Category Archives: Project

Almost 25 Ways to Get Rid of my Sock Yarn

What do I do with all of this?

Two years ago, I didn’t buy loads of sock yarn at the Sock Summit, because I already had a serious butt load of sock yarn… including a bunch of Drops Fabel and Regia Sock Yarns which have become my fast favorites because of their durability and dependability (I sound like a commercial from the 50’s). I do sometimes struggle with making socks.  You can see the sweater most of the time… socks you’re the only one who knows you’re wearing a work of gorgeous Aran artistry and cablework. So I decided to use Ravelry and my websearching skills to compile a list of things I could possibly create with the multliple boxes of sock yarn I have stashed away. I’ll try to post more as I find them.

Crochet:

  • Fingerless Mitts: Look quite warm and snuggly for your hands.
  • Chihuahua Sweater (double stranded):(though I’d have to make a lot of these just to get rid of my KP Imagination.
  • Vera (gorgeous shawl pattern that eats up to 2000 yards of sockyarn) –  I’m linking to a photo fo the pattern here to entice you. Vera Shawl by Katie Grady
  • Snowflake Christmas Ornaments: forgot about fabric stiffener. These look like great fun.
  • Reusable Tampon (Oy, not for the faint of heart) – I probably will abstain from making these… unless, of course civilization comes barrelling down around me and I can’t buy what I need from a store.
  • Eyeball with Nerve Endings: Make a bunch of these for your Halloween party. Then through them at your guests… then they can say they had the unique experience of being pelted with eyeballs.
  • Monkey (OMG this monkey is so cute)
  • Naalepuder (flower-shaped pincushions): Really cute especially with variegated or rainbow yarn. Original pattern in Danish. Floral Pincushions

Knitting:

This ferret looks smashing in what appears to be Noro Kureyon Sock

This ferret looks smashing in what appears to be Noro Kureyon Sock

Pirate Mittens (Available on Ravelry as a free download):

Pirate Mittens

Pirate Mittens

The Beanis (warning may offend… what is it? It rhymes with ‘beanis’… you figure it out. No I’m not posting photo here.)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Pirate Eye-Patch for your cat. I couldn’t post because the pattern/website no longer exists. But one could easily use their imagination to create one of their own.

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Filed under Aran, Craft, Creativity, Crochet, Fun Stuff, Gifts, Knit, Knitting, Pattern Links, Patterns, Project, Sock Summit, Socks, Stashbuster, Yarn

Knitting from my Stash

Resolving to use my creative energy to figure out what to do with all this yarn

Okay, I’m going to keep a score card of things I’m knitting from my stash.  I have to admit… I need to focus on using what I have. The first step to dealing with any addiction is admitting that you have a problem. I just knew that I had to stop when I found myself engaging in the behavior of buying plastic tubs on a regular basis. To be honest, I only started thinking about this because a current project necessitated me looking for a long lost (perhaps even mythical) cone of Artfibers yarn leftover from a sweater I knitted last year. I realized I had way too much stash when I literally couldn’t sort through what I had to find the damn cone of pink and purple yarn.

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep a score card of all things knitted from the stash. For many people keeping lists is what separates them from devolving into mindless and chaotic animals. Since I’ve been a rather lame blogger as of late. I’ll just return back to this post to relate my progress or not post to share my lack of. I could research some fancy knitting widget or plug in, but… screw it. I’m just going to do things the old fashioned way… bullet by bullet. Besides I know myself well enough to understand that if the list gets too long or complex I’ll just run away screaming. Sorry, I probably let you into my psyche a little too much there.

Finished:

  • Tam from Silky Wool (3/4 skein teal green)
  • Fossil Crocheted Neckwarmer (from Kim Werker’s Crocheted Gifts) – 100% in Di’Ve Autunno 3 balls
  • Fossil Neckwarmer in Elsbeth Lavold Silky Flamme 2.5  balls
  • Baroness Beret – 1.5 skeins Elsbeth Lavold Angora
  • Exfoilating Washrag (crocheted) – .5 skeins of Fibranatura Flax

Started (includes percentage complete:

  • Branching Out Scarf from SIlky Wool (1 & 1/4 skein teal green) – 40%
  • Black Cavern Cardigan from Panda Bamboo (10 skeins of black) – 90%
  • Crocheted Market Bag – 1.5 skeins of  Fibra Natura Flax
  • Tunisian Crocheted Scarf – Universal Poems 3 skeins

<<<<Crap, my list isn’t very long… need to work on this>>>>

UFO (previously discarded unfinished objects) recently picked up:

  • Lace Top from 5-6 balls of Knitpicks Palette (From Scottish Highland Knits) 75%
  • Dr. Who Scarf out of 18-20 balls of Elann Peruvian Highland Wool(commissioned by a friend) 70% This thing is supposed to be 27 feet long… yeah right… I’m stopping at 20.
  • Kilamajaro Sweater (in Cascade Pastaza): 45%

Lace Top -been hibernating for at least a year or so

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Filed under About Me, Knit, kniting humor, Knitting, Project, Rambling, Stash, Stashbuster, Yarn

Experiment #3: Planning a colorway

Dyeing cotton fibers is such a pain. Not only do I want to make sure that the pain is worth it, I want to make sure I get it right the first time.  Not to mention, I’ll be using my precious Artfibers cotton (Rush), and I really don’t want to over-dye any of this stuff.

