempt and I think this one is going to take.

I’ve picked a stitch pattern that I  like both sides of so that I can truly show off the half twist once I sew it into the vest.

Row 1 Knit

Row 2 K1P1 rib

I don’t think the change in stitch pattern will be visible from across a room, but I’m pretty sure that it will be visible to anyone that I am actually talking with.  I also think that I’ve fixed most of my other problems from previous attempts:

  1. The yarn is knit pretty densely so I think that it will hold it’s shape when I’m wearing it instead of stretching like the first ill fated one did.
  2. I love the colors which gives it a definite plus over the 2nd version that didn’t really make it much past 4 inches.
  3. I love the yarn which gives it a definite plus over the 1st version which was made with cheap acrylic and the second version which had a fuzzy yarn in it that drove me mad.  This is two strands of Riveting Sport by Kollage along with a drifting boucle that I picked up at Stitches last year (from a discount seller so there is no yarn name).
  4. The strip is consistently 8 1/2 inches to 9 inches wide depending on whether I’ve stretched it a little or not, which means that it should fit my 35 inch bust perfectly when it’s all sewn together.
  5. The strip is being knit on size 8 needles with 3 strands held together, but this is infinitely better than doing K1B on a size zero needle with 2 different fingering weight yarns being used alternately.

I have the first strip up to 22 inches long, so I’m just about ready to do the slightly trickier work of figuring out the shortrows.  Before I do that I have a few concerns I need to deal with.

  1. I need to buy one more ball of Riveting.  Fortunately I look to have plenty of the boucle since I have no idea how I would match that.
  2. I need to knit a swatch and wash it up because I think I’ve heard that the Riveting will shrink some and I need to see if that is going to be a problem.  What I read was that it shrinks vertically but not horizontally, so if I want a 22 inch long vest I might need to knit a 48 inch long strip.
  3. I’m going to consult with a friend of mine who does fashion design about the project.  She always says she doesn’t know anything about knitting, but I know she knows about drape which is what I’m looking for input on.

So first a gauge swatch, then some washing, then some purchasing and then some consulting.  It’s pretty clear what I need to do for this project.

I’ve still got a few more projects to get up on the blog, but it’s been fun to try and bring this blog back up to date.

For My Goddaughter

May 31, 2012

M. isn’t my goddaughter yet.  We’re going to the baptism in August, but I’m excited about having a goddaughter, and I intend for her to have plenty of handknits.  I initially thought that I would knit a christening gown, but I don’t see my friends as being super traditional about the dress for a baptism… so I’ve been playing around with ideas about what I want to knit.

I bought a kit for the FLORE hat from Knit Wits last summer.  I bought it without having the foggiest idea who I was going to knit it for, but I just loved the concept of the hat and knew I wanted to knit it.  Flore hat seems like it is the perfect beginning to a slightly less traditional yet still adorable outfit for a goddaughter.  I’ve cast on and started the first layer of the hat…

It looks like it should work perfectly, but I’ll need to buy another size 4 16in circular tomorrow so that I can get the second layer started.  A plain white dress with the colorful cap could make a nice christening outfit, but then I wondered what else I might like to do for the dress.  I wondered about putting all the leftover yarn from the hat into the dress as little threads of color, but as I finish up the first layer of the hat, I can tell that there aren’t going to be a lot of leftovers.

Looking through the various yarn girls guide books gave me some ideas for a simple dress that M. could wear to her christening now, as a playdress when she is a little bigger and maybe even as a tank top when she’s bigger still… that would be a knit design that kept on giving.  I’m going to cobble together a pattern combining the good guest and you are my sunshine and adjust for size etc. (I knit you are my sunshine for E. when she was 4 or 5 and she still wears it).

I opened all my boxes of stash yarn and pulled out all the cottons in bright colors of the right weight to find colorful yarn for the stripes  (I’ll keep white as the main color as a nod to the christening gown concept).

In the end I settled on the green and purple because

they will perfectly match the hat.

I’ve already cast on.  The smallest size (4 – 5)  for the good guest called for 100 stitches as did the largest (3) of you are my sunshine.  So I’m starting with 100 stitches.  I’ll alternate between 2 rows of white and 4 of purple and every once in a while I’ll do 4 of green instead of 4 of purple.  I don’t have enough of the green to set up the full pattern on the good guest and I love the bodice on the you are my sunshine so I am planning to switch to a solid color for the bodice.  I’m going to go with the A-line skirt as a more everyday look and also to save myself some knitting time.  I’ll decrease 2 stitches every four rows for awhile and then reevaluate.  I’ll knit either the large or the medium size of the bodice for you are my sunshine and I would be fine with doing a few decreases right at the switch to the bodice to preserve some of the poofy look to the skirt in you are my sunshine.

