Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sachiko Kimono - Yellow and Blue

The second Sachiko Kimono is done! I like the crisp contrast of the yellow and blue. I changed the diagonal decreases from garter stitch to stockinette stitch, and omitted the yo and the corresponding k2tog. The diagonals are still a bit short, but not as bad as the first one.

This is the last kimono until Bean makes his arrival. Then Diametrag can decide if a kimono is a good idea, and we'll finally know what size he needs for a summer outfit.

These little kimonos are the new 5 hour baby sweater. They take small amounts of worsted weight yarn, no fancy finishing, no buttons or buttonholes, and they are quick to knit! I spent more time weaving in ends than knitting sleeves. Perhaps if I had a proper sized tapestry needle, it wouldn't have taken so long. I need to go to the 5&10 and pick up one of those pink plastic needles, big eye and blunt ends.

I have another little green sweater I started, but it's not appealing to me right now. I'm not sure what I'm going to knit next. I may turn out the 2 pairs of slippers I promised my mom and dad. The 5&10 has Red Heart, hmmmm. It's a thought.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sachiko Kimono - Done!

I ran out of Lentil earlier than I had hoped, but the sleeves don't look too odd. Bean won't care, and Diametrag is too sensible to be a fashion diva. If the sweater fits, Bean will wear it, I'm sure.

The diagonal on the fronts is done in garter stitch, and is very tight. This skews the whole thing, and I had to put the ties lower than expected. They should be placed where the sweater starts to decrease, but it is so tight, it's at least an inch away from the sweater edge. I hope it's a minor glitch in the over all picture. I have a plan that should correct that problem in the next little Kimono I'm knitting.

I have 3 more skeins of 1824 cotton, and it seems a shame to let them languish in my stash. I have two skeins of Maize and one skein of Sky. Oops. Maize and Blue is not a favorite color combination in Diametrag's house. (Go Spartans!) Well, the Maize is more of a creamy yellow and not a dark gold, so perhaps it would be best if I just don't mention the actual color name. Maybe Diametrag will regift it to someone who doesn't mind the colors.

Knitter's Details: Sachiko Kimono, 6 mos size, 3 skeins Mission Falls 1824 cotton, #6 needles.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Finished Tofutsies, Started Sachiko Kimono

I finished another Pair of Socks For Me! This is my first pair of Tofutsies socks, and I'll need to see how they wash and wear. My first impression is I loved the way the yarn felt as it ran through my fingers, and the finished socks feel soft and squishy.
I love the subtle colors, and I must admit I've been window shopping here. Some of the colors are too bright for me, but their range is wide enough to please my oddball color sense. Even the bright ones look good to me today. Can't you just see #799 in a baby kimono? #802 would be even better! With 100 gram balls, I might eke out a matching hat and sockies! Honestly, I'm planning a trip to my LYS when the roads clear. I'd love to see those colors and squish that yarn in person!
The Socks for Me Project is on the back burner while I make a last minute push for a few sweaters for Bean. He's due in about 4 weeks, and that means his window of opportunity is approaching quickly!
This is the Sachiko Kimono by Erika Flory. I found it here while surfing for baby patterns before Christmas. I was searching on Ravelry, and many knitters are making the Baby Yoda Sweater, but I like the look of this one, plus it is sized for 6, 12 and 18 months.
I haven't used Mission Falls 1824 cotton before, and I'm not happy with the way my eyelets are so big on the diagonal fronts. I may knit extra I-cord and thread it through those holes just to cover them up. Next time I will remember to snug up the stitch after the eyelet.
I bought this yarn on sale, intending to make a Baby Surprise Jacket, and changed my mind. I had 2 balls of Lentil, and trimmed it with the Olive Green. I have only 20 grams of Lentil left, and I know that's not enough for the sleeves. I plan to divide the leftover yarn, pick up the stitches and knit till I have just enough left to sew the seam. I'll finish in green, and if I'm lucky, it will look like it was a Plan! There will be enough green to make I-cords and then I'm done!
In my opinion, this kimono rivals the 5 hour baby sweater for knitting simplicity, and I like the way it looks! I have three more balls of 1824 cotton, and will probably make another kimono just so I don't have the yarn hanging around. I'm not fond of knitting worsted weight sweaters for babies, but I'm reserving judgement till I actually see the sweater on Bean. I also don't know how this stuff washes and dries. Diametrag is going to be busy enough, she shouldn't have to worry about special washing instructions.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Progress on Tofutsies Socks

I turned the heels and have a few rounds done in the cuff. When I looked at the picture, I thought the socks looked a little short, even for me, so I measured them. The rectangle toe folds under so they are actually a bit longer than the photo, but still measure barely 8" from toe to heel. I was concerned this might be too small, and slipped one on this morning. Aaaah, it is a snug fit in a beautiful soft yarn.

