Thursday, January 27, 2011

Care Tags

Now, I thought this was really nifty idea for knitted or crochet gifts.

Make Care Tags

She saves "the care instructions taken from the wrapper on your skein of yarn, and a nice supply of yarn in the colors" from the project.

(From the website)

She takes a piece of nice cardstock, glues the care instructions on it, and places some of the scrap yarn on the cardstock. She suggests adding an extra button if the knitted gift has buttons.

Now, for the most part, most people (unless they are a knitter or crocheter) will not be using the scrap yarn at all. But, for a knitter/crocheter? That scrap of yarn is a nice little extra thoughtful touch that allows them to mend injuries without trying to match yarn.

Monday, January 24, 2011

FO: Color Palette Cardigan

After much work, I finally finished the sweater I started back in December, which I had dubbed the "black-hole-of-knitting", but which is finally named the "Color Palette Cardigan".

It's based off the Elizabeth Zimmerman Yoke Sweater, but crochet steeked.

The yarn is a combination of commercial yarn, and the handspun that I had made as part of the Tour de Fleece of 2010.

Navajo PliedTDF: Rainbow Barberpole

The yoke, cuff, and hem are from handspun, and the rest in Cascade 220 black yarn. I was inspired by the Kaleidoscope Yoke and Folklore. The cuffs & hem are different than the body of the sweater. There's a little bit of texture in the yoke, but I tried to keep it subtle.

EZ Yoke Cardigan

EZ Yoke Cardigan (Cuff 1)EZ Yoke Cardigan (Cuff 2 & Hem)

First, I knit both sleeves (2-at-a-time), then started the body of the sweater after the sleeves were done. There's a grosgrain ribbon backing for the sweater edges. And I have to add silver clasp closures to the yoke portion, once I find appropriate closures for it. (I think they add a little bit more than just buttons.)

After blocking, it grew a little bit "longer" than I wanted, so I threw it into the dryer at medium heat for about 15 minutes, which tightened up the stitches a bit, but did not felt it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christmas Gift...

I've been meaning to post this since the Christmas holidays, but I haven't had the time to take photos.

However, this is what DH gave to me for Christmas!

Ashford Joy

Lovely, isn't she?!?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Black Merino to the Rescue!

A bit ago, I purchased a beautiful vintage wool coat at a local thrift shop. There was nothing wrong with it, except that it had 4 small rips right at the top & bottom of each of its vertical pockets. These are normal wear & tear problems. I wasn't sure how I was going to mend them; and Google-fu failed me on how to mend actual wool coats without it looking like crap.

But, a previous needle felted project gave me inspriation. I grabbed my felting needles, some black merino wool (for spinning), needle/thread, and set to work.


I darned as invisibly as I could along the tears, then took the black Merino wool (which was a PERFECT match to the wool coat, and set to needle felting the tears.



This worked better than expected, and now the tears are basically gone, leaving me with a wonderfully warm long coat to that the weather has turned into beautiful warm weather.

Go figure. :-)

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Lure of Chunky

My yarn choices usually run from sockweight to worsted weight yarns. Occassionally, I delve into laceweight or bulky/chunky weight yarns. However, upon working on two back-to-back hat projects using chunky yarns, I'm kinda liking it. Because they arns knit up a lot more quickly than thinner yarns. (As I slog my way through a sweater using worsted weight yarn)

However, I DO like how the thinner yarns drape better when knit up. I enjoy a more drapey 'hand' on my fabrics. On the other hand, there is the lure of finishing up a project Very Very quickly.

Currently, I'm sticking to hats using chunky/bulky yarns. BUT, I'm tempted to knit a warm outer wear sweater using chunky yarn....but the temptation isn't so great as to warrant even starting that type of project.

I'm currently knitting up a hat (my own design) for my BIL using Cascade 128 Superwash (their chunky/bulky weight yarn), and it's Unbelievable Soft and warm. I'm very much enjoying the knitting process for it. I also have some Cascade Eco (in blood red) that I have on order for another quick knitted project (for all of this cold weather we're having).

On a completely unrelated note: I did get The Most Fantastic Christmas gift for 2009! It's amazing. I love it, and it's totally fiber related.

I've been meaning to actually post more about it, but I haven't had time to take photos. And one must have photos for this type of post.

I will get to that this weekend. I'm backlogged on Stash and Project photos

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Email from a Friend

It's the little things that make a knitter's heart sing. I just got this email from a friend.

I just gotta say thanks...

Seriously, this hat is one of the coolest things I've owned. I am wearing it constantly.

Thank you so, so much.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hat Quest + FO

I'm currently in search of the perfect knitted "hat" for myself. I want one that:

1) will play nice with my hair -- (my hair will frizz if you look askance at it. Putting a close fitting wool hat? Disaster)

2) stays pretty darn warm (this unusually cold weather for California is making me dream of enclosing myself in warm fleece and hibernating for the rest of winter)

I found the Capucine pattern on Ravelry, and thought "PERFECT".

I dug through my stash and pulled out my cable plied garnet & my coiled art yarn, which are a good color match

Purple HeatherTour de Fleece - Coils3

Unfortunately, they weren't the right weight yarn. So I made a 3ply out of the cabled yarn and matched the coiled art yarn with some Knit Picks Eggplant sock yarn to make a matching 4-ply.

