Jan. 13th, 2017 10:08 am
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
So. . . I started a new project. Before I finished the other projects. But I have a good reason!

Seaming sweaters needs to be done on a flat surface, sitting at a table. That means I no longer had a couch project! I can't just be expected to sit there and watch TV and talk to my husband and child without knitting something! That would be absurd!

So I started this shawl.

I have been borrowing The Girl's shawl constantly, and it will be nice to have one of my own. Just for around the house and maybe at work.

The yarns are two balls of worsted-weight gradient-dyed wool that I got at the Shepherd's Harvest festival a few years ago. I started with the more true blue ball; it ranges from light denim color to teal blue to light sky blue. The second ball is much more greeny, going from dark to light turquoise. I bought them with no specific plan and I am glad to be using them finally!

The pattern is written for fingering weight yarn, but in worsted weight I will just get a bigger, thicker version, which is what I want anyway. I love the way knitted lace looks in fingering weight, but worsted will be so squishy and warm! The pattern's relatively plain-knit main section is also nice for warmth. I may increase the number of lace repeats at the edge so I can use up all my yarn, but I will either need to do math to figure this out or just live dangerously and risk having to rip out an incomplete repeat if I run short.
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
Finished the second mitten yesterday.

color mittens 027

I have a new yarn stranding doohickey. It is this coiled wire one. It is more comfortable than the other one, but a little harder to get the yarns in. I've found it's easiest to first join the yarns to the project for a couple stitches, then put the guide on and slide the yarns in. But it really helps when doing those little every-other-stitch patterns.

There are 7 colors in these mittens and the sections are so far apart I really couldn't carry colors up. So I was left with tons of ends to weave in.

color mittens 019

I am pretty happy with my floats on the inside; they are loose enough that the mitten still stretches easily but not so loose they look sloppy. I was paying a lot of attention to keeping them loose as I went.

The Girl likes them!

color mittens 025

These were fun, and I am glad I made a plain pair before the colorful one, to get the sizing, etc. I think now I am done with mittens for a while.

My Ravelry project for both of the recent pairs of mittens is here.
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
Finished this mitten last night.

It is brighter in real life. My tablet takes pretty washed out pictures.

I was surprised at the amount of grey in it. I was making it up as I went along, no real plan except the 7 colors F picked out. I just decided as I went that the colors would pop nicely on that light grey.

Now to make it a friend!
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
Crappy tablet picture.

Just making it up as I go along!
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
Well that was fun.

Now I want to make another pair in lots of wacky bright leftover scrap yarn.


Nov. 20th, 2016 08:24 pm
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
So I finished a sweater today and couldn't bear going back to a ufo. I needed something instant. So, mittens for the kid.

Here is my crappy picture taken from the couch. Because sitting and not getting up.

I started these an hour ago and I am hoping to finish one before bed. I liked the plain brown for everyday plus Victorian. When this pair is done I might make a bright stripey one. Stash and leftover yarns only, of course.

Pattern is my usual favorite any-gauge mitten recipe. Ravelry project is here.
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
I finished this yesterday!

cobblestone done

I used every last scrap of yarn, even undoing my gauge swatch for the last row and bind-off.

I haven't blocked it, not sure if I am going to bother.

The yoke portion was a little frustrating, only because it required constant measuring. Knit such-and-such an amount, then do short row shaping, then knit until it's such an amount of inches, then decrease, etc.

Measuring. Knitting. Sucks. It's stretchy; it moves all the time, and you never get the same measurement twice. My measuring kind of went like this:

Measure: 8"
Knit 4 rnds.
Measure: 7.75"
Knit 2 rnds.
Measure: 7.5"
Knit 6 rnds.
Measure: 8"

Not to mention it's in garter stitch so it's extra stretchy. I got very sick of seeing the tape measure go backwards.

For the neckline bind-off I used Jeny's surprisingly stretchy method, but omitting the directions to purl (and make it ribbed).

This took me about 6 months to knit, which seems to be typical for me for a sweater. Though I did take a break for over a month while I made The Girl's shawl.

My Ravelry page for this project is here. I might get pictures of my HB wearing it after christmas when I give it to him.


Nov. 16th, 2016 11:37 am
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
Working on my HB's christmas sweater today.

The pattern instructions have you graft the sleeve and body stitches at the underarm. I generally hate doing Kitchener stitch and this was no exception. First I tried Maggie Righetti's directions from Knitting in Plain English. I love most of that book but the grafting directions were pure gibberish.

So then I looked up Knitty's grafting directions. Much better. I still struggled a bit because my wool yarn is very sticky and grabby, so to snug up the grafting, I had to fiddle with each stitch individually.

