Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Knitting. The finale.

OK, thank God this is over. It was a semi-failure. Stress, anger, tears...isn't that the true meaning of Christmas?
First thing first: the Clapotis for my Mother-in-law. I finished it this morning, and was pretty happy with it. I was almost finished with it, but had to drop down all the stitches...and interestingly enough, that takes forever.
This hat is one I made for Miles, and surprise! Was too small. Ugh. Christmas sucks. I'm the worst knitter ever.
Time for a Christmas shame spiral, kids!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh, it's ON.

There is a Christmas project that I'm working on....I won't post a picture for fear of the recipient seeing it...but I didn't think I'd be done with it and that I'd have to frog the damn thing. I fixed it last night...and I'm going to finish it.
it....This is the yarn I'm using though...Berroco Ultra Alpaca (glorious yarn)

Raleigh Hills Hat and Gloves

So here's the Raleigh Hills hat, made for Chris. It's one of my favorite patterns, and the yarn is really nice: Cascade 220. Cascade is giving Berroco a run for its money in terms of most awesomest yarn right now...but anyway. It took a day and a half to make, and it's pretty mindless. But the staggered cable is really nice looking. I like that the cables are smaller - I think this was knitted on 8s, so it's not super small, but .... it's a nice size. Side note, I don't know WHAT the deal is with my hair in this picture. Usually I have a full WCF, but for some reason it photographed like a Pantene commercial. I'm not complaining, but I just wish it looked like that more often.

Here are my first gloves. Unfortunately (for Chris) these are sidelined while I make Christmas presents...Same yarn as the looking at this, I feel guilty that I haven't finished them.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Knitting

I realize that posting pictures of Christmas knitting projects is a dangerous game, especially when it's December 21 and I've been trumpeting my new blog on Facebook....But I've only posted pictures of presents for little people who I'm pretty sure can't read yet, so I'm not worried.

This hat is for my sister's new baby boy, in Patons Classic Wool...I wanted to make a teeny tiny hat for a teeny little goober, because Scoop is turning into a giant toddler, so it's still cute to knit for him...but not as cute as knitting for a 1 month old baby.

This hat is currently on standby - it's the Doubles hat for one of my nephews...I was initially going to make a Toasty Topper (from for all my nephews, but this one in particular didn't seem like a Toasty Topper kind of guy. Besides, his mom told me that he had a joker hat that he this one has that vibe. I knit this one in Patons Classic Wool (I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics on Black Friday at 6 a.m. and surprise! My sister and I were the only people there, with the exception of an old lady in the sewing section) in Olive...The finished hat looks like this: (well, I'm hoping my finished version looks like this too - this photo is from trekcelt on Ravelry - the author of the pattern itself)

I'm going to frog it and start over, because I'm knitting it on 4s and 6s and it's just too small. I'm going to rip down to the ribbing, and then go up to maybe a 7 or 8. The pattern is simple, just 40 rows of seed stitch, and then a 3 needle bind off (my favorite kind of bind off, as it makes an insanely neat seam), and that creates the joker-hat style points...then just make some tassels, and voila! Once I finish what I'm working on (tomorrow, for sure) I'm going to work on this one.

This is obviously for my only niece. It's a Patons Classic Wool in the Rosewood colorway, which is really neat. It was my first felting project, and it was a simple cloche hat pattern. As it was my first time, I didn't know that the pre-felting object would be hilariously huge.
Anyway, it was fun to make. I made it in 1 day, as knitting on 13s takes about 5 seconds to complete a hat. Once it was felted, I got some Berroco Suede to freestyle embroider a couple of hearts on it. (I love, love, love Berroco yarns: they're fairly cheap, good quality, good yardage, and the Ultra Alpaca is glorious)

The hat I'm working on now I don't have a picture of yet, because I'm writing this. And when I'm not writing this I'm either knitting the hat, or going to take care of Scoop while he's coughing (he's come down with a nasty cold, and is currently not too happy about it. Can't say that I blame him) It's for my nephew, and he's a few months older than Scoop, so this one is the easiest to figure, size-wise. It's Patons Classic Wool, in blue, and white. It was going to be the Toasty Topper, but I just couldn't face short rows and the attached scarf, so it's a modification of that and the color chart from the Norwegian Star Earflap Hat. I started it as the T.T., but decided I wanted to try 2 color knitting, and the Norwegian Star chart had the right amount of stitches, and it's only a 15 row chart (Right now I'm on row 11). So I'm going to finish the chart, and then work in stockinette for a couple of rows, and bind off so it's a rolled edge. I made the executive decision to not do ribbing, because if I finish with K2P2 rib, and then I have to go back to the Doubles Hat and do seed stitch, I'll flip out.

Julie's Hat

I made this one for my cuz on her birthday, and I must say, this is a really great pattern for this variegated yarn..It made a swirl up the hat, which was fun. I think this was Farmhouse Yarns Andy's Merino, or maybe it wasn't I got it in the bahhgain room, and there was no tag on it.

