Sunday, December 30, 2007

"It almost looks like an A."

12.25.07 040
-- My mother, when she caught sight of this ornament on her gift bag

Um, yeah, Mum...that would be because it is an A.

Or my best attempt at one in wire and beads. Must practice, apparently.

True to form

I suspected when I started this blog that it would fall victim to my nature--in other words, it would become wildly inconsistent.

Tah dah.

I can't even blame the advent of Ravelry. I've had this affliction for a long time.

Catching up on some of this year's projects (in no particular order):

12.26.07 001 cropped
A Christmas gift for Mum. Colors are her choice and suit her perfectly. She also chose the lining fabric, a Kaffe Fassett print.

12.26.07 003
Pattern: The Bag
Designer: Wendy Wonnacott
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Frappe, approx. 2 skeins (318 yards) in 012 Field Mix and 1 skein (159 yards) in 001 White (cream, really)
Needles: US 4/3.5 mm Addi Turbo, 24" circular

I didn't think much of the garterstitch straps called for in the pattern, so I cranked out about 10 feet of I-cord. I'm very happy with that mod.

If I recall correctly, my row gauge didn't match that specified by the pattern, so my finished bag was squatter. I remedied this by making a shallower gusset (about 1" as opposed to 3"). Another happy mod.

One source of great frustration: Even though the Field Mix colorway was not intense it bled like crazy all over the cream when I washed and blocked the main piece. The effect grew uglier as the bag dried. (The knitting looked like I'd used it to rub down a rusty car.) In desperation, I threw the bag into the washing machine on hot with color-safe bleach and some Cheer. That did the trick!

This little project entails quite a bit of finishing work. Nice--but I don't think I'll make another one.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

From the archives

maddy mitts
Pattern: Maddy's Mitts
Designer: me
Yarn: Royal Fiber Spinnery Royal Platinum Alpaca, 100% baby alpaca, double stranded
Needles: US 6 dpns

Offspring the Younger and I picked out this yarn at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in September to make a birthday gift for OTY's friend. OTY is primarily responsible for the design. This yarn is so soft and fuzzy, and the color had people drooling. The finished project met with a very favorable response.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

On deck for this winter solstice

* The Bag (pattern by Wendy Wonnacott) for Mum
* Knit slipper socks for Gram
* Polar fleece slipper socks for Gram
* Baby Alligator scarf (kit from Morehouse Farm) for Mr. W
* Sewn gift bags
* Something special for Gram's 90th birthday (December 24)--You go, Gram!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Am I too late... get a Gocco? Would that I had listened to my mother years ago and invested in one when I could.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weasels in suits

The (Work)Place That Shall Not Be Named has just gotten a lot worse. (And no, I don't work at IKEA!) I'm alternately piping-hot mad or limp with despair. Bloody hell.

But I digress from the really important stuff: fun creations!

As part of efforts to mark the August Sibling's birthday (Happy 30th! Hah! You can't get me!) made this cuff in a hurry:
8.7.07 016
Yeah, it's a little different, but so is the sibling. I used Leigh Radford's Herringbone Leather Cuff pattern from AlterKNITS. (Go here for corrections.) It would have been better had I gone with her suggestion of using round leather lacing--the cuff doesn't have much body, for one thing, when made out of the ribbon yarn I used--but I'm still reasonably happy with it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

See? It wasn't a fluke.

Here I am again. I know you'll want to stop the presses.

I'm going to do my best to reconstruct the more interesting bits of my summer. There was at least one sewing project--a tote bag for my aunt--that flew by before I could document it. Otherwise, I was pretty good about hanging on to their tail feathers long enough to snap a parting photo.

These were for my mum's birthday at the beginning of August:
8.2.07 008

8.2.07 009
The color is truer in the second photo.

This project was such a pleasure, even though the schedule was crazy. The pattern, of course, is Cookie A.'s famous Monkey. Really, it's as good as everyone says. I had fun substituting an eye of partridge heel (my first) and I used a smaller needle size than called for on the heel and foot (so it wouldn't wear out too quickly), but I made no other changes. The yarn is Fearless Fibers' 100% Superwash Merino Wool. I'd wanted to order some for such a long time. I certainly wasn't disappointed. The shading is exquisite and the hand is soft, but lively, too. Go get yourself some!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The family that IKEA ate

I don't know if I have any readers left after such a long silence, but if you're still out there, please know I haven't abandoned the blog. I'm just laboring under a new regime. Now that I've started to get my sea legs, though, I plan to resume regular posting.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Finest hours

There are many ways in which I'm not a great person. (I'll spare you the laundry list; just trust me on this.) Parenting, in particular, has a way of slapping me upside the head with my failings.

