Friday, January 19, 2007

Yarn Diet vs Yarn Fast

First off, for Eye Candy Friday...
Sock Bug "Julia" that I bought at Sockdiva's Etsy store. This bag is large enough to hold a sock project+, and is way cute.

I, like many, have too much yarn. If I knit and felt it all, I could probably make a house, with maybe some leftovers for felted furniture. I'm more of a yarn collector than a knitter (more monster than human!). I know I'd never be able to totally resist buying yarn; yarn fasting is just plain cruel. However, I need to save money, and yarn dieting sounds less extreme. SO...barring any unforseen events (like a one-of-a-kind treasure), I'm gonna try to stick with buying one to two projects worth of yarn per month. (Project cannot be the size of a knitted house...)

On to the shopping damage for January:

Really adorable buttons with a cat playing the cello.

Sweet Georgia Speed Demon sock yarn in "Firefly". Got this stuff at the Point.

I have to make 4 dickeys (seriously, who came up with this name???). These are the Trickey Dickeys (.....) from E.Z.'s Knitting Around.

I am knitting these with Lion Brand Microspun. 100% Acryllic. Sigh... because I knit these last year for the same friend and her family. I used merino wool, which the moths in her house found delicious. Let's hope the moths don't mutate into radioactive acryllic eaters. Otherwise, I might have to learn how to spin fiberglass into yarn. Ouch.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

...more hats...

Okay, knitting mojo still in the funk, but hat knitting mojo is seemingly unaffected...

Maltese Fisherman's hat from Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitter's Almanac".

I made one of these before with some bulky merino, and it looked cool, but very helmet-y. In came Mom, (once upon a time fashion designer) with the suggestion I try it in ribbon. In this example I used 1 skein of Tilli Tomas Cleopatra. 100% silk ribbon with glass beads. It had to work with one skein. No way I was going to buy another one; ouch!$!$!

So....I made some modifications...
Needle size 11; getting about 2 st to 1". I knit loose.
CO'd 30 sts.
Knit 6 rows instead of 10.
Started ear shaping rows with K13 (not K17), continued with K11, K back, etc. down to K7.
2 rows after the "Ear-shaping finished", I K13, (M1, K1) 4 times (instead of 6), K13 = 34 sts.
I cast on 8sts for the front; total 42 sts.
K 12 rounds for hat depth.
Decreased like this: (K4, K2tog) around. K 1 row even. (K3, K2tog). K 1 row. etc. Last row is K2tog around = 7sts. Draw through.

I had a little yarn left, so I single crochetted a row around the face. Tied leftovers at bottom of earflaps for ribbon-tassle effect.

In other news....the Insubordiknit monster hat made it to Sweden.

Monday, January 15, 2007


No, really, it's been quite blah if I came back to New York only to find I had left my knitting mojo back in Cali.

What do you do to get out of such a slump?

Anyway, I made a second hat from Stitch Diva. I didn't like the felted brim so I made a 2 layer knitted one. (Anything thinner and it doesn't hold up.) Added a belt and buttons too. Hats this style are all the rage here in NYC, so of course, fashionista that I am, I needed one too! This hat took less than one skein of Morehouse Merino Bulky. I've noticed they've started putting up a free pattern du jour on their site.

Some seriously decadent yarn pron: Tilli Tomas Rock Star and Pure & Simple in colorway Jade. I hope I will have the discipline to someday make this into the famed SKB.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Eye Candy Friday

For Eye Candy Friday: a pic of some cute cyclamens. I just found out you can repot the tubers after the plants go dormant (I always thought they were dead!).

After several froggings that occured because of bad stitch + yarn marriages, I've finally settled on the "Slip Stitch Zigzags" from The Harmony Guide's "440 more Knitting Stitches" for my father's scarf. This is the Royal Alpaca yarn I got during my visit to Imagiknit. Darker colored yarns that stripe (more like pool) are so hard to find stitches for! What a friggin' headache!

Really close closeup:

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Garter Border Ballband

Something I've been working on since yesterday...

Ballband Dishcloth with Garter Border:

Here's a closeup of a corner:
For as long as I have liked this dishcloth pattern, I have wanted a border to go with it. I've tried a few options, but I think I'm finally happy with this one. I really like how it makes the discloth lie flat (Look Ma, no blocking!) It does take a little extra work though, because you will be simultaneously using a second ball of color A or the other end of the same ball of A for the border on the left. Basically, it's intarsia.

This is pretty much what I did. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section and I will answer them there.

I cast on 49 stitches (4 extra) using the usual 2 strand cast on. (When you start your first row, your cast on row should be looking like a row of purl bumps.)

I Knit for 2 rows with color A (the multi in the pic)

To make a garter ridge, you need to Knit the first two and last two stitches of every row (RS and WS)

So, in what would be Row 3 of the original pattern, K2 sts with color A, then join B and follow instructions until the end of the pattern row.

AT THIS POINT, you should have 2 sts left on your needle. Now, you join a second ball of color A or use the other end of the ball of A you already have. I'm going to call this "A2". Knit these last 2 sts with A2. Turn. K the first 2 sts with A2.

Twist A2 with color B (closes the hole). Move the strand of A2 forward, so it's resting on the WS of your dishcloth, which is now facing you (this puts it in the right spot for when you turn and work the RS). Continue working from the pattern until the end of the row. You should have 2 stitches left. Twist color B with A (the original). Move the strand of B forward so it's resting on the WS of the dishcloth. K2 with color A, turn, K2 with color A, pick up color B and continue. Keep doing this, knitting one garter border with color A and the oter garter border with A2 throughout the ballband pattern. You only twist colors on the WS. (I'm lazy, so that's what I did. Feel free to keep on twisting if you like.)

On Rows 1 & 2 and Rows 7 & 8, where the ballband pattern calls for K one row and P one row, I used color A only. Not A2. It gives you a break from twisting for a couple of rows. BUT, remember to keep making the garter border by knitting the first 2 and last 2 sts of every row.

At the end of the dishcloth, when you've finally finished row 8 for the last time, Knit 3 more rows, and Cast Off on the WS in Knit (K2 sts, pass first stitch over second stitch, K1, pass old stitch over new stitch, etc.) This way, on the RS of the work, the Cast Off row and the Cast On row will look the same (like a row of garter st)

Note: there is a way to twist strands of color without physically moving the balls of yarn around each other. It makes life easier and less tangled. I can't find a good visual of this online. If anyone knows of a site detailing this, please let me know. If not, maybe I'll try to take more pics and post it here later on.

Garter Border not your thing? Try a Seed Stitch Border. It'll be a bit fussier, but I think it would work too.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Here at my parents', we celebrate a traditional Japanese New Years complete with a feast that looks like this:

It's also traditional to place "osonai" in various places around the home to welcome the New Year. What you see are cakes of "mochi" (pounded rice) with a clementine on top. For whatever reasons (probably aesthetic), the leaves have to be attached.

I finished my Fetching. I didn't do the picot cast off because I didn't really like how it looked, and also because I ran out of yarn and needed to harvest it from somewhere. (that picot cast off eats yarn)

A belated Xmas gift for a family friend: a pair of ballbands with soap.

Other side:

I just went to Michael's and bought a ton of Sugar n' Cream, so I have enough ballband material to last me for another year. I should resolve not to buy any more unneccesary yarn, but I know I'd fail right away!