Friday, September 29, 2006

Eye Candy Friday

Well, I'm trying out Eye Candy Friday for the first time; here is a pic of my african violet "Jean-Pierre Croteau" (yes, that's the real name...I have tons of designer violets and this is my favorite).

...and here is a squash I picked up at Union Square...I think it's a reincarnated swan...

Will have more knit-related stuff soon; I want to make EZ's Maltese Fisherman's hat...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Confessions of a willful yarn (and a Diagonal Scarf Pattern)

Okay, so I really tried to make this scarf work knitted lengthwise, but about a quarter of the way through, the yarn said to me, "Hey, this is just not working out. Come up with something else!" Seriously, yarn only talks to me when I've had a few stiff drinks...then I start seeing things diagonally, and that's just how this scarf turned out. It's very happy now. I hope.

To Monika, here is a free pattern for a lengthwise knitted scarf. I had mine (before it was frogged) on size #13 32" circular needles and cast on 100 sts, but it was too long and I would do about 75sts next time. Depends on your gauge.

Anyway, here's how it looks worn (I'm totally wearing this next time I go to the East Village or SoHo):
And here it is lying flat:
I think the reason the lengthwise thing wasn't working for me was because I am an obsessive control freak when it comes to self-striping things, and I wanted to preserve the texture differences (they were getting lost the other way). Also, I didn't want to waste any of this yarn with Cast ons and Bind offs!

Solution? Go Diagonal!
(The above scarf was knitted with size #13 needles. The yarn was 110 yds. The maker of this yarn is Jacey of Insubordiknit. I bought it at kpixie. If you can't score any of that stuff, any self striping yarn will do)

Terms: Make One= Knit into the Front and Back of same stitch
Make Two= Knit into the Front, Back and Front of same stitch

CO 1 st
RS: Make Two: Keeping that one stitch on the left needle, Knit into the front, back, and front again of that one stitch. You now should have 3 sts.
WS: Knit those 3 sts
RS: Make One in the first stitch(K F&B), knit the middle stitch, Make One in the last st (5 sts)
WS: Knit across
RS: Make One in the first st (K F&B), knit to the last stitch, Make One. (7sts)

Continue in this manner, K F&B increasing in the first and last sts of the RS rows, and Knitting the WS rows until the scarf is the Width you want it. I increased until I had 19 sts.

Next RS row: K F&B of first stitch, knit until you reach the last two sts, K2tog.
WS: Knit

Keep doing this until your scarf is the Length you want it. I went for about 50".

Next RS row: K2tog, knit until you reach the last two sts, K2tog
WS: Knit

Continue until you've got 3 sts remaining. The next RS row, Knit these 3 sts tog. Cut yarn and draw through last loop. Weave in and you're done.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Too busy

With rehearsals in the afternoon and concerts in the evening every day this past week, I've barely had any time to do anything in the knitting arena...heck, I've barely been at home!

Managed to finally finish two more kimonos from Mason-Dixon Knitting... The purple one is made with Blue Sky Alpaca cotton, and the off-white one is Katia Diana (Acrylic, polamide, viscose, 13% angora). Both machine washable, but I'm nervous about the ribbons...I was obsessive enough to sew down the ends, so we'll see.

Pic of them in the last stages of drying...

Okay, knitting baby stuff was really cute and fun, but I need a bit of a break and want a very fast, instant-gratification knit, so I'm going to make a lengthwise scarf out of this fella, spun by Insubordiknit. I like funky one of a kind things, and this yarn fits the bill perfectly. (The actual colors are more dark and saturated than pictured)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why I love Wednesdays

Morehouse Merino comes to the Union Square Market on Wednesdays!!!Yeay!!!
Pictured at top are broken skeins; it means there is a split or two somewhere in the opposed to a knot. The yarn costs $6/skein instead of $9.50, so I love to stock up. Underneath are some partial skeins of solid and variegated yarn, and a bag of felt trims!

I came home to find the yarn I ordered this weekend arrived from Kpixie. The purple will become a baby kimono, and the variegated will be a hat. I think.

The baby items were a hit! :) Since I had washed everything, the mom had the baby try things on right then and there so it was totally worth it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

To wash or not to wash for Baby...

...I is an aerial shot of drying...(blanket is elsewhere)

I have always washed my knitted/crochetted gifts because it seems the nice thing to do. However, I recently encountered an issue with baby knits. The recipients of the first set of knitted baby gifts informed me that although I washed the items with Woolite, they would need to be re-washed with a special soap. It's kind of a bummer because I won't get to see the baby modelling the items for a little while. So this time, I washed everything in the baby detergent Dreft. I discussed this with several mommies, and it seems to be the safest option. Also, I was told that parents are always more careful about cleanliness with their first child, and that they become less worried with subsequent children. This crochet set is going to a baby #3.

Oh, and I made acorn booties. Just couldn't resist.

Thank you everyone for your nice comments in the past couple of posts; these were my first baby items and I was nervous :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Baby Stuff: Crochetted

I crochetted these baby things for a friend of mine who didn't want to know the sex of the baby until it was born. This proved a bit of a challenge, because quite frankly, gender neutral baby patterns are really hard to find.

Sock monkey inspired baby blanket from Stitch n' Bitch Crochet. I didn't make the matching hat (it's red with a monkey face on it). I found the instructions for making the monkey faces a bit confusing, so I tweaked the design a bit.

To match, I made this hat and booty set from Blankets, Hats and Booties to Knit and Crochet. It's hard to see, but the top of the hat is a granny square/octagon thingy. There are some really gorgeous patterns in this book, so I'm really glad to have bought it.

This acorn hat is from Too Cute Crochet. I added a flower today because the baby was born yesterday and it turned out to be a girl! The mittens were modified from another pattern in the book. I got this book on sale at B & N for $1. I'm glad I didn't pay more, because I found several mistakes which gave me quite a headache trying to fix. Luckily, the pictures are large and clear, so I could see what I was meant to do.