Friday, July 31, 2009

1 vest, 2 vest

Red vest, blue vest! I'm making matching vests for 2 boys with birthdays next month.


The red one is for the soon-to-be 2 year old. The blue one will be for his soon-to-be 4 year old brother. The yarn is Lion Brand Cotton-ease and the pattern is a free one from Lion Brand. I modified it a bit to make it a more pleasant garment to knit by knitting into the round until the arm pits; weaving the shoulder seams using kitchener stitch; working the neckband and armbands as continuous circles. I hate seaming. Also, I mirrored the cables for aesthetics.

In addition to the vests, each boy will be getting a pair of socks--because when a 3-year-old says he needs a new pair of knitted socks, how can you say no???


The 2 year old's socks are made out of left over Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in a colorway that reminds me so much of the Sounders FC. :) Note the penny for scale. Little socks are so cute!

And, in honor of our passing heat wave, I made a hat!


That is, of course, Turn a Square. I used some left over Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted and a little bit of Noro Kureyon that was flowing around the stash.

I'm STILL plugging away on that purple shawl, but I've finally reached the last chart and have about 6.5 more rows to go. I'm getting really bored of it, and I just want to get it off the needles. The long rows are starting to feel like punishment. That being said, I've been plotting which shawl I'll make next. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Something blue...

Sea Blue Sea Quilt--all done!

The Sea Blue Sea quilt is all done! I quilted it in waves using free motion quilting and I'm pleased with how it came out. You can see the waves in this pre-wash pic, with the blue water-sol marker still on the quilt.

Sea Blue Sea Quilt

Things I like about this quilt: 1) It's the perfect snuggle-on-the-couch size; 2) The back is pieced for added interest; 3) The binding is a mixture of all the fabrics used in the squares. Things I'm not too pleased with: 1) My free-motion quilting skillz, or lack thereof; 2) The amount of time it took to sew on the binding on the back of the quilt.

Sea Blue Sea Quilt--all done!

This is going to a 1 year anniversary gift for a special blue-loving couple. The quilting went pretty quickly: 2 episodes of Radio Lab (60 min each), all of Radiohead's In Rainbows and most of The Shins' Wincing the Night Away (appropriate since I was finishing it up around 10:30pm). In that pic above you can kinda see a little yellow thing in the top right corner of the quilt--that's a pin marking a small hole in the fabric that I spied while sewing on the binding. No idea where this hole came from, but I'm going to cover it up with the label (which I have yet to make).

In other sewing news, I whipped up a little headband just now.

cloth headband

After seeing this type of headband popping up on other blogs, I decided to make one. People have been using the pattern in Weekend Sewing, but I kind of improvised mine. The main piece is a rectangle 17x4.25", the elastic casing is a rectangle 8x1.5" and the elastic was about 5" long, but sewn with about .5" seam allowance on both sides.

No knitting news--I have a slew of things in progress, but hopefully I'll finish some of them in the near future so I can share them with you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A step beyond awesome

There's awesome.

Then there's Guster

A step beyond awesome

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wait! I thought I was a loose knitter...

After gauge issues on a few previous projects convinced me that I'm a loose knitter, 2 more recent projects have me totally confused. First, the Greenery Hat. A fun hat to knit, the cables keeping me interested throughout. I used Knit Picks Superwash Merino that I dyed a few years ago--kelly green over royal blue.

Greenery hat

This yarn is excellent--so soft! And I love how the color came out. The problem with this hat? Well, there's no modeled shot because I cannot get it onto my head. The author of the pattern said that it fit her big head so she thought it would fit anyone. And since I don't like gauge swatching, I didn't. Well, now I have a hat for small-headed person. :/ I want to make again, but I'll have to go up at least 1 needle size, maybe 2.

The next project that's made me wonder about my knitting tension: Columbine Peak socks from Cat Bhordi's book Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. I feel like factors have conspired against me to make these socks a bit on the tight side. First, I'm using Zitron Trekking XXL Pro Natura, which I don't particularly like for sock knitting because it's finer than I like (why did I choose to use it? because it wouldn't require me to set up the swift/yarn ball winder--aka laziness). Then there's the needle I chose to go with this fine yarn: my US1.5 Addi Turbo Lace. Now I chose both of these things, no one forced them on me, but reading the pattern, I didn't anticipate these socks being too tight--it calls for casting on 72 stitches! 8 more than I usually have for a sock. I thought this would be sufficient to make the socks appropriately sized for me. But no, this will be a pair of socks for a smaller-footed person.

Columbine peaks sock in progress

I like the way this pattern has some 1x1 ribbing down the foot, keeping it snug--just too snug for me. :/

I'm wondering if I'm taking my stress out on my knitting. A few months ago, when I was plagued by the loose knitting, I was much more relaxed than I am now (still unemployed, savings slowing dwindling). And I wonder how small and tight the lace shawl I'm working on will end up.

Purple pangea shawl progress

That purple blog is my Pangea shawl. I'm using some lovely alpaca laceweight by J. Knits that I bought somewhere in NYC, maybe Downtown Yarns on Ave A? It's a little bit halo-y, but I haven't any problems with it. And the color is quite lovely. However. I chose to use a smaller-than-usual needle size--3.0mm. The author includes options for working an additional repeat of one of the charts to increase size, so I did that, but I'm nearing the end of the pattern and it's still pretty darn small looking. Of course it will be bigger after blocking, but still, I'm thinking this is going to be more like a shawlette/scarf. :/

Let's see if I an redeem this blog post with one good knitting project to report on! My Noro Kureyon Sock FBS turned out great!

Baby Sweater of Many Colors

It still needs a soak to open up the lace and some buttons, but I'm in no rush to finish it, since it has no destination as of yet. As with most Noro colorways I've encountered, there's a section that looks like puke--in this case, it's the peach/gray business happening around the chest, but whatever, I obviously didn't object enough to remove it from the sweater. I did, however, avoid using these awful colors on the sleeves, instead working the yarn in the reverse direction than the body, going from yellow to green instead of yellow to puke. One sleeve turned out a bit tighter than the other, but I'm just going to block it a bit more severely and then not worry about it.

A quick note about books: I recently finished reading Persepolis 2 and really enjoyed it. As with Persepolis 1, it was interesting to read a memoir in graphic novel format, and also interesting to hear about life in Iran 10-20 years ago. I also liked the movie, which goes part way into book 2, if I recall. As I said to my mom the other day, it's a great "subtitled cartoon musical"--you don't seem many of those, especially of the autobiographical variety.. Now I'm reading The Reader, which is a good, quick read, though I'm not sure how I'd rate the book if I had to. Maybe 3 stars out of 5?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Baby, you can light my fire

When I first looked at my apartment, I was informed that the fireplace is not to be used. Which was all well and good as far as I was concerned. A couple of days later a brilliant idea popped into my head.

Felt logs and Fire

And now that idea has come to fruition. Felt logs and fire for my non-functional fireplace.

Felt logs and fire

The flames have velcro so that they could be detached from the logs if you decide you don't need a fire (like today when it's 80+ degrees), or be moved from one log to the other.

Felt logs and fire

I realize this is completely ridiculous, but I love it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Best summer ever?

At least weatherwise.