Monday, June 25, 2007

Cropped Leaf Cardi progress

I uhmm...decided to use the obligatory lime Cotton-ease for this cardi. I should tell you that I managed to have 5 40% coupons to use for procurement of this yarn. And I managed to have the same dyelot for 4/5 and the 5th is the same lot number, but without the 'A'. I figure that if I have to use the last skein (which I think I do), I'll split it and use for sleeves and I-cord or something...the colors don't look different.

As I am knitting (or is that was, since I cannot type and knit simultaneously -- no I don't have my voice recognition software right now)...I think that the front is just a tad well...might look great on a 20 something, but I want a bit more coverage. So, I've tweeked the pattern (already) and increased at the beginning and end stitches for a more fabric. I hope it looks okay.

Anyway, I'm at that boring raglan land...just knitting and purling back, with increases...back and forth...back and thinks it's time for the MS3 to start soon...back and forth...

Actually, it's an easy knit, so I'll stop complaining now. Oh, I started this sweater Sunday, June 24, 2007.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm such a joiner...but not a seamer

I joined the Fitted Knits KAL.

I haven't even gotten the button up yet, but I'm planning on doing the cropped cardi. I think I shall be using cotton-ease (old stuff). I have 5-6-7? balls of black somewhere. I bought it before the-time-it-wasn't-abundant. I started making a tank from SnB, but wasn't thrilled about it. Okay, it might have been that I had just learned to knit and hey, whatever.

Anyway, the cropped cardi is another sweater which I've looked at a bunch of different yarns for, but what joy! I found yarn in my stash. How cool is that. Okay, that's figuratively 'found'. I haven't looked for it yet. But I know I have it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Walking with Bronto

start: June 10, 2007
end: June 21 (embroidering the eyes)
yarn: less than 2 skeins of green acrylic yarn and a bit of the darker green for soles and white and black for claws and eyes
stuffing: more than 1 bag of polyfill. This thing just ate polyfill -- I'd stuff and stuff and it would look all lumpy, I would pull it all out, and then refluff (and do what I think spinners do, I think) and connect more fill with that so that it's one continuous stuffing process and more stuffing would go in. This seemed to do the trick and definitely less lumps.
final size: 27 inches (head to tail), 9 inches (back to feet) and 12 inches (at his widest point)

modifications/comments: Loads! As I said in previous posts, I made Bronto less long, and in the round when I could. These patterns are chock full of errors, but my goodness, it's a darn stuffed toy! I didn't stress, and when numbers didn't match up, I said, oh well.

The seaming of the body was pretty easy, since the body was done in the round. I just had to seam the head gusset and the back of the neck when I was done doing the face. The pain was doing the feet, and 'catching the claws' as you seam...yeah, right. I had crazy Howard Hughes nails on a bronto originally. I had to take it apart and move the claws in (since this is a herbivore) several times until I was happy with them. But once that was done, it was okay. Yes, I know, they're still crazy claws, but what the hey. There were no pointers as to where to place legs on the bronto, so again, I just winged it. It does seem to me that the back legs are way longer than the front legs ---hmm, I hope I didn't skip a line in the pattern that said 'knit 7 rows' or something...

Final thoughts? I did enjoy knitting this guy, and I enjoyed it lots more when I could knit in the round. It's pretty mindless knitting. Would I knit him again? Why yes I would. But this time, I'd do more of him in the round!

The best part? Z loves him. He was very happy to get his bronto.

My only hint to folks contemplating this knit is to make sure you've got a good project bag where all the little fiddly pieces can go in when completed. I used a lovely grocery bag, and I did regret it when I realized I lost a completely knitted foot. Ask z. I was so bummed I almost didn't finish bronto. Apparently, this foot piece jumped from my bag to the clean laundry that had been put away. Whew! Good thing I found it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Another Dino progress post

Well, darn it. This thing has how many different pieces? So, yes. I'm going to post yet another in progress post.

Actually, I'm done knitting, now comes the part of sewing, stuffing assembling, embellishing. I've already decided that bronto will not have spots (as per original pattern). Who decided that anyway? Spots? on a very large dinosaur?! Like yeah, he's going to be hiding from predators using his camouflage long as he's in a jungle or such, carnivores aren't going to be able to spot a 80 feet dinosaur!?

