Friday, July 26, 2013

FO: Drop Shoulder Sweater

So Knitting Pattern Essentials has its flaws. 1) The author prefers flat knitting and seaming. 2) It is very much directed toward designing garments for adult women. 3) There is SO MUCH repetition (like copy/paste repetition not re-wording the same thing a different way) that it was annoying to read.

BUT! In spite of that, I thought I would try to unleash my creativity (the reviews were right about one thing, Sally's writing style is very motivating!) and knit my son a sweater (knit flat!) straight out of my head.

So I did.
And um.

The seams are so bulky!
Then I tried to do a chevron type thing at the top to make it look like waves?
That didn't really work.

The NECK! Oh my god lopsided!

I wasn't sure it would fit over Vyvyan's head but it fits over mine so I guess we're good there. I'll never know because I'm not the kind of mother who is going to make my son wear hideous knit goods just because I made them. WELL OK maybe once. When it isn't 92 degrees. And just for a picture. And I'll compensate him for his time with some kind of food item.

The only thing I actually like about this sweater is the detail at the bottom.

I really liked the combination of these three incredibly common stitch patterns!
But other than that, this project was a learning experience. Which is a polite way of saying it was a flop!!

But this blog is for sharing not only my successes but also my failures! If I had knit it in the round I would re-purpose the yarn. But no it's got all those seams that I am SO not undoing. I should really face it: Flat knitting is not for me.

But you know what? If this sweater had been knit in wool, I seriously believe the funky neckline could be blocked into submission. Why do I even BUY acrylic when I know I hate knitting with it! I really don't know, but I do know that I just bought like 7 balls of Wool Ease with which to knit my mom a sweater. Hmmm.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Drop Shoulder Sweater

Yarn: Wool Ease Chunky
Needles: US 11 (8mm)
Gauge: 11 stitches/ 4" in Stockinette
I've been working on a small sweater design for Vyvyan. It's very plain but will be nice and over-sized and washable and will be the perfect size come winter.
This sweater has also served as a swatch for Splash of Blue, also. I'll be working on that one next, I hope, in a dark brown.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lazy Sunday

I'm so grateful to have the day off! I wandered to the bookstore today and came back with loads of goodies.
My new bookmark is better than yours :-p
I bought the new Knitscene Accessories: I most look forward to the Morgantown Hat, but the Rosita Hat is also adorable. And though I'm not much of a shawl knitter, the Avesta Shawl does look beautiful in the shade chosen.

I also couldn't pass up the new Vogue Knitting, although I don't think to this day I've ever actually knitted anything from Vogue. I do ALWAYS read them cover to cover, though. But this particular pattern stole my heart: The #24 Fox Pullover SO CUTE! Even if I don't knit the sweater, I think I will be using that adorable fox chart for something or another! This V-Neck top is also alluring and there is a dress in there that (which I will never ever hand-knit) is simply inspiring.

I picked up some new blank moleskin journals- I think the 5.5"x8" is the absolute perfect size to fit in my purse. And they are so slim and lightweight. I'm a journal freak. Truly. From where I'm sitting I can see at least 30 journals in my bookshelf!

Tarzan of the Apes jumped off a shelf at me, and at the register I picked up an impulse buy of a Tardis bookmark. Very cool!

Finally, I shelled out a good $25 for Sally Melville's Knitting Pattern Essentials. The subtitle reads: Adapting and Drafting Knitting Patterns for Great Knitwear. Oh boy- this book is chalk full of goodies. It's one of those books that you flip through and it almost makes you nauseous by how much it is going to make you think- but I like that! I don't know HOW many books I have on knitwear design, but I do know that I've read all of them cover-to-cover (With the exception of June Hiatt's Principles of Knitting because omg it's too heavy to read comfortably) and each of them has dished out it's own wealth of knowledge. You probably all know that I'm a sweater knitter at heart and I absolutely adore learning everything I can about the process behind a sweater. So I'll be reading this book over time and hopefully will find time to give you a good review of it sometime soon.

So that's what I've been doing this lazy Sunday!

In non-knitting news, my fish (Mr. Fishy) is sick. He didn't want to eat, which is very incredibly suspicious. In addition to this, he was hanging out at the bottom of the tank with his beautiful lustrous tail fin down. In fact, I thought he was dead and may have poked him to be sure. I'm grateful he isn't, but I'm worried about him. I checked all the tank levels and they seem to be mostly OK. The PH is a little low so I'm balancing that out, but I'm very concerned about him.
My son and his dad went out to the museum where they seem to be having a gay ol' time, but I elected to stay home and watch the fish. I don't know if that makes me seem weird, but every once in a while I wander over and watch his little mouth go...
I do hope he pulls through.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Baby hat

So after I gave my co-workers the sock (and she gave me a hug, expressing all the delightful things one hopes a recipient will do) I found myself with hands itching for something else to knit. The small cardigan I'm designing wouldn't do- I do hate 100% acrylic so much, and after working with the delightful Cascade Heritage I guess my hands had gotten spoiled. In fact, all I wanted to knit with was the leftovers from the sock!
But how much yarn was there?
Out of the blue I suddenly remembered this handy little gadget I had bought at work: A yardage counter!
It worked just like it's supposed to. My only complaints so far are: the stupid suction cups don't stick well enough so I had to hold it down to the table, and it makes a horrible screechy sound as the yarn runs though it. Also, if you're running the yarn through your ballwinder it makes your ball too tight. But that's probably only because I was busy trying to hold it down and wasn't able to tension the yarn.

