l33t Kn1tx0r

I'm in UR stash kn1tting UR n0r0

Sunday, February 21, 2010

All In All

According to Ravelry, the Knitter's Almanac has 19 patterns. Looking through the book, it is hard to say exactly what is a pattern and what is one of EZ's clever ideas in "pithy" form.  Trying to conform to a standard, though, of counting as a pattern anything that has a bold-and-capitol-letters heading, I counted 25 patterns. I finished up the year with 25 projects (with one unfinished, and one on hold; though my projects don't exactly match up with the aforementioned defined patterns).

The Knitter's Almanac is a study-at-home course for knitters, in addition to a proto-knitblog (as I've mentioned before), including sweet little stories about Elizabeth's life and history, as well as anecdotes about her design process. There are many clever tips on techniques and best-practices. 

I gained confidence with cables and steeking in January. February had lots of practical baby items, though I didn't feel like I learned anything new (others might find the foray into double knitting instructional, or if you haven't tried lace yet, the baby sweater is a perfect start). March was an exercise is endurance for me, it was not techincally difficult but it took a long time (I think this may have been my favorite project)! April scarred the Kitchener stitch into my brain forever. In May I learned more about two-color techniques, and to watch what I'm doing. June had lots of hats, and I learned yellow is not a good color for me (this was incidental, though, not really a part of the Almanac :). In July I learned a proper cast on for center-out shawls. The August projects were not particularly great, and I branched out to other pattern sources that month (thank you Knitty and Knitspot!). In September I re-learned the lesson from May... that while humans are symmetrical, you can't just knit two and expect them to fit. In October I found out that I am not as clever as I thought; October is the only project from The Almanac where I've declared a cease-fire. November had an innovative sock pattern, and maybe some day I'll knit #2. And December..., well, I didn't knit the December project. I thought the Wishbone sweater uncommonly ugly. I reworked the sweater a bit, as conceived as a sweater for my carboy. This project, is however on hold due to other knitting that demanded priority.

And with that, dear reader, I declare an end to my Blogger-blog. It's been fun, and more than a little annoying, but I'm through with Blogger. You may follow my continued knitting adventures on Ravelry, or on my family handcrafts blog (which was handcrafted by my husband :) [RSS feed]. If you noticed, the links in this post are to the posts on my other blog. But to warn you, there will be crafting from the whole family. I have a crafty mother, and mother-in-law, and historical handcrafts photos from my family. So if you are bored by pictures of old quilts and occasional children's artwork just stick to Ravelry.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

We Now Disrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Almanac...

When I found out that a dear friend of mine was getting married, I knew I had to knit her something.

Anne Hanson had just released the Fernfrost pattern back in August and I was inspired. I decided to use the remainder of the silver silk from another wedding gift, and it gave the whole project a very frosty feel.

But while this is really a pretty pattern, I wish I’d picked one of her other patterns that is just as pretty but with a little less fiddliness. Really, pattern on every row and twisted purls? It took me about two hours per repeat, depending on my level of attention. 

Imagine my surprise that the thing fit in the palm of my hand after washing! All that work for something so tiny!

I made 14 repeats, and the scarf is 55” long and 8” wide. And, for the record, I wish I had blocking wires.

I added a fringe of twisted yarn, knotted together artfully, about 10”. The twisting and fringing was fun, and a new experience for me. I found it hard to believe it would work at first, but it really does. Just double up the yarn, twisty twisty, and carefully allow it to double back on itself again, then knot the ends. Et voila, fringe.

And if you read any blogs from northern regions, I'm sure you are sick of hearing people complain about the lack of decent lighting all winter, so I'll spare you. But really, this was the only decent picture I got outside...

but pretty enough, and I hope the bride likes it.

Next up on this blog: the Knitter's Almanac year-in-review. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Collar Fail

I was actually looking forward to October all year. My son had earmarked this pattern as one he would appreciate and wear, with the addition of a kanagroo-type pocket at the front. The yarn is the lovely Laines du Nord Cashsilk, paired with an old wool-silk blend that was actually one of the first yarns I ever bought in my second knitting stint in 1999. Yikes, 10 year old yarn!

