Saturday, January 31, 2009

knitting projects

I've been knitting away lately when I have extra down time. Here's what I've been working on:

Fourteen Neckwarmer, a gift for my friend, Rachael.




yarn:Araucania Limari #556
needles: size 13
ravelry link: craftr's fourteen





Last week, my new stash of Knit Picks Palette yarn arrived and I started on my first pair of Norwegian mittens, NHM #3 from Selbuvotter.






Last night, cast on a knit a few rows of my new sweater project, the Central Park Hoodie. I've been wanting to make one of these for a while now, so I'm so excited to get started. I'm using this Cascade 220 in a Blue Satine color.




And, Oiyi was so kind to send me these 6 skeins of Lion Brand Color Waves yarn so that I can make an afghan like this one here which I really loved. I'm so excited to have another afghan project waiting in the wings. The color of this yarn is so rich and pretty.



Monday, January 26, 2009

baby quilt for baby Nathan




I made this baby quilt a few weeks ago and now that the shower has come and gone, I can finally post the finished project. Nathan's room is brick red, maize and light olive green, so this quilt was made to match the color scheme.





I played around with some improvisational piecing for this quilt and am really happy with how it came out. Next time, though, I'm going to pull out the scissors, put away the rotary cutter and go a little bit more crazy with the wonky blocks (thanks for the tip, Carissa).






The final quilt is about 27" x 38". I used a 100% cotton batting and did my standard free motion stippling on the top.






Sunday, January 18, 2009

Zig Zag Afghan WIP



This is the afghan that will never end! In a moment of insanity, I did a little math to figure out how my stitches I will have to knit to complete the eight panels of the afghan. Are you ready...wait for it....124,080!!

Now I see why this is listed as a "group project." Knit one panel yourself and have 7 friends do the rest. But, I can't complain too much because this is great tv knitting (Lost, seasons 1-4 to be precise), the yarn is fabulous and I love knitted garter stitch. And, even though I'm only halfway through with the afghan, it still covers my lap and feet wonderfully.



Friday, January 16, 2009

Handknit Week: Center Square

Center Square



This was one of the first projects that I saw on Knitty and was drawn to back when I first started knitting in 2006. I set it aside because I knew I would never try fair isle or stranded knitting. After becoming obsessed with Norwegian Mittens (thanks to the book Selbuvotter), I wanted to give myself a fairly simple beginner project to try out before jumping into the fingering weight projects.  After watching the fair isle video on knittinghelp.com, I was able to figure out continental knitting and carrying yarn in two hands, so I decided to give this project a try.

The only difficulty I had as a new continental knitter (for the left strand only), was that I was having a hard time knitting with doubled yarn and larger needles. The hat is still a bit bumpy due to gauge issues, but I’m pretty sure that a good blocking will help that out. Now, I'm definitely ready to start making some Norwegian mittens.






The yarn, Heavenly, is a soft, soft superwash merino, The lady at the yarn store said she’s had great luck with this yarn for baby projects. I would definitely use this yarn again, and it’s extremely affordable for wool ($4.50/100 yds).





Pattern: Center Square from Knitty
Yarn: Elegant Yarns Heavenly
Needle: 11
Size: one size
Ravelry Link: craftr's Center Square



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Handknit Week: Aran Isle Slippers

Aran Isle Slippers



I’ve always wanted to knit a pair of slippers. Originally I had bought yarn to make the felted ballet slippers from Fiber Trends, but once I saw this pattern in the IK Holiday 2008 issue, I changed directions. I so wanted to love these slippers, but they just aren’t a big hit. They’re a bit too flimsy and too slippery for our wood floors and I just don’t like my finished project as much as the magazine samples.



Before I realized that you read flat knitting charts right to left, left to right, depending on the RS or WS, I was completely confused with the aran pattern. I tried making the top 3 times before resulting to ravelry for any clues to my problem. Thank goodness someone else was having the same problem and figured it out too.

I do love the yarn that I used, Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool, made by a Michigan yarn company. The yarn is similar in price to Cascade 220 but it is a bit softer and so much woollier/thicker feeling than the 220. I definitely will use this yarn for more projects!





