Monday, 20 November 2006

Small Things

This one is called The Craziest Lil' Coathanger in the World:


I had a lot of little bits of wool that I wanted to get rid of, and after such a
huge project as the Babe Sweater, I wanted to do something quick and easy - and crazy!
The ends will form fringes once its finished. I want to get rid of all my wire coathangers
and replace them all with cushy ones I have made myself. Mmmmm, comfy...

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

The project of a lifetime

I have finished the Babe Sweater. But it seems the pictures my flatmate took of it have been deleted, so I can't show you what it looks like. This distresses me and pisses me off enormously. (To be fair, I should have asked for the pictures straight away.) I have consoled myself however, by spending half an hour making an artist's impression of the sweater using Paint:

Voila. That's basketweave stitch on the yoke, and variegated pearly wool on the ribbing.

Here is also a picture I do have of the pieces of the sweater before I sewed them together:

(I have to admit the little arms are cute!)

The sweater is now on its merry way to the best baby in the world.

Saturday, 30 September 2006

Yet another scarf *groans*

I just wanted something light and Spring-y. I always feel like dressing up like Audrey Hepburn in Spring, so I thought I'd make something retro. The left-over mohair I had from an old project was prefect, though the colour wasn't what I imagined. But overall I'm very happy with it.


I'm quite proud of the shaped ends. It took 4 tries before I got them right. I'm gonna keep the notes for that one. It would have taken much less time to make if it weren't for that.

Love,
Audrey. xxx
P.S. Just kidding. I'm not really Audrey Hepburn.

Sunday, 24 September 2006

Another 2 weeks passes

Hi all.

I've just been so busy the last few weeks... playing computer games, working, playing computer games, spending time with my bf, playing computer games... you get the point. I have done a little knitting though.

I've really been into knitting magazines lately, because they are the most up-to-date and non-dorky. After some thought, I subscribed to Creative Knitting magazine. It's Australian, so it has relevant ads, and it has mostly cool patterns. There is a shrug in the example copy that I really want to make. And I bought a copy of the latest Vogue Knitting which doesn't have the locality (localness??) of the other one, but the patterns are even cooler and more fashionable - imagine Vogue magazine, but with a how-to section. There's a few things I want to make from that one. But for serious possibilities, I have this list:
* ribbed shrug in Patons Zhivago from Creative Knitting
* chunky drop-stitch shrug from Vogue Knitting Holiday issue
* sweater-vest with plunging neckline from Vogue Knitting current issue
* tank top from Knitty Gritty (see below)
* a loopy or entrelac cushion cover (not quite as thrilling).

Yesterday I saw Knitty Gritty on the DIY Channel for the first time. (No, I haven't gone upmarket, my bf has it.) It was a special on teen knitters, and everyone knows that I find anyone under the age of 20 to be annoying to one degree or another, but it was still really good. There were instructions for a tank top and choker which were both easy yet interesting projects. And I had the superior feeling of knowing everything they were talking about, not like the stupid home renovating and antiquing shows they normally have on that channel. It's on every Saturday at 10am, so I might get to see it again one day.

I couldn't be bothered downloading any photos this week, so here's an example of a non-dorky project:

[Courtesy of Patons: http://www.patons.biz/publication_details.asp?SelID=89&ID=983&name=1235]


I just love Zhivago. I've only ever made a cushion cover out of it, and I'd really love to make a garment out of it one day soon. It's so soft and velvety. I'm coveting the pearly pastel pick colour as we speak. I want to knit with it so much! /end drool

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Rummaging

I went through and sorted my projects and wools this week. It felt good. All so neat and tidy now. But I have gotten to the point were I have to shove the wool back into the cupboard to close it. No new wool! Especially from Ebay!!

I also discovered some old projects that I hard forgotten about in the back of my cupboard:

A headscarf! I didn't war this very often. It's a shame, cause it's pretty cool. Bummer that the 70's revival is over. I just put it back in my undies drawer.


Granny Squares! I really put a lot of work into this one, a long time ago. I was going to make it into a poncho, but I think I'll incorporate it into my sample rug if it ever gets that far.

