Cowls. They're everywhere, right? Here's a cowl of mine I'd like to share: The Bethesda Cowl. The pattern incorporates elements of lace and cabling and is very simple. I'm not sure if anyone has designed anything like this before, so forgive me if it's been done! Skip to pattern.
This is NOT a fun knit. It's a row of k2tog, yo which is as fun as it gets. Then it's a purl row. You know how purl rows are never as fun as knit rows, right? Then it's a row of cabling, and that's even more awkward. And then it's another row of purl! This cowl is work.
And now, the fun part. The cowl is named the Bethesda Cowl because I knit it while watching HBO's adaptation of Angels in America. Twice, with no respite. If you've spoken to me in the past few weeks I've probably already enthused evangelically about how deeply it touched me, and how I've been trying to stave off watching it a third time by reading synopses and analyses and watching Munich (also written by Tony Kushner) and Wit (also directed by Mike Nichols and starring Emma Thompson).
I'd been meaning to watch Angels for about six years since Netflix noticed I'd been consuming the entirety of Al Pacino's filmography interspersed with a lot of films about AIDS. I'm not going to say I'm OBSESSED with AIDS, but I am interested in the epidemiology of it. I routinely re-read the original 1981 New York Times article breaking the story about the prevalence of Kaposi Sarcoma among gay men in New York and San Francisco, usually accompanied by a lachrymose viewing of Longtime Companion every few years.
But that's not what this is about. This is about Tony Kushner's Angels in America, this is about why I called the cowl Bethesda. In the context of Angels, Bethesda refers to several things. Bethesda Fountain in Central Park is the protagonist's favorite part of Central Park. According to the epilogue, Bethesda is an angel who descended in Jerusalem, and where her foot touched the ground, a pool appeared that heals people of their pain. Bethesda, Maryland, is also the real-life location where Roy Cohn, whose persona was adapted to the play, died of AIDS, and it is also where Joseph McCarthy, whose persona is also important to the play, died as well.
I AM obsessed with Angels in America. I am in love with the beautiful, metrical dialogue, I am in love with the themes. I am in love with the characters and the cast whose skill and judgment in portraying these characters enables me to love them. I am in love with the brutal sense of humor in the face of tremendous gravity and, by contrast, the phantasmagoric settings of both delusions and dreams. My heart.
These are all of course very basic elements that can make up any play, and I haven't gone into any depth as to why Angels meant so much to me. One of the overarching themes of the play is change. The protagonist rejects the idea that stasis is bad by rejecting the prophecy given to him by the Angel of America. The play itself rejects the idea that stasis is bad by eliminating the characters who have not changed from the epilogue. Each character struggles with something inside them that they can't change. It made me consider all the worst parts about myself, the things that sometimes make it hard to get out of bed even when I am living the life I envisioned for myself, and while the play's message hasn't given me courage to stop ruminating about all the insecurities and the selfishness, I do feel a great deal of empathy for all the characters.
And so, the Bethesda Cowl. I'd like to believe that the cabling and yarn-overs emulate the ripples of the Bethesda Fountain or the spine in the wings of the Angel of America as a reference to the play or the miniseries or the mythology. But really I'd like it to commemorate how deeply this play adapted to an HBO miniseries has affected me.
Cast on 33 stitches.
Row 1: Purl to end of row.
Row 2: Slip one stitch. (Slip next stitch to cable needle and hold in back; knit next stitch off the needle, then knit next stitch from cable needle) to end of row.
Row 3: Purl to end of row.
Row 4: (k2tog, yo) to last stitch. Knit last stitch.
Repeat the above 4 rows until you reach 19 inches of knitting. Bind off and block firmly to add length and width to the cowl and to open up your yarn overs.
Slip the stitches held on waste yarn and the stitches from the provisional cast-on onto needles; graft together using mattress stitch intended for bind off and cast off edges , being careful not to twist. You can graft the cowl together first and then block it as I did but prepared to spend an entire day waiting for the thing to dry.
"Furry" Christmas everyone! I don't even know what to say except that I guess it was a matter of time before I started designing and knitting for the cat. I've always wanted to knit us matching hats but I think this is eccentric enough.
I used doubled Dale of Norway Baby Ull and size 8 needles. I don't have a figure on the WPI but I think it knits up like a DK or light worsted weight yarn. It took less than one ball of white and less than one ball of red.
I don't remember EXACTLY how I knit this as I've become exceedingly poor at documenting things lately, but if you've ever knit a sweater or a vest, it's very similar. Knit a tube, split and work back and forth decreasing at the ends for the arm holes, re-join. FACE is a large male cat (14 lbs, nearly 2 feet long) so you may want to adjust the number of stitches as your pet's adorable head necessitates.
Cast on 40 stitches in CC (white?) and knit three rows of garter in the round (remember, garter in the round is knit one row, purl one row).
Before you start row 4, split your stitches onto two needles. Working back and forth:
Row 4: SSK, knit to two stitches before end of row, K2Tog
Row 5: Purl across
Complete these two rows once more. Switch to MC (I'm going to guess you chose red) and:
Row 8: Knit across
Row 9: Purl across
Row 10: SSK, knit to two stitches before end of row, K2Tog
Row 11: Purl across
Complete these four rows once more.
Complete rows 4-11 for the stitches on the other needle. You should have 24 stitches between the two needles but don't take my word for it.
Divide the stitches evenly between 3 needles; you'll be working in the round now. On the second needle, place a marker in between where the stitches of the flaps don't yet connect between the 12th and 13th stitch.
Row 16?: K2tog, knit to 2 stitches before marker, SSK, k2tog, knit to 2 stitches before end of row, SSK.
Row 17-18: Knit across.
Repeat these three rows until you have six stitches on your needle. Break yarn; thread through remaining live stitches with a tapestry needle and pull tight.
With CC, make a big-ass pom pom and sew it to the hat.
Hey I knit some booties for the future baby of my colleague, Annie. Annie is the Joan Holloway of the office I work at and, like Joan Holloway, she is going to have a baby next season. Annie was my chosen recipient in our office Secret Santa, where the constraints were four gifts at $5 each. I got some nice buttons for $3 and the rest was stuff I already had in my CRAFTSTASH.
Babies are kind of a BIG DEAL where I work; everyone is having them. I don't care for children, but this year the answer to the question, "Do you want kids?" went from "No" to "Probably not." THEN a few days ago I realized that children are like cats that you can show off in public, so I felt like I kind of understood the appeal. And then last night I dreamed I was PREGNANT and even though pregnancy strikes me as a little too sci-fi, I liked it in the dream, plus it explained why I'm so fat lately.
The booties were knit with white superwash Dalegarn Baby Ull (so that they're machine washable, although white yarn won't felt anyway), but I also used two strands of silver and gold thread along with the white yarn for a very classic holiday feel, though the booties are really appropriate for any time of the year except for after Labor Day, because they are technically white shoes. I got the idea from a cowl I got at American Eagle, which was cream colored and had gold and silver threading throughout.
I listened to Brave New World on Audiobook as I knit these, as read by Michael Yorke. Audiobooks, I can't get over them. I had Douglas Adams himself read me Hitchikers Guide, audiobooks are like getting famous people to talk to you. The booties took about an evening. I tried different seaming techniques, I even knit one in a different pattern that featured stockinette and at the conclusion of the evening I ended up knitting four booties, because I'm not a perfectionist.
The pattern is familiar: Saartje's Booties, which I used for my friends Tony and Davida's infant's booties in 2010. I attempted stockinette booties but they didn't look whimsical enough. I secured the buttons with nylon thread, the strongest thread in the world, so that the buttons are not a choking hazard. I also was tempted to put these little bows on the front, because I'm on an embellishment kick.
Let me tell you all about this tiny bear I crocheted. First, look how small it is compared to USB. Second, I think I found my purpose in life, and it's crocheting tiny bears.
We don’t need more evidence that I’m the saddest, loneliest young woman alive - I’m writing this on a Saturday night - but I’m not being facetious when I say that crocheting this tiny bear was the singularly most rewarding experience of my life. I’m really moved by tiny objects, by things so small they take your breath away. I have vivid memories of excerpts from Indian in the Cupboard, our assigned reading in second grade, so I assume that’s when my interest in tiny objects began.
Production of the bear began over Thanksgiving weekend (and the weeks that followed), sitting on the sofa, watching/listening to movies and crocheting this tiny bear before I had to switch to audiobooks as the work demanded more of my visual attention. It was one of the best weekends of the year which is just tragic because I didn’t speak to anyone or leave my apartment for three days. Over the course of this project I watched An Education, A Serious Man, Synecdoche, New York and District 9 which are four I absolutely loved and I’m probably going to watch them all again soon and allow myself to weep. I also watched Submarine, Blue Valentine, Hanna, Super 8 and The Safety of Objects, which I liked a lot. I finished listening to Catch-22 on audiobook which is my favorite work of fiction. Consuming culture is very passive, but I didn't feel guilty because my primary activity was producing something.