Now you can see the colors are gray-toned rather than all brown. In natural light I can see spots of pale aqua in the mix. Diametrag, this is excellent yarn and I love the color! (#807)

I must admit, Tofutsies will split if my attention strays. When I was working the heel flap, I didn't like the way the end stitches stretched. I knit through the back of those loose stitches, and avoided gaps where my heel flap joins the gusset. The heel flap shows very little definition with the k1, sl1 heel stitch. If I make another pair of Tofutsies, I will try giving the knit stitch a twist by knitting in the back.

I like Tofutsies, but wouldn't recommend it for a beginner because it splits easily. I am used to knitting with a thin sock yarn like Opal, and I think Tofutsies is comparable in size. If you are used to knitting with a dk yarn, you may have to make some adjustments to get the correct size in your sock. I'll be very interested to see how it wears and washes. All my handknit socks go through the washer and dryer, I'm not knitting heirlooms, I'm knitting for warm feet.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's a Blooming Jungle Out There

Diametrag and I went to Frederik Meijer Gardens two winters ago, we wandered through their orchids and orchid sale. I bought one in bloom; everyone said if I could grow African Violets, I could easily grow an orchid. It's been awhile, but it finally bloomed again. I don't remember the name, but they said it was easy to grow. This picture has a lot of clutter in the background, but the colors are close to real life.
Here's another shot, the flash made the background all black, and it looks a bit odd to me, floating in the darkness like some sort of wierd UFO.
This is a hoya I got in October, and it looks to me as though it's going to bloom! It is Hoya Multiflora, (scroll down for text) and has yellow flowers that look like shooting stars. It doesn't vine, it branches, and could get to be shrubby.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I started another pair of Socks for Me, this time in Tofutsies, color #807. It is actually a very nice heathery gray, but the light is quirky this morning, and the color is way off. I am knitting with #0s and my usual 64 sts, toe up, two at the same time. I read reviews that reported Tofutsie yarn was splitty, and they were right. It's not annoying yet, so I will keep an eye on my stitches when I'm working this pair.
As I knitted, I thought about Diametrag's baby shower, and all the wonderful gifts she got for Bean. He has enough bibs, t-shirts, onesies, socks, receiving blankets, sweaters....Oops! Sweaters? Tatt3r's first grandson, the one to be born in February, has No Sweaters? GASP! I will certainly flunk Grandmother's Knitting 101, be banished to the inner circle of Knitting H3ll, and never have access to yarn or needles again!
So begins my downfall, I started a project without finishing one. But I had to, right? It's for Diametrag's Bean!
Here is the yarn for Bean's sweater, after the dog got through with it. Last fall, Diametrag and I bought yarn on sale at ThreadBear in Lansing. I also bought this wonderful pale green yarn, not on sale. I put it all in a bag, in the spare bedroom, behind a closed door, and yet Kaylee somehow gained access to the yarn. I can't fault her taste. She turned up her nose at the $1/skein cheapo yarns, and went directly for the $6.99/skein yarn. You can see she demolished one skein, slobbered on a second and left the third one untouched.
I started the Baby Sweater on Two Needles from "Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac". (page 28) I am using Lanett and #4 needles. EZ uses Gull Stitch for the body of the sweater, a pretty little lace stitch. I decided Bean didn't need lace, and I am alternating bands of seed stitch and garter stitch. I was concerned there might not be enough contrast between garter st and seed st, but I think it will be good enough.
I try to finish one project before beginning another, but now I have quite a juggling act going on.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Finished Socks For Me

