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Archive for January, 2017

To change it up a bit

I have something new to share with you.  Like some other knitters, I often like to bring a little project along, and one of the easiest projects to take along is a sock.  And my kids love hand-knit socks, so what do I do?  You guessed it, I knit them socks when I have some time that my hands are not busy, and I can’t go do something else.  It was my oldest son’s turn to get a pair of socks, and I had found a really cool sock yarn for him.  He approved, and off I went, starting just after summer break.  Well, last week they finally got their toes kitchenered closed. I think they had been waiting for 2 weeks for that, because that is the only part of the socks that I do not know by heart yet.  And then they disappeared onto my son’s feet before I thought about taking a picture!  So here they are, freshly washed, and a picture taken before my son comes home and claims them again.

socks

The pattern is just plain vanilla, 2×2 rib board, straight knitting down the leg and a slip stitch heel.  Easy to do while paying attention to other things. The yarn?  Oh of course you want to know about the yarn!  The yarn is called Naked Sock from Wisdom Yarns, a brand under the Universal Yarn Umbrella.  The color is called Trapeze, color number 101, and it is actually completely wool free.  It is however machine washable and dry-able!  Very important when making socks for kids…  The actual composition, according to the label is 93% Acrylic, and 7% PBT.  Yes, I went to find what PBT actually is, and have given you a link.  Basically it is like Lycra, kind of elastic, and this yarn has quite a bit of stretch to it. It is put up in 100 gram balls, with 430 meters (470 yards) in that one ball.  It was fun to knit with, once I got used to the stretchiness.

Of course I am still tatting, and TIAS day 6 is up, so I did my best, and got it finished.

tias6

I still have no idea what it is going to be.  I keep changing my mind, and keep remembering that 1 little bead that will be added sometime before the end! I still have no idea, especially since there is only 1 bead needed. Most of the people, including a ballgown or crinoline lady would have 2 eyes, because usually they are not created in profile… And if the zigzag chain would be a garland or belt/ribbon (as some have been guessing), it would usually go down the right front (do not ask me why…) In other words, I am totally lost too! On the other hand, it could be a surprise, be a monk, dancing belle, looking off to the side. I am having much more trouble being patient now that I am part of the TIAS. When I was just watching, I was much more patient to find out what it was.

I guess we will see what the next part brings!

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And here is day 5

I know, things are getting boring most likely.  But I am very much enjoying the making, and the guessing is getting really wild!  Anyway, here is my day 5:

tias5

Guesses around the world range from monkeys, elephant foot umbrella stand, butterfly, tulip, ballgown, hot air balloon, crown, something with vines, sheep with a very long tail, and many other guesses!  I am loving it.  I actually saw a picture where someone had managed to pull the 2 strings of rings out, and turned the whole thing 90 degrees, and it really did look like a butterfly.  I am suspicious my zigzag chains are not very tidy in that case, and a bit long.  We’ll see!

Now, if you are bored with the tatting, stay tuned, I hope to have a finished object to show you very, very soon.  Actually, the item is already finished, but I have forgotten to take a picture of it, and it walked off…

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TIAS Day 4

Today’s Tat it and see installment was a doozie!  Thrilled and excited as I was to see it was up, I almost immediately started with the questions.  The installment always has all the abbreviations explained, but today there was one I did not know.  Well, it was quickly asked, and before I even finished my morning coffee, I had an answer from Jane.  Lj is a Lock joint.  Very good instructions on her website, and I was good to go, or so I thought.

Then there was the Zig zag chain, and despite the very thorough instructions, both on the pattern, her website (at the bottom of the first collumn), and via private e-mails between Jane and I, I misunderstood how to count the stitches in the beginning.  But being the beginner I was, I wanted to be sure I understood, and quickly realized my mistake.  Fortunately I was asking before doing, so I did not even have to undo anything!  😀  A zigzag chain is quite a wonderful little thing, with first a regular double stitch, and then a non-flipped on, in reverse order, which makes this chain literally zig and zag.  Because we were doing 1 stitch switchbacks, the zigzags were quite small, but really cool.  The biggest trick was that when counting stitches on a zig zag chain, you need to count the zig and the zag, or the flipped AND the non-flipped ds as 1 stitch.  This would have made for quite a difference, if I miscounted it!

So, today I learned the zig zag chain and the lock joint and the shoe lace trick!

tias-4

And I am starting to think that this looks like a bulb of some kind…

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Tias Day 3

And since today was a day off from school, and I therefore tried to take off a day from housework, and actually got to finish today’s installment!  I am now going to have to wait a day or 2 for the next one, but that is just fine with me.  tias3

I no longer think it will be a monkey, I am thinking it is the bottom of a vessel, like a pot or a basket.  As I understand it, picots are usually used to attach other parts of the pattern to, and while there are picots on both parts of the (currently) upright piece, the long horizontal piece doesn’t have any.  What that means, I do not know (yet).  😀

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TIAS day 2

Hmm, new interface to enter posts on WordPress.  If something seems out of place or odd, blame it on the new interface.  But I happily continue on my tatting adventure.  What I didn’t tell you last time, was that this little string of purple rings was the first time I did a picot, attached 2 (and more) rings together, and I even made a couple of split rings there.

