Sunday, November 23, 2008

Babies in Handknits

Seriously is there anything cuter than babies in handknits? Sunnynole posted this amazingly cute photo of her Ella a few days ago.
Recognize that sweater? It is the stripey sweater I made for a her a while back.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008


On one of my Harry Potter boards there was a challenge to knit or crochet something that reflects our astrological sign. There have been some amazing projects, such as pdxwoman's Chalchihuitlicue (ravelry link) based on her Aztec zodiac sign. (That second link is pretty neat, but remember to enter you birth date in the Julian calendar.)

Someone who would know better than I would once told me that I am a bit of a rare bird because my sun, moon and rising signs are all cancer. I don't know about that, but I do have to admit to being a water baby.

And I had the perfect "water-y" yarn in my stash. Noro is lovely, but isn't something I usually have in my budget. This Silk Garden sock yarn though was something I picked up after my thesis defense, as a little bit of a splurge.

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock
Yarn Supplier: Wild & Woolly in Lexington, Massachusetts
Needles: US 1 / 2.25 mm
Pattern: Riverbed Master Pattern by Cat Bordhi
Pattern Source: New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One

And a picture of the heel detail:

The heel design was done in duplicate stitch with some Knit Picks Pallette in "blue" I had lying around in my stash. The pattern was modified from this dish cloth pattern.

The cuffs were sort of fun too. I did them with a hem rather than any ribbing. To keep the top from getting too bulky, I used a little bit of Louet Gems sock yarn in "french blue", which is a finer yarn, in the same number of stitches for the regular leg, and then I sewed down the live stitches to the inside of the sock.

Pretty! I did really like the colors, but although the Silk Garden sock yarn is significantly less scratchy then Kueryon it still put a lot of wear on my hands a first. After the first few days of knitting with it may hands were a little sensitive, though they toughened up. Verdict? I would buy it again, but even if I could afford to I wouldn't knit with it all the time.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

RAOK Hufflepuff Markers

The worst part about cleaning isn't actually doing it. It is looking for things for months after they have been safely "put away." Recently, when I was ready to go out and buy another pair of round nose pliers in frustration, Salvbard pointed out that he had helpfully stored them inhis toolbox. Why in the world would I look in there for my craft supplies. Obviously our minds work fairly differently sometimes.

Despite the challenges, however, I did get this set of Hufflepuff stitch markers done to send out as a random act of kindness to a forum member over at PFW. I had picked up these gold-tone head pins at Windsor Button to better coordinate color-wise, but for some reason was not expecting how much softer they would be. While that did make it a bit easier to work with, I am a bit nervous about how well they will hold up to significant use.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bookscarf 3

Further experimentation has led to a version of the bookscarf I like even better than versions one and two.

Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock Yarn (seen previously) and som ranom black sock scraps
Hook: 3mm/C Addi crochet hook
Pattern: 12 st across in PoA stripe pattern

I really think the manual striping makes a huge difference, and the larger hook size is a big improvement. Also I sent up from 6 rows of the main color to 8, which I think was important especially with the high contrast of these yarns.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bookscarf 2

This second crocheted bookscarf in Ravenclaw colors was made from the leftovers from a pair of Ravenclaw socks.

Yarn: Louet Gems Fingering Wt. in french blue and sandalwood
Hook: 2.25 mm / B
Pattern: Harry Potter Crochet Bookmark by Jim Syl

This scarf was loosely based off of the pattern above, with the trapped bar pattern seen on the house scarves in the Prisoner of Azkaban film. I went down to a smaller hook size because of the fineness of the yarn, but in retrospect I think I should have stuck with the C hook, as I like the resulting fabric a little better.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Crochet Blocking

If anyone out there has any experience with crochet lace, I think I might need some advice this month.

I am almost done with the flower motifs of the Smile Cardigan. Despite the fact that they are worked in cotton, since they looked sort of crumpled, I blocked them slightly, just enough to open them up a little. This also let me get a better idea of my circumference.

