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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Take this sweater for example:

I will be the first to admit, it looks kind of odd, laying there, on the table, just to have it’s picture taken.  You can, however, get a really good look at the color play caused by the yarn this way.  I love that part.  And actually, I really love the sweater.  The ‘sleeves’ go just over the edge of my shoulder, still covering my bra straps, and the whole thing looks really kind of nice.  And I am not the only one who says so.  It took me a while to knit it, but it was fun.  The yarn had been given to me by a dear friend, as a secret Santa present.  The pattern?  It is called Summer Darling, a pattern from Drops.  I made mine a little longer then the pattern called for, I happen to be kind of tall, and the top fell quite a bit above my waistband without the extra length, something I am not fond of.  Now it falls right at my waistband, and I am quite happy with it.  I called my version Purple Pleasure…  😀

The bottom edge has a little pattern/lace to brighten it up:

I used Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale Solid, a 100% cotton yarn, in the purple colorway, with the very catchy name 9563.  I ended up buying a 5th skein, for a total of 700 yards, and when I was done, I had about 11 feet left!  The yarn, being cotton is a bit on the splitty side, but it’s beauty (for me) made more then up for that.  If I would make this top a gain, I would probably rewrite it for a lighter weight, since we do not need heavy summer tops in our neck of the woods.  Fantasy Naturale is an Aran weight, and belongs more on a winter sweater, though it being cotton does make all the difference.  Even with our hot days (yes, we already hit 90 several days here) it is a very comfortable top to wear.  The color is gorgeous, consistent, and does not appear to bleed.

Definitely a pattern I would recommend, do not let the odd looking finished product fool you.

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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.

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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.

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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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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…

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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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Summer Break

Summer break has started here.  For the next 2 and a half months the boys are home.  We started summer break off with a bang, which in our case meant 2 weeks of swimming lessons.  Lots of fun, but since we took them in the mornings, we had to get up early each morning!  With 4 kids at home, time for knitting, crochet or any other hobby has gotten significantly reduced, but here and there I still have a little time to my self.  The much bigger robber of my hobby time is another hobby that has been dormant for a while, but has now reared it’s head again.  Reading…  I love a good book.  The last several years I have been working my way through a series called the Dresden Files.  The author is Jim Butcher.  In the back of those books, they kept talking of another series of his, called Codex Alera, which was supposed to be very good as well.  So I convinced the library to add that series to the e-book line up.  The best decision I ever made!  Well, to be honest, I just requested the 1st book, and after they told me that they had honored my request, and added it to the selection, I discovered the other 5 were there too…  And quite amusing/annoying was that before I got a chance to check the 1st book out, someone else had already borrowed it!  At least they did not add it just for my benefit.  And I have noticed that every time I return a book there are at least 2 people in line waiting for it…  I think I started the 1st book in April, and I have made it all the way to book 5.  Needless to say, I am enjoying it, and it has usurped some of my precious hobby time.

But I still have some finished projects from a couple of months ago that I can show you.

First is the second Baby Surprise Jacket, though this is most definitely a child surprise jacket.  You might remember the first one, for my youngest.  This one is for her big sister.  I again used Pinwheel by Cascade Yarns.  This time the Grapes color way.  The needles were US 8, 5 mm.  I actually decided to use the stockinette version that Panda Man wrote up.  I had gotten a bit tired of the garterstitch version.  It was interesting, it seemed a little more tricky then the stockinette version, but definitely not terribly so.  I think it was not made any easier by the fact that the yarn was quite dark.

BSJSS

Some of the things I came across?

Starting with a provisional cast on will help eliminate any visible join for the sleeves.

After binding off (or putting on a stitch holder) for the neck edges, I needed more rounds then the 5 described. Of course that was for a BSJ. I had a 3.25 in gap between the 2 fronts. I much prefer a 1 – 1,5 inch front border on a children’s cardigan. Which means I needed to continue increasing after I put the 2” on a stitch holder, and add about 10-11 rounds in addition to the 5 stated in the Stockinette Stitch pattern, for a total of 16 rounds, before putting the rest of the sts outside the marked sts on a holder. Keep in mind this was for a 26” circumference cardigan, this number will change depending on what size is made. I ended up increasing to 6K.

