Thursday, 27 September 2007

50th Post Free Pattern! The Sparkle Scarf!

My 50th post! And so I thought I'd put up a free pattern. The Sparkle Scarf!

I came up with this pattern in between Mystery Stoles, while looking for something quick and easy to make. This certainly is easy - only one line to memorize. Here's a close-up of the stitch pattern:


I used a spare ball of mohair I had lying around (on 6.5mm needles) - the yarn looked almost grey all wound up, but as it knitted into the pattern, it suddenly seemed much brighter, and well . . . sparkly, hence the name.

Finished Size: Mine is only 7.5 inches wide by 3.5 feet long, I'd normally knit it longer, but that was all the yarn I had. I like it anyway. Of course, you can knit this pattern as long as you want, and it'd probably look good in a variety of yarns. Anyway, enough waffling, here's the pattern:

Cast on an odd number of stitches so that it's as wide as you want. I cast on 29 sts, which gave me the 7.5 inches. Your own gague will depend on the yarn and needles you use.
Row 1: *K2tog, YO* rpt till last st, K1
And rpt till the scarf is as long as you want it or you've almost run out of yarn.
Cast off.

Hope you like it!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

More Mystery Stole-ing

Yep, I'm making another. I know I said I was going to start the print o' the wave stole, but I figured I really should get a start on xmas knitting. So I'm making another stole just the same as my own for my gran. I could have given her the other one, but I'm horribly selfish, and figured I could make another one just for her. It'll be better anyway, since I'm used to this pattern now. So here's the new stole at the end of clue 1:

I'm using a different yarn for this one. It's almost the same thickness, but when knitted up it feels a little more solid. It has a red and greenish strand twisted round each other, and I quite like it. Yet another charity shop buy. The colours in this picture are pretty accurate.

This one is knitting up really fast. I've been working on it for 3 days, and I'm on chart E. I'll just do the same as for the other one - work up to the end of chart F then graft them together. I'll try not to whine about this one so much though. At least I know what'll work for blocking this type of yarn now though.

I've also been playing on Ravelry. I haven't added any of my FO's just yet - I still have to upload them to Flickr. I had to set up an account there. But I have uploaded some of the books I have (the others weren't in Ravelry yet). It's really cool how you can click on the book you have and see the things people have made from it. It's made me look at some of the patterns in a new way. And I've become obsessed with the page where you can see the new patterns people have uploaded. I keep checking back just to see what else there is! Definite time eater.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Happy Happy! FO's

Yay! The mystery stole is blocked and complete!

After leaving it for a while, I finally felt up to trying to block it again. Pinning it out wet didn't seem to work, so I tried ironing it. And it worked immediatly! I'm not entirely sure why, but if it works, it works. And who am I to question it?

I'm so happy it's finally worked out. The seam where I grafted is still wonky - there's nothing I can do about that now - but it actually looks like a piece of fabric now, and I'm very pleased with it. (I'm working hard to ignore the seam, it is my first lace item, after all)

In fact I'm feeling so pleased with it, I'm going to try some more lace - Eunny Jang's Print o' The Wave Stole. I'm going to stick with rectangular stoles for a while before I venture into the world of triangular shawls.

Oh, I finished my boyfriend's sweater too - it's being washed just now to pull out the ribbing, so I'll get some pics tomorrow. I'm glad that's finished too - it's only been a year!

These two projects have been things I've learned from. I'm now better at sweater necks - his head can actually go through this one! - and I'm feeling a bit more confident about lace (although I'm sure just cos I wrote that I'm going to get smited somehow!) Grafting is still scary though - I need more practice at that!

Oh, and I got my invite to Ravelry! Yay! I'm on as Yarndancer if anyone wants to come say hi. I can see it's going to eat up a lot of time - but that's not a bad thing. :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Cleaning Up

Wow, what a whiny post last time! I'm kinda embarrassed. I had just finished grafting the pieces together, and wasn't feeling very happy about it. Looking back at the stole, I suppose the grafting isn't TOO bad. Only another knitter or someone who was looking very closely would be able to see that it's a bit uneven in places. So I'm not feeling too bad about that just now. I haven't even attempted to block it again though yet. I've just been letting it sit there. It's a lovely pattern though, it's just my lack of abilities that I think I was upset over. I like to be good at things first time lol. But in a couple of days, I'll set it out to block again, see if I can stop it curling. Lol, where's the starch?!

