Saturday, July 22, 2006

Izzard and STR

I'm calling this my Izzard Green Lettuce Bag, because I knit it last night while watching British comic and transvestite Eddie Izzard. He literally had me in stitches (go ahead, groan at the bad joke)!

I did a little lettuce-like patterning along the border this time. It made the opening less flexible, but I figure it won't matter unless I want to fit a watermelon in there or something. I wanted to take this to the local farmer's market today, but it's looking pretty grey outside...darn...

I didn't like how the carried along yarns looked like on the inside of the bag, so I covered them up by slip stitching and double crochetting along the inside border. It looks cleaner and it blends alright with the garter stitch pattern. I used Sugar n' Cream colors "hot green" and "cream". Otherwise, the pattern is the same as here. I've never linked to myself on this blog; hope it works.

Oh, and this came in the mail looks fun, but I have way too many projects OTN right now, so this probably won't get knitted for a while. The last STR kit I got also had festive colors. I like festive, but I wonder if they'll send something darker at some point.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ack! Who was I kidding?

Much to my dismay, a crazier than expected schedule coupled with size 0 needles means there is no way I can get these done in time...I'm gonna have to send an IOU.

I did 4 repeats of the lozenge pattern, and there are 4 more to go...and that's just the leg part.

Also, despite the fact I'm knitting tighter than usual, the yarn keeps sliding and the stitch loops get bigger than I want them. I'm wondering if this is because of the needle size or the yarn?...whatever it is, I never had this happen to me where the stitches won't stay put. Frustrating.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gotta do this!

It's my father's birthday in a week, and I got the idea in my head that I could knit these and have them mailed off by then. I think it's possible, and I always do well in last minute crunch situations. I hope for minimal frog time.

The pattern is "Gentleman's Sock with Lozenge Pattern" from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. Although the pattern calls for dpn's, I've converted it to Magic Loop.

The yarn is Lorna's Laces sock in the colorway "Cedar". To me, it really looks like cooked artichokes.

Although I've got a sizeable stash of L.L.'s, this is actually the first time I've knit with it. The first few rounds felt a little sticky on the needle cables, but after that it was smooth sailing. The stitches are showing up really crisp, so I'm looking forward to the lozenge pattern bit.

I wish there were more intermissions in the opera I'm playing in now so I could spend it knitting. The one 20 minute intermission I get is spent rushing across the plaza to get to the Ciao Bella Gelato stand. It's only a 3 hour opera, but I need my fix.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Spin and Dye (a couple of firsts)

Here is my first attempt at spinning:

I used Blue Faced Leicester roving dyed in the colorway"Tahiti (light)" from Spunky Eclectic.
When I finished plying, my spindle was so full of yarn, it looked like cotton candy. I followed the instructions here for spinning. My bf helped me out a lot by holding the yarn while I wound it and plied it. I haven't quite got the coordintaion yet to do this alone. I guess I need to practice in order to spin yarn with an even thickness, but I find this thick n' thin result to be pretty cute.

And here is my first attempt at dyeing (sorry for the blurry pic; this was as close as I could get to the actual color=slower shutter speed=potential for blurrage):

I Kool-aid dyed some Knit Picks dye-your-own yarn that had been in the nether regions of my stash for about a year. I had some trouble finding packets of kool-aid..seems those sugar included tubs of kool-aid are more popular, and you can't use those. Several grocery stores later, I finally found some packets in the colorway/flavor Wild Berry Tea. The actual color of the yarn has more red than pictured. It smells wonderful; very much like berry flavored tea. I used 16 packets and the microwave nuking method (10 min total) as explained at knitty. Since the resulting color is a semi-solid muted red with some brown, I think it's a nice unisex color...this may become a scarf for the bf for Fall.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lettuce Mesh

Presenting the Lettuce Mesh Market Bag

I just came up with this pattern today while watching the World Cup semifinals.
It was fun and fast knitting because you get to drop stitches and let them run like pantyhose!

Without further adieu, Let Us Mesh!

