Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas is Done!

Woo hoo! I finally have officially finished my Christmas knitting! The only outstanding present was Dan's hat, which only became a present (versus just a random knit gift) because of timing, but since it worked out, I'm totally counting it as an additional Christmas present for him.

I actually finished it a couple of days ago, but I had to block it and I don't call things officially done until it is dry from blocking. The blocking finished it off nicely - it made the decreases around the crown oh so sharp and pretty. Which is good because those crown decreases were a big pain in the rear. It seemed like I had to pull those stitches so tight just to keep them from gapping. Which leaves me feeling a bit torn about the pattern in general - kind of a pain to make, but really sharp results. See?

The Weekend Side
"Weekend" Side

The Work Side
"Work" Side

Since it's reversible, it's got a bit of a multiple personality thing going on. Dan says the side with all the orange is his fun, weekend side and the mostly gray side is the more mature, work-appropriate side.

He's actually wearing it right now as he hangs out in the living room. I think that means he likes it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How Did This Happen?

I am not one to give handmade presents - crochet, knit, whatever. Even the simplest project takes hours of work and, unless the recipient is involved in pattern and yarn selection, there is just too much of a chance of the hours of work going unappreciated. And nothing is more heartbreaking than so much time and love going into something that is unwanted or receives just a lukewarm response. So yes, I'm a selfish crafter.

I have made a number of things for Dan (like this and this) but they've never been a surprise to him. Instead, we select the pattern and yarn together. Sometimes that's frustrating (Dan researches things a lot before making a choice, even yarn, and I tend to be more quick deciding) but at least it results in projects that I know will be loved by someone else in addition to me.

Of course, all that being said, I somehow managed to knit something for everyone on my Christmas list this year. Sigh.

Mug Cozy  Chicken!
Christmas Hunting Warmth  Mom's Reversible Cable Scarf  Fingerless Mits
FIL's Hat  Dan's Hat

I'm not exactly sure how that happened!

That last picture, though, is a hat I made for Dan (yes, we picked out the hat and yarn for this one together) and it wasn't finished until today. It's pretty nifty - it's reversible!

Dan's Reversible Hat

I still have to block it but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

Of course, all that Christmas knitting was why I haven't been posting much about what I've been working on. But radio silence has been broken so yay!

Next up: fingerless mittens for me, a pillow and a sweater!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I forgot about these while they were blocking, but I remembered them today so I pulled them out of the back room and can now make it official: I have finished my mittens!


I now have two sets - one slightly larger set of more neutral colors...

Set 1

...and one slightly smaller set with green.

Set 2

(I say smaller, but both sets fit my hand fine so you can't really tell the size difference unless you lay one on top of the other.)

Currently, I'm working on what was going to be a simple sock for my laptop but has evolved into a potentially complex and challenging (but hopefully super-cool) project. This is the start of it:


The current plan is to make two of these entrelac panels, put a ribbed border around them, then seam them together (potentially with some piping if I can figure out the best way to do it) and create a (hopefully) nifty, structured slip case for my laptop. It'll be a bit of a challenge, I think, but nothing too complex, just a good opportunity to learn some new knitting techniques.

After that, I've got a hat for Dan (still waiting on some of the yarn for that though), some color work fingerless mittens for myself (which I have the yarn for but I think it will be a big project so I want to wait on this to get a few other things out of the way first) and a pillow for my chair in the living room. I'm trying to be good and only have one project going at a time but I might have to rethink that depending on when I get Dan's hat yarn since I want to make sure he has that before January. We shall see how it goes!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Finished Product!

I forgot about my loopy scarf as it was blocking (I had to put it in the back room since Bitty kept trying to steal it... apparently wet wool and angora smells tasty to kitties) but I remembered it today and went to check on it...

It's all finished!

2011-10-08 Complete

We had a cold front move in this weekend but, of course, it's "cold" as in the mid-60s, not quite scarf level cold. I imagine it will be at least another month, if not two, before I can wear this scarf for more than just pictures. But that's a good thing actually because it gives me time to make a hat! And mittens!

