16 December 2009

Monterey Sea Otter

I designed this sea otter for my friend Kristy. Kristy has been my cataloging cubicle mate and partner in crime for the last year, and now she's leaving Monterey. She's going to be a fantastic teacher in the near future, and already has a collection of otters and other stuffed sea creatures for her classroom. This little fella' should be right at home with his squooshy cousins.

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn's Galway Worsted & Highland Heather Worsted, one skein of brown and part of a skein of tan, plus some leftover black and silver for the face and clamshell. I really like the Galway, I think its natural look wound up perfect for the otter.

Pattern: I've decided to make this my first paid pattern. If you want to make an otter of your own, you can buy the pattern on Ravelry for $4 (or view the Ravelry page for it and THEN buy it).

31 October 2009

Helena Sweater for Maddie

OMG! A finished knitting project! This little sweater is a 1-year birthday present for my friend's daughter.

Pattern: This toddler sweater is based on the very adorable Helena pattern from Knitty, size 12 months. I changed the lace pattern on the sweater's skirt to the Alternating Leaf pattern from the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns.

My modifications: To get 144 instead of 145 stitches for the modified pattern, I changed the increase row for setting up the skirt as follows:
Next Row RS: K3, M1, K5 6 times, M1, K4 13 times, M1, K5 6 times, M1, K3. 144 sts.

I worked the Alternating Leaf pattern for 3 pattern repeats.

I ran out of yarn on the project, and I didn't want to go buy more - so I had to tick back and make the bottom shorter after I'd followed directions for the hem. I changed the cute bumpy bottom edge for a garter stitch edge to match the button band, but I did keep the bumpy edge on the sleeves.

I also decided on buttons instead of the tie closures.

Materials: 3 balls of Plymouth Baby Bunny, in color 204 (light blue), which I bought at Monarch Knitting in Pacific Grove, CA. I used every last bit of the 3 balls. I liked the yarn a lot, it's super soft and very easy to work with. Also, I used 2 small white heart shaped buttons. Knitted with size 6 and size 3 needles.

I'm really happy with the way the sweater came out, and it fit its recipient pretty perfectly, with a little room for growth. Very neat to watch the yoke take shape, and I love how quickly projects for babies go by.

06 May 2009

Yarn Tree

From my Aunt-in-Law (not sure where she acquired it, or otherwise how to attribute - but it's neat.)

Edited to add:

All right, so attribution is not very difficult with a little bit of Google. The crocheted tree sweater is by Carol Hummel, an artist who does a lot of work with both yarn and trees whose art can be seen here - http://www.carolhummel.com/. There are even trees wearing unmentionables.

24 March 2009

Squarely Disappointed

I got some Kollage square circular needles, size 1, last month at Stitches West. They are supposed to be easier on your hands and help you knit more even stitches.

Unfortunately, I have no idea whether this is true in the long term, because I won't be using them long enough to find out. The cord on the size 1's is absurdly flimsy and next to impossible to use for magic loop, my preferred method of sock knitting. The join, too, is problematic, but I could get past it if they weren't otherwise so frustrating to use.

From their website's images, it appears that larger needles have more substantial cords. And I imagine that DPNs or regular straights may be better engineered. I am not swearing off on Kollage square needles for good - but this pair will be slipping to the dark, obscure bottom of my knitting supply bin.

Oh well.

22 March 2009

Brendon's doing the Jitterbug

Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug, plus remnants of Koigu KPM

Pattern: A top down 3x1 rib with short row heel and standard toe.  

Brendon picked out this yarn (which looks somewhat more brown in person) at Monarch Knitting on a pre-Christmas visit.  These socks proved to be an exercise in proper yardage estimation... I was not planning on contrasting colored heels and toes.  That's right: I finished the first sock and got to halfway through the second foot before realizing, "I don't think 1 skein is enough!"  So I got to frog up to above the heels of both and redo the heels and feet.  

But sometimes a silly mistake like that turns out nice in the end, because I'm rather happy with the way they came out.

12 February 2009

OMG the Cuteness

For the crocheting-inclined... The Roman Sock blog has the absolute cutest amigurumi patterns I have ever seen.  I think I may be making myself a teeny whale to hold my earbuds just as soon as I get some buttons.  Or at least borrow the general idea, we'll see...

Headphone whale.

04 February 2009

Sock Exchange

Some time ago (let's not say how long.. "during the past calendar year" will suffice), Bethany and I did a sock exchange.

Bethany and I have been friends forever and ever. If you don't know her, you can introduce yourself at her blog. She is a brilliant and passionate and creative and inspiring person, and her friendship means a lot to me. We should all remind our friends once in a while that we love them, and when you and your friend are both knitters, sock exchanges are a pretty fine way of doing just that.

The socks I made for Bethany are made from Madeline Tosh "Somewhat Solid" Sock in Scarlet, which I bought from kPixie. (This was NOT the Unfortunate Purchase from kPixie that I wrote about a while ago.) The pattern was inspired by a pair of designs from Stitchionary 2 and worked out with the use of lots of math and graph paper.

Somewhere, I still have that piece of graph paper - so I guess if anyone is interested I could probably find it and come up with a written pattern. So let me know if anyone out there absolutely needs this to happen.

These socks were a lot of fun to make, and the itty bitty cable design kept it stimulating. Plus I really like the Madeline Tosh yarn. Approximately as much as Shibuiknits, which is probably my favorite sock yarn.

* * *

The socks that Bethany made for me are also of her own design. They are adorned with runes (blow up the above picture to see one) that make them very special and original. Bethany used KnitPicks Essential which she lovingly dyed herself with assorted flavors of Kool-Aid.

The fact that the two pairs wound up being very nearly the exact same color even though all details of color and pattern were kept secret from the recipients... well, I'll call it a testament to our linked psyches.