snugglekitty: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] clonetwin:

"What is your favorite fiber to knit with? Do you have a favorite yarn?"

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snugglekitty: (shawl)
My crafty groove this month is afghans.

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Pictures will be forthcoming.
snugglekitty: (Default)
I went to see Lucy at Mind's Eye Yarns. Her professional opinion of my shawl problem was that I should start over. Sigh. Well, she is the professional. I will finish the end of the row I'm on, and then put a lifeline in, just in case I should change my mind later.

This sad pronouncement was sweetened by a surprise - [livejournal.com profile] max_stravinsky, knowing that I would be visiting the store, had left me a lovely skein of blue and purple sock yarn. Awww.
snugglekitty: (shawl)
I continue to work on a shawl for [livejournal.com profile] syprina.

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I have to say, this third yarn is really making the piece. It looks like I bought a kit in a store. "Make yourself this beautiful shawl in cool colors for just $79.99!" It also is validating my earlier hook size choice - the other yarns could have used a bigger hook, but not this third one, it would have been too loose. I think I'm about halfway done with the shawl at this point, and hopefully I can present it ceremonially to [livejournal.com profile] syprina in a few weeks.

Tomorrow afternoon is my appointment to see a woman about a shawl. Hopefully I can get a good determination as to whether I should try to fix the (other, complicated) shawl, or just plain start over.
snugglekitty: (shawl)
I just discovered a major mistake near the beginning of the project I've been working on. This project. I'm not talking about a pattern error. I'm talking about, I screwed this up bigtime. The beginning of the mistake was 50 rows ago, when I was working on the project years back, before I picked up it again.

Yes, it does matter. Not in the sense of being able to see it, I don't think that anyone but me could tell by looking, but the whole pattern is based on the rows that I knitted wrong. So, it's not wrong fifty rows ago and then right for the subsequent 49, it's wrong for 50 rows. Weh.

At this point, I have three basic choices:

1) Frog pond. I could unravel the project, yes the whole project, and start over.
2) Try to fix it. I could - maybe - MAYBE - fix just the affected sections. I'm not at all sure of this and it might make things worse. It also might take longer and would definitely be more annoying while, going on, than reknitting.
3) Try to find a workaround. Try to find a way to get from the pattern being wrong to the pattern being right. Normally this is what I would do, but I've never made lace before.

To these three choices, [livejournal.com profile] 7j added the suggestion that I could take it to a knitting store and beg for help. (Most places have some sort of "knitting doctor" thing where you pay by the hour and they bail you out of your messes.) [livejournal.com profile] syprina also added the idea that I could start the pattern again with a different skein of yarn, and use the old piece for something else because it's pretty. This is a good idea, from my perspective, because it's non-final. I can start again and go, "My god! I'll die if I try to reknit this all!" and then try to do something with the piece I already have, instead.

I knew that when I picked this project up and it was going so well, it was too good to be true. Argh!!
snugglekitty: (Default)
Monday, I had suggested a quiet crafty day for myself and [livejournal.com profile] mrpet.

I had intended to do a swatch for a lace shawl project. I did, in fact, do that swatch, and what it led me to understand was that the project was wrongheaded. An alpaca silk blend will not suit for lace. Yup. You learn something new every day. I haven't yet decided what I will do with that yarn, now - that was the purpose I had bought it for. I still want to use it, since it's so soft. We'll see what develops. I wish I hadn't given someone two balls of it, thus reducing my stash from around a thousand yards, perfect for a shawl, to only 800.

So, then I was considering swatching again. I have some orchid cotton/tencel that I had been trying and failing to make a shawl out of, a few years back, which I was considering using to make a camisole/boyshort set. And I thought, "You know, the lace definition on this really looks wonderful - maybe I can get past my previous problem." And I did so (although perhaps not in the exact manner that the pattern creator advised). And I moved on. I am totally going to have this shawl, even though the stitch "purl two together from behind" is probably always going to be a pain in the ass (and is NOT as kinky as it sounds). Finishing a project I had gotten stuck on! I never knew it would be possible.

And now I'm thinking about, possibly, ordering some NEW YARN to make a lingerie set with. Yes - very dramatic and exciting, as I almost never buy new yarn these days. I'm into the idea of making boyshorts and a cami rather than a bra, so I might change the pattern a bit, or pick out a different top and make it with the same stitch pattern.

It's really neat to be wanting to knit again.
snugglekitty: (Default)
So, as I wrote, on Sunday morning, I finished the vest I had been making for [livejournal.com profile] 7j for several months.
Apparently, this is typical. Apparently this is the time in the end of the summer when knitters start knitting again because it starts to get cool. Neat! Having this project done is also energizing me and making me want to start another project for fall - another vest, or a cozy shawl.

Anyway, now there are pictures!

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snugglekitty: (Default)
I read Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures In Yarn by Wendy Johnson. Wendy is the creator of my favorite-ever sock pattern, and I thought I'd enjoy her book. I was right! It almost made me want to read her blog, but boy, does that woman post. Maybe if I had a corporate job. Heh.

