Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another Lace FO

Yes I finished the lace. Sorry I'm so bad at blogging. You all knew I was doomed. A couple days of post back to back is a sure sign that there will be a lapse hehe. Anyways...

The lace is finished and its gorgeous. A lot of compliments on it already and I've not even worn it anywhere. A gorgeous design with gorgeous yarn always makes for fun knitting time. The project went pretty quickly too.

Pattern: Aestlight Shawl by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: JulieSpins M420S in Impatiens
needles: 3.75mm
Start: Sept 16
Finish: Sept 26


the only mod I made was changing the gauge to try to compensate for having less yarn than required. It worked as I didn't run out of yarn. :)

If I were to knit it again however, I would bind off the garter stitch section before continuing along to the next stage. The entire leaving them live just barely makes sense. I actually think it causes more issues than it solves. It was a great knit tho. very lovely.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lace Cast on

Because knitting needs more than just FO post.

Its obvious that the weather is turning crisp and cool. Its knitters weather. Not that the heat of the summer really slows me down. But this is definitely the weather that calls to knitters. Cool enough that you don't sweat to death while knitting. Cool that the air reminds you that winter is coming up. That all those woolies will be useful soon. That mittens and hats and sweaters and things will soon need to be pulled out and worn to help keep you warm. Not that any of those things have anything to do with my latest cast on. But maybe it more explains why I've made several post recently (hehe).


I frogged a pair of socks that just weren't working out and started some lace that hopefully will be beautiful. I am working with "JulieSpins M420S in Impatiens". A GORGEOUS color. I instantly feel in love when I saw it in her shop. And even more so when it showed up at my house.

If you haven't knit with anything from Julie yet you are truly missing out. She also does divine spinning fibers.

I'm very happy about this decision. The yarn is just so pretty. It'll be much more appreciated as a shawl than socks hidden away in my shoes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Twist Complete!

To start with this:

and end with this:

Always makes me happy. To wear something that I made myself... something that I think looks good. It is something that I take pride in. Something that I am proud of. I made this! I'm not ashamed.

I bought this pattern forever ago. Back when I lived in VA. Last fall sometime. I got the yarn over a year ago. Traded a friend for it. It was/is perfect for this sweater.

The yarn is "Lambs Pride Superwash in red wing". I don't normally use superwash. For several reasons. 1.) Its expensive. This yarn retails for $10.20 a ball (Although it appears it is on sale right now at webs for $7.69. I used 7 for this sweater). 2.) I really don't mind handwashing sweaters. In fact I will probably always hand-wash this one. But sometimes a yarn comes along that you just can't say no to. My friend had 2 sweaters worth of this in her stash in the same color. I was looking for red sweater yarn. So it worked out well for both of us. When I first started knitting with the yarn I was very iffy about it. It was very fuzzy to work with. It was scratchy. I just wasn't sure about it. I swatched and washed my swatch (to try to measure accurate gauge). The entire time knitting I just kept hoping that the final product would turn out soft like my swatch and not all scratchy like the knitting. Its not the softest, but it does soften. Another thing to note is that the yarn does not frog well. If you just frog once your ok. I however, pulled out seam a few times and the yarn eventually started just falling apart. I read another review that said that it doesn’t pill but rather that it just gets fuzzier. As I mentioned before I already don't care of the amount of fuzz it has, so not really looking forward to it getting fuzzier. Although not pilling would be nice. It has Great stitch definition. So my cables look awesome!


Pattern: Twist by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash Worsted in Red Wing (7balls)
needles: us 5 and 6
Start: August 8th
Finish: Sept 20 (there were several breaks of no knitting in there)

It is knit in pieces then sewn together. The pieces were pretty simple to knit. I followed the pattern almost exactly. I added about a half inch to the sleeves (I like longer sleeves).

The seaming took a long time. I was being pretty perfectionistic about it. I ripped out the sleeves 4 times before I decided they were attached good enough. I kept getting little puffy tops. That I wasn't all that happy with. The right side is still a little more puffy than I'd like. But I was at give up phase in the seaming. I just couldn't take it apart a 5th time. Its not horrible... but its not perfect either.

After its all sewn up. You pick up stitches and knit on a little hood. This is the first time I've picked up stitches and thought I did a good job. Usually I'm hyper critical. But usually its obvious that I've picked up stitches. I can never get it to look flawless. Except this time. I'm very proud of how it turned out.
this is the back of the hood
this is one of the front sides. what do you think? pretty good, right?

Other mods I made. I grafted the top of the hood closed. The pattern called for a three needle bind off. But I didn't care for the ridge that gives. I wanted a more seamless look. Other than that the only other mod I made was that I picked up all the button band stitches at one time. I didn't follow the pattern for this one either. The math says to pick up 4 for every 5 stitches to get the number required. I didn't care for the look of this. So I did a traditional 2 for every 3 stitches. Which I think looked a lot better. O, I used a three row button hole "this one". 7 of them... I still need to find buttons.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Amie's Birthday Socks 2010

In Standard Amie Birthday Tradition I knit her another pair of socks. These are the 5th pair of Birthday socks. :) loving it, and so is Amie's sock drawer.

