Dove Knits

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Yarn porn, progress, and an FO (!)

Today was Christmas, people. The mail carrier showed up with 5 packages! Four were the Husband's Amazon book orders, and the last -- and biggest -- was my Knitpicks yarn!

This is what it looked like:

The brown stuff was 15 balls of Main Line, and the rest was sock yarn:

On the left: two balls of Essential in Navy, with two balls of Simple Stripes Snapdragon to make Fair Isle socks from KnitPicks. Then come two balls of Essential in Grass. Two balls of Sock Garden in Daffodil, and two skeins of Sock Memories in Grandma. I've never worked with Garden or Memories, but they feel so soft. Main Line feels quite wonderful, too, and I hope it gives nice fabric.

I provided the links for what I'm going to make with this yarn earlier, so I'm not gonna do it again.

Anyway, I've made quite a bit of progress on Trellis:

This is the completed fronts and most of one sleeve. I'm still maintaining central symmetry and reversing cables, and I'm doing the same on the sleeves. It's such a quick knit! Each front took maybe an hour-ninety minutes. Unfortunately, it's coming out a bit small. Blocking will stretch it, and it is a stretchy fabric, but it might not fit my niece. Which is ok, because my brother and his wife have another on the way, and it's a pretty unisex sweater!

Moving on.

I started a lacy scarf for my mom for Mother's Day. That means I need to have the sucker knit, finished, blocked, and sent by next Wednesday. Yes, I'm insane, and yes, I'm looking into other gifts.

It's the thistle leaf pattern from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury. Have I mentioned how much I love that book? I love that book. The yarn is Knitpicks Shadow in Jewels, and I love Shadow yarn.

And finally, sort of a FO:

It's a little baggie/clutch made with my handpainted yarn. It still needs buttons, but it's pretty darn completed otherwise. I didn't count on the seed stitch border to spread out quite so much, but, whatever. The stitch pattern is from the Second Treasury, of course. Basically, it's going to be a little baggie to carry tampons in, so that instead of pulling out tampons and carrying them to the bathroom in hopes that no one sees, I can pull out a cute little bag and carry THAT to the bathroom, and hope that no one stops me to ask, "Did you make this? Lemme see!"

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I decided to make two of my exchange squares for the month out of my hand-painted. I'm quite pleased with how they came out!

This is just a knit-and-purl pattern.

Twisted stitch lattice pattern. I think it shows off the handpaint wonderfully, and I loooove twisted stitches. So easy, but so much texture.

(By the way, both stitch patterns are from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury.)

In other news, I took the Brown Line to work this morning, rather than my customary Red. The Brown Line drops me off right in front of a craft store, and you know I can't resist a craft store. So I went in.

The store carries a very crappy selection of yarn, and it's overpriced ($3 for Wool-Ease? I think not! I got mine at Joann's for under $1.50!), but they have a wide range of hooks and needles and other notions. They carry tons of sizes of double- and single-pointeds and circulars, as well as a great selection of aluminum and steel hooks, cro-hooks, and afghan hooks.

So I bought:

-Two cro-hooks (double-ended, long crochet hooks for crohooking), because I know a bit of Tunisian crochet, but have never tried cro-hooking and am curious. I got sizes H and J, figuring I'd use worsted-weight yarns...

-A pom-pom maker (you know, plastic circles to wrap yarn around), because, while I can make my own of cardboard, I used to love my mom's plastic ones when I was little. I made little pom-pom creatures and dolls and stuff. Great fun.

-One of my knitting books had some cute bead-tatted jewelry, so I bought a plastic little tatting shuttle and two little balls of tatting yarn (in purple and yellow). Because y'all know how much I need another addiction hobby.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Time for CRACK!

Oh boy, oh boy! I placed a KnitPicks order!

Here's what I got:

1. 15 balls of Main Line in Cocoa to make the Paris shrug (opens in PDF) for a coworker, and to remake the Short'n'Sweet for myself.

2. 2 balls of Essential in Navy and 2 of Simple Stripes Sweet Tarts to make these socks.

3. 2 balls of Essential in Grass to make Hedera socks.

4. 2 balls of Sock Garden in Daffodil to make Jaywalkers.

5. 2 balls of Sock Memories in Grandma to make...some other socks.

