Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Happy Leap Day!

It's kind of nice having an extra day in 2012, isn't it? So what am I doing today? The usual, ha! Studying, knitting, running, grocery shopping, studying, knitting, studying. Yea-studying should be in there much more often.

On the needles (actively):

My Delancey cardigan! I've actually kind of put it away since last Friday or so to work on a few projects that suddenly grabbed my attention, but as long as I finish that left side and bind the shoulders, I'm all caught up in the Delancey KAL. In fact, I kind of have 2 weeks to do so. Hmm...

In the meantime, I've started and finished a pair of socks, finished an old old WIP, and have started working on another old old WIP. Recognize this?:

Yea, I started the Wave Jumper in November of 2008. I have always loved the yarn, but I never really had the right needles. Once I got the right needles in 2010, it went much faster for about 3 inches (I don't know if you can notice the significantly looser gauge). Anyway, I don't care about making this perfect. I kind of just want it off my WIP list. Since I put a smiley on it back in 2008, it is stuck as the first project on my WIPs, recently completed first ordering in ravelry. Since 2008! That needs to change.

Speaking of which, I have added a new WIP progress bar on the right side of the blog for my ravelry projects. That was another visual to remind me of how many WIPs I truly have--truly too many. I guess another goal should be really reduce the number of WIPs I have because I'm really not working on all of them simultaneously! Can y'all hold me accountable? I've been trying. Little steps at a time. I had 20 or so WIPs, according to ravelry. I can think of a few more since pre-ravelry days. Unfortunately, I've already frogged all of what I wanted to. The rest, I truly want to finish!

After finishing the socks that I spontaneously decided to make from a Cookie A pattern (Lindsay socks) in from her Sock Innovation book, I saw the Ringwood gloves sitting there in my WIP pile. I took it out and saw that I had most of the last pinkie done. That meant I only had 4 fingers left to knit really, and at about 27 rows of 16 sts for each finger--it was pathetic these hadn't been done! I finished them, put on the buttons, and I will do a nice FO post on both.

So the WIPs are slowly going down. Maybe I'll have another old, but active WIP to show you next week. Happy extra day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

FO: Choctaw Rattlesnake Hat 2

This has been an FO from so long ago! This was my first FO of the year. The boy wanted me to knit him a plain simple black hat that barely covered his ears, didn't poof up on top (a.k.a. not too tall) and had a bright red Choctaw Rattlesnake design along the edge of the hat.

I had originally made this hat in Plymouth Encore Worsted (the first two pictures). He found the yarn very scratchy and when I was showing off my first set of mittens (pre-Ravelry, so not on Ravelry), he wanted his hat made out of the same yarn... Caron Simply Soft. Needless to say, I wasn't too keen on making a second version for him.

Anyway, I found a hot red color for the border (he was very specific about the brightness of the red. Notice he likes the black/bright red combination a lot. You should see his North Face jacket. And the side of the Oakleys he's wearing.

After completing both hats, I showed him the benefits of wool, and he realized the (partially) wool hat was indeed practical for many purposes. I showed him how it is relatively water-resistant (so he wears the Plymouth Encore one on rainy days), and how it's toastier (so he'll wear it on freezing days), but he still tends to prefer the Simply Soft hat. I'm really glad though, because he wears both! The bottom two pictures are of the hat in Simply Soft. Now that's someone worth knitting for. All of his specifications paid off!

Pattern: Choctaw Rattle Snake Hat by me! (Raveled here; I may write it up as a formal PDF pattern on Ravelry over the summer, if anyone is interested.)
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft: Black & Red --didn't bother inputting in my stash as I will donate the leftovers, so I didn't figure out yardages.
Made for: The boy
Size: Um-small? Poor guy has a small head. This thing doesn't attempt fitting over my head, really (cuts off my circulation). I overshot the hat by an inch tall when I made it for him the first time. Yeap--I ripped it down to fit right.
Needles: US size 5 (3.75 mm) and US size 7 (4.5 mm)
Notions: none
Dates: 01.12.12-01.19.12--This actually was what got me back on my knitting mojo.
Cost: Um, <$10. 
Notes: Hat is made with a hemmed bottom that is knit at a tighter gauge to ensure a snug brim. The instructions are below:

