Oh Baby!

My friend and co-worker Allison is very pregnant. It’s not that she’s overdue, or even terribly close to her due date, it’s that her belly is HUGE! It is almost larger than the (petite) rest of her body. We threw her a baby shower at the office last week, and for her present I made a hat and booties. Both are heavily modified from patterns in order to use fingering weight yarn as opposed to the worsted called for. The specs are below:


Both are made from Claudia’s Hand Painted Yarn, Fingering Merino in colorway “Carousel”

Bonnet
Pattern: Hello Yarn’s Top Down Bonnet, without the ears or face
Comments: I really like this pattern. I made some modifications, as there was no chance I was going to get gauge with the fingering yarn. Other than sizing, however I followed the pattern and am really happy with how it came out and am planning on making more for gifts.

Booties
Pattern: fabulousyarn.com’s Dreambaby Booties
Comments: I had to modify this pattern for the fingering yarn as well, I also used stockinette stitch on the lower part in stead of garter stitch. I also used simple braids for the ties, instead of an i-cord. I am also happy with this pattern, and anticipate making many more bonnet/booties sets for future babies.

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I’m a Copycat, It’s a Birthday Present

When I saw this, I knew I had to make one. This happened to coincide nicely with the nearing of my dad’s birthday. Now, wool scarves may not be the best things in May, but it will be a nice piece of hanging art until October rolls around.

My photos are nowhere near the quality of Jared’s, ever, and these are no exception – I shot them in a rush to get out the door to go to my dad’s party. They pictures are not very representative of the actual colors, but they should give you an idea.

Please ignore the random stuff on the floor. I’ve been sick, I need to clean.


Pattern: brooklyntweed’s Noro Scarf

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 2 x #047, 2 x #211? (I’ll check the band when I get a chance)

Needles: Size 7 Inox Circulars

Comments: This pattern is great. It’s simple, elegant and interesting. I am, however, conflicted about the yarn. While the colors can be amazing, the yarn has a ton of non-fiber stuff in it (twigs, threads, etc.). This seems to be a relatively common problem, and makes the yarn less fun to work with and kind of itchy. Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out. It took about two weeks of evening knitting, is a little over 7 feet long, and 5-6 inches wide. The ribbing looks like stockinette, and makes the scarf thicker and reversible. Slipping the first and last stitches of the second row of each stripe hides the non-working yarn on the side, and makes a nice edge. The changing colors are fun – I found myself getting all excited for the next big change, and it helped to get through the more boring spots. I may eventually make another for a gift – next time I may choose a second yarn with more of the bright colors, without the darker intervals.

Yards of Stripey Fun

I sometimes get overwhelmed with things to post, and wind up posting nothing at all. That pretty much sums up most of my absence. I’m trying, once again, to catch my blog up with my life.

So here I present you with everything I have pictures of online. Other things have been finished, but I haven’t gone so far as to actually take pictures AND upload them. I will do my best to add those, and the finished versions of some of these, eventually.
“My So-Called Scarf”


Pattern: My So Called Scarf
Yarn: Manos Del Uruguay in “Mulled Wine”, 2 skeins
Needles: Size 11 bamboo circulars
Comments: I love this stitch pattern! It’s relatively simple to learn and looks more woven than knit. I’m thinking of trying to make a pillow cover out of it at some point. I didn’t change the pattern at all, and I’m completly happy with how it turned out.


Fiber!

I finally ordered fiber to use with my new(ish) spindle. They’re both from Chameleon Colorworks. There was a problem with the initial shipping, but it was all sorted out, and they were kind enough to give me a gift certificate for my trouble.

The first is a 50/50 Merino Tencel Roving in “Indian Wedding”:

The second is 100% Bombyx silk. I’m not sure what colorway at the moment, I found it through some sort of “secret” link – I don’t think I was suposed to be able to order it, but she shipped it anyway:

The actual color is a little more red than it looks in the picture. It’s gorgeous.

