FO: Camden Hoodie and Peerie Booties

My close knitting friend Lauren is expecting a baby any day (minute?!) now!  I had been planning on making stuff for the baby and I thought I had so much time.  But man, does time fly sometimes!  In any case, I was able to finish up the main item I had planned.  (I also thought I was going to have time to make a sewn blanket.  What was I thinking?!)  When I bought the yarn we didn’t know the gender of the baby, so I went with a non-gender specific color.  Though I’m not all that interested in sticking to color stereotypes, etc.

What I ended up with was the Camden Hoodie in green and white:

My Rav page here.

Pattern: Camden Hoodie by Kristen Fanning

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Sport in Everglade Heather and White (3 balls green and 2 balls white)

Needles: 3.5mm (4US) for the garter body and 3.0mm (2 1/2US) for the cable edging.

Start Date: March 15, 2014

Finish Date: April 6, 2014

Yes, almost a whole month for this little sweater!  I don’t know how it almost took me as long as an adult sweater!  Though I kind of do.  I didn’t spend as much time on knitting that month, plus striped garter stitch sleeves in the round.  Yuck.

I made the 6-12 month size.  It looks fairly big, but I don’t really know baby sizes.  I didn’t make any modifications except maybe I made it a little longer to end with the proper striping.  I had to go down 2 needle sizes for the cabled edging.  Even then I felt it flared out a little more than I would have liked. It blocked out fairly straight though.

I had a few minor hiccups with it, but nothing too bad.  I noticed that my gauge seemed to change from one sleeve to another.  One feels much denser than the other one!  And it’s pretty tricky grafting the ends of the cable edging together, but I fudged it the best I could.  In the ball the Everglade heather color is very dynamic.  Pairing it with the pure white kind of tones down its brilliance, but oh well.

I had at least half a ball of yarn left over of each color, so I made some matching booties.

My Rav page for them here.

Pattern: Peerie Weerie Booties by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Needles: 3.25mm (3US)

Start Date: April 4, 2014

Finish Date: April 5, 2014

These were made while the hoodie was blocking.  I thought they would be larger than the newborn size in the pattern because I used sport weight yarn.  But they still seem pretty small to me.  I didn’t have time to block them though, so probably they will bloom a bit.  Of course now I am looking at the pattern page and realizing that the pattern called for sport weight and not fingering weight anyway…

I love the three color version in the pattern, but I wanted these to match the hoodie.  Plus there are considerably less ends to weave in with just two continuous colors!  Of course now these will have to be worn immediately and the hoodie won’t fit for another six months!  I should probably stop mentioning all the ways that I am disappointed in these projects since Lauren reads the blog!

It is pretty satisfying to knit baby stuff.  So cute!  So fast! (Well, sometimes.)  And I can’t wait to meet the new baby girl!

I just finished a little stack of other baby knits for another friend.  Do you guys have any go-to baby items?  I can’t stop queuing baby patterns!

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FO: Campy and the Mallows

Long time, no see, guys.  I’ve been crafting, but just finally got some photos of things!

Last weekend we had a big camping trip planned.  There were going to be nine of us (mostly Lucas’s family) camping at Joshua Tree National Park for three nights.  Five of us planned on driving out late Thursday night to make sure we could get a campsite (first come, first served) for the weekend.  There were a few hiccups leaving on time, including a call to the paramedics for back pain and breathing problems (not for me, and it ended up being nothing serious).  By the time we left Los Angeles (down to just four of us) it was midnight!  And it took longer to get to Joshua Tree than I remembered!

We stopped at the Jelly Donut to regroup outside the park and saw these little wonders:

Filled buttermilk bars!  This is a total anomaly to me.  I love old-fashioned donuts and thought I would love Buttermilk Bars, but recently they have been much too heavy for me.  But this is taking it to a whole new level.  Filled with custard!!  I didn’t try one, but kind of wish I had now.