I crocheted the tiny bear as a Christmas gift for my boyfriend Andy’s mom, or as he calls her, Mum, because he’s from Northern Ireland and that’s hot. We mutually decided that an appropriate gift would be a Christmas ornament since his parents were welcoming me into their home for the holidays, and it would be a nice symbolic gesture where the ornament could act as a proxy for me being there at Christmas forevermore. I decided on my own that it was more within my ethos to make the ornament myself. I found "Beary Christmas" by Sue Pendleton on Ravelry and was struck by the level of detail and complexity of the finished object compared to all the other patterns for ornaments on Ravelry. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull it off, as my crochet skills are improvisational and intermediate at best, but I decided to take the risk. I was glad I did because I ended up creating something so fulfilling that I wanted to immediately leave my job and pursue crocheting tiny bears full-time.
The same level of detail and care present in all of Sue Pendleton’s finished objects also extended to the pattern I was sent for "Beary Christmas:" an 11 page, well-documented roadmap to creating my own tiny bear beyond the perfunctory list of materials and step-by-step instructions. Included were multiple photos for styling options, insets that documented techniques required to add a level of craftsmanship to the bear (did I mention that the bear is posable - the joints are done in such a way that allows this), a full list of resources for where to find materials and further information, a table intended for material substitution, and an appendix of abbreviations. The written instructions were very clear and a joy to follow. One thing I also appreciated about the pattern is the way it’s licensed; you can use the pattern to make bears and sell them, so long as they’re not mass-produced. This pattern is the reason I signed up for a Roth IRA; I want to retire as soon as possible because I feel like that phase of my life is the only one for which this would be an acceptable hobby so I really need to retire immediately because this is all I want to do.
One website I found through the list of external resources included with the pattern was Teds from Threads, an online shop and gallery for people who crochet tiny bears. Until the moment I saw this page I was unaware that this was a niche. I know amigurumi is a thing, but this seems pretty specific. The offerings of the store are all quirky, and that amuses me. Magnets smaller than constricted pupils to make removable accessories adhere to your bear or not. Brushes to groom the nap of your bear's fur if you used fuzzy thread such as mohair or punch thread. Lilliputian eyes and noses. Buttons so small that they’re probably not even a choking hazard.
I had to stuff the parts of the bear WITH TWEEZERS.
As I worked on it, I kept its parts in an Altoid tin.
It was crocheted not with yarn but with thread. ACTUAL THREAD.
The core of the wreath is a foam washer from a hardware store
The dimensions of the finished object were not measured, but the bear will fit in the palm of your hand without touching the base of your fingers
My new hat. Have you seen my hat? Basically, I was in H&M and I saw a hat that I liked. I tried it on and I liked it even more. It was only $6! But I had near-identical yarn in my stash (at the time they were selling a yellow version for fall), and it was simple enough to recreate, so I did. I knit the hat in the first week of October and photographed it in the first week of November and now I am writing about it in the first week of December.
This hat is garter stitch - simple enough - but like Transformers, there's more than meets the eye. The garter stitch doesn't go back and forth, it goes up and down, which means this hat couldn't simply be worked in the round and decreased at the top, it means it had to be provisionally cast on, worked flat back and forth with short row shaping toward the crown, and then grafted together.
There exists a pattern generator, Zeebee by Schmeebot, that will give you a similar hat, but with too much crown shaping for what I was trying to accomplish, so I used the concept behind this pattern to create my hat. The Zeebee pattern contains a lot of details, especially concerning technique and schematics. Here is how I made it:
Using a provisional cast-on, cast on 25 stitches (this is the number of stitches I measured on the actual hat from H&M, but actually, I think 30 would be a more appropriate number of stitches to cast on with size 11 needles as I was using).
Knit one row to the second to last stitch (this is toward the crown of the hat); wrap and turn
Knit back toward the end of the work (toward the brim of the hat), turn
Knit toward the third to last stitch, wrap and turn
Knit toward the end of the work, turn
Knit toward the crown; knit the first wrapped stitch you come across. Wrap the second stitch, turn
Knit to the end of the row.
Knit toward the crown; knit the first wrapped stitch you come across. Wrap the next stitch (the only remaining stitch on the needle), turn.
Knit toward the end of the row.
Repeat from step 2, and keep doing this until you feel the hat is wide enough to stretch across your head.
Using the grafting technique, graft the ends of the hat together. Block into shape.
Wrap and turn more stitches for a more pronounced cup-shaped crown. I only worked three stitches.
If I could have done anything differently, I would have made it bigger overall - cast on more stitches, and worked one or two more repeats of the pattern.
Hello to all! I crocheted a tiny-ass Boba Fett as a gift. I don't know who Boba Fett is, but everyone keeps telling me he's a pretty cool bad guy! The only Star Wars movie I've ever seen was The Phantom Menace. My dad dragged my ass to it when it came out and I fell asleep in a theater surrounded by people who actually had some context. Apparently it wasn't even a good movie even if you DID know a thing about Star Wars.
This is not my first time at the amigurumi rodeo; at the beginning of 2010 I had this ambition to do an amigurumi figure a day and create this fantasy world of adorable, tiny, crocheted animals and anthropomorphic food. I did not pursue it completely, but now I think I should, considering I have a huge bag of stuffing and a bunch of doll eyes in my closet-that-I-turned-into-a-sewing-room.
Before starting, I was nervous that I would have to buy about seven balls of yarn - one for each color - only to use up a few meters of each and be left with a partial ball. This would have cost me a ridiculous amount of money, which is unacceptable. Then it occurred to me to use embroidery thread because I was using a slender crochet hook and I wanted a small figure. I went to The Playful Needle, which is an embroidery and cross-stitch store, and found, well, apparently it's yarn intended to repair Persian rugs, according to the store owner.
It's basically a bunch of tiny skeins of several lengths of yarn each about 12" long. Each length was made up of three strands, each two-ply. Each three-stranded length was about the weight of fingering yarn. These were really affordable and I would definitely go this route if I decide to pursue my amigurumi menagerie. Futhermore, each length was made up of three strands, but I made Boba Fett using only two strands per length because three were too bulky and I initally DID end up with a big stupid doll. By reducing my weight to only two strands, I got extra length every three lengths by joining orphaned strands into two-stranded lengths so I could have gotten away with buying fewer skeins. I really appreciated being able to fine-tune the weight of the yarn I used because too thick a strand gives you a big amigurumi doll, reducing its cute factor and too thin a strand allows the stuffing to show through and forms a flimsy fabric. The only drawback was that it wasn't one continuous THING of yarn, so they had to be connected using a felted join, which was very easy considering they were all 100% wool, but it was extra effort.
I crocheted this while finishing up Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and starting Tina Fey's Bossypants on audio book (which, I'm going to assume is better than the print book because Tina Fey reads it herself and does voice impressions of SNL alum!). Audiobooks, seriously. I've always lamented that I don't read anything because it's such an active activity, and I always feel a little bit sad inside when my active activity involves consuming rather than creating (maker snob). Audiobooks connect me with reading again and allow me to multi-task. I'm really excited about this.
Hi! It's January. My close friend Samantha had emailed me recently asking for my interpretation of some directions in a pattern for socks. The socks were so cute I had to knit them! Samantha has great taste. I knit them over New Years when I was sick. In the past 10 years I have spent 60% of my New Years Eves sick.
I added pom poms because I feel that all ankle socks should have them! Depending on which way you wear them the pom poms can be on the insides or outsides. I followed Bella Dia's Pom Pom Tutorial that I've had bookmarked since 2006. It doesn't require anything but your two fingers (no plastic rings and no makeshift cardboard or paper rings.)
Hello! I knit a shawl for my good friend and pen pal Jodi! This shawl was actually knit twice. I used two skeins of Malabrigo from two different dye lots and because of the way the yarn is dyed, you can expect a big difference in dye lots and there was! So knitting one skein and switching to the next skein when I ran out was out of the question. Initially, I used the darker, more saturated skein for the textured part and the lighter, less saturated skein for the stockinette part but was unhappy; I think this is because the darker color recedes while the textured pattern pops and it was creating a conflict because the stockinette which was intended to recede was coming forward instead. It made a world of difference to appropriate the lighter yarn to the textured stitch and I am very happy with how it turned out. I spent a bit of time trying to find a pattern that would yield something versatile and utile but I also wanted to create an accessory that someone as fashionable as Jodi would want to wear.
Since I had only two skeins I knit until I ran out of yarn Part of why the pattern appealed to me was the big block (28 rows) of garter at the end but I only had enough for 17 rows so it's not as dramatic.
Here is me modeling this thing on my balcony with the sun directly in my eyes!