I’ve already spun and knit the Merino/Tencel, it will be a present for my friend in June, so the finished object won’t be revealed until then (not that she reads this, more that it’s not so much finished as of now…)

Spinning reject

One of my earliest attempts at spinning, this was actually me pretending to “ply” the yarn. I didn’t know what I was doing, still don’t really, and it shows. It was a big fibery mess, and not even very soft. Berkley didn’t even want to play with it. It’s in the trash now.


Previews

Here are a couple of projects I’ve actually finished, though I only have in-progress pictures.

“Simply Marilyn”

“Print O’the Wave Stole”

Detail:

One is the Loneliest Number

I may have said it before, but I have a little crush on Eunny Jang (who is about to become the newest editor of IK, congrats!). Before her, I had never felt the need to try colorwork. I also never thought about making mittens, let alone fingerless ones.

But then along comes Eunny with her Endpaper Mitts and suddenly I NEEDED fingerless mittens, fingerless mittens knit in Fair Isle.
And hence my Endpaper Mitt was born. It was so fun to knit – even given my dislike of dpns – and went quickly. It was extremely gratifying with relatively little effort. A perfect project.
There’s just one problem – the pattern is for Endpaper Mitts – plural, as in you need to make more than one in order to not unintentionelly mimic Michael Jackson. Usually, knitting another wouldn’t have been a problem, as the first was so satisfying. Berkley, however, had other plans.

Before I could even finish the thumb on Mitt 1, he stole both balls of yarn, and proceded to wind them around the condo. I eventually retreived the yarn and re-wound the balls, which should have been enough. Unfortuantely, Berkley REALLY liked the yarn. No matter where I hid it, he found it, and I returned home each day to a freshly decorated condo.

In the end, out of busyness and laziness, I gave up. The mangled pile went into the trash upon the arrival of the new roommate (who aparently didn’t find the yarn maze terribly decorative), and the last little bit of purple was locked away.
So the mitt is all alone, but will remain for now if only for bragging rights.

Bad Girls Don’t Have Time

That’s what they say about journaling, and I think it applies to blogging as well. I’ve been busy – with work, school, life, etc., and I’ve been neglecting this space.
I have been knitting. Taking the time to write about what I’m knitting takes time away from the knitting itself, which is usually more important to me. I do, however, like to have my progress documented, and it’s nice to be able to look back at what I’ve done before. I also love to stalk other people’s blogs for advice and inspiration, and I would love to think that others could be inspired by me (that’s assuming anyone other than me reads this, which isn’t always the case…)
But enough about my inability to consistently blog!
I’ve been knitting whenever possible – less than I’d like due to the fact that I’m pretending to have a real life, which includes spending time with other humans and away from the needles. As a single twenty-something, hermiting isn’t necessarily the best idea, and going out is pretty essential. Because I am trying, I’ve found myself in places such as “Necto” which is where frat boys and law students go to prey on barely 18-year-old girls. Not really my favorite place, but potentially the best dancing music in the area, so as long as you can fend off creepy sportcoat-and-pinstriped-fedora-wearing men, it can be a decent time.

Check out the hat action behind me!

My attempt at a social life is also why I found myself coming home from the bar at at 1 AM on Thursday. Again, nice time, but all I really wanted to do was finish the sleeves on Sahara. Flash forward to 3ish and me on the couch finally binding off the last stitches of the left sleeve. Twenty or so minutes of end-weaving and it was officially finished, but so was I – crashed shortly thereafter. This morning (afternoon actually) was for blocking, and photo-taking.

I soaked Sahara in some warm water and Euclean. Don’t mind the “products” lining the counter. My friend and I have a pact (similar to men’s porn pacts) so that if one of us were to die, the other is to go and remove most all of the deceased products, this way we won’t have to be remembered as so girly and self-absorbed.

Soak!

