Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!


Ricky sez, "Who is this strange and furry creature? And why do I have the urge to run away?"

PS. No cats were harmed in the taking of this picture. Pooh might've suffered some damage...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

brown penguin

Despite my best intentions, the mittens are not done. Hubby's birthday has come & gone and I still have at least half a mitten left to knit.


If you look on the palm of the first mitten, you can see a glaring boo boo. I'll have to duplicate stitch over it because I don't feel like ripping back.


If you decode the left palm, it says, "Hello World!". If you don't understand the significance of the phrase, Wikipedia has an excellent explanation. Hubby picked it, not me. What a geek! When I started the second mitten I decided to encode my own message into the palm. Hee hee!

My MIL returned home late last week so things have been getting back to normal. I finally delivered the Anemoi mittens to their new owner. Sadly, she was asleep with a bad cold so I handed the mittens over to her husband. He put them on and noted that they fit. Hmmm, she'll have to make sure he doesn't steal them!

After I dropped off the mittens, I treated myself to a little yarn therapy. The LYSes really were on the way home!


The red skein is some sort of Fleece Artist/Handmaiden sock yarn. I think it might be sea wool. The two skeins of Kauni are the same colour eventhough they don't look the same. And the big white blob is undyed Dream in Color Smooshy which will probably be used for more fair isle. Can you tell that I'm hooked?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pooling diamonds and fall leaves

It's fall, the season of pumpkins, pumpkin pie, turkey dinner (we've already had our Thanksgiving dinner here in Canada) and, of course, lots of knitting!

Andrew and I went to the pumpkin patch with his Grade 1 class. This photo was taken when the rain had taken a brief intermission down to a light mist. About 10 minutes after this, the skies opened, and the wind came on, and we had sideways rain and rain so hard that it actually bounced off the puddles and mud and you had to call it upside down rain. (Yes, we probably have about 50 different terms for wet precipitation in this town.)

And then last night, there was more rain and wind, and when we came out this morning, our cherry tree had dumped half its leaves into the yard. So the boys and I raked up a lot of it, and they had a little bit of a leaping competition. (Andrew won.)

And I've been knitting on another pooling project, so I'm pleased to offer up another pattern. This one's going to Angela in San Francisco. I first met her on Ravelry when I ran out of yarn for my Icarus shawl, and she offered to wind off some for me and send it to me.

She sent me this skein of yarn as a surprise treat for me, so I turned it into a stole and I'm sending it back to her -- and you get a free pattern out of it!

Pooling Diamonds Stole

Here it is on Ravelry!



(Note: If you're new to the pooling technique, please read the first pattern in this series to get a good idea of how to figure out where your yarn will pool.)

Using an "e" or backwards loop cast-on, cast on 83 stitches onto a US7 needle. Please see my previous posts about figuring out your own "magic number" for your tension on the needles you've chosen. For this pattern, it's pretty easy to subtract pairs of edge stitches if you need to use fewer stitches to get the pooling to happen.

Knit garter stitch for 6 rows.

Start working with the chart below. The stitches in yellow are your garter edging. My edging had 3 stitches in it, but your edging will be different depending on your stitch tension, so please add or subtract stitches as you need to.

(Click on the chart to get it in a larger, more printable size.)

End with a Row 9 or a Row 19.

Knit garter stitch for 6 rows.

Bind off very loosely using a sewn bindoff, to maintain the pooling.

Block and pin out the stole. I added light scallops for interest, though you can also pin it out flat.

(For this project, I used Wollmeise 80/20 Twin yarn in Versuchskaninchen 1. It has a little less yardage than its 100% cousin, so this stole blocked out to almost 5' long, as compared to the almost 6' length that I get from the 100% superwash yarn. But it was worth it to discover that this yarn has a lovely, silky feel to it.)


And here's a sneak peek at my next pooling stole colourway -- Wollmeise 100% in Okzident.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

knitting at the speed of sound

(thanks for the title, P-la)



Hubby's bday is this weekend. My MIL is staying with us this week and there's a bunch of family stuff that I need to do. What are the chances that I'll get the mittens done in time? Anyone wanna guess? Bonus points if you can decode what it says on the palm.

