Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I modified the Dashing by only knitting 12 rounds -- not 18 -- in the rib pattern from the last cable twist to the thumb opening. The husband (a small framed 5' 7", just like his dad) thought they were too long as it was. Imagine six more rounds between wrist and thumb. The Dashing might have reached his elbow.
*So I had the left-hand mitt of another pair of Dashing on a table near where the gift unwrapping was happening. I think the father-in-law accidentally picked that one up, too. I'd like to be a fly on the wall when he unpacks his loot and finds three mitts! ;-)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
the turn a squares are all completed.
it's hard to believe that all three hats were knit out of one skein of noro silk garden (color #126) and just a little over one skein of cascade 220 (color #7821).
you saw the very neutral one in my week 1 post. i was extremely pleased with its outcome, as it is very similar to the designer's. the masculine color combo and striping effect was precisely the look i was after. and yes, i had noticed that my skein of silk garden had some bright spots. tried as i might, ignoring the turquoise mixed in there was not possible once the second hat was cast off.
the third hat turned out to be a near identical twin to the second. the bright hues were toned down just a few notches.
the pattern calls for knitting the first two plain body rows in the silk garden, then knitting three rows in the solid cascade, and continuing in that manner through to the end. upon casting on this third hat -- and with unnecessary foresight -- i decided i would knit the first three body rows with cascade 220 and if i should run out of the silk garden, i would just finish the hat in the cascade. i have several yards of silk garden left, so i didn't need to worry after all.
all in all, these hats were satisfying knits. there are too few masculine patterns available, in my opinion. i understand the why of it, but when it's time to knit a gift for one of the great men in my life, i often struggle. it was great to be unconcerned with whether or not my father-in-law would like his, or if my dad would like his... and i really hope that third hat is well-loved by its recipient, too.
and so a question for you handmade gift givers: how do you wrap your goodies? i'm looking for inspiration...
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
do you have $12?
seriously. do you? whip it out.
one skein of malabrigo worsted is about $12.
$12 + free toast pattern = heaven.
you can knit a pair of easy-peasy toast or toasty with nearly any single skein of yarn, but honestly, malabrigo is hands-down the greatest. especially when it's this wintry grey colorway called "polar morn."
and, dear reader, you will want for nothing else.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
do you hear them? the jingling sleigh bells? i have, and now i can't stop the gift knitting.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I started holiday gift knitting. This is another Lucky 7 hat knit in Malabrigo Worsted, Forest colorway. I am finding that this pattern ALWAYS knits up snugly, and this is the last time I will use it. Not even going up to a size 9 needle and knit extra cable twists seemed to help!
These ankle socks were a two-day project -- and remember, what I get done in two days, most of you fabulous knitters can be through with in one. I didn't use any specific pattern, but here are the details: Cast on 48 sts on size 4 dpn. K2, P2 rib for 10 rounds. Knit two rounds in stockinette. Begin standard Sl1, K1 heel flap. Stockinette stitch through to toe. Decrease to 8 sts. Kitchener.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Hooray for finishing socks! Pomatomus is off the needles and on Laurel's feet. She's super happy to have another pair of hand-knit socks and is now lobbying for a pair of shoes like mine in which to show off. Her birthday's coming, so I may oblige her request. If you're well-versed in sock yarn, you can probably spot that this is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight. The colorway is Puck's Mischief.
Happy Socktober to you!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Unlike other areas, our leaves are only just changing. There is a handful of ash leaves in my front yard, but the major unloading of leaves won't be through until early December. Halloween is the very first day of sweater weather, and sweater weather will be over by early March if not February. Fall blurs into winter, the only marked differences are the holiday decorations.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
As if you didn't know it already.
Socks almost always flatter.
You never have to worry if they are hiding a bulge or a sag.
They typically don't accentuate a feature you try really hard to keep from daylight.
It's not of importance whether the color you selected is complementary to your skin tone.
Shouldn't you love socks, too?
The yarn is hand-dyed by Sarah, the [fabulous] Plucky Knitter. But don't expect you can rush right over and ask her to dye you up a skein, for this particular beauty was only dyed for Plucky Classics (of course, you could try to get into the next go-round). Hitchcock is her new muse, and this colorway, Madeliene Elster, was inspired by "Vertigo".
To remind me I'm not perfect, there are two mistakes, both in the same sock. 1. I forgot to twist a cable on the leg; 2. and maybe more distressing of the two: I knit the cuff a half inch longer on one sock! Yikes. Thank goodness they'll be covered by pants.
The pattern is the Baby Cable Rib (rav link) by Charlene Schurch. I don't like the Schurch toes, though, so I went with the toe from Charade (rav link, too), another lovely pattern featuring a nice, wide toe. I've knit a few pairs of Charades before -- and loved them, but it was Amanda's comment from a previous post that reminded me of the great shape again.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Well not so much as a series as just one unfortunate event: I ran out of yarn when I was 85% of the way through the pair of Snicket Socks, way back in April.
Sarah graciously dyed up another skein of Suri Alpaca/BFL as close as she could get to the original, who's colorway name was "Bobbing for Apples". The new skein, "Not Quite Bobbing", arrived late last week, and I was able to finish the second sock yesterday.
Yes, there is a completely obvious difference in hue. And yes, the reds don't photograph the same every time. But I'm still in love. The socks are so soft, and very warm, and I can picture lounging around the house in jeans, a tee, and these socks come winter. And if I want to be super anal, I could go back and buy that pair of shoes I walked away from at the sale last week, as the toe box would hide the mishap ... Then I could wear them out and about with nary a glance.
