Thursday, March 31, 2011

Final March project

I managed to squeeze in one more very quick project this month: a crocheted boutonniere-style carnation pin in white with pink tips. This project serves two purposes: it demonstrates capillary action (for a Nerd Wars prompt) and it reminds me of David, who loved Marty Robbins, singer of "A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation." I couldn't knit a white sportcoat, so I just incorporated the white into the carnation along with the pink. ;)

Oh, and this also works for a House Cup assignment; this month's assignment for Herbology was to knit something flowery. What's more flowery than a flower?

My good camera is being uncooperative at the moment and giving me a blue screen every time I put the card into the computer, so you get webcam photos instead.

I used scraps of embroidery floss in white, baby pink and leafy green (my own color names). All in all, I'm guessing it only took around 10 yards of the embroidery floss, but it did use all of the pink. (I only bought one skein.) And that was just for the final round!

Jess's March Post

So I'm a slacker. I posted kind of early in Feb and then not again until the very last day of March. clearly Amie has done much better. Since lets see she has posted like 8 times since my last post. o well tho. I have been knitting. I made some progress on Ryan's sweater. But then opted to put it down and cast on a couple socks for the SKA challenge. oh and of course my first Cookie A. Sock club shipment.

ok Sock club first. It was a small struggle to talk myself into the club. But come on 2 cookie Sock patterns, 2 cookie recipes and a skein of yarn every other month for an entire year! VERY hard to say no to. The first shipment was AWESOME.

A skein of String Theory Caper Sock in a color called Solas.
Cookie recipe number one was molten dark chocolate chunk. Amazing cookies that I've already made them a couple times
Second recipe was white chocolate macadamia nut. A totally different cookie but very good.
I decided to knit the first pattern in the club color.
Pattern: Rippling Leaf Socks by Cookie A
Yarn: String Theory Caper sock in Solas
needles: 2.25mm
Started: Feb 18
Finished: March 11

I'm still working on the second club pattern. They are gorgeous socks and I picked something I loved out of the stash to knit them with.

Pattern: Haleakala by Cookie A
Yarn: Madelinetosh Sock in Logwood
needles: 2.0mm
Started: March 29

I also cast on for the SKA club challenge (the Haleakala socks also qualify for the challenge as long as I get them finished in time). The challenge this month was "lace" and they had a mystery KAL. I love their mystery socks. But sadly I wasn't able to cast on until all the clue's were out. But the sock is very lovely and a super quick knit.

Pattern: SKA March Mystery sock 2011
Yarn: Fleece Artist Kidazzle in silver
Needles: 2.25mm
Started: March 25
Have only completed the 1 sock because I wanted to get the Haleakala socks cast on before the end of the month. I have until the end of April to finish both pairs of socks to qualify for prizes in the challenge. This is a new yarn. It definitely lives up the fleece artist name. I'm not generally a fan of mohair (kid) in yarn... I'm slightly allergic. But I couldn't pass it up and I'm glad I didn't. I loves it. :)

Last but not last the progress of Ryan's sweater.

Pattern: Cardigan for Merry
Yarn: Knitpicks andean treasure
needles: 3.0mm
Started: Jan 29

I finished the back and both sleeves pretty quickly. The cable is taking me a bit longer. Especially since I keep putting it down to knit other things. I have all the pieces knit and I'm working on the hood. Then to sew it all together and call it done. But sock knitting has taken over my time. I will finish this sweater tho. hopefully before casting on anything else new. If I wait to long Ryan will outgrow it before he is able to wear it at all!


Oh my God, I did it, I really did it! I finished the button-tab hat, and with time to spare!

Because it's late and I really should be in bed, no more details tonight. Just photos so I can post my victory on the House Cup forum and get credit.

And finally, all four hats for my OWL all together:
It's hard to tell in the small version of this picture, but if you look closely (or click to see the big version), you can tell that each corner of the Hogwarts crest symbolizes one of the four houses. So do my hats. Each hat was designed to represent one of the houses, in accordance with the History of Magic OWL project rules. I arranged my photos of the hats to correspond to the houses' representation in the crest. The Hermione Hearts Ron hat, which I made for Mom, is my Gryffindor hat because Mom is one of the strongest, bravest people I know. And because it's based on a hat worn by a Gryffindor, of course. The Viking hat is for Slytherin because of the Vikings' ruthlessness and because, well, if my brother was sorted into one of the houses, it would definitely be Slytherin ... he's just too cunning and devious and mischievous for any of the others. ;) (Love ya Bub.) Luke's Gamer Hat symbolizes Ravenclaw because Ravenclaws are bookish and, for lack of a better word, nerdy. As is Luke. And I'd be willing to bet that if Hogwarts had gamers like Luke, they'd be Ravenclaws. And finally, my button-tab hat. That one's for Hufflepuff because it's for me, and I'm a Hufflepuff through and through, as I've learned during the past three months that I've been participating in the House Cup. 'Puff pride! Yay! ... Okay, moment of nerdiness is over now. Seriously, though, I do think I'd be sorted into Hufflepuff, because I am loyal and compassionate and that's just what Hufflepuff is all about.

Now, to go post this and then, bed!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photo dump

Okay, so I've neglected my blogging duties. Sorry. I blame craziness at work. I have managed to get a few things finished ... namely, the gamer hat, a pair of fingerless gloves and a button-tab hat for myself, which isn't QUITE finished yet but is close enough. (It's blocking as we speak. Er, type.)