Now all year I had grand ideas of what the 2010 bday socks would be. Then before I knew it it was August and I was out of time. So I grabbed some yarn and flipped through several books. I pulled out some lovely Knit Picks Gloss that I'd been saving for her. I started knitting away. 3 days later I had 2 broken needles and less than half a sock and realized I was running way short on yarn. No way were these turning out at all. Which was in no way a result of the pattern. I do plan to try these again in the future. The pattern/yarn/needle combo just wasn't working at all. first mistake was I was knitting them way to tight (something around 13st/in). Second mistake was not enough yarn to start with. Just doomed from the start really.


Pattern: "Lombard Street"
needles: 2.0mm (us0)
started: August 20, 2010
ended/not finished: August 23, 2010

So I went to the yarn closet and looked through all the yarn. I couldn't find anything that popped out at me for good bday socks. I just kept standing there amongst all the yarn saying "I dont have any yarn". My 5 year old now thinks I'm crazy. He was like "uh mom there is yarn EVERYWHERE" and kept pointing to all the yarn. I just couldn't find anything that would work. So I remembered seeing a particular yarn at A.C.Moore that I wanted to try (I was there the previous day). So I jumped in the car and drove there. Came home with some nice pretty new yarn that was destined to be Amie socks. I got started right away. 3 days later I had 2 beautiful socks that I just loved. They weren't super complicated socks. They weren't anything special at all... but they were special. I absolutely loved knitting them. Yes they only took 3 days. That is because they are a simple k3p1 rib with a short row heel and basic wedge toe. The yarn totally makes these socks jump tho. Its a thicker than normal sock weight yarn. Its very sock. The thickness makes them knit up super fast. They were wonderfully squishy, and I was sure they'd be perfectly warm for those cold snowy KY winters. I can't wait to get some more of this yarn and knit myself a pair. They were exactly what I needed after the fiasco. They made me ultimately happy to knit them. I was a little sad that they went quite as fast as they did. Here they are on sock blockers that are to big (I'm getting new ones before her next pair).
Pattern: basic k3p1 rib
Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock FX in cameo colors
needles: 2.25mm (us 1)
Start: August 23, 2010
Finished: August 26, 2010

a picture from Amie. Evidence that the socks do in fact fit. Alongside all the other goodies I put into the package.

a chocolate lamb
a couple lego sheep
hand sanitizer
foot scrub and lotion

Happy Birthday Amie. I'm glad you like your socks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Update from Jessica

Like Amie I always mean to blog. I write out little blog entries in my head. Full of descriptions and links and pictures. Awesome blog entries, really. They just never make it onto the computer.

So like always I'm behind on blogging FO's. So here is my attempt to catch up. Which results in another FO parade from Jessica.

I'm still attempting to do the 10shawls2010 challenge. Although I'm kinda scared that I'm miserably failing the challenge. I've completely 5. And have 2 more started. Which means I need to GET KNITTING! I have yarn and patterns picked out in order to complete the challenge. I just keep picking up other projects, lace or socks or the latest a sweater. But here are a few of the lace pieces that I have managed to finished.

#3 was a gorgeous one to knit. Haruni

Pattern: Haruni
Yarn: Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash Colorway Dornröschen a gift from Cheryl
Needles: 3.75mm (us 5)
Start: April 28, 2010
Finish: May 10, 2010

There isn't a lot to say about this lace piece. It was wonderful yarn and a fantastic pattern. I want more of this yarn so bad. It was fantastic to knit with. I want to make socks with it all day long everyday. I dont know that I would knit lace with it again tho. Not because it isn't good for lace. But just because I like lace with skinnier yarn better. This yarn is a bit thick even for sock yarn.

#4 in the challenge is a Tiny one. Barely qualifies for the challenge.
Pattern: "Annis"
Yarn: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Mist
needles: 3.5mm and 4.5mm (us 4 and 7)
Start: July 12, 2010
Finish: July 13, 2010


A dream to knit. Super fast. the yarn is super soft. A little on the fuzzy side to work with. but super strong and blocks REALLY well. I might have a mild aversion to alpaca. which makes me wonder if I'll use this yarn again. I dont like all the fuzz and fly aways that happen when knitting with it. The end result however is totally worth it. Super soft!

Then I knit #5; which is Traveling Woman. I was making a shawl for my MIL for an event and wasn't sure the annis was big enough for what she wanted. So I whipped this one up just in case. She loved both and quickly took them. Said she couldn't decide so why not take both if I was ok with it. Which I was. I made a mistake while knitting this one. Its pretty obvious. But I'm trying my best not to fixate on it.

Pattern: "Traveling Woman"
Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Blank that was hand dyed for me in a swap
needles: 5.0mm (us 8)
Start: July 13, 2010
Finish: July 15, 2010

Next up in the getting caught up arena is my latest Lorna's Laces Test/Sample knit. I love knitting for LL. Amanda is fantastic to work with. Always a pleasure. And this time was an added treat. I got to knit a Kate Gilbert pattern. It was a work in progress pattern at the time so I had several emails back and forth. And even a phone call!. Yep I was super excited. I ended up chatting with her for a while about life and such after sock talk was over. Fantastic lady. I hope I get to knit for her again. The Sock was beautiful. A cable tree that comes up out of the heel and wraps around the foot. LOVE!

