Thursday, July 27, 2006

For Art

For the sake of art, and a very sweet knitting artist, I have spent hours making white acrylic garter stitch squares. If you want to, you can also Spare a Square.

One square...

18 squares!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

No yarn, no pr0n

Sorry folks, just words today. DH has gone away with the camera, otherwise I would be flashing the yarn pr0n all over your eyes like sticky on skin in the summer.

Today is the one month anniversary of my Stashalong pledge. Now, to me it is a bit too easy to pledge to 3 months of only buying yarn once a month, and with 2 strikes thrown in. So I went all in and pledged to one year, no monthly purchases. No yarn at all, unless it is necessary to complete a project.

I have begun the rediscovery of all the yarn I bought thinking this one more pack will fulfill and complete me. Buying online is the worst, it feels like I have some secret admirer sending me fluffy love through the mail. Well, now I just managed to make my anniversary sound sad and pathetic. Maybe spending days in the cool basement alone with the dogs wasn't such a sound idea after all...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Felt Accompli!

The purse for my MIL is done! Here is the picture of the finished object.

And now my MIL can take a 32 oz. square Nalgene bottle with her wherever she goes! It just happened that this bottle was a perfect candidate for blocking the bag as it dried.

Someone had asked for the pattern, so here is what I did.

I really like the look of Sophie from Magknits. I started with that pattern, and made some modifications.

Yarn: coned wool, probably DK weight. MC = dark pink, A=light pink, B=seafoam green. I am guessing that I used about 100g of MC, 50g A, 50g B.

Needles: #6 and #8 Boyes Aluminum interchangeable circular

Notions: stitch markers, 3 stitch holders, and a button or bead for closure

First, I mapped out the pattern I wanted. I knew I had 3 colors to work with, and I wanted hearts. I made this chart for the colorwork. The grid paper was easy, I just made an Excel spreadsheet and made the columns and rows equal, then printed it with gridlines to have a blank sheet to work with. My pattern will work with any chart that is an 8-stitch, 7-row repeat.

With a #8 needle, CO 39 stitches in MC, with yarn doubled for extra strength (note that you should use #6 needles here to have a clean, square bottom). K 28 rows in stockinette stitch.

Pick up and K 13 sts along the left edge of the rectangle just worked. Pick up and K 39 stitches along the CO edge. Pick up and K 13 sts along remaining side. (104 stitches)

pm. K 4 rows in MC.

K 42 rows in chart, beginning with the row that has color B (first MC row in my picture is superfluous).

K 4 rows in MC.

BO 46, place 6 on holder. BO 46, place 3 on dpn, remaining 3 on holder. Make an I-cord with the 3 stitches on the dpn until the cord is 20 inches long. Place stitches on holder. Make a second I-cord with the last 3 stitches until it is also 20 inches long. Twist the cords together and join with the 6 stitches on the opposite side using kitchener stitch.

Using crochet stitch, make a loop that will serve as the closure.

Felt and dry. Add the button or bead where the closure loop will reach and stay taut.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Can't see the FOs for the trees

Okay, the purse is still drying. I've cast on for Jaywalkers in Regia, this pseudo-fair-isle blue colorway. It's fun enough, but I'm bored. So if you are here, and still reading, I know you too are bored.

Last weekend we did the Goodman Creek Trail off Highway 58 in Oregon. Here is the trail in the first 1/2 mile or so.

This is Goodman Creek, our destination. The trail was only 2 miles to the creek, but it was a fun Sunday afternoon hike. The best part was the water along the trail and in the creek - the dogs loved it! If only they had loved it less and stayed still for a moment, I would have some pictures of them too.

One of the viewpoints along the way looks down into Lookout Point Reservoir.

Now back to cuffing that durned sock!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Button, button, who's got the button?

I do! Poor old-timey Wonkyknit now can proudly enter the blogosphere with its very own button, thanks to the superspectaculofabulous Penny Karma!

Hooray for the gifted and talented!

Felted Purse Step 2

I finished the purse last night, a perversion of weird wool and fair isle and Sophie. Pictured here is the purse pre-felt. So if I do end up making a mashy pulp of a bag, you will have something to remember it by.

You know that clever idea I had to double the strands on the bottom of the bag? Well, if you choose to take that route, I am now legally bound to tell you that you should use the same size needles on the bottom and top. See that bulgy baggy bottom? Case closed.

Now for the ego-stroking. Here are the floats! No, it's not a parade, it's fair isle!

Well, all right, it's not so hot but I'm damned proud!

Now I'm off to the laundry room to take this bag down to size.

Silver bullet package from my SP!

This weekend the postman brought a shiny silver package all the way from the UK. I'm cashing in on some good karma here. I have no knowledge of exactly how and where and to whom my good deeds were bestowed, but I'm willing to acknowledge my exemplary behaviour if it results in this:

Runner's World Magazine (yay summer and sunrise runs!)

Marigold tea (mmm, calming relaxing evening tea)

Cute choco-crazed woman card (yeah, baby!)

And best of all, my own Lily of the Valley Perdita in a soft green with lovely emerald beads and sequins! Displayed here on my pale scrawny wrist (somehow it fits perfectly too!)

And I have to point out that the fastening is even more beautiful, with these exquisite silver roses:

Wherever you are out there, thank you Secret Pal!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Exciting experiment #1

And now I will attempt a felted bag, Sophie from MagKnits.

The following factors will contribute to the drama of this plan:

  1. This is my first felted bag
  2. This is my first bag
  3. The yarn is some generic wool I got on eBay.
  4. I am making up my own fair isle pattern to go on the bag
  5. I have never done fair isle before
  6. I have 1.5 weeks to complete this project
  7. The bag is for my MIL
  8. It is my MIL's 70th birthday
  9. My dad is coming to visit this weekend, which will drastically decrease my knitting time
No pressure!

