Saturday, November 22, 2014

Just an Easy Quick Knit Hot Water Bottle Cover

After laying on a hot water bottle without a cover in my sleep and waking up to a blister on my tummy, I realized those pretty covers had a purpose. But I was going to go so far as to 'lily gild' it: just a simple cable up the front. I wasn't planning to make it into a turtleneck sweater. This, with 6.5mm needles and chunky yarn by Universal Yarns Classic Chunky Yarn (75% acrylic, 25% wool) in colorway 'fir', took less than 2 hours to knit up. Instant gratification.

Until next time, happy knitting.

A Soft, Cozy, Knit Cabled Hoodie

Finally finished with this knit: lavender hoodie made with a yarn that was single ply, thick and thin 50% wool and 50% synthetic fibers (polyamide and acrylic) from Ice Yarns in Turkey. (6.5g of their Blog Flamme yarn) I did a lot of cabling on this one: up the center front going east and west, up the center sleeves, raglans and across the hood where it meets the casing. The yarn said it was worsted weight and to use a 5mm needle. Hardly. Ended up using a 3.75 needle throughout. As long as it meets gauge and fits. I guess that goes for all yarns anymore. Always do a gauge. I've received many compliments from my neighbors and friends, but I must be the Rodney Dangerfield of Ravelry, 'I don't get no respect'. I've got at least 40 some projects listed on there and I have very few hearts and views. I guess I don't belong it the "correct" groups. Another reason I take it's because most of my items I create my own design and pattern and don't buy someone's pattern there or anywhere for that matter. Why buy a pattern that may be badly written (and many possibly on purpose so you won't 'steal' their pattern)? Mostly use Ravelry for inspiration: An edging here, a cable there, a basket stitch here.

Until next time, happy knitting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Knitting with Nupps

It will be a long time before I knit another top with nupps. It was slow going and not only that, it wreaked havoc with the arthritis in my right shoulder. I do like the effect but this photo doesn't do justice to the top. My camera's batteries croaked and I need to do some retakes.

It was knitted with a little more than 400g of Cascade Sierra, 100g skeins, color 50, lot 8028. Unfortunately it is discontinued but although it had only about 20% wool in it, it gave the Pima cotton enough springiness in the yarn. I made it with elbow length sleeves.

Although it is mid October here where I live (and I just WISH it would cool down) the yarn was infinitely comfortable and breathable, despite the unseasonable warmth at the moment.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another Fabulous Emi Harrington Pattern

Hello all. Posting another FO from the Emi Harrington, Hectanooga repertoire. This time it is a pattern you can customized to your size: vest, tank top, corselette, etc. that you can fashion and embellish any way you want. It's her etsy pattern #467 in her etsy shop. I am currently working on her pattern that is a shrug/cardi that is crocheted in a mesh pattern that you can fasten at the neck with a button or brooch. It like a little jacket you can make with long or short sleeves. I would think it would look fabulous in mohair!

After that, she has a long, knee length crochet cape with is quite. That I want to work on in wool. I shouldn't be giving you spoilers. I will post when they are finished.

Until next time, happy knitting and crochet!

Monday, September 8, 2014 Patterns

Hello all, back to post a few FO's and blog on one of my favorite (and sometimes frustrating) patterns: Anna and Heidi's Pickles Patterns of Oslo, Norway. The patterns started out as a blog between these two women and their baby and children patterns were so cute and became so popular that they became a business: selling the patterns and also the wool to make them with. Their site sells wool packs with patterns or patterns only. If you live in Northern Europe, particularly the Scandinavian countries, the shipping isn't too bad. If you live overseas like in North America, the shipping can be daunting.

I was over in Norway in July/2012 about 80km SW of Oslo for 3 weeks, visiting my pen pal. Although I had driven with her through Oslo, she was reticent in stopping in Oslo to shop, since she was an elderly lady and did not want to be there come nightfall. Can't blame her. I feel the same way of all big cities the world over. They can be dangerous. I also didn't want to take the train into Oslo alone for, even though the Norwegians are most polite and know English, I'd rather have a companion with me while in a large city, especially if you don't know your way around. So therefore, I didn't have the chance to seek out the Pickles store, or see and touch the wool, or possibly even chat with the 2 women, if even they have been there.

