Thursday, September 30, 2010

Behbehs continued

I ended up disliking Leah's hat enough to make a new one. And I decided to make it match Saul's:
I used only Red Heart Soft Yarn, so it isn't as buttery soft as Saulie's hat. But it's super cute.

And then I figured... well, if I'm going to make matching hats for two of the Bailey kids... why not go all the way and make a third for the incoming baby (due at the end of December)?

 So I did!

I used "neutral" colors, as neutral as I could find in my Soft Yarn stash, anyway. 
So now we have a whole set of neat little matching hats in kid, toddler, and infant sizes!!
Bear in mind, of course, that the sizes are kind of arbitrary, since I have no available kids, toddlers, or babies to fit them on.

Now I just have to knit a little sweater (in Muench again, super super soft) for the baby, and then I will send them to Israel. I have some family visiting there in November, so I may try to send it with them instead of actually mailing it, because that would be mad expensive. But I can't wait to see a picture of the adorable little kiddies in the hats!!! Knitting for kids is so fun. The projects are adorable, and they are quick knits. Too bad I don't have more kids in my life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Behbeh Hats

I've knit a couple of hats for the Bailey kiddies-- only two months early! Better than late. I just wanted some fresh projects. I want to start a project a day. I certainly have enough yarn!!

Each hat has had its own saga, its own story.

 I did Leah's hat first, with super bulky cotton Dance yarn. I only had one 70-yard skein, which I figured should be enough to make a hat. This was my first attempt:
 It was a pattern I found on Ravelry. I liked it because of the cute earflaps. But knitting the earflaps without cutting the yarn-- I didn't want to because I had so little of it and because weaving ends on such a bulky, sturdy yarn will not be fun-- was annoying, and the hat turned out long and skinny. Not a great size. So I tried again.
This was an improvised design. I impulsively decided to do some cables. It looked okay, but the top was strange and again it was long and thin. Take three.

I continued with the cables theme, but shortened the cables and added a repeat, which resulted in a nice looking hat. But now I don't know if I really like it, because the yarn is, like, not that soft and cuddly. It's super bulky and it has that, you know "cotton"-y feel-- kind of sturdy and rough. I have a skein of old Caron's Simply Soft Quick, a super bulky, super soft sheeny light pink acrylic. That would make a very cozy and warm hat. But I don't know if I want to make another one. I mean, the hat I did make was fairly cute... I just don't know if I love the texture and feel of it.

Saulie's hat. Take one.
My main issue with this hat was the two different yarns. The light turquoise is Muench Family and I love it. It's butter-soft. Feels fantastic against the skin, and totally fun to knit with. But I felt it might be a little too babyish, and I only had 83 yards of that, so I thought it might be a good idea to add another color. So I added a darker teal from the Red Heart Soft Yarn line, which I've used for tons of stuff in the past, and it is pretty soft. Thing is, compared to the Muench, it's downright coarse. Doesn't feel any bit as nice. And I used it for the ribbing, which is the part that will come into direct contact with his skin. :-(. But I do like the stripey look, and the gauge was so perfect that the knitting is super neat and tidy. Which mine usually never is. And it is probably because I never, ever check gauge.

Finally I just decided to continue with it anyway, but when I finished it, it was too long. It fit ME. So I knew it was going to be too big for a four-year-old. So I ripped back, removed a repeat, and finished up again. I am very happy with the result:

Now I'm just wavering on whether or not I want to send Leah the hat. I guess I have a while to decide.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I am sooo happy today!! I got my KnitPicks order in the mail!!! I ordered it on TUESDAY, and now it's Saturday-- talk about service!!

I am just so thrilled. It's like sending a present to myself. There are 15 skeins total, and one pair of circs. There are seven different kinds of yarns, because I wanted to test out a bunch of different products. KnitPicks is like a discounted designer yarn that is EXTRAORDINARILY cheap compared to other designer yarns and it's not sold in stores, but tons of knitters use it and I wanted to see if I should join their ranks.

So, without further adooooo! Meet my new yarn!

