Sunday, July 31, 2011
From a midnight double feature of the Deathly Hallows part 2, to rediscovering my copies of the first three books while I was home, Harry has taken over my spare time. I even had to run to the Borders closing sale to make sure I got the rest of the series in the same type of cover! (What can I say, I like my books to match?)
But finally, in a fit of knitterly productivity (which conveniently happens in front of the TV and fan) I finished my little hedgehog yesterday, and have a serious start made on his mushroom friend!
He turned out a bit larger than I was expecting - pretty much life size! - but I think he's still awfully cute. Especially with his little glasses! Who knows, maybe more accessories are in his future. I just know my hands will be glad to get to some springier yarn on the next project, Veyla. They've suffered some abuse with this non-stretchy alpaca on small needles, and the cotton in my sister's chickens and a summer top I'm working on!
Monday, July 25, 2011
I know it's a goofy name, but Adam and I were in fits of laughter as I was finishing this little guy up last night. The way he was stuffed at first he was a chubby little blob, and getting his eyes in the right place was no easy task! He finally came together and is one cute little guy. Just in time to keep Adam company as I head out of town this week.
He was a lot of fun to make and although I still have his mushroom buddies to make, I'm already anxious to get going on our next project, Veyla! I'll be visiting my mom and she's been wanting to make those mitts as well, so hopefully we'll have a guest blogger join us in the next round. So come girls, show me your 'hogs! Time to board!
Friday, July 22, 2011
After we had our knitting fill, we had an outing to an alpaca farm! My mom has a booth at the local farmer's market on the weekend, and right next to her is the Casa del Suri alpaca farm booth. Mary, the owner, has beautiful fiber and yarn for sale, though she says she isn't much of a knitter! When we got there, the alpaca and their guard llama were hanging out in the barn in front of the fans. Mary said when the weather is this hot they also get hosed down twice a day and really seem to love it!
Of course, they were also excited because it was dinner time! The babies (called crias) are fed first since the adults tend to be a little pushy! The crias and female alpacas are kept separate from the males, since alpacas can breed at any time, plus the guys tend to be a little rough. Mary put rocks in the food bowls to slow the little guys down so they don't choke.
Spirit, the guard llama, was very protective of his charges and kept a close eye on us.
The alpaca were also very alert - but I think they were keeping an eye out to see if we had any more food! They'd all been shorn fairly recently and were looking quite slender.
Sensing a great photo for my Rav project page, I had my mom hold Chester up to take a picture with the ladies, since he's also made of alpaca! Sophia, the friendliest of the lot, still had a bit of an appetite and decided to see if my needles would be tasty! Luckily Chester got out of the way with only a little bit of slobber :)
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Like I said, I "pseudo-blocked". In my transient state, I don't really have all the proper equipment (and can't easily borrow it). For now I just laid flat to dry, but the edging could use some proper blocking.
Finished Damson! Sorry for the busy background and awkward perspective. If I haven't said it enough already, I LOVE this shawl in this yarn and colorway. LOVE!
After I finished up Damson I started right away on Ripley. I had a few issues (why do I own twenty-something inch size 10 circs?), but the pattern was great. Like everyone else, I didn't check gauge. When I got to the point in the lace band where I could just do the extra-small, the band fit around my head so I just got started on the body of the hat. I met up with Jess around the time I got to the second pleat, and she laughed at how small my little hat was (I have a tendency to make tiny hats out of lazyness). So, I ripped back to the lace band and added enough repeats for the medium. Luckily I was able to do almost the entire hat on the Jitney! Disclaimer: I don't recommend this, my wrist hurt so bad last night. Anyway, ends were woven in this morning! Sorry for the flat photo, I don't have Jess's awesome ability to take pictures of myself and there is no one here to take them for me. Oh right, I should probably mention that this is in Tosh 80/10/10 in Fig. The base is great and the color is nice for this hat (although it doesn't make me as excited as Flash Dance).
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The good news is that I've discovered a few helpful tips to make my Smith more successful!
- Read the pattern correctly. (Apparently I don't take my own advice.)
- Weave in the ends as you go. A little effort now will save you a lot of stress when finished the project!
- Knit the spikes in advance. If you've got space on your needle or have spare needles, you don't have to keep alternating between knitting the body and spikes. In my case, I'm using DPNs, so I was able to knit 4 spikes before going back to the body!
Hopefully, these tips will help somebody else avoid hedgehog deformity!
Monday, July 11, 2011
It's a fun construction technique too - you're pretty much doing the first step of a three-needle bind off when you join the spike row to the body. It's a little awkward, but much, much easier than sewing all the spikes on afterward! I went with conventional hedgehog colors for Chester, but I did see a very cute zombie-hedge on Ravelry!