I've not really done any knitting recently, since my bout of finishing things off. I've set up a couple of things, I ripped out the rasta blankie as the crochet was using up far too much yarn. I'm going to do something else with it, that I'm quite excited about, but I'll make a full post on that later. I also ripped out the neck of a jumper that I was knitting for my bf. I was actually knitting it about a year ago, but I made the neck too tight, and it wouldn't even go over a child's head! So it's been sitting there, and I finally dragged it out to work on it again. It doesn't need much work, just the top of the front and back. What I did wrong last time was picking up the neck stitches, then knitting them. It wasn't till I read a post by Grumperina, I think it was, explaining that it worked better if you picked up and knitted a stich at a time. I've done it on other sweaters since then, and it definitely does work better that way, so I'm going to try it on this one. Lol, it's been so long since I looked at this, that I had to swatch again to find out what size needles I used! (2.75 with 4 ply yarn in case you're interested lol)

Oh, and I've been cleaning! I got a new Dyson, and I love it!

It's the bestest hoover ever! I love to just watch all the dirt swirling around. I know, weird. You don't need to say anything. I know. But it's so cool! My dog leaves a lot of hair lying around - a LOT! - and this thing is brilliant. My carpet is actually cream, not gray! Who knew? ;)

(Not that carpet though - that's the horrible kitchen carpet. Ignore it.)

Friday, 7 September 2007

It's No Mystery . . .

I suck at sewing, grafting and blocking. Ug.

I've just grafted the two pieces of the mystery stole. Well, I say grafted. More like hacked the two pieces together with hardly an even set of yarn-overs next to each other, and a big line across the middle. Honestly, I was almost crying as I attempted to sew this thing together! It just wouldn't stay even. Then the yarn broke as I was pulling it through a stitch (luckily there was enough left to do the rest of the grafting, but still! It was an emotional moment). Then it all bunched together and I had to tease it open. It's just as well my house doesn't have a fireplace, because ceremonial burning sure seemed attractive at one point.

Eventually, I finished. I chose to graft it instead of doing a three needle bind off because I figured there wouldn't be a line across the middle. I mean, that's the main selling point of grafting, isn't it? That there's supposed to be no seam line. Well, mine has one. But now I'm thinking I should have just done the three needle thing, as it would have been a lot easier.

Plus, my blocking was crap. The two pieces looked so pretty all pinned out. But, as soon as I took the pins away, the edges just curled in along the line of YO's. I must have done something wrong with that too. I guess I'll have to try ironing it or something.

Ugh. I'm not happy. I put so much work in, and it's now a curly, seamy mess.

It's sitting in the spare room just now, out of sight. I'm not even going to post a picture, because the process of setting one up would be too much. It's just going to sit there, thinking about what it's done, till it decides to play nice, and block properly. (I think I can cope with the squiggly seaming if it blocks next time) It's weird though, the inside portion is blocked fine, the YO's are staying in place and everything. It's just that the edges are curling in on themselves. I'll have to figure out what went wrong. After a strong drink. :)

Finished Objects!

I haven't posted for a while, but I have been busy. I finished the bi-directional vest:

I like it. It has an interesting construction - you knit the centre panel first, then pick up and knit out to the sides. You do this for both front and back, so they're both the same, then pick up and knit round the neckline, hem, and armholes. It's all in straight lines, which is good. It knit up fast, and was good practice at picking up stitches. I had to rip out the side bits though and knit them in a smaller size cos I made it too big first time. I made it in the size I normally make, but it was too big so I had to make it a size smaller. Must be something about negative ease, or something, but I can't be bothered thinking too much about it just now. When I finally got it to the right size, I liked it. I did have to rip out the scarf I had made previously in that yarn though, cos I ran out, and just couldn't wait till I could find more.

I also made a hat:

I love it! It's from this pattern (I've been manically going through the crystal palace yarns free patterns page, in case you hadn't guessed!). The yarn is Sirdar Valentino, and it took a ball and a half. I made it a bit longer than the pattern called for, I must have a big head or something, knitted hat patterns always come out too short on me. I like hats to at least reach my ears, ideally to cover them. It gets cold here in winter! So instead of 7 inches like the pattern said, it was more like 9. I've been looking for a rolled brim pattern for this yarn for AGES, since I bought it. It just screamed out to me that it wanted to be a rolled brim hat, and this pattern was perfect for it. All the other patterns I could find were for different gauges, but this yarn substituted quite well for the one in the pattern.

And . . . the mystery stole is blocking!

At last. Tomorrow, I promise I will sew it together. No more procrastinating.