When we got into the park at 4am, there were no campsites available!  Apparently it was spring break.  In advance, the park ranger told us we would be safe arriving Friday but we had left early just in case.  We thought we found an open one and set up camp, only to realize four hours later that the campsite was taken!  The campers had just left to sleep in town for the night.  Thus began an long frustrating morning of trying to find somewhere to stay.  Eventually we told the other half of our group not to bother coming out.  The four of us that were already there decided to do a night of backcountry camping so that it wouldn’t be a complete loss.  It was a lot of fun, but we weren’t allowed to have a campfire, and we had only brought big bulky car camping equipment.  Nonetheless it was an enjoyable little adventure.  We left the next morning to spend time with the family back home.

The reason for the trip had been the birthday of Lucas’s cousin Clay.  Because we were going camping, I decided to knit him a little camping themed present.  Of course the rest of his family was with the second group that never made it out to camp!

 

My Rav page here.

Pattern: Campy and the Mallows by Anna Hrachovec.

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Bark, Orange, White, Basalt Heather, and either Semolina or Safflower.

Needles: 2.5mm, US 1 1/2

Start Date: March 25, 2014

Finish Date: March 27, 2014

Can you believe I already owned this pattern?  I spent a lot of time trying to find good worsted weight yarns from my stash to make this in, and then remembered that I have a gazillion colors of Palette.  And things are always cuter smaller.

Here are some shots from the weekend:

The Birthday boy, in a randomly configured Hipstamatic photo.

What we learned is not to go to camping during Spring Break!  And if you must, leave mid-week.  Before Thursday for sure!

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Hey look, I’m famous!

Well, maybe not so much.  But you can see me in the background of this photo on LA Times.com.  Check out the article.  It covers the activities at the Los Angeles Fiber Shed Pop-up in Hollywood.  They are having workshops and lectures for the next two weeks.  I went last weekend to demonstrate spinning.  My friend Nina was organizing/helping out with the event and invited me and another girl from the spinning guild to come demonstrate.  I was given some natural alpaca fiber from Water Bear Ranch to spin.  In a few hours I was able to spin quite a bit.  Maybe 4 oz.  I finished the yarn the next day too and now have some yummy lace weight yarn to play with.

I don’t have any pictures of the finished yarn yet.  Just so this post isn’t completely devoid of pictures, did I ever show you pictures of the scarf I knit for Lucas last fall?  I just recently took some rushed finished pictures.

I used the Dudester Scarf pattern and used a long color repeat yarn (Universal Yarns Classic Shades).  We added in a blue stripe in the middle just to mix things up.  My Rav page is here.  I think it looks better in real life than in these pictures.  It wasn’t super exciting of a project, but it was strangely fulfilling.  Simple knit/purl textures are relaxing and effective.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  Come join me at the Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild meeting tomorrow at 10am!

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FO: Koolhaas hat

There were a couple birthdays last week.  My sister had a mini-milestone birthday, and the same day Lucas’s roommate had a birthday too.  I decided to make something for Sky because I felt like it, and it would be his first hand-knit gift.  I knew that he was super particular and was going to be hard to please.  But how can you go wrong with Malabrigo?

When I told Lucas that I was thinking of making this hat in navy blue, he worried that that would be too vibrant.  Navy blue = too vibrant?!?  I happened to have some leftover black Malabrigo worsted that would fit the bill.  I went for the Koolhaas hat since I have been meaning to make it for years.

My Rav page here.

Pattern: Koolhaas by Jared Flood

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Black, about half a skein?

Needles: US8 for the body, and US 6 for the ribbing

Start Date: March 2, 2014

Finish Date: March 5, 2014

I didn’t do a gauge swatch.  It is super stretchy, so I would maybe go down a needle size next time.  Even though it was for a guy, I did only 4 repeats instead of the 5.  I have a large head and it fit me perfectly, so I went with it.  I don’t have any pictures of Sky wearing it, I just got some iPhone photos of me.

The yarn is basically pitch black, so it is hard to see the pattern detailing on it.  Also, this black picks up tiny fuzz and hair like crazy!  If I were to make this hat again, I would probably use a crisper yarn for better stitch definition.