The chicken part of this post comes with a sneak preview of part of my sister's gift. I know I'm safe posting here, since (hopefully) she won't have a chance to check this before I see her next week to give them to her!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
In better news, my larger mistake of the last 24 hours (leaving my wallet in East Hampton whilst I visit Brooklyn) has also temporarily been fixed. Well, sorta. I have cash thanks to the lovely folks at Bank of America, but is it really useful if I can't buy wine for the concert Kendra and I are going to tonight (without the ID in said wallet). I'm sure I'll think of something (probably while I trudge through the rest of Damson). Once again I'm going to make you all jealous (not really) with this thought (or random string of words): Court Yard Hounds, sunny Prospect Park Bandshell, wine, knitting, and of course the lovely Kendra. Even with all my mistakes, today is a good day.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
While everyone else is finishing project numero dos, I'm just finishing up the would-be-garter section of Damson (that I'm doing in stockinette in hopes that my single skein of Tosh Merino Light will be enough). Based on Jess's results, I should be fine with the 420 yards of TML. The benefit of finishing last is that I don't have to be the guinea pig. Hopefully that makes up for the well-deserved tormenting I'm sure to suffer from my fellow bloggers.
So my notes on the pattern and project itself: The pattern is nice and easy. Like everyone else, my stitch count got a little off at one point. I was missing one stitch on one of the ends, so I just did an extra increase once I realized the mistake. It's not even noticeable (woohoo). My other note about my project is that I absolutely LOVE the Flashdance colorway. It seriously gorgeous and possibly the reason I'm totally fine taking my time.Who wouldn't want to drag out the time spent knitting in this stunning colorway?
So, the consolation prize for indulging me with this not-so-helpful post: a few pictures of what you're missing in East Hampton. I'll share more later, but for today here are the hydrangeas that have been keeping me sane while I haven't been able to knit. I sure hope the slideshow works! Update: Click on "Fullscreen" to view the slideshow.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I chose to do the lacy edging, and a size in between the less and more slouchy by knitting 5 rows after the last pleat instead of the 1 or 10 specified in the pattern.
And I still have enough left for another hat! This would be a great project if you just have a little bit of a special handspun, or a more luxurious fiber blend. Just keep in mind that different fibers will drape differently, and try a swatch if you're not sure about it!
Monday, July 4, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
I kept knitting along and found the pleats amazing! Such a genius design. Just to keep the pretty pictures coming, the next day of working on this hat I was spending the night on Martha's Vineyard at an amazing inn on the beach and this was the beautiful sunset view I did my knitting to!
Adam (my SO) also helped me by knitting some stitches on the hat during our ferry ride back from the Vineyard to the Cape. He's a great continental knitter!
I had decided to make the less slouchy version, but sadly at my gauge and after doing all the decreases, it was just too small. Frogging time! But I'm not such a fan of just ripping out and having to find stitches, so I use a smaller needle to pick up stitches along the row I want to rip down to (shown below), then rip to the stitches on the needle and can then knit from there. Much less traumatic frogging!
This time I made a hybrid of the two slouch versions with 6 rows in between the last pleat and setting up the decreases. Much better! Now I have a wonderful hat that will remind me of the wonder Cape Cod places that it was knit in!
As an aside, we went to an alpaca farm while on Martha's Vineyard which was adorable! Claire, I'm bringing you info about purchasing them. Pet quality alpacas start at $250! Bargain! Not sure how you get them from the island, but I'm sure there's a ferry that let's you bring alpacas :) There were so many babies! So cool.
"They come in many colors." Hah.
Baby! Sorry for the terrible photo - I killed our camera the night before, so we were down to a phone camera at this point.
Friday, July 1, 2011
While Ripley looks like a simple hat, it really has a unique construction. The brim is worked sideways in one of two options: lace or garter stitch (which imitates a rib). From there, you pick up slip stitches and work upward. What's most interesting about the hat is its pleats. These pleats create a permanent scrunched look, perfect for slouchy hats. Here's an incredibly rough diagram that illustrates the construction:
For my hat, I'm knitting the medium size with the garter border. Here is my work in progress:
Here's an extreme close-up of what a single pleat looks like:
I'm hoping to get the hat finished up over the long Independence Day weekend. The pattern does give instructions for varying degrees of slouch, but I'm not sure what I'll go with yet. The advantage of bottom-up hats is that you can try them on as you go, so I'll decide on the fly. We'll see what happens!