Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

This baby prefers uggs to drugs

Another item for my BFF's first born girlie:

pattern: Suede Booties
yarn: I dunno...scraps. I pilfered my mom's stash again. Saved me from having to actually buy any of that white stuff (the white stuff which I can only describe as feeling like "damp toilet paper")
needles: 3.25 mm bamboo straights

If only things for ME could knit up this quickly!

Not much to say about this, apart from they are SO cute, I hope she likes them! They probably only took about three hours to knit in total. I notice there is also a corresponding hat that you can knit as well, though I think I'll likely give that a pass. Though hmmm, one in an adult size for yours truly might be okay...

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A totally cute knit. If you find yourself in need of something last second for a baby shower, I'd definitely recommend it.

I've currently got three other things on the sticks right now. My kidsilk scarf is chugging along. It's pretty much been my "work only" knit which I'd attempt a pattern repeat of every lunch hour. I've finally clued in that this is not a work friendly project. Evidenced by the fact that I've had to rip it back about 3 times now. It just requires way too much concentration and should not be attempted while simultaneously trying to do the crossword and maintain a work-gossip conversation. Who knew? But then looking at all these yarn overs, I guess that's no surprise:

This yarn is gorgeous--I absolutely love it!

I've also finally started the Kitty Pi bed for my youngest son in Noro big kureyon, which I'm starting to think is actually too nice of a yarn for this kind of project. Particularly when I a) already have so much lopi I should be using up and b) it's eventually going to get felted and subsequently matted with cat fur anyway. Ah well, these kitties are my babies...I'm actually not that far into that bed and am already bored with it. I inititally entertained the notion of knitting up a whole bunch of them to use up that lopi, and then donating them to my local humane society, but I guess I'll see how the first one goes. One bad experience with felting has left me somewhat wary of this particular project.

The third thing I actually cast on for last night in a fit of boredom with the other two projects. It was intended to be my summertime knit since it's 100% cotton, and I am finally getting around to starting it:

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It's the dropped stitch vest from Stitch n Bitch Nation. Size 3.5mm needles and 24 gauge mercerized cotton in BLACK means that I have officially begun another big, long, tedious project. Miles and miles of tiny stockinette. You don't even get to the fun part of dropping stitches until the very end. I think I knit 5 rows of it last night and it took me about an hour. One hour for half an inch. Plus I'm starting to clue in to why my mom always claimed to hate knitting with black wool--it really is difficult to see what's going on with the stitches. And the sizing I'm not so sure about. They have the medium as a 38 bust, and then the large suddenly jumps to a 48 bust, so I'm kind of torn. I'm definitely no 48, yet I am still fearful of knitting a "medium".

I'm not entirely sure how much knitting I'll even have time for in the next couple of weeks. Could be tons, could be none. Either way, there is some serious relaxing ahead!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A story of two dudes

I mean DUDS.

First up, the Fulled lopi tote. This was my first attempt at felting something (well, on purpose, that is!) Here's a before and after felting shot:

hmmm, I probably should have put something in there for the size ratio--the before photo is actually about twice as big as the after. You get the idea though. And while I'm thinking of it, what is the correct terminology here? Felting or Fulling? Is "fulling" the Brit version of America's "felting", and as a Canadian, does that mean I should be using the word "fulling"? --I kid, I kid. See the identity crisis we face as Canadians! ;)

This was knit entirely with scrap lopi that I pilfered from my sister's stash that she'd hung onto since her lopi addiction in the eighties. I have a lot more of this to get through as well, so I am ALL about the felting projects right now! The pattern itself was a fast and easy knit. Though I must say that mine didn't turn out nearly as good as the one pictured in the actual pattern.

