Archive for May 2007

Bag it

May 29, 2007

sophie postfelt

Finished object: Sophie bag
Yarn: KnitPicks Decadence (100% alpaca, bulky weight), Winter Berry
Needles: US 11 16″ circular and dpns

I bought this yarn because KnitPicks was having a sale on their luxury yarns. So far I haven’t knitted with anything approaching luxury. And I wanted a bag. After much deliberation I settled on MagKnit/Black Sheep Bag’s Sophie. There were two new techniques I needed to learn — picking up and knitting stitches along the bottom’s garter-stitch edge, and I-cord for the handles. But I felt confident I could do them.

And look! I did. It’s beautiful! I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Notes from along the way: I missed a couple of decreases somewhere along the way, and ended up at the top of the bag with a few extra stitches. No problem — just adjusted the bind-off so that the handles were placed correctly. In the girl’s dress I’m knitting next (the good Lord willing), I’ll have to be more careful, though … For the first time I literally broke the yarn — by pulling on it too hard while making I-cord. So I learned a technique I hadn’t expected to learn: the spit-splice. The fact that it was going to be felted gave me confidence that I couldn’t run into too much trouble … I think I’m a bit of a felting coward. I probably didn’t felt this as much as I could have. You can’t see the stitches anymore, but it’s not stiff, and it’s a little pilly and nubby. But it looked so pretty after only 10 minutes in the wash cycle that I could hardly bear to give it more than a couple more minutes.

Here’s what it looked like pre-felting:
Sophie prefelt

Before: H 12.5″, W 13″, D 6″, straps 24″ twisted together
After: H 8″, W 10″, D 4″, straps 25″ twisted together (yes, the straps actually stretched)

It’s something of a miracle to see that shapeless pouch become a sleek trapezoid. I used a beard trimmer (badly) to shave some of the fuzz off (badly), then brushed it with one of Cady Gray’s abandoned baby brush. Even though it’s perfectly lovely, I’ll probably try a sweater stone next time.

Oh, by the way — I figured out what I’m going to do with my beautiful Mogul scarf. It’ll be off to adorn the neck of a collegiate foster child in the fall, courtesy of the Orphan Foundation of America’s Red Scarf Project.

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It’s scarfy

May 10, 2007

Mogul scarf
Finished object: Moguls scarf
Yarn: KnitPicks Telemark (Poppy and Snow Leopard)
Needles: U.S. 6 32-inch circular

I started this back when it was still cold — January, I think. In between I got all excited about socks. But I determined to finish this before I started my next project (or, to be honest, my second sock).

You could do this with any worsted-weight yarn of some stretchiness — it’s just alternating stripes of stockingette and reverse stockingette. The only thing that’s unusual about it is that it is knit on the long axis.

I really like the way it turned out. It’s probably going to end up being a gift for someone in my family, but I’m not sure to whom, and certainly not until wintertime.

Here’s Cady Gray modelling the scarf. It goes well with her red-stripe t-shirt, but not so well with the warm weather. She’s searching for an ant on the driveway, which I think gives her that insouciant model look in this shot. She’s a pro.
CG models the mogul

Sock accomplished

May 1, 2007

sock completed

Pattern: Miniature sock (Tsarina of Tsocks Learn to Knit Socks Kit)
Yarn: vanCalcar Acres SuperStrong Sock Yark, Sage Heather
Needles: U.S. #2 double-pointed

It may not be a functional sock. It has a lot of problems. But it is recognizable as footwear.

I guess I need to knit with a fabric tape measure in my bag, because I misjudged just about all the dimensions by using my rough-and-ready “knuckle ruler.” 1.5 knuckle-inches from bottom of cuff to start of heel flap — not too bad. 3.5 knuckle-inches from back of heel to start of toe — Clown Sock.

There’s one major mistake here, and you can spot it in the photo. After I knitted the flap, picked up the gusset stitches (none too well, either, because I’d forgotten to slip a stitch for the selvedge at least once while knitting the flap, maybe more), and rejoined to start the decreases, I discovered that I’d dropped a stitch back in the ankle, before I got to the flap. Without undoing all the rejoined rounds, I couldn’t pick it back up — I’d knitted the stitches on either side together. So I sort of drew it up on the outside of the sock. You can see it in the exact middle of the top of the sock, right before the foot starts. Thinking back, it would have been nice if I could have pulled it to the wrong side before reattaching it to the needles, but whatever — it’s a practice sock.

I did poorly picking up the gusset stitches, as I said, but eventually got the hang of it. I did a flap and gusset heel and a wedge toe. Yes, that means I also learned Kitchener stitch to graft the end of the toe. With only eight stitches to graft, I didn’t have much room to practice, and I found it hard to find the grafted bar for tightening after doing the stitches loosely initially. But it ended up looking not too bad. I think I could do it better on a bigger item.

Last night after completing it I immediately cast on stitches for the second one, having heard that you must do that in order to avoid ending up with a bunch of single socks. But I muffed the first join and unravelled the whole thing. Tonight, definitely, if I don’t go back to the long-suffering scarf I’m about two stripes away from finishing. And if I don’t collapse. For the second one I’ll try a short-row heel and round toe — just to see what it’s like.

Sock!!

Uh … wow.

May 1, 2007

The computer is back.

When I got up this morning I had an e-mail saying Apple had shipped it back, and giving me a tracking number. By the time I got back from my 8 am final exam to track the package, it had been delivered.

From the time it arrived at Apple to the time it arrived back on my doorstep: About 24 hours. See title of post.

So presumably I’ll be back on Union, Trueheart, and Courtesy this evening (after my marathon fruit-salad-assembly session in preparation for tomorrow’s freshman final exam lunch potluck). I’ll also be enjoying the beautiful simplicity of Safari RSS integration after suffering through four days of the decidedly inferior Firefox Live Bookmarks version.

But I’ll be posting here tonight as well, because:

The sock is finished.

Pictures and commentary right here, later tonight.

If you’re a regular UTC reader who came over here during the MacBook interim, I’d love it if you kept Toxophily bookmarked or RSS’d. If you just hate all handcrafts and would prefer to forget that I do such things, feel free to delete this blog from your regular rotation with a sigh of relief.