Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's a little less drafty in here now

I finished the draft blocker today.

I went from this:
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(Taken after two trips to my parents, about 2/3 done)
Plus an hours more kitting, felted it this afternoon, threw in a plastic trash bag,

Added this:
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(The kitty littler, not the adorable dog, although she did help)

Tied up the ends with crochet chains, and TA DA!
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Stats:
Yarn: Two strands held together of Lambs Pride Worsted, took a little under three skeins, it was especially close with the green.
Needles: US size 11 Clover Bamboo, 16 inch circulars.
(This was my first time with bamboo, eh; I don't see what the big deal is.)
Time: umm, two trips to my parents, plus another hour umm... three and a half hours, maybe a little more.


I got the pattern from one of the ladies at my local knit night, if she says it's ok, I'll post the pattern a little later.


I really enjoyed this for the nice mindless car knitting, I like being able to keep my hands busy while still being able to watch the landscape and talk to Bill as he drives. It was especially nice on the dark rides home, usually I fall asleep with nothing to do but sit in the dark, but with the kitting I was able to keep awake, and keep Bill company. I think I may start a pair of plain no pattern socks to keep in the car for future rides.

Speaking of socks.
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I haven't gotten very far with the hedera look-alikes. This was taken yesterday, and I'm still about an inch away from the heel, I think I've kind of lost steam now that I know they are just for me, maybe once I finish a little more holiday knitting I'll make quicker progress.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday Sky

This is my first Saturday Sky post.

So in celebration, y'all get a twofer!

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Both taken 8:25am Saturday, November 25, 2006 at the Platypus Nest.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I give thanks for my loving family, my awesome Fiancé and cuddly dog. I give thanks that I have the time to pursue what make me happy.

What makes me happy? Knitting:

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The Hedera look-alikes are doing well, I'm three and a half repeats into the foot, and I've already memorized the pattern and having great fun with it, and they fit me perfectly so far.

Wait...

Yeah, they aren't supposed to fit me, they are supposed to fit my cousin, who has a much smaller foot. I screwed up my calculations somewhere, so they are now mine, and I'll have to start another pair for Tasha. Probably a different pattern, as much as I like this pattern, I don't think I could knit it twice in a row.


I've also discovered that I can't knit these in the car, I have to pay too much attention to the small stitches while working the lace pattern, and I make myself carsick.

So I started this for the car ride to my parents today and back:

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It will eventually be much longer, felted down and stuffed with kitty litter.
That’s right it's a 'Door Floor Sweater' or draft blocker. It's the monthly project for my knitting group, and it's nice mindless knitting until it's long enough.
(Well, not too mindless, or I might go crazy, I'm throwing in the Fibonacci sequence to liven it up)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Show off night

Today is the bi-monthly meeting of the Clayton Knitt Witts.

Last meeting we decided that we were all going to make little knitting themed ornaments for a Christmas tree that would be on display in town. I always have a moment of panic when it comes to group projects that I'm the only one doing any work, and since I really want to show how awesome our group is and to promote it so we can get new members; I went a little overboard...

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The mittens are from this pattern

The stockings are from here

The stars and trees are from EZ's Knitters almanac. you've seen those before.


And then there is this little gem:

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I just thought of sweaters today, so I made up the pattern as I went, I was so tickled with myself, I love how the colour repeats in the sock yarn worked out perfectly, I managed to work in every single colour repeat. It so looks like a sweater Barbie would wear in the 80's, it's just missing a wide boat neck so it can be worn off one shoulder.


After a little searching I came up with this pattern from the web which is pretty darned close to what I did, but I started with more cast on stitches, so mine is probably a bit larger.


And since I can't go to knit night without something to show of and work on, I have this:

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A neck warmer of my own design, a wide lace pattern, and then ribbing for the neck, I saw something similar to it long ago when I first started knitting, and reverse engineered the pattern from memory. I'm using Knit Picks Panache which is a sinfully decadent yarn. i hope I have enough to finish, as I only bought one ball. Once it's finished and I've had a chance to polish up the pattern I'll post it here.


And because I'm in the ribbing of the neck warmer, which I find incredibly boring, and can only work on for so long, I started another project:

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These will eventually be a pair of socks, similar to Knitty's Hedera but different as I'm working them toe up and with a short row heel, and at a different gauge, and two at one magic loop style. (yep, that's a lot of mods.)

