Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To Infinity....AND BEYOND!

Super tiny fun!

Meet George. George is a mini alien I knit for Nate. Nate named him. George and Nate are now friends. 

George's pagoda spaceship.
George was a lot of fun to knit :) And it seriously only took me like an hour to knit...and then about an hour to finish him with his eyes, mouth and stuffing.  George was made up of a lot of leftovers. You might recognize the minty baby cashmerino from the seed stitch baby blanket of doom.  And the violet bamboo silk from the more recent Saroyan.  
The pattern called for SSK on two rows, and to make my life easier I K2Tog through the back loop instead. Same result, different method.  I also learned how to make a bobble...which the whole entire time I was doing it I thought I was doing it wrong.  I kept thinking, 'Oh, this is definitely not, no, no.' But it looks like it worked!

George the Alien Project Details:
Pattern: Mini Alien by Barbara Prime
Yarn: Scrap Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Needles: US 3
Made for: Nate ... just because I love him, and he needs a little mini alien in his life.

Kimiko the Ninja Assassin Alien
Edit 9.6 - 
I made another alien for my friend Connie's birthday. I will be making a bunch of these little guys for some friends and family. Rather than add a new post, I might just add them to this one.  
Kimiko was a wee bit tricky to's very hard to see stitches on black yarn! Not a big fan of the Sirdar Snuggly DK yarn I used on Kimiko.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Hat

My friend Jimmy sent this to me
By the time the hurricane made it our way it was downgraded to a tropical storm. However, we were still forced to evacuate and had no power from 9 a.m. Sunday to about 3:30 p.m. today...which wasn't very fun.  But thanks to Irene, I finished Sarah's hat! 
Mock Eyelet Cables

Slouchy hats aren't necessarily my preferred type of hat (I have a small head), and as I had mentioned earlier I made the hat for Sarah's head, so if it was for me I would have gone with the smaller size.  But I'm happy with how it came out and I think she will love it!

Nate took these photos, and you get to meet Sumo in them as well.


Elder Wand Copy Cat Hat Project Details:
Pattern: Slouchy Copy Cat Hat by Terra Jamieson
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns Merino Worsted in Elder Wand
Needles: US 6 and US 8
Made for: Nate's sister Sarah for a Christmas present.

me & my little man

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In case you don't hear from me for a few days...

I'm so proud of how this is coming out...LOVELY!
Hurricane Irene is coming our way...and I apparently live in an evacuation zone. SO. Wanted to post this beauty while I still have y'know, electricity. 

And is it sad that on my Emergency Need to Buy shopping list I have, in this very order:
  1. Bottled Water
  2. Waterproof plastic bin/tub for yarn stash
  3. Cat food

Rip it....Rip it good!

My hat is cursed I think. Perhaps picking green for the colorway was the wrong idea, because my hat thinks it's a frog and it wants to rippit rippit.  

Last night's error, and the realization that 96 stitches might be just a tad too big, led me to rip it all back today.  So, I started over and cast on 88 stitches. Thankfully, I did not get twisted all over the place (stitch or hat) and it behaved itself.  

I successfully managed to increase properly - I forgot the purls! And I realized that even if I followed the pattern 100% I would have made the same mistake because she didn't mention the purls either. So, for this time I increased this way: k1, YO, k1, P2 which brought me to 110 stitches. Huzzah! 

I am two rounds into the mock cable pattern and things are going well....I did have one teensy little mistake where I accidentally made a YO at the beginning to the round. Which I might have not realized until I was half way done with the second half of the round...and I tinked back that half, and then was flummoxed trying to figure out how to tink the first half on the back needle.  But, I figured it out, and it's looking well :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Eureka....Kind of

And we're back in business! Out of the few projects I've done magic loop this one has given me the most trouble.  It kept wanting to twist and turn - not the stitch but the actual hat brim, and thankfully a little yarn maneuvering and it looks like it's supposed to.  Hopefully there will be no more trickery until I figure out how to change from the size 6s to the size 8s.  

Apparently, federal unemployment money runs out for good on 12/31 (the nasty rumor I've heard) so I have a new deadline for job goal is to apply to three a day and pray for the best.  If anyone knows of anything admin/HR related in the RI or southern Massachusetts area, by all means please, please share. 
And a K2P2 a go-go.

Edit: (and now time to step away from the knitting)
I screwed up somewhere. The following is taken from an e-mail I sent my friend Jackie. 

So, original pattern was:
CO 76 sts
2x2 ribbing until measures 1 3/4"
Then increase row by: M1 *k2, M1* repeat from * to end. 115 stitches
Then Eyelet mock cable pattern, round 1: k3, p2 to end.

