Wednesday, November 26, 2008

FOs, Moss Stitch, and Seed Stitch (US vs. UK)

New FOs to show :-) More pics are on Ravelry and on my picture gallery at the right. The mittens are Playground Mittens which have an opening at the palm. I decided to make them warmer by adding some fingerless mitts on the inside. They're made with Swish Superwash. The Tressel Vest you've already seen, but not modeled. The toe-up Monkeys (Los Monos Locos on Ravelry) are finally done!!!! They've been on the needles forEVER.

Now that I've completed all the kids mittens and hat projects, as well as my toe-up Monkeys, I can get on with Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I'm down to three WIPs: Tangled Yoke, My So-Called Scarf, and some toe-up anklets. Don't be surprised if I start a toddler sample size of the EZ Hybrid sweater though because Jared wants that sweater in his size. I thought it's probably best to tackle an Ian-sized version to get some practice making my first EZ pattern. Plus, I'm already thinking that the kids need some pullovers. I don't think I get tired of making them clothes!

Seed stitch, moss stitch. What's the difference?
Finally, I got my confusion about moss stitch and seed stitch cleared up by reading someone's post on Ravelry (Rox). She spent some time in the UK and found out the difference between the UK and the US when it comes to the previously mentioned stitch patterns:

US seed st = UK moss st
US moss st = UK double moss st
US double moss st = UK box st
The UK seed stitch has a stockinette background with more sparsely placed purl seeds. The UK seed stitch does not have any particular US equivalent stitch pattern.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Marie Casting On

Oh my, this really had to be shared! Last night while trying to begin Thorpe, Marie kept asking me how to knit so that she could "make clothes" for Tasha from Backyardigans (a character from an animated kids show on Nick Jr. and Noggin, if you don't have kids ;-)). I had brought my tray of knitting needles into the living room when beginning Thorpe, and she had picked out my purple plastic Crystal Palace DAISY US 13 straights. So, I got her some old Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and showed her the backward loop CO. I thought, OK, maybe she'll just pretend to knit from there... Today, she asks me to "make a pretzel" (aka slipknot) so that she can cast on again! Anyway, here she is casting on. She'll be four in 2 months. So cute! Well, I'm biased :-)
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Thorpe and Tressel Vest

Yay, FOs to show! The vest I've nicknamed Tressel Vest because, minus the Nike swoosh, it reminds me of the gray sweater vest that the Ohio State football coach wears. Ian hasn't worn it yet, so I haven't snapped any pics of him in it. In the meantime, here's a shot with a white shirt underneath. There wasn't a pattern. I just winged it. I CO 110 sts and went from there. The edgings are all tubular 1x1 rib, and the point of the V is a double decrease (sl2 k-wise, k1, p2sso).

I cast on for Thorpe last night and finished it today. I really like how it turned out! It's really cute on Ian and fits him well. Here are project details:

Pattern: Thorpe
Yarn: Knit Picks Shamrock (Hennessey), 1 skein; Knit Picks WOTA (Coal), for crochet edging and ties
Needles: US 8 DPNs; US 8 16" and 29" circulars
Size: 17" toddler (his head is 19")
Mods: worsted weight yarn instead of bulky; Magic CO; increased up to 72 sts and followed size med instructions from there; made a 3-ply braids from the 6 strands, and made the ties shorter
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Starting Ian's Hat With Magic Cast-On

Using Judy Becker's Magic Cast-On** and her specific directions for starting a small circle, I cast on for Thorpe. This was cool to do because it creates no hole or loose stitches as can some other CO methods. Yay! Be sure NOT to ignore her directions for an even-number CO versus an odd-number (ask me why) -- it makes a difference. Basically, I did the regular Magic CO followed by a round of knitting double stranded with the tail. For the next round (the 1st increase round), knit each individual strand of the double loops rather than the typical increase method. For example, I CO 4 sts and knit all 4 sts double-stranded. When I did the next round, I got my stitch total up to 8 by knitting each individual strand. Next, I followed the pattern and did kfb into each stitch and ended up with 16 sts. **Note: I followed Cat Bordhi's video on YouTube which differs in that none of the CO stitches are twisted, so you have one less thing to worry about.

I'm on the twisted ribbing of my toe-up Monkeys. So... almost done! I plan on using a bind off that repeatedly uses a decrease -- there are a few variations, but the same basic idea.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't I Look Comfortable?


