‘Color work’ Archive
This p0st is so long overdue! So where indeed am I going and where have I been?
Well our lives the past several months have revolved mainly around transforming this:
closets before demo
finished bedroom with carpet
There were some bumps in the road like this:
the culprit: unsafe stepstool
Which led to this:
one unhappy guy and his little buddy
I also suffered a hand injury which greatly hampered my knitting for some time! Sadly no pictures to share.
Along the way we celebrated this:
L turns 3, B turns...uh..old
I did manage a bit of Christmas knitting (tho I didn’t manage any decent photo shoots) like this:
B's 2nd striped vest
Corrie Fair Isle Vest (KnitPicks) for my sis
Running Stitch Skirt from Interweave Knits
Hermione's Deathly Hallows Hat
Both of which I designed myself and gifted to my fabulous niece for Christmas.
And here’s a spoiler for my current project in progress, which will also be gifted to my fantastic niece:
(10 points if you can guess the inspiration for this sweater!)
So as you can see it’s been a very busy 6 months here! We still have a lot of home improvements yet to complete and the knitting basket is always overflowing, but hopefully I’ll pop in more often to let you know where I’m going.
*Title mercilously stolen from one of my favorite short stories “Where are you Going, Where Have you Been?” By Joyce Carol Oates.
I've totally neglected my blog for far too long. It wasn't entirely my fault, it was down for awhile and it took some crafty work by Hubby to get it up and running again. It's still not perfect. For some reason when I upload a photo, it says there is no thumbnail available so I have to import a larger size into the post, but you can't click on it to make it bigger. I am still recovering from PTSD due to some really disastrous Christmas knitting and so I have had to back away from the needles for a while. I haven't completely stopped knitting, I've actually gone back to this blanket
(this you can enlarge, it was imported before the blog demons attacked)
which I started last May. I will finally finish it and then I can move on to another log cabin style baby blanket that I hope to finish before our little guy gets here.
So why didn't my Christmas knitting turn out? I blame it all on pregnancy brain! Every time I tried something it totally bombed. The only thing to survive was this meager little mitten/headband set:
My mother-in-law was the lucky recipient of the only handknitted item to be gifted this year. The mittens are from Elizabeth Zimmermann's book Knitting Around, but I created my own cuff pattern. For the headband, I just used a basic Norwegian star pattern and plugged in the right numbers to make it fit. Kind of a fly-by-the-seat project which, consequently, is why no one else got anything, because as I tried to wing my way through more headbands, they all came out waaaaay too big. I tried making fingerless mittens for the guys in my family and they also turned out too large. I don't know what happened to my sense of gauge from the first mittens I knitted…
and the next several, but something happened and it all turned to crap. Maybe it's all the relaxin hormones that come with pregnancy and make your joints loosen up that is screwing with my gauge.
Thus I am temporarily at least turning to projects where gauge is not an issue…like the unfinished giant log cabin blanket. Maybe I'll have better luck with that!
ETA: The giant log cabin blanket is done and in the washing machine as we speak! I'll try to get some pics of it tomorrow. I'm sure they will be dark and gloomy pics as it is about 10 degrees here and snowing (so no way am I going to try to take pics outside) but I'll see what I can do!
I hate thinking about Christmas before Thanksgiving even arrives, but I am determined this year to get some hand knits into the gift stash before December 24th! Last year I was knitting frantically right up until midnight on the 24th and I will not do that this year!
One way I'm working to prevent the last minute Christmas knitting dash (and resulting repetitive stress injuries) is knitting small projects. No sweaters and Fair Isle vests for me this year. Don't know what I was thinking last year. Not that the gifts weren't warmly received and well loved, but I was a mess by Christmas. This year, it's all about the mittens…
This is Elizabeth Zimmermann's Norwegian Mitten pattern from Knitting Around. I used the spruce pattern for the back and just alternated colors for the palm. The colors in these pictures are so far from true, so here's an indoor shot that is not great but shows the color a little better.
