Friday, December 16, 2011

French Press Cozy

This was a quick project. Finally I made a knit that my husband actually used. It only took me 25 years or so.

Over the Summer, we did a full kitchen renovation. The space was ripped out to the bare walls. In the preparatory packing, we discarded a lot of old kitchen appliances and so forth.

When we got access to the new kitchen, my husband went out and got an expensive new coffee maker. He hated it. Said the coffee tasted funny. We when through soakings and vinegar rinses. Eventually, Ian went out and bought a French Press, which he LOVES. It cost about 1/4 the price of the fancy coffee maker, which is sitting in the basement. The only drawback is that the coffee cools quickly.

Hence, the cozy. It was knit of aran weight wool blend yarn. It is a simple 6" x 10" rectangle with a seed stitch border that ties onto the press. It keeps the coffee warm long enough for my husband to drink the entire pot. He does not share.

Addendum: I gave Ian a steel, thermal French Press for Christmas. The old press lets us make enough coffee for more people or will be used for tea.


Ok, I've REALLY been procrastinating. This is the finished sample pouch. The Hebrew lettering for Barckh/Baruch is on the bottom of the pouch. It took me forever to figure out the correct way to knit this. First, I had to find a source for the word Baruch in Hebrew. Since I have no working knowledge of the language, this was difficult. The next step was to find charted Hebrew letters. I was eventually able to find the charts in a site that specializes in needlepoint. I'll post links below once I find them again. I did most of the research during the early Autumn and probably finished the knitting before November. The pouch was knitted entirely in laceweight yarn on size zero double pointed needles.

I knit the pouch using Fair Isle techniques. I hated every minute of the stranding. It was so tedious. In retrospect, this pouch should have been knit in the stripes shown, with the lettering added in duplicate stitch. It would have been much easier. Final note: The pouch was a gauge/size prototype for a bookmark. Not what I wanted. It was too thick. The stranded yarn and circular construction made it too dense for a proper bookmark.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Finally Leaves I Like

Finally I have knit a leaf that I liked. I've been playing with leaves for several years and quite a few $$$$$$ in books and patterns and yarn. In fact, I remember an earlier blog post about it.
This leaf was knit using Knitpicks Chroma Yarn. I chose the part of the yarn to get the color change. This particular skein is a leftover from a woven project.
Precious leaves have been made in worsted weight yarns in a variety of color schemes. Variegated yarn looks like clown spew. I finally ended up throwing out a good deal of the horribleness.
The leaf that I like is two sided, circularly knit with a fingering weight yarn. The leaf lies flat and have two smooth sides. For me, that is needed.
I'm now working on a leaf bookmark in Knitpicks Shadow Forest Heather, a laceweight yarn. I'm very happy with that and will post a photo as soon as it is finished. The laceweight project is the sample for a very, very special bookmark project I want to start.
I'll be alternating knitting and beading for a bit longer.

Beads, Pounds of Beads

I haven't been knitting. I've been learning about beading with a needle. Knitting is easier. This project is about 50% done. I will continue working on it. The skills are useful. It's done in tubular peyote with Czech seed beads.
If you are a certain type of geek, you will recognize the color pattern.
I am thinking about doing some snake patterns in this technique. That's been on my list for years. I will need to decide whether beads or knitting are best.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No Progress

I have done no knitting. None, nein, nyet, nada. Now it's nearly Autumn and I need to get caught up. Big time. The kitchen renovation is in the last stages. That means that the kitchen is operating, but everything is disorganized, in the basement, scattered, lost, packed, or incomplete. Does not provide motivation to spend my free time either unpacking stuff and figuring out where it goes, or working around construction materials. Thankfully, the contractors showed up yesterday and put shelves in the cabinets, so I could actually load them with stuff. Only took say, 2-3 weeks.

The phot shows my latest acquisition. For months I have been ogling the Knitpicks website, looking at the lovely colors. I simply cannot justify buying more yarn. I have yarn all over. I haven't been knitting lately. So what! I promised to make a gift for a dear friend and ordered! It all laceweight yarn in lovely, heathered colors. Project is in the planning stages.

