Friday, July 2, 2010

More Fair Isle

I started my other fair isle kit from knitpicks a while ago. It was coming along quite nicely (despite no. 3 needles) but quickly was thrown by the wayside after my birthday. This will eventually become quite a pretty vest in greens and browns.

Here is one of the knits that graped my attention. My very first EZ seamless yoke.

I don't like the colorwork I picked out all that much. I think maybe I used too many colors or that the red and orange just don't go with the main color brown. Thinking about redoing it to just green, the two blues and white. And then doing more of a leaf pattern then the flowers. I don't know. But that will probably never happen. Or at least not till fall.

This was made with lion bran wool ease worsted weight. Every day after christmas they put it on sale for $2 and I get a bunch. This used 4 of the main color.

Friday, March 5, 2010

More White Lace

I have made another white lace shawl, this one I get to keep.

I bet you can guess the pattern. It is the ever popular Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark, 6387 projects and counting on rav. I love everything about the pattern except the size and those horrid nubs. Ok I like the way the nubs look, just not the tension it induces on my body when I try to knit them. My hands would cramp up and for some reason my arms and back and neck would all tighten up too. I picked the pattern due to it only needed one skein, so I guess I was in for the size disappointment and should have known before hand. Since I did run out with only 5 rows left and had to get a second skein anyway I really wish I would have added more repeats in the budding lace pattern.

Here is my proof that I did indeed block the thing. See I'm not always that lazy. This time I threw a sheet on the carpet and just pushed the pins right through the carpet. Worked much better than my crazy pins on a towel on the tile floor scheme I tried last time. I might actually block more things if it is this easy.

The yarn was a Christmas gift from my brother. He even went into the lys to buy it, he really is a great guy. Had to have been funny, my 6'-8" 260 lb brother walking in to a yarn store. And what he got was a delicate pretty skein of Kraemer Sterling Silk & Silver in veil white (rav link). This is a bad picture but the only way to really capture the glitteryness of the silver thread. Also a good close up of those horrid yet beautiful nubs.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Continental No Go

I tried to better my knitting and broaden my ability but that is just to hard. Even the baby bib had to be riped out. Looking back cotton was not a good choice to try, being that keeping tension in cotton was much harder on my finger that keeping tension in wool. I might one day get up the courage and try again. But for now I made my fair isle hat and mittens just fine with out it. I created a new method of holding both colors in my right hand at one time. One color on the outside and one on the inside, and would rotate my fingers between the two colors. Probably not quite as fast since I am still throwing both colors but works for me.
Aren't they crazy cute? And they were so much fun to knit I did it all in one week. I love them and wear them all the time. They are very warm and can take all the wear. Also the kit came with almost enough yarn to make two sets. Made my mom a hat and plan on making myself a matching cowl. I am afraid to wash them though, really really do not want to felt them, and the though of being with out them for a day to air dry is just too much. In the bag I am holding is my falling leaves blanket which is finally finished. It only took two years to finish.
I would say it was worth it. It took three 1lb carnon yarn. As I have said before I started with only one and thought I could somehow just go back and buy more want I ran out. Well that didn't happen so opted to used three very different sades of green to make it look like this was done on purpose. I also got border of making all those small squares so I made up a pattern that would be as big as four of them put together. I love it. The knitted border was horrid, I hate having to pick up stitches let alone doing it for two hours strait.

I also learnt to crochet a little on this project. I used a zig-zag stitch to join all the squares together, just slightly better then sewing. I do like the effect though, trying to hide my sewing would have been too hard and the zig-zag stitch is supposed to stand out as a design feature. Yes it is true I did not block the blanket. You can point and laugh and call me lazy but it is a blanket and I just didn't feel like it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Continental method of knitting

I'm trying to teach myself continental style. In doing so I'm learning new things about how I throw. Turns out I never really kept tension in my working yarn. I would just pinch it between my index finger and thumb and allow them to slide along the working yarn. I would also use the index finger on my left hand to 'push' the right needle through the loop and my left thumb to push up the next stitch and the other six fingers would hold the needles. I'm having a really hard time with the tension part of knitting, turns out I have no idea how to do it even though I've been knitting (well if I do say so myself) for over six years now.

I decided that the baby-bib-o-love would be a perfect project to teach myself since I thought garter stitch was more forgiving for BAD gauge. And bad gauge is what I have right now, my loops are either crazy big or really tight. I think that I'm just going to have to come to terms with having very lose gauge when knitting continental since the really tight stitches are when I try to fix it. I'm pretty sure I will always have to drop a few needle sizes, but we will see. I'm only 8 garter ridges into the first bib and I plan on making several for practice.

Now come the whole reason I'm making myself even do this (my left index finger is in pain already). I just discovered how reasonable the kits at knitpicks are, and bought 2 fair isle ones. I've aways thought about trying this out but always thought that it was too expensive for my college student budget, but I found a crazy cute hat and mitten kit for only $18 and a really nice vest one for $19. The mitten one is on back order and so I don't know how long it will take to get here but I have to start learning this now. I'm really scared that my gauge with each hand will be too different and my stranding will look like crap.

