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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Coming Up out of the Darkness, Post by the Drama Queen

Nothing makes me fall into bitter despair more then a virus.  Somehow that internal waging of war takes a lot out of me and leads to weird, paranoid dreams, feelings of worthlessness and general whining.  To compound matters, my creative efforts were total busts!

No pattern Bubble Skirt for Marietta.

I had no elastic, so tried using fold over elastic and beading elastic. I gathered the bottom too much and the top not enough.  I will try this again, because it is darn cute!

Just not enough layers and too see through.  I will definitely try again, as Marietta has the shoes and the tights!  Perhaps I'll even try a leotard if I can find the right stretchy fabric.  There is a tutorial that makes it seem so easy!

I found a nice recipe for Ginger Tea which helped my sorethroat.  It wasn't bad with a shot of bourbon either!  It helped me sleep! 

My only accomplishment was to read a whole book.  This may be a small miracle.  I rarely read any more unless it's a craft book or pattern.  Gone are the days when read 6 books a month.  The book was Bundori, by Laura Joh Rowland.  It is a murder mystery that takes place during the Tokugawa era.  It's actually the second book in the series, so now I'm reading number 1, Shinju.

About day 5, my energy and sense of hope returned.  My sleep cycle returned to normal.  I'm resolved to move on!

I finished spinning my white Giant Angora. These really cute bunnies are raised by Dr. Albert Mina, a vet on the Big Island.  I am tempted to get a bunny, but the amount of grooming they require, not to mention the mounds of poo they produce...oh my, lol.  I wish I could find that funny blog post I read once about a lady who didn't spin, got the rabbit first and never did learn to spin.  She basically said everyone and everything in the house was covered with angora. 

I ended up with 46yds, 26 grams of 2 ply.  I decided to try spinning this without combing since it was so clean.  My last two spinning adventures and watching DVDS blogless Sandy loaned me, hit home regarding fiber prep.  Don't be lazy!  Get those short cuts. noils and VM out  before spinning, and the resulting yarn is much nicer.  I have to give up holding on to as much fiber as possible and throw out the stuff that is not good.

Marietta would like a circular shrug out this angora.  I am reading up on the anatomy of a circular shrug and it sort of makes my head feel like it's going to explode.

So on to something cute and mindless!  The Infamous Hanging Basket!

100% Acrylic 
Size K
This used just a little over half a ball and came out rather tiny.  I'm going to make another with Super Bulky  and size N hook as the pattern suggests.  
 I won this yarn at Stitches Midwest and it was not fun to knit.  However it took to being crocheted quite nicely and I think,  the best that acrylic has to offer (lasting an eternity and being totally color-fast) will work well in a bag.   I envision a larger one to hold spare toilet tissue rolls and replacing my well worn, faded bag ladies.  Perhaps bag ladies will be obsolete when Oahu bans the plastic bag. 

Another successful project was replacing the button on my gear shift which had cracked off.  There are youtubes for everything!

My car still locks in park, but  the handy dandy screwdriver trick should get me through to next weeks appointment.  That can be a more complicated problem unless it's just a fuse.

Add:  One other successful project for Marietta finished before the dread plague set in.  The Hunters Cowl, somewhat like Katniss Everdeen, only knit.

I didn't not write the pattern down and 14 inches of i-cord times two, was so boring!  Also the Wool-ease was quite splitty to work with.

Of course, now she wants the bow and the leather jacket.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Knitting and Spinning FOs

5 Mitts
 A fingerless mitt obsession hit right after New Year.  I decided I would stop after 5 pairs.  These are the ultimate instant gratification knit, each pair taking only a day. They are also a great stash busting probjed.   I caught up on my TV shows!

1.  Owl Mitts in Malabrio Rios.  I think these are my favorite.  The owls are a bit hidden by the yarn variegation.  I know sewing on eyes would help, but I quite like them they way they are. The pattern is a combination of Bead Knitter Gallery and Kerrie James Owlings and the pattern on Knitty Fetchings..  The pattern is easy to see by looking at a photo of other owl motifs.  I CO 35 stitches since I needed a multiple of 5. 

