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September 26, 2006

Finished: Rae's Bunny Slippers

I finished another project this past weekend! I don't know if you recall, but I was knitting something secret back in August. I was going to finish them for my sister Rae's birthday on the 26th, but I had a yarn shortage and, well, things got delayed a bit. You know how it goes.

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Specs:

Slipper Pattern: Fuzzy Feet from Knitty, by Theresa Vinson Stenersen (pattern here).
Ear Pattern: from the Bunny Hoppers pattern in "Knit One, Felt Too," by Kathleen Taylor.
Yarn: 1 skein of Lambs Pride Worsted in Creme, part of a skein of KnitPicks worsted Bare Peruvian Wool, and a bit of white mohair (no exact weights...I broke my scale).
Needles: size 10.5 circs and some size 10.5 bamboo dpns.
Notions: Buttons, black felt for the nose.
Start to Finish: August 19 to September 22
For: My sister Rae, for her 29th birthday.

Notes:

A couple years ago my little sister Krick was flipping through "Knit One, Felt Too" and asked me to knit her a pair of the Bunny Hoppers slippers. As I am powerless to resist any plea for knitwear, I made her a pair for Christmas. The pattern is really for toddlers, so I just tacked some ears and tails onto a pair of Fuzzy Feet. Very quick, very cute. So when Rae made some noises indicating that she'd like a pair, I hopped to it (tee-hee).

I didn't quite have enough of the Lamb's Pride, so I ripped back the cuffs a bit to salvage enough to finish the second foot. I knitted the rest of the cuffs and the ears with a strand of the KP bare with some white mohair carried along on every other row to keep things fuzzy.

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Recommendation:
The first time I made these I carried a strand of mohair along with the Lamb's Pride on every other row to maximize fuzziness. This time I just used the Lamb's Pride as per the instructions. I think I prefer the slippers with the bit of extra bulk and durability that the mohair adds. It also makes them easier to felt (important for us sink-felters).

Final Verdict: Bunnies for everybody!

September 25, 2006

Finished: Jessica's Pomatomi

I finished them! And just in the nick of time…I wove in my last end just before midnight on Friday. Saturday morning we swung by Kricket’s on our way out of town and she graciously agreed to model them. See those slender ankles? The graceful curve of those toes? Those smooth and silky calves? All Kricket.

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The Specs:

Pattern: Pomatomus from Knitty, by Cookie A., Pattern here.
Yarn: Socks that Rock (light weight).
Skeins: Almost exactly one 4.5 oz skein in Olivenite (I haven’t seen this color on their website lately…I’m not sure if they still make it.)
Needles: Size 2 bamboo dpns.
Start to Finish: July 28 to September 22.
For: my cousin Jessica, finished just in time to give to her at her commitment ceremony to the beautiful and wonderful Liz. Hooray!

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Notes:
I loved this pattern. It may not be the quickest knit ever, but it's so unusual and clever. I especially love the way the pattern on the back of the ankle grades into the ribbing on the heel (hmmm…I forgot to get a picture of that. But trust me, it's stunning).

I did end up shortening the first sock so that I could get a pair out of the yarn, but that was the only real snag I ran into with these. I think they were a little too long anyway, so it’s all for the best.

Final Verdict: Best. Socks. Ever!

September 19, 2006

Finished: More Needlecases

Christine's DPN Case:

If you think way back to last month, you may recall the birthday contest. Well, I finally got my act together this weekend and stitched up the promised prize. Christine (who, I might add, has the patience of a saint) chose this yummy lotus print:

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Specs: fabric by unknown designer, vintage button, black ribbon (helpful hint: if you paint the end of the ribbon with clear nail polish before trimming it keeps the cut end nice and neat.)

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Thunk is on the way to the post office to mail it off as I type!

Gnomatic DPN Case:

This one was finished way back at the beginning of August, and has already made its way to Philippa as part of a swap package.

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Specs: Munki Munki fabric, vintage button, white rickrack.

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Both cases followed approximately the same recipe I used for the original toothy dpn case.

p.s. If you're looking for your very own dpn case, go visit Megan!

September 18, 2006

Short

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the first sock

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what's left

Not the end of the world, but a bit of a pain. I tried on the first sock and it's sufficiently long for my largish feet and they only need to fit Jessica's (comparatively petite) size 9.5s. So...I'm going to knit the second sock from the other end of the skein and shorten the first one appropriately when I get to the end. Still, I hate cutting things this close.

I'm also cutting it a bit close on time. In the time since I took the pics I've made it halfway through the cuff of number two. While this is good progress, I’m going to see Jess this weekend and really want to give them to her then. Of course this is a week that I have something scheduled every single evening…

September 12, 2006

Revisited: Blaze

The one topic that I feel could use more blog-time is how people feel about their knits after they've worn them for a while. Since all I currently have to show you is a few more inches of the Aran Cardi, I thought now would be a good time to mix it up a bit and throw in some reviews of past projects (oh fine, this is just a cheap ploy to keep y'all occupied while I work through a particularly unproductive period).

Blaze.jpg
Pic taken right after the sweater was completed.

I thought I’d start with Blaze since it’s one of my favorites and I don’t feel like I’ve seen very many people make this one. Here are some specs, since this one was finished pre-blog:

Pattern: Blaze, from Knitty, by Jenna Adorno.
Size knitted: 34/36
Yarn: I subbed 9 balls of KnitPicks Andean Treasure in the color ‘Lagoon’ for the Cascade Indulgence the pattern calls for.
Finished: July 2005
Level of pattern followage: Total. I think the only thing I changed was to bind off with a smaller needle and add the crocheted flower.