Pattern: Aran Isle Slippers IK Holiday 2008
Yarn: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool
Needle: 7
Size: Women’s large
Ravelry Link: craftr's Aran Isle Slippers



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Handknit Week: Habitat

Habitat


I’ve been eyeing this pattern ever since I first saw it on Brooklyn Tweed back when it debuted last fall. I spent two afternoons putting this hat together and it was a nice change from the mindless pattern repeat knitting that I’m normally used to. I am officially a chart convert. The icons on chart patterns are so much easier to read than written instructions. Now I finally understand why people enjoy knitting from charts so much better!


I love the yarn that I used for this, Louisa Harding Grace Hand-Dyed (and I even picked up two more skeins in a deep purple to make a Foliage Hat). If I could do it again, I would make sure to alternate skeins every 2 rows or so. There was quite a bit of color variation even though they were both from the same dye lot. This yarn is so soft and smooshy and it keeps my head really warm. One other thing to mention is that the dye on this yarn completely bleeds. My once white Denise interchangeable needles are now blue.



Pattern: Habitat by Jared Flood of brooklyntweed
Yarn: Louisa Harding Grace Hand-Dyed
Needle: 7
Size: M/L
Ravelry Link: craftr's Habitat

 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Handknit Week: Lifted Twill Hat & Giant Cable Scarf




Lifted Twill Hat


This pattern was written by Karen Kendrick-Hands, the owner of City Knits in Detroit. While I was in the shop back in December buying a swift, she, ever the salesperson, convinced me to buy yarn to make her hat project.



I loved this pattern so much I didn’t mind making it twice! My first attempt was so tiny and I was completely oblivious to the fact while knitting it. I had first had intentions of making a larger version of the helmet hat (7 pattern repeats instead of 5). Even still, the hat was too small. So I jumped up needle sizes from an 11 to a 15 and added an extra pattern repeat (8 total). The 8 pattern repeats was a little overkill, so the hat generously covers my head. I decided to skip out on the helmet hat directions because I already had plenty of ear coverage and completed the hat with an I-cord edge instead.



This was my first time using Misti Alpaca Chunky (Solid and Hand-painted). I cannot compliment this yarn enough. It is so soft, squishy and warm!

Pattern: Lifted Twill Hat – Simple Hat (with modified I-cord edge) IK Winter 2008
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Chunky    Brown & Lily Pad
Needle: 15 on the final version
Size: Large, with an additional pattern repeat
Ravelry Link: craftr's Lifted Twill hat

Giant Cable Scarf



At long last, knitted items that coordinate. After falling in love with this yarn while using it for my Lifted twill hat, I bought another skein and made a long cable scarf with the new skein and the leftovers from my hat. This knit up quickly and was the fastest scarf that I’ve ever made. Now, with the hat and scarf I have hand knit outdoor accessories that match!



Pattern: Giant Cable Scarf
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky Lily Pad
Needle: Size 13
Size: 3” x 80”
Ravelry Link: craftr's Giant Cable Scarf



Monday, January 12, 2009

Handknit Week: Dashing

Welcome to Handknit week at dontcallmebecky! I’ve been knitting up lots of little projects over the past month and now’s the time to share my finished objects. Check back each day this week for another finished object.



Dashing
I made these fingerless mitts to keep my hands warm in my chilly office at work. I made the men’s version of the pattern, because I liked it better than the women’s version (Fetching). Even though I made the small size, the mitts are a bit loose and long around my fingers. If I were to make this pattern again I would decrease around the top portion and knit a few less rows at the top and thumb.



The yarn I used for this project. Karabella Aurora 8 is a soft, soft, merino. It’s pretty similar to the Berocco Pure Merino in size and feel.



Pattern: Dashing
Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8
Needle: 7
Size: Men’s Small
Ravelry Link: craftr's Dashing



Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 Finished Projects

Finished



In keeping with last year's tradition, here's a mosaic of the projects that I completed in 2008. Although I was busy with school for half of the year, I still managed to complete a lot of projects.

And, what's on tap for this year? I've been stocking up on some yarn for knitting projects, so I hope to finish a few sweaters and my zig zag afghan, and learn how to do stranded/fair isle color work. I've found that knitting and embroidery are the two most compatible projects with my school and work schedule, so look for lots more of those projects in 2009.

Happy New Year!



Thursday, January 1, 2009

blocks for Common Threads

Here are some of the blocks that I made near the end of last year for the Common Threads Quilt Bee


for Carissa:







for Amber:






for Nadia:







I have really loved seeing all the different takes by everyone as each month and each quilt progresses!