Wednesday, December 27, 2006
This scarf was knit as a holiday gift, it's a nice long somewhat narrow scarf from handspun vebena batts! The pattern was simple, and unfortunately it no longer appears to be online any longer. And of course, I knit it so long ago I don't recall what the dimensions of the finished scarf was (and of course it's winged off to its new home), nor do I recall what size needles I used. Anyhow, It's warm when wrapped several times around the neck, but open enough to stretch and cover a longer season.
If you're wondering what the yarn looked like before it was knit, click here!
I was very happy to hear the response of the recipient :) she's very happy with it indeed!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
A good friend of mine is getting hitched, and I decided I needed to make her a little something to celebrate the occasion. Why Red, you ask? Well, I'm Chinese. Red is a color for good fortune and happiness - and no wedding would be complete without a little red. The above is probably the best representation of the color - the other photos are a little off in their color and I had a hard time correcting them.
Yarn: it's more Southwest Trading Co Bamboo. The same stuff I used on my Shetland Triangle Shawl. Almost 2 balls.
Pattern: Cinnabar, from the December 2006 Magknits
Finished Size: Approximately 10-inches wide, by 80-inches long (oops. It's a bit longer than I had anticipated - it grew about a foot and a half in the blocking process)
Comments: A neat pattern, it's garter stitch based, so it's reversible! It incorporates these mock cables with a little bit of openwork and dropped stitches of the Seafoam stitch. The total scarf took a little longer than the two recent shawls - I think I had it finished in perhaps a week to a week and a half. I wasn't originally planning on blocking the scarf, but the edges of the scarf were definitely not straight. The blocking really made the pattern (especially the mock cables) much more distinct. This may not be required for some yarns, but you'll have to decide for yourself :) The pattern was quick to "memorize" and I only had to quickly glance at the charts to jog my memory once I had gotten into the flow of the knitting. It is a beautiful scarf, and the bride really liked it, as did numerous other women at the wedding!
Incidentally, the designer has made a matching hat pattern available for purchase!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Gift socks...and incidentally, the first socks I've knit to give away, and also the first I've knit in my own DK yarn. I sure hope they fit! (and they do, so says the recipient :) *whew* what a relief!)
Pattern from All Tangled Up
Yarn: Spritely Goods Sprite (superwash merino!) in Chaparral
Comments: A much faster way to knit socks (compared to my usual fingering weight socks) and the pattern seems to have a fair bit of give, to more easily accomodate any mistakes on behalf of the knitter who may or may not have access to the intended feet.
I'm even more excited over this pair of socks because it's the first full garment I've actually knit up in my own yarn...and now that I've seen it knit, I've got more visions for this colorway - I think it will do well with lace patterns too as the colors are so harmonious :)
Friday, December 08, 2006
I didn't think I'd ever be one of those shawl-a-week knitters, but here's the 2nd one and in less time even than the Swallowtail. I've been hoping to get some photos in natural light, but my hours aren't cooperating with me, so I've done up an all-indoor shoot instead.
Anyhow, the details!
Yarn Used: Bamboo by Southwest Trading Company, in Red. Probably worth noting, this is the "older" version of bamboo - the newer feels much softer. This is a yarn of "chain" construction, rather than a traditional twist construction. ~1.25 balls or so...
Comments/Commentary - because you know I have some ;) Don't worry, I'll intersperse it with pretty photos!
