Friday, December 28, 2007

More Shiny Happy Holiday Wishes!

Handmade Ornament, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Halloween is my favorite holiday because I really can't get enough black cats and bats, but the winter holidays have some charm too. Especially shiny sparkly things with stars. My husband's Aunt Brenda, an avid beader, made this ornament thingie for us. My husband says the stars remind him of Super Mario. I used it as an opportunity to mess around with my new macro lens. 100mm f/2.8! Whoo-hoo!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

FO: Broad Street Mittens

Broad Street Mittens, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I finished Bryan's Broad Street Mittens just in time for X-más.  I've been corrected- the boyhood Lego sets with the similar color scheme in fact belonged to the 92-93 Space Police II series. The pattern didn't give me as much trouble as I feared.  I wouldn't recommend it to beginners, though, as it's not very detailed about the construction.  I plan on posting some labeled photos to show how the parts all fit together in the final product.  
My only real modification was to stop the thumb decreases and thread the tail through the remaining stitches when 10 or 11 stitches were left.  Otherwise, I ended up with a really pointy thumb!
The other big clarification is that "K3, INC 1" in the cuff increases means K3, KFB (or whatever you choose), and not K3, M1.
I believe I ended up with too many stitches after following the directions for the last round of the mitten flap, but I just did one more decrease round until I ended up with 4 stitches for the I-cord.
It wasn't hard to reverse the directions for the other hand.  Email me if you want my notes on that.  
Ravelry details here.

Happy Holidays!

Picture 103, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

5 Ball Band Dishcloths, 4 Euroflax Washcloths, 2 Pairs of Fetching, and a Broad Street Mitten WIP

Great, now I've got 12 Days of Xmas stuck in my head. All I'm missing is something in threes. (And 12-6.) Despite thinking I wouldn't do holiday knitting this year, I've ended up with quite the pile of FOs. I decided to simplify by making a whole bunch of Ball Band Dishcloths. They're super easy, look nifty, and are cheap. Ravelry details

I picked up some Euroflax from Purlescence and whipped up some washcloths. At first I was going to copy some hemp washcloths I saw at Whole Foods. They were loose stockinette with an eyelet border on all 4 sides. I tried recreating that effect with the Euroflax and it just looked like ass. I did a little Ravelry research and found the Eight Linen Washcloths patterns, which proved what Euroflax is capable of with a little coaxing. Being very lazy, I put together my own lace washcloths by picking lace patterns out of the 1st Barbara Walker Treasury that only had a few pattern rows. I ended up with Vine Lace, Crest of the Wave, Horseshoe Lace, and Fir Cone Lace. I was bothered by the tendency of the yarn to be very splitty!!, but I didn't have trouble with the feel of the linen on my hands. Linen likes to be machine washed and dried in order to soften up a bit. In my first blocking attempt, I washed and dried until totally dry. Then I had a lumpy but soft piece of lace. I then got the piece wet and pinned it out to block. When it dried, I had a flat but horribly stiff piece of lace. The next time, I only let the dryer run until the cloths were about 80% dry. I pinned them out just enough to open up and flatten them out a bit. They retained their softness after air drying the rest of the way. Ravelry details

I finally jumped on the Fetching bandwagon. I got some Malabrigo from Purlescence, and made 2 pairs from one skein. Unless there's some kind of gift-giving emergency, I intend to keep a pair. I LOVE this yarn!! It's unbelievably soft! I suspect there will be pilling, but I'm ok with that. The picot edge grew on me, and I ended up really loving this pattern. On the 2nd pair, I changed the placement of the thumb on the right glove to mirror that on the left. Basically, I did the 7-stitch waste yarn thing at the end of the row (the 1st seven of the last eight stitches) instead of at the beginning of the row. Next time I'd also move the beginning of the thumb round on the right glove so I wouldn't have the cast-off tail on the more visible side of the thumb. Ravelry details

