Sunday, January 31, 2010

FO: Cat sweater

Yes. I knit a sweater for my cat. Why? I don't know. Because I think it's funny.

Anyway, a couple of months ago I got the idea into my head that a cat sweater was a must. And I searched Ravelry for a pattern. Turns out, there's more than one. I picked the Cats Love Sweaters recipe mostly, I think, because of the cat in the pink sweater, which looks quite dashing and happy for a cat in a sweater.

I've spent quite a lot of time thinking about the sweater. Eventually, I chose an oddball of Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton in a gorgeous pearly grey, on the idea that the cat wouldn't try to destroy a plant fiber. Not as much anyway. I knit it hastily, wrangled the cat in it, and snapped some photos.

Infamous Cat Sweater

Infamous Cat Sweater

Infamous Cat Sweater

Infamous Cat Sweater

The cat didn't try to get the sweater off, but she did sort of scoot around like she was walking under something the whole time it was on her. I don't think she took to it.

... at least it's out of my system now.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

FO: Mini Mochi Socks

I'm a sucker for rainbows. I love how happy and colorful they are. When I first saw Kauni's EQ colorway, I had to have it. So I did. And knit a shawl with it. When I saw Regia Nation Color 5399, I had to have it. So I did. And made talls socks (with a peasant heel).

Then I saw Crystal Palace Mini Mochi and it was rainbow love. So pretty, I thought. I must have more rainbow socks.

And so I did. I knit a pair of plain stockinette, toe up socks, with a short row heel. And I was loving it. The yarn is so soft, if a bit too easy to split. Then, about halfway up the leg... a knot. And the color jumped from red to blue. On the other sock, the rainbow gently reversed itself. And as I finished the cuff, another knot! Jumping the yarn from blue to red, like some kind of cruel joke. For a yarn which sells itself on its color transitions, I was not (knot?) pleased.
mini mochi socks

But, whatever, these socks are for me. They'll be okay. I just don't plan to buy mini mochi again, as pretty as it may be.
mini mochi socks

I did learn a new technique with these socks. I tried out Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. It's great! Very very stretchy! It's absolutely my new go to bind off.
mini mochi socks

I've picked my Laminaria back up and am making some strides through the blossom chart, but it's taking me a long time to get through each row! I guess it's been a long time since I've knit a proper laceweight shawl.

Christmas knitting!

This year's Christmas knitting consisted of five gifts for four people. I knit four pairs of Fiber Trends Felted Clogs. My brother in law and his lovely wife each received a pair - alas, I did not take a photo of the finished felted project. My mother in law and my aunt also received a pair, but I have photographic proof of theirs!
felted clogs

The blue clogs are knit in Cascade 220. The blue were the first pair I knit and I knit the bumper upside down. But, as I hoped, you can't really tell once it's felted, and I even think it looks rather nicer than the bumpers done as written. The red clogs are knit in Cascade 220 and lana d'oro for the soles.

The last item is a pair of Kai-Mei socks, also for my aunt. I knit these out of Sock it to me 4 ply in rose wine. I actually really enjoyed the yarn, and the pattern is pretty neat too. I didn't do them both at the same time, so the socks are not 100% identical, but it's only by a row or two. Anyway, the recipient expressed appreciation, so it's all good.
2010.01.02 041
2010.01.02 044

And now the Christmas Season is officially over and I am firmly on the way to knitting in 2010. I've even finished a pair of socks already! More on those to come.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FO: made up hat

Pattern: I made it up. That's why I call it "made up hat." Because of my creativity.
Yarn: Knitpicks Sierra
Needles: Size 9 knitpicks options

I liked the process of making this hat. There was minimal planning involved. I just winged pretty much every aspect of it. And for that, I'm pretty happy with the results.

This hat can be worn as a slouchy hat.
Slouchy textured hat

Or pulled down over your ears and forehead to keep you warm. Personally, I HATE having cold ears and cold forehead, so I like my hats to really cover my head.
Slouchy textured hat

And the crown, which I wasn't happy with before, but quite like, now that I see the photo.
Slouchy textured hat

I'm on the fence about writing up the pattern. Does the world really need another stitch pattern plugged into a hat pattern?