The Shetland Triangle Shawl was super speedy to knit - I think I had this one off the needles in a total of 5 days - I tended to knit on it in the evenings while watching TV. The pattern was quickly memorized, and it's nupp free ;) As with all lace, the magic appeared in the blocking - the freshly bound off shawl looked tiny - as in barely large enough to stick out from underneath my cat, had she decided to sit on it. Once blocked, the shawl stretched to a full 70 inches across the top and about 28 inches down to the center point. I felt like I had stretched it as far as it would go in the blocking process, but once dry, it seems like there's even more stretch to be had (I suspect it may have something to do with the yarn and how it may have "swollen" during the soaking process)
I opted for the full completion of the final pattern, and as I have issues binding off loosely enough to form those lovely scallopy edges, I used the same bind off as called for in the Swallowtail Shawl, and it didn't disappoint. I've plenty of points to keep me pleased :)
The only "issue" I encountered was with my yarn, rather than with the pattern - because of its chain like construction, the yarn can "unravel" if it splits - there were several sections of "thinner" yarn where it had partially unraveled or unchained itself in one ball of the yarn - I didn't have any issues at all in the 2nd ball. I stabilized as I went along, by knotting off the thinner sections, though I must have missed on section as it showed itself quite spectacularly during the blocking process. The good news is that the yarn didn't actually break, and I was able to stabilize that section by drawing up the slack and knotting it off to prevent further unraveling of the yarn.
I'm loving this shawl, and because it's knit from bamboo, I think it will make a good year-round piece :)
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The Swallow Tail Shawl, from the fall 2006 Interweave Knits is now complete :) It knit up super fast in just over a week's time. If you're wondering why it looks so large, it's because it is probably the same dimensions as "full sized" shawls, measuring about 68 inches across the top and 30 inches down to the point. No pattern modifications were done other than to use a different yarn (and of course larger needles).
Yarn: Regia Bamboo Color (1063)
Amount: Approximately two and a quarter balls.
Comments: The pattern is a breeze to follow, and I found I had it memorized fairly quickly - I wound up not placing stitch markers between the pattern repeats mostly because I got tired of having to shift them around - I've apparently come a long way in my knitting as I find it much easier to "read" my knitting, even in lace form, and I was able to correct mistakes often within a couple of rows without having to tink or rip back - the most common mistakes I made were omitting a yarn over or forgetting to pass the slipped stitch over.
As the case seems to be with all lace projects, the magic is indeed in the blocking. The shawl was so squinched up (as lace often is) before blocking, I was amazed at how large it wound up blocking to. Before heading into the Nupps and the Lily of the Valley sections, I was trying to decide if extra budding lace was required - thank goodness I decided not :)
Speaking of Nupps, I've decided that I love love them. A pain to execute, but they sure give the shawl that extra bit of interest. I knitted my shawl using Denise interchangeable needles - the points on the needles aren't the pointiest, but I managed to do all my nupping without having to resort to slipping stitches hither and yon onto other needles or clear all the way back to the cable - the trick, I think, was to make sure to form the nupp loosely so that on the purl row it wasn't too difficult to capture all five stitches for the purl-5-together. I will admit to breathing a huge sigh of relief once the nupping was done and I was able to move onto the border.
Unfortunately I couldn't get a good shot of the full shawl indicating what the yarn looks like - photographing shawls prove to be much more difficult than I anticipated! Outdoors, things were lit very brightly, yet harshly and with too much contrast - so I resorted to a small indoor shot near a window of the shawl folded up.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Knit for the 2006 Meathead Along which had the specific instructions of embellishing to my own liking above the left ear.
Since I have had flowers on the brain of late, and the shape of the hat reminded me of the Elven armour in Lord of the Rings, I decided to embellish it fit for a Faery Queen.
I'm pleased to present Tatiana, a Meathead Hat embellished with hand crochet flowers and curving vine (incidentally, the vine is fixed on the hat, though the flowers can be added or subtracted or shuffled around at will). If I was a faery queen, this is a hat I'd want to wear, as it is a perpetual reminder of spring.
Yarn: Reclaimed handspun super bulky from a sweater, embellished with hand crochet flower pins made from crochet cotton.
Pattern: by Larissa, to be included in her new book!
Comments: Supereasy, superquick knit. A very welcome break from my current knitting madness :)
Wanna see more Meatheads? Check out the Flickr Collection!
Monday, November 13, 2006
Yarns range from old leftovers (again!) of CottonEase, to Plymouth Encore, to bits of handspun yarn to crochet cotton in various sizes...oh, there are some needle felted ones too (more than the lone single in this photo) made from merino wool, of course.
