Returning with some FOs.

December 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm | Posted in FOs, hats, slippers | 1 Comment

First off, the Aran Isle slippers from the holiday 2008 issue of Interweave Knits.

The hardest part of these was remembering to copy the mistakes I made on the first slipper over to the second slipper so that they’d match. As a result, they’re not entirely like the pattern, but close enough. They’re the right size, they’re fairly comfy, and they’ll be well-received.

They’re knit from 70/30 acrylic/alpaca yarn that was frogged from a sweater. Nice soft stuff, but still washable.

Second FO of the day is a hat for my mother’s boyfriend.

It’s just a simple hat, knit from Paton’s Classic Wool Merino, in black. Nothing to brag about. But he said he was looking for a hat, and I didn’t mind knitting him one, so it all works out.

And now, going back to my old ways, I give you a sleeping Jakob.

Before I sign off, though, I’d like to let everybody know that only a week and a half after my beloved rat Sniffles had to be euthanized, our other rat, Silk, was found dead in his cage when I got home from work one morning. Suffice to say that I haven’t been in the best of emotional states this past month…

FO: Feather and fan headband

October 8, 2008 at 3:01 pm | Posted in FOs, lace | 4 Comments

Knit on size US 8 needles, with about half a skein of green-grey tapestry wool. Nothing special, but it was quick to knit, and is a useful item too.

Not much to say beyond that, really. I’m feeling back in the lace groove, so I suspect another scarf will be forthcoming soon enough. Can’t guarantee when, but some of those wide-bordered scarves from Victorian Lace Today are calling me. And when the call comes, you can’t just ignore it!

See, even Jakob hears the call and is going to answer it!

FO: Worsted Socks for my Mother

August 2, 2008 at 3:53 am | Posted in FOs, socks | 4 Comments

These were knit on US 6 dpns, on dishcloth cotton chosen by my mother, made with this pattern. At first I was a little leery about knitting socks from dishcloth cotton, since the stuff doesn’t do much for my hands and I hate how unyielding cotton is, but they knit up quickly enough when I put my mind to them, and they were for a gift, after all. She who buys the yarn calls the shots!

The second sock moved along much quicker than the first, of course, since I was more familiar with the pattern. I finished over half of the second sock in one shift at work, between calls, so that ought to tell you just how quickly knitting socks with worsted weight yarn can move!

Instead of the called-for kitchener stitch, I did a three-needle bind off for the toes instead. It looks a little ugly on the outside, but these socks aren’t meant to go inside shoes, and they feel comfy enough on the inside, and my mother doesn’t mind at all. The socks are too thick to be of much use inside shoes, so my mother has herself a new pair of thick comfy “bumming around the house” socks, or perhaps bed socks for when it turns really cold this winter.

I’m tempted to knit another pair with feather and fan instead of ribbed cuffs. The cotton’s too inelastic to make the ribbing actually hold the socks up, and they’re just ankle socks anyway, so a feather and fan cuff might look rather nice in this yarn. I still have over half the ball of yarn left, after all, and I could use another quick and easy project to up my project percentage on the 2klace challenge, so I think I’ll fudge the number tomorrow and cast on for a second pair to knit while I work.

Oh, and just to show off, a friend returned from spending a semester in Australia and brought me back this yarn:

Not the best picture, but alas, the best picture I could actually get of it. It’s 100% hand-dyed handspun merino wool from a little shop in New Zealand! No idea what I’ll make of it, if anything, but it’s pretty awesome just to have yarn that not only came from a different country, but a completely different continent! Nay, a different hemisphere!

Jakob says that soon there’ll be another FO, too. A lacy one. But he won’t say what it is just yet. You’ll have to wait and see.

FO: Two-Tone Mistake Rib scarf

June 4, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Posted in FOs, scarves, two-tone mistake rib | Leave a comment

Knit in Bernat Satin yarn, partials balls of red and black, on US 7 needles.

I was browsing through a book of scarf patterns that I got last Christmas, and saw their Two-Tone scarf. It was knit the same way, to the end of one colour before joining on a second, but it was done in garter stitch. I decided to do something a little less boring, and did it in mistake rib instead. Simple enough that I could do it without paying much attention, and thus could watch subtitled anime at the same time, which was exactly what I was looking for.

So now two more balls are gone from the stash, another scarf can go into the charity bag (it’s a little too short for me to use), and I can cross another project off the list and move on to the next one.

I know I promised pictures of the Bellisle scarf, but I, erm, haven’t knit a stitch on it since the last time I mentioned it, so that’s going to have to wait just a little longer. It will, I suspect, be a free pattern that I’ll be offering once I’m finished with it, so if it turns out anyone likes it, well, naturally you’re all free to knit as many as you like!

Just as soon as I get off my duff and finish it, of course…

Nick likes looking a things from a different angle.

