Monday, November 23, 2009

Nora's Hat

Pattern: Kim's Hats

Source: Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson

Yarn: Scraps of Tahki Donegal Tweed (Oatmeal) and ~50 yds of my very first handspun!

Needles: US 7 dpns

Started: November 20, 2009

Finished: November 21, 2009

Modifications: I did a garter-stitch brim here, with no earflaps. I don't know yet how well this pattern fits, but being that there is no ribbing for stretch, I find it frustrating that the only printer sizes are "toddler, child, adult" because kids come in a lot of sizes, and I can't measure the 6 year old girl that I'm making this for. It was a great way to use up some of my heavy worsted and the fuschia stripes make it cute and girly. The cousins have largely been forgotten in the Christmas batches of knitting because they are funny-sized. At the very least, I plan to have a hat for each. Maybe I'll get around to making them some mittens, too. Poor leftover kids. That's what you get for being small!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fishtrap Aran Hat 2

Pattern: Fishtrap Aran Hat

Source: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Blue ink, 2 skeins (220 yds )

Needles: US 7 dpns

Started: November 8, 2009

Finished: November 20, 2009

Modifications: Version #2 of this hat - the other pictures show of the cables much better. Theoretically this hat is supposed to be for a colleague for Christmas. But he has kind of been peeving me off "demanding" scarves and socks and all sorts of ridiculous things, and when I suggest they will take forever and maybe he should learn, he says, "Oh, no, that would take forever." ...But continues to list off all the things he wants. It will probably go into the Christmas mix for the family and if it comes out the other side, I suppose he can have it. But he'll have to do something really nice for me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not-really Turn a Square 2

Pattern: Turn A Square by Jared Flood
Source: Brooklyn Tweed Blog by Jared Flood
Started: November 15, 2009
Finished: November 17, 2009
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
Needles: Set of 5 US #8 dpns

Modifications: I changed the rib to k3 p2 and continued it all the way up. The striping and decreases are based on Turn a Square, though. I think that qualifies it to be the linked pattern, right? Right?

Ok, I did not think this through carefully enough. It turned out fine as a shallow beanie but (1) stripes do not look the same in stockinette and in ribbing. I do not like stripes quite so much when the purls show too, as inevitably occurs when a ribbed hat is worn, and (2) cute turn-a-square decreases don’t work when ribs get in the way!!! Nor is the typical k8, k2t the same speed of decrease as the “mitered” decs on the original hat.

So my new one is about one inch shorter than intended but fits me nicely, which means it will fit many people, since I have a giant head. There. It’s fine. Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wavy Japanese Pattern Socks

Pattern: Undulating Rib Socks
Source: Favorite Socks by Interweave Press
Started: October 24, 2009
Finished: November 10, 2009
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock in Rainbow (not real name of colorway)
Needles: US Size 2

Modifications: None. This yarn is supposedly well-loved, but it's a little steel-wooly during knitting. This project was a little bit of a surprised for me, since not all of the colors were visible in the skein of yarn when I started. That wouldn't be a big deal except I thought that I could see all of them. So after knitting merrily along, I discover that this is a full-stop rainbow colorway. Love it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Craft Show Fun!

Well, fun but low-key on the Craft Show part. My Etsy shop is stocked by both myself and my mom, and her office building (about 500 employees) has a yearly craft show. We did it last year and at least made enough money to cover our purchases at the other booths... but it was way worse this year.

Last year, the recession had just hit in the summer, and the thought was, "Gee, this is pretty low traffic and lower spending. Doesn't look as crowded in the booth arena as last year, either." This year, the though was, "Dang! Where the hell is everyone! Do you not take lunches? Do you not Christmas shop? How lame!" And the consensus is no more free craft show that no one cares about. *Sad face.*

However, Brown-Eyed Purl is doing better than in its first few months. We haven't put up a lot of new items, but people are buying, at the crazy rate of about one order per month.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cable Ribbed Socks

Pattern: Cable Ribbed Socks
Source: Favorite Socks by Interweave Press
Started: October 19, 2009
Finished: October 24, 2009
Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock in Brick
Needles: US Size 2.5 (leg) and 2 (foot)
Modifications: Received this yarn for free from the "will trade or sell" section of Yarn on Ravelry.

