Hat Update

1/31/2007 Posted In , , 0 Comments »
I got busy again. So the hat was pushed off to the side a bit.

Anyway, I went to La Petite Knittery in Ladera Ranch on Sunday looking for some bulky, rove looking yarn. I had in mind something like Rowan Big Wool, but thought it looked to "spun". So then I was thinking something like Rowan Big Wool Tuft, but couldn't find any. I think it has been discontinued?

Anyway I did find some Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky. I had originally wanted a Merino Wool, but as soon as I spied this and touched it, I was in LOVE! It is perfect! I bought a skein each of Grey Wolf and Porcupine.

So now that I have the perfect yarn, the perfect stitch search began in earnest. I printed out the pictures my co-worker emailed to me and have been pondering them for two weeks now. Thinking through each stitch possibility in my head. At first glance I thought Knit. The website also lists the hat as "a hand knit item." But as most yarn crafters know, many times items are just listed at knit when they are definitely not. I was also thinking knit because of the edge above the eyes. That looked like a knit bind-off. I was also thinking knit because of the stitch uniformity. So I tried some knit stitches, and nothing seemed to look like the picture.

Then as I looked a the actual stitch, it looked more crochet. Like the hat had been crocheted sideways, instead of from the brim up or the crown down. So I tried some crochet techniques, and again, nothing seemed to look right.

Then I posted for some help on Craftster. Early posts are suggesting tunisian. After looking at the pictures Amalas posted, I have to be inclined to agree at this point. I have some experimenting to do doing my lunch today, but I think we have a winner! Good thing I brought this project along with me today. I don't think I could have waited the rest of the day to try this out!

Still jamming

1/25/2007 Posted In , , 0 Comments »
Still knitting away on that big blue sweater. It takes about 8 minutes a row, and each row adds about 1/8" in length. So, it is going to take a while. I would like to focus exclusively on this project, but the repetitiveness of it takes it's toll.

As a break, I continue to work on the Blue Crochet Motif top. I have completed 18 of the 30 motifs needed, if I decide to do the sleeveless version. If I want sleeves, I figure another 16 to 20.

I also started on making some gloves for a son of a friend. Pictures to come of that.

I also got back into chainmaile. I spent all day Sunday hunched over my 1/4" and 3/8" dowels wrapping 14g galvanized steel wire. After I have wrapped 8" (or until my blisters become to painful to continue wrapping), I then get out my Dremel and start cutting apart all the individual rings. I decided to do a Byzantine Weave with 3 center links. Similar to this picture:

I now have about 14" woven or knitted. I am planning on making a 24" wallet chain to attach to a leather wallet I got for free from the Love Ride I went on back in November.


1/10/2007 Posted In , , 0 Comments »
As word of my crafty-ness has spread around work, I get more and more co-workers asking for fixes or "mimics" as I call them. They will see something they like somewhere and ask me to make it for them (or something like it for them) as they assume it will be a lot less.

I do enjoy this as I never quite know what project I will get when I agree to make something for them. I love the research going into the construction, the stitch type, the guage, what media will I be using... love it!

So I had a co-worker email me these pictures and request this item the beginning of December, you know, right before busy last-minute gift-crafting time.

So I finally have some free time to investigate. The hat is from Free People, I believe their Winter catalog. My co-worker said it retails for around something like $160** (Don't quote me on this, I don't get the catalog so I can't verify this).

So I begin my research.

**Thanks to someone in the Yahoo Knit group, she pointed me to the Free People website and to the hat. Price is $168.00

A little crochet

1/10/2007 0 Comments »
I haven't done much crocheting lately. I do love crochet, but I don't like a lot of the crochet patterns that are out there. Things have improved with SnB's Happy Hooker, but there is still a ways to go.

I bought the Long Sleeve Motif pattern a while back on Crochet Pattern Roundup but the website is now down, and the pattern is unavailable. I was working on that when my ferrets got a hold of my half finished shirt and proceeded to undo all that I had done. It died a very sad and violent death.