PS. 76 sts on 2.5mm needles; mittens will measure approx. 12" from cuff to finger tip

Friday, October 16, 2009

shhh!

Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm swatching.


Yes, the unheard of has happened - I must swatch. This is the pattern but I'm using vastly different yarns and needles. These are for hubby and his hands are big enough to palm a basketball. You can see where this is headed. It was easy to adjust the pattern widthwise but I didn't have a clue what my row gauge would be. Normally, this wouldn't be such a big issue but you see, the palm is in binary. What it spells out has to make sense. Sooo, I need to work out exactly how many rows I've got so that I can figure out how many letters and then I can secretly encode a message into the palm (i.e. my birthday so that he never never ever forgets).

BTW, the Wollmeise arrived. That's Single Malt on the left (to match the Ubuntu heron desktop background) and Cascade Heritage Sock on the left. No need to point out that penguins are not brown and white. Hubby picked the colours - not me.


Ricky, "Wha?!?!"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

mittens!


I've finished my very first pair of stranded mittens. I am so proud. Despite a rocky start and a major boo boo, I finally got them done. Not like I had a choice since these are for a swap.


Pattern: Anemoi Mittens by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Harrisville Designs New England Shetland; 1 sk white and 1 sk hyacinth
Needles: 2.25mm Clover bamboo dpns & 2.5mm KnitPicks wooden dpns
Notes: Great pattern. There are a few errors in the pattern that I had to work around. For example, the thumb st distribution should be 8-9-8 and not 7-9-7. The yarn is pretty scratchy but did soften up a fair bit in the wash.


I'm very glad to have these off the needles. I learned a lot about stranded knitting. I can hold both yarns in my right hand at the same time. I tried using both hands but it threw off my tension. I'll defintely make another pair of stranded mittens - as soon as some Wollmeise shows up.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Paul Leaves pooling stole

I'd like to introduce you to my latest pattern, the Fall Leaves Pooling Stole. This one is for Teri, one of the nicest and most generous swappers on Ravelry.


It's knit in the Paul colourway from Wollmeise, inspired by Paul Gaugin's paintings. It's also a gorgeous fall colourway, and it goes really well with a leaves pattern.

(This is not the actual skein that I used, because I forgot to take a photo of that before casting it on.)


Fall Leaves Pooling Stole

(Note: If you're new to the pooling technique, please read the first pattern in this series to get a good idea of how to figure out where your yarn will pool.)

Using an "e" or backwards loop cast-on, cast on 83 stitches onto a US7 needle. Please see my previous posts about figuring out your own "magic number" for your tension on the needles you've chosen. For this pattern, it's pretty easy to subtract pairs of edge stitches if you need to use fewer stitches to get the pooling to happen.

Knit garter stitch for 6 rows.

Start working with the chart below. The stitches in yellow are your garter edging. My edging had 7 stitches in it, not the three charted. Your edging will be different depending on your stitch tension, so please add or subtract stitches as you need to. If you need more than 8 stitches for your garter edging, feel free to do fewer edge stitches (as long as it's more than 2) and add a repeat of the green part of the chart.

(Click on the chart to get it in a larger, more printable size.)


End with a Row 9.

Knit garter stitch for 6 rows.

Bind off very loosely using a sewn bindoff, to maintain the pooling.

Block and pin out the stole.

Wear and get lots of comments, especially from other knitters.

Knitting for my niece

Hi everyone, didja miss me? Sorry about the long absence -- I've been knitting!

My niece turned one, and her mom asked for a handknit hat. I kinda went overboard, and she got two hats and two pairs of socks.


And a replacement Baby Surprise Jacket for the one that she's outgrown. This one should last her for a year or two.

Tony and I went for a boat cruise around Vancouver Harbour with his local cycling club. I really need to organize a knitting version of this -- it would be SO much fun!


And we saw this boat, also in the harbour. Yes, that's a helicopter on the top deck.


There were Vikings out that day, too!


And I've been working on a couple of wee cowl projects. This blue one is made out of malabrigo lace, because I wanted to know if the yarn would pool. It does, at around 100 stitches on a US5 needle.


The total weight for the first one was 12 grams, as you can see. I loved this so much that I had to make another one. It went to Three Bags Full as a sample because this yarn is so unbelievably soft. I've heard people compare it to cashmere, and I'd agree. Wearing one of these cowls is like wearing a little luxury right against your skin.