Oh, and the response?  Eh.  He was super appreciative to me, but Lucas suspected that when he was wearing it, it wasn’t quite the kind of hat that he would wear.  Oh well.  If it ends up at Goodwill, then hopefully someone will love it.  I probably should have made something for my sister instead because she is super knitworthy!

Oh, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I am currently knitting a green baby sweater.  And if you are looking for a kick-ass St. Patrick’s Day dessert, I would recommend the Irish Cream Bundt Cake from allrecipes.com.  I made it a couple years ago and it was a huge hit.  It is one of those cheater recipes that uses cake mix and pudding mix, but if you love Bailey’s, you will love this crazy moist cake.  I think I will make it for a potluck I am going to on Saturday.

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Spinning FO: Black Bunny Swaledale

Well, hmm.  Not much going on with me.  Not a lot to chat about.  I came up with this problem in my Jazzercise class last night when I couldn’t even come up with any small talk in the beginning of class.

But I did finish some spinning.  I have had this yarn on the wheel for months now.  I think I started it in November…

And five short months later, I had yarn!:

It’s 8 oz of Swaledale fiber dyed by Black Bunny Fibers.  I was in a fiber club with them a number of years ago.  I loved the colors in the yarn.  But the fiber…not so much.  I think it is interesting to try different sheep breeds, but this is pretty coarse stuff.  It is extremely scratchy and very kempy.  As I was writing this, I thought I had uploaded another picture of me wearing this yarn around my neck like a cowl.  It happened to match my turtleneck, tank top, and glasses perfectly.  And it’s also kind of funny because no way would I wear this yarn around my neck.

Now I am at a loss as of what to do with this yarn.  It is 8 oz of a two-ply yarn.  337 yards of about DK weight.  A wall hanging?  Felted slippers?  Not outerwear, because I don’t have enough.  I’m at a loss.  Any ideas?  Not that I need to use it anytime soon.  It is welcome to just chill out in the stash for awhile.

Next I am going to spin up something new and exciting.  Maybe a gradient braid from Spun Right Round.

Upcoming events for me?  I am going to be demonstrating spinning at a Fibershed LA event on Saturday evening, March 15th.  That’ll be 6-9pm at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood.  Tomorrow I’ll be at the Sand ‘n’ Sea knitting guild meeting in the morning at St. Andrews Church in West LA, then the Fairview Library SnB from 3:30-5:25.  And Sunday make sure to tune in to Cosmos on any FOX channel on Sunday night.  Lucas has been working on the animation for that show for almost a year and it should be pretty great.  Well, I’ve already seen the first episode and it is pretty great.

And P.S. I am trying out the 5/2 Diet for the period of Lent.  This involves restricting your caloric intake to 500 calories two days a week and eating normally the other five days.  My parents have been doing this for a while, so I thought I would give it a try.  Today is my first day and right now I am pretty hungry.  I am looking forward to a regular eating day tomorrow and to the Girl Scout cookies that will be delivered to me at the knitting guild meeting. :)  I’ll let you know if this diet changes my life.

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A success nonetheless

Well, the end of the Olympics came and went and I didn’t have my dress done.  The Ravellenic Games generously gives you until the end of the night on the last day of the Olympics, but at 1am the next morning I was still working.  I got real close.  I still had 12 buttons to sew on, and all my ends to weave in.  But it’s as close as I could hope for, without actually crossing the finish line.  I could have worked on it more over the weekend, but I decided to be social instead.  But.. it’s done now!

My Rav page here.

Pattern: #21 Lace Dress by Shirley Paden from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2008

Yarn: Rowan Milk Cotton DK in Barley Sugar, about 9.5 skeins.

Needles:a zillion different ones, US 4 through US 8

Start Date: February 7, 2014

Finish Date: February 24, 2014

Goodness, a lot of notes.  I thought I got gauge, but while I was knitting it the skirt seemed huge.  The skirt is worked over a constant number of stitches, but you switch needle sizes to bring it in as you get closer to the waist.  I switched needles a little bit early to bring it in faster, and then I left off the last repeat.  I didn’t want my skirt to be four or so inches longer than it is.  (Don’t tell, but I didn’t block out the skirt!  The weight of it was kind of enough.  And I didn’t want to wait for it to dry.)