Instructions for Choctaw Rattlesnake Hat: 
CO 80 sts with US 5s 
Knit st st for 16 rows. 
Purled 1 row. 
Changed to US 7s. 
Knit 3 rows. 
Pattern for 7 rows (2 rows of lines; 5x5 diamonds.) 
Knit 4 rows. 
Knit next row together with the CO edge. 
Knit st st until hat measured 4.5 inches from bottom. 
(Knit 38 sts, K2 tog) twice. 
Knit 1 row. 
Row 1: (Knit 11 sts, K2 tog, pm) 6 times. 
Row 2: Knit. 
Row 3: (K until 2 sts before marker, k2tog) 6 times. 
Row 4: Knit. 
Repeated Rows 3 & 4 until 30 sts were left. 
(Knit 3, K2tog) 6 times. 
(Knit 2, K2tog) 6 times. 
(Knit 1, K2tog) 6 times. 
K2tog 6 times. 
Slipped yarn through loops and wove in the ends. 
Take pictures and admire.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIP Wednesdays: Delancey Cardigan

Doesn't it look like a triangle bra right now? That woman would be endowed.

I have some FO's to show, and since they're not WIPs anymore, this is a short post.

Oh! And I got twitter! I know... really behind the loop. I'll try and update time to time. Follow me @joyatee.

Friday, February 17, 2012

FO: White Pine

Hello Lucas Oil Stadium! (Do you spot it?) First clear day in a while, so I was able to take some pictures of my White Pine!

This was such a surprisingly fast knit. I loved the yarn. (I forgot how much I like Ultra Alpaca.) I loved the cables. I loved the texture. I loved the repetitiveness of it. I like the loose boyfriend fit, especially considering the very obvious recent weight gain. I love the length, too. It didn't grow in length as much as I thought it would, but I think this is a good length for me anyway.

Hello garbage can!

I was directing the boy where to take pictures. He thought that included my hands... I appreciate that he did this for me, but maybe I need a tripod.

Pattern: White Pine by Amy Christoffers
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, 5.26 skeins (1130.9 yds) in 6291 Yucca Mix, purchased from Webs
Made for: Me!!!
Size: 38" bust; I was spot on with gauge, and there's quite a bit of ease despite what the pictures seem to show. I prefer unbuttoning it, but some semi-buttoned pictures are on ravelry.
Needles: US size 6 (4.0 mm) and US size 7 (4.5 mm)
Notions: 9 buttons from Mass Ave Knits
Mods: Check the ravelry. Biggest one: knit sleeves flat instead of in the round.
Dates: 02.03.12-02.11.12--Yea you read that right. Basically 1 week. That's how long socks usually take me! Seriously--I had exams, so I was studying, aka knitting, ALL the time.
Cost: $47.25 for 6 full skeins (woohoo Webs 25% off discount for too big purchases) + $7 for pattern + $0.70*9 for buttons (more expensive buttons than I remember...) = $60.55 (Not too shabby! The next sweater will be horribly expensive, don't worry.)
Notes: I had a lot of little gripes about the pattern. Though I loved the end result, there were several places in the pattern that made me stop and do a double take at what Amy was trying to imply. Again, they're documented on my ravelry page (sorry for all the links). Overall, though, I am happy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Wednesdays: Idlewood

I finished my White Pine cardigan, so I'll post pictures of that soon. It's blocked with buttons & I even wore it today. I love how it fits. It will surely be a staple in my wardrobe.

Some more WIPs to show! 

My Idlewood is coming along slowly and steadily. I'm almost done with all of the increases, and then it's just knit straight until I'm done. 

Alexandria is almost done, too. The variation in the colors is killing me. I may want to attempt a dye job at the end of the project. We'll see. That's a really scary prospect though...

After these two sweaters are done, I'll really try and finish Horace the Horsie, but I have not been working on her at all. It's sad because it really shouldn't take that long at this point, but I don't like embroidering!

Next up: the Delancey Cardigan! So excitedd!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesdays and an FO: Dr. G's Memory Vest

Exams are over!! During exams, I knitted furiously because I can seriously focus so much more when reading whilst my hands are twitching in some way--a minor form of ADHD possibly?

Ah, but now one problem is that Horace the Horsie is all knitted up. I don't like doing the embroidery. It's slow going. I should probably be studying diligently like the boy...

