yarn: Colonia 140 cuarzo verde from handpainted yarn, 4 skeins pattern: serendipitous sweater from Hollywood Knits needles: size 15
Modifications: My gauge was slightly off and the largest size was still a little too small for me, so I had to make some modifications--adding a few extra stitches to all pieces. Finishing this was a pain. I've decided no more seaming for me--I'm only going to knit sweater in the round! Still, this sweater knit up quite quickly with this fairly bulky yarn on such large needles....a pretty easy and inexpensive knit. The fronts seem to hang asymmetrically even after blocking and even though they appear to be the same length. Also, the neckline is so large that possibly this will end up slipping off my shoulders. And the sleeves are way too long after blocking, but I kind of like the look of it.
Here is a picture of some of the fleece that my aunt Carol and uncle Arch sent me to spin! They washed it once already before sending it to me, bless their hearts, but it still seemed quite greasy to me so I washed it again several times. It's drying on top of the washer/dryer and any place I can spread it out where it won't be too tempting to Clementine (she loves to eat wool.) Hopefully in another day or so it will be dry enough to start carding and spinning!
I made this guy yesterday morning in about an hour. This is my first attempt to make a stuffed animal without a pattern. He was inspired by a dress that my niece wore on thanksgiving that had little owls all over it, and to be honest, he's nowhere near as cute as he was in my mind (or as cute as the dress.) I wonder if he would be cuter if he were smaller? Or in pink and green? Nevertheless, here he is.
Knittingwise, I had a productive day. My serendipitous sweater is coming along. A couple days ago I sewed the back and fronts together, having completed one arm which seemed way too long. Before sewing the arm in to see, though, I tried on the vest and found it too small. So today I reknit both fronts, adding a couple inches width to each, and adding about an inch in length to them and to the back. Tomorrow I'll seam them up, and if they seem to be ok, will knit the other sleeve and hopefully finish that sucker up! I'm eager to start a new shawl, Ishbel (so I can be like every other knitter on the planet) and I'm also trying to decide between several sweaters by Wendy Bernhard (aka Knit & Tonic)....I love all of her patterns!
Well, here it is, my latest acquisition. It is an Ashford traditional wheel, bought used. A late birthday/early Christmas present to myself--but hopefully one that will yield some gifts for other people one of these days! Of course, I don't really know much about what I'm doing--right now I'm working with some merino/bamboo combed top that I purchased at my LYS, the Yarn Barn, and it's certainly trickier to spin than the wool that I prepared myself last spring. Still, I'm so happy to have a wheel of my own and am looking forward to seeing what I can do with it!
...the half-pi shawl, which I am considering ripping out, as I'm not sure it suits the yarn:and the serendipitous sweater from Hollywood Knits: Doesn't this color bring out the green of Clementine's eyes?
I really haven't been knitting very much this fall, despite the fact that I've got plenty of free time. I did make a purchase at the yarn store near me with a birthday present gift certificate. Other than the 3 skeins that I got at Rhinebeck, this makes the only yarn that I've bought since last April, I think--and that was just one skein to make the baby bolero for Eloise. Along with 3 skeins of yarn, I got some merino/bamboo roving for the spinning wheel of my future (possibly near future!)
yarn: a gift from my friend Jenny from the Estes Park wool festival needles: 8 pattern: loosely based on slouchy hat from presents knits (http://presentsknits.blogspot.com/2007/11/slouchy.html) modifications: I didn't get gauge so I had to change all sorts of things, but I also did 4 or 5 extra rows of increases to make this puffier than the original. Began & finished: September, 2009
Yesterday I dragged my sister to the festival in Rhinebeck, about a 2 hour drive from here. I thought I might buy a spinning wheel there, or a fleece or at least some roving, but I didn't. We spent about 3 hours looking at yarn, petting sheep and alpacas, and eating junk food. I came home with only one small yarn purchase--3 skeins of a lovely, undyed handspun yarn of silvery-brown merino. Hopefully it's enough to make a shawl!
