Sunday, December 12, 2010

Knee deep in holiday knitting

But first, a digression in craptastic costume sewing.  Monkey1 & her class did an "in-house field trip" called A Walk Through the American Revolution, so she asked me to make her a costume.  Unfortunately, when we were Thanksgiving vacation in the Sierras, we kept having power outages.  I had to rush towards the end and there are a lot of crooked stitches in there.

We also had a little debate on what color fabric her mobcap & shawlette were supposed to be, so I did two.  The dusty pink she eventually chose to wear during the "play," and the muslin set that I felt was a little more authentic.

At least my sister's layette set is done.  The Austermann Mosaico blanket swatch actually survived the washer & dryer fine, so she'll probably get the blanket too.

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease (the baby is a tropical one)
patterns: Baby Yoda Sweater, Kiddie Cadet & Waves of Babies Booties
needle size: mostly 8's
Sweater mods: body in the round 'til armholes.  Sleeves picked up & knit from the armhole.  Applied i-cord edging to the vertical edges.

I'm done w/the teacher gifts, but I'm waiting for the fog to burn off before I can take a pic of Monkey1's teachers black mitts. But first up, Monkey2's teacher's hat in Cal Bears colors.  Hard not to like a teacher from my alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley.

pattern: Cascade's Pittsburgh Steelers hat
yarn: Knit Picks Swish worsted in Dusk & Semolina
needle sizes: 9 & 10 KP circs
no mods

By the time I got to the Cal hat, I started to improve on my colorwork.  The first one I did, the Norwegian Star Hat, unfortunately came out too small for the adult recipient.  (No gauge stated in the pattern & I guessed wrong on the needle size I needed to get the gauge I think I needed.)  It barely fit Monkey2 unblocked.  While it loosened up a little after a wash & block, I still did another one.

This one was much better once I went up on needle sizes, but I also had to switch stash yarns since I was too anxious to wait for another Knit Picks order in the mail.

This took me forever, but my second-to-last pair of holiday socks (yup, I've got one more!) are done for a college friend of mine.  Though technically it's not a gift since he's going to trade me one of his art pieces for it as part of our negotiated agreement.  He actually wanted a sweater & my other college buddies who knit & I are still saying no.  LOL!

Pattern: Nemesis
pattern size: Large
yarn: Zitron Trekking Pro Natura 
needles: size 2.50 mm

And for a little holiday fun while we sat around during the power outage during the day. (No knitting in the pitch dark at night of course.):

yarns: bits of Knit Picks Palette doubled
needle size:  KP 5 circs

Hope everyone has a nice holiday season!  And see you on the post-holiday knitting recovery side.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pont Neuf

I had the pleasure recently of sample knitting an infinity scarf version of Irishgirlieknit's Pont Neuf pattern.  But because it was a rainy weekend when I knit it, I don't have a nice dry outdoor modelled shot of the scarf before I sent it off to Carrie. 

At the time she was headed to Stitches East & I wanted the scarf to get to her before she flew out.  Luckily I had my last furlough Friday and the rainy (not misty) weather meant we didn't go out much and stayed indoors, so I had lots of knitting time.  'Cept during the baseball playoffs which was too stressful.  There was a reason the SF Giants fan buzzword this season was "torture." 

details -
yarn: Kollage Solace in Chili - 3.1 skeins
needles: size 8 KP Harmony circs
no mods since it was a sample

Since Carrie & Kollage sent me 5 skeins, I ended up making the cowl version with the remaining 2 skeins, but I still had just under a half skein left.  Since Chili is not one of my go-to colors, this cowl will get gifted.

As payment, I got 5 skeins of Kollage Solace in Seaport, more in the color palette that I'm comfortable with & love.  So, I've gone ahead and made myself my own infinity scarf.  However, I did knit it at a more leisurely pace and not the 3 days I took to knit the first scarf.

I did add a couple more repeats of the pattern so the scarf would hang a little more loosely when I wear it doubled.  Any more than 2 repeats and it would've been too long for my height when worn singlely. 

