March 13, 2011
I couldn’t resist starting my Katamari Damacy Prince of All Cosmos mitts yesterday. I charted the prince almost a year ago and then kind of forgot about it.
I’m not sure it works well size-wise, but it’s cute nonetheless. I may make some modifications to the chart and will consider using this on a different backdrop that fits a little better.
I added this chart to my Blank Canvas Handwarmer pattern. All yarns are Wool of the Andes. And here’s the chart in its current form…
March 11, 2011
I released another free knitting pattern today. Check out the Pattern page for the download link. These can easily be knitted in one day and only take one skein of yarn. If you use Wool of the Andes, the project cost is a mere $1.99-$2.19!
I made these up to use as a blank canvas for duplicate stitched designs. I added Star Wars characters to this pair and intend to make more of these with other images. These would work great with the stigmitten chart.
I’ve also charted the Katamari prince and intend to make another pair with that chart in the near future.
March 8, 2011
I’ve almost completed the first of an awesome pair of colorwork mittens. They’re going to be a gift so I can’t reveal them fully until they’re done but here’s a preview of the palm side. I doubt I’ll finish these in time for my intended recipient to wear them this winter but perhaps I’ll get a burst of mitten motivation and churn the second one out.
Over the last year I’ve been building up my collection of knitting needles. Most of them are from KnitPicks and the majority of them are the Harmony Wood style. They’re really pretty, have nice sharp tips, and the double pointed sets have six needles per size which is lovely if you happen to break or lose one (or two) of them. Earlier this fall I finally bought a set of the 4″ small sized dpns (pictured above) which are fantastic for doing the thumbs on mittens and fingerless gloves. It’s always so awkward to use full sized needles to do a tiny little section and these needles make it so much easier to maneuver. It feels a bit like working with toothpicks – really pretty multicolored toothpicks – but it really is much easier with the smaller size. I’m off to finish up that thumb now…
March 6, 2011
I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. Some of the least awful things that happened were getting shorted $40 at the ATM and being verbally assaulted in an elevator by a crazy man twice my size. The rest I can’t even revisit without getting angry or crying.
So, I really wanted to make something this weekend that I could finish (because who doesn’t love completing things – so satisfying) and that was nerdy and fun. I improvised my own design for the handwarmer part. They only took 1 skein of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (only $1.99/pair) and are sized to fit an average person’s hand (meaning they’re too large for me). I knit the handwarmers first and then used these charts to add the Star Wars images in duplicate stitch. I’ll release the handwarmer pattern as a free download once I get enough time to write it up.
I think the storm trooper looks a little funny but I’m really happy with R2.
On Friday night I finally blocked my drop stitch scarf. This is such a simple thing to knit but I could not force myself to work on it. I really love how it looks but I found the process kind of agonizing. I used KnitPicks Imagination Hand Painted yarn (colorway = Seven Dwarves).
My weekend was pretty good as a whole. I bought a snowblower on Friday night and it made me feel like a real grown up. If we actually get the forecasted foot of snow this Tuesday it will really be nice to have. I indulged in some Thai food and shopping with my friend Julie on Saturday. I didn’t really need anything but couldn’t resist the cute shoes at Nordstrom Rack (Calvin Klein ballet flats).
February 27, 2011
I finished the first of my Slytherin socks this weekend and began work on the second one. I’ve been enjoying this project so much. I absolutely love this yarn and it just may be my favorite colorway I’ve used to date. I’m doing Cookie A.’s Monkey pattern and it’s such a great pattern to knit. I love the way it looks and it’s so easy to memorize. I really like not having to have my pattern with me to work on these. I’ve been taking my time (relatively, I started them last Sunday night and I’ve over 55% done) because I’m enjoying the process so much. It’s been so nice to use my favorite needles (ChiaGoo RED) with my favorite yarn (Blue Moon STR – colorway is Mr. Green Jeans).
I got a much larger tax refund than I expected this year. I was able to pay off a substantial portion of my debt (just the mortgage and one student loan remain!) and had money leftover to put away for landscaping this spring, a snowblower (it’s snowing right now – again – ugh), and a bit of a yarn shopping spree. I bought some more stripey yarn from KnitPicks, some more Blue Moon STR, and the yarn I intend to use to make a special shawl for my grandma’s 90th birthday.