A Cardigan! Well, an ex-cardigan. I decided to pull it apart and start over with a new pattern.

See?


I feel fairly confident that I can finish it within a reasonable amount of time. Next winter, say?

I have also started a retro neck scarf, cause I always feel kinda 50's in Spring. I sort of wanted to to make it in pink, but the purple (which was left over from some mittens) is a bit different, and I have vowed not to buy any more wool for the time being. Not even if it's on sale! *sighs*

I might have to muck around with this one a bit before I'm happy with it.

Thursday, 24 August 2006

Finished!!!

Well, slap me down with a 5-dollar banana! Two projects finished in two days! Who would have thought?
I just felt a need to purge, so I decided to finish something. And the thing I chose was the Fair Aisle Sampler. My interest in it was just revived enough to get the bloody thing done.
Here is the completion process:

1. Finish knitting:

The moss stitch border got really annoying after a while. It was getting to the point of, "okay, if you do one more row, you get to have a cup of coffee". (And I was thinking of making a whole camisole in moss stitch! Sheesh!) But finally it was done.

2. Secure loose ends.

I figured I'd just glue them down at the back. But the craft glue didn't stick. I put more on, but it started to seep through to the front. I figured if I just cut them off neatly, it would be fine. It's not like I'll be carrying library books around in it or anything, after all.

3. Attach this (right) to this (left).


It was much easier than I thought! And it was actually quite fun. See the finished back:


4. Inspect for damage.


Because of all the colour changes and loose ends, cause I'm not a very good knitter, basically, it ended u with some holes in it after I stretched it over the frame? Oh, what to do, what to do? The perfect opportunity to go nuts with crocheted flowers and pompoms!

5. Cover damage; document results.


Taa daa! Finished! Don't worry, the white spots where the backing shows through aren't noticeable under normal light.
*has sudden pang of shame*
Oh, god, it's so kitschy and awful! Ah well, who cares? So am I! ;)

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

24-hour Constant Updates ... every 2 weeks.

So, I haven't been posting, but I have been knitting this time!

I finished the E-Scarf last night:

[The E-Scarf hanging around]

The 10mm needles and the amazing, variegated coloured wool I used were a great antidote to all the intricate, long-time projects I've been doing lately. But sadly, it is done. Soon it will be winging its way to its new home. Whenever it is the next time I see the Recipient, anyway.

I have also been working on the Babe Sweater the last few weeks:

[The Front]

I had a panic attack regarding this one last week. I only have until 28th October to finish it!! Arrgghh!

Well, okay, that is 2 months away, but the needles are so tiny and there are so many rows. I reached the 'decreasing for the armholes' bit today, and I can't tell you how excited I was! Yippee! 12 less stitches to plough my way across on every row! I might just make it after all...

Today I went to a wool shop in the CBD that's closing down, and I know why. There's something to be said for working with quality materials that are interesting textures and unique colours, but there's also something to be said for paying $60 for a frikkin' scarf that you frikkin' have to make yourself!!
So, needless to say, I didn't buy any wool there, but I did splash out on a few things:



I bought some Addi Turbo needles, which I've heard of, but never seen on sale before. They are very high quality, and made out of cool materials like stainless steel (shiny!) and transparent plastic with sparkles embedded in it. I got a pair of 12mm circular needles, and a set of 15mm double-pointed needles (I'm thinking a beanie with really big-arse stitches). I also got the Paton's Zhivago pattern book, cos I love Zhivago, it feels like velvet. I made my Cardigan Cushion out of it, and I was really pleased with how it turned out. It has some nice patterns for cardigans, jumpers, shrugs, etc.
I bought an old copy of Creative Knitting magazine, which has some vaguely interesting patterns in it. They made me pay full price. *pouts*

I also bought some shell buttons, which I may use to make a cardigan from Vogue Knitting one day.

Speaking of Vogue Knitting, it's really good! It was some funky, fashionable patterns that I could really make. A lot of ads, but you expect that. I logged on to their website to see how much it is to subscribe, but you had to email them, so I thought, stuff that, I'll just keep getting it from the library.

