And now for something only a little different…

11 05 2011

When I said I broke my pattern for April, I think only meant a little bit. I did do something completely new, but it still broke down into shop knitting, knitting for Rose, and personal knitting (mostly socks).

I started the month by doing a little etsy update. I knit Rebecca Danger‘s new monkey pattern, Jerry the Musical Monkey, which was fun.

monkey blue 1

I also knit a Penelope, more monster chunks, and some chirps, and I added a few more device sleeves.

penelope purplechubby chicks

After all that was completed, I knit the toe on the second Wanderer sock. Yes, that’s really all I had leftover from March, but I got all manner of distracted by irresistible monkey knitting. These are Cookie A‘s Thelonious, which was one of the March/April K.S.L. KAL selections. They were knit in The Plucky Knitter MCN Fingering in Wanderer, which was a birthday present from my friend Karen.  

wanderer 2

I then settled into a nice, big sample shawl for Rose, Forgotten Garden in Biscotte & Cie La Douce in Cherry Baby. My version was the large size, coming in at about 550 yards. I think the shawl is complex and beautiful, and I’m very pleased with it. It took me a solid week of knitting, after which I did another small shop update.

forgotten garden 7forgotten garden 3

I think I mentioned the auction for Japan last month? I also donated knitting services for a pair of socks, so I next knit a pair of Tyro by Huan-Hua Chye  in Wool Candy Macaron MCN in Cordial, which was fun. I did convert them to top-down and I used an eye of partridge heel.

cordial tyro 3

I decided that at this point in the month I wasn’t likely to finish the April/May K.S.L. KAL socks, so I CO the cuff for Cookie A‘s Mona so that they would count for May. My socks are knit in JulieSpins MN400 Merino/Nylon in Bold Wood Darker. I have to admit that this picture is prettier than the actual sock, so I’ll also share an in-progress photo from May as well. I’m planning on having Susan over-dye them.

mona wipmona 2

I then started a BIG project, which was an actual adult sweater (incredibly rare for me) for Rose. She wanted to rotate some of her stash, but can only do very limited knitting at the moment, so I, perhaps foolhardily, volunteered to try even though I’m not really a garment knitter. After a little discussion, we settled on Goodale by Cecily Glowik MacDonald  in Sundara Sport Merino in Arabian Nights. It’s finished as of this blog posting, so even though it’s really a May FO, I’ll post all the pictures now. I did a couple of adaptations; Rose wanted a longer body and 3/4 sleeves, so she gave me the measurements, and I did the math to make those changes. Hopefully it all went well. It’s on its way to her now. The second picture is of the top post-finishing; Rose is sewing on the buttons, so that’s the button loop held on with a needle.

goodale wip 5goodale 1

April really was a delightful and interesting knitting month, and I’m looking forward to seeing what May brings (is it flowers?).


Moving Right On

23 01 2011

Here we are in October (What do you mean it looks like January?). I’ve already shared the first thing I finished, which was the Cabled Kindle Sleeve, but that was actually a small break from a much larger project, which was four Melody’s Shawls.  I love knitting these things; they are the potato chip of knitting. You knit in lace on large needles in a stockinette tube until you run out of yarn, and then just chop it apart. My project, Melody Stack, was for Bettye’s Christmas gifts and knit in Malabrigo Lace in Blue Surf and Vermillion on US 9/5.5mm. I used 1.5 skeins per shawl, for a total of about 700 yards each.

melody stack 1

melody stack 3

The second project I’d like to share was also done for someone else. As part as a swap, I crocheted a delightful set of Star Wars amigurumi from the patterns of Lucy Ravenscar. They took varying amounts of time from a couple of hours for a small Yoda to a couple of days for a giant furry Chewbacca. They were mostly done in Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton, with some fill-in from Knit Picks for a few hard-to-find colors, like robot gray. I actually tried several yarns for Chewbacca’s fur before finally settling on Hobby Lobby Bamboospun because it was firm enough to crochet but furry enough to brush out into a really nice coat.  All were done with a 3.75 mm/F hook.

star wars ami 1

star wars ami 7

star wars ami 6

star wars ami 2

star wars ami 4

Aren’t they fun? I knit a few more for Christmas presents as well!

