Wednesday, February 25, 2009

i FINISHED something! finally.

Two things actually. My aunt's legwarmers, pictured here, and the sun pillow, which did not come out as stellar as I'd hoped.

The legwarmers look good though-- the only complaint I have is the weird color patterns. The one on the right came out really cool looking I think, with regular white twists up the whole thing. I expected the other one to come out looking the same way since I used the same yarn,

but these varigated color yarns are tricky... It came out in huge swabs of color. Still, I think it looks purty good and they are mighty warm and comfortable too. I mailed them out today. I hope she likes them! I did get some good feedback on the socks I made for my cousin:

Apparently she likes them a lot! Keeps her toasty warm.

And the pillow.

Disappointing. I machine sewed the seams. They came out nice and tight, but they still had that weird sticky out corner thing. And when the knitting was stretched over the pillow form, every flaw became visible. It's okay for a first try, but I will do better next time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recent Knittings

Things I've made in the past week!!

Child's hat.
I just made this tonight actually. I was experimenting with some techniques from my new knitting book The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques and it looked really cute so I decided to turn it into a hat. It would probably fit a child but I have no idea what age group that would be. Maybe like... four or five?

Half a pillow.
Cool right? This is another new color technique, intarsia knitting. I call it the SUN PILLOW. I'm going to finish knitting it in red, and then sew it together and put in a pillow form.
A leg warmer.
Half of the pair for my aunt.

A glove.
Half of the pair for my friend. Oy, this was annoying to make and it's pretty small. Luckily she has tiny hands... it might possibly fit but I wouldn't hold my breath. I don't care though because I'm not making another pair. Now I have to knit the other hand aargg annoying.

Lots of projects, keeping busy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Oh friends, what a frustrating hour I've just spent. To start from the beginning: I had a flash of brilliance yesterday while thinking of how I could start my Etsy store ( is a place where people sell their handmade things online). My flash went like this: Pillows!! For all you who have seen my name pillows, you will agree that they are pretty cute.

I don't plan on selling name pillows, though, because that would cater to too small an audience, unless I want to put up custom postings, but I don't want to do that just yet-- I'd rather put up stuff that I have made and are ready to be mailed. Anyway, I started doodling some designs for pillows. Standard stripes, bubbles, hearts, plaid, diagonals, a sun, a rainbow, a star, a smiley face... the possibilities were endless! I was so excited that I rushed right over to A.C. Moore to stock up on lots of different colored yarn. I bought a few small skeins and a pillow form to make a test pillow. I wanted to start with the SUN one, which would be a series of circles within one another, i.e., a yellow circle in the center surrounded by an orange one and all of that on a red background.

I got home, did some calculations for the gauge, and happily cast on. The method I used for changing colors was standard, carry-alongs, that is, when I was knitting with one color, I simply carried the other color yarn along behind the row and knit it into the stitch I was working on so that it would stay snug. This is how I've always done color-changes, like for the name pillows. But it didn't take me long to notice that it looked like crap. If I'm going to be selling these things, they need to be perfect, and this clearly was NOT. The knitting where I had carried yarn behind was all bunched up and scrunchy, it wasn't smooth or professional looking, and it was making the knitting all tight. In short, it looked amateur and bad. I ripped it out. I looked up "knitting with colors" online and read about intarsia knitting, which is a different kind of color knitting all together which I will not explain in detail here-- suffice it to say, it looks a lot better though it is a little more complicated.

It also required a tool I did not have: KNITTING BOBBINS. So I went to A.C. Moore today to buy some. Or try to. They didn't have any. I went to Wal-Mart. They didn't have them either. I went to Michael's. THEY DIDN'T HAVE THEM. I am starting to suspect that these things do not really exist. So I bought at Michael's some clothespins, which one website had recommended as a substitute, and some other stuff that I didn't need (can't walk out of that store without spending money). And now I am going to start this intarsia method. I think this will be a long and frustrating road but I must walk it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Slow knitting day

Didn't get much done today. I was going to finish that stupid glove/mitten thing, but I realized it was pointless. It was just way too big. So I bound off around the first knuckles and now I have a really dumb-looking, useless pink thing. It would only fit a large man, and it's pink. And it's half of a pair. So I have no idea why I didn't just rip it out. I'll probably just toss it...

