Thursday, January 31, 2008

last boteh for a while

Just had to post one more picture of this scarf, all done, ready to wear.

fewer and fewer projects in my bag

Marie's socks are all finished. These pictures show one of them on a sock blocker. The baby cable rib makes them draw in so much that they don't look right unless they're on a leg or a blocker.

A few close ups follow......

This leaves me with only 3 projects going right now. A miracle.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

decisions to make

So now I have 12 motifs in the Jitterbug Boteh. I know that I will NOT get the 16 motifs called for in the pattern because Jitterbug has punk yardage. The question is, do I go ahead and make the border now, or try to get one more motif in there?
I know that each motif takes 7g of yarn, and I have 28g left. I'll guess at how much the border will use and go from there.

Edit: Last night I considered using a contrast yarn as Ellen suggested in the comments, but I didn't have anything that was just right in my stash. I decided to go for 14 motifs and skimp a little on the border by working in single crochet rather than half double crochet all the way around. Lucky me, I finished the border with only 48 inches of yarn left. Blocked it overnight and am looking for somewhere to go so I can wear it today!

completed socks

These Tofutsies didn't knit up terribly quickly, but it could seem that way because I knitted them at the same time (on 2 sets of dpn's, nothing fancy!). Progress felt slow, but it was really nice to know that they really do match up well. I didn't have to go back and try to figure out how many repeats I did on the leg or the foot, and when they're done, they're done. No whining about having to go back and knit another one from start to finish. I'll probably do the next pair this same way.

Friday, January 25, 2008

One more Boteh.................

OK, I may have a real problem. I can't stop doing these Boteh scarves. This one uses Jitterbug in Blue Parrot, and G hook instead of an F because the yarn is just a little heavier than the others I've done.

I really wasn't going to start another one until I finished some things, but they are the perfect project for carrying along in a purse.
Better than socks because there are no double pointed needles to stick into things and come out.
Better that lace scarves because the yarn is not so fragile that I worry about it getting caught on zippers and other stuff.
Better than freeform mitts because I don't have to think while crocheting the pattern.

So, they really are the perfect carry along project. Is that so wrong?

home stretch

These socks are almost finished. For pictures, it finally occurred to me that even though they look pathetic when they're just lying there, my handy sock blockers would help show what they'll look like when worn. Much better!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

love the little projects

The vine lace scarf is growing more quickly than I though it would. Although the yarn is small, the needles are more like a medium. Size 6 is not tiny! It's nice to be able to see the progress. So far, the yarn cake looks just as big as it did when I started. I'll be interested to see how much yarn a respectably sized scarf will use. There will probably be quite a bit leftover.

These Tofutsie socks for Marie are coming along quickly, too. Would love to finish them soon, but there are a lot of activities coming up in the next 5 or 6 days. For instance, there will be 5, yes 5, violin concerts this weekend that I will be helping to run and accompanying on piano. Yikes! My fingers will be too busy playing to do much knitting.
But when these ARE done, I'll be starting man socks for Allan. I've procrastinated on these because I'm a little anxious about having enough yarn. I'd feel better if I had 2 skeins of the Meilenweit tweed, but I only have one. Toe up construction is the way to go, and I just need to spend a little time looking for a pattern that will be interesting but not completely lost in the dark color. I think they'll be fun once I get started. Just for fun, though, I may do a quick local search for sock yarn in larger quantities in manly dark colors. Any suggestions from the girls at the GY?

Monday, January 21, 2008

better pictures

I was knitting at Cozy on Friday with Cynthia, and I brought out these mitts. She suggested that I take some pictures while modeling the gloves, that they looked so much better that way. I agreed!
Here are better pictures, both of the semi-finished mitt and the just-started mate. As much as I like to combine lots and lots of yarns for freeform, I have to say I'm really liking the look of single color freeform. Could be a new thing for me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

making progress

Finished scarf! It's the second Boteh scarf I've done. Great pattern, fun to wear. This one is 100% merino, Supersock by Cherry Tree Hill.

The spiral pillow top is almost together. I'll put a few rounds of crochet on the edges to make them more even, then I'll do the surface embellishment on each little spiral.