As my first pair of socks for myself, I am pretty happy with these. They could have been a lot tighter, but I actually knit them with the recommended one size up needles because I have large feet for a girl. My friendly LYS owner told me during Lunch Bunch last week that socks will always stretch sideways and you can always knit them longer, so a smaller needle is better because a denser fabric will last longer.

Roger that!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Purple Sonata #2 (flip it, reverse it)

Pattern: #07 Pink Sonata (Ravel it!)
Source: Vogue Knitting, Fall 2008
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Eggplant and Hyacinthe
Needles: US 2 dpns
Started: September 24, 2009
Finished: October 18, 2009

Modifications: These mittens are a flipped version of the same pattern that I completed a few months ago. But this set is for me instead of a Christmas gift. I bound off the fingers a little looser so they'd fit my fat fingers better. And that worked, but...

I had to shorted the two-color rib on the flip top because I ran out of Hyacinthe yarn. It still looks okay. What has been driving me crazy in the first few days of wearing these is I think I shortened the second flip top by just 3-5 rows and it's too short. Darn.

I had to dip into a few yards of the Eggplant that I was saving for Vespergyle Mittens later this year, which is why the second top is shorter. Curse trying to be economical.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Later Gator Mittens

Pattern: Later Gator Mitts by Laura Grutzeck
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Red and Grass
Needles: US 5 dpns (cuff); US 7 dpns (body)
Started: August 3, 2009
Finished: October 6, 2009

Modifications: note! errata on the book's website corrects the number of rows in the straightaway of the red garter-stitch mouth pieces. 56 rows as listed in the book is ridiculous! Thank goodness I caught this after just one mouth was knit instead of later.

The two pieces on each mittens are tough to line up in order to sew them on correctly. Next time, I think some minor modifications of the mouth pieces (like not using garter stitch) would help them line up much better with the corresponding "body" pieces.

15mm was the perfect googly-eye size and the package of 12 eyes was only $2 at Hobby Lobby. I used dental floss to sew them on but green thread would blend in better. At least the dental floss will hold those eyes on through whatever battles they may face.

There are some really cute variations on this listed in Ravelry: dinosaurs, sharks; all manner of great puppet-animals. Even monkeys - my favorite!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bulky Flip Top Mittens

Pattern: Bulky Flip Top Mitts (free)
Source: Life in Cleveland (blog)
Yarn: Noro Iro in super-rainbow!
Needles: US 7 dpns (cuff); US 8 dpns (body)
Started: September 5, 2009
Finished: September 26, 2009

Modifications: I used a bulkier yarn than recommended and changed my needle size to achieve the correct gauge. With mittens, where drape is useless, I pretty much figure the denser the better, and boy these puppies did not disappoint! They are thicker than a malamut's butt!

Striping self-striping yarn is always and interesting effect, and I thought (a) with such a small project, the colorway will barely get once through and the mittens won't match and (b) since I was cannibalizing a vest, I had a lot of shorter ends anyways, so why not use them in crazy stripes!

