Friday, October 30, 2009

Autumn Scarf

Yes more knitting. I'm actually doing very little sewing lately as I've found knitting to be so much easier to pick-up-and-put-down. Plus it's fall and there's more to watch on TV so I can knit and watch. But I do have two quilting projects I will finish in November!

This scarf was knit with Koigu's KPPPM yarn and it's lovely to knit with. Plus Koigu comes in every color under the sun - from slightly varigated solids to tonal stripes to wild rainbows! Really, the prettiest part of a yarn store may be the Koigu section - it's a riot of color.
Here's a few skeins of Koigu, including the 2 that created this scarf:

The pattern is called Sock-it-to-me and is from the 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders book. Yes there are definitely some fluff and silly things in there but there is also a ton of good projects you'd actually make. Good book.

I got through this scarf in just two weeks! I was really pushing to finish it though since I wanted to wear it to our family portrait day last weekend. I hope it photographed well!
Raveled here

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Noro Shawlette

What is a shawlette? It's a tiny shawl. Or something that was supposed to be a shawl but the knitter was sick of the thing and decided to quit early. So now instead of keeping shoulders warm, it's just basically a triangular scarf.

This is a lace pattern called Kellokukka that I did intend to make as a full size shawl. However I did not enjoy knittign with the yarn, Noro Kureyon Sock. Ick. It's thick and thin (and I mean blobby, really thick and then thin as thread), it's not soft and I was all done with it. I do love the look of the slow color gradation but I need to find it in a nicer yarn. Did I mention that this Noro isn't cheap either? Definitely not buying it again!

So I had done a decent amount was coming to the end of a repeat. I could have kept going, maybe knit at least one more 18-row repeat but I decided to quit before I hated the whole thing and end it short. At least it's usable as I was able to block it it to 40" wide! In the end I used just over half of the skein. As I said, I just couldn't take it anymore!
Raveled here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mittens and Hats

Brrrr! Suddenly it got very cold here and I had to admit that just throwing on a hoodie on myself and the kids wasn't going to cut it anymore. I dug out our box of mittens/gloves/scarves and then scavenged around to see if coats from last year would fit the boys this winter. It looks like we are OK on coats, but Nate only had one mitten. I found a pair of Nate's old mittens that would be fine for Ben but I have vivid memories of wrestling Nate's fingers into them and thought we could do with a easier pair.
Some new mittens were definitely in order!

Now I've been bitten by the knitting bug but no way could I have finished 2 knit pairs in one evening like I did sewing up these fleece pairs:

Fortunately I still had the mitten pattern pieces I used last year when I made mittens/scarf/hat sets for all the toddlers. The pattern is free, but there is some work involved scaling the pattern to the right size for the user. It was great to just be able to cut and sew! For Ben's I just basically winged it. No thumbs on his. I used up all of the blue making Nate's pair and didn't have a good other color for Ben's. So I ended up using this luscious smooth minkee. I used white fleece for the inside to make sure it would be warm enough. (Of course white wouldn't have stayed clean for long on the outside!) These were pretty quick jobs but definitely functional. :)

Then back to the saga of the pumpkin hat. Sigh. I really had a lot of problems with this. My first hat was too big and stretched even bigger. I also didn't love the rolled edge (especially with the stretchiness.) I ended up taking out some bottom rows and knitting a ribbed bottom instead. However, it is too big for Ben and almost too big for Nate! So it's officially Nate's hat now. I started knitting another, making it a bit smaller, for Ben. I finished it and tried it on him (bad idea to wait to the end to do this!) and it was too small now!! My notes for the first hat were wrong and I knit the 2nd one with a much smaller gauge resulting in too small a hat. Argh! I had to put it away for about a week I was so frustrated with it.

But the cold weather made me determined to pick it up again. I undid the bottom, knitted up more rows, put a nice garter stitch edge on and bound off. I was as usual, so very very close to running out of yarn! But it finally FITS him now. (Of course, he still hates wearing hats!) I have a bit more green yarn (no more orange) that I may use to make ties for this still. We'll see.