I was crusin' around Craftster when I spotted a crochet-along for Sleeveless Motif Top. I bought some new thread and started making my own interpretation of that pattern.

So here is my work thus far:

I am using #10 crochet thread and a F hook. Each square is about 4" and I attach them as I go along. It's coming out really nice and delicate.

I have about 9 out of 30 motifs done. At least I think it will take 30. I will have to see once I start final assembly. This one has been going so quick and easy I may pickup a new color and start over on my Long Sleeve Motif. I'm thinking some springy color like pale yellow.


1/08/2007 0 Comments »
I have been working on a lot of blue projects lately. Or it may be that I have been working on 2 blue projects lately, just one of them has been giving me problems so I have had to restart it several times.

Here is the problem project:
I was making this for a family member. I cast on 198 stitches and worked it circular until the arms, and split off and worked the front. I was following the directions oh so carefully, and when I had Family Member try it on, it grew. It stretched and grew a TON. So I ripped it down until it was at the arms and then started my way back up. That was when I realized how long it had been since I had initially started this project, put it down, and restarted it. When I had first started this, I wrapped the yarn around my needles the wrong way and the stitches came out crossed. I had done about 7" like this when I set the project aside for a while. By the time I came back to it, I had figured out my cross stitched dilemma and had corrected my knitting. I had continued on my merry way not realizing I had two stitch types going.

So I ripped back to 3", figured that would be fine as the usual tighter rib at the bottom of garments, and would work my way back up. At this point the project had been going on for a year and a half. Anyway, as I am reknitting, Family Member mentions he no longer likes pull-over sweaters and now prefers cardigans. So I rip back to the initial cast-on stitches, and work back and forth making it a cardigan. I get about 7" up on that one when I now realize I have tightened up my stitches, and Family Member has gone up a size from L to XL. So with my new tight stitches and his new, um, not so tight midsection, I needed to start all over. I found a new pattern in Knit 1 which calls for a different gauge yarn, but I re-mathed everything and got going. So this is the point I am now at.

I now have about 350 stitches on the needles and did a 3" furrow rib, then did a standard stock. I am hoping I won't need to redo this ever again. All my calculations and measurements had better be dead on from here on out!

New Years Rush

1/02/2007 0 Comments »

My uncle rides a motorcycle, and I thought the Yorick scarf from Knitty Fall ’05 would be perfect for him. I had remembered him telling someone that he hated wearing scarves while riding because the ends always flapped loose. I thought I would be all clever and make the scarf 4 feet, just long enough to tie at his throat and hang down a few inches so the ends would always be tucked into his leather coat. I worked for several days on it and finally finished. I attempted hand felting for the first time, and the scarf came out perfect!

I presented the scarf to him and he thanked me for it, and I never saw him wear it. To be fair, I did give him the wool scarf in July. Well come New Years Eve morning he asks if I could make it longer. He wanted to wear it out that night to a New Years party that was outside. Since I had hand-felted the scarf via shocking it with hot and cold water, the scarf wasn't as felted as it could be, and I could still see some stitch definition. I cut the scarf in half, pulled out the felted stitches till I had some live stitches, and was off knitting. Several hours later and several length tests later he deemed the length sufficient at 6 feet. I didn’t want to hand felt the scarf again, so I threw it into the washing machine with a few jeans.

Once the wash cycle was done I pulled out the scarf to find that some of the jean lint had found its way to the white felted scarf, and that that the new portion of the scarf wasn’t as felted as the old part. Also, the scarf had been curling in on the sides, and so the sides had felted curled. He saw the blue tuffs and the inconsistent felting on his scarf and I could see the disappointment on his face. I set to work hand washing the scarf to pull off the blue and to try and felt the new portion more, while trying to uncurl the edges to make it lie flatter. It was finally “white” enough and “even” enough so I blocked it on a towel and rolled it up to dry. It was done just in time for his party! He got several comments on the scarf with a few people offering to buy it from him. He has since asked me for another in black. This time I will okay the length with him before felting.