Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Misc knitting goodies

I'm back! Warm weather is wonderful, but home is even better! Especially a home with kitty! This photo just proves how determined Cammy is to fit in this bed, even as various body parts spill over the edges. She's happy to see her people, and even got out of this bed to sleep on the people-bed last night.

I didn't get to any yarn stores or knitting-related places in Miami, and in fact didn't do too much except relax, which was the goal. One of the highlights of the trip was the Wolfsonian, a design museum. Sadly, there were no textile or fiber-related exhibits. The gift shop was pretty awesome though, especially this family of knitted animals by Kenana, which is an organization of women in Kenya who raise their own sheep, spin and dye their own yarn, and knit super cute toys. I would have gotten one (or five!), except I have enough knitted toys, and I refuse to check baggage after the last time it got lost wth my knitting inside.

Thanks to some incredible delays on the way home (it's funny how when any airline people say there's going to be a 5-10 minute delay, you can figure that means 1 hour, and be right, three times), I finished the knitting on Vivian.

Now I have just the kitchener stitch under the arms and on the top of the hood (ugh), weaving in ends (ugh ugh), and sewing in the zipper (ugh x3) left. So close! I'd finish it today but can't do it with a clean conscience, having left my laptop behind at home during vacation and feeling very hectic now.

A sweet little treat--I ordered these from the etsy store of Vegan Craftastic. I heart tofu stitch markers! Aren't they wonderful? I want to cast on for a new project, just to use them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

LOA

There won't be much news for a little while, cause I'm on vacation in Miami! It is blissfully warm here. I brought only a big alpaca hoodie ( vivian) to knit...I guess there won't be too much beach knitting. One sleeve is done, and hopefully I'll have something to show by the time vacation is over.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

FO: Crookshanks pet bed

That's not a real cat--it's Mrs. Chippy, who is a fake cat made of rabbit fur. She's barely squeezing into the wee little pet bed I just cast off. The pattern is Snug Harbor Knit Snuggle, by Rae French, who designs a lot of pet blankets and beds for charity. The yarn is left over from my niece's Harry Potter sweater, in Gryffindor colors, so that's why this bed is Crookshanks. The sides are knit with the yarn held single, and the bottom is knit with the yarn held double, so that it will be a bit cushier. The walls are stuffed and sewn shut, to make a nice coccoon of a bed.

I used size 8 needles, which is smaller than recommended in the pattern, since I was using slightly thinner yarns. And the bed turned out tiny! Here it is with a 5" gauge thingy. The bed is good for a kitten, or a runt chihuahua.

No matter about the size though, since I knit this bed with the intention of giving it away, because Cammy has a bed, pillow, toys, and, well, pretty much every other possible knitted thing one can make for a cat. Or so I thought...I briefly set the bed down next to the piles of all the other knitting crapola on the floor, while I wrote this post. Look who decided she doesn't care if she can't fit in the bed!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Most popular

The other ladies found this quite funny, so you might too. The most common google search term used to arrive at this blog is kangaroo anatomy. The same is true for the image search. How weird is that?!? Who, when researching kangaroo anatomy, decides that the most accurate information must be on a knitting blog? Especially when the kangaroo in the picture is clearly made of yarn?

I'm just saying. When I was learning regular human anatomy, I would never have been tempted to visit silly websites that show knitted brains, GI system, and whatnot (this is the official medical term).

The runner-up is some variation of double decrease, linking to the tutorial on the right. I still haven't done the part 2 of that tutorial, because--and this is really pathetic--I cut up the yarn I had been using for the pictures, to stuff the end-of-the-stash mouse.

I think it's a little creepy how much google/gmail/blogger knows about all of us, but it sure provides some comic relief now and then!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

FO: Tyro socks

At long last! These socks rank among my slowest projects, mainly because I only worked on them during spare moments at work. They have been 6 weeks in the knitting!

The pattern is Tyro, by Orata (Feather and Fan). I did the toe, heel, ribbing, and bind-off in the same way I do all my toe-up socks, but otherwise stuck to the pattern. The lace pattern is very cool! The lace is reversed on the two socks, so that the pattern spirals in opposite directions. It was kinda hard to keep track because I was doing them two-at-a-time, and anyone clever would have marked which sock was which. Thankfully, I got through the whole pair without any big mishaps. The yarn is Tofutsies, which is a blend of soy, wool, etc, by Southwest Trading Company. The yarn itself is fine--sort of cottony and wooly at the same time, and very comfy to wear. The yarn is pretty thin, so I used size 0 needles.

