FOs: Fall Knitting 2013

After nearly a year-long knitting hiatus, I finally picked up the needles again a few weeks ago. And I’m having a hard time stopping! Here is about two weeks’ work… a few quick small projects and one that’s been a WIP for years.

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Pattern: none
Yarn: malabrigo sock in 852 persia
Needles: US Size 0 and 1
Started: Dec 24, 2009
Finished: Sep 20, 2013
Ravelry Link

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I think these socks win the award for longest duration of any project I’ve ever attempted, and it wasn’t because they were a big project or because of the difficulty. I cast them on two-at-a time, finished the toe and the reinforced heel all within the first month or so. It was the tremendously boring 1×1 ribbing on size 0 needles that took nearly 4 years to complete.

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I finished them up at a cafe over a cranberry apple ginger iced tea, and decided to add the picot edging as a coastal twist. As much as I like them, I don’t forsee any small-gauge socks being attempted again in the future. Although I am using the remaining yarn for a pair of armwarmers, so we’ll see how that goes.


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Pattern: none, inspired by Alexandra Tinsley’s Mix No. 24
Yarn: jil eaton minnow merino in 4720 aqua
Needles: US Size 8
Started: Aug 30, 2013
Finished: Sep 10, 2013
Ravelry Link

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I saw this on the designer’s blog, Dull Roar, but I can’t get myself to buy hat patterns. So I spent an evening swatching (and watching the Hunger Games) and about two weeks knitting, and I had this super adorable bonnet!

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I used exactly two skeins, down to the very last inch (the dangling pom poms were completed by gathering all the remaining yarn ends, splitting the pile in half, and wrapping around my index and middle finger until I ran out. Thanks to the un-plied yarn, they still plumped up quite nicely.


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Pattern: Zeebee by Schmeebot
Yarn: noro cash island in 01 (black, brown, blue, teal)
Needles: US Size 8
Started: Sept 13, 2013
Finished: Sep 18, 2013
Ravelry Link

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Oh, look! I knit from a pattern! Or at least… a detailed formula. I had this yarn sitting in my basket. I don’t know why I never learn that buying one skein of Noro is a bad idea. It’s not quite enough for a hat, not nearly enough for a scarf or shawl, and not suitable for anything like a toy or baby booties since it’s kind of scratchy and the fibers are rather weak.
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But, I don’t learn… and so it was just sitting there staring at me. I decided to knit up a quick hat using a forgiving pattern that would show the variegation nicely.

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At first, I loved how it was going. But around 6 rows til the very end, I ran out of yarn. Of course. I doubled up some Shiraito from my other Noro hat (below) and figured it was Noro so nobody would notice.

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Then I got to the end seam, and by the second stitch into the graft, the yarn had torn. I spliced the ends back together but knew the same thing would keep happening, so I did a very obvious 3-needle bind off as a design element.

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The seam doesn’t bother me. I actually think I might pull it out and re-do it in bright red or something. It feels super grunge and the perfect hat for running through leaves and sipping hot cider.


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Pattern: none, inspired by Graham
Yarn: noro shiraito in 01 (teal, yellow, green, gray, black)
Needles: US Size 8
Started: Sept 13, 2013
Finished: Sep 18, 2013
Ravelry Link

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This one was kind of the same deal as the hat above. I saw the yarn while in Rockland, ME at Over the Rainbow, a totally adorable LYS, and I had never seen this line of Noro before so I grabbed one. Why? Why do I do this? I cast on a plain stockinette hat immediately and had almost completed it by that night. Unfortunately, I tried it on and it was enormous. So I tore it out and started again. And again, enormous. The “ruler” app on the iPhone is really making me look like an idiot right about now. I finally got my gauge and cast on a more interesting hat. It was going to be Graham but, being Noro, I wanted to start top-down for fear of running out of yarn. And somewhere in between counting stitches and incorporating the pattern, I totally skewed it into a broken seed stitch (instead of a broken rib) and just left it. It’s kind of cute, whatever.

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I actually had a bit of extra so I knit a tiny bow. I also had just enough left to complete the Zeebee hat (above), counted my blessings, and called it a day.


So that’s what I’ve been up to. Currently on the needles is a pair of arm warmers with the leftovers from the socks, and an oversized Lispenard for the winter. What have you been working on?

❤ v

FO: tonari no totoro mitts

wow, it’s been a looong time since i wrote a FO post.