On the rare occasion, though, I make minute progress.
6.24.07 055

Take this...thing. There is very little to recommend it. The yarn writhes like the contents of a snake pit. The texture is, while soft, creepy in a Peter Lorre kind of way. It hung on to even Addi Turbos like I was trying to pry it from the edge of a cliff. In short, it sucked Hoovered big time.

But I promised a long time ago I'd finish knitting this little rag. And finish it I did. I don't know if Offspring the Eldest cares a thing about it anymore, but I kept my promise and it feels good.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What Ravelry can't do

* Floss teeth.
* Give the dog his pill.
* Clip the cat's nails.
* Pick up the in-laws at the airport.
* Replace warped brake rotors.

But it can make a killer caramel latte. Resistance is useless. (You knew that already, didn't you?)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Just going to get this out of my system

You Are a Ring Finger

You are romantic, expressive, and hopeful. You see the best in everything.
You are very artistic, and you see the world as your canvas. You are also drawn to the written word.
Inventive and unique, you are often away in your own inner world.

You get along well with: The Pinky

Stay away from: The Index Finger

You Are a German Shepherd Puppy

Intelligent, quick witted, and a bit aggressive.
You've got the jaw power to take a bite out of anyone you choose.

You Are: 70% Dog, 30% Cat

You and dogs definitely have a lot in common.
You're both goofy, happy, and content with the small things in life.
However, you're definitely not as needy as the average dog. You need your down time occasionally.

Your Inner European is Dutch!

Open minded and tolerant.
You're up for just about anything.

Your Career Type: Artistic

You are expressive, original, and independent.
Your talents lie in your artistic abilities: creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art.

You would make an excellent:

Actor - Art Teacher - Book Editor
Clothes Designer - Comedian - Composer
Dancer - DJ - Graphic Designer
Illustrator - Musician - Sculptor

The worst career options for your are conventional careers, like bank teller or secretary.

Your Power Color Is Lime Green

At Your Highest:

You are adventurous, witty, and a visionary.

At Your Lowest:

You feel misunderstood, like you don't fit in.

In Love:

You have a tough exterior, but can be very dedicated.

How You're Attractive:

Your self-awareness and confidence lights up a room.

Your Eternal Question:

"What else do I need in my life?"

Your Hidden Talent

You have the natural talent of rocking the boat, thwarting the system.
And while this may not seem big, it can be.
It's people like you who serve as the catalysts to major cultural changes.
You're just a bit behind the scenes, so no one really notices.

And my personal favorite:

You Are 16% Abnormal

You are at low risk for being a psychopath. It is unlikely that you have no soul.

You are at low risk for having a borderline personality. It is unlikely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at medium risk for having a social phobia. It is somewhat likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

We have an FO, folks

Socks for Offspring the Elder
Fixation, color 9205, about 1 3/4 balls
Needles: Clover 7-inch No. 4 (3.5 mm) bamboo dpns, 5
Pattern: Cobbled together from various sources. Two-by-two ribbed leg, slip-stitch heel flap. I began the gusset by knitting through the back of the stitches I picked up along the flap. (I love this little touch, which I find both functional and attractive.) Basic toe, grafted closed. (We are not a family of pointy-footed people. I like to start toes late and end them short and wide.)

Accommodating-crazy-knitting-parent pose (what? they didn't teach that in your yoga class?):

I'm not sure about Fixation. Sometimes it was fine to knit; other times it was a real pain (literally). I was never quite certain about my tension, which felt like it was all over the map but continued to look reasonably consistent.

We'll have to see how it wears. For now, OTE seems pleased.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Decision made

Ann Budd's Undulating Rib Socks* it is. I'm glad the spouse picked out this particular pattern; it's been calling my name.

*Found in Interweave Press' Favorite Socks, edited by Ann Budd and Anne Merrow

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Chatty little bird

This was for the small daughter of friends who had us over for dinner last night:

Largely BitterSweet's pattern again, with just a few modifications. Be warned: making these is addictive.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Another Friday, another birthday party

It's Offspring the Younger's turn to be off to a slumber party. We made the entire gift this time. It consists of a totebag:

This is made from two florals from Erin McMorris' Urban Garden line for Free Spirit and a tonal paisley from the Tiddley Winks line by Arrin Turnmire for Moda. Offspring the Younger chose these from the offerings at Bolt. All three were great fabrics to work with and this was a fun project. I intend to try it again with some modifications.

