Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Demi Actually Progresses

I've finished the back and the sleeves, and started on the front of Demi. I had already gotten a lot of the front done, but it was in a smaller size and was starting to look too small. It seems like after I get through one repeat of the pattern, it goes a lot quicker, so I didn't mind too much to rip out the front. I'm surprised with how quickly the progress on this sweater is. I guess it's because it's in worsted weight. I still have some projects that are on #3 needles that I started earlier this year, that still aren't close to getting done. I quit working on them because it became tedious.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Increasing my Stash

I decided I need to work on my two color knitting, so I got the yarn to knit the Manresa legwarmers. I don't know if I'll wear legwarmers, but the pattern seems good, and I want to practice fair isle knitting in the round. A lot of the colorwork I've done is uneven and puckered, and feels awkward, so I want to practice. I'm using Andean Treasure, which is super soft, and fairly cheap, so even if I rarely wear the legwarmers, it won't be a big deal. I've a little bit so far and already the pattern will have to be changed. The needles used are size 7 and that feels too loose to me, since it's a sportweight yarn.
I also got some Andean silk to finally use on Backyard Leaves, from Scarf Style. There are a lot of patterns from that book that I like, and I want to try one before the winter is over. Andean silk is definitely soft and seems like it'll be good for a scarf, but I don't know how well it blocks. It seems like a lot of people have used Andean silk for their Backyard Leaves, so it must work. I only blocked wool and one time, an unfortunate blocking of Wool Ease, where I ruined the scarf. Acrylic won't block, and it got really flat and stretched out, and thin. I don't know what I was thinking, but at least it was only a ribbed scarf.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I've been focusing on the Demi sweater from Rowan Vintage Knits. I didn't finish my Nanowrimo novel since I wanted to work on this sweater instead. The plot didn't work and I just didn't feel like cranking out pages and pages of bad writing. So instead, I made a lot of progress on this sweater. I started out with the small size and realized it looked really small, and decided to start over, after I had almost gotten to the armhole shaping on the back. I wish I would realize things like this earlier. The second try actually went a lot faster, because I got the rhythm of the pattern down, so I didn't need to study the chart so much. My goal is to finish or mostly finish this by the end of December, so I can actually wear this when it's cold. This probably won't happen, but it is a lot faster than I lot it would be, so who knows? I'm using the recommended Yorkshire Tweed Aran in Wild Plum, and the actual color is somewhere in between these two pictures. I like this yarn, even though it isn't all that soft. It seems like it'll be really durable, and I like the tweed effect. I think the part that will be the hardest is the side closure at the neckline.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Joining in with Entrelac

I've seen a lot of mentions of entrelac lately, so I thought I would try it. It does look harder than it is. The hardest part was in the initial picking up of stitches on the purl side of one of the squares. I realized I had been picking up stitches in a certain way, so that it always seemed to show up as purl stitches on the right side of the fabric. I had to play around with it a little, but once I got that, it worked out. The other thing was finding the right yarn. I tried Rowan Tapestry, but it didn't stripe as much as I wanted, and looked too much like just brown. It looks good on the ball, but then the color hardly changes. It is really soft, being part soy and part wool, so I'll have do something else with it. I ended up using Noro Silk Garden lite, which is a lot better. It's soft and the color changes are noticeable, but still a little subtle. I don't want to look like a clown. Now, the only thing is getting more of it, since it's fairly expensive.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Gigantic Sock

I got a bunch of Mission Falls cotton on ebay for a really cheap price, so I started Mesilla. The start is different than I thought it would be, since it doesn't start in the round, even though it is top down. It's kind of hard to picture how it's going to come together, but I think once I start working in the round, it'll be more clear. I'm using the sea color, and I got enough so that I might also make a shrug from Interweave, which used this yarn.
I also finished the heel for the Baudelaire socks, and it's too big. It was fitting okay, if slightly loose, until the heel was done and now it's an inch or more too long. I think I might have to start over and redo it in a smaller size. I don't want to, but I kind of figured this might happen. I never can just do a technique or pattern I've never done before, and have it turn out perfectly. Maybe now it will be easier, since I know what's coming, when I make the second one.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Writing Progress

