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…And one more. Two more. January 24, 2010

Posted by merp in FOs, Knitting.
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Knitted first and given last, to a friend:

Pattern: Beetle Tracks by Knitting Kninja (aka Jejune, aka Kristin Cardozo)

Yarn: Knit Picks Andean Treasure in “embers” – like knitting with melted butter.  (If butter were also a little bit hairy.)  Didn’t need much – just over 2 balls made a scarf over 5.5 ft long.

[ravlink]

This was a fun pattern, easy to read, easy to memorize, and made a lovely scarf.  The recipient says she’s been wearing it all the time. Here’s me wearing it, with a very odd expression:

And finally, my sister’s Christmas present:

It will look more impressive soon, I promise.

Third Wave of Holiday Gifts: The Kids! January 18, 2010

Posted by merp in FOs, Knitting.
2 comments

I am now related to several children, which I find novel and entertaining, our family having been almost 100% adult, or adult/infant, for some time.  Christmas is much more fun when it centers on the under-10 set.

And kids are awesome to knit for.

Pattern: Tiger Hat, by Mary Lou Egan (proceeds from pattern sales support Heifer International – even if tigers don’t, really – and she’s raised about $2,000 so far!)  [ravlink]

Yarn: The perfectly tigerish orange was Queensland Collection Rustic Wool, and the black was Berroco Pure Merino (both superwash, both purchased at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop)

New skillz: Stranded colorwork!  Ok, I have tried it once before, but it’s still new, and I still kind of suck at it.  Fortunately, hats are forgiving and kids don’t care!

As several knitters noted on ravelry, the instructions for the ears are very confusing.  I think I deciphered them, though, by taking some things on faith, and reading between the lines a bit.  Anyhow, cute ears, huh?

That was for Nephew T., 6 years old.  For Nephew D., 4, another cool hat:

Pattern: Brainmonster, by Cyn [ravlink]

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, in stone blue and pearl

Needles: #7

I love this pattern! This is my second, and I’m just going to keep making them.  Here it is blocking, still peacefully kid-free:

And here it is devouring a child!

You can just barely see in this photo that I sewed on buttons for eyes instead of using googly eyes.  They had a radial flower sort of design, which I thought looked kind of monster-creepy, but in a cheerful way.

Finally, for the girl, almost 1-1/2:

Pattern: None. Basically, I had this bear on hand, and I just started knitting.

Yarns: Stashbusting.  Included bits of Knit Picks Comfy, Knit Picks Shine, and Mission Falls Cotton, all machine-washable.

Niece T. will be a Huskies fan.  At least, I don’t see how it could be otherwise.

I hope I get to make a few more outfits for this bear!   (Ok, laugh, but I actually took down her measurements before giving her to T.)

And finally, a pair of post-Christmas tigerrific socks are underway:

(Many thanks to Fernando for providing a suitable backdrop.)

Post-Holiday Reveals, Second Wave January 9, 2010

Posted by merp in FOs, Knitting.
1 comment so far

Next up…gifts given on Christmas Day (on which day, incidentally, I also flew from North Carolina to Seattle, due to awkward scheduling awkwardly delayed, yet was at my mother’s house in time for lunch) – just the ones for my mom for now.

First, a pillow:

Pattern: Improvisation!  Taking Puff Daddy as a starting point.

Size: 16″ in diameter, fits a round pillow form from Hancock Fabrics (oddly, the only chain store that carried such an item)

Yarn: Knit Picks Twirl [ravlink], in “summer sky” (discontinued).  To match the pillow I gave her summer before last.

Needles: 10.5

Buttons: Mom and I picked them out together at Village Yarn & Tea Shop in Seattle (well, Lake Forest Park)

[Project link on ravelry]

The Puff Daddy pattern is basically just a long garter-stitch rectangle, with the short sides seamed together and the long sides cinched up to form the centers of the puff on each side – but the objective there is a large footstool sort of pillow.  I realized soon that with such bulky yarn, I would end up with way too much fabric for the smallish, flat throw pillow I wanted, so devised a pattern of shortrows:

Basically:

K45 (one row)
K38 w&t
K31 w&t
K24 w&t
K17 w&t
K across all stitches
K45

Ad nauseum, and with modifications on the fly, as you are moved.

