Monthly Archives: August 2009

Chicken or the egg

Jill P.:

I had another baby event a couple of weekends ago.  My former co-worker Khai’s baby was turning 1!  This is the baby that I had previously made the Yoda Baby Hat for.  He was having a birthday party for her at his yogurt shop.  It’s the TuttiFrutti in Marina del Rey/Culver City, yum!  I decided that I had to make her a birthday present, but I only gave myself a week of lead time. 

I decided to use the Which Came First? pattern by Anna Hrachovec.  I think it turned out super cute!  It looks almost identical to all the other projects though.  I didn’t really give it any individual style.

Yarn: Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Creme, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Buttercup, and some misc. orange yarn from Melissa.

Here it is, starting to crack in it’s flax nest:

My swan costume decided to check in on it as it starts to hatch:

And now it’s a little chick!:

I made no modifications to the pattern.  I hand-felted the pieces in the sink.  Because the Lamb’s Pride is so much thicker than the WotA, it didn’t felt quite as much and was slightly larger.  The way the pattern is reversible, the difference in size didn’t matter.  I put polyfil in between the two layers as directed, but maybe put just a little less because the egg has more volume to go inside the chicken.  I always get excited to knit toys, but then get frustrated by the sewing. 

Here are all my felted pieces before assembly:

They didn’t open presents at the party so I don’t know what the parents thought about my gift.  I hope they liked it!

My new coworker started last week.  I was nervous about having a new person sharing my workspace, 40 hours a week, but we are getting along great.  I even ventured out on a weekday night to see his band perform!  And you know how much I love animals in clothes.  His wife’s company, Ruby & Bee, makes the cutest dog clothes!  This work partnership was meant to be. =)

Halloween is coming up sooner than you think, and I really need to start working on costumes for my cats.  I’ve been debating doing a religious theme and having Paquito be a rabbi, and Olivia being a nun.  But then I don’t know what my costume would be.  Any good ideas?

Jill B.



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Swap dyeing

Jill P.:

As you know, I joined a shawl swap on the Anthropologie Knits group on Ravelry.  I knew what pattern I wanted to use (the Percy Shawl) but couldn’t decide on yarns.  I knew I didn’t have anything in the right color in my stash.  We went to a couple of local stores, but couldn’t find anything that I liked.  Twist would probably have had something I could use, but it’s far away and not open the one day I was going to be near it.  You graciously offered to let me shop in your stash.  There were many good options, but we ended up getting super motivated and decided to dye up some yarn and some fiber.  Lucky for us you still had some dye stock in your fridge! 

My goal was orange, so I dyed some merino laceweight and about 6 oz of Optim fiber.  I used a mix of Yellow Sun(right?) and Vermillion.  In hindsight we should have taken step-by-step pictures!  We kettle dyed the yarn in pots.  Here is my laceweight yarn:

I am totally in love with it.  I think the color turned out just like I hoped for. 

The Optim fiber dyed up a little weird.  First when we were soaking the fiber, it wouldn’t sink in the vinegar water.  It felt totally saturated, but it kept popping back up.  When wet it looked like bread dough.  I put in a lot more dye for the fiber, because it seemed to only be dyeing the outside of it, and not the whole rope.  I figured a deeper shade would be better so that when I spun it it didn’t get too pastel.  It looked like hell when we removed it from the water.  Like a big dreadlock.  I don’t think it was felted, but it didn’t look good.  It did fluff up a little when it dried.  (Which took forever!)

I had debated spinning the yarn for my swap project, but I think that I am glad that I changed my mind.  Maybe I will still try to spin some to send along with the shawl. 

Since we had the dyepots out, we both overdyed some yarn that we didn’t like.  I had some Knitpicks Bare sock yarn that I had tried to dye at one of the guild’s Dye Days.  Don’t ask me what happened here, I know it looks awful!  I guess I was apathetic, in a rush, and trying to just use the colors of dye that were already out.  Plus I thought the color had seeped all the way through the yarn, when it really didn’t.  At all. 

I overdyed all of it with Gunmetal.  It took several tries to add enough dye to color all the ugliness.