How often does it get worn? Fairly frequently…about as much as any other cute and well-fitting sweater in my closet.

How has it held up? This sweater has had one winter of use and it still looks really good. I thought about taking another picture of it now, but there really isn’t much point…the yarn hasn’t pilled or gotten funky-looking and it still has the same snug fit (note: I never blocked it and I haven’t needed to wash it yet so I can’t comment on if it’ll grow when wet). The only thing that looks a little wonky are the stitches around the underarm grafts, but I always have that problem with bottom-up sweaters on circs.

How has the yarn worked out? Fine…like I just said, no pilling. The alpaca does have a little itch to it, so I need to wear it with a ¾ sleeved shirt underneath to keep it away from my skin.

What do I like? I love the color and the fit of the sweater is very flattering…it may be a figure hugging design, but the cables break things up a bit and keep it from looking slutly.

What would I change? I would definitely put full-length sleeves on this one. The sweater is thick enough that I can’t wear it until the weather is chilly, but by then my arms need a little something as well.

Should you make this sweater? Yes. If you live somewhere where it gets cold and you like cabling a lot, this sweater is for you.

Final Verdict: I give this one 9 out of 10.

So has anybody else made this one? How did it work out for you?

September 10, 2006

Gifts

I know that as a (nearly) grown woman I'm supposed to start having a more adult attitude towards birthdays and be, you know, poised and stuff. But I'll be the first to admit it: I love presents. There are so few times in your life that you know, for certain, that as soon as you do something (open the box or bag or envelope) something nice will happen.

Some of the best ones I got this year were ones my family made for me, so I thought I'd show them off.

Apron, sewed by my big sister, Rae:
apron.jpg

In case your curious, Rae says she got her inspiration from one in Amy Butler's new book (link with small pic of said apron here).


Watercolors, by my Mum:
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Embroidered Pillowcase, by my little sister Kricket:
krickcase.jpg

Er, yes...that would be my nickname. Why do you ask? Focus on the sheep. See the sheep?


And if that weren't enough, I also was the recipient of a really fabulous swap package from Philippa:
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I am now the proud owner of my very own British hot water bottle, complete with hand-drawn instructions on how to use it by P's little sister (this was the item that got the swap started...don't laugh at me), French tea and soap (you have never smelled anything so delicious), beautiful vintage knitting needles for my collection, and some v. cute polka-dotted lightweight corduroy fabric to play with. Thanks so much, Philippa!

September 5, 2006

Hello, I’m back!

I extended my break to take in the Labor Day weekend and now I’m feeling pretty dang refreshed. I relaxed, saw lots of people, and gained some perspective on, you know, life. I did knit a little too…

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Knitting on the Aran Cardi continues. I held it up to Thunk’s torso yesterday evening and it appears that I’m about 1/3 of the way through the body. I’m having a nice time with this one so far. It’s a very relaxing knit…the cables are easy to memorize and hey, no body shaping!

Aside from a little more knitting on the Pomatomus socks, and some sisterly birthday knitting on the mysterious white project (which I did NOT finish in time for the birthday deadline, and STILL haven’t finished, because I am a bad sister) I didn’t really accomplish much in the crafty realm. I did figure out a few other things though:

1) I love my new brother-in-law. I have the best family ever. You should all be very jealous of me.

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2) Vacation is lovely, even when it rains and there are biting flies.

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3) I’ve had an epiphany about the whole Christmas knitting thing. This year, I’m not going to knit something for everyone I know. I’m not joking. I know I said it last year, but I really mean it this time. More to come on this topic.

4) It seems that the combination of autumn-like weather and having the carpet shampooed can trigger an insane cleaning, organizing, trashing and donating binge. Curious about how that worked out?

Ok, this apartmental overhaul has been a long time coming. Do you remember the weekender bag? It has been sitting out since May, as I have no room ANYWHERE in my apartment to store it. Seriously, we’ve been at maximum capacity for a while. Do you know how hard it is to put anything away when there is nowhere to put it?

To make a very long story short, I tore into the place. I’ve done this before, and usually it results in me getting that “I’m half way through going through all the crap in the closet but I’m totally burned out and just want to shove it all back in” feeling. Then I shove it back in and I’m pretty much back where I started. No more! I’ve thought this through and I’m pretty sure I’ve solved the problem.

It’s very simple.

1) Go out and get some DVDs of your favorite TV show* (ok, in my case it was old videocassettes of Ally I taped off of the TV in college).
2) Pull everything out of the closet.
3) Reorganize your fanny off until you get that overwhelmed feeling.
4) Go watch an episode and knit a bit.
5) When it’s over, go back reorganize a bit more.
6) Do the knitting/TV thing again. Maybe watch two episodes if you’re feeling particularly burned out.

Repeat as often as necessary until your closet/room/treehouse/whatever is clean. Trust me, you want to try this. I feel like all I’ve done is watch TV and knit all weekend, but somehow I managed to reorganize the complete disaster which was my bedroom. It’s like a miracle or something.

*don’t get a show you haven’t seen before (especially one with cliffhanger episodes, like Alias). We don’t want anything that you could get potentially sucked into, obviously.

P.S. Yes, I know that this probably won’t work for people with actual lives, but there have to be a few others out there like me, right?