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November 15, 2010

FOs: Grape Fizz & Lemongrass Plain Old Socks

If you've looked over in the sidebar lately you'll notice that I've gotten a bit behind showing off some finished knits. There's even a particularly fabulous pair of finished mittens that hasn't even seen the light of day yet! I know. Shameful.


LemongrassToesLG.jpg
who's got toes?*


While it is tempting to declare this "FO Week" and get everything caught up, I know that as soon as I make any sort of declaration I'll get completely wrapped up in something else and wander off. You know, like last week when I promised to blog some WIPs and then got very involved in practicing my cello and watching reruns of Bones {cough}. So we'll see.

For now I'm going to kill two birds with one stone and get a couple of pairs of Plain Old Socks off my chest. Nothing fancy here, just a couple pairs of my standard-issue toe-ups to send off to the SILs for Christmas.


GrapeFizzies.jpg
Captain Whitelegs strikes again.


Grape Fizzies:
Pattern: my toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts
Yarn: Trekking XXL, Color 109 (it reminds me of grape soda.)
Needles: size 1 dpns
Start to finish: October 2009 - September 2010 (the majority of this time was spent waiting for me to do the final tubular bindoff on the second sock.)
For: My SIL Kasey, who claimed them when I was knitting them at her house in Oregon last December.


Lemondrops.jpg
send spray-tan


Lemongrass Plain Old Socks:
Pattern: my toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts
Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight, Color: Lemongrass.
Needles: size 1, and 1.5 dpns (I switched to the larger needles halfway up the leg.)
Start to finish: February 2010 - November 2010 (I have no idea why they took this long.)
For: My SIL Anna, who claimed them when I was knitting them at her house in LA last February.


fizzywig.jpg
more fizz please



*the question that Thunky asks every baby he meets. (A: "YOU'VE GOT TOES!!!")

September 28, 2010

Finished: Clementine's Spherey

The Specs:
Pattern: Spherey from "Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy", by Jess Hutchison.*
Yarn: Lily Sugar'n Cream Solid (colors: pumpkin and robins egg blue)
Needles: Size 6 dpns
Start to finish: September 23 - 26, 2010
For: My niece Clementine (warning, if you follow that link you will be so overwhelmed by cuteness that you may never recover. don't say I didn't warn you.)


spherey2.jpg
Hello! Please admire my fetching rotundity.

Clementine's mama (aka my sister Rae) has been hinting that she wants a Spherey for...oh...about four years now. Even though I lovingly knitted her eldest child the robot from the same book it was pretty obvious that she secretly wished that I'd made him a Spherey. Well sometimes dreams really come true...even for ungrateful robot recipient's mothers. Hopefully the Spherey-sized hole in her heart has finally been filled.


Notes:
I've knitted this pattern once before using worsted wool, but after knitting the aforementioned robot in dishcloth cotton (and finding out that it makes frequent trips through the washing machine) I decided that washable is the only way to go when knitting toys for children. The cotton isn't as nice to knit with, but Rae did go to all the trouble of producing a niece and a nephew for me, so I may as well reward her with easy-care toys.


spherey1.jpg
Spherey practices his coy smile.


Since cotton yarn doesn't knit up as tightly as wool, I went down a needle size to prevent enormousness. In spite of my precautions I was surpised to find that this Spherey still came out a few inches larger than the wool one. But then I checked my previous FO post and realized that I went down two needle sizes when I made the first one. Good thing I keep records of this stuff so that I can ignore them later.


Final Verdict: Adorbs. And Rae seems happy. Hopefully Clementine will like him too!


*unfortunately this awesome pamphlet is out of print and is pretty much impossible to find. For those of you who will ask, sorry...I really don't have any special insight into where you can find a copy. And no, I will not send you copies of any of the patterns, or sell them to you either. This should go without saying, but I'll mention it here in hopes that it'll save me from having to send you a copy of my canned 'Unusual Toys' e-mail response. But I'm sure you weren't even thinking of asking. Because you're cool like that.

February 6, 2010

New Design: Birdcage Mittens!

Hello again!

Here's the second installment in Elli Designs Yet More Mittens! If you missed yesterday's post, the quick summary is that I have two new mitten designs in 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220, which will be out in April. Yesterday was superwash kid's mittens, today I have some classic 220 ladies' mittens to show you!


FreeBird_crop.jpg
clearly there are never enough knitted birds in my life.*

I don't know if I've ever mentioned much about my design process on the blog but, for me, the easiest part of every project is designing the main theme for the front of the mitten. Once the idea is approved I then spend (what feels like) forever trying to come up with the perfect palm pattern. When I FINALLY get that sorted out, I spend just as long trying to find a good thumb to tie the whole thing together.

Which then explains why, even though I'm generally quite fond of all my mitten fronts, I feel disproportionally proud of the palms. And, of course, books and magazines rarely show that side! You're lucky if you get a glimpse of a coy palm peeking out from under the other mitten. The above photo is remarkable in that you can see almost all of the palm, even if it is (what I think of as) upside-down.

Here's the full palm shot so you can drink it in:


bc_palms.jpg
ah, that's better!

The palms are patterned to evoke trailing branches and tall grass. In my imagination it's early morning and it's a little misty, and there is dew dripping from the branches. The little bird is glancing over his shoulder and considering flitting over to check out the situation in the trees..but he's uncertain, because it looks a little damp.


bc_fb.jpg
go for it, little dude!


Yarnwise, this is as fabulously basic as you can get. Just a skein each of two colors of Cascade 220! These colors are both heathers (#2440 vinci and #9489 red wine) but I think solids would work equally well. Time to raid your worsted stashes, peeps! Well, not quite yet. We have to wait until April. *sigh*

{twiddles thumbs impatiently...}

In the mean time, ravel it!


*Photo by Jack Deutsch, from 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220.


February 5, 2010

New Design: Child's Octopus Mittens!

Ho there!

Just a little entry to show you the first of two new designs that I can finally post about! This time I'm really and truly in an actual book! With a binding and a library of congress number and everything! How fancy is that? (hint: totally fancy).

Both of these pattens will be in 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220, which doesn't come out until April.* I am proud to represent 1/10th of the mitten portion! You may have noticed that I do love a good mitten.


Octo_Mitts.jpg
Mini Mitts!**


This is my first child's mitten pattern and I had so much fun designing them! I find the little details the most satisfying...how the increases for the body of the mitten warp the corrugated ribbing just a little so it looks like sea grass waving in the current. Also, I designed the palm pattern to mimic the suckers on the underside of an octopus' arms...because if I were a kid I would totally dig that.


Octo_backs.jpg
slorp slorp!


I made the cuffs a bit on the long side. My strongest childhood mitten memory is the feeling of snow creeping in under the cuffs. There will be no chilly wrists if I can help it!

Size-wise, the mittens were designed to fit the measurements of a four-year-old child, but I think there should be a bit of leeway there. I've listed the measurements on the Ravelry page if you're uncertain.


Octo_fronts.jpg
full frontal octopic


As far as yarn goes, these just take one skein each of two colors of Cascade 220 Superwash (#886 citron and #812 turquoise), so they're a super-affordable project! Yay! You probably already have suitable yarn in your stash.

And if that weren't enough incentive to make these, they knit up SUPER FAST. Seriously. They're small. They're worsted. They're colorwork. You won't believe how quickly you'll have a pair of little cephalopod mitts. Now, if the book would just hurry up and come out...

Stay tuned for more new mittens tomorrow!

Ravel it!


*but there's always pre-order for you impatient types!

**Photo by Jack Deutsch, from 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220.


January 31, 2010

FO: Clementine's Birdie Cardi

I've been wrassling with those gloves for Thunky all week and all I've got to show for it is a couple more fingers and a lovely case of knitter's block. So much for me and my speedy needles, eh? So I'm going to attempt to distract you with a belated Christmas FO. This one was for my niece, Clementine {impossibly adorable photos (sans cardi) over on Rae's blog}.

CCFront2.jpg
This is my favorite classroom. It matches the sweater.


Pattern: Felix Cardigan (modified a goodish bit), from Vintage Baby Knits (ravelink).

I fell in love with the scallopy colorwork the first time I saw this cardigan but I had a few changes in mind (when don't I?) Here's the run-down of the mods I made:

1) I was a little miffed that the colorwork didn't extend to the back. I'm not an expert on the Wee Drooly Ones, but I've observed that that you generally see more of the backside of a baby than the front. Even if that's not strictly true, I figure it's better to have both sides covered, don't you? So I did both anterior and posterior colorwork.


CCBack1.jpg
C birds...are asleeeeeeeeeeeeeep...*


2) As photographed in the book, the ribbon-lined button band looks a little sloppy (and it it sounded like a lot of work). Instead I just knitted a little bit of ribbing onto the front edges after I finished assembling the sweater to make everything nice and tidy. To compensate for the extra fabric, I knitted the buttonholes a titch closer to the edge.

3) I used a yarn-over buttonhole instead of the one in the pattern.

4) I'm not so much a cat person. So I made up a little bird and "C" (for Clementine) chart and duplicate-stitched the design onto the sweater after I was finished sewing everything up.


CCFront1.jpg
"C" is also for "chalkboard"


Yarn: Knit Picks Essential (or Stroll, as they now call it).
- 65g of Glacial (24345)
- 45g of Mermaid (24346

Not a fancy yarn, but it's machine-washable and soft as a baby's bottom, so it suits this project perfectly! And the colors are fantastic, even if the Glacial color is now discontinued (boo!).


CCBack2.jpg
and "chair"


Needles: Vintage aluminum straights in size 2 (2.75mm) and 3 (3.25mm)...they're not fancy, but they're my favorite needles to use for great swaths of small-gauge stockinette. Nice and quick!

I think that about covers the major points for this one! Rae says that it's still too large for Clementine so no modeled shots yet. Grow, baby, grow!

Raveled here.


*10 Nerd Points if you got the Elgar Sea Pictures reference.


January 23, 2010

Help for Haiti / FO: T2

You're probably already aware of the Help for Haiti fundraiser that many of the designers on Ravelry are participating in, yes? I regret to say that I only have one downloadable pattern for sale, but if you have a hankering to knit a Tuppy, I'm donating half of the proceeds from pattern sales in the month of January to MSF/Doctors Without Borders. Fun knitting, good cause, win-win!

Ravelry Link
Pattern summary


That said, I have a little FO I've been sitting on since June (yes, I am that behind). Meet Tuppy 2: Brother of Tuppy:

Big_TuppyII.jpg
A new Tuppy has risen


Since Tanis was the driving force behind the whole Tuppy project, I thought it was only fitting that I knit her her very own be-horned and winged beastie! The only elements I changed on her monster were the wing and foot colors, but despite all the sameness they have their differences in personality. I feel like the mother of twins...I can tell the difference, but can you?


tuppytwins.jpg
Before the brothers were separated.

Tuppy 2 has long since flown off to live on the east coast, but rumor has it that he's giving the monsters under Tanis' bed a run for their money.


tuppy_two.jpg
Never too monstery for florals.

June 2, 2009

New Pattern: Tuppy Von Monster

After much mucking about with prototypes, changing my mind about colors, fiddling with horn shapes, and all manner of other knitterly shenanigans, I'm pleased to say that my monster is finished and ready for his closeup!

Front_Monster_sm.jpg
Hallo, my name is Tuppy!


Knitted out of worsted-weight yarn and designed with stashbusting in mind, this little guy uses less than 50 grams of the main color, and only a few grams each of four contrasting colors. You knew you were saving those random partial skeins for something!


Monster_Wings_sm.jpg
Affinity for plantlife not guaranteed


Tuppy has a little bit of everything: knitting in the round, increasing and decreasing, picking up stitches, simple charted colorwork, basic hand-stitching, and embroidery! The pattern includes six pages of photos and step-by-step instructions, and one page of templates for the wings and teeth.


monster_melon_sm.jpg
9 out of 10 watermelons recommend Tuppy for your summer knitting!


Yarn: your worsted leftovers (wool, dishcloth cotton...whatever you've got)!

One size: lovable.

Knitted measurements:
-Toes to horns: 11”/28 cm.
-Tummy circumference: 12.5”/32 cm.

You'll also need: felt, thread, stuffing, extra-heavy stabilizer, safety eyes.

Price: $4.50

Ravelry Link


Monster_hug_sm.jpg
Hooray for monsters!


I mentioned in my last post that my partner in monstrosity, Tanis, was working on her very own bundle of knitted ferociousness. Her creation, The Stubenmonster, is available on Ravelry too!

April 22, 2009

Finished: Kricket's Selbu Modern

Time to get a few FOs off my chest, I think! Last time I was up in Michigan, I finally remembered to grab some photos of the Christmas gifts. Yes. I am that behind. Shuddup.

