Thursday, December 20, 2007

Purple santa pimpin'

Last night, Mr. C told me that today was wear a Santa Hat Day at school. I said great and moved on.

Then, as I perused the recent post on CRAFTSTER, I found a perfect knit santa hat that proclaimed its only taking 2 hours or less. Jokingly I offered to whip one out and deliver it to school later in the morning. He seriously accepted. Luckily, the pattern writer's proclaimation (click there for the original blog entry and pattern.) was accurate and it took me just under two hours, even in spite of my pattern adjustments.

The adjustments that I made for my dear, handsome man's big head was to increase the stitch count to 62 from 44; I also decided to do my decreases differently, esp. since I was on circ US11 instead of straights, by adding a mirrored decrease section in the middle of each round. I then achieved an equalateral triangle rather than the original's right triangle. I am just happy that he asked for a knitted good. There is a first time for all things.

I am planning to quickly stitch another with a red brim and black body for my musical bro, as I think that it will serve him well next year at gigs. I'll show you in a couple of hours. ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

QUick QUick

Tis the season for teacher gifts. I do not know much about the two woman who have the pleasure of my son in their class this year. I made his main teach some potholders (to be seen here).
The little I know about her is that she likes to teach and to cook.

As for the other teacher, I have not even seen her. So, generic random gift it is.

There is a scarf pattern that has been a great hit at the shop. It comes from the makers of one of my very favorite yarns ever - Misti Alpaca. I am speaking of their Misti Chunky Ribs and Ruffles Scarf. We have been giving out a print out with purchase of the yarn and nearly everyone who buys a ball is back the next day wanting more. Did I mention that it only takes ONE ball? In my moment of project need, I decided to see what all the fun was about. It took me about an hour and a half to two hours and voila! The pattern calls for US13. The shop sample was knit on US15 in hopes of stretching the yarn. I made this one on US17 in further hopes of even more bang for the knit. It didn't help much. Shoulda stuck with the 15's.

I had this ball in my stash hiding out with two others, brown and tan. I am going to whip out the tan for my SIL for xmas and the brown for me (all 3 had been planned to be a big fat long ways scarf/shawl).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A sampling of holiday knitting

Wow, I am getting a lot traffic here when I had hoped to generate some traffic for my new sewing blog (and maybe my new foodie blog).

So,since you are coming, I thought that I should give you something new to look at.

Here is a sampling of some recently FO's.

These are my first completed pair of socks. I thought that I was procrastinating on the 4 or 5 pairs that I already had on the needles because I was dreading the heel and heel turn. However, it turns out after abreviating the cuff, that I love making heels and turning heels and do not love making the cuffs. I maybe a a confirmed ankle sock knitter. The recipient of these socks is my son, who I think will appreciate both my work and the thrill cool socks. (He happily wears Xmas socks in July just because it tickles him.) They are knit in Crystal Palace Maizy on US 2.5.

This holiday season is our first together as a new family and I wanted to make sure that we had a matching set of stockings. I made up the pattern and had not originally imagined it with such a short foot (the heel decreases pretty much lead right into the toe decreases). In the end, I really like the short foot which makes it look a bit cartoony or like a teddy bear foot. It was a quick knit, taking about a day's worth of work. I need to whip out two more though (in a big fat hurry). The yarn is a Lamb's Pride Worsted new color set from Brown Sheep - I think that they are calling these landscapes. The skeins range in color from dark to light. I love their yarn so much already with their rich saturated colors, but this dye job set is just that much better.

Then comes another Smonster, in Lamb's Pride Bulky on US9. The pair was knit for an impromtu craft fair at the end of Nov. to accompany the original two that never sold. The good news is that one of the originals sold, but not much else did. Bummer. Luckily, there was no fee to have a booth. All that was lost was a night's sleep and the money invested to whip up some more wrist warmers.