There are a lot of things I want to make at the moment, waaaaaay too many to be realistically possible, so I just have to be sensible and pick one or two. Now there's just the sewing, and the painting, and the t-shirt decorating, and the cooking things in my new slow cooker to get on with as well......

Hmmmm.....

Monday, 7 August 2006

Works in Progress

I make no apologies for not having knitted at all in the last 6 weeks! I was playing Civ! :P


I've started again this week though. I started making a scarf from some wool which I bought compulsively at Spotlight yesterday. It was sooo on sale! Half price! I make no apologies at all!


I call it the E-Scarf. I don't know why. I hope it will be pretty quick as I'm using massive needles. Which is a welcome relief after the annoying bloody tiny needles I have to use to make some of my other stuff!

Ages ago, I finished my purple Rectangular Doiley:


It's one of the most intricate things I've made, and I can't believe that I actually finished it! I'm so proud, I'm putting in a close-up:


So there!

About a month ago, I also started on something that I was really excited about... at first. I really got into doing Fair Isle knitting, which is coloured patterns and repeating pictures, like so:


I started collecting patterns, and planning a wall-hanging. I bought a set of picture frames and everything. I planned a sampler to fit the smallest frame, and got started excitedly. Here it is:


Well, it wasn't long before I realised that is was about two-thirds the width, and half the size it should have been! Needless to say, it was extremely disappointing. I added some more motifs to make it longer, and I can make it fit on the frame, but I got bored with it pretty quickly. It was fun to do at the time, but nyeh. Ennui.
So maybe I'll finish it one day.

Monday, 12 June 2006

Finished!

The Boy Beanie, AKA Man Hat, is finished! Hot off the press. I had a lot of problems with it though!

Let me detail for you:

I knitted it up to the decreases at the top, and then I started on them, and when I was half way through, I thought, I can do better than this! If I distribute the decreases more evenly, I'm sure it will look better. So I undid it back to the start of the green section (about 20 rows) and re-did it, and sewed it up, feeling pretty proud of myself. I ended up with this:


That pink arrow points towards the centre top of the beanie. See the huge bulgy bit behind it? Oh, woe! It happened because one of the sections stayed the same width and didn't decrease. There was no way to fix it. I heaved a huge sigh, ripped out the sewing, and pulled it apart back to the start of the green section again. Lesson No. 1: don't let your ego get the best of you, follow the pattern!

I started over again, following the pattern exactly. Now, the pattern is actually a hand-written copy that I copied out of a work colleague's knitting book a couple of years ago. (Footy Knits or something similear, if memory serves me correctly.) I knitted, I decreased, I sewed, just as the pattern instructed. I ended up with this: (again, the pink arrow points to the centre top of the beanie.)


Lesson No. 2: the pattern may not necessarily be right. Now, sure, the bulge isn't as big as last time, but it's STILL THERE! Bugger! I'm not pulling the f%$king damned thing apart again!! Especially considering the mean daytime temperature at the moment of 14oC and my poor boyfriend's poor cold ears! But I was so upset and discouraged that I wanted to do something really simple. So I started this coathanger cover with a wool that I'd been thinking about for a long time:


I couldn't decide whether stocking stitch or reverse stocking stitch would highlight the variegated wool better, so I decided to do a bit of both. It ended up coming out in this really cool springy effect. I think I might buy some foam padding and line the hanger with it this time. Some of my old hangers are very not-comfy. Rather harsh. More minimalist than down-home-country.

Ok, you are all probably wondering what happened to the beanie.

A week later when I finally got around to it, I decided to do a quick repair job on it and hope for the best. Here is a pic of the work in progress:


The arrows point to the line where I re-sewed it, folded it over, and am now sewing down the extra flap on the inside. I am using my knee to fill out the inside. I thought about just putting it on Anth's head, but I didn't know how he'd react to me saying, 'here, put this on your head' and then coming at him with a huge needle. I was quite proud of my fix job, and the upshot is:


Beanie finished!! And it fits!!!!!!!!! (isn't he cute? ;) )

And for the grand finale - there is a secret little message hidden inside the brim of the beanie:


I think it actually turned out quite well. Lucky for the boy!

