Wednesday, September 22, 2010

excuse me, ma'am...

...would you please step away from the knitting needles?"

my inner voice has spoken with authority and i think i'm bound to listen to it. my week of knitting misadventures continues and at this point it would probably be in the best interest of my pride and self-respect if i took the rest of the week off... no more needles, no more yarn.

i was hoping that the 3rd time would be the charm with the Louisa Harding Fern pattern, but instead i struck out. swing and a miss! i realized yesterday after the kids came home from school that although i was doing fine with the actual pattern, i had once again managed to twist the stitches at the join, even though i thought i was being ohhhh soooo careful. but it may have been a blessing in disguise. when i took it off the circular needles it seemed rather large and after stepping inside the 8 rows i had managed to knit and bringing it up to my hips/thighs it was confirmed... too big!

now, i have come to accept the fact that my tension is usually off and most things i make are a little bit enlarged. generally i go down a size or two on needles to compensate and with a pattern like this i had decided to make the smallest size in the pattern, which was a dress size 6. i'm a petite woman (only 5' even) and not all that big weight wise, but i've given birth to 4 kids and i definitely have momma hips and curves, so i thought the 6 would be fine, apparently not.

so i ripped the whole thing out again and if i do decide to try my hand at it once more, i will adjust the number of cast on stitches, decreasing by at least a set, maybe two. i guess i should be thankful that i didn't end up finishing it only to find that it was gi-normous and wouldn't fit me anyway!

thinking that this is a week for sewing/crafting with other mediums. i have a bunch of other projects i would like to try but haven't gotten around to yet. at this point, even if they don't turn out perfect, at least i can chalk it up to the bad vibes this week and not take it personally.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

willy nilly knitting OR when blocking goes badly

alright, i'll admit it, i don't always have a well thought out plan when i decide to start a new project. ok, actually, i rarely have much of a plan at all. i like to knit and create things in a spontaneous manner, which sometimes leads to a great new piece and well, sometimes it doesn't. i think i'm having one of those weeks where things aren't as pretty as the ideas in my mind.

take for instance my first oops! moment of the week, the felted wool/ knitted fabric bag. while not a complete failure, after washing and fulling this mini project, i came to the realization that it doesn't look quite as nice as i had hoped. i mean, it's not ugly, but something about it doesn't quite flow. i'm thinking that i should still be able to rip back part of the fabric part and rework it but for now it's sitting in my laundry room. at some point, maybe i'll feel a creative urge to fix it, but right now i feel completely uninspired.

on to my second project of the week: an alpaca slouchy beret
this one i figured would be a piece of cake (mmmm, i love cake). i found this odd ball (the label is long gone) mixed in with the yarn stash towards the end of last week. at this point, i know i've had it for a while but can't actually remember where i bought the yarn or what i originally intended to use it for. in fact, i think i had knit another project with it and then frogged the whole thing because the ball was kinda wonky. anyways, i decided that there looked like enough yarn to make a simple little cabled beret and cast on what i figured would be the appropriate number of stitches.

all seemed to be going well as i started this project. did a little bit of 1x1 ribbing, increased the number of stitches to give me the beret kind of shape and began with the cables. decided that instead of a nice even cable i would try to make it unbalanced and less strict, which i succeeded in doing quite easily. sometimes i like things to look perfect, sometimes i admire the little variations and imperfections of handmade objects.

so, as i'm getting close to finishing this hat, i realize that i don't really have enough yarn to make it as slouchy as i wanted it to be... nutz! but i decided to just go ahead and finish it up anyway, hoping that the blocking will add some ease and make it ok after all.

pretty purple beret, before blocking:
(with intentionally wonky cables)

i quickly wove in the ends, grabbed the spritzy water bottle and let Ash help me spray it down and lightly stretch it. first i grabbed a dinner plate and let it mostly block wrapped around that, but then i realized that to get it more slouchy i was going to have to find something with a bit more height, so i grabbed a ceramic mixing bowl. did my best to stretch it over the bowl and let it dry that way last night.
this morning i tried it on and gasp! what have i done? stretched the stinking ribbing out so badly that it doesn't even act like ribbing anymore!!!!

needless to say, this was before i had even had coffee or packed the kids' lunches for school... not a good way to start the day.

i began another project last evening too, the Louisa Harding Fern strapless top. this will be the 3rd time i've started this project due to simple little mistakes when i wasn't being careful during the previous cast-ons and first few rows. i'm determined that i will succeed this time in knitting this project, although given how the week has started i'm a little worried. at least i have a pattern to follow though. if it turns out ok, it may save the week!

::crosses fingers::
::hopes for best::

Thursday, September 16, 2010


so i realized today that i had a couple of old blogs still floating around the interwebz and decided to delete them. sorry if this causes anyone confusion, but i figured it was silly to have 3 blogs when i really only plan on posting in this one in the future.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

purse of many colors

yay! finished the purse last night and thought i would share:

i'm thinking about adding some ribbon accents along the top and perhaps a felted applique to the center of the front. i'm also wondering if i could figure out a way to combine a felted wool base/bottom with a fabric top. hmmmmmm... it might be interesting or it could be completely awful.
who knows?!

Monday, September 13, 2010

knitting with fabric?

ok, so i was bored yesterday and decided that i should check out my pages since i hadn't been on that site in a while. i had forgotten how many cool projects and patterns were listed there, it truly is a knitter's wonderland. ended up looking through some of the groups i was a member of and came across the Fiber Knit and Crochet one. when i joined it was something that i thought looked pretty cool and out of the ordinary and figured at some point i would give it a whirl.
well, after looking at a few projects that others had made i decided there was no better time than the present to try it out. the next step involved going through my somewhat extensive stash of fabric. i finally decided to fore go using any of the fabric that i really loved and came across a duvet cover that i bought at a yard sale a few yrs ago. the colors were so bright and pretty and although i didn't think i would ever use it on a bed, it was such a good deal that i bought it anyway with the hope that one day a project could be discovered to best utilize the fabric.
after slicing the seams and ironing it, i began cutting 1" strips with the rotary cutter and mat.

after all the strips were cut, i began connecting them into one long strip using a technique that was shown on PBS's Knit and Crochet Now! which involved cutting a little hole in the ends of 2 pieces and then threading one strip through the other and pulling tight. (i'm horrible at explaining things like this, so if you're interested, check out their site for details.)

then i wound it up into a ball using an old mini-M&M tube. here you have it, a ball of fabric!

next came the hard part, trying to decide what to make! went back to my favorite easy project, the basic purse, knit from the bottom up, all in one piece. yay! no seams!
this is a very fast knit and i'm currently almost finished with it, just need to decide how tall to make it, pick out a pair of handles, and do the finishing touches. i hope to finish most of it tonight and then take some pix.
i'll let you know what the final results are like tomorrow afternoon. wish me luck!