I guess the problem is that I am not really sure about working with an all cotton yarn. Every other sweater I have ever made myself has had wool in it, which allowed for more blocking action. Given the general lack of stretch in the cotton, I am not really sure how much ease to put in for something like this pattern. And if the pattern has something to say on the matter, well, I can't read it because it is in Japanese.

Any advice out there? Currently my chest circumference is exactly the same as the sweater, but adding another motif would give me 2" of positive ease. Is that a lot for this quasi-fitted lace cardigan in cotton?


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bookscarf 1

I have been issued a challenge, though it may also give me a leg up on some of my holiday crafting. Oh, the challenge? It is to make a whole bunch of Harry Potter book scarves.

Pattern: Ch13, sc 12, repeat last step until 8.5"
Yarn: Spunky Eclectic Tough Sock in firecracker
Hook: C/3 mm

You may remember this yarn from a previous bookscarf and a pair of Gryffindor socks that I made. For variety though, this bookscarf is crocheted. Let the madness begin!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Owl Bag

Holy crow! I have actually been using my sewing machine. I have been seeing several of these great reversible drawstring bags around the blog-o-sphere. But since I have been out of ribbon for the drawstring, I put the idea on the back-burner for a while.

Pattern: drawstring bag tutorial
Fabric Supplier: Fabric Corner

It is a hard call to select my favorite fabric in these bags. The owl fabric was a great find, but the celestial fabric detail is great too at the bottom of the blue side.

This was such a great pattern, and I really like the result a lot. I see more of these in my future.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bird Song ATC

October's prompt for the Creative Mom Podcast Artist Trading Card swap was "song," and I have to admit this one gave me more trouble than I had expected. I went though several different concepts before settling on this song bird (a wren).

pencil drawing on cream cardstock

The final subject matter actually surprised me, though perhaps it shouldn't have considering last month's card. I love the little guy's personality though, so much so that I may have to make another for myself.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Felted Bat

UFO #9 in my finishing challenge was another project from reclaimed yarn. Honestly I don't even remember the pattern I was using originally, so it wasn't a hardship to start fresh. Plus this yarn has had a great story so I wanted it to be something I really liked.



Pattern: Sweetie's Nemesis - the bat
Needles: US 10.5 / 6.5 mm
Yarn: Ruby Rubycampus (souvenir yarn from Hong Kong)
Yarn Supplier: Cheer Wool in Wan Chai, Hong Kong

This pattern goes super fast, which was good since it meant that this little guy could join us trick-or-treating.
I was a mad scientist, and Chiquita was a "spiderweb ghost witch." The little bat started off with me, but by the evening had migrated over to Chiquita's candy basket. I guess he had a sweet tooth.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

HSKS6 Package

I have been quite remiss! I received an amazing package from Pandora Phelps, but I have had several set backs in actually blogging about it.

Not only were there all sorts of fun packets to open, but there was also one addressed to my "little witch-in-training". She was thrilled! And she is planning to use the bracelet making kit this week.

I was far from forgotten though. Inside were a bunch of green goodies. There were DPNs in a size I didn't have, and cute sock point protectors to use with them. Also included was enough Tofutsies sock yarn that I think I could make a good size toddler sweater if I wanted to. And not one, but two tins of minty goodness!

And last, but not least, a beautiful needle case. If I didn't know the guidelines for the swap I would totally have thought it was commercially made, it is really that well done. The perfect seams, the beautiful fabric, the elegant binding, the flawless zipper installation; I am seriously impressed.

Thank you so much for everything. This package is amazing!

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

28-10 Cotton Smile Cardigan

Yay! Remember my 10 UFO challenge? I am done! Keep an eye out the next couple days as I get them documented to share them here. In the meantime I have already started something new, something that I have been fantasizing about for weeks.

It has the moderately awkward name of 28-10 Cotton Smile Cardigan (direct pdf also available). But the pattern is total love, even if it is in Japanese. (It is charted out though, and does not seem to require any knowledge of the language.) The question is, however, why am I always attracted to out of season patterns?

Unfortunately I can't participate in NaKniSweMo (Ravelry link) since it is a crocheted sweater rather than a knit one, but given the fine weight even with crochet being slightly faster, I suspect it will take about as long as a worsted weight knit sweater.

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