Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gift knitting

There will probably be very little here until after the holidays. I can't post about my gift knitting where the recipients can see it.

I can, however, gush like a schoolgirl about baby alpaca. Not only are they cuter than sin, but knitting with their fur is like petting kitten bellies. mmmmmmmm

See? so cute.

also, evidently, an iphone wallpaper. I'm only somewhat lacking in ethics. I'll use the pic, but at least I link to the site and don't hotlink the picture.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

a pattern... sort of.

A few weeks ago I (and another coworker) taught one of my coworkers to knit. What follows is basicly word for word what I wrote on Ravelry, just FYI.

I wanted to give her a project to work on right away. From my early knitting experiments I knew that if I wanted her to be excited about knitting and not hate it, the pattern needed to be something super basic, fast and wearable. Scarves take too long for a beginner in my opinion. I didn't want her to give up before she was able to finish a project. A simple garter stitch neckwarmer, with buttons is the perfect project to learn casting on, knitting, binding off. Best of all it is cute and wearable.

Without further ado, the only pattern I have ever written, if you can even call it that. All I really did was wing it and then count.

Start by casting on 25 Stitches on size US10- US10.5 needles. Knit in Garter stitch until the piece is the desired length to wrap comfortably around her neck end to far-side (see picture).

The button holes are made by binding off the stitches for the button holes on one row and then casting them back on on the following row. I used the knitting on method to cast them back on. Backwards loop would also work but I find it harder to knit from and not as neat looking.

first button-hole row: K4, (BO3, K4) 3 times.
second button-hole row: K4, (CO3, K4) 3 times.
Knit 5 more rows and bind off.

If you are going to wash and/or block, do it here, before you buy buttons. Your buttons holes my stretch in the process of washing/blocking and you want to make sure they are a good fit. I recommend taking the scarf with you to buy the buttons. The buttons should go through the button holes snugly but easily.

Fold the neckwarmer as shown in the above photo so you can see where the button holes hit the opposite side of the neckwarmer. Use locking stitch markers or safety pins to mark where the buttons should go and unfold the neckwarmer so you can sew the buttons on. Sandwich the neckwarmer between the button and a small piece of stabilizer or sturdy fabric.
Using embroidery thread, sew the button on through both the knitting of the neckwarmer and the stabilizing fabric. This will give you a more stable fabric to sew the button to and help prevent the thread from cutting through the yarn with wear. Remove whatever you used to mark the spot for the buttons as you go. They aren't part of the finished piece ;)

Wear with pride!

Edit 12-29-12: you can now download the pdf version!

Friday, October 16, 2009

My grandmother used to make amazing pickled watermelon.

A few days ago I was kind of bored with the things I had on needles and found a cute little watermelon hat to make. I started out stash-busting, but then realized my red yarn was tweedy. No one likes a tweed infested watermelon. While I was buying red yarn I realized that if I really wanted to make a watermelon hat I really should have the proper color for the rind as well. If I was going to get the perfect color for the rind then the plain old off while was just not going to cut it for the pale part between the rind and the red. I was undecided on just what color that should be so I had to buy both and thus 4 more skeins of yarn were completely necessary for my little stash-busting endeavor.... Have you ever had stone soup? I hear it is delicious and all you need is a stone!

I'd also like to introduce ZZ Pickle. He likes to hang out with the other veggies.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Boob Tube

I don't watch a whole lot of TV during the summer. There is so much else to do and I spend a lot of time out in the long days. The fall TV season, however, come right as it starts quickly getting darker and I have less and less desire to do lots of stuff outside the house. This fall seems particularly good for new shows.

Glee is amazing and I love it with every campy gay musical bone in my body. James and I go over to our friends Rachel and Aaron's to watch this every week. This puts a bit of a wrench n watching the other shows that come on on the same night. Thank goodness for the DVR.

So You Think You Can Dance has been my one summertime TV vice. AND NOW IT"S ON IN THE FALL. I love dance and these kids are amazing. Some of my favorites from the city auditions have already gone home from Vegas :(, but I have faith that the top twenty will be truly phenomenal, as always. I'm so excited for the contemporary routines, especially Mia Micheals. Her coreography always takes my breath away.

Flash Forward has me riveted. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON!!!

Despite the awesomeness of these three shows there are some flops. I tried watching the Good Wife and just didn't really care about it ether way. The Cleveland Show is omg truly horrible. Offensive and not even funny. It's just really really stupid.

