Thursday, March 31, 2011
I decided to look for something I'd posted about in the early days of this blog. Unfortunately, my computer is old and slow (much like its owner). I lost patience with Blogger and switched over to Ravelry. It was pretty easy to find early projects there, but finding the actual physical project was another tricky adventure. I'm a process knitter. Once the sock knitting process is complete, the socks get stashed in whatever sock stashing location still has room in it.
I pulled out a big dresser drawer full of socks. I didn't find any early socks in it. After removing a cat from the place where the drawer was supposed to go, I headed for the closet. The plastic bin full of currently used socks didn't have anything old in it. I tried a suitcase. I found a cute pair of origami slippers that I'm currently wearing. I found a couple of pair of socks that I really liked and have zero memory of making. At the bottom of the suitcase, I came up with these Snowflake Socks by Anni Design. They were part of Sockamania, a knitalong where Anni provided the pattern. I don't know if these knitalongs are still going on, but they were in 2007 when I made these and a couple of other pair.
The green has now bled into the white. The white's quite soft and makes me think it may be the merino with a little silk in it from Knit Picks. I didn't record the yarn in Ravelry for some reason, so I can't be sure.
There's no big dramatic revelation as a result of this exercise. I've learned that if I've got something with holes in it, I should toss it out and dig something new out of the bottom of a suitcase.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I like having things organized. Sometimes I like the organizing process better than performing a task with whatever it is I've organized. I think that's why I enjoy Ravelry so much. It fits right into the organizing scheme.
When I get some new yarn, I take a picture of it and enter the information on Ravelry. I have a bunch of buckets that used to hold cat litter and now hold fibers. The yarn gets stashed in the appropriate bucket. A note of which bucket is included with the Ravelry information.
Patterns are not quite so tidy. I keep as many as I can in my Ravelry library and try not to print anything out until I'm going to use it. I've got three or four big binders full of patterns in plastic sleeves. Most of them are grouped together where I can find them. (We won't talk about the stack of unfiled patterns that are piled up next to the binders.)
Crochet hooks live in a vintage silver baby cup, in a drawer in the coffee table, or hidden in the bottom of a yarn bucket. All dpns smaller than US4 live in the knitting basket, along with my Knit Picks interchangeable circular needles. I made a hanging needle holder following directions in one of the Stitch 'n Bitch books. It lives in a closet and holds most of the rest of my circulars. I rarely use straight knitting needles, but I still have a bunch of them. They live in a needle case that someone gave me a long time ago.
This blog is a part of the organizing process. I created it pre-Ravelry, when I was getting back into kntting a lot. It started out as a place for me to go on and on about whatever I was working on at the moment or something new I'd discovered. I still do that. Lately it has become the last step for many projects. My inner child wants to say, "Look what I made!". I let her show it off here.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I've always been drawn to knitting in different colors. I've tried it many times, but did not have a whole lot of success with it. The floats (yarn that floats behind the active stitches when a color isn't being used) were usually too short and tight. Over the last year, I've managed to improve. It involved a lot of little things:
- Reading how-to documents. There are books and blogs and videos that explain and demonstrate techniques.
- Practice. I worked on my tension. When I learned about yarn dominance, I concentrated on that.
- Yarn. Knit Picks Palette yarns seem to work the best for me for colorwork. I bought a kit for an Andean Earflap Hat that included that yarn. It was the first thing I'd made using multiple yarns that I was happy with. I promptly made a second hat and then designed and knit a third.
If I can improve at colorwork, maybe someday I'll be able to do ribbing that looks reasonable.
Monday, March 28, 2011
One of my favorite yarns is Socks That Rock lightweight by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The people who dye these yarns are very talented. The colors and color combinations are terrific. The base yarns are spun in such a way that I don't split the yarn when I knit. The skein length is what keeps me from using it more often. A STR skein is 360 yards which is a shorter than many of the skeins in my stash. Patterns usually just list the yarn used to knit the sample, not an estimate of the actual amount of yarn you might need. If a pattern calls for a 400+ yard skein, I won't take the chance of using Socks That Rock.
One yarn I haven't enjoyed using was Knit Picks Comfy. It's a 75% cotton/25% acrylic blend. I knit the Susie Hoodie with this yarn and absolutely hated the resulting garment. It weighs a ton and I'll never wear it. I wouldn't put the blame on this specific yarn, but I would put it squarely on anything cotton. Cotton has no elasticity and I do not like it. I knit the similar Central Park Hoodie with Poems by Wisdom Yarns. That's 100% wool and I like the garment. Cotton's great for dishcloths and mop covers, but it's on the no-fly list for any more clothing.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Per usual, there are several projects in the works, but this is all that was completed in the past week. They are donations to the Knit-a-Square project and one of the Nerd Wars challenges.