The feet. The four feet were kind of a pain. For the back feet, they ask you to make two feet. You knit the main part, then knit toes individually. THEN...they say, knit the soles in a different color, EXACTLY as the top of the feet. Argh! (okay, it's my own darn fault for not reading the instructions all the way through, but hey). So, for the front feet (same construction but smaller), I did all 4 of them on straight needles at the same time -- ala 2 sweater sleeves or 2 socks, except I had 4 items on the same needle. This way, if I screwed up on one foot, they'd all match. See! Am I brilliant or what?! okay, or what.

As for the 16 claws, I knitted them originally as per instructions, but a foot's worth later, I decided that since I have to knit little triangles, then fold them and seam them, I might as well...yep, you guessed it...knit them in the round. I actually knit them as I-cords, decreased to claws. So, at the knitting group I attend, I managed to finish up the 16 claws.

Anyway, here's a picture of the parts. As I said, I had to stuff as I went on the main body. The legs and feet were knitted flat and the claws in the round. If I could figure out a way to make the feet in the round, I would. But if I did that, I'd have to make itty bitty 'gloves' and they would be the same color. If that weren't more painful than knitting them flat, I'd probably forgo the color switch.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cool stuff and Happy Father's Day!

Last week, I was surfing the Destash Blog (RIP) when I came across yarn that I thought I'd be interested in. So, I clicked onto the blog to check it out and was looking at the very cool knit bowling set when Z walked in and said ' ooh, Mom. Can you make that for me?'

What's a mom to do? I emailed the blogger with the question and she promptly emailed me back w/ the answer. The pattern's in Vicky Howell's book, by the way.

I went back to her blog and began reading it...hmm...something sounds familiar...wait a minute...I KNOW her. I met her awhile back at the local coffee shop -- I didn't even know she knit. How weird is that?! Anyway, I emailed her back and thanked her for the info and she has very graciously lent me her book.

I love knitters! How kind. How cool.

On a separate note. I actually broke my first needle (bamboo) the other day. I emailed Crystal Palace and guess what came in the mail yesterday? yep, not one, but 2 needles. That's what I call a good company.

On the knitting front, still working on bronto. The time consuming parts are the legs/feet. Four legs has (seriously) TWENTY EIGHT separate pieces!!! argh! 16 of the 28 are toe nails, so I'm going to see how much of a pain it is to knit little itty bitty triangles for claws...or whether I can embroider them on. Okay, that's not too cool, but the fact that I'm at the feet part is cool.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dino Progess, with a picture

Okay. I am cranking. Okay, not so much. But look at this:

Does it look like a brontosaurus --which is the incorrect name, btw. It's apatosaurus, and there is no such thing as a 'thunder lizard'.

Anyway, I've altered the body drastically. And there seems to be a slight hump, but I'm thinking it'll squish down. I knit the body in the round, but I realized I had to stuff the body before I knit the neck 'cause otherwise, I would get a lumpasaurus.

So, I knit the tail, then body, then stuffed, then knit the neck, then stuffed. The head I did not knit in the round. I have not sewn the last bit in case I need to do something in the head region (like sewing in eyes).

The legs I'm having issues conceptualizing. There were random (to me anyways) decreases and increases. So to be on the safe side, I'm knitting the back legs (so far) flat, like the pattern. But oh, like sweater sleeves, I'm doing both at the same time. As I'm knitting the legs, I'm super glad I didn't knit the body in pieces. I'll post finished pictures when I'm done.

Then the next request is for spinosaurus -- at least on the dino knitting front.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The end of Destash!?

Oh, sadness. I LOVE this blog. Once I found destash, I would visit almost every day and just think about why someone would get rid of this lovely yarn, book, whatever...such lovely yarns... And then there were times where I was thinking to self "What were they thinking?! and they want HOW much for that?!" Okay, but I did really love this blog. I've made a few purchases and was also able to destash a bit of unwanted yarn and even a book.

There were definitely folks who had really bad blog etiquette and would do ridiculous things like put their time of blog way into the future so that their item would always be on top. And then there were the newbies that kept pressing the publish now button. Argh!

Dudes! Couldn't you work out the page on your own blog, then cut and paste onto the destash? Then there wouldn't have been 20 drafts of the same darn thing! And of course, this is my own theory, but I think that blogger operates in the space time continuum such that no two bloggers shall publish simultaneously. So, don't try to edit your page on destash blogger, go edit on your own darn blog, then cut and paste it (oh, wait, I already said that?!)