The water turned a very pretty shade of fuscia

Hand for emphasis

Due to the color leakage, I was afraid to lay Sahara out on a white towel on my white sheets, so I found a big red beach towel. Unfortunately, it sheds like crazy

From the front

And the side

 

Neckline detail

And, of course, Berkley was there every step of the way.
Actually, he’s helping me right now…

Finished!

Not only is fall semester over, but some of my projects have also come to completion.

more on the way. I love having the ability to switcWhen school began in September, I decided that knitting was going to be my main creative outlet. As such, I gave myself permission to start whatever I wanted, independent of the state of my other projects. And now, four months later, I have something like six things started, andh from project to project, though it is also nice to occasionally finish something. Here are my most recent finished objects, Christmas presents for the family.
Odessa (the original)
Yarn: Malabrigo, I don’t remember the color, one skein, from a LYS
Comments: This was the first of what would ultimately be four Odessa’s. I like the pattern, with and without the beads. Consistent with what I’ve heard others say, the Malabrigo is fabulous to work with. It’s squishy and soft and I think I have a thing for single-ply. This was a gift for my aunt, she requested that I leave her face off of the internet – so instead you can see the back of her head. The color is most similar to that in the first picture.

Odessa (take two)Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft DK (I think) a seafoam color, one skein
Comments: This was actually the fourth hat I knit, but the only other that I remembered to photograph. The beads are pearlescent seed-beads, I think size 6 (?) . I used this method, which is great in that it doesn’t require that the beads be pre-strung, but slightly difficult given the thickness of the yarn and the size of the beads.
Odessa (three & four)
I unfortunately forgot to take pictures of these, I’m hoping their recipients will send me some action shots. #3 was made in a dark purple Elisabeth Lavold Silky Tweed with rainbowish purple beads. It was much easier to use the beading technique with this yarn, it was slightly lighter than the Cashsoft and readily threaded through the beads. I gave it to my cousin’s wife, Amy. #4 was made just like the picture, in the Bella Donna Cashsoft with pearl beads. I gave it to my former roommate, Nikki.

Yarn: Rowan Calmer, oatmeal color, one skein
Modifications: I didn’t knit the ties as directed. My mom isn’t the type of person to spend time tying strings around her ankles. I added straps across the top, but she took those off too. I also sewed on leather slipper bottoms as they were super-slippery on their own. I had to stalk the LYS’s for weeks to find them… aparently two-pieced adult-sized bottoms are in high demand.
Comments: This was my first attempt at foot-shaped knitting (see my first post for reasons why), and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. I have a sort of crush on the Calmer, it’s so soft and springy.
For Christmas, I received a spindle and two types of roving from my fabulous mother and aunt. I haven’t spent as much time as I’d like with it, but I’m really excited to have one. Hopefully I can practice more once some of my other projects are finished.

Overall, the holiday went very well, especially since it was the first one we haven’t spent as a whole family. I got to see the booger (Bogart) for the first time since he and my mom moved to Minnessota. He was my only child before Berkley came along.

(sorry about my poor attempt at photo editing)
My aunt’s dog, Gabby, also got into the action:

And I learned that I look terrible when making seductive kissey faces. I’ll have to keep that in mind next time I’m halfway into a bottle of wine…

Soon

I will be headed into my last exam for the semester in a couple of hours.
There are lots of things I want to share, and hopefully soon I will be able to do so. I’ve been working quite a bit, and not just for school – I’ve finished 4 Odessa’s, a pair of slippers for my mom. I started another hat for my cousin – and I need to make another for his brother. I started on the Butterfly frill, though haven’t picked it up again since Thanksgiving. I’m to the hip shaping on my Simple Knitted Bodice, although that too is worked on only sporadically. I bought the yarn for Sahara (and would like to rave about Sarah’s yarns, which will also have to wait for a while).

Tomorrow, I will be making a holiday dinner for my friends (or those who haven’t left for home yet). The turkey (all 22 lbs. of it, the largest Kroger had) is defrosting in my refrigerator. I will be making another grocery run after the exam gets out, even though I’m technically suposed to go to work. Tonight will be devoted to cleaning my long-neglected condo, especially my fish’s bowl, and Berkley’s litterbox. If I’m good, I’ll make it to an end-of-the-semester celebration at some bar (Scorekeepers?) later on, though I pretty much celebrated that this weekend (premature, I know).

So, soon I will post photos, descriptions, more progress reports. I have been busy, I promise – too busy, in fact, to stop and describe what I’ve been doing.

New Yarn!

I’ve been waiting and waiting and it’s finally here!
I ordered this back in August after agonizing over yarn type and color choice for ages, then patiently waited. I eagerly rushed home to the mailbox each day, checking (fruitlessly) for the squishy shipment. After two weeks, I called the distributor, only to find out that the color I wanted was backordered. Did I want to switch?
It had taken so long to choose the color in the first place, there was no way I was going back, I would wait for it to come in.
Flash forward to November, after making countless progress calls and waiting for weeks, the miraculous happened, the shipper had been restocked! My order was on its way!
And on one faithful trip to the mailbox, shortly before Thanksgiving break (and my birthday!) the package appeared. I rushed inside and carefully opened the envelope, gently removing the tissue-paper (aided by the not-so-gentle Berkley), and found inside that which I had been waiting for so long…


It is everything I had hoped for; soft, smooth, with just enough sheen. The color is the perfect shade of peacock, not too green but more than blue. It’s stronger than Kidsilk Haze, though lacking the fuzzy halo. It is destined to become the luminous Butterfly; my first real lace project.


The yarn is 1890 yards of laceweight JaggerSpun Zephry, a 50% merino 50% Chinese tussah silk blend in Peacock. I ordered from theknitter.com, and aside from the delay, I am very happy with them – they were extremely helpful, I talked to one of two people each time and they always remembered my order and always gave me status reports, offering to exchange it in order for me to choose something that was already in stock.

I am so excited! I’ve already started on the frill, and though it is extremely time and attention consuming, it’s very rewarding. I’ll update on that soon.

I’m headed into finals, it’s a little scary when I look over the amount of stuff I have to do in the next two weeks. I’m going to have to lock myself into a room/cafe for days in order to make a dent. But on the bright side – after the 13th, pathophysiology is out of my life forever! (or at least for the rest of my masters program)

Berkley’s Bed

Continuing in the vein of catching up with old FO’s, I present you with Berkley’s Bed!

Berkley’s Bed

Pattern: Princess Snowball Cat Bed from Stitch and Bitch
Yarn: Whatever the pattern called for, I forget now, in yellow and red
Needles: Again, I followed the pattern, bamboo circulars
Comments: I made this right after getting Berkley (sometime this August). He was so in love with my fuzzy blanket that I figured he’d like a fuzzy bed of his own. It was very easy to make, especially after coming off a bout with the terrible lace/cabled poncho (the same yarn later became Sophie). The only thing I did differently is stuff the sides instead of just folding them over. I then sewed the bottom together with some extra yarn to keep the stuffing from seeping. It gives the sides a stability that they lack on their own. Unfortunately, the most action the bed saw was during this original photo shoot. Since then, it was briefly a thing to bite, and now is pretty much ignored. This is partially my fault as I moved it to a space he doesn’t go to often. I should probably move it somewhere else, though it tends to get in the way.

Berkley shows his appreciation

At least I got a couple of pictures out of it

Sophie

Pattern: Sophie

Yarn: Cascade 220, slightly over 1 skein (Originally intended for a poncho, then the SKB, now multiple Sophies)

Needles: Size 10.5 24″ bamboo circulars, Size 10(?) bamboo dpns

Comments: This bag was super-easy to make. I think I may have done too many repeats, as mine used more than the recommended amount of yarn and is a little taller than the one in the picture. I still need to shave off the fuzzies and I’m thinking of adding some sort of flower or pin for decoration. This marks the beginning of Christmas present knitting, though I’m not sure to whom it is going.

Process Photos:

Before felting

Getting wet

No wonder my needles turned red…

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