Friday, November 28, 2008

hat party redux

Hats a-plenty round these parts lately (and brrrrrr do I need 'em!)

pattern: Floppy Toque by Cathy Caron (Vogue Knitting Holiday 2008) size xs
yarn: Fleece Artist Peter Rabbit (less than 1 skein held double)
needles: 4.5mm

This yarn: fabulous. But fuzzy --yeah, duh I know, it's angora. Mercifully it's a quick knit, so the fuzz-up-the-nose factor is limited. The xs size was pictured on the model, and it looked super floppy so that's what I went with (I have a small head...) In the end a floppier hat would have been even better for me I think (a medium maybe?). The yardage required for even the XS was TEN balls of angora (they usually come in what ten gram balls?--5 or 6 or 10 bucks a pop?) so financially the Peter Rabbit is a great deal for something like this at $20 a skein. I've had this ball in my stash for a really long time not knowing what to do with it. I had the same yarn in another colour as well, and one skein yielded me this scarf (hard to believe one year ago I was a much less experienced knitter...) but that's just to show how much you can get out of one skein (and how quickly you can grow as a knitter in a short amount of time).

I've long wanted to do a Cathy Caron pattern, so in some ways this wee hat is a bit of a cop-out in that regard cuz she's got some great sweater patterns --these have been in my queue for ages...not sure when I'll ever get around to them:

(who IS this gorgeous model she uses for all her shots?)

Well, after this hat, maybe it's time I actually buckled down and did one.

Also in the hat department:

A loong time ago miss Amy of Whistlepea knits was sweet enough to gift me her hat pattern and some yarn. I just can't believe it's taken me this long to get around to knitting it!

did I just wake up?--are those pajamas?!

pattern: Interwoven cable hat by Amy O'Dell (buy one here)
yarn: Elann peruvian highland wool in bisque (1 ball)
needles: 5mm

Further proof that I am a loose knitter--I didn't check my gauge *and* ran out of yarn. I didn't have any more cause she had gifted it to me originally, BUT I had some Patons in a similar colour. I finished off the crown with it and ta weird is it that it is an exact freakin' match? Well, I mean it must not be, it's not even the same yarn yet alone dye lot, but the match is seamless. Crazy, huh? Patons to the rescue once again.

Thanks again Amy for the fun knit!
Ok I think that's probably more than enough photos of yours truly for one day...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


and then BAM! all of a sudden it's done.

except by "all of a sudden", I pretty much mean "several months worth of apathy".

pattern: Wallis sweater by Sarah Hatton (Rowan #38) size M
yarn: Mission Falls 1842 in "cocoa". I have no idea how many balls --at least 10 I'd say. I frogged the yarn from this which wound up being odds and ends by the time I pulled it all apart (can you say 50 million ends to weave in??) and then I still ran out and had to buy two more balls.
needles: 4mm

Soooooo, I think I have to hold off on doing any more "batwing" type sweaters for a while...

I like the look but it's not so practical. For starters this thing is a beast to begin with, nevermind trying to cram those sleeves under a coat. Much like Iceland before her, it CANNOT be done. Nor is this one really thick enough to wear as a "coat" on it's own either (the lace pattern is a little prohibitive that way) --and that outside photo shoot you see here almost left me with pneumoina.

It's not really evident in the pics, but in any natural light the neck is a different colour than the rest...(maybe you can see that a bit in the top photo) though I had virtually completed the front and back before I was forced to buy new yarn in a different dye lot, so I was non plussed by the prospect and wasn't about to scour the internet for more in the same lot. Ah well, it's subtle...less subtle than that run-on sentence describing it at any rate.

Verdict? Too big. But I guess that's not a bad is essentially a poncho with a waist after all.

At one point I had both cats crammed inside of it with me, but one kitty-head sticking out of each sleeve didn't make for the hilaious photo op I'd hoped it would.

When I originally started knitting this there was maybe one other example of it on Ravelry. When I finally posted it as complete yesterday there were at least a dozen, so people definitely managed to bust this out a lot quicker than I! I think I lost interest a couple months ago when it dawned on me that I was essentially knitting a blanket. But it is as you would imagine, very VERY comfy. And I do love that Mission Falls superwash. I'm actually kind of debating on whether I should seam the arms up a bit more.

I was tempted to post more pictures from different angles etc., but I think it's pretty evident how it looks...the same from the front as it does from the back! (in fact If I *hadn't* started with a new dye lot on the front I wouldn't know the front from the back at all.

But regardless of any woes I might have had with it, I am envisionning myself many evenings curled up on the sofa in it (especially given our reluctance to turn the heat up...) with a good book (or a new project), cup of tea (glass of wine)in hand.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Etsy Knitspiration

In light of the crazy-ass economic times we find ourselves in (most especially my neighbours to the south...) isn't handmade a better way to go for the holidays? And since most of you reading here are likely knitters anyway, I figured we were all due for a little knitting gift-spiration.

For the jewellery lovers out there, (that's ALL of us, right?)

$58 from Toggle

Silvia66 $42

knitted flowers from Silvia66 $18

Knitted I-cord rules, and there are million things you can do with it. Perhaps something for the vinyl junkie in your life? (This one is crochet, though you could easily coil up some I-cord for the same effect...)

Record cushion from Toggle $68

And from Olive Brown, gorgeous super-sized chunky knits:

Colour-block scarf $115

Neck Loop $75

Hemp Market Bag $75

Chunky Cowl from SprattersandJayne $85

Dishcloths from CocoaBean $6

There is something on Etsy for everyone in virtually every price range and every taste.