I'm very pleased with the end result, where the mittens still don't quite match, but they really go together. Love it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Turn a Navy Square

Pattern: Turn a Square (Ravel it!/free)

Source: Brooklyn Tweed (blog) by Jared Flood

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Blue Ink (main) and CCs Dove Heather, Onyx Heather, Arctic Pool, and Cream

Needles: US 6 dpns (ribbed brim); US 8 dpns (body)

Started: August 29, 2009

Finished: August 31, 2009

Modifications: none. I'm not so sure about the sizing on this hat; my yarn was a bit thicker than the recommended Cascade 220, which made for a slightly bigger but denser hat than recommended. I also didn't use a self-striping yarn for the stripes, but instead created a colorway from related scraps that I had leftover from other Christmas projects.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Herringbone Mittens

Pattern: Herringbone Mittens with Poms (Ravel it!/free)

Source: Elliphantom Knits (blog)

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Dove Heather and Arctic Pool

Needles: US 4 dpns (cuff); US 7 dpns (body)

Started: August 24, 2009

Finished: August 29, 2009

Modifications: no poms :-(

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fountain Pen Shawl #2

Pattern: Fountain Pen Shawl (Ravel it!)
Source: Interweave Knits, Spring 2009
Yarn: J. Knits Lace-A-Licious! in Nebraska
Needles: US 3 24" circular
Started: May 31, 2009
Finished: August 17, 2009
Modifications: I only completed 9 of ten main-body repeats. This came out to about the same size as my first Fountain Pen shawl, despite having 2-3 more repeats, because of the different gauge. The previous shawl was a 2-ply on US size 6 needles, this was a 1-ply on 3s.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chevalier Mittens

Pattern: Chevalier Mittens (Ravel it!/free)

Source: MadeByMyself (blog)

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Kettle Dyed in Grasshopper

Needles: US 5 dpns

Started: August 5, 2009

Finished: August 20, 2009

Modifications: eliminated optional repeat in the fingers section; decreased with simple paired decreases along the side, instead of the more complicated charted manner.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Very Warm Hat (EZ pattern)

Pattern: Very Warm Hat (Ravel it!)
Source: Knitting Without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmerman
(Find it on Amazon or at KnitPicks)
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Cloud and Chestnut
Needles: US 7 dpns
Started: July 21, 2009
Finished: July 24, 2009
Modifications: I added Norwegian star pattern in contrasting color on each side

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Almeara Gloves

Pattern: Almeara Gloves (Ravel it!)
Source: Vogue Knitting, Winter 08/09
Yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed DK in Tahitian Pearl
Needles: US 7 dpns
Started: July 14, 2009
Finished: July 21, 2009
Modifications: none

Love these! I wish I didn't have to give them away... but maybe I'll make another pair in the recommended "Oatmeal" color later. They are very squishy, but I can't tell how warm they'll be. Usually for gloves or mittens, a needle at least two sizes smaller than the recommended size is used. For these, the needle is the same or one bigger than the recommended 6-7 US needles. Of course, the cables tighten things up considerably.

The garter stitch palm side makes them curl in a decidedly hand-like way, which makes them adorable when they're just sitting on the table.

Another rock-star pattern from Jared Flood!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Puple Sonata

Pattern: Pink Sonata (Ravel it!)
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Hyacinthe and Eggplant
Needles: US 2 dpns
Started: July 2, 2009
Finished: July 11, 2009
Modifications: none

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fake Isle Hat

Pattern: Fake Isle Hat (Ravel it!)
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Onyx and Dove Heathers
Needles: US 6 dpns
Started: July 10, 2009
Finished: July 10, 2009
Modifications: Added motif in the "petals" of the crown pattern (because I was nervous about running out of Dove gray. Shortened the crown by three-ish rows because the hat was starting to look enormous.

The idea behind the "fake isle" of this hat's name was to use a self-striping yarn as the background color to mimic the color gradations in a true fair isle. I, however, in an effort to make as masculine a hat as possible am opting for solid neutrals.

It turned out fairly large, which could probably have been predicted from the comments on Ravelry, but if it's a problem for boy's head (which is significantly larger than mine) I can always felt it a little. I'm still pleased that I didn't have to felt the Fishtrap Aran from a few weeks ago, so I might be due for an off-sized hat. We shall see - fitting will be tomorrow!

