Tuesday, February 26, 2008

fixer-upper: crochet edition

A coworker asked me, when she found out I was a knitter, whether I might know my way around a crochet hook as well. Turned out she has an heirloom wedding present that needed a little TLC on a recent weekend:

I was happy to take a look at it for her and in some cases was able to use the original yarn to repair rips between squares and loosened seams. In other cases I had to resort to black thread and a sewing needle but she'd agreed that that would be fine, since she really wanted to wash the piece and was afraid to given its state of disrepair. It definitely needed some work but it's happier now.

I like to think of such a deed as building up good driving karma when faced with yet another foot of snow over the next 24 hours...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

knitted music video

Something amazing tonight: a music video composed entirely of knitted frames!!
It doesn't hurt that the song is pretty good too, by a band called Tricot Machine from Quebec.

I've been having fun poking through the makezine and craftzine archives. How distracting is the Internet!

In knitting news... I am a few rows away from binding off the second sleeve of my origami cardi (scroll down). Tonight I plan to cast on for one of the front panels, to get that on the go. It's the five inch deep berry-in-a-box pattern that takes like a week to get through, and then the rest of the st st parts are done in an evening, perfect movie watching knitting.

almost the weekend!

Monday, February 18, 2008

FO: Textured Tunic with Side Slits

if you found me through LiveJournal/knitting - Welcome! Let me know if you try one of the cuff patterns, and look for me on Ravelry as malaraky.

And now, this weekend's finished project:

This is a great knit and I was lucky to find some excellent yarn at a great price through this Ebay seller.

Stephanie Japel's design from Fitted Knits. I used just over 6 skeins of Cascade 128 Tweed in Plum. This yarn has flecks of white, tan and black, was a pleasure to work with, is soft enough to wear over a tank top, and looks fabulous knitted up. I will definitely be looking for this again. I met gauge with the recommended size 10 needles.

I wanted the bust to not be drooping visually so I knit the box st part to only 4 inches rather than 5 inches or so as called for in the pattern. I lengthened the arms a bit, so they come to my wrist and a shirt underneath peeks out, rather then 3/4 length sleeves. I added six sts at the top of the arm as the st count only accounted for 13 inches around the arm and I needed at least 14 inches. Six sts allowed two for selvedge and four to continue the box st pattern around. Worked out perfectly. Check errata here.

I shortened the overall length, as being a bit hourglass shaped I knew a long length tunic wouldn't work for me. I worked all those back hem increases every row rather than every other row. This caused the fabric to buckle slightly, as I realized when I started attaching buttons, but by moving the buttons further in, that is to say, away from the finished edge and closer to the st st section, the tunic fits well around my hips. Looking forward to wearing this - if only both my workplaces were not kept at 70 degrees in the winter, ugh!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

a recap of holiday knitting

Since I couldn't post pics of holiday knitting before the actual holidays, and since my computer died right after New Year's, here is a bit of a recap of gifted knitting from this holiday season. We agreed in our little family foursome to do our best to have a homemade Christmas this year--I speak only for myself but I am disgusted lately by the fact that it is so hard to find anything decently constructed and/or affordable that is not made in China. Luckily for me, 2007 was the year of knitting in any case so handmade gifts were easy to whip up. We all did quite well, I was very impressed!

Since this hat was not quite right for the mountain man, I demanded it back and have been making use of it, while planning (and eventually ordering yarn for) a new project that will be better suited and hopefully get some use.

Here we have lovely soft Tudora for CK that was whipped up quickly on a weekend when she was away, and I'm happy to report that she has been making good use of it indeed. This pattern was a perfect treat, and I've been enjoying reading the designer's blog as well, since she lives in Ireland and spring seems to have sprung there already, which is quite encouraging!

For BK there was a cunning plan for me to knit a hat out of Harrisville Highland Tweed picked up at the Halcyon Yarn Showroom in Bath, ME, and CK worked up matching mittens. We each purchased a skein of the pretty, sturdy wool, and things worked out swimmingly. Here's the hat:

I based the hat on this pattern, which is written in Finnish. Clearly I no speakee the Finnish so I just used the photo as a guide since I liked the look of this, and wanted a sailor-type hat.