If nothing else these ideas make me wonder why I'm not motivated enough to start my own knitwear etsy shop...though stay tuned, that is likely on the horizon, I'm just narrowing down what I think my niche should be.

Oh, and I almost forgot to add this one --for the truly ambitious among you...

from Theresa Honeywell

Ok, maybe not.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Phildar

So much love for these patterns...I might actually have to order myself this catalogue. Finally a few sweater pattern that are getting me excited again:

more love here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

entering her single digits...

My good friend's daughter is turning ONE tomorrow...I can't even believe it:

pattern: double-breasted knit coat from Easy Baby Knits 6-12 mos. size
yarn: Cascade 220 Quatro the heathers colour #9453, 2 skeins (ok, you know I just chose this yarn as my 80's homage to Heathers! hmmmm, I need to watch that again --it's been a while)
needles: 5mm

Ah, the joys of knitting for someone so little --you can bust out an actual garment in no time flat with a real sense of accomplishment (she says as her wallis sweater languishes in a corner somewhere...). Sidebar: I've discovered that it is seriously counterproductive to try on a sweater when it is close to completion. My Wallis sweater literally only has the sides still to be seamed up. So what did I do this weekend? I . tried. it. on. Bad idea. The thing is freakin' enormous and now my desire to finish it after all these months was immediately quashed. yargh.

But this little beauty turned out great. As usual, the buttons were my biggest dilemma, and the thing sat finished awaiting those for several weeks.

I'm really of the button school of thought that buttons should pretty much disappear...hence the difficulty in finding a compatible purple. It really makes me crazy when I am on the hunt for a black cardigan and can only find ones with white buttons. What's up with that? But personal pet peeves aside, I'm happy with how it turned out in the end. Seaming was a bit of an issue, as the raglan shoulder seams are supposed to be seen on it as a bit of a "design element"--and that's easier said than done. I'm starting to think I could really benefit from some sort of seaming course. The problem with those is that they always want you to bring a finished piece that still needs to be seamed. When do those two realities ever synch up?

My other fear is that this jacket will also be too small. I knit the 6-12 month size as the next one up was seeming really big as I was knitting the back. AND I got the yarn out of a sale bin somewhere so knew I'd run out on the next size up. I knit the length and the arms a bit longer, but that's about all the mods there were. Guess I'll know this weekend if it fits...if it doesn't I will likely take it home and simply block the shit out of it.

Also getting the jump on some smaller "office" holiday presents:

These were fun and FAST.

I used mostly DK weight yarns...I'm fearful that some of my co-workers with bigger hands may not be able to get them on. I'm a terrible judge of this myself due to my own freakish child-sized hands. Did I mention in the end that we had to get my engagement ring sized to a THREE?! I'm still reeling from that one. But anyway...knit in the round so there would be no seam, and for the most part I cast on around 60 stitches, depending on what knit pattern I was going with. I just got the bangles from one of those cheap-o Ardene/Claire's type stores and then mattress-stitched them on length-wise. Easy peasy. Definitely plan to crank out more of those.

And for the men in the office? Something similarly small? A tie pin perhaps? Ok, maybe not.

Is anyone else having this issue where blogger is automatically cropping all your photos (regardless of what size you load them up at)? It's driving me crazy.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Gretel II electric boogaloo

how many electric boogaloo (breakin') references can any one person make? Allow me to make that my life's mission.

pattern: Gretel beret by Ysolda Teague
yarn: Patons Merino Classic in Royal Purple
needles: 3.25mm

I've been meaning to re-make this particular hat for ages --it really is a great pattern. My first attempt was ok, but the Cash Iroha I used just seemed to keep growing and growing with every wear. I have a relatively small head so in no time flat I felt like I was wearing a giant mushroom cap.

And inspired by Miss Muffy's attempt at a smaller version, decided it was time to de-stash some trusty (and less drapey) Patons and have at 'er myself!

Results? Success!

The irony here is that the new and improved purple version on smaller needs is actually the BIGGER (slouchy) size of said pattern...the green was the mid-size.

(the darker purple pics are more accurate for colour...)

I am far happier with this new version, and even though it will likely continue to grow a wee bit as well, I think there's a reason that Patons always seems to be my go-to yarn (cost-effectiveness aside). It really is old faithful --and the last Slouch that I also made in Patons, is probably one of the hats I get thee most wear out of.

At some point along the way I managed to inadvertantly drop a couple of stitches that I managed to salvage, though it wasn't until several rows on that I realized/fixed, and then attempted to self-correct rather than rip back. As a result I think I merged a couple of cables and overall had less stitches I was knitting with. The cables are busy enough that I can no longer find the flaw and I think it actually helped me get a smaller/better fitting hat out of the deal. Go figure --for once my laziness worked to my advantage...though if I was asked to re-create I likely couldn't figure out those particular "mods" for anyone.

I'm sure everyone by now is starting to whip into a Xmas knitting frenzy, and I for one am no exception. Though I am trying to go SMALL or go home this year rather than the other way around, and I have a bunch of stuff coming off the needles very soon so hopefully won't be quite as remiss in posting as I have been of late. It helps that the new house is finally starting to shape up a bit as well and won't be sucking up quite as much of my time anymore. Also I have officially run out of money to do anything else to it (or buy anything for it) anyway. Pictures HERE if any of you would like to see how it's shaping up...

Hope everyone had a great Halloween-- I'm still crashing from all the sugar and alcohol I've managed to consume in the last 48 hours or so --apparently blondes really DO have more fun!

Coffee, Tea or me?