Some of the old sections still show through, but I think it’ll knit up okay.  It’s not an amazing job, but it is such an improvement that I am ecstatic about it. 

Jill, you overdyed the world’s ugliest Knit Picks autumny laceweight yarn, and got something resembling Mountain Colors.  I don’t have any pictures, and I can’t even guess at what the KP colorway was called. 

All in all, a successful dyeing day.  I’m glad you were there to hold my hand!  Especially since I can’t make my own decisions and I got you to make them all for me! 

Jill B.

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Seasonally inappropriate knits

Jill P.,

Yes, I am way behind on blogging about these projects.  (My Mom disapproves!)  It feels like once something is up on Ravelry for weeks there’s almost no point.  But here we go.

My neverending Spring and Summer project was this:

Pattern: Mosaic Yoke Jacket by Veronik Avery.  It was in Color Style and in Interweave Knits Fall 2008.

Yarn: Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Bulldog Blue, Grey Heather, Ink Blue, Medieval Red, Wild Oak, Sunburst Gold and Creme.  It took much more of the Main Color than I thought it would.  That double layer collar and bands really ate up the yarn!

I started it in the beginning of April and it took me until the beginning of July.  Part of the time it was on hold because I needed to buy more yarn or work on baby projects.  There was a large chunk of time where I was stalled out because of the colors.  I ended up buying yarn that looked like the colors of the chart key.  But of course the yarn combinations together ended up being awfully contrasty.

The intial plan had the Sunburst Gold and the Wild Oak next to each other, and the Creme and the Ink Blue together.  The gold and the brown together ended up being very 70s colors and not enough contrast and the white and the blue was too stark of a difference.  I hemmed and hawed about it for a long time, but Melissa helped me figure out a better combination.  When I look at it up close it seems a little bright, but I think it works pretty well overall.  Especially when you stand back from the sweater.

This was my first time doing a slip-stitch/mosaic pattern.  I understood the concept but I got very confused during the yoke pattern.  The way the pattern changes, you will have to slip some stitches more than just two rows.  The chart would show a new color, but I wasn’t working with that color yet.  You just have to slip them and work them on the next set of rows.  The rows will condense down and what was four rows of slipped stitches and knits will become two rows of just knits  (or purls as the case may be).

I had some trouble picking a good size.  I’m about a 36″ bust, or sometimes more.  I thought there should be some ease, so I went to the next closest size and made the 39″.  I think this is a good size for wearing stuff underneath.  But I almost wish I had made the smaller size and then added afterthought button loops for closures.  Let’s not even discuss how I’ve been irrationally making extremely warm sweaters with 3/4 length sleeves!

So, here she is:

I wish I had cropped my face out of that one, but don’t really have the energy for that.

My more recent finished winter project, are these knee socks:

Pattern: Evening Stockings for a Young Lady by Nancy Bush from her Knitting Vintage Socks book.

Yarn: ShibuiKnits Sock in Chinese Red, about 2.6 skeins.

I made a few little mods.  As written, the socks are a bit shorter than knee highs.  I decided to go all the way.  I didn’t cast on with the yarn doubled.  I had the 5×1 ribbing match up with the 2×1 ribbing.  This didn’t go very smoothly on the first sock, but I didn’t go back.  I just fixed it on the second sock.  I also did the calf decreases in pattern instead of in stockinette.  I kept a little p1,k1,p1 down the back of the leg until the extra stitches were decreased out.  To make the sock fit my calf, I changed needle sizes.  I started with a 2.25mm for the top ribbing.  Went to a 2.5mm for the lower ribbing, then went to a 2.75mm for the lace pattern.  After the calf decreases, I decreased the needles down again for the ankle and foot.  The pattern calls for a longer heel flap.  I made it a traditional height of about 3o rows.  I used the same directions, just picked up less stitches for the gusset and decreased at the same rate back to the original stitch count.  I also used a wedge toe instead of the round toe.

I like them a lot, but have only found one outfit that they will go with.  Maybe when the weather cools down a bit I’ll take them out.

These were my first pair of socks for the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry.  I am currently working on two pairs of socks for July/August.

It’s all socks and shawls for me right now.  I am itching to make a garment but will have to wait.

Jill B.


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