Archive for July, 2009

Something Small

I am stunned (and delighted!) at the number of friends I have who are expecting new additions at the moment. Many aren’t due until next year,  and I am hoping to keep up with creating gifts for each of them. This wee vest is for a friend who is due somewhat sooner than that, and is winging its way to her house as I type.

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Yep, it’s another wee Milo, and I suspect I’ll be churning them out with regularity over the next wee while. I chose to do the aran cable on this one.

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This is the 3 month size, and it used a paltry 66g of DK weight yarn. Fabulous! The yarn I used was Cleckheaton Country, an oatmeal sort of shade. I was gifted two balls of this yarn in a swap I did, and it was intended for dyeing. I cast this on fully intending to dip dye it when it was done, but I lost my nerve. It was so cute the colour it was. And as my friend didn’t find out the sex of her baby, I was worried that it might not suit if I used my purples, or my blues. Annnnyway, I held off on the dyes, and I think it’s super cute as it is.

Something Different

It’s birthday season! Somehow, most of my three children’s friends birthdays all seem to fall within the same three month period and we are kept busy with birthday parties to attend. We have a lot of fun, and Miss almost 3 loves parties. She loves party dresses, she loves being at the party, she loves party food, party games (mostly just pass the parcel at the moment), she loves seeing her friends open presents, and she loves the cake. She’s always ready to help blow out candles if whoever is celebrating doesn’t know how yet.

We had two parties to attend this weekend, and for something a bit different, and a bit personal, I thought I would make a mini album up for each of them, all ready for their parents to put photos into.

I was able to make these from things I had in my scrapbooking stash already. I have made hardly any time for scrapbooking this year, so it was fun to dig through the stash and think of things that would suit the recipients.

First up was a one year old boy, a cheerful and fun wee lad. I chose a series of blue papers, starting with baby blues for photos of his youngest days, progressing through funky retro prints. And I teamed it with chocolate brown foam letters.

Here’s a few of the pages…

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And today’s party was for a sweet two year old girl. I had some cute flocked punch out accessories, and I used them to decorate the pages along with just three sheets of scrapbooking paper.  I also used cute pink alphabet stickers to girl it up a bit. Here’s some pages.

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And of course I had lots of fun, and wondered why I never seem to have (or make) the time to scrapbook for my own albums.

Something Simple

My friend Kelly inspired me in my latest wee project. She has been teaching her younger sister to knit, and even has plans to teach her hubby. And their project of choice? A super simple dishcloth.

Having a wee stash of dishcloth cotton, and a desire to trim my stash a little, it seemed the perfect time to cast of for this yarn chewing pattern.  Called the “Easy Peasy Dishcloth”, the name is no lie.  There are two different patterns, one a garter stitch beauty, and the other a brioche stitch.  I tried this, but failed, so instead came up with a trio of pretty cloths inspired by their pattern.

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From the top: slip stitch pattern in Peaches and Creme cotton and random 4ply cotton;  a stitch pattern based on the linen stitch of Dh’s jersey in  John Q white cotton and Anchor Magicline;  a super chunky Grandmother’s Favourite dishcloth knit if Peaches and Creme cotton and John Q pink cotton.

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All of these are super large, thanks to being knit on 6.5mm needles they take less than 90 minutes each to knit. I have plans for at least 3 more as I continue to trim my stash. It’s awesome to see the yarns coming to life, and I love the way they work together to make a totally different look to when they are worked single stranded.

Now I’m torn – they are almost too pretty to use, but I can’t wait to see how super absorbent and super scrubby they are!

10 Down!

 

Picture 2641NaKniSweMoDo Knit #10: Back-to-School U-Neck Vest

As promised the other day, here is the selfish something I was working on alongside Dh’s jersey. A little something to break up the knitting on huge needles, and to break up the monotony of reeeeeally long rows of almost plain stocking stitch. Funnily enough, the stocking stitch also broke up the monotony of inches of 2×2 ribbing, and I enjoyed knitting both of them more. Complementary knitting – I think it has a lot to recommend it.