FO: Purple Fluffy scarf

April 11, 2008 at 7:51 pm | Posted in FOs, scarves | Leave a comment

Not actually a purple fluffy laptop cozy, as it looks. It just turns out that what would be good lighting for most projects is actually bad lighting for furry objects. So I instead moved it to a clear section of the floor to take a better picture.

Knit on US size 9 needles and taking two skeins of Bernat Boa yarn, this was just a quick and mindless project for me to knit at work. When I could pull myself away from my video games, that is.

Jakob says I should have been using that downtime to contemplate how cute he is.

FO: Feather and fan scarf

April 2, 2008 at 6:39 pm | Posted in feather and fan, FOs, lace, scarves | 2 Comments

Not the first time I’ve used this pattern, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!

Knit on 3.75 mm needles, with a mohair blend yarn that was touch on the hands at first, but I gradually got used to it. It was my first time knitting with a yarn that had a very high mohair content. I have to say, I probably won’t do it again. Maybe a little mohair might be okay, but ugh, even if I got used to the feel of it, it’s not an experience I’m rushing to repeat.

The yarn is much closer to the colour in this picture than the first one. You’d think after many bad-colour photos, I’d learn to stop taking FO shots in the living room, where the lighting isn’t greatest, but noooo… Maybe next time. *chuckles*

This was mostly a silly little project to use up a couple of balls of yarn that would likely languish in the stash otherwise, and as such, I don’t have too much to say about it. I do like the pattern, though. I used to think feather-and-fan was rather boring, but then I really gave it a try, and you know, it’s more fun than it looks, and done in the right yarn, it can come out looking really pretty!

Part of me wishes I’d had another ball of this yarn around, so I could have made it one repeat wide while still having the same length. Or heck, if I had another two balls, to make it both a little wider and longer. Ah well. It’s over now, and I’ll know better for the next time I fancy using this pattern.

Meanwhile, despite all the excitement of an FO, Nick still sleeps peacefully, curled up on the couch.

FO: Evan Hat

March 31, 2008 at 5:20 pm | Posted in Evan hat, FOs, free pattern, lace | 1 Comment

This was a quick knit, and would have been done by Friday if Friday hadn’t been filled with busy. I was out of the house for most of the day, and a good chunk of that involved reconciliation with my parents. For those who know me quite personally, you’ll understand how sitting and talking out our grievances was a big step forward for the three of us.

But that’s neither here nor there. Back to the hat!

This hat really had been a long time in the making, though most of that was designing and laziness at actually casting on. But once I did, it moved swiftly, and it was an easy pattern. And because I promised, here’s the pattern.

Yarn – Worsted weight. No specific brand, since mine was knit with recycled acrylic yarn. Two different colours, or shades of the same colour. Not quite sure of the yardage, but if someone knits this and measures, feel free to tell me and I’ll credit you.
Needles – US 8.
Hat is knit flat, then seamed. (Though it could be altered to knit in the round, if you like.)

Pattern

Cast on 88 stitches in Colour A, using your preferred cast-on method. (I used long-tail.)

Knit in a 2×2 rib for 8 rows.

Switch to Colour B, and follow the following pattern:

R1 – K10, (yo, k2tog) x2, K16, (yo, k2tog) x2, K30, (yo, k2tog) x2, K20
R2 – P20, (yo, p2tog) x2, P30, (yo, p2tog) x2, P16, (yo, p2tog) x2, P10

Repeat these two rows until the piece measures about 7 inches from the start of Colour B, ending at the end of R1. Purl one row all the way across, then bind off.

With the wrong side facing out, fold in half, following the BO edge, and sew along that and down one side. Turn right-side out.

For the tassel, just braid together three lengths of yarn in the colour of your choice (I used a corresponding lighter shade of purple), then sew them at the bottom corners or the hat, so that the hat can now tie under the chin.

If, like me, your seaming isn’t the neatest when you knit the flat version of this hat, then one trick to making the hat look even on both sides is to make a longer braid, and then sew it from the top corners down, all down the sides, so that the braid hides the seam and yet can still be used for decoration and to tie under the chin.

And there you have it. The Evan hat!

FO: Gryffindor scarf 2.

February 29, 2008 at 9:07 am | Posted in FOs, Gryffindor scarf, scarves | 1 Comment

Modelled by the semi-elusive roommate, whom I had to talk into posing for long enough for me to get a few good pictures. Her patience seems to be wearing a little thin here, I think.

Anyway, I made this from Paton’s Classic Merino Wool yarn, in the colours Burgundy and Old Gold, about two balls of each, give or take a little. I used US 6 needles, 20 rows in each colour block, in a 1×1 rib with the first stitch slipped on each row, much like the the first Gryffindor scarf I knit. It’s about 8 feet long, or close enough to it.