Pattern is for the bag pictured at Top.


yarn: Sugar n' Cream Ombre 2 balls (I used about one and a half balls, but note the ombres are 95 yards, and the solid colors are 120 yards. You can probably make this bag with one ball of solid.) Pictured colorway is "Painted Desert" for the top bag, and "Hot Green" and "Cream" for the bottom bag.
optional: Small amount contrasting color for crochet edging

size 7 circulars 16"
crochet hook size G (for optional edging)

gauge: not really important. I was getting about 4 sts to 1 inch.

finished measurements:
strap width: 1.75 inches
strap length: 26 inches
bag opening: 12.5 inches across
length of bag (excluding strap): 14 inches
width of bag: will stretch from 12 - 20 inches or so

Garter Stitch Strap and Bag Rim:

Cast on 80 stitches using long tail method.

Rows 1 - 10: Knit

Bind off all stitches. You will have one loop left on your right needle. Do not cut yarn!
( I bound off in purl to keep an edge that matched the cast on)

Now we work the top of the bag.

Turn work clockwise so that the one remaining loop is at the upper right corner of the strap.

Pick up 6 stitches along the short edge of the strap (one stitch picked up per garter ridge)
You should now have 7 stitches on your needle; one loop + 6 picked up stitches.

Cast on 34 stitches using the backwards loop method.

Making sure the strap isn't twisted, pick up 6 stitches along the other short end of the strap.

Cast on 33 stitches using the backwards loop method.

You should now have 80 stitches on your circular needle.

Making sure the stitches aren't twisted, place a marker and get ready to join in the round.

Body of Bag:

Working in the round:

row1: Purl
row 2: Knit
row 3: Purl
row 4: Knit
row 5: Purl

Bind Off. (I also bound this off in purl)
Cut yarn

Rejoin yarn (in a contrasting color if you like: see bottom pic) and pick up 80 stitches along the bound off edge; one picked up stitch per bound off stitch.

Begin working in the round again.
Knit for 25 rows or until the bag is about a third of the depth you want it to be.

Next row: K1 stitch, drop the next stitch off the needle. Repeat around. (You are knitting all of the odd numbered stitches 1, 3, 5, etc., and dropping all of the even ones off the needle.)

You should now have 40 stitches left on your needle.

Let em' Rip!: Carefully holding onto your needle tips to secure your remaining 40 stitches, rip the dropped stitches down to the rim of the bag. This creates the meshed look and expands the bag. If you prefer, finish the bag first, then rip down the dropped stitches.

Next row: K2 tog all around. 20 stitches remain.

Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Weave it tightly through the 20 stitches several times to close the hole. (If you want a straight bottomed bag, bind off, fold in half and seam edges.)

Weave in ends.

Optional edge: This is if you want to keep the strap and the rim of the bag from stretching.

Using crochet hook size G and contrasting colored yarn, pull up a stitch through the back loop of a cast off edge at a corner where the strap and bag rim meet.

Slip stitch and chain 1

Continue to slip stitch in the back loop of the cast on/off edges. This is to preserve the look of the Garter Stitch borders. The exception to this is the bound off edge of the strap; here you want to slip stitch through the front loop of those 80 bound off stitches.

Slip stitch through the first chain 1, cut yarn

Repeat for the other side.

Weave in ends.

Happy 4th of July!

WIP: Log Cabin Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting

In lieu of Independence Day, I decided I needed to declare some independence from my stash. It was getting way out of control, especially in the worsted and sock weight areas. The above blanket, which still has a few rows to go, is comprised of Noro, Cascade 220, Morehouse Merino, Patons Classic Wool, Rowan Magpie leftovers and Grignasco Top Print (the only Alpaca in a maze of Wool). I bought all of this yarn with various small projects in mind, but you know how it goes; the projects never reach fruition because they are "indefinitely postponed" by the arrival of newer, more exciting projects...which then become unfinished projects themselves = Gigantic Yarn Stash = Guilty Sinking Feeling Whenever Buying More Yarn.

Aside from burning up my stash, this project has been wonderful in helping me learn to knit without looking. I figure I play the violin without looking looking at my fingers, and the same goes for typing and piano, so why not this too?

I will start my KALs soon, but I must..finish...blanket...first...