2. Irish Hiking Mitts by Karin Michel from i K n i t 2 P u r l 2 in 2 Ply Worsted by Black Water Abbey. I love the look and color of this yarn but it quite scratchy, even after a good soak.

3.  does it ever bother you that your life doesn't make sense? by Jennifer Amey from smartygirl
in Cascade Heritage Solids & Quatro Colors.
I had yarn left over from my Tardis shawl.

4.  Blue Mitts.  Libernating Mitts by Alison Stewart-Guinee from Knitting by Hand tosh merino by madelinetosh colorway Baltic.   I added a thumb gusset. 

5.  Malabrigo Mitts.  75 Yard Malabrigo Fingerless Mitts by Jeanne Stevenson from Life in Cleveland Malabrigo, colorway Amazonas.   I lengthened the cuff to 15 rows. 

Bond Wool, Weird dye job

I finished plying my Bond wool from Stitches Midwest.  I ended up doing a two ply and got a nice bouncy wool.  My fiber prep is less then stellar and I will have to pick out noils and VM as I knit.  The original was a natural fawn and I decided I would try to dye it with Wilton's cake dye.  It's a bit weird.  In one area the blue dye colors separated and made red.  In general I was too skimpy on the dye.  I will knit something and then re-dye it.  As usual I'm not sure on the yardage or gauge, but I have about 4 ounces.

The angora allergy test is complete.  The verdict is that I'm not allergic, but those hairs tickle my nose and make it run.  I can wear a mask when I card it.  Dr. Mina on the Big Island was nice enough to send me some samples to work with.  I finished the English Angora and ended up with about 1/2 ounce.  The stuff is very soft and is a nice off white with gray highlights.  So far Marietta has a scarf from it and will have fingerless mitts in the future.

Modified Rustic Potato Chip Scarf by Ratchadawan Chambers from Learn Knitting Stitches Size 8 needles.  CO 11 stitches and had only one stitch in the middle for the turns to bunch it up. 

I survived the holidays so far.  I'm trying to focus on the good things, knitting and spinning to keep from losing it.  

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello 2015!

It will be awesome!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Marietta got some new clothes for Christmas from her Aunty, the Sky Goddess.

I'm trying a new method of store my ear pods.  Thank the boys for my Nano 7.  This is one of those plastic bobbins I got for intarsia. I'm wondering how long it will last.  It is a bit fussy to wind and wind.  I'm already trying to imagine a good holder to make for the Nano.  It has no clip or anything. 

Happy Holidays to all of you!  I love having you stop by the blog.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Irish Hiking Mitts, FO

Aran / 10 ply
100% Wool 
Size 6 DPNs
Mods: I started with a 1x1 twisted rib on the palm side, and  also twisted the knit stitches between the cable.  I knew this pattern would be large.  The wrists were still a bit large. 

The yarn is made in Ireland and I purchased it many moons ago at Madrona.  Since I only had one skein the options were limited.  I tried this yarn out on a few other things, but wouldn't you know it wanted to be Irish Hiking Mitts!  The color has a lot of depth to it and the stitch definition is good. 

I am planning to go to Ireland next year on a tour.  I found out while researching various things that some people I thought were Irish are not...Mumford and Sons and MacKenzie Thorpe for two.   

I have homework researching Ireland.  So far I've come to realize what a complicated history it has!  Hopefully it's geology is a little easier to understand. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bigger on the Inside, FO


Yarn:  1.6 skeins, about 700 yards
Colorway, aqua sol

Needles:  size 3
1.  Made this bigger on the outside by following Damelac's mods on Ravelry.   The resultant shawl was a generous 64 inches across the top edge and about 70 inches along the bottom.  
2.  Casdena on Ravelry is kind enough to share her alternative ending, a knit on lace.  While this lace took forever to finish, it was well worth it.  Like magic it fit perfectly on the 411 picked up stitches.  
Comments.  This pattern is nothing short of brilliant.  In the beginning I thought the variegation would hide the, but in the end I was quite pleased with they way they showed.  