Patterns: none - they were made up as I was going along.
And no, they aren't all for me. I'm churning out flower accessories for sale at a craft fair :D
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I'm in love with texture and really needed a break from my latest knitting opus...This skinny scarf proved to be just the perfect entertaining sidetrack.
Closeup? Certainly ;)
I especially enjoyed myself because it's knit from my own Spritely Goods Sprite yarn! (in the Chaparral colorway, in case you are wondering) I happened to have just a smidge (about 1.6 ounces) of yarn leftover from a different project, and I couldn't figure out what to turn it into...well, Inspiration struck and it turned into this cute skinny and nicely textured scarf.
My other half argued that it wasn't long enough to be a scarf appropriate for an adult and I set out to prove that it would indeed work just fine - I scrounged up a hand crocheted flower pin that matched perfectly, wrapped it (the scarf, not the flower ;) ) around my neck, affixed the pin, and voila! Perfect for keeping the chill away without adding a bunch of bulk.
Pattern: Stitch pattern adapted from Sheep in the City's So Called Scarf (I really need to get one of those stitch pattern reference books)
Needles: US 9
Sunday, October 29, 2006
With running comes sweat. I never did understand headbands or wristbands until I took up running. I still don't' wear a headband when I run - I usually opt for a hat, because it does better at keeping the sun out of my eyes.
When I was running slower (yeah, I'm still slow, but hey, I've trimmed 2+ minutes off my average pace since starting!) it was no big thing to wipe sweat off my forehead or away from my eyes by bending over slightly and using my sleeve - or the tail of my shirt. Unfortunately, it's gotten to the point where it affects my stride now, and I worried about tripping and damaging myself. Normal wristbands wouldn't do because I wear glasses, and trying to maneuver a wristband around my glasses just wasn't working...
So I have the following - a "better" wristband! I actually wear two - one on my left hand, as illustrated below around my thumb (no, I don't need the watch to hold it in place - the reason I made the cuff so wide is because I hated having my sweat drenched watch sticking on my skin). I wear the one on my right hand around my index finger - it's a little easier to get around my glasses that way.
In case you're wondering, it's Cascade Fixation knit on US2 needles. Because Fixation is mostly cotton, it certainly absorbs sweat well, though it takes a while to dry - I thought about knitting em out of wool, but I didn't think they'd be very absorbent if I did that.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Say hello to my Leftover Nasturtiums...they're like two pair in one when worn with the right shoes or pants!
Pattern from Kirsten at Through the Loops
Yarn: Leftovers - Black Purl Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock (from when I knit my Jaywalkers) And black and white Dale of Norway Baby Ull (from my first fair isle project)
Knit: both pair at the same time on one US1 circular needle
Comments: In order to entertain myself for the bottom portion of the knitting, I did indeed stripe my socks opposite each other on purpose - and yes, I'm addicted to the Fibonacci sequence. It's not my fault. It's the Nerd in me.
The pattern is well written, and the only recommendations I have are to read carefully and split your stitches correctly from the get go so you don't have to move them around as I did - this isn't critical if you knit only one sock at a time, but if you magic loop a pair of socks, it caused a moment of being stumped before coming up with a solution. Also, at the end, I vaguely recall the setup for the toe decreases on the top of the socks to be off with the number of K stitches between the initial setup decreases. Oh, for the toe, don't panic if you can't decrease in pairs to wind up with 12 stitches remaining on each needle - you started with an odd number of stitches on each needle, so you'll wind up with an odd number when you get to that point...I actually got carried away and grafted the toe when I had 13 stitches on each needle (how's that for my pattern reading skills?) but it worked out perfectly with my stripes that way :)
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Ever seen knitted things and figure "I can knit that - and way better too!"? I'm constantly doing that with sweaters these days - and certainly no silly iPod sock was going to be worth the money, especially when I could knit my own custom one and learn a thing or two while doing it...