Hello! It's been a long time since I knit anything because I spent most of 2010 sewing handbags or not doing anything creative at all! These are some booties for a fetus. It's about to turn into a baby any day now. It's the first baby item I've ever knit and it went by really quickly. Even though the yarn isn't quite unisex, it doesn't scream out "IT'S A GIRL" so I bought these little pink bow buttons and now these booties are appropriately feminine though after a conversation with the father I feel TERRIBLE for forcing gender norms upon an infant. While you don't have to worry about things fitting a baby flatteringly (or being too big, because the baby can just grow into it), you do have to worry about whether the buttons are secured to the booties enough to prevent the baby swallowing the buttons so that you don't end up murdering a baby. Knitting for babies can be greusome!
So a little bit about the fetus! It belongs to my good friends Tony and Davida. Tony and Davida also have a toddler whom I have babysat and yelled at almost 12 months ago and he is still shy around me!
This yarn is Knitpicks Sock Memories in a discontinued colorway named Paper Dolls. It's really only good for small-scale things, like baby booties or fingers for these fun gloves I made in college. Otherwise the color repeats get really irrelevant.
The pattern is Saartje's Booties, or as I like to call them, Sartre's Booties! Hell is other babies, am I right? I knit the small size (31 stitches) per the pattern, but got confused as to how to knit the straps. I knit them on backwards at first, and ended up not going by the pattern. Also, instead of casting on ten stitches per strap I cast on 16 and sewed them down instead of giving them button holes and making them functional. I don't know anything about babies but I know your time becomes very important when you have one, so instead of having to button up four straps you just slip the booties on, which is why I made the straps a little longer.
THIS is the Print O the Wave Stole by Eunny Jang. I've been meaning to knit this in Malabrigo Lace since 2006. In fact, I did knit it in the late spring of 2007, (in the Marine colorway of Malabrigo Lace) but after I grafted the two center panels together, it was too tight and it ripped. When I attempted to salvage it six months later, it was too late and I recovered as much of the Malabrigo as possible, paired it with some Knitpicks Shadow, and made a scarf. I still wear the scarf!
I actually finished this over the holidays, but was set on photographing it by natural light but Portland got only 25 minutes of sunlight all month and unfortunately I missed all of it. These photographs failed to capture the gossamer-like drape (how could you possibly? I took over 300 BLURRY photos) and the slight tonal variegation of the yarn, not to mention it's actual color, cerulean. It hurts.
Not at all the color of the yarn, but this photo shows stitch definition.
This is a beautiful, but difficult pattern. I had a lot of trouble with the first repeat when I knit it back in 2007. It wasn't so bad this time around, but I would recommend counting stitches every row at least until the pattern emerges in the work and becomes intuitive. I opted not to knit the center panel in two pieces and graft them, in part because of what happened to me the first time, but because upon browsing other completed stoles, I didn't like that the pattern didn't match up perfectly in the center, and that there's like this SPINE (well, it's a seam) where the two panels meet. I just don't care for a seam running down the center of my work; I'd find it more distracting than the fact that the waves only run one way. There is always the option of knitting the center panel in one piece and simply reversing the direction of the chart halfway though to create a symmetrical look AND eliminate the seam, but that didn't occur to me at the time. WHAT'S DONE IS DONE PEOPLE.
I made picking up 640 stitches for the inner border easier on myself because when I knit the center panel I slipped the first stitch of each row, like when you're knitting a scarf and you want the edges to be neat, or when you intend on seaming an edge. The only thing to beware of at that point were the two rows per pattern repeat - 68 stitches in total, that began (or ended, which mattered when picking up one of the sides of the stole) with decreases, and could not be slipped. I did place markers every 20 stitches to keep track, though, so that when knitting any of the following four border rounds, I was able to increase to reach the proper number of stitches. I only missed four out of 640 stitches!!
The edging was extremely difficult to begin. I've never done edging before! I had several false starts; then I got a few repeats done and realize I was knitting it backwards - the inner part was on the outside and the outer part was facing the center panel. THEN I knit it backwards AGAIN - this time, the purl side of the edging matched up to the knit side of the center panel (which the instructions actually warn about, but it's the last sentence so I missed it). The solution was to knit it BACKWARDS, this time meaning that instead of knitting around the shawl counter-clockwise, I needed to pick up the stitch BEFORE the stitch I was picking up, and knit around the shawl clockwise. So that is three distinct ways of doing things backwards! I do wish some more detail regarding that step was documented in the pattern, but I didn't find much online about people having trouble with that step so I guess it's only me. Once that became apparent the edging was extremely easy and I had the lace pattern memorized half way.
In the end, a beautiful blue stole with a gorgeous drape! I feel like I've leveled-up in knitting having completed this project which eluded me for so long.
Attempting to show the drape but it would take a very fast shutter speed and more light to achieve that. So blurry!
Hello! this hat is the Odessa hat, but knit as a slouchy beret. I don't think I've ever seen it knit as a slouchy hat, but I've also never looked. This is the hat I recognize the most in Portland, albeit without the beads, which I can't understand. The beads are the best part! The author of the pattern says that this hat would work beadlessly on men but I don't think so. The swirl is pretty feminine.
The yarn is Berroco Vintage in Chana Dal; I received this skein gratis in my gift bag at the Sock Summit Ravelry party and strung these like clear but opalescent beads onto it knowing I wanted this to be a slouchy, beaded beret of some sort. The color is a risk for me, which provided a lot of freedom. It was then that it occurred to me to knit the Odessa as a slouchy hat by knitting the pattern on size 10 needles, instead of size 6 as given (I did, however, knit the ribbing on 4s, per the pattern). An alternative was to increase the width of each pattern repeat and knit it on reasonable 8s, but this was easy enough. My other modification was that I knit the very first yarn overs through the back loops, because they have a tendency to look loose compared to the latter yarn overs. I think that Odessa as a pattern lends itself beautifully to a beret shape, and I'm pretty sure Berroco Vintage is my yarn soulmate. For one, it's very reasonably priced, and a lot of my aversion to sweater knitting is that it takes a lot of cost upfront, and I usually don't have that kind of money to spend on a sweater. Secondly, the wool content in Vintage is relatively low - only 40%, which means I'm not going to die of heatstroke in a sweater knit out of this, which is also important to me.
This is not a hat for me. This is a hat for a dear friend. I cast on an extra repeat and worked in size 5 and 7 needles instead of the 4 and 6 that the pattern specified because I didn't want it to be too snug. I knit the larger size (5 pattern repeats) as well. I love the modern, unisex pattern and I love the yarn.
Lorna's Laces yarns makes a beautiful lofty fabric but I find this palette to be unattractive. This is a problem that generally plagues all variegated sock yarns. First, I don't understand why any variegated sock yarn would have skinny one or two row bands of colors before switching to the next color which seems unfortunately de rigueur for all multicolored sock yarns. There's no way any color would have enough of a presence if it's only present in quarter inch increments. Second, I don't see the wisdom in having a sock yarn with so many colors. This colorway has pink, purple, blue, green, and yellow. While each individual color is gorgeous and muted, put five of them together striping at such frequent intervals and it just looks barfy, especially since socks aren't something viewed up close.
Anyway, these are around the house socks, and I also intend to wear them under galoshes. My feet overheat easily in shoes, so these are appropriate for shoes that don't insulate, and to make me more comfortable in my apartment this winter. They were knit toe up with a short row toe and a short row heel. I cast on 8 fewer stitches than in the pattern because I have slender feet. I do love this yarn for tactile reasons. And that is all I have to say about socks.
I hold grudges and I don't believe in second chances. At the end of 2006 my brother wanted a red hat with a pom pom so I knit him one and he lost it before it even became like 2007. He also acted like it was his right to lose it and kept asking for another one for years even though his attitude about the first one felt very, "whatever, you shouldn't have knit me a hat in the first place if you didn't want me to lose it." Also, he has a habit of losing or getting mugged of all the gifts I have showered him with. Then I spoke to my dad on the phone a month ago and he confided in me that my brother was actually very upset about losing the original hat and I felt so sad because my brother is like my project and I always want to take care of him! So I went against my beliefs and knit my brother ANOTHER RED POM POM HAT even though he is not learning a lesson here! This hat is knit in red Donegal tweed that I got at a yard sale. You can barely see the tweed character in this photo because red is hard to photograph AND Portland only gets like 15 minutes of unpredictable sunlight per day. So I AM SORRY that this photo looks the way it does because I had to make it work in Photoshop and it's very easy to not be subtle with that program.
Here's a hat for a family friend. Ricky is the eldest son of one of my dad's longtime friends and if I ever met him, it hasn't been in the past 10 years. Three years ago I knit my brother a red hat with a pom pom (he lost it immediately) and thus it followed that Ricky wanted a hat. He wanted one in black (or was it red?) with (or without?) a pom pom, and thus it was clear what I had to do: wait three years, and then make a warm gray cabled hat in natural fibers for someone who lives in Southern California.