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I kind of hated this project actually. The felting made a giant furry mess, which I guess can be expected. And i'm not sure what happened with my handles. The hole felted up wider than they were in the first place, so I suspect that it possibly got hooked on the agitator in the washing machine and that's why it got all stretched out. And speaking as someone who is pretty into BIG bags and purses, I really have no use for a tote this size. I'm not entirely sure what to do with it actually. I don't think it's good enough to "gift", and I can't think of another good function for it that doesn't make me itch and break out in hives just thinking about it. I do have a lot of felt flowers left over from craft sale days that i could add to it to liven it up, but I'm not sure if I can even be bothered.

I'm starting to wonder if Knitty's french market bag would have been a better way for me to go, but by the same token, probably not much of a different experience. I suppose it was a good enough test for my first run at felting, and should just chalk it up to "not being my thing". Truthfully I don't really even like the way felted stuff looks. Is that weird? I really can't knock this pattern though, it went up in a couple of half-assed evenings of knitting, so that's always a plus. My biggest dilemma lay in deciding which buttons to put on it!

My SECOND dud to report about today is this little sucker --trial run number one on the knit cactus front:

It's cute enough, but I'm not really that happy with it. The body of it isn't as long as i'd hoped (though you can't really tell from that photo), but that could be down to the gauge I never bothered with. Another fast knit done with scrap DK weight yarn. The pattern for it can be found in Funky Knits. I plan to keep at these cacti, but I think I'll likely just come up with my own patterns and add beads and felt flowers. They're easy enough to manipulate, so as not to be any kind of exact science.

Two more days till Vay-kay! boo yeah.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fruit protectors~

Ok, time for a bit of a silly FO!

Doesn't everything in your life demand it's own wardrobe?

I don't know how much protecting of the fruit these little cozies will actually do, but they were a fun knit nonetheless. I got the pattern for both out of Funky Knits. Definitely a very teen-centric book, but they had a couple of patterns for the knit cacti that I'm also in the process of making, so I just went for it. Why I felt I needed a pattern for what amounts to a small tube, I don't really know. It's definitely a pretty silly book. There's actually a pattern in it for knitting yourself a guitar case. I question how well that could ever turn out.

The yarn was all 100% cotton scraps. I own zero cotton. I had to raid my mom's stash (as I am also presently doing for the baby ugg booties...) and pilfer what I could. Fortunately for me, her stash is ENORMOUS. And essentially the polar opposite of most everything I would ever buy for myself. So suffice to say, I'm not sure what brand any of it is. The little bit of brown for the banana is the only exception there, as it's Paton's Decor and a wool blend, unlike the rest. My gauge for the banana was a bit off, I think it should definitely fit a lot more snuggly, and that's a big banana I've got in it, so that's definitely not it. Jeez why do I perceive that last sentence as sounding so dirty?

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I was toying with the idea of giving silly things like this away as Xmas presents at work this year, but now I'm not so sure. And really, I'm talking about the folks on my team here, so I did want it to be something small (last year it was scarves and toques for nine people--never again!). Now I'm thinking that a little knit cactus for each person's desk might be a better route to take. Though I must say, they do eat a lot of fruit here...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

new buttons!

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The garter stitch jacket and hat is now "officially" a finished object! Kiss it good bye on my sidebar. And it's an excuse for me to show off some of my lovely dawn dolls...that's me--crazy cat-lady, crazy doll-lady. I am seriously hopeless.

I finally got around to sewing buttons on to the little sucker, and once I actually set my mind to it, there were a lot of cute options out there. And by "set my mind to it" I actually mean that I couldn't MAKE UP my effing mind, so I wound up spending, oh, about 30 bucks on dinky buttons. ack. It was no repro depot button BONANZA or anything, but i'll take it. I'm still pissed that they won't ship here. Don't they know that I NEED my pity kitties?!

For some reason I was obsessing on the fact that it had to be apples. And there were lots of cute apple buttons out there, but nothing that was quite the right colour.

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And then I tried out these little cowboy boots since Marnie is into all things "cowgirl", but I wasn't liking how they worked either.

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And it was also very nearly these lucky cats, but again, too cutesy.

