18 December 2007

First successful sweater - done!

I need to update this blog more often!

Here is my most recent project - the "Fugly Funnel Neck" sweater, sans funnel neck.

Pattern: Funky Funnel Neck Fun, Yarn Girl's Guide to Simple Knits.
Needles: 10.5 circular
Yarn: Bernat Soft Bucle
Notes: Chunky boucle yarn originally bought for a blanket, until I realized it didn't match my couch at all. So I decided to make a plain, baggy, around-the-house sweater for when it's chilly. It's ok that it's ugly, because it is WARM and my first finished sweater. Now that I've got the beginner's jitters out of my system, I can move on to better things.

Seaming wasn't so bad, but was challenging with this particular yarn. There was very little visible stitch definition, so I sort of had to wing it. But it turned out just fine.

I don't think I would use this pattern for a sweater I actually intended to wear outside of the house without some modifications. The smallest size swims on me, and there is no waist shaping. Good for lounging around the house, or an 80s-themed Flashdance party, not so good for everyday wear.

PS - I did not sew it up as a funnel neck, but instead folded down the neckline as a boat neck.

19 November 2007

New coat = excuse for knitting!

I obviously need a new scarf, hat, gloves, etc. to match my new winter coat. Actually, I have two new winter coats, so that's double the knitting. I'm not complaining :D

Here's the first coat:

And to match, I knitted a lace cap at this weekend's Philly SnB:

It still needs to be blocked and there is a wee end sticking out that I forgot to weave in before wearing to work this morning. Also, I knit it a little shorter than I should have because I planned on crocheting the bottom edge (as the pattern calls for), but then I realized I'm not too great at crocheting the edges of knit items! So hopefully it will block a little longer to fit my head, or I'll have to figure something else out. It's a cute hat, but needs to be a little longer.

Next on the agenda - mittens!

26 October 2007

Another blunder!

I am not having a good knitting week at all am I?! I took a break from my sweater for a day and worked on a felted cloche hat. But somehow I messed up the top bind-off. I won't say it's the reason, but I guess the glasses of wine and subtitled movie didn't help. I thought felted might hide the mistake, but no. I may try to felt it again and see if it is wearable, but I'm guessing it's not. Ugh!

The sweater blues

I am not happy with my sweater progress. The color jogs are far too noticeable for me to accept. It looks messy :( I guess I shouldn't expect my first sweater to be perfect, but I was a little bummed when I tried it on last night. It seems like the sleeves might also turn out too baggy. I suppose I should just continue (I've come this far) and see what happens. At the very least, it will have been a learning experience and who doesn't need a sweater to wear around the house, right?

23 October 2007

In danger of hibernation

One of my current WIPs (Knitty's Wisp) is in major danger of hibernation. It's a lovely pattern - easy to follow, very pretty outcome - but it's just sort of boring. Further, I'm not sure I chose the right yarn. I don't mind so much the boring pattern, afterall, I do like mindless knitting for DVD-watching. But I'm thinking I made an uneducated yarn substitution. The Misti Alpaca laceweight I'm using doesn't have the same mohair halo as the original, and my edges are looking quite wonky. Perhaps blocking will help, but I'm not convinced it will look as nice as the original. :(

Second sock syndrome

Yikes, I had the triple S threat on my first (real) sock! After I took my sock knitting class at Rosie's, I purchased a great reference book - Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd. It's really clear and informative, with step-by-step instructions on how to knit socks of almost any weight. I had some sport weight yarn in my stash, so I whipped up my first adult-sized sock. And it was perfect (to me, at least)! It was so comfy and felt squishy under my feet, and my gussets looked great. I was so proud! But for some reason, I didn't start on the second sock right away. Then I went on vacation and abandoned all knitting for a week. When I came back, I wasn't in the mood for sock knitting. By the time I finally felt like knitting the partner for my lone, perfect sock, I'd forgotten what moderations I'd made to the pattern! Argh. Poor lonely sock.
Lessons learned: Take clear notes of any mods made to the first sock! Don't wait a month and half before starting the second sock! Learn how to do two socks on two circs!

22 October 2007

In the spirit of the season

The sweater is coming along. I am having slight issues with the color jog in the front (argh), but hey, it's a first sweater. Practice makes perfect, yeah? I sure hope so. I'm already thinking about what I want to do for my next sweater!

In other craft news, this weekend was full of fall fun. Saturday I went to my mom's house where we carved jack o' lanterns and had a big dinner. It was really lovely.

Jamie went old school and free-handed his pumpkin; I did the ghost/tombstone/tree:

Jamie also sucked up a bit and added a message to the back of his (Hunter creeped in for the photo op):


Going to my mom's house always inspires me to make my house more home-y. Her house is always decorated for the season and smells great with tons of candles. It's very inviting and cozy. My house - not so much. So when I got home, I immediately lit a pumpkin spice candle and put up the (very, very few) fall decorations that I have. I also made a wreath for the front door.

