Thursday, March 31, 2011
The Loopy Ewe.)
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Logan continued the rest of yesterday as he began it - he spent the afternoon moving furniture around (which he isn't supposed to do), but at least he wasn't being destructive anymore. We talked last night and decided that today would be a better day. So far, so good.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I'm in trouble this morning
Mommy took this picture of me the other day. Can you see how alert I am? Can you see how I'm really paying attention to something out the back door? Can you see how before I was distracted by the something outside I was chasing my tail and I still have it in my mouth? I am such a multitalented dog! Not many dogs can be as aware of their surrounding as I am while still holding onto the weird thing growing out of my butt. (It follows me everywhere.) I don't remember what I was watching out there but it might have been the dog that lives behind us. Sometimes I can see him through the fence. He's big. Mommy says he's a Great Dane but I don't see what's so great about him. I like to bark at him. From inside my house. Where I'm safe.
I hope you have a great day, and remember not to chew on knitting baskets, you'll just get in trouble.
Monday, March 28, 2011
It got cold here again and I have to say I'm not happy about it. I'm SO tired of being cold. It's supposed to be cold all week. That's all I have to say about that. I'm going to go make more hot tea now.
Friday, March 25, 2011
I hope you all have a great weekend! I've got to go have a talk with Logan about putting the furniture in his mouth.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Drive by Blogging
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Change of Plans
I'm now making a pair of Waving Lace Socks (this pattern was in IK Spring 2004 and it's in the Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave book). I've knit this pattern twice before and I really like it, but the other two times I've done it I've used handdyed solids instead of multicolored yarns. It does look different in a multicolored yarn, but I still like it. I've just started the heel flap on the first sock at this point, so I'm making up for lost time on these pretty quickly. I don't think I'll have trouble getting the pair done by the end of the month.
*I don't know if this is against the rules of my Knit Something of the Month Club, but since it's my club and I make the rules, I think it's allowed to change patterns mid-stream when the first pattern just isn't working out.
Labels: Knit Something of the Month Club
Monday, March 21, 2011
Taygete from Romi's Seven Small Shawls book (this is number 5). I fell in love with the stripes the first time I saw it, but have been putting off starting it until I could get farther on Snowbird. If you're on Ravelry, it's fun to go through all the different color combinations that people are using. I decided to use a pale gray (The Loopy Solids in Dove) and an ivory (Dream in Color Smooshy in Crying Dove) for mine, but as I'm knitting it, I'm thinking of all sorts of other colorways this would be great in. I'll use the ivory for the lace section and the gray for the picot bind off, and then I'll decide if I want to do another one!
Friday, March 18, 2011
Snowbird, yes, again.
I did get the sleeves sewn up and while they are long (they come over the tops of my hands a bit, but not past the point where my thumb is attached to my hand if that makes sense), for this type of sweater, I think they'll be fine. If they get in my way, I'll just turn the cuffs back. I have some seaming to do at the underarms and I have to Kitchener stitch the I-cord bind off together, but basically I'm now free to work the body of the Snowbird. Thanks for the advice on getting yarn back from Logan. Fortunately, the other night when he grabbed the ball of yarn, he didn't run off with it or try to chew it. He just stood there with it. Maybe he was just holding it for me. He dropped it in my hand when I told him to and went back to his own chew toys.
Have a great weekend and I'll be back with something (anything) else on Monday!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Logan tried to help me work on Snowbird last night, and by "help" I mean he tried to walk off with the new ball of yarn I had wound before I sat down to knit. Repeatedly. He's never shown much interest in yarn before except when he first came to our house and tried to hold the yarn between my hands and the ball. I hope this isn't a new thing with him. I don't want to fight him off the wool around here.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
icord bind off on the sleeves so those edges match the neck edge of the sweater. I'm thinking it will be easier to sew the sleeve seams up after I've worked a little bit of the body because right now the fronts aren't attached to the back at all. Once I've gotten the body joined together and a little bit worked, there should be a lot less stress at the underarm and the sleeves should go together smoothly. My goal for today is to have a picture of all this right here on the blog tomorrow!
Monday, March 14, 2011
The Chocolate Chicken Talks With a Fish
Thanks for the great response to Belladonna Took! I really enjoyed designing and knitting it and I don't think it will be my last sideways shawlette. I also wanted to let you know that there has been no sign of Jabba the cat since the other morning. After 30 minutes of carrying on after I came back from taking Caleb to school, Jabba left and hasn't been back. My guess is that he went back home, which is probably the best place for him.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
This shawl is shown in Handmaiden Silk Twist (65% wool/ 35% silk, 400m per 100 g skein). Shown in the colorway Moss, one skein was used. It can easily be adjusted to other weights of yarn just by changing needle size for your yarn and working as directed. Finished size as shown is 62 inches wide by 21 inches deep as measured from the center back down to the point. I should note that while this is a triangle shawl, because it is knit sideways, the point is more shallow than it would be if it were a top down triangle shawl. A less dramatic point on a triangle shawl is more flattering due to the general region of the wearer that the point of a shawl tends to point to.