In the end I went for the same buttons I was originally thinking about, but in a colour that was a little more matchy-matchy. That coral colour was a serious bitch to "compliment"!

Here's a close-up, plain Jane buttons, just like her Aunt Cara!

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Sometimes simpler is better. It's the old adage of trying to cram ten pounds of shit into a five pound bag I guess.

Is it me, or did I swear a lot during this post?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Zed is for Zig Zag

Finally posting about this puppy!

pattern: Chevron scarf from last minute knitted gifts
needles: bamboo straights
yarn: Koigu! kpppm -painter's palette premium 100% merino in colours 854 & 519

I love this scarf, and it was a super simple pattern. I really didn't love the actual knitting though, it felt like it was taking forever to grow, what with the small sock yarn and small-ish needles. But koigu, much like the fleece artist merino sock yarn is a dream to use. Every stitch looks perfect all the time.

My begrudgingly handsome model:

I was also super happy with my colour choices in the end, so thanks to all of you that weighed in :) They really seemed to flow together well, and I was surprised as I went on how the colours developped. I really didn't seem to have a lot of the colours "pooling" issues that I saw others complaining about over in the Chevron flickr pool.

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It needed a good blocking to get some of the curling out of it, and I couldn't understand why I was a few inches shy of what the finished measurements were supposed to be (again resolved with blocking...) until I re-read the pattern and realized it actually called for TWO skeins of BOTH colours. Say what? Man if I felt like it was taking long before, I can't imagine what doing double would have felt like. Oh wait, yes I can --my own personal hell. So really, I don't understand the point. One skein of each was fine for me, it seems kind of pointless to buy two more when I was only about two inches off the mark in the end. Particularly when you'd then be stuck with two not-quite-complete skeins of mis-matched koigu. As it was I bought that yarn on ebay so I wasn't about to go hunting for more of it.

I'll probably get a lot of wear out of this scarf this year...if nothing else I'll have a big new selection of scarves to start choosing from this fall!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

howzabout a cuteness injection?

If anyone mentions Avril Lavigne or Ashlee Simpson here, I might have to kill them. Particularly when I myself own a couple pairs of converse that are in fact older than those two 'lil ladies. (It's true, I am old. I have two pairs of chucks that I've had since I was 13, so those babies are twenty freakin' years old now!). The red pair and the green pair. Remember when we would wear a different coloured shoe on each foot? (to go with the three pairs of swatch watches you were wearing at the same time of course...). Man I am so dating myself here. But in my defense, those sneakers got packed away for a long time and are presently in better shape than the other four pairs I own! Someone needs to come up with a baby bootie pattern for my Stan Smith's so I can bust those out of hiding too.

Anyhoozle -- on to the specs:
This was a pattern that I bought off etsy, from this seller. All the yarn I used were stash/scraps...mostly acrylics I think. I inititally tried double-stranding the white yarn so it would be a cushier sole, but the white I was using was way too bulky for it. That one came out like this:

Not so hot. So I re-did them (top photo) and am happy with how they turned out. The pattern's great...very quick, very detailed, super-easy to follow, and she provides lots of photos to help you along the way. I notice she's also selling an "adult" version of the knitted chucks as slippers too which were pretty funny.

I've changed up my blogger colours a bit. Mostly 'cuz I think I effed something up with my last post. I tried to fix it but miles and miles of html was making my head hurt and I wasn't sure where the problem was, but I was getting this big weird long gap on my sidebar. Who knows what I did, gah. I was gettin' tired of the pink anyway ;) Hopefully this one won't give me any grief. (knocks wood)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

clapotis redux

pattern: clapotis from Knitty (*BUT a half version --see explanation below)
yarn: Rowan Tapestry (70% wool & 30% soy) in colour #173 "antique"
needles: 5mm Clover bamboo straights

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Ok, well I think this may well be the same yarn that the lovely miss J did her clapotis in, and I had about 5 balls of the stuff and was dying to do another one for myself. Couple that with the never-ending chevron which I was desperate to take a break from, and well, there you have it.