Pattern: Norwegian Totoro Mittens by brella

Yarn: Sublime Organic Merino Wool DK in colors 112 and 118 (2 skeins of each)

Needles: US Size 2, 3

Started: May 25, 2009

Finished: July 31, 2009

this project took far longer than it should have. i cast it on with the intention of making it something to work on in japanese class, but my professor was unprecedentedly offended by the idea that someone could 1. listen and knit stockinette at the same time or 2. already have taken 5 years of japanese and just take intro for the credits. anyways, i put these on the back burner and they ended up taking about 2 months.

the pattern was a pretty easy knit– it would be a great first fair isle project, since it’s small but the results look pretty impressive. there are no weird techniques or confusing parts of the pattern. it’s all charted and self-explanatory. the only thing i changed majorly was translating the cuffs into the japanese “tonari no totoro” (the name of the movie in japanese)

i did make the choice to knit them a bit small since i always have problems with gloves fitting my small hands and wrists. i think i overdid it. the widest circumference throughout is 6″ (the pattern as written yields an 8″ circumference). i can manage to squeeze my hands in, but people keep wanting to try them on and i have to explain that i’m not mentally challenged and i actually can knit gloves that fit normal human hands.

also– i LOVED this yarn. it’s so perfect for colorwork because it begins to felt to itself immediately yet it’s soo very soft. in fact, this might be the perfect yarn for a little birds… hmm… back to the drawing board i go.

FO: late to the bandwagon clapotis

clapotis

Pattern: clapotis by kate gilbert
Source: knitty fall 2004
Yarn: sweet sheep superwash merino, appx. 800 yds
Needles: US Size 4
Started: May 12, 2008
Finished: July 21, 2008clapotis

the other day, i ordered some yarn from webs for the hemlock ring blanket. but i decided that before i can start it, i have to finish something else. i don’t really know how it happened, but within two days i had made so much progress on the clap that it is now 8 feet long. let me just say, an 8 foot long scarf on size 4 needles is something i never expected to accomplish. but it actually didn’t take that long– maybe 2 months total, including many weeks when i didn’t even look at it. the yarn is from the knitters’ frolic and was absolutely inspiring.it even softened up when i soaked it. i can’t get the colour accurate in the photos, just take my word for it– it’s beautiful.

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yay. so, um, anyway… hemlock ring blanket… will be my first blanket, which i’m pretty excited about. but i won’t be getting the yarn until mid-august when we move back to NY, so until then i have to find something to keep my needles clicking.

one finished object and one that will never be

Pattern: tudora by
Source: knitty winter 07
Yarn: caron simply soft shadows in “soft merino” blue
Needles: US Size 6
Started: June 1, 2008
Finished: June 2, 2008

i don’t know where this came from. i just wanted a quick project and this fit the bill. this yarn is PERFECT for this project– the one variegated ply is a really subtle replacement for the tweed recommended. my only mod was continuing cables throughout– i don’t really understand why the instructions state to stop during the decreases. i also rounded off the button band.

i still need to find a nice button for this one, so til then i’ll be showing off my rav pride with a pin.

an update on the found sweater i posted about the other day– i am going to poke out my eyes with an addi lace needle if i do any more work on this. and i don’t want to get blood and stuff on my addi’s. i fit all the pieces together, did all the finishing, and seamed one sleeve. by the end of the night, i was actually nauseated. no wonder nobody wants to seam their sweaters (i’ve only knit seamless, but now i’m worried about my min cardi if/when i ever finish that second sleeve). the found sweater moved on my rav page from “wip” to “ugh” to “hibernating” in record time– about three hours. i don’t know if i’m going to pawn it off on some fat old lady (that’s obviously the shape it’s for) or try and salvage the yarn, but for the meantime, i am hiding it from myself to avoid vomiting

i AM pretty proud of myself, though– this is my first major seam that i couldn’t just kitchener the hell out of. (boy, what a pain)

anyways, DH is on his way home from his first day ever commuting to work (he just switched offices and we’re getting out of it as soon as humanly possible). dinner has been on the table for two hours. i’m crossing my fingers that he’ll be home any second now so i’d better sign off. sigh.

fo: indifferent shrug

Pattern: two tone ribbed shrug by Stefanie Japel
Source: fitted knits
Yarn: red heart super saver in teal and blue sky organic cotton in natural (colour #81)
Needles: US Size 8 and 5
Started: March 10, 2008
Finished: May 23, 2008

this was pretty much a stashbuster and a timewaster. i was feeling sort of uninspired toward the end of second semester and used some acrylic to get started on this. i got the cotton for sale at the yarn basket— and had a skein and a half leftover from the freedom hat, but took forever to do the ribbing because my boye needlemasters are utter crap and i literally could not get myself to finish until i bought some addi turbos the other day at WEBS. once i had those, it finished really quickly. the sleeves are too big– i should have made the smallest size, but there’s no way i care about this enough to rip back and fix it. i’ll just say it’s supposed to be a baggy shrug. the only real modification i made was the addition of baby cables to the ribbing.

