Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Yes, I'm finally done with Splash! For something that adds up to little area, this took longer than expected I must say. Maybe all the extra effort is the reason behind the numerous pics I've taken of this project! Well, and my little mermaid is kinda cute, too... Since the last post, I added I-cord straps and crochet edging. I also ran it through the washer and dryer, in a mesh bag. Since the Sparkle yarn is handwash, I was too scared to dry it all the way. Where is it now? On the proud owner while she sleeps ;-)
Now what? I can go back to my DROPS sleeveless tank and Henley Perfected. I've got the itch to make some small things, like: a bookcover, dishcloths, bibs, socks, and more kid tops or pants. I really need a bookcover for my Harry Potter books. When I re-read them, I remove the slipcovers so that my kids don't damage them. However, without the slipcover it needs protection of some kind. I'd love to try the new Knit Picks Imagination sock yarn, but that won't be available until sometime in September due to the overload of initial orders -- argh! The same thing happened with CotLin when it debuted...
I created a spreadsheet for all the different wrap positions for babywearing. I just couldn't remember all of them. There's an already-existing chart on The Babywearer site, but I wanted mine with short descriptions to jog the memory. Very helpful! I still use my adjustable pouch sling for trips away from home. It's so convenient when you need both hands and to relieve the strain of carrying a 10-month-old baby boy. My two kids and I went hiking at a local park, and I wore Ian on my hip behind my right arm. For a longer hike, I'd probably bring the wrap and use one of the two-shoulder back carries. Oh, hey... I should add a pic here of Ian in the wrap and in the sling! The sling pic is from November, and the wrap pic is from July 4th weekend.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Splash: Mermaid Dressup

Marie couldn't wait to try this on even though it's not totally finished. According to her, it's "just like the one in the pattern book." She danced on the bed and sang before demanding that I take her picture. Here is Splash.
Pattern: Splash from New Knits on the Block by Vickie Howell
Yarn: [Knit Picks Shine Sport: 5 skeins turquoise, 2 skeins orchid]; [Knit Picks Sparkle (discontinued): 2 balls lagoon]
Needles: US 3 and US 5
Mods: This pattern is meant for a 5 or 6-year-old girl. Originally, I bought the Shine Sport to size the pattern down. I got a few repeats into the tail fin and decided to frog it and hold a single strand of Sparkle with the Shine to create sparkly blue and green flecks throughout the skirt and tail fin. In order to do this, I upped the number of CO sts from 99 to 109. This was the case for both the skirt/fin and tube top. Since I only had enough Sparkle to complete the skirt/fin, I didn't use it for the purple top. I changed the waistband by having the purl turning ridge be on the RS of the garment.

I still need to make 4 shoulder straps and add a crochet edging to the skirt bottom and tail fin. Otherwise, this project is done! BTW, I got to use the bow stitch on this which I just learned at Knitters Connection last month in the Girly Girl Knitting class.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Knitting News: Patterns, New Yarn, CO Methods

Knitting Daily has a preview of the Fall 2008 Knitscene up on their site. I like opulent raglan, ahlstrom bodice, lady's duet, and burnished tunic. The inari skirt, kimono socks, and brocade leaves pullover were also interesting. Check them out.

Elann has a sneak peek of some new yarns going on sale July 1st 9:00 PST. I especially like the Pure Bamboo and the Katia Scotch (a silk and wool tweed w/gauge = 3.75 spi). I should mention for my fellow NC knitters that the Pure Bamboo has a Carolina Blue colorway -- no really, it's actually called Carolina Blue! I bet the Duke and NC State fans won't be happy about that ;-) hee!

I learned something new: the purl long tail cast on. I happened to find a link to this when reading a Harry Potter bookscarf pattern. I hadn't really thought about how to cast on for double knitting when using the long tail method. Doing it the purl way isn't hard at all. I decided to use it for the tail of the mermaid costume I'm making for Marie since it begins as a 2x7 rib. What's cool is the purl CO stitches have purl bumps, while the knit CO stitches look like the regular long tail CO. Neat, huh? I like it. After learning how to do this, I went to YouTube to see a video on how to do a double knitting CO in two colors and found a couple more interesting CO techniques:

1. Ysolda Teague shows how to do a long tail tubular cast on for 1x1 and 2x2 ribbing. It's two-stranded.
2. I also found a video that's similar since it's two-stranded, except it doesn't twist the alternate stitches.
3. Here's a video of a one-stranded tubular cast on that doesn't twist alternate stitches. The twisted way can be seen on knittinghelp.com.
4. I love the Cat Bordhi demonstrates Judy Becker's Magic Cast-On video -- gotta love the jungle vine, tick-tock clock, and udder references used to teach this CO for toe-up socks! Cat's video demonstrates how to CO without twisting alternate stitches.
5. One more video I found is Lucy Neatby demonstrating a much clearer way to do the German Twisted CO. I could search for and watch knitting technique videos on YouTube for hours if given the chance!

Oh yeah, I totally forgot to mention... Have you checked out Knit Picks lately? The new colors and yarns of the fall line are up! Handpainted sock yarn! Woohoo! ...and I don't even knit socks regularly. Check out all the super-nice colorways. I see socks in my future which will include the new handpainted Imagination and kettle-dyed sock yarns. Of course, I also love all the new colors of the staple yarns. It makes my mind race, thinking of all the things I want to knit this fall and winter.

No vacation pics yet. Soon!

Edited for clarification and correction on 12/30/08.