So, yes, 4 pairs of socks and two shrugs is what I'll be making.

Monday, April 24, 2006

If I had project monogamy...

I'd have an FO for you right now.

I spent all of yesterday knitting. It was wonderful! The last few weeks have been too busy to knit very much, so last night, I plopped down and knit for 7 hours straight, taking a break only to go out to dinner with the Husband.

If I had any sort of project monogamy, I'd have an FO of the baby sweater to show you now. I was halfway through the second sleeve.

Instead, I cast on a Trellis:

That's the completed, shaped back. The yarn is merino wool my parents got me in Greece a while ago. It's a lovely deep rose, and quite soft and sturdy. I thought it was worsted, but it's closer to Aran. I have 4 skeins total, so it'll be just barely enough for the sweater.

My gauge is way too big, so I'm following directions for the 6-month size, with row directions for the 12-month size, and ending up with the desired 18-month size! I could have tried to get better gauge, but I would've ended up with a fabric nearly bulletproof in density.

It's a quick, easy knit. I'm modifying it to have the cables be symmetrical down the center. You can see on the bottom left side where I didn't know how to reverse the twisted stitches.

I finished the second sleeve of the Simple Stripes baby sweater this morning (making myself very late for work, but they knew not to expect me!), so tonight is assembly time!

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Uncharted waters

Last night was my first dyeing adventure! I used leftover Easter egg dye and some old Russian wool I had laying around. I'd previously made a Coronet with one skein of it, and had two-and-some skeins left over.

The right skein is my first attempt. I didn't wet the wool prior to dyeing, so the dye just all seeped down into the bottom of the pan and ran together. Hence the very, erm, indeterminate color, which I kinda like.

The left one was done with fewer colors and larger sections, and I mopped up the dye that seeped through with the yarn before adding a new color, so the colors didn't bleed as much. Also, the green turned out to be a more vibrant dye than the others. I then wrapped it in plastic, so each section saturated in color while it microwaved. This is a larger skein, too, because I wrapped the yarn left over from the Coronet into it.

I'm not sure what I'll do with this. It's too scratchy for hats, scarves, or gloves (the Coronet was awful to wear!), and there's not enough for a sweater, of course. Probably bags? It would felt quite well...And it'll be my first felting adventure! Or maybe afghan squares?


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Progress and planning

1. The baby sweater has the front, back, and one sleeve completely worked. Remaining is the other sleeve, piecing together, and knitting the neckband. I'm anticipating finishing it within the next week and a half, but only have 30-45 minutes a day to work on it.

2. The shawl is about 12-14 inches long down the center line. I think shawls are about 36 inches long/72 wide, so I'm a third of the way done? It's very slow going, and I haven't worked on it in a while.

3. Short'n'Sweet is about to reach the status of a UFO, as I haven't touched it in weeks.

4. What to cast on next? I have a few projects in mind. I'd really like to finally cast on for the circle cardigan, though I won't be able to wear it for a few months once it's done, since it's in wool. Although Chicago summers can get tricky, so maybe I'll get lucky! I'll also cast on for Lacey, since I can actually wear it over the summer. As a smaller project, a Trellis in yellow Wool-Ease for my niece, and another one in cream Wool-Ease for my brother's new baby. I would have liked to make them in merino, but the washability sister-in-law will have two babies, so handwashing might be a touch difficult.

If I hope to have my mother-in-law's afghan finished in time for her birthday in July, I need to get yarn for it and get crackin'.

First, though, I need to cast on for a lace scarf for my mom for Mother's day, because otherwise it won't get done. I have a couple of stitches in mind, and am just going to wing it...

5. UFOs: Within the next couple of weeks, I expect to pick back up and finish Pasha and the little star afghan. I think they will both be gifts for a little girl at church. Her parents are expecting their second child, and I think that some cuddly gifts will make her feel a bit more secure. Besides, she loves penguins. I'm making a baby blanket for the new baby, so gifts for the big sister will be welcomed.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

FO: Sleepy bear in bunny suit

Here he is, in all his glory (despite the pink, I maintain that he is a he):

He's supposed to have buttons that button up the suit, making it removable. But I made him for my 8-month-old niece, and was afraid that buttons would be a choking hazard. So the suit is basially sewn on him.

