Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's!

I hope everybody has an awesome night and awesome new years day in the morning.

may all you wishes come true in the coming year, and may all you troubles melt away.


Snow Song (It's Coming Down)
from Striking 12 by groovelily (one of the most awesome CD's ever by one of the most awesome bands out there, go buy their stuff)
© Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin & Valerie Vigoda

Snowflakes fall like velvet
From iron-colored skies
Somehow I can’t help it
I feel my spirits rise
Street lamps aglow
Time to take it slow
It’s coming down

Crystal branches glisten
Like diamonds over me
Frozen in position
A silent symphony
Sidewalks white and clean
Perfect and pristine
It’s coming down

It’s coming down and all my
blues disappear
And this old town is
young again—
Roll back the years
Because the world looks
like new
Or at least that’s the view
from here...

It’s cold here by the river
But I don’t feel it much
The moon’s a silver sliver
Close enough to touch
Storm clouds drift away
A star comes out to play
And it’s
coming down

***

It’s coming down and all my blues disappear
And this old town is young again — roll back the years
Because the world looks like new
Or at least that’s the view from here

Snowflakes fall like velvet
From iron-colored skies
Somehow I can’t help it
I feel my spirits rise
Snowflakes glint and glide
Glad to be outside

On the first day
On the first day
ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE YEAR

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Keeping things warm, and a pillow guy

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the superman slippers I made for Bill back in October have already sprouted holes. This made Bill pout, so I decided to hand dye some pretty green yarn (his favorite colour) and make him a new pair.

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Since these are slightly larger than the last pair I made they have a little 'point' at the toes, and since they are green they are now dubbed the elf slippers.

the pattern

mods made:
Cast on using magic cast on and knit slipper in the round = no seaming = YAY
CO 90 sts. with size 6 needles Knit 16 rounds in garter, then 1 round plain before decreases.
Double strand sole, used wooly nylon as well, last pair wore out very quickly.

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Since its winter here, we have been drinking a lot of Tea, the best way to make tea? In a Teapot!
But we can't have naked teapots, so I made a tea cozy:

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It's the bi colour brioche cozy by Megan Mills I've used her patters before to make hats ad gaiters for Bill and I, I love brioche stitch!

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modifications to the pattern
I cast on 10 sts circularly then:
r1: kf&b around
r2: (&all even) k
r3: (k1, kf&b) around
r5: (k2, kf&b) around
r7: (k3, kf&b) around
r8: (k4, kf&b) around
R10: purl

I then began the pattern

I knit the beginning as for a non tubular cast on (6 rows all together) then knit an extra 4 rows after splitting for the handle but before splitting for the spout.

After I closed the spout hole I did the called for 5 more rows, but then skipped directly to stage three, closing the handle hole on round 3 of the decrease leaving me with 28 stitches total.

I knit 4 more rows after stage three, and then instead of binding off, I made a braided cord, and threaded it through the live stitches to use as a cinch.

I'm not completely happy with the way the decreases lined up, but it's still pretty and it works. I did a line of Single Crochet around the handle and spout openings to even out the edges, the pattern has you slip the first stitch of each flat row, but no matter how carefully I followed the directions I couldn't get them to look even or even the same on each side, but the crochet took care of it.

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and finally, a Squarey!
I've named him Pillow Guy

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I was inspired by all the adorable squareys out there, I don't actually have the book (Unusual toys for you to knit and enjoy by Jess Hutchison), but its a frikkin square!

To fit a 14x14 inch pillow gauge = 4.5 sts/inch
using magic cast on cast on 124 sts and knit in the round knit 3 inches in "pants" 2 inches in "shirt" (5 inches overall) knit back half onto waste yarn (a la thumb trick) knit rest in "skin" (8.5 inches)

Remove waste yarn, put stitches on holders.

Kitchener up top of pillow guy.

bo bottom held stitches, knit 1 inch in "shirt" on top held stitches, place button holes (k11, bo3 *k10, bo3 * rep, k9, on next row, co3 over bo bits) k 1/2 inch more, bind off. Sew edges of button hole flap to the sides. Embroider face.

Legs (make two): co 20 in "pants" knit 10 rows, switch to "skin" knit until leg measures 9 inches, switch to "Shirt" knit 4 rows. Next round: k3 k2tog around, one row plain then k2tog around, then k2tog around again thread yarn through rem stitches weave in ends. Stuff legs and attach to body.

Arms (make two) co 20 in "shirt" knit 5 rows, switch to "skin" knit until arm measures 5.5 inches, on next round: k3 k2tog around, one row plain then k2tog around, then k2tog around again thread yarn through rem stitches, weave in ends. Stuff arms and attach to body just below where "shirt" turns to "skin"

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ok, so I haven't added any limbs yet, and I'm not sure if I want to, so he's going to stay like this for a while until I decide.
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Friday, December 21, 2007

Winter wonder wear

I finished my mittens!

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I'm incredibly happy with how they came out, I wore them to knit night with me on Monday, and everybody commented on them. I had a problem with my last pair in that the wind was always blowing up my sleeves, and there was always a gap, so I made these extra long to stop that.

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I had plenty of teal (and purple) yarn left over so I decided to make a matching tam (because I'm obsessed with tams and berets)



This is Tam C from knitty.com

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it fits perfectly and I love the way it looks. I had a little trouble with the decreases on the top, for some reason they came out a bit loose and you can see the stranding behind them, this would bother me more if it weren't for the fact that it makes the top look amazingly snowflake like.