(In other knitting news, I am up to the troublesome rounds in the drawstring bag. Last night I put in a lifeline just in case I had to frog and surprise! I somehow had put in an extra stitch. I found the problem and fixed it (though there is a bit of a hole which hopefully will adjust a bit when I block the bag) but I honestly have pretty much no idea how I managed to cause the extra stitch in the first place. Oops.)

(Oh, and in non-knitting news, Dan's still sick which is a bit of a shock as we are going on 48 hours now. I made him some chicken soup though, so that plus his natural awesome immune system should put him back to normal soon.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ack! Frustrating!

My knit loopy scarf is blocking today (official pictures coming post-blocking) so I thought I'd start another knit project. This one is a little drawstring bag which, honestly, I'm not all that interested in but it is the second project in my book and I figured I'd be able to learn to use double-pointed needles and do increases and decreases (as the pattern has both).

Augh! It's so frustrating! I'm okay with the double-pointed needles. They are a little awkward but I think overall I'm doing okay with them and I'm sure things will get better the more I use them.

2011-10-07 Progress

So I'm calling the DPN bit of the project a decent success. But OMG at the increases and decreases!

I have done the two troublesome rounds twice, once coming up with not enough stitches and the next time coming up with too many. Finally, I just decided to rip back the entire project because ripping out just a few rows in knit is a lot harder than it is in crochet and, having done it once, I feel no need to earn that merit badge right now. So yeah, that picture above? Technically that project no longer exists.

I do plan on picking it back up and restarting it, but I have to figure out that increase and decrease thing. Honestly, my book looks all helpful and stuff at first but when you get down to it, not so much. So after much research (God bless the interwebs), I was able to successfully do the two troublesome rows when working flat with crappy yarn. Hopefully that will translate when (sometime this weekend) I give the project another go.

Fingers crossed! Cause gotta say, while I really like the loopy scarf and that success made me all "Yay knitting!", ripping back knit makes me miss crochet. So much easier to frog.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It Has Begun!

Dan and I both have officially started new hobbies. As of yesterday, I finished off what I am calling my practice pretzel and started my first real knit project!

Practice Pretzel
The practice pretzel

2011-09-29 (Knit) Knit Scarf 1
The official project!

I think(/hope) that this will be really pretty when it is done. So far I love the cuddly look and the great color change.

Of course, I allowed myself to start my knit project because my faux-weave wrap is finished!

2011-09-29 Completed
2011-09-29 Completed

I love it lots - the colors are bright without being too obnoxious and the hole-y material blocks just enough chill that it will be perfect when I am cool but don't need something cuddly to wear. Yay!

In other, hobby-related news, Dan has officially started his new hobby of beer brewing. Today all his on-order things (thermostat, big pot, etc) arrived so he got a yeast starter going tonight.

The yeast

Making a Yeast Starter
Starting the Yeast Starter

Bringing to a Boil

So lots of hobby-making going on in the house now.

Also going on in the house is a hopefully healing Happy cat. She's still got a big hole in her but the inflammation is less and she seems more upset about being in the room without her people than she does about having an open wound. Of course, the pain medication might have something to do with that, too. Hopefully she won't make anal sac ruptures her new hobby.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Crochet-work Orange

I like crocheting. And I like my husband. I suppose it isn't surprising that I like crocheting things for my husband. In the past day or two, I've finished a couple of Dan-requested projects so I thought I'd share them. They've helped me realized that Dan like orange like I like pink.

First up, Dan wanted a doily for his bedside table. He also wanted me to make him something orange and black. So he picked out this pattern and ta-da:


That's Dan's new bedside orange and black doily.

Also, I can't remember if Dan requested a shower scrubbie or if I told him I'd make him one (I think option two) but we settled this (very cute) scrubbie:

Adapted Carp Tawashi

This one is actually my second go at converting the pattern to fit his soap bar. The first one was cute but a little too big and, honestly, I had a lot of fun making it so I was just looking for an excuse to make another one and "improve" it.

First fishie (left) and second fish (right) are here:

Carp Tawashi  Adapted Carp Tawashi

I have a fair amount of the orange and white from the fishies (that yarn was part of the massive savings last weekend) and I have another 15-ish grams of the doily thread, so I imagine I'll be making some more orange goodies in Dan's future.

Go orange!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Saved SO Much Money!

