03 September 2012

Update: my green sweater WIP

You're looking at the stitch markers
I'm pushing along on my sweater and have the back and front done above the armpits, but I've also gone ahead and connected under the arms and I'm now going down the front completely in the round!

Exciting things that have happened include:
  1. Adding stitch markers under the arms, which I sort of find adorable. I have some very utilitarian ones, but also a pretty pearlish one that I got when I purchased my shawl pin. Cute and pretty!
  2. I connected and am now knitting in the round! This might seem straight forward to some of you, but to me this is a new and exciting thing. I now have an infinite tube of sweater that I'm making. I don't have to turn needles or move my sweater around. I don't have to purl. I just knit knit knit and around and around I go.
  3. I have well over 3 inches of fabric (under the armpits) done! Whoa! So fast! I won't start any more decreases or shaping, though, until I hit 5 inches.
  4. I've switched needles down a size! I was using a pair of size 7 circs that I bought at joanns, but now that I'm down to size 6 I pulled out the Knit Picks nickle-plated tips and cord that Polycrafty let me borrow, and I freaking love it. They are pointy, they are easy, they are fast. Zoom!
But... some disappointments as well:
  1. Remember how I'm just knitting forever in an infinite tube? Well, as it turns out, that gets a bit boring after a while. *yawn*  I don't wish I was smaller all too often, since I'm generally happy with myself, but I wish I was several inches smaller circumference and then I wouldn't have to many stitches around to do.
  2. Also, this yarn is obviously too thick for this top. I think it will come out an OK size, but just be too bulky for the sweet little look that it has in the picture. I wanted to save money on something I might not finish and I went with mid-grade yarn cost. In retrospect, I wish that I had picked up what was recommended.  Maybe I'll pull all of this work out and make something new?  No way. I'll at least finish and wear it once.  After that? We'll see if I end up falling in love with it, after all.

29 August 2012

FO: Swirl Shawl for Work

The whole shebang
It's finished!!   The last time I wrote about my Swirl Shawl,I was concerned about it being too small since I didn't have the required yardage, I changed up the needles that were called for, and I guess I was worried that it was going to be a disaster.

Guess what? I think it's absolutely fabulous!

Here it is looking a bit like a croissant with the curly ends.

Dangle! Twisty
And here it is as worn - with wispy little tendrils that dangle down on one side since it's tied up with a pin (they dangle on both sides if I even it out and let it hang). 

I've worn it to work twice already and I think it looks nice, though calls to mind a question:

Close up and personal, Silk Mohair Lace
Should I be worried that I'm so soon an old lady, at the young age of 29?

This was easy and fun...

Though once I learned how to do a yarn-over it got a bit boring.

26 August 2012

Finally done: Drippy Wax Art

Melty crayons are melty!
Several months ago, when I used to use Pinterest, I saw an awesome melty-crayon wax project that I just had to recreate.  I wanted to make something to match my living room - dark wood, teal and tan couch and cushions, brown and tan brick. I started buying about 10 boxes of crayons. And a 2x4 ft canvas.  And I was ready to go!!

Ha! Just kidding. See, I wanted to sort out the colors that I didn't want (reds, pinks, oranges....) and just keep the colors that I did (teal, some greens and blues and tan).  So 10 boxes got me approximately.... 8 inches across the total 4 feet.

So I bought crayons whenever I saw them on sale in whatever craft store I was in. A few months and several pounds later.... I had enough crayons sorted and ready to go.
Close up arty shot

With the help of super glue (hot glue gun didn't hold once we started heating), plastic tarp, and a heat gun, I present melty crayon art!

Nathan and I team-peeled the paper off of all of the crayons by slicing the paper lengthwise with a razor and peeling the paper quickly.

We spent a long time lining up the crayons and adding highlights and low lights and shifting things around back and forth and making it just *so*...

We super-glued them all down and blasted them with hot air and let them drip down.

Fabulous success. Now I just need to resist the urge to touch it and pick at it.  Good so far!