The bodice was a little more tricky.  I didn’t want the ease that was in the pattern, so I went for a smaller size in the top.  I am something like a 38″ bust, so not a size S by any means, but I did it anyway.  My row gauge in the shetland bead pattern was off apparently, so I had to do much fewer rows than in the pattern.  I just kind of measured every so often, and made sure that it would hit the measurements when stretched out horizontally and vertically.  Decreasing and increasing in pattern was a little tough, but it was close enough.  I think I did one fewer set of increases because the top was already feeling a little long.  When I tried just the bodice on, it seemed a little too snug.  Like the lace was really stretched out over my bust.  But it blocked to the measurements in the pattern, and wanted to stretch out even more than that!

For the belt/sash, I just worked until the ends touched around my waist, and not to length.  I sewed the belt onto the skirt, easing in the extra fabric.  The pattern calls for basting waste yarn through the top of the skirt and scrunching the skirt until it was the same size as the belt, then sewing them together.  I tried to do this, but had trouble evenly scrunching the skirt stitches.  Instead I just divided the skirt into about 16 even sections and then did the same with the belt.  Then just lined up the markers and eased in each section.  It just worked out that I was basically able to sew one skirt stitch to one purl ridge of the belt (it’s in seed stitch, so every two rows).  I tried on the skirt at that point, and it was huge!  A little worrisome.

But the worrying was for nothing, because when I sewed on the bodice, it all came together.  The bodice was no longer too small, and the skirt was no longer too big.  Crazy how that happens.  I used the same method as above for sewing the bodice onto the belt.  The only thing left was the crochet edgings.  I had a couple headaches here, and I was in a race against time!  The pattern somewhat vaguely says to slip stitch in each stitch of the armhole.  But you know, it’s an armhole, so it’s mostly rows and not stitches.  I just did one in every row.  But then the next round of crochet is doing a scallop (shell?) stitch, and with my slip stitch every row, my scallops were really close together.  I had to rip out and find the right ratio.  I ended up skipping two stitches in between shells and single crochets instead of the one in the pattern.  As it is my shells are a little close together, but I am living with it!  And maybe there is an extra shell in one armhole. (Shh!)  Plus, this yarn is super splitty.  It is made up of like a billion plied strands and snags really easily.  I had to stop carrying the project in a zippered bag because the zipper teeth would snag it.  And no, I wasn’t accidentally zipping my project.  This made the double crochets difficult.  Maybe especially since I’m not an advanced crocheter.  I don’t know if there are any tricks to avoid that.

Relatively the crochet edging for the button placket was super simple.  It bothers me a little that in these pictures the buttons at the waistband are a little wonky.  Or maybe the belt doesn’t line up perfectly in the middle.  Oh well.

I guess that’s all she wrote.  If I wear this for a formal event, I will get a better dress or slip to wear under it.  For these pictures I just wore a beige-ish sundress that I had at home.  It works surprisingly well, but there are some buttons and elastic shirring in the back that bulges a bit through my lace dress.

Yay!  Completed!  Did you guys cross the finish line?

 

 

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Too busy to blog…

… because I’m trying to knit a dress in two weeks!

The pace hasn’t been so bad, but now that I’m getting close to the end I am starting to worry a bit. The easy part was the skirt where I just followed the chart and cranked through. The bodice was a real pain in my ass because you have to decrease and increase in lace pattern and also because my row gauge was drastically different than the pattern so I needed to make adjustments as I went. And then remember those adjustments when knitting the mirroring sections.

But now that’s done and blocking. Though I still don’t know if it’ll fit… I’ve moved on to working on the seed stitch sash/belt. 30 inches of seed stitch on a size 3 needle should go quickly right? Right?!?

I’m working on it at spare moments at work…

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Are you guys gonna make your goals?

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