Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Beginning?

So, I think this was my New Year's resolution for last year as well, but I'm vowing to keep up with this blog this year. I had a crazy idea to work through all my stash before venturing out and buying more yarn last year. That really sapped my energy to knit but I've lifted my yarn buying ban and have started knitting again (I did manage to use up a fair amount of my stash in the process, so I'm calling Success! on one of my resolutions!)
So, to begin this year, here's a little something I've been wanting to knit for years and finally did for my nephew's 3rd birthday (he's going to love me, the boring aunt who gives him sweaters every year!) It's the Leif's Twisted Tree Pullover. I love that she was inspired by the Yggdrasil tree- I'm a sucker for incorporating Norse mythology in anything I knit (see Example A).
I bought a bunch of Malabrigo yarn on sale and it was great choice for this sweater. It's so soft and I love the green.

Twisted Tree pattern close-up:

I made the 4/5 size so of course it's way too big and my nephew will eventually fit it sometime around July and outgrow it sometime around September! I hope not because it's so much fun and very satisfying to knit things for him and I'd like him to wear the stuff a little too.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gift season is underway

I have decided to try and make most of my holiday gifts again this year, after taking a break from handmade gifting last year. I'm getting a bit of a late start considering how big my family is, but I plan to do some sewing as well as knitting, and I'm hoping the quick sewing projects will balance the more time-consuming knitting. But I've still tried to choose small projects, and after a week or so of working on these two I feel pretty confident I can pull it off.

On the left is the Reversible Cable Scarf from Lion Brand. The yarn looks horrible in the picture but is actually quite nice and very woolly. I've been using a method of knitting cables without a cable needle that I found on, and it's really helped speed up the knitting. This is the project I've been carrying around with me so I can knit on the subway or at lunch or whenever else I have a few spare minutes.

On the right is the Deirdre Shawl by Linden Down, which I found on Ravelry. The yarn is so pretty - merino, silk, and cashmere, and I love the color. It's a really simple pattern so I wanted the yarn to be very special, and I spent a bit more on it than I might normally.

However, all the yarn for the other projects I've got planned was already in my stash! Even after selling off about 60% of the yarn I owned (to make space for moving into a studio apartment), I still have plenty left to feed many projects for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I finally finished something(s)!

Remember when I moved about 6 weeks ago and I was like, "I'm going to be so productive and so crafty and make so many things in my new place!" Well...better late than never. I finally managed to finish two projects that were languishing half-done in the pre- and post-move weeks: the Baby Sophisticate sweater, and this mitered square baby blanket. I wanted to hide all the little woven-in ends on the back of the blanket, so I lined it with some scraps of chambray I pieced together, and then I tied it in a few places with contrasting yarn to keep the backing from bagging out too much. I'd have done a few things differently with the blanket, but at this point I'm just so glad it's done that I'll take it as it is. The sweater, I'm very happy with. It was a really easy pattern and it's so darn cute.

With those projects finished, I was able to tackle the first thing on my long list of other projects: a slipcover for our white Ikea loveseat. The fabric is actually a few curtains from Target that I bought on clearance; it's a cotton-linen blend and was really easy to work with. It's the first major sewing project I've ever done, and I'm pretty happy with the result. I have plans to make two others in different colors, and should have enough fabric left over for pillow covers too. By finishing this project my to-make list has actually grown: in the process of all that sewing & pinning I realized I *really* need a good pincushion, and I also noticed my sewing machine is getting rather dusty, so I'll want to make a cover for it sooner rather than later.

Hopefully now that I've broken out of my creative rut I'll manage to retain some momentum. The next big priority on my list is an afghan I want to give as a gift for an August's about half done already, but even with air conditioning the idea of knitting a queen-size blanket in a heat wave makes me squirm. Time to put my head down & power through!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

More stash busting knitting:

I found a cute cat toy pattern on Ravelry and used my stash yarn. I will have to keep these in mind for the future. I loved how the different yarns felted to different sizes. I've always just bought Cascade 220 for my general wool and/or felting needs, but that yarn took a lot longer to felt down and wasn't as nice as the Paton's. I'm sure everyone else in the knitting world knew this already. Hrm.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The magic of socks

I think I've thoroughly documented my love/hate relationship with socks. I've decided to explore the magic loop technique to see if it's any easier. I've never attempted this before only because I don't want to buy multiples of the same size needles. I have enough needles as it is. Well, I had to buy a super long no.2 needle for some edging on a sweater once (and I didn't really need it when it was all said and done). I had this seemingly useless needle just taking up room in my needle case so I looked into magic loop on one needle...and now I've started a new pair of socks:

I'm knitting them toe-up, which wasn't that hard to start on one needle. I think this needle is around 40 inches, and I wish it was a tad longer, but they're Addi Turbo so the plastic is super flexible and it's only a little tight ---not enough for me to buy another needle at least!

I have a whole bag of this yarn from last fall's Smiley's Yarn Riot. Two socks started, ten to go!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mitered Squares

I finally got around to exploring mitered squares. I needed a great stash-busting project so I made my cat a little cat-carrier pillow.

She approves.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


My cat has an 'attack the arm' problem. Until now, I didn't know how to solve it. Then I saw a Slimey project on Ravelry. I now have the perfect 'toy' for when she tears into my arm like she hasn't been fed in three days.

Here is my wormy monster looking outside:

Here he is watching The Colbert Report:

And here's wormy looking like the inanimate puppet it is:

My first socks

Yes, I finally finished my first pair of socks. Ok, so these aren't the first pair of socks I've knitted but this is the first yarn I bought to knit socks, and it's taken me five+ years to complete them! I have been serious about cleaning out my stash and getting this yarn out of ball format was a major accomplishment! Of course, after staring at the yarn for so long, I'm sick of the pattern and the colors and I can't imagine wearing them. My mom likes them though so she will be getting a present soon.