Monthly Archives: June 2007

Nerd Alert

I knit a version of the Dr. Who scarf a few years ago for my then fiance.  I didn’t have the appropriate camel colored yarn so I had to use Red-Heart. I absolutely hated it. Though E. says he liked it because it gave the scarf a sort of klunky look.

I still hate it.

So I actually broke down and bought the proper yarn to do it again. Maybe I’ll wear this one (in the house). Check out this site that has patterns for all 4 of the Dr. Who scarves from the Tom Baker series.  I’m doing the colors from Season 16. Okay… so I’ll be doing garter stitch forever. I have to say I’ll probably cut the width of the scarf in half (from 80 stitches wide to 40). It’s easier to wear that way. I know the purists will shriek, but can you imagine me wearing a gigantic scarf like that? I’d look like a turtle. Plus if I was going to use that much yarn, I’d knit a damn coat.

drwho.jpg

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Filed under Colors, Garter, Knitting, Patterns, Pop culture, Project

Update on the Lily of the Valley Shawl

I broke down and pulled everything out to the garter stitch edging. You know I just figured there were other imperfections in the lace that I was not willing to live with.  Now, I just started listening to a back episode of Cast-on and coincidentally it seems that Brenda Dayne spoke of ‘letting things go.’ I have to say, I have been enjoying listening to these past episodes one at a time. They’re helping me get through the more tedious parts of my day.

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Filed under Challenge, Knitting, Lace, Techniques, Venting

Let there be Light for my Knitting

Oh My God… I so want these:

knitlite1.jpg    knitlite2.jpg

http://laknitterieparisienne.com/Knit_Lite.html

I love LED technology and creative uses for it. I’ve been planning out a metal board, sculpture display for using these Throwie Lights on it. In otherwords, I want to make a mutable sculpture (mutable by anyone including guests) in our dining room.

I found out about them by listening to a back issue of Cast On. Which I am now addicted to. It’s good stuff to listen to while I’m churning out flow charts or building Flash files.

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Filed under Fun Stuff, Gadgets, Knitting, Techie

I want to stab myself

With this needles… is it possible to commit Seppuku with knitting needles? Probably not a good idea. I’m venting right now, but I will tell the story of my recent travails with lace. Please excuse me for I’m aware that a slightly nutty side of myself is manifesting itself. I love lace but I cannot imagine people who do this.

I purchased the tantalizing book of patterns Lace Style and a few skeins of Merino Lace yarn and long length circular needle. I thought I was up to the challenge (and I probably still am, I just need to take a breather from working on this project). The stitch pattern itself is called “Lily of the Valley.” On paper, on the chart it looked… fairly straight forward, and as I have knitted more complicated lace patterns I thought. I can handle this.

Bear in mind, I have never really knit with yarn as fine as lace-weight yarn. It took me three attempts to effectively master the crochet strip cast on so I wasn’t twisting the crochet chain. Now I was able to do the half of the stitch chart with some success, though one or two of my bobbles or nubs was a little funky looking. I didn’t fret over it too much because all in all the pattern was working out nicely. I was quite excited and felt a strange feeling of kinship with spiders as I worked on forming the lace.

All the while in the back of my mind rested the horrible self-fulfilling prophecy: what would happen if one of the stitches fell of the needles? Would it all just suddenly come apart and melt away? I shuddered every time this thought resurfaced . Then I pushed the thought back. Nevertheless, each time I had to move this project from one place of the house to another, I would carefully push all of the stitches down past the needle far, far down the cable. I don’t have stitch protectors yet, but now I’m thinking that they might not be such a bad investment.

Okay, so I completed the first repetition of the stitch chart pattern and am about 1/4 the way through the second. I laid my work flat out on the table to admire it. It was actually starting to come together and look beautiful. It wasn’t as perfect as the stitching on the image, but I’m using a dusty-plum lavender color and I could envision the shawl laying softly on my shoulders like a true gossamer web.

So feeling pleased with what I had accomplished on I knit.

