Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Aunt Barb Will Be So Proud

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Last spring, honorary crackpot Aunt Barb stayed overnight at my place, and I showed her some of my knitting. She went ga-ga over the swatch for my Hillswick Lumber sweater, and told me that it was such a piece of art that I needed to frame it and hang it on the wall.

Several months and a few trips to local big-box craft stores later, I’ve framed the swatch.

I was considering hanging it up in my bedroom, but I think I’ll actually take it in to work and hang it up there.

Details: I bought a shadowbox frame, and piece of mat board – I had to go to a couple of stores before I found pieces of mat board without holes (for photos) available at a decent (i.e., suitably cheap for a crackpot project) price. I then used regular thread and tacked the swatch onto the mat board around the edges of the knitted portion of the swatch so the texture of the yarn ends is still present.

Practically Instant and Instantly Practical Knitting Project

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Here’s a little project I whipped up over the weekend. I bought the yarn yesterday, and finished the knitting before lunch today.

A knitted rectangle. What could be more exciting?

Actually, it’s a neckwarmer made of lovely soft baby alpaca yarn. Super easy to knit: Pretend I’m making a hat with K3P1 ribbing, and instead of decreasing to make it into a hat, just bind off.

I hate wearing turtlenecks, but I keep my thermostat relatively low during the winter and spend each morning wandering around with wet hair.* Wearing a scarf makes me feel much warmer and is quite helpful when I sleep strangely and end up with a stiff neck/shoulders, but scarves are not always practical for indoor wear. If I wear a scarf that matches my outfit, does that mean I also can only eat food that matches the scarf in case I dangle the ends in my soup?

*yes, I could buy a blow dryer, but I’d rather knit.

And, in use:

Completed Mermaid

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

I’ve got quite the blogging backlog to get through, so there is hope for NaBloPoMo!

This is my birthday present from my parents. Or, more accurately, they gave me money and instructions to use it toward a sweater kit.

I finished it in July, but haven’t yet had an opportunity to wear it – whenever I’ve had a dress-up-for-work occasion, it’s been too warm.

Long time, no blog

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Here’s my current progress on my birthday present from my parents – Hanne Falkenberg’s Mermaid jacket. The pattern is available only as a kit. I’m doing colorway #3, which is lovely turquoise/sage/sea blue.

I’m done with the body:
(I learned that knitting applied I-cord bindoff and watching the Stanley Cup finals are just not terribly compatible activities; the edging along the front went a lot faster yesterday morning when I wasn’t trying to keep track of 3 knitting needles and a hockey puck at the same time)

The yellow yarn at the armholes is what I used to mark increases/decreases (I could probably take those out now). Marking each increase/decrease as I went was extremely helpful since the instructions for the second half of the body are basically “now do the same thing as you just did, only in reverse”.

I have just started on the first sleeve, but I’m going to take a break from that this afternoon to work on quilting a baby quilt I’m making for some friends who have a boy due next month. I kept with the family baby quilt tradition of arriving at the baby shower with the top and backing completed but not sandwiched or quilted.

First FO of 2008!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

I’m pleased to present my first finished object of 2008, my Hillswick Lumber Fair Isle sweater. I won’t even pretend that this sweater was started in 2008, since the first post about it is from May, 2007. All I did today was attach the buttons, which I purchased yesterday.

Sweater in use:
Hillswick Lumber being worn
Please excuse my “it’s a holiday and I’m not going anywhere so I haven’t showered yet” hairdo and the awful bathroom lighting. The main things to notice in this photo are:

* The sweater fits!
* The stripes on the body and sleeves align nicely when I’m wearing the sweater.

Some detail shots:
Hillswick Lumber Torso2

Hillswick Lumber Inside

I knit the size Small as it appears in the pattern, with one alteration – I lengthened the sleeves. I’m really glad I did – you can see in the in-use picture that they’re the perfect length. My theory is that because these sweaters are often worn with a lot of ease (far more than I wanted – some patterns I’ve seen have 10″ of ease over the bust measurement!), the extra body width essentially becomes sleeve length. Because I chose a size with less ease than perhaps was intended in the pattern (about 4″), I needed to lengthen the sleeves to accommodate this. That, or I’ve got monkey arms.

Half a Hat

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

It’s not NaBloPoMo, and I’m still posting!

I’m over half done with the hat for myself.


It may look completed, but I’m working on the lining. The good news is that I tried it on after finishing the outer part, and it fits perfectly.

I failed in my goal to finish my Fair Isle cardigan in November, but the arrival of winter weather pushed hat-knitting higher on the priority list.

Last Day of NaBloPoMo

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Here are a few things that I recently knitted for afghans for Afghans. The socks are by a friend of mine.
afghans for Afghans stuff
The hats and mittens are all made of leftovers from other projects – you may recognize the rainbow hat as a cousin of the propeller beanie. The olive green hat started its life as a hat I made to practice knitting cables without a cable needle, with the yarn I used for a sweater involving cables – I don’t think I’ve blogged about the sweater because I haven’t been able to get a decent photo of it. The hat turned out way too short to be functional – so I added more depth and earflaps to make it wearable. I hope these things will keep some kids in Afghanistan warm this winter.

Hat beginnings

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

I’m a little nervous about this hat turning out too small, but it’s too early to tell… I cast on Friday evening (start delayed due to that annoying need-to-work on Friday).


The pattern is Syncopated Caps from the Summer 2007 Interweave Knits. I am knitting a lining, so instead of the ribbing at the bottom, I’ll just have an extra repeat of the colorwork. The lining will be with the light blue yarn that I used for the cast on row (look to the bottom right of the photo). The variegated yarn is Colinette Jitterbug.

I bought the Jitterbug yarn on a whim last month. I had discovered that I like wearing handknit socks with my black dress shoes. However, my existing handknit socks are colors that are somewhat less appropriate for business wear (such as not-at-all-subdued red). I decided that I needed to buy slightly more sedate sock yarn for my next pair of socks. The Jitterbug caught my eye at The Sow’s Ear, and since there was only one skein of that particular color, it would surely be gone if I waited until I was finished with the pair of socks I’m currently working on.

I later read some reviews of the Jitterbug online which raised concerns about its durability, and also read the washing instructions – which, while they technically allow washing in the washing machine, don’t meet my requirements for socks – i.e. that I can throw them in the washer with the rest of my laundry. Were I to use the yarn for socks, it would be quite some time before I would knit them – the currently-in-progress pair of socks has been stuck in the state of single sockdom for months, and I’m positive that the first sock was started in some year other than 2007. It turns out that socks are not my favorite thing to knit. Therefore, I’m using the yarn for a hat for myself – which I definitely do need.

I told you I was knitting a sweater

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

My Hillswick Lumber sweater finally looks like an entire sweater. I still need to cut the front steek and knit the button and buttonhole bands, then do miscellaneous finishing work (i.e. deal with about a zillion yarn ends).
Hillswick Lumber - before front steeking

This morning I cast off the neckline ribbing. I guess one advantage to running a 5K the morning of Thanksgiving is that my usual pre-race way-earlier-than-I-needed-or-wanted awakening can lead to early-morning productivity.

Hillswick Lumber-neck

The cast-off is quite tight, but that’s intentional – since this will be a cardigan, I don’t need to fit the neckband over my head. My first sleeve has a somewhat looser cast-off, and I think it looks a bit messy in how it interacts with the corrugated ribbing.

Why a hat for myself will be my next knitting project

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

… I had a bit of a gauge problem with the last one I made.