I used modifications on ravelry that seems to have worked for everyone but me...
CO 96
2x2 ribbing
Increase row: KFB into first stitch of every pair of knit stitches.  120 stitches
(I stupidly didn't count my stitches at this point because I figured I was doing it right...#facepalm)
Pattern: k3, p2 to end

Imagine my surprise when I got to k3...and then p1.  I thought about just adding a new stitch but then i realized my pattern would be off because it's supposed to line up with the ribbing.  So, I went back and counted my stitches....and shocker! Instead of 120, I had 144.  Which I'm not sure how the heck that happened because I correctly KFB'd into the first stitch of every pair of knit stitches. 


My yarn is even more lovely in person. It's so squishy :D And the colors are just scrumptious. Of course, once I got my yarn in the mail (after a few hours of being out and about) I had to try to knit with it.  

And that's when the face met the palm.  I cast on and frogged twice.  Let me be quick to note that this has NOTHING to do with the yarn which is wonderful to knit with.  The first time, I wound up undoing the last stitch on the cast on row when I came back to purl it (I think by moving my yarn tail out of the way, I undid the stitch).  And the second time, I was super careful to not twist the stitches (or so I thought) and made it 3/4" into the 2x2 ribbing before I realized that I had a mobius I frogged it again.  

I will try again tomorrow...but in the mean time I will take any tips on making sure stitches aren't twisted. I have 96 cast on stitches, and I'm working magic loop.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Yarn Splurge

(C) Sunshine Yarns
100% Merino Worsted in Elder Wand

I finally caved and splurged on yarn from Sunshine Yarns!  When I first started bugging my friend Christy about knitting she had sent me a link to them, and it was love at first sight.  However, I put off splurging on the yarn until I felt I knew what I was doing better. I also wanted to touch the yarn before I made a purchase.  See...everyone I know loves and raves about Noro yarn. However, I find it to be scratchy and so-so.  I mean, I have a few skeins in my stash that I got on sale....but, I'm not going to go out and intentionally knit with it if I can help it (perhaps that will change someday).

Thankfully, a yarn store in Providence called Fresh Purls is like one of five yarn stores in the US that actually carries Sunshine Yarns. So, I dragged Nate up there to go visit the yarn.  Unfortunately, they only had sock yarn left but it was nice to be able to run my fingers over it.  And when I got home that night, I logged online and looked at their worsteds.  Dani updates the shop every Tuesday so I was in luck and managed to get one of the last two skeins of Merino Worsted in Elder Wand.  Yup, that's's named after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  That's part of the reason why I love Dani's colorways. A lot of them are named after Harry Potter and Twilight.  (I'm a dork, I'm well aware of this). The S&H makes the yarn seem more expensive then it is, but being unemployed and dropping $22 on one skein....I did have to talk myself into it. But, I'm sure it's well worth it and will knit up to be a great gift for one of my favorite people.

So, I am patiently sort-of waiting for my yarn so I can knit the Slouchy Copy Cat hat for Nate's sister Sarah for a Christmas present.  I'm a wee bit nervous as I've never really done anything slightly complex in the round (I've knit a hat but it was a basic stockinette hat).  But, I am up for the challenge!

I also knit the top secret gift I was talking about in the other post...but more on that in September. All I can say is thank God for size 10 needles and bulky yarn.  Cause I knit it in 5 hours :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sugared Violet Saroyan

In front of Wakehurst at SRU
With over 4,200 projects on Ravelry it is easy to see why the Saroyan is so popular.  It is a quick-ish, fun knit that is perfect for beginner lace knitters.  And each row has you doing something different.  There were several reasons I decided to do this project after my baby blanket.  

First, there was a sample knit in my knitting store that was simply stunning.  I noticed it the first day I walked into the Knitting Corner.  It was knit in a scrumptiously soft and decadent yarn and all I wanted to do was cuddle it.  Second, once I looked up the pattern I saw that it was named after a character from one of my favorite TV shows, Bones, Cam Saroyan. And third, it was a KAL at the Knitting Corner.  So, as soon as I finished my blanket, I got knitting!

I enjoyed knitting this a lot.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I learned some new things which I always love, such as SSK, M1, and K1FB. I also really enjoy the Ella Rae Bamboo Silk yarn.  It is pretty affordable and it is just decadent.  I feel like I'm wearing a designer piece around my if I go walking down the street someone will think I dropped a couple of hundred bucks on this baby (I live in Newport,'s quite possible people think like that around here LOL).  And I now have something to wear to Stitchs East in October :)

Pay no attention to the scary closet/2nd bedroom in the background
I finally finished knitting it last night, and quickly brought out the ironing board to block it.  I'm still trying to figure out what method of blocking I like best. For my last two projects, I spread it out with some T-pins and sprayed it with a water bottle.  For my first scarf I did the soak method.  I have an iron (that I don't know how to really use), but am a little nervous to try steaming.  For now, I like the spritz method. This was also the first project I've knit on bamboo needles since the very first project and I'm not sure how I feel.  Maybe with a smaller project it would have been better, but the weight of my Saroyan on them hurt my wrists so I could only knit one leaf at a time in the straight section (where the most stitches at a time were).  I think if I knit another one, I will try it on my circs and see how it compares.