All the new yarn I’ve gotten, and the knowledge that more is on the way, has motivated me to get some things done. I put in some time on the drop stitch scarf, which has been sitting untouched for weeks. I worked on some colorwork mittens, and made some good progress on the knee socks. I’d really like to wrap up a few projects and start something new!
February 20, 2011
I finally finished the Corded Clutch earlier this week. I was happy to finally wrap up the project. I did the knitting in two days and then took almost a month to get the materials to complete it.
I finally bought some heavy black cloth and a great button to complete the project, and my friend Oona taught me how to sew a lining. I made a rectangular bottomed lining to fit inside the bag with heavy fabric to help it keep its shape. I’ve seen some other pictures of these clutches and they can look pretty awful without some structure and the cord is very droopy on its own.
Next, I glued some fabric to a piece of cardboard cut to fit perfectly into the lining and to give further structure and shape to the clutch.
Once it dried I glued it into the bottom of the lining, let it dry, and whip stitched the lining into the bag. Then I waited two more days to sew on the button. I just couldn’t make myself work on it. Finally, I made a small 4-strand braid from the leftover cord for the button loop, sewed on the button, and sewed in the loop.
This wasn’t a very enjoyable project. The Noro cord is really pretty but also really hard to knit with and figuring out what to do with the ends was difficult. I ended up dipping them in glue to stop them from unraveling, which was a big headache. But, it was good to learn some new sewing techniques and I’m pretty happy with the end result.
I’ve mostly been working on the Gentleman’s Shooting Stockings this week. The more I use this yarn the more I hate it. It’s terribly thick and thin and the color changes seem entirely random. There are parts of the skein that seem almost like laceweight or thread and other parts that feel as thick as DK. The different skeins don’t seem to have the same color repeats at all and I’m not thrilled with some of the color sequences.
I am enjoying the pattern and it’s the first pair of socks I’ve made with a pattern on the heel (pics to follow when I’m finished). I just can’t wait to finish and then I swear I’ll never use this yarn again. Curse you Mini Mochi! Earlier tonight I caked some Blue Moon yarn to use for my next project to wash away the bitter taste of bad yarn. I’m looking forward to using some yarn that I really love on my next project!
February 17, 2011
So, for those of you who knit, crochet, or do any form of fiber arts and do not have a Ravelry account, you seriously need to rectify that. Ravelry is kind of like Facebook for fiber people, except even better. It’s free to join, but you need an account to browse. Reasons I love it:
- Hundreds and thousands of free patterns and over 1 million users
- Ability to publish and sell your own patterns
- You can look up other people’s project notes on a pattern you want to start and save yourself a lot of headaches
- You can search for project ideas based on the yarn you have – say you bought a really pretty skein without a project in mind – you can search by the weight of the yarn, the yardage, the type of project you want to make, etc. and come up with the perfect use for it.
- It’s great for organizing your projects – you can post pictures, put in your notes, which needles you used, the pattern name, how long it took, etc.
- The library feature is great – you can enter the books you own and then browse pictures of people’s finished objects using those patterns – plus get errata and tips – plus store PDFs of patterns you’ve downloaded and purchased
- Forums and groups are really fun and there’s tons of useful information
- Want to see how that crazy colored variegated yarn will actually look once it’s knit/crocheted up? You can search all the projects made with that yarn and narrow it down by colorway.
- You can view everything your friends are working on, what yarn they’ve purchased, completed projects, others’ projects they’ve “favorited”, and more in your “Friend Activity Feed”.
- People have yarn for sale or trade on there and some of them are pretty awesome deals.
- There’s a whole section where you can browse people’s failed projects (“Ughs”) if you’re feeling kind of bitchy and want to see some ugly creations…
- If you’re an organization lover like me, you’ll love being able to digitally manage your stash of yarn, which patterns you have, your queue of items you want to make, and tag and organize all of the projects you’ve finished.
- If you’re a designer the site tools are pretty cool – you can upload your PDFs for people to download, track your statistics (number of downloads, number of people who’ve made your patterns, sales stats, etc.).
- Winner of “Best Social Networking Site” from .NET Magazine awards
Go sign up and add me as a friend. My username is: parrynight.