Here is the shawl I made back in June, I already gave it away but here are the pictures (taken the day it was gifted)

I knit it in dreamy angora wool blend and used Lucinda Shells Shawl from Beyond Wool by Candace Strick. Knit this strait from the pattern, just used a size larger needle and only the angora instead of angora and linen together. This is also the first project I have ever blocked and wow, I am now on board blocking things. The yarn really came alive after being washed, like ten times softer than before. But the best part about this shawl, guess how much it cost...

a grand total of $5!!!. I finally used the method of recycling yarn. I went to goodwill with a type of yarn in mind. The most important key to recycling yarn is to get a sweater that is not in your size. I also bought two other sweaters that day to recycle, both of which moved from my knitting stash right to my wardrobe without being re-knitted. Also an important key to picking out the recycling sweater I found from laughing purple goldfish. Scroll down to the seams to look out for. I have really taken a liking to wool and now know what all the fuss is about. I'm going to try and not buy anymore acrylic yarn but recycle wool. The other best part about this shawl is that I only used 1/2 of the original sweater so I can make one for myself too. I found it was more time effective to not wind it into a ball but to knit as you unravel the old sweater. This also allows for less tangles and would be an interesting sock blank if I find a white sweater in a stronger yarn, no way would I use this angora for socks.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My first lace

I finally started a lace project. Two of my good friends from high school are getting married this summer so I wanted to knit them something nice. A lace shale seamed perfect for one of them. The pattern I'm using is from Beyond Wool and calls for argora and linen to be held together.

I found a beautiful sweater at goodwill that was make with a argora blend and this was perfect. Since I wanted it to be more lacy I didn't hold it together with anything and used size 2 US needles instead of 1 Us. I finished the shawl last night (finally this thing took forever) and I'm attempting to block it this weekend. Since I recycled a sweater I'm not sure how much yarn I used. I used both sleeves and half of the front. I'm quite pleased with the recycling of yarns. This project cost me a whole $5, and I have enough left for a nice scarf or something. I'm defiantly going to recycle a lot more.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One Month Ago

I'm not really a purse kind of person, I don't normally carry one if possible. However I have fallen in love with this brea bag. I wanted to make a purse for a good friend of mine for her birthday. I started out just making a pattern as I go along but it was going to be fairly boring. I only had 4 days to finish so I had picked out some cotton in my stash and held it double and used size 9 needles. I started with just a rectangle bottom and picked up stitches all the way around and got up a good 3" (using a purl row for the corners) My thought was that I could find a sideways cable to finish off the top and add a strap. So I went to raverly and try my luck. Turns out I was not able to find any sideways cable but I did find the brea.

One look at the bag and I wanted to make it. It is gorgeous. My thought was I could maybe make it for next year or Christmas but I got to reading the pattern. Each side only has 29 rows and you only start with 128 stitches. That seamed more than reasonable in my time frame. Then I read what materials you need, yarn held double and size 9 needles. The exact things I had with me. And my yarn even made gauge (or at least close) I measured 14 stitches to 4" in stockinette not seed stitch but still pretty close. I made my mind up right then and there to rip out my lousy excuse of a purse and cast on this puppy.

The first bag took me only 2 days to finish (true one of the days was over the entire span of a baseball game on top of my train ride). I made only two modifications to the first bag (not pictured here, it was pink if you where following along) I did not make three parts to have to sew together. The whole time knitting the first side I was thinking about how to not have to sew the thing (when I wasn't thinking how much I loved this bad) My brilliant idea was to instead of knitting the bottom long part width wise like in the pattern but length wise. I would then instead of casting off this bottom section continue on to the second side and only have one seam to sew. I almost went with this theory when I dawned on me, I didn't have to cast on at all, just needed to pick up stitches along the bottom edge of the first side. This eliminated all need of sewing. That is when I married the bag, it was far beyond love at this point.

The other modification was simple, I used a braid cord as a strap. Of course I needed to make the bag again. My mother-in-laws birthday was coming up and this sounded perfect. This time I only had 6 oz of cotton in the blue and I used about 8-9 oz of cotton on the first bag. I knew I was going to run out and I wanted to use up stash. Also, I though the bag was a bit big (probably not for a normal person but when I do use a purse it is the smallest one I can get away with) so to make this smaller I skipped the first 6 rows and cast on for row 7. I just had enough yarn for both the bag and strap. I used an old found button, key rings for the hardware. I made a lining for this one too. It finishes off the bag quite nicely.

I have now have to make a bag for me. To bad I used up all my cotton that was 6 oz of the same color. Since the pattern isn't written for cotton I might try some other type of fiber but I really like how sturdy the cotton turns out. Maybe I will just go and buy one 3 oz skein.

Monday, May 11, 2009

2 Months Ago

For my birthday I bought myself a ball winder.

I wound these 4 yarn pats in 30 min flat! These have since been knit up into a skirt from Fitted Knits. The matching suit coat will be coming soon but I have to unravel the cardigan the yarn is in the form of now first. Once both are finished I'll post a picture. The skirt is very nice and I added a zipper and elastic hem and everything. The zipper turned out not to be needed, as the elastic allows the skirt to be taken on and off without undoing the zipper. This also means that without the elastic the skirt would not have been kept on so good thing I added it. This occurred because I did not read the errata until I had already started. The pattern used starts on p.123. Yes that's right, I finally check gauge and get it smack on and turns out the gauge listed on the pattern is WRONG. Oh well, I really didn't want the skirt to lay at my waist but at my hips so with the elastic it is perfect. I was actually thinking about starting over to make it for my waist when I checked the errata so it turned out ok.

Next project I was working on is a baby blanket. My husbands best friend is having a baby (very soon now) so of course I had to make her something knitted (the baby) I didn't completely draw from stash for this one. I used up the rest of the sweet pea peach fuzz left over from the last baby blanket, and I bought some soft white baby yarn to use as the carrier yarn. This blanket is much softer than the last one. However the baby yarn is a sport/fingerling weight where the yarn in the last blanket was worsted/aran. I liked the textured of the first blanket better, more substance. This one stretches to much, even if it is crazy soft.
I also used a 'real' pattern for this one, bunny hop blanket. The pattern repeat was getting to me so I cheated and only did 1 and 1/2 repeat along the edges. This made 2 and 1/2 diamonds around the sides and a stockinette middle. This blanket was finished just yesterday when I finally washed it, the shower is next weekend so I really didn't have a choice.