Friday, January 31, 2014

All-Over Diminishing Cables Hat

Whilst at the Uniquities retreat last November, we encountered cabled hats. Done with bulky yarn on large needles, they knit up quickly. The ones we saw were just cables, that diminished into the center. My mom, at the same time, was fixating on all-over cable designs - rather like the Poor Unfortunate Sweater I made in the last decade:

I didn't really understand, then, how much cables pulled in... so that sweater wound up being for someone with stick-arms and no boobs. (This is NOT me.) Now, since that was aaaaal the way back in the O0s, I didn't really remember how many extra stitches needed to be added to make cables work. So my first attempt, while it did work GREAT for all-over diminishing cables, wound up very pointy.

Luckily, it was saved by vigorous blocking over a stainless-steel bowl:

My second attempt worked MUCH better, but just to be sure, I added earflaps and a button under the chin. (Which wasn't really necessary.)

I knit a third one in green for my husband (never did get a picture of it, and I'm in the process of knitting another red one for me. I should have the pattern solid enough to write it up soon!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I have a new necklace!

I made my first bead-woven necklace! It went really fast, and I like the way it turned out!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Serendipity and Jupiter

So, HPKCHC classes started January 1, and I had TOTAL SERENDIPITY. You see, on Christmas Day, as I rode to my in-laws, I crocheted a moebius scarf-like thing. My mother decided that it matched her jacket, having shades of blue and pink in it:

Exhibit A

so I needed to crochet another one for myself. At an after-Christmas sale (at Uniquities, I think), I got a lovely ball of Encore that matched the tones in my jacket (rendering it less likely to be absconded with).

So, January 1, as I rode the train into DC (for fun, thankfully, I didn't have to work on the first, and a big thank you to all the service, medical and emergency personnel who did!), I started making the same project for myself. Then, I logged into Ravelry to check what classes would be offered this term. I notice that my yarn happens to contain the EXACT SHADES of the photo of Jupiter that was posted with the Astronomy assignment! And it's super-fast to make - which is one of the options of that assignment!

So, crochet happened, and before too long, *POOF* I had a scarf that matched my jacket:


Friday, January 24, 2014

A Lot of Dishcloths.

I knitted a LOT of cotton dishcloths in 2013. Here, have a look!

This one was huge:

... and there was just this much yarn left when it was done:

This was my second (and very successful) attempt at a centered lattice dishcloth, and I just love the colors:

This one was a sunburst... which ended up looking more like an old-fashioned corset about 5 seconds after this photo:

With any yarn left over after making a "fancy" dishcloth, I made little garter-stitch dishcloths. They have been SOOOOOO useful to have around!

They're relaxing to make, use up yarn (this is a plus!), and turn into something really useful. Hooray!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Use Your Right Beads!

These are beaded cross-stitch ornaments that I found when clearing out the house... rather, I found the kits, and there were shiny things in them, so I made them. (I'd just found the HibernaStitchatorium on FaceBook, and wanted to play along and be actually stitching something. Which eventually started me on beading... but I degress.

Anyway, here are the two ornaments finished, ready to have gilded loops and felt backing adhered to them:

Both are Mill Hill Beads kits, and I belive both are still available. Tannenbaum was fun...

... so I started the Clover. Which had beads that I thought were the same color as the ones from the Tannenbaum kit, and hey, they were, so I used them instead.

Only problem was the Tannenbaum beads were bigger... noticeably so if I'd bothered to notice. So, after a quick dash to AC Moore in hopes they'd have comparable beads to the ones I had half-stitched onto the perforated paper (they did!), I was able to finish it up.

So, moral of the story: Pretty Beaded Ornaments Are Fun, if you have a kit, USE THOSE BEADS!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Broncos Boa

If you know me, you know I'm a Denver Broncos fan. So when a ball of fluffy stuff in blue and orange wandered in front of me, a Broncos Boa was going to happen.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Offset Drop-Stitch Scarf

I made this little scarf in August from one ball of some really pretty thing (Knit Go Craft Bamboo Soft Bamboo Cotton Silk, according to my Ravelry project page). It's offset columns of drop stitches, which due to the nubbiness of the yarn actually worked WONDERFULLY once the stitches were dropped. Which, due to the nubbiness of the yarn, was a little tricky in spots, but it *did* work.

