Thursday, December 1, 2016

Knitter's Bucket List: Part 3

Welcome to the third installation of the knitter's bucket list.  You can find part 1 here, and part 2 here.

24. Charity knitting. Partially complete.

This is marked as "partially" complete, because I never sent my completed project off.  Fortunately I know where the squares are (knit in 2011!) and the company is still accepting so I am going to send them this year.  The company is Knit-A-Square, a company that strives to keep warm and comfort children orphaned by AIDS in South Africa.

I also plan to knit a few hats for protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline, most notably at Standing Rock.  There is a Standing Rock Hat from Lavanya Patricella and information on Ravelry you can find here.

25. Knitting with soy yarn. Incomplete.

I haven't used it yet, but have two skeins of Patons Soy Wool Stripes in my stash.  (Sadly discontinued.) Remember back in 2006 when everyone was snatching this up to make Calorimetrys?

(c) Kathryn Schoendorf via Ravelry

Since my current hairstyle of choice is space buns, I can't wear hats, and I have been looking for something to keep my ears warm.  I think I'll have to whip up a few of these after Christmas.

26. Cardigan. Incomplete.

I suppose the sweater, Chantal, I talked about in part 2 counts more as a cardigan than a sweater as a cardigan is a knit sweater that fastens down the front. I do have plans to knit sweaters though.

27. Toy/doll clothing. Complete.

I've knit a quite a few things for Blythe, my favorites being this hoodie and sweater:

Complete with a big hood for big Blythe heads.
Info here.

(c) mellow is me via Flickr

28. Knitting with circular needles. Complete.

With help from Ravelry, I found the first project I knit in the round with circs back in 2008 for my boyfriend at the time.  It was my also first time using DPNs, too.  


29. Baby items. Complete.

My first, a pair of Saartjee's Bootees:

and most recent, a blanket for a friend from high school:

30. Knitting with your own handspun yarn. Incomplete.

Though I own a drop spindle and roving, I haven't used it yet.

31. Knitting with your own hand-dyed yarn. Incomplete.

I've hand-dyed my own yarn, using Kool-Aid, but I haven't used it yet.

32. Slippers. Incomplete.

33. Graffiti knitting. (Yarnbombing) Incomplete.

34. Designing knitted garments. Incomplete.

35. Lace patterns. Incomplete.

But I have knit a lace practice swatch in cotton in preparation for a scarf.

Part three of the knitter's bucket list is as follows:
  • charity knitting
  • knitting with soy yarn
  • cardigan
  • ✓ toy/doll clothing
  • ✓ knitting with circular needles
  • ✓ baby items
  • knitting with your own handspun yarn
  • knitting with your own hand-dyed yarn
  • slippers
  • graffiti knitting
  • designing knitted garments
  • lace patterns

(03/12; 08/36)

Part 1 | Part 2


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Musings and Goodbyes

I hope everyone's had a wonderful November.  It seems to have gone by in an instant.  One second I was soaking up the remnants of the summer sun, wondering when the peak of red and gold and orange leaves would be, waiting to feast on Thanksgiving and give gifts on Christmas, to what seems like the first day of spring after a long winter with ugly brown leaves scattered on wet pavement, but with out of place Christmas lights flickering at 5 PM when the sun goes down.  It's an odd day today for the last day of November; instead it feels like a March morning,  a day to feel the humid 70 degree air on bare arms, discarding scarves and hats we've disguised ourselves with all winter; instead we're putting out Christmas lights.  It's weird to have these warm days in late autumn on the East Coast.  As a child I remember November being cold, greedily wrapping myself in new sweaters and winter clothes that I'd soon tire of in mid January; then into college when it turned into a month of monsoons, and so many classes were cancelled to campus floods, much to our delight; leading up to last year when Christmas Eve was 65 degrees on the East Coast, and 50 on the West.  (I dreamt of a weird Christmas.)  But for most of the month it's been chilly, which has brought out a strong desire to work on large, luscious blankets, but those aren't gifts, and now that it's December, Christmas gifts are a priority.

(c) SlippedStitchStudios

I spent November making stitches here and there on gifts, but I procrastinate Work Better Under Pressure so these next weeks are going to be busy.  Gifts have been completed in secret, small victories which have allowed me to indulge and work on things for myself during November.  Mainly it's been a Christmas bauble (see here), a Weekender Blanket with self-striping yarn, and progress on my Nordic Shawl I abandoned in July, which must be further postponed.  It's a shame too, as I'm almost finished and have plans for the leftover yarn as well. 😉

Here's to November 2016!  🍻

And here's to December 2016, for which we have planned a project called the Mad Hatter Project because I must be mad to think I can knit four hats before Christmas.