Since I am knitting from a really big skein, I was not about to “leave the yarn dangling” as the Stockinette pattern described. I chose to follow the Zimmerman pattern instead.

When picking up sts from G to A, add sts from the holder for A to E, then turn and go back, until you have to pick up
sts for H to B, and add the sts from holder for B to F. E,C,D to F is the collar and will be done later.

Next time, I will knit the cuffs with needles that are .5 mm smaller.  They flare a bit, which was not intentional, though is kind of cute too.

My daughter loved it, and wore it regularly until it got too hot for a cardigan.  But I expect that she will still fit next winter, as it was a bit big on her.

Next off the needles was the second coffee bean socks.  The name comes from the stitch pattern, which is apparently an old Dutch one.  I have not (yet) found it in a stitch dictionary in the US, but would not be surprised if I just missed it so far.  I used Diversity by Plymouth Yarn.  A tiny bit splitty, but as a counter to that, it is fully machine washable and dryable!  This is the Plantation color way.  I used 2.5 mm needles.

kbsokken

You are curious about the pattern?  Alright.  In Dutch it is called koffieboontje, which is just the Dutch word for coffee bean.  It has 4 rounds.  Note, the pattern is written to be knitted in the round, as I did knit these socks in the round.  Use multiples of 4 stitches.

Round 1) k2, p2
Round 2) k1, yo, k1, p2
Round 3) k3, p2
Round 4) sl 1 knitwise, k2, pass slipped stitch over the 2 knitted stitches, purl 2

And just keep repeating!  😉

And last but not least, a blanket, for my 4 year old.

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I used Country Loom by Loops & Threads .  Color way Nobility.  It is a basket weave pattern of 15 sts and 15 rows.  I used US 10, 6 mm needles.  I have to admit, the pattern almost bored me to tears.  The only reason I finished it was the happiness it created for the 4 year old.  She had chosen the yarn herself, and loves the blanket.

That is all for now.  We are almost caught up!

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It seems that I always have trouble keeping up with the Blog this time of year.  It is May, and I noticed my last post was in November!!!  But life (especially with 4 little ones) gets in the way.  And we have a whole mess of holidays AND birthdays at the end of the year and the beginning of the new year.  I have, however, managed to finish something in that time.  Just did not have time to blog about it.  If some of these are a repeat, my apologies, I try to make sure I do not duplicate my finished items, but some times it is possible on slips through a second time.  First and foremost, I finished my Andromeda socks last year.  It only took me 6 years…

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I used KnitPicks’ Stroll solid yarn, in the Dusk color way.  And some small #6 white beads.  I actually love the sock pattern, it has some lace and some mini cables, and the elegant cuff of with the beads, al things I love!  I did change a few things, I used a provisional cast on, and just before I added the beads, I knit the active stitches of the cast on side together with the stitches on my needles.  It creates a very non-binding top.  Maybe a little too loose, because they actually tend to sag just a little when I wear them.   But I still love them.

I also finished this shopping net, for a dear friend’s Xmas present.  I used Peaches and Cream Cotton in the Floral Bouquet color.  The funniest thing happened, while I was crocheting this, I was getting a hint of a smell.  It would come and go.  After quite a little while (I do get distracted, you know) I realized it was actually the yarn!  I had unintentionally bought one of the scented colors.  I personally do not really care for it, but it was not terribly invasive, provided you are not sensitive to these kind of smells.  It was alright for 1 project.

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The pattern?  It is called Gehaakt Boodschappennetje, and is to the best of my knowledge only available in Dutch.  Really a shame, because it is a good size, look:

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And it folds up into a little bundle, in a pocket that has very cleverly crocheted into the bag:

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Great pattern, even if I did loose count of how many double crochets and such I was doing, something that changed almost every row.  It took every bit of 3 skeins.

I will leave you for now, but hopefully I will see you again soon.

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And a few more

I am almost caught up, I promise!  Another little project I finished this summer was a new dishcloth. SailboatAround the outside of the picture is a border of anchors, and a little sailboat in the middle.  The pattern was a KAL on the monthly dishcloth yahoo group, but you can also find them at this blog.  (The link will take you to the first post regarding the pattern.  I think they are all there, on consecutive days.)   The yarn was just Peaches and Creme.