Labels: Patterns for Sale
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
The test knit for That Which Rhymes With Pew Nattern is blocking upstairs right now. I'll be putting together the actual pattern part of it and getting photos and getting it all finished up today and tomorrow (so stay tuned, this is a fast knit, perfect for the current season)!
In the meantime, I'll show you some yarn that will someday become Man Socks. On the right is Ultra Alpaca Fine in black. I've never used this yarn, but I love the Ultra Alpaca in the worsted weight. This has a slightly different fiber content than the other (which makes it better for socks in my opinion) - it's 50% wool, 20% alpaca, and 30% nylon. It looks like it's on the fine side for fingering weight, but I think it will make very nice socks - if it doesn't drive me nuts knitting Man Socks in black. On the left is Dream in Color Smooshy in Grey Tabby, which ironically caused quite a bit of trouble this morning (an actual dark, grey tabby, not the yarn). Apparently this strange cat decided he (or she, didn't look) wanted in our house this morning and wasn't taking no for an answer. This cat clearly has been in a home before because for one thing he went straight for the door and started scratching and meowing at it, and for another he had the physique of Jabba the Hutt, and you just don't get that build living outside and hunting for your food. When we opened the big garage door to take Caleb to school/go to work, Jabba the Cat trotted into the garage and started carrying on by the door into the house. We tried some "No kitty, shoo kitty" but Jabba wasn't listening at all. Finally I approached Jabba, who didn't seem too bothered by me, lifted him up (Mickael thought I'd get a hernia) and took him back outside. Jabba had no problem being carried by me (another sign he's used to a family) and promptly trotted back into the garage after I set him down. (In my own defense, I was hoping Jabba would go about his business elsewhere after being taken from the garage, but no one is as determined as a cat who's made up his mind.) One more time carrrying him out and holding him in the yard while Mickael got the cars into the driveway and closed the garage door and we were finally able to leave. We pulled away while Jabba sat in our front yard carrying on like only a cat that's had all his hopes and dreams come crashing down around himself can yowl. I was fortunately able to sneak the car back into the garage after dropping Caleb off and get the garage door closed before Jabba realized what had happened, but he sat outside for about 30 minutes and meowled after I came home. I may be a prisoner in my own home today! Oh, the yarn, yes, that's why we're all really here, isn't it? Anyway, its a very dark, manly grey yarn that's mostly solid but there are some light and dark parts to it, so it should be fun to knit up. It seems to be a very bouncy yarn, but I've never knit with this one either. And just in case Jabba is holding me hostage, you should probably send yarn - for me, not Jabba.
I'm off to finish up the Pew Nattern!
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Snowbird and a Great Question
Yesterday in the comments Janet A asked, "Does designing come naturally or can it be learned?" I thought this was a great question so I thought I'd give my opinion (I don't really know if there is a Yes or No answer to this) and feel free to chime in in the comments if you have an opinion too. I think that design comes both from whatever you were born with (the way your brain works, your creative spark) and what you have learned and experienced. I think different designers have different amounts of these two things (natural inspiration versus learned) and honestly they can change from day to day. There are days when I can sit down and come up with three or four design ideas in an afternoon and there are days when I can't design a stockinette stitch sock. I think there are creativity exercises anyone can do to help build up their design "muscle" and the more you practice designing, the easier it gets (I'll give you a couple below). There are also a number of books on design that will walk you through the steps (Designing Knitwear by Barbara Newton is a good one, as well as the more recent Knitwear Design Workshop by Shirley Paden which is exactly what the title says: a workshop on designing). A good stitch dictionary is also helpful when you're looking beyond stockinette (Barbara G Walker's set of 4 are some of the best out there, with the first two being my personal favorites). So while I do think that you probably need some natural ability to design, the more you practice and try to push yourself, the easier it becomes.