Here's the hat I made my baby sister, Krickie:

selbu_1.jpg
The back of Krick

Vital Stats

Pattern Selbu Modern, by Kate Gagnon.
Yarn KnitPicks Palette (cream, salsa heather, and calypso heather)
For Kricket
Ravelink


selbu.jpg
The front of Krick

Notes
It's been a while since the actual knitting of this one. About all I can tell you is that this pattern rocks! If you haven't knitted it yet, you should.

January 21, 2009

Snow Maiden Gloves

Hello there lovelies! I've been dying to introduce you to the last of my Summer design work. Meet the Snow Maiden Gloves (aka #23 Opera Gloves...gotta love those names)! This one is in the new Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/2009.

SnowMaiden_reduced.jpg
cheer up sweetie; I'll let you take them off in a minute. (photo courtesy of SoHo Publishing)

The Skinny:

My first pair of proper gloves! If you don't think you have any need for opera-length gloves, just take a peek in the closet and think about how nicely they'd go with that 3/4 sleeve coat. See? Everybody needs a pair! Seriously, they're not as difficult to knit as you might think.

I designed these to be knit from fingertip to elbow because it's so much more fun to try them on as you go. It's the glove equivalent of the toe-up sock...you get the finger-knitting out of the way at the beginning and the rest is just twisted stitchy goodness! If you run out of steam (or yarn) you can always make them a tad shorter.

The inspiration came from flipping through the Barbara Walker treasuries and seeing the pattern for Exploded Ribbing, a great twisted-stitch cable that reminds me of Russian onion domes. And to take the Russian thing a little further...since these are opera gloves...the name "Snow Maiden" seemed appropriate.

A Note on Sizing: The pattern lists the hand circumference as 7.25," which is true, but they are intended to be worn with a little negative ease. The gloves were designed for someone with a hand circumference of 7.5." Finger-length, of course, can be easily modified.

So this design wraps up the 2008-09 mitten/glove designing season for me! I hope you like them!

{Ravelink here}

January 12, 2009

Finished: The Bethie Scarf

bethie_1.jpg
by now you should recognize my mum, yes?

The Specs:
Pattern: An Elliphantom original
Yarn: about 70g of hand-dyed, recycled cashmere {details here}
Needles: Size 7
Start to finish: Sometime in November - sometime in December, 2008 (I know...my memory for detail is breathtaking, right?)
For: My favorite matriarch, for Christmas

Notes:
This autumn Mum hinted that she might need a scarf (not too long) for Christmas and mentioned the word "stripes." I don't really think of my mum as a stripe wearer...she's more of subtle elegance-y sort of person. So I thought I'd compromise and do a more refined version of the standard-issue striped scarf.

The pattern itself is a four row slip-stitch pattern. Originally I intended the front to be the back (it's less stripey and more garter-nubby), but everybody else in the universe likes the back side best. And who am I to argue with the rest of the universe?


bethie_zoom.jpg
front or back? you be the judge

The working name for this scarf was the "mummy scarf" but since, out of context, it can evoke images of dingy old strips of linen...I rechristened it "Bethie" after my mum. Nobody has called her that since she was little, but I think it's cute (and truth be told, if I weren't her daughter I would totally try to get away with calling her that).


bethie_2.jpg
choosy moms choose cashmere

Mum gave me a little review of the scarf last night when I spoke with her on the phone. She says it looks great with her extensive collection of white and off-white turtleneck sweaters, and that it keeps the chill off nicely while walking in the Pacific Northwest mists. So I think we can safely say...

Final Verdict: We have a winner. Woo with a side of hoo!

January 9, 2009

Finished: Elliot's Snowy Tomten

Gah! January is getting away from me! It's time to get this crazy parade of FOs started.

Tomten.jpg
I'm dreaming of a white Tomten

The Specs:
Pattern: Tomten, by Elizabeth Zimmermann {ravelink}
Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensations Dolcetto (54% wool, 24% nylon, 22% cotton)
Needles: Size 9
Start to finish: February 25 - December 24, 2008
For: My nephew, Elliot (who I like to pretend is named after me)


tomten_modeled.jpg
Hello, I am impossibly blonde

Notes:

There isn't anything particularly remarkable about this Tomten except that I, a convicted color-abuser, chose to forgo all garish-striping opportunities and knit a plain white sweater. All I can say is that I found the buttons first and it just seemed like the thing to do. Plus Rae is the sort of nutty mom who dresses her toddler in white, so I never questioned the decision for a minute.

As with all EZ patterns, this one was light on the specifics, so I just cast on 88 stitches and hoped for the best. In retrospect I could have made the body a bit wider, but I did run out of yarn so it all worked out.

On the bright side, this is a fabulous pattern to run out of yarn on! I realized in the middle of sleeve #1 that the yarn well was going to dry up so I assessed what I had left (button bands, and sleeve #2), cut corners (scrapped the button bands for a simpler applied I-cord) and then knit both sleeves until the yarn ran out. I suppose that If things had been exceptionally dire I could have ripped out the hood, but it didn't come to that.


sulky_tomten.jpg
bonus sulky toddler shot! (because sulky toddlers are hilarious)

Final Verdict:
We have a winner! Hopefully it'll fit him for more than two weeks...he's growing like a weed!

November 23, 2008

Rainy Day Fingerless Gloves

So remember when I said I spent most of the summer working on design projects? Let me introduce you to Ms. August:

RDFG_Crop_1.jpg
Hola! We are not mittens.

I know...the shock, right? When Tanis over at Knit.1 asked for a "dream project" for the story they were putting together on bloggers, this idea fell together pretty quickly. I love fingerless gloves. I love color (especially yummy, semi-solid, hand-dyed, wooly/silky color). I love buttons, and I especially love a good fast knit.

I'm really excited about this pattern! Excited enough that I'm looking forward to the magazine coming out (December 16 is the official release date, if you're counting) even though I'm a little nervous about the blogger profile part. I happen to be Very Bad at talking about myself without completely over-thinking things. Have you ever noticed that I don't have one of those "100 things about me" pages? That's why. I tried a couple of times but I got bogged down somewhere in the low teens.

Anyway...not going to think about it...la, la, la...

bloggers_crop.jpg cover_crop.jpg

Now for the really cool part. If you've been poking around Knit Blog Land (and chances are, if you're reading this, you have been), you've probably run into some of the other super-talented bloggers who have patterns in this issue. If you want the whole list, here's a little cheat sheet for you:

Stephanie
Larissa
Mari
Cookie A
Ysolda
Jared
Wendy

I feel like a bit of an underachiever compared to that lot (not having written a book or inspired a Ravelry fan club), but I'm incredibly excited to be included!

Ok, I think that's enough for today. In summary: new pattern, Knit.1, lots of cool bloggers, woo-hoo! Oh, and the full preview should be up on the Knit.1 site on Monday the 23rd.

p.s. Ravelink!

November 17, 2008

Lotus Leaf Mittens

Heyya! I know I'm a little late with the news, but the winter Twist Collective is up! I'm totally and completely thrilled to have a pattern included in this issue, especially considering all of the other brilliant talent that is represented.

Would you be surprised if I told you it was a pair of mittens? Yeah, I didn't think so.

lotusleaf.jpg
Hello world!

The observant among you will have noticed that the blog was a bit quiet this summer. Well...this was the project that dominated July. August and September to be unveiled soon!

The Deets:
I used Schaefer Heather in the colors Indigo and Clara Barton, but most fingering-weight semi-solid or solid sock yarns will work. I was super-excited that I finally got to use a red/blue combination...that's my current color combo crush!

Other than that, they're pretty standard Elli-mitten fare: colorwork on size one needles with a thumb gusset on the side. This seems to be a good fit for most people and has the added bonus that you can use the lotus pattern (topside) or the leaf pattern (palmside) on both sides of the mitten. Because everybody loves a little mix and match!

Ravelink here.

lotusleaf_palm.jpg
palmside

If you do nothing else, make sure you check out the fabulous watercolors that Eloise Narrigan did for the story. I'm particularly fond of my chipmunk, but they're all really cute!

October 30, 2008

Finished: Yum Yum Cookie Socks

Thanks for all the cashmere love, guys! I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to do with the yarn, but you can be sure it'll be colorful! Also, if you think you'd like to try the sweater-unraveling thing, make sure you poke around online and read a tutorial or two. There are lots of useful hints out there.

Now! On to some finished knitting:

yum_yum_1.jpg
get your shoes and socks on...it's time to roll around on the lawn!

The Specs:
Pattern: My normal toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits; also in the book "Favorite Socks." {ravelink}
Yarn: Cookie A. Handpainted Sock Yarn, 1 skein
Needles: Bamboo dpns, size 1
Start to finish: Fall of 2007 - Fall of 2008
For: Kricket, on the occasion of her 25th birthday (Gifted in late September. On time!)

Notes:
Another pair of plain old socks! This time I shook things up a bit and did a plain stockinette leg with a rolled top. As usual, I will refer you here if you are curious about the conversion to toe-upness.

The Yarn:
This Cookie A. Handpainted seems to be a pretty rare breed. Nice though! Squishy and lovely, and the colors are even better in person (these photos got a little washed out).

The Funky Thunky pose (I don't ask questions. I just do what he asks):
yum_yum_2.jpg
yes...I will be dressed as the Corpse Bride this Halloween. why do you ask?

Final Verdict: Faboo! Time to cast on for the next pair.

August 21, 2008

Finished: Ross' Argyll V-Neck

Argyll_1.1.jpg
This is not Ross; it's Thunk.

The Specs:
-Pattern: Argyll V-Neck, by Martin Storey from Knitting for Him
-Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply (discontinued), subbed for the Rowan Scottish Tweed 4ply the pattern calls for.
-Skeins: 6.25 skeins of 283 (whiskers); 2.5 skeins each 269 (blessed) and 270 (stainless).
-Needles: size 3 for the ribbing, size 4 for the rest.
-Start to finish: November 2007 – August 17, 2008
-For: my brother-in-law Ross for Christmas (as in LAST Christmas. He gets extra points for being very patient).

Notes: It might seem a little tedious to knit an entire man-sized garment in fingering yarn, but the finished vest is such a practical weight (so very light and layerable) that it makes it more than worth the effort. And the argyle? It’s pretty fun to knit.

Argyll_5.jpg
Thunk selflessly volunteered to model this vest because he secretly wants to keep it.

Mods (a.k.a. tips for happier argyle vesting):

I knitted the vest without the diagonal lines, and then went back later and used duplicate stitch to fill them in. This significantly cut down on the number of bobbins I had to work with, and (as we all know) fewer bobbins = a happier knitting experience. Besides, duplicate stitch is kind of like cross stitch and makes a nice break from bobbin wrangling.

I worked short rows instead of binding off at the shoulders and then attached the front and back with a three-needle bind off. This is one of my favorite finishing tricks and I find it makes a neater, less bulky shoulder.

I sewed up the side seams first before picking up and knitting the armhole borders in the round (if you're doing this, make sure you pick up a multiple of four stitches so that the ribbing comes out correctly).

Argyll_2.jpg Argyll_7.1.jpg
I don't know if you noticed, but Thunk is a hunk.

The Pattern (this is a bit ranty, so if you aren’t planning on making this pattern you might skip this part):
The biggest frustration I had with this pattern was the sizing. An existing Ross vest was secretly measured in order to figure out what size to make and I was surprised to find that I would have to knit 2 sizes (4 inches) narrower than the smallest listed and 2” longer.

Our lovely model, Thunk, declared the finished vest to be a perfect fit and (you may not be able to tell this from the photos) he’s not a tiny dude. It’s pretty crazy that the pattern doesn't include a size to fit an averagely-sized taller-than-six-foot guy who generally wears a medium, don’tcha think?

The rest of Knitting for Him, which includes many attractive designs for the menfolk, has similarly gigantor sizing. The sweater designs for the smallest chest size (40") have anywhere from 6” to 9.25” of ease, while the three vest designs (a bit snugger) clock in at 4,” 3,” and, strangely enough, negative 1.5” of ease. Am I living under a rock, or are those numbers not huge?

That said it wasn't that hard to do the math and calculate the size I needed. A vest is a pretty straightforward article of clothing. The neck decreases were the trickiest bit.

My only other complaint about the pattern was with the listed yarn quantities. I had more than enough of the contrasting colors (more than a ball of each remaining) but I ran out of the main color. I might have calculated incorrectly, but I think that my mods (2” longer and 2” narrower on both front and back) would pretty much cancel each other out. If you plan on making this, you’d be wise to consider springing for an extra ball of the MC.

7.2.jpg
He think's you're pretty hot too.

The Yarn: Yorkshire Tweed…how I love you. Ross picked out the colors himself and, though I was a bid dubious about the mauve (never one of my favorites...I wore it too much in 7th grade), the overall effect is fabulous. And Ross always looks v. fetching in pinks so I imagine it will flatter him nicely.