Tuesday, 30 May 2006

Very very busy.

I've just been too busy to post lately. I started the Boy Beanie (AKA Man Hat) the other day. It's my foray into knitting for loved ones. I know that Stitch n Bitch counsels against this, but I love him so much, I just want to make him something!


I only feel justified in doing this because the Babe Sweater is going so well. I have almost finished the first piece already!! And it's not even June yet! I guess I just got so excited about getting to the interesting bit (i.e. the chequerboard pattern) that I just kept on ploughing away at it until, Voila!, the back is nearly finished!:


I even worked a little on Branwell the Brachiosaurus. Aren't I a good girl?

Unfortunately, I have so many ideas whizzing around in my head at the moment, I don't know what to do first! I saw a felted bag in "Simple Knits" that I fell in love with, and as I am putting up with my current bag is falling apart - literally - I feel that I deserve it! Especially if I make it myself! And I even have some wool in my stash that I could make it out of! I started on some samples today. Hopefully I'll get time to felt them tomorrow. It'll be the first time I make a felted project, so I'm a bit excited and a bit scared at the same time.

I also would like to make some pot holders, etc as a wedding gift for my friends who are getting married in July (in addition to something good! :P ) but I don't know if this will happen. I don't know if I can make them good enough, basically. The limited time frame is also something of a problem. We'll see.

P.S.

I also re-arranged my Works In Progress [link defunct] page into 4 categories: Current, Long Term, On Hold and Abandoned.

I have 3 projects in the On Hold category at the moment, and I want to either do something with them, or get rid of them. Lacy Scarf I want to finish off by threading some ribbons through (though do I really need more scarves?!). Cardigan I want to restart, I don't know how yet. Top Medallion - rip off and re-make into a square. (That would make sense if I had a picture. I'll try and get one organised.)

Night!

Sunday, 28 May 2006

Wool, more wool, and stuff

Today's purchases:


Bad, bad girl!
But they were on sale! ...

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Dear diary, today I...

Some interesting developments occurred today. Firstly, I finished the Lacy Scarf v.2.0:


Well, technically, I have finished the knitting of it. I still have to weave in the ends. So it's not really finished, technically. Though in another way, it is....
All right, I'm not putting it on my Finished Page [link defunct] til the ends are weaved in, okay? Sheesh, get off my back people!

I went wool-shopping:


Here is:
* 1 pair of 3.25mm needles. I like the Pony brand, they are cool colours. Mmmmm, pearly.
* 1 ball of Carnival variegated acrylic. I thought it might be fun for coathanger covers. (Later I re-considered this, as I shoved and pushed to get it into the acrylic section of my stash.)
* 2 balls of Panda Glitter. Cause it's so pretty *drools* I couldn't stop touching it. And I'm all into the glitter at the moment! I'm thinking a scarf... *raises hands to temples in mystical fashion* yes... I see... some kind of... scarf...
* 4 balls of white baby wool, and 1 ball of Panda Baby Lustre. I am going to use these to make:

the Babe Sweater!!

Yup, little baby Sparky is going to be a Sweater Baby!

The pattern is from an old pattern book from the 1950s which I bought at an antique shop at Easter. (How can I tell? It's a twin-set, dahling!) I'm getting quite a collection of them now. It's pretty straight-forward, actually. There's a front, a back, and sleeves. The short sleeves mean it should take slightly less time/effort, and the little puffed sleeves are so cute! There is a pattern on the yoke which you can barely see in the picture - it seems to be a chequerboard pattern. It doesn't seem that hard.
At the top you can see the swatch I made. It was quite handy actually, as the Baby Lustre I'm using for the hems is thicker than the baby wool, so I had to work out for myself what size needles to use. The body of the sweater will be plain white. I'll probably be damned sick of white in a few weeks!