(click on thumbnails to enlarge as usual)
The yarn I used, as so many others have also used for these mittens, is Knit Picks Telemark in the colors Poppy and Pesto (check out their site if you want to see what the colors really look like). I struggled with the pattern at first, and in fact knitted a 3rd (well, actually a 1st–these are the 2nd and 3rd mittens) mitten with a different palm pattern before deciding that I wanted something easier just to get thru the first pair and get the technique down (the first mitten was too small anyway so needed to be frogged regardless of what I thought of the pattern). I have also discovered that I am a very tight knitter in stranded knitting. Most people, it seems, who've knitted these mittens have managed the proper gauge of 6st/in using size 3 needles. I, on the otherhand, had to jump up to a size 5 and the right mitten is still snug! I think my gauge was more like 6 1/2sts to the inch rather than 6. The left and final mitten was a bit looser. I tried to concentrate on relaxing my gauge, but I do have a pair of sz 6 dpn's on order for the next pair, just in case.
Overall, it took me about 3 weeks of knitting off and on and about 15 hours to finish these. But that has not detered me from starting yet another pair:
I'm trying out the magic loop method with there. I'm not sure how I like it yet and may go back to dpns. We'll see. I've designed my own cuff for this one but will use an EZ pattern for the main back pattern. It will be interesting to see how much faster I can whip these puppies out compared to the first pair. Hopefully I won't end up hating mittens by the time this is all said and done!
I have been totally neglecting the blog lately. I have been doing a little knitting but I have no pictures to show for it. It's getting to be that time of year when all of the knitting pictures are going to suck because of the grey weather and necessity of indoor shots due to too much wind and cold. I would call it a Bleak Midwinter but winter isn't even here yet so I better suck it up!
In my list of projects to photograph are a baby hat, and baby socks (well sock right now, I'll finish the 2nd one soon. How pathetic would I be if I got 2nd sock syndrome on a baby sock that took like an hour to knit???), and if you can believe it, a pair of ADULT size mittens! I'm nearly finished with my first pair of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Norwegian mittens. If you haven't seen them before you can see some great examples here or if you are a Ravelry member (which I am I just haven't put anything on there yet) you can do a search for Norwegian mittens and come up with some great examples. I'm knitting mine, as so many before have, in Knit Picks Telemark. It takes about 2 balls each of main color and contrast color, which means about $8 a pair. Whoot! I nearly had a heartattack last night as I found myself just beginning to decrease for the tip of the hand on mitten #2 and I only had a yard of main color left. What the hell??? Then as I resigned myself to having an unfinished mitten I reached for my bag of Telemark (I have several other colors ready to be knitted into mittens as well) and low and behold, there was another ball of each of the 2 colors I'd been using. I hadn't even tapped into the 2nd ball yet for either color! I'm finding I am a rather tight knitter in stranded knitting. Most people can knit to gauge (6st/in) in this yarn on size 3 needles but I've had to jump up to sz 5 and the finished product is still a bit snug at about 61/2-7sts/in. I've ordered a set of size 6 dpn's for the next pair. I don't recall ever having knit so tightly on anything else before, and I've even made a conscious effort to relax, but oh well.
In baby news…This is the last day of my 22nd week. I had a dr.'s appointment last Friday and I'm measuring a bit big (28cm) which has me a little worried. My dr. said not to worry, I'm a relatively short person with a short torso so there probably isn't much room for the baby to go lenghtwise. But even though she said not to worry, my dr. still ordered a 2nd ultrasound to check things out. Ugh. Not that I didn't love seeing the baby in our first u/s but it does hit us in the pocketbook as our insurance doesn't pay for it. I suppose I'd rather know that the baby was healthy and everything was ok, but it's hard to pay for everything. So in a month I'll be having u/s #2 and my glucose tolerance test as well as an antibody screen as I'm Rh negative. I feel a little like the subject of a science experiment. The Rh negative thing I can't do anything about, I just hope that the screen will be negative for antibodies and I can just get a shot of RhoGam and be done with it. And I suppose the glucose screen is also necessary, I've had a couple of friends who had gestational diabetes so best to check for it. Plus since I already have high blood pressure, better to be safe than sorry.
Aside from the medical mumbo jumbo, the baby (a.k.a. Spike) is really jumping now. Just a few weeks ago I was lucky if I felt a little barely recognizeable squirm or flutter. Now there are some definite kicks going on! I usually can feel some kicking after I eat breakfast, a few in the afternoon and then again after dinner. Then he gets some good ones in at bedtime when I'm lying in bed reading. That's usually when it's easiest for Brad to feel them. He can't always feel movement but sometimes Spike will give a good kick and B can feel it. Sometimes it's easier to see the movement, as my belly will twitch and bounch when Spike does his acrobatics. That's pretty wild. He also likes to do a little dance after my 5am trip to the bathroom. Hope he learns to sleep a little later!