I am also planning a bead project. I mention it here because I plan on doing beadwork to emulate knitting. I saw a photo on Craftzine and just loved the project. It did not come with instructions, so I'm planning that, too. In this case, the planning is exactly like designing a knit project. Each bead equals one stitch. Instead of calculating yards of yard, I calculate quantities of beads. After that, we'll see. The beads are on order.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bauhaus Inspired

I forgot to post my latest project in progress. This is my third woven piece. Nothing comes out quite like I had planned, yet. The design was inspired be photos of weavings done at the Bauhaus School. After that idea, nothing else worked as I had intended.
I bought the yarn on impulse. Foolish me. My son, Andrew is home form college for the summer. In theory, he is painting for his portfolio in the basement. This requires an outlay of money on my part for supplies of paint, canvas, and sundries. Andrew and I dutifully head out to shop. He goes to get canvas and I head for the yarn, thinking that I'll just take a look..... Add another $90.00 to the bill. I got yarn in beautiful teals and purples and grey and green. Very soft. I got a lot because I wanted to make a 20" wide long stole. I took a glance at the label and saw the word "wool" and did not read carefully. Besides, that, I was pressed for time.
Comes the time to weave...and "Oh noes"! The yarn was only 25% wool, mostly acrylic. I took a second look at the brand name and.....I should have known that this was a company that produced acrylic yarns. I took another look at the yarn- it is a cabled yarn. Oops. Anyway, I just kept making mistake after mistake and learned lesson after lesson. The final woven piece is about 20" by 45", so it is a reasonable size, but definitely not a stole. The cabled yarn looks OK, but the texture of the weave is different from what I had expected. This fabric has a loose, rather unstable weave. It's nice and soft, but it won't felt and I'd be a fool to cut it. I've been folding the fabric various ways (to hide mistakes) and I will eventually sew it up and line it to make a bag. I need a new knitting bag, anyway. The one that I have been using is getting worn. The current bag is a knitted project from August 2008, knit during the Olympics. It's seen daily use for three years. I can retire it.
In other news, I have not been working on much, lately. We are in the midst of a kitchen renovation and the entire house is unsettled and in an uproar. At the moment, we have had not kitchen for two weeks. Everything is packed up and distributed in the basement, in the dining room/staging area and in the living room. Chaos.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sorta Like a Tartan

Second weaving project. It's wearable for the most part. It's not a tartan, but gives the same feeling.
I am very much playing with color and color interactions right now. I am also not getting anything accomplished. I just took an entire week off from knitting and weaving and....just sorta spaced out.
Maybe I'll blame it on the kitchen. We are about to have the kitchen renovated. The past couple weeks have been consumed with planning and driving that process. If I don't pay attention, balls get dropped.
The renovation is required now. The house needed work from the moment we got it. At this point, the kitchen resembles the set of the old sitcom Green Acres. For real. We just need to get it over, done.
Back to the important details.... The scarf is knit with sock yarn. I used KnitPicks Palette for the warp and a skein of Chroma for the weft. The Chroma has long color changes and that makes the scarf interesting. The tartan effect comes from the few strands of light blue that I added, just to break the monotony. This is still very much a beginner's project. I am really more interested in the color effects than the fabric structure. For know. I have a real problem with some of the weaving books I have seen. The Seventies called and they want their crafts back. I simply won't make something that says 1970's macrame, avocado green, and burnt orange. I am looking for something very different. I'll have to make it myself.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Knit Godzilla

This project is evolving. Originally, it started out as a dream that incorporated the Areceibo Message and......I forget. It has been through variations that may incorporate a quote from MLK, my head (knit in), Kente patterns, Asante motifs, circuit boards, Star Wars, etc. etc. etc.

I opened the topic for discussion on Facebook and never looked back. My friends made suggestions that I add Godzilla, the Bat Signal, Superman.....what have you.

Godzilla has actually been knit in, after much angst. I've spent a lot of time pixellating various still shots and images from the movies. The next step was to choose those images that could be knit in at the correct resolution/size for the scale of the scarf. I finally chose a photo that showed Godzilla approaching through a fog. It was the best choice in terms of size. I had to sacrifice some details, but this is a scarf, not a blanket. I am already knitting this at twice the "resolution" of a typical scarf. Overall, I'm knitting quadruple the stitch count of a typical pattern.