I started doing the Nanowrimo again this year, and again I'm far behind this time. I wanted to be ahead, so I didn't have to keep writing ten pages in one day, but that didn't happen. I have an outline of my story, but it's hard to turn that into actual events or dialogue. I tend to just follow my character around, like now she's walking out the door, now she's walking down the street, and now she enters the store, and so on. It's boring to write, but it's hard to know how to move the events along so it makes sense. It makes you see fiction in a different way, instead of as a reader, just following everything along. I've read a lot of books, so it seems as if it would be easy, but writing makes you think of the construction of the story differently. I hope I can finish it, because it is good when the plot kind of takes over, and I see relationships between the characters that weren't there before.
On the knitting front, I'm to the point where the heel shaping starts on the Baudelaire socks. I guess the whole heel shaping part is the difficult part of socks, so I'll see how that goes. I'm still working on everything else, and it seems like it's taking forever. I have about three or fours projects going that are on size 3 needles, so it seems like I keep knitting and never make much progress. Once these are all done, I think it might start a project with thicker yarns.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Fall Star Quilt

I recently finished my second quilt. The star squares were originally supposed to go on the outside of a center area, but it didn't look right. I had the black leaf fabric and realized that the squares would look a lot better against that instead. One thing I didn't do right was on the back fabric. I cut it too small, so I thought I would put in a binding and cover up all the extra space. I had left about four inches between the front and the back all around. I had already started quilting and had to rip out all those seams along the edge, and attach extra fabric to the back in strips. The whole thing was tedious, but it doesn't seem to show. So next time I know not to do that. Other than that, I like how this turned out. The fabric was a lot smoother and didn't bunch up during the quilting process, unlike my first quilt. I still want to quilt around some of the stars in the center, because it seems to make the quilt lay more flat. The whole thing seemed to go a lot more smoothly, compared to my first quilt. I have some Halloween themed fabric, so I was thinking about using that for my next quilt.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Socks and Boxes

I've been knitting more lately, but I realized that I haven't really finished any major projects in a months. I think the reason why is because all my projects are on # 3 or #5 needles and are more complicated than anything I've done before. I started the Baudelaire socks, and am using the Filatura di Crosa Zarina yarn. The color is actually more deep red. This is the first sock I've done, but I have done fingerless gloves before, so that's similar. I've also been making progress on the Lotus Blossom tank. I have one more repeat of the lace, then stockinette, which will go faster. It'll be done in time for the middle of winter. I am using Bamboo yarn, which I really like. It's silky and I like the texture. The lace is also complicated enough so it doesn't get boring. I really hope this pattern fits. Here is also a picture of my cat. He likes to get inside boxes and bite them. There are bite marks all around the edges of any box he can get a hold of. I've never had a cat who liked to bite so much, and at least he isn't biting me.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Booga Bag Done

Here is my finished Booga Bag. I used Noro Kureyon and Patons merino wool, which felt differently. The Patons was done the first time I took the bag out of the washing machine, but after two times, the Kureyon still has stitch definition. I like how it turned out, except I would have made it a little bigger and the handles longer. I don't know what the ratio of how much it shrinks is, and I didn't want to make it enormous if i wouldn't shrink much. Other than that, I like how it turned out. I wanted to have a sort of stained glass effect, and it seems like it worked.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Most Challenging Sweater

I started Demi from the book, Vintage Knits by Rowan. It is easily the most complicated project I've done so far. But I'm having more problems with Shedir and the Bonita shirt from Interweave. The only problem so far with Demi, is that some of the purls are in the wrong places, but the fabric is dark and I didn't want to start over. For some reason, it always seems to take me a few rows to get the hang of the pattern. One problem was that I wasn't using some way to mark the rows or what I just did. Then I remembered highlighters. It seems dumb that I forgot about using them.
So far, with the Demi pattern I can see what the difference between the knit stitch and knit in the back loop stitch. It really stands out more when you knit through the back loop. I'm using Rowan Yorkshire Tweed and it's fairly dark, so the pattern would be really hard to see, but the pattern really pops it out. The only thing is that every single stitch for the entire sweater is part of a chart, so it will take a long time. Shedir is going okay and I decided to knit through the back loop on that also, for the same reason.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Felting is Hard