(By the way, as I was measuring my needles in the needle gauge - this dooverlackey:


- I realised that one of my pair of bamboo needles was one size bigger than the other! Everybody goes on about how great wooden needles are, but they neglect to mention that they swell! Dodgy! Look out for that, people. But I digress...)


With all the knitters around me, I really feel that I can have a good go at making this. Heck, there was even talk of making socks at work yesterday! Yeah, I can do it. Heck, I have til November!

[P.S.]
I realised today that Big W is not necessarily cheaper than the wool shops. Most of their fancy yarns, including the Glitter above, were the same price (i.e. $3 for 50g) as Lincraft brand.

Monday, 15 May 2006

*sings* Lace, exciting and new

How much knitting can you get done in a full-day shift in a call centre on a Saturday when it's quiet?
Here's your answer:


It's half-done already!

Well, I've used up one ball of the Sky Cloud, so that's the forced half-way point, and it's still disturbingly short. Hmmm. Oh well, no-one said luxury had to be lengthy, right?

Hmph.

P.S. Oh, this is really cool: you have to really be dedicated to handicrafts when you will happily use dried lice to dye your wool with.
Yup, it's 1am. No more envy-blog-reading!

Sunday, 14 May 2006

So much can happen in a week...

Hey everyone, I've haven't posted for a while because I've been too busy knitting. For once! I've been working and working to get the coathanger covers ready for Mother's Day, and here they are! Ta daaaaa:

and a back view showing the crochet on the blue one:


I'm quite proud of that one, the crochet on it looks pretty good. And the mother in question seemed very happy when I gave them to her!

Speaking of visits to Anthony's Mum and Dad's house, I've now found myself making a cardigan for a 6-year-old boy! An actual garment, to be finished, eventually! Eek! They even have me believing that I can actually do it! It's from an old pattern, on 3mm needles, in yellow acrylic yarn. I've 3/4 finished the left front half already! It may actually be possible. I'll take my camera next time so I can get proof that I actually made it myself.

P.S. I also did quite a bit on my Lacy Scarf v2.0 today before I ran out of yarn.

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

*rubs hands together*

Here is what I bought at the Lincraft sale today:


Yes, I was quite restrained - I had to leave enough for lunch as well! So what you can see here is some standard cheap-arse acrylic for making coathangers, etc. (I am imagining that variegated one in a pebbly, reverse stocking-stitch) The piece de resistance: two balls of Sky Cloud. Ohhhh.... it's so pretty!! So expensive... I have to make something good out of it... I have to make it go a long way.... I feel so pressured! Actually I've been thinking of reviving my Lacy Scarf and re-doing it with larger needles, cause it's taking for-f@!cking-ever (that's the technical term for it) to finish! And the colour, while really nice, was starting to feel very monochrome (I'm using the term in a derogatory way there!). So I chose something that hopefully in my mind will go with that green cross-fingers, that I can use to make a new Lacy Scarf, based on the old one. The thought of what I'm going to do with the old one, with being half finished and all, makes me want to cry. But for the sake of knitting, one must make sacrifices.

Monday, 8 May 2006

Last gasp of the 80's revival (I hate sewing up!)

What I have started calling "The Glam Band" is finished. No, it's not a reformed Gary Glitter, it's my new headband!:


I started making it last month, and I ended up making it in between gifts and other stuff, but it was quite quick to make (I love big needles!) and I finally decided to rush it through this morning so that I could wear it today.
It's made of 3 strands held together: navy blue pure wool, medium blue pure acrylic, and a purple, slightly fuzzy yarn with sparkly bits in it that my best friend got for me when we went to New Zealand. It's called "Wendy Ice". Dunno why.

I wanted to use Kitchener stitch to sew it up at the back, but not being able to remember how it works, I had to look it up in Stitch N Bitch. Then when I realised that it wouldn't work with the garter stitch border, and having started it off 2cm askew and having to undo it and start again, I did the only sensible thing and just did some straight old whip stitch on its assss. Who would have thought that sewing 2 straight surfaces about 12cm wide would take over 20 minutes?? Only for the Barely Competent Knitter!

