Monday, May 31, 2010

WIPs march of shame (part one)

Over the next few posts I plan to show you all (nine!) WIPs that I'm currently "working" on. Hopefully getting they all out in the open will shame me into to finishing some of them. I have told myself that I cannot cast on for a new project until I finish two WIPs... we'll see if it ends up being productive.

I figured I should start with the oldest WIPs first and just get all the shame out on the table from the beginning.

These socks were started November 4th, 2008. This means that I have been working on these for over a year and a half.


The patter in Charlene Schurch's Small Capitals (rav link) from the book Sensational Knitted Socks. The yarn is Noro Kureyon Sock, it is 100% wool so I won't be able to wash them in the washing machine... maybe not the best choice for socks. I don't have any idea how I managed to pair this pattern with this yarn. Normally I would never pair a highly textured pattern with a variegated yarn, but I love the way this looks. It reminds me of scales. As you can see, one sock is complete. I'm still on the foot on the other one (they are knit toe-up), I have about three more pattern repeats before I can turn the heel then six repeats before the ribbing. That doesn't sound like that much, but the repeats go so slowly. I love the way the pattern looks, but it's not super fun to execute.

The yarn is everything that you would expect of full size Noro... It's not super soft, it's got vegetable matter in it, there was at least one knot in the ball that lead to a dramatic color change, and it's as thin as lace in some place and almost sport-weight in others... but the colors are amazing and the yarn has a fabulous "rustic" feeling.

I hope I can get these done before two years go by, but I can't really work the pattern and concentrate on other things so I'll have to steel myself against the boredom and crank out these socks.

Friday, May 28, 2010


According to Ravelry, there are 11,677 finished Clapotis. Of course those are only the Clapotis that are recorded on Ravelry. There are plenty of people who don't have all their projects recorded, and plenty of knitters not on Ravelry. This is one of the most prolific knitting patterns that I know of. It's from the Fall 2004 issue of knitty so there's been many years for FOs to accrue.


I have been looking for something to do with this yarn for a long time. It's Knit Picks Shimmer 70% Alpaca 30% Silk. The colorway is called Deep Woods. This colors has been discontinued for a long time. I bought it when it was being clearanced back in the fall of 2007. Now, most of the Shimmer colors have subtle color changes, but back then they were much more drastic like this yarn.


This yarn is beautiful, but it was really difficult to come up with a project to use it one since the drastic color changes pretty much obscure any lace pattern. This turned out to be perfect because it still has a lacy feel to it and accentuates the drape of the yarn but there's no pattern to be obscured.


I held the yarn double throughout the project to give me a fingering weight yarn. The pattern calls for a worsted yarn, but I didn't want to make such a big shawl. I like this much more as a wide scarf or a narrow shawl than the full width--mine is only 18" wide rather than the 24" that a worsted weight would give. Held double this took just under 3 balls of yarn.

This is the last FO I have to show you, I just unpinned it from the blocking board this morning. Tomorrow I'll start showing you the 9 WIPs I've got on the needles right now... I've told myself that I have to finish two WIPs before I can cast anything new on. This counts as one, we'll see what manages to get done next.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Lame title, I know. Hopefully I can make up for it by showing you a super-cool project.


Absolutely adorable right? Right. It's a dinosaur! The coolest kind of dinosaur! A Triceratops! The pattern is so cute. It's Triceratops Dinosaur (rav link) by Joanne Succari.


My crocheting skills aren't that great... as you can see the stuffing shows through a bit on the face. It doesn't show as much as it looks like though. The flash really caught the white poking through. I love amigurumi toys! They are so wonderfully adorable. They're also pretty easy to make. single crochet is about the only thing you need to know, as well as how to increase or decrease.


The yarn is pretty cheap. The body is Lion Brand Vanna's Choice 100% acrylic. The frill and toenails are Plymouth Encore 75% acrylic/25% wool. I bought the Vanna's Choice for $3 on clearance for this project and other fun amigurumi I have planned. The Encore was left over from a baby sweater. I could easily see myself getting wrapped up in making more cute crochet creatures.