An hour later I looked down at my work and realized that two of the knitted yarn overs or lace holes looked suspiciously larger than the rest. I don’t know what I did, perhaps I did a double yarn over instead of a single for these two stitches. I was crest-fallen but not defeated. However, I did one thing that I should never do again. I acted without really thinking and taking account of the situation.

I tried to repair my mistake without really figuring out what I did wrong. So I tried to tighten the hole by making a stitch from it and knitting it together; however, I only succeeded in making another smaller hole on top of the larger one. As you can imagine it was a slippery slope from there on.

Essentially, the last four rows of my work looked like crap… the rest looked fine. All the nightmares I had about the lace coming apart manifested themselves in a disaster of the lace being pulled together into an ugly tangle. Sometimes when I come to problems in a project I act rashly and pull the entire thing apart and start over again. After all with this piece I’d only knitted 10 inches of it? What was 10 inches? Only the labor of the past two days of my free time?! You can only imagine the see saw that worked up and down in my head:

  • It’s only 10 inches I can start again.
  • What are you nuts?! Just think of how long it took you to master casting on correctly. Do you want that effort to go in vain?
  • Yes, but knitting ‘backwards for these six rows and untangling all of this will be a royal pain?
  • But just look at the work you’ve done so far… it looks wonderful. Do you really want to waste the efforts you put into that?
  • But what if I just bind this off and keep it as a learning experience. Then move on to something else.
  • Arrrgh…. you’re driving me nuts! Why can’t you just go back and fix this, think of the fixing of the thing as a learning experience.
  • Because you’re smoking crack… I’ve got better things to do.

On the dialog went on until I nearly acquiesced and decided that I would have to unknit 6 rows of 100 stitches (600 in all). But now even as I read what I’ve written I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do. Most likely I will undo the thing and start again, but not for a while. I should have started with a very thin scarf.

projectfromhell.jpg

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Filed under Challenge, Knitting, Lace, Patterns, Project, Techniques, Venting, Yarn

Excellent video tutorials on two-color knitting

Here I go again with my attempts to master two color knitting. What I love about the tutorial on this page (under “How to knit with 2 colors at a time”) is that they teach you how to create your own center-pull bobbinless bobbins for your alternating colors. This will work well for my blanket as I’ve decided not to embroider the animals.

Also on this page are some very helpful tutorials on this page including how to make a buttonhole and also do two sided knitting.  Also, this site demonstrates all techniques in both English and Continental (German) style knitting.

Knitting Help Advanced Techniques Video Tutorials 

 Knitting Help Basic Techniques

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Filed under Buttonhole, Colors, Intarsia, Knitting, Techniques, Tutorial

Decorative felting techniques

 Just for Giselle 🙂

Needle felting is another way of “cheating at color” instead of knitting color into items that you are felting.  I found a great tutorial on the technique here and here:

Pretty felted flower (see image above): http://www.craftlog.org/craftlog/archives/001678.html

Some creative ideas in form from Bez White: http://blog.betzwhite.com/

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Filed under Embellishment, Felting, Fibers

Cheating at color work

I’ve got a bee in my bonnet to design little animal patches for a baby blanket. However, it’s been a while since I’ve worked with more than one color, and honestly, part of me really hates using more than one color. Fair Isle is not my favorite thing to do. I can imagine myself becoming tangled in the different strands. Also, I’m not a tension junky so I can also picture my knitting looking more like an enlarged underwear garter for granny pants.

After searching through tutorials online I found this one on knitty.com: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring06/FEATspr06FK.html

This technique is perfect for the multiple color strand phobics like myself because it’s more of an embellishment and I can focus on completing this after the garment or piece is completed. Also the author, Kristi Porter, explains how to translate any design into pixels and then to stitches. Of course, you’ll want to make sure the design fits the number of stitches in stockinette.

After some digging I also found a very cute classic looking blanket with animals embroidered into it. Sort of what I’m looking for. I’ll probably look for a good super-wash wool that’s soft and cuddly to the touch. You can click on the image to get directly to the pattern.

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Honestly one day I will tackle a Fair Isle Sampler just for the heck of it… but until then embroidery floss here I come.

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Filed under Colors, Knitting, Stockinette, Techniques, Yarn