Just a small one, but I like it. I think I'll also make a winter wreath when those holidays roll around.

Speaking of home decor, I want to start making my house nicer year-round. I'm going to start with the bedroom and living room, simply because those are my two favorite rooms. Yesterday I bought new bedding as a first step to a lush bedroom. It's a bit Marie Antoinette, but hey, it was on sale. Next I'll need matching nightstands and window treatments.

Don't mind the mess in the corner, or the bag of yarn hanging off the side of the bed. I guess you can tell which side is mine, haha. See - I really do need a nightstand. One step at a time.

19 October 2007

More progress!

I am working away on the Essential Stripe sweater - my Ravenclaw-esque version. I've finally passed the point where I join in the round - thank goodness! I much prefer stockinette in the round. I plan on knitting away tonight and seeing how far I can get.

I'm slightly concerned about stripes in the round, and the whole "jog" issue...but we'll see if I can avoid it by using the tip included with the pattern. *fingers crossed*

16 October 2007

It's about time!

For me to start my first sweater, that is. I finally broke down and picked a pattern and the yarn for my first attempt. I chose a top-down raglan because I just do not enjoy seaming, and I want my first sweater to be as painless as possible.

I didn't purposely choose navy and gray for this to be a Ravenclaw-esque sweater; it was a fortunate accident. I happen to like the colors, and I happen to like Ravenclaw, so it all works out.

Here's my progress so far. I can't tell if it's the right size, but I'm almost finished the raglan increases, and soon I'll join in the round and I'll be able to do some rough measuring.

I know it looks extra small right now, but that's just because the stitches are squished on a 24" circular (I hope).

05 September 2007

My first sock(ish)!

On Sunday I took a sock knitting class at my LYS. I've been wanting to knit socks for the longest time, and sock yarn makes me drool. So it was high time that I had someone teach me. In class, we learned to knit a chunky "mini sock" on big needles. I sort of messed up and did far too many rows on the heel turn (I knit faster than the other students, so I just kept going until they caught up, oops) so I have a weird instep thing going on. But otherwise, it's a sock! Knit by me! Yes!

Also useful - I was diagnosed in class...as a tight knitter. I never knew.

I also picked up some yarn to make an adult sized pair of socks for the pattern they provided (also using chunky yarn and big needles). I attempted to knit the first sock Sunday evening, but had holes in my gussets, so I ripped it all out in frustration. I started again today at lunch, so maybe the second time will be a success.

My other purchase - some pretty powder pink laceweight for a shawl I have planned for my next project. Yum. Can't wait to start!

Note to knitters: Do not knit while intoxicated

Here is one example of what may happen:

Haha! As you can see, everything was going fine, until that last vodka cranberry kicked in. I didn't even notice the blunder until I finished binding off and all I could do was laugh. At least it's only a stash-busting washcloth.

Pattern: Little shells
Needles: 9 straight, I think
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream
Notes: This is my favorite washcloth pattern. The lace is easy enough to do while not really paying attention (well, in non-drinking situations apparently) and has a lovely drape. The sunshine yellow is also very pretty and cheery.

Felting is fun

Amanda's Squatty Sidekick
10.5 circular
Cascade 220
Overall a fun pattern to knit, and very easy. I liked that it gave me more practice picking up stitches. The finished and felted bag is cute, but I'm not sure I'll use it much. For some reason I'm digging the look of the Sophie bag from MagKnits a bit more. I still need to attach a button, as the one I'd intended to use is a bit too small.

Here is is pre-felted:

28 August 2007

Success! (sort of)

I've decided it's time I finally take the plunge and try a sweater. Scary! After scouring the web for an easy-looking pattern, I decided to try the Anthropologie-inspired Capelet, which is worked top-down. Because this was really just an experiment to see if I could do it, I used cheapo acrylic yarn originally bought for a blanket. I haven't even finished the capelet, as the sleeves are still on waste yarn, but the fact that I followed the pattern and got the basic shape is encouraging. Now I have the confidence to start my first "real" sweater--one that I would actually wear.

Here's a pic of the unfinished sweater:

Pattern: Anthropologie-inspired Capelet
Needles: 11 circular
Yarn: Caron worsted acrylic, double-stranded
Notes: A very easy-to-follow pattern, and quick at that! I did this in two sittings (I never finish anything in one sitting). The cheap yarn was not fun to work with, especially double-stranded on bamboo needles. But that was my own fault for being cheap and not wanting to buy yarn for the experiment. The one thing I don't like about the sweater is that it is shorter in the back and longer in the front. If I make it again, I'll extend the back.

