Sunday, January 12, 2014

#SherlockLives (on a pillow)

I have big news, lovely people who spare my blog a glance.

I made something!

For those of you who know this blog well, this remark will probably be met with the theory that I am developing amnesia and have forgotten that I have been a long-time maker of things. And so let me elaborate: I made something using material and a sewing machine and that had absolutely nothing to do with knitting needles or yarn. In short, I stepped out of my comfort zone.

What choice did I have? Because when I saw this Sherlock Holmes pillow on Etsy, I knew I had to have one and I knew that I could make it myself for cheaper than $30. (Though, $30 is really a fantastic price for a hand-sewn appliqué pillow, so if you're in the market for a Sherlock pillow and don't have the talent to make one yourself, I would advise you to add the aforementioned one to your Etsy cart.)

If you looked at the Sherlock pillow that inspired mine, you'll notice that I made a few changes in my design, mostly to the coat and scarf. Possibly my favorite change was the addition of the red buttonhole on the coat's lapel, which is one of the things I love about the actual Sherlock's coat. It's a tiny detail, but I love it nonetheless.

Out of respect for Heart Felt Design, I won't publish any instructions on how to make your own Sherlock pillow. But I will say that it was fun and easy to make, and I may well be taking inspiration from some of her other pillows…

Friday, January 10, 2014

Shark Attack

Today's FO is actually almost a month old- but due to my lengthy blogging hiatus/ the project being a gift, this is the first chance I've had to blog about it. But, without further ado, I present to you:
Shark mittens! These were a gift for a swap, but they're so much fun I think I might make a pair for myself. Let me clarify- the finished thing is fun, but the knitting was not. In part, because the pattern, Deep Blue Sea: Shark Mittens, contained several design choices that I decided to rewrite entirely. The biggest change I made was to the mouth, and I intended to write my modifications on my project page but never did. 

The best part about these mittens? The second you put them on, you can't resist going into full-on puppet mode and trying to bite everything within reach. Many thanks to my sister Rebecca for being a perfectly un-self-conscious puppeteer/model for these pictures. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolutions:

  1. Blog more
  2. Knit more
I don't usually make many New Year's Resolutions, but this year I think it would definitely be good for me to have the goal to more frequently update this blog. Sorry, readers. 

I don't really need to make the resolution to knit more, because knitting is something I do all the time whether I have to or not. But it's always good to throw in at least one easily achievable resolution, right? 

I started off the New Year with two knitting projects, both of which I worked on quite a lot on my week-long trip to New Mexico, where I did nothing but sit in a cabin and knit all day, pausing occasionally to eat something (because every knitter knows it's impossible to knit on an empty stomach). 

The first is a new sweater by Mel Ski called Halele'a. I'm joining in with the Must Stash Podcast's KAL for this sweater, without which I doubt I would have the fortitude to knit a fingering-weight cardigan. 
I am not using the recommended yarn for this sweater because I do not have a large enough yarn budget to use hand dyed yarn for sweaters (not yet, anyway). No, I'm using the much more affordable Knitpicks Stroll, made even more affordable by purchasing it during the Cyber Monday sale for $15. 

Because I'm using a yarn slightly thicker than the recommended yarn, I had to go down three needle sizes to get gauge. Having to make so many swatches set me back on the sweater a little, but now I'm going strong and am hoping to get the fronts of the cardigan (which are being knit two at a time) done this week. 

The second project is a pair of plain vanilla socks, knit with Manos Del Urguay Alegria in the color way Carnival. 
It's my first time knitting with hand-dyed sock yarn, and I'm loving how the yarn is pooling. Even my mom, a devoted hater of hot pink, says that these socks look nice. I'm about 5 inches into the leg- another couple of inches and I'll be ready for the heel! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Construction Socks

Hey would you look at that- I wrote this draft nearly a month ago and never posted it! Who's a bad blogger? I'm a bad blogger. But anyway. Onto the now-dated account of one of my favorite pairs of socks.

I love these socks.
I wove in the last end this morning and promptly put them on, and haven't taken them off since. They fit perfectly, and have just the right amount of negative ease. (I like my socks to have a lot of negative ease, which is why I can't wear these socks very much- the 2x2 ribbing isn't snug enough.) I followed the pattern Pin Striped Socks by Julia Swart. The only modifications I made were to use US1 needles, knit them two at a time on one circular, and put two inches of 1x1 ribbing at the cuff. 

