Stylin’ Like Habit

Soft, cream-colored baby knits. There’s something ridiculously satisfying about knitting something so tiny and complete. Since I have no intentions of furthering my bad genes, I’m knitting for my future nieces and nephews. Two of my siblings got engaged within…mmm, two weeks of each other? This gave me the perfect excuse to knit the adorable retro patterns in my copy of Knitting Traditions, an anthology of all the knitting patterns that Piecework has ever published.

The bonnet still requires a crocheted edging but otherwise I’m quite pleased with it. Although it’s not newborn sized, I can live with that. Babies grow like crazy. The pattern is one of those patterns that tells you to cast on 8 stitches and then wrestle with 5 very angry, porcupine-like DPNs that are all working as hard as they can to discourage you from knitting. There’s a reason I avoid those tricky circular shawls.

However, I cleverly used Judy’s Magic Cast On and knitted the bonnet on two circulars. It made the entire experience that much nicer.  After the bonnet was finished, I still had quite a bit of the yarn left. It’s Wollmeise Twin in the Natural colorway. IE: Undyed. I have to say that WM twin drives me straight up the wall. It’s splitty as hell and while that wasn’t a big issue with the bonnet, it plagued me the entire time that I knit the matching bootikins.

Altogether now: squeeeeeeeeee!



I admit, it might seem strange for a self-admitted child loather to coo over wee bitty baby knits. However, I coo over wee bitty baby knits in the same way that I coo over anything in miniature. Somehow, everything is cuter when it’s smaller. Well, most things. Ahem. Anyway, I am being a Responsible Auntie and am going to start a box to hold all of these little knits.

With all these lacy little retro knits, I feel a little like Franklin Habit, minus the stylin’ sheep. And the published book of comics. And the calenders. And the whole successful yarn career thing. Minor details, dears, minor details.

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August 17, 2010. Knittin' Porn, Tuesday Project Updates. 2 comments.

Think Pink, A Better Way Of Knitting!

 Farmhouse Yarns Bessie by you.

Farmhouse Yarns Bessie by you.

I’m not sure what it is with me and pink lately. Maybe I’ve been influenced by all the Valentines Day merchandise flooding the stores, but considering that I saw Easter decorations out at a local craft store a few days ago, I can’t be sure.  This is one skein of Farmhouse Yarns Bessie, a 50/50 wool-mohair blend that’s been discontinued. I swapped for it, based purely on the color. The camera does not lie. This is a retina-searing, soul-satisfying pinkfest that is incredible to behold.

 On the other hand, I have reached the heel flap on my socks, which I have dubbed my Inauguration socks. Guess what I was watching while I knit these?

Patons Stretch Sock Sugar by you.

I took a picture to demonstrate just how long these socks are going to be. I knit the leg to be 7 inches long in 2 by 2 ribbing. I’m sick of abbreviated socks. The yarn is Patons Stretch Socks in the Sugar colorway. It’s a cotton-wool-elastic blend and at $10 for 478 yards, it’s a bargain, and makes a nicely cushy sock.

 Maybe I’m going pink because the chill of the year calls for hot, warm colors. Or maybe it’s the irrepressible optomism that spills out when you’re 18 and just watched the inauguration of a man that I hope—dearly hope—will reawaken America, and remind us of the fact that it’s not really presidents that matter, not the power of the president that has made this country great—it’s us. And that’s not about politics, it’s about people.

Or maybe it’s just because pink is a freaking awesome color. You pick.

January 20, 2009. Knittin' Porn, Tuesday Project Updates, works-in-progress. 6 comments.

Ravelrympics: Knitting Lace Like A Crazy Woman

S7305245 by you.

It is with a sense of impending doom that I am furiously knitting my Seascape wrap. (Hey, I’ve interviewed the designer and showed off the yarn—I’ve done everything but get this wrap knitted!)

I’ve calculated that I need to knit 44 rows a day until the 24th, and then hopefully be casting off during the closing Olympic ceremonies. I picked this as my Ravelrympics project and didn’t get started until the th because I didn’t have the needles. I have now entered Denial Mode. Also, I didn’t bother to fix the fact that this picture makes the yarn look brownish, instead of delicate silver gray.

S7305244 by you.

I also just realized that I have 82 stitches, instead of 83.

 And maybe my mistake comes 1 row before my lifeline.

 I NEED ENCOURAGMENT!

August 18, 2008. Tags: , , . Tuesday Project Updates, works-in-progress. 10 comments.

Nothing But A T-Shirt KAL: Mucky Sleeves & Sad Endings

 I have two major projects coming to a close. First, my first cardigan, which is patiently awaiting a serious seaming session, a button band and some buttons. Secondly, my t-shirt. Yes, my pink t-shirt is nearly finished.