I liked the essays in this book. The patterns, except for the sock pattern which I already had, were mostly for sweaters. One thing I liked about them was they didn't assume the people wearing them would be a size 0.

Another thing that struck me about the book was a comment the author made about how it's really hard to knit lace with cotton, because cotton is slippery. Hey! That makes a lot of sense. So, I'm going to have to come up with a different pattern to use for the cotton-tencel I bought to make myself a shawl with. I could still use it, but I think I might try to do it with crochet - I don't have a problem crocheting with cotton. I would give the book four stars, but don't recommend it as a book for beginners to knitting. It's way more fun when you've already had most of the problems she describes happen to you.

This book inspired me to pick up my knitting again. More specifically, it inspired me to FINISH THE VEST that I have been working on for [livejournal.com profile] 7j for the past few months. That's right, kids, it's done! Sorry, you'll have to wait on pictures, but she's happy with it, and so am I.

Now I am a person who has Made a Sweater. That's cool. :)

Here are some things I learned:

- A new project takes at least twice as long as you think it will.
- Making a mini version for my bear was a great idea. I learned two things just from that, though - you should make the mini using the same yarn that the large project will be out of, and anything that is a problem with the mini will be a problem with the large project too. You shouldn't just assume that it will make sense when you get there. My problem was with the neckline. I eventually resolved it but it took quite a while.
- I used the yarn from a sweater I had frogged from Goodwill (just for the purpose of making this vest). I thought that turning a very large cabled sweater into a small vest would mean that a ton of yarn was left over. I was right, but it used more than I thought. So that's good to know.
- It helps a lot to have patient and understanding recipients for one's knitted gifts.
- Yes, they really really mean it that you should block before you start finishing. I'm so glad the pattern I used kind of hit you over the head repeatedly with that clue bat, because otherwise I wouldn't have listened, and it really did make a difference.

It was a pretty manageable project. I'd like to make some more vests and sweaters, and I hope also that my skills will continue to improve over time. I swear, I picked up the stitches for the neckband AT LEAST five times, and maybe it was closer to ten.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Recently I've been wanting to spend a whole day working on craft projects. That hasn't happened, but I have spent several afternoons working on them, and I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Vests and bags and socks, oh my! )

What are you all working on?
snugglekitty: (Default)
So, I am making [livejournal.com profile] 7j a vest for her birthday. Since this is my first vest, I thought that I would start by making the same pattern for my teddy bear. I thought that this would give me good experience with the techniques I would be using, as well as being a good crash-course in vest pattern alteration, without requiring as much work to do over, if doing over proved necessary. The pattern is written for a large-ish man, which [livejournal.com profile] 7j is not. Obviously, neither is my bear. *grin*

It went pretty well. I would recommend this approach for anyone else nervous about making a new project for the first time. I think that I have gotten most of my anxiety out of the way. And now, this is what I know you've all been waiting for.

Ursa Minor, in her natural habitat, wearing her winter vest )

I also recently finished a sampler scarf for [livejournal.com profile] ayalanya but I am still waiting for her to take a picture of it. And, I did take a picture of my matching hat and scarf set, but now I can't find it.

In other upcoming projects, I am also planning to make myself some mittens to go with the hat and scarf, as well as a shawl for myself from some lovely yarn [livejournal.com profile] redjo got me for my birthday a while back.
snugglekitty: (knitone)
I haven't been posting about crafty stuff, but I've been doing a lot of it recently.

I knitted a hat for Galaxy, out of yarn from greatergood.com that I got on [livejournal.com profile] knitswap. It's one strand of sari silk, one strand of organic wool - I used it to make a basic ribbed cap. Really really pretty without being as loud as pure sari silk. I am also working on a scarf for her, using some of the same yarn and some of one-strand navy wool I got from frogging a sweater. They look really good together. I'm using modular/freeform technique for that, so I'm knitting small pieces and figuring out how I want to fit them together. At this point, I have a bunch of right triangles with equal arms, and now I'm going to start making long skinny triangles to use as well.

For [livejournal.com profile] 7j's birthday, I am making her this vest out of green and brown frogged yarns. I've never made a vest before, and was feeling kind of nervous about it - what if I spent all that time and it went horribly wrong? - so I decided to start by knitting the same vest for my teddy bear, Ursa Minor. I'm using purple and grey yarn for the bear, who is not as butch as the girlfriend. [livejournal.com profile] 7j and I altered the pattern for bear size last night in the middle of the night, and I have a little more than an inch knitted on it so far. It seems to be going well, and will hopefully give me the confidence I need to make the person-sized vest. (If it works out, all of my stuffed animals are going to wind up with knitted things. I think my lionness Treygul could do with a jaunty scarf.) The bear vest will only be about the size of a hat, so it won't be a big problem if I need to frog it and start over, the way it might be if I was making the actual vest.