Hopefully, everyone is having lots of needling succes this holiday season. I have a ton of both knitting and sewing to complete this week, much like every year. I'll share more when more is finished.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Ah to love Oblique-ness

Occording to my new love is defined as:
[uh-bleek, oh-bleek; Mil. uh-blahyk, oh-blahyk] adjective, adverb, verb, o·bliqued, o·bliqu·ing, noun
1.neither perpendicular nor parallel to a given line or surface; slanting; sloping.
2.(of a solid) not having the axis perpendicular to the plane of the base.
3.diverging from a given straight line or course.
4.not straight or direct, as a course.
5.indirectly stated or expressed; not straightforward: oblique remarks about the candidate's honesty.
6.indirectly aimed at or reached, as ends or results; deviously achieved.
7.morally, ethically, or mentally wrong; underhand; perverse.
8.Typography. (of a letter) slanting toward the right, as a form of sans-serif, gothic, or square-serif type.
9.Rhetoric. indirect (applied to discourse in which the original words of a speaker or writer are assimilated to the language of the reporter).
10.Anatomy. pertaining to muscles running obliquely in the body as opposed to those running transversely or longitudinally.
11.Botany. having unequal sides, as a leaf.
12.Grammar. noting or pertaining to any case of noun inflection except nominative and vocative: Latin genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative cases are said to be oblique.
13.Drafting. designating a method of projection (oblique projection) in which a three-dimensional object is represented by a drawing (oblique drawing) in which the face, usually parallel to the picture plane, is represented in accurate or exact proportion, and all other faces are shown at any convenient angle other than 90°. Compare axonometric, cabinet (def. 19), isometric (def. 5).
14.Military. at an angle of 45°.
–verb (used without object)
15.Military. to change direction obliquely.
16.something that is oblique.
17.Grammar. an oblique case.
18.Anatomy. any of several oblique muscles, esp. in the walls of the abdomen.

[Origin: 1400–50; late ME oblike <>oblīquus slanting; see ob- (second element obscure)]

o·blique·ness, noun

5, 6. indirect, veiled, masked, covert.

You too can fall in love with this gift from - Veronik Avery's Oblique - along with a another surprise that I wish I'd seen last week about intarsia in the round - Debbie Baskerville's Intarsia Fun. When I get to this project,I am thinking of these shades of Berroco Ultra Alpaca.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Massive update

First, let us review the goings on at my house for my 3rd favorite holiday.

On Tuesday evening, the boys made some amazing pumkin happenings. Sadly, Xander dumped most of his roastable seeds in the garbage since he wasn't into the gooey hand scooping approach. Dad saved his though and we oven roasted 'em with salt and Essence of Emeril. Yum.

I had planned to paint my tiny little round pumpkin, but ran short of time. The boys took off with the paint though and made their jack-o-lanterns in the image of Mike Wizowski and a Goblin. My little pumpkin, peaking out from behind the Goblin, will reappear as pumpkin pie in a about two weeks. At the pumkin patch, we also picked up some butternut squash and some acorn squash. Yum.

Now for the costuming. Always the procrastinator, I stayed up almost all night on Tuesday turning Simplicity's Raggedy Andy pattern into an Elvis Jumpsuit. I am happiest with finding the silver fabric to line the cape. This year was only the first incarnation of this costume. I am first going to build up the collar. Then, I am going to rework the belt to lay better. The final and most important step will be the embellishment. I haven't decided if I am going to invest in an actual repro chart from one of the professional Elvis impersonator websites. I have 3 years to figure it all out. Hubby desires to have a rotation of 4 costumes, so that his students will only see one for their four years at the school. Next year is a banana. That might change because he has lots of family costume ideas. Other than the cape lining, I am also quite proud of having excecuted a white jumpsuit that was not see thru in the least. Pat on the back. (Heavier knit in a flesh tone about as olive as his is.)

Here is the merry copout. I found this costume for super cheap last year during the Halloween clearance. I can't remember if it was $4 or $2 but it was way less than even the fabric. I had really forgotten about it and didn't think that it had even moved with us, but, about 2 weeks before Halloween, Xander popped out of his room dressed in it and very pleased with the idea of wearing it leu of being an allosaurus. As I reflect, I think that this maybe the first store bought costume in all my 26 Halloweens. Dad decided to go as himself from high school (shaving for Elvis authenticity took away about 10 years from his already youthful face).

Here is the knitting portion. I cast on this scarf on Saturday night. It is based on Berroco's Michaela. It is a 17 st. repeat that I cast on long ways with 22 repeats. The yarn is Mountain Colors Bearfoot Blue green. I am having fun and have almost finished one set of the 16 rows it takes to make a motif. I am hoping for at least 3 row repeats, maybe 4.