Fringe has continued to hold my interest from last season. It seems to continue to take its rules from X-files and having been one of the totally obsessed X-Files fans in my high school days, I am completely ok with that. I love Walter. X-files did not have a Walter. It should have.

Then there are the old standbys Project Runway and Top Model. I, of course, watch them, but am less and less interested as the season's tick by. I am very glad they separated Models of the Runway from PR. I always thought that part of the show was stupid and now I don't have to watch it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm lazing on the couch with a fat kitty in my lap watching Project Runway and typing on my new tiny net book (named Willard). Life is pretty damn good.

I can't believe that just a couple of months ago I posted about not having anything to knit. I finished my owl hand warmers and now have no less than SIX projects on the needles right now! I want to knit everything in sight.

These are the owl handwarmers. For some reason I don't have a picture of both of them, so you get one and the other half finished. Use your imagination, or don't; there are more pics on flickr. :)

I love grey for showing off cables and this yarn was particularly good for it, not too fuzzy, but also soft. It's Webs' house yarn though the name escapes me at the moment. I reversed the tree branch portion of the cable pattern on the left glove so that it was a mirror image of the right. I think they look better that way.

I have so much more to say, but I just spent half an hour trying to get that last link to work without taking the last half of the post with it. I'm recovering from camping over the weekend and Monday coming all too soon. James has made beef stew that I am dying to eat and then it is bed time, or at least reading young adult books about vampires in bed time. More on all the projects in progress another time.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The weekend

My yarn stash is emnbiggened, my stitch markers pickle-ier, and my quads crazy sore from biking around Portland. Sock Summit weekend was pretty damn awesome.

I didn't have the jam-packed days that so many others did as I didn't score a place in any of the classes. I did, however, spent lots of time at the marketplace which, alone, would have been well worth traveling much farther than the two hours I drove.

I think my favorite discovery of the weekend (and you'll have to forgive me for going all fan-boy here) was A Verb for Keeping Warm. Firstly, the name fits oh so neatly into Do-Re-Mi (non-knitter friend from previous post decided it should replace La as that one is stupid anyway). The yarn though, oh my god. The colors are bright and saturated in a way that I didn't know was possible with natural dyes. Best of all, the dyes used are organic and sustainably harvested some even home(shop?)-grown. Check out the Dye for Glory post on Kristine's blog. Abalone especially is amazing. They also have fantastic shirts. I as-of-now-not-so-secretly think it would be a kick-ass tattoo.

The Ravelry party Saturday night was incredible. I think at one point I heard an estimate of 600 Ravelers in attendance. Meeting people who I've been talking to online for so long was great and I met so many other wonderful people (including Adrienne and Kristine from Verb who are as amazing as the yarn). ALSO, for the first time in my life, I won something! There was a drawing for some really great things from sponsors. I got great mesh snap-top project bags from Namaste. They are big enough to actually hold a decent sized project and yarn, plus the mesh means I can see what's inside without it getting all nasty and gross inside.

Oh man, there are so many things I want to have and do now. I want to spin, dye, knit everything under the sun, buy a spinning wheel... Actually, I would love to start with one of the Turkish drop spindles from Jenkins woodworking. I tried one at their booth and really liked it.

I almost forgot the picture of the best stitch markers ever! Made by Crafting for the Peanut Gallery and bought at Sock Summit.
Pickles and ninjas! Also monster/zombie and cow needle holders.

Back to work tomorrow. If only I could spend all my time knitting, hanging out with knitters, and learning to dye and spin.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sock summit

So much amazing yarn, knitters, and nerdiness! I'm not with it enough to have scored entrance to any of the classes, but the marketplace is huge and awesome. I brought a non knitting friend with me and his description included the words "terrifying" "geeky" and "yarny". I thnk it may have scared him for life. He is holding two knitting needles now. I'm not sure if I should be geting my hopes up for him to bcome a knitter or defend myself against the impending attack.

Sock summit has refueled my desire for the perfect circs. I love bamboo/wood needles specificaly addi naturas. Sadly, addi does not make interchangable naturas. My denise set is awesome but not good for magic loop which (see previous post) beats DPNs hands down. I need a good set of interchangable wood needles with thin flexible cables. The knitpicks harmony needle set intrigues me. I need to find a way to try them as I'm loathe to purchase anything without trying it.

Fortunately, non knitting friend has stopped threatening imminent knitting needle attack. I will update more on sock summit and the ravelry meet-up party when I am on a computer and not my phone.