Since I'm still waiting for a certain 2nd Gen nano case to be released, I figured I'd make myself an iPod sock for the interim. For this "sock," I wanted to give double knitting a try - I wanted a double thick layer of "sock" to protect the nano (since I'm not terribly good about being very delicate with things in my bag/purse) - and that way I could also see if I would like to attempt the extreme knitting sock technique as described in the recent Knitty (in case you're wondering, I think I've decided it's not for me - it's much faster for me to knit 2 socks on magic loop).
Anyhow, this "sock" is indeed reversible, has a flap built in to secure the nano inside *and* a space to allow me to connect my earphones to the nano thru the sock!
Super easy to make, I made mine out of sport weight scraps of Misti Alpaca Sport (mmm alpaca) knitting on US4s in 2x2 rib for a nice snug fit. Striping is in my favorite sequence - hooray! Fibbonacci!
Friday, September 29, 2006
My house smells very very clean. Thanks to all the hand felting of soaps I've recently done! In order to felt the soaps down, you have to get em wet - and then set em out to dry - each of the soaps above is a different scent, and I did multiples of each of them over the course of several days...you can imagine how the house must have smelled what with all that lather being worked up to make the felt! :) Want one for your own or to give away for a gift? They're available in the shop!
If you make some on your own, I do not recommend trying to speed things up by doing em in the washing machine - or you might have visions of some super sudsy overflowing laundry machine nightmare gracing your wash room. These are all handfelted individually for a reason!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
This one is called Autumn Waterfall...and it has muted greens, reds, blues and purples.
This one is Autumn Waterfall Too - it's basically Autumn Waterfall singles plied with Black to give it a slightly different characteristic - both in color and feel since this is a nicely balanced 2-ply it's nice and fat :D
Finally, I've also completed an art yarn - I'd forgotten how much fun it can be to spin them up - this one is called Harvest Berries and it's available in the shop.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Now that the weather is cooling down, I've been spinning again :)
I spun up a ginormous skein of browns, greens sand blues for Kiki's Birthday and decided I really liked that color combo, so I hauled out my wheel and cranked out two more skeins - these two are up at the Shop if you care to make them your own!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Well, Fuego was the yarn anyhow - it looks more like an Agua inspired Kiri what with the blues - or perhaps Cielo - the deep blue with light blue reminds me of the crisp intense blue desert skies with wispy clouds.
Anyhow, the details:
Yarn: Skacel Fuego - 80% mohair, 20% wool - 3 balls with ~25g remaining.
Needles: US15 (wahoo!)
Comments: a super fast knit, mostly because I adjusted the needles upward to accommodate the relatively fatter yarn. The original yarn called for in the pattern is Kidsilk Haze...of which I have none (I do, however, have one precious ball of doucer et soie but I have no idea what it wants to be yet). Anyhow, this lace pattern was fairly easy for me to commit to memory, though I did forget a yarnover here or there on occasion, resulting in my having to tink back to get it - luckily I never did have to resort to putting the shawl in the freezer to find out if ripping *frozen* mohair is any easier than ripping mohair of the non-frozen variety.
This shawl measures almost six feet across now that it has been blocked, and it seems to be just the thing to take the nip out of the over zealous air conditioning. There was a minor moment of indecision when I tried to figure out if I had enough yarn do do one more pattern repeat row and then go into the edging - some quick math told me not, and I'm pleased to say I was right - I only have 25g of yarn remaining. The only thing I was not able to accomplish was the dramatic points/scalloping as in the pattern, I think it's because I bound off too tightly - the good news is I bound off with equal tension all the way round, so I have a nice clean edge.
Regarding the yarn, it was easy enough to work with, though I do note that my shawl sheds a little bit - so if I am foolish enough to wear on certain garments, someone may wind up asking me if I'd dyed my cat blue.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Remember that yarn?? (handspun mixed wools plied with a commercial chenille) Well, I wasn't very happy with it, and couldn't for the life of me figure out what on earth to do with it.