Instead of knitting it on 4 and 6s like the pattern specified, I knit this hat on 5s and 7s, and added half an inch of hat length in addition to lengthening the amount of ribbing before the cabling. Most adult males think they have freakishly large heads but it's really because hats are made too small in an effort to be unisex, I think. I also didn't twist the knit stitches anywhere because I missed that part in the pattern and didn't feel like switching over inconsistently. I love the hat that this pattern produces. It would suit anyone at any age of any gender and in the right color, can be youthful or mature.
The yarn is Elsebath Lavold's Calm Wool which is 40/30/30 wool/alpaca/camel. I got it on sale, and it's very luxurious. When I tested the hat on one of my gigantic friends (to make sure it wasn't TOO big) he said he could tell that the yarn was a good quality.
Not much to say about these socks. I wanted to knit socks but I don't wear knit socks because my feet overheat easily. Initially I started with the Hat Heel Pattern from Knitty and while I love how the heel looks like a little target with self-striping yarn, I thought that the gussets were an eyesore at the instep. I appreciate this pattern for its innovation but I feel that this pattern had too many ends to work in and that the gussets are awkward. Maybe something like a three-needle bind off at the heel could achieve the same definition while maintaining a seemless-looking instep? Who knows.
I used the Universal Toe Up Pattern with a figure-8 cast on (my first one!) and a short row heel, which I think looks very elegant. The yarn is Berroco Sox Metallic, which has enough going on that I decided to keep it simple (even ribbing was too distracting.) The yardage on this yarn is incredible; two adult socks took less than one ball. The socks are for my mother for her birthday.
The socks have shimmery flecks of glitter in them.
Here's a little bit of trivia too: I have 10.2 miles of yarn in my stash!
I wanted to create something ugly. There was this inhibiting perfectionism in my system and I felt the only way to let go was to make a most hideous accessory and be proud of it. It looks like a bad tye dye hat made entirely of bobbles.
The yarn is a homespun thick-and-thin but mostly roving regrettably dyed with primary colors atrocity I picked up at a yard sale. I originally wanted to make felted beads out of it and because it's dyed with primary colors I could effectively get all the colors of the rainbow out of it. Felted beads is still an option as I would have no problems unraveling this hat if I don't decide to leave it behind at a hipster location in my neighborhood as a joke. I decided to work in crochet, as I feel that it's very "forgiving" (imprecise).
I debuted this hat at my party last weekend as part of a discussion as to whether crochet is ugly (THIS PARTY ROCKED?). My position was that in general, crocheted garments are ugly because a crochet stitch has too much going on and that it's best suited to borders, finishing, and afghans. Imagine a sewn garment made only of trims. To prove my point I modeled this hideous hat and it was declared that this is not representative of all crochet.
These are Endpaper Mittens based off of Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts, which I knit before in the summer of 2007 and loved them. In March 2008 I lost one and it was terrible.
Converting to mittens was easy; I knit two more pattern repeats for the fingers and decreased by four stitches every other row for the last half of the second pattern repeat. I improvised the thumb and they both came out imperfect but even I don't care. These are my first pair of mittens and I'm not sure how much I like how little control I have over my digits.
I'm also going to admit that I hate the colors I chose. There was a time when red on pink really inspired me but I think that it makes a really tragic color combination. I think pink and white or red and white would have been adorable. Also, pink and red reminds me of the Knitty photos of the Circle Gets the Square hat or whatever (what was the name of that game show where it was Whoopie Goldberg surrounded by a bunch of b-list celebrities on a tic-tac-toe grid?) and I don't think that's a very flattering hat so I'm nauseated by the colors by association.
In this photo I am doing the thing that Presidents do when they punctuate key points.
IN OTHER CRAFT NEWS I made my cat a sequinned bowtie that he won't wear.
ETA! I finally made a sequinned bowtie my cat is willing to wear. (I'm trying to secure a spot on Purroject Runway; one day you're in and the next day you're meow)
Ladies and gentlemen, I have TWO HORRIBLE STORIES regarding this Queen Anne's Lace shawl. The first one began sometime last winter when I began knitting it. In April, I moved into a new apartment and in transit, it came off the needles. It could not be salvaged or negotiated, and it had to be tossed. I didn't knit anything until August, which is the Queen Anne's Shawl seen above.
I knit this quite diligently throughout the month and bound off over Labor Day Weekend. Binding off took over two hours, such is the size of this shawl. UPON BLOCKING I noticed one particular area was really quite elastic and looked funny. I'll spare the drama - an entire pattern repeat was UNRAVELLING. And we're talking lace here. That is dramatic enough. When lace unravels you can't just crochet up the ladder. Decreases and double-decreases get undone and thus a pattern repeat gets destroyed. It expands and turns into a tangly, loose mess that is not lace and not knitting. It's kind of like writing a full paper, proofreading it, and then irreversibly sorting all the words in alphabetical order. I kept picking through it and it just kept unravelling and the damage kept multiplying as decreases kept separating. IT WAS SO SAD.
Here is where I admit why I am coping. First of all, I'm used to experiencing beautiful things in my life get destroyed, especially after I put a lot of effort into them. Second, There's a woman on SE 33rd and Hawthorne in Portland that holds monthly garage sales where she destashes yarn. The first time I went last October, just after moving to Portland, I got some decent deals, including red tweed, roving, and a cone of Jagger Zephyrspun Wool/silk for $11. It already sounds like a great deal, as people are selling used cones of Zephyrspun on Ravelry for prices in the $40 range. But this is not just a cone. It looks to me the size of two or three cones, comparing it to the sizes of those on Ravelry. This thing is a monolith of laceweight yarn. I knit one and a half Queen Anne's Lace shawls on it and it didn't make a dent at all in this cone. So let's just say I have plenty of this yarn and I could probably knit 20 Queen Anne's Lace shawls, all of MMario's designs, and some Kiris too. And because the color is gray, I can overdye it in green, blue, indigo, black, or even violet.
I LOVE knitting the Queen Anne's Lace shawl. It's an easy pattern that's not boring, and the shawl, when finished, is so gorgeous. It drapes BEAUTIFULLY and looks so impressive and classic. I've knit one before (bringing my total up to two and a half) and I'll probably knit one more. I'll knit one every year So I'm not worried, I guess. I mean what happened is sad, but I can just knit it again. Whatever.
Unrelated to this project but related to crafting in Portland, last month was Sock Summit and I went and helped out in the Berroco booth and had a great time. It was the best weekend. I hadn't seen Cirilia since 2006 and it was great to catch up. My name was entered in a raffle when I purchased access to the market place and I ended up winning a $25 gift certificate to Sassafras Creations; they make jewelry out of cross sections of old straight needles. I got these gorgeous earrings that are beautiful and jangly!
THEN I went to the Ravelry Party (the gift bags had a skein of complimentary Berroco Vintage!!) and won the Namaste Hermosa bag, a luxury knitting bag! It could fit my cat and my knitting. It also matches my cat. It even has a smaller bag INSIDE of it to hold notions, needles, or extra skeins of yarn. When my mom visited Portland last week, she fell in love with it so I gifted it to her. She never treats herself to nice new things. She was so thrilled and I felt like I did a mitzvah. At Sock Summit, had the best time and got some great deals on yarn: discontinued colors of Kidsilk haze for a great price and a great color (a gorgeous opalescent pearly purple), some Malabrigo to rub my face on, my first Koigu to round out the stash, and Berroco Sox Metallic and Ultra Alpaca Fine which I already have huge plans for.
IN OTHER NEWS I must talk about a Portland craft store that deserves your attention and patronage - Knittn' Kitten on NE 74th and Glisan. This is a locally owned and operated craft THRIFT store. Craft supplies for THRIFT STORE PRICES PEOPLE. They have a great library of vintage patterns, fabric priced so cheap you could faint (they have a large collection of knits which is perfect for me because I've been endeavoring in recreating my favorite t-shirts that have seen better days), beads, yarn, sewing notions, rickrack, embroidery supplies, and KNITTING NEEDLES THAT ARE SO CHEAP OH MY GOD. It's a great place to go to stock up on notions and essentials, or if you want to learn to say, knit, crochet, embroider, bead or do cross stitch, I'd recommend Knittin Kitten because you can buy all your supplies without worrying about spending too much money on a hobby you might not even take to. I got some amazing fabric, notions, polyester fiberfill for a stuffed animal that needs a little perking up, all for around $10. I'm going to go back there and liquidate their stock of knitting needles and crochet hooks (needles are priced between$1 and $3 and they have straights, circs, dpns, bamboo, metal, and plastic needles). If you're local, please check this place out and give them your patronage. I overheard that they almost closed down in August. I'm going to make a shirt that cost $1.80 because that's how much the fabric cost me and you're all going to be so jealous.
My favorite coworker collects squid figurines in his cubicle. I crocheted him this in pink, my second favorite color. I would have loved to have had some crochet cotton on hand because the yarn is extremely fuzzy and un-crochet-like, but Portland was experiencing the SNOWSTORM OF THE CENTURY and the whole city was impassable.
