Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FO: NaKniSweMo Cardigan

It's Oblique by Veronik Avery.  I call it "The Me Mine Selfish Cardigan" because it's been two full years since I've made something for myself.  There are no buttons yet and the photo is horrible, but I needed proof.  Proof!
And it fits!

The T-shirt is a high-fives shout-out to my fabled attempt at NaNoWriMo in 2005.  My brother attempted it this year... well, sir, didya do it?

Previously on "Skeins of Our Lives," there was that quarter-sized ball of worsted weight wool/alpaca blend, Berroco Ultra Alpaca in colorway 6207 Salt & Pepper, severely downsized from the original five skeins.

Yeah, that yarn.
That yarn was not nearly enough to complete the collar AND the cardigan itself.  So how did I do it, you ask?  It's simple.  I am the greatest knitter that ever lived,  nothing less than an absolute genius, prone to feats of miraculous ingenuity and fits of hyperbole.

You see this yarn?
This yarn is a full skein of fingering weight wool/alpaca blend Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in colorway 1207 Salt & Pepper, also known as my first-and-last sock leftovers (totally haven't done a FO post for those yet.  It'll happen).  And if you double this yarn, with the wave of my wand needles, it becomes a near-perfect match to that yarn.
And now you may applaud.

Final counts...
Cast On: 11/1/2011  10pm
Bind Off: 11/30/2011 10pm
Total Yardage: 1075+ yards
Total Stitch Count: 45,276

Wait, not 50,000?

NoNot 50,000.  I lose.

And yet, somehow, I still win.   :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaKniSweMo Week 4

The home stretch!  And I have this much yarn going into the collar...
George does not approve.

Oooooops.  There may be magic involved.  Stay tuned, citizens.

Right Front
Two of 'em!
Cast On: 9:30pm 11/20/2011
Bind Off: 11pm 11/22/2011
Stitch Count: approx 6195 stitches
Yardage: approx 169 yards

Left Buttonband
Picked Up: 8:30pm 11/24/2011
Bind Off: 9:45pm 11/24/2011
Stitch Count: approx 649 stitches

Right Buttonband
Picked Up: 10:15pm 11/24/2011
Bind Off: 11:30pm 11/24/2011
Stitch Count: approx 649 stitches

Here's everything pre-collar, with the raglan shoulders seamed:


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pattern Round-up: Despicable Me

Last night I watched Despicable Me while casting on a new project and waiting for the sleeves of the cardigan to block.  It occurred to me that there is a lot of "knitwear" in this animated movie... plus the minions would make some supercute toys.  On to the round-up!

Edith's Stocking Cap
Edith isn't so very excited about dance class.  Edith thinks sleeping in an old bomb is cool.  Edith never takes her hat off.
image via IMDB
This combination of slouchy stocking cap and earflap hat makes for a very distinctive fashion statement.
free!  Guinny's Despicable Hat [Rav link] by Sjoella Phipps 
free!  Despicable Edith Hat [Rav link] by Christie Allen 

Gru's Evil Scarf
You can tell there's mischief afoot when the scarf appears.
image by via IMDB
Simply striped, this should be an easy knit for someone with patience.
Despicable scarf [Rav link] by Brigitte Pini; $2.00 USD

Minions to Do Your Bidding
Remember what I said about making minion toys?  Here you go!
image via IMDB
free! crochet  Despicable Minion [Rav link] by Linda Potts 
free! knit  Your Own Personal Minion [Rav link] by Kat Lewinski
free! crochet  Despicable Me Minion [Rav link] by snacksies snacksies
free! crochet  Minion [Rav link] by Lupita Suarez
knit  Despicable Minions [Rav link] by Hennie Nimbleneedles; £1.00 GBP

Minions on Your Noggin
Or you could indulge your desire to become a minion, if you don't mind being frozen or shrinking or floating into space.
image by via IMDB
free! knit  Minion Hat [Rav link] by Maura Houston
free! crochet  Minion Hat - crochet [Rav link] by Tara Hawkins
free! knit with some crochet  Despicable Me: Minion Hat [Rav link] by Katie LeComte

BONUS: free! chart of Gru in profile...  Gru Chart [Rav link] by Tami Hunt

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaKniSweMo Week 3

Wool makes my eyes burn.