Oh, and I've joined a KAL! Threadpanda is hosting a Amy Christoffers KAL on ravelry, and honestly, since I've discovered Amy Christoffers, I'm in love with her. I love all of her patterns, and the simplicity of her work (blogwise and knittingwise). I tend to over complicate things.

I'm knitting White Pine, ravelled here. I can't get the colors to be exactly right in these pictures, but maybe FO pictures will get it just right. It's flying off the needles! I started on the 3rd, and I'm already done with the body and one sleeve. After I finish the 2nd sleeve, I attach everything together and raglan it up!

This project has been reminding me a lot of the Dr. G's Memory Vest that I finished last fall (and finally got to taking good pictures of during Christmas break.) The simple cabled ribs down the center panel, the color, the K1tbl x P1tbl ribbing and the V-neck are all very similar in both projects. It's great because I loooved knitting the vest. I'm loving this new knit, too!

So, here are some nice FO shots of Dr. G's Memory Vest.

Mmm. Cables and K/purl patterns...

My dad's model posing.

My dad said that vest ended being "too heavy" for him, so I will probably need to do more fingering weight-type sweater vests next time. I already have one in mind (and the yarn!)...

I decided to keep the back plain because my dad's a really simple guy and the cabling in the front may be too much for him already.

He seemed to like it though!

Pattern: Dr. G's Memory Vest by Kirsten Kapur (Ravelled here.)

Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool, color 77208 Jade Heather, 3.76 skeins. I still have so much of this stuff left! I will probably make myself another sweater with it.
Made for: Dad
Size: Large; I probably should have made a medium-- we had to do some creative seaming down the sides to get the sweater to fit him properly.
Needle: US 6 (4.0 mm) and US 7 (4.5 mm)
Notions: None.
Mods: Stockinette down the back. Made a gauge swatch and knit the back in st st based on the swatch and the measurements in the front. Decreased the arm holes similarly to the front, but did some modifying to account for plain st st along the neckline. Unfortunately, I didn't take good notes on those mods.
Dates: 01.16.11-09.05.11 (I finished the front during the spring semester first exam block and lost interest in knitting 

[gasp!] for a stretch. I picked the sweater back in September when I wanted mindless st st while studying. The whole thing probably took a week-week and a half of knitting, but there was a long hiatus in the middle.
Cost: I think $5 per skein with coupons/taxes, so about $20 USD. Wow-that was cheap.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quilt tops!

I have some quilt tops to show, minus the sashing!!! First up, a baby stamp quilt:

Doesn't my mom look absolutely pleased?

Haha--almost smiling....

There we go! Smiles around! Except, the quilt top was blowing in the wind. I was taking pictures at the worst time of day (right before sunset, when it's too late and not in that golden hour anymore). I added Kona Ash sashing to the front and backed it with Kona Ash. I'm machine quilting the top, by just outlining the stamps. I just used 2 charm packs from JoAnn's to make this--the fabric was really bad quality. Live and learn... It's almost done though! Not sure what material I'll use for the border.

Here is what I had been working on in all of those cryptic-ish blog posts.

Please ignore imperfect points.

I've sashed and added a backing: 2 blocks of Kona Snow, joined by a strip of different fabrics/half triangles.

This will end up being a twin-sized quilt, and I've started hand-quilting it. I know, I'm nuts. It's taking forever. Target finish year: 2013.

OH! And I totally won a giveaway! Two, in fact! Frieda from Walks in the Woods gave me this little charming pack. I gave the washable marking pen to my aunt, who uses pencils/pens (that don't wash out!) to mark out her embroidery work, as I already had a few. And I won a $25 TJ Maxx gift card from Budgets are Sexy's J. Money. I was totally entering a ton of giveaways as study breaks during the Christmas season, and it paid off!

Finally, I was thinking of some particular knitting/sewing goals it would be fun to achieve this year, but I won't hold myself to them:
1. Knit 12 adult sweaters.
2. Knit 12 socks (6 pairs).
3. Sew 12 garments.
4. Knit a mile per month.
5. Knit 100 skeins of yarn.

That's good enough for now. These tests are killing me! I am so nervous. I've been studying a lot, but has it been enough? Wish me luck!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Can you guess the yarn?; FO: Noro Striped Scarf

Heidi Merrick hand-"crocheted" Sam sweater (someone doesn't know the difference between knitting & crochet) made of "fine Japanese yarns." Cost: $774.