The next step, in progress, is to show a building under attack. After that, I may do a section of elevated trains. After that, it's back to the city.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ok for Cats

New hobby- weaving. As I was "yarn shopping" on Ravelry, I saw a project that had been woven using the yarn I had just purchased. It turns out that self striping and variegated yarns look fabulous when woven. Color banding that does not work so well for knitting can weaves up into interesting stripes and plaid patterns.
I just got a 20" Ashford Knitters Loom, (rigid heddle). I like this as an alternative to knitting. Weaving can be faster for some projects.
Admittedly, I have always been fascinated by weaving. This is the first time I've been able to afford even a beginner level loom.
I have a lot to learn. I spent the weekend with the basics. This initial project measures 13" x 29" just off the loom. It has been fulled and is drying now. The first few inches have lots of mistakes, floats, etc. The cats won't mind. The yarn used was 2 skeins of Patons Soy Wool Stripes. It's a yarn that felts and pills and is too scratchy to go next to the skin. It makes good bags. I carry a bag knit from SWS all the time. I've never used up yarn so quickly. I look forward to doing some color studies.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Circuit Portrait City Skyline

Don't even try to make sense of the title. It is pure stream-of-consciousness. This project is a combination of several ideas that have been in my brain for the past year or two or three. That means I had piles of paper all over the house. Here are the projects.

1. PCB/Circuit Board- I have wanted to knit some version of this for about three years. My first prototype ended with me impaling my hand on a size 000 steel needle. I have a lot of pixellated circuit motifs sitting around. I have yet to decide which style I will use. It is most likely to be a squared off version that is suitable for knitting.

2. Self portrait- Total accident. I found a profile of a female face with circuits for hair. Ping. I also dug up some yarn that is close to my skin tone.

3. Skyline- Another long term plan. I've been looking to do a knitted skyline for a long time, but never found the right chart. Lately I have been reading about Bauhaus Art and Art Moderne/Art Deco. Ping. I have a number f pixellated buildings that I will use for a custom skyline.

4. I found a graphic purporting to be an outline of the Pittsburgh skyline. I'd like to use it, but it may not be right for this project.

5. I have Glow-in-the-Dark yarn. I MUST use this. It would be perfect for the windows.

6. The Areceibo Message will be knit into the scarf. I dreamed this, so it has to happen.

These projects are being conjoined so that they appear back-to-back in the same scarf/stole. Purely practical matter of hiding loose ends.

Finally, This is being knit on size 3 needles in fingering yarn. It's going to take a long time or it with drive me nuts....probably both. This will also consume a nice chunk of stash yarn in dark colors, blues and black and white/glow. I may use a multicolored yarn for the circuit portion. This project will evolve.

Qulited Lattice Mitts

These mitts were also made for the gift stash. The pattern is Quilted Lattice Mitts. They were a pretty easy knit, albeit a pain in the thumb gusset. For that reason, I might not make another pair anytime soon. Interestingly, they are made with the same number of stitches, on the same needles as the Jacoby Mitts. These were knit in stockinette stitch, while the Jacobies were knit in ribbing. For me, at least, the Jacoby mitts were snug and a much better fit. I have small hands. This version may be fine for most larger hands.
They were made with KnitPicks, Palette in Black with Fushia trim, on size 3 needles.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blue Jacoby

This time I am pleased. This pattern is a keeper. The pattern is called Jacoby. It is easy and perfectly suited to self patterning yarns. These went in the gift stash. I shall absolutely may a few more iterations of this pattern. At least one set will be for myself. Of course, I found this pattern in the Spring, after suffering through another Winter in a drafty office and house.
Note: I have no idea way the Barbara G. Walker book is sitting there. Wait...I was looking up slip stitch patterns for....I forget..........

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pink Quickie Cowl

Here is the finished cowl. An extremely quick knit. I knit 50% of it yesterday while enjoying a Netflix marathon. The pattern is Quickie Cowl. I will absolutely make more of these. This one used a single skein of bulky yarn. I knit this one flat, lengthwise, and joined the ends using a three-needle bind off. I may knit the next one in the round if I have two skeins of a particular yarn. If knit as a continuous loop, the rib pattern will be oriented vertically. I'm quite happy with this and it is going in the gift stash. I must dismiss the thought that it goes perfectly with my pink sweaters......

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gift Stash/Destash

This is the project on my needles now. It is knit in Bernat Softee Chunky, so it will be a quick project. The pattern is called Quickie Cowl and is available on Ravelry. I am knitting this as a straight length. When it is done, I will either join the ends to form a circular cowl or add buttons so it can be worn flexibly. The yarn is from my stash.

Last week I undertook to clean out my stash as part of a general desk cleaning. In general, I don't dispose of yarn before it has been knit. The rare instance being when I suddenly had an allergic reaction to some yarn I bought years (and two states!) ago.

This time, I just went ahead and threw out a few skeins of variegated acrylic yarn that was just not worth my time. I see no reason to buy more yarn just to save $4.00 worth of acrylic in a color scheme that is not working for me. The yarns were in beautiful Autumn colors that looked so inviting in the skein. Once knit.......not so good, more like kitty spew.