On the prevention of Christmas sneaking up on me again this year…

6 09 2010

I suppose it’s time to wrap up August, and it will need to come in two posts. I had rather intended to post sooner, but I found my photography delayed  by a wonderful period of rainy weather and a delightful 20 degree temperature drop. Fall cannot come soon enough, which is as good a lead in as any to the projects I’m sharing. Every year, I find that I’m starting my Christmas knitting earlier, which should keep me from the joyful experience of desperately knitting on Christmas Eve, but somehow I’ve still been in that position two years in a row, so this year I started the last week of July.

Sofia’s Christmas present is straightforward but yardage intensive. It actually had more plain stockinette than I realized, so I actually finished the whole gift in about 10 days. I realize this doesn’t sound like a fast turn around time, but I did knit an entire monkey and two outfits for her. I really like how it came out, and she’s a very cute match to last year’s Mr. Foster. This is Carmen Banana, a kit offered by Knit Picks, and worked in Essential/Stroll. I’m very pleased with how she came out, although it makes me wish, once again, that my embroidery skills were a little stronger; her face took me quite a while to get right. I do love the tiny monkey clothes.

carmen 5

carmen 7

Having wrapped my first Christmas present, I decided to next work on Karen’s birthday present, which is inspired by Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, based on Penny’s Wristers. I knit them in Knit Picks Andean Silk in Cranberry and Mustard. I found the 3/4 buttons at Hancock Fabrics, and they took me three hours to sew on, see above note about sewing skills. I had a bit of leftover yarn after I finished, so I also made a Turn A Square from Jared Flood.

drh hp 3

tas hp 1

The next project I tackled was a bit of a disaster. I had purchased the yarn on the way back from Florida at the absolutely marvelous The Knit Studio in Jackson, Mississippi. I had admittedly fallen in love with Wandering the Moor as it was knit by the designer, Celeste Glassel, and was delighted to use the recommended yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in 4205 Dark Chocolate. Unfortunately, it was pretty much downhill from there. My shawl, it turned out, was a bit cursed. I finished the run of stockinette without issue, but while capturing a WIP photo for the project page, I accidentally snapped one of my beloved wooden Harmony needles off at the base. Since I was already at a transition in the pattern, I changed to metal needles and continued into the patterned portion. I was three rows from the bind off when I dropped a stitch out of K3tog and had to frog back eight rows to repair it. I also noticed after it had dried from blocking that I had pinned the wrong points for a quarter of the shawl, so I had to re-pin it and spray it down. Finally, I realized that the person I intended to give this to might not like the alpaca content, so it’s homeless as well. Right, so if you happen to love this shawl, let me know and it’s yours (Claimed!).

wandering the moor 4

wandering the moor 2

Next, keeping in a theme of seasonal knits, I decided to knit a sweater for Piper. Piper is not possessed of an undercoat, and as such, she starts getting chilly outdoors toward the end of October. One of my very first knitting projects, and maybe my first actual finished object, was knitting her a hideous purple acrylic sweater. This pretty, red merino sweater is a bit of an apology to her. She seemed to like it and didn’t even ask to have it off. The pattern is the very well-written Diagonal Dog Sweater Pattern by June Bowman. The yarn is Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash in 3. Sorry for the pictures, Piper only consented to hold still while on her favorite perch.

dog sweater 5

dog sweater 3

Last for this update is my birthday present for Susan, which I’m giving her tonight, so hopefully she won’t look in on the blog in the interim. I love knitting for Susan because she is compulsively clad in knitwear, and so I know my gifts will go to good use. Occasionally, I see a project that I know will be lovely for her, and I thought that was certainly the case with Emily Dickinson, a loosely knit garter shawl that is embellished with 6/0 crystal beads. I used Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb in Purple Pansy 257 in my version. This skein was purchased by Abbie at Purl Soho in NYC. I am sad to say that I found the pattern rather sloppy in construction, for instance there is no given gauge, so I do not intend to make any future purchases from knit/lab, which is unfortunate since I think Blackbird is gorgeous, but I’m unwilling to pay for badly written patterns.

emily d 1

emily d 2

I spent the last week of the month wildly knitting a baby gift, and I say wildly as in I knit 1000+ yards in about a week (This is not my highest week ever, by the way, that occurred last December, when I knit 1900 yards in the week of, can you guess it?, Christmas). I’m pleased with the results, and it certainly should qualify for its own entry!