I still have over 1.5 skeins left, so I'll probably make a pair of coordinating fingerless mitts or hat with the scarf instead of another gift cowl. 

Pont Neuf has a nice 8 stitch lace repeat, so it keeps it interesting for more experienced knitters but isn't too tricksy for newer knitters.  Give the pattern a look-see if you want to knit an infinity scarf that isn't too boring. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm so excited that Cookie A has her new book out on her website available for hard copy pre-order and pdf download. I knit one sample pair and test knit another:

new pattern: Wedge

yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in Mr Greenjeans

size 2.50 mm KP circs

I loved how Mr Greenjeans knit up so much in this pattern that I saved my own skein of Mr Greenjeans for my own pair.  I'll be digging this out of my stash & winding this up to knit ASAP.
Also in her book are 12 (I think) previously published patterns that were re-written for more sizes and different presentation.  In some cases, like the Thelonious sock pattern that I test knit, Cookie improved the charts so they're much easier to read.  I bought the original Thelonious when it was first released, but never got around to it since I wanted to find a good copier that could increase the chart size w/o losing print integrity.  The charts had all the sizes on it & were hard to read in their original size. 

However, my caveat is that attention to marker placement is a must for Thelonious and also Strikken, based on a few comments by other test knitters working on Strikken concurrently with us Thelonious test knitters.
While I've only taken pics of the first sock for the test knit, the pair is completed.

pattern: Thelonious ( version)
yarn: Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Heather in Highland Mist
size: medium
needles: 2.25 mm Signature Stilletto dpns
mods: none since I was test-knitting

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sockober done for now

I need to switch over to some non-sock gift & sample knitting, so while I have a pair and a half to go, I'm done with Socktober. 

pattern: Rib and Cable socks by Ann Budd
yarn: Koigu KPM in "Raspberry"
needles: 2.50 mm KP nickel-plated dpns
mods: Same as the acid green pair.  Both partners have the same shoe size. 

I'm late to last quarter's Socks that Rawk KAL, but I'm done!

pattern: Blackberry Brambles by Irishgirlieknits
yarn: STR medium weight in Tanzanite - I had to dig for this as I own only a handful of medium weight STR.  Most of my STR stash is lightweight
needles: 2.50 mm KP nickel-plated dpns
only mod: one less decrease for less pointy toes

I've been randomly knitting baby stuff while I waited for my sister and a family friend to find out what sex their babies will be.  They're both boys, so I'll probably put aside the yellow Lucky sweater (& coordinating hat & booties) aside.  The seafoam blue hat is appropriate, but I only had the one orphan skein in the clearance section of a lys.  I have to figure out if I have coordinating colors in my stash to make some type of layette set with the hat. 

The blanket would've been a good gift, but I failed to read the care section of this acrylic yarn.  Unfortunately my assumption that all acrylic yarns can be thrown in the washer & dryer was wrong.  The care label says hand wash.  Not good for a new mom.  I've gone too far along with the blanket to frog, so it will go to my Monkeys.  While a blanket is nice mindless knittig for the monkeys soccer practice (& sometimes games), I may not make an easier care one  and stick to sweaters instead.  Baby sweaters are so much faster. 

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Just in time for the next RSC shipment, I finished my Dusty Corners by Linda Welch.

yarn: STR lightweight in Firecracker
pattern size: med
needles: 2.25 mm KP dpns
mods: longer heel flap to balance out snug leg.  I probably should've re-started on larger needles, but I really like how the yarn was knitting up in the pattern. 

And to assuage my guilt in finishing my own pair of socks, I started on a second pair of Rib & Cable Socks in a raspberry Koigu KPM to be gifted to the partner of the acid green Koigu KPM.

Part of that guilt was that I had cast on for Carrie's Blackberry Brambles  first 'cause I had this yarn & pattern at a lunchtime knitting session, but not the gift sock pattern.  I had finally got around to digging up my Tanzanite rather belately for the Socks that Rawk Rav group quarterly KAL.  My mediumweight stash can be counted on one hand, so my options are limited outside of the RSC.