6 balls Knit Picks Palette in Marine Heather.
Fingering Weight.
100% Peruvian wool, 231 yards.
I want to use this yarn to make a really sweet short-sleeved sweater with a great fold-over collar and button placket. The pattern calls for light fingering. This yarn was $2.19/ball!! So I couldn't resist. I mean, the total, for all six balls, was $13.14!!!! You don't even know how good of a deal that is considering how expensive wool can be at yarn stores. It's a very, very pretty color-- a deep blue-green. The yarn, being 100% wool, is a little "hairier" than I'd like, and I imagine it might be a little itchy close to the skin, but as this is the kind of sweater one wears over a shirt, I don't think it'll be a problem. I also got needles to knit the sweater, size 2 24" circulars, which can be hard to find in stores cause they are so small.

1 ball Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Clementine
Worsted Weight
60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal, 75 yards
No idea what I want to use this particular ball for, but I would definitely order this yarn again for a worsted weight project. It has a LOVELY sheen and it is incredibly soft to the touch. Perfect for baby stuff. I love the Clementine colorway, too. The only thing I don't love is the low yardage. It would take many balls to make a grown-up sweater, that's for sure. But you can't beat the price. $2.49/ball!

1 Ball Swish DK in Sugar Plum
DK Weight
100% Superwash Merino Wool, 123 yards
 This is a very pretty, classic Merino yarn. Might not be the best next-to-skin project, but on the other hand, it probably is pretty comfortable. It's not hairy at all, no long weird fibers-- pretty smooth. I won't know until I knit it up. It feels pretty soft-- not as soft as the Shine, but I could see a lot of uses for it. Plus, I LOVE the Sugar Plum colorway. I could see ordering it for a project. I could definitely see it as a hat for a baby or kid. It would even be nice for a sweater, I think. This yarn has a lot of potential.

1 ball Knit Picks CotLin in Pistachio.
DK weight.
70% Cotton, 30% Linen, 123 yards.
 This is a very nice cotton yarn. Very subtle sheen, soft, light. Would be great in a summer project. I love the minty color. Again, don't know what I'll use it for, but I can see that it will be a very hardy and sturdy yarn that will wash well.

2 balls Knit Picks Simply Cotton Sport in Ginger
Sport weight.
100% Organic Cotton, 164 yards.
This is another nice cotton yarn. It's undyed, natural, which I really like, and the colorway is very interesting. It has very, very subtle variegation. You can barely see it, but it's there. I got two balls because I thought I might want to make some kind of project with it, maybe a baby project. It also comes in Worsted weight, but I generally like finer weights because I find that heavier weights makes for bulky and unattractive garments.

3 skeins Knit Picks Shadow in Summer Blooms Tonal.
Lace weight.
440 yards 100% Merino wool.
 I got three skeins because I had a project in mind, the Featherweight sweater, a nice light cardigan, but if I find another laceweight sweater I may make that instead. I love the idea of a laceweight cardigan, because I'd get a lot more use out of it than a bulky sweater. I've made many sweaters, but I barely wear any of them because they're all so huge and bulky and unflattering. I've never made a sweater in a weight lighter than worsted. Therefore I got the Palette and this, to make lighter weight sweaters. This yarn is beaaauutiful. It's handpainted in deep magenta/pink/red shades. I can see that it'll be really nice knitted up. Again, it's a little hairy, like the Palette, but it would make a very nice, airy sweater.

1 skein Knit Picks Stroll, in Springtime tonal.
Fingering/sock weight.
75% Superwash Merino, 25% nylon, 462 yards.
Now this might be my favorite of the bunch. It's so soft and smooth, just like sock yarn should be, and the color variegation is soo lovely. I love the bright, springy green. (I'm a sucker for handpaints.) It was also the most expensive, $9.99/skein. But that's still a lot less expensive than your typical handpainted skein of sock yarn, which runs usually at least $20/skein. This is a really lovely yarn and I'm looking forward to using it.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Abort! Abort!!

I was doing a MUCH needed organization and purge of my yarn stash today, and I stumbled onto a few aborted projects from I don't know when. It was disturbing, to say the least. I recovered quite a number of needles and notions when I ripped them out...

I think this is the oldest. It's a pair of gloves that I started making for Sabrina's . . . 23rd . . .? birthday? Two years ago?
It was my first glove and it was a horrible FAIL. I ripped out the second glove and freed the needles for a more useful future purpose. I'm not even going to talk about it... it wasn't good.