Even before I started sewing it up, though, I realised that the damned thing curled up at the edges! I thought that sewing it up would solve this problem. Nope! Here is my attempt to flatten the Band:


Needless to say, it didn't work. Perhaps blocking would. But blocking sucks even more than sewing up. So it can damned well stay like that. It's not that much of a pain in the butt to put on that way.

I did get to wear it today, by the way.

Thursday, 4 May 2006

Momentous Mother's Day

Last weekend I had lunch with my boyfriend's parents. She knits. We talked about knitting. She gave me a project to start off for her. Toddler's cardigan in yellow acrylic, 3mm. It was great. Truly exciting. An inter-generational understanding developed. She talked about making me a cardigan. I'm so honoured! So I want to make something back (so to speak). I had a think and I thought, coathanger covers are safe and practical. Everybody needs them, right? And apparently blue is the way to go.

So I started the first one a few days later. I am making it in 'Pinstripe', it's a technique of slipping stitches to create stripes in the knitting. The good thing about it is the strands at the back create a double layer which will make the hanger cover more padded. Sorry no pics of the back right now. I might make them all in variations of this stitch, actually, because of that. Some of the 'plain' ones I've made have been very thin, as well as too tight, so you could see the wood of the coathanger through the holes (see here) [link defunct]. I increased the width from 11 to 15 stitches. Hopefully that will do the trick.


I am hoping to make a set of three.
Will she succeed? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

80's Glamour

I got bored with my boring old head-band, so I decided to make a new one. I wanted something more colourful and less monochrome, and thick and chunky, so I went through my wools until I found some that went together well. It's in a navy-purple colourway (ooh, how posh!) and I experimented with a few pattern combinations until I came up with this one. It's a wide band of stocking stitch, with a garter stitch border 3 stitches wide on each side. After a while I started to think that one of the older styles that I'd pulled apart looked better, and it's too narrow, but I'd already done so much on it, I couldn't be bothered pulling it apart and doing it again.

So here it is, for better or worse:


[the next day]: it's nearly finished now!

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Woe of the Unfinished (Boring) Project!

I was doing something over summer! Really!

On a suggestion from a work colleague, I started experimenting with cotton, after complaining about how I don't knit in warmer weather because it makes my hands all sweaty. I hadn't seen many patterns involving cotton before, but I came across one for a facewasher that looked really pretty. I wanted to make a set of 3 for a friend for her birthday. Here are some pics:


Pink facewasher nearly finished; 'petals' for green facewasher


Close-up of pink facewasher

However, there is just one fatal flaw in the pattern - they are a PAIN IN THE ARSE to make! Each of the 5 petals is made separately using garter stitch, then they are attached together into a ring, and you use 5 double-pointed needles to reduce, reduce, reduce, until the hole in the middle is closed up. There are 3 main problems with this:

1) It results in a huge number of loose ends to weave in, which have to be done neatly because there is no 'wrong side' to the facewasher.
2) Working with double-pointed needles is bad enough, but FIVE of the damn bastards??!!
3) The method of increasing used to shape the petals seems very strange to me - it's one of the methods used when you want to make a decorative hole in the work. I reverted to the good old 'knit-into-front-and-back' method.

To make things worse, the author uses a special method of starting and ending each row, supposedly to keep the edges neat, but I found it made them look even worse, and was logistically almost impossible to do. I found the way the pattern was written was very wordy and confusing. Is this supposed to be for beginners? Phah!


Needless to say, my friend did not receive any home-made facewashers for her birthday. (It was last August.) So, it seems, the facewashers are destined to sit, not-quite-finished, in their little plastic bag for the rest of their days. I can't see me hating myself enough in the near future to pick up them needles again. The lady in the picture can press her own soft, springy chenille-cotton facewasher to her smug face all she likes. I'm moving on!!

On a more positive note, if not more interesting, I'm renovating my Works In Progress and Finished Projects pages in the next few days. (See the links to the left.) [this information is now defunct]