Pattern: "Twin Oaks By Kate Gilbert"
yarn: lorna's laces Shepard Sock in Patina
needles: 2.0mm (us 0)
start: May 8, 2010
Finished: May 13, 2010

I also knit a pair of socks for Amie's mom. She commissioned me to knit them. Mom saw some of the socks I've been knitting for Amie. Last years bday pair specifically. Then hinted that she might like a pair of socks. So since socks aren't Amie's favorite. She turned to me. I was paid with this. A gorgeous hank of lace weight. Just to knit a pair of socks, can you believe it!? Amie bought the yarn and had it sent to me and I knit away on another pair of Kai-Mei socks.

Pattern: Kai-Mei by Cookie A. from Sock Innovation
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Sapphire Heather
needles: 2.0mm (us 0)
started: May 20, 2010
Finished: July 5, 2010 (seriously lost mojo while knitting these for some reason)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Best laid plans ...

I always plan to blog. Really, I do. I just always forget. Or I decide that I don't really have anything interesting to blog about, which is sometimes true. But not always.

For example: I finished that helmet liner. Haven't blogged about it yet, though, have I?

Also want to change the blog theme to something springier, but I haven't had a chance to work much on that, either. Obviously, since we're still all brown and cream.

And I started my table runner. I'm using the Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights stole pattern with some pretty significant modifications. Most significant: my table runner is going to be MUCH, much smaller. That stole ends up 30"x90". My table is only 30"x54" or something like that. So obviously I had to make the pattern much skinnier and quite a bit shorter. I basically had to rewrite the whole pattern in order to do this. I'm leaving out two charts entirely, and about 2/3 of another. I'm shooting for about 12-15" wide and 78" long, which should be long enough to run the length of the table and have just the points hang off the ends. Which is the second most significant modification: I'm making the ends come to a point.

I'm also knitting the whole thing in one piece, instead of knitting two halves and then grafting them in the center. I didn't think a center graft would look very attractive sitting in the middle of my table. Especially the beaded 3-needle bindoff used in the original pattern. I'm sure it looks very beautiful in the stole, but I might want to put something in the middle of the table, and I don't want it to be wobbling back and forth on a seam.

I am leaving the beads in though. I love the way the model stole looks in the pale gold with deep, rusty red beads, so I'm copying that. I'm considering some drop beads in the center of each point, but we'll see. That'll depend mostly on whether I can find any pretty drop beads that match my seed beads. Which are freaking tiny, by the way. I'm trying to string them on my yarn (pure tussah silk from etsy seller stickchick ... it's gorgeous and so affordable!) and it's a huge pain. These are supposed to be size 11 Delicas (dark red and silver-lined), but they are the smallest 11s I've ever seen. I'm fairly certain that my size 14 crochet hook will be huge compared to these, and I'm pretty sure I've never seen a beading needle small enough to go through these. Don't get me wrong, I love them. They look gorgeous sitting here on the yarn as I'm stringing them. They almost look like a solid, metallic fabric. And I think the delicateness of them will help make sure they don't overpower the lace. But they're a pain. I'm having to string them by hand, one by one. And I have to string about 2,150 of them!

This better be worth it.

Pictures to come later. We're borrowing the in-laws' camera for vacation next week, so I'm hoping to snap a few shots of all my recent projects while we have it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

a little dyed lace

I finished up my #2 for 10shawls2010. At the rate I'm knitting lace I wont finish the challenge successfully. But its fun non-the-less.


Pattern: "Swallowtail by Evelyn A. Clark"
Yarn: Knitpicks Gossamer in Sunrise
Needles: 3.5mm
Start: April 4
Finish: April 18

I then overdyed it with grape koolaid. The sunrise was a really pretty color but totally stole away from the lace design. Making it a more solid color makes the lace pop out so much more. love the results.
This is #2 lace for two reasons. It was the second in my challenge and also the second swallowtail I knit. The first one was done in the same yarn. Which like I said took away from the lace. so when I finished this one up I over dyed both of them. The first one I did in black cherry koolaid. This is what they looked like before (the first one I knit is blocked the new one is not.


After they were their nice new color I blocked again. This time much more aggressively. I love the final results.


I also finished up my pink promise socks that I started back in October. They were a test knit. I finished the first one and half the second before putting them down. Then they were misplaced in our move. I found them when cleaning up the craft room the other day. Pulled them out and finished them up. Just in time for Mother's Day too. Not a true "mother's day" gift. MIL already tried the one on (back in october or november or something). I'm sure she expected them for christmas (haha). But Justin and Nathan are taking a trip down to VA mother's day weekend and they can deliver them then.