I don't know what I was thinking when I blocked this lace.  Next time around I will thread the wires through the points!  Good thing I own a lot of pins. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Marietta's Flap Hat, Pattern

Marietta’s Flap Hat (Draft)
Please left me know if you spot any errors.  Thanks!

My first try was done in Red Heart which is more of an aran weight.  I reworked the pattern  in Cascade 220 and Knit Picks Swish.  I also tried out some safety eyes.  I had to cut the backs off the eyes because she said they stuck her in the head and made unsightly bumps.  I also did the band in stockinette stitch instead of 1x1 rib.  The ears were shortened and knit flat.   I used a size G hook, which was a little loose.

I credit Sharuya at Go Dolls for her cute Totoro style hat.  Her dolls are Blythe or smaller, and her hat's are just adorable.  My Marietta's head is quite a bit bigger at 12 inches.  
Knit in the round. 
Increase used interchangeably with Kf&b or Pf&b
Decrease.  K or P 2tog, SSK
Single crochet
Yarn:  worsted, Gauge about 5 stitches/inch and 7 rows/inch.  I tend to knit on the tight side.
Needles size  7
Crochet hook F

Earflaps, knit flat.
With white, CO 4 stitches.  Turn at end of every row.
P one row.
K next row increasing one stitch on each end. (6)
P one row.
K next row increasing one stitch on each end. (8)
P next row increasing one stitch on each end. (10)
K one row. Cut yarn. This end is woven in at the end
Place on holder.
Make second earflap but do not place on holder. 
Backward CO 16 stitches.  With right (knit) side facing, knit the first earflap back on to needle.
Continue back in forth in stockinette stitch starting with purl row for 4 rows.  End on right side.
Backward CO 24 stitches. (60 stitches total)  Join to knit in the round. Place marker to mark beginning.
Continue stockinette stitch for 5 more rows. The front band is a little shy of 1 inch. Cut thread leaving short end to weave in.  Change to gray and stockinette stitch. (Knit every row in the round)
Work 7 rows of knit (one inch)
Begin crown decreases.
(K8, K2tog) around (54)
Knit one row.
(K7, K2tog) around (48)
Knit one row.
(K6, K2tog) around (42)
(K5, K2tog) around (36)
(K4, K2tog) around (30)
(K3, K2tog) around (24)
(K2, K2tog) around (18)
(K1, K2tog) around (12)
(K2tog) around (6)
K1,k2tog,k1,k2tog (4)
Cut thread leaving 6 inch tail.  Thread through stitches and pull up tight.  Push to wrong side and weave in end.
Single crochet around edge, crocheting in tails as you go.  When you go around the botton of the flaps add extra single crochet in corner knit stitches to go around the corners.   Add braids to earflaps and pompoms or dust mites as desired.  (I used 6 strands about 30 inches long for each braid, doubled)

Make two and sew in place.  I knit these flat.  They can as well be knit in the round.  It is fiddly but avoids purling.
CO 8 stitches. 
P1 one row.
K3, Kf&b, K3. Kf&b. (10)
P one row, knit one row, purl one row.
Kf&b, K4, Kf&b, K4 (12)
P one row, knit one row, purl one row.
SSK, K4, SSK, K4 (10)
P2tog, p3, P2tog, p3 (8)
SSK, K2, SSK, K2 (6)
P2tog, p1, P2tog, p1 (4)
K2tog, K2tog.
Break yarn leaving 12 inch tail and thread through.  Pull up and weave in ends.  Stuff lightly if desired.  Sew on ears about 5 stitches from top.  Embroider whiskers, chest markings.  Add eyes of choice.

 Heart in Flight has a nice tutorial on crocheting eyes.

Marietta is also sporting her new jean skirt.  The elastic waistband came out better, and I added the lace and a bit of length.