Can you guess the yarn? I think I can....

That sure does look like some good old Noro to me!

I made this scarf after seeing knittinging's version, and I decided I wanted to make one because I had some Noro Kureyon sock in my stash, and I had so much fun with the first Noro striped scarf I made. I wear that one all the time. 

I'm surprised Kureyon sock is discontinued! I've gotten several offers to buy from my stash, so it's kinda been good to me.

I didn't need another striped scarf for myself, but my mom loved it because (a) it matches her jacket and (b) it's perfectly light for the mild Louisiana winters!

Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf kind of by Jared Flood (Ravelled here.)
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock (discontinued in the U.S.), Color S188 Garden, 1 skein. This was a sentimental purchase for me because it marks my first delve into nicer yarns. I remember going on a yarn store hop around Boston sometime October (I guess it must have been in 2007). I bought a few skeins of nice sock yarns, and it ended up costing me about $80. I was astonished at the time at how much nice yarn was, but this was one of my "treasures," and I didn't want to knit with it at all. Funny--of the yarns I bought that day, I still have most of them. I just love having them in my stash, lol. Anyway, I will try to use those yarns up this year. Let's see how that goes.
Made for: Mom
Size: Cast on 50 sts; knit until I ran out of yarn.
Needle: US 3 (3.25 mm)
Notions: None.
Mods: None.
Dates: 10.17.10-9.24.11 (This one took forever! It got too boring at the end. I wanted the needles back, so that prompted me to finally finish it. It's interesting that it also took me about 3 years to finally touch this yarn. There's a lesson in there somewhere.)
Cost: I think $24 USD.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

FO: Tea Party Playsuit

Guess what? The "Big Game" is coming to town! I wish I had more time to enjoy all of the festivities, but I will try to go downtown sometime soon (especially considering I live < 2 miles away from Lucas Oil Stadium!) 

My sewing is getting better, though! I wish I had more notes on exactly the amount of everything this project took (fabric yardage, cost, etc.) I love Oliver + S patterns.

I made this for my cousin's son born this past summer. I had matching buttons in my stash, and I made button holes! I made the buttonholes before I decided on buttons. I found some cute ladybug buttons (that may have been a bit girly, but who cares?) Turns out, though, that those buttons were way too big. I had just the right buttons (recognize them from my Thermis, too?) 

I loved the curved join with the front and the back, though it was a complete pain in the arse to do! My flat piping was a bit wonky at times so I think I remade it 3 times. It's still not perfect, but good enough for me!

Fabric: Approx. 1 yard of a linen/rayon blend ($3.05) from JoAnn's + 1/4 yard of Crafty Cuts Solids in Red (2 yards purchased for $5.73
Notions: Interfacing, buttons
Time to complete: Oh, 2 hrs or so?
Made for: Cousin's Son, Utsho
Size: I made a 2 year old/ 24 month size, for ease of growing-into. 
Mods: None.
Cost: Approx $4
Would you make this again? Yes! I'd love to try those curves more.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIP Wednesdays: Horace the Horse

It's a gorgeous day outside, and I'm inside studying/knitting. I may go for a run, though. Let's hope I get all of what I need to get done in the meantime, then!

What this big blog of whiteness you ask? It's Horace the Horsie I told you about earlier! Ain't she a beauty? (I think Tia and I have decided she's a transgendered horse.) Hopefully I will finish this up realllly soon and hopefully Tia does stupendously!

The Alexandria cardigan is coming along. I'm still nervous it's too big, but I'll finish it first. Maybe it will go to da madre if it's way too big on me. She'd love a sweater for Mother's day, ha! Do you see that stripey effect? Ya-me don't likey. Oh well. Too bad that it was lovely yarn.

The Baby Chalice blanket and Idlewood are coming along, too, but they are not interesting at all to note the progress, so whatevs. I guess I have never taken a picture of Idlewood yet. That I will do next week for WIP Wednesdays. Buuuuttt-have you guys heard of Craftsy? They have online courses for crafting stuffs. Right now, they are offering the class "The Couture Dress" with Susan Khalje, who is apparently a big deal, for half off! She's editor of Threads magazine! That's like Eunny Jang of the knitting world! I cannot stop watching these videos. They are really addicting. It makes me want to sew, sew, and sew. Maybe you'll see some sewing going on around here... AFTER EXAMS, that is!