We also made this fun little guy:

He's based on the wonderfully clear free pattern at BitterSweet. We will be making many more of these, I'm sure!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Spring cleaning

Offspring the Elder spent Friday trying to pull together a gift for a friend's birthday. The present was looking a little, well, thin...and we were running short on resources. But lordy, have we got a house full o' crap. Enter this idea:

In the seventies, my dad was quite the dresser. Frye boots, velvet sport coats, Swiss ski sweaters, and leather trenches were his sort of thing. He also had a couple of cashmere turtlenecks. When he handed a yellowish one off to me and gave me carte blanche, I threw it in a big pot of water with several packets of drink mix. Thus was the softest mottled spring green felt in the world born. I love it.

Back to the story at hand: we needed to beef up a birthday gift, as well as wrap it. This seemed a reasonable solution. The pocket, which I made by using the entire turtleneck collar, has two compartments. More fun that way, I think. (And the cashmere. Oh. We just wanted to keep stroking it. Ooh, what about using this bag as a hot water bottle cover?)

Problem solved...and I have a bit more room in my sewing nook. Cool!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Relief spelled I-G-O-T-I-T-A-L-L-D-O-N-E-I-N-T-I-M-E.

This banner came together the night before the baby shower. I used wool felt, a cotton velvet ribbon, and Heather Bailey scraps from the quilt my mum made for the baby. The mother-of-pearl buttons are antiques my gram (who will be 90 this year) inherited from her mother and grandmother.

Mum's quilt:

My cousin looks like he's examining the finer points of the stitching, doesn't he? I've seen him look at x-rays of my teeth this way. Actually, he's reading the cool label my mother sewed into the corner of the quilt. She does this for all of her pieces.

Here is my bigger FO, the little cardigan I designed for Adeline. Those of you who wander the blogosphere will understand that I owe a big debt to Nona for inspiring this one:

I think they liked it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ugly, but useful

The humble swatch.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What do you suppose...

...this will become?

A few hints:

Monday, April 2, 2007

Face off

The offspring and I were charmed by the idea of making some of these for a baby shower:

Here's my prototype:

I think I might prefer it just as it stands (sits) now, without a face, but the offspring are rather creeped out by that idea. What do you think?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Every last drop

It's deeply satisfying to find interesting ways to use up scraps. Many thanks to Mary-Heather over at Rainy Day Goods for this idea. Go check out her cool Shrinky Dink straight pins.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Visitation by the ladies of the blog

They were humble and humorous and human. Nonetheless, I was too in awe to approach the table, so my spouse did it for me and snapped this photo while he was at it. Imagine his surprise when Ann pulled out her camera and returned the favor.

I now have a signed and stamped book. Kay and Ann even spelled my name right (harder than it sounds). I am verklempt.

There was a gathering of very nice knitters at the festivities, and I had a chance to talk with two of the loveliest: Meghan and Kathy. It was grand meeting you!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Birthday beads

I made this a couple of weeks ago as a gift for Offspring the Younger, who turned 11 on February 21:

And these are gifts I just finished for Offspring the Elder, who turns 13 tomorrow:

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

CeCe refuses to die

I was too tired to include (and no doubt you would have been too tired to read) these items in my last post:

I don't often find a button I'm perfectly content to commit to. What works well when I accessorize with black won't necessarily look so hot when I'm wearing brown, etc., etc. Or what if I'd like to close my cardi with a broach some evening? And then there's the whole issue of button washability to consider.

So...I was particularly happy to be reminded recently about options for temporary buttons. Here's what I did for CeCe: I paired a nice fashion button with a small, flat, clear button and made something like a cuff link. The ribbing was stretchy enough to accommodate the little button (i.e., no buttonhole was required where I would have normally sewn on the button), so I was lucky. I simply measured the thickness of the overlapped button bands and made the shank (out of a few plies of my yarn) that long. Lovely.

I have one regret, too. I wish I had made the top portions of the button band (the parts Bonne Marie has you knit separately and then sew to the back neckline) shorter. I thought I was doing a good job of following the pattern's instructions to knit them so they would need to stretch slightly, but apparently I was too timid in my interpretation. The band along that section wants to stand up a bit and wave. I wish it were less friendly.