Final Verdict: It's pink! It's vesty! It’s argylriffic! We won't know for sure until Ross tries it on, but I think we can safely call this one a winner.

July 29, 2008

Finished: Pop's Birdwatching Gloves

BW_2.jpg
This is my Dad. He's a bit obsessed with birding.

The Specs:
-Pattern: a hybrid of Knucks, by Pamela Grossman, and Bird's Eye Mittens, by Martin Storey, from Knitting For Him.
-Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed; less than one ball of shade 133 (blue), and a bit of 156 (natural).
-Needles: size 4 dpns, and size 3 (3mm) dpns for the ribbing.
-Start to finish: mid-June to early July.
-For: Pop. A rather belated Father's Day gift.

BW_4.jpg
I inherited many good qualities from Pop, not the least of which are a) fair skin and b) my ability to completely immerse myself in a hobby.

Notes:
The idea for these gloves was hatched last Christmas when my Dad tried on my brown Knucks (which fit him nicely) and also pointed out that he liked the Bird's-Eye Mitten pattern. Since those mitts don't have individual fingers, I though it would be nice to combine the look of the Bird's-Eyes with the excellent design of the Knucks. To cap it off, the fact that both patterns use Felted Tweed was just too good a coincidence to ignore.

Combining the patterns couldn't have been simpler. I was planning on having to modify the Knucks a bit to accommodate the colorwork, but the men's size has the exact same number of stitches in the hand portion as the Bird's-Eyes. So I just knitted up a pair of Knucks that incorporated the simple colorwork. Easy peasy!

BW_3.jpg
My camera is not this large.

The Pattern: This is the third time I've knitted a pair of Knucks and I stand my my original opinion of the pattern: top down fingerless gloves = brilliant.

Final Verdict: Pop likes them. I am a happy knitter.

BW_1.jpg
Ready to track down something feathery

April 3, 2008

Very finished: the Twiggy Bobble Hat

The Twiggy Bobble Hat was born last September and, being a wily hat, it has heretofore eluded capture for tagging as a FO. In spite of its elusive qualities, it was recently caught on camera (in the exotic locale known as Beneath the Stairs) before scampering back under a shrubbery.


Exhibit A
twiggy2.jpg
the hat is startled by the photographer


The Specs:

-Pattern: Twiggy Bobble Hat by Andrea Tung, Pattern here.
-Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed.
-Skeins: Less than one skein of Cocoa (143).
-Needles: Size 7 circs and dpns.
-Start to finish: Knitted sometime in September 2007.
-For: me!


The Pattern:
I could pretend that I vividly remember knitting this hat, but that would be silly. I only have the vaguest of recollections. I may as well have been abducted by aliens, brainwashed into thinking that I knit this hat, and returned to Earth.

Here's what I can dredge up from the bottom of my brain: There was some errata (ravelry link).


Exhibit B
twiggy1.jpg
it perches quietly on the head of the common knitter, with whom it shares a habitat


Notes:
I love this hat. I love that it's a bit oversized (for those of you who have never seen me around other people for scale, I am tall. I have a big head. Not freakishly large, just too big for many hats). I love the reverse stockinette. I reeeeeeeally love the bobbles, though occasionally they'll invert themselves and you have an inny instead of an outie. I consider this endearing.


Final Verdict: A fantastic hat. High thee hence and knit one for yourself.

February 13, 2008

Finished: Coral Herringbone Mittens

The camera, it is still broken (sadness, woe, etcetera). But now it is absolutely, completely broken. This is different from the sort of broken it was before (which was just kind of halfway broken). There are still a few photos hanging around from before the world went dark for my beloved Crapshot 2000, including these ones, taken Saturday.

coral_hb_sq.jpg
Howdy. We are Pomtastic

The Specs:

-Pattern: Herringbone Mittens with Poms, by me! Pattern here.
-Size Knitted: Medium
-Yarn: Cascade 220.
-Skeins: Less than one skein each of Coral (7830) and Natural (8010).
-Needles: Size 6 dpns (size 4 for ribbing).
-Start to finish: October 2007 - February, 2008.
-For: Recipient as of yet unknown (which explains why I wasn't really in a hurry to finish these).


coral_hbs.jpg
Upside-down mittens! I really know how to shake things up.

Notes:
You probably thought I'd finished these already, since one of them appears in the pattern and has been paraded around blogland for all the world to see. But that was just the single mitten I knitted up to test out the smaller size. Now there are two and, as someone's wise mother once said, mittens really are better in pairs.

Not much new to say about these. If you really want to read a full FO report, you can take a gander at the last one, which is here.

Final Verdict: neat-o complete-o!

January 28, 2008

Finished: Mum's Blueberry Shetland Triangle

Welcome to our next installment of Christmas Presents on Parade! Today our subject is none other than She Who Bore Me, the Mother of Elliphantom herself! Seen here modeling her Christmas Shetland Triangle:

ST_2.jpg
This is my Mum

You may say to yourself “didn’t we just see a Mother-in-Law modeling a blue shawl designed by Evelyn A. Clark?” What of it? The matrons in my life like their blue triangular shawls. Who am I to argue?

The Specs:
-Pattern: Shetland Triangle, by Evelyn A. Clark, from Wrap Style.
-Yarn: Blue Moon Silk Thread, one skein in the color “Haida,” knit doubled.
-Needles: Size 6 circs.
-Start to finish: November 29, 2005 - December 16, 2007.


ST_8.jpg


Notes:
My first attempt at this shawl was all wrong. Mum had requested a navy or black shawl for her Christmas gift and, come October, I found myself traveling down the uncomfortable road of “this yarn is not quite what I had in mind…” with 4 balls of navy Cashsoft 4 Ply. It was so soft. It was so squooshy. It was so…blah.

Wendie gets full credit for pointing me in the direction of the silk thread. She and Mr. Wendie were visiting (Thunk and Señor One-Ply-Short share an enormous passion for boy-type nerdly pursuits) and I was woe-is-me-ing my little heart out to Wen-Wen about the all-wrong-ness of the Cashsoft. Thank goodness for knitterly friends with an eye on the hand-dyed yarn market, is all I can say.

The Pattern:
A typical Evelyn A. Clark pattern with an easily memorized pattern repeat. To sum up: no problem-o.


ST_1.jpg
I inherited all of her good qualities.

The Yarn:
I really like the Silk Thread…it’s lovely and silky and drapes like a dream. My only complaint is that the dye didn’t penetrate the entire skein, leaving little undyed patches here and there, which is not so nice in a super-dark colorway. I was on a tight schedule though, so I didn’t have time for complaining and exchanging. It looks fine knit up (the white just looks like a little extra shine on the silk), but I’ve definitely become a center-of-the-skein checker. Heed my wisdom born of experience and go and do likewise.

Mods:
I knitted an extra six lace repeats. I agree with the Bigger is Better philosophy of shawl knitting. It’s difficult to sweep around looking fabulous if you have to keep adjusting your wrap. Make it big. Make it enormous, if you must. The worst that can happen is that it’ll look dramatic.


ST_4.jpg


Final Verdict: Lovely, lovely, lovely.

January 24, 2008

Finished: Chicago

Chicago1.jpg
That's my sister, Rae

The Specs:

-Pattern: Chicago, by Louisa Harding, from Rowan 37.
-Size: Medium.
-Yarn: Rowan Calmer, 6.5 skeins Sour, and less than one skein each Blush, Coral, and Lucky.
-Needles: size 8 birch, (size 7 when called for).
-Start to Finish: August 11, 2007 – December 26, 2007.
-For: My darling sister Rae, Christmas 2007

Notes:
Rae has been asking for this sweater since Rowan 37 came out (which was in 2005, if I remember correctly), so I'm pretty darn pleased that I finally delivered. There were some initial reservations about all those little flowers, but in the end they weren't so terrible. Because knitting is like chocolate. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good.


ChicagoBack.jpg
I knitted her a cardigan.


Mods: I think Ms. Harding got a little carried away with the extras on this pattern. At heart, it's a basic ¾ sleeve cardigan but then there are a) an eyelet lace pattern, b) 52 little knitted flowers, c) 2,500 knitted-in beads d) 18 buttons/buttonholes, and e) a ruffle at the bottom. That's a lot of stuff on one sweater.

The key to making this one a winner was to strip it down a little. I nixed the ruffle from the get-go…it doesn’t appear in any of the pattern photos (and why doesn't it?) so by the time I discovered its existence it was already out of the question. The beads knitted into the lace pattern were vetoed by Rae, thank goodness. So the whole project was a little less crazy-making than it could have been.

The only thing I added was 4 extra buttonholes (and buttons). Toward the end there I got a tiny bit lazy and didn't feel like doing buttonhole math. So I just knitted on buttonholes until I ran out of room. So 22 buttons it was. They're all hidden by the flowers, so it doesn't really matter anyway. Not that they aren't fantastic buttonholes.


7.jpg
It looks nice unbuttoned with a fancy shirt too.


Errata: The instructions for the little flowers say that you’ll have 6 stitches at the end…you won’t. You’ll have 11. If you want to have 6 stitches, omit the K1s. I just knit the 11 stitch version and they looked fine.

The Yarn: I love Calmer. So delightfully sproingy. I did have to go up a needle size since sproing makes me knit tightly.


6.jpg


Finishing:
I'm particularly happy with my set in sleeves. I used the crochet method (my current favorite) with a half-thickness of yarn to keep the bulk down (you just slap the pieces right sides together and crochet along the edge through both layers). So tidy!

To attach the flowers, I first arranged them on the sweater and then basted them into place. Then I just starting sewing those little buggers on and didn't stop until I was finished. Each one has three little glass beads into the center but you can't see them in the pictures (note to self: take closeups next time).

I picked out transparent buttons that are the exact same color as the sweater so that they don't distract from the knitted flowers. Normally I like buttons to stand out a bit, but in this case I thought they would just clutter things up.

Final Verdict: Woo! With a side of Hoo!

October 17, 2007

Finished: Muppety Sand Hat

Looky, it's a hat! A hat that's been finished since August (oh, the shame). Time to get caught up on the FOs...

muppetysand.jpg
Hello. I will stun you with my fuzzy rays.


The Specs:

-Pattern: Marloes Sand Hat, from Rowan 40.
-Yarn: 1.5 skeins of Lang Breeze.
-Needles: Size 13, and size 10.5 dpns (those were the largest ones I had).
-Start to finish: Two evenings way back in August, 2007.
-For: Me!


muppetymonkey.jpg
This is the best modeled shot I've got. Yes, I know it looks like I belong in the primate house.


Notes:
The yarn was a gift from my MIL last February. My first reaction was, of course, "YARN! Woo-hoo!" My second was "hmmmm...it's a bit on the, um, fuzzy side...and the colors aren't exactly what I would choose for myself." So into the stash it went to await its destiny.

Fast forward to a Sunday evening in August. I reallyreallyreally needed a fast project and I had my eye on the Sand Hat. Bulky yarn is severely underrepresented in my stash so when I dove in all I came up with was the Lang Breeze. A bit doubtful of the appropriateness of cables knit in novelty yarn, I decided to cast on and figured I could aways give the hat to Kricket* for Christmas if it came out looking completely dorky.

I knit the hat. I tried it on. I fell in love. It's soft and snuggly warm and best of all, it looks good on me. I have no idea why, but it works. So there you have it. I love my hat. The only question I have now is: does it need a bigger pom?


muppetytree.jpg
If I stand in a prickly tree can you imagine it's winter?


Final Verdict: Utter bewilderment and inexplicable fondness.


*my designated recipient of odd and/or experimental knits. Sorry, Krick.

September 26, 2007

Finished: Herringbone Mittens

Look! Mittens!

hmitts.jpg
Does looking at herringbone make you dizzy too?


The Specs:

-Pattern: An Elliphantom original.
-Size Knitted: Elli-size (read: biggish).
-Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted.
-Skeins: Less than one skein each of Deep Charcoal (M-06) and Silver Sliver (M-130).
-Needles: Size 7 dpns (size 6 for ribbing).
-Start to finish: September 9 - September 25, 2007.
-For: Me!


hmittsII.jpg
From the bottom up: ribbed cuff; eyelets to accommodate crocheted cord and large pom-pom; striped thumb; herringbone goodness.


Notes:
I've wanted to knit myself some mittens ever since the too-small-squirrel-mitten incident of 2006. So a few weeks ago I grabbed some leftovers from the stash, took some inspiration from the thrifted herringbone fabric, and got cracking.

Improvements I've made since the squirrel mittens:
-These fit! It's a nice touch.
-Worsted-weight yarn for a quicker, thicker mitten (heh. that rhymed).
-A ribbed cuff for extra snuggyness.
-The traditional thumb. I've determined that my thumbs are too, how should I put this...drumstick-like for a tab thumb).

Other than that, they're pretty similar to the squirrel mittens. (read: they're fair-isle and the tops are shaped similarly).