I've been felting lately. I finished and felted Booga Bag, but I'm not sure how much I like it. I'm going to post pictures of that later, maybe after I've lined it. This is Patons SWS felted twice, which still has a lot of stitch defintion, but feels felted. I was going to put a zipper in it, but I think it's too thick. That's what happened to me before, where once the stitch definition of the fabric disappeared, the bag was ridiculously thick. It was literally and inch thick. I don't think I like felting that much, because it never works out how I want it to. I've been wanting to make Nicky Epstein's Floral Felted bag for a while now, but I don't want to put all the work into the intarsia, just to have it ruined during felting. Maybe using thinner yarn works out better, though.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bags and Stuff

I found this bag from Berroco, and I'm thinking about trying it out, because of the fair isle. I want to get better at fair isle, so this seems like a better beginner project, instead of a whole sweater. I'll probably get a cheaper yarn though. It calls for 10 balls of Ultra Alpaca, which would be about $100. The designers must have access to lots of yarn, so they don't think about the cost.
I made this small pouch out Noro Kureyon. It is the end part of a ball which has mostly blues and greens. It doesn't seem like the colors work together, like the colors on this bag should have been it's own colorway, and the blues and greens should be separate. I felted it, but it doesn't look like it. I think Kureyon is harder to felt. But I really like it, since it reminds me of fall and barns.
I've also been working on Shedir, which isn't going well. I've had to rip out and reknit the same 3 rows over and over. They are not even the hardest part of the pattern. I think I had one stitch in the wrong place and it threw all the others off, so half of it looks wrong. Part of it is that I'm using a tweed yarn, so it's harder to see the stitches, and there are so many of them, that's it's hard to remember what I just did. Hopefully it's right now, and it will get easier.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Granny Afghan

I finished this granny square afghan after months of not working on it. I used Bernat Chunky acrylic yarn, which is really cheap. I used one ball of all these colors and still have a lot left over. The blue is actually purple, though. I still am going to put some kind of edging on it, maybe just shells or something simple. When I started, I planned on doing a bunch of different types of granny squares, but I ended up doing the most basic one. I did this project as my easy one, where you barely have to pay attention to it. I like having a simple one, if I'm also working on something more complex.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wall Hanging

This is my second quilt, which is going to be a wall hanging. I need to find a fabric that will work in the edges. The one I picked out already seems like it would be too busy. I got most of the fabric from those Joann's quilt block kits, which made it cheap. The central part was patterned by me, based on the dimensions of the other squares. It is a traditional square, but I couldn't find the exact dimensions that I wanted, so I came up with it. These squares are about 12". I still have problems with the seams not being exact, and the squares turning out to be different sizes. I guess I just need more practice to be exact. I want to try more elaborate quilting designs on this one, maybe with metallic thread.
Another thing I'm going to try is making a Booga Bag. I have some Noro Kureyon that I was making a scarf out of, but it would have been way too scratchy. I am afraid of ruining the yarn by felting, though. I felted a bag made from Brown Sheep bulky pride, and it turned out to be and inch and a half thick and completely ugly. It's way too dense and is basically ruined. I don't want that to happen to the kureyon. I think I'll try felting with some cheaper stuff first, since I must have done something wrong with that other bag. But I really like the Kureyon colorway that I've got, so the Booga Bag seems like a good thing to make with it.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Blossoming Trees

These are two squares from a small quilt I started working on. I found some of those Joann's quilt squares kits on sale, so I used some of the fabric from that came with them. Those kits are good, but then you know exactly how it'll look when it's done. I realized with the last quilt I made, that the colors were too similar, and I didn't leave enough unknown parts of the quilt at the end. I think the whole process is more interesting if there are things that you have to figure out all along. If everything is completely figured out for you, there doesn't seem much point in making it. I guess knitting is kind of like that if you're using a pattern. But some of the time, I just want that particular sweater, so it doesn't seem like an artistic process. I haven't been knitting much lately. I started on a sweater, but it was way too tight, so I had to rip it back. That gets really frustrating. I would like to start a project and have it work and fit with no problems, for once, without having to resort to making only scarves.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Books & Quilts

