Thursday, January 28, 2010

CFO: Weekend Hats for Tijah

Time for my first Commissioned Finished Object:  The hats are done (well technically for a week now, but who's couting right?).  

Pattern:  Turn a Square by Jared Flood
Yarn:  Berroco Cuzco in Naturale and Black
Mods:  Obviously the first mod was the striping pattern.  She wanted the same exact hat as The Boy's (which I'm realizing in all the Christmas craziness I don't think I ever did a decent post on) so she got the same stripes.  But then because the Cuzco is so much thicker than what I used for The Boy's, the gauge was off.  I had to modify the stitch counts which wasn't so bad.  Eventually, I'd like to write that up as an addition to the original pattern and post here for anyone interested.

Verdict:  I love these hats.  I love the yarn so much!  It was soft and fuzzy and warm but not overly-so of any of those.  And Tijah loved them too...

And now her cousin (also works at Red Lobster) wants a hat.  Dark blue with baby blue stripes.  The same hat.  I bought the yarn to make it and later that day another waitress there wants one.  Pink with white stripes.  I'm going to get sick of these hats soon.

I started the second hat...and I'm loving this yarn.  Pictures to come soon even though it's almost done already

P.S. I'm almost to the colorwork on the NLC!  But that's been put aside again to get these hats done :o(.  At least I get to go yarn shopping this weekend and I'm going to try out a new yarn shop in the city :o)

Monday, January 18, 2010

What's Been Distracting Me from NLC

A week and a half ago, The Boy was at work and someone commented on the hat I made him for Christmas.  When he told her I made it, she requested the same one in black and white.  We walked to Brooklyn Flea that Sunday (a post about this to come) and on the way back we stopped at Stitch Therapy to grab the yarn. For his hat, I'd used Berroco Ultra Alpaca.  Unfortunately, the shop didn't have any white in this so I bought Berroco Cuzco, figuring it was close enough in gauge and a little girlier looking anyway.

Before I could even cast on, she told The Boy that she'd take two hats- one black with white stripes and one white with black stripes and she'd pay double.  Gotta love it!

I reworked the pattern and numbers a bit to make the gauge fit the size and cast on.  I've been working on this pretty much non-stop, forcing the Northern Lights Cardigan (NLC now) to be put on the back burner for the most part.  I'm working them double knit.  Yeah I know... all the trouble I've had with double knitting lately, why do it again, right?  But that way I knew I'd have two identical hats in reverse colors.  And it doesn't really have the "oh now I have to knit another one" feeling after I finish one.

I absolutely love the way this yarn is knitting up.  It feels so so nice.  So soft and fuzzy.  I'm getting jealous.  I want one for me now!

After double knitting and working the balls from center-pull and the outside end, I wound up with this giant tangled mess.

Luckily now I'm past the striping and back to just two threads.  And also at the decreasing

Mirror images :o) and almost done!

**Oh and sidenote- I have been working on this while watching LOST (among other things like breakfast at the diner, subway rides, waiting around...) and haven't made any major oopsies.  Thank you non-stop stockinette stitch!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reasons to Not Knit While Watching LOST... and other Northern Lights Complications

The Boy and I have been watching (me re-watching) all the LOST seasons, hopefully finishing before the Feb 2nd final season premier. Now for those of you who don’t watch the show, it is crazy, addicting, confusing, detailed, interconnected, yadda yadda. LOST is not a show to just sit back and relax to. Which is why I should not be working on a complicated project while watching it, even though I’ve seen all the seasons already. It’s been so long since I’ve seen these episodes that I really have to pay attention to them. And then I mess up my knitting.

At two different times I realized some mistakes. First, almost at the end of our last episode of the other night and about to start round 4 of the sleeve’s ridged rib, I realized I never changed to my larger needles at round 2. Ok, no biggie. I’ll just change them now, I thought. I put it off until morning because the episode ended and it was definitely time for bed. Then the next morning I woke up nice and early in case I was called for subbing (I was not). I sat down to knit while I waited next to my phone, changed my needles to the size 6, and was made it about 5 sts into round 4 when I realized I never made the increases on round 2. Dammit. Dammit dammit dammit. Now this time I do have to rip it back. 2 rounds.