Hope the parents like my ideas as much as I do.  Maybe I should ask them before I keep knitting away.

Hitchhiker Shawl

May 29, 2012

Like many others I’ve been captivated by the Hitchhiker shawl.  I had a ball of Sockina Cotton in shades of blue that I wasn’t sure that I wanted to make a pair of socks out of, so instead I turned it into my Hitchhiker shawl.  It won’t be as big as the pattern calls for because, Sockina Cotton doesn’t have as much yardage as the Wollmeise, but I think it will be big enough…

I wish the photo showed how blue some of the stripes are.  In the picture they look a little grey.  I figure I’m about 80% done.  I’m looking forward to wearing it.

Fun Quick Project

August 10, 2011

This summer I visited one of my favorite yarn shops: The Yarn Shop in Glen Arbor Michigan.  I worked for Mary Turak in this shop for one summer and I had the best time.  My favorite thing about visiting her shop is her specially made up balls of yarn.  She’ll take two, three, or 4 yarns that really don’t go together as far as I can tell (color sense not being my strongest suit) and skein them up together and then they look amazing.

I’m sorry to say that I didn’t take a picture of this ball of yarn before I started knitting with it, but I had 88 yards that was made up of three strands of yarn.  One was a smooth yarn that drifted blue/green/purple (no surprise that caught my eye).  One was a two ply yarn where one ply was white and the other ply drifted in green/taupe/black.  The final yarn was an all out novelty yarn with thin filaments and large flags sticking out all over the yarn.

I ended up with this fun little mini shawlette.  I designed this pattern earlier in the summer when I was trying to find something fun to do with a different bulky yarn for which I only had 88 yards.  I think I did really well.

I cast on two stitches and the entire thing is done in garter stitch.  I increased one stitch every 4 rows until the scarf was long enough to hang down in front without being too long or too short.  Then I started doing a short row every other row.  For this scarf, the turn happened 6 sts from the end of the row (that’s what makes the sort of collarish look to the top of the shawlette).  I continued to increase every 4th row where the short rows count as 2 rows.  I thought of this idea because I wanted the increases (done with YO) to exhibit the same pattern all along the edge of the shawl, but I also wanted the back to be more rounded than the front.  By putting in the short rows, it sort of mimics Elizabeth Zimmerman’s ideas in the Pi shawl.  I’m doubling the number of rows after those 6 sts, so it should be round as the Pi shawl is round.  It worked too!! I was really excited about that.  Once the shawl got deep enough, on rows where I used to increase I did K1, YO, k2tog to keep the edge looking the same without increasing any more stitches.  Then when I started to decrease I changed those 4th rows to K2tog, YO, K2tog so that I was losing a stitch every 4th row.

Hmm… this shows why I am not a professional pattern writer.  I could make it more exact by putting in numbers of times to repeat 4 row sections and how many stitches I had at which points, but honestly I think the whole point of this pattern is just to have a loose recipe that anyone can follow and modify easily based on their yarn and needles.  This is not a pattern that craves exactitude.  Funny that I should say that.

I had sort of meant to figure out where the middle of the ball was before I started, but I forgot…  Given that I’m particularly impressed that

This is all that’s left of my original ball… not even enough to make a coordinating scrunchie.

I partially bought this yarn just because I love having a fun ball of yarn from Mary Turak to play with, but I also sort of bought it thinking about making a fun shawl to wear to a wedding…

What do you think, can I wear it to a labor day wedding?

I’m thinking I’ll get a fun silver pin to hold the two ends together in the front.

I bought two of these balls of yarn this summer at Mary’s (and I’m half inclined to try and figure out how to get half a dozen more for Xmas presents — 88 yards knits up quickly).  When I start on the 2nd I’ll try to remember to take some pictures of the ball and the individual yarns that its comprised of.

It’s been a long time…

July 28, 2011

Sometimes I think about restarting this blog, and being me I get all quesy feeling because of how far behind it is.  I’ve decided to ignore the fact that there’s over a year’s worth of projects missing from this blog.  I’ve also decided to ignore the fact that it would take a really long time to just write about what I’m working on right now.  The whole point is I won’t write on this blog if I’m worried that it’s going to take a long time.  So I’m going to make it take a short time…

Here’s one project that I’m working on.