Pattern: "Pink Promise Socks by Cheryl McLeod" (rav link)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in whisper
needles: 2.0mm
Start: October 11, 2009
Finish: April 25, 2010

The pattern is a really neat knit. she designed then as part of the SKA October challenge. They are designed to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. All proceeds from sales of this pattern will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
They are a toe up design that is similar in style to Yarnissima. With a twisted stitch ribbon up the side and yarn over ribbons at the cuff. With a stretchy moss stitch pattern across the top and leg. With a pop of cable ribbon on the heel. She also recommended "Jeny's surprisingly stretchy Bind off" which is surprisingly stretchy. a great addition to toe up designs. I think it is both stretchy enough and "neat" looking. I was never a fan of the sewn bindoff because I could never get it to not look messy. Other toe up bindoffs were also either a little messy looking or not nearly stretchy enough. I encourage you to try this one if you haven't already. not at all hard to do. you dont have to measure out yarn before hand either.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

All work and no play makes Amie very sad

Very little time to knit lately. But when I've had time, I have been knitting! I've been working on helmet liners for the state DAR to donate. I'm still on the first one, but with any luck, it should be done tonight or tomorrow. I have a ton of yarn, so there's no problem there. I'm just going to keep knitting them until I run out of yarn, time or patience for 2x2 ribbing.

I'm not sure how I'll include these on my progress bar, since I don't know how many I'll end up knitting. Hmm. I'll have to think about that.

More info is available on Ravelry. I won't copy it all here; it's not that interesting. ;) And I'm at work and have to make this quick.

But here's a quick picture:

That was taken last night. The ribbed portion goes around the neck and the stockinette portion (the top of the Pac-man-esque shape) is worn like a hat. There's more ribbing to be knitted around the face opening after the hat portion is completed.

In that picture, I'd only knit 10 rows of the hat. The pattern calls for it to be knit in stockinette for 4" before beginning to decrease, so I still have at least one or two more days of knitting left to do.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jess playing catch up again!

I've been busy. I always seem to be playing catch up on here. Finish several things and then blog them all at once. I really need to work on that. But as I see it those seem to be what most bloggers say. hehe.
This little guy is one of the reasons I've been busy. This is Ryan (although I think most of you know that). He is 8 months old! And truly a handful. The sweater he is wearing is another thing that kept me busy for a bit.
Its my interpretation of Rocketry. I used the "tulip baby pattern" because I had it. The two sweaters (Tulip Baby and Rocketry) to me seemed so similar I didn't want to buy the other pattern when I already had this one. So I made the changes that I thought made it look more like Rocketry. Which included changing the colors. I did smooth color changes. Which actually isn't in either of the patterns but I liked it better. The other difference is the ribbed button band. Mine isn't exactly like Rocketry, but I'm happy with it. It fits him perfectly. Although that didn't happen without a little work.

The technical stuff
Pattern: "Rocketry"
Yarn: "Knit Picks Swish Worsted" in Coast Grey, Dublin, Jade, and Dark Navy
Needles: 3.75mm and 4.5mm (us 5 and 7)
This is the failed attempt. The colors just were not working for me. So after consulting Amie we decided that although all the colors I picked were nice. That bright blue had to go. And instead of doing smaller stripes more often just make them bigger. So I started over. I'm very pleased with how the finished product turned out.
Searching for buttons was a disaster but settled on some little blue star buttons. They are a pain to actually button but they get the job done and look ok doing it.

Next up is some mittens for Nathan. Nathan is the son that is hard to knit for. Or so that use to be the case. Lately the kid doesn't stop asking me for things. I asked him several times in the winter if he wanted me to make him mittens and he kept saying no. Until we moved to NY. He realized his hands were cold and mittens were warm. So he asked for some. With the fail of Ryan's sweater I had an extra ball of blue. Which happens to be the favorite color of all three boys in my life. So I quickly knit up these mittens.
Nathan loves them. Even if they were finished on the first official day of spring. He has already worn them often enough to make them worth it to me. Not to mention I was smart mommy and made them slightly bigger so that they "should" fit him when cold comes around again.
Pattern:"Classic mittens"
Size: 5-7 year old
Yarn: "Knit Picks Swish Worsted" in Deep Ocean
needles: 3.5mm (us 4)
notes: if I were to knit these again I'd use a smaller needle size for the ribbing. I might actually knit them at a tighter gauge too.

And last but not least. Do you guys remember this?
I FINALLY got around to sewing the zipper into the "dino sweater". I knit this sweater a year ago. A YEAR AGO PEOPLE! Nathan wore it very little. First because it was a costume not a sweater. And second because it didn't have a zipper. I bought the zipper 6 months ago. Finally got the courage to sew it in this week. I used "this" as a guide. Went and got the tape and pins. Pulled out the sewing machine and away we went.
It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Didn't take near as long. I learned a lot. First time adding a zipper to my knitting. First time putting my knitting into my sewing machine. Also it was the first time I used the zipper foot on my sewing machine. I do feel accomplished. I'm very proud of the sweater. I had Nathan try it on and it does still fit him. I'm hoping he will wear it all spring. Until he outgrows it. In which case it will get washed and stored and revived when his brother gets older.
Its not perfect by any means. My sewing skills need a little work. The line is a bit wonky. But Justin agreed that Nathan wont care. Justin tested the zipper out and says it will hold up just fine.

