Monday, December 31, 2007

happy new year!

i thought i'd fit one more post, one more finished project in before 2007 draws to a close. i had all of last week and today off work, and i've been pretty lazy, but i did manage to knit up this cute beret. it's wendy bernard's le slouch, and i've had my eye on this project since the moment it came out, but am only now getting around to making it. i love it! i'm in an instant gratification, small project kind of mood right now, and this was perfect. it took just two evenings, and i know i will wear it a lot.

pattern: le slouch yarn: peace fleece, negotiation gray needles: size 8 and 9 denise

i love how it looks like a sea urchin. i thought it would be a lot slouchier--i knit it to the full six inches before decreasing, but i think i might have misunderstood the directions for finishing the decreasing and finished it too soon, so i probably lost a little slouch that way. still, i don't think i would have liked it any baggier. i think i might make another one, possibly in red, and possibly in stockinette instead of the seed stitch.

happy new year everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

more handmade holidays!

merry christmas, a little late! i hope everyone had a good day, if you celebrate, and got all the presents your little heart desired. my friends and family spoiled me absolutely rotten, and i got some really wonderful things this year, as well as some really lovely handmade gifts. yay! i got so many books, i should be set for at least the next six months. i absolutely love getting books for christmas! ooh, and i also got another beardy man from my friend brooke, which was a really exciting surprise. i'm growing a little collection of men on my kitchen wall!

it's not all about the getting though, right? i definitely did my fair share of giving this year too, and much of it was handmade. besides what i've already shown off, i made a pair of the raven mittens (annemor #5) from terri shea's selbuvotter book. i picked this book up a few months ago and only now got around to trying one of the patterns out. besides the thumbs turning out weird, i think these turned out really great (even though they weren't done in time for christmas). the pattern is sized for small children; i went up a couple of needle sizes to get a small woman's size. still, they were a bit too small. they fit my sister-in-law, but i would have been more comfortable if they were a tad larger. i'll go up another needle size if i make these again.

pattern: annemor #5, selbuvotter: biography of a knitting tradition
yarn: dalegarn heilo, one ball each of navy and oatmeal
needle: addi turbo size 4

i also made several of these little clutches from bend-the-rules sewing. these are so fun and quick to make--i need to make one for myself now!

i have one other gift knit that's still on the needles. i really, really tried to get it done in time for christmas, but it just didn't happen. hopefully, soon!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

handmade holidays: sugar on snow

last year, i made this totoro hat for my friend's soon-to-be-born baby, cora. in the past year, cora has worn the hat a lot, and looked cute to boot, but as babies are prone to doing, she's grown out of it. so i decided to make her a new hat, one that would grow with her, at least for a while. enter sugar on snow, from the fall 2006 knitty. it doesn't seem like that many people have made this hat, and i don't know why, because it's so cute! the baby cable pattern is really stretchy, and a little different from typical ribbed hats. the size i made is supposed to fit a child aged one to three, and i think that's very well possible, especially since i think it's a little on the large size right now. room to grow! anyway, i really enjoyed making this hat. the knit picks swish, held double, made a soft, squishy fabric that knit up very quickly, and the leaves add just the right amount of interest and cuteness. i think i would make this in the adult size for me!

pattern: sugar on snow
yarn: knit picks swish superwash, in sand dune, two balls, and some red scrap yarn for the i-cord and leaves

needles: size 9 denise needles
model: cora. isn't she cute? check out that dimple!

(thanks to brooke for taking the photos!)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

handmade holidays: a knit tie gift making is going...okay. i felt really confident and not stressed about a week ago, but now i'm not so sure. most of my big sewing projects are done (and gifted already! i'll have to wait till i give the last couple away til i show them off though), but the knitting is taking a lot longer. i really only have four knitted gifts in mind, and i finally finished two of them. the first one i can show here is a tie. my brother asked for an 80s-style knitted tie, and i said, why not! so i picked out a sock yarn that looked suitably 80s knit tie-ish and cast on. i couldn't really find a pattern that matched what i had in mind, so i just sort of improvised, using one of my husband's ties as a guide. i worked the self-striping yarn in seed stitch, and you know what? it really does look like an 80s knit tie! it's off the needles now and blocking. some of the edges look a little ragged, so hopefully blocking will tidy those up. i'll take a picture of my brother wearing it on christmas!

pattern: my own
yarn: universal yarn inc. ditto
needles: clover bamboo size 2 dpns

i also made my christmas cards with my gocco again. these look a little more rustic than i'd like, but i still think they turned out pretty cute. i need to break out the gocco more often than just for holiday cards!

now...back to the other knitted gifts.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

being naughty, not nice

sorry for the extended blog's not for lack of knitting, purely a lack of light to take pictures. it's impossible to get a good picture after work, since it's dark before i even leave. and even the daylight is pretty dim these days. but the darkness and cold does make for good knitting. i finished the noro silk garden lite socks, and i'm very happy with them.

these were my first toe-ups, and as such, the toes are both slightly wonky, and the short-row heels are not perfect, though the second one came out much better than the first. still, i really liked knitting these toe-up! i can see it being my sock knitting method of choice in the future. i'm a little bummed out that my stripes don't match - the second ball had the beige at the end of the ball, as opposed to the beginning, like the first. so my stripes were offset by one color throughout, but i made up for that by making the foot of the second one slightly shorter. the first sock is just a touch too slouchy, and the second one fits perfectly. and in the end, the stripes pretty much match up on the leg, but not the foot, which is fine. i've been wearing these as house socks, and also over tights and thinner socks, in my rain boots. comfy!

pattern: none really. i used the toe-up sock guide in the summer 2007 IK as a guide, but really, i kind of just cast on and went for it.
yarn: noro silk garden lite, color 2015, two balls
needles: addi turbo size 4

so...once the socks were done, i was supposed to get right back into my christmas knitting. here's where the naughty part comes in. instead of getting going with my gifts, i decided it would be a great idea to make myself a hat! i've had this frog tree merino in my stash since i went to the madrona fiber festival in january. i was flipping through ravelry the other day and realized that the yarn would be perfect for foliage.

i had some of the called-for malabrigo, but i thought that the variegation would obscure the leaf pattern too much. i'm glad i went for this solid yarn instead. it's super soft, and has a nice halo to it. it almost looks like it glows! i really had fun making this hat - it took just a couple of hours, and was an easy enough lace pattern to make while watching tv. and it's so cute!

though my version looks less like the autumn leaves in the original pattern, and more like a spring green version. or maybe a 1970s shag carpet version? it's very avocado! in any case, i've been wearing it non-stop, and it's kept my head warm this weekend when we had SNOW!

pattern: foliage, fall 2007 knitty
yarn: frog tree merino worsted, color 46, one whole ball and a few yards of a second
needles: inox bamboo dpns size 7, and brittany birch dpns, size 6

anyway...i will have progress shots of my holiday knitting soon! i promise, i really, truly am going to get to work on it now (though now i want to make myself more hats...namely, le slouch and tillie)!