The yarn I used is Knitpicks Felici in the color way Building Blocks. I also have another couple of balls in the color way Spooky, which I'm planning to knit up after my Christmas knitting is done- maybe in the pattern Fruit Loops?  

Note- after using these socks for about a month, I'm happy to say that they have, thus far, held up beautifully and are very comfortable. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

FO Friday: November Rain!

Long time no see, blog world! Where did October go? It was such a busy, crazy month, I don't have enough room to talk about everything that happened! Maybe in another post...

Anyway, I'm here today to show off a brand new finished object. It's actually been finished for a couple of weeks, but as it was for my sister's birthday (which was on Monday, happy belated birthday Becca) I couldn't share it. But it was worth the wait- I managed to get her to model her knew knitwear.

Ta-da! Leg warmers! Several months ago, Becca saw the pattern (Some Cloudy Day, by Tiny Owl Knits) and exclaimed, "Make me some!" I did an excellent job keeping these a secret while I was knitting them, and she was completely surprised on her birthday. According to her, they're extremely warm- probably too warm for Texas, but I think she'll wear them anyway. (And if she doesn't, I'll steal them back. The heat ain't keeping me from wearing woollies all year round.) 

Because her birthday is in November and the pattern is called Some Cloudy Day, I've decided to put two and two together and call this project November Rain, as both me and my sister love that song. Is it a bit weird that I name my knitting projects? Do you name your projects?

Thanks for reading! I'm linking with Tami's Amis today.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Spinning Show & Tell: Old News

My contribution to the Age of Brass and Steam SAL/KAL has gotten about ten stitches worth of attention since it's beginning burst of progress. I've been knitting other things, which you'll know if you were here yesterday. But I also have a WIP on the wheel, which was began back in August but still isn't finished.
My sister bought these two braids for me from Little Libellule on the condition that I would spin and knit for her a shawlette out of the more neutral of the two braids we selected. This bargain suited me fine, because I got two gorgeous braids of hand dyed Falkland wool and I even got to keep one of them. I immediately began spinning the yarn for her shawl, and two months later I'm still only half way done. 

I think the main reason for this is that I'm spinning it extremely fine. I'm spinning it extremely fine in the hopes that I will get a light fingering or fingering weight yarn, though if I managed finer than that I wouldn't complain. I also don't dedicate as much time to spinning as I do to knitting. 

I'm hoping to finish the yarn sometime soon- before my sister's patience wears thin. Thankfully, by not updating her on the progress of the yarn, I think she has forgotten it's existence, and perhaps I will surprise her one day in mid December with a lovely drapey shawl knit from gloriously thin handspun. (That plan is pretty much dashed now because she reads this blog.) 

Thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned for progress on this spinning project, whose end is not quite in sight. Be sure to check out Crafts from the Cwtch for more spinning tales. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

I Couldn't Wait

I mentioned in my last post that I'd stupidly started a pair of socks with less than three months to go until Christmas. I haven't gotten a lot done on them, because starting a selfish project doesn't necessarily mean I've been neglecting the selfless ones.
I started these socks on a whim because I was feeling entirely uninspired to knit any of my seemingly endless WIPs. I'm following the pattern Pin Striped Socks, which I discovered from watching the Must Stash Podcast, which I highly recommend. The only changes I'm making to the pattern are to knit the cuff for 2 inches in 1x1 ribbing and to knit the socks two-at-a-time on one circ. I've knit a few pairs of socks toe-up 2aat, but this is the first time doing them cuff down.

The yarn is Knitpicks Felici in the colorway 'Building Blocks.' This colorway is about to sell out and the last few balls are greatly reduced in price, which is the sole (no pun intended) reason I bought them. Despite the colors being reminiscent of Bob the Builder, I quite like them and look forward to seeing the finished socks.

See you tomorrow for a spinning update- though, in the light of these socks, my Age of Brass and Steam shawl hasn't been getting much love!