Now just because I can and really want to share. This is our St. Patty's Day meal.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Details, details

I finished all the pieces of the HellSackboy last night, except for the head. Today I have to knit the head and buy a zipper, sew it all together, stuff it and embroider on some yellow eyes. Then knit a brown utility belt (probably just a narrow strip), items to go on the utility belt (small knitted rectangles for pockets, a tiny gun and rosary? I have no idea how I'll knit a rosary ...) and a tan overcoat. Then it'll be done.

So here's what I've done.

For the record: I'm using Alan Dart's Sackboy pattern. And it is great.

I started with the body. I knitted the lower portion with black -- about 9 rows -- to serve as part of his shorts. Then I switched to red and finished the body.

Then I began the legs. I worked the lower 6 rows in black for the boots, then 7 rows of red for his legs, and finished with another 5 rows of black for the legs of the shorts.

The tail is an i-cord of varying sizes. I started out with 8 stitches and worked 9 rows, then decreased to 6 stitches and worked another 8 rows, then decreased to 4 and worked another 8 rows, then finally decreased to 3 and worked 8 more rows. Decreased to 2, knit one more row plain, decreased to 1 and ended it. I'm going to insert a red pipe cleaner in this before sewing it to the body so it'll be poseable. (To make that more clear: the tail consisted of 39 rows total. CO 8, work even 9 rnds, dec-to-6 rnd, work even 8 rnds, dec-to-4 rnd, work even 8 rnds, dec-to-3 rnd, work even 8 rnds, dec-to-2 rnd, work even 1 rnd, dec-to-1 rnd, BO 1.)

The left arm was worked as specified in the pattern, except with red yarn. Easy.

The right arm was pretty fiddly. It started out as specified in the pattern. After the first 5 rows, though, I switched it up. Rows 6 and 7 were reverse stockinette, and on row 6, I increased every other stitch (using kfb increases, because that's what the rest of the pattern uses). On row 8, I switched back to regular stockinette, decreasing 3 stitches evenly across the row. Rows 9-11 were worked even in stockinette. Rows 12-13 were reverse stockinette again, and on row 12, I added back the 3 previously decreased stitches. On row 13, I decreased those same 3 stitches again and switched back to regular stockinette. (See what I mean? Fiddly. And I haven't even gotten to the worst part yet.) I cast stitches on and off for the thumb just as the pattern specifies, except I had more stitches overall at this point -- 18 sts, as opposed to the pattern's 12. I worked 2 more rows even, as the pattern specifies, then I completely deviated from the pattern when I got to the fingers. I needed 3 fingers, all the same size, and I couldn't figure out how to get anything like that from the pattern instructions. So instead, I split the stitches into 6 groups of 3 sts each (I only had 15 sts, so I did 3 m1 incs evenly across the row while I was splitting up the stitches) and worked them all separately for 5 rows even, binding off each group after the 5 rows. This gave me a LOT of ends to deal with, but fortunately, they'll be hidden inside the toy anyway, so I don't have to do a spectacular job of weaving them in. And when I fold the arm in half and sew up the seam, I'll match up the 2 opposite "fingers" and sew them together, creating 3 identical, blocky fingers.

Clear as mud? I'll write up my modifications step-by-step when I finish, in case anybody wants to recreate my HellSackboy for any reason. Right now, this is more or less me writing notes to myself so I can remember what I did when it comes time to write out the step-by-step process.

Anyway, yes, the right arm was a pain to work. But it looks pretty good.

Now, for the head. I'll mostly be following the pattern, but I'm making one change. Zane said he prefers to have a big, open-mouthed grin, like in the crocheted Sackboy here. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to accomplish that yet, but most likely by binding off and then casting on stitches a row or two later. Like one big buttonhole. Then I'll work a mouth separately and insert it. I love that the girl on Craftster used a cd to make the mouth, but if that turns out too big or small for my toy's head, I'll just use stiff plastic canvas or something. I'll probably knit the inner mouth, though, instead of using felt ... I'll just knit it in black and then duplicate stitch the tongue on.

Then, I'll sew it all together, adding a zipper to the body and a pipe cleaner to the tail, and stuff. Embroider on eyes, knit the utility belt and coat, and voila. HellSackboy!

Zane better feel special, too. I don't go to this much trouble for just anybody.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I started a knitted, stuffed toy for Zane today. He asked me for a Hellboy version of Sackboy, the star of the PS3 game Little Big Planet. Not too difficult; Sackboy is a knitted figure to begin with (and Simply Knitting offers a free Alan Dart pattern) so all I have to do is make the necessary modifications to turn him into Hellboy. For the most part, that just means choosing the right colors.

I'll post more details and pictures later. Right now, I'm just too tired. I have a cold. And I took Benadryl last night to help me sleep, and I'm pretty sure it's still affecting me now.

This is my second Ravelympics project. I don't think I'll have too much trouble finishing it before the 28th. Except that I'm a perfectionist who has to add in all the little details. But whatever. I'll get it done. Sometime. Hopefully by the 28th.

Monday, February 15, 2010

One project down

And unknown amounts more to go.

I finished the Ravelympics/Vermont/colorwork hat I was working on. See?