Here are a couple of things you can do to exercise your creativity:
- Grab a stitch dictionary and pick a stitch, any stitch. Try to figure out how many different ways you could use this stitch. What type of yarn would work for it - heavy, light, lace, fuzzy, shiny, etc. Where could you use it - cuffs, edging for lace, as a collar, in a blanket. Really think through all the ways that the particular stitch will work as a design element. You might want to actually swatch the stitch to see how it behaves - is it dense and stiff, will it work better if it's knitted tightly or loosely, is it soft and drapey, does it contract horizontally, figure out why it does these things if you can. Once you've gotten comfortable working with a single stitch, try to pull two or more stitches together as if you were using them in a single project. Remember that not only do you need to pair similar styles of stitches together (lace with lace, dense cables with other dense stitches), depending on how you're going to use them you may need to keep in mind the number of rows and stitches in a repeat of each pattern. It's easier to pair a 12 row repeat pattern with an 18 row repeat pattern than it is to match it with a 20 row repeat pattern. These kinds of things can make a difference as to how easy or difficult your project is to design as well as making it easy to knit.
- Look at designs you like and try to pick them apart. There is really only a finite number of styles of sweater design - the things that set one raglan design apart from another is the details. Figure out what makes a design special, what makes it stand out. Go through your favorites in Ravelry if you use that feature, go through your pattern stash, go through catalogs and stores and look at ready-to-wear. (Yes, ready-to-wear can be helpful both for identifying trends in style and color and for grounding you in reality. Just because you can design a gorgeous, complex sweater doesn't mean anyone is going to want to knit it and wear it. Let's face it, if we had to choose one item of knitwear in our closets that gets worn year round for all occasions, it would be a fine gauge stockinette, jewel neck pullover. Whether it's cotton for everyday, silk or cashmere for dressing up, long sleeves for Winter, short sleeves when it's warmer or sleeveless in the Summer, we all live in T-Shirts.) Figure out what the different elements are that have been combined to make the design. Try to figure out what element, or combination of them made the design stand out enough for you to buy it or "favorite" it. Knowing how to pick apart other people's designs will make it easier for you to combine elements in your own designs. (I'm not saying that you should copy other's designs, but learning from them is definitely a way of broadening the way you look at things and will help you approach your own designing in a new way.)
Monday, March 07, 2011
The Chocolate Chicken Talks With a Fish
When I first started knitting socks, I lucked out on the fit of the first few pairs, but I still remember the pair that I knit that didn't fit. I had followed directions perfectly (just like all the other patterns I had worked to that point) and they came out way too wide. That's when I realized that socks have gauge too and that not all designers have narrow feet like I do. I knew to check gauge on sweaters and big projects, but it didn't occur to me to check gauge on socks. Big lightbulb moment for me! Of course, after knitting as many socks as I have at this point, I can usually figure out how to get a pattern to fit by looking at the stitch count. I've learned how many stitches at which gauge works for my foot and just adjust from that. Everything I've figured out about socks up to this point has been thrown out the window on this pair though - knitting them sideways has me checking and rechecking myself.
Oh and just to tease you a little about what I did this weekend, I'm not ready to give details yet but it rhymes with "Pew Nattern." I'm hoping to get it finished and launched this week or next, so stay tuned! (I told you I was going to do more designing this year!)
Friday, March 04, 2011
In Dreams and Big Puppy
Briar Rose as well as Mickael's Man Socks and Pettine also might have something to do with it.
I also got a picture of Little Logan in his cave the other day. He had smashed his whole body into it to curl up, which he doesn't often do. Usually there's bits of puppy spilling out of the cave. Logan and I both hope you all have wonderful weekend, whether you have a cave or not!
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
The Chocolate Chicken Talks With A Fish
A while back, I bought some Fleece Artist Basic Merino Socks in the Jester colorway. When I got it, I realized it had all the same colors as the Chocolate Chicken (it was easier to see their resemblance before I wound the hank into a pull skein). I knew I had to find something special for this Chocolate Chicken yarn. It sat in the stash for several years, but when I was sorting out yarns for my Knit Something of the Month Club, I decided to use it.
The pattern I'm using is The Talking Fish, from The Enchanted Sole. This design is worked sideways and I've never knit a sock sideways before. Cuff down, yes. Toe up, yes. Sideways, not so much. So I'm doing something new on this sock that I've never done before. Also, I'll get to practice on my Kitchener Stitch when I sew the sock together, but honestly, I can't see that it will be any harder than Kitchener Stitching laceweight mohair together and I've done that twice now on the Mohair Bias Loops. So, I give you The Chocolate Chicken Talks With a Fish socks.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Logan really wanted to help me block this, but he's not allowed in the sewing/stash room yet and that's where I blocked. He has to stop trying to eat furniture before he's allowed in the sewing/stash room. In his defense, I'm not sure how much he's actually trying to eat the furniture because I really haven't seen much chewing or attempted chewing. What I do see is that the sofa keeps being in his mouth. He may just be holding it but I don't quite trust him.