Next, I'm reviving these freeform mitts from a while back. I hadn't intended to ever make a second one, actually, but when I posted the 1st one on Ravelry, I got a comment from Prudence Mapstone. Prudence is the artist who's work inspired me to try out freeform knit and crochet. I consider her the freeform expert, and she left a comment that said that she thought these would work up very nicely. Well. When I saw that, first I printed it out so I could save it! Then, I decided that maybe it would be a good idea to make the mate. The original looks a little awkward, but it really does fit well. Got the 2nd one started last night, and I'm having fun with it. You can see the little bit I've done in the last photo.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

new projects

Love the Malabrigo. Love the worsted, love the chunky, and now I love the lace. Last week I started a scarf using Margaret's Vine Lace Scarf pattern. Today when I picked it up again, i discovered a mistake! Luckily, it was only 2 rows back, and it was easy to fix. Lace is not my thing, but I can handle this 4 row pattern repeat alright. Can you see the mistake in the first picture? The second picture was taken after the repair.

Next is my first little rug hooking project. It's from a kit I got at the Shelbourne Museum in Vermont. Harrisville yarns makes the kit. I finished it a while back, but I haven't figured out how to back it and mount it yet.

Last it's another spiral pillow! This is the 2nd of 6 I hope to finish soon. This morning I laid out the spirals on the backing, then started sewing them together. I'm just joining them with yarn and a tapestry needle, but thought I'd include a picture of the spirals partially sewn up. I've had a few people ask me how I did it. It's not very tricky, but sometimes a picture helps things make sense.
Most of the spirals do not have the surface embellishment done yet. It seemed like a good idea to wait until they were sewn up so that I can place the embellishment yarns more easily. Hope to have a picture of the completed pillow soon!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Knittin' down the stash

Every other knitter has vowed to knit down stash this month, and I seem to be joining the frenzy! The only exception is this pair of socks, made from SWTC's Tofutsie sock yarn. At my invitation, Randy's mom picked out this yarn so that I could knit socks for her. They look really skinny, but the pattern is a baby cable, and there is considerable stretch. I've been able to get them on my foot and leg, and since Marie and I have the same size foot, I'm confident that they'll work for her.

This lovely Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn has been in my stash for about a year or so, and I loved the Boteh scarf so much (the blue Trekking scarf from earlier this month) I decided I *needed* another one in dark colors. This yarn is 100% merino, so it will be a softer scarf.

Not pictured is the project I have at Cozy: it's a lace patterned scarf in Malabrigo Lace---it's been in the stash for a few months. I've only done a little bit, but it's really lovely. I'll take a picture tomorrow during my shift.

Also not pictured is the next spiral pillow for the dining room. These pillows are a huge stash-busting project. I'm sick of looking at the bag of spirals I've already made, so I've recently started making the large spiral backs for these round cushions. Pictures coming soon.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

more scarf knitting

Randy requested a scarf at least 2 years ago, but we never found a pattern or a design that he was really interested in. This winter, I remembered the Campus Scarf in Pam Allen's "Scarf Style" book from Interweave. In the book, the scarf is knitted with lots of colors, but we both thought it would look good in just one color of Ultra Alpaca. The color washed out a little in the photo; it's light blue, but not quite as light as it appears.
We're working on getting a class schedule ready for publication at Cozy, and I'll be doing a Learn to Crochet class again. I like to have some projects for students to start after they learn the basics, and I wanted to crochet another scarf using sock yarn (remember the Boteh scarf?). So I decided to come up with something for the Jitterbug that wasn't too hard.
Using one skein was important! I started by making a 6 inch segment of a scarf, playing around until I liked it well enough. After that, I weighed the sample, did a little math, and figured out how long I could make the scarf with one ball of yarn. It worked pretty well--when I was finished with the whole scarf, I had 6 grams of Jitterbug left. Very satisfying! This pattern will be free at Cozy with purchase of the yarn just as soon as I can get it ready.

These pictures look a little strange because they were modeled on my coat tree, not on a human!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

one more Luce scarf

Once I decided I liked working the Luce pattern, I searched through stash to find another yarn to use. This is one full hank of Noro's Silver Thaw. It's a little softer each time I wear it since the angora component is starting to bloom.

Don't most knitters learn on scarves, then progress on to bigger and better things? After 13-14 years of intense knitting, I'm really enjoying these new slightly wacky scarf patterns. There may even be some more finished scarves before winter's over.

new way to use sock yarn

Here's the scarf I've just finished, from Interweave Spring 07. It's Kathy Merrick's Boteh Scarf.

It calls for sock yarn, so I tried out some of my Trekking. The sock yarns are not always as soft as I like a scarf to be, but I'm happy with this, especially after soaking it in a Eucalan bath and blocking.

The pattern is easy to memorize, and not too hard to work. The only trouble inexperienced crocheters might have is finding the turning chains on the rows that have the double-treble crochet stitches. But, the reason I may have had a hard time is because I was working on this in the dark pit orchestra! Reading glasses turned out to be a big help.