toodles!

how now?

the brooklyn handspun armwarmers are done and the pattern is up. it’s also available as a ravelry download. i liked knitting these more than i thought i would, actually. i was really excited until i had the yarn in my hands and i realized i actually had to make something pretty with it and then i got all overwhelmed and frazzled. the whole thing took about four days– playing with the yarn and trying out a bunch of patterns (yeah that took a whole day), writing the pattern as i knit the first mitt (two days), and then knitting the second mitt off the pattern, editing it as i went (last day). i figure if it took four days to write up and test the pattern, it could probably be knit in two. i have a ton of yarn left so maybe i’ll knit a pair in medium and see if anyone on etsy wants them.

how now space cow armwarmers

the ones in all the sample photo are size small, by the way– but i’m pretty sure most humans will fall into the medium/large on this pattern. i still wear childrens’ gloves and watches.

i’d love to hear comments on these. it’s my first arm warmer design so i’m pretty proud– hopefully not delusional.

ps. yes, i did change the title from “space monkey” to “how now space cow”– i’m not really sure why……

EDIT: holy crap batman! what are the chances that this lolcat would show up in my google reader TODAY? it must be a sign. a sign of what? i dunno yet. but i’ll let you know.

while i’m here i may as well mention that you can now purchase my I ❤ NY and I Love Love! hat patterns at knitty city in new york. squee!

home! part 2– yarn purchases and FO’s

holy god, it’s been awhile since i posted about knitting. well, hopefully this post will make up for it.

endpaper mitts

FO: baby’s first endpapers
Pattern: eunny jang’s endpaper mitts
Yarn: j. knits superwash me sock in providence and bristol yarn gallery buckingham in natural
Needles: US Size 0 and 1
Started: April 2, 2008
Finished: May 1, 2008

endpaper mitts

i mentioned that i’d finished these, and on saturday i finally got a chance to take some photos. i love the way these turned out, and it’s actually given me a new curiosity about small gauge knitting. it’s so much easier on your wrists and shoulders! i gave these mitts fingers because i couldn’t imagine a time that i’d want wool gloves without fingers (either it’s cold out or it isn’t… and in toronto it’s much more likely to be the former). i also cast on using TECHknitter’s genius provisional tail method of 1×1 tubular cast on. i made the wrist extremely small (about 5″ around, unstretched) and then increased more often during the thumb gusset so that it measures about 6″ around the palm. this way, they fit me “like a glove” (for lack of less lame expression). anyways, i love them, and i’m sure they’ll get a lot of use when (god forbid) the weather begins to cool off again.

endpaper mitts

my only complaint was the j. knits yarn. the colourway is absolutely gorgeous, but while i was knitting it made me sort of sneezy and itchy. DH, who’s more sensitive to wool than i am, had to leave the room while i skeined it. after i finished knitting, i washed them thoroughly before blocking and they didn’t give me any more trouble. i assume this is a personal allergy and not a flaw with the yarn, but i don’t think i’ll buy it again for this reason.

one hour camera cozy

FO: 1-hour camera cozy
Pattern: none
Yarn: berroco comfort
Needles: machine knit
Started: May 3, 2008
Finished: May 3, 2008

saturday morning i opened the new digital camera and used my endpaper mitt as a case. which worked fine, except that it was cold and i probably should have been wearing the gloves. when i got home, i noticed my old knitting machine and decided to play around with some of my new yarn. an hour later, i was seaming and adding buttons. i really like the case despite how basic it is, and i hope i get to play around with the machine again in the future (it was too big to take home on the plane)

one hour camera cozy

i absolutely loved working with this yarn. i took a total leap of faith making my first online yarn order with WEBS and berroco comfort was everything i was hoping for.