I'm calling these Mood Rings in my Ravelry projects because the flashing and pooling that you see in them totally depended on where I was when I was knitting them. If I was relaxed, they tended to pool quite well, but when I was at a 6-year-old's birthday party, with fourteen 4-6 year-olds screaming around the house (thankfully not mine!), the stitches got a lot tighter and the colours started to zig around rather than pool upwards. I like the way they look, both pooling and flashing.


The recipe for the Mood Rings:
  • On a US5 needle, cast on 100-102 stitches using a backwards loop or "e" cast-on.
  • Join in a circle and knit for about 6-8 inches or as long as you prefer.
  • Use the EZ sewn bindoff for a nice loose cast-off edge. (Both sides will roll because it's plain stockinette all the way. I like the casual texture of this effect.)
  • Pull over your head and enjoy the little breath of luxury around your neck!
If you use Malabrigo Lace, you'll probably get 4 of these out of one 50-gram skein of that yarn.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

my new baby

Yesterday afternoon, I picked up my new baby.


It's a 2005 Subaru Impreza and it's replacing my first baby, the Honda. Yep. After 16 years together, I'm selling my Honda. It's been a good little car and I'm sad to see it go. But I really need something that handles the snow better.

There will be an adjustment period while I get used to the Subaru. Twice, I forgot to close the windows before I turned the engine off. Pesky power windows! I parked in the sun yesterday and when I got in the car, I opened the window instead of turning the a/c on. The gas pedal is very firm while the brake pedal is mushy. I'm not used to the difference. The Subaru isn't too much taller than the Honda but my legs no longer reach the ground when I swing them out. I have to skootch out a little before I can stand up. And the gas is on the opposite side of what I'm used to. It's gonna take a few fill ups before I remember to pull up on the passenger side.

Thanks for all your sympathy and suggestions for the Anemoi mittens. No, I can't leave it and knit the second one to match because that is the second mitten. Besides, the recipient is a knitter and she'd see the boo boo right away. So I ripped and the mitten is almost to the shaping. I have developed a pain in my arm (possibly Guitar Hero related) and it hurts when I knit (and when I play GH) so I haven't been knitting the last few days. Just as well since family are in town for Thanksgiving and the whole car thing has taken up a lot of my time.

Well, I should go and eat lunch. There's a pile of soil on the driveway (we won't mention how long it's been there) that I need to move so that hubby doesn't have to park his poor Jeep on the street. My muscles are going to be sore tonite!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

frog

Hint: look just above the top of the thumb.


An entire day's knitting down the toilet...

Friday, October 2, 2009

the big reveal

Now that some gifts have been delivered, I can finally blog about them. I showed these in my previous post:


Well, here's the right side:


Pattern: Snicket Socks by Sabine Riefler
Yarn: Trekking XXL; col 145
Needles: 2.25mm Hiya Hiya dpns (love these needles)
Notes: I made the 66 st version but I wish that I'd made it bigger. The constant cabling really makes the sock less stretchy. I was very concerned that they wouldn't fit. I made a ton of mods. I omitted the short row heel and did a traditional heel flap. I also used my standard wedge toe instead of the one specified. I also chose to knit the sole in rev. stockinette instead of stockinette because I thought that it'd make the cables pop more. The pattern reminds me of chicken wire.


A close friend of mine recently had a baby and I went a little crazy making things. I've already posted sneak peaks of these projects but here they are in their full glory.


Pattern: Drops Baby Blanket (free pattern)
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease; 4 skeins of Maize
Needles: 5mm Addi Turbos and a 5mm crochet hook for the edging
Notes: Love this pattern! So simple yet elegant.


And a matching pair of pjs to wear under the blanket:


These are the Kimono PJs from the book "Amy Butler's little stitches for little ones" (pictured on the front cover).


Ricky sez, "A new blanket? Why thank you, Mom" (notice that he's sleeping on an afghan)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ricky in action

My new camera has a video capture feature. So did my old camera but the new camera does a much better job. I went out and bought a high speed memory card for it and I've been taking videos of the cats. Here is Ricky kneading one of the many quilts in the house (this was taken at night in the dimly lit living room):

video