Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Playing around

I'm a knitter, but I would be the first to admit that I play around on the side. Right now my dalliance is coiled baskets. Having been asked to demonstrate how to make these baskets at the Jericho Fiber Arts Guild's show, I thought I better study up a bit. I really had to dig in the closet that holds my stash to find the materials. I think I found them in the 2003 to 2004 layer. Without carbon dating , who can be sure? I'll be back to knitting soon!

Friday, January 25, 2008

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane . . .

I finally completed Grandson Two’s sweater with hood as requested by his mom. It seems he won’t wear a hat but will wear a baseball cap if there is a hood to put over it and hold it on. This was another sweater with a gauge problem. The boys are both between infant and toddler sizes and I have to figure everything out. I really like the way this sweater came out. The colors are my favorite, primary. If I were a few (ahem) years younger I would wear only primary colors. The chart for the Superman S came from a lovely site run by Vicki Meldrum. She has many charts for sale but has many for free. Superman was a freebie. I had to fudge it a bit because the sweater was too small for the original but when you have a good chart to start with, fudging is easy. I was able to add a pocket to the front of the sweater and I put the intarsia piece on that. This way, when he puts his hands in his pocket there are no tempting strands and strings to pull at. Because this intarsia piece was only two colors it was easier to do. Of course, I never could have done it without Knit One’s advice but she told me to use as many bobbles of colors as I needed so nothing had to be stranded too far. It worked. The back of the S looks much better than the back of the dinosaur. And if I ever complete the giraffe, I will give up intarsia forever. No, not really. But Fair Isle, which always scared me to death, is looking much friendlier now since it only uses two colors per row. I might try that next. Right now it’s flying faster than a speeding bullet to England and if I get a photo with a child wearing it, I will surely include it in a future post.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Undersea Bag #5

Percula Clown with Anemone: I had a request from my daughter for this bag. It makes it a little harder to be brave and throw a bag into the washer for felting ,when you are making it for someone. If you are just playing, the results have more leeway to be different from that picture you have in your head. She was pleased and so am I. I really hope she enjoys it. Now for my next bag, perhaps a royal gramma, a firefish, a serpent star or a blue star, another clown with a carpet anemone, or one of those great salt water angels would be good. I guess I'll knit a few catnip mice and contemplate my next design.

To Rip or not to Rip

"To rip or not to rip:Whether 'tis nobler... "Ah nuts!!!! Here it is. I finished the scarf. I slipped it onto two double points and turned it. The stockinette side was lusciously soft and smooth. I bound off with glee, and then I saw them, two bad stitches. Both of them were on the last stitch in the row and just a single stitch. "No one will see them." I thought. " but I see them. If you run your hand down the scarf you can feel them." If you zoom in on the lower right of the picture you can see them. It's almost perfect, but this is not horseshoes. I got my crochet hook, ripped out the bind off, took a deep breath and dropped that stitch all the way down to the second bad stitch, wondering all the while if I would be sorry. I carefully used the crochet hook to knit the stitch back to the top. Hooray, it worked beautifully. So I'll change the bind off , and sew up the end so it looks more like the beginning end and be happy. This alpaca is so soft and warm. Now I have the boots, the gloves, the hat , and scarf and January is only half over. February, I'm ready!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Even the USPS knits

I meant to post this around Christmas but I also meant to send Christmas cards and I didn't. So when I was putting the cards away for next year, I found these stamps. They were one of the choices for special holiday stamps this year. Someone actually knit all of these lovely designs. I suppose if one went to the Post Office website one might get some info about it. But I think it's lovely that knitting is being represented in such a public way. I'm saving these four because I like them, especially the snowman, and because I'm so glad they were printed. I wish I could get the patterns.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Undersea Bag #4

Yes, I'm back underwater again. This time it's Seahorses with Red Tree Sponges. I loved seahorses when I had the shop. They were wonderful to watch, especially the males having the babies. I included the little fins on the side of their heads that they actually use to swim , and did one without a curled tail. They really only curl their tails tightly to hang onto something, and when they are dead. Sadly that's the all too soon fate of most seahorses in captivity. I would expect these seahorses to last for sometime.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ta-da! It’s a Sweater!

Yes, there were problems. The seams are a bit lumpy but next time I’ll try selvages. Except for the one that’s already on the needles for my younger grandson, I will not be making sweaters where I have to change gauge and alter every number by multiplying by a ratio. It was just too much to worry about in addition to it being my first sweater in pieces and my first shot at intarsia. But I did it. It’s a Stegosaurus. I always referred to it as the “dragon” because I felt I was battling it constantly. Now that I’ve tamed him, I think he’s kind of cute.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Some assembly required

Now I know how all those dads on the sit-coms feel on Christmas eve when they discover they don't have the correct screwdriver. I finished all the parts. I’ve been reading all kinds of knitting books and discovered “selvage”. Apparently, I’m supposed to have added a stitch or two at each side of each piece so the seams are not lumpy. Right now I’m looking at this mound of yarn and hoping it will all go together into something which resembles a sweater. The books say it’s easy. But they also give three or four choices of ways to attach the pieces. They all offer opinions on the best way but all the opinions are different. I’ll just be happy if I can get the various pieces to match up. Remember, I changed everything when I changed the yarn which changed the gauge. I have my pins and I cleared off my table. Let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What are the Odds?

I'm working on the scarf. I've been bidding on 16 inch bamboo needles on Ebay, but so far I have been too tight, no cheap, make that thrifty, to win them. Not letting that hold me back , I started my scarf using the knit one, slip one, two needle method. The scarf is done on straight needles. Yes, I'm using a circular, but you don't need to. If all goes well and I don't make any mistakes, I will turn the scarf at the end to reveal a lovely scarf with stockinette on both sides. I'll finish it off with a 3 needle bind off and Voila! Of course just one mistake in the knitting and slipping process and I will not be able to turn the scarf. It will be stuck together. In that case I will bind it off anyway, and have an equally lovely reverse stockinette scarf. Feel free to make side bets among yourselves. So far it's looking good.