Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Project 24: Fluffy Pink Scarf

A while back I discovered a charity called Handmade Especially For You.  They provide handmade scarves for abused women in shelters, originally in California but chapters have sprung up all over.  They also have a lot of donated yarn, so the people who run the charity set up yarn kits for garter stitch scarves already with doubled yarn wound up to match on both ends.  This scarf is from one of their kits.


The organizers want every scarf to have something "fancy" and, having several of these kits, I guess that fancy means furry.  Hey... why not?  Fun fur is fun, after all!

Estimated 120 yards, doubled, so 240 yards of yarn.  Even though these kits are not yarn that I consider mine, I do work with the yarn and so I am counting the yardage as yarn out.  It is going out of the house!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

February Stashdown Report

The fruits of February!

IMG_5682IMG_5821IMG_6061IMG_5826IMG_6049 cropped


On February 2 we had a snow day and Paul disappeared off to an unknown hiding place, returning with the Dogwood Blossoms Sweater Kit (4620 yards). Holy Guacamole, some day when I am good enough at this knitting thing to make this sweater, it is going to be glorious.


Shannon/ShaylaMyst, the woman behind Alina Shea Creations, surprised me by letting me choose some goodies out of her shop as a thank you for being her very first customer just over a year ago. (1350 yards)  In the package she included a skein of her own handspun as well.  (430 yards)


Then we had an event in the House Cup one weekend, and a bunch of the affiliated vendors had sales...

Hermione Jean Creations got me with the Gryffin Sock base, which has gold stellina.  WOW.

Spiked Butterbeer Gryffin Sock (438 yards)


Sugar Quills Superwash Merino (462 yards)


Solfjader's Nystverket/EvFa had laceweight alpaca/silk (875 yards) that positively glows,


and merino fiber that feels like petting a kitten.  I don't think that anything I own is this soft.  Evfa, I'll be back!


And finally, a little sale was all the push I needed to go tumbling down the path to Nerd Girl Yarns.

Tenth Doctor in Bounce and Stomp, a dyed on demand order. (463 yards)


Kale in Heart You (490 yards)



Alina Shea Creations Yarn Club's offering for February was gorgeous, as always (420 yards):


Then I went shopping.  There were both sales and coupons involved.

Night one (2655.5 yards):


Night two (1366 yards):


You may notice that there's something different about this month's stashdown report - no totals.  I know what they are and the numbers are right there so you can know too, but I've decided that I'm really selling myself short on the beauty of the things I make and the yarn I buy.  And yes... I am way behind.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday, March 9,2011

Here we are at Wednesday again!


The pink furry scarf is done except for hiding the ends.  So is my first pink and brown striped mitt there (Hallowed Hands) and I'm a few inches into the second mitt.  Continuing clockwise, the Celeste Shawl is going by quickly and I've only got 8 and 2/3 rows left to go.... very, very long rows!  I'm at about 80% I think.  Up at the top you can see the toe of a green sock I started for my husband.  Last but not least, the collaborative squares blanket project I'm seaming is still going!  Goinggoinggoing!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Project 23: Patchwork Square #29

Surprise!  One last square was squeezed into February.


Pattern: Square #29, Alternate Spike SC, from 63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches

Yarn: Red Heart Giant, aran

Needles: Size I/5.50mm crochet hook

Yardage:  92.4 yards by weight

Ravelry page (for the whole project)

Mods: none!

Project 22: Four Stitch Markers

I finally get to show off what I did with my new crimping tool!!


Stitch markers.  They are fun to make and I'll be making many more now that I have beading wire and a crimping tool to properly crimp the bottom.  It's so much easier with the right equipment!


Project 21: Dangley Earrings!

Since my beading stuff was already out for the Pink Girl Necklace, I found 1.5 earrings and finished the pair. The second earring only needed to have the .... errr... dangly part..... attached to the hooky part.  As you can tell, I am not an expert.  But I did make them!


Project 20: Snowman Mouth

After the last snowstorm, Spike and my husband were outside playing in the snow.  After a while, Spike came bursting through the front door with a request for, "Eyes and a carrot!"  I pulled an unlikely-looking carrot out of the deepest depths of the fridge and looked around until I found some eyes - bottlecaps.  But the mouth was trickier, so I grabbed a hook and some leftovers and whipped up a solution!