I was just winging it with the pattern; if I find another nubby yarn, I'll make another, pay attention, and get a pattern written up. (I really need to start writing patterns when I'm winging it in the first place!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

When Bead-Weaving Goes Wrong

I think for a little bit, Wednesday will be for beading. As it is Wednesday, here's When Bead-Weaving Goes Wrong.

Turns out it's REALLY easy to solve the problem, as long as you don't really care about the fiber with which you're attaching the beads.

See? Easy peasy. Fastest frogging I've ever done!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Filigree Lace "Scarf"

This is my second Filigree Lace Scarf, which I gave to my MiL for Christmas, in Polaris Aries. Here, the sequins were part of the yarn, and I only used the one. I added some extra yo rows to the edge, and it worked out beautifully. Blocked like a dream, was a good size for a shawlette. Used all but about an inch of yarn!

Note my Totally Fancy Blocking Board

I wish I'd thought to take a photo after it was done blocking... oh well!

I have finished a third one, which I managed to give back without getting any photo at all. It was made from Wolf and Phoenix cotton thread, one ball, in a pretty deep red/burgandy. The yarn was a gift from the recipient (hence the "gave back"; she wasn't expecting it, but it really was her color! As I'm a process knitter, I tend to give a bit away... if I ever finish it, that is!

Friday, January 10, 2014

My New Favorite Shawl Pattern

Went on a bit of a shawl kick last year - mostly in November (thanks, Uniquities retreat!). So, a shawl.

First up: Caroline Hockenberry's "Filigree Lace Scarf". I've done three of these (so far), with another few on the way. I think this is my favorite pattern for something to show off the luxe yarns out there - or even simple yarns. Anyway...

This one is made from S. Charles Collezione Crystal and Luna. It's the first one I finished, and it's soft and fluffy and I think I blocked it incorrectly because it still curls a bit - so it's a throw-around=your-neck for pretty rather than a shawlette. (It could be the artifical fiber I used that was mixed in with the soft fluffy natural stuff. Yeah, it was probably that. I blocked it fine, it just didn't want to cooperate.)

I turned it in for Chamber of the Keys last term; it does look rather like wings, I think!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First Bead-Weaving (the Peacock Theme continues)

I knit a lot of things last year. Not as much as some years, but I spent most of the last month stitching, knitting, crocheting, and starting to bead. The beading thing, as a shiny new hobby (liteally!), has worked out well. I decided that I really like beadweaving by stitches (rather than on a loom), and this is my first project:

Really, as first things go, this went really well!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

And now, a Peacock.

So, Peacocks. There is a "Peacock Stitching" group on FaceBook... and therein I both found my people and my doom. Because I love stitching peacocks enough that It Will Cause Problems Eventually. But, as soon as I joined, I had to start something, right? Found this lovely pattern - I believe it's a Joan Elliott, from one of the books I have. And one of the other women was stitching it, too, and hers was really pretty, so I started. Here it is about three days in:

And about 5 days in, when I decided Beads Would Happen:

And here it is done!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Owls & Peacocks - Starting with Owls.

To start off the year, I seem to have two themes: Owls and Peacocks (I have a board for each on Pinterest).

My vote for "cutest owl I'm eventually going to have to break down and see if I can get" is scratchcraft's needle felted Knitting Owl ornament. It's just adorable; there are several to view if you follow the link to etsy, but my favorite (sold already, of course!) is this one:

There are also crocheting owls, and (at this time) and a cute little Magical Owl. As needle felting is so far NOT one of my crafts, might as well get one from the expert!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

And so, a New Year begins...

Stephanie Pearl McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, has a set of end-of-the-year rituals that I have enjoyed hearing about for, well, years. I adore the idea that, at the end of the year, the house is clean, with everything in its place, all chores finished up. The notion that all the bills are paid delights me, as well as that every wallet and purse holds some money, and things that should leave the house have all left.. The dust of the old year is swept out the back door, silver coins are left so the light of both the old year and the new can shine upon them. After midnight, nothing is washed until the morning after next, and the first person in the door should be a dark-haired man bearing salt. This is how I remember it, and all of these are things I'd like to arrange one year - starting out a new year clean and fresh and tidy, with good omens and portents of my own making.

As I mop up the bizarre concoction that managed to acrobatically leap out of a bowl twixt sink and dishwasher, I once again have to admit that this is *not* that year.

Happy New Year anyway, and may you have a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2014!