Speaking of the RSC, I love our September kit.  Stephen had told us he was the designer for this installment awhile ago when we had a mini-RSC Sock Camp reunion at A Verb for Keeping Warm, so it was an exercise in a lot of self-control not to blurt it out.

Love the colorway & the patterns. I'll be knitting up Stephen's pattern in his honor & saving Meg Swansen's for stash STR. It's pretty much in keeping with how I've chosen this year's RSC patterns, except for 2. I chose Cascadia 'cause it didn't have bobbles & I'm debating if I should save Sweet Pea for baby stuff as there will be 2 more March babies among my family & friends.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Monkeying around

But first, I re-did the sock I tried to improvise earlier this summer based on the cable pattern in Anne Hanson's Fine Cabled mitts pattern. This time I cast on 72 sts for the leg & decreased back down to 64 sts for the foot.

It's much better fitting this time, but I've still decided to keep this for myself and knit a matching pair of Rib and Cable socks in a different Koigu colorway for my friend's partner.

But before I do that, I got sidetracked into knitting the larger Funky Monkey, reversing the colors from the smaller one I knit for Monkey2 awhile back. I had forgotten how fast this was, considering that's a lot of tube knitting for the tail, legs & arms.

Pattern: Funky Monkey
yarn: STR heavyweight in Harlotty (body) and Typhoon Tina (extremities)
needles: size 4 & 6 KP circs

- The accidental one was to knit the mouth, butt & tail on size 4 needles that I grabbed inadvertently. I did like the fabric, so I knit the legs & arms with the smaller needles as well.
- Also with the smaller needles I didn't need to double the yarn for the legs.
- Another accidental mod was to forget the one round of decreases before closing the feet. But since it didn't seem like it mattered, I left them.
- My only intentional mod was to pick up & knit the arms on, as I had learned at Sock Camp with the mini funky monkeys.

Just in time for our September Rockin' Sock Club kit to get here soon, I finished my first July RSC sock. I chose Linda's Dusty Corners in support of the lovely designer who I met at Sock Camp a couple years back. I figure I can knit Anne Hanson's pattern in another berry-ish STR colorway anytime.

The leg's a little snug, so I knit the heel flap a tad longer to help get the sock on. I loved how the colorway knitted up in the pattern that I was reticent to frog & start over on larger needles (2.50 mm instead of 2.25 mm) or in the next size up (large).

It's a tad too warm to take a photo of the sock modelled on a human foot, so I'll try to do that when I'm done w/the pair.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gre-e-e-e-een. Green, green, green...

My FO's seem to accidently have a green colored theme.

Rib and Cable socks by Ann Budd (Interweave Knits 2005) - sorry, Ravelry link
Koigu KPM in acid green
size 2.50 mm KP dpns

- CO 70 sts
- skipped the fake seam stitch in the heel
- a regular wedge-type toe

It's a good thing I don't have this friend online so I can share. I am still debating on fixing the other acid green Koigu sock where I tried to carry over the cable pattern from Anne Hanson's Fine Cabled mitts pattern. I'm trying to decide if her partner should have a coordinating pair in the same colorway or if I should do a second pair of the Rib & Cable socks in a different color like red (still in Koigu) or blue (not Koigu).

For no one in particular, so I'm adding to the gift stash. I wanted to give the Stitch Nation yarns a try. It helps when they provide a single skein pattern.

All Day Beret
Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Eucalyptus
size 6 & 9 KP circs

I still need to wash & block it, so I don't know how much this will grow yet.

And for Team Twilight, something like the hat Bella wears in the Eclipse movie. The yarn was on sale at a local yarn store & I like these colors together even though they were not an exact match to the movie hat.