I believe I started this little project the end of my senior year, a year or so ago. It was going to be a geometrical skirt made of panels knit in different leftover sock yarn. I only got most of one panel in before I lost interest, I guess. I ripped it out today. Maybe it can be repurposed for a sock or something. Or a few pairs of kids' socks.

This one's kind of embarrassing. Last summer I drew a sketch of a very pretty knit dress. It had a lined, lace skirt in some lightweight yarn, a waistband and a cute little top. I had some vague plans to make it. But I needed skinny yarn, right? So I went to Michael's and bought... crochet thread. Yeek. I held a strand of off-white thread, and sparkly white thread, together, and knit it in lace to get this horrible thing. Obviously I didn't even like it while it was happening because I didn't get too far. Now I know that if I want to knit a beautiful lace skirt, I need beautiful lace yarn and a hell of a lot more patience. I hate lace.

Plarn. I made plastic yarn out of a bunch of plastic grocery bags. I think my vague idea was to make a reusable grocery bag out of old bags. But I got creative, with the cable, and it looked weird. Fail.

And these were all the tools I got back (and didn't even know I had)!

A pair of size 10 straights, a pair of size 2 straights, a pair of circular needles, and two sets of dpns.

I spent all last night on Ravelry, searching for patterns worked with the yarns I have in my stash. It was so fun. I got really excited about using the yarns... but the thing is, I don't have enough of most of them because the only projects I really like are sweaters and garments. I don't wear accessories! I don't even wear my knitted socks!! I'm a sweater girl, what can I say? I'm an incurable sweater knitter. I'm especially excited about my Misti Alpaca pima/silk blend. I LOVE the colorway and all the projects on Ravelry show it to advantage... it's so pretty. I just need like four more skeins, and I can make a sweater. But I need four more skeins. Lol. And I have yarn on the way to make two other sweaters. And I'm going to start working a lot soon (hopefully!!!) so I'll have less time to knit. But more money to buy yarn, mwahaha!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Dance Time

Guys, I got ANOTHER job today!! Barush Hashem!!! Formans Rejoice!!!

I was just cruising the mall with my mom and I stopped in at the Lindt Chocolate to say hi to my old friend, Ron. We worked together at Lindt for many years, in Woodbury, and after that store closed he moved to Roosevelt Field. So I wandered in to say HI. And whaddayaknow!!! They needed people! All their people were leaving!! The overseeing manager happened to be in the store!! Application, interview, wham bam! I'm back at Lindt, baby!!

The fact that I now have TWO jobs and will soon have steady income makes me feel a little less guilty about spending many moneys on Knit Picks products today. I put in my order for sixteen skeins of yarn and I am SO EXCITED!! It shipped today so I should have it soon. I won't put down an exact number, but I spent enough to qualify for free shipping, so. I ordered seven different kinds of yarn, totaling 16 skeins, and a pair of size 2 32" circulars. I ordered six skeins of a fingering weight yarn called Palette, to make this really sweet short-sleeved sweater with this awesome ribbed collar with a button placket. I just discovered it on Ravelry yesterday. I also ordered three skeins of lace for a laceweight sweater I want to make. And some other random stuff just to test out the Knit Picks quality. It's a notoriously cheap source of (reputedly) fairly quality yarn, so I decided I needed to see for myself.

Anyway, problems.

I started the Noro coat the other day. But then I went on Ravelry (I LOVE THAT SITE! How did I live without it?) to look up Noro Iro projects and it turns out someone else had this idea before. A few people actually, made some pretty cute coats. And that's when I realized that I definitely don't have enough yarn. Actually, I realized it when I started knitting and I was halfway through the skein before I had 3" done. And it's a super-bulky yarn. So now I have to rethink things.

This is my Noro Iro. All very beautiful, but what do I do with it?? Seven skeins isn't enough to make a coat. Maybe a blazer? I dunno. I've kind of lost my enthusiasm for it. Maybe it'll just stay in my stash for now... I do want to make some kind of outerwear with it, but I don't feel like buying more of it right now.