Friday, February 23, 2007

New threads finally

Or, as me dear gram would say, "A child is born."

Pattern: CeCe
Length: 17.5 inches
Width: 38 inches
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Amico, color 11, 7 balls?
Needles: Denise US 7

How happy I was to start this lovely little cropped sweater for the birthday of the November Sibling. November. And yet here it is, nearly the end of February.

What happened? (Get your coffee now: this is a long story.)

It began well enough. CeCe is one of Chic Knit's delightful designs, and the pattern is solid. (Bonne Marie's customer service, by the way, is top-notch.) I forwarded a photo link to the NS, who loved the sweater at first sight. Bingo! Birthday present dilemma resolved.

On her next weekend in town, the NS picked out a suitable cotton from my stash and off I went. I like to learn something new each time I knit a project, so I gave some thought to possible refinements while swatching. How about a tubular cast-on? There's a great tutorial on Knitty (though for me these instructions would have resulted in twisted stitches, so I had to pick up my stitches differently).

My swatch goes well. The cast-on looks great, and I find an increase I like for the side shaping. I try out the lace pattern. I determine I'll need to use US 7s for the body.

I pull out US 5s to cast on the sweater itself, feeling that might be a little too generous. Doesn't Montse Stanley clearly say, "Always work with needles two or three sizes finer than for the pattern to follow" when employing a tubular cast-on? Nonetheless, I cast on with the US 5s.

CeCe is knit in one piece, at least until you get to the sleeves. Still, when I finish the bottom ribbing for the entire garment and find that no, those US 5s were really too small rather than too large, I don't sweat it. I'm still having fun.

I try it again, this time with the US 6s. I decide I like the way that looks and charge on, happy to get to the lace. Wow, this isn't bad at all! A teeny sweater--a shrug, practically--and on size 7 needles! I speed up the body...and then slow down as I find myself looking harder and harder at those slipped-stitch band edges. Dang. Maybe that works for Bonne Marie in Calmer, but in my hard little cotton, it's looking just too slack and sad.

Okay. Back to references and swatching. I try most every exposed-edge treatment I can find and decide that I'm happiest making a single-stitch column at each side edge in stockinette, which rolls neatly to the inside of the garment.

Now to drop the columns in question and hook them back up. Here we go. Back in business.


Maybe I'm just dense, but for the life of me I don't seem to be able to reconstruct my very first or very last columns of stitches, the ones that constitute the edges. The geometry eludes me. I'm always left with loops--BIG loops.

But I really don't like the ribbing on the US 6s after all, as it turns out. It still pulls in too much. This realization makes it slightly less painful to rip out all my work (remember, two fronts and a back) and start again, sadder but wiser.

And I can still do this--get CeCe ready in time for the NS's birthday at the end of the month. I cast on a third time, armed with the US 7s. Perfect. I work the first and last stitches in stockinette. Exactly the effect I was hoping for. I settle in for some serious knitting.

And really, it goes well. It starts to feel fun again. (My single buttonhole doesn't please me much, but I didn't have high expectations there.) I carefully write out a list of how many times I need to decrease and where. My thoroughness pays off. I'm decreasing, decreasing away. A week and a half before the birthday, and I have maybe two or three hours' worth of knitting to go. I imagine the look on the NS's face when she opens the package.

I clearly remember I had just finished watching an episode of Doctor Who. There were my dwindling stitches and--why am I going to run out for this front before I will for that front? Everything else looks fine. I'm the same number of stitches out from the side markers. So wha...Oh. Dear. God.

Lessons learned:
1. Think long and hard before doing a sweater in one piece rather than three or more. 'Cause any mistake is likely to be three times as difficult to fix and take three times as long for your "isn't this great? no finishing!" sweater.

2. If foolhardy or arrogant enough to attempt a sweater in one piece, make liberal use of markers to clearly distinguish back from fronts.

3. Measure. Count. Repeat. No, you can't stop yet.

4. Spread it out on the sofa or bed, often. Look carefully.

I guess I must have been a little tired, or perhaps a bit distracted, when I finished the ribbing that third time. Hell, maybe the dog barked. All I know is that when I set up the first row following--in other words, the first row of the body--I lost my ability to count. Because right there, in that first row, still hung my little safety pin marker to attest to the miserable fact that I had robbed the back of any entire lace pattern's worth of stitches and bequeathed them to the left front. Right there in that f***ing first row.