The pattern and yarn are both great, but I'm meh about these socks because of my foolish decision to combine this yarn with this pattern. The pattern is pretty much lost in the splotchiness of the yarn, and to top it off, the yarn-overs are invisible due to the fact that my feet are kind of the same color as the light color in the yarn. Ah, you live and learn.

This is why I wore orange halloween socks under the Tyro socks for the top picture. I knew they'd come in handy one non-halloween-day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy

The weather is unseasonably warm and balmy--truly a balm for the soul and brain. I'm suddenly filled with such optimism and hope, and my brain has thawed and works better. Like all the work and non-work responsibilities and obligations that had been so overwhelming seem do-able. It has been a happy couple of days.

On the knitting front, more happiness. I finished the body on Vivian up to the big join with the sleeves for the yoke. Yay!

Of course, that means it's time to knit the sleeves. Here is one cuff so far. I'm contemplating starting the other sleeve, then doing them at the same time on magic loop. For normal stockinette sleeves that's my usual process, but with all this cabling and seed stitch shenanigans, I don't know how that will look.

Having somewhat freakishly short arms, I was hemming and hawing over how to shorten the arms without messing up the cables, which continue up the arms, across the shoulders, and on top of the hood. So I was really excited to find a Vivian KAL group on Ravelry, moderated by Ysolda, the designer. And she answered this exact question!

Lastly, I finally got one of my coats re-lined. I'd been putting it off for a couple years, feeling like I had to wait to find the perfect fabric and learn how to line a coat. Then I decided to just take it to someone who does it professionally. I asked for a fun pattern and trusted she'd do a good job. LOOK!
Little fashionistas! I smile every time I put on my coat.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Belated blogoversary

I kept reminding myself about the yoelknits blogoversary on January 15th, and then completely missed it! When I started this blog, it was to use up my yarn stash, and I actually did it! Of all the FO's in year one, my favorite is a toss-up between the kangaroos (Jill and Joey) and the St James tops (crimson and purple). I really must have like them if I made a second one!


















































Apparently, the rest of the knitting world's favorite--at least as measured by the number of "fave" hearts on Ravelry--is the needle case. This is hilarious, because I use my straight needles only for filling up the needle case.
















This year, the goals are to avoid accumulating any stash yarn at all, and secondarily, to make more wearable projects for myself. Here's to a FO-filled year two!

Monday, February 2, 2009

WIP: Tyro socks

All my projects are at the dull, ungratifying stage. My purse project for the past month has been Tyro socks, from Feather and Fan (Orata). I work on it only during downtime at work, and the progress is slow. I am just past the heels, and every row I'm forcing myself to knit some more, and NOT bind off a fab pair of anklet socks. Still, they are growing quite slowly, and non-knitter bystanders are asking questions like

"What are you knitting?...Those are socks?!?"
"Are those the same socks as last week?"
"Do socks take longer than a hat because the yarn is thin, or because of the curve of the socks?"
"Are you actually going to wear them?"
"Are those baby socks [insert excited squeal]?"
"Why do you bother knitting socks if they take as long as a sweater?"
"Why would you knit socks?"

Somehow knitted socks elicit a level of suspicion, derision, outrage, and inappropriate behavior that other projects don't. At least I'm knitting two at a time, and they will be done at the same time. They are a sorry looking pair right now:

Mainly this is because the pattern is not visible in this yarn (Tofutsies), when it is not stretched out. It's cool because the spiral pattern is mirrored on the two socks. Hopefully the pattern will be more visible when I put them on.

Since knitting has been somewhat unrewarding, I devoted my energies to bookshelf re-organization this past weekend. For a bibliophile who loves organizing, this is a pretty enjoyable activity. Check it out, I finally fulfilled my long-lasting longing to arrange books by color! (Well 3 shelves anyway; the rest are arranged by genre and author).

This is one of the 8 bookcases and cabinets I re-organized. This is the best looking though! I feel well-read just looking at it.