 Spurred on by Michelle’s example, I have completed the front, the first sleeve, and I am 3 or 4 rows away from finishing the second sleeve. (Michelle, I feel a little dense—I actually ended up binding off all the neck stitches, I didn’t feel knowledgable enough to leave them on a holder!)

 Jen is taking things at a slightly more sane rate on her t-shirt.

The front: in an artistic pose that hides the fact that the sunlight bleached my other photos

My one completed sleeve.

Actually, I just looked at the second sleeve. Something is screwed up here. It’s way too short and way too skinny. That’s a reknit.

 The sleeves gave me a little panic; since I’ve been following the directions for a size 40, (but gauge should make it a size 36) I’ve been following the width instructions, but following the size 36 instructions for length, since the row gauge is the same.  This should give me a perfect fit t-shirt.

 But I panicked—I was following the 40 directions for a sleeve, how could I make it the right length and the right shape so that it would fit into the shorter armhole? After some calculations, I figured out that the size 40 sleeve is actually only 4 rows longer than the 36, so I decreased a little more rapidly and it should be OK. Should be.

 But all this flurry, this excitement, this learning-of-seaming…it’s making me sad. And a little scared. Not of the seaming, no. But suddenly, these two projects will be over. I’ve been working on the cardigan since at least December. I knit fast. Longer projects help, because I don’t have to look for another project so soon. Inches of stockinette keeping my fingers busy. There’s an energy required to picking projects that exhausts me.

 Let’s put it this way, I hate starting or picking out projects. Hate it. This might sound weird. I’ll rephrase it; I love the potential, I love the colors, I love wandering into a yarn store with a crisp twenty in my pocket and empty needles at home.

 But deciding is very hard for me. I am so entranced with possibilities that decision is cold and harsh. I hate the emotional energy of deciding that such a yarn becomes such a pattern. That’s why, if I see a yarn or pattern that I must knit, I grab at it. It is so rare that I can simply shrug off my nagging brain and simply DECIDE that I simply obey it, whenever it happens.  (The Sublime Cotton was one of those)

 Sweaters make it easier. Once started, they last for some time, especially in DK weight. No decisions. Just knitting.

 I do have at least one large project. My Seascape wrap, although after completing a swatch, I think I will need lace needles. Other than that…no current projects. Oh, sure, some long abandoned single socks. (Ha!)

 However, I am still excited. I have some lovely new yarn and other things to show you, and it is so hard not to start new projects at once. However, I must resist, and finish all the pieces of my t-shirt first.

July 1, 2008. Tags: , . Nothing But A T-Shirt KAL, Tuesday Project Updates, works-in-progress. 4 comments.

Sea Monkeys

 Yeah, cheap shot. But you get to see my legs (woohoo!) and part of our rather dirty pool. Important note: I only knitted 4 lace repeats, I did not knit 6, and I don’t think that I would have been able to get all 6 out of 330 yards of sportweight. However, I wanted them to be a little shorter.

 I’ve gotten a LOT of favorable comments on these socks. I have to warn you—this is a limited edition color, produced in ONE skein for the teen party.  Kate is considering releasing it this fall, along with the new colorways, because she did keep notes on how to reproduce it—it is called Spunky. If you really like it, you can contact her at:

  •  Her Ravelry profile: YarnLove
  • Comment here! I’ve asked Kate to keep an eye on the comments here, and I’ll be letting her know if there’s people interested in this colorway!

  Very interestingly, at Kate’s blog, she mentions that she was considering releasing sock blanks in her yarn. Knitpicks, however, has just released their own line of sock blanks and she muses if people will wonder if she’s a copycap.

 I’d say, I would rather get sock blanks from her because I’ve heard from MANY yarn dyers that their sock yarn pills. Why would I go to the trouble to dye a sock blank when it’s going to pill in a few days? Anywhere, here’s her blog post about it and if you’d like to encourage her, head on over and comment!

June 10, 2008. Tags: . Knittin' Porn, Tuesday Project Updates, works-in-progress. 2 comments.

Sweater Pieces: Some Assembly Required

 Yes, at some point, I did realize that I would have to sew together all 5 pieces of my Basic Black cardigan. However, today I blocked all the pieces. I pulled out my beautiful, heavy, blunt seaming needle. I took a deep breath.

 Not much happened after that. I looked from my book to the two pieces of fabric in my hands. I tried to follow the directions. However, everything looked very lumpy and awkward. Nothing stuck. Suddenly, all the yarn in my stash became immensely attractive. Patterns and needles cried out to me.