Knitting garments are my favorite. I do not do much in the way of mittens, hats scarves, cowls, capelets, although I have done a few. I have done 4 garments from the Pickles repertoire: the Swing Skirt, the I <3 Me Jumper, the Day Job Dress: (frogged) and the Topp 10. The Swing Skirt was pretty straight forward. If I made it slightly big, the elastic waist would draw it in. It said to make an I cord hem which I didn't care for the looks of, so I crochet a lacy edging to the hem instead. Overall, I was happy with the outcome. I also was happy with the outcome with the I <3 Me Jumper, but if I remember correctly, I cast on the amount of stitches for front and back the usual amount for worsted weight yarn that I used, for my body size and didn't follow their cast on directions because the heart pattern at the top would have no decreases until the neck whereas, it would be uniform for all sizes, no matter what yarn weight or size you chose. I did have to make a modification at the neck because at the finishing point, the neckline would have been hanging on the edges of either side of my shoulders. So to remedy that, I place markers on the center top of either sleeve at the last row of straight stockinette stitch and k2 tog between those 2 markers and after the 2nd marker, I k1 until the end, thus drawing up the neck a bit and having a better fit. I would then do a k1, p1 ribbing for the neckband.

The Office Skjole/Dress I had to completely frog. I went according to my bust size and adjusted the needles accordingly, added a few inches length at the waist line before you knitted the smaller portion in tiny needles, (for I have a long torso) but with the underarm increases, made the dress look like a potato sack on me. No amount of drawing it in at the waist with a belt and puffing it out over the belt would help. It appears that if you're not as slim as a green bean and have very little bust, these patterns aren't going to work because the only measurements given in most, if not all of their adult patterns only give the bust size and then the overall length. That is not helpful for those who are very busty but their measurements are smaller in their waist and hips. I have bought jumpers from manufacturers that design the garment in such a way that, if you are a 48 inch bust, you must be 48 inches all the way down in waist and hips and you must be built like a barrel. Not so! I was a professional seamstress most of my life and when I did a garment, I needed the bust, waist and hips of the person to even begin to sew a garment for them, not to mention sleeve length, etc. So these adult patterns on Pickles need more than just a bust measurement and finished length. Even with the tapering on either sides didn't make a difference with my 4th project, the Topp 10. I think I even went down a few sizes to ensure it would fit but still, even with correct gauge and needles, it is bigger than I wanted it to be, but doable. I am now glad that I did not do the increases as per the pattern. I instead cast on more stitches for the sleeves on either side so they would be closer to the underarm. I like my garment to be semi fitted, not sack-like. I have one more Pickles project (Topp-ned-Topp) on the needles, but then after that is finished, that is it with following Pickles knitting instructions according to Hoyle. I will go according to my personal measurements for a particular yarn and then modify accordingly. Only way I can get most all patterns to fit me. Good thing I didn't purchase any yarn packs with the patterns. Not only would I be out of a lot of money for the yarn but frogging yarn and reusing it renders it more difficult to use the next time in another garment. If you live close to their shop and can get help from their shop keepers then I believe you can have success with most of their patterns. I come from a country where there is no knitting tradition and was not taught in the schools and probably hasn't been in over 60 years. Glad that in the last 30 years, it has been making a comeback but not by way of the school systems. Happy knitting!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fast and Easy Crochet Shawls

Hello all. I still have some UFO's in my knitting and crochet basket undone. I guess I needed a short, "instant gratification" project to jump start me to work on them. And that it did. The weather is finally getting cooler at night, cooler during the day but far from being autumn in this area. We've had some rains which had helped. So the other day I went to my downloads of patterns that I have collected in my ravelry library and chose one that looked like I could do it in about 2 days. It was the Semifreddo Shawlette by Mary Beth Temple. A very quick shawl: a crescent shape shawl consisting of double crochets and ch 5 loops that are connected by the top row of ch 5 loops for a few rows and then repeat the double crochet pattern several rows and then repeat the ch 5 loop rows. I used some fingering 50/50 wool/acrylic yarn that was brown/tan/taupe/white variegated yarn that was in my stash that was leftover from another project. It was finished off with picots around the crescent edge but I went all the way around. I might just make several more as a stash buster and make one longer than required rather than according to original instruction. Here is a pic of one and I will post another laid flat on a flat surface where you can see the detail better.
Until next time, happy fiber fun!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Working hard finishing up various UFO's (why do we fiber artist always start something new when we aren't finished with the project at hand?) before I can post them. I am currently working on a crochet skirt, a knitted top and another crochet lacy top. One is dependent whether I have enough yarn of one color to finish the other. That would help. Plus I'm anxious to start spinning. Bought a load of merino top to spin but it is a tad too hot to spin where I live at the moment. Can't even touch wool in the hot weather.

Shall be back with photos when one (or more) are finished.

Happy fiber fun!