I used those big safety pin type stitch holders but since I didn't have enough, one section was on waste yarn. I hate doing that because the stitches shrink. I need to remember to buy a couple more holders. They are not perfect but they work.

Finally, I was a little annoyed at the pattern for not mentioning the big gaping holes you get at each end of the graft row. I knew to anticipate them, but it would have been nice to see some clever method of closing them up, or even just "sew holes closed," instead of just pretending they didn't exist. I just sewed them up kind of randomly like I always do. If anyone knows a better way, please share!

Just about 5 more inches of the yoke to knit and it's done. And I have reached the decrease section so it should go a little faster. Still, it seems like it is taking forever. Is the final stage of a knitting project always the most tedious?
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Since I can't find my HB's good Halloween photos, here is a knitting post instead.

I don't post as much about knitting as sewing (because the updates can be really dull) but I knit every day. In the evenings after dinner plus any time during the day I need to sit down and veg out. I try not to be too much of a couch potato, but my rule is "If you're sitting, you're knitting," so at least if I am watching TV I am still getting something done.

I have joined the sleeves and body into the yoke on my HB's new sweater. This feels like a milestone!

In the photo it looks like it's just a really short wide sweater, but the top edge is actually armpit level, and now it will be knitted up the shoulders to the neck. The yoke is shaped with short rows, which are kinda fun and break the monotony a little. It does mean I have to check off every row as I go, which can get annoying. No spacing out!

This needs to be done by christmas, but hopefully I will finish it sooner because there are a few other things I want to knit after this. I have two sweaters for me that are 75% done, and I'd like to finish them by the end of the year. One is Morning Echo, which I started in Spring 2014, and the other is much older, a sweater I made in 2009 and ripped apart a few years ago to alter the neckline. Never finished it back up!

I also want to make some mittens for myself and for the fam. You can't have too many mittens!

Another warm scarf for me would be nice, too. I have lots of scarves but really only two get worn most of the time. I guess I tend to pick bright colors I love but that don't really go with the clothes I am wearing.

I was thinking about knitting a Victorian hood but I think I just want to sew a hood instead. Faster and more wind-proof.


Sep. 26th, 2016 09:21 am
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I got sick of knitting this. And I ran out of yarn. That means it's done.

I used 4 skeins of black and 1.5 of grey Knit Picks Wool of the Andes superwash. They are 50g, half the size of a skein of Cascade 220 (but basically the same yarn).

The Girl LOVES it, but can't sit still for a picture. Too busy adventuring. She wants to wear it all the time and can't stop talking about how she is going to greet everyone for the Little House Party wearing this and holding a lantern.

Details at my ravelry.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I washed my kirtle wool and while I wait for it to dry I will post about my latest knitting.

I cast this shawl on during our recent trip up North. It doesn't look like much yet (ooh, a black triangle!). The Girl specifically requested black with grey stripes. The pink bows are my RS markers.

The pattern is the Godey's shawl that [ profile] mala_14 recently made.

The pattern is so super simple, but I have to admit the archaic language threw me at first. I don't like admitting that because I have knitted Many Complicated Things! But here is a row written out:

Slip the 1st stitch, that is, taking it off the pin without working it; then to increase a stitch, knit the next stitch plain, but before taking it off the left pin, insert the right pin in the back of the same loop on the left pin, and, bringing the wool between the pins, knit the stitch, taking it off the left pin; there will now be 3 loops on the right pin; knit the next 4 stitches quite plain.

Which, in modern knitting, would say: Slip 1, kfb, knit to end. Because these days all knitters know what "kfb" means, but in 1864 I guess they had to write it out.

Once you get started it is just a mindless two-row repeat. It feels like I got to this point in the project really fast, but of course since every row is longer than the last, the shawl seems to grow more slowly as you go. Since it is for The Girl I am not going to make it huge, but who knows how long it will take me. I am a slow knitter. Just as long as it is done in time for winter.

I am using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes superwash worsted and US 6 needles. My Ravelry project page is here.


Aug. 7th, 2016 09:27 am
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Yay! My Knit Picks box has arrived!


Is there anything more thrilling than getting stuff in the mail?

There is yarn for a shawl for The Girl, deep turquoise roving for me for thrums, some needles, a few random notions (because free shipping), and a new "feeling superfine" bag to replace the one I lost (Lost! Me! A whole knitting bag! Project and all! What is wrong with me!?).
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I finished the baby hat for my niece and mailed it to her. I was so sure I took a picture of the finished hat but now I can't find it! Argh! Please believe it turned out super cute.

With some leftover yarn I agreed to make a hat for F's Lottie doll. it is by far the smallest and cutest thing I have ever knitted.

tiny hat (2)

tiny hat (1)

It was fun to make a small hat for a newborn baby and then follow it up with a miniature hat for a tiny doll!