 Tonight is Poetry Reading night at the local Borders. I’ve worked over some pieces. Matt DeVore, a genuine genius with poetry (and only 19 years old) has taken over the organization and so I want to be able to bring 2 or 3 decent poems with me. There’s nothing quite as embarassing as when 2 people stand up to read, and it’s the same two people who stand up to read every single time—or when it’s a mother, reading a poem about her bipolar daughter, while said daughter squirmed in the audience!

 There’s a PG rating for the meetings. Usually, this rule is left unsaid because most people don’t fill their poems with swearing. However, our Memorial Day reading became more interesting when a Vietnam vet pulled out his poem and proceeded to f-k everything to h-ll. Borders doesn’t really want to have to deal with irate parents whose innocent children want to know what f-k means.

 My fingers are itching a little because I have so much to tell you, but I have to wait. One of these things is so exciting that I am nearly hopping out of my skin. However, I will say that future posts will include new yarn (lucious yarn, I might add) more spinning/fibery posts, and a Lumpy garter stitch scarf with a story—and one of my siblings—behind it!

 However, in the meantime, go to the Three Irish Girl’s blog contest—you have until 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time to enter one of the most awesome contests ever. Just tell them WHY you knit, and you have a chance to win a membership in one of their yarn clubs!

June 3, 2008. Tags: . Tuesday Project Updates, works-in-progress. 5 comments.

Loch Ness Monster Knitting: T-Shirt KAL

 My latest project is very like the Loch Ness monster: much discussed, but seldom photographed. A battery-sucking camera and lack of fresh double A batteries have conspired to hide the truth of its existence, but you have my word that it does. The goverment is just trying to hide the fact that I can knit like a demon when I’m enthusiastic about a project.

 In fact, my Nothing But A T-Shirt   has a nearly completed back! I have knitted inches and inches of pale pink organic cotton fabric, have breezed past the armholes, and am just beginning the shoulder strap…things. I am knitting it at 5.5 stitches per inch, rather than 4.75 stitchers per inch, and I am cautiously optimistic at this point, since it seems fairly human-sized at this point.

  •  Jinniver, who is participating in the somewhat informal NBAT knit-a-long is also modifying her pattern, and you can see a sketch of her calculations as she resizes the pattern at her blog, Sarah Winchester of Fiber Arts.
  • Michelle is officially reviving her attempts to knit this pattern, as she started one a couple years ago. Pestering attempts from a sister have reinspired here, at her blog.

 What, you say? No proof? No pictures of newly purchased yarn or even a few scant inches of knitting to show that this KAL is even occuring?

 It’s the goverment, I tell you. They’ve got their hands in everything.

May 13, 2008. Tags: . Nothing But A T-Shirt KAL, Tuesday Project Updates, works-in-progress. 1 comment.

It May Be Lumpy

Yup, definitely lumpy.

But I think it’s starting to look like a sweater.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my latest post. It was a difficult post to write, and I’m glad that it could touch some other people.

April 21, 2008. Tags: , , . Knittin' Porn, Tuesday Project Updates, works-in-progress. 5 comments.

Existential Crisis—and More Humble Realizations

I seriously need to take up coffee-drinking. Or something.

Remember the crisis? You know, my cardigan front was too short, now it’s too long?

It’s over. All I had to do was compare the back and the front once more and…crisis gone. I had simply mismeasured them. Maybe the fabric wrinkled or something.

This was Thursday, and so I immeaditely cast on the ribbing for the right front, because Something Important was happening. I was attending the knit night at my local yarn store, and I wanted to have something to knit with that looked vaguely important—a sweater!

 Overcome, I stuffed everything into my bag—the sweater back, the completed left front, my set of 3 four needles, the inch of ribbing I had done, an extra skein of silky wool in case I ran out, (and so I could wind it there, instead of by hand) my set of size 7 needles in case I finished the ribbing and wanted to keep knitting, and my special handmade notebook, even though I specifically took along some plain lined paper because my special handmade notebook is nearly full and I didn’t want to waste one precious page on some knitting notes.

 As you can see, I might be slightly more prepared than neccesary.

 I have to admit, I love my yarn store [Market Street Yarn & Crafts, if you’re ever visiting West Virginia] but I did feel slightly nervous when I bounced through the front door. The refuge of a good seat left on the stoughy black leather couch beckoned to this nervous teen. By the way, stoughy is a word that I just made up, it is pronounced “stow-fee”, and it is the only sound-word that I could imagine that describes the delicious feeling of sinking into a fat, slick leather couch. It is also the profile name of some Myspace user, but I swear that I made it up on the spot. 