Cool looking top decreases, right? I thought so. Granted, I semi-designed them ... based on my normal decrease pattern and a part of the original chart.

Anyway. It's not perfect, but I'm pretty fond of it. And I finished it early this morning. Took me 3 days and 7 hours. Not too shabby.

I'll do Zane's HellSackboy next, but I'm not casting on for that one just yet, even though I am on a deadline and my new goal is to finish as many projects as possible. Right now, no knitting. I'm just going to go catch up on all the sleep I didn't get last night because I was too busy finishing this hat!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Looks like a hat ...

Well. So. Remember how I said I'd be lucky to finish my fair isle hat before the end of the Olympics/Ravelympics? Well, I was wrong about that. I'm not quite on the home stretch yet, but I'm close. I'm 10 rows away from starting the decreases. I could very conceivably finish this hat today, only 2 days after starting it and with 15 days to spare in the competition.

I can't believe the knitting is going this quickly. I mean, I've knit hats in a single day before, but they were plain stockinette hats with worsted weight yarn and size 5 circular needles/size 6 dpns for the top. I've barely knit any stranded colorwork before, and what I did knit was with worsted weight or heavier. And it was certainly MUCH slower than my normal knitting pace. We're talking hours to finish a 20 st x 10 row swatch. Plus, smaller needles and yarn require more stitches, and therefore more time, to fill the same amount of space as larger yarn and needles, and I am noticeably slower on dpns than I am with circs. So how in the world am I managing to knit a fully-stranded hat on size 3 dpns in only 2 days?!

This is completely unexpected, and it baffles me. I was betting on 4 rows per day for my average. Um, yeah. Try 34 today. I only have 29 rows left, 19 of which take place after the decreases begin, which means they're all getting shorter and shorter. But even if you ignore that, if I only worked 2 rows per day, I'd STILL finish in time for a Ravelympics medal.

But I'm not going to do that. I'm going to finish this hat as quickly as I can, then I'm moving on to Zane's HellSackboy. I'll include it with my Ravelympics projects too, and I should be able to finish it easily. So I'll also include another project from the top of my queue. I just haven't figured out yet which one I'll start after the plushie. Luke's gloves aren't eligible, but the matching hat is. So is my hat and glove set. I'm just not sure which I want to knit most. I want to get Luke's hat out of the way, but it's another hat knit with fingering weight out of size 3s, and quite frankly, I don't know if I can take it this soon after working the Vermont Hat. I don't know. I'll figure it out later.

In the meantime ... today's progress:

It looks like a hat, but it fits like a glove. Maybe it's because it's 3 a.m., but I find that little pun extremely funny right now.

This hat also happens to be insanely comfortable, and I can't wait to wear it. I need to measure and make sure the length is working out properly before I start knitting tomorrow; I may even be able to shorten the hat a little. It also has a few ladders, but I think I can easily take care of those with blocking.

I think I now have the fair isle bug. You know, to go along with my lace bug and my cable bug?

Hi, my name is Amie, and I'm a knitaholic.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympian challenges

Short blog post tonight, because it's 2 a.m. and I've been knitting almost non-stop since a little past 9 p.m. I so did not realize it had been that long! :) That's good, though, because I have a lot of work to do in a small amount of time.

You see, Jess and I are both participating in the Ravelympics. I'll let her blog about her own project, but I'm competing in both the Hat Halfpipe and the Nordic Colorwork Combined events with the same project: the Vermont Hat. Knitting started tonight at the same time the Olympics opening ceremony began, and the challenge is to complete your project(s) before midnight on the last day of the Olympics. This gives us ... 17 days? I think?

Yes, my only goal is for one hat. Yes, hats are my niche. But this one is slightly different. For one thing, it's fair isle. Much, much slower than my normal hat-making. Also, I'm using fingering weight yarn (Knitpicks Palette) on size 3 needles, which is quite a bit smaller than my normal dk-to-worsted on 5s. It's going to be a real challenge for me to get finished in such a short time period, especially since I'll be at work for the majority of those days and my knitting time will be limited. But I'm excited about the prospect, and hey, maybe the Ravelympics will be just the inspiration I need to push me to finish.

Oh, and by the way, that original hat was worked in worsted weight yarn, and the top is solid color. The second color is only used around the "tube" part of the hat (technical term there). I didn't like that (stupid perfectionism!) so, as usual, I modified it. First I modified the hat to work with fingering weight, then I added extra colorwork designs to the crown of the hat, all the way up to the decreases. The last row that uses the second color is only 2 rows away from finishing the hat, and the next-to-last row would've been a solid-color row anyway. I'm kind of proud of my modifications on this one.

For now, anyway. Ask me again when I'm rushing to complete all that colorwork on the last day of the Ravelympics.

I will, however, explain what I did later if it works out well. I won't provide my complete chart, because that would be copyright infringement, but I can show off what I added and explain my other mods.

This is my first real fair isle project, by the way. I've done some practice stuff, and a little bit of intarsia, but I've never really done any large-scale stranded colorwork. I think I enjoy it. Which is probably a good thing, since I am completely in love with a lot of stranded colorwork patterns. Oh the prospects.