Cait's Cabled Neckwarmer

Now, I ventured away from hats for this one. I loved the pattern, thought it was interesting that it was just a neckwarmer, and not a scarf...I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice, which is 100% acrylic, as Cait's allergic to wool. (I know! I would HATE to be allergic to wool.) The cable is insane. It's a 24 row chart, and it's a real bitch to do. It took a lot longer than you would think, because it was a Celtic knot-style cable. So for the buttons, I chose a pewter button with a similar looking Celtic knot. It seemed to go pretty well! Cait's gotten some compliments on it, so I'm rather proud of it.
Initially, this pattern was going to be made in Debbie Bliss' hot pink Cathay yarn, because Kir was using it to make Cait fingerless gloves, and I had some too. I decided against it for several reasons:
1. I hate Debbie Bliss yarns. They're overpriced, they always split on me (and don't blame my needles, I use Turbos), and you get 50 yards per ball, which is annoying. And lame.
2. The weight of the yarn was not heavy enough for the pattern. Using a splitty yarn doubled was a nightmare.
3. Since it's a more ropey yarn, it made kind of a flopsy fabric, which I didn't want. A neckwarmer needs to fit your neck well, without flopping around, because otherwise, what's the point of wearing one if it slides down?
I'm not sure why I didn't take a picture of the FO...

Hat for Bez

So, as this is my first full year knitting, I didn't know much about planning the timing of gifts, so pretty much everyone got a hat from me as a present. Next year should be better, planning-wise. Bez's hat is my 2nd hat venture (the first one being Julie's hat).
Bez's hat also featured my first major mistake. I really hope she won't read this, but ... whatever. I didn't read the pattern completely, and I wasn't aware that usually when knitting a hat from the bottom up, you use two different size needles, one for the ribbing, and one for the rest. It's all in the larger size, so the ribbing is a bit big. It fits, and it's another Farmhouse Yarns project, but unlike my Prayer Shawl, I LOVE the color of this variegated yarn. It's a deep, deep blue with bits of dark green. It looked like the Caribbean so I was simultaneously depressed and in love.


So, of course I knit a CPH. My sister introduced me to the wonderful world of Interweave Press...and the CPH, which I promptly fell in love with. My first cabled project, and first experience with a garment. The cables took a bit of getting used to, but the project was easy to memorize, and fun to do. It does get boring, making a sweater, but come on. A whole sweater! It's still not technically finished (I never added buttons) and I didn't make buttonholes (I didn't like the crocheted ones on the pattern), but I still wore it when I was in Vermont this summer. Yeah, that's right. I wore it. In August.
Oh, and this introduced me to the wonderful world of...picking up stitches. Annoying. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease for this, because at that point, I wasn't a fancypants like everyone else who used Donegal Tweed. It's a bit rough for me, so whatever.
The second one is one I'm making for my sister-in-law, who liked mine when she saw it. I didn't use Wool-Ease for this one. I went to Saybrook Yarn's insane sale from Labor Day weekend...the 6 a.m. sale which was totally worth it. Merino Sheepskin Co.'s Wool-Pak 10 ply in navy. A great yarn, and I love getting a ton of yarn at once. I think there's over 200 yards in each...I wouldn't say skein. A hank? Nevertheless, it's awesome. Hopefully I'll finish it by her birthday in February...but it's already almost Christmas and I'm still stuck with hats. Oh, and the clapotis, which has been giving me nightmares, but that's another story.

Dropped Stitch Scarf

So this little gem is my first FO. I went to the class on the dropped stitch scarf on CT Y&W, and used some delicious bamboo for it...

ooohhh...shiny....soft....stupid expensive. (Look, CT Y&W IS expensive, but when they have sales and the Baaaahgain Room is totally worth it. Their Fill-a-Bag sales are pretty awesome, too)
This looks like a hot mess, non? Being my first real FO, I hadn't realized that when you knit something, especially something with an interesting stitch pattern like this one did, you might want to flatten the project, and then take the picture, not drop it on the floor and take the picture.
Oh well. You learn something new everyday, right? ....maybe.

The Ugliest Prayer Shawl ever.

So, honestly. I don't know WHAT I was thinking using Farmhouse Yarn's crazily variegated yarn for a prayer shawl for my church, which they donate to my local hospital, or to parishioners going through illness, or hard times. It's a nice yarn,'s just too crazy. You need a super plain project to use this particular colorway, and the standard K3,P3 repeat of a prayer shawl makes a nubby fabric that, in this case, looks like someone seriously hurled all over it.
Can I get a witness?

I'm at a loss as to what to do with it. I went to a prayer shawl dedication and had it blessed, but ... it's just so ugly. I want to frog it, but what about the blessing on it? Is that bad form? Whatever. My desire to frog will probably win in the end. This thing could make a sick person sicker. Or more depressed. Or whatever.

My first blog!

Hey err'ubudy. This heah's me blog. It's snowing, I should be knitting, but I want to be hip and trendy and have a supercool blog when I'm not knitting. I will get to posting all of my knitting projects that I have on Ravelry....Hopefully! And I think my title of the blog is slightly misleading. I started my knitting career as a rage knitter, but have mellowed slightly.