Normally this isn’t such a big deal to me. Pull needles out, tug yarn out to desired point in knitting. Nope. Not with double knitting. I’m too scared to do that here. With double knitting, the sts alternate A, B, A, B, A, B… on the needles. ”A” would be one sleeve (the one currently on the outside of the pair) and “B” would be the second sleeve (nestled inside “A”). So if I just start yanking needles and yarn, the sleeves pull away from each other and separate the sts. It’s all just a lot of work. So I had to literally unknit 2 rounds (really 4- 2 for each sleeve). All before 7:30 in the morning. Not fun whatsoever :o(

I fixed the sleeves and have gone a good amount of the way. I stopped because it got to be too much to put in my bag last week. I was lucky enough to sub every day last week. I was in the elementary school library so it was pretty easy going with a lot of time to knit between classes.

As for the rest of the sweater, what a mess! At last update, I had knit a ball’s worth of the body. I ripped it out this week because I was sure it was going to be too big. I CO again, but then later pulled it out after doing lots and lots of math to get the right st count to actually fit me. This pattern will definitely have a lot of mods by the end.

I also knit a swatch for the colorwork (currently MIA after all the back and forth of last week) and decided the green yarn I ordered is just no good. It blends too much with the grey when it’s knit so I’m going to order the other two greens KnitPicks offers in Merino Style. I have a plan for whatever isn’t used out of all three greens for some other time down the road.

I finally visited Beads n’ Stitches! (Dragged The Boy with me of course!) That place is awesome. I’ll definitely be going back. I couldn’t find the colorwork swatch when I went so I had to pick beads based off just the main blue color. They’re purple 6mm round faceted so they’ll still match and won’t overly blend in. I bought extras, just in case, that I’ll use to make some of my first original stitch markers with the leftovers (another down the road project). They didn’t have any buttons there though so I’m still hunting for those. I did find 4 that I liked at Village Knitter this week…I’ll be going back soon to see if they can order more.

As for my favorite yarn shop, I finally got to visit the Knit Night at Village Knitter again because I stayed at Dad’s house most of the week for subbing. I had so much fun as usual, but found out that the store was sold! Just that night Karen signed the store over to new owners Ann and Kathleen. I’ve heard good things about them, and so far a positive change they’re making is extending the daily hours. I hope we see more positive changes coming (aka no negative ones!). I will hopefully be visiting this week about the buttons so we’ll see the start of the changes.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Northern Lights Cardigan

So one thing I forgot to mention about Sunday is just how wonderful Mary and Nicky are. They were both so so so sweet and friendly. And very funny when they were talking. They could have talked for hours and I feel like I wouldn't have gotten bored.

On to today's topic...

Northern Lights Cardigan

The Northern Lights Cardigan is a cropped sweater that buttons halfway down. The bottom half of the cardigan is worked in the MC (mine is a deep blue) in a ridged rib stitch pattern. The top half has all the details, multiple colors and just a few beads to create the seemingly simple pattern. I'm assuming this is fair isle (a first for me!) because I just would not want to weave in that many ends for intarsia.


So far: KnitPicks Harmony needles, KnitPicks Merino Style Yarn in Storm (MC). I ordered the rest of the yarn, but the package hasn't come yet. I haven't bought beads yet either. But this could be the perfect excuse to finally visit Beads n' Stitches.


So far, so good. The ridged rib pattern is fun...2 rows of garter, 2 rows of rib. It's like a break in the ribbing for some mindless knitting time. The picture above shows how much I've done with just 1 full skein so far. It knit up very quickly so far

I'm worried about the size of it. Like I said yesterday, I tried on the size small sample from the book and it was big on me! It hung very low in the armpits and the sleeves were too long as well as the body being a little big around me. I am a size small in women's, except that I'm also a petite because I'm so short (5'3"). Because of this, I'm making the sleeves now too and then I'll gauge my sizing. I might have to frog the body and make is not so wide. I wrapped what I have so far around my waist and it reaches perfectly. Which would be perfect if I didn't need to add a button band later :o(


For the sleeves, I'm doing them two at a time, double knit. Hopefully they don't have to be frogged after doing both at the same time! I tried to get some good pictures of it, but the stupid camera phone sucks. I really need a real know after I pay my rent and buy food. Might try to convince Roomie to sell me her old one, or maybe Brother has one around. Or maybe the former coworker who borrowed it will magically find it in her bedroom.