I had enough for a scarf if I could figure out how to get a loose enough stitch to allow it to have a fair amount of length...but how to manage it? I wanted a scarf with a respectable width and length...but I wanted something that was easy to work up and not require too much thinking for the knitting....Dropped stitches stepped in to give me the width and length that I was looking for:
Needles: US 13
Yarn: handspun, honestly I don't even recall the yardage or the weight.
Comments: as a scarf, with bulky yarn and big needles, this project knit up fast and the dropping and unraveling of the stitches provided a welcome break from the mindless stockinette stitching. When unblocked, it seemed to have some curling and puffing issues. I blocked this by doing a full wet soak - I was able to lay it out flat with no pins to hold it in place to get it to block flat.
Monday, August 28, 2006
I'm pleased to present the Wooly Morning Glory (and no, I'm not making up that name - the flower on the left is really named that!)! Just as fun as it's crochet counterpart, it's a great way to add some color to your living space. Who needs boring ol square pillows anyhow?
The Pattern for the Wooly Morning Glory is now available in the Free Pattern section of my shop! Go over, enjoy, and be sure to send me photos if you make one :) it would give me such a kick to have an "internet garden" of sorts of various poppy and morning glory pillows popping up!
If you're having difficulty finding the free patterns, they can be found by going to "original patterns" then "free patterns" :D Enjoy!
Monday, August 14, 2006
Pattern: Jaywalker Socks modified to be knit toe up and both at the same time as I am wont to do to prevent wonky gauge and second sock syndrome
Yarn: Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock in Black Purl colorway
Needle Size: US 1
Comments: The Pattern (and modification) proved to be plenty easy to follow - as usual, I have just the slightest of holes at the join post gusset & heel flap, but those will be easily hidden/mended with a darning needle. Because I failed to swatch, I had to take in a few stitches after I started on the zig zag patterning in order to make the socks fit more closely - but otherwise, everything was pulled off without a hitch! Of course, I still have a fair bit of yarn left over, and I'm now trying to see if I can get a pair of anklets out of it.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I had found out a while back that a friend I would be visiting was expecting her first child. Of course, being a knitter, I had to decide to bring her something hand knit to mark the occasion! The trouble, of course, was what to bring? I wanted it to be something useful, quick to knit (I was working with a fairly severe time constraint) and I wanted to make use of yarns I already had on hand.
The mother to be happens to be a quilter, so I thought a Log Cabin blanket might be appreciated. Cara's post about a random-number log cabin blanket had niggled its way into my mind at that point to become a future project. I decided I'd bump it up in the possible project queue and checked to make sure I had yarn on hand that would be suitable.
As for the numbers, 18 is considered a significant number, being the number of years before a child is considered to be an adult. In addition, to some, the number 18 and its multiples are considered to be lucky. With that decided, off I went to the random number generator to create my sequence.
The blanket consists of 36 rectangles, each ranging from one to eighteen ridges in width with each number represented at least once. I still have a bit of yarn from each ball that I started with, though I had to curtail my plans for a Fibonacci inspired border sequence because the purple color was looking like it was running suspiciously low. The border features two edges with picot finishing in an attempt to make the blanket more suitable for either gender as it seems my stash of this yarn (easy to care for, now discontinued Lion Brand Cotton Ease) ran to the blue family of hues. It's a little bigger than a standard baby blanket at about 28-30 inches on either side. I didn't measure it exactly as I finished it just in time to stuff it in my luggage for a visit to see the parents to be.
I can't say I plan on knitting another full log cabin - all that picking up stitches and garter stitch had me questioning my sensibilities. Though I am toying with a combination log cabin/mitered square blanket...it won't happen for quite some time though as I think I'm all garter stitched out for the time being.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
So. I haven't had much to show in the way of Finished Objects of late. I've barely touched the needles, or the crochet hooks for that matter! But it's all been for a very good reason. I promise.