Spike and his snowman.

Yarn: Red Heart yarn, probably classic? worsted weight acrylic in a small skein, held double

Pattern: I made it up!

Hook: size I/5.5mm

Yardage: 7.3 yards by weight

Rav page

Monday, March 7, 2011

Project 19: Patchwork Square #13

Guess what?

It's another square!


Pattern: Square #13, Bushy Stitch, from 63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, country blue

Needles: Size I/5.50mm crochet hook

Yards:  70.3 yards by weight

Ravelry page (for the whole project)

Mods: none!

Project 18: Patchwork Square #62

Best idea ever.


Pattern: Square #62, Basket Weave, from 63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, soft navy

Needles: Size I/5.50mm crochet hook

Yards:  76.3 yards by weight

Ravelry page (for the whole project)

Mods: none!

This was a nice stitch pattern.  I'd definitely use it again, although it does eat yarn!

Project 17: Pink Girl Necklace

The parts for this little necklace have been knocking around the house for about a year, but I finally got all the pieces together in the same place and made it!

The necklace clasp:


The strands:


Finally, the necklace:

IMG_6049 cropped

Yarn: DMC Six-strand Embroidery Floss, not sure about the particular shade of light pink but it was from my giant box of floss.  I used two strands of the six.

Pattern: Based on the Infamous Beaded Necklaces Tutorial, by Devon Clement (Rav link)

Needles: tiny little stainless-steel crochet hook.... size 7?  5?  Somewhere in there.  Not too tiny.

Yardage: Hmmmm..... not a whole lot.... maybe 4 yards or so, using only two of the six strands.

Rav page

Mods: I still haven't found the material called for in the tutorial, so found some pink beads that coordinated nicely and used the cotton embroidery floss

Project 16: Camilla Mittens

Oh my, these were a fun knit!!


Just to be contrary, instead of knitting a plain thumb in a single color, I continued the pattern on one side and alternated colors every stitch and offset them every row.  Just to be contrary.  The end product was nice, but it was a little fiddly (especially considering I have made only two pairs of colorwork mittens before).  I've put project notes on the thumb alterations on my Ravelry project page.


The snow was pretty.


I needed to mail these off in a hurry, so instead of washing them and shaping to dry as blocking I steamed them, which did help even the stitches and smooth the surfaces.  I took them outside immediately to photograph them in the fresh snow, and although it's not something I really planned, throwing hot mittens into cold snow really snugged those stitches up!

The perspective in some of these pics is a little misleading, as the two mittens really are the same size.  Really.  They are.  I know this because I had to work to make it happen.  I knitted one mitten and thumb and started in on the second mitten.  Knit knit knit knit.... I got almost up to where the thumb eventually goes on the second mitten when I couldn't look over the problem any longer - they were just not the same size.

Look at the lighter pink designs on the first, finished mitten (looser) and on the second mitten (tighter).


First mitten, size 1 (2.25mm) needles, 10 stitches per inch.

Second mitten, size 1 (2.25mm) needles, 11 stitches per inch.

You really can't tell, even stacked on top of each other, just how bad it was.  That one stitch per inch made a pretty big difference, though.


With much growling and gnashing of needles, I ripped the second mitten back to the ribbing and started the colorwork again with my next needle size up, size 2 (2.75mm) double-pointed needles.  This time it went well although I was careful to keep knitting tightly on the 2s to hit the same gauge I got on 1s before.  It's not like I knit these months apart, either - I went from one straight into the other.  Knitting is full of surprises.  Beware!  Gauge strikes again!

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette (2-ply, 100% Peruvian wool, fingering weight) in cotton candy (the lighter pink) and fucshia (the darker pink)

Pattern: Camilla, by SpillyJane (Rav link; free pattern)

Needles: Size 1 (2.25mm) double-pointed aluminum needles for the right mitten and size 2 (2.75mm) double-pointed aluminum needles for the left mitten.  I did,  however, switch back to size 1s for the thumb on the left mitten and tried to knit loosely.  

Yardage: Final weight was 45g, which is 208 yards of yarn.  Based on remaining weight in skeins, I can estimate that I used 104 yards of fuchsia and 97 yards cotton candy which does not add up to 208...  So, somewhere in there.