As for the other things found in stash....I am knitting gifts ahead of time. I do have yarn that I bought and still like. This way, I can have a supply of gift items ready well before the next round of holidays, birthdays, whatever. Also, small, easy projects, such as scarves, mitts, hats, will give me something mindless to work on while dreaming up the next geeky project. I always have a few ideas in mind, but they can take years to accomplish.

TARDIS Socks, finished

Here is a shot of the business end of the TARDIS socks. The photo was taken under UV light, to highlight the glow. Still doesn't do it justice. Never mind why I have a UV lamp handy. I have lots of niche tools. Anyway, that is why my thumb is in the photo. At the top, you can see my thumb holding the casing of the lamp. The white embroidery of the sock is reflected in the surface of the lamp as well.

I have given the socks to Zuchar for her birthday and she is pleased. She has been instructed to sit in a dark room and stare at her feet. I am actually debating making a second pair of knitted TARDIS, this time as mitts. That way, I get to start with the fun parts and I can play with them as I like. If I knit socks, I'd pend to much time staring at my feet.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brevity mitts

This is the current project, fingerless gloves in worsted weight yarn on size 5 needles. I am using the pattern, Breve that is available on Ravelry. These mitts are wonderfully easy to make, just 40 stitches of 4 X 1 rib knit in the round. After both tubes are knit I will add "afterthought thumbs".
My goal this year is to knit up some stash yarn and have some gifts ready for when I need them. In particular, I plan on giving these to ********. \One thing I really like about this particular pattern is that the fabric has a sleek look, nice and uncluttered. Worsted weight yarn knits up quickly so the project won't take forever. That also gives me time to day dream about the next geeky or complicate project. I am planning something that came to me in a dream.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

HairyAss TARDIS Socks

That is EXACTLY how I feel about this project, right now. Knitting the socks themselves is OK. The @#$$%^^ glow-in-the-dark yarn is something else. The yarn in question is Nightlights. It is a long-filament, 100% nylon sliver/roving. It won't hold a twist. As a result, the fibers form a hairy-ass hot mess unless you use them exactly right.
My first attempt was NOT right. Damn, I had glow-in-the-dark spew all over everything. It tangled and snagged and $$#@!@%%^& all over everything. Much frogging and some rather nasty language resulted. I spent yesterday re-knitting, slowly, but with a better result. Now on to the next sock. I hope to post the next photos under UV light so you can see the glow. Supposedly the yarn glows for 4 hours on it's own. We shall see.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Totally forgot to post this. I am working on my first pair of real socks. The last attempt turned out as giant Technicolor mittens.
These will be a gift for someone and will feature a TARDIS theme.
Made of KnitPicks, Palette in deep blue. I am knitting both socks together on separate sets of DPNs. This gives me the best chance of finishing the socks and having them match.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rare Gilding Sighting

Rare photos of myself. Every once in a great while I will get in front of a camera. One problem is that I take terrible pictures of myself. Candid photos are best. My family members are uniformly terrible with a camera. In this case, I am showing off a new hair cut. I usually wear my hair bound up.
I must admit that I am totally enjoying this. I grew up with a grandmother who had very strict ideas about what was proper. I was raised to be a lady according to standards that came from, oh say 1900.
At any rate, Grandma's rules kinda got shot to pieces.

This is me at work, wearing the scarf. I love the scarf, but I need more practice in wrapping it just so. This is also why I am camera shy..... I make faces.
Anyway, I love the scarf. I'm going to make at least one more. The red and black version was knit with sock yarn. The next version(s) will be knit in sport yarn. I want a faster result and a bigger scarf.
This scarf came out to at least 60" wide by about 16" in depth. It took quite awhile to knit. Sport yarn will be faster. I want a really capacious shawl next time (I think).
My current project is for the feet. I am just finishing up a pair of footie socks in worsted weight yarn. This is the learning project for a pair of socks for a birthday present. Nearly ready for photos.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Looooong shawl

A process shot of the Chadwick Shawl. It is just, just, finished and in blocking. It took me a long time to knit this one, partly because the last rows were more than 300 stitches and 5 feet long before blocking. Once I figure out how to wrap it, I'll put up a photo. For once, I will try to put up a rare shot of me wearing a knit.
Another reason that this shawl took so long is that I got a virus for the holidays. I'm still feeling pretty bad, but going to work, anyway. I've been too sick to knit or even, really, read. For me, that is a terrible thing. I am definitely still sick. I've edited this post several times for typos.