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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Did It!

yarma 
I’ve knit my first Fish Lips Kiss Heel!  I just followed the directions and I got the first heel all done.  I really love how the self striping yarn fell perfectly in the heel and used a full repeat of the colors and after the heel, it started right up again in the stripe pattern where it should have.  The top of the sock continues in the color repeat!  I couldn’t have planned that if I tried.

Now I’m just knitting down the foot to the toe.  I’m loving these stripes!

Here’s the project page on Rav if you need more details.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Something New

After finishing the Trillian, The Babette and the Crazy Rainbow socks last week, I started a new pair of socks to learn the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, but I also wanted to start another wrap.  I decided to use a bag (10 skeins) of Noro Silk Garden Lite (Color 2043) that I got for a steal, back when Noro was going to discontinue it.  (They’ve since decided not to discontinue it, so it’s still available if you’re interested.)  I had planned to use it for a Lady Eleanor wrap, but when I got the yarn, the color changes were more dramatic than I wanted for Lady Eleanor.  I wasn’t sure what I’d use the yarn for and it’s been siting in my stash ever since.
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I decided to use it to make a rectangular wrap, but knit it on the bias so the stripes in the yarn would be diagonal to the wrap.  I also decided to use seed stitch to make it because I thought the texture would help the colors to blend.  Once I began it, I realized that I should write up the pattern for this project in case anyone else wants to do something similar.  Since it will really be more of a recipe than a pattern, it can be used with any weight yarn to make any size square or rectangle thing you like.  It could be used to make a scarf, a shawl, a blanket, a placemat, really, just about anything.

So while I’ll be showing progress on the blog, I’ll be keeping notes as I go so I can put it together later!  I’ve got my width now and I’m ready to start working evenly for the length of the wrap now.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Trillian Is Finished!

This has been a productive week of finishing things!  I’ve now finished my Trillian Blue.  I really love the way the yarn worked in this pattern.  (Could I finally have the answer to Lorna’s Laces?)  I also love this shape of scarf/shawl because while it is triangular, and you can wear it as a shawl, it’s such a narrow triangle, it’s just as easy to wear as a scarf.  Not everyone feels comfortable in a shawl, but most of us can handle a scarf with no issues, so it’s easy to gift.
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Here it is draped over Fifi’s shoulders like a regular shawl.  This would be cute with a white sundress,  sexy sandals, red lipstick, and a yacht.
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If you put the point in the front and wrap the tails around your neck and let them hang in the front, it’s a very casual look, but can quickly be pulled over your lower face for your next bank job or train heist.
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You can wrap it around your neck with one tail crossed and thrown over your shoulder.  This would give you a casually competent air when paired with linen cargo pants, hiking boots and a loose jacket as you lead a scientific team studying lions in Africa.  Also, the lions will look great wearing it after they eat you.  The blues and whites will really pop against their tawny coats.
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And finally, since it is a scarf, you could fold it, wrap it and pull the tails through the loop, before tucking it into your heavy, wool overcoat and dashing about London solving crimes.

Clearly, the options are there and the Trillian is ready for all kinds of adventures!  Here’s my Rav project page if you need any more information about it.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Socks!

yarma 
OK, so I asked for sock pattern/technique ideas, and while I loved your suggestions, I realized that I had gotten the Fish Lips Kiss Heel directions a couple of weeks ago.  There was a thread on Ravelry a while back about great patterns, and this heel technique kept being mentioned.  I figured it was worth a try (and only $1) so I bought it.  At the time though, I was in the middle of the Crazy Rainbow Socks, so I couldn’t use it immediately.  Then yesterday I realized that I could try out this heel on a pair of plain vanilla socks!

I grabbed some self striping yarn (Biscotte & Cie Felix in Brillantine) because I thought that would keep me amused in the stockinette stretches, got some cardboard, a ruler, and pens and started working through the directions for the Fish Lips Kiss Heel.  Since I’m knitting the socks top down, it will be a bit before I actually get to the heel, but I’ve made my foot template (which caused a surprising amount of excitement from Mickael and Caleb), and I’m ready to go.  Here’s a link to my Rav project page if you want more information about the socks.

I do appreciate all the sock suggestions you gave and I’ll definitely keep them in mind for future socks, but I wanted to get started on this and see if it really is all everyone says it is!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another Project Crosses the Finish Line

yarma 
I’ve finished my Crazy Rainbow Socks!  This was an interesting pair of socks to knit, completely different from any other pair I’ve done.  I think the pattern went well with the yarn though.  I’ll have to go stash diving later today and find yarn and a pattern for my next pair of socks.  I’ll also be checking out the suggestions made in yesterday’s comments.  I’m still open to suggestions if anyone wants to chime in!