In my last days in Brooklyn, I actually came across this finished object at a fancy store in Park Slope. It was among some crocheted reef and a crocheted octopus. Jessica Polka also features those patterns on her Etsy page. It inspired me so much I took a picture!
Jessica Polka's work in Brooklyn.
What else? So speaking of Etsy, my friend Jack makes ceramic pillow bookends that I just adore. So check out his Etsy page!
My mom wanted a rainbow scarf, which is the perfect occasion to buy some Noro. The sad part about knitting this is that my ball winder absolutely hated Silk Garden and I lost several yards off of all four skeins. The cool thing about knitting this is that 1x1 ribbing can be used if you want a squishy stockinette-looking scarf without curling.
HELLO. I hope everyone is well. I've been doing a lot of knitting, but it's all been fairly uninspired so I've been knitting and ripping and re-knitting and, I mean basically it's been about the process lately. I've been stuck in preproduction, something I haven't been advanced enough to appreciate until recently. I guess it's more conceptual, like considering how the finished fabric will drape and the textile equivalent of mood and tambre, a skill beyond mastering how to knit and how to purl. That's where I've been getting stuck in my knitting, like my garments don't "tell a story", and did I mention that I'm five seasons of Project Runway more advanced than I was four months ago?
So what you see above is the Urchin beret in a stash yarn I was gifted by Cirilia in the fall of 2007. I only had enough yarn to work six or seven repeats on size 7 needles, knitting the small, but I blocked it over a dinner plate and it's got a very lovely shape now. But the best part is that my second week here in Portland I scored a gorgeous coat for $15 and --
-- THE COAT MATCHES THE YARN AND --
-- I ALSO HAVE A MATCHING BAG (also inherited from Cirilia.)
Do not let the lighting fool you; the coat and the bag and the yarn are all the same color. The yarn has little flecks of like glitter material in it so it catches the light.
Fabulously, I also matched last year with my Foliage beret and Michael Kors winter coat and LG enV (not pictured.)
I also knit up some garter stitch mitts, also an Ysolda pattern. I have a lot of this pink tweed that I bought several years ago on closeout and have rued the purchase ever since, but it's rustic quality seems appropriate for garter stitch fingerless mitts, all tweedy and scratchy and not at all capable of holding a shape.
Hi how is everyone? I'm really good! Recently, Catskill Merino Sheep Farm featured my first Urchin beret on their blog. It was a total honor, and the yarn was given the name Mystery, inspired by the nickname I'd given it in my blog. So that was totally cool! Anyway I'd like to present something I knit many weeks ago: similar cabled hats for NEWLYWEDS Todd and Lisa.
I knit both hats in two different weights of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino so that they would both have an equivalent amount of cashmere (or not) and chose two cabled patterns so that the hats would have similar styles but not the same style.
Shedir was knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby in a cranberry-ish colorway. I went down to size 2 needles, which was a lesson I learned from my last (my first!) Shedir. I used a tubular cast on and I'm proud of it!
Koolhaas is the first pattern I ever purchased, and it took like three seconds to knit. I had to speed up the decreases because the hat was getting really long and I also LOST half a ball of yarn somewhere in Oregon. Anyway it is SUCH an easy pattern - only left-slanting cables which are much easier to do than right slanting ones.
Speaking of Interweave, Shayna Zelko, a friend from high school, was just published in Interweave's Winter 2008 issue! Hers is the Welt and Rib Cardigan and it's a turtleneck with some very subtle detailing going on. It's so gorgoeus. Congratulations to Shayna!
This appeared out of nowhere in the middle of September: it's a Branching Out in Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud, and it also happens to be the first thing I ever knit, we're talking February 2006 here. It's feather-light and it looks alright. At the end of September I moved from NYC to Portland, Oregon (bonus points: I had a job offer!!). I currently live in inner South East, and I'm triangulated by a fabric store, a yarn store, and a yoga studio. Portland can be overcast and drizzly and it's frequently cloudy and damp in the mornings, so I wear this scarf on my head like this to keep the humidity away from my precious mane. Anyway this weekend I went to a yarn sale and scored a FULL CONE of Jaeger 2/18 Silk/Merino in Midnight for $11, which is amazing because I was really hoping to pick up some laceweight!
OMG this pattern. I love it. Unfortunately I had maybe half the yardage I would have needed to complete this shawl, and even going down three needle sizes still wasn't enough; I had to truncate 35 rows early! This has been my first circular shawl and it was great. Each row is different, and I love that. Every time I looked at completed works at Ravelry I swooned because they were so gorgeous, and that was encouraging. I can't believe it's so easy to create something so beautiful. MMario's shawls are just too amazing to be as unpopular and free as they are. Why isn't everybody knitting them??? They're so easy and pretty and free!
The Queen Anne's Lace is for my dad's girlfriend Helen's birthday. I love knitting lace shawls but until I had a great time documenting this, I didn't think I had anyone to knit them for. Well now I totally want a lace shawl. So versatile! I love the yarn too, it's incredibly crisp and blocks beautifully. How does one dye something GRAY anyway?
Ladies and gentlemen I redid the Urchin! It reminded me too much of my slouchy Foliage and I didn't want it to become too much of like a thing like, "Oh Chloe knit another slouchy hat (because she has gauge issues)." I just followed the pattern for the Medium size, no edits, no modifications. I keep forgetting that knits stretch so I always knit things all big and whatnot.
I single crocheted around the "brim" and it made a world of difference with how it fit on my head. I want to crochet around everything! Crochet hooks have more use than just picking your nose with them.
SPEAKING OF CROCHET HOOKS I also added this crocheted flower because, in a once in a lifetime occurrance, my mom and I agreed on something and that something was that this beret was missing something. Then the universe exploded. I made the flower out of the same yarn and then steeped it in hot, saturated, Wildberry Zinger tea with the intention of overdying it a little bit reddish, but instead it turned out this oxidized copper color, which I like. I didn't care what color it came out, just as long as it was different than the color of the beret.
These photos were taken in the dark to match my mood. Morrissey Morrissey. (Just kidding. They were taken in the dark because it's just too hot today.)
This scarf is the marriage of two different yarns. It's Knitpicks Essential in Cocoa, left over from Brian's Diamond Waffle socks, paired with double stranded Knitpicks Gossamer. I bought this yarn in early 2006 for my mom's Clapotis which she never ever wore. It's a brown-orange/red-yellow varigated yarn and is seriously the most literal colorway I have ever known. It looks dated and it pools. Parts of this scarf have this zig zagging thing with the yellow going through it, not like it's pretty or anything but at least it attempts some visual interest, and then there's this nasty ass section where the yellow just kind of hangs to the side like a streak of mustard while the other colors pool. A double wrap around the neck hides it decently though.
The length of the scarf took a little more than one-and-a-quarter balls of Essential and a corresponding length of Gossamer and was steam blocked, which is my new favorite way to block stuff. The fringe was made up of as much Gossamer as possible, but I still have a few grams left over. This yarn will never die. The fringe was essential in that it took the dated look of the yarn one step further to a good place, sort of earthy and 70's vintage, and in the end I really love this scarf. It's soft and the right length and it's just a totally different accessory with the fringe. I've gifted it to my best friend Natalie for her birthday. Natalie and I went to high school together and we hated each other freshman year even though we'd never spoken. Love her!!
Each fringe knot was hand-hooked with a crochet hook while listening to my new crush, This American Life. It was meditative. Trimming the fringe was a lot like trimming my bangs and in the end I decided to leave it choppy and uneven, which is also what happens when I try to manage my bangs as well.
Blog, I knit another hat - why? Because it's August!!
I knit this while listening to one of the two knitting podcasts I subscribe to. Most people listen to only zero knitting podcasts, whereas I am marooned on the tail end of a bell curve, and with TWO knitting podcasts. I've been tending toward talk radio more; a habit which I attribute to being prematurely welcomed into my mid-40s. KNITTING AND TALK RADIO IS A NICE WAY TO SPEND A SATURDAY.
So this hat is really cute and different from most hats. I did the crochet part before the part about the brim inside out so it really stands out from the seed stitch pattern, like horizontal ribbing almost. I repeated the brim a bunch of times, but I think if I had to do it over I would have also made it wider. I steamed the shit out of the brim, you should have seen me all with the iron. I also added this button detail. Why not, right?
Yeah this pose, cliche cliche, but it shows off the seed stitch pattern and that's what we're here for.
Hi I knit something. Knitting has been very emotionally difficult for me since Bears on Swings. When I learned to knit at the end of 2005 it was during a time of my life that was unproductive and knitting was an exercise in being inspired and making things. Right now it's impossible for me to knit myself out of my problems and it's difficult to commit to large projects. I've been sketching some, and the next large project I undertake may be something that I designed (though to be honest, I do have a Snowdrop Shawl on the needles. I've knit ZERO REPEATS.)
