Monday, September 28, 2009

Pine Street Inn Knit-a-Thon (3rd Annual)

I am participating in Pine Street Inn's 3rd Annual Knit-a-Thon. The knit squares collected will be incorporated into afghans for the the Supportive Housing Program, a program which provides permanent housing for the Boston homeless. The squares will be assembled into afghans on November 8, 2009. Visit for details about submission of knit items and the Supportive Housing Program.

Please join me in supporting the Pine Street Inn by making a donation.

My first four 9"x9" squares!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Snow related Knitting Charts

I was looking for snowmen and snowflakes to put on a Christmas stocking. When I do these searches, I usually like to have a short description of the pattern, but it is hard to describe one snowflake versus another (since no two snowflakes are alike!) Instead, you should assume (in general) that the larger the snowflake, the more complex the pattern.

There are some really beautiful snowflake charts out there... I am going to stop searching and try to design my own so I can get exactly what I want. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's all in the little things...

I am amused. On the same list as Made with Molecules by an Organic Chemistry professor at Kenyon?

I think this means that it is time for me to design more charts...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NHM #7

I finally finished the NHM #7 mittens from SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition!

Main color: KnitPicks Palette Black, Contrast color: Bare peruvian highland wool (fingering weight) from KnitPicks which I hand dyed with these mittens in mind. I knit the mittens using size 1 (2.50mm) dpn needles.

With the last set of gloves, I weighed the yarn before and after I finished my project. The goal is to try to keep track of the weight in each project, so I can easily determine if I have enough remaining to start a new set. However, palette is cheap enough that buying an extra ball is not really a hardship, you just need space in the knitting cupboard.

Gloves (after finishing and cutting loose ends): 51.8 g
Preknit Multi wool: 106.9 g, remaining: 85.3 g
Black remaining: 48.3 g

I used all of the black wool (28.4) remaining from my last Selbuvotter gloves, and started a new ball to finish the tip and the thumb of the last glove. Assuming that the ball was exactly 50 g to start, my calculations suggest that I used 51.7 g wool to make my mittens. My weight estimates are way more accurate than I could have imagined!

I thought the pattern on the inside of the gloves was cool, too! Not that I'd go to the trouble of making these gloves just to get that inside pattern...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pirate Gourd!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Decorate your fall gourds with an eyepatch!

I used remnant black WoTA worsted weight yarn, and size 3 needles. To make the eyepatch.
  • CO 13 sts, leaving a long tail.
  • Starting with a p row, work in stockinette stitch for 5 rows
  • Row 6: ssk, K11, K2tog
  • Row 7: p across
  • Row 8: ssK, K9, K2tog
  • Row 9: p across
  • Row 10: ssk, K7, K2tog
  • Row 11: p across
  • Row 12: ssk, K5, K2tog
  • Row 13: P2tog, p4, slip the last stitch over the 4th purled stitch
  • Row 14: ssk, K1, K2tog
  • Using a yarn needle, pull the remaining stitches together, leaving a long end. Weave the yarn up across the side so it can function as the eyepatch tie.
  • Attach to the gourd of your choice, draw other pirate features with a sharpie, and enjoy!
Credit to Keith for decorating the gourd and the idea for making a pirate gourd.

This this pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. This pattern is not to be replicated, sold or redistributed without permission from ChemKnits. © 2009 ChemKnits

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Knitting Quick Gifts

Every knitter wants a fast project once in a while. Especially if you realize that you want to give someone a gift, and you don't have the time to plan out a long project. These books have some great patterns for fast, quick knit gifts.

Vogue Knitting on the Go: Quick Gifts

The book is tiny... about half the size of a normal book, but there are still 22 patterns! It starts out with a quick introduction to knitting techniques, but claims that there are projects for all skill levels.

