10.19.2011

BFL/Silk Shawl, blocking

Blocking with super bright sunshine from my huge south facing windows.
 Less sunshine, up close and personal with the lace pattern.  The color is more true in the above photo than below.
 More of the body blocking.
It came out just a hair shorter than I would have liked, but it will still be warm and awesome about the shoulders.  I'll probably end up getting a shawl pin for the recipient to hold it closed.

There is a wonderful sheen from the silk, very subtle color variation from the under dye job and between the silk and wool dye take up from the over dye process.  I will get some FO photographs when I find my camera charger.  And my job stops getting in the way. (NEXT WEEK I GET TO REST!)

10.18.2011

BFL/Silk Shawl, grafted and dyed

So I grafted and dyed the BFL/Silk shawl.  HOORAY!

Here is a picture for you mid graft.  I will tell you a secret, I am not an expert grafter.  I screwed it up in several ways and it still worked out.  For starters, I finished each side after a right side row so the grafting row for each side would be a simple purl across row.  Easy weaving with no yarn overs or k2tog to figure out.  However for one side I ran out of yarn about 5 stitches from the end.  Guess what, I just didn't finish that row.  So I am exactly one row short for 5 stitches of the edge.  And it came out just fine.

Also twice, mid graft I realized that I had gotten off some where, one side which was my first stitch would be  behind by one stitch (I really only checked at the YO stitches), so I just ran the needle through it once instead of twice to catch back up.  And it came out just fine.  It looks great.

Now we all remember how much I hated that color.  And I was going to over dye it.  I wasn't sure what color, but I knew it would be darker.  As my dye pot heated on the stove, I looked at my set and thought, maybe I'll start with red and if I don't like it, I'll do it again with some blue.  I couldn't decide between vermillion or fire red (Jacquard Acid Dyes) so I gave it a little of both.
I couldn't be more thrilled with the color.  I had planned to block it before going to bed, but I was too busy playing video games and watching The Legend of Neil.  I will try and block it this week. I really really hope it grows in blocking.  I'm starting to think I should have knit it much narrower.

Below is all that remains.  Every last scrap of my yarn.
And just so we all remember, this was where we started.
I also spun up a sample of polworth that I purchased from someone on Ravelry.  I loosely spun and 2 plied a handful, then measured the angles of twist for future reference.  It was so lovely I was ready to dump all my other projects and play with it some more.  But I'll be good.  I'm focused.

My roommate needs a simple watch cap.  Just a plain hat.  I can't decide on a color work pattern.  Apparently, I don't do simple.

10.12.2011

Masculine Puffy Scarf FO

I know the title is a little confusing, masculine and puffy?

But it totally is.  The color and geometric pattern definitely butch it up, but the super soft 128 Cascade Superwash Chunky give it a lofty, puffy quality.

It is another Christmas gift, but I don't really care, no one knows who gets it.  Doesn't my roommate make a great model? I think he missed his calling.

10.11.2011

Lace Slouch FO

I think I am convinced that lace slouch hats are way easier to make than any other style of knitted hat.  When you knit a beanie, you run the risk of it being to small, too short or way too big.  But the lace slouch.  The only part that has to fit is the ribbed brim, then you just make it huge and win!

So I made a lace slouch hat for my friend Hilary who maybe let on that she would like a hat. Very subtle-y mind you.  I almost couldn't tell she was asking (that was sarcasm).  But she's a fledgling knitter and I pushed her to make herself.  Then plotted a hat on the side.

I think she likes it.
Now, these beautiful pictures she took for me don't showcase the mistakes.  I maybe got my second lace repeat off set from the first in an awkward manner and didn't care to go back and fix it.
The lace was from a hardcover knitting reference book I picked up in a used book store in Nampa, ID last year.  I don't remember the name, or author and scouring online booksellers for a book who's name I can't remember isn't turning out successful.
It was knit with some Cascade 220 that was in my stash from an online ebay purchase a few years ago that I threw in my bag for this last cruise, just in case.

10.04.2011

Coral Got an Alpaca Earflap Hat

It is not, in fact, the ugliest thing ever. It has now grown on me.

Don't look too closely because I hadn't quite worked out what I wanted until, you know, I was practically done.

Coral loves alpacas.  And llamas.  Need some proof?

I happened to have two balls of Misti Alpaca Chunky in color 7238, a grassy green.  They were going to be mittens for me, or legwarmers to go with the boots I ordered from Zappos which are on their way to my house RIGHT NOW.  But how could I not knit this for Coral when I knew how much she wanted one?  And how much she would love it?  And those puppy dog eyes?

I used size 8 needles, two sizes smaller than the recommended needle size for a denser fabric which the super soft and lofty yarn needed forced upon it.

I started from the top down because I really hadn't worked out how I was going to knit the earflaps yet, I put them off.  I could only find four of my dpns so I cast on and worked my increases in groups of six.  I kept two stockinette stitches together and purled between them every non increase row, increasing on either side of them on the knit rows.
Eventually the garter stitch in the round got boring so I switched to stockinette.  It took exactly two rows for me to realize I had turned it into a condom and I couldn't have that, so I decided to switch to ribbing, which is the wrong choice when you think you are knitting a condom.  So I broke it up with alternating rows of ribbing and stockinette.  I felt OK with it.
But the ear flaps were still looming.  I remembered seeing some hats in the past where the flaps were worked with short rows instead of two different balls of yarn and decided to try that.  It took two passes of short rows to get the flaps large enough.  I had a hard time working my pattern of alternating ribs and stockinette in the short rows so this area is riddled with flaws.

I was hit by inspiration to put an i-cord edging on it. Why? I don't know.  It was fiddly, but I think it worked out ok.

At this point I was convinced it was shit. It was horrific, it smelled of vinegar (What the hell is that about Misti Alpaca? Actually I know why it would smell of vinegar, technically, neutralizing the pH after dying and all, but I have a hard time with a commercial product still actually smelling like vinegar once it has hit store shelves. Wash that out.), it was probably too big.
I was wrong. Like Mary Poppins, it was "practically perfect, in every way."

10.03.2011

Ever get nearly completely finished with a knitting project to discover it may be the ugliest thing ever.

That's me today!  Hopefully the super soft baby alpaca and handmade with love bits will make up for that.

10.01.2011

Scrapping the mittens.  I want them. Pretty badly actually, but right now my alpaca has somewhere else it needs to be.

An earflap hat.  On a particular head.  A head that has been reminding me every single day how much it loves alpaca.

/sigh.

I'll have mittens someday.