So this is Urchin by Ysolda Teague. Ysolda is gorgeous and her patterns are whimsical. The yarn was a holiday gift from my roommate Ruchi; an organic hand-dyed bulky merino from the Union Square market. Its rustic quality made it a good candidate for this beret, and because I only had one skein of it, it was at the top of the list. As expected, I didn't get gauge, so I cast on 26 stitches (effectively, an XL) and I was able to easily modify as necessary (Just did everything recommended for the large size +1). Though I only did six repeats and reinforced the headband with elastic, I wish I had only done five repeats instead because then I would have gotten a more pronounced shape.
As for my personal life, things are starting to come together, albeit on the wrong coast. I'm working on a large scale sculpture project; I talk about it all the time. It's like, thesis-worthy and there will likely be a written component to this when it's done. It's conceptual, it's physical; it's destructive, it's generative; it's archival and timeless, seriously, MFA programs are so weird, why would I want to wait two years and pay an institution for accredidation for doing something that I'm already doing? See how ridiculous MFA programs are??
Hi it's been awhile. My head's felt like a FEMA trailer lately and I haven't been inspired. Since this is a craft blog and not a Chloe blog, thankfully I don't feel obligated to talk about it further.
When Cirilia posted pictures of her new scarf on her flickr I knew I wanted to knit it. So I was extra excited to discover that she had designed it.
This pattern was ideal for me because I didn't want anything too challenging for my emergence out of my black hole. I got to use up some stash yarn that I had otherwise no plans for, and I happened to have four large buttons on hand. I like pink and gray.
I think this scarf looks awesome because of the interest that the shell lining adds, and the cool button functionality. Since it's a fast garter stitch scarf, it's ideal for gifts too.
Finally. These are Brown Socks for my husband Brian. Brian is not my real husband, but we were lab partners once and people (Lauren) told us we were like Lucy and Ricky.
Brian saw me knittng my toe-up Jaywalkers during many of the thousands of credits we were taking together this past fall. I offered to make him socks and he and his size 13 feet took me up on it! His only request was that they should be brown. Immediately, the Diamond Waffle pattern sprang to mind, as I'd been wanting to knit it for someone since I saw it.
My gauge was so ridiculously off and this pattern was so very specific that I just used the Universal Toe Up Pattern and put in the diamond waffle. I appreciate very specific patterns in the sense that they read like lab manuals, but at the same time I end up stripping them down to just what I need. I don't think I should do that because I don't learn or challenge myself that way.
These socks were modeled in 1-litre and 20-ounce Dasani bottles because I have nowhere near the size feet required to model these, no matter how many socks I pile on. From some angles, they look like real feet. In fact, I could not fathom such a size's dimensions and I used this tool to give me an estimate. It was very useful, though I found that when I apply it to my own feet, the figures are a little on the low side.
In the end they fit, and Brian wore them last Thursday. The diamond waffle pattern doesn't show up so well in the photos, but he showed them to mutual friend and the friend told me that he dug the diamond pattern (HE NOTICED!) so it does!
I started these in another yarn during Cloverfield, ripped and reknit while watching There Will Be Blood, and sewed everything up while watching O Brother Where Art Thou. They're for a friend and they've got a button detail on the wrists.
Hi! These are socks for my roommate's boyfriend, Zach. According to Ruchi (roommate), Zach has sweaty feet, so either the wool content will absorb the sweat or make him sweat more, and then absorb it.
My initial problem with socks wasn't so much heel flap or turning it, it was picking up the stitches after the fact without getting holes. When I saw the holes I'd rip the whole heel flap back because starting over is how I problem solve. So I have a lot of experience turning a heel which is the only not-boring part of a sock. Anyway, Zach's mom is a knitter and I took this opportunity to try out a few techniques:
The Classic Weil Gauge Modification
I knew I wanted to knit socks on 2s, whereas the pattern has the socks knit on 6s (WHO KNITS SOCKS ON 6s???) Hilariously, our gauges only difffered by HALF A STITCH PER INCH which would have me casting on 48 stitches ON TWOS instead of the recomended 44 ON SIXES. I cast on 52 for good luck. The mathematics of pattern adjustments aren't difficult for me because it's just a bunch of proportions which you can set up and solve verbosely.
Tubular Cast On
This isn't particularly new to me. I've practiced it a ton of times but I always thought it took too long to do for too little payback. Now that I'm a faster knitter and have sworn off the long-tail, it's worth it.
Magic Loop or something like it
I always thought this meant something else and I wish I had my facts straight before I went and did surgery on my too-long size 10 circular needles to make them small enough to accomodate my Foliage. And here I thought I was being so clever! I could have magic looped the shit out of it. Anyway I don't think what I'm doing is exactly magic loop, just kind of beating the yarn into submission around any circumference I desire. So I'm just going to call it CHLOE'S MAGIC LOOP OF TERROR
THICK HEELZ and COMFY TOEZ
I doubled the yarn for the heels and the toes. I just thought it would be more thick and comfy!
The stitch-markers-as-abacus method of keeping track of rows
If I had to do something five more times I'd just put five more stitch markers at the end of the round and remove one every time I did it. It worked with 100% more efficiency than writing that information down, because when I have to write anything down I don't, making me 0% efficient at writing things down.
I'm wearing my poms underneath these socks for added bulk to my feet so that I can try these on and photograph them. These socks are knit for a man and I have little dainty girly feet.
Some people are pigeon-toed. Some people think it's cute to be pigeon-toed. And some poeple's feet turn toward 3 o'clock when they walk down stairs when feet generally point to 12 o'clock.
Hello! This is the Banana Republic Hat for my friend Chantal's birthday. Chantal looks gorgeous in green. As I was knitting it I felt like I had fiberglass filaments in my eyes and nose. I'm not allergic to anything so I don't know what's up with that. I would hate for this to make my friend uncomfortable but nobody mentioned anything on Ravelry and people were even making stuffed bears out of this - stuffed bears FOR CHILDREN - so I'm hoping it's just me.
I met Chantal on the first day of our summer-long Organic Chemistry intesive. She was my best friend from the first day to the last. Two weeks after I met her, Berroco announced their fall preview and there was a sweater named Chantal. That's my first Chantal knitting story, and this blog post is my second.
I used the three patterns available and just combined them, kind of like making a baby with three parents. I'm not so happy with the unevenness of my stitches (I was using my mutilated 10s) but nowadays manufacturers make machine-knits look like they have character so it's not an issue.
This is the "From Now On" part of the post.
1. I had to thread the "base" of the hat with some leftover yarn to give it some structure because after blocking it just lost all its shape. I blocked this hat to even up the decrease pattern on top because it always bunches up when I do it and I think from now on I'm going to alternate a row of stockinette in with each decrease row.
I think I'm going to abandon the long-tail cast on forever and just go for tubular if there's ribbing involved, or provisional in all other cases. With long-tail either I overestimate by like a kilometer or I underestimate by too many stitches to just increase on the first row. It's stretchy but a bind off just looks so much crisper and I have more control over it. The long-tail cast on is the worst part of knitting next to 1x1 twisted rib but without the "it was worth the effort" sensation. So from now on it's so long to the long-tail!
Pretty decreases that happened all too suddenly.
The yarn it shimmers.
Anyway so I spent some time with my friend Joe "AS SEEN ON LAST COMIC STANDING" DeVito the other night and realized that I am incredibly self-conscious (self-deprecatingly proud) about the knitting thing. Like I say "knitting" and then I feel like I have to mention how I do the AARP crossword every day or how I carry Tums with me everywhere because of my bad heartburn. Recently someone asked me what I was doing at the moment and I actually said "knitting my roommate's boyfriend a sock and missing Jeopardy." For all we know, from that statement my roommate is my roommate in a nursing home and the boyfriend is a man she met after her first husband of fifty years died. But I mean all that stuff (the crosswords, the knitting, but not so much the acid reflux)...that STILL makes me cooler than like Hannah Montana and texting to vote in American Idol and watching movies on my telephone right?
No it's not because I had to think REALLY REALLY HARD to come up with just THREE examples of what people are into today. It's like with every stitch I just go back in time a little bit. Wait, and I'm BLOGGING about this, what the HELL am I talking about???
So, in the most traumatic knitting experience of my life, in May I dilligently knit the two center panels of Eunny Jang's Print O' The Wave Stole in Malabrigo lace. Malabrigo, by the way, is NOT VERY ELASTIC (foreshadowing!). It didn't have a single mistake. In July, I grafted hundreds of stitches to unite the two panels, and upon mock-blocking it upon my bed (stretching it out to see how it looked, you know, to appreciate all my hard work), my inelastic, too-tight sewing job snapped and the thing ripped down the center. I put it in a bag and threw it into the back of a closet. It wasn't until the end of August that I picked out the ripped yarn and unraveled a few rows of each panel and then threw it BACK INTO THE BAG and into the back of an even deeper closet until like, last week.