So, now that I've bored you with all those details, wanna see a picture of tonight's progress?

In case you can't tell from that terrible photo, my yarn is green and white, just like the pattern photo. It's Palette colorways Edamame and Cream, if you're interested.

I got through 5 rows of ribbing (on size 1s to help it do what ribbing's supposed to do: pull inward and stay snug around the body) and 5 rows past that, the first of which was just a solid color. I probably won't average 10 rows every day. That would be asking too much. Although, I have to admit, I was knitting 132 sts of 1x1 ribbing on size 1 Boye needles, which is no easy feat ... that didn't exactly go quickly, either.

Still, I like how it's turning out, and I'm 1/12 of the way to the decreases, not counting the ribbing or the solid row immediately following it. If I can work 4 stranded rows per day, I should be ready to start the decreases 11 days from now, leaving me 5 days for the decreases. That is definitely doable, since there are only 19 rows of decreases and the rows are shorter, ending with only 12 stitches after the last row.

I can do this. I can do this! But I might need you all to cheer me on. I respond very well to compliments and encouragement. ;)

More information on both Jess's Ravelympics project and my own is available on our respective Ravelry pages, which have been conveniently linked for you on the sidebar. Because my perfectionism doesn't just apply to hats.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Icarus KAL Jess's version (hehe)

Ok well Amie talked me into knitting this one with her. Trust me it wasn't hard for her to talk me into it at all. It was on my list of lace pieces I wanted to knit. I already had yarn I wanted to use in stash. And if I'm going to completely my 10shawls in 2010 challenge I'd better get to knitting. So I quickly picked up needles and yarn and got to knitting.


Pattern:" Icarus Shawl by Miriam L. Felton"
Yarn: Lacey Lamb by Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibers in color 313
Needles: US 3(3.25mm)
Notes: left out 1 repeat because I didn't want to run out of yarn. I had less than 10 grams leftover.


This was a fun pattern to knit. There were a couple times that I wished it wasn't so big. But overall it was a very nice knit. I'm not sure I'll ever knit it again. But if I did I'd add beads and change the last knitting row to only 2yo instead of 4 (Amie mentioned this to me when she was finished and I was still knitting but I decided to stick with the pattern this go... I'll take her advice next time hehe)


I'm extremely happy with this project. I absolutely love how it turned out.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


As you'll see on the sidebar, I'm halfway finished with Luke's Gamer Gloves, which are an adaption of Knitty's Cigar gloves.

Here's the first of the pair:

Keep in mind that my husband's hands are quite a bit larger than my own. That glove is pulled tightly around my hand and pinned at the palm so the Tetris block design is stretched out and shows up well. On his hands, the design is centered both vertically and horizontally. The fingers also fit, and the gloves don't reach almost to his elbows.

This is the right hand glove, obviously. I'm 5 rows into the second glove now. It will have a blue L-shaped Tetris piece on it. (L for left, or for Luke.)

He chose single Tetris pieces for the design because he wanted something simplistic, from a retro game, that wasn't instantly recognizable to the whole world. By themselves, these aren't automatically identifiable as Tetris pieces, at least not to non-gamers.

In order to be authentic, these pieces would both need to be the same non-descript greenish color, since that's all you got on the original Gameboy. But Luke wanted something a little brighter and more noticeable. So we went a little more modern for the colors. Which means this t-shaped piece actually should have been yellow, but he's not a huge fan of yellow, so we just went with red instead. Creative license. Most people won't know it's "wrong" anyway.

The matching hat will have 4 designs in a ring around the bottom: Zelda's triforce, Mario's P wing, an energy tank from Mega Man and the screw attack symbol from Metroid.

The P wing and the screw attack are a real pain in the butt to chart, let me tell ya. Especially when you keep either losing the chart or changing your gauge for the project, which changes the number of stitches allowed for each design. This will be the third time I've created a chart for this stupid project.

At least the triforce, the energy tank and the Tetris blocks are easy.

Oh, by the way, these gloves and hat are made from Patons Kroy sock yarn in a now-discontinued gray. The designs are added using brightly-colored embroidery floss, and the outlines are in black Knitpicks Essential/Stroll sock yarn because it was handy and I didn't have any black embroidery floss on hand.

I'll upload my charts to the blog when I finish, just in case anyone else ever needs to knit a P wing or an energy tank.

Oh, and by the way, these gloves are called gamer gloves for another reason, too, not just because of the designs on the backs. They're designed so that he can wear them while playing games. That's why I left off the tips of the thumb, index and middle fingers; those are the ones he uses most often when playing. His right hand is almost always either on the mouse or the right half of the controller, and that doesn't require the use of his ring or pinky fingers. Left hand is slightly different -- WASD games use the ring finger a little more and occasionally even the pinky -- but he'll deal.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Pictures of Icarus!

(Disclaimer: the pictures aren't great, due to a combination of poor lighting in my apartment, an uncooperative camera, my lack of a dark-colored towel to block on, a nosy cat and the fact that I was teetering on the edge of the bed to take the shots. But the lines in the shawl really are straight, I promise; they're distorted because of my weight on the bed the shawl's laid out on. And the yarn is actually a natural cream color, despite the fact that it looks almost gold in some of the pictures.)

