Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Some Small Projects: Fingerless Mitts

I've still not been knitting a whole lot, but here are some pictures of fingerless mitts I've made over the past couple of months.

Cratchit Mitts

Cratchit Mitts

Cratchit Mitts

Back in July (!) I made these Cratchit Garter Mitts - pattern by Susan Newhall . The yarn is something by Lana Grossa - I got it a few years ago and promptly took off the ball bands :/ I really like the colour of the yarn, and how it worked up in this pattern.

This pattern was really good - easy to follow, and they're so scrunchy and stretchy, really comfortable. I like how my thumb ring peeks out over the top of the thumb gusset :)

I enjoyed the pattern so much that I made another pair:

Cratchit Mitts

Cratchit Mitts

Cratchit Mitts

These were made with some yarn by Ba T'at Yarns. I got a 75g skein of it at Knit Camp in 2010, and this pattern seems to use around 58-60g, so I decided this was the pattern for this yarn. Again, I like how it shows the variegation in the yarn.

Then last month I made these:

Verdigris

Verdigris Mitts

The pattern is Verdigris by Romi Hill, from knitty. These were made for the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup. The task was to make something from knitty, and by the time that I had time to knit, I needed something small that could be finished quickly. So I looked through knitty's pattern browser for mitts, and these came up - I hadn't even noticed them before!

I made the small size, they're definitely smaller on the cuff that I would normally make, but I kind of like it with this pattern, it makes them look cuter :) I really like the cables and lace stitch pattern, it reminds me of leaves, so I had to make them in green. Luckily I had some green sock yarn leftovers. These mitts weigh 37g, they didn't use up all of my leftovers, so I'll need to find something to do with the remaining small amount.

I changed the pattern a little - I just did a normal cast on, and ribbed for four rounds, and at the end I ribbed for four rounds then did a sewn bind off. I couldn't figure out how the other cast on was supposed to work, and it was late at night and I didn't have the energy to try to figure it out. But it works :)

Now I need to get photos of the other projects I've done over the past couple of months :)

Friday, 30 September 2011

It's been a while...

but I'm back :D

I disappeared from knitting for a while. My mojo just up and disappeared all of a sudden :( I actually hardly knit anything for a while, and even stopped listening to knitting podcast. I even, gasp, didn't go on ravelry.

I'm blaming it on two things. First of all, I was quite ill over the summer there. I was having problems breathing, and couldn't sleep at night without waking up out of breath, then I got a cold/flu which turned into tonsilitis. It really sucked. On the bright side, out of it all, I *finally* got diagnosed with asthma, after having these symptoms for the past few years. It's aggravated by hayfever for me, so in the summer it gets worse. Which explains the chest problems I've had for the past 3 summers :/ But I have inhalers and anti-histamines galore now, and it's great. I can actually sleep all night through! You wouldn't believe what a difference that has made. Sleep seems like such an basic thing, but when you're waking up every 3 hours and your sleep is interrupted to such a degree, it's hard to focus on anything through the day, and my energy levels were going right down. But now, I feel good. I have energy - even my metabolism seems a bit speeded up and my weight is easier to control over the past month or so of having these meds.

I'm also blaming my lack of motivation on deadline knitting. I went to my cousin's wedding last month, and had to knit a shrug for it. I also had a couple of other things that had to be knit quickly, and my appetite for knitting just disappeared because of it. :( The shrug turned out nice though - here's me in my "going to a wedding" outfit:



You can't see it that well because it's black, but it's another Two Tone Ribbed Shrug (pattern by Stephanie Japel from the book Fitted Knits). I made it from Debbie Bliss Rialto DK on 4mm needles. It's the third time I've knit that shrug. It's a very flattering shrug and I love it, but having to knit it quickly just put me right off :(

I'm getting my mojo back - I've been listening to podcasts again and have been queueing patterns on ravelry, and even been knitting too!

Deep In The Forest Mittens

Deep In The Forest Mittens

These are the Deep In The Forest Mittens by Tuulia Salmela. I've wanted to knit these for ages! I spun the yarn myself - merino, to just over a fingering weight, and then knit them this month as part of the Harry Potter Knit And Crochet House Cup over on ravelry. It was good motivation, and I'm really enjoying colourwork just now! I've even spun up the yarn for my next pair of colourwork handspun mittens already!

I modified the pattern so that the picture would be the same on both hands on the front and back. I did this just by working the chart from left to right on the right mitten, and placing the thumb on the other side of the front. I also reversed the braided edging on the right mitten so that the arrows on them would both face “inwards”, by reversing the two rows on which the braiding is worked.