I'm making them for my cousin, Tasha, who will be a bridesmaid at my wedding, all I have to go on is her shoe size, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they fit.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

And the Yuletide presents begin

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Well hello cute little kitty bag, what are you holding?

Ohh, stitchmarkers!

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The bag was made with lambs pride worsted and then felted, then the pink wool yarn was needle felted on in the shape of a kitty face. Pretty easy actually, I just cut little strips of yarn, paced them where I wanted and poked at them a bit to anchor them in spots while I shaped them properly, and then I stabbed at them like crazy to make them stick.


The stitch markers are simple charms and beads from the craft store with split rings, they were quite fun actually. I plan on making a few more to fill out the bag, but I need to stop and get more split rings before I can finish.

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This set is for my soon to be mother in law; she loves knitting and cats, the purrrfect combination!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

kitten knits kitty toys

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This is Jake, Jake is Bill's Mom's cat, he lives with his sister Kate,

Say hi Kate

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Jake and Kate say I must make them kitty toys every Christmas. It's only fair, the humans get so much.

Ok Jake, Here you go, but you have to wait until Christmas to get them :p

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Strangely Bill's Brother's dog, Bodhi likes catnip toys too, so I'm making her one as well.

Edited to add that I used this pattern for the mice.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What do you get when you cross a squid and a ball of yarn?

This.
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What is this?
A swatch for my very first every sweater!
:: gasp! ::


Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Amethyst Heather
Needles: US Size 7 (4.5mm)


The sweater will be a seamless yoke sweater using Elizabeth Zimmermann's percentage system.

Seamless means it's going to be in the round, hence the squid/yarn hybrid, instead of making a hat sized swatch in the round and taking forever I just cast on and knit flat, but slid the swatch to the other end of the needle and stranded the yarn behind so I could get the gauge of just me knitting, (as if I were knitting in the round) as opposed to me knitting and purling (as if I were kitting flat.) Now I just have to wait until laundry day to throw it in the wash to see if there will be any stretching or shrinkage for the final numbers.


It took me forever to get to this stage, I wasn't sure what yarn I wanted to use. I looked at several options, Knitpicks Wool of the Andes, Knitpicks Swish Superwash, Brown Sheep Lambs pride worsted, I even thought about Cascade 220.


I definitely wanted a 100% animal fiber yarn, I have enough acrylic and acrylic blend sweaters, I wanted something that would both keep me warn and also breath so I wasn't sweating my arse off half the day. Lambs pride was my first choice since I can get that locally, but the mohair content just made it too itchy and yuck for me. Cascade 220 is 100% wool, and comes in tons of colours, perfect since I wanted to do some fair isle on the yoke, but my computer screen isn't very good when it comes to colour accuracy and I can't get it locally, and can't see a colour card in person without a store. (ok, I can get it sort of locally in Alexandria Bay, but the store had a HUGE markup, and I've had ordering problems with them before, and wasn't sure if I'd be able to make a large specialized order from them without a lot of hassle.)


Which leaves Knitpicks, which had the added bonus of being super cheap. Fist I looked at Swish Superwash for ease of care and OMG extreme softness, but I didn't like the colour combinations, so that got put on the back burner for a someday solid sweater. WOTA had perfect colour range, but I had heard a lot about it being cruddy and scratchy, so I bought a sample ball with my most recent order and after much face and neck rubbing, and finally wandering around with the swatch tied to my arm I have made my decision! It is a bit rough, especially compared to something like the Swish, but it's not really that bad by my standards, and all reviews I've read say it softens with washing and wear. Plus I am super happy with the colour choices and wow cheapness!


One problem is that Knitpicks worsted is actually more like a light worsted, so I had to go down to size 7 before I was happy with the fabric, but that is not a huge deal, and I'm really happy with the colour. Now I just have to wait until I am done with a few of my other projects before I can start this one!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Warm up the basset

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Last Monday I finally go the buttons to finish off duchess's sweater, all I needed was to figure out how many and placement so I could knit the buttonhole band, and then sew them on.
Well I kept putting it off, but I finally finished it last night. When I go to Watertown again Monday I'll be dropping it off with my mother so duchess can send more time outside and still be mostly warm.
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the button on the paw print is a spare, my parents are notorious for loosening little things like that, so I put it there so it wouldn't get lost, yet still look like part of the sweater decoration.
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Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Superwash in Wisteria.
Needles: US size 7 circulars.
Pattern: custom fit dog sweater (which is an awesome pattern by the way) but modified it to knit flat with the opening at the back, as duchess is old and my mother would have quite a bit if difficulty pulling it over he head or getting her paws through the armholes. This way she just has to step in, and mom pulls it up and buttons it. Et voila!
Pictures of it being modeled to come hopefully after Monday.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Christmas fiddle faddle

For Christmas this year the town where I live is letting certain groups decorate their own tree in the town square, a kind of way to promote the group and their activities, and the knitting group that I am in is one of the lucky decorators. So I've been looking up knit tree decorations and these are my first two, a tree and star from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac.