I shared this project before but I'm really only calling it complete now that I found the perfect button for my hat!

And this won't really be a cold-weather scarf but the fall colors definitely make me want to get it done NOW! It's knit with lovely Koigu KPPPM yarn which is sock weight meaning it isn't a fast knit, though it is fun and pretty easy. I love love love the colors on display here. Only a few more feet to go! ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pumpkin Surprise

This ended up being a bigger project than I first imagined! Actually I think the problem was that I thought I was "almost done" a half dozen times and a full week's worth of knitting before I really was. This was definitely a learning experience.
The pattern is the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It has a really unique ingenious construction and as soon as I heard about this misshapen dishtowel that folds to make a jacket I had to try it out. Really, here it is when I "finished" knitting it and laid it flat. Crazy looking right?

So at this point I had completed all the pattern rows and thought I was almost done. Nope. I needed to bind off. Many bind off methods are quick but I wanted to try an I-cord bind off. Of course I didn't know how to do that but YouTube is a modern knitter's friend and it didn't look too hard. I got about a 1/3 of the way through the slow process when I discovered that while I'm a loose knitter in general I'm a very tight I-corder! So I had to rip it out and redo. S-l-o-w. I do think it was definitely worthwhile though. I used the aqua for the I-cord and I love the look. It also gives a nice firm edge to the jacket which might have become too stretchy and droopy without it. Oh and during this I near had a heart attack thinking I was going to run out of the aqua yarn a foot short. It was close. (OK, the picture above has the I-cord step done too)

Almost done? Not quite. I needed to seam up the shoulders. Not hard but again, not fast.
Next? Buttons. I didn't want to make a trip just for buttons (as I knew this would lead to buying too much fabric I don't currently need) so I dug through my supplies instead. I happened to have a 1/2" fabric button kit so I searched through my fabric stash and then my scraps. I was just hoping for a decent match to the aqua but I hit the JACKPOT. I had teeny tiny scraps of a Park Slope print that not only was the exact blue but also had the exact orange AND a cute bird print that was the perfect size for the button too. Really, if I designed it it wouldn't have come out any better.

Whew. Finished? Hardly! Apparently the Baby Surprise Jacket proportions really only work for a newborn. Since this was for a tall one-year old I needed to make the sleeves longer. I ended up adding about 4" to each sleeve. And please remind me next time I'm working an unfamiliar pattern to not add crazy stripes. I originally had the sleeve ending with the wide aqua band but since I was lengthening them I had to continue the stripe pattern - one ridge of orange, two of green then back to orange.

But now? DONE! And maybe Ben will wear it for a few weeks before he outgrows it. ;)
Raveled here

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A little Fairy flew in yesterday

And brought us some amazing Halloween (and other) goodies!
This fairy swap was with some lovely crafters from Is it weird that a site about baby carriers got me hooked on sewing and crafting?? So many of us were making and sharing pics of clothes, toys, home items, etc. that we needed a new sub-forum over there just for DIY that wasn't babywearing-related. So the fairy swap was to make almost anything. It could be things for the mama, the kids, the dog, whatever! Really it just has to be one tiem but everyone loves to go above and beyond and my fairy was no exception. We got so many fabulous gifts!!

First, aww... the box art

My boys digging into the box! (They never seem to be wearing shirts after dinner)

An amazing bag packed with goodies!

A super cute Halloween bunting!

Wine charms! They are actually tiny pictures of Lizzie Dish fabrics!! That's the print line I made a lot of kitchen accessories with. How perfect are these?
I have no idea how these were made but I'm in love!

2 adorable bags - perfect for trick or treating

And more pictures of my new bag. I love the shape, the color, the details! Now I need some tips on sewing cording too!

Thank you thank you thank you!! We had so much fun opening up all the gifts and they will all definitely be used!