Click on the pictures to see them bigger.

I couldn't get the whole thing in the shot ... I was too close. Darn my height (or lack thereof)!
I had to settle for the arched look on top in order to get the points pinned out correctly. If worst comes to worst, I'll spritz the top part with some water and re-block just that portion. I don't know. Maybe the scallops won't be noticeable when I unpin it, or maybe I'll even like them. We'll see.
I love how this picture really picks up the yarn's sheen. It's not that noticeable in real life, sadly, but it's still pretty.

Another shot showing off the silky sheen and the pretty points. (Yeah, so I like alliteration, so what?)

Detail of the bottom point. I thought this turned out especially well. Again, the points are even and the lines are straight when I'm not standing on the bed.

And the bottom from another angle, showing how the straight stockinette lines branch out into the feathers along the edge.

I'm pretty proud of this one. I love the way it turned out.

Vital statistics:
Pattern: MimKnits' Icarus, originally printed in Interweave Knits Summer 2006
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr laceweight in white
Needles: Size 3 Knitpicks fixed 24" circular (nickle-plated)
Mods: Cut out two repeats of chart 1 because I'm only 4'10" and didn't want my shawl to look like it was eating me
Finished size: 60" across the top (My target size! Yay!)
Pros/cons: In general, I love this shawl. However, the yo4s in the next-to-last row were overkill, in my opinion. I understand that it makes it easier to block the points out, but even after tugging and adjusting as much as possible, I ended up with a big loop of yarn just hanging there on each point. (You yo4, and on the next row you purl into one loop and drop the other 3.) I'm not sure what I'll do about those loops yet, but the yo4 just made an excessively big, loose stitch. I think a double or triple yo would have worked just as well and wouldn't have left all that excess yarn hanging.

Now I have to find something to make with the leftover Zephyr. I definitely got my money's worth out of that cone. I bought it from Sarah's Yarns for $50, and so far, it's produced two stoles, a wedding garter and now Icarus. And I probably still have half a cone leftover. I definitely recommend it.

I'll try to get pictures of me wearing it eventually, but no promises. It's cold and snowy out there, and I'm cold-natured! Plus, I'm really not even a shawl person. I just wanted to knit this.

More photos and progress details on Ravelry.



I finished pinning out Icarus at about 11:45 p.m., meaning I finished in about 3 weeks and 22 or 23 hours. I'm satisfied with that.

I'm also pretty satisfied with how the shawl turned out, too. It's exactly 60" across the top, which was my goal, and looks very pretty all stretched out there.

I'll get some pictures tomorrow before I unpin it.

Yay for FOs!

Now, on to Luke's gamer gloves/hat set. Which I'm already frustrated with because he decided the already-finished glove "doesn't feel right" even though he had previously given it his approval. Grrr. This is why I don't knit for my husband. He is way too indecisive. It would have nice to know that the glove's thumb gusset didn't feel right before I finished the rest of the stupid glove!

I just want to get this project out of the way so I can move on to the fun stuff. I ordered yarn for another hat and two sweaters today, and I have plans to order yarn for another shawl whenever the girl gets back in touch with me. And I have yarn stashed for a hat and gloves for myself. Plus I have to knit Zane a plush toy. I probably don't have the right yarn in stash for that, but psh, it's a toy ... Walmart yarn will do just fine, and I can pick that up any time.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Almost finished

I finished chart 4 of Icarus tonight. Just 4 rows of edging! I figure I can work at least 2 of those before bedtime tonight, the other 2 tomorrow, bind-off and wash/block on Tuesday. At the latest. Yay!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Icarus progress

I haven't blogged much about Icarus, but I've been posting occasional updates on Ravelry. I decided I needed at least one WIP post about the project, though, so here it is.

I just finished knitting row 8 of chart 3. That means I'm halfway through the chart. I have 8 more rows, then one more 24-row chart, then 4 rows of edging. Then I'll be done.

I cut out two repeats of the first chart. You are supposed to work the entire chart, then repeat the last 24 rows 5 times more. I only repeated those rows three additional times. This is a huge shawl. As written, the pattern makes a shawl that's 72" wide, which is way too big for a 4'10" girl. And my shawl got big fast. I was aiming for around 60" wide, and I think I overshot that. Even without the two extra repeats.

I guess we'll see once I finish it.

Reference pictures for those who may not have Ravelry or be familiar with the pattern can be found here and here as the book cover.

And mine, as of tonight, looks like this in crappy pictures taken with my webcam because I can't seem to find the real camera:

Close-up of the feathery portion:

I have to say, these rows are taking forever to knit now, but I am really enjoying the project overall. I love seeing the pattern emerge. I check it every other row to see if it's changed. And I can't wait to get it finished and wash and block it so I can move on to my next beautiful, exciting pattern.

I think it has finally happened, folks. I, product knitter extraordinaire, have been transformed. Now I knit more for process than product.

I probably won't even wear Icarus more than once, if even that. But that isn't the point, really. I love the way it looks!