Thursday, January 29, 2009

The recant...

I have in the past said some not so nice things about how, lets say, "challenging" Elizabeth Zimmerman's patterns seem to be. What I have come to realize about EZ patterns is, they are not really for a beginner knitter. After completing 64 projects (according to Ravelry) I can better understand what EZ is saying when she is talking you through her pattern. Which leads me to my latest completed project, A Very Warm Hat.

Pattern: A Very Warm Hat
Source: The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Materials: Cascade 220 Heathers
Colorway: Grey and Blue 2424
Needles: US 7/4.5mm and US 9/5.5mm
Start Date: January 10, 2009
Finish Date: January 14, 2009

As you can see it is a hat, a double thick hat. Now this is not really a hard thing to figure out and I think it is one of the easier EZ patterns. You cast on for a hat, knit the entire hat as normal and then pick up stitches on the cast on edge and knit the second hat . Easy peasy!

The pattern can be knit plain, with no stranded color work or she offers you a chart to add a little design. I did not care for the chart and wanted to make it more personal for my brother. So I searched my knitting books and came up with the braid or chain looking pattern that is kind of Celtic looking on the grey side of the hat and the Waves on the blue side of the hat. Both these motif's have meaning to my brother.

And I think it fits my handsome brother very well... HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY!!

This will come in handy for his youth groups winter camp coming up in a few weeks because it is A Very Warm Hat! So I am taking back my previous unkind words about her patterns, I am a more mature knitter and have come to appreciate her genius.

As I mentioned in my last post, my niece and nephew got the socks that I knit them back in September of 2007 finally 16 months later. Several people have been amazed, I assure you not as much as I was and the number one question was...What did the post office say?

They didn't say anything, they dropped the box at the door and this is what it looked like...

In case you can't see what they hand wrote on the note it says, "Sorry! was in parcel locker!" What was in the box you ask? I packed the socks in these mini lunch pails that I found at Target, so when they opened the box they got these mini pails and the surprise socks were inside.

Unfortunately my nephew's socks don't fit him now but my niece's sock do thankfully.

Soon I should be able to share with you the socks that I am knitting for the Socks That Rock Leyburn KAL I joined, my niece's, I am 7 Cardigan, and another A Very Warm Hat for Senesi (he almost stole my brothers.) I am going to do Sensei's in fingering weight this time, wish me luck.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bronze Monkey, you funky monkey

Can you hear the Beastie Boys song in your head? Well these socks are not Brass Monkey's cause this colorway of Casbah is Bronze and I love love love this yarn. This is the second time that I have knit the Monkey pattern and I still love the pattern.

Pattern: Monkey
Materials: Handmaiden Casbah Sock
Colorway: Bronze
Needles: US 1-1/2 / 2.5mm
Start Date: January 2, 2009
Finish Date: January 23, 2009

To be honest, these pictures look a little washed out. The color is better than this, it was just an overcast day and I could not get any good natural light. But this won't be a problem when I get my new camera in a couple of weeks.

Also, if you noticed it took me almost an entire month to knit these. Well, that is because work has been, CRAZY. You don't come here to read how crazy work has been for me so I will spare you the gory details. Things are better now and my knitting projects are getting back in line very quickly. I have some exciting things in my "To Knit" list coming up. I have about 3 projects that are sooo close to being done and one project ready to blog once the person has received his birthday gift. A hint about the birthday gift completed project ready to blog....I have give Elizabeth Zimmerman another chance and I might have to recant some of my prior statements I have made towards her.

In other exciting news, I am happy about our new President. I wish him godspeed in getting this country back into the glory it once displayed. And if you have followed my blog for a while you might remember when I knit my niece and nephew socks. And if you do not recall what happened to them here click here and here to refresh your memory. Those events took place September 2007. This is January 2009, doing the math, that is 16 MONTHS later, my brother called me to say he was sending a picture via text message of the kids. They were wearing the socks!! He said they came home and there was a box at the door with a note on it saying they were sorry but they found the box in a lock box (whatever that means?!?!) 16 MONTHS!!! My nephew has already grown out if the socks that I knit him, he was 3 when they were made but for photo purposes, they squeezed them on, my niece can still wear hers thankfully. Unfortunately the quality of the camera phone picture was not good enough to post, maybe we will get some action shots of the reunited socks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Scruchable Gift

Pattern: Scrunchable Cowl
Source: Scrunchable Cowl by Rosi Garmendia
Size: Small (modified)
Materials: Malabrigo Natural
Needles: US 7 / 4.5mm
Start Date: December 20, 2008
Finish Date: December 21, 2008

I saw this pattern on Ravelry, actually I sought it out after seeing Cristi's version of the Scrunchable Cowl on her blog. Cowls have been the hot new accessory to knit this year it seems, I have done several myself in plain stockinette stitch. So I wanted to mix things up a bit and love and hate this patter all at the same time. Let me explain, see those deep waves of knitting twisting and turning?

That is the part that I hated, the 16 stitch cables. They were, well, a bitch to do, but worth it in the long run. I think if I had used a wool that had more spring/stretch it would have been easier, however Malabrigo was in my stash and I want to try to knit from my stash when ever possible.

I am pleased with the over all look of the cowl and I think that the color (or lack there of color) winter white looks stunning with this pattern and compliments my sister-in-law. The only modification made to the cowl is an extra cable repeat to make it a bit longer. This was her 2008 Christmas present. Since I mailed her present, I had to get the modeled shots a few weeks later. My niece wanted to test out the cowl too.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Presenting Miss Sophie...

Pattern: Sophie
Size: One Size
Materials: Cascade Cash Vero Aran in Rose #11 and Socks That Rock in Carbon
Amount: 196 yrds (2 balls) Cash Vero and 32 yrds Socks That Rock
Needles: US 5 / 3.75 mm and US 7 / 4.5 mm
Start Date: December 15, 2008
Finish Date: January 1, 2009

Don't let the antique colored pink fool you, Sophie is a modern girl, she came to work with me today. She was not much of a worker though, she just wanted to hang out and look cute.

Sophie challenged me a bit, which I like to have when I do a new project. I had to learn how to make a French Knot. I found this great video tutorial that helped me out a lot. The nose is not as nice looking as I would have hoped, I seriously need to work on my embroidery skills. Oh but the best part, she is knit seamless!

Modifications: Ysolda's pattern is written beautifully, you have little left to your interpretation which is nice. The pattern called for a sport weight yarn, however I wanted to have a larger bunny so I picked an aran weight yarn instead. Also, I wanted to make the bunny have some weight to her that would help her sit better, so I inserted a small bag of white rice in her behind. The only problem with that is, it makes a little bit of noise. Next time I will have to come up with a better plan instead of winging it last minute.

And the last modification is the ears. I had one ear completed and ran out of yarn. So I ripped out the first ear and then picked up stitches with a needle 2 sizes larger (US7) and adjusted the ear to be not as wide and not as long. With those adjustments I had enough to finish her. I tried using a second color in the interior of the ear but that made for a really dense fabric on the ear and was not looking good.

Accessories: It is the winter time, Sophie needed a scarf. I took left over sock yarn from my Carbon Copy Monkey's and knit a quick scarf. I casted on 10 stitches, knit in the round and added fringe because it is winter and Miss Sophie will be cold without it! Oh and she seems to have a fond attraction to margarita's just like her creator, I guess the apple does not fall from the tree!

Sophie will be given to my 6 year old niece tomorrow January 3rd, sans tequila, and hopefully be loved and cared for. Pictures of them to come later. Sophie, the first FO of 2009!!