Posts filed under ‘Knitting, Spinning & Fibery Fun’

Rip-it! Rip-it!

Spring is the time when the frogs return and I’m suffering from a plague. Not of frogs, but of frogging.

Inspired by one of my knitting/blogging heroes, Mary Scott Huff, I am learning stranded colorwork. I am also learning toe-up sock knitting. Both at the same time. Considering that any new technique will inevitably require at least two tries, plus an extra try to get the size/gauge right, I think I am now at my limit for starting over. Yup. Nothing but smooth sailing for this sock!

Of course, some of the frogging is due to my inability to just follow a pattern as written (this applies to recipes as well). The pattern is for a Bosnian slipper sock, and it is part of a Craftsy class called Knit Sock Workshop. The colorwork pattern provided for the sock is a simple geometric stripe/diamond design–perfect for beginners. But, of course, why should I put all that time into a geometric design when I don’t really like it? I much prefer curves and organic shapes.

So, I scoured Pinterest and started collecting charted designs. And then I had to take it a step further and mash ideas together using Excel spreadsheets to chart variation upon variation. And I finally designed a very nice swirl, took up my size 3 DPNs and blasted through the first 4 rounds of the body (the basic toe with increases was already done in a solid color).

Now, the beauty of the toe-up sock is that you can actually stick your toe into it as you progress to check the size. With each round I knitted onto the body of the sock, I felt more apprehensive about the size. So, I did it. I spread out the stitches on the needles and slipped my bare toes into the end.

Not big. HUGE.

So, frogging I will go. I may have to drop down a needle size (yikes! size 2 toothpicks!) and I am also switching to a more simple charted design, one that will be easier to alter to the new dimensions. I’m calling it “noodles.” I hope frogs don’t like noodles.

Old and new design charts

Just before frogging. Old design chart in blue and white. New noodles chart in green and white.

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May 30, 2013 at 8:20 pm 2 comments

Tale of the Fuzzy Lime Poncho

In the beginning, there was the yarn. Clearance priced, bright green and fuzzy. And upon huge bamboo needles, I created an expansive rectangle with several dropped stitches and a bind-off just a wee bit tighter than optimal. (It was the beginning, after all.)

The expansive rectangle became the first item of clothing made by me upon knitting needles, thanks to a free Lion-brand yarn pattern.

Eventually, I fixed theholes left from the dropped stitches. Well, not exactly fixed. More like camouflaged. But I was never quite happy with the length. Should have made the expansive rectangle even more expansive.

So, I recently said to myself, “Self, it’s time to fish or cut bait on this poncho. Fix it or Goodwill it.” I put it on for one last time and melted once more into its unbearably fuzzy warmth. (No, literally, I melted. It is summer, after all.) And I concluded that it was worth saving.

Out came the leftover green yarn and leftover complimentary lavender. Out came the crochet hooks. Round and round I circled the bottom edge, making it up as I went, while the yarn added a couple of inches to the overall length.

So, here it is, being modeled by my front steps. On a scale of 1 – 10 where 1 = Frankenponcho and 10 = Work of Art, what do you think?

• tess •

August 8, 2011 at 9:40 am 1 comment

Amigurumi Maniac

(Say that five times fast.)

I’ve succumbed to the amigurumi fad and this little guy is the result. Behold the bedraggled, 1.5 eared kitten Buttercup from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

Okay, Buttercup. Turn around and show the nice people how you look.

Gooooood kitty.

Buttercup is 3.5 inches tall and adapted from several patterns, plus improvised along the way using worsted weight yarn and a size E crochet hook. The best thing about him is that he doesn’t shed and doesn’t contribute to the litter box.

As for amigurumi, I think I’m “hooked.” (sorry, couldn’t resist)

• tess •

September 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm 1 comment

New Gadget for Spinners

I think I have invented a new spinner’s gadget. Well, “invented” sounds a little grandiose, I suppose. Mostly I just improved, and optimized, and ornamented.

I made an orifice hook (do we really have to call it that?) and combined it with a pair of folding scissors and then came up with a functional way to attach them both to the wheel, so they are nice and handy, and look lovely, and are still detachable, all at the same time.

But, a picture (or four) is worth a thousand words. Here are my first designs, now for sale on Etsy.

I’m having way too much fun coming up with new bead combinations for these. Seriously. Way. Too. Much.

But enough plugging my wares. Here’s my homespun life update:

Currently on my size 19/15 mm needles: fishnet shawl (I’ve only had this yarn & pattern for a year)
Currently on my wheel: Angel, a heather gray shetland (she’s going to be 2-ply when finished)
Current audiobook for crafting: 1984 by George Orwell (no, I never read it in school)
Current reading book: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (wow)
Current ingredients waiting in the kitchen: limes, sweetened condensed milk and graham crackers to make a (not so) Key lime pie.

Shall we all agree not to talk about what’s on our current to-do lists, aside from the fun stuff? :-)

So, what’s on your needles and in your kitchen?

• tess •

August 10, 2010 at 10:27 pm Leave a comment

Socks Do Not Knit Themselves

My first knitting self-challenge for this year? Socks.

Score thus far? Socks – 0, Attempts – 2

(Please pretend you didn’t notice that it’s June already and I’m just getting to my first 2010 knitting challenge.)

I’ve got the yarn. I’ve got the double-pointed needles. But I can’t seem to get my swatches to match my pattern gauges. I’ve been changing needles and changing patterns. Heck, I even tried changing yarn. When I finally did get the gauge to match, I did the cast-on, divided the stitches onto multiple needles and attempted to join the last stitch to the first. By that time I had needles dangling in odd directions, huge spans of yarn stretched between needles, and–to top it all off–I’d lost track of what was happening on T.V.

So, why knit socks when I can buy a pair for $1.25 at the dollar store? (Yes, I know. Everything at the “dollar” store costs $1.25.) It’s just a knitty thing, I guess. Like, you can’t call yourself a baker if you’ve never made a cake from scratch, and you can’t call yourself a knitter if you’ve never knit socks.

I have a new plan, though.

Silver’s Online Sock Class is going to lead me through my socks, step-by-step, with LOTS of pictures. Sock it to me, Silver.

June 23, 2010 at 9:09 pm 4 comments

I Haven’t Forgotten

I promise to get back to my wool prep just as soon as I can. Lately I’ve been busy singing for my supper.  Well, maybe not singing, but certainly I’ve been up to my neck in PowerPoint and brochure design.

In the meantime, No-name’s fleece is as plucked free of VM as she’s going to get. Some locks just aren’t worth the time. I have started working on Angel’s fleece in the evenings, in-between working on this scarf for charity.

It’s going to a the Colorado Peke and Pom rescue. I found this group on Ravelry.  Being a Pom-Mom myself, I couldn’t resist.

• t •

May 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment


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