The Yarn:
The mohair content in the yarn makes it ill-suited for a lot of projects (too itchy), but it might just be made for mitten-dom. Lots of fuzzy snuggliness inside these double-stranded babies. If they full up just a little bit over time they'll be darn near impervious to wind and weather.


pom.JPG
Respect The Pom.

Final Verdict: I'm so pleased. La, la, la...

August 23, 2007

Finished: Luna Socks

Look, more socks!

lunasock_1.jpg


The Specs:
Pattern: A toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits; also in the book "Favorite Socks."
Yarn: Luna Park Ornaghi Filati.
Skeins: 2 balls in colorway 203.
Needles: Bamboo dpns, sizes 1 and 1.5.
Start to finish: June 16 - August 18.
For: Kricket, who claimed them first.


lunatoe.jpg
Hello. We are shortrow toes.

Notes:
Another pair of two-month live-in-my-bag pull-out-when-I-have-a-spare-moment socks. Seems I consistently have about one socks-worth of free minutes a month. It is nice to know that it all adds up to something, isn't it? See what the non-knitters are missing out on? Accidental productiveness. Incidentally, non-knitters are also strangers to the thrill and danger of shot-gun sock knitting...each day knitters everywhere risk their lives knitting in the passenger seat. What if the airbag deploys during a minor fender-bender and causes the knitter to be impaled on their own bamboo dpns, turning a minor incident into a spleen-puncturing ordeal? Wait. I seem to have lost my train of thought. Oh yes...the socks.

I knitted these in pretty much the same manner that I did the last pair. If you are curious about my conversion to toe-upness you can find the details in that FO report.

The Yarn:
The yarn was pretty meh. Meh-ness previously blogged about back in July.


Always looking for new and thought-provoking angles, Thunk insisted that we take a few shots like this:

wicked_luna.jpg
I like to think of it as the Wicked Witch of the East shot

Final Verdict: Soxy. Time to cast on another pair!

August 1, 2007

Finished: Curry in a Hurry Hat

A couple of weeks back I was waiting for that Rowanspun Aran to show up and I got a little antsy. So I decided to knit up a quick hat to take the edge off.

ciah_2.jpg

-Pattern: Cap Karma Hat, from Smariek Knits.
-Yarn: Handspun Bulky from Handpaintedyarn.com.
-Skeins: Less than one skein of "Sunset."
-Needles: Size 7 for ribbing; size 8 for the rest.
-Start to finish: July 18 – July 19, 2007.
-For: Me!

Notes:
This is a nice little hat pattern. I was drawn to it because the cables make the hat pucker in a zig-zaggy way and, as we know, all it takes is a nice zig-zag and I'm putty in your hands. Plus, cables! I had to make this one.

preblock_ciahh.JPG

Yarn:
You may recognize the Handpainted Bulky from Thunky's Hidden Agenda Sweater. I kind of hated the yarn back when I knitted the sweater, because half of the skeins seemed to have been spun by someone whose instructions read "spin thick and thin singles" and the other half by someone whose instructions said "spin singles of a consistent thickness." Since I just needed one skein for this hat I figured I was in the clear.

Not so much, it turns out. The yarn itself was fine, but the dyejob was fabulously craptastic. After an hour or two of knitting I looked like I had severe jaundice of the fingers. Most of the dye washed off my hands with a good scrubbing, but it stained the edges of my fingernails (and nothing says sexy like nasty yellowy nails. Yuck).

On the plus side, the dye stopped bleeding after three good washes and the lovely sunsetty color doesn't seem to have faded. You have no idea how gross the wash water was though. It looked like radioactive lemonade.

curryinahurryhat.jpg

Mods:
I made the whole thing shorter, so that it wouldn't swallow my head. I like my hats to just cover the tops of my ears.

Final Verdict: Yummy! A great pattern, but use different yarn.

July 9, 2007

Finished: Demi

demi2.jpg

The Specs:

-Pattern: Demi, from Rowan Vintage Knits.
-Size Knitted: the smallest one.
-Yarn: Rowan Magpie Tweed Aran (discontinued).
-Skeins: 6 skeins (540g, really) of shade 778.
-Needles: size 8 bamboo, (sizes 6 and 7 when called for).
-Buttons: La Mode style 43254.
-Start to finish: November 9, 2005 – July 5, 2007.
-For: Me!

demi1.jpg

The Pattern: I love this pattern. I love these cables with all the pretty twisted stitches. I love the bobbles. Love, love, love. The charts were a little tricky in the beginning (there's a lot going on there) but once the pattern was established and I could see what was going on it was smooth sailing.

demi3.jpg

The Fit: The only real issue I have with this pattern is with the fit of the sleeves. May I present Exhibit A:the pattern photo. As you can see, this pattern was meant to be a bit on the roomy side. Schlumpy-comfy with wideish sleeves and all that.

I made the size suggested for persons of my bustitude (3 to 4 inches ease). My body gauge was spot-on. I knitted, I blocked to measurements, I seamed the thing up and lo and behold...I have a sweater with very snug sleeves. Originally it was a sweater with very snug sleeves and a boxy unflattering body, but thanks to the miracle which is a blocking board, a whole whack of pins and a steam iron, I stretched and steamed the whole thing a few inches longer and now the body is a lot more fitted. This isn’t a bad thing…just different than I was expecting.

The way I see it, there are a few options: a) my biceps are magnificent, b) my gauge was off when I knitted the sleeves, c) the pattern could use a little tweaking, or d) all of the above. Hard to know since the sleeve schematic doesn’t include width measurements.

demi5.jpg

Mods: Being a tallish person, I knitted a couple extra inches in the sleeves. Another half inch wouldn’t have hurt, but whatever.

Why did it take you so long to knit this? I don’t know.

How’s the Magpie working out? ? It’s a little itchy, actually. I think the solution is to buy a nice wool wash, but I hate the idea of ordering one since I’m Really Picky about smells. Are there any good neutral smelling ones out there?

demi6.jpg

Why do you look so cranky? You should see the other photos. In my defense I’ll argue that getting into the zone and channeling my inner model was situationally appropriate. Because seriously people, when it’s 90 degrees out and you’re frolicking in the shallows of a public stream wearing a wool sweater…I think that looking committed to the project at hand is imperative.

demi4.jpg

Final Verdict: Love it! I’m particularly pleased with the buttons.

demibuttons_2.jpg
Hello. We look like cherry lifesavers.

May 20, 2007

Finished: Plain Old Socks

I seem to have accidentally finished some socks!

POS_1.jpg
I need some sun. Real bad.

The Specs:
Pattern: A toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits (also in the subscriber-only portion of their website).
Yarn: Trekking XXL.
Skeins: A little under one ball of color 110.
Needles: Bamboo dpns, sizes 1 and 2.
Start to finish: March 19 - May 18.
For: Me!

Notes:
This has been my brainless take-along knitting for the past two months. Considering that I just did a few rows here and a few rows there, I was pretty surprised when I suddenly found that I was finished.

POS_2.jpg
Thunk says I'm not really this white in real life. Really.

I achieved toe-up-ness on these by starting at the toe "seam" with a non-invisible provisional sort of cast-on (basically the long-tail cast-on onto two needles, alternating stitches between needles until I had my 76 stitches). I held one needles-worth of stitches on some dental floss (makes your knitting nice and minty! Just don't use the whitening variety) until I had completed a short-row toe. Then I just I put the held stitches back on the needles, knitted the foot, executed a PGR shortrow heel, and proceeded up the leg. Easy-peasy!

The Yarn:
As plain old sock yarn goes, I love Trekking most of all because of the colors and the way they never come out the same way twice. It's common for the colors in two of the three plies to match up, creating a dominant color band, but this was the first time I've ever had all three plies synch up. You can see where it happened on the ankle of one of the socks...there's about an inch or so where it looks a little more rainbow-riffic. I thought about cutting this section out of the yarn, but I kind of like it.

POS_3.jpg

Final Verdict: Nice warm socks, just in time for summer!

May 10, 2007

Finished: Flower Basket Shawl

FB_tree.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl, by Evelyn A. Clark, from Interweave Fall 2004.
-Yarn: Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud.
-Skeins: Two 50g skeins in the color "stream heather" knit doubled. 95g used total.
-Needles: Size 10 Brittanies.
-Start to finish: Spring 2005 - April 29, 2007.

Notes:
Started way back in the spring of 2005, this shawl has been lurking in the bottom of my knitting basket for a remarkably long time. It was the first lace project I ever attempted and I'm not ashamed to admit that it kicked my heinder the first time around. But what a difference a couple of years can make! I pulled this one out and finished up the remaining 3/4ths of the shawl in less than a week (much of this on a single Saturday I spent at home recovering from a stomach bug).


FB_front.jpg
Put on your party dresses kids, it's a finished flower basket!


The Pattern:
I can't say I loved knitting this one, but the pattern was everything it needed to be: clear and free of mistakes. I found that using a large number of stitch markers and counting my stitches at the end of every row really helped keep things moving along smoothly.

The Yarn:
Nice and soft and insanely affordable. The alpaca makes this one Very Warm shawl.


FB_closeup.jpg


Mods:
Way back when I started this one I must have decided that I didn't like how small the shawl looked in this picture, so I went up three needle sizes from a 7 to a 10. Time went by and I forgot that I had done this, so when I picked it back up again I decided to add two lace repeats to ensure that it wouldn't be too small. I used a short set of straight needles (not recommended, I could hardly get all the stitches on there at the end) so I had no way to know how big this shawl was until I bound off and held it up. Turns out that mine is a whole 14 inches wider than the original...larger than I had anticipated, but just fine with me!

Final Verdict: You have no idea how satisfying it is to finish this one up. Happiness all around!


FB_tree.jpg

May 3, 2007

Finished: Mossy Baby Sweater

Hey look, it’s a finished baby sweater! This one has been waiting for its write-up for over a week, but lately life has been getting in the way of blogging. And returning e-mail. I'm working on it, I promise!

M_F_moss.jpg
Oh fine, it's not the same color as moss.


The Specs:
Pattern: My own.
Size: About 3 months.
Yarn: GGH Samoa (50% cotton, 50% acrylic)
Needles: Size 7 circs for the body, size 7 straights for the sleeves.
Start to finish: March 4 - April 24.
For: Little Nephew E.


M_B_needles.jpg
I couldn't find any snakes or snails or puppy-dog tails, so you'll have to settle for pine-needles and rocks.


If you cast your mind back to early March, you may recall that this sweater started out as a slightly modified version of this pattern from Rebecca Baby and Kids No. 8. After about 100 bazillion modifications, I ended up with what you see here.


The Plan:
I wanted a baby sweater with similar construction to the EZ baby sweater: knit in the round but with sleeves knit flat (though they could be done in the round. Whether a short little seam or knitting in the round takes longer is a bit of a toss-up). I knew I wanted zig-zaggy cables (I can't get enough zigzags. I bet you never noticed).


M_B_moss.jpg


What really happened:
That was about where the planning ended. I pretended to crunch some numbers and cast on. After I knitted my way to the bottom of the sweater I decided that the neck was too small (resulting in the great backwards seed-stitch rip-out of '07). And then there was the night I decided I didn't like the spacing of the buttonholes so I dropped back the button-band stitches and picked them back up with new yarn-over buttonholes in the proper spots. And we won't go into how I knitted the first arm three times before I got it to look like it would fit a human baby (as opposed to a t-rex baby).

I feel a little bit like I knitted the middle of the sweater first and then fiddled around on the edges for a long time. Maybe because I did?


M_F_buttons.jpg


Patternage?
I took a bunch of notes thinking that maybe I'd write out a pattern, but I feel like I need to knit this one again the way normal people knit (you know, from the start to the finish without all that wishy-washy rippyness) before I put it down on paper. Luckily, people just keep having babies so it shouldn't be too much of a problem finding another one to knit for.


M_F_tree.jpg
Tree, tree, tree...tree, tree, tree...


Final Verdict: I like it! Even if it was the slowest fast knit ever executed.

p.s. I finished up the Flowerbasket Shawl last Sunday! More finished object goodness coming your way soon! (Though I do realize that "soon" in Elli-land has come to mean "sometime hopefully in the next week.")

April 12, 2007

Finished: Baby E's Robot

Robot_blue.jpg

The Specs:
Pattern: Robot from "Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy," by Jess Hutchison.
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream worsted cotton in Teal, Pumpkin, and Sunshine and some Bernat Cottontots in Lime Berry.
Needles: size 6 bamboo for the body, size 4 bamboo dpns for the antenna.
Start to finish: April 4 - April 7.
For: Little Nephew E. (and this isn’t the end of it yet…)

Notes:
Rae had mentioned a few times to me that she really liked Spherey, the other toy I’ve knitted from this pamphlet, so as soon as she and Natey announced that they were going to have a baby boy visions of little knitted robots started dancing through my head. Still, I waited until two days before we were going to see the new baby to start it. I guess that fits with the procrastination theme I’ve got going on here lately. I’m nothing if not consistent.