At that point, I started knitting, and pretty much got gauge with 10.5 needles.

There was a bit of frogging at times as I tried to balance out the purple cabled yarn with the coiled to get enough ratio so I didn't run out of the purple cabled yarn.

Eventually, I muddled my way through it, and had enough yarn left over to make purple cabled tassles. The whole hat is lovely, soft, and warm.....and just a tad big for my head. (I guess I have a small head). But, it fits DH well, and looks pretty good on him. On me, I look like a Swiss Snowbunny.

BUT it's soft, cozy, and oh-so-warm, and I've worn it a few times, and it does do the aforementioned points above. However, I look like a Swiss Snowbunny.

So, I continue my search for a nice hood that plays well with my hair that keeps me warm.

I'm currently looking at:

* Through the Woods -- a hood/cowl combo

* Heelhead scarf -- which would be a nice combination of a scarf and a hoodie

* Hoodwink -- similar to Heelhead, but with a sharper pointed hood.

So, I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with myself in regards to my HatQuest. I already know what color I want -- a nice heathered dark red -- I'm fancing something akin to Red Riding Hood. But perhaps a trip to my LYS should be in order.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Year in Yarn

In no particular order, the following is a photocollage of all the fibery goodness that's happened in 2010. (Note: Only FOs** and finished spun yarn)

Core Plyed YarnCat in the Bag: Finished sans liningMondo Cable PulloverRibby Cardi 3CerisaraIMG_0296Pink FishOrange FishBlue Fish_MG_0729Dead Fish Hat 1Blinky the FishTop Down No Gauge Stocking CapTravelling Mojo (1)Rainbow SocksOctopus KnitFaceted RiverbedAlpaca ScarfTDF: Rainbow BarberpoleSidestream socks_MG_6602Targhee 2plyWhite Merino 3-ply FingeringCorriedale HandspunNavajo PliedFinnJapanese MapleBlack Merino 3-ply FingeringCoopsworth Navajo PliedPurple HeatherHand ThingeesEarth, Sky, WaterLow Twist Single (2)

Simultaneously, it looks like a lot, but, also not a lot. There's a total 21 FOs and 12 spun skeins. That comes out to one finished yarn project per month and 1.75 FO per month. It's funny, but I thought I had knitted more, but apparently not -- I honestly thought I had made more socks.

Although, 3 finished sweaters for the year isn't a bad thing at all, esp. since I have only been at this knitting thing for ~2 years.

Now, onto 2011 knitting!
** If I listed all of the unfinished objects or WIPs, it' only add about 4 more projects. And yes, there are two sets of socks that look similar as I had plenty of yarn left over to make a second set!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Gift of Hats

I normally don't like knitting gifts, but I do find a great pleasure in knitting gifts for those that appreciate and love them with a very warm sincerity. It makes my heart just sing.

This year it was all a matter of hats.

For the holidays, my SIL put in an "order" for fish hats for the rest of the family. As this was an easy enough thing for me, I was more than happy to comply. The hats were, happily, a resounding success and were worn with much ado over the whole of the holidays, especially Eldest Neice, K, who loved her *PINK* and purple fish.

The year previous, I had given my BIL the trilobyte hat for the holidays, and his wife told me that he LOVED his hat and wore it nearly every single day; proclaiming it to be one of the warmest and comfiest hats he's ever had.

I got to see the hat upon arriving at the Family's house, as it was sitting ontop of a pile of other (unused hats). The poor thing had seen better days. It had been worn and stretched beyond the recognition of an actual hat; and it had two holes in it -- having caught on 'something'. SIL told me that he still wears it, despite the hole and despite it being stretched out. Despite it being superwash, BIL didn't want it being run through the washer lest it shrink.

I looked upon this poor abused hat with equal parts of joy and sadness. Joy because it is being worn and loved, as all knitted hats should be, but sadness at the amount of abuse it had taken. So, dutifully, I mended both holes (one small and one not so small) to the best of my ability and hand washed the poor thing. D I managed to get it back to somewhat it's normal shape, but alas, the thing is dead, Jim. So, I am much resolved to knit the poor man several hats for his birthday come March, and for the next Christmas holidays.

Back in the summer of 2010, I had spun some handspun yarn, which turned into a Stocking Cap. I knit it because I could and figured it would find itself to a good home (sooner or later) although I had a sneaking suspicion as to the actual who of the intended recipient.....because while I was knitting it (and shortly afterwards), he tried it on and told me how much he wanted a stocking cap.

As the holidays approached, I overdyed the colors of the stocking cap to be a more variegated set of purples and presented it to me shortly after Christmas (along with a warming bag -- a bag full of dried corn kernals to pop into the microwave). Sufficed to say, he loved both gifts and whipped off his own hat to promptly put on his new stocking cap and wear it for the rest of the day. And, later, I saw multiple photos of him on Facebook wearing the same exact stocking cap on different days.

And shortly after New Year's day, I managed to finish a hat for myself, but while it fits, it's rather large....but fits DH's head quite nicely. And, the coloration fits him more suitably than myself. When he put it on, he declared it warm and oh-so-soft....then proceeded to wear it for the rest of the night in the house. I guess I'll need to knit myself a new version of this hat (only slightly smaller....)