There was tunnel vision for a time. And then tea.

More lessons learned:
5. If you ever again think it would "be nice" to do even a spot of lace, up your meds.

6. Remember when you used to explain to your knitting students that wool was forgiving, but each stitch you knit in cotton might as well be set in stone, because it would preserve every little variation in your gauge? Remember that? Consider what the results will look like when you drop large clumps of stitches down some 15 inches and attempt to hook them all back up--in a lace pattern.

7. Decreasing in pattern while working lace is something devised by Dante for a lower ring of Hell. I'm just saying.

I will spare you the slow slog through yet more sorry details. Suffice it to say that it felt like a death march at times.

However...would you look at this face:

And really, what more is there to say? Except this: Happy belated birthday, November Sibling. You are worth it, every bit.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Plotting a project

Nona keeps expanding on her great idea. Can't wait until I'm free to start devising my blatant ripoff homage!

Friday, February 2, 2007

On second thought

...perhaps I should have taken a moment to total up the price of the yarn for my fantasy baby cardigan. Urgh.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fresh start

I just got word that the newest baby in the family, a girl anticipated to make her appearance in May, has colors: peach/apricot and moss green. I love this combination. Little Ms. A (she's been named already--makes me feel old, all this naming-in-utero business) is gonna need some handknits from her third cousin, once removed (that would be me...I think).

Ms. A's mother is a very talented (and very urban) young graphic designer. Hmm. An interesting challenge.

I started off by hunting down prints at my favorite hip fabric shop. I wanted to see what other colors were being combined with the peach and moss. As I suspected, there was chocolate brown. The print I liked best also featured orange, light blue, pink, olive, spring green, and ecru.

This is from the Freshcut line, designed by Heather Bailey for FreeSpirit. It's softer and prettier in person.

Then I went browsing through yarn. There is a gorgeous, glowing moss green in Karabella's Aurora 8 line. This is a yarn I've always meant to try out, given the number of people who rave about it. It is soft and machine-washable--perfect for a baby! The pallet is huge, which means I might be able to find a peach, a pink, a chocolate, and an ecru I like with the moss.

I'm ruling out a blanket. My mother and the baby-to-be's grandmother are both avid quilters, so there will be plenty o' covers, I've no doubt. Maybe a cardigan...

Since the beginning of the year, I've been checking in on Nona's project. When I saw the string-of-pearls swatch, I really sat up and took notice. And when I saw this little gem today, a design started to click into place.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My So-Called Scarf, in miniature

Pattern: My So-Called Scarf
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay, in color 55 Olive, 125 yards/hank, about half a hank?
Needles: 20" U.S. 11 Denise
Size: mini (for a 3-year-old), 27" x 3" before blocking

I made a full-size My So-Called Scarf in this yarn a couple of years ago as a birthday gift for the September Sibling. Now her little boy's birthday is coming up, and a matching version seemed a good idea. I love how this pattern is flattering to male and female wearers alike.

To tell the truth, I just plain love this pattern.

Ditto for Manos. Yes, it pills, but I don't make sweaters out of it. Sometimes the variation in thickness (and gauge) can be extreme, but I like that quality. I hear that recent entries into the market are softer, and that may be the case, but I haven't had the chance to try any of them yet. So, for the time being, Manos remains one of my desert island yarns. (Aran island yarns, more likely.)

Pattern modifications were few, apart from the obvious. I cast on 18 stitches, I think.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kimono my--oh, forget it

Pattern: One-Piece Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Novita Perinteinen Cottonella, in color 275542 (about as red as you can get), 112 meters/ball, about 2.5 balls
Needles: 26" U.S. 6 Crystal Palace Bamboo
Size: newborn, 16" chest

This is for a colleague's baby shower. I don't know the expectant mom well and I can't attend the party, but since when I have passed up an opportunity to knit something for a baby???

Where did I deviate from the pattern? I don't know how conservative these parents might turn out to be about their son's clothing, so I played it safe and avoided ribbons and bows. (As it happens, I had no matching ribbon in the house and I lacked the means to go out and get some.) I decided to make some twisted cord out of the project yarn, attach it with a simple self hitch, and just knot it. I like the effect. I also didn't extend the front wrap all the way to the side of the sweater; I liked the proportions better when I stopped increasing about 2 inches before the instructions specified and then knitted straight down from there. I did do the full 8-inch-wide "under" wrap, so that I could add a simple little tie on the inside to secure that (also not part of the original).