I'm so pleased with these mittens! I love making colourwork out of my handspun! I'm still a bit put off knitting anything else at the moment, like hats or pullovers or anything like that, but I'm really enjoying the process of spinning and knitting mittens, so I'll just go with that for the time being :) I hope to get even more back into it soon :D

Monday, 25 July 2011

FO and WIP - afterthought socks

The afterthought heel experiment worked well :)

Afterthought Heel Experiment Socks

Afterthought Heel Experiment Sock

I wanted to try the afterthought heel technique, where you basically start knitting a sock (toe up or cuff down), put in some waste yarn where you'll put the heel later, then keep knitting the tube. Then when you've finished your sock, you go back and pick up the stitches from the waste yarn, and basically knit another toe. (I know, rubbish description. If you google it, there'll be tons of far better descriptions and tutorials) I wanted to make stripey socks, but short row heels never seem to work out for me. They always seem to fall off my heel and have massive holes. So I thought I'd give this a try. Other people seemed to be having success with it, and I figured, it's only knitting - I'll give something new a try :)

Afterthought Heel Experiment

For some reason, even though this heel is basically the same shape as a short row heel, it seems to stay on my foot much better. I can't explain it, it just seems to hug the heel of my foot much better - it feels less forced onto my foot. I did end up picking up 68sts when the rest of the sock was 64sts around, to close holes, and because I seemed to end up with a couple of extra sts anyway. Maybe that larger amount of sts accounts for it fitting better. I'm not sure, but I do like the way it fits. Not as much as I like heel flaps, but this works really well for striped socks, and it means you don't have to interrupt the pattern in self-striping yarn at all.

Stripey Sock - Afterthought Heel 2

So, after these were finished, I cast on another pair. I found 2 balls of Regia in a charity shop recently, but they were both different shades of blue. I can't make a pair from one ball for myself because my feet are too big, so I figured I would stripe them.

Stripey Sock - Afterthought Heel 2 -  The Toe

I knit these from the toe up because I wanted the striping to end up exact on the toe. I didn't want to have to start decreases halfway through a stripe. So I did a figure 8 cast on, knit the toe in the navy blue, and then started striping. Luckily, I managed to fit the heel right into the middle of a navy stripe, and then I made the ribbing at the top of the cuff in navy too.

Stripey Sock - Afterthought Heel 2

I've only done one of these socks so far, but I'm liking the stripeyness :)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

WIP Wednesday - Oh my, where did all this come from??

I felt this morning that I hadn't really done that much this week to write about. I've been kind of skipping between projects again, and that's made me feel like I've hardly accomplished anything on any of them. Then I went through my project bags to take photos :)

I've been knitting on three projects this week. I've got an afterthought pair of socks on the go - this pair from the toe up. No photos yet of them though. And I cast on two new scarf projects. I finished the Willow Scarf (I think I said that already in another post) but it's not steamed out yet, so it doesn't count as an FO yet.

The first scarf is another rectangular scarf to work on when the bf's mother comes to visit. I'm using yarn from two cones held double, so it has to stay beside the sofa, and that's the only time I'm on there. Same yarn as the willow scarf - laceweight burgundy acrylic. I got the two cones from a charity shop ages ago, and they've been never ending. This should be the last scarf that comes off those cones though, they're nearly finished! :D

WIP Wednesday - Falling Water

The pattern is Falling Water by Bonnie Sennott. It's a free pattern off Ravelry. I cast on 48sts, (an extra couple of repeats) and it's been going really fast. I chose that pattern because the repeats are quite a few rows long, so I wouldn't get bored with it so easily. That's the plan anyway. I've got to the stage where I've memorised the pattern, and can just read where I am on my knitting, which is always good :)

I also cast on Celaeno by Rosemary Hill, from the 7 small shawls ebook (the first one). This is the first pattern I've knit from that book so far, but there are lots more that I want to make from it. I've purchased the second book too - can't wait to see the patterns she comes up with for it!

I'm using the Sundara fingering silky merino that I won in a blog giveaway from Lina at photoknitdog. It's so lovely to knit with!! So soft and squishy! I'm really enjoying it. I was going to make Elektra from the same book with it, but it turned out that I didn't have quite enough yardage for it. With this pattern, I have a bit too much yardage, but I'm just going to make the shawl/scarf bigger. I've knit up to the point where the pattern says to start the lace, but I'm going to follow her instructions for making it bigger and knit more garter stitch.