Yarn:
I wasn’t too impressed with the selection of worsted wool I had around the apartment (most of it got used up in the Great Christmas Korknisse Adventure of 2006) so I dipped into the kitchen cotton stash instead. I had lots of bright colors to choose from and the stuff is washable. Can’t beat that right?

Robot_white.jpg


Mods:
The biggest mod to the pattern was to go down two needle sizes. I wanted to knit the cotton fairly tightly since it’s less forgiving than wool and I didn’t want sloppy intarsia. Besides, the finished toy as written is pretty large (9”x10,” not counting the antenna) which is pretty big when you think about how tiny newborns are. We will choose to ignore, for the time being, that newborns have absolutely no interest in knitted robots.

Like with Spherey, I embroidered the eyes for added baby-safety.

New Techniques:
Intarsia? Turns out that it’s not so bad after all. The last time I tried it I failed miserably. I’m sure that it had nothing to do with the fact that I was attempting an octopus. In acrylic.

Final Verdict: Love it! I think Rae still wants a Spherey though.

April 11, 2007

Finished: Yellow Soaker

The Specs:
Pattern: Wool Diaper Cover, pattern pdf here.
Size: I knitted the 10-24 month size, but came in a bit under gauge. So maybe 7-21 months?
Yarn: Aprox. 100g of White Buffalo 3-ply.
Needles: 6mm bamboo.
Start to Finish: March 3ish - March 16ish? Sometime in early March at any rate.
For: Nephew E.

yellow_soaker.jpg

Notes:

I'm not usually a procrastinator, but I've been putting off posting about this one for a while. Goodness knows I've been finished with it long enough. Let me see if I can remember back far enough to give you some useful info about this one (*think, think, think*).

The Yarn:

Let's see...I wasn't so sure if the White Buffalo unspun was a good choice for the pattern way back when I first posted about this, and I'm still not sure. I never got around to lanolizing or washing it. Being the loving and caring sister that I am, I just handed it off to Rae and was done with it. I didn't even make it a drawstring. The one in the picture is some bias tape I dug out of Rae's craft room. Now you know the truth...sometimes I'm a bit of a slacker.

Mods (aka mistakes):

I was going to say that I didn't make any changes to the pattern, but in reading it over again it looks as if I read the increases and decreases for the legs incorrectly and took twice as many rows as I should have to incorporate them (increasing and decreasing at only the beginning of the rows as opposed to at the beginnings and ends of the rows). Gah! My version does look suspiciously taller than the pattern illustration, doesn’t it? Well, hopefully this won't be a big problem.

One modification that this pattern would benefit from is a round of yarn overs for the drawstring to slip through. I didn't think of this until too late.

Final Verdict: Cute, but points docked for sloppy pattern readage and general laziness. Like the other soaker, verdict pending actual baby wearage.

March 5, 2007

Finished: EZ Baby Shorties

The soaker knitting has commenced! Let me start by saying thanks to everybody who commented/e-mailed with input on soakers. I’ve got TONS of good ideas. And speaking of good ideas, Mandy was the helpful soul who suggested that I try the February longies pattern from the Knitters Almanac. I already had the pattern so I jumped right in!

The Specs:
Pattern: Baby Leggings from Knitter's Almanac, by Elizabeth Zimmermann.
Yarn: 100g of my own homespun cormo, held together with a strand of KnitPicks Color Your Own fingerling-weight merino (I used 50g of that).
Needles: Size 6 circs and dpns.
Start to Finish: February 26 – March 4.
For: the spawn of Rae and Natey.

soaker_1_front.jpg
the front

The Pattern:
Love EZ, as usual. My only complaint (again…I said this with the baby sweater too) is that sometimes she leaves out things like desired finished dimensions. I would love to know what I’m aiming for. She says nice soothing things such as “babies come in various sizes,” but when it comes down to it I don’t have a very good concept of how big babies are. I thought about going upstairs and bullying my nice neighbors into letting me measure their oh-so-adorable daughter,* but I had just recently borrowed a banana from them and neighbors are nicest when they aren't constantly barging in demanding things, you know? So I just guessed. I have it on good authority that the finished soaker looks to be about an 18-month size. Good enough.

The Yarn:
I’ve been hoarding this yarn for a couple of years. This, my dear people, is the only yarn I’ve ever worked up from square one. I washed the fleece, hand carded, spun, plied, and dyed…the whole enchilada. So you’ll understand that I couldn’t just use it for any old project. Now some of you might ask why I would use if for a project that is destined to be peed and shat upon and all I can say is…you have a good point. But there were a few deciding factors:

1) The yarn is very lanolin-rich. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I didn’t scour the fleece very well so the resulting yarn is pretty greasy. But hey, they tell me that lanolin is good for the babies’ bottoms and for keeping things tidy and dry. Plus, the yarn is REALLY soft.

2) I dyed it with Kool-Aid. Babies are some of the few people who can pull off Kool-Aid. For those of you who are curious about the colors they are: Very Cherry, Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, and Pink Lemonade overdyed with Lemon-Lime.

3) Sisters just don’t go and have babies every day of the week (especially in my family). If I won’t use the special yarn now, when will I?


soaker_1_back.jpg
the back. note short row shaping in the red.

Mods:
When starting the legs, I doubled the number of stitches to be held aside for grafting between the legs. Five just didn’t seem like enough, especially after seeing all the other soaker patterns that leave quite a bit of room down there.

Also, EZ suggests binding off after 5 rounds of the leg. I did my five rounds in ribbing, added a purl row for turning, did 5 more rows of ribbing, and then sewed down my live stitches. If needed, some elastic could be threaded through here later for a snugger fit.

Final Verdict: Works for me! If it actually functions as promised I’ll be pleased as punch.


*speaking of said oh-so-adorable baby…remind me to post the pic I have of her sporting the EZ baby sweater. The cuteness…

February 26, 2007

Finished: Saddle Shoulder Aran Cardigan

The Specs:

-Pattern: Saddle-Shoulder Aran Cardigan, from Wool Gathering #63, by Meg Swanson.
-Yarn: Briggs and Little Regal (referred to as "Canadian Regal" on the SHP website).
-Skeins: A bit over six skeins in Forest Brown.
-Needles: size 8 circs and dpns for most of it, some ribbing on 5s and 6s.
-Buttons: La Mode style 29446.
-Start to finish: August 8, 2006 – February 20, 2007.
-For: Thunk. A belated birthday gift.

SSAC_1.jpg
Thunk, on location in academia.

Where to start? I’m feeling positively verbose.

The Pattern: for those of you not familiar with the Wool Gathering series (originally written by Elizabeth Zimmerman; later taken over by Meg Swanson) the pattern is more of a detailed guideline for you to make your own version of the sweater (you choose yarn, gauge, stitch patterns, and so on). All the information you need is included, but you need to bring your brain and a calculator to the table. Maybe some graph paper too. It took me roughly a week to do the preplanning and swatching so it’s not an insta-start sort of pattern.

The Yarn:I used Briggs and Little Regal which is the yarn Meg used for the original sweaters. It’s a nice affordable workhorse-type yarn but it’s definitely a bit rustic. While I don’t mind picking bits of v.m. out of my yarn (in fact, I rather like the idea that they don’t process the heck out of it) I did find the yarn to be a little crunchy. It softened up some when I blocked it, but it still falls outside the category of “soft.” That said, I didn’t use a fancy wool-wash…I just gave it a quick dunk with a little of Thunk’s conditioner in the water.

No problem though…Thunk’s fine with the way it feels (we are talking about the guy who wears a scarf that he knitted himself out of Reynolds Lopi). However, if I had known how much time I was going to spend on this sweater, I probably would have splurged and gotten something a bit more upscale.


SSAC_3.jpg SSAC_4.jpg
backtastickness; frontastickness. (click for big)

Knitting in the Round Weirdness: I consider myself to be a fairly experienced knitter. I’ve knitted a goodish number of projects in the round and aran patterns are nothing new to me. However, this sweater unveiled a rather unsettling quirk in my knitting when I combined the two. My “filler” purl stitches on the right side of a motif are much tighter than the ones on the left side, causing all of my cables to migrate a bit to the right. Look closely, it’s there. I noticed this pretty early on but no amount of manipulation on my part made much of a difference. Blocking didn’t do much either.

For whatever reason this doesn’t bother me too much. For one thing, Thunk doesn’t care. That and it’s not something you notice immediately. I know that if I ever wanted to knit a sweater with similar construction I could eliminate the problem by knitting back and forth instead of knitting it in the round. This would also mean I could leave out the steeks, which would suit me just fine.

Steeking: The pattern includes instructions for a crocheted steek so that’s the one I used. I did refer to Eunny’s steeking article (in one of the latest Interweaves…can’t recall which issue) for a little more clarification. I got through the crocheting and the cutting with no problem but freaked out a bit once I’d actually finished the operation. Because seriously people…how DOES it stay together? Not to mention Ugly Ragged Edges. Yuck.

I calmed down some once I got the collar and button bands knitted on. I did some reading around and discovered that you can just tack down the edges with a running stitch which hides the ugly sticky-outy ends quite nicely (much simpler than my first plan which involved a large quantity of brown grosgrain ribbon). Strangely enough, once I got those ends hidden I stopped worrying about how it all stays together. So I’m ok now.

The only real issue I have with the steeking thing was the smaller second steek you cast on for after setting aside stitches for the neck. It’s such a dinky little thing that I really wish that I’d just eliminated it by knitting back and forth through that section instead of casting on new steek stitches and continuing in the round. Because really unless you have a steek fetish…not necessary. It’s less than ten rounds. I also harbor malicious feelings towards the second steek because (who knows why) my tension got sloppy and when I picked up those stitches for the collar I ended up with some gaping holes. Nothing some creative crocheting couldn’t fix, but still…not fun.


SSAC_5.jpg SSAC_6.jpg

Neck Issues: If there’s one thing I know it’s that one should Always Bind Off Neck Stitches. It keeps things nice and firm and Non-Stretchy. However, the instructions tell you to hold them on waste yarn until you need them for the collar. So I blithely ignored the little voices in my head and didn’t bind them off resulting in (you guessed it) a Big Neck. And, as we all know, the menfolk have a harder time getting away with the big neck look.

Since I’d already knitted on the entire button-band/collar combo, I just grabbed another crochet hook and crocheted one very firm row around the inside of the collar where the cast off round would have been. It took two tries (first time wasn’t firm enough) but now? Normal-sized neck. Hooray!

All that said...I loved knitting this sweater. There’s hardly any finishing (I even skipped the grafting in favor of a three-needle bind-off for the underarms) and if you splice in each new skein there are hardly any ends to weave in. I really like some of the smaller details that Meg threw in like the mitered collar and the twisted rib on the underside of the arms. Did I mention that EZ’s one row buttonhole is brilliant? It is.

Final Verdict: Thunk loves it. I love it. Feel the love.

Bonus Shot: Adam and Eve dig the sweater too.

January 7, 2007

Finished: Two Branching Out Scarves

Back from Christmas now! Lots to blog about, but I think I'll start off with a Christmas gift that I didn't have time to blog about before I left...

branching_mum.jpg
mummy, in scarf, with stockings

The Specs:
-Pattern: Branching Out, by Susan Pierce Lawrence (from Knitty).
-Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool; one skein for each scarf.
-Color: Charcoal grey (color 19).
-Needles: Size 7 birch.
-Start to finish: December 10 – December 29.
-For: One for my mum and one for Thunk’s Grandma Betty.

Notes: This was one of those presents that works out just right. I started by buying two skeins of the Silky Wool to knit my Mum a nice Christmas scarf. When I got home I poked around a bit online and chose the Branching Out pattern before I realized I’d bought the yarn the pattern calls for. How often does that happen?

I had such a nice time knitting the first one (which only took one skein) that I just went ahead and knit another one for Grandma Betty.

mummy_scarf.jpg

The Yarn: This stuff is great. It has an interesting, slightly nubbly texture but it’s still nice and soft. Plus it’s a bit tweedy (yay!).

The Pattern: You know if I find a lace pattern easy you can knit it too. In fact, I had such a nice time with it that I’m thinking of going back and having another go with the Flowerbasket Shawl (the “easy” lace pattern that kicked my tookus and rendered me lace-meek). I’ll let you know how that goes.

Mods: The only thing I changed was to leave off row 10 of the last repeat so that the ends match up a little more nicely.

Final Verdict: Two gifts + one contented knitter = lotsa winners!

[Bonus shot: Mummy works it for the camera.]

December 20, 2006

Finished: Heirloom Bag

Those of you who have been hanging around here for a while may recall that this bag was started over Labor Day weekend 2005 by my sister Rae. She crocheted the doily-bits and, feeling the collaborative enthusiasm, I got going on the bag part.