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and just to keep myself busy the other day I decided to make a mug cozy:

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The pattern is from the holiday gifts 2007 issue of interweave knits. It was incredibly quick, and very easy to modify to fit my mug. And it really works too; my tea does stay warm longer with it on.

This will probably be my last post until after Christmas, I hope everybody has an awesome holiday!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another beret, and a mitten.

Chevron Lace Beret


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I don't like it

I did the recommended double ribbing, and it's way too loose, I think it's not just the ribbing but the huge number of stitches it has you cast on, I probably should have cast on as for the smaller size and then increased way more. Then the weird increases to the middle, make it an odd shape while wearing, and it doesn't 'flop' right.

Ah well, a learning experience.

I used my own hand dyed wool, and AM very happy with the way the semi solid variegation worked out, very neat. I liked it so much I dyed up another skein in teal.

Then worked up a mitten pattern to use the leftover blue/purple, and the teal together.

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I'm really; really happy with the way these are turning out. I finished the first in one day, and have already finished the ribbing on the second.

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I used the generic Norwegian mitten pattern from Hello Yarn

snowflakemittens
(click on the picture for a bigger version to print if you'd like to make them too.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a knitting book even my husband would like...

While reading through his monthly issue of SIAM news Bill noticed a book review for a book that we both might like: Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects

It covers many different crafts, and looks like both of us will find it a fun and informative read.

I can't wait until after Christmas so I can get it!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

How to read

While knitting?

Ok everybody, I need opinions here.
I need something to keep my mind occupied while knitting, usually I would just go get an audio book, and those do rock, but sometimes the book I want to read isn't available on audio from my library system.

So I need other alternatives. I know at least one person who reads my blog does this already, and maybe there are more of you, so here's my question: how do you read a book while knitting?

Most of the books I would get from the library would be hardcover of course, but I have tons of paperbacks here at home waiting to be read too. It needs to be mobile, my knitting spot moves with the sunlight. It also needs to be easy to store for times when I have a good audio book or when company is coming over.

to sweeten the pot, lets make a contest out of it:
everybody who leaves a suggestion (along with their e-mail so I can get a hold of them if they win) will get their name put on a list, and in a couple of weeks I'll use a random number generator to pick a person from the list to win any item they choose from my etsy store

Friday, December 07, 2007

another tam

Gramma K's Fair Isle Tam

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after knitting and falling in love with my first beret, I decided my life would not be complete without several different types of tams and berets to wear. this is the first on my list.

this was an incredibly fun and easy knit, I had an awesome time making it and can't wait to wear it out! It was a little touch and go for the yarn. I used the grey leftover from knitting Bill's squirrel and oak mittens, (I had roughly 65 grams left after the mittens). The purple was a test skein I bought to swatch for a sweater I decided I didn't really want, so I started with slightly less than a full skein. I finished the hat with barely 10 grams left of the purple and only 15 grams left of grey. whew!

next on my list I think will be one of the Three Tams from Knitty
but first I need to get more yarn, and I definitely want to try it with the self striping Noro, I really like that look.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Je suis le sexy

...or something.

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slouchy cabled beret

I LOVE THIS HAT!!

omg, I wasn't sure if I would like a beret or not, but man, this thing rocks!

I am totally going to have to make more berets and tams in the future, hee!

I used worsted yarn, and size 6 and 7 circulars. I magic looped the whole thing since I didn't have any thing shorter than a 40". even with using bigger yarn and needles than the pattern called for I still had to block the crap out of it to make it fit right.

Since the pattern was a little vague about the seed pattern and how to do the decreases, this was how I did it:

The first round of the pattern I started the seed stitch with a knit, this mean that I was crossing the cables on purl beginning seed rows, this isn't really important, but I felt like putting it up here as well.

After I got to the desired length, I did one more cable cross but instead of doing normal seed after the 2 purl stitches I did this: move beginning marker one stitch to the left, * p1, c4f, p1, p2tog, seed st, (sl the first st, then the second, knit wise, replace on the left hand needle twisted, ptbl)~,* rep

Since the decreases are to occur every other round, on non cable rows my decreases looked like this: * p1, k4, p1, p2tog, seed st, (sl the first st, then the second, knit wise, replace on the left hand needle twisted, ptbl)~,* rep

I did this until there was only one stitch left in the seed section, and then I moved the marker to the left one more stitch and did: (sl the first st, then the second, knit wise, replace on the left hand needle twisted, slip these two stitches together, through the back loop onto the right hand needle, purl the next stitch, pass the slipped stitches over )~.

Then I did that again on the next decrease round. So that there was one purl stitch left between the cables.

Through all this I maintained the cable crossing on every 4th row.

The next decrease round (which was not a cable row) I: *ssk, k2tog, p1* rep
And then on the last decrease round: *(Sl 2tog kwise, knit one, pass slipped stitches over)~* rep

8 sts remain.

~ I LOVE balanced decreases and symmetry. These decreases look long and complicated when you read them, but they are wicked easy to do and memorize.


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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Saturday Sky

boy it was cold today, my face was numb and i only went out for a second to take this picture!
tomorrow is the Christmas parade, we will definitely be bundling up!

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Saturday Sky, taken Saturday December first, at 1:45 pm out front of the Platypus Nest.

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