When Ondule by Anne Hanson was first revealed on her website, I was smitten.  The pattern looked exactly like something that I would wear.  I showed the pattern to lots and lots of people, and they all agreed that it looked like a me sweater (as it were).  Then I started wondering what yarn I would use.  She used a tone on tone sportweight wool yarn… I couldn’t do that.  There aren’t alot of non-wool yarns that have really interesting semi-solid colorways.  While in Switzerland last year, I found some Rustik by karen noe design.

Rustik by Karen Noe Designs

While it’s not a strictly speaking a tone on tone yarn, the three strand (blue, purple, and grey) do blend to create a nice tweedy look.

Sorry it's a little blurry, but I was trying to give you a sense of the 3 strands being held together in this yarn.

After much swatching and contemplating, I’ve finally started knitting on the left front.

Finally beginning to knit Ondule

So far it’s perfectly to gauge (on a sz. 3 needle) and working up beautifully.

Hopefully there’s more to come on this blog over the next couple of weeks.  Some days I’ll entertain myself by writing about finished projects that I missed over the last year, and some days I’ll focus on what I’m working on currently.

Just thinking…

August 3, 2010

So where am I at with my knitting…

I finished knitting N’s sweater, but I still haven’t finished putting it together.  It’s been sitting waiting for seams to be sewn for well over a month.  I’ll hope to get that done in the next couple of days.  I’ve momentarily misplaced my notions bag, so I’m hoping to find it in a suitcase once we make it all the way home.

I also just finished knitting my Noro Shawl.  I was getting tired of it at the end, but I love the finished project.  It also need two seams sewn and some ends sewn in, so I’ll have to wait a little longer to call it completely finished.

Just before we left for the long journey home, I started ripping out the circular shawl that I was displeased with in the fall.  I started knitting a rectangular shawl from Blue Sky Alpaca.  This is going pretty well.

It also means that of all the yarn I moved with me for the year, I am coming home with one ball of Sugar’n’Cream and 6 balls of Vanna’s choice that I didn’t knit.  Both of these are extra balls leftover from other projects.  I probably should have given the yarn away to the local kindergarten (as I did with some other yarn), but I wasn’t ready to give it away until after the school year ended.  In the end, the yarn made some useful packing material around some more breakable objects in our suitcases.

In terms of yarn that I bought while I was gone… I knit quite a bit of it, but I did bring some home.  I brought home two balls of unknit cotton sock yarn that my Mom had brought to me.  I also brought home some yarn that can’t be purchased in the US: 4 balls of Ganapi abaku for knitting two shawls, Rustik in blues and greens for the Ocean Waves vest in Shadow knitting, and Rustik in purple/grey for knitting Ondule, and a couple of balls of Super Cotton to knit a bunny for my neice/nephew that is due in January.  Those will be fun projects to look forward to.

I also want to start the Sunshine Vest for my nephew and possibly a second Sunshine Sweater for my daughter.  I’m also giving some serious thought to knitting the swatches necessary for the second level of Master Knitter and I saw a really nice jacket knit out of a heavy/silky cotton/polyester blend and I might want to start knitting that also.

Mentally I think I’m ready to get all the way home and start seriously unpacking and finding  some order.  Tomorrow we’ll make it all the way home, and on Thursday I can start unpacking.  I anticipate lots of loud gospel music to keep me focussed on the unpacking.  Once we’ve reestablished some sort of order, hopefully I’ll be ready to start thinking seriously about some projects again.

FO: Yoga Bag

June 28, 2010

Yoga bag.

The yarn is Sugar’n’Cream Stripes (Col. 21143) and the pattern is right from the label.  I followed the pattern exactly, but if I were to do it again (say if Traer doesn’t like this set of colors) then I would do the begining like the head of the bunny sleep buddy rather than using their directions.  I also think that I would change the strap and possibly use a woven ribbon for the strap instead.  However, it was a very easy knit and these particular colors really make me happy (so perhaps I’ll keep this one and just plan to make one for Traer in a different colorway — of course then I might actually need to learn to do yoga).

I'm pretty pleased.

This leaves me without an unthinking knitting project at the moment.  I still have two balls of this yarn so I’m just going back to making some dishcloths with that, but on Friday I did this

The beginning of the first sleeve for the Chic Lace Cardi

I got it up above the lace part.  I would love to claim this was forsightful, but I just wanted a fun, small project to work on at the pool while my kids swam.  I could now make this my unthinking knitting, but I had so much fun knitting this part, that I immediately cast on for the lace portion of the second sleeve so I don’t have the needles I need to finish this sleeve.  Give me another day or two and I’ll get to work on the sleeves for my easy knitting and the body for my thinking knitting.