I didn't like the idea that my only set of size 2 needles were like, BABYSITTING this unfinished object and I didn't like the idea that I bought Malabrigo just to be ashamed of it and keep it in a bag. Even though my feelings were still hurt I tried picking up where I left off, but because the pattern was no longer in my immediate consciousness, because I didn't know how far I ripped back on each panel, because stitches got dropped or bars-that-could-be-yarnovers got picked up instead, but most importantly, BECAUSE I HAVE A BALLWINDER, I decided to unravel the whole thing. Unfortuantely, because Malabrigo is so sticky and it had been inert for about six months, I kind of killed the yarn. In the end I had two not-continuous balls of Malabrigo lace to contemplate THE FUTURE with.
Above is Branching Out, which utilizes the Malabrigo yarn doubled with leftover Knitpicks Shadow from my first Kiri. It seemed that pairing these two yarns is an obvious, if not inadventurous choice as they're both dark blue merino laceweight yarns. But then I got all analytical.
The two yarns are actually quite disparate. The Shadow (right) is not exactly blue, it has a chromatic range from blue to blue-green to a very pronounced violet. The Malabrigo (left), which is solidly blue, has qualities relating to value, as in light and dark, but all the shades are still the same tone of blue. These are all technical things that I relate to painting or drawing, so for those who never took studio art in high school, I made some swatches:
In color, it is easier to see that the Shadow (right) has more of a chromatic variety than the Malabrigo (left). If we were convert these colors to grayscale so we can observe value only, it is easier to see that Malabrigo has a richer tonal scale than the Shadow:
When working these two yarns into the same garment, the result is more successful than I would have imagined, as each yarn makes up for what the other lacks. The Malabrigo provides richness and depth, and the Shadow gives visual interest and variety. On a tactile level, the resulting fabric is spongy and soft. (In fact, my brother is walking around with it around his neck right now flapping the ends in my face and, in a Mick Jagger accent, saying It's so fluffy it's so fluffy. Okay he's gone.) I chose to knit Branching Out because I was horrified to learn that I have been slip-slip-knitting improperly and I wanted a simple project to remind me how to do it right again because it's so fundamental. Branching Out was actually one of the first things I ever knit because I wanted to work on my decreases. I had been slip-slip-knitting improperly then too. It's amazing how many ways there are to be wrong!
Yeah clearly someone needs to enroll in Photography for Non Majors.
Hi you guys how is everybody. I'm feeling much better thank you. This entry has a lot of parentheses (I have a lot of interjections.) My first finished object of the year is (ugh, yes) a Clapotis.
This is not my first or second Clapotis, but it's my first clapotis scarf. I feel like this absolves me somewhat. I only did one repeat of the increase section and intended to knit until I ran out of yarn. Well I have about a fifth of a ball left and this thing is longer than most basketball players are tall. It can be wrapped around the neck no less than twice, which is good because it's so drapey that two neck wraps would provide a nice amount of neck shielding for the intended wearer, Jay's mom. Jay's mom is a native of Quebec province, and since the Clapotis is hella French, I can bring this over on my bicycle, in addition to the baguette I baked, sporting my moustache (which, incidentally, is not me of trying to be French, but an innate property of me being a dark-haired Jew. A tiger can't change its stripes, but I suppose it can have them waxed every six weeks.)
The yarn, a donation from Cirilia, beguiled the HELL out of me. It was wound like Noro is wound, and it looked to me like Silk Garden, however, it was clearly a fingering weight. So it may be Silk Garden Fine or Silk Garden Lite or whatever, which I didn't know was even manufactured because I never heard about it. Nonetheless, it was perfect for this project in the way it draped and the way the colors coexisted with one another (not sure what this property is called). It makes a lovely finished garment.
Knitting it kind of sucked though because about a third of the way into the project I ate some smoked lox with my hands and so for the rest of the project the Clapotis smelled like Nova Scotia.
Did I block it? YEAH I blocked it. I also purled through the back on each side of the dropped stitches for x-tra structure.
Hi I'm sick how are you? I knit Shedir and heavens, what a frustrating knit. I'm glad it's over. It was done over three days of sickness in time to give to my brother's girlfriend who is coming for the New Year.
FIRST it was stressful because of the ribbing and I hate ribbing. THEN it was stressful because of the cables. Cables are annoying. I know how to do it without a cable needle...they're just annoying! THEN it was stressful because it looked like I was running out of yarn and I was panicking THE WHOLE TIME. Toward the cap decreases I had to sacrifice all the rows that didn't have cables which is a shame because the only reason I knit this was so that I could incorporate that pretty star effect on the top of the cap and I had to SACRIFICE HALF OF MY FAVORITE PART that I was looking forward to, so now it looks kind of like a flower AND NOT A STAR. The fourth and final stress was something that was irritating throughout the whole project - I made the decision to twist every knit stitch and that sucked. So there was both acute and chronic irritations throughout this project. Anyway it's a little big and I probably should have used size 2 needles, I probably wouldn't have run out of yarn that way and I could have had my star. I also eliminated one of the pattern repeats and I was glad to have done so! I didn't have time to block this sucka and who cares?
Hi blog! Today I am going to present scarves for the holidays but not the people wearing them.
I knit the first scarf over Thanksgiving, a holiday gift for my roommate and best friend, Ruchi. I used the Multidirectional Scarf Pattern and Noro's Kujaku, which I knew she would totally love because she loves colors and who wouldn't love a little bit of Noro? The Multidirectional pattern is a great way to show it off and it was amazingly easy and Noro is a pleasure to work with. Ruchi got like ten thousand scarves for the holidays but I knit mine and thought about her through every single stitch, therefore I win based on the model of elitist sentimentality (because it's handmade, it's automatically better, even though it might not be).
Ruchi got me a skein of handdyed yarn from the Union Square market and I can't wait to make it into something amazing. She also got me chocolate which I ate all of within 24 hours but this is a yarn blog and not a chocolate blog!
The next scarf is the Irish Hiking Scarf for my mom's husband, John. I used three leftover balls from my stockinette Mariah because it was the only yarn I had onhand that was even close to the correct amount. When I envisioned this scarf I was hoping to use Valley Yarns' Berkshire Bulky in their lighter shade of gray, but it was not to be because I only had about one-and-a-half balls. It was blocked aggressively because my mom harangued me about how it was going to be too short and as a result it lost a little bit of it's ability to contract and be "squishy" though I will say it is still squishy nonetheless. I blocked it while listening to older episodes of Ready, Set, Knit!, which I am making my way through.
I realized one of my favorite things to do is to sit in bed and knit and watch movies. Its' like the ultimate experience. I'm sixty.
The pattern for this hat was easy; modifying it to get the perfect fit took effort. I saw this pattern in the fall Knitty but it didn't register until I saw Cirilia's version and I was blown away by the hotness. In the first trial I knit it flat on size 11s because 11 straights were the only needles I had above an 8. It was a massive disaster. I finally caved and bought some size 10 circulars but they were 29" in circumference, so I cut them and taped them together and knit the whole thing very cautiously while watching The Birdcage and a-movie-which-shall-go-unnamed with my friend Mitali. As per the advice on Ravelry, I knit the crown for the "not-chunky" version and did only 1.5 pattern repeats, though I wonder if I could have gotten away with only one. I decreased every other stitch and then knit six rounds of twisted rib LIKE CIRILIA DID on size 7s. And I'll be honest. I thought this hat came out horribly and I was so disappointed until I straightened my hair (I have very curly, voluminous, and silly looking hair). It/I look a lot better now.
The yarn I used came from a massive sampler donation from Cirilia (I officially have a 'stash' now!), it's this gorgeous chunky olive tweedy stuff, I'm not sure who the manufacturer is but it is absolutely perfect for this hat. Cirilia Cirilia Cirilia!
Forgive the moroseness of these pictures - I realize it could be construed as adolescent pretentiousness but IT'S WINTER =(
Hello I feel fine thank you. I am presenting toe-up Jaywalkers, which were fun to knit. I bought one 400-yd skein of yarn which I approximately wound in half and then used one of the balances in my chemistry laboratory to get it exactly 50/50. CHEMISTRY IS COOL.
I have narrow feet so I made the overall sock narrower and wasn't so aggressive with the heel flap. I threw in some calf increases toward the end and used up all the yarn. They're tall. They are very cute even though the yarn is a little bit itchy for my sensitive shins and ankles. I knit these socks mainly during P-Chem lab lecture and History of Performance Art. These are my first toe up socks and my second Jaywalkers, but these are also my first toe-up Jaywalkers and my first Jaywalkers that I didn't totally screw up.