I feel like I've made it through a lot of EZ's patterns, mostly without difficulty, sometimes with some head-scratching, but always made it in the end. She has a unique style of instruction (as many before me have commented), but once you get used to it, it encourages independence and intelligent consideration of each pattern. These things can only make one a better knitter.

The instructions for the top-down collared sweater in October, however, might as well have been written in Jaffa (kree!), for all I understood them. If this book wasn't older than I am, I would suspect some pattern errata... but I do see some people on Ravelry managed the top-down version, so it must just be me.

This is as far as I got before I realized something wasn't quite right:

That's actually the back view, and I managed to delude myself into knitting the rest of the body and a sleeves before I really faced the fact that the crazy pouch like thing on the front cannot be steeked in any way to resemble a open-neck placket.  The collar is knit from a provisional cast on, and you are supposed to pick up stitches to knit a facing for the collar and the placket. Yeah, it sounds reasonable like that, but look...

Here's that something that's not quite right:

I think it's salvageable, I can steek an opening in the front, and knit on a placket. Then I will probably frog it from the cast on (at the collar) and knit up a collar from a reasonable point around the neck (minus that crazy pouch thing). At the end of the month, though, I just shoved it in the basket and moved on to the November socks.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September Hot Pants

Ok, these are "hot" in the sense that they will keep little legs warm, and that they are hot pink, not in the B-52s sense of the phrase.

I knit the September longies for my daughter a) because she needed wool pants for recess at school and b) I did not want to admit how much yarn it would actually take to swath my post-3rd-baby behind in wool.

The yarn was a birthday gift from my mother-in-law, bought during our family vacation this summer in Stavanger. There was a charming little store called Bånsull close off the main square by the cathedral.

This pattern was a typical opaquely worded but highly customizable EZ design. Everything went swimmingly, except (in a typical move for me) I made two left legs. The increases above the knee are designed to hide discreetly on the inside of the leg, so the legs should be knit mirrored. Wait, it's just a tube, can't you just rotate it 180 degrees? you say. No, not with the charming calf shaping. Well, anyway, the increases are in the wrong spot and plainly visible if you look for them, but no one cares but me.

The pants still fit comfortable despite the wonky shaping, they are warm, and most importantly, they are pink.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh My God, It's Full of Stars...

August in the Knitter's Almanac is devoted to Christmas "fiddle faddle", and is probably the most enjoyably written chapter. It's like the original knitting blog, pre-internet. Aside from my general affection for this chapter and the endearing story of two old people tooling around in the wilderness in a canoe, I was not won over by the patterns. My tree turned out bloated and floppy (I won't even burden you with a picture of it), and I didn't even try the angel as it looked really too old-fashioned for my tastes. Stars, FTW, however.

I made a bevy of them, and sold them at the Christmas market at our children's school. They took about 15 minutes to make, took up very little yarn, and look quite charming two-toned.

PS. Yes, you caught me! I backdated this post. We decided to send our son to a school that is approximately a 1 hour commute away. Which, there-and-back-again two times a day, means I have had 4 hours less a day for knitting, blogging, and life in general. I know, "knit on the train!" is what you are thinking -- "not with a baby whose dearest love in life is to grab yarn" is my answer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

July Pi

Back in July, this:

turned into this

and I took it here

and once I got all those people to get out of the way, we were able to take some nice picutres

it does look like I had a little run there, but I think I just poked it too much with my fingers as I was flipping it around. Yarn: cashmere and silk from Colourmart. Yay colourmart!

Friday, July 31, 2009

June Round Up

Added to the June pile: Ganomy

Knit in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, a very servicable nice wool. I held it double to closer match the stated guage in the pattern which is rather large. I did run out of yarn for the last few yards, so I used a matching green bit I had left over from something else. I rather liked the method for making the little bobble at the top. It's a nice alternative to pom-poms, tassles, or just a bare peak. I didn't use a ping-pong ball as suggested, but just a little leftover ball of somethig-or-other.

I added a line of embroidery just above the brim in green, to match the top of the bobble. All in all: a simple, solid pattern that I would be happy to knit again.


Also knit in June, but not yet photographed: a mini fisherman's hat that is totally adorable on a baby head.