Clapotis Revisited

I can't say enough about the new fabric shaver I got from Knit Picks. Not so much for the shaver itself, but for what it does. Two years ago, I made Clapotis by Kate Gilbert. But, I never wore it outside my home. Why? You'd especially be asking why when I tell you how much I paid for the yarn. Well... I used a three-ply kettle-dyed thick-thin merino: Rio de la Plata in a melange of three colorways. Beautiful, except that my Clapotis unblocked turned out bulky, heavy, fuzzy, and wouldn't lie flat. Well, like I said, it's been two years. Since my new fabric shaver worked so well on my CPH and Alison's Scarf, I thought why not try it out on Clapotis? Night and day is the difference!

Next, I decided to wet block it by soaking it in a sample of Soak. It gets even BETTER. I discovered recently that my washer has a drain/spin mode. Woohoo! I put that sucker in the washer after soaking, straight from the bucket without even squeezing out any water. Voila, Clapotis revisited and reborn. Check out the pics. The first two pics are of the unblocked Clapotis and the yarn I used. there is also a picture of the blocked Clapotis with a matching unblocked Clapotis hat so that you can compare blocked vs. unblocked.

The post following this one will be pics only of Ian wearing his new pants (Itchy Fingers Longies).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CPH and Some More Toddler Pants

Included here are pictures of my Central Park Hoodie and Itchy Fingers Longies. I thought I'd also add some additional pics of the zipper installation on my CPH. What do you think? The pointy hood is interesting, but everything else turned out alright. I can't believe this is the first cardigan I've made for myself after four years of knitting! All the cardigans I have made were for my kids. I've only made pullovers for myself.

For CPH, I used Knit Picks WOTA in forest heather. I added bust short rows, I-cord edging, a zipper closure, short row shoulders with 3-needle BO, and tubular CO for the ribbing. Oh, and I added length and grafted the top of the hood. Since finishing this hoodie I've soaked it and, after some wear, shaved it. It's my go-to sweater at the moment. Love it!

The pants/longies are my 2nd from the Itchy Finger Longies pattern. These are easy to knit up. I'm targeting my stash acrylic yarn since Ian can always use an extra pair of pants. Next up in the near future are some Wool-Ease pants in various colors... I used TLC Essentials in Meadow with Lionbrand Vanna's Choice in Taupe.

The zipper instructions on Chic Knits site were very handy. I'd recommend them for sure! This was my second zipper installation, but my first nice-looking one. The I-cord gets a bit flattened by the backstitching, but I don't think that really matters much.

Wow, two blog posts in one night! I haven't done that in a while. I feel so caught up :-)

Odds and Ends

The day after I last blogged, Ian decided to walk! He was 13 months and 1 day old. He has a pretty wide stance, so it's really fun to watch him. He still does what I would call the Russian crawl half the time. He crawls by sitting up with his right leg jutted out which he uses to power himself forward. Hilarious!
For Halloween, Marie went as Ariel and Ian went as a lion (in the stroller, of course). We actually made it around the entire block this year (Last year, Marie got scared after the first two houses...). We still have a nice big pumpkin that never got carved. We're still going to do it since Marie isn't old enough to be disappointed by the fact that we didn't carve it before Halloween!
I almost got back with the program last week: I went running. Sometimes, not often, I get cabin fever along with a feeling of desperately needing to decompress away from those around me. Some days I'll go to the bookstore. Some days I'll go to a coffee shop. Some days I feel like running, even when I'm not even doing it regularly. It felt good, that's for sure. Now I just need to go again and often. I have a friend that has three kids, her latest born in May. She just ran a half marathon. Like me, she had trouble losing baby weight the second time around. She said that running for 60 minutes rather than 30 really helped shrink her waist.
Knitting news? Oh yeah, that's right. This is a knitting blog, isn't it? Well, I finished Central Park Hoodie and another pair of longies. I'll do a separate post with pics for those. Right now I'm finishing up a one skein gray toddler vest for Ian. I haven't gotten much further on my other WIPS (Tangled Yoke Cardigan, My So-Called Scarf, Los Manos Locos socks, and my strawberry latte socks). I keep finding pants and other things to knit for the kids!
Speaking of projects for the kids, I just got some Knit Picks Shamrock in Hennessy and some black WOTA to make Ian a hat and mittens. I also bought EZ's Knitting Workshop, primarily to make either the hybrid or shirt-yoke sweater for Jared. I've been reading through it and am really enjoying it!
One more piece of knitting news. I bought a battery-powered fabric shaver from Knit Picks. The first item I used it on was my bulky alpaca Alison's Scarf by Annie Modesitt. What a difference that made in eliminating the fuzz! It looks brand new. Just tonight, I used the shaver on my CPH for the first time. It took FOREVER, but the end result is nice. Hopefully, I won't have to shave it as much after this. The only gripe I have about the shaver is the battery life (I'm already on my second set.) and the numerous times it stops working and requires you to remove the blade and dump the shavings.