Knittingdodo’s knit rants

Yarn, Needles, An Extinct Bird……What More Do You Need?

FO: Couvercle August 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 6:11 pm

After making that beret for Carla, I was itching to make a hat for myself. You see, now that my hair’s short, I have to “do it” every morning, or I look a little…icky. Well, some days I just don’t want to do it, or I over sleep, or, you know, life happens.

So, I’ve been looking for a hat that I can wear on days like that. I haven’t been too lucky. The one’s I like I can’t afford, the ones I can afford, I don’t like. You know how it goes.

Well, Carla’s hat took one afternoon and one skein of yarn. Can’t get much better than that. Oh wait, it can.

In my stash I happened to have a gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Chunky. I’d gotten it back at the begining of the year from a swap partner. I hadn’t used it yet because I needed to pet it for a while and because I knew that this special yarn needed to become something good.

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I love it. I love how it fits and how well the pattern worked with the colorway. I love how it feels and how easy it was to knit. I love everything about it. In fact, my only complaint is that it’s really warm. Since it’s in the hundreds here, a wool hat is a bit much. But, come Winter, I’ll be wearing this sucker all the time.

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Pattern: Couvercle by Kira Dulaney
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky in Stonechat
Needles: US 9
Date Started: August 12, 2009
Date Completed: August 12, 2009
Mods: None, but I did have a gal from the shop do the crochet bits for me. I’m just not a crocheter.

Ron took the pictures for me. I think he did a pretty good job, though he could he could have trried to make me look younger. Way too many wrinkles showing up lately. At least they’re laugh wrinkles…

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FO: Foliage

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 5:47 pm

My hairdresser and I have an understanding. I love having a good haircut, but can’t afford it; she loves knitwear, but can’t knit. So, she cuts my hair and I knit for her. As with many of my “understandings”, it’s a win-win situation.

We’ve just started this up fairly recently, (meaning the last time I got a hair cut) and so I’ve only made one thing for her. The original plan was that I’d make a sweater that would count for a few cuts, but she’s been having a time trying to find a pattern she really liked. So, I searched through Ravelry and found a hat pattern I thought would flatter her.

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(color’s off a bit, sorry)

The original pattern is supposed to be more of a skull cap, but I jimmy rigged it up to be a beret. I think it worked out well. And so does Carla. She was very happy with it.

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(This color is much more accurate)

Project: Foliage by Emily Mooney (Rav Me)
Yarn: KnitPicks Swish Bulky in Marlin
Needles: US 9 and 10 1/2
Date Started: August 11, 2009
Date Completed: August 11, 2009
Mods: Well, in the pattern, you get a choice of 2, a worsted or a bulky hat. What I did was make the worsted hat using the bulky yarn and the bulky sized needles. The result was a beret. It worked out perfectly.

 

FO: The Leaf Jacket August 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 9:21 pm

You know, I just noticed that 9 of the last 10 posts, including this one, have bee FO posts. Now, a passerby might think that I’m some sort of speed knitter, but we all know that it’s just that I forget to post in between. Oh well, prepare yourself for another FO post.

Not long after I finished this top for the shop, I was asked to do another. I say it’s for the shop, and it is, but I’m actually being commissioned by one of the owners. She doesn’t enjoy knitting garments. She doesn’t like to have to pay attention to shaping and stuff, and she hates to purl. So she makes a lot of great garter stitch blankets and the like. But she likes to wear knitted garments. So, we are scratching each other’s backs, if you will. She picks out patterns that she’d like to wear and I’d like to knit. I get to play with yarn I wouldn’t be able to afford and make fun things. It’s a win-win all around.

So, anyway, I was asked to make another garment, this time a full sweater. I took one look at the pattern and fell in love. It looked so fun! I was glad to get started right away. Look at it, can you blame me?

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I believe it took me about 3 weeks to knit. I would have finished earlier, but I got stuck on jury duty for a few days and lost a lot of knitting time.

On a side note, isn’t it a trajedy that you can’t knit while sitting in the jury pool? I mean, that’s hours of prime knitting time!

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The pattern was intricate enough that I was kept interested the whole time, yet easy enough to remember that I didn’t need to check the pattern every row. I will say, though, that I would have rather the pattern come with a chart instead of all the written out bits. I think a chart would have been easier to follow.

I used the exact yarn and color that they used in the pattern, Debbie Bliss Eco. We have this at the shop and needed a way to highlight it. As it is, I’m proud to say that at least one person has come in and bought the book and yarn after seeing my sweater in the window. That makes me feel pretty darn good.

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Pattern: The Leaf Jacket by Debbie Bliss (Rav me!)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Eco in green
Needles: US size 5 for the edging and 6 for the rest
Date Started: July 21, 2009
Date Completed: August 8, 2009
Mods: I didn’t change much. I knit it on a size smaller needles because I purl so loosely. Also, I added an inch on the sleeves because the new owner is rather long. I just added the inch right after the garter border and before I started the leaf motif. Oh, and I knit it in one piece instead of three. I just didn’t want to have to sew up anymore than I had to. Making up sweaters is one of my least favorite things to do. I think that’s one of the reasons I like to knit socks so much…no sewing.