So with 136 yards and a quick ravelry search (hee hee I said quick ravelry search) I had a pattern in hand and a plan to make my niece's expected baby a cute little hat! Remember how newborns are so small and cute! Yeah. This baby is going to be born in January, and unlike the last batch of babies (where about 5 of my relatives were having babies all at once) s/he is the only one of his/her time so s/he is going to be knit spoiled!

God I hope that sentence even made sense.

Oh well.
Long story short. I'm making a hat.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

FO: Garter Rib Socks

Pattern: 3x1 Garter Rib Socks (from Teach Yourself Visually: Sock Knitting)
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk Paints (yum!)
Needle: US 1 (2.25 mm)

What an easy yet satisfying pattern! I cast these puppies on the night of July 4th while the rest of the country watched fireworks. I knit while I watched movies, I knit on my lunches and breaks and I knit
on the long car ride to and from the Monteray Bay Aquarium today. As I watched hammerheads and yellowfin tuna swimming peacefully in their tank, I worked on and on in greens and blues. So many happy memories are knit into these socks!
And they fit wonderfully.

Alas, they are not destined to be mine.... Tomorrow morning I plan on gifting them to a beloved co-worker who deserves hand knit socks!!
Happy knitting, and have fun linking up with finished objects with Tamis Amis for FO Friday tomorrow! I might link this post in, but I work tomorrow so I might forget. I hope I don't because I love seeing everyone's completed projects!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cardigan Attempt 1

So I've got a sort of idea of what I'm planning on doing with the 100% acrylic I got at work. Searching through Ravelry showed me that there aren't a ton of toddler sized sweaters in bulky yarn, probably for a reason. Maybe it makes them look like oompa loompas, I don't know.

But I've done my swatch, cast on 75 and knit a few rows of garter stitch. To battle garter stitch's propensity toward flaring, I then increased by 10 percent and brought the stitch count up to 82.

I'm knitting the body of the cardi back and forth and will connect sleeves and body for raglan deceases later. Or maybe yoke decreases. Not sure yet- that's the beauty of knitting form the bottom up!
I know I want to add pockets, and may also want to add a hood.
Then again if I don't knit a hood I could work a hat up to go with it.
Then again oompa loompas lose hats.

Then again hats have pom poms and pom poms are hella cute.
Then again I could put a pom pom on the hood if I wanted to.
Then again I hate making pom poms.

So as you can see there's still a lot to think about!
But this yarn works up fast, so I should be knitting the sleeves in no time.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sock Number Two Says...

"When I grow up I wanna be just like my big brother!"
Lots of progress is made when you're in love with you r yarn!
I've decided these are definitely going to my lovable co-worker. And I might have to get me some more of this yarn! Love it!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My foot is a dangerous porcupine

Last night I knitted through Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and then 2 episodes of Futurama.
More sock than I had yesterday!
In other news I rummaged through 6 repack boxes and found a mere 5 balls of clearance yarn that I could possibly entertain knitting up. There was a lot of Patons Sock yarn, but in awful colorways. What I did end up with is some Lion Brand Tweed Stripes in colorway Orchid. This is a yarn I've been wanting to try, but I've been reluctant to pay the $6 per skein for a yarn essentially made of plastic. But the color is nice and I thought my little niece might enjoy having a cute hat and sweater set this Christmas.
I'm not sure whether I want to start swatching the new yarn or keep working on my sock... I did want to have one whole sock done by tonight!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sock in Progress

It's a long way down from heel to toe!
Still, I should have a sock by the end of tomorrow.
I'm thinking about knitting another pair in a darker color (maybe a semi-solid brown or dark grey) for a friend of mine. Tomorrow seems like a good day to go to the yarn shop!

Also, the craft store I work at is deleting & clearing out a ton of yarn soon and I get first dibs if I want to. Which, you know... 100% acrylics... fun furs... etc. But on the off chance there's anything good I might have to snatch it up. The only down side is going to work on my day off! And, of course, there's a scary chance I might end up with a cart full of crap I don't really want.

I'm weighing the possibilities- a skein or two of goooood yarn or a cart full of acrylic blends that I could use to knit sweaters for my relatives who don't hand-wash. Both are valid ideas and there could be time for both!

Mini Update

Hello Knittens

I had a very mediocre 4th of July- right up until the part where I realized that fake smiling my way through hours of explosions, drunk people, and loud music just isn't my style. So I went indoors, turned on a movie (The Hobbit) and wound a ball of sock yarn.

Yarn: Cascade Heritige Silk Paints
Needles: US 1
Pattern: 3x1 Garter Rib Socks
I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to do with this pair of socks. They're a mermaid-y blue green color, so definitely my style. I might just have to keep them, although I've recently become aware of just how little I wear my own hand-knit socks. My mom, on the other hand, LOVES my hand-knit socks so they might end up going to her. On the other hand I have a co-worker that wears hand-knit socks from her daughter and she totally makes me yummy baked goods. Since I'm a knitter, not a baker, these could be a good gift for her.

Either way, they're great for knitting at home watching TV but probably not for going to the movies.... Luckily I'm still working on my cardigan. Which is still looking too small. Why don't I listen to my intuition? I'm going tp knit 5.5" k2 p2 ribbing and then do the small 1x1 ribbed belt and then work about 2 inches of the stockinette/cable portion before I finally fess up to myself that, yeah, it's too small.

Just watch.