Thursday, November 30, 2006

FO: Rogue

Whew, just in time to finish for NaKniSweMo!

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted Weight in Jeweled Emerald (discontinued color)
Fiber Content: 100% wool
Pattern: Rogue in smallest (35.5" bust) size
Needles: US Size 9s for flat and US Size 10s for circular knitting

Believe it or not this is my first full size sweater. Despite knitting several child or baby sized sweaters I had never done one for an adult before. It think that mini-sweater knitting experience definately came in handy, but I also had not done a sweater where the sleeves were knit flat before, so this meant a lot more matress stitch then I had ever had to do before.

The end result is one I am really happy with. It fits well, is flattering and I am exceedingly proud of having accomplished it all in one month. W00t!


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

EDM Challenge #94

The last Everyday Matters Challenge was to draw a spoon. I had 2 candidates that I really couldn't choose between, so I did them both.

One year out of the blue, for Chistmas my dad gave my SO and I a set of silverware. I was 22 at the time, and it seemed a bit of an odd gift. It wasn't as if I had been hinting that we needed anything like that. It got stored a few years until we moved out of the apartment we had been sharing with another couple into our own place. Granted it is very nice silverware, with a bit of a heft that took some getting used to. It has come to grow on me. In the upper left corner is one of the tablespoons from that set.

In the lower right corner is one of the serving spoons I got in a set of black plastic cooking and serving utensils from my mom when I first got interested in cooking back in middle school. She was never a really big cook, so when I took an interest we really needed more of these basics. They have served me long and well, although the original upright utensil holder has long ago disappeared, and they have lived everywhere I have ever since.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bag Essentials

I swap out my bags a fair amount, but which ever bag I am using has to be big enough for my essentials. Small bags can be cute, but how could I live without these essentials? I am of the school of thought that you should never, ever be bored. This has served me well for several years of public transportation, and dramatically decreases my stress when waiting for delayed train or bus.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my first participation in Illustration Friday. I worked it in simple line drawing with my Pigma Micron pen in my moleskine from a photograph of my partner's Thanksgiving table from last year. (Apologies for the photo of the image, my scanner is still at home while I am visiting family.)

So what did I end up packing?
  • Moleskine
  • Pigma Micron Pen 02
  • HB pencil
  • kneadable eraser
  • WIP: Rogue
  • WIP: scarf
  • yarn & pattern for child's sweater (unlikely to get to)

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rogue: Hood

Poor Rogue hasn't been getting much love these days. Too big to take on the bus, I have only been able to work on the hood, when I have free time at home, which isn't all that often. I have to say that the way the stitches are worked for the hood is very clever. I will almost be sad when I am done knitting this since it has been a lot of fun to work on.

Hopefully I will be able to finish this holiday weekend. I am taking this WIP with me to visit family, so there will not only be plenty of time in the car but also lounging around watching movies I am sure. I have a few other odds and ends I want to take too.

Upcoming entry: my crafty pack list


Monday, November 20, 2006

FO: Easter Bunny Socks

Yarn: Cascade Fixation, Color No. 9518 (50 g, 100-186 yards)
Fiber Content: 98.3% Cotton, 1.7% Elastic
Supplier: Windsor Button
Pattern: short row heel and toe, toe-up sock (52 st circ) with 1X1 cuff and sewn bind off 2-at-a-time on a circular
Needles: 32" Knitpicks US 2 circulars (magic loop) & 40" Addi Turbo US 1 circulars (cuff)

There are several different things I want to mention about this project. The first of which is that this pair was made out of a single ball of the fixation. I know that I can usually get a decent sized pair of kid socks out of a 50g ball of wool, but given the higher density (and thus lower yardage for the same 50g) I was a little worried about the size of the socks this would make. It turned out there wasn't much to fear as I think these turned out to be of a decent length.

Then there is the yarn. This was my first time working with Fixation, though I had heard a lot about it. I love the resulting fabric, which is nice and cushy, but I can't say that it was my favorite thing to knit with. It wasn't bad exactly but because the yarn is so stretchy lengthwise, gauge meant very little. I had several other people try knitting a row to feel how weird it was and you couldn't tell where they had knit at all since the yarn hid differences in gauge so much. One other minor issue with the yarn was that I could not for the life of my figure out where the inner end was and ended up rewinding the ball with my ball winder before I began.