Shortly after Rae went home I chucked it back in the basket. Mostly because of the colors (I may or may not have used unkind words to describe them). Regardless, Rae would occasionally ask me about the bag and when I planned to finish it, mentioning that she would like to have it if/when it was ever completed. So, in a heartwarmingly Christmassy effort of sisterly love, I have finished it. I may have taken over a year to do it, but here it is:

heirloom%20bag.jpg

The Specs:

-Heirloom Bag, from Rowan 37.
-Yarn: Knit Picks Shine in apricot, violet, cherry, and grass (originally purchased for Anouk)
-Needles: various size 3s.
-Tassels: pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
-Notions: green fabric and thread for the lining.
-Start to finish: September 2005 - December 16, 2005.
-For: my lovely sister Rae.


inside_hb.jpg
more excitement inside!

Notes: A pretty quick and easy project, once I actually got going on it. The whole thing is really very sturdy since the handle is double-thick in addition to being lined. My only changes to the pattern (well, aside from a different yarn with a completely different gauge) were to add a pocket and some tassels, just to up the fancy-factor.

I'm particularly proud of my finishing job on this bag. It may look like a circus tent, but it's a really, really well-made circus tent.

Final Verdict: A bit bizarre. But to quote Bridget Jones' mother: "...that's lovely, isn't it - 'bizarre'?"

December 18, 2006

Finished: Korknisse Ornaments

So some of the Korknisse are finished. I decided to do a FO post since I've started to give some of them away (and besides, they all look about the same). So far I've made 13 of these little dudes. By the end of the holiday season I will probably have made close to 30.

nisse.jpg
we are legion


The Specs:
-Pattern: Korknisse, from Saartje Knits.
-Yarn: various aran and worsted weight yarns
-Needles: size 3 dpns
-Notions: corks*, skinny ribbon, permanent black marker, little teeny-tiny jingle bells and sequin pins.

*after I first posted about this project, Nova sent me a whole big bag of corks (along with an awesome Christmas mix). Thanks so much Nova!


nisse_tree.JPG
ornamentized


Notes: I love this little pattern. On average, it takes about 35 minutes to complete a single nisse. That includes knitting, sewing in the ends, drawing the little face, sewing the bells on and attaching the ribbon. So it's one of the quicker gifts I've come across. Even when you add up how long it'll take to make 30 of them (17.5 hours) that's not too bad...and I'll have thirty cute little gifts when I'm done!

The only change I made to the pattern was to cast on three extra stitches when using worsted weight yarn. This makes it a bit larger to compensate for the thinner yarn and the hat decreases still work out nicely. I'll also admit to shortening a few of the larger corks, since I think they look a bit cuter when they're short and squat.


red_nisse.jpg


Ornamentizing: Most of these pics were taken before I attached the ribbons, but all of these have since been turned into ornaments. All I did was attach a 9-inch piece of ribbon to the top of the cork with a couple of sequin pins (those are the extra short ones they stock in the sequin section) and then thread the ribbon though the hat using a darning needle.


row_of_nisse.jpg

Final Verdict: korknisse for everybody!

December 11, 2006

Finished: Beau

Beau_tracks.jpg


The Specs:
-Pattern: Beau, by Kim Hargreaves from Rowan Vintage Knits.
-Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran.
-Skeins: a little over 7 skeins in the color Muffin.
-Needles: size 6 for the ribbing, size 7 for the rest.
-Buttons: vintage, from the stash.
-Start to finish: November 4 – December 8.
-For: my brother-in-law Natey for Christmas.


Beau_back.jpg


Notes: I knitted the second smallest size and, apart from having to go down a needle size to get gauge (something that rarely happens since I tend to knit tightly), I just followed the pattern as written. Man-sweaters are just big squares, so there isn't much to change.

The Yarn: I really like the way the fabric knitted up. It's an aran weight but it's still nice and light. Also, even though it's not a yarn I'd necessarily classify as soft (it's just plain old wool from what I can tell), it's not itchy. You could knit with this stuff with no pants on, if you were so inclined. To bad they've discontinued it.

The Pattern: Easy-peasy people. The design is interesting without being technically challenging and it's not so fussy that your guy'll refuse to wear it (well, I'm sure there are some exceptions out there but we can't please everybody all the time). I might have to make one of these for Thunky sometime. I do have that RYTA I was going to use for Finn.

Knitterly Confession: I set in both of the sleeves wrong-ways out. But you would never have known if I hadn't told you, right?

Final Verdict: We won't know for sure until Christmas, but I think we can safely call this one a winner. If Natey doesn't like it I'll knit him something else and give this one to Thunk.


Thunk_Beau.jpg

We couldn't resist doing our own Rowan hottie shot. Here's the original for comparison. All we're lacking is some ivy, a few days stubble and a French accent.

October 30, 2006

Finished: Elfine's Socks

Elfine_leaves.jpg

The Specs:

Pattern: Elfine’s Socks, by Anna Bell, pdf here.
Yarn: Socks that Rock (light weight).
Skeins: One 4.5 oz skein in Star Sapphire…just recently removed from their website, unfortunately. It’s a bit uncanny how they remove colors as soon as I use them. Though Cara says that you can call Blue Moon up and request colors, even if they aren’t currently on their site.
Needles: Size 1 bamboo dpns.
Start to Finish: October 8 to October 29.


Elfine_berries.jpg


Notes:
A lovely easy lace sock pattern. Lots and lots of cute little leaves!

The only part in the pattern that I found to be less than clear was the bit about the heel increases on the shortrow heel...normally I stick around to figure these things out, but I was in the middle of watching a movie. So I just ripped it out and subbed in a Priscilla Gibson-Roberts shortrow heel (my first love when it comes to heels). Other than that, I followed the pattern!

Final Verdict: STR + easily memorizable pattern = happy Elli


p.s. due to an unfortunate confluence of events (work deadlines/evening classes/contracting a lovely case of the Upper Respiratory Ick), I am even more behind on returning e-mails/responding to comments/commenting on your blogs than normal. If you haven’t heard from me lately…I’m working on it. Thanks, as ever, to all of you who take the time to read, comment, encourage, and otherwise make me feel all warm and fuzzy about belonging to the knitblogging community! -E

October 22, 2006

Finished: Chunky Scarf

Chunky_scarf_1.jpg

Secret Project revealed! This is a very easy scarf I whipped up as a gift for the little sis for Christmas. I figure she got River last time, so this time around it's something a little more basic.

The Specs:

Pattern: Garter stitch. You know that one, right?
Yarn: About 250g of mystery super-chunky alpaca, acquired when Ms. Aura was destashing a while back.
Needles: Size 35s. Ack! The bigness!
Start to Finish: October 14 – October 15.
For: Kricket.

Chunky_scarf_2.jpg

Notes:
I just cast on 78 sts, knit 7 rows, bound off loosely, and threw on some fringe. Easy-peasy! The hardest part was jamming all those stitches onto the needles. That and freezing my tooshie off while Thunk took pictures.

Timewise, this took about as long as a dishcloth to make...just a few hours. Like I mentioned before, I don't have a clue what kind of yarn this is, but I did knit a similar one for Rae in Cascade Magnum a couple years back if you're looking around for something appropriately chunky (I dubbed that one the macaroni scarf, for very good reason). You could even rustle up some white Magnum and turn this into an adventure in hand-dying.

Chunky_scarf_3.jpg
I see a scarf in someone's future...

Final verdict: Wrap it up and put it under the tree!

October 11, 2006

Finished: EZ Baby Sweater

I've been meaning to knit this sweater for my friends Yana and George, who are expecting a baby girl in a month or so. I don't know when exactly I was planning to knit it...I guess I figured somebody would give me a bit of notice about a shower or something. Well, I found out on the 2nd that the baby shower was going to be on the 8th. No time to go out and buy yarn...I grabbed some from the stash and off I went!

EZ_BS.jpg

The Specs:

Pattern: Baby Sweater from Knitter's Almanac, by Elizabeth Zimmermann (February).
Yarn: KnitPicks Merino Style in nutmeg (a bit over 100g, I think. Scale still broken). Leftover from this sweater, actually.
Needles: Size 7 circs.
Start to Finish: October 2 – October 8.
For: The progeny of George and Yana.

Notes:
This is a fabulously clever yet simple pattern. There are, as promised, only two seams to be sewn on this sweater. Since the underarm stitches are picked up and knit to make the body there aren’t even any underarm stitches to graft--just a couple of sleeve seams to zip up with some easy mattress stitch. Quick finishing makes for a happy knitter!

My only departure from EZ’s pattern was to add an extra stitch in stockinette to each side of the sleeve. I don’t remember whose blog I originally saw this tip on, but it makes sewing up easier and matches up the lace pattern on the bottom of the sleeves.

The only complaint I have about the pattern is that EZ gives you a gauge but no finished dimensions and the directions for sleeve length were a bit ambiguous. I know she's empowering me to figure things out myself, but I don't have much experience with the size and proportions of babies. Hopefully it'll fit the baby at some point in its early life!

The Yarn: the Merino Style is lovely and soft, but unfortunately not machine-washable. I’m banking on the facts that a) Yana is a knitter and b) they registered for cloth diapers as signs that the parents-to-be will a) not felt it and b) like doing laundry.

rosette.jpg

The Rosette:
The sweater needed a little extra something, so I made a quick yo-yo (tutorial here) and sewed a vintage button into the center. I decided to make it removable in case the baby fusses with it too much, so I threaded some ribbon through the back of it and tied the whole deal to the sweater. No pins involved!

Final Verdict: Quick, easy, and cute!

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.

bunnies.jpg

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.

tails.jpg

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.

pom_finished.jpg


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!

pom_fin_2.jpg

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:

lotus_case_closed.jpg

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.)

lotus_case.jpg

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.

gnomecaseclosed.jpg

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

gnomecase.jpg

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!

July 30, 2006

Finished: Krick's River Stole

river_3.JPG
Yay! I finished it!

The Specs:
-Pattern: River, by Sharon Miller, from Rowan 38.
-Yarn: Kidsilk Haze.
-Skeins: approx. 1.75 skeins in the color Meadow.
-Needles: Size 10.5 aluminum straights.
-Start to finish: June 5 - July 28.
-For: My sister Kricket, for her wedding.

The Pattern: Straightforward and easy to follow. After a couple repeats it was possible to just check in with the pattern at the beginning of every other row, which was nice.

riverspan.JPG

Mods: There aren't really many ways to get creative with River as it's just a big old lace rectangle. My only real change was to add two extra repeats (I would have only added one but then there would have been thirteen repeats...and we all know that it's just plain bad to make someone a wedding shawl with thirteen repeats. It should be noted that I am not superstitious. My little sister is not superstitious. I know…I'm confused too). Oh, and I didn't scallop the edges when I blocked it. Not really a mod, but it affects the overall look.

Notes: Cute pattern, huge needles (and by extension fast progress)...this was my most enjoyable lace-knitting experience so far. I'm still not a kidsilk haze convert, and in retrospect I should have tried a bit harder to find some size 10.5s with pointy tips that weren't aluminum (too heavy and slippery) but I can get over that.

riversky.JPG

Final Verdict: I hope she likes it! If not, I'll steal it back.

p.s. it should be noted that I finished this a whole month before the wedding…not bad, eh?

July 23, 2006

Finished: Knucks

knucks_1.JPG

The Specs:
-Pattern: Knucks, by Pamela Grossman.
-Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed
-Skeins: Less than one skein (35g) of shade 143.
-Needles: size 4 dpns (size 3 for ribbing).
-Start to finish: July 8 - July 22
-For: Me (still the summer of knitting for me...)

Notes: I made the men's size (just call me Elli of the huge hands) and they fit pretty well...maybe a little largish, but then I didn't think about the potential usefulness of negative ease in gloves. If I were to make another pair, I would probably go down a needle size.

The Pattern: Top down fingerless gloves. Brilliant.

Mods: I shortened them a bit by skipping a few of the plain knit rounds near the end of the thumb decreases. I also left off the embroidery (I know, boring...but I want to wear these at work. If I were to embroider something on them it would be "I'm cold” as that’s how I feel ALL WINTER).

knucks_2.JPG

Final Verdict: We loves them. Yes indeed.

P.S. All this planning ahead for winter is making me think about Christmas knitting already. Don’t hate me.

P.P.S. Is it just me, or are my pinkies abnormally short?

July 5, 2006

Finished: Picovoli

pico_finished.JPG

The Specs:
-Pattern: Picovoli, by Grumperina, from Magknits.
-Yarn: Knitpicks Shine
-Skeins: Nearly 5 balls in Grass.
-Needles: size 4 circs
-Start to finish: June 20 - July 4
-For: Me (I told you this would be the summer of knitting for me...)