WIP Wednesday - Celaeno

I've also done lots of spinning and spinning related stuff. I plied and set the green yarn I'd been working on (it turned out to be merino), and I'm very happy with it. I'll be casting that on soon, as a pair of Deep In The Forest mittens. The pattern is printed and I'm all ready to go!

Green Merino - Plied and Set

Green Merino - Close-up

Green Merino - Close-up

Rolled Into Balls

I was worried that the dark green would be a lot thinner than the light green, but I think it'll be fine. Setting the yarn seemed to make it a lot more similar to my eyes at least.

I also spun and plied all of the pink fibre that I had.

Pink Corriedale - Plied and Set

Pink Corriedale - Close-up

This is corridale - I'm going to make some sort of scarf/shawl thing from it but I haven't decided yet. It turned out to be somewhat of an aran weight - I'll have to search Ravelry and see what patterns are there. I had quite a bit less of the dark pink, so I still have some light pink singles sitting in my basket. I'm going to go back to my LYS and see if they've got more of the dark pink, then spin that up to go with it (there's enough of the light pink left to make that worthwhile)

Plying

And so, with all that spun, I was still itching to spin something, so I went back to some cream coloured corridale that I'd spun singles of ages ago. So long ago, that the twist is completely unenergised just now. So I'm plying them up, and I'll see what they turn out like.

And that's another WIP Wednesday! I've been a lot busier that I thought I had, and I've still got 2 FO posts to write :D

Friday, 15 July 2011

FO: Commuter Mitts

I finished my Commuter Mitts!

Commuter Mitts

Pattern: Commuter Mitts by Stephanie Sun

Yarn: Sirdar Click Aran With Wool

Needles: 4.5mm (I had to go up a couple of sizes to get gauge)

The buttons were in my button stash - I think they came off of a jacket of the bf's, or his grandfather's - I'm not sure exactly. I know they came from the grandfather's house, and they've been in this house forever. I nabbed 2 of them for these gloves (after asking permission, of course!). If he wants to use them for anything else, I can always take them off and use something else, but I'm liking the slightly militaristic look the metal buttons give to these gloves.

Button

I really like these mitts! I love the foldover at the cuff - such a great design element.

Mitten Fold

The yarn knit up really nicely. It's an acrylic/wool blend, but it feels really nice, nicer than some of the other yarns I have with the exact same percentages of the fibres. It is more expensive than those yarns, admittedly, but still affordable. I'd definitely use it again, I really like the flecks of colour/heathering.

Fluffy Stitches

They're very easy and quick to make - the main reason it took a bit longer for me was because I always procrastinate on sewing on buttons. I sewed on buttons on the palm side too, so I could do the folding over the fingers thing that you can see on the pattern page, but I didn't take a photo of them like that.

Commuter Mitts

My only (slight) quibble about the pattern is that it has afterthought thumbs instead of gusseted ones, but I didn't notice till I was at that point, and couldn't be bothered ripping back and working out a gusset. But really, they're comfortable, and the thumb is on the side of the hand, not on the palm, so I just went with it, and I do really like these mitts. I'd definitely knit this pattern again, probably still with the afterthought thumbs.

Commuter Mitts

The only thing about knitting all these winter accessories is that I just can't wait till it's winter!! It's going to be like, 4 whole months before it's cold enough to wear all these things I've been making. I'll just have to pet them and look longingly at pictures of snow till then, lol!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

WIP Wednesday - A Bit Of Everything

This week, I've been picking up projects, doing a bit on them, then putting them down and picking up something else. It's fun to have lots of projects on the go! I'm normally pretty monogamous with my crafting, just one or two things that I'm actively working on, so it's fun to just dive in and do a bit of everything.

I finished the knitting on my Willow Scarf!! No photos, it's still all unblocked and curly, but I'll be getting the iron to it soon! I also finished my afterthought socks, which I'm very pleased with. I do have photos of them, but they're for an FO post ;) (I'm just teasing you now, aren't I?)

So, for active unfinished objects, I have two amigurumi on the go:

WIP Wednesday - Hello Kitty Devil

Pattern: Amigurumi HK Devil by Armina Parnagian

WIP Wednesday - Mummy

Pattern: Mumford Mummy by Deb Richey

Both of these are at the sewing up stage - look at all those ends!! That will be for a time when I have no other distractions and lots of time to position everything, I think! I'm not sure about the ears on the hello kitty, I haven't made them quite devil-y enough, I think, but I'll sew up the rest of it before I start messing around with it.