Half a sock and several crocheted flowers will complete this month's challenges. The project after that will be to finish the main mitten design.
Mittens sounded like a good idea when I first thought of it in January. It's supposed to be 80 degrees today, which makes them a little less interesting.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
It's Saturday, but these were all done by Friday. These are all part of the current round of Nerd Wars.
- Project bag with crocheted trim. I got this adorable 11 Doctors fabric from Spoonflower. The challenge was to combine at least two crafts. I also made three other project bags this week. They all have their purposes, but some of them are super sekrit.
- Disappearing Tardis dishcloth. The challenge was to demonstrate capillary action. Dishcloths soak up water. This one was made to look like the Tardis on my coffee mug does when it disappears.
- Weeping angel. The challenge was called In Like A Lion, Out Like a Lamb. The point was to show two differing sides of something. I took someone else's idea of crocheting a Christmas angel to look like a stone angel. I modified it by embroidering the scary face and stuffing the arms with chenille stems. The weeping angel is well known to Doctor Who fans.
I chucked the sweater for the KAL in the frog pond and resigned from the KAL. One problem was the yarn. It was allegedly worsted weight, but was really somewhere between sport and DK. The other was the lace panel. When doing lace, I need to have a chart to see which way the stitches are leaning when they are knit together. This one didn't have a chart and my feeble attempts to create one were not successful.
Next in the queue: two pair of socks, two wee tiny socks, and a half dozen flowers.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
- Toys/amigurumi. A Doctor doll, a stuffed Tardis, K-9, a Dalek, or something else. I like toys.
- Charms. I like the little dangly things on stitch markers and earrings. However, I never use fancy stitch markers and rarely wear earrings. If you make things like this, leave the marker rings or earring hooks off. I'll like them.
- Wearables are a little problematic because a) it doesn't get all that cold here and b) I'm hard to fit. Someone made me some socks once and I still feel horrible because I couldn't wear them. I wear hats sometimes. Hats are cool. Big head: 23".
- A pillow or a pillow cover (I could get a form for it to go over) with a Doctor Who theme.
- Decorate a little box or Altoid tin with something Who-related. I like tins and boxes and use them to store various knitting supplies.
I hope those will give you an idea or at least launch you in the direction of one.
If shopping was also part of the problem, that's a little easier:
- Look under my Ravelry profile for a link to my Amazon Wishlist. There are several things on it that would work.
- If you're still on Amazon, do a search on Doctor Who books. I don't have any, so click on any paperback.
- Yarn. If you've seen my stash, you might not think I need any more yarn. Need, maybe not. Want is something else. Fingering weight in any color or combination of colors (no red or orange) in wool or a blend of wool or something else. I will like it.
- Spinning fiber.
- Check my Ravelry queue wishlist for patterns I want and don't have.
- Who-themed mugs (other than the disappearing Tardis because I already have 2).
- Fridge magnets.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Now for something completely different:
Team Tardis is in first place after the first round of the tournament. I am proud to say that I contributed 94 points to the total. Finishing all six challenges earned me the lovely icon you see here. It's the most fun I've had in a war.
Friday, March 4, 2011
The second round of Nerd Wars has begun. I'm way behind on my dissertation, haven't much of the Titania sweater done, and am still a few hours away from having my first challenge done. The challenges are harder this time. I have to remind myself that this is supposed to be fun. If it is not fun, as a LOL cat might say, URE DOIN IT WRONG.
I'm doing a Doctor Who swap. I know I swore off of them for awhile, but this one was too good to miss. The coordinator did an exceptional job in matching people up. My spoilee (person I send to) is so similar to me in her Doctor Who likes and her yarn likes, I could've filled out her swap application with my answers and it would've worked fine. I'm doing two handmade things for her (swap requires one). I think I've come up with a way for one of them to count as one of my Nerd Wars challenges, too. I had big fun yesterday, ordering supplies and goodies.
I wanted to knit the second pattern from the Cookie A sock club, but that project's on the back burner until I get some of this other stuff done. I got the ingredients for one of the cookie recipes, but haven't baked them yet. I think I'll make it a reward for when I finish that sweater.