Mailed out the sample scarf and Play With Fire socks today. Am working diligently on Aunt Hayley's skirt. I don't even know when I'll see her next, so I don't have a deadline per se, but I'm plodding through. Also working on a pair of Knit Picks socks. I used a German Twisted cast on as recommended, because it said it makes a "stretchy" hem, but-- I must have messed up, because it's really tight and uncomfortable. In fact, I may actually try to undo the cast-on and just bind off the cuff because the sock comes up really high on the knee and it's freaking annoying to tug it over the calf.

In other news, the Law and Order: SVU Season Premiere was tonight and .... WOWZA!! Top notch!! SVU always delivers!! I need to learn how to simultaneously WATCH tv and knit, though. I realized that I never take my eyes off my knitting. Which will probably result in some eyesight issues later on. Problematic, as my eyesight already sucks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


...I got a job. All of us here in the Forman household are very relieved. I start on Thursday at Bath & Body works, so I'm going to smell really good from now on! I also have an interview at Joann Fabrics, so maybe I'll get another job too. It'll be reeeaaalllly nice to have some income again. Like, REALLY nice.

Right now I'm working on my aunt's Bell Curve skirt, same yarn as my mom's, in navy blue. And also some Knit Picks sock blank socks, which are coming out REALLY cool. (The rainbow ones.) And also a sample scarf that I'm doing. I tried to continue with my gloves last week, and got happily all the way up to the thumb when I realized that I had knit a second right hand. So I had to unravel the glove back down to the ribbing. THAT was frustrating.

There are just sooo many things I want to make.

-My Noro coat. I have seven skeins of Noro Iro wound into balls and waiting to be knit, but I haven't gotten around to it yet and I fear that my enthusiasm about it is waning. But I really want to knit a coat. I have always wanted to knit a coat!! Wahh! I just haven't really had the time to write out the pattern. I've started it, but nothing is really worked out concretely and I don't want to start till it is.

-I recently decided (like two days ago) that I want to knit the Featherweight Cardigan, which is this laceweight little cardigan which is VERY cute, and the pattern suggests Malabrigo Lace which, by the way, I have! I only have one skein though, and I need at least two or three because I think I want to make the sleeves long instead of three-quarter. So I emailed Fine Points asking if they still have some Sapphire Malabrigo Lace. Maybe they can send it to me. It would be the same dye lot, so that would be ideal. But the thing is, I've never made a sweater in a lighter weight and I think I would get a lot more use out of it than the worsted wool sweaters I have made. They all end up kinda bulky! So it would be really fun to knit a laceweight sweater.

-My winter hat. I need a new one, and I have a few funky cabled hats queued up on Ravelry, but since it's not that cold yet, no rush. I wanted to make it with my red Malabrigo worsted, but now I have another skein of a more neutral, dark color so that might be more appropriate. I'll consider it. I do love bright standy-out colors, after all.

-Diamond knee socks. I looked through my old Knit-a-Day Calendars. I do this every once in a while because my knitting tastes change, so different patterns appeal to me at different times. I picked out a bunch of sock patterns, and these cool knee socks, although I think I would knit them to thigh-length. I would have to alter the pattern to fit over my knee. This isn't high-priority.

-Baby sweater for my friend Heather's baby, due at the end of December. No rush on that either clearly but I want to make it-- the sweater is so cute, with a neat shoulder placket, and I like knitting baby things. And the yarn is so soft! It's going to be fun to work with.

-I found a bunch of other cute baby projects in the calendar as well, a few infant socks, which I want to make (I think they're better than booties!!) and an ADORABLE hoodie sweater for a baby-- so, so, so cute! I need someone else near me to have a baby already!

I should REALLY knit more stuff for my Etsy page. I have completely neglected that since I created it last year. But now when I knit stuff I like it so much that I want to keep it! Plus, you can't sell things knit from other people's patterns... so I'd have to like make some upppp and that's hard. I need to practice my pattern writing skills. For realZ. It always takes so long for me. But I do find it very fun and interesting. I love solving the knitting problems. But I don't think I know enough about it. I need to learn. I want to take a class or something.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ahh.... sorry.

I'm sorry. I haven't written in two weeks, basically since I got home from Ohio. The main reason why I stopped updating was because I'm pretty sure the only people who read this blog are my parents, and since I am now living in the same house as them, I figured an online update wouldn't be necessary to keep them posted on all my knitting projects. But I started feeling guilty. Maybe there's one or two readers out there who aren't my parents, so this is for you.