I’ve decided to knit up the skeins of blank cotton yarn I have with a knitting machine and then paint these long blanks by hand using a color combo of four (see below).

(clock wise from the top left) Black Cherry, Brazilnut, Dusty Rose, and Raspberry

Four colors of Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dye: (clock wise from the top left) Black Cherry, Brazilnut, Dusty Rose, and Raspberry

This may sound a bit geeky, and I’m sure there’s a better way to do this, but I used a graphics program to ‘plan’ out the color on the blanks.  I think I’ll actually dye a test blank in leftover dyes that I’m not crazy about using one of the patterns below. Pattern 1 will result in a graduated dye dispersal. Pattern 2 is a recipe for plain striping. Pattern three will create broad strips of color with blends of the dye colors in criss-cross patterns dispersed throughout the fabric.

I want to know what the color patterns will be like in a large panel of stockinette knitting (say for a sweater).  If only my math and programming skills were sharper, I could actually create a program that would help me estimate the staggering of the pattern based on the length and width of the knitting and the stitch gauge. Actually, I could probably do it if I had the time, but for now, I’m just going to have to rely on both my imagination and powers of estimation.

Pattern 1

Pattern 1

Pattern 2

Pattern 2

Pattern 3

Pattern 3

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Filed under Colors, Colorwork, Cotton, Creativity, Dye, Dyeing, Dyeing_yarn, Knit, Knitting, Math, Project, Stockinette, Sweater, Techniques, Yarn

The Side Impact Sweater and an Autumn Scarf

I finished this in almost record time… less than a month. I aways do this with projects and fibers I love. I have decided that I am absolutely in love with Art Fibers Rush, and I’m planning to do one more sweater in it. Probably another pullover. I’m really happy with the drape of the fabric and even it’s warmth despite the fact that this sweater has a lot of lace openwork in it in the arms and sides.

Side Impact Sweater - Click the link to view the source of the pattern

Side Impact Sweater - Click the link to view the source of the pattern

I was also able to finish a scarf just in time for my brother’s birthday.  It’s knit from Andy II Merino purchased at the Close Knit knitting store on Alberta here in in Portland. I really love this yarn, it’s spendy, but it’s worth it for a nice present for someone special.

Special Autumn Scarf

Special Autumn Scarf

While I was at the store I was also able to pick up two skeins of Imperial Stock yarn… in a great heathered blue. Love this yarn. I also love that it’s locally based, and the colors are really beautiful. For the amount of yarn you get 200 yards of worsted 2-ply at little over 11 dollars a skein is quite a deal for locally grown and milled yarn.

Imperial Stock Yarn

Imperial Stock Yarn

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Filed under Knit, Knitting, Project, Stuff I made, Yarn

Escaping the Heat

The View - Cove at Cape Disappointment

The View - Cove at Cape Disappointment

As I write this, the day after our beach trip, storm clouds are forming above us.  So my pleas for relief have been heard. There’s something completely unnatural about living in a hot climate. But I suppose someone who grew up in the Arizona desert might beg to differ. The overly moisturized environment of the Pacific Northwest might seem a bit soggy to them.

How does one escape 104 degree weather? We do what any normal Portlander does… flee to the coast. This time we made our way up to Astoria and the Long Beach area up to Cape Disappointment. Ahhhh… it was a cool 65 degrees, and you could see the mist rolling over the tree tops.

Sandy Pug Butt

Sandy Pug Butt

The dogs (Otto, Kirby and Pono – Pono is Kirby’s brother) had a glorious time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Otto most ecstatic and content. The cove by the lighthouse was pretty secluded and there was a steep trek down. Consequently, it’s not visited by too many people. So we felt pretty good about just letting the dogs run about. It’s quite problematic having chihuahuas on the beach with other dogs, because they’re so tiny and uppity. We worry about them getting into a deadly tussle with a much larger dog.