Anyway, I have to start the gloves again, obviously. But now I don't have any yarn to use for it that's not sock weight or medium weight. I need something in between, maybe weight 3. I don't know what to do with this pink sock yarn that I made the first glove with. I don't think there's enough left to make socks-- maybe ankle socks, but who wants knitted ankle socks? Oh well, add it to the stash.

I tore out the leg warmer that I'd started and began again with 48 stitches instead of 64. First I did a k2, p2 rib for two inches, then a k4, p4 rib for the leg, but it looked dumb so I tore it out and started again with stockinette. Oy, this project is going to annoy me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

projects about which i am no longer enthusiastic

Every knitter has these projects. Stuff that you started months ago, put down and never picked up again. It's boring or it's old or the yarn isn't cool. For whatever reason, you've lost interest. I have a few of these. The oldest is this:

It's one of eleven loong, 67" strips that will one day (hopefully) all add up to an afghan. I'm working on it with my nana. Like eight of the eleven are done, but this is the fourth year of the project and we haven't finished. I started this particular strip maybe two years ago. Maybe a year and a half. I had ALMOST FINISHED it when I unrolled it and realized that I had knit the pattern backwards for the past fourteen inches. So the pattern was on the wrong side. I had to rip it all out. After that I really lost momentum and stopped working on it except once every few months. I now have a deadline: the end of the semester, so around May. By then I'm supposed to have finished this strip and started another one. But I have no interest in it anymore.

This is a more recent project. I started it over my winter break, about a month or two ago. I was really excited about it because I'm using this cool recycled yarn made out of plastic bottles and I love the color and feel of it. Plus, I like the pattern-- it's interesting to knit, looks complex but is actually pretty simple. It will eventually be a scarf for me. However, after putting it down a few weeks ago, I never picked it back up and now when I look at it I feel nothing except dread at the fact that I have almost an entire skein to go before it's the appropriate length.

Most recent of all. A relative commissioned a pair of leg warmers. I found some patterns but ultimately decided to make it up as I went. Pretty simple right? K1, p1 rib for two inches, then stockinette for about a foot, then another two inches of ribbing, worked in the round. But it's so boring. And I think it's too big. In fact, I was so convinced of this that I ripped the whole thing out and started again. So basically it will take even longer.

glove madness

So I'm making gloves for the first time at the request of a friend. For my first attempt I used size one dpns (double-pointed needles) and sock yarn because I figured lightweight yarn would be better for a delicate project like this. Nay. The glove came out sized for a nine year old. Plus, I totally screwed up the increases for the thumb gusset and there are tons of holes. And it fits terribly.

I know it looks like it's on the wrong hand, but it looks just as bad on the other one too.

Basically, WEAK.

I'm trying again. I'm using Bernat Worsted, which is medium-weight. I originally used it for a sweater vest and I had some left over. I bought size three dpns, but I think they are too small. Anyway, the glove is going to come out way too big, since my friend has tiny fairy-like hands and this one seems like it'll be too big on me. Blurg! I bought a dowel at Wal-Mart to make my own size four/five DPNs instead of having to buy another set for $4. It worked out pretty well. I cut it into five equal-size lengths and used a nail file to sand down the points. To make them perfect I'd have to smooth them down with some sand paper and maybe paint on a coat of varnish, but I don't have that kind of dedication. This works fine. I actually made another set, like comparable to size twos, from those shish-kebab skewars you can buy at food stores. This is a great solution to buying dpns. You can get dowels in lots of sizes from hardware stores REALLY cheaply. And one stick will make a whole set of five.

Anyway... I'm going to finish this one just so I can have a general idea of sizing. Even though it will definitely not fit my friend. So that means I'll have to make a third test glove.

Oh well, knitting is a labor of love.