Notes: I knitted the second smallest size. The only mods were to add an extra half inch in the waist and another inch at the bottom. It could really use another half inch or so, but whatever...cotton gets longer with time, right? Just call me Elli of the long torso.

The only thing that bugs me is that the top picots are a little floppy. I think it's because I was knitting a bit looser on those first few rows. In fact, I'm sure of it. And I knew it right after I'd done it, but I didn't rip back. So it's all my fault, really.

The Pattern: Lovely and easy to follow (but then you know that because you've all made one already, right)? The only thing I can add is that the picots are not that bad. In fact, I really enjoyed sewing them down...it's so much easier than seaming but still feeds your inner finisher so that you come out feeling all accomplished and stuff. Of course maybe y'all skipped the picots because you didn't care for them, in which case that's your problem.

pico_full_sm.JPG
left arm optional

Final Verdict: Love it! Two thumbs up from Thunky as well.

June 27, 2006

Finished: Spherey

Spherey.jpg

The Specs:
Pattern: Spherey from "Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy", by Jess Hutchison.
Yarn: Nature Spun Worsted in antique turquoise, and Cascade 220 in color No. 7830
Skeins: about 10 grams of each color
Needles: Size 5 dpns
Start to finish: June 25 - 26
For: Niece O. for her birthday

Notes:
This was a last minute gift for Thunk's niece O., whose first birthday is on Friday. She is our only niece, so thorough spoilage with knitted items is practically required. You might remember her as the adorable recipient of Trelllis last Christmas. She has also been on the receiving end of this baby sweater and this pinwheel baby blanket (those two were pre-blog).

The pattern was well written and easy to follow and Jess' instructions for sewing the limbs onto the body were very helpful. I stayed with the colors she used in the book (they are elliphantom colors, after all) and was able to knit entirely from the stash (hooray!). The only thing I changed was to embroider the eyes on for baby safety. Not much else to say about this one except that it's cute, cute, cute!

Spherey_2.jpg

Final Verdict: Love it! Wish I could keep it...

June 18, 2006

Finished: Stripey Regia Socks

I'll go ahead and say it. Fickle knitter, thy name is Elli. First I get you all worked up about new projects and how there will be Picovolis and Rivers up the wazoo and then, you guessed it...I go and work on an old project that you probably don't even remember (we're talking bottom of the basket here). But hey, I finished something!

Regia_Socks_1.JPG
Recent shoe purchase inspired by
Amanda

The Specs:
Pattern: Your basic toe-up frankenpattern.
Yarn: Regia Cotton Surf
Skeins: A little under one ball of color 5411.
Needles: Started on Addi size 2 circs, switched to bamboo dpns, sizes 1 and 1.5.
Start to finish: Sometime last summer - June 18
For: Me!

Notes:
These socks started out as my first and only attempt at the two socks at once/magic loop method. I managed to knit up to the heels before switching to dpns (yup! I'm a big old quitter). I used my favorite PGR shortrow heel, knitted a k3 p2 cuff and finished them off with a stretchy bind off (the one that involves picking up and binding off an extra stitch at even intervals around the top of the cuff), which seemed to work pretty well. It's a little ruffley looking, but I don't mind.

The Yarn:
Cotton Surf is 41% wool but it still knits like cotton (makes my wrists hurt), is pretty inelastic, and tends to be fairly splitty. On the plus side, it's nice and soft and the colors are nice and fun. No comment on warmth yet...it's too hot to give these more than a five minute test wear. So, not a bad yarn for what it is (being cottony isn't actually a sin after all) but I think I'll stick with wool sock yarn from now on.

Final Verdict: Everybody loves a good sock!

June 5, 2006

Finished: Baby Placket-Neck Pullover

Finished_PNP.JPG

The Specs:
Pattern: Child's Placket-Neck Pullover from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts", by Joelle Hoverson. Errata here.
Yarn: Handwork Cora
Skeins: a little over two balls in Caribbean Sand
Needles: Size 7 circs
Start to finish: May 24 - June 3
For: the spawn of Stephanie

The (lack of) details:
You may have noticed that I chose not to embellish. When it came down to it I realized that, given the amount of time I had to work with, I had a far greater chance of making the sweater look royally weird than knitting something wickedly cool. So I've tucked all your fabulous ideas away in my brain for the next time I find myself confronted with a baby sweater. Remind me to ask you guys for advice next time I need a Halloween costume.

Buttons:
The buttons are vintage navy ceramic from the thrift store. What you can't tell from the picture is that the circles on them are just the tiniest bit glittery. Every boy needs a little sparkle, right?

buttons_pnp.JPG

Mods:
The only thing I changed was to add buttonholes. The original pattern calls for beads as buttons and you're just supposed to push them through the seed stitch band. I thought this was a little cheesy, so I added a couple as I went. I ended up leaving off the third button since I got to the end of the sweater a little sooner than I had anticipated, but I think it looks ok. If anyone asks, it's deliberate, ok?

Notes:
A lovely fast pattern to knit, though it is not, as the book claims, a four-to-six hour project (unless you happen to be a crazy-fast knitter). Still, it's five bazillion times faster to knit than Trellis.

Final Verdict: It’s a winner! The mummy brigade at the shower gave it the thumbs up.

May 18, 2006

Finished: Modified Minisweater

The sun came out for about five minutes yesterday evening so Thunky and I tore out to the back yard to get some pics of the minisweater. A half hour later it was hailing.

Minisweater_2.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: Minisweater, by Stephanie Japel, free pattern from Glampyre
-Yarn: Cascade 220
-Skeins: 1.5 skeins in Celery (9407)
-Needles: size 8 circs
-Start to finish: May 6 - May 17
-For: Me

The Mods:
I wanted mine to look like Diana's so I left off the triangle edging and omitted the puffy sleeve increases. I also liked Diana's overlapping fronts, so I did that too (which was good, because if I hadn't wanted it to overlap I would have had to leave out the front increases entirely since the thing would have met in front just fine without them). I also changed the number of CO stitches to reflect my tighter worsted gauge...I think that's it.

The Minisweater Experience:
This thing practically knitted itself. For a while I suspected that Thunk was sneaking in rows, but he denies it. It's quick, it's cute, and the pattern is infinitely adaptable. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

The Buttons: The buttons were a pain. I thought I had the perfect vintagey ones picked out but they were all wrong (they stood out too much...it looked like my sweater was glaring back at me out of the mirror). I went out and got some nice matchy-matchy ones on Tuesday night and then I realized that this seemingly symmetrical sweater refuses to sit flat on one side (the left side there between the button and the edging). I have sewn and resewn both buttons and still it continues to taunt me.

I'm not quite sure what to do about this...I know if I wear it I’ll be constantly fiddling with my top. Any suggestions? I'm at a complete loss here. I'm thinking of just sewing it all together (buttons just for show) and pulling it on over my head.

Minisweater_Front.jpg

Final Verdict: Um, I don't know yet? I like it right after it's been adjusted and looks all friendly (see pictures) but five minutes later when it's all bunched up on one side I want to throw it on the ground and jump up and down on it. I'm reserving judgment until I figure out the fasteners.

p.s. It's thundering and hailing again.

May 4, 2006

Finished: Weekender Travel Bag

The bag, it is finished!

FinishedWTB.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: Weekender Travel Bag, by Amy Butler
-Start to Finish: April 24 to May 3
-For: me (sewed along with the Sew? I Knit! crowd).

My opinion of the pattern? The pattern was all you could ask it to be: cute, and well written. I was a little surprised at how complicated the whole operation was (lots of shopping, measuring, cutting, basting, pinning, ripping, resewing, and hand stitching involved there) but it was worth the trouble. I’d recommend it for any of you sewey types out there. Just watch out for that piping. It’s a doozie.

How did I do? The finished bag is a bit lumpy, but in a charming way. I'll be the first to admit that it was filled with laundry and pinched and prodded into submission before its photo shoot. In real life it’s a bit more schlumpy and casual. I was right in thinking that the pattern was a little above my skill level, but I learned a lot and I’m really glad I tried it…sometimes you just get lucky and things work out.

FinishedWTB_Front.jpg

Final Verdict: Yes, oh yes, we like it!

And for those of you who want to know...

The Damage:
-Sewing machines required: 2 (sometimes you just need a different zipper foot).
-Number of times I cleaned and oiled one of the above machines hoping that it would magically improve my sewing skills: 3
-Sewing Machine needles sacrificed: 2 broken, 1 bent, 2 blunted.
-Spools of thread: 3.5 (by the end it wasn't even coordinating).
-Number of times I said "Ow!" while making this bag: 2,541 (pins, rotary cutter, needles, iron...sewing is a dangerous sport)!

April 23, 2006

Finished: Apricot Jacket

The pro-finishing camp won out...I sewed her up!

Finished_AJ2.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: Apricot Jacket, from Rebecca No. 27
-Yarn: Handwork Cora substituted for GGH Java (not an exact substitution).
-Skeins: 8 balls in Caribbean Sand
-Needles: size 8 bamboo
-Start to finish: September 2005 - April 23, 2006
-For: Me!

AJ_back.jpg

Sizing: The substitute yarn knit up a bit under gauge so I decided to follow the directions for the larger size and hope for the best. The finished cardi has the same measurements as the smaller size, so it worked out pretty well considering that I did no math. I also lengthened the arms by about an inch to make it tall-person compatible.

Seaming: My sleeve setting-in skills have always been sketchy at best so, just for fun, I tried crocheted seams* for the sleeve caps. Folks, we have found a winner! It could be argued that the seams are slightly bulkier but they look pretty dang fantastic (if I do say so myself). I stuck to good old mattress stitch for the sleeve and side seams.

Buttons: The buttons are vintage mother of pearl (three different patterns but all the same size) that I got in a jar of old buttons from the thrift store.

Final Verdict: It's a winner! I recommend this one highly...the pattern is interesting, it knits up quickly, and it’s v. flattering. I can see myself wearing this one a lot this summer!

p.s. Don't forget to copy out the errata if you're making this one.

*I couldn't find a good link...it's basically just a slip stitch crochet through both layers of knitting.

FinishedAJ.jpg

April 3, 2006

Finished: Modified Rib and Cable Socks

JuniperC&R.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: Rib and Cable Socks from Fall 2005 Interweave, severely modified.
-Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot, in Juniper, and Sock it to Me Essential 4 Ply in Mint Leaf.
-Skeins: One 100g skein of MC Bearfoot + about 20 grams of the Mint Leaf.
-Needles: size 1 bamboo dpns.
-Start to finish: March 5 - April 2.
-For: Brother-in-law Nate, for his birthday (which was in February...hmmm).

I severely underestimated these socks from day one. They may look all green and innocent, but under that cabely exterior they're really pretty devious. This was one of those projects that turned out fine, but took forever to knit because things didn’t go quite as planned.

Modifications:

-knitted toe-up in case I ran out of yarn. (I did, so that was good).
-I made the socks 80 stitches around instead of the required 60, to make them man sized.
-I used a PGR shortrow heel.
-The first sock was a bit too snug in the ankle (I was knitting tightly, in hopes that I wouldn't run out of yarn.) so I dropped the stitches on all four of the cables on the back of the leg and hooked them back up again sans cables. This took forever, but it fixed the problem.
-When I ran out of the Mountain Colors Bearfoot, I stopped cabling and just knitted the ribbing pattern using leftover yarn from the Squirrelly Swedish Mittens (points for stashbusting!).

In fact, the only part of the directions I followed was the bit where you set up the cable pattern. I didn't even read the rest of it. Oh, and I used the required yarn, but not at the correct gauge.

Other considerations: The yarn pooled, so I alternated knitting from the inside end/outside end of the ball. This was a pain in the neck, and the yarn still pooled anyway.

Final Verdict:
Pending. [If we disregard the fact that I am gifting Very Warm socks just as the weather is getting nice and balmy, I will consider these a success if a) they fit and b) Natey doesn’t find the mohair content in the yarn to be too scratchy.]

**a bit later** geesh--I'm a grouch! I just re-read this and I sound like the biggest negative grump. I really do like them and I'm thrilled with the way they turned out. I just thought I should add that. Coming soon: more positive posting!

March 19, 2006

Finished: Toothy DPN Case

I’ve been planning to make myself a dpn case for a while now. Saturday morning I came across some nice heavy green cotton at the thrift store and it was just the nudge I needed to get things going. Always a fan of dental hygiene, I decided to pair it with some tooth fabric that I picked up for a dollar a yard last fall.

dpn_case_1.JPG

I spent more than an hour trying to figure out how on earth these things are constructed before I got smart and did a little research. I ended up loosely following the instructions for the “roll-your-own needle case” from Stitch ‘n Bitch (resizing it to be shorter and wider) and, taking inspiration from the Organized Knitter, I decided that mine should fold, not roll.

dpn_case_2.JPG

Being a “collect all five!” type personality, I stitched the pockets in my case to fit exactly one complete set of dpns with an extra pocket on each end in case of dpn emergency (are there size 1.75 needles?). As I am not yet the proud owner of a set of size 11s, I’m using that pocket for my needle sizer.