Here’s my Rav project page with all the details.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

More Sock, More Crazy

yarma 
I’m cruising along towards the toe of this second sock now!  This has been a fun, sock knitting adventure; completely different from my usual way of knitting socks.  The finished sock is fun too!

Since I tend to always have a sock on the needles, I’ve been thinking about what socks I want to knit next (seeing as I’m almost finished with these).  I haven’t really decided and I’ve got a little bit of everything in my sock yarn stash (variegated, semi solid, self striping).  So, I think I’ll turn to you, the blog collective and ask!

Any favorite sock patterns?  Any sock knitting techniques you’ve recently learned that made a huge difference in your socks?  Any socks you’d like to see knitted but are slightly afraid to knit yourself and you want me to be a guinea pig?  Let me know, maybe I’ll knit a pair of blog socks!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Stick a Fork in The Babette, Because It Is Done!

Yes, it’s all finished!  Friday evening I completed the final round on the border and after weaving in the ends and lightly blocking the border to keep it from rolling, The Babette is finished!
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I found a very simple picot edge using single crochet and chain stitches to finish the border.  It just wasn’t looking finished with the double crochet borders.  I’m really happy with the way it looks, because it definitely looks finished, but it doesn’t distract from the middle of the blanket.
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I learned something about myself in making this blanket:  join as you go!  I’ll try to keep that in mind on future projects.
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Here’s a shot of the entire thing (please pardon the legs of the table I stood on to get the picture).  The borders added about 2 inches to each side, so the finished size is about 37 inches wide x 45 inches long.  It should work nicely for a lap blanket with Max.  I’m thrilled to have it all done!  Here’s a link to the Rav project page if you’re interested.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Something Different (But Not New)

Almost one year ago (three weeks short of one year, to be exact) I made this bag.  I had stumbled across the free tutorial online and thought it would make a nice bag and a nice test project for Ruby Mae (my treadle machine).  Well, it worked great for both purposes and I got to know my new old machine and I got a great bag.  The bag works really well, and even though it doesn’t have any top closure (one could be added easily enough), it still feels pretty secure because as it curves around my body as I wear it, it closes itself.  It’s also a nice size for a project or two, or a few magazines or whatever.

Yesterday I made two more bags from the same pattern!  The original plan was to sew them at the same time, assembly line style, but then I realized that I needed different colors of thread for the two bags.  (Sometimes I might need more caffeine than I actually get.)  Once I figured that out, I got them sewn up pretty quickly.  I didn’t use Ruby Mae this time, I used one of my Pfaffs because I wanted the ability to back tack to secure a seam.  On the bag I made on Ruby Mae, I just knotted off the ends by hand.

Once again, I added a pocket (cut 8.5 inches square, sewn with 1/4 inch seam allowances) and interfaced the main fabric for stability.  I took my time turning the bags this time and despite the interfacing and pocket, they were easier to turn than last time.  I must have let the bag get all bunched up last time.  The only other change I made was to topstitch along the edge of the entire bag after turning and pressing.  I’m not sure that this adds any structural benefits, but I like the way it looks.  The pattern is easy and straightforward to make and sewing, from start to final pressing took just under an 1.5 hours for each bag.

Want to see them?
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The first one is a fun, large floral print which I thought would be really cute for just about any outfit.  (I got the fabrics from MadTosh Crafts last week.)  You can see the pocket on the side as Fifi models it for us.  I positioned the pocket 1.25 inches down from the raw edge of the top of the bag (if you’re interested in adding a pocket and wondering where to put it).  The pocket is nice and big, and deep enough that my iPhone feels safe in it.
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I lined the bag and pocket in a lime green multi colored print that picked up the colors of the floral.

The second bag is a little different.  I got this fabric from Spoonflower.  If you’ve never heard of Spoonflower, I’ll tell you a little about it.  You can design your own fabric and have it printed or you can pick out designs other people have done and have them printed.  They have about a dozen different fabric bases they’ll print on, from polyester knits, to silk crepe de chine, to heavy canvas.  I had my choices printed on Kona Cotton.  It takes about 2 weeks to get your fabric after you order because they print on demand for each order.  If you order one yard, they print one yard.  If you order 10 yards, they’ll print that.  It’s a very fun way to get fabric.  Here’s my second bag.
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The main exterior fabric is Sherlocked.  I loved the quotes from the first two seasons of the BBC Sherlock.  Here is a closeup of the fabric.
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The pocket fabric is Sherlock Wallpaper Fabric.  I had to add the smiley face of course, but chose to skip the bullet holes.
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The lining of this bag and pocket is some fabric I picked up at Hobby Lobby that coordinated with the other two prints.
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I doubt this is the last time I’ll sew this pattern.  It’s a great pattern and a cute finished bag!  Anyone else have a favorite bag pattern they’d like to share?