I've also spun all the pink fibre I had into singles, and plied on skein already.

Basket O' Spinning

One Skein Plied :)

Handspun Close-Up

One way to batter through 200g of fibre is to say you're not taking part in the Tour de Fleece ;) I started this on the 2nd when the Tour started, and it looks like I'll be finished before the Tour ends. If I had stated any intention to count this towards the Tour, I'd still be spinning the first ball!

I'm liking how it's turning out. I'm using my heavier Ashford spindle, which I'm not so comfortable on, and my singles are a bit thick and thin, and sometimes overspun and sometimes underspun. But it really is all balancing out in the plying. It's like blocking, magic!! Plying the two shades of pink means it's still very girly, but it's a bit more muted with the colours together. Little girls would still fight over it though, lol! ;)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Oops! Teddy Bear Hat Details

In all my excitement yesterday I forgot to link details about the hat! D'oh!

It's the Teddy Bear Hat by Diane Langan - which can be purchased at her etsy shop which is here.

I used Stylecraft Special Chunky for the main hat and the muzzle - the black yarn was DK acrylic that I held double, and I used a 6mm hook. I have to write all these details down or I know a couple of months from now I'll be wondering what I did :)

Uh oh, I just browsed through her shop and realised she has other critter hats - owl, raccoon, fox(!), hello kitty... I may be in trouble ;) That's as well as all the patterns I found on ravelry yesterday!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

FO: The awesomely awesome bear hat!!!

Yes, I am super pleased with this hat!!! Could you tell? ;)

Teddy Bear Hat

Teddy Bear Hat

I actually finished the crocheting a couple of weeks ago, but I was worried about how the sewing would turn out. The muzzle looked a little small, and the nose looked a little large, but last night I decided to just bite the bullet and sew it. I did the muzzle first, stretched it out, pinned it on and sewed it, and it turned out fine! The ears were next (sewing the whole thing involved a few dozen trips to the mirror and back to check placement, but it was worth it), then the eyes and nose.

I think when sewing things made of bits, I get all worried, but then spend so much time checking the placement of each bit that it works out fine. Going back and forward to the mirror to check every piece was a bit of a pain, but I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

Seriously, I've been walking around the house with this hat on all last night, and the first thing I did this morning was to put it on and look at myself in the mirror. This hat makes me smile, which is what makes it so awesome! :D

Cuuute

Funny Face

Raaaarrr!!

I'm so excited, I can't wait till it's winter. Why does it have to be July just now *pouts pathetically and stamps foot* I want cold weather so I can wear it outside!!! :D

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

WIP Wednesday - Pink Bubblegum

This week I've been spinning :)

Spinning Pink Bubblegum

This is baby pink Corriedale fibre spun into singles on my spindle. I spun this at spinning guild on Saturday. I'm using my heavier spindle, which I'm not terribly good at using, so the singles are a bit uneven, but I'm not terribly bothered. It'll all even out in the plying (I hope) ;)

Spinning Pink Bubblegum

The colour of this fibre spun up is sooooo pink! My next door neighbour's girls would just love this, it's so pink (they're a bit obsessed with that colour, which makes for interesting viewing when they have all their toys out in the front garden). I've got a darker pink which I think I'm going to ply it with, to mute the girliness a little.

I've spun three lots of 25g so far. I have 100g of this, and 100g of the darker pink, and I'm going to spin them all together, and make some sort of scarf, I think. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I spun 25g, but didn't get any done yesterday. I'm not taking part in this year's Tour de Fleece, but I do want to get this spun up quickly.

I've also been plying the green yarn I was spinning a few weeks ago. I think the two greens have turned out to be different weights though :( The light green seems to be a bit heavier than the dark green, so I don't know if I'll be able to combine them to make mittens. I think I'll just have to buy more dark green fibre, it's the only thing for it, lol! The dark green I've got just now might have to go with that dark pink that I spun intending it to be for the galileo mittens, but it was too thin... I don't know. I've still got to ply the last lot then set the twist, so I'll decide after that.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

WIP Wednesday - Knitty Startitis Extravaganza!

Have you seen the new knitty yet?