I wasn’t meaning to cheat or hurry along my tally by chosing a vest for this knit. I chose to knit this, Stefanie Japel’s  Back-to-School U-Neck Vest from a pattern in Fitted Knits. I chose it partly out of guilt I hadn’t knit anything from the book yet, partly because I had new yarn and didn’t have any room to stash it, and partly because I think I’ll get lots of use out of this if I knit it now, and not so much if I left it a few months. 

It must almost be a first for me to knit something in the recommended yarn, but when my sister was in the US, I got her to bring back the 4 skeins of Cascade 220 (in the Teal colourway) for me.  I purchased it from WEBS at less than $5 a skein, making this a bargain knit. With so many colours to choose from I was tempted to buy more but figured my sister might want to bring back some souvenirs of her own!

Anyway, I digress. Back to the vest. I made a few changes to it: lengthening the rib section by an inch, adding another 1.5 inches to the waffle stitch section after bust shaping and an extra centimetre to front and back straps. All of this resulted in the shaping all falling exactly where it was meant to.

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The other major change I made was to the width of the neckline opening.  15 extra stitches were cast off here instead of being decreased at the arm opening. I prefer the silhouette this produces at the armhole as well as at the vest front. Because the arm holes are wider, I only did 3 rows of purl around the arm instead of the 3 purl, 3 knit, 3 purl the pattern suggests.

The back shaping I did keep, which I would perhaps do differently next time to create a simpler silhouette.

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I did strike a few self-imposed issues along the way, thanks to some miscounting I had to knit the right left front strap three times. Tis  a thing of beauty now though!

I would really recommend this pattern, it’s an easy enough knit, but not boring. No acres of stocking stitch. Flattering shaping, lots of size options in the pattern, and in 10 ply the knitting just flies along.  It is versatile too – casual with jeans, but smart enough for work.

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Now, for the doting aunties amongst my readers, here is the gratuitous baby shot… terrible of me, but darn cute of Miss 13 months.

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Stash Planning

I’ve been thinking about yarn stashes lately. Well, I guess lots of knitters think about stashes a lot – the ideal stash, stashes that are too big, too small, too blah, I could go on. Stashes are, after all, lots of fun to think about, and to grow. But since my self- imposed buying ban has been in place I’ve been thinking about what makes a good stash. What I would like to have in my stash, and what I *should* have in my stash.

So, what prompted this – first it was a search for a small ball of navy yarn I *knew* was in there. This took about 25 minutes as I searched, shifted, fondled and reorganised. I realised that of my two yarn boxes, one is entirely full of sweater sized amounts of yarn, all purchased this year for NaKniSweMoDo ’09. More that I have left to do, somehow.  The other box is either lovely sock yarn or things I bought on sale, on clearance, on a whim, or leftover from projects. Plus one or two things from projects never begun.  Oh, and some beautiful Malabrigo that I bought before my stash freeze started.

And then this arrived…

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I’ve included a ball point pen, just for scale, you understand. Yep, FIL is back from his overseas visit, yarn in tow. I can tell you this: I don’t know of *anything* good that comes in 400g balls.

Not exactly sure *what* to do with this!

But it wasn’t all bad! I also got 400g of lovely!

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200g each of two colourways of Rowan Colourscape Chunky. Mmmm.

What am I going to do with this?

Stash it!

It’s exactly the kind of inspiration I’d like to find when I open up my stash to see what is calling to me!!

Now, I should *not* be looking at yarn since I’m not buying but temptation keeps coming across my path. My current temptation is this lovely yarn from South Seas Knitting. So many pretty colourways… and half price until the end of this month only.  Makes a girl regret her buying ban.

So – tell me about your stashes!  How big, small, useful, fanciful, out of control is it?  How do you buy? Do you regret purchases? Move things on if they don’t appeal or is it once in the stash, always in the stash?