On day 2 a join was made to a previously made picot.  I am starting to see the possibility of a monkey, this would be the top of it’s head, with 2 big ears, one on each side, but I doubt that that is what it is.  Besides, according to the description there is supposed to be one bead in the pattern, which is often an eye… My monkey would need 2 eyes.  What do you think it is?  Here is my progress so far:

tias2

I promise my knitting has not entirely disappeared, but I can only show you so many pictures of the shawl I am working on, before you become very, very bored…  And a 8 or so foot shawl takes a while to knit.  For now, enjoy my first steps into tatting, and guess along with me!  Do you think I will be able to keep up?  So far so good!

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And now…

My first post on tatting!  It is the 13th of January, and on the 1st I had not made a single double stitch.  Then last week I decided to join the TIAS 2017 a fun mystery pattern that I have watched in envy for the last couple years.  Jane Eborall has a tradition of hosting a TIAS (Tat It And See) every January, as far as I can tell since 2008!  She posts pictures, sent to her by tatters who follow along, and every one tries to guess what it will turn out to be this year.  I figured I should at least figure out how this tatting works before I even attempt to join, so I pulled out my Learning to Tat book, a present from my awesome knit group Secret Santa, and looked at a few different Youtube videos (sorry, do not remember which), and made myself a chain and ring:tat

Every “learn to tat” book, website, video I saw said to use Crochet cotton 5 or some such thing.  I used DMC 80, since I did not have crochet cotton 5, and had decided that if DMC 80 was too small I could always start over with something bigger.  Crochet cotton 5 is a fairly thick thread, almost yarn like, DMC much closer to sewing thread.  But I think it it worked pretty well.  BTW, that is a very normal sized pencil…

So, since I had plenty of other things occupying my attention (having 4 children between the ages of 3 and 10 will do that apparently…) I decided to see if I could learn the rest on the fly…  For the TIAS we were supposed to use Size 20 (quite a bit bigger then size 80 DMC…) and as it happened, I had some Lizbeth size 20 in my favorite color from the same Secret Santa!  She got me an awesome shuttle too, but since I needed 2 for this project, I decided to go with 2 that at least felt the same in the hand.  So I wound my shuttles and waited for the TIAS to begin.  And on January 11th, part 1 was published.  It took me a couple of days to get it done, though there really wasn’t not too much to do.  I had one false start…  Apparently I was tatting a bit tight, and when I tried to close my ring I broke the thread…  So I rewound the spool (since we were supposed to start with the continuous thread method (yep, I had to look that up too!), and tried again, with much better results:

tias1-1  No, I have no idea what it will be yet.  Tomorrow is part 2…  Will you guess with me?  Assuming I can manage to keep up even remotely?

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone!  It has been a while, but I did want to pop in, and give my best wishes to everyone who is reading this.  It has been busy.  But I wanted to try to start with a clean slate, which means I have a few more projects to show you.

nightdress

First off, in the middle of the summer, I finished this nightgown.
It is a pattern I have made before, and it is just  a fun little thing.  The girls love them.  I have made them with both long and short sleeves.  I think more of these will be following.  I am thinking sleeveless would not be too hard, just a little adjustment on the armholes.

socks

Then there were these socks for DD2.  The yarn was Plymouth Yarn’s Diversity, a very soft sock yarn, with 93% Acrylic, 7 % polyester.  The 100 gram skeins have 420 yards, plenty for a pair of socks.  The color way is called Pink Palm, though my skein did not actually state that…  Long life the internet!  😀  The pattern is called twisted rib, k4, p4, shift over 1 stitch every 4 or so rounds…

img_0623

A dear friend from the other side of the world had a baby in June, and of course I had to make something for him!
The pattern is Rossbeg, from Contemporary Irish Knits, by Carol Feller, downsized for a 9 month old.  Apparently I overshot a little, because at 6 months old the baby barely fit is.  Oops!   I used US4 (3,5 mm) needles and Patons’ Classic Wool Worsted, in the Natural Mix color way.  img_0624

But, I love the book, it has gorgeous patterns in it, and this is just one of them.  The yarn was a soft, but not extremely, but since it was meant as a cardigan/light coat, it was perfectly fine.  It was actually perfect for this.

And in late September I finished spinning my first batch of yarn.

img_0644  It was 16 oz of  lovely sliver, BFL (Blue Faced Leister) I believe.  I got about 2030 yards of 2 ply yarn from it, in 4 uneven skeins, which makes about 126 yards per oz.  Or 447 yards per 100 gram.  Not bad, if I say so myself.

Last but certainly not least, I finished a scarf, loosely following Renee’s Lace Class Scarf pattern, though I made a number of changes.  But, you know what?  With all the busyness of the holiday season, I have not gotten around to blocking it!  And do not really have a picture yet.  I used Plymouth Earth’s Ecco Cashmere, delightfully soft, 100% Cashmere goat.  The skein was 354 yards per 50 gram, on Needle US4 (3.5mm).  Lovely, incredibly soft.  I made it a lot narrower, since my yarn was a lot thinner then the pattern called for, but I prefer my scarfs that way.  I seems to be a good length, and when I get it blocked, I will take a good picture, and tell you all about what I did.  Apparently Ecco Cashmere is no longer in Plymouth’s line-up, and I could not find a link for you to it’s information.  Here is a link with comparable alternatives though.

And that catches you up for 2016, I think.  I can tell you there is more coming this year, as I have already dipped my toe in a new skill.  Tatting!  But more about that next time…

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