Pattern: Lemony Snicket Socks by Sabine on Magknits Yarn: Koigu KPM Premium Merino Wool, 175 yds, 2 skeins (with a little left over) Needles: 3 Gauge: 28 stitches/4 inches Began: March 18, 2009 Finished: September 4, 2009 Modifications: Because I didn't get gauge, I made a size medium even though I definitely have large feet. I didn't modify the pattern until the toe decreases. I got tired of working the decrease every 4th row and switched to every row after I had done 4 decrease rounds instead of after 7 (it also was looking like the socks were going to be too long.) I stopped when I had 10 stitches remaining and grafted them together, too. It's pathetic how long it took me to finish these! The first one was done in April but the second sock dragged on. The pattern was kind of annoying to knit; I detested the rows where I had to cross the purl and knit stitches, but I'm pleased with the final result. This is the first pair of socks I've made for myself (after the cable footies, which I've never worn since I lost the first before I finished the 2nd).
I need to crochet edging around the neck, sleeves and bottom, as well as crochet buttonholes on the placket and sew buttons on. Still, I couldn't resist taking a photo when I tried it on...I think I'm going to like the finished product! Here I am sewing up the side seams with mattress stitch.
I whipped four of these up yesterday, even though it is really much too hot and muggy for sewing here. I don't have my fabric stash with me, so I had to use leftovers from the monkey. Next time I'm going to line them with some interfacing so they are a little bit sturdier.
I saw this cute monkey on knitterella's blog and followed the link to get the pattern to make my own! I modified it just a little bit: left off the hair, the beret, the decorations on the shoes, and the sleeves. I'm happy with how she came out and may make another one soon...maybe a boy monkey.
I finished the back to my tuxedo top a couple of weeks ago, and blocked it, too, but it's taken me this long to get a picture up. When I finished knitting it, I found its measurements were that of the small size, which is decidedly not for me! However, it stretched out a couple of inches while blocking. Still, several flaws did not block out--this yarn shows a lot! I dropped a stitch and didn't discover it until several rows later, and the after-effects of picking up that stitch is still visible, unfortunately. Even more unfortunate, the errors show a lot more clearly on the purl side--and the piece is in reverse stockinette! Oh well. I will hope that the front (which I am knitting VERY slowly, I only have about 6 inches after 3 weeks) has fewer mistakes.
Another post will follow very soon, as I am just about finished with a little sewing project...
Began: Sometime in May Finished: About a week later Yarn: Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton and Silk Needles: 8 (I think) Pattern: Baby bolero from One Skein My gauge was a little off, not enough to make me want to change anything, but it came out larger than newborn-size (my niece would be swimming in this sweater right now, obviously) so she'll have to wait a couple months to wear it.
I cast on for the tuxedo top that I've been thinking about making for over a year. I'm using elann bamboo and it's very soft and pretty but very splitty, annoyingly so. Also, I've restarted several times as my gauge swatch completely lied to me. I think it's going to be a somewhat boring knit; it's almost entirely reverse stockinette on size 3 needles.
Pattern: Liesl by Ysolda Teague Yarn: Knitpicks Shine Worsted in laurel, just under 7 balls Needles: 10 Modifications: Since my gauge was 14 sts/inch instead of 13, I knit a size too big (42" bust) and it came out just right!
I'm happy with this final product, but it was a VERY boring knit. I think I cast on in December or January and I just finished. It languished without sleeves but otherwise complete for months, and this week I finally knit up the sleeves. I neglected to make buttonholes so I will have to use a ribbon to fasten it.
Today was dye day for my spinning class. I took my pathetic-looking, bumpy little mini-skeins of yarn to class and we used 3 different mordants and 4 natural dyes to get 12 different shades of yarn. They are rather muted-looking, but kind of cool. They go together nicely, so I think I will probably try to knit something in fair isle out of a bunch of them (the skeins are way too small to do anything in a single color.) I think, if I continue spinning, I will probably experiment with synthetic dyes rather than natural ones, just because I tend to like brighter colors. Here are two of my undyed skeins....one is a single and one is a plyed yarn.The single is my most recent work so it's slightly more even and less bumpy than all the rest.
Began: December 28, 2008 Finished: April 22, 2009 I've finished the quilt, and now that the parents-to-be have seen it, I can post pictures here. Here is the back:I looked at so many quilts online to find inspiration for this quilt, but I pretty much worked out the plan for it myself. I used various pictures as templates for the appliqued animals--I think the only one that I found from a quilt pattern was the giraffe, from Oh Fransson!, and I modified that one, too. I started by creating different animal blocks, knowing that I wanted to have 9 blocks with a different animal in each one, and white sashing in between. Several quilts from Crazy Mom Quilts inspired me to do the blocks this way, alternating borders of white with the prints. She also inspired me to do a pieced back, although I came up with the design for it myself. I had to have that extra strip of small patches of prints on the back (they were 4.5" squares) because the back just wasn't going to be quite wide enough without it.