This bit of orange and blue is going to be a stripey hat for Xander. Rather than simply striping, I decided to add a pterodactyl via intarsia: the intarsia within each stripe will be the alternating color. This idea did occur to me after I had already cast on in the round - rip it, rip it. It is only yarn, right? Now, I am just waiting for times when he is at school or in bed to work on it. I do like to tease people by working on something that I know they will like in front of them and then coyly saying it is for a different purpose. He loves my knitted stuff too much to hear again that I am not making it for him. I'll go with pure surprise this time.

Last bit: while blog surfing, I ran across this project at Every Word's a Purl. It comes from the minds of the folks at Amused by the no-knit scarf and fueled by the fact that I actually am suffering a scarf shortage, I ran to the stash and grabbed four yarns I like together. I only glanced at the picture and scanned for cutting measurements, so I missed the thing about pinning it as you knotted to create neater knots. I did improve the technique by making butterfly bobbins. Then, I improved my butterfly bobbins by using tiny hairbands to keep 'em together instead of wrapping the second end around the outside. It is warm and serves its purpose for neck warmth. I really liked these yarns together, so I mosied over to the Random Stripe Generator and saw exactly what I was looking for one the first try. When I am done knitting, I am going to crochet shells around the perimeter. I am liking the architectural narue of the color blocks and the roundness of the shells like this anthropologie sweater.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fourth times a charm

Here is the last pattern that I have ready for now.

This pattern is for a cuff to cuff baby sweater. It fits 3-6 months. You could easily make it larger by simply using a heavier yarn and larger needles.

The sweater has simple garter stitch details that make it attractive in both solid and multi yarns. Cuff to cuff construction makes both the knitting and finishing go by at a super speed.

1 ball of Lorna's Lace Shepard Worsted
1 set of #8 needles
2 stitch holders or waste yarn
Tapestry Needle or crochet hook
5 approx. 1/2" buttons

Price: $4.00 US

This is my other brother Daryl...

What I meant to say was that I had another 'nother pattern up.

Welcome the MeMe Hat. This hat was inspired by my best friend since we were little kinders. Rather than filling her wishful request for me to make this hat for her, I offered to teach her how to knit one. I imagined simply teaching her how to make a simple stockinette cap, but she was insistant on having a copy of a hat that I had made her twin sister. I am not one to discourage, so we leapt in and she quickly mastered ribbing, seed stitch, cabling, and decreases all in her first project.

US 9 16" circular needle
US 9 set of dpns (double pointed needles)
1 ball of at least 100 yds worsted weight yarn
Cable needle, opt.
Stitch Markers
Tapestry Needle or crochet hook
Measuring Tape

Price: $4.00

Monday, October 01, 2007

'Nother Pattern for Sale

WOw! Two posts in one day, what an embarrassment of riches...

I have found the time to get this second pattern up here for your viewing and possible purchasing delight. This too cute pattern has instructions for two hat styles and a coordinating pair of booties. There is a girly version with a border of flower petals and a more rugged boys version with a border of star points.

3 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
US 6 16" Circular needle
Set of US 6 Double Pointed Needles
Tapestry Needle
Measuring tape
Price: $5.00 US

Patterns for SALE

Hi all!

I am trying to learn how to put some of my patterns up for sale. So bear with me for a bit.

This is the Top Down Shrug.

Sizes: To fit Bust Measurement - 28-30"(32-34", 36-38", 40-42", 44-46", 48-50")
Finished Shrug fits with 1" to 3" negative ease.

US 13 24" Circular Needle
Stitch markers
2 Stitch holders or waste yarn
Tapestry Needle
Measuring Tape
Ribbon or Cording (opt., for button loops)
3 fun buttons, 1" to 11/2" are best for impact

Short Sleeve:
216(216, 216, 216, 270, 324) yds of bulky, high loft yarn
Sample worked in Rowan Romance

Mid Length Sleeves:
375(375, 375, 375, 500, 500) yds of bulky, high loft yarn
Sample worked in Lamb's Pride Bulky

Full long Sleeves
500 (500, 500, 500, 625, 625) yds of bulky, high loft yarn

Gauge: 2.5sts./in. on US13 (yarn will be knit larger than recommended on the label)
Price: $5.00 US

Friday, September 14, 2007

...The Conclusion (of my Knitty review)

There 7 more things that I want to make from this Fall's Knitty.