Friday, September 27, 2013

FO Friday: A Couple Weeks Late

I've been delighted with my Pogona shawl since I finished it almost two weeks ago. Every time I look at it, every time I wrap it around my shoulders, I'm reminded just how amazing it is. Most of this amazingness is due to Stephen West  and Tosh Mo Light (colorway earl gray), but I'd say about 12% of it is my talent (subtle Avengers reference? Maybe not so subtle? See what I did there?). 

Overall, I enjoyed knitting this as much as I enjoy having it in my hands (I suppose technically it was in my hands the entire time I was knitting it, but you know what I mean), but the 600+ stitches per row near the end were a bit trying. The stitches were so bunched up on the needle I couldn't really see what it was going to look like, and the yarn gave me trouble in a few places. I think this was more because of how I wound the ball than the actual yarn, and I would happily buy another skein. I also want to try some other Madeleinetosh yarns, after I sample I skein or two of Malabrigo of course. 

That's it for me. In other news, I finished Peter Pan today instead of yesterday because yesterday was super busy for me and I had no time to knit or listen to anything, and I also started a pair of socks today which was probably not the wisest thing to do with Christmas 88 days away. I'll be blogging about those two topics on Wednesday... if I can wait that long! 

Thanks for stopping by! I'm linking with Tami's Amis today. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIPs & Books: Hexipuffs and Neverland

KNITTING: The Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knit
YARN: Various scraps
READING: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie 
My Beekeeper's Quilt hasn't been getting as much attention as it wants, of late. I've been too busy knitting bigger and better things. But when you look at a big pile of over 160 hexipuffs lying on the floor, that seems pretty big. The hexipuffs themselves, unfortunately, are small and slightly boring, which is why they've become occasional TV knitting and little else. This is why I've only completed 14 out of the 30 I had planned for September, and with less than a week of the month remaining, it doesn't look like I'll be knitting many more. 

One of the things I been watched while I knit hexipuffs is the 2003 Peter Pan, which I hadn't seen for years. Having completely adored it when I was an under ten, I was surprised to love it even more this time. Possibly this is because I also recently watched Finding Neverland, which has become one of my favorite films and gave me a new appreciation for J.M. Barrie's creation.

Anyway, watching Peter Pan inspired me to read the book, and when I happened upon the audio book instead I took my chance to listen to it. I only started it yesterday and already I'm almost done- I hope to finish it tomorrow if not tonight. I'm enjoying it quite a lot, though at the beginning Peter frequently got on my nerves. Also, one thing I love about the movie is how important they seem to make Tinker Bell's revival to Peter, and in the book I almost missed that part it went by so quickly. I grant you, this could have been because I was doing Algebra at the time and the book only received half of my attention.

That's all for me tonight! Thank you for stopping by, and check out Tami's Amis for more WIP posts! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Spinning Show & Tell: Just in time for fall

Since knitting became my main hobby, the fall and winter seasons have become my favorite, for the sole reason that I can actually wear the multitude of things that I knit. That's not to say I don't wear my cozy wool sweaters in July- after all, what else is air conditioning for?

The day after the start of autumn, a Spin-along/Knit-along was started by A Yarn Loving Mama in which participants will be spinning the yarn and knitting Age of Brass and Steam by Orange Flower. I made a last minute decision to join, because I've had my eye on the pattern for a long time and I needed something to knit with my TdF Alpaca. While this yarn was spun before the SAL/KAL began, I've received permission from AYLM herself to include myself in the spinning and knitting parts.

I started yesterday evening, and I already feel like I've made tons of progress:
I've never done a shawl in anything but fingering weight, and the sport weight/ DK weight seems to be going much faster! I think the 100% alpaca squishiness of this yarn is making me knit quicker, too. While the KAL goes on indefinitely, I think I should be able to finish in just a few days. 

In other spinning news, I have another handspun project that I see being cast on in the near future- a bit of selfish knitting to tide me over while I'm working on Christmas knits. The pattern is Capucine  and I plan on making a stripy festive one out of these two yarns:

Both were dyed and spun by me, and each is a little over 100 yards. I'm hoping I have enough to add full-sized tassels! 

Thanks for stopping by! I'm linking with the lovely Sarah at Crafts from the Cwtch today.