My swatch is all done. And I learned two things. First, I don't have gauge with the recommended needles. Second, a cowl neck in alpaca is never going to work. Alpaca is soft and lovely, but my neck is super super sensitive. It only accepts merino or silk, or silk blends. So the cowl, the feature I love, rules this sweater out. But swatching convinced me that I really want to knit a cozy, comfy sweater out of this yarn. Knitting with it is like butter. I lurve it. Must go hunt Ravelry for likely suspects.

Monday, January 4, 2010

FO: Amelia Cardigan

Finally, right?

Pattern: Amelia by Laura Chau
Yarn: Cascade Lana d'Oro - about 10.75 110yd hanks
Needles: 6 and 7 Knitpicks Options
CO: April 30, 2009
Finished: January 2, 2010

This sweater and I have had history. It's the sort of sweater I'm drawn to. Simple, yet with something interesting going on. I learned that I find twisted rib quite tedious. Quite tedious indeed. I was so so thankful when I finished that part. I learned that I really need to swatch more thoroughly. I learned that I need to look ahead to the bit with the measurements to make sure that my upper arms will fit in the measured sleeve.

I added more increases to the upper sleeve to account for my arm. I knit longer in the body and yoke (I think) than the pattern called for. Nonetheless, I feel like this cardigan could have gone a bit longer. I knit the neck as written, tried it on and couldn't keep it on my shoulders. So I pulled out the bind off edge (it unzipped - a thing of beauty) and knit for an inch or so more, continuing with a raglan-ish decrease.

Oh, and I put buttons all the way down the front.

I like the cardigan. But, fundamentally, I had gauge issues. Gauge issues because I didn't swatch carefully (probably) and also because that was a pretty big lag between casting on and knitting most of it.

The photos are a bit crap. I haven't seen natural light in what feels like a rather long time, so flash and digitally messed with images are what you get. You get the idea.

Amelia Cardigan

Amelia Cardigan

Amelia Cardigan

Amelia Cardigan

Amelia Cardigan

And there's absolutely no detail at all in the modeled shot, but at least you can see where the neckline ended up.
Amelia cardigan

This afternoon, I swatched for Francis revisited. The swatch looks like it made gauge... more or less...

Friday, January 1, 2010

For the record...

... I finished all four projects I had lined up. Three are drying right now. The fourth does not need to be reblocked. No photos just now. And I've decided to send my long suffering Laminaria shawl into hibernation. Which leaves me a bit flustered. What to do next?

I think maybe I'll swatch for Francis Revisited. I have some beautiful alpaca tweed in my stash. It might have to be double stranded. And I'm going to do a proper swatch. Washing and everything. It's the mature and cautious approach to knitting. Should be novel.

Maybe a pair of lovely stockinette socks in the rainbow Mini Mochi I've been hoarding.

I also want to do a felted cat bed at some point with my odds and ends of wool. And a cat sweater, because that's the sort of person I am.

So exciting to have these things finished and so many options available to me! Wheee...

Happy New Year!

New Year's is a quiet holiday for us. Neither my husband or I are big partiers, so we stay home, play board games, eat pizza, and get really really caffeinated. It is such a good time to look backwards and forwards.

In 2009, I finished 21 projects. And there are 4 more which were mostly knit in 2009 but will be finished before the end of the weekend. I knit 9 pairs of socks, 7 shawls stoles or wraps, 3 hats, and 2 pairs of felted clogs. Notice something missing? No sweaters!

In 2010, I resolve to start and finish at least two sweaters. I also plan to refrain from purchasing yarn except for gifts or Really Good Bargains. Mostly I'd like to knit down my stash a bit. I foresee more pairs of stockinette socks as I try to breeze through some of my sock yarn. I am also hoping to do more blogging, but that's not a promise. I know I can do it because of the November Project. I just need to get going and make it happen!

This weekend I will finish the three Christmas presents I have left. All of them are so very close to done. So very close. I also hope to fix the Amelia cardigan and put that on my finished list. It's 100% doable. In fact, I think I can get the X-mas gifts done today! Maybe I can even get all 4 projects done today. Maybe.