Some of you may know, I've been spending all my spare moments glommed in front of the computer...well, the spare moments between putting fluff in the air and turning my fingers rainbow hued anyhow. I've been teaching myself new tricks :) and I'm finally ready to share.
I'm pleased to announce that my little business has grown to the point where my humble blogshop is no longer large enough to easily browse! SpritelyGoods has now moved to its own domain with a bigger and growing product selection!
C'mon over, have a look - I think you'll like what you see!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I can finally share this finished work with you :) it's a design I did using this yarn for SWTC and For the Love of Yarn. It's a brightly colored departure from the traditional throw pillow - and if you can't find a round pillow form (or refuse to pay the 3x price of a square one) you can bully a square pillow form into behaving. :) that's what I did!
For you knitters out there, stay tuned. I'm trying to get a knit version cracked. It's proving to be more challenging, simply because it's easier to create a firm not-so-stretchy fabric in crochet.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I was recently approached to see if I could do a custom dye lot of heathery grey yarn for a beautiful lace stole (print of the wave, by Eunny Jang) - and since I was playing with the dyes this weekend for a much needed restocking, I prepped up this monster skein. I'm pleased to present the first of my Ethereally Elemental line (very subtly variegated, perfect for lace or texturework!) This colorway is called Virga, and this particular skein is the only one of its kind for now. I love how the grey is oh so lightly variegated - just like how virga is!
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Behold the results!
Personally, I think they look a lot better skeined...
They are mostly available at the shop if you care to adopt any of them for your own ;) I say mostly because I, of course, have to keep some for myself :D I took copious notes in an attempt to see if I can reproduce the colorways. I'm fond of all of them, but for some reason I'm particularly drawn to Globe Mallow. Definitely odd. The Pink strikes again!
Anyhow, I'm loving the variety of colors that are achievable with the Acid Dyes...though I'm not loving the fumes...the vinegar really stank up the house - according to others in the house anyway ;) I have been suffering a cold and allergies so I couldn't smell a thing! I'll likely start replenishing my soak solution with citric acid instead of vinegar...I could throw the old soak solution out but it seems so wasteful, especially considering there's probably a half gallon of vinegar in there! Of course, I'm now hunting for a larger soaking tub as these skeins didn't come near to filling my ginormous dyepot (18 inches in diameter ;) )
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Well, I finished it - the redone Pirate Hat - Adult sized this time! My poor husband has been waiting patiently for this hat...and now it's done...just in time for 90 degree weather!
And with a more fancy lining too - I took it upon myself to do a little bit of Fibonacci striping on the inside to keep myself entertained...
Of course, I did wind up tweaking the pattern a bit - more on that later....
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Sport in Lipstick Sport (shhh! don't tell! I don't know *what* my husband will think if he finds out the red part is called "Lipstick") and Black
Needle Sizes: US4 and US2
Pattern Notes & Comments:
Because I continued to worry that the hat would be too narrow, I added an extra stitch in the edge of the pattern - and when I picked up the stitches to do the liner, I wound up adding some length because the hat was not long enough to cover my ears....Sadly, it seems my tension in fair isle is different enough from my tension while knitting plain stockinette - because even with the smaller needles, the hat bells out at the bottom - this is not so good because it will definitely not do so well in keeping ears warm. I'm trying to decide how best to resolve this situation - I don't think felting the hat will help at all, so I'm thinking I might need to add a band of elastic in between the outside of the hat and the liner....Anyone have any suggestions?
Thursday, April 20, 2006
In the meantime, as I mention, I've been rather focused on spinning and color blending - and I've also been trying to come to grips with spinning singles - especially low twist slubby kinds...
It's coming along. This yarn is spun from one of my merino batts - it spun up great and I love the striping that I get throughout...
This other yarn is more of the Mill End fibers - I really like how it came out - the striping from the blending ranges from subtle (as observed on the white strand) to a more bold candy-cane/barber pole effect. Both yarns are available to be made your own over at the shop.