Patch Pocket Raglan by Nathan Plante - This sweater would be great for my son. I am pretty excited about the psuedonym that Nathan uses, i.e. Kilgore Trout, at I happen to be reading my hubby's library book, "Timequake", which is an eery novel from our mutual highly favored author, Kurt Vonnegut. Wanna hear the wierdest detail? Vonnegut wrote that his alter ego, Trout, dies at 84 - the age that the author left this mortal coil. It is a strange novel, quick and engaging, but very strange. Anyway, I have never seen the yarn used here. Anybody knit with it or touched it. Little jealous right now of the Californian living somewhere cold enought to require a good woolen sweater.

Cherie Amour by Ashley Adams Moncrief - This sweater is quite lovely and it falls into the category of my lace knitting experience. I really like how she broke up the pattern stitches to be very flatter figuring. It reminds me of a Twinkle tank that I made from last spring's IK (you know, the really good one with the light green sweater on the front). I am left wondering about yarn substitutions because most ladies, namely me, try to avoid bulky yarns (remember the rule of common sense: bulky yarn makes bulky sweaters that add evil bulk; booo on excess bulk). Of course, as I ponder the substitution task, it occurs to me that it would be a great chance to use some Manos or some Bunny.

Flower Power by Ann Squire - I can hardly wait to cast on this adorable hat. In fact, I can hardly wait to cast on, rinse and reapeat abut 15 times (or at least five for the five babies that have both arrived and are incoming from some of my favorite new mommies). I was recently contemplating the Umbilical Cord hat from the first SNB but was feeling a little wishy washy about the task. This adorable topper inspires nothing but the desire to act and then place on the round head of a little cherub. It doesn't hurt that I like her website name - would that be considered name nepitism?

Foliage by Emilee Mooney - Could I be more excited? Another incredible hat pattern!!! And a lace pattern!!! It seems that this issue yields an embarrassment of riches for opportunities to use Manos, as well. The one thing that holds me back on having tons of Manos in the house is that it smells like hot dogs with sauerkraut. This food combo is certainly a favorite for me to injest but, as an aroma, it isn't something that I would bury my nose into and breath in deeply. (Yes, I am sure that it is the vinegar used in the dyeing process of the glorious color ways.) I also really like her the header on her blog. It reminds me of a UFO hiding in my knitting stash though.

Urchin by Ysolda Teague - I have been stalking this designer's blog for a couple of weeks now because I really want to make her beret pattern, Gretel. This should appease me for a minute or two. The thing with berets is that I worry that they may turn out to be like shawls where I feel awkward wearing them. I should have the genetic information required for carrying it off considering my high content of French heritage. Dare I say that I lighty considered the use of Manos on this project as well. I put it out of my head and have decided to wait out for a good drastically thick thin yarn. It is actually tempting to use my shabby spinning skills to my advantage here and create some for myself.

Q by aija goto - Right now, I am a little bit fixated by stranded knitting and have caught the sock fever that is ever present in the air molecules at AFY (I have about 5 pairs of socks on the needles - all two at a time - yup that is ten socks cast on). One time I left an accomplished sock kniter a questioning commentary in which I asked how one would wear such warm tall socks since my climate doesn't really allow or call for such feet/leg heat. I never heard I don't think that I will launch the same query to this designer. I may simply make mine shorter but it really would be a shame to skip thst attractive calf detailing.

Cinderella by Katheryn Beckerdite - Have I ever mentioned the Cinerella is my very favorite fairytale? Every incarnation of it has delighted me - the classic Disney version, the next Disney live action with Brandy, and Ever After. I am actually pretty excited about Amanda Bynes upcoming take on it. I will be making a conscious effort to skip the Julia Stiles and Hillary Duff attempts, though. These socks might end up being the first sock pair that I complete, weighing in both the needle size and and needle count (just two). Plus, three cheers for cables!!! Check out her blog for some witty banter.

The End.

I Feel Like Reviewing Fall 2007 Knitty...

...if anyone is listening.

This issue of is one of the best in sometime. My basis for judgement is highly scientific - it contains the most things that I want to knit.

