Monday, January 28, 2008

Cleaning out the cotton stash!

This Sunday at our Knit Night, Marcy was knitting ballbands & it inspired me to knit my own. As soon as I got home, I had to cast on. I honestly have absolutely no idea what colors I used, but I do know that the yarn was Sugar n' Cream.

I love this little pattern. It's so easy & I just love the end results. I really don't know that I've seen a completed one that I've thought looked bad. Although, there are some questionable colors out there, so I'm sure that it could be done.

Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth, Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Sugar n' Cream, less than half a skein of each color
Needles: Size 7
Time: About 2 hours
Total Cost: About $1

I was still in the cotton dishcloth mood today, so I cast on for another dishcloth and knit this one while I was reading for Criminal Procedure. I did more reading than knitting, but in my defense - knitting was much for exciting.

This is the Feather & Fan Dishcloth by Linda Smith. I'd never made one of these before, but I thought it was pretty. It was a surprisingly simple pattern. I noticed on Ravelry that a lot of people were getting rid of the garter ridge in between pattern repeats, and it looks fabulous. I'm definitely trying that next time.

I have no idea what I'm doing with these dishcloths. Maybe they will end up as a gift one day. For now, they are sitting in the "Finished Objects without a Home" box in my closet.

Pattern: Feather and Fan Dishcloth, Free
Yarn: Sugar n' Cream, about 3/4 of a skein
Needles: Size 7
Time: About 2 hours
Total Cost: About $1

P.S. I almost forgot to mention this groundbreaking news! Amy and I went to have our picture taken by Franklin for his 1000 Knitters Project. It was lots of fun, but I was really nervous to meet him. He came to Threadbear in Lansing, and 111 people came out for the photo shoot. Seriously.. 111 knitters came out in the snow to have their picture taken.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Imperfect Unoriginal Hat

Have you ever cast on for a project that you were really, really excited to make, yet it just didn't seem meant to be? That was me and this hat!

It all started innocently enough. I spotted this beautiful yarn at my LYS and fell in love instantly. Amy had given me a gift certificate and it was burning a hole in my pocket! I saw The Yarn and I knew that it was destined to be an Unoriginal Hat. After looking over the pattern, I figured that this would be my "bag" knitting for the week - which means that it's my go-to project for those spare minutes you find randomly.

If only it went so well. After casting on 3 times because I couldn't properly measure yarn, I got started. About an inch into the pattern, I found myself with about 10 minutes to spare, so I broke out the knitting. The next thing I know, someone had come up to me, grabbed my knitting from my hands, said "let me show you how I do it" and started knitting on my project! I kid you not.

Instead of saying anything, I just sat there speechless watching this woman proceed to knit my hat completely out of pattern. Looking back now, I can think of all kinds of witty things, but at the moment - I could will no words to come out of my mouth. Nothing.

So, after that debacle, my hat sat in time out for a few days because I couldn't bear to rip it out. Frogging this on dpn's just drives me batty. Turns out, I didn't rip far enough back and I completely missed a cable crossing, somewhere along the way I dropped a stitch that could never be found, and then I crossed other cables too soon. Good times!

The point of the story is that at the end of the day, I didn't care. I thought about ripping it back and starting over.. but then I looked outside at the 2-3 inches of snow that had fallen over the past 24 hours. I decided that I liked my Imperfect Unoriginal Hat just the way it was.

Pattern: Unoriginal Hat by The Yarn Harlot
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Chunky in Whale's Road, $11
Needles: Size 10.5 dpn's
Time: About 3-4 hours of total knitting/frogging time

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sparkley goodness!

A girlfriend of mine is celebrating a birthday today. When I made this scarf for another friend of mine earlier this month, she strongly started dropping hints that she wanted a scarf too. So.. I made her a scarf.

She has this really awesome hat that is charcoal and white with sparkles, so I thought I would make her a sparkly scarf to match. The colors look a little washed out in the pictures, but believe me, there's some serious sparkle in this sucker!

I tried a few different stitch patterns and then realized that I just needed to go plain old ribbing to get the full effect. It was a quick knit. I picked up the yarn Saturday and had all but the last few inches done by Monday. I finished up the last of it this morning, cast off.. and then whipped up a little sparkly gift bag on my new handy-dandy sewing machine!

I shopped the 50% off the clearance fabric sale at JoAnn's and picked up some silver fabric and lining. I just kinda winged the bag, but I think it looks ok. I only got 1/8 a yard of each, but I have enough leftover for another gift bag! Yay for remnants!

In Summary:
2x2 ribbed scarf
  • 1 skein Cascade 220, Gray, $6.60
  • 2 skeins Filtes King Australian Merinos, $8.60
Needles: Size 11
Time: One knit night and one evening of movie night
Total Cost: $24

Monday, January 21, 2008

Totally unrelated to knitting.

For Christmas, I asked Santa for a sewing machine. I'm in love with my new toy. So far, I've made several small things that are almost done, and one thing that's 100% completed.

I made a skirt out of the brown flowery material, and I had a lot of leftovers, so I went back and got some muslin and made a little bag. I didn't really use a pattern, but I based the idea in my head off of this pattern. Mine isn't reversible though.

This has now been christened my new knitting bag. I debuted it last night at our knitting group and it held up pretty well. I can already tell that the sewing machine and I are going to be great friends!

Mysterious appearances.

It's amazing what you find when you clean your apartment. I don't even remember knitting this, but obviously I did.

