Friday, December 31, 2010

manos blankie


One of my new year's resolutions from last year was to knit a blanket with the pile of Manos that I had, it's not done. I knit a few "strips" and then put it down, now I've picked it back up. It's good in between projects knitting, I wish it was done now though.

Looking over my New Year's resolutions from last year I think I did OK.

New Year's knitting resolutions (last year's):
1) Choose the projects wisely. There isn't time to knit everything I would like too, so I need to be selective. I really tried to resist many those shiny new patterns that pop up and begged to be knit and focus more on the kind of things that I like to knit, rather what is simply a popular pattern.

2) Knit more projects of my own design. I designed a few things this past year like the Huz's hat, the Owl and the Pussycat Dress, and Chevron Mitts.

the manly man hat is cursedThe Owl and the Pussycat Dresschevron mitts

3) Knit something with colorwork letters in it. 4) Show up at Rhinebeck next year in a sweater that I've designed myself. These two got combined into one project with The Owl and the Pussycat Dress, which took up most of my winter last year.

5) Knit a Manos lap blanket. Not done, still flying around as a UFO but it will be oh so cozy when it's done.

The total tally is 4 hats, 2 pairs of colorwork socks, 1 dress, 1 pair of felted mittens, 2 cowls (including the awesome Albers cowl), 1 scarf from hell, 1 cardigan, and half a blanket. I'm always a little disappointed looking over what I've made in a year, wishing I could have made more. Some of you might be laughing at this thinking I've made a lot, but seriously, who doesn't wish they had been able to whip up more? Knitting is such slow going, at least for me, that's why it's so crucial to pick the projects wisely. The resolution to be selective will definitely go on next year's resolutions too, more on that in the new year. Right now I have to go cook some chili cause we have friends coming over to festivate, yay.

Happy New Year all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

little girl camo and a secret knit

little girl camo

Attempting to get a quick post in even though the holiday freak out is fully upon us. I have a couple of gifts that are knitted up and I know for a fact that knitters everywhere are in full production, panic, and cursing about the state of their knitted gifts, my twitter stream is proof enough.

another Thorpe

Girl Thing couldn't wait until Christmas and has already begun wearing her hat. She picked out the yarn, told me exactly how she wanted it, and bugged me everyday until it was done. I used Cascade Superpaints on size 7s. I initially knit it on 8s and realizing that it was turning out big switched to 7s. The 7s created this funny pooling of the colors in the yarn but I like it, it's Little Girl Camo. The pattern is Thorpe by Kristen Kapur and is a go-to earflap hat pattern, you really can't go wrong.

two turtledoves

Here is a sneak peek at another xmas knit. Hopefully I'll get some actions shots after the holidays.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

felt holiday wreaths

felt wreath

The kids and I made these super easy holiday wreaths last week. The colorful one hangs on our door and the classy white one we gave to my mom who is a classy dame. We bought a 12" wire wreaths from Micheal's like this one, and tied on 1" x 7" strips of felt to it. The kids loved making these and a homemade decoration made me feel less Grinch-like about the holiday. I'm sure I've seen designs like these out there, but this one is mine.

felt wreath

With the white felt wreath we used pinking shears at the end of the felt strips and I thought it added a nice touch. We used lots of felt leftover from when I used to make felt pillows, you can order felt like this by the yard at Central Shippee. The only skill needed to make these wreaths is cutting and tying, I love that there's no glue involved. The little balls were also from Micheal's, they have wires attached to them and we just twisted on after all the felt was tied.

felt wreath assembly lineback side of felt wreath

Here's our assembly line in action with Girl Thing cutting the strips to length with the aid of a pencil as a ruler and Boy Thing tying them on. On the right is a view of the backside of the wreath. We plumped them at the end and brought all the felt ends to the front of the wreath and trimmed some of the longer pieces.

an entire shop just for felt!

During my layover in Munich I saw this shop that sold nothing but felt in every weight and color. They made felt look elegant and fun. I love working with felt and would surely be beating a path to their door if I lived nearby.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

a tam and a cowl

Snapdragon tam

Some trip knitting. First up is Snapdragon Tam by Ysolda Teague. This was semi disastrous but saved at the last minute. It was fun to knit but turned into an enormous bag when I wet blocked it. I’m always leery of alpaca for hats but I thought that since I was knitting it tighter than recommended it would be OK. The yarn is Louisa Harding Thistle, which is 60% Merino and 40% Baby Suri Alpaca. I did swatch but didn't block the swatch since I was worried about running out of yarn. It took a bit more yarn that I thought it would too.

Snapdragon tamSnapdragon tam

After a little felting, which flattened out some of the stitches and the halo of the yarn, and stitching elastic thread inside the brim, it is wearable. Should have gone down a needle size at least and probably two for the brim. My sis looks adorable in it and I think she likes it.

Albers cowl

Next up, the Albers Cowl by Ann Weaver. Easy to knit and engaging, this was such fun to make. I knit a lot of it on the airplane. Loved thinking about Josef Albers’ paintings as I made it. You knit three log cabin style, off-center squares and then sew them together. Love the squishy density of fingering weight garter stitch, and the yarn, wow, Bugga, loved every second.

Albers cowlAlbers cowl

Figuring out the colors is the hardest part. I looked at this for inspiration. For me what worked was a grouping of opposites, a strong light and a strong dark, a pretty color and a weird off color. The pattern calls for 7 colors, I used 6. I think the colors could be reduced to 4, but really, the more the merrier. Most of the yarn is Sanguine Gryphon Bugga!, the milky white is Tosh Sock, and the dark blue is Ellyn Cooper Zohar's Sock.

Albers cowl

My favorite way to wear it is loose around my neck. When it’s doubled up it feels a little tight. People have tried to snatch this off my neck.