Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Flowers socks

After the long and arduous winter we've had, it's nice to have things warming up and melting, in the last few days.  I've been able to leave the house without a jacket for the first time in six months or so, and I'm looking forward to seeing some colour popping out of the ground.

I made some colour of my own with these self-striped socks from the now-defunct Knit Picks Felici yarn.  I'm super sad to see this yarn go, since I always loved the base yarn and the simplicity of knitting the self-striping colours.  I haven't got much left, but I'm hoping they'll come up with something else by the time I run out.

This particular colourway was called Peachy, and I think it's pretty perfect for spring.

I did the usual, nothing new here: toe up, 68 stitch circumference, afterthought heel.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I do love how the stripes match but are offset from one another.

Happy spring!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Something New

I've been crafting quite a bit in the last while, though you see no evidence of it around here.  I've gotten really lax with taking photos (or making my HLM take some for me.)  There are some real oldies that still haven't ever been posted.

I made a pretty exciting purchase yesterday, though, and I wanted to brag - I finally caught up with (practically) everyone I know and upgraded my old phone to a fancy new iPhone!

This means I finally got to dig out the cross-stitch iPhone case I bought last year (when I originally planned to upgrade) and do up something fancy to decorate my new toy.  I chose a relatively simple Norwegian-style snowflake, and updated it with some contemporary colours.  It's awfully pretty and springtimey, I think, and I'm quite pleased.

I have a feeling the photos around here are about to get a lot nicer.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A New Bag

The old purse I was using was a felted bag that I'd made yonks ago.  The handle started to give out, and then, despite some attempts to maintain it, it finally had to be put to rest some months ago.  I didn't have a new bag at the ready, so I just dug out this old fabric one I had, with a tattoo-print fabric and some plastic handles.  It served my purposes for a while, but ultimately was also an old bag and started to show some wear and tear.  In the last week, the zipper finally broke (on top of various other wear spots and rips in fabric, etc., so I decided it was finally time to stop procrastinating and make something new.

Fortunately I had a pattern and some fabric & notions already for a purse I'd been planning last spring, so I just took my weaving loom down from my crafting table to make room for a sewing project, and threw this baby together in the last 24 hours, natch.

A lovely batik with rainbow colours and a neutral background are paired with a coordinating purple batik handle and lining, matching purple buttons for a bit of embellishment, and a bright blue zipper just to throw everything a bit off kilter.  There are pockets inside there, too, for my phone, my keys, my coffee cup cozy.  It's got a pretty nice shape but is still not quite perfect.  A gusset would be nice, for example, and the outer fabric is a smidge too large for the lining, imho.  I will probably continue to make more purses in pursuit of just the right one to suit me for the next couple of years.  If I ever get around to it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Snapdragon Socks

I wanted to celebrate the end of my Variegated Sock Yarn into Stockingette Socks project, so I saved a favourite of mine - sweetgeorgia's Snapdragon colourway in my coveted BFL sock yarn - for the final pair.

Despite what your eyes are telling you, this colourway features some fun fuchsia (not reddish) stripes on a super bright lime background.  In a fuzzy BFL sock yarn, they make some pretty warm, sturdy, and spectacular socks.

I did my basic sock, toe up with an afterthought heel, and tried the round decreases on the heel again.  This time I used the kitchener stitch to graft the last six stitches together, which I think makes a nicer close than just threading the loose end through and pulling tight.  I am growing to like the round heel, although for some reason it makes the instep tighter, I think, so I'm still working out the kinks in that.

Is it crazy that I've been wanting to order more variegated yarns to make socks?

Thursday, January 9, 2014


For the first FO of 2014, I have a scarf, but not just any scarf.  This is the sort of scarf that only a crazy person would begin, since it is done in fingering weight yarn on 2.75mm needles.  I also had to learn a new technique (Brioche stitch) to knit it, but once I saw the design up on the Purl Bee, I just had to do it.

