Saturday, April 26, 2008

Knit by Janine Flew (Handmade Style series)

I recommend this book for new knitters. There is a brief history of knitting, but the best part are the instructions. For example--there are clear written instructions on how to pick up stitches, but also color pictures, with a different color of yarn to highlight. Most of the patterns (27) are rather basic, but the yarn combinations can be interesting (or ugly, depending on your point of view). Specified yarns can be expensive, but this book uses multiple brands of yarn. My only criticism is that I would have liked yarn substitution tips.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Works in progress, sort of

Here are some of the things I have been working on lately. The green bag was an experiment that failed. I like the shape of it (Cascade Luna yarn-fast!) but the handle doesn't work at all. The original pattern had 2 handles but I thought this would look better. It looks nice but is totally non-functional.
Home Ec Workshop sells the plastic daisy Crystal Palace needles. They are cheap, light, and fabulous. I almost like them as much as addi turbos. I bought 6 more pairs yesterday.
The orange sweater is an unfelted dog sweater. The yarn is kettle dyed--my favorite. It's too big unfelted, but I am afraid it will shrink a lot in the washer. I tend to NEVER want to make swatches.
The pink and brown sweater is for Sissy--also to be felted. It is made from Paton's Soy--which is a horrible yarn I can't recommend. The colors are beautiful, but the entire time I worked on this, my hands felt greasy. I talked to someone else who used this yarn, and she was of the same opinion--beautiful colors but feels terrible when you work with it. It also feels a little bit itchy to me.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Provisional Cast on instructions

Ok WK--I found some decent instructions for provisional cast ons, and lots of tips for lace in general here.
I LOVE Claire Crompton's books. This is the 3rd one I have purchased. While I don't think I will make all of the bags, there are some very nice ones. It's the little things that I like about her books: the back edge has a ruler and and an abbreviations guide, and and even though they are hardcover, there is a flap to hold your page. Best part for me: her directions are line-by-line, no "repeat row 2" stuff, and large.

The first bag I will make is from the cover. It's a stash busting bag that is simply woven strips of stockinette stitch--looks like patchwork, but easier!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Creative Knitting Magazine

I usually purchase 2-3 knitting books per month. The goal is 1, but if there is something good at the UIHC bookstore, I have to get it. Fortunately, they don't sell this magazine. I purchased 2 issues of it, and then for some reason I got a $10/year subscription offer. Well, that's the magic price for Sari--subscription ordered. I like this magazine, because it has a variety of patterns--many of which are sized to at least 2x. I'm not sure I'll ever knit a sweater, but it's nice to know that I could.

Last week, I took a lace knitting class. It was pretty much a waste of time for me--I didn't get much out of it. I don't know why I think that I can take creative arts classes when I need to pay attention--I always get overstimulated and can't think straight. I do however, think that maybe I can do some easy lace knitting like this now.

Felted Bag for Sandy

This bag was sort of an experiment, but I like the way it turned out. I will be sending it to Sandy for her birthday (which was yesterday). It is made from Malabrigo yarn (the bright blue) and Noro kureyon. It felted beautifully in about 1 cycle. The pattern was adapted from an online pattern for a Celtic bag, but with different handles. The handles are knitted diamonds that go into a small strap with an i-cord middle. Initially, I wanted to make the handles from Noro, but I ran out of yarn 2/3 of the way through handle #2! To dry the bag, I stuffed it with plastic bags, and then sewed the top shut and handles together. I have never done that before, but it did make the top edge even. The Kureyon felts a little bit fuzzy, but it looks good.
This was knit on #9 circular needle with 1 strand. It took way to long to make!

My next project is a satchel made from Knit Picks yarn. The yarn is a nice color, but feels terrible. It is going fast though.

I like working with Malabrigo. I ordered 4 skeins from Ebay last month--everyone else was sold out of the colors I wanted.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Interweave Knits Spring 2008 -- Parte Deux

I think this is a great idea. Thanks WK!

You, of course, are right, I do have this issue, but I have not taken the time to actually read through very much of it. I was supposed to last evening, but it suddenly became very lovely out after days of much needed rain. So, instead of having a quiet evening on the couch, MM and I spent the evening on the deck, drinking a couple of beers and relaxing in the sudden evening sunshine. This time we were glad the weather man was wrong. I was knitting while we chatted, but forgot to get out the IK.

I reread your post this morning and clicked on all the links, etc. I really like many of the sweaters you already mentioned, but now that I've seen the Knitting Daily blog (yes, I'd never seen it before), I'm not so sure I could make the adjustments necessary to get any of them to look good on me. I guess I should try before giving up! I think it's really great to see the same sweater on the different body types, and I suppose I could try to learn something about shaping ...

The one I really like, although the color is wrong for me, is the Holly Jacket. I am not sure about it for me, but I have a colleague who would look great in it, unfortunately I haven't convinced her (yet) that she needs to learn to knit. She did like it in the magazine (she was on "vacation" with us, WK). For myself, I can't see knitting sweaters that will end up highlighting the fact that I should do a lot more exercising of my abdomen. I need to look at the lace patterns again, there are a couple that look interesting, especially the Cobweb Lace Stole.

CARDIGAN UPDATE: I have completed 3 parts of the cardigan! I got the entire back finished except for binding off on the way back from Atlanta. And I have finished off the two front parts since then. Woo Hoo!! I'll have to devote a few blog posts to what I've been working on since December ... and take photos.