Man o man did this ever knit up fast. I really wanted to do more of a "scarf" version. My previous clapotis was the enormous full-sized version, and it still remains the nicest yarn I've ever worked with. I'm seriously thinking about INVESTING in silk dream, it feels SO beautiful to wear. I pretty much wore that thing day in and day out. Not so with the Rowan Tapestry--it will no doubt be strictly a winter scarf.

I managed to find a pattern for a smaller version of the clapotis at k pixie, which for some reason I am now unable to find online(***update at bottom***). I essentially did this version of the clapotis, but then doubled the number of straight rows it suggested. It would have been way to short for my liking if I'd followed their specifications. In retrospect, I'd probably go back and actually triple the number of straight rows with this particular yarn. It fell a few inches shorter than I would have liked, but I knew I could probably get this from the majic that is blocking.

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Blocking really made this yarn beautiful. The fibres really needed to be flattened out, and again, I got a lot more length out of it. I think if I had done the full-sized clapotis with this yarn I likely wouldn't have bothered blocking and kept it nice and wavy, but since it's now half as narrow, it was just way too curly to be able to wear properly. It really only took me just under two balls to complete this, and it was essentially done in a couple of evenings. The great thing about doing a half-clapotis is that you get to start dropping stitches almost right away, and that's the fun part!

I haven't decided yet whether I'm keeping it for myself or gifting it. I have enough of that yarn left that I may actually try the argosy in it as well. I'm just not sure if the colours do anything for me.

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As I knit it up I was convinced it was browns and beiges...now that I look at it, it's mauves and golds. I do like the way it looks as though the sun is streaming onto it when it's laid out flat.

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I was just about to go into my long-ass schpiel about buttons, but then I realized duh, I don't have the requisite photos handy. And also, this is already entirely too long as I talk endlessly about things that are no doubt obvious.

***update*** --here's the link to the "mini" clapotis:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

scarf party

Where have I been? I'm not really sure. As my best friend Jaye once said to me the first week I met her: "I should have never taken that anti-psychotic that guy offered me. Now I've missed three days of school!" I knew we'd be fast friends.

pattern: kerchief scarf from LMNG, of course
yarn: leftover Debbie Bliss Alpaca silk in coral
needles: bamboo straights

Well, what can I really say about this thing? It's a bandana. It's a garter stitch triangle.

It's the same yarn I used for the baby jacket in my last entry, so I guess it's kinda nice that I actually get to keep some of it for myself in some form. I'm tempted to cast back on and make it slightly longer even, since there's still about half a ball left, and really, what else am I going to do with it? In retrospect this yarn was way too thick for this pattern, but I was on a mission! I'm thinking about making a summer version of it in a thinner bamboo.

Now that my chevron scarf is also finished I plan to put that book back on the shelf for a while. This is the fourth thing I've made out of it which must be some kind of record (for me) for consecutive knits from the same book.

I've made a bunch of little things lately that I'll try and update on soon. I've been super lazy about taking photos of stuff and loading it onto the computer though, so I've finally gotten off my ass and around to that.

Another work in progress that's been sitting at this stage for about two months now is my kidsilk scarf:

It came as one of those little fleece artists "kits" with the attached pattern, though I haven't been able to find a link to it so I'm not sure if they even make it any more. The wool is amazing (much like ALL fleece artist yarns!)--kid mohair and silk, and I absolutely love the colour, so I'm not sure what my problem is. I'm doing the pattern that came with it which is lots of yarn-overs and flowy and pretty but I'm totally uninspired by it. Mind you, I have recently finsihed about 4 other scarves, so therein might lie my apathy.

And happy belated Canada Day to all. I was sick pretty much all weekend so could only really listen with increasing nausea to the frat boy keg party happening two doors down, and all over my neighborhood for that matter. Bah humbug.