I worked up most of the socks on US size 2 needles, which was just about perfect. I wouldn't want to work on them with any smaller of a needle. Also this was my first time using the Knit Picks needles: love! These are everything that you have heard about. Almost dangerously pointy, they were great for socks. They had all the slickness of my addis, which I really needed for this material in particular. And the cord not only has a good join, but it is very flexible too. It did not crimp with "normal usage" in magic loop like some of my circulars have.

And as for the recipient, she loves them. My daughter grabbed them as soon as I had finished weaving in the ends and is happily wiggling her toes inside them while she draws even as I type.

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Good Stash Acquisition Weekend

This was a great weekend for yarn. And the best part was I had already paid for all of it a while ago, so I could totally just grab it and go.I picked up my order from Mind's Eye Yarns' Sockfest. The black Regia cotton and Trekking XXL will both become BF socks. The "smores colored" Regia cotton and burgandy Regia are destined for general sock stash.

Inside there was also my first skein from Lucy's sock club. It is a really pretty combination of colors that all make me think of the heritage breeds of roses my grandfather would grow. It has the almost purply pinks, blushing coppers, and softest pinks. My mom immediately loved it when she saw it. I know it may sound sacrilegious, but I am strongly considering not making socks with it. Instead it may become a lacy scarf for my mom to wear with her suit jackets (I sneakily checked; it would go with all the ones she has) since the colors are ones that I think would be particularly flattering with her silver hair, rosy cheeks and blue eyes. The question is: is there enough time left until Christmas? I don't have much else as definite for Christmas knitting, so this just might be possible.
I also got a package from the Spunky Eclectic. I had accidentally sent it to my sister's house, so while I saw some of my family this weekend, I finally got my hands on this package. I am particularly excited about the "I <3 Fall" sock yarn, which I want to make into a pair of socks for myself.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Almost EDM Challenge 93

I wanted to join in this week with the Everyday Matters Challenge, but somehow when I sat down to draw I got mixed up and ended up drawing a carton of eggs closed rather than open. Oh well, it was good practice working with color, which has been a bit of a challenge for myself. I am not sure if I will retry this challenge or not.

This drawing was done with just my daughter's Crayola colored pencils in my moleskine, prepped with an acrylic paint (in vanilla, but I forget the brand).

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Friday, November 17, 2006


I wasn't going to post this drawing, but I was so amused that I had been playing with the idea of stamps (not creating my own though) that after Amy posted the prompt for Episode 23 I changed my mind.

The stamp was one of a set we picked up recently. I had heard a little bit about coloring the stamp with different colors using brush markers instead of a solid ink pad, and I had wanted to try it out. This drawing of the Winged Victory of Samothrace (house in the Louvre, photo found online) was selected to correlate the the stamp.

Techniques: The page was not prepped. The stamp was inked with the Watercolor markers I had played with the other day. And the drawing was done with a single HB pencil.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wooly Mail

Yay! In the mail last night arrived the second pound of wool from Three Elms Farm. Sheep is for scale. Wow are these ever huge! And not to be weird, but they smell good too. Not like the soap, but just a sweet sheepy smell. (The lighting makes them seem to be slightly different colors, but that is just due to a combination of light bulbs and cold, rainy NewEngland light.)

You may also notice the 2 bars of peppermint soap from the same source. I am such a mint fanatic, that I couldn't resist the new scent given how much my partner and I both loved the Misty's other soaps. They don't have a huge lather (which I find tends to be drying), but are so moisturizing and wonderful. The scents are boy-friendly too for the most part, which met with my SOs approval.

I have a bunch of different ideas of what to do with this roving. I want to try needle felting, but that shouldn't take much with what I have in mind. The natural color should really take to dyeing though, which should be interesting for spinning. I was just bemoaning that I couldn't find yarn in the variety of earth tones I was imagining for my life-partner R. I guess this is motivation to do some experimentation.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rogue: Splitting for the Sleeves

Work continues on Rogue. I have gotten to where the body splits and started on the back. (Isn't that pocket cute? And its construction is very clever.) Another 3 inches or so and I can start on the front, which should be more interesting due to the neck cable work, the beginning of which you can jsut barely see now. Sadly this project has gotten unweldy enough that it is no longer great bus knitting, which will slow its progress. But still I have enough done that I am sure I can finish it before the end of November.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Book Sock Yarn?