Even this post won't make up for my blogging failure, because I admit, I'm blogging mainly just so I have a place to host my photos so I can post them in the correct House Cup and Nerd Wars discussion threads. So it's going to basically just be a photo dump with little commentary. I'll try to at least explain what everything is, even though it really will probably be pretty self-explanatory.

First of all, the gamer hat on my sexy (but sleepy) husband:

 (I love his blue eyes. Okay, I'll stop talking about Luke. Oh, one other thing. He loves his hat. Yay!)

Okay, now to show off the nice-looking (I think) decreases:
I divided the hat into six sections and worked paired decreases to make those nice lines, and I worked some right twists/mini cables along that line to prevent ladders.

I think it worked out very nicely, and I think I may be using this technique on more hats from now on. In fact, I already have; I used the same decreasing technique (with 5 sections instead of 6) on my brown hat, the one I just finished.
Here's a close-up, but you still can't see it very well due to the light gray yarn. I think it'll show up a little better on my hat.

 Okay, and now for close-ups of the designs. First, the p-wing. I never did figure out how to make the top right part look right, but that's okay, it's recognizable enough.

Screw attack (it doesn't look as flat on the lower left corner in real life):

The tri-force, which I think turned out the best of all, even though the hat wasn't laying completely flat when I took this photo:

And the energy tank, again with that not-laying-flat issue ... this one didn't turn out as well as the others, mainly because there's not enough contrast between the blue and the black, which wouldn't be an issue on a larger scale because it wouldn't be as stripy-looking with the blue and white. But it does look much better in person, and the gray doesn't show up nearly as much in real life. The flash highlighted it a lot more than natural lighting does.

Okay, and that's it for the gamer hat. Next up, the reading mitts. I used the Susie's Reading Mitts pattern, but I made them much (MUCH) smaller than the pattern called for. They're only 24 stitches around. But they fit perfectly. These are knit from Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL yarn in a deep teal color that I'm in love with.

I fulfilled a requirement for a Nerd Wars prompt while knitting these mitts: I made Luke take photos of me working on them in a public location. In this case, at the Eastland Mall in Evansville, Ind., but as I'm sure you can guess, that's definitely not the only public place that saw action on these. Actually, I did very little of the work on these at home. They were knit almost exclusively in public places.

They were still in the beginning stages at that point. I think I was still working on the first glove there. But as you can see, there are, in fact, two of them:

And they fit!
Both of them, in fact. (Don't lie, I know you missed the webcam photos! Okay, really I was just too lazy to bother with the real camera yesterday, and I wanted to show them off. Don't ask how I managed to take a webcam photo with both hands in the photo. That thing doesn't exactly have a timer on it. It wasn't easy.)

Okay, that's all for now. Since the button-tab hat is still blocking, I haven't taken photos of it yet. I'll do that when it dries, I promise. I have to, if I want credit for my OWL, which, yes, I finished! Well, almost. I still have to sew the buttons on that hat once it dries and weave in the ends. But that won't take 15 minutes.

I finished it! Yay!

Oh, I guess I can go ahead and give the details on that one. It started out as a Robin's Egg Blue Hat and ended up inspired by the Robin's Egg Blue Hat. I didn't even bother to look at the pattern. I did a rectangular button flap with two buttons instead of a rounded one with a single large button, I used light worsted weight yarn instead of chunky, I used my own decreasing pattern ... I just winged it. But it's a basic beanie with a wide seed stitch brim and a small button tab on the brim. It's knit from Knitpicks Andean Silk in Cinnamon and has two mother-of-pearl buttons on the tab.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gamer Hat is almost done!

I'm really surprised at how quickly this project has gone. I thought it would take forever, but once I got past the first few rows it went much more quickly. I finished the hat itself today, redid the charts (since I've apparently lost the old copy) and now I'm ready to do the embroidery.

Speaking of charts, I promised to upload them. So here they are, in all their glory:

Tri-force (Legend of Zelda):

Screw attack (Metroid):
(The off-white part should actually be goldeny yellow.)

Energy tank (Megaman):

And a p-wing (Mario):

I'm not fully satisfied with the p-wing. The top part should point upwards a little more. But I couldn't get it to look right that way, so this'll do.

This is the diagram I drew myself of my decreasing pattern. It starts at the top, because I was working in Notepad, but I just divided the hat into 6 sections and worked paired decreases in each section, working plain rows between decrease rows as needed.
I know it's tiny, but you can click on it to see it bigger. You can also see a bigger version on Ravelry. Also, it's not shown here, but I worked a right twist (sl 1 to cn and hold to back, k1, k1 from cn) above the decreases on the rows immediately following decrease rows, except for the last few where there are no plain rows in between. That helped minimize the laddering I get at the "seams" between paired decreases. Plus, it looks kinda cool.

There are no photos of the hat itself yet, but those will hopefully be available tomorrow. I'm hoping to finish duplicate stitching the designs on tonight. We'll see, though ... it's already 11:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This is what my afternoon consisted of ...

It's not crafty, but it was fun! My boss and I spent an hour this afternoon playing at the park. I haven't jumped out of a swing since I was a kid and had jumping competitions with Cody, my best friend. It's terrifying now! But still so worth it.

I totally stuck that landing.