Anyway, it was fun while it lasted. My hope is that someone else will set up another destash blog, and that people who didn't play nicely don't get to play.

(gets off soap box)

Now, I'll go and send a email to the nice folks at destash to tell them how much they'll be missed.

Monday, June 11, 2007

totally forgot...I won a contest!

I really did totally forget. I won a contest over here. 'Here' is the Walker Treasury Project. What a cool and very useful concept (and application of concept). You all know the books, now see what the stitches look like. Very cool.

And I wanted to join in and submit samples (so that I can get a blanket done w/ squares). But I just haven't had time to go through the books I have (I've got I &II in hardback -- a craigslist find) and have gone through them a little bit, but not to zero in on the patterns I want to use for the said blanket so I haven't emailed to request a pattern because I haven't picked a pattern...anywhoo, I did leave a comment on the blog and won a contest!

I won an audiobook. I chose The Road. Anyway! Go and check out the WTP site. It's amazing, and inspiring.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Did you KIP?

No, I didn't either.

No, I take that back. I took Z to soccer practice and managed to cast on and knit one row of a bib for A. That counts, doesn't it?

I meant to do more. There was no way that I was going to make it up to Berkeley for their event. I would have loved to, but I'm playing single mom this weekend whilst z&a's dad is off doing some guy time w/ his buddies. Next year. I'll try harder next year.

Besides soccer, we had a nice lunch w/ grandma at our favorite dim sum place. And then we had a relaxing afternoon (okay, it was relaxing for me because Z took a nap!). So, of the 5 items planned for Saturday, we managed to do more than half. That's not too bad. The 2 things we didn't do? Go check out the Sand Castle building contest and go to a picnic at the park.

However, this morning...woken up at 4am by A, who woke up Z. And yes, they're still up...

On the knitting front, I got the very cool Patons Dino pattern (thanks so much to the wonderful chemgrrl) and have started brontosaurus. I've managed to completely change the pattern to knit it in the round and I 'm hoping this will work. Maybe I should have read all the directions first, but I thought I'd wing it. The finished dino is huge, so I sort of am making him shorter. I'm using my Crystal Palace US2 dpn with a green acrylic worsted weight yarn (speckles) . When I find the tag, I'll let you know. As this is a toy, I stash bust some acrylics. (did I mention that the cotton knitting so traumatized me that even acrylics are feeling pretty okay?!).

I believe that for at least one of the dinosaurs, I will make as per instructions...and if bronto turns out wonky, well, I'll be remaking it in the flat (but I'd rather not).

btw- I was bummed when I got these dpns because they were longer than other dpns I normally use, but this has totally worked out for toy making in the round because you've got to increase to large number of stitches from small number, and while magic loop rocks, it's kind of a pain to do unless you've got a fair number of stitches to work with.

So, for example, the pattern goes from tail to head, so I decided to use dpn's for an I-cord that I increased to knit in the round...

So, how many WIPs?
stalled out yoga bag
market bag in cotton
luna moth shawl

*these are just the 'active' ones. There's a serious bunch of WIPs that need to be worked on.
Have a good Sunday!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I spoke too soon. NOT so easy lace

I'm blowing this lace pattern. Argh! Do you know how many times I've had to tink? Argh!

This is supposed to be easy lace, so that I can start thinking about Peacock...


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Easy lace project

I received as part of a swap, a lovely ball of Knit pick's Shimmer (that would be the alpaca/silk) in Morning Mist (blues/white). 440yds...what to make? another swallowtail? naw. Lace leaf? flower basket? I know, perfect. The Falling Water Lace Scarf (pd.f). I decided on the 5X repeat scarf and knit 4 inches of the scarf before I came to the sad realization that this scarf needs either a heavier weight yarn or needs to be a stole. Oh, and my magic 5X repeat results in some serious pooling (sigh).

Frogged it and instead decided on the Elann free triangle Luna Moth Shawl. What?! Not another triangular shawl! Oh, yes.

My take on this pattern. I always do this, I know, but I have a hard time remembering the pattern until, I'm almost done. And with the variegation, it's tough right now to check pattern. Anywhoo that's what I'm working on right now.

I'll do pictures next time since unblocked lace looks horrid. Oh, yes, I started this 6/1/07