FO: Man Jersey

Yay, done! This must be knit #9 for the year in the NaKniSweMoDo challenge, and the first one that’s not for me.

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The pattern I used was from Interweave Knits Winter ’08 issue, Woven Bands Pullover by Hana Jason.  When I picked it, I hadn’t realised that the sleeves are 2/3 length, which would never do! So, I had to do some immediate pattern alterations as you cast on at the sleeve. It was easily fixed by adding 5 inches of straight knitting before I started the increases. The beauty of starting at the sleeve was that it doubled as my gauge swatch too! Yay, no waste of knitting or time.

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A patterned panel runs up the arm, across the front and back of the neckline and down the other arm. Knit in linen stitch, it adds some interest without too much fussiness – must keep it manly after all!

The neckline is a boatneck, which seemed really wide in the pattern, so cue another alteration. Instead of knitting 15 rows (for the smallest size) before starting neckline shaping, I added 1.5 inches more straight knitting.  This reduced the size of the neckline by 3 inches total, and I adjusted the front and back accordingly when I knit them.  Even so, DH requested I sew up the neckline a little, which I did, making it a total of 2 inches smaller again. Gosh, he would have fallen out of the pattern as written.  Gotta love knitting for people who wear the smallest size though!

The front and back of the jersey are knit sideways, which DH isn’t too sure about… Men just don’t understand fashion – and making knitting easier! I think it looks just fine!

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The yarn that I used was Wool Company 12 ply – to be found nowhere on their website, I picked it up a couple of years ago, and I was concerned about yardage as it was nowhere on the label. Ha! I ended up with 230g left out of 800 – so 570g used. Luckily for me a friend is keen to snaffle the leftovers, as I am trying so hard to destash!

I had set myself a deadline of tomorrow to finish this, as DH is back off to work the next day and it’s always nice to wear something new for a new term. So, yay, I made my own deadline – despite working a bit on something for me… all will be revealled soon. And in the meantime, the man jersey is getting a good test run before work on Monday 🙂

 

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Crafty Thursday

It’s nearing the end of the school holidays and DS said this morning “What are we doing today?” Well, I wasn’t planning any outings in *that* rain, but a morning sewing appealed.  As it happened, it appealed to all of us.

Yesterday I had arranged to meet some friends at the library, and our visit co-incided with their preschool programme. For the activity, the children cut (well, I cut) and coloured some cats ears, which were a big hit.

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But paper doesn’t last long, especially when worn all day – and by all day I mean to bed as well… so I thought we could all make some cat ears. I traced around the wee ears we had already, cut out two of each, sewed them together and stuffed lightly. Then I made a headband for them, making it multi-sized by using elastic for the back of it.  Cute!  DS designed, cut out and stuffed (yep, I know how to assign the crap jobs) a tail too. Which would have been more cool if he didn’t show his sister how to hit stuff with it before it was even finished. Sigh.

Anyway, this is a hit, and by the time it was finished, the weather had cleared enough for us to go for a walk.

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For the last few weeks I have been anticipating the arrival of some scrummy Amy Butler fabric which I bought off a friend who was destashing. I wanted to make the girls and I a library bag each.  Miss nearly 3 had a reusable one which recently deveoped a hole in the bottom, so I cut it up to use as a pattern.  And this is the first of the bags complete – probably for Miss 1.

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The fabrics I used were all from the Nigella range, upholstery weight. I had some plain pink drill which I used to line it. I am pretty pleased with it for a first go. I might make a few technical changes for the next one, but I will keep much the same.

And finally, a sneak at a pair of socks I finished last weekend. I did the first sock back in May before I headed down to the Knitters Weekend. They were running a sock knitting competition, and I intended to enter these in the hand dyed section. But I ran out of time…

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So, in the spirit of finishing things off, I knitted the second of this pair. It is an original pattern, but I am not happy with the heel on these, so will knit another pair at some stage before I let you know the juicy details.


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