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Once More, Around The Babette!

yarma 
I’m almost done with the borders for The Babette!  I’ve done two rounds of the plum and three rounds of the medium pink color.  I’m going to do one more round of medium pink and then The Babette will be a Finished Object!  I think I’ve decided how to do the final round.  I was debating between just another round of double crochet or doing something different, but simple.  As much as this blanket has going on in it (lots and lots of different colors as well as different sized blocks), I don’t think a complex border is the right choice.

I can not tell you how excited I am to get this project all finished!  Max has already started burrowing under it while I work on it.  He knows what it is: a big, pink, cat warmer!  Surprisingly, though, this is not my oldest Work In Progress.  There is another one or two in the depths of my stash closet.

What’s your oldest Work In Progress?

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trillian Again

yarma 
This week has started with morning errands and appointments.  That’s meant no blog, but I have gotten a few more inches worked on my Trillian.  I’m kind of starting to pay attention to how much yarn I have left (I have to have enough to work the lace on the edge), but I’m not to the point yet where I have to really worry about it.  That probably makes no sense at all, does it?  I think what I’m trying to say is that I’m getting there.  I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.  Also, I haven’t had any caffeine yet this morning.  (I’m sure you’ve already figured that out though.)

I have already had an adventure though.  This morning Logan made himself useful on our run.  He stepped up and defended me from a threat!  Logan is 99% marshmallow and has hidden behind me in the past when he feels scared, but when I was threatened this morning, he stepped up and went after them.  Yes, there were ducks on the sidewalk this morning and Logan chased them away!  I was so proud of him, I praised for the next half mile!  It’s true, you are safer when you run with a dog!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Trillian Blue

yarma
I’ve gotten more done on my Trillian scarf/shawl.  I’m really liking what the yarn is doing in this pattern.  (I may have found just the thing to do with Lorna’s Laces - Hitchhiker type shawls!)  I think the colors in this one will be great with a t-shirt and jeans, just casually looped around the neck.  I like this shape too:  even though it’s triangular like a shawl (and you can drape it over your shoulders), it’s just as easy to treat like a scarf.  I think it’s a good shape for people who aren’t sure if they can or will wear a shawl.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  We’re going to go to Scarborough Fair this weekend.  We went last year and Caleb has been asking to go back ever since!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Round and Round I Go

yarma
I’m working on the border for The Babette.  I’m starting with this darker plum color for two rounds and then I’ll use a medium pink.  I’ve already done the first round of the plum (and that took a while to get it done right), but now things are moving along nicely.

I had noticed that the pattern called for using a smaller hook on the borders, and while I used a smaller hook when I crocheted the squares (smaller than the pattern called for), I did go down a size for the border and I can tell that it’s helping the edge to behave better.  The edge was flaring out some which isn’t surprising since squares made of yarn tend to be more flexible and wiggly than squares made of wood or bricks.  Now the edges are looking much nicer.

Once I made it around the first time, things went much faster and it’s now a good TV watching project.  Max has also remembered how we worked on Caleb’s Ripple Blanket and he’s sitting under The Babette while I work on it.  It will definitely be nice to have this all finished!

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Yesterday

Yesterday, Mom and I headed to Fort Worth to check out MadTosh Crafts, the retail storefront of Madelinetosh Yarns (which are dyed here in Fort Worth).  Despite it being pretty close to us, we had never made it down there (and it’s quicker to get there than I thought it would be).  Anyway, it was wonderful and amazing and I’ve never seen that much Tosh in one place!  We saw some of the new colors and everyone was very nice and helpful and we had a wonderful time!  We’ll definitely be going back!

But you’re probably here for the yarn, aren’t you?  Ok, here’s what I got!
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From left to right, Edison Bulb in DK Twist, Charcoal in DK Twist, Blue Bell in DK Twist, and Worn Denim in Tosh Merino Light.

The Edison Bulb is for some fingerless gloves to wear when I run.  The ones I have are getting ratty and I need something bright to keep from getting run over.  The Edison Bulb is bright, and it won’t clash with my pink jacket.  (Or it will clash so badly, it won’t matter, I can’t decide.)  Since I won’t use the entire skein on the gloves, I got the Charcoal to make Caleb a hat, with an Edison Bulb stripe.

The Blue Bell is for another Tea Leaves Cardigan.  I’ve made one in creamy white and I love it, so I want one in another color.  I was actually looking for a pink, but I couldn’t find the right pink and the Blue Bell spoke to me.  It’s lighter than it photographed (I think Edison Bulb blew my camera’s mind).  I’ll have to track down some great buttons for it.