Then there was this:

A quite interesting pattern called Circumnavigated Cardigan by Medrith J. Glover.  It was published in Knitter’s Magazine 10, Spring 1988.  The yarn is some just as old Wintuk, from back when it was still Sears Wintuk… I held 2 strands together.   The pattern is more of a recipe, you can use any gauge, any yarn, and play with it as much as you want.  I added the white details.  It has pockets, but I would definitely take the length of the hand and add (even for a preteen boy) at least 2-3 inches to the length of the hand. They turn out rather smaller then I expected, when I took the length (from tallest finger to wrist) only. Measurement needed: Body (actual chest + 4”), Hand length (from wrist to fingertips + 2”), upper arm circumference. It would have been helpful if the pattern specified that at the beginning, because each time I had to wait for my son to get out of school to get the needed measurement. The saddle is a bit broad for a child, I think next time I would do it over 2-3 inches instead of the specified 4.  And the pattern called for using a smaller needle for the ribbing, which I would not do again, and I would use 2×2 ribbing because I like the effect better.  It is finished off with a heavy duty plastic black zipper, per request of the recipient.  Hand sewn in.

I have also been part of an exchange, a scarf exchange.  Since the recipient has actually received the scarf a while back, I can show it off too.

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It is the Haruha scarf, knitted in Revel by Plymouth Yarns, a very soft yarn with a bit of a halo.  It consists of 85% Alpaca and 15% Merino.  The color way is Red Star.  The pattern was pretty well written, the chart being of course the most helpful.  After a couple of repeats I had the pattern memorized.

And last but not least, a cardigan for my youngest.

BSJ

It is the famous Baby Surprise Jacket designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman.  It was fun to make, and I kept trying to figure out how to fold it into a jacket, and each time I had to try several things.  I actually made the child surprise jacket version, which has minor adjustments compared to the baby version.  Personally, I think the sleeves are a bit narrow.  I would definitely start with 10K next time, instead of the 9K.  The yarn is Pinwheel, by Cascade Yarns.  It has these gorgeous, long color runs.  (The color is actually called Petunias.) It is 100% acrylic, and has huge skeins, 200grams (7oz) and 440 yards (400m)! I used just a little more then 1 skein for this toddler size.  I think it worked out pretty well.  The collar is a variation, and the pattern was not particularly clear how long it was supposed to be, or where it was supposed to be attached and how.  I think I did not make it long enough, as it won’t lay flat.  But my daughter loves the cardigan, so it was a project worthwhile the effort.

 

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What else have I finished

It is that busy time of year again.  Several birthdays are interwoven with the holidays this time of year.  But I have other things I want to show you, so while my daughter is taking an almost nap on my legs, I will show you something else.

I know I have told you about a designer named Mmario before.  The one that designed Hippo Gnu Deer, and who organizes the MMKKMMysteries (just click MMKKMM on the right to see more of these projects I did from his mysteries.)  Last summer he started another, MMKKMM 2014.  I finished it in just a few months, and here is what I had left of my yarn:

IMG_7084Really, it was only a few yards.  What yarn?  It was Knitivity Primo Lace, a lovely soft yarn, with a nice sheen.  It is 80% Merino/20% Tussah silk, 1000 yards per skein.  And I got a couple of skeins of this from my parents-in-law, in the gorgeous Winter Spice color way.  Lucky me, don’t you think?  I love the yarns from Knitivity, they are always soft, very well dyed, and very reasonably priced.  I would strongly recommend you take a look, the next time you are looking for some nice, hand dyed sock or lace yarn.

Oh, the shawl?  Here is what it looked like before I blocked it.

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Pretty dumb looking, isn’t it?  Yes it is square, and you can see some holes.  But, once I gave it a bit of a wash, and put it up on my blocking frame:

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Isn’t it pretty?  Yes, those dark dots are all nupps!

Some details, first the center:

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Then one of the quarters:

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I was quite pleased with it, so I took some more pictures, which I will also share:

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After blocking it is about 42″ square.  That is just over a meter, for my metric friends.  Not terribly big, but because it is square, it is actually quite comfortable.  I have not been able to find the finished pattern posted anywhere, but you can always join the Yahoo group mentioned before, and get it from there.  🙂

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