I'll start at the beginning:

Muir by Rosemary Hill - I have not really done much delicate lace work but this pattern looks like just the thing I am looking for in a very satisfying lace expedition. Ever since I read that chapter in Yarn Harlot in which she discusses a shawl that reveals sheep as the lace is blocked, I have wanted that thrill of blocking discovery. Rosemary's explanation of her inspiration from Muir Woods also adds on to my list of things I want to visit the next time that I go to the Bay Area. Rosemary also rocks out loud in my book because she has a great tutorial on how to get beads onto you knitting without prestringing which can really save your yarn from added wear during the process. I wish that I had seen this before I made my Odessa cap sans beads because I had to cast it on at an hour that prevented me from running to the store and picking up some sparkle.

Henry by Mareike Sattler - Last night, at AFY late night knit night, one attendee was raving about this gorgeous scarf. Upon checking it out, I agree about its rave worthiness. I really appreciate the designer's source of inspiration since I have also been greeted by the same huffing and puffing when I have thrown out a knitting offer. I don't know that I would give this finely knit item away upon completion, being that it is so gorgeous and knit on #1's.

There are a ton more patterns that I want to comment on but the clock tells me that I must get ready for work! So, I will taunt you with my least favorite ending to X-files and Heroes (of course, on Heroes it is redundant) be continued...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sally Melville Fan Girl

This weekend was amazing! At Anacapa Fine Yarns, Sally Mellville spent the weekend hard at work. I had no idea that this was going to be such a terrific experience. She began the weekend with a lecture on fostering creativity in which she plucked thoughts about the creative experience right from deep in my head. My neck was sore from nodding in agreement with all that she had to say. She is one well rounded knitter - she hopped from Winston Churchill to Quantum physics.

The next two days, she plowed through four more courses - two a day. When she comes to your town, sign up for at least one if not everything that she is offering. I went to Stripes and Stripes that aren't which is mostly based on the content of her third book about Color. Much to play with and tremendously inspiring. We learned how to stripe one at a time not in the round, lampshade, half linen stitch, mock houndstooth and two color ladder stitch. The best thing that we learned is how to keep stripes flattering, which I felt such a freedom by learning because I adore making stripes but fear the power of horizontal things. There are three things that all have to be present to make something striped hideous. Not gonna be a spoiler though - check out the book or take a one of her classes. Worth every moment!

As soon as I got my toosh home, I could hardly get myself in the door before putting my hands on one of my most current WIPs - a pullover for my son. About a month ago, I cast on with some yarn that I have had for awhile waiting to be a pullover for the young man. I haven't really felt moved to start the sleeves because I never feel moved to work on sleeves, especially when not in top down modas opporandi. However, this class showed such great ways to use varigated yarns to their fullest potential and I was in hyperdrive to get a pair of sleeves cast on. Now, please note, that regardless of my fury to get sleeves on the needles, I did swatch ;).
I introduced some purple from my stash using the lampshade stitch. I am going to keep the raglan shaping and carry the lampshade stripes that aren't through the yoke. Instead of a simple crewneck, I am going to do a split front crewneck. Last night, I doubled the lenght that you see in the picture - a whopping 8 inches with 10 more to go. I can't wait to get to the yoke. Any day now...I would just stay up and knit straight through but one of the most important things that Sally discussed this weekend was the importance of letting your mind get enough rest. You are actually cheating your brain from doing the bulk of its creative work and problem solving if you skimp on your sleep cycle. I have been following her advice since Friday night and I certainly appreciate the permission to sleep well. It makes it easier to get to bed with my early bird, teacher spouse.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the new math

The “I Will Impress You With My Math Prowess” Badge - The recipient is a whiz at substituting yarns and calculating gauge, can space increases and decreases evenly and is fully comfortable with the basic math encountered in all knitting projects.

I am confidently accepting this on the strength of my gauge swatch making and on the fact that I regularly spread that information. If you don't cringe when the idea of swatching is suggested, if stitches per inch times the inches you want to create just makes sense to you, then you should also award yourself this badge. Of course, my intense opinion about how easy gauge is leads me to tomorrow's badge acceptance.

Wanna giggle at the sticker follower? In case you cannot read it, the stickers says "Place Sticker on Forehead. Smile. (tm)" What the heck they trademarked a childhood activity that I feel certain I you think that I have a chance for legal action?


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