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I made a test tree that is hanging off my doorknob at the moment, Bill wouldn't give it up once I had hung it there, and I was unhappy with the way the trunk looked anyways, so I made another one and left it off and just picked up some stitches and knit down, I think it looks nicer.

I'm scouring the web now for more quick ideas the ornaments all have to be in by next Monday.

Perhaps some mini mittens and stockings. I'm thinking of also making a few more crochet snowflakes for it as well. Technically our group is for crocheters as well, and maybe seeing the snowflakes will bring more people to the meetings.

No pictures, because they aren't very pretty, but I'm working on some new slippers for Bill, I made him a pair of pocket book slippers last winter, but they were at a rather loose gauge, and he has worn them out quite well in our all carpeted apartment. This time I'm using a different pattern, and double stranding at a much tighter gauge. The pattern is a little odd though, and I had to fiddle with it to make a size that fits him, so they look really wierd, and not very pretty at all, but they are nice and toasty, and should last a bit longer than the old pair.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

In honor of the sleet we got this afternoon

Snowflakes:

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These are nice little guys, snowflake #21 from 99 crochet snowflakes

Right now they are un-starched (and the ends aren’t woven in) but I'm waiting until I have a few more done to make up a batch of starching solution. unblocked they come to about 2 1/2 inches, I fear even with some vicious stretching that they may not reach the full 3 1/4 inches the book claims. I guess I crochet a bit tight. I plan on slipping one of these into each card I give out for the holidays, something to make it a little more personal. I decided to go with all the same pattern for everybody so that next year I would be able to tell what everybody got, and won't accidentally give people duplicate flakes.

Also, a pi shawl:

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I made this a while ago and posted about it in my LJ, but I guess I forgot to repost it when I started this blog.

It’s a variant on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi shawl. I made it using worsted weight wool on US size 10 needles. I ran out of wool and couldn't obtain any more, so it came out to only about 5 feet in diameter, a little too small to make a really effective shawl for me, but with it's thickness it makes a perfect lap blanket, especially now when it's so chilly, and getting chillier.

Here's a better picture of it blocking:

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The outside lace pattern is straight form Knitter's Almanac, the middle pattern is a lyre pattern I found in one of my stitch encyclopedias, heavily modified to fit, and the middle is 'wheat', once again heavily modified from one of my stitch encyclopedias, the middle pattern really distorted the middle though, but luckily most of the problems blocked out, although you can still see the distortion little bit.

And finally, because I can...

Cayenne, my wonderfully cuddly American Eskimo doggie

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she says "I need cuddles"

guess I should go do that then...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Another hat?

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Yeah, it's getting cold, and all of Bill's hats, while ok, were all acrylic and rather old, and since I really wanted to try out EZ's prime rib, I made him a hat.

Unlike Elizabeth Zimmermann though, I dislike seaming more than I dislike purling (I see purling much like I see vegetables, if you get a knitter doing it early enough, and keep it up, soon you're used to it and don't mind it quite so much, and if you are particularly special, you will even begin to live it), so I looked around and found somebody who had devised a way to knit Brioche stitch in the round. While perusing her sight I saw she had also figured out how to do it in two colours, and since I just happened to have more than enough wool left over from the ganomy hat, I used that. Perfect!

Pattern: Bi coloured Brioche stitch hat, in the round

Yarn: worsted, hand spun, hand dyed, home grown Border Lancaster wool from a local farm in my area.

Needles: size us 7, 16" circulars and us 7 DPNs for the top.

This made a wonderfully squishy and warm and cozy hat. It fits me beautifully (22"), and due to the awesome stretchy power of the brioche stitch, fits Bill's gigantor (24") head as well!

I'm especially fond of how the decreases make arches in the coloured ribbing.

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and one from the inside, I like how nice it looks on the 'wrong' side too, nifty.

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