14 August 2012

Spoiler Alert

A pic of empty needles and leftover yarn can only mean one thing.... stay tuned!

12 August 2012

Swirl Shawl in Mohair

Fluffiest shawl ever.
Since I had a few questions about the sweater I was working on, I decided to cast on and try my hand at a quick n' easy shawl, the Swirl Shawl. I was a little concerned because I was planning to use the skein of Rowan's Kidsilk Haze that I picked up in Medina at a cute little shop, Studio Knit (warning, music), but the pattern called for a much heavier weight yarn.

The pattern also called for more yardage than I have... I only picked up one skein and to fit the pattern I'd need about 1.5. The shawl is constructed starting with the neck area, and then it's knit in a semi-circular rows back and forth, increasing stitch count each time. Due to the construction, it's pretty easy to change the size and length of the shawl by using more or less yardage, so I decided to just go until I run out.

Another change: I started the first few inches with the needle size called for, but then I switched to a much larger gauge so that the whole thing would move along a little more quickly, and also so that the shawl won't be as warm (due to less of the fluffy, insulating fiber). 

The tricky part is that I'm not a very good judge of how much yarn I need to do each row and how much I have left total. Mohair is a pain in the neck to frog/undo, so I want to be careful that I have enough to do my final finishing rows ... but still trying to use all of the yarn since my little shawlette might be on the small side. My yarn is a dark-ish slate grey and super fluffy, and it's been tickly to work with.

The good news is that I think it would be relatively easy to pick up stitches along the outer edge, if needed, if once I finish and cast off and block I decide that the whole thing is too small. It would require finding some extra of this yarn... but even purchasing an extra fresh ball won't be too bad....

I just want to finish and block so that I can wear this to work, already!! I'm about 90%....

04 August 2012

A neck for my sweater

My sweater has a neck hole!
I've started down the front of my sweater, so now I have a neckhole where my head can go!  As you can see in the pic, I picked up the stitches at the top of the shoulders and started knitting down the front. The little holes at the shoulder are intentional - when I'm done knitting I'll fold these over and sew them down and it will create decorative folds/gathers to make the top look drape-y. I was a little concerned that the neck wasn't big enough, but it fits over my head fine and I can't wait to get a little bit more done so that I can try it on more easily.

Progress is progress!

Add caption
But, at the same time, I found that I've made an error. Somehow, I've knitted a hole into my fabric. I don't know how on earth it happened, but it's on the front right side (as worn) directly under the neck. Since the pattern is written for the stockinette to curl down to create the neckline the hole is actually hidden, so I am trying to debate if I should pull out all my work and go back and fix it, or if I'll just let it slide. 

I did some reading on the internet, and apparently it's common for beginners to introduce YO (yarn-overs - it's an increase) into their knitting and that leaves a hole... but it also adds a stitch. I counted and have the same and correct number of total stitches, so I sort of have no idea what I did.


29 July 2012

My first increase!

The top back of my sweater! From neck to armpit.
So, you may remember that I worked on swatching with the yarn and needles I bought to make a sweater and I learned how to purl correctly and fixed the wrap direction for my knit so that my stitches weren't twisted.

This weekend my progress has continued, and I spent several hours working on the first section of the pattern. This sweater is worked from the top down (so you can try it on in process) and once I get under the armpit I'll connect in the round and go down the midsection.  On the pic here, you can see the back of the sweater, and the top droopy portion is the neck. The next step is to pick up the stitches at each shoulder with the needles and to start knitting down the *front* of the sweater.

Increases! KFB!
I also learned something new: how to increase stitches! You might notice that along the armpit area the piece flares out. You might suspect that it's due to wonky technique, but it's actually on purpose. I was increasing the number of stitches by doing to kfb that adds an extra stitch to the needle.  Here's a close up, so you can see where I'm adding the extra columns.

While it feels awesome to learn this new stitch and to kfb - they are sort of fun - with each added stitch is just a bit more work I have to work going forward.

This sort of makes me think I'd like lace since there are all sorts of stitches that aren't just knits and purls.