I was still feeling out of sorts from the heat from the last few days. The night before our beach trip, I got absolutely no sleep. I awoke feeling hungover, without having experienced the booze fun the night before, so I didn’t get much knitting done on the beach. On the way there, I did work on my Lace Ribbon Scarf (ala Knitty.com) with the very delicious Tantra silk from Art Fibers. If I was sharp enough, I would have taken a picture of the scarf on the driftwood. Art Fibers just does an absolutely amazing job with their coloring and variegation in their dye jobs. It’s worth, not being able to predict the colors exactly from their website photos. Each time I get a color I’m more than pleasantly surprised. As I look over the beach photos, the colors from this scarf seem very reminiscent of the colors I experienced on the coast that day. What a lovely coincidence.

Lace Ribbon Scarf in Art Fibers Tantra

Lace Ribbon Scarf in Art Fibers Tantra

As I lay on the beach trying to rehydrate my body and being, I did work on another Amigurumi creature, a mischievous monkey. Simple crochet in a spiral seemed to be soothing to work on.  I’ll post the photos up on this item later.

Our friend, Emily experimented with some stop-action animation with her camera.  She, Chad and Ryan worked together to shoot a short, short feature starring various beach paraphernalia and dead creatures (crab shells and Jelly fish).  It was quite interesting to watch all of them get involved in the creative process, each of them contributing ideas and direction. You can see the results here: Mysterious Beach.

Collecting materials for the movie set

Collecting materials for the movie set

Chihuahua brothers enjoy the beach

Chihuahua brothers enjoy the beach

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Filed under Amigurumi, Colors, Craft, Creativity, Crochet, Knit, Knitting, Lace, Project, Stuff I made, Yarn

Special Sweater

Saranac Body

Saranac Body

Two sleeves on a long circular needle using the Magic Loop method.

Two sleeves on a long circular needle using the "Magic Loop" method.

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So my husband… has been so wonderful working on our kitchen. I’ve discovered that he’s been quite a whiz at the DIY. The other day, my anxiety went up when he was working on the electrical, not because I don’t have faith in him, but because even when you take precautions… WORKING ON THAT STUFF CAN BE DEADLY. I stood by watching and wary with the cell phone handy just in case.

So I’m making him a special sweater just because he’s been so terrific. It’s the least I could do. He’s not big into cable or aran sweaters, so I had to pick a fairly simple and comfortable pattern.

I’m doing an altered version of the Saranac from Knitty.com in Knit PIcks Comfy yarn. No open collar because he’s just not that kind of guy. I’ll probaby join the sleeves at the yoke using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s instructions in Knitting Around.

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Filed under Knit, Knitting, Patterns, Project, Stockinette, Stuff I made, Techniques, Yarn

Oy, Marilyn! Fighting the Stripey Stockinette Syndrome

I wanted to finish a sweater fast! I mean two to three days fast, and it just isn’t happening. I thought I could do this with Debbie Bliss’ Simply Marylin, but alas it’s not going to happen… fast, I mean. You may remember that my idea for this sweater began in my quest for an orangy red pullover.

After I cast on and started knitting this sweater on the recommended size 10 needles, I discovered that the fabric was just too dense and tight. So I ripped out about 10 inches of work and started again on size 11’s. The knitted fabric was much nicer, flexible and soft. However, I began to notice the striping in the stockinette. I have this inferiority complex when it comes to my gauge, it it straight enough, is it perfect enough. G-dmit! I just want to finish knitting this boring sweater.

In my quest for perfect stockinette, I searched the internet for tips and tricks. I found a great resource: TECHKnitting on Gauge/Stockinette
The four tips on this page were quite helpful!

Tip 1 – Knit in the round or never purl. I love knitting in the round. But if you are knitting a cardigan, you’ll most likely have to steek. While steeking is on my list of things to learn this year, I’m not ready to waste $40-$80’s worth of yarn on a very big boo boo.

Tip 2 – Adjust the tension in your hands between purl and knit rows. I actually did this, knitting slightly tighter on the purl size, and it helped a great deal.

Tip 3 – Use different sized needles. I tried this on the Marilyn sweater, and discovered that like the detective Monk, I have issues with asymmetry. Using the different needles really bothered me to no end. Maybe because I was using two different kinds of pairs, one plastic and one birch, perhaps if the needles were of the same type, I could have handled this better.

Tip 4 – Use yarns that hide the flaws. I think this has been my standard way of dealing with the stripey stockinette problem

I think I took a lot of comfort in reading Elizabeth Zimmerman’s reassurance in Knitting without Tears. She made the point that every stitch and every row doesn’t have to be perfect, after all you don’t want your knitting to look like it was done by a machine.

On another note, I’ve discovered that I like using the Gianna yarn for knitting project such as these. I wasn’t impressed when I took the yarn out the of the package, and I held it in my hand. It seemed like shabby thick rug or craft yarn to me, but I discovered that with the right gauge/needles this yarn knits up into a nice rustic looking fabric. It’s too bad that it doesn’t come in more muted colors.

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