Very much fun to knit. But I can’t take credit for the buttons, I didn’t sew those on. I left that for the new owner. Buttons is another of my least favorite things.

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Oh, one more thing, I’ve finished the revisions on the new glove I’ve designed. I’m looking for anyone who’d be willing to test knit the pattern for me. All you need is two colors of sock yarn and size 1 needles. Any takers?

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FO: The Daughter’s Fuegos

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 7:14 pm

I finished my Fuego socks just little while ago and had a generous amount of yarn left over. At first, I planned to put it away for my sock yarn blankie that I will make one day, but then I thought of how many times T has asked if the socks I’m making are for her, and how often she wears the first pair I made. So, I figured I’d make a mini pair of Fuegos for her.

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These were fun and quick. It took a little over a day of knitting for each. I swear, patterns with 10 or so row repeats make socks fly!

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Like with mine, I adjusted the heel to do a wrap and turn. And, obviously, I had to adjust the pattern to make it smaller than the original. Basically, I cast on 6 stitches and then increased to 48 before starting the pattern. In retrospect, 6 stitches was too few and makes the toe too pointy. Next time, I’ll start with 8 or so. Then, with 48 stitches, I did one V pattern instead of the two on the original. I did 3 repeats and then started the heel.

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I’m very happy that the stitch count was right and resulted in a perfect striping instead of pooling. I was worried about that.

Anyway, after I did the heel, I added another 3 pattern repeats, including a pattern on the back of the leg, and then 5 rows of K1P1 ribbing before I bound off using EZ’s sewn bind off. (my new fave stretching bind off)

The result looks very much like mine, don’t you think?

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Of course, mine have been washed a few times, so the crispness is gone a bit, but still. I’m rather pleased with the outcome.

Obviously, I made them a tad too big for her because I’d like her to be able to wear them for more than a week. Actually, we should get a lot of use out of them because, by the time T grows out of them, D should be able to wear them. That’s what I call thrifty. ;o)

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(sorry for the fuzzy pic, it’s hard for a 4 year old to hold completely still)

Pattern: Fuego Socks by Rosi G. (Rav me!)
Yarn: Yarn Ahoy in Ablaze
Needles: US 1 ML
Date Started: August 17, 2009
Date Completed: August 19, 2009
Mods: See above.

This next picture is my favorite, but it doesn’t show the pattern, so I kept it for last.

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FO: Fuego Socks August 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 6:43 pm

A while ago, I can’t remember how long, I won a random number draw on TurtleGirl76’s blog. Among some other goodies, she sent me a skein of this yarn.

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It didn’t come with a ball band, but she told me it was Yarn Ahoy in the Ablaze colorway. Like her, I’m a huge fan of orange, so I was immediately in love with it. When I sent her my thanks, I mentioned I would have to find the perfect pattern to go with the yarn. She told me that there was one, written especially for this yarn in this colorway. It was the Fuego socks pattern by Rosi G. I took one look at the pattern and agreed that my new yarn needed to become these socks.

It took a few months, but I finally got them started. The pattern worked perfectly with the yarn, like they were made to be together, which…well…they were.

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I finished the first one in just a few days, partly because I shortened it like I do with most all my socks. But mostly because it was fun to knit.

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This is the first one I did. It has a reverse heel flap. That means that I knit this sock’s heel as I would have knit a top down heel, with a heel flap and then a short row heel. The only difference is that this sock is a toe up sock. So the heel flap was on the bottom of my foot, not the back of my leg. You can see it in the picture.

Well, I wasn’t too excited with the heel. I thought about it as I finished that first sock and as I worked on the second. I realized that the heel bothered me enough that I needed to change it. So I knit the second sock with my SOP toe up heel, Wendy’s Toe Up heel. It’s your basic wrap and turn heel. I used it on the second sock and then ripped out the first and reknit the heel. I’m very much happy with the results.

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And, as an added bonus, the colorway on the heels almost match up perfectly. I’m very glad I decided to change the heel. No offense meant to Rosi G, I love this pattern and she did a fantastic job writing it. I just am particular about my heels.

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Project: Fuego Socks by Rosi G. (Rav Me)
Yarn: Yarn Ahoy in Ablaze
Needles: US size 1
Date Started: July 18, 2009
Date Completed: August 4, 2009
Mods: Well, besides the heel, I decreased the number of stitches and went down a half needle size. I like tighter socks, you know.

I’ve worn these socks a few time now and I’m amazed at how soft the yarn has gotten. These are great socks!

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An Update… August 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knittingdodo @ 6:31 pm

Well, I disappeared again. Hope none of you take it personally. Although, all my readers have probably gone by now, so there’s no one to offend by not posting. ;o)

I’m still knitting regularly, but I’m having the hardest time getting in a post. And it’s not just writing my blog, I’ve fallen so behind in reading my blogs too. I think that it’s because I’m not nursing D as often anymore.