Pattern: Bib O' Love, Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Sugar n' Cream
Needles: Size 7
Time: I have no clue.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Benjamin's Cable Hat

I made this hat for my brother at Christmas, and then made a second one to donate. Over Thanksgiving, I taught my mom how to do cables. She was so shocked at how easy it was. We then sat and designed a simple cable scarf for her to make, and she decided that it was going to be my brother's Christmas present, and I should make him a hat. So, like a good daughter, I cast on for a hat.

I did a little bit of a modification and added about an inch or so of ribbing at the bottom.

Pattern: Chunky Cabled Beanie, Free
Yarn: Less than 1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky, Charcoal - $4
Needles: 10.5 dpn's
Time: 1 night of TV knitting

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The only cute for a knitting emergency

While studying for final exams last fall, I had a knitting emergency. You know the kind. The "I-Must-Knit-Something-Before-I-Go-Crazy" kind. So, I dug through my stash and pulled out some Lion Brand Homespun that I bought more than a year ago and had forsaken for more delicious yarns. I immediately cast on for a Diagonal Baby Blanket.

I've made like 3 of these things so far, so I hated to make yet another carbon copy, but - again, this was a knitting emergency. The requirements were that the project be simple and made on big needles. It really just fit the bill.

Again though, the stupid yarn was different dyelots when it said that it wasn't. So, some of my blanket is a different color. Oh well, what can you do? I wove a purple ribbon through the eyelets to spice things up a bit, and personally, I think it's really cute.

Pattern: Diagonal Baby Blanket, Free
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in lavender sachet, 2 skeins; less than $10
Extras: 1 spool of ribbon, less than $2
Needles: Size 13 circs
Time: About 2 weeks of random knitting
Total Cost: Less than $12

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Another one for the collection.

I'd like to apologize up front if this post sounds churchy. It isn't meant to be. It's just meant to be about things that are important to me.

I have to admit, sometimes it seems like I'm sending all my knitting off to others, and it makes me feel really selfish for a moment. Why shouldn't I be making things just for me? It's my free time, and as I don't have much of it as it is, I should be able to reap the rewards of my knitting. Then, there's times that I realize just how important my church's shawl ministry is. While we were doing Meals on Wheels on Christmas Eve, I noticed that a lady was wearing a beautiful scarf. Then, I noticed that the label on it said "UMC Shawl Ministry" and realized its significance. This lady had lost her son during the past year in an unexpected accident. The scarf was more than just a scarf. It was a symbol of all the love that we as a group had for the woman and her family.

That realization really spoke to me, and I've decided that I'm going to try to do at least one item a month for the shawl ministry during 2008. I don't do resolutions, so I'm choosing instead to call this one a goal. Big and/or time consuming items count as one thing, while baby hats will only receive half credit.

So, in the spirit of knitting for others, here's item #1. I did another So Called Scarf because I just love the pattern. To be honest, I tried about three different patterns and nothing at all looked good enough to me. The yarn really pooled and I was concerned that it wouldn't do that with the second skein and one side of the scarf would look different - it didn't. Both skeins behaved the same, so I lucked out!

I used Vanna's Choice in Charcoal Print. I packed really, really inappropriately for such a long visit, and found myself at Hobby Lobby itching for a new project. A knitter must have something on her needles at all times!

Overall, I was pretty happy with the finished project. I don't really care for the yarn too much. It just kinda felt weird in my hands, but it was a nice quick project for me, and that made me happy.

Pattern: My So-Called Scarf
Yarn: Vanna's Choice in Charcoal Print, 2 skeins
Needles: Size 11
Time: A couple days of TV knitting with the fam
Total Cost: Less than $6

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Mindless Knitting

While I was home over break, my mom really wanted me to make my step-sister a scarf to match her newly decorated room. It's bright pink and bright green and is perfect for a 13 year old girl. She'd already picked out the yarn and told me exactly in Wal-Mart where I could find it. How can you say no to that?

You can't. I didn't even try. I just said "Yes ma'am, I'll pick that up in town tomorrow."

I actually made two of these scarves. One was made in an evening while watching TV with the fam, and the other was knitted on here and there - specifically while watching National Treasure 2. (Great movie! I loved that they set it up for a third movie by using my favorite random number - 47.)

Pattern: Garter Stitch Scarf
Yarn: 1.5 skeins of Wal-Mart No Boundaries, $4
Needles: Size 11's
Time: About 4 hours each

Another Scarf Completed!

I'm back from Tennessee and I miss everyone already. I did a lot of knitting, a lot of eating, and a lot of visiting and loved every minute of it. I finished a lot of little projects, so I'm going to post pictures of them periodically because there's just too many for a single post.

The first thing I completed was My So Called Scarf for my friend Meredith's birthday. I wanted something easy but not completely and totally mindless, so this was a great project for me. I wrapped it up and tied a ribbon around it to make it cute for mailing. It seems that while I was in Tennessee it was freezing here in Michigan so the scarf came in handy for her.

Here's my mom modeling the scarf. She's so cute. She fell in love with the pattern and made me teach her how to make it. She's about a foot and a half into her first My So Called Scarf right now.

I love the stitch pattern, and the semi-solid Malabrigo really just did wonders with the pattern, in my opinion. I liked the pattern so much that I've actually made another one since. Details to come!

Pattern: My So Called Scarf, Free
Needles: Size 11
Yarn: 2 skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Velvet Grapes