SO MUCH KNITTING STUFF HAS BEEN GOING ON, OH MY GOSH!!! My entire life is knitting now. Literally.

Since I've gotten home, I have...

1. finished my sister's scarf
2. knit 2 sample hats
3. knit a bell curve skirt for my mom
4. finished the KAL play with fire socks (sample and pattern)
5. finished that damn laptop bag
6. begun a pair of socks
7. begun a second skirt, for my aunt
8. begun a sample scarf
9. agreed to knit at least two sample shawls


Beck's scarf. I finished it the day before she got home from school.

Dumb laptop bag. Ok, it's actually pretty awesome and I am happy with it but it took forever to finish and I will never felt again. AND the zipper is too small, so I have to take it out. NEVER DONE. Seriously, it took forever to do everything... felt the bag and the pockets... then felt the little peices by hand, but it didn't really work, so after letting the project sit for a week I went back and knit two more pieces and felted it all in the machine instead. Much better. Then sewed everything together. Put in magnetic snaps in the pockets, sewed buttons over them to conceal ugly backings. Sewed the zipper, too small. Laptop barely fits. Must remove zipper. All together-- it was really an annoying project because of all the felting. But when I look at it, I feel pretty proud. It's really nice. It looks professional and once I take out the zipper it'll be great because it fits Sheli perfectly.

Mom's skirt. She saw mine, loved it, requested one. I made it in a different yarn though, a less expensive one, since the denim yarn would add a lot to the cost. So I used Loops & Threads Impeccable Worsted, an acrylic yarn, because it has a very sturdy, solid texture (and is machine washable). It knitted up nicely, but I had to iron it ("kill" it) because the bottom curled. Once I blocked/ironed/killed it, it became much softer. Before that, I found the fabric kind of stiff. Afterward ironing, the drape improved. Now I am knitting another one for my aunt, who also loved it, in navy blue. Mom wanted hers shorter, so I altered the pattern a bit. My aunt also wants it a little shorter than mine.
The yarn is thick and it's a very warm skirt. Unlike mine she won't have to wear a slip under it-- no gaps whatsoever. I hope she gets a lot of use out of it. She says she will wear it to work. It looks very cute on her.

And I am also doing a lot of sample knitting, which I really enjoy! I get FREE, PRETTY YARN in exchange for knitting things! Stash pics!

For the two hats, I got a huge Babs Yowzer Whatta Skein-- 560 yards of soft, pretty worsted!

For the scarf I'm knitting, I got a skein of madelinetosh tosh merino (worsted, turquoise)...
A skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, 200 yards of sport weight wool in a pretty blue/gray colorway...

And a skein of Malabrigo Kettle Dyed Worsted. Yum!

I also got two skeins of an orangey silk/tweed blend.

And, I agreed to knit two sample shawlettes for an indie yarn company and they are sending me two skeins of their hand-dyed yarn per one skein project that I do!!

I love yarn. I feel rich when I have pretty yarn. My mom grumbles about how I should be getting paid in money, but I am happy to get the beautiful yarn. It just makes me FEEL so good... how do I explain it to a non-knitter? She'll never understand.

Also knitting one of the Knit Picks sock blank socks... such an effing ordeal to knit with that thing... first I tried doing two socks and two circulars simultaneously. I thought it'd be good for me since I like quick knitting. But I hated it. Not only that, but the rainbow was dyed from the wrong end... the yarn wasn't feeding smoothly out of the blank. So I had to unravel the whole thing and roll it into a ball. Then I started the socks again but couldn't stand doing both socks at once. So I started doing just one. But then I had to wind the OTHER strand of yarn while knitting with the active yarn... blehh... it's been really annoying. I mean, are you meant to unravel the blank into a ball before you knit? And if so, are you supposed to wind them into two separate balls because there are two separate threads? That is really irritating.

Anyway, maybe I'll find a better way to deal with it. The socks aren't high priority though. The sample are, and my aunt's skirt. Then eventually I have to start baby stuff and presents. SO MUCH KNITTING! Love it. And in my spare time I'm looking for a job. It's a tough market out there.