The fringe was mildly annoying to put on, mostly because we cut the strands just a little too short, so it was hard to tie them properly. Roommate helped a lot by cutting the strands for the fringe while I was weaving in all the ends, and then helped more by threading the needles when I needed them. Very helpful. This helped the finishing move along pretty quickly, which was motivated in part by the fact that she wanted to wear her new scarf when we went out last night. There’s nothing like a helper with private motivation, I say!

Even though there are a few imperfections with the scarf (slightly different dye lots for the Old Gold yarn, one part where there seemed to be some undyed wool wrapped so tightly around the yarn that I couldn’t remove it, the fact that this was supposed to be a present from last Yule…), she assures me that she doesn’t care, and no one but another picky knitter will likely notice. As much as I wish it could have come out perfectly, I’m happy that she’s happy.

FO: Stormy Ocean scarf

February 4, 2008 at 2:54 am | Posted in 2klace, FOs, free pattern, lace, Reinyarnations, scarves, Stormy Ocean | 12 Comments

Posting this on Sunday night instead of Monday morning, but I just can’t wait to show off how beautiful this scarf turned out!

True to what I expected, this blocked out wonderfully and really added some length to it. It’s a wonderfully light scarf that still has a lot of warmth and softness, and I think it’ll be a good thing to wear in early spring, when the weather’s still chilly but not so cold that I need a big thick scarf.

I knit this on 3mm needles, using grey laceweight merino wool yarn recycled from a thrift store sweater. This whole scarf probably took about half a sleeve worth of yarn, considering I unplied the yarn from the sweater and used it as 2-ply instead of 4-ply. (The yarn broke in some places, making it a bit inconsistent to use as 4-ply yarn, but perfect for 2-ply.)

And yes, this is a pattern I’m offering up for free, too.

Yarn – Any laceweight yarn, preferably grey to match the concept of stormy waters, but that’s not required.
Needles – 3 mm needles, which is a UK 11 and doesn’t seem to correspond to any US sizes.

Cast on 72 stitches using your preferred cast-on method. (I used the long-tail cast on and things worked out just fine.)
Knit all the way across as a set-up row, then begin the pattern shown in the chart below.

PATTERN HAS BEEN REMOVED BY DESIGNER

Continue this pattern, ending on row 24, until the scarf is approximately 3 feet long, unblocked. If you need to join on a new ball of yarn at any time, I recommend splicing the yarn rather than having to weave in the ends afterwards, just to make everything simpler. Bind off using your preferred bind-off method. Weave in any ends, then block the scarf using lukewarm water to wet it, and be careful not to agitate the scarf if you’re using a fibre that will felt.

(Error in chart pointed out by Heather K, rows 17 and 21 only have 6 k2togs instead of 7. Chart updated.)

FO: My So-Called Scarf

January 28, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Posted in FOs, My So-Called Scarf, Random babble, Reinyarnations, scarves | 1 Comment

I made a few changes from the original pattern. Instead of casting on 30 stitches, I cast on 50, since 30 and even 40 seemed to make too narrow a scarf for my liking. I used US 10 needles instead of US 11. I also didn’t use Manos yarn, but rather some acrylic stuff that I recycled from a sweater a while back, and was just waiting for find a good project that it could be used for. It was perfect for a So-Called Scarf!

I really feel like I’ve been moving ahead quite quickly with my knitting lately. I think it has to do with the fact that I’m blogging on specific days now, and thus I have to have something to say each time, so I push myself. Also the fact that I posted a pattern on Monday freed up another couple of days during which I could knit without having to show anything off, and finishing up the Dead Muppet scarf and posting about that did the same thing. Those two posts practically gave me an extra week in which to work on other projects, and I feel even more now like I accomplished something worth talking about.

I ought to design and release patterns more often, if this is what it does to my knitting speed! It hasn’t just been the good timing; I’ve been knitting every spare moment I have, and it seems to me like I’ve had more of those moments over the past week and a half.

Whatever works, I guess. I’m certainly not complaining. The quicker I finish these projects, the sooner I can let myself move on to others that I’ve been itching to cast on for!

If other news, Wool Fondlers was at City Market again this past weekend, and as is typical, I had no money to spend at it. :/ I did wonder, though, if maybe next year if might be worth trying to get a stall there, and maybe try to sell recycled yarns. If I, for example, spend $10 a week, so $20 a paycheque, on sweaters to unravel for yarn, that could get me 8-10 sweaters a month. Which, given that I won’t be able to start that until around June anyway, is still quite a bit of yarn that could potentially be sold there. And it’d give me great chances to get better at dyeing, too, which is no bad thing.

So I might just give that a try. I’ll see who I can contact about getting a stall there for next year’s Wool Folders festival, and try to peddle my recycled yarns.

And maybe wear my Wool Peddler’s shawl, just for fun!

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