I've also started some Broad Street Mittens for the husbeast. I was going to make Dashing, but Bryan wanted half-fingered gloves with a mitten flap. Apparently one of his friends had some store-bought gloves like that. I knew there was a knitty pattern just like that. Even better, it uses sock yarn and the only yarn in the whole store Bryan liked was sock yarn. I had just been planning on holding (at least) 2 strands together. We were at Purlescence for the Fiber Fiend trunk show, and I picked up some bamboo/merino roving in the Mars colorway. It's SO pretty!
Bryan was taken aback by the Swamp colorway. I didn't feel like spinning yarn for what I intended to be one of his holiday gifts, so I ended up buying 2 skeins of the merino sock yarn in Swamp. I found out that Bryan liked the colors because they reminded him of space LEGO sets. My husband is special. But not as special as the people who wrote the Wikipedia article on LEGO space sets. Apparently Bryan's memories stem from the M:Tron era of 1990-1991. BTW, WTF is up with this pattern? It lists 2 different needle sizes, but never mentions needle size in the text of the pattern! I really expect more from knitty's editors. Also, there's no instructions for the 2nd mitt. It just says "reverse everything." Everything? Interesting. Whatever. Ravelry details

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Wish Lists

This is mostly for the benefit of my family (and for myself to keep track of things).
Amazon wishlist can be found by clicking the button over there ------>
That includes the camera equipment that is probably what I want the most.

Other stuff I'd like to have someday:
Hand cards for wool, and for cotton/exotics.
I haven't done much fiber prep so far, and I'd really like to learn woolen spinning. It seems a little harder to find commercially prepared rolags than top.
More double-drive bobbins for my Traveler.
Cute WPI tool and WPI comparison card.

The following items can be found here.
Hi speed kit for Ashford double drive wheels.
Ashford precision lazy kate.

Lace flyer kit for Ashford Traveler double drive wheels. Apparently this has been discontinued. The Woolery doesn't have it, but many e-tailers still have it on their sites (not to order online, though). Anyway, it's rather expensive and I'm not sure it's worth it. I can stick with the much cheaper hi-speed kit and treadle more. :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New WIP: Ballband Dishcloths

Ballband dishcloth in Country Side and Sage Green Sugar n' Cream. I've been wanting to knit this pattern for a long time, but never got around to it. Now I've decided to simplify holiday presents this year by making washcloths or dishcloths for just about everyone. And the pattern (from Mason Dixon Knitting) is free online now! I'm using a size 7 needle, which is what usually goes well with worsted weight yarn for me, but the fabric seems a tad loose. I'm thinking that may actually be a good thing? It won't be really hard and scrubby, but I think it would make it better for drying. Ravelry details here.

FO Roundup- Pinwheel Blanket & Azalea Doily

Pinwheel Blanket from this free pattern. 5.5 skeins of Cascade Luna (100% cotton). I love this yarn! I thought I hated unmercerized cotton, but I just hate cheap unmercerized coton! (The Ballband Dishcloth Pattern is cute enough to compensate, thankfully.) I've been wanting to knit the pinwheel pattern for a long time. It's so fast and easy! This is one of those "duh" patterns that looks so neat but is amazingly simple. I didn't bother with a fancy circular cast on. I just did a regular long tail cast on and joined as usual. I used about 6 rows of seed stitch as a border, and bound off in pattern. It's probably about 33" across. It's going to be a doggie blanket (and a holiday gift) since there aren't any babies in the family. Ravelry details here.

Azalea Doily (centerpiece version) from Marianne Kinzel's First Book of Modern Lace Knitting. It looks a lot better on flickr, so please click through. I blocked it a few days ago. Looking kinda funky, so I think I'll starch and press it. This was another simple (and pretty quick) knit. Different sizes (this is the largest version) are made by repeating the 2nd chart a different number of times. It's patterned every other row, and most of the patterning isn't really lace. There are only eyelets on one row of the chart (I think) and the little holes in the middle of the leaves are made by knitting into the front, back, and front of the stitch. Ravelry details here.