Sunday, March 06, 2011

Miri Bag

My latest finished project is a handbag I made using left overs. You saw my last project (Puzzle Ball) for my niece Miriam. I had lots of leftovers from that toy. Since I don't usually use acrylic yarn I was scratching my head over what to do.

I wanted to use three colors but I didn't want to use plain stripes. The bag is made using Linen Stitch. I love the look of this stitch but hate actually doing it. A small bag is all I could muster.

Bag Stats:
Pattern: My own design
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solids & Heathers
Colorways: Grey Marble, Dark Grey Heather, Dusty Green
Needle: Size 8 Denise Circulars
Finished measurements (minus handles): 9.5” wide x 8.5” tall x 2” deep
Handles: Bag Boutique Purse Handles, 5.5” wide x 4.5” tall

A few more pictures....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Miriam!

My only niece, Miriam, is turning 1 on March 2nd. My brother's family lives in Philadelphia so I can't make it down for her party but I definitely wanted to make her something to send. I have a whole set of favorited patterns for Miriam in my Ravelry queue. I needed something quick and I felt like making her a toy.

I decided on the free Braided Ball pattern. I had 3 different skeins of Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn that was given to me at my office secret snowman exchange this past Christmas. I never buy acrylic yarn, so having some on hand for a toy is too perfect. Easy washability is key.

The stats on this project:
Pattern: Gevlochten Bal / Braided Ball (originally written in German then translated) by Marleen Harto
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solids & Heathers
Colorways: Grey Marble, Dark Grey Heather, Dusty Green
Needle: Size 8 Denise Circulars
Construction Option: 6, 20 stitch strips. 2 in each color.

It's made using 6 separate strips of stockinette. Mine is made using 2 strips in each color. The pattern designer gives tips on the easiest way to make your first one...I went with the easiest construction and knitting directions. You can make them using more strips and less colors which makes it harder to put together. I didn't have any issues with my construction so next time I'll be a bit more adventurous. I think it would be fun to use self-striping sock yarn. When putting mine together I used locking stitch markers on my strips before sewing all the ends.

Miriam's ball is 5.5inches in diameter. Soft and squishy and perfect for baby hands to grab and hold. I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finished! Lace Rib Socks

Second pair of socks for 2011 are complete. A simple lace ribbed pair out of a book I've owned for years. The book (Favorite Socks by IK) is a great book. I've made several patterns out of it even though I wanted it for only one pattern. I'm now even making another pattern out of it as we speak. The yarn comes from my Woolgirl Sock club from June 2010.

Stats for these socks:
Pattern: Go With The Flow Socks by Evelyn A. Clark from the book Favorite Socks by Interweave Knits
Yarn: Knitted Wit Superwash Merino Fingering
Colorway: Two Roads
Needles: Size 2 Knitpicks circulars
I made these pretty much as the pattern states except
  • Only worked 18 repeats for the leg
  • I did not shift stitches as the pattern told me to for the heel and foot because I didn’t read close enough. I realized the socks aren’t symmetrical if you don’t shift the stitches. So I’m making the pair a mirror image of each other to compensate for my oversight. On the second sock I moved the pattern around my circular needles by two, so that the purls would end on the needle instead of begin like the first sock. Now, when the socks are on, the rib pattern will look correct going across the tops of the feet.

Friday, January 21, 2011

FO Friday: Vegas by Storm

First finished object of 2011 are my Vegas by Storm socks. Started January 8th and finished last Sunday, January 16th. Cast on while on a plane to Vegas and finished a couple days after getting home.

Stats on these:
Pattern: Storm by Kbomb (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight
Colourway: The Skein With No Name - a RSC shipment yarn for 2010
Needles: size 2US knit picks circulars
Notes: I don't like the heel construction on the pattern. It's written as a heel flap with short row turning. If I make these again I'll probably change the heel to a more traditional heel flap and turn method. They fit fine but it's a little awkward to make.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another WIP spotlight

Second in my spotlight on my WIPS for 2011 is my "Recycled Ropes & Picots" cardigan. The last progress I made on this was October of 2009. It's a fun project and I'm excited to have it finished some day soon.