I gave this cute little lady, who has been named Lucy the Triceratops, to Ryan. Last week he took me to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry because they had a T-Rex skeleton on display and we wanted to see it before the exhibit moved on. It was a fun dorky adventure and I wanted to make Ryan something cute to remember it. As a rule I don't think he keeps too many toys in his apartment, but Lucy is sitting on his bookshelf in his living room. The pattern probably would have only taken about two evenings, but I was busy while making it and didn't want to work on it in front of Ryan so it took about a week.

I just pinned down another FO for blocking so tomorrow you'll get to see what I just finished! And I will only have 9 WIPs to show you after that...

Monday, May 24, 2010

The sweater I got to wear three times

Sadly, I'm almost finished updating you on all the projects I've completed in the past six months... There's only one more after I show you this sweater. Then I can move on to showing you all the things that are on my needles currently... all TEN of them.

This project you've actually partially seen before. Here. And here. And here. But here it is for the first time completed.


This is my climbing vines pullover by Joelle Meier Rioux. The pattern was in the Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Knits, I loved it when I first saw it, but needless to say it took me a while to get around to finishing it. I started it in Wisconsin because I wanted to stash-bust the slightly bulky yarn before moving. Sadly, I didn't quit finish and ended up just having to move the half-finished sweater. Then I spent the summer in New Mexico and didn't really feel like working with a wool/angora blend. I finally picked it back up during the Portland winter.


The yarn is Berroco Pleasure which has been discontinued. It was picked up for me at a sale at my Wisconsin LYS for a song. The original price is about $14 per ball, but after all the discounts, I got it for about $5 per ball. The sweater bloomed quite a bit in the wash and does have a halo now from the angora but not terribly. It's so snuggly, I find myself cuddling my arms and belly when I wear it... Probably I should make sure too many people don't see me doing that...


Of course, basically as soon as I finished this, the weather turned beautiful and much to warm for wool. I managed to wear it about three times before the heat made it impossible, but now it is in my closet waiting impatiently for next winter.

The one single problem with this sweater is that it can't be machine washed and it takes forever to dry. Its hard to find a place to lay it out for three days straight in my small apartment and with my cats... This is the 4th adult-sized sweater that I have completed and I have loved each of them so much. Luckily I have two more on the needles, which you will see soon, so hopefully there will be more in the future.

Man Hat

Man, I'm actually doing pretty good with this whole "updating" business. Three days in a row! Go me! The project I am sharing with you today was meant to be a Valentine's Day gift, but it was late... Only by 4 days... That's not over the "bad girlfriend" line is it? Maybe if a purchased gift were 4 days late, but a knit gift? I think I get some wiggle room. Right?

Ryan was wearing this terrible beanie. I'm sure he thought it was fine, but from a knitter's perspective, it was terrible. First, it was acrylic. I have nothing against acrylic for some projects, I believe it has its uses and I use it for projects myself. However, a winter hat, for a native Californian who is used to 60 degree winters, needs to be wool. Second, it had seams, not just one seam up the back, seams all around the crown as well, and not nice knit seams, serger seams. Yeah. Third, it had pilled so badly that it looked pretty shabby. I decided to take action. The result:


The Jacques Cousteau Hat by Lalla Pohjanpalo. The yarn I used was Lana Grossa Cool Wool Big in a gray manly-type color sure to be acceptable. The yarn is fantastic. It's really tightly spun. Even though it is merino and therefore fantastically soft, it has not pilled. It held up to Ryan wearing it pretty much daily for about two months and then off and on as the Portland weather demanded. Ryan has expressed to me many times how much he likes it, and was pretty distraught one day when he thought he'd lost it (it was not lost, just temporarily mislaid.)


The front view make it look like it's just a simple k3p2 ribbed beanie, the top is where all the action is. This could have been knit in about 2 evenings, but law school was sucking away my life at the time, and it took me about a week. So far Ryan has been very appreciative of my crafty gifts, a very good sign. This hat is somewhat boring to knit as the majority of it is just ribbing, but it's good for a mindless stress-free knit and it has been man-approved if you need a quick gift.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The wonderful hat that I must give away

For Christmas and my birthday (also in December) my brother gave me yarn. Of course by "gave me yarn" I mean about two weeks before Christmas he accompanied me to the yarn shop, waited impatiently for me to make my selection (anything I wanted as long as it was under $80), and handed over his credit card. As far as I am concerned, this is the most perfect way for a brother to Christmas shop for his sister. Among the things I picked out were two skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted. One skein in the Sunset colorway and the other in Black Forest. I have grown ridiculously fond of this yellowy-orange/charcoal color combination though the yellowy-orange is not ideal for my skin tone. I actually bought this yarn with a project in mind. Stephen West's Botanic (rav link).