I did a swatch last night. This yarn is scritchy! Ow!

This evening I hand-felted it with hot water and soap, here it is still wet:

Okay, I'm starting to enjoy this more.

My plan is to make the bottom and handles with the dark pink color. I am also going to double the yarn on the bottom, just to make it more sturdy. I had read a few other comments about the bag needing this if you want it to sit on its own. Since I am going to have a 8-stitch repeat pattern, I am going to not do the decreases. There is probably a cool and clever way that I could accomplish the decreases, but I do not have the time for that kind of mental anguish.

MIL is a very sweet woman, I want to give her a nice present for her big day. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

We are Mesozoic if you please

It's the stentorious Mr. Stegs, breathtaking Bronty, and the tantalizing Trice all done!

Pattern: Dinosaurs from Xtreme-Knitting
Yarn: Miscellaneous acrylic scraps. Yes! It's acrylic! At least now these dinosaurs won't go extinct.

Other Materials:
Boye's interchangeable needles - sizes 5 and 6
Polyfill stuffing

These were really fun to make, especially from scrap yarn. I added green stripes to Mr. Stegs since his pale yellow wasn't doing anything for me. I'm hoping these go to a niece or nephew, but who knows? They might end up on my project table to keep me company. They sure are a hoot, those silly 'saurs!

Go Fetch!

Yay for Summer Knitty and all the wonderful patterns therein! I finished Fetching in time to wear them in the artic cubicle.

Pattern: Fetching from Knitty Summer 2006

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in burgundy. The pattern called for Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, which has the same gauge as the Merino Aran. I used about 1 1/3 balls, although the pattern only called for 1 ball. The pattern has you use a smaller needle to puff up the knit, and perhaps the yarns scrunch differently.

Needles: Bamboo #6 dpns

Fun level: 9 (10 when I think about wearing them)

Notes: Others have pointed out that the cuff and bind-off curl, but I like that. It makes a pretty petal of some otherwise chunky gloves.

Action shot and bonus doggy face! Sorry that the photo is a tad blurry, but obviously it was not my fault. And I am not torturing the poor doggy, I am giving him face-pets, but the requirement to sit was apparently torturous to him. Poor Pooh Bear!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Now let's talk about me.

Cut and pasted of course:

"Rules: Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word about you."
from Bird's Nest Knits. One word is quite a challenge!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

More from the fiber front

Tonight I picked up the rest of the purchase I made with my wheel. Such a nice woman, I am sad for her loss of fun toys, but hopefully I can gain back some karma by making nice FOs for friends and family. Included were more tools:

Carders (nice ones too!)

A skein winder (it's been nice working with you kitchen chair, but you may now return to your original duties as butt-holder).

And now you'll see why those carders will come in handy. I got about 2 pounds of unwashed wool, here you can see a closeup of the crimp and all that lovely lanolin. It smells so nice and sheepy!

And over ten pounds of hemp fiber! DH will be so pleased when I make him a beanie of handspun, handknit hemp! Okay, let's not get too optimistic yet... It looks like it's all ready to spin!

I will need a few more accessories, like a threader and bobbins and - oh yeah - lessons!

Keeping my fingers crossed for nasty stay-indoors type of weather!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Back to the future socks!

Neon anklets - What a Feeling! Oh, it's a flashback to jelly shoes and singlet lace gloves. Here I present my interpretation of vintage, mixing a pattern from 1948 and colors from the 1980's. Zowie!

Pattern: Women's Cable Anklets from Handknits by Beehive - Socks Men and Women published 1948

Yarn: Regia Cotton Surf - 41% superwash wool, 34% cotton, 25% polyamide

Gauge: 30 stitches per 4 inches in stockinette

Needles: Bamboo #2 dpns

And just to prove that I actually did complete a (somewhat) matching pair, here they are cuddled together in socky love. Color is washed out intentionally to spare thine eyes.

My toes are pleasantly toasty and my heart is full. Yay socks!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Wheel + love

Here is my spinning wheel in the light of a new day and under a coat of about one cup of Old English furniture oil. I aligned the fly and tightened it, now the wheel is still wobbly but it works great!

A question for you wheel geeks: the leather bands are squeaking against the wood. Do you wax or oil them to prevent this?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Somebody stop me, I'm spinning!

Would you look at this?

And this?

It looks like yarn, it feels like yarn, by golly it is yarn! Hooray for me! Hooray for the fair Poodle who taught me to use my drop spindle! Hooray for the sheepies who made all this possible!

And for all of you fiber artists who have cats, and smugly post pictures of your cats at work with yarn, here is proof that canines are also capable of producing chaos in the skein. No, she's not eating the yarn, she's drafting! Really!

Uh oh, I think I feel a fever coming on. Yes, this is most definitely something virulent that has caught hold of me. I seem to have all the symptoms of Fiber Lovin' Syndrome. The only cure is:

Hmmm, maybe it's just another symptom? At any rate, now I am the proud owner of a well loved spinning wheel! It was purportedly created from a kit in the 1970s by some folks who wanted to live a simple life (ha!) on a farm. There are no labels on the wheel, and I am trying to find the maker of the kit. Anyone who might know is welcome to give me some clues!

What, more love?!?

I am overwhelmed! My Secret Pal gifted me again, this time with this bucket of goodies:

Zombie kitty of love!

Luscious laceweight yarn!

Chocolate yums and more chocolate yums and the HP sauce I had already tasted and put in the fridge! (um, no closeups are available due to the untimely demise of said tasties)

Sweet felted pin!

Happy sheep buttons! (they are shy and refused to let me take a good closeup, sorry!)

Sock monkey card!

You're the best, Secret Pal!