Eclipse Hat
Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran in 126 (Sea Green?) & 151 (Oatmeal)
size 8 & 9 KP circs
- CO 88 sts like the Rachel Bearse version for a larger size
- tubular cast on in the round

Friday, August 27, 2010

UFO Smackdown

Mystery Stole #4 aka Serendipity Stole


blocked (for now):

Dream in Color Baby in Wisteria
size 6 KP circs
no mods

However, the center kitchenered join needs to be re-done after a few re-do's to fix what I originally thought was a too tight kitchener row. Turns out the last row before I kitchener somehow got pulled too tight & makes certain portions looked seamed in. I'll have to rip the whole kitchener row & re-knit the last row on the shorter half. But not for now. I need a break from this after I finished the second half in 1.5 weeks after picking this back up.

And totally frogged is a test sock I did for someone on knitty 3 years back. The designer had abandoned her pattern & I never got around to replacing her one design element for a different one I would like or a generic St st leg & ribbed cuff.

I decided to frog the whole thing since I assume my gauge wouldn't be the same & I didn't want to keep the short row heel anyway. This yarn will go back in the stash 'til the Monkeys decide what they want out of it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Buttonhead Hats

Pattern: Buttonhead hat - "super" slouchy size

Monkey2 has a good head shape for hats, unlike me. I'm having a difficult time finding buttons I like with this, so these'll will do 'til I find something better.

yarn: A Verb for Keeping Warm superwash BFL fiber in No. 9 spindle-spun by me! Navajo-plied on the spindle too!

size 6 KP circs
mod: less decreases before the brim to fit my head comfortably

Yarn: Yarn Wench Handpainted Merino Roving spindle-spun by Tapmouse - gifted to me last Christmas, I think.

Happier w/the buttons on this one.

needles: 10.5 mm KP circs
same mod: less decreases before the the brim so it can fit my head comfortably.

And just building up the baby gift stash. Such a cute pattern!
pattern: Berry Baby Hat
yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton in Wisteria & Lime Leaf - orphan skeins bought at a couple different lys, I think
size 8 KP circs
mod: didn't do the smaller needle size for the cast on and initial few rows 'cause I saw no need.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Basic Chic Hoodie

After months on the needles, I am finally done.

Monkey2 did photographer duties w/a little help from Andrew. Buttons un-done and a little bit a doggie slobber is apparently required.

I'm usually an agressive blocker with pins & wires & stuff, but I was totally lazy & just laid it flat to dry.

Pattern: Basic Chic Hoodie by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in Midnight Derby ~ 5 skeins
needles: size 7 & 8 KP Harmony circs

- Extra inch of length on the body
- No lace panel on the sleeves
- Had comprehension problems with the pocket instructions, so the bind off & cast on order was re-done in a way that worked for me.
- Sleeve gauge a little tighter than it should be since I failed to pay attention to the basic knitting fact that one's gauge will change when going from knitting flat to knitting in the round. My bad! I suppose that should give me motivation to go back to working out 'cause I've been on a workout strike mentally for too long now.

I'm still spindle spinning. My crafty buddy, Tapmouse got a bit of silk from Blue Moom Fiber Arts, so she gave me a little sample of the Tussah Silk in Princess Plummy to practice with. Tapmouse was playing with the Bombyx Silk (IIRC) in Copper Line that had a marked difference in shine between a 2-ply and 3 play. So my lesson of the week was to play a little bit w/the Princess Plummy to see what would happen. On the far right is a 3-ply bit & in the middle is a 2-ply. Not as marked a difference as Tapmouse's Copperline, so we'll have to take pics to compare.

I figure I can play around a little bit since I finished spinning my A Verb for Keeping Warm polwarth fiber. It's all in 2-ply. I still have measure my wraps per inch & swatch to figure out what I want to do with it.

I already knit up my avfkw superwash BFL into a Buttonhead hat, so I don't want to do another. I'll be sharing the hat when I find buttons for it. Otherwise, it's more of a button-less head hat.

And with a couple of my fibers spun up & one knit up, I figure I could add a little more fiber to my stash with another visit to avfkw, this time with a few other RSC'ers in a mini-mini-reunion.

And with more fiber, I'll need to up my count in spindles. It may take me awhile with my cute little Jenkins Delight. I saw that he made them in koa & just had to have one. I'm still all uncoordinated with it still, so I'm sticking with some BFL top to practice with on this.