I've been working on quilts lately. I'm stuck on one of them and can't figure out what to do next. I want to make several quilt squares, but I don't want them to be the same, so I'm trying to find some that will work together. I was thinking about different types of stars. The other one is a lot easier because the squares will be the same, but have different color schemes. I got a bunch of fabric that was on sale, so I'm trying to figure out how to use it. I also want to get some Halloween fabric for either a small quilt or pillows. Most of the stuff I've seen so far is too cutesy, but I think a quilt or something would be cool.
I recently found out that my library has downloadable audio books, which is good. Most of them are ones I've never heard of, but some are good. Hopefully they'll keep getting more, because I like listening to audio books while I knit. I found this web site which has free audio books to download, and they are all classics that are in the public domain. A good book that I've listened to recently is My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. It's about a girl who has leukemia and her parents decide to have another child who will be a donor for the girl. She ends up donating bone marrow and other stuff to keep her sister alive, but now is suing her parents for medical emancipation. It makes you think about how the leukemia affects everyone in the family, and how it makes them do things they never thought they would.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Crochet Granny Bag

I started the Granny's not-so-square bag from the Happy Hooker. I ended up using the recommended Berroco Cotton twist, because it's shiny and seems more durable. I used a couple of other cottons, but the colors weren't right, and they didn't blend in with the suede on the outside. Now the only thing is I ran out of suede, and the color I'm using, Tobacco, is difficult to find unless I pay a lot. Also I can't find the 2" O-rings for the handles. So the project is on hold for a while. Which is too bad, because I really like these colors. The picture makes the purple look too blue, and the Cotton twist is a lot more shiny in reality. It's twisted with rayon, so it looks really pretty.
I've also been having a lot of problems with Blogger. It's erased my template a few times, won't let me log in, won't let me post pictures, and overall just frustrates me. I don't want to pay for a another blog, like typepad, so I guess there's no solution, but it's still irritating.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Some Soy Wool

These are the latest knitting projects that I've worked on. One is the Bonita shirt, which has a really easy lace pattern. It isn't showing up well in the picture, but it does look crisp with the yarn I'm using. The pattern is easy to memorize, so it goes more quickly. I'm using Knitpicks Shine, which is soft, and doesn't seem like it will wear out too quickly. I've used the worsted weight Shine, and it seemed like it got too fuzzy too quickly. I also got this ball of Patons SWS, which is soy and wool. It is really soft, like mohair. I don't know what I'll use it for, but I like the colors. I'm going to felt it, to see what happens. The green WIP is the Lotus blossom tank, which has a lot more complicated lace pattern. I've heard that this pattern runs a lot bigger, or the lace really stretches, so I made the small, but it might still be too big. The lace part isn't too difficult, but I have to pay more attention. The bamboo yarn I'm using is definately has a different texture to it. It's more rough than cotton on my fingers, it feels silky. It's kind of strange that I'm knitting bamboo yarn with bamboo needles. I can't think of another material that would happen with. I've barely just done one repeat of the lace pattern, so this will probably take me until the winter. I want to make sure that both of these fit right, because some of the things I've knitted didn't fit completely well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Branching Out Finally Done

I feel like I've been working on this scarf for over a year. That might even be true. It got tedious to do the same repeat over and over. I used the Elsebeth Lavold silky wool from the pattern Branching Out. Just in case there's a knitter out there who hasn't seen this pattern. I think this is my first finished lace project that's more extensive than fingerless gloves. I like lace knitting, but I can't see myself doing those intricate fingering weight shawls that some people are into. It might be fun for a while, but then it would take forever. I get too easily distracted by new projects.
Another thing I've tried lately is fusing on a quilt. It is easier than I thought it would be. You just use an iron on stabilizer, then attach it to the back of some fabric, then peel away the paper and attach that fabric to a base fabric. There are more complicated ways of doing it that involve making templates with freezer paper, but I haven't done that yet. I'm in the process of making a fused hanging quilt. It isn't all that great, since I'm just trying to learn the process now.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

First Log Cabin Quilt

I just finished my first quilt. It's in the log cabin style and I used cotton for the batting. When I started, it didn't seem like there was enough of a contrast between the colors, but it worked out. I wanted to keep this first one more simple, but I can see how I could have used more fabrics, a patterned border, or different types of log cabin piecing. I used thin cotton batting that was doubled, but next I won't double it. The hardest part was quilting it, because it was hard to jam it all under my small sewing machine, and the fabric would get all bunched up. Next time, I want to measure everything more accurately, because I only measured the original parts of the squares, then nothing else. I wanted to just start doing, instead of measuring and checking everything. I probably won't make really intricate quilts, because I really don't like all the precise measuring and creating templates. I want to just cut the fabric and start sewing right away. I'll probably make art quilts, so the mesuring and templates won't matter. I do like how this turned out, though, except that it's way too hot to use it right now. It fits my bed and is really warm.