The pattern is from the obsolete Mag Knits website, but if you're on Ravelry, you can download the PDF or save it to your Ravelry pattern library. It's a well-done pattern, and though I ran into a few hiccups, they were so little that even I could figure them out! I did make the heel modifications that I'd seen on iSeL's Snickets, and that was easy, too. But really, here's my advice: don't believe from the pattern that it will only take you 230 yards to fashion your own pair of Snickets. The pattern does state that the yardage is correspondent to a women's US 7 shoe, and I wear a 10, but it took a total of 360 yards for my pair. Most other Ravelers have used quite a bit more than the pattern suggests as well, so there's my warning to you.
These socks were my opus, until I ran out of yarn. I still really, really, really like them, but they don't quite sing the same tune they once did. I have a feeling you may see more Snickets from me. Especially ones similar to these, or these, or these...
Friday, July 18, 2008
Recently, Annika mentioned to the Man that she would like to repeat a day in San Francisco that we had in March. The first place we hit that day was Tartine, a small but well-known neighborhood bakery in the Mission District. While we were there, Annika munched on Mexican Wedding Cookies, covering herself in powdered sugar. This memory, and her wish to return to Tartine helped to decide our Cookie of the Week.
This particular recipe is from Martha Stewart's Cookies, although most of the recipes included are also available online, and you can find it here. The recipe produced a cookie with a very solid, typical taste of a Mexican Wedding Cookie; for that I was grateful, since they didn't exactly look typical. The recipe called for pressing whole, blanched almonds onto the top of the cookie, but whole, blanched nuts are something that would have been picked out by the kids, so I omitted. However, the recipe also asked one to "flatten slightly". It is obvious to me that I flattened "awholelotta". Mexican Wedding Cookies should be dome shaped.
In any case, the cookies are almost gone, which as Martha would say, is a very good thing. After all, 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of almonds is the bulk of the recipe that only yields 20 cookies. Yikes!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
... only I spent this Wednesday finishing the WIP and marking it FO.
The yarn is sKNITches Syncopation in Mint Mocha Latté, knit on size 2 dpn's, and is a mish-mash of sock patterns. The heel flap, with its garter stitch border, and the toe are from Knitting Sensational Socks by Charlene Schurch. The body of the sock is an Ann Norling pattern, Adult Basic Socks #12. Only recently did I start using the Knitting Sensational Socks toe, and I have to say, I need to investigate other patterns. I really dislike how few stitches are left to kitchener. Any suggestions?
Since a few of you have shared your summer book selections, I'm revealing a small part of the stack I have yet to read. Through the Children's Gate by Adam Gopnik, known for his book Paris to the Moon; The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick, which Laurel and I take turns reading aloud; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, seems suitable for the current times; and The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald, which has just been languishing on the bookshelf for years...
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I finished the second Miniature Cowichan Cardigan today, resulting in two very happy daughters with two very sweet looking dolls.
Laurel's doll, Nellie, is wearing the blue cardigan. Annika's doll, who she named Nicki, is wearing the magenta cardigan. Although Laurel has another American Girl doll, Samantha, she has said that just one cardigan is enough. Visions of themed cardigans are dancing in my head: cardigans in school colors, cardigans in holiday colors, cardigans without collars, cardigans with matching shells.
This pattern was featured in Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2007 issue. I had queued the pattern over on Ravelry way back in November or December, but never really had any intention of casting on right then. When I was finally prepared to start the projects, I went back to the issue and realized that the pattern was never included in the magazine; one had to go online and download the PDF. I set out to locate it, only to find it had been removed from the site! (growl)
Kerstin had knit one for Olivia's American Girl, so I asked Kerstin if she still had the PDF. Thankfully, she did, and promptly e-mailed it to me. (Many others thought they had access to the PDF and tried their darnedest to no avail -- thanks to them as well.)
Both sweaters are knit in Cascade 220. The magenta was knit on size 3 needles, as suggested by the pattern. I had swatched for this first sweater, but apparently the swatch wasn't really large enough (is 4"x4" the proper size for a swatch?) and my gauge was off. While the cardigan still fit Annika's doll, the fabric created was very dense. When I cast on for Laurel's blue cardigan, I decided to use a size 4 needle. Typically, I always have to go up a size in needle anyway, so I didn't bother with a swatch. In the end, the gauge was correct with the blue cardigan knit in the size 4 needle (6.5 sts/1"), but I like the fit of the magenta cardigan on the size 3 better. Both the collar and the sleeves seem to fit the doll better.
The pattern in of itself is a very fun knit, and I think should be required knitting prior to first attempts at "people sweaters". Although maybe not written for a true beginner, the pattern, if carefully read and executed, could be knit by an early knitter. I liked this particular sleeve/body construction: the sleeves were knit in the round separately, then knit onto the body at the armhole, then decreased raglan style as the cardigan continued on up. At the finish, six armhole stitches and six bottom sleeve stitches were kitchenered together.
Mint Mocha Latté socks, which are about 75% complete. Maybe by then, I'll have received the extra Bobbing for Apples Alpaca/BFL I needed, and I'll finish up the Snickets. Sarah has told me that the new yarn is a few shades darker than what I had, but you know what? I just don't care. That will be part of the story those socks will tell.