I also have promised a scarf to Alanya in exchange for some BPAL deliciousness. I suspect it may be striped. And I need to make myself some MITTENS. COLD!! Happily, I really like to knit at this time of year, so it's all good.

(Yes, we still have no camera, --> no pictures. I've been looking for it, I swear.)
snugglekitty: (shawl)
So, I have been doing a little experiment with modular knitting. I read the book Modular Knits which turned out to be very cool. I had made plans to try making a shawl out of an old sweater. The sweater was a variegated rose, with thick and thin yarn, bulky weight. Very nice. From the minute I saw it, I knew I had to have it. I wanted to try a new technique with it, so I decided would do modular knitting. (What is that? How does it work? Basically, you make a bunch of pieces that are the same size and shape and then connect them in order to make whatever it is you want to make.) The cool thing about this is that it's very flexible. You can make major alterations to the project right up to the point where you connect the pieces.

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I knitted up most of the frogged sweater this way, and discovered that I just didn't have enough to make a shawl. However, I do need a new scarf to go with my new (to me) winter coat. When I laid the triangles in a scarf configuration, rather than a shawl configuration, there were plenty to go around.

Today I went out and bought yet another sweater to frog, to use as a contrasting yarn. I will use it to sew the pieces of my scarf together, and to make a fringe. I'm hoping that I have enough rose yarn to make myself a matching hat. If I don't, I will at least use it as a contrasting yarn on a hat and mitten set with the brown yarn. We'll see what happens.
snugglekitty: (Default)
My darling [livejournal.com profile] mrpet has declared a Stitch and Bitch day Sunday, July 16th from noon to dinnertime.

He has okayed me inviting my crafty friends as well. It's okay if your craft is not sewing, mine isn't either! Bring a project and something to read aloud or listen to. If you want to bring something for the potluck dinner talk to my sweetie. If the weather is nice, we can sit outside.

Really looking forward to this. Let's craft in the summertime, babes!
snugglekitty: (shawl)
Recently, I've been having difficulty getting going with knitting projects. I'm not sure why. I'll do a gauge swatch, make some pattern alterations, get everything planned out... and then not make the project.

However, on Friday, I finally got started with something new. I am making this hat for my darling sister. She had fallen in love with some yarn that I frogged from a raspberry sweater I got at Goodwill. It's mostly wool, with some angora. So I offered to make her something, and she said she wanted a hat.
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My other recent crafty project was to alter a nightshirt I got for myself. It was going great until I lost the second remnant I was sewing the collar with. *sigh* At this point, I think I'm going to give it to [livejournal.com profile] mrpet to finish fixing.
snugglekitty: (knitting)
Sorry, guys, no pics on this one. I can't find the plug-in for the camera memory stick, so I'm going to have to describe what I'm doing in words.

Since recent health problems have come up, I've felt unwilling to work on any knitted project that isn't for me. So, right now, I am working on a pair of cabled wristwarmers (charcoal gray with raspberry accents), and checkerboard socks, for meeee!

I also recently started a dialogue about exchanging prayer shawls in [livejournal.com profile] knitting and a new community, [livejournal.com profile] knitprayershawl has grown out of that discussion. So, I am exchanging prayer shawls with a lovely lady in MO. Basically, we are each making the other something warm and cozy to wrap in, and sending each other good wishes. It's a nice idea, I think, and I had it first! So yay. Anyway, I am using a really pretty blue and gray variegated yarn for hers, with accents of purple, green and navy. It's chunky yarn and I'll be working it on number 17 needles. I finished making a swatch for this project.

So, what's a swatch then? )

So today, I am planning to start the prayer shawl for real. No more swatching, but the actual real thing. I'm going to make it about 28 inches wide and stop when it seems like a good length to wrap yourself up in.

I think I will also be starting my wristwarmers for real.

Anyhow, I'll post pictures once I find the camera hookup.
snugglekitty: (shawl)
I posted this on the now-defunct crochet community earlier this year. I thought I would re-post it, so that I would not lose it, and all of you would get to still have it.

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snugglekitty: (Default)
I have no plans today until around five, and it's really time to start a new craft project.

I finished my crocheted blanket last week. I am only about an inch from finishing the socks I'm making for [livejournal.com profile] 7j, and the Chicken Viking hat should only take a few hours to do. I want to start a project that will take me through the next few weeks at least.

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snugglekitty: (Default)
I just finished the lap blanket I have been crocheting for the past few weeks. This post shows the process of its creation. The finished blanket is at the bottom of the post.

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Yay! Now, I need to work on the Chicken Viking hat for Princess N, finish some socks for [livejournal.com profile] 7j, and start a pair of wristwarmers for myself.
snugglekitty: (shawl)
In this post, I am talking about my color choice decisions for an upcoming project. I thought y'all might be interested. Pictures included.

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Okay, you're both right. :) The grey is out, the navy is in, and twining rules.
snugglekitty: (shawl)
As I'm sure many of you are already aware, socks are my recent knitting obsession. They're fun, interesting, and portable. Here are some recent sock endeavors.

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