Monday, August 07, 2006

New Bamboo Yarn

I recently got this yarn in order to try the Lotus Blossom tank from Interweave. The bamboo is actually the same shade as the one used in the magazine, but it doesn't look like it. I don't know what I'll do with the other blue cotton yarn. It's from, and is more stiff than I thought it would be, but maybe it will last longer. I want to use the bamboo, but it doesn't seem like it will be enough. It's more soft than I thought it would be, but it does split more often. I have so many started projects now, that I really have to finish some of them, before I start a bunch of new ones. So I'll probably end up making the tank just in time for winter! I've barely been knitting lately. None of my projects seem interesting. They are ones I've been working on forever, and they never seem to get done. I think I really need to try more quick projects, like hats, so I feel like I'm actually finishing stuff.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

My First Quilt, or New Cat Bed

I have almost finished making my first quilt. It is in the log cabin style, since I wanted something simple, just to try out. I wanted to get better at just sewing straight lines, and keeping everything even. I measured everything exactly , but my seams still didn't turn out straight, so all the squares are different sizes. It didn't matter too much, except that the pattern doesn't line up perfectly. The hardest part is having to actually quilt the thing and deal with the small table surface. My sewing machine doesn't seem to make the stitch that looks like a broken line, or do free motion quilting, so the quilting doesn't look as good as it could. But as long as it holds together, I don't really care.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bonita Progress

I've been making some progress on the Bonita shirt. The Knitpicks shine I'm using is really soft and is easy to work with. The pattern is easy, but I messed it up and had to unravel part of it. I still have to pay attention to it. This is the first pattern I've done from Interweave. It seems like I've been knitting awhile, but looking back at my projects, they all seem to be mostly stockinette. I definately want to make some more complex patterns in the future. I want to make the Lotus Blossom tank from this same issue. The lace is more complicated than this pattern, so I figure I can switch back and forth between them. I ordered some bamboo yarn, so I can see if I want to use that.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Heat

I've been trying to knit the Bonita shirt from Interweave, but it is so hot here that it's impossible. But so far it's fairly simple. The foldover hem seems like a lot of work for just less than an inch of knitting. I had to redo it twice, because of gauge. I used metal needles and the slippery cotton made it really annoying. Now the only thing I'm worried about is that it's still turning out too big. I don't think I've ever knit with 100% cotton, but I've heard that it's really stretchy. Another shirt that I wanted to knit sometime soon for summer is the Lotus Blossom Tank, from the same Interweave. I don't have anything that is like that, and the lace would be the most complicated that I've knit.

Monday, July 17, 2006

New Shirt on the Horizon

I got some Knitpicks Shine for the summer Interweave Bonita shirt. I really like the lace patterns on it, because it isn't too complex. I don't know how well Shine will last, so I don't want to spend months and months if the yarn doesn't last. The color is actually lighter, it's Wisteria, a light grayish purple. I wish Knitpicks had a lot more color choices, for almost all of their yarns. Another thing I'm going to try is sock knitting. I've heard that it's difficult, so I want to attempt it. I got some sock yarn from Knitpicks a while back, and I really don't like the color or the feel of it, but I guess I'll use that.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cupcake Finally Done

I finally finished Cupcake, from the Happy Hooker. It probably took me about two weeks, but I stopped for month. I changed some of the waist shaping and the length, because I had a different gauge. Also the sleeves were too wide, so I did double decreases in the center of the sleeve, about two inches before the lace part. It made the sleeve curve and fits my arm a lot better. I'm not sure how the original sleeve was supposed to fit, but mine stuck out really strangely. I used Amazon Nova cotton yarn in Medium brown, which was cheap and easy to use. I think I might try a knitting project with it. Another thing I noticed was that that bottom hem, where the first chain is, is really tight compared to rest of the shirt. Everything else is stretchy, but that part isn't. I think if I made the first chain with a larger hook, it wouldn't be like that. But other than that, I'm happy with how this turned out, especially for my first crocheted piece of clothing. The next thing I want to make is the Unseemly Sweater, but I'll probably wait for a while. I already have to many unfinished projects.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cupcake Reborn

