minor details about making stuff

adventures in yarn!

Friday, May 02, 2008

dad and i went to the connecticut sheep and wool festival last weekend.

we had a blast!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

i finally have something to talk about! i made a central park hoodie from the top down, and it is completely seamless! i've always admired the central park hoodie pattern from knit scene magazine, but i went back and forth for a long time on whether i would want my own. i am not a big fan of seaming and was pretty sure that the way the cables draw your eye outwards would be unflattering on my broad shoulders. i don't love sweaters that have sleeves tacked on to the edge like that (whatever you call it), and the point at the top of the hood sort of bothers me. but there are so many beautiful versions on ravelry (1248 and counting!) that are inspiring and got me wishing i could make my own.
so i did a bunch of math and unraveled a sweater/skirt set that my unrelated cousin gave me to take apart and winged this sweater - i am so happy that i did!
the yarn i used is a teal wool tweed with red, purple and teal flecks. the colors kind of remind me of michael jackson for some reason, or one of those early nineties nylon track suits. marita couldn't remember what exactly the yarn was, so unfortunately we'll never know, but i'm sure it's been discontinued for at least a decade. despite wrapping to be dk weight, i was getting a worsted gauge with it so i decided to knit the size 36 to compensate for the smaller yarn. i probably could even have knit the smaller size and been fine, it's a little big. i think hoodies are supposed to be that way so it's not a big deal, it's part of what makes it cozy. (i wore it as a sweater set a few times first,) but i think it suits me better as a hoodie.
i did a turkish (figure eight) cast on for the top of the hood, adding some shaping as i knit the top to eliminate the point. i worked my way down the hood to the neckline and increased as i went to end up with the same amount of stitches as the top up sweater. the math for the raglan increases worked out surprisingly well, and amazingly enough the stitches divided by eight perfectly. at the start of the raglan increases and body i also started the body cables and i continued with the front cables that begin at the top of the hood. i pushed the back cables in to the center of the hoodie, because i felt like the sweater needs all four of the cables to be back there. in the front i elimiated the outer side cables because there weren't enough stitches at the top of the sweater to accommodate them. it would have been possible to add more cables as i was increasing raglan stitches, but it really wasn't necessary. (next time?)
i added some waist shaping, decreasing five stitches on each side and the increasing them again over a few inches. i probably didn't need to do this but i find sweaters fit me better with a little shaping. i wanted to eliminate some of the boxiness of the original sweater since the raglan is generally a more fitted sweater.
for pocket guidance, i measured the pockets in my two favorite hooded sweaters. i realized that i could knit mine by increasing through the front and the back loop of eighteen stitches to form a flap. these stitches were put on a holder as i knit down to the ribbing of the body of the sweater, which was about five inches, and then the eighteen pocket stitches from the holder (including the cable) were knit down to the ribbing. as i knit the eighteen stitches, i knit the last stitch of each row together with a stitch in the body of the sweater to tack it down. once the pocket was the same length as the sweater, i then knit the pocket stitches together with the body stitches to incorporate them back into the sweater. after finishing the bottom ribbing i picked up stitches on the side edge of each pocket where my hand goes in to knit a k2, p2 rib to extend each pocket by an inch or so.
my button band is pretty similar to the one in the pattern (but by this time i had stopped looking at the pattern). it's knit 2, purl 2 rib with eight leather buttons from my neighbor katherine's amazing yard sale a few years ago. they are a little small but i think it works.

p.s. check out flickr or ravelry to see what else i've been knitting.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

as 2007 comes to a close i think back to my accomplishments of the past year. clearly i am not much of a blogger, but here is my excuse: i have been doing a lot of knitting this year.
my most exciting knits are definitely all of my new sweaters. this is mostly because i bought the book "fitted knits" by stefanie japel. seven out of sixteen of these sweaters are her designs!

my other favorite thing to knit this year was socks. i pretty much always had a pair of socks tucked into my bag to work on in any spare moment. the great thing about socks is that they're portable. most of these socks are toe up. four of them are even knit with self striping yarn that i dyed myself.

i also knit a bunch of scarves this year. i realized last january that most of my scarves were hot pink (which, of course, i love, but how many hot pink scarves does a girl need?) so this year i diversified my collection a bit. and i'm so glad i did because now that we've moved to a big loft downtown with drafty windows i find myself wearing something around my neck everyday at work.

my smallest group of knits this year was hats. i just was not that interested in knitting hats this year. of the four shown, only the green cabled hat was a regular, everyday hat for me (i'm not counting the hallowig since it was for my halloween costume, and the other two hats were for other people). perhaps 2008 will be a year of hat knitting for me?

there are some other finished knits that aren't shown. i knit some lingerie and a few headbands as well as a pouch and a few other random things that wouldn't fit together in a mosaic. i really hardly crocheted this year at all, which is kind of sad considering how big a part of my life crocheting was in 2006. i have started doing a lot of stained glass lately, and i'm in the process of a few sewing projects as well. i don't know what is in store for us in 2008, but hopefully the year will be full of crafts and crafty get-togethers. happy new year!

Monday, September 17, 2007

this weekend i figured out how to read and knit at the same time. i'd heard of other people doing it and it seems like an amazing use of time. i'm working on the breton girl sweater from the fall issue of knitscene. being that it is stockinette (and that i'm knitting it in the round) makes it the perfect project for knitting without looking.

it's taking a bit of getting used to, and both my reading and knitting pace are slower when i'm multitasking, but it's satisfying just the same. hopefully this is one of those things that gets better with practice!
the book i'm reading is called no idle hands: the social history of american knitting. i heard about it from cosymakes, (who referenced it in her graduate thesis, which she so graciously shared with me). reading about the history of knitting at the same time as i'm actually knitting is pretty neat!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

the size of the tag "knitting" has surpassed the size of the tag "crochet" in my flickr profile. i think this says something about me, but i'm not exactly sure.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

while my mom is having a summer of lace, i'm having a summer of sweaters and stained glass.

i recently completed my fourth sweater from stefanie japel's book, fitted knits. these sweaters each live up to the name of the boook as flattering and easy to wear. i can see myself making almost all of the projects in this book eventually, but in the meantime i've been working on a green tea sweater from the spring 07 interweave knits.
living by the sea is difficult when you're a couple of packrats. the open spaces of my house and deck are filling up with all sorts of things that wash up on the beach. as the jeweler i tend to come home from a walk with a sack of tiny treasures, while greg usually brings back one inappropriately large object that is either heavy or awkward and makes for an interesting rest-of-the-walk home with it.
my theory is if i'm creative with the things that i collect then i can continue to bring them home.

when i finish it, this window will hang in our dining room where it will gracefully ward off hurricanes much like the ones which created these shards.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

i got my invite to ravelry! so exciting. i don't think i realized when i sign up just how exciting it would be. as my mom put it, it's going to eat up a lot of knitting time to get it all set up. but once it's set up . . . wow.
the stash section has me a little stumped, though, because so much of my yarn is thrifted or recycled. i'm not sure how to categorize that stuff.
i love that once i enter a project i'm working on i can click on the link to other people's finished versions of it. or if i get upset with a sweater and want to reuse the yarn i can see what other knitters have done with that yarn. so exciting!