Lastly for now we have a little trio of Fetching-inspired warmthings; a pair for mom, TT, a pair for my five year old cousin AT, and cabled booties with matching fetching 2x2 cables for the newest addition to our extended family, JET. AT, the little darling, kept her just-right sized fingerless gloves on for half of a recent stay when holiday gifts were finally exchanged.

In case you're wanting to adapt this great pattern to smaller hands, all I did was eliminate ten stitches, that it to say, two of the ribbed sections/cable repeats. Then I worked about 12 straight rows rather than the 18 called for in the pattern to make them a bit shorter, saved 5 sts for the thumb on scrap yarn rather than 7, and had a total of 13 sts for the thumb rather than 17. More details on my Ravelry project page, as well.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

TTwSS - nearly an FO...

Just trying to get the button placement right and though it was generally a sunny and lovely day, the light went away before I could quite wrap things up. There was enough light though to bind off the back hem and manage the seaming of the sleeves and to attach the big button at the shoulder, and I looooove the way it looks!

Side buttons though at the hip, didn't work out on the first try. And now it is dark and tomorrow is another day! Tonight I will be picking my origami cardi back up, having started the second sleeve a couple of weeks ago. The first looks nice and the color is just the cheery thing to distract from the seven foot high snowbanks round these parts!

Friday, February 8, 2008

crafty review

did I mention... I did a blip on the crafty compilation Anticraft for PopMatters? You got it.

in other news, TTwSS enters arm knitting phase! wellllllll I might have not exactly finished the back, but I thought those flappy things were a bad idea...and now I knit the back (almost) straight and it won't meet at the side. so I think I need the flappy things. So I might be going back. in the meantime, I started knitting the right arm. If I would just sit down and knit, I would be done. but there are many many other things competing for attention. happy Friday!

Monday, February 4, 2008


Much blogging, I have not been doing, and not much reading of blogs, either. Before my computer imploded I was pretty much caught up with my 30+ crafty blog subscriptions, and now I have almost 400 unread posts. daunting, to say the least. if I don't keep right up with the posts, they just keep piling up!

Luckily, I have been knitting quite a bit instead of reading about it or writing about it. Here are a few January-ish pretties for you:

yet another pair of Fetching, this time with buttons! in mission falls 1824 wool 'Macaw', and sent to Japan to grace Aoi's fingers.

A fun KAL with subliminalrabbit who was quite up for searching out workable yarns on short notice a few weeks ago--and we're both making good progress!! The pattern is Textured Tunic with Side Slits from Stephanie Japel. I love the yarn I ended up with from an ebay seller--this is cascade 128 tweed in 'plum' which is a has flecks of tan, cream and black and is knitting up wonderfully! this photo is slightly outdated, I am on the verge of finishing the front of the tunic and the back shouldn't take long although I see there is some increasing to compensate for rear curvature. This has been a superfast knit, and I love the fabric! I did decide to shorten the length of the box stitch section to only four inches, trying it on frequently and knowing I don't want my chest visually dragged down to my waist.

Here we have another old shot of the sleeve of the IK origami cardigan from summer 2007 in Paton's classic merino 'peacock'. Yesterday I just about finished up knitting the first sleeve. When I cast on for this after the holidays, I started the back only to find that despite swatching, I was not getting gauge for the second size (38.5") and that if I knit the smallest size I am ending up with measurements close to the second size, even though I went down a needle size, and usually I can use the size recommended. That was a bit irksome to figure out. I love the color of this wool and am picturing a nice spring jacket purpose for this piece!

Progress on the Montego Bay scarf, also from Summer 2007 IK.

Finally, the second Tudora I've knit. Love this fast pattern. Found lime green buttons to match my limey green winter coat and used up almost the rest of the Cascade 220 heather I had left over from several other projects.