speaking of that WEBS order, here it is in full:

berroco comfort

berroco comfort. i LOVE this yarn– it’s my new favourite acrylic (sorry caron simply soft!). the gauge is slightly larger and it has a stretchiness and sheen that i haven’t seen before. i don’t even know what to make with this. i just want to wrap up in it. maybe a bainbridge scarf

swtc twize

SWTC twize. this yarn was also a leap of faith. i knew i loved the feel of bamboo but the fibre construction of this yarn is very different. it has a bunch of tiny ply’s in a bunch of different colours that are very loosely spun. from far away, it almost looks like a variegated yarn knit at a small gauge. again, this yarn is unbelievably soft, and has the shininess that you’d expect from a bamboo yarn. i did a swatch on size 5’s (smaller than recommended but they were the largest needles i had with me) and got 6 st/in. my only problem so far is that the first yarn i inspected had a big ol’ knot right on the outside of the skein. not a good sign. sigh. oh well.

classic elite inca print

classic elite inca print. yummy. nice, fluffy alpaca in gorgeous colours. nuff said.

i also had some yarn waiting for me from brooklyn handspun:

brooklyn handspun instant gratification

brooklyn handspun instant gratification

brooklyn handspun instant gratification

it’s instant gratification in “lazy day”. i’ll be honest here– i was speaking to marie about which type of yarn i should get and initially wanted soft spun. she explained that she only picks extremely soft yarn and reccomended instant gratification since it would knit at a larger gauge, and i agreed, even though i really didn’t believe her. let me tell you, marie is NOT a liar. this 100% merino is INCREDIBLE. it feels so close to the inca print 100% alpaca i couldn’t even tell the difference with my eyes closed. i will never doubt her again :). i swatched it on a pair of 4’s and got 7 st and 8 rows/in.

going home to NY also meant shopping! everything here in toronto is way too expensive, so things like wii games, books, and knitting supplies have been neglected up until now.

my first EZ book! i don’t know why i never bought one before, but i flipped through knitting without tears at B&N and no longer had an excuse not to buy it. such great tips! i also got drawn into victorian lace today which sounded kind of dorky and lame, but it turned out to be SO interesting. i guess that makes me dorky and lame. but i’ve been really interested in lace since i knit the swallowtail shawl and haven’t been able to find any lace that was “my style”– everything i see i can only imagine on my grandmother. some of the stuff here is sort of frumpy, but some is so amazingly intricate and modern. i think my first project from this book will be the curved shawl— love those lace circles.

i also made my way around to a bunch of yarn stores. we were only there for two days so i couldn’t get to all of them, but i tried to rate them in importance and convenience.

first in both categories was knitty city. since it opened a few years ago, it seems that this has been the premier yarn store to everyone in the city. i’d been there a few times but they were always very busy so i never felt welcome. i was surprised when i walked in that there were actually only a few other people shopping. the cashier welcomed me and we had a conversation while i searched their DPNs. the store owner came over and introduced herself to me, and after a quick but very friendly conversation she asked if i would be interested in having my i ❤ NY hat pattern in her store. i promptly freaked out, purchased my needles, and proceeded to call my entire direct family to brag. we haven’t finalized anything yet but hopefully within the next week or so i’ll be able to say i have a pattern in the best yarn store in the best city in the world.

after hearing a truckload of good reviews of yarntopia, i trekked all the way up there to check it out. the store was empty, aside from the cashier and her friend sitting and chatting with each other, and i wasn’t terribly impressed by the yarn selection or prices. i’d heard on the ravelry forums that they had addi’s for $13, but the prices had all been ticketed over with a new price of $16.99. i picked up a pack of susan bates DPN sock set and hightailed it outta there. don’t think i’ll be stopping in again.

i also managed to get to stitches east. i was perplexed that there was a store right in midtown that i must have walked by a billion times and never even noticed. when i got there, i realized why i never saw it before. it’s tucked away in a plaza on a side street with no signage at all. the store was empty. there are no prices on any of the yarns, and i felt like i would have been bothering the old lady behind the counter if i asked (she was on the phone and didn’t even say hi when i walked in). there were prices handwritten on a few of the needles and they were not impressive. i think the only way i’d go here again was if i desperately needed something and couldn’t get to the west side or to the yarn connection (again, not a good store– but closer to my parents’ apartment and at least they talk to you!– not to be confused with the yarn co. on the upper west side which i would not go to with a gun to my head.)

on my way to stitches east, i passed lee’s— which experience told me was an overpriced, stuffy art supply store, but curiosity convinced me to at least take a look in. sure enough, prices were still cheaper than curry’s or aboveground in toronto and they’ve expanded their craft section to include felt and yarn. yes, lee’s art store– that pretentious department-style art shop– now carries lion brand. i picked up some eucalan and a dry erase board in the form of a wallpaper roll. if i knew how awful stitches was going to be, i would have taken a closer look at the lion brand organic cotton.

geez, that’s a lot of blogging for one day. time to play with the fun new yarns…