Does anyone have an recommendations for a good thick boot sock yarn? It is for my SO, so it has to be in man friendly "colors", where colors is code for not really a color unless it in subdued earth tones. Nothing self stiping, although something space dyed may be ok. Good yardage for man-feet is good (though I can buy extra if I need to).

Hand wash is fine, but I really need there to be some nylon/tencel/non-wool content because really gets some mileage on each pair (haha, originally that was unintentional, but it is funny enough to leave). A 6-ply would be good, but it definately should be of sport or dk weight.

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Autumnal Leaf Line Drawing

It is funny, I actually really like this image, but I am not crazy about the scan here. It looks a little better at full resolution.

For a couple days I had been playing with this page. I had prepped it with a wash of acrylic paint, but the bright color resulted in more brush texture than I initially wanted. Also the marker on the previous page seems not to have dried completely in the darkest areas before I closed it.

Rather than take this as something to fix, I decided to work with it. So the line drawings here were an attempt to go with the grain of the brush strokes, or the speckles of marker. I am actually really happy with the result. I thought about adding some more touches of color, but ultimately I think it will take away from the clean lines which I like so much.

This was a fun project because it really leant itself to being picked up and put down. The painting was done over a week ago, with no other steps that day. Later I would sketch a leaf at a time in pencil, then ink it with my favorite pen (a pigma micron 02 archival pen) when I had time. Erasing the pencil later left a simple, clean look that defied the small amount of time I can squeeze in to draw with sometimes.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Rogue: Beginning the Body

Since we had some sun today I thoght I would take a chance to get some good photos of the color of the yarn I am using for Rogue. These 2 balls are what is left from knitting a sleeve each. Sheep is for scale. Notice the difference in size; I have no idea why either. The smaller ball was just enough for the kangaroo pocket though. I was a little unsure about weither or not to do the pocket, but my SO voted decisively that he thought I would ultimately be glad that I did, since I love pockets. He is probably right.

Here is my progress on the body. I just finished the lower portion of Chart A.It is funny how I can see my life stress in my knitting. I tend to knit faster and tighter. This sweater is recommended on size 5-8 needles. I knit the flat portions on 9s and in the round on 10s. Despite that, I am really happy with the results. And when I am done, not only will I have a warm sweater to snuggle up in, I will also have a testimate to my ability to trudge through and get things done. Somedays I need that reminder.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rogue Sleeves

Sleeves done? Check!I have already done on the hem facing for the body, and as soon as I pick up some 32" US 10s, I will be starting on the body proper.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Creative Wishlist

Amy from the Creative Mom Podcast has got me thinking again. What is on my creative wishlist?

At the moment the list of specific things is actually pretty small. I have been trying to destash my entire art stash (not just my yarn stash) as we may end up moving in the next year once I finish gradschool. Here is my short list.

What sorts of things are on your wishlists?


Monday, November 06, 2006

Rogue Sleeves

Especially with the weather turned colder, I have been itching to start a sweater. I have done a couple sweaters at this point, but they have all been in children's sizes. This will not only be my first adult sized sweater, but it will be for me too.

Using NaKniSweMo as motivation, I am finally starting on Rogue. Given how incredible hectic the next few months are going to be, I am not sure that I can actually finish this in a month, but it is certainly motivational regardless.
This is my progress so far. Never one for following directions, I am starting with the sleeves since I had figured out the correct needle size for working guage flat, but not yet in the round. I have just finished Chart D, so the rest of the sleeves will be stockinette from this point.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fall Marker Sketch

This moleskine page was an experiment on many levels.

First of all, this was the first page that I had prepped with paint before use. I actually prepped it a while ago, but hadn't gotten around to using it. I used a combination of 2 different acrylic paints I had in my art stash.

Also this picture was some experimentation with new markers (Kuretake ColorBrush Twins Watercolor Markers) that I had picked up at Spark Craft Sudio on friday. The imags was compiled from photographs from a stack of magazines and newspapers while I was sitting in the Porter Square Bookstore. My daughter's favorite part of this picture is the rainbow, which was just a priliminary test to see how the colors blended together.

I have been wanting to play with color more, but at the same time I am slightly intimidated by what seems like a more complicated technique than working in grayscale. Despite that, these markers were a lot of fun to work with. I love how easily they blend to give a softer quality than I think of from markers usually.


Friday, November 03, 2006

FO: Seaman's Cap

Yarn: GemsTopaz in Pewter
Fiber Content: 100% superwash merino
Supplier: Woolcott & Co.
Pattern: Seaman's Cap
Needles: Addi Turbo US 6 circulars (magic loop), Clover US 6 DPNs

I actually bought this yarn (albeit on sale) for this purpose. Shocking!