Update 7/11/09 : Dang. It's too big even for my model's giant head. I will try to felt it a little and see if I can get an appropriate size.
Update 7/12/09 : First felting didn't help. I hate having to do it by hand in the kitchen sink. Hmph. I hear you starting to worry to yourselves - don't! I use laundry soap, not dishwashing liquid, to do the job.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bulky Flip Top Mittens and Fishtrap Aran Beanie

Pattern: Bulky Flip Top Mittens
Source: Life in Cleveland Blog
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool in Medium Brown, .25 skeins (119.5 yds)
Needles: US 6 and 7 dpns
Started: June 22, 2009
Finished: June 26, 2009
Modifications: Used k1 - p1 ribbing instead of seed stitch for the cuff. This yarn was also smaller than the recommended bulky weight, so this pair is really only good for some little lady hands.
This is the second time that I've made this pattern, and I just LOVE it! The instructions on how to make them into a flip-top set were taken from another source, I believe, but the designer here at least made it easy for me to understand. Doing a sort of after-thought opening makes it really easy to do the whole body of the mitten and then open it up after.
Pattern: Fishtrap Aran Hat
Source: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Evergreen, 2 skeins (220 yds )
Needles: US 7 dpns
Started: June 26, 2009
Finished: June 28, 2009
Modifications: none
Present number one for the boy's list for Christmas. I'm doing Yankee swap among the half dozen boys and half dozen girls in my family for all of my gifts this year. Hopefully that means that Christmas presents for 15 people will cost me less than $100. Oh, and hopefully it will be more successful than three years ago when I also made gifts for everyone... but they all kind of sucked. The only one I know of that went over well were the stuffed rabbit and bear for my little cousins.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Farmer's Market Bag

Pattern: Farmer's Market Bag
Source: Folk Bags, Interweave Press
Yarn: Madil Yarns Eden in Frost Blue, 5 skeins (545 yds total)
Needles: 24" US 6 circular, 24" US 11 circular, US 11 straight needles
Started: May 11, 2009
Finished: June 29, 2009
Modifications: I used a bamboo yarn instead of the recommended linen, figuring that it was also a pretty strong plant fiber and would allow the same properties as the Euroflax.

See the earlier post on this bag for more details, but it was pretty straightforward - so much so that I put it down for five weeks and almost forgot about it! But I really don't like to have more than two or three works-in-progress going on at the same time. I also don't like to keep a huge stash if I can avoid it. Maybe later in life when I have the room to keep more than one or two banker's boxes worth of stuff... maybe then. But not in a tiny one bedroom apartment with a knitting-averse boyfriend.

Looking forward to going to the market this weekend with my cool new bag!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fountain Pen Shawl #2 (in progress)

Pattern: Fountain Pen Shawl
Source: Interweave Knits Spring 2009
Yarn: J. Knits Lace-a-licious in Nebraska, 1 skein (1200 yds)
Needles: 24" US 3 circular
Started: June 5, 2009
Finished: May 22, 2009
Modifications: Possibly 8-9 repeats instead of the recommended 10. I'd like the size to be somewhere between the pink scarf and a full shawl.

Now, I'm not one to wax patriotic, but there is a BIG soft spot in my heart for the big flat heartland of the northern Midwest. Road trip = corn fields! The name of this colorway is Nebraska - it's so "amber waves of grain", and so Midwest-y. Not only did I buy this while on a weekend trip to visit friends in St. Louis, so the corn fields aesthetic fits in with my driving scenery, but it gives me an excuse to buy a (otherwise horrifying) mustard-colored yarn. Props to the ladies at Knitty Couture for helping me with my usually incapacitating color choice.

This skein originally started as a Swallowtail shawl, but the light weight of the yarn compared to the 2-ply I worked with last made me nervous about the shape. Besides, Fountain Pen is really fantastic and doing it again will be a helpful excersize in the importance of yarn choice in a project. Especially in a lace project. Pictures to follow - I'm currently 3 repeats in.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Knitting Lull

Not much knitting on the home front, here.