Left Front
Cast On: 10:30pm 11/14/2011
Bind Off: 11:15pm 11/16/2011
Stitch Count: approx 6195 stitches
Yardage: approx 169 yards

I'm a good 80% done with the right front -- not complete yet -- but there is a large source of worry on the horizon.  I'm also 80% sure I do NOT have enough yarn for this project.  I'm knitting the smallest size and, given the width of the button band in the sample picture, I'm heading for disaster.  The pattern calls for 13 balls of Adrienne Vittadini Natasha at 72yd per 40g ball.  Let's do some Cyp math:

13 balls of Adrienne Vittadini Natasha x 72 yards = 936 total yards
936 yards / 215 yards per skein of my yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca = 4.35 skeins

So I have five skeins, 1075 yards, bought in 2007 and depleting super quickly in 2011.  Sad face.

And if you ask me about my gauge square, you will get no answer, because I didn't knit one.  Now kindly wipe that smug look off your face because I'm walking away.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

There is Too Much; Let Me Sum Up.

  1. My computer machine is dead.  It might just be a power supply thing (which I really hope it is because I'd like to retrieve, oh, all the pictures of my daughter's life) but the tower itself is six years old, so I'm not too terribly surprised-- just bummed.  Research for the next machine is underway!
  2. Convertible carseats are expensive.  But we're all set on the diaper situation (thank you, parents!) so that's two steps forward.
  3. My friend's wedding -- AKA Shrugfest 2011 -- was yesterday and it was not only merely awesome, it was really most sincerely awesome.  Awesome x whoa - no-glasses headache + Time Warp + pinata.  SO full of love those two are, it's a beautiful sight to behold.
  4. NaKniSweMo is killing my right arm, even with more than a day's break between pieces.  I think I'm doing something wrong.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaKniSweMo Week 2

I went five days between sleeves -- this may not bode well for the finishing the sweater.

Second Sleeve
Two of 'em!

Cast On: 2pm 11/11/2011
Bind Off: 10pm 11/14/2011
Stitch Count: approx 8682 stitches
Yardage: approx 218 yards

I seriously don't know how this ridiculous stunt is supposedly possible.  (How many modifiers can I stick in a sentence?  No matter.)  My arms feel like they're about thirty seconds away from seceding from my body in a huff.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

FO: Snappy Flappy Cap

It's getting colder -- let's make a hat!

It's Cozy [Rav link] by Alison Williams, done with a little more than a quarter skein of Cascade 220 Superwash Paints in 9860 Jelly Bean.  This photo was taken during blocking; why the crochet hook, you ask?  There is a single crochet edging on that bad boy.  What?  Who?  Yes.  I did it, with the only crochet hook I own, thanks to this YouTube vid from Berroco!

Also pictured: awesome board book versions of Romeo & Juliet and Pride & Prejudice-- thanks, Sarah!
The hat is a little bit small, which I chalk up to my own hubris.  There are six sizing options (Preemie/Baby/Toddler/Child/Woman/Man) with Toddler at 16" head circumference and Child at 18".  The small girl child is approximately a year and a half and her head size is considered small for her age; I used my new Knit Kit to measure her head at 17".  Hmmm.  She is definitely a "toddler," not a "child" -- but 16" inches would be too small.

Where is my trust: words or numbers?  I chose words... I chose unwisely.  But it'll be a nice gift for somebody else's small girl child somewhere along the line.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaKniSweMo Week 1

I went a little crazy.