I've only done 4 rounds, but pulled them apart anyway so you can see the 2 pieces. The bottom half is the RS of one sleeve (A) and the top half is the WS of the other sleeve. It's slow-going knitting like this, but I just have to remember that I'm getting through both at the same time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

KOTOTW Event!!

It's finally here! Or was finally here. Sunday morning I trekked out waaaay too early on far too little sleep for the KOTOTW event with Nicky Epstein and Mary Taylor at Lion Brand Studios. Of course I got there thinking it started at 10 when the buiding's gates were still down only to find out they weren't letting people in until 10:30. So much for the rushing. Actually, when I got to the door (thinking I was late) the girl asked if I was Mary hehe. Back to Starbucks I went to do some knitting (info to come later in the post) and keep warm.

The studio is awesome, though way smaller than I anticipated. There was so much yarn and supplies and projects, I didn't know what to look at first. Of course, I found the amigurumi that are available for free on the website. They're the same ones I made for my cousin's birthday in September. It was pretty cool to see how they looked compared to mine (I used different yarn)
The penguin I made (and the snake I never got around to).
The adorable elephant (mine came out very crooked and the trunk looked quite phallic)
They're giraffe looks awesome! Mine didn't come out quite so good.
The panda (that I did make out of a similar acrylic yarn)
And then I saw them. The portable clothing rack holding (almost) all the projects from Knitting on Top of the World. Some knit by Nicky...all the actual ones photographed in the book. Wow.
These were so much fun (and vegetarian friendly too!) I just had to take a picture. They're made of yarn, yarn, and more yarn!
The walls of yarn on diagonal shelves were awesome. I wish I had shelves like that in my apartment, although I'm pretty sure Roomie wouldn't be so thrilled with that.

The Sampling Wall is where you can cut off a sample of any line of yarn by Lion and test it out. I didn't bother, but I might go back another time and play :o)
Some of the projects folded up waiting to be packed away after the event.

The front store window. The SnowLion was giant knit (I think) balls.
A fancy yarn covered bike rack.
I wish all the store door handles were covered in fun knit fabric. They're so cold on these windy winter days!
As for the event itself, it was great! Mary spoke about her plan and Nicky added in some stories about the projects themselves. Mary tried on many of the actual pieces and Nicky made me come up and try one on too! I was very excited when, before they started speaking, Mary said something to me and Nicky said "Oh you're Steph! I've heard so much about you!!" AAAHHH! So awesome :o)

Throughout the event, Lion Brand and Nicky/Mary did some giveaways. I won Crocheting on the Edge by Nicky from Lion Brand. Mary also gave out some of the KOTOTW ornaments she made for her New Year's party.

After the presentation part, everyone got to walk around, mingle, try on projects, and talk to Nicky and Mary. I tried some on. I'm not so sure anymore about my Northern Lights Cardigan. I'm making a size small, but the small original project was still sorta big on me. There was one, the Londonderry Rose Coat, that seemed to magically look great on everyone who tried it on. I didn't leave it on for very long because it was sooo very warm in the studio and I guarantee that anyone who wears that coat will keep warm wearing it!

The event cost was $30, but that could be applied to any purchase in the store that day. I bought Knitting in Tuscany (I almost cried looking through it...I miss Italy) and Knitting A Kiss in Every Stitch.

Nicky signed all 4 of my books that day!

Both Nicky and Mary signed my Knitting on Top of the World book :o).

It stinks that I didn't actually take any pictures of Nicky and Mary. Camera phones only do so well. But Mary did get a picture of all 3 of us at the end of the event. When I left, they both gave me big hugs.

As for the first project, here's how far I got on the Northern Lights Cardigan. I'm using KnitPicks Merino Style yarn (purchased from Jacey's Stash-busting). I'm waiting for the rest of my yarn for the project to come still so it's never-ending blue for now.

Again, the camera phone only does so well. The ridged rib stich pattern is great! I think I'm going to use it eventually for The Boy's dad's hat (and maybe a matching scarf?) he's been requesting. The stitch is easy too.

You can see the detail in my swatch (yea, I actually did one for once!).

And lastly, here's Mary's KOTOTW ornaments.

Hanging on my random bedroom pipe.


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