A new job working overnights is really cramping my style. That and the effort to get out a little more, like socially. It happens. I'll be back on track soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fountain Pen Shawl

Pattern: Fountain Pen Shawl
Source: Interweave Knits Spring 2009
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Pink Frost, 1 skein (470 yds)
Needles: 24" US 6 circular
Started: May 4, 2009
Finished: May 22, 2009
Modifications: I did only 7 repeats instead of the 10 recommended in the pattern, so that the shawl would be smaller and more scarf-like. Also, I'm cheap and was a little concerned about my first lacey lace project.

This is the thinnest yarn I have ever worked with! It was a great project, and since it used just one 50g skein, was super portable. However, it was still not really a few-minutes-at-a-time project. You have to be able to focus for at least a couple of rows. As the width of the shawl increases, a few rows at a time becomes quite a challenge.

I bought the yarn in Naples, FL on vacation and had someone else pick the color for me. If I hadn't, this would be the same avocado/celery/lettuce/olive greens as all of the rest of my accessories. The charts for this pattern really made me appreciate charts in general. I'm definitely more of a visual person, but I don't see how anyone would shun a chart in favor of written instructions! You can see how the rows make sense together - "these 6 k2ts all line up vertically/diagonally, now I know that there will be a slant here for a while."

Plus, I think it looks super-stylish and goes with everything. Maybe I'm wrong, but no one can stop me! I sense more lace projects in the future. Gotta finished up a WIP or two first, though.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Farmer's Market Bag (in progress)

New, springy projects are in the air! Well, in my knitting bags anyway - I haven't finished any of the supposed summer-projects... yet.

The newest, started just yesterday is the Market Bag by Vicki Square. I've known about this pattern for years, from Folk Bags (book from Interweave Press, 2003), but just never got around to buying the linen for it. Fortunately, my recent obsession with natural fibers and their respective qualities has allowed me to see the options I have besides too-expensive and nowhere-stocked Louet Euroflax linen. Thus, I purchase some pretty light blue Italian bamboo yarn at my LYS, Knit 1. It's almost metallic, it's so shiny, but the tight woven band is a bit more time-consuming than it would otherwise be, on a sport-weight with an astonishing 10 plies.

Oh! And I wanted to mention, since it came in so handy for me, that this pattern is also available free online at Knitting Daily. That's where the hyperlink above goes. Not many people have made this bag (only 19 on Ravelry) BUT I have faith in Vicki when she says that the mesh won't over-stretch. She seems very wily.

Since I'm out of town (and had to corner this pattern online after the "read it over the phone to me, honey" plan didn't quite work), no pictures yet. The bag should be 14"x14" - just in time for Farmer's Market season! Yay!

Ooh, and my other almost-finished secret spring knitting project was also started while I was out of town. A scarf made from a shawl pattern. More pastels. More exploring! More info later!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Moss Stitch Beret

Pattern: Moss Stitch Beret by Kent Turman [Ravel it!]
Kent's Craft Blog
Yarn: Tahki
Donegal Tweed in Midnight; just barely under one skein

Needles: US 3 and US 7 circulars

When: One April Weekend

I loved this hat when I made it in Encore wool blend in a great lime green but thought it would be better warmer or in a lovely tweed. Fortunately, Tahki Donegal Tweed was just right for the job, and fun to work with. The hat feels just a little different, but I think that's because it hasn't been broken in yet.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Green Gable Sweater

Here are pictures of the aforementioned recent projects, including one of the ongoing Green Gable Sweater. I'm working it in the largest size since my yarn is smaller than the recommended Wool Ease Chunky. Oddly, my needle size is the same, so I suppose the finished item won't be as thick as the original. On the other hand, it's 100% wool instead of just 25%, so it will probably be just as warm.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One Sleeve Down: Green Gable Sweater

My next big-sized project (though not horribly complex) is the Green Gable sweater from Vogue Fall 2008. Like a few others on Ravelry, I'm making it with Cascade Ecological Wool. This particular wool is a continuation of the Hemlock Ring blanket that I made earlier this year. One hopes that this will be the year of expanding into larger projects with relatively fine gauge and inexpensive wool.