Final Verdict: I love it. Love it, love it, love it.

February 28, 2006

Finished: Squirrelly Swedish Mittens

Sq_Mitts_2.jpg

**Update** The pattern is now in the sidebar on the main page (you can't see it if you are in the archives).

My Olympic Knitting is done! No gold for me though--I was picking up stitches for the final thumb as the torch was extinguished. Still, I came pretty close considering that Thursday through Saturday I was out of commission (busy being sick and all). I finished the mittens on Monday night instead and am v. pleased with how they turned out.

The Specs:
-Pattern: My own
-Yarn: Elann's Sock it To Me Collection Essential 4-ply (30 grams each of dark and light green)
-Needles: size 1 bamboo dpns
-Start to finish: February 22 - February 27
-For: A knitted offering to the Olympic Spirit. They were supposed to be for me but they're too small *sniff*

Notes: I'm planning to write up the pattern for these soon. How soon? Maybe in a few days if everything goes smoothly. Maybe longer if it doesn't. I also want to chart up and knit another version that will actually fit me. I'm still trying to decide on colors--I really like the green on green, but not enough to knit another pair in the same colors right away.

thumb.jpg
Surprise! The thumbs are stripey inside!

Final Verdict: I like them. Too bad they're so small.

February 25, 2006

Finished: Thunk's Hidden Agenda Sweater

Thunk_Sweater.JPG

The Specs:
-Pattern: Hidden Agenda Sweater by Kate Watson from Amy Singer's Knit Wit
-Yarn: I substituted Handspun Bulky Wool from handpaintedyarn.com for the Manos the pattern called for
-Skeins: 9 and 1/2 skeins Roanoke, 1/4 skeins Sunset
-Needles: size 10 circs (size 8 circs for collar)
-Start to finish: Mid October - February 22
-For: Thunk

Notes: I am so amazingly overjoyed to be finished with this sweater. What with all the procrastination, the funky yarn, and me making every finishing mistake known to knitkind I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the end of this one. The finishing was brutal…I sewed both sleeves in backwards, reknit the collar about six times, and spent an entire evening on the zipper alone (my first). It's a good thing that this sweater turned out or I would be very, very sad.

The Yarn: Drop the money and get the Manos. If I had to pick one word to describe the Handpainted Bulky Wool it would be "inconsistent." Some of the yarn was over spun, some skeins were drastically more thick and thin than other skeins, and some were hardly thick and thin at all. I think I did a pretty good job of blending it together to get a consistent look, but it wasn't much fun. On the positive side, the colors are very nice.

The Pattern: The pattern was lovely and easy to follow. I made the second smallest size (42" chest). In retrospect, I could have made the smallest size...it's a little large on him and I’m afraid that the weight of the sweater will cause it to stretch out. Still, it looks nice now.

Final Verdict: It's a winner! Thunky is out wearing it as I type.

February 13, 2006

Finished: Garter Stripe Scarf

Finished_GS.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: An Elliphantom Original
-Yarn: Plymouth Yarn's Baby Alpaca Brush
-Skeins: 1 skein each of 2 colors
-Needles: size 9 Lantern Moons
-Start to finish: January 30 - February 12
-For: Me!

Notes: Lovely mindless knitting. I knitted quite a bit of this on Saturday Night when Wendie was over. The rest was knitted while avoiding other knits, watching the Olympics, and at stoplights. Knitted with yarn from the stash.

The Yarn: I love the Baby Alpaca Brush. It's soft. It comes in lovely colors. My only complaint is that I used two (supposedly) 50g balls to knit the scarf and the resulting scarf is 88g. I had 4g of orange left over at the end, which brings the total yarn weight up to 92 grams, but where are the other 8 grams? I love my scale, but sometimes it causes me heartache (the kind of heartache you get when you're afraid that a yarn company you trust is secretly trying to rip you off).

The Pattern: CO 20 sts with yarn A, knit one row *Knit two rows with yarn B, Knit two rows with yarn A* repeat until you run out of yarn, cast off on the second row of a color so that the stripe is the same thickness as the others.) Easy Peasy. I think y'all could have figured that out.

Final Verdict: La-la-love it!

January 25, 2006

Finished: Baby Socks

Today at work we threw a baby shower for my friend Katy and her 10 week old (v. adorable) baby, Genevieve. Cute babies require cute knitted things, so I dropped everything and made some baby socks.

GenBooties.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: Better-Than-Booties Baby Socks by Ann Bud, from Interweave Knits, summer 2005.
-Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly DK (about 1/2 of a 50g skein).
-Needles: size 0 dpns
-Start to finish: January 22 - January 24
-For: Baby Genevieve

This is the second time I've knitted these baby socks. They work up super-quick and are a great way to use up leftover ends of skeins. Hooray for stashbusting!* I have to confess, part of the reason I like this pattern so much is that it uses the PGR shortrow heel. Someday, before I die of old age, I promise I will try a different heel....but for now, why mess with a good thing?

*In case you're wondering if I've been infected with the New Years Stashbusting Bug...don't worry, I'm not on a real yarn diet, I'm just interested in maintaining a healthy stash lifestyle.

January 12, 2006

Finished: Octopus Socks

Another one down! See how short the Current Projects list is getting?

OctoSocksOnRock.jpg
In real life they are the same size, I promise.

The Specs:
-Pattern: Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from Interweave Knits, Fall 2000 (also in the subscriber-only portion of their website)
-Size: Men's medium [76 sts]. This is why I don't join sock exchanges...
-Yarn: KnitPicks Color Your Own, dyed by me
-Skeins: Nearly an entire 100g skein (2g left over—I didn’t run out!)
-Needles: size 1 and 2 bamboo dpns
-Start to finish: Sometime last summer - January 10.
-For: Me!

Notes: I knitted a strand of sewing thread into the heel to increase the durability of the merino and make them last a little longer. I'm not sure how much good it'll do, but I thought I'd give it a shot. The yarn isn't superwash and they don't really fit inside any of my shoes, so I'm not sure how much I'll wear them. They are my favorite colors though, so I'll probably wear them around the house.

How would I rate them?
Practicality - 3
Cuteness - 10
Final score - 6.5

Oh, and after reading Knitting Iris' post on fading kool-aid dyed socks, I think I'm going to steam these just in case I didn't set the dye properly. The first sock (the one that I knitted last summer) already looks like it's faded a little bit.

P.S. DWTS is on tonight! Keep voting for Jonathan and Anna! If you missed last week's show, you can see the video clips here.

December 30, 2005

Finished: Ross' London Beanie

One last Christmas FO to report! This one was done v. last minute (read: started and finished on the same day that I wrapped it up and gave it away). I had to employ my best trick for last minute knitting: casually knitting in front of the person it is intended for.

Ross Beanie.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: London Beanie, by Mark Thrailkill, modified a bit.
-Yarn: Rowan Magpie Aran, about 50g for entire hat.
-Needles: Size 7 circs.
-Started and finished on December 23.
-For: Ross for Christmas.

Notes: I forgot my size 7 dpns, so I had to knit the last crown decreases on an assortment of Boye interchangeable tips. This worked surprisingly well. Also, this would have been a great stashbusting gift if I didn't have enough of the two colors remaining to make 3 more hats.

Mods to the pattern: I changed the stripes. I changed the decreases for the crown. I wonder if this means that the hat has dual citizenship?

RossInBeanie.jpg

Woss in all his splendidness. Sorry ladies, he's taken.

December 27, 2005

Finished: Lou's Socks

Well, Christmas provided with me with such a huge heap of blog-fodder that I froze up for a while there. That and vacation makes me lazy. So I guess I'll just jump back in and start where I left off. I finished Lou's socks! That was back on (counting on fingers...) er, December 20.

FinishedLouSocks.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from Interweave Knits, Fall 2000 (also in the subscriber-only portion of their website)
-Size: Men's small (80 sts)
-Yarn: Steinbach Wolle Deo Socke Antibakterielle (tee-hee)
-Skeins: Nearly 2 skeins @ 50g each
-Needles: size 1 and 2 bamboo dpns
-Start to finish: Early July - December 20. (severe plan-aheadage combined with last minute knit-panic)
-For: Lou for his birthday/Christmas

Notes: This is the only sock pattern I've ever used. It's a versatile pattern as it has a nice range of sizes for many gauges. I also really like the PGR short row heel. However, I think that after this pair (and the still unfinished octo-socks) I'm ready to move on and try another pattern. Maybe something with some cables? Maybe something toe up? Any recommendations? My only requirement is that it has to fit large feet. Nobody in my family has smaller than size 10 feet.

Final Verdict: Cozy socks all around!


P.S. Thunk has made some improvements around the blog over the last couple of days including (but not limited to) getting rid of that weird gap below the Categories button and making me a Finished Objects page. Yay!

December 19, 2005

Finished: Trellis

I'm back! The cruise was fab...we had a wonderfully relaxing week with Thunky's family. I had such a great time doing other things that I didn't finish Trellis until the last full day on the boat. But I got it done!

TrellisFinished.jpg

The Specs:
-Pattern: Trellis, by Britta Stolfus Rueschhoff from Knitty
-Size: 12 months
-Yarn: Jaeger Matchmaker Merino Aran in color Tinsel, substituted for Rowan All Seasons Cotton
-Skeins: 4 and a bit @ 50g each
-Needles: size 7 bamboo
-Start to finish: December 5 - December 16
-For: Baby O. for Christmas

Notes: I loved knitting this pattern. The cables are fun, it knits up super-quick, and it's cute, cute, cute! The only problem I encountered was the swatching issue, but it turned out to be just fine. I didn't block the sweater much widthwise and we just rolled up the sleeves. The added bonus is that she’ll be able to wear it for longer. I rushed a bit to finish it up so the cables and the finishing aren't as tidy as I'd like, but I don't think the baby will care at all.

Final Verdict: Yay! It's a winner!


Here's the adorable nearly-naked baby action shot.

TrellisActionShot.jpg

Stay tuned for more on the cruise, Thunk’s amazing knitting Grandma Betty, and Lou’s Christmas socks!

December 5, 2005

Finished: Laurent

LaurentFinished.jpg
For Christmas I would like some natural lighting please. [actual color]

The Specs:
-Pattern:Laurent by Sharon Peake from Rowan Vintage Knits
-Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Nutmeg, substituted for Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK
-Skeins: 11 1/5 @ 50g each
-Needles: size 7 bamboo and size 8 birch for the edging
-Start to finish: November 9 - December 4
-For: My Mum (Christmas)


Sizing: I'm note entirely sure about the sizing. I made the third size (36" bust) as this is the size Mum claims to be, and didn't go down a size as she generally wears things looser than I do. According to the diagrams, that size has 3 inches of ease (is this a lot?). I think it came out pretty close to the 39" measurement, but when I tried it on last night it looked suspiciously large on me. Granted, I don't have a 36" bust, but I do have broader shoulders than Mum. I guess I'll just have to wait until she puts the thing on. Now I'm a little nervous.

Other details: At Mum's request, I left off the intarsia flowers, and the belt. I wet blocked it before sewing up. I thought I did a decent job of sewing up at the time, but it looks a little sloppy to me in the photo. It seems that vast expanses of stockinette are not that forgiving.

Final Verdict: Not the quickest or most exciting knit. I guess the jury is out on this one until Mum tries it on.

**Update**

It fits!

parents.jpg

November 2, 2005

One down...

FinishedSkye.JPG

I finished up the Skye Vest last night. Here it is in all its (still damp) glory. Too bad I have to wait until Christmas to see how it looks on the intended wearer.

Here are the specs:
-Pattern: Skye Tweed Vest by Kathy Zimmerman from Spring 2005 Interweave Knits
-Yarn: Cascade 220 in color 8013 (substituted for Classic Elite Skye Tweed)
-Skeins: 3 and 3/5
-Needles: size 7 and 8 bamboo
-Start to finish: October 7 - November 1
-For: My Dad (Christmas)

Notes: I made the second smallest size (45" chest). The finished vest only measures 43" so my gauge was a bit off which is ok...it still falls within the range Mum said would be acceptable for paternal wearables. Aside from the fairly minor fiasco with the neck cables, this was a fun and easy pattern to knit. You have to love those cables!

SkyeFinished.JPG

Now on to other things...

**update**

Modeled shot!

PopInVest.jpg

October 24, 2005

Hourglass

HourglassSweater.JPG

So I finished this a couple weeks back. It's the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I passed on the v. expensive Noro Cash Iroha silk/lambswool/cashmere and made it out of very economical Knit Picks Andean Silk Twist instead. The arms are a wee bit shorter than I'd like and the neck is a tad too big but I think it's a keeper.