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Friday, January 30, 2015

Marietta's Circular Jacket, pattern

Marietta’s Circular Shrug (not tested)

This shrug like jacket starts at the outer edge and is knit in the round until the underarms.  At that point the back flap is continued until it is large enough for the arms.  It is joined to the top with a 3 needle bind off. 

Material:  Berocco Ultra Alpaca

Needles:  Size 7, 16 inch.  Two size 5 circular, 16 inch. (or one size 5 circ and one needle holder)

Gauge: I'm bad at gauge swatches.  Ultra Alpaca is a lighter worsted.
Picot Cast on:  Knit Picot CO. 
Start with 5 stitches.  * (BO two.  Place remaining stitch back on left needle .  Cable CO 3 stitches.) Repeat from *.

With Size 7 needles, CO 80 stitches using the picot CO

Join to knit in the round.  Place markers at beginning and halfway point.  K2P2 for 2 inches, slipping markers as you go.

Change to size 5 needles. 
K2P2 for 1 inch. 

Decrease row and bind off for armholes .Bind off 4 stitches.    K1.  (P2tog, K2) to last two stitches before marker, P2tog.  Bind off 4 stitches.  K1.  (P2tog, K2) to last two stitches before end of row.  Pick up front loop of first bound of stitch and purl it together with the last two stitches.  This prevents a gap in the armhole.
Turn to work the back section back and forth.  Begin wrong side of back with new size 5 needle. The rest of the stitches (top back) are left on the original needle. (the remaining stitches can also be slipped to a stitch holder)  P2,K1 in pattern to the end of the row.  Continue in pattern as established for 3 ½  inches.  End with right side row. 

With right sides together do a 3 needle bind off with top back. Knitty has a nice tutorial. 
Weave in ends.

Closure as desired. 

The yarn for this hand spun version is a smaller gauge then the Ultra Alpaca.  I CO 72 stitches.  It was a bit snug.

For the first try I used a DK bamboo, CO 144.  This was more stitches then necessary, and made the pattern fussier.  The CO row was not quite stretchy enough (German twisted CO)   CO very loosely or over two needles.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Coming Up out of the Darkness, Post by the Drama Queen

Nothing makes me fall into bitter despair more then a virus.  Somehow that internal waging of war takes a lot out of me and leads to weird, paranoid dreams, feelings of worthlessness and general whining.  To compound matters, my creative efforts were total busts!

No pattern Bubble Skirt for Marietta.

I had no elastic, so tried using fold over elastic and beading elastic. I gathered the bottom too much and the top not enough.  I will try this again, because it is darn cute!

Just not enough layers and too see through.  I will definitely try again, as Marietta has the shoes and the tights!  Perhaps I'll even try a leotard if I can find the right stretchy fabric.  There is a tutorial that makes it seem so easy!

I found a nice recipe for Ginger Tea which helped my sorethroat.  It wasn't bad with a shot of bourbon either!  It helped me sleep! 

My only accomplishment was to read a whole book.  This may be a small miracle.  I rarely read any more unless it's a craft book or pattern.  Gone are the days when read 6 books a month.  The book was Bundori, by Laura Joh Rowland.  It is a murder mystery that takes place during the Tokugawa era.  It's actually the second book in the series, so now I'm reading number 1, Shinju.

About day 5, my energy and sense of hope returned.  My sleep cycle returned to normal.  I'm resolved to move on!

I finished spinning my white Giant Angora. These really cute bunnies are raised by Dr. Albert Mina, a vet on the Big Island.  I am tempted to get a bunny, but the amount of grooming they require, not to mention the mounds of poo they produce...oh my, lol.  I wish I could find that funny blog post I read once about a lady who didn't spin, got the rabbit first and never did learn to spin.  She basically said everyone and everything in the house was covered with angora. 

I ended up with 46yds, 26 grams of 2 ply.  I decided to try spinning this without combing since it was so clean.  My last two spinning adventures and watching DVDS blogless Sandy loaned me, hit home regarding fiber prep.  Don't be lazy!  Get those short cuts. noils and VM out  before spinning, and the resulting yarn is much nicer.  I have to give up holding on to as much fiber as possible and throw out the stuff that is not good.