My next project is a knitting surprise :) So, I won't be able to post anything about it until sometime in September.  My friend Jackie is lending me her Addi's US10 circs for it.  After that, I don't know what (other than a few dishcloths) I am going to knit. I have a couple of Christmas presents I should start thinking about.
Sugared Violet Saroyan Project Details:
Pattern: Saroyan by Liz Abinante
Yarn: Ella Rae Bamboo Silk in Viola
Needles: US 8 (Bamboo Straights)
Notions: Two Lantern Moon stitch markers

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Knit to Keep My Life from Unraveling

Inspiration for color choice.
A little while ago my aunt got me a cute little knick-nack that was a sign that read "I knit to keep my life from unraveling."  And it's true.  When I need to take a moment and breathe, I pick up something to knit.  I find I bite my nails less too.  Last night I started another washcloth for fun, thinking I'd pick it up here and there. Yet, today I knit it to completion.  At first I knit to relax and try not to stress out about the job I had an interview for last Friday. And then later I knit it to try to cope with the disappointment of not getting said job.  I allowed myself some crying time, and then got to work knitting, slipping and purling. Having this simple project to concentrate on when all I wanted to do (and still do..) was bawl my eyes out.  

I'm disappointed I didn't get that job. I really truly wanted it.  And I thought the interview had gone very well.  I've been unemployed for a little over a year now...and it's tough.  I admit that I didn't focus on job searching as much as I should of.  But now that my mind and heart is in the right place...I feel this loss like a physical blow.  I allowed my hopes to get too high, and when they crashed it hurt.  A lot. They say that things happen for a reason, and that's what I keep chanting as my mantra.  And who knows? Maybe the person they offered the position to will decline.  A girl can only hope...

This cloth was a lot of fun to knit.  Very easy to remember pattern (really! it's like knit by color easy).  Other than wrapping while knitting I didn't learn anything new, but I did enjoy working with the two colors.  It wasn't until I was weaving in my ends that I realize I might have been subconsciously swayed in my color little pair of scissors are the exact same colors and my Vera Bradley notion bag has the blue and green in it too.

A lot of fun to knit

Beach Bummin' Plaid Washcloth Project Details:
Pattern: Playful Plaid Cloth by Renee M.
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream in Mod Blue and Hot Green
Needles: US 7

"Sometimes in the chaos of everyday life, knitting represents the one thing over which I seem to have any control...and that is sometimes just an illusion." ~ Joan Schrouder

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pink Goodness

Getting bigger
Vigorous job searching really cuts into one's knitting time. I'm still working on the Saroyan, which is easy but I haven't really sat down and worked on it.  Usually, one leaf takes me about an hour and a half.  And then I got that awful knot.  I had to wind up cutting the yarn...I got a good portion of the knot undone but the epicenter of it was just beyond saving.  I don't know what I am more upset about...the fact I cut my yarn or the fact that I will have to join another strand.  I hate joining skeins.

Kim took this awesome photo since I forgot to take one
I have managed to push out some instant gratification cloths though.  The first one I made back in July for my good friend Kim over at Cravings of a Lunatic.  I recommend you check out her blog for some super yummy recipes. Plus, she's a riot :)  I used the same pattern as the one I made for Ellen & Jeff.  Just simple garter ridges that I was able to knit while watching a movie.  

Close up of pattern for the Double Bump
The second instant gratification cloth was a new pattern called the Double Bump Dishcloth, and it's a bit hard to tell from the photo but the pattern is very cute.  And again very easy, like all instant gratification cloths should be! This is the first pattern I've used that slips the first stitch of every row and I'm not sure how I feel about the edging.  I also ran out of yarn so it's more of a dish scrubby then dish cloth.  But I like it :)

I'm out in western Massachusetts babysitting Nate's parents' dog and I'm hoping to get a lot of knitting done -- it helps that Webs is only about 20 minutes away :) Have no money to spend, but it's soothing to walk around touching all the skeins of yarn and playing with notions and dreaming about the day you get a job again and can buy a lot of stuff. 

Beach Bummin' DB Dishcloth Project Details:
Pattern: Double Bump Dishcloth by Missy Angus
Yarn: Peaches and Creme 
Needles: US 7