I decided to finish some UFOs that have been in the back of my closet. I like working on this shirt, which is Cupcake from The Happy Hooker, but I really changed the pattern around. My gauge was different, so all the numbers are changed. The best part was that I didnt' write down all those numbers, I just calculated them when I was crocheting. I wasn't looking forward to doing all that again for the front, since I had no idea what I did. I ended up just measuring the back then estimating. Hopefully it will work out. I plan to also finish Branching Out in the next week or so. I just want to move on to new projects, so I want to get these over with.
I also saw the new Knitty, and am not too excited about it. I haven't got into making socks, and almost all the patterns are socks. I did like the hemp maze hat, the Perdita bracelet, and the Manresa legwarmers. I really like the pattern on the legwarmers, and might just use it for something else, since I don't wear legwarmers much. I wanted to see more tops, but in a way, it might be better that there aren't any. I already have too many patterns that I want to try, and I wanted to try to make my own patterns, so that's probably enough.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Future Projects

I haven't been knitting much lately, but I've been thinking about making the Bonita shirt from the summer Interweave Knits in Knitpicks Shine. I don't know if I would do all the embroidery, but I like how it looks. I tested out a swatch of Shine, and I liked knitting with it. It's so smooth, so I wanted to try it out as a sweater. I've haven't made anything with pure cotton yet, so it will be interesting to try it. I've mostly been sewing, and that's a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Even when I measure right, and think that I'm sewing a straight line, I comes out crooked. I try ripping out the seams with a seam ripper, but it cuts the fabric instead. It's frustrating, but I mainly want to do fabric collages, or art quilts, for wall hangings, so sewing in a straight line won't matter as much.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Machine

I got my first sewing machine a couple of days ago, and am learning how to use it. I think it's from the 1960's, but it works well so far. I've only used one other sewing machine, which probably from the 1950's, since it weighed about 60 pounds or something. I eventually want to use it to make art quilts, but I'm trying to make really simple stuff right now. I wanted to get a really fancy one with lots of stitches, but I don't think I need that. It's hard enough just trying understand how to use it, and getting the stitches to be straight. I never seem to cut the fabric exactly, then the seams are uneven. Hopefully it won't take too long to get better at it. I really like the art quilts that I've seen. They almost look like paintings or collages. I don't understand how they put them together, though, and how everything looks so even. I think I might just make a simple quilts with squares or triangles to start with. That might be difficult enough at this point.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cupcake Unfinished and Stitches

I finished the back of Cupcake, from the Happy Hooker. My gauge is completely different from the pattern, so I changed the measurements and the increases a lot. I started another one, but it would have been way too small, because I didn't pay attention to the gauge at first. I used the recommended Amazon DK yarn, which was cheap, and seems good so far.
I haven't been working on this project for a while, since I got a stitch dictionary, Vogue Stitchionary. The book has a lot of good stitches in it, that seem up to date. I looked at some other books, and a lot of the patterns reminded me of bad clothing from the seventies and eighties. I've been trying out different lace patterns with different yarns, to see how the yarn affects the lace pattern. It's interesting, because I get a lot of ideas of things to add to plain patterns that I've seen.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Designing Sweaters

I've been trying to design a sweater myself, and it's not easy. I found this page, which helps in charting patterns, except the font for the spreadsheet seems to have problems. If I wanted to make cables with both purl and knit stitches, the font doesn't work. I don't know if it's the font or my computer, or what. It works well for other stuff, though. Another thing is that it's difficult to figure out where lace patterns or cables should go on a sweater, so they don't interfere with shaping. It would be easier to make a sweater that has no shaping, but I don't like how those fit. I also realized that I need to learn how sweaters fit, and how the amount of ease affects it, and basic information about shirt construction. In a lot of patterns, I like only certain aspects of it, but I don't know how to change them, and have the altered sweater fit right. I can't find information on how exactly to knit different collar and neckline styles, and have it work with the sweater. Designing sweaters and knitted stuff myself seems to be the next step for me. I can learn more about the overall construction, instead of just blindly following the pattern, not really knowing why I'm doing the increasing at a certain point, or whatever.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Yoga Bag