Making my pieced binding was a snap (I followed instructions on a tutorial found on Crazy Mama Quilts) and attaching it to the quilt was also pretty easy, but it's taking me a LONG time to sew it up by hand. But I'm about 2/3 of the way done.
Pictures of the finished thing one day soon, I hope....
What a productive weekend I've had! Here's what I accomplished: Quilted: 1 baby quilt (now I just need to make/sew on the binding) Fixed: squeaky sewing machine Found: lost knitting project (my Snicket socks...they're at a theater in Denver and will be mailed back to me Monday, hooray!) Cleaned: kitchen floor & bedroom carpet Cooked: oven French toast for Sunday morning, risotto for dinner Swam: 1300 yards Spun: a little bit of yarn Teased and carded for spinning: about half my wool Here's a picture of this week's spinning wheel:Isn't it sweet-looking? And here's a look at my yarn. It certainly looks homespun...but it's yarn, after all:
I started my first spinning class this week. We learned how to prepare wool for spinning (washing, teasing, and carding it) and how to use a drop spindle. This is about 8 ounces of the stuff (the teacher bought a single 5 pound fleece for the class of 10 students and divided it up among us). Here I am, spinning with my drop spindle:It is somewhat perplexing and totally unlike anything else I've done before. Also somewhat tiring for the arms. But fun--I'm very much looking forward to my next class, when I get to use a wheel!
This is what I made for dinner last Wednesday night: halibut with white wine and capers, green beans, and creamy polenta.
I've done very little knitting on my spring break (somehow it doesn't feel right to bring out wool and needles while I'm sitting on the beach) but I did spend a couple hours on the plane ride to maui working on these lemony snicket socks. They are slow going but kind of cool-looking, I think. I don't have a cable needle with me, but I've been using a toothpick as a substitute.
Here's a gratuitous beach shot to fill out this posting...
Pattern: Turn a Square by Jared Flood, found on Brooklyn Tweed. Yarn: MC=Sportivo, CC=scraps (who knows what by now...) Modifications: Because my MC yarn was quite bulky, I didn't get gauge for this, I got 4sts/inch instead of 5, so I cast on 76 sts instead of 96. Then, when I was doing the decrease rounds, I stupidly misread the directions and kept decreasing every other round until I had 20 stitches left instead of switching to decreases every round with 32 stitches left.
It was about time I chose a project that I could whip up in a weekend! With all the sweaters I've been attempting lately, I have missed instant gratification knitting. This was a great, easy pattern and I'm very happy with the results.
I finished my quilt back a couple of weeks ago, but haven't yet figured out how to put the whole thing together and quilt it...so I'm sort of stalled on this project. I've missed sewing. In the meantime, I did make a couple more pincushions, but no pictures yet. Anyway, this is probably the last quilt-in-progress picture I will post, until I can show the completed thing, which may not be until June.
I would count this sweater as a dismal failure. I sort of made up the pattern; that is--I loosely based it on starsky (found on knitty.com) but I left out the belt and the cables, and I was nowhere near gauge so I had to do a lot of math to figure out my stitch counts. And the finished product looks nothing like the original sweater. I used knitpicks decadence, a bulky-weight alpaca that has been discontinued, in a caramel color that, turns out, is very unflattering to my complexion. I think I will be giving this one away or stuffing it in the very back of my closet.
Warning: this post contains images from the baby quilt in progress, so if you don't want to see those, read no further! To prevent unintential viewings of the secret pictures, however, here is something cute to start the post with. I spotted this while walking in my neighborhood and thought it was so sweet and needed to be documented. I hope Caleb doesn't mind. And now...the quilt. Below are the animal blocks that I have finished so far. Five down, four to go.
I started this pincushion months ago, and finally finished it this weekend after obtaining a dollmaker's needle (required to thread the ribbon through the center of the pincushion.) The pattern is from Heather Bailey's blog, which can be found here: http://www.heatherbailey.typepad.com/
I have had a tough time motivating to knit this new year. I've been quilting instead. I have a new project going which I started over the holidays which is much more interesting to me...unfortunately, it's a gift for someone who occasionally reads my blog, so I can't post pictures of the WIP. But here's some of the fabric I'm using for it.