I Haven't much more progress then what is shown above. The two fronts shown in this picture are finished and I have about 5 inches of both sleeves done. While the pattern calls for full length sleeves, I'm making mine 1/2 length. Partly because mine is a summer weight yarn, partly because I'm afraid I'll run out of yarn, and partly just because I'm more partial to shorter sleeves on sweaters and shirts. This is my first recycled yarn project so I'm worried I didn't estimate the amount of yarn correctly. I think that may be way it's languishing in my WIP pile...fear of failure.

My goal for 2011 is to at least finish the sleeves on this bad boy....finishing in time to wear it in the spring or early fall would be fabulous.  So much to knit, so little time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vegas by Storm

I cast on for these socks on the plane to Vegas last week. I got through the leg of the first sock on the plane and the rest of that sock over the time in Vegas. The second sock was started in Vegas but didn't make it far since we had a red-eye flight back to Boston. First socks of 2011 is the Storm sock pattern designed by Kbomb on Ravelry.

Friday, January 14, 2011

25,463 yards

My last sock club from 2010 came this week. It's very nice - pretty color and nice Woolgirl always has. The patterns (a pair of socks and a small shawl) are super cute!

As much as I love getting sock packages every month, I've decided this year that I'm not signing up for either club. I had belonged to two: Woolgirl and Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock, but after last year they have started to pile my stash.

Time to do nothing but knit. The incoming has to slow down to nothing and I just need to knit. I know I don't have as much stash as a lot of knitters...but mine is too big for me. Time to whittle down.

I thought this would be a sad decision. I thought I'd be mourning the loss of my clubs (I probably will at some point) but right now it feels a little freeing. I don't have to worry about getting anything done at a certain time or not working on something I want to work on for fear of neglecting something I paid for and should be keeping up with. I'm following the Thrifty Knitters Sock Club on Ravelry where the group chooses two free patterns and the knitters choose a yarn from their stash to knit one of them with. I'm already 1/2 way through one of their selections for this month. One skein of sock yarn bites the dust and no more yarn is coming in!

So now, at the beginning of the year by yardage is at about 25,463 yards or just under 14.5 miles. Let's see where that is at the end of 2011.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Resolution for 2011

Happy New Year! 

Today is the first day of 2011 and I'm making a knitting resolution. I am surrounded by WIPs (works in progress). I used to be so good at finishing whatever I start, but over the last year or two I've sorta dropped the ball. Along with writing more on my knitting blog, I vow to finish all and make progress on the larger of the knitting WIPs.  I'll post a separate entry on each of my WIPs, giving them the justice they deserve. I still love them all, but for some reason or another I have stopped working on them.

First up in the WIP lineup is my sock yarn blanket. Now, to be fair to myself I always knew this was a never ending large project. I have a HUGE bag of sock yarn ends (leftovers from socks I've made over the years) and I couldn't bring myself to throw them away. 

This blanket was started in July of 2009. It's made using mitered squares of sock yarn on US size 3 needles. Each square is about 2 inches by 2 inches (25 stitches for each). They are set side by side, instead of on point like a lot of other blankets in this style and I'm making the larger blanket as segments.

Each segment is 6 x 6 squares or 12" x 12". I'm currently planning on making a baby size blanket that will be 40" square with sashing and a border. But, I have a feeling I wont be able to give this blanket away - and I have no use for a baby blanket it may end up becoming a larger lap blanket.

I currently have 2 segments done (two 12" x 12" squares) plus the first two rows of another square started. My goal for 2011 is to have 6 squares total completed by December 31, 2011. I think that's completely doable. With 6 squares that would put the blanket at about 2/3 done...a nice accomplishment for this project this year. Now I just have to plan out other projects around it.