I've been making a few other things here and there but nothing else got photographed. Trying to work on men's clothes the past month has been an utter fail. I am going to have to set my HB's projects aside for Costume Con prep. I feel massively guilty about this, but at least it feels better to be working on Girl stuff. I'm not being selfish if it's still for someone else, right? Just not the same someone else.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
First all the slippers I made this year.

The chunky clogs came out pretty nice and I think they were well liked by the recipient.

slippers (11)

My HB got these felted slippers. The sizing was good but the two layers do not like to stick together and they shift and slide around. Fiddling with them is required before he will wear them for real. :P

slippers (2)

The fluffy bunny slippers came out a little big but she can grow into them. And so cute!

slippers (6)

slippers (7)

I made a big dinner for all of us. I roasted some chickens (this is the time of year when my vegetarian household binges on meat) and made butternut squash and rice pasties.

christmas 2015 048

I was very happy with this scrumptious puzzle I received and have been spending hours doing it. I love puzzles!

christmas 2015 112

I also got a great fashion plate book.

christmas 2015 113

As well as several novels and a copy of How To Be A Victorian.

I am very skeptical of pseudo-history books like this, but this one looked good and everyone I know is reading it, so I put it on my list and my sister picked it up for me. Looking forward to it.

One other gift I am really pleased with is a new perfume from Love and Toast. I find most perfumes cloying and horrible and headache-inducing, but these are natural and mild and lovely. Last year I got the Paper Flower scent and this year I got the Sugar Grapefruit. Yum!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
This morning we decorated the tree, and I figured it was time to finish stuffing all the balls I knit last month. So I spent an hour in front of a sappy movie with the fam tonight and stuffed these. I got tired of making crochet chains for the hanging loops so I just used a plain strand of yarn. If it breaks, oh well. I am noticing now that I did a few upside down, but only a knitter would notice. ;)

I was overcome by greed and fell in love with each one a little more than the last. It will be hard deciding which ones to keep and which to give away!

Pattern #14, "Xs and Os version 1"

ball patt 14 x and o v1

#3 "Snowflakes"

balls patt 3 snowflakes

#17 "Selbu"

balls patt 17 selbu

wanna see lots of my balls? )

All the patterns are from the book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit by Arne and Carlos and my Ravelry page for this project is here.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Today I started another pair of slippers, this time for my sister's boyfriend. I am using the same yarn as the fluffy bunny slippers, Spud and Chloe Outer, but in blue.

My Ravelry page is here. One cool thing in this pattern is the sole is made from knitted jute twine. I think that will be durable and look neat.

I am using a new-to-me short row method. I was pretty annoyed by the wrap and turn short rows in my HB's slippers, because they were loose and sloppy and left holes (even despite the wrap!) so I poked around online and found Techknitter's great short rows article. I am using the "dig" method, and I am quite pleased with it. No wrap, no holes!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Finishing up the knitting on these, just a little assembly left.

This huge yarn and these huge needles are making my hands hurt like hell! They are cute and soft, and they went pretty quickly, but I am glad to be done.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I finished knitting these slippers for my HB. There are 4 pieces to make two double-layered slippers. Next step is to felt them.


The thing about fulling/felting knitted things is that you have to start out with a thing that is loose and floopy and huge. Here they are with my hand for some scale.


I have another pair of slippers to knit and felt, so I am going to set these ones aside until later, when I can throw them all in the washing machine together.

The pattern is trim clogs from The Knitted Slipper Book. My Ravelry project for these with yarn info, etc is here.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
You guys, I am seriously addicted to knitting adorable christmas balls and I just cannot stop. I am not doing anything else with my life this week, every free moment I have is spent knitting.

I just started my sixth, even though #3, #4, and #5 are still just empty sad sacks because I haven't stuffed them yet. The knitting is the most fun part!

I would love to have my whole christmas tree covered wih knitted ornaments and a bunch to give away as gifts too. I will just keep making them until it stops being fun! That doesn't look likely any time soon.

No pictures today because I am too busy knitting!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Well I am so glad you guys are also snickering about the use of the word balls. It's good to know I am not the only 10-year-old at heart.

So here's my second ball. Made this up yesterday.

ball 002

This one is pattern #12. I noticed the chart differs slightly from the photo in the book. There is an extra pattern stitch in the middle of the vertical bar. I followed the chart, not the photo, and I like the extra stitch.

I have edited my Ravelry page for these guys to keep the project open for however many I knit. That's easier than making a separate project for each one.

I am digging the red & white but I might get a skein of black or blue to mix with the white also. I actually wanted blue the other day but they didn't have the right one; just navy and turquoise.

I have started the third one, from pattern #1 in the book, another snowflake. I just can't get enough balls!
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