I haven't given up on the Swell hat. My itsy-bitsy roommate looked cute in it so I added 12 more rows of stockinette before the decreases so that it would fit her a little better. After that modification it fits even me now, even though it's a little tight where the stranding is, meaning my floats are too tight. Also, I still look stupid in it. I'm going to knit another one of these hats with modifications for a friend for the holidays.
Check me out! Since I last posted the screen snapped off my laptop and the very next day I got a brand new Macbook Pro (savings are nice!). So now I've got one of them cameras on my display so I can take photos of my face!!
In my sculpture class a boy had one of them hats with earflaps and tassles and I put it on my head and told him I could make one. He didn't care but so I set forth to make Swell from Knitty. Never did I think I would ever make a hat with earflaps and tassles. I guess I forgot that I have a lot of hair because I made the small size and that was a big ole mistake. The thing fits more like a yarmulke than a hat. Right now I am wetblocking it over my head and I smell like a damp sheep-alpaca blend. I'm certain that snipping the floats will loosen the thing up a bit but since I don't wear hats with earflaps and tassles I'm probably going to give this thing to someone with a small head who would. I'm probably going to also add one of those pom poms but not a pom pom attached directly to the hat, but attached to a tail which is attached to the hat.
This is not the first time I have knit something kind of useless. Honestly, I only like ribbed hats. I keep starting them and quitting because they're so damn boring but I really need one for the winter. Secretly, I was very much hoping that it would reveal itself that I look totally cute in earflap-and-tassle-hats but alas. Before too long I'm about to finish my second of my pair of toe up Jaywalkers and may I say that they are gorgeous.
My roommate in the Swell hat after I added some length. Bless her heart.
HI HOW IS EVERYBODY? When this knit blog was on LiveJournal I had eighty people who read it. Now that I host my own blog zero people have read it in the past three days. SAD. AND THEN in the middle of me updating this post, my computer fell and now it's being HELD TOGETHER WITH THE GLUE THAT COMES OUT OF A GLUE GUN. I've been waiting for the new Macbook Pros to come out since the summer and now I need one more than ever.
Anyway my camera is out of batteries so I was unable to take pictures of my latest finished object, a heavily modified version of Jodi Green's Mariah. BUT THERE ARE PICTURES. I made it out of Amherst by Valley Yarns in Charcoal. I wanted a hooded sweatshirt for the fall and that was that. I'm not much into cables so I eliminated those and did it all in stockinette. I also added some garter edging to the wrists of the sleeves and an applied i-cord for the hood in Berkshire by Valley Yarns in a light gray.
I used size 7 needles like Jodi did but when I swatched, my gauge was looser than hers, so I divided the two and multiplied every stitch count in the pattern by that number. I think that's a lot easier than reswatching on different needles...it's more quantitative and I'm into that. I omitted the square neckline and couldn't understand the hood directions so I did my own thing with the hood (grafting the two sides together - unwise!) I ended up with a hood that came to a perfect point and had to sew that down and block it over a bowl to get the hood to look not retarded. I steam blocked the sweater long to cover all of my hips, and also to even out the back, as the decreases before the hood caused these like bulges which is not an isolated problem, according to one knitalong. Zipper installation was easy and it only looks sloppy on the inside but I can cover that if I so want. So far the sweater is extremely warm and it fits flatteringly and I love it. The things I would have done differently are a looser applied i-cord, would have been more precise about the hood, and shorter sleeves by about an inch. I also think maybe the hood is a little short because there isn't much "give" but that's not such a problem. This was my first sweater!
This is me trying it on before seaming, before I started the hood but after I completed the yoke. I was so excited that it fit that I ran to find my roomate, forgetting there was an entire ball of yarn attached to me. My roommate had me pose with the yarn. Chic!
This is me with Mariana, the head of the Fine Arts Organization on campus. We were at the installation of a sculpture show that I helped organize and am participating in. She knit the hat that she is wearing. I was talkin' sleeves.
TRIANGLE OF YARNSTUFF. To the left is Mariana's boyfrined Nick in a seed-and-stockinette hat (also, note the boa. We were breathing in feathers for hours.) Center: Mariana works on a blanket. Right: Me in my friggin hoodie.
Right now I'm working on toe up Jaywalkers (first toe up socks!) and I'm going to start my holiday knitting relatively shortly.
I built some gloves for the winter recently. I consider them "free" gloves because all the yarn that I used was yarn that I purchased and used for other projects.
The body of the glove is comprised of the green Dale of Norway Baby Ull that I used for my Endpaper Mitts. I had a ton of it left over. It wasn't knitting up thick enough, so I joined it with Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud, two strands. I bought it over a year and a half ago to make Branching Out and for whatever reason I doubled the yarn when I wound it into a ball after finishing it. It was good to use it the hell up, plus it made my glove SO SOFT and the yarn was just the right thickness after adding it.
The fingers and cuff are knit from leftover Knitpicks sock yarn used for my ugly ass Jaywalkers. I had over a ball left over because I bought way too much. I think the yarn knits up much better when it's striping over a smaller amount of stitches than ugly and varigated over a whole sock.
The Alpaca Cloud is pink and the Baby Ull is green - these are complementary colors, and I was hesitant about what would happen when I used them together. Mixing complementary colors gives a neutral tone and I was afraid I would end up with something vomitrociously close to brown. It really toned down the green, which by contrast made the fingers "pop" because, in addition to being ridiculously bright on their own, they were next to a neutralized tone.
The gloves were not without problems. I still consider myself an inexperienced knitter, so I didn't pick up enough stitches in the right places along where the fingers join the body of the glove. It's only a big deal when the gloves are laying flat, which they won't be when I'm wearing them.
Close up of the contrast between the fuzzy, soft Alpaca and the Dale baby Ull.
BEFORE I CONTINUE! Today at the salon where I was getting my hair cut they played THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! I smirked!!
I started Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts the second I finished the Poms and regretted my color choice immediately. AS AN ARTIST I know implicitly why a palette offends me but that generally doesn't stop me from putting together incredibly offensive palettes. For instance, I initially paired this hideous green with red but it was just too much of a risk, so I switched to the red to black. And the black? Totally safe and boring! I'm not sure what this green yarn is - if it's "lettuce" or can be passed off as "mint," (the true color isn't as yellow) but I know it offends me as all greens do. They were fast and fun and easy, and I recommend that everybody knit a pair because they look cooler than they were difficult to knit, which they weren't. But they still look very cool.
Hi how is everyone? I was just in Boston for a week. It was there that I finished the second of "the Poms." It took me six weeks to get through the first sock because I had a lot of problems. I screwed up majorly in two places. I liked to knit these in public because they looked so cool. They're very comfortable, but I was just not into it. I feel like my work does not do the yarn justice and I therefore find it very hard to take pride in this work. And yet I post about it! Nobody reads!!
Seriously, you don't even want to know. I bought this yarn in spring 2006, started the Jaywalkers like a million times, ripped them completely a million times, started again in February 2007, ripped them completely, started again somewhere in April 2007, ACTUALLY GOT PAST THE HEEL FLAP, and then ripped them back completely because they were too big. I cast on again on size 0 needles (my feet are a six!) and finished them. The yarn I used is a Knitpicks yarn and thank goodness it's discontinued. AS AN ARTIST it offends my sensibilities. I finally finished them in the middle of July. I decided to overdye them very slightly with indigo RIT, but even though I am 15 credits away from my degree in chemistry I forgot all I learned about making solutions and ended up dyeing them completely blue. I spent an entire day agitating them in water that burned my hand and a ton of TIDE with Bleach Alternative and now I have slightly felted, mottled gray Jaywalkers that shrank even further.
They fit amazingly.
This is my second Kiri, knit in "Gold" Kidsilk Haze for my mom's wedding. (She did not wear it at her wedding.) The shawl points are missing because I did the wrong bind off, but where the points should have been, there are clear glass beads. I also didn't do the edging because I thought I could do an extra repeat AND the edging but I was wrong.
This is the Kiri Shawl! I only screwed up one leaf and it was my first major lace project. I weighed down the shawl points with pink beads and gifted this shawl to my friend Ruchi. Every woman must have a lace shawl I knit another in Kid Silk Haze for my mother for her wedding. She did not wear it at her wedding.
This is my second Odessa hat. I knit it for my grandmother who never even took it out of the bag. I mentioned this to my dad a year later when I found it at the bottom of a drawer in the original bag and he got all upset and told me that she can't even go outside what use will she have for a hat? Yeah. I'm the asshole for giving someone a handknit gift.
These photos were taken in January of 2008, lest you think it's anachronistic that I'm photographing something knit in 2006 with a gadget that didn't hit the market until 2007. It's my dad's, by the way. I would never.
In the background: a painting my dad did in the 70s.
This is Grumperina's Odessa Hat. I knit it in the same color as the one she displayed it in, because I lack creativity hardcore. The only reason I didn't use the same color beads is because the store didn't have them. I knit another one for my Grandmother in like a wine color with pink beads, and she never even took it out of the bag.