Since it is the end of the growing season, our CSA is having a potluck party this weekend. I wanted to make something for our incredibly energetic volunteer coordinator as a thank you for all of his hard work this season. And knowing that he too does not drive, I figured warm winter gear would be a practical gift.

I am completely in love with this yarn. It is real a pleasure to work with. The color is very male friendly; in fact my SO has requested on just like it. And the care instructions don't leave me overly concerned about washing mishaps.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

FO: Child's Hat

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Soho in 37504 (ha dyelot 6969, I am so 13 sometimes)
Fiber Content: 100% wool
Supplier: Carodan Farm
Needles: Clover bamboo US 8 DPNs
Pattern: basic hat pattern with a cast on of 80 sts

I have been so busy finishing up other projects that I haven't had a chance to really work on Lonesome Skein projects. This project took just under a full skein, which leaves just enough to crochet a flower for another project.

So in an attempt to create a stock of potential Christmas gifts, I figured it was time to start. I think hats are gonna be one of my main items to gift this year. They are the perfect size, but unlike socks they go really fast. This hat only took 2 days. I am particularly pleased by how gender neutral the colors are, making it a great gift for children of either gender.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

FO: Felted Pumpkin Basket

So did anyone wonder if I finished that pumpkin basket in time for Halloween? Well I did, but I wasn't as happy with the thickness as I might have been. I will include the pattern I used here (in mathy shorthand because I am lazy at the moment), but if I was to do it again I would knit this double using both ends of the yarn. Obviously this would require different increasing/decreasing though.
Yarn: 1 skein each of Cascade 220 in burnt orange and black forest (guesses from color cards, bands lost long ago)
Supplier: Woolcott & Co.
Needles: Addi Turbos 40" US 6 circular needles, Clover US 6 DPNs
Pattern: reworking of Magknits 12:01 (see below)

I liked how this darker green kept it's color, unlike the green suggested in the origial pattern which turned sort of brown. This used just under a full skein of the orange and about a quarter of a skein of the green (maybe slightly less). As I mentioned this wasn't as rigid as I would want. It worked fine as a trick of treating basket, but wouldn't look as good set up on a table.

The handles I reworked slightly so that there was a smaller i-cord wrapping around a larger one, like I picture squash vines doing. Also I centered both handle vines on the center of the pumpkin fluting, which I think looked better. The trick to perfecting the number of twists is to make the twists slightly less then you want in the finished product as the turns will get closer with felting.

Also I have no idea how the original was blocked to retain the very cute fluting. Perhaps due to the thinner fabric or my lack of felt blocking abilities, that quality was lost in this version.

Work on DPNs until it is more comfortable to switch to circulars. I used magic loop so that there was no need to switch needle lengths.

CO 8 in orange

If n<10
{*Kfb k(n) [n=0,1,2,...]* repeat for rest of row
k even n+1}

If n<3
{*P6 RLI k(n+6) [n=0,1,2] LLI* repeat for rest of row
k 1 row even}

If n<3
{*P6 RLI k(n+11) [n=0,1,2] LLI* repeat for rest of row
k 2 rows even}

If n<4
{*P6 RLI k(n+14) [n=0,1,2] LLI* repeat for rest of row
k 3 rows even}

Knit in pattern for 3.5"

If n<4
{*P6 k2tog k(n+18) [n=0,1,2] ssk* repeat for rest of row
k 3 rows even}

If n<3
{*P6 k2tog k(n+14) [n=0,1,2] ssk* repeat for rest of row
k 2 rows even}

If n<3
{*P6 RLI k(n+11) [n=0,1,2] LLI* repeat for rest of row
k 1 row even}

k 12 rows in green
k into back loop of first green row cast off
Pick up 12 sts centering on center of one of the pumkin flutes.
p across
k across
join work without twisting, k until ~16" long
purl back across sts working flat knit across cast off.

Pick up 6 sts centering on the same pumkin flute as the first handle i-cord.
p across
k across
join work without twisting
k until ~16" long
purl back across sts working flat
knit across
cast off

Twist i-cords gently. Sew larger the i-cord in first so that it is on the outside, then do the smaller one. Both should be centered on flute opposite from where the handles originate. (See blurry photo to see how this different arrangement looks.)

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