Patterns include:
  • Felted tote - with zig zag stripes! I want one!
  • Two-tone hat and mittens set - the colorwork here is very interesting and unique.
  • Golf Club Cozies (I think I know someone who may enjoy these!)
  • Festive ball necklace (cover image)
  • Horse Pillow Pals - The bodies are very square, so these would not look too goofy in an adult's living room. (I hope!)
  • Knitted Gift Box - 4" cube... You make a six-sided box and lining, and find a little cardboard box to fit in between. I never considered this, but tied with a pretty satin bow, this would be great to keep on a dresser.
  • Fingerless gloves - again, the colorwork is very unique and would be a great stash buster
  • Ipod cozy, fair isle tea cozy, little girl purse, Kitty Toy, His and Hers Hats (nothing remarkable here, very basic pattern), Frilly Slippers, Eyelet Neck wrap, Baby Cardigan with argyle-like-details, Baby sweater and pants set, Felted Needle Case, Felted scarf, Aviator Cap, Sachets (cool idea, but the pattern is nothing special), Felted Laptop bag, Chick toy.
Overall, this book contains many types of projects that I have never considered before. Maybe I'll buy this for my self... there are over 6 projects that I am itching to try (too bad my queue is so long!)

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Haverson

The book starts out with a short introduction to color theory and knitting basics. The patterns in the book are separated into sections based on the amount of time expected to complete the project (I would personally take these times with a grain of salt, but at least they are listed from the fastest patterns to ones that take a bit longer.)
  • Less than 2h: Angora Baby Booties (fuzzy and cute, but basic... but do you really expect complex in under 2 hours?) Linen Tassels (not knit, but good to know how to make), Pompoms, Kerchief Scarf, Sweater and Stocking Minis (Christmas Ornaments... YEAH!), Felted Potholders
  • 2-4 h: Baby Bonnet, Super-Easy Leg Warmers, Child’s Rainbow Scarf, Children’s Cotton Hats, Kim’s Hats (variations on different kinds of different hats), Cashmere Tea Cozy (I would not waste cashmere on my tea! I want it on my hands, on my ears…), Hand/Wrist Warmers, Airy Scarf
  • 4-6 h: Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover, Baby’s Denim Drawstring Pants, Men’s Cashmere Scarf, the Purl Scarf, Men’s Rustic Scarf, Soft Drawstring Pouch, Gusseted Floor Cushions
  • 6-8 h: Circle of Friends Garter-Stitch Blanket (quick if you get your friends to help!), Knitted Yoga Mat Bag (I may make this to just keep my mat off of the floor!), Pashmina Cowl, Silk Camisole, Cabled Purse, Lovable Toys (Rabbit, Bear, Elephant)
  • >8 h: Hourglass Sweater (classic, yet trendy. If I weren’t afraid of outgrowing my knitted items I would make this. Maybe I’ll photocopy it… just in case), Herringbone Poncho, Ombre Alpaca Blanket (using natural colors of alpaca, this is beautiful), Chevron Scarf, Men’s Zipped Raglan

The patterns are all quite simple and are not too unique (which makes sense when you consider the title of the book). However, these are "quick knits" and it is a hand resource for when you need to make a gift last minute.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Extreme Knitting

Somehow, after watching this video, my plans to do make an afghan with 6-8 strands on size 50 needles does not seem so bad!

Note: the last minute of the video has the knitting, the rest is just an impressive show of getting NO tangles in a thousand balls....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Christmas Stockings

I moved in with my boyfriend this summer, and although we have spent 4 holiday seasons together, this will be the first one in OUR home. I am Jewish, but I have enjoyed celebrating Christmas with his family. I thought it would be fun to make some stockings to put up in our living room that were personal and perfect. This search is not going to compile every Christmas stocking pattern on the web, I am only pulling patterns that could be of use to my project.

I've realized that many of the things I would like to incorporate into my ideal stocking come from knitting charts - Names or at least initials (there are so many alphabets out there that I'm sure I can find one I love), snowflakes, turtles or guitars... But this search is for the stockings themselves, looking at shape and chart placement for ideas.