Did I write about my wool-epiphany? I love it, for all of the reasons that everyone else does. I just finally decided it was worth it not to buy crappy acrylic.

I have one sleeve down on this sweater (done first to check gauge, then continued on), but no pictures yet. I have also worked a moss-stitch beret, a mitered beret and a pair of mitered mittens. Ravel them through their hyperlinks, while I work on pictures of my recent endeavors.

Still happy that I remade matches for all of the lost mittens this winter. It makes me happy every time I look at my winter-woolies stash that no mitten is lonely and that I have 2 of my favorite tam, but in different warmths/weights.

On second thought, I have also worked away some of the lonely balls of sock yarn that were clogging up my stash, and if I do say so myself, I have improved my photography skills considerably since I learned a few new tricks. See below (and at my Etsy website):

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hat and Mitten Replacements

As a follow up to the post on 3.28.09 regarding all of my sadly lost items, here are some pictures of my new wardrobe staples. The hat is Ashley Hasse's Cabled Beret located here on Ravelry. The mittens were Yellow Harvest Mittens from the Fall 2008 Vogue Knitting Magazine. I modified the mittens to be flip-tops, for access to the all-important bus pass.

Saturday I went to my very last ceramics class then picked up D's finished hat to fix it up for her. I am the Knitting Fairy. It actually worked out pretty well. I felted most of the top portion of the beret and left the band unfelted, to the extent that was possible. She'll be much happier with the new shape, but I'm not sure how she'll feel about the felting.

With the nicely refracted natural light going on in the afternoon, I also headed up to the roof to take some pictures for the shop. The best thing that can be said about it is that it was a learning experience. I guess some of the photos were all right, but I would really like to have someone help me ahem, and he's either sleeping or I'm not around during daylight.

This weekend, I replaced the missing Fetching in Rowan Tapestry (a very saggy yarn) as well as the first Bulky Flip Top mitten, repurposing the ribbed headband that I had made out of the leftovers (no one around here wore it). That leaves only one hat and one mitten replacement. I will need to have the Donegal Tweed swifted next time I go into the store.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Learning About Etsy

It's interesting starting a store like this. The last time I tried to create any kind of a website was circa a full decade ago, and all I remember is being pretty baffled by HTML. The new idea of Web 2.0 (an interactive, more user involved publishing process, Wiki-net to me) is brilliant. The accessibility of creating websites like Facebook pages, blogs, and Etsy shops is new to me, and I'm loving it.

Etsy is especially great at communicating with its users. I've already been to three virtual labs and learned how to better present and market my store. Just being in these groups has given me greater visibility. Here are some things that are on my list to improve from my first-posted shop three weeks ago.

_check!_ Improve banner to include items for sale and continue store theme
_check!_ Improve avatar in the same way
_check!_ Increase number of tags so that our items show up in search engines more easily
_check!_ Edit shop title for the same reason
_check!_ Price items to reflect the real amount of work that goes into each item, instead of just trying to cover the cost of the raw materials
_to do_ Describe items in better detail, including measurements and more adjectives
_to do_ Improve pictures by using natural light, macro setting, and models or the outside world

It's fun working on these things, talking to people and learning more about other shops as well as my own!

Lost Items Catastrophe

My personal life has been full of lost accessories this winter. I've managed to lost one of all three pairs of mittens I owned, along with two hats. Depressing, since this is the first time I've kept AND worn my own knitted creations. (I have a good? bad? habit of giving things away willy-nilly.)

In any case, the mittens/hats post from last month ended with me in the tragic situation of being mittenless. I can now happily report that I have replaced my lost things with one functioning set of warm woolies. Pictures of the hat to follow, but first let us mourn the lost items of Winter 2008-2009: