Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Belated Blogging

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

I haven’t been a completely unproductive Crackpot, just a lazy blogger. Let’s start catching up!

According to my camera, I finished this quilt in May – it’s for Isaiah, the son of a college friend. His older sister was the recipient of another baby quilt.
Here it is:

The back is a cozy flannel dinosaur print:

Continuing the baby project theme, another college friend had a baby last month. Rebekkah (aka K2) is the person who inspired me to start spinning, so it’s fitting that her son Miles (aka Miko, fka Scorn Tiberius) is the recipient of my first handspun sweater. The sweater yarn is spun from superwash merino wool from Blue Moon Fiber Arts which my parents gave me for Christmas. I’ve still got a bunch of yarn leftover, so I might make a hat for Milo at some point. The trim yarn is commercial yarn.

And the inside:

I’ve got a couple other projects finished, but I won’t blog them until I’ve sent them to their recipients.

Finished object!

Monday, November 8th, 2010

by Cathy (no, our names aren’t automatically showing up at the top of posts like they used to; I intend to fix that…some day….)

I’m very pleased to have a Finished Object to show off, just in time for NaBloPoMo!  (Which doesn’t seem to be getting nearly the attention this year that is has in previous years, I think because blogs are Officially Over now, having been replaced by Facebook and Twitter. Or something.)

Anyway, I started this scarf for J shortly after Christmas last year, with some yarn that was left over from another project, and I finally ran out of yarn today, so here it is:

And here it is, in situ:

Handspun Kerchief

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

by Rebecca (do our posts no longer get our names automatically attached?)

Have we already failed at NaBloPoMo?

Here’s my first project made out of yarn that I spun – using the drop spindle I posted about earlier. The finished kerchief is about 30″ across at its widest point.

The yellow stripes for the border are made with yarn I purchased, but the rest is spun of superwash merino wool. The yarn I spun is rather overtwisted – parts of it wanted to kink back on itself, and it’s not squooshy like I wanted, so I’ve been working on finding a better amount of twist in yarn I’ve spun since then.

Here’s a detail shot where you can see the variegation in the yarn. I spun it out of a multicolored top (which is a type of wool preparation), and made a 2-ply without doing anything to keep colors aligned.

Next weekend I’m taking a short Introduction to Wheel Spinning class at my local yarn store, to try to figure out if I want to buy a spinning wheel. The one I find most aesthetically pleasing (really, is that not gorgeous, if you’re into the Scandinavian-style furniture aesthetic?) happens to be very versatile, but it’s also one of the more expensive wheels on the market (if you don’t count the super duper expensive ones which have long waiting lists), so I want to give the whole wheel concept a little try before committing. I think in class I’ll get to spin on another wheel from the same manufacturer, and there is a spinning store in the area where I could check out a wider variety of wheels.

My self-imposed homework before class is to practice more spindle-spinning and also re-read all the spinning books which I got from the library to familiarize myself with wheel spinning.

The Next Sweater

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

I’ve started on my next sweater, one that I’ve been thinking about for months. For two of those months, the color of yarn I wanted for the sweater body was back-ordered, which gave me time to work on Big Blankie 3.0 (all done except for more border rows, but completely usable now) and some other things. The yarn I’m using is Fresco by Classic Elite, a super-soft blend of wool, alpaca, and some angora. Due to the extreme softness, I expect that it won’t be the most hard-wearing sweater ever, but the yarn and the fabric it produces are so lovely that I’m willing to put up with the disadvantages of extra-cozy yarn.

I started on the sweater itself yesterday, and it’s not looking too exciting yet – but here’s a picture of the swatch I made.


Yes, it’s narrower at the top than the bottom – this is intentional, because the owls go around the yoke, and my neck is narrower than my shoulders. The background color is slightly greener than it appears in the picture (at least on my monitor, but I don’t trust its colors to be true enough to go to the hassle of color correction).

I’m using Kate Davies’ lovely Paper Dolls pattern for the sweater itself, exchanging the dolls for the owls from spillyjane’s Owlsocks. I didn’t come up with this pattern combination myself – props go to some brilliant folks on Ravelry. I’m also planning to make the sleeves full-length (assuming I don’t run out of yarn).

A Little Something to Start NaBloPoMo

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

I’ve finally gotten around to sewing the buttons on the sweater I’ve made for the baby my friends L and A are having. Today’s the first day he’d be considered to be born on time, so it’s appropriate to finish the sweater, but don’t start thinking “come out, baby” thoughts yet – he’s not allowed to be born until after L and A move to their new house in a week.

The pattern is the famous (at least in knitting circles) Baby Surprise Jacket from Elizabeth Zimmermann – it’s knit in one blobbish piece that magically folds into a cardigan – the only seams are at the shoulders. The yarn is soft superwash merino wool that I bought this summer during my annual yarn store pilgrimmage at All Together Week. The buttons may look familiar to those who’ve seen the sweater I was working on this summer – same style, just a slightly smaller size. Yes, I am in love with those buttons – but in my defense, I did spend a long time selecting them at the fabric store – almost went with some other ones, but they claimed not to be washable. (Hmmm… looks like I haven’t posted about my sweater yet – more NaBloPoMo fodder!).

And, Big Blankie update – all the pieces are done, and I’m working on the assembly process. I’ve got a bunch of sub-blankies sewn together, and all the pieces and subunits have been blocked. I started by washing a bunch of individual pieces and then sewing them together, but then switched to sewing the pieces into subunits before blocking – easier to pin out for blocking, and less likely that I’d get the pieces in the wrong places during assembly. Being done with the blocking means that my large scale blocking surface has been returned to its official purpose: guest room bed, and, when there are no guests present, where I sit while watching TV shows online.

Last Projects (for now at least)

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Howdy all! Been a while since I’ve posted, eh? Well, here are a couple of Finished Objects that are floating around our house these days. First off, we have a blatant ripoff of a project that Rebecca did last fall. Remember when I went to the craft store and came home with yarn and needles? Well, this is what happened:

This was intended as a Christmas present for Chris, but that didn’t exactly work out. And now we’re almost into the time of year when it won’t be necessary (except for the snow that’s forecast for next week….) so I’m saving it as a Christmas present for next year. And that’s why this post is password-protected!

And then, we have a project that I’ve been fiddling with for at least two years now, which started when I couldn’t find a set of potholders that matched the image in my head. Really, I just wanted blue potholders, to contrast nicely with our yellow kitchen, but not plain blue, I wanted something interesting, but just couldn’t find it. “Well gosh,” I said to my pre-motherhood self, “I’ll just make them myself!” And armed with some lovely fabric and a felted thriftstore sweater as batting, I made these:

Which took forever and a day to finish, because there was always one more thing to get done. But I attached the hanging loops (cheapy keychain rings, because I don’t know when I’m going to get to Joann’s to get proper loop things) this afternoon. You can’t really see it in the picture, but the glove has a patch over the thumb that covers up where I didn’t leave enough seam allowance when assembling the glove, and part of the batting is sticking out. That was one more thing to do! But they’re done now and they look quite nice.

Now, about this “last projects” thing: I’ve disassembled my sewing/quilting/crafting station in my study for the time being, and packed away all my fabric, my sewing machine, etc. in bins in the basement. James likes to play in my study and I just couldn’t keep him out of all the dangerous materials, and materials that weren’t dangerous but were carefully organized (like fabric). There just isn’t enough out-of-reach storage in that room.

Plus, having all those Unfinished Objects sitting around silently mocking me from the corners of my room was starting to get to me. So I put them all away, and thereby gave myself permission to not worry about them for a while. I figure that in one to three years, James will be old enough that I’ll be able to get them back out again. I’d really hoped to be able to keep working on projects off and on while James was small, but it’s just not working out that way, so it’s easier to just pack it all away and come back to it later.

(As a consolation prize, I’m getting myself this desk, in white, from IKEA, which I’ve been wanting for years. Now I have an excuse to buy it – it’s childproof office storage!)

Holy Cow, I finished something!

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Look, it’s the quilt label! Actually, like, attached to the quilt and everything!

There have been times when I’ve thought that I’d never finish this project, or any other project ever again. So I’m just going to go do a little “I finished it!” Happy Dance over here…

New Mittens

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

I bought a new winter jacket this winter, and discovered that my mittens clashed horrendously with it. On the plus side, the hat I made last year coordinates nicely.

To avoid a fashion faux-pas on an international business trip, I decided the week of Thanksgiving that I needed to make myself some new mittens. My ultimate goal is to make another pair of stranded (multi-color) mittens – I have a ton of options in my Ravelry favorites and queue, but I knew there wasn’t time before my trip.

Instead, I whipped up a pair using some lovely wool-alpaca yarn that was originally intended for a sweater; I was unable to come up with a yoke design I liked for the sweater, so the yarn has been marinating in my stash since last year. The pattern was pretty much self-designed, based on various mitten patterns. I was in such a hurry that I managed to muck up the thumb gusset increases on one mitten and didn’t go back to fix them. (note the lack of photo of the palm side). The yarn is worsted-weight yarn, but I knitted at a very tight gauge on small needles to make them warmer and more wind-proof.

Of course, the weather at my destination was a little too warm and rainy for my new jacket, so I took different outerwear on that trip – though I did take the mittens.

I finally finished the embroidery this morning (I’d been wearing them with just the vine and one flower on the left mitten, and nothing on the right), and here they are:

(they really are the same size as each other)

(they really are the same size as each other)

Oh, what have I done?

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Okay, so this is probably the last thing you ever would have thought to see me post to this blog:

Because what I really need right now is another hobby, right?

I don’t know what happened: I went to Michael’s to get gift bags and photo frames, and somehow I walked out with yarn. And knitting needles. After completely getting rid of all my yarn and needles a couple of years ago (hi Rebecca!) because I only have time for one craft obsession at a time, and that was before I had a baby.

What was I thinking??!?

Well, as much as I try to follow Nancy’s advice to keep my sewing station set up so that all I have to do is sit down and sew when I get a few free minutes, it just wasn’t happening. Something about having a toddler who likes to play in my study and pull things off of tables that we think he can’t reach…fun things like pins and scissors. Knitting is much easier to keep out of a toddler’s reach, and much easier to pick up, knit a row, and then put it down to go extricate said toddler from whatever he’s gotten into this time.

So, what you see above is the test swatch for a project that I’m Not At Liberty To Discuss. I’ve learned, however, that knitting is even more like riding a bike than riding a bike is. I probably haven’t used knitting needles in a decade or more, but I picked them up, cast on some stitches, and away I went with hardly a stumble. I might only know how to knit and purl, but I really do know those!

Ex-Travel Knitting

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

I’ve learned my lesson about travel knitting – it’s important to take projects which don’t turn into half-finished, too-big-for-travel-knitting projects, or you’ll end up with a bunch of partially-finished scarves as reminders of trips past. It’s also good to bring projects which don’t require too much concentration. Counting to 8 is not difficult. Counting to 8 on inadequate sleep is much harder than you’d think.

Anyway, here’s a scarf I started a couple business trips ago (click to biggify):

It uses 2 colorways of sock yarn, which is why it’s kinda stripey.

And, apologies to dear Aunt Barb (who doesn’t understand why one would want to make socks when they’re so readily available in stores worldwide), but I think the perfect travel knitting for me is socks. Minimal counting required (I can generally handle counting to 2 even when I haven’t slept enough for days), they don’t get too big to fit in a quart-sized bag, and I like to wear handknit socks on business trips, so they’re very practical. I just need to purchase an additional set of sock needles to avoid any mid-journey disaster that would ensue if I dropped a needle on the plane and was unable to recover it.