Marietta would like a circular shrug out this angora.  I am reading up on the anatomy of a circular shrug and it sort of makes my head feel like it's going to explode.

So on to something cute and mindless!  The Infamous Hanging Basket!

100% Acrylic 
Size K
This used just a little over half a ball and came out rather tiny.  I'm going to make another with Super Bulky  and size N hook as the pattern suggests.  
 I won this yarn at Stitches Midwest and it was not fun to knit.  However it took to being crocheted quite nicely and I think,  the best that acrylic has to offer (lasting an eternity and being totally color-fast) will work well in a bag.   I envision a larger one to hold spare toilet tissue rolls and replacing my well worn, faded bag ladies.  Perhaps bag ladies will be obsolete when Oahu bans the plastic bag. 

Another successful project was replacing the button on my gear shift which had cracked off.  There are youtubes for everything!

My car still locks in park, but  the handy dandy screwdriver trick should get me through to next weeks appointment.  That can be a more complicated problem unless it's just a fuse.

Add:  One other successful project for Marietta finished before the dread plague set in.  The Hunters Cowl, somewhat like Katniss Everdeen, only knit.

I didn't not write the pattern down and 14 inches of i-cord times two, was so boring!  Also the Wool-ease was quite splitty to work with.

Of course, now she wants the bow and the leather jacket.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Knitting and Spinning FOs

5 Mitts
 A fingerless mitt obsession hit right after New Year.  I decided I would stop after 5 pairs.  These are the ultimate instant gratification knit, each pair taking only a day. They are also a great stash busting probjed.   I caught up on my TV shows!

1.  Owl Mitts in Malabrio Rios.  I think these are my favorite.  The owls are a bit hidden by the yarn variegation.  I know sewing on eyes would help, but I quite like them they way they are. The pattern is a combination of Bead Knitter Gallery and Kerrie James Owlings and the pattern on Knitty Fetchings..  The pattern is easy to see by looking at a photo of other owl motifs.  I CO 35 stitches since I needed a multiple of 5. 

2. Irish Hiking Mitts by Karin Michel from i K n i t 2 P u r l 2 in 2 Ply Worsted by Black Water Abbey. I love the look and color of this yarn but it quite scratchy, even after a good soak.

3.  does it ever bother you that your life doesn't make sense? by Jennifer Amey from smartygirl
in Cascade Heritage Solids & Quatro Colors.
I had yarn left over from my Tardis shawl.

4.  Blue Mitts.  Libernating Mitts by Alison Stewart-Guinee from Knitting by Hand tosh merino by madelinetosh colorway Baltic.   I added a thumb gusset. 

5.  Malabrigo Mitts.  75 Yard Malabrigo Fingerless Mitts by Jeanne Stevenson from Life in Cleveland Malabrigo, colorway Amazonas.   I lengthened the cuff to 15 rows. 

Bond Wool, Weird dye job

I finished plying my Bond wool from Stitches Midwest.  I ended up doing a two ply and got a nice bouncy wool.  My fiber prep is less then stellar and I will have to pick out noils and VM as I knit.  The original was a natural fawn and I decided I would try to dye it with Wilton's cake dye.  It's a bit weird.  In one area the blue dye colors separated and made red.  In general I was too skimpy on the dye.  I will knit something and then re-dye it.  As usual I'm not sure on the yardage or gauge, but I have about 4 ounces.

The angora allergy test is complete.  The verdict is that I'm not allergic, but those hairs tickle my nose and make it run.  I can wear a mask when I card it.  Dr. Mina on the Big Island was nice enough to send me some samples to work with.  I finished the English Angora and ended up with about 1/2 ounce.  The stuff is very soft and is a nice off white with gray highlights.  So far Marietta has a scarf from it and will have fingerless mitts in the future.

Modified Rustic Potato Chip Scarf by Ratchadawan Chambers from Learn Knitting Stitches Size 8 needles.  CO 11 stitches and had only one stitch in the middle for the turns to bunch it up. 

I survived the holidays so far.  I'm trying to focus on the good things, knitting and spinning to keep from losing it.  

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello 2015!

It will be awesome!