If you are reading this and are also someone that actually knows me, you might know that I was planning on taking knitting lessons this month. Well, sadly that was cancelled but they didn't tell me why. Now I know: the store is closing.

It's pretty sad because I just discovered the store in the past few months and they are awesome - lots of fun (and yeah, expensive) yarns. But now they are going away. Boo.

Of course, this means going out of business sales. Yesterday I got an email that everything was 50-75% off so I decided to reward myself after a long day of housework (seriously, scrubbing on hands and knees deserves a reward) by going to check out the goodies. Dan, having another comp day, accompanied me.

Dan is an enabler. A big giant dirty enabler.

I Saved So Much Money!

That's my yarn haul. It's slightly over six pounds. That's right. I bought more yarn than Bitty weighs.

Naturally, if you "saved" that same amount of money buying 100% acrylic yarns, I'm pretty sure you could buy a Sam's worth, if not more. But if it gives you any idea of the truly lovely things I got, most of those are wool. Or wool and cotton. Or wool and alpaca. That pile of gray in the top left corner? Wool, angora and silk. (It normally goes for $20 a skein. I got four.)

Mind you, I have no idea what I'm going to do with most of this stuff. (The orange and off-white wool will be made into a fish scrubby for Dan. The green-ish stuff on the right will be a new mat for Ashes.) But I will say that typically, yarn goes a bit further with knitting than crochet. So even without my yarn store around, I am going to learn to knit because I want to stretch these lovelies as far as I can!

Berroco Peruvia Colors   Rooster Almerino DK   Louisa Harding Thistle   Nazli Gelin Garden   Shepherd's Shades   Shepherd's Shades
Noro Kureyon Sock  Noro Kochoran
Artyarns Cottonspring Eurobaby Sweetness Fiesta Baby Boom Evilla Longad Eurobaby Sweetness

Is it insane? Yes. But it sure is fun!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ack! I Made More!

Even More Tawashii

Fortunately, I've about run out of my partial cotton skeins so hopefully I'll soon migrate back to Dan's doily or more potholders or something.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Can't Stop Making These!

I have a new addiction: crocheting tawashi. I've made seven of these since May and I have no plans on stopping.

The first two I blogged about here but since then, I've made five more. Yes, five!

Here are today's two additions:

More TawashiMore Tawashi

And here are three that I made as a set:

Set of 3 Tawashi

I actually made the first one (the smallest one) back in May and have been using it to wash my face. I loved it so much I decided to make one for the shower but it wasn't quite large enough (the medium sized one) so I made a larger one. Which means I have three and I'm not really sure what to do with the middle one. But I love them all and the cotton thread wears so well (much better than the acrylic). I so enjoy these!

Rainbow Puff Scrubbie   Two New Tawashi

Slightly less addictive but still enjoyable, crocheted magic potholders. My most current one:

Magic Potholder

I'm going to overflow my house with crocheted goodies.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Radio Silence Is Broken!

Gah! I've been dying to share this with people because it's been such a massive project and has taken up sooooo much time! But it was a birthday present for my mom and I didn't want to ruin the surprise since I know she visits my blog and Flickr. (Hi Mom!) But now I've finally gotten together with my mom and been able to actually give her the present so there is no more surprise to ruin.

This is what I've been working on since late March:


It's HUGE! Twenty-eight inches from corner to corner and I dread to think of the number of hours involved in making this. (I'd say at least 100, easy, partially due to having to frog rounds after massive mistakes on my part.) But I think it turned out delightful. (And Mom likes it too so even better!)

And considering how much work it was, I'm really surprised that I'm not cursing the idea of ever doing another painted doily again. I'm actually kind of wanting to. (I think this indicates some sort of brain damage, yes?) Mind you, I will never, never use embroidery thread again (too many ends to weave in and separating the strands is such a time killer) but I am contemplating checking out the sewing thread next time I'm at the craft store.

Since I haven't gotten to flood my blog with multiple posts about my progress, instead I'll just flood this post with multiple pictures of my progress.

2011-03-30 Progress 2011-03-31 Progress 2011-04-02 Progress 2011-04-14 Progress 2011-06-22 Progress 2011-06-24 Progress

Ravely goodies are here, if anyone is interested.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.