I didn't get a picture of the bear himself, sans suit, but here is one with the hood off:

Pattern: Debbie Bliss's Teddy Bears, "Sleepy Bear in Rabbit Suit"
Yarn: Bear: Bernat Satin; Suit: Caron Simply Soft
Started: April 1, 2006
Completed: April 16, 2006

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Farewell, baby sweater

After a valiant effort to finish the Simple Stripes Baby Sweater after the snafu I talked about in the previous post, I've admitted defeat. I will get it done, eventually, and probably soon, but not in time to add to the package I'm sending out tomorrow.

Which is alright. I'm making the 12-month-old size, and my gauge is just a teeeeeny bit loose, so my niece will still be able to wear it even if she doesn't get it until the summer.

I did get alot of progress done on it, though. The front and back are done, and I've started on one sleeve.

The bunny bear should be completed by the end of the night, so expect pictures tomorrow!

Friday, April 14, 2006

No real progress real progress to report. I've been busy having a social life, and so haven't done as much knitting as I usually do :)

The teddy bear is still in pieces. I really need to get it done to be shipped off on Monday.

I've been plugging away on the shawl, and recently hit a rough patch with it, where for some reason I'm missing stitches. I don't know where they went, because I don't see any dropped ones, so probably I accidentally knitted some together, because it's easy to do that with this yarn. So I've been improvising, and we'll see how it goes, eh?

I've hit a real snag with the baby sweater. When I made the back, I was knitting at a much looser gauge, apparently. I hadn't learned to pass the yarn over my index and under my pinkie finger yet, so it was very loose. Now, though, I'm knitting alot more tightly -- tighter than gauge, oddly enough, which is strange for me. So I started the front last night, and realized I was knitting so tightly that it was coming out too sizes too small, and too small for my niece. I didn't swatch, because I'd already started knitting the thing months before. So now I need to undo everything and start over, which means it probably won't be ready to send on Monday, but we'll see. I just want to get it DONE at the moment.

The Short'n'Sweet has been stagnating. Still not sure whether I'll finish it or frog it.

I'd really like to start on a couple of other things, but the teddy bear needs to get finished first!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

FO: Thujas!

So I finished the Thujas last night!

Here they are unworn:

And here they are worn:

And here is an emo foot picture! Yay!

Pattern: Thuja from Knitty's winter '05 issue
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease, about 1 skein

Also, I got alot of work done on the Sleepy Bear. He's in significantly fewer pieces now, as I've assembled the legs, arms, body, and most of the head. I should have him done to show on Friday.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Another UFO sighting!

It seems that everywhere I look, I have UFOs. Those are different from my works in progress, because there hasn't been any progress on the UFOs in months. I really need to sit down and clear my UFO stash and have some projects finished and ready to show!

Anyway, reaching into the part of my desk where I keep my beads, I found this:

It's crocheting with seed beads, following a pattern in Beadwork Magazine from winter '04. For some reason, my kitties don't slant. Weird. Oh well. I'd love to sit down and finish this sometime, but other things take precedence at the moment!

I think that for every new project I start, I need to pull out and finish a UFO until all are either finished or frogged. I also need more project fidelity! Working on 5 things at once makes it hard to finish any of them.

I frogged that scarf last night, and had yarn to finish the Thujas! I finished them before work today, so all I have to do is weave in the ends tonight, and I'll have pictures tomorrow morning. Yay! A FO to show at last! I also need to stitch up that teddy bear tonight, so that I can finish the baby sweater and have it ready to send off by Monday! Wish me luck.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

In progress: shawl, baby sweater, and teddy bear

So as not to bore you all with text posts, I'm showing some in-progress pics of my other current projects.

By the way, by "current projects" I mean things already on the hook or needles that I have worked on in the last month, or haven't touched in a while but need to get done ASAP.

First off, I finally decided that the three hanks of KnitPicks Shadow will become a shawl rather than the Sweet Mary Jane cardigan. I love traditional-looking triangular shawls, so I chose the Fir Cone Lace shawl. Here's the progress so far (I cast on Saturday, but messed up and frogged and restarted Sunday. It's going quickly!)

I love Shadow. It's so soft, and the color is very vibrant. It also feels like a pretty sturdy yarn! It's my first shawl, and my first project in lace-weight yarn. It feels funny to use yarn so fine with needles so big (size 6).