I finally finished this bag. It was really simple, but for some reason, I never wanted to work on it. I used Lion Cotton, which is difficult to knit with. I got the pattern from S&B Nation. I wanted to make it longer, so it completely covers the bag, but I didn't calculate right. If I ever make a yoga bag again, I'll just make it stockinette stitch, so it doesn't take forever. At the top you can see the diamond lace pattern more clearly.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Granny Square Afghan

Here are the granny squares I've made so far. I like these because they are instant gratification. I'll have to make twenty or thirty for an afghan, so it will take a while. All my other projects are just sitting there and I feel uninspired to work on them. None are close to being done, and it feels like I've been working on them for a long time now, with not much progress, so it's frustrating. I've been taking time off from knitting, and working on paintings more often.
These squares are the basic granny squares. I thought of making different types, but they didn't really work well together. They turned out to be a different shape than rectangular, so it didn't look cohesive. I thought about keeping it more simple, then adding a few really different looking squares diagonally. These are done with Bernat Softee Chunky, which is extremely cheap, but is good to work with. I've seem patterns for afghans that uses really expensive yarn, so the thing ends up costing over a hundred dollars, and you'd have to dry clean it. I don't really get that, since it is a blanket that's meant to be used.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Granny Squares

I've been working on granny squares lately, since they're quick and portable. I found a bunch of different patterns, and I think I'll just connect them together for an afghan. The color choices aren't my preferred colors, but the store didn't really have a good selection. They had three different shades of hot pink, but no blue or green at all. These are actually purple, but they don't look like it. Other than these squares, I haven't done any knitting at all. It's way too hot for it. There are a lot of good summer patterns, but I feel like I'd ruin the fabric if I actually wore them during the summer. On another note, I got some t-shirt iron on transfers, so I'll see how well those work out. I'm planning on putting artwork or designs that I've done onto them. I don't know how well they'll hold up, but even regular t-shirt patterns wear out after a while. I think it's a lot better to wear handmade or personalized clothing, so you don't have to look like everyone else, or buy what the fashion industry wants you to wear.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Changes and Updates

I've been doing a lot more drawing than knitting lately. I went through a period where it seemed more frustrating than actually fun. I find that if I approach it as if the final product is only part of a process, and it's not final, then it makes it more fun. I've been drawing more in the graphic novel style lately, and there is less pressure that way, because it feels more like practicing. If I try and crank out finished pieces that have to be perfect, it gets annoying.
I started Cupcake from Happy Hooker again, because my gauge was off, and it wouldn't have fit at all. I found that the general measurements of this shirt had to be changed, because it seems to be for a specific body type only. It is an easy enough pattern, so you can loosely keep the general look of it, but change it a lot. One thing I've been thinking about crocheting is a granny square afghan. I've never made a blanket and I like that I can just get a little bit of yarn and add to it over time, because the dye lots wouldn't have to match. I just have to find the right yarn for it. This is a picture of my cat, who falls asleep in strange places.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I'm almost done with this sweater. The sleeves will go by more slowly because I have to knit them with double pointed needles. It fits well enough for not really having a pattern. It seems too roomy in some areas, but I don't want to fix it. I wanted to use up this yarn, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, which I think is really itchy. I won't be getting anything with mohair in it anymore. I haven't been as into knitting lately, since I decided to just use up the yarn I have, and adjust or finish up previous projects. It's not as exciting as getting new yarn for a pattern I really like. At least I'm not knitting this sweater in the middle of the summer heat. Last year, I started a thick wool sweater in July, for some reason.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Summer time Crochet

I bought some yarn to start Cupcake, from the Happy Hooker. I'm gradually working my way through the book, since there are so many good projects in there. I want to make more knitted summer stuff, since I've basically only made worsted weight sweaters, that I can't wear all the time. So far, Cupcake seems easy enough, and I'm using the recommended yarn, Amazon DK. It's really smooth and lightweight. I keep starting new projects and not finishing them. I'm excited when I start, then the pattern seems tedious. If I work on a bunch of different projects, it keeps them from getting boring.
I'm glad summer is here, because it means in season fruit is here. There's nothing like organic strawberries, blueberries, and mangos, in my opinion.