 I lucked out that night—two other teenagers were there, one working on a ribbon yarn stole/shawl for her prom; the other crocheting a scarf of Doctor Who length.

 That last phrase might get me some weird hits, I just realized.

 Anyway, LeAnne, who works there, was also there, which was nice. LeAnne is my first resort when I am flustered and once more unable to settle on the perfect yarn for a project. She also happens to be very obliging about winding my yarn for me, even though I wished that I could save her the trouble. Probably she doesn’t want me to break it, ha. Wise woman.

That’s my attempt at yarn porn. It came out rather nicely, I think, but somehow I think that this picture fits that more, even though it’s much more badly taken.

If you see what I see in this picture, I swear to heaven it was unintentional. If you don’t, my lips are sealed, I refuse to explain.

 

Anyway, so I knitted my ribbing, LeAnne told us stories (gather ’round children, and you shall hear) and I managed to find a use for the sweater back (to show off) and I generally enjoyed myself. I also ogled some new cotton yarns that came in. I managed to avoid screwing up my ribbing—at least I’m that smart.

 However, I have managed to miscalculate when I should start binding off for the right armhole. I knit a few more rows than I should, so I will have to rip back some. Still, I have a good deal of my right front done, and I am very excited.

 See how it’s longer? I don’t care though—I’m making a sweater!

 But after writing about Doctor Who length, yarn porn and more, I’m beginning to wonder if poor ‘Stoughy’ is going to start getting some very odd hits…

Later

Oh, God, I’m about to go insane. This sweater is insane. I’m going to burn it in a trash barrel. Will explain later.

 

April 7, 2008. Knittin' Porn, Teen Crafters, Tuesday Project Updates, works-in-progress. 4 comments.

Vintage Throwbacks: The Alice Beret

 With my usual aplomb, I selected the perfect three colors for a striped beret. Vintage, cute colors, all making a comeback lately. I cast the hat on. I knitted several inches of the hat. Here it is.

 

I lucked out on the yarn for this hat. I traveled to PA, and along the way somehow found myself in a yarn store. The Wool Gathering is a small store that is easy to spot because of the three enormous hanks of red, green and yellow yarn swinging from a lamp post (?) in the front. I loved that little extra touch, and stepped into the store, immeaditely overwhelmed by the incredible yarn fumes.

 I, however, zoomed in on one paticular shelf, stocked with Lousia Harding Nautical Cotton, the exact yarn for the Alice Beret. The price tag was $6 per skein, which believe me was cheaper than most of the yarn there. I paused. A little note next to it said 60%. Hmm, I thought, what does that mean?

 “Go and ask,” my mom said, poking me in the side. She, having no fondness for yarn or knitting, was doubly shocked at some of the prices, although she did fondle some Artyarns.

 It was only $2.40 per skein. The beret uses many more than just three colors, but I wanted to use those three colors, and anyway, I don’t think that the shop had all of the colors specified in the pattern anyway. And for all three skeins, I paid about $7.20. Considering the soft, smooth quality of this cotton and the lovely colors, that was an absolute bargain.

  The pattern uses a picot cast on, which I have never used before, but was easy to pick up. Cable cast-on five stitches, bind off two, and slip the stitch from the right needle back to the left. Repeat until there are 99 stitches. OK, maybe the last part was a little burdensome. I cast on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

 I have made some pattern mods, apart from the color changes.

 1. The garter stitch band is knit on size 3 needles. When you switch to stockinette, they want you to switch to the larger size 5 needles and increase at the exact same time with lots of M1s. Combine unbouncy cotton, plus very small stitches and much larger needles, and you will be in tears. This seems to be an oversight by the designer. I avoided all this by simply working one row in stockinette with the size 5s before I did the increase row.

 2. The picot cast-on is in the chocolate brown, the headband is sand-colored, and I wanted there to be a ‘boundary’ or edge also in chocolate brown after that. It looks more complete to me. The actual stripe sequence doesn’t start until the first pink stripe. It goes pink, chocolate, sand, pink, chocolate, sand, repeat until end.

 But what has happened to this hat?

Sadly, it is now three skeins of partly wrinkled cotton.

 I had to rip it out.

 The stripes didn’t match up when I made the join in the round. I tried to carry up the yarn inside the hat, and it didn’t work. The garter stitch band had some rumples. I can tolerate mistakes, because I detest ripping, but there was just one too many.

 The beret: no progress

 My knitting skills: somewhat improved.

If I can gain the courage to cast on again.

And on and on and on and on and on and on….

March 31, 2008. Tags: , , , . Tuesday Project Updates, works-in-progress. 7 comments.