Secondly, my mom is going to visit my brother, his wife, and my beautiful baby niece in a couple of weeks, so I'm sending along gifts.

The first is a pullover made in KnitPicks Simple Stripes sock yarn, following this pattern. I started it before Christmas, but then Christmas knitting took precedence and work was halted. It goes fast, though, and the front is almost done, so I should have it finished by the end of the week. By the way, the colorway is Autumn.

Finally, since everyone in my family prefers my knit toys to all my other projects, and since my niece has gotten a kick out of the toys I've made her so far, I'm working on another one. It's the Sleepy Bear in Rabbit Suit from Debbie Bliss's Teddy Bears. I took this to Utah with me and managed to knit all the parts.

In case you're wondering what a knit teddy bear looks like before assembly, here ya go:

As you can see, I still have alot of work to do. And I hate seaming. Hopefully it comes out cute enough to make it all worthwhile!

The yarn I used for it was Caron Simply Soft (the pink for the suit) and Bernat Satin (the bear's body).

I am also almost done with the second Thuja. I need to stop and unravel the scarf to have enough yarn to finish it, though!

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Frogging and planning

Alas, I think both the Paris tank top and the Short'n'Sweet will be frogged. I don't like the yarn for the tank top, and while the stuff for Short'n'Sweet is ok, I know I don't have enough, so I'll just wait till my next KnitPicks order and get some Shine.

Before I can get any more yarn, though, I really need to de-stash. I'll be making this cardigan from Garnstudio in some Merino Style, which will clear out quite a few skeins. I need to make that Sweet Mary Jane cardigan, or else a shawl, out of the Shadow. I have 8 balls of Paton's Classic Merino in rich red, and need to make either an Aran sweater or Bristow out of that. I have 4 more skeins of the same stuff in each of pink and green, and I think those will become Tubey.

I also have a bunch of stuff nearly completed. I'm almost finished with the star afghan -- it needs a few more rows and a border, and to be given away (I know a girl from church who would go crazy for it!). I have all the squares ready for a crazy-quilt afghan (all squares crocheted from this book), and need to put them together. I started a pair of Very Tall Socks on the needles from over a year ago! Making those will destash some of my acrylic.
I have a Pasha and a Jean Greenhowe duckling completely made and partially assembled. I have a baby sweater with some Simple Stripes from KnitPicks on the needles as well, and that's probably going to Utah with me tomorrow.

I also have this tremendous stash of a mohair blend yarn that my mom got at a thrift store. I have 16 or 18 skeins, I can't remember, exactly. The label says that a size 36 (my size!) sweater takes 8 skeins, so I have enough for at least two sweaters. Some of it will become Lacey, and the rest will turn into this or this. Or this. And I like the moebus sort of scarf from IK summer '05. So maybe the mohair will turn into Lacey, one of the sweaters, and one of the ponchos. But that will clear out a big Tupperware of yarn!

In a word, I have alot of projects either already started or planned to the point of having yarn for them. I need to finish them -- or, at the very least, some of them -- before I can buy any more yarn! Obviously, with the summer coming up, I'm not about to cast on for Tubey or the other Classic Merino project, and the Very Tall Socks might want to wait, but the rest are quite summer-appropriate.

I also need to make an afghan for my mother-in-law for her birthday in July, so I'll be buying yarn for that. Russell requested a sweater, but I'm not going to worry about it till the fall.

I have a bunch of books on toys, and there are just so many I want to make for my niece! Maybe if I plan right, I can make them for all the church kids (yes, all 15 of them) for Christmas. I'd literally have to start now.

So now of course you're wondering what toy books I have, right? Well, I have the Debbie Bliss Teddy Bears book. I think I'm taking along yarn and that book to start on the Sleepy Teddy in Rabbit Suit for my niece. I also have four Jean Greenhowe books, which are my prized possessions because they're dern hard to find in the states. Look here. You can click on the books to see all the designs in them! I have the Knitted Animals (I've made a duckling, a puppy, two bunnies and an elephant from it), Jemima-Jean and Friends (From which I've made two tiny teddies and a topsy-turvy doll), Scarecrow Family, and Christmas Special (the 28-page version). I love those books. The toys are adorable and they actually come out looking like the pictures!

Sigh. There are just so many projects I want to make!

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