Mods: The thumb patterning was my big modification, but I also used the same shaping on the top of the thumbs as called for in the mittens.  I also grafted the mitten tops with 6 stitches left on the top and bottom (total 12).  This cut the mitten a little bit shorter than the pattern called for, and involved grafting, but I wanted them to be a little less pointy at the tip.

Some clever people on Ravelry have adjusted this pattern to worsted weight yarn, which I might try too!  

SpillyJane's contest with these mittens required people to email her a picture of the finished pair of mittens in February and she'd send a free pattern of our choice.  I emailed my snowy photo and the free pattern I chose was her adorable Swedish Fish Socks - so look out for those, eventually!

Project 15: BFL Swamp Thing Handspun

Here comes more handspun!


This is BFL from the big fluffy ball that came free with purchase of my wheel from The Spinning Room.  Spike and I dyed it back in November while stalking the windows for the UPS man we knew would be bringing the wheel.  Today's spinning is from the braid on the left.


I worked on spinning it as thinly as I could, which when plied turned out to be a light fingering weight yarn.  In 57 grams, I got 272 yards of 2-ply after it was washed and gently thwacked and laid flat to dry.


I'm ridiculously proud of this skein.

Slight Monday madness

We're snowed in today, although the skies are now blue and the plows came through at last.  It's been a good day to catch up with ourselves and I've been busy finally catching up in all the things I like to do on Ravelry and of course a few things around the house.

One thing I missed was WIP Wednesday last week!  I have a good enough reason though - I even took a WIP Wednesday picture and explained it all, but I did it for an interview with the Ravenclaw Aerie!

So, here's my picture anyway....


Quoth myself from the interview:

Upper left, a blanket I'm seaming.  Continuing clockwise around the edge, the pink/green thing is my CoMC OWL that I need to frog back to 50%.  I'm making a crochet square sampler on the right, slowly turning in squares for classes here and there. (Part of that blanket was on a stop sign last weekend for Transfiguration's yarn bombing assignment.) The furry pink scarf is for a charity called Handmade Especially For You, which gets donations of yarn and they send out kits with the fur pre-placed all wound into a ball, and all you do is get to work with some chunky needles.  The pink and brown striped tube is about half of a Hallowed Hands fingerless glove, which is a Deathly Hallows Part 1 inspired pattern by Hufflepuff's Tiggersjp.  Finally, the green blob is a fingering weight version of Lehmus-huivi that is part of a challenge in another Ravelry group.  

And if you'd like, here's my interview!

I've since finished one of the Hallowed Hands mitts and holy monkey there are a kajillion ends to weave in!  I seriously considered not even making the second mitt.  But then I tried it on, and, well.  It's so pretty.  I'll keep chugging along!

Now, in my previous post I promised an avalanche of finished projects. They're still finished and I'm slowly getting my pictures added to posts to document them.  So for real this time..... watch out, here they come!

But first I think it's time for a cup of tea and maybe a little bite of brownie.  It is a snow day after all!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Project 14: South Sea Mermaid Socks

These socks are finally finished and they are just lovely!



Close-up of the lace, twisted stitch ribbing at the top, and the picot bind-off.


The socks are toe-up, and I quite like this heel's construction.


Yarn: Alina Shea Creations Crescent Moon (100% superwash merino wool, a sproingy 2-ply), in a Dreamer's Little Secrets colorway called South Seas

Pattern: Mermaidia, a free toe-up sock pattern written for magic loop

Needles: Knit Picks nickle-plated size 1 (2.25mm) 40" circular needle

288 yards

Rav page

Mods: I only did seven repeats of the lace on the leg so that I could still get the socks on!

I learned an important lesson with these socks and my 111 in 2011 challenge - don't count the project until it is DONE done, not just pretty much done.  The socks were cast off and the yarn clipped and I put them aside to work on other things for a bit.  When I got back to the socks, the yarn tail had been cut about half an inch from the last stitch, leaving not enough of a tail to weave in and secure the top of the sock!  I guess it had to be the kids.  So, I had to rip back the entire picot bind-off and half a round of ribbing to then bind-off again to have enough of a yarn tail to finish.  All this while amassing a pile of projects behind me which now will need to be posted in an avalanche.... ah, oh well, lesson learned!