The first question, then, was what yarn to use to knit it.  I'm a huge fan of Madelinetosh and when I saw the Spectrum colourway of their Tosh Merino Light, I fell in love.  My skeins are a bit darker than the samples on the website, but there is still an undertone of deep purpley blue with all of the colours of the rainbow within.  I like the way that, at a distance, it appears to be more of a semisolid, but up close it is so complex and beautiful.

Brioche stitch turns out to be pretty simple and also fun to do, which made it easy to dedicate a lot of knitting time to this project.  I also wanted to get it done quickly, to make sure I got some good use out of it this winter (I'm sure that won't be a problem, given the weather lately) so I watched a ton of Battlestar Galactica while I knit row after row, inch after inch, of Brioche.  It seemed like it took forever, but according to the Ravelry page, it was actually only about 35 days.  I guess that just proves how hard it is to be monogamous to any one project.  Thank goodness I have a bunch more to work on, now.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Why Are There So Many Scarves About Rainbows

This is the final scarf of this year's Kindergarten Scarf series, and none to soon, since it's the Zz scarf.  I might have to use the Greek alphabet to name them, next year!

This one is another scarf of leftovers, this time using leftover yarn from my Hue Shift Afghan (in every colour of the rainbow) and a bit of teal from my Opie hat.  You might notice that this scarf is therefore 100% acrylic.  Not my favourite, but certainly practical for a kid.

I used all of the colours (except the violet from the weft) to wind the warp, mostly in random single stripes, with a few doubled.  I had tons of the violet, which is why I chose to use it for the weft, but not quite enough to do the whole weft with it, so I considered a few options for stripes.  In the end, I did a 4:2 ratio, with 4 picks of violet to 2 picks of an alternate colour.  I did wide bands of the colours rather than changing up the alternate colour a lot, mostly because it would leave me with fewer ends to weave in.  With wool it's not so bad, because the ends will felt into the fabric somewhat, but with acrylic, I'm a bit more worried about things working themselves loose, so I figured the fewer ends the better.

I'm really happy with this one - I think it's pretty wild and some kid will love it!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Experiment in Stripes

Another scrappy scarf, this time using the Irelande and Chocolate and Robin's Egg blue from previous scarves, and some Chartreuse Patons Wool with a bit of Peace Fleece in Kamchatka Sea Moss.

I did a warp stripe, but it's almost lost in the twill - I swear the weft was open enough when I was weaving it!  You can see the angle of the twill is pretty much 45 degrees, so I'm not sure why the vertical stripe is so subtle.

What shows up fairly well is the sort of fade I did to change from blue to chartreuse and back again.  I think it really turned out, and makes a cooler transition than just a clean break from one colour to another.

Happy holidays to one and all - I'll be out of town and away from my loom, so the last scarf will have to wait until next weekend!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Little Bit Hobbit

Changing up to a different sort of colour scheme for this one, I chose some nature-shades for a little hippie kid.  Upon weaving it, I find it very hobbitty.  The vertical element of this scarf really makes me think of trees.  Needless to say, I like it.

More Cascade 220 Wool Heathers, this time it's Chocolate Heather and Irelande Heather.

Another scrappy scarf is up next.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Using the Leftovers - Oranges & Pinks

Once I've made a few of these scarves, I have enough leftovers from the colours used to make a new scarf with the combination.  This time I added a bit of Galway wool in Natural and a bit of Custom Woolen Mills wool in Red, to round things out and give a bit more contrast.

I kept it in hopsack, which for some reason I thought would end up looking different than just a fat plain weave.  Live and learn.

I do love these crazy plaids, and I'm betting some of the kids do, too.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Shrimp & Eggs

I like to put a few unconventional scarves in the pile, in some crazy colours, because I know that kids aren't afraid to have fun the way some adults can be.  I'm also kind of into hopsack at the moment, so for this scarf, I revisited a hopsack design that I'd used in the past: sort of a windmill design.

While I was weaving, I decided the Robin Egg blue and Shrimp pink didn't have enough contrast to be really effective in this design.  In fact, the fear of that was partly the reason I chose a pattern that had big blocky elements to it.  One of these days I'll remember to think more about contrast when planning colour combinations.  For now, it's just one more warm and wooly scarf done.