Cardigan Back
Cast On: 10pm 11/1/2011
Bind Off: 11pm 11/3/2011
Stitch count: approx 11,787 stitches
Yardage: approx 311 yards

First Sleeve
Cast On: 9pm 11/4/2011
Bind Off: 8pm 11/6/2011
Stitch Count: approx 8682 stitches
Yardage: approx 218 yards

As a reminder, I'm knitting Veronik Avery's Oblique [Rav link], a free pattern, with Berroco Ultra Alpaca in colorway 6207 Salt and Pepper (the color is way off on these pics; I'll get better shots for the final piece, but I'm just documenting progress now, so deal with it, yo).

And I have a full time job and a husband and a child.  And I took a couple of nights to knit a hat (more on that later) and an additional night to do nothing, because YES!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaKniSweMo Begins with a Whimper

A quick assessment of WIPs left me aghast: only one evening project on the needles [Rav project page]?  Okay, fine, I'll churn out some sock rows.  Then I remembered: it's finally November: NaKniSweMo!  I've always wanted to participate in National Knit a Sweater Month, the knitterly version of my beloved NaNoWriMo and this is my year, I can feel it.

Now it's, oh, 10pm and I'm finally casting on for a cardigan I've had queued since 2007, Veronik Avery's Oblique [Rav link], a free pattern, bien sur.  My late start means I'm already behind on my required row count, but I have every hope of catching up in the home stretch... provided my lack-of-swatching doesn't come back and bite me in the tuchus.  :)

My Parents Love Me

A Heavy Package came in the mail yesterday; on the wrapping paper was a card filled with my mother's handwriting.  It read, in part:
...So your daddy & I walked down to the Farmers Market.  On the way, we stopped by [the brand new only LYS in town!], open for business and beckoning us.  You will love it!  She even has big, comfy chairs where you can sit & knit & enjoy a cup of chai & chat...

My hometown finally finally has an LYS and it's beautiful, apparently -- yay!!  Now, you can tell already that my parents are wonderful.  What you may not know: up until, oh, five months ago, they were a little in-the-dark on the extent of my knitting habit.  Knitting was my favorite hobby, of course, and I had supplied them with scarves, hats, etc etc blah blah for over ten years.  But my parents "have known me a long time" (sometimes my mother reminds me) and when I lived with them, there was no stash to speak of.  Zero yarn lying around.  Each skein in my possession was promptly knit and the product given away before the next shopping trip.  Let me repeat: I once was a knitter with no stash.

June 2011 featured a weeklong visit that could be cast as some bizarro Clue answer: the Parents, in the Guest Bedroom, with the Stash.  At the time, I didn't think much about it, which could be considered a victory for one attempting to breathe more and worry less... no stash-revealing anxiety, no fear of some Mississippian moths fleeing their luggage and find a warm home in a nest of sport weight merino.  In fact, the full meaning of the meeting of the 'Rents and the Stash didn't dawn on me until I got the aforementioned Heavy Package.

Now they know.  I knit.  A lot.  I am a knitter.  It's my thing. And so...

The contents: a beautiful handmade yarn bowl, signed by the potter, and a Knit Kit, perfect for on-the-go projects.
look! a crochet hook, a tape measure, a row counter, a thread cutter...
...stitch markers, point protectors, a darning needle, and TSA-compliant collapsible scissors!

 What I'm trying to say is, my parents love me.  My mother gave birth to me when she had no idea what to expect and my father changed his first diaper ever that night.  They helped me concentrate on school and reading and music and important things until I finally realized that I'm not as unfortunate-looking as previously thought and who gives a hoot about that anyway.  They endured my angsty adolescence and came out the other side to raise my brothers. They have traveled by car halfway across the continental US more than once to spend time at the hardware store and make me pancakes and take my daughter on walks and enjoy falafel.  And now I receive perfect presents in the mail, just because, during the Great Yarn Diet of 2011.  I don't need any proof of their love, but they keep delivering it, and for that I will always be truly truly grateful.