It's been very cool getting to finally feel the baby in a way that I don't have to question. Before it was so hard to tell and I had so many people asking me if I'd felt him move yet. I felt like an idiot having to say "not that I can tell." I know he was moving, we saw that on my 18week ultrasound, but i just couldn't feel anything more than an occasional flutter that I could only assume was him. Now to honestly know he's moving is weird and creepy and exciting and reassuring all at once.
Ok, hope this post hasn't been totally lame and boring since there were no pictures and no real knitting content to speak of, but hey, I'm trying to get out of my blogging rut so that's how it goes. Hopefully I can get some pics up soon.
Fair Isle Yoked Cardigan for Baby
The gloomy weather abated long enough this weeked for me to whip some buttons on this baby and get it out for a photo shoot. Teddy was a very obliging model, although you may not get the best images of the sweater in the photo above so here are some more detail shots….
Click on the thumbnails to make bigger…
Here's the sweater pre-buttons. I followed Elizabeth Zimmermann's instructions for a baby size Fair Isle Yoked sweater as found in Knitting Around. I'm not sure about the yoke, it seems a bit long. I fear the armholes may be a little low and this kid may end up looking like a red, white and blue penguine in this sweater! But we'll see. I wasn't sure if I'd like the blousy sleeve but we'll see when I actually get to try it on a human. This was also my first experience with button bands. Usually if I cut open a sweater for a cardigan I just sew in a zipper with an icord border or something but I figured a baby sweater would be the perfect chace to try my luck. It went surprisingly well. I didn't have to rip anything out or start over. I'm not sure if the buttonholes will be tight enough, I may have to sew them up a little with some matching thread. I am also thinking of sewing some kind of facing onto the cut edges I tacked under. They are not very attractive and I worry about them coming loose after a few washings, even though I tried to sew them down very thoroughly.
The colors in all of these pictures are ridiculously off. My Crapshot 2000 has got to be the worst camera ever. Even outdoor pictures do not show the true colors of my knitting. I hope to someday be able to afford a nice higher end digital, especially with Spike on the way. I fear he may always look blurry or completely washed out!
The yarn is Knit Picks Swish DK superwash wool in Hollyberry, Dusk, Pale Lemon and White. It is very soft and will be very gentle on baby's skin, but I'm not sure if I like the yarn otherwise. It relaxed significantly after I washed and blocked it. I DID make a swatch cap before starting the sweater but in no way did it just sort of lose all it's sproingyness (good English here….) and elasticity the way the sweater did. I think the sweater is still relatively the same size, I was just amazed at how much body it lost. But my biggest gripe is that it bled HORRIBLY! The white in the yoke is now a sort of pale pink and the yellow is not looking so hot either. I expected some bleeding, but hoped there would be no real color transfer. I even poured some vinegar in the wash water to try to prevent it (BTW I did NOT wash this sweater in the machine, I did it by hand as I was afraid the steek stitches may come unraveled in the machine). I am starting to realize why people fork out the big bucks for yarn, even for baby sweaters, as you don't want to see your work ruined because of crappy yarn. Has anyone else had this problem with any of Knit Picks yarns? Can anyone recommend a good and not bank-breaking yarn to use for baby sweaters? I will still use this sweater as long as it fits, and I am not displeased with the work itself, it just didn't turn out as wonderful as I'd hoped. But, as with everything, we live and learn. I'm sure this yarn would be great for a solid color sweater, it just didn't work so well for colorwork.
And moving on, here we have a soon to be FO….
A nearly finished Baby Surprise Jacket (also EZ in action). This will be my first although I have a second larger size on the needles….somewhere….This yarn is again a Knit Picks purchase, their Bare fingering weight which I then hand dyed with some Wiltons cake icing dyes. And again, thanks to my Crapshot camera, the colors shown are no where near the real thing. The real thing is shades of subtle red, blues, and a caramel brown. Much more attractive than what you see here. I will try to get some better shots once this officially becomes a FO. Which it never will if I don't get knitting! So I'm off! Happy Knitting all!
P.S. The fuzzy blue hat Teddy is sporting above a la Paddington Bear, is my attempt at a felted bucket hat knitted from Peace Fleece worsted weight. I made this sometime ago and have never worn it, but felt Teddy was really missing something without a hat and this one worked perfectly!