Wednesday, June 27, 2012

yarn along...stripe edition

Wednesdays keep sneaking up on me...time for yarn along again.

When I'm between projects, or just bored and seeking inspiration, I sift through my yarn bin. This accomplishes a few things: I remember what I have, get interested in starting something (or finishing something), and I'm deterred from buying more supplies.

This week I discovered (again) several extra and several partial skeins of Lion Fishermen's Wool. I usually end up with more than I need for sweaters, sometimes by a full skein, and that's what I have floating around in my bin. I'm mildly obsessed with using what's on hand this year - I've broken the habit of randomly wandering the aisles at the craft/yarn store and now I don't even feel like going there. Yay!

However, I do not have enough of any one color for a sweater. So I started a simple neck-down cardigan using Nature's Brown and Oatmeal for stripes. I have less of the Oatmeal color so I'm doing 12 rows of Nature's Brown to 6 rows of Oatmeal. It's on size 9 needles so it grows pretty quickly. These colors have a rather masculine feel in this stripe pattern, but I'm just looking for a utility sweater, to knock around the house in next winter.

As for reading, I finally picked up Outlander and read it through. It took me 3 tries to get past the first two chapters, but once I did I could not put it down! I will say this, it is too long and could have done with some serious editing to condense a few parts and move it along, but it was very good. I'm on to the second book of the series. I use an e-reader on my laptop and can then work the stockinette stitch of my sweater while reading. Win-win!

Oh, and the book in the photo is Scarf Style. I'm dying to knit Ene's Scarf and our entire large library system has only one copy of this book, so I grabbed it while it was in. I'm not sure I have enough of anything in my stash to knit it (I want to use fingering weight rather than laceweight for a more hearty shawl). I may break my streak and buy something, so badly do I want to make this pattern.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

lighter fare

I must admit, I've burned myself out on the huge knitting projects for the moment.

While I wait for the urge to start something large, I'm doing some fun quick knits.

I'm also obsessed with using up my stashed yarns and leftovers right now, so this scratches that itch as well...some new clothes for one Ms. Barbara Doll.

This shift dress took one day to make and used a few ounces of old leftover Baby Ull and size 2 needles. I hate the belt and will re-do it, but wow, what a FUN pattern to knit!

I ordered a selection of patterns from a great seller on ebay - "Pretty Patterns" - and while they are photocopies (I knew this when ordering) they are of excellent quality. I can recommend this seller for sure if you're seeking unusual or hard-to-find patterns. It seems there were many Leisure Arts booklets with Barbie patterns in the 80s (I saw some on ebay as well) but not anymore. I wonder why? Knitting for Barbies must be uncool now or something. Anyway, I liked the collections this seller had - they are very 50s and 60s and not difficult at all.

The back closes with 3 snaps, and it is hemmed, which is a nice detail. People used to put so much care into things. 

I loved making this. Can't wait to make's perfectly delightful hot weather knitting. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

self-promotion post

Oh man. It's 90 degrees. Know what's fun to do in 90-degree weather? NOTHING.

I don't even have anything much to say. Maybe I will tomorrow when it's 15 degrees cooler.

I'll spare you another photo of my stole-in-progress, though I will report I have completed 5 full repeats as of last night and have only 46 pattern rows to go, then the top border and it will be done. Woot! I'm already plotting and planning what will be next...

Since I have nothing else I'll do a little shameless self-promotion. I'm caught up on Etsy orders, so I have all my custom order slots available plus two additional wool soakers ready for immediate shipping.

0-6 month soaker in petal pink. This would fit a larger newborn, up to about 6 months depending on thickness of cloth diapers and, of course, size of the baby. Also very cute for photo shoots where you want the baby in only a diaper but you don't want to look at a company logo on a disposable diaper. 

Newborn soaker in dark grey. This was made with mixed dye lots of yarn, so the cuffs differ slightly from the rest of the soaker, even though they are the same color. You can kind of see it in the photo above. It's not terribly noticeable in low light but you can definitely tell the difference. I made it from leftover yarns so because of that, and the difference in dye lots, I've priced it at a discount. If you or anyone you know is considering trying wool covers with cloth diapers, this would be an inexpensive way to try it out! It seems counterintuitive, but wool is actually excellent for the warmer months because it "breathes" and allows air to circulate, reducing the incidence of diaper rash (I know this from experience with my son).

These soakers can be seen in more detail and purchased here.

Ok, thanks for bearing with me. I do like to get the word out. Those student loans aren't going to pay themselves!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

kai's shirt

On my weekend hiatus from stole-knitting, I sewed up a shirt for my little guy. I had some really nice plaid shirting left over from a dress I made for Daughter last year - it's almost a seersucker, I guess. Very light and cool to wear. I had enough for another small garment so I made Kai's Shirt from that disaster of a sewing book, Weekend Sewing.

Everything you've read/heard about that book is true. It sucks, unfortunately. The patterns are so, so cute but everything about them is pretty much wrong, from fabric requirements to layout to assembly instructions. As a fairly experienced seamstress I was able to cobble this together but it would be more difficult for a beginner...who uses 1/4" seam allowances for garments? And even that is inconsistent, as the directions switch back and forth from 1/4" to 3/8", and the instructions for hemming the shirt don't work either. You have to kind of know what you are doing. But in the end, you will get a very nice, cute shirt. It's perhaps the best pattern in the whole book. At least the proportions are correct. I made a shirt for myself (also from this book) last year and the sleeves were easily 6" too long.

Yay, one sewing project off the pile! As the weather is about to get too warm for knitting (90? yuck!) I hope to get a few more sewing projects done this weekend.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

yarn along

I'm tardy to the party (again) but I am here this week for yarn along. My hand and wrist really hurt all last week, but I did minimal knitting, slept with a wrist support, and tried to be careful in general. It seems to be better now, though I have to take it slow and take frequent breaks. Boo hoo.

After a stretch of truly crummy weather (cold and rainy), we are back to summer conditions. I took advantage by setting up outside with my knitting, my books, and some iced coffee. I'm reading some very dense and heavy books about speech in an effort to better help my son. The knitting is my Faux Russian Stole. 

I've completed 4 full repeats now, and have 1.5 to go (actually I am 20 rows into the next repeat). It's going to be lovely...and large.

Here it is with my almost-4-year-old. And he is tall!

What are you knitting and reading?