Does that last sentence need explanation? Well, when I would nurse the baby every few hours, I spent a lot of time on line. I nurse at the computer, you see, since the chair is the most comfy to nurse on. So, every couple of hours, I had nothing else to do for at least 30 minutes but play on-line. Those days I would check my Google Reader several times a day and come up without a single blog to read often. I’d also spend gobs of time checking out other people’s knitting on Ravelry.

Well, now D only nurses right before bed and only then for about 7 minutes, so I don’t have all that luxury time. It’s not so much that I spend less time on the computer, it’s just that I’m knitting when I do. You see, I could never knit and nurse, or type and nurse, so reading was perfect. And I can’t read and knit very well either. So, I spend a lot of my free time watching British TV on Netflix. It’s great fun, and helps me get a lot of knitting done, but it’s not so good for my blog.

So, that’s why. But I’ll try to catch you up and maybe I can keep things up a bit better…maybe. I’ve got a few FO posts that I’ll share with you soon enough. But this post is just a little bit about my life.

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I’m sure that if there are any readers left, you might be wondering about that job opportunity for Ron. We haven’t heard yet, but we’re not very hopeful anymore. We were supposed to know by the beginning of July, but he didn’t call. When Ron finally got ahold of him, we learned that the date was pushed back to the begining of August. Also, we learned that the job wouldn’t be really local. The closest location would be about an hour away. Now, that’s still doable considering the pay raise, but it does put a damper on the excitement. What also put a damper is that Ron learned he’d not really have much of a chance of getting the site suprevisor position. That’s the one that would double his income. But, he could still get the other one, and that’s still a $4 an hour raise, so things were still looking up.

Well, it’s now the middle of August and we’ve still not heard anything. Ron’s going to call the guy, but he’s not too excited about it. I think it’s the fear of knowing it’s hopeless that’s keeping him from calling. It’s so much easier to not know sometimes, you know?

But, as I said, we’re not too hopeful. It’s upsetting, as you can imagine, but I am holding on to the knowledge that God will care for us. He always has. And I know that one day I won’t have to worry about being able to pay all the bills and feed the family. One day there will be money in savings. One day we will be able to fix the house or car without saving for 6 months. One day.

And when that day comes, I’m going to really enjoy being able to help out someone else who’s where we are now. We’ve been helped out so much, it’ll be great to be able to pay it forward.

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As far as knitting goes, I’ve been really enjoying it lately. The new shop has opened up and it’s leaps and bounds better than the original. Just the way it’s laid out is so much more warm and inviting. Check out the website and you’ll see.

The first shop sample I did is in the window. That’s the red blouse I finished a month or so ago. I was then commissioned to do another sweater both for the shop and for one of the owners. That one was fun and I finished it in about three weeks. It’s the Leaf Jacket by Debbie Bliss. (Rav link) It’s also one of my FO posts that you’ll get later. The gal I made it for was pleased and has already asked me for another blouse. I’ll get started on that one probably next week. I’ve got a pair of knee socks to finish first.

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These are fantastic! I’m about an inch farther than the last picture. I love the pattern and I love the colors. I’ve got a denim skirt that I think will go great with these socks. And, when they are finally done, it might have cooled off enough to wear them. I’ll probably wear them whether it’s cool or not, they’re gonna be awesome!

Let’s see, what else? Oh, yeah, I’ve got another pair of socks to post about and a couple of hats. And I think that’s it.

Oh! Wait! There’s one more thing. I wanted to try my hand at a stranded sock. I found a pattern that I loved, the Northern lights by, and pulled some yarn out of my stash. I quickly found a video teaching me how to knit stranded here. It’s a great website and I’ve used it more than once to learn a new technique. Anyway, on 4th of July, I cast on and got started. I managed to finish the first chart, being the cuff, in pretty quick time, and got set up to start the heel. But, I thought I should check to see if it fit yet before I started the heel. I had heard all kinds of horror stories of stranded work not fitting. And, sure enough, I couldn’t get the blasted thing over my heel.

That left me with a problem. Should I rip it all out? Keep going and give them away as a gift? Make them into something else? Sit down and cry?

Well, I, of course, chose the last one. But, after I finished crying, I decided that I should make them into something else. I could bear to rip it all out and, as I like to keep my first try at something, I knew I wouldn’t want to give this first attempt at stranded away. The thing fit well on my wrist, so I first thought it would make a great wristband. However, I realize that I’m entirely too old to pull off a wrist band, so I went with the next best thing. I made it into a fingerless glove.

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I just kind of went off my own knowledge of how a glove is made and put the thing together. When I took it to the shop to show off, they suggested I write the pattern and teach a class on it. So, I’m going to make another in a different color to fix up some off the icky parts of this first one. Anyone want to voluteer to test knit it when it’s done?

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I’m also going to change up a little bit of the charts. I’m not sure how the copyrights work with charts. I’ve been told that charts are pretty much up for grabs and that the person who wrote the sock pattern probably got the charts from someone else. Anyone know anything about it? I’d hate to publish the pattern as my own, and then get hollered at by the sock designer.

So, that’s my progress. Not too bad, eh?