The Worn Denim will be a shawl.  I kept looking at all the TML (Tosh Merino Light) and while I really don’t need another blue green shawl, I kept picking this color up so clearly it needed to come home with me.  It’s also lighter than it shows here.

You would all be very proud, I left all the Cove there!  They had it in several bases, but since I have so much Cove already, I was afraid it was getting a little weird.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Second Verse, Same As The First

yarma
I’m all the way down the leg of my second really crazy sock!  These do seem to go pretty quickly, even though I have to pay attention to short rows.  Next up is the heel (which does take some time and some thinking) and then things should speed up again.

It’s just a short blog post today.  I’m off to the Madelinetosh store today - MadTosh Crafts!

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Monday, April 07, 2014

Spring? Spring? Bueller?

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I got quite a bit done on my Katama Tank project over the weekend!  I’ve done the hip decreases, worked the even part at the waist, and have just started the bust increases.  It feels like it’s moving along nicely.

Spring, on the other hand, isn’t.  We had to turn the heat back on this weekend!  In April!  Seriously?

Luckily, it wasn’t quite cold enough to drive me back to beaded bracelets and crochet octopi, but Max did spend the entire weekend under the down comforter.  Poor little soul, barely surviving the frozen wasteland that is North Texas.  (It didn’t actually go below freezing again, but it was cold and wet this weekend.)

The funny thing is, as fast as this tank is coming together, I have no idea when I’ll get to wear it!  Here’s the Rav link to my project page if you care!

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Friday, April 04, 2014

The Babette

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Yes, you read that right!  She’s back!  I started crocheting squares December 31, 2009.  I finished all the squares December 31, 2010.  Then I arranged the squares on the floor of my sewing room and except for little bits of sewing together, there they’ve stayed.
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Until now.  Yesterday I finished sewing all the squares together and I’m ready to start borders!
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I started making the squares with Ramius.  He sat patiently in my lap while I crocheted the squares.  He sat politely while I arranged finished squares on him to photograph for the blog.
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Max contributed to The Babette in a different way.  To be fair, Ramius was almost 15 when I started it and Max is 2.  There’s something to be said for kitty maturity.  (Max wasn’t too happy with me for taking this picture.  It’s probably a good thing he doesn’t know what the Internet is.  Hopefully.)

The center of the blanket measures 33x41 inches.  I’ll be starting borders this weekend (a darker plum followed by the medium pink.  I’m going to keep them pretty simple with all that’s going on in the center of the blanket.  I feel like the borders shouldn’t be too much trouble after all the fiddly work, sewing the blocks together.  Right?

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

More

yarma 
There’s more to my Trillian now!  I’m assuming that when it gets big enough, I’ll get another section of pooling, but I’m not there yet.  This is the perfect TV knitting project and I don’t even need to look at the pattern to knit it.  I enjoy the more complicated types of projects also, but this type of project is great at the end of the day when my brain is tired  and I just want to relax.

Tune in tomorrow for something big!  And since someone always asks, no I’m not pregnant.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Another Something New

Yesterday as I was wandering around Ravelry, I noticed a new pattern: the Katama Tank from Angela Hahn.  I realized I had yarn sitting in my stash that would be perfect for it, so I wound yarn and cast on!
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The yarn is Ella Rae Bamboo Silk in Coral (it’s a very pink coral) and I think it will be nice for a warm weather top.  I did add a couple of inches to the length because I like my tops a little longer than what the pattern is written for, but otherwise I’m knitting it as the pattern is written.  I am knitting the high back version (there’s also a regular tank top back version in the pattern).  It’s knit bottom up in the round, so I’ve got a big swath of stockinette coming, but I’ll get lace when I divide the front from the back (where I typically run out steam on a bottom up project).

I’ve had a bit of startitis lately, but I don’t feel overwhelmed by having all of these projects going at once for some reason.

Here’s a link to my Rav project page if you’re interested!

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

One Down, One to Go!

yarma 
I finished my first seriously insane sock yesterday!  I realized when I put it on the sock blocker, the hand dyed yarn, worked in the short rows looks like psychedelic wood grain.  Kind of.  If you stand back and squint.  Maybe you have to be uncaffeinated too.

Anyway, one of them is finished and I’ve worked the ribbing to start the second one.  I’m kind of wondering what this would look like in an actual self striping yarn (like the pattern was written for).  I do have some self striping sock yarns in my stash.  Maybe I’ll give this a try again with one of those.  This pattern is easy to work, but you have to pay attention and watch for the wraps, so no autopilot knitting.  It’s not difficult at all, it’s just a matter of paying attention.

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