So many lovely patterns!! I followed the link from Laura Chau's blog (she made the lovely Darrin cardi pattern)and immediately queued a whole bunch of them. Then I cast on two :)

WIP Wednesday - Lingerie Socks

First of all I cast on the Lingerie socks out of Patons Fairytale Dreamtime 3ply wool. I went up to 2.5mm needles because I think the 2mm called for would be far too tight around my cankles, even if it is ribbed lace :) I've knit the top of the cuff so far, so down to where the ribbed portion begins. It looks very cute so far :)

WIP Wednesday - Commuter

Then I cast on the Commuter mitts out of Sirdar Click yarn. I tried it on 3.75mm needles first, but my gauge was too tight - I was getting 24 sts to 4 inches instead of 21. So I went up to 4.5mm needles, and all seems well now :) I love the folded over cuff on these mitts, can't wait to have these on my hands!

WIP Wednesday - Something Floral

I also cast on another pattern, although this isn't a knitty pattern - the Something Floral mitts by Miranda Grant. I'm using stash yarns for these, but I don't know what the yarn is. The ball bands disappeared long ago! These are knitting up nicely, although not as nicely as they would if they were in my handspun (I'm totally spoiled now as far as colourwork mittens are concerned! They'll never be the same again!)

I knit a few more rows on my Willow scarf this week, and finished my afterthought socks, which I'll write about in another post, so I have a feeling I'll be casting on more of them this week. Also, I have a severe case of startitis in case you couldn't tell. I'm itching to cast on Dunes from the new knitty. I'm trying to hold off till my willow scarf is done, but I don't know how long I'll be able to hold out :) Also, I'm looking at my stash wanting to cast on cowls and socks by the dozen.

Other patterns from the new knitty that I'm drooling over are Rhodian, Darrin, Leaflet, Undercurrent, Chasing Snakes, Double Heelix and Inlay. Half the patterns in this issue, basically! And if there were any little girls around me to knit for, then I'd be casting on Kindling right now! So cute!!

Add to that my massive ravelry queue, and I'm feeling very inspired to cast on bajillions of projects just now. It's lots of fun! :D

Saturday, 25 June 2011

FO: Galileo Mittens

My very first ever project knitted with my own handspun!!!

Galileo Mittens - Being Worn

Pattern: Galileo Mittens by Laura Chau
Yarn: My own handspun :D Corridale, orange and black spun into a heavy fingering weight

I love these mittens!! Ever since I first saw the pattern come up on ravelry, I've wanted to make them. I was going to use my pink handspun as the contrast colour, but it turned out too thin, as I've blogged, so I spun up some orange that I had left over from another spinning project, and deliberately tried to make it the same size as the black. This was my first spinning project intentionally spinning my yarn to a certain size, and it turned out pretty good!

Galileo Mittens - After Blocking

I really loved knitting with my handspun. I would have written "enjoyed" there, to break up the monotony of the word "loved" which I've used about ten million times in regard to this project, but that really is how I feel about it. I didn't just enjoy knitting with it, I really, really loved it! I kept saying to my partner about how I was knitting with yarn that I had made, and that I'd actually made knitable yarn that I liked. It got to the point where he was fed up hearing about it :D

It turns out that I really like my yarn to be tightly spun and plied. It had never even occured to me before, but it turns out that I naturally spin yarn how I like to knit it. How awesome is that?! There was no splitting, none of the twist fell out as I was knitting with it, as has happened with some commercial yarns. And not just the cheap acrylics!

I just can't get over that I spun the yarn, and then knit it into these mittens! I'm already spinning for another pair of mittens - I'm going to have quite a handspun mitten collection at this rate. The only thing is that spinning on a drop spindle is quite slow, so it'll take me a bit of time to get enough yarn to make a pair of mittens, but I'm knitting some colourwork fingerless mitts out of commercial yarn in the meantime. It's just not the same now though! I've been totally spoiled!

Galileo Mittens - One Hand

I think what I really like about this pattern is the (almost)random/abstract-ness of the design. Geometric repeating patterns are good, but this pattern looks so different that it was the first pattern I thought of when I decided to knit mittens out of my handspun. Not that that stopped me from queuing loads of others for the future! :D They fit really well too, the first pair of mittens I've knit where the fit is just perfect and not too tight or anything.

Galileo Mittens - How My Hand Fits Into The Mitten

The pattern knit up really well, no errors or anything, and I really like how it was explained and written out. Laura's an excellent designer, one of my favourites - I really must knit more of her patterns. I have a major desire to knit the Cityscape pullover - a larger handspun project, perhaps? ;)

I think I will definitely knit these again. I just love the pattern (there's that word again, but it's true!) and I had a lot of fun making them. Now if only December would hurry up and arrive so I could wear them outside!! :D