Here is progress of the first:

This is a practice piece because I don't like to gauge, but also because my last stranding/Fair Isle hat came out like this:

and I want to make sure it doesn't come out looking that way.  I want to be sure I can knit Fair Isle correctly and that I'm not doomed to make prettily patterned pointy hats.

It also could have been because Gretchen, the above hat, wasn't blocked.  I found this tip:

Properly tensioned floats, when seen from the wrong side, should look like little swags or "smiles."  The extra slack you build into the floats usually disappears during blocking, when your knitted fabric events itself out. (x)

I'll be sure to block this one, and it'll work better with this one than with Gretchen because this one is wool.  I concerned my tension might be too tight, but for now all the stitches are squeezed together on the needles and I can't tell if they're tight or just squished, so hopefully blocking will help.

Now let's welcome December with the best holiday advertisement I've ever seen:


Friday, November 25, 2016

FO Friday: A Bauble

Crochet Christmas Bauble by Ollie & Bella
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'N Cream in Hot Pink, Hot Orange, Hot Green, Hot Blue; Lily Sugar 'N Cream Denim in Indigo
Hook: US H (5.00 mm)
Size: it covers a 3 inch styrofoam ball
Started: November 5, 2016
Finished: November 18, 2016

This was a fun crochet, and I like how it came out, but it was a Major Pain try to single crochet the two sides together around the styrofoam ball.  So much of a pain, in fact, I'm not sure if I'm going to make any more, even though I have five more styrofoam balls.  Maybe I'll whip stitch it around the ball instead.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was cold and quiet, spent at home with family and good food.  Now knitting and crocheting for Christmas needs to take place in earnest.  I have been spending my evenings feverishly working on my Nordic Shawl, ignoring this blog (I haven't forgotten about the knitter's bucket list series!) in the meantime, but now I really need to get started on those.

I went to one of my local yarn stores (LYS), fibre space, located in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, and picked up some yarn.

The three skeins on the left are Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok, and the blue-with-purple-flecks is Berroco Vintage DK.  All of these are destined to become hats, and I have more planned, a project for this month I've titled the Mad Hatter Project, as I'm not sure how, but somehow will have to manage to, to knit four hats before Christmas.  Wish me luck!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Finishing Lazy Daisy Jones' Photo-a-Day Challenge

Finishing Lazy Daisy Jones' photo-a-day challenge I did on Instagram for October.  November is 14 days in, and I'm missing having an incentive to take a picture of my knitting and crochet every day. 😞

day 25: design inspo

All of you. 💗
A screenshot of my favorites on Instagram. 

day 26: yarn shelfie

Skipped because my yarn doesn't live on a shelf, rather it lives in under-the-bed boxes, and WIPs live in a pile of bags, a pile which I'd rather not share. 😂

day 27: hooks

A few of my favorite hooks.

day 28: stripes

The Great Beast, my favorite striped project.

day 29: amigurumi

day 30: hat

I haven't crocheted a hat in a while; this is the most recent one I made, a "Little Ears" hat for Blythe.

day 31: spooky!

Skipped.  The spookiest thing I've made was the Pumpkinpus.

Hoping to find another photo-a-day challenge for December!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Knitter's Bucket List: Part 2

Hello, and welcome to part 2 of the Knitter's Bucket List.  You can find part 1 HERE.

12. Knitting with silk. Incomplete.

Ooo, silk.  I have some silk yarn in my stash, Duke by Silkindian, 100% silk, in a pumpkiny orange color, but I'm not sure what to make with it.  Maybe make a cowl, to keep it close.

13. Möbius band knitting. Incomplete.

What's a Möbius band?  It’s a surface with only one side and one boundary. 

(c) Wikipedia

The above example is a Möbius strip made from a piece of paper or tape. "If an ant were to crawl along the length of this strip, it would return to its starting point having traversed the entire length of the strip (on both sides of the original paper) without ever crossing an edge." (x)  In our case, it’d be a Möbius strip made by knitting and a little finagling to make a scarf, for example, with "one edge, one side, and basically a twist with a half loop in it." (x)  Looks interesting.  Math can be fun, right?

14. Participating in a KAL. Incomplete.

I have not participated in a knit-a-long (KAL), but have participated in many crochet-a-longs (CAL).  I hope to do a KAL, though I knit quite slowly I might not be able to keep up.