I was slightly worried that in striping the two colors I would end up looking like a bumblebee but I have been assured by several people that I do not. That is what I consider the "outside" of the hat because that is the side that you see as you knit so I think of it as the "right side" but really the hat is reversible and has no "right side." The other side is, I believe, magical because you would never guess from the unassuming outside that such a funky bold inside is just waiting to come out.


And, the coolest part is the crown (which I do not have a good picture of because these pictures were self-taken and it is quite difficult to take a good picture of the top of your own head).


In short I love this hat. I love the pattern. I love the yarn. It was fun and quick to make. It's soft to wear and fits me well. But, I must give it away. You see, there is a slight flaw. It's not captured in any of the pictures (no one but me will ever see it) but I know it's there. On one of the decrease rows, near the top just where the crown picture cuts off, I held the yarn to back instead of to front while slipping a stitch. This caused a charcoal strand to float tauntingly over my beautiful sunset column. I did not notice until the hat was complete, the ends woven in. I suppose even then I could have gone back and fixed the error but that is not my way. No one else seems to notice, even after being asked, "can you see an error?" Everyone has examined the hat and declared it "really cool" and "made with skill," but I know it's there. Therefore I will give the hat to someone who can't "see" the error and make another flawless one for myself (the hat takes less than .5 of a skein of either color.) Oh woe is me, I must make another awesome hat in awesome yarn. My life is so hard.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Um... Hi! Remember me?

Wow, I can't believe that the last time I posted anything was in November... I could have sworn that I at least posted over Christmas and Spring break... I must have dream-blogged. Sadly this thing called law school has been sucking up every minute of my free time since the end of August. My senior year of undergrad (when I was finishing three majors, working 4 jobs, and writing a 60 page honors project) I managed to complete 25 knitting projects according to ravelry. This year, as a 1L in law school, not working any job and only volunteering about 3 hours a week, I finished 7...

Rather than one giant post about everything I've done in the 6.5 months since November, I am going to try to post about one or two things and just post frequently... As the only job I could find for the summer is part time, this should be more than doable.

Chronologically, the next project you should see is are my Irrationally Constant Mittens made over Christmas break. These were my first real colorwork project, and my first real felted project. They were also the first knit gift I gave to Ryan, my new boyfriend (Andrew and I are still on good terms, but no longer together. As this is not a blog about my social life, that is all you need know.) Ryan accepted the nerdy knitwear with much thanks and many comments on my skill. Clearly, he is a keeper.


The left hand has the number pi spiraled around it and the right hand has the number e - both frequently used constants in the math world. Ryan was a math major in college and has a job tutoring kids of all grades in math. I think my favorite part of these are the thumbs which have a pi and e symbol worked on them.


These were made from Knit Picks Palate held double to achieve a worsted gauge. The background color is Ash, and the letters are done in Fog. I got this yarn for less than a dollar a ball from someone destashing on Ravelry. These were made using size 4 dpns and it took me a while to figure out how to do colorwork across the switch to a new needle without making it too tight or too lose.

I'm not sure if it was my gauge or if the patter is just written big, but these seemed to be right size when I finished knitting (about a man's medium) but as soon as I put them in water to block, they grew to the size of oven mitts. As they were completely useless to me at that size I had to take a drastic step... I put them in the laundry. The felted beautifully, they may have come out just a smidge smaller than where they were before hitting the water, but Ryan has assured me many times (due to my asking many times) that they fit well. I have seen him wear them in public which I take to mean he actually likes them.

The pattern is free and charted very well, but there are really no written instructions at all so a few times I had to guess as to how I was supposed to execute some of the shaping. Overall these took about 5 days of off and on work and turned out very well after the felting. Palate felts amazingly and was really nice to work with. I have quite a lot of it stashed because I like the huge variety of colors it comes in. I foresee using it for many more colorwork projects.