22 August 2007

Feather and fan scarf, for now

I've started a new scarf, just for "tv" knitting, as I call it - knitting I can do while watching a DVD or chatting with friends, etc. My "real" WIP these days is Knitty's Branching Out, which is coming along nicely, but slowly. That, however, requires my full attention, as it is the most involved lace knitting I've done yet. Pics of that later.

For now, here's the Feather and Fan I started with Patons SWS (a wool/soy blend). I love the colorway and the sheen of the yarn, but it's a bit too fuzzy. I think this might be better off as a felting yarn. It's coming along fine, but I am having some doubts. There's a chance this may end up frogged.

As you can see, I'm not too far along, so frogging wouldn't be a major headache. When I first saw the yarn I envisioned a hat, scarf, mitten set, but the striping may be too gradual for a hat. Sigh.

Interweave Knits Summertime Tunic, pt. 2

Here it is, finally complete after blocking and adding the ribbon. I'll admit it is a tad too large, but wearable. My biggest problem is with the back, which I think is a bit too wide. I may end up wearing it underneath a cardigan, because I don't think the front looks that bad, but I'm unhappy with the back. (You may need to click on the photos for them not to look distorted - I'm still getting this blogger thing).

Pattern: Interweave Summertime Tunic
Needles: Size 4 and 6 circulars
Yarn: Valley Yarns Longmeadow, 5 skeins in Lettuce
Notes: The pattern was quite easy to follow, though a tad boring (inches upon inches of stockinette). Not a bad choice for a first garment. I liked working with the yarn - it's very soft and feels nice to work with and to wear. If I made this again, I'd do the smallest size.

13 August 2007

Interweave Knits Summertime Tunic, pt. 1

Well I finally finished the tunic I've been working on for months. The reason it took so long is that I quickly got bored of the zillion rows of stockinette stitch, and I forgot about it for about a full month. Anyway, it's finally done and blocking. I can't say I'm thrilled with the result so far :( It looks a bit too big for me. I guess I should have done the extra-small version instead of small.

Maybe blocking will make a difference. I sure hope so. This was my first time knitting a garment, and it would be a shame if I end up never wearing it.

09 August 2007

Ribbed gauntlets

These were born from a need to stay warm at work while still being able to type. They were also my first bona fide double-pointed needle project (other than a hat, which had been started by a friend). The yarn was a joy to work with and the final result is much prettier than I can photograph.

Pattern: Handknit ribbed gauntlets from Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio
Needles: 2.5 dpns
Yarn: Koigu KPM fingering weight yarn

I'm sure I'll be making these again. It's a simple and basic pattern that leaves room for embellishment. Some sort of ribbon might be nice. Hmm...

Thrift scores

Not too long ago, I came across a bag of yarn in my local thrift store. The store usually has the random bag or skein of yarn, but it's typically ratty-looking acrylic that is easy to pass by. On this particular day, the bag of yarn I found looked somewhat promising. At the very least, it had some interesting yarns inside. I could see a skein of homespun mixed in with some eyelash yarn. It was $2.99 for the bag, so I figured I would take it home and see if I could use any of it.

Once home, I opened the package to see if any yarn was salvageable. Goodness! I got quite a deal! For less than three bucks I got ten skeins of yarn, including:

1 ball Sensations Bellezza Collection - Margherita in Color 3
1 skein Lion Brand Homepun in Barrington
1 ball Trendsetter Voila Print in Color 14
2 skeins Sensations Oceania in Orange Multi
2 skeins Lanna Gato Amsterdam in Color 2718
2 skeins Trendsetter Savvy in Color 4972


1 hank Noro Big Kureyon in Color 2.

The Noro alone makes the purchase well worth the money. In fact, much of the yarn had price tags of $10...$12...even $20 on them. Unfortunately I'm not much for the eyelash yarn and don't think I'll make anything with it. I'll hold onto it for now just in case.

I've already made a scarf from the Trendsetter Savvy, which I intend to donate to charity. The novelty yarn isn't my style, but maybe it will make someone else happy.

I'm in the process of making a simple shawl from the homespun, to keep at work for the extra chilly days (I swear they keep the temperatures below freezing -- I already have a scarf and fingerless gloves at my desk).

As for the Noro, well, I'll have to think of something special to make with that.

08 August 2007

Lemon Sophie

I've decided to jump right in and start posting, and I'll work on making the blog look pretty later. Otherwise, I'll obsess over aesthetics and never get to the blogging!

Here's my most recent FO, completed last night: Lemon Sophie.

Pattern: Sophie from MagKnits
Needles: 10.5 16" circs
Yarn: Cascade 220
Mods: I think I made the handles two inches shorter, but that's it.

Notes: It's my first felting project, and also my first time picking up stitches and doing i-cords. Overall, a very quick and easy knit. Instant gratification. Also, felting is fun!

07 August 2007

The first post

You know, to get started. Let's see how it looks.