15. Sweater. Incomplete.

(c) Berroco via Ravelry

I have not knit a sweater!  But I do have enough yarn and plans to.  I won a contest from Berroco a while a ago and they sent me enough yarn (Ultra Alpaca and Ultra Alpaca Light) to make the Chantal sweater from their pattern booklet Norah Gaughan Volume 1. I just haven't gotten around to it.  it should be a goal for 2017!

16. Drop stitch patterns. Incomplete.

I was never interested in drop stitch patterns, but then I just found this and now want to try:

(c) Christine Vogel of Frazzled Knits via Ravelry

17. Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn. Complete

Remember the cowl I mentioned in part 1?  It was knit with the above yarn, a combination of three different yarns.  The purple is Lion Brand Vanna's Choice, the silver is Aunt Lydia's crochet thread, and the pink is a giant sweater I found at a thrift store and frogged for the yarn.  

18. Knitting with banana fiber yarn. Incomplete.

At first I was like what?  But Darn Good Yarn sells some, and it looks pretty interesting:

(c) Darn Good Yarn

Product description from their website:
Try our Banana Fiber Yarn for something that’s a little out of the ordinary! Made from the sustainable fibers that are scraped from the bark of a banana tree and handspun by women’s co-ops in India, our vibrant Banana Fiber Yarn is a great choice for anything from weaving a rug to knitting a hat! And don’t be scared by the word “fiber,” because there is nothing scratchy about this yarn at all. After harvesting the fibers from the trunk of the banana tree, they are put through a softening process that makes the fiber very similar to silk. Then when it’s spun, it is as soft as silk - soft and strong, full of texture, color, and bio-degradable so it’s completely vegan and eco-friendly!

I'd like to try it!

19. Domino/modular knitting. Incomplete.

What is domino knitting? Domino knitting expert Vivian Hǿxbro says:

In 1992, I was attending a handcraft fair in Germany and noticed a huge crowd at one stand. I could just barely see a bearded man demonstrating a different way to knit. That man was Horst Schulz. Later, I traveled to Berlin and took a course with him. It was on ‘the new knitting’ as he called it.
In domino knitting, pieces are knitted together while the work progresses, just as one “pieces” the tiles in dominoes. For more than a century, people have knitted this way. They knitted shawls with domino patterns on the Faroe Islands and pieced coverlets in the same manner in Canada and England. In the United States, I found a copy of a pamphlet from 1946 with the sweetest jacket, knitted in domino squares by Virginia Woods Bellamy. In 1952, she published a book on the technique, called Number Knitting.

From the first moment I saw the domino knitting techniques demonstrated, I was intrigued by the many possibilities of this knitting method; they’re endless.
Find more information HERE.

20. Shadow/illusion knitting. Incomplete.

Here's a great example from Steve Plummer and Pat Ashforth:

(c) Steve Plummer and Pat Ashforth via Ravlery

Magic!  Find the Ravelry page HERE.

21. Twisted stitch patterns. Incomplete.

I've knit with twisted stitches before, but not on purpose: it's been a result of frogging and placing the stitches back on the needle backwards.  THIS book looks like it has some amazing twisted stitch patterns, intentional of course.

22. Knitting with bamboo yarn. Incomplete.

I have bamboo yarn snuck away somewhere in my stash.  I'll have to fish it out and make something so I can check this off.  It's smooth and lovely wound, I feel like it'd create a beautiful fabric.

23. Two end knitting. Incomplete.

What is two end knitting?  Knitty has the answer:

Twined knitting is an traditional Scandinavian knitting technique dating back at least to the 17th century in Sweden. You use two strands of yarn -- knitting each strand is alternately and twisting them between each stitch. It's called tvåändsstickning in Swedish and tvebandsstrikking in Norwegian -- both meaning "two-end knitting"-- because traditionally the two ends of one ball of yarn are used. The resulting fabric is firmer and denser than regular stockinette stitch and makes for wonderfully warm knits -- it also has less of a tendency to curl. Some beautiful, subtle patterns can be made in twined knitting using purled stitches - either purling alternately with both strands, or knitting with one strand and purling the other. Most patterns incorporate some of these decorative borders where one would normally use ribbing -- cuffs of mittens and gloves or the tops of socks. Twined knitting is usually knitted in the round and with the yarn held in the right hand and, in contrast to regular Scandinavian knitting, is "thrown" English style.
Find more information HERE.

Part two of the knitter's bucket list is as follows:

  • knitting with silk
  • möbius band knitting
  • participating in a KAL
  • sweater
  • drop stitch patterns
  • ✓ knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
  • knitting with banana fiber yarn
  • domino/modular knitting
  • shadow/illusion knitting
  • twisted stitch patterns
  • knitting with bamboo yarn
  • two end knitting
(01/12; 05/24)