Search for Christmas Stockings
  • New! RFR/RFB or KAB Stockings by Chemknits! - Fun colorwork, I designed these for me and my SO.
  • New! Indy's Puppy Christmas Stocking - Also designed by ChemKnits, this stocking is slightly smaller since it is knit in a smaller gauge, but it could be mixed and matched with the above stockings.
  • There are so many little or mini Christmas stockings, but these I'll only include if it's fabulous or fabulouser... !
  • Lattice Stocking - Cuff has an embroidered name. The lattice pattern is in a contrasting color. This is classic and pretty.
  • Basic sock with satin bow - It is super basic, and plain as the title suggests. The proportions are not fantastic to me (The foot looks stumpy). The same blog also has a cabled stocking.
  • Knitted candy cane boot - This is a new shape for a Christmas stocking. The stripes up the leg are diagonal, which makes it extra special!
  • Long stocking with trees on the cuff - This looks like a long sock. It is hanging on the back of a chair in the picture and it goes almost to the floor. The canvas could be easily adapted to other decorations.
  • Personalized Stocking - has letter, children, Santa and Tree knitting charts. The shape is nice.
  • Scalloped edged Christmas stocking - Again, the toe seems pretty short... The edge detail at the top is cute though.
  • Sean Stocking - Striped and felted. Not too intricate, but looks cute. The stripes make me thing about Dr. Suess
  • Fulled Christmas Stocking - Basic.
  • Christmas stocking with a tree - This looks pretty vintage, but the shape is nice.
  • Basic stocking with flare! - See the fur trip on the cuff, heel and toe.
  • Lion Brand Stocking - I LOVE the way the color on the front and back of the leg interlock down the sides. There is space to decorate, but the details here are PERFECT.
  • From the heart knitted stocking - hearts on the cuff, embroidered with flowers. I think I'm liking a big cuff.
  • Folkways Christmas stocking - Here is a classic looking decorated stocking. I may want something more modern looking, personally, but this one looks like something you could have passed down the family for years.
  • Knitted Fisherman's stocking - If it's texture you want, this is for you!
  • Felted Stockings - Where have all the toes gone?
  • Holiday Stocking - sideways cabled cuff
  • Canadian Stocking - Well not really... They used felt aplique's on the stockings, and a duplicate stitch to put the names on. I like the shapes and the idea of having a penguin on them.
  • Vintage Santa Stocking - Need I say more?
  • Felted stocking - It looks like it was knit as a sheet, cut out and stitched together. (just from looking at the picture, I did not read the pattern) If gussets frighten you, then this is an easy way to make one.
  • John Stocking - Fair Isle, Classically inspired. I love it!
  • Picot edge stocking - This is some flair at the top. The canvas is otherwise blank, but perfect for personalization!
  • Knitpicks - basic Christmas stocking
From examining the patterns out there, I like more classic appearing stocks that contain a heel and toe in good proportion. I also prefer a big cuff at the top rather than a finished edge. Intricate color work also inspires me. Wish me luck!

P.S. These were too cute to not mention!
  • Candy Cane Cozy - What a nice way to dress up your table or tree at holiday time.
  • Pet's stocking - Shaped like a paw. There is no actual knitting idea here, but it is a fun idea for a project! It also reminds me how much I would love to wake up to a puppy in my stocking...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Alpaca Farm!

On my first trip to Martha's Vineyard, Keith and I took our rented moped (!) to the Island Alpaca Farm. There was a baby less than one week old! The $5 entrance fee can be used as a discount in the farm store. There were signs up looking for local knitters to make products for the store... Once my backlog of projects (*cough* pals housewarming presents among other things) is shorter I'll have to look into it more.

Keith bought me a skein made from the alpacas that we visited that drizzly day. The label has picture of the animals whose wool became my yarn. I need a very special project for this skein. Any suggestions?