Otherwise, I followed the instructions. I chose to do make-1 increases (because some people, I've observed, can be really strange about YOs for boys), and I'm happy with the results. What I can't quite figure out, though (and I hope you'll forgive me, revered ladies of the blog), is why the instructions have the knitter bind off for the neck so early, so that the neck opening begins rather far down the back of this little garment. To compound matters, you start increasing right away to create the front neckline. I haven't taken a close look at a newborn's neck for a while, so maybe I'm missing something here, but this looks like it might be, well...a mite uncomfortable to wear. The impressionistic little diagram in the book shows the neck opening beginning at a spot higher up the back, which strikes me as perfect, but the photo on the same spread clearly illustrates that the back neckline begins well before the shoulder.

If I were to knit this again, I'd reposition the neck opening, smooth out the increases and decreases on the sleeves (though the current instructions will suit beginners well), and keep the modifications I've already tried out.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Seeing red...I wish

I did manage to get a photo of the fraternal twin Crosspatch today, but I'm having a devil of a time getting this color combination to render well. I thought the picture I posted of the firstborn was off. This one is ten times worse.

I'll stop whinging now.

Pattern: Elizabeth Morrison's Crosspatch, Summer '06 edition of Knitty
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran, in colors hemlock, quartz, and batik
Needles: 16" U.S. 8 Addi Turbos and U.S. 8 Bryspun dpns
Dimensions: 19" circumference, 7" tall (when flat)

As before, I created the top plain band by knitting two ridges of garter stitch.

On the firstborn, I used a twisted German cast-on; this time I went with a straight continental long-tail cast-on. I like that it doesn't untwist the plies, a problem I run into with the twisted German. (Perhaps it would help if I noted the direction of twist before working the cast-on?) Both cast-ons seem to work well visually with the garter stitch pattern.

I had planned to try out the magic loop method when knitting this twin, but I found I didn't have the appropriate needle. (It might be more accurate to say that I didn't have the appropriate needle available at the moment.)

And can I just say that I see more Jo Sharp Silkroad in my future?

I continue to love this design, even though my colorway, dictated by what I had left over from the firstborn, doesn't show off the patterned band to much advantage. I like that the slip stitch section gives the hat some padding and makes it warmer. I even like the looks of the inside. Perhaps I'll get a shot of that next time I do some mosaic knitting.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Long dark teatime of the Northwest

Yes, yes--apologies to Douglas Adams (and to the executors of his estate).

I finished the fraternal twin Crosspatch Friday evening, but I haven't been home during a time when we've experienced light sufficient for capturing a decent image. Perhaps there wasn't even such a moment today. It is gray, gray, gray (or grey, grey, grey, in honor of Mr. Adams). I will attempt the summit again tomorrow.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Bound off for Afghanistan

I actually finished this around 11 last night, but couldn't get a decent photo until today. Even with the benefit of sunlight (or what passes for it in my native environs), I still had to struggle to get the colors to render properly. In reality, the purple is somewhat redder and the overall effect is more muted. Of course, it would help if I knew more about photography than "I push this button, right?" My dear spouse has kindly stepped up to provide some tutorials, so I entertain fond hopes of improving.

About the FO: This Elizabeth Morrison pattern is featured in the Summer '06 edition of Knitty and it was a joy to knit. I'll definitely try some of Morrison's other designs. As this hat will go to a child (age unknown), I went down a needle size to a U.S. 8 and plucked a different yarn, Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran, from my stash to make a warm hat that's also quite soft. I had this in three colors I thought worked well together--hemlock, quartz, and batik (the two less-than-helpful monikers in there courtesy of some marketing monkey)--so I simply knit the two solid bands in the third color. I also departed from the instructions for the top band, which I created by knitting two ridges of garter stitch, rather than simply purling two rounds and calling it good.

The Silkroad Aran was lovely to knit with, soft and fluid. I generally don't care for the sound and sensation of knitting with Addi Turbos, but they were ideal for this yarn. Can't say the same for my usual needles of preference, Bryspuns, which were too pointed and sticky for this blend.

I like the pattern and the resulting hat so well that I think I'll use the leftover yarn to create a fraternal twin, this time using the magic loop method so I can avoid the necessity of using the Bryspun dpns for the crown.