The first pair of Socks for Me is done! They are warming my feet as I type; they feel soft and fit just like I like them!
I added 10 rounds to the length I normally knit my cuff, and didn't die from the exertion. They are tall enough to fit in my new boots. After my k1p1 cuff, I bind off with the Kitchener Stitch, rather than a knitted bind off. It takes some time, but I finally learned it well enough I don't need my cheat sheets any more.
I'm trying to decide which yarn to use for my next pair of socks. Ah, the luxury of having 6 more skeins to choose from. Diametrag and Jake are superior offspring; they know how to make this old mom happy! I will skip the black and dark brown, and leave that for summer knitting when the daylight is reliably bright. Diametrag slipped a skein of Tofutsies into the mix, and I may try that next. It's a tweedy gray and white, and the stitches will be easy to see in the gloomy days we have this time of year.
Knitter's details: Knit Picks Felici, Pebble, (superwash merino), #0 dpns, 64 stitches, toe up, heel flap and gusset, stockinette stitch

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Knitting up the leg

I finished the gussets, turned my heels, and knitted the heel flaps on both socks. Now I'm on the home stretch, knitting up the legs.
This is where I typically run out of gas, and end the sock early. I want to add about an inch to my standard length cuffs in order to fit comfortably in my new boots. I have at least one pair that slides down, and I give a good tug to keep it comfortable. I hope a snug heel and a longer cuff will take care of that.
I have been knitting socks for myself since about 2003, and have enough pairs to make it through a laundry cycle. Lately I noticed that the first socks I reach for were the ones with the plain foot, and I realized they were more comfortable. The Opal socks are nice, but a bit thinner. This Knit Picks Felici is a tiny bit thicker, not a dk, rather a fat sock yarn. I will see if my feet can tell the difference.
I don't pamper my socks, they get washed and dried in the machine with all my regular laundry. Recently I spotted the first signs of wear. Other than one pair that I snagged on the furnace floor vent in the kitchen, I have had no holes in my socks. Now I see tiny wear spots in my toes. Not the heels, not the heel flaps, but the toe! I have a toenail that sticks straight up, and that must be the culprit. I'll have to keep them trimmed closer, I guess.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Knit Mandala - Mindful Knit

I've been on Ravelry since November and have been reading lots of posts, but not contributing at all. I found an interesting group, Into The Labyrknit, and have started to knit-along with their first Mindful Knit, a knit mandala.

I've just finished Round 25, and should have 182 sts. I am knitting with #30 Cebelia on #1 needles, and just managed to switch over to my 16" circular needle. It's a bit tight, and I hope it will ease up enough to let me slide my stitches without interruption.

This is my third start, and I think I will keep this one. I started with #2s and it was too sloppy, plus the color wasn't right. My next attempt was on 1s, and went much better, but I had trouble with the yo, ssk combination and kept losing stitches. This attempt I used yo, sl1, k1, psso, and my stitch counts are good.

I'm not sure if there is a visual difference between skpsso and ssk, I can't see it on this project. I can see a size difference in my yos, and I'm not sure that will block out. This last increase round I gave a little tug to my knit stitch before I psso, and perhaps that will even things up a bit.

Oh, and by the way, the little blue belly-button is how I start my knitting in the round. I cast on 4 stitches, knit about an inch of I-cord. After I double my stitches to 8, I change thread and start knitting the pattern. I'll cut it off and unravel it later, and use the long tail I left at the beginning to secure the first 8 stitches.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Progress on Socks for Me!

I haven't been knitting a lot since Christmas; I took a little break. Last night I picked up my Christmas socks, and made good progress. One sock is almost done with the gusset increases, the second sock is waiting its turn. I like to knit my socks in tandem, on dpns. I work on one pair, then the other, so I have only suffered from the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) once. It was such a horrible experience I vowed to never let SSS happen again, and have since knitted my socks together.
The yarn is Felici, from Knit Picks and it feels smooth as it runs through my fingers. I want to finish these socks soon, I can't wait to see how warm they are. The skeins didn't start in the same spot in the colorway, and I just started knitting, rather than trying to find a corresponding starting point. I think of them as fraternal socks, rather than identical. The colors please my eye so much, I don't care that they are different.
My feet are small, these socks are only 64 sts on #0 dpns, and I only knit 4.5" before starting my gussets. I've been teased that I have an unfair advantage because I don't have to knit big socks. Now Alwen can laugh again. I got boots for my birthday, and I'll have to knit longer cuffs for my socks. I have been knitting socks that are a bit short, and I find they are barely long enough to protect my leg from the cuffs on the new boots. My Christmas yarn came at just the right time, I need longer socks so I can walk in the snow and stay warm.

Labels: , , , ,

Free web counters
Free web counters