Archive for April 2009

Hey look I’ve changed

April 26, 2009

Pattern: Flippant by Sivia Harding (Rav link)
Yarn: Patons Stretch Socks (41% cotton, 39% wool, 13% nylon, 7% elastic), Olive colorway
Needle: U.S. 1.5 (2.5 mm) 40″ nickel Options circular (two-at-a-time Magic Loop style)

About a year ago, I bought a pair of sandals on a whim. They were cushy. They were good-looking. They were on sale for practically nothing.

They were also, I realized when I tried to wear them for the first time, half a size too big.

Combine this problem with another problem I gradually began to have over the next year: rather large amounts of leftover sock yarn. Whaddya get? Mini-socks. Socklets. Flippants.

Advantage #1: Use leftover sock yarn for something other than the scrap pile.
Advantage #2: Slightly enlarge the size of my feet in a limited area so as to make them the size of my sandals.

Unforeseen advantage #3: Hey, I like the lace pattern on these!
Foreseen advantage #4: Cushion that area between the big and second toes where the thong part of sandal always rubs.

Am I ready for summer or what?

Walk on my brother

April 13, 2009

Pattern: Fulled Lopi Tote
Yarn: Reynolds Lopi (100% Icelandic wool), colorway Vivid Purple
Needles: U.S. 13 nickel Options interchangeable 32″ circular needle (Magic Loop and semi-Magic Loop style)

The first large plastic bag plucked off the shelf for my 2009 personal project club was #12. Inside: two balls of Lopi that I’d bought on sale at least a year earlier, with the express intention of making this little felted bag. The pattern was one of the first that I found and hoarded in my initial mania for bag knitting, back when I started knitting in 2006. Why bags? Because I was scared to death of knitting garments, that’s why.

It was a good project to come up first on my list. Big needles, quick knitting, nothing complicated. Accomplishment guaranteed. Surprisingly, I even added a new technique to my arsenal — the three-needle bind-off, which somehow I’d never had occasion to use before.

When it came time to felt (or, more accurately, “full”) the floppy, fuzzy bag, I had to resurrect the felting skills I’d neglected since I moved on past bags (much more quickly than I would have expected, thanks to the Rav). I threw it in a pillowcase, fastened it with a rubber band, got out my old ripped jeans, and put it all in the top-loading washer on hot wash/warm rinse.

Since I wanted to check the felting’s progress before it dried, I opened the washer as it was nearing the spin cycle. Uh-oh, something wrong here. Pillowcase empty, purple bag escaped, thick wool fuzz everywhere in the washer. Rubber band broken and flopping loose.

I got as much of the fuzz as I could (terrified that it will clog up the outflow hose — again — or burn out the motor), and this time secured the pillowcase by tying it in a knot. The bag went through three full cycles that night without felting sufficiently, before I gave up in exhaustion. I subjected it to one more round the next day, and this time it got firm enough for me to consider it done.

And by this time there was something to put in it: the contents of the small bag labeled #3 in my 2009 personal projects club.  Turns out it’s the perfect size for 100g of sock yarn, a printed pattern, #1 circs, stitch markers, a tape measure and a pair of scissors.  But that’s a story for another post.

You still mystify and I wanna know why

April 11, 2009

Pattern: Armwarmers by Twisted Stitches
Yarn: Patons Stretch Socks (41% cotton, 39% wool, 13% nylon, 7% elastic), Plum colorway
Needles: U.S. #2 40″ Options nickel fixed circular (two-at-a-time Magic Loop style)

I was about halfway through my pair of armwarmers when, as is her wont, Cady Gray approached me.

“Mom, what are you knitting?”

“Some gloves, sweetie.”

With a hopeful but abashed look: “Are they for me?”

No, but I’ll make some for you, my darling. As soon as I’m done with these.

To modify the pattern for a child size, I measured her arm length from wrist to elbow, and her arm circumference just below elbow and at wrist. Then I measured the gauge I got on my version (same yarn, same needles). Multiplying my stitches per inch times her arm circumference at the elbow gave me my cast-on number, and the same st/in by her arm circumference at the wrist gave me the number of stitches to which I needed to decrease down. I increased the rate of decreases by one row, shortened the ribbing and straight knitting at the beginning, and knit until I reached the elbow-to-wrist measurement before beginning the thumb gusset.

Thumb and hand, I pretty much winged it.

The gloves were largely knit during my trip to Montreal for the AAR spring board meeting. I expect never to knit for a more grateful recipient — including myself. Her joy upon receiving them exceeded her useful vocabulary. “I feel — just like — a drop of love!” she exclaimed, throwing her gloved arms around me again and again.

You’re welcome, honey.