Once again, I did math!  Once I had that pattern worked out, I had to figure out how big a pillow I could make with the amount of yarn that I had.  I don’t remember precisely how I calculated it, but if your math proficiency qualifies you to enter high school (which is about all I claim), you can figure it out, too.  The real point here is: I was right! The completed pillow turned out the size I’d intended, and I had just the swatch left over.

And thanks to the Durham String Thing bunch for suggesting lacing as the solution for closing it up!

Here it is in its new home, with its sibling pillow:

I knitted Mom 2 stocking stuffers as well:

Pattern: Mug and French Press Jacket, by mk carroll [ravlink]

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash (leftover from Topaz baby dress)

Needles: #6

Buttons: Mom’s stash

[Project link on ravelry]

I love this one, and apparently, so does my mom.  Just followed the pattern, no excitement there, but I did decide to make it adjustable for differently-sized mugs by adding an extra button.

Smocking was fun.  And it wasn’t actually for the Indian pickle, but the Patak’s jar did a good job of blocking it.

Pattern: eLoomanator’s Diagonal Knit Dishcloth [ravlink]

Yarn: CORN!!  That is, Southwest Trading Company’s Amaizing.

Needles: 6ish

I made three of these: one for my mother-in-law in Singapore, one for my mother, and one for me.  Love the pattern, and the yarn was interesting – makes a fine washcloth, but I wouldn’t want to wear it.

More still to come….

Holiday Gift Reveals, First Wave December 28, 2009

Posted by merp in FOs, Knitting.
2 comments

I knitted a lot for the holidays this year, much more than usual.   But have been keeping it under my hat, of course.  (Or rather, hidden on ravelry.)

Here are three things that went out in the mail before Christmas.

For my advisor:

Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande Hand Dyed

Inasmuch as I used any pattern at all, it was Breean Elyse’s Herringbone Neckwarmer [rav link].  I took the stitch pattern and the construction (such as it is) from this pattern, but didn’t bother with any of the numbers.

Outcome: Soft, very very soft.  The colors did pool, but I’m pretending I meant for that to happen.  (It’s a “design feature.”)

I think this is the first thing I’ve knitted for him (though he’s been my advisor for going on a decade now).  I hope he understands that I don’t knit instead of writing.  ‘Cuz I don’t, really I don’t.  Just finished a chapter, in fact!

And for my aunt and uncle in Florida, more variations on my Grandma’s slippers pattern [rav link].

For my uncle:

Yarn: Knit Picks Main Line (leftover from Rusted Root) (I am so sad this yarn is discontinued)

Modifications: Cables, I thought.  Why not cables?  Haven’t tried that yet!

When I got to the end of the garter stitch section, I cast on an additional 8 stitches on the top of the foot as I joined it in the round, then improvised a pretty standard, 6-stitch braided cable with an extra purl stitch on either side, going up the top of the foot as I knitted towards the toe.

I also did a 2 x 2 instead of a 1 x 1 rib, and instead of an eyelet border around the ankle, had enough yarn to knit a 1 x 1 ribbed cuff about 2″ high, which I then folded over and sewed closed around a piece of elastic.

I think they look a bit more masculine this way.  And I want a pair myself.

For my aunt:

I used up a whole lot of miscellaneous bits of yarn, as you can see, all worsted and more or less machine washable, and all very soft (Valley Yarns Goshen, Knit Picks Shine and Comfy, Cascade 220 Superwash).

For these, aside from going stripe-happy (which is not exactly an innovation), I tried something new with the elastic.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of the way my Grandma did the cuffs – eyelets threaded with a piece of elastic.  The thick cuff I used above was a success, but in this case, I didn’t have enough yarn for that.  And I also didn’t have the right width of elastic.

So I braided the elastic:

Pretty, comfortable, and functional.  Though I still did a sloppy job of sewing it together.

The truth is, I don’t think my aunt and uncle actually need any more slippers.  At all.  And yet I keep knitting them more.  Next year, I really must try something different.

Meanwhile, I don’t have a pair of these slippers myself!  A pair for me is finally in the works.

Indication #14 That You Have a Knitting Problem…. December 28, 2009

Posted by merp in Knitting, Life.
2 comments

You knit a cozy for your Patak’s Indian pickle jar.

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